Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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cynic
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby cynic » Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Mike, that was a highly uninformed opinion about Chomsky's views. He tends to see the glass as half full, as I do.
half full? you poor wretched soul.
your eyes are closed, half in a dream.
keeping you're mind trapped in a nightmare of your own obsessions.
seeing only the evil and depraved, spreading only news of bitterness and despair.

while every day we struggle, and manage to make things better every day.
people everywhere live longer and wiser every day.
while the aggression seems unending, fewer people die in our wars every generation.
as those groups of people grow wiser they bring fewer unfed children to the world.

whether our race ends the battle with itself, before we damage our home irreparably,
is surely another call to address our excesses.

we are indeed in a race against ourselves, and you are right to feel that nipping at your heels.
but we seem to be gaining.
follow your bliss,mike

cynic
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby cynic » Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm

how odd..

hey barber, look up at my quote of frank's 4:01pm post..how did that happen?
did i bust it, or is there some kinda time-space glitch?
ooooo :shock:
follow your bliss,mike

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby cynic » Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm

oh noooooo

bulletin board busted!

i'm trapped in a loooop :shock:
follow your bliss,mike

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby cynic » Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm

what were we doing on Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm that needs to be redone? :roll:
follow your bliss,mike

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FrankChurch
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Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:13 pm

You know I had to start with this.

"“An academic study that appeared right before the presidential election reports that less than 30 percent of the population was aware of the positions of the candidates on major issues, though 86 percent knew the name of George Bush's dog. The general thrust of propaganda gets through, however. When asked to identify the largest element of the federal budget, less than one fourth give the correct answer: military spending. Almost half select foreign aid, which barely exists; the second choice is welfare, chosen by one third of the population, who also far overestimate the proportion that goes to blacks and to child support. And though the question was not asked, virtually none are likely to be aware that `defense spending' is in large measure welfare for the rich. Another result of the study is that more educated sectors are more ignorant - not surprising, since they are the main targets of indoctrination. Bush supporters, who are the best educated, scored lowest overall.”

Noamie got skills.

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Postby Eric Martin » Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:15 pm

People get the government they deserve, Frank. There's no demon in the box here, just good old fashioned apolitical humanity.

If you want to wipe 100 million asses, and hope that it makes a difference, power to you.

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Postby Duane » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:12 pm

I'm surprised he missed the news of that "study" out of Berkeley that came to the conclusion that well-adjusted children grew up to be "liberals" while children who grew up with a lot of self doubt and uncertainty grew up to become "conservatives."

I suppose if by "liberal" they mean "able to empathize and see issues from others' viewpoints" you could call me one. I've met "conservatives" of all political stripes. Some on this very board.

rich

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby rich » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:27 am

FrankChurch wrote:An academic study that appeared right before the presidential election reports that less than 30 percent of the population was aware of the positions of the candidates on major issues...


And as Eric pointed out, Frank, which candidate is to blame for this? I'm rereading V FOR VENDETTA and was wondering what the American public's response would be if V took over a major network today, and said the same things that Moore has the character say in the book?

My guess is that the majority of Americans would feel insulted, and turn the tube off, eager to maintain their own prejudices and beliefs 'cause it's so much easier to do so. Everything takes the path of least resistance, and most people do so.

FrankChurch wrote:Noamie got skills.


I'm sure he does, but not evidenced by the quote above which is simplistic propaganda in its own right.

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Postby Jan » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:34 pm

Am I hearing a slight contempt by Americans for Americans?

I've been hearing more of that - did this originate before Bush and the war? Is a new generation asserting itself?

AFAIK, Americans used to be more proud and full of illusions. Perhaps it's just the age group here.

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Postby Duane » Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:10 pm

In my specific case, I occasionally get defensive when I should just :roll: and move on.

In the larger case, it's cyclical. I'm making the grandest of understatements when I say that Bush is one of the most divisive American leaders ever, and I voted for the guy twice. Unlike Reagan, who could draw upon broad based support (whatever one's opinion of his policies), Bush doesn't care if you love him or hate him; in fact, I think he thrives on opposition.

When Clinton was in office, there was a large upswelling of "Clinton hating" in the country, but it was pretty much limited to (but not all of) the "religious Right." Like Reagan, he knew how to "work the camera," as it were, and make a good impression. I was fairly indifferent, but my 401k loved the guy.

President Bush has no such talents. If he had even a tenth of either Reagan's or Clinton's people skills, Michael Moore wouldn't have made the fortune he made with his movie. In addition to that, 9/11 happened when he was in office, putting him in the middle of a pivotal moment of history.

I'm really hoping for a less divisive president in 2008, regardless of party. Either Giuliani or McCain for the Republicans or Bradley or Lieberman for the Democrats. As interesting as Hillary would be, I think she would be only a little less divisive than Bush was.

It's just typical political shower room ass-grabbing, Jan. Lose the towel and jump in!

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Postby Chuck Messer » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:55 pm

I don't think it's a contempt for America so much as it's doubts being aired about the policies and approach of the president and his cabinet. All the "Hail to the Chimp" jokes aside, people; Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative alike are starting to wonder if the initial policy toward Iraq leading to the invasion and occupation was a total cluster-fuck.

I'm a Democrat and I'm not too fond of Bush, but I'd like SOMETHING good to come out of what's happening in the middle east. But when you've got people like George Will wondering aloud what the hell's going on in Iraq, one does get the impression of the afore-mentioned cluster-fuck.

I'd had a bad feeling from John Aschcroft from the beginning, when word of an arrogant, "Don't bother me with you advice, little man, I know what I'm doing" vibe came from the defense department. He just reminds me too much of Robert MacNamara. Way too much.

It's not America that people are voicing doubts about, it's national policy.

Chuck
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rich

Postby rich » Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:45 am

What Chuck and Duane said.

I honestly think that the 2004 election was more about not wanting to vote for Kerry and switching "generals" in a war than any real groundswell of support for Bush. I think moderates voted for Bush 'cause they already knew what they had so why take a chance on a guy that can't speak without putting you to sleep.

Having said that, it was Katrina that did Bush and his administration in. Iraq was losing support from most Americans, but most Americans, again following the path of least resistance, were kinda buying the "making progress in Iraq" rhetoric. At the very least, we took some small comfort that these guys might know what they're doing. After all, we voted for 'em.

But, the administration's response to Katrina showed even the moderates that maybe these guys really didn't know what they were doing. So you've got an administration that couldn't get it done with Katrina, and we're seeing the same thing in Iraq. Add some wiretapping, your VP shooting someone in the face, and it's like we've got the Marx brothers in the White House.

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Postby Eric Martin » Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:13 am

I think most Americans are apolitical, or one-issue voters. I count myself among them...I pretty much vote for the environment. I really don't care about foreign policy, jobs creation, abortion rights, etc. Those and others are all important issues, and people should lobby for what they want...I'm just not one to read a campaign platform. Since I'm a tree-hugger, I usually vote Democrat, although not always...for some reason I vote for Republican governors in Illinois, maybe because the Dems have such lousy ones.

I'm also a big Bill of Rights person, which puts me in bed with both parties...the left defends the first and fourth amendments, the right defends the second . I don't believe in compromise on any of them. I'm a member of both the ACLU and the NRA.

I think in the past few decades we have monarchized the Presidency a bit, at least in our social consciousness. A while back it was Clinton this, Clinton that...now it's Bush Bush Bush. Blaming one individual (and his small handful of staff) makes it easier for we the people to not take responsibility for our democracy. Bush didn't fuck up Katrina...WE fucked up Katrina. Until all of us take some ownership of what goes on this country, and not sit back and point fingers at a few civil servants, nothing is going to change.

It's not a hard attitude to embrace...good sports teams do it all the time. When the team loses, it's a team loss...you don't blame the coach or the quarterback.

I've done a lot of traveling, and lived in Germany for almost a year. It's no better anywhere else. In some places, it's a hell of a lot worse. There are small aspects of Europe that are more pleasant...given the opportunity, I would probably spend a good chunk of my year in the south of France...but I have yet to see a government that could be called more loveable than America's. It's pretty much the same everywhere, in the West at least...a lot of not very imaginative B- students running bloated bureacracies. The witty and interesting characters tend to hide in the universities, or go for the bucks in private business.

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Postby Moderator » Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:53 pm

Late to the party (pun intended), but I have to weigh in....

There are several dynamics in play here, not all of them good ones. We are seeing more and more Americans becoming complacent and cynical about the presidency. What Reagan and Clinton brought to the office, more than any presidents since Kennedy, was the "electrification" of the office. They were both profound communicators, and each of them understood the roles of the office and the other elements of the government (judicial and legislative).

Bush is a horrific communicator. His staff are also inept when it comes to motivating anything beyond their core far right base. The Republican-led Congress have largely abdicated their responsibilities in a "don't mess with us and we won't mess with you" relationship (though this is changing). Both ends have become almost dictatorial in their approach to debate.

What needs to happen -- and I'm both hopeful and afraid -- is Americans need to understand how bad it really is. Part of the reason Kerry lost the election was that many Americans truly wanted to believe Bush when he said "It's all good, trust me", rather than having to figure the situation out for themselves. We've become, by and large, a Gerber's spoon-fed society.

What is lacking, right now, in the Democratic party, is someone of lightning-rod proportions who can galvanize and motivate the masses. In my mind, what makes this a truly unnerving time is that the opposition party cannot seem to find its ammo when the fish are in a progressively smaller barrel.

It's not simply a matter of dismissing the American people, it's a matter of the sense of the majority of Americans of false security and personal (and childlike) need for reassurance rather than an admission that we f***ed up really badly. Many signs are there of what we may be in the process of creating, and they're pointing in the direction of 1928 Germany if we're not careful. I'm not suggesting Bush is Hitler, he lacks the personality and skill to carry off the complete subjectification of our culture -- but he's opened the door more than a crack for someone who does have what it takes and can take advantage of it.
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Postby David Loftus » Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:15 pm

Barber wrote:Bush is a horrific communicator.


You know, I'm not so sure that's accurate. If you're talking about putting across nuanced, complex ideas and programs, then yes, he's awful. But for doing what he needs to do -- reassure and hold his base, confuse and surprise the opposition -- he's does a damn good job. I didn't buy that "Great Communicator" shit about Reagan, either; he was a moron, if we speak of substantive content. But both of them, each in his own way, are great at making their fans feel that everything is gonna be all right, we're in control, and America can and will continue to "stand tall," whatever the fuck that means.


Barber wrote:His staff are also inept when it comes to motivating anything beyond their core far right base.


Yes, well, that's been all they've had to do, isn't it? And I don't think their core far right base is all that's put Bush in office and kept him there, sad to say.


Barber wrote:What needs to happen -- and I'm both hopeful and afraid -- is Americans need to understand how bad it really is.... We've become, by and large, a Gerber's spoon-fed society.


And that's because so many of us are content to do little more than buy and sell each other toys and grub to distract and anaesthetize ourselves and one another.


Barber wrote:what makes this a truly unnerving time is that the opposition party cannot seem to find its ammo when the fish are in a progressively smaller barrel.


Nicely put.


Barber wrote:It's not simply a matter of dismissing the American people, it's a matter of the sense of the majority of Americans of false security and personal (and childlike) need for reassurance rather than an admission that we f***ed up really badly. Many signs are there of what we may be in the process of creating, and they're pointing in the direction of 1928 Germany if we're not careful. I'm not suggesting Bush is Hitler, he lacks the personality and skill to carry off the complete subjectification of our culture -- but he's opened the door more than a crack for someone who does have what it takes and can take advantage of it.


I'm not even that concerned about our domestic political culture. Even if the Democrats did manage to find another FDR or Truman (or even JFK, sorry as he turned out to be, policy-wise), we may still not wake up to the fact that we are poisoning ourselves and our planet such that even the best international political intentions and agreements will not be sufficient to prevent the stress and rancor when resources get slim.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus


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