Archive for the ‘The Blogosphere’ Category
You wouldn’t think Iranian President Ahmadinejad and batshit-crazy wingnut blogger Pam “Atlas Juggs” Geller would have anything in common, would you? She hates his guts and he thinks she’s a lunatic. She wants him assassinated and he wants her eviscerated. But you’d be wrong. They’re both Holocaust Deniers. Which is weird because Geller is, like, Jewish.
You know, there is a sort of resemblabce here. They both look like they’ve been injecting way too much botox, Pammy in her forehead and Prez A in his nose. Co-incidence?
And oh yeah, as long as we’re discussing La Juggs, she thinks passing the healthcare “reform” bill on Xmas Eve is blasphemy!!!! (You have to imagine a deep bass voice through an echo chamber on that last word.) I might agree. I tend to suspect that Christ would NEVER want his name associated with a bill that shamelessly molests innocent people. (Via Norwegianity)
Mark Gisleson, our favorite angry Wegian, is back blogging again, this time not as an aggregator (though there will doubtless be miles of links, Mark being Mark) but writing like Hunter Thompson on his less stoned days. Viz:
It started with the Star Tribune but now it’s spread to the New York Times and Washington Post. I look at their newspapers but increasingly I find that I don’t care what they’re writing about. The more important the story, the more likely it is that the editors have inserted lies or maybe the reporter(s) never wrote the real story in the first place. The narrative being shared by the mass media is gaseous with greasy uninformed speculation and the gristle of inferred wrongdoing. Most expensive inauguration ever? or simply the first time security costs were included?
All I know is that Obama will do what Obama will do, and rank speculation with all its accompanying media snitstorms won’t impact this President.
It’s a better, more fiery world with Mark afflicting the comfortable and as razor-sharp as he is these days, I’m glad he’s more or less on my side. Or I’m on his. Or whatever.
You’ll find him at the new Norwegianity. (On the sidebar under “WordPress Blogs”.)
Over at Suburban Guerrilla Susie is asking if maybe the netroots‘ priorities are all backwards.
For a while now, I’ve had the very strong sense that things have been exactly ass-backwards, upside down in the blogosphere – that the peak of Maslow’s triangle is nowhere near roomy enough to carry the weight of a meaningful movement. And yes, of course telecom immunity is an important issue – but where would you place it on the triangle? Fight first to make sure people are fed, take care of their most basic needs and build the netroots coalition from that.
…See, to me, progressive values have always been about economic and social justice…
I get her point. I even thank her for it. But there’s something she’s not considering.
Yes, the online netroots is to a degree elitist, no question. In order to take part, you need either the money or the time, preferably both. And yes, there are real-world needs (as opposed to virtual world desires) that have actual consequences attached to not meeting them, like starvation or poverty or no education. But beyond all that there is a deadly political situation to be considered – deadly for us, down here in the trenches – which, if it isn’t turned around, will almost certainly wind up killing us and the nation, and the netroots may be (I said may be) our only way to affect that kind of change.
You see, we’re not much for politics down here even though it is politics that determines the economy that feeds and houses us (or not, like the Bush Economy). We’re kinds too busy making ends meet to get organized in our spare time, which we don’t have much of in the first place because either we don’t work at all and have to hustle 24/7 or we work 16 hours a day and take care of the kids at night and spend our weekends (if we don’t have to work overtime for straight pay) cleaning the house, food shopping, cooking, and so on (and on and on and on….).
So we need the netroots. They got the time, energy and money we don’t have to fight the people who are making us miserable, and they’re trying to figure out how to do that. We’ll help when we can but first we have to ensure our own day-to-day survival – you know, those things you were talking about earlier. Besides, the PTB don’t listen to us anyway. We know that. But they do listen to the activists, to the media, and, of course, to that virtual combination of the two, the netroots. Oh, not about everything. But some things, and that’s already more than we could make them do.
See, that’s kinda how it works. The establishment learned a long time ago that if you keep slaves busy and worn out, they’ll be too tired to revolt. And so we are. We have been pushed so far down that we have no energy left for anything but mere sheer survival. We struggle with everyday matters trying to keep our heads above water, which leaves no room for giving the Boss a hard time about – well, about much of anything.
And it’s important to us that we eventually have access to the net. If they shut us off from that, too, we will have lost one of the last tools of non-violent protest available to us. They’ve closed or cut back the libraries, or attached fees to library use that we can’t afford to pay on the meager salaries they give us; they’re taking away analog (over-the-air) tv so we have to buy cable; they’re even trying very hard to make radio a pay service. Short of the local papers, which are as big a joke as local news shows, the best way to find out what’s going on, respond to it, and even organize around it, is the internet. We need it, and right now we need somebody to save it for us.
What Digby would call “the Kabuki” at the heart of the Larry Craig Show doesn’t interest me much. These days, what’s one more Republican hypocrite more or less? There are so many. Practically all of them if you count the ones what ain’t been outed yet.
Anyway, what difference if Larry stay or if he go?
I like Glenn Greenwald and consider his Salon blog a Must-Read most days but his insistent refusal to accept the deliberate nature of right-wing pundit fantasizing has become annoying and his benefit-of-the-doubt criticisms of the MSM and Democratic inactivity may be downright dangerous. Fortunately, his readers aren’t as backward as he is.
The Rittenhouse Review‘s Jim Capozzola died Monday. He was one of only two or three bloggers who could legitimately be considered a pioneer, and there are a lot of posts around expressing gratitude for his generosity and appreciation for his talent.
Unlike the others who are writing postmortems, I didn’t know him personally, I never corresponded with him, and as far as I know, he never had so much as an inkling that I existed. So I wasn’t going to write anything about him, figuring it wasn’t really my place.
Then I read this short eulogy by Anthony Cartouche, who’s subbing for Roger Ailes this week, and when I read the last graf, I realized that Mr Capozzola had after all influenced me in a significant way that I had almost forgotten.
You read right. Where dies he think it is, Constitutionally speaking? He doesn’t say.
Vice President Dick Cheney’s office refused to cooperate with an agency that oversees classified documents, then tried to abolish the office when it challenged the actions, House oversight committee Chairman Henry Waxman said.
The National Archives’ Information Security Oversight Office is charged by presidential order with ensuring that classified information and documents are properly handled by executive branch agencies.
According to a letter from William Leonard, director of the oversight office, Cheney’s office argued it did not meet the definition of an executive branch agency and therefore was exempt.
When Leonard unsurprisingly refused to accept this absurd interpretation, Cheney threatened to abolish the ISOO altogether, claiming there’s a “presidential order under consideration” right now that would do just that.
It’s all about making sure nobody can see – ever – Bush Administration documents that Cheney wants only loyal Bushies who can be trusted to a) keep their mouths shut, or b) twist whatever they find in the presidential papers to reflect the party line. In the background is the Bush Library to be built at SMU.
CB in Iraq (Reuters)
Back in July of ’04, I was writing a blog about literary blogs – blogs that used the form for fiction or poetry or photography, or that featured exceptional writing – and in surfing for them I stumbled across one called My War: Fear and Loathing in Iraq by an anonymous Iraqi soldier stationed near Mosul who called himself “CBFTW”. The writing was raw, honest, and vibrant. CBFTW reminded me of a cross between Norman Mailer and Hunter Thompson (even without the clue in the title, it would have been impossible not to recognize CB as a Thompson fan from the style of his writing). I was very impressed and said so when I reviewed it.
This is, as far as I know, one of a kind. Not only is it a blog written by a soldier now serving in Iraq, it’s written by a soldier who can write. His grammar isn’t great, his spelling is OK, his punctuation is horrible. All of that is beside the point….[H]e can communicate a sense of time and place so clearly that it’s almost physical–you can hear it, you can see it, you can almost reach out and touch it.
He…seems to write at least one post a day, sometimes two, and they all slice directly into the heart of what the troops are up against and, to a degree, how they’re coping. He doesn’t make judgments and he doesn’t talk poilitics; if he has opinions he mostly keeps them to himself. What you will read is raw, frontline reporting, practically in real-time. In other words, everything we don’t get–or only rarely–from our Bush-addled media.
This is one of the best combat soldier’s diaries I’ve ever read. It has the immediacy and authenticity of an eye-witness account under extreme stress, and the power of a Hemingway novel to punch you in the gut when you’re not expecting it. Consider it a Must-Read and check it every day. If he can live it, we can read it.
Somebody told him about the review and not long after I got an email from CBFTW, thanking me for the attention and the nice things I said. He wrote that it was encouraging to get that kind of praise because he was just a low-income kid from a suburb of San Francisco with no education to speak of who had never written anything before and often felt lost, like he wasn’t sure he was doing it right. He told me his name – Colby Buzzell – and that the “FTW” stood for “Fuck This War”.
Well, I was hooked, of course. A working-class kid – like me – who wanted to write and actually had talent? I couldn’t resist. Read the rest of this entry »
The trouble with policy wonks is that they think everybody is as knowledgeable and logical as they are despite all compelling evidence to the contrary. Eric Martin riffs on a Josh Landis piece about the “meeting” between the fabulous NeoCondi and Syrian foreign minister Walid Moualem in an attempt to analyze what might be going on.
The recent diplomatic thaw between the US and Syria may be a manifestation of a nascent strategy to de-link Syria from Iran (which would then, presumably, make it easier to isolate Hezbollah in Lebanon by eliminating Iran’s middleman). This reading is not made any less credible by the obvious empowerment of Iran in the region, and the perceived need to assemble and fortify an effective counterbalance. The question remains, however, what would the US offer Syria in return for its cooperation? The return of the Golan Heights, and the killing of the tribunal investigating Syria’s role in the Hariri assassination, are the two most obvious Syrian objectives.
This is all nonsense. There is no “thaw”, the US has no intention of offering Syria anything for their “co-operation” except calling off its potential invasion – maybe (there are three carrier groups off the Iranian coast, a stone’s throw from Syria) – and no one in the Bush Admin understands the concept of “counterbalance”, let alone is looking for a way to achieve it.
Landis isn’t much better, though he does at least hint that Condi offered, in fact, nothing, and quotes Iran’s foreign minister to that effect.
Mottaki was more honest. He explained that the US needs Iran more than Iran needs the US. The US had not prepared for the meeting properly and was not willing to discuss the an agenda important to Iran, comsequently Iran passed up the chance to talk to the Americans at the ministerial level.
Of course we hadn’t “prepared properly”. Since when has the fabulous NeoCondi prepared for anything properly?
Look, at some point it would be helpful if we stopped talking about these people as if they were sentient, rational human beings with knowledge, goals, and strategies for how to attain them. They are none of the three. They are not-very-bright ideologues who feature a deep-seated disdain for most foreigners and a heavy penchant for throwing their weight around. They know how to bully, they know how to threaten, and that pretty much exhausts a list of their negotiating tactics.
It was inevitable, I suppose. Expect a lot more of this for a few days.
That said, how much of this killers rage was indoctrinated at the very campus on which he took out his rage. When professors teach students to hate everything around them they are learning evil.
Just to clarify the killer was in the English program and liberal professors are known for teaching hate.
This is one of those “it started out to be a comment on somebody else’s blog but was too long for a comment so I’m making it a post” post. You might want to go read the post that sparked this one before you wade into it. It may not make much sense otherwise.
Chris Bowers at MyDD writes every so often about the phenomenon of blogging itself. His thoughts/insights are usually interesting but it has often seemed to me that he, like a lot of others in the online world, misses a key point:
Online life ain’t real life.
I was going to talk about Ann Coulter but I hear you have to go into rehab if you use the phrase “brain-dead fascist bimbo”.
Jesus. I can’t believe I have to waste time and energy talking about this but there’s something that needs to be said and nobody’s saying it.
Believe me, I’m pleased as punch that a furor has erupted over Coulter’s jab at John Edwards during her speech at the annual CPAC meeting. Nobody deserves it more. (Michael Savage, maybe, but that’s how low you have to go to get underneath Anorexic Annie.) But, really, what’s the big deal? Calling a Democrat a “faggot” is mild for her, and it was clearly a joke – or what passes for one at a right-wing gathering (it’s not like Republicans have senses of humor a normal human being can relate to). She wasn’t seriously suggesting Edwards is gay, she was just dissing him with her usual lack of class.
Now before you get all outraged righteous on my ass, don’t miss the point. I’m not defending her. I’m saying that in the pantheon of Coulterisms, this one wouldn’t rate so much as a footnote were it not for the response. I mean, this is a woman who wrote a best-selling eliminationist screed calling all Democrats “traitors” and advocating that True Americans go out and shoot themselves one or two. And unlike her CPAC quip, she wasn’t kidding when she wrote that. Yet that book raised not a single eyebrow in the media. Not only did no one but Democrats denounce it but she went on a lot of television shows and repeated her charges, using much of the very same language that’s in the book (she has a, uh, limited imagination), and was treated like a) nothing she said was a big deal, and b) everything she said was sane, rational, and correct when it was none of the three. Read the rest of this entry »
In the wake of Amanda Marcotte’s resignation from the John Edwards campaign, Howie Kurtz has responded with one of his patented, snide, attack-without-attacking columns in the WaPo. After a reasonably fair summation in which he quotes liberally from Marcotte’s resignation post at pandagon, he swings into Howie-mode with this little gem of a graf:
The former North Carolina senator was caught between conflicting pressures. On one hand, Marcotte and McEwan, like many writers in the freewheeling blogosphere, had written profane and offensive attacks on their detractors, using language that no presidential candidate would be comfortable defending. On the other, liberal bloggers were embracing their cause, depicting them as victims of an orchestrated conservative campaign to discredit them.
There are two outright lies in that short graf and one opinion stated as fact. Let’s begin with the First Lie:
1. “…had written profane and offensive attacks on their detractors”.
The posts which so offended Donohoe and from which Howie quotes later on – out of context, naturally – were NOT attacks on her “detractors”. They were attacks on the Catholic Church’s anti-female attitudes, biases, and policies, in particular its rigid insistence on mixing into the abortion debate with what an objective observer could only call a “heavy hand”. It would be impossible in any legitimate sense to consider the quotes for which Marcotte was pilloried a personal attack on any “person” when they were so obviously aimed at an organizational entity. Here’s the quote:
The Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics.
“The Catholic church” is not a person and, so far as I know, has never attacked Amanda Marcotte. Benedict would probably be a “detractor” if he knew or cared what she said but he doesn’t. I feel safe in saying that you could search his recent speeches exhaustively without once hearing the name “Amanda Marcotte” pass his lips, so she certainly wasn’t responding to anything he said about her.
As a recovering Catholic and a minor student of Church history, I can also tell you, categorically, that there’s only one mistake in that sentence: Catholics don’t “tithe” (give one-tenth of their pre-tax income to The Church). Read the rest of this entry »