These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. ~~~ Thomas Paine, 1776

Short But Not Too Sweet

I've got a series of short disconnected posts coming soon and I suspect that if we discuss them all here in the same thread, it will make more sense than posting separate threads about each of them.

We can start with this "shocking" bit of "news":

Late Breaking: Joe Biden Is A Maverick, Too!

and then there's this:

Execution In Iraq: Murder Charges Against Three Army Sergeants, None Against Those Who Sent Them There

and this:

Iranian President Says What TV Pundits Can't: American Empire Is Almost Over

There's more coming, as soon as I can swing it.

Bush Tells UN To Unite Against Terrorism And Tyrrany

The twice-unelected president and smirking multi-front war criminal George W. Bush told the United Nations on Tuesday that the world must unite against terrorism and tyranny, according to the AP via MSNBC.

USA Today says Bush told the UN it must prevent terrorist attacks from happening.

Unfortunately, the world's top diplomats have already decided that Bush is a buffoon, and as usual they weren't paying any attention.

If they had been, Bush would have been led away from the podium in handcuffs, and taken straight to the guillotines.

Pakistan's 9/11

This is horrible ... and unless I miss my guess, it's gonna get a lot worse in a hurry.

I've put up a second post on the same subject but I won't start a second comment thread.

I intend to devote more coverage to this attack as soon as I am able, so please stay tuned.

McJ's picture

What's Up With The Hurricane Ike Coverage

I had originally meant this to be a forum post (where it most likely belongs) but it was so long I decided to post it to my blog. smiling

Has anyone else noticed the lack of post Ike coverage on the CMSM?

My daughter and I watched much of the CNN coverage of the approach and landing of Hurricane Ike last Friday night/Saturday morning. On Saturday when it was reported that a military task force (that had been pre-positioned before the hurricane hit) was headed to the Houston area I half joked that once they got there the press coverage would be shut down. We kept checking sporadically during the rest of the weekend and into Monday to see the extent of the damage but there was very little coverage. Are we missing coverage of Ike up here in Canada? CNN programming for the remainder of the weekend was revolving reruns of the Sarah Palin/Joe Biden biographies plus a couple of other ridiculous political yak fests by assorted pundits. They had probably 10 - 20 reporters positioned around the hardest hit areas on Friday and after Saturday morning all they had to broadcast for the rest of the weekend was reruns of the previous week's presidential news?
Last night I did a bit of checking for internet coverage. There are lots and lots of stories in the print media but most that I read seemed to be of the boiler plate variety listing statistics and paraphrasing the same points over and over again. There are a handful of survivor stories with more trickling in today. A commenter on one of the articles I read (sorry can't find the link again sad ) was convinced there was a media blackout on post Ike coverage. She said that her sister's house was under 20 feet of water yet the news was only reporting a surge of 6 -12 feet in the area where it was situated.

Drug War Dummies

In states along the Mexican border, American journalists are going crazy with fear of the drug war that rages in Mexico and, increasingly, in the United States. Today's editorial in the Tucson Citizen tells the story:

"Whether shot, beheaded, mutilated or bombed, at least 2,680 Mexicans have been slain by drug cartels this year. Citizens, law enforcement and government officials are deeply alarmed - and that's just on our side of the border. In Mexico, they're terrified.

"It's our issue, too," the writer claims, "because Mexico is our next-door neighbor and because we cannot allow its democratic form of government to be destroyed.

The writer goes on to rave about murders, beheadings, kidnappings, corruption, police murdered, hand grenades, rocket launchers, "powerful automatic weapons," and narcoterrorism generally. The writer bewails the fact that the violence is spilling over onto our side of the border and finally concludes: "Our government must do everything possible to help beat back the drug cartels - for both nations' sake."

It's all a load of manure. The Tucson writer is informed by and repeats lies about drugs, the drug market, and the drug war that have become boringly familiar to all of us who, at one time or another, were into the counterculture and the drug scene. Those lies are so boring, in fact, that I won't bother to refute them here. Instead I will only say that if you believe in capitalism and the free market and the Bill of Rights but yet support the drug war and believe our Uncle Sam can actually win it, you should go and see a psychiatrist because you have problems that logic will only aggravate. Maybe the shrink will give you some (ahem!) drugs (ahem!) that will relieve your symptoms or at least render you harmless.

Perhaps the most stupid lie in that Tucson editorial is the line about saving democratic government in Mexico. Never in all of history has Mexico been a democracy. Mexico has always been governed by the richest of its elites, who -- ever since Pancho Villa scared the dog shit out of them for 13 years (1910-23) -- act through the president of Mexico in ways that usually -- but not always -- show citizens the semblance of a democracy. For nearly the whole of the 20th century, the Mexican government held an election every six years in which Mexicans got to vote for candidates who all belonged to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

That started to change in Y2K, when Vincente Fox became the first Mexican president elected from an opposition party since 1920. The current president of Mexico is Felipe Calderon. Calderon, even though he belongs to an opposition party (National Action Party, or PAN), seems a throwback to high-handed presidents "elected" by the PRI. Calderon's election in 2006 was widely regarded as fraudulent. The whiff of corruption follows Calderon wherever he goes. His government is challenged even now by opposition groups that periodically send hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to thwart one or another of his antidemocratic initiatives. Under Calderon, Mexico was all but ungovernable even before he became an ardent participant in Uncle Sam's insanely murderous and corrupt drug war.

If governments by Calderon and his ilk are governments we must save, I wonder why we didn't save the government of Mikhail Gorbachev. In Gorby's old Soviet Union, you know, citizens every few years got to vote on a slate of candidates who all belonged to the Communist Party. Speaking strictly of democratic elections, the former Soviet Union ran a system exactly like the system that the PRI ran in Mexico. Americans who claim that Mexico was a democracy must therefore allow that the former Soviet Union was a democracy. Americans who oppose George W. Bush on the grounds that he was never elected should for exactly the same reason oppose Felipe Calderon.

All of those who fear what's happening in Mexico should take note of what's happening in Colombia these days. In Medellin, Colombia -- once the cocaine capitol of the world and home to Pablo Escobar -- where in bygone days five or six hundred people were shot and killed on the streets every month, the shooting has stopped. Just last night I watched The Travel Channel's galloping hedonist, Anthony Bourdain, chomp chorizo in streetside restaurants where five years ago he'd have been shot to death inside of five minutes. How is Bourdain able to do that today?

Those who can add two and two know the answer is simple: Bourdain can do an unescorted gourmand's tour of Medellin these days because Medellin is no longer a hub of cocaine transportation. Those who made cocaine shipping their business have moved their operation to Mexico, where people now undergo torments exactly like the torments that formerly plagued the people of Colombia. And if by some miracle the crooks are driven out of Mexico, they'll simply go somewhere else. Who knows? They may even go back to Colombia now that the heat is off down there. . . .

So why should Americans save the corrupt and wildly unpopular government of Mexico? Why should we bleed more blood and spend more treasure to fight the so-called War on Drugs, which, as I've already pointed out, is both insane and unwinnable? We had better instead do all we can to end the prohibition of drugs in America. Spend all the money in the world to pay for all the cops and guns and prisons you can buy, you couldn't do nearly as much to end drug crime as that one, simple, inexpensive piece of legislation would do.

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