For The Trees
Who is our economy FOR, anyway?
About the Authors:
BEST OF STF:
Articles not at STF:
The ATLA Speech on building a progressive infrastructure
Lowering the Bar
The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law
Who's Behind the Attack on Liberal Professors
On the Right and their communications infrastructure:
Why Republicans Win
Win or Lose
The "Conventional Wisdom" Machine
Some History of the Conservative Movement
HOW TO FIGHT BACK
An Amplifier Of Our Own
Don't Blame the Democrats
How They Do It 1 2 3 4
You're Gonna Get Drafted
Scalia and Self-Government
Who is Our Economy For?
Voting Machine Story Link Collection
What's Wrong with this Picture? (Voting Machines)
Like Meat in the Supermarket
Thin Line 1 2 3
Fixing Social Security
Seeing the Forest I, II, III
"Incredibly Positive News"
The Breadth of It
The Republican Crony Club
Ralph Nader is a Scab
John's Best Of:
Kerry Smear Page
9/11 Commission Report Damages Bush -- if you read it
Florida Goon Squad Intimidated the Supreme Court
The Use and Abuse of George Orwell
Zizka's Archives (John's previous identity)
Information Clearing House
What REALLY Happened
Links to Other Weblogs:
The Wurlitzer Campaign To Intimidate Mexico
This story, Mexico fears backlash from vote on Iraq, describes fear among Mexicans about a U.S. popular backlash should Mexico vote against war with Iraq. If you look between the lines, you can see the Wurlitzer operating.
Here's the right-wingers' strategy: Whip up lots of news making it look as though Americans are angry at France, are boycotting French products and otherwise retaliating against the French for voting against Bush's war. Then make it clear to Mexico, "This could happen to YOU if you don't play ball." Even drop not-so-subtle hints that Mexican-Americans risk harm if Mexico votes against war.
Mexico's ambassador to the United States was active this week trying to head off the sort of hostility that is pestering France, featuring boycotts on cheese, mocking jokes and bitter commentary on French diplomacy and French character.But just WHO is whipping up this anti-French stuff, putting out "bitter commentary," and just WHO is holding it out to Mexico as an example of what can happen to them? It was the Republicans in Congress who changed the name of french fries and french toast to "freedom fried" and "freedom toast." This isn't a "popular" backlash, this is Republicans. And this,
Mexico expert Robert Pastor said his recent appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" TV show on the Fox network convinced him that there is real danger of an anti-Mexican backlash.I'm not going to go into more examples of WHO is spreading this, but there are plenty of the usual suspects involved - listen to talk radio for an hour to see what I mean. This isn't "popular" backlash, it is ENGINEERED, MANIPULATED backlash, and we know who is sooooo good at that, don't we?
So WHO is threatening Mexico with this treatment, should they vote against war?
President Bush increased that intensity last week in statements that provoked alarm in Mexico, where they made front-page news. While Bush said he did not expect "significant retribution from the government" against Security Council member nations that didn't line up with the United States, he pointedly left open the possibility of a popular backlash.And in case we missed his point, the Wurlitzer was out there amplifying it. But it isn't working:
Peter H. Smith, professor of political science at the University of California San Diego, said Bush's comments were widely perceived in Mexico as a threat and may have eliminated any possibility that Fox would line up with the United States at the United Nations.What did the bonehead-in-chief THINK the Mexicans would do in response to his Godfather-style threats? "You're with us, or you're against us." Mexico says, "Well, I guess we are just going to have to be against you, then."
Mystery Disease is Spreading!
I've been reading about a mystery pneumonia that started in Hong Kong. Today the UN issued a worldwide "Emergency Travel Alert." Read this story, UN Warns of Worldwide Threat from Killer Pneumonia to learn more. I'll be following this story and will post here if it continues. It appears to be in Toronto, Vancouver and New York now.
WHO issued its first global alert for 10 years earlier this week because of the speed at which the disease travels and because patients are not responding to the usual treatments for pneumonia, Thompson said.Forget about terrorism and Iraq for a minute - this could be more serious.
The New York Times also has a story today, Rare Health Alert Is Issued by W.H.O. for Mystery Illness.
Reported cases have come from Canada and six countries in Asia — Hong Kong and elsewhere in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, the health organization said. There have been no reports of the illness in the United States. But yesterday, an ill passenger and two companions who traveled from New York City were removed from a flight after it arrived in Frankfurt and put in isolation in a German hospital.Later in the story:
W.H.O. and American officials urged all travelers to be aware of the main signs. In addition to the breathing problems, the illness can cause a dry cough and other flulike symptoms that are thought to develop two to seven days after exposure. They usually start with a sudden onset of high fever and go on to include muscle aches, headache, sore throat and shortness of breath.Sorry, Mr. President, it doesn't look like you can blame this on Iraq or Bill Clinton, so I know you'll just ignore it.
Update - The Washington Post has a story up about it now, as well.
A Big Deal?
Is this as potentially as big a deal as I think?
Rockefeller expressed concern that the forgeries "may be part of a larger deception campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion and foreign policy regarding Iraq."FBI asked to investigate whether documents were forged in an attempt to get us into a war. Wow.
Who Is Our Economy For? (II)
Jobs Jumping Ship:
"As painful as February's big job cuts were, what's even more painful is that many of those jobs are never coming back, as U.S. employers in a wide range of industries move more and more jobs overseas."So who benefits from this? You think you participate in our economy because you have a job? Well, guess what? YOUR function in the economy is to help someone ELSE get richer. It's only thanks to unions that you get paid what you get paid, and get a vacation (if you do) and insurance (if you do), and have any protections at all. Now the corporations have a way around even that.
Start asking the question, Who is our economy for?
Character Assassination As Election Tactic
Daily Kos writes about the right-wing "Wurlitzer" that will attack all the non-Bush candidates in 2004. From the Daily Kos piece:
I've always said I will support the candidate that can best fight back against the Wurlitzer, since 2004 will be nasty. Remember that Rove hopes to amass a $250 million warchest to pummel the eventual Democrat nominee to the ground.I think he is exactly right. My very first blog piece about "the forest" had this:
Let's see if we can see the forest. Look back to the 2000 election. Step back and look at the candidates. The Democrat's candidate was a well respected, well liked, extremely experienced, Vietnam vet, former seminary student, character beyond reproach, faithfully married family man, foreign policy expert, with many accomplishments including being the person in the Congress most responsible for advancing the Internet... The Republicans ran a foul-mouthed thoroughly inexperienced scandal-ridden (Harken oil, Rangers stadium, recipient of bribes directed at his father) failed businessman, continuously bailed out of jams by his father's connections, draft-dodger (worse, he got into the Nat. Guard through connections and then played hooky!), former drunk, probable drug-user, kids constantly in trouble, with a campaign entirely financed by large corporations obviously looking for favors.I'm still wondering what Gore was thinking. Clinton WON because he set up a "war room" to respond to character assasination attacks. Awareness that the right uses character assasination as a tactic to win elections was part of the strategy from day one! Did Gore somehow miss that? Then we saw 8 long years of massive, well-funded character assasination against Clinton. Did Gore somehow miss that? So in the 2000 election how did Gore respond to the character assasination directed against him? HE DIDN'T RESPOND!
Daily Kos is exactly right. The candidate that runs against Bush must be ready, willing and eager to fight back against right-wing character assasination! That is number uno on my list of qualities I want to see in a candidate.
The individual lies are just trees. See the forest: THEY LIE!
Jim Hightower Endorses Commonweal Institute
Jim Hightower has endorsed the Commonweal Institute.
"It's always good to put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion. The folks at the Commonweal Institute do the heavy mental lifting so agitators like me can arm ourselves on the front lines of the ideological battles taking place every day in America. For too long progressives have walked fearful of their shadows, whimpering and whining about what's wrong and fighting amongst themselves over crumbs. With the help of the Commonweal Institute, that time is over."For details on how the Commonweal Institute is going to help fight back against the right, please read How To Fight Back.
The Agonist takes a look at what China is thinking.
The Press Committing Suicide
Over at The Daily Brew, read The Consequences of Failure.
"I have never seen my peers as frightened as they are now" commented Mr. Hersh, who was recently described as a "terrorist" by Senior White House advisor Richard Perle. Mr. Hersh also spoke of his own frustration with the Bush administration. "There is no real standard of integrity because the White House doesn't have any," he said.I wrote something along these lines here and I think it's worth reading again.
The history of right-wing treatment of the press is not good. Media people - do you really think it's a good idea to be shilling for right-wingers?Press people - it might help your careers today, but these people do not like you. That's putting it mildly. You are not earning their respect.
Remember what Ann Coulter said, "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." She said this after you helped put Bush in office! Did you earn her respect? No, she wants you dead and thanks to you she and her buddies are in a much better position to accomplish this.
No matter how much you suck up to the right wingers, they still call you "the liberal media." You're first in line, even before the gays, even before the atheists. If you keep helping them gain more and more power you'll be the first they dispose of.
I wrote a comment after this post over at over at Electrolite. They're talking about Ralph Nader's effect on the election and whether the Greens are partly responsible for the terrible things that the right-wingers are now inflicting on us and the world. Here is my comment - of course edited and expanded as necessary to make me look better:
I used to be a union guy.
Think about how unions evolved. It was the fight of the working people against the moneyed interests. Workers learned that there IS a way to fight against the overwhelming power of money and that way is to band together, form a coalition, stand as one, etc.
These are lessons that were learned they VERY HARD way! These lessons were learned over time and through struggle. They were learned in very tough battles that eventually won minimum wages, the 40 hour work week, vacations, pensions, health care, worker safety and other worker protections that brought us a middle class and made America what it is today!
The word 'union' means everyone standing together because they are stronger standing together than if they split into small factions. 'Solidarity' is another union expression.
'Scab' is another union expression. A scab is someone who breaks ranks. A few people breaking ranks can cause EVERYONE to lose!
The Democratic Party has always been a coalition of factions banding together to fight for average people. The Naderites broke the coalition, and look what happened!!! We ALL need to learn from this!
Anyone who couldn't see what was coming if Bush was elected was only fooling themselves. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Refusing to vote for Gore because the Clinton/Gore administration was only able to accomplish SOME of what we believe in ignored that the right-wingers were going to smash EVERYTHING we believe in! It ignored the horrible violent history of Nixon and Reagan in Vietnam and Central America and the overthrowing of governments and oppression of people all over the world! It ignored the terrible damage done by Reagan to environmental and economic and worker and women's concerns! I'll repeat - anyone who claims they didn't know that Bush would be this bad was willfully ignoring the obvious!
My very first weblog post was on this topic!
There were two really bad reports today on the economic front. Retail sales plunged in February. It was the worst month since November, 1991. And the only reason it wasn't worse was that gas stations had higher sales because of higher gas prices!
"Consumers were downbeat," said Richard Yamarone, economist with Argus Research Corp. "There was not much for the consumer to be happy about last month."And while new jobless claims were very high, the number of people continuing unemployment was very high.
Continued claims, the number of people out of work for a week or more, rose to 3.5 million in the week ended March 1, the latest data available, from a revised 3.48 million the prior week.All of this bad news makes it look like we're heading into a "Dubya-dip" recession. In response, the stock market had its biggest one-day increase of the year.
Which Corporation Owns Your Vote
I missed this last week! Which Corporation Owns Your Vote over at AlterNet.
And corporate control of America's vote has reached beyond the borders of this nation. The last week of February, New York's "Newsday" reported in a story by staff writer Mark Harrington that: "Election.com, a struggling Garden City start-up scheduled to provide online absentee ballots for U.S. military personnel in the 2004 federal election, has quietly sold controlling power to an investment group with ties to unnamed Saudi nationals, according to company correspondence."This article also goes into the history of how corporations became "persons" with the same rights as people.
Boycott The War!
Here's a way to actively boycott the war-makers. The following is from ">Be The Cause:
Boycott the War!
• Download a Flyer • Criteria for Selecting Corporations • Members of this Coalition
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