Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Insightful

I found this piece this morning, and found it insightful as well as humorous. I especially liked the author's notice of how true liberty brings out people of "courage", that despotism never does. Comparing the Bush's shoe-throwing attacker to the courageous Dixie Chicks is right on the money. If Bush had been half the demon depicted by the left, fewer lefties would've exercised their free speech rights. It's easy to be courageous when there's no real risk in doing so. As the author suggests, that the shoe-thrower lobbed his loafers at all is a sign that Bush's policies in Iraq have successfully brought about the freedom he sought for them.

50 comments:

Marty said...

"that the shoe-thrower lobbed his loafers at all is a sign that Bush's policies in Iraq have successfully brought about the freedom he sought for them."

I wouldn't go so far as to say that...just yet.

If the shoe flys - catch it.

Bush ducked like the weenie he is.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I actually read this one, Marshall, but I have to say that I missed the whole "courage comes from freedom" thing. I guess I always figured it took real guts to stand up and be counted when doing so meant all sorts of horrible things would happen to you, whereas in free countries, it only means people might point and laugh.

Anyway, as far as this being some sign of progress in Iraq because the guy wasn't taken out by some guy who didn't have to be told to leave the gun and take the conolie (sp?) just misses me completely. The author's rather dismissive wave of his hand towards the fact the guy was beaten shows a certain callousness, to be honest.

I don't even know what the Berkeley Corridor, or whatever he called it, is. I live on the prairie, and I don't necessarily think the guy is a hero, either. He is, however, pretty typical of the way Iraqis think about the Americans, and the longer we stay, the more shoes are going to fly.

hashfanatic said...

well, here in nyc, it would be fair to say virtually everyone seems to be heartily applauding the thrower

i think what it all comes down to is, they want bush to be gone, yesterday

to a certain extent, i understand how they hate him so, i once did myself

my whole problem is, do they not understand that the way they keep saying "oh, america is so hated, all over the world" pales in importance to the hatred the shoe thrower expressed?

as i said, not a bush fan here, but, mark my words, the day will come, when many of these angry voices who've gotten caught up in the unique hate machine the left has created for them, will look back, and long for "the good old days" of the "shrub"

it's all just human nature, aggravated by poor schooling and the media failing to do its job, regarding obama

hashfanatic said...

"I guess I always figured it took real guts to stand up and be counted when doing so meant all sorts of horrible things would happen to you, whereas in free countries..."

no, not always, especially not when you have no clear, definable message to impart, after you've gotten everyone's attention

an alleged member of the media of a foreign press corps allowed his enemies' media masters to dictate his entire message and motivation to the world, and redefine it

we have NO idea what his message was, besides, he lives in iraq, and he despises the mess bush brought on his nation, well, get in line, sir

but he brought no attention to any human rights abuses, renditions, water contaminations, etc., that would have been legitimate points of argument

all he did was make it socially acceptable for many americans to openly respect bush again, even i was impressed by his quick reflexes, his calm, and his statement afterward, about it being part and parcel of a free society, was probably the best performance he delivered throughout his presidency

so, no, i'd say the dissenter failed, big time

Jim said...

I think the thrower should spend time in prison. He assaulted another person, and a foreign dignitary at that.

However, I fail to see how committing such an act, apparently being beaten, and facing 15 years in an Iraqi prison can be called "a sign that Bush's policies in Iraq have successfully brought about the freedom he sought for them".

Marshall Art said...

It's a simple concept. Had we not gone there, anyone wanting to pitch footwear at anyone in power would likely get more than a beating. Less likely would there have been anyone feeling the "courage" to "speak out" in any way, much less by throwing shoes.

The shoe thrower's courage actually came from Bush and the troops overthrowing their former "leader", finally gaining some security in most areas, and providing a new government that isn't likely to kill him for his "courage". There have been and continue to be, a plethora of lefties of "courage" in this country, standing up against the man who isn't likely to break their heads.

Finally, this guy is not indicative of the population. He is representative of a segment of the population, most of whom have always wanted us gone. There are at the same time, segments that have nothing but nice things to say about us, are very greatful, and amongst them are those who look forward to seeing us go after they are sure we aren't needed anymore.

But back to the point, you don't see that kind of "expression" except in environments where there is no real risk in doing so, like ours. That anyone feels "courageous" now to act in this manner is a sign that we have brought a semblance of our democracy to their humble nation and have adopted to some degree a similar sense of how free they now are.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I still fail to see the relevance, Marshall. Tens of thousands of Iraqi dead, thousands of American dead and wounded, the country in near-chaos, religious-based civil strife, and it's all worth it because some guy who tossed a shoe at the President of the US was only beaten and not killed.

Maybe my moral compass is different from yours, but I just don't see it.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

Your moral compass is different than mine. Mine has a needle.

The relevance is in how our help in overthrowing those responsible for the Tens of thousands of Iraqi dead, thousands of American dead and wounded, has resulted in an Iraqi society that has less fear in speaking out, even in such over-the-top ways, that would have gotten them killed by those controlling the country before our arrival. This fool is a testament to that overthrow of those responsible, and thus, we can see that sacrifices were not in vain. He's like an Iraqi Cindy Sheehan, a bit more aggressive, but encouraged by the knowledge that no one will kill them for being jackasses. But freedom exists in a place in a way that was not known before our arrival.

Democracy Lover said...

Less fear in speaking out? Not if you don't belong to the right Islamic sect. We have taken a nation where those who expressed political views at odds with the government were locked up without charges, tortured and often executed and turned it into a nation where those who oppose a foreign occupation of their nation are locked up without charges and tortured and where you can't go to the grocery or to school without fearing for your life.

Even if you argue that the US invasion and occupation has brought some political benefit to the Iraqi people, it has come at a terrible cost - hundreds of thousands dead and injured, millions of refugees, infrastructure and cultural heritage utterly destroyed and a religious civil war. Then you have to ask yourself what benefit this invasion with its 4,000+ dead soldiers and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars has had for the United States. The answer: zero, nada, nil.

Marshall, if China invaded and occupied the USA and the Chinese Communist premier who ordered and managed that invasion came to speak in your town, don't you imagine you would throw a shoe or two at him, at the very least?

Dan Trabue said...

Yeah, but setting aside the hundreds of thousands of dead, the millions displaced, the homes disrupted, the families wounded, the danger, chaos and all that, don't you think that otherwise, they'd be happy about what Bush hath wrought???

Marty said...

I find it interesting how people assess the situation in Iraq.

Listening to "embeded" journalists is, well, stupid.

Listening to troops who have spent their entire tours in the Green Zone or some other such FOB like Camp Taji is stupid as well. Yeah those Iraqis inside those places are peachy keen on us. They're making money.

But talk to the grunts who are out in the streets, in suburbia, dealing with the crap everyday and see what they say.

Women can't even walk the streets without a Burka anymore. Some freedom they have.

Most Iraqis who could afford to have left and are now refugees in neighboring countries. Ethnic cleansing has happened in all areas. Better not stray outside your ethnic area, you could be killed. Yeah, a lot of freedom there.

Still, after six years very little clean water or electric power. Plenty of it at the military bases however. I'd think that would make for a lot of resentment.

Yeah, freedom has come to Iraq and everyone is singing Dixie. And the flying shoe is the proof.

hashfanatic said...

"Yeah, but setting aside the hundreds of thousands of dead, the millions displaced, the homes disrupted, the families wounded, the danger, chaos and all that, don't you think that otherwise, they'd be happy about what Bush hath wrought???"

dan, who exactly was it, that declared that impeachment was off the table?

Marty said...

Yep Hash, we can't blame Bush alone for this fiasco. Too many in power serve to gain something by keeping in going.

Democracy Lover said...

hashfanatic and Marty have a point. Iraq, like Vietnam, is a bi-partisan war crime. The Democrats are accessories before and after the fact and they are almost as guilty as Bush and Cheney. Most Democrats agreed to the shredding the U. S. Constitution via the Patriot and Military Commission Acts and their acquiescence to Guantanamo and the torture that was done there.

I have no problem bringing the entire lot of them to trial. I only have a problem with letting any of them get away with crimes against humanity.

Marshall Art said...

DL,

You totally overstate your case. Though no one claims Iraq is now SunnyBrook Farm, the fact that there has been incredible progress made is undeniable unless you're still affected by BDS. There have been all sorts of reports regarding how areas considered deadly a year ago are now safe to walk without body armor. It is also overstating, as well as being less than honest, that we have been routinely locking people up without charge rather than taking prisoner people who were shooting at us or plotting to do so.

It is easy to paint our troops and their commander in chief as the bad guys, but we're not. We're the good guys, and we're viewed as such by a good percentage of the Iraqi population. This percentage does not likely include Baathists, radical Sunnis or Shiites, AlQueda, and anyone who was living large as a supporter of Sadam Hussein. The regular people are quite pleased with us, even should some of them hope for our quick departure. There's a big difference between wanting us gone no matter what, and wanting us gone because it is now safe for them to have us gone.

Our freedom in the 1700's, freedom for blacks in the 1800's, freedom for Europe in the 1940's, all of it came at a heavy cost. All those purple fingers demonstrated a willingness of each voter to pay that price for freedom. Sensible people know those sacrifices made were result of people NOT named George W. Bush, but by people with Middle Eastern names and radical ideologies, if not outright thuggery.

DL, if China invaded and occupied our country in order to help rid us of a dictator like Sadam Hussein, and stuck around while we got our collective shit together, helping to defend us against those who would take advantage of the situation for their own selfish ends, I'd likely want to shake the premier's hand in gratitude for his help. You see, unlike some that you on the left insist are the only voices of the Iraqi people, I'm not ungrateful for assistance.

So what do the Iraqis and the US have that makes it worth it? Neither of us have Sadam Hussein or his minions in charge of an entire nation, one with large oil reserves. It's very much like a small scale overthrow of Hitler.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"Yeah, but....don't you think that otherwise, they'd be happy about what Bush hath wrought???"

Only those who understand who was responsible for all the carnage. As I said above, the name of the guy wasn't "George W. Bush".

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

"Listening to "embeded" journalists is, well, stupid."

Nonsense squared. I don't listen to people who don't leave the Green Zone. What possible good would that do? I'm not CNN, for pete's sake.

No, I listen to those who are highly regarded by the troops and officers with whom they are embedded, those who go out on missions and risk their lives in the same manner as the troops themselves. Michael Yon is but one of these.

And as we've gone around on this before, I also listen to "grunts" who don't share the attitudes and feelings of your son. I don't want to chance disparaging him in any way, but to fall back on his experiences and ignore all the others is not objective. I'm sure he has friends that agree, or can point to others who agree with him as well. Still not good enough since we can go around and around comparing one soldier against another. Not gonna do it.

I can't speak to women's apparel in Iraq these days as I've spent no time on the subject. But if they are forced by their newly formed laws to behave in a certain manner, are you suggesting that now we should be telling them how to run their business? Can't have it both ways.

As to the safety in the streets, I've spoken to this in my last to DL. Fewer areas match your description based on reports from our own people.

From what I've heard about the utilities situation, there is more in more areas than there was before we arrived. This is an issue of which I've heard so many variations, that I don't pay much attention anymore. Needless to say, I don't buy the argument that it is as big a deal as some would have us believe.

Once again, I don't take the word of those who never leave the protected areas. Yon, as well as people like Michelle Malkin, who had filmed interviews with grateful Iraqis, and Laura Ingraham, who spoke with many military personnel, and others, have indicated a far better place than anti-war people want to believe. The shoe-thrower is NOT representative of the general Iraqi population. He is only the type of Iraqi that the MSM wants to highlight, because of rampant and unrelenting BDS.

Marty said...

Marshall, I truly hope you are right. No one more than me wishes so.

And FYI, I wasn't thinking of my son when I wrote that comment. I'm in contact with other soldiers now who are in Iraq at this moment. My son has been out of the military for almost 2 years. He does have friends back over there, and some who continue to re-up, but he and I really never discuss Iraq anymore. He does not reqret his service to his country and would probably do it again. But he is upset that he never received proper medical treatment for his injury.

And just so you know he is not anti-war like his mom. He thinks the place to be is Afghanistan not Iraq and is fully supportive of having troops there.

I disagree with him. I want them all to come home now.

As far as Michael Yon is concerned. That guy has been saying that the war was over and things improving over there for several years now even when the situation was growing worse. I don't listen to him because of that.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I don't know that I've ever read where Yon said the war is over. In his last book, he was very critical of how the war was run in the beginning, but now acknowledges the progress that has been made and how it has impacted the people there. I would say that he is fair and objective in his analysis as far as I can tell.

I would also say that I don't know that there's anyone who's trying to blow smoke on the reality of the current situation there. People might be overly hopeful, but it is supported by the progresss. But all in all, what I hear is that we ain't out of the woods, just much, much closer than some on the left would have us believe.

Marty said...

"From what I've heard about the utilities situation, there is more in more areas than there was before we arrived. This is an issue of which I've heard so many variations, that I don't pay much attention anymore. Needless to say, I don't buy the argument that it is as big a deal as some would have us believe."

Official History Spotlights Iraq Rebuilding Blunders:

"By the time a sovereign Iraqi government took over from the Americans in June 2004, none of those services — with a single exception, mobile phones — had returned to prewar levels.

And by the time of the security improvements in 2007 and 2008, electricity output had, at best, a precarious 10 percent lead on its levels under Saddam Hussein; oil production was still below prewar levels; and access to potable water had increased by about 30 percent, although with the nation's ruined piping system it was unclear how much actually reached people's homes uncontaminated.

Whether the rebuilding effort could have succeeded in a less violent setting will never be known. In April 2004, thousands of the Iraqi security forces that had been oversold by the Pentagon were overrun, abruptly mutinied or simply abandoned their posts as the insurgency broke out, sending Iraq down a violent path from which it has never completely recovered."

Democracy Lover said...

Incredible progress? I suppose if you mean that the invading and occupying army has, at least temporarily, subdued the resistance of the Iraqi people, then I guess you could call that progress.

Your ability to understand how others may view the actions of your government is severely limited. It is also apparent that you get all your information from propagandists rather than journalists.

Whether you like it or not, people prefer to govern themselves, not to have some foreign power that doesn't speak their language or understand their culture imposing martial law on them.

Marty said...

The US has subdued the resistance of the Iraqi insurgents, 91,000 of them, by paying them $16 million a month. General Petraeus claims the Sons of Iraq are "under contract to help Coalition and Iraqi Forces protect their neighborhoods and secure infrastructure and roads."

Can you believe him? Or is the US, in fact paying the insurgents not to attack us as Paul Craig Roberts suggests. I don't know. But I know the military lies because my family has experienced that first hand.

Is this contract with the Sons of Iraq still in effect or has it ended? Does anyone know about that?

Marshall Art said...

DL,

It was not the Iraqi people resisting, unless you consider every freakin' crackpot born there to be representative of the people in general. What idiocy! Especially now that we know that much of those who fought against us are now fighting with us as they realize who is causing the most suffering!

My ability to understand how others view the actions of my government are based on the words of actual Iraqis, as well as the testimonies of military and trusted journalists aquainted with the situation.

Whether you like it or not, the Iraqi people have been working to create a government capable of not only governing, but protecting themselves, and it took the help of coalition troops to get them to this point as they will be helped to the ultimate goal: complete self-sufficiency.

There was a good argument for cultural snafus early in the game, but that is not the case now. Of course we aren't perfectly atuned to the Iraqi culture, but due to the efforts of those like Petraeus, such problems have been greatly lessened, if not yet eliminated.

Perhaps YOU should stop listening to Keith Olberman and others like him.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

That was an interesting article, NY Times notwithstanding. And as distressing as it is reported to be, it still supports what I said about improvements of the utilities. Do you recall that I suggested things aren't perfect there yet? Still, I wonder how efficiently money was spent in other wars?

As to the Sons of Iraq, I'm not up to snuff on the details. However, if I'm not mistaken, these are Iraqis who once sided with AlQueda until they got fed up with the AlQueda tactics. Rather than have them sit on the sidelines, they were hired to fight off AlQueda and take part in protecting their own neighborhoods. These are people that want us gone and see us as invaders, but also understand that we are not the ones causing all the hell in that country. A tenuous partnership to be sure, but a step toward developing understandings. Hopefully it will blossom into something less tenuous in the future.

Marty said...

"And as distressing as it is reported to be, it still supports what I said about improvements of the utilities."

Not really Marshall. You stated: "Needless to say, I don't buy the argument that it is as big a deal as some would have us believe."

It's a huge deal Marshall. After almost 6 years that's as good as it gets? Sheesh.

I'm wondering if when the Sons of Iraq contract ends and the money stops flowing into their hands will they go back to their old ways and begin attacking our troops again?

Time will tell, I suppose.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I don't think that the entire population of Iraq was enjoying complete utilities operations. It would be a bigger deal if they were like the average American community and is now cut off from water and power. I don't believe that was the case. Surely some areas that had it might be dealing with power issues, but since there was a war on, it would be silly to suggest that nothing got broken.

Also, there is always whiney complaining to go along with the real suffering during war time. I have no doubt that some lump the whiney stuff in with the legitimate to make the situation appear worse than it is for political purposes.

"I'm wondering if when the Sons of Iraq contract ends and the money stops flowing into their hands will they go back to their old ways and begin attacking our troops again?"

I suppose anything is possible, but again, as I understand it, they had stopped fighting our guys when they got fed up with the indiscriminate killing by AlQueda. I don't believe they were fighting us then, even if they hadn't completely turned their guns on AlQueda. In other words, they only were fighting us when they thought AlQueda were the good guys. That's my understanding of it.

Marshall Art said...

I think it's helpful to look at the situation in more general terms. One can find all sorts of things that can legitimately be called a negative, but to look at the overall situation, there is without a doubt progress. Is it inflated? I wouldn't doubt it, anymore than I would doubt the negatives that are constantly inflated and highlighted by those who opposed this from the start because of who was in charge at the time.

But progress is there in spades and this shoe thrower is a sign of it. Where we once had a regime led by a despot who hated us, we now have a growing democracy that so far, still holds us in some regard. Even if we ain't goin' steady when it's all said and done, it will serve us greatly to have one less enemy in the region. If that ain't progress, then there's no such thing as progress.

hashfanatic said...

marshall, i think it's important to acknowledge that "embeds" like yon, roggio, ardolino, etc. are not journalists in the traditional sense, as much as a propaganda arms for forces within our government, and it's instructive to read their pieces and compare the information/disinformation within with other available intelligence sources and government/media complexes frequently, to get a sense of what is the straight dope, and when we are being fed

laura ingraham is absolutely no more an authoritative source on iraq then ed schultz or al franken would be in the same situation...she is actually popular with the boots on the ground and has points with the brass, but is out of the loop in terms of being any sort of journalistic player there, in fact she made some imprudent remarks there and was lambasted for having embellished her own hands-on involvement while devaluing the legitimate work of other newspeople who were the real deal

she is a TALK SHOW HOST, and therefore an interesting perspective, but should not be considered a reliable source for what is really going on, she has a vested interest in helping to ensure only one side of the story gets told

and i am not biased on this issue, because i wouldn't think it wise to rely upon christiane amanpour to give me a rundown on the facts in gaza, either, this is THE MEDIA in 2008, there is no longer any "alternative", or "drive-by", or "tinfoil hat", etc., it's ALL corrupted now

MERRY CHRISTMAS, and Blessings to yourself, Marshall, your family, your friends, and ALL of the commenters here!

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

Right back at ya on the Christmas blessings.

Perhaps I've given the wrong impression, but my choice of "embeds" is merely based on all I've read, heard and seen on the point of what is really happening in Iraq.

Ingraham represents a perspective no longer content to listen to the MSM regarding Iraq and seeks to present not a particular side, but a side of the story not given. The MSM is severely anti-Bush and anti-anything that might even appear to be Bush connected. That distorts the story telling, and Ingraham merely adds the missing pieces.

Malkin, in the same way, took pains to join squads not positioned within the Green Zone and recorded interviews with Iraqi citizens showing, possibly for the first time on film, that extreme gratitude exists among at least a segment of the Iraqi population for the troubles of the United States and coalition forces.

Yon, despite what your comments suggests, never impressed me as anyone's mouthpiece. In his book, he states that he was fully prepared to report on Iraq as an unmitigated disaster, reporting on the failures of the troops early on without reservation. In time, he became impressed by the philosophies and their successes with Petraeus' counter-insurgency work.

But, be that as it may, if their is no one each of us can fall back on with some level of confidence, then there can be no discussion on the merits of the war or on it's failures or successes, it's progress or lack thereof. I'm content with the credibility of the people to whom I give an ear. I've found their reports to be far more accurate, relevant and reality based than the other side.

Teresa said...

The Dixie Chicks thing still perplexes me. They gave an opinion. People freaked out, and tried really hard to "punish" them.

Radio DJ's bragged about how the might of a wrathful people were destroying the Dixie Chicks, and how they were really regretting all the suffering they had caused themselves.

The Dixie Chicks responded by making fun of the whole thing by posing nude with all sorts of ords that had been used to label them stamped on their images, and basically responded that they were fine, nobody should worry about them. Obviously, finding the whole thing silly.

Now, supposedly, you are claiming that they thought they were taking a big courageous stand.

The whole narrative seems like an artificial invention of the right.

I thought that Bush showed a great deal of alacrity in the shoe dodging, and seemed to give it the response it deserved, bemused amusement. I mean, it's a shoe. Insulting, sure, but probably not any worse treatment than Bush most likely gave nerds in college when he was a rugby jock.

And anyway, who says anybody set out to show courage in any of the situations described? It's not about "courage". It's about calling it like you see it. Seems like a person should be able to say what they think and not have to be putting themselves in mortal danger for what they say to be considered on its merits.

hashfanatic said...

"I've found their reports to be far more accurate, relevant and reality based than the other side."

I'm not sure you understand what I'm driving at.

When you speak of the "other side", who are you referring to? Because there ARE absolutely no American journalists permitted in, that are not ultra-conservative. That's precisely what I'm driving at. It's not as though there's a valid journalistic alternative to the exact sources you are drawing on, which, imho, is pre-coordinated.

First off, under current rules of engagement, you're not going to see any reporting of anything that is totally, relentlessly positive, which is largely an aftereffect of the role the press played in Vietnam, and public opinion.

Secondly, these "embeds" are not independent operators by any stretch of the imagination. Again, who is there to challenge their version of affairs in a war zone? I have NEVER understood how wanting to see a specific desired outcome to any conflict would cause any American to accept a prefabricated image of success (or failure, in the case of Pacifica, etc.)....it's one thing to watch/read it all and WONDER what is going on behind the curtain, and quite another to just accept what is being said as gospel.

"Ingraham represents a perspective no longer content to listen to the MSM regarding Iraq and seeks to present not a particular side, but a side of the story not given."

With all respect, I'm laughing now, because I'm in (or, rather, was in) a position within media to know something about this, and, without resorting to personal attacks, Ingraham's personal integrity and tactics are not particularly well-regarded, for better or worse...and I'm talking about the "A-list" conservative radio personalities and staffers, not across the board...

This is what upsets me more than anything, because, again, I see the newspaper, leading to the blog sources, leading to the radio show...and I cannot understand why some don't recognize that they are all working for the EXACT SAME PEOPLE! You cannot self-corroborate reporting and accounts, accurately, when there is an illusion of impartiality, and perhaps six (eight, if you include syndicate offshoots) are footing the bill!

(The irony is that Ingraham herself is putting her show through a lot of changes...she's moving the show away from security/warhawk issues to have much more of a "culture warrior"/social conservative bent, which is wise, because, if she has a strength, it is as a social commentator, and, it dovetails with many profound life changes she's made in the last year and a half (she recently adopted a little girl!)

But just because she ENDORSES the war effort does not make Laura an incisive commentator on Iraq or geopolitical strategy (she is, in fact, going to be bounced from the number one market here, and is only kept on, because she threatened legal action...so the station has to ride out her contract).

In a city where conservatives are driven by security concerns, the male demographic tired of the lack of depth of the show and the lack of relevant guests (I don't love Batchelor's neocon angle, but I tune in every Sunday night, because his guests (Roggio included) are second to none...)

I'm aware that "intellectuals" on the right have followed the left into increasing reliance on foreign-based or "indy" sources to confirm news items and form opinions based on what they read and hear, and I believe that's lamentable, even more so than when someone selects the news they want to believe, based on partisan considerations....nothing could play this nation into the enemy's hands more quickly than that, particularly with the advent of global economic woes influencing matters.

Oh, well...my two cents.

One thing I can tell you is that talk radio is going through many changes, that will most likely bring familiar yet locally unheard voices wider distribution.

For teevee, all I can say is that I am oceans to the left of you politically, and Fox News is now the only outlet I (reservedly) trust, apart from Scarborough and occasionally Dobbs...

What a mess.

hashfanatic said...

"The whole narrative seems like an artificial invention of the right..."

A lot of it was, I think...this was before Sean Penn, Springsteen, Etheridge, etc. began to, uh, assert themselves in a new kind of performance, and began to "normalize" the concept of recording artists, comedians, etc. becoming seriously, politically outspoken.

Where this backfired, on their part, was that most of the individuals that became most visible had unconventional aspects to their lives...as the political rhetoric became more strident and controversial, they ratcheted up their own statements, and, before you knew it, they'd become folk heroes to the left (which doesn't naturally carry a long shelf life) while disenfranchising the rest of America with their bluster.

I'd point to Roseanne and Jane Garofalo as two personalities on the left who committed career suicide in this manner, and Stephen Baldwin on the right.

hashfanatic said...

"I thought that Bush showed a great deal of alacrity in the shoe dodging, and seemed to give it the response it deserved, bemused amusement. I mean, it's a shoe. Insulting, sure, but probably not any worse treatment than Bush most likely gave nerds in college when he was a rugby jock."

Agree fully.

I have been ruthless with Bush when it comes to his public speaking skills, and I continue to believe that he has a serious problem with alcohol.

That disclaimer aside, he has AMAZING reflexes! That's extraordinary for a man his age, and he handled the entire thing with exactly the perfect message for the circumstance ("Well, that's what HAPPENS in a free society...")....LOL!

I'm not being snarky in the least when I say IMHO, it was absolutely his best performance. He was on message, with dignity, grace, and aplomb....that's unusual, today.

Marshall Art said...

Teresa,

The point is, in a country ruled by the iron fist of a despot, or a despotic government, such innocuous comments are treated far more harshly than in countries like the USA. It would have been treated harshly by Sadam if someone felt like making a statement by flinging his footwear.

In this country, people, the D-Chicks included, like to view Bush as a diabolical dictator-wannabe who shreds the Constitution and strips us of our rights. They say these things as if they are standing up to the man. They assume of pose of courage in doing so. Yet it's because the opposite is true that they feel they can be this "courageous". Sure, some anti-Bush statements are throw away lines by idiot entertainers who don't really spend big time informing themselves of reality in politics and government, but they are still looking to gain fame by their "fearless" vocalizations.

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

I think I'm not making myself clear. I don't put 100% weight behind anything I read, see or hear until I see things play out accordingly. What I'm saying is that I feel more comfortable when I hear things related by my preferred people because I do see things play out as they indicate they are likely to. When a CNN or CSNBC speaks consistently about nothing but negatives, and then I learn elsewhere of the positives, I have to assume that the people giving the negatives only have some reason. The reason doesn't really matter because their job is to report events accurately to the best of their ability. We've seen all sorts of reports and images from stringers and contractors for international news services turn out to be crap. Yet, they only seem to run on those services.

So it doesn't matter who's going there or who sends them or who foots the bill, what matters is whether or not the story being relayed to the public is accurate without partisan skewing. I can take wrong, I can't take partisan influence. And as I tried to explain, I enjoy people like Ingraham and Malkin because they were adding the positive stuff not given by the MSM.

Marshall Art said...

Here's something else that helps me with my confidence in my sources: Today on C-SPAN, they replayed a speech by the IRaqi ambassador to the US that was first run last week I believe. His comments totally reflected the very same reports given by the people to whom I listen, both on the progress made and the challenges that still exist. I don't think he works for anyone but the Iraqi government and on their behalf was also expressing gratitude for our help.

hashfanatic said...

"Hash,

I think I'm not making myself clear."

Marshall, please don't be defensive by parroting my own words back to me...it's unnecessary, and I did not post here with any intention to seem combative.

I don't think we're going to meet each other on this issue (which is fine). I simply don't see the current Iraq government as this delightfully "free" democratic administration that you do.

"His comments totally reflected the very same reports given by the people to whom I listen, both on the progress made and the challenges that still exist..."

Again, I'd hold that you're being either willful or hopelessly naive. It is PRECISELY when you hear ALL of the pieces lining up perfectly, when it is simply not a realistic portrayal of events on the ground, when it comes down to cherry-picking the truth, a manufactured consent....it's not an effective strategy to combat obvious media bias on the extreme left, by choosing to embrace propaganda the extremist right pushes.

I'm not a relativist. There can be only one truth, in all things.

I believe it will be years, before we can piece together enough accurate information to arrive at anything close to the truth of Iraq, so muddled has this whole government/media complex has become.

"And as I tried to explain, I enjoy people like Ingraham and Malkin because they were adding the positive stuff not given by the MSM...."

Marshall, as always, my primary concern is that you don't shy away from the negative details as well, writing it off as "lefty claptrap".

Absolutely, ENJOY them, because they are entertaining...not because they are any more factual or objective.

They have their role and function in our society, an important stress relief and entertainment, a catalyst for points of debate.

But it's not news, and it never will be, any more than DailyKos or Mike Malloy will ever be.

Marty said...

Marshall, might I suggest DemocracyNow as a news source. Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales are both independent news journalists and excellent ones at that.

hashfanatic said...

marty, do you want for marshall to hurl his radio out of the window??
LOL!!

merry Christmas, everyone!

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

Wasn't parroting or trying to be combative. Indeed, I'm impressed and overjoyed at your recent change of tone in your comments. Now we deal.

As to the topic at hand, I don't totally dismiss lefty sources out of hand, I compare them to other sources before I flush them, if flushing is appropriate.

Now, I never meant to imply that I thought of "the current Iraq government as this delightfully "free" democratic administration", merely one getting closer to it. Certainly, they are far closer than anyone on the left would have predicted on their most drunken day when all this started. In other words, progress has been made and tangibly so. Left to the left, no reports would indicate such a thing, since throughout the course of this war, no lefty sources report anything positive at all. So when the left reports that troops are in dealing with fallen moral, hating the military for all sorts of reasons, a Laura Ingraham presents soldiers who are proud to serve, see the mission as worthy of their sacrifices, and intend to the best of their ability to complete the mission. When the left reports that the Iraqis hate us and want us gone, Michelle Malkin presents testimony from Iraqis that show extreme gratitude and good feelings for us. When the left reports that our military is bunch of chuckleheads, Michael Yon reports the same, but shows how they've improved their strategies and how the improvements have paid off with more good PR for us, reports of Iraqi soldiers trying to mimic ours, of citizens and US soldiers developing strong bonds of friendshipt and mutual understanding.

Throughout all of this, challenges remain. Danger still lurks. Assholes stand ready to move in at the first opportunity if we leave with nothing behind us to take care of business. This is the real story: It sucks, but it's nowhere near what it was, and it's much closer to what was hoped for. That's all I'm saying, that's all the conservative pundits have been saying, it's nothing like what the left has been saying.

Frankly, I consider the sources on the right to indeed be more factual and objective because it's how they work. They don't seek power for power's sake, and they don't have a problem with the other guy winning if the other guy is deserving.

Marty said...

"marty, do you want for marshall to hurl his radio out of the window??"

No, not at all. If he is using the likes of Olberman, etc. as an example of leftist news, then I thought perhaps he would benefit from tuning in to some real news that you aren't likely to hear on the entertainment networks. It's only one hour a day 5 days a week and you can listen/watch at your own leisure.

Teresa said...

Marshall,

Bush subverted the transparancy and oversight of the government at every turn, and he was gloriously glib about it. To say so is not an act of courage...it's just plain saying it. It's not only a right, its a duty.

I saw a T-shirt today that made me laugh out loud. It had a picture of Bush on it, and a picture of a telephone. There was a thought-bubble coming out of Bush's head that said I'd tap that".

Too vulgar, though. My kids would be mortified.

hashfanatic said...

"So when the left reports that troops are in dealing with fallen moral, hating the military for all sorts of reasons, a Laura Ingraham presents soldiers who are proud to serve, see the mission as worthy of their sacrifices, and intend to the best of their ability to complete the mission..."

there, I have to agree with you

i personally don't care for the tone of Laura's program (and I find her bumper music grating), but I still listen to her occasionally

and i have to say, that she does attempt to foster a sense of fairness, in terms of our role in iraq and the brave folks that serve there

i also like her willingness to discuss unpopular issues like ramos/compean, and the merits of specific american-built cars as unrecognized solid performers

for me, though, her coterie's unprecented access to the bush white house, when more critical journalists were totally denied access, and exhorting her listeners to jam voter phone lines on election day in 2006 has left me with an indelible negative impression of her, as well as gossip from staffers

but, i guess you have to consider the good with the bad

"It's only one hour a day 5 days a week and you can listen/watch at your own leisure...."

marty, i hear you, i listen to them occasionally as well, my concern is when inconsequential items that could be interpreted as portraying hardline terror supporters and cop-killer types in a positive light, which is where i draw a line, and which is where i find some of their work off-putting

i do find them much more informative then npr on many issues, however, i hope they survive as an alternative voice

"Bush subverted the transparancy and oversight of the government at every turn, and he was gloriously glib about it. To say so is not an act of courage...it's just plain saying it. It's not only a right, its a duty..."

teresa, imho, it was the arrogance of it all that the right has a blind spot on, in terms of not being able to understand why so many of us opposed bush so vehemently, and the rather cult-like solidarity we see now amongst so many, who now look to politicians to "save" them, secular substitutes for moral grounding and arbiters of faith

"I saw a T-shirt today that made me laugh out loud. It had a picture of Bush on it, and a picture of a telephone. There was a thought-bubble coming out of Bush's head that said I'd tap that".

Too vulgar, though. My kids would be mortified...."

teresa, your kids would be right, serious "ick factor"!

i think it would be funny as a cartoon in a satirical article targeted to ironic adults, but not necessarily a t-shirt for public consumption

then again, so much i see these days seems unnecessarily irrelevant

and every obama t-shirt you see portrays "the one" in near-messianic imagery

Marty said...

"and every obama t-shirt you see portrays "the one" in near-messianic imagery"

LOL...I'd have to agree with that. On the Sunday after the election, I attended the "contemporary" worship service at my church. The "praise and worship" singers were invited guests and all African American. Several of them had on messianic Obama T-Shirts. And the singers were on cloud 9. Glory Hallelujah! I got the distinct feeling they were jubilant about something other than God that day. But anyway, they were damn good singers and I enjoyed the music. But I did have to chuckle at those shirts.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Merry Christmas, Marshall, to you and your whole family. I know it might be hard right now to think merry thoughts, but remember, you have a whole bunch of people pulling for you right now, hoping and praying (literally) that things will get better, for all of us.

Enjoy the day, and remember the reason for the season, and who he became. Blessings, man.

Marshall Art said...

Thanks, Geoffrey,

Rest assured, my mood is not down. It surely was the day of the event, but quickly returned to it's normal happy, optimistic ways. I've even given up plans to spray paint nasty stuff on their walls and windows. I feel confident I'll find something, because I will do anything to support my family. Hell, I did what I did for thirty years. That should prove it.

Marshall Art said...

Teresa,

I don't see the Bush admin as any more or less transparent than any other admin. Don't forget how private the development of Hillary's health care plans were. At the same time, such things would only be made a mess if those not involved in the planning were constantly made to explain themselves every step of the way. So Hillary, or Cheney's energy stuff for that matter, need not be wide open as long as all the details are presented before anyone gets to make it law.

Other things related to the waging of war should not be made public for reasons of national security as well as not tipping our hand to the enemy. All those who publicized anything regarding the war, such as what the NY Times did, are guilty of at least sedition, if not outright treason.

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

Ingraham rallied listeners to jam phone lines during the Meiers nomination as well as during the immigration crap. Both times the end result worked for the American people. It's an example of grass roots activism and she merely got the ball rolling. It's to her credit in my opinion.

hashfanatic said...

Marshall, I'm referring to the time she encouraged listeners to jam phone lines by replaying a tape of clinton giving out a Dem voter protection hotline, a la "call 1-888-DEM-VOTER"....

that's not "grassroots activism", that's fraud and voter intimidation, and i believe she should have been fired for it, not simply invited to the white house for insider "scoops", and headpetting

i believe her tactics emboldened acorn and the obamabots this time around to pull even dirtier stunts this year, i remember listening to them studying and analyzing "the rove playbook" intently, for hours

so i see where this is bringing all of us, you can claim no moral imperative on ingraham's behalf

again, i am not a moral relativist....to allow one group of cheats to get off scot-free is to encourage another equally corrupt bunch of savages, with no respect for the rule of law, is morally reprehensible, regardless of perceived "results"

dishonesty and avarice has NEVER "worked for the american people", and it never will, for it is not our default modus operandi

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

I'm not aware of the incident regarding Ingraham. She's been off the local station here since her contract with one of the syndicators ended and was not renewed. Please tell me more about it. What was the issue that prompted her to have people do this? What was her justification? I'd be very interested to hear the details, though I doubt it would change my opinion of her. Then again...