Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Is the Army Bleeding Out?

Brian Gellman of Intel Dump has a great post on the exodus of captains from the Army, and what it means for the ethical model captains serve as.

L.A. Times Calls for Withdrawal From Iraq

Bring Them Home

This newspaper reluctantly endorsed the U.S. troop surge as the last, best hope for stabilizing conditions so that the elected Iraqi government could assume full responsibility for its affairs. But we also warned that the troops should not be used to referee a civil war. That, regrettably, is what has happened.

I was reading some letter to the editor in the Metro (freebie paper) yesterday, asserting that we can't leave Iraq now that we've broken it. Here's the problem: we can't fix it. Yeah, we broke their country. We invaded, toppled their government, destroyed infrastructure, and we blew it from day one. We outsiders, we foreigners, cannot fix this.

So, I find the argument that we can't leave until we do fix it unpersuasive. How to fix it? Tell me, editorial-writer. How? And explain to me why we haven't been doing your 'how' by, now, because it's been *years*. Explain to me why this troop surge is supposed to make a difference, and explain to me why any Iraqi, anywhere, should ever trust an American to do anything but try and kill them.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Brief History of Disbelief" getting buried

Are PBS Stations Burying "A Brief History of Disbelief?"

Odd, this complete lack of shock I'm feeling.

CBS shuts down online comments to Obama stories

CBS.com has to shut comments down on Obama stories

Too many racist comments, huh? And CBS doesn't want to look as if they're effectively condoning them, by hosting them on a CBS web board. Hm. Hm, twice.

If you joke about how oppressed you feel about not being able to freely slur minorities (or women or gays) for entertainment’s sake without any impact, you can go ahead and do so to show how you’re sticking it to the PC Man. Look — Don Imus thinks that’s why he was hired — to stoke the fires of bigotry by pushing the race and misogyny envelope — otherwise he wouldn’t be suing CBS for $40 million. His attorney said that in Imus’s contract with CBS, the network specifically implored Imus to cover “extraordinary,” “irreverent” and, most important, “controversial” topics on his syndicated radio show, which was simulcast daily on MSNBC.

. . . .

If you are a New Plausible Deniability Racist and happen to foment racism, misogyny or homophobia among the sheeple in the process, that’s just a side bonus — and you can deny that you really meant what you said, or now say “that’s what I’m paid to do” as a defense.

David Niewart (Orcinus) gets it right, calling it the "new racism", involving,

staking out positions that, if not overtly racist, at least seek to resurrect some of the hoary mythology of the era of white supremacy. As with most of right-wing race rhetoric of the past twenty years, it's all done with a certain level of plausible deniability, couched in "jokes" or abstrations that let the speakers feign indignation when the racism is pointed out; the current trend is only slightly more overt in its racism, but the underlying sentiments aren't hard to read.

It's all about plausible deniability. It's all about the opposite of accountability.

People (trans. right-wing blowhards) like to bitch about "where America went wrong". I'll tell you where: the day any American isn't accountable -- isn't held accountable or doesn't hold themselves accountable -- for their words and deeds. That's where America "went wrong". But it's not past tense, friends and neighbors. Every day, every denial, is America going wrong, right now.