Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The War is not only on the Terrorists!

Eric Alterman for The Nation has recently written an excellent article on the Bush Administration’s manipulation of the media and its control of the access to information:

Bush's War on the Press

Journalists, George Bernard Shaw once said, "are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization." How odd, given the profession's un-equaled reputation for narcissism, that Shaw's observation holds true even when the collapsing "civilization" is their own.

Make no mistake: The Bush Administration and its ideological allies are employing every means available to undermine journalists' ability to exercise their First Amendment function to hold power accountable. In fact, the Administration recognizes no such constitutional role for the press. White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card has insisted that the media "don't represent the public any more than other people do.... I don't believe you have a check-and-balance function."

Read entire article here

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Wanted: Millions of Americans To Insist on Impeachment

Mein FurerMillions of common sense Americans need to demand the impeachment of President George Bush. Not too many years ago, the GOP and it's willing media tried their best to whip the country into an impeachment frenzy over oral sex and the lie that attempted to cover it up. They had convinced many Americans that this was an impeachable offense. Now, just a few years later, the GOP's boy, the corporate media's boy, has committed multiple impeachable offenses. Is there a call for George Bush to answer for his actions? Perhaps the deaths of thousands and spending of billions on an ill-conceived military action is not as an impeachable offense as oral sex? Perhaps the wrecking of the entire federal budget in less than four years is not as an impeachable offense as trying to cover up a sexual indiscretion with a lie? Where is the call for impeachment of this man? Millions of Americans need to say with one voice and as many times as necessary, "Impeach George Bush!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Propaganda Machine tools: Euphemisms

Propaganda requires the skillful use of language to illicit emotional responses. All propagandists know the amount of power that can be summoned up by emotionally charged messages. They understand that they must have a way to dampen and control what could become unfocused or out of control. Propagandists use euphemisms for this control. Euphemisms are word tools that use indirect, misleading, or soft adjectives to describe something. They make easier to think and talk about unpleasant subjects. They help us avoid reality and numb our emotions by adding abstractions to descriptions. Euphemisms are used to channel unpleasant realities into almost harmless non-issues. Because many euphemisms tend to be both wordy and abstract, many people who use them believe that there is an air of intellectualism attached to them. When spread by a willing media, euphemisms can become widely accepted. The Bush administration and the GOP generate euphemisms by the dozens to help shield the American people from the harsh realities of their foreign and domestic policies. Euphemisms like “collateral civilian casualties,” are some the most disgusting examples of using words to remove the life from something and turn it into a non-issue. Most Americans who would hear, “We regret any collateral civilian casualties,” would probably not think about what that statement really means. “Collateral civilian casualties” is of course a nice way to say “killing innocent people.”

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

I'm just amazed sometimes!

I was recently in a discussion with some young people regarding the direction the Left should take to counter the Right wings stranglehold on America. Every time I get to be involved with one of these discussions, I am just amazed at how bright and well informed our young people truly are. Their ability to communicate, their understanding of the issues, and their commitment makes me proud of every one of them. Many of them could have easily been leaders in the 1960s. I constantly wonder what it missing from this equation? Is it that they talk too much and act too little? Do they have too many distractions? Are they too comfortable? I always imagine them to be like a stack of gold coins. I wonder where the fire will come from to melt them into one solid brick. And finally, I wonder who among them will throw that brick through a White House window.

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