The Narrative ~ The Origins of Political Correctness

William Alfred “Bill” Whittle (born April 7, 1959) is an American conservative blogger, political commentator, director, screenwriter, editor, pilot, and author. In this segment, he talks about the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School and how they created a form of neo-marxism.

Bush-Era Tax Cut Blunderbust!

Many do not realize how much of a hit Democrats took this past lame duck session. This cutting of the Bush Tax Cuts ~ so-called ~ was a main campaign promise from Obama:

NewsBusters points out, for instance, Rachel Maddow’s cheer-leading for the Democrats that they were finally going to implement a long standing promise… that is, defeating the Bush-era tax cuts. Here you see her on the eve of the big vote she was sure the Dems were geared up to win:

MADDOW (laughing): That, this evidence that you, that we have before us here in you, manifested in Bill Wolff, this phenomenon, being fired up like that, that is the key to the most important thing going on in American politics right now, I am convinced. This weekend Congress is going to be in session, this weekend! On a Saturday! We heard it as breaking news last night during this show, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announcing that he is not letting the Senate go home, the Democratic leadership is keeping the Senate in Washington over the weekend, because the thing that we have been talking about, the thing that they have been fighting about for months now is finally going to happen, tomorrow, on the weekend. Senate Democrats are finally going to do it. They are finally going to go through with this vote that they’ve been trying to psyche themselves up for on the Bush tax cuts.

Followed shortly after by Wolff donning a tall furry hat and marching off the set while thrusting a baton, as seen in embedded video, while Maddow said this —

MADDOW: This is not a matter of figuring out the policy! That is done. This is not a matter of doing the polling. That’s been done. This is not a matter of doing the math. The math has been done, the argument has been made, the numbers have been crunched, the debate has been worked through. It is a matter of whether or not the Democrats are psyched. It’s a matter of whether or not the Democrats have the fight in them to make this happen.

Hopefully we will see more of this in the next few years. That is, a compromising from the left for what is in the best interest of the country. Not to mention that I LOVE seeing Osama bin Olbermann pissed!

SE Cupp and Sally Kohn Debate Funding NPR

I just wish to point out that when Sally Kohn says “67% of Americans get their news from NPR,” she is making up stats. In fact, i asked this of Miss Kohn on her blog:

Sally, maybe you can contact me on a statement you made in a discussion with SE Cupp and show me the sources/references to this statement: “A majority of Americans, 67% get there news from NPR or PBS. And it is — according to poll(s) [*plural*] — thee most trusted source in news.”

I will publish the answer.

The 2012 Election Officially Begins-Ding Ding!

I just wanted to post some links to very recent videos from the mainstream media that changed tenor just as recently. While the media has stayed somewhat biased… they really took a licking in November and were honest about some of the issues put forth because of the election and the election results. Now however, they have given us a “fair month” and they are gearing up for a long 2-years to get Obama re-elected. This is just the beginning:

CBS Celebrates “Hero” Pelosi In an October 17 Sunday Morning profile, correspondent Rita Braver lauded Speaker Nancy Pelosi as an “irresistible force,” “a hero in some quarters” and “one of the most effective Speakers in congressional history.”

Lesley Stahl Touts Jimmy Carter as Presidential Success Story Profiling Jimmy Carter for the September 19 60 Minutes, CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl touted how Carter “got more of his programs passed” than other recent presidents, and flattered Carter by telling him how even his critics call him “a fantastic ex-President. You hear that all the time.”

CBS’s Braver Offers Puffball Profile to Eric Holder On the September 12 CBS Sunday Morning, correspondent Rita Braver cooed over Attorney General Eric Holder, who “ignores political pressure” and drew a “hero’s welcome” in contrast to Bush-era “cronyism and questionable policies.”

Jon Stewart Rips Sen. McCain’s Opposition to Repeal of DADT Jon Stewart chides McCain for being behind the times on gay rights. Stewart compared McCain to a crazy Japanese soldier living in the jungle years after World War II, but still fighting the war.

Diane Sawyer Salutes Pelosi: “Epic Blend of Persuasion, Muscle and Will” After the House voted to pass ObamaCare, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer celebrated with the “indefatigable, unwavering” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the March 22 World News.

Time’s Joe Klein: BP Oil Spill Is Really “Bush’s Second Katrina” On the May 30 Chris Matthews Show, Time’s Joe Klein dismissed the idea that the poor government reaction to the Gulf oil spill reflected badly on President Obama. Referring to the 2005 hurricane, Klein argued: “This is more Bush’s second Katrina than Obama’s first.”

NBC Touts Achievements of Obama’s Stimulus On the February 17, 2010 NBC Nightly News, correspondent Lisa Myers cast Obama’s big government “stimulus” package as a huge success that “created jobs and helped pull the economy out of a huge recession.”

Diane Sawyer Salutes Pelosi: “Epic Blend of Persuasion, Muscle and Will” After the House voted to pass ObamaCare, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer celebrated with the “indefatigable, unwavering” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the March 22 World News.

Time’s Joe Klein: BP Oil Spill Is Really “Bush’s Second Katrina” On the May 30 Chris Matthews Show, Time’s Joe Klein dismissed the idea that the poor government reaction to the Gulf oil spill reflected badly on President Obama. Referring to the 2005 hurricane, Klein argued: “This is more Bush’s second Katrina than Obama’s first.”

The Republican Party: “Running On Hate and Division for 50 Years” Fill-in host Cenk Uygur took MSNBC’s normal pro-Democratic spin to absurd lengths on August 26, claiming that the GOP “has been running on hate and division for the last 50 years,” and that if any minority voted Republican “they might as well hang a sign around their neck saying ‘I hate myself.'”

CNN Anchor: “Most” Uncivil Discourse Comes from Conservatives Filling in as anchor of CNN’s Rick’s List on April 9, Don Lemon claimed that “much, much more” of the “violence and the name calling” in American politics is from the “Republican and conservative side….It’s coming mostly, mainly from one side.”

NBC’s Todd Empathizes with Obama: “Are You Frustrated” by Lack of Public Approval? Interviewing President Obama on the July 16 Hardball, NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd empathized over the lack of public appreciation for The Great One’s deeds: “You’ve had an enormous amount of legislative victories…[but] it has not translated into political capital with the public. Honestly, are you frustrated by that?”

NBC’s Lauer Touts Obama’s Economic Achievements: “Aren’t We Better Off?” Sparring with Republican Mitt Romney on the March 2 Today, NBC’s Matt Lauer applauded the Obama administration’s economic record: “Aren’t we better off?…Had the administration not taken some of the steps it did take, though, might not that unemployment figure be at 12 or 13 percent?”

Carters Lies About His Tea “Bagging”

NewsBusters has a story about a recent interview on NPR (11-30-2010) where Jimmy Carter said he never criticized the Tea Party:

REHM: Last question, very briefly, what do you think of the Tea Party movement?

CARTER: You know, I never have criticized the Tea Party movement because, strangely enough, I capitalized on the same kind of situation politically that has made the Tea Party successful — that is, an extreme dissatisfaction with what was going on in Washington. Because I came along right after Watergate and right after the Vietnam lost and right after the assassination of the two Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr., and so I capitalized on that, and I was elected over some very wonderful people who were U.S. senators and immersed in the Washington scene.

…(read more)…

In case you didn’t catch it, the interview/video at the top refutes this NPR interview.

So what about those signs that Brian Williams mentions? Not a lot of people realize this, but most of the signs with connections of Obama to Hitler are actually from what I term as a political cult. It just so happens this cult is a Democratic one. For instance, as a reminder, remember this exchange?

So, since most of these sign wielding nuts are actually Democrats, where does that leave Carter’s critique?

In 1979, LaRouche formed a Political Action Committee called the National Democratic Policy Committee (NDPC). LaRouche has run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States seven times, beginning in 1980….

Read more: RPT Texas Democrat Wants to Abolish U.N. and Impeach Obama (Lyndon LaRouche Candidate)

What are all those signs about? Is there some sort of study of them done to find out if there is a percentage of them that are racially tinged?

UCLA study: Most tea party signs not racist

A study conducted by a UCLA grad student at the 9/12 taxpayer march on Washington contains some bad news for one of the mainstream media’s favorite narratives: the old ‘racist teabaggers’ meme.

Conversely, quantitative observation showed that the alleged racism was not prominent at the rally, at least not as far as signage is concerned. And to think Obamacrats wasted all those race cards for nothin’.

[….]

The investigation showed only 25% of signs expressing antagonism towards the President himself, only 5% touching on the President’s ethnicity or faith, and a piddly 1% promoting ‘Birtherism’.

I presume the 1% was newly anointed ‘birther’ Jake Tapper, respected journalist of ABC News – or once respected until he had the temerity to mention the President’s long form birth certificate the other day.

The teabag obsessed Obama apologists at MSNBC and the New York Times will no doubt be bitterly disappointed to learn that despite the breathless hype, racism no more typifies the tea party movement than honest unslanted analysis typifies their political coverage.

This study didn’t stop the questionable signs and ask if they were Lyndon LaRouche followers. Here is another story — old news, but needed for this recent news:

NewsBusters h/t:

NewsBusters reported Thursday, a UCLA graduate student has published a study debunking the myth that the Tea Party is racist.

On Monday, Gretchen Carlson invited the study’s author on “Fox & Friends” to do what every news outlet ought to, namely, tell the truth about what the movement that is radically changing the political landscape is really all about.

[….]

Isn’t it interesting how easily this study was done?

As Carlson asked Ekins, why haven’t any news outlets, apart from Fox News and conservative websites, done any investigation into the allegations of racism within this movement to see if they were at all true?

Yes, that was a rhetorical question, for media have been trying to either dismiss or demonize the Tea Party since its inception.

…(read more)…

So, is this merely another nail in the “worst one’s” irrelevance coffin? I say yes, but I am sure there are NPR fans out there that disagree with me.

More subterfuge by the unbiased media

In the above photo of Edrie Irvine, she is at a “Netroots” event. Here is the “latest news” statement from Netroots:

Netroots Nation is no stranger to regional events; we’ve been doing them for years. Netroots California was the first event in a pilot program we’re developing to build infrastructure at the state and regional level. The progressive movement has made some great strides nationally, but it’s still pretty undeveloped at the state level.

For our next event, we’re embarking on a new first—our first international event. We’re partnering with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and other bloggers and organizations across the pond to produce the first-ever Netroots UK.

On January 8, 2011, hundreds of grassroots activists from across the UK and elsewhere will gather for a first-of-its-kind event in central London to connect with each other, learn and strategize. Activists in the UK have a lot of work to do to counter a conservative government pushing austerity reforms across the board. Plus, there will be practical training sessions in campaigning and online technologies, groups looking at new joint initiatives and bigger strategy sessions.

If you’re in the UK, we hope to see you there! (Be sure to register here.). Otherwise, stay tuned for announcements about future Netroots Nation events.

And from the “about us” (bottom left) portion of the site:

About Netroots Nation

Netroots Nation amplifies progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate. Within that campus, we strengthen community, inspire action and serve as an incubator for progressive ideas that challenge the status quo and ultimately affect change in the public sphere.

NewsBusters uncovered a great story about a recent Good Morning America story:

Good Morning America’s Claire Shipman on Thursday tried to disguise a Democratic activist as just a jobless American who would be hurt by Republican failure to extend unemployment benefits. Shipman sympathetically recounted that Edrie Irvine, who she didn’t explain spoke at a Nancy Pelosi press conference on Wednesday, “never thought her very livelihood would depend on a political debate in Congress.”

A graphic reading “unemployed” appeared onscreen as Irvine complained, “They are talking about tax cuts for the rich and are holding people like me hostage.” Who is Ms. Irvine? According to her bio on the leftist Democracy For America web page, she’s a “tree-hugging, bleeding-heart, ACLU-card-carrying progressive liberal and damn proud of it!”

On December 1, Irvine, appeared with Nancy Pelosi at a press conference. Pelosi enthused, “Thank you very much, Edrie, for your generosity of spirit to share your personal story with us.” On October 2, Irvine also appeared at the liberal One Nation rally and spoke. (One Nation was coordinated by the AFL-CIO and the SEIU, among others.) Shouldn’t Shipman have mentioned any of this?

[….]

But, perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising. Shipman’s husband is Jay Carney, communications director to Vice President Joe Biden.

The ABC journalist made no effort at all at balance. Every talking head featured supported extending unemployment benefits. Another woman, Angel Garland, lobbied, “I’m raising my son. Single mom. I’m thinking to myself, what will I do? You know? Where will I go?”

It apparently didn’t occur to Shipman to highlight a small businessman who might have to lay off workers, should the standoff between unemployment and extending the Bush tax cuts go unresolved.

…(read more)…

Reagan and History versus the Left (A Conversation Imported from the www)

This was a conversation I was invited to. I think maybe because the person doing the inviting might have thought he had a slam-dunk on my political viewpoint and a hero of the conservative movement. He could have wanted — as well — an alternative viewpoint. Mind you, the young man is a great kid and an acquaintance of my son, so thinking this was a slam-dunk isn’t that far fetched considering age and early biases accepted. During the exchange one of the people involved in the conversation started to ask honest questions and opened his previous viewpoints to scrutiny. A sign of maturity. Everyone should allow their viewpoint to be placed in the arena of ideas and to be challenged in light of history and philosophy. Which is why I blog. Dennis Prager mentions this tendency to NOT want to open one’s beliefs to scrutiny in a recent radio broadcast that is worth listening to. I will change the names to afford Anonymity in the following conversation. Enjoy.

To set up — this is from FaceBook and the picture was put up in the photo section and people started to converse about it in the comments section. I will add some info for clarity and commentary:

Antony: failed foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.

Hunlsy: I just love the fact they’re fighting us with the weapons and training that we gave them.

Antony: Oh where oh where did Iran get those P3s and F-14 Tomcats?

Antony: it was the US – we used to be buddies with Iranians too. We played both sides of the Iran/Iraq war, which predicated Gulf I.

Hunsly: Likely from the Russians. Regardless, we’re fighting a group, not a country. This group makes all of its IEDs & buys all of their weapons with the money that we gave them.

[Here’s where I hop in on this love fest]

Papa Giorgio: A few things.

Click to Enlarge
A list of countries thar sold weapons to Iraq from 1973-to-1990

(Weapons) This is somewhat of a myth — that we sold the majority of weapons to the Taliban, to Iraq, and the like. For instance, in the following graph you can see that (in the instance of Iraq, which I was told over-and-over-again was weaponized by the U.S.) you have to combine the U.K. and the U.S. to equal 1%.

(Moral Position) Much like us supporting Stalin in defeating Hitler, we were aligned with people whom we didn’t see eye-to-eye with in order to beat the USSR during the Cold War (WWIII)… a war that was fought from 1947–1991.

(History) And thirdly, the Taliban didn’t exist when Reagan said this:

He didn’t say that about the Taliban because the Taliban didn’t exist yet. He said that of the Mujahedin, the same men who would later go on to fight the Taliban under the name “Northern Alliance”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Alliance

The mujaheddin fighters who had previously defeated the communist government and formed the Islamic State of Afghanistan (ISA) came under attack and in 1996 lost the capital to the Taliban. At this juncture the Mujahedin resorted to the creation of UIF because Rashid Dostum and other warlords who belonged to various tribes but to no specific political party did not want to recognize the ISA as a legal entity, so the defeated government devised a military strategy to utilize these forces while not offending their political sensibilities.

In October 1996 in Khinjan, Ahmed Shah Massoud and Dostum came to an agreement to form the anti-Taliban coalition that outside Afghanistan became known as the Northern Alliance.

Dein: The comment about Iran we have tried to avoid messing with their interal affers after the Revolution in 1979 when we kinda did something that the people of the country didn’t like. However the way we acted in regards to the “Green Revolution”/Neda Sultan [see linked picture below] thing we may actually end up holding favor with the people in that country.

Papa Giorgio: Dein, I may be misunderstanding your last portion about the “Green Revolution.” The people were begging America to become more involved, we didn’t… which has distanced the almost 65% 35-year old and younger (many of whom embrace Western culture). Obama dropped the ball… You may have misstated the idea you were trying to get across? But this is one of the many cases where the Obama administration has sided with the radical leaders in that country by not doing anything but delaying an upgrade to twitter for a few hours.

Dein: actually the point I was making was when the US stays out of the turmoral in Iran we end up having a better relationship with the country. although I could have misremembered the Rachel Maddow Show segemant about that.

Hunsly: Dein, don’t watch Rachel, regardless of how charming she is, its all the same as fox. Rachel is way better than any Fox show btw.

Papa Giorgio: Ahhh, Maddow. That explains a lot. Dein, we should have gotten involved in the green revolution. Even if it were a public declaration of support for the uprising — and maybe some CIA funding. the demographic is amazing over there. Like I said…… about 65% are MTV influenced, many are American educated, and want to dress how they want to dress, listen to music, and many want to be out from under the control of the Islamo-Nazi dictators that want the messiah to come out from the well because of WWIV. (This well has a super-highway built from it to the capital of Iran with waiting cars to rush this messiah to the palace… but he can only come with the destruction of Israel.) Should we have better relations with this type of government that wants nuclear war, hangs homosexuals, beat and rape women who do not conform to the stricter rules of wearing clothes? No really, I am asking you. Should we support the people who may be a bit more liberal (but maybe not democratic as we think of) over the current regime… even if by word from our Commander in Chief?

Papa Giorgio: … and Hunsly proves his premise [Rachel is way better than any Fox show btw] by ad hominem attacks against Glenn Beck and others.

Dein: and you know that if we had gotten involved their (barely stable) leader would have loved that. It would have made his case so much easier, remember he thinks everyone is out to get him. Do you want to give someone like that even more reason to fear? Although that is what I am thinking about that. The Iranian people know that their leader is crazy and the government is croupt. So give the crazy guy proof that he has ever reason to fear and we loose long term. We (the President) stay out of the way, we win.

I think that we should have gotten involved but after some meditation, I think we made right choice.

Dein: @hunsly TRMS [The Rachel Maddow Show] deals in facts, many of those on fox don’t. you should know that

Hunsly: What are you talking about Papa Giorgio? I just advocated not watching any opinion based “news” I can attack who ever I choose for being the craziest, which is at the moment is Glen Beck.

[….]

Papa Giorgio: If Maddow dealt in facts Dein, why does she not allow (typically) the other side or viewpoint on. She told us why here (News Busters Ponders Maddow’s No Republican Guests). If MSNBC hosts deal in “facts,” then why did the Times blog, Politico, NPR, US News & World Report, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun (just to name a few center-left news organizations) say FOX News was the most balanced and had the widest array of pundits [from both ends of the spectrum]? MSNBC was said to be the worst and most biased. Facts are funny things when seen through rose colored glasses.

=====added for this post=====

Papa Giorgio: Antony, quickly. You said: “failed foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.” I wanted to use this to make my points I already made made again for clarity. This isn’t directed at you specifically, but an example for all who read here. I would reword this as:

“successful foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.”

In other words, Stalin was America’s enemy, but we joined forces with him (we sent weapons, oil, money, etc) to beat Hitler. The Communists — who previously split up Poland with the Nazis — became our allies then they became our enemy. One of the biggest mistakes I can remember is Carter’s overthrowing the Shah. Much like Obama supports Venezuela over Columbia today. That move by Carter has been one of the most powerful radicalizing event of the Middle-East (which probably would have happened anyway?). Much thought.

Papa Giorgio: Another point [from near the beginning of the conversation], the F-14s — for example — were pre-revolution. In fact:

The Iranian air force never fully recovered from the effects of the 1979 revolution. At the beginning of the war, pilots were in short supply and flying proficiency was markedly lower than before the revolution. U.S. technicians who left Iran during the days preceding the fall of the Shah succeeded in erasing inventory records, ripping avionics packages out of F-14 aircraft, and destroying caches of repair parts at bases around Iran.

The clerics purged a large part of the conventional military structure after the 1979 revolution leaving the military broken and barely able to defend Iran from the initial Iraqi ground invasion in 1980. After Khomeini seized power on 11 February 1979, the revolutionary regime regarded the Air Force as a waste of money that rightfully belonged to the mostazafin (poor oppressed masses). One of the new government’s first acts was a purge of the armed forces, particularly the officer corps, which was (probably correctly) thought to be a hotbed of monarchist sentiment. The Air Force, where virtually the entire fighting element — the combat pilots — was composed of officers, was especially hard hit. To make matters worse, Iran’s best combat pilots had been trained in the United States and Israel, making them particularly suspect.

The senior command echelon of the IIAF had been decapitated in 1979 and early 1980 by arrests, imprisonments, executions, purges, and forced exiles. A failed coup that originated on Shahrokhi Air Base in Hamadan in June 1980 brought about another sweeping purge. Many IIAF personnel were shot or jailed for suspected or real complicity in the coup attempt, and the purge of personnel whose ultimate loyalty was suspect continued at a faster pace.

[….]

By 1987, the Air Force faced a new problem, one of an acute shortage of spare parts and replacement equipment. Perhaps 35 of the 190 Phantoms were serviceable in 1986. One F-4 had been shot down by Saudi F-15s, and two pilots had defected to Iraq with their F-4s in 1984. The number of F-5s dwindled from 166 to perhaps 45, and the F-14 Tomcats from 77 to perhaps 10. The latter were hardest hit because maintenance posed special difficulties after the United States embargo on military sales.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/airforce.htm

Papa Giorgio: Its alright, you guys are young. You have some growing to do in regards to history, philosophy, and where you get your news. As a great example ~~~

I own (and have watched):

Bowling for Columbine, Roger and Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, Wal-Mart: The …high Cost of Low Price, Sicko, An Inconvenient Truth, Loose Change (I have seen all three versions), Zeitgeist, Religulouse, The God Who Wasn’t There

But rarely do I meet someone of the opposite persuasion that has watches:

Celsius 41.11: The Temperature at Which the Brain Dies, FahrenHYPE 9/11, Michael & Me, Michael Moore Hates America, Bullshit! Fifth Season… Read More (where they tear apart the Wal-Mart documentary), Indoctrinate U, Mine Your Own Business, Screw Loose Change, 3-part response to Zeitgeist.

~~~ I do this with all my topics of study: philosophy, religion, science, history, and the like. I hope that this exchange [at the least] makes you youngen’s search out information that will challenge your worldview (political, religious, or non-religious). I have recommended reading that will start you out.

For you guys, I suggest Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas. (Used hard-cover copies sell for 1-penny.) After reading it, I am more than open to discussing some of the issues therein. If you do read it and want to talk over some of the topics, my email is on my bio page:

Antony: all good – but didn’t we create Bin Laden because they were fighting a war we were unwilling to?…. vis a vi the mujahadeen.

Papa Giorgio: Hunsly, you are free to say someone is crazy. Fine. You have yet — in all our talks about Beck — yet to prove it. This is called in philosophy, “to the man.” Which is known in Latin as “ad hominem.” It means someone attacks the person and… doesn’t deal with the arguments put forth by the man.

Also, all news is opinion based. BBC, NPR, ABC, CBS, etc, are all opinion in some sense of the word. For instance, between ABC, CBS, and NBC nightly news and morning news shows there were (this is an old stat, but makes my point) 157 pro-gun control stories, 77 neutral, and 10 for the 2nd Amendment (http://religiopoliticaltalk.blogspot.com/2008/08/media-bias-update.html). Another example comes from NPR. in their stories of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, they used 18,321 words in pro-Arab only segments, 4,934 words in pro-Israel segments. Bias in number of Arab-only vs Israeli-only segments: 63-percent Palestinian/pro-Arab only segments, 37-percent Israel/pro-Israel segments (What Is Fascism). Another example deals with the 2008 election cycle. MSNBC stories that were negative of McCain were 73%, and 14% negative on Obama. FoxNews was 40% negative of McCain, and 40% negative of Obama (http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/2010/11/foxnews-election-coverage-more-fair-and-watched-than-msnbc-and-cnn/).

So it isn’t who is biased, it is who is less biased.

Papa Giorgio: Antony, great question (“…but didn’t we create Bin Laden because they were fighting a war we were unwilling to?”). I have referenced this in some posts on my blog. It is well worth the read [I will merely include the summary here]:

In summary:

  • U.S. covert aid went to the Afghans, not to the “Afghan Arabs”
  • The “Afghan Arabs” were funded by Arab sources, not by the United States
  • The United States never had “any relationship whatsoever” with Osama bin Laden
  • The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Arab backing for the “Afghan Arabs,” and bin Laden’s own decisions “created” Osama bin Laden and al Qaida, not the United States.

http://www.america.gov/st/webchat-englis…h/2009/May/20090505134735atlahtnevel0.5280725.html

Antony: good stuff – I stand corrected.

=========================

Let Me Break Here For Some Commentary

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What Antony just said is rare. He saw new information and put it up against what his previous sphere of knowledge included. Since his previous knowledge base didn’t include this new information, and his old thoughts on the matter didn’t stand up to the new input of information, he changed his previous thoughts on the matter to include the new information. I found out later that Antony is a Christian. This has a lot to do with it. I want to point out why Christians can sit down and have a more truth oriented conversation that those of other worldviews — secular progressives for instance:

…fundamentally, the way we know Christianity to be true is by the self-authenticating witness of God’s Holy Spirit. Now what do I mean by that? I mean that the experience of the Holy Spirit is vertical and unmistakable (though not necessarily irresistible or indubitable) for him who has it; that such a person does not need supplementary arguments or evidence in order to know and to know with confidence that he is in fact experiencing the Spirit of God; that such experience does not function in this case as a premise in any argument from religious experience to God, but rather is the immediate experiencing of God himself; that in certain contexts the experience of the Holy Spirit will imply the apprehension of certain truths of the Christian religion, such as “God exists,” “I am condemned by God,” “I am reconciled to God,” “Christ lives in me,” and so forth; that such an experience Provides one not only with a subjective assurance of Christianity’s truth, but with objective knowledge of that truth; and that arguments and evidence incompatible with that truth are overwhelmed by the experience of the Holy Spirit for him who attends fully to it. (William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd ed. [Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008], 43)

To apply it to this conversation, being a Christian and knowing truth and being set free by it, we [Christians] have a duty to truth and not to dogma outside our faith. Secular progressives replace what the conservative Jew or conservative Christian have in their faith with a religious political worldview.


Judgment is more whole in the Judeo-Christian ethic — still fallen however. A Feynman quote I like sums up mu thinking on this: “Keep an open mind – but not so open that your brain falls out”

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Continuing

=========================

Antony: What of the long standing relationship between the Bush family and high Saud officials (perhaps even including the Bin Laden family)…?

Papa Giorgio: That myth is a long standing one misrepresented by Michael Moore. It is dealt with in the book “Michael Moore Is A Big Fat Stupid White Man” pretty well, but there is this article over at Sinsanity:

“Finally, Moore drops a big number – $1.4 billion – claiming “That’s how much the Saudi royals and their associates have given the Bush family, their friends and their related businesses in the past three decades,” adding that “$1.4 billion doesn’t just buy a lot of flights out of the country. It buys a lot of love.” But Isikoff and Hosenball show that nearly 90% of that total comes from contracts awarded by the Saudi government to BDM, a defense contractor owned by Carlyle. But when the contracts were awarded and BDM received the Saudi funds, Bush Sr. had no official involvement with the firm, though he made one paid speech and took an overseas trip on its behalf. He didn’t actually join Carlyle’s Asian advisory board until after the firm had sold BDM. And though George W. Bush had previously served on the board of another Carlyle company, he left it before BDM received the first Saudi contract. As usual, the connections are loose and circumstantial at best.”

http://www.spinsanity.org/columns/20040702.html

Great article, well worth reading. Spinsanity was a great site… no longer current but their old articles are still up.

Papa Giorgio: Off to work…. OH, P.S., this is one of my favorite all time “Moore’ism” is this:

According to Moore in his book Stupid White Men, “the entire nation is composed of morons”. He writes: “There are forty-four million Americans who cannot read and write above a fourth-grade level – in other words, who are functional illiterates. How did I learn this statistic? Well, I read it.”

Moore should have read better. His endnotes attribute the figure to the U.S. Deptpartment of Education’s national Adult Literacy Survey. Yes, that survey found that 40-44 million Americans performed in the lowest level of literacy. But the survey doesn’t end there. In the next paragraph, it goes on to note that 25% of the people who scored in the lowest literacy category were immigrants who have learned little or no English. And in classic Moore fashion, he also fails to disclose that nearly 19% of the group he includes in the uneducated masses are actually people who have “visual difficulties that affect their ability to read print.”

Surprise: Functional English literacy is not high among the blind, and people learning to speak English may be highly educated, but only able to read their native klanguage. This hardly makes the United States a nation that, writes Moore, “GOES OUT OF ITS WAY TO REMAIN IGNORANT AND STUPID” (capitalization in the original).

POSTSCRIPT

In an excellent response to the issue, Outside the Beltway, puts to rest this issue for thinking person:

CNN’s Peter Bergen who conducted the first television interview of bin Laden in 1997:

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently.

The evidence, in fact, is fairly clear that the “Afghan Arabs” like bin Laden didn’t interact with the Americans at all. The allegations, on the other hand are based on little more than circumstantial evidence and exaggerations. This idea that the CIA trained Osama bin Laden back in 1980 is simply a myth that needs to die along with bin Laden himself. Moore was wrong, and Sullivan was, it seems to me, entirely correct to call him out for it. This is a myth that has taken hold on both the far left and the far right and it’s time that people stopped lying.

UPDATE (James Joyner): I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “lying,” since people are just repeating what they’ve heard. The confusion comes from the Western conflation of the generic “mujahadeen” into a coherent Mujahadeen, much as we’ve done with the various Taliban groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But, yes, it’s completely wrong. See my March 31 post “Taliban History Lesson: Not Our Boys From the 80-s.” It cites Pat Lang:

The groups we supported were defeated by the Taliban in the civil war that followed Soviet withdrawal.  The Taliban and Usama bin Laden were supported by the separate “Sayyaf” group of Mujahideen supported by Saudi Arabia and Deobandi fanatics in Pakistan.

The confusion has been cleared up often enough that knowledgeable people should know better.

Take note another internet commentator opined well:

Many erroneously people believe the CIA trained bin laden and created Al-Qaida. They do this by conflating all the mujihadeen groups as though they were one. They were not. First there was no al-qaida during the soviet afghan war, bin laden created it AFTER the war. Bin Laden came to Afghanistan as a member(not the leader of) an Arab group whose mission was to try and promote Wahabiism and steer the jihad ideologically, which they failed at. This group came on its own money and agenda and received no US support. Further, the CIA didn’t train anyone as their involvement was restricted per the agreement with Pakistan. Pakistan’s ISI handled training and delivery of funds and weapons and controlled who received any, not the CIA. And finally US funding amounted to about 20% of the Mujhiadeen’s coffers. Another 20% was from the Saudi government and the remaining 60% came from private islamic charities. So with the facts out there, why do so many still live in ignorance?

Additional Details:

Also Pakistan’s ISI created the Taliban in mid 90’s to control Afghanistan. The Taliban was not a direct product of the Soviet Afghan War of Operation Cyclone.

WHo Uses the Term NAZI All the Time? (kinda drawn out but worth it)

 

Ted Koppel:

To witness Keith Olbermann – the most opinionated among MSNBC’s left-leaning, Fox-baiting, money-generating hosts – suspended even briefly last week for making financial contributions to Democratic political candidates seemed like a whimsical, arcane holdover from a long-gone era of television journalism, when the networks considered the collection and dissemination of substantive and unbiased news to be a public trust.

Back then, a policy against political contributions would have aimed to avoid even the appearance of partisanship. But today, when Olbermann draws more than 1 million like-minded viewers to his program every night precisely because he is avowedly, unabashedly and monotonously partisan, it is not clear what misdemeanor his donations constituted.

Megyn Kelly vs Dana Milbank’s column-Bill O’Reilly

Add to my previous post (FoxNews Election Coverage more fair [and watched] than MSNBC and CNN) the Baltimore Sun:

The Baltimore Sun’s media critic is still fuming about MSNBC’s pathetic coverage on election night.

In his piece published Saturday, David Zurawik called the cable news network a “liberal prep school” while claiming the behavior of folks like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Keith Olbermann was “so egregious” that the “entire realm of TV journalism was diminished in the public mind”

…(News Busters)…