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GaHillBilly

Running scared?

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Gotta do this, even though it's a waste of time . . .

 

So, the news EVENT of the day is, "Sarah Palin delivers major speech at RNC". This would, of course, be the un-spun version of the news.

 

Possible spun headlines:

- "Sarah Palin's speech doesn't meet all expectations." (Certainly true, even though the implication is false )

- "Sarah Palin's speech is a home run." (Seemed to be the consensus of even Democratic talking heads this AM, so it's probably true, but a hard core Democrat might consider this spun.)

- "Sarah Palin takes on role of RNC pit bull." (You could conflate several things she said, and argue (speciously) that this is what she claimed herself.

 

Of course, all THOSE version remain focused on the key news event, even if they are spun versions.

 

So, how did NPR lead off this AM?

 

"Sarah Palin supported earmarks attached to the Congressional bill that remained after the "bridge to nowhere" was canceled."

 

Huh??

 

Apparently, ANY version of the actual main news story was too pro-RNC for NPR, so they headlined a statement that any legitimate news organization would have placed 4 paragraphs down, when the reporting addressed her claim to have rejected the "bridge to nowhere".

 

It seems to me that the only possible conclusions are that

1. NPR considers itself to be the propaganda wing of the DNC,

AND THAT

2. They are running scared enough, so that spinning the news is not enough: they have to distort it out of any recognizable resemblance to the real events.

 

Who knows?

 

It may work. During WWII, lots of Germans genuinely disbelieved reports of death camps (but, what's that smell?) in their country. And, many Russians today genuinely believe that their troops are 'liberating' Georgia. So, bogus reporting can certainly create bogus understanding, especially if you can stomp on competing messages.

 

Now, if they can just outlaw FoxNews . . . and those horrible right-wing radio hosts . . . Oh, yeah! and those dishonest bloggers (no, not the Daily Kos, so recently caught telling deliberate lies about Palin -- we mean the right-wing bloggers!).

 

 

GaHillBilly

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You know, I thought I made it clear about Nazi references. To make Nazi references when people in no way are approaching the horror the absolute horror of the Holocaust is reprehensible and repugnant. So, what do we have, if you refer to a scoutmaster as a Hitler or the PLC as using Gestapo tactics, what does that teach the kids? That anyone they term over bearing or abuses power are Hitlers or the Gestapo? Does that not cheapen the entire experience of the people who suffered and died? Why does Germany during WWII have to be the main reference of things some people don't like. Just like having kids kill and maim in video games, they become inured to violence. To use Nazi terms inures them to the Nazis legacy. As a kid I would ride the Skokie Swift to my Grandmother's house and in the 1950's there were quite a few passengers who had tattoos of numbers in what a small child thought were odd places. Arms for the men, across legs for older teenagers as when they were in the camps their arms werent big enough to have all the numbers placed. In the summer, in the heat all the tattoos would be visible and the place was quiet. I remember staring and an old man and the tattoo on his arm, he saw me staring at him and just had the most remote, far away look in his eyes.

 

With all the words in the english language, with all the resources available to us, the best we can do is yell Nazi or make WWII references?

 

 

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Yah, OGE, it's just the tendency to run toward the extremes, eh?

 

The Nazi holocaust is still the most powerful example of genuine evil in an organized public/political/governance arena that we have in our time and culture. I reckon it's useful to have an example of that as a touchstone. Especially for Scoutin', since Hitler's youth program very much stole the methods and symbols of B-P's scouting program. Germany's National Socialism is a present reminder to us of what democracy or scouting can do if it is allowed to run off the rails.

 

Da problem is runnin' to that extreme of an example all the time, eh? Republicans are evil. Democrats are evil. Anyone who doesn't follow page 22 paragraph five of G2SS is evil. It's our tendency to want to find wickedness or malice in other people. That's our own fault, eh? And our choice. I think it's a bit of a drug, myself. Lots of good adrenaline gets generated by chest-thumpin' self-righteousness, eh? ;)

 

Personally, I think it's more likely that other folks are genuinely decent sorts, even if we disagree with 'em. To some extent, whether it's McCain or Obama, they're playin' the political game of attackin' each other just because that's what a lot of us Americans want, eh? We want to find wickedness or malice in the other side, and be reinforced in our own views of how good "our people" or "our party" is by contrast.

 

Wins votes, but makes for lousy governance and worse patriotism.

 

Fox News or NPR, same thing, eh? Just fellow Americans voicin' their feelings and opinions. Nuthin' wicked or malicious. I just dislike all the shriekin' because it makes it darn hard to figure out what folks positions and policies really are, and whether they're smart about 'em or stupid.

 

Beavah

 

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So one of the things that I really disliked about the various Republican speakers last night was their harping on this business of "evil." Guiliani and Palin both made comments to the effect that Democrats don't understand or want to appease or downplay evil, while Republicans aren't afraid to call it what it is and stand up to it. Romney made some similar assertions, suggesting that "liberals" are afraid of protecting the country and other such blather.

 

Red meat for a partisan crowd to get them fired up, sure. But really, really bad politics in my view. For me, that's just more of the extremist rhetoric that, as Beavah said so well, makes for good electioneering (gets votes) but awful government and even worse patriotism.

 

If the best any candidate or party or strategist can do is to assert that one side stands up to evil and the other doesn't, that's not an honest or productive debate. It is such a gross over-simplification of the world as to be useless.

 

Incidentally I also took deep exception to Giuliani's crass political use of the projected NY skyline behind him as he spoke about 9/11. As if only Republicans have a claim on the suffering that occurred on that day.

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I liked the editorial cartoon in the paper this morning that had a picture of republican "fatcats" always male, white, middle aged, in their stereotypical suits with big fat cigars lamenting that the democrats had the nerve to bring up Kartrina again and again during the RNC all the while each of them were wearing at least ten 9/11 pins apiece. :)

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Of all the "headlines" and "leadoffs" that were mentioned, only one delivered fact without opinion - NPR. Every other headline inserted some type of opinion in it - from the very simple, yet camouflaged, "Major" speech (it was a speech - it's an opinion that it was a major speech) to the outright opining and bloviating "speech is a home run"

 

There truly is no comparison of NPR to the corporate news media. NPR gives facts and when they do give opinions, they tell you they are giving you an opinion. The corporate news media gives opinion while pretending to give facts - and the people of the US buy it because most don't know any better, and as a herd, people are stupid.

 

Calico

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You wrote, "You know, I thought I made it clear about Nazi references. To make Nazi references when people in no way are approaching the horror the absolute horror of the Holocaust is reprehensible and repugnant."

 

OGE, I don't know what you made clear -- somehow that memo never arrived on MY desk.

 

I realize that the cultural iconic force possessed by the Holocaust, that makes it familiar enough for me to use illustratively in an general audience, is related to the mythology of the Holocaust as "absolute horror". But while my reference to Nazi movement as acquiring social acceptability through repeated half truths and welcomed lies is based on a solid historical foundation, your reference to the Holocaust as "absolute horror" and thus unique and unparalleled in recent human history is based on historical ignorance and naivite.

 

It's not that choices, events, and actions that comprise the Holocaust were not enormously evil: they were in fact both evil and horrifying.

 

Rather, the falsehood you have embraced is that they were unique!

 

This falsehood -- regarding the uniqueness of the Holocaust -- is directly related to the point I was trying make. Little public lies, widely repeated and accepted and then incremented, are the foundation on which horrors like the Holocaust are constructed. But, unlike the fiction which you have chosen to embrace: namely, the idea that the Holocaust was a UNIQUE event, and thus something utterly unlike the things any of us would do, the truth is that people just like us have done, and did do, just such things.

 

The 20th century was not introduced to deliberate genocide by the Germans in the 1930's and 40's, but by the Turks, around 1915, when they largely exterminated the Armenian Christians, murdering over a million of them. If your criteria is use of live prisoners for medical experimentation, I believe the Japanese did so on a far larger scale. Nor was the Holocaust the largest case of mass murder for political and cultural reasons. When WWII began, Stalin had ALREADY murdered more that Hitler ever did. By most counts, Mao Tse-tung killed about FOUR times as many as Hitler and Stalin killed about TWICE as many. Nor was the Holocaust a unique case of other nations standing by and doing nothing. During your generation and mine, OGE, Pol Pot killed about as many as Hitler while our nation largely did nothing. We knew far more about Pol Pot's murders while they yet continued, than most Americans did about Hitlers, and could have intervened at a fraction of the risk and cost of WWII, yet we did nothing. So, arguably we are PRECISELY the sort of people that stand by and wring their hands, while doing nothing . . . just like the majority of the Lutheran Church in Germany in 1930.

 

I would suggest to you that the 'politically correct' view you voiced, that the Holocaust is somehow unique in history and among men is yet another welcomed lie, precisely because it allows those embracing that myth to also embrace the falsehood that they -- that we - are not THAT kind of men.

 

But we are just that kind of men.

 

And it's precisely the toleration of the sort of convenient half-truth that NPR was engaging in that has historically been the building block of the smooth and wide road down into the kind of evil that the Germans embraced in 1930 . . . and that my father's forbears embraced in North Georgia (formerly, "Cherokee Georgia") during the 1830's, and that my mother's forbears used to justify their enslavement of other men.

 

This sort of welcomed lie is not even that far from the roots of the Boy Scouts. Copyrights on many of the relevant documents have expired, so many of them are available online, at least in part. Use Google to search for "Baden-Powell" and "eugenics" if you want to investigate further. While you're at it, you might wish to Google for "Hitler" and "Baden-Powell"!

 

Indeed, I would argue that, when we teach boys to promise to be, first of all, "trustworthy" and then put them through Merit Badge colleges that produce First Aid MB holders who can't make a sling and Swimming MB holders who can't swim and Canoeing MB holders who can't hold a paddle . . . we are teaching them to tell just such lies. And, when we make Eagle candidates who cannot tie a square knot, or orient a map with a compass, or tell how to stop severe bleeding . . . well then, we are teaching them to embrace and tolerate just the sort of convenient half-truths Hitler AND Stalin AND Mao Tse-tung AND Andrew Jackson AND so many others have built their 'evil empires' upon.

 

GaHillBilly

 

 

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"Of all the "headlines" and "leadoffs" that were mentioned, only one delivered fact without opinion - NPR."

Calico- Are you kidding? NPR makes CNN look like a right wing puppet.

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I am just asking:

"Sarah Palin supported earmarks attached to the Congressional bill that remained after the "bridge to nowhere" was canceled."

 

Is this not true? Did she not, as has been widely reported, in fact keep the money for her state that was earmarked for the bridge, even after they were not going to build a bridge with it? They did not use it in her state for other things. They just turned it down, and gave it back? That is the truth?

 

I'm just asking.

 

Let's face it there are enough half truths and out right lies out there to go around. I do not think anyone (are you listening Rush?) has the market cornered on that one.

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GaHillBilly; You drew fire by benefit of my post in the now closed thread "GOP sez pregnant at 17 ok" in the issues and politics section.

I brought the ire of the moderator down on myself as I posted what amounted to a violation of "Godwins Law". I agree with your post that genocide on an astronomical scale was not the exclusive domain of the German government in power between 1933-1945. Fell free to PM me where we can discuss our views without the PC polezei looking on.

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Pixiewife, my point was NOT to argue that Sarah Palin did (or did not) support such earmarks. I don't trust left wing dominated media outlets such as NPR on such topics, that that only means I'm skeptical, not that I've concluded that NPR's headline was wrong.

 

Politicians as a class have -- ever since Rome -- tried to use tax funds to buy votes. This is not a right wing or left wing activity, it is simply and unfortunately a politician type activity.

 

But my point was that NPR was falling all over themselves to avoid highlighting a speech that was enormously successful. IF NPR's headline was / is true, it's proper place was in paragraph 3 or 4 or where ever the Bridge to Nowhere was discussed and NOT as the lead headline.

 

 

 

Kraut-60, maybe you can answer a question I've begun to wonder about: who ARE the moderators?

 

I've participated in many forums before, but never on a forum where the moderators were apparently a secret class. This is a privately forum, apparently owned by a "Terry Howerton" of the Chicago area, whoever that is. And since I run to toward the constitutionally conservative side of things, I don't question his right to have a secret group of moderators. But, it's still an oddity on the Internet.

 

GaHillBilly

 

 

GaHillBilly

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First off, I'd dispute whether a radio story really has a "headline". Going to the npr.org site and looking at the Morning Edition program for 9/4, I see the following "headers" for the radio stories:

"Palin Takes Aim At Obama, Revs Up Republicans"

"Delegates In St. Paul Say Palin Made Her Case"

"Palin's Nomination Stirs Hometown Fans, Detractors"

"Palin Casts Herself As Reformist, Outsider"

 

Not a thing about earmarks as the lead in any of those stories. In fact, you could argue that those four are all pretty much without opinion in them. So, I'm not sure where the "facts" that were stated in the original post came from, but it clearly wasn't from NPR itself since anyone can go and listen to the programs (even from as far back as 1996).

 

If ever there was a time to support your local public radio station, it's now. NPR is the only media outlet around where when you have two people of opposite parties discussing a political issue, you get a polite and thoughtful discussion and not two people shouting and interrupting each other like you do with all the talking head shows on TV.

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The moderators are not secret. They are designated by an asterisk by their forum membership status (for example: senior forum member*).

I took them to task a while back. Their actions have been modest since that time, probably mostly due to the intervention by Terry, whom I might add is doing all of us a great service by providing this forum in the first place.

I urge you to keep in mind, as I do, that Terry and the moderators really do have the best of intentions. Kind of like (hopefully) the rest of us.

 

Edited part: Did I mention that the moderators are Talosian?(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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