Archive for September, 2007

UPDATE in University of Florida tasing scandal: THE COP SMILED! [pic]

I will be posting a detailed documentation of how the corporate news media have distorted or attempted to minimize this story in the next day or so. But as I was looking over one of the many videos on Youtube of the incident where police tasered an unarmed, peaceful student for asking a question, I couldn’t believe what I saw for just a fraction of a second.

I have a simple question for all you right-wingers out there who want to belittle, downplay, obfuscate or otherwise mis-characterize this incident:

If the police weren’t acting out of line, then why was this police officer smiling just after he had sent 50,000 volts running through this kid’s body after the kid begged him repeatedly not to?

florida-kerry-taser-incident-cop-smiling.png

“Freedom is the freedom to simply say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows”

-George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

 

Peace is overrated

I just came back from a talk given by a fairly standard, run-of-the-mill civil servant who’s specialization is the new, over-hyped field of ‘conflict management’.  In the two hours I spend there, I think I must have heard the word ‘peace’ used so much that it lost all meaning.  This got me thinking about how obsessed liberals are with ‘peace’ as some sort of idealized pancea that ought to be sought above all else.

Surely, if we think about it critically, we can realize that, while nobody obviously wants conflict, peace, in and of itself is not necessarily a good thing if it serves to merely solidify other exisiting horrific social conditions.

For instance, one could easily take this current liberal obsession with ‘peace’ and do something radical which liberals are not wont to do: place the subject back 150 years, look at it dialectically, and see what we get.

Well, we get this:

white-mans-burden.png

So the problem of the liberal obsession with peace is that, to borrow a quote:

“Peace is over rated. Any slave can have peace. Just pick the cotton.”

So, just as with most liberal thinking, its true absurdity only becomes obvious when you take the time to look at it dialectically and place it within an historical context.

See also:

“Civil Liberty”
The myth of humanity as naturally violent
Propaganda In Action: Canada as a force for peace in the world

La Presse joins Paulitics in predicting an NDP victory in Outremont

Just over two months ago, I used a variety of polling data and financial data from all of the parties to suggest that an NDP victory in the upcoming Outremont by-election was very likely.  In the 4 simulations I ran, the NDP won 3 of them and only lost the 4th just barely.

Yesterday, the francophone newspaper La Presse released the first and only poll which asked voters in the riding of Outremont who they were voting for.

The poll confirmed — kind of — the predictions I made in early July.  It matched the order in which I suggested the parties would finish — NDP then Liberal then Bloc then Tories.  Although my analysis had the race as being much closer than the La Presse poll suggests it will be.

Either way, it’s going to be an interesting race and, if Dion can pull off an 11th hour stay of execution for the Liberals, then, at the very least, La Presse can join me in eating humble pie and I won’t have to eat it alone.

The absolute best one line quote you will ever read… EVER!

I don’t even know what I can add to this quote to make it better, so here it is:

“If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for the children of Texas.”
-’Ma’ Ferguson (former Texas governor) speaking on Spanish as a second language in the United States

’nuff said.

The propaganda & hypocrisy of 9/11 anniversary media coverage

This is now becoming an annual event.  Each year on September 11th, turning on the TV means tuning in to watch all of the major news networks in Canada and the U.S. trip over themselves to pay fawning tributes to the 9/11 attacks.  Each network, ABC, Fox, NBC, CNN, CBC, CTV, desperately trying to outperform the others, to demonstrate the most grief, the most compassionate humanity, and the most complete and devoted memory of this ‘day of infamy’.

While the attacks were undoubtedly a tragedy nobody ought to forget — every life lost is something we should try hard never to ignore or forget — there are two main problems with the feigned remembrance tributes we are bombarded with every year on this day.

The first is that, the feigned remembrance of the news networks might be moving and worthwhile were it not also hypocritical.  If we truly did want to ‘remember’ the horrors of this day, every news outlet and broadcaster would have at least mentioned that September the 11th was already a ‘day of infamy’ long before 9/11.  After all, September 11th, 1973 was the day when we sponsored the brutal Chilean dictator Pinochet’s overthrow of the democratically-elected, socialist Allende government.  In the days, weeks and years following the original September 11th massacre, even the most conservative estimates state that at least 30,000 people, mostly civilians, were either killed, tortured or ‘disappeared’ under our beloved puppet Pinochet’s régime. the-two-september-11s.png

So, just to reiterate, the original 9/11 — the one which we perpetrated on Chile and the one which is unpatriotic to remember — there were 30,000 people killed, tortured or ‘disappeared’.  The second 9/11 — our 9/11, the one which is unpatriotic not to remember — 2974 people killed. 

Where is our greif for the Chileans we condemned to death, imprisonment, torture or worse?  ABC news finds them so unimportant as to not even merit a mention; ditto for Fox News, CBS News, NBC/MSNBC News and CNN, as well as Canada’s own CBC and CTV News services.  Not one mention on the anniversary of our coup.

Do these supposed Christians not remember their own Bible’s original definition of hypocrite?  Their Bible warns: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:3).

This unbalanced news coverage is the best example of the Biblical definition of ‘hypocritical’.

The second main problem with these feigned remembrance tributes (and I say feigned, because if we really were serious about expressing human empathy and compassion, we’d also remember those we condemned) is that it all too easily becomes a contest wherein genuine personal grief is no longer enough and publicly-displayed grief becomes necessary.

No society can survive when it begins demanding public proclamations of deeply personal, individual fidelity to the organizing principles of said society.  All societies may be able to demand compliance with the organizing principles — even theoretical anarchism would demand that no individual attempt to establish hierarchical structures in such a society – but no society can legitimately expect genuine public professions of personal beliefs to that effect.

In literature, the single greatest example of this is the utter collapse of King Lear’s England when the King demands public proclamations of his three daughters’ private love towards him.  “Tell me, my daughters (since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest of territory, cares of state), which of you shall we say doth love us most” (Act I, Scene i. ll. 50-58.).

America will soon see what happens to them, but already, we can see it beginning just like in Shakespeare’s King Lear.  Already today, an ABC News affiliate, WABC Channel 7 in New York has been widely slammed for only offering 1 full hour of coverage of the 9/11 ceremonies.

Whatever happens, it is worth remembering T.S. Eliot’s famous prediction:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
-T.S. Eliot, 1925

And you’d better believe that a quiet, simple demand to show just a little bit more personal grief, counts as a whimper.


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