The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

The Hatfields and the Husseins

As we plunge headlong towards a war with Iraq, it is becoming increasingly obvious that no one - no one - wants this war except for a small group of people surrounding the unelected president, people like Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. And it is clear that even though the rest of the world, including friends, enemies, even Robert Novak (!!), is coming out against this war, that this small group of people really, really wants to invade Iraq. They want some dead people, and they want them soon. And the only credible motivation left after all of the smoke is blown away is oil. Bush couldn't find oil in Texas, so now that he has the power of the American military at his disposal, he will use it to steal oil from another sovereign nation. I wonder how many dead Iraqis to the gallon we will get. Imagine: we have united France and Germany in opposition to this suicidal idea. W always said he was a uniter.

Nobody really believes that this "war" will make us safer in the long run. Why should it? We will be an aggressor nation, creating even more, and more bitter, enemies around the world with this action. You can't bomb somebody into loving you. (And, as we saw last week, cheesy PR campaigns don't help much either). What a huge fiasco our fear-weary citizens are being rushed into. Even if we all agreed that taking Iraq's oil was a great policy, the future implications of occupying a huge territory (with a population which will be at least partially hostile) like Iraq has not even been discussed - not the financial implications, not the political implications, and not the implications for national security. This fever-dream, this Hatfield-and-McCoy fantasy has got to be stopped.

Race Card Watch

Of course, I should have checked The Daily Howler before I wrote yesterday's piece on the University of Michigan case. Somerby has been all over this topic this week, writing three excellent pieces on the spin going on. In addition to tracing the 20/12 misrepresentation back to its original source, he documents very thoroughly which media outlets are repeating this false claim, gives links to an article that thoroughly explains the admissions point structure (and puts it in proper context), and shows us just how lazy journalists are. It is amazing that in this day and age, one spin point, one out of context spin point clearly meant to deceive, one outrageous spin point designed to obfuscate is repeated over and over again by journalists. None of them ever go to the original source for clarification or enlightenment on this point, or even to see if it is actually true - or if they do, they take a step back and purposefully decide to lie about it. They apparently think it is ok to repeat it because they themselves heard it or read it somewhere else. Amazing. And this lie becomes part of what is accepted as true because it is repeated so often.

What is also amazing to me is for what low stakes these folks will sell out their reputation for. I mean, I might be able to see perpetuating a known lie if the stakes were really important to the country for some reason, though I doubt this is what reporters tell themselves. But being too lazy to actually tell the truth or the context of Michigan's admission policy?? What a cheap sellout.

Class Warfare Watch

The Daily Howler this week also has some links to an analysis of what people in different income brackets actually pay in taxes, as a percent of their income. This article by Daniel Altman debunks many of the arguments put forward by Bush for his current stimulus plan. See especially the above chart.

Commentary on this article. The bottom line is that people in all income brackets pay roughly the same percentage of their income in taxes. How is that for regressive? And of course, wealthier people get more, much more, for their taxes than poorer people. More on this later.

I Can't Believe He Said That Watch

Secretary of War Strangefeld has finally apologized for his weird remarks about drafted veterans. He says he meant no disrespect, of course. While it may be true that the cost/benefit ratio for drafted troops is very high, it is certainly strange that he would choose to express that opinion, at a press conference, in such a tone deaf way.

Humor Watch

Barry Crimmins is an excellent progressive comedian. He turns current events into stand-up, with some very pointed straight commentary.

Blog Watch

Digby has an excellent weblog.

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