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.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Loose ends

So Many Links, So Little Time Watch

In preparation for the holiday week, I’m going to try to clean out my list of things I’ve been meaning to send this week. It may get a little hectic, but hang on for the ride!

Sore Loserman Watch

Here is more on the press’s war against Gore we were talking about last time. This article was published in Rolling Stone magazine, and does a really good job of summing up most of the atrocities committed by the press regarding Gore, and it is entitled “The Press vs. Al Gore”. I should note that in the last Watch I mistakenly attributed the misquote of Gore on “Love Canal” to Ceci Connelly. It turns out that the misquote mysteriously belonged to Connelly and Katherine Seelye simultaneously. I’m not sure whether that makes it more or less likely that it was a smear job.

Tis the Season To Be Victims Watch

I actually ran into people complaining that Christians and Christmas were being persecuted and not “allowed” to say “Merry Christmas”. This delusion was expressed at the adult bible study at my church. Amazing. I spoke up, saying I had faith that Christianity in American would survive somehow, even against the onslaught of the mighty atheists. But I didn’t frame it as well as James Wolcott:

This "fear of Christmas" is a phantom menace conjured every year so that certain crybaby Christians can adopt victim status and model a pained expression over the sad fact that not everyone around them isn't carrying on like the Cratchits. This thin-skinned grievance-collecting gives birth to all sorts of urban legends and rumors about big institutions being hostile to Christ's birthday, such as the one that swirled on WOR radio last week about how Macy's employees had been instructed not to say "Merry Christmas!" to shoppers. A fiction that was put to rest when the host hit Macy's website and saw its "Merry Christmas" greeting, and Macy's employees chimed in over the phones to say there was no such policy. To read conservative pundits, you'd think everybody was wishing each other Happy Kwanzaa! and averting their eyes from oh so gauche Nativity scenes. I've got news: Even here on the godless, liberal Upper West Side, people wish each other Merry Christmas without staggering three steps backward, thunderstruck and covered with chagrin.


More Theocracy Watch

Here is the Rude Pundit, commenting on the Ten Commandments stuff Bush is trying to pull:

Let's be clear here, shall we? There are two primary reasons that "God" is mentioned so much in documents by the Founders of this country: one is convention - it's just what you fuckin' did. It's like saying, "Dear Electric Company," when, in reality, the electric company ain't that "dear" to you. The other reason is that the Founders knew they had to use propaganda in order to appeal to the yahoos living in glorified cabins in the woods of New Hampshire: if you invoke "God," then stupid people will think you're legit. The "Creator," whether "God" or "Jesus," is the shiny trinket that distracts the children so the adults can do their work. Whatever Ben Franklin may have believed about deities great and small, he knew that the masses had to be placated so that they could go about the work of building a fuckin' nation. When Thomas Paine, the rudest of the Founders, decided to wreck notions of a public religion in The Age of Reason, he sent the manuscript to Franklin. A bespectacled whoremonger, Franklin understood the average new American, and he warned Paine not to publish the book: "Think how great a portion of mankind consists of weak and ignorant men and women, and of inexperienced, inconsiderate youth of both sexes, who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue, and retain them in the practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great point for its security." Franklin feared the unrestrained public; they needed religion as a distraction in order to avoid savagery.


The Joys of Being an International Torture Criminal Watch

More signs that the torture of detainees was known and hushed up:

Civilians told not to report beatings
. . .
It is among dozens of documents made public yesterday that allege brutal and sometimes illegal military interrogation methods employed against prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The documents reveal that senior U.S. officials, who claimed they were unaware of the abuse, were repeatedly informed of accusations of abuse through official channels.

In the documents, government witnesses describe the regular use of violence — much of it inflicted on prisoners by a top-secret task force devoted to capturing "high-value targets" in Iraq.

There is no record, among the documents made public yesterday or previously, that makes clear whether the abuses — separate and apart from the highly publicized incidents at Abu Ghraib — have stopped or whether anyone has been held responsible for them.


Online Activism Watch

If you go here, you can send a message to Rep. Conyers, who is asking for a large number of electronic messages in support of congressional investigations into voting fraud and the use of electronic voting machines in Ohio and elsewhere. This is a small chance to help make our country a better place – take it!

And here is something fun. You know all those complaints the FCC got about something on Monday Night Football? It turns out that more than 95% of those complaints came from one organization, the “Parents Television Council”. They have a handy form for contacting the FCC on their website. You could use this to complain about “indecency” that you come across from right wing television and radio shows, should you choose. Let’s make the FCC enforce their new draconian rules on everyone equally, shall we?

Our Royal Family Watch

Robert Parry describes just some of the ways that the media has been sucked by the Bush family . . . but continues to be taken in:

You might think that the major media that got suckered by George W. Bush’s Iraqi weapons-of-mass-destruction claims just last year would show some humility about its own fallibility. But, no, the elite U.S. news media is now criticizing common citizens who have raised questions about voter fraud in the Nov. 2 election. The New York Times has joined the Washington Post and other major news outlets in scouring the Internet to find and discredit Americans who have expressed suspicions that Bush’s victory might not have been entirely legitimate. The New York Times' front-page story was entitled, “Vote Fraud Theories, Spread By Blogs, Are Quickly Buried.” [Nov. 12, 2004.] As odd as these attacks might seem to some, this pattern of protecting the Bush family has a history. It actually dates back a couple of decades, as the major media has either averted its eyes or rallied to the Bushes’ defense when the family has faced suspicions of lying or corruption . . .
When George H.W. Bush was linked to the misguided strategy of covertly arming Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, again major U.S. news outlets – with the exception of the Los Angeles Times – did little to dig out the truth. Even today, after the junior George Bush has sent more than 1,100 U.S. troops to their deaths to clear Iraq of non-existent WMD stockpiles in 2003-04, the U.S. news media won’t tell the American people about the senior George Bush’s role in helping Hussein build a real WMD arsenal in the 1980s.


Etc., etc. This article outlines many of the blindnesses displayed by the media for Bush family crimes and shenanigans.

Blog Watch

Here are a couple of newer blogs that may catch your fancy. Fafblog contains the rantings of three contributers, Fafnir, Giblets, and the Medium Lobster, all of which are hilarious. Fafblog seems to be in the lead for “Funniest Blog” over at the Koufax awards.

Please also see “Crooks and Liars” a great new blog that links to a lot of video clips.

Humor Watch

Bernard Kerik is the gift that just keeps on giving. No matter that Rudy Guiliani thought that this philandering, mobbed-up, crooked goomba was the best the country had to offer in “Homeland” security. At least he had a fictitious nanny story to fall back on. The good folks at Whitehouse.org have found his “LETTER FROM BERNARD KERIK FORMALLY WITHDRAWING FROM ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM SOME LOUSY GOODY TWO SHOES STICKING THEIR FAT NOSES WHERE THEY AIN'T GOT NO BUSINESS ANYHOW”. Enjoy!!

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