Thursday, April 25, 2013
Propaganda is Propaganda
I can't believe that people think that it's impossible to self- radicalize; the Boston marathon bombers had to be supported by elements of Al Qaeda. There is just no other answer,the older brother probably got beyond the point of no return when he came back from Russia because he couldn’t possibly be turned in the United States. Propaganda is propaganda, whether it comes from the extreme right or left or from foreign sources.
Today is the opening of former President George W Bush’s presidential library and I decided that I was going to let him have his day without any sarcasm from me but unfortunately a freshman republican representative from Arkansas,took to the floor of the House of Representatives to say“I rise today to express grave doubts about the Obama administration’s counterterrorism policies and programs. Counterterrorism is often shrouded in secrecy, as it should be, so let us judge by the results. In barely four years in office, five jihadists have reached their targets in the United States under Barack Obama: the Boston Marathon bomber, the underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber, the Fort Hood shooter, and in my own state -- the Little Rock recruiting office shooter. In the over seven years after 9/11 under George W. Bush, how many terrorists reached their target in the United States? Zero! We need to ask ‘why is the Obama Administration failing in its mission to stop terrorism before it reaches its targets in the United States? I don't have to tell you that those words were unnecessary and false. Republicans always start their sanctimonious task of keeping this country safe after September 11,2001. The representative forgot about the anthrax attacks that were never solved the day after 9/11, but I’m glad that no Democrat took to the floor one week after the horrific event to blame President George W. Bush and his administration. As I recall we came together as a nation after that, but I see little hope of that when members of Congress can’t wait to exploit their hate.
Last night I saw a clip of Sean Hannity explaining his anger to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani because the president never calls the terrorist “ radical Islamic terrorists” as if saying those words makes one an expert in the field of terrorism. Even Fox’s liberal,Bob Beckel, made a stupid remark when he said”I think we really have to consider given the fact that so many people hate us that we’re going to have to cut off Muslim students from coming to this country .”Yeah,that’s a great way to make friends and influence minds;stick all Muslims into the terrorist category.
We can’t have a serious discussion about drones, protecting our homeland, guns, health care or our financial problems, unless we tune out the fringe element and make them a laughing stock. The faithful followers of Alex Jones,Infowars, Glenn Beck and others want you to engage with them, but I found out a long time ago that laughing at them works best. Alex Jones wants us to believe that the moon landing never happed, neither did Aurora, nor Sandy Hook and that the government was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing in order to set the stage for gun confiscation. Matt Drudge said Alex Jones will be the “Man of the Year.”
As I have mentioned before and Rachel Maddow said it again last night, you can be on the no- fly list, but that doesn't prevent you from buying 50 pounds of gunpowder because a background check is not required. You can also buy a firearm because being on the no- fly list has nothing to do with a background check. Senator Harry Reid will try to rectify that by introducing a bill that requires a background check to buy gunpowder. Senator Joe Manchin is working on a bill that will bar anyone on the no-fly list from buying a gun. Let’s see where the NRA and their puppets line up on those measures.
Although not propaganda some well established truths have to be audited from time- to -time to verify its accuracy.The self –evident truth that any country where debt debt is 90% of GDP will not have any growth has been debunked by a 28 year old UMass researcher, Thomas Herndon......Harvard's respected economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s study titled “ Growth in the Time of Debt"became the justification for austerity policies in the United States and abroad. Representative Paul Ryan,Senator Tom Coburn and some conservative democrats found that " conclusive empirical evidence that [debt] exceeding 90 percent of the economy has a significant negative effect on economic growth.” It’s just another case where we hear the parts we want to hear ,so no further investigation is needed. The study proved to be flawed because “the UMass researchers reveal that the study excludes Australia (1946-1950), New Zealand (1946-1949), and Canada (1946-1950). Since these countries have high-debt and solid growth, the consequences of excluding them are clear. Canada had debt-to-GDP over 90 percent during this period — and 3 percent growth. New Zealand had a debt/GDP over 90 percent from 1946-1951. If you use New Zealand’s average growth rate across all those years, it is 2.58 percent; if you only use the last year, as Reinhart-Rogoff does, the Kiwi growth rate is -7.6 percent. That’s a big difference, especially considering how they weigh the countries.” How ironic,Joe Scarborough used to shout the names of Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff to cement his argument but lately he been pretty quiet on financial matters.Not to worry,prominent proponents of austerity will not let the debunking deter them because they know the voters are not paying attention. They will act as though nothing happened.
A week ago, I had a lengthy three -hour discussion with a long time Republican friend who hates President Obama with a passion. As he was leaving I said to him"I know you don’t believe half of what you just told me” and he turned smiled and with a look like the “cat who ate the canary," said, “ it’s frustrating.” Yes, I know it is frustrating because we now know that the Boston Marathon bombers intended to set off some bombs in New York but people like Rep. Tom Cotton won’t give the administration credit for deterring something that never happened. The administration will be the first to say that the FBI could not have done anything without the cooperation of Massachusetts law enforcement and people. It takes a village.