Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Strangest Place

For racism, the last place I'd think to look would be PRI/BBC's The World. I'll get links up here to the specific stories in a couple days, but one was on aid from foreign countries for US and Hurricane Katrina. I guess in this case, "racist" isn't the right word, but rather perhaps Eurocentric or extremely BIASED towards junk propaganda, but in any case: talking about 3rd world countries donating money and resources back TO the US (since they are usually aid receivers), the host mentioned poor countries like Bangladesh giving some money to the US out of good will, and solidarity, and other feelings of bonhomie. But for countries we're politically unhappy with, in this case, Venezuela and Cuba, they said there may have been ulterior motives involved. Some expert they brought in gave offensive conjecture about Fidel Castro and his Foreign Secretary chomping on their cigars and laughing at the US because of the diplomatic conundrum Castro's offer of 1500 doctors put the Bush Admin in. (In case you're inclined to agree: Cuba's health system is so good, the hardly-communist World Bank has sent reps there to study how they dealt with AIDS, and the even-less-communist US itself sends, or at least sent until Bush II Term 2, medical school students to Cuba to observe their system frequently. In fact, crazy-craze John Bolton's allegations of bio-weapons in Cuba have almost universally been debunked, observing that international observers to a person say that what he claimed were weapons were indeed simply the advanced pharmaceutical facilities they said it was.) (Nota bene: Further, we turned down the doctors, presumably for political reasons, since Cuban doctors have been sent abroad many times and are, as I implied, well respected internationally for their prowess.) (Links to come, in spades.) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, against whom Crazy-Craze Pat Robertson recently issued a fatwa, offered to send oil (which I think we eventually accepted), and The World reported that he would simply love to curry favor from the US. (Not that this is not true, but it is insulting when pretending that this realpolitik somehow differs from Bangladesh or other countries' -- that is, as if those others gave from the heart and not out of desire for goodwill FROM the US into the future, whereas Chavez is just a lowlife giver hoping something in return.) Since our government has repeatedly charged him with being anti-democratic, when he's been democratically elected 3 TIMES (once a pleibiscite at our insistence eventually declared clean by international observers including ex-Prez Jimmy Carter's group) and after we lukewarmly SUPPORTED a coup against him that was clearly illegal and unconstitutional and what's more, undesired by most of the population i.e. the POOR PEOPLE.

The second example of The World's craziness was yesterday's story of mad defrauding of Iraq by some of its former pols, specifically, some $800 million from the Defense Ministry (if I remember correctly). The host asked if this was a unique case, or just like general "graft in the 3rd World." IN THE 3RD WORLD?!!????? aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh. Beyond the fact that graft and greed aplenty occurs in the 1st World, they wondered at the size of this debacle, with NARY A MENTION OF THE LARGEST DEFRAUDINGS OF ALL TIME, WHICH WERE EXPOSED A SCANT FEW YEARS AGO -- they were in the private sector, but with publicly traded companies -- as much a violation of the people's rights as any government that was INSTALLED BY US undemocratically. (The Iraqi defrauding took place during L. Paul Bremer's late and unlamented Interim Coalition Authority and the Iraqis they appointed to lead the country -- no mention of it occurring on our watch, though!) To add heinous insult to subtle injury, the reporter said that much of the money ended up being defrauded through no-bid contracts. But surely, says the host, no-bid contracts have some pedigree as legitimate, after all, they were extensively used by the Coalition Authority to award contracts to Halliburton and others. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH. This same Halliburton that has been widely reported to HAVE SWINDLED THE US GOVERNMENT, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND OUR TROOPS IN THE FIELD??!!!!???? This host must be: a) an incredibly biased ideologue (medialogue?) staying on message, b) really really dumb, and/or really, really uniformed, or c) tryiing to be weakly ironic by pointing out another case where fraud is KNOWN to have happened (and it seems to me likely it was on a similar scale) and hoping his guest would point it out so that his ass-covering "neutral" self wouldn't have to. It sounded to me, however, most like A or B. Ahh.

Just cuz the short memory of the American people has slipped past the numerous reports of Halliburton's malfeasance, DOESN'T MEAN IT NEVER HAPPENED. Ah P.S. Ahhhhhhhh.

Speaking of ideologues, I know that I've thought that David Brooks has lost his mind, but wow... Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson reportedly (reportedly since I can't find the primary source) said of the President's speech: "[Bush's] line that 'racism causes poverty,' and that federal spending is the solution to that" is "not conservative" and "to hear a purportedly conservative President say that is unreal." Racism of course is not the cause of modern poverty, at least, not in its blatant form, but rather in institutional racism, which some don't seem to believe, or which Tucker Carlson (and, sadly his liberal guests) don't appear to have heard of. Chuck D, Rachel Maddow (two Unfiltered alumni!) both were unable to answer his questions about how a predominately black city, with a black mayor and predominately black first responding force, and a governor elected with a lot of black votes, could possibly be racist. (Apparently he's never read Norm Stamper*.)

Sigh.

I hate it when people who agree with me, and, effectively, represent my views on the national media just don't seem well-informed on how things actually work (or at least are believed to actually work by us reality-based lefties).

*From a story about Norm Stamper, former Seattle Police chief:
"His voice gained credence on the San Diego force as a series of enlightened chiefs came to power that, with Stamper's help, made the department nationally famous. One, Bill Kolender, called for an investigation of racism in a troubled graveyard patrol squad. He assigned Stamper, then a captain, to the task. The year was 1976. What he found, as described in Breaking Rank, was shocking. Thirty out of 31 officers admitted to using racial epithets and demeaning terms. The use of the N-word was just the start. Officers said they radioed "no human involved" for a situation involving blacks, or used the code for an injured animal. One cop refused to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a black woman. Another sang, "Mammy's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin',"to a suspect in the back seat of his patrol car. The only black officer on the squad fell into a weeping jag when he admitted that he went along with it all."
From the The Seattle Weekly; see also Mr. Stamper on CSPAN's booknotes.

11 comments:

Basket said...

Bon jour. Le temps amer que je vois.

Chercher le temps et quelques comment terrien ici.

Blog agréable.

Je devrai revenir plus tard.

Hunt and Fish said...
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