I suggest the editors read this fine piece: As Smash-and-Grab Capitalism Collapses, the French Economy Shines
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
In today's piece Soft landing: Economic pain unequally shared they start off with the statement "...The U.S. House has approved an 8 percent increase in the budget for office expenses. Members will get an average of $1.5 million for the fiscal year that starts in October. The increase comes at a time when businesses and households are cutting budgets by 8 percent or more."
The article as you can probably guess continues with no mention of Goldman Sachs hot-shots being, as Reuters reports here, on pace this year for record bonuses, or perhaps bringing into question the salaries of Red-Prime Steakhouse frequenting Chesapeake execs in these rough-times, especially when they've destroyed $16b in shareholders wealth the prior year.
Mentioning such things would have been nice, but one thing that I think no question should have been brought up, if the editors for once could possibly sway from their constant "Blame the government" rhetoric, is that the Public Relations Industry is flourishing. And in a similar fashion as it was in the heyday of Edward Bernay's in the run-up to the great depression.
It makes perfect sense that the PR industry is doing so well (anyone who gets on Twitter sees the place flooded with PR folks promoting fancy lifestyles and whatnot), as these are no doubt times when disgraceful, unjustifiable things (like Goldman Sach's bonuses, or nice guys like Aubrey McClendon making over $100m for his part in erasing $16b of shareholders wealth) need to be justified by any means necessary.
But do not take my word for it regarding the propaganda industry, read this sickening piece from July '08 by The Oklahoman's good friend Renzi Stone , (note 2-12-10 page archived....actual story link on his site redirects to new page) head of local Public Relations group Saxum Communications. In it he discusses how well the industry is doing, and how it is important for them to do their best lying to ensure the status-quo is preserved. He states:
"According to a March 2008 report by M&A experts StevensGouldPincus, PR firms stand to gain ground this year. Highlights included 75 percent of firms under $3 million predict higher revenues and 83 percent say client budgets will increase. If the first two quarters of this year are any indication, we are in line with the industry, if not exceeding predictions. In a declining economy, PR will play an important role in helping businesses and issues...continue to move forward."
Pretty terrifying that our nations future is in the hands of these people who lie for a living, and it is especially troubling that our City's paper wont even discuss this stuff, primarily because they are a big part of such non-sensical, harmful things.
So again, these are the types of things we would hear about if we had a newspaper in our town with an editorial staff that pays attention in the many bible classes they attend, and therefore would at least attempt to tell the whole truth from time to time.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Editorial staff does not care about Neda. They do not care about Iran. They only care about partisanship, power, and control.
Now that all the facts have come out, it was nothing short of an act of terrorism on the part of the Vincennes, and Bush and The Oklahoman just laughed it off.
How many Neda's were on that flight and what the hell did this sick newspaper, let alone what did their partisan buddy Bush care about these people? And now they think they can lecture us about what Obama should be doing, and even worse subtly blame him and everyone else who supports the way he is handling Iran for Neda's death? Why are people not out protesting in front of this sick, perverted newspaper? It is not as if it has zero influence over anything.
Consider more facts: As Stephen Kinzer notes "in the 1980s, the U.S. sided with Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war, providing him with military equipment and intelligence that helped make it possible for his army to kill hundreds of thousands of Iranians...Given this history, the moral credibility of the U.S. to pose as a promoter of democracy in Iran is close to nil."
And of course, the overthrow of the parliamentary elected Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 which started this entire hell-disaster for the people of Iran. Why can The Oklahoman not acknowledge these things? It is pretty obvious that a paper that can not even say the name of Neda Agha-Soltan would never have the decency to acknowledge any of our disgraceful history in the region, especially the history of their party.
My good friend Arash Manzori helped put on a huge rally in Dallas today. Have a look at this column in the Star-Telegram about the rally. Also pay attention to the quote at the bottom from Charlie Bates II, 35, of Garland who was complaining to police inside city hall "..."I think it’s a pity," he said. "These people want to protest what’s going on in their country. If they don’t like it, they should move back over there and fight it." Sounds a lot like something The Oklahoman Editorial Staff would say, and perhaps they were down there trying to find one Iranian who could agree with their deeply perverted views after finding none here.
The writer's state "The president’s defenders said criticizing Iran’s regime or even reaffirming democratic principles, such as the rights to self-determination and public assembly, would worsen things for the people in the streets. Besides, Iranians already know where America stands, they said." and fail to mention who the defenders are. It would not be good for them to mention some of them, people like Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, Richard Lugar, George Will , Peggy Noonan, Pat Buchanan, the list goes on and on and on.
There can be little doubt The Oklahoman Editorial writers do not join these list of supporters for simple hard-core partisan reasons. And these are the games of children. In a barbaric fashion, they write "...Video of a young woman bleeding to death after being shot, allegedly by state authorities, is circulating on the Internet — graphically and intimately assigning a face to the uprising and deepening Obama’s dilemma..." pretending that this is his fault. This is the same editorial staff that never mentioned, amongst a countless number of things, that 14 year old Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi was never brutally raped and set ablaze, along with her family by Pfc. Steven D. Green and friends. Mentioning such a thing might suggest that their hero George W. Bush and his crazed war in Iraq which played a hand in bringing about mahmoud ahmadinejad was something less than spectacular.
I will have more on The Oklahoman's sick coverage of the Iran issue in a couple of days....
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Nevadas's Citadel, Texas' Clear Channel Promoting Anti Free-Market Legislation, Why No Oklahoman Commentary?
I have been told the far right leaning, allegedly "pro free-markets" KTOK is running the ads as well, and an internet search verifies that Nevada run Citadel (The Sports Animal, The KATT, KQOB, KYIS, WKY) are running these ads as well.
This legislation was written in the last Congress, but did not come to a vote. However, it will this time. Essentially what it is, is that labels are showing an interest in charging a small fee for stations who play their music. The stations are against this, because in the interest of their shareholders (note that Citadel has gone down from around $15 a share in 2004 to 4.5 cents a share as of Friday, so no question they have reason to be upset!) do not want additional costs.
Oklahoma Reps who support regulation to prohibit labels rights to charge fees include a group that quite often claim interests in free markets, and they are: House Reps Mary Fallin, Dan Boren, Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, and John Sullivan. Inhofe and Coburn are not included in the 16 co-sponsers of S.Con.Res 14, however it is clear that Inhofe does as I obtained a letter he wrote to San Antonio based Clear Channel saying he supports the bill.
Inhofe specifically says he "Supports local broadcasters such as (Clear Channel)", not taking into consideration that San Antonio is in Texas, not Oklahoma therefore not a local station. Such details are irrelevant when trying to prop up folks who say nice things about you, I imagine was his justification but that is just speculation. I do not want to be cruel and say he is stupid and can not deduct these things, although most 2nd graders can tell you San Antonio is not in Oklahoma.
Now, my thing with this legislation is pretty simple. If labels want to charge fees, let them! Stations can simply say "no thanks" to their awful music, and go to other labels that choose not to charge a fee. These labels will surely across the board be independant labels who more often that not have good music, and many times have actual LOCAL music.
The Oklahoman Editorial Staff has yet to offer any comment on this matter, however I would be quite interested in their opinion on the matter.
Here is a very detailed (updated) video I put out last time this bill was proposed, and I highly recommend watching it, and considering what I lay out next time you hear one of these ads on so-called local radio, telling you that you need to call you Congressman to support this stupid legislation. I believe it is a no-brainer to not support it, especially if you claim to be a supporter of "letting the markets decide".
I welcome anyone who has any legitimate arguments supporting this bill. I also want to point out that a lot of the discussions put forward last year by Free Press last year about the coming non-sensical campaigns about the coming "Fairness Doctrine" (which Obama, FCC head Michael Copps, FCC Chair Jonathon Adelstein, and all the rest strongly oppose) where only out there to try and support things like the so-called "Local Radio Freedom Act" which huxsters are already ranting and raving about being a "Fairness Doctrine Lite" which makes no sense, whatsoever.
I could say much more, but here is the video:
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Mark Green, The Oklahoman’s national editorial writer gave us a blog last Wednesday entitled "He Said What?" (best to read the title aloud in a angry Rikki Lake guest-voice) that points out how the new Chairman of GM knows nothing about cars. Here is the blog in full:
I do not have a big problem with Green pointing these things out. I just wish he would point these things out when people his paper support do the same kind of things.
Note that Green does point out Whitacre was good at what he did in the business world, and those who support the appointment of Whitacre say the same things. Here are a couple of those supporter's quotes from a recent article on the matter in The Huffingon Post:
A bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and record in shaping a "monolithic" AT&T into a diversified enterprise make Whitacre "a good choice," said Jim Hall, principal of 2953 Analytics auto-consulting firm in Birmingham, Michigan.
"He was one of the guys who helped create a new AT&T that wasn't so dependent on land-line phone service," said Hall, a former GM engineer. "There's a parallel with General Motors. GM is not now about just making cars. It's about re-creating itself as a 21st-century car company. They have to have somebody at the top that understands they have to make a new GM."
Now let me point out someone Green and the entire Oklahoman Editorial Staff completley ignored during the Bush years. And this is one of countless examples.
John Agresto also saw a silver lining as he watched the looting of Baghdad on TV. He envisioned his job - "a never-to-be-repeated adventure" - as the remaking of Iraq's system of higher education from scratch. In that context, the stripping of the universities and the education ministry was, he explained, "the opportunity for a clean start," a chance to give Iraq's schools "the best modern equipment". If the mission was "nation creating," as so many clearly believed it to be, then everything that remained of the old country was only going to get in the way. Agresto was the former president of St John's College in New Mexico, which specialises in a Great Books curriculum [which emphasises an education based on broad reading]. He explained that although he knew nothing of Iraq, he had refrained from reading books about the country before making the trip so that he would arrive "with as open a mind as I could have". Like Iraq's colleges, Agresto would be a blank slate.
If Agresto had read a book or two, he might have thought twice about the need to erase everything and start all over again. He could have learned, for instance, that before the sanctions strangled the country, Iraq had the best education system in the region, with the highest literacy rates in the Arab world - in 1985, 89% of Iraqis were literate. By contrast, in Agresto's home state of New Mexico, 46% of the population is functionally illiterate, and 20% are unable do "basic math[s] to determine the total on a sales receipt". Yet Agresto was so convinced of the superiority of American systems that he seemed unable to entertain the possibility that Iraqis might want to salvage and protect their own culture and that they might feel its destruction as a wrenching loss.
*(footnote) When agresto failed miserably at his job of rebuilding Iraq's university system, leaving the country with the job undone, he revised his early enthusiasm for looting, describing himself as "a neoconservative who's been mugged by reality."
It was not until September 18, 2007 that The Oklahoman even mentioned Agresto's name. Three years and three months after he left Iraq. They did so by giving a blurb from this column by Thomas Sowell.
Oh yah, if you get bored..look up a guy named Gary Heldreth!
Please read "The secret Right-Wing Strategy on Health Care Reform" which I posted several weeks ago. It is interesting to see how all these things are playing out, and how folks like the Oklahoman Editors are playing their part to ensure nothing changes, and that all kinds of lies are told to ensure they get just what they want, and the population continues to suffer.
Now, this Dunitz hoodlum they found is ranting and raving about how a public health option will be a trojan horse for socialized medicine. This is THE talking point the radical-right wants repeated over and over and is why in his talk to the AMA folks, Obama stated very clearly "a public option is somehow a Trojan horse for a single-payer system.”
Dunitz states that Obama has said some things and done others. What he does not clarify is that literally everything Obama has backtracked on has greatly benefited people like himself. What kind of progressive President hires people like Summers, Rubin, Pritzker etc...? Dunitz seems to have missed out on this stuff as he is so busy memorizing radical-right propaganda talking-points. If he could give one thing where Obama backtracked on something and it was for the good of the people, not the elites, I would be very surprised.
To hear a decent view on these matters, here is an exerpt from a piece from DemocracyNow! yesterday entitled Dr. Chris McCoy: “Dear AMA: I Quit!”
This exerpt is Dr. Quentin Young speaking, National coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program. He has been a member of the American Medical Association since 1952. He was Reverend Martin Luther King’s doctor when King was organizing in Chicago and was a close ally of Barack Obama in Chicago:
AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Quentin Young, you, too, are a member of the AMA. You haven’t quit yet. You’ve been a member for more than half a century. What was your reaction to President Obama’s speech right there in your hometown of Chicago, where he was addressing the AMA?
DR. QUENTIN YOUNG: Well, I was deeply disappointed, because Obama, as we all know, is a brilliant politician and a student of America’s problems, and he has abandoned earlier commitment to single payer for expediency reasons, as far as I can tell.
I am a member of the AMA. But let me explain. I’ve agreed with their policies in the last half-century about a minute and a half. I’m a very severe critic of what AMA has done. And it’s worth noting that AMA membership has dropped from some 90 percent of doctors when I started out a half-century ago, and now about a third of America’s doctors do belong.
AMY GOODMAN: President Obama said what are not legitimate concerns are those being put forward claiming “a public option is somehow a Trojan horse for a single-payer system.” He said, “When you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run healthcare, know this: they’re not telling the truth.” Dr. Young?
DR. QUENTIN YOUNG: Well, to that extent, he’s accurate. This public option is not a slide toward single payer, unfortunately. This is a bugbear that has haunted American medicine debate, and we have to bring it to an end, because it’s too costly, the whole idea that this is socialized medicine, government medicine. We have magnificent examples of government medicine; reactionaries would never dream of calling them back. I speak of the VA system for veterans; the public hospitals, the safety net for the very poor. We have a variety of public systems. Medicare. Is anybody here advocating an end of Medicare? And that’s the government medicine that they’re making a fuss about.
We haven’t got much time left. The system, as Obama aptly notes, is running amuck, and it’s up to $2.5 trillion and, as we all know, rising at a rate two or three times the rate of inflation. And he’s right in saying the economy can’t tolerate it.
Where he’s wrong is his unwillingness to do the serious job of getting the multi-payer insurance companies out of the mix. They add nothing; they subtract a great, great deal. Public experience with this system is horrible. We have a million people having personal bankruptcy due to unpaid medical bills, and that just went up from 50 percent of personal bankruptcies to 60 percent—62, to be accurate. And this country, rich as it is, in this economic downturn cannot tolerate it.
Full interview here
Why are we forbidden to hear from people like this in The Oklahoman? Why do they hate giving both sides opinions so much? What are they afraid of?
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sure, I could have easily gone into the 2001-2008 archives and pulled out hundreds of editorials where they knock Clinton (I am NOT a fan of the man by the way) but one can only do so much and preserve their sanity.
I did consider briefly mentioning the bit I included in my "Empathy in the Bush Years" where I pointed out how they were ranting and raving about the Lewinsky scandal Ten Years later, but figured I would pass.
So today, The Editorial Staff figures their victims (readers) have such short memories that they can rant and rave about Clinton, and not recall how they were saying it isn't good to do so with past Presidents. Had one member of The Editorial staff ever paid attention in just one of the enumerable bible classes they attend, their is no way they would try and pull this garbage off.
Sadly, it is quite obvious that none have so Today we are blessed with a disgusting piece entitled "Mediscare II: Obama health plan evokes ’96 campaign". There are too many things to point out in this piece, and I will do my best to keep this short.
First, they state "..In some of the most shameless fear-mongering ever seen in Washington, Clinton drubbed the GOP for its plan to save $270 billion over seven years by holding Medicare growth to 6 percent instead of the projected 10 percent."
Now, putting aside the disgraceful partisanship of this newspaper, lets look at how things are in the real world. The Editors are screaming unfair that Obama is discussing cutting back on Medicare expenses. Their gripe is that when Gingrich proposed them, Clinton went bonkers and won the next election based on his gripes about what the Republicans wanted to do, backed by Gingrich. Ignore all other factors, this surely had to be the reason!
What the incompetent staff is incapable of understanding, is that it surely is a conditional thing he is proposing. Note the recent article on the Foxnews website, "Obama Praises 'Historic' $2 Trillion Health Care Savings Plan" that Health Care Industry hot-shots have promised him and the people a massive savings over the next ten years. Putting whether we believe they'll pull it off (I can't imagine shareholders will like them doing this very much), those of us who are interested in the real world can deduct that Obama "...who said Saturday that he wants to cut Medicare and Medicaid spending by $200 billion over the next 10 years..." will probably do so conditionally. And those conditions will be based on what is probably a delusion that the Health Care companies are not filthy, disgusting liars and will deliver on the $2trillion in cost-cuts.
Man I can not stand The Oklahoman editorial page/staff. What the hell is wrong with these people?
Friday, June 12, 2009
I can just see the Editorial Writers conjuring this one up, regarding Today's "How far we have come : POINT OF VIEW Sonia Sotomayor nomination, by Amy Raymond"
I can just see them sitting around their little Editorial Staff table, laughing and giggling. Not even stopping for half-a-second to think that maybe their actions, the silly games they play, might have some consequences. (Have a look at the column before proceeding.)
Please forgive me for perhaps a bit too much humor on this post. I just can not take these people seriously when they try and pull these sorts of things.
Sure, the piece is nice and I am very happy for Amy Raymond. She has done nothing wrong with the column she has written for the paper. The problem is that I don't think she knows how she is being used here by the disgraceful people at the worst newspaper in America, The Oklahoman.
Rather than doing the right thing and letting people with other views come on a few times a week, and write articles that present facts, history and arguments to the regurgitated propaganda in the pages of the Editorial page, they give us an occasional fluff piece like this that is unquestionably selected to make their readers have no hope of ever hearing anything other than what the specific ideological garbage they want them to hear.
And much worse in this instance, they intend to make their loyal readers furious at an easy target, a minority, for saying the things that can easily be interpreted by fools as "reverse racism". Interpreted as "the radicals taking over!" by a person who listens to a lot of garbage that the radical-right presents. It is all absolutely disgraceful.
My hope is that one of their loyal readers does not read this editorial, and take it as a queue to go to The Little Flower Church on the South-Side with a machine-gun, firing away at all those folks "out to destroy our nation!" But the way things have been going as of late, it is certainly possible. And I don't think The Oklahoman really cares.
From Chris Hedges 04.06.09 Column "Resist or Become Serfs"
Thursday, June 11, 2009
A statement in the article stood out, showing once again how the Oklahoman Editors know so damn little about so damn much. They write "...Apparently some of our state lawmakers are bitten with the same bug that has infected members of Congress, who believe it’s their duty to deal with such issues as ...the use of performance enhancers by major league baseball players."
Two things guys. One, all Major League baseball teams receive massive subsidies from the tax-payers. Some accountability therefore is needed, and from the representatives of the people and not the representatives of the millionaire owners and players. Also, Major League Baseball is exempt from anti-trust laws. That is a pretty good deal for these guys, and ensures them massive profits as you can't just start up a team and work your way up the ranks as is the case in European soccer leagues (where they use a system of relegation and promotion based on how well you do, for example if a similar system were in play here, and the Redhawks won their AAA division, they'd be an MLB team next year, and if say the Mariners came in last, they'd be AAA next year).
Given these great deals they get from tax-payers and from lawmakers, anyone with a functioning brain should be able to deduct that some accountability should be offered up. And not another one of those fantastic "Hey we will just watch over these things ourselves!" like the banksters got with securitization.
I understand that the editors would never want to say anything to offend the fancy MLB guys, regardless of the disgracefully unfair advantages they have in running their businesses. Heaven forbid one day we have a chance at a franchise and an owner might look back at an old editorial where controversial things like facts and history were discussed and throw a Lou Pinella style tantrum all over the place.
Oh, and how this relates to state lawmakers and the situation discussed in the editorial... I think I will just sit back and see how it all plays out.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
(Image courtesy of the morons @ The Lost Ogle)
What could have given the discussion some merit, I believe, would be to point out the irony of Alba putting a picture of a shark on the heroes of the $1.7 trillion not-for-profit Industrial complex, The United Way. Sure some not-for-profits, NGOs, et. al do some good work, but things have gotten way too far out of control.
The Central Oklahoma chapter director Bob Spinks issued an angry statement in the piece, saying "We find it unfortunate that Ms. Alba chose to vandalize a United Way billboard”.
I find it unfortunate that in 2007 (last available figures available) Mr. Spinks received a ridiculous salary of $145,127. No doubt he was angry, not nice to mess with fancy guys like that!
There is an excellent book I pointed out awhile back entitled "The Revolution Will Not Be Funded" which accurately presents the realities of how far overboard the not-for-profit's have become, and I highly recommend picking up a copy and doing some thinking on the matter.
Some worthwhile charities Alba (She's being pressured into donating for her "crimes") and others (Wealthy Mr. Spinks too!) can donate to, instead of The United Way: Turquoise Mountain, Results International.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Today's editorials remind me of that. Only if one were to ask the writers what types of diversity they have in their writing, they might reply "ohh all kinds! We got endorsement of Pinochet' style neo-liberalism kind, we got the suppress the working class kind, and we got the whadda you gonna believe, us our your lyin' eyes kind!"
I will not go in any particular order, and start off with their "suppress the working class" kind, an editorial entitled "Despite GM restructuring, taxpayers should be uneasy: Is a better GM ahead?" In this piece, the writers are quick to point out the "notorious job banks". The story with these, is that laid-off GM workers (idle workforce that would fill-in from time to time for workers on vacation actually....) were paid 95% of their salaries to "sit around and do crossword puzzles".
The reality is much more complex. Ignoring that reality for now, I think what is most offensive to the writers is that these cost the company upwards of $300m, and that went to "only!" 7,000 employees.
If one does the math, the offensive part is that 1,750 reserve force/laid-off workers received the equivalent of what the editorial staff's friend Aubrey McClendon was rewarded in a bonus last year ($75million! Was this even discussed in the editorial pages?) for his part in helping erase $30billion of the Chesapeake shareholders wealth.
That it should take such a small amount of hard-working American's to receive the equivalent of McClendon did is simply unacceptable, especially if you consider all the good propaganda out there about job banks and crossword puzzles and whatnot (at least they didn't say seek 'n find puzzles.)
But as I have stated before, the most controversial thing in the past Presidential Election, in my opinion, was not Health Care, Iraqistan, Gay Marriage, etc...rather it was the not so serious suggestion that working people, the folks who create the bulk of our countries wealth have some right to share in that wealth.
Before I go on (without getting into things ignored by the staff like bonuses to Goldman Sachs workers and all the rest, folks who played a huge part in what we are now facing) I want to admit that I do not think stock market prices are the be all and end all of how you judge a company, and thus maybe I was a bit hard on Aubrey.
However when it is convenient, I assume the editors do assume share-prices are everything. So let us note that on the day this editorial was written, GM stock went up almost fifty-percent, and today it went up another twenty-percent. Traders might note this and consider how they buy and sell based upon what the brilliant Oklahoman editorial staff rant and rave about. More than doubling your money is not a bad couple days "work". We also might note that this was no question ignored by the writers.
Next, and editorial entitled "Walk balk: Oklahoma City discourages pedestrian traffic" discusses how our city "...Of 500 American urban places, ranks last in 'walkability.' Not only is walking not encouraged, it’s actually discouraged with public policy, an urban design consultant says."
The article does not discuss the "300 miles of sidewalks we're building!" Cornett discussed during his appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show so I do not know whatever became of all that business. But one thing that did kind of jump off the page is that once again, the city has hired a super-fancy consultant to solve all of our problems. Here is a picture of the consultant Jeff Speck's fancy three-story house in D.C, which makes me wonder about just how much the city is throwing at this problem:
home we're helping pay
The last piece, "Weak or strong: Management styles help shape cities" is pretty simple. It discusses the Oklahoma City vs. Tulsa city management differences, and how Tulsa does not have a city manager. The Editors go on to, brace yourself, state that "...Cornett is a presence and has done a terrific job." Anyone with a functiong brain knows the story. Cornett is NOT a Conservative, as he constantly likes to say (as does his mayor buddy up in Charlotte.) The "gains" our City has made have all come on the backs of the tax-payers, and the real costs of ignoring everything outside of Bricktown in most cases is something that will be felt by many in the near future.
People who know how to look will no doubt realize that the stance taken by "America's Most Conservative Newspaper!" is that hopefully people will believe them, and not their lying eyes regarding the things they write about Mayor Cornett and other nice guys like him they support. Pretty sad I think, as is The Oklahoman's form of diversity they practice in their editorials.
One Last Thing On The Sotomayor Cartoon
I just received this from Mike Collins, of Mike Collins Public Relations in DC. Collins is a former national spokesperson for the Republican Party and one of the principal operatives involved in the 1994 GOP takeover of Congress.
HISPANIC GOP LEADER CONDEMNS RACIST SOTOMAYOR CARTOON
Leading GOP Activist Who Helped Secure Sotomayor Nomination to District Court Demands Apologies from Creators’ Syndicate and Oklahoman;“A depth of ignorance and insensitivity … that is truly appalling,” says Niño
WASHINGTON (June 6) – A prominent Hispanic Republican activist and fundraiser has demanded a formal apology from Creators’ Syndicate and The Oklahoman newspaper in Oklahoma City, OK, for an editorial cartoon circulated by Creators’ Syndicate that appeared in The Oklahoman’s Tuesday editions. The cartoon depicted Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as a human piñata and President Obama wearing a sombrero with a caption that read, “Fiesta time at the confirmation hearing.”
“This grotesque insult requires a formal editorial apology from both Creators’ Syndicate and The Oklahoman,” said Jose Niño, a former President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce who, besides co-Chairing the conservative Hispanic Alliance for Prosperity Institute, has been a major fundraiser for the campaigns of President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain and other Republican candidates and conservative causes.
Niño, who heads an international business development and financial services company, is a board member of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and previously served on the Small Business Advisory Board of the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago.
In 1992, he was tapped by then-President George H.W. Bush to secure Congressional support for the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. “In each of my meetings with her, in 1992 and ever since, I have consistently found her to be intelligent, focused and persuasive,” Niño wrote in a letter to Creators’ Syndicate President Richard S. Newcombe and Oklahoman publisher David Thompson. “She and President Obama do not deserve to be portrayed in such an offensive way – nobody does.”
“Having grown up, as I did, in the 1950s and ‘60s, Judge Sotomayor is no stranger to the sting of ethnic and racial hostility. From her earliest days in elementary school, she and millions of other Hispanic Americans faced challenges that, even now, all persons of color must overcome. As a woman she also faced sexism, but as a Latina, she confronted a particularly virulent strain known as machismo. That she nevertheless persevered to be nominated to ever-more influential positions on the federal bench by three different Presidents of both political Parties is an inspiring example to all Americans, and a credit to her courage and determination. Your Syndicate and newspaper should be ashamed for playing to these awful stereotypes in your portrayal of this highly capable woman.”
Noting that Judge Sotomayor is Puerto Rican, not Mexican, Niño wrote that “your depiction of the stereotypical Mexican piñata and sombrero, and your use of the phrase ‘fiesta time’ clearly show a depth of ignorance and insensitivity on your part that is truly appalling.”
The full text of Mr. Nino’s letter to Creators’ Syndicate President Richard S. Newcombe and The Oklahoman’s publisher, David Thompson, follows:
“Dear Mr. Newcombe and Mr. Thompson:
“As a proud Hispanic American of Mexican descent and a lifelong Republican, I am deeply offended by the insulting cartoon that was circulated by Creators’ Syndicate and reprinted by The Oklahoman on Tuesday depicting Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as a human piñata, President Obama wearing a Mexican sombrero and the caption, ‘Fiesta Time at the Confirmation Hearing.’
“Since Judge Sotomayor is Puerto Rican, not Mexican, your depiction of the stereotypical Mexican piñata, sombrero and use of the phrase ‘fiesta time’ clearly show a depth of ignorance and insensitivity on your part that is truly appalling. Judge Sotomayor and President Obama do not deserve to be portrayed in such an offensive way – nobody does.
“I have been privileged to know Judge Sotomayor since 1992, when I was asked by President George H.W. Bush to urge my friends in Congress to support her confirmation as U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. In each of my meetings with her, in 1992 and ever since, I have consistently found her to be intelligent, focused and persuasive.
“Having grown up, as I did, in the 1950s and ‘60s, Judge Sotomayor is no stranger to the sting of ethnic and racial hostility. From her earliest days in elementary school, she and millions of other Hispanic Americans faced challenges that, even now, all persons of color must overcome. As a woman she also faced sexism, but as a Latina, she confronted a particularly virulent strain known as machismo. That she nevertheless persevered to be nominated to ever-more influential positions on the federal bench by three different Presidents of both political Parties is an inspiring example to all Americans, and a credit to her courage and determination. Your Syndicate and newspaper should be ashamed for playing to these awful stereotypes in your portrayal of this highly capable woman.
“This grotesque insult requires a formal editorial apology from both Creators’ Syndicate and The Oklahoman, at once. I await your reply.”
Monday, June 8, 2009
(Bloomberg) — Lebanon’s pro-Western coalition defeated the Iran-backed Hezbollah bloc to win re-election in a vote that may help President Barack Obama reinvigorate peace efforts in the Middle East.
The governing alliance headed by Saad Hariri gained 71 seats in yesterday’s election to the 128-member parliament, according to official results announced by Interior Minister Ziad Baroud at a press conference in Beirut today. The Hezbollah-led grouping won 57 seats, he said.
Victory for Hariri’s coalition comes days after Obama’s June 4 visit to Cairo and his call for a “new beginning” between the U.S. and the Muslim world. Hezbollah has opposed American policy in the region, mocked Arab allies of the U.S. for failing to help the Palestinians, and resisted international efforts to disband its militia, which fought a monthlong war with Israel in 2006.
...also it would be interesting to see what our pal Ronald Bouwman would write! I'd also like to point out that I am glad Bush did the "Mission Accomplished!" thing. Had he not, I think it is safe to say we'd soon be seeing Hillary on a carrier in front of Beirut....imagine what fun (and rightly so, for once) the editorial staff would have with that!
Update 6-10 : Obama wins an election in the Middle East : Lebanon's voters gave the White House the victory it wanted -- with a lot of help from Hezbollah. By Juan Cole
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Before I go into this initial statement, let me bring out my friend Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses was upset about how England was such a protectionist society for so long (rivaled only by The United States and a few other now well-off countries in the 19th and 20th centuries) and all the sudden was forcing free trade upon it's neighbors. He said:
"...For centuries England has relied on protection, has carried it to extremes, and has obtained satisfactory results from it. There is no doubt that it is to this system that it owes its present strength. After two centuries, England has found it convenient to adopt free trade because it thinks that protection can no longer offer it anything. Very well then, gentlemen, my knowledge of our country leads me to believe that within two hundred years, when America has gotten out of protection all that it can offer, it too will adopt free trade."
And to support my statement of "rivaled only by The United States and a few other now well-off countries in the 19th and 20th centuries", here is a chart "Average tariff rates on manufactured products for selected developed countries in their early stages of development". That shows how countries who use subsidies and tariffs, and are not forced into free-trade until they are ready are the ones that succeed.
So back to the bizarre introductory statement. At first, I was hopeful that the editors for some reason were going to say something useful. Instead, their statement reads more like "tooth-brushers sacrificing toothpaste for clean healthy teeth".
Dean Baker writes about Free Trade and Healthcare often, and in his piece We Spend Twice as Much on Health Care as Other Rich Countries -- and What Do We Get for It? he points out:
"If the self-proclaimed 'free traders,' who dominate the economics profession and policy debates, actually were free traders, they would be pushing hard to allow people in the United States to benefit from international trade in medical services in the same way that US consumers have benefited from low cost imports of cars and clothes.
There are several obvious paths through which the United States could gain by freer trade in health care. First, we could construct trade deals that simplify the process through which foreigners can train to meet US standards for becoming doctors, dentists, and other highly paid medical specialists.
The point would be to set up procedures through which students in countries like Mexico, China, and India could train to meet our standards, and then would have the same ability to practice in the United States as US trained doctors...
An even simpler route for gaining from trade would be to allow Medicare beneficiaries in the United States to buy into the much cheaper health care systems in other countries. The government could split the savings with the beneficiaries, allowing them to pocket thousands of dollars a year, while saving the government the same amount. The receiving country could even get a premium over its costs in order to give it an incentive to take part in the program.
Finally, the government could try to standardize rules around the rapidly growing industry of medical tourism. Every year, tens of thousands of patients travel to Thailand, India, and other countries to have major medical procedures performed at prices that are often less than one-tenth as much as those in the United States. The savings can easily offset the cost of travel for the patient and several family members. If facilities were regulated and clear rules established for legal liability, then more patients would be able to take advantage of the potential cost saving.
However, the free traders are not interested in promoting free trade in health care. They would rather just tell us that there is nothing that can be done about exploding health care costs in the United States. This might have something to do with the fact that the primary beneficiaries of protectionism in health care are doctors and dentists, not autoworkers and steel workers (and the drug and medical supply industry)."
For a second there, I thought the brilliant Oklahoman editorial guys were going to say something sensible like this, instead they are trying to prove Ulysses S. Grant correct that we are nothing but the disgraceful hypocrites that the British were in his days.
The Editorial staff rants and raves about Democrats suppressing "Free Trade" agreements with Panama and Colombia (something that will only upset a handful of Americans) and quote a foolish statement from "The Hill" newspaper "Now the administration is backing away (from free trade policies), fearing a messy intramural fight over trade could spoil efforts to pass health care by summer’s end."
My guess is that they found this quote after browsing their scholarly piece "50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill 2008".
The Oklahoman writers go on to discuss some things Ron Kirk says about the matter, and it isn't surprising. Kirk's appointment by Obama as Trade Representative was almost as disgraceful as the appointments of Penny Pritzker, Larry Summers, and Robert Rubin. Folks the editors can get along with since their interests are only in the wealthy and not the working class who make the country great, and are victimized by things like so-called "Free Trade Agreements". And no, it isn't just "Big Labor" who is against these things, as they say in this idiotic piece.
But the bottom line on so-called Free Trade is that almost everyone outside of millionaires and billionaires in our country are against it, and it is disgraceful to tell countries that they can't grow in the same fashion as we did, and as did other successful countries. There are almost none that have prospered free from strong tariffs and subsidies, watch the Ha-Joon Chang video on the right to learn more about this stuff, things like Alexander Hamilton's "Infant Industry" theories (that we practiced countless times) on bringing up your countries industry through tariffs and subsides until it can operate on it's own, something the editors at The Oklahoman want to deny struggling countries like Colombia and Panama so that Ed Kelley and J.E McReynolds can continue to get cheap taco salads at Taco Bell.
This past week, The People's Republic of China celebrated the 20th anniversary of brutally suppressing a movement of the people by purchasing Hummer.
The blood of Tiananmen became a salvation for the people in Eastern Europe. For on July 7, 1989, in the Romanian capital of Bucharest, Gorbachev signaled to the Eastern bloc leaders that the Soviet Union would not use force to interfere with reform. Aware of worldwide condemnation of the PRC, Gorbachev did not want another Tiananmen massacre.
Just as the Tiananmen students began by asking for an end to corruption, the demonstrators in East Germany asked for the freedom to travel. The Tiananmen students showed the world the power of peaceful demonstration and the citizens of the Eastern bloc took notice. By November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell.
We remember the dream, we remember the hope, we remember that time in the Spring of 1989 when the Chinese people, led by the students gave each other a gift, the gift of freedom, the freedom from fear.
May the memories of Tiananmen Spring live and will one day flourish.
As I wrote yesterday, people in Israel are standing up to Avigdor Lieberman and the other small handful of radicals in Israel proposing laws to criminalize people who commemorate the Nakba. It is serious business, and exactly the kind of thing the Editorial staff discusses in this piece. However to this date they haven't mentioned this subject. I can only assume that either they agree with the racist Lieberman and his small circle of friends, or that they are too stupid to even know this is going on over there.
There are other things like this, for example Turkey's refusal to admit to the genocide of the Armenian's in WWI. They pretend it didn't happen which is certainly ironic in that the man who coined the term "Genocide", Raphael Lemkin initially took interest in these things and became an amazing lifetime activist because of what Turkey did (read Samantha Power's excellent book "Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide" for more). The Oklahoman Editorial staff from a quick search does not talk about that either.
The Editors also write, ignoring things they've supported in recent years (The invasion and occupation of Iraq, the re-writing of their perfectly servicable constitution so their industries could be handed over to multi-nationals comes immediatley to mind) "...The (PRC) government says the violence was necessary to maintain social order, which paved the way for market-oriented policies that turned China into an economic dynamo." When we do it, it's no big deal. When they do, big problems.
But it shouldn't surprise anyone that they are willing to discuss China's disgraceful response to their crimes while ignoring many others. Remember, this is a paper that wont publish anyone left of Sally Kern's letter to the editor all the while publishing hundreds from Ronald Bouwman.
Media Matters has a good commentary on the
Fox-manufactured Obama "apology tour"
Can The Oklahoman write or run anything that is an original idea, even if it is a bunch of crap?
Friday, June 5, 2009
The Oklahoman turns to him frequently, when they need to prove that schools here need to be handed over to Wal-Mart and Jerry Falwell, as every opinion he gives is so fantastic and while not backed by facts, well, we all know what his hero said about those things... "Facts are stupid....I mean...stubborn things.."
I have been known to rant and rave about the "Paid to think by the makers of tanks" 501c(3) crowd, and to be honest I probably am a bit jealous of them . It must be nice to get paid to get paid big bucks to do this stuff that really is about 1/100th as hard as working at the store, fixing cars, waiting tables and so on, positions that are paid a fraction and with no benefits. And although the not for profit industrial complex (critiuqed quite nicely in the book "The Revolution Will Not Be Funded") is way too large and in many ways is there to preserve the status-quo, some good things are being done.
I would like to point out this article in Ha'aretz today, and encourage you to read some of the responses from Israeli's and American Jews, which are almost all positive. I post this because The Oklahoman Editorial staff pretends to know things about Israel, yet I am quite convinced that is was people like them who led Israel into it's first defeat in a couple thousand years in '06 (read about the massive lobbies from radical-right "Christian groups" who demanded their reps support an Israeli attack on Lebanon...stuff from Hagee et al if you like).
The piece "Are teachers introducing Nakba to students against state's wishes?" By Or Kashti discusses the good work of "... Zochrot, a non-government organization, and is meant to serve the Jewish educational system for pupils aged 15 and above, and includes history plus literary and personal views on the Nakba, as well as discussion of the ways the issue has been sidelined in public discourse."
This is very important stuff. You might have heard of a bill proposed by the radical Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that bans commemorating the Nakba, and will jail those who participate in events commemorating it up to three years. It has passed the initial stages and will be decided quite soon, luckily though good people like Zochrot are fighting the good fight.
I don't think anyone here would argue that The Trail of Tears should not be discussed in American schools, and this is no different. These are the things a good paper should occasionally discuss. And these are the things monied, influential people like Dutcher should look into if they really care about Israel, and if they really care about good education. We need a good paper. Maybe some day we will have one.
One thing though that they point out was quite wrong for him to say was that "...Obama touted democracy but added 'no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other' — a straw-man argument since that was never U.S. policy."
A recent example would no doubt be Iraq. Why did we force them to re-write their perfectly servicable constitution, especially at a time of war (We weren't even able to get ours out for ten years after we declared our independance)?
Naomi Klein points out on this issue:
The Hague regulations state that an occupying power must respect "unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country". The coalition provisional authority has shredded that simple rule with gleeful defiance. Iraq’s constitution outlaws the privatization of key state assets, and it bars foreigners from owning Iraqi firms. No plausible argument can be made that the CPA was "absolutely prevented" from respecting those laws, and yet two months ago, the CPA overturned them unilaterally.
On September 19, Bremer enacted the now infamous Order 39. It announced that 200 Iraqi state companies would be privatized ; decreed that foreign firms can retain 100% ownership of Iraqi banks, mines and factories ; and allowed these firms to move 100% of their profits out of Iraq. The Economist declared the new rules a "capitalist dream".
There are countless other examples (Russia, Chile', Iran etc...), and a good place to look to understand these things would be her excellent book "The Shock Doctrine". I don't expect the writers at The Oklahoman to look into the facts on this issue, but I think people who read this paper should.