Archive for March, 2009

March 31, 1968

On the evening of March 31, 1968 U.S President Lyndon Baines Johnson was to give a televised speech regarding the war in Vietnam. In that speech the President called for a halt in bombing, but that wasn’t the headline that would take America and the world aback as Johnson announced he would not seek re-election.

With America’s sons in the fields far away, with America’s future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office–the Presidency of your country.

Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.



Dick Cheney Sought to Undermine Obama

Another piece about Dick Cheney and how he cared more about himself and his neoconservative ideology then the principles of his country.

Between November of 2008 and President Obama’s inauguration on January 20, as Israel had been bombing Gaza in response to terrorist attacks, Cheney instead of acting the part of a competent distinguished statesman, in perfect consistency with his manner of business chose to demonize his political rivals and stock fears amongst the Israeli people, rather then find a sustainable solution that would lessen the bloodshed on both sides. Luckily Obama who was pushing for a ceasefire in the fighting between Israel and elements in Gaza, but that is no thanks to Cheney, who derided Obama to foreign leaders.

The Obama transition team also helped persuade Israel to end the bombing of Gaza and to withdraw its ground troops before the Inauguration. According to the former senior intelligence official, who has access to sensitive information, “Cheney began getting messages from the Israelis about pressure from Obama” when he was President-elect. Cheney, who worked closely with the Israeli leadership in the lead-up to the Gaza war, portrayed Obama to the Israelis as a “pro-Palestinian,” who would not support their efforts (and, in private, disparaged Obama, referring to him at one point as someone who would “never make it in the major leagues”).

Guess he didn’t think he defamed and desecrated this country enough when he did this kind of thing at home.

Cheney over the course of eight years has amassed and abused great powers, cut the government off from those it is charged with serving, advocated inhuman methods of treatment of people as he pushed for Maoist “interrogation techniques” that yielded no information of value, insulted our allies, invaded a country under false pretenses, acted as an impediment to rather then an instrument of peace and good will at every turn, and whose office tried to humiliate an ambassador by exposing his wife’s identity as a CIA agent and thus placing this country in greater danger. And that is not even counting the things such as sanctions on apartheid in South Africa back in the 1980s, which Cheney was against as a Congressman. Dick Cheney’s approval thus would something that no American president, humane person, or decent country should want or get.

One of the great traditions in our country going back to George Washington’s departure from office in 1797 until now evidently we have had the peaceful transfer of power, unimpeded by partisan rancor,vituperation, or self interest. Cheney, in his typical fashion it is alleged., disposed of that great tradition as well.


"Speedy Delivery"

Sorry about the dry spell in my blogging. Been busy and haven’t been able to squeeze a little blog time in. Anyway I was on the Internet when I stumbled upon this. Evidently the actor who played Mr Mcfeely on the classic PBS Mister Rogers Neighborhood is still kicking and there is a documentary film about him.

Below is this clip of a report from a CBS affiliate.

Also evidently PBS has after decades kicked Mister Roger’s Neighborhood to the curb. Check out what you can do to save the show.


New Jimi Hendrix Footage to be Released

This footage is not the rare footage in question.

The sister of the late Guitar God Jimi Hendrix announces that some new rare footage of her late brother, from a camera crew that caught footage of Hendrix both on and off stage, will be released on DVD soon.

Current TV:

Candid, “reality TV”-style footage of Jimi Hendrix at home, backstage and “hanging out” will soon be released, according to the late musician’s sister.

The footage dates from 1969, when a camera crew followed Hendrix for a month, catching him both on and off stage. The Hendrix estate will release the footage in a DVD later this year, as part of a new deal with Universal Music Publishing Group.

Universal is taking over from Sony/ATV Music Publishing, who have represented Hendrix outside of the USA since 1998. Experience Hendrix, a company run by the late guitarist’s sister, Janie Hendrix, continues to represent his music within the US.


BoxoJams: Keller Williams

He’s coming to Northampton, MA this week.


Brit Hume: The Worst Thing that Could Happen would be for the Iranian People to want to engage in Disscussion

Neoconservative pundit and former Fox News “News” anchor Brit Hume on Fox News Sunday lamented the demise of the Bush/Cheney neoconservative “diplomacy” in response to Obama’s video outreach to the Iranians. Neoconservative Bill Kristol was also critical which is no surprise.

Hume appeared to agree that this was the case – and he saw it as a serious mistake. “Condoleezza Rice said something to me last year,” he explained. “She said almost no governments in the world practice diplomacy the way the United States does. … We practice diplomacy always backed up by the possibility or even the threat of some forceful action, whether it be economic or whatever. She said, most governments in the world think, ‘Diplomacy — you don’t do that. You talk, and when that doesn’t work you talk some more.'”

“It appears that Barack Obama, by this statement, has joined the rest of the world … in practicing the diplomacy of talk,” Hume fretted. “The worst thing that could happen would be for the Iranian government to respond favorably and positively and want to engage in a discussion — and then we would be on a track like that which will lead nowhere.”

Yes Brit like nobody else, because in the real world diplomacy consists of dialogue not an angry and unconditional set of demands. That is something different entirely. The Bush/Cheney administration believed in approaching the rest of the world seeking to be feared instead of respected and in return received only derision, anger, and ridicule. And the worst thing that could happen? I thought the worst thing that could happen was that Iran would become a nuclear power? That we would fail in Iraq? That Israel would be attacked by Iran? But no its the possibility that we might not go headfirst into another disastrous military excursion devoid of any support from the international community that could kill thousands of more courageous Americans (who unlike you actually go to war instead of getting deferments and then just cheering for other people’s kids to be sent to war), deplete our riches, hurl the global economy into an even more grave depression, and encourage a mass exodus out of Iran once the bombs start falling, with hordes of angry Iranians without a country to spill into Iraq and express their resentment through acts of terror?

Guess 4,186 dead Americans just isn’t enough for Brit. That’s neoconservatism for you; you believe by the time history teaches any lessons we will all be dead, diplomacy and anything short of war is weakness (though not when you avoid serving on the front lines yourself), no accountability, and that consequences are for little people.


News Bleed?

Low newspaper sales, the shutdown of the Rocky Mountain News, and the conversion from print of newspapers like the Seattle Post Intelligencer and the reduction in print editions from the Christian Science Monitor have fostered much anxiety in the world of print journalism. As a future journalist trained mostly in print I share that anxiety.

However Sonia Arrison at Tech News World argues that the change is for the better.

Resource limitations make it difficult for a single newspaper in Los Angeles or New York to cover every relevant story of local interest. When the Web takes over, however, there can be multiple blogs and companies competing to provide coverage, and the information becomes much broader and richer.

This transition from a top-down method of news reporting to a more distributed system won’t be easy at first — and, like the horse-and-buggy drivers of 100 years ago, many old-school journalists will find themselves looking for a new job.

Yet this change, a clear form of creative destruction, will create a more responsive and richer world of media with more stories and more ways of organizing and validating those stories than ever before.