Sunday, July 16, 2006

'Terrorists' everywhere but little peace
For the last few days, I've been trying to ignore the news. You can't help but see all the war going on, but I've been trying to ignore it.
The latest actions - Israel attacking Lebanon; Hezbollah striking back; tons of innocent people dying - are just another example of how violence begets violence, and another example of how our tax dollars are being spent wrongly. And what an uneven fight: Israel, with her ships and jets and tanks; Hezbollah, with their swords, rocks, and homemade improvised explosive devices. Israel, with the full backing of the United States; Hezbollah, with some assistance from some loon in Iran who gave them a few rockets.
In my mind, they are both terrorist organizations. I'm not happy with either side's actions and I am even angrier with our government for continuing to fund governments - in this case, the Israeli government - which arbitrarily massacres people for little reason. Unlike some, I don't think the Palestinians are without fault. But, in some ways, they are fighting for their freedom, their justice, and their holy land, just like the Jews are trying to preserve their's. There is no right and wrong here - just death.
As well, people don't know their history. Before the 1940s, Israel didn't exist. The plan for a Jewish state was created after World War I and implemented by the United Kingdom, the country which basically occupied this land for awhile before the Ottomans and Romans. And that is what is so amazing about all of these conflicts in the Middle East: it has basically all come about because of the British government. We, the United States citizenry, are continuing to be dragged into these conflicts, whether we like it or not, based on actions of another country almost a century before [and natural resources too]. We are still fighting these wars and conflicts with our blood and our precious dollars. And, the creators of the weapons - and their investors - get rich on our blood and dimes.
That is why there are no good guys and no bad guys in these conficts, with the exception of the people who are the parasites feeding off all of it.
Some links:
That loon from Iran likens what Israel is doing to the Holocaust: ["Ahmadinejad: Israel acting like Hitler"]. More interestingly, is former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who is suggesting that the president should a spade a spade: ["Gingrich says it's World War III"]. This quote seems to be ass-backwards though.
"This idea that we have this one-sided war where the other team gets to plan how to kill us and we get to talk, is nuts."
The problem with his analogy here is that it sounds like he is talking about Israel and not Hezbollah. Gingrich is an intriuging candidate for president in 2008 ... if we didn't already know him as a liar and an adulterer. I'm surprised by his frank talk, having seen him on C-Span a couple of times now. He is a wildcard; but he will make the race interesting.

The Big Dig fiasco: I really want to go off on this but unfortunately, I don't have the time. I'd need about a week to really tell the entire story I would like to tell from the aspect of someone who watched that monstrosity get built, heard about the shady deals, and watched the media - who are now complaining about it - sit back and watch it happen. Everyone is to blame and not just Matt Amorello and Bechtel, but every complacent pol involved in the bloody mess, from Mayor Menino to the late Tip O'Neill.
I have four words for you: Don't kill the job. That essentially has been the mantra and if you got in their way, they took you out.
Ask Diane Modica, the former city councilor from East Boston who was critical of the thing from the beginning and got taken out by a hotshot real estate attorney - Paul Scapicchio of the North End - who actually managed to get elected even though he a love child on the side! All those happy-faced pictures in Improper Bostonian didn't hurt the guy as he clearly appealed to the young yuppie set taking over what once was a working class neighborhood. Modica got Scapicchio'd, as I liked to say at the time.
Ask the late Jerry Williams, who was doing drive-time on 680 WRKO and was talking about the thing for years and years, only to be taken off the air by then-PD Kevin Straley [if I recall correctly]. He and others were replaced with "hot talk" wankers which took the talk radio format to new lows at the time [Hmm, what is more important: Talking about corruption at the Big Dig or who do you want to see naked on TV?]. And there was a line of them in Boston - from the abhorrent Jeff Katz to others, who thought it more to entertain than to inform and would actually rail that MLK was a commie and adulterer and therefore, shouldn't have a holiday. No one knows what the guy was doing in his bed. Please. Straley, Katz, and others are long gone from Boston radio; but the legacy of a media with no guts and no backbone lives on.
Dan Kennedy had a pretty good piece published in 1997, an opus rather, about the whole Boston talk radio scene at the time. The archives are on the Phoenix's Web site: ["The Death of Talk Radio"]. I'm proud to say that I was a part of that all-important article here:
Take Anthony Schinella, who wants to talk about empowerment but finds himself shut out. Schinella got involved in talk radio through Jerry Brown's 1992 presidential campaign and the 1993 debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. He's a bright, articulate guy, and he espouses a hard-edged political view that's seldom heard these days. He's beside himself, for instance, that not one Boston talk show chose to focus on the recently announced layoff of more than 100 workers at Osram Sylvania, in Danvers, whose jobs are being moved to Mexico thanks to NAFTA.
But Schinella can't break in. He just left a once-a-week gig at Tufts University's tiny WMFO, and is starting a Sunday-morning show at the slightly larger WUNR (AM 1600). Yet he has few illusions about breaking into the big time. "There's no Triple A farm system," he says. "There's no place for me to go. There's a wall there." And he wonders who, in the post-Jerry Williams era, will talk about the Big Dig, a new baseball stadium, or any of a host of local issues. "When you limit the number of voices, you limit the real news that people get," he says. "You don't get news from Dr. Laura."
It is hard to believe that it is almost 10 years later and we are now witnessing what happens when we have a negligent and complacent media not looking at the serious issues of the day.
I've always liked Howie Carr mostly because he was really funny and went after some really bad people when he was local. But I've always been critical of his need to lower himself to new lows instead of standing his ground and doing what he does best. It was pretty amusing to hear him the other day railing about the Big Dig when his silence during most of it was deafening. 'The listeners don't want to hear it,' he and others would say. But, the worst part about all of this is the fact that media personalities, their producers, reporters, and news directors, do actually control what people think and hear. They decide what people will listen to via what they put on the air. The listeners don't control anything.
Over at the Phoenix, Adam Reilly has a good take on the situation, looking at the effects on the Romney 2008 campaign: ["Mitt's Katrina"].

Meanwhile, back in Baghdad: ["Baghdad starts to collapse as its people flee a life of death"]. Liberals finally get some stones: ["Liberals angry at Boxer for supporting Lieberman"]. A pretty bad suggestion: ["Magna Raises Red Flag Over Nielsen Commercial Ratings"]. And lastly, this, not about people who hate gays but gays who are haters themselves: ["A new intolerance visits Provincetown"].

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