BBC Question Time on 9/11


Here is the BBC Question Time about 9/11 (aired September 13, 2001) :

You may have heard mention of it or seen it at the time. It is … interesting. The BBC director general at the time said of it :

 he “would like to apologise to the viewers who were offended by it”.

He added that it was an inappropriate programme to broadcast live just two days after the suicide attacks on America, and should have been recorded and edited.

The BBC’s Media Correspondent, Nick Higham, said there was a recognition in the corporation that the audience could have been more representative of wider opinion.

Besides the shouting and jeering from the audience, there are a few points I’d like to highlight. Note the number of people (including the panelists) who attribute their own hobbyhorse as the cause of 9/11. Also, note some curious rhetorical techniques on display.

At about 21:29 (in the first clip), a guy says American & British aircraft flying over the skies of Iraq and Yugoslavia have done so in defense of Kurds, Iraqi Shia and muslims in Kosovo and is promptly jeered and shouted down. The counter arguments seems to be “You have no idea!”,  the idea that the only acceptable way to frame it is as killing muslims and that asserting things repeatedly makes it true.

At about 21:25 Yasmin Alibhai-Brown says to applause “I have been stunned by the way Americans are so shocked at how many people really truly detest them around the world.”

Speaking for myself, I don’t care if someone detests Americans. Oh, imagine the burden it must be to forever be wondering who a majority of Namibians consider to be their Super-Best-Friend-Forever. Treating global politics like high school cliques really doesn’t seem like the best way to determine policies.

Below the fold is parts 2 & 3 of the video and a transcript.

Read the rest of this entry »

#ProTip for Following the GOP Primaries


I find the GOP debates & endless caucus coverage marginally more bearable if I turn down the volume and use the Benny Hill theme song as a soundtrack instead. Here’s a 10-hour loop (!) which might come in handy as Super Tuesday looms…

N.B. Works equally well as an accompaniment to Australian Parliamentary Question Time coverage.

So which one?


Which Republican presidential nominee?

Having just spent an hour or so watching the New Hampshire GOP Republican debate, having gleaned various tidbits over the internet since a while back, I can honestly say I don’t know.

Yet.

In comments at that link, Ron Paul’s supporters come across as a tad too fervent, as does Paul himself. He just comes across as a bit whiney. Quick to complain about a problem but a bit wishy washy with any solutions.

Romney arguably won, but he comes off as Obama-lite+religion. He’s big government but I will say he’s tending to own his opponents. He does look presidential and has the establishment’s backing… not necessarily a good thing when up against Obama who REALLY has the Establishment’s backing and REALLY (at least) talks presidential (except here where he sounds about as formidable as Julia Gillard). Read the rest of this entry »

Romney won Iowa – at least according to the AP and WaPo


 
If you get your news from any American paper that subscribes to the Associated Press feed (such as the Washington Post), you might be thinking right about now that the Team Elephant presidential primaries have resolved into a two-man race: “front runner” Mitt “Presidential Hair” Romney, and Rick “Bomb the shit out of Iran!” Santorum.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has won most of the delegates in the Iowa Republican caucuses, edging former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Romney won a projected 13 delegates and Santorum won 12. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was shut out.

Wow, it doesn’t get any clearer than that. It looks like Dr. Paul and the remaining warm bodies still running are shit outta luck.

Just one problem: it’s a complete lie.

The fact is, Romney and Santorum TIED Ron Paul with seven delegates each. Newt Gingrich and Governor Perry Gardacil are still alive with two delegates each.

So why do you suppose that the AP and WaPo are reporting factual untruth? I mean, aside from the fact that Big Media (the BM for short) generally tends to side with Big Government politicians?

I’ll leave that to you to decide. My opinion is that it is part of an intentional push to eliminate the “anti-Romney” candidates who actually stand a chance of beating “The Hair”. “The Warhead” doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning this or any other election, so he’s safe (from the perspective of the Elephant elites) to leave in the race.

The BM doesn’t just report on the presidential races. It influences them as well. On purpose.

Self-inflicted wound


And here I was worried that the media, the Team Elephant establishment, and the other GOP candidates were going to take down Ron Paul. It appears he’s pretty good at it himself.


Ron Paul is taking “no comment” to a whole new level.

The Republican presidential candidate walked out on a CNN interview Wednesday following a heated discussion over racist newsletters that were sent out in his name more than two decades ago.

The usually mild-mannered, Texas congressman – who’s leading in some Iowa polls – became irked when network reporter Gloria Borger pressed Paul about the newsletters.

Paul said he was sick of being “pestered” by reporters about the issue.


*face palm*

He can’t seriously believe that he can withstand allegations of racism and bigotry by running away, can he? I admire the guy, to be sure, but even I have issues with the way he handled this.

*sigh* I guess I’d better get used to the term “President Romney” in 2013.

And it begins…


The pattern has been played out over and over. A potential Team Elephant presidential candidate starts to rise in the polls. A bulls-eye is affixed to that candidate. A combination of Republican elites, their allies in the punditocracy, and Big Media (the BM for short), which simply can’t help itself when an opportunity to dump on a Republican presents itself, begin hammering on any and all perceived defects of said candidate. Next thing you know, the new frontrunner is cast on the scrap heap, either to quit (like Herman Cain) or to flounder haplessly trying to regain momentum (like Michele Bachmann and Governor Perry Gardasil).

Now that Newt Gingrich is dropping faster than shares in Freddie Mac, Ron Paul has surged into a virtual tie and perhaps even the lead in Iowa.

That’s bad.

“Vulture, WTF? I though you were a Paul guy.” I am. Which is why I’m dreading what awaits. A decent and honorable man is about to be dragged through the slime, called everything but a child of God, and accused of all sorts of thought crimes ranging from racism to anti-Americanism.

Think I’m kidding. The threats have already started from the faux conservative media.

The establishment Elephants will NOT tolerate any attempt by the American people to choose a candidate other than Mitt Romney (and his presidential hair). They don’t care who they wreck in the process.

And we wonder why we have the caliber of candidates we have. Only the bravest, the most foolish, or the most power-mad need apply. Decent people need not apply.

The fix is in


During the 2008 presidential election cycle, I wrote over 60 posts — including extensive analysis of the primaries and conventions — at my personal blog, The Vulture Lurks (recommended by 4 out of 5 curmudgeons). So far this election cycle I’ve written a handful of minor posts. Why the drop-off? That’s easy. This isn’t an election we’re witnessing. It’s a coronation, at least on the Team Elephant side of the ledger.

Why would I call it a coronation? How could I call it a coronation when there is no clear front-runner and the first primary hasn’t even occurred yet? Follow along as I read the tea leaves.


Conservative media: Fox News (“fair” and “balanced”) is in the tank for Romney. Big time. Some of Fox’s so-called analysts are so far up Romney’s butt that they taste his lunch mere seconds after he does.

Fox has proclaimed Romney winner of nearly all of the debates. Yet after one of the debates, Michele Bachmann surged into the lead in the polls. After another, it was Herman Cain. After yet another, it was Newt Gingrich. You should be getting the idea by now. No matter Romney’s showing, he’s the winner.

Every time Fox gets on the subject of the “Primary front runners”, Romney’s name is first on their lips. No matter where he is in the latest polling, first, second, even FOURTH, he is always “a front runner”. Meanwhile, if he is first or second, NO ONE beyond second place gets a mention. Hell, when he was in fourth place in an Iowa poll recently, the candidate ahead of him, Ron Paul, was omitted from mention in the front runners discussion. But not Mitt.

Talk radio isn’t quite as blatant; in fact, many talk show hosts are reluctant to be seen as endorsing anyone, such is the general distaste for Romney among the listening public. But almost without fail, all talk show hosts assert that no matter who the Republican nominee is, no matter how much they might deviate from conservative principles, we HAVE TO vote for them – ANYONE but Obama. Never mind that a vote for Romney is a vote for “Obama-lite”. You gotta do it!

Columnists of various stripes have wandered hither and yon regarding Romney. But two powerhouse conservative pundits have lined up foursquare behind him: Ann Coulter and Charles Krauthammer. Both of these two alleged conservatives have shelved principle and gone with “electable” as be-all/end-all for their candidate. Never mind that it was said of Ronald Reagan in 1980 that he was unelectable. This is different.

Bang the war drums: Every candidate still in the race, with the exception of Ron Paul, is obsessed with proving their warrior bona fides. “I would go to war with Iran NOW!”, one after another will thunder. The audience (God help us!) eats that shit up. It would appear that so-called conservatives have bought into the propaganda that never-ending pre-emptive war is “defense”. Again, God help us!

One is left in amazement that a candidate can spew vitriol with regards to all of the wasteful spending in Washington, and yet opine that the military, estimated to hit around $1.4 TRILLION in spending in 2012, needs to be beefed up. We’re drowning in debt, but without war-without-end and the trillions of dollars it requires, we’re going to be overrun by cave-dwelling terrorists, and conquered.

The military-industrial complex lives and thrives.

The Team Elephant elite: They’ve made it clear for over a year – Romney is their guy. I suppose they’d settle for Gingrich in a pinch (much as they settled for McCommie last cycle, when Rudy Giuliani was their preference). But they’re adamant. It WILL be Romney or an equally conviction-free statist. Period.

Do you really think the attacks on Governor Perry Gardacil, Herman Cain, and Michele Bachmann happened because Big Media (the BM for short) hates “real” conservatives and wanted to destroy them? Those attacks were friendly fire. Those attacks were orchestrated. Don’t be surprised if Newt succumbs to something similar to what happened to Cain between now and mid-January.


“Okay, Vulture. You believe there’s a coronation afoot. What do you say we do about it, smart guy?”

What CAN we do? Truthfully, we in the West have gone so far down the slippery slope to ruin that I don’t think it matters any more who we elect.We might crash and burn and start to recover sooner with one candidate over another.

But crash and burn we shall.

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