blogs

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair

Mother Jones has the dirt on the Pentagon's abiding interest in history as a means to maintain American hegemony. Seems the Defense Department believes that studying the Macedonians, Romans, Mongols, and Napoleonic French can impart lessons as to how we can shore up our military advantage:

In the summer of 2002, the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment (ONA) published an 85-page monograph called "Military Advantage in History". Unusual for an office that is headed by Andrew Marshall, the Pentagon's "futurist in chief," the study looks back to the past—way back. It examines four empires, or "pivotal hegemonic powers in history," to draw lessons about how the United States "should think about maintaining military advantage in the 21st century." Though unclassified, the study was held close to the vest; a stamp on the cover limits its dissemination without permission. Mother Jones obtained it only through a Freedom of Information Act request. Though the report is far from revelatory, it provides a window into a mindset that unselfconsciously envisions the United States as the successor to some of history's most powerful empires.

The study looks a little like a high school text book, devoting chapters to Alexander the Great, Imperial Rome, Genghis Khan, and Napoleonic France and citing texts by Sun Tzu, Livy, and Jared Diamond. It attempts to break down exactly how historic empires sustained their military might across continents and even centuries. The study posits that the historical examples offer "insights into what drives U.S. military advantage," as well as "where U.S. vulnerabilities may lie, and how the United States should think about maintaining its military advantage in the future.

Now, I'm all for studying history, particularly when it's motivated by a desire to avoid re-making past mistakes. But the Pentagon's analysis of past empires begs a couple of prominent questions.

Racist dog-whistles

As usual, Digby says it better than I can:

Here's a piece of McCain campaign manager Rick Davis's press release from last week:

Barack Obama is the biggest celebrity in the world, comparable to Tom Cruise, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. As he told Congressional Democrats yesterday, he has become the "symbol" for the world's aspirations for America and that we are now at "the moment ... that the world is waiting for."

Only a celebrity of Barack Obama's magnitude could attract 200,000 fans in Berlin who gathered for the mere opportunity to be in his presence. These are not supporters or even voters, but fans fawning over The One. Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand "MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew -- Black Forest Berry Honest Tea" and worry about the price of arugula.

Yet, despite all of the fans, paparazzi and media adoration, the American people still have questions: Is Barack Obama prepared to lead?

This press release is, of course, supporting a McCain attack ad depicting Obama as a massive celebrity and associating him with the likes of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. As wingnut attacks go, though, this press release swings for the fences. Not only does it hit on many of the classic effete, liberal-elitist themes -- love from the Euros (200,000 in Berlin); fussy, non-manly eating habits (organic tea and arugula); and obsession with appearance (trips to the gym) -- it manages to throw in a couple of good-ol' racist GOP dog-whistle tactics.

Now, what do I mean by GOP racist dog-whistle tactics?

Wouldn't want to be rude

Apparently, the myriad violations of the Constitution carried out by the Bushies warrant an investigation. But criminal prosecutions? Convictions? We wouldn't want to be rude.

From Salon.com:

Aug. 4, 2008 | WASHINGTON -- On the campaign trail in April, Barack Obama was asked whether, if elected, he would prosecute Bush administration officials for establishing torture as American policy. The candidate demurred. "If crimes have been committed, they should be investigated," he said. But he quickly added, "I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of the Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we've got too many problems to solve."

Too many problems to solve, indeed. Like torture, for instance -- and also unlawful imprisonment, warrantless spying, war profiteering, an illegal invasion, election theft, voter fraud, politicization of Cabinet departments, signing statements, the outing of covert agents, and on and on and on ...

And here's the would-be President, worried about what might be "perceived on the part of the Republicans as a partisan witch hunt." Because that would be, y'know, rude.

Do you love'a animal? How?

One reader discusses the merit of'a caring for a pet, particularly a dog, and the wonders of unconditional love from'a that pet.

Yes, people love animals in many ways, and animals love humans in a couple of'a ways. It is'a no shame to feel that animals are more affectionate than'a people. You know that'a your pet has no ulterior motives. The animal feels a bond to you that is'a not motivated by anything more than their appreciation of you, their reliance on you, and you seem to feel the same.

Hate Crime in Greeley, Colorado - Victim referred to as an "it"

Categories:

Most of the time when a trans woman gets murdered, mainstream media outlets usually call her a man and use male pronouns.  Manytimes, what she was wearing before she was killed or beaten will be descriptively detailed along with underlying insinuations that she deserved it.  To cap that off, the perpetrator will often be made out as the victim. 

The only high point to the story linked below is that the media seemed to get this one "right" (so to speak).  It's not far fetched for me to speculate that the victim being young and pretty probably helped that cause.

http://www.denverpost.com/commented%20/ci_10049216#%20273931

As a new KBOO volunteer, let me introduce myself

Categories:

Hi folks,

I suppose before I start using this blog to promote my filthy agenda of education and tolerance, it's probably appropriate for me to introduce myself.

My name is Rebecca Nay.  I am a 30 something trans woman who has lived in Portland since 2001.  I transitioned to my true and (mostly) female identity right after I moved here from Salt Lake City.  Yes, I have a Mormon background.  No, I don't believe in that stuff anymore.

Gravity

Senator Obama seems to be developing into a deliberative center of gravity, as a number of massive political objects – Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, French Prime Minister Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and the White House – have swung inexorably into his orbit. All these august personages, either implicitly or explicitly, embraced his 16-month timeline for withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.

Why are you a Republican?

 TPM Muckraker has the dirt on the Office of Professional Responsibility and Inspector General's report on the politicization of the Justice Department.

Among the stringent Bush-era requirements for employment at DOJ: "What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?"

And let's not forget, "Why are you a Republican?"

Not nice, scary

Categories:

I love the Internets.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuQD4-QjV0o

Satire, y'all.

Still figgering out how to embed video. Stay tuned. 

 

Great Moments in Journamalism

Categories:

So, Sen. McCain gave an interview with Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News last week. Pretty standard stuff, right?

Sure, except that CBS cut up the tape such that McCain appears to be answering one question, but is really answering another. And because they must have been on a roll, CBS did St. John one better and spliced in heroic still images of him visiting American troops, and footage of American soldiers in action in Iraq.

No, really. Here's video of McCain's bogus answer and the actual interview playing out together in real time, on a split screen.

Syndicate content

 

Copyright © 2012 KBOO Community Radio | Community Guidelines | Website Illustration & Design by: KMF ILLUSTRATION