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06 May 2010

well it's one two three what are we fighting for? we're fighting for States Rights! Too bad we lost! / history as perceived by the vanquished

Doonesbury is an extremely popular, widely read USA comic strip. It's often politically controversial, with a proud and obvious heavy left hand, and quite a few subscribing newspapers run it on the Editorial Page rather than the comics page --  apparently on the theory that no children will read it on the Editorial page, and become politically contaminated, or oversophisticated.

A few weeks ago, newly elected Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican, proclaimed an official month honoring the War Between the States -- what those in former Confederate/Southern states call the Civil War (1861 - 1865). 

His proclamation praised the brave Confederate soldiers, their ideals, virtues and sacrifices ... but made no mention that the Southern states were slave states and were fighting to preserve the institution of African slavery.

Those defending his proclamation's curious wording said instead that the Confederacy had fought to uphold the principle of States' Rights -- that is, that every state had rights to conduct government, justice, commerce and law in its own local way, and the federal government had only limited powers to demand that a state obey and conform to federal wishes on any issue. That's what the WbtS had been about to the Confederacy.

Virginia has lots of African-American voters, lots of them the descendants of slaves. They interpreted the governor's proclamation, and failure to mention slavery (which the Northern victory in the Civil War ended), as a clear pandering to white voters on the most primitive and racist end of the political spectrum. And a clear Fuck You to the Commonwealth's African-American residents, and the ordeal their ancestors endured in America (in both the South and the North, including my Massachusetts) for centuries.

The proclamation received so much national attention -- pretty much all bad -- that within a few days McDonnell reversed himself and issued a modified proclamation which acknowledged that slavery had indeed been a fundamental issue which the Confederacy had indeed fought to preserve.

In effect, the Governor explained that he had forgotten Slavery, or perhaps never knew about it, but it had now been constructively brought to his attention, and he now wanted the issue included in Virginia's celebration of the War Between the States. The whole Proclamation Thing had really been A Teaching Moment for everybody. Praise the Lord.

McDonnell, a former US Army supply officer, is a graduate of Notre Dame, and a law grad of Regent University, a fundamentalist Christian-themed school founded by fundie televangelist Pat Robertson.

This Doonesbury strip was part of a series lampooning the governor's original proclamation, and asking what Virginians  think the Confederacy stood for and fought for ... if it wasn't about African slavery ... as so many Americans have been misled or maleducated to believe.

Roland Hedley is Doonesbury's fictional TV reporter for Fox News Channel, which is owned by the non-fictional Rupert Murdoch

Roland is not particularly bright, but being particularly bright -- or particularly fair or accurate -- has always been a career negative at Fox News Channel. Brains & Journalistic Ethics & Integrity Bad. Perky Tits & Twinkling Teeth Good.

Fox was a constant 8-year cheerleader for former President George W. Bush, and Fox has been a constant hurler of rotten fruit and vegetables at his successor, Barack Obama. Through Fox's lens, Bush could do no wrong, Obama has done no right.

Jon Stewart hosts the very popular "The Daily Show" about politics on cable TV's Comedy Central. It may look like all jokes and cheap laughs, but Stewart's interviews with Big Players, his uncomfortably tough, blunt questions, and his commentary on the political scene, have evolved into an extremely influential factor in national opinion and elections.

Where Fox points its needle -- usually to spear and smear anyone to the left of Kraft Cheese Singles -- Stewart pretty much points "The Daily Show" needle 180° the other way.

Stewart regularly sticks it to Obama, particularly for Obama's slowness or reluctance or inability to fulfill a number of important campaign promises -- like ending both of Bush's Asian wars. 

As the new military Commander-in-Chief, it is fully within Obama's sole authority to cease US military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and bring all US troops home. 

He has done nothing of the sort; and in fact has shifted military efforts and increased US combat in Afghanistan.

On several issues, the Obama administration has acted with such sympathy and harmony with the bizarre and anti-constitutional precedents set by Bush that some wags refer to Obama as "Bush Lite." For example, the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo, a US military zone in Cuba, is still open, to keep detainees beyond the reach of the habeas corpus powers of U.S. courts. Obama promised to close the detention facility at Guantanamo.

To the best of my knowledge, Fox has never had a nice or positive thing to say about Barack Obama or any of his activities as President. On Fox, the world is still -- or ought to be -- White and Republican, or something even creepier. The White part is not in itself creepy. I know lots of very non-creepy White People.

The Republican Party in recent years has chosen to morph itself into something pretty creepy -- well, the political reflection of Fox News Channel's view of America and the World. They think that's where the votes and the power will ultimately prevail.

Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) is a particularly severe chronic autoimmune disease. You don't want to get it. You don't want to watch Fox News Channel.


patfromch said...

I just tried.
To watch Fox News I mean. On youtube. Saw Glenn Beck and that old fat bloke, amongst other things.
One looks like he likes he ha d a few aperetifs before the show, the other one behaves like he is on peruvian marching powder. But they both kwatsch chabis.
And now I am deeply shocked. And sick. And a bit worried.
So you were right.

Kids, listen to Vleeptron, do not underestimate the educational warnings of this blog ! Read subversive cartoons instead !

Vleeptron Dude said...

Oh dear, I had hoped to spare you, and the Continent of Europe, from Fox News Channel. I'm sorry you had to see that.

But you had said you watched TV Uno or whatever the Berlusconi Show is called. So if you've seen Berlusconi's version of News, you've seen Murdoch's USA version. (I wonder if Murdoch and Berlusconi are personal chums.)

Murdoch, btw, has a unique distinction as a media mogul. Someone startlingly resembling him is The Villain in the James Bond (Pikerce Brosnan) movie "Tomorrow Never Dies." Jonathan Pryce as the Murdoch clone is one of the best of all the Bond Villains -- I mean, this guy is EVIL!



Media baron Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), head of the Carver Media Group Network (CMGN), begins his plans to use the [GPS] encoder to provoke war between China and the United Kingdom. As the existing Chinese leadership is not receptive to giving Carver Media Group Network exclusive broadcast rights in their country, Carver wants to use a war to eliminate them in favor of politicians more friendly to his plans. Meaconing the GPS signal using the encoder, Gupta sends the frigate HMS Devonshire off-course in the South China Sea, where Carver's stealth ship and its crew plan to steal a number of its missiles[4]. Carver's henchman, Stamper (Götz Otto), sinks the frigate with a sea drill and shoots down a Chinese J-7 fighter jet sent to investigate the British presence, and then the men aboard the stealth ship kill the Devonshire's survivors with Chinese weaponry. Thinking they have been attacked by the Chinese, Admiral Roebuck deploys the British Fleet to recover the frigate, and possibly retaliate, leaving M only forty-eight hours to investigate its sinking.


There's a story about a media mogul of ancient times, William Randolph Hearst, who sent a reporter to Cuba to report on the start of a Cuban peoples' uprising against their Spanish colonial masters. The reporter wired back: "NO WAR HERE."

Hearst replied: "SEND STORY. I'LL PROVIDE WAR."

... and the Spanish-American War, in which the USA "liberated" Cuba and the Philippines from Spain, quickly followed. The USA generously gave Cuba and the Phillipines their "freedom," but that was when the USA "negotiated" a lease with the Cubans for a US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay. The treaty gives ownership of Guantanamo to the USA Forever.

patfromch said...

Italian TV ? My word, what an intellectual challenge. Lots of very silly game shows with silly presenters asking stupid questions while lots (I really mean lots) of young ladies who don't quite exactly wear much dance and sing silly songs or assist the host by just standing there and smiling. These girls are called veline. I kid you not. The most popular show in Italy is called Domeinca in (a whole sunday afternoon of chit-chat, silly games ant t&a !). You want examples now, right ?
Sorry I can't give you more right now, youtube just had a server hiccup

And that's not just the private channels, mind you, RAI, the national public broadcaster is not much better when it comes to silly game shows and t&a. Just recently a scandal broke out in Italy after RAI had to admit that they sent their own employees to game shows disguised as candidates so they could avoid givng out prize money and basically fool the viewing public. News ? Pfff, very pro Berlusconi on all chennels

Just as I have recovered from Glenn Beck I had to endure italian TV. Being MOTG ain't easy....

Vleeptron Dude said...

So you don't have to waste time watching the hemmorhoid cream adverts, New Hounds

whose motto is

"We watch Fox
so you don't have to."

boils down each day of Fox News Channel to catch the Real Turds of the day. I'll put it up on my links.

After FEMA (our federal emergency responders) screwed the pooch in Hurricane Katrina, another hurricane was in the Caribbean, and the new head of FEMA, a Coast Guard admiral, held a hurried press conference in the Headquarters in Washington DC. The press had only about 1 hour's advance notice, so not many reporters could show up.

But the press hall was packed, and all these reporters were asking the Admiral real softball questions and the Admiral spoke on and on about how the new FEMA was doing marvelous work and was protecting the American people yadda yadds

Washington Post maybe or Associated Press, I forget which, figured it out. Most of the "reporters" were FEMA employees pretending to be journalists with scripts of easy, non-controversial questions to ask their boss.

patfromch said...

Well, Mr Beale, I have also seen Australian TV which is also owned by Ruperto Murdoch, which is about as bad as in Italy, but not quite.

Channel 7 or 9 (forgot which one)in Central Australia has one of these moring shows like Good Morning America or summit. but instead of reporting news I found myself watching a mix of E News and QVC and the worst ads I have ever seen. Whatcha say to that, Mr Beale ?

Marshall McLuhan is definetly rotating in his grave while we wait untill news will be News again and people like Glenn Beck will have to look for a REAL job. Idiot pundits like him have prolonged the war in Iraq and I bet that this useless bastard could not even find Afghanistan on a map.

Just to tease you, here is what the local arts arte tv channel will be broadcasting on Sunday: Maria Callas, Farewell My Concubine and a doc about chinese opera. That has to make up for the Beck Experience I fear...

Vleeptron Dude said...

In my experience, once an institution or profession decides to take a swan dive into the toilet, it rarely comes back up and smells pretty again. This is the beginning of Post-Apocalyptic Journalism, I'm your Presenter Snake Pliskin.

One interesting, sometimes fascinating exception -- a tickle and goose and tease toward quite fine future electronic journalism -- is Current TV.

Watch a little of it, then we can pick it apart and show its flaws, faults and teenage acne. But I've been terribly impressed by a lot of their news, by their brains and their scrupulous professional standards and ethics.


Current TV is a media company led by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt. The Comcast Corporation currently owns a ten percent stake of Current's parent company, Current Media LLC.[1] The Current cable television network went on the air in the US at midnight EDT (4:00 UTC) on the morning of August 1, 2005. A second network, operated in the United Kingdom and Ireland started its operation March 12, 2007, for Sky in the UK and Ireland and on Virgin Media in the UK. A third network, operated in Italy started its operation February 8, 2008, for SKY Italia subscribers and later for 3 subscribers. Current TV will also be made available for South African satellite subscribers on the TopTV platform launching 1 May.

Sky Digital Channel 183
SKY Italia Channel 130

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