Friday, March 13, 2009

Stewart busts Cramer for ethics violations, wingnuts claim foul.

Did you see John Stewart's interview of Jim Cramer? If you didn't, here's the links for the United States and Canada.

Reactions to the digg threads on this and other, far more important issues reveal a tremendous disturbance in the zeitgeist, one that I've been feeling for some time, warning about for some time and which contributed significantly to my wife and I deciding to relocate to Canada, where sanity has largely prevailed.

Really, it should not be up to John Stewart to do the ethics policing for the MSM and the financial community. That's bad enough. But Stewart literally pulled out a smoking gun proving that Cramer was guilty of stock manipulation, that his fortune and reputation is on barely firmer ground than Bernie Madoff's - and the wingnuts come out in force, either to defend it as somehow 'unfair,' or, to celebrate it because, since Cramer votes democrat, it's somehow all about "Democrats eating their own."

That's not just stupid. It's Schedule 1, pharmaceutical grade, undiluted, clear quill bugfuck! And yet, the Powers That Wish To Remain continue to beat the drums of fratricidal stupidity.

The wisdom - or at least the rational aspect to my paranoia - is sharply underlined by Glenn Beck's assertion that "political correctness" is such an offensive thing that it is a perfectly reasonable thing to expect good old boys to pop off with semiautomatic fire.

BECK: But as I’m listening to him. I’m thinking about the American people that feel disenfranchised right now. That feel like nobody’s hearing their voice. The government isn’t hearing their voice. Even if you call, they don’t listen to you on both sides. If you’re a conservative, you’re called a racist. You want to starve children.


BECK: Yada yada yada. And every time they do speak out, they’re shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into that guy?
To O'Rielly's credit, he tries to reel Beck in, but Beck won't take the hint. O'Rielly has to be the voice of reason. Something of a novel sensation, I'm sure.

O’REILLY: Well, look, nobody, even if they’re frustrated, is going to hurt another human being unless they’re mentally ill. I think.

BECK: I think pushed to the wall, you don’t think people get pushed to the wall?

O’REILLY: Nah, I don’t believe in this snap thing. I think that that kind of violence is inside you and it’s a personality disorder. But I do understand the frustration of people. But it’s called fighting the good fight. That’s what it’s called, fighting the good fight. You stand up for your belief system, you tell people what you believe, you take the slings and arrows — both you do, I do, we have to take it. But you fight. You fight for your country. You fight for your family. You fight for your dignity. And that’s it. And you don’t hurt other people in the process. You just fight the good fight.
Holy crap on a cracker - how the hell did that make it to air? Beck, of course, has every personal right to have any personal peckerwood idea he likes. He can even set up his own Internet "samizdat" site to promulgate his increasingly batshit wisdom. However, he's being paid to promote this point of view. We must assume that Rupert Murdoch - and the full weight of his fortune - is behind this culture war. And furthermore, we must presume that he's capable of seeing the logical outcome of beating the war drums in this way.

War. Quite literal warfare, if something is not done. Or at least, he's perfectly willing to encourage a great deal of civil unrest in order to achieve his political goals.

It's becoming increasingly clear that those goals are incompatible with the free expression of values Rupert Murdoch considers "liberal," and that generally means anyone who is not a batshit wingnut koolaid drinker. If you don't think Obama is a commie sleeper agent, a "sekrit muslin" with a direct line to Osama's cave hidden on his Blackberry, why, you aren't a Real American.

He is a Muslim and a tool for the Saudis. I know people who do business in Africa at a high level and the execs and govt people in Africa all have he is a Muslim.
The Saudi money bought him the election.

Yes he is an enemy of the state. A traitor within the white house. Feeding agitprop to the world to justify a continued jihad against the US. And this from the Commander in Chief.

Traitors. I want justice, and now I want revenge against these traitors.
There was no rational reason to release these documents.
Obama and the dems must completely fail.... for America to survive.

He will let 25 million capitalists be killed.. That is the plan per Ayers..

I might add, he is willing to sacrifice all Americans on the global altar.
He must be stopped. Impeach him now for sedition.

It must be said and said repeatedly:
It is obvious to anyone who is paying attention: They are doing this INTENTIONALLY.
They are INTENTIONALLY destroying our nation.
With Malice and Forethought.

On a more serious note, I think that these moves by the illegal 0bamunist regime are specifically intended to provoke a radical response from conservatives, and I would say they are hoping to precisely trigger one or more maniacs (and we've got some at our end of the political spectrum, there's no denying that) into doing something violent which would then provide justification for invoking all of those executive orders which are on the shelf, ready for use, martial law is declared, and all the rest of that noise.

And let's face it: all the speculation about 0bama being the actual Antichrist will either be confirmed or denied if someone gets off a lucky shot at the SOB.

I'm not just calling bullshit, I'm calling batshit!

It's become increasingly clear that very powerful elements in our shared culture - in particular, the media - are perfectly willing to sponsor and pay for speech that is clearly intended to encourage the racist, ant-intellectual, authoritarian, neo-Luddite social conservatives; the pretend Christians that think that being told to mind their own business is an assault on their faith.

But it's not really a left/right divide at all. The divide is between the extraordinarily powerful in alliance with the unbelievably stupid against everybody else in the whole damn world.

This is easily seen on discussion threads, where the divide on every hot button issue is not so much between Liberals and Conservatives as it is between people trying to discuss real issues with an eye to doing something useful and dangerously stupid, verbally violent people in absolute denial of reality, people who are so easily led and comprehensively deluded that they think, variously, that Rush IS the genuine voice of the Republican party, that the mortgage crisis is all the fault of black people who somehow knowingly chose to take bad loans and that it's unfair to pick on MSNBC for knowingly and obviously choosing to avoid asking any awkward questions of people like Bernie Madoff.

I don't need to cite Glenn Grenwald to underline, at this moment in history, why that's a supremely bad idea - but I feel merciless. So Go Read It. Go Read It Now.

Identically, The Washington Post's David Ignatius actually praised the media's failure to object to pre-war Bush lies as a reflection of what Ignatius said is the media's supreme "professionalism":

In a sense, the media were victims of their own professionalism. Because there was little criticism of the war from prominent Democrats and foreign policy analysts, journalistic rules meant we shouldn't create a debate on our own. And because major news organizations knew the war was coming, we spent a lot of energy in the last three months before the war preparing to cover it.

It's fine to praise Jon Stewart for the great interview he conducted and to mock and scoff at Jim Cramer and CNBC. That's absolutely warranted. But just as was true for Judy Miller (and her still-celebrated cohort, Michael Gordon), Jim Cramer isn't an aberration. What he did and the excuses he offered are ones that are embraced as gospel to this day by most of our establishment press corps, and to know that this is true, just look at what they do and say about their roles. But at least Cramer wants to appear to be contrite for the complicit role he played in disseminating incredibly destructive and false claims from the politically powerful. That stands in stark contrast to David Gregory, Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams, David Ignatius and most of their friends, who continue to be defiantly and pompously proud of the exact same role they play.

Professional propagandists - at best. Certainly not journalists. Journalists check facts. They may not comfort the afflicted, but they surely do afflict the comfortable. And that IS the job.

Now, the really sad thing about people stupid enough to descend into wingnuttery, with it's climate change denial, anti-choice/pro-slaughter stance and it's increasingly shrill and mindless defense of drug prohibition in the face of the very literal carnage it causes is that they honestly think they really do know better than everyone else. Furthermore, since they know themselves to be right, and therefore deserving to be an authority, they think it perfectly reasonable to react violently to anyone or anything they see as being "enemies."

And yet, they are not very intelligent. They are - quite obviously - easily manipulated, both by those who wish to use them against political foes and by those smart enough to see that letting that great tidal wave of stupid free is not a stroke of political brilliance. I sincerely pray that what I consider to be obvious sedition and outright hate speech against those trying to deal sanely with complex social issues will result in some serious, personal consequences. [Source cited is reported to be an FBI agent and combat vet]
The number of threats to Obama as an individual, not the office, since election day is unprecedented. The Secret Service typically handles this stuff exclusively, but has had to look elsewhere for help.

The FBI monitors and investigates all the white supremacist groups and websites and the guy I know in NY told me that Obama's election has turned into the best recruiting tool they have ever used. Membership is up for the first time in I don't know how long, and new hate websites are emerging every week. Some of the websites actually call for Obama's assassination in their title!

There are limits to free speech. And in the end, those limits are defined when speech leads to violence - and the violent discover that the 2nd amendment is not just for social conservatives, nor just for US citizens. It speaks to the inherent, inalienable, human right to defend one's self, one's family and one's chosen fellows from oppression. While most people toward the left of center see that right best exercised by delegation should not be taken as "cowardliness", much less blind adherence to some particular ideology.

There's a quite remarkable lack of conspicuous ideological rehetoric to the left of wingnuttia; the situations that focus our immediate attention are technical, economic and scientific; while implementation of solutions surely do have political implications, there is certainly no rational argument against the necessity for short and medium term government involvement in directing funds, attention and information toward possible solutions, even by those who would be ideally opposed to such a thing under normal circumstances. SANE people do not argue about how a house should be heated while it's still on fire, much less complain that the fire chief is not qualifed because he's black, or liberal, or "too tall."

There is a conspicuous lessening of patience for those who see all this "firefighting" as being the fault of some "fascist-liberal commie conspiracy" to take away their right to try and derail the administration's attempt to govern.

It would be unwise to discount the level of impatience out there, regarding such foolishness. But then, that's the problem.

Aside: Speaking for all Canadian fans of the Daily Show, I wish Comedy Central and The Comedy Network would grow the hell up. I can embed the Canadian video - but I bet that's just as annoying for US readers as a US linked embed would be for me. Can't you sort out an automatic redirect, or maybe just, you know, design a common page that detects my origin based on my browser settings?

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