The View From My Future Window & Thoughts on Demo-Hypocrisy

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eagle peak.jpg
A good friend and neighbor in Colorado just sent this in to me. I happen to own the hill and ridge pictured — and plan someday to have a house there, just about where the rainbow hits land.
Congrats to Al Franken who is nearly there! And like everyone else, I’m pretty darn impressed with Jenny Sanford on her life perspective.
Now off to Rome, where Cicero more than anyone else laid out what checks and balances rule really involves. Today, the American government has helped promulgate the notion that mobocracies and ballotocracies are democracy — and that’s just wrong.
America has gone so off the rails, to paraphrase George Soros, and is not yet back on the right rails that it needs to get its own democracy in order before pontificating as my colleague Andres Martinez does about promulgating and trying to compel democratic practices elsewhere.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

36 comments on “The View From My Future Window & Thoughts on Demo-Hypocrisy

  1. Bath says:

    Consequently, the Israel Lobby’s influence multiplies, because military suppliers fight for Israel in congressional committees in order to get Israel’s business. This lets Israel turn the screws on Iran.

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  2. questions says:

    There are even a few July 2nd updates, as if they had no idea that their site wasn’t working and they kept posting. Probably Israel has the technology to make people think their websites are working when they aren’t. Or something. (Definite snark rating here.)

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  3. questions says:

    I just checked — Free Gaza website seems to be back. Maybe just maybe they had tech problems that weren’t induced by Israel. Hmmm. A non-conspiracy theory? I didn’t see anything on the front page about having been hacked…. But I could be wrong.
    And Paul, don’t ask why I feel compelled to point out things like this. It isn’t hasbarism. It’s most likely irritation.

    Reply

  4. arthurdecco says:

    I luv ya, Kathleen. I miss U! You are the replacement for the drugs I refuse to take.
    In the company of you, Carroll, JohnH, POA, sometimes Paul Norheim (lol) and the other courageous souls who post in opposition to the Borg-brained Miscreants who are the REAL enemies now attacking the United States of America, I consider myself secure.
    Tell me, am I a delusional fool or a prophet?
    fergit al that! Post more! Puhlease!

    Reply

  5. Kathleen says:

    Family has 40 acres surrounded by national forest just outside of Lake George about an hour away from Manitou Springs. Have camped on the land every summer for 35 years….Rocky Mountain High. Hope to run into you out in the rockies Steve
    Thanks for all you do

    Reply

  6. questions says:

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/07/who-voted-for-climate-bill-and-why.html
    Another really nice analysis by Nate Silver — this time on cap and trade. Note that money is a mixed predictor, that district characteristics and ideological stances are pretty significant, that the two biggest recipients of coal industry money are fairly ideologically conservative and in fairly Republican-safe districts. Not everything is money, and sometimes money goes to the like-minded.

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  7. questions says:

    “Get a life [sic]. Your kind isn’t wanted here, speaking for myself. Blogging isn’t an exact science. Sometimes we make punctuation mistakes, and we don’t need picky people like you to point them out.”
    And sometimes we make analysis mistakes or tell incomplete stories or get bogged down in one point of view that merely seems to explain everything but doesn’t necessarily explain everything and when someone points out the possible limitations of certain narrow perspectives and offers alternative narratives that someone is not a welcome “kind” anymore. (I think this sentence is a run on, so go ahead and sic it. I won’t unwelcome you.) Also, think about the connotations of “your kind isn’t welcome here” — it’s a pretty telling phrase IMHO.
    The point of the “sic” is that I was attacked (at least I think I was included in the attack) without justification for a position I didn’t hold by someone who often accuses others of ascribing false views to other posters and distorting arguments and the like. In response, I defended myself and pointed out a grammar mistake in a fit of pique/snark. I didn’t call the other poster any excretory, insectival, or willfully-sponsoring-untruths-style names. I pointed out an actual, if utterly trivial, mistake. And somehow, my pointing out an utterly trivial, but actual, mistake is a greater crime than the original accusation. Hmmm. I’m working on this.
    The fact is, there are disagreements here about the status of a number of institutions, policies, practices, causes, and solutions and, seemingly, one side of the disagreement assumes so thoroughly its own correctness that it necessarily ascribes bad faith to the other; while the other assumes there’s a chance it’s correct and so ascribes incompleteness to the first side. There’s a huge gap between accusing someone of bad faith and suggesting that someone’s account is incomplete. One is directed at the person, the other at the story. One is accusing the other of gross immorality, the other is asking for a little more analysis.
    And if I get a little snarky when I’m being accused of gross immorality, well, there you go.
    And as for the Free Gaza website, Wikipedia is still up, so maybe people could post there. It’ll show up in a Google search. And there are the kinds of tech fixes Iranians have used that might well work. It might be a good idea to hunt up some geeks.
    Oh, and on the correlation/causation thing, read yesterday’s NY Times piece on CRP proteins and their relationship to heart disease and the kinds of studies needed to prove relationships beyond the level of correlation. The article used a really nice analogy — fire alarms are correlated with fires, but shutting off the alarm does nothing to stop the fire. VERY EVERY strong correlation (at least for indoor fires where there are smoke detectors and batteries…), 0% causation.

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  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Meanwhile, the Freegaza website has dissappeared.
    Apparently, Israel is immune from crtiticism, whether its NAZI police force is shooting Americans in the head, its navy is hijacking ships on the high seas, or its intelligence service is hacking internet websites.
    What a dissappointment Obama is. Same oh, same oh. He’s as slimey as Bush ever dreamed of being. Maybe, probably, slimier.

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  9. David says:

    To everyone’s actual bad fortune, Israel is a sacred cow in American politics. The seizure of that ship and the detaining of humanitarian aid activists, including Cynthia McKinney, is the most blatant act of Israeli intransigence yet, and coupled with the expansion of the settlements, is the real story of who and what Israel has become as its government devolves ever downward into the abyss of inhumane territorial expansionism, much like our history re native Americans. God help the Palestinians if they are granted statehood. Then Israel can declare war on them state-to-state, annex even more land, and tell the UN to go Cheney itself.
    The idea of US backpedalling on the settlements is unconscionable. And the idea that Obama would not, behind the scenes, tear Bibi a new asshole for what Avigdor Lieberman said standing beside Hillary Clinton, is quite disturbing. If there ever were a government the US should be using its influence to rid the world of, it’s Bibi’s Likud/looney Israeli right coalition.
    Again, I don’t know what Obama’s instincts are in this crisis, but so far the wrong interests seem to be defining actual US policy. Most of what needs to happen to Bibi et.al. needs to happen behind the scenes, I think, but happen it must unless the US stands for nothing but select special interests in its Middle East policies.

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  10. Don Bacon says:

    These are classic comments on a boat engaged in a humanitarian mission, hijacked in international waters, with the passengers, including a US ex-congresswoman/prezcanditate, who have been kidnapped and taken taken somewhere.
    “On that last question, I don’t know the answer, actually. I think I have to refer you to the Government of Israel. ”
    “on board this – the ship which is known as Spirit.”
    “We can’t comment on any of the individuals or the number of individual American citizens on board because of Privacy Act concern.”
    “We have been told that the boat was stopped in Israeli waters”
    “We understand passengers are safe and all accounted for.”
    “We’re seeking consular access to the American citizens”
    “we don’t take any position regarding the Free Gaza Movement or any of its messages.”
    This boat, engaged in a humanitarian mission to an area where a recognized humanitarian crisis exists, could only have been hijacked by Israel. No other country could get away with with something like this.

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  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If you click on the Freegaza link, you now find….
    Database Error: Unable to connect to the database:Could not connect to MySQL
    Who can doubt the Israeli hand in this? Is our President really such a damned coward that Israel can do whatever it damn well pleases, and we don’t get one peep out of the Oval Office?

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  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “We have been told that the boat was stopped in Israeli waters and is being escorted to an Israeli port, or may have already gone to an Israeli port”
    Lying pieces of shit!!! And even if the boat was in Israeli waters, which it wasn’t, how the hell would the Captain of the Spirit of Humanity know, seeing as how the Israeli jackboots were jamming the Spirit’s navigation system?
    And what is this “we have been told” crap? There is no area of the world that is more scrutinized by AWACs and satelite. bThese lying bastards at State know EXACTLY where this vessel was when it was hijacked.

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  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Its [sic] interesting….”
    “…I’m sure your powers of analysis far exceed mine”
    Go screw yourself, questions. Powers of analysis or not, you’re a major asshole.

    Reply

  14. Don Bacon says:

    questions,
    Aren’t you cute, with your: POA writes, “Its [sic] interesting . . .
    What are you, a grammar critic???????
    Get a life [sic]. Your kind isn’t wanted here, speaking for myself. Blogging isn’t an exact science. Sometimes we make punctuation mistakes, and we don’t need picky people like you to point them out.

    Reply

  15. questions says:

    POA writes,
    “Its [sic] interesting that the defenders of Israel always become silent when evidence of indefensible Israeli actions is presented. ”
    Not sure if you include me in this group, but you probably do. And near as I can tell, WigWag isn’t a “defender” but rather an applier of a deeper real politik than TWN generally supports. If real politik is good enough for the US, it probably ought to be good enough for other nations as well. But I don’t wish to organize electrons in WigWag’s name, so I’ll leave this interpretation as a possibility that welcomes refutation if it’s wrong.
    My “silence” has more to do with errands and work than it does with any inability to function in the face of Israeli misdeeds.
    Israel should not: blockade Gaza such that aid is needed
    Israel should not: bump a relief vessel
    Israel should not: arrest the people on the ship
    Israel right now reminds me of one of my kids’ teachers — no classroom control because the kids don’t respect the teacher and hence the frequent resorting to screaming, detention, and trips to the principal. Israel isn’t acting in a way that brings respect and is resorting to violence as a way of demanding respect. Respect, however, doesn’t come when you demand it. It comes when you earn it.
    There’s my “defense” of Israel.
    What I’d do about it at this point is uncertain. I’m not enough of an IR analyst to know the consequences of a variety of possible acts. So I’m not about to prescribe a course of action, but POA, I’m sure your powers of analysis far exceed mine.

    Reply

  16. Don Bacon says:

    The McKinney matter didn’t come up at the daily White House press briefing today, but it did surface briefly at the State press conference. It was handles like a stinking fish by Ian Kelly, Department Spokesman.
    “I think I have to refer you to the Government of Israel.”
    QUESTION: Erin Connors from Press TV. Former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and members of the Free Gaza Movement were intercepted by the Israeli army when they were on a humanitarian mission over there. What’s being done about that? Are they on their way home? Will they be deported? What’s the next step there, and will their supplies ever get to where they’re going?
    MR. KELLY: On that last question, I don’t know the answer, actually. I think I have to refer you to the Government of Israel. We can confirm that the Israeli navy did arrest those on board this – the ship which is known as Spirit. We can’t comment on any of the individuals or the number of individual American citizens on board because of Privacy Act concern. Our Embassy has been in touch with the Israeli authorities. We have been told that the boat was stopped in Israeli waters and is being escorted to an Israeli port, or may have already gone to an Israeli port. We understand passengers are safe and all accounted for. We’re seeking consular access to the American citizens who are on board. And we don’t take any position regarding the Free Gaza Movement or any of its messages.

    Reply

  17. Don Bacon says:

    Same deal at the State press conference yesterday. Questions about the Obama/Barak meeting (of course not canceled in protest), two journalists held by North Korea, an American held by Belarus, etc., but nothing on this Israeli piracy and kidnapping of an American ex-congresswoman and ex-presidential candidate. Curious! And nothing new in the news. It’s like it didn’t happen.

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    “This is an important story, and it would be somewhat inexplicable if NONE of these journalists had an interest in it.”
    Perhaps. And perhaps the American 4th estate is better than the British (although I somehow doubt it). But I noticed that even
    BBC during the worst Michael Jackson frenzy dedicated 45 minutes of every hour to MJ-stuff, and the remaining 15 minutes to
    sport – except for a two minutes news summary.
    I doubt that governments often need to demand certain topics to be off topic these days.
    BTW POA, thanks for asking me to comment on Nina`s excellent blog. Have been reading some posts and comments on and
    off during the last busy days, but I`m not sure if I have something to say about internet/politics that isn`t already expressed
    by Nina, you, and others. We`ll see.

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The White House press corps failed to ask questions on this important matter to Obama’s press secretary yesterday”
    I find it hard to place the “cause” in the press corps’ laps. This is an important story, and it would be somewhat inexplicable if NONE of these journalists had an interest in it. I am more prone to assume that the White House made it clear that the topic was not to be brought up.

    Reply

  20. Don Bacon says:

    The White House press corps failed to ask questions on this important matter to Obama’s press secretary yesterday. But in a change from the previous day they didn’t ask any questions about Michael Jackson either, so that was an improvement.

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    An excerpt from the article Don just linked to….
    “Meanwhile, California, which has become a failed state, has been denied bailout money from Washington. Israel, which has been a failed state for 60 years, can, unlike the American state of California, always count of Washington to deliver the money and the weapons to keep Israel going”
    “The same week that “our” government in Washington told the Governor of California “not one red cent,” President Barak Obama handed over $2.775 billion to Israel”
    “Online Journal (June 29) reported that the handover to Israel of the unemployed Americans’ tax dollars took place in a “tiny Capitol room” to which members of the press were denied access. I mean, really, who wants the media writing about US taxpayer dollars for Israel’s nuclear weapons while Americans are being kicked out of their homes. Not that, of course, the “Christian” supporters of Israel would mind”
    “Unlike every other recipient of US military largesse, Israel is permitted to bypass the Pentagon and to deal directly with US suppliers. Consequently, the Israel Lobby’s influence multiplies, because military suppliers fight for Israel in congressional committees in order to get Israel’s business. This lets Israel turn the screws on Iran. According to Grant F. Smith writing in Online Journal, Republican US Representative Mark Steven from Illinois has received $221,000 in campaign contributions from Israel political action committees (PACs). Therefore, it was a sure thing that he would introduce legislation preventing the Import-Export bank from providing loan guarantees to countries doing business with Iran”
    End excerpt.
    Yes, while the American economy increasingly goes down the crapper, and American citizens find themselves more and more strapped to make ends meet, we continue to fund Israel to the tune of countless billions of taxpayer dollars, so they can drop cluster munitions and white phosphorous on civilian populations, and shoot or kidnap American citizens DOING THE RIGHT THING.
    But hey, the Isreali lobbies are powerless, doncha know.

    Reply

  22. Don Bacon says:

    Pirates of the Mediterranean
    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
    On June 30, the government of Israel committed an act of piracy when the Israeli Navy in international waters illegally boarded the “Spirit of Humanity,” kidnapped its 21-person crew from 11 countries, including former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Laureate Mairead MaGuire, and confiscated the cargo of medical supplies, olive trees, reconstruction materials, and children’s toys that were on the way to the Mediterranean coast of Gaza. The “Spirit of Humanity,” along with the kidnapped 21 persons, is being towed to Israel as I write. . .
    http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts07012009.html

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its interesting that the defenders of Israel always become silent when evidense of indefensible Israeli actions is presented.
    Here we have Israel hi-jacking a vessel on the high seas, a blatant act of piracy in violation of international laws.
    In addition, the boat has an American ex-Congresswoman on board, and not a peep from this cowardly posturing fraud in the White House, who is supposedly taking a “hard line” with Israel.
    Apparently Israel can kidnap American citizens on the high seas, or shoot American citizens engaged in peaceful protest, and our President and state Department are willing to look the other way.
    Can you imagine if this boat and its passengers were hijacked on the high seas by the Iranian or Venezuelan navy?
    And as I predicted, nary a peep from the so called “progressive” media mouthpieces, Maddow and Olberman. Its not news when an ex-Congresswoman is kidnapped on the high seas by a foreign nation? Since when?

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  24. arthurdecco says:

    But whaddaya gotta say about Gaza, specifically, Mr. Don Bacon?

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  25. Don Bacon says:

    Hey, Honduras, Gaza — the prez “has the flu”:
    “Today I joined Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan and other senior advisors to meet with a select group of individuals who could speak knowledgeably about the lessons learned from the 1976 influenza so that we can further prepare this nation for the possibility of a more severe outbreak of H1N1 flu.”–Pres. obama, June 30, 2009

    Reply

  26. FaceOnMars says:

    The cool Colorado rain is nice, but it has been somewhat overbearing this summer here in SW Colorado. Makes for nice light shows though!
    Hope you can make it happen Steve.

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And, uh, also, I see a few brief media mentions of the “50” units the Israelis are are adding to the Migron settlement.
    At first glance, it is cause for optimism that a few (relatively unknown) media sources are reporting this. But if one is paying attention, through monitoring the “Peace Now” website, one learns the ACTUAL NUMBER OF PLANNED UNITS IS 1450.
    So, our response? Well, yesterday we renewed Israel’s loan guarantees. Does that count?
    And I see now that a spokesman at State is saying that we may be willing to “compromise” on the settlement issue. The backpedaling begins in earnest. Watch how quickly Obama’s “hardline” becomes just one more about-face as he capitulates to the Israelis.
    Watch Maddow and Olberman tonight. Wanna place bets on whether or not they comment on the illegal hijacking of this ship in international waters? Gee, if it occurs off the coast of Somalia, its called an “act of piracy”. One thing is for sure, Israel won’t demand a ransom, because we are already paying one, annually, to the tune of billions.

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  28. Don Bacon says:

    “This is an outrageous violation of international law against us,” said McKinney. “Our boat was not in Israeli waters and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip. President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.”
    Obama in Cairo: “So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”
    “…the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel’s security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.”

    Reply

  29. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, the boat was in international waters when it was boarded and seized. To get the details, and learn what YOU can do to help, visit the FreeGaza website….
    http://freegaza.org/
    Of course, the jackasses here that refuse to acknowledge the glaring double standard of how we treat human rights abuses committed by Israel or the United States, as compared to how we treat those committed by Muslim countries, will have some sort of bullshit rationale and justification for Israel’s actions.

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Speaking about hypocricy, heres a little ditty the cowardly posturing fraud Obama will IGNORE…..
    Israel Attacks Gaza-bound Aid Ship, Kidnaps Activists
    Former US Presidential Candidate Among the Captives
    Jason Ditz, June 30, 2009
    A Gaza-bound ship carrying aid to the strip was attacked and captured by the Israeli Navy today, and the 21 activists on the boat are being held as captives by the Israeli government at an undisclosed location. According to the ground that sponsored the voyage, the Israeli government has also confiscated the medicine and other humanitarian goods that were on board.
    Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinneyAmong those captured by the Israelis was former US Congresswoman and 2008 Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, who was also on board a ship which tried to reach Gaza in December before nearly being sunk by the Israeli Navy. That ship managed to flee to Lebanon, however.
    The Israeli navy defended the move, saying the ship posed a security risk. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the government was planning to eventually free the captives, adding “nobody wants to keep them here.”
    The ship had struggled to leave the island nation of Cyprus last week, with Cypriot authorities reportedly blocking the voyage under pressure from the Israeli government. The Cypriot ambassador has informed Israel that they only allowed the boat to sail under assurances that it was going to head to Egypt. The ship was flying a Greek flag, and the Greek government has reportedly demanded that the passengers be released.
    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/06/30/israel-attacks-gaza-bound-aid-ship-captures-activists/

    Reply

  31. JohnH says:

    Yes, indeed, we need “to get [our] own democracy in order before pontificating about promulgating and trying to compel democratic practices elsewhere.”
    In fact, it would be wonderful if America would practice what it preaches at home. Abroad, it would be wonderful if America would apply a consistent standard to friend and foe alike–no more condemnation of the anti-democratic practices of our foes while coddling similar anti-democratic practices among our friends.

    Reply

  32. Steve Clemons says:

    Good to run into you here Cato, sort of…
    Obviously, I’ll be responding at some later point to your provocation, which is wrongheaded but smart.
    😉 best, steve

    Reply

  33. Katherine says:

    The view is lovely! I’ve been reading your blog since I stumbled upon it last fall. I had been wondering when you were going to write a book, but now that it’s set, have fun in Rome! And good luck with the new house! Ciao!

    Reply

  34. Cato the Censor says:

    “Now off to Rome, where Cicero more than anyone else laid out what checks and balances rule really involves.”
    Cicero was a hack who owed his chief loyalty to the Optimates. There was absolutely nothing democratic about them. All he was interested in doing was propping up the oligarchy he belonged to(Hmmm. Interesting parallel?), hence his opposition to Caesar.

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  35. Don Bacon says:

    It’s so good to hear from you. There’s been no coup d’etat at TWN after all! I’m off to Colorado tomorrow to look for that hill — is the rainbow still there? Actually our destination is a bluegrass festival but we’ll make believe that the nearby hill is yours.
    Any attempt that you might make to correct America’s course will have my full support — go for it. The US would best serve both its own people and others in the world with a better approximation to a Jeffersonian democracy, not the facade that currently exists.
    In the process I hope that you listen not so much to me, but to others like Dan Kervick who really understand what’s required.

    Reply

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