|March 26, 2013||Bachmann's Obama jihad||20 comments|
|March 18, 2013||Emigre Ivutin needs a political education||no comments|
|March 12, 2013||The people spoke, Ryan doesn't care||15 comments|
|March 06, 2013||DHS to launch offensive on America...not||23 comments|
|February 27, 2013||CPAC reprises clown show||24 comments|
|February 20, 2013||Ill-informed opinion vs. inconvenient facts||5 comments|
|February 11, 2013||Pebble Beach "salutes" military, showcases economic disparity||11 comments|
|February 08, 2013||Senate endorsement: Dr. Paul Broun||7 comments|
|January 31, 2013||First Beck, then Boortz, now Palin||13 comments|
|January 22, 2013||Why gun nuts are deluded||8 comments|
Tiananmen Square or "re-education camps."
Is this the tea party vision for America? They want a country that looks like China?
No, sorry. It wasn't the package. It was the product. Americans emphatically rejected the stuff Republicans were pushing.
I said I was unaware of such a claim and added that I had no idea if it was true.
Well, it turns out it is true. The Department of Homeland Security purchased the ammo, but not to be used against American citizens as my questioner was clearly suggesting.
The bullets are intended for the 90 federal agencies and their 70,000 agents and officers the DHS oversees
Organized by the Bush administration in the wake of 9-11, DHS is responsible for U.S. Customs, ICE, the Coast Guard, the National Law Enforcement Training Center and so on.
Such a bulk buy of ammo for training and use in the field to save taxpayer dollars makes perfect sense...except to the black helicopter watchers, who rushed to ascribe all sorts of nefarious motives to the DHS purchase.
So it was the other night Lou Dobbs, who has successfully transitioned from respected business journalist to a monger of nutty conspiracy theories, played to this delusional paranoia by declaring on his Fox Business show that, along with all the ammo, the DHS had also bought "2,700 light armored vehicles."
Let's see: 1.6 billion rounds of ammo plus 2,700 light armored vehicles must equal Obama tyranny!
Dobbs then asked his guest, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre (of all people), "What in the world is going on at the Homeland Department -- the Department of Homeland Security seems to be arming up and the administration is trying to disarm American citizens?"
Except the Obama administration isn't "trying to disarm American citizens" and there is no evidence to suggest it is.
And the DHS didn't buy the light armored vehicles. The U.S. Marine Corps did.
Dobb's bogus information, like so much of what Fox News reports, came from a discredited blogger famous for making sh...I mean stuff up, the Gateway Pundit.
There are many other such hacks and they're a rich source of unsubstantiated and slanted "facts" for right wing media outlets and tin foil hat wearers.
It's a sad but routine formula for Fox News hosts and other such pundits in today's instant news cycle: Grab something, anything, that will affirm the viewers' or listeners' prejudices, dispense with fact-checking, present it as authentic, bounce it around with a kooky guest like LaPierre or Orly Taitz or Victoria Jackson, and then move on, the damage done.
It's also irresponsible and unprofessional, as Mr. Dobbs well knows.
Over-the-top patriotic demonstrations at sporting events reached a new low this weekend, when servicemen and women were on exhibit at Pebble Beach during the PGA tour stop there.
There was something vaguely obscene about watching an enlisted person earning a little more than the poverty level standing at attention while a bunch of rich kids played golf for a $6.5 million purse.
We're supposed to feel humbled by these young people who "protect our freedom" on the sunny shores of the Monterrey Bay, where some of the nation's wealthiest 1 percent enjoy undisturbed splendor in their heavily guarded and gated enclaves.
We're supposed to pay homage to the sacrifice and dedication of those service personnel while, at the same time, we watch people named named Brandt, Keegan and Tag smack a little white ball around for the entertainment of corporate swells ensconced in their hospitality pavilions swilling fine wine while whining about paying a few percentage points more on their income taxes.
We all know how these guys really feel.
Mitt Romney gave voice to their disdain of the 47% who don't pay taxes. That number includes, by the way, most of the same enlisted men and women they were "honoring" at Pebble Beach.
As long as he breathes, CBS seems determined to trot out the doddering Clint Eastwood as the face of the tournament, who eclipsed his performance as the Man With No Name with his shamefully embarrassing Obama chair-talking shtick during the Republican National Convention last summer.
Like Romney, Clint evidently has it in for the president and those working poor and disabled folks who don't make enough to pay income taxes, let alone afford the price of admission to cruise 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach.
I wonder how those enlisted men and women felt about being used as props by a giant TV network making a pile of advertising dollars, or if the sad irony ever occurred to any of them.
Maybe they should have asked for a slice of that CBS pie, but that's not how it works in Carmel, where such uniformed folk are perceived the same way the gardener or delivery man are regarded, hired help to be seen but not heard.
Those servicemen and women, you see, have an important role to play in the CBS show when the camera cuts away and we see them, naively unaware of being exploited, shaking hands with a series of millionaire golf pros who were instructed to recognize them, look grateful, and then move on to the next tee. Thus, the PGA, CBS and the viewer all bask in the reflected glow of their selflessness and heroism. Meantime, their commanding officers and entourages enjoy free admission to the shindig.
Ostentatious military displays have become de rigueur at televised sporting events. We used to sing the Star Spangled Banner and let it go at that.
Now, we must have fighter jet fly overs, American flags the size of the field, the singing of God Bless America at half time, and, of course, soldiers, sailors and marines in uniform to remind us that "freedom isn't free," never mind that all the jingoistic showboating renders real patriotism cheap and real courage meaningless.
But the offensive travesty at Pebble Beach gets first prize for its naked hypocrisy not to mention its showcasing of the symbolic economic wall between the have mores and have almost nothings.
I love Paul Broun. I dearly hope he wins the Republican senate primary in 2014. I'll even vote for him because there are very few politicians in these parts who could make Phil Gingrey and Tom Price look positively moderate.
"God's word is true," said Dr. Broun. "I've come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught (at the University of Georgia and Georgia Health Sciences University) about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. It's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior."