Onward, Caffeine Soldiers!

This is not a blogger's blog, this is a commenter's blog.
Here's to all brave commenters who really fight the battles of the blogosphere - you're my cup of coffee!
I raise my mug to salute you!

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Location: Germany

A proud member of the reality based commentosphere since 2000. You can find my two Eurocent mainly at liberal and centrist discussion threads, but also at some other surprising places. Also tweeting now, as user "graygoods".

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The time has come for real conservatives to join the good fight

Christopher Buckley:
"What have they done to my party? Where does one go to get it back? One place comes to mind: the back benches. It's time for a time-out. Time to hand over this sorry enchilada to Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden and Charlie Rangel and Harry Reid, who has the gift of being able to induce sleep in 30 seconds...."

Wow! I'm not known as someone who usually is sympathetic to right wingers, but this honest and thoughtful tirade makes me say:
Kudos, Mr. Buckley!

And that's not because he concludes that it may be time for the other team to take over. No, it's because he shows that it's never been a goal of real conservatism to cling to power without caring about the costs. And because he reminds us that there are still conservative thinkers who have ideals that won't change with a sudden turn of the winds. This icon of conservatism exposes the Bush gang as CINO's, con artists who don't care about any long term goals but only about short term benefits (that can be counted in dollars) for themselves and their cronies. They managed to hijack the GOP and corrupted it with their unprincipled Machiavellism. And while conservatism is soundly based on democratic ideals, Bush's rethuglicans don't really care for democracy nor for the republic, it's all about preserving and increasing the power. They know no limits. And they have been smart in manipulating the US, so smart that this has become a real danger for democracy.

So, now is the time for all real democrats, regardless if in the center or left or right of it, to come to the aid of their nation. It's time for this majority to stand up and shout: Enough already! And maybe then the forces of false conservatism and selfishness and cronyism may be forced to retreat and reason will rule again. Buckley standing up, driven by his patriotic instincts, willing to take a lot of flak from his own party, is an encouraging sign that this time has come.

This doesn't say that Buckley is on our side. No, he will stay on the other side, vehemently fighting many Dem goals like universal healthcare. But, unlike the Bushistas, he isn't willing to sacrifice democracy for short term political successes. And for this he deserves our respect.

(orginally posted at A-Blog)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Better fried chicken than Friedman...

"The “real reason” for this war, which was never stated, was that after 9/11 America needed to hit someone in the Arab-Muslim world."

Of course, this is bull. Friedman is an idiot, I don't really know why anyone reads him anymore. We have to remind us that it's not been 'America' that decided to go against Saddam, it's been a right wing clique in or connected to the White House. All evidence shows that Iraq was the very first thing that came to their minds when thinking about a response to the destruction of the towers, even before thinking about how to punish those who really were responsible. And the neocons wanted to hit Iraq even before 9/11, because of several reasons: Frustration with the outcome of the first gulf war, hate against Saddam for his numerous provocations (not the least his try to kill Bush I.), the urgent desire to secure the oil supply of the US, deep concerns about Saddam threatening Israel, an obsession with strategical power play, to name only the most obvious. These were the motives that powered the gang at the levers of power. Yes, sure there was a widespread desire among americans to hit back, no matter what the target. But this wasn't the reason behind the war, it was just used as a psychological means to sell it to a broad public.

Imho all of this is evident, and while there are still 'pundits' who try to distort the issue, we have to ask ourselves if they are really that dumb or have hidden motives to mislead their audience. Well, I think in the case of Tom Friedman, by looking at his vast output of idiocies, we can safely assume he is an honest fool.

(originally posted at the Poor Man Institute as a comment on a story about the reason behind the Iraq War.)

Monday, September 04, 2006

The MSM doesn't dig it! [Updated]

There's a disturbing trend in the MSM. More and more magazines and newspapers chose to offer 'analysis' instead of news. Here's a recent example.

Well, I guess we all know how their 'analysis' will look like. More gratuitous spin for Bush, Rove, and Co. But maybe the MSM is heading towards a nasty surprise. Hell, do they really think anyone will give them hard earned money for opinions anymore? If we want opinions, Steve, the unstoppable blog machine, and many other relentless bloggers offer it for FREE!

There has to be a reason the Times (NY of course) doesn't want to publish the 'profits' of their Times Select business. Almost nobody wants to pay for columnists anymore, not even for Krugman! Of course, the price is dependant on the relation between demand and supply. Someone once said 'Opinions are like assholes - everybody has one'. The blogosphere is evidence of this, lots of assholes and opinions there, and it boosted supply beyond all expectations. This made it difficult to make money by simply publishing columns. So, the new role for the MSM today is not to provide 'analysis', but to provide the facts. How long will they be digging their own grave before they realize that?

(originally posted at Steve Gilliard's site and at Buzzmachine)

Ok, half an eternity after I posted this (two days later), Ezra Klein, one of the most thoughtful bloggers of all, ran a story based on the same news. Sadly, we're not exactly on the same line of thinking regarding the validity of Time's business decision (his point of view is between 170-190 degrees different from mine). No big deal, I'm deeply suspicious of people who share my opinions. :D
Of course, I couldn't resist and added my two eurocent, raising the total of that thread to about 46 cent. Here's my comment that actually clarifies my idea about that sparse good, 'facts':

"News just doesn't keep. Good analysis, however, does."

Hmm, ok, but we're not talking about good analysis here, we're talking about the MSM. :D
Honestly, how many good examples have you seen there recently? In times when guesswork about the choice of clothing of a candidate is called campaign analysis and when most space for stories on the economy is used for pie charts, the trend seems to go in the direction of infotainment, not towards being thoughtful and well researched. And the problem is, analysis always is evaluation, so it's based on opinion. And opinions are extremely cheap nowadays, there are thousands of blogs where you get them for free, no matter what the topic might be. Economics 101: If a good is given away for free, selling it will negatively affect your business...

No, the MSM has to concentrate on goods that are sparse, creating a benefit that readers, many of which are bloggers, are willing to pay for. What good might that be? News, and especially investigated facts. Bloggers simply lack the manpower, the budget, and, sadly, in many cases the knowledge to do deep research. But it's the news, stupid, and the facts in it that fuel the blogosphere. So there's the great advantage of the MSM and they should capitalize on it. There's only one downside to it:
Facts have a well known liberal bias (here's to you, Stephen Colbert!).
The corporate media might not want that...