Sauce for the goose?

››› ››› ERIC ALTERMAN

I found the below here:

From: [Redacted]@cs.com [Someone posts under the same email at The Free Republic, though]
Subject: What Do You Know ? ? ?
Date: October 14, 2006 11:20:57 AM EDT
To: [Lindsay Beyerstein]

What do your kind think you know ?

You leftwing shitballs poison the well for all of us Americans, but your kind do no better .

It is not that you and your kind don't have the right to call yourselves Americans, you do not deserve to live .

That goes for all of you shit-balls in New York City- an urban cesspool that hopefull will get nuked in the near future !

Why am I printing it? Well, since the author is obviously a poster on FreeRepublic.com, and that's a site that strongly supports Republicans, up to and including recruiting thugs to shut down the Florida recount in 2000, shouldn't John McCain, George Bush, Ken Mehlman, etc, be held responsible for conservatives arguing in support of nuclear terrorism against New York -- and hence, support for Osama bin Laden? That's the kind of logic I tried to address here, anyway.

See this stuff:

"There is simply no reason why the United States military should be monitoring the peaceful activities of American citizens who oppose U.S. war policies," said Ben Wizner, a lawyer for the A.C.L.U. The government, which has to delete non-useful information after 90 days, has been leaving the collected data in computers, in violation of federal statute, here.

MIDWEST LOCAL TV NEWSCASTS AVERAGE 36 SECONDS OF ELECTION COVERAGE IN TYPICAL 30-MINUTE BROADCAST

In the month following the traditional Labor Day kickoff of the 2006 election campaign season, television stations in nine Midwest markets devoted an average of 36 seconds to election coverage during the typical 30-minute local news broadcast, a new analysis shows.

By contrast, the typical early- and late-evening local news broadcasts contained more than 10 minutes of advertising, over seven minutes of sports and weather, and almost two and a-half minutes of crime stories.

The analysis traces broadcast news coverage in media markets in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, all of them witnessing highly competitive campaigns for state office this year. Public opinion research consistently shows that voters rely on local television newscasts as their primary source of information about elections and politics.

The findings were reported today by the Midwest News Index (MNI), a new project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's NewsLab.

More here.

The book business ... even more depressing than the news business ...

Pierce is upset here about Marty's anti-Catholicism. Anti-Catholicism is not one of my causes, since a) I don't see anyone suffering for it today, and b) I've been accused it of a couple of times because some Catholics, like some Jews, like to make a big deal of it in order to feel themselves victims when they're not, (though obviously, genuine anti-Semitism, where it does exist, is a real problem). But you know, generally speaking, if Pierce says it, I agree with it. And I am interested in the question of whether Marty is a worse writer than Abe Rosenthal. As it happens, I was having breakfast with someone on Saturday morning in Boston who was planning to have dinner with Peretz that evening. I happened to mention that Marty starting a blog was the worst thing to happen to my digestive tract since the Times put Rosenthal out to pasture with his own column. Given enough time and enough money. I could devote this entire blog to the unintentional moral and intellectual comedy that Peretz now offers readers every single day on his blog, The Spine -- which, just to get things off on the right foot, features atop it the only book that Peretz has ever written, and, you know, it's not real ...

Anyway, I had planned to mention the amazing fact that Marty, whose main accomplishment in life is divorcing one extremely wealthy woman and marrying an even wealthier woman, who bought him a magazine whose influence and finances he has managed to destroy, attacking George Soros -- who has done more to promote democracy and civil society in the world any other living human being, and who survived the Holocaust -- as having no right to involve himself in Jewish affairs. That big of take-me-away-in-a-rubber-suit insanity is here. (I see he goes after the great public intellectual and liberal defense strategist Mort Halperin too, insinuating anti-Semitism there as well. He really is mad beyond belief, this man. Where is Saul Bellow when we need him?) In his pathetic efforts to smear Soros, Peretz joins his comrades, Richard Mellon Scaife and Tony Blankley. But before I got the chance to write the above, I click on "the spine" and see here's Marty once again, obsessed with Edward Said long after his death. Let's see: Edward Said, perhaps the most famous and influential intellectual in the world when he died, whereas, Marty Peretz, um, married a wealthy woman. ... Sadly, I wrote about this in the last Nation column I did before September 11, 2001 -- when Said was still alive and was a little hurt that I made my disagreements with him on Israel/Palestine public. That is here.

If I were still in Boston tonight, I'd definitely go to this forum on the life and work of John Kenneth Galbraith, especially since its early starting time would allow me to see Tom Glavine win another one when it was over. Send me the URL for the video when it's up, Richard.

Meanwhile, back to the real world, with endless rumors about "mid-course corrections" swirling around Washington and coup rumors swirling in Baghdad, Michael Schwartz focuses on a recent insider analysis by four U.S. military experts (first reported on in the The New York Times). The experts, in attempting to suggest ways in which American counterinsurgency tactics might be changed in Iraq, propose nine paradoxes of U.S. operations in that country, ranging from "Sometimes Doing Nothing Is the Best Reaction" to "The Best Weapons for Counterinsurgency Do Not Shoot."

Taking them one at a time, Michael Schwartz shows how they add up to a devasting critique of the last three-plus years of American military occupation of Iraq; they are, in essence, a list of everything the Pentagon has done wrong in that country.

Given the present disastrous situation, Schwartz concludes: "[N]o new military strategy -- however humane, canny, or well designed -- could reverse the occupation's terminal unpopularity. Only a U.S. departure might do that. Paradoxically, the policies these military strategists are now trying to reform have ensured that, however much most Iraqis may want such a departure, it would be, at best, bittersweet. The legacy of sectarian violence and the near-irreversible destruction wrought by the American presence make it unlikely that they would have the time or inclination to take much satisfaction in the end of the American occupation."

Big question of the day: What is, um, consciousness?

Quote of the Day: "In their hearts and minds and their crotches, they don't have any problem with what Foley did." -- Rush Limbaugh.

Line of the Day: "Mr. Bush! Is that a subpoena in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" Here.

From the Benton Foundation:

SPECTRUM POLICY COMMITTEE REMAINS SHROUDED IN SECRECY [SOURCE: RCR Wireless News (subscription required), AUTHOR: Jeffrey Silva]

Nearly two years after President Bush authorized the creation of an advisory committee as part of spectrum policy initiative launched in 2003, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has yet to disclose identities of members, whether any meetings have been held or explain what progress has been made on White House-driven spectrum program that from the beginning has been shrouded in secrecy and yielded few tangible results to date. NTIA, a unit of the Commerce Department that advises the president on telecom policy and manages federal government spectrum, last week declined to provide any details on the status of advisory committee and the Bush spectrum initiative. Todd Sedmak, an NTIA spokesman, said the agency may say more publicly by the end of the year or early 2007. But Sedmak did not elaborate on what NTIA planned to announce. The spectrum advisory committee, which is allotted between five and 20 members, is chartered for two years. The charter can be renewed. While NTIA has tried to keep the matter quiet, criticism has surfaced about financial disclosure statements required of advisory committee participants. At least one top industry lobbyist invited to join the panel is said to have refused to be part of the advisory committee as a result of financial filing requirements. Some federal advisory committees do not require financial disclosures. It is unclear whether the structuring of the Commerce spectrum management advisory committee, with its financial disclosure requirements, has caused NTIA to lose talent that otherwise it might have been able to attract.

MOYERS WEIGHS IN ON NET NEUTRALITY [SOURCE: Broadcasting & Cable, AUTHOR: John Eggerton]

With the network neutrality battle being waged among large-walleted lobbyists for big computer and media companies, "Big Media" critic Bill Moyers will tackle the subject in the final installment of his Moyers on America series of specials on PBS. The Oct. 18, 90-minute special is meant to raise the issue's profile with the general [sic: public], says a spokesperson for producing station WNET (it couldn't get much higher inside the Beltway). "While attention to the issue is low, the stakes are high with no less than the public and private sectors access to the Internet is being threatened," said the release announcing the show.

Alter-reviews:

Books I've Looked Through, Possibly Even Read, and Would Recommend in Greater Detail if Life were a Great Deal Longer:

  • Why Arendt Matters, here. (Though the great big bio is really still required reading ...)
  • LBJ: Architect of American Ambition, here. (Even if you've read all of Caro, and even all of Caro and all of Dallek ...)
  • American Speeches: Political Oratory from the Revolution to the Civil War (Library of America) here.
  • American Speeches: Political Oratory from Abraham Lincoln to Bill Clinton (Library of America) here. (An awful lotta Reagan, though.)
  • The 100 Greatest Days in New York Sports, here. (Not for the prose, though.)
  • Blowin' Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics, here.
  • Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America, here. (Eli tells me MoveOn is specifically addresssing this critique ...)
  • Anti-Americanisms in World Politics (Cornell Studies in Political Economy), here.
  • Up, Up, and Oy Vey!: How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero, here. (I told you about Spideywitz ...)

Books I Wish I Could Recommend After Taking a Good Long Look At Them, But Alas, I Cannot, Though Perhaps You Will Wish To Anyway:

  • The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk, here (Coulda been a contenda ...)
  • Yes, But Is It Good for the Jews?: A Beginner's Guide, Volume 1, here. (Sadly, a blown opportunity ...)
  • Oy!: The Ultimate Book of Jewish Jokes, here. ( "Oy" is right. Unbelievably unfunny ...)
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Book, here. (This is barely a book at all, though it does have cloth covers.)

Books I Can't Really Work Up Much Feeling For One Way or Another, though They Are Funny in Short Spurts, and Would Probably Make Pretty Good Gag Gifts:

  • Yiddish with Dick and Jane, here.
  • Destined for Destiny: The Unauthorized Autobiography of George W. Bush, here.

Bonus question: Does the above make me a double, or even triple, self-hater?

Correspondence Corner:

Name: David Calderhead
Hometown: Carrboro, NC

Missle defense? This is an issue that Stupid thinks the Democrats should adopt because it costs only $10 billion a year (currently) compared to the $4 billion a month for Iraq? Why don't we just support repealing the Estate tax while we're at it? Or maybe we could get behind that amendment preventing gay marriage for a few votes? I mean principles are so overrated.

Name: John Ransom
Hometown: Carlisle, PA

Well I sure thought it was unfortunate that Andrew Sullivan was given a forum to pretend he was a rational human being on Comedy Central's Colbert Report. This is one of the persons who spent years supporting the Iraq misadventure and treating anyone who thought otherwise as a member of a fifth column. In fact, I think Eric Alterman was specifically named as a member of America's "fifth column." Now Sullivan puts up a facade of having seen the light, which surely is merely a tactical move designed to prepare the conditions for insulting real patriots like Alterman in the near future.

Eric replies: Thanks, bub.

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