RSSCategory: Bigotry

“War Made Easy” presents us with the time-tested recipe for going to war

June 11, 2008 | By | 7 Replies More
“War Made Easy” presents us with the time-tested recipe for going to war

In 2006, Norman Solomon wrote War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. His book detailed the information tactics the American government uses to launch wars.

War Made Easy has been such an influential book that it has now been made into a movie of the same name. You can view it here or you can order a copy of the DVD here.

I was able to attend a viewing of “War Made Easy” last Saturday night at the National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis (NCMR2008). This crisply edited movie was narrated by Sean Penn. Much of what keeps this movie engaging are the dozens of carefully chosen news media clips generated during various American wars for the past 50 years, including large numbers of videos clips from the Vietnam war and the Iraq occupation. The magic of “War Made Easy” is that the directors carefully edited and arranged these clips to show us that nothing much has really changed: If an American president has decided that he wants to go to war, the watchdog American media is likely to become a lapdog and we will inevitably go to war.

Following the screening of “War Made Easy,” I attended a discussion of the movie led by media critic Norman Solomon and the co-director and producer of the movie, Loretta Alper. The following morning, Ms. Alper granted me the opportunity to interview her further regarding the making of “War Made Easy.”

Whenever we Americans go to war, we get there through a well-documented series of stages. As I watched “War Made Easy,” I saw better than ever that these stages are entirely predictable in the context of America’s warmongering ways.

Perhaps this characterization of America sounds too shrill, but just look around. The evidence is everywhere that war is a sport in America just as sports are warlike. Our TV shows and movies overflow with violence as a first-rate method of dealing with conflict. The toys we foist on our boys extol violence as the most obvious way of settling disputes. We challenge each other with statements like “support the troops,” no matter what those troops are doing (and see here ). We are all too ready to invoke the word “war,” because that word triggers a ready-made conceptual frame for freely and guiltlessly expressing ourselves with bullets, bombs and blood. In America, this frame of war is such an incredibly effective filter that we proceed to consider only the “benefits” of war and we ignore the massive damages inflicted on both war-zone civilians and upon millions of Americans (and see here).

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Fearing the Campaign

June 6, 2008 | By | 4 Replies More
Fearing the Campaign

I was reading my daily dose of blood pressure spike (creationism news) when I found this tidbit on TheConservativeVoice.com: It is my strongly held belief as a conservative, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-family, pro-creationism vs Darwinian Evolution believer that there is no way in God‘s green earth that that old white guy, who would make history […]

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Al Jazeera takes a look at Kentucky voter attitudes regarding race

May 22, 2008 | By | 7 Replies More
Al Jazeera takes a look at Kentucky voter attitudes regarding race

This is a fascinating video, which I learned of at Daily Kos. Now that we’ve dragged some of those wacko preachers out into the limelight, maybe it’s time to focus those cameras on the bigots.  Sunshine is great disinfectant.

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The accomplishments of President George W. Bush

May 22, 2008 | By | 6 Replies More
The accomplishments of President George W. Bush

According to the AP, George W. Bush recently did a good and honorable thing: President Bush is backing legislation to prevent people from losing their jobs or health insurance based on genetic testing. Bush on Wednesday signed into law an anti-discrimination measure that drew enormous support in Congress. It forbids employers and insurance companies from […]

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Cowardly hypocrisy of "Darwin fish" displays

April 7, 2008 | By | 15 Replies More
Cowardly hypocrisy of "Darwin fish" displays

My friend Russ sent me this link to an article in our local paper entitled, “Cowardly hypocrisy of Darwin fish displays”. The title does a good job of strongly framing a weak argument. After I read it, I decided to post my response here: The article begins by framing anything interpretable as anti-Christian as equivalent […]

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Before We Congratulate Ourselves On Our Tolerance and Maturity

March 28, 2008 | By | 3 Replies More
Before We Congratulate Ourselves On Our Tolerance and Maturity

The disturbing part of this story is the reactions of so-called medical professionals to this couple’s situation and decision. Now there are two ways to look at this. The one that might make more sense (though certainly no more palatable) is that these physicians et al are concerned with Insurance issues. What’s covered here? How […]

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The precise anatomy of the modern Republican brain.

March 2, 2008 | By | 12 Replies More
The precise anatomy of the modern Republican brain.

I’ve spent a lot of time studying Republican political anatomy.   You see, I’m not only an armchair anthropologist, but I’m a social neuro-surgeon (a brand-new expertise, created today).   After careful review of all available relevant data, I have developed a precise chart (click on the thumbnail below) detailing each of the major features of the […]

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Who’s Afraid of Barack? And why?

February 18, 2008 | By | Reply More
Who’s Afraid of Barack? And why?

I watched a few minutes of a Sunday morning Fox political program, and noticed that their fair and balanced coverage of presidential politics had several distinct spins. On the republican side, McCain is the anointed candidate. On the Democrat side, the race will be decided by the super-delegates. Every bit of subtle mud that can […]

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The Gay Pride Confederate

February 11, 2008 | By | 1 Reply More
The Gay Pride Confederate

Sifting through some of my photos from last year, I found a shot that tickled and confused me at the time that I took it, and still does now. I would like to share it with all of you. But first some background: Last summer, I was watching my city’s Gay Pride Parade in my […]

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