March 9, 2011

Non as blind as those . . .

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:42 pm

A forty year old movie that told the story of a group of criminals tried to cheat the operators of an illegal bookie operation out of some money may be a very appropriate piece of evidence for pundits who wish to evaluate the next American Presidential Election in the fall of 2112.

Movies about elaborate frauds are a popular theme for Hollywood and it was only after seeing the Robert Redford and Paul Newman movie that this columnist was advised to keep in mind, while seeing a film about con artists, that it will be the perpetrators who will get fooled. How many times have you seen a character get “killed” only to later learn that he was wearing a bullet-proof vest and wasn’t really killed?

What brought all this movie reviewing information to mind was that earlier this week; we saw two trend spotting stories about the competition for the Republican nomination for the Presidential Election in 2012. One was printed in the Los Angeles Times and the other was found online. (a href =>Paul West story on page AA) The story, by Paul Drake, on the Internets asserted that there was no clear front running Republican. The Times story tried to be a laundry list of potential winners.

Neither story mentioned JEB Bush and we thought that was very odd. Right after the 2008 Election it was reported that JEB was on a listening tour of the USA. JEB does not have an official website just yet but he is a member of a family that has been very prominent in American Politics. Why wasn’t JEB mentioned? There could be two possible explanations to the glaring omission: either the writers were dumb or they were part of an orchestrated effort to keep JEB’s name out of the limelight, for the time being.

Journalists don’t get assigned to be part of the political assessment team on a large daily newspaper by being dummies, so that leaves the other possibility as the most likely explanation.

Supposing that media could somehow be manipulated for an ulterior motive is absurd in a nation that has a free press as the life’s blood of a Democratic system, but we ask the reader’s permission to permit us that absurd assumption just for the sake of this column.

So what ulterior motive could there possibly be for “keeping JEB in the wings” as a stage director might put it?

If (subjunctive mood for the sake of an entertaining bit of columnistic reading matter) there was some imaginary Karl Rove type Svengali trying to orchestrate the Election Procedure, how would it play out with JEB being a stealth candidate at the one year away from the New Hampshire primary part of the count-down?

This is a hypothetical suggestion for such an imaginary scenario.

The master manipulator engineers a decisive victory in the Iowa caucuses and arranges for a subservient free press to greet such an “upset” with both amazement and extreme (but reluctant?) admiration. The most unexpected political comeback of all times!

This columnist can not imagine how such a mythical king-maker would arrange for the entire news media industry to “play along,” but in this fictionalized account (a stealth Hollywood “pitch” effort?) let’s just say that it happens.

Would America be gullible enough to read such Republican propaganda tripe and take it seriously?

Well, if Sarah Palin can be considered a serious contender for the Republican Presidential nomination, we will have to reluctantly concede the remote possibility that JEB could score a decisive win in Iowa and then further be ready to unquestioningly receive a torrent of “unexplained ground swell of approval” trend spotting stories in the ever cynical American free press.

If there is a massive display of “ground swell” spin in play after Iowa, would some subsequent early primary election wins be closely questioned? Not bloody well likely, mate.

If JEB gains traction and manages to somehow land the Republican Party’s nomination, wouldn’t America’s free press be on “condition red” alert regarding the possibility that just like in 2000 and 2004, the Republicans (and by an amazine co-inky-dink) and a member of the Bush family could again score a “stolen” victory? Wouldn’t the Conservative majority U. S. Supreme Court be over zealous in their efforts to prevent a sham election?

At this point would some hyper sensitive political critics might say that a minor clerical error on the part of one of the Supreme Court Justices would cause him to recluse himself from such a political death-match? Of course, but when the winds of paranoia are loosed in the realm of political speculation, all things are possible (especially if you believe in the power of prayer as most compassionate conservative Christians do).

At a moment in history when Libya seems to be participating in a reenactment of the Spanish Civil War and when Americans are blasé about torture, and when the unions are facing a political massacre in Wisconsin, one might have to concede that one more stolen (just to keep the conspiracy theory nuts happy) election might be a possible scenario.

Americans seem rather subdued when establishing a “no fly zone” in Libya is discussed. Why wasn’t a “no fly zone” established in the Guernica area during the Spanish Civil War? Why was the rest of the world so complacent back then, but not now? Can’t we all just ignore localized manifestations of civil unrest? Did the rebels make the same mistake that Erwin “The Desert Fox” Rommel made and overextend their supply lines?

If Obama fails to solve the Riddle-in-Libyan-politics correctly, will JEB get to say: “My brother predicted this would happen and Obama fumbled the ball.”? Why is the national political media ignoring the link between what is happening in the Middle East now and the George W. Bush prediction that a wave of pro-democracy sentiment would be unleashed by the American attempt to establish democracy in Iraq? Is the American media not free to say that? If so, who is muzzling them and why are they doing that?

Wash your hands and start rereading this column again.

Che Guevera said: “The laws of capitalism, blind and invisible to the majority, act upon the individual without his thinking about it. He sees only the vastness of a seemingly infinite horizon before him. That is how it is painted by capitalist propagandists, who purport to draw a lesson from the example of Rockefeller—whether or not it is true—about the possibilities of success. The amount of poverty and suffering required for the emergence of a Rockefeller, and the amount of depravity that the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude entails, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible to make the people in general see this.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Red Rubber Ball,” “Ain’t we crazy,” and Wagner’s Gotterdammerung. We have to go hunt up enough information about the rumor that Che was seen in Tubruk recently (yeah, yeah, yeah we know about the photo on Felix Rodriguez’s desk. We refer the reader back to the “bullet proof vest” trick earlier in this column.) Have an “I was sure he was dead” type week.

May 26, 2009

Malpractice Insurance for Newspaper Publishers?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , — Bob Patterson @ 5:44 pm

Does the constant reduction of the number of newsroom employees at the various and sundry newspapers remind anyone of the old medical procedure of bloodletting?  The cure, which called for doctors to remove a quantity of blood from a sick person, would sometimes make the patient’s condition worse and in some cases would kill him/her off. 

Won’t eliminating a publication’s contents to achieve an increase in circulation have the same effect as an overprescription of bloodletting?

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