April 12, 2013

Burglars. Books, and political games

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:32 pm


Did Karl Rove suggest that to get some dirt out on a potential opponent without giving the impression that they were trying to launch a smear campaign, some top Republicans could supply a “clandestinely recorded” tape to a member of the liberal media and then accuse the Democrats of stealing the material . . . or . . . did the Democrats hire some crafty old burglars (are any of the old JM Wave team still alive?) to come out of retirement and pull off a new version of the Watergate caper?  Will a full, complete, and impartial investigation of this “outrage” be any more successful than the attempts to look into the short sales of airline stock before 9-11, the anthrax attacks via the Post Office, or possible vulnerability of the unhackable electronic voting machines?  Such a cover story for delivering a tape full of smears, jeers, and leers could not only avert attention from the source of the news story, but would also help divert attention away from the mean spirit of the Republicans.  For a big payoff what would prevent the McConnell team from making the recording themselves and engineering a stealth handoff of the item that was sure to stir up news coverage of the potential opponents mental health history?

A columnist with a cynical attitude might just as well do the keystrokes for a totally innocuous effort as try to make sensible points about the contemporary political atmosphere in a country that is mired in a stalemated debate and so we will take the path of least resistance (and effort) this week.

How old is disappointment in America’s free press?  Upton Sinclair’s attack on the newspaper industry, titled “Brass Check,” was first printed in 1920.  Over the past weekend, the reference library at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory obtained a copy of George Seldes’ “Lords of the Press,” which was copyrighted in 1938.

A month ago, we had never seen the word “privishing,” but since then we obtained a copy of “History as Mystery,” by Berkeley based writer Michael Parenti, and “Into the Buzzsaw,” edited by Kristina Borjesson, which both explained that the word can be used to refer to a book that is published but then essentially quashed or left to languish unpublicized by book companies that want to extend some “interline courtesy” to some capitalist entities that would prefer folks don’t learn what those books have to say.

Did you know that up until Harry Truman ran for re-election the Depression was called “the Republican Depression,” but that in 1948, the conservative spin masters decided that the phrase “Great Depression,” sounded less partisan?

We had never heard the expression “hobo nickel,” until we ran across a young troubadour in a local Laundromat recently who hipped us to the topic of that collectable item.  We did a Google image search and were astounded to see what a fascinating item we had missed.  The young musician also was carrying an example of moldovite and was showing what makes it collectable.  It is a semi-transparent rock.

In the last week we also got a news tip that fans of Jim Lehrer might like to know that he has contributed a blurb to help Roy Zimmer draw attention to his political humor available on Youtube.  (What ever happened to Vaughn Meter?)

Recently we were delighted to stumble upon the book, “Hell above Earth,” by Stephen Frater, which tells the story of Herman Goering’s nephew, who became a B-17 pilot flying bombing missions over Germany in WWII.

The challenge of including unique bits of political commentary has become much easier than it used to be since America’s “Free Press” has become Fox-ified.  (See the “The Fox, the Hounds, and the Sacred Cows” chapter starting on page 37 in the book “Into the Buzzsaw.”)

For example, has any pundit pointed out the chilling potential for the hypothetical possibility that if North Korea makes an aggressive move against South Korea, a response by the United States might be a strategic time for hackers in China or Iran to cripple the American Military’s computer network.  If (subjunctive mood) that were to happen, would that, in turn, have a deleterious effect on America’s assertion that “all options are on the table” regarding a move to cripple or delay Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear device?

Most of the American based commentary we have encountered regarding Kim Jung Un is rather immature name calling and not at all like a calm evaluation of the possible repercussions of a new military adventure in Asia.  If Americans can handle very convoluted and intricate speculation about the rules and game strategy used in football, why do networks tend to resort to little or no expert analysis regarding International Politics?  Could that be an example of Fox-ified thinking at the headquarters of CBS and/or NBC?

Spending time and money inspecting bookstores to purchase obscure items such as Thomas Byrne and Tom Cassidy’s 2009 book titled “The Electric Toilet Virgin Death Lottery . . . and other outrageous Logic problems” may seem a tad foolish to most folks, but to someone who gets to feel like they “belong” when April 18 rolls around and National Columnists’ Day is celebrated, it makes sense.

Getting up early and turning on the computer, at 0600, to write about finding Stephen Clarke’s book, “ A Year in the Merde,” can be a bit of an ego-boost for someone who is aware that Hemingway urged wannabes to “write at first light.”

Would anyone else except a columnist enjoy learning (on page 161 of the book Time Capsule 1941 [A history of the year condensed from the pages of Time]) that Hitler’s Irish born sister-in-law, Bridget Elizabeth Hitler, was, before Pearl Harbor was bombed, working in New York City for British War Relief?

Only a columnist could use the fact that the Rolling Stones are about to start their new tour of “the colonies” in Oakland and that Willie Neslson is going to celebrate his 80th birthday later this month, to urge the two singers (who are both known for a vast array of duet recordings) to join together for a new example of their dueting abilities.  What song should they sing?  How about Bob Marley’s “Legalize it!”?  As the Stones tour begins, who wouldn’t want to hear Mick help Willie sing “On the Road Again!”?  Could those two rascals get away with a bawdy version of the WWII hit “Love them all”?  Would this be an appropriate time and place to plug John Costello’s book “Love, Sex, and War 1939 – 1945”

Tim Osman got a warm welcome to the USA by the CIA.  Who was he, really?  Look that information up on Google.

Will the anchor desks at the network news programs finally notice the story about the Los Angeles County assessor when he appears in court later this month?

With all the references of Mitch McConnell’s bugging being similar to Watergate, will the news media still cling to the old saw about “the burglars didn’t find anything of value” or will they start to hint that what they got was the dirt on the Vice Presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton and they used that to throw the Democrats off balance at the start of the 1972 Presidential Election campaign and parley that into Tricky Dick getting elected for a second time on a promise to end the War in Vietnam. This Sunday night is the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic encounter with an iceberg.

Just for yucks, pull up Hunter S. Thompson’s interview with Keith Richard on Youtube and see how many words you can understand as they talk to each other (ostensibly in English) and have no trouble understanding what’s being said.

If “they” have hacked into the Yahoo and Google sites and if the electronic voting machines are truly “unhackable,” why don’t Yahoo and Google hire the folks who delivered the unbeatable security to the “unhackabble” voting machines?  Were the people who designed the “unhackable” voting machines (by any chance?) veterans of “the Blond Ghost’s” old posse?

Baseball fans in San Francisco are getting their hopes up that they will soon see Carl Hubblell’s 1936 record for the Giants of winning 24 consecutive games be broken.

In his autobiography, Lenny Bruce started chapter five with this sentence:  “Standing on the deck of a warship in battle, you get a good look at the competitive aspect of life, carried to its extreme.”

Now the disk jockey will give Annette’s “Pineapple Princess,” a memorial tribute play and then spin ACDC’s “Dirty Deeds,”  Jackie DeShanon’s “Salinas,” and Bobby Daren’s “Jailer bring me water.”  We have to go check into some “false flag” rumors about the sinking of the SS Athena for the research department at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory.  Have an “electro shock therapy” type week.

May 16, 2011

“Forgive us our press passes . . .”

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 3:52 pm

Over the weekend, CBS radio news ran an item about the fact that President Obama had declared that the operations against Libya were “open ended.” The liberal mainstream media, which were so very sarcastic and critical when George W. Bush was in charge of the Endless War on Terrorism, seemed content to let the change in status of the Libya aspect of the war slide past without comment.

On Friday the 13th, Associated Press reported that the Medicare and Social Security programs were in peril economically. On his radio program that same night, Mike Malloy reported that he had read a report that stated that the Social Security program was solvent and had a cash surplus. Malloy seems to think that news should be based on facts and not consensus opinion dictated by the media owners and publishers.

On that same day, the University of California at Berkeley held a commencement for this year’s graduating class at the Law School, and a demonstration by folks who oppose America’s use of torture to gain information crucial for self defense held a protest at the entrance to the event. They based their objections on moral and humanitarian reasons while conveniently ignoring the fact that “the Great White Holy Father” in the Vatican, gave his imprimatur to torture about five hundred years ago. Apparently the anti-torture folks consider themselves to be better theologians than five centuries of Popes and the College of Cardinals have been.

Ironically, the Great White Father in Washington D.C. had gotten his legal advice about the permissibility of torture from a fellow who is on the faculty of the very school that held Friday’s graduation ceremony. Apparently the anti-torture folks are better legal scholars than President George W. Bush’s team of advisors on such matters.

Everyone who becomes embroiled in the debate over America’s use of torture conveniently forgets that previously in World History, Germany faced the same question and the Great White Father in Berlin reached the same legal conclusions that the Bush team would more than a half a century later. Apparently the anti-torture folks didn’t get good grades in World History class.

House speaker John Boehner was criticized recently by about five dozen professors at various Catholic colleges for a lack of Christ-like compassion for the poor. How would those teachers like it if, instead of immunity via the tenure tradition, they had to be reelected to the faculty by student and alumni voters? How about granting a tenure status to Congressional representatives who have served five terms, so that they would subsequently be immune from the riggers of continual reelection campaigns starting with their sixth term in office?

Speaking of world history and infallibility for theologians, that brings up the fact that Oakland based theologian Harold Camping has stated that the world will end next weekend.

The World’s Laziest Journalist, who is an ordained minister, has to frequently interrupt his efforts to say the prayers which will deliver a stay of execution for the doomed world, to conduct a debate with Ilsa she-wolf of the WLJ Accounting Department, about existentialist philosophy. She contends that allegations that the world will end next weekend are insufficient grounds for a weeklong profligate binge of expensive, self indulgence to go into eternity with flourish. The columnist thinks that a moderate bit of budget-busting extravagance might be permitted before the weekend rendezvous with destiny. Ilsa says that is an example of selfish thinking rationalization.

One project will be postponed until after next weekend. If the world doesn’t end, we will attempt to contact Jonathan Kay, author of the just published “Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground,” to give him a chance to give us a quote on the possibility that there is a secret government plot to foil plans to establish a Conspiracy Theory Hall of Fame (in Las Vegas?).

Speaking of quotes from an expert source, have you noticed that while almost everyone has been asked to comment on the shooting of Osama bin Laden, no well known journalist, had a quote on the death from either Mick Jagger or Keith Richards? Do you think that there is more to this “inadvertent” omission than meets the eye?

The news that one of the atomic reactors in Japan has gone into the dreaded “meltdown” level of malfunctioning hasn’t been widely disseminated. In the United States, the amount of tornado and flood damage this spring has been statistically much higher than normal. Was all this predicted in the Book of Revelations?

This columnist tries to sporadically produce copy that contains short items that are amusing, informative, and entertaining in the three dot journalism method from the past that should be suited to the “give it a quick skim reading” style that the modern Internet audience tends to use. We intentionally inject obscure, arcane, and esoteric cultural references in the hopes that such a style will attract an enduring number of regular readers and that such a base will provide a rational for management to excuse occasional attempts by the columnist to get “edgy.” Whatever happened to the idea that “edgy” would become a major ingredient for content on the Internets? Is it obsolete and has pandering to the lowest common denominator (celebrity gossip) become the standard of excellence?

This columnist, this week, may spend a few bucks for a few “why not?” treats and may devote some time to offering Rev. Dan of the Music for Nimrods program on KXLU in Los Angeles, some suggestions for this week’s playlist. Rev. Dan often uses a unifying theme for his show, so he may need some clever suggestions for appropriate music on the installment scheduled to coincide with “The End of the World.” If playing Elvis’ song, “Old Shep,” will emotionally upset the listeners, who cares if the World is about to end?

We will also try to have a few bucks in our wallet so that on Sunday morning, we can buy a “hot off the press” copy of the Sunday New York Times to read while we have a cup of coffee. Maybe we’ll find a topic that inspires us to write and post a new column.

If the world does end this coming Saturday, what will happen to the frequent flyer miles we accumulated on Pan Am?

The World’s Laziest Journalist fully expects that his dire warnings that “they” will use the electronic voting machines to rig yet another Presidential election in favor of the Republican candidate (JEB is my best guess) and that when that comes to pass we will be totally baffled by the fact that an accurate prediction on our part will receive no notice in the mainstream media, while a ridiculous “the World will end this Saturday” prediction became a part of the American culture in May of the year 2011.

The most relevant ending quote for a column on the topic of the End of the World might be a bit of folk wisdom (graffiti?) left over from the Sixties: “The World can’t end today, because it’s already tomorrow in China.”

Now the disk jockey will trifle with our tendency to be typical Irish and get sentimental when certain songs are played and play:
“As time goes by”
“Ghost riders in the sky”
“Great balls of fire”
“Rebel Rouser”
“Get off my cloud”
“Running Scared”
“Age of Aquarius”
“A boy named Sue”
“Le vie en rose”
And Judy Collins’ version of “Amazing Grace.” (Is it true that her version of that song can bring even a Vulcan to the verge of tears?)

The disk jockey will close out with his own selection of Jimmy Darren’s “Goodbye Cruel World.”

We have to go get a speck of dust out of our eye.

Have a “tune in again next week” type week.

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