Monthly Archives: July 2009

It’s not because he wasn’t born here, but because he was born while black

A copy of the digitally scanned birth certificate of President ...

Reuters image

White supremacists, a.k.a. “birthers,” seem to believe that they’re going to undo the will of the majority of American voters — again — by going after President Barack Obama, whose legitimate birth certificate from the state of Hawaii is shown above. I say to the birthers: Over this white man’s dead body will you once again subvert the will of the majority of the American voters like you did with George W. Bush.

As I have written recently, I hate it when people cry racism without apparent good cause, but I cannot think of any reason other than racism that some wingnuts are obsessed over whether or not President Barack Obama meets the constitutional requirements of nativity for a U.S. president.

First of all, many if not most of the “birthers” — who assert that Obama legally cannot be president because he doesn’t meet the U.S. Constitution’s nativity requirements — think that it would be Awesome! if Austrian-born Repugnican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger could be U.S. president (you don’t have to be a natural-born citizen to be California governor). Some of these wingnuts even have called for the U.S. Constitution to be changed — so that Schwarzenegger specifically can run for president.

And where in the fuck were the “birthers” when the BushCheneyCorp blatantly stole the White House in late 2000, even though Democrat Al Gore had won the popular vote by more than half a million votes and even though he won the pivotal state of Florida as well? Where was the sanctity of the office of president to the “birthers” then?

No, you see, the “problem” is that George W. Bush and Schwarzenegger are white men, and Barack Obama was BWB — born while black.

It’s good enough for me that the same 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court that ignored the will of the majority of American voters and installed George W. Bush (instead of the victor, Al Gore) into the White House in late 2000 has refused to hear the “birthers'” “legal” “arguments” that Obama legally can’t be president. Like the U.S. Supreme Court would have passed up another chance to pick a Repugnican “president” over the will of the majority of the American voters!

But this nails the birthers’ coffin shut for me (from The Associated Press):

Honolulu – State officials in Hawaii [today] said they have once again checked and confirmed that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen, and therefore meets a key constitutional requirement for being president.

They hoped to stem a recent surge in the number of inquiries about Obama’s birthplace.

“I … have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying [that] Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen,” Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said in a brief statement. “I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago.”

So-called “birthers” — who claim Obama is ineligible to be president because, they argue, he was actually born outside the United States — have grown more vocal recently on blogs and television news shows.

Fukino issued a similar press release Oct. 31, but was prompted to speak out again because of the renewed attention on Obama’s beginnings. Hawaii’s Health Department has been flooded in recent weeks with questions from individuals and several national TV news networks asking for proof that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii.

“They just keep asking over and over and over again,” Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.

The Constitution states that a person must be a “natural-born citizen” to be eligible for the presidency. Birthers contend that Obama’s birth certificate is a fake, and many say he was actually born in Kenya, his father’s homeland. They’ve challenged his citizenship in court….

And they’ve lost in court. No court of law, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, has found for the “birthers.”

It’s sad, sick and pathetic. So anathema to these white supremacists is a non-white president that they maintain, against all available evidence and in the midst of the fact that every court of law shoots down their bullshit claims, that Barack Obama isn’t legitimately president.

They use the birth certificate “issue” as their “argument” because they can’t just come right out and say that their main problem with Obama is that he’s black.

These motherfuckers apparently want another fucking civil war on their hands, challenging the legitimacy of President Barack Obama — who, whether you like him or not, was elected fairly and squarely by a clear majority of the American people — when their own fucking last “president,” George W. Bush, was the most illegitimate “president” in U.S. history, first “elected” and then “re”-“elected” under the dark clouds of election fraud. (But he was white, you see, so that was perfectly OK.)

I say that we blue staters give that civil war to the “birthers” — and that we finish the job this time.

P.S. I forgot to mention that of course the presidential campaign of Billary Clinton or John McCainosaurus would have seized upon the Obama nativity issue were there any substance to it.

You think that Billary didn’t want the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination? You think that the Repugnicans didn’t want to keep the White House?

You don’t think that between Team Billary and Team McCainosaurus, every Obamastone was overturned?

So that’s three strikes against the “birthers'” bullshit conspiracy theory (in no certain order): the U.S. Supreme Court refused to get involved in the matter; Obama of course was fully investigated by the Clinton and the McCainosaurus campaigns; and the Hawaii state government says (repeatedly) that Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

Even the evilly insane Ann Cunter says that the “birthers” are full of shit.

Case absofuckinglutely closed.

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Go out whining

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shares a laugh while serving hot ...

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is pictured during an invocation ...

Reuters photos

Repugnican Sarah Palin-Quayle gives a fake laugh and bows her head in fake piety yesterday at the annual governor’s picnic in Fairbanks. Maybe she is praying that she escapes the innumerable ethics probes and legal bills that have plagued her during her truncated governorship of one of the nation’s reddest and least-populous states. Yesterday was Palin-Quayle’s last day as governor of Alaska, but for her to slither back under the rock from which she came probably is too much to hope for.

Good riddance, Sarah Palin-Quayle.

Oh, just kidding. I know that, like Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger or some other nightmare, you’ll be back.

But it’s funny (not ha ha funny) how Palin-Quayle demonstrates how unpresidential she is while trying to make the argument to the contrary.

I mean, do we want a president who whines at every turn about her or his “mistreatment”?

For her failures Palin-Quayle blames the media, blames a supposed national pornographic interest in her white-trash family that I’ve never witnessed, blames even “starlets” (although she has wanted to be one herself), and she even (I think — her thinking is disordered) surreally claims that to criticize her somehow is to attack our troops.

Palin-Quayle is just a power-hungry beauty-pageant dingbat who wraps herself in the American flag and in the Shroud of Turin. She has to wrap herself in something, has to align herself with someone else’s achievements, because she’s never accomplished anything on her own in her whopping two and a half years as governor of one of the nation’s least populous, most backasswards states.

Perhaps there is some hope for the United States of America, though, that the majority of voters in November stopped the possibility of Palin-Quayle ever becoming — Oh. My. God. — president. 

Whatever her future endeavors, I fully expect Palin-Quayle to continue with her “victimization” shtick, which will guarantee that governor of one of the most podunk states in the nation is the highest political office that she’ll ever get.

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Al and Jesse, get right on it!

Los Angeles Lakers Rick Fox, center, holds his arms up in the ...

Associated Press photo

The caption for this AP photo reads: “Los Angeles Lakers [player] Rick Fox … holds his arms up in the air as he pretends to be arrested by ‘Star Wars’ stormtroopers at [the] Comic-Con International 2009 convention … in San Diego [yesterday]….”

Hmmm… Good fun or racial profiling?

After all, the arresting officers are white.

For laughs, Fox should have told the stormtroopers, “You don’t know who you’re messing with!” — which is what Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. reportedly told the white cop who arrested him…

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Obama’s almost-apology re Gatesgate

President Barack Obama pauses as he talks to the media in the ...

Associated Press photo

President Barack Obama gives a half-assed apology today for having stoked the flames of interracial strife with stupid comments that he made at the end of a press conference on Wednesday.

I was happy to watch the video in which President Barack Obama admitted today that by inserting himself into Gatesgate — I refer, of course, to the black Harvard professor who cried “racism” when a white police officer responded to a call that the professor’s house in Cambridge, Mass., was being burglarized — he only inflamed, rather than illuminated, the controversial situation.

However, Obama not only did not apologize for his largest error, but he didn’t even mention it. And his biggest error is that he sided with black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s account without being able to know whose account of the incident is the most accurate: Gates’ or white Sgt. James Crowley’s.

Obama’s biggest error when he shot his mouth off on Wednesday was not that he didn’t “calibrate” his words correctly, and nor was it his biggest error (as he today seemed to have suggested, probably incorrectly, that his critics have alleged) that as president he shouldn’t have chimed in on Gatesgate. (Obama correctly stated today that racism is a national issue, not a local issue.)

Again, Obama’s biggest error is that he spoke out of his ass, and George W. Bush notwithstanding, the president of the United States should not speak out of his or her ass.

The more information that comes to light about Gatesgate, the more it looks like Gates cried wolf and that his deck of race cards needs to be confiscated from him (but probably not by a white person).

This, for instance, from The Associated Press today:

Cambridge, Mass. – A black police officer who was at Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s home when the black Harvard scholar was arrested says he fully supports how his white fellow officer handled the situation.

Sgt. Leon Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates’ reaction to Crowley was “a little bit stranger than it should have been.”

Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said supported Crowley “100 percent.”

Gates has said he was the victim of racial profiling.

President Barack Obama says the officers “acted stupidly.” Lashley called Obama’s remark “unfortunate” and said he should be allowed to take it back.

Lashley is pictured in the foreground of this now-famous news photo (taken by Gates’ neighbor) of Gates’ arrest:

In this photo taken by a neighbor Thursday July 16, 2009, Henry ...

Associated Press photo

A picture says a thousand words; the handcuffed Gates appears to be out of control and Lashley doesn’t appear to be concerned that this is an episode of police brutality being perpetrated against a member of his own race.

Of course, the race-baiters out there like Gates and Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson probably regard Lashley as just an Uncle Tom; those who so rabidly want to see racism where it doesn’t exist cannot be persuaded otherwise.

All of this said, I want to make it clear that I agree with Obama’s statement in his half-assed apology of today that blacks historically have had reason to fear mistreatment by white male cops and that therefore such fear at least to some extent is understandable.

However, we have to take each allegation of racism in the present on a case-by-case basis; historical precedent cannot be used as a determinant as to whether a present-day allegation of racism is valid or not.

And finally, yes, let me be the first to state that racism is alive and well in the United States of America — although, it seems to me, its incidence is largely based upon geographic location. I can see white male cops in the South being institutionally racist more than I can see white male cops in Cambridge, Mass., being institutionally racist, for example. 

If you’re one of those fucktards who thinks that racism doesn’t exist in the United States anymore, take a look at this Associated Press news video of a clash between white supremacist assholes (that’s redundant) and black Americans in Paris, Texas that happened just this past Tuesday.

In the video, white supremacist dipshits (again, redundant), among other things (such as to give the Nazi salute and to display the Nazi and Confederate flags), tell black Americans to “go back to Africa.”

Uh, one, all of us human beings came from Africa, and two, it’s not like Africans came to America voluntarily, on holiday on cruise ships, is it?

White supremacists, who appear to be lacking or perhaps possessing extra chromosomes, make me embarrassed to be a white male, and I apologize to all black Americans that such white retards still exist. (And I thank Goddess that at least I’m gay…)

Oh, well; although Obama fucked this one up, at least he got the nation talking about race issues, which needs to be an ongoing national dialog.

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Next to ‘I love you,’ ‘I don’t know’ is the best three-word sentence of all

OK, so I probably have been guilty of this myself to some degree, but there is an epidemic in the nation of individuals asserting statements of truth even after they have acknowledged that they don’t know all of the facts.

There is this from The Associated Press today:

NATICK, Mass. – A white police sergeant who arrested renowned black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. said [today] he’s disappointed President Barack Obama said officers acted “stupidly,” despite acknowledging he didn’t know all the facts.

Sgt. James Crowley responded to Gates’ home near Harvard University last week to investigate a report of a burglary and demanded Gates show him identification. Police say Gates at first refused and accused the officer of racism.

Gates was charged with disorderly conduct. The charge was dropped Tuesday, and Gates has since demanded an apology from Crowley.

Obama was asked about the arrest of Gates, who is his friend, at the end of a nationally televised news conference on health care [last] night.

“I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry,” Obama said. “Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And number three — what I think we know separate and apart from this incident — is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, and that’s just a fact.”

In radio interviews [this] morning, Crowley maintained he had done nothing wrong in arresting Gates.

“I support the president of the United States 110 percent. I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment,” Crowley told WBZ-AM….

I don’t watch corporately owned and operated television, since it’s mostly just corporate brainwashing, but I happened to catch the end of Obama’s press conference at a friend’s house last night, and I was flabbergasted that Obama indeed first admitted that he didn’t know what happened between Gates and Crowley but then proceeded to assert that Gates indeed had produced his identification to Crowley as Crowley had asked him to do.

Fact is, this is a he-said, he-said situation. Gates says he produced identification when he was asked for it. The cops say that Gates refused to produce identification. While I tend to suspect that Gates indeed refused to show ID, at least initially, because he wanted to make the whole thing into a “racist” incident, I wasn’t there, so I can’t say for sure what happened; I can’t say who is telling the truth and who apparently is prevaricating.

When asked about Gatesgate last night, Obama should have simply stated that he wasn’t there, so he can’t take sides. That he took a side, Gates’ side, was irresponsible. It was piss-poor leadership on Obama’s part and only could serve to further stoke the flames of interracial hatred, the flames that Gates and Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and their ilk seem to want to stoke.

Remaining neutral in the Gates case wouldn’t have been pussy of Obama — it would have been wise, given his admitted lack of knowledge of the facts.

And then there is Rachel Maddow. I love Rachel. She perhaps is my favorite lesbian on the planet.

But I was astounded to hear Maddow, in a clip that I recently watched on the Internet, state that of course every statement that Bowe Bergdahl, the 23-year-old American soldier being held captive by the Taliban, made in the half-hour video that the Taliban recently released was coerced.

WTF?

Fact is, we just can’t know what is in Bowe Bergdahl’s head. Yes, it’s certainly possible that everything that he said in the half-hour Taliban video, with the probable exception of the sentiments that he expressed for his family at home and his wish to go home, were coerced to at least some degree.

However, I don’t rule out that he truly believes at least some, or maybe even most of, the statements that he made. (I at least find it at least a little hard to believe that Bergdahl truly is as interested in finding out more about Islam as he states he is in the video.)

Hopefully Bergdahl will make it home safely and we will find out from him what is in his head.

Until then, each of us needs to humble herself or himself and acknowledge:

I.

Don’t.

Know.

Those are three refreshing, liberating words that we just don’t hear enough.

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Racial profiling or yet another media op for Al Sharpton and/or Jesse Jackson?

In this photo taken by a neighbor Thursday July 16, 2009 Henry ...

Associated Press photo

In this photo taken by a neighbor of his, Henry Louis Gates Jr., the director of Harvard University’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research, is arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass., on July 16. Police say they were responding to a call of a break-in at Gates’ home, while Gates reports that his front door was stuck and that he had problems opening it. Police say that Gates was uncooperative with them (to put it mildly) and that they arrested him for disorderly conduct.

So a famous black scholar apparently was arrested when he was uncooperative with police who were responding to a call that his house was being burglarized by a couple of black men. (Gates says that his front door was stuck shut and that he asked a driver to help him get it open.)

Was it racial profiling or not?

Gates says it was.

Now, I’m a white guy. If my front door were stuck and I had to force my way into my own house, and someone had called the cops to report that he or she had seen someone breaking into my house, I might not be happy to see the cops arrive; after all, I’m no burglar and it’s my own house.

But you know, I probably would cooperate with the cops, realizing (duh!) that if they’d received a report of a break-in and found me inside, they wouldn’t know whether I were the rightful occupant of the home or whether I were a burglar. I wouldn’t attribute it to my race.

If I refused to cooperate with the cops, yelling at them and demanding to see their identification and calling them names, as Gates reportedly did, I would expect to be arrested.

Of course, the cops can’t win, can they? If they had ignored the call that Gates’ home was being broken into, wouldn’t they also have been labeled as racist?: Those racist cops just let the black guy’s house get burglarized!

“It never would have happened [to a white person] — imagine a white professor, a distinguished white professor at Harvard, walking around with a cane, going into his own house, being harassed or stopped by the police. It would never happen,” Gates huffed.

The cops “harassed” Gates? Asking him to show identification because they’ve been called to a possible burglary at his home is “harassment”?

I don’t know Gates, but my guess is that he’s a perpetual “victim,” looking to pull the race card out at every fucking opportunity.

People who cry wolf, like Gates appears to have done, make it more difficult for actual victims of racial profiling and other forms of racism and discrimination.

P.S. Of course Al Sharpton has injected himself into this; it’s what he does:  “victimhood” by proxy. But more interestingly, the Boston Herald’s website gives more details of Gates’ arrest:

A witness, 40-year-old Lucia Whalen of Malden, had alerted the cops that a man was “wedging his shoulder into the front door” at Gates’ house “as to pry the door open,” police reported.

A law enforcement source said Gates apparently had locked himself out. When Sgt. James Crowley arrived, he said Gates already was inside. But when he was asked to provide identification, Gates allegedly snapped, “No, I will not!”

Police said Gates’ front-porch tirade about racism “alarmed” passers-by drawn to the uproar outside his Cambridge home.

As Crowley tried to question him, police said Gates bellowed, “This is what happens to black men in America!”

Crowley claimed in his report he tried to calm Gates, but wrote that Gates “shouted, ‘You don’t know who [you’re] messing with!”

After calling Crowley “a racist,” according to police reports, the professor was charged with disorderly conduct and released for a $40 fee….

The 58-year-old Gates sounds like a real piece of work. Clearly, baby-boomer assholism crosses racial lines.

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LOVIN’ the teaser for Michael Moore’s new anti-corporate documentary

Michael Moore’s new film is called “Capitalism: A Love Story,” and it’s set to be released on Oct. 2.

It’s so “socialist!” and I’m so there.

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I’m NOT your ho, Mista President

obama-pimp.jpg image by kslaughter_01

A good e-friend of mine of several years asked me in an e-mail yesterday if I’m going to blog in support of President Barack Obama’s health care plan, as Obama has asked bloggers to do.

Um, no, I told my friend.

First of all, I don’t even know what Obama’s health plan is — and I’m not alone. I would need to learn a lot more before I could strongly support or oppose that plan, and that Obama apparently is trying to ram his plan through Congress before September raises a red flag for me. 

Secondly, though, even if I did know what his health plan is, my bachelor of science in journalism instilled in me a strong preclusion from allowing any public official to direct me to write this or write that (or not to write this or that) for his or her political benefit.

When I was earning my print journalism degree, we journalism students used to mock the public relations students (mostly behind their backs) — PR are the first two letters of “prostitute,” after all. We journalism students saw ourselves as guardians of the truth*, and we young idealists were willing to accept the low salary of newspaper journalists. We saw the PR students, who could make a lot more money in PR than they could in journalism, as sellouts willing to mangle the truth for their corporate overlords for cold, hard cash.

My idealism isn’t completely dead even some 20-odd years later, so: Obama won’t be pimping me.

Yes, I’m a blogger, not a journalist in the strict sense of the word.

But blogs have lost all value to democracy and to the free marketplace of ideas when they cease to be independent and critical and start to take marching orders from government officials.

Obama doesn’t get it. Or, more frighteningly, maybe he does.

I get it that political blogs really got their start with the Howard Dean campaign. I was there blogging when that started, in late 2002 and in 2003. The Dean campaign and the Dean campaign’s support throughout the blogosphere (well, I supported John Kerry all along, seeing him as much more likely to defeat George W. Bush in 2004) were a reaction against the damage that the unelected Bush regime had done to the nation, especially its launch of the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War in March 2003.

But somewhere along the line, the purpose of left-of-center political blogging got lost. Left-of-center political blogs started out being critical of the unelected Bush regime. Now, many if not most LOC political blogs have become mouthpieces for the Obama administration, which rather simply inherited the infrastructure (especially the Internet infrastructure) and the good will of the former Deaniacs.

Blogs are useful only if they can be critical of public officials and of the government when it’s necessary.

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it,” said Mark Twain.

At least where his health care proposal is concerned, I’m not sure whether Obama deserves my support, and he’s not getting it just because he has asked for it — in fact, he’s not getting it especially because he has asked for it and because he has put a tight deadline on it.

P.S. I’ve seen enough to make me skeptical of Obama’s health care proposal, in case you think I’m just being difficult.

P.P.S. My boyfriend thinks that this piece is racist. Meh. I didn’t create the concept of the pimp and the ho, but I am just using that pre-existing cultural material to make my point, which is that I’m pissed off at Obama for trying to pimp me out. My problem with Obama is not that he’s (half-)black; my problem with him is that he shamelessly is trying to pimp me and other bloggers out. 

*Of course, most newspapers are owned by corporations and so there is no true free speech at most newspapers — what newspapers are left, anyway — but that’s another blog post…

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Still thinking about Bowe Bergdahl

Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl worked as a barista at Zaney's River Street ...

A sign of support for U.S. Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl is seen at ...

Associated Press photos

Signs are displayed at the coffee house in Hailey, Idaho, where 23-year-old soldier Bowe Bergdahl (shown in an undated family photo below), who now is being held captive by the Taliban, worked as a barista before he joined the U.S. Army in June 2008. Will Americans disown Bergdahl if it turns out that he deserted his unit in Afghanistan? Will his case encourage more Americans to think about the U.S. war in Afghanistan, as it has for me?

In this undated photo provided by the Bergdahl family and released ...

Associated Press photo

So more inf0rmation about Bowe Bergdahl, the 23-year-old Idahoan who is being held captive by the Taliban, gradually comes to light.

There are the little details, such as that his middle name is the same as my first name, and there are the larger details. There are a lot of missing details, in no small part because Bergdahl’s family members aren’t talking to the media.

I was surprised to read that before he joined the U.S. Army in June 2008, Bergdahl was involved in ballet and fencing. (But especially ballet — I mean, in Idaho. And not many young American men go from ballet floor to the battlefield.)

I wonder why Bergdahl — who, I have read, was home-schooled (which does sound Idahoan…) — joined the U.S. military, especially when the military has been so active in the Middle East since the unelected Bush regime launched its illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War in 2003.

Was Bergdahl a True Believer in The Cause? If so, is he still a True Believer, or did he mean at least some, if not all, of what he said in the video that the Taliban released — that the U.S. military should pull out of Afghanistan and that the United States should focus on solving its own serious problems at home before attempting to meddle in other nations’ affairs?

Or was it that Bergdahl saw no other financial future for himself other than the U.S. military? Did he drink the military recruiters’ Kool-Aid?

Why is Bergdahl’s family being so quiet? Has the U.S. government strictly instructed them to be? Or are they just private people? Or do they know or do they suspect that he deserted his unit in Afghanistan — if that is what happened — and therefore they don’t want to talk about it? 

I even wonder if my understanding of Idaho has been wrong. It’s one of the reddest states — Wikipedia notes that Idaho has not gone to a Democratic candidate for president since 1964 — and so I have been surprised to hear about Bergdahl’s involvement in ballet (considered to be an effeminate pursuit) and fencing (considered to be hoity-toity if not also effeminate).

I was surprised even to see the peace symbol displayed in the coffee shop in the news photo above; I mean, Idahoans are for peace? Idaho was one of the few states where former “President” George W. Bush still could go as his popularity plummeted, knowing that he’d always find an adoring crowd there, usually a military crowd. (They loved him even though he was sending them off to slaughter in Vietraq for BushCheneyCorp’s obscene profits — go figure.)

OK, so after some quick Internet research just now, I see that, per Wikipedia, Blaine County, the county in Idaho where Bergdahl was raised, “has a reputation as a Democratic Party enclave in strongly Republican Idaho.”*

This factual tidbit makes me suspect even more strongly now that Bergdahl meant at least some, if not most or even all, of what he said in the half-hour video that the Taliban released. (Most of which I agree with, by the way, although with the exception of gaining more cultural knowledge, perhaps, I have little to no interest in learning more about Islam, as I have little to no personal interest in the three Abrahamic religions, which only seem to want to war with each other.)

What if Bergdahl did desert his unit in Afghanistan? How would he be viewed then?

Fox “News” guest pundit retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (yet another stupid white man — surprise!) posits that Bergdahl definitely is a “liar” (at least about how he came into the hands of the Taliban) and probably is a deserter, and the Fox “News” bitch interviewing Peters smugly notes that Fox “News” won’t show any of the Taliban’s half-hour video featuring Bergdahl because that would be to help the Taliban, you see.

(No, that would be to counter the steady stream of pro-war propaganda for the stupid white men’s military-industrial complex that Fox “News” spoon-feeds the nation a la “The Matrix.” Yes, let Fox “News” decide what you should and should not see and hear! Trust them! They have only your own best interests at heart!)

Peters posits on Fox “News” that the Taliban is unlikely to kill Bergdahl because Bergdahl has “tremendous propaganda value” (although probably not nearly as much as Fox “News” does, of course), although Peters indicates that if Bergdahl is a deserter, then he (Peters) is perfectly OK with the Taliban slaughtering Bergdahl to save the United States the trouble of dealing with Bergdahl. The Fox “News” bitch quickly disowns this sentiment (wink-wink!), but the sentiment is put out there nonetheless.

We can have sympathy for Bergdahl as a fellow human being whose life has value only if Bergdahl is in complete agreement with the stupid white men who steal presidential elections, who run Fox “News” and who send our young people off to slaughter in bogus wars for their own personal riches, you see. 

I hope that Bergdahl comes home alive — if indeed he deserted, is the U.S. government really working all that hard to recover him, as they have promised they are doing? — and I hope that his story gets out, that the U.S. government doesn’t do everything that it can to avoid embarrassment if indeed Bergdahl is a conscientious objector and the Taliban doesn’t kill him like the Fox “News” “experts” want the Taliban to do. (Fox “News” won’t tell Bergdahl’s story, because that would be to help the enemy, dontchya know, but there are plenty of satanic and socialist and anti-American news organizations [a.k.a. actual news organizations] that will.)

The best-case scenario is that the case of Bergdahl brings the misguided U.S. military operations in Afghanistan to a grinding halt through a sea change in public opinion that makes a continued war in Afghanistan too much of a liability for the Obama administration (although I’m not holding my breath on that one). But in any case, it’s a war that the United States cannot win, a war that benefits only the greedy traitors who comprise the military-industrial complex who don’t care about the death and the destruction that their wars create for others, a war that the United States cannot afford to continue, financially, militarily, psychologically or spiritually. 

If Bergdahl did desert his unit, I find little to no fault with him. The U.S. military is in Afghanistan primarily to protect corporate interests, just as it has been the case in Vietraq.

Long gone are the days when the U.S. military was used to protect the United States from actual harm from enemy nations. The members of the U.S. military now are used as thugs for corporations to steal what they want from other nations. We, the American taxpayers, foot the bill for the corporations to have their thugs, and it is the children of us, the American people, who die in the bogus wars that are waged for corporate interests.

There is a word for that travesty, for that misuse of the U.S. military, for the theft of Americans’ children and the theft of their tax dollars for the benefit of the filthy-rich few: treason.

Bergdahl was not sent to a legitimate war, a war to protect the security of the United States of America. He was sent to a foreign nation to protect corporate interests, and although Fox “News” would have you believe that corporate interests are our national interests, corporate interests are only corporate interests, and as the state of the U.S. economy for the average American attests, the spoils of war never trickle down from the corporate fat cats to us, the people, who pay for those wars with our tax dollars and with our children’s blood.

Although the story still is unfolding, Bowe Robert Bergdahl is a sort of a hero to me, a symbol of what the greedy motherfucking baby boomers have left for our young people (which is literally less than nothing), and I hope that he does not end up like so many of our precious young people have these past several years, sacrified like a lamb to the greed of the corporations that knows no bounds.  

*The Wikipedia entry continues:

The Democratic candidate for president of the United States has won [Blaine County] in every election since 1992, when George H. W. Bush finished third behind Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. Blaine was the only Idaho county carried by Al Gore and John Kerry in 2000 and 2004, respectively. In the 2008 election, Barack Obama carried the county by a 33.2-percent margin over John McCain, while McCain won statewide by a 25.3-percent margin over Obama. It was by far the Democrat’s best showing in Idaho.

In 2006, Blaine County voted 66.3 percent against HJR 2, which amended the Idaho Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage; the measure passed with 63.4 percent of the statewide vote….

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Whom to believe: the Taliban’s video — or my own fucking lying government?

Berg and Bergdahl: Above is a video grab of Nick Berg, the 26-year-old American civilian who was held captive and slaughtered by al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq in May 2004, and below is a video grab of Bowe Bergdahl, the 23-year-old American soldier who now is being held captive by members of the Taliban in Afghanistan. I’m hoping that Bergdahl’s fate turns out to be better than that of Berg.

This video frame grab taken from a Taliban propaganda video ...

Associated Press image

So I read in the news today that a 23-year-old American soldier from Podunk, Idaho named Bowe Bergdahl is being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and I see his image, and he eerily reminds me, way too much, of Nick Berg, the 26-year-old American telecommunications entrepeneur who was captured and slaughtered by al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq in May 2004.

Not only are their surnames too similar, but their images are too similar, and I hope that Bergdahl, unlike Berg did, comes home safely, in one piece.

The Associated Press reports today of a 28-minute Taliban video of Bergdahl:

In the video, Bergdahl had his head shaved and was seen with the start of a beard. He was sitting and dressed in a nondescript, gray outfit. Early in the video one captor held the soldier’s dog tag up to the camera. His name and ID number were clearly visible. He was shown eating at one point and sitting cross-legged.

He said the date was July 14 and that he was captured when he lagged behind on a patrol. It’s clear the video was made no earlier than July 14 because Bergdahl repeated an exaggerated Taliban claim about a Ukrainian helicopter that was shot down that day.

He was interviewed in English by his captors. He was asked his views on the war, which he called extremely hard; his desire to learn more about Islam; and the morale of American soldiers, which he said was low.

Asked how he was doing, the soldier said: “Well I’m scared, scared I won’t be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner.”

He later choked up when discussing his family and his hope to marry his girlfriend.

“I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America. And I miss them every day when I’m gone,” he said.

He was prompted by his interrogators to give a message to the American people.

“To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it’s like to miss them, you have the power to make our government bring them home,” he said. “Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here, wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country. Please bring us home. It is America and the American people have that power.”

Of course the U.S. military was quick to imply that Bergdahl couldn’t possibly have said anything like that on his own accord, but that of course he was coerced by his captives to say that. Reports the AP:

“I’m glad to see he appears unharmed, but again, this is a Taliban propaganda video,” spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker said. “They are exploiting the soldier in violation of international law.”

Like the United States never violates international law (such as with the unelected Bush regime’s launch of the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War in March 2003 against the wishes of the United Nations Security Council and against world opinion) and like the U.S. military doesn’t produce propaganda videos (such as with its G.I.-Joe-like recruitment ads targeted at our young cannon fodder for the military-industrial complex).

And the members of the Taliban are exploiting Bergdahl no more than the U.S. military has exploited Bergdahl.

Bergdahl is, after all, fully expected to die for the obscene profits of the stupid greedy rich white men who send our precious young people off to their wars for their obscene profits, if it comes to that. And in Bergdahl’s case it just might come to that.

How does Sidenstricker sleep at night, being a spokesnake for the military-industrial complex, I wonder? (And doesn’t Sidenstricker sound like a great surname for a spokesnake, kind of like sidewinder?) How does Sidenstricker feel, I wonder, selling out her own comrades to those greedy, evil overlords who so casually put them into the meat grinder to which they never would subject their own cowardly selves?

The sad thing is that I don’t know whom to believe: the Taliban, who put out the video of Bergdahl apparently saying of his own accord that he and his comrades want to come home — I mean, what 23-year-old lower-to-middle-class American male used as a pawn in a war in the Middle East would not want to die for the obscene, oily profits of the stupid greedy rich white men who sent him there without a second thought but who never would put themselves in harm’s way? — or the U.S. government, even when it is under Barack Obama.

Perhaps even especially when it is under Obama, because at least when it was under the auspices of the BushCheneyCorp, the fascism was rather evident, but under the auspices of the Obama administration, fascism wears a happy face.

P.S. I just watched the entire video of Bergdahl (via this web page), in which he responds to a series of questions by an English-speaking inquisitor who remains off-camera.

It is difficult to say what Bergdahl actually believes and what he might have been coerced by his captors to say, such as when discussing the allegation that the U.S. government has underreported the number of deaths of American troops in Afghanistan (and misinformed the American people on the U.S. military operations in Afghanistan in general), the suicide deaths of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, U.S. troops deserting in Afghanistan, and scared American troops “hiding behind” their superior military technology, whereas the low-tech Taliban fighters cannot do so, but must rely on their bravery.

In the video Bergdahl states (whether it is what he actually believes or whether it is what he has been coerced to state): “My message to my government is to remove Americans from Afghanistan, because that’s not where we belong…. My county’s first concern should be its [own] people…. We can’t go around fixing other countries … when we haven’t removed our own problems. When our [own] country is failing, we can’t help anyone else….”  

I can see Bergdahl genuinely believing that — because it’s an oft-ignored-in-the-United-States thing called the truth.

I won’t just assume, like a good little brainwashed American is supposed to, that because he’s being held captive, Bergdahl believes none of what he said during his half-hour interview with his English-speaking inquisitor.

I don’t know enough about Bergdahl and his beliefs and the circumstances of his capture, which differ wildly based upon who is relating those circumstances.

“On July 2, two U.S. officials told the AP [that Bergdahl] had ‘just walked off’ his base with three Afghans after his shift,” the AP notes, adding, “On July 6, the Taliban claimed on their website that five days earlier ‘a drunken American soldier had come out of his garrison’ and was captured by mujahedeen.”

If it is true that Bergdahl “just walked off,” that sounds like desertion to me, and if Bergdahl did desert, then I’d tend to believe that he believes at least some of his statements in his half-hour interview. But during the interview, Bergdahl states that he was captured by the Taliban when he was lagging behind his comrades during a patrol.

So who knows?

In any case, that the U.S. government, which spends millions if not billions of Americans’ tax dollars on propaganda campaigns to brainwash Americans here at home (yes, they use our own money against us) as well as to brainwash individuals abroad, would denounce the Taliban’s video as “propaganda” is risible; the U.S. government calling it “propaganda” constitutes the practice of propaganda itself.

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