Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

NYE

with 2 comments

* EU copyright on Joyce works ends at midnight. Who weeps for Stephen Joyce?

* As a Fortune 500 company’s fracking activities in rural West Virginia leave a polluted and drastically altered landscape, locals are fighting back. Via @zunguzungu.

* The parallel reality — the undeniable fact — is that all of these listed heinous views and actions from Barack Obama have been vehemently opposed and condemned by Ron Paul: and among the major GOP candidates, only by Ron Paul. For that reason, Paul’s candidacy forces progressives to face the hideous positions and actions of their candidate, of the person they want to empower for another four years. If Paul were not in the race or were not receiving attention, none of these issues would receive any attention because all the other major GOP candidates either agree with Obama on these matters or hold even worse views. Of course Greenwald has a point, but at the same time it’s difficult to argue with this:

But (you might say) if the result is the same–if, whatever the twisted origins of his position, Ron Paul takes is on the side of the angels on certain narrowly framed issues–does it really matter how he gets there?

Short answer: yes. Slightly less short answer: hell yes. Longer answer: of course, because his opposition to (Federal) government overreach is inseparable from his opposition to Roe v. Wade and equal protection enforcement and environmental regulation and…well, every single goddamn thing that matters to liberals except the tiny set of narrow issues on which, in stopped-clock fashion, Paul has arrived at the right position through the wrong process.

* The Era of the Ron Paul Newsletters Isn’t Even Past.

*  Every progressive movement in U.S. history was portrayed negatively by mainstream media at the time it was happening.

During the Montgomery bus boycott, mainstream media outlets interviewed black folks who were against it and talked about how the boycott was misguided and hurt the local economy. The day after the boycott started, the Montgomery Advertiser ran a story featuring the manager of the bus lines saying that bus drivers were being shot at and rocks were being thrown at them.

During the rest of the civil rights movement, protesters who were fire-hosed and otherwise brutalized were called “violent protesters” in the mainstream media, which again featured interviews with people saying that the protests were wrongheaded.

During the Anti-Vietnam War movement, the mainstream media portrayed protesters as out of touch, violent, and dirty. There was a picture in the San Francisco Chronicle of a guy who was throwing back a tear gas canister that had been shot at the peaceful crowd. This was shown as proof of protesters being wild, out of touch, and violent. The Black Panther Party had free breakfast programs and was beloved worldwide — but every mainstream media outlet that covered it, covered it negatively.

There has never been any strike, work stoppage, or union action that was supported by the mainstream media at the time that it was happening.

The mainstream press didn’t support the Anti-Apartheid movement and doesn’t support the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions movement for Palestine.

The mainstream press is always on the wrong side of history because it’s always on the side of the status quo, which is capitalist exploitation and oppression.

* And just because it’s New Year’s Even: The 40 Best Memes of 2011.

2 Responses

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  1. I think the writer for Balloon Juice has a good point, but I hardly think that calling Endless War, the Drug War, and civil liberties in those domains a “tiny set of narrow issues” is fair. I think that she badly downplays both Obama’s bad sides and the degree to which there is a distinct set of issues on which Paul is unarguably better — even if, yes, it matters how he gets there, and, yes, he’s terrible on a large number of things too.

    It seems to me that the starting point here is to acknowledge that both Obama and Paul support some genuinely horrible policies. Downplaying either side of that is wrong, even if BJ has some good reasons for balancing things out on the Obama side as the lesser evil.

    Stephen Frug

    December 31, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    • I think “narrow” is intended there to denote “narrow is scope” rather than “narrow in importance,” but you’re definitely right that there’s some rhetorical gameplaying going on there. (I’d also add that many of Paul’s allegedly “good” positions on things like drugs and the death penalty are about shifting the locus from federal government to state government, which hardly seems like an improvement.) But there’s no doubt that the mainline GOP, the mainline Dems, and Ron Paul all support genuinely odious policy.

      gerrycanavan

      December 31, 2011 at 7:42 pm


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