Friday, September 11, 2009

Questions & Answers & Truth

Following Politico’s lead, asked several people who signed the “9/11 truth” petition used by Glenn Beck to oust Van Jones if they had any regrets and would they still sign it today.

Boy did they get some answers. I urge everyone to read all of the statements but this one really stood out:
Gray Brechin, historical geographer and visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Department of Geography:

Until recently, I thought that I (like Van Jones) live in a country with a First Amendment that permits freedom of speech, thought and petition without fear of reprisal. I had that pleasant illusion despite growing up in the dark shadow of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, of red scares, blacklists and witch hunts, of the John Birch Society (and worse), which the Old Guard of the Republican Party then considered zanies. The ideological descendants of those wackos have since taken over that party. I suspect that you did not grow up at that time.

Since when did Salon permit Glenn Beck and the almost equally loony WSJ editorial page to set the terms of discussion, calling those who want answers to so much that remains unexplained about 9/11 "truthers," and thus giving them equivalence with "birthers," "deathers" and "tea baggers"? Since when was Van Jones a "czar" rather than an advisor? Since when was he not entitled to his opinions, past or present? Was it when he was born black and inexcusably smart? Jones is the kind of visionary with whom Franklin Roosevelt surrounded himself but of which the Obama administration is almost entirely bereft, and now that administration has shamefully thrown him to the sharks.

Have you contacted the widows and other family members who lost loved ones on that terrible day and asked them if they recant wondering why, for example, New York City and the Pentagon -- the fucking Pentagon! -- were defenseless on that morning more than a month after the would-be president was informed that Osama bin Laden was determined to attack the United States? Have you asked them if they are as disloyal, or as nuts, as Van Jones for signing that petition? Have you an answer for that and other questions on that petition, which were never discussed by the mainstream media when it piled on Jones at Beck's behest?

Van Jones was not only flayed for once signing a petition but for jokingly calling Republicans "assholes." Why is that "extreme" speech when Glenn Beck freely advocates violent overthrow of the U.S. government, gives an exegesis of the Communist/Fascist messages that "progressive" John D. Rockefeller Jr. insidiously inserted in the art of Rockefeller Center, and fantasizes killing Michael Moore and the speaker of the House on air to millions? When will the men with butterfly nets take this man away so that he does not hurt others or himself, rather than journalists allow him to take them down into his rat-infested sewer with him?

I keep hoping that, like Joe McCarthy, Mr. Beck (and O'Reilly, Coulter, Malkin, "Savage," etc.) will go too far, but -- with the wreck of public education and its replacement by entertainment -- Americans have so lost any moral compass that "too far" no longer exists as long as one is to the right of Dick Cheney.

I would like to shake that man’s hand.

I don’t understand why there are two sets of rules, one for Republicans and one for Democrats. Conservatives laud Rep. Joe Wilson as a hero for calling the president of the United States a liar before both houses of Congress and the entire American public. They called Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson unpatriotic (and worse) and destroyed his wife’s career when he wrote a New York Times op-ed refuting President Bush’s claim that Saddam Hussein tried to buy yellow cake uranium from Niger. The first Joe Wilson called the President a liar to his face about something that wasn't even a lie; the second Joe Wilson said the President “exaggerated the Iraqi threat” in an op-ed, which ran three months after our invasion of Iraq. Conservatives see one as a hero, one as a villain.

Rep. Wilson has been roundly, rightfully criticized, yet before our very eyes he is being turned into a Republican martyr. Even though he was wrong! I find this interesting.

I’m not blaming Republicans -- they will do what they will do. They are excellent at being the opposition party, terrible at actually governing, and it's natural they will seize an opportunity where they find one. But I do blame a media that seems to have lost its nose for news over shiny-sparkly time-fillers. They seem completely unable to distinguish real issues from the chatter on the fringe. There is no filter any longer; it’s all lumped into the same soup pot and I have to say, this soup does not taste good.