Tag Archives: war

With a Plunger and a Pen

Armed with a plunger and pen, Joe the Plumber is now an official ‘journalist,’ according to today’s definition, which includes anybody and everybody. Samuel Wurzelbacher, a conservative, uninformed American turned pop culture icon during the charades of the ’08 election, will now be penning articles covering conflict on the Gaza Strip, as an Israel-based war ‘correspondent’ for right-leaning website PajamasTV — a news outlet spouting the tired argument of liberal media bias. A propaganda pawn for McCain, Joe was not in fact a plumber but a tax-owning business owner. Now he’s asking the public to take him seriously as a professional journalist. Here’s the shorthand: ignorant everyman who publically suggests Obama is anti-Israel socialist tries to command the attention of the masses through his ‘reporting’ of one of the most complex current events, an event that even the most seasoned and ethical correspondents have failed to convey with complete accuracy. Joe, can I call ya’ Joe? We’re sorry to hear you’re unwilling to relinquish your 15 minutes of fame but go back to pitching your book deals and spare yourself from the embarassment. And spare the integrity of journalism from going down the drain.

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St. Elmo’s Fire

Elmo and his pals from Sesame Street have teamed up with the U.S. military for its latest video, “Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes,” which teaches children with parents deployed in Iraq how to cope with the changes at home. Naturally, the Pentagon has provided input into the video’s development. As if the video gaming industry and sports sponsorships weren’t enough, now we have the military’s messages reaching our youth just after passing the teething stage. Is anyone else ashamed we live in a country that has resorted to puppets in order to justify war and violence? I’d like to ask the producers of Sesame Street how handsomly the military is rewarding them for lending the likeness of Elmo and Rosita for, essentially, free propaganda. If there’s bucks to be made, perhaps we’ll see Barney or Blues Clues follow suit. Or Spongebob can release a commemorative video covering the fifth year anniversary of the Iraq War. Let’s limit the puppets to ABCs, 123s, and leave parenting to the parents — not the Pentagon.

Wait, What War?

Remember when the War in Iraq used to be a hot topic in the media? Yeah, me neither. Five years after invading Iraq under the guise of ‘terrorism,’ the military is no closer to an exit strategy or to winning the war, for that matter. And mainstream media can’t be bothered. More U.S. soldiers succumbed to roadside bombs last week, bringing the total troop fatality close to 4,000; meanwhile a suicide bomber took the lives of 40 plus civilians and injured 60 others. According to Newsweek, Republican presidential nominee John McCain has vowed to stay in Iraq another 100 years, if that’s what it takes to ensure victory. The hubris isn’t much better on the Democratic side; during her victory speech after the Ohio and Texas primaries, Hillary Clinton promised to ‘win’ the war. First, somebody needs to define ‘win.’ Secondly, Clinton began her campaign with the false promise of implementing an exit strategy within 60 days of taking office. But my frustration with the lack of Iraq dialogue subsided, momentarily, when I caught this sketch (below) on MADtv. At least the comedians got it right.

Pentagon Seeks Bottomless Budget

According to Time Magazine, the Army, the Marines, the Navy and the Air Force have pleaded with the Pentagon for several billion dollars more than the superfluously generous budgets alloted for 2009. The Air Force alone seeks $19 billion more than its $141 billion budget. Citing China and India as the benchmarks, the military has created a laundry list of ‘critical needs’ that the oft conservative-leaning Time reports includes dorm-room furniture. Since the end of the Clinton Administration, the U.S. Defense budget has doubled, under Bush. So much for fiscal conservative, eh? Democrats have suffered the longstanding stigma of being the big spenders, expanding government and raping the taxpayers, so to speak. But existing Defense spending — under Republican leadership — is comparable to World War II. If this isn’t rape, we don’t want to know what is. But all this extra cash sure does come in handy when it’s time to develop Pentagon-funded video games that glorify murdering civilians in less developed countries.

Media Ignores Impeachment Initiatives

Talks are back on the table for a solid base of Democrats on Capitol Hill interested in putting an abrupt end to the eight years of chicanery known as the Bush-Cheney administration. But chances are you haven’t read anything about it. Mainstream media remains mum on the impeachment issue — an issue initially brought forth by Dennis Kucinich last spring. Perhaps it’s because do-nothing Pelosi fears the divisiveness of the matter. Wake up! The country has been polarized since the Civil War. Why pussyfoot around political issues that matter, simply to avoid discourse and debate? Manipulating the public to endorse a war unrelated to terrorism is far more detrimental to the country’s integrity than infidelity — a private matter that voting citizens should have never been exposed to. Where’s the Democrats’ version of Ken Star?