Monday, November 30, 2009

Rush Most Influential, Creating Jobs in Aghanistan and US, Saddam Channel 24/7

Paul Krugman
Howard Schweber
Matthew Yglesias

"There’s a pervasive sense in Washington that nothing more can or should be done, that we should just wait for the economic recovery to trickle down to workers." - Paul Krugman
"But these days, financial news is political news" - Matthew Yglesias
"The problem all along has been that this administration tries to do everything indirectly, whether it's job creation, easing the credit crunch, or rescuing homeowners" - Howard Schweber

Alexander Mooney writes for the CNN Political Ticker: "Americans overwhelmingly say talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh is currently the most influential conservative, according to a new poll. In the new survey conducted by CBS' "60 Minutes" and Vanity Fair magazine, 26 percent of those sampled identified Limbaugh as the leading conservative, followed by fellow media personality Glenn Beck at 11 percent. Former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin followed close behind with 10 percent each. The only Republican who currently holds office to make the list is House Minority Leader John Boehner, who registered 4 percent in the poll. The poll of 855 Americans was conducted November 6-8 and carries a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points."
"I say it every year: I have people thanking me all day long for doing this show, but you have no idea what you have meant to me." - Rush Limbaugh

I'm not that impressed. A poll of only 855 people is not a representative sample. If it were ten or twenty million people it would be more fair, if done in a random fashion. One thing this poll does point out is that many people sampled are not reading very much, and they are getting opinions from the radio. It would be interesting to see how many people surf the Internet looking for sites to read, or what magazines and books they feel influenced their world view.

 I don't listen to the radio much anymore, some blues over the Internet or my local classical station. I spent a few years working all night and listened to talk radio then: Coasttocoastam, National Public Radio, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michaell Savage, and others. I found that AM radio was filled with conservative shows and there weren't any other voices to balance things out. I like a variety of opinions, and became bored quickly with Bill O'Reilly's and Michael Savage's abrasive style, and being rude and abusive to their guests. Way back when he was struggling, Rush used to have a sense of humor and was more fun to listen to. It seems that he has gotten too full of himself, and also has become more abrasive after his addiction to Oxycontin, and with his current addiction to diet pills. It may be that most of his audience is also taking prescribed medications for things like weight loss or depression, and it's the amphetamine-talking Rush communicating to his amphetamine taking audience, and the drugs make everything sympatico... I still think we should know the kinds of prescription drugs our Congressional Representatives are taking, as things like the amphetamine in anti-depressants can lead to problems in critical thinking, or, as the slogan from the '60's said, speed kills...

afghan policy and jobs...

Just about every detail of Obama's Afghan policy has been leaked and published already. There will be a lot of criticism now from both Left and Right who don't like his decisions. It will be hard to justify sending people to risk their lives for government officials who don't care about building a responsible government, they just want to rip off as much money as they can for their families, then move to some other country to live in luxury. I guess we could blame the Chinese for that, institutionalizing avarice in the government for over 1000 years, so that it has become the norm throughout the Eastern world.

So you will have to do it for the poor people, find a way that they can make a viable living other than growing opium or joining a Taliban. So far one of the best programs is the creation of credit unions sponsored by the British: "Some believe the battle for hearts and minds should really be framed in terms of a battle for stomachs. We call unemployment and hunger the underside of the insurgency, but in fact it is the elephant in the room," said Ralph Lopez, co-founder of Jobs for Afghans, a lobby group that believes cash-for-works programs can end the fighting."It is clear that a large-scale jobs program would slow or reverse the insurgency."

U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, commander of all foreign forces in Afghanistan, has urged a shift in strategy which places strong emphasis on the need to protect the population, whom he says make-up 70 percent of the Taliban." Schools have been built that also accepts women as students, and many village-based small business are being supported by civilian groups. Perhaps the added troops will help protect these fragile projects trying to bloom in the arid mountains, and a self-sustaining economy will develop independent of the greedy morons running the government.

Then perhaps we could apply these same strategies to our own economy. We won't be able to truly recover until the small, family run businesses can flourish once again. Maybe we need this village-based stimulus for ourselves, instead of giving money to large institutions and hoping they will loan the money to me and you. Otherwise, we will all turn to growing medical marijuana and it can become our largest export crop, and more angry and frustrated people will join the American Talibans; they are already trying to take over our elections, et tu Sarah?

the angry ghost wanders the airwaves...

Now that the US will be taking most of its troops out of Iraq, the cult of Saddam Hussein is rising again, in the form of a "mysterious" television station dedicated to him. It plays all Saddam, all the time: "It is not clear who is behind the channel which broadcasts the speeches, images and even poetry of Saddam Hussein, backed with patriotic music. It is broadcast from outside Iraq and some analysts suspect his former political supporters of bankrolling it. Saddam Hussein's family and some exiled members of the Baath party he once headed have denied any connection to it. The Associated Press news agency said it contacted a man called Mohammed Jarboua who claimed to be the channel's chairman, in the Syrian capital Damascus. However, his claim can not be verified."

The Saddam Channel is broadcasted through a Bahrain satellite and can be downloaded through a satellite dish or is even streamed on the Internet. It's a comforting reminder of a much more innocent time, a safer time, when all of the nations problems were repressed by the loving hands of a ruthless dictator. Actually, he is looking pretty tame contrasted to the rise of the Revolutionary Guard in next door Iran. It helps to set the tone for the next dictator who will seize control soon after we leave, one less secular and just as brutal. I wonder where Muqtada al Sadr has been hiding lately? I wonder, is listening to Saddam similar to listening to Glenn Beck, do they have the same demographic in both countries?

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