Monday, October 08, 2007


Shorter NPR (Commute to work this morning edition)


we don't understand why CAFTA isn't universally liked in Latin America. Perhaps the problem is that the US is a democratic republic? If those pesky Democrats in Congress wouldn't object to CAFTA sending "mixed-messages" about our government's support of the plan [where have we heard this complaint before? hmmm ...], then it would be an easier sell for the admin which so wants CAFTA and it would be so sad if CAFTA isn't expanded? One thing we don't understand -- if CAFTA, according to those pesky Dems, hurts the US, how can people in Latin America claim that CAFTA will hurt them too? After all, even as we accuse liberals who might as well be socialists of engaging in flawed "zero-sum thinking", we engage in it ourselves and claim that if CAFTA hurts the US it must per force benefit Central America. Oddly, it's rural farmers in Central America who are most opposed to CAFTA: because they can't compete with US farmers able to sell produce at lower prices thanks to the super-efficiency [I guess that's the new code for farm subsidies?] of US farming methods. Oh well, at least CAFTA passed in Costa Rica, so that's one step in the right direction for us defenders of neo-feudalism.
OK ... it isn't that much shorter ... it's pretty much what they said. As they say "you get what you pay for", and who's paying for this blog?

Anyway, has anybody called the media (on free-trade, on the Iraq war, or whatever) when they make what are pretty much treasonous statements to the effect of "the problem is that we're sending 'mixed-messages' [the term they often use, in fact] because the Dems. won't just agree with the President"? After all, these comments are essentially wishes for a dictatorship abolishing our democratic system of a balance of powers. And people still say the media is "liberal"?


There was also some bizarre, hardly parseable reporting about the Israel/Palestine situation (they were trying way too hard to be balanced, I think -- they shoulda just stuck to the facts and let us interpret them as we may), but maybe it's just the Israeli government's amazing ability to make self-fulfilling prophecies regarding the lack of resolve of the Palestinians in rooting out militants that's bizarre. Note to Israel: if you think that the Palestinian police are not doing a good enough job of rooting out militants, maybe the tying their hands and causing delays when they try to actually root out militants is the last thing you should do rather than the first thing you should do. At the very least, such behavior makes others think all of Israel's actions are in bad faith and moreover re-enforce certain stereotypes about us Jews. Israel is a in bit of a pickle, it's true -- but they need to stop doing things that interfere with the ability of Palestinians to stand against militancy (or to reject militancy) and then complaining about the lack of ability or desire of Palestinians in rejecting militancy -- you know, pissing, wind, raining ...

OTOH, the bizarre focus on the Palestinian situation by many on the so-called left is kinda out of hand. How many Bihari refugees live in squalor in Bengladesh? The willfull ignorance on the part of many so-called leftists regarding how the Palestinian refugee problem fits into the larger scheme of things in the rush to blame Israel may have a little to do with why some people think those leftists are motivated by anti-Semitism, perhaps? I wonder -- if, e.g., us palefaces set up a homeland for the spiritual descendents of Anasazi in the middle of Dine territory: would that project be labeled as imperialistic or colonialist? Or is it only colonialist when the beneficiaries are Jews? Hmmm ....


Update: Yesterday's CAFTA reporting was little better (especially in light of what certain centrist Democrats claim as their agenda vs. what they actually manage to impliment) ...

People in manufacturing jobs don't like "free trade" because it hurts them. That means we need to do a better job at selling free trade, which won't be a problem if we were to have a European style safety net in this country [which will happen as soon as pigs fly]. Centrist Democrats [see the "liberal" bias in NPR?] are in the best position to convince people to support free trade now because they also plan [when pigs fly] to impliment a stronger safety-net [as soon as Republicans agree to it -- anything else would be too shrill and partisan].

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