Friday, 23 June 2006
Japan To Conquer China by 2024
When I first ran across this CBS News Story, I will admit I was confused.
Hat Tip LGF
It is true that only an expert might notice that this photo is not
the Moon which orbits the Earth but one of the moon's of Saturn (Dione), that's not a big deal but one does wonder why they didn't use a stock photo of the right moon.
The fact that the shadow is in the wrong position is sloppy, but not a big deal either.
But the Flag itself?
Now that is incomprehensible.
An article whose title is China Plans To Land On Moon By 2024 and they used a JAPANESE Flag?
CBS used to be a professional newscaster. How Times have changed.
And that bothered me. Had Times changed so much that one of the Premier News Agencies in the World could no longer be trusted?
Or was there something I was overlooking??
I pondered their vast and Professional Editorial Staff, their extensive Research Capabilities, their Legion of experienced Journalists and realized NO
this could not be a mistake, it could not be the result of Institutional Incompetence it must be instead one more example of the
Dan Rather Paradox of Validity.
Where all the Facts are False but the Underlying Truth is Correct.
So WHAT Underlying Truth could result in China being on the Moon by 2024 flying the flag of the Republic of Japan, rather than the People's Republic of China.
It was then I realized only ONE set of future events could result in the simultaneity of both facts.
If Japan CONQUERS and absorbs China before 2024!
Then the whole article makes sense. There are a lot more Chinese than Japanese the New Government might want to use Chinese Astronauts to start with until they get all the kinks worked out.
Thema/Monday Open Post at third world county
Wednesday, 21 June 2006
The Enhanced Political Quiz
To launch quiz2d, press here.
Take the Quiz Online
Liberty or tyranny? Where do you stand?
Take the quiz and find out...precisely. Link to quiz
and get statistics of people who travel the link from your site.
I can point them back to you afterwards. Statistics
See how other people scored.
Here are my results:
Tuesday, 20 June 2006
China: Crisis and Implications
By George Friedman
The Chinese government is continuing efforts to cope with its runaway economy
. The People's Bank of China has raised interest rates. Banks have been told to curb lending
. The government has said that it will implement procedures to rein in foreign acquisitions at low prices -- or, in other words, to block fire-sales of Chinese companies. As a recent headline in the Japan Times put it, "China's Monetary Surge Dooms Its Boom."
A lot of things have gone into dooming China's boom, and the money surge is one of the more immediate problems. However, as we have argued (and this article should be read in the context of past analyses
), the end of the Chinese boom was inevitable. The issue now is how all of this will play out in China and in the world.
I have a previous post on my thoughts regarding the Chinese economic future at The Lusty Chinese Economy
What must be understood is that China now is moving from an economic problem to a socio-political
one. The financial problem is a symptom; the fundamental problem is that tremendous irrationality has been built into the Chinese economy. Enterprises that are not economically viable continue to function through infusions of cash. Some of the cash comes from borrowing, some by exporting at economically unsustainable prices. The result is a squandering of resources. The reasons that this continues have nothing to do with economic rationalism and everything to do with political and social reality.
If interest rates were to rise and lending were to become disciplined, many of China's enterprises would fail. This would bring several consequences.
First, and most important, it would result in a massive increase in unemployment. At this point, the irrationality has been going on for years. It is not only state-owned enterprises that are economically unsustainable; many newer enterprises, including those in which Western companies have invested, are not succeeding. When we look at the figures for nonperforming and troubled loans, they amount to nearly half of China's gross domestic product. That represents a lot of irrationality, a lot of financial failures and a lot of unemployment. And unemployment is a political and social problem. The question is whether China politically can afford the economic solution.
Second, lending has become a system for maintaining the political solidarity of China's elite. Loans have been made not only to avoid the problem of unemployment; they also were made as part of political arrangements that allowed the Chinese Communist Party and regional party organizations to avoid conflict and divisions. As long as the pie was growing, everyone could have a piece. But if the pie starts contracting, there will be losers and winners. The question of who will go bankrupt and who will not will become a highly divisive and potentially destabilizing political crisis. Again, the economic solution -- austerity -- and political reality may run counter to each other.
Obviously, China has massive cash reserves. These may not be massive enough to cover the financial crisis, but they are sufficient to allow the government to put off addressing the problem for a while. China also has the ability to promulgate rules and regulations that allow bankrupt entities to continue functioning. However, it always must be remembered that on the other side of a bad loan is a damaged creditor. A loan that can be deferred by fiat is an asset that can no longer be used. When you avoid economic disaster for the debtor, you transfer the pain -- and potentially the disaster -- to the creditor. And since the creditor is normally the economically healthier entity, you postpone the death of the weak by weakening the strong. The more you do this, the worse it becomes. Thus, whether the Chinese use cash reserves to postpone the problem or use regulation to do so, the net result will be buying time at the cost of increased pain.
China's Likely Path
Asia has been here before. Japan encountered this problem around 1990, and East and Southeast Asia encountered it in 1997. Roughly three models for dealing with the problem exist:
Japan model: Use reserves and formal and informal measures to avoid actions that would trigger massive bankruptcies and unemployment. Accept economic stagnation for the better part of a generation.
South Korea model: Move rapidly to restructure the economy, using economic and political means. Control social unrest with security measures. Move out of the problem in a matter of years.
Indonesia model: Lacking resources to manage the crisis, suffer both financial dysfunction and political strife among the elite and between regions.
Japan was able to do what it did because it is a highly disciplined, cohesive society, in which shared pain is viewed as preferable to social dislocation. South Korea was able to do what it did because the magnitude of its crisis was relatively less than Japan's, and because the state had the means for suppressing unhappiness. Indonesia failed to do what it needed to do because it lacked resources and political power.
Other countries have fallen somewhere along this continuum. China will make its own path. However, it should be pointed out that China is not socially similar to either Japan or South Korea. Like Indonesia, China is a diverse and divided nation. The Communist Party lost its moral standing in the 1970s. As with Suharto's government, its legitimacy now derives from the fact that it has created prosperity. When prosperity slows down or stops, the Party cannot fall back on inherent legitimacy, as was the case with the system in Japan. And the wildly diverse levels of economic development
make a single, integrated solution, as was used in South Korea, unlikely. The most likely direction for China, therefore, is massive social and political instability.
Now, the Communist Party may lack moral authority, but it does wield tremendous power. The People's Liberation Army and the various security forces are an enormous presence in China. Indeed, the government already is using its security forces aggressively, cracking down on dissent and against at least some business leaders, in anticipation of coming troubles. The ability to suppress unrest is not trivial. Therefore, the most likely path for China in a post-boom environment is to increase suppression and reimpose systematic dictatorship.
This is not an absolute given. There are many in the Party who now are arguing that China has abandoned its Communist principles and its social base. In other words, they want to reach out to the peasants in the interior, who have benefited little from the boom and who resent the prosperity of the coastal regions. The idea is to use these peasants in a process of renationalization -- or, at least, a process in which the free market is dramatically limited and at least some of the wealth is redistributed.
This goal makes little economic sense, but what China needs economically is unsupportable socially and politically. Imposing a crushing austerity for five to ten years would solve the economic problem, but it is unlikely that the political center could hold. Indeed, if the Chinese were to follow this course, they could do it only with massive political suppression at the same time.
The Party's Tangled Web
Therefore, one likely path is the reimposition of dictatorship, followed by whatever economic solutions the leadership might want to make. But there is a problem here: The interests of Party and People's Liberation Army leaders in Shanghai diverge from those of the central government. These leaders are deeply involved in the financial process of the coastal area, in bringing in foreign investment, in taking advantage of the nonmarket access to capital. They have no inclination to stop. Indeed, their wish is to see the irrational boom continue as long as possible.
There are splits in the interests of regional Party leaders, as well as a split between the regions and Beijing. The interests of coastal leaders lie not with Beijing so much as with Tokyo, New York and London. They have integrated themselves in the international financial system, and they are busy making plans for sustaining their regional enterprises in the event of a crisis. Meanwhile, Party leaders from the interior are demanding that these actions be stopped and that investment flow to their regions instead. Beijing is riding two horses that are running in very different directions.
Beijing well might fall off the horses. China has a history of cycling between a dictatorial system that closes it off from the world (a poor, but equal and stable China) and a system in which China is open to the world but torn apart from the inside out. Consider: Mao marched into the interior, raised a peasant army, came back and liquidated the internationalist bourgeoisie in 1948. He closed off the country and united it, throwing out the foreigners. Under the other model, preceding Mao, the country was open to foreigners, who tore it apart in regional conflicts while the interior starved.
The end result of China's economic crisis, therefore, will be a deep-seated political crisis. Only ever-increasing amounts of money have allowed China to maintain the current political alignment. Without that, it has two options. The first is a return to some sort of dictatorship from Beijing, under which economic problems would be dealt with inefficiently but unambiguously. The other is to accept a split between the coastal regions and the interior, the weakening of Beijing's authority and a period of instability and intense regionalism. It all depends on the political moves Beijing is making now, but our bet would be on the latter course. The instruments of power that Beijing has are too complicit in the financial crisis, and have too many diverging interests, to make the first option likely.
Geopolitics and Ripple Effects
Two possible geopolitical models emerge from this. Under one -- in its extreme form -- China returns to some sort of geopolitical Maoism. It encloses itself from the world, becomes increasingly bellicose but is limited by its own geography in what it can do. Under the other model, China slowly fragments and becomes a cockpit for the ambitions of foreign economic interests -- backed up by political and military power, with regional Chinese officials collaborating with foreigners to continue economic development. Oddly, the latter model would be more destabilizing to the world than the former, inasmuch as everyone will want to maintain their investments in China and expand them. In this scenario, China would again be a magnet for problems.
Mind you, these are not absolutes, but represent extremes on a continuum. There is surely a model under which Beijing would muddle through, as have the Japanese or Indonesians. No coherent strategy would emerge; it would all be tactical. It is difficult for us to see how this would not lead to regional destabilization, but then, China might be able to live with that. How it handles the unemployment and displaced peasant issue, however, is yet another question. This is a possible mid-point on the spectrum, but not in itself likely, it would seem.
As for the effects on the international economy, there has been a great deal of discussion about China's ownership of U.S. Treasury instruments and the consequences if that money were withdrawn in a crisis. In fact, this is the last thing that is going to happen. If China has a massive financial crisis, no one -- including the Chinese government -- is going to shift money from a safe haven into an uncertain cauldron. In crisis, the tendency would be a flight to safety. That means that rather than being pulled out, money would surge into the U.S. market -- legally and illegally, from the Chinese standpoint.
It is interesting to correlate the massive U.S. market surges that began in 1991, after the recession, and intensified dramatically in 1997 and 1998, with trends in Asia. In both cases, these surges followed major economic crises in rapidly expanding Asian economies. The events were, in our opinion, linked. The crisis in Japan in 1990 and 1991 led to major capital flight and helped to fuel the U.S. market rise. Similarly, the impending and expected East Asian meltdown in 1997 produced massive capital flight from Taiwan, South Korea and elsewhere to safer havens. A massive withdrawal from the U.S. market is the last thing to be expected.
What are in danger, of course, are foreign investments in China. There is the obvious financial issue: Many of these investments were not economically viable to begin with. But there is a political problem as well. The Party is going to have to blame someone for China's troubles, and it will not be the leadership. The obvious culprits will be corrupt officials and their paymasters in the international banking system. The truth or falsehood of the charge will matter little; corrupt officials and bankers already are being arrested, in the early stages of the crisis. As the situation intensifies, we would not be surprised to see foreigners investigated for corrupt practices as well.
But the bottom line is this: China has a history of nationalization and expropriation, and the party that enacted those measures is still in power. No one would have believed that the Party of Mao possibly could have become what it is today, but one should not assume that the evolution of the Chinese Communist Party is complete. Leaders could find that they have reason to re-enact some of Mao's own economic policies. We would be surprised to see a complete return to Maoism. We would not, however, be surprised to see the Party deliberately reverse some transactions that are no longer in its interests or (as and if things get more intense) take even more radical steps. It is still a Communist Party, it might be useful to recall.
Ultimately, the choice that China is now making is how quickly it will allow the consequences of its economic irrationality to unfold. The economic answer to the problem is to let shaky enterprises fall -- but the political cost of doing so will be too great, and a solution has already been long delayed. The longer an economic solution is delayed, the less one becomes possible and the more intense becomes Beijing's need to address the problem with political and security solutions. The more dependent the Chinese become on such measures, the more catastrophic will be the consequences if these solutions don't work.
China is long past the point of being able to solve the problem easily. The question is simply whether to buy time and pay in intensity, or force the crisis now. At some point, there no longer will be a choice. But the single most important thing to understand is that China does not really have an economic crisis any longer. The time for that has come and gone. There is now a political crisis at hand.
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We Can Still Lose If We Withdraw Quickly
That just has to be the definitive example of the Democratic Party's Geo-political Strategy for the 21st Century.
I owe the discovery of this clever turn of phrase toDemocrats Go For ‘Bigger Mistake’ In Iraq from The Strata-Sphere
"Jack Kelley has a way of culling out the essence of a situation and exposing it as the pivot point to the debate. In the case of the Democrats’ plans to Lose In Iraq (which was conveniently left off their proposed plans for the 2006 elections
) we see how the left can excel over the right and race to the bigger blunder. From Jack Kelley:
Calls for withdrawal have taken on urgency since the U.S. Air Force interrupted a meeting being held by Abu Musab al Zarqawi in a safe house near Baquba June 7. We can still lose if we withdraw quickly, Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) in effect said on the weekend talk shows.
Most Americans do not share this perverse passion. A majority thinks it was a mistake to go to war in Iraq, opinion polls indicate. But a majority thinks it would be a bigger mistake to leave precipitously.
How very true. While most people may have lost hope for Iraq, they have not lost their reason. And while most people feel it was a price too high to pay in Iraq, they know there is a higher price to pay on top of this if we fail, especially if we fail due to our own actions. So here we have the left doing the unthinkable a few short years ago. They are taking a bad situation and openly claiming they alone can make it worse. And Americans are noticing."
It has been said that, "those who study History are doomed to see it being repeated by those who do not."
In that manner let us digress and ponder the last decade or two in the Persian Gulf.
They said: "Iraq has the 4th largest military in
the world, it will be a hard nut to
crack, military casualties will be
in the tens of thousands, civilians
in the hundreds of thousands"
They were wrong
They said: "Afghanistan is not Iraq,
it is the graveyard of
armies,military casualties will be
in the tens of thousands, civilians
in the hundreds of thousands"
They were wrong.
They said "Iraq is not Afghanistan."
We replied "Yeah we know, we have already
done Iraq before"
They said: "Iraq has the 4th largest military in
the world, it will be a hard nut to
crack, military casualties will be
in the tens of thousands, civilians
in the hundreds of thousands"
They were wrong
Can anyone tell me the last time the DNC was RIGHT as regards National Security?
I mean Murtha wants to redeploy over the horizon to OKINAWA? Why not Maine the flight time would be less!
As I said at the start of this post,"We Can Still Lose If We Withdraw Quickly" makes a catchy slogan, but as a campaign rallying point? It may leave something to be desired.
Monday, 19 June 2006
I Don't Care Who You Are, That's Funny Right There
Got beat to this quip by salfter in The Chix Love "Country"... Just Not This One from Big Lizards
it's too good not to use, but I feel I should give credit to him for recalling one of Larry the Cable Guys sayings, before I did.
While I am on the subject I figure most who find their way here will also get a kick out of his blog too.slfter.us
As I mentioned in an earlier post Taking the Long Way did get knocked out of the #1 place position on Walmart's Top 100 CDs by the Blue Collar Comedy Club, but only for one night, still having the Chicks moving over for Larry the Cable Guy did give me a chuckle even if it was only for a short time.
In other news I was surprised to see that Taking the Long Way is already being sold by Overstock.com
and here I thought that was a venue for manufacturers who had made a mistake and needed to dump
Still the best Prices are on Amazon.com and Walmart.com at least according to MSN Shopping
But the very
best prices seem to be on the Amazon.com second source links. Yes, used/like new discs are already out there. Could it be that some bought the album to make a political statement but want their money back too? ;-)
I have a question. Does the RIAA count record sales to Discount/Clearance Houses towards Gold and Platinum Certificates?
Technorati Tag: Dixie Chicks
More Blood For Oil
Hat Tip No Pasarn! in Why has no action been taken on Darfur?
for it's link to Lou Minatti with Darfur: It's America's fault!
Note that "It's America's fault!" is sarcasm, seems like it is Russia, The PRC and France who have their beaks stuck in the butchered African Sufi.
But as Minatti points out they are really, really trying to find some
way to make it out to be Bush's fault.
"Bush has been taking a pounding over the Darfur tragedy. So many people slaughtered. About 200,000 so far. This has to be the fault of George Bush and the twisted people in America who voted for him. Right?
Has the Bush Doctrine inspired American military capabilities to prevent genocide in Darfur, in which hundreds of thousands of people have already been killed simply because of their ethno-racial background, and religious affiliation, and elsewhere? Or, has the Bush Doctrine ignored human cries in Darfur, and elsewhere, and is instead being used to support a well-reported apparent agenda of the pursuit of oil resources, which has politically marginalized the surrounding chaos, human suffering, and loss of life?"
You really need to go to Darfur: It's America's fault! and read what falls in between my quoted passages here, don't wait for the Movie!
"People are indeed dying in Darfur because of oil and Islamofascism. But it's not America that is ignoring the tragedy. Nor is it the Brits. The US and UK want to end the slaughter. But there are certain countries that are perfectly content to let the slaughter continue. You can guess from the map which countries they are.
Too bad nothing's being done about Darfur because crazy people are blaming America for the tragedy, rather than placing blame where it belongs and then demanding that the culprits cease and desist.
You can rightfully blame certain things on George Bush and America. Darfur isn't one of them."
the world coming to if there is something that cannot
be blamed on Bush, America, Blair or the UK?
Is that loud sucking sound I hear the Oil being pumped out of Sudan, or the blood being sucked out of slaugthered Africans by the same cabals that got fat and rich off the Stolen Food For Oil Funds that should have gone to feed and buy medicine for dying Iraqi babies?
Where are the Demonstrations, where are the Humans Shields?
The Open Trackback Alliance XXXI
For your listening pleasure while you browse
"Der er et yndigt land" (There Is A Lovely Land)
Words by: Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlager
Music by: Hans Ernst Kr?yer
"Derer et yndigt land" was first performed for a large gathering of Danes in 1844, and became popular quickly with the Danish people. It was adopted later that year by the Danish government as a national anthem, but not the sole national anthem. This anthem is on equal status with "Kong Christian",which is both the national and royal anthem.
When the Danish anthem is usually performed or sung, the first verse is played in its entirety, then it is followed by the last four lines of the last verse. (This is true whether the lyrics are sung or not
Recentlty I have been posting music to Illustrate the Diversity of America, this week I have a different motive to express Solidarity with DENMARK
I maintain my Support of Denmark, and will later today, post links to and my thoughts about a Danish Editorial "We are being pissed upon by Per Nyholm "
I think I shall title my Post, "There is no "But" in "Freedom of Speech".
When I first started upon my journey through the blogverse I created a Statement of Purpose
Now upon reading it, one can realize that I did not hold to every detail of that original statement, but from it's basic premise, I have never swayed, in my belief that the Blogs are in fact the Committees of Correspondence of the Second American Revolution.
And that it is a Revolution of Information, no longer can we afford and allow elite gateways to control what we can see, hear and discuss.
For I believe that those bloggers who find their way, here and in particular from the Blogs associated with Sam.
HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.
Some of us are more Serious, some of us are more lighthearted and some post the common ordinary things that make one smile and recall that Life without the simple things to treasure is meaningless.
And it is important that all have a platform from which to speak.
As I understand this process you can link to this post and trackback to this post on ANY subject or post you think important. It is open. I will repeat this every Monday.
The Committees of Correspondence welcomes your intelligent comments. And also welcomes you to join the
OPEN TRACKBACK ALLIANCE
This week I also have shortened my usual introduction for a more inportant message.
In it's struggle for Freedom of Speech.
Sign the Petition NOW!
JEG opstille hos Danmark!
44162 Total Signatures 0:38 AM CST 22 May, 2006 We can do better pass the word~!
From Agora a call to Support the Manifesto online
by signing another Petition, why not sign both?MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism
Created by Mark Jefferson on March 1st, 2006 at 5:42 pm AST
After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all. "
Blogs that Trackback to this Post:
Who Are Illinois Politicians Working For? from Freedom Folks
Guard Our Borders from third world county
Goodbye Dan Rather - CBS, We Knew It When You Blew It. from Planck's Constant
Y'al come back now, Y'heah? ;-)
Friday, 16 June 2006
Down The Hill.
Give Truth where it is due, the Dixie Chicks new release, did fairly well against weak competition.
It went Gold the first week with over 500k in sales, hit about 750k the second.
Amazingly for an album whose previous single releases bombed bigtime, Taking the Long Way, first hit the Top Amazon sales, then Billboard 200 and Billboard Country album #1 and even 1st place in Walmart's Top 100 CDs.
so now about 3 weeks or so after it's release how fare the Chicks?
Well they are STILL in Amazon.coms #1 spot but they have been replaced by AFI on Billboard and slipped to the number spot #2.AFI burns past Chicks
By Ken Barnes, USA TODAY
Bay Area emo-goth rock outfit AFI sweep the Dixie Chicks off their No. 1 perch on the Billboard album chart, selling 182,000 copies of Decemberunderground, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The Chicks maintained strong sales (175,000) at No. 2, ahead of the debuts of rappers Yung Joc and Ice Cube, holdovers High School Musical and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the debut of the Cars soundtrack, Rascal Flatts, Rihanna and Now 21.
Other prominent debuts included Miami's DJ Khaled's Listennn ... The Album compilation at No. 12 and two disparate tour collections, Blue Collar Comedy at No. 19 and Warped at No. 27.
Shakira's Hips Don't Lie reigns for a second week on top of the track-download chart, selling 165,000. Track downloads are up 77% over last year, and the year-to-date total of 247.8 million slightly exceeds total CD sales (241.2 million, off 3% from last year).
Who, might you ask are
this group which knocked a 30 million disc selling group out of the #1 Billboard spot after such a short time?
AFI Burns Brightly With No. 1 Debut
June 14, 2006, 11:10 AM ET
Katie Hasty, N.Y.
AFI's "Decemberunderground" opens at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, the first chart-topper of the band's career. The Tiny Evil/Interscope set moved 182,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the rock group's best one-week tally. AFI's previous album, "Sing the Sorrow," entered at No. 3 in 2003 with 96,000.
After holding down No. 1 for two weeks straight, the Dixie Chicks' "Taking the Long Way" (Columbia) falls to No. 2 with 175,000 copies, a 36% sales decrease
So it would seem that a Latino Punk Revivalist group, which until now has never had a Billboard 200 top hit but 3 years ago did make it to the #4 on the Billboard 200 and also the #5 position in Top Independent Albums, other than that their Billboard 200 ratings on other albums have been #88 and #174 position, has taken 1st place away from the Chicks.
So still at the top on Amazon, on the way down on Billboard, and last but not least how fare they on Walmart?
Of course the Bluenoses of the Bluestates will turn their noses up and grind their teeth at the very mention of Walmart, but the truth is, America Shops there.
With it's typical customer in the $30,000 to $40,000 range we are talking about the Median Income American Family. Every week, 138 million shoppers visit Wal-Mart's 4,750 stores; last year, 82% of American households made at least one purchase at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart also is Hollywood's biggest outlet, accounting for 15% to 20% of all sales of CDs, videos, and DVDs. So if a vote were to be taken, to shop or shop not Walmart, the snobs would lose.
So back to my question, how do
the Dixie Chicks fare in America's retail Behemoth?
I just LOVE
this! They have been replaced in first place on Walmart's Top 100 CDs by, doesn't this warm the cockles of your heart?The Blue Collar Comedy Tour:
One For The Road (2CD)Note: Monday June 19, 2006 while Walmart is promoing the Comedy Tour on it's CD page here it has slipped back to #3 and the Chicks are back to #1 will update this as things change
How the Chicks survived their scrap with Bush
I am going to have to admit, I find that to be poetic justice.
In most of the reviews printed lately about the Dixie Chick and Taking the Long Way, the events in London of 3 years ago are hashed, rehashed and served regurgitated in the same manner a mother bird feeds her Chicks.
Adam Sweeting assesses how the Dixie Chicks have weathered a political storm
When Maines made her comment on March 10 2003, 10 days before Operation Iraqi Freedom unleashed "shock and awe" over Baghdad, the Dixie Chicks were probably the biggest act in country music. Yet within days, their music vanished from the charts and the airwaves, apoplectic rednecks crushed piles of their CDs with tractors, and the FBI was feverishly monitoring death threats against the trio. It was the most heinous pop-star outrage since Ozzy Osbourne urinated on the Alamo.
It was the bullying and the scare factor," shudders banjo and guitar player Robison. "It was like the McCarthy days, and it was almost like the country was unrecognizable."
A couple of quick notes. I don't recall Bush saying much against the CHICKS, I seem to recall the rhetoric was pretty much all one sided. McCarthyism was government mandated, a spontaneous reaction by individuals enmasse is a different thing, in some respects, it's called Democracy?
The Chicks can't hide their disgust at the lack of support they received from other country performers. "A lot of artists cashed in on being against what we said or what we stood for because that was promoting their career, which was a horrible thing to do," says Robison.
"A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."
So it would seem that the CHICKS have a right to make statements and take actions in support of their political views, but no one else can?
What they say is derived from heartfelt beliefs and not pandering to an elite intelligentsia, if others do the same for their views they are disingenuous and pandering to the ignorant masses who should do and think what their betters tell them to.
We have arrived at the truth of the matter, it is not just that they disagreed with Bush on the Iraqi War, it is that the Chicks find patriotism sickening.
"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country? I don't see why people care about patriotism."
As far as I am concerned what happened 3 years ago is in the Past and could
have been left in the Past. The consensus I have read from the Country Western Music Industry before the release of this last album, was let's just focus on good music and leave all that rancor behind us.
But when the main song of a new album is "Not Ready to Make Nice"? That kills that dead. Everything that has happened in the last few weeks has been different renditions by the Chicks to their Former Fans of "We don't Need you, We don't Want you, We don't even LIKE you, as a matter of fact you DISGUST us".
Is it any surprise that those sentiments are returned?
I will close with a few observations on these words by Natalie Maines.
The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country? I don't see why people care about patriotism."
I believe her totally, she really has no idea what patriotism is, or why it is.
There can be no rational explanation of how Maines's remark came to drive a red-hot poker into America's divided soul, but it's only now that some of the poison has begun to dissipate.
It is apparent that the author the above statement does not understand patriotism either, nor loyalty for that matter.
Why should I care about her when she does not care about us?
Technorati Tag: Dixie Chicks
Tuesday, 13 June 2006
On May 7, Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El-Fatah was arrested there during a protest. As part of the world-wide response, several other bloggers have have created the "Free Alaa" blog to chronicle his ongoing detention and legal troubles. Now a lot of other bloggers are trying to start a Googlebomb so that searches for the word "Egypt" pull up the "Free Alaa" blog near the top.
If you want to help out, just link to the "Free Alaa" blog with the word "Egypt" as the link text. Google will eventually pick it up.
The "Free Alaa" blog is at Egypt
Technorati Tag: Egypt
Monday, 12 June 2006
The Anti-Christ of Outsourcing
Former Reagan aide, lobbyist lash each other in Virginia primary
By BOB LEWIS
AP Political Writer
June 10, 2006
RICHMOND, Va. -- One Democrat calls his rival the "anti-Christ of outsourcing" U.S. jobs and argues that he's trying to buy a win in the Virginia primary.
The other fires back, labeling his opponent a sexist who is hostile to affirmative action and is, at heart, a Republican.
Well at least we know what these fellows believe is a Moral Equivalence.
Anti-Christ = Republican.
But I wonder if the Republican epithet might just backfire?
Because of all the qualities that can be attributed to Republicans by those who support them and by those who do
really think they are the Anti-Christ there is one characteristic that has stood out in recent years.
Republicans as a rule eat up True Democrats at the Polls.
Is it wise to sling an aspersion, which also means Winner at your opponent?
Read the whole text of the article it's worth a chuckle or two.
Reminds me of a previous post I wrote called
the Lemming Left
The Democratic Party seems to be bound and determined to run off the edge of a cliff.
Howard Dean, Moveon.org and other assorted irrational Bush haters, rather than trying to avoid this,seem to be petulantly complaining they are not stampeding fast enough.
How does Karl Rove do it?
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