You'd think we'd learn, part II
Even during the big news day, CBS carried some of its regular entertainment features, but many of them were shaped specifically by the news. One such feature was "Kate Smith Speaks", a short noontime segment. As far as I can tell, this program hasn't been preserved in a regular way by the old-time-radio folks, so this 3-minute segment is the only one we have. Here's Kate at her best.
I was prompted to include this after hearing some discussion about today's best-known large female entertainer, the one who hangs upside-down like a vampire bat. Compare Kate's passionate prayer for the success of our Crusaders with the filthy pro-enemy propaganda of the vampire bat, if you can stand the desecration.
You'd think we'd learn.......
In between working on a rather dull spreadsheet assignment, I've been listening to a full broadcast day
of CBS from D-Day, 6/6/44.
Not many surprises in the raw news; I've read enough about Operation Overlord to know the basics.
In terms of presentation, all the Big Names like Murrow, Collingwood and Hottelet were taking part in the broadcast, and I found them unimpressive. Lost without their scripts, and poor at basic diction.
The real star of the day was a lesser light, Bob Trout. Caught off guard on a late shift, he took masterful control and invented a whole new way of doing news. He wandered around the building with a remote microphone, talking as he walked, reading the news from whichever teletype machine seemed to have the latest flash, explaining the news-gathering process to the listener, pulling the events together, and finding editors and writers to give on-the-spot analysis. He remained serious and competent but informal; never sounded stilted or harsh. Trout laid the stylistic
groundwork for today's cable news, though I suspect he'd be ashamed to hear today's results. Any of those old newshawks would be totally puzzled by a "news broadcast" that covers custody disputes mis-described as abductions, sex with teachers, sex with children, sex with celebrities, and a tiny handful of non-sex stories which are obviously and plainly false. They would recognize this as a fantastically low-quality tabloid newspaper or 'scandal sheet'; maybe even a crude high-school parody of a tabloid.
What surprised me in this CBS day was the high quality of commentary and analysis. They had three main analysts and two 'embedded generals' on the air; all were vastly superior to anyone on TV today, and Quentin Reynolds was the best.
At one point Reynolds compared FDR's approach in WW2 with Wilson's approach in WW1. Crucial difference: Wilson paid more attention to politics and diplomacy than to fighting, and failed to replace generals who couldn't handle a real war. Roosevelt focused strictly on winning the war, and "took care to explain every aspect of the war to the people." This was, of course, before WW2 was won; as of D-Day it was unclear how soon we'd take down Germany, and we hadn't even started to push into Japan. Even so, the distinction was already clear to Reynolds. If you want to win a war, you have to get the citizens on your side and you have to get rid of incompetent managers. The distinction is even more clear now that we know how WW2 came out, and how quickly it was done. Despite all that, George W. Vichy has intentionally taken a 100% Wilsonian path. He focuses on politics and diplomacy, refuses to replace bad generals and Secretaries of Defense, and refuses to explain the war to the people in any way that makes sense. At this point, after nearly 6 years of Wilsonian failure, we really have to ask: is this simple incompetence or is it something worse?
I've posted this 3-minute segment
of Quentin Reynolds because it's crisply relevant to today's fight. We know that today's Arabs, fighting under the banner of Allah, are direct descendants of WW2's Germans under the banner of National Socialism. Hitler's chief representative to Arabs was Saddam Hussein's uncle and Yasser Arafat's main mentor. A sort of devilish apostolic succession. But I was still surprised by the historical 'connectivity' of several items in this piece. Listen for yourself and see if you can spot them.
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Edit for accuracy: From the Wiki biography of Bob Trout, he did invent the 'peripatetic newscast', but he first used it at the Anschluss in 1938. By D-Day it was already his trademark but not brand new.
Apparently the lesbian leninists are bringing back the good old Equal Rights Amendment.
If American men had any sense at all, they would be enthusiastically supporting the ERA this time around.
Since 1970, Comrade MacKinnon and Comrade Friedan have succeeded in shaping our courts and regulations to favor females in every single circumstance where the distinction is possible. Sexual harassment "laws", "date-rape" "laws", child-support enforcement, affirmative action in colleges, and the overall workings of public schools, all give females superior treatment under the "law".
Having the ERA in the Constitution would give males a substantial ground for lawsuits in each of these areas. It wouldn't make any real difference, because all the black-robed saboteurs are hyper-orthodox Leninists who never pay attention to any part of the Constitution anyway ..... but it would at least make an interesting public display of reality.
Canadian cancer cure update
The University of Alberta has revised its website
to make it easier to keep up with the latest developments, and easier to contribute.
Dr. Michelakis needs about 1.5 million dollars to complete a series of clinical tests.
So far donations have reached about $100,000.
What's wrong with this picture? Other than everything?
In other news, some Hollywood dickhead has just crashed his 1.5 million dollar sports car.
Hmm. If I had $1.5 mil, I could buy a Ferrari and crash it, or I could cure cancer.
Let's see ... crash car or cure cancer ... crash car or cure cancer ... crash car or cure cancer ... Okay, we'll do the car.
That wasn't hard, was it?
Brownb[r]ack's big idea
Right now Sen. Brownback is speaking in the Senate, discussing his idea of a BRAC-style commission for civilian spending. It's an excellent idea. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission has worked well as a procedure
by taking the responsibility for cuts out of the hands and out of the voting records of Congressmen.
Before BRAC, it was impossible to close any bases because each representative stoutly defended everything in his district and traded favors with others to keep everything running. With BRAC, the decisions are made by others and each rep is distanced from the responsibility of closing a local job-source. Communities still put tremendous effort into lobbying for their bases, and this lobbying is more like true representation than anything ever done by Congress. The commission tries to measure genuine community support when making its decisions. When Congress makes a decision, community support is drowned out by irrelevant concerns like personal seniority and power. An old power-broker like Byrd or Kennedy was able to keep every base in his state running, even when the locals didn't want or need them.
I emphasize as a procedure
because, as I've said many times in many ways,
closing military bases is simply an atrocious, stupid, and self-destructive practice no matter how you organize it legislatively.
Two main reasons:
1. The concept of Efficiency simply cannot be applied to defense. The best defense is an infinitely inefficient
one. If you spend huge amounts of money on fortifications, walls, tanks, bombs, and soldiers, and you constantly show that all those objects are ready to rumble at a moment's notice, prospective enemies will look elsewhere. The spending will thus be totally useless and totally inefficient by a commercial-style accounting, because no attack will ever occur, and the equipment and soldiers will never be used. This is the ideal
When we follow Rumsfeld's bean-counting industrial model, maintaining just enough equipment and soldiers for current needs, we will be unprepared and enemies will accurately view us as unprepared. The few soldiers will then have to fight like hell with inadequate equipment. (Sound familiar?)
2. Because America is now thoroughly settled and urbanized, and mainly because of EPA rules and NIMBY effects, losing a military base is totally irreversible. There is simply no way we can rebuild any of these huge and specialized facilities under current restrictions. Even if the purpose of some facility seems obsolete at the moment, it's still worth keeping as a storehouse of NIMBY-proof square miles and buildings.
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However! Even though the BRAC method is bad for military facilities, it would be grand when applied to civilian facilities and programs. In the civilian parts of government, Efficiency is definitely meaningful, because each program or agency is meant to accomplish a positive goal; and none of the civilian facilities are unique or irreplaceable. Any old office building will do.
So Brownback's proposal is excellent, but I'd be inclined to advocate it from a different angle. I wouldn't say that BRAC is a success and should be extended to civilian programs; I'd say that the BRAC method needs to be moved over
to civilian programs!
Polistra has been wanting
to support Sam Brownback for a while.
The deal is sealed now.
[Unless and until Newt gets serious, that is. Newt is unquestionably the best of the available politicians, but he's still not clear about his intention to run.]
Brownback's recent defense
of Gen. Peter Pace for speaking his mind is the threshold point, the snap that turned on the light.
Geography certainly plays a part in this. Polistra, like most Kaw Valley natives, has a Vermontish streak of rock-ribbed reticence, left over from those early Abolitionists
who settled the area.
"Say what needs to be said, and then hush."
Brownback seems to have the same quality. When something needs to be said, he doesn't worry about the taboos of the time, and doesn't care if he sounds grumpy about a subject that deserves grumpiness.
He also carries the spirit of those Abolitionists quite directly and effectively into the modern era, in places like North Korea
and Africa where plain old-fashioned slavery is still thriving.
He comes off well in comparison to Romney, whose response to Pace's clarity is a typical modern wet blanket: "In a governmental setting, the right way to go is to show more of an outpouring of tolerance."
No, Mitt, no. In wartime we can't afford an outpouring of tolerance. We can't afford mushiness and softness of mind and soul. We didn't win WW2 by outpouring tolerance. We won WW2 by outpouring rock-hard certainty along with the bombs and bullets.
We need a house built of stone.
Listening to Saboteur Plame lying to Congress. Same old thing.... The D side is certain of its treasonous values, and the R "side" is weakly and barely defensive. An R congressman is questioning Saboteur Plame, and the best he can do is to try and show that her "career path" was not hurt too
badly by Novak's column.
If we had a competent wartime government ... no. If we had a government, Mr. and Mrs. Glamorous Saboteur would already have been tried and imprisoned, preferably hanged, for their vicious sabotage and treason.
We wouldn't have to be asking how badly her "career path" was damaged, for fuck's sake.
Professor Polistra has run the experiments and checked the theories.
Her conclusion:A non-binding resolution is the perfect response to a non-binding war.
If we were fighting a binding
war, a war aimed at defeating our enemies forever and killing their blood fetish forever, we'd already be done.
The internal discontent that allows the D politicians to play these games wouldn't exist. The anti-American protesters would be marginalized because most Americans would feel the infinite relief of total victory. The major anti-American leaders and politicians would be in jail for sedition or hanged for treason.
That's how Roosevelt and Churchill fought. Destroy the enemy, silence the traitors. A binding war, with no loopholes or escape clauses. Their enemy has remained dead for 60 years, though its mindset has pollinated today's Arab fascists.
Folks constantly complain about the "partisan bickering" and "lack of bipartisanship" in Congress.
Okay, let's look at the two "sides" on Iraq. The R "side" wants to Support Our President and keep the current pointless slaughter going until the fall of 2008.
The D "side" wants to Speak Truth To Power and begin a drawdown which will keep the current pointless slaughter going until the fall of 2008.
So. We don't have "partisan bickering" at all. We have total harmony, utter concordance, and 100% agreement to put off all decisions until after the next election.
Yes indeed. All options are on the table ... except for any action that could potentially lead to victory. Victory is unthinkable and unspeakable.
Credit where credit is due
While the alleged, so-called, and let me italicize, underline and bold-face the word so-called, """"""""government"""""""" in DC continues to grind along with the tiresome repetitive screeching and clashing of stale stupidity, craven cowardice, and grade-A prime treason, state governments are functioning quite well.
The Washington state senate has just passed a wonderfully simple solution to a rather nasty problem.
The Problem: Scrap metal is so valuable that thieves are ripping wires out of houses, guard rails and conveyor systems out of running factories, and street signs out of the ground.
The Solution: A thief must ultimately take the copper or aluminum to a recycling center, which is a legitimate operation. So the state will now require those recycling centers to pay for scrap metal by check, sent through the mail to a physical address.
This will make it possible to trace the thieves, and it will also strongly discourage the thieves. Fake address? Nope, that won't work. The check would either go undelivered, or reach the wrong party.
Smart and simple.
Bravo, Wash legislature!
When will they ever learn?
Rush is hitting hard this morning on the Republican habit of being always on defense. Good points.
These things haven't changed a bit in 30 years. Here
is a 4-minute news segment from the spring of 1974. It's worth hearing for the sound bites from politicians. As always, the Dems are certain of their goals and values, attacking hard from solid ground; as always, the Repubs are shaky and defensive, never pointing out hypocrisy or falsehoods, just whining about unfairness.
I've been listening to a series of these newscasts from '74, and the entire picture is remarkably similar. Later in the week, Israel was attacking Lebanon, and the Israeli government was about to collapse because hard-liners accused the prime minister of fumbling the last war. Teddy Kennedy was in Moscow holding a town meeting with Russian "students". And on and on, same now as then.
There is one
notable difference, though: the lead story every day in the '74 week was about a strike in some sector of American industry. Unions were riding tall at that time; now they are a minor player, and lawyers have taken over the role of counterbalancing capitalism. Unions and lawyers are both obnoxious, but looking back now, I think we were somewhat better off with unions. Corrupt and incorrigible, at least they occasionally
represented the real interests of the workers. Lawyers represent only their own unvarnished greed.
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For non-listeners, here are the high points of the sound segment:
Republican politicians supporting campaign finance reform.
Nixon is negotiating with the Russians.
Dems are pushing to impeach Nixon, R politicians are responding defensively and weakly: Minority leader John Rhodes says "No other president has been so charged. This is unfair." Waaaaahh!
Dems are calling for overhaul of the Veterans Administration, charging that the VA is a "dumping ground for Nixon campaigners." Dem Teague of Texas says "I have never seen morale at a lower point. This is a direct result of political manipulations by Nixon."
Wilbur Mills was asked by reporters when Nixon would quit. Mills said essentially, "as soon as possible." (Supposedly Mills was the one who actually talked Nixon into quitting later on.)
Lowell Weicker (RINO of Connecticut) charges that Nixon used IRS data to protect friends like John Wayne and Billy Graham from audits.
Woodward and Bernstein reveal one of their sources, but keep Deep Throat a secret.
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Some of the same men are still in the picture; all of the charges, responses, and phrases are being repeated today, and even the subjects are the same.
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The problem with R politicians is that they are not paranoid enough.
By all accounts Nixon had a melancholy and paranoid temperament, but when it came to judging his enemies he was just as naive and optimistic as Bush.
A full-fledged melancholy paranoid operates on the "Nothing to Lose" principle. He understands that his enemies will attack him at 100% intensity no matter what he does, so he goes ahead and does everything necessary, and does it fast, hard, and loud. No clever bank shots, no cutesy coverups. Result: the surviving enemies, IF ANY (preferably none), will back off and stop attacking for a while.
Optimists, like Bush and Nixon, mistakenly and suicidally believe that Communists and their allies, whether in Russia or Iran or the Senate, are nice civilized gentlemen who can be mollified by compromise and negotiation.