The Dark Wraith Audio Lecture Series: Lecture 9
Lecture 9: "Information Consumer Responsibility"
Size: 2.7 Mb
Click on the link above to launch the lecture in your computer's default media player or use the shockwave player below to play the lecture.
You can read more about these Israeli conscientious objectors in Ed Asner's article, "The Shministim," at The Huffington Post.
If you support them, if you feel in your heart that they are right and that their treatment at the hands of the Israeli government is wrong, go to their Website, December18th.org, and sign the letter addressed to the Israeli Defense Minister.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, chose as his White House Chief of Staff a Zionist of "good Irgun stock" who holds dual United States/Israel citizenship: Rahm Emanuel volunteered at an Israeli Defense Forces base to serve during the Persian Gulf War, yet he found no time or obligation to volunteer service in the armed forces of the United States of America, the nation that has so richly elevated him to the halls of Congress and now to the inner sanctum of the White House despite his deep ties to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a wing of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The kids you saw in that video have no power other than that of their own free will and the voices of those who would be outraged by their treatment.
President Obama has chosen Rahm Emanuel, Dennis Ross, Richard Holbrook, Hillary Clinton, Tony Lake, Susan Rice, and other supporters of a bellicose State of Israel to stand with him. Now, you may choose with whom you choose to stand. Do not make the mistake of believing that you can have it both ways.
The Shministim have not.
Dark Voices Radio Program Note
Yes, that was 45 solid minutes of dead air for listeners.
What a fiasco! I heard every word, so I had no idea something was wrong other than that I kept seeing listeners coming online and then leaving after a little bit. I also got only a few callers on the line, but when I tried to hook them in, I heard nothing. I thought it was just a problem with the call-in line, not realizing that the problem was far worse. Grr.
Lord! but I do so dislike new technology. Life was easier in the old days. Yelling across the field to your neighbors was less complicated than trying to run an Internet talk radio show. Back in the old days, we didn't have computers. If I wanted to do a PowerPoint lecture, I made the slides on stone tablets and had a grad assistant hold them up for students to see. We didn't have all these fancy numbers, either: binaries worked just fine. Zeroes and ones. No one complained. And economics was easier to teach, too. These days, I have to include the Federal Reserve as an intermediate step in the lecture on how the nobility loots the kingdom.
What did I start this post about? Oh, yes: talk radio.
Here's the deal. Regular episodes are running every Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. EDT. By tomorrow, I will have figured out why I had dead air, and I will make sure it never happens again. To make up for the fiasco of Episode 2, I am going to air a Special Edition of Dark Voices Radio this Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. EDT.
To repeat: Dark Voices Radio, Special Edition, Saturday, March 21, 2009, at 10:30 p.m. Click on the graphic below to see the program page and sign up for a reminder.
The Dark Wraith will figure out how to do this Internet talk radio show properly.
That 'How Progressive Are You?' Quiz
I just finished taking the quiz, and I have a few uncharitable words to say about a couple of the instrument's presumptions and impertinent indeed, fresh questions. I should predicate this by suggesting that readers might want to survey some of my earlier writings wherein I set forth in no uncertain terms my political/social leanings: most recently, I wrote and published, "A Paleo-Conservative Message to Republicans"; prior to that, among many other articles are "An Open Letter to Bill O'Reilly" and "Conservatism My Way, Blunt and Hard."
Let me get down to business. This "How Progressive Are You?" quiz annoyed me to more than a small extent; but in all fairness, most quizzes annoy me. That's why I am a college teacher: I write and administer quizzes; I do not take them. My personal history taking IQ tests, personality inventories, and assorted other instruments purporting to sort and classify me has been on the less than fruitful side. My first IQ test got me rated a "moron." Back in that time, "moron" was better than "imbecile," as I recall, but the designation still got me a one-way ticket to the class for stupid kids. I'm not talking future Republicans, here; these youngsters were destined for Sarah Palin's advisory council. The upside was that I had me a ticket to ride the short bus, but my mother intervened before I got the fun ride, and I was back in the "normal" class, where I could be miserable with the kids who were dumb only to the extent of mediocrity.
Thank God, I almost got out of high school before "gifted" classes started popping up in small-town American schools. Unfortunately, I got caught in the early experiments, and that's where I took my own initiative to extricate myself from a special program where the kids did "enrichment" nonsense while the teachers avoided like the Plague anything having to do with instruction in serious, fundamental principles of subject matter like English or math. As time would go on and I would learn about the political dynamics of education from family members who were teachers, I would come to find out that "gifted" classes are political footballs that often start with decent intentions but then get hijacked by the important, if incompetent, teachers and administrators of the school in alliance with the important, if useless, parents of the community who want their little precious darlings to be part of the feather-in-the-cap programs.
I quit high school at the end of my Junior year. That was one of the best decision I ever made.
But I digress, but just long enough to address my disdain for tests that try to assess and evaluate. As yet another aside, "assessment and evaluation" is the huge fad now, especially in higher education, where the whole No Child Left Behind rot is taking new root with a vengeance. Try to question this freight train of nonsense in a department or college-wide meeting, and watch how fast you get shut down by the activist faculty members exceeded in their teaching and discipline-specific incompetence only by that of the cadre of administrators who have latched onto this as their very reason for existence as inertial mass occupying office space in the nicest buildings on campus.
But, again, I digress.
It's time to hit a few of the specifics of this "How Progressive Are You?" test that really twisted my colon.
I knew trouble was brewing when I saw the questions about "free markets" and "free trade." Both the Right and the Left are tossing those terms around like toys about which they know nothing and about which they wish to know even less. Don't make me write a long-winded, pedagogic rant on basic principles of economics. No one wants to see the situation get that ugly. (And, yes, there would be a quiz after the lecture, by God.)
And what was that "traditional family values" thing in the "How Progressive Are You?" quiz? Why does every living soul on Earth let the crazy fundamentalists hijack words and terms without even so much as a fight?
Do I believe in "traditional family values"?
If, by "traditional family values," you mean I don't want kids whoring the streets and malls instead of staying at home and doing homework and housework, then call me a traditional family values kind of guy; and if, by "traditional family values," you mean I'm calling you a bad parent if you just throw up your hands, sit on your fat ass, and say, "Well, kids will hump each other, so I might as well just show the boys how to Saran-wrap their weiners and tell the girls to insist on the packaged product," then call me a traditional family values kind of guy.
If, by "traditional family values," you mean I want criminals like George W. Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Dick Cheney, Jane Harman, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Mueller, Eric Holder, Robert Gates and a whole lot of other Acceptably Important Persons (AIPs) thrown in prison for a long, long time, then call me a traditional family values kind of guy.
If, by "traditional family values," you mean I want my religion for myself in my home and church, and I want your religion out of my face, then call me a traditional family values kind of guy. And that means I want you to get your politically correct science and your eternal life-promising healthcare and meds out of my face, too. (And don't ask me to pay for your membership dues at the Cult of Medicine: I don't tithe at the Church of Cthulhu, and your medical establishment's collection basket isn't nearly as cool in a pre-Gothic sort of way.)
If, by "traditional family values," you mean I want to work hard and earn a decent living and not support welfare queens at corporations who take tax breaks and bailouts, and not support welfare queens at municipalities that beg themselves silly for the latest prison to be built in their neck of the woods, then call me a traditional family values kind of guy. I'll support government efforts to help people who have hit the skids, especially if children are going hungry or needing stuff, and I'll support government efforts to throw serious money at long-term problems of inter-generational poverty arising from our history of racial and ethnic injustices; but tell me my tax dollars are going to some welfare queen corporation that axes workers, makes unsafe working conditions and dangerous products, or tell me that my tax dollars are going to some prison building program, and I'll tell you what real traditional family values are all about. I don't know about your family, but my family doesn't have any corporations, agencies, institutions, municipalities, states, mutual funds, or other non-human things in it.
Enough with the traditional family values theme.
Moving on with that "How Progressive Are You?" quiz, what was that question about whether or not I think unions are a good thing? Are they talking about what unions have become in the past couple of decades? Call me old fashioned, but I remember the days when unions went to strikes without much of a dance beforehand with the pretty boys in management. After Reagan and his cowering courts did the number on PATCO, it was like all the unions in this country folded up shop and became nothing but dues-collecting repositories for guys and gals who couldn't actually work for a living. Back in my day, union guys cracked heads: there wasn't a whole lot not to like about going knuckles-to-knuckles with company-hired head-bangers and their on-the-take cop supporters. Peaceful co-existence with profit maximizers is achieved only when the profit maximizers have a little pain on the cost side of the cost-benefit analysis of how far to screw the union people. These days, it isn't that way at all; so, no, I most certainly do not think unions are a "good" thing. Show me a few old-time guys from Cleveland and Chicago running the unions again, and show me the scars on their knuckles, and then maybe I'll tell you that unions have once again become a good thing.
Finally and by no means have I given an exhaustive list of my beefs with the "How Progressive Are You?" quiz let me put in a word for military readiness and force. The Bush Administration wrecked the former and gave the latter a really bad name. The quiz seems to imply that progressivism has something to do with using diplomacy, peaceful means, and international institutions as the exclusive solution set for any and all problems the world might have with some of its less-than-desirable leaders. I would agree that all kinds of means are available short of and as alternatives to the use of force on bad people running nations; however, that is not always the case.
Unfortunately, in the pantheon of monsters running nations, Saddam Hussein was way down on the list, and a whole lot of the claims of his purported misdeeds cannot be separated from years of propaganda pumped out by interests that wanted him gone and his country open for plunder. That means Saddam most decidedly should never have been on the "To Kill Today" schedule, and events subsequent to his ouster magnificently succeeded in showing why, exactly, "Iraq" existed as a stable, if rather artificial, nation only because its factions were permanently kept at bay by a brute-in-charge.
Sometimes, though, monsters do need to be dealt with, and that means killing them. No, that does not mean "talking" to them; no, that does not mean "giving them incentives" to behave like civilized human beings; and no, that does not mean "imposing international sanctions" upon them.
It means killing them.
When I see all the liberals holding hands and singing silly, sappy songs for the ungodly human suffering in Darfur, or when I see pathetic international aid attempts to feed countless starving kids in other parts of Africa, or when I see useless "diplomatic engagement" to somehow alleviate the utter misery suffered by the North Koreans laboring under the inter-generational whacko dynasty of the Kim Jong Il bloodline, I cannot help but determine that, sometimes, it is far better to either knock it off with the phony rhetoric about caring or just deal with the monsters once and for all.
I stipulate immediately, though, that killing them might not be easy: bad guys can be pretty darned slippery (notwithstanding the sheer stupidity of trying to off Castro with an exploding cigar); however, we seem to be darned good these days at wasting lots and lots of innocent bystanders with our drones, our fire-and-forget weapons, and our special ops jockeys, so what's the problem with using the assets in our inventory to slaughter some people who really need it instead of wasting our firepower only on people whose last words are, "Is it really safe to have a wedding party outside in this weather?"
And, of course, on the other hand we must conclude that some places are simply where God meant no civilized person to meddle. Afghanistan comes to mind. So do suburban areas of Alaska. Ditto for the south of France during the Cannes Film Festival.
Again, I digress.
How progressive are you? Take the quiz and find out not only how progressive you are, but also how annoyed you get when complex matters of your relationship to society, your sentiments about politics, and your philosophical underpinnings get packaged into a 40-question instrument that reduces you to a series of knee-jerk Right-Left talking points, buzz words, and over-simplifications.
Who knows? By the end you might be so annoyed that, whether or not you get labeled a progressive, you can tell for yourself that you are old, impatient, and downright curmudgeonly.
Just like me.
By the way, if you want to know what I scored, listen to my Internet radio talk show this coming Thursday night, March 19, 2009, at 10:30 p.m. EDT: it's called Dark Voices Radio, broadcast on BlogTalkRadio.
Enjoy your week, fellow progressives on a scale of zero to 400.
Dark Voices Radio, Episode 1
Thursday, March 12, 2009, at 11:30 p.m. EDT, your host will deliver the first episode of Dark Voices Radio, a half-hour call-in talk show. The embedded BlogTalkRadio flash player above will go live when the show opens. (I think.)
Yes, this is the reason I've been so quiet lately.
If Dark Voices Radio garners a decent audience for Episode 1, I will try to find a more-or-less stable time slot and make it a weekly show with call-ins, guests, and regular features. Depending upon how busy the show gets, I might expand the run time from 30 minutes to 45 minutes or an hour.
Despite all the fussing and preparations I've done, rest assured that the maiden voyage of this new enterprise will be rough; however, I have put off setting the air date long enough. It's time to launch this ill-conceived rocket so everyone can applaud wildly as it crashes, craters, burns, and finally smolders long enough to send smoke signals to every aspiring media hound about what not to do when ambition outstrips talent.
Mark it on your calendars: Thursday, March 12, 2009, at 11:30 p.m. EDT. I will give the call-in number on the air. (And no, it won't be one of those toll-free numbers, unfortunately; it will be long distance to Staten Island.)
This post, by the way, will give readers a venue for commenting during the show. How strange is that? an Internet radio talk show and live blogging about the Internet radio talk show.
Now, if only I could be sure there won't be any last-minute technical glitches that will force me to change the air date. I shall update this post should that happen.
Only time will tell if I can find one last decent excuse for postponing this endeavor.
We shall see.
The Dark Wraith feels the freight train of inevitable and disastrous consequences bearing down on his hare-brained scheme.