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18 February 2012


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The beaver

Thank you Dr Silverman for that treat:

To recap: Friedman, imagining himself Columbus, journeys toward India. Columbus, he notes, traveled in three ships; Friedman "had Lufthansa business class." When he reaches India — Bangalore to be specific — he immediately plays golf. His caddy, he notes with interest, wears a cap with the 3M logo. Surrounding the golf course are billboards for Texas Instruments and Pizza Hut. The Pizza Hut billboard reads: "Gigabites of Taste." Apparently because he sees a Pizza Hut ad on the way to a golf course, something that could never happen in America, Friedman concludes: "No, this definitely wasn't Kansas."

As far as Erin Burnett, Glenn Greenwalg calls her : "worst of the worst"


Check the update at the end

I guess we have got the "Judith Miller" of Cable TV :(

Mike C

Dr. Silverman,

Thanks for the link. I was pleased to see Huffington Post run a decent article in the same vein yesterday by Michael Calderone.

Also, here is a link to Glen Greenwald's homepage at Salon. The 2nd through 4th stories deal with Iran, but the 1st will probably also interest SST readers. Hopefully we'll see more of this pushback against the agitprop.

r whitman

Major propaganda piece on Univision



Thank you Dr. Silverman! The Taibbi review brought tears to my eyes!

We need something to laugh about in these grim times.


The defense industry and its media chorus appear to freaking out about Obama's threat the marginally trim the rate of exponential growth in spending. Israel and its chorus also depend heavily on their own anti-terrorism industry and the generosity of Washington's procurers.

Iran is just about the only bogeyman left at the other end of their target range, so it's bombs away for their rhetorical missiles.

Of course, Obama's threats are not likely to survive the first contact with the Washington political process. But they will bear fruit in other ways. Already, military contractors must be funneling lavish donations into his campaign coffers to make sure that his threat never materializes and remains at the yellow level before quietly disappearing altogether.


Taibbi is brilliant and the fact Friedman is MSM says everything about american culture. One sentence from Taibbi's review:

In a Friedman book, the reader naturally seizes up in dread the instant a suggestive word like "Windows" is introduced; you wince, knowing what's coming, the same way you do when Leslie Nielsen orders a Black Russian.

Paul Escobar

R Whitman & all,

Wow! This Haim Saban fellow openly admits he uses his American media outlets to spread Israeli propaganda. He publically raises money for the IDF on US soil.

If he was Irish or Mexican, I'm pretty sure he'd be deported by now.


India and China both buying more oil from Iran. Sanctions RIP.

If the US attacks Iran, it will be messing with half the world's oil supply, which won't be taken lightly on their part. Could that be exactly what the neocrazies and the liberal interventionist crazies want?

Charles Dekle

Since I spent part of my career as an engineer in a large corporation's cubicle farm I enjoy the Dilbert cartoons. I even had a pointy haired boss.

I also like Dilbert's creator, Scott Adams, other writings and books. I am especially fond of Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel<-u>. I just read his February 16 Blog, The Arrogance Thing<-i> in which he offers an interesting suggestion for solving the Iran issue. http://dilbert.com/blog/

I am not sure that it will work but as an engineer, I was taught to always apply Occam's Razor first (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Occam's+razor) .


Hi, I've never commented here but I'd like to add this for you to chew on: Taibbi also said this a few paragraphs later:

There’s a weird set of internalized assumptions that media members bring to stories like this Iran business. In fact there’s an elaborate belief system we press people adhere to, about how a foreign country may behave toward the U.S., and how it may not behave.

Then with the Irony of Ironies he has internalized those assumptions, turns the platitudes to the pixels.

I’m not defending Ahmadinejad, I think he’s nuts and a monstrous dick and I definitely don’t think he should be allowed to have nuclear weapons, but to me this issue has little to do with Iran at all. What’s more troubling to me is that we’ve internalized this “gentleman’s code” to the point where its basic premises are no longer even debated.

And this relevant comment made by b2020 at EmptyWheel:

Under Bush – and, of course, continued by Barack Default Obama in deed if not word – it became the National Security Policy of the USA to preventively declare war on any nation that would, by accident or design, acquire the means to deter the USA from preventive war.

That is, deny them the means to carry out a first strike.

In some cases – Russia, China – the declaration that the US will not tolerate a military peer has a bit of a Wagnerian overreach to it, but in others – Iran, but no longer North Korea – this is exactly what is happening: The USA is taking the lead in an international “community” of willing rogue regimes to ignore the UN Charter, the NPT and a host of other precedents and commitments to dictate to a sovereign nation what capabilities it is permitted to have, or strive for.

The real floater here is the NPT, which has been eviscerated by the failure of the two large – USA, Russia – and mid-sized signatory nuclear powers – China, UK, France – to live up to their solemn commitments of phasing out their own arsenals, to shows some honesty and consistency in their handling of non-signatories – Israel, India, Pakistan – as well as North Korea. The NPT was a fraud from the start, not just with respect to the commitments of nuclear powers, but also with respect to the many issues of dual use and “civilian” nuclear technology.

If the US government is alarmed at the prospect of an Iranian nuke, the proper response is a strengthening and revitalization of the NPT, a renewal of a commitment to nuclear disarmament, and a move away from aggressive, preemptive posturing, starting with a clear “no first use” declaration. But then, this has never been about what is proper, or legal, or just.

The same Expedience First approach that put the US in bed with Pakistan, and has the issue of North Korean nukes fester, becomes a different calculus when one non-signatory nuclear regime with a completely unmonitored arsenal and decades of history of ignoring UN resolutions and breaking international law – Israel – is pitted [against] a regime that will not have nuclear weapons for years to come, is a signatory to the NPT, and at least pretends to address its non-compliance.

At the end of the day, it isn’t even about the nukes. It is about hegemony. Nukes just happen to be a means to limit it, which North Korea has amply demonstrated.[more]

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