Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Round-up

As always, Bill Maher is very astute ... and very funny. From an interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC Wednesday:

... comedian and political commentator Bill Maher took issue with the infamous George W. Bush assertion that terrorism is somehow caused by a hatred of Americans' freedom.

"They don't hate us for our freedom," said Maher with a laugh. "They hate us for our airstrikes. In Afghanistan, that seems to be the problem. It's that, we keep killing people with our airstrikes, and then those people tend to have a grudge against us, and they will join the Taliban, or be sympathetic to the Taliban."

Maher likened a plan to send two more combat brigades to Afghanistan as killing flies "with a fly swatter made of raw meat."

"I keep going back to this cynical view I have, and people jump down my throat, but the underlying problem we have in this country is that the people are too stupid to be governed."


And this may be the least surprising research study finding ever (from University of Nebraska at Lincoln):

People who startle easily in response to threatening images or loud sounds seem to have a biological predisposition to adopt conservative political positions on many hot-button issues, according to unusual new research published yesterday.

The finding suggests that people who are particularly sensitive to signals of visual or auditory threats also tend to adopt a more defensive stance on political issues, such as immigration, gun control, defense spending and patriotism ...

Just as we always suspected, conservatives respond to bright, shiny objects and ignore nuance.


All hail a fully deregulated free market!


And this is for those tens of listeners to local progressive radio station KPHX on Sunday mornings -- they've made the huge mistake of again inviting me to be on-air this weekend. Hopefully, this time I'll actually open my mouth occasionally. To listen live on Sunday:

or find links to the podcast (usually posted the day after):


Laura said...

Maher is partially correct. Irshad Manji has said over and over again that when she visits places plagued by terrorism that they actually express admiration for America and Americans as generous and caring people, but that we don't use our generosity and the great social and political power we have, and they resent that we don't recognize the opportunity we have to promote change in the world (i.e., we support Saudi and Kuwaiti regimes that oppress people rather than using influence and geopolitical power to help).

However, Afghanistan in particular NEEDS security first and foremost. It is an impossible place to govern, and the rights of people in the outer areas are constantly violated by warlords and corrupt officials. They WANT our military help. Unlike Iraq that wants us gone, Afghanistan wants and needs our help. Again, an example of how America squandered the potential to help a country that wanted our help in favor of selfish political goals (Iraq).

dbackdad said...

Maher's obviously oversimplifying it. The big problem we've always had in Afghanistan is not in our good intentions but in our lack of follow-up. We supported the Afghans against the Soviets, but then left, not helping with the fundamental problems of infrastructure and poverty that caused the hopelessness. This time, we raced in intending to get Bin Laden, but really just as a subterfuge for pursuing a war against Iraq for political reasons. It's no wonder if the Afghans question our intentions.

dbackdad said...

Don't bother with the podcast of the show. I got bumped. Not quite like being bumped from Letterman, but it's all good. The band that was in studio today ended up sitting in for the whole show. Sarge still mentioned me and my business but I didn't get on air. Maybe next time.