A call to violence

I stumbled across an interesting article this morning over at the War Room at Salon, that highlights the differences between the left wing and right wing elements in the US right now as far as rhetoric is concerned. Tim Grieve found a clip from a recent Ted Nugent show that is very interesting. As most people probably know, Ted is a fairly vocal supporter of the Republican party, and Bush’s policy in the War on Terror and Iraq/Afghanistan, and during a recent show he attacked both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which wouldn’t be too unusual, if not for the content of the attacks.

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The value of friends

Its hard for me to even feign surprise at the announcement this week that George Bush was commuting the prison sentence for I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former Chief of Staff. Libby resigned from Cheney’s staff amidst allegations about his involvement with the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, and he was subsequently convicted on a variety of perjury and obstruction charges. Sentenced by the trial judge to fines, probation, and 30 months in jail, Libby was out of jail awaiting a bail assessment pending an appeal of his conviction and sentence. The White House announcement that the prison sentence was being commuted came shortly after Libby’s request to remain free pending his appeal was denied.

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Opus at Salon

In my early adulthood, there were several cartoonists whose work had a great deal of impact on me. Bill Waterson‘s Calvin and Hobbes was a huge influence on me as a young adult, as was Gary Larson‘s The Far Side. But at least as important to me at the time, if not moreso, was Berke Breathed‘s strip Bloom County.

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Relentless truth

I tend to quote Salon.com quite a bit in my posts here, in part because I always like to support independent journalism, especially in today’s world of corporate media saturation, but mostly because they employ and publish frighteningly talented writers.  The contributions to Salon by regular contributers such as Joan Walsh (editor-in-chief), Tim Grieve (War Room), and Gary Kamiya (various commentary) are always top-notch examples of writing, even when I disagree with the opinions being put forth.  But remarkably, the rigorous intellectual standards in place also make most every piece in Salon extremely well thought out and ruthlessly logical, usually leaving little room to disagree with what are clearly the “correct” conclusions.

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Iraq for Dummies …

One of the biggest problems with coverage of issues of terrorism, insurgency, and/or civil war in places like Iraq is in understanding the complexities of the actual situation on the ground. Rarely do we ever have a situation where its a “black-and-white” struggle between 2 sides … instead, we usually see a morass of groups with amorphous, almost spider-web like connections fighting each other. One of the biggest challenges for the media and viewers of Iraq coverage is understanding who the major players are and what they are fighting about. Friday’s Salon had an excellent piece by Kevin Berger that goes a long way toward clarifying a very muddy situation in Iraq, and I recommend it to anyone who is confused about who believes what in Iraq. (Remember that you can always get a Free Day Pass to view Salon without actually buying a membership)

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Condemnation by disavowal

One of the complaints leveled against Western Muslims in many cases these days is their lack of condemnation of terrorist attacks that happen “in the name of Islam” throughout the world. In today’s Salon, Paul M. Barrett writes an interesting piece where he examines in more detail some of the actual response from Western Islamic groups in the wake of various terror attacks in recent years.

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Another way to blame Hollywood?

As is probably apparent, one of my favorite sections of Salon.com is the War Room. The little bits of minutia that they manage to find for that section, coupled with the wit and writing skills of Tim Grieve, make it a truly fascinating read every day. In today’s War Room is a wonderful little piece about how it is actually the show “24,” as opposed to any official policy, that encourages “U.S. soldiers to think that torture is acceptable.”

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