Cider Press Hill

Political terms

Wednesday, 10:27 pm

By Kate

Feb

02

2011

light snow

Listening to the news a while ago, the segment on Egypt came on the teevee. I believe it was Comcast New England Cable News Network. Anyway, the reporter described the pro-democracy protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today as Mob Rule. Get that? Mob rule. Despite Mubarak’s thugs being out with their Molotov Cocktails and steel bar batons beating the ever-loving crap out of the protesters, the ones getting the crap beaten out of them were the ones identified as participating in Mob Rule. Those thugs doing the beating and bomb throwing who were captured proved to be plain clothes cops and Mubarak operatives with substantiating I.D. But they weren’t described as thugs or anything. Nooo...they were pro-government supporters. It is, apparently, in someone’s best interests to downplay the pro-democracy movement in Egypt and encourage us to be sympathetic to the pro-Mubarak supporters. (Notice how many of the pro-Mubarak signs are in English?) You kind of have to wonder why our news people want us to be sympathetic to the government thugs. Is it because the reporters are simply dumber than a box of rocks or do they have a vested interest in the outcome of this little dust up in the desert? I would like to know.

I thought bringing in the camels for foreign consumption was an especially nice touch. Camels in downtown Cairo? Really?

I heard that CNN’s Anderson Cooper got his head bashed in by pro-Mubarak supporters today. I wonder what his take on the subject is tonight. He was busy sucking up to the pro-Mubarak supporters just minutes before their batons cracked him over the skull.

Mob Rule vs Pro-Government supporters. Dear Comcast, your politics are showing (or your stupidity and I don’t believe that for a moment). It’s not flattering. You would prefer to lend support to a vicious dictator and adopt a “screw the people” attitude? My goodness. Who would have guessed. Who exactly are you protecting...and why? That’s a place where most Americans aren’t ready to go.

I feel sorry for the Egyptians and I offer them my worthless support from thousands of miles away. And a fervent wish that they succeed in ousting Mubarak and his government. They have to triumph or the government forces will track them down from the miles and miles of video coverage and torture them to death at leisure. That’s the way it works in Egypt. The people must triumph completely.

_________

For those who would like more information from some of the horses’ mouths and where lively discussion is encouraged and where idealism and honor are still highly valued, I’d urge you to visit Mondoweiss. It is one of the finest resources on the Middle East on the intertubes. A fine community of bright people who care about justice and human beings.



 

Why do we care?

Friday, 4:06 pm

By Kate

Dec

11

2009

partly cloudy

I have turned the television nightly news on for the last couple of weeks. I have watched the network news and the New England Cable News Network. Also the local Fox station. What I have found to be a nightly staple is weather, sports, and Tiger Woods.

Now, I want to know. Why is it that we care about Tiger Woods? Why is he important to the world and our survival? Is is necessary for us to know why he had numerous affairs and exactly how many and with whom? Do I care what kind of car was seen leaving his driveway carrying an unidentified passenger to the hospital last week? Why do we need to know the most intimate details of his married life?

He’s a sports figure. I’m sorry for his misfortunes, although he brought them on himself, but, really, why does this man require 4 minutes of national news coverage every broadcast? And that’s not counting what may be happening on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News or Nancy Grace.

If we were to be entirely judged by our news broadcasts, we would be judged incredibly stupid, shallow people.



 

When silly isn't silly

Sunday, 10:51 pm

By Kate

Aug

09

2009

partly cloudy

This has been a summer of watching (or trying to ignore) the vapid idiots on the idiot box. I swear to heaven that journalism is in dire straits. God almighty, I used to think Lou Dobbs was kinda hot. Now I think he’s a total jerk. That’s some kind of downfall. And it’s all because he thinks it’s wicked cool to encourage the folks who are convinced President Obama is an alien or something (birthers).

After having perused the web on a number of occasions and read the opinions of Americans who believe that one must have two American natural born citizen parents to be an American citizen oneself, I’m ready to believe that we are totally doomed. What the hell do they teach in US schools these days? Anything about the United States Constitution??? Has anyone under the age of 35...like...um...read it???

I’m sorry to say that moving to Europe looks better and better. And that totally irritates me. This is my home and I want to be here, but it feels foreign lately.

Just saying.

I can’t believe that the yammerers on the idiot box represent the majority of us. Where are the infamous silent majority? Who’s speaking for us? I’m pretty much middle of the road and I’m feeling as if I’ve been pushed to the fringe. I’m not fringe anything. I’m pretty mainstream and I resent like hell being shoved to the curb.

The media are nuts. They don’t speak for me. And I’m sure that I’m not alone in feeling alienated. What is in the water that makes the media turn lunatic fringe? I’ve talked with friends who think the nightly news is something directly out of 1984. It’s scaring them and stressing them out to the max. Me, too.

This is silly season in the US. Except, it’s not funny. It’s terrifying.

What will it take to recapture normalcy? I shudder to contemplate that, actually.

Get a clue, media. We’re not laughing. Or smiling.

We’re puking.



 

Surrounded by stupid

Monday, 9:27 pm

By Kate

Jun

30

2008

partly cloudy

Even without a television, I can’t escape all the babble and screeching going on in the media about poor Wesley Clark’s misguided statement: “I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”

Misguided only because he left himself wide open for concerned parties to throw sensational hissy fits over it.

I’m so sorry that John McCain got shot down and spent five years in Hanoi Hilton. I am. No one should have had to endure that. But you know, that was 40 years ago. Time marches on and just what does being a POW forty years ago have to do with the price of eggs (which were $4.99 at my grocery store this weekend)? He’s the one running on his war record and POW status rather than on his vision for the future. The media eat it up with great big spoons.

Have the media happened to notice lately that things in this country are in bad shape? I’m sure it’s more fun to write about so-called scandalous statements that seem to be mostly of interest to the insulated and privileged journos, but come on.

It’s getting rough out here. Gasoline is well over $4 a gallon here. Diesel is over $5. Heating oil is $5/gallon. Natural gas has taken a leap upward. Electricity has taken a huge leap upward. Food has taken a monstrous leap upward. And probably will get monstrously worse after some 5 million acres of prime corn and soybean crops got washed away this past month in Iowa and immediate environs. Corn prices have already exploded. Cattle eat corn, too. Watch meat prices soar now. Watch ranchers slaughter their herds because they can’t afford to feed them this winter. Iowa is, incidentally, the leading corn producing state in the US—and one of the leading exporters.

We also have a teensy credit problem ongoing in the country. We have foreclosures at record highs. Consumer confidence is in the crapper. We have people living in their cars and in tent and parking lot cities. We have bank failures happening and more about to happen. More and more economists are starting to talk about a total banking system collapse in the near future. Scares the hell out of me. It’s beginning to make the Great Depression sound quaint.

Does anyone in the media care? Beats me. They can’t seem to focus on anything important. No one talks much about things coming apart at the seams. If they ignore it, maybe it’ll go away? I don’t think so. We are coming apart at the seams.

I agree with Wesley Clark. I just don’t find John McCain’s POW experience particularly germane to the overwhelming issues at hand in 2008. Middle Eastern terrorism isn’t the only war we’re fighting. Lots of people are just plain fighting for survival. Like the 125,000 households in Massachusetts who had their utilities terminated this summer because they can’t afford to pay—with thousands and thousands more about to hit a brick wall this coming winter.

What I want to know is what these political dudes plan to do about it. I want to know why the journalists and reporters aren’t asking questions about these things and demanding some on-the-record answers. I want to hear in-depth energy policies. Serious answers that have roots in reality and not in the most generous lobbyist’s purse. I’d like to see something that resembles Vision. They’re hard questions with hard answers, but being the president is no walk the park either. If they want the job, they need to offer us something relevant to current issues. After a certain point, I just don’t give a rip about what happened 40 years ago. Character only carries you so far. I want answers to things that are important here and now, dammit. And I want the journalists and reporters to care enough to Do Their Jobs.

I’ve been accused of being an idealist before, though.



 

Sunday dreck

Sunday, 1:29 pm

By Kate

Mar

02

2008

sunny

Yes, Lottie. You are dim. I assume your editors are cranially advantaged men, so what’s their excuse?



 

Tuesday thoughts

Tuesday, 12:50 pm

By Kate

Jan

08

2008

mostly sunny

It is 62.7° here today and the sun is shining. This isn’t exactly a January thaw—it’s not going to last long enough. A proper January thaw lasts for at least a week. Then again, with the forecast suggesting mid-40s temps for the better part of the month, I suppose that qualifies as an extended January thaw. Today is the dessert before the main course. I’ll happily take it and enjoy it. There is no fire in the stove today. That means I’m saving wood. No complaints there, that’s for sure. And the snow has been melting rapidly, although not rapidly enough to actually see my deck floor yet. I keep hoping.

It’s a good day to be out and about. As I am only 3 miles from the New Hampshire border, I’ll guess the people over there probably feel the same way. Reports have been coming in that voter turnout is huge in New Hampshire today. Could be the weather—spring temps certainly don’t hurt. But, just perhaps, it’s because people are fed up with business as usual in Washington and are making their voices heard. Guess we won’t know for a few hours.

___________________

I have not returned my car to the doctor yet. My hands start to tremble every time I think about it. I have to do it before the end of the day, but I Don’t Want To. That engine light stays resolutely lit. Stupid thing.

___________________

This is just an observation and my feeble little lone voice of protest—lately I’ve noticed an increasing number of ads on websites displaying young women with seriously large boobage and I’m getting tired of it. I suppose the ad makers and product hawkers still think the web is populated mostly by men. They also seem to believe that political websites are especially populated by men. And maybe that’s true, though probably much less true than it used to be. This must be the assumption, otherwise perhaps I’d be seeing more ads with half naked men.

On the other hand, perhaps not. Women don’t seem to respond to pics of half-naked men the same way that men do to opposite gender pics. And men, in general, seem to get a little twitchy when they are assaulted with pics of half-naked men and tend to howl loudly about it. It does not seem to follow that women get equally twitchy with pics of half-naked babes, but, it does get old really fast.

Not that I’m blaming Josh, but when I went over to Talking Points Memo a little while ago, one of the rotating ads on his site was of a rather tawdry photo of a young woman literally spilling out of her scanty top. It was so prominently placed on the page that everything else receded into the background and I think my first words were, “Oh my God.” This is a really annoying web trend...and rather insulting, actually, for the female denizens of the web. Not that I expect that it will change any time soon. Half-naked women do sell products. If they didn’t, the ads wouldn’t be out there. I am getting really fed up with it, though, not that it matters in the least.



 

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