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Biden’s Missed Opportunity in the Debate: “Sarah Palin, you’re no Ronald Reagan.”

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It boils down to this:

Joe Biden was equally capable of delivering as knowledgeable, intelligent, insightful and nuanced a discussion of the issues facing our nation and the world 5 days ago, as he was 5 weeks, 5 years or even 25 years ago. Sarah Palin delivered a scripted, well-rehearsed performance last night, nothing more, and it was a performance she was not capable of giving just 5 days ago.

There’s really no more to it than that, except among those who simply *need* to believe that Sarah Palin owns more than an ability to memorize talking points. Have the past 5 weeks not offered enough compelling evidence that, off-script, she is dismally, dangerously unqualified for the job? Much as she tried to chide Joe Biden for referencing the so-called “past” mistakes of the Bush Administration, Sarah Palin’s scriptwriters nonetheless felt the need to validate her candidacy by latching onto the past — namely, the coattails of Ronald Reagan’s legacy.

I would like someone to ask Sarah Palin just what Ronald Reagan meant all those times, when he conjured the vision of that “shining city upon the hill.” And what did you mean, Governor Palin, when you coupled the word ‘exceptionalism’ with that ‘shining city’ last night, as in: “America is a nation of exceptionalism. And we are to be that shining city on a hill“? Do you even know what is meant by the word, ‘exceptionalism‘ in this context? Or would that be “gotcha” journalism to ask you such a question, as when Katie Couric asked, “What do you read?” on the heels of your statement, “The way that I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums that have provided me a lot of perspective on the world“?

My educated guess is that Sarah’s answer on the ‘shining city’ question would be the same as her answer to Couric’s question about her reading list: a pause — one beat too long — followed by a mish-mash of hollow words infused with insults against anyone smart enough to know the answer. Lest Sarah be at a loss for words, I’ve done her homework, the same as I did when she asked, “What is it exactly that the VP does every day?” The answer is printed, in entirety, at the bottom of this post.  I offer this, not because I’m a fan of Ronald Reagan — or of exceptionalism — but because, when he conjured the vision of the shining city upon the hill, it was not merely a stage prop. His words were fleshed from a personal belief, born from an established school of thought, about which he knew something. Ronald Reagan not only understood what he was saying. He meant it.    

Sarah proved last night (as she did at the convention) that she is capable of delivering her lines on cue with, alternately, pseudo conviction, curled-lip sarcasm, or a wink and a smile. There are small theatre groups across the country filled with similar talents. What does this have to do with being vice-president of the United States?

We’ve been duly warned: there will be no more unfettered media access (huh?) to Sarah Palin (even as we were told, just a few days ago, that the McCain campaign was going to “allow” Sarah Palin to “be herself” to America). There will be only scripted speeches, no more of that “gotcha” journalism. 

Here’s the thing. I’m sick and tired of living under a government that operates in secrecy, that censors media access, that denies Americans the right to a transparent government, that gives us, instead, a scripted version of the truth in the form of cooked intelligence, manufactured news, propaganda and lies. On that note, I’m also sick and tired of living under a government that believes the rules don’t apply to them. Censoring the media and making special exceptions to the law were the trademarks of the Bush-Cheney Administration. The McCain-Palin team have shown that they would be no different. 

In the past 5 weeks, alone, we have seen the media censored from covering Sarah Palin, we have seen more lies than we can count — so many, that it has become an embarrassment and a joke, even among the most statured conservatives — and we have seen Sarah Palin thumb her nose at a court order, when subpoenaed to testify in the ethics investigation for her alleged abuse of executive power. This is the foundation upon which dictatorships, not democracies, are built. Ronald Reagan at least understood this much, when he described the foundation of that “shining city upon a hill,” in his speech, below:

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The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the “shining city upon a hill.” The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that; after 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home. 

Ronald Reagan, from his Farewell Address to the Nation, January 11, 1989 

It is a genuine source of sadness to many Americans that these words could not be spoken today, except by those blind to the fate which our country has suffered under the Bush Administration. We see, in Sarah Palin and John McCain, a stubborn blindness to this reality. Otherwise, their platform would not be nearly identical to the Bush-Cheney platform. Otherwise, her speechwriters would not have felt it necessary to have her chide Joe Biden for discussing the fatal flaws in the Bush Administration that have brought our country to this sad state. Joe Biden got it right last night when he said, “Past is prologue,” but he missed a golden opportunity to tell Sarah Palin, “Governor, you’re no Ronald Reagan.”

 

 

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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Two statues stand outside the National Archives on Pennsylvania Avenue. One is called “Study the Past,” and the other (left) explains why: “What is Past is Prologue.” On display in the National Archives are the  Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights — the cornerstone documents of the United States. 

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The McCain-Palin Gag-O-Rama (If laughter’s the best medicine, how come I don’t feel so good?)

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On Sarah Palin, Evangelism, the Presidency and End Times

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A Letter from Someone Who Grew Up with Sarah Palin’s Pastor

The letter, below, was written as a comment to our recent post on Sarah Palin’s religion, in The Sarah Chronicles: A Straight Poop Compendium of Questions & Answers on Sarah Palin. The author of this letter states that she, herself, was “indoctrinated from birth in the evangelical movement,” and also grew up with Sarah Palin’s current pastor. As such, she has valuable insights and knowledge to offer on the topics of evangelism, politics, the presidency and Sarah Palin’s candidacy, about which I know our readers will be interested to know. I am grateful to the writer of this letter for sharing her thoughts with such a generosity of intelligence, thoughtfulness  and respect.   

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I appreciate your thoughtful discourse. It is a shame that there are so many who have made up their minds and are unwilling to look at the complexities of life – including issues like war, capital punishment and abortion.

I agree that Palin’s lack of experience, knowledge and accurate information is incredibly worrisome. I am extremely disappointed in McCain for having made such an obviously political move rather than putting the interests of the people in this country first.

I grew up with Palin’s current pastor and was indoctrinated from birth in the evangelical movement. Evangelicals believe the end time is at hand at that Jesus will return any day. The long-term view on matters of global warming, environment, hunger, health, etc. are viewed quite differently when you don’t expect to remain on this planet.

Furthermore, as the name “evangelical” suggests, the God’s calling to the born again is to bring others to Him. No other belief is correct. All must come to Jesus and be born again. If they don’t, they will burn in hell – their just reward. Intolerance of other beliefs is the hallmark of the evangelical world.

Evangelicals want us to be taught their philosophy of creationism as a science in our schools. They can, as Palin does, totally disregard hard science in the furtherance of creationism.

They believe God (their God) should be at the center of government. They believe we should be praying to their God in our schools. They believe that literature and art not to their liking should be banned. Last but not least, evangelicals want to determine what all women may or may not do with regard to their own bodies and the difficult and often heartbreaking decisions that they must make.

So if not being prepared academically, intellectually or professionally and only one step away from being President of this country is not enough of a wakeup call, Palin’s strong evangelical beliefs should be seriously considered prior to going to the voting booth. And do not forget, that Palin was under investigation long before she was selected as McCain’s running mate.

Please keep in mind that some of the nicest people I have known are evangelicals. My posting is not a slam against evangelicals as individuals but rather an expression of my great concern about where we will find ourselves in eight years if we are led by an individual who does not believe in the distant future on earth.

Voters should set aside their emotional responses, the name calling and think about what our country will be like if Palin becomes President. I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I too have a college degree and have worked in politics, nonprofit, government and private industry. I would not for one moment think that I should be leading this country (or be one step away from leading this country).

As a woman, I am insulted that McCain apparently feels any woman will do to placate my desire to see a woman as VP and/or President.

Thanks for providing a place where ideas and thoughts can be exchanged.
MimI

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The Rise & Fall of McCain-Palin: A Shakespearean Tale of Junked Mavericks and Junkyard Dogs

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The mavericks have surely seen better days. It’s difficult to say which candidate is more guilty of wrecking the ticket’s facade of competence:  Her oily highness, whose primary role on the ticket, thus far, has been to smile, pose for pictures and recite bumper sticker slogans while simultaneously thumbing her nose at media questions, ethics investigations and subpoenas? Or the main maverick, who simply can’t help himself, as — in times of both crisis and calm, either of which offers golden opportunities to ‘act’ presidential — he instead shows his true colors, behaving, in the words of George Will, “like a flustered rookie, playing in a league too high”?

Grinning from ear-to-ear, the cats who swallowed the canary

One thing is for sure, the McCain-Palin ticket is a walking, talking wreck, and it’s only a matter of time before enough people say, “Enough!” It can’t happen soon enough for me. I, for one, will not miss their jubilant smiles from the campaign stump — those cat-who-swallowed-the-canary grins as they secretly gloat at their daily success of pawning a counterfeit platform full of lies onto another credulous crowd. Nor will I miss the cheers, jeers, hisses and chants of their lie-guzzling fans — their appetites perpetually whetted for cheap, dirty campaign slogans and smears, yet devoid of a hunger for truth and substance.  

 

This is what junkyard dogs do: they curl their lips into a vicious snarl, teeth bared, ready to sink their teeth into someone’s flesh. Friend or foe, it doesn’t much matter. Junkyard dogs will as easily lick the hand that feeds them one day, as they will bite it the next. And sometimes it’s hard to tell a grin from a snarl. To be sure, between McCain and Palin, there’s enough slobber and lies to foul the national dialogue for another 41 days. 

The history books may one day accurately record the demise of the McCain-Palin ticket as the logical conclusion of fiery rhetoric colliding with an even fierier reality. Facts are facts: reality always (eventually) trumps illusion, and truth always (eventually) trumps lies. But I’m hoping for a more timely arrival of the truth this election season. The good news for Americans is that, this year, we see some promise that truth may actually arrive on time, in its own time, instead of post-election, when it’s far too late to be of any use.

At the same time, I’ve become too wise to hope too much, too soon. I’ve seen enough over the past 8 years to know that anything (anything) is possible. “Enough” has yet to be enough. For the next 41 days, there still remains the possibility/likelihood of a September surprise or an October event of such magnitude that Americans would again be blinded by fear and panic (I’ve seen it happen) into doing something reckless (I’ve seen it happen) like appointing another fox to guard the henhouse — or, in this case, electing a pair of junkyard dogs to restore the finer points of truth, law, order, justice, humanity and scruples to our American government. 

No doubt about it: the mavericks have seen better days. And today — for all their strutting and fretting, their sound and fury — the two of them are poised mid-air in the jaws of the forlift. All that remains is for the American people to push the “HELL NO” lever on the McCain-Palin ticket and send their mangled platform to the polical junkyard where it belongs. Below is some tangible evidence for those who, like me, are in sore need of hope that, this time around, things will be different: truth will indeed trump lies, before it’s too late to matter. My perusal of the past week’s headlines, alone, has given much fodder for hope.

HOW ABOUT THAT SARAH?

Ever hear of an American political candidate barring the press outright? Well, to be fair, the McCain team didn’t completely block the press. The rules were: cameras yes, journalists no. This was, after all, a photo-op. Sarah’s whirlwind diplomatic tour this week — designed to dispel ugly rumors that she’s not ready to handle world affairs — is instead confirming what we already know: the McCain campaign doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of convincing any but the dumbest and most gullible of Americans that Sarah Palin is qualified to even act as mayor of Wasilla or the governor of Alaska, much less as vice-president or (gulp) president of the United States. Still, the McCain team perisists in erecting a facade, of sorts. Hence, the gag order on Sarah Palin’s mouth, juxtaposed with pics galore from carefully staged photo-ops. This manipulation of the press, by barring reporters access to a candidate, is unprecedented — not just in presidential politics, but in the entire history of American politics. Even Fox News was at a loss to pretty this one up: 

There’s not once chance that Governor Palin would have to answer a question. … They’re eliminating even the chance of any kind of interaction with the candidate — it’s just unprecedented.

To be fair, the media were officially allowed 29 seconds in the presence of her oily highness, in which they were able to glean a glimpse of Sarah’s foreign policy finesse during her meeting with Afghanistan president, Hamid Karzai, with their dialogue — from beginning to end — duly reported by the New York Times

“What is his name?” Ms. Palin was heard to ask, referring to the birth of Karzai’s first child least year. 

“Mirwais,” Mr. Karzai replied. “Mirwais, which means, ‘The Light of the House.'”

“Oh nice,” Palin responded.

“He is the only one we have,” Mr. Karzai said.

 

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GEORGE WILL COMMENTS ON McCAIN’S TEMPERAMENT

McCain was his own worst enemy last week as, in desperation, he impulsively mis-fired one sure-fire gaffe after another. George Will commented on this Sunday, then again yesterday, in the Washington Post

Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama…. For McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are “corrupt” or “betray the public’s trust,” two categories that seem to be exhaustive — there are no other people…. 

Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either….. It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?

SAM DONALDSON ON McCAIN’S DEREGULATION HYPOCRISY & THE INFLUENCE OF AGE

Sam Donaldson , equally unimpressed with John McCain’s “presidential” presence and economic finesse, commented on McCain’s two-decade-long support for deregulation (which McCain quickly flipped into a newfound criticism of deregulation last week):   

The question is, who in this crisis looked more presidential, calm and unflustered? It wasn’t John McCain….His talking points have gotten all mixed up and I think the question of age is back on the table. 

We deregulated in the beginning of ’99 and 2000 the banking industry, Phil Gramm and others, I think that Obama ad is correct. He was one of the prime movers. Now we’re going to have to clean that up at great expense. So I mean, I think for John McCain, though, who has the heaviest burden here, since he voted for all the deregulation, for him to now say he would be the toughest re-regulator is kind of a hard thing to swallow.”

(PHOTO, LEFT) McCain at an appearance this summer with Phil Gramm, his long-time financial adviser and campaign co-chair (until this past July). As one of the architects of the deregulation and decapitated laws that have so crippled Wall Street, Phil’s name has become a household word, as well as a favorite four-letter word.  

SPEAKING OF DEREGULATION….

Shooting himself in both feet, Sen. John “I’m-always-for-less-regulation” McCain penned an article for the September-October issue of Contingency, wherein, he makes a case for maverick-style health care reform. Paul Krugman brought this article to public attention yesterday, drawing our focus to one particularly disturbing passage, in which McCain presses for a “freer market” for health coverage, making the argument that health insurance would benefit from the same sort of innovation enjoyed by the deregulated banking industry. In McCain’s own words:

Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

Oh, if only McCain could eat his own words, erase them from the annals of history…. Then maybe his campaign’s recent deathbed conversion to anti-regulation would be believable, and his recent attacks, blaming Obama (instead of deregulation) for the Wall Street crisis wouldn’t be so laughable. 

 

AND SPEAKING OF PAUL KRUGMAN…

In a recent NYT op-ed piece titled, “Blizzard of Lies,” Krugman sees the McCain-Palin campaign’s smears and lies as bellwethers of what they’d bring to the presidency. 

How a politician campaigns tells you a lot about how he or she would govern….The Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.

BUT I THINK SHAKESPEARE SAID IT BEST, SOME 400 YEARS AGO:

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, 
Signifying nothing.

 

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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The Categorical Lies of Sarah Palin, Categorically Arranged

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A lie keeps growing and growing until it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

 

Retracing the story of Sarah Palin’s career is like traveling through a carnival funhouse of smoke and mirrors. No sooner do you think you’ve finally rounded the corner on Palin’s gallery of clever distortions, dirty tricks and lies, than you’re confronted with another, then another and another, until you realize you’ve traveled an entire catacomb of lies, smoke and mirrors.

 

Here, we are working to assemble the entire funhouse of lies — a motley mix, ranging from little white lies, to boldface whoppers, to the more subtle forms of needle-nosed lies that are currently being molded by team McCain into a propaganda campaign that, so far, shows promise of duping American voters into believing that the McCain-Palin ticket has something to offer besides an empty platform and a plateful of lies.

Because Palin’s lies permeate nearly everything she says and does — and also tend to reflect back and forth through her history — it was tricky to categorize them. (How to organize such a diversity of lies? By topic? By their size? By type? By era?) We finally settled on 3 categories: Sarah’s lies as mayor, governor and vice-presidential candidate. You’ll still find much overlap, with lies about Palin’s gubenatorial record being floated through her VP candidacy, and with team McCain’s lies being puppeted by Palin, and so on. Our facts were drawn from myriad credible sources, all of which are yours for the plucking at the bottom of this post. The quotes are courtesy of Pinocchio, unless otherwise noted.

 

Give a bad boy enough rope, and he’ll soon make a jackass of himself.

 

Mayor Sarah Palin (1996-2002)

 

LIE: Sarah Palin’s mayoral candidacy was built on a platform of bucking a corrupt, good-old boy system of politics.

TRUTH: The centerpiece of Sarah Palin’s mayoral campaign was an evangelical, anti-abortion, pro-NRA platform, which left many townsfolk to puzzle over her perplexing lack of interest in the town’s actual needs, such as roads. Sarah’s candidacy transformed Wasilla’s former electoral spirit from one of a bi-partisan, “friendly intra-mural contest” between neighbors, into a highly polarized, angry, partisan debate centered on evangelic-based, hot-button issues. This tactic not only put her into office, but spurred a rise in evangelism that continues to this day. Sarah was re-elected by a landslide 3 years later. 

LIE: As mayor, Sarah cleaned up the good-old boy system of Wasilla politics and ran a transparent government.

TRUTH: Once in office, Sarah fired nearly all the city department heads (six in all) — most of whom had been loyal to her and helped put her in office. She then used her political power to advance personal agenda and grievances, replacing the fired department heads with her own political hacks, cronies and others who stood to advance her political agenda. As the local newspapers became critical of both her campaign methods and her fractious governing methods, Sarah put a gag order on the city’s department heads, instructing them to get her permission before speaking to reporters.

LIE: Sarah fired Wasilla’s Chief of Police because he didn’t give her his “full support.”

TRUTH: Sarah fired police chief, Irl Stambaugh, because (1) he stepped on the toes of Palin’s campaign contributors by trying to move up the closing hours of the local bars from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. after a spurt of drunk driving accidents and arrests, and (2) because his stand on restricting concealed weapons upset Palin’s National Rifle Association contributors/cronies.

LIE: Sarah didn’t fire police chief. In her own words at the time, “There’s been no meeting, no actual termination.” 

TRUTH: Sarah had already delivered the letter of termination to Police Chief Stambaugh by the time she made this statement. The statement read, in part, “Although I appreciate your service as police chief, I’ve decided it’s time for a change. I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore, I intend to terminate your employment.” As Stambaugh so aptly observed, “If that’s not a letter of termination, I don’t know what is.” Stambaugh had headed the Wasilla Police Dept. since its creation in 1993. Before that, he served 22 years with the Anchorage Police Dept., rising to the rank of captain before his retirement. Sarah replaced Stambaugh with one of her cronies, who said of the early bar closing, “I have a philosophy that every time there’s a new law or new ordinance, we lose a little more of our freedom.”

LIE: In Palin’s words: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending… and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”

TRUTH: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks totaling $27 million for a town of 5,000-9,000 people over a 3-year period.

LIE: A keen executive, Sarah was a smart businesswoman and a responsible steward of the Wasilla budget.

TRUTH: When Sarah arrived, the budget was balanced. When she left office in 2002, she also left Wasilla with a $22 million deficit. Most of this is due to the ice rink/recreation center, complete with heated seats for the spectators. Sarah failed to get clear lands right before building it the center, which has left the city mired in expensive legal proceedings that continue to this day. Had Sarah stuck around long enough, she could have at least claimed experience in dealing with a huge deficit, which the next president will need in dealing with the federal government’s newly announced $417 billion deficit.

LIE: Sarah did not ask the Wasilla librarian to ban books. She was simply asking a rhetorical question, wanting to know if the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons (now Barker) would remove a book from the shelves, if people were to, say, circle the library in protest of a certain book.

TRUTH: Sarah twice posed such rhetorical questions to the librarian and reportedly cited three specific books, which purportedly include the titles, “Pastor I am Gay” and “Go Ask Alice.”  After the librarian refused, Sarah gave her a letter of termination, but was forced to re-instate her after a large public protest.

LIE: Sarah Palin is family-friendly.

TRUTH: The above is likely true, so long as you’re not her mother-in-law, and so long as you don’t cross Sarah’s political path. Sarah Palin’s mother-in-law, Faye Palin — a pro-abortion democrat, with a respectable history of civic and community work in Wasilla — ran for mayor after Sarah vacated the position in 2002. Faye’s campaign was not endorsed by Sarah, but was, in fact, targeted by Sarah’s political allies, as the race disintegrated into a pro vs. anti-abortion battle, with the word BABYKILLER smattered across Faye’s campaign signs several days before election day. Faye Palin was defeated by one of Sarah’s political cohorts. (It’s not that Sarah opposed her mother-in-law, it’s how she opposed her).

 

Perhaps you haven’t been telling the truth, Pinocchio.

 

Governor Sarah Palin (2006-present)

 LIE: In Palin’s words, “I told Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.”

TRUTH: For one thing, Sarah Palin’s say-so was irrelevant to Congress by the time she entered office, so that — even if she did say ‘thanks but no thanks,’ no one was listening. The funding for the bridge (which she kept) was a done deal. The point being that I would question whether or not she even said ‘thanks but no thanks’ to  anyone other than a mirror. For another thing, Sarah embraced the Bridge to Nowhere — even using it in her political platform while campaigning for governor — but only so long as it was politically advantageous to do so. She joined in a cause, of sorts, rallying to the defense of those poor people from “nowhere” being ridiculed by the liberal media. Once the project became a national ridicule, she jumped onboard with that idea and withdrew her support for the $398 million porkbarrel albatross, a project which McCain was to later blame for the Minnesota bridge collapse that killed 13 and injured nearly 100 people.  In a Sept. 2007 press release, Sarah actually seemed to blame the bridge’s demise on a lack of funding from Congress. Sarah continues, to this day, to brag on her ‘thanks but no thanks’ mavericketynesshood.  

LIE: Sarah Palin sold the governor’s jet on eBay for a profit.

TRUTH: Sarah Palin tried, but failed, three times to sell the jet on eBay. She finally sold it to a Republican campaign donor, a Valdex oil executive named Larry Reynolds, at a $600,000 loss to the state of Alaska.

LIE: Sarah Palin is suing the Federal government to reverse their decision to protect threatened polar bears under the Endangered Species Act because, according to Sarah, their decision wasn’t based on the best scientifc evidence.  

TRUTH: Sarah Palin is suing the Federal government — despite that she’s been given the best scientific evidence by many credible authorities and scientists, whose conclusions were based on studies of declining sea ice habitats (studies which her office chose to withhold from public debate)  — because Sarah  fears this protection will cripple offshore oil and gas drilling in Alaska.

LIE: Sarah didn’t try to pressure Alaska State Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, into firing her ex-brother-in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten. Nor did she fire Monegan for his refusal to fire Wooten.

TRUTH: Sarah, along with her husband and various people from her office, repeatedly called and emailed Monegan for this very purpose. Sarah, et al, vehemently denied this until, in August 2008, an audiotape surfaced, proving they were lying. By then, however, she was already part of a state investigation (with a tab of up to $100,000 for the taxpayers) for abuse of her executive power in the firing of Walt Monegan — an impeachable offense. 

LIE: Sarah didn’t fire Walt Monegan for his failure to fire her ex-brother-in-law, but fired him for not properly addressing bootlegging and alcohol abuse issues.

TRUTH: Several weeks before she fired Monegan, Sarah praised him for his efforts against bootlegging and alcohol abuse issues and, in fact, named him Director of the Alcohol Beverage Board, all of this appearing a bit schizophrenic, when you consider her earlier firing of Police Chief Stambaugh (see mayoral lies, above) in the wake of his efforts to address alcohol abuse issues.

LIE: As commander of the Alaska National Guard, Sarah has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities.

TRUTH: Sarah’s role with the Alaska National Guard is as little more than a figurehead. Upon out-of-state deployment, the National Guard reports solely to the Dept. of Defense, with the governor’s authority ending absolutely when those units are called into actual military service, the exception being for certain in-state deployments, such as floods. In these cases, the Maj. Gen. Campbell of the Alaska National Guard has authority to make decisions. Sarah Palin has never given orders to the Alaska National Guard.  (An aside, of interest here, is that the City of Wasilla’s website has undergone changes in recent weeks, with the addition of National Guard pics at the tops of varoius pages, including the home page. One can only assume this is to bolster Sarah’s military credentials, as there is no National Guard base in Wasilla. Correct me if I’m wrong).

LIE: In Palin’s words: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending… and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”

TRUTH: In less than two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation.

LIE: As governor, Sarah Palin cleaned out the corrupt good-old-boy system in Alaska politics and replaced it with a clean, transparent, fiscally responsible government.

TRUTH: Sarah bilked, er… billed the Alaska taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office (uh, she’s only been in office for about 19 months), charging a per diem allowance intended to cover the cost of meals and incidental expenses during the governor’s travels. She also billed the state for travel expenses for her children and husband during her travels, PLUS billing the state for expenses and a daily allowance for husband, Todd, during her travels — all to the tune of $43,490. Flight expenses were the most costly, with daughter Piper’s alone totaling nearly $11,000. Lodging was also costly, with one Bristol & Mom jaunt to NYC costing taxpayers $707 per night. A question that remains to be officially asked or answered is whether or not Palin paid taxes on the income from her at-home per diem charges for those 312 nights, as this would be considered taxable income, since being paid to sleep in your own bedroom is not considered a tax-deductible expense by the IRS. This could easily be grounds for a criminal tax fraud investigation, if Palin did not pay taxes on this taxable income. Palin brags that her own personal travel expenses ($93,000) are an improvement over her predecessor, Murkowsky ($463,000), who could offer no comment on these figures to the press, as he was moosehunting.

 

What does an actor want with a conscience, anyway?

 

Vice-Presidentail Candidate Sarah Palin (8/28/08 – present)

 

LIE: Sarah Palin got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States.

TRUTH: Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayoral election and 909 in the 1999 re-election race. Despite that Joe Biden dropped out of the presidential race after the Iowa caucuses, he received a total of 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia during the 2008 primaries.

LIE: Alaska is a wealthy state because of its oil revenues and Sarah’s wonderful executive and budgetary skills, making so much money that the state can afford to cut its own citizens checks from these revenues.

TRUTH: This is a yes, but only because Alaska sucks an exorbitant amount of money from the federal government. Among the 50 states, Alaska rates #1 in taxes per resident, and #1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden is 2.5 times the national average, its spending more than double. The trick is that Alaska spends money on its citizens, then bills the rest of us to pay for it. Alaska ranks number #1 in the country for the absolute amount it receives from Washington, over and above the amount it sends to Washington. Alaska receives more federal aid per capita than any other state.

LIE: The McCain-Paln team will change liberal Washington into a conservative Washington.

TRUTH: Uh, conservative Republicans, Bush-Cheney, have been in office for nearly 8 years, and the Republicans controlled Congress for 6 of those years, until the Democrats took control in 2007.

LIE: Palin’s words on Obama: “This is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the State Senate.

TRUTH: Obama worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. In Illinois, he was the leader on two major, contentious measures: studying racial profiling by police, and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

LIE: Palin’s words on Obama: “The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

TRUTH: You’d not have to listen to many Obama speeches to know this is patently false. Payroll taxes will decrease for 95%  of Americans (an inverse arrangement to the Bush-McCain plan) netting an after-tax increase of income by 5% (averaging approx. $2,000 annally) by 2012 for Americans earning under $250,000 annually. This is according to the Tax Policy Center, a think-tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.  Income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes will be raised for the wealthiest, including individuals and business making over $250,000 annually. Obama will provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum wage workers, with higher credits for larger families. Again, Obama’s plan benefits 95% of Americans, unlike the Bush-McCain plan, which gives disproportianate favor to the wealthiest Americans, which comprise approx. 5% of the population. 

LIE: (and a particularly vile lie, at that, which Margaret Talex of the McClatchy Report called ‘a deliberately misleading accusation’ and ‘a deliberate low blow’ —>). A recent McCain-Palin ad claims that Obama supported legislation to provide sex education to kindergartners.

TRUTH: The legislation for sex education for grades K-12 already existed in Illinois regarding STD and pregnancy prevention. Obama voted to allow local school boards to teach ‘age-appropriate’ sex education, geared toward educating children ages K-12 on how to recognize inappropriate behaviors, as a measure to protect them from sexual predators. One need not dig too deeply into the headlines to see that pedophilia is a sad reality in our society. It is ridiculous and patently sick to insinuate that Obama approved laws to teach young children about the birds and the bees. As one blogger noted, the McCain ad’s claim that Obama approves sex-ed for tots will nonetheless be effective, as the media continue to repeat the McCain-Palin smear, without bothering to dispute it with the outrage it should be disputed. It’s a lose-lose proposition for politicians like Obama, as it takes a lot more words to defend against such outrageous lies than it takes to wage them. The defense is never as powerful as the accusation, and can never quite be disproved in the court of the media. That’s the beauty of a smear campaign. Of course, McCain, Palin, Rove and Co. already know this. 

 

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventualy they will believe it.Adolph Hitler

 

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by Mantis Katz, for the canarypapers

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ABC News: Another Controversy for Sarah Palin

Associated Press: Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

thecanarypapers: Monkeys with Molotovs: The gutter politics of McCain, Palin, Rove & Co.

Librarians Against Palin: ABC Investigates

Anchorage Daily News: Troopergate Inquiry Hangs Over Campaign

Anchorage Daily News: Palin touts stance on Bridge to Nowhere, doesn’t note flip-flop

Anchorage Daily News: State will sue over polar bear listing, Palin says

Anchorage Daily News: Alaska sues over listing of polar bear as threatened

Anchorage Daily News: Oil firms get ok to bother polar bears

Daily Kos: Alaskanomics: How Palin’s State Sucks the Rest of the Country Dry

What Fresh Hell is This? (JD Rhoades’ Blog): The Librarian Who Said No to Sarah Palin, by Tess Gerritsen

AZ Central: Shook up “old boy’s network’

McClatchy: Palin has never ordered Alaska National Guard to Do Anything

Daily KOS: We need grown-ups in the White House (excellent background info, especially with respect to oil and Alaska politics, plus sorting out Sarah Palin’s financial facts vs. fallacies, written by an author whose first choice was not Obama-Biden). Excerpt: It’s 2008 in America, people: the budget is broken, the military is broken, the financial system is broken, our standing in the world is at an all-time low. We need grown-ups in the White House….

Gov. Sarah Palin’s September 2007 Press Release on the demise of the Bridge to Nowhere

Talking Points Memo: Palin Again Recites Lie About Bridge to Nowhere

TIME: Sarah Palin’s Alaskanomics

The New York Observer: The Fairy Tale of Palin the Reformer

The Reality-Based Community: Evidence of Consciousness of Guilt (regarding per diem pay for living in your own home being taxable income)

WinkNews.com: here, you can see McCain’s Sept. 21, 2007 comments on the Bridge to Nowhere.

Wall Street Journal: Record Contradicts Palin’s ‘Bridge’ Claims

Washington Post: Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home — Taxpayers also funded family’s travel

Washington Post: Does the truth matter anymore?

‘Troopergate’ news footage from August 14, 2008 (Palin coverage begins at 0:33). It’s interesting, here, to see a liar perform her craft, as Sarah first denies the charges, then backpeddles a bit when she hears, to her horror, the audiotape recordings that prove she’s been lying.

The Answer to Sarah Palin’s Rhetorical Question: Book Burning

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This post is part of “The Sarah Chronicles: A straight poop compendium of questions answers on Sarah Palin.” Today’s installment is on CENSORSHIP. 

 

Sarah Palin’s defense for twice asking the Wasilla City Librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, about removing ‘certain’ books’ from the library was simply this: “It was just a rhetorical question,” the implication being, “Sweet Lord, no! I would never ask the librarian to burn books!”

 

A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for its persuasive effect, without the expectation of a reply. — Wikipedia

 

The rhetorical question defense (RQD) is a handy one, applicable to all sorts of occasions, such as when a psycho husband asks rhetorical questions of a hit man, or when a pedophile rhetorically asks a little girl if she’d like to take her panties down. I beg the readers’ pardon for such graphic comparisons, but Ms. Palin’s RQD is deserving of a strong and unambiguous rebuke, for her effort to sanitize and render harmless her outright attempt to coerce the librarian into banning certain books. While the RQD defense may not be admissable in a court of law, it has sufficed for some 46% of the American voting public, who say, “Oh, hell yeah! I’d vote for Sarh Palin in a heartbeat!” to become president, should McCain keel over dead. These are the same Americans, of course, who would froth at the mouth, were they posed the rhetorical question: Would you like to see America become more like, say, Marxist Russia, where our government bans books they don’t want us to read?”

Sarah Palin would like us to believe that she was merely engaging in philosophical discourse, even as her rhetorical questions were raised not once, but twice, as Palin approached librarian, Emmons two weeks before and two weeks after Palin assumed the duties as Mayor of Wasilla on October 14, 1996. According to Emmons – -who is also the president of the Alaska Library Association — she responded in the negative on October 1, when asked by Palin if she could live with censorship of ‘certain books.’ When asked, again, on October 28, if Emmons would object to censorship, “even if people were circling the library in protest about a book,“ Emmons again refused, adding that the ACLU would step in at that point. According to Emmons’ statements: 

” I told her (Palin) clearly, I will fight anyone who tries to dictate what books can go on the library shelves…. This is different than a normal book-selection procedure or a book-challenge policy,” Emmons stressed. “She was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can’t be in the library…. She asked me if I would object to censorship, and I replied ‘Yup’. And I told her it would not be just me. This was a constitutional question, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would get involved, too.”

Palin, when asked who might picket the library, said that she, “had no one in mind,” and then re-explained the nature of her rhetorical question. “Again, the issue was discussed in the context of a professional question being asked in regards to library policy.”

Palin subsequently attempted to fire Emmons, stating that it had nothing to do with censorship or the fact that Emmons supported Palin’s opponent in the elections, but that she felt Emmons’ hadn’t given her full support to Palin’s administration.  A strong citizen protest erupted — threatening Palin’s position as Mayor — as the group, Concerned Citizens for Wasilla, stormed City Hall to protest Emmons’ firing and demand a recall of Palin’s mayorship. In response, Palin was forced to withdraw her letter of termination against Emmons. Palin saved some face by explaining that she now felt she had Emmons’ support. ”You know in your heart when someone is supportive of you,” she said. 

 

There is much historical precedence for book-burning. One notorious instance was the Nazi book-burning campaign (the above photo shows one such collection burned in Nazi Germany, which included many authors, such as Ernest Hemingway, Helen Keller and Jack London), as Hitler was determined to rid the country of all books he deemed “un-German.” Upon the occasion of one such burning, Goebbels announced, “The soul of the German people can now express itself again. The flames not only illuminate the end of the old era, they also light up the new.” Hitler’s campaign didn’t arrive overnight, just as Democracy doesn’t disappear overnight. It is eroded away, bit by bit, aided & abetted by a willing people.

 

Naturally, many people are now wondering exactly which books Sarah Palin would have proposed banning. Some people have surmised authors and titles such as: Harry Potter, Judy Blume and The Catcher in the Rye. While these are good guesses, they are just that — guesses. In truth, the specific authors/titles are of no importance. The importance lies in the fact that our rights to freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom from government censorship are among the most important and enduring hallmarks of our democracy. This same democracy protects people like Sarah from people like me, were I to abuse some power of authority and demand the burning of each and every copy of her current runaway seller (see below) on the basis that it offends my sensibilities. 

So it’s a bit dismaying to see that 46% of American voters find these rights unimportant. This is nothing new. These are the same voters prone to vociferous flag-waving, yet, who will raise nary a word of protest, should the most fundamental rights represented by that flag fall under threat. Take our books! Wiretap our phones and computers! Spy to your heart’s content! Lie to the American people — take our sons and daughters to an illegal war! We won’t protest, Mr. President, we promise. Just don’t take our flag — it’s everything we stand for!

It is only fitting, then, that this same 46% voting bloc would choose a candidate whose political record is pocked with constitutional assaults. It is only fitting that these voters would vociferously defend Sarah Palin’s political record — even as her good record has turned out to be riddled with lies, and her bad record is proving to be staggeringly factual. It is only fitting, then, that her own party should censor Sarah Palin’s voice, until such a time she can be tutored to deliver the correct script. In a country that has come to respect pomp and circumstance over substance, an icon like Sarah Palin may very well be the perfect candidate.  

 

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by Mantis Katz, for the canarypapers

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For more on this topic:

A Letter From Someone Who Has Known Sarah Palin Since 1992 – Excerpt: “While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.”

Anchorage Daily News: Wasilla keeps librarian, but police chief is out (a re-print of the Feb. 1, 1997 article)

Librarians Against Palin!

Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman  (Wasilla, AK): Palin: Library censorship inquiries ‘Rhetorical’ (re-print of a Dec. 18, 1996 article)

Atlantic.com: Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Dish: Another Dubious Firing

LA Times: Sarah Palin — aspiring book banner?

Prescott e-News: Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings

Wikipedia: Nazi Book Burnings

ushmm.org: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Book Burning

The White House Propaganda Machine: When the Truth Just Won’t Do

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A well-oiled contrivance, the White House propaganda machine is running at full pitch these days. And, although the evidence is right under our noses, much like a gas leak, most of us don’t smell it. Here, we will describe the key notes to that smell, so that you will learn to detect — from a 10-foot pace — the distinct odor of fat, stinking elephants in the middle of the room.

In Jeff Huber’s excellent April 2008 post, titled, “When Did Iran Start Beating Its Wife Again?” he describes the White House propaganda machine’s ongoing work to prime the U.S. and the international community for war in Iran. As evidence, he cites an April 2008 article in the New York Times, titled, “Questions Linger Over Scope Of Iran’s Role in Iraq Fighting,” which turns out to be a virtual schoolroom for those interested in seeing how the propaganda machine works.

As any good propagandist could tell you, there are three steps to effective propaganda. The 1st step is the easiest: make the stuff up. The 2nd step is to officiate the lies, which goes hand-in-hand with the 3rd step: disseminating the lies. In Huber’s post, he shows us how the above-mentioned NYT article neatly accomplished the 2nd and 3rd steps, as Huber counts no less than 30 references to phantom “official” sources, whose quotes serve to officiate the Bush-Cheney propaganda line on Iran. Most readers of the NYT article would simply skim past the following words, unawares that they’d just been fed a cookie:

Officials say…intelligence and administration officials said…American officials have publicly portrayed…military, intelligence and administration officials showed…officials said…some officials said…a senior official familiar with the intelligence about Iran said in an interview…officials said…top American officials in Iraq have portrayed…none of the officials interviewed disputed…officials said…the officials offered an assessment…statements by Mr. Bush and other officials…officials declined to detail publicly…one of the officials said…according to two senior administration officials…those and other officials said…A senior administration official described…the officials said…the officials said…the officials said…a senior official said…the officials said…the official said…the officials said…a senior official familiar with the intelligence reports on Iran said in an interview…according to other officials…the officials said…officials said…according to a senior American official…

As you read the “facts,” as quoted by these phantom, un-named sources, you may notice that these “facts” bear an eerily resemblance to the “facts” reported by the media during the 2001-2003 lead-up to the war in Iraq. As we learned with Iraq, swaying world opinion is an easy job: just take a handful of lies and repeatedly throw them into the news until the lies become accepted fact. With respect to Iran, just as in Iraq, our government wants us to perceive Iran as an evil, freedom-hating, terrorist empire, actively manufacturing WMDs, specifically nuclear bombs to kill Americans and Israelis, and also working hand-in-hand with Al Queda terrorist cells, crossing the border into Iraq to train and arm Iraqis to kill Americans.

Ideally, by the time the U.S. bombs Iran (in case you haven’t been paying attention, the U.S. is already perched to go to war with Iran — another war for oil, being waged under the false flags of WMDs/terrorism) Bush-Cheney would like the world community — the U.S. citizenry and Congress in particular — to resemble, in spirit, the angry, rampaging villagers in Frankenstein, wielding torches and pitchforks, demanding death to the monster. To that end, our government hires professionals to disseminate propaganda to the American citizens. Your tax dollars pay for our government to, “manufacture and disseminate intelligence leaks to influence the media and the public to support the administration’s policies.”
This is nothing new. What is new, however, is the extent to which the U.S. corporate media uses government propaganda as their primary news source. This has been a growing influence over the past 25 years, as one corporate arm has grown to encompass another and another — the lines becoming increasingly blurred as the media is owned by corporate conglomerates — most of them with ties to military and defense — who almost entirely fund the campaigns of our lawmakers, and whose lobbyists are appointed to government positions and vice-versa — bringing us to our current state, where the distinctions between the independent media, corporate PR and government propaganda no longer exists.

Few in the U.S. realize just how well-organized the White House/Pentagon propaganda machine has become. Here, we offer a quick-sketch chronology of the propaganda agencies utilized by our government over the past 25 years:

  • OPD (National Security Council’s Office of Public Diplomacy) 1983-1986 Started under Ronald Reagan in 1983 and headed by Otto Reich ,whose job was to covertly disseminate intelligence leaks to journalists, to trump up a Nicaraguan “threat,” and to sanctify the U.S.-backed Contra guerrillas fighting Nicaragua’s government as “freedom fighters.” The propaganda was aimed at influencing Congress to continue to fund the Contras. A few of Otto Reich’s planted “leaks” that were later revealed as lies: (1) Nicaragua had acquired chemical weapons from the Soviets, (2) high-level Sandinistas were involved in drug trafficking, (3) the leak that served to discredit and intimidate those in the U.S. media who weren’t following the Reagan war script, that U.S. reporters were receiving sexual favors from Sandinista-provided prostitutes in return for favorable coverage, and (4) the timely leak, on the eve of Reagan’s re-election, that Soviet MiG fighter jets were arriving in Nicaragua. The OPD was declared illegal on September 30, 1987, after an investigation by the Comptroller General, who found that the OPD engaged in “prohibited, covert propaganda activities, beyond the range of acceptable agency public information activities,” and that the OPD also violated “a restriction on the State Department’s annual appropriations prohibiting the use of federal funds for publicity or propaganda purposes not authorized by Congress.” The declassified records of the OPD and Otto Reich are available here, at the National Security Archives website.
  • U.S. Army’s 4th PSYOPS Group at CNN (The U.S. Army’s 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg) 1999. Ordinarily, our government only conducts psychological operations in foreign countries, and not in the U.S., where — in theory, anyway — we turn to the media for an independent voice of truth. So you can imagine the surprise of some when, beginning during the last days of the Kosovo War in 1999, the Army’s 4th PSYOPS began working within the news division at CNN, as part of CNN’s ‘Training With Industry’ program. The details on this are sketchy, but it appears that public scrutiny and controversy put an end to the PSYOPS work at CNN several weeks after it started. (As an aside: The 1300-member 4th PSYOPS Group is one of many government PSYOPS groups that works to disseminate U.S. government propaganda. Integral to the U.S. war machine, their work is ongoing. Composed of soldiers and officers, the PSYOPS‘ duties include disseminating “selected information” to “influence media and public opinion in armed conflicts in which American state interests are said to be at stake.” The 4th PSYOPS served various purposes in the 1980s-90s. In the 1980s, they broadcast radio and television programs into Nicaragua, which were intended to undermine the Sandinista government. They were also variously used in the 1980s-90s in the first Gulf War, the Bosnian War and Kosovo War and in efforts to encourage public support for American “peacekeeping missions in the Balkans.)
  • OSI (Office of Strategic Influence) 2001-2002. Started after September 11th, 2001 and headed by Air Force Brig. Gen Robert Worden to “to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries.” Due to public criticism, the Pentagon was forced to officially “close” the OSI in February 2002, although the closing was in name only. The program, itself, lived on, as Donald Rumsfeld announced in a November 2002 media briefing: “And then there was the Office of Strategic Influence. You may recall that. And ‘oh my goodness gracious isn’t that terrible, Henny Penny the sky is going to fall.’ I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I’ll give you the corpse. There’s the name. You can have the name, but I’m gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.”
  • IAO (Information Awareness Office). Started in 2002 and assumed to be ongoing. Working under the auspices of DARPA (and perhaps as an umbrella to the White House Iraq Group, AKA the White House Information Group or WHIG and the Iranian Directorate, AKA the Directorate for Iran and the Office of Special Plans — and gawdknowswhatotheroffices of propaganda) the IAO may or may not be the successor to the OSI. The Information Awareness Office works to: “imagine, develop, apply, integrate, demonstrate, and transition information technologies, components, and prototype closed-loop information systems that will counter asymmetric threats by achieving total information awareness that is useful for preemption, national security warning, and national security decision making.” Reading this job description, it’s difficult to comprehend just what they do. I don’t imagine they’d have it any other way.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain in Emerald City (Dick Cheney) Somewhere along the way, our administration figured out a more efficient way to disseminate propaganda: straight from the elephant’s mouth. Here’s how it works: Cheney delivers his talking points to an assembly of Pentagon allegiates and corporate heads, who are given officious-sounding titles for the occasion, such as “military expert,” and “military analyst” and “White House Official.” These corporate heads are primarily defense & military contractors, lobbyists, senior corporate executives and board members — many of whom are former military officers, all of whom are already being paid obscene salaries by our government to staff our mercenary armies throughout the world. Once Cheney has delivered his talking points, these “experts,” “analysts” and “officials” they then either report straight to the media, or they conduct whatever “investigations” are necessary to support the talking points. Then they commence to disseminating.

With all of the above in mind, here are a few rules of thumb to follow when trying to discern propaganda from fact:

  1. Credibility. As a rule, when our government wages serious accusations against other countries and individuals (e.g. “They’re making weapons of mass destruction to kill Americans” or “They are freedom-hating terrorists” or “They are a safe-haven for al Queda”) the sources for these quotes should be accountable for what they’re accusing. It is realistic for American citizens to expect legitimate sources for these accusations. It’s called transparency, and allows the rest of us in the world to decide whether the quoted military and White House officials are speaking from a true place of authority, or if we are simply being fed cookies by phantom corporate heads, with conflicts of interest, who are merely echoing our government’s talking points. By the same token, when you hear that evidence exists to support these accusations, you should expect tangible proof of this evidence. While there are exceptions to this rule, these should be rare and only rarely accepted and, even then, only from governments who have proven they own the integrity to be entrusted with such a rare exception.
  2. Gag Orders. Anytime you see a government silencing its citizens, whether through censorship or intimidation, it’s a red flag. This administration has not been favorable to those who dissent their policies, or ask questions, or speak outside of the Bush-Cheney script. To this end, they paint those who protest their policies with the same paint brush they use on rogue terrorists (AKA: peace activist = terrorist appeaser; skeptic citizen who doesn’t believe the Bush-Cheney talking points = conspiracy theorist; Congressman voting against Bush-Cheney agenda = weak on terrorism). When you see this happening, take a whiff. Somewhere in the room is a big, fat stinking elephant.
  3. History. With specific regard to the Bush-Cheney Administration, whenever you hear them accusing citizens or politicians in any country (including our own country) as being terrorists, terrorists-appeasers, or safe-havens for terrorist, check the facts. You are guaranteed to find oil in the equation. The country in question will either have vast oil reserves, or will be strategic to transporting the oil. Anyone who impedes the Bush-Cheney mandate for controlling the oil in that region — be that obstacle a member of the U.S. Congress, or one of our allies, or an international humanitarian group, or the media, or an ordinary citizen — that obstacle will be painted, alike, with the same terrorist paint brush. Check your facts. Look for oil. Don’t believe everything you read.

Bush-Cheney would like us to believe that all versions of the news, except theirs, are the ramblings of left-wing conspiracy nuts. While it’s true that some of the alternative news sites propose far-out theories, none are so outrageous or dangerous as the lies being fed to us by the Bush-Cheney Administration. And I can hardly fault those individuals who have wandered too far, when exploring the myriad webs of deceit spun by Bush-Cheney. These instances are the exception. Most versions of the news that are painted as “conspiracy theories” by Bush-Cheney are actually factual.

Here at the Canary Papers, we are careful to research all of our facts, and aspire to offer credible references, via links within our posts, for nearly everything we write. This site also offers a variety of links to international, alternative and independent media sources, where you can often find more factual accounts of the news. Feel free to send us other links. We’ll post them. And if you have a question, feel free to ask. We promise not to call you a terrorist and will do our level best to point you toward some answers.

p.s. Be sure to check out the 2 videos at the bottom of this page, from the 2006 film, “American Blackout.” The first video, below, is a 6-minute clip. The second video is the full-length, 89-minute version. An artfully produced film, “American Blackout” is primarily a challenge to Americans to refuse allowing the 2008 election be a repeat of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. The star in this effort is former U.S. Rep., Cynthia McKinney — a rare politician who doesn’t follow the standard script for Washington politicians. An outspoken, straightforward and passionate leader, McKinney is devoted to fighting the corruption and propaganda that both influence and define American politics today. The film documents some of her work to restore truth to the American political process — from her demands for an independent investigation of 9-11, through her battles against voter fraud and voter disenfranchisement in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. She has paid dearly for her efforts. Yet, like David to Goliath, she fights on. America could use more politicians like Cynthia McKinney.