Friday, February 21, 2014

About Last Night

(Video has a lead-off ad.)

It is unfortunate that during all the years he spent as the IT guy for Surveillance, Inc., Mr. Snowden never picked up on the fact that Russia is an actual police state ruled by an actual tyrant: a place where journalists are actually murdered in large numbers and non-heterosexual citizens are beaten in the streets with the imprimatur of the government.  Now, as Mr. Putin's guest, Mr. Snowden is no longer in a position where he can speak out about anything except the ugly excesses of Surveillance, Inc.

Of course, First Look Media is under no such constraints.

Given their vast resources, award-winning staff, and the global attention the launch of their enterprise has garnered, if they chose to, they could certainly afford to bring the full weight of that enterprise's power and prestige to bear on Mother Russia, and continue their non-stop coverage of Surveillance, Inc.

After all, even before he had Pierre Omidyar's $250M at this command, it took Glenn Greenwald less than one day to breeze past the bare-facts-as-they-were-then-know regarding the Boston Marathon bombing and put the entire tragedy in-harness to his larger agenda:
As usual, the limits of selective empathy, the rush to blame Muslims, and the exploitation of fear all instantly emerge 
The widespread compassion for yesterday's victims and the intense anger over the attacks was obviously authentic and thus good to witness. But it was really hard not to find oneself wishing that just a fraction of that compassion and anger be devoted to attacks that the US perpetrates rather than suffers. These are exactly the kinds of horrific, civilian-slaughtering attacks that the US has been bringing to countries in the Muslim world over and over and over again for the last decade, with very little attention paid
So we know Mr. Greenwald moves fast.  And so far as I can tell he has never curbed his use of language-as-Molotov-cocktail  for anyone.  So given that media from all over the world are covering Vladimir Putin's overt state oppression, his rampant domestic spying, his grotesque civil rights abuses, his stomping of journalists and his bloody meddling in the affairs of other countries, it certainty seems...weird...that planet Earth's most famous brand-new media enterprise -- which has been expressly launched to cover state oppression, domestic spying, civil rights abuses, the abuse of journalists and bloody meddling in the affairs of other countries -- would be staying so conspicuously silent on the subject.

Perhaps now that they have a journalist with actual Russian-reporting chops on-staff -- 
Taibbi grew up in the Boston, Massachusetts suburbs. He attended Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1992 from Bard College located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, then spent a year abroad at Saint Petersburg Polytechnical University in Russia. His father is Mike Taibbi, an NBC television reporter.

Taibbi joined Mark Ames in 1997 to co-edit the controversial English-language Moscow-based, bi-weekly free newspaper, The eXile. Of Exile, Taibbi said, "We were out of the reach of American libel law, and we had a situation where we weren't really accountable to our advertisers. We had total freedom."[citation needed] In the U.S. media, Playboy magazine published pieces on Russia both by Taibbi and by Taibbi and Ames together during this time.
-- they can spare some of Mr. Taibbi's considerable talents and contacts to give Vladimir Putin's Russia the rigorous and unstinting journalistic hiding it so obviously deserves.


Kathleen said...

Cueing trolls in 3...2...1....

Anonymous said...

Putin an actual tyrant?

I think he was elected, in fact.

Pussy Riot endorses Khodorkovsky, though. Wouldn't it be great if Russia were run by a genuine oligarch?

Meantime, America remains the world's largest jailer.

n1ck said...

Yeah, Russia may be a totalitarian state barely attempting to pretend otherwise, but you forget one key thing.

You vociferously support Barack Hussein Obama, the most lethal tyrant in the world because you're a paid OFA shill.

Also: Droneglass.

Anonymous said...

Paid OFA shill? Not likely. Paid NSA shill? More likely.

SamInMpls said...

Slight tangent: Is it possible that any of these new media ventures could be setup like The eXile so that they are out of the reach of American libel law?

Joseph Nobles said...

Slight correction: Taibbi is in charge of his own digital magazine for First Look Media, so he's not taking his marching orders from St. Greenwald. Oops, sorry, making Greenwald the story again. I repent.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember Matt telling the story of being "afraid for his life" after being threatened by one of the Russian Mafia (now known more simply as Putin's social club)while residing in Moscow.
He probably wont be jumping in front of any bullwhips for P.R....or any AK's in Kiev, any time soon....

Monster from the Id said...

Russia seems to be becoming Drifty's Prime Bogeybear.

How about this for a new slogan for the blog: "Tomorrow's Hawks Today"?

Or "All We Are Saying--Is Give Cold War A Chance"?

It'll get to where the old blog hands are the people who can still remember when Drifty was a dove.

Monster from the Id said...

@Anon at 3:25 PM--I disagree. I don't think Drifty's getting paid for this.

I am no psychiatrist, so any attempts I could make to diagnose his motives would be amateurish at best.

Anonymous said...

Holy fucking shit, people.

Driftglass is reporting on ACTUAL BEATINGS of singers RECORDED ON ACTUAL FILM, and you goddamned fucktards actually have the goddmaned nerve to go off about how "Droneglass" supports Obama, while actual fucking violence in actual streets (Kiev IS ON FIRE, and GLBT through Russia are being kidnapped and tortured, while being filmed, WITH THE BLESSING OF THE GOVERNMENT, with the ONLY limitation that they beatings and torture cannot directly lead to immediate death), which is supported by US RELIGIOUS RIGHT which the US religious right is whining and bitching that they can't bring HERE, oh, *that's* a "boogeyman"?

You, n1ck, now, tell me what the fuck you think you are contributing to the conversation.

You, Monster, now, tell me what the fuck you think you are contributing to the conversation.

Lumpy Lang, before you say one goddamned word, explain what the fuck do you think you are contributing to the conversation.

And before that question is turned at me:

I have known people who have been beaten because they were gay or lesbian. Older friends of mine, gay and straight, have told stories about all of their friends in the Deep South who's bodies were found tied up in the woods, beaten, and shot in the back of the head or the face or the chest or the stomach, and left to die, because evil people could sprinkle Jesus Glitter on the monstrosity of their actions. I have attended funerals of friends who died of HIV because there was no medical infrastructure. A friend who died of lung cancer was told by the oncologist that he was sick from AIDS, before any tests were run, because as a doctor he "knew" that all gay people have AIDS.

To equate a man who has joined with a fundamentalist religion he once helped oppress, to sanction, bless, and encourage the systematic torture of their own population to distract from a potential second economic and political collapse of their country, with the mishandling by a concurrent leader of the oversized military apparatus he inherited and his penchant for supporting large corporate interest, is insulting. I remember one administration ago when intelligence forces were raiding protest groups, and protests had to be held in "free speech zones". Yes, the reaction to Occupy was bad, but the New York City police are *not* a military organization, and therefore not under the President's direct control. Unlike the last president who directly contributed to the causes of these problems, the current president also has not use the ignorant and superstitious religious right as public gladiatorial spectacles, while the previous considered leaders of these groups close and frequent advisers.

I have never found any of you Droneglass Trolls contributing anything of significant value to the conversation, and I would be happy to see you all gone.


n1ck said...

Mike, I'm doing my best interpretation of a troll.

Who cares what the Pures™ think, they're all libertarian morons playing divide and conquer.

The best medicine, as always, is laughter.

Anonymous said...

Ok, n1ck, I'm sorry I vomited flaming acid in your direction.

In the past few weeks, on this topic, I have heard three general comments about the anti-gay violence in Russia. The most common is "Huh?". After that, there is the "Oh, that's bad, but it could *never* happen here, because we don't have bigotry like that."

Then, there are the special ones who get pissy that they can't bring that kind of "Christian Values" here.

The same is true of anti-gay legislation appearing in Africa, supported by U.S. fundamentalists.

What I was originally going to comment on was something I have mentioned before: Snowden is in a particular pickle because the person who made him famous is gay, and gay married to a gay man. Snowden has to be careful telling his story because speaking highly of Greenwald could actually get him in trouble.

The "but drones! and prisons! and corporatists!" thing kinda made me loose my shit. I've had people tell me that anti-gay discrimination and gay bashings are not "a thing" and something gay people make up for attention. Now that the US fundamentalists have discovered they can use failing despotic regimes as their meth-labs of horrible social policy to prove it will summon Jesus or something, I'm starting to get like that when I hear "that's just a fringe" or "that's just a distraction from *important* issues".


n1ck said...

Exactly, Mike.

The hilarious thing about the Pures™ who stop by to yell at us about how bad we are for not voting Republican (or Green, same thing) is that the very party they spend the most amount of time criticizing is the party least likely to round up minorities and attach second-class citizen symbols on them.

But...but...Obama, just like every other US Emperor uses drones and kills people in name of Empire!

Well, no shit.

The Pures™ are sad, pathetic morons because they have tunnel vision and totally lose focus on the long game. All they can do is yell and scream that the Democrats are worse than Republicans, because they're almost as bad as them.

It's brilliant self-parody, and I can't help but take part in it when I see DG throwing out the chum.

Monster from the Id said...

N1ck forgot to use snark tags.


Am I obligated to support Cold War 2.0 because Putin cynically exploits bigotry to hold his country together?

That assumes the reports of atrocities in Russia are accurate, instead of the Corporate Media trying to stir up war fever to distract from their fellow corporations' depredations against the USAmerican public.

Oh, but how silly of me. The Corporate Media never lie, exaggerate, or only talk about the evils the designated enemy of the week does, while ignoring the evils of our masters, the rich.

BTW, who is the designated enemy this week? Have we still always been at war with Eurasia, or has it become Eastasia again?

Tsk, I've gotta start attending those Two Minutes' Hates again, or the Thought Police might throw me in Room 101 (Shatner records--eek!).

But then, maybe everything is exactly as Drifty and Mike say it is.

In that case, the U.S. Govt., the Corporate Media, and the Malefactors Of Great Wealth who own both of those institutions have blundered into the predicament of The Boy Who Cried "Wolf!"--they have lied to me so often that I doubt them when they speak truth.

Anonymous said...


"Republican (or Green, same thing)"

Is this really your experience? Here in the Tampa Bay area, unless they have changed in the past five years, the Green Party is actually quite progressive, pro-union, and pro-education. The Greens were also very vocal when anti-discrimination laws came up for votes.

"the Democrats are worse than Republicans, because they're almost as bad as them"

It is a frustrating situation, though. The analogy I always try to give is the Democrats are the "good cop" and the Republicans are the "bad cop". However, the "bad cop" in this case is a psychopath with hungry jackals on a leash, who will talk about how his acts of torture and savagery are Noble and Pure because they are Blessed by God. The Democrats just have to say, "HE is FUCKING CRAZY, so vote for us!" If you can kneecap the bad cop and put down his pack of jackals, the good cop suddenly has to argue in good faith.


PS: Just a general comment, I found that if you cycle the Captcha image, the new one will be all numbers, and fairly easy to read. Now, I've had a few that the pictures did not actually contain any text, but still...

Anonymous said...

The problem with America isn't Barack Obama but the Deep State or military industrial financial complex that runs things and which no President since John F. Kennedy has stood up to.

Anonymous said...

Mike K has some good points about gay rights in Russia. Thank God that America doesn't have a place like Arizona.

CM said...

Anonymous (3:13 PM)

**Mike K has some good points about gay rights in Russia. Thank God that America doesn't have a place like Arizona.**

Really. You don't recognize the false equivalency there?

Anonymous said...


No. No, he doesn't. I actually had another post, but DG apparently decided that one need not be said aloud. I will defer to his judgement. :-)

I want to get the name of that debate style DG&BG discuss in the podcast. I know that is the standard fare of creationists, and it seems to be the purview of the purity trolls.

Yes, things in Arizona have been bad, and are slowly getting worse. However, Gov. Brewer is *not* encouraging violence, or telling the state police to arrest the victims of anti-gay violence.

However, because things are somehow bad everywhere, they are equally bad everywhere, and so all we can do is wail and gnash our teeth and blame each other for not being pure enough to cry unicorn tears to make the big bad corporatists go away.


CM said...


**I want to get the name of that debate style DG&BG discuss in the podcast. I know that is the standard fare of creationists, and it seems to be the purview of the purity trolls. **

Gish Gallop

I, however, will not call the tactic of Anonymous 3:13pm as Gish Gallop as "In written form, a Gish Gallop is most commonly observed as a long list of supposed facts or reasons, as a pamphlet or green ink web page, with a title that proudly boasts the number of reasons involved." (from the link).

His comparison of Arizona bill (not law yet) and Russia's official stand on gay rights is just plain false equivalence.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, CM


Anonymous said...

Totally false equivalence, CM, since Jan Brewer will absolutely veto that bill, right? I mean, the fact is she said she needs a week to think about it. It's not like it's a hypothetical bill that hasn't passed the legislature. If the governor does nothing, it becomes the law in Arizona.

But you know, people should just not worry about it, because Putin.

CM said...

Anonymous1:50 AM

I believe Jan Brewer is a horrible person. But even if she signs this bill Arizona will still be lot safer for LGBT/journalists/political dissidents than Russia.

Anonymous said...

They should totally put that on their state flag. Arizona: Slightly better than Russia. If you stay away from Joe Arpaio.

Monster from the Id said...

Oh, it won't take unicorn tears.

The Malefactors Of Great Wealth, by perpetually cutting taxes on themselves, while shipping jobs outside of U. S. borders where they can have what amounts to slave labor, are hollowing out the U. S. economy.

However, that economy is what supports the military, covert-action, and intelligence appartuses (apparati?) of the U. S. Govt.

The day will come when the USA can no longer support that Warfare State.

The MOGW depend on their capacity to exploit the labor and natural resources of weak countries.

They can't do that without the Warfare State to subjugate uppity natives when the bought-off native elite fails to do so.

No other country (no, not even China) can replace the USA in that role.

Yet, the MOGW are gutting the USA, and thus its Warfare State.

Which will bring the day when the wretched of the Earth will rebel against the MOGW, and the MOGW will not be able to call upon Uncle Sam to save their sorry hides.

Babylon's own lords and barons will chant down Babylon.

And they're too stupid to realize it.

In the meantime, maybe I should take up a hobby.

Knitting might be good.