Why does style matter more than substance?

October 8, 2008

This is the letter I wrote to The Star on Sunday afternoon in response to an excellent commentary by Haroon Siddiqui. It was published on Monday, October 6th.  The short line underneath my letter was written by a good friend and fellow activist Gary Markle and published on the same day:

http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/512253


TheStar.com – Federal Election –

Why does style matter more than substance?

October 06, 2008

Re:No charisma, not an orator, but a decent man of substance, Comment Oct. 5

Thanks, Haroon Siddiqui, for being the only mainstream columnist to voice the opinions of most of the people in my community who are outraged by the media’s blatant bias against Stéphane Dion. No matter what he does, says, or wears, it is derided, ridiculed and considered wrong by pundits, TV/radio hosts, newspaper commentators.

I am a member of a party other than the Liberals, yet I find these actions nauseating. They assume Canadians are so shallow and ignorant that we cannot see beyond Stephen Harper’s gimmicks, the out-of-context sound bites in his party’s attack ads and the media’s complicity in this campaign.

Stéphane Dion is a good, honourable man genuinely wanting what is best for his country. That he is not a member of the corrupt, scandalous Old Boys’ Club shows the obvious strength of his character; it is the reason why his party elected him.

Annamarie Bohus, Brampton

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A true leader stands on integrity, not other people.

G. W. Markle, Brampton


One World Government. Is this what we want??

August 26, 2008

I believe this is very important. Don’t be among the apathetic sheeple! Please watch the YouTube video clip before it is withheld or cancelled..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuBo4E77ZXo


ICH: Putin Walks into a Trap

August 14, 2008

Putin Walks into a Trap

By Mike Whitney

13/08/08 “ICH” —

The American-armed and trained Georgian army swarmed into South Ossetia last Thursday, killing an estimated 2,000 civilians, sending 40,000 South Ossetians fleeing over the Russian border, and destroying much of the capital, Tskhinvali. The attack was unprovoked and took place a full 24 hours before even ONE Russian soldier set foot in South Ossetia. Nevertheless, the vast majority of Americans still believe that the Russian army invaded Georgian territory first. The BBC, AP, NPR, the New York Times and the rest of the establishment media has consistently and deliberately misled its readers into believing that the violence in South Ossetia was initiated by the Kremlin. Let’s be clear, it wasn’t. In truth, there is NO dispute about the facts except among the people who rely the western press for their information. Despite its steady loss of credibility, the corporate media continues to operate as the propaganda-arm of the Pentagon.

Former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev gave a good summary of events in an op-ed in Monday’s Washington Post:

[…]

Read more: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20508.htm

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Will American Insouciance Destroy the World?
By Paul Craig Roberts

The neoconned Bush Regime and the Israeli-occupied American media are heading the innocent world toward nuclear war.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20507.htm

Tomgram: Ira Chernus, Will Culture War Overshadow Real War in 2008?

August 1, 2008

All agree that this is (or should be) the year of the Democrats. But with candidate Barack Obama still leading, on average, in national polls by only about two to five percentage points, depending on the day, and the media proclaiming “oil” now a “Republican” issue, there’s certainly a long way to go to that prospective Democratic victory on November 4th. Still, in retrospect, this last week may be seen as the one in which Senator McCain’s campaign concluded that this might not only be the year of the Democrat, but of the Obamacrat as well, and went for the jugular.

Gallup polling, for instance, shows Obama making small but significant gains in every kind of state (red, purple, and blue) over the last two months. At the same time, Obama’s world tour — the one McCain and the neocons practically egged him into taking, with all those online tickers showing just how many days since he had last been to Iraq — left the McCain camp in full and bitter gripe mode. In the imagery of advisor and former Senator Phil Gramm, they had become a campaign of “whiners.” Meanwhile, the Berlin bounce finally showed up in the polls.

While Obama was wowing the Europeans, McCain managed to get an offshore-oil photo-op in the Gulf of Mexico wiped out by a somehow overlooked advancing hurricane. Instead, he ventured into a grocery store aisle in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, prepped on rising food prices, where he met a “shopper planted by the local Republican Party” and experienced an unfortunate “applesauce avalanche.” (The Daily Show version of this is not to be missed.) Not surprisingly, by week’s end he was decisively skipping the “issues” and heading for “values” — that is, directly for the throat in the style which Republicans have, in recent years, made their own.

Earlier in the week, he had practically declared his opponent treasonous for supposedly putting his political campaign ahead of victory in Iraq — “It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign…” — and launched a classic Republican campaign attack on Obama’s “character.” His latest ad, which attacks Obama for supposedly going to the gym rather than visiting wounded American soldiers in Germany, typically ends: “McCain, country first.” (Versus… uh… Obama, country last?)

It’s not exactly surprising that candidate McCain headed for what he hoped was potential “values” and “character” pay dirt (emphasis on “dirt”) in tough times. As Ira Chernus — canny TomDispatch regular and author of Monsters to Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin — points out, it may be his only chance. The question is: Will it work?

Will “character,” the culture wars, and security fears help elect the most woeful Republican candidate since Bob Dole — and in a country that not only increasingly doesn’t think much of Republicans, but has never cared to vote old? (Ronald Reagan was the exception to this rule, always running young and vigorous, whatever his age.) McCain, in a golf cart being piloted by 84-year-old George H.W. Bush, actually looked older than the former president. And, gee, you might go for the jugular early, too, in a year in which the Republicans don’t even control the political machinery of the state of Ohio.

Now, let Ira Chernus take you on a magical mystery tour of the strange world of American “values,” American “value voters,” and a mainstream media that values the value-voter story above all else. Tom

Click here to read more of this dispatch.