Posted by: drgeophysics | August 1, 2009

Opinions gone mad

I have noticed that there is a permanent split in the political landscape.  This started with far-right movements and is a permanent part of the scene in the United States.   Although Bill Maher is sometimes out in left field, he is on target with this piece. I cannot help but think of George McGovern while listening to Maher.

My memory of these “dummies talking to other dummies” was when Nixon slammed George McGovern as a anti-war wimp. McGovern was a World War II hero and had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for missions over Europe. Have you ever heard any of this history about George McGovern? Why not? A kid from South Dakota who volunteered to fly bombers.

There was a personal connection, McGovern always reminded me of an uncle, also a WWII bomber pilot who volunteered December 8, 1941 for duty, was shot down in early 1943 and spend years in a POW camp in Poland, witnessed the “great escape” from his POW camp (British and American prisoners had been separated at that time but he had helped in the initial tunneling and dirt disposal), and ultimately surviving the POW Death March, from Stalag Luft VII in Silesia during January 1945, before finally being liberated by Patton in 1945. Perhaps this was the greatest generation, I don’t know, read McGovern’s history and see what you think, and then listen to his short summary of it all. My uncle was openly dismissive of any “hero talk”. “The real heroes were the lads who died; who never came back” he would always say.

RAF Museum, memorial to the Long March

RAF Museum, memorial to the Long March

RAF Museum, dropped over POW camps  in Germany

RAF Museum, dropped over POW camps in Germany

These pictures come from a memorial at the RAF museum in north London.  This link describes the dedication of the statue and exhibit. This is a diary kept from the march.

Here is a description of George McGovern and his experience during the war as a B-24 pilot.

His father was a preacher, and McGovern attended public schools, then left college to join the Army Air Corps for World War II. He flew 35 combat missions over North Africa and Italy, and won the Distinguished Flying Cross for piloting his damaged bomber across Yugoslavia to a remote island runway that was far shorter than the minimum length to safely land. McGovern had his crew throw all their non-essential equipment overboard, then both pilots stood on the brake as the plane touched down.

McGovern then served as a B-24 Liberator bomber pilot in the Fifteenth Air Force, flying his plane, known as the Dakota Queen for 35 missions over enemy territory[14] from bases in North Africa and later Italy, often against heavy anti-aircraft artillery, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving his crew by landing his damaged bomber on a British airfield on Vis, a small island off the Yugoslav coast controlled by Tito’s Partisans.

George McGovern was the real-deal, as good a man as the United States could produce, an authentic hero, and a deep thinker. Yet through a storm of mud slinging and the dirty politics, he lost the election and was reduced to a memory of the lies told about him. This was a significant moment for me, I realized that the media was a packaged set of spun info-entertainment. Truth is, always, the first causality, either in war or business.

The press worked the same way then, 40 years ago, as it does now. Reality had nothing to do with reporting, reality is a commodity useful to sell advertising time, and you don’t want to make the customer uncomfortable. Better to rearrange the chairs on the Titanic than note that the boat appears to be sinking. Or better yet, make money while rearranging the chairs.

The New York Times recently reported that major networks had limited investigative reporting because if was “bad for business” of their respective corporate owners.

The reconciliation — not acknowledged by the parties until now — showcased how a personal and commercial battle between two men could create real consequences for their parent corporations. A G.E. shareholders’ meeting, for instance, was overrun by critics of MSNBC (and one of Mr. O’Reilly’s producers) last April. . . .

In late 2007, Mr. O’Reilly had a young producer, Jesse Watters, ambush Mr. Immelt and ask about G.E.’s business in Iran, which is legal, and which includes sales of energy and medical technology. G.E. says it no longer does business in Iran.

Mr. O’Reilly continued to pour pressure on its corporate leaders, even saying on one program last year that “If my child were killed in Iraq, I would blame the likes of Jeffrey Immelt.” The resulting e-mail to G.E. from Mr. O’Reilly’s viewers was scathing. . .

Over time, G.E. and the News Corporation concluded that the fighting “wasn’t good for either parent,” said an NBC employee with direct knowledge of the situation. But the session hosted by Mr. Rose provided an opportunity for a reconciliation, sealed with a handshake between Mr. Immelt and Mr. Murdoch.”

Here is the story.

There is nothing of value in misinformation, these crazy efforts are run by “the lizard people”. Here is a piece about where many of these weird, strange stories are coming from, (surprise it is a political party manipulating the info/entertainment/fact-devoid media, which seems happily manipulated).

I have noticed a disturbing up tick in this activity. It seems clear that the goal is FUD–fear, uncertainty, and doubt, useful to the crazies that have been running the country. This FUD campaign is running in hyper-over drive and is counter productive to the goals of effective leadership and necessary action that these times require. There was a time when the civil war seemed like a good idea to a small minority of people who had just enough power to destablize the country to satisfy a few business interests, who saw their profits threatened. The result was a million deaths in the United States. The media, today, will be be nothing other than a cheer leader for such mindless and destructive actions.

At this point, as a conservative writer pointed out, talk radio is “insane”. What does this say about our country and the process of government? Power goes to the highest bidder; to the person who can bring out the most violent people and intimidate the other side?

There is no point in history, recent or prehistoric, that some group of people would not be happy to take you back to, whatever the costs.

Here is the piece from Maher.


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