The Words of Murrow.. (Revisited)

I was reminded of the words of Edward R. Murrow while watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight. They are worth revisiting yet again..
I first posted this October 30, 2007.

These words, and the wisdom behind them, are as relevant now as they were in the ’50s when they were uttered – in another time, with another boogeyman meant to instill fear in American citizens.. Now instead of the Communists, we have ‘Islamofascists’ and al Qaeda.
Will we as a nation ever learn?

Quotes from Edward R. Murrow

See It Now (1954)

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men— not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.
This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. “

Speech to his staff (1954)

“No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices.”

“If none of us ever read a book that was “dangerous,” had a friend who was “different,” or joined an organization that advocated “change,” we would all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants.”

“The only thing that counts is the right to know, to speak, to think— that, and the sanctity of the courts. Otherwise it’s not America.”

RTNDA Convention Speech (1958)

“We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable and complacent. We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.”

The closest we come to Edward R. Murrow, in this place in history, is with Keith Olbermann. He is not Murrow, but the next best thing. Actually, it isn’t fair to compare them. The times and circumstances are different. Keith Olbermann seems to be one of the only people on the MSM news networks willing to speak truth to power; to be the voice of the American people who are all yelling at their TV sets (and at their Congressional representatives) in rage and frustration. I know he has reduced me to tears on a number of occasions with his ‘Special Comments’, because he has said exactly what I was thinking and feeling. I think this country is STARVING and READY for someone in the press (and Congress) to stand up, ask the hard questions, call the administration on their crap, and put it all on the line to fight for what is right and true – for the Constitution, for our democracy, for the laws of this land and for justice, regardless of the cost. Our nation is on the precipice, and it is time, really, for courage and the strength to put it all the line for what is right for our entire country.

All of Keith Olbermann’s ‘Special Comments‘ are available on the MSNBC website.

If you have any Murrow quotes you would like to add, please feel free to do so in your comments.


Clinton Surrogate Ed Rendell Praises Fox News For “Most Objective,” “Balanced” Coverage – HT: The Huffington Post

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a strong supporter and prominent surrogate of the Hillary Clinton campaign, appeared on Fox News’ morning show “Fox & Friends” today and praised the network for its “objective” and “balanced” coverage.

“I think during this entire primary coverage, starting in Iowa and up to the present, Fox has done the fairest job, has remained the most objective of all the cable networks,” Rendell told host Steve Doocy. “You actually have done a very balanced job of reporting the news, and some of the other stations are just caught up with Senator Obama, who is a great guy, but Senator Obama can do no wrong, and Senator Clinton can do no right.”

Doocy told Rendell, “I just had a tingling in my leg when you were talking about that,” a reference to MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who has been criticized for unfairly treating Hillary Clinton and who once announced on air that he felt a “thrill going up his leg” during an Obama speech.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod

Russians, Saudis Expect U.S. Attack On Iran

Photo of Tehran

by Paul Craig Roberts
via: OpEdNews

The US Congress, the US media, the American people, and the United Nations, are looking the other way as Cheney prepares his attack on Iran.

If only America had an independent media and an opposition party. If there were a shred of integrity left in American political life, perhaps a third act of naked aggression–a third war crime under the Nuremberg standard–by the Bush Regime could be prevented.

On March 30, the Russian News & Information Agency, Novosti, cited a high-ranking security source: “The latest military intelligence data point to heightened US military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran.”

According to Novosti, Russian Colonel General Leonid Ivashov said “that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran’s military infrastructure in the near future.”

The chief of Russia’s general staff, Yuri Baluyevsky, said last November that Russia was beefing up its military in response to US aggression, but that the Russian military is not “obliged to defend the world from the evil Americans.”

On March 29, OpEdNews cited a report by the Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz, which was picked up by the German news service, DPA. The Saudi newspaper reported on March 22, the day following Cheney’s visit with the kingdom’s rulers, that the Saudi Shura Council is preparing “national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts’ warnings of possible attacks on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactors.”

And Admiral William “there will be no attack on Iran on my watch” Fallon has been removed as US chief of Central Command, thus clearing the way for Cheney’s planned attack on Iran. [My emphasis]

The Iranians don’t seem to believe it, despite the dispatch of US nuclear submarines and another aircraft carrier attack group to the Persian Gulf. To counter any Iranian missiles launched in response to an attack, the US is deploying anti-missile defenses to protect US bases and Saudi oil fields.

Two massive failures by the American media, the Democratic Party, and the American people have paved the way for Cheney’s long-planned attack on Iran. One failure is the lack of skepticism about the US government’s explanation of 9/11. The other failure is the Democrats’ refusal to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush for lying to the Congress, the American people, and the world and launching an invasion of Iraq based on deception and fabricated evidence.

If an American president can start a war exactly as Adolf Hitler did with pure lies and not be held accountable, he can get away with anything. And Bush and his evil regime have.

Hitler launched World War II with his invasion of Poland after staging a “Polish attack” on a German radio station. On the night of August 31, 1939, a group of Nazis disguised in Polish uniforms seized a radio station in Germany. Hitler announced that “last night Polish troops crossed the frontier and attacked Germany,” a claim no more true than the Bush Regime’s claim that “Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.” Hitler’s lie failed, because his invasion of Poland, which began the next day allegedly in reprisal for the Polish attack, had obviously been planned for many months.

Iran is a beautiful and developed country. It is an ancient civilization. It has attacked no one. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Iran is permitted by the treaty to have a nuclear energy program. The Bush Regime’s case against Iran is based on the Bush Regime’s desire to deny Iran its rights under the treaty.

Read entire article…

Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how Americans lost the protection of law, is forthcoming from Random House in March, 2008.For lots more photos of Tehran, go here. And for photos of Iran, go here.

Muse’s Monday Menagerie

So the 2008 Baseball Season is off and running! In the summer of 1998, I played the National Anthem in Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, AR for one of their August games with a group of several hundred flute players. We didn’t get to stay to watch the game; we were just ushered in, played the music, and left. It was an amazing experience. Cool ballpark.

New Gallup poll has Obama leading Clinton nationally by 10 points. (Obama 52% – Clinton 42%).

From Politico: “A Cash Strapped Clinton fails to pay her bills”.

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s cash-strapped presidential campaign has been putting off paying hundreds of bills for months — freeing up cash for critical media buys but also earning the campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small-business circles.

A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter.

From Crooks and Liars, Keith Olbermann and his Can You Pass The “Commander-In-Chief” Test” (with video). Hilarious!!

From Common Dreams: Those Who Control Oil and Water Will Control The World.

History may not repeat itself, but, as Mark Twain observed, it can sometimes rhyme. The crises and conflicts of the past recur, recognisably similar even when altered by new conditions. At present, a race for the world’s resources is underway that resembles the Great Game that was played in the decades leading up to the First World War. Now, as then, the most coveted prize is oil and the risk is that as the contest heats up it will not always be peaceful. But this is no simple rerun of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, there are powerful new players and it is not only oil that is at stake.

From Raw Story: Google partners with NSA, CIA on intelligence database.

Google is selling storage and data searching equipment to U.S. Intelligence agencies giving them the power to create internal searches of government data.

The CIA, FBI and National Security Agency have all reportedly banded together to create an internal government intranet – sharing data on a system called Intellipedia.

And here’s the reason to never tell a lie…

From The Huffington Post: Little Girl From Bosnia Scandal Shocked, “Surprised” By Clinton’s Lie.

The Bosnian girl who famously read a poem to Hillary Rodham Clinton during her 1996 visit to the war-torn country is shocked – and her countrymen infuriated – that the former first lady claimed to have dodged sniper fire that day.

Emina Bicakcic, now 20 and studying to become a doctor, told The Post she stood on the tarmac at the air base in Tuzla, greeted Clinton and even had time to share the lines of verse she’d written – all without fear of attack from an unseen enemy.

(You had to know it was only a matter of time before someone would hunt her down and get her side of the story…)

Continue reading

President Bush Booed Loudly Throwing Out First Pitch

via: Think Progress

President Bush delivered the first pitch tonight at the new Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. to a resounding chorus of boos. After being announced, Bush was showered by boos as he strode to the mound. Even after Bush delivered the pitch, the jeering did not let up until the President disappeared from the field. Watch it:

Watch the game!

No, no, not basketball. Pay attention! The first baseball game of the season is tonight (8 pm Eastern), when the Washington Nationals open in their brand new ballpark. And, ahem, the first pitch is to be thrown by the President of the United States. Rumor has it that some of the cheers from the crowd will be of the Bronx variety. Tune in to see if rumors are true. And then, eh, it’s the Nationals and the Braves. Who cares?

Gore as the nominee? Huh..?

Three days ago (March 27th), EV wrote a post on this article:
Time Magazine: Is Al Gore the Answer?

Today in the Telegraph (UK) there was an article regarding plans actually being discussed for Al Gore to take the Democratic presidential nomination as the saviour of a bitterly divided party. The article suggests these plans are being actively discussed by senior figures and aides to the former vice-president.

The opening has emerged because opinion polls show Mr McCain stretching his lead over both Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton, whose campaigns are engaged in a daily cycle of attacks, character assassination and mutual recriminations on religion, race and the economy.

Between a quarter and a third of Obama and Clinton supporters say that they would not now vote for the other in November.

The prospect of a new Gore candidacy was raised last week in Time magazine by Joe Klein, the doyen of American political writers, and discussed on the main cable news networks, CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

If neither Mr Obama nor Mrs Clinton has the 2,025 delegates needed to win the nomination, and if both appear unable to beat Mr McCain, under one scenario a group of about 100 party elders – the “super-delegates” – could sit out the first ballot in Denver, preventing either candidate winning outright, and then offer Mr Gore the nomination for the good of the party.

Is the Telegraph just weighing in after the Time article? Or is there momentum building behind this idea?

My question is, of course, just how is this Democratic? Wouldn’t this in effect disenfranchise ALL the voters (Democrats) that have already voted? I really wanted Al Gore to run at the very beginning of this process and was seriously disappointed when he chose not to. I believe he could beat handily any nominee the GOP were to put forward. But this just can’t be the way to do it. It seems terribly wrong; it totally leaves all Americans out of the process.. Its not what this country is about (at least what I BELIEVE it is about). How can this be the right way to go?

AP Photo

Obama win appears big in Texas delegate battle

via: McClatchy H/T: BuzzFlash

Barrack Obama appeared to have scored a clear victory over Hillary Clinton on Saturday in the second step of Texas’ multi-tiered process for selecting its delegates to the Democratic National Convention. With results available from about half of the district conventions held statewide, the Associated Press reported that Obama had won 59 percent of the delegates headed to the state party’s June convention to Clinton’s 41 percent. That translates into 1,858 delegates for Obama and 1,270 for Clinton.

That result made it likely that when the delegate selection process is finally completed, Obama will have more Texas delegates to the national convention than Clinton, despite Clinton’s having won the March 4 primary vote 51 to 47 percent. Under Texas’ delegate selection process, 67 of its 206 delegates are selected by the June state party convention.

Tens of thousands of Texas Democrats turned out for Saturday’s district conventions in a chaotic day in which many of the meetings in Texas’ large cities lasted late into the night. Some delegates — confused and frustrated by hours-long delays, disorder and disorganization — gave up on the process and left, still not sure if their vote counted. “Please move a bit faster,” urged delegate Whitney Larkins, who attended the largest senatorial district in Fort Worth gathered at the Will Rogers Coliseum. “Have some consideration. Think about those of us who took time out of our lives to participate in this.”

More at the Star-Telegram.

The Sunday Papers – Europeanview’s pick

Kitchen: Alsatian Farm Museum

Good Morning, this is a fine day over here for a change and as we are on daylight saving time now, too. I’m not even so very late in submitting my morning read. So, grab a cuppa and see what met my eye this morning. It’s lots.

The Guardian of today is a bonanza of well researched information and useful tools to understand the Shia conflict in Iraq. Sudharsan Rhaghavan reports “Under siege in Baghdad’s Mahdi army stronghold”. To better understand the different factions fighting it out, you can go here, and for a map of who is controlling wich areas of Basra, go here. Less technical, but definitely heartbreaking is the account of the miseries this renewed outbreak of violence causes to ordinary Iraqi families.

Change of topic: A must read is the essay by Paul Harris: Forty years after the shot rang out, race fears still haunt the US. If anything good has come from the bloody nomination battle this year, the race speech opened up the very necessary discussion, that for so long has been neglected.

The Telegraph concentrates on the US – UK relationship in the whole mess, leading a number of stories with “Gordon Brown accused by US adviser over ‘hasty troop withdrawal’ in Basra” For a better understanding of the importance of this rift between the former(?) allies, here more on and by Frederick Kagan: Analysis: Frederick Kagan and US-UK relations. The Telegraph, too, provides you with a fact sheet on who’s fighting whom. Con Coughlin is explaining why President Bush is right to see the current violence as a defining moment for Iraq, by saying: New Iraq receiving baptism of fire in Basra.

The Independent on Iraq:”British and US forces drawn into battle for Basra, As the Iraqi army’s assault on Shia militias in the city falters, the government’s strategy is looking to be a dangerous gamble”:

Mr Maliki’s confident prediction that he would crush the Mehdi Army is turning out to be a dangerous gamble that is fast eroding his authority. It is damaging to President Bush, who had claimed the US “surge” had brought about a turning point in America’s five-year-old war to pacify Iraq. Mr Bush had praised the offensive as showing that the Iraqi security forces, trained and supported by the US, could at last stand and fight on their own. So far, the gun battles in Baghdad and the Shia south of Iraq are providing evidence that exactly the opposite is true.

You can find a row of articles on the Zimbabwe elections, here, here and here and another stab at trying to understand the Democratic nomination battle, here: “The question on every Democrat’s lips: should she stay or should she go?”

The Times‘ website is currently inaccessible for me, I may do an update a little later, but maybe again I won’t, I’m a bit disappointed by their increasingly tabloid-style reporting anyway.

This an awful lot of reading and should do for a cup of coffee or more, I hope you all enjoy your reading and have a nice, happy and healthy Sunday. Take care!

Raptor cam!

Last year, a pair of Red Tailed Hawks raised a family in downtown Portland, on a fire escape 11 stories up. Someone working in an office pointed a video camera at the nest and it made for great tv. This year someone contributed a substantial amount of money to install a better video camera, and the hawks are back on view. More of the story here.

The raptor cam is here. And it looks like that link skips the tiny commercial. Hooray for hawks!

Another “defining moment in the history of Iraq”

The war is back in the streets of Baghdad and Basra and all over the place. After a period of relative quiet, the Sadr militia  seems to have given up on their ceasefire and what is considered an embryonic Shia civil war has broken out again in what used to be Iraq.

Yesterday two of Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi’s guards were killed within the Green Zone in mortar attacks. US military is fighting and bombing Sadr City and involved in fighting in Basra, too. Basra has been the responsibility of British troops, which have been redeployed from there only last December to a camp at Basra airport. They are now joining in the fighting again and have announced that planned troop reductions to about 2500 in spring are unlikely now.

The intense fighting means that Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, is likely to tell the Commons next week that British troop levels will remain at about 4,100 for the next few months, abandoning plans to reduce numbers to 2,500 from the spring.

Iraqi army soldiers and police are defecting and handing equipment to the Mehdi militia if not outright fighting for them:

The scene on the other side of the battlefield proved his suspicions right. Dug in behind a wall was a squad of Mehdi Army fighters, the Shia militiamen Lt Abbas and 15,000 other Iraqi soldiers have been sent to quell.

Sure enough, one was driving an American-issue Iraqi army Humvee – one of seven, said the squad’s leader, Haji Ali, handed to them by sympathisers within the Iraqi army.

“We shall fight them until the last drop of our blood,” he snarled, clutching a Glock pistol of the kind issued to Iraqi police. “We will force them to respect the Mehdi Army.”

A German parliamentary delegation to Iraq has to cancel meetings that are supposed to take place in the relative safety of the Green Zone, because of “security concerns”.

But even this mess is not big enough, so that it can’t be spun:

Gordon Brown’s spokesman said: “The fact that the Iraqi security forces are able to engage in this way in Basra is a recognition of the training and support that they have been given in recent years, that they are now able to take on a much greater degree of responsibility for their own security.”

I’d like to have some of what they get to smoke or drink or swallow. Let’s just hope, the Bush Administration isn’t using this outbreak to “prove” Iran’s meddling and turn it into a “defining moment in the history of IRAN.”