December 11, 2008

FT’s Rachman Complains of ‘Internet Slime’ Over ‘One World Government’ Essay

RachmanPoor, poor Gideon Rachman.

The Financial Times’s chief foreign affairs columnist and blogger can’t understand why people got so upset at him.

He responded to a volume of disagreeable e-mails reacting to his December 9 column on the idea of having one world government in two different blog posts (the photo at the top right is from his blog): “Covered in Internet Slime” (December 10) and “Final Thoughts on the world government row” (December 11). His bottom line is that he considered his original column a “dispassionate discussion of the possibility” of a world government.

I think there’s genuine reason to question Mr. Rachman’s “dispassion.” Of course in the process, I run the risk of being criticized by Mr. Rachman (from his Dec. 10 “Internet Slime” piece) as:

  • Someone who “can read, but …. cannot think.”
  • Someone who subscribes to “end days” theology.
  • (heaven forbid) Someone who “believes that global warming not only is a hoax – but that it is actually a conspiracy.”
  • (oh my gosh) Someone “clinging to guns and religion. And clinging is the word.”

Nonetheless, I’ll plunge ahead into his original column with clear demonstrations that Mr. Rachman is more than a wee bit sympathetic to the one world government idea:

  • The title is a not terribly objective “And now for a world government.”
  • He writes favorably of the European Union — “A ‘world government’ would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model.”
  • His assertion that “climate change,” aka “global warming,” is among the things that “are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty.” I would suggest that human-caused “global warming,” to the extent that it even exists (there is tons of evidence that it doesn’t), has indeed been hijacked a one-world government cause. In fact, Rachman’s assertion is bald evidence of that.
  • His “bad” reason why one world government might not arrive “is a lack of will and determination on the part of national, political leaders who – while they might like to talk about ‘a planet in peril’ – are ultimately still much more focused on their next election, at home.” I would suggest that many of these politicians are quite properly focused on representing the interests of the people who elected them.
  • His supposedly “good” reason doesn’t really involve stopping one world government from happening. Instead, it’s only seen as a “good” reason why it shouldn’t be done all that hastily (bold is mine) — “Even in the EU – the heartland of law-based international government – the idea remains unpopular. The EU has suffered a series of humiliating defeats in referendums, when plans for “ever closer union” have been referred to the voters. In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters. International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic.” This would appear dangerously close to an endorsement of undemocratic means to a supposedly desirable end. I guess it depends on the meaning of the word “effective.”

Sorry, Mr. Rachman. Your “dispassionate” pose doesn’t fool me, and clearly didn’t fool many other readers, quite a few of whom you clearly hold in open contempt. Suffice it to say that the feeling is mutual.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

What Time of Year Is It? (Year 4 Follow-up, Part 2)

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 11:15 am

With all of the hubbub over other events, I’m not going to do a full-blown post on this, but I will get the related search results, so I can do a finale a couple of days before Christmas.

Here goes (all from Google News as of about 11:00 a.m.):

In addition to the usual conclusion about percentage of mention (twice as often for “Christmas layoffs” vs. “Christmas shopping season”), the struggling economy has given rise to a situation where, in raw numbers, media outlets actually are mentioning Christmas over twice as often (6216 divided by 2632 is 2.36) in connection with layoffs as they are in connection with shopping.

But there’s no war on Christmas (/sarc).

__________________________________________

Previous Posts:
- Nov. 25, 2008 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 4 Follow-up, Part 1)
- Dec. 22, 2007 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 3 Follow-up, Part 3)
- Dec. 10, 2007 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 3 Follow-up, Part 2)
- Nov. 28, 2007 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 3 Follow-up, Part 1)
- Dec. 22, 2006 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 2 Follow-up, Part 3)
- Dec. 9, 2006 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 2 Follow-up, Part 2)
- Nov. 26, 2006 — What Time of Year Is It? (Year 2 Follow-up, Part 1)
- Nov. 11, 2006 — Will Christmas Be a Four-Letter Word This Year?
- Dec. 22, 2005 — When You Can Say What at This Time of Year (UPDATE 2)
- Dec. 7, 2005 — When You Can Say What at This Time of Year (UPDATE)
- Nov. 29, 2005 — What Time of Year Is It?
- Nov. 23, 2005 — When You Can Say What at This Time of Year

Name That Party Parade: ABC’s ‘Faces of Political Scandal’ Labels Most GOP Faces, Few Dems

A collection of “The Faces of Political Scandal,” assembled by ABC News yesterday (HT to an e-mailer), once again demonstrates the media’s relative reluctance to identify the membership of Democrats involved in scandal.

Of the 14 politicians identified, seven are Democrats and seven are Republicans. Five of the seven GOP members are identified as such, while only two of the seven Democrats were flagged. The montage also has a couple of surprising factual errors.

Here’s the detail, slide by slide:

  1. Current Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich — Party not ID’d, while containing a quote with a Republican frame of reference (“Gov. Blagojevich has taken us to a new low,” U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said. “This conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.”).
  2. Soon to be former GOP Alaska Senator Ted Stevens — Party immediately ID’d.
  3. New York Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel — Party immediately ID’d.
  4. Former Detroit Democratic Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick — Party not ID’d.
  5. Former Florida Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney — Party not ID’d. The entry contains an odd statement (“He conceded his congressional race to Mark Rooney Nov. 4, 2008, in light of the scandal”) that seems untrue, given that Rooney won by a 60-40 margin. This brief AP story on Election Night has no indication of an advance concession.
  6. Former New York Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer — Party not ID’d.
  7. Former New York GOP Congressman Vito Fossella — Party ID’d in third sentence (“‘My personal failings and imperfections have caused enormous pain to the people I love and I am truly sorry,’ said the conservative Republican.”).
  8. Former Ohio GOP Congressman Bob Ney — Party ID’d immediately.
  9. Former Florida GOP Congressman Mark Foley — Party ID’d immediately.
  10. Former California GOP Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham — No Party ID’d.
  11. Soon to be former Louisiana Democratic Congressman William Jefferson — Party ID’d immediately.
  12. Soon to be former Idaho GOP Senator Larry Craig — Party ID’d in first sentence.
  13. Former Illinois Governor George Ryan — No party ID’d.
  14. Former Democratic President Bill Clinton — No party ID’d. Incredibly, the network gets the start date of the Lewinsky scandal wrong (“Monica Lewinsky’s “relations” with President Clinton famously produced a scandal that shook the White House and Clinton’s presidency in 1995″). The story didn’t break until January 1998, with Matt Drudge’s famous “Newsweek Kills Story on White House Intern” post.

Overall, this is yet another shoddy and inconsistent party identification performance by a major media outlet.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

2008 Weblog Awards Update

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 7:42 am

If you’re wondering about the 2008 Weblog Awards, they’ve been delayed, apparently because of an overwhelming number of nominations. Finalists will be announced on Christmas Day, and voting won’t begin until January 2.

Many, many thanks to Matt Hurley at Weapons of Mass Discussion, who nominated yours truly.

Though I don’t expect a similar result once voting begins, BizzyBlog had more “seconds” to its nomination for Best Business Blog than any other nominee (11; no one else has more than 6).

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (121108, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 7:40 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • My, this has been quiet — “General Motors and Chrysler have said they cannot survive much longer without the federal aid, while Ford Motor Company, which is in better shape than its competitors, has said it will not seek the emergency loans.” My guess is that Ford has seen the strings attached, and has said, “We’ll take our chances, if you don’t mind.”
  • Though the GM-Chrysler bailout passed the House, at least John Boehner and Jean Schmidt didn’t make the same mistake twice. Both mistakenly supported the SUCKUP (Seemingly Unlimited Cash Kitty Under Paulson) with the made-up $700 billion price tag that turned into an $850 billion pork-laden fiasco.
  • Which reminds me (the idea came from elsewhere, but I don’t remember where) — If the auto bailout is so darned critical to preventing a depression (which I don’t buy), why in the world doesn’t Congress simply reduce the $150 billion in pork that was added to the SUCKUP by $25 billion or so?
  • The 145th Carnival of Ohio Politics, assembled by Jill of Writes Like She Talks, is here.
  • A biodegradable credit card (HT NYT’s Quote Unquote via an e-mailer)? “The plastic will begin to break down in soil, water, compost or wherever microorganisms are present, and will fully degrade within five years.” Hope it has protection against consumers’ (or retailers’) sweaty fingers.
  • NPR is laying off employees. No word, and none expected, as to whether any of the highly-paid execs and news starts are getting their salaries trimmed.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘Commander-in-Chief or Community Organizer-in-Chief?’) Is Up

It’s here.

The subheadline is “Supporting law-breaking workers undermines Obama’s attempts to appear moderate.” I also noted in the column that it will cause employers and investors to shut their wallets tight if it’s seen as more than a one-off error in judgment.

The column’s headline and subheadline mask points I make therein about how the vast majority of the bad economic news this year has occurred since the POR Economy of Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid began in June.

Not mentioned in the column: Obama’s support of law-breakers has the potential to undermine the overall rule of law and turn us irrevocably into a “he who shouts the loudest get ‘the law’ enforced on his behalf” society — a road we’ve already travelled down too far.

I really want to get away from the “Punk” moniker I’ve all too accurately applied to the president-elect based on HIS behavior, but Obama’s “they’re exactly right” statement, which has of course been taken to mean that the former workers involved are “exactly right” to be taking over someone else’s private property, is yet another example of exactly that. So the 90-day counter, originally instituted on November 7 after Obama’s classless comment about Nancy Reagan, wherein the “Punk” moniker will be buried if no punk behavior occurs, was restarted on December 7, and now stands at four.

The Pajamas column will go up at BizzyBlog on Saturday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.