Carmageddon, Irene– what will Americans dream up next to make ourselves feel important?

on 48 Comments

This is one of those days I’m embarrassed to be an American. We had a storm last night. It went on all night, it’s dropping a lot of rain. It has to do with the hurricane that hit North Carolina. In the past, that’s all the information we would have had, and it would have been sufficient. No one would have freaked out. The Foodtown wouldn’t have been crowded and nervous, as it was yesterday.

Of course Irene is all that our politicians and the cable news networks have been able to talk about for days. My community in upstate New York was panicked. And it’s turned out to be a giant fizzle. The news people are embarrassed. They’re blaming North Carolina for blunting the storm. On CNN this morning, they talked to five elderly women who refused to leave their old-age home in New Jersey. One of them said that her son was in a state but she wasn’t. Another said pithily, Why leave? We would have been exchanging a certain nightmare — going to who knows what shelter, for how many days, etc– for a chance of one.

And as it turns out, that chance was pretty ho-hum. And these women look far wiser than our jittery man-boy politicians.

I have to think this is a sign of spiritual sickness. We have too much information, but it’s stupid information. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees pouring out of Somalia, but we can’t be bothered to learn anything about that, Brian Williams isn’t breaking off his vacation to go there.

The Arab world is throwing out its dictators, and I guess we’re jealous. They’re taking an active role in history. We’re spoiled and obsessed with the stock market and Rick Perry.

This happened earlier this summer with Carmageddon. A routine highway shutdown that would be big local news in any city in the U.S. but of no interest to anyone else was on the front page of the Times and on the nightly news every night. I chalked that up to Los Angeles being the City of Drama Queens.

But now it’s all of us. Irene. What a joke. Is it too late for us to get a life?

About Philip Weiss

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48 Responses

  1. Oscar
    August 28, 2011, 12:01 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Phil. The MSM gets so clogged with useless info. If you watched the local reports last night, the on camera reporters were struggling to make the storm seem like something far worse than it was — one report actually had the cameraman intentionally juggling his camera to make it seem as if the wind was out of control.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen state governments declare a “state of emergency” BEFORE a storm.

    And I agree that it’s shameful that Americans are so prepossessed with this stuff. The recent East Coast earthquake was another perfect example of overkill, so is any routine sex scandal involving a politician.

    Meanwhile, the US is in innumerable secret wars in the Middle East. With all the celebrity gossip and pro football starting up, who has time to focus on how the country is going down fast?

    • radii
      August 28, 2011, 4:49 pm

      ratings go up = more money … requires amping up fear

      • DICKERSON3870
        August 28, 2011, 7:06 pm

        RE: “We have too much information, but it’s stupid information.” ~ Weiss

        MY COMMENT: That’s infotainment! I recall a segment last January on the NBC evening news where there was a live report (outside, after dark) from Buffalo, N.Y. about heavy lake-effect snow. Lake-effect snow in Buffalo during January; can you believe it!!!!!
        Whatever keeps the advertisers happy (or, at least, doesn’t tick them off)!

      • piotr
        August 28, 2011, 8:59 pm

        Perhaps they could interrupt broadcast on a quieter day with news that a very large lake was spotted in the vicinity of Buffalo, and confused reporters collecting various opinions: is on just one big lake, or two?

  2. Donald
    August 28, 2011, 12:09 pm

    I think you’re screwed up on this one. Yes, Irene was a fizzle, but apparently meteorology still isn’t an exact enough science to be able to predict how strong a hurricane will be when it hits a given region. The politicians and the news people were right to advise people near the sea to evacuate. It’s too late to do so if people postpone until it becomes clear whether there is a real danger. Coincidentally I was just thinking of how people are going to react to Irene’s fizzle. And those who react like you are going to be the ones who stay near shore and endanger themselves and rescue teams if the next hurricane landfall turns out to be a Category 3 or worse.

    • James North
      August 28, 2011, 12:43 pm

      I agree with Donald. Phil’s basic point is valid and valuable, but he chose a poor example. Also, the storm was stronger when it hit us in lower Manhattan. By the time it passed over Phil’s rural abode, it had weakened considerably. By the time it reaches Richard Witty, it will be truly just a fizzle.

      • radii
        August 28, 2011, 4:51 pm

        a good 12 hours before it hit NYC radar of water vapor showed how a huge cell of dry air had been drawn in from the west and wrapped around the southern half of the storm – greatly diminishing its northeast quadrant’s impact

      • Donald
        August 29, 2011, 10:54 am

        And there were still floods and power outages and deaths. The deaths come because some people take these situations lightly. They greatly overestimate themselves–they don’t realize they can drown in surprisingly small amounts of water, for instance.

        This is one of those rare situations where I sympathize with the politicians. They get criticism if they downplay the danger from a storm and they get criticism if after days of preparation for the worst the storm isn’t as severe as predicted. I’m more inclined to criticize the first, not the second.

    • American
      August 28, 2011, 10:46 pm

      Since I sit 20 miles as the crow flies from the ocean and this is where Irene hit I can give you a bird’s eye view……now that I have power back as of an hour ago…..thank gawd…no a/c for three days has made me grumpy.
      Irene was listed as Cat 3 thursday then downgraded to Cat 2. Her winds were above ground level so she felled a lot of tree tops right onto power lines which was the biggest problem inland…where it was more like a tropical storm. We flooded down on the down town river front but we always flood anyway.

      However the storm surge was the big thing directly on the ocean front. Huge, huge, huge surge–took out two ocean piers. Boats tossed onto land for those who didn’t take them up the water way to the rivers and anchor there. Most commerical fisherman took theirs up river and rode it out so got no damage. The ocean surge pushed the waters into the sound and then into the inland waterway and then into the rivers so the flooding was extensive.
      Atlantic Beach and what we call ‘Down East’ really got the brunt of it because of the surge..going to be long haul for them to repair and dry out.
      I’ve seen much worst here but what caused so much damage was not the strength of the wind, but the fact it was more tree high than ground level, the very high ocean surge, and the fact that she blew for 12 hours straight.
      Like being in a blender for 12 hours and just being whipped around and around.
      But Phil is right about the ‘weather boys’, they love to make things worse than they are…sometimes, most times. But they always claim better safe than sorry…which is o.k. But they get carried away. Our local guy announced that the Mall was “underwater and you couldn’t see the buildings!”–which I didn’t think possible so during a lull I drove down to see and the parking lot was flooded…that was all.
      Thankfully we didn’t have many injuries, but some down east had to rescued from their homes.
      So far we are still under a 9pm curfew.

    • Exiled At Home
      August 29, 2011, 2:07 pm

      Nearly 500,000 of us Long Islanders are without power -1.2 million in the tri-state area. Severe flooding, property damage, road closures, traffic light outages, several deaths…

      Yes, this storm could have been worse. But, considering that LIPA can not guarantee power restoration before Friday (Friday?!!!), and this is with a massive heads up, including bringing in contractors from out of state, I think we can say that the destruction to power transformers and electric grids was substantial, if not severe.

      I’m glad it was not worse, but I have no qualms with our state and local government proactively addressing the storm and having taken preemptive measures to establish expedient response measures.

  3. Jeff Klein
    August 28, 2011, 12:10 pm

    A friend of mine — a Palestinian living in Israel — wrote this (and my reply follows):

    “How are you. My sympathy with you and with American people, in your struggle to beat the natural disaster that has befallen the USA.
    Take care.”

    Thanks for the thought, but the news reports tend to exaggerate in this kind of situation – storm hysteria is a cheap way to get lots of eyes for their advertisers. And of course it is nothing compared to the “unnatural” disaster the US has helped Israel to impose on the Palestinians (not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan).

  4. Richard Witty
    August 28, 2011, 12:11 pm

    It is a disappointment. We’re supposedly in the worst of it, but all we have is persistent light rain, and an occassional gust to 30 mph.

    • Richard Witty
      August 28, 2011, 6:14 pm

      I spoke too soon.

      My power went out shortly after that post. (There wasn’t anything that I could see that would cause the power to go out, no high winds.)

      Around 4:00, I drove to a convenience store, and agreed with a customer as to what a dud the storm was. The store clerk corrected me. There was major flooding on all of the smaller rivers in the area, a couple small towns were evacuated. A usually placid river that I swim in often, was ripping and downstream had flooded a wide plain.

      In another river, a truck and a couple cars had attempted to make their way through, tipped over. I saw the vehicles just peaking over the rushing river, another bridge downstream.

      Not a giant catastrophe, much damage, many roads washed out, houses. From flooding, not wind though.

      • James North
        August 28, 2011, 6:24 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘The mild inconveniences that I and some other Mondoweiss visitors have suffered due to Hurricane Irene are minor contrasted with the impact of the siege of Gaza — day after day, week after week, year after year. The Hurricane did serve to remind us, even briefly, of how our fellow human beings are suffering, and enduring, in Gaza.’

      • Richard Witty
        August 28, 2011, 10:21 pm

        Good point North. Our suffering is small compared to Gazans, to residents of Sderot, to those displaced in East Jerusalem, to disenfranchised Palestinians born in Syria, and to a gamut of others that suffer more grossly.

        thank God that the leadership of Gaza has something they can do to change Gazans suffereing significantly.

        “We accept Israel as Israel, and will commit to renounce terror as a means.”

      • Cliff
        August 28, 2011, 10:39 pm

        The suffering of the residents of S’Derot are miniscule compared to those in Gaza.

        You should urge Israel to renounce ethnic cleansing and colonialism and all the terror and collective punishment that it entails.

        You should ‘urge’ the party with the most responsibility, i.e. the party with the most power – that power, which it abuses.

        Since you won’t though, we’ll file your latest comment under already mountainous landfill of your ‘peace-seeking’ verbiage here at Mondoweiss.

  5. annie
    August 28, 2011, 12:47 pm

    oh, i woke up this morning imagining new york homes flying around in the air like with people inside like dorothy’s house in kansas. silly me.

    • Kathleen
      August 28, 2011, 4:00 pm

      Damned if they do damned if they do not…but do they need to keep repeating the same thing for 24 hours a day day after day after day? The rest of the world disappears

  6. Kathleen
    August 28, 2011, 1:38 pm

    “Of course Irene is all that our politicians and the cable news networks have been able to talk about for days”

    On MSNBC Friday eve it was all Irene all day and into the evening. The only host who diverted a bit was Chris Hayes who was sitting in for Lawrence O’Donnell on the “Last Word”

    Katrina proved not being prepared or responding quickly is disastrous so one could see why our Prez, Mayors, Governors etc would over react. Damned if they do damned if they do not. But does the MSM have to keep repeating the same things thousands of times over and over again? No.

    Seems like they are avoiding reporting about Libya right now.

    Keep wondering about the missing Libyan weapons. If they have all ready been confiscated by Al Qeada?
    link to Weapons-In-Libya.htm

    This is the recent clip on CSpan’s Washington Journal… where Atlantic Monthly’s Steve Clemons brings up Al Qeada’s involvement with Libyan rebels”
    at 11:09

    Steve Clemons” The real area we need to worry about in Libya is out of a group called the former theLibyan Islamic Fighting group. This was a previously Al Qeada affiliated terrorist Islamist extremist group.’
    Greta the host “are they part of the rebellion”

    Steve Clemons “they are part of the rebellion”

    Second in command of Al Qeada recently killed. This guy was originally from Libya. Atiyah abd al Rahman (Jama Ibrahim Ishtawi)
    link to

  7. Kathleen
    August 28, 2011, 1:39 pm

    Oh here is the clip of Steve Clemons at CSpans Washington Journal 11:09 Al Qeada

    link to

  8. Kathleen
    August 28, 2011, 1:42 pm

    No one in our MSM talking about these missing Libyan weapons

    link to

    “Libya is Turning into Weapons-R-Us
    Bruce Thornton | July 16, 2011 | 8:24 am

    On the same day that the U.S. recognized the Libyan rebel Transitional National Council as “the legitimate governing authority for Libya,” in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s words, the New York Times reported that antiaircraft missiles have been plundered from arms depots and were “on the loose in Libya.” At one depot alone, forty-three crates, each of which contained two SA-7s, the Soviet version of the American Stinger missile that can bring down an airliner, were found empty. Twenty thousand of such missiles are known to have been purchased by Gaddafi before the rebellion started, and no one has a clue what has happened to them.

    These aren’t the first weapons to go missing in Libya. In February, people were seen carrying off similar missiles, as well as assault rifles, machine guns, mines, grenades, antitank missiles, and rocket-propelled grenades. Back then, Matthew Schroeder of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project at the Federation of American Scientists warned, “Securing these missiles should be a top priority of the U.S. intelligence community and their counterparts overseas.” But despite repeated requests to the TNC to secure the depots and collect the weapons, the freshly recognized Council has not shown much interest in patrolling depots and making sure more arms don’t disappear.

    The fear, obviously, is that some of these missiles and weapons will be sold to terrorist outfits. Government officials in Chad and Algeria are claiming some have already reached the north African al Qaeda affiliate Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Particular worrisome are the SAM-7s, which the rebels don’t need as the only aircraft in the skies over Libya belong to NATO. In the past, SAM-7s have destroyed an Air Rhodesia plane, killing 59 people; an Angolan Airways 737, killing 130; and a Sudan Airways plane, killing 60. In 1994, a SAM-7 destroyed a plane carrying the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda, igniting the Rwandan genocide.”

    • Kathleen
      August 28, 2011, 1:44 pm

      Missing weapons in Libya
      link to

      • piotr
        August 28, 2011, 9:04 pm

        With all due respect, Kathleen, is it correct to use a story in NYT as a proof that MSM is ignoring the topic of weapons from Libyan arsenals finding their way to other countries?

      • Kathleen
        August 29, 2011, 9:20 am

        You are right

      • Kathleen
        August 29, 2011, 9:21 am

        I should have been more specific. Nothing that I have seen on MSNBC, CNN,Fox …tv news. You are absolutely right.

        And right now on BBC World service they are about to do a story on missing Libyan weapons

  9. slowereastside
    August 28, 2011, 2:19 pm

    “We have too much information, but it’s stupid information.”

    It’s not information at all –it’s merely propaganda designed to create hysteria in order to divert our attention away from the reality we can influence and toward a make-believe world where someone is profiting from every step of this info -> propaganda -> hysteria chain.

    Is the MTA going to refund cardholders for its down days? How much money did the MTA (which is as corrupt as any Zio-lobby mob) just make from this stunt?

    Every year in August, like clockwork, the Carolinas get hit by a storm that fizzles out as it crawls up north. Every year. Why is our life cycle, one that is as reliable as the return of Christmas, being spun by three predictably unreliable groups: meteorologists, politicians and media. It’s as if we’re being asked (and some even forced) to abandon the reality we know/trust and choose instead a made-for-profit pseudo-reality.

  10. Kathleen
    August 28, 2011, 2:23 pm

    ot but important.

    Over at EWs (Marcy Wheeler one of the best investigative bloggers going. Brilliant, fact based and not afraid to say “blowjob” when it is appropriate on the MSM.

    How many of us have been going to from its inception. Justin Raimando brought cutting edge information about false WMD intelligence, the Aipac investigation, Plame outing etc. Appears that the FBI and other intelligence agencies were investigating in particular the Israeli movers story

    link to
    In Last Two Years, FBI Developed Intrusive Files on 77,100 Innocent Americans
    Posted on August 24, 2011 by emptywheel

    Charlie Savage has a story reporting on the number of assessments the FBI opened in the last two years that turned into preliminary investigations. It shows that over the period, the FBI has conducted assessments of 77,100 Americans whom they determined were not a cause for concern. Their investigations of 3,315 others turned into preliminary investigations.

    Data from a recent two-year period showed that the bureau opened 82,325 assessments of people and groups in search for signs of wrongdoing. Agents closed out most of the assessments, the lowest-level of F.B.I. investigation, without finding information that justified a more intensive inquiry.


    The disclosure, covering March 25, 2009, to March 31, 2011, focused on assessments, which an agent may open “proactively or in response to investigative leads” and without first having a particular factual basis for suspecting a target of wrongdoing, according to the F.B.I. manual. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey issued guidelines for the bureau creating that category in 2008.

    During an assessment, agents may use a limited set of techniques, including searching databases about targets, conducting surveillance of their movements and sending a confidential informant to an organization’s meetings. But to use more intrusive techniques, like secretly reading e-mail, agents must open a more traditional “preliminary” or “full” investigation. Such inquiries require agents to first have a greater reason to start scrutinizing someone: either an “information or allegation” or an “articulable factual basis” indicating possible wrongdoing.

  11. Kate
    August 28, 2011, 2:25 pm

    Phil, I have to disagree with you on this one. I do agree about the media hype, but not about the state of emergency and the hurricane warnings.

    We are through the worst of Irene here in southern New England, at least I hope so. We lost power for about an hour, and there are trees down in various places in town. The stores here did not close, though people did rush out yesterday and the day before to buy batteries, bottled water, even generators.

    Why? Because some of us have long memories of previous hurricanes in this area. Carol, in 1954, took a track similar to Irene’s, and our town lost 4,000 trees and was without power for 10 days (all those trees landing on power lines, not enough repair people to fix things faster, although some came in from as far away as Québec and Illinois). Carol did not weaken as much as Irene did when it made landfall – but you can’t know in advance what will happen to the intensity. A couple of weeks later we had another hurricane, Edna. The two of them did $500m in damage in 1954 dollars. In 1960 there was Donna, which hit every state on the east coast of the US. Since then it has been relatively quiet here, though the coast has been hit a few times. Perhaps this decade will be like the 1950s when it comes to New England hurricanes – hope not.

    Judging from the flickering of the lights, I think we are about to lose power again. Just thought I’d get this in while I still could.

    • Kathleen
      August 28, 2011, 4:06 pm

      Glad no disastesr for you so far.

      With Katrina they barely whispered about what was coming and we saw the results. No preemptive plan…disaster.

      Irene they are going over board. But as the saying goes “better safe than sorry” They just need to lighten up on the 24 hours a day saying the same damn thing on every channel over and over again.

      Damned if they do damned if they don’t.

    • Kathleen
      August 28, 2011, 4:15 pm

      Huff Po reporting 15 dead, 4.5 million without electricity.
      link to

  12. Kathleen
    August 28, 2011, 2:35 pm

    Justin Raimando (one of the best bloggers who questioned the validity of the WMD intelligence )
    The FBI vs.

    Secret documents reveal government spy-and-smear campaign
    by Justin Raimondo, August 22, 2011
    link to
    “So who says we don’t have friends in Washington?

    The redactions are extensive. The next entry refers to another file in the FBI database and starts out in mid sentence:

    “…that he was in possession of a document which was written in Italian. This document specified that [redacted] was a suspect on an FBI list. The document contained[redacted] social security number, date of birth, and two previous addresses. [Redacted] was listed as [redacted] on a list dated 05/22/02. This document can be found at link to

    This almost certainly refers to one of my columns about the mysterious “Urban Movers,” the Israeli employees of a New Jersey moving company who were arrested on 9/11/01 on suspicion they had some connection to the attacks. Five Israeli nationals were arrested that day, and held for over three months, subjected to lie detector tests, and later deported back to Israel. The owner of the company, one Dominick Suter, and his wife, fled to Israel the day before the police raided the company’s office and hauled away cartons of evidence: the Suters are among those listed on the “terrorist suspect list.” That was the angle I pursued in my columns, and it looks like the FBI also took an intense interest in the Suters.

    The FBI’s intense interest in this “suspect list” verifies that, as I wrote on several occasions, it is indeed authentic. The “enclosures” accompanying the memo include two pieces written by me on the subject: one a piece I wrote for Chronicles magazine about the New Jersey incident, and another column which they wrongly attribute to some website styling itself as “Pravda” (a site which was never authorized to publish my work). While the FBI and the US government have long denounced the persistent stories [.pdf] of “Israeli art students” and “Urban Movers” conducting covert activities on Israel’s behalf in the US as an “urban myth,” their inclusion of Suter and his spouse on their “Operation Lookout” list and their apparent panic that I publicized this fact directly contradicts their denials.

  13. Kathleen
    August 28, 2011, 3:07 pm

    “The Arab world is throwing out its dictators, and I guess we’re jealous. They’re taking an active role in history. We’re spoiled and obsessed with the stock market and Rick Perry.”

    There is no way they could have thrown out their “dictators” without the blessing, support, and constant MSM coverage of their activities of the same countries who supported these dictators for decades. The US being one of the main offenders. Now Egypt sets the bar high and puts Mubarak on trial in a cage while our war criminals like Cheney write books, go on tour, collect big money and head (Douglas Feith, William Luti) the foreign policy teams of right wing radical candidates like Rick Perry.

    In other countries they are holding their war criminals accountable. In the US our MSM lets the Iraq war criminals shit on the world some more. Rub the worlds nose in the “we are above the law” facts.
    Cheney is a turd that needs to be flushed down the commode for good

  14. Kathleen
    August 28, 2011, 4:03 pm

    link to
    Missing weapons in Libya
    30,000 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rockets that officials fear could fall into terrorists’ hands in the chaos of Moammar Gadhafi’s downfall or afterward.

    Now this is way out there. But stranger things have happened
    Escobar: Al-Qaeda asset is military commander of Tripoli
    link to

  15. radii
    August 28, 2011, 4:35 pm

    oh, just wait, Phil …

    all the 9/11 10-Year-Anniversary Specials are lined up for saturation coverage (just 2 weeks away!) to remind us how we were helpless victims of Islamiacs and how our interests are those of israel’s and we need to finish this war-on-terror and make sure israel gets its way and denies Palestinian statehood … how the MSM and PEP combine to create a warped history that suits the War Party will be interesting to see

    • Bumblebye
      August 28, 2011, 5:32 pm

      Possible ammunition against that – the Center for American Progress has a report into the funding of prominent Islamophobes, and Keith Olberman interviewed one of its authors:
      link to
      there’s the news vid;
      link to
      that’s an article by Wajahat Ali introducing the report which is linked on the same page.
      All the links and tangles in that small but well funded corner of bigotry.

      • Kathleen
        August 28, 2011, 7:28 pm

        Meant to link this earlier
        link to
        I have to admit, however, that until I read a report published today by the Center for American Progress (CAP), I had no idea just how orchestrated and well-financed this movement was.

        The report, “Fear Inc: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” demonstrates that a small group of self-proclaimed experts (Frank Gaffney, David Yerushalmi, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, and Steve Emerson) backed by a host of foundations and donors (many of which also fund the lobby) have put Islamophobia on the map.

        To put it simply, without these “experts,” their donors, and Fox News (their media mouthpiece) you would never have heard that a Muslim community center (the “Ground Zero Mosque”) was being constructed in New York City. And the center certainly would not have become a major news story. Nor would Republican (and even a few Democratic) candidates for president, Congress, and even village councils be called upon to condemn Islam and “Sharia Law” or face being labeled a supporter of terrorism. Nor would Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum have made hatred of American Muslims such an integral part of their campaigns.

        It all starts with the money. According to CAP:

        A small group of foundations and wealthy donors are the lifeblood of the Islamophobia network in America, providing critical funding to a clutch of right-wing think tanks that peddle hate and fear of Muslims and Islam-in the form of books, reports, websites, blogs, and carefully crafted talking points that anti-Islam grassroots organizations and some right-wing religious groups use as propaganda for their constituency.

        Some of these foundations and wealthy donors also provide direct funding to anti-Islam grassroots groups. According to our extensive analysis, here are the top seven contributors to promoting Islamophobia in our country:

        * Donors Capital Fund
        * Richard Mellon Scaife foundations
        * Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
        * Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker foundations and charitable trust
        * Russell Berrie Foundation
        * Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund
        * Fairbrook Foundation

      • Kathleen
        August 28, 2011, 7:54 pm

        Walt has a short one up about this report

        Fear, Incorporated: Who’s paying for all that Islamophobic paranoia?
        Posted By Stephen M. Walt Friday, August 26, 2011
        link to

      • Kathleen
        August 28, 2011, 8:02 pm

        Phil in the 130 page report there are references to Jennifer Rubin and Jeffrey Goldberg.

    • MRW
      August 28, 2011, 6:02 pm

      Just two weeks away and in time to mix all those celebrations into the PA negotiations at the UN.

      Maddow and Engel have been working on something to describe the decade since 9/11, and Maddow says she is proud of it.

      But who is going to touch the basic laws of physics we were asked to ignore to 9/11, the foundation of the unreality?

      Who is going to identify the perseverations for what they are?

      • Kathleen
        August 28, 2011, 6:52 pm

        I have been challenging Maddow and Engel for weeks about what they will and will not cover in this special.

        Over at Maddow’s blog, Huff Po, Race for Iran, Hardball, etc etc

        Over at Race for Iran

        link to
        “You can place your bets that in MSMBC’s upcoming special “Day of Destruction. Decade of War” hosted by Rachel Maddow and Richard Engel that the critical issues that former head of the Cia’s Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer will not be reported about or even mentioned.

        ““As al-Zawahiri takes charge, the U.S. government continues to: arm and defend the Saudi police state; depend on oil and debt purchases from Riyadh and other oil-rich Gulf tyrannies; keep military forces in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan; fund and defend Israel; fund and direct a new U.S.-NATO war on Libya; and assist the UN, EU and George Clooney in tearing out the oil-rich southern region of Muslim Sudan and giving it to a new Christian state. In other words, the powerful religious motivation for al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups to fight the United States and the West remains exactly what it was when bin Laden declared war in 1996—Israel, oil, intervention, occupation and support for tyranny.”

        And the US MSM still refuses to cover the “why they hate us” issue. Still promote “they hate us for our freedoms” There are a few openings.

        If you want to understand what has really gone on.

        Go read former Head of the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit Micheal Scheuer
        link to

      • Kathleen
        August 28, 2011, 6:56 pm

        And have pushed this challenge here at Mondoweiss. We should all rip into Maddow and Engel if they do not cover the critical issues about 9/11. Stated reasons for the attack, the lies in the run up to the invasion, torture in our name, thousands dead, injured, displaced in our name, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, anger over illegal settlements, support for dictators, US military bases on Muslim land to protect our access to their oil.

        If Engel and Maddow sing the Bush and Obama administrations chorus “they hate us for our freedoms” (which is most likely the case) We should pound them and humiliate them for being such complacent supporters of such lies

      • MRW
        August 28, 2011, 9:42 pm

        Wow, you’re way ahead of me, Kathleen.

        I’m still stuck on watching those towers going down that morning…and seeing WTC7 later that afternoon (no one would believe me about this third one for years). Motives for doing it are not even in my picture yet.

        Jet fuel is kerosene and kerosene can’t melt steel. It can’t even get hot enough to start fires that would melt the metal legs on the fancy Herman Miller chairs in the VP offices. (Put a blowtorch to the metal legs of your fancy chair for 45 minutes and see what happens. Or talk to any metal sculptor.)

        I knew about the fire in the WTC in 1975 where floors 9-16—the entire floors, not portions, flames leapt out of every window—burned for nearly six hours and nothing happened. Nothing was weakened, and think of the weight of the 99 floors above it bearing down on any possible weakness, the wisdom beavers use to fell trees.

        Fires did not cause those buildings to explode, vaporize everything, and fall in 8.5 seconds (the speed of gravity).

        Finding out what really happened changes everything.

        [The 9/11 commissioners are saying they were lied to, and they weren’t even charged with finding out why they fell.]

  16. Duscany
    August 28, 2011, 4:48 pm

    I wish congress or NOAA or the Columbia School of Journalism could pass a law prohibiting the use of certain stock phrases in the reporting of hurricanes, such as “packing winds,” “smashed into,”” “barreling down on us” and “we dodged a bullet.”

    What I would like to dodge is hyperbolic, cliche-ridden, over-the-top reporting of imminent “catastrophes” that turn out to be creampuffs.

    • radii
      August 28, 2011, 4:54 pm

      what needs to be banned are “live” field reporters standing in 2 inches of water in a parking lot to make it look like an area has been extensively flooded

    • MRW
      August 28, 2011, 6:38 pm

      You need to get to the techs in the control room working with the minute-30-quick-and-dirty producers responding to the top cheese or editor.

      Someone is typing that shit for them to read.

      It’s like government. The people who really run it are the nondescript career officials no one elects who are there administration after administration after administration, year after year. (Ever notice what gets passed at the end of an admin and before the beginning of the next? Check the congressional record. Who sets that up for them? Who knows how it all works? Who has the network to get things from agency to another so no one notices? Think a freshman congressman knows how to write legislation, much less, understand it?) Americans foolishly believe the drum major at the top has the power, and secondarily, they believe they do, all that we the people stuff.

      It’s the same with the media. Find out who’s writing for the teleprompter. It’s a rare anchor who checks it.

  17. Kathleen
    August 28, 2011, 4:57 pm

    Oh yeah. Colin Powell takes Cheney down
    link to

    Cheney about the release of his book “going to cause heads around DC to explode”

    Nope but Cheney’s lies sure did cause Iraqi people’s bodies, heads etc to explode. As well as 4500 American soldiers bodies to explode. And tens of thousands of American soldiers who have been injured. Had their bodies explode because of Cheney, Bush, Feith’s, Wolfowitz, Rice’s lies

    Dead bodies in Iraq “explode”
    link to
    F—ing creeps

  18. eljay
    August 28, 2011, 9:01 pm

    >> A friend of mine — a Palestinian living in Israel — wrote this … :
    >> “How are you. My sympathy with you and with American people, in your struggle to beat the natural disaster that has befallen the USA.
    >> Take care.”

    Your friend couldn’t have said it better.

  19. marc b.
    August 29, 2011, 10:24 am

    weiss. nail. head. hit.

    as burroughs said, ‘thanks for a nation where nobody can mind his own business. thanks for a nation of finks.’ he might have added, ‘thanks for a nation of hysterics and wimps.’ i watched about 30 minutes of coverage in the morning yesterday, and was treated to the spectacle of an on-the-scene reporter fleeing an advancing ankle high ‘wave’ in a parking lot abutting a beach, hastily dropping her microphone in retreat. and while i sincerely offer my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives, i don’t recall ever seeing hyperbolic, round-the-clock news treatment of the predictable doubled rate of traffic fatalities during the 4th of July and Christmas holidays, for example, urging people to remain in their homes during the holiday highway massacres. this is all so much horse bleep. some people can’t live life without an impending threat that mayor bloomberg, or whomever, is going to provide a prophylaxis.

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