"AIPAC works for the 1%" (Chris Hedges, IHC):
We are, and have long been, the primary engine for radicalism in the Middle East. The greatest favor we can do for democracy activists in Iran, as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and the states that dot North Africa, is to withdraw our troops from the region and begin to speak to Iranians and the rest of the Muslim world in the civilized language of diplomacy, respect and mutual interests. The longer we cling to the doomed doctrine of permanent war the more we give credibility to the extremists who need, indeed yearn for, an enemy that speaks in the same crude slogans of nationalist cant and violence that they do. The louder the Israelis and their idiot allies in Washington call for the bombing of Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions, the happier are the morally bankrupt clerics who are ordering the beating and murder of demonstrators. We may laugh when crowds supporting [President] Ahmadinejad call us “the Great Satan,” but there is a very palpable reality that informs the terrible algebra of their hatred. And since even the most optimistic scenarios say that any strike on Iranian nuclear installations will at best set back Iran’s alleged weapons program by [only] three or four years, we can be sure that violence will beget violence, just as fanaticism begets fanaticism.
The hypocrisy of this vaunted moral crusade is not lost on those in the Middle East. Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Pakistan, India and Israel did not and developed nuclear weapons programs in secret. Israel now has an estimated 400 to 600 nuclear weapons. The word “Dimona,” the name of the city where the nuclear facilities are located in Israel, is shorthand in the Muslim world for the deadly Israeli threat to Muslims’ existence.
What lessons did the Iranians learn from our Israeli, Pakistani and Indian allies?
Given that we are actively engaged in an effort to destabilize the Iranian regime, given that we use apocalyptic rhetoric to describe what must be done to the Iranian regime, and given that Israel could obliterate Iran many times over, what do we expect from the Iranians? On top of this, the Iranian regime grasps that the doctrine of permanent war entails making “pre-emptive” and unprovoked strikes. And they know that if Iraq, like North Korea, had had a bomb they would have never suffered American invasion and occupation.
So there's Chris Hedges' latest, a sample from it anyway.
"TV: Rules Of TV" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
The sitcom was never dead. Nor is Saturday night. And at some point, one of the networks will realize that, program for it and be hailed as a business genius. A business genius, not an artistic one.
And there's no reason for the suits to be artistic. But they forget their place. They want to be 'creative' but they aren't. And in trying to be 'cool' by ignoring Saturday night, they forget their purpose: To deliver an audience.
That's the only thing the banks give a damn about. Somehow, network execs have lost sight of that.
The money men and women don't care the you're 'trending' online or that you're a hash tag on Twitter. They don't care. Because they know you're not social media, you're a TV network and, as such, your job is to deliver viewers. The way word of mouth travels may have changed but your job is still to provide content people will watch (now on a variety of platforms).
The Firm is actually doing its job, getting better with each episode. Last night's episode even grabbed a hot topic. A military sergeant needed Mitch (Josh Lucas) and Ray (Callum Keith Rennie) to help him find out what happened to his son.
There are other parts I could pull from but they are trying to shine a light on the fact that NBC is airing brand new episodes of The Firm on Saturday nights. Why are Ava and C.I. pushing that?
If people can't go out, they need to have something they can watch. Ava and C.I. have been pushing for Saturday night programming for some time -- and not just in their columns, they have pushed for that with friends at networks. The reason being, a lot of people, especially young families, need some help here.
I'll write about Smash tomorrow night. I've got a nasty headache tonight. Sorry.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):