The Truth Shall Set You Free…It might piss you off first, but it will set you free.

Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Twitter Battles

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on September 24, 2011

I’ve taken a few days off from cyberspace to reflect…

They say the political battle for 2012 is going to be fought in cyberspace and twitter, we have already seen the impact of the age of information and instant communication.  We have watched the Arab Spring unfold before our very eyes starting with a vegetable vendor in Tunisia lighting himself on fire out of frustration.  The world sat transfixed for 18 days and watched the now world famous Tahrir Square Revolution, and the demise of a tyrant.  Bahrain a tiny country still struggles, they have not given up.  Libyan freedom fighters with the help of NATO are taking back their country.  In Syria, a vicious battle rages, we rely on You Tube Videos and tweets to tell the story since no journalist are allowed.  Finally we watched as the Palestinians took their hopes for dignity, freedom and justice to the UN and asked for statehood.  We also watched Pres. Obama threaten a veto, and did nothing short of wrapping himself in the Israeli flag and dance the Hora.   The US threatened countries who supported the Palestinian bid with cutting off funds, as well as the Palestinians themselves.

What happened to the Barack Obama who was in Cairo a few years ago encouraging the Arabs to embrace democracy, self determination?  He was playing to the the domestic market, he was playing to AIPAC, he was playing to the powerful Jewish lobby and the mis-information that the right has sent out – claiming that Barack Obama didn’t support Israel.  Which was far from the truth.   Winston Churchill said “A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.”  We’ve seen that with the birther issue.

In the midst of the Arab Spring, the Arab Awakening and the shifting sands of diplomacy and power in the middle east, Barack Obama has chosen to be on the wrong side of history.

One of the dangers in not blindly supporting Israel is one is automatically labelled as anti – Semitic.  The truth is the narrative that most of us have heard regarding the Palestinian issue has largely been framed by the Israelis – with a background always touching the holocaust. In no way do I deny the Holocaust, we as human beings cannot forget the horrors that occurred.   We cannot remain silent when we see ethnic cleansing going on…and that includes when the victim becomes the victimizer.  The situation in the occupied Palestinian territories is at a tipping point.   Nothing short of a slow holocaust has been occurring.   It is no longer a back story in a newspaper as it was 10 years ago, the new information age has made sure we see it all.   9/11 brought the middle east to the forefront.  There is no excuse for us as Americans not to be educated on the entire issues, from the beginning, and here’s a surprise, that is before  1948.

I am absolutely disgusted with Pres. Obama on this issue, when I voted for him I was voting for a change, not the same Bush policies towards the Palestinian issue that did nothing but cause the US to lose credibility in the middle east.  We were making significant headway in restarting our relationships in the middle east until  now…we have just lose the battle at the most crucial time.

Does that mean I don’t support Pres. Obama for re-election?  No.  I support him for re-election, because the alternative is unthinkable.

When I watch a Tea Party audience cheer at an uninsured man dying, in no way can I support that type of mentality.

When I watch a Tea Party audience boo a gay soldier serving his country, and not one Presidential candidate called them on it at the time…in no way can I support that type of mentality.

When I listen to people like Michele Bachmann hype lies on cervical cancer vacines, in no way can I support that type of mentality.

The list goes on..I will support Barack Obama for re-election,  he is the lesser of two evils.  The other evil is so vile and vicious, the founding father’s must surely be turning in their graves.

But what you will hear me tweeting and blogging about more is the Palestinian issue, and it is not anti Semitic to tell the truth.  It is a long complicated history, and there is enough blood on everybody’s hands.  Nobody is innocent,   as one of my favorite people in the twitterverse @ilikewoods in  says in her bio .. I believe the truth is out there, and I am going to spread it like mustard!   That is exactly what I intend to do.  I know I am going to make some people uncomfortable, I know I am going to lose some followers, and I’m ok  with that.  If the truth makes you uncomfortable, then don’t read my blog, don’t follow me on twitter.  If you want to understand, engage in productive dialogue, challenge the  false narrative that has been pounded into you with the truth and facts, then welcome.

Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it.  ~Emily Dickinson



Posted in aipac, anti semitic, dirty politics, holocaust, israel, obama, palestinian conflict, twitter, US Politics, World News | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Reflections on the Egyptian Revolution – The Power of the Media

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on February 13, 2011

If the pen is mightier than the sword, then a picture and live footage is mightier than a nuclear bomb.  It is one thing to read an article in a newspaper or magazine about an uprising, about people being shot in the street, it is a completely different thing to see it.  In some cases see it live, raw and unedited.  Without a doubt the media coverage of Egypt’s revolution was a major factor.  In all reality it may have very well prevented more bloodshed and more deaths.  I wonder if they had actually managed to get rid of the journalist,  what degree of violence would have ensued?  They were acutely aware that the world was watching.  Perhaps in a rare moment of lucidity the regime, Mubarak in particular realized his legacy was being written, and would not risk another Tiananmen Square moment aired lived to the world.   The regime acknowledged the power of the press  in several ways, first by shutting down the internet and cell phone, then  calling for people to turn off  satellite news, and finally targeting journalist, roughing them up, arresting them.  The power of media, including social media is a threat to any regime who stifles freedom of expression.

Al Jazeera became a household name across the world with their non stop coverage and live internet streaming in English.  Their offices were looted and ransacked, journalist arrested.  There is a history between Al Jazeera and the regime that is not particularly flattering, these two entities have long been battling each other.  Their journalistic credentials have been pulled on numerous occasions.  The US  government has a history of tension with Al Jazeera.   Many Americans got their first exposure to the network after the September 11, 2001, attacks, when it broadcast a taped message from Osama bin Laden, its logo emblazoned in the corner of the screen. The former secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, once accused it of spreading ”vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable” reports about US actions in Iraq.  Al-Jazeera accused the US of intentionally firing missiles at its offices in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2001 and in Baghdad in 2003.  I remember watching Al Jazeera in Arabic during the Hezbollah crisis in Lebanon – at the time I thought these people are like the National Enquirer but on TV.  They would make announcements like 10,000 rockets have been fired into Israel – giving the impression that it had just occurred, when the reality was that over a period of 30 days 10,00o rockets had been fired.  It was spin, it was sensationalism. (Reminds me of a certain right wing group of people in the US..but I digress.)  The bottom line is Al Jazeera has an audience of about 60 million people in the middle east.  The Obama administration realizes this and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, Secretary of State  Clinton and Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all have appeared on the network’s Arabic and English channels in the last year. Tony Berman, Al Jazeera’s chief strategic advisor for the Americas, said that multiple meetings with U.S. officials have smoothed the relationship. Clinton had a frank, one-hour discussion with Al Jazeera’s top executives during a visit to Qatar a year ago that seemed to clear the air.  “The cold war that existed between the Bush administration and Al Jazeera has totally ended,” Berman said. “Now it’s a professional relationship between an aggressive government and an aggressive news organization.”

As I flipped like a wild woman between Al Jazeera, CNN, BBC, Al Arabia, and state run TV, and internet streaming news, including Fox… I would have to say that CNN and BBC did an outstanding job on their coverage.

What  struck me on CNN –  is the difference between CNN International and CNN USA.  Several times during the past 18 days CNN USA jointly covered the events at times with CNN International it was painfully evident that CNN’s USA staff just did not have an intimate understanding of the geopolitics, or an understanding of the local population.  I did in fact, tune in Fox online, and promptly turned it off when it became clear that they could not find Egypt on a map, and the main talking point was an Islamic uprising.  Fox coverage was an epic fail in journalism.

There are some journalist that really deserve recognition:

CNN’s Ben Wedeman.  Wedeman has lived in Cairo for over 15 years, he is fluent in Arabic, he understands the geopolitics of the middle east and obviously has an intimate understanding of Egypt, it is after all his home.  His commentaries were insightful and accurate.  Hala Gorani, another outstanding journalist for CNN is also fluent in Arabic, and hosts a show called I-Desk, a look at the international news.  Arwa Damon, another journalist who was able to get out into the crowds, talk directly to the people, without using an interpreter, making that personal connection.  Being fluent in the language and culture is vital.  Nic Robertson in Alexandria did an outstanding job.  Anderson Cooper certainly got a taste of the regime’s influence.  BBC  international correspondent Lyse Doucet, again another journalist who understands the culture and the geopolitics  of the region.  She is an award winning journalist for a reason.  The entire CNN and BBC team defined solid journalism and commitment to truth.

State TV – at times I would tune into state tv for more of its comic relief value.  Literally outside their window were crowds of protesters chanting “Mubarak must go!” and they were talking about Nile Cruises, Valley of the Kings or the Great Pyramids of Giza.  When the “news” came on it was absolutely surreal, mind boggling, the distortion, the out right lies.  I was absolutely fascinated, mesmerized and had to applaud what I could only think of in terms of theater, because there was absolutely no connection to reality.

But this is par for the course with state media.  The last time Mubarak was in the US, they took it upon themselves to alter reality with the following “adjustments” … here is the picture that appeared in the newspapers and on state TV, where Mr. Mubarak “leads” the group of international heads of state.

Here’s the reality:

When confronted with the evidence, the state offered a simple explanation, that really we were just illustrating that President Mubarak is a respected and revered leader…uh, huh.

Finally, with great relief Shahira Amin, a long time journalist with Nile TV offered her resignation.  She said she was on her way into work, and heard the chanting of the crowds and knew she could not continue to ignore facts.  She offered her resignation and joined the ranks of the protesters.  You can follow her on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/people/Shahira-Amin/520551813

In what I can only term the ultimate in irony, on Thursday when the world was anticipating Mubarak to step down, the Minister of Information, kept issuing the statement that Mubarak is not stepping down.  This was an institution that had absolutely no credibility, and the one time they were right, being truthful,  nobody paid any attention.

On Friday, just hours before Mubarak resigned, thousands chanted in front of the heavily guarded state TV building, preventing employees from entering. “The liars are here, where is Al-Jazeera?” some chanted, showing their preference for the satellite TV channel.  On Thursday reporters and editors at Al-Ahram demanded that the editor-in-chief be fired over the negative coverage of the protests. They demanded the newspaper run a front-page apology for what Hanan Haggag, a senior editor, called the “very unethical coverage.”  On Saturday, after Mubarak’s resignation, state TV issued a statement carried by Egypt’s Middle East News Agency, “congratulating the Egyptian people for their pure great revolution, lead by the best of the Egyptian youth.”  “Egyptian TV will be honest in carrying its message,” the statement said. “Egyptian TV is owned by the people of Egypt and will be in their service.”

Finally, you cannot deny the impact of social media on this Revolution.  Launched on Facebook, Tweeted across the world has forever changed the face of Egypt.  Even with turning off the access to the internet, it was too late.  The morning after the internet and cell phones were shut down I was having a cup of coffee on my balcony wondering what the day would bring when I heard  yelling “Ya Ahmed, yella! (Ahmed, let’s go).  I looked down and saw two young men wrapped in Egyptian flags calling to my neighbor, ready to go down to Tahrir Square.  My eyes welled with tears, and  I prayed,  I  prayed for the safety of my neighbor, his friends, and for the Egyptians that took to the streets in pursuit of liberty.

Posted in egypt, egyptian revolution | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Do We Wonder How Rumors Get Started?

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on August 25, 2010

The Rumor Mill

Do we wonder how rumors get started?  The Republican National Committee can clear that up for you with a simple tweet.   Todd Herman,  the new media director for the RNC, tweeted the following on Friday:   “Watch – Is @BarackObama amongst the 20% who think he’s Muslim?”  The tweet The message included a link to an interview taped during the 2008 campaign in which Obama stumbled while explaining his religious views.

In fairness to the RNC  they did come out and issue the following statement:  “An errant, or sarcastically-intended tweet aside, the RNC has never spoken about the President’s Christianity because it is both crystal clear and a non-issue…”

Uh,huh.  Thanks.

Posted in dirty politics, religion, twitter | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sarah Palin Calls Emanuel A Liar Via Twitter – Or The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on June 21, 2010

Sarah Knows A Liar When She Sees One

Isn’t it an ironic twist of fate?  Sarah calling ANYBODY a liar, this from a woman who has a trail of lies littering her life.  I think Sarah is starting to believe her own press.

Possessed by the twitter demons Sarah pounded out…RahmEmanuel= as shallow/narrowminded/political/irresponsible as they come,to falsely claim Barton’s BP comment is “GOP philosophy”Rahm,u lie

All of this came about  after Emanuel said on ABC’s This Week that Republican Rep. Joe Barton’s controversial apology to BP last week exposed the political philosophy of the Republican Party.

“That’s not a political gaffe, those are prepared remarks,” said Emanuel. “That is a philosophy.”  And he is right.

Joe Barton’s comments are those of the Republican and Tea Party mentality – a twisted view of capitalism.  Capitalism is not a bad word, but understand what it means.  This is the same group of people who were saying don’t bail ’em out.  Yet, when it comes to BP, the government is being too hard on them by forcing them to open an escrow account for damages they have caused.  The laws of true capitalism imply there is a an inherent risk in business, and with that risk comes rewards, conversely with that risk comes a cost of doing business.   It isn’t a shakedown, it is a cost of doing bad business.  I think they have gotten off fairly light – the true extent of the damage, both financially and to the environment may not be known for years.

Which brings me to my next point, this misguided idea that if you boycott BP then they can’t pay for the clean up.  Sure they can, let that company fail, according to capitalist laws, the company goes into receivership and the assets liquidated, or sold off in smaller chunks. Nature and capitalism abhor a vacuum.

The other things that fascinates me, is the school yard like behavior of this grown woman via Twitter.  It reminds me of the kid that runs up and pulls the hair of the kid next to him squealing out nahh nahh nahh na!  That is about the extent of credibility she holds.  This woman has access to Fox News, why doesn’t she invite Emanuel on and have a live debate, something unscripted.  Something that would require a working knowledge of the facts.  She has the perfect medium, yet she hides behind twitter.  If you want to be taken seriously, act seriously.  Grow a pair!  Make your case if you have one.  140 characters or less isn’t going to cut it.

And finally, The White House spokesman Bill Burton responded to Palin’s tweet Monday in the daily briefing with reporters.

“As a leader of the Republican Party, people would be interested in knowing whether or not she thinks that, as Congressman Barton said, that $20 billion set aside in a fund to pay the claims of people who have been harmed by the BP oil spill was a shakedown. I don’t think that the American people think that,” Burton said.

Posted in oil spill, sarah palin, Tea Party, twitter, Uncategorized, US Politics | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »