Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crowd Control

Listening to the mainstream news media lately, you'd get the idea that there's nothing they like better than people filling the streets, peacefully but forcefully demanding freedom from government oppression, and insisting that their voices be heard.

Unless, of course, those streets are anywhere in the United States and the protestors are conservative. In which case the media breathlessly describes flag-waving senior citizens as a cross between Al Qaeda and the Ku Klux Klan.

Frankly, we're finding the media's enthusiasm for the Egyptian revolution a bit hard to swallow since they didn't seem to have an opinion until the Whitehouse finally declared they were in favor of the protestors...and only after it was clear which side was going to win.

Moreover, in their rush to support Mr. Obama's endorsement of the protestors, much of the mainstream media is downplaying the significant risks of the Egyptian situation and ignoring the possibility that the current instability could lead to an anti-Western theocracy like that of Iran.

Here at Hope n' Change, we're hoping for the best in Egypt. And we're also hoping (but not expecting) that the mainstream media will be equally accepting of the peoples' call for change when it happens right here in 2012.



Anonymous said...

Not to mention that "freedom" to many people means socialism. They don't want a dictator, but they do want a nanny-state that will see to their every need. Of course, a democratic socialist nation may be friendly to the west, but freedom it ain't. Unless, of course, you're a socialist and your in charge or in the media.

John the Econ said...

But you have to give the mainstream media some credit. Yesterday a drug-addicted graffiti artist went on a rampage in NYC, killing 4 and injuring numerous others. So far there have been no accusations that Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh are responsible, or calls for a limit on the number of knives that an individual can possess.

You take your victories where you find them.

Chuck said...

Only in the Arab world would a military takeover of government be called progress.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

When you strip away all the BS and namecalling it comes down to we the people. If we refuse to demand better of the media or our elected officials, then we are ultimately to blame for the garbage we get. We are waiting for a savior but we are unwilling to save ourselves. Obama used that flaw in our character and rode it to the White House. We have proven that Amercans are able to govern themselves. We have to prove to our forebears that we are still willing. If we don't, we are not worthy of salvation and the death spiral of a once great nation will continue.

alan markus said...

IBD Editorial: What Egyptians Really Want:

Islamofascism: Romantics in Western media expect "democracy" to flower from the anti-Mubarak rioting in Cairo. But polling shows Egyptians actually seek strict Islamic rule.

According to a major survey conducted last year by the Pew Research Center, adults in Egypt don't crave Western-style democracy, as pundits have blithely trumpeted throughout coverage of the unrest.

Far from it, the vast majority of them want a larger role for Islam in government. This includes making barbaric punishments, such as stoning adulterers and executing apostates, the law of their country. With the ouster of their secular, pro-American leader, they may get their wish.

Among highlights from the Pew poll:

• 49% of Egyptians say Islam plays only a "small role" in public affairs under President Hosni Mubarak, while 95% prefer the religion play a "large role in politics."

• 84% favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.

• 82% support stoning adulterers.

• 77% think thieves should have their hands cut off.

• 54% support a law segregating women from men in the workplace.

• 54% believe suicide bombings that kill civilians can be justified.

• Nearly half support the terrorist group Hamas.

• 30% have a favorable opinion of Hezbollah.

• 20% maintain positive views of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

• 82% of Egyptians dislike the U.S. — the highest unfavorable rating among the 18 Muslim nations Pew surveyed.

Earl said...

Alan - Those poll numbers (which I've only read or heard about from conservative sources) give me the willies. In that context, I watched with disgust as Obama literally strutted to the podium to insert himself in this "history" making moment. I got extra nervous when Obama credited the youth for making this happen. I remember too recently the age of the rioters in Greece and elsewhere. I apologize here and now to all right thinking young people, but even in our own country, most youth don't have a clue about how free markets work or just why our form of democracy worked. Most don't know where our government even gets its money. Or who really creates jobs. So, long story short, I'm kind of paranoid when Obama gives a high five to youth. We've watched him demonize businesses, doctors, the rich, etc. Are older folks the next group to be demonized? I have no doubt he'd turn them on all of us who are approaching or of medicare/social security age. Kill us off one way or another and it would sure help the budget.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Readers- very good comments from everyone above. Here's an interesting piece about John Bolton's comments at CPAC which speak directly to the potential threats that we're not hearing much about from the mainstream media.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Earl - ever read a book called Logan's Run (hint - MUCH better then the movie)? Or Soylent Green?
People have known what to do about the 'elderly problem' for AGES..

Jim Hlavac said...

Oh Stilt and friends, you made me think ...
Fret not that the media seems to ignore or downplay or twist just conservative protests.

After all, they've ignored gay folks' hundreds of peaceful protest marches for nearly 40 years now -- marches that now encompass the globe, because you know, it's a Democratic Party position or something, what happens in Warsaw Poland, Santiago Chile, Durban South Africa, or Osaka Japan.

In 1979 nearly a million gay folks in DC didn't get a moment's notice on a TV show (the pics I have are so easily confused with Beck's honor rally for the numbers of people it's not funny.) Nor did the 1983 march of same number and locale. Nor did 1993's million gay folks march in DC. Nor the 1995 million and a half folks who marched up 1st Avenue for the Gay Games in New York. They were called the Gay Olympics for a bit, but we lost the right to use the word "Olympic" by Supreme Court ruling -- talk about your free speech issues, eh? Which is odd, too, since the first Olympics in Ancient Greece must have been very gay indeed.

And every June, when oh, when a 1,000,000 walk in NYC, 400,000 protest in San Fran, and 300,000 in Houston, another 300,000 in Dallas, and well, just hundreds of thousands more from Miami to Seattle, San Diego to Boston, and in more than 1000 tiny burgs betwixt in fly-over country, all on the same day, just millions of us gay folks all out on a hopefully sunny day -- and it's like it never happened. So don't feel so bad, you get used to it. We are.

Of course, for those who say those are "Liberal" parades, it's funny that the "Liberal" media won't touch the story. So much for our "friends" there, right?

On the other hand, these gay protests are in fact very Conservative -- for it is our First Amendment privileged right of seeking redress of grievances (and we got a lot!) Our freedom of association (even between just two of us watching TV home alone.) And certainly freedom of (and from) religion. Not to mention our freedom of speech, which some would still deny. And our even more important 2nd Amendment Rights to bear arms in self defense, or even bare arms, or legs, in self defense, as we're wont to do. And nothing is more dangerous to the nation than a hairdresser in speedos and a feather boa; I hear.

Not to mention for our 4th Amendment right to be free from warrant-less searches and arrests without due process, which was a great game for decades against us. Particularly before 2003, when we finally won the right to smooch legally, in private only of course, nationwide. Outside, it's still quite dangerous. Which is liberty of a certain sort denied indeed.

Nor let us forget before 2003 when it was also for our Fifth Amendment right not to testify against ourselves, which we seemed to have done just by stating our own existence. (And don't you just marvel at our insistence at that?)

Though we're still working on our 8th Amendment right to be absolutely free from cruel and unusual punishment, especially given that our most intrepid opponents want to outlaw our smooching once again, and incarcerate us, and even, as the Family Research Council says "Export" us! Though incarcerating us might not be punishment at all, but only one of the weirdest Club Meds ever devised by the folly of man.

Still, I read so often of complaint by Tea Party and Conservatives, (though not on these pages, to be sure,) that these gay protest marches even happen, even if oh so very peacefully. Which is ironic, too, in its way, given the topic of today's cartoon.

Earl said...

Jim - your grievances are real. And I DO want to read your summations and viewpoints since you come here with different life experiences. But I have to be frank that it's hard to read long posts regardless of the subject matter. I know my posts are longer the stronger I feel about a topic and I'll try to watch that. But. Sometimes less is more, and will probably ensure that more people read your posts.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Earl- Well said. Brevity is a virtue when posting, and shows consideration for the other folks who are reading. And it's something I need to be aware of myself all the time.

James said...

Since everything happening in Egypt seems to be all about Jim's gayness (as are earthquakes, tsunamis, killer astroids, Sanskrit grammar and currency exchange rates)...

...could someone find the patience to gently convey to Jim the Islamic response to all these grievances he holds so dear.

Jeff H said...

"hoping for the best in Egypt": a rational mind would interpret that as "Israel takes over".

StupidLiberal said...

I'm with Jim on this one.