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July 20 2009 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: (From the archives) Hang On Occifer... I Need To Make An Important Phone Call - Why Is The State Of Nevada Wasting Their Time Trying To Bust Me For STATE LEGAL Medical Marijuana This Morning?
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Is Obama Gorbachev?Kunstler mentions Dmitry Orlov @ ClubOrlov in the course of the rest of his commentary.
By James Howard Kunstler
on July 20, 2009 6:47 AM
The eulogy for Walter Cronkite as "the most trusted man in America" on the CBS "Sixty Minutes" show said a lot about the condition of this nation -- though it did not signify what CBS thought it did. It wasn't about the death of one hugely esteemed individual; it was about the broad institutional failure of TV news in general and the current grievous loss of legitimacy and authority in shaping a national consensus of reality. Watching the old clips of Cronkite delivering the evening news years ago, one couldn't help weighing the contrast with the current spectacle of snide, combative, overbearing idiocy acted out nightly by the likes of Kudlow, Olberman, Kneale, O'Reilly, Matthews, and Dobbs as they shout down their invited guest commentators, pander to their demographic, and diss their rivals for ratings.
It was instructive to notice that the program following "Sixty Minutes" -- in the supreme weekly slot of 8p.m. Sunday -- was a childish and stupid "reality" show called "Big Brother." This said even more about the craven quality of the people currently running CBS. It was also a useful lesson in the diminishing returns of technology as applied to television, since it should now be obvious that the expansion of cable broadcasting since the heyday of the "big three" networks has led only to the mass replication of video garbage rather than a banquet of culture, as first touted.
It should remind us more generally that when a society's operations become broadly fraudulent and unreal, authority and legitimacy wither. This is analogous to the position Barack Obama now finds himself in. He was elected as the politician most trusted in America to change the fraudulent and unreal operations of the US government. Don't bother protesting that all politics is necessarily unreal and fraudulent. If it were so, you'd have to argue that the US Constitution was wholly a fraud, as well as Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton and the rest. It only has strong tendencies in that direction. (The Declaration of Independence was itself a direct strike against the fraud and unreality of British royal governance in America.)
As president, Barack Obama is faced with the essential fraudulence and unreality of the US economy. Notice that, as ominous as they are, the wars in iraq and Afghanistan have generated only minimal protest so far in the early Obama period, despite the fact that they are not operationally different from their conduct under Bush. There is no protest because, for now, a consensus exists that our troops are in these places for perceived reasons -- to keep Mideast oil supply lines open... to keep Islamic maniacs busy in their own backyard instead of on US territory... to keep Iran in a vise... to maintain the American "empire" (take your pick). There's something there to appeal to a broad majority of US voters. Unlike Vietnam, Iraq and Afstan are not perceived as out-and-out frauds.
But the economy is... [In Full]
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