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BS: Joan Baez Endorsement of Obama - Feb 2008

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Charley Noble 04 Feb 08 - 12:43 PM
Wesley S 04 Feb 08 - 12:46 PM
Bobert 04 Feb 08 - 12:52 PM
Little Hawk 04 Feb 08 - 12:59 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Feb 08 - 01:19 PM
Little Hawk 04 Feb 08 - 02:46 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Feb 08 - 03:03 PM
GUEST 04 Feb 08 - 04:00 PM
catspaw49 04 Feb 08 - 04:17 PM
Little Hawk 04 Feb 08 - 04:54 PM
Bobert 04 Feb 08 - 04:59 PM
Little Hawk 04 Feb 08 - 05:04 PM
Charley Noble 04 Feb 08 - 05:07 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Feb 08 - 06:32 PM
bankley 04 Feb 08 - 06:52 PM
pdq 04 Feb 08 - 08:28 PM
Bobert 04 Feb 08 - 08:39 PM
Peace 04 Feb 08 - 08:41 PM
pdq 04 Feb 08 - 09:34 PM
Greg B 04 Feb 08 - 09:48 PM
wysiwyg 04 Feb 08 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 04 Feb 08 - 10:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Feb 08 - 11:59 PM
Amos 05 Feb 08 - 12:32 AM
bankley 05 Feb 08 - 09:14 AM
Teribus 05 Feb 08 - 09:33 AM
Little Hawk 05 Feb 08 - 01:05 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 05 Feb 08 - 01:15 PM
Little Hawk 05 Feb 08 - 01:39 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 05 Feb 08 - 01:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Feb 08 - 02:25 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 05 Feb 08 - 02:39 PM
Ebbie 05 Feb 08 - 03:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Feb 08 - 04:32 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 05 Feb 08 - 04:41 PM
Little Hawk 05 Feb 08 - 05:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Feb 08 - 05:28 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 05 Feb 08 - 07:02 PM
Ebbie 05 Feb 08 - 07:44 PM
Little Hawk 05 Feb 08 - 09:24 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 05 Feb 08 - 10:00 PM
Little Hawk 05 Feb 08 - 10:31 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 05 Feb 08 - 11:07 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 08 - 12:28 AM
GUEST 06 Feb 08 - 08:14 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Feb 08 - 09:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Feb 08 - 12:47 PM
Ebbie 06 Feb 08 - 01:07 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 08 - 01:33 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 08 - 02:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Feb 08 - 03:04 PM
Ebbie 06 Feb 08 - 03:15 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Feb 08 - 03:32 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 08 - 03:59 PM
Don Firth 06 Feb 08 - 04:49 PM
PoppaGator 06 Feb 08 - 04:55 PM
Don Firth 06 Feb 08 - 05:01 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 08 - 05:48 PM
Mrrzy 06 Feb 08 - 05:53 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 08 - 06:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Feb 08 - 06:06 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 08 - 06:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Feb 08 - 06:34 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 08 - 06:52 PM
pdq 06 Feb 08 - 07:46 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 08 - 11:11 PM
Amos 06 Feb 08 - 11:27 PM
Peace 06 Feb 08 - 11:27 PM
Mrrzy 07 Feb 08 - 09:36 AM
Little Hawk 07 Feb 08 - 10:19 AM
Amos 07 Feb 08 - 10:19 AM
pdq 07 Feb 08 - 01:46 PM
Stringsinger 07 Feb 08 - 02:14 PM
Don Firth 07 Feb 08 - 02:39 PM
Amos 07 Feb 08 - 02:45 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Feb 08 - 01:56 PM
Amos 08 Feb 08 - 03:05 PM
Ebbie 08 Feb 08 - 03:05 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Feb 08 - 08:20 PM
Charley Noble 08 Feb 08 - 09:08 PM
bankley 08 Feb 08 - 09:46 PM
Amos 08 Feb 08 - 10:12 PM

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Subject: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 12:43 PM

Here's a reprint of the letter of endorsement from Baez as printed in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle:

Editor - I have attempted throughout my life to give a voice to the voiceless, hope to the hopeless, encouragement to the discouraged, and options to the cynical and complacent. From Northern Ireland to Sarajevo to Latin America, I have sung and marched, engaged in civil disobedience, visited war zones, and broken bread with those who had little bread to break.

Through all those years, I chose not to engage in party politics. Though I was asked many times to endorse candidates at every level, I was never comfortable doing so. At this time, however, changing that posture feels like the responsible thing to do. If anyone can navigate the contaminated waters of Washington, lift up the poor, and appeal to the rich to share their wealth, it is Sen. Barack Obama. If anyone can bring light to the darkened corners of this nation and restore our positive influence in world affairs, it is Barack Obama. If anyone can begin the process of healing and bring unity to a country that has been divided for too long, it is Barack Obama. It is time to begin a new journey.

JOAN BAEZ
Menlo Park


Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Wesley S
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 12:46 PM

I'm not sure that would swing a lot of folks who are on the fence. I wouldn't be suprised if Obama's folks don't publicise that endorsement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 12:52 PM

Well, great.... An endorsement from a ol' commie folk singer... LOL...

Maybe that'a why Obama's folks haven't contacted me for an endorsement???

B;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 12:59 PM

Typical, isn't it, that genuine idealists who stand up for freedom get labelled as "commies" in what imagines itself to be a free society. ;-)

If Joan had been born a Russian instead, they would have labelled her a "dissident" during the same historical time period, and would have probably put her under house arrest or sent her to Siberia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 01:19 PM

I don't know if I would say "typical", but labeling is certainly something that SOME people do. That doesn't reflect the feelings of the country as a whole.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 02:46 PM

What I mean is that the most reactionary powermongers in any given society will always label freethinking people like Joan Baez in that fashion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 03:03 PM

True. Hopefully the reactionary powermongers will always be in the minority, even if they are in power, and the free thinking people can fight back. In this country there are always checks and balances and the truth will find a way to come through. Pete Seeger's life is a perfect example for instance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 04:00 PM

Well, she just moved me off of the fence to Obama. I've followed her for years and she has the most accurate instincts about who is/isn't trustworthy of anyone I've ever seen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 04:17 PM

Oh how nice for him. All he needs now is Jane Fonda and Angela Davis and he'll have the Trifecta plus a chair on the sidelines in November.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 04:54 PM

If Chongo would just dump the Bobert team and declare for Obama now, I feel that that would cinch it.

Bobert is a great candidate, true...but what are his chances of being elected? Nil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 04:59 PM

Awww, come on, LH... Lets see how I fair tomorrow... Skivz says the phone has been ringin' off the hook...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 05:04 PM

Yeah? Could that be because it's just one number different from the local Pizza Hut?


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 05:07 PM

Yes a few grey Mudcatters say
They could of endorsed him any day
They only let him go so long -
Out of kindness, I suppose.


Cheerily,
Charley Noble and Lefty


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 06:32 PM

Guest, you mean apart from her blind spot about one Zimmerman? But what she says she stands for is so, why was she not out there endorsing and fundraising for Kucinich?


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: bankley
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 06:52 PM

well B.O's got what's left of the Grateful Dead doing a show for him, could be today.... does that make him a Deadhead too ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: pdq
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 08:28 PM

I am a serious fan of the Grateful Dead and can assure you they are usually optimistic, positive and apolitical. Jerry especially hated to have politics mixed with music, explaining the The 60s were about social change, not political change.
I believe they see hope with Obama. The Hillary is painfully dark, mean and negative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 08:39 PM

Right on, pdq...

Jerry would be an Obama man and wouldn't be ashamed to say so....

Long live Jerry Garcia...

Deadhead Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Peace
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 08:41 PM

YOUTUBE--The Boys of Summer


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: pdq
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 09:34 PM

Bobert,

If you don't have the live recording from Keene College, 1980, you are missing this great guitar master at his beat. Several Dylan songs including "Simple Twist of Fate". God bless Jerry Garcia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Greg B
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 09:48 PM

I wish I could afford to live in Menlo Park.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 09:57 PM

Now that Obama can be securely tagged as a bona fide, credentialed LIBERAL, the Rebubbakins are gonna eat him for lunch... except then they'll be stuck with HILLARY! LOL! Crawful of crap for them to sort out! :~) I don't care anymore-- as long as it's a Dem, I don't care how they divvy up the Beltway Pie.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 10:25 PM

This is a nice endorsement. A tad bit late in the game however.

Anybody else noticed the stream of celebrities endorsing Obama now that he's close to clinching it, or for that matter coming out to endorse any of the candidates, now that a dozen have dropped out, and it's too close to SuperTuesday to have much effect on voter decisions?   How very much some of these endorsements could have changed the tenor and outcome of the whole primary season. To endorse now seems like they are just jumping on one of the last 4 corporate-issue bandwagons as they go into the last lap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 11:59 PM

I am glad for Hillary that Obama is getting these endorsements. Borrowing a word from Catspaw, it is a 'trifecta' plus that turns off the average American.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 12:32 AM

ANy minute now, Chelsea's gonna sneak out after lights-out and hold a press conference declaring for Obama. Showing the world she has more brains than her father,.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: bankley
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 09:14 AM

so is this like, Bob Weir vs. Celine Dion ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 09:33 AM

"Well, great.... An endorsement from a ol' commie folk singer... LOL..." - (Bobert)

"the most reactionary powermongers in any given society will always label freethinking people like Joan Baez in that fashion." - (Little Hawk.

Way to Go Bobert you reactionary powermonger you!!!!

"All he needs now is Jane Fonda and Angela Davis and he'll have the Trifecta plus a chair on the sidelines in November.


Spaw"

Without doubt the most astute observation of the lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 01:05 PM

You poor man. ;-) You seem to be utterly incapable of reading between my lines.

I agree, though, that Spaw's remark was very astute. Never underestimate the reactionary nature of the average American when confronted with someone like Joan Baez or Jane Fonda or Angela Davis.

Anyone as truthful as Joan Baez is bound to alienate middle America the moment she dares to speak, and it has always been so, because middle America is utterly lost in jingoistic feelgood mythology that's as far out of date now as John Wayne pretending to be Davy Crockett. They haven't got a clue. They live in a dream world that is manufactured on TV.

So if you tell them the truth...if you lay some pearls of truth before them...be assured, they will turn and rend you.

It was like that in Germany too, after 1933. It's very dangerous to speak the truth openly in a social mainstream that has collectively bought into a great and terrible lie...that their are "the best", that they are the world "leader", that their way is "the only way", that they and they alone can police and "save the world", that God is on their side.

That's the extent of it. Grand hubris combined with grand paranoia combined with idolization of military power. It's capable of anything...even launching a "pre-emptive" war on a small, basically helpless country...even using nuclear weapons in another pre-emptive war on some other small country farther down the line?...yes, probably even that. Excuses will be found, and the sheep that fall in line behind the wolves will swallow the excuses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 01:15 PM

"because middle America is utterly lost in jingoistic feelgood mythology"

Another fantasy based on media perceptions.

There is still that unfounded romance with revolutionaries that seems to foster a paranoia that comes from a perception that the rest of the world is afraid of them. It really seems to be the radicals that have the notion that whatever god is on THEIR side and they love to run with these myths. It is no different than the wackos on the far right who carry a bible in one hand and a shotgun in the other and presume they are in charge.

The truth is that most of America sees through the bullshit and while the media loves to shine their ligths at the worst on both sides of the spectrum, the reality is far different.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 01:39 PM

Most of America believes what it sees on mainstream TV. I call that a controlled population. Remember, the TV networks chose to bar Dennis Kucinich from a whole series of Democratic Party debates. I don't have to tell you why they did that. That's a media system that is controlled by a few people from the top down, and it doesn't respond to public opinion or need in any honest way, it shapes and manufactures public opinion in a very calculated manner by deciding beforehand what the public will see and hear.

Are there people who see through it? Yes. Are there enough of them yet to change the way things are? Well, I don't think so, but maybe their numbers are increasing. I hope so.

I know you see through it, Ron, but do a majority of Americans see through it? They sure never did when I was living there, and I have seen little to indicate that that has changed much at all.

The media focuses on the extremes at either end of the spectrum, as you have noted, for 2 reasons. 1. It increases their ratings. 2. It assists in dividing and conquering a confused public by directing their anger uselessly against each other instead of at the ruling system that has them all in the palm of its hand. As the public becomes more divided against one another the laws can be tightened, and security measures can be increased, and police power can be bolstered. More prisons can be built. More people can be incarcerated. This benefits those who wish to extend authoritarian rule in a society.

Disunity in the ranks of any public is of great benefit to the few controllers at the top.

"You can always get one half of the poor to kill the other half for you." - spoken by the character Boss Tweed (in the movie "Gangs of New York")

So, yes, you can count on the media to keep harping on extremes and ratcheting up the tension level. It's good business, after all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 01:54 PM

Little Hawk, I think you do not give people enough credit. You can't generalize, and while your perspective living in Canada is different from ours, it is also a perspective that is cut off from the day to day dealings with people in this country.

Sure, everyone is influenced by the media - the far left and the far right. People tend to let others influence their decision. However, people also look out for #1.   I sincerely DO think that most Americans discuss issues and come to a decision based on their own agenda. Listen to conversations in the workplace, in diners, in bars, at Little League games - anywhere that people gather. Americans are not as stupid as you sometimes make us out to be. Our lives are not the black and white stereotypes that you seem to recall in your posts.   Sure, we have pundits that manipulate, but in the end people see through.   We are also people that admit mistakes and are not afraid to change our minds.

It is easy for all of us to pontificate here on Mudcat, but this is not a true cross section of a nation. You need to rub elbows with those living in this country. I could not possibly imagine what life is like in Canada, nor could I claim to understand their issues.   Without that connection, it is opinion based on an outside view - and by the very nature it cannot be considered an accurate appraisal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 02:25 PM

Americans are not as stupid as you sometimes make us out to be.

I'm sure that is true. But you've got to admit - any electorate who could give Dubya a job has to be regarded pretty sceptically. Even for dogcatcher.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 02:39 PM

I understand that a survey in Great Britain showed that 58% of the population belives that Sherlock Holmes was a real person and 23% thought that Winston Churchill was made up.   

Now, does that ONE survey make me believe that Great Britian is made up of idiots? Of course not. What it means is that an unusually high percentage of people WHO PARTICIPATED in the survey made a huge mistake. I would hope that people do not form an opinion of a nation and its population based on that.

Likewise, the results of the 2004 election are not reflecting the entire nation. 60% of eligable voters cast a vote and Bush beat Kerry by only 2 million votes - 2% more than what Kerry got.   Does that say that the entire nation was asleep at the wheel? Hardly.

You can't generalize and look at things in black and white.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 03:03 PM

Ron, I agree fully. The kind of conclusions that Little Hawk is promoting is simplistic, based on what he learned as a lad (Sorry, LH- but don't you agree that much of what you 'learned' was, at the very least, colo(u)red by your expat parents and other relatives?) and is inevitably incomplete and flawed.

The populace of the USA is huge and diverse and there is no valid way to encapsulate its thinking and reasoning in one neat little package.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 04:32 PM

I've pointed out quite a few time that only a relatively small proportion of Americans actually voted for Bush. But that was still an awful lot of people who fell for him - and an awful lot who didn't exert themselves to keep him out.

The interesting thing would be a retrospective poll now asking people how they voted. I'd be very surprised if the proportion of people who were willing to say they voted for Bush wasn't way down on the actual figures. The same thing happened here when people were asked if they had voted Tory in the latter days of Thatcher.

What is really strange is not that, when it come to a general election people will come out and vote for a fool because he is their fool. That's how elections everywhere work. It's that, in a system where you have primaries to allow preselection of candidates, people will actually succeed from time to time in selecting the fool out of a bunch of relatively competent alternatives. At least it looks as if this isn't going to happen this time. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 04:41 PM

McGrath - it is all opinion.

You and I feel 100% correct in our assertion that Bush is a fool and should not be in the White House. We are correct.   

There are others who feel that Bush serves their interests and was a great president. They are also correct. Those people won't change our minds,and we won't change theirs. As I said earlier, it all comes down to #1. The Bush supporters truly feel that their lives are better than they were with Clinton. We disagree.

As to whether they would vote again, what is wrong with changing opinion? Do you really feel that a vote is a vote for life? People are entitled to see the error of their ways.   I think it was Mark Twain who said something to the effect that he was a human being and reserved the right to be able to change his mind.   Good words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 05:14 PM

Okay, folks, point taken. I am definitely willing to consider the possibility that the average American is a bit better informed than I have suggested. I certainly hope that is the case.

I think the biggest problem with the knowledge of the public in all our modern societies such as USA/Canada/UK is this: several generations of children have now grown up being home educated primarily by watching the TV rather than by reading books! That has caused a massive dumbing down of people, in my opinion. It has made people very superficial in their thinking, and very ephemeral in what they think about.

Watch the old movie "Network". It makes a very good comment about the situation as it has evolved on Network TV (where News programs are usually about the lowest-rated programs of all).

Books, you see, are not saturated throughout with aggressive advertising that leaps out at you every ten pages or so and yells at you for 3 minutes about some consumer products that you probably don't need. Books don't give you a couple of "sound bites" about a politician or a situation, they go into in-depth detail about it, including the history that led up to it. They give you the whole story. TV gives people little fragments, momentary images, blurbs, overlaid with a constant flow of advertising. That tends to shorten people's attention span to a minimum and reduce their powers of reasoning and analysis to a minimum as well. TV emphasizes outer appearance over actual content, looks over character. It goes for easily graspable stereotypes...images...rather than looking into all the subtleties.

The overall influence of TV on young minds, as opposed to what could have happened had their spare time been mostly spent reading books instead....has been a disaster.

And that's not because TV could not have been truly informative, just as books are. It's because it never really tried to be, because TV programming is just there so that you will tune in for a hour, watch the ads, and then go out later and buy whatever they're selling.

That's not the case with books, because a book sells itself!!! And there's the difference. If TV could have been separated FROM advertising from the beginning....well, then, things would have been very different. And far better.

I had the odd experience of growing up in the 60's without a TV in the house till I was age 18! Everyone else we ever knew had one. The thing that most radicalized me and gave me very different values from almost all my schoolmates was this: they were watching TV. I was reading books. And, boy, could I ever see the difference that resulted from that. It made me the odd man out among my peers. It also made me a natural radical and a nonconformist in a society that was so obessed with prime time present realities as to be mostly quite out of touch with the past. Now, when people fail to learn history it is said that they are doomed to repeat it. Germany launched pre-emptive wars in the late 30's on trumped up excuses. Guess who's been doing that lately?

I know that many of you here are also avid bookreaders, so I am not trying to tar you all with the same brush, I am just saying that the overreaching influence of TV on several generations of children, accompanied by the declining influence of books on those same children, has done real damage.....and that's because TV has been relentlessly commercialized and aimed at the lowest common denominator since its inception...and it has steadily gotten worse.

You cannot allow commercial advertisers to dominate the medium which is most directly affecting your children's view of life and their place in it. If you do, they will take maximum advantage of your children, and they will do great harm, because they are only in it for the money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 05:28 PM

My point wasn't that they might vote differently this time. I was speculating that there would be a fair number of people who actually voted for him, but who would now believe they voted against him. The corollary to that being that with a successful President the reverse would apply.

A different meaning of "changed their mind".

That's how it works with English voters anyway, when polls have been carried out on that kind of thing. And it happens with polls on the morrow of elections - some people always seem to be inclined to say they backed the winner even when they didn't.

As for Bush - back in 2000, remember, the rival Republican candidate was McCain...


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 07:02 PM

Little Hawk - you mentioned that you were "radicalized" and then go on to say that you read a lot of books. You say your views were different from those that watched television, and you also said that TV has been aimed at the lowest common denominator and commercialized.

Well, I assume the books you read were by choice. Your views were formed by the books you read and I presume the experiences you had.

Is that really different from people who learned from television?

I never agreed with McLuhan's theory that it was the medium that was the message. I feel that television HAS offered and CAN offer a great deal of GOOD information and can be a suitable teacher.   Books can also be commercialized, full of lies, and guide you toward the opinion of the author. No different than what television does. You have the choice to read or not to read, and the choice to change channels.

Having worked in television (in a technical capacity)since 1980, I can say that SOME of the elements of "Network" ring true. But there is much that does not. The news has become corrupted since deregulation and the competition for ad dollars has changed things. I don't think journalists are taught the proper lessons. The rush is to get things on fast and first, not accurate.

Still, it is no different than other sources of information.   It all falls back on the individiual. You are an intelligent person with well formed opinions. I give you credit. I also feel that people DO understand the dangerous side of television, which is why we have so many diverse opportunities. When I was a kid, we could read a book, watch TV or listen to the radio. When I was a bit older we had a stereo.   Today with the internet, DVD's, computer games, ipods ALL existing with the media that we had as children - there are more opportunities to learn and grow than ever before.

Give people a chance. Don't be clouded by rhetoric you read in books! :) (Just teasing there!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 07:44 PM

"And that's not because TV could not have been truly informative, just as books are. It's because it never really tried to be, because TV programming is just there so that you will tune in for a hour, watch the ads, and then go out later and buy whatever they're selling." Little Hawk

LH, that is still an overly broad brush you are plying. I can honestly say that I have never "...gone out later and bought whatever they were selling". And I'm far from alone. I know many people who do (or not do) the same.

Granted, I am of a "certain age" but most of my friends are markedly younger than I and yet they see with clarity and act with integrity.

Incidentally, there are times I wish that I watched more television, not less. There are shows, like Charlie Rose and some documentaries that are informative and thought-provoking. I could wish that I checked more assiduously what they display on any given day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 09:24 PM

Don't take the things I say as being all-encompassing and we will not find ourselves in disagreement. ;-)

I do not mean to condemn all TV on principle, but I think that on the whole it has proven to be a much poorer method of educating people than books, mostly because most of it was not intended to educate or inform anyone...it was intended to pull in ratings, because high ratings mean that more people get to see the ads...and the ads are paid for by the commercial sponsors to sell their products.

And what are the products? Soft drinks, which are no good for anybody. Junk food which is no good for anybody. Luxury cars. Designer clothing. A great variety of drugs which promise to eliminate your troublesome symptoms, but not to address the health problems that they are evidence of. A host of feminine fashion and personal care items which play upon the insecurities of women who are worried that they aren't attractive enough. Deoderants.

There is almost nothing advertised on TV which we actually need to hear about, because we could find it quite readily on our own if we needed it...as we do when we resort to magazines or the Internet to look for things we think we want or need. That way, YOU have the power.

TV doesn't give you the power. It renders you into a passive receiver of advertising that you did not seek out, and did not tune in for. It uses the program you actually DID tune in for as bait to sit you down so you can have advertising foisted on you.

No other medium does this to you, because YOU are in control of the other mediums...such as books, magazines, and Internet.

TV is the foremost tool in creating a passive and addicted populace.

That doesn't mean there is NOTHING of value on TV...but it does mean that TV (and radio too) have a more pernicious effect on people than do the other mediums...because of the way advertising is delivered via TV and radio.

They steal a large piece of people's time and their attention. It's ideal if you want to create a lobotomized and addicted populace, and if you want to screen out troublesome types like Mr Kucinich who might threaten the established order.

Now I know you all know this, so what are we really arguing about? Sure, many of us are smart enough to see through the commercial crap. It's the people who aren't smart enough or who are just young and impressionable that I am worried about. And there are many such people. They are being affected on a daily basis, and it dumbs them down. It does them no favors.

There are also trashy books out there to read, of course...there always have been. But even THEY do not have advertising in them that leaps out in your face every five minutes in booming ultrasound and DEMANDS your full attention before you can even be allowed to read the next fucking page of the book!

I have not acquired any of my rhetoric from reading books. The books I read as a child were mostly about historical fact and some historical fiction, as well as a lot of the classic literature of the 19th century (H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, H. Ryder Haggard, Conan Doyle, C.S. Forester, Dickens, etc.). What I got from those books was a worldview that was not USA-centric for one thing (though some of it was certainly UK-centric!), and none of them had anything to say about TV or present-day mass marketing, since it didn't exist back then. They simply made me very aware of the possibilities of society being utterly different from what it is now, and that made me question things as they are now.

I developed a profound sense of the past and its importance from the books I read while growing up. My schoolmates read books too. As I recall, the most popular ones in general were by Jacqueline Suzanne (and many others in that genre) and Ayn Rand and Ian Fleming and Mickey Spillane! Heh! Those didn't interest me back then, and they don't now either.

I just don't give a damn about the lives and love affairs of rich, spoiled jetsetters in California or New York for some reason... Why? Because there's nothing to admire there, and nothing I would wish to aspire to.

As you say, Ron, seeking information is up to the individual. It all falls back on the individual. Correct. Now take an individual who grows up with parents who regularly tune in to the dumbest of dumb TV shows....and who never encourage their children to read a book, and who have no books in the house except the latest issue of People Magazine and the latest Danielle Steele novel. How will most children end up, given those influences? What choices will they make? And what choices will they be unaware they ever had? It's monkey-see, monkey-do, you know. Most kids imitate their parents' lifestyle pretty closely.

That's my point. TV has become the modern babysitter, and I believe that that is pretty much tantamount to child abuse, and you are seeing the evidence of that in a lot of the terrible news stories of the present day...like school shootings, for instance.

I can't change any of this, and I don't expect to. I am simply commenting on what I have seen occur around me in the last 59 years, accomplished very effectively by mass marketing, most particularly through the medium of television...the most effective propaganda tool yet invented by man.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 10:00 PM

"Now take an individual who grows up with parents who regularly tune in to the dumbest of dumb TV shows....and who never encourage their children to read a book, and who have no books in the house except the latest issue of People Magazine and the latest Danielle Steele novel. How will most children end up, given those influences? What choices will they make? And what choices will they be unaware they ever had? It's monkey-see, monkey-do, you know. Most kids imitate their parents' lifestyle pretty closely."

Again, I think you are making assumptions. There was a time, not long ago, when illiteracy was more prevelant - and even today it has not been eliminated. Even for those who could read, libraries were not the norm and owning books was not as common. People learn from many sources - family, church, school, peers. There is propaganda in every medium - including books.   You said that you read history and historical fiction. I know that I could pick 2 or 3 different books that would have different slants on the subject matter - and all would be considered history and fact.

You say that television is the most effective propaganda tool - and I disagree with that statement completely. Again you are coming from a preconceived notion that people will be swayed by everything they see on TV, and I say that it is no different from what they read in a book or TV. You describe thoes terrible news stories of school shootings as "present day", when in reality it is a problem that has existed for ages.   The issue today is that you can see it on television and while you might argue that it influences other to mimic the action, I feel that it becomes too easy to place them on the medium because people like yourself are looking for an easy answer. A child bringing a gun into a school has many other issues besides being exposed to television.

The points you are making are the same arguements that are always brought up by those who feel television and other media have nothing to offer. What it fails to do is take the viewer into consideration and it focuses only on select programming.   Some of the authors that you mentioned - Twain, Doyle and Wells - were writing what was considered commercial material for the day. They wrote for magazines that were considered "pulps" or "penny dreadfuls" and were made to appeal to the large masses. They recognized the power of the word to sway opinion - just as television does today. There is no difference.

You also fail to recognize the outstanding offerings that can be found - great performances, documentaries, substantial talk programs, and works of great art.   Sure there is crap like reality shows and Entertainment Tonight, but if you focus on THOSE types of programs - you are slanting your opinion.

Television can also bring people together. Think of the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the moon landing or 9/11.    Viewers are not simply feeding back what they are told, they absorb what they see and form their own opinions. While you may not agree with those opinions, they are formed from a variety of sources and reasons - and to put the blame on television would be no different than for someone to blame you for making your opinion based solely on a liberal perspective.

Give people a chance, it is not as cut and dry as you try to make it out to be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 10:31 PM

"You say that television is the most effective propaganda tool - and I disagree with that statement completely."

Really???? Well, I'm intrigued, Ron. ;-) What do YOU think is the most effective propaganda tool?

Ron, I am not looking for an easy answer. ;-) I do not even expect to FIND an answer. I am simply, as Mark Twain did in his day, observing what I see happening around me and commenting on it.

I don't have enough hubris to imagine that I have an answer, frankly...let alone THE answer. I leave that to politicians, preachers, and people who have way more hubris than I do.

You are continually trying to twist what I say into an all-or-nothing statement about whatever it is, and I find myself continually have to point that out. WHAT is the problem? Is it that it would be more convenient for your argument if I MADE all-or-nothing statements? I'm not doing that. I'm making statements about something I see happening that is not and never will be UNIVERSAL, but it does happen. It has a tendency to happen.

This is what I see happening in political debates all the time....one person pretends that the other person said what they wish they would say so they can point out how wrong it is. LOL! Get real.

I do NOT " fail to recognize the outstanding offerings that can be found - great performances, documentaries, substantial talk programs, and works of great art." Indeed, I'm well aware of them and have seen many such. Great stuff, yes, indeed.

I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron. I am not speaking in Absolutes. Not about TV, not about anything.

Remove the words "everything", "all", "no", and "nothing" from what you said above, Ron, and it will begin to be somewhat more applicable to what I have said. Remove the absolutes. I am not speaking in absolutes, and neither should you if you wish to have a sensible discussion.

I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.

Now go and write it 500 times on your wall so you get it, okay?

I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.
I am NOT making all-or-nothing statements, Ron.

I am NOT speaking in absolutes.

I am NOT saying ALL TV is bad. I am saying that much of it is.

Got it? (thank God for copy and paste!)

So quit pretending that I am speaking in absolutes and quit putting words in my mouth and thoughts in my head that are not my own.

You keep doing that, man, and it's becoming as predictable and tiresome as George Bush's mispronunciation of the word "nuclear".

It is a disingenous form of argument, and it serves no purpose because you're not even arguing with my real position, you're arguing with a straw man, an absolutist that you keep erecting in the place of my real position which is NOT absolutist.

I don't believe that TV or any other medium is intrinsically bad, nor do I believe that its influence has been wholly pernicious. It's just a tool. Tools are neither bad nor good, they're completely neutral in themselves. They can be used for good, for bad, or indifferently. One has to look at how they are being used, and why.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 11:07 PM

Stop being an ass.

If you do not wish to discuss, don't post. Your cute insults are uncalled for. There is no reason for you to insult me or anyone else who posts here. I did not do that to you. If you consider anyone that counters your points as "putting words" in your mouth, then there is no way to have a conversation with you.

You ARE making all-or-nothing statments and you obviously do not realize it:

"I am just saying that the overreaching influence of TV on several generations of children, accompanied by the declining influence of books on those same children, has done real damage.....and that's because TV has been relentlessly commercialized and aimed at the lowest common denominator since its inception...and it has steadily gotten worse."

"TV is the foremost tool in creating a passive and addicted populace."
"TV doesn't give you the power. It renders you into a passive receiver of advertising that you did not seek out, and did not tune in for."
"No other medium does this to you, because YOU are in control of the other mediums...such as books, magazines, and Internet."

Sorry if I put those words in your mouth, or if I misinterpreted your statements. I did not realize that you would be upset if someone had a different opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 12:28 AM

We don't have a different opinion and I have not insulted you.

We both agree that TV can do what I say it does, and sometimes has done what I say it does, and that it doesn't always do bad things, but that it does some good things too.

I am not insulting you, I am pointing out that you are misinterpreting my statements to be absolutist statements, which if you read all of my statements in context is clearly not the case.

You can't lift out single sentences out of context and disregard the rest if you are inclined to be objective about what I say at all. You must read the entire statement. I clearly said "I don't believe that TV or any other medium is intrinsically bad, nor do I believe that its influence has been wholly pernicious. It's just a tool. Tools are neither bad nor good, they're completely neutral in themselves. They can be used for good, for bad, or indifferently. One has to look at how they are being used, and why."

I don't get the impression that you're even the least bit interested in trying to understand what I am presenting, which is simply a philosophical viewpoint about different media and how they can be used. I think the only thing that interests you here is "winning".

That's impossible. There IS nothing to win here. He who gets the last frikking word in does not WIN. He who walks off in a huff does not win. There is nothing to win.

Don't you find any interest in comparing the passive nature of a medium like TV (and radio) to the more active nature of a media like the Internet...or a book...or a magazine?

You can control the situation yourself if it's the internet or a book or a magazine you're interacting with. You can read whatever part you want WHEN you want if it's in print. You can stop reading when you want and start again when you want. You can REread one part over and over again if you want. You can be free of the mindless advertising being repeatedly thrown in your face on TV and radio.

YOU are in charge when it's a book or a magazine or the Internet. You're empowered. You are not in charge or empowered at all in regards to watching TV or listening to radio except in two very narrow ways: you can turn the damn thing off or you can turn it on. That's it, period. Other than that, you're helpless. All you can do is sit there with your mouth open and swallow whatever "Mommy" puts in your mouth or you can spit it out. But you can't participate in any way whatseover.

I like being empowered, not being a passive receiver who has to sit on his couch through commercial messages and scheduled programming that's OVER when it's over...and nothing I can do about it.

Does that not strike you as an interesting difference in the nature of those respective media and how that can affect a public over a period of time?

Stop trying to "win" the damn argument (which would be pointless anyway) and find some interest in the actual subject matter for heaven's sake. This isn't about you or me winning anything.

I don't talk to you so I can win anything here...I talk to you simply in hopes of being understood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 08:14 AM

"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." -- Adams


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 09:37 AM

"I talk to you simply in hopes of being understood. "

Same here, and just as you claim that you do not like to have words put in your mouth - neither do I. You also took my comments out of context. I NEVER claimed that you were speaking in absolutes, but I did take exception to some of the points you made and voiced MY opinion. If you can't see the difference, I can't help it.

I don't understand why you are making an issue of "winning" - it isn't a competition. If someone makes a point that the other disagrees with, I would hope that you would give them an opportunity to voice it. You show disgust at the networks for banning candidates, but you may not realize that you are doing the same - trying to stifle an opposing view.

I do understand what you are saying, but you seem to feel that if someone doesn't agree with you they aren't understanding your message. I do not feel that television is "passive" anymore than a book, magazine, photograph, painting, or the Internet. Each requires the viewer to process information and absorb it. It is no different from the process of reading a book adn deciding whether you agree with the authors point of view - or accept their facts.

Again, all I am simply trying to get across is that your comments give the medium too much credit and not giving credit to the viewer who decides for themselves. Television is no different than any other medium, in my opinion. You have a differing opinion, and that is that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 12:47 PM

Television is no different than any other medium

Well,it has to be or it would be the same medium. The question isn't whether it is different, but are those differences significant, and if so in what way.

Not an issue that calls for thread rage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 01:07 PM

I just recalled the bugaboo of my own youth. Television is today's comic book. You think?


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 01:33 PM

Okay, Ron. It appears that you have a generally higher opinion of television than I do. Having grown up in a family that listened to a non-commercial radio station when I was a kid (CBC...it has programming without commercials, because it's a government-funded national radio show in Canada) I became accumstomed to hearing programming with no commercial messages from an early age...no jingles, no Coke ads, no car ads, no deoderant ads, just programming...just real content.

Due primarily to that, I always found commercial radio stations pretty obnoxious when I encountered them (usually in other people's cars or in public places, and I have never listened to them much at all, because I really can't stand them.

I grew up without TV also, so again I was not exposed to aggressive commercial marketing of the sort found on TV and commercial radio.

I read hundreds of books, and I read magazines and newspapers. It's very easy to simply ignore any printed advertising in those, and accordingly it doesn't take up any of one's time. It doesn't get in the way of the content.

So...we finally got TV when I was about 18, and I watched quite a bit of it for the next 25 years or so. I had a lot of favorite shows, specially in the 70's, and I think that the standard of TV shows was rather good at that time, and has gradually declined since for the most part. I was always bugged by the advertising, but you couldn't get away from it except by turning down the sound or walking out of the room so I put up with it (grudgingly). I do not want to be interrupted by blurbs about Pepsi-Cola and Brylcreem when I'm trying to follow a storyline.

This is why I love watching movies...which are uninterrupted...as opposed to watching a TV show, which is continually interrupted.

I didn't take the commercials for granted, you see. I notice that most people do, because they've become used to it from a very early age...from the time they were infants, basically. That wasn't my experience.

Around about the late 80's I simply started losing interest in most TV programming altogether (with the exception of specific informational shows or a televised concert, say...), and I stopped watching TV almost completely. I have watched very little since. I will watch something specific if it concerns me, such as some of the recent political debates.

Mostly I use the internet now and newspapers to keep informed, and of course I still read books. I don't have to put up with invasive advertising on those media...nor does it steal any of my "viewing" time.

I have way less tolerance for advertising than the average person, probably because I grew up almost completely free of it.

I think it's outrageous the way North American TV interrupts a show repeatedly with ads. There are counties in Europe where the ads are shown in a group before the show...or after it...but not during the show. That way the viewer can deliberately choose to watch the ads if he wants to, but he doesn't have to put up with them during the show. That results, I have heard, in far more clever and entertaining advertising that what you might see in North America...because it doesn't have a captive audience, you see. It has to attract the viewer on its own merits alone! Good system. I could definitely go for that.

So I have less tolerance for North American TV than you do, and that's probably the main reason that I have a lower opinion of it than you do. I would never say that there's "nothing good" on TV, however. There's bound to be a certain amount of good stuff on any broadcasting medium, I would think.

If I were attempting to set up a totalitarian system of government, I would use all the media which I could in that effort...newspapers, television, radio, books, advertising, government speeches, etc. I would do it by buying out the largest of those media through a network of my rich and powerful friends, and managing and shaping the programming to reflect certain policies and to create certain impressions that aided my plan. I would DEFINITELY expect to reap the most effective propaganda results from TV, however...because it is the medium that grabs the largest amount of the average person's daily attention and focus...and it's visual too. That's powerful. Far more powerful than radio.

I think that your present government knows this well and has taken considerable advantage of it, and that is of concern to me, as I think it should be to all North Americans.

I think it's been happening that way not just since George Bush, but for decades now. It's gotten worse, way worse, since the Reagan era. It is approaching Orwellian proportions under the Bush administration, in my opinion, and it's an extremely dangerous situation.

The rest of the world sees and fears what is occurring in the USA, and how your media are helping it to happen.

It happens here in Canada too, of course, to an extent...although to a much lesser extent. And the stakes are not nearly so high. What occurs in Canada is just mere side-issue to what is occurring in the USA. That's why a significant number of Canadians are literally more concerned about the American election process than about our own...we know that it can affect the entire world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 02:12 PM

I think comic books are cool, Ebbie. I loved them back then, and I still have a fondness for that medium. Why would they be seen as a bugaboo? Were parents upset about the horror comics or something? Comics were a big part of my parents' lives as children, and my own life in the 50s and 60s.

There was some advertising on certain pages of the comics, and it was always for weird stuff that you could send away for...most of which was absolute junk. ;-) But you could get a live chameleon sent to you in the mail all the way from Florida! I ordered a couple of those, and they arrived just fine in a little tiny package with air holes. I had them living at our place for the next 7 years about...in a cage with wire sides. They were lively little things, and they at a lot of flies, so I became an expert at catching live food for them.

Ah! The wonders of childhood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 03:04 PM

The moral panic about Horror Comics


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 03:15 PM

Thanks, McGrath. I remember it well, from my own family. My brothers did have some comic books which I also read. Surreptitiously. My mother was dead set against them.

We also had some 'Big Little Books', which we kids liked even better because of the characters and story lines. My mother didn't like those either. *g*


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 03:32 PM

Well Little Hawk, when you and I manage to calm down and listen to each other, it does appear that we can agree on things.

I'm with 100% on comic books. I grew up with and still read them.

I guess our individual experiences with television account for our different opinions. I think those of us who grew up with commercials learned to separate them from the story, and developed a fondness for them in fact. A lot of people watch the Super Bowl just to see the new ads that are debuted. There can be an artform to advertising, just as there is in print.

I agree with you about the storyline. What has become a new technological trend is the DVD box set of television shows - without the commercials. It becomes wonderful to watch a show without the interuptions.

The other item is that cable television has a number of channels without commercial interuptions such as HBO or Showtime.   I wasn't a fan, but I do see the value in programs such as The Sopranos. The writing and acting were superb.

I am also with you with your concerns about the government intervention with television and radio. De-regulation, which should have become a blessing, turned into the fiasco that you now see. The media is controled by a handful. I volunteer for a non-commercial radio station, but even in the non-commercial field I've seen a number of stations that have altered programming to accomodate the consultants who bring in CPB money. The FCC has limited freedom of speech.    The public outcry has been minimal, and it is a real issue in my estimation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 03:59 PM

Exactly my thoughts, Ron.

The DVD sets of TV shows are a great idea. I watched a whole lot of the early Sopranos episodes that way at a friend's place, and it was a brilliant show, I must say. Great to see it with no interruptions.

*****

As for the despicable Dr. Fredric Wertham and his 1948 crusade against the supposed dangers of comic books! Ye Gods, what a travesty!!! He would surely have felt at home sitting by the left hand of Dr Goebbels. People like Fedric Wertham are the most pernicious threat to a free and enlightened society. They are a curse upon civilization, in my opinion. They are the natural allies of the most oppressive forms of government know to humankind, and they would stifle every form of freedom and imagination if given the power to.

To think that the bastard started his dirty work in the very year that I was born! That means that practically every comic book I ever read as a child was printed under the shadow of his crazy witchhunt.

I always wondered why the older comics from the 30's (I've seen some of those) were so much grittier and livelier than the stuff that came later. This was specially noticeable with the older Mickey Mouse adventures, which were really swashbuckling, streetwise, and wonderful in the pre-1948 era. After '48 Mickey just became dull, dependable, nice-guy suburban Mickey, Mr all-around WhiteBread, and all the grit and exotic wonder of the old days was gone. The graphic art also suffered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 04:49 PM

Hell's bells, I grew up reading comic books! And Big-Little books.

People like the good Dr. Fredric Wertham grossly underestimate the fundamental intelligence of kids. Just because Superman could fly and bullets bounced off his chest didn't mean I didn't have a pretty good idea of what the real world is like. It was just an enjoyable fantasy, and I knew it at the time, as did all the other kids I knew. In fact, my favorite costumed crime-fighter was Batman, because he didn't have super powers. He was just very good at what he did (not a bad ideal to strive for!). They weren't that much different from the Sunday "funnies," which my Dad used to read to my sisters and me. Sunday morning ritual.

The only time my mother wasn't too happy was when an uncle gave me a big stack of pulp magazines he had finished reading (I was maybe 11 at the time). Amazing Stories, Astounding Stories, Planet Stories, etc. Other than Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon in the Sunday funnies, this was my introduction to science fiction. Probably what concerned my mother more than anything else were the cover drawings of buxom, scantily clad females being menaced by bug-eyed monsters (CLICKY #1 or CLICKY #2). But these magazines contained early stories (some of which have since become "classics") by such people as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Edmond Hamilton, Arthur C. Clark, and others who have become regarded as the Olympic Gods among writers of science fiction.

Reading these things undoubtedly had a strong influence on my lifelong habit of reading, which still includes science fiction, but covers a wide variety of literature: fiction, classics and otherwise, non-fiction, the works. This is why I'm tickled to see that lots of kids are currently deeply into the Harry Potter books. These things are tomes, and the kids are wolfing them down. When they finish them, they'll undoubtedly go hunting for other stuff to read, just like I did.

And, of course, Dr. Wertham has his modern counterparts in the many folks who are shocked and appalled at the subject matter of the Harry Potter books. Witchcraft and wizardry. Oh, Horrors!!

Give a kid something that stirs his or her imagination, and you have a reader for life. That's a good thing!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 04:55 PM

Incidentally, apropos of very little, it should be pointed out the The Sopranos was originally shown without commercial interruption. It was produced by HBO, a pay-cable outfit that does not broadcast commercial advertising.

(They do show a lot of promos for their own productions, but only in-between programs, never as "interruptions.")

Now that one of the "basic" cable stations has begun showing Sopranos reruns, making them available to folks who have not been HBO subscribers, commercials have begun to interrupt Sopranos episodes for the first time.

I would advise folks who haven't seen the adventures of Tony and family to rent the DVDs. Even though "seeing it wouthout interruptions" is not a novel development, it's the time-honored normal situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 05:01 PM

By the way, these days most television sets come with remotes, and every remote I've ever seen has a "MUTE" button. Mine gets a lot of work when I'm watching commercial channels--which I don't really watch all that much, spending most of my viewing time watching our local PBS affiliate. Actually, during the week, I watch one half-hour comedy on CBS. That's it.

I understand that ad agencies who deal with the broadcast industry are constantly trying to figure ways of getting around the "MUTE" button, or the "Fast Forward" button when people tape a show to watch later.

We subscribe to NetFlix and most of our couch-potato time is spent watching selected movies--or an entire television series, such as our most recent one:   BBC Scotland's "Monarch of the Glen." No commercials. Great series!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 05:48 PM

Yes, the "mute" button is a great idea. I just bet they are trying to figure out how to get around it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 05:53 PM

Speaking of the Grateful Dead and of endorsing Obama... the surviving members have done so.

Obama is billing himself as for the generation after the baby boomers - so what are all these aging hippies doing endorsing him?


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 06:01 PM

What do you want us to do...sit in our rocking chair and drool?

(just joking)

Look, we are the generation that was determined never to grow old! We will continue looking for another John or Bobby Kennedy until we drop dead in our tracks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 06:06 PM

Of course here we have the option of watching the BBC channels which don't carry commercials - and the extent to which programmes can be interrupted by commercials is restricted, both by regulations and by practical considerations. (Too many commercials and you rapidly lose viewers, and the advertisers don't like that.)

But in themselves the presence or absence of commercials doesn't determine programme quality directly - what does that is when those commissioning programmes are trying to drive up viewing figures by any means, and at the same time trying to drive down costs. You end up, for example, with a mass of overhyped and exploitative "reality" shows. And that's a process that can screw up programming even in the absence of adverts.They are quite useful for giving you a chance to get a snack in the middle of a programme of course.

And commercial breaks can be quite useful for giving you a chance to get a snack (for example) in the middle of a programme.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 06:11 PM

"And commercial breaks can be quite useful for giving you a chance to get a snack (for example) in the middle of a programme."

No kidding! ;-) I bet that the connection between regular commercial interruptions and snacking has become a very significant factor in the sharp rise of obesity in the North American population during the last few decades.

Whereas...if you know ahead of time that a show is going to play straight through, and you're planning to watch it, well then if you really want to eat while you're watching it you just plan ahead and have your snacks ready at the start....like when you go to a movie and buy some popcorn and a drink. That is NOT a major challenge! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 06:34 PM

There's also the old bladder to take into account...


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 06:52 PM

True...

I have discovered that it's wise to deal with that before the movie starts. I don't think I've ever left a movie during the show on account of my bladder....except when I was a little kid. I don't want to miss any of it, not even 1 minute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: pdq
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 07:46 PM

"We will continue looking for another John or Bobby Kennedy until we drop dead in our tracks. "

Great statement. How true.

Trouble is, you folks keep thinking you found such a person but it always a mirage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 11:11 PM

Well, such people are damn hard to find. Specially at this juncture, because the political scene is centralized and choreographed from the top down to a greater extent, I think, than it ever was before...and the chances of a genuinely populist politician slipping through the big Dem-Rep net are, I think, almost nil.

Whether John or Bobby rated in that sense, of course, is debatable. I think Bobby might have. As for John, the thing that man had going for him was a very dynamic ability to inspire ordinary people both at home and abroad and give them hope for the future. That's not to be sneezed at. It can do much to give a nation confidence and a sense of purpose. It can do much to earn a nation respect overseas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Amos
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 11:27 PM

PDQ:

Some of us gauge on other criteria than pure mob-think, and manage to come up with better answers than your wrinkled and cynical jade of a brain does.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Peace
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 11:27 PM

True, LH. Witness Canada with Trudeau. He inspired this country and gave us a sense of purpose we'd lacked since since the legitimacy brought to us by Lester Pearson.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 09:36 AM

And speaking of Trudeau, Doonesbury is saying that Obama is the first black Kennedy...


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 10:19 AM

Yeah, Trudeau was really cool. He was the most interesting politician Canada has ever had, in my opinion.

Man, my parents just hated him! At any rate, my mother did...and she does to this day. She's a political junkie, completely absorbed in politics 7 days a week, and she tends to absolutely hate the politicians she's opposed to, rather than just disagreeing with them. In Trudeau's case, she hated him primarily because she thought that he brought about the destruction of the old Canada...the society she had known in her youth. What she failed to grasp, I think, is that it would have happened regardless of whether Pierre Trudeau had been there or not. It was inevitable.

I remember the old Canada...and I miss it too...but it was not to last. The decline of Great Britain's influence in the world, the rising dominance of the USA and American mass media, the flood of new immigration into Canada's big cities from the Third World, the changing demographic that resulted from that, and the rise of Quebec Francophone nationalism.............all of that would have happened whether or not Pierre Trudeau had ever become prime minister of Canada.

She figures it was his fault. ;-) This is giving the man way more power than any one man could ever have had, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Amos
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 10:19 AM

You know its True, deau. Even if its the other Trudeau.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: pdq
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 01:46 PM

People need to judge Obama by what he is not what they want him to be.

Seems to me that Obama has very few things he can point to as accomplishments.

He is more a Pop Culture star than a man of substance. Kinda like Zsa Zsa Gabor. You know he is famous but mostly for being famous.

To you philosophy majors:

    Can a man be a great orator when he has nothing to say?


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:14 PM

Obama is kind of a preacher. He has high idealism in his speeches but they are short
on substance. I don't agree with Hillary but she is more of an executive. Her health care
plan is better than Obamas.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:39 PM

And that is a matter of some concern. I just saw Michael Moore's "Sicko" a couple of nights ago (NetFlix) and comparing America's health care system (or lack thereof) with those in Canada, Great Britain, France, and several other countries is enough to make one--sicko!

People have lots of fun trashing Michael Moore, but I'm not going only on the movie. I have other sources of information as well, and what Moore said is substantially correct.

The health care system in this country is an absolute disgrace. Even moreso is the sleazy system that keeps it that way!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Amos
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:45 PM

This is just horse puckey. Obama is not a man with nothing to say. This sort of meretricious sardonic quip is exactly symptomatic of the reactionary thought patterns which we need to change; it is the stuff, in small, of Limbaugh and Hannity, the public sneer and the glib diss with no substance to support it and no genuine thought behind it. It is, in short, unworthy of a thoughtful AMerican citizen, just as Limbaugh's career is on a larger scale.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 01:56 PM

I'm finding something here and a couple of threads over a matter of concern.

One woman spends her working life in front of mass audiences pandering to the lowest common denominator, poking her nose into the sleaziest of situations, producing idiotic sloganising (eg "Talk to the hand, sister, the head ain't listening" - although that exact slogan could have been some other chat show hostess) - and generally encouraging people NOT to think.

Another woman spends her working life in front of mass audiences promoting the dignity of humankind, putting light on injustice and folly, with intelligent use of words, and generally encouraging people to think and consider others.

Yet the endorsement of the former is seen as a political bonus, but that of the latter as an albatross.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:05 PM

You know how it is RIchard. The planets only look aligned if you are looking fromt he middle of Iowa. From a perspective on the left coast or the right coast theys eem badly out of line. :D

Joanie looks admirable from her general longitude, but when viewed from the Corn, Rust, or Jade belts, may be seen as seriously off to the left. :D (The Jade Belt is my name for the cynical mentalists who populate New York intellectual mags and major punditry shows .)



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:05 PM

Richard Bridge, you evidently don't know much about Oprah.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 08:20 PM

I have (regrettably) seen her programmes once or twice. Other people were watching them but I was there. That was more than enough. Moronic voyeuristic daytime TV drivel. Worse than Robert Kilroy-Silk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 09:08 PM

Interesting where this thread has wandered.

So should people be encouraged to dare to hope that any leader can bring about change, whatever that means? It's an engaging train to board, and I'm sure that somewhere up ahead there is an engineer who knows where he is going. There is, isn't there?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: bankley
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 09:46 PM

just don't miss the boat while waitin' for a train..


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Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez Endorsement
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 10:12 PM

Joan's instincts were spot on in this case.

But there will be all kinds of defamation, slander, distortion, innuendo, gossip, rumor, lies and more lies and Big Lies between Obama today and a swearing in ceremony next winter. Make no mistake--they will not give him the high road, even if he seems to deserve it as much as anyone.

I am saying this in anticipation of a lot of smug know-it-alls coming out of the woodwork between now and November, with hot air steaming out of their ears and a bushel of horsepucky to sell.

And they will do tap-dances, barbershop, and backflips to make it credible and to try to lend impact to the slanders they are mongering. Mark my words.

When they come, I hope that honest people, people with clear thinking and the ability to cut through distortion, will have the courage to stand up and say it like they see it in defense of a good man. Because all that is necessary for slime-balls to triumph is that people of good will remain silent.


A


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