Another middle-of-the-week Wednesday with high overcast skies and chilly temperatures here on California’s northern coast — the weekend now a faint, pulsating glow in the near-distance.
Only lately have I really, really sought the weekends — I must be getting really, really tired of my week days.
Ed Snowden isÂ a tortured gift that keeps on giving: Meantime, France and Portugal refused to let a plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales into their airspace because of suspicions that Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, was on board.
What if that was Air Force One? Would the US allow such shit?
(Illustration found here).
Of course, Snowden wasn’t on board, but the plane was diverted to Vienna, Austria,Â which pissed off the Bolivians:
“We don’t know who invented this lie. We want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales,” Choquehuanca said from La Paz. Morales had earlier met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit of major gas exporters in the Kremlin.
“This is a hostile act by the United States State Department which has used various European governments,” said Bolivian Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra, who was on the flight.
Choquehuanca said in a statement that after France and Portugal canceled authorization for the flight, Spain’s government allowed the plane to be refueled in its territory.
From there the plane flew on to Vienna.
He said the decision by France and Portugal “put at risk the life of the president.”
Who gives a shit about the Bolivian president when there’s a chance to nab Snowden.
And it appears Venezuela is next.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro: “Who must protect Snowden? This is the question. This young man of 29 was brave enough to say that we need to protect the world from the American imperial elite, so who should protect him? All of mankind, people all over the world must protect him.”
All of mankind?
And the last 60 years has really been bullshit. The entire Snowden episode is a reminder the great American Dream is in reality a nightmare of fantasy.
William Pfaff, author of ‘The Irony of Manifest Destiny: The Tragedy of America’s Foreign Policy,’ looks at the false premise of Pax Americana (via TruthDig):
However, the gravest aspect of the Snowden revelations has been their demonstration of the vast exploitation and betrayal of Americaâ€™s alliance relationships.
If the U.S. spies on European governments from its enormous number of military installations or U.S.-controlled NATO facilities, the Europeans could well decide that they would be better off requiring these basesâ€™ removal — as Gen. de Gaulle did in France in 1966, ordering the American military to leave France.
Even in the fantasy-case of a new Russian military threat to Europe, the Europeans would find themselves virtually as well-protected as they are now, since they are no longer dependent upon Russian energy supplies, and NATO today functions as a mere adjunct to the Pentagon, largely financed by Europeans.
The U.S. could never afford, strategically or militarily, to abandon Europe to Russian (or any other) aggression. What Snowden has inadvertently done is to reveal to the world that NATO and the American military deployment, in Europe and elsewhere, together have become, with respect to Americaâ€™s allies, a Trojan Horse.
And an empty shell of a history. There’s way-more to the Snowden story than just the NSA disclosures — it’s opening an ugly can of worms on the real America and the real world, and how others view and act toward us.
There’s not much to be said for the US right now, because the rest of the world doesn’t wear blinders.
Meanwhile, off that subject, and onto an interesting bit I spied this morning, which should really scare the shit out of Republicans — blacks pay more attention to the news than whites, and TV news markets have a huge, untapped audience in Afro-Americans.
What is a little bit of a surprise is that black news consumers were also more engaged than whites on immigration, Wendy Davisâ€˜ filibuster of an unconstitutional abortion ban, and even the saga of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
The reason this is surprising is that Pew doesnâ€™t normally break out its news interest crosstabs by race, unless thereâ€™s a black-skewing story, or three, in the news.
It would be interesting to see how that broke down during a more typical news cycle.
If they did, news organizations would probably find a huge untapped audience, as evidenced by the three cable networksâ€™ 2012 growth in their black audiences.
MSNBC grew their black audience by 60 percent in 2012, while CNN also gained a slightly less-whopping, but still whopping, 23.7 percent.
Those two net gained an average of 138,000 black viewers in prime time, while Fox News lost 9,000, which means cable news created 129,000 black news consumers in 2012.
This Pew survey seems to indicate that not only is the black news audience underserved, it is apparently more engaged than the white audience.
See the full Pew survey here.
SometimesÂ the mornings just wear me out — but there’s this afternoon. And…. there’s the weekend, almost in sight!