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Inscrutable Times

Two days ago, in my regular responses to the New York Times columnists, I wrote a paragraph on the ever-wrong Mr Thomas Friedman.  As those familiar with him know, he is ever ready for a solution to the world’s great problems, though when wrong – famously about the invasion of Iraq and its many consequences – he never says, gosh I was wrong, sorry ’bout that.  Not the never-doubting Thomas of the Times.   His column was about Afghanistan, and in his usual style mushed around and concluded Mr Karzai was going to shaft us in the long run.  He didn’t though advocate departing.   In my response I took him to task, and ended quoting him from his good old take-out-Saddam days, when basically referring to all Arabs/Muslims, he said “Just… suck… on…. this” during a television interview, meaning the US should go in a really whup ass and they’d pay attention.  Such wisdom…

Fat Friedman, circa 2008

Friedman’s house in Bethesda Maryland, next to the Bethesda Country Club

Friedman famously talks about going green, weaning ourselves from middle-east oil, and other such. His house shows no solar panels, does show a few gas guzzlers, one being large.  Mr Friedman married up, to the daughter of a real estate tycoon who went bust in 2009 with the housing bubble.  Wikipedia says: The July 2006 issue of Washingtonian reported that they own “a palatial 11,400-square-foot (1,060 m2) house, currently valued at $9.3 million, on a 7½-acre parcel just blocks from I-495 and Bethesda Country Club.” Friedman is paid $50,000 per speaking engagement.

Living in Korea, I, along with some others located way out East here, get the jump on responding to the Times, it being around noon-time for us when the latest goes on-line from New York.  For Americans its more like mid-night.  Hence we’re first in line – for example Phil from Kyushu, in Japan.  First in line in the letters printed equals more readers.  That day I was there with my response fast, and while responses to other items were printed, that about Mr Friedman was not – not first, not last.  Simply disappeared (when censoring the Times inserts a notice that “this item has been removed owing to….”).

In turn, the next day, in responding to a silly column on Mitt Romney by Gail Collins, I parenthetically mentioned the censorship of the Friedman response.  I also did so in responding to a Kristof column on censorship of Google in China, wherein he called for the free flow of info, and I noted the irony of the in-house censorship of the Times.   These two items were sent at the same time as a response to an Editorial column on off-shore drilling, my response to which was printed and was number 1 in the “approve this” listing.  See below.  The responses to Collins and Kristof were not printed, nor was a “removed because….”

Apparently the Gray Lady has something to hide: corporate censorship.

Jon Jost
Seoul, Korea
April 1st, 2010
12:53 am
The figure given, that America is responsible for 25% of the worlds oil consumption, while having only 2% of known reserves elides one very important other figure: America is 5% of the global population and hence consumes 5 times more than the rest.
It also elides another significant aspect:

The Department of Defense is the single largest consumer of petroleum in the U.S and the US military is the biggest purchaser of oil in the world. In 2006 the US Military consumed 117 million barrels or 320,000 barrels per day.

While a balanced policy regarding energy is desirable, the imbalance is largely owing to the voracious appetite of our bloated military which spends annually more per year than the rest of the world combined. It is the real gas guzzler and it should be muzzled.

www.jonjost.wordpress.com
www.cinemaelectronica.wordpress.com

Recommend Recommended by 158 Readers

In a few hours the Times will post its Friday columnists.  I’ll be there.

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