Tuesday, March 18, 2008

These Posts Will Write Themselves

It's awfully difficult to maintain a blog. I applaud those who do, because I find that there just aren't enough hours in the day to find the time it takes to express, at length, my many thoughts on whatever horrible thing the right wing is doing or saying. What's more, where should I start? From hour to hour, moment to moment, nanosecond to nanosecond, there is a plethora of horrible things right wing nutjobs are doing and saying, which makes it nearly impossible to nail just one awful thing down. Frankly, there are way too many options.

With all this in mind, I've decided that the best approach to showing just how ugly, hateful, vile, petty and wrong the right wing is, is to rely on its very own words. That is, from now on, this blog will be dedicated to capturing the sentiments expressed by right wing blog visitors, precisely as they were written, and reposting them here.

It should really blow your fucking socks off.

Why this? And why now? Well, because I spend a lot of time reading these right wing sites (Know thine enemy, my friends), and it's pretty amazing to read the sorts of comments these people leave behind when they think they're safely amongst their own. If I ever briefly considered the notion that conservatism could not essentially be summed as a set of priniciples I find wholly despicable (e.g., being so selfish that you'd keep even the sickest, poorest children from receiving free health care if it meant a single dollar might be taken from your own pocket; believing that you and all real Americans are under seige by Mexicans, blacks, feminists, gays and abortionists; solidly holding onto the idea that war is a far superior choice to, say, looking like a sissy; being convinced that the life of anyone living anywhere else in the world is far less important than an American life; wishing that we could travel back to a time when white men weren't taken for such granted), those days are long gone. Reading right wing blogs has etched in my brain the fact that, yes, they really are that bad. And worse.

So, let's get right to it, shall we? Today's selection is from Michelle Malkin (http://michellemalkin.com/2008/03/18/newsflash-obama-says-god-bless-america-plus-the-philly-speech/#comments), from what might be called an "article" (if it had any jounalistic merit) on Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech. I won't editorialize here. The comments speak for themselves:

On March 18th, 2008 at 10:15 am, tgusa said:
This is ridiculous. Do Americans even have enough sense to recognize and admit that some people hate them and always will? They want racial change so bad they desire to be liked so much they are willing to pretend that this was no big deal. This cult leaders words are embraced by I would say 80 percent of blacks according to different radio callers that were black yesterday. The cult leader has preached that if God don’t hate whites too they don’t need him. The media including fox news and some talk radio are clueless fools who have no problem playing it down trying to pull more wool over our eyes. Whites are murdered by blacks lay the responsibility at the feet that is where it belongs. Congratulations white media rats not only do they hate you but so do I you are lucky you have each other at least temporarily.

Wake up white Americans these people have no desire to improve race relations all of the lies we have been told are finally coming home to roost. Don’t let them fool you these people are despicable they are all guilty of crimes against whites before and after the fact. One thing is for sure, I believed the rhetoric too but BHO’s campaign of change has changed my mind. I refuse to be a sacrificial lamb on the alter of pcbs racism I care about my family my friends my countrymen and no white hating devil will ever change that. Cult leader wright wants a piece of us don’t talk about it as usual come and get it we were waiting the last time (LA riots) but although they threatened us they never followed through with I, what a surprise. Frankly this cult leader sounds a lot like a radical imam at the least they have a lot in common, another big surprise.

On March 18th, 2008 at 10:23 am, geminicontender said:
I have to agree with tgusa. There is more hate out there then we realize and the hate is coming from the blacks. It comes down to welfare primarily. They have done nothing to help themselves. They expect handouts. Black fathers disappear because the government takes care of their offspring. Katrina started this I believe. All the crap regarding the 9th ward and lack of instant help……of course Nagin and Blanco are truly responsible for that.

On March 18th, 2008 at 10:48 am, txvet2 said:
The more I see of this “church”, and the more I read the views of its leader, the more it resembles a black Muslim congregation, and the less it resembles any sort of Christianity. Obama says Wright “led him to embrace Christianity”. But I thought he claims to have been raised a Christian, with his time spent in the Muslim schools just a happenstance of his family’s moving around. A basic tenet of Islam is that you don’t leave the religion, under any circumstances. I don’t believe Obama has. And he still doesn’t honor the flag or swear allegiance to this country, unless he just started that in the last few days, also.

On March 18th, 2008 at 10:56 am, gayle said:
He has just RUINED himself completely.
Slaves? COME ON!

On March 18th, 2008 at 11:08 am, greysheepdog said:
If he becomes President will he finally do away with welfare?

On March 18th, 2008 at 11:11 am, gayle said:
I am dizzy from his rambling.
We don’t need a speech about his trials and tribulations.
Don’t want to hear about blacks either.

On March 18th, 2008 at 11:30 am, tgusa said:
No we don’t want America becoming like Mexico or Zimbabwe…Tell me, where are the harmonious colored countries that are welcoming whites? Oh that’s right they are stealing white farmers land (the primary suppliers) and then whining about the fact that they have no food. If you continue to do stupid things blame yourself not whites or any other colors. And one thing on the illegal issue, last Sunday the day of rest when my whole neighborhood is quiet and relaxed I was awaked by an extremely loud chainsaw. That’s right, I know if you are working on Sunday speaking Spanish you are a tax evading work stealing person who cares nothing about us. I for one am tried of having them give us the finger and I will report any neighbor that assists in the invasion. That’s what it is an invasion from south of the border, no shots fired, a cold invasion, not unlike the cold war. You want to play head in the sand keep it to yourself or perhaps move, to one of those countries you can’t list.

On March 18th, 2008 at 11:39 am, jim c said:
So much for hope and change. The only thing I heard from BHO was class warfare and racial demagoguery.
Jim C

On March 18th, 2008 at 11:52 am, almeehan said:
I’m a white male “Irish-American” if we must use these terms, and I have health insurance and still have to wait in line in hospital ERs. Means they are crowded, often by illegals who because of liberals like Obama past laws that make me pay for their indiscretions of invading our imperfect union.Why didn’t he say God Bless America this time–too many folks listening in? It’s not what he said that scares me, it what he hasn’t said in this speech and there is plenty of that. I’m not sure I got his point about Ashley.

On March 18th, 2008 at 11:55 am, almeehan said:
Just prior to the speech CNN had their black news commentator who seemed orgasmic about this will allow Obama to carry on with his messianic campaign. He had a black professor & another black lady commentators who were very liberal. Unfair and unbalance=CNN all the way.

On March 18th, 2008 at 12:08 pm, mytake said:
Where is O.J. when we need him? If he gets away with this speech another black got away with murder. Another thing, doesn’t this rant remind everyone that he is a socialist? Where does it leave the individual in his line of thinking?

On March 18th, 2008 at 12:11 pm, geminicontender said:
Maybe Obama was trying to tell us that his Grandmother feared him everytime he walked by. He can blame his white grandmother for all his and all blacks ills.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I've Had An Insanely Busy Week...

...hence the little vacation I've been forced to take from providing the kind of clever, insightful political commentary this site is known for. I only have a few seconds free right now – not a lot of time, really – so I thought I'd just pop in to write this about Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize win: suck it, Republicans.
Thank you.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Conservatives and the Duke Rape Case

I can’t wait to hear the applause from those on the right for the federal lawsuit filed today by the Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape. Conservatives don’t normally concern themselves with issues of criminal justice – aside from advocating for an increase in prisons and lengthier jail terms – but this is precisely the sort of case that draws a conservative crowd. This kind of injustice is mainly ignored, tolerated or even embraced by the right – at least, of course, until it affects young, affluent white men.

In fact, conservative outrage over the Duke case wasn’t based solely on the fact that the Duke Three were unjustly implicated – but that they nearly went to jail for crimes committed against a black woman. It’s why conservatives were lining up to defend them long before the case was due to go to trial, and before there was any hint that the rape allegations might be false. Although I’m sure the year the students spent as suspects, aware of their own innocence, was an incredibly difficult and painful period for all three defendants and their families, the outcry from right wingers on their behalf is a painful reminder of just who’s rights are most valued in this country.

Consider this: According to the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to freeing wrongfully convicted prisoners based on DNA evidence, more than 200 people in 31 states have been exonerated since 1989 (145 since 2000). Fifteen of those inmates served time on death row, meaning they nearly died were killed for crimes they didn’t commit. Overwhelmingly, these prisoners are African American (125), poor and uneducated. Unlike the Duke lacrosse players, they did not have access to competent, lengthy defense. On average, the length of time already served by exonerees when they are freed is 12 years. One year of intense scrutiny spent at home with the support of family and friends – although difficult – is preferable to 12 years in prison, by any estimate.

I don’t mean to demean or downplay what these three young men have experienced. Our criminal justice system is horribly flawed, and too often, suspects are guilty until proven innocent. But I’m struck by the apathy the right has for these issues when they involve the most marginalized members of our society. The utter lack of interest conservatives give to those cases is proof that they are willing to stand by idly, without complaint, as the lives of poor people of color are quite literally thrown away by the prison system.

If their general silence on these issues speaks volumes, their vociferous defense of the three accused in this case says even more.

The message? That they will not allow young white men to be treated like people of color.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Anita Hill is an American Hero

I’ve been thinking about Anita Hill an awful lot lately, what with Clarence Thomas releasing his memoirs and the Isiah Thomas-Anucha Browne Sanders case making the papers every day. This morning, there was yet another reason: The New York Times ran an op-ed Hill penned refuting the baseless attacks Thomas (re)launched against her in his book. I'm sure it's a tiresome case of déjà vu for Hill, having to (re)defend herself, 17 years later. And all for telling the truth.

It probably doesn't come as a surprise that I believe Anita Hill. I always have, even as a teenager in 1991. But I have trouble these days believing the media’s take on the controversy. Then and now, most coverage of the hearings has focused solely on race (Thomas’s) and sex (Hill’s), but the subtext of those grueling televised interviews was far more complex. I can't help but think that Thomas’s use of white racism – the “high tech lynching” he decried – although savvy (not to mention convenient and ironic, considering his admonishments to the black community for using race as a “crutch”), was only partly responsible for his victorious ascension to the high court. Were the “simple” issues of race and sex not further buttressed (and complicated) by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s (and America’s) (mis)conceptions about black female pathology and libidinous sexuality, the outcome might have been very different. Put plainly, if Anita Hill, who passed a lie detector test, were a white woman, the presumptively neutral coverage would have been more critical of Thomas, the public outcry likely deafening. As Hill herself once pointed out, were she "blonde haired and blue eyed," it's unlikely that segregationist (and, interestingly, miscegenationist) Senator Strom Thurmond would've so willingly accepted Thomas's version of events. While it's true that women of every race who choose to speak up about sexual harassment often suffer slanderous name calling from the usual suspects, I wonder if, were Hill white, so many people would've found (now reformed right winger and Media Matters founder) David Brock's quip that Hill was "a bit nutty and a bit slutty" so unquestioningly believable. Hill's haughty prudery – as perceived by many on the right – contrasted with who she should have been, particularly as a young African American woman. In a culture that allows Don Imus to label 18-year-old black college students "hos," John DePetro to state that white people only visit Harlem for prostitutes and Neal Boortz to say that congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's hairstyle makes her look like a "ghetto slut," it's unsurprising that Hill's time before the (all male, all white) Senate Judiciary Committee felt mainly as if she, not Thomas, were on trial – for naively expecting to be treated with respect.

I feel a tremendous amount of empathy, sympathy and admiration for Anita Hill. Seventeen years after watching the Hill-Thomas hearings on television, as an adult African American woman, I now fully understand what I only grasped then, but which Hill knew all too well – that race and sex matter in ways that can be, and often are, life defining. I've experienced sexism, racism and sexual harassment in their most overt and subtle forms, but I don't know that I'd have the bravery to suffer attempts at character and credibility assassination to prove it to an entire nation.

It's ironic that as Anita Hill is again forced to protect her reputation against Thomas's mudslinging, Anucha Browne Sanders (it's worth noting that I believe her as well) has been able to convince a jury of Isiah Thomas's guilt. It's inarguable that Browne Sanders was, directly or indirectly, inspired and aided by Hill's pioneering (to use an overused term) conviction and courage. It's just disheartening to know that Hill has to again participate so visibly in a battle she and others have already fought so many times over.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Dodge Drafter Limbaugh Insults Actual Brave Soldiers

Since I don't have the political power to have drug addict Rush Limbaugh's fat ass shipped off to Iraq to fight following his "phony soldiers" remark in reference to troops who support withdrawal from Iraq, I've instead been emailing members of Congress who just days ago supported the bill to condemn MoveOn. My letter to Joe Lieberman is below. Feel free to use the template to email other politicians. Mine gets a little hostile toward the end, but you're welcome to take a…how do you say?...softer approach.

I'm certain that you will move swiftly to condemn Rush Limbaugh for recently labeling troops who support withdrawal from Iraq (the majority of soldiers in service) "phony soldiers." For a political pundit who has never served our country – and who may have actively evaded service – to insult our brave soldiers is, to use your own words in reference to the actions of MoveOn, "an outrageous and despicable act of slander that every member of Congress – Democrat or Republican – has a solemn responsibility to condemn."

Since you refuse to commit to any real action on the war or other issues of genuine relevance, and have instead dedicated yourself to the pursuit of petty matters meant to distract the public, here is your opportunity to at least show some consistency in your trivialness.

Please condemn Rush Limbaugh for these terrible remarks. Our troops deserve far better.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bush: Stupid

As much as I’m tempted to do another editorial about Bill O’Reilly in which I discuss how his ignorance, provincialism and plain old curmudgeonliness have finally bitten him in his racist ass; and as much as I’d like to explain that, while O’Reilly may not have intended to make racist remarks – in fact, while he may have been attempting to denounce racism – his incredulity at the fact that black people are – wait for it – people belies his very own deep seated racism; and despite the fact that I’d love to talk about the way that FOX News (I just laughed when I wrote that. “News.” That’s rich!) has proved once again, in its defense of O’Reilly, that it is a refuge for right wing nutjobs, propaganda hucksters and liars (by, among other things, running ticker items stating “O’Reilly Taken Out of Context” and “CNN Gets Suckered by Website”), I’m going to leave commentary on that issue to the many other “left wing” (i.e., grounded in reality) websites currently covering the story.

Instead, let’s talk about President Bush, okay?

At an education-themed photo op in New York City yesterday, surrounded by grade school aged children who have already learned verb-subject agreement, Dubya proudly stated to the press, “Childrens do learn.”

(The extra “s,” presumably, is for the “shitter” the country is being flushed down by the President.)

This is a fitting answer to his 2000 query, “Is our children learning?”

I know it isn't news that the President is an idiot. Still, it’s odd to have so many examples to cite as proof – with fresh, new ones sprouting up like weeds all the time.

When your legacy is one of lying, corruption, useless wars, disinformation and civil rights violations, poor grammar becomes one of your good points.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bill O'Reilly Racist, Liver Spotted Old Coot

I don’t know how he finds the time, with all those fannies to pinch around the office and obscene phone calls to make and so much panting to practice, but Bill O’Reilly set aside several minutes this week (as he does nearly every week) to toss off a few racist comments. You’ve probably already heard about these quotes – it’s old news by now – but just in case you haven’t, here’s what Creepy McCreep said on a recent episode of his radio show:

You know, I was up in Harlem a few weeks ago, and I actually had dinner with Al Sharpton, who is a very, very interesting guy. And he comes on The Factor a lot, and then I treated him to dinner, because he's made himself available to us, and I felt that I wanted to take him up there. And we went to Sylvia's, a very famous restaurant in Harlem. I had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful. They all watch The Factor. You know, when Sharpton and I walked in, it was like a big commotion and everything, but everybody was very nice.

And I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship. It was the same.

And then:

There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, "M-F-er, I want more iced tea."


You know, I mean, everybody was – it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all.

I don’t want to waste a lot of time on the many ways in which this whole speech is incredibly offensive – and totally unsurprising coming from O’Reilly – because what’s far more interesting is the way he’s chosen to defend himself since verbally pooing this out. After CNN and NBC both aired bits on O’Reilly’s typically insensitive and asinine remarks, he used his program to blast both networks, accusing CNN of going “over to the dark side” and airing the stories as a result of jealousy over ratings:

The reason CNN did this is because its ratings are abysmal. It is getting hammered by FOX news, so they’re desperate for attention. And smearing me is one way to get it. This is dishonest and dangerous. If a slime machine like Media Matters can get its far left propaganda on CNN and NBC News, the nation is in trouble. Failure leads to desperation. The Factor has been number one for six consecutive years and defeats our cable news competition combined. The other cable news outlets are ratings disasters. But that is no excuse for being dishonest.

This is classic O’Reilly, twisting situations to divert attention from the real issues at hand, and seeking blind revenge against anyone who disagrees with him – or calls him out. If you dig through all the total b.s. above, you’ll find that O’Reilly unintentionally lays out what really happened: 1) O’Reilly unwittingly admitted that until recently, he had no idea that black people are actual people and that they do…you know…people stuff, 2) Media Matters published his admission, verbatim, 3) CNN and NBC News picked up the story, 3) O’Reilly and his producers tried (and failed) to stem the negative press by calling CNN to stop the story and 4) seeing they were fighting a losing battle, O’Reilly and staff turned to Plan B – not the plan to acknowledge the racism apparent in the remarks and apologize, mind you, but the other plan B – the plan to blame the whole messy incident on CNN’s jealousy (of…O’Reilly’s journalistic integrity? His reputation for physically threatening guests he disagrees with? His way with the ladies – a way involving unwanted advances and handkerchiefs doused in chloroform?)

The fact is, O’Reilly doesn’t dedicate much time to defending his words because he knows there is no defense for them. And he knows that his show is basically the equivalent of some crazy old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn. He also knows that some people – or rather, dumb people – would rather be entertained by watching that crazy old man than the stuffy old news. That’s why real journalists – the kind that actually win Peabodies – lose ratings to people like him and to FOX News in general.

Also – who lies about winning a Peabody? Bill O’Reilly, that’s who. Meaning this is just another example in a seemingly endless list of reasons why no one out douchebags Bill O’Reilly.

Everybody’s good at something.