Sunday, June 18, 2006

Is Ann Coulter Correct?

I wrote this on an Amazon message board last night, hoping for a response that'd shed some light on this for me... So far, I haven't gotten any response at all...

In all the hubbub regarding Miss Ann & the Jersey Girls, no one yet has cogently explained the underlying point that she was trying to make. (Most who talk about these passages & her subsequent appearances--regardless of side--get stopped cold by the offensiveness of her words, but even those who try to get past "how she said it" (mostly those on her side, of course) seem to take as a given that "what she was saying"--the idea that the left is "trotting out" these women & other victims of tragedy to speak because they have a built in "shield of infalability" and thus cannot have their ideas criticized--is true.

Probably needless to say, I don't believe Miss Ann's theory of infallibility is correct, but I'm willing to listen if anyone would like to step past the rhetoric and explain it.

Here's my thoughts on this thing, so far...

Contrary to Ann's theory, these IF's (infallable folk) HAVE been criticized, both on their ideas and personally, prior to Ann's screed. Some of that criticizm has even come from the left. (I'd have to google for concrete citations, but I recall a good bit of talk when Cindy Sheehan started making statements about Israel, ferinstance.) Didn't Falafel Bill make a point of saying on his first "post-harpies" show that he "beat" Mrs. Sheehan on the facts, without resorting to the invective that Ann employs. (Of course, on the very same show, he also said he agreed with Ann's point, though not her words. I guess Bill criticized Cindy without criticizing her... ...though he neglected to explain how, then or since.)
Further, no one--not Ann, or Bill, or David Horowitz, or, well, any of the outright Coulter supporters or the "I wouldn't say it that way, but..." folks--no one has yet shown even one instance where anyone has said "You can't disagree with them, they're WIDOWS (or amputees, or the parent of a dead child), for gosh sakes!!" The way I read her words, Ann is suggesting that this sentiment is so widespread as to've silenced the rightwingers (until Ann "heroically" broke the taboo, of course), but it certainly doesn't seem so.

Ann Claims that these IF's are being "used" by the left, as though they either don't actually hold the opinions they claim to, or would not be voicing them were it not for their leftie handlers. Of course she cites nothing in the way of proof...
I believe that the Jersey Girls were profoundly affected by the murder of their husbands, and by the Bush administration's response to those murders. (It's my understanding that at least two of them were loyal Republicans who voted for Mr. Bush in 2000.) They wanted to understand exactly how this tragedy could've happened, & felt the Bush administration was resistant to finding out & telling them. All of them became less enchanted with Bush & the Republican party as a result of their experiences, and said so to anyone who would listen.
Did the left help the Jersey Girls get their message out? Sure. Did the left benefit from helping the Jersey Girls get their message out. Yes, again. I maintain that no one maliciously or wantonly used anyone, here. Both the Jersey Girls and the left at large were helping each other achieve what were often shared objectives.
Cindy Sheehan & Michael Berg started out on the left in the first place. Both were peace & justice activists before their sons were killed, and losing them only made their commitment to such things stronger. As they are already "on" the left, it's hard to say they're being used by it. The murders of their sons affected them, too, strengthening their political ideals. While I don't agree with everything they say, I'm glad they're out there speaking up.

Ann claims that her remarks are confined to these particular widows, & not 9/11 widows in general. I contend that Ann needs this to be true to somewhat mitigate the criticism she's received from the public, and particularly from other 9/11 widows. How true it actually is, depends on why Ann actually has a problem with these women. (The why is something I'm particularly fuzzy about...)
It can't be because these women "used" the murder of their husbands to attain money or fame or to advance a political position because, to whatever extent the Jersey Girls have done so, so have other 9/11 family members. A few quick examples:
Lisa Beamer wrote a book & had a hand in the movie.
Ashley Faulkner appeared in an election ad for Mr. Bush.
Debra Burlingame has repeatedly made speeches, testified before congress, and appeared on rightwing media programs advocating her political positions & beliefs.
The only thing that makes these women different from the Jersey girls is that these women have done these things in support of Bush & the Republican party.

Some have suggested that the Jersey Girls (& Cindy, Michael, ...) have no business dictating public policy, as they lack the know how. A fair point, which is why they are NOT dictating policy. Like the rightwing women above, along with MADD, Christopher Reeve, Carolyn McCarthy (before she got informed, ran for office & thus became one of those knowledgeable decisionmakers) they are advocating for a particular position, & trying to get those who DO have the requisite know how to take their positions into account.

So, what am I not getting? Am I misunderstanding Ann's point, or are there other facts about which I am not aware?

I'm really not looking for a "you suck" or "typical liberal" response... (I mean, if you really can't help yourself, go for it, but it's really not going to do much for (or to) anyone aside yourself... If that's the response you choose to give to my honest inquiries, your opinion of me isn't going to have me losing any sleep) I'm trying to get beyond "how she said it," and discuss "what she said," without inviting debate on "how I said it." I'd appreciate the same in return. Customer Discussions: Is Ann Correct? How so?

Friday, June 16, 2006 - Kevin McCullough's Weblog - Kevin McCullough's Weblog

One thing Kevin neglects to say is that Larry Johnson is a registered Republican (oops!)

And even if Mr. Johnson WAS a part of the LEFT [sic], his comments would only reflect poorly on Mr. Johnson, unless Kevin could demonstrate that those on his evil left were defending those shameful comments about Rove's mother the way a fair portion of the rightwing has defended Miss Ann.

Larry was wrong. Miss Ann was wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right over here on the left... It seems that such justifications only come from the rightwing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Henry Rollins: A Love Letter To Ann Coulter

Henry Rollins: A Love Letter To Ann Coulter

There are no words necessary... Watch (See yourself before sharing audio or video with children or cow orkers.)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Book Revue & Bias

One of the best independent bookstores on Long Island has just lost my business...

A few years ago, I began to notice that they hosted more rightwing authors than leftwing ones. At first, I thought it was a fluke... Perhaps no liberal author wrote a book the same month Bernie Goldberg released Bias...
Maybe Jim Hightower wasn't doing a book tour for Theives in High Places...
But gradually, I came to realize that month after month, there were more rightwing authors showing up at Book Revue than those from the left.

So, about a year ago, I sent them an e-mail letting them know I'd noticed this trend, and requesting that they do something to set my mind at ease... Have more authors from across the social & political spectrum (preferable) or host less from the right. In short, show me that this wasn't intentional...

I got no response to my e-mail. Not only didn't they respond directly, nothing changed as regards the authors doing the appearances. Hannity has had a signing for every one of his books, and also shows up to help sell the books of others he supports, like Goldberg, above. O'Reilly. E.D. Hill. Pat Buchanan. And the final straw, at least for me, Ann Coulter (again, with Hannity, who even did a live broadcast from my formally beloved bookstore.)

So, with sadness in my heart, I bid farewell to my bookstore, by sending them this email last night:
In honor of yet another appearance by Fox News (Hannity, together with Ann Coulter, this time), I hereby revoke my patronage of your establishment.

I was a resident of Huntington from 1969 through 1996, and spent many hours and a good chunk of money in your store in the late 70s & throughout the 80s. One of my good friends, Jeff B, was an employee of yours. I worked in Chartiers, right behind your building. (I also spent a lot of time in Oscars, but preferred your store.) In the last few years, I've occasionally driven in from Mastic to shop in your store (it is among the best independent bookshops on Long Island, and my politics urges me to spend my money in line with my values--including my disdain for the big boxes that're slowly destroying our local main street businesses.) I even have a frequent buyer card, even though I don't spend nearly the time or money in your shop that I used to.

It was that history, along with your selection & status as an independent, that allowed me to forgive your seeming penchant for hosting right-wing authors a good deal more often than similarly prominent authors from the left. Hannity (HOW many times can this guy appear?), O'Reilly, ED Hill, The Bias guy, Pat Buchanan... ...and the list goes on, I'm sure... (I'm going from memory...)

In a similar period, you've had Amy Goodman, & (perhaps) Al Franken. I'm sure I'm missing a liberal or two from the last 5 years, but the number has got to be half that of conservative appearances in the same period.

The final straw was Ann Coulter. She is trash, and I will not continue to support any person or entity that gives her (& the Fauxes) a platform to spew that kind of bile. There are other independent bookstores that are more in line with my personal, political and social beliefs, and thus have earned my patronage. I will always value the books & the memories I have because of Book Revue, but I cannot continue to give money to an institution that allows the likes of Coulter & these creeps from the Murdoch/Moonie media to spew their harmful, hateful views, and then fails to present authors from the other side to rebut them.

W. James Casper

Mastic, NY 11950

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

John Stewart (More truth)

Wingnuts & Moonbats X-Post

Jon Stewart on Crossfire

Posted Oct 15, 2004

Jon Stewart browbeats the Crossfire hosts for their "partisan hackery." Many suspect this now-legendary appearance prompted CNN to remove the show from their line-up.

Just watched this video again... Nothing like seeing people speak the truth...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

In Reply: Useless Cartoon Notions of the "Other" Side

In reply to Can the Democrats Fight the War on Terror?

At Real Clear Politics, John Leo's got a nice reminder of the Democratic Party's difficulties in confronting the terrorist threat. Leo starts his discussion with "The Good Fight," the new book by pro-American liberal Peter Beinart. He then turns to Henry A. Wallace, and the difficulties the Wallace legacy presents for Democrats today.
It's interesting that the post author neglected to give the full title of Peter Beinart's book. It was actually: "The Good Fight: Why Liberals---and Only Liberals---Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again". And the notion that mainstream Democrats would have any problem prosecuting a legitimate war is laughable to anyone who doesn't believe that "the Left" consists of communists and terrorist symps. (and yes, that includes Beinart, apparently.) These cartoon notions that this guy and some of his friends on the right are wont to disseminate are fictions that leave their analysis of contemporary politics sorely lacking.

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