Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In Reply: A Conspiracy About A Conspiracy: Journolist Covers Up Trig Truth (or something)

In reply to bjkeefe: We are now one name lighter, and his decision to oust Andrew Sullivan from his blogroll, in response to Sully's most recent allegations about the truthiness of his Trig conspiracy, and the complicity of the liberal, tri-lateral cabal, Journolist, in covering it up.

Yeah, I cannot understand Sully's obsession with this conspiracy. He seems basically sane for the most part, but where his one-man Trig Truther thing is concerned, all reason that doesn't fit his chosen meme goes out the window, right down to the idea that Ezra, dear leader to 400 left of center writers, ordered them not cover this story... ...and to a person, they complied.

(But then, the whole Journolist conspiracy is an awfully fabricated story, itself requiring a whole lotta willful suspension of disbelief of inconvenient facts and total lack of gun, smoking.)

Anyway, I can certainly understand your actions... (Me, I dig reading a little crazy, so I'll likely keep him listed, at least for the time being...)

Posted 7:55 AM, July 27, 2010 (bjkeefe blog time)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Anonymous/Pseudononymous Blogging and Commenting: Cowardly?

In reply to: American Power: Update on Blogging Anonymity and Blogging Ethics and Cowardly Blogging | Right Wing News (Comment replies to the first link, but appears as a comment at the second--a teaser crosspost of the first, posted at a site where my comments are not moderated away for content... (at least, not so far...) There will likely be a yet more in-depth and fully linked/cited response, at American Nihilist. In fact, I may even pop back here and paste in the portions of Dr Douglas' post to which I'm replying--which is difficult to do over at RWN, given it's limits...)
UPDATE: Rather than allow this comment to continue to appear at the post at Right Wing News, Professor Donald Douglas deleted the entire post. I find that ironic, given the name he had given the piece at that site. He seemed very proud of his "accomplishment," even going so far as to announce his "triumph" over me in a comment to one of my blog posts (which is itself pretty ironic, if ya think about it...)
"Oh, and, I don't welcome your comments at RWN. In other words, don't comment there as you are not welcomed. If you comment on my RWN posts, I'll delete them, as I have today to your stupid double standards."
Well there you are... He really showed me... ...I think. (All I know is that it'll take some extra willpower not to play Pavlov... Must...not...ring...that...:::ding,ding,ding::: ...oops, there goes another rubber tree plant... It was just my keys that time, I swear... I'm pretty sure the doorbell, that time...)
I've been thinking a lot about anonymous blogging since E.D. Kain launched his campaign of workplace intimidation last year. For one thing, I no longer think anonymous blogging is automatically cowardly. Oh sure, mostly I'd prefer to have someone put their name behind their words. And of course at this point I still probably wouldn't have started blogging anonymously even today, given the knowledge that I have about the depths of evil on the web. No, it's more that I'm not going to be critical of those who do continue to blog anonymously.
I'm glad you've come to this new position Of course, I still maintain that there's a difference between blogging or commenting anonymously and using a regular online screen name.
I think the main thing, as Dan points out, is whether the blogger in question is really a serious writer with critical things to say, and would rather speak freely and often harshly without fear of retribution, or whether you have bloggers whose sole existence online is to demonize and destroy those whom they hate. American Nihilist, for example, exists for the sole purpose of attacking me personally with the most demented bile imaginable, and that blog has gotten more perverted over time, eventually devolving into a Satanic hate outlet for workplace intimidation and non-stop vicious personal diatribes. It's a hate blog. It exists for no other purpose but to spew invective and evil. And I've repeatedly challenged the authors to put or up shut up by posting their full personal identification and contact information, but they have not done so. And that's cowardly.
As far as your allegations about me personally, I invite you to back them with more than your words.

Yes I run a blog where folks are mean to you, in some cases personally, rather than on point. I'd prefer that folks wouldn't do that, but I don't intend to substitute my blogging ethics for that of one of my fellow authors. While I may not personally like or agree with everything every author writes, I put a higher value on their ethical right to post according to their morals rather than mine, though I'm welcome to revisit that decision where circumstances (such as the writer who voluntarily resigned his authorship, and left the rest of us with a post containing ideas that no one felt comfortable defending) or the law are concerned. Further, I don't accept the notion that *every* writer at a group blog is responsible for the words or ideas that *any* writer posts. You have a problem with me, fine. But if I didn't write the post or comment with which you're taking issue, you're talking to the wrong guy. Authors and blog owners at other group blogs are free to make their own decisions as to how to handle such questions, and they certainly needn't agree with mine.

American Nihilist (blog) exists for the purpose of giving those who wish to avail themselves of it a place to respond to you, whether it be to a personal attack or an ideological difference of opinion. It's authorship and blogroll is entirely made up of folks you've picked a fight with on American Power. You can view it as a hate site or a personal attack on you if you like, but I maintain that a good number of posted responses deal primarily with issues you've raised on your blog.

It's a little incongruous for you to say "For one thing, I no longer think anonymous blogging is automatically cowardly." and "No, it's more that I'm not going to be critical of those who do continue to blog anonymously." in the same post where you say "And I've repeatedly challenged the authors to put or up shut up by posting their full personal identification and contact information, but they have not done so. And that's cowardly." especially when at least some of the info you seek (all of our names, I believe) is available, and not especially hard to find, online.

Either it's cowardly or it isn't. Either you're demanding names and whatnot or you aren't. Make up your mind--being consistent across the board, for friend and foe alike--and get back to us.

As I've said before, when you require as a condition of participation that the folks at your blog and at the blogs where you comment release their personal/contact info--and you release your info, of course--I will match you, datapoint for datapoint. This is at least the second time I'm making the offer, so it'd be kinda silly to keep repeating the demand, and pretending you haven't seen the counter-offer. As you said, put up or shut up.

Finally, a quick word about one of the concepts in the videoas it relates to our situation. I believe it was Kyra who said that the best thing a blogger can do is be as above board as possible and speak "face to face." While I may be misinterpreting what she meant, I'll point out that very little (if any) of what I say as regards you or your ideas is hidden. Until you banned me and started moderating your comments, the majority of my responses were offered right there on your blog, right below the piece to which I was replying. American Nihilist would have fewer posts if you were more willing to engage me on your blog. You are always welcome on mine, whether you wish to discuss a post or create odd plays on my screen name. (RepMasterSpinelessDenialist, freak-nozzle denial master, HateMasterRepLoserDenialist, RepHateMasterFail, BirdBrainRepHaterBilgeMaster, BeetleJuiceMasterHateMongerSlimeBallFail) ((Yes, they're all real, and all created by LBCC associate professor of political science Donald Douglas. Links on request.)) In short, I am speaking to you, as face to face as the internet will allow.

If you want to allege something about me or a post I've written, come on back with quotes or other evidence of the thing you're alleging, or don't bother. In short, put up or shut up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In Reply: Shirley Sherrod, and the "Discrimination" of Helping Your Own Community

In reply to Breitbart & Co. trash the truth: USDA official Shirley Sherrod was just the most recent casualty, and in particular, to a guy named Anton1, who said:
Shirley Sherrod is a self-proclaimed reformed racist. That is undeniable. Her actions, feelings, and thoughts during her employment were admittedly racist. That is undeniable. Albeit later, she realized the error in her bigotry, and all is forgiven, UNLESS, you happen to be a white farmer under her self-proclaimed bigotry BEFORE she realized her errors. When did she realize that her bigotry and hate for white people was wrong? How many instances of racial bias, had been purpotrated by her, BEFORE her self-proclaimed epiphany? Why are these qustions not being asked? Is it possible that with this prior self-proclaimed hatred for whites, she has opened the door for multitudes of lawsuits from white farmers that feel as if she didn't "give the full force" of what she could do? Does anyone think her self-proclaimed "opened eyes", at some unknown point in her life, will protect her, and her employer, in a court of law? The TRUTH stands, as is.

(The comment system at the Daily News is really shitty, so I can't say whether what he wrote had paragraph breaks before he hit send, but it definitely came out without 'em... just like my comment did.)

@Anton1: With respect, I'm not sure how much of a racist Sherrod ever was, though I do think she had some bigoted ideas and attitudes... She seemed to be more of a "separate and equal (and eventually, better) kinda gal, who put all her efforts into helping her own, and just paid as little attention to white folks as possible. While that kinda thing isn't always "kumbaya, we are the world," it generally isn't illegal or immoral, either. (In fact, many groups/segments of the general population do that - women's groups, jewish groups, alcoholics, cancer survivors, professional/union organizations...) People choose to do things to help and advance themselves and their own, both in their spare time and in their professions--and even when it means not helping folks who ain't in their group--all the time.

There likely were no "other/previous white farmers," because she had always worked for co-ops whose whole mission was to help black farmers. (And don't forget, the whole story begins with the words "The first time I was confronted with helping a white farmer...") That the Spooners were even sent to the black co-op was a fluke, and she really was under no obligation, legally (or otherwise, depending on your morals) to help them at all--it wasn't in her or her co-op's job description.

But she did help them, even initially, doing the minimum required--literally, the least she could do for them. And it was through helping them that she realized they were no different from any of the other (black) farmers she'd helped, and that it wasn't about skin color, but about need and ability.

While there can be, and often is, some overlap and grey area between 'em, there's a difference between being racial and racist, to traffic in special interest/identity politics and to be a bigot. It's good to be proud of your own race, religion, gender, etc (all those individual attributes that you were born with and that you've chosen for yourself, that make you you); and it's good to want to help your own community (those who share one or more of those attributes that make you you), as well. But at the same time, it means that you're discriminating against those who aren't in your community, by not doing as much for the outsiders as you do for the insiders--and even by looking at them as outsiders and insiders. It can be a fine line.

Personally, I think it's ok (if not outright good and even necessary) to "discriminate" in that way; to have an in group and an out group, and even to do for some and not for others. (Contrary to the rumors, I'm not actually a commie Marxist socialist, at all.) It doesn't all have to be equal for everyone, in effort or in outcome.

In fact, it's a lot like a literal community... say, your own neighborhood. If you and your neighbors decide to take it upon yourselves to pick up trash or turn an empty lot into a playground or a ball field, that doesn't mean you have to go into the next neighborhood and do the same for them. You don't owe anyone outside your neighborhood your spare money or your free time, just because you got together and did for yourselves, donating one or both to your goals. (You can even set restrictions on folks from outside the neighborhood using your new playground or ball field.)

It gets a little trickier, ethically, when it's not a community of proximity like your neighborhood, but a community based on those things that so often divide us, like race, religion, gender, etc., but I think similar rules apply. In my opinion, that's what Shirley Sherrod was involved with, a group of like-minded black farmers helping themselves and each other to save and improve their own "neighborhood" of farms. The Spooners were just from another "neighborhood," and Ms Sherrod wasn't sure she should be giving her time to them, when her own "neighbors" still needed so much help, and she had pledged herself to them. In the end, Shirley Sherrod decided to spend more of her time working and playing in a bigger, more inclusive neighborhood.

When it comes to these trickier communities--the ones that so often divide us--it really depends on one's own heart, and the real and true motives contained in it, which may not be obvious to others... ...and on always drawing the lines between "us" and "them" in disappearing ink. That's where Shirley Sherrod went wrong, initially... She spent her earlier years using a big ol' permanent marker, until she realized how much better a solid pencil with a really big and often-used eraser would be for everyone...

Comment revised and extended from original

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In Reply: Ol' Man Breitbart: Context is everything

In reply to: d r i f t g l a s s: Full Metal Thurm

Andrew Breitbart on CNN, 7/20/2010, suggesting that 80+ year old "white farmer's wife" Eloise Spooner isn't really who she says she is, and generally melting down, as a result of being caught red-handed, coke-nosed, and bare-assed, shitting in the cookie jar, while claiming he's in church.


You know... Based on that logic, I don't understand how Mr Breitbart can accuse Shirley Sherrod or anyone else in that room of racism. I mean, how does he know--indeed, how can ANY of us ever REALLY know--that the incident Ms. Sherrod described in the video ever actually happened. Was Mr. Breitbart there? Did he speak to anyone who was there, 24 years ago? Has he any records confirming that Ms. Sherrod was there, or that she had those biased inclinations and bigoted attitudes? Before releasing this video, what investigative reporting did he do?

I suspect that she had some liberal meme she wanted to sell, about the evils of bigotry and the redemptive power of tolerance for one's fellow man, and just made up that whole story about her and that white farmer. What research has Mr Breitbart done to confirm that any of it ever even happened, and if he has not, I ask you what the hell any of us are even doing discussing this as yet unconfirmed tall tale?

I also want Mr Breitbart to prove that he was not in fact the person who edited and labeled the video so misleadingly, and that this mysterious "source" on whom he's blaming the misleading "breitbarting" of the video even exists. Context is everything, and dammit, I demand that he come up with something in the way of proof that the video posted on his site with commentary penned by him, looking very much like other misleadingly edited videos posted on his site with commentary by him, isn't in fact, his misleadingly malicious video. This mysterious "one armed-man" crap isn't flying with me... I want the media Scooby gang to do their thing, and pull the mask off the invisible man that Andrew is claiming as the absent editor and source... ...and I fully suspect it's gonna turn out to be the caretaker of the abandoned BIG LIE sites, old man Breitbart...

"...and I'd've gotten away with my lies, too (yet again), if it hadn't been for that meddling TRUTH..."
Posted 7/21/10, 2:04 PM

Attn News Media: Please Investigate This Claim from Shirley Sherrod

I was reading Agriculture secretary to review resignation of USDA worker - CNN.com, and the following paragraph caught my eye:
Sherrod said she first heard of the possible controversy when someone e-mailed her Thursday to taunt her about her comments. She immediately forwarded the e-mail to the USDA so the agency would be aware. She was told that someone would look into it.
She said it wasn't until Monday that she heard back, and by then, she was being asked for her resignation.

"someone e-mailed her Thursday to taunt her about her comments."

Attn news media: Please investigate and report on this angle of the story. Andrew Breitbart claims he did not have the complete video, and that the portion he received from his source on Sunday came pre-misleadingly edited (breitbarted) and chyroned with the false allegation about "taxpayer money." Breitbart is obviously a liar in general, but if he is telling the truth in this particular regard, then who misleadingly edited this video in that all-too-familiar Breitbart way, and what was his/her motivation and intended outcome? Was it the same person who e-mailed her four days before the story broke, and if not, what is this e-mailer's connection to the misleading video and story?

I maintain that either Breitbart is responsible for the misleading edit, or his mysterious source is the culprit. The evidence--both previous experience (the ACORN fiasco, the Teabuggers,...) and even the most cursory look at who's dirty fingerprints are all over every aspect of this current bit of fiction up to now--says it's Breitbart, but if he's going to place the blame on his mysterious source, he really ought to be expected to prove it. (You know... the same way Andrew was demanding proof that the nice old couple really were "the white farmers" Ms Sherrod was talking about in the video, in his CNN appearance on Tuesday.) I mean, if he wasn't even willing to trust the 80+ year old couple who self-report that they were "the white farmers" in question, without launching an investigation into their background, then I see no reason why anyone in or out of the media should take Breitbart's word that there really is a mysterious source who misleadingly edited the video without his knowledge or consent. So like Mr Breitbart, I expect the media to do their due diligence, and do everything possible to ferret out the truth, and continue asking the questions until they get answers. (And maybe... just maybe, there's some wealthy liberal blogger or media gadfly who's willing to offer a large reward for documentary proof of exactly who misleadingly breitbarted that video, and when, and why, and at whose behest... Y'know... Just like Andrew himself might do...)((Or maybe those journolist guys and gals can take up a collection...))

In Reply: Not So Fast, Indeed - Shirley Sherrod and Wingnut Face-Saving, After Breitbart Burnout

In reply to: Shirley Sherrod's Disappearing Act: Not So Fast | Washington Examiner

Quite the speculative hit job.

"We're also wondering whether she beat her children, and how often. We're not saying she *did* beat them mind you, but throughout much of her life she has had children, a working pair of arms and other requisite body parts, AND consistent access to belts and other common household implements with which to beat them. This Washington Examiner reporter will get back to you when he knows more."

I'm not saying you shouldn't look into what may perhaps maybe be a story. But I am saying that this post as it currently stands is nothing but malicious (& likely partisan) speculation based on, well, absolutely nothing.

Posted 7/21/10, 1:45 AM (or so)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Andrew Breitbart: Partisan Propagandist and Self-Promoting Clown

What happened to Shirley Sherrod was a crime.

Rightwing propagandists did their thing, and Dem officials caved. (You practically have to catch republicans in the act of flirting with the cute pageboys, before getting one to disappear this fast. Pretty much all of the other bigots and extramarital family values crowd is still in office, with finger and toe nails dug into the furniture, if necessary. And friends to support and defend them, of course.)

She was robbed, by the White House and the media.

Now that we know the truth, I'd like to see her as quickly reinstated as she was let go. As the story continues to be told, we find more and more that she's not only an asset, but an inspiration to the department and the people she's helped through the years, black and white.

I fear that cowardice and an inability to admit error on the part of Vilsack and White House officials is going to prevent that, in which case I hope she sues everyone involved for wrongful termination. And wins. BIG.

My other wish, is that no one ever forgets the role that that snake Andrew Breitbart played in railroading this woman, and that he is never taken seriously by anyone but crackpots and extremists ever again. Perhaps the lesson that the media and the public failed to learn after the ACORN tapes and the Teabuggers will finally sink in. Andrew Breitbart is a liar and a propagandist and, unless you have the full raw video, you're likely being played for a sucker and a fool.

American people.

Andrew Breitbart is not your friend, and knows nothing of truth or honesty. He is a partisan propagandist and a self-promoting clown.

Please don't ever forget it, and never let him or any of his minions or media enablers so easily screw with another person's life and livelihood ever again.

President Obama, Sec. Vilsack: Please reinstate Shirley Sharrod to her position at the USDA

My Contact the White House message:

What happened to Shirley Sherrod is an absolute crime. Rather than standing up and fighting for the truth of the situation, members of your administration tossed in the towel before the fight even began.

Everything I've read and heard says that Ms Sherrod has been nothing but exemplary in her work, both before joining the USDA and after her appointment. Even the experience from 24 years ago was a tale of failure and redemption, not the bigoted story the edited video and the people who propagated it suggested it was.

Please have Sec. Vilsack reinstate Shirley Sharrod immediately... And I mean today. It took only hours for rightwing propagandists to persuade Dem officials to can her based on lies. It shouldn't take more than 24 hours to reinstate her based on the truth.

Again, please reinstate Shirley Sharrod to her position at the USDA.

Thank you.

(Yeah, it'll take sec Vilsack having to admit he was wrong to ask for and then accept her resignation. But then, he was wrong to ask for and then accept her resignation.)

Please reinstate Shirley Sharrod to her position at the USDA.

Shirley Sharrod, 1986, and the New Communities Black Farm Coop

UPDATE: My info wasn't correct, either... New Communities went bankrupt in 1985. After that--and until sometime in the 90's from what I can tell), Shirley Sharrod was an employee of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives - Land Assistance Fund (Fighting to save black owned land since 1967 with cooperatives) Different organization, same mission. (New Communities was a member of the Federation until it went bankrupt.) See below the initial post for even more info

In reply to USDA Official, Shirley Sherrod Resigns After Inflammatory Anti White Speech (Video) – IndyPosted, and the following passage in particular:
"It should be noted that she admitted to discriminating on the basis of race in her capacity as a federal official administering tax dolars that were allocated for assistance to farmers who had fallen on bad times."
That is incorrect. She admitted to not doing anything more than was necessary for a white farmer with an overly inflated ego 24 years ago, when she was running the New Communities black farm coop, which she and her husband started, and which--as the name implies--was a coop for assisting black farmers who were down on their luck. She was not a federal official at the time, and could not allocate government funds to anyone--though I'm given to understand, she could direct you to folks who could.

Further, it sure seems to me that her point in telling the story was as a parable AGAINST bigoted thinking and action... "It's not about black and white, it's about helping the poor... It opened my eyes."

As the context of the story she told comes out and the full unbreitbarted video of her whole speech emerges, I suspect this is going to become a very different story. But nevertheless, Andrew Breitbart and his propaganda machine, along with FoxNews, will have captured another scalp at the expense of the truth...

If it's true... If bullies like them really were able to successfully run a woman off for admitting she made a mistake a long time ago, and for urging others to be more inclusive than she once was, I feel very sorry for Shirley Sharrod, for the state of the news media in general, and ultimately, for us all.

Submitted for moderator approval 7/20/10, 2:20 AM

More info: (Found and cut/pasted from Senate Sketches # 1155 | Doc's Political Parlor)

This story of persistence has its genesis in the late sixties. A group of Black Farmers near Albany, GA came together to convert civil rights gains into economic, social and community gains. Riding the lifting waves of hope, some 15 families came together to form a non-profit corporation to farm. It was called New Communities, the name symbolizing their hopes for a new economic, social and institutional order. Two strong civil rights leaders, Charles Sherrod and Shirley Sherrod, along with others, led the effort. They were determined.

Still riding the undulating waves of hope, these Black farmers, under the umbrella of New Communities, purchased 935 acres in 1969. Then in 1970, they purchased another 4800 acres for a total of 5,735 acres. This may well have been the largest mass of Black-owned land in these United States. They were persistent.

Times were hard, but New Communities forged ahead facing challenge after challenge. However, race was still riding high on different but powerful and adverse waves. From the beginning, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), along with many others, threw road blocks in their way at every turn. But these Black farmers would not give up. They were determined.

Just to keep the farm going in spite of these road blocks and challenges, they sold 1348 acres of the land in 1978. But USDA continued with its road blocks. They denied loans to New Communities, refused to allow it to restructure its loans, and took some of its monies when timber was sold in an effort to keep afloat.

USDA was also persistent and determined. New Communities was finally forced out of business in 1985 when it filed for bankruptcy. The Black farmers lost the remaining 4,387 acres. It seemed that their dream of a New Community had come to an end. But they refused to quit; refused to give up; refused to cease being determined.

Both Charles and Shirley Sherrod continued to assist other Black farmers: Shirley as a full-time employee of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives; and Charles as a member of the Federation Board of Directors.
There's more to the story, too... Check the link.

Monday, July 19, 2010

In reply: Yes, they laughed, No condoning racism, and People change

A few more replies to Shirley Sherrod Confesses Her Racism to NAACP - Dakota Voice

They laughed when she described a guy who was trying to act superior (and she didn't say he was acting that way because he was white, just that he was acting that way) needing help from her, and her deciding how much help this rude guy in front of her deserves. Anyone who's ever served the public (in retail, hotels, government work, etc.) knows the story, and likely had the same thoughts themselves, at one time or another. Most just swallow it and do their jobs, but some--like this woman, at that time, anyway--didn't/don't. But regardless of how we reacted to our own brush with rudeness, we all know the impulse, and that's why the laugh. (The bigotry came later, and I didn't hear anyone laughing, then.)

If a video came out of a white person saying s/he had bigoted attitudes 20 years earlier and had at least once acted on them, and it ended with "It's not about black and white... Well, it is, a little but it opened my eyes..., yeah, I'd say let's hear the rest of the video before denouncing him or her.

Perhaps the MSM is trying to get the whole story, first. (and if so, I applaud them, because they so seldom do.)

Read my comment again, because there is nothing in it about condoning racism.

My point was, no one should be judged by a single act, and many people who do bad things grow and change and use examples from their lives--even the bad ones--to teach others to be better than they were, and if that is the case here--if the point of her telling that tale at an NAACP meeting was to say "Don't think and act as I once did. Black or white, there are people who need our help."--that ought to be a part of the story, too.

Even if you don't agree that anyone needs or deserves help from an outfit like the NAACP, it's a very different message than billing this as an example of NAACP racism. If that's what she's saying, it's an example of a person delivering the exact opposite message to the NAACP.

And whether I'm right or wrong, I'd sure like to see the whole tape, so there's no doubt as to what she was saying, or why.

Strom Thurmond became a better man. (And yeah, I think that Lott got screwed out of his position over trying to say a nice thing about an old guy on his birthday.)
Robert Byrd became a better man.
This woman may've become a better woman as well, and right or wrong, I'd like to know the whole story before passing judgement.

In context or out, she was a bigot in 1986...

I was a stoner washing dishes in a restaurant and dating a gal who turned out to be a cheating slut.

Times change, people change, attitudes change.

The context is whether and how she changed... and like I said, I'm relatively sure that that was the point of telling the story, and the moral--what she'd learned and how she'd changed--was the part that got cut off the end.

Sorry, Breitbart... Not this time... Unedited Shirley Sherrod NAACP video, please.

In reply to Shirley Sherrod Confesses Her Racism to NAACP - Dakota Voice, which is one of many wingnut sites (including American Power, with a post entitled "NAACP Racism", of course) to feature video (edited Breitbart-style) of a black woman who worked for the government confessing that she wasn't as helpful to a white farmer as she might've been back in 1986 or so, and starting to say that she was wro... (and then, predictably, the video cuts off.)
My reply:

Aren't you at all interested in hearing the whole story, in context?

Her experience with the white farmer likely occurred in 1986 (the year chapter 12 bankrupcy protection was enacted for family farmers), and it sure sounds to me like her point in telling the story (the part that's cut off the end) is to explain that she was wrong to think as she did back then...

No, that doesn't erase the bad act(s) she committed back in 1986, but if her point was to say she was wrong, she was sorry, and she doesn't want anyone else--particularly those in the NAACP--to carry the same attitudes as she once did, I think that ought to be a part of the story, and people ought not judge her until they know one way or the other.

I can't tell anyone else what to do, but I'm reserving judgement until I see an unedited video of her whole speech. I learned my lesson after seeing some of the up-till-then-unaired and unedited sections of the Breitbart ACORN videos. Fool me once... A fool and his vote is soon... Won't get fooled again. (Yeah, that's it.)

Submitted for Dakota Voice moderator approval 7/19/10, 8:04 PM (WIS blog time)


And another, in reply to: Shirley Sherrod, Dept. of Agriculture Official, Fired After Admitting to Racist Act at NAACP Event | The Hinterland Gazette

I sure would like to see the full video before I make up my mind on this... According to the cues in her timeline, this incident occurred in 1986--the year chapter 12 bankruptcy was extended to family farms--and it sure seems to me like she's about to say how wrong she was to have that attitude, back then. ("It's not about black and white... Well it is, a little, but..." CHOP// End of tape.)

What she did to that farmer was undoutedly wrong, but I believe people can and do change, and I'd like to know the whole story before making up my mind as to what I think about the incident. (Besides, I wouldn't trust Breitbart--and especially a Breitbart video--if he was the last man on Earth. I'd count my teeth, fingers and toes after being in the same room with him.)
Posted 7/19/10, 9:10 PM

And one more, to FOXNews.com, this time:

I don't trust Breitbart as far as I could throw him. I want to see the full unedited tape--particularly the portion cut off the end, where it sure sounds to me as though she's about to say how wrong her attitude was back then. (You folks do realize that, based on her cues, this incident with the white farmer occurred in 1986 or 87--just after chapter 12 bankruptcy was enacted for family farmers. Alot can change in that amount of time, and I'd sure like to know if she's about to say alot did change, especially her bigoted attitudes toward white farmers who needed help--just like black farmers did.)

It's incumbent on "the News"--including you guys at Fox--to tell the whole story. Please do.

It doesn't change the fact that she at least once acted like a bigot, and it doesn't get her job back if her whole point in telling the story was to decry the kind of bigoted attitude she once held against white farmers, in a room where others may feel the same, either... But just the same, I sure would like to know the whole story...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

In Reply: The Nihilism of Donald Douglas; Not puting up, and sadly, not shutting up, either

In reply to the fact that people now recognize that Donald Douglas doesn't understand the definition of Nihilism, and the fact that Donald Douglas is rather unhappy that people now know he doesn't understand the definition of nihilism, and unsuccessfully tries to defend himself.
Actually, no, there's no problem on the definition, Reppy.
Professor Douglas, if you read the definition below and think that somehow applies to me--without providing a single example of my saying anything that fits that definition, of course (you never do)--there is clearly a problem with your reading or comprehension skills...
At Wiki: "Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived."
It's not whether or not you can cut and paste (Lord knows everyone is certain you can do that), but whether you can apply the definition you cut and pasted (and presumably read, one hopes) to actual situations.

As I've probably said fifty times before, if you're going to accuse me or anyone else of being a nihilist, you're going to have to actually cite them saying or doing things in accordance with the cribbed definition.

So where are the posts or comments where I argue that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value? Where are the links to my asserting that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived?

The answer, just like every time before, is nowhere. Still telling, and still not showing. Not puting up, and sadly, not shutting up, either...

Dr Douglas, I know you believe that you can just say things and have everyone nod their heads in stunned agreement, but that isn't how the real world works. If you insist on coming to the table with evidence-free assertions, you might just as well not bother. Your words are worthless, and the fact that you've come to this same table just as full of words and free of supporting evidence so many times before kinda suggests that you really just don't have the goods, at all.
You just make up some a moral code as you go, which basically ends up being totally FUBAR double-standards.
Show it or shut it, Don... Put up or shut up.
You are banned at AmPow. Do not comment there, as that is harassment, just like allegations of harassment you support at Swash.
Funny, you've consistently failed to back that allegation, as well. Same standards all around. One cannot be banned from a public blog, whether it's yours or his. Anyone can submit comments to a moderated blog from which they've been "banned," whether it's you ignoring Octo's "ban," or my ignoring yours. Unlike you, I never changed my position on moderation or banning. (And unlike you, I can provide evidence of your ignoring Octo's ban, and then whining about my ignoring yours.)

If you can prove me wrong (or even just provide anything in the way of evidence in support of what you claim), I invite you to do so. But if you're just going to repeat the same tired allegations without anything to back them up, you really ought not bother. It's only making you look more pathetic.

If you really believe I'm harassing you by submitting my big 2-4 comments/month, I invite you to report me. Otherwise stop whining, and man up.

Thanks for your support.

Posted July 18, 2010 6:34 PM, American Nihilist blog time

In Reply: The Humorless Fail to Get the Joke...

In reply to the American Nihilist post "Castro Lives," and the fact that our friend and Political Science professor Donald Douglas used it as "proof" that the "Obama-American Left" is largely made up of Stalinists. (No... REALLY... Follow the humorless link below...)

And as usual, the humorless fail to get the joke...

(Professor Douglas, is there really no bit of satire low enough to fail to go well over your pointed little head? Free clue: The attitudes expressed in your post are pretty much the same ones this post was written to make fun of. We're not laughing with you, we're laughing at you... and the fact that you fail to comprehend it, and apparently take the post seriously, makes it all the more funny to everyone else.)

Posted July 18, 2010 4:54 PM, American Nihilist blog time

Friday, July 16, 2010

In reply: "...when Donald [Douglas] was all about not understanding what the word nihilism meant." Redux

Revised and extended, in reply to the following comment left at the Lawyers, Guns, and Money post, “Shoot, I’m not even always right, LOL!” (because in light of Donald Douglas' over the top "Holy shit he really is crazy" reply, it deserved demanded more attention than the honorable mention and "entitled" position I'd given it previously.)

Malaclypse says:
I miss when Donald was all about not understanding what the word nihilism meant. That was an internet tradition of which I was proud to be aware.
To which I replied:

Take heart, Mal...

Those days are clearly not yet over... ...in full caps, bold font, and that familiar "huff and PUFF and BLOW your house in" style that can only come from a man more proud of showing off his ignorance of "political terms one would think a political science professor really ought to have a grasp of" than ever he has been...

But never fear, dear readers... He's already declared himself victorious and moved on, certain that only a nihilist fool (or a "Godless freak-nozzle and Xtremist hate-merchant" nihilist fool, like me) would dare question his boisterous, bombastic, masterful delivery of that unique blend of circuitous logic and wholly meaningless ad hom that only a regular Donald Douglas reader can really and truly appreciate. (For the benefit of those who haven't already been to Donald's post and followed the link that he attached to that bit of name-calling, it goes not to anything in support of any one of the "observations" he made about me in that ad hominem rant, but to my altogether not very extreme, extremist, or "Xtremist,"? (whatever that is) Blogger User Profile. Way to let me have it there Dr. Douglas... Posting my profile really showed me...)

A quick word about Donald's unhinged charge that I "pile[d] on the allegations of juvenile sexual predation despite facts that put the lie to these sick malevloent dopes as totally FUBAR." Nowhere in any of my comments regarding this whole subject (including the comment that Donald refused to allow through the moderation stream --because apparently, that's how a "real man" welcomes comments and debate, and defends his positions vigorously; moderating away anything he doesn't like--) did I even mention the age of the models he's peppering his blog with of late or make any reference to sexual predation of any kind. (I mean, do I think it a little creepy that he's got a few models on his blog that are the approximate ages of the kids he teaches? Now that he mentions it, sure... I agree with SEK's earlier post that it's a bad idea for a professor to even give the appearance of being a letch, and that regardless of legalities and first amendment freedoms, having posts/posters of hot chicks who're about the same age as your students doesn't present a professional appearance, and may make some of his female students uncomfortable. Legal or not, the phrase "a girl half his age..." seldom puts forth the appearance of decency and high moral values that many professions call for... ...even if it's just pictures on your blog.) But contrary to Donald's claim, I have never made or supported any allegation that he has in any way victimized any underage girls, either online or out in the world. (I did have some pretty strong feelings about his furthering the victimization of Erin Andrews, but her age was never a factor.)

It's sad that professor Douglas so often feels the need to invent stories of mistreatment at the hands of those who disagree with him, but that he so often does is kinda revealing (and not in a "rule 5" teasing sorta way, either...)

Originally posted (in unrevised, unextended form) at Lawyers, Guns & Money, on July 16, 2010 at 2:57 pm

In reply: American (power) Tits and Ass: (Grandma Moses' tits, Norman Rockwell's ass) ((points))

In reply to American Power: The 'Hotness Gap' Just Too Much for Illiterate English Professor Scott Eric Kaufman!, and in particular JBW's observation about the disconnect between Donald's (& Cons,' in general) disparagement of the "lib'rul" hedonism of Hollywood and their claim that all of the "hot" babes reside on the Con side of the proverbial aisle.

Dopey cherry picking notwithstanding, almost all of these "Rule 5" bait and switch T&A "tease" posts (and a whole lot of the music blogging at AmPow, as well) would pretty quickly come to a standstill if the blogger(s) who write/post them actually required that their subjects express, in word or deed, fealty to the (neo)con (or even worse for them, traditional) political and social values that Con rule 5 bloggers claim to advocate...

Besides... While many of our smart gals are quite pretty, (and our actresses, songstresses and other show biz gals are very smart, as well) the most important attribute for our female policy wonks and politicians isn't how good they look in a skirt or whether we can use them as props to draw people to our blogs under false pretenses for the vanity of inflating the hit numbers.

Sorry, Don... Once again, it's a fail...

(Title lifted from one of my all time favorite Lenny Bruce riffs...)

Submitted for moderator approval 7/16/10, 7:08 AM, AmPow blog time... ...and (as of 24 or so hours later) apparently rejected for publication, for reasons known only to Donald Douglas, the moderator in question. (What is he afraid of?)

In reply: "I miss when Donald [Douglas] was all about not understanding what the word nihilism meant."

In reply to a Lawyers, Guns & Money post comment by Scott Eric Kaufman where he notes that Donald Douglas (Americaneocon) managed to spell SEK's name two different ways in as many sentences.

AmNeo’s spelling/grammar/typo errors are become legend. And as per his usual modus operandi, all such verbal errors are only fodder for partisan attack when they are committed by his oh so many enemies…

It must be a ‘pubbie/Con thing…
It’s always different when THEY do it…

Posted July 16, 2010 at 8:31 am

And a shout out to my favorite comment (for obvious reasons):
"I miss when Donald was all about not understanding what the word nihilism meant. That was an internet tradition of which I was proud to be aware." - Malaclypse, at the post, “Shoot, I’m not even always right, LOL!” : Lawyers, Guns & Money

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In reply: The Mosque at Ground Zero, or "A muslim isn't an extremist; A mosque isn't a terrorist cell"

In reply to a facebook conversation I've been having about the following local news item:

Landmarking status could complicate plans by Muslim groups to build a mosque at the former site of the World Trade Center.

(07/13/10) NEW YORK (AP) - Dozens of opponents to a mosque planned near the former site of the World Trade Center have attended a raucous hearing about whether the building should become a New York City landmark.

Rick Lazio - the Republican candidate for governor - was among the witnesses testifying Tuesday in support of landmark status for the building near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

He said the building was "a place of deep historical significance" because it was struck by airplane debris on Sept. 11.

Landmarking status could complicate plans by Muslim groups to develop a community center and mosque at the site.

Nearly 100 people attended the hearing in Manhattan.

The city's Landmark Preservation Commission was not expected to rule Tuesday on whether the building should become a landmark.
The story has generated many comments, almost all of which support blocking the mosque. Here's a representative sample:
Good. Let's throw the legal loopholes out there. Why don't they ask the relatives of the people who died there if they want a mosque there.

There is NO WAY a Mosque should be built anywhere near the World Trade Center. We are only asking for more trouble. Not that they are all bad, BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Building a Masque there would nothing else but a mockery. I am praying that this does not get done.

A slap in the face to the over 3000 casualties of that awful day!

On Sept. 12, 2001, the USA should have flown overseas to those sandbox countries & eliminated all the evil that exits over there. Then this 'mosque' proposal b.s. would not be an issue today.

Disgusting. I seriously feel a little sick right now. Is this what we've come to? Are we going to allow the people who planned and executed the attack on the WTC to build a mosque on the site, so they can sit inside and laugh at us while they plan the next attack? Really??

B.V.: Good. It should not be built there. Take a good look at the man who wants the site built. He believes that Sharia (sp?) Law can easily be implemented in the United States and stand alongside our own laws. Scary stuff, people.
(I marked that last one because he is one of the people to whom I responded, in particular.)
And yes, there were other comments (15, up to the point of my first reply) all expressing similar thoughts.

My initial reply:

I'm obviously in the minority here, but I seem to recall that there were many innocent muslim Americans who died at the site on that day, as well... I would no more wish prevent a mosque near ground zero than I would a temple or a church. (In fact, I think it would be good to have as many--and as many different--houses of worship near this hallowed site as there were people of those faiths/sects/denominations killed or injured on that day.)

There's a difference between "Muslims" and "extremists," and we're not true to the ideals that founded this country if we fail to recognize and at the very least, take a "live and let live" attitude toward our fellow citizens who practice the muslim faith, unless and until one of them gives us a reason to react differently toward that individual "extremist" muslim. (But to treat ALL muslims based on the bad behavior of that INDIVIDUAL muslim... ...well, there's a word for people who make those kinda sweeping generalizations about whole groups of people, based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc... 'nuff said...)

Some more color, and two replies specific to me and my point of view:
And let me guess....the Mosque, since it is a house of worship, then qualifies for tax-exempt status???? So they pay no taxes on the property and it comes off the tax rolls??? Or doesn't it work that way in NYC??? Personally, I think they should re-build both towers exactly as they looked before. Then Osama Bin-Farten and all his Tali-Bananas can say.... WTF!!!!!!!!!!!

why do they even want a mosque there??? dont they know what hatred their religion has shown us??? Its very spiteful and vengeful... I hope it gets burned down, or someone flys a plane into it, if they do get permission to build one.

what are you fucking kidding me...send em ALL back where they belong get all of them outta here.

T.K.: ‎@[repsac3] - We all remember that some Muslims died in the attack. We also remember that it was Muslims who carried out the attack. We understand that 90% of Muslims are NOT extremists and don't agree with terrorist attacks. BUT THAT MEANS THAT TEN PERCENT OF THEM DO. There are an awful lot of Muslims in the world. Ten percent is a lot of people, and they're the ones running the mosques. It's all very well and good to say, let's be tolerant of Muslims. But that ten percent are not tolerant of any of us, not even a little bit. Are we not allowed to protect ourselves? Are we not permitted to say, these people are bad and we don't want them here, spitting in the faces of the 9/11 victims' families by building one of their cells on the site where those people lost their lives?

B.V.: No, it's not 'enough said'. I urge you all to read this and then decide what you think about the WTC Mosque:

A Shrine to Sharia
My second reply:

‎@T.K.: I don't know where you got your percentages from or whether they are correct, or why, even if they are, you believe that it's the extremists rather than the moderates running the mosques here in the US (where I would have to assume that even you'd agree the percentage of extremists in the American muslim population is lower than it likely is worldwide), but I do know that discrimination against 100% of US muslims based on the behavior of even 10% (again, assuming that number is even accurate, in the first place) is still discrimination.

America was in part founded on the right to practice one's religion free of government intrusion. I don't have to like or agree with anyone who doesn't practice the religion I do, but my right to worship as I choose is built upon your right to worship as you choose, and her right to worship as she chooses, whether you're a hassidic jew, I'm unitarian universalist, that guy over there is a sikh, she's an atheist, or the guy in the coffee shop is a muslim. Saying that this house of worship cannot be built there because "that" faith has no right to worship on "that ground" is flat out discrimination. (While I'd still be opposed, it'd be slightly different if the argument was that no houses of worship should be built there... But the argument so far seems to be that only THIS one faith should be forbidden.

We are certainly permitted to point out and do everything in our power, legally, morally, and every other way, to prevent individual extremist muslims from getting a foothold here in our country or to commit bad acts. But stopping the building of mosques and preventing muslims from gathering and worshiping isn't the way to do that, IMHO... A muslim isn't an extremist; A mosque isn't a terrorist cell...

Mr V, sir: Respectfully, I do understand where Frank Gaffney is coming from and the brand of thinking he represents, and because of that, I don't see him as an honest and dispassionate broker of information. I'm not saying the facts he presents in that TownHall article are absolutely not accurate, but I'd prefer to read them from a person and a site less biased...

Muslims, like all other religions should have a place to pray, but.... NOT DOWN AT THE WTC SITE....

Mosques should be built at the foot of every important monument in the United States. Then maybe terrorists won't bomb those sites. Problem solved.

what ever muslim stands there should be shot in the head ! or better yet decapatated

B.V.: [repsac3]; I agree with you that we should not say that ALL Muslims are extremists. However, the reason I chose THAT article is to show that this particular Imam - in my and others opinion - is not to be trusted. The reason I chose that article is because of the website I found it on. That website is not a Right (or Left) wing website. That is why I urged you all to read it, because if the Assyrian people agree with this writer, then it deserves some thought.
To which I replied:
@Mr V.: So you're saying you'd be ok with a mosque being built near the site, as long as it was run by an imam with no hint of controversy? If so, I believe that that is a more defensible position to take, though I fear that saying so puts you far closer to the position of Larry and I than your fellow patriots here might think appropriate. (and the next thing you know, they may find you too controversial to hire to do your job...)

The article was written by Frank Gaffney, a well-known American neocon, and first appeared at TownHall.com. Both that gentleman and that site are far from unbiased.

AINA is a news source for Americans of Assyrian descent, based in Chicago. While the site seems to be unbiased (except perhaps toward Assyria and Assyrians), the article is not. I don't agree that the fact that the article was reposted on that site in any way says or suggests that ANIA endorses or agrees with what Mr Gaffney wrote, any more than Facebook or News12 necessarily endorses or agrees with my (or your) position on the subject at hand, just because our thoughts appear at this post on this site. Rather, I see it as more of an opinion piece, posted to generate thought and reflection, both for and against. (How many times have we seen controversial or outright contrarian (to the general tilt of the publication/site, I mean) opinion pieces printed at both unbiased and at partisan sites and publications, for exactly that purpose? It's far from uncommon.)

Again, I'm not saying Mr Gaffney's opinions or facts are necessarily wrong, but I would like to see reporting on this imam and his connection to this project in general done by people with less of a partisan axe to grind. Taking any single source as gospel fact is a bad idea, and sometimes (such as when you know the bias of the writer) it's an even worse idea.

In the meantime, I welcome your seeming admission that it isn't the mosque itself or it's location to which you're opposed. That is a small step toward greater tolerance, which is what I've been advocating, here... I'm all for preventing terrorism and rooting out extremists, but I just don't believe one does that by opposing the building and use of mosques (or any other houses of worship, for that matter...)

One more exchange (as of now, anyway)
TDD says: I'm so happy to see people uniting together about this-and although some comments made are slightly offensive, I think we have moved from worrying about beling politically correct in the interest of self -preservation-that is preserving what America stands for and what we as Americans believe in. Its Un-American to build these places of worship at the site-because a TRUE AMERICAN who understands and felt the pain of the horrible devastation on 9/11 would not approve of this. ONE NATION, UNDER GOD!!!!!! I don't care who its run under-imam, umam, obama, whatever-NO MOSQUE AT GROUND ZERO!!!!
To which I replied:

‎"...preserving what America stands for and what we as Americans believe in." - except perhaps for those pesky Muslim Americans (but then, are they really TRUE AMERICANS like the rest of us, anyway?) - and of course, those like me who believe that America was in part founded on and based upon the freedom not to have the government interfere in mine, yours, or anyone else's religious faith (say, by passing statutes against building a particular kind of house of worship at a particular location, because the majority does not approve of "that" faith at "that" location). I mean, isn't protection from "the tyranny of the majority" and simple mob rule the reason the founders rejected direct democracy in favor of a republic, when forming our system of government? Are there not some God-given/natural and inalienable rights too important to be put to a simple majority, winner take all vote?

And while some may feel all too comfortable questioning the patriotism or "American-ness" of those who simply worship according to a different faith or interpret what the founders intended and the Constitution says about religious freedom differently, I find that kind of behavior pretty shameful. Dissent (whether your opinion from mine, mine from yours, or either of ours from our elected government) is another founding principle and everlasting ideal that makes our country the greatest on earth, and I would not so casually claim that those with whom one disagrees politically or socially are in any way less American than you are yourself.

I'll update this post, should there be any further exchanges...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

In Reply: "I hate to see good postage go to waste..."

In reply to End of American Unitarian Reform Blog

I hope you’ll be leaving the blog up, as a resource for folks who’re looking for info on the subject, and/or (for those who) might stumble upon one or more of the posts here at an opportune time…

(I hate to see good posts go to waste… I understand not having the time or ability to create new posts, but I’ve never understood making one’s earlier blog posts, conversations, and links unavailable… …and it happens entirely too often…)

Submitted 8 July 2010 at 4:11 am (AUR blog time)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

X-Post: The Flag; Still not a Ticket into Heaven (was "Less Than 1 in 5 Leftists 'Extremely' Patriotic in Gallup Poll")

American Power: Less Than 1 in 5 Leftists "Extremely" Patriotic in Gallup Poll

It's hard to put a whole lotta stock in a survey where respondents self-report their own level of a subjective thing like patriotism, especially when the definition of what constitutes patriotism is left to the individual and then to those interpreting the survey results (and using them for their own partisan purposes, and when they think they can make them fit the chosen narrative.)

Even CNSNews.com suggests that the use of the word "extremely" in the survey may have colored the results... (While there's a segment of the teabagger crowd wearing "Proud Right Wing Extremist" t-shirts, many on the left prefer not to associate themselves with the pejorative connotations of extremism. YMMV... And again, "The difference between 'extremely' and 'very' patriotic is left to respondents to interpret.")
Some folks may have noticed, but I don't use the term "liberal" to describe these dolts. They're leftists and socialists, frankly. The American usage of "liberal" may have had some relevance back in the Truman era, and possibly Kennedy/Johnson, but those on the left today favor socialism and they're the same types who reject patriotic love of country.
Yes Donald, we've noticed...

Whether the term of endearment Professor Douglas chooses to use for those to his left on the political spectrum is "leftists," "socialists," or "nihilists," there's no "frankly" about it... These terms have specific meanings, particularly among political scientists, and Donald's "liberal" use of these terms and others like them to describe the vast majority of Democrats and other liberal/progressive types here in the US over the last several years bears little resemblance to those widely accepted definitions. The fact that Donald is loathe to pick a textbook definition of any of these terms and provide examples of how and why they apply to the American left today should tell a person all they need to know. Saying it doesn't make it so, Dr. Douglas... Never has, and never will.

I'd probably've answered 'very patriotic' myself (like many, I don't see myself as going to extremes in much of anything, including patriotism), but I reject teabagger jingoism and mindless flag-waving, and I don't feel any need to prove myself "more" patriotic than any other person or group. "More-patriotic-than-thou" is no more virtuous than "holier-than-thou" in my book, and I feel sorry for those like Donald Douglas who believe there's any value in bragging that one is either.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. In the end, it isn't how patriotic you believe yourself to be or claim to be when surveyed. It's what you do (or don't do) for this country and for your fellow citizens that counts.

More wingnut chest-thumping at memeorandum

(American Nihilist X-post)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

In Reply: Please Don't Feed the Troll

In reply to: a whole bunch of willful ignorance and intentional misunderstanding by one guy in several comments attached to this "No More Mister Nice Blog" post.

It strikes me that "dude" is best ignored... He has nothing new to say, and willfully fails to grasp the concepts offered him. At this point, continuing to feed the troll the same substantive meal he's failed to consume and digest this many times before is a waste of everyone's time... Perhaps it's best to just allow him the last repeated set of wingnut talking points, and only respond to (or offer) new thoughts and ideas (including from him, should he actually have anything that goes beyond what little original thought he's already mustered, and should anyone be willing to bother engaging him, given his past history in this thread alone...)

In the end, there's just no upside in trying to teach a pig to sing... Everyone involved gets dirty, only the pig enjoys it, and the squealing never gets any more melodic.

Friday, July 02, 2010

In Reply: Retarded Faggots who Throw Like Girls

In reply to the following comment at the post, "INSTAPUTZ: Functionally retarded Donald Douglas semi-refutes one of my 4 rebuttals, declares victory."
why use the word retarded when he clearly isn't. you shouldn't have to be a family member of someone with a disability to get how demeaning your title is. shameful.
I think it's supposed to be demeaning... particularly to the subject of the post. (Though I could see where being compared to Dr. Douglas would likely be insulting to the retarded, as well. Maybe you do have a point...)

Bottom line though, that queen of PC, Sarah Palin, kinda ruined this line of argument for me... No matter how right you may be--and yeah, you may be, in a more perfect world--her self-serving use of it for partisan gain (and in fact, her use and of her Downs Syndrome son as a prop, for that matter) left me suspicious of the motives of anyone who brings it up, these days...

Perhaps using "retarded" as a slur ought to be tossed on the same rhetorical dust heap as "faggot" or "throws like a girl," (along with "nigger" as a term of affection or talking with an urban dialect when you clearly aren't black, yo) but I still can't help thinkin' you're kinda losing the forest for the trees, here...

I suppose I'd feel differently if I were more personally affected by any of these slurs--and I suppose I ought to be able to sympathize, better, and I vow to work on that--but...

No, no but...

You're right. Two demerits to Blue Texan, who wrote the post title, and one to me, for trying to justify/defend it. We should be better people.

(and still...)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The world deserves better than Donald Douglas, and that's the truth.

In reply to: INSTAPUTZ: Functionally retarded Donald Douglas semi-refutes one of my 4 rebuttals, declares victory.

It's comedy gold, it is... The guy can't help himself... He's convinced himself of his own infallibility, and nothing will dissuade him, no matter how many point and laugh at his unintentional antics.

The fact remains though that he's a heartless bastard, and everyone knows it (though admittedly, some in his tiny Con circle don't care, being heartless bastards themselves.) Among them, there is no shame in attacking the dead (and indirectly their families and friends) on the very day a man passes, as long as there's some imagined political benefit to doing so... Their partisanship has sucked the human decency right out of 'em, and sadly, even some who should care don't, because sticking to the "no enemies on the Right" philosophy is more important than any sense of decency.

I feel bad for everyone who has no choice but to be in their miserable little lives... The world deserves better than the likes of Donald Douglas and those who share his screwed up ideas about their fellow men.

And that's the truth...

Posted 7/1/10, 4:13:05 PM EDT

In Reply: The Danger of the Tea Party, and Circular Firing Squads, too

In reply to: The Tea Party Is Dangerous: Dispelling 7 Myths That Help Us Avoid Reality About the New Right-Wing Politics - AlterNet, and also to several folks making comments for/against the Democrats and against/for the Green Party. (A reply to piss everyone off, I suspect.)

I'm pretty sure that teabagger anger is more dangerous than I'd like to think it is, but I still find at least some of these myths persuasive, despite the author's attempts to take them away. I just can't believe that intelligent people could be persuaded to subscribe to that kinda foolishness in numbers great enough to make a significant difference. I just can't believe it could happen here...

One thing I'm pretty sure of though is that progressives won't get much of anywhere fighting amongst themselves. Attacking the Greens or the Democrats amongst us (whichever you ain't) amounts to a circular firing squad. Obama never was God (that was always a right-wing talking point, wasn't it?), and Nader ain't, either. It's one thing to hold a politician's feet to the fire when it comes to promises made and policies (not) enacted, but it's quite another to advocate chucking the whole system and pretending that "that guy" (whoever he is, or whatever "pure" party he represents) can and will invent a rounder wheel. The wheel prolly doesn't need reinvention, but even if it did, we need to roll now, as well as in the 20-30 years it'll take to make THAT rounder wheel a viable, going, rolling concern.

Party politics sucks --and not just the two major parties, but all of 'em, large and small... (I've been a registered Green for years, and yeah, I voted for Nader and/or Greens in pretty much every election in which one was running since the early 90s--in NY, where my vote sends my message without hurting the relatively more liberal Dem who eventually wins the election, at least locally. These days, I wouldn't risk letting a Con in, if I had any question that my 3rd party, Green/Liberal/??? vote might be the one that allows a rightwinger into office...-- but I can't and won't swear loyalty to them, politically-speaking, either...) --but party politics is the name of the game here in the US, and it's short-sighted to pretend otherwise. "Sending a message" and "voting your heart" is useless if it results in the greater of the two evils getting elected, and unfortunately, either the greater or the lesser of the two evils is almost always going to be elected. "Being right" while walking in the political wilderness is a pretty thin broth.

Better we fire our rhetorical guns outward at the teabaggers, rather than at each other... even if some of us is starry-eyed idealists who'll never get anyone elected, and others is go-along corporatists... We need to work together, where we can, anyway...

I wonder whether the author (or anyone else) has any suggested solutions for building a response to these hatriots that'll be effective in nipping 'em in the bud?

Posted 7/1/10, 11:17 AM

In Reply: I am Contradictory/Human

In reply to: Conversation 101: Michael Gerson: My Hero

Yeggo: Thanks for the invitation and pointer via twitter. So far, I like what I see, here...

My issue isn't with getting involved isn't with you folks, but with myself...

See, I want to be a grown-up, but there are most certainly some who see me as... well... less so than I'd like. I can get ugly, at least on an individual basis (meaning that I try not to blame any party or group for the ugliness I find in a member, but I do blame that member), particularly when I encounter what I believe to be unnecessary ugliness from others, and I can reflect that ugliness back on 'em.

Like many (in fact, all of us, I think), I am not any one kinda person all the time. I am both ugly and a grown-up, depending. I'm a feminist who's been known to "admire" women in ways that some would say border on objectification. I abhor bigotry and I also find myself having bigoted thoughts, sometimes. I read philosophers and laugh at fart jokes.

While I believe those kinda contradictions make us human, there are people who point to those sort of things and shout "hypocrisy!!" (And, in just another of those contradictions, I bet there's probably some point in time where I was the one doing the pointing and shouting--though I'm pretty certain I was pointing and shouting at someone other than myself, at the time... 8>)

I wouldn't want my commentary elsewhere to poison what you're doing here... (and from experience, I know that it can, both because I am contradictory/human, and because I've pissed off some ugly people who would be all too glad to tar everyone I touch with my human contradictions.)

So anyway... Here's what I'm thinkin'... I'll come, I'll comment, and we'll see how it goes... (assuming that's ok with you (folks) that is...) If I don't seem to be bringin' down the whole ship by commenting, (and I get off my ass and start blogging more regularly, again) we can revisit my contributing...

Thanks again for the invite... I most heartily approve of what you're trying to do, here...

Posted 7/1/10, 6:46 AM

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