August 2010

Glenn Beck is Malcolm X.

That is the dumbest shit you’ll read on the Intertubes today.  And from one of the GOP’s promising young intellects.

I guess.

See, also, Glenn Beck is Martin Luther King.  An argument of equal intellectual heft.

Sese Seko strikes again.  This is an excerpt, but the whole post should be read in all its glory:

This instant disposal of history is hardly a new phenomenon in conservative politics. The famous handshake between Saddam Hussein and Donald Rumsfeld wasn’t so much defended as strenuously ignored as an irrelevancy. “Where is the money?” is a vital argument until the moment it isn’t. Imam Rauf stops being one of “the good ones” as soon as a non-conservative supports him. In political circles, the ratio of satirical content to real life and the total content of real life fast approaches one. Historicity is only important in the final judgment, which none of us will be around to see. The day-to-day inconsistencies mean nothing. This is global policy written by Damon Lindleof and Carlton Cuse, and you just have to believe that all this backtracking and sidestepping will mean something when the final black screen comes over the American Epoch with history’s verdict: W O N.

In the meantime, our shared history only has value for a particular present. This is perhaps best exhibited by conservatives’ gleefully tossing the Constitution into a trash bin to enable hurling a mosque into the same, despite their general claim to the title of the party of history, of reverence for the past, of the inviolability of the Constitution. Speaking of which, they’ve spent the last 19 months of their party’s history with no more enduring or definite policy than constantly invoking the Constitution as a pristine and treasured document that Barack Obama is all too ready to violate to meet his needs.

Of course, appeals to historicity mean nothing when this weekend a glutinous wad of overfed white Americana that looks like 185 pounds of lard and bull semen poured into a 5-foot 8-inch man-shaped condom ascended the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to continue his habit of transmogrifying into a lamprey latched onto and draining the human spirit. His mission was to “restore honor” to the Republic, in part by rescuing Martin Luther King, Jr. from the predatory clutches of the black people he spoke for and marched with.

Glenn Beck’s ahistorical panegyrics to King are already a matter of record — Media Matters has excellently dissected and categorically disproved their claims to fact here and here — but what isn’t is really clear is what he means by honor. It can’t be a literal reading of the word, since Beck makes no mention of seeking national expiation for the profligate spending of the previous administration, a war predicated on barefaced lies and elaborate deceptions, the trampling of civilian civil liberties, the abandonment of an entire region to a natural disaster and the plunder of the environment. Nor, obviously, does he mention wanting to atone for serious attempts in 2000, 2004 and 2006 (which included manipulating an emergency legal provision to fire uncooperative federal prosecutors) to disenfranchise minorities while mobilizing white people to get to the polls by feeding off divisive and malicious sentiments, like a loathing of homosexuals, non-white immigrants or “Islamic Fifth Columnists” (read: congressional Democrats).

Even a tame reading of Beck’s apocalyptic ranting renders this weekend’s gathering a political and social abomination because of the motives that drew people to it. His claims that Martin Luther King sought not social and economic justice but only equal justice in the eyes of the law (again, thoroughly debunked by Media Matters) offer mere elaboration over a very basic message of dog-whistle pageantry, white-man apologia and denialist self-indulgence. In short:

1. “Martin Luther King got it right, but all blacks since then — except for Alan Keyes, Thomas Sowell and the other ‘good’ ones — have got it wrong.”
2. “You know the blacks I’m talking about. Welfare queens in Cadillacs. Al Sharpton. Jessie Jackson. The New Black Panther Party, which has declared war on you, will keep you from voting, and wants to kill white babies.”
3. “To restore honor to America, I will again take up King’s mantle of equal justice, because there is no equal justice anymore.”
4. “However, since all these black people are in the ascendancy and can be tied to Obama, who runs the country with an iron grip, that means that the unequal justice now all falls on the white man.”
5. “So I stand here today, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to tell you I have a dream in which white people finally get theirs.”

If you can summon the strength, and you’re into huffing paint and that sort of thing, the Facebook clips at the bottom are…stupefying.

So, for those keeping score at home, we need to tear up the Constitution, pare back our freedoms, keep the Pentagon budget humming along at a rate equalling the rest of the world combined, and stretch the Longest War Evar for another quarter century because of…scary people like this

Who represent an existential threat to the West.

Fear him.


Apparently, Kenny Powers is a sitting US Senator

This country rocks.

Thers responds to a Dennis Prager freakout about how non-opposite marriage is going to upend society leading to armageddon and other such cataclysms:

Speaking for the “left,” I actually oppose the most remarkable and radical change in modern social history  — which is going to be the horrific devastation wreaked by global human-caused climate change.

Just an offhand wondering, but I am highly entertained by the “thoughts” of those terrified about the wholly hypothetical devastation to be wreaked by same sex couples filing joint federal returns, but who at the same time squawk and poop when presented with sound science about what will happen if we don’t start giving a shit about carbon emissions.

For those that prefer their squawking and pooping in a more highbrow vehicle, see, also, asteroids.  And alien-based death rays.

What she said:

The attempt to establish a Muslimfrei zone around Ground Zero isn’t about 9/11. The wingnut solicitude for “Dr.” Laura’s supposedly lost First Amendment rights isn’t about “Dr.” Laura’s right to repeat racial slurs on the radio.

Fox News’ relentless pimping of the New Black Panther Party non-story isn’t about voter intimidation. Arizona’s anti-immigration law isn’t about illegal immigration. Breitbart’s Shirley Sherrod smear wasn’t about “reverse racism.”

The persistent suggestions from multiple quarters on the right that President Obama isn’t a Christian or an American aren’t about his religion or nationality. And the Prop 8 campaign wasn’t about protecting straight marriage.

What this is all really about is the most orchestrated, widespread attempt to divide this country since George Wallace’s presidential run. Scratch that—Wallace was never more than a regional candidate. This may be unprecedented in living memory.

I mean, it’s not like the wingnuts complain about mosques being built anywhere else, right?  It’s just that 9/11 is such a hallowed event and grounds and too also.

So if I understand the point of this Time cover, it goes something like this:

This horrific attack that happened while we had 100,000 troops in Afghanistan could only happen if we withdraw our 100,000 troops from Afghanistan.  Therefore, we cannot, in good conscience, withdraw our 100,000 troops from Afghanistan.

I know I’m a bit late to this story, but it’s not as if it’s going to be a one-off affair.  Apparently, playing up the plight of Afghan women is an important angle in marketing The Good War in Perpetuity 2010 campaign.  See, also The Oracle Has Spoken.

It’s not that I’m hard hearted when it comes to conditions for women in Afghanistan, it’s just that many of the warlords that compirse the “good” Karzai government are just as brutal towards women as the Taliban.  These attitudes toward females are part of a long-standing culture that we’re not going to bomb into modernity, nor are we even trying (our bombs are intended for other swell purposes).  While there have been some gains for women in and around Kabul since the invasion, in the Pashtun-dominated south, women have the added bonus of the misery of war to tack on to the unchanged situation in terms of their rights and status in society.

Not to mention that war, in general, tends to create an environment that empowers reactionary forces, stunts progress along liberal lines and pushes women even further back. 

Either way, the US mission is not directed at improving the lot of women – that is why we have allied with groups that share the Taliban’s ethos in this respect.  Continuing the war will not change that, but perpetuate it.

This is called equipping your child for Palinocalypse 2012:

I’d like to start by saying that I don’t get into belligerent shouting matches at the playground very often. The Tot Lot, by its very nature, can be an extremely volatile place—a veritable powder keg of different and sometimes contradictory parenting styles—and this fact alone is usually enough to keep everyone, parents and tots alike, acting as courteous and deferential as possible. The argument we had earlier today didn’t need to happen, and I want you to know, above all else, that I’m deeply sorry that things got so wildly, publicly out of hand.

Now let me explain why your son was wrong.

When little Aiden toddled up our daughter Johanna and asked to play with her Elmo ball, he was, admittedly, very sweet and polite. I think his exact words were, “Have a ball, peas [sic]?” And I’m sure you were very proud of him for using his manners.

To be sure, I was equally proud when Johanna yelled, “No! Looter!” right in his looter face, and then only marginally less proud when she sort of shoved him.

The thing is, in this family we take the philosophies of Ayn Rand seriously. We conspicuously reward ourselves for our own hard work, we never give to charity, and we only pay our taxes very, very begrudgingly.

Since the day Johanna was born, we’ve worked to indoctrinate her into the truth of Objectivism. Every night we read to her from the illustrated, unabridged edition of Atlas Shrugged—glossing over all the hardcore sex parts, mind you, but dwelling pretty thoroughly on the stuff about being proud of what you’ve earned and not letting James Taggart-types bring you down. For a long time we were convinced that our efforts to free her mind were for naught, but recently, as we’ve started socializing her a little bit, we’ve been delighted to find that she is completely antipathetic to the concept of sharing. As parents, we couldn’t have asked for a better daughter.

That’s why, when Johanna then began berating your son, accusing him of trying to coerce from her a moral sanction of his theft of the fruit of her labor, in as many words, I kind of egged her on. Even when Aiden started crying.

You see, that Elmo ball was Johanna’s reward for consistently using the potty this past week. She wasn’t given the ball simply because she’d demonstrated an exceptional need for it—she earned it. And from the way Aiden’s pants sagged as he tried in vain to run away from our daughter, it was clear that he wasn’t anywhere close to deserving that kind of remuneration. By so much as allowing Johanna to share her toy with him, we’d be undermining her appreciation of one of life’s most important lessons: You should never feel guilty about your abilities. Including your ability to repeatedly peg a fellow toddler with your Elmo ball as he sobs for mercy.

Look, imagine what would happen if we were to enact some sort of potty training Equalization of Opportunity Act in which we regularized the distribution all of Johanna’s and Aiden’s potty chart stickers. Suddenly it would seem as if Aiden had earned the right to wear big-boy underpants, and within minutes you’d have a Taggart Tunnel-esque catastrophe on your hands, if you follow me.

I see a future gig writing at The Atlantic in little Johanna’s future.

Say what you will about “Dr.” Kevin Pezzi.  Laugh at his many bizarre antics and delusional grandeur if it makes you feel better, basking in the warmth emanating from your elitist hearth of effetery. 

But I can tell you first hand (two even!) that his penis enlargement techniques are the real deal.  My junk weighs a ton now yo.

By extension, Breitbart is a very sick man

Maybe it’s time for another fawning profile in the Politico!

Credit where due, Jeffrey “Toilet Trained” Goldberg is right about this:

This seems like such an obvious point, but it is apparently not obvious to the many people who oppose the Cordoba Initiative’s planned mosque in lower Manhattan, so let me state it as clearly as possible: The Cordoba Initiative, which is headed by an imam named Feisal Abdul Rauf, is an enemy of al Qaeda, no less than Rudolph Giuliani and the Anti-Defamation League are enemies of al Qaeda. Bin Laden would sooner dispatch a truck bomb to destroy the Cordoba Initiative’s proposed community center than he would attack the ADL, for the simple reason that Osama’s most dire enemies are Muslims. This is quantitatively true, of course — al Qaeda and its ideological affiliates have murdered thousands of Muslims — but it is ideologically true as well: al Qaeda’s goal is the purification of Islam (that is to say, its extreme understanding of Islam) and apostates pose more of a threat to Bin Laden’s understanding of Islam than do infidels.

…[Rauf] represents what Bin Laden fears most: a Muslim who believes that it is possible to remain true to the values of Islam and, at the same time, to be a loyal citizen of a Western, non-Muslim country. Bin Laden wants a clash of civilizations; the opponents of the this mosque project are giving him what he wants.

Unfortunately, he followed that up with a bit about how we should go ahead and bomb Iran because of the ever-growing undifferentiated Islamofascist menace, now featuring A-Jad in the vanguard riding a nuclear stallion tossing out highly enriched Mike and Ikes to the militants lining the parade route, along with his sidekick, El Qaeda, which secretly loves him some Shiites, etc. 

But, hey, you take what you can get from the frothing, rabid, warmonger set.


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