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.

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