Thursday, April 8. 2010
"Nothing Personal-- You're Just the Equivalent of a Foul and Pernicious Disease on The Body of Our Precious Country..."
“But when your doctor tells you ‘You have cancer’ he doesn’t hate you. ‘Why do all these doctors hate me, they keep telling me I have cancer?’ Because they’re trying to save you! We should go a doctor and he should tell us we have sniffles, and that’s what Washington is doing. But no, keep going, keep going, you’re fine. I and millions of other Americans are the doctors saying “you have cancer. And we can treat it, but it’s radical treatment, but if you don’t take it, we’re going to die.” I don’t hate you. I don’t hate you. Glenn Beck, 4/8/10.
Nahh. You just think that we progressives are a cancer that needs to be cut out of the body politic using “radical treatment.”
But it’s not that you hate us!
Tuesday, April 6. 2010
A lot has been said lately about the presumed “cognitive dissonance” coming from the right. In fact, I think what we’re seeing is not so much cognitive dissonance as it is arguing in bad faith. We’re observing different levels of a lie, as various right wingers first deny, then hide, then attempt to justify a single, consistent, and damning fact.
They don’t think liberals have the right to be liberal. Or at least, not in public where Right Wingers can see them.
If I’m to understand the rationalizations coming from the right, from both the dizzy heights of Rush Limbaugh to the depths of the right-wing blogosphere:
The Right Wing does not engage in inappropriate behavior. John Lewis and others like him (if you know what I mean, and I think you do) made up that stuff about being called “nigger” or spat on because that’s just what those people do! (They’re always complaining.)
…And I don’t even think this was genuine, I think all of this was strategized. I don’t think that anybody spat on Cleaver, I don’t think that anybody called Barney Frank the ‘F’ word, I don’t think anybody called John Lewis the ‘N’ word. There’s no evidence of it other than them. Rush Limbaugh, 3/24/10
And if too many witnesses were present to deny the actual utterance of the word “nigger,” or Emmanuel Cleaver being spat on is actually captured on camera, or Tea Partiers are filmed insulting and mocking a counter-demonstrator with Parkinson’s Disease, Democrats probably staged those incidents to garner sympathy. It was Democrats who threw bricks through the windows of their own headquarters in various locations across the country, and liberals who insinuated themselves among the tea partiers to shout “nigger” and spit and wave inappropriate signs and publicly make fun of a disabled man. Liberals do this just to make conservatives look bad.
...if someone shouted something so grotesque, it was either a plant, an infiltrator, or a freak who attached himself to a group that wants no part of him. Pam Geller, Atlas Shrugged, 3/21/10
If the right wingers who did this stuff actually brag about it afterwards, (like the blogger who inspired the vandalism of Democratic Party offices) or find themselves restored to sanity and gracefully apologize (like the guy who pelted the Parkinson’s patient with dollar bills), then the liberals and Democrats in question obviously deliberately incited this perfectly understandable behavior by being liberals in front of innocent-but-passionate right wingers. Nancy Pelosi did not walk through that crowd with John Lewis as a gesture of solidarity and courage after Lewis was heckled and called a “nigger” by the Tea Partiers. Liberals can’t be courageous! They’re bad! It was part of a fanatical plot to incite violence against herself.
…and yet, here she was last Sunday, walking through that crowd. She was so afraid and she was afraid of the rhetoric, but she decided to ratchet it up by walking through a sea of people…Glenn Beck 3/26/10
The very act of being a liberal is, they believe, so outrageous, so vile, that it qualifies as an intolerable provocation that puts the onus on what happens next squarely on the shoulders of the liberal rather than the righteous right-winger who hits, spits, yells epithets, or hurls bricks.
This last explains much about the increasingly vicious tenor of right wing rhetoric. It explains that woman who, during the 2008 presidential campaign, decided to take a stand by denying Halloween candy to the children of Obama supporters. It explains the doctor who recently decided to turn away Obama-supporting patients, the volunteer gun safety instructor last year in Tulsa who ordered liberals out of his class, the recent Tea Party embrace of a man who lost part of a finger in the service of repeatedly punching a counter-demonstrator in the face. It explains footage of tea partiers mocking and shouting down sick people who dare to express what tea partiers perceive as “liberal” views in support of healthcare reform.
In the minds of many of these people, liberals shouldn’t express liberal opinions, vote for liberal leaders, or, if elected, pass liberal legislation, and those who do should be punished for it. The proper and reasonable response to liberals, in their mind, is not to attempt to change liberal minds, or to out vote them, but to silence liberals through sheer lung power or raw intimidation. Make the everyday lives of avowed liberals as difficult as possible. Turn liberals away from the doctors’ offices or publicly funded safety classes. Make the children of liberals cry.
Since abusing a liberal is so natural, so patriotic a response, liberals who are openly liberal are deliberately inviting vandalism, spitting, name-calling, and even physical attacks.
All the other things – expressed doubts about President Obama’s birthplace or religion, claims that he’s using “unconstitutional” methods to pass healthcare legislation – all that’s just smoke, just excuses.
What it boils down to is a rejection of the notion that any but their own views have a place in the public square.
Thursday, April 1. 2010
I think we won the debate. Think of the vast majorities they have in congress, and they had to bribe, backroom deals, corruption, that’s all because the tea party movement, the people, all these Tim McVeigh wannabes here… Sean Hannity concluding his hosting of a discussion at the Simi Valley Reagan Library entitled, “Conservative Victory: How to Defeat the Obama Agenda” (Remarks start at 7:43 mark)>
To be fair to the audience, the applause began before Hannity mentioned Tim McVeigh, and would be unlikely to stop on a dime. It’s quite possible that many audience members were looking at each other going “waaaah?” even as they clapped.
But Hannity’s excuse? There are several possible explanations:
1. It’s a malicious April Fool’s joke and the video has been doctored. Note that the camera is not on Hannity during the comment about Tim McVeigh. Nor is it on his guests, (whose faces I would dearly love to have seen if and when they heard him comparing their fan base to one of the most loathed right wing domestic terrorists in recent memory.)
Thursday, February 18. 2010
“And there were some strong words spoken at Saturday’s Tea Party in Asotin…”
The strong words being a speaker saying, to a cheering crowd of tea-partiers, that she wanted to see Democratic Senator Patty Murray “hung.”
There’s something a bit weird about both the videoed news story and the written coverage of this event by Stephanie Smith. The puff-piece, “covering a community event” perkiness that follows this quote is at odds with the image of someone invoking the execution of a public official. Maybe this was deliberate. Maybe Stephanie Smith is a crafty satirist.
Or maybe this kind of rhetoric has become so normalized…
Monday, February 15. 2010
UPDATE: From Ratemyprofessors.com: “This class was great. Bishop makes the class interesting by talking about her research and her friends research. That speaker she had for class was hard to understand but smart. She expects alot and you need to come to every class and study. She is hot but she tries to hide it. And she is a socalist but she only talks about it after class.”
And so we have the inevitable false equivalencies being drawn between the case where a professor denied tenure drew a gun and killed three colleagues at a faculty meeting, and that of Gregory Girard, a paranoid Tea Partier who turned out to be sitting on a stockpile of weapons and explosives. The fact that an anonymous poster on that unimpeachable source, Ratemyprofessor.com referred to Amy Bishop as a “Socialist” is being equated with Gregory Girard’s active participation on a Tea Party site.
It’s even been said that tying Girard’s fear of Armageddon and stockpiling of weapons to the Tea Party movement is as silly as tying Amy Bishop’s apparent history of violence with the fact that she graduated from Harvard.
Yes, it would be as “unfair” to tie Girard’s potentially murderous fear of martial law with the tea party movement as it is to tie Amy Bishop’s murder of colleagues during a faculty meeting to Harvard alumnae if:
Graduates of Harvard had begun emptying gun store shelves of weapons and ammo in and around the time faculty tenure meetings were being held.
Graduates of Harvard had been carrying signs to such meetings with messages like “I’ve come unarmed THIS time.”
Graduates of Harvard had started showing up at such meetings carrying loaded weapons.
Graduates of Harvard were exchanging numerous veiled and not-so-veiled messages online about the need to “do something” about other professors who denied them tenure, and invoking their possession of bullets and guns as a possible response to being denied tenure.
But of course, there has not been a trend in which graduates of Harvard did these things. Whatever her politics, this plainly disturbed woman’s paranoia was not being fed and validated by a widespread movement in which people are encouraged to buy guns and see their colleagues as the enemy.
The Tea Party movement, on the other hand…
Thursday, January 7. 2010
Note to Prospective Liberal Trolls: TPN does not tolerate liberal trolls. If your sole purpose is to join this site in order to disrupt the flow of constructive dialogue against liberalism, you will find your time here very short. You can and will be banned for being a liberal. If you wish to debate the virtues of liberalism (as though there were such a thing), there are many other sites on the web who will tolerate you. TPN is not one of those sites.“Troll” is one of those formerly useful online terms (like “Godwin’s Law”) that’s been debased over the years. Originally it referred to posting in bad faith. A “troll” could, for instance, be someone using the cover of the Internet to deceive other posters, like a man pretending to be a woman on a woman’s issues site, or a liberal pretending to be a conservative, or a conservative pretending to be a liberal. At other times, trolls were people of no particular political persuasion who simply wanted attention, and sought it by disrupting any intelligent discussion they encountered.
Today, what was once considered “trollish” behavior – personal insults, blowing rhetorical raspberries, deliberately derailing a conversation into nonsense -- is treated as standard practice on some online discussion boards. Actually attempting to make sense can get a poster denounced as a “troll.” More than once, on ostensibly nonpartisan boards, I’ve seen posters labeled as trolls for doing things like citing offline references, asking another poster to expand on an earlier post, or simply disagreeing with the majority of posters.
What’s striking about this Tea Party announcement is that it goes a bit beyond merely stating the parameters of a conservative talk board. Its underlying conviction is that any form of argument from a liberal perspective is not just wrong, but unacceptable -- a premise that effectively eliminates most rational discussion even within the parameters of what was once considered conservatism. To acknowledge that liberalism can have “virtues” will apparently get a participant banned.
What we’re seeing here is a movement that has declared war on intelligence. Tea Party leaders correctly understand that actually listening to the opposition, assessing its arguments, and attempting to formulate intelligent responses, would only undermine their movement. “Tea Party Nation reserves the right to ban anyone for any reason we feel necessary to ensure the well being of the site and our members,” they announce [emphasis added]. In other words, a tea partier’s personal well-being as a tea partier can be damaged by being exposed to liberal arguments.
What are tea-partiers, after all, but online trolls who’ve emerged into the offline world, fearful of pertinent questions, longing for attention, shouting out insults, clowning, name-calling, clapping their hands over their ears, trying to drown out the opposition through sheer venom, lung-power and threats.
The other word for this is “mob.” Don’t underestimate its appeal in hard and frightening times.
As characters in fairytales, Trolls are amusing. Once they step out from the pages of books, or from the intangible world of the Internet, they can do genuine damage.
Saturday, December 26. 2009
I carry a carbon fiber dagger with me on every flight. I have had no problems getting it through security. If I ever had to use it onboard a plane I would just say I disarmed whoever I was struggling with. (Free Republic 12/25/09) http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2415096/posts?page=11#11
Thursday, December 24. 2009
“The John Birch Society was always cautious in accusing people of being part of a conspiracy...” recent statement put out by The John Birch Society in The New American 12/21/09
Well, something had to be done in the wake of the announcement that The John Birch Society is a new co-sponsor of the 2010 CPAC. Rachel Maddow has nailed the latest effort by the right to lie to those who are too young and/or too uneducated to actually know about anything that took place in the last century.
Along with the Nazis and the KKK being liberals instead of violent right wingers, Joseph McCarthy being a hero instead of an irresponsible demagogue, and the Republicans single handedly working for black Civil Rights in the 1960s, we now have the John Birch Society being touted as a thoughtful, responsible conservative organization of Americans who always “dispelled all the wild black helicopter rumors.”
I kid you not. The very organization that inspired the character of General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove is trying to pass itself off as the voice of reason.
Saturday, December 12. 2009
“It may be pushing the envelope a little bit,” Gadiel added, “but I, I wonder, you know, The Constitution has provisions for people who provide aid and comfort for the enemy and I just – there’s no exemption for high officials, including the president and the attorney general. I just wonder when, when it will be that people would, will decide or will there be people around who will be willing to point fingers if he crosses the line and when does he cross the line?” Peter Gadiel, edging towards the idea of charging President Obama with treason for enacting policies Mr. Gadiel doesn’t like. Newshounds 12/12/09
What we’re seeing here is the ripening of the right wing’s tendency to equate liberalism (or what they perceive as liberalism) with treason.
They don’t just want people voted out of office for enacting legislation they disagree with. They want them charged with capital crimes and put on trial for it.
Saturday, December 5. 2009
A few years ago, during the worst part of the Iraq war, I wrote a column saying that Iraq needed a Pinochet type to bring order to Iraq and help develop democratic and liberal institutions. To this day, I get vicious hate mail from liberal and leftist readers for my "pro-dictator" stance. Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online 9/9/09
Victor Jara was among thousands of people rounded up in the early days of Gen Pinochet's right-wing military coup, which ousted the elected leftist President Salvador Allende.
I’m sorry to have missed that choice slice of Jonah Goldberg self-pity three months ago, but then, perhaps it’s more appropriate to cite it now, when one of Pinochet’s victims is at last being given the funeral he deserved. Folksinger, song writer, and Salvador Allende supporter Victor Jara was a casualty of Chile’s own 9/11, the September 11, 1973 military coup that overthrew Allende’s government and put Augusto Pinochet in power. Jara, along with roughly a few thousand other Chileans, was rounded up, tortured, and murdered in the months following the take-over.
In Jara’s case, this involved being carted off with other Chilean liberals and leftists to a Santiago soccer stadium. There, he was brutally beaten over a period of three days. His hands were crushed. He was leaned upright against a wall and one of Pinochet’s soldiers put a gun to his head and played Russian Roulette until a bullet fired. Jara’s body was then shot some forty times and dumped somewhere for his widow to find.
That’s how Augusto Pinochet helped “develop democratic and liberal institutions.”
Jara was, you see, one of those “souls” Goldberg mentions in the following passage from the LA Times column that liberals have been so unspeakably hateful about:
Gen. Pinochet seized a country coming apart at the seams. He too clamped down on civil liberties and the press. He too dispatched souls.
“Dispatched souls.” Doesn’t that sound nice and tidy?
Isn’t it amazing that liberals could be so mean about so bland and inoffensive a choice of words?
Monday, November 16. 2009
“I still would like to do it,” Coleman said, “but it’s still up in the air at this point. We’ve already started stacking firewood and building the effigy …we will have a bonfire. Burning someone in effigy was just gonna be part of it.” Danville (Virginia) Tea Party Group Unsure Whether to Burn Perriello, Pelosi in effigy. 11/16/09
You can almost hear the wistful disappointment in his voice. I mean, golly, there was going to be hot chocolate, and S’mores, and the kids were working really, really hard on those effigies. It could have been so kewel!
One would think the guy had some sort of emotional stake in watching Democrats being burned in effigy.
Thursday, November 12. 2009
Tuesday, November 10. 2009
Marakis, 29, got out of his car to ask for directions, but police say 28-year-old Jasen Bruce took out a tire iron and hit him over the head, then chased him on foot for three blocks.
The victim was, in fact, a Greek Orthodox Priest with a limited command of English.
But Bruce was prepared! When the terrorist thing didn’t pan out and the police came to arrest him for beating a priest over the head with a tire-iron, he had his attorney play his next card. If the guy wasn't some AYrab Jihadi he was a...
Attorney Jeff Brown tells FOX 13 he is representing Bruce. He said that Marakis was trespassing and made a sexual reference toward Bruce, and grabbed his genitals. Brown said Bruce was defending himself.
Saturday, October 17. 2009
As if the CWII threads at Free Republic were not a nasty enough glimpse into the hopes and dreams of the modern America Wingnut, we now have the 21st Century’s answer to Red Dawn, an online game called 2011: Obama’s Coup Fails. Here are just a few of the fantasies offered by this game set in the “near future” after Obama outlaws private gun ownership, announces the replacement of the US with the North American Union, Americans rebel and Revolution begins:
...The Second American Revolution is in full swing by February of 2011, with lists posted by patriots, county by county, naming dozens of government employees and the bounties that can be fetched by their capture….Mark Lloyd, the Marxist who was put in charge of the FCC by Barack Obama was captured today by the MRC Militias run by L. Brent Bozell...
...The Cong, (former congressional leaders) also un-affectionately known by patriots as the American Politboro, consists of former Democratic Congressional Leaders and control two counties… Join in NOW and help Capture Obama and the renegade Cong...
…we have the tale of Kevin Jennings. Kevin was named the 'Safe Schools Czar' by Barack Obama in 2009… Today he was arrested just outside Alexandria, Virginia by the New Sons of Liberty. The NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) supporter's trial is set for 4 weeks from today...
...The Congress of Rejected and Neglected Youth had an ACORN planting party in Fairfax County. It was attended by Barack Obama and hundreds of Madrasas students chanting "Death to America, Long Live Obama!". The rally was attacked by a few hundred Militia members led by Ted Nugent. The children were spared but all others were slaughtered except former President Obama who escaped with his own police force guard, the Ameri-troops....
These people enjoy fantasizing about killing liberals.
Monday, October 5. 2009
It's not because it's tabloid fare. I'm not above discussing such things. No, it's that I learned long ago that people's IQs, on average, plunge ten points when the subject of sex comes up. Twenty when someone underage is added to the mix.
Nevertheless, I do feel compelled to state that I have some reservations about prosecuting Roman Polanski after all these years because....[and the rest is drowned out by yells of] YOU ARE IN FAVOR OF CHILD MOLESTING!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE IN FAVOR OF RAPE!!!!!!! YOU THINK POLANSKI IS SOME SORT OF HERO BECAUSE HE SURVIVED THE HOLOCAUST AND MADE ROSEMARY'S BABY WHICH IS A LOUSY MOVIE ANYWAY!!!!!! YOU'RE SOME SORT OF SLAVISH ROMAN POLANSKI WORSHIPPER, YOU RAPE-LOVER YOU!!!!!!!! HOW DARE YOU BLAME THE VICTIM!!!!!!!! THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE DOING!!!!! YOU VICTIM BLAMER YOU!!!!!! I'M A MOTHER/FATHER AND A MORAL PERSON (UNLIKE YOU) WHO THINKS POLANSKI SHOULD BE ARRESTED!!!! THEN CASTRATED!!!! THEN SHOT!!!!! THEN WE SHOULD ALL URINATE ON HIS HEAD!!!! THEN WE SHOULD JUMP UP AND DOWN ON HIS BODY UNTIL IT IS REDUCED TO A FLATTENED PULP!!!!! THAT'S HOW MORAL I AM!!!! WHY AREN'T YOU THAT MORAL?????!!!! HUH???? HUH???? I'LL TELL YOU WHY!!!!! IT'S BECAUSE YOU LIKE CHILD RAPISTS, THAT'S WHY!!!!!!! YOU'RE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO LIKE RICH AND FAMOUS CHILD RAPISTS!!!!!!......
Oh well. I'll just link here to this Daily Kos piece, which does a good job of explaining it.
And illustrates my above point if you read the comments.
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