Showing posts with label Auf Nicht Wiedersehen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Auf Nicht Wiedersehen. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sentencing

Character, Defined

CHICAGO (New York Times Online) J. Dennis Hastert, once among this nation’s most powerful politicians, was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Wednesday for illegally structuring bank transactions in an effort to cover up his sexual abuse of young members of a wrestling team he coached decades ago... “The defendant is a serial child molester,” said [Federal District Court] Judge Thomas M. Durkin... in a tough rebuke of the former speaker before issuing his sentence.
 ...

A long list of supporters — from Mr. Hastert’s wife Jean to Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader — sent letters of support for Mr. Hastert to Judge Durkin. “He doesn’t deserve what he is going through,” Mr. DeLay wrote.
_____________________________________

Monday, August 24, 2015

Katrina

Character

Rick Bower, AP - Canal Sreet,; September 4, 2005
Most mainstream news organizations are hosting ten-year retrospectives of one of the most tragic natural disasters to befall a major, iconic American city -- the flooding of New Orleans at the end of August, 2005, caused by one of the most powerful storms to hit the U.S.: Hurricane Katrina.

Not that unnatural disasters haven't occurred to cities in the U.S. -- the abandonment of Detroit is the most obvious; Love Canal in the 1960's, Manhattan on 9-11; even other natural disasters like the Great Johnstown or Brownsville Floods; the San Francisco Earthquake in 1906. But the catastrophe in New Orleans was different -- because of who lived in the city; and who was in charge of the government which was supposed to protect and rescue its citizens. All its citizens.

It became a tragedy watched in near-real-time on cable and mainstream news, and it was magnified by indifference, arrogance and incompetence. Today everyone just calls it 'Katrina'.
________________________________________


Terms like Personality and Character are used to describe traits of an individual -- 'personality' referring to something mutable, changeable; while 'character' is something more essential and fundamental, the bedrock and framework unique to each person that animates a 'personality' like a suit of clothing -- the upshot being that personality can change, but not character: Blood will out. A Leopard can't change its spots.

For me this week, remembering Katrina is a short meditation on the idea of Character, as personified by two women -- one black and poor, the other white and a member of the top one-hundredth of our One Per Centers.
_________________________________________

On Monday morning, August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina had slammed into the coast of Louisiana; four major levees had been breached around New Orleans and much of the city was flooded. People had died. More were dying. Thousands were losing everything they could not carry.

To escape the flooding, 11-year-old Danielle Mollett helped her ill grandmother Diane Mollett, 64, up into the attic of their home in the Ninth Ward, the area of lowest elevation in New Orleans and the district that would be hardest hit by the flooding. 

In the aftermath of the Hurricane's landfall, the weather turned tropical, sultry; temperatures rose -- hard on those trapped in the confines of an attic. With no food and little to drink, they waited for help.

screen-shot-2015-08-24-at-6-19-22-pm.png
Danielle Mollett, Interviewed For The August 24, 2015 Edition Of CBS News (CBS)
On that same August morning, George "Lil' Boots" Bush -- the "Decider" -- appeared in Arizona to present a birthday cake to John McCain. He spoke about his plan for Medicare, and gave Katrina only a passing mention.


 Bush had been told that the New Orleans levees might not hold, that there was potential for a catastrophe. That this had happened, that 85% of the city was deeply flooded, had already been communicated to the White House on the evening of August 29th.

On August 30, New Orleans had descended into something out of Dante. At the same time, Lil' Boots appeared in California, at the Coronado Naval Air Station in San Diego, where he had delivered his 2003 "Mission Accomplished!" speech, claiming Vic'try in Iraq.  Bush spoke about those wonderful times -- and made mention of Katrina, saying help would be coming "any day now".  And he was photographed trying to play a guitar.

Lil' Boots left for Crawford, Texas on Air Force One,  intending to take a Labor-Day vacation at 'The Ranch'.  White House aides, aware of what was happening in Louisiana, suggested the situation was serious enough that the President return to Washington.  Lil' Boots was not happy, but agreed to cut short his vacation by a whole day, but through that night it became clearer just how bad it was in New Orleans.


On August 31st, Lil' Boots demanded that he be flown from Texas, low over the city, on Air Force One. The huge 747 buzzed the area repeatedly for over a hour -- interrupting relief efforts requiring helicopters. As Bush stared out a window, press secretary Scott McClellan later quoted him as saying, "It's devastating. It's gotta be doubly devastating on the ground." 

Bush returned that day to the White House, held a cabinet meeting on Katrina, and spoke briefly in the Rose Garden to describe federal relief efforts.  FEMA's uncoordinated reaction before and after Katrina struck (and that of its polo-playing director, Michael Brown) had been stupefying. Mainstream television news had reported on the confused and ineffective relief efforts -- too little, too late, and most of it FUBAR.

Privately, Representative Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] urged Bush to fire Brown because of all that had gone wrong; "What didn't go right?" Lil' Boots replied, and on September 1st praised Brown publicly ("You're doin' a heckofa job, Brownie!").

8 days later, 'Brownie' was allowed to quietly step out of an active role in managing the crisis. On September 12th, he resigned as director of FEMA; in later testimony before Congress, Brown alleged "that Lousiana governor Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin bore most, if not all, of the blame for the failures in the response to Katrina, and that his only fault had been not to realize sooner their inability to perform their respective duties." (Wikipedia)
_______________________________________

In New Orleans on August 31st, 11-year-old Danielle Mollett had managed to help her grandmother out of the attic where they had been trapped. Her grandmother's health was failing. They were lucky enough to be seen and rescued by one of the few boats bringing survivors out of flooded areas, taking them to the New Orleans Superdome stadium, which was situated on slightly higher ground than the rest of the city -- still, lower portions of the structure were flooded by three feet of water.

An estimated 30,000 people found their way to the Superdome between August 29 and September 2. Conditions were bad: limited food, water, sanitation and medical services; sewage systems were backed up by the flooding. The most seriously ill -- like 64-year-old Diane Mollett -- were given small folding cots to rest on.
 _________________________________________

Boots, On The Little Rupert Network From New Orleans
To balance public perception that he showed little concern for the tragedy on the Gulf, Bush quickly flew back to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and fumbled through a long, photo-op tour of the region. He even made an 'Address To The Nation' from New Orleans. A few miles away, at the Superdome, not enough of the thousands of survivors had adequate food or water, and no one seemed able to get any to them.
______________________________________________

But by now, too many people had seen just how desperate things had become -- network news reporters at the Superdome were shaken by what they saw of the conditions there. On September 1st, Paula Zahn of CNN interviewed FEMA director Brown, who claimed to have "only just learned" 30,000 people in the damaged Superdome had no food or water: "Sir, you aren't just telling me you just learned that the folks at the Convention Center didn't have food and water until today, are you? You had no idea they were completely cut off? " she asked, incredulous. 

Brown appeared bored as he replied, "Paula, the federal government did not even know about [them] until today" --an obvious lie, since evacuations from the Superdome had been going on, slowly, for over 24 hours.

No one seemed to be in charge. In FEMA's inactivity before the catastrophe, and its mismanagement in the aftermath obvious to anyone watching the news, the government's response seemed too little, too late. Another fuck-up, like Iraq -- Because FUBAR; and because the people suffering and dying in New Orleans were poor and primarily black.

On September 2, NBC broadcast a live Concert for Katrina, to raise awareness and money for relief efforts. Standing beside comic Mike Meyers, Kayne West offered an observation about the disaster which was broadcast live across America -- except on the West Coast, where tape delay allowed NBC to delete his remarks:

Meyer's Look ("OMG: On Teevee??") = Priceless
"I hate the way they portray us in the media. If it's a black family, it says we're looting. If it's a white family, it says they're looking for food. And you know that it's been five days because most of the people are black... We already realize that a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way, and they have given them permission to go down and shoot us. George Bush didn't care about black people."
_______________________________________

On September 2, Diane Mollett died on her cot, waiting to be taken out of the flooded city to the Houston Astrodome. Her 11-year-old granddaughter Danielle was alone, surrounded by strangers in a nightmare; she would stay, "balled up inside myself" for two more days before being bussed, by herself, to distant relatives in Texas .
________________________________________

As a show of their own concern (and damage control for the Bush brand), former President George H. W. 'Poppy' Bush had reached out to former President Clinton to found a charity organization for relief and rebuilding.  On September 5th, Poppy and his wife, Barbara, toured the Astrodome in Houston, now filled by thousands of refugees from New Orleans.

Barbara Bush had recently spoken about her son's invasion of Iraq, which wasn't going well ("Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? ...It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?") -- and after her tour of the Astrodome made this observation, broadcast on National Public Radio's Marketwatch program:
"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is that they [refugees from New Orleans] all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the [Astrodome] here, you know, were underprivileged anyway; so this (chuckle) – this is working out very well for them."
______________________________________

Danielle Mollett wept, remembering the death of her grandmother. She has spent the last decade trying to remake her life and move beyond what she experienced in New Orleans. It's a proof of character, and its quality, that she's succeeded.

Then, there's Barbara Bush. Her remarks, and the social class she represents, provide indications and testaments as to the quality of her character, as well.  And, her son... well;  the less said about him, the better.
______________________________________

MEHR, MIT LUMPENHUND:  Lil' Boots -- too arrogant and limited to recognize that he has failed at almost everything he has attempted as an adult; too dim to recognize that he was an empty-suit front man for President Cheney -- appeared in New Orleans today to speak at a local school in commemoration of New Orleans, a city "which never gave up".

Auf Nicht Wiedersehen, Lil' Boots, you Poultroon *; you Lumpenhund nutter.

( * Poultroon = Archaic /Middle French: A rascal, a scoundrel; a coward. )
______________________________________

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reprint Heaven: Kulturschande *




John Derbyshire's Public, Total, And Irreversible Loss
Of Bowel And Bladder Control


(This, from April 2012; "Same As It Ever Was")

John Derbyshire, a conservative pundit and gadfly at the National Review (originally founded by William F. Buckley, and later run by unindicted war criminals), author of several books, including We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism, provided us with a spectacle last week: Virtually dousing himself with gasoline and lighting a fantasy match, via this post at the Takimag website: "The Talk: Nonblack Version".

Apparently, John-Boy had read several articles that referenced a "talk" which at least some Black parents purportedly have with their children about living in a society dominated by non-African Americans (I've preserved some of the links to them from Derbyshire's original below):
[Derbyshire quotes:]“Sean O’Reilly was 16 when his mother gave him the talk that most black parents give their teenage sons,” Denisa R. Superville of the Hackensack (NJ) Record tells us. Meanwhile, down in Atlanta: “Her sons were 12 and 8 when Marlyn Tillman realized it was time for her to have the talk,” Gracie Bonds Staples writes in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Leonard Greene talks about the talk in the New York Post. Someone bylined as KJ Dell’Antonia talks about the talk in The New York Times. Darryl Owens talks about the talk in the Orlando Sentinel.

Yes, talk about the talk is all over.

There is a talk that nonblack Americans have with their kids, too. My own kids, now 19 and 16, have had it in bits and pieces as subtopics have arisen. If I were to assemble it into a single talk, it would look something like the following...
Herr Derbyshire said, to paraphrase, Blacks are generally less intelligent than Caucasians or Asians, whom Blacks simply lump together as "white"; are more likely to be undeservedly promoted into management positions in the workplace; and are prone to violent behavior against "whites", if only on the basis of statistics. All this, and more like it, is what he tells his own children.

He tells this to his children. And where, pray, do people like him believe that racism comes from? Not only in the images and attitudes children unconsciously absorb from the world around them -- but because someone teaches them.

It's What They Do

Some pundits with a large soapbox to stand on, or their own site -- precisely because they publish lies and drivel, and use the Net to sling their own feces beyond their cages -- deserve to be ignored, vilified; to have their IP addresses blocked and sent to dwell in the land of Little Rupert, East of Podhoretz, with the crying, and the wailing, and the gnashing of mandibles (and the hey hey hey, as Professor Frink might tell us).

A few obvious examples of public masturbation are Drudge, Malkin; Goldberg, Erikson; and Breitbart (a Grand Public Masterdebater); but it's a long list. Thinking human beings recoil from the junk that spills out of their addled minds and into the rinse-cycle whirl of the Intertubes (Or, we laugh our asses off. Or both). They deserve our contempt, and receive it -- but they won't leave. They won't perform a swan song -- a GBCW! post: Good-Bye, Cruel World!.

However, the GBCW doesn't tend to happen in Right Blogostan, where the operative principle is to lie, and outrageously. As (for example) Breitbart and O'Keefe have shown us, don't just strain credulity, piss on it. And, Right bloggers have automatic support among a large community, willing to swallow every wingnut, asshat, echo-chamber fantasy of the moment.

Because, you see, the Right must stand in solidarity. They see a hostile world, dominated by elite Liberals and their Media; Jews; non-white people; and the undeserving poor and undocumented aliens, all supported by the taxes of honest working Americans (Also, there are giant radioactive scorpions being trained by the UN to bring about a one-world government headed by George Soros).

So You Wanna Be One Of The Kool Kidz

Sometimes, the GBCW is purely voluntary. At some level, the Blogosphere -- Left or Right -- mimics high school. Bloggers and regular commentors tend to affiliate, and like any other association of humans can be exclusionary. On occasion someone appears whose style in posting comments is grating, awkward. They insist on being right, on dominating a thread; they just don't express ideas well. They may be off-topic, and are thin-skinned when teased -- as they will be (humans are humans, and anonymous ones even more so).

Usually, these people have a blog of their own. They want to be one of the Kool Kidz, too, and have lots of site traffic -- to be popular. To "be someone". The problem is, they already are someone, and that they've confused the raison d'etre of their blog, or commenting on someone else's post, with wanting to appear on something like the old Gong Show.

So, when no one reads their amazingly important, detailed, lengthy blog posts; and they're ignored when adding to threads on other sites... finally, they may write that GBCW post, clomping off the Internet stage with a final, long soliloquy explaining ad nauseum why they are right and the rest of the world is wrong, wrong, wrong; and also, bad. If they are religious, they may hint darkly that god (somebody's god, anyway) will punish everyone for not eagerly lapping up their vomit.

(For some reason, I'm reminded of R. Crumb's Everyman character, Flakey Foont, constantly looking to Mister Natural for enlightenment, befuddled; angry at his mistreatment in life. In one final panel, Foont weeps as, in a thought bubble, he imagines his tombstone's epitaph: Here Lies Flakey Foont / A Beautiful Soul / Crushed By An Uncaring World..)

Wingnut Self-Immolation

Then, there's the other category of GBCW, almost unique to the Right, where a Rightist pundit's mask slips and the true reptilian horror is shown for all to see and wonder at. This sort of thing happens all the time -- you can't get through a week without a Rightist politician, or self-proclaimed pundit like Lard Boy, saying something insulting or incendiary.

So, when a wingnut pundit like Derbyshire can't maintain the Right's cherished fiction of bipartisan cooperation, or that they believe non-white persons are their equals, for anyone on the Right to take notice their outburst has to cross a line that is damaging for conservatism in general -- particularly in an election year.

A recent example: Lard Boy's public ridicule of a young woman as a slut and a prostitute, over her appearance before Congress on the subject of contraception. After enough heavy-hitters on the Right strongly hinted he'd stepped over a line, El Fathead reluctantly made a self-justifying half-apology -- as good as you'll get from a pathetic bully like Rush.

Trent Lott Flies The Bonny Blue Flag

But an example more to the point is then-Senator Trent Lott's fulsome praise of Strom Thurmond at his 100th birthday party in 2002: "When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him," Said Trent. "We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either".

Thurmond had run for president in 1948 as a 'Dixiecrat', expousing what Wikipedia notes as "an explicit States' Rights platform that challenged the Civil Rights Movement and later, the Civil Rights Act as illegally overturning the Separation of powers under the United States Constitution." In other words, Antebellum 'Southern values'.

In the appropriate storm of criticism that followed, Lott was forced to resign as Majority Leader of the Senate in 2003, and blamed the evil nasty Intertubes bloggers for keeping the story alive (Lott resigned from the Senate in 2007, and opened a lobbying firm a block from the Senate offices).

Missy Laura Talks To The Nation

On August 10, 2010, Laura Schlessenger, right-wing radio commentator "Doctor Laura", had an exchange with a Black woman who had called in to her syndicated program to speak about a personal issue: Occasional racial slurs her husband (who is Caucasian) and his friends would make in front of her.
CALLER: I'm having an issue with my husband where I'm starting to grow very resentful of him. I'm black, and he's white. We've been around some of his friends and family members who start making racist comments as if I'm not there or if I'm not black. And my husband ignores those comments, and it hurts my feelings. And he acts like --

SCHLESSINGER: Well, can you give me an example of a racist comment? 'Cause sometimes people are hypersensitive. So tell me what's -- give me two good examples of racist comments.

CALLER: OK. Last night -- good example -- we had a neighbor come over, and this neighbor -- when every time he comes over, it's always a black comment. It's, "Oh, well, how do you black people like doing this?" And, "Do black people really like doing that?" And for a long time, I would ignore it. But last night, I got to the point where it --

SCHLESSINGER: I don't think that's racist.

CALLER: Well, the stereotype --

SCHLESSINGER: I don't think that's racist. No, I think that --

CALLER: [unintelligible]

SCHLESSINGER: No, no, no. I think that's -- well, listen, without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for Obama simply 'cause he was half-black. Didn't matter what he was gonna do in office, it was a black thing. You gotta know that. That's not a surprise. Not everything that somebody says -- we had friends over the other day; we got about 35 people here -- the guys who were gonna start playing basketball. I was going to go out and play basketball. My bodyguard and my dear friend is a black man. And I said, "White men can't jump; I want you on my team." That was racist? That was funny.

CALLER: How about the N-word? So, the N-word's been thrown around --

SCHLESSINGER: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n----r, n----r, n----r.

CALLER: That isn't --

SCHLESSINGER: I don't get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing; but when black people say it, it's affectionate. It's very confusing. Don't hang up, I want to talk to you some more. Don't go away.

I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I'll be right back.
It continued in the same vein after "Doctor Laura" returned. "Yeah," Frau Schlessenger said; "We've got a black man as president, and we have more complaining about racism than ever. I mean, I think that's hilarious". When the caller disagreed, the good doctor responded, "[You've] got a chip on your shoulder. Can't do much about that."

Frau Schlessenger spent much of the next week trying to defend herself on air, and on August 17, announced on Larry King Live that she was leaving commercial AM radio, moving to subscription-only Sirrus to continue her special brand of joy without "some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent."

Old School Dog-Whistle

Derbyshire is originally British, a naturalized American citizen; well-educated; his wife is Asian, and his sons are mixed-race Amerasians. You'd think he knew exactlywhat was about to happen as he clicked "Send" to upload his article to 'Takimag', and it did: The National Review terminated Derbyshire; the NROnline's editor, Rich Lowry, posted:
[Derbyshire's] latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways.
(I so like Lowry's use of the nickname, "Derb"; it smacks of Groton or Andover, of lacrosse or crew at Yale. Just kind of tone the NR likes to have amongst its own; so "Our Crowd".)

I don't agree with Lowry that Derbyshire's views are such that the NR "would never associate ourselves otherwise". I believe the Right perpetuates racist perspectives, the common assumptions that Derbyshire is so willing to teach his children -- but assumptions only admitted to quietly, between the "right sort" of people.

One Cardinal rule of the wingnut tribe is not to embarrass the Right by admitting to its true shared values, particularly about how icky Blacks and The Poor are (they're so -- well, so Black, and so poor). Derbyshire's irretrievable sin was to say so, openly and in public.

But in calling him 'Derb' (both affectionate and dismissive at once), Lowry showed he didn't repudiate an old friend and member of his class; only that he was uncomfortable with Derb's statements. Lowry will meet Ol' Derb, buy him a drink and say, "What were you thinking, Derb? I mean, we all know about 'Those People'; but you had to go and say it. I had to cut you from the NR; you didn't really give me a choice, old man."

(Think this is a stretch? Possibly. But I doubt it.)


The Right is eager to play the race card with a sitting Black President, but they have to do it through innuendo, metaphors, verbal allusions. I understand that I'm offering no examples, but I believe Lowry and people like him on the Right tacitly support Derbyshire's "views" concerning the comparative intelligence, aggression and "otherness" of Blacks in America. And, so they can't be accused of overt racism, they'll just make oblique references. They'll use the dog whistle.

Race is an issue in America. There's been a tremendous amount of racist garbage, blog posts and comments, crudely-drawn cartoons, aimed not at Obama's policies but at his race (One of the first comments I heard after the 2008 election from someone at work was, "Guess we can't call it the 'White House' anymore!").

And Right blogostan has never stopped baying about the 'conspiracy' around the legitimacy of his birth certificate. Breitbart's last super-secret, stop-the-presses video was about Obama giving someone a hug -- proof of his radicalism, that he is (hint, hint) a Black man first and an American second.

You can barely hear the National Anthem any longer for all the dog-whistling on the Right that's been going on since 2008. And none of the Good Ole Boys repudiates it; I see Sessions, Haley Barbour, and Saxby Chambliss (who crawled into office by calling a triple-amputee Vietnam veteran a traitor) whining on television and want to puke. People like this are a shame on my country.

We're a badly polarized society -- possibly more so than at any time since The Great Depression, certainly since 1965 -- and at a time when we can least afford to be so divided. Asshats like Derbyshire (aber natürlich, only for the purest of reasons) have pushed and escalated our society's divisions and put us at each others' throats. They'd like to keep us there.

Race is an issue in America. Electing Barack Obama as president didn't solve it. I'm not happy with Obama as a president, or a Democrat -- but it would never cross my mind to believe his public policies or decision-making are the product of his being Black.

The Right, on the other hand, seems to think that is the case -- and while Derbyshire will be publicly repudiated by conservatives for his remarks, many of those same people on the Right will attempt to perform a quiet, virtual lynching as they attempt to 'save' America from ... the Justice in Equality, I guess.

Auf Nicht Wiedersehen, Derbyshire, you Lumpenhund nutter.




( * "Kulturschande" Is more than just bringing shame upon one's culture, because the concept in German of Kultur encompasses much more than that. But, trust me; it's pejorative.)


NOTE: Offered without comment, per Wikipedia: "In early 2012, [Derbyshire] underwent treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia."

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Kulturschande *



John Derbyshire's Public, Total, And Irreversible Loss
Of Bowel And Bladder Control


John Derbyshire, a conservative pundit and gadfly at the National Review (originally founded by William F. Buckley, and later run by unindicted war criminals), author of several books, including We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism, provided us with a spectacle last week: Virtually dousing himself with gasoline and lighting a fantasy match, via this post at the Takimag website: "The Talk: Nonblack Version".

Apparently, John-Boy had read several articles that referenced a "talk" which at least some Black parents purportedly have with their children about living in a society dominated by non-African Americans (I've preserved some of the links to them from Derbyshire's original below):
[Derbyshire quotes:]“Sean O’Reilly was 16 when his mother gave him the talk that most black parents give their teenage sons,” Denisa R. Superville of the Hackensack (NJ) Record tells us. Meanwhile, down in Atlanta: “Her sons were 12 and 8 when Marlyn Tillman realized it was time for her to have the talk,” Gracie Bonds Staples writes in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Leonard Greene talks about the talk in the New York Post. Someone bylined as KJ Dell’Antonia talks about the talk in The New York Times. Darryl Owens talks about the talk in the Orlando Sentinel.

Yes, talk about the talk is all over.

There is a talk that nonblack Americans have with their kids, too. My own kids, now 19 and 16, have had it in bits and pieces as subtopics have arisen. If I were to assemble it into a single talk, it would look something like the following...
Herr Derbyshire said, to paraphrase, Blacks are generally less intelligent than Caucasians or Asians, whom Blacks simply lump together as "white"; are more likely to be undeservedly promoted into management positions in the workplace; and are prone to violent behavior against "whites", if only on the basis of statistics. All this, and more like it, is what he tells his own children.

He tells this to his children. And where, pray, do people like him believe that racism comes from? Not only in the images and attitudes children unconsciously absorb from the world around them -- but because someone teaches them.

It's What They Do

Some pundits with a large soapbox to stand on, or their own site -- precisely because they publish lies and drivel, and use the Net to sling their own feces beyond their cages -- deserve to be ignored, vilified; to have their IP addresses blocked and sent to dwell in the land of Little Rupert, East of Podhoretz, with the crying, and the wailing, and the gnashing of mandibles (and the hey hey hey, as Professor Frink might tell us).

A few obvious examples of public masturbation are Drudge, Malkin; Goldberg, Erikson; and Breitbart (a Grand Public Masterdebater); but it's a long list. Thinking human beings recoil from the junk that spills out of their addled minds and into the rinse-cycle whirl of the Intertubes (Or, we laugh our asses off. Or both). They deserve our contempt, and receive it -- but they won't leave. They won't perform a swan song -- a GBCW! post: Good-Bye, Cruel World!.

However, the GBCW doesn't tend to happen in Right Blogostan, where the operative principle is to lie, and outrageously. As (for example) Breitbart and O'Keefe have shown us, don't just strain credulity, piss on it. And, Right bloggers have automatic support among a large community, willing to swallow every wingnut, asshat, echo-chamber fantasy of the moment.

Because, you see, the Right must stand in solidarity. They see a hostile world, dominated by elite Liberals and their Media; Jews; non-white people; and the undeserving poor and undocumented aliens, all supported by the taxes of honest working Americans (Also, there are giant radioactive scorpions being trained by the UN to bring about a one-world government headed by George Soros).

So You Wanna Be One Of The Kool Kidz

Sometimes, the GBCW is purely voluntary. At some level, the Blogosphere -- Left or Right -- mimics high school. Bloggers and regular commentors tend to affiliate, and like any other association of humans can be exclusionary. On occasion someone appears whose style in posting comments is grating, awkward. They insist on being right, on dominating a thread; they just don't express ideas well. They may be off-topic, and are thin-skinned when teased -- as they will be (humans are humans, and anonymous ones even more so).

Usually, these people have a blog of their own. They want to be one of the Kool Kidz, too, and have lots of site traffic -- to be popular. To "be someone". The problem is, they already are someone, and that they've confused the raison d'etre of their blog, or commenting on someone else's post, with wanting to appear on something like the old Gong Show.

So, when no one reads their amazingly important, detailed, lengthy blog posts; and they're ignored when adding to threads on other sites... finally, they may write that GBCW post, clomping off the Internet stage with a final, long soliloquy explaining ad nauseum why they are right and the rest of the world is wrong, wrong, wrong; and also, bad. If they are religious, they may hint darkly that god (somebody's god, anyway) will punish everyone for not eagerly lapping up their vomit.

(For some reason, I'm reminded of R. Crumb's Everyman character, Flakey Foont, constantly looking to Mister Natural for enlightenment, befuddled; angry at his mistreatment in life. In one final panel, Foont weeps as, in a thought bubble, he imagines his tombstone's epitaph: Here Lies Flakey Foont / A Beautiful Soul / Crushed By An Uncaring World..)

Wingnut Self-Immolation

Then, there's the other category of GBCW, almost unique to the Right, where a Rightist pundit's mask slips and the true reptilian horror is shown for all to see and wonder at. This sort of thing happens all the time -- you can't get through a week without a Rightist politician, or self-proclaimed pundit like Lard Boy, saying something insulting or incendiary.

So, when a wingnut pundit like Derbyshire can't maintain the Right's cherished fiction of bipartisan cooperation, or that they believe non-white persons are their equals, for anyone on the Right to take notice their outburst has to cross a line that is damaging for conservatism in general -- particularly in an election year.

A recent example: Lard Boy's public ridicule of a young woman as a slut and a prostitute, over her appearance before Congress on the subject of contraception. After enough heavy-hitters on the Right strongly hinted he'd stepped over a line, El Fathead reluctantly made a self-justifying half-apology -- as good as you'll get from a pathetic bully like Rush.

Trent Lott Flies The Bonny Blue Flag

But an example more to the point is then-Senator Trent Lott's fulsome praise of Strom Thurmond at his 100th birthday party in 2002: "When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him," Said Trent. "We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either".

Thurmond had run for president in 1948 as a 'Dixiecrat', expousing what Wikipedia notes as "an explicit States' Rights platform that challenged the Civil Rights Movement and later, the Civil Rights Act as illegally overturning the Separation of powers under the United States Constitution." In other words, Antebellum 'Southern values'.

In the appropriate storm of criticism that followed, Lott was forced to resign as Majority Leader of the Senate in 2003, and blamed the evil nasty Intertubes bloggers for keeping the story alive (Lott resigned from the Senate in 2007, and opened a lobbying firm a block from the Senate offices).

Missy Laura Talks To The Nation

On August 10, 2010, Laura Schlessenger, right-wing radio commentator "Doctor Laura", had an exchange with a Black woman who had called in to her syndicated program to speak about a personal issue: Occasional racial slurs her husband (who is Caucasian) and his friends would make in front of her.
CALLER: I'm having an issue with my husband where I'm starting to grow very resentful of him. I'm black, and he's white. We've been around some of his friends and family members who start making racist comments as if I'm not there or if I'm not black. And my husband ignores those comments, and it hurts my feelings. And he acts like --

SCHLESSINGER: Well, can you give me an example of a racist comment? 'Cause sometimes people are hypersensitive. So tell me what's -- give me two good examples of racist comments.

CALLER: OK. Last night -- good example -- we had a neighbor come over, and this neighbor -- when every time he comes over, it's always a black comment. It's, "Oh, well, how do you black people like doing this?" And, "Do black people really like doing that?" And for a long time, I would ignore it. But last night, I got to the point where it --

SCHLESSINGER: I don't think that's racist.

CALLER: Well, the stereotype --

SCHLESSINGER: I don't think that's racist. No, I think that --

CALLER: [unintelligible]

SCHLESSINGER: No, no, no. I think that's -- well, listen, without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for Obama simply 'cause he was half-black. Didn't matter what he was gonna do in office, it was a black thing. You gotta know that. That's not a surprise. Not everything that somebody says -- we had friends over the other day; we got about 35 people here -- the guys who were gonna start playing basketball. I was going to go out and play basketball. My bodyguard and my dear friend is a black man. And I said, "White men can't jump; I want you on my team." That was racist? That was funny.

CALLER: How about the N-word? So, the N-word's been thrown around --

SCHLESSINGER: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n----r, n----r, n----r.

CALLER: That isn't --

SCHLESSINGER: I don't get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing; but when black people say it, it's affectionate. It's very confusing. Don't hang up, I want to talk to you some more. Don't go away.

I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I'll be right back.
It continued in the same vein after "Doctor Laura" returned. "Yeah," Frau Schlessenger said; "We've got a black man as president, and we have more complaining about racism than ever. I mean, I think that's hilarious". When the caller disagreed, the good doctor responded, "[You've] got a chip on your shoulder. Can't do much about that."

Frau Schlessenger spent much of the next week trying to defend herself on air, and on August 17, announced on Larry King Live that she was leaving commercial AM radio, moving to subscription-only Sirrus to continue her special brand of joy without "some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent."

Old School Dog-Whistle

Derbyshire is originally British, a naturalized American citizen; well-educated; his wife is Asian, and his sons are mixed-race Amerasians. You'd think he knew exactlywhat was about to happen as he clicked "Send" to upload his article to 'Takimag', and it did: The National Review terminated Derbyshire; the NROnline's editor, Rich Lowry, posted:
[Derbyshire's] latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways.
(I so like Lowry's use of the nickname, "Derb"; it smacks of Groton or Andover, of lacrosse or crew at Yale. Just kind of tone the NR likes to have amongst its own; so "Our Crowd".)

I don't agree with Lowry that Derbyshire's views are such that the NR "would never associate ourselves otherwise". I believe the Right perpetuates racist perspectives, the common assumptions that Derbyshire is so willing to teach his children -- but assumptions only admitted to quietly, between the "right sort" of people.

One Cardinal rule of the wingnut tribe is not to embarrass the Right by admitting to its true shared values, particularly about how icky Blacks and The Poor are (they're so -- well, so Black, and so poor). Derbyshire's irretrievable sin was to say so, openly and in public.

But in calling him 'Derb' (both affectionate and dismissive at once), Lowry showed he didn't repudiate an old friend and member of his class; only that he was uncomfortable with Derb's statements. Lowry will meet Ol' Derb, buy him a drink and say, "What were you thinking, Derb? I mean, we all know about 'Those People'; but you had to go and say it. I had to cut you from the NR; you didn't really give me a choice, old man."

(Think this is a stretch? Possibly. But I doubt it.)


The Right is eager to play the race card with a sitting Black President, but they have to do it through innuendo, metaphors, verbal allusions. I understand that I'm offering no examples, but I believe Lowry and people like him on the Right tacitly support Derbyshire's "views" concerning the comparative intelligence, aggression and "otherness" of Blacks in America. And, so they can't be accused of overt racism, they'll just make oblique references. They'll use the dog whistle.

Race is an issue in America. There's been a tremendous amount of racist garbage, blog posts and comments, crudely-drawn cartoons, aimed not at Obama's policies but at his race (One of the first comments I heard after the 2008 election from someone at work was, "Guess we can't call it the 'White House' anymore!").

And Right blogostan has never stopped baying about the 'conspiracy' around the legitimacy of his birth certificate. Breitbart's last super-secret, stop-the-presses video was about Obama giving someone a hug -- proof of his radicalism, that he is (hint, hint) a Black man first and an American second.

You can barely hear the National Anthem any longer for all the dog-whistling on the Right that's been going on since 2008. And none of the Good Ole Boys repudiates it; I see Sessions, Haley Barbour, and Saxby Chambliss (who crawled into office by calling a triple-amputee Vietnam veteran a traitor) whining on television and want to puke. People like this are a shame on my country.

We're a badly polarized society -- possibly more so than at any time since The Great Depression, certainly since 1965 -- and at a time when we can least afford to be so divided. Asshats like Derbyshire (aber natürlich, only for the purest of reasons) have pushed and escalated our society's divisions and put us at each others' throats. They'd like to keep us there.

Race is an issue in America. Electing Barack Obama as president didn't solve it. I'm not happy with Obama as a president, or a Democrat -- but it would never cross my mind to believe his public policies or decision-making are the product of his being Black.

The Right, on the other hand, seems to think that is the case -- and while Derbyshire will be publicly repudiated by conservatives for his remarks, many of those same people on the Right will attempt to perform a quiet, virtual lynching as they attempt to 'save' America from ... the Justice in Equality, I guess.

Auf Nicht Wiedersehen, Derbyshire, you Lumpenhund nutter.




( * "Kulturschande" Is more than just bringing shame upon one's culture, because the concept in German of Kultur encompasses much more than that. But, trust me; it's pejorative.)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Little Michele Bows Out

Crazy Lady Says Buh-Bye



The national press speaks of GrandTurtlebear Bachmann of the Church Of Crazy Lady™ as if they just aren't sure how someone who scored so well in the Ames straw poll in the spring could have ended their presidential aspirations by Augering In at the Iowa Caucus this week.

Pundits scratch their heads, talk about 'missed opportunities' or hint at misjudgements made by her advisers. But that's not the reason she's out.

The pundits are being very, very polite -- or very, very stupid: It's because she's a Loon. She's an obviously crazy person.

That, even now, anyone ever took her seriously as a candidate for the presidential nomination says a great deal about both the Republican party and the state of politics in America. None of it is good.

Auf Nicht Wiedersehen, Michele, you nutter. Over and Out.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

El Testa Di Cazzo Di Tutta l'Europa Berlusconi Resigns

Rome Greets Announcement With More Austerity

New Reaches Rome Of The Poco Pene's Resignation

As Italy's people steady themselves to withstand the rigors of Austerity which the EU demands as price for saving the Euro lending German and French banks, really Italy money -- the selfsame Italian people took Winston Churchill's advice on V-E day, and "allowed ourselves a brief period of celebration".

Silvio Berlusconi resigned today as Prime Minister of the Republic Of Italy, after nearly two decades of playing factions within Italy's political parties off against each other, in order to deliver a (sometimes) working coalition in the country's Parliament. This was the real reason he hadn't been gotten rid of earlier, not some indispensable personal ability or sage leadership. He was canny -- what the Germans refer to as Schlau -- but ultimately, not possessed of high intelligence.

He also used his position as Prime Minister to make some deals -- he is a Billionaire, and as a member of the planet's Oligarch class, saw nothing wrong with it. In that connection, Berlusconi was accused of money laundering and witness tampering and bribery, trying to evade the charges by having a law passed through the Parliament, giving the Italian Prime Minister immunity from prosecution for any crime -- only to have it repealed.

He also treated the international public to a flamboyant peep-show of his private life; it was the women he dallied with who passed on details to an ever-hungry Tabloid press. And it was in that connection which made him beloved to a superinteligent parakeet and the four other readers of Before Nine.

Obligatory Photo Of Superintelligent Parakeet In Middle Of Blog Rant

So, as he slinks back to his palatial estates and can return to manipulating the Italian people through what issues from the media empire he owns -- here are a few links to our Roll Of Shame for Silvio! -- Chief Clown Prince Of Europe!
May, 2009: See Naples And Divorce

June, 2009: Comedy Relief: Arrogance So Large It Has Its Own Postal Code

September, 2009: He Thinks With Little Silvio, Which Isn't That Bright. Come To
Think Of It, Big Silvio's Stupid, Too.


October, 2009: Meanwhile, In Downtown Italy

December, 2009: Berlusconi Attacked By Cathedral

March, 2010: Wearing Purple, Seeing Red

December, 2010: Salvato! Silvio Salvato Per Avere il sesso con più ragazze adolescenti!

February, 2011: Oh God; Not Again
Now, Italy will go forward, bravely keeping the Banksters and the rich warm, and safe, and with many treats. Just as our Tea Partei and GOP, and many Democrats, want to do right here in the Good Old Eusa.

Silvio Berlusconi: Auf Nicht Wiedersehen, you Nutter.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gone

The Incredible Shrinking Irrelevant Man

[Beck] also issued a final warning to his enemies: "You will pray for the time when I was only on the air for one hour per day" (TPM)
A nationwide effort was recently announced to reduce the number of infections in the population*; and today, June 30, the final episode of Little Glen Beck, Five Years Old, Versus The World Since The Enlightenment was broadcast. Says Ryan J. Reilly at TPM:
Glenn Beck's final show on Fox News had everything you've come to know and love about his program. The chalkboard. The demagoguing. The Goldline commercials...

"We've done amazing things together, and I thank you for watching," Beck said. "We've made an awful lot of enemies in the program. We've taken on every single person we've been told not to take on."
We've done amazing things... We've made enemies. That cheerfully paranoid characterization of the Little Glenn hemorrhoid horrorshow isn't surprising: Rightist wingnut radio and teevee is all about conspiracies. It's about whom to hate, and how to reclaim the power that has been stolen from you -- mostly, by enriching the host(s), because they labor ceaselessly to bring the truth to the people and are regularly Fluffling precious metals companies Heart them.
Beck ... dismissed claims he was pushed out of the [Fox] network. "I didn't run away from something, I ran to something. I knew exactly where I was supposed to be," Beck said.
His claim to be a vibrant player in America's Nut-O-Sphere (measured in advertising revenue) comes despite the fact that Glenny's audience at Fox had shrunk by over a third in just the past year -- an unavoidable red flag. However, Glenny claims being squeezed out by Little Rupert is really a step forward -- more the freedom to be the Glamorous Glenny he was meant to be, instead of being fired for lost viewership and lost ad revenue and a dwindling relevance to... well, anything.

Think of it this way: Little Rupert Murdoch is an essentially stupid man, who has pumped nothing but sewage into the eyes and ears of people around the world simply to make a profit -- in that, he's no different than a pimp who puts girls on the street he knows are HIV-positive because there's money in it for him.

Knowing that about Little Rupert... what does it say that you, uh, got into bed with him and Roger, His Personal Fat Boy, in the first place? And if a wasteland like Rupert doesn't want you -- well, Glenny, then you must be one, skanky media whore.

And -- perhaps Glenny's exit is also tied to rumors... unseemly rumors, that won't go away? And are they true? I don't know; I'm just asking the question.

So: Gone, at last. As I've said before -- Auf nicht wiedersehen, Glenny, you Nutter. Gratefully, I don't think I'll need to say it again.

(* Noch Einmal, Mit Schlag: Okay -- the reduction I mentioned relates to a national movement to eliminate most post-surgical infections in America's hospitals. Still, what are things like Glenny or Lard Boy, Mikey Wiener, and their wannabe local imitators, if not suppurating infections slowly poisoning our culture?)


Monday, May 2, 2011

Ding-Dong

Bitch Be Dead

"After The Assault On His Compound, American Forces Removed
bin Laden, Who Was Disposed Of At Sea" (DOD Spokesman)

>> Sixty-Six years ago on Saturday, Ol' Adolf fired the shot heard 'round the world (Eva simply took poison) in the Berlin Führerbunker behind the Reichschancellery.

>> Eight years ago, a manifestly stupid man -- so lacking in intelligence that to this day, he still believes he was a "good" president who did very good things for the nation -- landed on an aircraft carrier with a rolled-up sock jammed in his crotch, then announced that we were all Really Big Winners in Iraq.

And just so all the teevee cameras got it right, draped from the operational bridge of the CV was a banner: "Mission Accomplished".

>> Two days ago, in a details-as-yet-unknown mission, an American military and intelligence team assaulted a compound in Abbottabad (probably near Costellodahar), Pakistan. In the course of the assault, Osama bin Laden was killed, his body removed by the assault team, and apparently dumped at sea in an unknown location.

Compound In Abbottabad (We're Not Making This Name Up)
(Photo: NYT/T.Mughal - European Pressphoto Agency)

So now, bin Laden's dead. Not that I'm unhappy; he was a murderous neurotic of little use to anyone, particularly Arabs and Muslims, no matter what Hamas says.

Osama's Abbottabad Compound (Dept. of Defense Image)

Bin Laden's Compound In Abbottabad As Seen From GoogleEarth

If I were an Arab, even if I believed that American hegemony was despoiling the world and against god (someone's god, anyway), I'd still think that Osama had outlived his usefulness.

I would hope that the way forward in the Arabic and Muslim world will not be decided by Islamic fundamentalists -- if it were to be so, they would be having a much larger effect on the so-called 'Arab Spring', and (insofar as I can tell, and remember, I'm only a Dog) they aren't. And having fundamentalist anybody in control is never a step forward, only backwards.

Many Sources Have Said That bin Laden Was Living Openly
In Pakistan, Protected By Their ISI Intelligence Service

The world is an ocean, and particularly dangerous, blind, murderous forms of predator have always swam in its shadows -- killing, sowing fear; dreaming of power. Osama was just one more of them.

The Islamic world should make the attempt to encompass all points of view and tolerate wide varieties of lifestyles and personal expression, if it wants to participate fully in the 21st century -- and if it wants to promote the true spiritual development of other human beings. As a planetary civilization, we've already had the 12th century. Very few people I know are anxious to go back, and I only have to work with them.

It's my own personal belief that we have two options in the world -- wherever we are, and whatever this place is (no one's come up with a real explanation so far). The first choice is based on the idea that our actions, words, and deeds can add something positive in the world. With each personal contact, every thought, every motivation and choice, we can increase the amount of (and I shudder to use a New Age-sounding comment here) positive energy in the world.

I always remind myself of Camus' remark that, even if the world is a place without a divine presence, predestination or a "plan", we owe it to each other and the generations yet to come to leave the world a better place than we found it. That's all; just 'Do your best', and 'Treat each other kindly', and 'Clean up your room before you leave'. It actually is just that simple.

The second choice is to do the opposite -- things which add nothing but darkness, confusion, fear and pain to the world. To harm others in the name of some higher power or benefit to the community ... which is really just a screen for grasping and holding as much power and material goods for yourself as possible.

I'll let you figure out which path Little Binnie Laden chose to follow. Me, I'd rather try the first as much as I'm able. As I said, I'm not in a celebratory mood -- there are still plenty of predatory fish out there who would like to come after us. And we have our own lessons to learn about Doing Right in the world before we should go around waving the Stars and Stripes.

Even better -- why don't we all just stop attempting to oppress and kill one another in the name of some political or religious 'thing'? Or just to obtain as much money and power as possible?

Well, Auf Nicht Wiedersehen, Binnie, you murderous pile of pig droppings. I won't spend much time rejoicing that you're dead, but you made your fate -- as we all do -- and now your ability to personally dump more darkness into the world is done.

That I'll rejoice over.