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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Jul 4, 2008, 01:39 PM
Number of posts: 4,769

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I've moved Jackpine Radicals.

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Right Versus Wrong

There has always been a puritanical versus enlightenment fight going on for the heart of the country. Fascist, corporatist versus people, theocrats versus secularists, authoritarian versus freedom, racism versus decency, science versus ignorance and greed versus charity. During the times when the fight is most visible, such as the Great Awakenings, the Abolitionist Movement of the 19th century, the labor movement of the early 20th century, the Civil Rights Movement and today’s fights, it is not always apparent who will win the fight; even for those gifted with empathy and critical thought. And being right on one or more critical issues, such as civil rights, does not automatically put one on the right side of all issues.

Lyndon Johnson helped move civil rights forward and was great on poverty, but expanded United States involvement in a blatantly unjust war. There were African Americans helping the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a KKK type organization (with members of the Klan involved), because they believed the state would win the civil rights fight. And of course there has been overlap within many of the issues, with morality, reality and empathy being the common thread.

We are fighting numerous problems today, with clearly delineated sides of right and wrong. (Albeit with grey areas, degrees and nuances in each subject.) Our idea of democracy seems almost a joke in its current form (the Kochs spending close to a billion dollars to buy politicians, lobbyists writing our laws, entire media outlets - of which there are only six – devoted to propaganda, misinformation, scapegoating, wealth transfer to the top and diversion). Our idea of freedom is unrecognizable from just a generation ago with Total Information Awareness on a fast track to fruition, along with other repellant programs (NSA spying, DEA spying, asset forfeiture, militarized police, over 200 SWAT raids a day, license plate readers and indefinite detention). War crimes going unpunished and in many circles, unacknowledged (torture, the entire Iraq War). A reigniting of the civil rights fight, a fight against reprehensible trade agreements like the TPP and an effort for the middle class and the majority of the country to hold on to whatever wealth they have left. A fight to help the environment (global warming, endangered species, the health of the oceans, overpopulation, wilderness protection, etc.).

It’s easy to see which sides are right and which sides are wrong in these struggles. At least on the edges, where facts and decency are facing lies, greed and malice. What bothers me (aside from the ever-present War on Reality) is the fact that I don’t know which side will win this one.

Wish there were more like him.

New NYPD Recruitment Ad

Would you like to be able to do anything, and never be held to account?

Can you take any situation and make it about you?

Are you willing to protest at a funeral and yet take other citizens right to protest, with no sense of irony?

Does any legitimate criticism send you into a pouting fit?

Do you believe respect and submission mean the same thing?

Then you have what it takes to become one of the NYPD!


David Duke, Jason Richwine Introduce Spelling Bee to Burnish Klan’s Image.

Today on Klan Radio, David Duke interviewed his longtime friend and ideological mate, Jason Richwine. During the interview, both agreed to have a show of intellectual strength by combining their talents and their brainpower - all to help the much maligned and subjugated white race. After much back and forth and few panned ideas, they decided on a spelling bee; with a grand prize of one eight foot 4 x 4 piece of pine, one five foot 4 x 4 piece of pine, a box of nails, rags and a gallon of gasoline.

“Well old friend,” Duke used as his opening question, “what have you been doing since you left the Heritage Foundation?”

“Glad you brought that up, David,” Richwine said. “You know, those guys are just like all the rest. Never give a white man a break. I think they’re jealous of my superior intellect…’cause I’m white…I’m still white.”

“People like them don’t realize what an accomplishment that is. My friends and I have made our careers on being white. All of us…”

“Well, I for one tip my hat to you,” Richwine interrupted. “That’s why I’ve been working on a new study that proves one’s brains are located in one’s melanin. It will be used forever as proof positive of our racial superiority. Conclusive proof!”

“But…wouldn’t that mean black people have MORE brains?”


“If brains are located in the melanin, and blacks and darker people have more melanin…”

“Oh Damnit! Now I have to start over…Crap!”

“You’ll still be able to use my study to prove we’re superior, though,” he continued. “But let’s change the subject. You’ve been in the news lately and I was thinking, maybe we should do something that shows how smart and scholarly we are. You know, the Klan and Klan sympathizers like me are always looked down upon for being white. Maybe we could have a contest or something.”

“Most teeth?” Duke suggested.

“That’s good,” said Richwine. “But that gives the younger contestants an unfair advantage.”

“True, true,” said Duke. “How about an essay contest about World War II? We could give points to those who can prove Hitler wasn’t the aggressor!”

“Now you’re talking!”

Then in unison, they both said, “A spelling bee!”

"That's perfect!" Richwine exclaimed.

“Our days of being the downtrodden will soon be over!” Duke said

SAAAT is outraged! And comes to Andrea Tantaros’ defense.

“The United States is awesome. We are awesome…and they released the report…to show us how we’re not awesome.” So says Andrea Tantaros and Slow Americans Are Awesome Too, couldn’t agree more.

Michele Bachmann, a board member of SAAAT, spoke on Ms. Tantaros’s behalf. “I don’t know why people are making fun of Andrea and what she said. What’s wrong with being awesome, I ask you? It’s a good word, it starts with ‘A.’ Like apple and aardvark and awesome and America! Those are all A words. What’s wrong with that?”

“I believe it‘s the connection to torture and not the word itself that is at issue, Michele,” said Anderson Cooper of CNN.

“Oh, well that’s a T word.”

“I can take it from here,” said Andrea Tantaros. “She’s right, it’s a T word! But America is an A word and it’s awesome. I don’t think my critics have a leg to stand on now.”

Hey, Joe Gumina and Matt Wyse – Fuck you! (Re: Torture and police killings.)

And everyone who thinks like you.

I took these two as representatives of a pathological thought process and twisted world-view because they both put their repugnant, tone-deaf opinions in the public arena. Granted, their opinions mirror those of right-wing radio and Fox News idiot-porn, that passes for news in their circles; but assholes like Jesse Watters, Dennis Miller, Rush Limbaugh and Eric Bolling have entire websites devoted to calling out the sub-human crap that comes from their mouths.

From the San Jose Mercury News:
Torture' in report relatively minor

“It's amazing how far the bar has been lowered to define torture, and the outrage it has created. Sleep deprivation? A cold room? Loud music? A dog leash? Even water boarding (which simulates drowning, but is not drowning)? This is "torture"?
People need to wake up to what terrorists are doing. Terrorists are brutal, savage monsters who follow no rules whatsoever -- cutting off heads, sticking them on poles, holding beheaded bodies for ransom, cutting off limbs, kidnapping schoolgirls and ravaging them, blowing our troops apart with IEDs. That's torture.
If any of those complaining about U.S. torture had a loved one held by these monsters, I'm sure they would approve any means necessary to get their loved one back. It's easy to sit in a comfy chair and criticize those working diligently to protect us.”
Joe Gumina, San Carlos

First, no one has been released because we tortured a suspected terrorist. Ever. Second, read the damn report or at least a real article about the report. If you still think what we did isn’t torture, I’m sure someone would be glad to stick a tube up your ass while you stayed awake in a painful position for a week. Or maybe beat you to death as has happened to some innocent people. Still not torture?

People like Bush, Cheney, some in the CIA, sadistic pundits and people like you have forever, or at least for a few generations, stained our country and made the world worse. There is a connection between torture and the terrorists; people like you and your leaders have created more.

From the SF Chronicle:
Submit to cops
“I do not understand the protesters. The law requires an individual to submit when a police officer gives a legitimate command while pursuing the obligations of his job. If the officer states “you are under arrest,” the individual must submit. If the individual refuses to submit, what should the officer do? Should he simply say “OK, never mind?”
Yet, if he attempts to enforce the arrest it is seen as police brutality or worse. In none of the recent cases that have made news did the individual submit peacefully to the police officer involved.
I suggest that none of these individuals would have ended up dead if they had cooperated with the officer, as required by law."
Matt Wyse, Orinda

I’ll keep this short. Why does nuance and shades of grey escape the stupid and sadistic? There is no middle ground between, “Should he simply say ‘OK, never mind?’” and shooting unarmed people? How would you and your neighborhood react if every time you went out you were hassled by cops? If SWAT raids were a daily occurrence? If your teenage children were shot at the rate of 21 times those from another neighborhood?

There is no excuse for never giving five minutes of critical thought to an issue. There is no excuse for being as ignorant as you two are about important problems. And there is no excuse for being completely unsympathetic to the plight of others.

(Guess I’m a little angry today. Sorry about that.)

It was not always thus.

People who haven’t been paying attention for very long, could be excused for believing conservatives were always crazy, evil, (torture, defending murder of the unarmed, starting aggressive wars) disconnected from reality and were hell-bent on making the country worse on a daily basis. Threatening to shut down the government during every budget battle was not the norm. Defending torture was not the norm. Denying science was not the norm – but it is now.

This is not to say there weren’t crazy, stupid, bigoted humans that would and should embarrass every decent person. But those people were the fringe, not the mainstream. Like most things, it’s a matter of degrees. Decades ago a relatively small percentage of people belonged to, or held the beliefs of the John Birch Society. In the 21st century, those ideas are mainstream and held by those in power. People on right-wing media, including Fox- and their followers - parrot talking points indistinguishable from white-supremacists, while simultaneously denying their racism. (If one needs confirmation of the overt racism of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, et al, look it up on “The Google.” It’s everywhere. Over two years covering two black men standing on stairs is not news, it’s manipulation and insulting propaganda. And it’s one of thousands of examples.)

The following interview was from 1970 and featured Milton Friedman, Russell Kirk, M. Stanton Evans and William Rusher. You may agree with some of the things said, some things you may vehemently disagree with; but their reasoning was still based in reality. Their motives and conclusions didn’t seem to be rationalizations for punishment, and it seems to me, they would have laughed at the idea of discounting science.

People on Fox News like Jesse Watters, Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld (Sean Hannity and Dennis Miller, too), are as far removed from these people as Niagara Falls is from a sewage treatment plant.

(It’s an hour long, but five or ten minutes will suffice to make the point.)


On edit: I know that some, especially in the South were even worse than the conservatives of today. But those on this recording would have a hell of a time being represented on today's conservative media or the Republican Party.

After reading the talking points again, I've changed my mind on spying and Snowden.

My eyes have been opened on the subject of spying by the repeated accusations of being a libertarian (the fact that I have always found their views on corporate rights and lack of social conscience repellant, is irrelevant) and the typhoon of talking points that are thrown at anyone who breaches the subject. All I can say is, thank you for your relentless assault on those who remained true to passé ideals. It really is the moral duty of a good person to destroy the messenger...Who knew? And here is a partial list of those conscience breaking, character crushing talking points:

The program has been compromised...Everyone already knew...The leakers are traitors... It's all legal...No one expects privacy nowadays...We're at war...I trust our president...We're only spying on the terrorists...The critics hate our president...Paulbot!

Lets look into the Nixonian and Bushie catalogs - The program has been compromised...Everyone already knew...The leakers are traitors...It's all legal...We're at war...I trust our president...We're only spying on the terrorists...The critics hate our president...Communist!

Lawrence O'Donnell uncovers shocking prosecutorial misconduct. (Wilson grand jury.)

To call this a mistake strains credulity. Robert McCullough, Sheila Whirley and Kathi Alizadeh should be disbarred.


YouTube link:

Re: Attacks on Snowden, Greenwald. How the fuck do people like that sleep at night?

The authoritarian, 'war on reality' mind has always eluded and disgusted me. There are mountains of evidence proving the NSA is over-stepping its authority, the Constitution and in the process, making this a much less free country. But just like the climate change deniers and creationists before you, you attack the messenger because you have no real case. It's all been laid out thousands of times before. You and your ilk were wrong then, and you're wrong now. I'm not going to restate the obvious. The documents are everywhere. Their own documents! (But here's a link, anyway. A few thousand pages refuting your bullshit positions.)


Does this make those who attack Snowden and Greenwald while ignoring the real story bad people? Fuck yes it does, and it makes me ill.

I used to like to write long and thoughtful arguments on this and other subjects, (and still do, most of the time) but today I just don't have the patience. I admit to this failing. Although I usually consider myself calm, every once in awhile injustice, stupidity or the powerful and their minions trying to destroy good people so they can continue their crimes - that almost universally hurt those they are sworn to protect - just brings out in me a need to rant.
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