Won’t Somebody Puhlease Think About The “Good White People”?!

by matttbastard

You know, sometimes even the laudable snark-fu of yours truly can’t do justice to the absurdity of bigotry. In this instance, the following headline from Media Matters says it all:

‘Zogby asks if FCC should force “good white people” to “make room for more African-Americans and gays.”‘

Yep, that’s from respected (or formerly respected) pollster John Zogby, who has apparently been commissioned to push teh backlash buttons 1968 styles, boyee.

Peter Hart of FAIR has the 411:

Here’s one of the “questions” asked in the poll, tailor-made for Fox News Channel:

Federal Communications Commission Chief Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions.  Do you agree or disagree that this presents a threat to free speech?

Um, yes, so, how do you feel about the hoard of dark-skinned, fudge-packing barbarians at the gates trying to forcibly impose (by dictate of a CZAR, natch) the tyranny of diversity on ‘good white people’? Jesus. Talk about a total hand-job for those who willingly indulge in the crude paranoia of Glenn Beck.

As O-Dub (h/t) put it on Twitter, “really, never take John Zogby and his polls seriously ever again”.

Um, yeah. Seriously.

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UWO, London Ontario Police Violently Assault Student

by matttbastard

This hits a bit too close to home — seriously:

Officials at the University of Western Ontario in London [my hometown -- mb] are defending the violent arrest of a student that was captured on video and posted on YouTube.

The video, shot on Wednesday at the university’s social sciences building, shows what appears to be five campus and police officers surrounding the man and pinning him to the ground.

The officers knee and punch the student several times before they are able to restrain him.

They appear to be trying to put handcuffs on the man while repeatedly shouting, “Stop resisting!”

Elgin Austen, the head of campus police, told a news conference Thursday that by the time he arrived during the arrest, he didn’t see “anything out of order” with the level of force being applied.

“It was being conducted consistent with the Ontario Police College and the training that officers have there.”

Watch:

Alt Angle:

Yeah, um if repeatedly walloping someone on the ground is “consistent with the Ontario Police College and the training that officers have there,” perhaps we need to reconsider what we are teaching our law enforcement officials. Then again, who are you gonna believe — some PR flack, or your lyin’ eyes? As Austen helpfully notes, ‘people seeing just the video alone “may not understand what the officers were actually doing.”‘

Of course, some would beg to differ with Austen’s spin objective analysis of the situation.

Over at the Law is Cool blog, former police officer Ryan Venables provides his take on whether the officers in question went too far in their brutal efforts to “restrain” 22 year old Western student Irnes Zelijkovic:

After having viewed the video, and from my experiences and past training, I see NO REASON why one of the officers applied force to the middle and upper portions of Mr. Zeljkovic’s back and neck with his asp baton.  Officers are trained to specifically NOT to use this hard impact weapon on areas where significant damage could be caused (i.e. neck, forearms, and head) because of the risk to the suspect.  While an actively resisting suspect is a very dynamic situation, in my humble opinion this exceeded the appropriate options available to this officer.

Regardless, Mr. Zeljkovic should be thankful the boys in purple and blue didn’t break out the Tasers — or accidentally discharge a firearm.

Special thanks to my buddy Albert for the heads up

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On Analogy and Imperial Ambition

by matttbastard

What was that about Afghanistan not being even remotely analogous to Vietnam?

Andrew Bacevich:

Implementing the McChrystal plan will perpetuate the longstanding fundamentals of US national security policy: maintaining a global military presence, configuring US forces for global power projection, and employing those forces to intervene on a global basis. The McChrystal plan modestly updates these fundamentals to account for the lessons of 9/11 and Iraq, cultural awareness and sensitivity nudging aside advanced technology as the signature of American military power, for example. Yet at its core, the McChrystal plan aims to avert change. Its purpose – despite 9/11 and despite the failures of Iraq – is to preserve the status quo.

[...]

If the president assents to McChrystal’s request, he will void his promise of change at least so far as national security policy is concerned. The Afghanistan war will continue until the end of his first term and probably beyond. It will consume hundreds of billions of dollars. It will result in hundreds or perhaps thousands more American combat deaths – costs that the hawks are loath to acknowledge.

Bah — costs, shmosts. Remember, kids: Failure is not an option; No end but victory; Clap harder, etc. Positive reinforcement is like the platinum card of force projection — and one can always refinance the mounting debt if the interest proves too great.

Glennzilla (h/t):

Obama deserves some credit for at least refusing to capitulate immediately to the military’s demands without taking time to consider alternative options.  Russ Feingold just wrote another Op-Ed arguing for a withdrawal timetable from Afghanistan, but that option is not even part of the Washington debate.  The only issue is whether to escalate and, if so, by how much.  The Washington Post today reported that as part of Obama’s March order for 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan, “the White House has also authorized — and the Pentagon is deploying — at least 13,000 troops beyond that number.”  With Democrats like Feinstein controlling the U.S. Senate, is it any wonder that our status as a perpetual war nation appears to continue indefinitely?

Ah well, if we can’t actually be granted meaningful Change in the direction of US foreign policy, at least we can vicariously cling to the imperial hopes and dreams of those who profit from the expansionist state.

Yes, we can.

Oh, and for us Canucks, the prospect of US forces committing to a protracted, NATO-lead COIN campaign in Afghanistan combined with soaring Tory poll numbers would appear to put Harper’s long-promised 2011 exit date for Canadian combat troops in serious question.

Ok, I guess there are some differences between Afghanistan and Vietnam — at least Canada knew enough to stay out of that tar pit.

Related: First Van Jones, now Joe Biden?! Seriously, Arianna Huffington (or her ghost-writer, natch) desperately needs to get over the notion that being out of power somehow magically imparts one greater influence (and PONIES!)

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Hey, WaPo — Peeing On the Floor = Wingnut SOP

by matttbastard

Jesse Taylor explains why, contra aimai, the latest example of desperate hand wringing on the part of the traditional media over the scourge that is online incivility (fetch forth teh fainting couch!) misses the mark by honing in on the trees, rather than the forest:

I understand that us bloggers use cursewords and invective and sometimes call reporters mud-flinging slapfucks (or we do now!), but the entire point of the conservative anger is that it allows them to push forward complete and total lies and yell down anyone who debates against them.

[...]

The reason conservatives are so able to build up lies is because, by being nasty about it, they know that the dreaded MSM will only focus on the nastiness.  Eventually, the entire thing turns into a series of op-eds by Davids Broder and Brooks excoriating both sides for lowering the discourse, asking where President Obama’s promise of postpartisanship went, and then endorsing the three elected Republican officials who haven’t accused Obama of flouridating our children’s water supply as a method of mind control as the new centrist way forward.

Precisely. I could give a flying rainbow butt monkey fuck about how ZOMG RUDE!11 wingnuts are; it’s the fucking lying, stupid. Alas, judging by the continued preponderance of lazy ‘he said, she said’ stenography, too many in the press apparently consider it far more important to fret about the term ‘bullshit’ than to, y’know, call it.

Priorities. They can totally has them.

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Intellectual [sic] Conservatism: A Lighter Shade of Pale

by matttbastard

My homie Adam Serwer, examining Steven Hayward’s recent paen to the intellectual [sic] conservative tradition through a racial lens, wins the tubes for the week:

…any political movement that places The Bell Curve among its most important intellectual accomplishments can expect to have very few people of color in it.

Heh. Indeed.

h/t Scott Lemieux.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Ego and Ambition: Privileges That Only White Men Are Allowed To Enjoy (Recycled Meme Edition)

by matttbastard

Shorter George Will:

“Uppity. N*gger.”

Yeah, um, 2008 called — it wants its racist dogwhistle back. For fuck’s sakes, George, put down the thesarus, stop wasting our time and Katharine Weymouth’s money and just say what you *really* mean. Oh, and you can choke on that goddamn bow-tie, too (sorry, MHL — your uncle is still tres cool).

Background:

Race Bait and Dogwhistles

Arrogant: The New Uppity

Ego and Ambition 1

Ego and Ambition 2

Ego and Ambition 3

Ego and Ambition 4

(image originally uploaded by Barack Obama, posted under a Creative Commons license.)

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Beckian, Burkean — It’s All Semantics, Anyway.

by matttbastard

You are forgiven if, upon first reading the following passage from this recent Sunday Outlook op-ed about the ongoing contemporary struggle between conservative populism and heady intellectualism, you too thought that AEI glue-sniffer scholar Steven F. Hayward was taking the piss.

Alas, it appears Hayward is indeed opining with earnest (if extraordinarily absurd) resolve:

About the only recent successful title that harkens back to the older intellectual style is Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism,” which argues that modern liberalism has much more in common with European fascism than conservatism has ever had. But because it deployed the incendiary f-word, the book was perceived as a mood-of-the-moment populist work, even though I predict that it will have a long shelf life as a serious work. Had Goldberg called the book “Aspects of Illiberal Policymaking: 1914 to the Present,” it might have been received differently by its critics. And sold about 200 copies.

Now, there’s a novel line of spin — the razor-thin line between brilliance and buffoonery is merely semantic. Yeah, um, anyone who doesn’t recognize that Goldberg’s remainder bin magnum opus is the literary analogue to I Can Has Cheezburger really has no business taking up the tattered flag of intellectual [sic] conservatism.

Oh, and I won’t even touch the sloppy handjob Hayward delivers to Weepin’ Glenn Beck, or his bold contention that Rush Limbaugh’s “keen sense of satire makes him deserving of comparison to Will Rogers.” Up is down, black is white and Beck is apparently “on to something with his interest in serious analysis of liberalism’s patrimony.” Of course, this charitably assumes Beck can even spell patrimony.

Somewhere, David Frum’s face is getting better acquainted with his palm

Make no mistake: this is pure, undistilled wingnut propaganda masquerading as opinion journalism — articulately baffling bullshit, carefully buffed for high-brow consumption. And it’s all being excreted onto the WaPo opinion page, which is starting to rival The Weekly Standard as the go-to Beltway source for droning Wurlitzer recitals.

h/t Henry Farrell

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Obama, Chicago 2016 and “Stunning Humiliation”: Parody Joins Irony in the Afterlife

by matttbastard

Quick: who published the following headline: The Onion, or The Murdoch Times?

‘Obama’s Olympic failure will only add to doubts about his presidency’

Congrats if you picked the latter. Behold the advent of a new post-parody era:

There has been a growing narrative taking hold about Barack Obama’s presidency in recent weeks: that he is loved by many, but feared by none; that he is full of lofty vision, but is actually achieving nothing with his grandiloquence.

Chicago’s dismal showing yesterday, after Mr Obama’s personal, impassioned last-minute pitch, is a stunning humiliation for this President. It cannot be emphasised enough how this will feed the perception that on the world stage he looks good — but carries no heft.

“[L]oved by many, but feared by none.” Yeah, if only Obama had threatened the IOC with a first-strike scenario. Chicago might be cheering today.

Oh well — at least the failure-is-the-only-option crowd finally has a low-rent Waterloo analogue to (briefly) satiate their thirst for blood (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Hey, remember when criticizing the POTUS was tantamount to treason?

Now that Outer Wingnuttia has been exiled to the margins, cheerleading against America’s success is apparently the new flag pin.

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