Jim Hightower has never let his pitchfork grow dull, as he shows in this merciless skewering of the latest idiotic bleat from token NY Times conservative columnist Bobo Brooks:
There is a fury in the countryside toward these plutocratic purse-snatchers who are being allowed to keep their exalted executive positions, draw fat paychecks and get trillions of dollars in bailout money from common taxpayers. People don’t merely resent them, they yearn for the legalization of tar-and-feathering!
Yet, Brooks and his political brethren are now bemoaning the plight of the plutocrats, assailing the “redistributionists” who talk of spreading America’s wealth. In his column, Brooks cried out for a conservative vision of “a nation in which we’re all in it together – in which burdens are shared broadly, rather than simply inflicted on a small minority.”
Do we look like we have suckerwrappers around our heads? Where were these tender-hearted champions of sharing throughout the last 30 years, when that same “small minority” was absolutely giddy with redistributionist fervor – redistributing upward, that is?
With the full support of their political hirelings from both parties, this minority created tax dodges, trade scams, corporate subsidies, deregulation fantasies, financial hustles, de-unionization schemes, bankruptcy loopholes and other mechanisms that turned government into a redistributionist bulldozer, shoving wealth from the workaday majority into their own pockets.
Brooks might have missed this 30-year class war, but most folks have been right in the thick of it and are not the least bit squeamish about supporting a national effort to right those wrongs. After all, even a dog knows the difference between being stumbled over – and being kicked.
If only Hightower’s fellow populist Texican rabble-rouser Molly Ivins was still among the living; we need her brilliantly pointed insight now more than ever to help puncture bloated elite windbags like Bobo.
Related: Ok, I can kinda sorta grok fiddling as Rome goes up in flames. But dancing on tables at brunch while sipping on $2,500 ($2,500!) jeroboams of champagne–in the middle of the afternoon? Un-fucking-believable.
h/t Erik Loomis
The greatest irony of the Thatcher crusade is that its economics pulled against its ethics. I doubt if the idealised abstinent, puritanical, self-respecting Grantham of her imagination ever existed in the real world. It certainly didn’t exist in her Britain. As a quick reading of the Communist Manifesto would have warned her, free-market capitalism is, of its very essence, subversive. It is restless, heaving, masterless, wonderfully dynamic and creative, but, in itself, utterly amoral. The hot breath of the cash nexus dissolves the ties of faith, community, family and tradition. And, as Friedrich von Hayek pointed out more vigorously than any critic of the free market, entrepreneurial success has nothing to do with merit or fairness. It is about satisfying wants and even at times about creating or manufacturing them; and the wants are as likely to be bad as good. The speculative frenzies and spectacular frauds that have studded its history are of its essence, too: among the forces that drive it, greed, credulity and the herd instinct loom much larger than the rationality that most economists celebrate.
- David Marquand, The warrior woman
Canadian fighter jets scrambled to intercept a Russian plane approaching Canadian airspace shortly before U.S. President Barack Obama visited Ottawa, the defence minister said Friday.
Peter MacKay said he wasn’t accusing Russia of deliberately timing the flight to coincide with the visit — when Canadian security was focused in Ottawa — but he did call it a “strong coincidence.”
“It was a strong coincidence which we met with … CF-18 fighter planes and world-class pilots that know their business,” said MacKay.
“[The pilots] sent a strong signal they should back off and stay out of our airspace.”
Now, I don’t mean to suggest that Peter MacKay is trying to overcompensate for possessing a teeny-tiny penis by swinging around Canada’s “CF-18 fighter planes and world-class pilots that know their business” like a pasty-faced Mr. Marcus clone. But it’s certainly a strong coincidence.
Perhaps someone should ask his dog for confirmation.
Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post said on MSNBC (at about 3:55 of the video) that the problem might’ve been caught if there was better diversity in the workplace. For example, I’d be willing to bet that many of the people who defended the cartoon on [Newsarama blogger] Caleb’s post [link added--mb] were white. I’m not trying to beat up on anyone for being white–I’m white. But the thing is, being white, we simply don’t deal with racism the same way. This is what diversity does: it provides multiple viewpoints, multiple frames of reference for the same subject. This doesn’t mean controversial subjects should be avoided at all costs, but that fraught images like this one can be examined from different perspectives, and that perhaps a better critique of the stimulus package could’ve been produced.
Exactly so. And it’s not simply mainstream/right-leaning media outlets that could greatly benefit from a more diverse selection of voices. Check out this wanktastic basket of white liberal fail at Mother Jones (yes, that Mother Jones) from some douchebucket named Daniel Luzer (“It’s pronounced Loot-zer”), who says that Al Sharpton should just, like, STFU “because the cartoon isn’t offensive, unless you’re an ape.”
Luzer digs his trusty shovel in deeper:
This cartoon has nothing to do with the ethnicity of Obama’s father and everything to do with the fact that the stimulus bill is messy. So messy, in fact, that it could have been written by a chimpanzee.
You many not even get the cartoon at all (stimulus=monkey?), but that’s understandable because it’s not that funny; it’s just not racist either. Sometimes a joke about monkeys is, well, just a joke about monkeys.
And sometimes a privileged hotshot straight outta Columbia J-School is simply a clueless tangle of unexamined privilege and egoverridden certaintude. But, hey, thanks for explaining to us dumb apes what is and isn’t ‘racist.’ If there’s one thing every (needlessly!) aggrieved negro needs it’s a walking whiteboy encyclopedia of TRUE bigotry to calmly and rationally tell us to, um, chill the fuck out, man.
Me and my elevated blood-pressure are simply overcome with gratitude.
[B]eing white, we simply don’t deal with racism the same way.
Rewind, my selekta:
[T]he cartoon isn’t offensive, unless you’re an ape.
Related: Bil Browning and Erica C. Barnett note that Delonas has a longstanding history of being an “equal-opportunity asshat”, as Barnett aptly dubs him–so much so that GLAAD has compiled an ongoing dossier of his greatest defamatory hits.
Barnett wins the intertubes for the day:
So, for the record, here’s a (presumably noncomprehensive) noncomprehensive list of groups Delonas hates/considers worthy of mockery: the womenz, the gays, the blacks, the fatties, the handicapped, the oldsters, and the blind. Given that list, I’m thinking Delonas’ only audience is, what, angry white male misanthropes with body anxiety and mommy issues?
Yeah, AKA the core subscriber base of the Murdoch Post.
According to [Missouri] Republican State Rep. Bryan Stevenson, the proposed pro-choice “Freedom of Choice Act” is the biggest federal power grab since the “War of Northern Aggression.”
Oh well. At least the fetus fetishists appear to be finally broadening their eye-gougingly overwrought rhetorical palate. I mean, really–genocide analogies are, like, so 2008.
To save y’all the trouble of ever having to suffer through a martyr-posing Pilger polemic again, let me summarize the tiresome formula:
John Pilger loses the plot somewhere up his ass; bravely inserts his own head in a daring rescue attempt, despite overwhelming suppression efforts on the part of the Ruling Elite. Repeat, ad infinitum, until you’re ready to beat yourself to death with the collected works of George Orwell.
Awesome. Can’t wait for 4 more years of doctrinaire paleo-lefty contradiction-heightening, delivered in a hectoring, teeth-itchingly self-righteous tone of rote high dudgeon and affected disgust directed towards The Absolute Worst Empire in teh World–Evar (oh, and of course Israel, which is still number two with a depleted-uranium-tipped bullet!)
Sweet Jesus, I hate purity trolling.
(That said, I will throw down with anyone who disses my homie Robert Fisk.)
Well, isn’t this lovely:
The Utah House of Representatives will hear a controversial proposal that could hold physicians responsible for homicide if they perform abortions deemed illegal by the state.
Under current state law, abortion is allowed only in cases of rape or incest, if the fetus cannot survive outside the womb or is unlikely to survive, or to save the mother’s life or preserve her health.
Abortions that don’t meet any of those standards can result in third-degree felony charges.
Under House Bill 90, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton, physicians who perform illegal abortions could be charged with second-degree felony criminal homicide.
“In my opinion, illegal abortion is the same as murder,” Ray said. “This is the right step for Utah to take to protect the lives of unborn children, because they don’t have a voice.”
Note how it’s the doctors who performed the “illegal” abortions potentially facing charges under this proposed new law, not the women who ‘contracted’ the “killing”. In a (perverse) sense, it’s almost gratifying to see the fetus fetishists explicitly affirm their belief that women are merely empty vessels that bear teh innocent baybees over to this mortal coil–boxes on a biological assembly line, if you will.
Which perhaps answers the question posed via IM by Sylvia/M (h/t):
“Will women be accomplices, then? Or scenes of the crime?”
If you live in Utah or you want to send some strongly-worded letters to the Democrats in their House of Representatives about this bill, here’s the UT House website. Tell these representatives that doctors protecting women’s health is not an air quotation myth.
Update: Jill Miller Zimon has compiled a plethora of info on this proposed anti-woman legislation. Go.
Toronto Star national security reporter Michelle Shephard, who, over the course of her career, has visited the detention facility at sunny Guantanamo Bay, Cuba fifteen times, gives an essential summation today of what she calls “a place of jarring juxtapositions”:
Suicides of the detainees became “asymmetric warfare” and force-feeding prisoners on hunger strikes was “assisted feeding.” Captives did not have “interrogations” but had “reservations.” And signs posted on the road to the camps listed the “Value of the Week” as “Pride” or “Respect” even as Washington debated the definition of torture.
[...]Journalists have been the public’s eyes and ears at the base for the last seven years and the ever-changing rules have at times hampered our efforts to tell the whole story.
Security regulations surrounding photos and videos were perhaps the most confounding.
Last week, censors erased a photographer’s shots of the tents at “Camp Justice” where journalists reside because there were more than three tents in the frame. A television reporter’s clip was deleted because the shot showed her talking with an orange barricade in the background. No one could explain why that was a problem.
Tight shots of razor wire were okay, except if it surrounded the courthouse, even if the courthouse wasn’t shown. I tried to point out that I didn’t think Al Qaeda would be surprised that razor wire was being used as security.
Detainees couldn’t be interviewed or identified in photographs because of the Geneva Conventions, Pentagon spokespeople and military commanders told us.
The international treaties state that prisoners of war must “at all times be protected … against insult and public curiosity.” The PoWs should be afforded “respect for their persons and their honour.”
But the Bush administration created this offshore prison in an effort to sidestep those same Geneva Conventions. U.S. President George W. Bush, who left office last week, famously stated that only the “spirit of” the Geneva Conventions would be respected at Guantanamo.
Our military escorts would correct us if we referred to captives as prisoners because these were not “prisoners of war” but “detainees.”
And if the reason for censoring photos was to protect a captive’s right to privacy and honour, then the Pentagon violated its own rules when it released Guantanamo’s most famous picture. The photo, taken in 2002, showing shackled prisoners in orange jumpsuits kneeling in the hot Cuban sun while dogs and soldiers bark at them, was actually taken by a U.S. sailor.
When international furor erupted, the Pentagon quickly labelled the photos “For Official Use Only” in an attempt to prevent further distribution. But it was too late.
The entire article is a must-read, if only to counter revisionist attempts to distort the legacy of Guantanamo, such as this unfortunately (if tellingly) titled op-ed from Sunday’s Washington Post, ‘When Gitmo Was (Relatively) Good,’ in which writer Karen J. Greenberg tries to construct a ‘One Good German’ counternarrative lauding “small initial efforts at decency” on the part of detention officials.
Purported good intentions aside, Guantanamo was an immediately tainted effort once the decision was made to, according to Greenberg, “act in a manner “consistent with” the conventions (as the mantra went) but not to feel bound by them [emphasis added].” As soon as the US untied itself from binding international law, specifically and deliberately design a detention facility in order to sidestep regulation and oversight, the entire enterprise was doomed to debasement, no mater how hard officials initially tried to voluntarily (key word) “go with the Geneva Conventions,” as Staff Sgt. Anthony Gallegos, quoted by Greenberg, put it.
Keep that statement–”not to feel bound by them“–in mind as the new administration ties itself in knots trying to untangle the legal and moral mess left behind by the previous–and, as GOP leaders like John Boehner continue to peddle the Club Gitmo myth, also remember Shephard’s stark recounting of Guantanamo’s true legacy.
Shorter Associated Press: “‘The world’ = an Italian op-ed scribe, some guy in France, an Egyptian civil servant, and Hugo Chavez.”
Y’know, one would think a purportedly reputable, mainstream news organization would tap into ye olde expense account and commission an opinion poll to, y’know, semi-accurately measure global opinion. Kinda like these outlets did, in order to gauge the domestic mood prior to Obama’s inauguration, instead of simply splicing together a handful of anecdotes. But that’s precisely the sort of unnecessary clutter that Ron Fournier’s revoultionary “make shit up” policy swiftly cuts through, like a freshly-sharpened bowie knife slicing a thick hunk of canned ham.
Mmmm, canned ham. Followed by donuts and coffee for dessert. Now that’s a surefire recipe for success.