What’s Up? 07/26/10

Mercy mercy me. It’s been a crazy weekend hasn’t it? I mean did ya hear? Fox Propaganda folks and Rush Limpbaugh are suggesting that the White House planted the tape on Shirley Sherrod in the hopes that one of it’s crazy right wing thugs would snap up the bait, and make them all look bad. Yep. I swear.

And Newt and Laura are claiming that they only went with the story because they “trusted” the White House had seen the entire tape. Just another instance they now claim of just how incompetent Obama and his minions really are.

I just love people who can turn on a dime, and actually speak with incredulity such utter poppycock! Oh I love that word. I think I shall poppycock through this post. Word of the day!

Speaking of poppycockers. That would be Ted Haggart. Speaking of himself in the third person, he declares, “Ted Haggart needs to leading a church.” Moreover, he has uttered the words ” I have over-repented.” Now that may be a first. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a human being say that. The cured gay dude wants to put all his “massage gone awry” behind him. And you didn’t think there was humor in Christianity? Oh yes there is! What is apparent here is that Ted needs and more importantly, wants money, and doesn’t want to change occupations, since being a blow-heart evangelist is so lucrative.

Remember when we linked you to the wacko right’s utter shock that Obama used the phrase freedom of worship rather freedom of religion. And that the totals were 9-124 as to the usage, and that Bush used the same two phrases 33-124 times? Well, never one to do their homework, the right wing Faith and Freedom Institute has sent a letter to our Prez, telling him to stop that dangerous talk immediately or they will personally secure his impeachment for this and sundry other violations of the Constitution (one of them being of course his birth certificate non-production). I believe the Prez has gone to his bunker to protect himself from this overwhelming present danger.

Sadly the book Being Wrong, by Kathryn Shultz, will not be read by the above morons, since looking in the mirror is dangerous to vampires. A fine review of  this interesting book can be had at this link. We humans don’t like being wrong, and we sure don’t like admitting we are wrong. But of course, that’s part of growing up–taking responsibility and being an adult. This looks like a most interesting read.

I am alarmed at the utterly ugly rhetoric around the proposed Muslim center being  built two blocks from “ground zero.” I simply am in agony over the hatred being voiced, and the fact that people like Newt and Sarah give voice to this kind of “otherness.”  I’m not surprised, since the GOP in general seems to have adopted in all it’s vileness every form of them against us they can come up with. Do they realize that in the end, all the non-whites add up to more than the whites? The New Yorker has the anti Mosque video and commentary by Amy Davidson.

In a prelude to her upcoming book, Jane Goodall reminiscences on her 50 years in Gombe, in an article in the WSJ. No doubt you have, as have I, watched many a National Geographic on her study of chimps over the years. We have learned much about them, and of course about ourselves in the process. A nice read.

Killing the Buddha has a really amazing interview with Caleb Smith, author of The Prison and the American Imagination. For anyone interested in the state of our penal system and how it came to be as it is, this looks like the book. Read the interview and see if this appeals to you. As an aside, a lifetime ago, I wrote a very long (100 pager) paper on the death penalty in Michigan. Solitary confinement was considered more tortuous than execution. It turned out to be true, and eventually prison authorities pleaded with the legislature to allow the lifers time in the yard. Solitary was driving them quite mad. Smith addresses the history of solitary confinement.

And from Brilliant at Breakfast, we have a delicious look at the cream of the GOP contendahs or hopefuls in some respect. All the nasties are here including the corpse of Ronnie, who may have the best chance of all. Funny stuff.

Okay, enough already. Enjoy your day!

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What’s Up? 07/22/10

Well the firestorm on the Sherrod case continues. We hear that Fox is beside itself, being all put upon by the entire WORLD. I mean, they didn’t do a darn thing wrong, and it’s the filthy liberal media that is making up stories against them.

How sad.

Not having done a thing of course means that O’Reilly, trying to be “big about it” has offered an apology to Ms. Sherrod for not doing anything wrong. He then manages to slam her again, and of course defend Fox. So I guess we are to conclude that he was technically wrong, but morally right? Billo the Clown at his best.

Shephard Smith, also from Fox, was not so kind to his own network, blasting Fox for running the story without investigating the video, and claiming that his segment refused to engage in the story because of they “do not trust the source,” namely Breitbart and his scummy site.

But if you read nothing more on this story, don’t miss Keith Olbermann’s scathing utterly devastating commentary on the whole affair. Returning abruptly from his vacation just to speak on this issue, he puts all of us to shame. He condemns all, without exception, and points to the fact that today, the right is busily making the racists the victims and the victims the true racists. Quite a turn of events.

What seems to be a cry in unison, is the demand by the left en mass to stop kowtowing and  running scared from the right wing lie machine. Stand up! Stop trying to ignore and placate the right. They are not interested in any concept of fairness or truth. They want to rule and they are about almost any means to do so. They have declared that any election they don’t win is illegitimate. They are no longer into democracy or representative government. They are about tyranny of the One Party Rule. And they have the nerve to call the left fascist!

The right is so schizophrenic that one part never knows what the other is doing. On the one hand they are always criticizing Obama for “destroying religion (meaning of course Christianity) in Merika, while on the other Newt Slippery Gingrich is saying no to mosque’s at Ground Zero because Saudi Arabia doesn’t have churches there. Love the lack of logic. Or is Newt saying that we no longer care about being a “bastion” of religious freedom? Dopes like him seldom think beyond the last word out of their mouths.

“Lunar Apatite with Terrestrial Volatile Abundances.” Yeah, bet you know what that means? Sure ya do. Okay, it means that (hold onto your socks if ya gotta ’em) the moon is full of H2O. Yessiree Bob. It’s called Lunar “dew” (imagine Louis Black saying that–DOOOOO). The fine article alluded to will be in Nature’s July 22 issue, should you be so inclined to read all the specifics. This was all discovered last fall, and I’m at a loss how we have survived not knowing about this until NOW. Anyway, they have found even more that is different that the dew variety. That seems important to me. I figure it’s important because they finish by saying: “we must now re-evaluate the volatile inventories of the moon, relative to the Earth.”  See? That sounds quite important. Inventories? Cheeky moon scientists!

I can usually find something even weirder if I try. So, I have.

There is a world called possibilian. Okay. Digest that. And a neuro-scientist writer who writes about life in the space between what is and what if. Got that? Possibilianism celebrates the breath of our ignorance. Kinda like there is way more chit we don’t know than do, so let’s play. Or like the universe is so vast that anything that could happen has happened somewhere. (My personal favorite, since somewhere me and Johnny Depp are having wild sex in whipped cream!) Anyway, this Eagleman dude sounds like a real hoot to have at a party. The site is called “Killing the Buddha” and bears more watching I think.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt like the poor relative when it comes to archaeology. Seems all the good stuff is somewhere else. The Pyramids, early human bones, caveman paintings, you know what I mean. But we can toot our Merikan horns a bit, since things are hoppin’ in Cincinnati, Ohio of all places. (See, doesn’t that help make you feel better after LeBron left Ohioans?). Seems we have a 2,000 year old “wooden” Stonehenge. Ours is called Moorehead Circle. :P So there you British with your royalty and castles and and  stuff. We got somethin’ too!

So, that’s all ya need to know today. You can return to your normal life.

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All I Feel is Shame

It has been the position of this blog that racism is endemic in this country. Further, I have claimed that the GOP harbors its fair share of racists. The percentages go up as you look to the teabaggers and the religious right. Remember it was the religious right in the South who apparently found solace in the Old Testament for continuing it’s opposition to full rights to African Americans in the US.

I have argued, I think fairly, that much of the criticism against Obama is so visceral and so ugly that it must stem from bigotry alone. You do not attack a man about silly stuff such as teleprompters and birth certificates, you do not attempt to align him with hated figures of history and stereotypical renditions of natives of the “dark continent” unless you have more in mind than simple policies.

That said, the Shirley Sherrod affair should cause deep shame to more groups than just the usual suspects. Surely Fox Propaganda is deeply involved, although they continue to lie, claiming they never touched the story until Ms. Sherrod resigned. This is simply not true, as Media Matters proves. It was after Fox carried an article about the infamous Breitbart tape, that she was actually asked for her resignation. You can see the actual Fox article here.

Mr. Breitbart, claiming now that he only wanted to show not the truth of Ms. Sherrod’s alleged racism, but rather the applause she received in her comments about her early desire not to help white folk, is also lying. Mr. Breitbart has admitted that he only received this small snippet that he played on his site. It was done, so he admitted, to respond to the NAACP’s demand that teabaggers purge racists from their midst, something of course that they have now done.

He in effect wanted to stick it to the NAACP for being hypocrites. He claims he was unaware of the rest of the speech. The National Review Online, chooses to believe him on that, and yet they, even given that, claim he owes Ms. Sherrod an apology for his atrocious journalism, if nothing else.

It only gets worse. The NAACP jumped on the bandwagon, and today Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus claims they were “snookered” by Fox Propaganda. That Fox lies is new to you Mr. Bond? Pulllleeeez. You have got to be kidding me? Fox has been caught at least twice that I am aware of in bald-face lying designed explicitly to deceive. (the incidents I recall from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, examined Sean Hannity’s selective editing of remarks Obama made, and then accusing him of saying the direct opposite, not of what he implied, but of what he said directly two sentences later, which were left out. The second was a change in video of a teabagger event where footage was used of a much bigger event some months earlier to give the impression that the event was much larger than it actually was.)

And of course we have the embarrassing and shameful behavior of the Administration and Vilsack in asking for Ms. Sherrod’s resignation without bothering to investigate. They too cannot be under the impression that Fox can be believed, yet they are apparently so nervous around the Faux News group that they jump without thinking.

The whole matter makes me simply sick. Obama has served, sadly as a lightening rod to make racism “okay” again. It started with the atrocious and vile openly vicious bigotry toward Muslims. Somehow, we are to feel bad for the bigot, but at least “understand” that 911 has “hurt” people and they want revenge.

Bullshit. In a word. I am sick of people like Sarah Palin and all her minions of race-baiting insecure jackasses using 911 as their basis for  prejudice.

The issues involved with an virtually open  and  long border with a poorer nation has played into a scenario where it is more than okay to be slightly less overt, but still leveling insulting remarks against Latinos and Hispanics in this country. Unless you are in Miami, where being Latino is okay, because it’s still worse to be in Cuba and those who “escape” are to be commended and felt sorry for.

Getting behind the rhetoric of “border” safety (the statistics of course belie that crime is worse. If anything it is down), you find the real issue is the GOP’s fear that all these “illegals” will become citizens and vote Democratic.

So, bullshit I say. Racism has not disappeared in America. It had only been hiding away until such time that “shit happens” and we need somebody to blame for our own inadequacies. We are told that we can be anything we are willing to work hard enough for. That’s the mantra of the uber rich to keep us small folks in line.

Course it’s all a lie, and we don’t do so good, and we need somebody else to blame, and then along comes troubles and bingo, we can unleash what has been simmering in our little sick minds all along.

The Sherrod affair is but  the latest in a long list. And she will not be the last. Obama has so far shown a remarkably thick skin to all the not so subtle attempts to belittle him. He has risen above the affray. I’m not sure that is wise any more. I think it’s time, to call a racist a racist. We need desperately to confront our failings as human beings to each other and to ourselves. We need to at least acknowledge that there is an ugly undercurrent in this country.

If we do not, well, infections seldom heal themselves. They usually get worse, and I’m sure nobody wants to talk amputation. Wake up America. Shame on us all.

**As an aside, I have decided to end my relationship with ABC news. George Stephanopolus’s interview with Breitbart this morning was lazy at the very least. He failed to get Breitbart to admit he never had the full tape, and worse he never questioned Breitbart about where he got the tape. Coupled with their evening news continuing to call the GOP filibuster of the unemployment comp bill “Congress’s” refusal to pass a bill without funding, I’m done with them.

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