Monday, September 28, 2009

War On (A Certain Class of People Who Do) Drugs: Big Fail

Republicans should simply never be given positions of any power or responsiblity. Behold:
EL PASO — The year was 1969, and as suburban American teenagers explored the exotic possibilities of the $10 lid — about an ounce of marijuana, seeds, stems and all — Vietnam vets were coming home as addicts and inner cities were being hit by heroin epidemics.

In June that year, President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse “a serious national threat,” and the mass media images of stoned Woodstock hippies that followed in August reinforced his warnings.

The broad enforcement program he launched soon became known as “the war on drugs,” and grew to become a multibillion-dollar effort focused on interdiction, destruction of foreign crops and harsh penalties for even minor offenses.

On its 40th anniversary, the drug war continues at a cost in blood, ruined lives and public dollars that Nixon could never have imagined.
Ah, never let it be said that Richard Millhouse Nixon was not possessed of an imagination. But let us continue:
“After 40 years and all the money spent, with U.S. consumption as high as ever, people languishing in prison for possession of soft drugs like marijuana and the violence in Mexico worse than ever, it seems to me that something has to change,” said Kathleen Staudt, a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, which hosted the “U.S. War on Drugs” conference.

More than two dozen drug experts, academics, border journalists and law enforcement officials gathered to compare notes for three days about drug policy, coming from Mexico, the United States and even Colombia.

Two seemingly unlikely advocates of radical change at the conference were Terry Nelson, a retired federal agent, and James Gray, a California state judge, both of whom once sent drug offenders to prison.

“The global war on drugs is probably the greatest public policy failure of all time,” said Nelson, who stalked traffickers in the Caribbean and Latin America during three decades with the U.S. Border Patrol, Customs and Department of Homeland Security.

“The drug war has brought us the militarization of our police force,” Nelson said. “And it's killing our families when you put a mother or father in jail for smoking small amounts of marijuana.”

Nelson said the answer is legalization, education and regulation, the treatment given two other dangerous but popular legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Hahahahahahah! Oh, excuse me...(cue Vincent LaGuardia Gambini): You were serious about that?
Citing a public policy study that is best known for being ignored, he said, “Sixteen years ago the Rand Corporation found that we get seven times more value for drug treatment than we do for law enforcement.

“We cannot repeal the law of supply and demand. Maybe we should stop being moralists and start being managers,” he said, despite the entrenched economic interests involved.
Stop! You're killing me!
Over three days of discussion, one voice was heard loudly defending the present policy.

“Ultimately what we are talking about is the obligation of the state to protect its citizens,” said Anthony Placido, who leads the Drug Enforcement Administration's intelligence program.

“It's about mind-altering substances that destroy human life and create the violence you see only a few blocks from here,” he said.

His presentation depicted meth-ravaged American housewives, the butchered bodies of Mexican drug soldiers and brain scans that purported to show “dead spots” caused by heavy marijuana use.

“We went to war after 9-11 when 3,100 people were killed. Thirty-eight thousand die every year in this country from drugs,” he said, adding that decriminalization would bring further harm.
Now you're sounding like a proper Texas Republican!
The conversation was more choir practice than robust debate, as a consensus emerged that the enforcement-driven policy isn't working.

But, as one speaker reminded everyone, just talking about loosening drug policy remains the dangerous “third-rail” of American politics.

“You touch it, and you're dead,” she said.
Reality rears its ugly head, but is quickly dispelled by a return to High Comedy:
Among the options examined were decriminalizing drug possession, with options ranging from marijuana to hard drugs, and treating drug abuse as a medical and social problem, rather than a crime.
Hahahahahahaha!

No blurry lines here

This one was clear, and it has been crossed.

Polanski

Often, when I find myself struggling with a feminist issue, not quite able to sort my feelings out, I turn to Amanda Marcotte for clarity and on this particular issue she does not disappoint. It's hard when a public figure whose work one admires turns out to have behaved heinously in his/her private life (Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Woody Allen) but, adding to the dilemma of this case is the fact that so much time has passed, the victim herself is calling for clemency, and one questions whether or not this might be a case of an overzealous prosecutor seeking a celebrity trophy. But weighed against the principle of equality under the law (our system is heavily stacked against the poor; H/T von, who has more thoughts), and the need for an affirmation of national values, as Amanda puts it so well:
But these kinds of crimes aren’t just about the current victim, but the larger problem. Polanski committed his crime before rape and the sexual abuse of children were really considered serious crimes. Punishing him can help as a collective retribution of our society’s former values, and a way to assert new ones. One case that comes to mind is the conviction of Edgar Ray Killen 41 years after he conspired to kill three civil rights workers in Mississippi. These kinds of cases are about symbolically rejecting a history of racist violence and trying, at least, to move forward. And while I’m not trying to compare the crimes in severity---again, the victim in the Polanski case is thriving, and obviously the murdered men are not---I sincerely think there’s a useful lesson here about the importance of facing up to our history and doing what we can to make the necessary changes.
and I come down on the side of support for Polanski coming back here to serve his sentence. Now, if we could only be as diligent and principled in our stand against war crimes.

UPDATE: Scott Lemieux suffers no ambivalence on this issue at all.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

We need better Democrats

This is why we need to elect good Democrats, not just more Democrats.

UPDATE: What I mean: More like this please!

Oh okay, today really IS Friday

So I went all day yesterday thinking it was Friday. I also managed to call at least two people the wrong name. So, on this anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz, it seems an especially appropriate time for me to post this video:



I always thought it was a shame they cut so much of this dance scene out of the final film, but I'm a big fan of dance.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, this video doesn't include one of my favorite quotes from the film, to wit:
Scarecrow: I haven't got a brain... only straw.
Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?
Dorothy: Yes, I guess you're right.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Friday!

Come for the music, stay for the interview:

Always in search of a good acronym

Just received an email from friend and art activist Gene Elder who informs me that July 2010 will be the first Political Art Month and that Texas' version will be heretofore known as TAMPAX: Texas Art Month: Political and XXX. Come on down!!

He also keeps me up to date on the latest in wingnut skullduggery - being both an artist AND gay, Gene is no stranger to the antics of our sanctimonious foes - and, folks, I'm here to tell you that THIS TIME they have gone TOO FAR! We've coped with teabaggers and bigots, gun nuts and birthers, haters of government and education, but when they go after my Accordion Festival they've crossed a line, by God.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Rule

If you accuse someone of "playing the race card" that automatically makes you a racist. EOS.

Or if you write a steaming pile of manure like this your reputation is forever sealed as a complete tool who can only dream of being almost as intelligent and politically saavy as Michael Steel.

UPDATE: Just to underscore how incredibly bad that op ed is, I found it because it was approvingly linked to over at TexasFred's. Tells you all you need to know, right?

UPDATE II: Speaking of ubergenius Steele, he's classy too.

Schadenfreude Returning

That stupid ACORN bill? - Big mess.

Happy Birthday Mickey Rooney

Yes, indeed - what fools these mortals be!



I was pretty indifferent to this man's talent until, as an adult, I saw this film and was blown away by the phenomenal skill he displayed at such a young age.

Schadenfreude Antidote

I suppose we'll be hearing a bit about this book for awhile and various people will find interesting quotes and such, but it just serves to remind me - like I needed reminding, thankyouverymuch - that the little prick is still strutting around, not in prison, and acting for all the world like he's someone who deserves respect. I live for the day his clock is cleaned by a war crimes tribunal.

Still, until that happens, I can get along very well on a diet of posts like this which has an accompanying picture that is pure gold.

Schadenfreude on Red Bull

Thanks, Susan. He's small potatoes, relatively speaking, but we'll take what we can get at this point.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Supporting a Scapegoating Narrative"

H/T to Digby for this excellent post from Dave Neiwert. It's quite long but absolutely worth it - do yourself a favor and read it!

UPDATE: Oh dear. I get the idea that AL is a little exasperated.

"A Hack among Hacks"

Michael Barone:
Barone is alleging liberal violence here not because any unjustified liberal violence actually happened, but because it helps advance the point that any and all resistance to the evils of liberalism is preemptively and preventatively justified. When someone gets shot, it won’t be because some nutcase brought a gun to an event and opened fire against an innocent person, it’s because they were trying to prevent the inevitable and terrible harm that liberalism would visit upon them, like when Bill Clinton had Vince Foster killed or when Obama sent out his Youth to pummel white children on school buses.

You can ask Dr. Tiller’s family where that line of thought leads, if you’d like.

Assessing Obama

Juan Cole has a pretty thorough run-down.

"The Race Card"

That must be the one that's missing from the deck that most righties are playing with.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Racism

I meant to link to this post by Atrios back when it came out but somehow never got around to it. But, since the topic is becoming ever more relevant, here it is:
While I don't think Bush referring to Obama as "this cat" is really racist, in the sense of suggesting some sort of animosity towards people of color, but I think there's a reasonable chance that race played a part, in the sense that Bush would've been much less likely to refer to a white guy with that term. People can have an odd awareness of race, in that I wouldn't call them racist but their awareness of race occasionally makes their brain go to strange places. I mean, I don't think the fact that Saint Tim Russert asked Obama about comments made by Harry Belafonte made him a racist, but it certainly demonstrated that perception of race made him link up black people randomly for no particular reason. That kind of thinking can take a person to darker places, but while not entirely harmless doesn't mean the person is Hitler.
Very well put, I think.

Also, there's this today, from Digby.

As we've seen from TexasFred et al, racists really don't like to be pointed out for what they are and we are seeing an awful lot of scrambling and pointing of fingers and victim-claiming from some of the worst perpetrators of racist bigotry. It's a sickening, albeit fascinating, spectacle and certainly completely predictable.

More perspective

Apologies to Donna for ripping off the title to her very worthy post but overexposure to rightwing blather has left me feeling braindead and I couldn't think of anything else to describe this marvelous commentary from Helen. It's a must-read, I promise.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Culture of Stupid

A few days ago, my local paper ran this story about abstinence-only sex education in Texas public schools, and among the commenters was a reader who said this:
I don't care what side of the argument you're on. If you believe that kids should be taught how to use protection or if you believe abstinence is best solution...THEN TEACH YOUR KIDS! It is not the responsibility of government run schools to be teaching this subject. Is it possible that the rise in teen pregnancy is due to ignorant parenting? Why do so many people support letting the brainwashing machine (schools) do YOUR job?
This seems to me to be a common attitude amongst the rightwing and libertarian factions in our society - that a public school education is the equivalent of being "brainwashed" by the government. And don't EVEN talk about a university education - that's where the evil liberals get ahold of your brain and turn you into a communist. Of course these are the same people who dominate the Texas State BOE and are working furiously to insert as much Christian evangelism and rightwing ideology into our public school curriculum as possible so, for them, "brainwashing" by "the government" is perfectly okay as long as they get to set the agenda. An interesting concept, I must say.

And look at the huge rise in popularity of home "schooling". It gives me the willies. I actually had a rightwinger at work relate this anecdote to me about a friend of hers whose daughter had been home-schooled all her life then they decided to try to send her to public school when she was in middle school (and one wonders about the wisdom of THAT plan - is middle school really the best time to introduce your children to a culture of peers?). According to this woman, the daughter came home after "TWO DAYS!!!" (hysterical emphasis supplied by my co-worker) with drugs and cigarettes in her purse. Now, the first thing that occurred to me was that this girl's parents, having had pretty much exclusive control over her formative early years, had rather dramatically failed in preparing her for her transition to a peer-centered environment, or in instilling their "values" in her. But I try to restrain myself from entering into these conversations at work - you know, it's just not a good idea.

But there's the rub, I think. Paranoia is not rational. The toxic blend of authoritarianism and paranoia that defines today's rightwingers produces a population that is both outraged and terrified, and with an ever-more-tenuous connection to factual reality. They're homeschooling their kids and stockpiling weapons. They don't trust educational institutions, and our news media has morphed into a device for simply reinforcing views already held.

What do we do?

She had a song

RIP one of my childhood heroines, Mary Travers. My older brother introduced me to folk music when I was in elementary school in the early sixties and, at that age, you might think that I would have been drawn to such songs as "Puff the Magic Dragon" or "Leaving on a Jet Plane" but, no. The songs that really got me jazzed and singing along at the top of my lungs were "Blowing in the Wind" (it would be several years before I was to be blown away by that song's author), "Where Have all the Flowers Gone" and, above all:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"We shouldn't be putting up with this in 2009."

Oh yeah. But we are, aren't we.

We desperately need to have a sane dialogue about race relations in this country, but it's difficult to have a sane dialogue with crazy people screaming, and crazy, evil people like Limbaugh and Glenn Beck egging them on.

More here. UPDATE: And this, of course, has nothing to do with race. Oh no.

I have a very, very bad feeling about where all this is headed and I honestly don't know what Obama or anyone else can do about it. Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

People who died

I never liked anything that Patrick Swayze was in but I'm sorry he died. He seemed like a perfectly nice guy and he was certainly a good dancer, but I wasn't impressed with his acting skills and the movies he was in basically sucked. And he was my age, ew. Meanwhile, this other guy I never heard of, Jim Carroll, died and he was maybe a not-so-nice guy but it seems that he was a whale of an artist.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Journamalism

My, my. How shrill.
Andy Worthington: That’s another thing, really, is that at no point did they ever seem to have any concept of how something might end. They started things and had no idea what their ultimate plan was. What, you really intend to hold people forever without charging them with anything? You really want to kidnap people on an industrial scale and have secret prisons and — you don’t know what you’re going to do at the end of this, do you? Everything was started with no thought for how it might possibly be concluded.

Lawrence Wilkerson: I think the principal figure in this — Vice President Cheney — would say, in response to what you’ve just said, “So what?” I mean, I really do. I wouldn’t have said that a couple of years ago, but now I’ve come to the conclusion that the man truly is — whether he was that way when I knew him before, when he was Secretary of Defense, I don’t know, that’s not at issue with me any more — the man now is just crazy.

Andy Worthington: Yes, well, I’m glad you said that. In March you called him evil. Crazy is — you know, he just seems to be a deranged man, I’m surprised he’s been getting so much air time.

Lawrence Wilkerson: It’s our media. Our media loves to keep it going. They love to throw him out there and, you know, stoke the fires. I asked a couple of people fairly high up in our media world, “Why in the world do you continue to give him and Limbaugh an audience? Why? Why do you even put them on the same plane as the president of the United States? Why do you have these dueling speeches? You guys made them dueling speeches, not the two principals.” Well, you know, they’re running out of business. People are canceling their newspaper subscriptions every day. They want news.

Andy Worthington: And they’re more interested in hearing this than they are in hearing that this madman was the driver of manufacturing false intelligence through torture to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Lawrence Wilkerson: Well, they helped in that.

Andy Worthington: Of course, that’s why they don’t want to talk about it.

A gathering of wingnuts

Susan makes a couple of good catches:


and she also points us to this. There is no end of good commentary on the Teabaggers' "Waterloo" in DC on Saturday, but TBogg always sums things up quite nicely.

Indoctrination - It's okay when we do it

From an editorial in my local paper this morning:
The Arlington Independent School District was one of many in Texas that chose not to show Obama's live address to schoolchildren last week. But on Sept. 21 the district will bus 500 kids to an event at Cowboys Stadium that features George W. and Laura Bush.
George W. Bush and others will, one day, be convicted of war crimes. It will happen, probably not during this administration, but eventually. It took Cambodia 30 years to convict Pol Pot. Let's hope it doesn't take that long for the wheels of justice to turn on the Bush cabal, but know that it will happen. And when it does, there are going to be a lot of Americans who will have a very difficult time coming to terms with the truth of what they cheered on and supported for so many years.

Journamalism

It must not be Sunday because there's no President John McCain on TV....oh wait, there's Newt Gingrich. Never mind.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Journamalism

We are getting some much-needed rain in my part of the country - yay! So I just went to check out my local newspaper's online weather coverage - you know, watchin' the radar. Anyway, off to the side was a section called "Other Weather-Related News" and among the headlines listed there was:
Health care effort could depend on Maine's Snowe
Yup.

Not Limbaugh, but too close for comfort

I want to tear my car radio out of the dashboard and throw it out on the highway (thereby causing, no doubt, a multi-car pileup during morning rush hour which is why I don't do it, OKAY?) every time some tool from the f**king American Enterprise Institute is invited on NPR to pontificate about anything whatsoever. This morning it was about Obama's speech and health care reform. Seriously. My God.

Speech

I thought it was a good speech. We'll see if it accomplishes what it needed to, but from the cursory survey I've done of commentary so far, seems good. I haven't seen any poll results yet.

I can't work up much outrage about the lout from South Carolina that heckled Obama. At this point, Republican oafishness is becoming so commonplace (you know, like sex scandals involving "family values" pols) and over-the-top that they are just digging themselves deeper into a hole from which, in a sane world, they should never emerge. But then again, this is far from a sane world, is it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Moving offices today...

Posting will be light. Am I missing anything?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Journamalism

My local TV News this morning did its obligatory he said/she said version of the Obama school speech "controversy", first showing a few seconds of a group protesting their district's decision not to air the speech live, then sticking a microphone in front of an elderly woman (heh, she was probably around my age) who said that she just thought that there was something "sinister" about "it". That was it, end of story. On to the next thing.

We appear to be flat in the middle of the Atwater/Rove Age of Hyper-Partisanship given full throttle by George W. Bush and there's no way to turn it off. Indeed, it seems that political defeat just stokes these guys up. I honestly don't know where we go from here.

UPDATE: Helen would know what to say to that woman who found Obama's address to school children "sinister."

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Socialist Day!

I'd post a picture but my computer is screwed up - Sorry! What are you doing inside on a computer anyway? Go on a picnic or something.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dammit

Oh poop. Way to harsh my birthday buzz tristero! Well, I'm here to announce that I'm NOT going to scrap my Kindle that I JUST GOT FOR MY BIRTHDAY. I'm just going to feel guilty as hell every time I use it. Or not.

Friday, September 4, 2009

In other news

While we were mesmerized by the sight of the rightwing freakshow over Obama's scheduled "indoctrination" of the nation's schoolchildren, over at the WaPo corner there was another kerfluffle brewing. Oh yeah, torture, war crimes. Yawn. SCARYBLACKMANSOCIALISTNAZI&^*()&%^&*%%$...!!!

Am I being alarmist?

Jesus H. Christ. Really, folks. I know most of you don't like to read and/or listen to what wingnuts are saying - and I don't either - but this crap has to be seen to be believed. This is going on in my neighborhood! Here is, in total, the comments posted to a post by TexasFred which he titled, "The Attempted Socialization of America: Redux" - and no, of course I'm not going to link to it. Remember, these are his readers commenting:
16 Responses to “The Attempted Socialization of America: Redux”

comment number 1 by: Katie
Yesterday at 2:43 PM

In my area, Obamaland (Chicago), they are practically drooling over this. But I heard many parents are planning to keep the kids out of school that day and on 9/11. There just might be a new school board next year.


comment number 2 by: Trencher
Yesterday at 3:05 PM

I have already instructed my children’s teachers they are to be excluded from it if they do participate.


comment number 3 by: Minute Man
Yesterday at 3:36 PM

I certainly wouldn’t let my kid go to school on September 8th. Those liberals think they can teach my kid better than I can. NO! This is wrong and we should not tolerate this any longer! The dictator Obama will not indoctrinate my kid with his liberal “science”. If my kid wants to learn what’s right, he can learn what’s right from me!


comment number 4 by: Minute Man
Yesterday at 3:44 PM

Texas Fred, I’m a long time reader and just now commenting. I want your advice on what to do with my kid?


comment number 5 by: TexasFred
Yesterday at 3:51 PM

comment number 4 by: Minute Man
Today at 3:44 PM (4 minutes ago) e

Texas Fred, I’m a long time reader and just now commenting. I want your advice on what to do with my kid?

Not knowing where you live and what the reaction of your local school board is, I am afraid I am not able to offer too much in the way of an opinion… I am pretty sure that after reading your comment, you’ll decide to do the right thing though!

Thank God my kids are grown, if they weren’t, and if this BS was going to be forced upon them, I would keep my kids home that day and DAMN the absenteeism…


comment number 6 by: Minute Man
Yesterday at 4:01 PM

I know some parents’ kids could not miss one more day of class or they would be expelled from school.

They are thinking about forgoing their education because they can’t have them learning in a country as backwards as this. I am torn whether or not to agree with them.


comment number 7 by: hardheadedtexan
Yesterday at 4:24 PM

Good Lord!!!
I volunteer at my daughters elementary on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the front office was a Wild Zone.

They will NOT be doing anything at my 4th graders school on the 8th. I’m so glad other parents feathers are ruffled.
When notifying your childrens school please remember that the Secretary behind the desk is not a punching bag. She has nothing to do with the Schools Schedule. Contact the Superintendent with any concerns. I felt so sorry for the lady at the front desk this morning, thankfully the Principle and Vice Principle took turns listening to parents.
I will find out tomorrow if my daughters Jr. High will be canceling Dumbo’s attempt at brainwashing. Rumor has it….. None of the schools in our school district are allowing him into the schools. We’ll see. Thank God I live in Texas. We have to stop this for all our little innocent Americans though. It isn’t their fault that these idiots are in office.


comment number 8 by: hardheadedtexan
Yesterday at 5:37 PM

Here’s what will Obama will read from his Teleprompter to the American kids.

Obama- Students take out a piece of paper and pencil, now list how many guns are in your house. You will receive a piece of gum for each gun.

Students-O boy!!!! I love gum!!!!

Obama- List how many bibles are in your house. You will receive a Prayer Rug if you are honest. May later be used at the Mosque of your choice!!

Student- What in the hell is a Prayer Rug? I think he meant Flying Rug.

Obama- Students list all American Flags that are posted on the outside of your house. We need them for my parade that will be all about ME your new Daddy.

Student- huh?

haha, I could go on and on and on……….


comment number 9 by: HoosierArmyMom
Yesterday at 8:19 PM

Most are saying what Obama has to say will be quite watered down, it’s the “preplanned classwork” in the hands of mostly liberal leaning teachers that will be the thing to fear.

If I had a school aged child who could not miss school, I would take the day off, armed with my copy of the Declaration and the Constitution, and I would sit with him through the entire program and ANYTHING that I thought was BS, would be pointed out on the spot and questioned whether the teacher liked it or not. It is your right as a parent to be involved. Also take a tape recorder so if the teacher gets out of line or denies you your rights, you can levy a lawsuit. That is the only way to put the leftistas in their place and introduce them to real American rights according to the Constitution. JMHO.


comment number 10 by: Bull
Today at 3:19 AM (9 hours ago)

Mobile County schools WILL be allowed to show the speech at the discretion of the school’s principal. There will be “allowances” made for students who do not wish to see the speech or whose parents have said that their child will not receive the indoctrination – exactly what these allowances are I could not find out. The good folks at the County offices hung up on The Bull after giving just this little info.

Looks like my four kids that are still in school get a four day weekend instead of a three day!

Bull out!


comment number 11 by: hardheadedtexan
Today at 8:45 AM (3 hours ago)

My daughters Jr. High will not be participating on Sept 8th, however, they will place a link on the district website in case families want to view the speech. Obama and his little Mind Control can kiss it. I can’t imagine anyone WANTING to watch Dumbo. But then again, I can’t believe anyone voted for this Chicago Dips**t.


comment number 12 by: Vigilante
Today at 11:31 AM (49 minutes ago)

I think Moore, Oklahoma schools have the right approach to hussein fuckwadi’s smooth tongued attempt to brainwash the little ones. All the other schools should follow suit. A big kudos for Moore, Oklahoma.

Moore Public Schools


comment number 13 by: TexasFred
Today at 11:36 AM (43 minutes ago)

No School September 8th
September 8th is a scheduled Site Improvement Day for the Moore Public Schools. As referenced on our school calendar, school is not in session on this date. The district has been advised that President Obama will deliver an address directly to school children on the importance of education. Parents who wish to view the speech with their children may consult the U.S. Education Department’s website.

Moore Public Schools

The right idea?? Kudos?? I think this was purely coincidental…


comment number 14 by: hardheadedtexan
Today at 12:00 PM (20 minutes ago)

Fred, Coincidental?……………..not,ha

School Districts in Six States to Refrain from Showing Presidential Address Next Week


comment number 15 by: TexasFred
Today at 12:05 PM (15 minutes ago)

Connie.. Re-read this part, very closely… September 8th is a scheduled Site Improvement Day for the Moore Public Schools. As referenced on our school calendar, school is not in session on this date.

Yes, in this case, it IS a coincidence, a good one, but a coincidence none the less… This outage was, as I understand it, already planned BEFORE the Obama BS…


comment number 16 by: hardheadedtexan
Today at 12:18 PM (2 minutes ago)

Fred you are right.
I was just talking to a friend and we were discussing how some of the school districts are being very polite on the reasoning behind Canceling Obama’s brainwashing. It would be nice to hear “The Parents are Disgusted at Obama’s plan to Mind Control our children, therefore, we are canceling Obama’s Indoctrination.” I know it isn’t PC, but it would be nice to read.

Nuts, even by THEIR standards

In the midst of birthday revelry, I honestly tried to write yesterday about the full-out batshit lunacy of the latest American rightwing hissy fit over Obama's speech to the nation's schoolchildren, and I somehow just couldn't come up with anything to say. Fortunately, many others are more capable than I and that's what links are for, right? I will say that I am truly worried. Seriously. I think the AWCF (Angry White Cracker Faction) in our country is working itself up to a fever pitch or, as I said over at WO'C, a point of no return. I honestly can't imagine how we recover from this. Anyway, here's Maha with two good posts - good, not just because she puts things really well, but also that she links to several posts that I was also going to link to. Some good parts:
Meanwhile, the President of the United States announces he will give America’s schoolchildren a back-to-school pep talk about the importance of doing well in school, and the Right goes bat-bleeping postal and screams about “indoctrination.” School districts in six states are refusing to show the message. Joan Walsh reports, “Crazy Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin are raging against ‘indoctrination’ while Townhall’s Meredith Jessup is calling it ‘a massive abuse of government power.’”

Presidents have made similar addresses to schoolchildren in the past, notably Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Walsh also reminds us that in one of his speeches George W. Bush called on the nation’s children to help him win the war on terror, and no one complained about that. But when President Obama wants to tell children to do well in school, it’s “indoctrination” and “a massive abuse of government power.”

And you have to ask, in what universe would that be true? And the answer is, a universe in which the POTUS was not legitimately elected, but instead was installed in the White House by means of a coup d’├ętat backed by evil foreign powers. Thus, William Rice actually fancies himself to be some kind of freedom fighter for trying to block health care reform.

And, yes, racism is a component in this, but I don’t think it’s the only component. A President Hillary Clinton would be getting equally hysterical pushback every time she so much as brushed her teeth. A white male Democratic president would be getting the Bill Clinton treatment. In this case, however, the President’s race makes the manipulators’ job a bit easier.
and:
Yes, we’ve always had paranoid whackjobs in America. Joe McCarthy made his name in history for shamelessly fanning the flames of paranoia and then exploiting them to further his political career. And for a time part of the Republican Party, including people who must have realized he was seriously unglued, supported McCarthy.

During the 1952 presidential campaign McCarthy issued a blistering attack on Gen. George Marshall, saying Marshall was “part of a conspiracy so immense, an infamy so black, as to dwarf any in the history of man.” McCarthy’s power was such that Dwight Eisenhower’s campaign managers compelled him to strike a paragraph from a speech that defended Marshall, because standing up to McCarthy might cost Eisenhower the election. Eisenhower genuinely hated McCarthy and regretted the deletion of the paragraph for the rest of his life.

But McCarthy’s reign of terror was short-lived, and in the decades after, McCarthyism came to be seen as a moment of insanity from which the nation recovered.

But today the entire leadership of the Right — congresspersons and senators, spokespeople, the Republican Party, media personalities — have become an army of Joe McCarthys. And no one stands up to them.
And on that note, I think tristero asks just the right question, and Brad and Tintin strike the appropriate tone in their response.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

It's been a wild and crazy day and it's not over yet! I think I might just have to get this new CD for myself as a birthday present:


UPDATE, The Morning After: Whoa. That was a whallopalooza of a birthday last night! Friends opted to give a dinner party for me, at my house, no less ("because you have the best kitchen!"): Scallops, sauteed with bacon and served on a bed of lightly cooked lettuce and swiss chard, devilled eggs, and CHAMPAGNE! Lots of champagne. My haul included a rain gauge, a Flax skirt and top, a Kindle (woo hoo!), and a squeaky rubber chicken named Henrietta - oh, not to mention a great burn-your-brain photo of Ann Coulter over at the ever-wonderful World O'Crap. Thanks heydave and Scott! And thanks to Jeannette, Dayton, Andy, Sandy, Pamela and Debra for a wonderful dinner and evening!