Sunday, October 18, 2009

One of the moons circling Planet Obama

I'm wearier of this sort of thing than those who are reading this, but as long as those who drank the Hope&Change Kool-Aid continue to ignore the mounting evidence of ideologically blinkered moral incompetence inside the White House I feel an obligation to pass along at least a few of the pertinent items.

And so, following up on the White House director of communication's favorite political philosopher, this from the inimitable Mark Steyn:
Here is a tale of two soundbites. First:

“Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

Second:

“The third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Tse-Tung and Mother Teresa. Not often coupled with each other, but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is: You’re going to make choices. . . . But here’s the deal: These are your choices; they are no one else’s. In 1947, when Mao Tse-Tung was being challenged within his own party on his own plan to basically take China over, Chiang Kai-Shek and the nationalist Chinese held the cities, they had the army. . . . They had everything on their side. And people said ‘How can you win . . . ? How can you do this against all of the odds against you?’ And Mao Tse-Tung says, ‘You fight your war and I’ll fight mine . . . ’ You don’t have to accept the definition of how to do things. . . . You fight your war, you let them fight theirs. Everybody has their own path.”

The first quotation was attributed to Rush Limbaugh. He never said it. There is no tape of him saying it. There is no transcript of him saying it. After all, if he had done so at any point in the last 20 years, someone would surely have mentioned it at the time.

Yet CNN, MSNBC, ABC, other networks, and newspapers all around the country cheerfully repeated the pro-slavery quotation and attributed it, falsely, to Rush Limbaugh. And planting a flat-out lie in his mouth wound up getting Rush bounced from a consortium hoping to buy the St. Louis Rams. The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, said the talkshow host was a “divisive” figure, and famously non-divisive figures like the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson expressed the hope that, with Mister Divisive out of the picture, the NFL could now “unify.”

The second quotation — hailing Mao — was uttered back in June to an audience of high-school students by Anita Dunn, the White House communications director. I know she uttered it because I watched the words issuing from her mouth on The Glenn Beck Show on Fox News. But don’t worry. Nobody else played it.

So if I understand correctly:

Rush Limbaugh is so “divisive” that to get him fired leftie agitators have to invent racist soundbites to put in his mouth.

But the White House communications director is so un-divisive that she can be invited along to recommend Chairman Mao as a role model for America’s young. . . .
Here, from Jonathan Fenby’s book Modern China, is the great man in a nutshell:

“Mao’s responsibility for the extinction of anywhere from 40 to 70 million lives brands him as a mass killer greater than Hitler or Stalin.”. . .

Well, so what? . . .What’s the big deal? If you say, “Chairman Mao? Wasn’t he the wacko who offed 70 million Chinks?”, you’ll be hounded from public life for saying the word “Chinks.” But, if you commend the murderer of those 70 million as a role model in almost any school room in the country from kindergarten to the Ivy League, it’s so entirely routine that only a crazy like Glenn Beck would be boorish enough to point it out.
The whole piece is here.

8 comments:

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

A tale of two marches on Washington....

One took place in the late summer of 1963, the other in the late summer of 2009. One was promoted by a preacher from Georgia named Martin Luther King, the other by a former "shock jock" from the state of Washington named Glenn Beck. Ouch! Even mentioning the two of them in the same paragraph is somehow disconcerting.

In 1963, the the people were singing, We Shall Overcome.

Forty-six years later, the chant was, We Shall Undermine.

In 1963, a vast and varied demographic of the American people - all races and religions - descended on the nation's capitol to peaceably and nonviolently protest an injustice that was occurring in certain areas of the country to people of a certain skin pigmentation.

Forty-six years later, a Convention of Pissed-Off White People - united only by the fact that they were all habitual viewers of a single cable news channel - rolled into Washington to hurl invective at an African American president for creating a mess that he had absolutely nothing to do with creating.

In 1963, the signs people held up were optimistic: "With Liberty and Justice for All."

Forty-six years later, the signs were ominous: "We Came Unarmed - THIS TIME!"

On August 28, 1963, the hearts of people who marched on the city of Washington DC were filled with love and hope.

On September 12, 2009 they were just full of shit.

Let us boil the comparisons down to their juicy essentials, shall we? Martin Luther King had a dream. Glenn Beck has a scheme.

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Gordon said...

Tom,

Your response has nothing to do with Gil's post. It's just a chance to divide the world between the righteous (you) and the damned, the just and the unjust, the politically correct and the racist horde. You've got the wrong audience, mythological history doesn't play here. Save the simple minded race baiting for the Daily Kos.

Doughlas Remy said...

Thank you, Tom. Your contrast is right on. I visited your blogspot, enjoyed it, and will return.

Mike O'Malley said...

Tom Degan sneered: One took place in the late summer of 1963, the other in the late summer of 2009. One was promoted by a preacher from Georgia named Martin Luther King, the other by a former "shock jock" from the state of Washington named Glenn Beck. Ouch! Even mentioning the two of them in the same paragraph is somehow disconcerting.

So Mr. Degan isn't a fan of Glenn Beck?

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Mr. Degan insinuates racism and mocks the 9/12 protesters: Forty-six years later, a Convention of Pissed-Off White People - united only by the fact that they were all habitual viewers of a single cable news channel - rolled into Washington to hurl invective at an African American president for creating a mess that he had absolutely nothing to do with creating.

Mr. Degan mischaracterizes: Forty-six years later, the signs were ominous: "We Came Unarmed - THIS TIME!"

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I guess Mr. Degan learned his lessons well in J school...


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Let's see what Mr. Remy's favorite information resource has to say about the 9/12

Per Wikipedia On Saturday, September 12, participants gathered at Freedom Plaza, located just east of the White House. The march was scheduled to go down Pennsylvania Avenue at 11:30 a.m., led by a fife and drum corps, and march towards Capitol Hill; however due to a larger-than-expected number of protesters, the Plaza and surrounding area became overcrowded and the march set off one hour ahead of schedule.

C-SPAN recorded the entire 2 hour, 50 minute rally which was officially kicked off at 1:11 p.m. with a welcoming speech by Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder and national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots.

During the march, most protesters sang patriotic songs, chanted political slogans, waved the American flag or yellow Gadsden flag, or held signs covering a wide range of political topics.

Signage

Some of the handwritten signs carried by protesters included statements such as "Liar Liar Pants on Fire!" and "Hey Obamacare! Hands off my body". Other signs promoted Obama citizenship conspiracy theories, depicted the Obama "Joker" image, and compared Obama to Adolf Hitler. One protester commented that many signs were "expressing concerns about the tax burdens to be carried by "our grandchildren" and other signs he didn't feel were appropriate to repeat". Gene Healy, author and vice president at the libertarian Cato Institute, expressed the opinion that the signs generally focused on opposition to government bailouts, Obama's proposal on health care reform, and the appointment of presidential "czars".


Here are some photos from Mr. Remy's favorite information source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Taxpayer_March_on_Washington.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Tea_Party_-_Pennsylvania_Avenue.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Washington%2C_D.C._-_Tea_Bag_Protest.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/Tea_Party_sign_-_US_Capitol.jpg

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BTW Mr. Degan around 80% of the marchers in 1963 were African American. Also community organizer Barack Obama was a trainer for ACORN which did have a lot to do with the sub-prime loan default crisis. Moreover, as a community organizer Barack Obama sued Citicorp in Chicago in order to force Citicorp under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to make the very same risky racial preference loans which contributed to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Yes a bit part in a large disaster but representative nonetheless. Moreover Pres. Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, was at Ground Zero of the subprime-Alt-A CRA mortgage lending disaster. Holder's role was not minor...

Dean said...

Mark and Tom,
Mythological history doesn't play here? Race baiting?? My goodness that was a wee bit flippant, dismissive and self disclosing! Aren't we supposed to be nice to new guests, Mike? Maybe it's time while you're on sabbatical to restock your medicine cabinet over at Suicide of the West. As far as the audience is concerned, Tom, you've got the right one, although you might have to hack through the hegemony a bit. You're a breath of fresh air. You answer the neocon dementia around here with skill and wit and no small amount of truth telling. I'm just curious. Where do you get your myths from Mike? You mean Martin Luther King didn't have a dream? He didn't share his dream of peace with 300,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial? He didn't help to secure the Civil Rights Act and the National Voting Rights Act of 1964 and 1965? He didn't base his march on the non-violent principles of Jesus and Gandhi? Or maybe you mean Mr. Beck? You mean he doesn't use Vick's Vapor Rub to help him cry fake tears for the camera on cue for his various photo ops? He doesn't work for a right wing propaganda machine called FOX news? He doesn't suggest that Obama's health care reform is reparations for slavery? He doesn't deny that Global Warming is caused by humans? He doesn't genuflect like a second rate heir apparent in the presence of Howard Beale? His hatred for Van Jones wasn't motivated by Jones membership in Color of Change which convinced numerous advertizers to yank their financial support from his show? Glenn Beck isn't idiocy incarnate?
What's interesting to me about that scene from the movie Network is how "urgent" and "catastrophic" and desperately close to collapse everything was back then. Sound familiar? The old values were dead, the world had lost it's moorings, and we were all disoriented and transfixed by the prophets of doom. Disaster was imminent. And here we are today with a different cast of characters mouthing the same apocalyptic scenarios: Depression, unemployment, inflation, bank closures, riots in the streets, murder and fear. The only thing that genuinely threatens us in a real, measurable and permanent way and has grown exponentially worse is the very thing that we continue to ignore or dismiss. But both the fake newscaster and the new fakecaster both had something else in common: They were both mad, but only one was really angry.

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
-The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Mike O'Malley said...

Dean wrote: Mark and Tom, Mythological history doesn't play here? Race baiting?? My goodness that was a wee bit flippant, dismissive and self disclosing! Aren't we supposed to be nice to new guests, Mike? Maybe it's time while you're on sabbatical to restock your medicine cabinet over at Suicide of the West. As far as the audience is concerned, Tom, you've got the right one, although you might have to hack through the hegemony a bit. You're a breath of fresh air. You answer the neocon dementia around here with skill and wit and no small amount of truth telling. I'm just curious. Where do you get your myths from Mike? You mean Martin Luther King didn't have a dream? He didn't share his dream of peace with 300,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial? He didn't help to secure the Civil Rights Act and the National Voting Rights Act of 1964 and 1965? He didn't base his march on the non-violent principles of Jesus and Gandhi?


It's M-I-KE, and I'm the NeoCon. And it would help if you calmed down Dean. Your hostility and anger are undermining your ability to think critically.

When (or if) you calm down you can apologize to me. A gentlemen would owe me that much as I wrote not a single critical word of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. He's one of my heroes. Moreover, I addressed above Mr. Degan's vitriol about the 9/12 protest marchers, not Glenn Beck.

Let me say it simply:
Rev. King had a dream.

&

Tom has a poor grasp of American history it would seem (and that's being generous).

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Tom is also engaging in "Ad Hominem Abusive". It a tactical logical fallacy. You might have been to angry to notice.

This is how it works:

Description of Personal Attack

A personal attack is committed when a person substitutes abusive remarks for evidence when attacking another person's claim or claims. This line of "reasoning" is fallacious because the attack is directed at the person making the claim and not the claim itself. The truth value of a claim is independent of the person making the claim. After all, no matter how repugnant an individual might be, he or she can still make true claims.

Not all ad Hominems are fallacious. In some cases, an individual's characteristics can have a bearing on the question of the veracity of her claims. For example, if someone is shown to be a pathological liar, then what he says can be considered to be unreliable. However, such attacks are weak, since even pathological liars might speak the truth on occasion.

In general, it is best to focus one's attention on the content of the claim and not on who made the claim. It is the content that determines the truth of the claim and not the characteristics of the person making the claim.
Examples of Personal Attack

1. In a school debate, Bill claims that the President's economic plan is unrealistic. His opponent, a professor, retorts by saying "the freshman has his facts wrong."

2. "This theory about a potential cure for cancer has been introduced by a doctor who is a known lesbian feminist. I don't see why we should extend an invitation for her to speak at the World Conference on Cancer."

3. "Bill says that we should give tax breaks to companies. But he is untrustworthy, so it must be wrong to do that."

4. "That claim cannot be true. Dave believes it, and we know how morally repulsive he is."

5. "Bill claims that Jane would be a good treasurer. However I find Bill's behavior offensive, so I'm not going to vote for Jill."

6. "Jane says that drug use is morally wrong, but she is just a goody-two shoes Christian, so we don't have to listen to her."

7. Bill: "I don't think it is a good idea to cut social programs."
Jill: "Why not?"
Bill: "Well, many people do not get a fair start in life and hence need some help. After all, some people have wealthy parents and have it fairly easy. Others are born into poverty and..."
Jill: "You just say that stuff because you have a soft heart and an equally soft head."

Mike O'Malley said...

Sometimes you’ve just got to love it when someone hasn’t paid attention and misfires into his or her own foot. Such as here: Dean wrote above, Mike? Maybe it's time while you're on sabbatical to restock your medicine cabinet over at Suicide of the West. :-)

Moreover, one is compelled to wonder why such rage and vitriol is directed at Glenn Beck, G-O-R-D-O-N and myself in defense of a self acclaimed disciple of one of the most vicious mass murders in recorded history! And then non-violent Jesus and Ghandhi are wield as bludgeons against we critics of … Mao! Do we not live in an age of moralistic marvel?


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Just as an aside to address Dean’s sarcastic moralistic bludgeon: He (Rev. King) didn't base his march on the non-violent principles of Jesus and Gandhi?Jesus? Of course, but if time allows I’ll use the expository guidance of Eugene Genovese to explore just how Rev. King did so. Dean’s reference to Gandhi is more problematic. Gandhi used the rhetoric of non-violence as a weapon. Gandhi on the other hand supported terrorist genocidal Islamic violence against the Jews in Israel. On one or more occasion Gandhi mocked the suffering of European Jews in the Nazi Holocaust. Gil’s readers are probably unaware of actual historical role model for both Gandhi and Rev. King’s non-violent protests. He is Irish Catholic Daniel O’Connell, The Liberator”.

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OK back to topic. Let’s see: Glenn Beck, FOX News, NeoCons, 9/12 protestors, charges of racism, right-wing media conspiracy … each of which are Alinskian targets and themes employed no doubt by David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel for this week’s Two Minutes Hate”. I’ll dare to ask Degan and Dean, to what degree is your rage informed by mimisis?

Dean said...

Mike,

You wrote two long posts to gloat and demand an apology for a letter I didn't even write to you? Let me clear things up right now: I meant Mark in my earlier posting. Hope that clears things up. I must be missing you, you rascal!

I'm sure you noticed that Tom's piece was a satirical lampoon with a generous dollop of sarcasm. It was a spoof. He knew exactly what he was doing, and he did it well. Stop trying to deconstruct everything.