Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm a Racist (Part 3 or 7 or 8 or...Oh Hell, I've Lost Count)

Sorry for the continuous updates. It was late when I wrote this and wanted to refine it a bit. Not that anybody reads this site. Sigh.

I'd say I'm speechless, but I'm not.

Leonard Pitts' column is so shitastic that we must take it paragraph by paragraph, and sentence by sentence if necessary.

A few words on the meaning of tea.

They are occasioned by a recent commentary from Keith Olbermann of MSNBC.

You should stop reading right here given the reference, but we're just 2 sentences in. Let's give it a little more time.

The commentary — you can find it on YouTube — scores the tea-party movement as the outcry of people who haven't yet made peace with the fact that their president is black.

Another trusted source: YouTube. And scores? Really? Where are these "scores" if they're so prevalent?

Everything else, said Olbermann, is euphemism. Taxes? Socialism? Budget deficit? No, he argued, when you strip away the pretenses and rationalizations, "it's still racism," and they hate the president only because he is black.

Oh, for fuck's sake. Does Pitts really believe this shit?

One is reminded of the 2008 campaign in which many of Barack Obama's opponents insisted people only "supported" him because he was black.

Um, and many did just that. 96% of black people and 92% of Hispanics voted for Obama. Think they all did it based on his eloquence and "record?" Horsesheet.

It was an offensive claim, in that it assumed black was black was black and that people were so imbecilic that skin color — alone and of itself — was sufficient to win their votes. As if you could sub in rapper Flavor Flav and they would not care.

See above. Plus, they hated Bush.

The truth, it always seemed to me, was more nuanced. People liked Obama's policies, his eloquence, and his fierce intelligence and the fact that he was black....

Wait? I thought you just strongly stated that it was offensive that people voted for him because he was black. So now Pitts is saying people did vote for him based on his skin color. Nice.

....that his election would turn history on its ear, was a desirable bonus, but only that — icing on the cake, but not the cake itself.

Yes, it was, so just say it: Because he was black.

I submit that a rough inverse of that dynamic now helps define the tea-party movement.

What? What dynamic?

Ask yourself: Would we even be having this discussion if Condoleezza Rice were president? If Rice, Republican stalwart, conservative icon, and black woman were chief executive, would the first pot of tea ever have been brewed?

No, because people like you and the kind folks over at HuffPo, Daily Kos, Harry Belafonte etc. would have been too busy calling her an Uncle Tom like they did Colin Powell. (At least until he bit back at Bush, then he was your bosom buddy.)

One suspects the average tea-party participant would tell you emphatically, "no," and that this "no" serves as his personal shield against charges of racism. How can I be racist, he would demand, when I know in my heart that I would've supported Condi to the max?

Shield us against racism? No, get it straight, asshat. We (a strong majority of GOPers) didn't like Obama's fucking policies then, and we still don't like his fuck-America-any-way-I-can policies. If Condi had done the same as Obama has done (ridiculously doubtful), her ass would be a in political sling, too. So suspect your ass off, but you're dead wrong.

If you concede him that, then you have to ask yourself what it does to Olbermann's contention that racism is the whole raison d'ĂȘtre of the movement.

Olbermann is a glorious fuckwit of an individual.

The answer leads us back again to nuance, albeit in mirror image. The tea-party people distrust Obama's policies, his eloquence, his fierce intelligence and the fact that he is black then becomes the final straw, the difference maker and deal breaker. To put that another way: I doubt most of the tea-partiers hate Obama strictly because he is black, but it sure doesn't help.

Holy shit. Could Pitts be more confused—nay, fucked in the head? He, like most loony liberals who make this shit-ass claim, confuse even themselves. (And to the nice, amiable liberals, I hope you're a bit embarassed at the moment.)

My point is not that Olbermann's argument is wrong but, rather, that it is incomplete.

Yes, race is obviously a component, and a major component at that, of the reaction against the president. The recurring use of racist imagery and language, the attendance at tea party events of a racist group like the so-called Council of Conservative Citizens, settles that definitively.

Wait, Pitts is going to paint an entire movement based on the participation of one racist group? One, very small group equals a "major component." Wow.

But ultimately, people seem moved by something even bigger than race. This is race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, "culture," and the fact that those who have always been on the right side, the "power-wielding" side, of one or more of those equations, now face the realization that their days of dominance are numbered.

Wait until November, buddy boy. This is going to be 2006 in reverse.

There is a poignancy to their responsive fury because one senses that the nether side of it is a choking fear. We are witness to the birth cries of a new America and for every one of us who embraces and celebrates that, who looks forward to the opportunity and inclusiveness it promises, there is another who grapples with a crippling sense of dislocation and loss, who wonders who and what she will be in the nation now being born.

I think they call that nation "America.". Other than that, this is a gushing piece of meaningless tripe.

Oh, and by the way, if you can still follow his logic and reasoning, can you pass whatever your smoking. I'd like a hit too.

One hopes they will find answers that satisfy them because the change they fear will not be turned back. No one ever volunteers to return to the rear of the bus.

We don't fear; we don't like it. Not one bit. It's selling out our Constitution, our liberties, our rights, our personal freedoms and robbing us blind.

No one is telling anyone to get to the back of the bus. We just don't like where the driver is taking us. And by the way, isn't disssent patriotic? Isn't that what liberals cried between 2000-2008? I'm thinking yes here.

So for all the frustration the tea-party movement engenders among the rest of us, one also feels a certain pity for people like the woman last year who cried, plaintively, that she wanted her country back.

As if she didn't realize that it is already, irrevocably, gone.

Pitts, we are judging Obama by the content of his character. We are repulsed by what he proposes and what he's "accomplished". But get this one thing through your thick-as-concrete skull: None of the opposition has had to do with Obama's good goddamn race. And it never has, you clueless, race-baiting turd.

I'm truly sorry for being off-the-charts mad, but sick to death of this "opposition to Obama means you're a racist." It's thoughtless, cowardly, mean, ugly, sickening and desparate.

* I'm sure the use of the word "boy" would be racist here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Evil Fox News

"How does that channel call itself news by the way?"

This was a question posed to me last night by an Old Liberal Family Friend. (I had cited a number that he just assumed that it came from Fox News because I'm a Republican—never mind that the figure actually came from a CBS/NYTimes poll. But I digress.)

Like most Republicans, I hear this screed time and time again. And I wonder, "What is the obsession with bashing Fox News? Is it because the channel airs conservative viewpoints under the slogan "Fair and Balanced? Is that it?"

I think the repulsion starts with the name. Fox News is owned by Fox Entertainment Group which is a subsidiary of News Corporation, the second largest media conglomerate behind Disney (source: Wikipedia). In short, Fox News is a brand of FEG and NC. Within that group, it distinguishes itself both externally and internally from Fox Sports, Fox Radio, Fox Network and others, by calling itself Fox News because—not to be smarmy and condescending—the predominant programming on the channel is news. Pretty clear. Or so one would think.

But this is lost on my Old Liberal Family Friend, apparently. Why? I believe it's because Fox News has both news programming and shows.

Like too many liberals, my Old Liberal Family Friend apparently can't seem to make the distinction between a news program and a show. Along with with other "Faux News" bashers, my Old Liberal Family Friend seems to believe that anything airing on Fox News constitutes "news" given that the channel's name is Fox News. So, the logic goes, when Sean Hannity is on it's "news." Glen Beck? News. Greta Vansustren? News. Bill O'Reilley? News.

In any circle, that's called a sweeping generalization. And it's an uneducated and ignorant one at that.

Sorry, but none of those are news programs; those are shows on Fox News, just like Keith Olbermann, Hardball, Rachel Madow and Mad Money are shows on MSNBC. Or the Today Show or Good Morning America are shows on NBC and ABC. They are not news programs; they are shows, period—much like opinion columns in newspapers.

Just like the Big Three, Fox News does have hours devoted to just news. In fact, on a daily bias, they devote more to their news programming than do ABC, CBS and NBC combined. This, however, does not register with my Old Liberal Family Friend.

But goes the reply, ' But that makes those views representative of the channel at large!'

Yeah, so what's your point? This is true whether one is speaking about Fox News or the New York Times.

Do those shows have a conservative bent? No doubt. Hannity, Beck and O'Reilley are clearly conservative. (Though Beck and O'Reilley have claimed otherwise.) The political shows (or round tables) on Fox News indeed feature the likes of Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, etc. So yes, Fox News does represent the conservative viewpoint on their shows.

And what is the matter with that?

Given that Fox News is an island in sea of liberally slanted TV news—ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and even CNN to some extent—that makes them a 4.5: 1 underdog. Is that fair? Is that balanced? No, it's not. (And that ratio holds true in major city editorial boards as well. On average, liberal columnists routinely outnumber conservatives 4:1 on most ed. boards.)

I watch little in the way of political shows or round tables. I also rarely watch cable news programs as I prefer to read my news. Yet, in my limited observations tuning into Fox News shows, I've always been impressed to see that the guest panels are routinely peppered with folks from NPR, the Democratic Nat'l Committee, Free Republic, NYT, WaPo, progressive think tanks and so on. The ratio runs at least 3:2, if not greater in some cases.

I can also say with confidence that I've tuned in to Olbermann, Matthews and Madow and that they cannot make such a claim.

Yet Fox News is still unfair and unbalanced.

I'm amused by the attention liberals give to Fox News, ranting about how conservatively biased it is, or how it's an arm of the Republican party, while at the same time they give scant attention to the repeated liberal bias of MSNBC and the Big Three; in fact, I would contend (by example*) that turn a blind eye to it entirely as long as it fits their world view. (This is not to say that conservatives don't do the same, they do. I think they're aware of it too. The difference being that conservatives don't put on airs or speak about being open minded and tolerant when, in fact, they're not.)

Ultimately, liberals are threatened by Fox News; their views and agenda are being brought out into the open and challenged, so I understand the motivation to attack and discredit. And because no media outlet has ever openly done that before, Fox News is being quite fair and balanced.

* "Fake, but accurate", anyone?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being Wrong (Part 4,531 in a Series)

Right after the Haitian quake, televangelist and all-around asshat Pat Robertson claimed that Haitians were victims of the horrific quake because their ancestors had made a pact with the Devil to secure their freedom.

Word of what Robertson said spread like H1N1 across Facebook. Friend after friend linked and commented about what he said.

What bothered me wasn't so much their condemnation of Robertson but this all-too predictable reaction: When a Christian makes a mistake, an immediate opportunity is seen to pounce and waggle one's irreligious and secularist finger at said Christian—as if this one person were a microcosm of all that is wrong with the Christians and religion at large.

This kind of righteous grandstanding from these folks gets under my skin.

Yet instead of letting it go, I tried to turn the tables a bit by pointing out that Robertson's international relief agency, Operation Blessing, was one of the first on scene in Haiti and that that was something people should consider. Of course, being hot under the collar I was none too subtle in making my "point".

What ensued was a maelstrom of comments from friends who couldn't believe I was offering a defense of Robertson, and one who thought I shouldn't "go there."

Oops. Not what I had intended. I tried to elaborate on my point that perhaps if you're going to judge the man then judge the whole man and not just his brainless words.

However, given the context of the situation, this was wrong. I was wrong. There remains no excuse for Robertson's historically nuts, ill-timed, heartless and, worst of all, un-Christian words. My attempt to steer away from that fact was ill advised. For that, I apologize.

And next time I feel so offended by the irreligious and secular condemning Christians for being un-Christian, I'll give my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them to pluck off the hair: I'll hide not my face from torrents of shame and spitting....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More Luge....

I thought I was being a bit dickish in my mild ambivalence to Friday's tragic luge accident; perhaps too callous and too cold-hearted in my judgment.

Sadly, I was somewhat right. Fear played a big role.

Luger David Kumaritashvili was terrified of the track.

Much (as I pointed out) as are many other racers.

And fear, in these kinds of sports, is a killer.

Again, is the track built by humans at fault, or is the racer?

That's very difficult to say. However, and again, I would say it ultimately comes down to the luger's better (or lack thereof) judgment on whether he can make it down the track. Athletes are arbiters of their own fate; as in life, they chose the tracks they go down. If Kumaritashvili was so terrified, it was only his ego to compete that killed him. (Granted this would take a tremendous amount of fortitude and introspection, something that most 21-year olds lack, but it's possible.)

In a related note, Yahoo News reported on the "insensitive remarks" (nice objective journalism, by the way*) of a German female luger who said the following:

It’s not a woman’s start (officials moved the starting point down), it’s a kinder (German for children’s) start. The rest of the track is OK, but it's not as fast as from the proper start. It's the same for all the athletes, but I don't like it. I felt very good, but now because of the new start it's not fun."

Hear that? "Not fun?" The track isn't fun for her because it's not fast or dangerous enough now; for Kumaritashvili it was a very different kind of "not fun."

I do not wish to come across as callous, so please know that I believe Kumaritashvili's was tragic. Let's not forget that athletes do things that put themselves in grave and mortal danger at every turn and that that is by choice.

* Who made you judge of what's insensitive and what's not, you faux journalist.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Huh? Luge? A Dangerous Sport?

Today's terrible luge accident before the Olympic Games even start, casts a terrible shadow over the usually joyous Opening Ceremonies. It even has officials talking about canceling the luge.

If there's something flawed with the track, it's a good idea to fix it. Then get on with the Games.

The Winter Games are loaded with inherent danger. The downhill. Super G. Ski jumping. Boblsed. Hockey. Speed skating. Biathlon (athletes use .22s, for Cris sakes). Skiing cyclocross. Freestyle aerial skiing.

And, of course the luge.

Just you laying on your back on a tiny sled, going down a sheet of ice at 80MPH+.

What could possibly happen?

Hmm, I'll take 'Death' for $200, Alex.

Sorry to be flippant, but death did happen. And death might happen again.

Every single Winter Olympic athlete participating in one of aforementioned sports knows that the Games are about testing an athlete's limits.

Except maybe one.

“I think they are pushing it a little too much,” Australia’s Hannah Campbell-Pegg told the Associated Press on Thursday after she nearly lost control in training. “To what extent are we just little lemmings that they just throw down a track and we’re crash-test dummies? I mean, this is our lives.”

If I were to meet her right now, I might say something like the following:

"Well, sweetie, if you were that concerned about your life you wouldn't be a luger in the first place, so there's that. Second, if you shit your polyester suit over a near crash and it's got you thinking that you might lose your life, here's an idea: quit. And quit now. A little fear is good; a lot of fear is God shouting in your ear and you should listen. Third, if you're operating under the illusion of safety, or you think you're entitled to a certain expectation of safety, you're placing your faith in the wrong being. The technology to protect you is only as great as the being that created it; since that thing is made by humans, and humans are terribly flawed but beautiful and well meaning creatures, it's possible for shit to happen. If you're uncomfortable with all or even just part of this, then get out. Stay alive. If not, well, best of luck. And God be with you."

And if she won't listen to me, maybe she should heed the words of a fellow slider:

"This track is fast and you definitely have to be on your game...." said 5-time Olympian Mark Grimmette.

Being on your games at the Games?

Seems reasonable.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Incredible Deal on Golf Shoes!

Incredibly bad proofreading.

Click to enlarge and cringe.

Friday, February 5, 2010

OP's Super Bowl XLIV Drinking Game*

This Sunday, every time you see one of these things you must take a healthy swig of beer.

Pete Townsend doing windmills. (Maybe you shouldn't watch the half time show.)

GoDaddy soft-core porn TV spots.

Shannon Sharpe saying something unintelligible. (Careful....)

Stories about New Orleans still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

"Who dat!?" (Again, careful....)

Shots of the entire Manning clan in a luxury suite.

References to Colts WR Pierre Garcon being from Haiti.

"Baba O'Reily/Won't Get Fooled Again" medley.

Snowy scenes from Indianapolis.

President Obama saying "the previous administration" during his Katie Couric interview before the game.†

Anyone being carted from the field.

Spotting Drew Brees' birthmark.††

Pete Townsend sliding on his knees.

People rushing onto the field to see The Who up close.†††

Talking animal spots.

How much a Saints win would mean to the city of New Orleans.

How Peyton Manning grew up close to New Orleans.

How all Americans really are New Oleanders at heart.††††

Live shots of Bourbon St.

A snow-covered Indy 500 race track.

The paddles being used on Pete Townsend.†††††

P Diddy/Beyonce/Alicia Keys/Rhinna in a Pepsi spot.

Trailers for shitty movies, including the next Harry Porter movie: "Harry Potter and The Alzheimer-Addled Wizard"

Live shots of shrimp gumbo.

Reggie Bush's girlfriend Kim Kardashian sitting with Paris Hilton.††††††

Up-close shots of Drew Brees' birthmark.

Live shots from an Olive Garden in Indianapolis.

Phil Simms' saying "they need a turnover to stop them."†††††††

Carrie Underwood holding a note entirely too long.

Any pro or anti-abortion spot.‡

You should be pleasantly bombed halfway into the 1st quarter....

*I reserve the right to make my posts better. If only slightly.

†Hmm, your liver will hate you even before the game starts.
†† Get an operation already.
††† Enough to make you want to drink.
†††† If you're not blindly corrupt and incomptent, no need to drink. But be honest.
††††† Oh, you laugh now, but you could be drinking.
†††††† Sitting in Section Ho.
††††††† Could apply to Saints or Colts.
‡Stay off my TV, both of you.