Sunday, October 26, 2014

On LBJ "Quote" Via NewsMax's Ronald Kessler Concerning Tricking Black Folks Into Voting Democratic PLUS A Libertarian Blogger's Factually Inaccurate Commentary Re Thom Hartmann Kessler "Suggestion"

Johnson was a man of his time, and bore those flaws as surely as he sought to lead the country past them ~ Quote from a 4/11/2014 article "Lyndon Johnson was a civil rights hero. But also a racist" by Adam Serwer. Via MSNBC.

One of the primary things the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969), Lyndon Baines Johnson, is known for is signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. As Johnson feared, signing this legislation meant the Southern vote was lost to the Democratic Party for a generation or more. Because LBJ signed these bills is why the South is solidly Republican today. Republicans - as well as Conservatives - HATE the fact that LBJ signing this legislation resulted in a flip from Republicans being the party that "freed the slaves" and the Democrats being the racists to the Republicans representing the racists and African Americans overwhelmingly voting Democratic.

Quotes At Odds

This anger regarding Democrats and the African American vote explains why Conservatives, when the topic comes up, often/usually proffer a specific LBJ "quote" that has him saying he signed Civil Rights legislation in order to trick Black folks into voting for Democrats.

Lyndon Baines Johnson 1963... "These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference... I'll have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years". (Source).

The source of this supposed quote journalist/author Ronald Kessler (who currently writes for the Rightwing site, NewsMax), via his book Inside the White House.

When I blogged about this on 1/22/2014 (SWTD #228) I referred to the quote as "highly dubious". This was my conclusion based (in part) on LBJ's White House Press Secretary Bill Moyers reflections on LBJ's thoughts following his signing of the legislation.

Bill Moyers: When he signed the act he was euphoric, but late that very night I found him in a melancholy mood as he lay in bed reading the bulldog edition of the Washington Post with headlines celebrating the day. I asked him what was troubling him. "I think we just delivered the South to the Republican party for a long time to come", he said. (as quoted on page 167 of the 2004 book, Moyers on America).

I said "highly dubious" because these two secondhand quotes obviously don't square with one another. If Civil Rights only amounted to "a little something" but was "not enough to make a difference" then why would LBJ (according to Moyers) worry about delivering the South to the Republicans? And if it was "not enough to make a difference", then what of the claim that LBJ signed the legislation "because he thought it was politically expedient"? [1]

Are we to believe that LBJ signed the legislation because it would cause (or trick) African Americans into voting Democratic (and therefore signing the legislation was "politically expedient") but that he would also worry about "deliver[ing] the South to the Republican party for a long time to come"?

Either LBJ cravenly signed the legislation because he believed it would be advantageous for him to do so (because Blacks would be tricked into "voting Democratic for the next two hundred years") or he signed it for the right reasons KNOWING doing so would "[deliver] the South to the Republican party for a long time to come". Believing both quotes (the one provided by Kessler and the other via Moyers) accurately represent LBJ's reasoning and worries is illogical.

Was It Kessler or Moyers Who Lied?

So LBJ used the N-word a lot and was obviously fairly racist. He was also "a man of his time, and bore those flaws as surely as he sought to lead the country past them"... The point is he championed the bill and he signed it - angering the racist Southern Democrats and losing the Southern vote for the Democrats. So much for "political expediency".

This is why I don't believe the quote from Ronald Kessler's book. Although I do not believe this necessarily means Ronald Kessler lied. Despite working for the far-Right NewsMax and authoring a book titled In The President's Secret Service. A book that some describe as "the juiciest gossip he could get... mixed... with a rambling list of [Secret Service Agent] complaints".

I think he might have lied given that resume. More likely? The quote might be genuine, but the sentiment was not. As the following rated "best" comment from Reddit's "Ask Historians", which "aims to provide serious, academic-level answers to questions about history", explains.

...the quote is attributed to LBJ in Ronald Kessler's book, and was supposedly said to two southern governors. But in the absence of a reliable objective record of that quotation, among the best sources to answer your question are the presidential recordings made during the Johnson administration, which I've listened to at length during my undergrad studies. Several hundred conversations were recorded dealing with issues of racial politics and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Now, a quote like [the one from Kessler's book] is not found in any of these recordings... But they do provide excellent insight into how LBJ talked about these issues in private. For example, it is simply undisputed that LBJ did use the prevailing southern racial slurs of the time... That being said, for a rural-born white Texan in the late 1960s, the collected recordings show that LBJ had some astonishingly progressive views on race in America, but his nomenclature leaves something to be desired.

It is also worth noting that LBJ knew his audience, and would speak differently to a Georgia state legislator than, say, a Connecticut governor. It's very difficult to tell when LBJ is putting on an act for audience or when he's speaking with his "true" voice. Additionally, I tend to detect a bit of self-aware irony in some of LBJ's discussion of these issues. I think that's key to understanding how LBJ could say the most radically progressive statements while simultaneously using a racial slur.

...it seems unlikely that we will ever know if those exact words were uttered... [but] ...It's the kind of thing LBJ might say to a Dixiecrat to convince them not to oppose the CRA. Thus, if anyone got "tricked" over the CRA, it wasn't black America - it was Southern conservative democrats. In other words... while the quote might be genuine, the sentiment was not.

...I am convinced that LBJ is putting on an act to these two southern governors to quiet their rancor over his pursuit of the CRA... that this single quote, robbed of its context, would be used by some to imply that LBJ was a heartless racist manipulator [is a] notion that I think the historical record soundly disproves. (Excerpt from Reddit by x--BANKS--x).

Sure, this reply might be easy to dismiss as "opinion", but I think the argument is solid and I agree with it. Solid because, as the Reddit author points out, the sentiment contained in the quote (from Kessler's book) is inconsistent with past comments... those that were recorded for posterity. LBJ championed and signed the CRA to "to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country [and] to close the springs of racial poison"... as he stated when he spoke to the American people in a televised address after signing the legislation.

Re Libertarian Blogger Who Claims Thom Hartmann Says Kessler Fabricated LBJ Quote

This is the claim made by Libertarian blogger Willis Hart (AKA Will "Take No Prisoners" Hart or WTNPH) in a commentary on his blog Contra O'Reilly...

Willis Hart: On Partisan Stooge, Thom Hartmann, Suggesting that a 2-Time Winner of the Peabody Award and an Individual Who Has Consistently Criticized Presidents From Both Parties Would Risk His Entire Career and Reputation to Create Out of Whole Cloth a Quote Simply to Tarnish a Fellow (Lyndon Baines Johnson) Who Everybody Already Knew was a Racist... Exceedingly bizarre and yet par for the course. (10/22/2014 AT 4:05pm).

What is TRULY "exceedingly bizarre" is Willis attributing (and slamming) Lefty radio talker Thom Hartmann for something he absolutely NEVER said. I assume that Willis took a look at my previous post on this subject (SWTD #228), misread what I wrote, and then decided (based on his misreading of my commentary) to label Thom Hartmann, a man who has demonstrated an extremely high level of integrity, shamelessly as a "partisan stooge" (SWTD #66).

Only because Willis THINKS Hartmann said Kessler lied in defending a president Willis hates. For "subsidizing poverty"... which is what Willis idiotically argues the Great society did (SWTD #218).

I did do a Google search to see if I could find such a statement by Mr. Hartmann... but, nothing. So I presume Willis glanced at my prior commentary and misread A CALLER mentioning the quote came from Kessler's book as Thom Hartmann saying Kessler lied. I did link to it in a comment on the rAtional nAtion blog, and Willis saw my comment and posted a reply.

But Willis is wrong, as this summary of the exchange from the 10/23/2013 airing of the Thom Hartmann Program proves (as quoted in SWTD #228.

Caller: [the quote] has never been corroborated by anyone else. [Kessler] is the only person who ever alleged that LBJ said that... that I can find.

Thom Hartmann: [it] doesn't make any sense that LBJ would say such a thing... it's not how he spoke; it's not how he thought; and it certainly wasn't his motivation. ... Thanks for sharing that with us.

Perhaps the argument could be made that THE CALLER implied Kessler lied - although all he actually said was that he could not find the quote verified by anyone else. And Thom Hartmann only said "Thanks for sharing that with us". But in the mind of Willis Hart that's the same as Thom Hartmann out and out accusing Kessler of fabricating a quote? Bizzare indeed.

More Questionable "Facts" from Libertarian Blogger

Concerning the Hartster's reply to my comment about the LBJ quote from Kessler's book, Willis submitted the following diatribe...

Willis Hart: BS (the same guy who accused Nixon and Reagan of treason on far more flimsy grounds). LBJ said this on Air Force One to not one but two governors and Kessler has it on tape... And take a listen to this from your racist hero who consistently opposed civil rights legislation (including the 1957 Civil Rights Act initially) and who only did a 180 when he decided to run for President [Link to YouTube Video]. My God, even MSNBC has conceded that Johnson was a racist [Link (10/22/2014 AT 02:23:00 AM EDT & 10/22/2014 AT 02:37:00 AM EDT).

Who are these two governors and where is the tape? I presume the governors are not named (conveniently), because I found the quote easily, but NOTHING in regards to who these governors might be. Likely Dixicrats LBJ was attempting to bamboozle into supporting (or at least not opposing) him when it came to the CRA.

And I've never see anything concerning a audiotape, which I find odd. If it existed WHY would there be so much discussion in regards to whether the quote is genuine or not? If there were a tape we would KNOW it was genuine. Instead Willis links to a YouTube video I've heard before (a commenter who responded to my last LBJ commentary posted a link to it).

As for the "My God, even MSNBC has conceded that Johnson was a racist" (Willis' link is to the article I quote at the top of my commentary)... Willis misreads what I wrote AGAIN! I said the quote was fake and that "LBJ never said he was going to trick N-words into voting Democratic". I did not say LBJ was racist. But Willis calls "BS" on that "assertion" anyway. My God.

I will, however, walk back my referring to the quote as "fake"... a smidge. It might be fake or it might have been an example of code-switching, but it absolutely did not represent how he viewed the "Ni**er bill" (the CRA).

In conservative quarters, Johnson's racism – and the racist show he would put on for Southern segregationists – is presented as proof of the Democratic conspiracy to somehow trap black voters with, to use Mitt Romney's terminology, "gifts" handed out through the social safety net. But if government assistance were all it took to earn the permanent loyalty of generations of voters then old white people on Medicare would be staunch Democrats. So at best, that assessment is short sighted and at worst, it subscribes to the idea that blacks are predisposed to government dependency. (excerpt from MSNBC article quoted at the top of this commentary).

That African Americans are predisposed to government dependency is obviously a racist argument. Is Willis making this argument? I asked but he did not answer. But Conservatives think all (or most) poor people are lazy and want "unearned gifts" so they can continue in their slothful ways. So, it isn't necessarily racist, but it is still pretty damn insulting if you ask me - to suggest Black people have been tricked into voting Democratic. And the blogger Willis Hart definitely suggests this (i.e. his "subsiding poverty" BS).

The Party of the Real Racists (Currently)

In any case, it's obvious Conservatives and Libertarian continue to attack LBJ for signing the CRA because the KNOW African Americans vote Democratic because the Democratic Party is on their side. In this regard they are SMARTER than many poor and middle class Whites who vote against their own best interest (by voting Republican).

But the TRUTH is these Conservative arguments which attempt to strip LBJ of this accomplishment are all bullpucky. He didn't sign it for "political expediency" or to "trick" Black folks into voting Democratic, as LBJ's signing of the legislation HURT the Democratic Party by delivering delivered the South to the Republican party for a long time to come.

But Republicans continue to argue that it's Democratic politicians who are the "real racists". The Kessler LBJ "quote" their "proof" that Blacks are being tricked into voting Democrat by giving them "a little something" (voting rights and welfare "gifts") in order to "quiet them down"... and get them dependant on the Democratic Party. But this is a racist argument, as I already pointed out.

And it is the GOP that embraced the racists after the Democrats abandoned them. Initially with Nixon's Southern Strategy - done for political expediency, unlike LBJ. And continuing to this day with their state-based disenfranchisement strategies (SWTD #171 and SWTD #172). Made possible with an assist from the Conservative SCOTUS judges.

So, LBJ a racist? Sure, but he also ended the racism of the Democratic Party, for which he absolutely deserves credit. And not for reasons of "political expediency"... that was Richard Nixon who decided the way for the Republicans to win was to embrace the racists. And the GOP is still embracing them. Proof is their going whole hog with the disenfranchisement route while lying that they're acting to prevent "rampant voter fraud" (which is a myth).

In short, that is what matters. The GOP could join with the Democrats and reject racism. But they would suffer as the Democrats suffered after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Democrats did it - bit the bullet and did the right thing - but the Republicans aren't willing to. In fact, they've done the exact wrong thing. And every indication is that they intend on continuing to do the wrong thing for as long as they possibly can.

For example, NJ governor Chris Christie recently urged voters to elected Republican governors so the GOP will be in charge of the "voting mechanism" in 2016. Obviously Mr. Christie sees his path to the White House as one that will require the GOP maximizing their cheating.

Political Expediency Then A Change of Course

As for LBJ's previous opposition to Civil Rights legislation - this is true. From 1937 when LBJ was first elected to the US House of Representatives until early 1957, Johnson consistently voted against any such legislation. But later in 1957 he reversed course.

President Barack Obama: On one level, it's not surprising that anyone elected in Johnson's era from a former member-state of the Confederate States of America resisted civil-rights proposals into and past the 1950s. But given Johnson's later roles spearheading civil-rights measures into law including acts approved in 1957, 1960 and 1964, we wondered whether Johnson's change of course was so long in coming. (an excerpt from Obama's address during the Civil Rights Summit at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library on April 10, 2014).

Obama also noted the following concerning Johnson's early career in politics...

Barack Obama: ...he was ambitious, very ambitious, a young man in a hurry to plot his own escape from poverty and to chart his own political career. And in the Jim Crow South, that meant not challenging convention.

So maybe it was "politically expedient" to not challenge convention because he would have had no career in politics otherwise... but eventually he did the right thing. Even though it proved NOT to be politically expedient for the Democratic Party. But, even *if* you believe Johnson's flip was for expediency, consider this... which is better - doing the right thing for political expediency as Johnson did (if you believe that was his reasoning), or doing the wrong thing for political expediency as Nixon did with the Southern Strategy? [2].

My conclusion is that I'm sticking with calling the quote fake with the caveat that, if he did say it, it is an example of code-switching, in that he was telling these "two governors" what they wanted to hear. Because it's total BS that LBJ would speak of "tricking" Blacks in voting Democratic and then worry about what he did benefiting the Republicans. It's completely illogical. This said, however, while acknowledging that LBJ was pretty racist. But also a Civil Rights hero.

Video Description: President Lyndon Johnson using the "N" word. This video, which WTNPH links to in his comment above, is audio of LBJ on the phone in the White House - and NOT the "has it on tape" audio Kessler *might* have recorded on Air Force One (0:44).


Notes

[1] "LBJ... only promoted and signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act because he thought it was politically expedient. He disagreed violently and kept it a secret"... according to "The Relentless Conservative". Quote from a 8/24/2011 Huffington Post article, "The Democratic Party's Two-Facedness of Race Relations".

[2] Nixon quote re the Southern Strategy... "From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats".

SWTD #273. See also SWTD #228

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Meanwhile, Back At the North Gate Inn

But meanwhile time flies; it flies never to be regained ~ Virgil (10/15, 70 BC to 9/21, 19 BC), an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period.

Olaf The Angry devoured the four roasted chickens on the plates in front of him, alternately stuffing handfuls of hot meat and the side of hash browns into his masticating maw. Pausing briefly to wash down his meal with a large swig of mead from the wooden pitcher to his right. He emptied the flagon the barkeep had brought him initially with half a gulp and did not bother filling it again.

After a few minutes of this Olaf disappointedly found the food to be gone. This occurred when Olaf reached for another chicken and found there wasn't one. Wiping his greasy face on his sleeve Olaf sighed. "The best meal I've had in weeks" the enormous warrior reflected. Olaf rose from his seat and approached the bar, eager for another pitcher of mead.

Olaf, a hulking brute of a man stood just over seven feet tall, sported bulging biceps he dubbed his "pythons", and rock hard abs to boot. He was indeed an imposing figure. "I don't even work out" he remarked to the busty serving wench he noticed eyeing him as she cleared away his many plates. The serving wench blushed, shying away from the towering Adonis. Olaf sighed again, this time in quiet resignation.

Now that his stomach was full he found that what he now desired was a little tail, and this serving wench looked like she'd be good for a roll in the hay. He was about to engage her in some small talk but found she had already scurried off. "Oh well" Olaf thought. She had previously indicated no interest after reacting indignantly when he playfully pinched her beautiful rounded butt cheek after she first brought him his food. Seems the woman was too stuck up to appreciate a compliment.

Olaf opened his belt pouch and examined the contents. No, not enough gold coins remaining to pay a visit to the local brothel, either. "Damn" the fighter whispered. Fact was this stop here in the city had nearly wiped him out, coinage-wise. Only a few crowns remained after he paid for his feast of chickens, hash browns and mead. "Give me a pitcher of the grog" Olaf informed the barkeep, a scrawny pimply faced teen, one of the innkeeper's sons, as Olaf recalled.

"Coming right up sir", the young man replied, holding a pitcher under the spigot of a oak barrel behind him. Then the teen slid the vessel across the surface of the bar into Olaf's gigantic waiting hands. "That will be three coppers, please" the teen requested. Olaf dug the coins out of his belt pouch and left them on the bar before taking a swig of his grog. The weak swill was a letdown after the full bodied and satisfying mead, but the alcoholic content was enough to add to Olaf's mild buzz. And it did not taste too bad.

Crossing the main hall with his pitcher, Olaf made his way to a table where his adventuring companions were seated. Noticeably absent were his long time colleagues - the virtuous Paladin Onyia Birri, the mighty warrior Chugney the Horrible, the beautify and statuesque Alba Alahwieshous The Worthy, a female fighter that Olaf had the hots for - and Morton The Magnificent, the group's wizard. "Former wizard", Olaf reminded himself. Actually all were "former" because these compatriots were now deceased, having not made it through their deadly encounter with the minotaurs of the Northern Isles. Excepting Onyia Birri, who had decided to part ways with the group following the bloodbath that resulted in so many of their band perishing.

Only the bard Ceraifiot the Bonny, the annoying and puny Steve of Anonymous, the gnomish rogue Paulina Haloverson and the worthless cleric Barry the Botanical remained. Frankly Olaf had doubted Barry was indeed a cleric until he witnessed the holy man call upon his god to heal his own wounds. That was after he allowed the beautiful and similarly large and muscle-bound Alba to die of her wounds. Of course Barry - a man of the cloth who believed in natural remedies over the use of healing clerical magics - excused his inability to save his love with feeble excuses.

"The wounds are too deep and too numerous" a flustered Barry squealed when Olaf had demanded that the group's healer say a prayer for the dying Alba. Olaf had implored Barry to use his most powerful restorative spell - by grabbing him by the scruff of his neck and hoisting him rudely into the air. But Barry declined, or rather he claimed that his god declined.

After saying a prayer Barry announced that his god, Itterway, was non-responsive. Given that her wounds were mortal and only magic could save her, Alba passed from the mortal realm. Olaf was thankful the lady warrior did not suffer, but ever since that day he hated Barry with a white-hot intensity. And the animosity grew when the giant fighter witnessed Barry heal himself but a short time later.

Of the remaining coterie Olaf noted that it was Ceraifiot, Barry and Steve who were seated around one of the main hall's tables, engaged in a game of cards. "William the Moderate has not returned?" Olaf inquired of the bard while pulling out a chair to take a seat himself. William (a fighter) and Suri Cruz (a mage) were two recent additions to their assembly, both having joined only shortly prior to the horrible massacre that claimed the lives of so many of their adventuring party.

Dusk was approaching and William and Suri had informed the group that they would be back from their outing to the temple the oracles before nightfall, but nobody at the table had seen either of them since they had set out around mid-morning. Olaf, while inquiring about the fighter William, was actually more concerned about the knockout mage Suri Cruz.

While a great deal lesser in stature than his former sweetheart, Suri made up for it by being a gorgeous blonde with a rocking body, including bazooms Olaf greatly desired to bury his face in. Her facial disfigurement, a result of being burned by acid, detracting only slightly from his desire to get with her.

Although she had, so far, spurned his advances. It seemed that if anyone had a chance it was the the bonny Ceraifiot, a dashing hunk that all the ladies seemed to swoon over. And it did not hurt that the bard had a silver tongue that apparently enabled him to charm the most reluctant lass into bed. Still, Olaf could not help but admire the bard, even if he would engage him in fisticuffs to win the hand of the shapely Suri. But Olaf was determined not to humiliate the man too badly if it came to that. Although Olaf was not certain if there was any romantic interest between the two at all, given the fact that she was still mourning the loss of a former flame. It was possible they were simply friends. At least he hoped that was the case.

"You win again!" Barry moaned ruefully, throwing his cards to the table. The oily Steve smirked and scooped up the pot, drawing the many coins toward him. "Not so fast" Ceraifiot loudly declared. "My full boat beats your three of a kind" the handsome bard grinned. Steve glared at the cards Ceraifiot had placed before him. "Very well" he uttered, scowling angrily. "But you owe me a least one more hand. I deserve a chance to win back what you stole from me" a bitter Steve sputtered.

"No, I am finished for the evening" Ceraifiot countered. "I think I shall go out for a stroll and see if I might meet William and Suri on their return. Perhaps Olaf would like to take my place?" the bard asked, gathering his winnings and rising from the table. "Me, oh I do not know how to play cards" Olaf admitted. "In any case, I have few coins to bet" the muscle-bound warrior added dejectedly.

Steve glowered at the departing Ceraifiot. "As*hole" he muttered under his breath. "I'm going to get myself another ale" Barry said to nobody in particular. "Let me take our cards back to the barkeep and collect the deposit" Barry said, reaching for the other player's cards and adding them to the deck. Placing them back into their wooden box, Barry departed as well, leaving only Olaf and Steve at the table. Seve, a wirey man with a hawkish nose who wore his greasy jet black hair slicked back had always made Olaf uneasy.

Steve was a sneaky bastard in Olaf's opinion, more like a thief than a fighter, as Steve claimed to be. Indeed, Steve did enter the fray when needed, but as always, the majority of the fighting was left up to Olaf, Alba and their former leader, Chugney the horrible - a land-mass of a man had stood even taller and was even more muscle-bound than Olaf. And he was smart as well, unlike Olaf. Which is why he had had been the one they all decided should head their band of fortune-hunters. But Chugney too was now gone, along with the others.

Which left a void in their group that Ceraifiot seemed to be filling; their de facto commander on the weeks long journey out of the wilderness following the deaths of so many of their group, including Olaf's beloved Alba. A tear ran down his cheek at the remembrance of his deceased female friend. If only it had been Steve or Barry that had bit it during that deadly encounter, instead of his sweet Alba Alahwieshous, a woman who was surely more worthy of life than the two cowards who, now that he thought of it, did not even participate in the fight? Olaf certainly had no idea how either Steve or Barry had contributed, which was something that would continue to bother him.

"I think I'm going to see what Ceraifiot is up to", Olaf said after wiping the tear from his cheek. But Steve wasn't there to hear him, having already left. Olaf exited the front entrance of the North Gate Inn after striding across the main hall, noting that Steve and Barry were both drinking at the bar. The cool dusk air on his face, Barry looked for but failed to locate the bonny bard. Looking down he noticed the gnomish woman Paulina seated on a rock. Good thing, too, as he nearly tripped over her.

"Watch where you're going, you oaf!" the tiny gnome shouted, staring directly up at Olaf's crotch. Bending over Olaf saw the reason for her displeased yell, which was the tip of his boot budging the gnome from her perch upon the rock. "Opps, sorry about that" Olaf apologized, taking a step backward, removing the tip of his boot from her ribcage. Suddenly Olaf heard a feminine voice (not the gnome's) calling his name.

"Olaf" the voice intoned again. Then Suri Cruz, the group's replacement mage appeared out of the growing darkness, her beautiful bosoms heaving. "It's good to see you, Olaf" Suri remarked as she drew closer - William noticeably absent.

"Where are the rest of our companions?" Suri urgently inquired. "I have news to share that concerns us all" the mage explained, catching her breath. "What of William?" Olaf replied, wondering where Suri's companion was. "William... he is the subject of the news" Suri stated, the tone in her voice indicating to Olaf that this was another instance of William causing trouble for the group, as he had on a number of occasions previously. Why they did not simply dump the dud was a question Olaf found himself pondering - yet again.

SWTD #272, WTM #11.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

On The Octopus & dmarks Friendship (A Cyberspace Peeve)

I don't have pet peeves; I have whole kennels of irritation ~ Whoopi Goldberg (11/13, 1955) an American comedienne, actress, singer-songwriter, political activist, author and talk show host who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as psychic Oda Mae Brown in the 1990 film Ghost.

If you read this blog it is likely you know I am not a fan of the blogger known as dmarks (real name Dennis Marks). Although you most like are not a regular reader (as this blog as few, if any). In which case I will outright tell you that I do not like Dennis.

The reason is because Dennis lies. He lies frequently and he lies often. Frankly I think his lying is pathological. Meaning Dennis lies but he believes his own lies. Or he believes many of them. Others I have a hard time believing he thinks are true. Because they are so pernicious, vile, ridiculous, etc.

Recently I attempted to alert a Progressive blogger known as Octopus to the truth about Dennis when he named Dennis as a friend. The post itself was an account of extremely bad treatment that Shaw Kenawe received upon visiting the site of a Rightwinger. EXTREMELY bad. Most of it coming from the known racist Radical Redneck (who also revealed himself to be quite the misogynist with his comments directed at, and harassing emails sent to this exemplary Progressive blogger).

Anyway, I decided that I'd relate an experience I had with another blogger (Dennis) who treats people he disagrees with badly by lying about them. While also alerting Octopus to the true nature of his friend".

Dervish Sanders: Looks like this commentary is generating a lot of laughs over on another blog, the proprietor of which has previously noted that Octopus literally makes his skin crawl. And he's done more than one commentary disparaging Liberals he does not like, Shaw included. And one of the commenters there who is also "a friend of this forum" said "Shaw has no integrity", [and] that she "has become quite unhinged lately"...

I admit I am more biased against this "friend", but I have been subject to quite a few dishonest comments from him. This "friend" says both bin Laden and Stalin are "heroes" to me, I defend anti-Semitism, support sex crimes against children, am an apologist and supporter of domestic violence, and that I strongly favor abortionists being given the power of... executioner... by killing children after they are born out of nothing more than a sick thrill of bloodlust... Link (10/2/2014 AT 12:17pm).

Dennis replied with a comment indicating I was "whining" about being caught praising Stalin (TADM #5). So I asked Dennis where this "praising" had taken place (it had not, by the way, and this is an example of what I meant above when I referred to ridiculous lies). Dennis later deleted his comment and "apologized" to Shaw for taking the "troll bait"... meaning my comment - defending myself against the lying of Dennis - was a TROLL in the mind of Dennis.

Despite this obviously lie, it was yours truly that got chewed out by Octopus!

Octopus: Consider yourself "caught". This post is NOT ABOUT YOU and your peeves in Cyberspace! It is about HARASSMENT and THREATS aimed at Shaw. This post is also about a kind of hyper-partisanship that HURTS [and] about anger and resentment that causes good people to forget their COMMON DECENCY and HUMANITY. There is no reason to heckle, jeer, provoke, and taunt people just because you were misquoted or slighted. It makes you NO BETTER THAN THE CULT. (10/2/2014 AT 4:12pm).

Hmm. I guess he has a point. Perhaps I should apologize like Octopus' friend Dennis? No, wait... first the question has to be asked - does alerting Octopus that Dennis is not as good of a guy as he thinks he is amount to heckling, jeering, provoking and taunting?

I say HELL NO! In my comment I emphasized with Shaw by relating a similar experience I had with a blogger who harassed with unending lies (and continues to harass). I mean that literally. Dennis repeats his lies over and over. The lies I mention above are brought up over and over on the blogs of Willis Hart and rAtional nAtion (to a lesser extent) for literally years.

And I never said Octo's post was about me. I addressed Octo's statement that Dennis is a friend of the Swash Zone. How could anyone consider a dishonest person like Dennis a friend? Dennis has lied about me, yes, but he has also lied about other bloggers who dared stand up to him (and not back down after a few comments and allow Dennis to have the last word).

For example, Dennis had the following to say about the blogger John Myste for daring to defend Affirmative Action.

Dennis Marks: Myste, You were clearly making and defending racist statements, including that all blacks were inferior and "damaged". Not only that, you were too stupid to realize that such views are by definition strongly racist. Good riddance, Grand Wizard of the Myste. And don't let your white robe get caught on the door on the way out. (12/9/2012 AT 10:58am).

Dennis' comment, in addition to being exceedingly repugnant, is complete fiction. John Myste never said any of these things, as Mr. Myste points out in his defense of himself.

John Myste: I request that anyone who reads DMarks last comment, read the entire thread, so it will be obvious that he made up a position for me that I don't hold. (12/10/2012 AT 7:25am).

John Myste is ENTIRELY correct with his charge that Dennis "made up a position for me that I don't hold". This is what Dennis Marks (dmarks) does. He makes up positions for other people that they do not hold. And he brings them up again and again, referring to them as if they are factual.

Dennis Marks: African-Americans just need an environment of economic opportunity, and don't need affirmative-action quota policies that treat them as if they are inferior beings (damaged, in the words of that Myste guy) that can't compete on a level playing field. (2/1/2014 AT 7:30pm).

Note that this is nearly 15 months after John Myste left the blog of Willis Hart (and did not return), yet Dennis continues lying about him.

Another example...

Dennis Marks: Fox News is in a position of being a voice of dissent against the most powerful ruler on the planet. In this they deserve support. Damn those like that Progressive Soup guy who want Fox silenced. That's bootlicking. (2/4/2014 AT 2:40am).

The "Progressive Soup Guy" is a blogger known as Malcolm Bondon. Granted, this charge of "bootlicking" is quite a bit milder... but Malcolm never said he wanted Fox "silenced". He wrote a blog post concerning Fox Nooz's "decision to make a big deal over the recent White House performance by rapper Common". Malcolm disagreed with what Fox Nooz said. That was what his post was about. He never said Fox should be "silenced". This is a total fabrication of Dennis.

This, by the way, is a commentary on Progressive Soup from 5/16/2011. So why the hell is Dennis still referring to it 33 months later? And on the blog of someone (Willis Hart) who never commented on Malcolm's blog? Dennis commented on the PS blog and I commented on it as well. Both Dennis and I left comments (and argued) on Malcolm's blog about Common/White House story. But Willis (to my knowledge) never did.

And, in regards to this conversation, Dennis references it again on 9/5/2014, almost 40 months after the conversation on Progressive Soup.

Dennis Marks: wd... thinks it is great to call black people the N word and use other slurs. (9/5/2014 AT 3:38am).

This stupidity refers back to a comment by Malcolm (once again in regards to the Common/White House story) in which he said "simply using the N-word in lyrics is not bashing black people". Malcolm was talking about the rapper Common) using the N-word in his raps. I agreed with Malcolm that it was not "bashing".

And, as a White person I feel that it isn't for me to say if Black people can "take back" the word by using it themselves. I'll leave that for the African American community to hash out (some are for and others are against it). I certainly never said it was "great to call black people the N-word and use other slurs". White people are absolutely not allowed to use the word. I (as a White man) wouldn't use it, in any case.

(Note: see TADM #59 for an expanded commentary on the subject of Dennis' problem with racism and SWTD #175 for more informaton regarding the conversation that lead to Dennis referring to "that Progressive Soup guy" as a bootlicker).

Lastly, I must call bullpucky on Octo's statement that Dennis "deserves kudos for confronting anti-Semitism", given the fact that Dennis wanders into anti-Semitic territory himself when criticizing Jewish people who have views he does not like. The following repugnant comment from Dennis in regards to Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish man whose parents were both Holocaust survivors.

Dennis Marks: Forget his [Finkelstein's] genocidal hatred of Jewish Israelis. This man is one of those Holocaust-deniers. The kind of person WD defends, probably with the usual "calling people who dare criticize Israelis antisemitic" canard..... Yeah, these people are antisemitic because they criticize Israelis for not hurrying up and being ashes scraped out of industrial ovens (12/8/2012 AT 7:25pm). Note: Dennis deleted this anti-Semitic comment after I linked to it in TADM #37.

Dennis might have deleted the comment, but it was NOT because he retracted anything or came to the correct realization that what he said was anti-Semitic. He deleted it because I linked to, and apparently Dennis gets some "amusement" out of deleting his comments when I link to them (TADM #40).

As for the comment itself... a Jewish man whose parents were Holocaust survivors criticizes "Israelis for not hurrying up and being ashes scraped out of industrial ovens"?! This crosses a line and is anti-Semitic itself. There is simply NO excusing such a despicable fabrication, in my strong opinion. Mr. Finkelstein is a critic of Israel who is an advocate for the two state solution. He believes in Israel's right to exist and does NOT have any kind of "genocidal hatred" for his fellow Jews living in Israel.

(Note: see SWTD #234 for an expanded commentary on the subject of Dennis' problem with anti-Semitism. Also see here for a screenshot of the now deleted comment above which I grabbed before Dennis removed it).

So, in conclusion, and in regards to the chewing out by Octopus... I do not consider such lying (the examples I give above) to be "misquotes" or "slights", which is how he characterizes Dennis' offensive perjurious slanders (not "peeves"). This is another example of someone (Dennis) forgetting his COMMON DECENCY and HUMANITY... which is why I submitted the comment.

And, NO, I did not think the post was about *me* or *my* "peeves in Cyberspace". I responded with an on-topic comment. Octopus mentioned Dennis and labeled him a friend, and THAT is what I was responding to... as well as the meat of the commentary and how the lying of Dennis related to it. Dennis lies not just about *me*, but about others who dare disagree too strongly with him. And continues telling his lies for years after the original disagreements took place!

Lastly, in regards to these vulgar comments directed at Shaw, I am absolutely "with the program", if by that you mean I'm in agreement that such behavior is unacceptable and should be called out. I NEVER said anything to indicate I was not. In actuality I agreed with everything Octopus wrote in his commentary.

Except his thinking that Dennis is a friend. In regards to Dennis, it is a fact that he harasses people by making up positions for them to hold (as John Myste said). Positions that paint those Dennis targets as terrible people. But I guess Octopus wishes to keep his head in the sand in regards to this unfortunate reality about his friend Dennis.

Which will only encourage Dennis to continue this type of behavior, sadly. In fact, the comments by Octo likely made Dennis smile, and further convinced him that he only calls 'em as sees 'em. Including a comment by him on Progressive Eruptions (in response to my comment calling him out) where he claimed to have "caught" me "praising Stalin". That actually happened, in Dennis' imagination... now reinforced by Octo. So, thank you for that, friend of Dennis.

(Note: my last line is meant to express my disappointment and not anger. I still think Octo is a good person and I agree with him in most cases. Just not in regards to his giving kudos to Dennis. Dennis deserves no kudos, only condemnation and shaming - along with the Radical Redneck, an individual who is clearly worse - in his bigotedness. But comparing one to Radical is a very low bar).

SWTD #271, dDel #17. See also SWTD #234 and TADM #59.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rightwing Race Hustlers On Ferguson Shooting

The idea that WND somehow has racist motivations is bizarre, especially when fully 20 percent of the site's regular weekly columnists are black – including Sowell, Star Parker, Walter Williams, Eric Rush... ~ Joseph Farah, founder of the website World Net Daily (and head birther) making the Black Friend argument as to why their excessive reporting on Black Mobs isn't racist. (as reported in a 2/8/2014 Gawker story).

As is ALWAYS the case, when some crime occurs in which racism may be a factor, the Right must present incidents where the roles are reversed (AKA "The Fallacious Flip"). As those who follow the news know, a White Ferguson MO cop shot and killed an unarmed Black teenager. So guess what? You probably already know. The Right finds a case in which a Black cop shot and killed a White teen.

Proof that racism wasn't a factor in the Ferguson shooting, right? Whether it was or wasn't I do not believe is clear, but I think at least some (if not many) of the protestors believe it was... and for good reason (it's called "institutional racism"). Whatever the truth is (whether or not racism was a factor), it certainly strikes me that the number of shots fired might have been excessive (the 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot 6 times).

Although CNN reports "dueling narratives in Michael Brown shooting", and, after reading the story, I can report that the witnesses accounts are at odds with one another in key areas. So an investigation is definitely needed, and no conclusions should be jumped to until it is complete.

I do, however still believe there is a problem in general with cops shooting - or by some other method killing - unarmed suspects (a police killing via a choke hold for example). And MANY of the examples of this ARE of a White cop killing a Black victim, so there is cause to believe that race may be a factor (in general and not necessarily in regards to this case). And there is also the fact that a majority of the Ferguson MO police are White, while the community they are policing is majority-Black.

But the Ferguson community protests in regards to problems of (White majority) cops using excessive force (which is how they view this case) - and the problem of the police force not being racially diverse - is spun by WND as lies serving an agenda of the "Leftist Media"... as usual. This time WND reports on fellow racist Limbaugh's take on the subject...

Rush Limbaugh: There's a mindset out there, and the way it works in situations like this [is] only people of color can be victims. A white person can never be a victim. It just can't happen. That's not permitted, that's not allowed because it isn't the case. The whites are the oppressors. They're the majority. In the liberal worldview, every majority is an oppressor... They're all oppressors. The minority is always the victims, and the victims are with whom we should always sympathize, no matter what. And the victims are permitted to do anything precisely because they're a minority... They're outnumbered. The evil majority does horrible things to the minority. And so the minorities... [are] always victims. And so anything they do is justified and we must try to understand the rage.

But in the current climate in the United States, a black person can never be the oppressor and a white can never be the victim. And that's how you have a corrupt or perverted news business in Salt Lake City, refusing to identify a black cop who may have shot an innocent person. That destroys the whole picture we've been creating here for centuries. That could totally destroy the image that we've been trying to concoct... (Rush Limbaugh comments via World Net Daily, 8/20/2014. "Black cop kills White Man, Media Hide Race" by Joe Kovacs).

The Media was "hiding" the race of the Black cop who shot the White teen? The WND article notes that "Utah's Desert News reported the police chief saying the officer is not white [and] The Salt Lake Tribune noted, the officer involved was not white". Seems pretty clear to me that they said the cop wasn't White. And it did come out that the cop wasn't Hispanic or Asian or whatever. But two papers saying the cop wasn't White (info that came from the police chief) amounts to the Media "hiding" the cops race? Right.

What this REALLY amounts to, IMO, is (yet more) racism from the Right. As well as opportunism. An opportunity to shamelessly attack the "Leftist Media". This time with bogus claims of hiding the fact that the cop was Black. Similar to what happened with George Zimmerman, that he was "White" was info that came from the cops. In both cases the media reported what the police told them!

As for the rest of Limbaugh's racist tirade, it is complete BS, of course. A White person can be a victim, but Whites ARE the oppressors. They're the majority (police force in Ferguson is mostly White, while community they are policing is majority Black) and we also have a long history (that began with slavery) of racism... against Black people.

Yeah, racist Whites like Limbaugh and those at the Black-mob-obsessed WND find that history inconvenient and work hard to deny that our past influences our present. But it *is* our history. So, no, a Black person can't be an oppressor. A minority can belong to an organization that sometimes acts as an instrument of oppression (the police), but this does not make them an "oppressor", but simply an instrument of the organization (in this case the police) that acts as oppressors for the White majority (again, it's called "institutional racism").

And there is also the fact that the police are becoming increasingly militarized, and what this points to, I think, is a mentality that says excessive force is what is necessary. I mean, another issue that concerns me is the police killing of pet dogs when those pets react to the police busting down doors (sometimes the wrong ones) to arrest people. And surely that has nothing to do with racism.

In any case, a minority is NOT "permitted to do anything precisely because they're a minority". And this "image that we've been trying to concoct" that Limbaugh refers to is REALITY. And YES, the "Leftist media" does NOT want that "image" destroyed, you lying racist tool!

So, in conclusion, I'd say that we definitely have a problem of police using deadly force not as a last resort, but drawing their guns and shooting to kill when they shouldn't be drawing their guns at all, or, if they do, shooting to wound. Racism may be a factor (and I believe it sometimes is), but if it was a factor in the Ferguson shooting is not known.

And I believe it probably won't be a factor in the investigation. Only the question of whether or not the shooting was justified will be asked. But, as you can see from the Limbaugh spin as reported by WND, the Right misses no opportunity to inject race into a news story. Injecting it via false accusations against the Left of "playing the race card" and "concocting" a history of racism for the United States.

"Concocting" being code for reporting the reality of the situation. A reality the Right wishes to deny because it aides THEIR concocted narrative regarding their racism being a "fair and balanced" reporting of the facts. "Facts", that when it comes to WND, often include the violence of "Black mobs".

A 2/8/2014 article from the blog Gawker by Adam Weinstein says that WND is battling Google for "its right to be racist". According to the article, Google "has accused WND of using hate speech and has threatened to block ads on the news site over its use of the term black mobs in news stories and columns.

Yeah, no kidding. As a subscriber to the WND newsletter, I noticed this some time ago. Google cites a figure of 670 "Black mob" stories and bases it's objection on it's AdSense policies against using "derogatory racial or ethnic slurs to refer to an individual or group". Although, over how long a period of time the article does not say. Still 670 is a big number... and kudos to Google for calling out WND. And Google, being a private company, does not have to respect WND's "free speech rights".

.........................

Something else the Right likes to complain about in these situations is when Black leaders show up on the scene to offer their support and assistance. People like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, in doing so, are "race baiting", they say. The Reverend Sharpton, I should note, went to Ferguson and discussed the problem of the police force not being racially diverse. His solution was for more Black voters to show up on election day.

Catching the end of his MSNBC program the other day, I saw Mr. Sharpton note the fact that when it was time to elect Mr. Obama a second time, Black turnout was high. But for the next election - one which also had local officials like the chief of police on the ballot - turnout was pathetic (2 percent, if I remember correctly). Sounds like good advice to me and certainly NOT "race hustling". Advising the Black community to vote, that is (which is a good way to at least begin to curb the institutional racism problem).

"Race husting", IMO, is a term used by White racists, or "right-wing white-grievance mongers" who are "stoking racial tension for cash" (wording as per a 7/23/2013 Salon article). People like Limbaugh... and organizations like WND (even given the fact that they have "Black friends") are real "race hustlers", and I think the evidence overwhelmingly shows this to be true. It isn't the Black leaders or Black MSNBC personalities who "race bait", but the racist right and race hustling and racist-pandering Rightwing media.

Video: Ferguson Cops Busted? New Video Seems To Show Brown Paying For Cigarillos (0:42) Link. (H/T to Shaw Kenawe of Progressive Eruptions for pointing me to this story & video from Crooks & Liars).

SWTD #270. See also TADM #56.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Not Lying About Muslim Bigotry

They swear by Allah that they said nothing (evil), but indeed they uttered blasphemy... ~ The Holy Quran, Al-Tawba, 9:74. This is in regards to those who reject the fundamental doctrine of the finality of the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad. Such persons are outside the fold of Islam. (Source).

Wikipedia notes that "the belief in Muhammad's prophethood is the main aspect of the Islamic faith". But on another blog I was called a "lying bastard" for questioning whether or not the following remark (by the blog proprietor) indicated a bigotry toward Muslims...

rAtional nAtion uSA: When moderate Muslins, in concert throughout the world stand tall and renounce all terrorism, acknowledge that the "prophet" muhammad was a evil man who raped, plundered, and pillaged then maybe I might believe they want to live in peace with non Muslims. (8/10/2014 AT 11:09:00 PM EDT).

Now, I am NOT a scholar of Islam or of the prophet Muhammad. I do, however, think that rejecting THE main aspect of one's faith might cause others practicing that faith to view any individual taking that view as not a true adherent of said faith. Indeed, (as per the quote at the top of this post) if someone rejects that Muhammad was a prophet AT ALL (as Lester suggests by his use of quotes around the word) are they not also rejecting "the fundamental doctrine of the finality of the Prophethood"?

This is, by the way, a doctrine that says Muhammad is the last prophet. Surely he cannot be the last prophet if he is not a prophet at all, right? And, in regards to anyone who calls for disavowing this main aspect of Muhammad's prophethood, are they not actually calling for Muslims to abandon their faith?

So (given this logic), would it not be a fair assessment of the statement above that [1] the "rAtional" fellow is calling for Muslims to abandon their faith and that [2] if they do not do so, then the United States and any allies that would join us should wage a "jihad" against any Muslim that decided to remain a Muslim?

"Jihad" conclusion based on the following comment...

rAtional nAtion uSA: You put together a coalition of rational western nations along with eastern nations who are sane and want terror stopped. Pool remeasures and plan a concerted strategy to take out the terrorists in their hiding places everywhere...

Then, the sane rational world lets the terrorist states and organizations know that a strike of any kind on any member nation is a strike on all, and any will unleash such destruction on them they'll wish they were never born. (8/10/2014 AT 08:04:00 PM EDT).

This, as I recall, was the rationale for going into both Afghanistan and Iraq. And with the comment above the rAtional guy is calling for more Afghanistans and more Iraqs? Our government has a website called State Sponsors of Terrorism that lists four countries (Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria) that qualify for the list. Is Lester suggesting (as soon as his "coalition" is formed) that - the next time either of these four countries does something that qualifies them to be on this list - that we will declare war?

War, or something short of war that would still qualify as unleashing "such destruction on them they'll wish they were never born"? Whatever that might be... I doubt the American people will support more war. Although Lester himself has said in the past that he thought Iraq was stupid. Now he's calling for MORE of the same stupidity?

Sounds like it to me. And what's up with Lester referring to Muslims as filthy or "lice ridden"? Some might be, but I doubt they all are. Frankly, I'm somewhat surprised he didn't throw a "towel head" or "sand ni**er" in there. It isn't as if Lester is searching for additional pejoratives to use against the hated terrorists only...

rAtional nAtion uSA: ...the Palestinians are as infested with camel fleas and lice as they were a thousand years ago. (8/10/2014 AT 6:21pm).

So it's not just radicalized Muslim terrorists who are "infested" with fleas and lice, but Palestinians. ALL of them, presumably. Which is why I have a hard time believing the following...

rAtional nAtion uSA: I'm not BIGOTED AGAINST muslims I've friends who are Muslim, wonderful caring people who are NOT CRAZY and who do not call for the genocide of the Jewish people and infidels in general.

I am however most decidedly bigoted against the jihadist that are fueled by their violent, irrational, genocidal, devoted allegiance to the madman :prophet muhammad (piss be upon him) and the organizations the belong to. (8/11/2014 AT 01:02:00 PM EDT).

Lester's "Muslim friends" belong to an imaginary sect of Islam where either: Muhammad isn't a prophet, or one in which it's OK to denounce him as a rapist and plunderer (but still acknowledge him as a prophet)? Either way this sect is completely imaginary... which means Lester has no such friends. I suspect that this claim is similar to the one made by Whites who say they have a "Black friend" but are lying.

So, let's review: Lester wants all Muslims to reject the "main aspect" of their faith (i.e. reject Islam for some imaginary version of Islam that does not exist) or go on the "naughty list". Which means we might declare war on them? Maybe if they live in Cuba, Iran, Sudan or Syria... then some "shock and awe" that kills civilians (which happened/continues to happen in Afghanistan and Iraq) is justified?

Sounds like a "convert or be killed" ultimatum (convert to some imaginary form of Islam that either says it's OK to believe Mohammed was a terrible person, or one that says he wasn't a prophet). But didn't the radicalized Muslim terrorists issue a similar ultimatum? I'm pretty sure they did.

Given this, am I out of line to think that [1] suggesting we "unleash such destruction on them they'll wish they were never born" for not rejecting the "main aspect" of their faith and [2] suggesting that people who live in this part of the world are "lice infested" - ALL the people and not just terrorists... that these views might be indicative of a person who harbors some bigoted thoughts in regards to all Muslims and not just "the terrorists"?

I think so. But Lester was so offended by my pointing out his bigotry that he said I "no longer exists in [his] consciousness".

That must be worse than being banned, which Lester did just previous to wishing me into the cornfield. OK, so Lester has banned me before, but now? I must REALLY be banned this time! Although it's my own fault for "lying" about Lester's bigotry. A bigotry that has him calling for Muslims to convert to some imaginary form of Islam or not be trusted by him to really be desirous of peace.

Although it is possible that Lester won't believe they want peace even then - he only said he MIGHT believe them. Regardless he'll probably go on being convinced that they are flea and lice infested. That was one point I think he was crystal clear on, that they all have fleas and lice... the Palestinians (at least). I don't know about other Muslims.

Now, for stating this obvious conclusion based on Lester's own words, Lester says I am a "lying SOB". But I did not lie. I told the truth. And surely it is not my problem if Lester does not see the bigotry in his own words.

SWTD #269. See also TADM #54.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

That Massive Sucking Sound and Its Echo

Because murder is like anything you take to; It's a habit-forming need for more and more ~ Lyrics from the song "Murder by Numbers" written by Sting & Andy Summers.

There wasn't anything that Brabender and Workman ever could have done to save Slade Leeds. They knew it and so, too, did Leeds. But being that the latter was a persistent bugger (not to mention one that was totally lacking in pride) and his protectorate malleable, damned if that sucker didn't seem to last for decades and decades. In fact, it's probably still going on!

"Sorry it has to end this way for you, my friend" William Hartenbaum remarked as Slade whined yet again. "You simply can NOT do this to a fellow Societyman" a frantic and disbelieving Slade declared. But, after staring into William's eyes, it became apparent to him that Hartenbaum had made up his mind.

"Help me Brabender" he cried with tears in his eyes. "Help me Workman" Slade pleaded. But Slade's employees ignored him. William had had enough of this so he gagged his friend. Then, with great sadness he shoved the bound Slade into the wet concrete. Slade dropped approximately 10 feet into the open pit and landed with a wet thud in the concrete that would become the foundation for Vanderschmidt towers, a new luxury apartment complex being constructed by William's buddy Vincent Vanderschmidt (AKA "Voltron").

A look of horror overcame Slade's face as he sunk into the hardening slurry that would soon be his rock solid tomb. Slade sunk slowly, the weight attached to his ankles dragging him down. But his suffering did not go on for that long, despite it likely seeming to last decades for the poor fellow! "I really hated to do that. Killing one of your best friends is a hard thing to do" William remarked.

"Stop, you can't do this, Dennis!" the one called Workman screamed after William and his accomplices had subdued the three men, bound their hands and feet, and then made it apparent they would soon join the dead body of Cliff Thesage in the freshly poured cement mixture. But why the hell was Workman addressing his pleas to Dennis?

"Nobody's going to save you now" Russ Teafeur, one of William's accomplices and a member of the four friend's murder club, growled. "Dennis will save us... and he knows why" Brabender squealed, shaking his head as Voltron attempted to gag him.

"Do you know what he's talking about, Dennis?" William querried the recent inductee into their murder club (an addition that made the trio a quartet). "Workman is talking about the evidence he has against me that will automatically be released if he should be killed or go missing" Dennis reluctantly informed the group.

"Evidence of what?" Voltron demanded, grabbing Dennis by his lapels and getting in his face. "Evidence of embezzlement by Brabender, Workman and myself from The Quarry" Dennis squawked. "I had no choice, after running up a large amount of debt in anticipation of my rich uncle kicking off. An uncle who then went into remission".

William remembered the conversation in which Dennis told him he'd be joing William, Voltron and Russ in the 1 percent when his uncle died from terminal brain cancer, leaving him everything in his will. "That's tough" an angry William replied. "But that does not entitle you to thieve from my best friend".

An intimidated Dennis started whimpering. "This means Brabender and Workman will keep their mouths shut about them walking in on us disposing of Thesage's body" Dennis explained desperately. "Surely it would be much more suspicious if they disappear as well" Dennis concluded, suddenly afraid that William might decide to murder him too.

"He has a point" Russ Teafeur interjected. "I guess that means they are malleable to not squealing to the cops" Voltron concluded, releasing Dennis from his grip. "Absolutely" Brabender enthusiastically agreed. "Especially given the fact that we were stealing from Mr. Leeds. The cops will likely conclude we were in on it" Workman added, assuming he had just been saved from joining Leeds in the concrete.

Just then there was a massive sucking sound as the squirming body of Slade Leeds finally disappeared beneath the surface of the pool of cement, rock and water. William turned and silently bid his friend adieu. "The Society has lost a valuable member", William ruefully observed. "And now Slade's wife Sassy is a widdow" Hartenbaum added sorrowfully. "A shame, given what a good woman she is".

"But this was Slade's own fault. What the hell was he doing here?" William demanded, turning to face Brabender and Workman. But he was met with silence. "Come on, answer Mr. Hartenbaum's question" an angry Voltron demanded. "You do want to make it out of here alive, do you not, Workman", Voltron added as he drew a wicked looking dagger from his belt and approached the two bound captives.

"You're going to talk" Voltron growled, holding his sharp blade to the neck of a frightened Workman. "Or I'll slit you from ear to ear. I don't give a damn what you have on Dennis".

SWTD #268, PIF #23, Murder Club #3.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Apology Owed By Spinning Liar Re LBJ/Tonkin Vs GWb/WMD

Fifty years on we know the trigger for war with Vietnam was a fiction. Will it be another 50 before we know the truth about Iraq? ~ DD Guttenplan, writing for The Guardian in a 8/2/2014 piece titled "When Presidents Lie To Make A War".

Many "love letters" from a blogger named Willis Hart concerning yours truly on his idiotic Libertarian blog as of late. And by "love letters" I mean lies targeted at someone this blogger dislikes intensely.

But the disliking is mutual. Specifically due to the lies this dude spins, such as the following...

Willis Hart: wd is one of those people who claims to be against war, war crimes, and empire but who constantly spins for then when its his fellow's doing (the asshole even spun for LBJ and Vietnam which was quite possibly the most moronic war of them all). (7/30/2014 AT 9:40pm).

I never said a damn thing in support of the Vietnam war, you liar. And, yes, it was one of the most moronic wars of them all. Until preznit bush came along, that is. As for my "spinning" about LBJ, all I said was that "whether or not LBJ lied is, in my opinion, a tad more nebulous that the question of whether or not George W. bush lied in order to pressure Congress into allowing him to invade Iraq".

Initially I do not believe LBJ lied about what happened at the Gulf of Tonkin, although I do believe he latched onto the initial reports of what happened and used that to justify the actions he (and Robert McNamara) wanted to take. And, then when he found out the initial reports were inaccurate? Then he did keep that info under wraps. So, yes, he did lie. Later.

That would be a little different than what bush did, which was to lie right away, even though he knew the truth from the get go concerning WMD that Iraq did not have. And THAT was the point I was trying to make to the Hartster. That the lies of bush were worse for this reason. That is even *if* Iraq having WMD was a good justification for invasion (which they did not, but assuming they did). I say no.

But Willis rewrites the discussion that took place on his as me "spinning" for LBJ and him holding firm to his principals (the a-hole says he's "intellectually honest" while I'm the MOST "intellectually dishonest" person he's ever encountered).

Willis Hart: And, yes, just like a lot of the conservatives did with Bush and Iraq. (7/30/2014 AT 9:41pm).

What is ironic about this comment is that Willis is one of those conservatives. In regards to the lying about WMD, Willis spun and Willis spun HARD.

Willis Hart: I recognize now that Sadam pretty much had to go. I just wish that President Bush hadn't de-Baathified the country and disbanded the military in that those 2 things really strengthened the Iranian bastards. (6/28/2013 AT 8:39pm).

Notice that he basically agrees that Iraq needed to be invaded and Saddam removed, but only starts disagreeing when it comes to the "de-baathification" and disbanding the military (things that happened AFTER we invaded). Previously he said he was against the war, but would absolutely not call bush a war criminal and insisted (wrongly) that bush never lied.

Willis Hart: you gave me no evidence that Bush KNEW that there weren't weapons of mass destruction and then lied to the American public... No testimony. No paper trail. Zero. (7/10/2012 AT 7:00pm).

But there MOST CERTAINLY IS a paper trail. And the George W bush most certainly lied.

First, the lie...

In remarks preceding the invasion by one day (6/21/2003), the former president said, "our cause is just, the security of the nations we serve and the peace of the world. And our mission is clear, to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people". (Wikipedia page: Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, footnote #93).

And now the proof/paper trail that proves bush was lying...

The invasion of Iraq was ordered by ex-preznit bush on 3/20/2003 AFTER the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, told the Security Council (on 3/7/2003) via written report that the "UN inspections in Iraq worked".

Mr. ElBaradei's team conducted 247 inspections at 147 sites and found "no evidence of resumed nuclear activities... nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any related sites". The IAEA report went on to say that "Iraq had not imported uranium since 1990... no longer had a centrifuge program, [and that] Iraq's nuclear capabilities had been effectively dismantled by 1997". (Excerpt from a 5/23/2013 SWTD post titled "Intellectual Honesty Concerning ex-President bush's WMD Lies").

The IAEA told bush via written report (PAPER TRAIL) that there was no WMD. Yet Willis defended the ex-preznit on this matter. While sticking his fingers in his ears and humming (figuratively) so he was didn't have to hear about any proof of bush lying. At one point he even said he was convinced that "Saddam had to go". Spinning? In my opinion... absolutely.

But now (apparently) the hypocrite has changed his mind? The following excerpt from a Willis post seems to suggest he has. In this instance he blogs about the Zimmermann Telegram.

Willis Hart: ...the fact that the American people bought this shit (a la the Maine, a la the Gulf of Tonkin, a la WMD, etc.)... (7/26/2014 AT 4:00pm).

Here Willis argues that the Zimmermann Telegram (a 1917 diplomatic proposal from Germany for Mexico to join the Central Powers, in the event of the United States entering World War I on the side of the Entente Powers) was used by president Woodrow Wilson as a rationale for US involvement in WWI. Willis says this is a lie comparrable to The Maine, the Gulf of Tonkin and... wait for it... the LIE by bush concerning WMD that Iraq did not have!

Although, I should note that Willis does not call the idea that Mexico might go to war with us a "lie", he calls the telegram a "rationale". Indeed, the telegram was published and the public was angered, but Wilson did not suggest Mexico was going to attack us. The fact is that (in 1917) "as a direct consequence of the Zimmermann telegram" we recognized the government of Venustiano Carranza (who came to power via a 1914 revolution) "in order to ensure Mexican Neutrality in WWI".

Is publishing a telegram and then using public outrage to get us involved in WWI a "lie"? Surely not a deception on the same level as the other (actual) lies Willis mentions. Although I don't know if the situation with the Maine qualifies either. Seems to me to be another case where confusion about what happened was used by some to get the American public to accept war.

Of the bunch I would say that bush's declaration that we were invading to "disarm" Saddam is the CLEAREST cut example of a president outright and bold-faced lying. And with the commentary I quote above, Willis is (ostensibly) acknowledging the fact that bush did lie. If so, then I say Willis owes me an apology. Or at least an acknowledgment that he's retracting his previous statements like the one I quoted above regarding there being "no evidence that Bush KNEW that there weren't weapons of mass destruction and then lied to the American public".

As well as other statements that are now at odds with his (apparent) new stance regarding bush lying about WMD. Statements like the following from 5/6/2012...

Willis Hart: And I don't even really dislike the guy [George W. bush]. I just wish that he had listened more to Powell and less to fellows like Wolfowitz and Perle. And in terms of his motivation, I don't know, I'm not a mind-reader like wd. In Thomas Ricks's book, "Fiasco" (which wasn't exactly a flattering read for Mr. Bush), he states that the regime change advocates were actually LOSING the debate early on and that it wasn't until 9/11 that guys like Perle and Wolfowitz finally started getting some traction. If you were to force me to give an opinion on this, I would say that the decision to invade Iraq was probably more a function of group-think (I believe that this was Scott McClellan's assessment in his book, too) than it was the result of some sinister, diabolical cabal. I'm sure, though, that wd would disagree. (Link).

As well as this one from 8/1/2012...

Willis Hart: There was at least SOME ambiguity regarding WMD. (Link).

If Willis is retracting these earlier statements - then I think he needs to own up and show some intellectual honesty. Admit he was wrong instead of trying to paper over his past incorrectness by falsely painting himself as "consistent", which is something he PRIDES himself on... his SUPPOSED "consistency". I mean, back when I was making my case that bush lied (on Willis' blog - before he banned me) Willis responded by saying it was "almost as if he's got some sort of sick pathology about Bush".

I had a "sick pathology" in regards to the ex-preznit because I - well before Willis did - acknowledged the truth about bush's lying about WMD to scare the public into accepting an unnecessary war? F*ck you Willis. And f*uck you again for continuing to lie about my positions on these matters. I do not CLAIM to be "against war, war crimes, and empire" but "constantly spin" when "my fellow" is the guilty one. I'm against these things, PERIOD. No matter what party the president belongs to.

LBJ lied and kept us in, and escalated Vietnam, costing many American lives in a pointless war. bush lied about WMD and many innocent Iraqis were killed, many American soldiers were killed and maimed, and trillions of dollars were wasted (much of which went into the pockets of bush cronies. A fact I have YET to see Willis acknowledge!).

So, while it is good that Willis is now acknowledging the fact that bush lied about WMD - that he presents himself as "consistent" on this matter is utter BULLSHIT. And that he lies about my positions (to distract his readers from his inconsistencies on this topic?) is deplorable. And, so long as this lying about yours truly is celebrated on the blog of the lying Willis, I will NOT cease irritating him (downgraded from harassing him, I guess). So long as I notice Willis lying about me - and encouraging others to lie - the irritating will continue.

As for how long we might have to wait before it is know that bush lied us into Iraq? We knew the minute the falsehood about why he was invading Iraq escaped his lips. Although, for some of us, the getting to the point where the truth could be accepted took a little longer. And, it is, of course, not AT ALL widely accepted that bush intentionally deceived.

50 years before the truth concerning bush's WMD untruths are established fact? Perhaps. I suppose we have to wait for him to die first. Accepting uncomfortable truths seems to be easier if the truth to be accepted concerns someone who is no longer with us.

Video #1 Description: A clip from the documentary The Fog of War by Errol Morris. In this YouTube video Robert McNamara says "It was just confusion. And events afterward showed that our judgement that we had been attacked that day was wrong. It didn't happen". (3:33).

Video #2 Description: Official trailer from Errol Morris film The Unknown Known, a documentary focusing on Iraq war liar Donald Rumsfeld... bush's McNamara? (2:56).

SWTD #267. See also SWTD #154.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Straight from The Warped, Psychotic, Brain-diseased, & Idiotic Mind of A Lunatic Libertarian Douchebag

The Bowles-Simpson proposal has become a kind of short-hand in Washington for what a balanced, bipartisan deficit-reduction deal could look like. When given a closer look, the plan is anything but balanced. Bowles-Simpson is touted by inside-the-Beltway pundits who think that cutting benefits for seniors who have an average income of $22,000 a year is the type of "hard choice" we need to be making. We should not and need not reduce the deficit on the backs of seniors and others who survive on a low income ~ Jan Schakowsky (dob 5/26/1944) the Democrat representing Illinois's 9th congressional district, serving since 1999. The Congresswoman was a member of the 2010 National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (AKA Bowles-Simpson Comission). The Rep voted against the commission's final proposal.

Refuting lies about me in regards to past comments ("old bones" some might say) on another blog are why I have decided to author this commentary. Lies from the blog "Contra O'Reilly" put forward by one Willis Hart in a blog post of his from 7/12/2014.

Willis Hart: "On the Assertion that Bowles-Simpson is a Conservative Plan"... Only in the warped, psychotic, brain-diseased, and idiotic mind of a lunatic leftist douchebag would anything even remotely along these lines even be considered. The fact of the matter here is that the ratio of spending cuts to tax increases in Bowles-Simpson is only about 1.4 to 1, and the only reason that it's even this high is because of interest apparently having been included. Compare this to the ratios of the ACTUAL conservative debt consolidation packages which have consistently put forth a cuts to revenue ratio of approximately 5 or 6 to 1... or even to that deal which Obama almost had with Boehner which was pretty damned close to 4 to 1 and, if anything, Bowles-Simpson is probably a little bit to the left of center. Of course, if you yourself are so brazenly to the left that you actually consider people like Bernie Sanders, Van Jones, Francis Boyle, and Bill Ayers as mainstreamers, and even go as far as to quote Joseph Stalin, you're probably going to think that pretty much anything is "conservative", I would think. (7/12/2014 AT 12:32pm).

Yet another post from this doofus in which he, for some strange reason, makes it out to be that I alone in the entire world hold a position that is so incredibly ridiculous that all those negative adjectives are necessary. And he lies about people I view as "mainstream", none of which I really view as "mainstream".

I like Bernie Sanders, and I like Van Jones. Senator Sanders describes himself as a socialist. His voters seem to like him, although I will absolutely admit that Senator Sanders is to the Left of mainstream... although Bernie Sanders is the founder of the House Progressive Caucus, which is the largest Congressional Congress. Isn't being the largest a hallmark of being mainstream?

Van Jones I would describe as a Progressive that fights for the Middle Class. The Middle Class isn't "mainstream"? But he may be a little to the Left as well when compared to the Democratic Party at large, which I would describe as skewing Conservative. Bill Clinton described himself as a New Democrat, which means he considered himself a Democrat who was "economically neoliberal".

New Democrats claim to be "an ideologically centrist faction within the Democratic Party" but their adoption of neoliberal policies also advocated for by the Right makes New Democrats CONSERVATIVE Democrats.

New Democrats were more open to deregulation than the previous Democratic leadership had been. This was especially evident in the large scale deregulation of agriculture and the telecommunications industries. The New Democrats... were responsible for the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). (Source: Wikipedia/New Democrats/Bill Clinton as a New Democrat).

Also, under the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) the Democrats began (more) aggressively pandering to the business community (which the deregualting and free trading advocating was a part of) in order to secure more campaign cash (bribes). DLC/New Democrats viewed their past losses (losses that sent Reagan and Bush Sr) to the White House as being related to Republican campaigns being better funded. Better funded because GOP candidates had greater greater access to the Conservative Business (plutocrat) money pool.

The "New Democrat" movement was a response to this funding issue. Incorporate Conservative ideas in order to get Conservative business money. New Democrats are Conservative Democrats.

The Blue Dog Coalition "is a caucus of United States Congressional Representatives from the Democratic Party who identify themselves as moderates and conservatives". This caucus was formed in 1994 during the presidency of Bill Clinton. Wikipedia notes that "the term Blue Dog Democrat is credited to Texas Democratic Rep. Pete Geren... who later joined the Bush Administration.

Our current president, the fellow who appointed Bowles and Simpson to co-chair the so-called "bipartisan" commission tasked to produce debt reduction legislation, is a self described Blue Dog. Erskine Bowles is a Conservative Democrat [1] who served as Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff. Alan Simpson, a former Republican Congressman who "George H.W. Bush reportedly considered Simpson for the vice presidency in 1988".

So what we have in this "debt reduction" comission is Conservative Democrats partnering with Republicans. And, if that is not enough information to know for a fact that ANY "compromise" that MIGHT have come out of the commission would most certainly skew to the Right, there is also the fact that reducing the government's debt in response to a poorly performing economy (AKA austerity) is an ENTIRELY Conservative idea.

Keynesian economics - the economic theory subscribed to by TRUE Leftists and Left of Center Democrats - "is the view that in the short run, especially during recessions, economic output is strongly influenced by aggregate demand (total spending in the economy)". Talking debt reduction (austerity) in response to an economic downturn is a wholly Conservative concept.

Heck, the NAME of the comission was the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. "Fiscal responsibility" is code for "austerity". The idea that austerity is the answer to economic downturns is in complete opposition to the theory behind Keynesiansim.

As such, NO debt reduction (i.e. austerity) plan coming from such a commission could in any way NOT be Conservative! Now, if the Democrats had proposed a commission in which cutting waste and improving efficiency were components - but which focused on Keynesian stimulus and job creation ideas - THAT would be a plan truly befitting Democratic economic ideals.

But a plan of action that immediately concedes that the very ideals the Democratic Party is built upon are wrong and capitulates that the Republican austerity is the way to address an economic downturn? Such a plan is CONSERVATIVE from the get-go. It does not matter if "the ratio of spending cuts to tax increases in Bowles-Simpson is only about 1.4 to 1".

And there is also the fact that the spending cuts included items that would actually hurt our economy like using the (bogus) chained-CPI to take money out of the pockets of Seniors (and other Social Security recipients). Non-conservatives view the chained-CPI as a non-starter.

The Nation: [Bowles-Simpson and the White House] depicted [the chained CPI] as a "more accurate" formula that "will reduce deficits and improve Social Security solvency". ...but there’s no debating these simple points: Chained-CPI is both a benefit cut and a tax increase. (Top 5 Myths About Chained-CPI, Debunked by George Zornick, 4/11/2013).

In addition to the chained CPI, Bowles-Simpson wanted to "increase the early and normal retirement age to 68 by 2050 and 69 by 2075". But the problem with all these Social Security cuts is that the money in the Social Security Trust Fund has nothing to do with our national debt!

Truthout: [The Social Security trust fund is invested in Treasury Securities amounting to] $2.7 trillion... [This] came about not because entitlements are out of control and the government has been forced to borrow to meet retiree benefits, but rather because future retirees have paid more taxes than necessary to meet benefit obligations. Workers have essentially been prepaying into the Trust Fund in order to provide for their future benefits.

So it makes no sense to try to solve the supposed problem of too much government debt by cutting benefits for current and future Social Security recipients. (The $17 Trillion Delusion: The Absurdity of Cutting Social Security to Reduce the Debt by Marty Wolfson, 1/11/2014).

So, not only is the Chained-CPI a non-starter; ANY cut Social Security benefit cut is a non-starter (this includes raising the retirement age, which also is a cut). The ABSURD idea of cutting SS benefits to "reduce the debt" is CONSERVATIVE in nature.

Other "reforms" that would take money out of the pockets of ordinary Americans included cuts to all other "inflation-indexed programs... [such as] the military and civil service retirement system". Still other "reforms" included cuts to student loan programs and cuts that would increase out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries. All which would be cuts in opposition to the theory of Keynesianism which says cutting (austerity) makes economic downturns WORSE, not better.

So, again, it DOES NOT MATTER that "the ratio of spending cuts to tax increases in Bowles-Simpson is only about 1.4 to 1" because it is a CONSERVATIVE idea that austerity is economically beneficial!

Now, I'm not saying that Bowles-Simpson had nothing positive in it at all. There were actually some proposals Democrats could get behind in the Debt Reduction plan (such as (reforming farm subsidies), but it absolutely did skew Conservative (for the reasons I just outlined).

Now, here I should note that Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky released an alternate proposal that actually did provide for balanced deficit reduction. A proposal that did not place so much of the deficit reduction burden on seniors, the middle class, and low-income families.

Rep. Schakowsky's plan proposes increased investment in jobs, infrastructure, education, and research and development to strengthen the economy and generate growth. The plan also calls for the protection of Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare while proposing additional steps to bring down the cost of health care overall. The plan would raise the top tax rates on the wealthy and end tax subsidies for big oil and highly-profitable corporations that ship jobs and profits overseas. It would eliminate wasteful military spending and focus on modern threats. The plan proposes additional revenue opportunities to strengthen Social Security and achieve long-term solvency without cutting benefits. (Source: 9/12/2012 Press Release as posted to the Congresswoman's website)

The Schakowsky plan is considerably closer to what I was previously talking about a plan that included cutting waste and improving efficiency, but which focused on Keynesian stimulus and job creation ideas. The Schakowsky plan IS the Progressive answer to the CONSERVATIVE Bowles-Simpson proposal.

And, if I am "so brazenly to the Left" as Willis asserts, then so too must Jan Schakowsky, as well as other critics of Bowles-Simpson, including Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, who "criticized the deficit report for omitting a tax on the financial industry, as was recommended by the International Monetary Fund" and Paul Krugman, who wrote that "Simpson-Bowles... raises the Social Security retirement age because life expectancy has risen completely ignoring the fact that life expectancy has only gone up for the well-off and well-educated, while stagnating or even declining among the people who need the program most".

Lastly, I have to wonder why the hell names like Francis Boyle and Bill Ayers are added to the mix of people he THINKS I view as "mainstream". They aren't. And I've actually spoken against the views/actions of both of these individuals. Not that it matters, I suppose, as in the minds of the idiots who post/comment on the "Contra O'Reilly" blog disagreement by me somehow becomes agreement.

Hence the reference by Willis to me quoting Joseph Stalin, which he thinks I did to "butress my opinion"... a claim that is complete bullpucky. That I quoted Stalin (which I did) to "buttress my opinion" (I did not) was something Willis imagined happened.

And in regards to imagining things, commenter Dennis Marks added canards concerning me defending "Noam Chomsky's pro-Khmer Rouge views [and] Mao worshipper Van Jones [by equating] Maoism to ending police brutality".

The truth is these are both vile lies (although quite typical for the scumbag Marks). *If* Noam Chomsky HAD "pro-Khmer Rouge" views I would NOT defend them. And *if* Van Jones was a "Mao worshipper" I would not defend that either. Both assertions are false, however [2][3]. Also, Maoism has nothing to do with ending police brutality. Van Jones belonged to a group that read the writings of Mao AND advocated against police brutality. But these were two separate things. The advocating against police brutality did not come from the reading of literature by Mao (there is/was no linkage).

In any case, Mr. Jones has changed his mind in regards "world-views and philosophies" that he experimented with in his youth. Van Jones now firmly believes our regulated market system is the best way to achieve desired reforms that will allow the middle class and working poor to prosper.

    Footnotes & Supporting Articles
  1. "Like a lot of technocrats, Bowles is a conservative Democrat who has struggled to find a niche in elective politics". Source: Keep Erskine Bowles Away from Treasury By Timothy Noah, The New Republic 11/8/2012.
  2. The boring truth about Chomsky: he does not support Pol Pot by Michael Brull, The Drum 7/5/2011.
  3. Severe Conservative Delusions: Van Jones Maoist Edition, SWTD #144 5/6/2013

SWTD #266. See also SWTD #105 and TADM #50.