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. 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? Bizarre indeed.

More Questionable "Facts" from The 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 regarding 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 not 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 (speaking to racists using racist language), 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 they 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 dependent 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).

[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, wDel #71. 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 found the food to be disappointingly 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 injuries. 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 egregious and only magic could save her, Alba passed from the mortal realm. Olaf was thankful the lady warrior did not suffer for long, 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. "Oops, 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 (for "calling out antisemitism"). 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 antiSemitism, 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 to Octopus' friend Dennis? No, wait... first the question has to be asked - does alerting Octopus to the fact 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 have and are brought up continually 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 antiSemitic 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 antiSemitic comment after I linked to it in TADM #37. See here for a screengrab.

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 antiSemitic. 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 antiSemitic 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 and TADM #61 for expanded commentaries on the subject of Dennis' problem with antiSemitism. 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 #21. See also TADM #61