Passing away and a sign of the times


Media personality Andrew Breitbart gives a spe...

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This post is not just about the death of Andrew Breitbart but it begins there.  No matter how he might be described someone will always take exception to what is written about him, such is the polarization that has taken place in 21st century America.  Rather this post is about just that polarity and how it has descended into an abyss that’s liable to destroy this country aided by those other foreign or enemies.

Breitbart made a name for himself touting Republican conservative causes in a way that has become typical of today’s GOP; mean spirited, slanderous, character assassination, guttural proclamations that neither reveal nor make clear but rather obfuscate and exacerbate.  He joined the chorus of those who want to pit one group of Americans against another for a political gain that benefited special interests but not the entire American fabric.  He took great delight in today’s in-your-face style of political confrontation when he was the one who confronted, but not very happy with that style of discourse when he was confronted.

When I heard of his passing, I thought about all these characteristics that made the man and despite them still could not take pleasure or “gloat” as it were in his death.  I reserve that only for those who commit atrocities on the order of mass murder live long lives and publicly relish their desecration of humanity until the second they die.  As far as I know Breitbart, albeit a grandstanding demagogue,  didn’t fit that mold so he escaped my condemnation, and I tweeted as much upon hearing the news of his death.

Juan Cole’s, Informed Comment, a suitable title for this particular story on Breitbart put things in perspective here where he neither deifies nor vilifies Breitbart but does accurately describe what it is he did in his relatively short life on the public stage.  I knew those things about him, that he was a con man a huckster, a liar and a cheat, but didn’t want to speak ill of him.  It is an American tradition not to speak badly about those who are dead.  One blogger, The Erstwhile Conservative  that I read regularly remarked he didn’t want to ‘become what it is he doesn’t like’,  and I understand that sentiment and agree.  However, I was smacked back down to reality when I read this article that Cole linked to in his post above where Breitbart remarked upon the death of Ted Kennedy that Kennedy was a villain, a duplicitous bastard, a prick mixed with other choice words for the Senator.  So much for speaking ill about the dead; such language was the trademark of Breitbart, it marked his tenor and in fact the modus operandi of people from the “Right”.

There is a ray of hope however in the news of Breitbart’s death and that comes from one of his victims, Shirley Sherrod, who was falsely maligned by Breitbart, the Obama Administration and many in America because of our habit of  pitting one group of people against another…..black vs. white, Jew vs. Gentile (and particularly Muslim Gentile), male vs female.  Sherrod, an African-American Department of Agriculture employee was featured in a video segment highlighted by Breitbart and  portrayed as a insensitive government bureaucrat who refused to do her job and help a white farmer.  The problem was that perception fueled by Breitbart’s edited video wasn’t even close to reality but it was only after Sherrod had been fired from her job and her reputation  in the national community maliciously sullied that the truth was known.  In today’s America, we shoot first and ask questions later, or we ‘kill them all and let God sort it out’…..we cliche ourselves into oblivion and in the process ruin lives of noble, decent people like Sherrod.  It was this victim of the deceased Breitbart’s way of doing things that restored my faith in humanity with two simple sentences about his death

The news of Mr. Breitbart’s death came as a surprise to me when I was informed of it this morning. My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart’s family as they cope during this very difficult time.

Maybe it’s me, but that seems, coming from a real victim to be almost Christ like….Christian.  Sure, many have said the same thing, but very few if any of them were at the receiving end of Breitbart’s spear in the gut, his malicious assassination (character) that happened to Sherrod, yet while in the throes of her torment (she’s still pursuing a law suit against Breitbart) she was able to make a plea on behalf of his family and NOT speak ill of the dead father/husband/son.  That’s the American spirit we are sorely missing in today’s discourse.  Notice who’s leading the way in bringing it back America………..

 

The Insanity Defense-America has lost its mind


It’s not often I read something that strikes such a chord in me  than articles such as this but it’s spot on in describing the sickness that has infected the body politic of today’s America.  How else can you account for a Time Magazine cover story that details militias arming themselves to fight their nation that’s at war…something that would be unheard of during the time the nation spent at war under a Bush presidency.  Steven Thrasher calls the nation out however and says such seditious talk is possible today because of who is president, and the business about government spending as the reason for the Right’s new found opposition to big government is baloney as well for voices of protest were mute while Bush spent the government into the biggest recession since the Great Depression

About 12:01 on the afternoon of January 20, 2009, the white American mind began to unravel…..

As with other forms of dementia, the signs weren’t obvious at first. After the 2008 election, when former House majority leader Tom DeLay suggested that instead of a formal inauguration, Barack Obama should “have a nice little chicken dinner, and we’ll save the $125 million,” black folks didn’t miss the implication. References to chicken, particularly of the fried variety, have long served as a kind of code when white folks referred to black people and their gustatory preferences—and weren’t many of us already accustomed to older white politicians making such gaffes? But who among us sensed that it was a harbinger that an entire nation was plunging into madness?

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now was a nonprofit that organized voter drives and worked for improved wages and housing for poor, mostly non-white Americans. And because of who they organized, they became public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of certain people not so thrilled with black folks registering to vote in large numbers.

Obama had once defended ACORN in a voting-rights case (as co-counsel alongside the Justice Department and the League of Women Voters). An ACORN offshoot was one of many Get-Out-the-Vote enterprises employed by his primary (but not general) campaign. The group’s members did the same kind of community organizing that Obama had done as a young man. But throughout the 2008 election season, there was a concerted campaign to whip up hysteria about ACORN, and by November 2009, Public Policy Polling found that more than a quarter of Americans (and an outright majority of Republican voters) believed that ACORN had stolen the election for Obama.

This was, of course, after the classic bit of Nixonian “rat-fucking” pulled off by a prankster named James O’Keefe.

O’Keefe, a veteran at creating videos to make blacks look greedy and stupid (look for “Taxpayers Clearing House” on YouTube), spent the summer driving around the country with his accomplice, Hannah Giles, making videos in ACORN offices asking for advice about avoiding tax troubles with prostitution money. You’ve no doubt seen the images of O’Keefe dressed as a ’70s pimp. But O’Keefe had carefully edited his tapes and left out, for example, that he was decked out in college preppie clothes, not pimp-wear. At least one ACORN office threw him out, and at least two knowingly played along with his ruse. (The San Diego office called the cops after he left, and the Philadelphia office filed a police report.) The upshot was that after his edited tapes became public, Congress quickly voted to strip ACORN of all federal funds. The organization effectively went out of business before the bill could take effect or be thrown out in court.

O’Keefe has maintained he was “absolutely independent” in his project. But in September 2009, the Voice reported that he’d been funded by billionaire conservative Peter Thiel and the Leadership Institute, the same outfit that funded young Grover Norquist and Karl Rove. That revelation fell on deaf ears, however, and to this day, media outlets perpetuate O’Keefe’s claim that he was operating without backing.

O’Keefe got further help when his tapes were pushed by BigGovernment.com, which is run by an underhanded blowhard named Andrew Breitbart.

Months later, O’Keefe was arrested by the FBI in a bizarre prank at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office, in which he was either attempting to plant a wiretap or, in his explanation on Breitbart’s website, just trying to find out whether her phone system worked to help her constituents reach her. (Yeah, that was a good one.)

This summer, Breitbart picked out another black target with another selectively edited video, this one of a USDA employee named Shirley Sherrod. His editing so mischaracterized Sherrod’s words and intent that the fallout, in the words of Frank Rich, “could not only smear an innocent woman but make every national institution that touched the story look bad. . . . The White House, the NAACP and the news media were all soiled by this episode.”

But, hey, politics is hardball, right? We’ve had rat-fuckers like Breitbart and O’Keefe around forever (the founding fathers were certainly not immune to dirty tricks in their day). What’s different this time, however, is just how easily the lies and distortions of the rat-fuckers are being soaked up by the damaged crania of this country’s drooling white masses. What sort of senility is softening up the frontal lobes of America’s palefaces that they can’t see through the black-hatred of a wanker like Breitbart?

Out West, meanwhile, as home prices dropped faster than a burst piñata, an easy scapegoat was found: Mexicans. Long the scourge of aging white folks, who don’t seem to understand the economics behind their cheap groceries, immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, and other sweltering southern destinations became enemies of the American Dream.

Suddenly, it was open season on brown-skinned fruit pickers and seamstresses. Arizona passed S.B.1070—a law that would force its residents to carry identity papers with them at all times. Jurisdictions around the nation are salivating to copy suit.

Back East, meanwhile, we have our own brown-skinned devil: the Muslim. When an imam who had done diplomatic work for the Bush administration put together plans to build the Muslim version of a Jewish Community Center a few blocks from Ground Zero (but farther away than an off-track betting joint, a strip club, and the very financial institutions that had detonated the economy), white people freaked out.

At Landmarks Preservation Commission meetings, white housewives from Staten Island suddenly took a great interest in preserving mid-19th-century cast-iron façades and the architecture of Daniel Badger—all to try to keep New Yorkers from taking swimming lessons in the same building where Muslims would have a place to pray. They argued that Muslims could never understand the impact of 9/11 (even though more than 20 Muslims were killed that day) and could never understand the concept of Ground Zero being holy ground (as if a building that would contain prayer services was somehow less holy than an outlet for betting on horses or stuffing dollar bills into G-strings).

But by now, those sorts of distinctions are nearly impossible to make for a white mind so cluttered by decay. Race was always a tough one for white people to deal with, but now the backflips some people are doing over it requires a scorecard.

There may be no better example than Laura Schlessinger and the great white outpouring of support following the bizarre flameout of her radio show.

It all started with the most incomprehensible of happenings: that a black woman would, out of all reason, call the Dr. Laura show seeking advice.

The sister called Schlessinger to ask how to handle her white husband’s white friends, who sometimes say racist things that she’s uncomfortable with, including using “the N-word.”

Schlessinger almost immediately went to, “A lot of blacks voted for Obama simply ’cause he was half-black.”

She told the caller not to “NAACP” her by taking her out of context.

She said “nigger” is fine to say because “black guys use it all the time.”

She then wrote the caller off as having a “chip on [her] shoulder” and declared, “We’ve got a black man as president, and we have more complaining about racism than ever.”

She told the caller that if “you’re that hypersensitive about color and don’t have a sense of humor” (i.e., you even question that your husband’s white friends say “nigger” to you in your house), “don’t marry out of your race.”

The caller, Schlessinger thought, was suffering from “hypersensitivity—which is being bred by black activists.” Her discomfort with the word “nigger,” Schlessinger said, was just another “attempt to demonize whites hating blacks.”

The reaction from white America, who clearly had not remembered to take their thorazine that morning, was overwhelming: Who, if not Laura Schlessinger, should say “nigger” with impunity?

Schlessinger announced on Larry King Live, however, that in order to “regain” her First Amendment rights of free speech, she would be canceling her show.

Constitutional experts are still trying to parse that one.

Sarah Palin then rushed to Schlessinger’s, side, Tweeting in her inimitable style, “Don’t retreat . . . reload!” Palin, we can only assume, wanted Schlessinger to utter “nigger” as often as she wanted.

Perhaps the two of them, having both quit their jobs, can get together and put on a road show, opening with “Zip Coon” and finishing with a rousing rendition of “Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny”?

On February 19, 2009, not a month into Obama’s presidency, Rick Santelli—a former hedge-fund manager—had a meltdown on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange while broadcasting for CNBC. Santelli was incensed not that the government was bailing out the multimillionaires who had run giant financial institutions, but that assistance would also be going to help out ordinary people who found themselves defaulting on their home mortgages. Calling such folks “losers,” he said, “How many of you want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?”

He then added that he was not only mad as hell, but wanted to do something about it: “We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing.”

Suddenly, other angry (and obviously very confused) white people began organizing their own “tea parties” and, from the start, had to defend themselves from charges that there was more than a little racial component to their movement.

Few were really surprised, for example, when Tea Party Express President Mark Williams turned out to have penned a letter that could have been written in the worst decades of Jim Crow: “We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!”

And it turns out that the “grassroots” modern tea party effort has been largely funded by the Koch brothers, reactionaries whose combined oil wealth places them just behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffet as America’s wealthiest men. The brothers have given some $100 million toward the Tea Party’s astroturf call to arms.

“This right-wing, redneck stuff works for them,” a former Koch associate told The New Yorker. “They see this as a way to get things done without getting dirty themselves.” And in primaries across America this year, the Kochs have gotten one hell of a return on their investment. After decades of pouring money into think-tanks, the billionaire brothers now have an ally no institute fellow could ever match: a scared, angry white mob that votes.

And what a mob. White folks used to shy away from candidates who e-mailed pictures of a woman being fucked by a horse, didn’t they? Can you just see the scene down at the Republican Party headquarters: “Well, except for sending out those e-mails of horse-fucking, other e-mails of nigger jokes, and also fathering a love child, this guy Carl Paladino is just our kind of guy!”

Finding Rick Lazio not crazy enough, white New Yorkers nominated Paladino for governor by a margin of almost two to one.

Sure, Lazio had made an effort. He’d gone after the “Ground Zero Mosque” like a good race-baiter, but he just isn’t in Paladino’s mouth-frothing league. “Crazy Carl” is threatening to take a baseball bat to Albany (and our Tom Robbins explained last week how Carl’s looney ravings are an empty act).

Now, try, if your cortex is not too far gone, to reel things back a couple of years. Imagine, if you can, Barack Obama surging in polls in 2008 if it were known he’d sent out e-mails of a white woman getting it from a horse, revealed that he had a 10-year-old love child, and was threatening to take a baseball bat to federal employees. It’s really impossible to conjure up, isn’t it?

That—right there, more than anything—demonstrates just how much the white brain has become Swiss cheese in the last couple of trips around the sun.

A close second place: the really crazy white shit happening down in Delaware, a state that never really caused much trouble (except for unleashing Joe Biden on us) until it nominated one-time witch Christine O’Donnell, who is so batshit crazy she makes Sarah Palin sound perfectly reasonable.

By now, just about everyone has seen the precious moment in MTV’s 1996 Sex in the ’90s when O’Donnell made this monumental discovery about masturbation: “If he already knows what pleases him and he can please himself, then why am I in the picture?” Fourteen years later, it doesn’t really seem to be dawning on the still-unmarried O’Donnell that she’s not “in the picture” and might never be. But that, apparently, isn’t going to stop her waging war against the sex lives of everyone else.

Again, only white lunacy explains it: Neither O’Donnell nor Paladino is a fringe candidate. O’Donnell has a difficult, but not impossible, chance to become a U.S. Senator. Paladino may yet become New York’s next governor. (He’s already polling ahead of Andrew Cuomo among likely male voters, who are generally white and clearly stark raving mad.)

Is there any hope? Can the white mind be cured? And what—other than a massive lobotomy—can salvage it? It’s hard to imagine a cure when, at this point, the patient doesn’t seem to realize that he’s sick. Rush Limbaugh, for example, has declared that it’s black Americans who have a problem. The “black frame of mind is terrible” because of unemployment, and, equally important, because of “Tiger Woods’s choice of females,” he has said. What was that about a pot and a kettle?

There is no race problem in America!


…..’and the cow jumped over the moon…the little dog laughed to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon’, such is the fantasy land we live in here in America. That there are people who still believe there is no race problem in America, after years of Arab bashing and Islamophobia that has seen images of a female, Jewish Supreme Court nominee, dressed in Muslim garb, or torture imposed solely on people of Arab/Muslim decent, stereotypical images of a black US president dressed in scanty clothes with bones through his nose, and on and on, then the nursery rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle is completely within the realm of possibility.

In just a few short weeks we’ve had people fired because they expressed respect for a dead Muslim, the MSM pick up and run with the false story (more here)  of the Obama Administration’s racism and fear of prosecuting the New Black Panther Party, and that same Administration react to the story by firing a black government employee because it was erroneously alleged she didn’t want to help a white farmer.  We could dredge up more examples of how race and the fear and distortions surrounding it are the impetus for politicizing a segment of the population.

The Lebanese Muslim cleric who received condolences from so many riled the “establishment” we’ve already covered.  We simply as a country cannot express any respect for Muslims, they are only to be defiled and defamed  like so many other races and ethnic groups that grace American soil and have gone on to contribute just as much to its fertility as any other.

FoxNews ran with a story about how the Obama Administration didn’t want to prosecute a black nationalist group, hoping one would draw the conclusion, because Obama himself along with his Attorney General is black they are not fit to run or govern the country because of their obvious prejudices.  Preying again on peoples’ fears and prejudices, the people who carry these stories hope you won’t immerse yourself in the details which as the links above points out, proves the story is just that, a story with no truth to it. It does serve the purpose of imposing doubt and suspicion of people against one another, the typical tactic of people whose motives and interests have nothing at all to do with the Nation’s interest or security.  But because this is America, it sells!

Obama didn’t help himself any when he had fired a woman after a 2:36 tape tape surfaced of her remarks  courtesy of right wing political hack Andrew Breitbart which supposedly showed her making disparaging and even racist comments about her job duties to a white farmer client of hers.  It didn’t matter to Breitbart, Obama, the NAACP or the other news media outlets that the tape was edited from a 43:15 tape where Shirley Sherrod pointed out she came to the realization it was her duty to help poor people no matter their color.  Equally unimportant so it seems, to race baiters and those easily intimidated by  them were the words of the white farmer who said Sherrod was helpful and is not a racist, nor did they feel this way during their interaction with her.   What matters to people who use race as the standard for conduct in society is  an entire  group  must pay for personal offenses!  We too quickly believe the lies, because like the previous examples mentioned above, we have been bred to, led to, raised to indeed are expected to believe; all Muslims/Arabs are terrorists, that a black President and Attorney General want to rule by the street and gangs of marauding New Black Panther Party members or even impose Islamic law, that people who talk of redemption and social cohesion are a threat to the moral fabric of this country and should not be allowed exposure to the rest of us.  We are a  nation made up of racists,  and the sooner we come to grips with that, ALL of us, the sooner we will be able to fix it, for without acknowledgment that we are sick, we are far less likely to seek a cure.  That has been the call for as long as I’ve been alive and it seems we are no closer to realizing it now than we were before.