RSSCategory: hypocrisy

Chinks III

May 17, 2011 | By | Reply More
Chinks III

Since writing Chinks II, I’ve felt uneasy about calling the Vietnamese workers in that nail salon ‘racists’. It’s true that they pigeonholed an African-American patron as a lazy welfare recipient who was unwilling to get a job. They seemed to take pleasure in voicing all the hurtful stereotypes that could be applied to a total stranger. I found their behavior cruel, terrifying and ironic.

The barb at the heart of Chinks II was minority on minority hate. Yet I described their hate speech as “tittering… nonsensical verbal massaging.” Even if the taunting was meant to be indecipherable, wasn’t I being a bigot myself by writing about it this way?

I can’t think of more alternatives to the pronoun “them.” That’s probably because I don’t know much about the Vietnamese women who taunted a black woman that day. (Here again, I resort to the roughest of rough sketches: “that black lady”). I don’t know their names. I don’t know where they live, although it’s probably not far from my own neighborhood. They are caricatures precisely because I have so few details with which to draw my group character sketch. And what would my cartoon self-portrait look like?

Qipao1

On the day of Chinks II, I was the most socially normative minority in the room. Being light-skinned, speaking with an American accent, growing up in a solidly middle-class household and earning a professional degree all help me to appear more “white” and inviolable. Who knows? It could have been my blessed-in-every-way-second-generation-Chinese-American presence that precipitated the verbal attack that I describe so vehemently. It’s not that I think I am the center of every story; though this story – all the Chinks stories – are about me and my perception of race. Chinks II simply exemplifies the pervasive, insidious, contagious nature of bigotry. This is a barb that hasn’t stopped pricking.

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The “free market” is as free as a bee

May 2, 2011 | By | 6 Replies More
The “free market” is as free as a bee

Bees look free. They seem to dance capriciously from flower to flower. No one seems to be telling each bee what to do. Anyone who has carefully studied bees, however, knows that they are not “free.” The health and welfare of bees and their hives are highly sensitive to a great many factors. Here are a few:

A) Excesses and deficits in rainfall and temperature;
B) The survival and location of plants from which bees gather nectar;
C) The prevalence of parasites and viruses;
D) The existence of rival hives and predators;
E) Human encroachment, including pesticides and destruction of habitat;

Whether bees thrive is subject to these and many other factors. If any of these factors is changed, the bees will be affected. “Free as a bee,” is an expression I have heard from time to time, but it turns out that bees are not actually very “free.” Hard-working bees and hives are often killed for factors beyond their control.

[more . . . ]

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Cutting the debt and war-mongering

April 21, 2011 | By | Reply More
Cutting the debt and war-mongering

I figure I should just put up a banner ad urging all DI readers to go read Glenn Greenwald every day. He is that good at identifying important issues of the day and making sense of them. Today he pointed out the hypocrisy of the conservatives who are urging that we need to cut the debt, but who are wiling to run the economy into the ground with endless warmongering.

[I]t’s vital that we continue to splurge for military spending that is almost equal to what the entire rest of the world spends combined, and that we continue to spend 6 times more than the second-largest military spender (China). Why is that? Because we may need to fight our fourth, fifth and sixth wars (not counting the covert ones) and must remain ready to start those wars at a moment’s notice. There are many things one can say about someone plagued by that warmongering mentality; that they are serious opponents of borrowed spending and debt financing is most assuredly not one of them.

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Translated: “Because we are torturing Bradley Manning and we don’t want people outside the prison to know about it.”

April 16, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More
Translated: “Because we are torturing Bradley Manning and we don’t want people outside the prison to know about it.”

Why is it so hard for the public at large to learn how Bradley Manning is being treated? You won’t hear a straight answer from Mark Toner, spokesman for Barack Obama’s State Department.

Here’s a translation for all you are hearing: “Because we are torturing Bradley Manning and we don’t want people outside the military prison to know about it.”

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Anthony Weiner calls out Republican hypocrisy on Medicare

April 13, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More
Anthony Weiner calls out Republican hypocrisy on Medicare

Representative Anthony Weiner nails it with this short statement:

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Election Day Separation

April 5, 2011 | By | 5 Replies More
Election Day Separation

Today was a local election day. We have a new polling place in our ward. Instead of the school to which we walked for years, it is now in a nearby church basement. It seems a good use of the space on an off day.

But as I deposited my ballot, I had a creepy feeling. Suddenly Jesus was in my personal space, uninvited. How well does this mesh with the separation of church and state?

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It is dangerous to quote the United States Constitution in America

March 16, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More
It is dangerous to quote the United States Constitution in America

Here’s a cool idea: Write the Fourth Amendment on your chest in a marker, and then refuse electronic scanning at an airport, henceforth removing your shirt and thus displaying the Fourth Amendment.

Actually, it’s not a cool idea, Aaron Tobey used this technique of self-expression, and here’s what the TSA did, as described at Lowering the Bar:

they cuffed him, interrogated him, had the airport police charge him with “disorderly conduct” (favorite of official thugs everywhere), and then contacted the cops at his university and suggested that they report Tobey to the Dean of Students.

Here’s a copy of Tobey’s lawsuit. A link provided in this same article suggests that the body scanners used at many airports might be emitting ten times as much radiation as previously claimed.

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The political left chokes–allows Bradley Manning to be tortured

March 13, 2011 | By | 3 Replies More
The political left chokes–allows Bradley Manning to be tortured

There are a few news media figure who are taking principled stands regarding the the horrific way that the United States government is treating Bradley Manning, who has not been convicted of any crime. Glen Greenwald is one of the few with scruples. Other principled voices can be read at Alternet, including Lynn Parramore, who (rightfully) suggests that we’d be outraged if we viewed a fictitious movie of someone being treated as badly as Manning, but since it’s happening in real life we don’t give a shit. Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake has admirably covered the story. Andrew Sullivan has weighed in. Barack Obama has fully earned the title of America’s Second Modern Torture President. This is not hyperbole. Bradley Manning is being tortured by the United States. We are enthusiastically treating Manning the way we treated the (mostly innocent) prisoners at Gitmo. We are doing to Manning what we criticize when other countries do it.

Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC has also presented the story with energy. The torture is bad enough, but the silence by mainstream Democrats is infuriating. We’re running a great country, aren’t we? No need to speak out about Wall Street corruption, massive problems with health care “reform,” the right to assassinate U.S. citizens, government spying on its own citizens, and not blatant torture.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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The sanctity of contracts

March 4, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More
The sanctity of contracts

Daily Show host John Stewart eviscerates those asking teachers and other unions to make sacrifices in the name of cutting the budget deficit, especially when those same people (literally!) did not ask the same from Wall Street bankers following the trillions of dollars of bailouts and easy money:

Incidentally, much of the rhetoric is centered around asking the unions to “contribute more” towards their benefits package, but how does one contribute more than 100%?

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