RSSCategory: Bigotry

Santorum In Defense of the Family

December 12, 2011 | By | 5 Replies More
Santorum In Defense of the Family

This is an unscientific response to a ridiculous claim.  Rick Santorum, who wishes to be the next Bishop In Charge of America (or whatever prelate his church might recognize) recently made the claim that Gay couples are going to destabilize the family in America in order to accommodate their lifestyle.

We’ve all been hearing this claim now for, oh, since gays stopped sitting by and letting cops beat them up on Saturday nights without fighting back.  Ever since Gay Pride.  Even on my own FaceBook page I had someone telling me I was blinded by the “Gay Agenda” and that the country was doomed—that because of the Gay Agenda little children were being taught how to use condoms in school and this—this—would bring us all to ruin.

So….okay.  How?

If we collectively allow homosexuals to marry each other, how does that do anything to American families that’s not already being done by a hundred other factors?

I’ll tell you what destablilizes families.  And I’m not genius here with a brilliant insight, this is just what anyone can see if they look around and think a little bit.

Families are destabilized over money. 

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The case for less-is-more democracy

November 27, 2011 | By | 5 Replies More
The case for less-is-more democracy

I have long been fascinated by the herd instinct of human animals. What could be more obvious than the fact that we mimic each other for all kinds of reasons, even for reasons that seem absurd to outsiders. Further, we follow each others’ lead even while we chant that we are “individuals.”

In reality, many of us panic at the idea that differences among the citizens. How dare some citizens question even some of America’s war efforts! That is “unpatriotic.” How dare some Americans encourage multi-culturalism! Gay marriage? Forget it. And don’t ever forget that the United States is the world’s greatest country—let us all say that in unison! For many of us, everybody has a categorical moral duty to fall in line on all matters relating to God and country.

Perhaps I find the topic of the human herding so compelling because of my own personal instinct to aversion to joining groups. For reasons I don’t understand, I instinctively rebel against many efforts to convince me to go along with “everybody else.” I’ve been this way ever since I can remember. Going along with the crowd is not something that gives me joy and comfort. Rather, it makes me feel wary and out of control. If people at my workplace were to announce that next Wednesday will be “Blue Shirt Day,” I’ll go out of my way to not wear blue. I perplex those who root for the home town sports teams and I don’t join political parties. I commonly hesitate to join in most displays of patriotism, including America’s warmongering. This is not to say I’m immune to such impulses, but it is fair to say that where many other Americans revel in community bonding, I tend to fight inner battles while questioning the need. Instead of joining in, I tend to question.

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Antidote poster for what most ails America

November 7, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More

Today, I spotted this poster on Facebook:

The artist is Al Haug, who has published the poster on a Facebook page here. He is not selling the poster, but does indicate that those who post it should attribute this work to Al, and further states:

I can accept gifts to support my artwork thru paypal:
https://personal.paypal.com/cgi-bin/marketingweb?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=marketing_us%2Fsend_money
Use westbankal@gmail.com as account. Send as a “gift” only. But you don’t have to send anything. And don’t be a poophead and try to sell this image- your karma would suffer greatly.

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Republican Presidential Candidates Meet With Hitler

October 4, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More
Republican Presidential Candidates Meet With Hitler

I was running work errands yesterday and happened to snap on the radio. The NPR feed wasn’t my style the music so I punched the last button on the radio, 97.1 Talk, the Fox affiliate in St. Louis. Sometimes I listen in to “The Dave Glover Show,” where Mr. Glover liked to opine how badly he sucked as a lawyer when he previously had pursued that career. I wish Mr. Glover had let me know that before we had become law partners.

Immediately, the screaming was shrill and studied; it was as though a playbook were being read from by yet another cog in the anti-Obama hate machine. Apparently, Andrew Breitbart, who brought us edited films of ACORN folks and federal employees and criminal cronies in search of edited films, had the goods on Mr. Obama.

It seems that in a celebration of the “March on Selma” in 2007, some of the members of the three member New Black Panther movement showed up and spoke at an event which also had then-Senator Obama as a speaker. Bill and Hillary Clinton were also speaking at another location for the event. Other major civil rights figures were in attendance and they gave speeches. There was a grainy photograph of Mr. Obama somewhere near a guy from the new Black Panther Party, so Mr. Breitbart’s photographs were proof positive, according to Dana Loesch of “The Dana Show,” of Mr. Obama’s “racism!!!”

WTF? I got home, went to the trusty computer and Googled the issue. Sure enough, it appeared that the New Panther Party folks appeared at the same event. The story didn’t tell us that Mr. Obama organized the event, supported any of the viewpoints of any of the other speakers at the event, or that Mr. Obama was even aware of any of the other speakers at the event. Mr. Obama just happened to speak at the same event along with a bunch of other folks in commemoration of the sacrifices of a past generation of brave Americans seeking racial justice in America.

What was the flap?

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Justice Scalia discusses gays and the law

September 28, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More
Justice Scalia discusses gays and the law

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently gave a speech at the historically Catholic Duquesne University School of Law.  According to this article at Think Progress Justice, “Justice Antonin Scalia urged the university not to stray from a religious identity hostile to gay and lesbian students.”   That fact that Justice Scalia was recently irked by the the topic of gays reminded me of a talk he gave in St. Louis about three years ago (to the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis) where he displayed a condescending tone while mentioning gays and the law on several occasions during a single speech.

Back when I heard his St. Louis speech, it seemed to me that Justice Scalia merely had an ax to grind based on his belief that gays don’t have a protected place in the law under his pet theory of “originalism.”  This Think Progress article reminded me of his tone at the St. Louis lecture three years ago.   The comments to the Think Progress article repeatedly returned to the topic of reaction formations.  Perhaps that is unfair, because I’m sure he discusses other topics at his many lectures. There is also a fascinating literature suggesting that conservatives are susceptible to inviting disgust into their moral arsenal (and see here).  On the other hand, Scalia is one of many conservatives out there who burn considerable frustrated energy on this topic, tempting me to do some arm chair psychoanalysis. And I must say that his tone at the St. Louis lecture was permeated with condescension, arguably disgust. I would normally think armchair psychology to be inappropriate except that it seems so utterly invited in this case. Further, Scalia’s long slow burn on this topic might well be invading his analysis of the law. And he is a very powerful man, apparently with many years yet to serve on the Supreme Court bench.

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Islamic terrorism, by the numbers

September 18, 2011 | By | Reply More
Islamic terrorism, by the numbers

While Islamaphobia rages here in America, we might do well to pay attention to some numbers from Europe:

In 2009, there were fewer than 300 terrorist incidents in Europe, a 33 percent decline from the previous year. The vast majority of these incidents (237 out of 294) were conducted by indigenous European separatist groups, with another forty or so attributed to leftists and/or anarchists. According to the report, a grand total of one (1) attack was conducted by Islamists.

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Ron Paul exposes Tea Party’s bigotry toward all Muslims

September 16, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More
Ron Paul exposes Tea Party’s bigotry toward all Muslims

Check out what Ron Paul said about the motives of the 9/11 attackers at a recent debate, as well as the Tea Party crowd’s reaction. Apparently many people in that crowd believe that all Muslims are terrorists.

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Connect the dots from money to Islamophobia

August 27, 2011 | By | Reply More
Connect the dots from money to Islamophobia

According to a new report by Faiz Shakir of Think Progress, big money is manufacturing American fears of Muslims. Keith Olbermann invited Shakir on his show to discuss this topic.

[Update August 29, 2011]

I received a mass emailing from Think Progress, which goes into additional detail:

Following a six-month long investigative research project, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report on Friday, which reveals that more than $42 million from seven foundations over the past decade have helped fan the flames of anti-Muslim hate in America. Titled “Fear, Inc.,” the report conclusively finds that there is a small, tightly networked group of right-wing influentials producing misinformation against Muslims that reaches millions of Americans. This interconnected group of propagandists have cultivated several prevalent yet baseless memes, including: President Obama is a secret Muslim, mosques are incubators of radicalization, and Sharia law will soon supplant American law. There are seven foundations who fund this this kind of harmful activity: Donors Capital Fund, Richard Mellon Scaife, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker foundations and charitable trust, the Russell Berrie Foundation, the Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund, and the Fairbrook Foundation. By following the money trail and identifying the key funders behind the hate, the CAP report aims to end Islamophobia. These seven funders could have a powerful impact in marginalizing Islamophobia if they refused to sanction it. The release of the CAP report puts pressure on these donors to publicly express whether they are supportive of the divisive hate that their money is fueling, as it is possible that they have no idea how their dollars are fueling attacks.

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Lt. Dan Choi prosecuted vigorously for protesting

August 9, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More
Lt. Dan Choi prosecuted vigorously for protesting

Perhaps you already know the story about Lt. Dan Choi, a gay man with specialized training in Arabic who, for more than

a decade, served honorably with the U.S. military, including service in Iraq from 2006-2008. After transferring to the New York National Guard, however, he announced that he was gay on Rachel Maddow’s show. He came out very much aware that the law of the land was Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which he appropriately described as “an immoral law and policy that forces American soldiers to deceive and lie about their sexual orientation.”

After coming out on Maddow’s show, Choi received a discharge letter from the military. Choi publicly stated, “It is a slap in the face to my soldiers, peers and leaders who have demonstrated that an infantry unit can be professional enough to accept diversity, to accept capable leaders, to accept skilled soldiers.”

In 2010, Choi was arrested for demonstrating, as described by Jane Hamsher of Fire Dog Lake:

Choi chained himself to the White House fence on

November 10, 2010 to protest DADT. He and 12 others activists were arrested and charged with violating a federal regulation prohibiting “interfering with agency functions,” in this case refusing to obey an order from the National Park Service.

In the eyes of the Federal government, even a man who has given a great deal of his life for his country should never be allowed to embarrass the government by serving as a reminder that a law on the books is evil. Therefore, the trial is about to commence, despite the fact that the judge is perplexed by the severity of the charges.

In the meantime, Dan Choi is facing ignominy from another front, set forth in a mass mailing I just received from FDL:

Collection agencies are now demanding Dan pay over $3,000 to the Department of Defense to “make up” for the portion of his enlistment he did not serve after he was thrown out of the Army for disclosing his sexual orientation. That includes seizing his veterans disability checks that he depends on to treat his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his service in the Iraq War.

Welcome to modern day America. If this prosecution outrages you as much as it does me, sign the petition at FDL.

I’d bet that President Obama, who has severely wavered on his commitment to gay rights, has sufficient political clout to grab a front row seat to Choi’s trial, if he would like to become visibly associated with Choi’s upcoming trial and punishment. After all, isn’t that what Choi deserves for daring to speak out about an injustice? this makes me wonder . . . If Martin Luther King magically returned and was put on trial for civil disobedience in 2011, would Barack Obama stand by in that case too and allow the feds make even more of a mockery of civil liberties?

Note: DADT is scheduled to be deemed unenforceable as of September 20, 2011.

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