RSSCategory: Bigotry

New definition of anti-Semite announced by AIPAC

January 21, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More
New definition of anti-Semite announced by AIPAC

Glenn Greenwald latest:

Look at what Josh Block told Politico about what makes someone an anti-Semite:

As a progressive Democrat, I am convinced that on issues as important as the US-Israel alliance and the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, there is no room for uncivil discourse or name calling, like ‘Israel Firster or ‘Likudnik’, and policy or political rhetoric that is hostile to Israel, or suggests that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, has no place in the mainstream Democratic party discourse. I also believe that when it occurs, progressive institutions, have a responsibility not to tolerate such speech or arguments.

So according to Block, you are not allowed (unless you want to be found guilty of anti-Semitism) to use “policy rhetoric that is hostile to Israel” or — more amazingly — even to “suggest that Iran has no nuclear weapons program.” Those ideas are strictly off limits, declares the former AIPAC spokesman.

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Blemished, blind, lame, flat-nosed deformed preachers need not apply for work.

January 12, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More
Blemished, blind, lame, flat-nosed deformed preachers need not apply for work.

In a post titled “Discrimination is Divine,” at  a new website called Funmentionables, Michael G. Morris points out if one reads the bible literally, God is stunningly discriminatory.

Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘Whoever he be of your seed throughout their generations that has a blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatever man he be that has a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that has a flat nose, or any deformity, or a man that is broken-footed, or broken-handed, or crook-backed, or a dwarf, or that has a blemish in his eye, or is scurvy, or scabbed, or has his stones broken. No man of the seed of Aaron the priest, that has a blemish, shall come near to offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire. He has a blemish. He shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.’”

—Leviticus 21:16-21

The above post combines this bible quote with a brand new decision by the United State Supreme Court that invites blatant discrimination by churches, Hosanna-Tabor Church v. EEOC.  The above post by Michael Morris squarely fits the formula announced by Funmentionables:

Whereas a religious authority may try to explain away difficult passages, Morris’ refreshing man-in-the-pew perspective allows the Bible’s authority to speak for itself, as he complements each passage with his own humorous and thought-provoking commentary.

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Sexism in the U.S. military

January 9, 2012 | By | Reply More
Sexism in the U.S. military

Consider this report from NPR. 30% of women soldiers have reported that they are raped. Another article claims that 90% of all women serving are sexually harassed and that 90% of all the rapes do not get reported.

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Martin Luther King: Three methods of dealing with oppression

December 18, 2011 | By | Reply More
Martin Luther King:  Three methods of dealing with oppression

Martin Luther King eloquently asserts that non-violent resistance is the best approach to oppression. He asserts, though, that he is not advocating “anarchy,” and there is such a thing as an “intelligent” use of police force. The backdrop to this discussion was the ongoing struggle to desegregate Little Rock Central High School.

In the following conversation with Dr. Kenneth Clark, King disagrees with the criticisms of Malcolm X, emphasizing that non-violent resistance is “powerful” and it is not at all the same thing as “non-resistance,” which is to be avoided, because it “leaves you in a state of stagnant passivity and dead-end complacency.”

Here is a transcript of this conversation.

The above video is mislabeled. It is not a discussion involving Malcolm X, but it is about the differences between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. It includes excerpts from a speech by Malcolm X, as well as numerous historical and entertainment clips.

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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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