Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for October 6th through October 8th:
The Associated Press: Analysis: Palin’s words may backfire on McCain – Palin’s words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee “palling around” with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn’t see their America? In a post-Sept. 11 America, terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims, not the homegrown anarchists of Ayers’ day 40 years ago. With Obama a relative unknown when he began his campaign, the Internet hummed with false e-mails about ties to radical Islam of a foreign-born candidate. Whether intended or not by the McCain campaign, portraying Obama as “not like us” is another potential appeal to racism. It suggests that the Hawaiian-born Christian is, at heart, un-American. But the fact is that allowing racism to creep into the discussion serves a purpose for McCain.
Anti-Gay Bigots’ “Silent Schools” Hypocrisy – The ADF’s idea of “polite, winsome and attractive” is, incidentally, to hand out cards summarily accusing all gays of — their words — “detrimental personal and social behavior.” In any case, it is beyond perverse to suggest, as the bigots do, that highlighting the existence of a hostile environment (the Day of Silence) is the functional equivalent of creating a hostile environment (the Day of Truth).
Is Palin Trying to Incite Violence Against Obama? | PEEK | AlterNet – Palin’s new rhetorical strategy signifies an alarming new development in the 2008 Presidential election, and one that has been not only been documented by such high profile newspapers as the Washington Post, but confirmed by the McCain campaign itself. “It’s a dangerous road, but we have no choice,” a top McCain strategist recently admitted to the Daily News. “If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we’re going to lose.” The ‘dangerous road,’ however, is not just a generic attack on Sen. Obama’s trustworthiness or honesty. Rather, the McCain campaign has chosen to stand before campaign rallies and accuse Sen. Obama of hiding sympathies with domestic terrorists–to accuse their opponent, essentially, of being a terrorist.
When Their Supporters Call Obama a Terrorist and Demand His Assassination, McCain and Palin Remain Silent | Video | AlterNet – I understand why McCain and Palin are going negative. The economy is falling apart around us, and they have no solutions. They are losing in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Virginia. Obama, despite McCain’s repeated claims, understands what a surge is, because he’s pulling one off right now. But the current political environment does not excuse remaining silent when a candidate for president is referred to as a “terrorist” in your presence. A desire to win does not excuse remaining silent during a threat on the life of a U.S. Senator at one of your rallies. There are no excuses for evil such as this. John McCain and Sarah Palin, the GOP and all who support them have lost all rights to legitimate argument. They are liars. They are wrong. They are evil. Yes, evil. They are one small step short of inciting violence at their rallies. They are letting physical threats go unchallenged.
What I Learned at the Sarah Palin Rally Before They Threw Me out | Election 2008 | AlterNet – The Palin rally, which you may have seen on youtube and TV, was held at the Home Depot ADT Tennis Stadium. Because of the surprising popularity of Mrs. Palin and easy access to free tickets, all 20,000 stadium seats, plus an overflow area were filled. I got a handful of tickets, recruited my friend Rebecca Tobias, Program Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics, and trekked on out to Carson. We scored ground level seats in the stadium from which I watched, listened and steadily bristled. When I could no longer stomach Palin’s lies and distortions, I jumped up, and at the top of my lungs, repeatedly called Palin a L-I-A-R! I was shouted down in Palinese by her 20,000 admirers, then escorted out by security. I took extra time as I climbed the steps from the ground up to the top just to keep her admirers shouting. The few minute reprieve from Palin’s lies was to me a righteous diversion. When I neared the top of the steps I turned back to Mrs. Palin and continued to call her a L-I-A-R, until I was ushered out the door. Thankfully my escorts showed me the utmost respect for they privately shared my feelings. They’re working folk. They see through Mrs. Palin.But that’s just the start of this story
Upsetting thought of the day | culturekitchen – So let me get this straight : The US had 750 billion dollars to bail out Wall Street; a sector of the US economy which has been historically controlled by “white” or US Americans of European ascendancy. The US Congress found 750 billion dollars for them and their European and Asian investors. A bailout, by the way, that now said banks are pooh-poohing, lest the US Treasury and tax-payers find out the depths of their accounting infamies. Yet there’s no money to pay back reparations to African Americans for the evils of slavery and Jim Crow laws?
LifeLube: the blog: Poor and Gay Aren’t Mutually Exclusive Categories – As Charles King said in a speech on World AIDS Day last year, “The reality is that AIDS is no longer so much a gay disease in the United States as it is a disease of race and poverty. And that brings to light a dirty secret about the organized and politically engaged gay community – that we are overwhelmingly white and reasonably well-off, and our movement is almost exclusively about rights for ourselves and people like us.” To address both the needs of gay men and of everyone, we need targeted case management and housing to address as both prevention and health care measures. We need to implement targeted campaigns for prevention and getting people into care. We need the government to sponsor media campaigns that can’t be ignored. And of course, we need universal health care so no one falls through the cracks. But above all, we must combat stigma and discrimination to get at the root of those problems that the government alone cannot solve.
Palin Supporters Hurl Obscenities At Media. Tell Black Sound Man, “Sit down, boy!” McCain-Palin, Unfit To Lead – Jack & Jill Politics – Everything we need to know about John McCain and Sarah Palin is summed up by their reaction to these incidents. Their positions on health care no longer matter. Their tax policies are irrelevant. Their talking points made moot. Not only do they bring out the worst in people, but they feed the worst in people. They are basing their campaign on painting Obama as a terrorist and monster. They are cultivating prejudice, racism, fear and ugliness. America has been down this path before, and it is the exact opposite of what this country needs right now.
The Big Payback: O.J. Simpson – Whether it’s admitted publicly or not, Black America is not found of Black men, especially sports athletes and celebrities, who choose to marry white women. To be fair, neither is white America, who has had a hatred for O.J. since his murder acquittal 13 years ago. All that withstanding, Black America still stood by Simpson’s side throughout his murder trial, assuming he’d learned his lesson. The lesson that dictates if your Black ass gets off for murdering a white woman once, you do not take your ass back out there and find yourself another white woman while turning your back on the people who had your back when no one else did. Unfortunately, for O.J., his biggest mistake was choosing to abandon the community that stood by him in spite of his indiscretions. As my Aunt so plainly put it, “he’s never been one of us. He’s always thought he was one of them.”
Conservatives Blame People of Color for Wall Street Meltdown – NAM – Efforts on the part of some conservatives to pin the Wall Street meltdown and the $850 billion rescue tab on the backs of minority homeowners are shameless and spurious, several activists and minority lawmakers said Friday. “That is total bunk,” said Kathleen Day, spokeswoman for the Center for Responsible Lending, a public interest group. “I think this is an effort by extremists who are embarrassed that their economic model of little regulation and oversight failed miserably, so they’re trying to deflect blame to the victims.”
The Washington Monthly – McCain/Palin have reached a point where they have to decide whether whipping right-wing activists into a frenzy, based solely on lies, is the responsible way to seek national office. The Republican candidates are not literally calling for violence against their political rivals, but they’re nevertheless standing by, saying nothing, while their supporters are shouting words like “kill,” “terrorist,” and “treason” at their rallies. And given that this rage-filled hatred is in direct response to the McCain/Palin campaign lying to their supporters, now would be the ideal time for these candidates to take a look in the mirror and consider the consequences of a relentlessly negative, breathtakingly dishonest, anger-driven campaign.
The End of Aggressive Ignorance? — In These Times – How surreal is life right now? Nevertheless, there is a war being waged now, in the waning days of the Bush administration and the campaign, against the triumph of aggressive ignorance, a fabulous term I’m stealing from my nephew. Aggressive ignorance defiantly shoves its utter lack of knowledge in your face and brays: “Facts? We don’t need no stinkin’ facts!” Team Bush has repeatedly asserted that it didn’t need to know much of anything — about Iraq, hurricane relief, science, global climate change or the corruptions of the financial sector, and that we shouldn’t know anything about these things either.
Are Minorities to Blame for the Subprime Mess? | Newsweek Voices – Daniel Gross | Newsweek.com – Let me get this straight. Investment banks and insurance companies run by centimillionaires blow up, and it’s the fault of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and poor minorities? These arguments are generally made by people who read the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, and ignore the rest of the paper—economic know-nothings whose opinions are informed mostly by ideology and, occasionally, by prejudice. Let’s be honest.
FT.com / Columnists / Gideon Rachman – Conservatism overshoots its limit – The market for ideas – like the market for shares – always overshoots. Ideas become fashionable and get pushed to their logical conclusion and beyond, as their backers succumb to “irrational exuberance”. Then comes the crash. What we are experiencing now is the bust that has followed the 30-year bull run in conservative ideas that began with the Thatcher-Reagan revolution of 1979-80.
Positive Liberty » The Problems that Human Beings Get Ourselves Into – This topic illustrates why I don’t get bloggers like Clayton Cramer who seem so obsessed with problems in gay culture (yes there are problems) that he acts like that fact alone can be used to condemn homosexuality (but we know the condemners invariably have preexisting religious convictions against homosexuality that they are trying to justify). The Clayton Cramers of the world might have a point if heterosexuals like Christopher Buckley weren’t also always getting themselves into trouble. It’s that intractable thing called human nature, especially sexual nature (see also of recent note John Edwards and Bristol Palin).
Cyberbullying Will Stop When Adults Level With Their Kids – Mashable – No, no, none of that “my Mom and/or Dad want to be my friend on MySpace and Facebook” stuff. That’s borderline nonsense. Rather, elders need to be familiar with such services to the point that a conversation, a real-world, kitchen-table conversation, can be established about them. Some adults may have no desire to do so, but children naturally recognize this disinterest, and it only makes it less likely that if problems do occur, children will have the inclination to bring them to parents’ view. Given enough time, fixing a situation can be a major undertaking. With plenty of pills in the middle. If parents swallow some of their pride and their fear of their offspring, a psychological jump can be made there. If the jump proves successful, on the other side of the divide is trust. And trust dictates behavior.