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Tag: "wingnuttery"

Metaphor!!!!

[ 64 ] January 18, 2013 |

Oh man, this is great.

Remember back, a long long time ago. There was a man. He was me. And he said he wanted Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick in the aftermath of Newtown shootings. You know who was really outraged by this common metaphor that all sane people knows actually means “this person should be held accountable for their actions?” Michelle Malkin. All I suffered was a few death threats and various other things I’d rather not recall.

Today, Amanda Marcotte lambasted Rush Limbaugh for saying, “You know how to stop abortion? Require that each one occur with a gun.” Actual violence and intimidation occurs against women trying to obtain their constitutionally guaranteed right to abortion. Limbaugh and others incite people to violent actions (assisted by the high-powered assault rifles and huge magazine clips the NRA supports) against abortion clinics and abortion doctors. Ask the family of David Gunn, of George Tiller, of Shannon Lowney and of Lee Ann Nichols. So it’s far from clear that Limbaugh isn’t completely serious when he says these things.

You know is outraged by Amanda supposedly not understanding metaphor (well hyperbole technically)? Yep, Michelle Malkin.

Ugh indeed, Amanda. Anyone familiar with Limbaugh is well aware of his hyperbolic style and understands that his point wasn’t that abortions should be performed with guns; he was saying that the Left would actually care about the lives snuffed out by abortions if guns were involved.

The gall, the gall, the gall of these people.

The Rich Male Whiteness, It Burns

[ 492 ] January 11, 2013 |

A bunch of conservative Texas groups are taking history departments at the University of Texas and Texas A&M to task because they supposedly talk too much about race, class, and gender instead of rich white guys and awesome wars and America Rocks and Let’s Invade Iran! and other such things. Texas has a public school requirement that each college student must take 2 U.S. history classes. So these groups decided to look at syllabi to see what they could see. The answer, too much teaching topics that might make students question the current tenets of the Republican Party.

So I teach a wide variety of courses. Right now, that includes the first half of the U.S. history survey, Civil War and Reconstruction, Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Environmental History, and U.S. West. We have senior people who teach Labor History, but somewhere down the road I’ll be able to pick that up. If you look at my syllabi without any context as to what those classes hold, those classes probably look pretty white, pretty male, pretty middle and upper class. All of those groups are covered plenty, I assure you. On the other hand, you can only teach the Civil War without talking about slavery if you subscribe to the Louisiana Confederate Museum version of history. You could theoretically teach the Gilded Age as the Awesome Age and talk only about how wonderful Jay Gould and Henry Clay Frick were but that would not only be stupid but an incredibly boring class for me and the students. But the idea that we don’t talk about rich white dudes is crazy. Now, we don’t talk about them as heroes. And of course that’s the point for these conservatives, that we should be–John D. Rockefeller was a great man! William McKinley was totally justified in invading the Philippines. As for women, well get back in the kitchen.

My goal in teaching history is to give students a wide range of perspectives. That includes race, class, and gender. It includes nature and sexuality. It includes politics and foreign policy. It doesn’t include too much in the way of military tactics because that bores me, although obviously I have to do a certain amount of it in the Civil War course. It probably should include more on religion, but we all have our weaknesses. It includes talking about the rich and poor, white and black and Native American and Latino and Asian. It is about men and women, homosexuals and heterosexuals, adults and children, right-wingers and left-wingers. It’s about helping students acquire the tools to make the connections they want to make between the past and the issues they care about in their own lives. It’s about teaching students to read old documents and why that matters. It’s about exposing them to the world of silent film. It’s about teaching writing and critical thinking.

In other words, it’s just standard work in the humanities.

But of course conservatives are outraged by this. The conservative goal in teaching history is to replicate the Republican Party platform in a new generation. Conservatives see history professors as the enemy and they have declared war upon us. The only option we have is to push back, not in favor of a certain leftist ideology, because many historians aren’t leftists by any definition. But rather to push back for a multiplicity of perspectives, for presenting students with information that can help them make connections between the past and the present, whether they become more informed conservatives or outraged feminist activists or they just learn a little more about the history of the television they love so well.

And as for why we should create courses to worship Alexander Graham Bell at the college level, well you’ll have to answer that one for me.

Morons

[ 143 ] December 26, 2012 |

All of our favorite conservative writers are up in arms because David Gregory brought a high-powered ammunition magazine onto Meet the Press yesterday in order to discuss gun violence.

William Jacobson is calling for Gregory’s prosecution and wants more of this kind of thing (Legal Insurrection!!!!32131!!!!) Glenn Reynolds of course agrees, etc.

There’s only one logical solution to this problem.

We need to arrest George H.W. Bush for possession of crack cocaine.*

If the problem is really going on television with a proper visual to demonstrate a political problem despite technically breaking the law, consistency demands Bush’s arrest. After all, we all know that crack went to W after the press conference so I feel an intent to distribute charge may be in order……

*Since some in the conservative world are too uneducated to understand metaphor, let me introduce them to another part of the English language. This is called sarcasm.

Coup d’FreedomWorks

[ 44 ] December 26, 2012 |

What the what?

Until this year, the partnership between Kibbe and Armey worked well. Armey’s renown as a former House member drew media attention and crowds of conservative activists — most of them old enough to remember Armey’s role in the Republican revolution in Congress in 1994. And Kibbe’s youthful intellectualism drew a new generation of libertarian soldiers into the FreedomWorks fold. In 2010, the two co-wrote a book, “Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto,” that became a New York Times bestseller and a successful marketing tool for FreedomWorks, which collected the book’s proceeds and used it to attract donations.

The partnership came to a crashing end when Armey marched into FreedomWorks’s office Sept. 4 with his wife, Susan, executive assistant Jean Campbell and the unidentified man with the gun at his waist — who promptly escorted Kibbe and Brandon out of the building.

“This was two weeks after there had been a shooting at the Family Research Council,” said one junior staff member who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. “So when a man with a gun who didn’t identify himself to me or other people on staff, and a woman I’d never seen before said there was an announcement, my first gut was, ‘Is FreedomWorks in danger?’ It was bizarre.’ ”

By nearly all accounts, including from those loyal to him, Armey handled his attempted coup badly. Armey says he was stepping in because of ethical breaches by Kibbe and Brandon, accusing them of improperly using FreedomWorks staff resources to produce a book — ironically, named “Hostile Takeover” — for which Kibbe claimed sole credit and was collecting royalties. The use of internal resources for Kibbe’s benefit could jeopardize the group’s nonprofit tax status; the group denies any impropriety.

“This is not only about this one incident,” Armey said. “But that one incident was a matter of grievous concern.”

Armey also accused Brandon, Kibbe and other staff members loyal to them of squeezing him out of media appearances and management decisions while using his name to market the group.

Armey appeared out of touch and unsure of how FreedomWorks operated when he took over that Tuesday morning, according to interviews with more than a dozen employees on both sides who witnessed the takeover. Sitting in a glass-walled conference room visible to much of the staff, he placed three young female employees on administrative leave, then reversed himself when they burst into tears; his wife lamented aloud that maybe they had “jumped the gun.”

Jumped the gun indeed. Of course, given the reality of gun-nut power-hungry conservatives, the idea that Dick Armey would lead an armed rebellion against the leadership of his own organization makes sense. Unfortunately for him, he seems to have read the Guidebook to Overthrowing Mikhail Gorbachev before doing so.

Today in the Coming Republican Coalition

[ 43 ] December 5, 2012 |

On all fronts, the Republicans are making remarkable progress in building a coalition that will appeal to people who aren’t old and white.

1. John Sununu dismissing Obama’s victory as a group of people dependent on the government.

2. A Subway owned by Republican Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana refused to serve a Muslim couple and told them that was the reason.

3. The rejection of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Disabled treaty.

If there’s three things that appeal to young voters, it’s denigrating why they voted for Obama, Jim Crow-style treatment of brown people, and hating on the disabled because of anti-world government nonsense.

I can’t wait for the coming immigration debate.

The Dark UN Conspiracy Takes Another Hero

[ 98 ] December 4, 2012 |

Thank God (thank HIM!!!!!!!) for Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, who is willing to stand up against Satan’s grand strategy to use his minions (the United Nations) to destroy this great nation through such horrors as urban planning. In October, Rogers led his peers to hear a speaker at the state capitol building railing against the dark conspiracy known as Agenda 21, a nonbinding, voluntary UN action plan in favor of sustainable development. I’ve never heard of such a threat to the United States and God’s plan for us to develop the nation’s resources to generate profits for wealthy white people who can then store their riches offshore in the Cayman Islands.

Satan takes his pound of flesh though (though given Satan’s nefarious agenda, he probably prefers organic, locally-produced flesh. Not to mention a kilogram of flesh instead of a pound) and Rogers is now “resigning” from the Georgia Senate to “spend more time with his family.” Can we Christians take a few minutes away from building more suburban developments in wetlands to rescue our hero? Don’t you know that “spending more time with his family” is a euphemism for “sustainable, walking cities?” My god, there might be black people in those places! And not every store would have a parking lot the size of Rhode Island! Can you imagine the horror? If we don’t save him now, will Satan take him to the never before known 20th Circle of Hell–making him an employee of an NGO working with indigenous people to save their lands from oil development?

A Coal CEO’s Prayer

[ 41 ] November 8, 2012 |

My new favorite post-election reaction goes to Robert E. Murray, CEO of Murray Energy. He sent this prayer to America out to his workers, followed by his view of the nation’s future:

Dear Lord:

The American people have made their choice. They have decided that America must change its course, away from the principals of our Founders. And, away from the idea of individual freedom and individual responsibility. Away from capitalism, economic responsibility, and personal acceptance.

We are a Country in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom.

My regret, Lord, is that our young people, including those in my own family, never will know what America was like or might have been. They will pay the price in their reduced standard of living and, most especially, reduced freedom.

The takers outvoted the producers. In response to this, I have turned to my Bible and in II Peter, Chapter 1, verses 4-9 it says, “To faith we are to add goodness; to goodness, knowledge; to knowledge, self control; to self control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, kindness; to brotherly kindness, love.”

Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build. We ask for your guidance in this drastic time with the drastic decisions that will be made to have any hope of our survival as an American business enterprise.

Amen.

Mr. Murray’s Outline of America’s Future:

What I foresee in America, by Robert E. Murray:

- Drastically reduced economic activity

- Reduced electric power consumption

- Even more drastically reduced coal markets with even worse coal pricing

- Total destruction of the coal industry by 2030

- Enactment of 12 regulations pending from the Obama Administration from the U.S. EPA alone

- Per Sen. James Inhofe, three (3) regulations – greenhouse gas, utility MACT and coal ash – will cost America $600 billion alone

- Likely a carbon tax will be forced to subsidize the government and “receivers” (Obama supporters) in the total destruction of the coal industry, again, the latter as early as 2030

- All coal companies are performing drastically worse than their CEOs and Boards want to report, and this is understandable with their concerns for their stock prices and refinancing

- Most public companies will not be able to continue to emphasize any positive that they have, while avoiding the negatives in their statements and opinions

- The markets will soon take this ability away from these public CEOs and Directors

- Of course, private companies will abandon this business

- We must prepare for this today, and we cannot bleed cash waiting for our competitors to be eliminated

- We must totally go into a survival mode and generate all the cash that we can from whatever we still have left that can help us

- We must tear down all structures in Murray Energy and reassemble them

- While putting Murray Energy into a survival mode, I will be fighting allegations from radical Obama supporters that you know are blatantly false and were inspired only to shut down our opposition to them on behalf of our employees, your area, and our country

- We must be passionate and austere in all that we do.

Murray Energy Corp.

Robert E. Murray

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

I believe the Good Lord is also telling us all to pull our money from the banks and invest in gold, no?

I’ve also heard that the supernatural sometimes speaks to miners and their families too, with someone different messages.

……The Lord God Jehovah has spoken in the comments and she’s not super thrilled with Murray:

Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build.

If you mean the decision to break safety laws, a decision that led to nine of my children dying needlessly, well, Bob, I would not be counting on my forgiveness. See, Bob, I have you a book, that you claim to have read. And Bob, I talk a lot in it about protecting the poor and weak. And I have a good deal to say in that book about what I have planned for those who fuck over the poor and weak. And Bob, I don’t normally swear, except for when I’m angry. And what you did makes me very, very angry, Bob.

Now kindly shut the fuck up, before I get smitey.

What’s the Game?

[ 116 ] October 31, 2012 |

In the face of polls that increasingly suggest that Obama will win at least the electoral vote, major right bloggers (not just those connected with the Romney campaign) continue to voice confidence in Romney’s chances. This trend has been developing for some time, and has manifested in the War of the Skew, the War on Nate Silver, the War on the Central Limit Theorem, the War on Averages, all of which are part of a broader War on Numbers.

Mitt Romney may win, either because the polls turn at the last moment, or because the polls are wrong.  Every day, something happens that has never happened before.  Nevertheless, I’m curious about how guarantees of victory seem to become increasingly shrill as objective measures show Romney’s chances fading.  Possibilities:

  1. Conservatives genuinely believe that the polling is wrong, that only Rasmussen and Gallup have it right, and that Romney will win 300+ electoral votes.
  2. Conservatives don’t genuinely believe Romney will win, but continue to think that he can win, and  believe that putting an extremely positive spin on bad numbers helps enthusiasm, turnout, etc.
  3. Displays of confidence in Romney are part of intra-movement political posturing; allowing that Obama may win indicates lack of faith, commitment, enthusiasm, et al. In the post-2012 conservative movement landscape, having a reputation as a loyal soldier (even in a lost cause) is seen as a positive good.

Of the three I’m certain there’s some of #1; motivated bias is a strong thing.  I’m curious about the balance of 1 with 2 and 3, however.  Broadly speaking, both 2 and 3 are quite reasonable.  Indeed, conservative optimism in the face of adversity is, in some cases, arguably more sensible than progressive despair. Romney can win,  and its unclear that public recognition of the magnitude of the obstacles to victory is helpful to his cause. And given that the marketplace of conservative thought continues to generously reward a select number of opinion leaders, #3 is also altogether reasonable.

Thoughts?

Conservatives Cheer for Detroit?

[ 142 ] October 27, 2012 |

I was sure that Mark Judge had the stupidest sports column of the year wrapped up for his Bryce Harper, Conservative Hero piece. But the Howler clearly wants to up the ante. And thus we have Matt Lewis arguing that conservatives should root for Detroit over San Francisco in the World Series. That conservatives hate San Francisco is no surprise. The glory of this is in why Detroit is really a good conservative city:

Detroit has real people who work hard for their money and cherish their jobs. Detroit loves hockey. Detroit loves to buy American. Detroiters like their boats and their beers. You do not ask to see the wine list in the bars around Comerica Park. Pabst Blue Ribbon, please. Tall boys.

Awesome. Conservatives are happy to let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt, but they have no shame in talking about how Detroit is where real Americans live. Conservatives want to outsource every American job to China, but they love American-buying Detroit residents. And tall boys, well hell, we all know that’s a metaphor for Detroit residents having large penises.

This is also great:

After all, the Auto union member and the hippie/feminist/gay rights activist (take your pick) would kill one another — if they ever met.

Oh right. You mean the last UAW members who you conservatives have tried to destroy? Does that include, say, the friends of Michael Moore? Do they want to beat up feminists and hippies? Or is Lewis stereotyping unions? I’m sure he’s a big fan of Walter Reuther and the social/racial justice programs of the UAW in its heyday so I’m sure we all know the answer…..

In the end, the Bryce Harper piece is actually worse than this. But this is pretty bad.

Pequot War–Officially Approved Conservative Version

[ 64 ] September 17, 2012 |

Somewhat to my surprise this morning, I discovered that Conservapedia actually has an entry on the Pequot War. For you non-colonialists out there, the Pequot War was a war of extermination waged by the Puritans in Massachusetts and Connecticut against the Pequots in 1637. Unlike traditional indigenous warfare, the Puritans sought to maximize enemy casualties and destroy Pequot society completely. Essentially, they took the brutal practices of 17th century European religious warfare and applied it to Native Americans. This shocked even the Puritans’ Narragansett allies, who had certainly never seen anything like it before. The war culminated in the Puritan burning of the Pequot settlement at Mystic, Connecticut, killing 500 men, women, and children. As William Bradford said, “It was a fearful sight to see them frying in the fire.” Most of the survivors were enslaved and sent to the death traps of the Caribbean sugar plantations.

Turns out the people behind Conservapedia see historians calling this genocide, which it certainly was, as part of the broader “revisionist” academic attack upon good white people who were just defending their homes or something even though they were part of a conquering force who introduced total warfare to the….oh why bother. A choice quote, based upon their (mis)interpretation of a Steven Katz 1991 article:

Such a view, founded on presentist notions of outrage and moral sanctimony, obfuscates the fact that native tribes fought on the side of the English, both sides were mutually responsible for the onset of hostilities, and the colonists were rightfully concerned with threats to their survival. Historians holding to the thesis of genocide overinterpret and occasionally misinterpret their sources to advance their argument.

This is what happens when historiography gets enslaved to the desires of conservatives to shut up criticism of historical white people. While it is possible that using terms like “genocide” may apply modern ideas to the past, it is absolutely certain that conservatives absolving the Puritans because, hey everybody does it!, is also applying modern ideas to the past. If “revisionism” is an actual thing, no one can do it like the modern conservative, whether to the Pequot War or Ronald Reagan.

I Always Wondered Why My Student Loan Checks Came With a Brown Shirt

[ 24 ] September 8, 2012 |

And now I know the answer thanks to Roscoe Bartlett, a Republican congressman representing Maryland’s 6th District:

“Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans; it certainly is a good idea to give them loans,” Bartlett said. “But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.

Bartlett, spry and still with obviously sharp faculties at the tender age of 86, has many other sensible ideas such as his embrace of survivalism to prepare for upcoming disasters, which I sure range from seeing two dudes holding hands on the street to the impending North Korean invasion of Maryland. He, along with fellow Right-Thinking Anatomy hero Todd Akin, has also provided useful lessons on how women’s bodies actually work, claiming that very few rapes result in pregnancy.

Today in Crazyland

[ 151 ] August 26, 2012 |

Any interesting news in the wingnuttery world today?

First to Maryland:

A homophobic Maryland lawmaker has admitted to being drunk when he accidentally crashed his boat into a boat full of children.

Maryland delegate Don H. Dwyer Jr was drinking with another man on his boat on the Magothy River in Pasadena around 7pm when his boat struck a smaller vessel with five children on board.

Four of the children were injured with one, a five year old girl, taken by helicopter to Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

Dwyer, a Tea Party Republican, has in the past suggested that homosexuals were a threat to children and that same-sex marriage would lead to homosexuality being taught in schools.

Dwyer has previously attempted to ban same-sex marriage in Maryland by attaching an amendment to a bill on marriage license fees and sought the sacking or impeachment of public officials who have made decisions that were supportive of same-sex couples having the right to marry.

I’d laugh at the irony of this if it wasn’t for the tragic side of it.

And then onto New Mexico:

A progressive group called on Republican National Committee leader Pat Rogers to step down on Friday after emails showed him telling New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s staff that meeting with a group of American Indians “dishonored” Gen. George Armstrong Custer, the 19th century commander who killed scores of American Indians.

“The state is going to hell,” Rogers, who is a member of the GOP executive committee and is currently in Tampa for the RNC convention, wrote in a June 8 email released by Progress Now New Mexico. Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Col. Allen Weh “would not have dishonored Col Custer in this manner,” he wrote.

Martinez is required by law to attend the annual state-tribal leaders summit, according to Progress Now New Mexico, which called for him to step down.

When discussing racism in this country, it’s easy to forget the level of vitriolic racism against Native Americans in some parts of the American West (I’m looking at you South Dakota). It is very real and shows up in the ugliest imaginable ways.

Also, how can one actually dishonor George Armstrong Custer? Didn’t he dishonor himself by his very existence?

Does anyone else remember when Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell blamed 9/11 on God punishing America for its gays?


Or when John Hagee said Hurricane Katrina God was punishing New Orleans for tolerating homosexuality?

So obviously it God was punishing the nation somehow for Hurricane Isaac threatening the Republican National Convention this week in Tampa, right?

Let’s ask Rush Limbaugh what he thinks:

LIMBAUGH: So we got a hurricane coming. The National Hurricane Center, which is a government agency, is very hopeful that the hurricane gets near Tampa. The National Hurricane Center is Obama. It’s the National Weather Service, part of the commerce department. It’s Obama. The media, it’s all about the hurricane hitting next week, and they’re not talking about Biden, they’re talking about this Hurricane Isaac thing. Well, you know, we who live in south Florida become experts. We don’t need the National Hurricane Center, and we don’t need all these weather dolts analyzing this for us. Well, we need the center, we can look at their charts and graphs, we know what to do, we can read the stuff. I’ve been tracking the charted forecast track of the storm, and they’re moving it sometimes to the east. The latest, 11 o’clock, they moved it to the west as a cat 1 impact in Naples, Fort Myers area.

This morning at five a.m., the impact was Miami. We’re still not talking about ’til next Tuesday, so it’s gonna be all over the ballpark between now and then. We don’t know where this thing is gonna hit. The models are moving it more and more out into the Gulf. I wouldn’t be surprised if this thing hits in Louisiana someplace when it’s all said and done. Just kidding. Nobody knows, but they’re desperately hoping, they’re so desperately hoping for Tampa. The media, you know, I can see Obama sending FEMA in in advance of the hurricane hitting Tampa so that the Republican convention is nothing but a bunch of tents in Tampa, a bunch of RVs and stuff. (laughing) Make it look like a disaster area before the hurricane even hits there.

OBAMA!!!!! YOU ARE OMNIPOTENT!!!!!!

And while I suppose it helps to have columnists like Tim Egan talk about “The Crackpot Caucus” within the Republican Party when it comes to science, isn’t basically the entire Republican Party a Crackpot Caucus in 2012?

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