“Hang Obama!” Is that always racist?

Correlation, causation, race, the President, and hanging

Once upon a time not so long ago, someone on the Internet expressed an opinion. I found my umbrage and took all of it. And, thinking I’m the Deathmonger Whisperer, I took it upon myself to gnaw on another huge leg of futility. I was fresh out of lamb, you see.

As one might gather from the title, the opinion expressed was none too subtle. One might even divine which side of the partisan divide excreted this little gem. Of late, I’ve taken to trying to engage rationally with those with whom I disagree…with tact and diplomacy. I know. I know. “Who are you, and what have you done with Frank?!” It’s only an exercise in futility if I actually hope to persuade someone to change their mind on an issue. Failing that, I’m learning a great many valuable things, not least of which is to vent expletives into the room instead of through my keyboard. It accomplishes just about as much, but it leaves the door open to genuine discussion.

The specific opinion expressed was that Obama is guilty of treason [citation needed] and should be hanged, as per the Constitution. Never minding for a moment that the Constitution only calls for Congress to determine the punishment without expressly stating how it should be carried out, much less that it should be death, much less that it should be capital punishment by hanging, I went with what to me (and a great many others) was the apparent (if not actual) racism implicit in the suggestion. To that end, I replied much as follows: Continue reading

Fact checking Lee Camp, and still to good effect

Lee Camp, one of the most scathing and brilliant commentators of the day, has a new macro up on Facebook. It makes a compelling case. Sadly, even one of our own occasionally needs a touch of fact-checking.

On the one hand, this didn’t stand up to PolitiFact, coming in at only “mostly true.”

On the other hand, the lowest percentage they came up with was 73%. So if the macro is simply reframed as “The candidate who raises the most money wins at least 73% of the time,” it will withstand fact-checking and still indicate something is horribly, horribly wrong.

Image credit: Posted by Lee Camp on Facebook, attribution included in image. Included in this post on the assumption that sharing is expected and encouraged.

Some of the most important history you’ve probably missed

Racism or abortion? You decide.

For the sake of history and truth, this might be the most important thing you read in quite a while.

The Real Origins of the Religious Right @ Politico

Short version: evangelical “community organizers” (recognize that dig?) and bearers of false witness initially tried to fire up the right wing evangelical “moral majority” (currently only approximately 26% of the US population…hardly a majority of any kind) in support of racially segregated schools. Patron Saint of the new GOP, Ronnie Reagan, who committed treason to win the 1980 election by interfering with the release of US hostages held by Iran (somehow omitted from this article), trotted out support of racial segregation but got punched in the political junk for it and backed down. Bob Jones University, the school that took the issue all the way to SCOTUS, eventually lost, and with the case any hopes of regaining its tax-exempt status in an 8-1 decision. That’s one helluva SCOTUS decision. The one justice that supported racial segregation? Ronnie’s SCOTUS appointee Renquist. Continue reading

Louie Gohmert: giving new meaning to ignorant fuckwit

Warning: I say some damned ugly things to highlight the damned ugly things in the world.

If people don’t want me putting the words of troglodytes in their mouths, they shouldn’t beat me to the punch.

From Raw Story: Louie Gohmert: Obama won’t ‘defend women’ from ‘hundreds of thousands’ of immigrant rapists

I think the last time we had this kind of racial rape fear mongering, it was about the darkies, wasn’t it? And I suppose naturalized citizens must rape less because paperwork? And natural born Americans even less or not at all because? Nope. I just cannot trick my brain to work like that. I’m waiting for him to discover phosphenes and declare them UFO’s or MusliMex terrorist communicades or something.

As per usual, yes, immigration is fux0red. Needs fixing. But puts our continued existence at risk? 300+ million versus how many? And that’s all it will take to water down our precious what, exactly, out of existence? And for that matter, just where did Louie Gohmert’s (or yours, or my) first generation immigrant families come from? I’m a Euromutt, myself, and fairly certain my ancestors made it here during that long, long wave of “open” immigration. You know, back when it was the in thing to just hate on those stupid WOPs and mics and the kikes, can’t forget the kikes, and the krauts and, oh hell, you get the point. We clearly ran out of good, decent European stock to hate on. Now that they dropped their anchor babies (don’t exist, btw) ages ago, we’re cool and it’s the new wave we need to worry about.

I wonder what this same conversation will look like 100 years from now when the friggin beaners are now in the accepted class and we’re all worried about those f’in pakis taking over 10,000 cab drivers at a time. 100 years later, then the pakis will be cool, and who can we hate on then? Plan early, plan often. Make sure your kids are prepared to hate someone, dammit, cuz there absolutely must be someone, right?

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Image credit: Jeff Golden @ flikr.com. Licensed under Creative Commons.

If corporations are people, what about the 4th amendment?

From Moyers & Company: 10 Supreme Court Rulings — Before ‘Hobby Lobby’ — That Turned Corporations Into People

Here’s a head-scratcher:

“The Future: If a corporation has First Amendment rights, could it also claim Second Amendment protections? Amazingly, this is a question some scholars are seriously pondering. As Darrell A.H. Miller wrote in his 2011 article Guns, Inc. in the NYU Law Review, “If Citizens United is taken seriously, the Second Amendment, like the First Amendment and like many other provisions of the Bill of Rights, guarantees liberties to natural and corporate persons alike.” Bang!”

Forget corporations and 2A. What about corporations and 4A? To what extent might they press to no longer be required to reveal anything to the public unless there is first probable cause for that information to be subpoenaed? No more publicly-available quarterly filings, no more transparency on which to base investment decisions. Heaven help us if they seek that kind of opacity.

That, to me, is a far graver threat.

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Image credit: Cory M. Grenier @ flikr.com. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Sermonizing from the statehouse #doingitwrong

From Raw Story: Governor tells Iowans to ‘repent’ in official proclamation for Christian revival at Capitol

This is not how the freedom of religion in the first amendment is supposed to work. When the governor of a state is essentially sermonizing in his role as governor, the wall between church and state has crumbled to dust. We don’t have to like or approve of of the 47% of Iowans who aren’t religious, but their religious freedom absolutely includes not being preached to by any faith from the halls of power.

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Image credit: Ed Uthman @ flikr.com. Licensed under Creative Commons.

I may be amenable to correction, but MSM doesn’t seem to be

From PunditFact: Introducing: Scorecards for the TV networks

If you watch the news on TV for the same reason I watch reruns before bed (background noise, vague amusement) more power to you! If you’re watching MSNBC, NBC, or Fox in particular and use that programming as information, you might wish to reconsider, unless perhaps you prefer disinformation and lies about the important events of the day.

Me? My habits might not be much better, but I try and I share, however aggravating that is.  I’d guess about 1/3 of my news comes from Facebook, a bit from my newsreader (hundreds of sources, too many to keep up with, so really random and scattershot), and the rest from (usually) looking up items of interest for some measure of fact-checking and perspective. Sometimes I screw up. I try to remember to post a correction when that happens.

If you see me being horribly wrong (or even just a little wrong) about something fact-related, by all means let me know. I hate being wrong and don’t mind correcting myself. If I’m wrong about an opinion? Let me know why. If more digging turns up facts that should change my mind, typically I change my mind. Well, I think I typically do that. I try. If I’m wrong as a matter of taste and style? Ask the folks who’ve known me since the 80′s…that’s probably not gonna change. I started out wrong like that. I think I just get worse with age 

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Image credit: Kevan Davis @ flikr.com. Licensed under Creative Commons.