Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The original post is here: http://lookoutofanywindow.blogspot.com/2010/04/guest-post-thank-you-for-sharing-lg.html
This is in response to the blogger who said I am being endoctrinated by Fox News. So if someone does not agree with idiology, then they are being brainwashed by Fox news? So, then Liberals must be getting endoctrinated by MSNBC, is that fair to say? Michael Moore must be your idol, correct? That is the problem with left wing extremists, they are an angry group of people who misrepresent the truth and make accusations that I am somehow being endoctrinated by Fox News. In my blog, that "L.G." responded to, I never once mentioned Fox or Glen Beck, she and this blogger, have put words into my mouth. This is hate speech and what you are basically saying is that if people do not agree with YOU GUYS, that we are being brainwashed by Fox News. All this is doing is helping me further prove my point as to what is wrong with your party and your people. Bring it on!
APRIL 14, 2010 12:15 AM
- Your first premise is that liberals play the race card when backed into a corner. This is Bill O'Reilly's rallying cry. Here's an example from his show: http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201003290058.
- Premise two: democrats are against "personal responsibility" and republicans are for it. Classic Beck. http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/6949/. Actually, progressives include within their definition of personal responsibility a responsibility for society-- for the country as a whole. Does personal responsibility include watching people die in the street, or do I have a responsibility toward those less fortunate than myself. You, my friend, are a parrot.
- Premise three: The provisioning of basic human services is socialism ("money, education, healthcare, and everything else..."). Glenn Beck: http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/38531/. Hey, guess what, THE FOUNDING FATHERS put this strange clause in the Constitution: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." General Welfare?! No way! Our people should be allowed to starve in the streets and die of easily preventable diseases. We have to change the constitution. As far as education goes, it is very much in the interest of Fox News to encourage an anti-education agenda. The Constitution does not mandate education. However, that right has been enshrined in the Constitutions of every state in the Union. If we stopped educating our poor, we would certainly create a cheap labor class. That would be nice as long as we are the Eloi.
- Premise four. Republican ideals are common sense. You say, this Glenn Beck for of "personal responsibility" is what you teach your children. You are not only stupid, but you may actually be sick. First of all, trickle down economics are NOT common sense. Making the rich richer will make the poor richer? How about making the poor richer in the first place. After all, they are the ones who spend the money on consumer goods. When the poor and the middle class spend, the economy works. Trickle down economics is not only counter-intuitive, but it also destroyed our economy. The numbers are in. This is fact. Second, apparently unlike you, I taught my children to be responsible for themselves AND for others: to share their toys, to feed the hungry, to befriend the lonely and to help the needy. I taught them to love others and to cherish the special qualities of all people. I taught them to bring others up with them as they climb the ladder of success, as I have done. I shudder to think that my children will have to share this planet with selfish bastards like you are apparently raising.
- Step one: Convince the poor and middle class that economic favoritism of the super wealthy is in their best interests and get them to vote Republican. It's okay, we can laugh behind their backs.
- Step two: Cower in fear when these people who don't know they've been fooled start taking over the party and espousing armed conflict and an abolishment of all public social services and genuinely believe that we should have poor people starving in our street.
- Step three: blame the black guy.
- Step four: give a charismatic hater (like Glenn Beck) who effectively turns nonsense into fact and picks a simple target, in this case Moslems and anyone else who likes religious freedom, a national media outlet and make sure that the only news reported on that outlet supports the demagogue's fantasy based theories. Do this in the name of religious freedom and tolerance, so your followers won't understand that you are trying to undermine the Constitution.
- Step five: Let this demagogue rewrite history so that his fantasies actually become fact for his millions of followers, by, say, hijacking an important historical event. Tell them that Jesus wanted poor people to die in the street and for the sick to go unhealed. If you can get their religious leaders to espouse this position your homefree.
- Step six: You can get their leaders to espouse this position if you promise that you will make this country a Christian country instead of a religiously neutral one.
- Step seven: Watch the United States become a fascist country in which the wealthiest citizens, by controlling the government are able to seize and use to their own profit, all of our public resources AND use the power of the government to control conduct and use of private property.
- Step eight: Watch as Australian, Rubert Murdoch, and his pal Prince Waleed, both now trillionaires many times over, laugh as those of us left in America have been reduced to substistance farmers.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Question (from a citizen of India):
There is an anti-Israel feeling growing around the world. Especially after the First Gulf War and 9/11. Almost all means of media are contributing to this anti-Israel feeling. There are different lobbies working behind this. I am wondering why Israel is not doing enough to stop or control this. It is truly a total failure. This is high time to do something. War is not an option. Think about it.
Thank you for taking the time to provide these comments.
You write that Israel's popularity has suffered since the First Gulf War in 1991. This is surprising to hear. As far as I can recall, I do not remember any time that Israel was popular, from the time she was granted autonomy to the present day. In fact, I cannot recall a single act that Israel ever did on the international stage that gained her acclaim and admiration.
Does it have something to do with our occupation of a strip of land on the Mediterranean? Or perhaps because we are not nice to our neighbors?
I doubt it. We were not too popular in Europe, where most of us lived beforehand. But that may have had to do with our involvement in science and the arts. After all, what business did Mendelsohn, Heine, Mahler, Freud, Einstein, Chagal et al have mixing their noses into European culture?
But that doesn't work either, because when we lived in the ghettos and minded our business, our popularity was also somewhat under par.
I wish I could say it was just a European thing, but my history lessons tell me that we never quite won an award for popularity from the Arabic-speaking world. Neither were we too popular under the Byzantines, the Persians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Babylonians or the Pharaohs of Egypt.
It's not as though we didn't try. We offered them many new ideas, and they accepted most of them—our alphabet, architecture, crafts such as glassmaking and metalwork, monotheism and divine providence, our prophets and what they call "the book of books," most of our ethics, the idea of the equality of all human beings before G‑d. They happily took it all, even claimed it for their own. But for whatever reason, we remained even less popular than those who contributed somewhat less.
So today things have not changed much. Whether Israel defends herself or grants concessions, assassinates terrorists or frees them, speaks out or shuts up, she receives the same degree of criticism and outrage. Even when, only a few months ago, Israel provided the most advanced medical aid of any country in the world to the suffering people of Haiti, her motives were questioned and not a thing changed.
You will say, "So what did you people do to deserve this bad rap?"
And I will ask you in return: What did the peace-loving Ahmadiyya of Pakistan, whose motto is "Love for all, hatred for none" do to deserve a massacre of 86 of their following in a mosque last June? What did the peace-loving monks of Tibet do to deserve the torture and persecution of the Chinese conqueror while the world remains quiet? What did Gabriel Holtzberg and the tourists in Bombay do to deserve the bloodthirsty cruelty of terrorists? Since when were the peaceful and virtuous touted as heros among humankind, rather than simply trampled beneath the horses' hooves, the chariot's thunder and the grinding battalions of war?
In truth, there was one time that Israel gained a small window of popularity. When Israel's young men fought back Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi and Iraqi troops directed and armed by Soviet aid to victory in six days, then there was a short outburst of admiration. Even our enemies were truly impressed. Why? Because they don't admire wimps who try to live in harmony. They admire tough men and winners of war.
Perhaps Jews are the woman of the nations. Our forefathers are praised for many traits, but prowess at war is not one of them. Look in the Talmud and you'll be hard put to find the sages extolling the virtues of their people as warriors and the mighty heroes. Rather, they describe "three virtues of this people: they are compassionate, they bear a sense of shame and they do acts of kindness"—all very feminine virtues. Perhaps as macho men beat their wives, so the nations of the world are obsessed with beating down the Jews.
Or perhaps, as Paul Johnson writes in his History of the Jews, Jews represent G‑d to the world. G‑d is what provides people with guilt and shame. They don't like guilt and shame. So they don't like Jews.
Or perhaps we should go to the greatest anti-Semite of all time and ask him. Adolph Hitler, may his name and memory be forever erased, wrote that, "The Jews have provided the world with two blemishes; one on their bodies and one on their psyches. On their bodies, they have provided circumcision, and on their psyches, they have provided a conscience."
It's simple: You're told that Hitler gassed the Jews while the world looked on, that those nations who had a chance to save Jews deliberately failed to do so, and those lands to which Jews fled refused to let them into their borders. How do you rid yourself of this horrible guilt? By pointing to Israel, reinterpreting the facts and saying, "See, they're just as bad as the rest of us!"
Perhaps that's it. Perhaps if we stop being the conscience of the world, then they will let us come to the prom and even dance with us.
Perhaps. But if we do, we will no longer be who we are.
So I have a better idea. Maybe we'll just stop apologizing for everything we do, lift our heads high and be who we are without regard for the world's opinion.
One day soon, all the world will turn upside down and those who loved peace and compassion will rise to the top while the emperors and conquerors will fall to the bottom. I'm quite sure that at that time we will gain some popularity. Until then, we can wait.
|By Tzvi Freeman More articles... | |
Rabbi Tzvi Freeman heads Chabad.org's Ask The Rabbi team, and is a senior member of the Chabad.org editorial team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Filessubscription.
Rabbi Freeman is available for public speaking and workshops. Read more on his bio page.
All names of persons and locations or other identifying features referenced in these questions have been omitted or changed to preserve the anonymity of the questioners.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
So let’s begin.
Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.
Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.
Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.
Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister — who also works for the organization — defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America’s Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.
Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough—“living fossils” as he called them—“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.
Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.
Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Muslims and liberals, respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.
Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh, when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up the New York Times.
Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on freerepublic.com last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”
Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.
In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?
To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.
And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.
Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S. Wise has spoken in 48 states, on over 400 college campuses, and to community groups around the nation. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has trained physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. His latest book is called Between Barack and a Hard Place.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
It is always odd when someone comes out against their own self interest in such a blatant way as you have.Stay tuned in to see where this conversation goes.
Your response to me is actually quite silly on its face. On the one hand you reject the article I sent you by telling me not to respond with something that someone else wrote, while you yourself are mimicking Glenn Beck almost word-for-word.
I do not know exactly why you have chosen not to respond to the salient and well-cited points made in the article I sent you. It was my intention to engage in a meaningful debate. It was not simply sent as an invitation for you to continue your inane rant about things like personal responsibility and small government. These arguments, of course, fail instantly. First, the U.S. Constitution actually MANDATES that the federal government provide for the general welfare (its in the preamble). Second, the size of both the Federal government and the federal deficit both grew at an unprecedented rate under Bush, Jr. while both were shrunk under Clinton (Clinton actually eliminated the deficit.) Since this is beyond debate, these assertions barely merited a response.
As to your other points, you appear to be confused about the difference between socialism and social responsibility. Is caring for your fellow man some kind of evil? Again the U.S. Constitution mandates that Congress provide for the general welfare. The founders, including Mr. Jefferson, recognized social responsibility as an absolute imperative for a functioning civilization. Or were the founding father's "socialists" as your definition would imply.
To the extent that health care reform is a social benefit, it is clearly of benefit to anyone who has to provide for their own health care. The health insurance companies cannot do this. That is why they exclude people with pre-existing conditions and deny benefits to their insured on a regular basis. If private insurance were capable of providing health care to everyone who needed it, the government would not have to be involved. There are only two groups of people that have a principled argument against health care reform: The very, very wealthy who can afford health care on their own (i.e. no employer contribution) and the health insurance companies themselves. You however appear to equate the government's intervention in seeing that all Americans can received basic medical care with "socialism", and "Marxism". How does this argument fare when applied to Social Security and Medicare? It doesn't. By your logic, these programs must be dismantled too.
The republican party's relationship with labor would also appear to be against your own self interest. Reagan set the tone by weakening, for the first time, the power of labor to collectively bargain. He set the tone by laying off all of those air-traffic controllers in the 1980's when they decided to strike. Does this create opportunity or does this silence the voice of the American worker? Take a look at this recent mine disaster in West Virginia. Why was this corporation allowed to run roughshod over the government's safety regulations? Why was there no power in the labor union to insist that if the mines weren't safe the workers wouldn't show up? You need to read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" to understand why labor needs to be protected by unfettered corporate power. I cannot believe that you advocate for removing for workplace and employment protections.
You are not a corporation and corporations are not people. In fact, their interests are quite different. Republicans confuse this issue intentionally and relentlessly. I agree with you wholeheartedly that that the freedom of the individual in America must be protected at all costs, but protecting the freedom of the individual necessarily means limiting the power of corporations and only the government has this power. The insurance companies were shifting the burden of the uninsured onto the government (who pays when an uninsured person gets a heart attack and is raced to the emergency room?) Should the free market be costing the taxpayers money? That's not a free market. That's corporate entitlement.
Why should corporations be permitted to charge their mistakes to the government but not individuals? It was Bush's bailout of the banks-- not Obama's. Where did this fact get lost?
As to Obama's minister, you have simply neglected context and in doing so, you have also neglected common sense. "God Damn America" for not fulfilling her mission of ensuring equal rights for all? Does that mean, "I don't like America." Quite to the contrary, it means I love America and want her to be better. It means that people shouldn't have to die in the streets from easily preventable diseases. If I can save a life by spending a few dollars and I don't do it, then God Damn me too!
Republican policy has lead to the greatest wealth stratification not only in the history of America, but also in the history of democracy. I do not believe that you could be so naive as to think that you have access to the upper echelons of wealth that Republican policy is designed to protect. In fact, you could not survive in the type of plutocracy you envision.
The principles of the Republican party are diametrically opposed to the self-interest of a single, working class, mother living with her parents. Yet you espouse them vociferously.
You should understand that the republican party is really two parties: First, it is the party of the corporation and in this guise, it espouses a philosophy of free markets, small government (meaning no government regulation of business), lower taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, fewer labor rights, elimination of public social services. This party creates wealth stratification. It keeps the poor in the ghettos and uneducated (I mean, after all, how do you pay for public schools and colleges without taxes). But this is understandable: the rich want to protect the rich.
The second republican party, consists of the very poor and uneducated. They have been coaxed in by false patriotism, conservative social values, and racism (all of which happen to make appearances in your post, by the way.) This group ends up espousing against their own interests. The irony is that the republican spin machine has convinced its mostly Christian base that social justice, concern for the poor, and compassion are BAD. Those that require benefits to feed their children, who will not be able to afford college, who require assistance in training for or finding a job or housing; single mothers, the homeless, the unemployed; social security recipients, medicare recipients, disability recipients, and others who benefit from these social programs vote so much against their own self interest, that one cannot help but laugh at them. And in fact, the members of the first Republican party do laugh at them, for instance, by entertaining their corporate donors at lesbian-bondage clubs, while purporting to stand for family values. I'd like to be in that family!
Because these people are not taken seriously by either party, they have self-marginalized and become irrelevant. They have chosen slavery over freedom and deserve their fate. Granted they receive a lot of media attention, but that is because they are a political sideshow. Freakshows get ratings. There is an old legal axiom: "If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have neither the law nor the facts on your side, pound the table." The noise these people make is only to detract from their lack of substance. The lack of a coherent message is a symptom of the disease: the tea-parties were created by corporate lobbyists solely for the purpose of making noise. (Now it may be Frankenstein: free of its corporate masters, its existence is the embodiment of unreasonable danger.)
There is nothing wrong with seeking to serve the greater good and shame on those who have convinced you otherwise. That's what a society is. Your rejection of the article I sent you documenting, with citations, the abuses of the republican party for no reason other than that I didn't write it, is proof of your intention to remain ignorant. Do you realize that you have actually said, quite directly, "don't bore me with the facts, I am only interested in your opinion." It is very, very arrogant for you to reject a progressive point-of-view that is incredibly well supported by facts by saying, "oh, its not supported by facts because its a progressive point of view."
My opinion is that you are an unfortunate victim of media tunnel vision. I fear that you have been exposing yourself only to media that reinforces your own ideas as is made quite apparent from your outright rejection of the well-researched article I brought to your attention and the entirety of the mainstream media. (By the way, because I do not have media tunnel-vision, I am well aware that your reference to "lamestream", is a direct quote from Glenn Beck. I have also heard it used by Sarah Palin and Pat Robertson, so the source of your misinformation is no mystery.)
Your media tunnel vision is a big problem because you accept as fact things that are not fact. For instance your assertion that the President is ignoring what the majority of people in this country want is embarrassingly stupid. Obama won a decisive majority running on the healthcare reform platform and his national favorable rating across all polls, including Fox News shows 51.7% favorable versus 42.5% unfavorable. Even Fox News' independent poll reports 50% favorable to 45% unfavorable. Source: pollster.com.
If you're just talking about the healthcare approval numbers, do you understand that the disapproval numbers include both the tea partiers who didn't want any reform, and the progressives who wanted a real public option? Compromise and ignoring-the-will-of-the-people are two different things. Since I know you well enough to know that you wouldn't intentionally distort the statistics, I must assume that you are repeating a lie that was force-fed to you by media outlets and personalities (Beck, Palin, Robertson) that cater to your preconceived notion. Media tunnel vision is an enemy of principled debate. If we are to continue this debate, please don't resort to Glenn Beck for your arguments. He is truly an idiot.
In sum, as a member of the second republican party your voice is silent in the real political debates of the day and I would urge to analyze for yourself what your interests are and which party and candidates most align with those interests. Don't try to be philosophical. Try to be pragmatic and you can yet save some face. I know that in asking you to do so, I am but a quiet voice against the billions of dollars corporate America continues to spend to keep the second republican party in its service. I hope that your mind has not been so co-opted that it has become unrecoverable.