If it ducks like a quack….

John Avrosis, who we sort of have an on again, off again thing with… y’know, one day he’s on point for civil liberties and then the next day he’s being fairly insensitive about women and the use of language to reinforce patriarchy, but wev…. it’s all good in the lefty hood….

ANYWAY, John has some thoughts on this guy who “cures” teh ghey, and the story that was on CNN last night.

If you read the ex-gay literature, their OWN literature, and I’ve read most of it doing research, they tell you outright that you will NOT become heterosexual from these treatments. You very likely won’t even be really sexually attracted to women, and you most certainly won’t stop being attracted to men 100%. The goal isn’t to become heterosexual, it’s to become closer to Jesus. Seriously, that’s what they say.

And while being closer to Jesus is a very nice thing, I’m sure, it has nothing to do with “curing” homosexuality. a “cured” homosexual is a heterosexual. And the fact that these folks are avoiding those words and responses tells you the entire story.

It’s just very sad.

Well, sad and very deeply creepy.

I am never going to speak again

Oddly, I made the same linguistic fumble about two weeks ago…

Snow use[d] the term “tar baby” while responding to a question in his first televised Press conference today,

I was on the phone with someone in NJ and I was referring to the unique phenomenon of being someone from one of those parts of the country where people use the phone just for business…. and being stuck with someone like me who asks questions like “So… where are you? How’s the weather? You like living there?” Southerners never meet strangers, just new friends, and all that.

And I could tell that this person was thinking “WTF?” and I said, “Well, I reckon I will let you go… I can tell when someone feels like they’ve just smacked the tarbaby.”

And here’s where me and Snow are different… the second I said that, I realized “This person is going to have no idea what I am talking about if they didn’t grow up with the ‘Br’er Rabbit’ books, and they’re going to think I am some kind of redneck racist if I don’t start explaining RIGHT NOW.”

So, I meekly tried to clarify that I was making a reference to a folk tale and blah blah and certainly no offense was intended and I am going to get off the phone now, duh.

The hothouse environment of Fox News, I am thinking, doesn’t really prepare one for life in a world with People of Color. It’s safe to sit in the House That Rupert Built and cast the gimlet eye at anyone who would object to the use of such a metaphor. But, y’know, once you’re out in front on The People’s dime, well…. that whole “How dare you question me?” attitude so popular with Fox pundits should (and probably will) get EXACTLY the reaction it deserves.

This Snow guy…. I think his career crested with “Informer” and this little comeback tour is not going to end well.

I sincerely hope someone emails this to him

Brother TRex with the slash and burn on little Benny Ferguson, Walter Mitty of the once-a-week shavers on the Right.

He could play for the Yankees! He could be GI Joe! He is TWENTY FOUR YEARS OLD!

Where do they get these idiots, anyway? I am right on the verge of declaring that absolutely any guy who wears that stupid, pudding-bowl frat-rat haircut should be automatically banned from any speaking or writing engagement whatsoever. No Regnery book-deal for you, Scooter! And no, you can’t go try and cop some weed off Don Imus. We’re not letting you on his show, either.

How much Kool-Aid is left in that bucket, anyway?

Did the President announce he was going to start draining the Strategic Hubris Reserves, since they’re running so low? Is this simpering peachfuzzed shitstain the best they could do?

You can’t make this stuff up

thoughts on the Tacitus “Online Integrity” crusade

From Joseph Heller’s Catch-22:

Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower, and Captain Black was enraptured to discover himself spearheading it. He had really hit on something. All the enlisted men and officers on combat duty had to sign a loyalty oath to get their map cases from the intelligence tent, a second loyalty oath to receive their flak suits and parachutes from the parachute tent, a third loyalty oath for Lieutenant Balkington, the motor vehicle officer, to be allowed to ride from the squadron to the airfield in one of the trucks. Every time they turned around there was another loyalty oath to be signed.They signed a loyalty oath to get their pay from the finance officer, to obtain their PX supplies, to have their hair cut by the Italian barbers.

To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twnety-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When other officers had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his intelligence tent sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that “The Star-Spangled Banner,” one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses. Each time Captain Black forged ahead of his competitors, he swung upon them scornfully for their failure to follow his example. Each time they followed his example, he retreated with concern and racked his brain for some new strategem that would enable him to turn upon them scornfully again.

Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squandron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.

“The important thing is to keep them pledging,” he explained to his cohorts. “It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ mean.”

–Joseph Heller
p. 122-123 of Catch-22

The World Cup of Candyass

My twin brother and Jane Hamsher have really stirred the hornets’ nest this week, which I find myself watching with some amused detachment. I mean, as I said in the comments at FDL,

I actually think there’s something to this whole right wingers and drugs/anti-social behavior thing. I have been debating on giving The Waste of Paste™ a pass for a while until I am more sure of it, because I actually think the guy’s “tetched,” as we say Down South.

I remember that there was another right wing blogger back in the early days who was quite frank about his social anxiety disorder between posts about the Islamo-fascist-boogieman threat. Damn if I can remember who it was, but I think that they’re gone now. It all sort of fell into place for me after that, and I wrote a kind of snide post called “Birth of the Security Mom” linking anti-social behavior, 9/11 and abuse of Metabolife.

However, as I was sort of resting on my laurels after the whole ‘Heart of Darkness’ dustup, it occurred to me… I think this guy might be seriously crazy, and if that’s the case, then I am going to stop being Part of the Problem.

On the other hand, I didn’t know he was accusing recovering persons of being drunks. That kind of mitigates any shame I might have felt for making fun of the retarded guy.

And really, it boils down to that. I remember reading Protein Wisdom for the first time back in, I think 2002, and I was stunned at the just plain nastiness of the tone of the writing. As I recall, Jeff was in some OTHER dustup with some OTHER blogger, and he was really getting personal and piling it on, and I thought… fuck, what an asshole.

Sow the wind, and all that.

However, MAN have the kewl kids in the bleachers jumped up on the world’s shortest herd of high horses about this. I mean, the whole “HOW DARE YOU!!” tone has me smacking my forehead.

(Sadly, NO! has a nice rundown of one of the real winner’s greatest hits, by the way…)

This whole thing reminds me of something that often happens in the last ten minutes of regulation play in a soccer match… the English call it “diving,” which is where a soccer player who has experienced a rough check falls to the ground and positively WRITHES in agony, gripping his (almost certainly crippled) leg and gasping for breath between the HORRIBLE waves of pain. Because injury time can stretch out a match, it’s naturally the losing team most often seen diving in the waning minutes of the game in order to stop the clock.

I watch a bit of soccer with friends from the UK, and if it’s one of the team who they are rooting for who is on the ground, the often shout “Oh, you fucking BRUTAL BASTARDS! This is football (meaning, of course, “soccer”), not boxing! DISGRACEFUL!!”

Of course, if it’s one of opposing team, they’ll mutter something like “Oh, sweetheart…. that must be AWFULLY painful for you… tell me, does your husband play this game, as well?”

So, yeah, as I watched the pack of shitheels who beat their chests and cheered for the Swiftboat Vets, wondered aloud if Hillary was a lesbian, came over here to MY little corner of the web and called me a moonbat, unhinged, a hysteric and worse (for having the temerity to suggest that the war in Iraq might, y’know, turn out exactly like what it’s turned out to be)… They called Cindy Sheehan a grief pimp, turned on Nick Berg’s father the second he stopped singing from their hymnal, they excoriated Kristen Breitweiser (saying of the 9/11 widow: “In reality she’s an ignorant, Bush-hating, media-whore.” Yes, one of them actually said that.) and to be honest, most of us haven’t forgotten. The litany of nastiness and “uncivility” from the Right is endless.

So it’s kind of hard, at this juncture not to say…”Oh, just put a little ice on it if it stings, you candyasses. Suck it up and quit crying.”

The game looks like it’s winding down, anyway…

Sorry for the light posting-

I am busily stuffing envelopes with CDs to go out to various media and blogger-types.

(Who knew that taking over the world would mean licking so many envelopes?)

Not feeling any great urge to pile onto the Waste of Paste™ just now. Seems he has pulled the bookshelves down on his head just in time to run into a very tough economic patch.

Certainly wouldn’t wish that upon one of my own comrades, but after watching Brother Jeff slosh vitriol upon plenty of people undeserving of his scorn, well…

Just glad I am not him right about now.

Really, nothing is sacred to these people. Nothing.

Glenn Greenwald calls them the “Authoritarian Cultists,” and that works for me.

I have been fulminating over this since Coretta Scott King’s funeral, and it’s finally boiled over as They plot to pulverize the 4th Amendment. These reactionaries have no respect for history, and they feel fairly certain that they can spin any sort of half-truth or bald-faced lie in the interest of advancing their agenda.

Let’s begin with the slander of the memory of FDR. Does anyone else recall the (now mercifully dead) movement to take FDR off of the dime and replace him with Iran-Contra Ronnie? FDR pulled the United States out of the Depression and helped to win the war against fascism. For this alone, he should be included in the pantheon of great American Presidents, along with Lincoln and Jefferson. The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Work Projects Administration were brilliant and innovative programs to aid the poor and bring the nation up from it knees as it struggled out from under the mess that Herbert Hoover (the first “CEO President”) had gotten us into.

FDR managed to do all of this while battling the crippling effects of childhood polio. He also founded the March of Dimes in 1938. (which is why he’s on the dime. duh.) True American Hero, right?

Not so fast. Jonah Goldberg, on FDR and Social Security:

I have some advice for the real small-c conservatives and reactionaries in the debate over Social Security reform: Franklin Roosevelt is dead. Get over it. It seems every time I turn on the TV or the radio, I hear some opponent of reform whining that we’re tinkering with FDR’s “legacy.” Who gives a rat’s patoot?

Of course, liberal mythology about the New Deal legend is, uh, legendary. Still, it’s worth noting that the New Deal surely prolonged the Depression and did far less for poverty than the textbooks claim. The first point is not even particularly controversial. The second is debatable. But what isn’t in dispute among scholars is that it was World War II, not the New Deal, that served to pull America out of its economic doldrums.

Glaring historical inaccuracies aside, that’s some prime wingnut dung flinging, isn’t it?

See, no reputation is unbesmirchable in the Authoritarian Cultists’ pursuit of whatever flim-flam they’re trying to pull on the public.

Let’s move forward to Biscuit, Skeeter and Possum at the Powerline Blog. I believe it was Possum, maybe Skeeter who said this:

We have touched on Jimmy Carter’s political failings, but we have barely begun to exhaust the subject. He was certainly the worst president of the twentieth century. He vies with James Buchanan for the title of worst president in American history.

Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978, anyone? Hello? I mean, it’s no seven pound bass, I grant you, but it’s a little something to put on the mantle.

These are just a couple of examples, but they bring me to the historical revisionism that I find most troubling, which is the sullying of the Civil Rights Movement.

You will of course recall what Ben Domenech said about Coretta Scott King. Do I have to repeat it? Here, see for yourself.


OK, look. The American Civil Rights Movement is one of the greatest struggles for justice the world has ever known, and it is revered around the world as such. You don’t just toss off 400 years of oppression and inequality overnight, and established society threw everything it had against the people who were brave enough to struggle for what was right. Police dogs, firehoses, “nigger-killin'” lawmen… And yet, humble, brave people struggled to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, into a whirling rain of billyclubs and fists, clouds of tear gas and packs of police dogs, knowing that if they were crippled or even killed by the police, no judge would convict their assailants. No jury would ever see that justice was done.

And yet they came anyway, with nothing more than their faith in God and belief in Justice to protect them.

But Ben Domenech thinks Martin Luther King, Jr. was a communist.

And Jonah Goldberg would like you to know the following:

Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Eli Wiesel, Captain Jean Luc Picard, as well as countless politicians have said something to the effect of “we are only as free as the least free among us.”

It sounds nice, of course. Unfortunately, it’s also a crock, factually, logically, and morally.

First, facts and logic: Remember how we all agreed at the beginning of this column that there’s undoubtedly an innocent person in prison right now? Well, he’s not free. Are you only as free as him?

I believe that they are as blind to history as they are because, frankly, one can only assume from that bit of exposition that they are TOO STUPID TO COMPREHEND IT.

Which explains a lot, really. A lot.