OK, I’m glad someone said it

Because it gets kind of tiresome to repeatedly watch left-of-center people get tarred and feathered as “Traitors” and their meek little responses don’t really give you the feeling that their gut is telling them any different.

Wes Clark, on the other hand, doesn’t do anything to elevate the debate so much, as he sends the message that he’s not going to stand for it any more. In so many words….

Dec. 21, 2003, 1:25AM
Associated Press

DERRY, N.H. — Moments after praising his opponents in the Democratic presidential race as worthy running mates, Wesley Clark said, in no uncertain terms, how he would respond if they or anyone else criticized his patriotism or military record.

“I’ll beat the s— out of them,” Clark told a questioner as he walked through the crowd after a town hall meeting Saturday. “I hope that’s not on television,” he added.

It was, live, on C-SPAN.

The campaign’s traveling press secretary, Jamal Simmons, was with Clark at the time.

“If anyone tries to question Wes Clark’s character, integrity or his commitment to this country or its security, they’re going to be in the biggest fight they’ve ever had,” Simmons said.

My first Fisking

Y’all know who Kathleen Parker is? She’s a writer over at Town Hall dot com, apologist for the racially brutal and truly one of the most clueless commenters on race relations in this country EVER.

Excerpted here is her column on Essie Mae Washington-Williams, mixed race daughter of Strom “Hang ’em All” Thurmond. It hurts every bone in my body to see folks let him off for this. I can’t help it. Ladies and gentlemen, my first Fisking starts here:
Strom’s daughter is class act
Unlike all those other children of women that were raped by white men and got angry about it. Take it and smile, and we’ll call you a “class act”!

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Ask most thoughtful South Carolinians what they think about Essie Mae Washington-Williams – Strom Thurmond’s biracial daughter who publicly identified herself Wednesday – and you’ll most likely hear: “It’s complicated.”

That’s assuming you ask WHITE FOLKS. Maybe that’s what Ms. Parker meant by “thoughtful.” Ask Black Folks about it and they’ll generally say “Well, I’ll be… a white hypocrite that used racial hatred to advance his political career? Who would have thought of that? How very ‘complicated!'”

Commentary doesn’t get any more Southern than that. In the land of manners, you don’t look directly at a thing. You avert your eyes from “unpleasantness.” And you don’t talk directly about people, which would cast doubt upon the quality of one’s upbringing.

And you sho’ don’t look massa in the eye, laws no! He smack ya fo’ it!

So that when a 22-year-old white man named Thurmond takes a 16-year-old black girl named Carrie Butler to his bed, well, things happen. Or they used to.

Yeah, we used to call that ‘Plantation Rape.’
[Read more…]

Shades of Chicago

Well, it looks like hippie-bashing is back in style for cops again. Even the man charged with prosecuting the people arrested in Miami is balking at throwing the book at the “defendants”:

A judge presiding over the cases of free trade protesters said in court that he saw ”no less than 20 felonies committed by police officers” during the November demonstrations, adding to a chorus of complaints about police conduct.

Judge Richard Margolius, 60, made the remarks in open court last week, saying he was taken aback by what he witnessed while attending the protests.

”Pretty disgraceful what I saw with my own eyes. And I have always supported the police during my entire career,” he said, according to a court transcript. “This was a real eye-opener. A disgrace for the community.”

A more detailed exposition of the similarities between Miami and the Democratic National Convention of 1968 would be responsible and informative here….. Maybe if I have some time later… see if I can get Billmon on the phone… The guy may have annoyed me with his wisecracks about southerners a few months ago, but it’s hard to beat him for in-depth commentary.

In Defense of Marriage

The last time I checked, the American Family Association’s online poll is still up, and you can view the results on the sign-in page.

Looks like they got a solid taste of public opinion.

victory.gif

Wonder if they’ll bury the results when it’s over….

See, the thing I think that they didn’t take into account was that there are more folks like US with COMPUTERS than there are folks like THEM….

Go Forth and Send a Message

One of these “Pro-family” organizations is running an online poll about homosexual marriage. They want your opinion. Really.

As an American citizen, you’re allowed to go have your say in their poll.

The American Family Organization is running this poll and has announced that the results will be forwarded to Congress. I wonder if they expected for the results to be DEAD EVEN. (Actually, if you count the votes for Civil Unions, then the folks opposed to any sort of legal recognition for gay relationships are going to get their asses handed to them in this poll.

Go let them know.

If you read their homepage… hoo, boy. What a bunch of Flat Earth Society types. “NEWS ALERT- The F-Word Used Again, This Time by FOX!

How come “Family Values” always turns out to be code for “Hatin’ Homos”? There are gay people in my family… And I value them…. These people need to loosen up a little.

PS- all hate mail will be graded for spelling and punctuation and then displayed here. (punk-chew-A-shun: That’s how you use them little marks down there on the right side of your keyboard, Cletus. Praise Jesus.)

Best British blogs

Years ago, I discovered what is still one of my favorite blogs, Scary Duck through the Guardian’s Best British Weblog awards. This year’s have been announced.

One of the big winners is Belle du Jour, the diary of a London Call Girl. No shit. I only discovered it today, but damn.

Scary Duck is still a riot, by the way.

I am only just now perusing the others…

Gee, Wes… ya think?

Wes Clark turns up the heat a little and says “ If I was in the driver’s seat, we’d have caught Osama Bin Ladin by now.”

Strong words. But I have to give it some thought, because I like and respect Clark as a candidate, and I think it would be difficult for me to list everything that I think is wrong with BushCo.

If the US Military had been left to focus on Afghanistan instead of turning all sights abruptly towards Iraq in the Spring of last year, would we have been able to focus the resources that we needed to the highlands and the Pakistani border? Would we have OBL and Mullah Omar in custody? Granted, it’s all speculation, but now instead of having one mission accomplished, as those silly sailors implied by putting up that banner, we have two missions half-assed done. And no one in the administration seems ready and willing to answer the question “Is America really safer now than it was on September 11th?”

I think that if BushCo would stop stonewalling the 9/11 investigation (and what’s up with that?) then we would know comprehensively if we are safer or not. I have a feeling that the answer to the question is “uhhhhhhhhh…. well, there’s a time for politics….uhhhhh….. it’s, uh, anabsurdinsinuationnextquestion, ‘k?”

additionally,

He added, “We’ve got a president who will go halfway around the world for a photo opportunity but won’t go halfway across town for a funeral for an American serviceman.

“I’ve been to those funerals. I’ve comforted families. … I don’t think you can make good policy at the top if you don’t understand the impact at the bottom of your organization.”

Hurt

The Johnny Cash version of “Hurt” by Trent Reznor is playing in the room while I am reading the news. Jeebus, what a song. Like Johnny, I never much cared for the St‡rm unt Drang of the NIN version, but Cash’s version is making me realize a few things….

1. “If I could start again, a million miles away, I would keep myself. I would find a way.” OK, Trent Reznor really *can* write lyrics. It’s no small feat to make everyday words and phrases jump up and pop like that.

2. Johnny Cash never stopped being Johnny Cash.

I was reading the Newseek article about Cash’s death the other day and the article turned to his life after June’s death-

Can a wound like the death of the love of one’s life ever heal? Not easily; maybe not ever. “He tried to contain himself,” Reverend Wilson says, “but her passing took his last spark, the last bit of his heart.” Cash admitted as much. “I don’t know hardly what to say tonight about being up here without her,” he said at his first public appearance after her death, at the Carter Family Fold country music festival in Hiltons, Va. “The pain is so severe there is no way of describing it.”

The pain could be described not in words but in sobs. “One day there was just the two of us sitting there,” Stuart recalls, “and he broke down and started crying and said, ‘Man, I miss her so bad.’ I didn’t know what to say, so I held his hand. He loved my wife Connie, who’s been a friend to that family for a long time. He grabbed my hand and said, ‘Son, cling to her; cling to her; cling to her.’ What I saw at that moment is that he would have traded every bit of fame, fortune¤everything that Johnny Cash meant to the world¤for five minutes with June.”

You don’t say?

Ah, Miami… Swimming pools, movie stars, fruity drinks, and the proving grounds of the new Police State. (Just click through for the day pass. You need to read this article.) (Unless creeping fascism makes you really mad. Then you need to go watch Survivor or something.)

“Essentially what happened,” she adds, “is that the police went from being the neutral protector of liberty and property and safety, which is what their job is supposed to be, to being the enforcer of a political goal of the political and business communities.”