December 2007 archive

Pony Party: The animals take over….

My sponsors have reminded me on numerous occasions that while I do make reference to them, I do not give them air time. I explained that we do not have the Fairness Doctrine in play any more and they found that unacceptable. I was reminded that my household is not a democracy.

So… the animals have a few things to say… I had no control over content….

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Why Am I Uncomfortable With An Editorial I Agree With?

Today the NYTimes Editorial Board publishes an editorial urging Venzuelan voters to reject Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s constitutional proposals:

Since he took office eight years ago, Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez, has grabbed more and more power, exploiting his nation’s oil wealth to buy up popular support. Now there are hopeful signs that his plan to become president for life may be too blatant for the electorate to swallow.

Tomorrow, Venezuelans are scheduled to vote on a package of constitutional reforms proposed by Mr. Chávez that would grant the president control over nearly every major political institution, as well as the option to stand for re-election as many times as he wants. A few months ago, it looked like Mr. Chávez would easily get his way. A survey last week by an independent pollster found that 49 percent of Venezuelans opposed the changes and only 39 percent supported it. We hope those numbers hold.

. . . Now there are signs that more Venezuelans have decided to take a stand and vote no. This referendum is too important to miss. Opponents are calling for a massive “no” vote. For the sake of Venezuela’s battered democracy, voters should heed the call.

I agree with this editorial. But the fact that it is run in what I believe is our most important Media institution does not sit well with me. I am not sure that my feeling is right. In fact, I know that if the editorial merely described Chavez’s actions without urging a specific vote on the referenum, I would not feel this way. It is the urging of citizens of another country how to vote that bothers me.

Is that a meaningful distinction? I honestly do not know. My reaction is at the gut level. What do you folks think?  

Right wing hate speech and violent threats against Democrats

Frankly and unfortunately, the only thing that surprises me about the hostage situation yesterday at Senator Clinton’s office in New Hampshire is that it took this long to have something like this happen.  And no, I don’t mean that directly at Clinton – it could have been any Democratic candidate’s office.

In fact, something(s) similar already happened to Democratic candidates, officials and critics of the Bush administration.  Let’s look at the pattern here:  

What do we mean by “civility”?

What do we mean by “civility” in the context of “racism” and how to deal with racism and racists?

I’ll begin by stating my own views as clearly as I can. I won’t try to define civility outside of that context or use any dictionary definition. I’ll just state my own feelings about it and about the “problem”, and there is a big one, in my view.

It’s that we all have different opinions of what “civility” is.

I vehemently disagree that being “nice” to racists is “civil”. In my opinion it is extremely uncivil, and encourages them to think that racism is “just another point of view as valid as any other”.

Well, it’s not. It’s the most fucking uncivil thing in the world. Far more uncivil by fucking orders of magnitude than my use of the work fucking.

And imo racists deserve nothing more than being utterly condemned for their racism… shunned and ostracized and marginalized and insulted and made to feel small and turned into pariahs until they realize, no… until they “feel”… the wrongness of their attitude. And by now most here probably know that I have no problem with telling racists to go fuck themselves.

What most probably don’t know is that it is also my opinion that Armando has been far, far too nice, too restrained and too “civil” on these subjects.

Racism is not a “problem” only for Docudharma per se, it’s a “problem” that exists in the larger society, – and it’s not a “theoretical” problem.

It’s a real life bleeding and dying problem for far too many people.

There seems to be, no – there IS – a widespread desire and longing here for, as many people here have expressed it “peace” and “not fighting with each other” – for “civility”, a shorthand term those who have expressed those desires have used.

The rationalization of most who’ve expressed this desire is that in their view “being civil” by that definition of civil will result in more inclusiveness and less people feeling ostracized or condemned – which they view as a “bad thing” – and that “not being civil” will drive people away by making them feel unwanted.

The rationalization is aimed at not shunning or marginalizing or ostracizing racists out of “concern” for their “feelings”, and out of concern that some of this community might leave it because they are uncomfortable with “incivility”, as they term it.

The inseparable flip side of that rationalization in my view is that it encourages people  to think that racism is “just another point of view as valid as any other”, and removes any pressure or motivation for them to learn that racism is plain flat out wrong and evil, or change or stop.

In other words, in my view, that rationalization accepts that people who suffer from racism,  a set much, much larger than the set of racists, should continue suffering racism and their continued marginalization in the interest of not marginalizing and possibly losing a much smaller set of people who think that the much larger group is somehow inferior to them or less human, and in effect allowing to feel marginalized and excluding the larger group of people who suffer from racism by in effect and for all intents and purposes condoning racism.

That rationalization is racist…

These are my thoughts and opinions. I am not going to comment in this thread beyond a “tip jar”. (well… I tried…) But I will read every comment. Have at me.

Letter to a N8V Friend

Hau kola!

I used to spend a lot of time in AOL’s Native American chat, many years ago.  I was their token white, ennit? I made friends with so many there, in fact I still stay in touch with many, even though I have retired AOL as a browser.

We had meet-ups, and I still have a fishing trip on the Ridge coming… eh, my Lakota kola?  


Kucinich: Making the Case for the Democratic Party at the DNC

As always, Dennis Kucinich gave a barnburner of a speech, this time at the DNC meeting yesterday.  While standing in solidarity with Hillary due to the hostage situation, Dennis makes the case for the Democratic party to return to it’s roots as a champion of social justice and full employment.


The power of words and Changing the world

OK, this is a separate essay.  It arose from comments on several of the recent diaries, on some misunderstanding of some things I was trying to say (and since at least two intelligent people misunderstood, I guess I wasn’t clear) but it’s separate.  I’m not going to link to anything else, I’d like to start fresh.  I’m not GBCWing, so I am here for the long haul and want to make this site as good as it can be.  But I do not intend, here, to be ‘calling out’ anyone.  I’m not trying to pick a fight, I’m trying to clear something up, and make my position known.  

There’s an old saying

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me

.  I think it’s one of the dumbest sayings ever.  Of course words can hurt.  Or inspire.  They can lead people to war, or to peace.  Different people are differently vulnerable to words, just as different people are differently vulnerable to a punch in the nose (try punching a karate master in the nose, see what happens).  Some of us are strong, some of us are weak, some of us are damaged.  But no one is invulnerable.

Who knows this? We all do.  But a master of this is the thoroughly despicable Fred Phelps.  Do his words hurt?  Damn straight.  They’re designed to hurt, and they’re designed well. Phelps is a horrible man who thoroughly repels me, but he’s not an idiot.

Everyone against ‘hate speech’ knows this. Why do some words for ethnic groups sound different than others?  They all refer to the same groups, don’t they?  But words have power.

Words can inspire, as well.  here is a comment from a dailyKos diary that moved me to tears.

or this one:

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

Power.  More power, perhaps, than any particular action King could have taken

WaPo Defends Spreading Lies About Obama

Peter Baker of the Washington Post blogs in defense of WaPo’s spreading lies about Obama:

Two furors stoked by the blogosphere over the last 24 hours neatly illustrate the changing political climate in the United States these days and underscore the depths of suspicion, anger and hostility out there as the country tries to pick a new leader. . . . [L]iberal bloggers ripped The Washington Post for publishing a story on untrue rumors that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is secretly a Muslim.

. . . [A]ny legitimate criticism and sober-minded discussion of the issues raised get drowned out by the loudest, most vituperative voices. The net result is not dialogue, but a contest of outrage.

That, my friends, is a textbook red herring. And, last I looked, CJR was not a vituperative liberal blogger and the CJR writer stated that “In The Washington Post this morning, reporter Perry Bacon Jr. wrote what may be the single worst campaign ’08 piece to appear in any American newspaper so far this election cycle.” And indeed, Baker has little substantively to say in defense of the WaPo story. This seems his best shot:

The reporter wrote the story because a voter in Iowa told him that Obama is a Muslim and he was struck that people remain so ill informed. . . . But somehow a story intended to debunk the false claims, trace their origin and explore the challenge they present the campaign in trying to quash them spawned a furious eruption among liberal bloggers accusing the Post of spreading the rumors.

This is disingenuous to say the least. I feel confident that the Obama campaign wasnot pleased with the story. Does Mr.  Baker wonder why? Perhaps Lyndon Johnson can explain it:

[O]ne of Johnson’s favorite jokes is about a popular Texas sheriff running for reelection whose opponents decide to spread a rumor that he f[***]ks pigs: “We know he doesn’t, but let’s make the son of a bitch deny it.”

Pony Party: Early Thoughts

Yeah, I have no thoughts this morning….

A couple of pictures though….

Poor wet birds….



View from the window…


Docudharma Times Saturday Dec.1

This is an Open Thread: Chit chat is welcome

Headlines for Saturday December 1: Witness Names to Be Withheld From Detainee : Estimate of AIDS Cases In U.S. Rises: A ‘difficult day’ ends peacefully : In Iraq, U.S. shifts its tone on Iran: Jordan’s Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA


Witness Names to Be Withheld From Detainee


Published: December 1, 2007

Defense lawyers preparing for the war crimes trial of a 21-year-old Guantánamo detainee have been ordered by a military judge not to tell their client – or anyone else – the identity of witnesses against him, newly released documents show.

The case of the detainee, Omar Ahmed Khadr, is being closely watched because it may be the first Guantánamo prosecution to go to trial, perhaps as soon as May.

Defense lawyers say military prosecutors have sought similar orders to keep the names of witnesses secret in other military commission cases, which have been a centerpiece of the Bush administration’s policies for detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.


You know, I’m actually a great believer in transparency.  On The Great Orange Satan I’m the one you turn to to explain how things really work and here I am not merely an Admin I am a-

Super Admin!

Super Duck

That story will be the punch line at the end.



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