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« Liberal Outrage: November 2006 | Main | Liberal Outrage: January 2007 »

Liberal Outrage

Racism Abounds, Bring Back the Nazis

So, it's bad enough we got this joker in the Senate:

A Virginia congressman will not apologize for writing that without immigration overhaul "there will be many more Muslims elected to office demanding the use of the Quran," his spokesman said.

Republican Rep. Virgil Goode's letter to constituents also warns that without immigration overhaul "we will have many more Muslims in the United States."

Spokesman Linwood Duncan said Goode's letter was written in response to complaints his office received about Minnesota Rep.-elect Keith Ellison's request to be sworn in using the Quran.

I noticed there's not a huge uproar denouncing Goode's remarks or a push from the Republicans to either get Goode to retract and apologize or to distance themselves from him. That's not a good sign for the non-racist populace. Not only that, they are letting crackpots on MSNBC talk about how "strange" it is that the focus should be on Goode's remarks as opposed to Ellison "creating" controversy. Cause he's the one "making a big stink", not the racists. Nice spin. Democrats and liberals, take notes.

But now, people are actually taking plays from the Nazi handbook.

When radio host Jerry Klein suggested that all Muslims in the United States should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo or a distinctive arm band, the phone lines jammed instantly. The first caller to the station in Washington said that Klein must be "off his rocker." The second congratulated him and added: "Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country ... they are here to kill us."

Another said that tattoos, armbands and other identifying markers such as crescent marks on driver's licenses, passports and birth certificates did not go far enough. "What good is identifying them?" he asked. "You have to set up encampments like during World War Two with the Japanese and Germans."

At the end of the one-hour show, rich with arguments on why visual identification of "the threat in our midst" would alleviate the public's fears, Klein revealed that he had staged a hoax. It drew out reactions that are not uncommon in post-9/11 America.

I'm surprised this guy was able to do this on his radio show without Clear Channel types deciding they needed to fire his "anti-American" ass. He goes on to discuss how disturbed and disgusted he was with people's reactions.

"I can't believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said," he told his audience on the AM station 630 WMAL, which covers Washington, Northern Virginia and Maryland.

"For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people's bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver's license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It's beyond disgusting.

"Because basically what you just did was show me how the German people allowed what happened to the Jews to happen ... We need to separate them, we need to tattoo their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow Star of David, we need to put them in concentration camps, we basically just need to kill them all because they are dangerous."

It's just shocking and disturbing that we've gotten to this point. All the times the neo-cons and Evangelists used the term "nazi" to describe someone who was a feminist or who was opposed to invading Iraq or the NYT for blowing the whistle on the illegal NSA wiretapping, we were disgusted by their casual and unwarranted use of the term. Now we have 39% of the people polled actually embracing the very same idea the Nazis had in WWII. Tattoo them. Put them in camps. They are the other. They are a threat to us. We are superior. We are good.

Where can we run? Where can we hide from the madmen?


By min | December 22, 2006, 3:00 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



What the hell do we need him and his conditions for?

Bush says he'll support a minimum wage increase, if Democrats will also include a tax cut. Screw him - no one needs to make deals with him at this point. Let him veto a bill raising the minimum wage. We'll see if those approval ratings can go any lower.


By fnord12 | December 20, 2006, 4:38 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Make us happy: raise our taxes

Link:

In May 2005, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) put out a sort of Michelin Guide to the pensions of the world's0 wealthiest nations: the United States, Ireland and their ilk. While the United States is rich, comparatively it's a beggar at the bottom, with a Burger King-type pension, paying on average 39 percent of after-tax income at retirement. Others pay about 70 percent on average. Germany, Sweden: pick a country. Some pay even more.

Yet the right says we can't even do even 39 percent.

For Democrats, this ought to be the real Social Security crisis: Why aren't we at 70 percent? The OECD economists think that's what our debate should be. We have the money. We're the richest per capita - even if, "per capita," most of us get no capital. Why aren't we at least talking about 60 percent?

...
We propose to rob Peter, in the top 1 percent, without ever getting any fun out of paying Paul. I say: Let's give it to Paul, just to give him joy. Here's how we have to sell a tax increase: Not to be fiscally responsible, but to be a little happier. Be like the Europeans. Have a little fun.

Let's indulge in this higher GDP per capita. In richer countries, a strange thing happens: the higher the tax, the nicer it is to live there. And the more interesting life is. As the Nobelist Amartya Sen might say, the whole purpose of GDP per capita is to let us live at a higher level. When we spend our GDP on ourselves (as we do with pensions), higher taxes increase our higher powers.

Without higher taxes, then, for all our wealth we end up starving, wasting away like anorexics, refusing to let ourselves enjoy a cornucopia. We run down our public universities. We destroy our mass transit. (Sitting in traffic, do we enjoy making ourselves mentally ill?) But the worst of it is that we cheat ourselves of the taxes we could spend on ourselves.


By fnord12 | December 18, 2006, 11:21 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



Guess they'll have to actually pay their workers.

Link:

When hordes of police and immigration officials stormed meatpacking plants in six states this week, the illegal workers arrested may not have been the only victims.

Consumers and the industry itself may be feeling the repercussions in a shortage of meatpackers, higher wage costs and, ultimately, higher prices for the beef that lands on America's tables at home and in restaurants.

...
Every labor-intensive industry -- the hotel industry, the construction industry, agriculture -- will be similarly impacted, he said.

"It just happens the meatpacking industry is in the cross hairs right now," Reed said.

Continued massive immigration raids would cut cattle prices paid to cattle feeders and cattle producers while raising the cost of beef for consumers, said James Mintert, an agricultural economist at Kansas State University.

It would also reduce the available labor supply -- putting the U.S. meatpacking industry in a position more comparable to the Canadian slaughterhouses, which have much higher labor costs because they have less access to cheap immigrant labor.

"You are going to end up paying higher wages," Mintert said.

Yep, it's a real shame. Letting supply and demand determine wage levels and the cost of products. I'm sure there's a name for that economic system but i just can't think of it.



By fnord12 | December 15, 2006, 11:45 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Protecting the children

Digby: "Maintaining information about what every American is reading and writing on the internet is necessary to keep children safe. "

Jello Biafra: "What they're trying to do with radio, with this, uh, McCarron-WalterAct and a lot of other ways, is start by saying that they're protecting the public from wicked rock bands, or girlie magazines, or whatever. But, if you follow the chain of dominoes that falls down,what they're really trying to do is shut off our access to information itself."

Digby: "No word on whether McCain and his fellow lawmakers are going to pass legislation making it illegal for politicians to pander to people's fears with stupid, useless legislation while their own brethren are hitting on 16 year old pages. "


By fnord12 | December 14, 2006, 9:16 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



Let them use credit cards

Actually, i think i agree with the Bush administration on this (a first?). I don't want our money to turn even more into Monopoly money than it already has, and i don't think i'd like it if all my bills were different sizes. But i did think this line was funny: "The government said the blind can also use credit cards instead of currency." Seriously! Screw blind people. It's not like they can read my website anyway. And if any blind people are reading this website, i have one thing to say to them: Window. Foreground window.


By fnord12 | December 12, 2006, 6:21 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (4)| Link



Backwards Planet

Last week when Bolton resigned, his spokesperson listed one of his accomplishments as "promot[ing] the cause of peace in Darfur". In fact he did everything in his power to ensure that the UN was as ineffective as possible. And now the crises in Sudan has expanded, dragging in neighboring countries Chad and the Central African Republic. This has been going on for so long now, and the fact that, not only are we not able to stop it, but we can't even prevent it from getting worse, is a testament to how backwards we are as a planet. We don't have an effective organization that can jump in and stop genocides or other humanitarian tragedies? In 2006? Why not? There's no acceptable excuse. It's really sad.


By fnord12 | December 11, 2006, 12:29 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



They're trying to build a prison

Alright! We're #1! We have the more people in prison than any other country in the world. That's true whether you're looking at an absolute number (We have more people in prison than China, who has more than 4 times our population), or as a percentage of our population. The biggest single reason is the mandatory drug sentencing, but that only accounts for 2 million of the 7 million people currently in prison or on parole (7 million! China has 1.5!). While getting rid of those laws and giving people with drug problems treatment would be a huge improvement, these statistics really show a complete failure of our social programs (education, welfare, etc) and our economic system.

Unless you're Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, who says that these statistics are actually a good thing, because the U.S. has "cultural differences" when compared to Japan and Western Europe. Hmmm, i wonder what "cultural differences" means. It's a good thing we're keeping all those people with "cultural differences" locked up.

It's time for some non-random, non-Thursday lyrics:

Prison Song by System of a Down

Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
Following the rights movement
You clamped on with your iron fists
Drugs became conveniently
Available for all the kids
Following the rights movement
You clamped on with your iron fists
Drugs became conveniently
Available for all the kids
I buy my crack, I smack my bitch
Right here in hollywood
(nearly 2 million americans are
Incarcerated in the prison system
Prison system of the us)
Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
(for you and me to live in)
Another prison system
Another prison system
Another prison system
(for you and me to live in)
Minor drug offenders fill your prisons
You dont even flinch
All our taxes paying for your wars
Against the new non-rich
Minor drug offenders fill your prisons
You dont even flinch
All our taxes paying for your wars
Against the new non-rich
I buy my crack, I smack my bitch
Right here in hollywood
The percentage of americans in the prison system
Prison system, has doubled since 1985
Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
(for you and me to live in)
Another prison system
Another prison system
Another prison system
For you and i, for you and i, for you and i.
Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
For you and me
Oh baby, you and me.
All research and successful drug policy show
That treatment should be increased
And law enforcement decreased
While abolishing mandatory minimun sentences
All research and successful drug policy show
That treatment should be increased
And law enforcement decreased
While abolishing mandatory minimun sentences
Utilising drugs to pay for secret wars around the world
Drugs are now your global policy now you police the globe
I buy my crack, I smack my bitch
Right here in hollywood
Drug money is used to rig elections
And train brutal corporate sponsored dictators
Around the world
Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
(for you and me to live in)
Another prison system
Another prison system
Another prison system
(for you and me to live in)
For you and i, for you and i, for you and i
For you and i
Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
Theyre trying to build a prison
For you and me
Oh baby, you and me


By fnord12 | December 10, 2006, 9:26 AM | Liberal Outrage & Music | Comments (2)| Link



Earthship Earthship!!!

It's been a while since i've linked to my favorite peak-oil prophet, so i'm gonna indulge and steal this entire post. The big difference between me and him is that he thinks that it's actually possible that there's some sort of systematic political solution to the coming mess, where i think we need to head for the hills. Anyway, i know this is too long for anyone to actually read, so i'll bold some of the more interesting bits.

The day after the impressive Democratic election victory, Senate Majority Leader-to-Be Harry Reid declared that a top priority for the new congress would be policy leading to "energy independence" for America. The time of jubilee will certainly come, but not in the way Harry Reid thinks it will -- nor in the way the rest of the country imagines this idea.

When politicians flog the term around -- "energy independence" -- they invariably mean that we will continue enjoying the happy motoring utopia by other means than imported oil (which makes up 70 percent of all the oil we burn). Get this: the day is not far off when, for one reason or another, the flow of imported oil to the US will cease. But when that day comes, we will not be running our shit the way we have been running it. That day will be the end of the interstate highways, Walt Disney World, and WalMart -- in short, the way of life we are fond of calling "non-negotiable."

We are not going to run that shit on coal liquids or tar sand byproducts or oil shale distillates or ethanol or biodiesel, or second-hand french-fry oil. Nor on solar, wind, nuclear, or hydrogen. You can run things on that stuff, but not the biggies we run at their current scale. If the Democrats really want to get serious and act responsibly, they'd better not squander whatever is left of our credit and collective confidence in a futile campaign to keep this racket going. They'd better prepare the public to start living differently.

Where to begin? They can start by recognizing that massive long-haul trucking of goods has to end and be replaced by improved, electrified rail plus water transport - with trucks used only for the final, local leg of the journey. To reach this point of recognition, the Democrats will have to overcome the entrenched interests of the trucking industry -- but, by now, most of the truck drivers in this country have been successfully converted into right-wing Republican zombies, so it might not be so difficult to overcome them. They will also have to overcome WalMart and its "warehouse on wheels" composed of thousands of 18-wheelers full of discount goodies incessantly in motion for "just-in-time" delivery to the big box outlets. And, of course, by "WalMart" I mean not only the company itself but the millions of Americans who think they can't live without it.

Do the Democrats have the guts to go against this tide? My guess is probably not. But, get this, too: sooner rather than later, whether we like it or not, we're going to have to replace WalMart with an entirely different system for retail trade -- probably resembling the system of multi-layered local trade networks that were destroyed by WalMart. And the further off we put this task, the more difficult it's going to be. So, real political leadership will have to inform the public that the time has come to start making other arrangements.

Instead of supporting the fiction that happy motoring can continue forever, the Democrats should create an "Apollo Project" to restore the US passenger rail system, too. (We hear a lot about an "Apollo Project" to develop a miracle fuel for our cars, but that ain't gonna happen and we'd be much better off devoting that investment to public transit.) This will baffle and piss off a lot of the public, but it is necessary if we are going to survive as an advanced civilization. Please notice, by the way, that I am not suggesting we deprive anyone of the right to drive a car, only give them the option of getting somewhere by train instead. And don't worry, the politicians will not have to do a thing to restrict automobile use -- circumstances will do it for them as the world plunges into a permanent oil crisis that does not go away.

Another thing the Democrats can do with their new power is reorient the activities of the US Department of Agriculture -- and especially legislated cash subsidies -- away from the "agribusiness" Big Boys to small-scale, local farmers. We are silently and stealthily approaching a crisis situation with the American food supply. Most localities now only have a two or three-day food supply, and any number of crisis events in the offing could disrupt the three-thousand mile chains of frozen pizzas and Cheez Doodles that the public depends on for basic sustenance. We desperately need to reactivate what's left of the productive land around our towns and cities, and to repopulate it with people who can grow real food.

The Democrats will have to contend with the imminent cratering of suburbia whether they like it or not. The "housing bubble" is the first leg down for a development pattern that has no future. What's out there now is a vast over-supply of exactly the kind of houses in the kinds of places that will not have value in an energy-scarcer world. The overbuilding of tract houses is a tragedy caused by reckless and irresponsible behavior in the lending industry and in the government officials who regulate interest rates and the credit supply. The investments are already lost, and the individual carnage is going to be extreme, but the depth of the problem will reveal itself slowly for two reasons: 1.) both homeowners and realtors will desperately try to maintain the fiction that these properties still have high value, and 2.) individuals who are in trouble with their mortgage payments will never reveal their dire situation to their friends and neighbors because it is too humiliating. The news about default and re-po will only arrive with the moving vans (if the individuals can afford to hire them).

The collapse of suburbia will be the Democrats chief inheritance from the "free-market" economically neo-liberal Republicans who were too busy money grubbing at all levels to notice that there was such a thing as the future. The tragedy of suburbia will finish off whatever is left of Reagan-Bush1-Bush2 Republicanism -- although the truth is that Bill Clinton did as much to promote this way of life, indeed, to turn suburban development into a new basis for the US economy when manufacturing crapped out.

The nation as a whole -- however it reconfigures itself politically in the aftermath of this fiasco -- is going to have to come to grips with a lot of hard truths. One will be that "energy independence" means a whole different scale and system for daily life, not just "new and innovative" fuels for cars. As long as we are stuck in a foolish national wish-fest aimed at keeping all the cars running and propping up all the trappings of car-dependency, we will remain lost in a wilderness of our own making. And whoever the next president of the US turns out to be, whether a Democrat or the leader of a party that has not yet coalesced, will have all that he-or-she can do to keep this nation from completely falling to pieces.


By fnord12 | December 8, 2006, 1:53 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



He's a fighter

Link:

WASHINGTON - Republican Vern Buchanan might be the official winner in a messy Sarasota-area congressional race, but Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean says the Democratic-controlled Congress should not seat Buchanan without another election.

"Absolutely not," Dean said in a taped Political Connections interview scheduled to air Sunday on Bay News 9. "You cannot seat someone if you don't have an election that's valid.

"This election is not valid. There are 18,000 people who may have voted, and we don't know what happened to their votes," Dean said. "You can bet that if the Republicans were 500 votes short they'd be calling for a new election, and they'd be right."

Not like these losers:

Her decision could set the stage for a volatile political showdown at the start of the new Democrat-led Congress. Though Democratic leaders, include incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, say all options are on the table, others privately say they hope to avoid the partisan warfare.

By fnord12 | December 8, 2006, 11:35 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



What is wrong with this country?

Link:

Hot on the heels of the release of the Iraq Study Group Report -- and a day in which 10 U.S. servicemen were killed and at least 84 Iraqis were blown up or shot -- prospective presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will join with Joe Lieberman to hold a press conference today at 3 pm ET to announce the launch of a television PSA campaign about... video game ratings.

By fnord12 | December 7, 2006, 3:48 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Diplomacy? That Stuff Actually Works?

There's a definite shift of something going on at the White House because they rolled out this offer to North Korea:

The United States has offered a detailed package of economic and energy assistance in exchange for North Korea's giving up nuclear weapons and technology, American officials said Tuesday.

But the offer, made last week during two days of intense talks in Beijing, would hinge on North Korea's agreeing to begin dismantling some of the equipment it is using to expand its nuclear arsenal, even before returning to negotiations.

...

The incentives offered by the United States include food aid from the United States, Japan and South Korea, a senior administration official said.

The offer is significant because...[h]awks in the administration, particularly in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, have long opposed what they call "rewarding" North Korea for its nuclear test.

So, after six years of idiocy, pretending they could just dictate what they wanted and everyone else would fall over themselves catering to their whims, the Bush administration is bringing back the policy we originally had in place. The policy they criticized and abandoned, calling the former agreement a "pay off" to the North Koreans. The only problem is the North Koreans have been busy these six years. While Bush and his lot have been waving their fists impotently, the North Koreans have been making nuclear weapons. Weapons they didn't have six years ago. Weapons they would have been less likely to produce had we stuck with the policy that was already in place.

Way to go, fuck-ups.


By min | December 7, 2006, 11:32 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Anti-UN Psychopath No Longer UN Ambassador

Next step is to get some anti-Federal government Republicans out of the Federal government but this is a good start. Republicans are still good at spinning things, though. Spinning the complacent media, anyway...

Second paragraph of the article:

Bolton's nomination has languished in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several Republicans. Sen. Lincoln Chafee (news, bio, voting record), a moderate Republican who lost in the midterm elections Nov. 7 that swept Democrats to power in both houses of Congress, was adamantly opposed to Bolton.

Sounds at least kind of bi-partisan, right?

"Despite the support of a strong bipartisan majority of senators, Ambassdor (typo in original) Bolton's confirmation was blocked by a Democratic filibuster, and this is a clear example of the breakdown in the Senate confirmation process," [White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino] said.

Same article, nine paragraphs later. No challenge to that comment in the article, either by juxtaposing it against facts that contradicted it or by providing a single quote by anyone, Dem or Repub, contradicting that statement or justifying the fact that they weren't going to confirm Bolton. There's a quote from Perino touting Bolton's 'accomplishments' at the UN, and nothing in the article that validates those 'accomplishments' or quotes any critics of Bolton's policies.


By fnord12 | December 4, 2006, 10:22 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2)| Link



The War Against the Mole Man

I'm not normally interested when the bloggers i read start complaining about right wing bloggers, but any post that involves Orson Scott Card and the Fantastic Four is worth linking to.


By fnord12 | December 1, 2006, 3:45 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



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