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Makes Me Glad I Dropped Out.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 by Michael Reynolds

I'm going to agree about 80% with blogfriend Pastor Jeff, and disagree 20%.

First, agreement:

“A RACIST: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination. (This does not deny the existence of such prejudices, hostilities, acts of rage or discrimination.)"

“A NON-RACIST: A non-term. The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to maintain an aura of innocence in the face of racial oppression, and to shift responsibility for that oppression from whites to people of color (called "blaming the victim"). Responsibility for perpetuating and legitimizing a racist system rests both on those who actively maintain it, and on those who refuse to challenge it. Silence is consent."
The above is a paragraph from the handbook of the Maoist re-education camp at the University of Delaware. Pastor Jeff thinks the above statements may be just a tad bit false. Just a teeny bit, um, bullshitty. I agree. The above represents circular logic at its finest. If you admit you're a racist, then you're a racist. If you deny you're a racist, you're a racist. If you are white you are ipso facto, a racist, and by the bizarre-o world terms of this document, that categorization of an entire race is not itself racist.

Ta da!

The person who wrote the document in question needs a long period of unemployment. It is idiotic on its face, and patently racist. The university administration that allowed this stupidity to be forced on students at their school, should be turned out onto the streets and forced to beg for food until they can learn to construct a simple syllogism.

I further agree with Jeff when he writes:

It's a fascinating (if stomach-turning) look into what becomes of "movements" when they achieve major goals. New issues must be championed; new enemies must be identified; the work has to continually grow -- otherwise, how will the money keep coming in? How will organizers keep their jobs if they can't keep the supporters perpetually outraged about something? Look at what's happened to groups like NAACP or MADD or CSPI or Planned Parenthood.

Or, I would add, the GOP, which moved seamlessly during the course of the last 40 years from veiled racism, to veiled sexism, to overt homophobia. There's always a new scapegoat for our Republican friends. But that doesn't counter Jeff's point, merely expands it.

But here, where Jeff contrasts the alive-and-kicking nature of anti-semitism and what he sees as a past-tense racism, I part ways a bit:

But there really is no significant movement or institutional power which wants to return to Jim Crow, segregation, or slavery. Israelis don't have to go looking for anti-semitism; the rockets are a pretty good reminder. Who is that is actively trying to demean, disenfranchise or destroy black Americans? What actual institutional structures exist to keep black people down? And if you could find any, how would they compare in impact relative to the policies, programs, and laws which do exist to help minorities?

Frankly, I think this racist victimhood mentality is a destructive pathology in American culture. It has no place in a serious academic environment except as a case study of dangerous and bankrupt sociology, like Nazism or communism. I'd prefer such things were consigned to the dustbin of history, only to be studied as examples to be avoided.

I have a one word counter: Katrina.

Am I a Katrina conspiracy nut? No. I don't believe the government opened floodgates hoping to drown black people. But I also don't believe we'd have bought the scare stories of savagery from New Orleans if we'd been talking about white people. And I don't think it would have taken half so long to get men and supplies to the dome if it had been full of white people.

If I may be allowed a small plug for Desert Bayou, a friend's movie (story credit: Me, incidentally,) I don't think 600 white people would have been loaded onto a plane, not told where they were going, flown across the country to, say, Cleveland, (the African-American equivalent of Salt Lake City?) illegally searched upon arrival, publicly accused by the state's highest law enforcement officer of being a bunch of criminals, housed on a military reservation far from the city as opposed to hotels or motels, and then held under curfew.

I don't see that happening to white people.

Racism is very much alive and well. It may have gone underground, but it is far from gone. And yet, I agree that it is overstated, and I agree that focusing on racism as a single-bullet-theory of all the ills of the African-American population is destructive. It's because racism is still so alive that I disagree vehemently with the buffoons running the University of Delaware's little thought-crime indoctrination camp.

Hey, geniuses of Delaware: in the end we want less racism, not more. Right? So you really figure the way to achieve that is to label all whites as racist? Since whites cannot become black, they cannot by your logic ever be anything other than racists, which eliminates entirely the possibility of any progress whatsoever, and ensures that racism will survive in perpetuity.

Seriously, you guys run a college?

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Huckabaloney

by Michael Reynolds

Huckabee lies. Huckabee passes the buck. Huckabee waffles. (Delicious, by the way, with a dollop of creme fraiche.)

Bad Huckabee, bad.

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The Politics of Pile On

by Michael Reynolds

Pile On - Not The Fun Kind.

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Medal of Freedom

by Michael Reynolds

Not the guys on the left. The babe on the right.

Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House writes that new candidates for the Presidential Medal of Freedom are in line for an award that has been tarnished.

Ever since George Tenet won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the award seems to have lost some of its luster. It’s much like the Nobel Peace Prize; once you have given the award to someone who exhibits the exact opposite qualities that should be recognized, all credibility in the prize is lost.

In awarding the medal to Mr. Tenet, as well as to Paul Bremer and Tommy Franks, Mr. Bush has used the honor to lay down covering fire for incompetent underlings he hopes won't write embarrassing tell-all books. There's very little that Mr. Bush touches that he does not also cheapen.

So. I have a suggestion for a recipient who will return the medal to the prestige it deserves. My nominee is a genuine crusader for science. She worked tirelessly to advance our understanding of language, and our connection to non-human species.

It would have to be posthumous award, because Washoe the chimp died on Tuesday.

[Washoe] died in bed at age 42, surrounded by staff members and other primates who had been close to her . . .

Washoe never screwed up vital intelligence. She never botched an occupation. She never cravenly went along with incompetent superiors to advance her own career.

Washoe was a hero of science who was paid in fruit. She fascinated and inspired hundreds of thousands of children, some of whom will surely enter scientific fields because of her work. And she apparently liked shoes.

“She always checked out your shoes, and if you had new ones she’d sign for you to show them to her,” Dr. Jensvold said. “Then she might sign something about the color. She was a real shoe lady that way.”

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Obama the Wimp.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 by Michael Reynolds

Obama the day before yesterday: "I'm gonna kick your ass! You better run, bitch! I will mess you up! I will rip off your head, tear out your heart and make your torn off head eat your ripped out heart! Ah hah hah hah hah!" (I paraphrase.)

Obama yesterday: “Some of this stuff gets overhyped.”

Is it possible that when we say things like "Obama needs some seasoning" that what we really mean is, "Obama's kind of a pussy?"

Yet again in last night's debate, Obama's mouth ran ahead of his fists. After much talk of how he would finally engage Hillary, it was Edwards who did all he punching, swinging away like the desperate, nothing-to-lose washout he is, while the elegant Mr. Obama threw a few limp-wristed jabs and retreated to his corner to watch the rest of the bout from there.

No one wants another George W. Bush. No one wants another shrill, insecure, phony-macho, my-daddy-got-me-into-the-national-guard, rich-boy poseur. We're not looking for another president who plays out his daddy issues by starting wars he lacks the brains to manage.

But we don't want a wimp, either. I mean, yes, Hillary is scary. I can see swallowing hard at the prospect of throwing down with her. But the POTUS has to be able to face the Putin. And the Chinese, and the Iranians, and L'il Kim. Not to mention the various crazy jihadists.

Every president of the United States in modern history has had to pull the trigger on someone. A cruise missile here, a bomb there, the occasional invasion. If you cannot throw a good, hard punch at Hillary, how are you going to deal with dropping bombs on people? How are you going to scare the bad guys with credible threats? It's not a job for swaggering nitwits, but it's not a job for pansies, either.

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Hillary Bloodied. Unbowed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 by Michael Reynolds

Blah, blah, blah, Hillary this, Hillary that, yada, yada, yada, so on and so on and so on and . . .
. . . Let's give driver's licenses to illegal aliens?

What the . . . ?

I think Spitzer and Hillary are right on the issue of driver's licenses for illegals. But it may be the first mistake in Hillary's campaign. Not fatal, a flesh wound, but interesting.

In all it was not Hillary's best night. Barack failed to help himself as much as he might have, because after all the pre-debate hype about how he was going to put a big hurt on Hill, he ended up losing the "bitch-slap" contest to John Edwards.

Edwards is irrelevant because, for whatever reason, voters simply don't buy him. He can levitate and cure lepers and it won't matter. Obama is the non-Hillary, not Edwards, but Obama didn't personally rough up the Borg Queen, he left the job to Edwards.

My take? Edwards did very well -- and it doesn't matter. Obama didn't live up to his own hype, but he was helped marginally by John Edwards. Hillary took a beating, but is still standing. I'll do the crazy thing and actually try to predict the polls. I'll say the polls in Iowa and NH move two points from Hillary to Obama, with Edwards static.

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Resistance Is Futile. But Fun.

by Michael Reynolds

It's the skinny black dude versus the stocky white chick in the Clash of the Titans! Yay! Fight, fight, fight! And don't forget the Human Haircut. Okay, do forget the Haircut, and let's focus on the contendahs: in this corner, Barack "Too Cool for School" Obama, and in the winning corner, Hillary "The Borg Queen" Clinton.

Big Democratic debate on MSNBC tonight. Obambi threatens to go all medieval on Hillary. I suspect that's a bit like me threatening to open a can of whup-ass on this guy in his prime. But we'll see.

Anyway, free for the taking, here are a couple of snaps for the candidates:

For Obama:

Are we really going to trade Bushes and Clintons? Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton? Does that mean for the next round it will be Jenna vs. Chelsea?

Senator Clinton wants to cure our health care woes. It's only fair: her inept handling of the issue is what killed health care reform the last time and left us where we are today. She's been the cause, now she wants to be the cure.

For Hillary:

Gosh, everyone's having so much fun criticizing me it almost makes me want to join in.

So, I'm being criticized by all eight Republicans. And now I'm being criticized by all seven Democrats. Hmmm. Fifteen men to take on one woman. That sounds about right.

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