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The Audacity of Sensitive Silence

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A recent Blogcritics article contended that, "Today’s abject blanket of silence placed on anyone of a conservative or Republican voice is something new, and rather terrifying." I think that statement is pretty far over the top. Lots of voices from the right, middle and left are available, and I have seen no evidence of such a blanket of silence, abject or otherwise. Perhaps we don't listen to other voices as often as we should, but they are there. If platoons of brown-shirted thugs were burning media outlets because of their presentation of obnoxious opinions, we would notice it. I think those on the right would come to the defense of those on the left, and vice versa. At least I hope so.

However, there is a form of silencing which is less noticeable. The on line version of the National Review posted a fascinating article on 16 March pointing to a form of voluntary silencing which may well happen fairly often but is rarely addressed — perhaps because it is not noticed.

On 5 March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th circuit published an opinion, announced a few days previously, dealing with egregious attempts in Mississippi to disenfranchise minority voters. The opinion affirmed the decision of the trial court that such had happened, blatantly, and held that the remedy provided by the trial court had been proper. The National Review article tries to explore why this decision was overlooked by the media. I Googled the case, and couldn't find any report concerning it either, aside from the National Review article and a few quite marginal sites with which I am unfamiliar, plus other conservative sites with which I am familiar. There may have been something else after the National Review article appeared.

Why would there be such a loud silence about the blatant disenfranchisement of minority voters in Mississippi? Such disenfranchisement is supposed to be quite rare nowadays; a Court of Appeals decision concerning these matters is rare as well. One might imagine that when such things are found, the "man bites dog" rarity alone would grab the attention of the press. Apparently not.

Admittedly, the facts of U.S. v. Brown are unlike those commonly associated with voter disenfranchisement: Black disenfranchisement of White voters was at issue. As the article notes,

When the Fifth Circuit issued its decision on February 27, there was complete silence from Justice. The department typically issues a press release after any significant litigation victory, and the Civil Rights Division trumpets every success. But not here. The silence from the nation’s leading news outlets was also deafening: Not a word was published about the case by the New York Times, the Washington Post, or any other major publication. Why? Because the offensive conduct at issue did not conveniently track with the Left’s view of race discrimination.

The Noxubee County case presents a deeply disturbing account of some of the most egregious racial discrimination the Justice Department has encountered in decades. In Noxubee, 80 percent of Democrats are black; 20 percent are white. (There are some Republicans as well, but the number is negligible.) The chairman of the Democratic party, Ike Brown, is black, and he, along with the Noxubee County Democratic Executive Committee, set about to effectively disenfranchise white voters.

The salient facts are well set forth in the Fifth Circuit opinion linked above, and anyone interested in reading it is invited to do so; there is no need to expand this article as would be required in order to present them here.

There had been, according to the article, lots of resistance within the Justice Department to bringing the action.

This is probably one of the worst cases of intentional voting discrimination that the Justice Department has prosecuted since the 1960s. But the lawsuit was filed only after a vicious internal fight in the Civil Rights Division. Left-wing career lawyers in the Voting Section made it abundantly clear that they didn’t want to use the Voting Rights Act to protect white voters, no matter how egregious the violations. The former Voting Section chief even deleted the recommendation to file suit from the memo sent up to the Bush political appointees running the division. Other partisan career lawyers refused to work on the case. One who went to Noxubee County as an observer admitted to another lawyer that if he had seen the same type of illegal behavior being committed against black voters, he would have been outraged. But he wanted nothing to do with a suit filed on behalf of white voters.

The attorneys who ultimately worked on the case, and brought it to a successful conclusion, "endured significant criticism and abuse from their colleagues for their work on the case and probably jeopardized their career advancement." This was during the administration of George Bush the Illiterate Jerk; the District Court case was filed in 2005.

I have no idea as to the accuracy of the account of the internal workings of the Civil Rights Division, the criticism and abuse suffered by the trial attorneys who prosecuted the case, or as to the likely impact on their career advancement. It may all be wrong. However, based on my brief employment with the Department of Justice back in 1971, and my rather longer time as an attorney in private practice dealing with the Federal Communications Commission, these things do not seem far-fetched.

This type of voluntary silencing has nothing to do with "Vast Right Wing" or "Vast Left Wing" conspiracies. Nor is there any need for such conspiracies. Political Correctness may well be an important factor, however. Few wish to appear to suggest that racism, and its close friend, racial discrimination, are used against anyone other than traditional minorities. Apparently, to suggest such a thing would mark one as prejudiced and lacking proper insight into discrimination against such minorities in years gone by.

Yet, Attorney General Holder considers those who decline to discuss race to be cowards. "In things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards." For this, President Obama mildly chastised him,

The president said he is not someone who believes that constantly talking about race can solve racial tensions. "To address that problem, it will mean fixing the economy, putting people to work, making sure that people have health care and ensuring that children are learning," Obama said.

"I think if we do that, then we'll probably have more fruitful conversations," Obama said in the interview Friday aboard Air Force One.

Well, maybe. Or maybe these comments from Black Media Agenda are right:

It's been only a month since a gaggle of know-nothing, arrogantly racist and essentially cowardly white men ran the Justice Department. In the space of eight years, they turned the agency into a den of corruption and criminality where no "justice" could be found, and the term "civil rights" was an epithet. By the time the Bush men were through, "virtually all" of the career lawyers that were hired were right-wing ideologues opposed to the very concept of affirmative action, or the mere idea of "diversity." The Justice Department – and especially its Civil Rights Division – had been largely transformed into a racist club.

For this reason, it was vitally necessary that the nation's top lawyer use the occasion of Black History Month to shake up the department, and let the rest of us know that it's a new day, that George Bush and his Ku Klux klavern are really gone – something that is not so evident in the rest of the Obama Administration, for example, at the Defense Department.

Hmmm.

It strikes me, nevertheless, that if there are to be fruitful discussions of race, i.e. if we are to cease to be a nation of cowards, there must be discussion — even of race-related topics which many of us find distasteful.

I have no idea whether the then still pending Ike Brown case linked above had anything to do with Attorney General Holder's February 18th Black History Month address to Justice Department employees. Perhaps he did not deem it appropriate to comment since the case was sub judice. Or, perhaps it was because the case was brought back in 2005 when, according to Black Media Agenda, "George Bush and his Ku Klux klavern" were in charge of the Justice Department. Perhaps Attorney General Holder found the position taken by the Department of Justice in Ike Brown embarrassing. The Department's failure to put out the customary press release when the Ike Brown case was decided, or when the opinion was released several days later, may suggest the latter. Despite the numerous press releases issued in February and March, there is no mention of that case that I could find.

There are many ways to stifle debate, and some of them are more subtle than others. To avoid race related discussions as politically incorrect because they might be seen by some as hurtful is one way to do it. For the media, by and large, to find less than newsworthy a Court of Appeals decision such as that in Ike Brown, results in the same effect, and probably the same cause. So, for that matter, does the entire notion of politically incorrect taboos.

It is not nice to hurt anyone's feelings, even inadvertently. However, to forgo discussion of topics where that is likely to happen is not a good solution. The voluntary sterilization of debate to avoid giving offense is cowardly, and we should know better.

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About Dan Miller

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dan,

    Excellent job! When Crow Jim raises its ugly head, and the guv’mint has to do something about it, they are almost ashamed to admit that blacks are just as racist as whites in the States. So are all the guilty as chaerged limousine liberals who are happy to keep Americans hooked to dumbed down media (check out AOL.com), while they lecture everyone on political correctness.

    The liberals will not show up here except to condemn you, Dan (remember, leftist that I am, I am not a liberal and damned proud of it!).

    When it comes to admitting the hatred of Jews manifested by Arabs (particularly the Wahhabi-flavored kind) they are equally sensitively silent. North American campuses have turned into a hatefest for condemning Jews and an indoctrination camp for the bullshit of one ideological camp – that of the mellow merde post-hippie Feminazis, the hateful garbage of the Infantile Left, and the Jew-hatred (and self-hatred) called “Middle Eastern Studies”.

    Have fun down there in Panama. Watch out for the horseflies – they can leave a nasty bite!

  • STM

    It’s not dirty great, noisy horseflies you need to worry about in the tropics. You can see them coming.

    It’s the mozzies.

    Bloody pricks of things they are, and among the best in the insect world at disappearing into the background.

    Now you see ‘em, now you don’t.

    A bit like some commentators on BC :)

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    Taking the race card out of one’s sleeve is always a show stopper. They use it here in Detroit all the time. Take our wonderful convention facility Cobo Hall. It needs major reconstruction (roof leaks) or to be plowed under and built anew. Anytime the governor or other nearby county execs suggest something to improve it, the cry of racism is raised. No. The city is poorly run, and that’s not based on the color of one’s skin.

    I’ve been wondering if the media isn’t fawning over Obama and not asking tough questions because they don’t want to be accused of being racist.

  • Clavos

    We call ‘m noseeums…

  • STM

    What, liberals or mozzies?

  • STM

    Clav, I just watched a show about Colombia. Interested to know, listening to a couple of educated people speak Spanish on the program, whether some accents in South/central America/Mexico are close to that spoken in Spain.

    They sounded very similar, ethpecially with the “th” sound, but others seemed to be saying the same stuff with an “e’h” kind of sound.

    The show was subtitled, just in case you’re worried that I haven’t got anything better to do on a Tuesday night than watch shows in Spanish on the ABC and am losing my marbles completely.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The liberals will not show up here except to condemn you, Dan…

    Sorry to disappoint, Ruvy. I have immense respect for Dan and while he can be infuriatingly cynical at times, I take his opinions seriously – especially in a cut-and-dried case like this.

    Perhaps this is un-PC as well, but my initial reaction was, ‘Well, what do you expect from Mississippi?’ (‘In the land of the boll weevil/Where the laws are medieval…’*)

    I do see that it might not exactly have been constructive to make a song and dance about the racial aspect of this case. A possible way to take the high road would have been for the prosecutors to adamantly refuse to discuss race – pursuing the case purely on the matter of voter disenfranchisement, no matter what the defense tried to say or do to set the agenda.

    Like Dan, I’m not sure how much of this goes on. If it was seriously widespread, though, I think we would hear more about it – if not in mainstream media channels, then on blogs and ‘nationalist’ ;-( websites.

    * Tom Lehrer.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Interested to know […] whether some accents in South/central America/Mexico are close to that spoken in Spain.

    Dunno about that, but in Argentina they speak Spanish with an Italian accent.

  • STM

    Doc: I work with an Argentinian girl who was born in Uruguay – to an Italian-born father and Argentinian mother. I think I’ve got that right.

    She grew up in Australia, though. At home, she spoke spanish, italian and english. Lol. Just a typical Aussie, really. Nearly everyone’s from somewhere else not that far back.

    I also sit near a Lebanese-born girl who can often be heard arguing with her father on the phone, swinging backwards and forwards between heavy Aussie-accented arabic and pure strine.

    One would have to assume that Dad is doing the same thing.

    Then there’s the Pommy bloke opposite … don’t me started on him.

    He’s the only one out of the three I can barely understand.

  • Cindy

    lol Stan. I had an interesting marriage to a political refugee once, who spoke English, Italian, French, German and Romanian all fluently. It was funny when a group included him and two to three people, each of whom only spoke one of those languages. He’d get so confused with translating for everyone he’d start talking to each of us in the wrong language.

    One thing he always maintained was that he understood the Brits, but sometimes he just didn’t understand what Americans were saying.

    (Usually after I’d say something like, “cut it out”.)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I’m not familiar with all the variations of Spanish in the Americas but all of those I have heard have had one thing in common, which is the pronunciation. They all sound like Spanish but with English pronunciation of the letters, particularly vowels, which is very different to the Spanish spoken in Spain. Most Spanish people find that kind of Spanish a bit common sounding and I kind of know what they mean.

  • Cindy

    I remember when he got his driver’s license here and asked to take the test in Spanish (even though he didn’t speak Spanish), because he just couldn’t make the written English work for him with such a specific topic.

    The woman at the department of motor vehicles gave him a dirty look and a snide remark (for presumably not knowing English).

    How ironic.

  • Cindy

    They don’t just pronounce all of them as long vowel sounds in Spain?

  • STM

    Cindy: “Usually after I’d say something like, cut it out’ “.

    Lol. Boys will be boys, eh Cindy?? Nocturnal deafness is the other one, according to my wife … especially when the baby was crying.

    Ears that could pick out a single chink of a beer glass at 100m remained strangely unable to hear the wailing of a small, hungry child in a cot less than a metre away.

  • Cindy

    I wonder what Clav knows about Spain.

  • STM

    Rosey: “Most Spanish people find that kind of Spanish a bit common sounding and I kind of know what they mean”

    Hmm, Australians mangle their vowels too … although not as badly as kiwis.

    Better than the pommy version though … mangling your bowels.

  • Cindy

    Stan,

    I think I was talking to a pet with a cold nose when I said that. lol

    (girls will also be girls Stan :-)

  • Clavos

    A guy who surfs at your age lost his marbles long ago, mate. :>)

    The speaking of Spanish varies widely throughout Latin America; in Brazil, it even turns into Portuguese. :>)

    Seriously, the Spanish spoken in Colombia is considered by most folks to be among the most pure in LatAm. Mexican Spanish is pretty good as well, though we tend to put a sing-song cadence and tonality into ours. Among the worst are the Cubans and their close cousins, the Puerto Ricans.

    As to the lisping you heard: that actually is Spanish from Castille, in Spain. It was/is considered the purest form of Spanish, and was what was taught in schools, particularly in Europe and the UK. All along, however, it was only spoken by a limited group of people, even in Spain: the Castilians, so nowadays, especially here in the Nuevo Mundo, other dialects(?) are taught, such as Latin American.

    Differences around the world are minimal; mostly in accent, and to a lesser degree, vocabulary.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Ruvy and Doc, thanks for the kind words.

    Doc says,

    I do see that it might not exactly have been constructive to make a song and dance about the racial aspect of this case. A possible way to take the high road would have been for the prosecutors to adamantly refuse to discuss race . . . .

    Do find a few minutes to read the 5th Circuit opinion. It’s pretty well done and only about 25 pages long. The court had to go into race just a bit to establish the minority-majority thing, and that’s about all the court did with it. Substantially the same would/should have been done if it had been White against Black disenfranchisement.

    I don’t remember where I found the National Review article which discussed the Ike Brown decision. It was probably an aggregator, such Breitbart or Lucianne. As far as I know, there was nothing on Fox or Drudge. I hadn’t heard about the decision until yesterday, which surprised me.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Everybody got away from Crow Jim real quick, I notice. Let’s talk about anything but how blacks are racists just like whites are, eh?

    Awright, I can talk a bit about Spanish myself. I grew up hearing Puerto Ricans and assumed that the Spanish they spoke (dropping the “s”) was the proper Spanish. Imagine my amazement at hearing the Argentine “zh” (the way they pronounce “ll” and “y”), and the relatively slow speech in Spanish of Argentines and Uruguayans as opposed to Puerto Ricans who seem to run at 90 miles an hour in their speech. Even Mexicans don’t talk as fast as Puerto Ricans do.

    But what really floored me was the time I visited this country and traveled to Eilat for a couple of days, taking a bus back to Jerusalem. It’s a three hour ride and being a tourist and curious as all hell, I tried to speak to the folks next to me. Most of the passengers had come from Tangiers and were talking in Judeo-Spanish, Ladino, which was the “Yiddish” of the S’faradí Jews.

    To this day, I understand Ladino better than I do regular Spanish, and have little trouble understanding the Voice of Israel news broadcasts in Ladino, and have more trouble with Spanish – which I took six years of in school.

  • Baronius

    Ruvy, there may be some sensitive silence on the commenters’ part, but I for one don’t know what else to say. The outcome of the case was right, the article is great, and I’m vaguely irate that a Panamanian is better-connected than I am. Not much to build an insightful comment on.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t build him up too much. He’s too egocentric as it is.

  • Clavos

    He’s too egocentric as it is.

    Roger,

    Is your personal motto “Open mouth, insert foot?”

    Once again, Rog:

    Grass houses.

  • Baronius

    Roger, I’m already on record as a huge Dan fan. (But when he’s wrong, I pounce on him. There are no teammates online.) In fact, I was pondering a question earlier today, about whether it would be legal for the administration to de-bonus the AIG executives. It sounds like a bill of attainder to me. I like having a lawyer around who will comment on my crazy political theories.

  • http://booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    Speaking of dealing with accents, I was tutored in calculus by a Glaswegian…

    Needless to say, I failed calculus.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Oh, come on. Let’s talk about me! ME. Do you hear me? ME.

    ME! Damnit, ME!!

    Dan(Miller)

    Dances lightly to liquor cabinet to retrieve medicine for tingly leg.

  • Clavos

    Oh shut up, Dan, you insufferable…(insert epithet of your choice here).

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I was tutored in calculus by a Glaswegian…

    Ah, well, you see, if you’d been paying attention you would have learned that as well as the more often-used integral and differential calculus, there is also the Gorbals calculus, in which there is a special operator, ‘Jimmy’, which must be used in each expression, viz:

    S2(Jimmy)d(Jimmy) = Jimmy2 + C

    No wonder you failed if you were unaware of that. Now go hae a wee heavy an’ hit the books!

    (The comments box doesn’t recognize the elongated S. You’ll just have to make do.)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Clav,

    Well! I never!

    Baronius,

    Senator Dodd, who cleverly added the language which permits the AIG executives to keep their bonuses (See my Comment #55 here) is now trying to tax those bonuses, probably at a higher rate than they would normally be taxed. Otherwise, what’s the use? A bit of good press, probably.

    Will it work? Beats the Hell out of me. A bill of attainder is a punitive measure, criminal in nature. Although outrageously excessive taxation of the stimulus money paid to the AIG executives could conceivably amount to a bill of attainder, legislation could easily be written to avoid that trap.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    ‘One might imagine that when such things are found, the “man bites dog” rarity alone would grab the attention of the press. Apparently not.’

    There was a study a few years back that contradicted an item of liberal dogma – I think it was about the effectiveness of day care. The story got very little coverage. An editor was asked about why she didn’t cover the study. She replied that she had doubts about its accuracy, since it contradicted commonly-held opinions. That’s why a “man bites dog” story like this won’t get any coverage. It goes against the popular narrative. Media believe that it’s their duty to reinforce the narrative.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baronius,

    I think you have something there. I have quite a lot of respect for the National Review. Nevertheless, when I initially read the article, I was concerned that it might be an inadvertent hoax, largely because I couldn’t find other reports or comments on the decision. When I tried to find the text of the 5th Circuit opinion, it was elusive. I finally found it on a site I had not previously visited, but still wondered. A little bit of research and looking into the history of the thing, including contemporaneous reports of what the District Court had done back in 2005 and several media interviews back then with Mr. Brown, along with the well written nature of the 5th Circuit opinion, convinced me that it was for real. The whole thing does seem rather counter-intuitive, sort of like a flying saucer sighting, a three headed mouse or a Truther spiel.

    We have, unfortunately, allowed ourselves to accept all too readily stories which are consistent with those we have read many times, and to doubt those which are not. As to the media believing it is their duty to reinforce the narrative, I suspect that’s at least partially accurate. However, the almost equal silence from “conservative” media — which I had expected to say something — still puzzles me.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    If Dodd manages to tax those bonuses at a confiscatory rate, a very dangerous precedent will be set that could result in the gummint taxing for all manner of capricious reasons.

    And these guys are just the ones to try that out for “wealth redistribution,” a principle Bam has already endorsed.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    As I just noted on another thread, Olympia Snowe and Ron Wyden put a punitive 35% excise tax on bonuses in the stimulus bill — but the provision was taken out in the House-Senate conference. By Dodd, who is now reinstating it? To save his own appearance? Yikes.

  • http://whizball.blogspot.com Aaron Whitehead

    North American campuses have turned into a hatefest for condemning Jews and an indoctrination camp for the bullshit of one ideological camp – that of the mellow merde post-hippie Feminazis, the hateful garbage of the Infantile Left, and the Jew-hatred (and self-hatred) called “Middle Eastern Studies”.

    What the hell campuses have you been to? In my time, I missed the anti-Israel riots as well as the cloaked al-Qaeda operatives running Middle Eastern Studies. I’m not entirely sure what a “post-hippie Feminazi” is, but I feel pretty confident that I would know one if I saw one.
    Have you BEEN to school to see these things? Or is this one of those reliable reports generated from a talking head whose corroboration was that he saw some evidence “cross his desk” that day?
    Nothing nearly as interesting (or as radical) as this is happening anywhere I know of.

  • STM

    Deano writes: “I was tutored in calculus by a Glaswegian … ”

    If 2x dx = x squared +C, where y is the distance from point of contact to hospital by the fastest possible route, 2x = the length of the razor just used to slash your face, and x squared = C is the number stitches required to fix the wound, which also represents the length of the wound as calculated by a) the length of the raxor, b) the force used to deliver it, c) the drunkeness of the assailaint and d) the amount of malicious intent as a mitigating factor in any subsequent court case.

    In this case, dx also represents the victim’s ability to understand the statement: “Do yez noo where the hoospital is? Aye? Good – weel goo an get that stitched then, ye sassenach bastard”.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    What the hell campuses have you been to? In my time, I missed the anti-Israel riots as well as the cloaked al-Qaeda operatives running Middle Eastern Studies. I’m not entirely sure what a “post-hippie Feminazi” is, but I feel pretty confident that I would know one if I saw one.
    Have you BEEN to school to see these things? Or is this one of those reliable reports generated from a talking head whose corroboration was that he saw some evidence “cross his desk” that day?
    Nothing nearly as interesting (or as radical) as this is happening anywhere I know of.

    Golly, Aaron, we must live on different planets. How is the weather on Mars these days, anyway? I haven’t been to any American campuses lately, and have no desire to visit the United States (or Canada). But my sources are not talking heads but people who have dealt with this themselves in one form or another – either as professors discriminated against by Infantile Left controlled departments or students who have faced discrimination for having the wrong opinion – or being of the wrong nationality.

    When I went to school in the States we didn’t have this oppressive atmosphere. There was freedom of expression – of course the infants doing the demonstrating on the then “New Left” had not come to power yet there, so of course there was some freedom of expression. And when I went to school, if there were anti-Israel riots and the anti-Israel folks wanted to get violent, they would have faced people like me – who would have cracked their skulls with a baseball bat or a nonchuka with no remorse. The anti-Israel folks knew just how violent WE could get, so they behaved themselves.

    Unfortunately, Jews in America have forgotten how to fight – or they have just lost their balls.

  • zingzing

    chris: “Most Spanish people find that kind of Spanish a bit common sounding and I kind of know what they mean.”

    spanish people in spain find their own spanish uncommon? i would think being surrounded by something would make it sound common.

    ruvy: “Everybody got away from Crow Jim real quick, I notice. Let’s talk about anything but how blacks are racists just like whites are, eh?”

    fine, ruvy, blacks are people too. so they can be racist. that’s some brand new leap in logic and knowledge, ain’t it? wow. we’re making headway. to the future-ture-ture…

    “And when I went to school, if there were anti-Israel riots and the anti-Israel folks wanted to get violent, they would have faced people like me – who would have cracked their skulls with a baseball bat or a nonchuka with no remorse.”

    now see, not everyone who disagrees with a country’s policies has to hate those who live under those policies. like, say, you and your thuggish hatred of everything/one american. i’m trying to remember the last time i saw a “violent anti-israel riot” here in america. sure, we protest, we make ourselves heard, we express our displeasure, (you going to disagree with that?) but we don’t go out knocking jewish heads. there’s enough of that shit going on where you live.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    zing,

    I didn’t always hate the American people, and still don’t. I view the American government as our worst enemy – after ourselves. But I didn’t have that view in college.

    Nevertheless, from the time I started hanging out with the JDL, I viewed it as a necessity to fight Jewish enemies violently – our enemies have killed too many of us and they do not deserve another drop of our blood without paying for it – heavily.

    That attitude of militance has disappeared amongst Jews in America – except among the Satmar (amongst who you live in Williamsburg), who will happily relieve you of your teeth if you insult them.

    My thuggish attitudes, as you call them, are a response to the thuggish hatred of my own people evinced by all sorts of pieces of shit who pollute America and Europe.

  • zingzing

    “That attitude of militance has disappeared amongst Jews in America – except among the Satmar (amongst who you live in Williamsburg), who will happily relieve you of your teeth if you insult them.”

    funny. i’ve lived here a year and a half and i’ve yet to find a reason to insult a jew. so i’m fine. but maybe you are talking about dentists…

    “My thuggish attitudes, as you call them, are a response to the thuggish hatred of my own people evinced by all sorts of pieces of shit who pollute America and Europe.”

    and those same attitudes are feeding the attitudes of all sorts of shit that pollute america, europe and the middle east. yay! the big wheel keeps on turning! on a simple line! day by day!

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Try again , zing…

  • zingzing

    i’m sure i will… it never ends.

  • Baronius

    Dan, speaking of the press, have you heard about Obama’s teleprompter gaffe yesterday? He read the wrong speech without realizing it – it was the previous speaker’s speech. Obama began by thanking President Obama for sponsoring the event! No kidding. If this doesn’t make the news, none of Obama’s mistakes ever will.

  • Clavos

    It hasn’t made youtube yet, I just checked. Do you have a link for the news article, Baronius?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Oh, it gets better.

    The Irish Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, apparently also relies too much on the ‘prompter. He started reading Obama’s speech, realized about 20 seconds in and yielded the podium to his host – by which time the panicking techies had switched the speeches and Obama happily started reading Cowen’s.

    You can’t make this stuff up. Or perhaps you can. Ron Burgundy, anyone?

  • Baronius

    I wouldn’t want to see the press depicting Obama as a moron. But the “hands-off” attitude has to stop.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Because this is obviously a story of earth-shaking importance, right, Baronius? [It is, however, pretty funny.]

    The ‘hands-off’ attitude exists primarily in your imagination.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Agreed, Baronius. The US media treats the president with altogether too much reverence. It’s not like he’s the Pope or something. It was the same with Dubya at times, especially during the year or two after 9/11.

    It’s all over the British press, though. They love stuff like this. (Especially with the Irish thrown in for bonus laughs.)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Doc, #44 — Perhaps on April Fools’ Day, some mischievous techie will put one of Governor Palin’s campaign speeches on the teleprompter. Now that would be “groovy to the max” (or something like that). I remember a story going around when I was in grade school about a leaf floating into an open window in the oval office; President Eisenhower signed it.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I think if you read the story more carefully, Obama deliberately read the wrong speech as a joke after the Irish PM noticed the mistake. At least that’s the way Reuters and AP reported it.

    But they are no doubt in the pocket of the most nefarious, farthest left nether-regions of the Democratic Party, so who believes them anyways The End.

    Turns out Cowen was reading Obama’s speech off the teleprompter. “Why don’t these things work for me?” he asked as the crowd laughed. “Who said these things were idiot proof?”

    At the end, Obama stepped up to the microphone to add to the levity: “First, I’d like to say thank you to President Obama,” Obama said.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, Handy, agreed that it’s not an important story, but I could find nothing at all about it on the websites of CNN, MSNBC or any of the major networks except, of course, Fox. (Admittedly I didn’t delve all that deeply.)

    The story is, however, being run by just about every British and Irish newspaper and about a billion mainly right-wing blogs.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Well, that proves it then, Doc. You and I have been wrong all along and the rightists have been right. The evil media are obviously part of a leftist cabal. I am so, so, so sorry for everything I’ve ever said about Glenn Beck, too.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Handy, I know that Beck is still sulking and isn’t speaking to you or taking your calls, but I’m sure if you buy him some flowers and a box of chocolates, all will be forgiven!

    Interesting take on the teleprompter incident. I’m of the understanding that it was a live broadcast, so there ought to be some video of it somewhere. I’ll have a poke around tonight when I get home.

    Either way it’s hilarious. Also hilarious is the photo Fox is running with the story, in which Brian Cowen looks like a rather startled toad.

  • Baronius

    I don’t know what exactly happened. Maybe Handy’s knee-jerk analysis is correct. But are you telling me that no one was taping that particular White House event with two heads of state? Because I’m not seeing any video of it online.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I had a look last night and couldn’t find any video either – which is a shame, because it would probably be obvious from the recording whether President Obama was compounding the foul-up or joking around. My understanding was that it happened during a live broadcast, but perhaps it was only on Irish TV. The RTE website may have it, possibly.

    A more careful reading of the most-likely-to-be-impartial media accounts suggests that the President was indeed playing along with the joke, but nobody’s wording makes that 100% clear. Possibly the White House requested the tape not to be made generally available as a diplomatic nod to Mr Cowen, who comes out looking like a bit of a tit whichever way you interpret the incident.