I think you just f****d up.
Didn't you know that there are certain things you just don't say in modern day American discourse? Now watch how all those white folks who were treating you like the latest coming of John, Paul, and Ringo, turn on your black ass. "My God honey he is sounding just like Gary Sheffield. You know, the more I see him, the blacker he is starting to look."
Your handlers should have told you to chill a little and not let the black come out of you at Hampton University the other day. I know you were in a room full of 8,000 of your closest friends, but if you are going to be a real American politician you are going to have to learn to hold back on your true feelings and watch what you say. You just can't go around talking about the plight of black people and racial stuff in America. You even got into the "K" word again for crying out loud. "Don't you know that we are way past that stage in this country? We have come very far in this country and we are damn near color blind now. I thought you were the great uniter? What ever happened to the 'audacity of hope'"?
You just can't make statements like: "These quiet riots that take place everyday are born from the same place as the fires and the destruction and the police decked out in riot gear and the deaths. They happen when a sense of discomfort settles in and hope dissipates" Half and half man you have done lost your mind using words like that in a speech. You must really want to test that new secret service protection you got huh?
Now for the record, I personally like what you did, although I don't quite agree with you. Because you spoke as if you were talking about some sort of hypothetical situation, like you were giving a theoretical problem to solve for some college class on urban problems. As if the stuff you talk about might happen in the future. Obama, I have a news flash for you; that shit is happening now. A sense of discomfort has settled in, and hope has dissipated. That all happened way before Katrina, the storm just exposed all the Third World living that was already taking place here in the land of the brave and the home of the not so free."Despair takes hold and young people all across this country look all the way the world is and believe that things aren't going to get any better." Obama I think you mean despair has taken hold. But nice try, at least you had the guts to talk about Katrina.
So anyway, I am also wondering where you got this "quiet riot" shit from. Were you a rock fan back in the day? I seem to remember that there was a group by that name. But I digress.
I was wondering, how the hell can a riot be quiet? I mean the whole purpose of a riot is to let out your frustrations and let those who have been f*****g over you take notice of your grievances. So if it's quiet, aren't you like defeating the purpose. I mean if you are going to be quiet, you might as well have a prayer vigil or some shit. That would make sense. Then you can at least ask for something, and be quiet at the same time. Hell if you are rioting, I think you are pretty much past the quiet stage don't you? We didn't riot after Katrina, although you could have excused us if we did. Watching poor helpless babies and the elderly suffering to death was far worse than watching Rodney King getting his black ass kicked after thinking his Hyundai was a f*****g Ferrari. And look at all the rioting we did after that sh**? All for Rodney's black ass. We should have saved some of that rioting for New Orleans.
"This administration was color blind in its incompetence". Wrong again Barack, I don't think they were color blind at all. Color is all they saw. That's why the frat boy did a fly over instead of going in amongst the... ahem ahem, natives.
But good speech Barack, you are that much closer to getting the field's vote for President. Its just too bad that you probably lost a few million in the process.
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But this time, it's the other Klein. Good stuff, though, and it includes the Grand Unified Joe Klein vision for domestic policy, which has some interesting nuggets. I'm particularly interested in his explanation -- which he should go into at...[...]
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This week, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers issued new guidelines that would, in effect, limit the scope of the Clean Water Act and make it “harder…for non-permanent streams and nearby wetlands to be protected.” (And here I thought the Bush administration was all wet.) In response to this [...]
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I don't want to waste our time arguing about what qualifies as "organised" religion, so let's just get this out, right up front: When I say "organised religion," I speak of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Let all the other religions have the floor; the Big Three have disqualified themselves in my eyes, for combined they are the purveyors of more nonsense, more pain and suffering, more confusion and turmoil in the lifespan of the human race than any other group of humans.
Hell, I don't even have to enumerate the ways, do I? We're all quite apprised as to the issues of which I speak. Last month a 17 year old girl was stoned to death -- stoned to death! Remind me, please, what the fuck century is this? -- for loving a boy of the wrong religion. Score one for Islam.
In some homes that practice Judaism, parents actually sit shiva for a daughter or son who marries out of the faith -- or, G-d forbid, comes out of the closet as homosexual. (And yes, that "G-d" was sarcastic. Wouldn't want to offend the deity by spelling out the entire word that represents it, but hey, throwing your child into the streets and writing him off as dead -- I'm sure the deity won't mind THAT. After all, it's only right and proper that you abandon your child if she doesn't do what you think G-d wants her to do.)
And oh, the Christianists. They've been around longer than the Muslims, but not so long as the Jews -- and, boy, did they make up for lost time. Some Christians, in this very day and age, actually think it's right and proper to blow up abortion clinics and shoot doctors -- because they believe that their god wasn't really talking about that kind of killing when laying down the law against killing. Some Christians think that self-same deity actually hates his own children and wants them murdered -- the ones who don't have sex the way those Christians think they ought.
Please, don't come to me with the truism that many people of faith are truly decent human beings who do the very best they can to behave in a loving and forgiving manner toward all humans; we all know that. But I believe that the existence of these people is a triumph over the wretched perversion that their religions have made of spirituality -- not a symbol of how those religions can succeed in creating and refining decent human beings.
No matter how many good, decent, kind people there are in the organised religions, I will never be convinced that they would be otherwise without their religion.
Once upon a time, our very own lorraine posted a diary elsewhere (which I've taken the liberty of reprinting here at MLW), titled Cry, the Beloved Iraqi Women. It is an excellent (though painful) read.
A brief excerpt:
Houzan Mahmoud boycotted the Iraqi elections. Why? Because, as she says, "freedom" has become a cruel joke. Saddam's regime was brutal, but it was secular, and women in Iraq enjoyed a degree of freedom that their sisters in other Arab countries are denied. That has changed since the invasion. She writes:
The new norm -- enforced at the barrel of a gun by Islamic extremists -- is to see women as the repository of honor and shame, not only on behalf of family and tribe but the nation. Ken Bigley's abductors perversely wanted to redeem the "honor" of Iraq through obtaining the release of female prisoners. Since when did Islamic groups -- the very people doing the hostage taking, torturing and killing -- start caring about the rights of Iraqi women?
Take the case of Anaheed. She was suspended to a tree in the New Baghdad area of the capital and then first shot by her father (a solicitor no less) and then by each member of her tribe. She was then was cut into pieces.
This to clear the shame on the tribe's honor for having wanted to marry a man she was in love with. This happened in late 2003, months after the "liberation."
Early on in the discussion, someone who was quickly troll-rated into oblivion made a disparaging comment about Muslim women who choose to wear the burqa. His point, if I read it correctly, was that in his opinion, one could hardly be expected to be taken seriously in asking for equal rights while cloaked in an item of clothing that many people interpret as a symbol of religious second-class status -- in this case, of women.
Muslims and Christians and Jews, Oh My
(Lest anyone take offense, I ordered that list for poetic reasons ONLY, when elsewhere I choose to do it alphabetically, lest anyone read into the order a subtle preferential treatment, laughable as that would be, coming from someone who has just confessed to hating them all equally.)
Of course, both the commenter and I are laughably ill educated in the ways of Islam, I would wager. Nevertheless, while I deplore the "blame the victim" message he's inadvertently sending ("Of course she was denied equal rights -- just look at the way she's dressed!"), I have to admit, my first instinct is somewhat similar.
Good thing I don't always listen to my first instinct. Sometimes intuition is just poorly disguised prejudice. It struck me almost immediately after that first racist thought that demanding that Muslim women reject the burqa in order to prove their independence of some extremist interpretation of a male-dominated religion's bullshit dogma is just as intolerant as demanding that Muslim women DO walk around all day and night in a fucking burqa, to serve some extremist interpretation of a male-dominated religion's bullshit dogma.
On the other hand (man, I've got so many hands here, I think I must have been Shiva in another life), MY prejudice isn't the kind that leads to a de facto apartheid for half the human fucking race.
This morning's Los Angeles Times featured an extraordinary front page piece by Megan K. Stack recounting her experience over the past four years as a female journalist in Saudi Arabia, forced into second-class citizenship, as all women are in that bastion of male-dominated bullshit. I cannot recommend strongly enough that you read the entire article -- and then ask yourself, "Why the fuck do we put up with this shit?" We boycotted South Africa until they repealed apartheid. Ah -- but we neeeeed Saudi Arabia and their precious oil -- and so, as is the case in so many areas of human rights abuses, the United States of America turns a blind eye when we NEED those countries. As Stack said, Bush & Co. were up in arms over the Taliban - but the very same abuses occur every day in Saudi Arabia, and we aren't rushing in there to make things right for the female population, are we?
She says it a lot better, but I'm not going to quote the whole article; however, it simply cannot be done justice with tiny snippets; I BEG you to read the entire thing :
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ? The hem of my heavy Islamic cloak trailed over floors that glistened like ice. I walked faster, my eyes fixed on a familiar, green icon. I hadn't seen a Starbucks in months, but there it was, tucked into a corner of a fancy shopping mall in the Saudi capital. After all those bitter little cups of sludgy Arabic coffee, here at last was an improbable snippet of home ? caffeinated, comforting, American.
I wandered into the shop, filling my lungs with the rich wafts of coffee. The man behind the counter gave me a bemused look; his eyes flickered. I asked for a latte. He shrugged, the milk steamer whined, and he handed over the brimming paper cup. I turned my back on his uneasy face.
Crossing the cafe, I felt the hard stares of Saudi men. A few of them stopped talking as I walked by and watched me pass. Them, too, I ignored. Finally, coffee in hand, I sank into the sumptuous lap of an overstuffed armchair.
"Excuse me," hissed the voice in my ear. "You can't sit here." The man from the counter had appeared at my elbow. He was glaring.
"Excuse me?" I blinked a few times.
"Emmm," he drew his discomfort into a long syllable, his brows knitted. "You cannot stay here."
"What? Uh ? why?"
Then he said it: "Men only."
He didn't tell me what I would learn later: Starbucks had another, unmarked door around back that led to a smaller espresso bar, and a handful of tables smothered by curtains. That was the "family" section. As a woman, that's where I belonged. I had no right to mix with male customers or sit in plain view of passing shoppers. Like the segregated South of a bygone United States, today's Saudi Arabia shunts half the population into separate, inferior and usually invisible spaces.
At that moment, there was only one thing to do. I stood up. From the depths of armchairs, men in their white robes and red-checked kaffiyehs stared impassively over their mugs. I felt blood rushing to my face. I dropped my eyes, and immediately wished I hadn't. Snatching up the skirts of my robe to keep from stumbling, I walked out of the store and into the clatter of the shopping mall.
The fact that I so unreservedly despise organized religion as a whole naturally calls into question my credibility when examining the individual reasons for that loathing. But setting aside that skepticism, if you would...
Sure, I hate all organized religions. But I especially loathe those religions that use special modes of dress and behaviour to segregate women from men; in itself, that shouldn't mean much, but invariably when women are especially set apart from men, it is generally with the understanding that it is because women are either inferior or dangerous or "unclean." And that makes me sick. Reading that article in the paper this morning made me fucking SICK.
I remember my mother telling me about her revolutionary act in high school: She refused to cover her head for Mass one morning. By the end of the week, none of the girls in her Catholic high school were putting that stupid tissue on their heads.
I am irreligious. While I am able to muster enough self-control to keep my mouth shut around people who are deeply religious, I nevertheless MUST find an outlet for my irritation and sometime rage at organized religions. I consider them the construct of craven men -- of men who sought and seek power, of men who lacked the imagination to find a way of living on this planet in peace with everyone, and so created methods of subjugating wide swaths of their fellow humans to ensure their own undeserving primacy in society.
It makes me SICK. And what really KILLS me is that in this purported age of enlightenment and reason, so many millions of human beings are still in thrall to these constructs. The devious, insidious thing about organized religions (in my opinion) is that their architects appropriated the spiritual elements of natural religion, adopted what might be considered "Universal truths" -- and distorted them just enough to obscure their origin and use them to their own perverted, selfish ends.
Whenever someone tries to defend the concept of "might makes right" as an extension of Darwinism -- that is, men rule the world because they're stronger and therefore things are the way they're supposed to be, because the strong survive and the strong make the rules blah blah blah -- I cannot help but think of the elementary school playground.
So, the biggest, strongest kids on the playground rule that playground; they cow the other children, they make the occasional example of a smaller kid to keep the others in terrified awe...
Does anyone observing that set of circumstances wish to defend it as being the way it ought to be? I'm assuming not. Well, there's simply no substantive difference between that microcosmic portrait and the larger reality of human existence.
The big and the strong rule the playground and justify it with Darwinism -- fuuuuuuuck that.
And what does this have to do with religion? Well, come on, do the math, Johnny boy. It's the big and the strong, ruling the playground as they have since the biggest and the strongest got together and decided they could wrest control of the swing set from the peaceful chicks with the cats and the candles. Hell, you kill off a couple of million goddess-worshipping women and their sensitive yet virile lovers -- you've got yourself a monotheistic planet for the next few millennia.
And damn if it didn't work. And that's why I'm pissed off, and that's why -- much as I love and respect so many people who DO believe in a single deity they call God/Jesus/Yahweh/Allah -- I think it's a fucking fraud.
It doesn't help that we have so many blatant examples throughout our recent history (read: past 2000 years, give or take a century) of the big and the strong using this god concept to manipulate, bully and deceive the mass of mankind into swallowing their hemlock a little bit at a time. Not enough to kill you, kids -- just enough to weaken your resistance and keep you pliable. Drink up. Have another draught of the One True God -- and stop peeking behind the curtain, those are not the druids you're looking for.
In a recent discussion, stormbear opined (and I agreed, wholeheartedly), that "The REAL I/P issue... is not about Islam or Judaism, it is about politics disguised as faith."
I see absolutely no reason whatsoever why anyone would be banned, anywhere for saying something that is so obviously true.
Of COURSE that's the real I/P issue. It's NEVER been about "faith." Just as "fatwahs" have never been about "faith," either. I reject, out of hand, any claims that killing, war, terrorism or violence of any kind is about FAITH.
Further, I think all of this bullshit -- ALL of it -- should have been avoided, COULD have been avoided, were not the Christians and the Jews and the Muslims all been so irrationally and bizarrely obsessed with claiming their "rightful" ownership of a patch of land in the Middle East because the city of Jerusalem sits on that patch of land, and the city of Jerusalem, of course, holds so much religious significance for each of the Terrible Three.
(Ordinarily this is where I would make obeisance to those religious among us, assuring my desire not to offend, but merely to share my personal feelings. Well, I am not in the mood to apologise for giving offense, though I am sure the language I just used in the paragraph above did give offense...
I'm just so fucking fed up with all the brutalities and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the name of each of those three religion's deities, man -- frankly, I think the faithful ought to be apologising to the rest of us, not the other way around. I have been deeply offended, repeatedly, constantly, by these religions; yet none have offered apology.
Apparently I am just supposed to go on taking it, all the while proffering my own outstretched hand in friendship -- and humble contrition for those times when I fail to keep my rage in check. Well, perhaps I may return to that mode of behaviour after today, perhaps not; but for today, I expect to be granted some of the forgiveness and tolerance that I practise regularly toward my friends of faith, which practise I am compelled to make precisely because they belong to organisations I abhor, regardless of denomination.
So, no, I am not begging pardon; rather, I expect pardon, though in truth I do not believe I need pardon. But since my friends of faith do believe it, then I hope, sincerely, that they do not begrudge me this day of defiant rage and unmitigated disgust with religion of every sort. Indeed, when I think about how much misery the practise of religion has brought to the world, and how incontestably flagrant have been the manipulations and machinations of evil men throughout time immemorial in using religion to control other humans, to gain those oldest stands-by: wealth and power.
That's what's truly sickening about the truth behind it all: that none of this has a goddamned thing to do with true spirituality or religious feeling or GOD. This is about power. This is about using religion, as it has been used for eons -- and, considering the absolutely sickening display of bullshit I saw yesterday as the various news stations replayed snippets of the Democratic Presidential candidates pandering to the "Faithful" -- it seems it will continue to be used. We should BAN ALL references to religion, faith and god from politicians. They shouldn't be ALLOWED to speak any of the words associated with any of it. Because they're lying and it's a ruse and it's an insult -- not only to those of us who see through the ruse, but to those pitiful millions who actually think their elected officials BELIEVE any of this shit they spew.
Golly, I wish I could end this on some sort of positive note... but I've been away from my beloved blog for a week or so, and returned to find it torn to pieces, riddled with hatred and people hurling abusive invective at each other, my email in-box full of "resignations" from people sick to death of it all -- and over what?
So, I've said it before, and I'll doubtless say it again, but this morning, I'm saying it through tears and shaking with rage, on behalf of the countless millions tormented in some form or other by RELIGION and its manipulators -- as well as on my own meagre behalf, mourning as I always have the catastrophic childhood in Catholic schools -- but also, this morning, the catastrophic effects of this bullshit thing called "RELIGION" on the one thing I've created in this life (aside from my child, whom I am raising to be irreligious) of which I could be unreservedly proud.
A pox on all their houses.
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The only way to correct the multiple problems (and embarrassments) at Guantanamo is to close Guantanamo. A good first step would be to restore habeas corpus for Guantanamo prisoners. Two editorial voices in today's newspapers agree that it's time for a change.
The Guantánamo camp was created on a myth — that the American judicial system could not handle prisoners of “the war against terror.” It was built on a lie — that the hundreds of detainees at Gitmo are all dangerous terrorists. And it was organized around a fiction — that Mr. Bush had the power to create this rogue system in the first place.
It is time to get rid of it.
No other trials under the Military Commissions Act should go forward until Congress acts. A good first step would be for Congress to reinstate habeas rights for the detainees, thereby restoring federal court oversight of a legal situation at Guantanamo that's clearly gone haywire.
No, Fred's such a pal he helped lead fundraising for the Libby defense fund so that Libby, formerly Cheney's #2 man, already a millionaire many times over, would not have to spend a cent of his own money (considerable fortune) defending the charges.
Did you know that former Tennessee senator and now a former Law & Order cast member (he played Branch, the latest lead D.A. whose character seemed to parallel Thompson's inflated sense of self-worth), not only wants Scooter Libby pardoned for his key role in PlameGate**?
Welcome to the new polling project! In the spirit and tradition of the BlogPac / MoveOn.org netroots survey, Adwatch and the MyDD / Courage Campaign / Wright Consulting candidate memo, we are happy to collaborate with the Alliance for Justice on a[...]
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Mitt Romney and his chiseled jaw makes no sense as he tries to explain how he flip flopped on abortion and became a Dobson type—pro-birth Republican. Download (178) | Play (181) Download (130) | Play (130)He says it was when he was..Governor….you remember…he used to be GOVERNOR….and he was debating…CLONING….and he was debating….EMBRO FARMING….which then changed his mind and he now believes [...]
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Kevin has some useful context for the new education results. It turns out that rising test scores may be the product of...dumber tests, which isn't exactly the outcome No Child Left Behind was hoping to create....[...]
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A military panel recommended this week that Iraq war veteran Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh, “who wore his uniform during an anti-war protest, should lose his honorable discharge status, brushing away his claims that he was exercising his right to free speech.”While the Marine Corps was actively working to repudiate “opposition groups and individuals” like Kokesh, [...]
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