Friday, January 23, 2004

Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

by Billectric at Literary Kicks is a good essay, that nicely captures the essence and importance of one of Thoreau's masterpieces, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. As I've said before and will undoubtedly say again, the whole US is a "free speech zone."

Cheetohs of Mass Destruction

Cool analogy from Slacktivist.



The basic gist is that each element (adjective) added to the original word is associated with a diminished truth value. Let's compare.



First, the renaming of WMD:



• March 2003: Weapons of mass destruction.



• June 2003: Weapons of mass destruction programs.



• October 2003: Weapons of mass destruction-related programs.



• January 2004: Weapons of mass destruction-related program activities.




Weapons of mass destruction is a fairly straight-forward term. Most of us can get our heads around the meaning of the phrase and understand the threat posed by such weapons relatively easily. With the addition of the adjective "programs" to qualify this term, we find that the definition is weakened somewhat. The term suggests that some serious planning for the manufacture and use of such weapons was in place, and perhaps some actual production had occurred. The threat starts seeming less-than-imminent. So what do I make of WMD-related programs? The adjective "related" suggests that there are no actual programs in place, but that there is something going on in Iraq that might one day lead to the actual production of WMDs. Not exactly the sort of thing to write home about or make a big deal about in a State of the Union Address. By the time we add, the last adjective "activities" I'm left wondering WTF?!? At the least it becomes pretty apparent that no actual WMDs are involved. We've sacrified over 500 US soldiers and the lives of countless Iraqi civilians over WMD-related activities!?!



Now, let's examine cheese:



• "Cheese" = cheese



• "processed cheese" = cheese, sort of



• "processed cheese food" = cheese, sort of, plus other stuff that's not cheese



• "processed cheese food snack product" = the food in question is orange, but contains no actual cheese.




Yup. The song remains the same.

Trip Home From Europe Becomes Kafkaesque Ordeal

Yet another outrage in the name of "homeland security": Here's a system that desperately needs changing.



The American Taliban

Bill Berkowitz writes about our own home-grown right-wing extremists. Worth a read.

Republicans try to cut off 'soft money' to activist groups

The recent explosion of groups such as Moveon.org has apparently worried the GOP brass. Most of the new groups are closely linked to Democrats. They have been established by former party operatives, labor union leaders and advocates for women's and environmental issues, many with the declared intent of preventing Bush's re-election. It has left Republicans "worried or paranoid," says Ben Ginsberg, counsel to Bush's campaign.



More:



• A Republican political group, Americans for a Better Country, has asked the Federal Election Commission to decide whether labor unions and corporations can fund these new committees. GOP strategists admit it's partly an effort to scare off Democratic donors.



• Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee, has threatened to subpoena leaders of prominent Democratic groups to testify before his panel. Democrats see the move as an attempt to intimidate them and deter contributors.



• Republican Party Chairman Ed Gillespie accuses the groups of "skirting the law" and wants greater scrutiny of their activities. The party's lawyers have urged the FEC to curb the groups.



• FEC Chairman Bradley Smith, a Republican, proposes writing rules that could stop the groups from accepting more than $5,000 from a single donor.




What I find especially bothersome is the intention to intimidate individuals from donating to these groups. That is little more than bullying.



Click here for the full story.

How to Look Presidential

Some humor to lighten your day. Enjoy!

A Tribute to the US Soldiers Whose Lives Have Been Lost in Iraq





500 boots at the Federal Building Plaza in Chicago. May they rest in peace.

Norquist Defends His Nazi Comments

I've noted before that people who are highly right-wing authoritarian tend to be quite adept at compartmentalized thinking. In the same breath that he can criticize a couple ad contest entries at Moveon.org, he is also saying that his comments on taxation are perfectly okay:



Some excerpts of the article:



"The Nazis were for gun control, the Nazis were for high marginal tax rates," said Grover Norquist in an interview with the Forward. "Do you want to talk about who's closer politically to national socialism, the Right or the Left?"



Norquist said his comments were entirely reasonable because he was drawing comparisons to misguided socialist policies. He also sought to distinguish his comments from two 30-second videos comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler that were temporarily posted on the Web site MoveOn.org.



"Theirs was a deliberate effort to smear," Norquist said of the videos, which were posted as entries in a MoveOn.org contest soliciting model campaign ads.



....Republicans and conservative pundits who were quick to slam MoveOn.org have refused to speak out against Norquist and New York Post columnist Ralph Peters, who compared opponents of the Bush administration to Nazis. But at least one prominent Republican, Fred Zeidman, is criticizing Norquist.



"What he's trying to do is use the single worst thing that happened in 20th century to try and magnify the effect of what he's saying politically, and I think utilization for that purpose is wrong," said Zeidman, who serves as vice chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition and was tapped by Bush to be chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.




Overall, Norquist appears to be fairly unrepentant with regard to his use of Nazi and Holocaust imagery. Further, with the apparent exception of one prominent Republican, GOP apologists who were howling like a pack of food-deprived wolverines on Angel Dust over the two Moveon.org ad contest entries have been strikingly silent over Norquist's own use or misuse of Nazi and Holocaust imagery when making his own political points. Hypocritical? You bet. What is clear is that we have a rather pervasive pattern of relying on Nazi and Holocaust imagery among the right-wing in their characterizations of those with whom they disagree.



In the meantime, it looks like it will be necessary for those of us on the "left" to continue to shine a light on this dark little secret of our right-wingnut contingent, as they are likely to continue their current pattern of behavior unabated.

???W

The world is a scary place

Tom Engelhardt's reading of the SOTU focuses on the words Bush used to describe American in relation to the rest of the world. In a nutshell, the world is a scary place.



An excerpt:



In the first half of the speech, the words "terror" or "terrorists" were used 14 times; some form of "kill" ("killers," "killed," "killing") 10 times; war 7 times; and that doesn't count the various stand-ins for war or warlike actions ("aggressive raids," "attack," "offensive," "patrols," "operations," "battle," "armored charges," "midnight raids," "on the offensive," and the slightly more opaque "pursuing a forward strategy of freedom in the Greater Middle East," a favorite phrase of our vice president as well);"weapons" was used 8 times (usually in the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" or "of mass murder," or in one case in the extraordinarily convoluted phrase, "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities"); "threat" appeared 4 times, "hunting" or "manhunt" 3 times; "capture" 3 times; ditto "tracking"; "plotting" four times; "danger" in some form four times including "ultimate danger"; some form of the word "violent" three times; "thugs" twice; some form of "enemy" 3 times.



Among other words occurring at least once were: patrolling, vigilance, assassins, disrupt, seize, tragedy, trial, catch, fear, chaos, carnage, torture, tyrant, tyranny, despair, anger, brutal, hateful propaganda, prison cell, shake the will.



And even some normally positive words fell into this category in a process akin to guilt-by-association as in the phrase, "enemies of reform and allies of terror."




I'll concur with Mr. Engelhardt that the main purpose of the speech is to scare Americans to death. The speech in essence frames our relation to the rest of the planet in such a way that we as the audience are invited to perceive ourselves and our country as in great peril. Implicit of course is that the Bushies are going to "come to rescue us at the last minute...just like in a B-movie" (as Gil-Scott Heron might say).

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Gangsta Haiku Blog

Scrolling down the Guestbook over at Gangsta Haiku, I found this by some cat named intox:



an uncertain fate

dwells for the united states

fucked by our own hate

Tunes

Dewey Redman:Tarik



Late 1960s avant-garde trio recording with Redman playing sax and musette (double-reed instrument common to the Mediterranean region), Malachi Favors on bass, and Ed Blackwell on drums. These cats kick out the jams on this varied set, which fits in fairly nicely with recordings from like-minded artists of the period such as Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman. I find the pieces that employ the musette and African rhythms to be especially compelling.

Cheney Smokes Crack, Comments "This is tha Shit"

Then claims that he's confident of finding Iraqi WMDs.

Dean, Bush, and Anger Management

nifty compare and contrast on the two men's anger management styles. The litmus test here: how did they handle the first criticism from their respective wives of their speeches? Let's just say that Bush flipped out. Dean, on the other hand, apparently did not. If I had to be a passenger in a motor vehicle driven by either of these men under the above circumstances, Dean is the one I'd trust to refrain from driving the car into a brick wall in anger.

???W

More State o' the Union

My wife and I tried to sit through some of the SOTU Tuesday night, but found that after about two minutes we simply couldn't take any more. What we saw and heard in that brief time period was enough, and what I've been reading today has confirmed that the SOTU was once again one of the biggest pack of lies ever pitched by a President. Let's just say I wouldn't buy a used car from Bush.



Some good reads:



The Big Lie SOTU style, by Estimated Prophet is one well-worth perusing. Includes plenty of links to the SOTU transcript and other goodies.



Al Franken's Response to the SOTU. Not Al's funniest moment, but worth a read (transcript) and a listen. For another humorous take on the SOTU, check out the Onion Inforgraphic for this week.



'Bush style: Ignore the facts, tout the conclusion'. Somehow, Dubya remains living proof that Maier's Law is alive and well.



Plagiarism and the SOTU. If you're going to be dishonest, you might as well go all out, I guess.



A Reactive Tone Shows His Ears Have Been Burning.



One more for the road: Democratic Reaction to the SOTU.



Okay. I'm outta here.



Well, maybe not so outta here...David Corn comments on Bush's Defiant State of the Union. The line quoted in Corn's piece ("No one can now doubt the word of America.") is also mentioned in the Baltimore Sun's editorial, which urges the President to try some honesty for a change.



South Knox Bubba found this year's SOTU to be rather weird and poorly executed.



I'm sure there's more.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Enemies of the state

Note: The following is a post by Kurt Nimmo on his blog, Another Day in the Empire. It's worthy of a read, as is his blog in general. If you dig this, go over to his site (see right-hand column for my blog links) and say "whazzup!"



Now that the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has released its report calling "for the creation of an independent commission to fully investigate what the U.S. intelligence community knew, or believed it knew, about Iraq's WMD programme from 1991 to 2003, and whether its analyses were tainted by foreign intelligence agencies or political pressure," as Jim Lobe writes, it is time for a slow grill of the entire neocon philosophy.



Fat chance in hell.



In fact, if anything, members of Congress who have suddenly mustered up the spine to go after the Bush war criminals for their pathological lies about Iraq's non-existent WMD may be persecuted for treason. "The neocon cabal is beginning to make the case for imprisoning -- or possibly executing -- members of Congress who oppose the war in Iraq," writes Thomas J. DiLorenzo. "Naturally, the totalitarian/neocon case for imprisoning or executing the Bush administration's political opponents is based on precedents established by Abraham Lincoln." DiLorenzo cites an article by J. Michael Waller appearing in Insight magazine, "an appendage of the Washington Times, the voice of the Washington, D.C. neocon establishment" (and also owned by the convicted felon and self-proclaimed Messiah Sun Myung Moon).



The Democrats, according to Waller, are "playing with treason [in an effort] to destroy the nation's wartime Republican president." Never mind that this (undeclared) "wartime" president is a liar of such magnitude that the libidinous Clinton looks like a piker by way of comparison (after all, Clinton's stain and the lie he told about it didn't kill anybody, not that we know about anyway). Waller mentions Lincoln's suspension of the Bill of Rights and throwing politicians and newspaper editors in military brigs for disagreeing with him about the Civil War. "While none have suggested such extreme measures in the midst of the war on terrorism, Lincoln's approach illustrates the deadly seriousness of political responsibility in wartime and draws a fine line between legitimate political dissent and aiding the enemy," Waller explains.



None have suggested? Maybe Waller should follow the rantings of his fellow so-called conservatives (see below).



In other words, it does not matter that Bush's invasion was bogus, predicated on Straussian lies -- those who are asking for accountability are traitors because they are supposedly providing comfort to the enemy, who happen to be at this point Iraqis resisting a brutal occupation. In short, if you don't back Bush and his gaggle of war criminals you deserve to put in prison, maybe even hauled before a military tribunal.



So much for the First Amendment, which Waller apparently believes is now suspended (absent a formal declaration of war) and will be so long as Bush's war on terrorism continues, that is to say indefinitely.



"Our civil liberties are neither self-enforcing nor self-correcting," writes Eric Foner. "Historians today view past suppressions of free speech as shameful episodes. But we are now living through another moment when many commentators, both in and out of government, seem to view freedom of expression as at best an inconvenience and at worst unpatriotic. The incessant attacks on dissenters as traitors are intended to create an atmosphere of shock and awe within the United States, so that those tempted to speak their mind become too intimidated to do so."



It would seem Waller wants that intimidation to begin with those in Congress who want Bush to answer for his murderous lies.



For the right-wing nutters who back Bush's mass murder of Iraqis -- 10,000 innocent civilians and counting -- vocal disagreement indicates a vast communist conspiracy.



"Tolerance was never the goal, was it? It was merely a convenient stepping stone in the leftist agenda to Saddamize America -- to gain control of our institutions, our government, our workplaces, our families and our children," writes the paranoid Craige McMillian, a WorldNetDaily commentator. "From this position of power, the left can silence its critics. Silent critics are necessary to make America into the communist paradise that leftists have never given up on, despite Stalin and Mao's murdered millions, or Saddam's murdered and brutalized tens or hundreds of thousands."



Silence... maybe like Fox News?



"If Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge wants to do something useful with all his new powers, he ought to find out how these neo-Communists are being financed," barks Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation. "If Ridge won't act, then Congress should. Congress should hold hearings and compel the organizers to testify."



Last time I went to an antiwar demonstration, I met a Stalinist agent from ANSWER in the alley behind my apartment. Millions of us are dupes for America-hating Maoists.



"[Saddam Hussein's] gruesome qualities matter less to the Left than the fact of his confronting and defying the United States," the Islamophobe Daniel Pipes believes. "In its view, anyone who does that can't be too bad -- never mind that he brutalizes his subjects and invades his neighbors. The Left takes to the streets to assure his survival, indifferent both to the fate of Iraqis and even to their own safety, clutching instead at the hope that this monster will somehow bring socialism closer."



Pipes made his name by harassing college professors in much the same way followers of the Nazis did in the early 1930s. For all his effort, Bush appointed Pipes to the board of the United States Institute of Peace. For Pipes and his ilk, peace rides bare back on a cruise missile. The sound of freedom is a six year old Iraqi girl screaming as she bleeds to death after a cluster bomb hits a nursery school.



"Many dangerous, violent and profoundly anti-American organizations are using the current war as cover to try to bring America to its knees," writes WorldNetDaily CEO Joseph Farah. "They hate this country and openly advocate destroying it. Their cause has nothing to do with opposing war, but everything to do with opposing America. In some cases, both their tactics and their goals are not far from those of the very terrorists we are fighting."



For the record, Mr. Farah, I have never advocated destroying America -- that is unless you consider opposing an illegal and immoral war destroying America.



"When your country is attacked, when the enemy has targeted every American regardless of race, gender or age for death, there can be no 'peace' movement," explains David Horowitz, a former Stalinist. "There can only be a movement that divides Americans and gives aid and comfort to our enemies... The so-called 'peace movement' today is led by the same radicals who supported America’s totalitarian enemies during the Cold War. They marched in support of the Vietcong, the Sandinista Marxists and the Communist guerrillas in El Salvador. Before that they marched in behalf of Stalin and Mao."



David marched with them, too... but never mind, he feels better now. Horowitz should know better, but he has an agenda now -- making money off right-wing nutters -- so there's no time to remember the days when he opposed the Vietnam war as the editor of Ramparts Magazine. It makes you wonder if he's only in it for the money.



"Once the war against Saddam [Hussein] begins, we expect every American to support our military, and if they can't do that, to shut up," demands Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. "Americans and, indeed, our allies who actively work against our military once the war is under way will be considered enemies of the state by me."



It's actually an honor that Bill O'Reilly considers me an enemy of the state.



Enough said.

Pot, Kettle, Black; Or In One Word -- Hitlery

More wingnut hypocrisy is but a quick Google search away. In our last exciting episode, we encountered numerous examples of the right-wing exploiting the liberal=Hitler meme. If you're Green, agree with affirmative action, or other such travesties (at least in wingnut fantasy land), you're just like Adolf Hitler. Funny, considering how much these people are howling over the Moveon.com contest entries, that they would indeed be doing or at least enabling the very behaviors they seek to condemn.



Now for our main focus: the case of Hitlery. The name of course is a rather clever merging of the names "Hitler" and "Hillary." Took a real rocket scientist to think up that one. Anyhoo, that's a fairly popular name to use in place of Hillary Clinton, who appears to be some dark, sinister figure akin to the Anti-Christ: but even worse, she's a Democrat, female, and very articulate. So, let us revel in the wingnut literati as they grace us with web page upon web page of musings on Hitlery (er...Hillary):



Hitlery’s Heritage Comes Shining Through



Here we learn of Hillary's lesbianism. Cool, the wingnuts kill two birds with one stone: the Hillary=Nazi meme and the Gay&Lesbian=Nazi meme. By the way, a similar web page can be found in a site run by a dude whose name is, aptly enough The Konformist.



If the name Hitlery is invoked, you know the freepers can't be too far behind, as evidenced by this link with a really clever title: Activism by keyword HITLERY. Way to go, dudes!



Over at Bit's Bits, we have this brilliant expose on how Hitlery will make a run for the White House this year. It's a fiendish plot within the Democrat Party cabal to unleash Hillary at the last minute, thus decimating any hopes for Dubya's God-anointed re-election. Fortunately, thanks to the miracle of aluminum foil hats and the crafty removal of all those dental fillings (plus a few skipped doses of Thorazine) those wily wingnuts expose our evil plot.



Some dude named "Dave" even put the term Hitlery in the Urban Dictionary. 'Tis truly a succinct definition: Adolf Hitler in drag,former 1st lady

Hillary Rodham Clinton
. "Dave" demonstrates his enormous command of the English language by even using the word in a sentence: Hitlery has a dick and wants to be dictator. Wow, I really wish I had thought of that one.



We also have this message board post Hitlery's Sedition, which is linked to, of course, a Worldnet Daily article Was Hillary's Iraq ploy treason?. Not only is she Hitler in drag, but she's assisting the [cue sinister sounding music] the forces of EEEEVIIIILLLLLL.



Not too surprisingly, the use of the word Hitlery is relatively common even as late as this month, with this post at Technochitlins as but one exemplar of the phenomenon.



Leave it to the far right-hand reaches of blogtopia to expose this gem: Hitlery to instigate new Reich in 2008. The source is a German magazine, according to the blogger, so I must be true.



The message boards simply abound with all sorts of absurd allegations about Sen. Clinton, including that contends her book from last year was ghostwritten. If only the person posting this was referring to some book written by Britney Spears, then I might have largely agreed with much of the post's content. But alas, his target is one who can actually read and write quite competently on her own. That's three strikes, bud. You're outta here.



Somehow the Rush Limbaugh crowd would weigh in, one would think. So, naturally, I was rather relieved to find a link to some really nifty bumper sticker ideas, such as HEIL HILLARY! (OR HITLERY)... Plenty of other examples of Nazi imagery aimed at liberals, Democrats, and so forth may also be found here.



Want more? Do a Google search, and you'll be set. The right-wingnuts have been more than happy to use Nazi imagery on a regular basis, on multiple forums. And yet when it's turned back against their Golden Boy Wannabe Prez Bush, they whine and fuss. The stench of hypocrisy from these folks is roughly equivalent to that of manure in a hog farm.

The Mainstreaming of Right-wing Violence

Political Rally Ends in Shoving Match



I'm a little surprised that this one slipped through the cracks. It'a a relatively minor incident, but it does come at a time when eliminationist rhetoric among the right-wing has escalated.



A bit reminiscent of this incident in which one of Schwarzenegger's opponents was roughed up by Arnold Loyalists at one of his rallies (thank goodness for a long memory and my web browser's bookmarks).

The State of the Union Part Two

Are we better off than we were four years ago? Will be worse off in another four years?



Some thoughts about where we're going may be found in Paul Krugman's column, under the title of Going for Broke. Krugman's take on what another four years would mean can be summarized with this assessment of what will happen to this year's campaign promises: they must figure that once they have won the election, they will have such a complete lock on power that they can break many of their promises with impunity.



What will they do with that lock on power? Their election strategy — confuse the middle, but feed the base — suggests the answer.
What will they do with that lock on power, indeed.



Molly Ivins has her own take, which basically comes down to an old Clintonesque slogan: "It's the economy, stupid." Much of what the Bush White House has done or is proposing to do is unsustainable and/or simply bad news for those of us who actually have to work for a living. So what's up with that? Follow the money trail.



The James K. Galbraith article The No Jobs President over at Salon is also worth a read. It dovetails fairly nicely with the other two pieces. Along the lines of Krugman, Galbraith argues that economic stagnation is precisely what the Bushies want. An excerpt:



And after the election, the stagnation his backers want will not be hard to achieve. Our economy still faces major barriers to sustained growth. Capacity utilization in industry is low: a barrier to sustained growth of investment. Household debt burdens are high: a barrier to accelerating consumer spending, which will be aggravated when the housing bubble eventually pops. Federal, state and local budgets are riddled with structural deficits; these will not go away with growth. In the states and localities, spending cuts and tax increases are the only agenda. At the federal level, the deficit hawks -- a well-meaning group, but prone to obsess on the wrong issue -- will be on the march next year.



Galbraith also tears apart the recent Bush proposed immigration policy, which would effectively create a revolving door of temp workers, and likely would make the problem of illegal immigration worse, while doing nothing to make the job situation look better for those who are already citizens or legal residents. It's a bad policy that will reward nasty bosses and will punish the rest of us, although it's certainly presented in a wonderful looking package.



Remember those commercials for that "really cool toy" that you absolutely "had to have" because it supposedly had all those cool gizmos? The adverts were really glitzy, and made that toy look much better than it really was, much to the chagrine of us kids. Typically the "really cool toy" broke down within a handful of days, or turned out to otherwise be a dud. Well, along those lines Galbraith also tears apart the Moon and Mars mission proposal that Bush trotted out recently. It's glitzy, exciting, and just sounds really cool. The reality is that it's expensive, impractical, and likely wouldn't provide us with much of anything in the way of tangible benefits (except for perhaps a few cronies in the aerospace biz).



At least there is some hope offered: ...The election, in short, will be a race between the campaign propaganda of growth rates and the realities of scarce jobs, low pay and stagnant living standards. But reality has a way of holding its own in people's minds. It's not yet clear, by any means, that truth won't prevail.



I hope the truth does prevail, because we face the very real problem of a one party state if truth fails to prevail this year. When David Niewert writes of the Latin Americanization of America he certainly had in mind the economic disparity between the elites and the workers in mind. What also goes hand in hand with that economic reality is a political reality: a dominant, autocratic party machinery that runs all facets of the government unchecked, with maybe a token oposition that remains safely in the margins (think Mexico during the PRI era). Divided government may have its own set of problems, but a de facto one party system is not the answer either (in fairness to Republicans, we've received just a taste of what a one-party system would look like in California; let's not repeat that on a grander scale at the national level).



Update: Here's another take on The State of the Union. The numbers speak for themselves.

???W

The State of the Union

We interrupt this program with a special bulletin.



America is now under martial law.



All constitutional rights have been suspended. Stay in your homes. Do not attempt to contact loved ones, insurance agents, or attorneys. Shut up. Do not attempt to think, or depression may occur. Stay in your homes. Curfew is at 7pm sharp, after work. Anyone caught outside the gates of their subdivision sectors after curfew will be shot. Remain calm. Do not panic. Your neighborhood watch officer will be by to collect urine samples in the morning. Anyone caught interfering with the collection of urine samples will be shot. Houses will be inspected for trace elements at noon. Anyone who fails to display the required embossed Mexican velvet painting of Alexander Haig on their living room wall will be shot. Cameras and surveillance equipment will be posted on all lampposts and streetlights. Anyone failing to attend required worship services on Sunday will be promptly arrested and dispatched to a re-education resort. Stay in your homes. Remain calm. The number one enemy of progress is questions. National security is more important than individual will. All sports broadcasts will proceed as normal. No more than two people may gather anywhere without permission. Use only the drugs prescribed by your boss or supervisor. Shut up! Be happy! Obey all orders without question. The comfort you've demanded is now mandatory. Be happy! At last — everything is done for you.



Jello Biafra (from the album, No More Cocoons)

Monday, January 19, 2004

Here's another collection of wingnut hypocrisy

Just when I thought I was done for the night, Conwebwatch has a nifty run-down of various rightwingnut usages of the "liberal=Nazi" meme. Enjoy.

Those wacky liberal nazis

As mentioned earlier, the sheer outrage expressed in wingnut circles during the moveon.com Bush in 30 Seconds contest in which two entries made a link between Bush and Hitler should be something of a surprise to me, but it really isn't. The temptation to equate advocates of affirmative action, gun control, and a whole host of other liberal and progressive causes as being Nazis or no different from Hitler is one to which the right has succumbed repeatedly. The tendency to compartmentalize their thoughts to such an extent that they simply cannot recognize the hypocrisy inherent in their outrage toward those two ad contest entries. Call it projection; call it cognitive dissonance. The tendency for wingnuts to turn a blind eye to their own misdeeds while crying foul over those of their opponents is well-documented (in part thanks to the work on authoritarianism by Bob Altemeyer).



So, here's a few more links to consider. Next time someone expresses their vehement moral outrage over something that they heard some liberal said about Bush, remind them that too many of these same individuals are likely to have said far worse about liberals.



a Christian Conservative opinion site that uses the following phrase "whining liberal (read "Nazi-socialist")".



In Australia late last year one of their conservative Senators likened Greens as Nazis who would be more at home in Hitler's Germany. Just a quick note: the Liberal Party in Australia is the equivalent to the Tories in England & Canada.



This little gem from the comments to an article on computer rage: The left wing NAZI liberals like to label everything as RAGE. . In the same post, the person states The LIBERAL NAZI's are trying to get rid of anyone ever getting angry at all. Note: I assume that the post in no way reflects the view of the column's author.



Here's another site that offers a nifty compare and contrast between what he/she refers to as "liberal socialist democrats" (with the "liberal" word crossed out) and the Nazis. Bring this one to your next coctail party if you want a few laughs at the right wing's expense.



On a right-wing message board, here's a thread that ponders the great question that has plagued humanity for ages: Has The Liberal Enviro Nazi Movement Succeeded?



On another message board, here's a thread in which the individual states that Liberals approve of neo-Nazi bigots who hate Americans but trust islam. Someone apparently forgot to email me the memo. I'm always the last one to find out these things.



Imagine my shock when I found out that I might be an anti-smoking Nazi. But hey, that's another rant for another day.



And of course, I am more than pleased to post those witty Ann Coulter liberal-nazi smears, regardless of theirtenuousness.



How about this comment to a petition: Smash the EU! Secession is the right thing to do! Free the world from PC liberal nazi tyrants!



Will the stupidity ever end? Nah. A wingnut blogger has this nifty little quote from what I'd be willing is a freeper (albeit an unusually articulate freeper) trolling the DU message boards last spring: Progressive liberal democrats supporting a regime modeled after the Nazi party. Never mind the logical gymnastics required by the above statement that would make a contortionist green with envy, let's just call it like it is in reality: opposition to the war to invade Iraq is not equivalent to supporting Hussein.



Oh goodie! Another compare-contrast table, from someone presumably libertarian: libertarian vs coercive collectivist. This genius manages to smear individuals who advocate affirmative action and the military draft as fundamentally no different than Nazis. With regard to the draft, I personally find the concept abhorrent, but advocating compulsory military service is not in itself a good litmus test for fascism. I think it's unfair, and makes our nation's leaders more tempted to embark on ill-conceived military ventures at the expense of countless lives, but that's another rant for another time. As for affirmative action? Somehow leveling the playing field so that ethnic minorities, women, and hopefully persons with disabilities have equal opportunities to attain their employment and career goals is not even remotely comparable to anything attempted or advocated by the idiots who gave us "The Final Solution." Give me a break!



Are you queer? Well, apparently according to the author of this article, you're Nazi roots are showing. Our religious fanatics apparently live in some fantasy land.



Another tired gun control = nazism meme exemplar.



And I'll leave the reader with yet another liberals are like Nazis article, in which the wingnut responsible for authoring it contends that affirmative action and Nazi race-based public policies were alike.



Enough.

The Bush's Ethics Oxymoron

A book that might be of interest (available this March): The President of Good & Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush.



The basic premise of the book, by bioethicist Peter Singer, is an examination of how well Dubya walks his talk. From the preview provided in this column, it appears that Dubya's deeds have fallen far short of their words. No big surprise, from my angle. That said, I find philosophical investigations to be generally useful exercises, especially when applied to the real world.

The grim struggle to save lives inside a ragged Baghdad ER

A description of some of the Post-invasion fall-out.

King Day Marked With Protests Against War





















I just love this last picture (which I think may be from the end of last week).



The story can be read here..

But Wait....There's More!

Like Hitler, Clinton Proposes "Hate Crime" Legislation



Pro-Choicers & Adolf Hitler . Scroll down to the bottom for this one.



Clinton's Crimes Are Hitler's Crimes



The boy from Brazil: Another Clinton-Hitler analogy.



ABC's Peter Jennings Draws Parallels of Liberal Democrats to Adolph Hitler: The author seems to really make hay of the Jennings quote and goes on to essentially smear Democrats and liberals more broadly as Nazis.



Not aimed at liberals per se, but the author of this one definitely links hospice care and nazism.



Liberal Fascism, draws parallels to liberalism and nazism.



If you liked Hitler you'll love Clinton!, regarding the Elian Gonzalez case. The "Herr Reno" remark is especially amusing: c'mon, if you're going to do these remarks do them right. It's Frau Reno!



Burgers bans and the slippery slope. Gotta watch out for those "health nazis".



This will link you to the recent Ralph Peters column linking Howard Dean to Hitler, and to Grover Norquist's recent contention that the Estate Tax is comparable to "the final solution."



Scroll to the article Green Killers and Pseudo-science, to see a reprint of an effort to smear Greenpeace as nazi-like.

And Speaking of Pots Calling Kettles Black

Here's a little gem about Dennis Miller.



Miller exemplifies what happens when washed up stand-up comics develop amnesia.



One of my favorites from this "As late as May 1998, Miller was characterizing Gingrich's '94 Republican class as a "band of fascist elves." Add to this, Indeed, Miller was especially merciless in bashing Gingrich. Many of his anti-Newt quips compared the House Speaker to Adolf Hitler — and, by extension, portrayed the GOP Congress as a sinister collection of would-be brownshirts. For example, in his opening monologue on December 23, 1994, Miller joked that Gingrich's forthcoming book would "be available through the Mein Kampf of the Month Club." A few weeks later, he announced the post-election transfer of power on Capitol Hill as follows: "Gingrich and the Republicans took over Congress this week. This is actually Gingrich's second attempt to seize power, the first, of course, being the ill-fated Beer Hall Putsch." I'm sure he would find it embarassing to find himself in the same company as a couple obscuroid videos in an ad contest, given his current flip-flop.

My opponents are Nazis: Or the Pot Calls the Kettle Black

When Are Nazi Comparisons Deplorable? For Fox News, Only When Republicans are the Target



Actaully one of the things I've noticed is that Republicans have played fast and loose with the Nazi and Hitler imagery for a long time. One thing I'll be doing over the course of the next few weeks, as time permits, is to document instances in which mass media figures associated with the GOP, mass media organs, GOP officials and organizations, and ordinary people who associate themselves with the GOP or other right-wing groups have attempted to smear Democrats, and more broadly liberals and progressives as "nazis". Rush Limbaugh's liberal use of the term "feminazi" is of course well-known and adopted by numerous dittoheads nationwide. He's far from alone, as we shall see.



I'll kick things off with Leaflet Invokes Nazi Imagery Against Maryland Democrats

"The 500 are almost faceless."

They shouldn't be, but they are.

Bush Has Put the State of Our Union at Risk

Ted Kennedy, as we approach what will hopefully be Bush's last State of the Union Address. I wonder how much of this year's address will be fabricated.

Poll: Bush Slipping Among Independents

A bump among independents after Saddam's capture in December has quickly evaporated.

Cartoon Time