Saturday, June 29, 2013

Racism Is Busting Out All Over

Paula Deen may finally be getting her just desserts over revelations of racism, but that doesn't mean other uber-wealthy bigots are getting theirs. To the contrary: the eighth wonder of the world richest billionaire in the Homeland, Michael Bloomberg, still reigns supreme one day after uttering these reptilian words on why he wants to continue New York City's infamous Stop and Frisk program aimed against minorities:
 One newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying, ‘Oh, it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group.’ That may be. But it’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murders....
In that case, incidentally, I think, we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” the mayor said. “It’s exactly the reverse of what they’re saying. I don’t know where they went to school, but they certainly didn’t take a math course, or a logic course.
How tres stupide of us not to have noticed all those Wall Street suits getting rousted by the cops as they strolled over to Club Cipriani for their flutes of post-predatory champagne.

Bloomberg was just erupting in yet another one of his fits of plutocratic pique last week when the City Council voted to rein in Stop & Frisk.  Hizzoner is vowing to veto the measures despite the fact that they passed by a large enough majority to be veto-proof. He and his enforcer, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, plan to strong-arm the civil rights advocates on the Council to change their minds and vote against the override of his overreach. One of the measures makes it easier for those stopped and groped for no other reason  than their race to sue the police department. The other calls for an Inspector General to oversee the entire department. As Council Member Letitia James put it, "Today, we are striking a blow against a practice which has become a perverse right of passage for all young men of color in the City of New York."

Michael Bloomberg disguises his own racism by going the centrist cult false equivalence route:
In Washington, some elected officials don't have the courage to stand up against special interest groups on the right and pass common-sense gun laws. And in New York City, some don't have the courage to stand up to special interests on the left and support common-sense policing tactics like stop-and-frisk. We don't need extremists on the left or the right running our police department, whether its the NRA or the NYCLU.
 The attacks most often come from people who play no constructive role in keeping our city safe, but rather view their jobs as pointing fingers from the steps of City Hall. Some of them scream that they know better than you how to run the department. Some have even sued the NYPD and demanded a federal monitor over NYPD operations. They've also drafted politically driven legislation that is a reaction to two NYPD practices: Stop, Question and Frisk; and counter-terrorism intelligence gathering.
The counter-terrorism intelligence gathering to which the Shrillionaire Mayor refers is the police spy operation against Muslims (with the cooperation of the CIA)  also subject to a lawsuit in federal court. The New York Times has quite an extensive archive on S&F here.  

It's all part and parcel of the demonization of those who dare criticize creeping state totalitarianism at all levels. Complain, demand your civil rights, and you're instantly labeled an anti-American anarchist. Bloomberg's words eerily echo what one of my New York Times comment board stalkers treated me to yesterday when I complained, in response to a Timothy Egan column, about President Obama's abysmal human rights record and the wimpy Democrats. Here's what "Jack - Illinois" told me:
Your kind offers nothing to middle class Americans whose survival depend on the demise of the tea party. Your kind's take down of President Obama does nothing for millions of Americans who look to the reforms of ACA as a start to a better future when they contemplate their medical futures.
If any politician would adopt these extremist views it would be a guaranteed loss for the middle class, as the political reality is that any extremist view dies in America.
 I am happy that President Obama stiff arms the extreme left wing. Because if he kowtowed to the extreme left wing it would only mean more suffering for the middle class. I can't remember any instance that the extreme left wing helped the middle class because I believe that there is no instance.
The extreme left wing has done nothing for healthcare reform. The extreme left wing has done nothing for banking and finance reform. The extreme left wing has done nothing for immigration reform. Don't think that someone like Cesar Chavez was some kind of wild eyed radical. He was a worker, farmer, who knew families that were depending on him to bring change into their lives. Chavez had to compromise to achieve his goals, as does Obama.
Normally I ignore Jack - Illinois (OFA Truth Squad?), whose sole assignment seems to be to search out all the anti-Obama remarks and go on the pre-approved talking point attack.  But I and a few others really got into it with him yesterday. In later remarks, he called me "You People," while ironically claiming ownership of such icons as Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. The smell of centrist cult desperation and the stench of racism hidden under the perfumed miasma of liberalism is getting pretty foul out there.

And of course, no post about racism would be complete without noting an epidemic of concern troll commentary about the star witness in the ongoing George Zimmerman case, a young lady named Rachel Jeantel. I watched her testimony, which I found to be a refreshing marvel of passive-aggressive defiance. But here's a sampling of what the same people who decry the racism of George Zimmerman and the Sanford Police Department are saying about Rachel Jeantel:

She seems to have a cognitive disorder (frequent commenter on a "liberal" news aggregation site that shall not be named.)

Dark-skinned and plus-sized: Headline in article that was actually quite supportive of the witness.

We never claimed this was about race.... It’s not about racial profiling. He (Trayvon) was profiled (criminally). George Zimmerman profiled him.” -- Martin family attorney Daryl Park. (reflecting Post-
racial denialism disorder.)

Nor would a post about race be complete without noting once again what a great big ugly piece of "sweeping" legislation the Senate Immigration Bill really is. Despite being almost universally lauded as a sunburst of feel-good bipartisanship because it marks yet another notch in President Obama's legacy belt, it is rife with de facto racism. It's all about the continued exploitation of undocumented workers, and a giant leap forward into neo-feudalism. Presente. Org., the country's largest immigration advocacy group, says that far from being welcoming, this legislation will actually cause people to die. (if the bill itself doesn't die first in the recalcitrant House.)

More than a third of the current population of "illegal" immigrants will not be included in reform. (echoes of ObamaCare!) Border security will cost $40 billion -- money that could be better spent for education, infrastructure and other safety net programs. Deportations (which have already reached record numbers under Obama) will continue, and the private prison system will expand to accommodate those swept up by the draconian "Secure Communities" dragnet. Those granted a path to citizenship will lose their status if they lose their jobs and remain unemployed for more than 60 days. U.S. citizens will no longer be able to petition for their siblings. Mandatory E-verify will eventually sweep everybody up in the security state dragnet.

And last but not least, the outrage over the Supreme Court's gutting of the Voting Rights Act lasted all of 24 hours before being quickly cancelled out by a epidemic of cheers over the victories for gay marriage. New York Times columnist
Charles Blow wrote an excellent, albeit measured, piece about the disparity, calling for a joining of forces of the gay rights and civil rights activist communities:
One movement for equality had its spirits lifted and another had them crushed.
But the truth is that these movements are not wholly dissimilar. All combatants for justice are cousins. Jim Crow and Jim Queer are of a kind. So, given what happened on the racial civil rights front this week, the LGBT civil rights movement would be wise to take heed. 
I sincerely believe that in my lifetime, gay marriage will be legal in the whole of the country. But it is unlikely that the LGBT community will become more than a minority group. I also know that the changing of laws does not work in tandem with the changing of hearts, which means that minority groups are always vulnerable. When the laws change, some things simply become subterfuge. In striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote, “things have changed dramatically.” But I submit that so have certain tactics. 
Just ask black civil rights leaders still fighting a huge prison industrial complex, police policies like stop-and-frisk and predatory lending practices. Ask women’s rights leaders still fighting for equal pay, defending a woman’s right to sovereign authority of her own body — including full access to a wide range of reproductive options. Ask pro-immigration groups fighting a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment.
As I wrote in response to Charles Blow,
The Court simply delivered the coup de grace to voting rights, which have been under ever-increasing attack wherever growing minority populations are threatening GOP rule. Photo ID requirements, moving polling places without notice, closing them altogether.... the disenfranchisement bag of tricks is bottomless. The Ku Klux Kourt, as Greg Palast calls it, made it a bit easier for the festering right wing to spread its poison until the inevitable day when it succumbs to its own vile infection.
Gay rights, on the other hand, did stand half a chance and barely squeaked by the rabid Catholicism of Antonin Scalia. Marriage equality advocates simply have more political clout than do brown and black people, who have suffered disproportionately during the recession. The people hurt by the trashing of voting rights have no lobbyists, or cable TV political strategists, or fund-raising email lists with which to plead their own cases.
Even the Koch Brothers hopped aboard the marriage rights bandwagon. Gay marriage never would have passed in New York without the blessing of Wall Street, home to many a self-interested plutocrat with gay friends or relatives. When wealthy same-sex couples are allowed to marry, they get to take advantage of a whole slew of tax breaks.
The trashing of voting rights is all about the continued oppression of the poor and working people. The trashing of DOMA, on the other hand, is no skin off the raised elite noses of the people actually running the show.
In the end, it's really all about the money. The getting of it, the keeping of it, the making sure that it remains protected from the grasp of common hands. Money begets power begets more money begets more power. It's a Winner Take All world. And it's getting really ugly out there.


James F Traynor said...

I've long felt, as well as many others, that class is the main struggle here. Racism is one of the tools used
by the monied, and their representatives, as an excellent distraction from the main event. It even sometimes results in such epic proportions of irony as that represented by the statement of Trayvon Martin's
lawyer, as Karen has pointed out. A superb weapon in the armory of the 1%.

Anonymous said...

Let's kill two birds with one stone. Declare the Klan a terrorist organization and start a McCarthyesque inquisition. That organization has done more harm to Americans on our soil than the Taliban, AlQueda, and all the others combined. Send them off to Gitmo and strip them of their voting rights. At the same time, you will be cleaning up the House and the Senate and emptying the South of most of their Governors.

After that, the paralysis will have been eliminated from Congress and money can be removed from our politics once and for all. That will take Bloomberg out of the picture, I imagine.

spreadoption said...

Along the same lines and largely overlooked, it seems, of course, is this story about the FBI and a secret plan to kill Occupy activists by sniper. Did you know that our government declared Occupy a "terrorist" activity? Occupy! Peaceful protests! Terrorists!

This is sickeningly outrageous... but pathetically, it's not unbelievable.

A few years ago I began thinking that Kent State in 1970 was merely our government's first practice session.

Suzan said...



You tell'em, Karen.

You rock in the Times and even more here.

And Kent State was undoubtedly the practice session. I took the bus to D.C. to protest the murders and witnessed the D.C. cops beating kids in the park and wherever they could catch them without TV reporters nearby.

I knew then what a mess we had upcoming. They looked exactly like Nazis to me at that time and I had been studying WW2 intensely in my poli sci/int'l studies curriculum.

Bloomberg looks pretty familiar now.

But I do go on.

Love you guys!

Never quit speaking out.

Kat said...

Seroiously Anonymous, the Klan? Yeah, that'll solve the country's problems-- locking up all 73 of members. That's where the power rests. I don't want to see anyone in Gitmo anyway. I want it closed.

Anonymous said...


As one of those whose rebuttals to "Jack in Illinois" was published online by the Times in that Egan Opinionator piece (under B in CA), I have to say that getting into it with him is probably not worth your time. Even though you were right, the conversation between you two pretty much devolved.

Separately, the schadenfreude directed at Deen was pretty ridiculous. As you point out, we in the North (and Western States) are not in any position to judge the South on race relations, sadly. The rush by Times commenters to pound on Deen's persona hardly obscured the policies we "Northerners" sanctioned for years.

That said, I saw the Traynor comment on Bettany Hughes' "The Hemlock Cup" and will further recommend her shamelessly entertaining BBC4 special "The Spartans", now maybe a decade old, which points to Democracy's origins as Spartan in origin. (Oh, the irony.) Hughes' "Helen of Troy" is subversive feminist fun, too. Between "forensic" chariot reconstruction and the please-don't-do-that-on-TV "Baths of Helen" sequence, she's made herself the Joan Jett of classical studies. (For those prepared to take offense, I write that as a high compliment.)

Push Emily Wilson's sweet-and-lowdown "The Death of Socrates" a bit more. Her Chapter 5 on the entwined mythos of the hemlock cup and crucifixion is great in revealing how a big chunk of classical Greece - obsessive questioning of everything, evident too in all those profoundly subversive plays by Sophocles and even more Euripides - made its way around the world disguised in Christian robes. From a stealth marketing perspective alone, it's admirable. And the entire books is a fast 220 pages.

And separate from all that: I'll admit I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that I wasn't given an opportunity, before comments were closed, to respond to Karen's comment in the previous Sardonicky post regarding what she regards as "flame-throwing" on my part (ironically, the same term that Obamabots have hurled at Karen when she strayed from the group's mainline thinking.) I'll leave it at that for now, but I think the assessment was unfair, to say the least, given what I have read on these boards.

Zee said...


It will take several readings of your excellent post to fully absorb all the facts and their implications, but a couple of thoughts come to my mind immediately.

First, “Stop and Frisk” is a truly egregious abridgement of civil liberties that should bring shame on all NYC residents. It is a complete and utter mystery to me why this “process” has not been challenged all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court yet. (Perhaps such challenges are in progress, but I have not heard of any, and I don't think that you mentioned any in your article.)

But—and I've remarked upon this before—isn't it amazing how those so-called “liberal” politicians who not-so-covertly display complete contempt for the Bill of Rights in general are also amongst the greatest enemies of the Second Amendment, in particular? I speak, of course, of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, both defender of the NSA spying program and “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them [your guns] all in,” and “hizonner,” Mayor Bloomturd, who presides over a city that endorses “Stop and Frisk,” while at the same time making it bureaucratically impossible—or, at least, unaffordable—for the average (non-Manhattanite) to own a handgun, rifle or shotgun for protection even in one's dwelling place?

Although “hizonner” talks a good game regarding “reasonable” gun controls, NYC's laws require registration, which, after Katrina, is wholly unreasonable. And that's what I' am sure his “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” organization is ultimately after.

Registration certainly helped the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to locate the guns during a time of flooding:

“He [Sgt. Topham, RCMP] did confirm that officers relied on forced entry to get into numerous houses [How did they know which ones to break into? Or did they just break into all the homes?] during the early stages of the flood because of an 'urgent need.'

Topham said the confiscated firearms had been inventoried and were secure at an RCMP detachment...

'We have seized a large quantity of firearms simply because they were left by residents in their places,' said Topham.
[Where, under Canadian law, they were supposed to have been stored “securely,” anyway. So why the need to confiscate them?]

The guns will be returned to owners after residents are allowed back in town and they provide proof of ownership, Topham added.”
[What? The RCMP don't know whose homes they robbed? The burden of proof is on those whose guns were confiscated by the coppers? Government: ya gotta love its Kafka-esque nature!]

Well, enough about the strong correlation between “gun grabbers” and “Bill of Rights slayers.”

I hope that this is not considered “bomb-throwing” or “hijacking of the thread.”

It's just what first connection that came to my mind (Of course!) when considering the civil liberties abridgements and the particular personality targeted by you, Karen.

I'll stick closer to the topics discussed in your essay in subsequent posts.

Pearl said...

re: the Paula Deen affair:

When I first read about the fact that she had used the N word in the past, I
thought well if that is all to it, perhaps she could be excused. However,
when other reports started coming in from people who worked with her and in
her sons' restaurant of the kind of language used about African Americans I changed my mind. Then her weeping apologies and further "explanations" only made it more obvious. What is sad is that she has no idea what a racist really is and then all that weeping became obvious when they began listing the endless numbers of huge corporations she had financial connections with by her using and advertising their products, started cancelling their associations as well as other advertisers and book editors. This woman was
probably raking in billions a year which would make anyone cry if tossed
out. I also believe that if it weren't for the many African Americans buying their products this would not have happened. I am sure they all got plenty of customers threatening to cancel their purchases if necessary. She then had the gall to say that the real reason she was being blacklisted is that
jealous people were out to destroy her company so that they could profit
from it and that she was not a racist.

"when Paula went to pray with the minister, he said, 'We're behind you,'" adds a Deen pal. "She got emotional." I wonder what her church preaches about racism and I doubt it had many if any African Americans in

As Karen stated in her excellent article today, exposing the hypocrisy
regarding racist behavior,
" In the end, it's really all about the money. The getting of it, the
keeping of it, the making sure that it remains protected from the grasp of common hands."

Pearl said...

Anonymous: I am not comfortable with your suggestions of how to 'clean up'
our country, my using fascistic methods for eliminating those we feel are dangerous. It could be turned around to put progressives as the dangerous elements in our society and eliminated similarly. Although you may be talking in jest, please remember that many of us are extremely worried about
the results of the newly exposed methods of invading everyone's privacy and not knowing what information might be misused (this includes anything printed on our website) to get them on some sort of warning terrorist or
similar list.

Although we all would wish that many of our lawmakers could be fired
legitimately, I speak for myself that I for one, do not believe in using
unconstitutional or anti amendments to that document, methodology to do so. Our only power is in the pen, not the sword, and do not support nor like what you have stated in your comment. Especially the inclusion of using McCarthy like tactics that have been trained on many citizens in the past, including my family.

Karen Garcia said...


Thought I'd added a link to info about the lawsuits on S&F and NYPD surveillance, so thanks for the heads up. Just took care of that oversight.


Sorry about the flamethrower remark. Flamethrowers are actually a lot more ham-handed, like my pal Jack Sprat from Illinois. I will just stick to my original observation about your skilled ability to "get under the skin" of other commenters. Pearl, for example, has written several times before about her painful experiences under McCarthyism, and then you innocently (?) suggest we start a McCarthyesque inquisition against the KKK, instead of, say, suggesting that Congress hold hearings on institutional racism. This is a cute exercise in false equivalence, subtly comparing the KKK to the Blacklist victims. You are very skilled, because as Pearl said, we don't know whether this is just your attempt at sarcasm. It's like the "oops" moment when the teacher scrapes her fingernail across the blackboard and then accidentally claps the erasers together right in front of the kid with asthma. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, however, and assume you are doing this subconsciously. Your commentary is otherwise very valuable here.

And that's all I'm gonna say about that, said Forrest Gump.

James F Traynor said...


When I was 13 I faced a cocked (it was that close) zip gun aimed at my gut under the marquee of the Casino Theater on Willis Ave. and 138th St. in the South Bronx. Today that freaked out kid with pupils the size of manhole covers would be holding a Berreta or a Glock. I was damn glad for NYC's strict laws on hand guns then and mourn their ineffectiveness now due to the endless rantings of the NRA and people like you and their lunatic interpretations of the 2nd Amendment.

And those same NYC gun control laws didn't keep me from legally getting my first firearm, a 16 gauge single shot Iver Johnson at the age of 16. With which I could have 'defended my home' but in my mind then I wouldn't have thought of using because I had bought it for hunting, nothing else. Those streets grew a lot more lethal as the result of the NRA and its relentless propaganda. By the time I was 19, six friends and acquaintances were dead from various forms of mayhem. The toll would be a lot higher today.

Jim - South Florida said...

The big joke is that Obama sock puppet Jack-Illinois thinks Obama is a leftist.

ACA and gay-marriage rights are bones tossed out to co-opt the growing middle-class frustration with status quo. Of course they're planning to shoot Occupy protesters. What's left of the middle class is the biggest threat to lawn order. The poor are too busy scrambling to survive and the rich are happy.

Marx had some things to say about this, but right now I say take the help where found.

Zee said...


I can appreciate that your lifetime experiences on the mean streets of NYC have had a particular influence on your (doubtless “sane”) interpretation of the Second Amendment, vis-à-vis my obviously “lunatic” one.

But rather than further hijack Karen's thread today, I think that I will submit for her consideration a personal commentary in which I attempt to support my “lunatic” claims by referencing real attorneys—some, even constitutional experts like Laurence Tribe, Alan Dershowitz and Akhil Amar—who have come 'round to believing that the Second Amendment affirms the (admittedly not unlimited) individual right to own firearms for whatever purpose.

That will have to wait until I am back in New Mexico and can collect my thoughts, and where I am not working from a tablet, on which trying to type at length is excruciatingly painful.

Meanwhile, however, some suggested reading for you or anyone else interested in gun control:

Living With Guns: A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment, by Craig Whitney (Not a lawyer.)


Gun Fight: The Battle Over the Right to Keep and Bear Arms by Adam Winkler (Professor of
constitutional law at UCLA.)

My “lunatic” interpretation of the Second Amendment is rather closer to theirs than that of the NRA.

But thanks for the kind thoughts, anyway.

Zee said...

Somehow my previous post got published without my saying that this is all I will say on the topic of guns and gun control until I send Karen a personal submission on the topic for her consideration.

Zee said...


Thanks for the links to the effort by the NYC Council to "rein in" S&F. Though I don't hold out much hope for their success.

The "irregularities" associated with the NYPD-CIA liason are symptomatic of the "slippery slope" associated with every "bending" of the Bill of Rights in search of nameless "security."

Jay - Ottawa said...

When going out he would wear handcuffs in case he committed a crime; a good citizen ready to be arrested. Okay, officer, you've got me dead to rights. Perhaps you'll want to give me a good whack on my head with your nightstick? Well, go ahead, until proven innocent I shall remain guilty, leaving it in your hands to prove my innocence.

Perhaps I shall be proven criminally insane. then I shall demand a straitjacket as my democratic right, and take up residence in a room made of rubber.

Sometimes this is the only thing left to a civilized man . . . .

"The Civilized Man," Russell Edson (2005)

Denis Neville said...

Our society has many biases. But to be a minority and poor is a double whammy.

Having worked in healthcare at an inner city hospital most of my life, the existence of racial bias in medical treatment and diagnosis is nothing new.

John Hoberman’s book “Black & Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism” describes how mainstream medicine’s racial stereotypes about African Americans has produced misguided interpretations of black children, elderly black people, black pain thresholds and other aspects of black healthcare. Black distrust of white medical professionals has estranged African Americans from the medical establishment. This dysfunctional relationship has been tragic.

Jim - South Florida said...

Not telling anyone anything you don't already know I guess. We have to discover voter-enfranchisment groups in affected states and give them all the support possible. In Florida where I live, the wait at the polls was three times the national average. People will vote if they can be registered and gotten to the polls.

The racists think they can take us back to 1963; John Roberts thinks things have changed. Some things have, just not the mindset of the racists. But we have the 'net now, and ways to make online donations, arrange transportation and quickly spread information.

Wouldn't we all love to see these gerrymandering, democracy-hating pigs voted out of office? If they want a fight, I say let 'em have it. The last election apparently failed to deliver the message, so we'll just have to send it again.

annenigma said...

I know this is off topic, but I am so ecstatic I can hardly contain myself. If you follow the foreign press you will realize that Edward Snowden is really opening up a can of worms in Europe and they are not taking it well at all - Hurray!

Big Brother is in REALLY BIG TROUBLE! And we haven't even seen half of it yet. Maybe we'll finally get the help we need from abroad, because we certainly weren't getting it from the propaganda and censorship of the American media machine, nor from the traitors in Washington who are more than willing to sweep it all under the rug after a few show hearings.

I think Edward Snowden's birthday of June 21 should become a national Patriot's Day holiday and his image should be carved into Mount Rushmore. He is a national hero, willing to give up everything, even sacrificing his young life, to save the country and entire world from this hideous monster.

Shame! Shame! Shame! on Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winning, Constitutional Law professor President. He knew better than to pull this dark and ugly shit on the entire world. What a legacy.

Pearl said...

Denis: Please accept my deep appreciation for spending your life helping others. I am sure the patients you took care of were most grateful to be treated with care and respect in a society which had forgotten them. You are an inspiration to all of us and help me keep fighting for a better nation
and world, especially in the area of health care.
People are starting to recognize the cracks in our national system, and
looking for others to support and encourage efforts for change. I am proud to be a member of the Sardonicky gang, working alongside others like yourself who lead with brains and heart. Thank you.

Jay - Ottawa said...

I would guess that half of you have already viewed Greenwald's speech of last night. For the rest of you, here's the link. (Skip the first 3 minutes and begin with Scahill's introduction.)

James F Traynor said...

Check this out:

UK Documentary: “The Men Who Killed Kennedy” Part 5

For some reason I double clicked this. At 17' 42" (or close to it) there is the statement by a Lt.Cl. Dan Marvin. I really felt sorry for the poor son of a bitch. He is either completely delusional or this really happened. In either case he's still a poor sob.

Kate Madison, if you're out there, what do you think? And you, Karen?

Jay - Ottawa said...

The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, has announced that Snowden’s fate is in the hands of Russia. But Vladimir Putin is reluctant to own that hot potato and explains that Snowden, grounded for the past week at a Moscow airport, is in transit.

Like others here, I recently signed a petition appealing to President Correa of Ecuador to shelter Snowden. Seems like we thousands have been outnumbered by one American Vice-President. Joe Bidden recently telephoned Correa and whispered something in his ear, something that seems to have gummed up Ecuador’s grant of asylum to Snowden.

Spain’s daily “El Pais” reminds us that Correa maintains a double standard towards journalists. He defends press freedom for foreigners, as with his granting Assange cover in Ecuador’s embassy in London. Meanwhile, Correa’s record toward journalists at home is dismal. He jails Ecuadorian reporters, fines their publishers and promotes laws that make illegal the “journalistic lynching” of public officials.

Maybe Snowden must turn to another country – Hola, Uruguay? Yoohoo, Fidel? – to rescue him from Putin’s limbo, assuming Snowden and his laptops really are free to leave Russia.

The fairy-tale best of all worlds, of course, would be for a private jet to whisk Snowden to a place unknown where he’ll always be safe, for the NSA to be radically downsized and curbed, for Obama to end his vendetta against whistleblowers, and for American elites to pursue economic justice. Such aspirations will remain laughable until enough Americans unite to compel these changes.

Anonymous said...


Thanks. I take two of your points immediately, the first, that posting anonymously leads to confusion, as I did not write anything about McCarthy, but rather that the second comment here is from another "Anonymous", who wrote somewhat scabrously about the South in a way I would never do. NEVER. That alone you should know about me after these few years.

At your request made in the previous thread, I I.D.'d myself to the group as "B in CA" in MY first comment here, which is #6. Not #2!

I guess if I continue to comment here, I will find a way to sign in as "B in CA". As for getting under peoples' skin, I would iterate that in this case you just mentioned, I did not write anything about McCarthy hearings.

But it would not occur to me that the subject of McCarthy was in any way hurtful, because I go long stretches without reading Sardonicky (as a freelancer and factotum, I don't always get to pick my schedule) and when I do, I often skip Pearl's comments.

Truth told: As you know, I really advocated for you in one area where I thought I could be useful. I am sorry that my meager connection was not more useful to you years back because I think you are extraordinarily talented AND in need of a supportive editor and assistant to really get your voice heard on a broader spectrum. It is an important voice, and it is still developing power.

I do sometimes worry that the animus directed at you by Obama enthusiasts may have made you more defensive or heated than you would otherwise be. And (I hate to say this) I also worry that the cushion against such animus is this blog, which is great except the commenters here and at the Times may encourage you to maintain a particular stridency which I think is only PART of your extraordinary writing talent.

I know that saying that may offend you, but I say it because I value your voice. Perhaps your most ardent fans will take that risk because we see an even greater potential (and audience) for you.

Denis Neville said...

Undermining the dignity of the unemployed and the poor is a tendency that "resides deep in the pores of our culture.” Shame and self-loathing become cruelty to the innocent.

Karen, in response to Krugman’s “War on the Unemployed, wrote: “Politicians need to feel shame, and they need to feel it good and hard.”

“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.” ― Jonathan Swift

Shame is an emotion these politicians abandoned years ago. They know no longer know shame. They have disgraced themselves so many times they are immune to it.

As Rima Regas comments, “In order for a politician to feel shame, they'd have to have empathy and a sincere love of the public they are serving. They have neither, nor do they want to have it…This crop is far meaner and devoid of morals.”

Many of our fellow citizens are just like them and re-elect them.

“At best the family teaches the finest things human beings can learn from one another generosity and love. But it is also, all too often, where we learn nasty things like hate, rage and shame.” ― Barbara Ehrenreich

The late Senator Frank Lautenberg once said, “One thing I have learned in my time in politics is that if one of the parties is shameless, the other party cannot afford to be spineless.”

Unfortunately, we now have “the perfect storm” of both shamelessness and spinelessness.”

“Between shame and shamelessness lies the axis upon which we turn; meteorological conditions at both these poles are of the most extreme, ferocious type. Shamelessness, shame: the roots of violence.” ― Salman Rushdie, Shame

Beau Ned Hicks said...

I am the anonymous poster who referred to the KKK.
No offense intended to Pearl as I, while not new to your writings, am new to the comments. Wasn't aware of her allergy.
While it tickles me no end to be considered clever by a writer of your calibre, there was no concealed subtlety. In fact, quite the opposite, I was too unskilled and lazy to elaborate my suggestion as well as necessary to get my point across.
My contention is that the KKK is well represented at all levels across the South. The culture there has not changed significantly in the last 50 years but the brazenness displayed therein has been concealed.
Would it surprise anyone here if Mitch McConnell, Jeff Sessions, Haley Barbour, et al, were identified as members or even agents of the Klan?
As a nation, we are being dragged down to the level of the South with little spent on education, utter corruption in all institutions, class based discrimination, a good ole boy system, a strong sense that ain't nothin gettin done lessen Big Daddy gets his piece.
I'm sorry if I offended any non-KKK readers.