Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just Another Offensive Old White Guy

As a country, we are pretty fucked up when it comes to sex and race. I’m hearing rumblings from Man of American Dissent about a possible pending post on the topic (sparked by the outrageous comments made by Don Imus last week) so I won’t delve too deeply into the topic just yet. I hope he finds the time to get to it because I’m looking forward to commenting, but until then, I just have to throw in my two cents on Don Imus.

I don’t usually get angry over stupid white men gaffes, but this whole Imus thing has really pissed me off. I don’t care if his colleagues at MSNBC think he’s a “good man” and I don’t care that his most recent disgusting, racist, misogynistic rant was par for the course for his show, but I do care that a bigoted, sexist, disgusting old man has such a large audience and that our elected officials help him draw a crowd by appearing on his show.

Imus apologists claim that he should have latitude because he’s a comedian (although applying that term to Imus is a stretch) and that he shouldn’t be fired for a mistake that he’s apologized for. Fair enough, but I get to be outraged that a grown man would stoop so low as to disparage young women whose only crime is striving for athletic excellence. Such a man deserves the public flogging he’s receiving and if his show is cancelled and/or the rating plummet, good riddance. And really, how “good” of a man can he possibly be if these are the thoughts that lurk just beneath the surface? His colleagues clearly have a much different notion of what constitutes a good man than I.

51 Comments:

Blogger Vinicio said...

i'm native american, the lowest of ethnic ranks, BUT...why is it that when a white men makes a mysoginist or racist comment it attracts mass media and public scrutinty but when blacks and hispanics (especially those in the entertainment industry, radio talk show-such as Hot 97) make a comment of equal or greater offense it attracts less attention, so little that i can't think of a specific one out of the top of my head.

It's stupidity that anyone would make such comments, but public shunning and "flogging" should be expressed on every idiot, with equal emphasis on everyone.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Notes From Dixon said...

Hi Liberal Girl. I've listened to Don Imus off an on over the years. He's a bright guy, only sometimes witty, and often a pompous self absorbed bore. That he would make such comments indicates a lack of respect somewhere deep in his ego.

At the same time I've got to say that this "politically correct" stuff is getting ridiculous. Why is everyone so sensitive all of a sudden. I understand that some of the name calling and stereotyping is meant as a vicious slur. But sone isn't. Some is simply an old fashioned poke in the ribs. I still enjoy many ethnic jokes. Not the cruel ones, but the ones that poke fun at someone.

My family came from England and Scotland over 100 years ago. Among friends I am known as the "Thrifty Scot" or the "English Tightwad" and other good natured jibes. There shouldn't be any kind of a problem with that.

I do object to the words African-American. It does not make me a bigot or worse. It simply means that I personally would prefer that citizens here recognize America first. I would, in this example, have no problem with American-African.

I realize that I may be the only person in the world that finds it mildly offensive that some black people (most of whom did not come from Africa nor did their parents) elect to call themselves African first and American second.

It's just a little distinction - similar (but not as serious) to someone flying the African flag over the American flag on a flagpole.

I'm afraid Don Imus went way beyond this kind of thing. First he crossed the politcal correctness line, then the nasty disparaging line and then the publically acceptable line. He was wrong and he knows it. If those words represent his private thoughts it is disappointingly sad.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous david said...

vincio and dixon webb, "Political Correctness" is largely an invention of the Right. In truth, it simply means good manners and fairness. But to a person who is a bigot, a racist, or a sexist it means having to use code words and euphemisms; it means speaking out of both sides of one's mouth.

Those who feel handcuffed by "PC" language do point to people of color or women making fun of their own and say, "Why can't I?" Well, they're not members of the club. If a Catholic makes jokes about the Pope, that's funny --it's inside stuff. But a bigot who makes jokes about the Catholics is engaged in ranking, in discrimination.

And women and people of color know why Imus is a jerk and has to be fired. He didn't joke about these girl athletes looking too strong or intimidating. What would his joke have been if they'd been white boys? No, he picked out racial characteristics and called them prostitutes. He singled out race and gender. What did either of those have to do with being top athletes? What! NO jokes about muscles, height, speed, or agility??? No, Imus looks at an African American woman and sees a black prostitute. Get it?

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

So Don Imus used the word Ho to refer to women. Where has the national outrage been regarding the blatant and frequent use of this word for the past several years??? It's just another word invented by men to make a derogatory reference to female sexuality - the type that MEN PAY FOR. If I had my druthers, all of these words would be expunged from the lexicon permanently.

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notes from Dixon -

Ummm... African is an adjective and American is the noun it describes. No different than:

Japanese American
Irish American
German American
Asian American
Greek American
Turkish American
and wait for it....

English American

8:37 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Actually, 'American' is an adjective also. AS in, 'of America'. You can easily reverse all of those hyphenated terms:
American Japanese
American Irish
American German
American Greek
American Turkish
and
Americn English.

The missing noun is citizen or language or cuisine. This is a common English construction to leave out the noun and to allow the distinguishing adjective to stand in for it.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

" You can easily reverse all of those hyphenated terms:"

Anonymous,

You've have just been dinged by David, AKA 'Mr. Language Person'!

Count upon David to miss the music for the words at least once in each post!

Rather than allow your appropriate and gentle reminder to Dixon stand on it's merits, and within the context of this blog, we have a pointless side tour of English usage.

Pointless in that the only designation you ever hear, among us 'colonists', from both recent immigrants as well as those who can confirm that their ancestors stepped off the Mayflower, is 'country of origin-American.' So then African-American is not the departure from the norm that Dixon felt it to be.

More pertinent than David's
pointless discussion of 'reversal':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_American

"An African American (also Afro-American) is a person in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Sub-Saharan Africa. Many African Americans possess European, Native American or Asian ancestry as well. In the United States the term is generally used for those of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, and not, for example, for those of European colonial ancestry, such as whites or White South African-European ancestry."

"....In this same period, a smaller number favored Afro-American. In the 1980s the term African American was coined on the model of, for example, German American. It was largely popularized by Jesse Jackson, and quickly adopted by major media outlets. Many blacks in America expressed a preference for the term as it was formed in the same way as the names for other ethnic groups. Some argued further that, because of the historical circumstances surrounding the capture, enslavement and systematic attempts to de-Africanize blacks in the U.S. under chattel slavery, most African Americans are unable to trace their ancestry to a specific African nation; hence, the entire continent serves as a geographic marker."

WARNING:

Once David puts on his 'Source Cop' hat, trust me, he has more hats than Imelda Marcos had shoes, it is by no means certain that 'Wikipedia' will survive as a valid source. Though impartial, un-hermetically sealed heads should be satisfied by this 'Peoples' survey of the subject.

(Note: An avowed socialist, David's head is now spinning with the seeming dissonance involved in critiquing the reputed unreliability of Wikipedia as a valid reference tool, against his admittedly well founded faith in the 'people' together with his 'openness' to, OH, pretty much everything!

" Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers from all around the world."

9:49 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Nevertheless, they are both adjectives. And the convention is that the qualifiers move out from the noun. So that an African American describes a citizen who is American and is also African. It's by understaning the missing noun that we see that designating Al Sharpton as an American African is prejudicial. One would not say he was an American African citizen. For example, Bush speaks American English, but Alistair Cooke was an English American.

I might add that my Latin American friends often wonder why "American" means a citizen of the United States when everyone from Chile's southern tip to Canada's Baffin Island is technically an American.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"I might add that my Latin American friends often wonder why "American" means a citizen of the United States when everyone from Chile's southern tip to Canada's Baffin Island is technically an American."

And everyone from Iceland to China and from Siberia to New Zealand makes the same frickin' mistake!

Perhaps, being your friends, they share the same echo chamber wherein America is blasted as the hper-nationalistic source of all evil. Just a guess.

Or perhaps it's because there has been an "American" Nation since 'Gentle' Ben Franklin was pontificating on the 'providence of God, while looking the other way with regard to the slave trade in the colonies.

That longevity together with the disparate size and influence, for BOTH good and ill, of the United States is apparent to most of the world
not confined to the Western Hemisphere. It's no more complicated or pernicious than that.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous david said...

It is only English-speaking countries that refer exclusively to the USA as America. I suspect the real reason is that America has always considered the Americas to be its domain. The Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny. Of course, when traveling abroad, most young Americans say they're Canadians.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"Of course, when traveling abroad, most young Americans say they're Canadians."

Needless to say I'm skeptical of your 'sampling'.

Is there a Canadian/American
Invertebrates' Center in your city?

2:10 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, Imus is out. Both the TV simulcast and the national radio show have been axed. Hooray!

Dear me! American College kids as fake Canadians have been a given for the past 20 years. It ebbs and flows depending on what's up in US foreign policy. It isn't always cowardice --I'm sorry if the idea shocks you, dale h. Even in the best of times Americans will sport the Red Maple Leaf just because they get better treatment.

Didn't like my sampling? Try something from The Seattle Times: Fake Canadians Roaming Europe.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"If you are considering the fake-Canadian approach to Europe, please stop. All you are going to do is draw disgusted looks from other Americans who find out your secret. After all, how adept are you at speaking Canadian, anyway? Not very good, eh?"

Well, I can't really begrudge an act of supposed self-preservation on the part of my more timid countrymen.

Is it more a fear of dislike or a fear for their safety? Either way, they're getting glances from the less fearful Americans.

Why do you suppose the Canadians receive better treatment? A divinely inspired suspension of disgust for Western values?

By the way, is it SRO in that Canadian/American Invertebrate Center that you run?

3:53 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, I'm not sure why Canadians get better treatment than Americans abroad. Perhaps you can ask a foreign exchange student over a plate of Freedom Fries.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"Perhaps you can ask a foreign exchange student over a plate of Freedom Fries.

I'd rather come up for a visit to your "Invertebrate Center".

After being talked 'down' to by the likes of yourself, I'd like to return the favor.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous david said...

"Just Another Offensive Old White Guy"?

What's with this Free Speech stuff if you toss threats at anyone who disagrees with you? Should I goosestep according to your vision of Western Values? Is that what you consider having a backbone: blind obedience?

One can be clever, cutting, and funny or one can be rude, crude, and nasty. They're not the same. Don Imus doesn't know where the line is. Al Franken does. Rush Limbaugh doesn't know where the line is. Jon Stewart does.

"I'd rather come up for a visit to your "Invertebrate Center".

After being talked 'down' to by the likes of yourself, I'd like to return the favor.
"

The humour in "Invertebrate Center" resides in believing the target is a spineless coward. If this is not obvious there is the danger the reader will think the writer is projecting. (And it would be 'Centre' in Canada.)

I'm sure you've already returned the favour of talking 'down' to me. On numerous occaisions. The danger is in crossing that 'offensive' line. Luckily, hardly anyone gets fired for insulting a Canuck. Indeed, it's the American pasttime: Blame Canada. (It's a great song, eh?)

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Dale h said...

"What's with this Free Speech stuff if you toss threats at anyone who disagrees with you? Should I goosestep according to your vision of Western Values? Is that what you consider having a backbone: blind obedience?"

I told you once before that, among other criteria, I consider it spineless to say things you would not say in person to another man's face.

As for blind obedience as an indicator for the presence of backbone? That would be counterintuitive, dontcha think? And don't you find that blind obedience more often goes hand in hand with blind faith?

"One can be clever, cutting, and funny or one can be rude, crude, and nasty. They're not the same."

Your comment about "saps dying for the Bill of Rights..." is only the most recent of your yes, gutless remarks. What do ya think? Funny? Or Nasty?there is a phrase in law: "fighting words". Look it up.

"The humour in "Invertebrate Center" resides in believing the target is a spineless coward. If this is not obvious there is the danger the reader will think the writer is projecting. (And it would be 'Centre' in Canada.)"

Well, I wouldn't have written it if I didn't find it to be funny. And, your purported 'danger'? Concern about YOUR armchair psychology? Hmmm, thus far no trembling has crept into my key strokes. So far so good!

6:55 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, I think CBS/MSNBC has found its replacement for Don Imus in dale h! He doesn't seem to know the difference between humour & wit and anger & insults,

I'm sorry, but I don't see much difference between you and Bush. "Bring it on" and "The enemy are cowards" and "Say that to my face" are all worthy of Dubya at his most corny. Take a course in Anger Management, will you?

And I'm really beginning to doubt your ability to discern reality from propaganda. What's with the lies? Your comment about "saps dying for the Bill of Rights..." is only the most recent of your yes, gutless remarks. What do ya think? Funny? Or Nasty?there is a phrase in law: "fighting words". Look it up.

You wonder why I don't trust your stories from neo-con sources? To paraphrase Fox News: "You report. I decide." The quote is tainted. In a thread on Bush's inability to sell his immoral quagmire of a war in Iraq. I said, and NOT as a joke but in righteous anger, "And the Bill of Rights? It's for the saps sent to die for the Fortune 500." Bush, as you know, has torn up the Bill of Rights and yet he claims that's why the US is fighting --though it seems to be only Halliburton and Blackwater etc who benefit so far. And the thread was pointing out that even the normally supportive and trusting military aren't buying the propaganda. They sat silent while Bush rambled on about Western Values. And today they're positively angry about the direction of the war.

I know all about "fighting words". But who exactly is doing the taunting here. Your endless tirade about gutless, spineless, cowardice with no evidence might be defined as provocation. Not as bad as "nappy-headed hos", so you might still have a shot at filling Don Imus's seat. Then you can really riff on child-molesting priests, ragheaded Canucks, and whoever else doesn't meet your definition of human.

5:20 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"Well, I think CBS/MSNBC has found its replacement for Don Imus in dale h! He doesn't seem to know the difference between humour & wit and anger & insults,"

You're fond of telling me AND others on these posts what they don't know or don't know the difference between, which makes you a patronizing bore.

Hard to say when either of us first crossed the line, but I trust my responses were appropriate to your provocations.

"I'm sorry, but I don't see much difference between you and Bush. "Bring it on" and "The enemy are cowards" and "Say that to my face" are all worthy of Dubya at his most corny. Take a course in Anger Management, will you?"

Which job can I have? Imus' or Dubya's?! Talk about sweeping generalization and dumb ass inferences. You want me to take the same course that you took, and failed?

I mentioned sometime ago that my posts drip with sarcasm and, yes, with righteous anger at particularly the Bush 'Occupation Government".

So I respond to your broad, simplistic and insulting swipes at everything American and you're indignant? Dear me!

I stand by what I said. You say things you wouldn't say to another man's face. Your wishy washy 'openness' to EVERYTHING bespeaks a rudderless, unprincipled naif who, right, doesn't have the gumption to take his own side in a fight. But that presumes that you believe in anything strongly enough to defend, or that even if you did that you would show up. Hell, you can't even acknowledge the sources of the protections, rights and freedoms that your decidedly Western Values based Canadian Government provide you.

Stupid or craven or both? 'Lurkers' weigh in!

" "And the Bill of Rights? It's for the saps sent to die for the Fortune 500." Bush, as you know, has torn up the Bill of Rights and yet he claims that's why the US is fighting --though it seems to be only Halliburton and Blackwater etc who benefit so far. And the thread was pointing out that even the normally supportive and trusting military aren't buying the propaganda. They sat silent while Bush rambled on about Western Values. And today they're positively angry about the direction of the war."

I do not disagree with anything written after "....Fortune 500".

However, don't weasel out of taking responsibility for the meaning, and don't delude yourself with the claim that your anger was 'righteous' when you responded with 'saps' as a key part of the answer to your question "....Bill of Rights?"

The quote was off, but your meaning was clear. As I said before, you are a "knows the words but not the music" kind of a guy. Thanks for demonstrating it, again.


You deliberately misstated my point that criticizing everyone in this Country who raises their right hand and swears to "Protect and Defend the Constitution of the U.S..."
is twice, the statement and the misstatement of my meaning, a piece of gratuitous crap. Now, WOULD you say what you wrote to the face of any American who lost a loved one in ANY conflict? No? Then why write it?

In any case, I stand by the appropriateness of this response: "Your comment about "saps dying for the Bill of Rights..." is only the most recent of your yes, gutless remarks. What do ya think? Funny? Or Nasty?"

"But who exactly is doing the taunting here. Your endless tirade about gutless, spineless, cowardice with no evidence might be defined as provocation. Not as bad as "nappy-headed hos", so you might still have a shot at filling Don Imus's seat. Then you can really riff on child-molesting priests, ragheaded Canucks, and whoever else doesn't meet your definition of human."

'No Evidence'? They are very reasonable inferences from far too much of what you've written, to chronicle hear. Anyone can go back and read and judge for themselves. I'm comfortable with my inferences. Your expressed discomfort suggests that they've struck too close to home.

Indeed, my provocations are NOT as bad as 'nappy headed HO's" and they have the added value of being accurate!

"Ragheaded Canucks"? Nowhere written or implied.
"...child-molesting priests,.."
UH, yeah! You want to run your defense by us, again?

"...and whoever else doesn't meet your definition of human."

Never went that far. Want to dig for the "quote", Mr Language Authority?!

9:48 AM  
Anonymous david said...

That's right. I forgot you were a Joe Lieberman Independent. "Stay the course", "Support the troops", "The Captain AND Crew always goes down with the ship", "These colors don't run", and "We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here."

Try reading Sometimes, these colors must run". I don't think you know the first thing about military or political leadership.

I thought you read Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5. Then you'd know most of the kids fighting overseas are just that: kids. Young boys and girls who've been placed in harms way for reasons that are suspect in a land where they don't speak the language, don't know the culture, and don't know how to tell friend from foe. It's a Children's Crusade; and anyone feeding these babes the sop that it's all about Spreading Freedom & Democracy ought to be impeached.

Why should I tell it to them face to face? They've been telling it to your face for some time and you've just plugged your ears and screamed, "I don't hear you."

Read Troops react. Or Cindy Sheehan calls for a 10,000 Mother March.

And how is it supporting the troops to refuse to criticize the military command? Even the grunts know Military Justice is to Justice what Military Music is to Music. If your attitude is to be a lemming and just follow the leader over the cliff for fear of hurting the feelings of those who've already gone over the top --you are one sick puppy.

Of course, one could always be as heartless and insulting as the US military in Iraq. Read US Compensation Payments to Iraqi Civilians Made Public. Imagine killing someone's mother and handing them $2500 and saying, "Ooops!"

You know, Don Imus's ritual apology reminded me of another person's apology for Western Values. It's a good system. It's done some stupid things, but it's basically a good system. However, it's just a ritual apology, because the stupid things just keep on happening. Again and again.

And so it goes.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Dale h said...

"And so it goes." Indeed.

"You know, Don Imus's ritual apology reminded me of another person's apology for Western Values. It's a good system. It's done some stupid things, but it's basically a good system. However, it's just a ritual apology, because the stupid things just keep on happening. Again and again."

No 'apologies' made, in either sense of the word. And, do you want to attempt a reasoned and credible argument as to what you want to replace those values with? Now, I have to admit that IS a dumb ass question, seeing as I've asked you what exactly it is that you stand for, without result, again and again.


" That's right. I forgot you were a Joe Lieberman Independent. "Stay the course", "Support the troops", "The Captain AND Crew always goes down with the ship", "These colors don't run", and "We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here."

Not guilty. You've 'forgotten' what never was. And NO reasonable inferences can be made from what I've written that would support your cheap swipes.

I have both criticized and worked against those who support the mindless crap you have miss-attributed to me.

"Try reading Sometimes, these colors must run". I don't think you know the first thing about military or political leadership."

Yet again you've overestimated my regard for what pass for thoughts from you.

More baseless inferences from one for whom military service, let alone preachment's on military leadership, are analogous to a fish lecturing us on the merits of bicycling.

I'n gonna need a bigger bed room, not to mention 'night stand', to accommodate your oh so well intentioned reading assignments.

"I thought you read Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5. Then you'd know most of the kids fighting overseas are just that: kids. Young boys and girls who've been placed in harms way for reasons that are suspect in a land where they don't speak the language, don't know the culture, and don't know how to tell friend from foe. It's a Children's Crusade; and anyone feeding these babes the sop that it's all about Spreading Freedom & Democracy ought to be impeached."

Yes, I have read SH-5 and all of these, among others:

All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
Born on the Fourth of July - Ron Kovic autobiography
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
From Here to Eternity - James Jones novel
Johnny Got His Gun - Dalton Trumbo
Lysistrata
The Naked and the Dead - Norman Mailer novel
On the Beach - by Nevil Shute
A People's History of the United States - Howard Zinn


"and anyone feeding these babes the sop that it's all about Spreading Freedom & Democracy ought to be impeached."

Arguing with yourself, again?

No argument with me, and not one that you can credibly state that I have made.
You misstate and presume way too much. I deplore the miss use of these kids far more than an unprincipled, braying ass like yourself ever should presume to.

"Why should I tell it to them face to face?"

Now THERE'S a rhetorical question! Let's assume for a moment that you are wearing your Depends, Astronaut Strength absorbency, and that you can quell the tremor in your voice, stifle the impulse to exclaim "dear me", stop from shaking, assume all of that, approach warily and lead with your 'Saps and the Bill of Rights' bilge!

But give me a heads up as to where and when you're going to attempt this 'leap of courage' so that I can come and witness!

Alternatively, take your ill informed blather to a VA hospital for a dry run. May be safer for a gutless cretin such as yourself. There are plenty of ramps, so that your slithering should proceed unimpeded.

"They've been telling it to your face for some time and you've just plugged your ears and screamed, "I don't hear you."

Actually what I 'don't hear' is you at the top of your increasingly strident and pathetic voice advancing the phony arguments made mostly with your inexhaustible barn-full of straw-men.

"And how is it supporting the troops to refuse to criticize the military command? Even the grunts know Military Justice is to Justice what Military Music is to Music. If your attitude is to be a lemming and just follow the leader over the cliff for fear of hurting the feelings of those who've already gone over the top --you are one sick puppy."

Your argument, again with yourself, and your diagnosis of my illness are equally ludicrous. No one can infer from my relentless criticism of the competency of this Administration, including the miss-use of the military, that there is any merit in anything you've misstated.

You mistake support for Service for acquiescence in, or approval of, the abuse and miss-use of those who serve.

But then your notions of service, such as they are, come solely from books.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous david said...

I suspect, Major-General, you've been in your cups.

If we agree on so many things, why have you been relentlessly attacking me and accusing me of cowardice?

It seems to me you have a problem playing with others. And it always comes down to bullying threats of doing me bodily harm and watching me quiver in fear. Watching too much '24', are you?

I'm so happy you're well-read. As for dealing with jerks, I've been in retail a long time and dealt with all kinds in a rather mixed neighbourhood. I've been threatened and robbed; I've chased a thief for three blocks; I've ejected drunks, racists, and creeps. Have I felt fear during these encounters? You bet. Anyone who faces a mean drunk who's a head taller and swearing a bluestreak would. But one feels the fear and does it any way.

O, ye of little faith! I'm not sure where the satisfaction comes from painting me as a coward. I can only think it threatens you that I might not be a coward. I'm reminded of a Christian friend I knew who was more upset that I was a highly moral atheist who read all the holy scriptures than some devilish rogue. She found knowing me threatened her faith. How odd!

But you seem intent on finding reasons to hate rather than to love. That's why I find something in common between you and Imus. It's a negative worldview. Try to accentuate the positive, Major-General. Accentuate the positive.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"Try to accentuate the positive, Major-General. Accentuate the positive."

Actually, I tried that in my apparently lame attempts to describe what I thought was good about your society and mine, not perfect just good.

You expect a shorter learning curve and a higher standard of governance from America, and I presume Canada, than you're willing to hold some of the lame governments you defend to.


You have not been exemplary in your responses, so spare me the lectures on the things you don't do yourself. Particularly the military
'lessons'....I'm tired of the 'fish and the bicycle' metaphor too.

Now I don't care how many intruders you've chased away. I've challenged to you to say what you said about the 'saps and the bill of rights' to any American's face. You were wrong to write it and gutless for having done so.

"If we agree on so many things, why have you been relentlessly attacking me and accusing me of cowardice?"

Because your words are those of one who kneels....Jeez, I can't believe I'm channeling F. Sinatra! And because of the example I just cited above, only the most egregious among many comments you've made that don't indicate a 'play nice' with anyone capability.
And, because I wanted to confront you with your faulty critical thinking and incredible penchant for jumping to unwarranted, unsubstantiated conclusions, breathtaking in both their scope and number.

"It seems to me you have a problem playing with others. And it always comes down to bullying threats of doing me bodily harm and watching me quiver in fear."

The only likelihood of bodily harm, it seems to me, would be if you took your lame remarks and road tested them against the objects of your contempt.

"Watching too much '24', are you?"

Not enough that you load up my night stand, now you've got your hands on my TIVO. Who let you in!?

"O, ye of little faith! I'm not sure where the satisfaction comes from painting me as a coward."

You've painted yourself with your own craven words.

"I can only think it threatens you that I might not be a coward."

There you go again with that 'thinking thing' that you're just not very proficient at! Your statement makes no sense either literally or psychologically.
And what's with the subjunctive on the coward thing?

"I'm reminded of a Christian friend I knew who was more upset that I was a highly moral atheist who read all the holy scriptures than some devilish rogue. She found knowing me threatened her faith. How odd!"

Not so odd. What have I been warning you about those folks?!

"I suspect, Major-General, you've been in your cups."

I suspect, Minor-Annoyance, who heaps contempt on those who've served like only one who never has, that your vapid lectures have run there course.
Back in your stacks, shopkeeper!

Well, one more claim you can not credibly make against me.
No sense of humor.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Actually, I tried that in my apparently lame attempts to describe what I thought was good about your society and mine, not perfect just good.

You expect a shorter learning curve and a higher standard of governance from America, and I presume Canada, than you're willing to hold some of the lame governments you defend to.


In truth, I wouldn't have minded if you praised the good points of your country. That's okay. It's the "holier than thou" tone when you trot out that dated nonsense about Western Values and solipsistic rationalism. Don't build yourself up by tearing others down. It's just bad manners.

Well, I'm not surprised you're channeling Frank Sinatra. There's an element of gansterism to all your threats. Of course I expect a higher standard from Canada and the USA. And a shorter learning curve. We have all the wealth of the world. The Earth is not some game of Monopoly where you can shout "I WIN" and push the rest of humanity off the board.

Maybe if America picked on somebody their own size once and a while. And I don't just mean militarily. (That's right. There is nobody.) As the world's only superpower America can't act in its own self-interest anymore. It has to adopt a policy of Noblesse Oblige. And maybe, just maybe, join us all at the UN and talk about what would be good for All Humanity --and not just the Dow-Jones. And keep the guys like Imus & Bolton with the thick skulls and the thin skins in the closet.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"In truth, I wouldn't have minded if you praised the good points of your country...."

"That's okay. It's the "holier than thou" tone when you trot out that dated nonsense about Western Values and solipsistic rationalism."

Nothing dated about the Bill of Rights.

I guess that the Bill of Rights didn't make the cut among those good thing "you wouldn't of minded" my praising. See you your 'holier than thou, which you've displayes a shit load of yourself, and raise you a big honking, condescending, patronizing "I wouldn't have minded". Fact is, you minded plenty as reflected in the contemptible and gutless remarks you made about those who swear to defend them.

Well, armchair philosopher I can hardly be both a secular humanist AND a solopist so your analysis is, as usual, defective.

"Don't build yourself up by tearing others down. It's just bad manners."

Follow your own advice. Your rips of America have been laughably over the top, disproportional, boorish and bad mannered.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Actually, the first Bill of Rights was written in Iran in the 6th century BCE. The earliest recorded legal code was written in Iraq circa 2000 BCE. The great legal codes and civic rights of China were written about 2500 years ago.

By 'dated' I meant the nonsense of assigning the meaningless compass designation "Western". It's obsolete. In case you hadn't heard, the world is round. There is no Occident and no Orient. The Sun does not go around the Earth, the Earth goes around the Sun.

It's natural to want to be the centre of creation. That's what's wrong with secular humanism as well as all fundamentalist religion. It's self-centred.

BTW, what makes these Rights inalienable and self-evident? That's just a creed, a belief. And one can find similar beliefs in Confucianism. See Confucianism and Human Rights. The problem with all list of rights is that they require we define human nature and then list what is necessary to be fully human. A very tall order. And one reason why the Bill of Rights didn't make it into the original Constitution, but became amendments. And why #9 is there.

In a sense, the American Bill of Rights is dated in that it addresses concerns specific to the time it was written. This is most obvious in the Declaration of Independence, which is a list of grievances both serious and trivial.

Human Rights are nothing more than Human Decency. And that's not a Western concept, but has been with us since we came down out of the trees. And it manifests itself in all human cultures through kindness, compassion, rule of law, peace, order, and good government. Again, you'll find those principles erupting, not just in Europe, but Persia, India, and China.

I'm sorry to have upset you. But, if you've sworn to uphold the Bill of Rights, shouldn't you be in Washington now demanding them back. They're gone, you know. Stolen. Taken by a guy who thought the Constitution was just a scrap of paper. And, curiously, he's the Commander-in-Chief of all those sworn to uphold those Rights. Creates a kind of paradox, doesn't it.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

A few thoughts on Imus:

1) I want to puke everytime I hear "Free Speech" with regards to Imus. Please read the 1st Ammendment, it only has to do with Congress or Government restricting speech. It has nothing to do with corporations making business decisions.

2) What ever happened to "Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"? Who the hell cares what a cranky, old, wierd looking white guy says? How does it harm anyone?

3) The coach of Rutgers, who is supposed to be a teacher of these young adults, really blew a perfect opportunity to teach her players. Bringing the players out to play the helpless victim was disgusting. Why didn't she take this as the perfect opportunity to stress that what anyone says about you or your achievements has not bearing on your accomplishments or happiness. When you are successful there will always be jerks who try and tear you down with words. They are just words and remember they saying above.

4) I am so sick of people playing the helpless victim because somebody called them a name. Oh my God, the Rutgers girls bball team were called a name. Who the F' cares? How does an old white guy calling them a name take away their impressive accomplishments? Quit being such a whiner and ignore the comments from jerks.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous david said...

drm, you are not right about the First Amendment. In the UK, it is true that Free Speech is about the right to say whatever one pleases in Parliament without fear of arrest and confinement. But the American First Amendment refers to a Free Press. And this is what is being refered to.

Of course, a Free Press is a mixed blessing. The Founding Fathers were mostly thinking of what the King had tried to suppress. They had little thought of the vicious propaganda, hate speech, pornography, or shilling that would follow or they'd have been more specific. Most Constitutions written afterwards have taken precautions against the kind of freeforall the US let itself in for.

Words do matter. "In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God." Words can inspire; they can enlighten. Words can hurt; words can kill. Secrets and lies can start wars and divide nations. Heck, people have been killed over punctuation. So don't talk about sticks and stones unless you've suffered. Indeed, most foulmouthed words are usually followed by sticks and stones. As any victim might have told you.

What a jackass you are! The Rutgers team was taught an important lesson: To stand up to bullies and ignorant, offensive Old White Guys. Let me guess. You, drm, are an ignorant Old White Guy --or pushing the age limit. And you want to buy some insurance against shooting your mouth off once too many times, right? That's usually who pulls the "what's the big deal" defence.

And why Don Imus? Gosh! Well, if he was some dumbass standing on the street corner wheezing his corn while the Rutgers team walked past, I'd say you were right. Ignore the jackass. But the idiot had a national radio/TV show. Millions of listeners/viewers. He was so big that everyone felt he could not be ignored. No matter how much you hated him, he was a force to be reckoned with. You either went on to be embraced or to joust. But you couldn't ignore someone with that size of an audience.

The I-man is dead. Good riddance. And may all who are like him learn a lesson from his fall.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Dale h said...

David Said:

"Actually, the first Bill of Rights was written in Iran in the 6th century BCE. The earliest recorded legal code was written in Iraq circa 2000 BCE. The great legal codes and civic rights of China were written about 2500 years ago."

That's nice. Now, 1.) How well were rights secured in those societies then, and down to the present? 2.) Whose using these docs as templates for freedom and rights today? 3.) Want to share with us the key points of the Iranian bill of rights that have served as a beacon of rights down to this day, either in Iran or anywhere else? Did you overlook the Hottentots' contributions to parliamentary government?

In other words all of the countries listed are currently looking in a rear view mirror at the highpoints for their political freedom and human rights protections. By your tortured logic we should be emphasizing the discoverer's of fire, the wheel, cave scrawling and cuneiform, because they came first, and giving short shrift to all those discoveries and innovations that have followed. So, actually, your points are neither well made nor well taken.

"By 'dated' I meant the nonsense of assigning the meaningless compass designation "Western". It's obsolete. In case you hadn't heard, the world is round. There is no Occident and no Orient. The Sun does not go around the Earth, the Earth goes around the Sun."

Thanks, Galileo. We're not discussing astronomy but political culture. You're fairly good identifying the trees, not so hot with the forest. Want to tell us how encouraging people of faith were to Galileo's discoveries? And, oh yeah, take you're "in case you haven't heard" and stuff it up your patronizing ass. Warning, first remove your head.

"It's natural to want to be the centre of creation. That's what's wrong with secular humanism as well as all fundamentalist religion. It's self-centered."

You presume, jeez you do a shit load of that, an appreciation of what is good in one's culture de facto makes one self centered. To the contrary, true appreciation only comes from a knowledge of what else has been and what else is currently out there. You commit the double fault of presuming you are the only one who knows about other cultures and governments and you're too afraid of offending to make even the simplest value judgments. Try your luck with this.


http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=34407
MEDIA-IRAN:
Crackdown on Satellite TV Taken Stoically
Kimia Sanati

TEHRAN, Aug 21 (IPS) - Iranians have taken stoically a crackdown on rooftop satellite dishes that allow then to watch 'decadent' foreign channels as well as a proliferation of Farsi language programmes beamed in by dissident expatriates.

‘Shargh', a leading reformist newspaper carried on its front page, on Thursday, a prominent picture of policemen destroying satellite dishes. Saeed Aboutaleb, a parliamentarian who piloted the move criticised the police for going after householders and not being harsh enough on distributors and service providers. "Channels bearing immoral content and politically oriented ones will be filtered," Shargh quoted him as saying"

"'Ahmadinejad is apparently distancing himself from advisors who encourage social freedom and is getting closer to people like the hardliner police chief who is, incidentally, his brother-in-law," says the political analyst."


I'll go out on a limb here and boldly state that policemen destroying satellite dishes, Bad. Fire, Good! Also, free flow of information, critical to political freedom in all cases, everywhere, all the time, GOOD! Guess this shit slipped past that famous and fabulous Iranian Bill of Rights. But then, what did they know back in 6th century BCE?



"BTW, what makes these Rights inalienable and self-evident? That's just a creed, a belief. And one can find similar beliefs in Confucianism. See Confucianism and Human Rights. The problem with all list of rights is that they require we define human nature and then list what is necessary to be fully human. A very tall order. And one reason why the Bill of Rights didn't make it into the original Constitution, but became amendments. And why #9 is there. "

But they did make it in as have an additional 18. So what can we conclude? Tall orders shouldn't be attempted? A more pointed question, again, would be how
well have Confucianism and Human Rights and the Iranian Bill of Rights served their respective cultures In securing the rights enumerated. Even more pointedly, which enumerations of rights have found their way into the modern constitutions of free societies?

Now, please tell us the sources for the Bill of Rights for this prosperous and free nation which, if god forbid ever needed to fight for its survival, would
find you folding faster than superman on laundry day, given your well documented view that only saps show up to defend ephemeral and deficient western constructs.
(A bad war for bad reasons does not render the desire to serve ignoble nor does it warrant branding all so motivated as saps. I think by now it is abundantly clear who the real sap is.)

Confucius or Madison? 6th Century Iranian Bill of Rights...where DID they go again? Or Jefferson? Sumerian Legal Code or Adams?
Hottentots Parliament? or Paine?

The Canadian Bill of Rights protects numerous rights, most of which were later included in the Charter. Examples include:

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion (now in Section 2 of the Charter)
Limited equality rights (more complete rights are contained in Section 15 of the Charter)
The right to life, liberty and security of the person, and in another section, rights to fundamental justice (the Charter combines those rights in Section 7)
The right to enjoyment of property, which is not enshrined in the Charter
The right to counsel (now in Section 10 of the Charter).

"In a sense, the American Bill of Rights is dated in that it addresses concerns specific to the time it was written. This is most obvious in the Declaration of Independence, which is a list of grievances both serious and trivial."

This ignores the role of the Supreme Court, and subsequent Amendments in expanding both rights and enfranchisement, unless you're an Original Intent wingnut like the ones Dubya is trying to load the Supreme Court with. I believe the Dem majority will stop that with the next nomination. Nor, asshat, are we 'governed' by the Declaration.

"Human Rights are nothing more than Human Decency. And that's not a Western concept, but has been with us since we came down out of the trees. And it manifests itself in all human cultures through kindness, compassion, rule of law, peace, order, and good government. Again, you'll find those principles erupting, not just in Europe, but Persia, India, and China."

Again, how well secured are these human rights, both then and now, in the countries you list?

"I'm sorry to have upset you. But, if you've sworn to uphold the Bill of Rights, shouldn't you be in Washington now demanding them back. They're gone, you know. Stolen. Taken by a guy who thought the Constitution was just a scrap of paper. And, curiously, he's the Commander-in-Chief of all those sworn to uphold those Rights. Creates a kind of paradox, doesn't it."

Your faux sorrow is duly noted for the patronizing presumptuousness that it is. Only an ahistorical nitwit like yourself would also presume that
temporary diminution or abridgement of rights hasn't occurred in the past in ALL countries. Some countries, such as the the ones you've listed, have yet to see those rights return. Dubya will soon be gone and we will see a roll back of his worst assaults on the Constitution.

"Creates a kind of paradox, doesn't it?"

Uh, no, not to anyone who has critical thinking skills beyond those found in a 10 year old.

Lincoln, Wilson and FDR all did the same using the exigencies of war as an excuse. The document
survived and the long term trends and momentum toward greater freedom and expanded rights and enfranchisement
remain intact.

Here's the seeming paradox. I say 'seeming' because the tone of most of your crap belies your pretensions
as an educated and enlightened citizen of the world:

How can a self declared peace and love world citizen like yourself also be a hand-wringing sniveler
who writes off the US Constitution because of one bad President?


Behold the 'Ugly Canadian'! He suggests what you should read, speculates on your TV viewing habits and asks where you should be without knowing jack about where you've been, or what you've done, or what you plan to do. This is the same cultural moron who suggests that those who serve their country are saps, which is truly, certifiably gutless, no matter how many thieves he's allegedly chased.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Dear me, dale h! You are a Don Imus! "Hottentot"??? I'm surprised you didn't use the N-word or "nappy-headed hos". Of course, people who choose not to learn about the world are doomed to put their foot in it.

The story of Galileo is dramatic. But the truth is even more interesting than the Hollywood version. Had Galileo shown some common decency toward his benefactor, he wouldn't have suffered so. Alas, some people just don't have any tact.

Trust an American to be more concerned about the loss of a 500 channel satellite TV than an illegal war. Of course, Iranians would be well aware of how the CIA orchestrated the 'popular' uprising against the elected government in 1953 using the media. And you might note that your article did mention that these crackdowns come and go in direct relation to threats from America.

You will find a replica of the Cyrus Cylindar at the UN in NYC. The Rights lasted for as long as the USA has lasted. And who is to say how much longer Americans will be able to secure their Rights. Indeed, a visit to the ACLU website will reveal that there's always a struggle to secure these Rights. Apparently they're not so self-evident to others in your own country.

The White Man's Burden is rich with hypocrisy. Imagine Bush and his Republicans concerned about Women's Rights in Afghanistan while rolling back their rights all across America. The Sultan of Kuwait still hasn't made good on his 'progressive' promises of 16 years ago. Yes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions; the United States always has very good intentions and unfortunately it's Latin Americans, Asians, and Africans who have to live in the hell the USA creates.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Dale h said...

"Dear me, dale h! You are a Don Imus! "Hottentot"??? I'm surprised you didn't use the N-word or "nappy-headed hos". Of course, people who choose not to learn about the world are doomed to put their foot in it."

Wow! Powerful rebuttal, totally missing the point, yet again, as to where the principles in your own, now written, constitution originated. Regale us again with why Canada chose to overlook Confucius, the Sumerians and the fabled Cyrus Cylinder, that unfortunately the Iranian people have been deprived the benefit of for all but 230 or so years out of their 5000 year history.
Bit a dry spell on them rights, eh?

" The story of Galileo is dramatic. But the truth is even more interesting than the Hollywood version. Had Galileo shown some common decency toward his benefactor, he wouldn't have suffered so. Alas, some people just don't have any tact."

Please, get your increasingly weak shit off this post!

Of COURSE indiscretion is justification for threatening a scientist with the tortures of the Inquisition! We've come a long way from the inquisition to the veto Dubya threatens the latest stem cell initiative with. Same principle though. Faith based nitwits, centuries removed, saying to science, DUH!

"Trust an American to be more concerned about the loss of a 500 channel satellite TV than an illegal war. Of course, Iranians would be well aware of how the CIA orchestrated the 'popular' uprising against the elected government in 1953 using the media. And you might note that your article did mention that these crackdowns come and go in direct relation to threats from America."

Weaker still. Trust a Canadian to totally miss the both the symbolism and the reality of censoring the Iranian peoples' access to, among other things, the BBC. The crackdowns also come and go at the whims of Ahmadinejad, who apparently hasn't bothered to look at the original Cyrus Cylinder. And, again, how's that Cyrus Cyl working for the Iranians, today?

"Indeed, a visit to the ACLU website will reveal that there's always a struggle to secure these Rights. Apparently they're not so self-evident to others in your own country."

Thanks for the bulletin. Tell me, history boy, has there ever been a time when there hasn't been a struggle to secure Rights?

I realize that the notion of struggle is as daunting as it is foreign to one as sensitive as you, but down here it's pretty much de rigeur.


"....'Imagine Bush and his Republicans concerned about Women's Rights in Afghanistan while rolling back their rights all across America.

Still making the mistake of thinking that reactionary policies are written in stone. The Republican Party will be even more throughly repudiated in '08.

"Yes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions; the United States always has very good intentions and unfortunately it's Latin Americans, Asians, and Africans who have to live in the hell the USA creates."

Yep, no one is resonsible for ANYTHING, good or ill, but Americans. Simplistic nonsense from an increasingly Ugly and Incoherent Canadian.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...

Here's the danger when a self righteous, patronizing prig of a Canadian attempts to state the provisions of the U.S First Amendment:

"..or abridging the freedom of speech,..."

Omitting the above phrase, carelessness or willful?



Exhibit A:

"david said...
drm, you are not right about the First Amendment. In the UK, it is true that Free Speech is about the right to say whatever one pleases in Parliament without fear of arrest and confinement. But the American First Amendment refers to a Free Press. And this is what is being refered to.

Of course, a Free Press is a mixed blessing. The Founding Fathers were mostly thinking of what the King had tried to suppress. They had little thought of the vicious propaganda, hate speech, pornography, or shilling that would follow or they'd have been more specific. Most Constitutions written afterwards have taken precautions against the kind of freeforall the US let itself in for."



Exhibit B:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."



"Of course, a Free Press is a mixed blessing. The Founding Fathers were mostly thinking of what the King had tried to suppress. They had little thought of the vicious propaganda, hate speech, pornography, or shilling that would follow or they'd have been more specific. Most Constitutions written afterwards have taken precautions against the kind of freeforall the US let itself in for."



However, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Congress have turned considerable thought to "vicious propaganda, hate speech, pornography, or shilling that would follow......."

David may not like the "... kind of freeforall the US let itself in for." But then David has more regard for the "replica of the Cyrus Cylinder at the UN in NYC." Of course he has to esteem the 'replica', as the inscribed rights are but a relic to the Iranian 'Republic.

David, how can we trust your sources when you excise pertinence that conflicts with your notions and your mostly laughable and unwelcome lectures?

Tighten you neck screws kids, I'm sure we're in for a spinnerama!

7:24 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Dear me! dale h, tilting at windmills again. You do know that Don Quixote was mad. He was beloved because of his benightedness. But he was still mad --and a meddlesome fool.

You don't seem to know anything about Galileo except the usual Magic School Bus tales. He did have the permission of the Pope to publish his theories on a heliocentric universe. Sadly, the rather egotistical Galileo insulted the Pope in his paper and that's why he was hauled up on the carpet. (BTW, Galileo's theory was both wrong and unprovable. Kepler's theory was the correct one and, although Galileo exchanged letters with Kepler, he kept his knowledge of Kepler's system secret.)

And you still think you can toss out racist terms such as "Hottentot" and not face the same censure as Imus? The real Khoikhoi were herders of cattle & sheep who were victims of ethnic cleansing by the Dutch and English, which included 'scientific' degradation and humiliation.

I don't need to respond to your hysterical attack on my reading of America's First Amendment rights. I was responding to drm's false statement that it applied only to Congress. I made no attempt to quote the entire amendment or 'abridge' it. I merely made the point --which you apparently agree with-- that Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press applies to all Americans. (drm was making a roundabout argument that the private sector does have the right to suppress free speech, but this is false.)

I am touched that you should quote from our Charter of Rights & Freedoms. It's officially 25 years old this week. Of course, it does have the line at the beginning "Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law" and "guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society" and the infamous "Notwithstanding Clause". So it really is up to the nature of the people we elect what kind of rights & freedoms we can expect. And this is true, really, with all countries.

Now, Don Imus was forced from his job for disrespecting people. In particular, people who face enough disrepect in the course of daily life: that is, women and people of colour. It was mean-spirited and uncalled for.

My quarrel with you, dale h, has always been about your disrespect for Muslims and the people of Iran. There is no need to slander either a religion or a people. The people of Iran are not without rights. They do have a constitution with enumerated rights and freedoms.

Again, you failed to note in your article on satellite dishes that the police were removing them from people's roofs because they did not have the necessary warrants to enter people's homes. It is not the complete despotic regime you and your neo-con friends want to portray.

That there are violations of human rights is undeniable. One can consult HRW and AI to see what has happened and what can be done. The problem with threatening invasion and trying to destablize the regime is that it actually justifies the curtailing of rights and freedoms. One has only to look to America's McCarthyism to see a comparison. Ahmadinejad was only recently elected. Before him, Khatami, a moderate, had expanded freedom of the press and relaxed many other restrictions. But then Bush made his "Axis of Evil" speech. Look how hotheaded and irrational you become when you think I've uttered 'fighting words'. Even Americans know that freedom & rights are the casualties of wartime.

I'm not engaging in a "spinorama". I'm calling for fairness and decency. The danger seen by Iranians is that they have a history of being oppressed by Anglo-American forces over the past 100 years. And so any talk of 'liberation' of Iran by an America spreading 'freedom & democracy' will be greeted with sardonic laughter.

Yep, no one is resonsible for ANYTHING, good or ill, but Americans. Simplistic nonsense from an increasingly Ugly and Incoherent Canadian.

No, no. The problem with America is that it whitewashes its past. The ill America has done is always explained as an aberration. America claims always to have 'good intentions'.

To quote from the famous book of 1958 The Ugly American --long before America became hopeless entangled in Vietnam: "For some reason, the people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They're loud and ostentatious. Perhaps they're frightened and defensive, or maybe they're not properly trained and make mistakes out of ignorance."

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"No, no. The problem with America is that it whitewashes its past. The ill America has done is always explained as an aberration. America claims always to have 'good intentions'."

No, No. There are plenty of history books in addition to H. Zinn's works that lay out America's sins. The reason you have zero credibility is because your filter ONLY allows for 'bad America' when it, like all nations, is a decided mix of good and bad.

"For some reason, the people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They're loud and ostentatious. Perhaps they're frightened and defensive, or maybe they're not properly trained and make mistakes out of ignorance."

The same can be said for any foreign nationals, including Canadians. If you think not then you engage in the same 'slander of a people' that you wrongly have accused me of.

"Dear me! dale h, tilting at windmills again. You do know that Don Quixote was mad. He was beloved because of his benightedness. But he was still mad --and a meddlesome fool."

Why yes, I knew that. However, my 'tilts' have been toward a Canadian educated beyond his ability to either think clearly or argue his points effectively.

"Again, you failed to note in your article on satellite dishes that the police were removing them from people's roofs because they did not have the necessary warrants to enter people's homes. It is not the complete despotic regime you and your neo-con friends want to portray."

The day such "warrants" are issued to enter either Canadian or American homes, and you defend either the legality, or the morality or the conduciveness of such an act to the health of a free society, will be the day you attain a measure of credibility. Until then, you've just sold the Iranians, who you profess such respect for, down the river with a patronization that even they would decry as NOT helpful.
Nor would they appreciate the meaningless qualifier that Iran is not a 'completely' despotic nation. How much despotism do you think is suitable for them? And, no, despite YOUR hysteria I'm not interested in either bombing or invading Iran and I have zero neo-con friends.

"I'm not engaging in a "spinorama". I'm calling for fairness and decency. The danger seen by Iranians is that they have a history of being oppressed by Anglo-American forces over the past 100 years. And so any talk of 'liberation' of Iran by an America spreading 'freedom & democracy' will be greeted with sardonic laughter."

As should your hypocritical demands for fairness and decency from NO country BUT America.

There's this:

"I don't need to respond to your hysterical attack on my reading of America's First Amendment rights. I was responding to drm's false statement that it applied only to Congress. I made no attempt to quote the entire amendment or 'abridge' it. I merely made the point --which you apparently agree with-- that Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press applies to all Americans. (drm was making a roundabout argument that the private sector does have the right to suppress free speech, but this is false.)"

And then there is this:

"But the American First Amendment refers to a Free Press. And this is what is being refered to."

This does NOT make the case that the First Amendment applies to SPEECH or that it apples to all Americans, and your attempt to argue otherwise has therefore failed.

"...So it really is up to the nature of the people we elect what kind of rights & freedoms we can expect. And this is true, really, with all countries."

Save for those that don't hold elections. You also missed my point about as to the sources for your Bill of Rights.

"And you still think you can toss out racist terms such as "Hottentot" and not face the same censure as Imus? The real Khoikhoi were herders of cattle & sheep who were victims of ethnic cleansing by the Dutch and English, which included 'scientific' degradation and humiliation."

"Now, Don Imus was forced from his job for disrespecting people. In particular, people who face enough disrepect in the course of daily life: that is, women and people of colour. It was mean-spirited and uncalled for."

As was your assertion about 'saps' who die for the Bill of Rights. Those so called saps also include women and people of color. I haven't defended Imus' remarks and I refuse to characterize your remarks as any less contemptible or unacceptable.

My reference to the Hottentot's parliament was an obviously sarcastic reference to the fact that the parliament IS a Western 'construct', notwithstanding your near pathological inability to so identify it.

Now, since I don't have a TV or radio show, I'll just have to bear the censure of those who post comments on this blog.

And for you to distort my point, wrapped in sarcasm to be sure, and inflate it to Imus proportions, is real hysteria.


"My quarrel with you, dale h, has always been about your disrespect for Muslims and the people of Iran. There is no need to slander either a religion or a people. The people of Iran are not without rights. They do have a constitution with enumerated rights and freedoms."

Rights and freedoms honored more in the breech than in the observance, by any OBJECTIVE measures. The real disrespect and slander lies in not only minimizing and excusing the despotism in other peoples' governments, but in fabricating for them rights and freedoms they do not have.

Agreed, no reason to slander an entire people. Want to run by us how that applies to your sweeping denunciation of America and Americans. Or, do you think it's OK to channel your slurs through quotes from a 50 year old Graham Greene book?

All history is 'version'.

Calling those versions you disagree with a 'magic bus' may be cute, but it's hardly persuasive.

Here's the counter to your glossing over the Church's fear of science. The larger point of Church opposition to science remains unrefuted, except perhaps in the rarefied atmosphere on YOUR magic bus.

"Pope Urban VIII personally asked Galileo to give arguments for and against heliocentrism in the book, and to be careful not to advocate heliocentrism. He made another request, that his own views on the matter be included in Galileo's book. Only the latter of those requests was fulfilled by Galileo. Whether unknowingly or deliberate, Simplicius, the defender of the Aristotelian Geocentric view in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was often caught in his own errors and sometimes came across as a fool. This fact made Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems appear as an advocacy book; an attack on Aristotelian geocentrism and defense of the Copernican theory. To add insult to injury, Galileo put the words of Pope Urban VIII into the mouth of Simplicius. Most historians agree Galileo did not act out of malice and felt blindsided by the reaction to his book. However, the Pope did not take the public ridicule lightly, nor the blatant bias. Galileo had alienated one of his biggest and most powerful supporters, the Pope, and was called to Rome to explain himself.

With the loss of many of his defenders in Rome because of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. The sentence of the Inquisition was in three essential parts:

Galileo was required to recant his heliocentric ideas; the idea that the Sun is stationary was condemned as "formally heretical." However, while there is no doubt that Pope Urban VIII and the vast majority of Church officials did not believe in heliocentrism, Catholic doctrine is defined by the pope when he speaks ex cathedra (from the Chair of Saint Peter) in matters of faith and morals. While Church officials did condemn Galileo, heliocentrism was never formally or officially condemned by the Catholic Church, except insofar as it held (for instance, in the formal condemnation of Galileo) that "The proposition that the sun is in the center of the world and immovable from its place is absurd, philosophically false, and formally heretical; because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scriptures", and the converse as to the Sun's not revolving around the Earth.[14]
He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.
His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial and not enforced, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.
After a period with the friendly Ascanio Piccolomini (the Archbishop of Siena), Galileo was allowed to return to his villa at Arcetri near Florence, where he spent the remainder of his life under house arrest, going blind and dying from natural causes on January 8, 1642."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei

4:22 PM  
Anonymous david said...

First, the word "Hottentot" is offensive. Unless you're basing your knowledge of African anthropology on 60 year old Bugs Bunny cartoons or middlebrow exclamations by Harry Truman, you need to know this word is not used now in the civilized world.

Second, if a judge orders a warrant, a citizen is obliged to obey it. I'm not sure how you, dale h, would react. I'm sure it would not be with the cocky bravado you reserve for attacking me. The law is the law and must be obeyed.

Of course, you were making a lame and convoluted joke. Right? Were you suggesting that some Iranian judge would issue a warrant to enter a Canadian home, right? Was this your strawman argument? Or did I misread you?

The point is that your own source pointed out that warrants were needed to enter people's homes. That's hardly the despotism you want to describe, is it? You want to see Mullah with bayonets forcing women into Burkhas and robbing TV viewers of American Idol, right? (I am being sarcastic, but it's pretty close to the truth, yes?)

How much despotism do I feel is suitable for the Iranians? How much do you Americans intend to impose on them? It's your government that has two aircraft carrier fleets in the Persian Gulf and openly talks of air strikes --including the use of mini-nukes-- and has been saber-rattling daily. If you don't think such a provocative display of overwhelming lethal force doesn't demand decency and fairness from America, then you are the biggest hypocrite I've had the pleasure of debating.

I'm sorry, but America has no authority to teach the world how to behave. With its reliance on gunboat diplomacy, bribery, and broken promises, it doesn't appeal to anyone anymore as the ideal and savior of humanity. And your racist comments about the ways of Africans and Asians sounds more like a fading power trying to recapture some of its past glory. Sorry, Uncle Sam, I DON'T WANT YOU.

(BTW, The Ugly American is by American authors Lederer and Burdick. The Quiet American is by Graham Greene. And you were the one who called me ugly and incoherent. But I suppose you'll say that never happened and that you merely had the 'good intention' of liberating me from myself.)

Thanks for the wikipedia entry on Galileo. He was a brilliant, but socially inept man. Had he not been so bombastic and sarcastic and prickly --as a certain poster who hates all Catholics, Muslims, and Republicans-- he might well have escaped all the misery that befell him. He was exceedingly arrogant, believing he was 100% right. He attacked the chief Jesuit astronomer's theory of comets rather viciously. That made him many enemies. And, surprisingly, the Jesuit astronomer was correct and Galileo, who said comets were merely optical illusions, was 100% WRONG.

Galileo did go a long way toward changing the way we use language in science. But, at the time he was writing, he could not prove his heliocentric theory. And all the Pope asked was that he say it was a hypothesis and not the absolute truth. The Pope seemed adaptable to the heliocentric idea, but only with proof. Sadly, Galileo had no proof. (He too was operating on faith.)

And he didn't seem to understand the politics of the day as well as Kepler. And yes, dale h, it always comes down to politics. That is, how we live and who has authority. Why is America in Iraq and threatening Iran? Why does American policy deny Global Warming? It's cheap logic to say it's the Theocrats at fault. There are people who gain and people who lose. And words do matter. Even words like "Hottentot".

6:03 PM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

Hi LGND,

I think this is a free speech issue. I'm all for them firing him due to public pressure and lost revenue. That's exactly how the system is supposed to work. But, if you look past you're outrage for one moment and consider the implications of stifling even hate speech, I hope you will recognize the proverbial "slippery slope".

Remember the Westboro Baptists? If we get to decide what others say, who gets to decide what we say?

7:29 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Yellow Dog--I actually think we agree on this one. Don Imus has every right to say whatever hateful thing he wants about young black women, he just doesn't have the right to be paid millions of dollars to spew his hate speech on air. I don't want the FCC making the call on this, I want the people to decide, not what Imus is allowed to say, but what the consequences are for saying it. The marketplace has spoken and hopefully in the process has sparked a meaningful discussion on what constitutes racist and sexist speech and what the American consumer is interested in hearing in its place.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

David said:

"Of course, you were making a lame and convoluted joke. Right? Were you suggesting that some Iranian judge would issue a warrant to enter a Canadian home, right? Was this your strawman argument? Or did I misread you?"

Yes, you did misread me as you usually do, primarily due to that rigid ideologue filter you view all issues through.
And here is the Rosetta Stone to our 'misunderstandings'. I'm Not an absolutist, not an ideologue. I do see shades of gray which is why I discount sweeping generalizations about everything, and most particularly your knee jerk slams of the U.S. in these posts.

Why would I posit Iranian warrants for either Canadian or U.S homes? I tried to portray how easily you accept an infringement on the free flow of info for the Iranians that you would HAVE to go ape shit over if it were to happen in your country or mine.
That is consistent with all of my arguments about your inability to make the simplest value judgments, due to your self-crippling interpretations of multiculturalism. Openness to other cultures shouldn't incapacitate your critical thinking skills.

And I guarantee that no one else reading these comments would have taken my 'warrants' scenario any other way than I just explained.

"The point is that your own source pointed out that warrants were needed to enter people's homes. That's hardly the despotism you want to describe, is it? You want to see Mullah with bayonets forcing women into Burkhas and robbing TV viewers of American Idol, right? (I am being sarcastic, but it's pretty close to the truth, yes?)"

Not remotely. It's neither the police procedures nor the worst abuses of a police state, as YOU imagined them, that I was criticizing, it was the POLICY inimical to the free flow of information. How many times in how many different ways to you need to read that?

And I was thinking of what thinking Iranians would do without their BBC, not without American Idol.

"And you were the one who called me ugly and incoherent. But I suppose you'll say that never happened and that you merely had the 'good intention' of liberating me from myself.)"

You just insist on 'teeing' yourself up don't you?!

Not only do I not deny it, I'm serving it up for a well deserved 2nd look!

I called you an Ugly Canadian, as well as incoherent, with intent and with justification. I had no illusions about 'liberating' you. You're stuck with your cycle of self-righteous, patronizing and unconvincing diatribes.

Were the 'charges', restated below, true about an American they would justify an Ugly American label too:

Behold the 'Ugly Canadian'! He suggests what you should read, speculates on your TV viewing habits and asks where you should be without knowing jack about where you've been, or what you've done, or what you plan to do. This is the same cultural moron who suggests that those who serve their country are saps, which is truly, certifiably gutless, no matter how many thieves he's allegedly chased.

Better see someone about that short term memory problem.

"How much despotism do I feel is suitable for the Iranians? How much do you Americans intend to impose on them? It's your government that has two aircraft carrier fleets in the Persian Gulf and openly talks of air strikes --including the use of mini-nukes-- and has been saber-rattling daily. If you don't think such a provocative display of overwhelming lethal force doesn't demand decency and fairness from America, then you are the biggest hypocrite I've had the pleasure of debating."

This latest parade of sweeping generalizations, straw man arguments and unjustified conclusions is, well, pretty ugly!

Do us a favor and wander into the logic and rhetoric section of your book store and acquaint yourself with the logical fallacies you inflict on everyone who reads your 'stuff'. Or, check out these:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric

http://www.criticalthinking.org/index.cfm

Now, if you were a vampire these links would be to you as crucifix and garlic. In fact, there is a very real danger that your head may explode when you are confronted with 'Western constructs'!

Perhaps your aversion to them explains your penchant for fruitless arguing with yourself?

Back to you embarrassing paragraph:


"How much despotism do I feel is suitable for the Iranians?"

You've indicated that it is considerably more than you would accept for your
Country or mine, unless you can conceive of a compelling rationale for removing satellite dishes, in your country or mine.

You can attempt to either blow off all of this or, in your benevolence, claim that it's fine for the Iranians.

http://hrw.org/doc/?t=mideast_pub&c=iran

"How much do you Americans intend to impose on them?"

I'm not one of 'you' Americans and I'm not the one looking at the Islamic Republic's (NOT a pejorative. Their self description.) government through the rose colored glasses that you look through.

"It's your government that has two aircraft carrier fleets in the Persian Gulf and openly talks of air strikes --including the use of mini-nukes-- and has been saber-rattling daily."

I don't support Dubya's adventurism, remember? I want him gone, yesterday, 3 years ago, and not elected in 2000, which he wasn't.

"If you don't think such a provocative display of overwhelming lethal force doesn't demand decency and fairness from America, then you are the biggest hypocrite I've had the pleasure of debating."

You lost me after 'if', asshat.
See previous 'ignition' of your straw man question.


"And all the Pope asked was that he say it was a hypothesis and not the absolute truth. The Pope seemed adaptable to the heliocentric idea, but only with proof. Sadly, Galileo had no proof. (He too was operating on faith.)"

Notwithstanding any or all of that, the Church was hardly an 'enabler' when it came to advancing science then, anymore than now. And how you infer 'seemed' amidst words like recant and Inquisition is a mystery to poor lapsed Catholic secular humanist me!
And refresh me. How we doin' with that heliocentric thing? Gain a foothold?

Lastly, since your not a Hottentot, and it's doubtful that my remark reached the eyes of any, your 'outrage' is disproportionate.

But allow me to more properly restate my point. Did your Canadian parliament and Bill of Rights take as its models either the Sumerian parliament or the Persian parliament, or were the names I won't belabor you with again your actual sources for your Bill of Rights. Are the Western Civ roots sound, or are you unhappy with what you have?

Really, I don't THINK you would get thrown out of your
Western Civ Sucks Club for answering those questions based on the historical record, would you?

What is beyond dispute is that you libeled all of my fellow contemporary Americans, who are veterans or actively serving, as saps for choosing to serve their Country.

And comparing me to Imus for my chiding a non existent audience of Hottentots for being sans parliament is just plain silly.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, I'm happy to see yellow dog and LGND discussing Free Speech and whether it has limits.

Curiously, it took over a 100 years for the SCOTUS to be asked a question on the First Amendment. And the questions before the Court came fast and furiously during the 20th century. Most of the questions had to do with radical politics and questions of obscenity & pornography.

I think the FCC does play an important role. The rise of Shock Jocks and unfair & unbalanced TV has a lot to do with the FCC shirking its "Fairness Doctrine", even after it was upheld by SCOTUS decision in 1969.

There is a concept in rhetoric called decorum. Although in English Law members of parliament may say anything in the House without fear of prosecution, they cannot say anything and remain in the House. The House sets rules of good manners and respect. Abusive language is not tolerated. And a member will be ejected from the House until willing to apologize.

Words do matter. Words have power. If we treat words as meaningless, unimportant, and powerless, then we are embracing the Newspeak of 1984. Increasingly, we see public figures misuse and abuse words, lie, cheat, or embellish. Paul Wolfowitz claims he'll 'carry on' as if his admission that he lied and cheated was unimportant --mere words that didn't alter the universe. Words injure as much as sticks & stones.

When Erasmus was revising the Latin Bible, he wanted to use "sermon" instead "verbum" in the opening lines of John. "In the beginning was the Word" is a literal translation of the Greek, but "ho Logos" has such a rich and nuanced history in Greek philosophy. The Gospel writer would have known that his readers would understand "ho Logos" to mean Word, Speech, Discourse, Thought, Organizing Principle, or Meaning. Erasmus felt "verbum" (word) was just too narrow.

Words are not meaningless. Ann Coulter is fond of telling liberals that their quibbles are mere "semantics"; she wants to reduce us to grunting beasts. Don Imus spoke words of tremendous power due to his audience's size. They were not meaningless or harmless words. They were meant to degrade and hurt and marginalize. And his punishment should be proportional to the forcefulness of his words.

People in modern liberal democracies tend to disrespect their right of free speech. They often speak without thinking, without caring, and without meaning. The end result is a new Babel. Disrespect is not something to be taken lightly.

Well, dale h, if you're a lapsed Catholic, I understand where you're coming from. And I do think you'd enjoy reading Karen Armstrong's memoirs. Her life is an inspiration. And you might also read Doug Saunder's Why the fear of a "Muslim Tide" makes too much of a splash.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

If the Founding Fathers of the United States were alive today.........well, first of all they would be scratching furiously on the inside lids of their coffins. Note to David: NOT hate speech toward the 'formerly living'. Anyway, their up and out, they clean themselves up, get haircuts, 3 squares and some Amtrak tickets to check out their old haunts. In addition to being really, really astounded by everything they see and hear they are taken aback by the general rudeness of manner and crudeness of speech, not to mention the sheer volume and forms of what passes for 'speech'.
They grow increasingly upset and argumentative among themselves, not about speech, but rather about who among them has the most city, state, street, building and miscellaneous place and enterprises named after themselves! They all remarked about the currency and they wondered about "this Lincoln guy". Competitive and contentious bastards, now as then. Wait till they get a glimpse of Mount Rushmore, hopefully before they purchase and register some firearms!

They walk into a bookstore and ask where the History section is. As you were, Franklin probably first walked them into a Lens Crafters so ALL
good get multifocal lenses. Ben remonstrated with the store proprietor about the merits of prefixing Ye Old in front of Lens Crafters.

Anyway, it's been a long, long time, so they check out the wording in the First Amendment. Madison mutters, nicely picking up the modern vernacular, holy shit! 27 fricken' Amendments?! Was I THAT unclear, that imprecise?
They agree that "Congress shall make no law...", and the word 'abridging' are still understood the same way, but still in all.
Long story short they spend a few weeks reading, listening and looking around and conclude that freedom in the United States IS messy AND irritating. But they agree that the Supreme Court has functioned remarkably well at making the Constitution a 'living' document that met the changing exigencies of each successive era, since their time, to the present as well as could be expected, sometimes better than expected, sometimes worse.

They note the number of people of color and women in business and government, smile to each other and remark almost in unison: "About some things, we didn't know shit! But, neither did anyone else on the planet at the time."

After visits to Gettysburg and Antietam, they tearfully agreed they shouldn't have deferred further discussion on the slavery issue. After visits to Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Memorial, and still more tears, they thought to themselves that they knew what they were talking about in the Federalist Papers about men not being 'angels', but what the f**k! Then they saw and heard Dubya, and then they REALLY CRIED! G. Washington loudly exclamed "Give me the damned remote!!"

Long circuitous trip for a defense of Free speech and a Dubya bashing!


Here's a tour of how internet 'speech' is viewed in some of the rest of the world.
Looks like a Catch-22 among economic freedom and properity and freedom of speech:


http://news.com.com/Cuba,+Iran+lash+out+at+Internet+freedom/2100-1028_3-5960298.html
"In Cuba, only people with government permission can access the Internet, owning computer equipment is prohibited, and online writers have been imprisoned, according to Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based free speech watchdog group.

Too often, the Internet is used for the "propagation of falsehoods," said Mohammad Soleymani, Iran's minister of communication and information technology.

Soleymani called for the elimination of the California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)--which approves new top-level domain names--in favor of United Nations control.

A recurring criticism of the WSIS summit was that wealthier nations had not done enough to help poorer ones take advantage of the Internet.

"The proceeds have not been equally shared by developing and developed countries," said Sudan President Omar Ahmad al-Bashir. "The digital divide is growing between the rich and the poor countries."

Economists generally agree, however, that investors prefer nations with a respect for property rights, the rule of law and a functioning court system--which means that few African nations make the list.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, offers an Index of Economic Freedom. The index finds a close correlation between wealth and a stable, functioning government. Wealthy regions like Hong Kong, the U.S., and Switzerland respect economic rights, the index shows, while poor nations like Sudan, Zimbabwe, Iran and Cuba show the least respect for them."

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, that Triad of Political Economic Freedom: Hong Kong, Switzerland, and the USA.

What Neil Postman had to say on the free flow of information in the Information Age.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Dale h said...

Anonymous~

Try reading the info at the link. Did you really think
what you quoted was IT?
Notice a correlation of the three countries to REGIONS?

1:59 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Here's Ralph Nader on Imus's words and Others' deeds: Outrageous Words; Outrageous Deeds.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Would this kerfuffle be so dramatic if the word 'nappy' had been replaced\ with 'bleach', or 'greyhair', or 'frizzle'?

I wonder.

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you asking if sexism is less important than racism?

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi liberal Girl,

Being a liberal I take it that you like to take it in the rear and front simultaneously. I would also assume there is a camera, crack, and booze within arms reach. Do you have any pics? If you were a TRUE liberal you would recognize the need for transparency to avoid the impression of hiding things from the American people. You really need to come clean with the people so we can all move on.

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