Daily Archive: 12/21/2010

Dec 21 2010

Yazoo City Yahoos

You know, I’m not one of those bloggers who makes my fame out of bashing Republicans.

Don’t get me wrong.  The modern Republican Party is composed of Fascist, Racist, Theocratic Morons and Wall Street Greedheads (also Morons), but it’s so obvious that it’s hardly worth pointing out except in the context of how much the Versailles Village and the Institutional Democratic Party support and cover for them instead of crushing them like these 26% on the amoral idiot end of the Bell Curve deserve.

Today’s context is the unfortunate exposure of the Southern Racism of Haley Barbour (not that he isn’t also a Theocratic Fascist Greedhead)-

The Barbour Of Yazoo City

by Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

21 Dec 2010 01:24 pm

I’ve got an observation about race, the conservative movement, and its political fortunes: the strange place we find ourselves is that being accused of racism can actually help a Republican candidate these days. Jonathan Chait gets it: “His past is not racist enough to disqualify him, but it is murky enough to spur the liberal media to raise questions. And thus Barbour will be in the position of being the white conservative attacked by liberals for his alleged racism… it will surely make Republicans rally to Barbour.”



Over the years, social norms in America have shifted such that being labaled a racist is tremensoulsy damaging to one’s social standing and career prospects. On the whole, that’s a good thing. We ought to abhor racists. But an unintended consequence is that false accusations of racism can be used to cynically accrue power. Compared to actual instances of racism, this sort of thing doesn’t occur very often.



Lots of white people fear that they’re going to be wrongly labeled racist, and it provokes the same anxiety experienced when people fear, without particular reason to do so, that they’re going to be attacked by a shark or have their identity stolen or that they’re suffering from the deadly disease they came across on Web M.D.

Umm… what lambert likes to call a ‘Category Error’.

These people ARE RACISTS!

Barbour Mistakes Black for White

by Cynic, The Atlantic

Dec 21 2010, 1:10 PM ET

In 1954, the NAACP determined to bring five test cases to force integration in the Mississippi public schools. Yazoo County exhibited some of the worst disparities in the state, spending $245.55 on every white child, but only $2.92 per black pupil. So the NAACP gathered fifty-three signatures of leading black citizens of Yazoo City, the county seat, on a petition calling for integration.

Their courage was met with outrage. Sixteen of the town’s most prominent men called for a public meeting, to form a White Citizens’ Council and respond to the petition. Several hundred turned out on a hot June night, including journalist Willie Morris, who watched in mute disbelief as the best men of the town outlined their response:

Those petitioners who rented houses would immediately be evicted by their landlords. White grocers would refuse to sell food to any of them. Negro grocers who had signed would no longer get any groceries from the wholesale stores. “Let’s just stomp ’em!” someone shouted from the back, but the chairman said, no, violence would be deplored; this was much the more effective method. Public opinion needed to be mobilized behind the plan right away.



The craftsmen could not find work. Those with jobs were fired. So were their spouses. Merchants refused to sell them groceries or supplies. The three black merchants who had signed were cut off by their wholesalers. The grocer had his account closed by the bank. One by one, they took their names off the petition. It did no good. Soon enough, 51 names were deleted from the petition. The other two had fled town before withdrawing.



If Barbour wants to praise the good people of Yazoo City for their extraordinary restraint in not employing violence as they hounded from their community those black parents brave enough to demand a decent education for their children; to laud their public disavowal of the local Klan even as they turned a blind eye to its activities; or to extol their grudging cession of the inevitability of court-ordered integration after fifteen years of stalling, for its absence of lynchings or riots, that’s his prerogative. For the rest of us, though, Yazoo City should serve as a poignant reminder that the civil rights struggle really was “that bad.”

Update: And about the Versailles Villagers, no better expression of it than this-

Haley Barbour: How he hurt himself (and how he can come back)

By Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post

Posted at 1:27 PM ET, 12/21/2010

While all candidates — including Barbour — will dismiss the importance of “buzz” among the Washington insider crowd, it does matter. The presidential race is like a glacier — most of it moves under the surface, away from the eyes of the average voter. Unless Barbour can get out from under the race storyline, he might not ever make it to the point where voters have a chance to assess him or, if he does make it, he could be badly damaged enough that voters will dismiss his candidacy out of hand.

(A sidebar: Barbour’s good relationships with the press have always been chalked up as a positive for a potential presidential bid. But, Barbour’s ease with the press also creates situations like the one in the Weekly Standard piece — a breeziness about a serious issue that plays far less well in print than it might in casual conversation. Barbour has to realize that his relations with the press will change fundamentally now that he is a potential presidential candidate and adjust accordingly.)

Dec 21 2010

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Starhawk: Out of darkness, light: Solstice and the lunar eclipse

Winter Solstice–the shortest day and longest night of the year. For Pagans, Wiccans and Goddess worshippers, this is one of our most sacred holidays. As winter closes in, the darkness grows and the light recedes. For Pagans, darkness is the necessary balance to light. We don’t conceive of the dark as evil, but as a place of potential, of gestation–the black, fertile soil where the seed puts forth roots and shoots, the dark womb where new life is nurtured. But being humans, we also have a natural affinity for the light, the time of growth and new beginnings, of warmth and color and bright new hopes. Solstice reminds us that no darkness, no loss, no grief or disappointment is final. Out of darkness, light is born. Every ending gives rise to a new beginning. Out of disappointment and despair comes new courage, new hope.

Dean Baker: Saving Social Security: Stopping Obama’s Next Bad Deal

President Obama insists that he is a really bad negotiator, therefore the deal he got on the 2-year extension of the Bush tax cuts and the 1-year extension of unemployment benefits was the best that he could do. This package also came with a 1-year cut in the Social Security tax.

This cut will seriously threaten the program’s finances if next year, the Republican Congress is no more willing to end a temporary tax cut than this year’s Democratic Congress.

The logic here is straightforward. Under the law, the Bush tax cuts were supposed to end in 2010. Tax rates returned to their pre-tax cut levels in 2011. However, the Republicans maintained a steady drumbeat about the evils of raising taxes in the middle of a downturn, even if the tax increase would just apply to the richest 2 percent of the population.

Jane Hamsher: Barack Obama and the Art of Negotiation

The President is “moving quickly” to reassure liberals that he has “not abandoned them” in the wake of the tax cut deal, according to the Washington Post.

But liberals shouldn’t be concerned that Obama has “abandoned them.”  They should be far more worried if he’s actually on their side, and simply losing one fight after another.

The White House has been working to smooth the ruffled feathers of liberals that Obama dismissed as “sanctimonious” in his spur-of-the-moment press conference two weeks ago. But having watched the event, I have to say that I was personally far less concerned about Obama’s attack on his liberal critics than I was about the signals he sent to anyone who ever negotiates against him.

Dec 21 2010

On This Day in History: December 21

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

December 21 is the 355th day of the year (356th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 10 days remaining until the end of the year. This is a frequent day for the winter solstice to occur in the northern hemisphere and summer solstice to occur in the southern hemisphere.

On this day in 1968, Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders aboard.

Apollo 8 was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to planet Earth from another celestial body-Earth’s Moon. The three-man American crew of mission Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders became the first humans to directly see the far side of the Moon, as well as the first humans to see planet Earth from beyond low Earth orbit. The 1968 mission was accomplished with the first manned launch of a Saturn V rocket. Apollo 8 was the second manned mission of the Apollo program and the first manned launch from the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

Originally planned as a second Lunar Module/Command Module test in an elliptical medium Earth orbit in early 1969, the mission profile was changed in August 1968 to a more ambitious Command Module-only lunar orbital flight to be flown in December, because the Lunar Module was not ready to make its first flight then. This meant Borman’s crew was scheduled to fly two to three months sooner than originally planned, leaving them a shorter time for training and preparation, thus placing more demands than usual on their time and discipline.

After launching on December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 took three days to travel to the Moon. It orbited ten times over the course of 20 hours, during which the crew made a Christmas Eve television broadcast in which they read the first 10 verses from the Book of Genesis. At the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV program ever. Apollo 8’s successful mission paved the way for Apollo 11 to fulfill U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

Dec 21 2010

Morning Shinbun Tuesday December 21




Tuesday’s Headlines:

3 billion-year-old genetic ‘fossil’ traced

USA

Auditors question TSA’s use of and spending on technology

Toyota to pay record fines for disclosure delay

Europe

Europe’s ‘last dictator’ tightens grip with crackdown on rivals

Europe Turns against Germany

Middle East

Israel accused of discrimination in occupied areas

Iran earthquake kills at least five people

Asia

Refugee debate turns toxic after boat tragedy

Japan watches nervously as China flexes its economic muscles

Africa

UN urges recognition of Ouattara as Ivory Coast leader

‘Already Flying the Flag of an Independent State’

U.S. seeks to expand ground raids in Pakistan

Military commanders see intelligence windfall in expanding campaign across border

By MARK MAZZETTI and DEXTER FILKINS  

WASHINGTON – Senior Americanmilitary commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for an expanded campaign of Special Operations ground raids across the border into Pakistan’s tribal areas, a risky strategy reflecting the growing frustration with Pakistan’s efforts to root out militants there.

The proposal, described by American officials in Washington and Afghanistan, would escalate military activities inside Pakistan, where the movement of American forces has been largely prohibited because of fears of provoking a backlash. Story: Investigator: Billions in U.S. aid wasted in Afghanistan

The plan has not yet been approved, but military and political leaders say a renewed sense of urgency has taken hold, as the deadline approaches for the Obama administration to begin withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan.

Dec 21 2010

Moon River: Eclipse Open Thread

Dec 21 2010

The Threat of the Centrists

In his blog commentary on Robert Kutner’s  excellent article Obama to blink first on Social Security, David Dayan (one of the better bloggers imho) adds a different perspective in what he opines may be another reason that the Obama administration will be embracing elements of the Obama created Bowles-Simpson debt commission;

I would add that the President may not just be pre-empting Paul Ryan with this move, but a bipartisan group of Senators who are basically carrying on the Catfood Commission after its demise.

It got me thinking: who are those Senators?

The group is led by Mark Warner (D-VA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). As of last week on the floor of the Senate, the following senators professed to belong to the group:

Democrats

  • Jon Tester (D-MT)

  • Ron Wyden (D-OR)

  • Kay Hagan (D-NC)

  • Mark Udall (D-CO)

  • Michael Bennet (D-CO)

  • Jean Shaheen (D-NH)

  • Bill Nelson (D-FL)

  • Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

  • Diane Feinstein (D-CA)

  • Mark Begich (D-AK)

Republicans

  • Roger Wicker (R-MS)

  • Mike Johanns (R-NE)

  • Mike Crapo (R-ID)

  • James Risch (R-ID)

  • Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

  • Bob Corker (R-TN)

It has been reported that there are two additional Republicans in the group, but it’s likely that all 47 Republicans in the 112th Senate will vote to gut social programs wherever they can. The threat really should be focused on the Democrats in the group.

Dec 21 2010

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

Photobucket

The Winter Solstice arrives December 21 at 1838 hours, The Moon will be bright and full having passed though a full eclipse in the waning hours of Autumn here on the East Coast of North America. An event that last occurred in 1638, 372 years ago.

The Winter Solstice is a special night for those who practice the craft. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel. It is one of the eight holidays, or Sabbats, that are held sacred by Wiccans and Pagans around the world. It the longest night of the year, mid-winter. We decorate our homes with red, green and white, holly, ivy, evergreen and pine cones. We honor the solar year with light. There is food roasts and stews and winter vegetables and sweets, chocolate and peppermint candy, apples and oranges and sweet breads. Of course there will be wine and beers, some made by friends who will join the festivities.

This year we will have two nights of celebration, the night of the eclipse, we’ll gather around the fire in the early morning hours and marvel at the orange glowing moon, drinking hot cocoa and hot buttered rum. We’ll sing and dance and laugh away the darkness and cold. Tomorrow we’ll finish cooking the food for the feast to celebrate the passing of another years and the coming of Spring and rebirth. The fire started the night before will have been kept burning and again we will join together with family and friends, remembering the old year and planning for the new one coming as the day begin to lengthen.

Merry Yule, everyone.

Dec 21 2010

Prime Time

“Corona veniat electis.” Victory shall come to the worthy. Today, democracy, liberty, and equality are words to fool the people. No nation can progress with such ideas. They stand in the way of action. Therefore, we frankly abolish them. In the future, each man will serve the interest of the State with absolute obedience. Let him who refuses beware! The rights of citizenship will be taken away from all Jews and other non-Aryans. They are inferior and therefore enemies of the state. It is the duty of all true Aryans to hate and despise them. Henceforth this nation is annexed to the Tomanian Empire, and the people of this nation will obey the laws bestowed upon us by our great leader, the Dictator of Tomania, the conqueror of Osterlich, the future Emperor of the World!

You speak.

I can’t.

You must. It’s our only hope.

Later-

Dave hosts Jack Black and Marv Albert.  Jon and Stephen in repeats, 12/14 and 12/8.  Alton does Cheese and Cheesecake.  Conan hosts Aaron Eckhart, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Beach House.

BoondocksA Huey Freeman Christmas (“another irresponsible white person”)

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another.

Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another.

In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little.

More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.

The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security.

By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people.

Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up Hannah! The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through!

We are coming out of the darkness into the light! We are coming into a new world; a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed, and brutality. Look up, Hannah! The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow! Into the light of hope, into the future! The glorious future, that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up, Hannah. Look up!

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Dec 21 2010

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 World piles pressure on Ivory Coast’s defiant Gbagbo

by Dave Clark, AFP

1 hr 8 mins ago

ABIDJAN (AFP) – Ivory Coast’s isolated strongman Laurent Gbagbo faced a barrage of international criticism on Monday as world powers queued up to demand he step aside and allow Alassane Ouattara to take office.

The United Nations mission in Ivory Coast accused the defiant leader’s men of involvement in killings and rights abuses against Ivorians and demanded he stop harassing foreign envoys and UN peacekeepers in Abidjan.

In New York, the UN Security Council warned that Gbagbo’s camp could face new sanctions, and opened the way for the 10,000-strong UNOCI peacekeeping force to be reinforced — dismissing the regime’s demand that it leave.