Gail Collins recommends that AZ lawmakers kill themselves

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Maybe not explicitly, but you tell me: who would survive what she suggested in today’s column?

Maybe some state senators from Arizona would like to come to New York and throw themselves over Niagara Falls to protest our lack of a budget.

But of course, it’s the Tea Party and those on the right whose incendiary rhetoric — “targeting” Democrats who voted for the health-care bill; putting bulls-eyes over their districts on websites — should be taken literally. Yes, the oft-used word “targeting” (not to be confused with Targeting, which I do sometimes with my wife and, while unrelated entirely to murder, is still somewhat affiliated with death — by boredom), which political folks use when they mean they’ll focus more money and efforts on upsetting elected officials, really means, you know, murder. Palin wants to murder the Dems who voted for the health-care bill — or, at least, is insinuating as much, or tacitly endorsing those who might be kooky enough to read between the lines. Right.

But when Gail Collins gets rhetorical — in this instance, by recommending that legislators she disagrees with throw themselves off the largest water fall in North America — of course she’s only kidding, silly!

And really, she is. I know that; the right knows that; her faithful and like-minded readers know that (some of whom are possibly disappointed that she’s not serious). But when our folks use such nasty words like “target”? Well, suddenly we lose our sense of irony and sarcasm and forget that most words have multiple meanings and twists that depend on context. And then we forget that when people suggest targeting (i.e., murdering) elected officials, we probably ought to ignore them. So we go out and murder people, which you all have seen in the news lately — you know, all the people who voted for the health-care bill, they’re dead. Because conservatives are that dumb.

Democrats say: Hey, only WE can demean blacks

April 22, 2010 1 comment

James Taranto, one of the right’s wittiest and most insightful commentators, of the Wall Street Journal wrote in his Best of the Web piece today a follow-up to his Monday piece about the Democratic Party’s existential need to maintain the perception of a racist America in order to keep blacks voting Democratic. In today’s piece, he quotes the Media Matters response to his theory, which — again — is essentially that the Democratic Party has to perpetuate the myth that America is a racist nation in order to maintain the African-American vote:

First and foremost, it’s remarkably insulting. The implication of Taranto’s theory is that African-Americans aren’t sophisticated or observant or intelligent enough to know real racism when they see it, and are thus continuously duped en masse into voting for Democrats. It couldn’t be the case that black voters actually care about issues and have real reasons for voting Democratic, they’re just puppets who are motivated by racial sentiments that Democrats prey upon. Taranto and his pals at Fox & Friends might think they’re attacking the Democrats, but they’re actually demeaning black voters.

This is precisely what conservatives have been saying about affirmative action and the assumptions that underscore it and every other policies like it: that Democrats who say blacks can’t get ahead in this world without lowering standards are “remarkably insulting.” We’ve said over and over, essentially, that — and I’ll borrow Media Matters’ language here — affirmative action’s principle “implication … is that African-Americans aren’t sophisticated … or intelligent enough” to get into good schools or better-paying jobs without the benevolent white man’s help.

So, what is more “demeaning”: to (a) be a Republican and observe that people (in this case, African-Americans) who’ve put their trust in their self-proclaimed leaders (in this case, Democratic politicians) assume, naturally, that their leaders aren’t lying or exaggerating about race in America in order to keep them in the fold, or (b) to be a Democrat and observe that blacks are fundamentally incapable of achieving their full potential unless the government arbitrarily lowers the bar for them?

At least, if we Republicans are, in fact, guilty of “demeaning” blacks, all we’re saying is that they’ve fallen victim to something all humans are susceptible to: the bias that authority, or perceived authority, gives to whatever that authority says. In other words, it makes perfect sense that blacks believe the lies and distortions their Democratic leaders perpetuate about race in America, because blacks trust their leaders.  This is a fundamental truth about human nature, not the nature of blacks per se: we humans tend to believe most the people we trust most. So Taranto’s indictment is not of African-Americans, but of the Democratic leaders who mislead them on race issues — a point clearly lost on Media Matters.

The U.S. military is now a laboratory of social experimentation

April 22, 2010 1 comment

We’ve reached a lot of tipping points recently, but this one might be among the scariest, because it’s likely to be followed by even more drastic and radical social-engineering moves within the military. Soldiers cooped up hundreds of feet under water can’t smoke cigarettes or act like men anymore. I’ll bet anyone a hundred 2030 dollars that 20 years from now, you’ll be able to enter the military and refuse to go to war on ideological or political grounds … or because you didn’t enter the military to go to war, silly, but to get your school paid for.

A friend’s email response to me about this nonsense was nice ‘n’ poignant: “While we’re at it, let’s require all submariners to have two hours of sunlight per day. I mean, it’s totally unhealthy to be cooped up like that for so long. And what about more windows? Television? You know what’s also integral to the military? Letting it be run by the military with limited policy and pundit interference.”

Our condo association hates children

April 18, 2010 1 comment

The bylaws say no chalking the sidewalks. As Gutfeld would say, if you think that’s okay, you’re worse than Hitler.

I sometimes wonder where these people, my neighbors, think they live. Either they think they live in Potomac, Maryland (the DC area’s Beverly Hills), where letting kids be kids would be oh-so low-class, or they think they live in Anacostia (one of the DC area’s scariest ghettos), where letting toddlers chalk the sidewalks would be seen as a precursor to tagging and indiscriminate drug-related murder.

It’s at neither end of those extremes. It’s just outright snobbish anti-kiddism, part and parcel of living on the East Coast, and yet another reason I can’t wait to move back west.

Categories: Random

Breaking news: the skies are safe

April 16, 2010 Leave a comment

To just about everyone who pays attention at the airport and flies often enough to see the idiocy of both TSA policy and individual TSA agents not as the exception but as the general rule (to which there are probably exceptions), the following true story will be boring.

We’ve all seen the kind of TSA agent I’m about to describe. Self-important. Officious. But at least polite, even if patronizingly and perfunctorily so. And obviously the biggest geek in his high school. You know exactly who I’m talking about (at least 6o% of TSA agents).

This guy — let’s call him Neil, as in Neil Diamond, the King of Cool, ya ask me — was standing alongside the security line, blankly staring at the ground as he twirled his hand-test swabber-thingamajig (it looked like a mini toilet-bowl cleaner) for at least a good minute.

I admit, it was fun to watch — it felt for a moment like I was enjoying one of those Cirque de Soleil fruitballs that dance as they twirl a colorful ribbon (for the record, I’ve never been to one but have seen the commercials — oh, and there’s an Olympic event that incorporates these fine ribbon routines too), the only minor difference being it was only a frumpy tool in a blue uniform who I guess wasn’t in the mood to dance. I was sucked in; it was rather fun and mezmerizing the way the toiletbowl cleaner twirled. But I came out of it and was starting to wonder why this guy didn’t make himself useful by opening another security line to speed things up when he, too, snapped out of his trance quickly, as if he heard me thinking, clearly remembering he had a job to do: act like an officious tool protecting us from terrorists.

He surveyed the line and picked a gum-smacking young lady in front of me and said, “Ma’am, please hold out your palms so I can test them,” and then wiped her hands with the toiletbowl cleaner and walked back a few yards to his little machine. When he left it, chuckling about something or other with his TSA compadre, I breathed a sigh of relief that likely the only thing on the college kid’s palms was residue from her Bubble Yum. I said to her, “Well, I’m relieved: the friendly skies are safe; you’re not a terrorist.” Her boyfriend replied, “Oh, that’s, not it: it’s psychological,” meaning, I assumed, that the agent wasn’t looking for terrorists at all but was instead intimidating them by testing people we can all be safely sure in surmising are decidedly not terrorists.

Spoken like a good, dutiful liberal, right? But anyway.

Then our fearless public servant Neil surveyed the line again and picked a white, 30-something mother of at least three children, who were with her and her husband, and asked her to hold out her palms for the toiletbowl cleaner.

I’m on my flight, and it goes almost without saying that I feel completely safe from those who might have plotted to take the plane down, but who likely left the security line as a result of the “psychological” defenses this great nation has erected to thwart their dastardly plans.

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The left has finally proven itself to be beyond satire

April 10, 2010 Leave a comment

You simply can’t do it anymore. You can’t come up with a hypothetical lefty law or regulation silly or outlandish enough for people to think, “Nah, that’s just ridiculous; that would never happen.” Evidence here.

Totalitarians.

Because apparently it’s too much effort for a person to have to pick up a box and turn it around to read the nutrition information.

Of course, the irony is totally lost on Sebelius (who, in her defense, is a rather dull woman): she’s worried about people’s health so — get this — let’s require less calorie expenditure to get to the nutritional information. Great idea, genius.

Furthermore, it doesn’t occur to Sebelius that people who don’t care enough about a food item’s nutrition content to turn it around to find it aren’t going to be any more interested in that information if it’s on the front of the box.

So what’s next? How do we make people care as much about what they eat as the bureaucratic totalitarians in Washington apparently do?

Easy. We hire nutrition-content readers at all grocery stores who would stand as health sentinels in every food aisle. When someone leaves the aisle with groceries in their carts, the reader would inspect the carts and read off each item’s nutrition information to the buyer. Then the reader, of course, would have to get verbal — perhaps even written? — confirmation from the buyer that he understood what was read to him.

As it turns out, I may have contradicted this post’s original premise by successfully satirizing Sebelius’s pathetic idea. But while my idea certainly is absurd, I can’t help but think if I shared it with Sebelius, she’d probably be intrigued.

Ed Schultz, Dylan Ratigan are fair

March 29, 2010 1 comment

Ed Schultz loses his sh*t here, and Dylan Ratigan loses his here. Not on the same day and not in that order, but I just saw the Ed clip and it reminded me of the Dylan one. I love their new formula:  Liberal screams, kicks, yells, and name-calls at  the calm, rational rightwinger because the calm, rational rightwinger won’t stop being calmly and rationally rightwing.

Maybe it kills sociopathically dishonest scum like Ed and Dylan when conservatives come on their shows and don’t perform the way Ed and Dylan expect them to: by throwing bricks and lighting things on fire? I don’t know, but what ever is behind it, it’s fun to watch.

Categories: Dylan Ratigan, Politics