On Racism, the Holocaust Museum Shooting, and the Other

alex01thumbI’ve been struggling all day to write this post, but I haven’t been able to find the proper words. I just don’t understand people and their fear of the Other, which, as a wise Muppet once noted, leads to anger, leads to hate, leads to suffering.

Anthropologically, it makes sense. We fear the Other because it is not like us – we recoil from things that are different. Doubtless it saved our collective human skins when we were growing our brains in the wilderness. “That thing doesn’t look like us, and it just ate Jack. Okay, everyone: Avoid that furry thing with the big teeth.” But not in today’s society. We’re supposed to be evolved, more sentient, ‘higher’ beings, and thus be able to ignore our crocodile brains, the ones that tell us, “Danger! Danger! This person is different – this person is enemy! Crush! Kill! Destroy!”

Apparently not. The fear and vitriolic hatred of the Other is alive and well in human society, and it’s even taken on new and exciting forms. Continue reading

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Update: Dr. McCoy Quits AMA, & AMA Backpedals on Opposing Public Option

"I'm a DOCtor, not a money-grubbing narcissist!"

"I'm a DOCtor, not a money-grubbing narcissist!"

Rather than update my earlier story, I’m re-printing it below so I can keep both headlines.

It seems that Dr. McCoy (not that one) agrees with me, and the AMA now realizes that I pwn them.  Good job, Bones!

American Medical Association Plays Dr. Tom on Healthcare Reform

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What is “The Killing of a Blonde Action Figure?”, Alec

I suppose this is marginally better than the rejected names, “KombKootieKiller” and “Sca*B*Gard.”

barbicide

I also found myself on the trail of a story at the hair salon.  I’ve always wondered about the rationale behind charging extra for a buzzcut, as opposed to a scissor cut.  It seems like there’s be more skill involved with the scissor cut.

So, I asked about it, and here’s what my haircutter said: Continue reading

Letterman ‘Apologizes,’ Right Continues to Overreach

Just a quick update to yesterday’s Letterman story.  Dave issued a bullshit, completely inadequate apology in which he cops to not knowing the difference between Bristol and Willow Palin, with the inference that Bristol Palin is fair(er) game.  He still thinks Sarah Palin is “slutty.”  Letterman also reads Sarah and Todd Palin’s respective “Whoomp! There it is!” statements, so I won’t re-print them.

Unfortunately, the right continues to overreach in hanging this on “the Left.”  Melissa Clouthier and I had a little back-and-forth about this yesterday, but Conservatives4Palin ratchets it up:

I’m sorry. I have seen the Palins treated heartlessly in the past, but that video is just too much. The audience is laughing about a cruel joke made about someone’s 14-year-old daughter.

This is “hope” and “change”?

Yeah, Barack Obama is to blame for David Letterman, who’s been doing TV since Obama was 8 years old.  Or something.

I said all I had to about this yesterday, but here’s a review:

Now, I need you all to stay with me here while I make a small distinction.  There are some who would try to hang Letterman’s attack on “the Left.” I’ll get to “the Left” in a minute, but Letterman is no more a liberal, in the political “team sports” sense of the word, than Guy Cimbalo is.  They are not conservatives, but they are also basically apolitical.  Their words are owned by a popular culture that is hostile to conservatism, but also to liberal ideals (of feminism as well as others).  They are a third column.

Bill Maher is a guy who straddles the line between the Left and pop culture.  As a liberal, I don’t claim ownership for what he says, but there is a clear argument to be made in favor of this.   When he makes “retard” jokes about Sarah Palin, which I’ve heard him do frequently, he deserves nothing but scorn from all sides.

This is where the Left comes in.  While they might not own what these entertainers say, they do have a duty to dis-own, a duty born of their desire to condemn Mel “Sugar-tits” Gibson et al, a duty that I’ve found them shirking for the most part.  Instead, the tendency is to engage in “Yeahbut.”  You know, “Yeah, but x conservative said y horrible thing…” (a curious exercise that essentially lets people you view as scumbags set your boundaries for you), to excuse it, or to ignore it altogether.  It is here that the Left takes ownership.

And my response to Melissa Clouthier:

Also coincidentally, Melissa Clouthier advanced an extremely relevant hypothesis earlier today which illustrates how some will handle the Von Brunn/Wright coincidence.  The subject was the Left’s “ownership” of David Letterman, et al, in response to something I wrote this morning:

I include them with the Left, Tommy, and for one simple reason: how they vote. They vote Democrat. Every. Single. Time. They are on the Left. Like the major media organizations, they like to pretend at “being above” or “transcending” party affiliation. Bull crap. They are Democrats. They vote Democrat. They’re the Left.

Now, where does that leave Wright and Von Brunn?  While their actions are, by no means, equivalent, Wright’s comment betrays a bigotry toward Jews that would seem right at home in Von Brunn’s repertoire.  But, put to Clouthier’s voting booth test, how do we divvy these two up?

The answer is, we don’t.  If we do, we do so at our own peril.  While we waste time playing “pin the tail on the ideology,” we distract from the real enemies of freedom, who reside neither on the Right nor the Left, but beneath them.

American Medical Association Plays Dr. Tom on Healthcare Reform

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People named Tom get a raw deal.  We’re Turkeys, or Uncles, or the point man for Dick and Harry.  Today, I’m playing the role of “name traitor” by coining the titular formulation.

The AMA, it seems, has decided to abridge the oft-quoted Hippocratic preamble to “First, do no…nothing”: (From HuffPo) Continue reading