racist

The Detail (Devil Not Included)

A coffee cup at Terra Vista. Detail of photo by B. D. Hilling, 2013.

Be careful with this one. Via Science of Us:

This might seem like too thin a point to harp on, but it’s actually important given people’s tendencies to over-extrapolate from limited study findings: “People who are more racist are more likely to make unprincipled arguments about free speech” is a very different claim than “People who make principled arguments about free speech are more likely to be racist.” This study supports the former but doesn’t say a word about the latter, and there really are some people who are committed to certain free-speech principles regardless of the content of the speech involved. All the more reason to have these conversations in as nuanced and principled a manner as possible.

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Singal, Jesse. “Are People Who Defend Free Speech More Racist Than Those Who Do Not?” Science of Us. 8 May 2017.

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Something About Getting Stoned … Rogered … Trumped … (Never Mind)

#PutiTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Roger J. Stone Jr. in La Quinta, California, in March, 2017. (Photo: Jenna Schoenefeld/The New York Times)

Via the New York Times:

Roger J. Stone Jr., an informal adviser to President Trump, has been asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee to preserve any records he may have in connection to a broader inquiry into Russian attempts to interfere with United States elections.

The letter sent to Mr. Stone, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, represents the first public indication of the scope of the committee’s inquiry, and possible connections to Mr. Trump’s campaign.

The Senate committee asked Mr. Stone, who is also under scrutiny from other federal investigators, to “preserve and retain all hard copies and electronically stored information as specified below in furtherance of the committee’s ongoing investigation into Russian actions targeting the 2016 U.S. elections and democratic processes globally.”

Mr. Stone confirmed the existence of the letter, which was dated Feb. 17. However, he said he had received it only on Friday, by email. Mr. Stone has acknowledged trading messages over Twitter with Guccifer 2.0, the online persona that officials believe was actually Russian intelligence officers.

Part of the trick is if you squint enough, you can focus on just one aspect of the #PutiTrump scandal and make it stand out just enough to say it’s actually nothing at all. If you stare hard enough, everything else becomes a blur, and then this bit in focus seems the only thing there is, and therefore nothing of any significance at all.

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Your Quote of the Day: Merlan on Dick

Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul Donald Trump, speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Saturday, 18 July 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

“Boiling the election results down to Russian interference alone is ridiculous, of course; we’re dumb and racist enough to have shot ourselves in the dick all on our own.”

Anna Merlan

It’s a pretty good line, isn’t it? To the other, we probably shouldn’t let that distract us from the fact that Admiral Michael Rogers, Commander of United States Cyber Command, and Director of the National Security Agency, twice over the course of his remarks for a Wall Street Journal shindig, accused the Russian government of using Wikileaks in order to tamper with the U.S. election.

But all this also calls to mind the Washington Post’s report on how Breitbart chair Steve Bannon subtly manipulated Donald Trump in a series of radio interviews earlier this year. It’s almost as though Donald Trump is getting played in ways he can’t possibly understand, by people with much bigger goals than merely being his friend.

(Merlan)

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Image note: Photo by Nati Harnik/AP Photo.

Fahrenthold, David A. and Frances Stead Sellers. “How Bannon flattered and coaxed Trump on policies key to the alt-right”. The Washington Post. 15 November 2016.

Merlan, Anna. “NSA Head Openly Accuses Russia of Using Wikileaks to Get Trump Elected”. The Slot. 16 November.

Nearly Perfect

Detail of 'Lucifer', by Franz von Stuck, 1890.

This is the challenge: Can reality provide us a more perfect headline than that brought to us by Hilary Hanson and Huffington Post?

‘Muslim-Free’ Gun Store Now Selling George Zimmerman’s Confederate Flag Paintings

Yes … that really is the headline. And here’s the thing: It is apt. Apt, I tell you!

George Zimmerman, who rose to national notoriety in 2012 after shooting and killing unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, is now selling prints of a Confederate flag painting, in part to benefit a Florida gun store owner who is facing a lawsuit after declaring his business “Muslim-free.”

The prints — copies of an original work hand-painted by Zimmerman — are available for about $50 each at Florida Gun Supply in the city of Inverness. Andy Hallinan, the store’s owner, declared his store a “Muslim-free” zone in a July YouTube video, on the grounds that he did not want to “arm and train those who wish to do harm to my fellow patriots.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations subsequently filed a lawsuit against Hallinan, WFLA reports.

Zimmerman had initially set out to paint an American flag, but after hearing about that lawsuit, he “decided to scrap the original American Flag painting and repaint it with a Confederate (Battle) Flag,” according to an FAQ section about the painting on the Florida Gun Supply site.

This is the sort of sickness that you just can’t make up.

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Hansen, Hilary. “‘Muslim-Free’ Gun Store Now Selling George Zimmerman’s Confederate Flag Paintings”. The Huffington Post. 18 August 2015.

Not the Sort of Thing That Helps Anyone

Huang reflects on a mission barely accomplished. (Darker Than Black, ep. 14)

This is called going out of their way to make things worse.

COLUMBIA, Mo. • A Facebook posting declaring Sunday “Darren Wilson Day” in this college town brought protesters to the police station on Monday and strong criticism from city leaders.

(Moore)

These actions do not really help anyone as the officers on the street and the departments sending them forth work to rebuild badly damaged relationships with their communities. Because Columbia might not be New York, or Cleveland, or Seattle, or Los Angeles, but in any of those places and everywhere in between, when people hear this sort of tale, well, right. It just doesn’t help.

And, yes, the Columbia Police Department knows this. Chief Ken Burton attended a protest against the CPOA stunt, telling local reporters, “I found the post offensive, and I thought I needed to stand with the community and say what the police department thinks about it”. And we can imagine this publicity stunt by the CPOA is the kind of headache exactly nobody needs. Not the cop on the street. Not the chief who has to send them out there. And certainly not the community they serve.

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Moore, Doug. “Police organization’s ‘Darren Wilson Day’ in Columbia, Mo., sparks protest, criticism”. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 10 August 2015.

Faith, Juxtaposed

The front entrance of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer in Augusta, Ga. that was vandalized overnight is seen Tuesday morning July 21, 2015. The Church's pastor, Rick Sosbe, and his fiancee, Michael Rhen, recently became the first same-sex couple to get a marriage license in Augusta-Richmond County following the recent decision by the US Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage. (Michael Holahan/Augusta Chronicle)

“To me, it seems so interesting that they’re saying on there that you’ll burn―in other words saying ‘You’ll burn in hell,’ I’m sure―and quoting scripture. Is that what Christianity―right-wing, fundamentalist Christianity―has come to?”

Pastor Rick Sosbe

‘Tis a fair question. And even the pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer must pause to check his tongue; quite clearly this is not what Christianity itself has come to. Still, though, Pastor Rick asks a fair question.

And here is another question: Many on the American political right wing rushed in the wake of the Mother Emanuel massacre to dismiss white supremacism and characterize the killings as an attack against Christianity. Would they be so kind as to condemn this attack against Christianity? Sure, nobody’s dead, and that’s all to the good. But in this case it’s a real, actual, genuine attack against Christianity, so … you know … Hello?

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Sieczkowski, Cavan. “Church With Openly Gay Pastor Vandalized With ‘You’ll Burn'”. The Huffington Post. 24 July 2015.

Benen, Steve. “The Charleston massacre wasn’t about ‘religious liberty'”. msnbc. 19 June 2015.

Clarkson, Frederick. “Charelston Massacre an Attack on Christianity? Yes, But Not How the Christian Right Says”. Political Research Associates. 24 June 2015.

The Donald Trump Show (Trump Dump)

Real estate mogul Donald Trump announces his bid for the presidency in the 2016 presidential race during an event at the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City on 16 June 2015. Trump, one of America's most flamboyant and outspoken billionaires, threw his hat into the race Tuesday for the White House, promising to make America great again. The 69-year-old long-shot candidate ridiculed the country's current crop of politicians and vowed to take on the growing might of China in a speech launching his run for the presidency in 2016.

Welcome to the Donald Trump Show. We expect this will be, proverbially speaking, at least, interesting, and would encourage at all times to bear in mind that this is, after all, Donald Trump we’re talking about.

To wit, NBC has severed ties with Trump; Cynthia Littleton of Variety explains:

NBC is ending its long relationship with Donald Trump in the wake of the presidential hopeful’s recent comments about Mexican immigrants.

NBC said it will no longer carry the Trump-produced Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Nor will he return to the long-running reality show “The Celebrity Apprentice” as host, a role Trump already said he would give up because of his presidential bid.

“Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” NBC said in a statement. “At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.”

Trump told CNN that he was considering filing suit against NBC. He said in a statement that “NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct” before saying that NBC will support disgraced journalist Brian Williams “but won’t stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be.”

“We must have strong borders and not let illegal immigrants enter the United States,” Trump said. “As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now. Long ago I told NBC that I would not being doing ‘The Apprentice’ because I am running for president in order to make our country great again.”

So, here’s the thing: This might be a calculated gamble.

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The Problem With Bob Beckel

Chyron from FOX News, 14 July 2014

FOX News host Bob Beckel, described as the “token liberal” of the program, The Five is, in that context, a curious icon. Much like former Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA) demonstrated in 2004 just how low one must sink in order to satisfy Republicans, perhaps Beckel is a symbol of just how morally bankrupt one must be to satisfy the bosses at FOX News.

We heard last week of Beckel’s sinophobic rant, including an ethnic slur we haven’t heard much of for decades.

Now Bob wants you to know that he’s sorry if you were offended by what he said, but he’s not sorry for saying it:

During his apology, Beckel was nonspecific about what exactly he was apologizing for.

FOX News logo“I made some comments last week about Chinese people which apparently upset some people for which I apologize,” he said.

But he made it very clear his apology stopped there.

“I do not apologize for the things I said about China, and I won’t go into the litany of it now, because there are too many China apologists in this country,” he said. “But I will continue to warn the American people about how dangerous China is to the U.S. security and to our business community.

“But to those who were offended, I do apologize. I do not apologize to the Chinese government, or for the habits, or for the murders or anything else.”

(LaFond)

We must also remember, however, that Beckel is the sort of “token liberal” whose job is to play the fool. Like the time in 2013, when he wondered, “When’s the last time you heard about rape on a college campus?”

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