« Raising The Minimum Wage | Main | Guest Post: The Philippines And Iraq »

November 15, 2006

Comments

I suspect he's saying, "I have an irrational racist reaction to you, and so do many people in our society - how should you and I and they react to that fact?" Which if sincere is I think a rather brave and admirable thing to say. I don't know if it's something to say in public to a stranger, though - it would be hard enough for everyone to have it in private with a friend.

Let's pretend thhe Democrats somehow forced the administration to redeploy and/or withhdraw troops. Immediately thirty percent of the population would conclude that the Democrats had supported the enemy by making us cut and run. After a few years of the Noise Machine repeating the message it would become the conventional wisdom.
So Beck isn't bucking conventional wisdom: he's expressing it early.
Conventional wisdom can be vile.

It's not just an irrational, racist reaction, Rilkefan; it's a lightly veiled accusation of treason. Yes, on irrational, racist grounds, but still: "working with our enemies" goes somewhere specifically unpleasant.

Having been raised in Alabama with all-important traditional red state values, I was taught that some topics are not polite conversation - sex, money, politics, religion - and that one should try not to give offense to people you don't know. So about two-thirds of "political correctness" seems to be what my Great-Aunt Johnnie referred to as "decent manners."

The consequent definition of "politically incorrect" is left as an exercise for the reader, although Great-Aunt Johnnie would probably use some variation of "showing your ass." Probably after taking you out behind the woodpile with a hickory switch, though...

Is it Thanksgiving yet? I need sweet potato pie.

Having been raised in Alabama with all-important traditional red state values, I was taught that some topics are not polite conversation

Having spent a great deal of time in Alabama, what is not polite conversation just gets taken out back. Folks tend to be polite to your face when they're not hanging you out to dry with the neighbors.

Me, I'm thinking sometimes it's better just to get these things out in the open. Even if, by doing so, you become the target of hilzoy's ire.

"Me, I'm thinking sometimes it's better just to get these things out in the open."

It is a source of great joy. This fringe of tribalist reaction has been around all my life, ebbing and rising. McCarthy years. I read "None Dare Call It Treason" before I hit high school. I won't go on.

The good times are when it is recognized as formal, hate as affect indifferent to its object. Anti-communism was always a force, but when the segregationists attempted to use it, suddenly moderate Americans said:"Enough."

I think now Americans are starting to connect this current Islamophobia with the Reagan economic and social policies, and seeing it is all just hate. There is the infamous Lee Atwater story:"First we said The Ni***rs, then we said Crime, and now we say Taxes. Same thing"

Now that commonism is gone, the utter weirdness of the Right attacking a movement that shares many of its core values explains all. And as it becomes obvious that 90 per cent of the "Conservative" program derives from one emotion it will completely collapse.

Until the South rises, brain-eating zombies, once again.

A resurrection devoutly to be squished!

Until the South rises, brain-eating zombies, once again.

Not this year.

I'm fascinated by the various facets of political correctness, and I agree with Jon about how most of it is 'decent manners', but expressed in a kind of "reformalized' way, for want of a better term.

Slart's right, too.

I've watched a few minutes of this guy Beck now and again and I'm struck by the little ways he differentiates himself from Limbaugh and O'Reilly and company.

He fancies that he speaks big truth (I think he even gives air quotation marks when he thinks the truth is too big for us to handle)like the others do, but he plasters a big ingratiating grin on his face while he does it, like a little kid who repeatedly, because it is naughty in a show-biz sort of way, farts in church.

He really is very pleased with himself and has packaged his empty, shallow, small, smug sadisms in a jaunty, cheerful package, unlike his peers more grandious, bullying styles.

He's a reformed alcoholic and likes to milk that for what it's worth, too.

I find it odd that guests who KNOW they are going to be attacked and accused of some heinous item appear on these shows.

Plus Beck made the accusation cited here like King Richard III staying a murder; he wanted to receive credit for being in the giving vein today and 'wanting' to speak the awful truth and being 'nervous' about speaking the awful truth, and then speaking the awful truth, not that he really means the awful truth, but people may 'feel' (funny, that politically correct word coming out of his mouth) that, if he did speak the awful truth, that it may indeed be the awful truth, and what do you think of that, my honored guest?

Well, at this point, the guest Hilzoy cites might think he or she would rather be in Borat's movie, because humor at least seems to be in the vicinity.

I would like to see guests like this do something along the lines of, after Beck poses his freighted question, pause momentarily, as if thinking of an answer, and then fling the contents of his water cup in Beck's face ..... or lean forward with a sickly look on his or her face and vomit copiously down Beck's front and then stand, straighten his tie or her scarf, and walk calmly off camera, as if feeling much better now, thank you very much.

A guest could also offer Beck the alcoholic contents of a hip flask and when he demures because of his little personal weakness, the guest should say, like Jack Nicholson said to Shirley MaClain (sp?) in the movie:

"I think you could really use a drink because it might kill that bug you have up your *ss."

Jon: "Is it Thanksgiving yet? I need sweet potato pie."

Mrs. R. dislikes pumpkin pie; I dislike turkey (esp. the tryptophan). I think it's chicken (couldn't convince her to try a goose) and pecan pie for us this time, so hurrah.

JM - well, he said "I feel x, but !x". I assume lots of Americans feel x for lizard-brain reasons (and don't think !x for that matter), and we might as well have a conversation about it. Of course if Beck wasn't being sincere his comment was vile.

American Heritage lists "deny or contradict (a statement or accusation)" as a definition for "refute".

I only bring this up because I was banned from a certain right-wing blog for pointing this out to the wrong person.

The Right Wing Hate Parade:

Beck, Coulter, Riley, Hannity, Limbaugh, Liddy, Hewitt, Ingraham, etc.

Or has conservative hate media also lost its way and not behaved like true conservatives?

Refute does have a different use, especially in logic.

Example: person says "A implies B, B implies C. Here, we have C is true, therefore A is true"
Other person refutes their argument by showing the logic above is incorrect.

Reject is used when the logic is correct. In the above example, A is true, therefore C is true. Other person says "C is some horrible evil thing, so your logic can sit in the dump for all I care"

Rilkefan, I think you're projecting something the text of the transcript doesn't support. At no point does Beck say anything like "Senator-elect, part of me wants to ask you to prove you're not a traitor...and I'm ashamed of this" or "...and I realize that's grossly inappropriate and wish I didn't" or anything like that. He never says anything to simply and clearly indicate that he knows it's a bad idea to accuse a citizen elected to high office of presumptive treason just because of his religion. He didn't even ask something like "I know that Islam is most of the way as old as Christianity, and I understand it's very diverse in practice. Here you are taking part in civic affairs with the same commitment and peacefulness as your colleagues of many different faiths and outlooks. How does Islam as you practice it differ from Islam as our enemies practice it? What do you see as responsible for encouraging their turn to violence?" None of that. He seems to me to be insisting that any answer affirm his prejudices, rather than risk an opportunity to learn something that would challenge them.

Bruce, I'm only seeing a little snippet, which seems in text anyway to be quite respectful (ok, I cringed at "Somalians" instead of "Somali-Americans" or whatever) under the assumptions that he's sincere and that it's important to discuss common prejudice however repugnant. He says, "I really don't believe that Islam is a religion of evil"; he says he's nervous about the interview because he feels x but knows not x, which sounds like he's ashamed of his feelings. I can't really count it against him that he didn't say the wonderful stuff you don't put in his mouth above - I'm looking for truth, openness, sincerity before eloquence.

Rilkefan: I'm looking for truth, openness, sincerity before eloquence.

That's odd: when I was truthful, open, and sincere about how I felt about you, you got pretty damned annoyed about it. So, can I take it I can go back to being truthful, open, and sincere about you - and you'll tell Hilzoy I get an exemption from the posting rules for it?

This is a sarcastic question, of course. I recognize - when not acutely angry - that the posting rules at Obsidian Wings are there for good reason. And when I am acutely angry, I've taken to moving away from the keyboard. (Doesn't always work in time, but hey.) I recognize that saying exactly what I think of you doesn't actually accomplish anything - even though I can link directly to the comments that permanently changed my opinion of you.

But, again: when I was truthful, honest, and sincere about you, you didn't like it one bit, and complained about it a lot. It's very easy for you to say you like truthfulness, honesty, and sincerity, when someone else is the target: but when I know that you loathe it when you're the target, I do not feel you are being sincere in your assertion - and suspect that you are, really, being neither truthful and honest, either.

Yeah, be brave, get it out in the open, be the voice of bigotry. Next time Lieberman comes on the show I'm sure nobody would complain if he's confronted with a barrage of anti-semitic claptrap, because after all there's still this deep-seated suspicion against jews in certain parts of the populace.

Here's how I might have responded.

I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not a genocidal cretin."

And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being a genocidal cretin, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."

That's odd: when I was truthful, open, and sincere about how I felt about you, you got pretty damned annoyed about it.

Very deft threadjack, there.

OT - It appears my apprehensions about Democrats being elected and putting an end to my entertainment were, premature:

"When the ethnic-religious break occurs in one country, it will not fail to occur elsewhere, too," Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Germany's Der Spiegel newsweekly recently. "It would be as it was at the end of the Soviet Union, only much worse. Large wars, small wars -- no one will be able to get a grip on the consequences."

...
In Damascus, a Syrian analyst close to the Assad government warned that other countries would intervene if Iraq descended into full-scale civil war. "Iran will get involved, Turkey will get involved, Saudi Arabia, Syria," said the analyst, who spoke on condition he not be identified further.

...
Letters placed at the doors of Sunni families -- sometimes with bloody bullets tucked inside the envelopes -- warned Sunnis to leave. Shiite boys as young as 10 took to wearing the black clothes of the militias, and they promised her 10-year-old son, Ahmed, they would burn him alive in his house at night as he slept.

Though maybe the Syrians are just talking smack.

Rilkefan: "...I dislike turkey..."

Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.

Jeez, I need a 2d cup of coffee.

My 1st reaction to Hilzoy's post was, "damn, Beck's a freakin' Scientologist and he's harshing on the Muslims? What nerve!"

Wrong Beck, of course. Actually, I would much rather see Beck Hansen doing a CNN political show. It would be different, I'm sure.

It's an accusation of treason. Full stop.

Racist guilt by association, cowardly hiding behind a contrived attempt to suggest he's just expressing his innermost fears.

How do I know? Because it wasn't a question. It was a command. He didn't say "how do I know you're not working with our enemies?" He challenged Ellison to prove it, positioning himself automatically as owning the moral highground and positioning Ellison in the position of the suspect "other." It's racism, pure and simple.

Once, just once, I would like to see a leftist on one of these shows respond to accusations of treason by leaning over and punching the interviewer in the face. Good and hard. Right wingers of all people should understand the concept of "fighting words."

Don't you think comments such as Beck's point out what your political and moral rhetoric is going to be when it's shaped by a certain kind of political and moral input? Here he is, his beloved party crumpled by its shot to the groin, faced with a (gulp!)Moslem congressman freshly elected by that scissor-kicking party... but thanks to six years of Coulter, election-engineering, economy-gutting, faith-based initiatives, a idiotic war now gone all hideous and everything, well...

God, I could go on. But when the vectors of your rhetoric and political deliberation have been so thoroughly shaped by the above, what else do you expect? It's easy to be surprised, and so you need to be; what should surprise you more is how thorough the effect of suspension of critical thinking is. Then you're no longer shocked; you're saddened - and pissed off.

Diane Rehm has people from Al Jazeera English on today. She's getting e-mail from people calling her "extreme far left", "almost traitorous" (thanks for the "almost"), and "the network of terrorist sympathizers", plus ranting people saying they'll cancel their Comcast cable subscription if Comcast picks AJE up.

plus ranting people saying they'll cancel their Comcast cable subscription if Comcast picks AJE up

Well that's interesting, will they really turn down their cable TV fix in order to satisfy their latent racist/jingoist tendencies? I'm betting NASCAR wins.

Jes: "That's odd: when I was truthful, open, and sincere about how I felt about you, you got pretty damned annoyed about it."

First off, if I correctly recall the incident you're referring to, you were lying about my position, which was what annoyed me - I'm not much concerned about your feelings about me. In any case I won't discuss this further. Second, if your irrational feeling is representative of a broad swath of your fellow citizens, I do care - I would be not delighted but grateful to have a conversation along the lines "I have feeling x about you, though I know it to be false" with one of them.


I rather wonder what Ellison, who from the snippet transcript comes off well, feels about the interview. His reaction would shape mine. If for no other reason his past affiliation with the Nation of Islam ought to make him acutely aware that there are many issues in this country that ought to be confronted in public.

Ugh, I'm betting the ranter will never have to make that decision because Comcast won't carry it.

"It's racism, pure and simple."

Odd. I completely missed the part where race was mentioned.

He's a reformed alcoholic and likes to milk that for what it's worth, too.

It's not exactly part of the PC kerfuffle, but Beck does seem to have picked up the standard abuse of therapy cliches like "Use 'I' statements" and "Talk about your feelings." To some people, this means that statements like "I feel you're a dangerous traitor" are beyond reproach.

Slarti: Very deft threadjack, there.

Only if Rilkefan makes the mistake of responding to me. Even then, it can be salvaged if I refrain from responding to him.

Odd. I completely missed the part where race was mentioned.

You think that racism and Islamophobia have no cross-connection? Odd. Perhaps you've completely missed the news for the past six years?

Odd. I completely missed the part where race was mentioned.

Hitler wasn't racist either. He just thought people of the Jewish faith were subhuman.

But now I've mentioned Hitler, so I lose.

Only if Rilkefan makes the mistake of responding to me. Even then, it can be salvaged if I refrain from responding to him.

So, we can subtract one from the totality of things that are not all about Jesurgislac.

You think that racism and Islamophobia have no cross-connection?

One is not the other. Or perhaps you'd like to demonstrate that they are the same thing?

Other possibly relevant things Geoff Beck has said:

The Muslim community better find a spokesman who isn't a "yes, but" Muslim. They shouldn't even understand the word "but," because if they don't, when things heat up, the profiling will only get worse, and the razor wire will be coming.

Slarti: One is not the other. Or perhaps you'd like to demonstrate that they are the same thing?

Again with trying to get other people to do the work, Slarti! You made the assertion that racism played no part in those disgusting comments Beck made to and about Ellison: you should substantiate that assertion, if you can.

Beck was apparently responding to this, from a Muslim Miss England: "Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway." And note that he describes the razor-wire world as "grotesque".

But it sounds like Beck doesn't have the chops to engage this topic safely.

Re racism: Ellison's not invisible.

Maybe "prejudice" is more fitting, or "religious intolerance", or ...

.. you are a Democrat. You are saying, "Let's cut and run." And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."

Possible response;

...you are a Republican. You are saying, "Let's get more of our soldiers killed for no reason, and stretch our military to the breaking point." And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."

All Beck's comments about how he doesn't believe it, etc., are CYA, so he can deny accusing anyone of treason. The odious question is what counts.

"All Beck's comments about how he doesn't believe it, etc., are CYA"

How do you know?

I thought that Becks' suspicions about treason were based on the fact that Ellison is a "cut and run" Democrat, not his religion. That's what Beck says. He goes from "You're a Democrat" to "prove you are not working for our enemies". I'm sure the religion helps feed his prejudice, but the issue he has with Ellison is the political party affliation. He's very clear about that.
So fuck him. This is why I don't watch TV news.

"All Beck's comments about how he doesn't believe it, etc., are CYA"

How do you know?

The way he demanded that Ellison prove that he's not working for our enemies was a huge honkin' clue.

Prodigal: "The way he demanded that Ellison prove that he's not working for our enemies was a huge honkin' clue."

Beck: "And I know you're not [working for our enemies]. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy"

Either we read what people say and judge the extent to which they are telling the truth or lying based on some criteria, or we just give up on making sense of the human world.

How do you know?

I don't know. It's my opinion.

But it fits well with my experience of people saying they "don't really believe x," but then raising x as an issue nonetheless.

It fits with someone who wants to raise a question without being criticized for the implication of the question.

It has vague overtones of "Some of my best friends are..."

I wonder why, if he really doesn't believe it, how he can feel compelled to raise the question, espcially in the wording that he chose, which implies willful assistance to enemies of the country.

Why not,

"I think the policies you advocate are unwise and will help our enemies because... Can you tell me why you disagree?"

So you are right. I don't know. I suspect, and those are the reasons.

Either we read what people say and judge the extent to which they are telling the truth or lying based on some criteria, or we just give up on making sense of the human world.

I agree. But surely we are sometimes allowed to judge that someone is lying based on less than black-and-white evidence.

Suppose I say to you, "I don't doubt that you are a physicist, but could you please show me your credentials," I might just be a bureaucrat making sure all the personnel files are in proper order. Or I might be someone hostile to you who wants to question your credentials without being embarrassed when you have them.

And of course, if I then say, "Can you prove you didn't cheat on your exams?" you might form the opinion that, my statement notwithstanding, I did have doubts.

"So you are right. I don't know. I suspect, and those are the reasons."

Fair enough.


"I wonder why, if he really doesn't believe it, how he can feel compelled to raise the question"

Maybe because common prejudice is an important fact of human life, and sometimes it's best confronted openly.

If you've noticed, 'politically correct' is one of those phrases that is never used by the people to whom it applies. Makes me suspicious.

Can anyone think of a case where being politically incorrect was actually intellectually daring and insightful rather than just boorish?

I've just never, ever felt that there was a tension between being politically correct and being intellectually daring. But maybe that just reflects my sheltered lefty conformism. Perhaps I can be corrected.

Having said that, I'm kind of fond of the idea of holding a rally protesting Hilzoy's demeaning depiction of Tarzan.

Following the exam analogy, if there was a widespread opinion that the University of Chicago allowed its students to cheat on their tests, such a question might be reasonable.

In my view there's a perfectly reasonable unstrained interpretation of Beck's comments under which they are bracing, risky, and uneloquent but nevertheless useful. If Ellison (or to a lesser extent Beck's regular audience) was offended, that's important info in assessing that interpretation. Maybe Beck's just evil. If Ellison wasn't offended, that's important info too - maybe he knows many of his constituents' lizard brains distrust him and he was glad to be able to address the issue forthrightly. Maybe Beck's just a guy I wouldn't much like who's trying to do his best by his lights.

"I wonder why, if he really doesn't believe it, how he can feel compelled to raise the question"

Maybe because common prejudice is an important fact of human life, and sometimes it's best confronted openly.

But is he confronting his own prejudice or trying to confront the prejudices his viewers may feel? If his own, which it sure sounds like to me, then his denials are less than convincing.

More directly, he says,

And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."

I find this construction troubling. I've heard it before, and it often seems to mean "Even though I know I have no real basis for this feeling, it's what I believe, and it probably will determine my actions."

As I said, my opinion and experience. Yours may differ.

You made the assertion that racism played no part in those disgusting comments Beck made

You know, there's an infinity of things that I have not said; why pick that one?

Racism is not homophobia is not Francophobia, etc. Given that there are Muslims of all races, branding any anti-Muslim sentiments as racism is...ill-considered. You're the one who put the racism label on it, not me.

'I find this construction troubling. I've heard it before, and it often seems to mean "Even though I know I have no real basis for this feeling, it's what I believe, and it probably will determine my actions."'

That's fair - "many of my best friends are blah" is often followed by something bad. On the other hand, how does one have a conversation about prejudice without such statements? Either one is familiar with the Other or not, and in the former case one is stuck if the truth is unsayable.


"But is he confronting his own prejudice or trying to confront the prejudices his viewers may feel? If his own, which it sure sounds like to me, then his denials are less than convincing."

Maybe I have a worse opinion of talk-radio listeners than you. I can well imagine many people have a knee-jerk reaction of the sort described to a Muslim Democrat.


"As I said, my opinion and experience. Yours may differ."

My point wasn't really about my opinion - I'm just trying to be fair to the guy, which means reading charitably until proven guilty.

From Rilkefan:

Either we read what people say and judge the extent to which they are telling the truth or lying based on some criteria, or we just give up on making sense of the human world.
You chose a very interesting place to end your quote if you wanted to complain about people not using Beck's own words as the basis for judging the truth of his denial, Rilkefan. Here's that quote you offered again, but with the part you chose to left out restored:

"I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."

He's not accusing Ellison of being an enemy, but he feels he is. How is that anything other than an attempt at CYA? How could telling someone that you feel they are an enemy immediately after telling them that you're not going to accuse them of being what you feel they are anything whatsoever except for CYA?

Prodigal, I'm simply making the distinction between "feel" and "think", between emotion and reason, that is I believe customary in speaking English. I imagine Beck is doing the same. Whether or not one believes him is a separate matter - but there can't be any surprise about a statement of the form "B feels x but knows !x".

"Look, I'm not saying the Jews control the world, but that's the way I feel and I think most Germans feel that way."

I just love the way he sneaked in "you're a Democrat, you're saying cut and run" in the middle of the rabid xenophobia, so there was no easy way to argue with that part. If this were a trial, I would object "compound question and no foundation," and be sure of being sustained.

trilobite: I just love the way he sneaked in "you're a Democrat, you're saying cut and run" in the middle of the rabid xenophobia, so there was no easy way to argue with that part.

Orson Scott Card uses that kind of rhetorical style in his columns, too - an assortment of lies all tied together and sitting on top of each other, so that you really have to untangle everything and say "Okay, in order, you're telling the following lies and being offensive in the following ways:" and of course on TV there isn't time to do that.

Prodigal, I'm simply making the distinction between "feel" and "think", between emotion and reason, that is I believe customary in speaking English.
That's nice, Rilkefan. I, meanwhile, am making the distinction that if one says that one feels someone is guilty of someting immediately after claiming that one is not going to accuse that someone of the exact thing one feels that person is guilty of, one of the two statements has just been proven false. And the rarity of it being the second of the two statements is quite extreme.

Or to put it more bluntly, Beck was being a tapdancing little weasel.

Actually, Rilkefan has convinced me that I'm wrong about my suggestions for countering Beck and others of his ilk.

Rilkefan's strategy is like the Beatle strategy when the Blue Meanies invade Pepperland in "Yellow Submarine".

Vex them with troubadorian love and understanding and witty repartee. It drives them crazy. Even Glovey-Dovey doesn't know which way to point.

We can always fall back on the Apple Bonkers if things get dicey.

In other news, John Murtha has been soundly defeated. Hoyer is in.

And, sadly, Milton Friedman had died.

And, sadly, Milton Friedman had died.

And the failure of the free market is seen once again in its inability to cure death.

Senator Dodd has just introduced the following legislation (h/t zoeae at dKos):

"The Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act"

Restores Habeas Corpus protections to detainees

Narrows the definition of unlawful enemy combatant to individuals who directly participate in hostilities against the United States who are not lawful combatants

Bars information gained through coercion from being introduced as evidence in trials

Empowers military judges to exclude hearsay evidence they deem to be unreliable

Authorizes the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to review decisions by the Military commissions

Limits the authority of the President to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and makes that authority subject to congressional and judicial oversight

Provides for expedited judicial review of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to determine the constitutionally of its provisions

Do you think this is a shot-across-the-bow (since the old Senate is still in session) or do you think Dodd expects to actually have this one debated and voted on?

Wow, are we really going to have a distracting and pointless conversation about the absolutely unremarkable fact that the word "racism," even when not strictly accurate, is often used as convenient shorthand for a whole host of ethnic, religious and other bigotries? I sure hope not.

The irony is that when this guy takes the country over, you'll all be the first up agains the wall. Political correctness doesn't mean much when you've been beheaded. Glenn Beck is fighting for rights of people like you and yet you criticize him and try to destroy him. Ah, the self-defeating moonbat mind!

I thought he'd already taken over the country?

For those who are interested, here's footage of Beck posing the question to Ellison.

DougJ, is that you, the famous trolling jokester from Balloon Juice?

*For those who are interested (and haven't already clicked the MMFA post Hilzoy originally linked to).

Sigh.

OMFG IT'S DOUGJ!!!11

*gushes*

(Can we also expect Gary Ruppert and/or Al to make a cameo?)

"ah, the self-defeating moonbat mind!"

Turns out I was wrong about the Apple Bonkers. They worked for the Blue Meanies.

Quick, a chorus of "All You Need Is Love"!

I sure hope not.

That's a racist thing to say.

See? We can make it mean whatever we want.

"See? We can make it mean whatever we want."

Hey Slart, sure you want to step into the eternal struggle between the descriptivists and the prescriptivists?

For sick fools like Glenn Beck, "politically correct" means "not racist". If you really want to analyze what the words "politically incorrect" mean in this context, look no further than our enemy combatant policy, where it is politically correct and quite legal to detain indefinitely without access to counsel Muslim students who have never done anything wrong. Taking that into consideration, Beck's psuedo-provocative comments are actually extremely politically correct and pretty standard thinking for most of the Bush administration and the American media.

BTW, I was scanning around the radio dial this morning for practically anything that wasn't a commercial or a some orchestral rearrangement of "Take the 'A' Train", when I stumbled across Glenn Beck's show.

Glenn was talking about how he was beautifully taken down by Jon Stewart (his words, mostly), and how perhaps investment in a gross of additional caveats (my rephrase) might have possibly lessened the caterwauling outcry against his hatemongering.

Of course, despite his protests to the contrary, it's crystal clear that he is a hatemonger. It doesn't matter what he says; we all know what he's thinking, don't we?

Slarti: Glenn was talking about how he was beautifully taken down by Jon Stewart (his words, mostly), and how perhaps investment in a gross of additional caveats (my rephrase) might have possibly lessened the caterwauling outcry against his hatemongering.

I wonder what possible caveats Beck thinks might have made his accusation that an American was probably a traitor because of his religion sound better?

Don't get me wrong: if Beck realizes that it was an impossibly stupid thing to say, that's a big step, even though it hardly solves the problem: the next step is for Beck to realize that it was an impossibly stupid thing to think.

Perhaps some of the Muslims he claims to like even though he thinks they're traitors will point this out to him. But I suspect that this was a "some of my best friends are" lie.

I wonder what possible caveats Beck thinks might have made his accusation that an American was probably a traitor because of his religion sound better?

Possibly the one where he said he didn't think that? Probably since you missed that one, though, another one just like it would bounce off in the same way.

So, I'm thinking: probably there aren't enough caveats in the world to prevent intentional misinterpretation.

Rightist political hacks who have made a comfortable living with what actually has been far worse cant and lies over the last six-some years have become so accustomed to getting away with anything all the time without apology that it's no wonder some are trying now to 'explain' Beck's comments as just a gaffe, or a throwaway line, or even an honest grapple with one's own worst instincts. Beck should be so glad that he has so many shilling for him in this way. Hell's far, he couldn't perform the same ethical analysis on himself.

Program 'muslim' and 'democrat' (you don't even need 'black') into the ethical search engine of his way of thinking and this is what you'll come up with. It's that simple.

There's been a minor controversy about CNN's advertising a Glenn Beck special on the Daily Kos and other liberal blogs.

Mr. Beck, how can I be sure you are not a serial killing pedophile? After all, most are white males, are they not? Prove to me that you aren't a serial killing pedophile.

Of course, despite his protests to the contrary, it's crystal clear that he is a hatemonger. It doesn't matter what he says; we all know what he's thinking, don't we?

And Brutus is an honorable man.

FWIW, I don't think Beck's necessarily a hatemonger. I do think, and he essentially admitted as much, that he's a bigot. The fact that he's honest about it is probably preferable to him trying to cover it up; but neither are remotely as preferable as, well, him not being a bigot.

Slarti: Possibly the one where he said he didn't think that?

Possibly if he hadn't followed up saying he didn't think it by making the accusation anyway?

Anarch: fair enough. Anyone who's ever spent any time listening to Beck knows that he knows and admits to his flaws. And that in most cases, he's willing to engage in a conversation where it turns out he's been wrong. He's not my hero, but he's highly preferable to guys like Hannity and Limbaugh, who cannot ever be wrong.

Slarti: he's highly preferable to guys like Hannity and Limbaugh

From all I've heard about either of them, this is a compliment on the lines of "Bush: Not As Bad As Saddam".

I'm simply making the distinction between "feel" and "think", between emotion and reason, that is I believe customary in speaking English. I imagine Beck is doing the same.

Under that customary distinction, "I feel you're an enemy" is nonsense. "I'm afraid of you" is a feeling. "I hate you" is a feeling. "I'm angrily disturbed about the fact that you're a Muslim and you just won an election in the United States" is arguably a feeling. "You're an enemy" is not a feeling; it's a claim of fact.

We hear this kind of weaseling all the time, as an excuse to slip in hateful things without culpability. That's no reason to let it slide.

From Slartibartfast:

It doesn't matter what he says; we all know what he's thinking, don't we?
The fact that he said he felt Ellison was an enemy somehow managed not to be an indicator of what he was thinking?
I wonder what possible caveats Beck thinks might have made his accusation that an American was probably a traitor because of his religion sound better?

Possibly the one where he said he didn't think that?

You're mistaken, Slarti, as the transcript clearly shows that Beck said he felt that Ellison was an enemy (right after he said he wasn't going to accuse him of being one, natch).

Beck is trying to make it acceptable to question the loyalty of Muslims. If you think he isn't, you've never watched his show or you're just being dishonest.

I would love to know who his Muslim friends are? Please, that's giant clue number 1 that a bigoted statement is about to follow. If you don't know that yet you're really way too isolated.

And would it be too much to ask that in these conversations we could just skip the 20 posts where someone argues that it's not racism because Islam is not a race? For one, the exact wording isn't that relevant and two, it is appropriate to ascribe racism to issues of religion

What I love about that is the preface about how he loves Muslims. That's my favorite new Republican thing, something I'd like work into a new character, you know "Yes, we all agree that it is sad that Michael J. Fox has a degenerative disease, but is that any excuse for how much he hates America? I know plenty of people with horrible illnesses who still love America."

This I find offensive.

Ara: "Can anyone think of a case where being politically incorrect was actually intellectually daring and insightful rather than just boorish?"

I can name a few off the top of my head:

Molly Ivins
Paul Krugman
Juan Cole
John Stewart

But of course, they're being truly politically incorrect - defying the powers that be. Not 'politically incorrect', meaning 'rude, abusive and fraudulently heroic'.

With reference to Rilkefan's link: I've had multiple Christians tell me that I needed to "find Jesus" or "welcome Christ into my life", and while it can be irritating, silly, a little offensive because they're not respecting my right to my belief, it's nowhere near as offensive as being told _(as has also happened) that because I am an atheist, I am evil and untrustworthy.

That letter from the poor ass to a Hindu Congressman was more silly than it was offensive. Beck's assertion that he thinks all Muslims are traitors to the US was multiply, horribly offensive not only to the American Muslim he was speaking to, but to every American Muslim who heard him, and to every Muslim who heard it reported who didn't consider that their religion made them an enemy of the US.

Molly Ivins: intellectual daredevil.

"That letter from the poor ass to a Hindu Congressman was more silly than it was offensive."

Well, the timing's offensive. Send the guy another letter afterwards urging him to consider Jesus - that's 100% ok in my book, maybe a bit loopy but maybe kinda sweet too. Sending that letter as an elected official to one's elected replacement - totally out of line.

Well, the timing's offensive.

I don't think there's ever really a good time to tell a non-Christian they need to "find Jesus", actually.

But I still say it's nowhere near as offensive a message as "because of your religion, I consider you to be a traitor".

'I don't think there's ever really a good time to tell a non-Christian they need to "find Jesus", actually.'

Yes, but on the other hand an actually sincere fundamentalist is as far as I understand practically morally compelled to do so -
"Why should I be dismayed
Though flame had burned the whole
World, as it were a coal,
Now I have seen it weighed
Against a soul?"


'But I still say it's nowhere near as offensive a message as "because of your religion, I consider you to be a traitor"'

Sure, that would be vastly worse.

Rilkefan: Sure, that would be vastly worse.

So, why were you taking the position that when Beck did that to Ellison, it wasn't really offensive at all - it was "brave and admirable" and proved Beck was displaying "truth, openness, sincerity"? Yet you link to what you agree is a far less offensive e-mail with the words "This I find offensive."

"why were you taking the position that when Beck did that to Ellison"

Because Beck did not say he considered Ellison a traitor. His words as transcribed, if sincere, are simply inconsistent with that and are instead consistent with a person acknowledging his emotional bias (and admitting it to be shared by many people) and asking to discuss the issue with someone affected by that bias. (Here Socrates is not a man, from the other thread.)

rilkefan: back when I was a Christian, I used to think that it was extremely important to do whatever I could to help other people find salvation, and I think anyone who takes Christianity seriously would have to think so. (I mean: we recognize obligations to help people in all sorts of much less important matters; why not this?)

But recognizing that obligation leaves completely open the question of what, exactly, one can do to achieve that goal. For starters, I thought, I had to act in such a way as (at a minimum) not to make Christianity actually odious to people, and (if possible) to make it seem actually attractive. I also had to try to do this in ways that were consistent with the other things I understood about the will of God, which ruled out e.g. coercion, deception, manipulation, etc.

The letter Sullivan quotes is many things, but one of them is: tactically inept. If you really want to increase the likelihood that your life will bring people to Christ, writing such a letter is a really, really bad way to do it. It's a much better way of convincing yourself that you're trying to bring people to Christ, but that's a different matter altogether.

I had the uniformed impression that such tactical matters were sometimes doctrinal, hence beyond my discussing. Also I practically have to take a no-free-lunch-theorem view of the issue since I can't intuitively understand the whole religion thing.

"Molly Ivins: intellectual daredevil."

Posted by: Slartibartfast

Perhaps you were out of the country for the past six years, Slartibartfast; I understand the news doesn't cross water well (oh, if only there was some way of instantly transmitting news across the world!). At a time when the big media boys (and girls) were jockeying for a better spot licking George's boots, Molly was telling the truth about him.

At a time when the big media boys (and girls) would piss themselves with fear about possibly offending the Dear Leader, Molly was telling the truth about him.

It's amazing just how much real political incorrectness can piss people off.

rilkefan: not really, except in the sense that doctrine sometimes constrains (rather than dictating) tactics. Thus, my version of Christianity did not allow for forced conversions, which I'm sure relieved my friends and family a lot; the medieval Catholic church apparently disagreed. And I guess the Jehovah's Witnesses seem to have some sort of duty to knock on people's doors, though there again, there's a lot of room to think about what one should do when someone answers.

Rilke: Because Beck did not say he considered Ellison a traitor

Yes, he did.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad