LIBERALLY LOATHING: Andrew O’Hehir dislikes Rose of Sharon!

FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015

Part 5—Recalling what Dr. King said:
This morning, let’s visit some major personages of the liberal present and past.

We'll visit three such figures. Let’s start with Rose of Sharon.

Rose of Sharon Joad:
Rose of Sharon Joad, 18, was Tom Joad’s younger sister. At the end of The Grapes of Wrath, she engages in an unusual act which radically extends the novel’s theme that the family has to go on.

Steinbeck saw the Joads as part of the American family—as emblems of the 99 percent. Trust us—their real-life counterparts would have had plenty of social views which would have led us modern liberals to denounce them as “slack-jawed yokels from flyover country” as we drove them from our tents.

The one percent loves it when we do this! In the day, Ole Massa’s next generation invented our country’s basic way of dividing the 99 percent.

Today, salonist liberals like Andrew O’Hehir perform this invaluable service. When Ava DuVernay turns Lyndon Johnson into a drawling racist, we dumbly stand and cheer.

Hillary Clinton: Our salonist wing spent last week denouncing the “slack-jawed yokels.” They were upset that a young woman in a small-town pizza joint isn’t on the exact same page we liberals are on at this precise point in time.

Because we aren’t the loftiest people, we seem to enjoy kicking down. We thought of this tendency when Anne Gearan quoted Hillary Clinton in last Saturday’s Washington Post.

Gearan was hard at work inventing a possible campaign dispute. Along the way, she quoted Clinton scolding two entire states for their flawed understandings.

At issue was Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” This is the way Gearan’s report appeared in our hard-copy Post:
GEARAN (4/4/15): In the current controversy, Clinton waded in last week using one of her favorite platforms, Twitter, to condemn Indiana for approving its version of the law. “Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today,” she tweeted. “We shouldn't discriminate against ppl bc of who they love #LGBT”

Then when Arkansas lawmakers approved a similar version this week, Clinton tweeted again. “Like IN law, AR bill goes beyond protecting religion, would permit unfair discrimination against #LGBT Americans. I urge Governor to veto,” she wrote.
Had Clinton really “condemned Indiana?” In fairness, that was Gearan’s construction. Still, we had to marvel at the wider field of play.

Until last year, Clinton opposed same-sex marriage. By her lights, there wouldn’t have been any same-sex weddings at all!

Now, it could seem that she was condemning whole states because some of their florists didn’t want to participate in same-sex ceremonies. Meanwhile, within our liberal tribe, our “dumb aggressives” were kicking down hard at a small-town pizza point owner.

We’ve always been like this, of course. Remember when Keith Olbermann and his slimy friend aimed waves of misogynistic insults at Carrie Prejean because she didn’t support same-sex marriage? President Obama held the same position, but KO dumped a truckload of misogyny on Prejean’s head because she was a white evangelical Christian and a young blonde woman.

What on earth has led us to think that we’re the good, decent people? It must be the way the brain is wired! There’s no other real explanation.

Clinton’s tweets were lofty and high-minded. Still and all, just last year, she had a different view. We the liberals are sometimes quite slow to observe such distinctions. Because Crystal O’Connor still has last year’s view, we felt the need to denounce her last week with reams of class- and race-based insults.

Do we think that other voters don’t see us behaving this way? The plutocrats are very happy to see the things we do.

Recalling what Dr. King said: In Indiana, some couples would have to call a second florist in order to plan their wedding. We modern liberals took to the ramparts to say this was Selma again.

Whatever you may think of these issues, that strikes us as a stretch. Inevitably, though, some in our tribe reacted to such thoughts by raining class-, race- and gender-based insults on the yokels’ and hillbillies’ heads.

We forget that our own most exalted leaders held the same positions ten minutes ago. We also rush to forget what Dr. King said.

In fairness, no florists were involved at the time. Dr. King, just turned 27, was reacting to a lesser event—the bombing of his home with his wife and infant daughter inside.

It was January 1956. The Montgomery bus boycott was underway. Dr. King, who was fairly new to the city, had been selected as the primary spokesman for its black community.

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning history, Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch describes what happened on the night of this bombing. Dr. King was informed of the bombing while at a public meeting. It still wasn’t known if his wife and daughter were safe.

By the time he reached his home, the mayor and the police commissioner were present. So was an angry crowd, some of whom were armed. After ascertaining that his wife and daughter were safe, King walked onto the porch.

Because his home had just been bombed, no one could quibble with his use of the word “hate.” This is Branch’s account of what Dr. King said and did:
BRANCH (page 165): King walked out onto the front porch. Holding up his hand for silence, he tried to still the anger by speaking with an exaggerated peacefulness in his voice. Everything was all right, he said. “Don’t get panicky. Don’t do anything panicky. Don’t get your weapons. If you have weapons, take them home. He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword. Remember that is what Jesus said. We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love.”
Say what? We want to do what?

Remember—Dr. King was speaking about people who really did “hate.” He didn’t have to pretend that he was confronting “haters,” a practice we love today.

“Be good to them,” he told the crowd. “We must meet hate with love.”

Dr. King’s words on the porch have been recorded in slightly different ways. In his earlier Pulitzer-winning book, Bearing the Cross, David Garrow adds one fascinating piece of advice from Dr. King:

“We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. Love them and let them know you love them.”

Love them and let them know you love them? This peculiar suggestion noted, we return to Branch’s account of Dr. King’s words on the porch:
BRANCH (continuing from above): By then, the crowd of several hundred people had quieted to silence, and feeling welled up in King for an oration. “I did not start this boycott,” he said. “I was asked by you to serve as your spokesman. I want it to be known the length and breadth of the land that if I am stopped, this movement will not stop. If I am stopped, our work will not stop. For what we are doing is right. What we are doing is just. And God is with us.”

King stepped forward to a chorus of “Amens,” but as soon as [police commissioner] Sellers stepped forward to speak, the mood vanished as suddenly as it had arrived. The mob booed him. When policemen tried to shout them down, they booed even louder.

King raised his hand again. “Remember what I just said,” he cried. “Hear the Commissioner.”
Say what? We the people weren’t even allowed to boo the police commissioner?

Below, we’ll show you Dr. King’s account of what he said that night. First, let’s recall what he said in Stride Toward Freedom about the city commissioners.

Later on the night of the bombing, the Kings were at a church member’s home, where they had gone for safety. In this passage, Dr. King described his thoughts about the people who had just bombed his home, and about the city leaders he felt had enabled their conduct.
DR. KING (page 138): I could not go to sleep. While I lay in that quiet front bedroom, with a distant street lamp throwing a reassuring glow through the curtained window, I began to think of the viciousness of people who would bomb my home. I could feel the anger rising when I realized that my wife and baby could have been killed. I thought about the city commissioners and all the statements that they had made about me and the Negro generally. I was once more on the verge of corroding anger. And once more I caught myself and said: “You must not allow yourself to become bitter.”

I tried to put myself in the place of the police commissioners. I said to myself these are not bad men.
They are misguided. They have fine reputations in the community. In their dealings with white people they are respectful and gentlemanly. They probably think they are right in their methods of dealing with Negroes. They say the things they say about us and treat us as they do because they have been taught these things. From the cradle to the grave, it is instilled in them that the Negro is inferior. Their parents probably taught them that; the schools they attended taught them that; the books they read, even their churches and ministers, often taught them that; and above all the very concept of segregation teaches them that. The whole cultural traditional under which they have grown—a tradition blighted with more than 250 years of slavery and more than 90 years of segregation—teaches them that Negroes do not deserve certain things. So these men are merely the children of their culture. When they seek to preserve segregation they are seeking to preserve only what their local folkways have taught them was right.
“I said to myself these are not bad men!” Even their ministers taught them the things they believe, an incredulous Dr. King said.

Try to remember who and what Dr. King was talking about. He wasn’t talking about a florist who says she regards a gay customer as a friend. He wasn’t talking about a pizza joint owner who serves gay costomers in her store but doesn’t want to participate in a ceremony she regards as religious.

On the night his house was bombed, Dr. King refused to hate. His own account of what he said is almost embarrassing in the modern liberal contest. We modern liberals may want to avert our gaze:
DR. KING (page 137): In this atmosphere I walked out to the porch and asked the crowd to come to order. In less than a moment there was complete silence. Quietly I told them that I was all right and that my wife and baby were all right. “Now let’s not become panicky,” I continued. “If you have weapons, take them home. We cannot solve this problem through retaliatory violence. Remember the words of Jesus: ‘He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword.’ ” I then urged them to leave peacefully. “We must love our white brothers,” I said, “no matter what they do to us. We must make them know that we love them. Jesus still cries out in words that echo through the centuries: ‘Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; pray for them that despitefully use you.’ This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love. Remember,” I ended, “if I am stopped, this movement will not stop, because God is with the movement. Go home with this glowing faith and this radiant assurance.”
We must love our white brothers and make them know we love them?

In the modern context, those words may feel embarrassing. During that earlier era, other black ministers gave this advice on the occasion of other bombings. We saw videotape of this conduct on C-Span just last year.

Dr. King was talking about people who had just firebombed his home. He didn’t call them hillbillies, rednecks or even slack-jawed yokels.

Thinking of the city commissioners, he told himself that they were good men. He kept telling the black community and its white friends that they had to refuse to hate the people who were conducting and enabling these “vicious” acts.

It’s possible that we modern liberals wouldn’t like Dr. King very much. In their comments at Salon, our “dumb aggressives” would almost surely rain insults on his head for the way he just kept praising “the love ethic of Jesus.”

Here at THE HOWLER, we keep telling the analysts that Andrew O’Hehir is a good person, and we’re sure he is. We tell them that name-calling liberals are good people with a blind spot which makes them the plutocrats’ friend.

“They say the things they say about pizza shop owners because they have been taught these things,” we tell the young people. “From the cradle to the grave, it is instilled in them that the slack-jawed yokels are inferior.”

“Even their ministers tell them that,” we have been heard to say. We point to the letters from the rabbi and the minister in last Thursday’s New York Times.

Gradually, the youngsters have started accepting this dog food. That said, they still see these liberals kicking way down at people like Rose of Sharon.

Divide and conquer, the plutocrats say. We liberals seem eager to serve them.

Where did Dr. King get these ideas: “As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi my skepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished...”

For more selections from Stride Toward Freedom, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/3/10. We recommend the whole book.

125 comments:

  1. So I take it that Dr. King believed that meeting hate with love was sufficient, and no further action, especially by the federal government, was necessary to protect the civil rights of all citizens.

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    1. "So I take it that..."

      Yeah, sure you do.

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    2. If you don't have anything to contribute, troll at 12:28 PM, then buzz off.

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    3. Buzz off implies the person is an insect. Even slack jawed yokels need to have their flawed humanity respected.

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    4. Slack jawed yokel, baggy pants thug. Our culture has no shortage of groups we'd rather not deal with.

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    5. "Our culture has no shortage of groups we'd rather not deal with."

      Rather not deal with? The GOP courts them for votes. That's a funny way to "not deal with".

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    6. Anon 11:40's comment is simply the old reductio ad absurdum argument flogged incessantly by shit-for-brains sophists.
      Yawn!

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    7. In other words, spot-on and you've got know answer but the ad hominem, flogged incessantly by Bob and his disciples immediately aftter another "love your enemies" lecture aimed solely at the other tribe.

      You learn well, Grasshopper.

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  2. BOB: "He didn’t call them hillbillies, rednecks or even slack-jawed yokels."

    KING: "The whole cultural traditional under which they have grown—a tradition blighted with more than 250 years of slavery and more than 90 years of segregation—teaches them that Negroes do not deserve certain things. So these men are merely the children of their culture."

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    1. If you have a point, please state it directly.

      The juxtaposition you have presented above suggests you don't think there was 250 years of slavery, etc., but these are historical facts. So what are you saying?

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    2. Perhaps his point is that where Somerby claims our culture is melting, King said it had been blighted for a quarter of a millenium.

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    3. The point is, what "cultural tradition" was King speaking of?

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    4. There wasn't a tradition of slavery and Jim Crow in the South?

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  3. There once was a Bob Somerby who used to rail against the practice of picking out the worst thing said by one member of the "other tribe" and pretending that's the way the entire "other tribe" thinks.

    This Somerby has gone even further than that. He is now imagining voices that called the pizza shop owners "rednecks and slack-jawed yokels" and applying that to everyone who spoke out against
    the proposed laws in Indiana and Arkansas -- and got those laws changed.

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    1. Somerby's "imagining" that?

      Somerby says "everyone" is wrong?

      Is this the bullshit you have to tell yourself to keep from acknowledging that he has a pretty good point?

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    2. He would have a pretty good point if he offered evidence of it.

      Unfortunately, neither Somerby nor his sheep seem to require of him that which he demands of others.

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    3. We're imagining the brouhaha of the past week?

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    4. "We're imagining the brouhaha of the past week?"

      Not at all. Conservatives really did try to legalize bigotry against homosexuals.
      I, too, was hoping I just imagined it happened.

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    5. Bigotry against anyone is legal. Bigoted actions on certain bases, including religion, are frequently illegal.

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    6. Corrected:
      Not at all. Conservatives really did try to legalize bigoted actions against homosexuals in the year 2015.
      I, too, was hoping I just imagined it.

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    7. Discrimination based on what someone "is" is bigotry. Discrimination based on what someone "does" is not. The pizza joint owners deserved every penny of their windfall.

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    8. So, you think homosexuality is something people choose to "do" rather than who they "are."

      Another one of the great minds of the 19th Century.

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    9. Gay marriage is something people choose to "do" and it isn't bigotry not to serve a gay wedding even if only gays have gay weddings. Abortion is something someone chooses to "do" and it isn't bigoted to refuse to serve an abortion party even if only females have abortions.

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    10. Limiting your liability by incorporating your business is a choice. Play by the rules of society (don't discriminate), or we'll revoke your liability limitations.

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    11. Incorporating a business does not require the relinquishing of one's First Amendment rights.

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  4. "When Ava DuVernay turns Lyndon Johnson into a drawling racist, we dumbly stand and cheer."

    Gee, when I saw "Selma," I thought Lyndon Johnson was portrayed, fairly or unfairly, as being somewhat reluctant to press voting rights so soon after passing the Civil Rights Act until the events of Selma forced his hand.

    Of course, in Bob's World, that can only mean he was portrayed as a "drawling racist" and that all liberals cheered that portrayal.

    Wow!

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    1. You obviously didn't watch the Oscars.

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    2. What did Ava DuVernay do at the Oscars?

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    3. Lyndon Johnson did drawl. And he lifted his dogs up by their ears.... caught as much shit for it as Romney did by putting the Irish Setter's cage on top of the station wagon.

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    4. Perhaps, Anon. @ 12:07, you should read Robert Caro's biography of LBJ, a more reliable source regarding his actions, than a fictionalized movie, to base your opinions on.

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    5. Horace, I can't see where 12:07 expressed any opinion of LBJ at all.

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  5. Well, at least we can all agree that hating Bob is A-OK!

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    1. Oh, I don't hate Bob at all! I just happen to think he is more dishonest than the people he rails against. Not to mention rambling. So what was the Rose of Sharon thing about? Bob apparently forgot to flesh that thought out.

      I would also like to see him produce some evidence that Hillary Clinton ever specifically and explicitly "opposed same-sex marriage."

      As I recall her position, she tried to strike that murky middle ground calling for "civil union" laws that would grant gay couples the full rights and benefits of married couples, while trying not to call that "marriage."

      Stretching that into "she opposed same sex marriage until last year" is dishonesty at its worst.

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    2. Being for civil unions is against same-sex marriage in the same way as Obamacare is not single-payer health care. It is a political position based in expediency.

      No one uses language as precisely as you demand but we don't call people dishonest because of it. You have some other reason to hate Somerby that you are not sharing. The rest of us don't consider him perfect, nor do we demand perfection, and are fine with him expressing his ideas, whether we agree or not. You, not so much.

      It isn't good for your mental health to be here doing your thing every day. Why not find a hobby, get a job, buy a dog, read a book, take a walk, help a friend, or do something else productive with your time?

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    3. It isn't good for your mental health to read the combox. Go away.

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    4. Ah, the spokesman for the "rest of us."

      And FYI, part of Somerby's new schtick, now that his comedy career is apparently over, is to demand perfection in language then rail in the vilest of terms against those who do not meet his standard of perfection, even as he preaches to OTHERS to "love your enemies."

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    5. ---Ah, the spokesman for the "rest of us."

      Well sometimes a girl just gets tired of only getting to write the disclaimers.

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    6. 1:49 PM says,

      You have some other reason to hate Somerby that you are not sharing.

      Sure he's sad and lonely but my best guess is that 12:20 PM thinks there's some special relationship between himself and Rachel Maddow and he's here to protect her honor by constantly maligning Somerby. I may be wrong about this particular but that's what I'm assuming is compelling 12:20 AM and I will continue to assume that until he fesses up there's some other motivation that's at all credible sounding.

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    7. CMike, this is the second post in two days where you have made the comment about somebody wanting to protect Maddow. Yesterday you made it about me and I am not the author of the comment to which you direct your identical remark today.

      You are, of course entitled to state whatever mistaken befuddled opinion you happen to hold. As am I entitled to the observation that you are extremely dense.

      Delete
    8. 3:23, Sure, CMike is sad and lonely, but my best guess is that he thinks there's some special relationship between himself and Bob Somerby and he's here to protect his honor by constantly maligning Maddow. I may be wrong about this particular but that's what I'm assuming is compelling CMike and I will continue to assume that until he fesses up there's some other motivation that's at all credible sounding.

      Delete
    9. 5:12 PM,

      If I was showing up and sounding unhinged in more than 50% of the threads around here- and for a long while there almost invariably as the first person to comment at all- I would think it fair to ask me to explain myself. But that's not what I'm doing.

      To be sure, I am a fan of Somerby, no shame in that. (I guess Maddow love is best kept a secret.) I'd like to be able to read through the threads of his parent posts without continually running into a lot of acting out by the maladjusted and pitches for someone's marital counseling scam. I certainly can't curtail the latter with anything I write and I probably can't slow down the former's annoyances from cluttering up the place either, but every now and again I like to try.

      Delete
    10. "If I was showing up and sounding unhinged in more than 50% of the threads around here . . ."

      "If"??

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    11. @ 1:40 AM,

      Yeah, "if". For instance, I posted in just five of the last twenty comment threads at the Howler including this one. Safe to say then it wasn't me showing up in 50% of this last batch of twenty, or in the ten batches of twenty before that, fancying myself to be some sort of desk chair Captain Ahab in hot pursuit of a demon.

      Delete
    12. Yeah, good thing you don't post sycophantic, rambling, lengthy cut-and-paste, and logically disconnected "defenses" of your hero. Otherwise, people might get the impression you're an idiot.

      Delete
    13. I see CMike got up early this Saturday morning to complain about how much time others spend on this blog..

      Delete
    14. I see the comment box is visiting some major personages of the liberal present and past. Captain Ahab and Lt. Commander Queeg.

      For balance, let me mention the jihad of the Washington Post against Hillary Clinton.

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    15. And the NY Times and Huffington Post and Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews and much of MSNBC and all the ex-Obama folks from the left, and those who think if Hillary doesn't run then Elizabeth Warren might (or Bernie Sanders).

      Today Dowd compared Clinton to Richard Nixon. Fortunately people rebelled against that equation in her comment box.

      Delete
  6. An article suggests that the situation Bob decries may be a case of liberals following the approach of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals". His techniques include attacking one's opponents.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Alinsky's a piker. Everyone knows you you don't attack your opponents, you just legally codify bigotry against them.

      Delete
    2. "an article ...." It's Powerline blogpost citing a WSJ article by .0000001%er Pete Peterson about the flaws he claims exist in "liberal governance.".

      If David in Cal couldn't lie, he'd have nothing to post..

      Delete
    3. matty -- I said there was "an article". As you acknowledged, I provided a link "citing a WSJ article." In what way do you think I lied?

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    4. You linked to a weblog post and called it an article and you misrepresented Peterson's article. Not surprising that you can't see it.

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    5. I am more offended that DinC would link to an article without disclosing it was by and about Professors.

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  7. This post hangs together perfectly.

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    1. Yes, especially with Bob taking the role of Dr. King and quieting the analysts.

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  8. Somerby is correct.
    Calling the dishonest "rednecks and rubes" is wrong.

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    1. In 2008 Obama's people called WVA Hillary supporters similar names, along with "low information voters". Feelings were hurt that will have to be mended, but I think it is a tradition on the left to use such names against opponents and I agree with Somerby that it reflects a kind of regional bigotry. A lot of white Southerners moved to Chicago in the diaspora so maybe that's where it comes from.

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    2. Were you a WVA Hillary supporter?

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    3. Who exactly were these "Obama's people" and what "similar names" did they call Hillary supporters in West Virginia?

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    4. Did these white Southerners move to Chicago in the diaspora to join the pogroms Somerby mentioned the other day? If so, should we support the creation of a religious state for them in underutilized parts of Oklahoma, perhaps on the very farm repossessed right out from under the bare feet of pregnant Rose of Sharon?

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    5. They're from Appalachia, not OK or the dust bowl.

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    6. Diaspora and pogroms. Appalachian Spring.

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  9. "Here at THE HOWLER, we keep telling the analysts that Andrew O’Hehir is a good person, and we’re sure he is. We tell them that name-calling liberals are good people with a blind spot"

    This was one of Bob O'Hehir's most insightful posts ever. Andrew Somerby's best!

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  10. Very clear from reading this post why Andrew O'Hehir dislikes Rose of Sharon. The logic is flawless.

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    1. He liked "The Grapes of Wrath" though. Check out this review. It reads just like a Somerby post.

      http://www.salon.com/2013/02/23/sometimes_oscar_gets_it_right/

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    2. I thought Somerby did a better job reviewing O’Hehir's review of "Django Unchained." His readers at the time didn't.

      http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2013/01/on-balance-charles-blow-rejects-django.html

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    3. I think Bob is saying that O'Hehir wouldn't breastfeed any Hoosiers.

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    4. Well of course not. For all his demonstrated leadership over time, the movie reviewer for Salon is not going to push past a minor fictional character for one of the top spots in liberal major personage.

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  11. And, ladies and gentlemen, we call that act, "The Aristocrats!"

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  12. "I sit here and I wonder, where in the world can I be.
    I love those who hate me but they still keep killing me".
    Dr. King was a great man. I assuredly am not.
    He was killed by a racist. I do not forgive James Earl Ray.
    I am black. My 3 children and 2 grandsons are black.
    All my children are college graduates. All work for a living.
    I hope my grand-children will do the same.
    I am old, ready to go.
    The odds are very long, but If anyone hurts my children or grand-children I promise that I will try to hunt them down and exact revenge.

    LG

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    1. Liam Neeson, ladies and Gentleman!!

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    2. True. Fun is good.

      LG

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  13. KING: "Jesus still cries out in words that echo through the centuries: ‘Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; pray for them that despitefully use you.’ This is what we must live by."

    So despite King clearly citing his source, our resident Ivy League philosophy major then wonders where King got such ideas.

    And he comes up with: “As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi my skepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished...”

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    1. King had no doubts about what Jesus said to do. His doubts were about whether it would "work" to achieve his goals. You attribute this to Somerby instead of to the books about King. Why is that, other than Somerby derangement syndrome?

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    2. Thanks once again to a Bob fan for explaining that Somerby really didn't mean "Where did Dr. King get these ideas" when he wrote "Where did Dr. King get these ideas."

      What he really, really meant but failed to write was "Where did Dr. King learn that these ideas would work to achieve his goals."

      Always nice to have someone who speaks Somerby to translate into English.

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    3. So sad when adults cannot read and think anyone who can is translating into English. I suppose someone must be below average to offset all those kids from Lake Wobegon

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    4. Sorry, but I long for a blogger who means what he says and says what he means clearly without his bending and twisting seven rather short words into what they really, really wanted him to say.

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    5. Tell us again why you're here.

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    6. Tell "us" again why you care so much. Oh, I remember. You don't like to read opinions contrary to the ones you already hold so dearly.

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    7. If only trolls had actual opinions. Their only purpose here is to attack Somerby. It gets so old.

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    8. Tell us again why you think a comments as banal as the ones @2:25 on are worth thinking, much less typing and then sharing.

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  14. And you know, long after KO's Carrie Prejean episode, somebody's ex-roomie hired him to take his schtick to the ex-roomie's network.

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    1. You don't mean the guy who, during his long service as a Presidential candidate, took the initiative in creating the wage gap as a campaign issue, do you?

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    2. Yes, the same guy who wasn't talking about Willie Horton when he accused Dukakis of setting killers free in 1988.

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    3. Many slack jawed yokels confirmed the farm chores of the guy with initiative who, after all, was himself a reporter who didn't name names. He didn't even mention the name of the fellow reporter who falsely fingered him as the role model for Ollie III. That is, if we are talking about the same guy.

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  15. Blogger is champing at the bit to come to the defense of the South Carolina cop against"we liberals".

    We are in for a treat - it was 'He was told to stay in his car" in the Zimmerman case - can't wait for blogger's upcoming expose of liberal lies in this case.

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    1. Not sure that even "Fox News" has its talking points on this one. Bob won't know what to regurgitate here.

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    2. Bob Somerby doesn't like child support scofflaws. He proved that when he took Kristof to task at length for not covering what happened to his dead friend's kids after the guy got injured and couldn't pay child support to the woman who left him because he lost his job.

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    3. Bob spent nearly the month of February scolding Kristof for not paying sufficient attention to his dead high school friend's kids.

      That is, when he wasn't lecturing network personalities about their lies.

      Wait a minute, he only got around to one network personality, didn't he?

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    4. Nobody likes negligent parents especially child support scofflaws. They, not "racism" are the most significant reason why black teens like Trayvon and innumerable others get themselves killed every day, when they're not killing others.

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    5. No one who defended Zimmerman, who acted in self defense, thought "He was told to stay in his car" by a dispatcher was of any importance at all in determining which crimes were committed. It will be of little importance in the South Carolina case. Whether the fleeing man was reasonably believed to be dangerous enough will be important.

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    6. Most who defended Zimmerman forget to mention he targeted a lone teenager who he called a "fucking punk" and left his vehcile while armed to pursue the boy in violation of the Neighborhood Watch training he received.

      They also usually fail to mention there are no witnesses to his claim he acted in self defense.

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    7. A lone teenager he suspected of possibly being up to no good, likely to burglarize homes or start fights. As it turns out he was right on both counts.

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    8. @ 3:50. Precisely the kind of poor soul Dr. King wanted us to love.

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    9. I don't recall King expressing a lot of sympathy for criminals, black or white.

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    10. I really don't think @ 3:50 is criminal. Just pathetic.

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  16. As has been pointed out before, and may well again, what annoys is not
    that Bob fails to aspire to the standard set by King (as he preaches those standards to others) but that we often catch him not trying very hard.
    Andrew O"ehiir just pulls down way to much space at Salon: he's a limited, repetitive thinker.
    David in Ca should understand by now that when he mentions Saul Alinsky most of us can do the quick shorthand and skip accurately to
    "large foreheaded guy who spends way too much time with ban right wing journals and worst right wing radio."

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    1. The use of common enemy against a community was done to promote another theme of Rules for Radicals, nonviolent conflict as a uniting element in communities. Alinsky would find an external antagonist to turn into a common enemy for the community within which he was operating. Often, this enemy would be a local politician or agency that had some involvement with activity that was causing detriment to the community. His goal was to unite a group through conflict with an external antagonist. Once the enemy was established, the community would come together in opposition of it. This management of conflict heightened awareness within the community as to the similarities its members shared as well as what differentiated them from those outside of their organization. The use of conflict also allowed for the goal of the group to be clearly defined. With an established external antagonist, the community’s goal would be to defeat that enemy, whether it be a politician, policy, or opposing agency (source Wikipedia)

      This may be a good tactic for an out-of-power group. However, when a dominant power group in the country -- say the President or Congressional leaders and their followers -- use this tactic, they become dangerous bullies or worse.

      E.g., consider the demonization of the Koch brothers. These gentlemen have led exemplary lives. Their company is very successful, providing useful products and jobs for thousands. They donate to worthy charities, such as hospitals. Their only "sin" is to donate to some candidates and causes that liberals disagree with.

      Although the attack the Kochs is unfair, they're rich and powerful enough to withstand it. Not so, the attack on some poor owner of a pizza shop who expressed a political opinion that the liberals didn't like.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. "Their only "sin" is to donate to some candidates and causes that liberals disagree with."

      Poor Koch Brothers. They can't help themselves. They just write a few checks, and sometimes invite a few friends over to do the same. Nothing that should call attention to themselves.

      As for Memories Pizza, they should take solace in their God, and follow another major personage's philosophy. What happened to them was part of God's plan. It worked for George Zimmerman.

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    4. The Koch brothers are buying themselves filet mignon (and politicians) with their government handouts.

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    5. Anonymous 12:01 -- No doubt the Koch brothers have more political influence, in a conservative direction, than you or I. Others have undue political influence in a liberal direction, such as Warren Buffet, the New York Times, AARP, the teachers' unions, etc. But, conservatives don't demonize these people and institutions the way liberals demonize the Kochs.

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    6. AARP and teachers unions are groups of people not individuals so they should have more influence. I don't think any one person should have more influence because he has more money.

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    7. There's no practical way to prevent the rich from having disproportionate influence (if that's what they want.) A very rich person can buy a newspaper or a radio station or TV station and promote his views widely. In order to prevent the wealthy from having disproportionate influence, you would have to abolish freedom of the press.

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    8. DinC,
      Just say No.

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    9. "...conservatives don't demonize these people..."

      Except for the perpetual unrestricted warfare they are waging against any of the socially progressive policies of the past century. One of the new bright lights of the republican party just recently compared the teacher's union he busted in his state to Islamic terrorists. No, of course not David, conservatives never demonize their political opponents. Also, except for the monolithic media-industrial complex which pollutes our airwaves non-stop 24/7. Ever hear of "hate radio"? Where do you think that term came from?

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  17. Fine post by Somerby, touching on real fundamental liberal themes way over the heads of many of today's "liberals". It's puzzling and sad, but quite obvious that today's pseudos despise the white working class. Somerby is correct, "liberals" have developed a nasty and unattractive "kick down" streak.

    Speaking for myself, when it comes to hillbilly hellraisers vs. pompous, pretend "high brow" "liberal" wannabes, I find myself siding with the genuine article.

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    Replies
    1. You forgot that liberals thought the Iraq War would be a disaster which would cost trillions and not solve the problems of the Middle East, they criticized George W. Bush's economic ideology ((GWB had a job at the time, so let's call him "white working class"), and that thought that when the GOP is elected to "cut government waste", they end-up cutting programs for children's mental health.
      IOW, liberals are so smug about being correct, no wonder no one likes them.

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    2. 2:07 PM,
      Bob Somerby doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. The fool thinks a real liberal can get a job in the mainstream media (AKA the propaganda arm of global corporations).

      Delete
    3. That's why he keeps talking about pseudo liberals.

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    4. And writing for the pseudo literate.

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  18. Story short; Doctor casted the peaceful love spell on me, my husband and his family to reunite us within 7days. He said that the spell will serve as a protection to us and we will live as a happy family for the first time. Well; I was afraid because I don’t know what will be the outcome but I kept my hope and faith strong and also prayed hard for this. His spell finally worked at the date he prophesied. My husband and his family including his Mom located me, kneeling and confessing for the evil done to us and the family even when we missed our baby. I cried and accepted their apology; I knew that there didn’t do it on purpose. We are all happy as a family today and we all called and thank Dr. Wakina for the total freedom he gave to us. I regretted why I wasted time contacting local spiritual doctors when my Husband left. Thank you Dr. Wakina for making me to testify like others and I will keep spreading this great news for ages. Here is Dr. Wakina’s Email: dr.wakinalovetemple@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. New to your blog, Bob. Having read this post and the three preceding, I have a few questions:

    Who are the "plutocrats" / "one percent"? Are they of a certain ethnic, geographic, professional makeup? If so, can you give specifics?

    Are they identified by household income / net worth -- if yes, what are the cut-off figures? Is a household with $200,000 annual income in the one percent if it is on the Upper East Side and can only afford a two-bedroom apartment, while half that income would enable a lavish lifestyle in other places in the U.S.?

    What about people who fall just short of the cut-off figure? Are they bona fide members of the 99 percent?

    Where do the plutocrats meet to hash out a common agenda? Are there records of their meetings? Are there no divisions among their ranks?

    Is your one percent / 99 percent divide simply a crude, warmed-up version of Marxian class struggle for people with short attention spans? If not, then what is it?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

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    Replies
    1. You can live beyond your means at any income level. I don't think people in Manhattan deserve much sympathy. If you don't know the answers to your own questions you haven't been paying attention. If you disagree with Somerby, say so. Don't pretend a specious befuddlement.

      Delete
    2. [F]roginblender asks about the 1%:

      Are they identified by household income / net worth -- if yes, what are the cut-off figures? Is a household with $200,000 annual income in the one percent if it is on the Upper East Side and can only afford a two-bedroom apartment, while half that income would enable a lavish lifestyle in other places in the U.S.?

      "The 1%" in the context you're asking about is a figurative term that refers for the most part to but a subset of those in the top percent of the income heap. That said, [F]roginblender no doubt will be quite relieved to discover things are not quite so dire for his betters living in Manhattan who literally do qualify to be counted among the top 1% of earners in the United States. None of them are trying to get by on just $200,000 of income a year. In 2012 "the top 1 percent of American households had pretax income above $394,000" [LINK] and things have just gotten better for them since.

      Meanwhile, because [F]roginblender is no doubt all about just deserts, he'll be delighted to hear that, "U.S. real (inflation adjusted) median household income was $51,939 in 2013 versus $51,759 in 2012, essentially unchanged. However, it has trended down since 2007, falling 8% from the pre-recession peak of $56,436. It remains well below the 1999 record of $56,895. Household income is affected by a variety of factors, such as population aging and household composition." [LINK]

      From this [F]roginblender will conclude that the rich keep getting better and better educated while working harder and harder whereas the majority of the rest of us are devoting more and more hours to reclining on the couch while watching T.V. and indulging in mega servings of our sustenance of choice, high fructose corn syrup. After all, given that year by year we are more and more free to choose now that we're nearly forty years into our great neo-liberal leap forward what else would explain rising income inequality in this the best of all possible worlds? [LINK]



      Delete
    3. Just a figurative term, eh? I suppose that explains why Paul Krugman can stand there like a cop directing traffic, waving his arms and yelling "Not me! You need to go after the top 0.1 percent!" Always good to have some flexibility in your concepts, I suppose. When does the rubber hit the road? Might the billions that George Soros shells out for Dem candidates be protection money? How corrupt does that make you who greedily grab that money?

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    4. And why are you not demanding as much, or more, from Warren Buffett?

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    5. 1 ) Yes, of course "The 1%" is a figurative term. I mean you started out asking all innocent like what the term meant and now, off the cuff, you're reciting how the dreadful Krugman has defined it. Guess by serving the rich you're serving a higher cause than truthfulness- eh, froginblender?

      But back to Krugman, or rather don't go back to Krugman, check out what Graeber or some of the other people who were associated with Occupy mean by it. And actually, it must have been some arithmetic genius who came up with the term "The 1%" as it was derived from the original Occupy slogan, "We are the 99%." (I think the Keynesian Nobel (Memorial) Prize winner Stiglitz used the term "The 1%" a few months before Occupy first gathered in New York but I don't think his usage was the one that stuck.)

      2) I sure haven't gotten any Soros money, myself.

      3) And Warren Buffett, he of the cuddly persona, is a ferocious capitalist. His railroad investment is a bet on burning coal until the day we're all toasty all the time without having to rely on any furnaces at all. Buffett has a fan club on the left because he's a corporate management class basher but that's his stance only because he thinks owners should be getting most of the take that's been going to self-serving management. Of course, Buffett's willing for earned income to be taxed at a higher rate, nearly all of his wealth gains from year to year are from un-taxed, unrealized capital gains.

      And, oh yeah, you were asking if the 1% meet to "hash out," "review" would be more like it, their common agenda and do some strategizing. Of course they do, groups of them and their top assistants belong to various clubs that meet on a regular schedule at announced sites, clubs like the Council on Foreign relations, the Trilateral Commission, ALEC, the Cato Institute, the Bilderbergers, and annually just to see and be seen by each other and the higher ranked courtiers at ho-downs like the ones at places like Davos and the Bohemian Grove camp ground. (An exhaustive list of get togethers would be impossible to compile as they include the places where "The 1%" hash out their respective local arrangements at country clubs and cotillions.) I guess you were thinking billionaires live in isolation from one another surrounded by throngs of their working class friends, neighbors, and blood relations. Not so.

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    6. I meant to write "hoe-downs" but "ho-downs" works too, I guess.

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    7. Here we see CMIKE "fancying myself to be some sort of desk chair Captain Ahab in hot pursuit of a demon."

      Delete
  20. You cannot simply enter the Howler City and expect the Wizard to answer.

    Your impertinence indicates you were not sent by the Lollipop Guild
    so we have so assume you must be one of the Flying Monkeys. No matter, those of us who hold the blogger in high esteem will try and speak your language.

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    Replies
    1. This was meant for the new Bobfan, Joecartoonfan @1:49. Please everyone, make him welcome.

      Delete

  21. Am here to testify what this great spell caster done for me. i never believe in spell casting, until when i was was tempted to try it. i and my husband have been having a lot of problem living together, he will always not make me happy because he have fallen in love with another lady outside our relationship, i tried my best to make sure that my husband leave this woman but the more i talk to him the more he makes me fell sad, so my marriage is now leading to divorce because he no longer gives me attention. so with all this pain and agony, i decided to contact this spell caster to see if things can work out between me and my husband again. this spell caster who was a woman told me that my husband is really under a great spell that he have been charm by some magic, so she told me that she was going to make all things normal back. she did the spell on my husband and after 5 days my husband changed completely he even apologize with the way he treated me that he was not him self, i really thank this woman her name is Dr Aluta she have bring back my husband back to me i want you all to contact her who are having any problem related to marriage issue and relationship problem she will solve it for you. her email is she is a woman and she is great. wish you good time. contact email on traditionalspellhospital@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete