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In a recent Nation blog entry, extreme right columnist Eric Alterman accuses Noam Chomsky of lying about him. Let's look at Alterman's rant first.

So Chomsky uses exactly one example to demonstrate his joint contention regarding both “America’s obsessive belief in capital punishment” and its “rejoicing in the manner of Bin Laden’s demise.” Regarding the death penalty, I do not support it and never have. Regarding “rejoicing,” Chomsky purposely ignored the sentence that followed the very one he chose to quote. It reads: “But it should not be occasion for joy. The Talmud tells the story of angels dancing and singing as the waters of the Red Sea close over the heads of the Egyptian troops after the Israelites have safely crossed over, only to be rebuked by their God: ‘How dare you dance and sing as my children drown in the sea?’”

This would sound convincing if one didn't bother to read Alterman's reprehensible commentary on bin Laden's extrajudicial murder. I should point out the fact that the very title of the piece, "Bin Gotten" rejoices in that murder. (Bolding and italics mine.)
The killing of Osama bin Laden was a just and necessary undertaking; just because he had the blood of thousands of innocents on his hands, and necessary because his continued escape from justice was an inspiration to others to try to follow in his footsteps. But it should not be occasion for joy. The Talmud tells the story of angels dancing and singing as the waters of the Red Sea close over the heads of the Egyptian troops after the Israelites have safely crossed over, only to be rebuked by their God: “How dare you dance and sing as my children drown in the sea?”

So, Alterman drools over the killing of bin Laden in the first sentence and the name of the essay, yet he admonishes people not to do exactly what he is doing. This nonsense is as self contradictory as the Bible, and equally irrational.

Let's look at some other things that Alterman said about this illegal, extrajudicial killing.

"Barack Obama’s solemn announcement of this tremendous achievement hit the perfect note."

"the president’s cool, calm decision-making and demeanor—coupled with the peerless professional execution of the operation—can only impress world opinion with the mature and steely determination of America’s post-Bush leadership."

Sick, sick, sick.

Chomsky is correct. Alterman was rejoicing.

In the italicized text, I noticed out a huge problem with Alterman's and the Nation's fact checking, assuming there actually is any by either party. Alterman makes the highly questionable claim that "he had the blood of thousands of innocents on his hands."

The Nation should know better than to publish unsubstantiated claims in defense of government murder. There still hasn't been a credible, independent investigation of 911. The "911 Commission" was a cruel joke. They didn't demand all of that illegal regime's emails, memos, etc. They didn't subpoena people.

Even worse, Bush spoke to that sham commission, not under oath, while Dickless Cheney was present. That is absolute proof that he and other Bush regime officials were lying about 911. That "911 Commission" did nothing about those lies.

There certainly is evidence supporting the theory that Bush regime officials knew that attacks were coming and deliberately allowed the attacks to take place. However, there also is evidence strongly suggesting that the 911 attacks were committed by the Bush regime itself. The most damaging evidence is that fact that all the amateur video footage of the attacks was stolen by the Bush regime under "national security" grounds. That footage has yet to be made public. (Gee, I wonder why.)

The most any professional journalist can say about bin Laden is that he is alleged to be the mastermind of the 911 attacks, and that the allegations are rather weak.

I am so sick of incredibly evil politicians like George W. Bush and Barack Bush shitting on our Constitution and our nation's values. I am equally sick and tired of their gleeful enablers like Alterman.

The killing of a man without trial in a legitimate civilian court is murder, cold blooded murder. The lack of convincing evidence of guilt only makes the crime more heinous. How can a "liberal" magazine like the Nation allow someone like Alterman to post disturbing, fascist nonsense on their website?

Is it any wonder why The Nation is always begging for money and subscriptions? They have become such partisan Democrats that they have gone to shocking lengths to pander to an extreme right President like Barack Bush. If that magazine wants more liberal and progressive supporters, then they should fire the shills for this corrupt, rightist administration and hire some real liberals and progressives to write for them.

Ted Rall is absolutely correct about The Nation when he discusses their censorship of writers criticizing this execrable administration from the perspectives of the left.
I was merciless to Obama. I was cruel in my criticisms of Obama’s sellouts to the right. In my writings and drawings I tried to tell it as it was, or anyway, as I saw it. I thought—still think—that’s my job. I’m a critic, not a suck-up. The Obama Administration doesn’t need journalists or pundits to carry its water. That’s what press secretaries and PR flacks are for.

Does Obama ever do anything right? Not often, but sure. And when he does, I shut up about it. Cartoonists and columnists who promote government policy are an embarrassment.

But that’s what “liberal” media outlets want in the age of Obama.

I can’t prove it in every case. (That’s how blackballing works.) The Nation and Mother Jones and Harper’s, liberal magazines that gave me freelance work under Clinton and Bush, now ignore my queries. Even when I offered them first-person, unembedded war reporting from Afghanistan. Hey, maybe they’re too busy to answer email or voicemail. You never know.

Other censors are brazen.

Even if The Nation didn't specifically target Rall, their censorship of genuine liberal and progressive views about Barack Bush is so blatant one cannot help but notice it.

Yet, a rightist like Alterman is published regularly by The Nation. It's truly reprehensible.

 

Psychology Today Really Is Junk

Posted by libhom Monday, May 23, 2011 2 comments

cake with WTF written on itI got an email from The Color of Change with an Action Alert about someone who has a blog on the Psychology Today website which was truly disturbing.

Nearly 20 years after a black parent documented how hard it was to hear, "Mommy, I want to be white,"1 Psychology Today reinforced the false and hurtful sentiment that Black women aren't attractive.

Last week they published an article claiming it to be scientific fact that Black women are less beautiful than women of other races,2 penned by Satoshi Kanazawa, who is notorious for hiding behind pseudoscience to promote discredited racist and sexist ideas.3

By giving Kanazawa a platform and validating his ideas, Psychology Today dehumanized Black women and girls everywhere. After widespread public outcry, they removed the article from their website.4 But that alone won't erase the damage they've done by validating these discredited ideas — the editors need to apologize, explain how this happened, and let us know that it won't happen again. Please join us in demanding they do so immediately, and then ask your friends and family to do the same:

http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/psychtoday

Kanazawa's article is flawed from top to bottom.5 Using a dataset from an unrelated study of teenagers, he draws the obviously false conclusion that Black women are "objectively" less attractive than women from other racial groups.

Kanazawa has a long history of hiding behind pseudo-science to express racist and sexist views. He once wrote an article asking "Are All Women Essentially Prostitutes?" and another suggesting that the US should have dropped nuclear bombs across the entire Middle East after 9/11 because it would have wiped out Muslim terrorists.6

So why does Psychology Today continue to give him a platform? Black women constantly face both subtle and explicit messages that they are valued less than women of other races — messages that are especially damaging to Black girls. Now Psychology Today has served as launching point for yet another attack, this time in the name of science.

Almost as if to cover up the racism inherent in his piece, Kanazawa says that black men are, "if anything more attractive" than their counterparts of other races because of "greater testosterone."7 But even here Kanazawa relies on the same pseudoscience to describe black men in familiar terms — brutish, hypermasculine, oversexed, exotic. And that's dangerous, too.

He uses a modern-day version of the faulty logic used to dehumanize blacks as inferior for hundreds of years, from the social Darwinists and eugenicists of the 19th century to The Bell Curve just 15 years ago. Psychology Today has a responsibility not to give such false logic a stage, nor validation.

To undo the damage it's done, Psychology Today needs to explicitly reject Kanazawa's ideas. Please join us in demanding that their editors apologize, explain how this article was published in the first place and what they'll do to ensure it won't happen again in the future. It takes just a moment:

http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/psychtoday

I certainly encourage people to join me in signing the petition.

I started to look at their website, having never read the magazine. One thing I noticed was that the quackery Kanazawa spewed in the removed posting was not a unique occurrence. One of his postings was entitled "If Barack Obama Is Christian, Michael Jackson Was White," which was wildly irrational and showed a complete lack of understanding of Evolution despite the bio referring to him as an "evolutionary psychologist."

This train wreck gets more spectacular. Kanazawa actually refers to his blog as "The Scientific Fundamentalist," oblivious to the fact that such a thing is an oxymoron. He also wrote a review of some other wingnut's book. The review was entitled "Why Liberals and Conservatives Are Both Wrong about Evolution." In it, Kanazawa claims that liberal policies go against Evolutionary principals. once again showing he knows about as much about Evolutionary Biology as the Creationists.

How did this quack get a blog on that website?

Well, I did some more browsing of the Psychology Today website and found just how vacuous and bizarre that magazine really is. "The Four Types of Female Friends to Avoid" article showed less insight, scientific or otherwise, than the typical boilerplate advice articles in womens' magazines. There was another article called "Could Crime Rates be Influenced by No NFL Season?" with speculation about as intelligent and relevant to peoples' lives as Access Hollywood.

The sad thing is that I'm sure some people turn to Psychology Today in hopes that it would actually help them deal with problems in their lives. The best outcome they can hope for would be a waste of time. I sure wouldn't take any of the articles I saw on the website seriously. It is truly reprehensible that a magazine that covers a really serious area of subject matter is so airheaded and is run by people with such execrable editorial judgement.

At least I know that I didn't make a mistake by not bothering to buy the magazine in the past.

Sigh.

Note: One thing I should point out about the Action Alert mentioned in the beginning is that the "Social Darwinists" were completely ignorant of Darwin's writings and Evolution. Evolutionary Biology gets way too bad of a reputation because some racist quacks attached their visceral prejudices to science that completely went over their heads.

Photo: SanFranAnnie

 

Yes, I know. You are shocked, yes shocked, that the world didn't come to an end yesterday evening. Imagine a fundamentalist preacher being completely full of shit. Who would have thought?

Anyway, the militant, anti American fundamentalists at the deceptively labeled "Family Radio" may believe in lots of things. Updating websites is not one of them.

I just checked, and their zany website is still warning us about May 21, 2011.

However, there is one thing that might be worthwhile on the page. They have an image of "2012" with the no symbol around it. After all the obnoxious campaign ads we will be inundated with that year, I bet people will be making similar graphics for entirely different reasons.

Happy May 22, 2011!

 

Music For the End of the World

Posted by libhom Friday, May 20, 2011 0 comments



 

I've been a swing voter between the Democrats and the Greens for years, but voting for Democrats keeps getting more difficult. This latest incident of morally repugnant racism from New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Anthony Weiner.

From CBS News New York 5/19/11 where Gillibrand attacked Obama for calling on Israel to accept its internationally recognized borders.

“Steps toward a lasting peace, with real security, cannot start with pre-existing conditions on Israel, said New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Of course, a vicious bigot like Gillibrand would say that Israel cannot be forced to stop illegally occupying Palestinian land. She actually thinks that the US is obligated to support territorial claims of a racist government that is guilty, guilty, guilty of ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian people in Palestine and which systematically oppresses and discriminates against Palestinians living in their native lands in Israel. Obviously, she thinks that it is perfectly OK for Israel to have nuclear weapons that were obtained by a terrorist attack against the USS Liberty, yet she pretends that it faces a real security threat to its actual, legitimate borders.

I can't say I'm surprised. Nothing a bloodthirsty, NRA/KKK gun extremist like Kirsten Gillibrand could do would ever disappoint me. A pro robbery, rape, and murder politician like her is completely beneath contempt.

Anthony Weiner couldn't help but join in on the racismfest either.
“The Palestinians have said in 1967 and every year since that they want Israel not to even exist. That’s the problem,” added Rep. Anthony Weiner.

“I think the fundamental philosophy of the United States should be trying to help our ally in the region, to help democracy and freedom. That means being an ally of Israel. The Palestinians have made it clear again and again they prefer violence to peace.”

Never mind that Israel has never recognized the right of Palestinians to exist either.

Israel cannot be represented as a democracy when its political system blocks participation by Palestinian parties in governing the country. Most land in Israel is owned by a foundation that openly excludes rentals to anyone who isn't Jewish. So much for "freedom."

Weiner also is perfectly aware of the absolute fact that Israel regularly commits far more and far deadlier acts of violence against the Palestinians. Weiner also is perfectly aware of the absolute fact that Israel's political and military leaders are guilty of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza. He also knows that Israel is guilty of a military siege against Gaza, which is another crime against humanity.

Horror of horrors that Obama even pay lip service to getting Israel to accept its internationally established borders. No decent, honorable, moral person supports Israel keeping on square inch of territory it has stolen. Yet, Weiner's venomous racism against Arabs won't tolerate keeping Israel within its own borders.

Of course, this isn't the only example of slimy, dishonest behavior from that rightist Phonycrat. He pretended to champion the Public Option only to gleefully throw middle class and poor people under the bus and vote for Barack Bush's wealthcare plan for the HMOs, health insurers, and Big Pharma. The man has absolutely no personal or public integrity whatsoever. Weiner is the epitome of a bought politician. He's as much of a habitual liar as he is a venomous racist.

Incredibly rightist and bigoted politicians like Gillibrand and Weiner are far from exceptional in the Democratic Party. Heinous bullshit like this is why I'm finding it more and more difficult to support any Democrat ever again. These two de facto teabaggers are incredibly strong arguments for the Green Party.

 

How to Fix the User Interface Mistakes in Firefox 4

Posted by libhom Sunday, May 15, 2011 0 comments

Have you upgraded your Firefox to version 4 and regretted it? Have you been stuck with a user interface as execrable and thoughtless as the terrible one in Google Chrome?

This excellent article shows how to fix the three biggest defects in the FF4 user interface: the tabs being too far from the content, the missing Status Bar (which is critical for many addons), and the missing menu bar (Mac users didn't get screwed over like PC users did on this one because every program has a menu tied into the way the OS is designed.)

This is not to say that Google Chrome is all bad. It has the best JavaScript engine of all the browsers, making the full featured version of Yahoo Mail run much faster. But, there's an axiom that every program designer should keep in mind.

Google is great at tech stuff under the hood, but Google knows absolutely nothing whatsoever about interface design.

In this case, Google started a bad trend in browser design by taking usability research that applies only to e-commerce sites that are visited seldom or occasionally as if that research was applicable to all software design. That research isn't even valid for web sites that are visited regularly by users or sites where users aren't performing simple, linear tasks.

If you are going to use a program or website regularly, you are going to want a variety of features readily available to you. You don't want to dig, and dig, and dig through convoluted menuing systems for something you do regularly.

It's comical that other browser developers are emulating Google's user interface, the one aspect of Chrome which is by far the most pathetic and mindless. The people at Mozilla should be focusing on improving their JavaScript speed rather than damaging their user interface.

More Heterosexism From the USOC

Posted by libhom Thursday, May 12, 2011 2 comments

Illustration of hand giving someone the fingerThe US Olympic Committee's (USOC's) choice of Peter Vidmar as its representative raised serious concerns, given his attendance at neo Nazi hate rallies organized by the Mormon hate church in favor of Proposition 8 in California. Vidmar's membership in a notorious racist, sexist, and heterosexist hate group like the Mormon Church also raised serious, legitimate concerns.

Vidmar pulled out after the controversy came up, but the whole thing reminds me of the vicious, heterosexist history of the USOC. Here's a good summary from Instinct Magazine (4/29/11):

Outsports reminds us that this is not the first time the USOC has made an anti-gay move, with contributor Jim Buzinski writing, "When Dr. Tom Waddell started an international multisport event for LGBT people in 1982, he wanted to call it the 'Gay Olympic Games.' But he was successfully sued by the USOC, which hounded him for $96,000 legal fees as he was dying of AIDS. The event was renamed the Gay Games. The USOC at the time had no problem with there being events called the 'Rat Olympics' or 'Dog Olympics.'"

This is one of the reasons why I will never give a dime to the USOC or buy any product that is an official sponsor of that organization.

The odd thing about this whole thing is that when I saw Vidmar doing gymnastics, the way he walked, his facial expressions, and the way he talked all caused my gaydar to go off the scale. It would be so bizarre if he really were straight.

 

pro wrestlers in a ring

Like many gay and bi men, I watched pro wrestling as a child, instinctively seeing it for what it really is: softcore gay/bi porn. So, I couldn't help notice with amazement the "USA! USA!" chants at the bin Laden death parties that have been happening in this country.

Those voice on the radio today remind me of how that chant started. Pro wrestling promoters would dress people up as foreigners from countries that the US ruling elites were in conflict with. The "foreigners" would do all sorts of dastardly deeds, and the American wrestlers would fight back while the crowd would chant "USA! USA!"

This country gets more and more bizarre.

During the Olympics in Atlanta (a hotbed of pro wrestling), I noticed how American crowds kept chanting "USA! USA!" They had no respect for athletes from other countries. All home country audiences are somewhat nationalistic, but other host audiences showed appreciation for athletes from other countries, which is a huge part of what the Olympics are supposed to be about.

I am convinced that this rude behavior is part of why NYC and Chicago lost their Olympics bids, though perfectly reasonable opposition in those cities played a huge roll too. (I still haven't forgiven Mayor for Life Bloomberg for misappropriating city money for political ads trying to get New Yorkers to support a hugely inappropriate Olympics bid in a city that just can't handle the disruption.)

Now, with people using chants from pro wrestling to celebrate the killing of an unarmed human being outside of the rule of law, I can't help but think that our country has become a cheesy parody of itself. We largely wrote the international laws that the Bush and Obama regimes have routinely violated, but we also have written the pro wrestling scripts that their acolytes have played out in surreal death parties.

Maybe Linda McMahon will be President someday.

BTW: Here are the real names of some of those eeeebilll "foreign" wrestlers.

Abdullah the Butcher: Larry Shreeve
Boris Zhukov: Jim Darrel
Ivan Koloff: James Parris
Kamala: James Harris
Killer Karl Krupp: George Momberg
Kwang: Juan Rivera
Mongolian Mauler: Peter Miller
Mongolian Stomper: Archie Gouldie
Nikita Koloff: Scott Simpson
Papa Shango: Charles Wright


 

Now, Can Obama Stop the Wars?

Posted by libhom Monday, May 02, 2011 3 comments

The world's biggest excuse is dead.

We still don't know who was responsible for 911. There never has been a credible, legitimate, and politically independent investigation of 911. However, our political and media elites have insisted that the 911 attacks were orchestrated by Osama bin Laden and have tried to marginalize and demonize anyone who questions any aspect of the officially sanctioned conspiracy theory to explain those horrific attacks.

Iraq Deaths EstimatorWe still are in an illegal and insane war in Iraq. There are roughly 47,000 of our troops still stuck in Iraq, occupying that country. There are over 60,000 mercenaries still in Iraq. That's right. Occupying forces are at over 100,000 in a war that the corporate media pretend isn't even going on.

We are in a war in Afghanistan that is primarily focused on establishing a natural gas pipeline going through that country. The natural gas will end up being used in India to outsource US jobs and to switch US jobs that had been outsourced to China over to India, where labor costs have not increased as they have in China.

Osama bin Laden has been used as a pretext to keep us in hugely expensive and murderous wars that have even killed more Americans than were killed in the 911 attacks. That excuse is dead.

It's time to push harder to end these deadly and costly wars that create profits for evil corporations and the rich, but screw the rest of us over.

 

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