Tag Archives: hypocrisy

It’s a Duck Dynasty Christmas

20 Dec

Liberal Alec Baldwin had a show on MSNBC for a very short time. He called a paparazzo who was harassing him and his family a “cocksucking fag”. Baldwin was swiftly suspended, then fired, from MSNBC. The right sort of shrugged, torn between its animus for Alec Baldwin on the one hand, and gays on the other. 

Liberal Martin Bashir had a show on MSNBC. He criticized Sarah Palin for likening the national debt to “slavery” by explaining what, precisely, slavery was. Specifically, he explained how the complete control of the master led oftentimes to unspeakably horrific treatment of his chattel labor – in one case, scatalogically so. Bashir said Palin should see what slavery really was before making such ignorant comparisons, and that a slavemaster should shit in her mouth. There was an outcry from Palin and the right. Bashir was suspended from MSNBC. He apologized. Palin accepted the apology. He left the network anyway. The right wing was outraged and demanded Bashir’s removal from TV. 

Some bearded person on a so-called “reality” show about very wealthy redneck manufacturers of duck calls has said some hateful and ignorant things about gay people and black people. A&E has suspended him. The right wing have gone ballistic, calling this a PC witch hunt and otherwise bemoaning the degradation of Biblical values, apple pie, Chevrolet, bearded freaks, and hate speech. Duck Dynasty guy equated homosexuality with bestiality and terrorism. He said the blacks had it better under Jim Crow, when they didn’t bitch to him (a white guy) about anything. 

Pretty base, ignorant stuff there. Well within the same wheelhouse as Bashir’s and Baldwin’s misdeeds. (I will note for consistency-lovers that I have not defended Bashir or Baldwin in any way, in any forum, and that I had no complaint of any sort when either of them were fired. To me, talking-head cable shows are a huge part of what is killing American discourse and thought, and I’d just as soon see them all gone.)

But we live in a nation that is sick beyond help – not because of the infiltration of the “gay lifestyle”, but because ignorant bullshit has gone mainstream

Never one to miss a chance for publicity, Sarah Palin posted on Facebook: “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on theDuck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.” (Only Palin could claim that a person who has just voiced intolerant comments like Robertson is being attacked by “intolerants.”)  

Of course, when Martin Bashir made despicable comments about Palin, she didn’t defend him by saying, “Free speech is an endangered species.” Nope, instead she slammed Bashir’s comments as being “vile” and “evil.” And officials at Palin’s political action committee demanded that MSNBC punish Bashir.

First of all, the First Amendment right to free speech was not invoked in any of these cases. The Constitution limits the government’s power – not MSNBC’s, and not A&E’s. Bashir, Baldwin, and Duck Person are all entitled to think and say exactly everything they want. The networks on which they appear are likewise entitled to air, praise, condemn, or remove anything they see fit. 

Secondly, if you believe that Baldwin and Bashir should have been fired, consistency and fairness begs you to think the same of Duck Dynasty guy. If you think that Baldwin and Bashir should both be on MSNBC, then A&E should be boycotted. 

I have seen arguments defending Duck Dynasty guy because he was just repeating what the Bible has to say about, e.g., gay people suffering eternal damnation for their heinous crimes against God. That’s nice. But just because your holy book or religion says a thing doesn’t make it right, does it? Are we to excuse every ignorant and hateful thing that any religion has to say? Like I said, you can believe whatever you want – but when you equate homosexuality to terrorism, you have every right to be accountable for your words – to suffer consequences. Like when you call a photographer a “cocksucking fag”. Like when you suggest that a public figure should have someone shit in her mouth. 

The right wing didn’t have much to say about Alec Baldwin, after all. The only thing they brought up was that GLAAD were hypocrites because they didn’t condemn him (they did). It’s ok to defame gay people if you’re conservative, after all. Not just ok – encouraged. When Duck Dynasty guy defames gay people (and blacks), and gets suspended, they are outraged. When it’s Alec Baldwin, they shrug. To me, defaming gay people is wrong, full stop. 

A few months ago, “cook” Paula Deen was effectively drummed out of show business because her long history of racist thoughts and words came to light. Now, there is a miniature store selling her cookbooks and spatulas in a largely empty plaza in right-wing Clarence. She became a hero to the right because, evidently, saying ignorantly anachronistic things about black people is ok, because “free speech”. Similarly, Duck Dynasty  guy is cheered on the right for saying ignorantly anachronistic things about gays and blacks. 

I don’t see how – and it’s the Christmas season, incidentally – a time of love and cheer – nominal Christians and “conservatives” can go around defending people who have so much hatred in their hearts, thoughts, and words. If conservatism means preserving age-old hatreds, jealousies, and slanders then I don’t quite get why so many people would call themselves that. 

If Duck Dynasty guy is smart, he’ll apologize, A&E will reinstate him, and he can cash out what remains of his 15 minutes of fame. From the looks of it, he and his kin are digging in, standing firm, and telling those “cocksucking fags” and liberals to piss off and, literally, go to hell. 

Merry Christmas. 

 

Donn Esmonde Is An Ass: Culverts and Charters

11 Aug

Another week, another opportunity for the Buffalo News’ most retired columnist to bring up regionalism and hatred of suburbs. 

Friday

HAHAHAHAHA Donn Esmonde is a card. He wants you to think he’s got a sense of humor via Friday’s column about a bridge in Lancaster that needs fixing, yet no one wants to fix. 

Love me, it cries. Do not forsake me. Do not leave me to fend for myself against rain, sleet, snow and ice.

Help me to help myself. Patch my wounds. Fill my holes.

If concrete and asphalt could talk, these are the pleas this crossing would utter.

It is the cry of an orphan. It needs care, commitment, concern. Yet no one will claim it.

Why, it’s downright Shakespearean, isn’t it? To top it off, he morphs an intergovernmental dispute about whether it’s a bridge or a culvert into a tome on regionalism and abolishing village government. Great. Issue nostalgia

Many of the suburban villages we have – e.g., Williamsville, East Aurora, pay a surtax for the privilege. Recent efforts to abolish the villages and wrap them into the adjacent towns failed; people voted to maintain what they like and know, and to pay more tax. I don’t care – good for them. 

If there was no village government in Lancaster, the town would simply take care of the Erie Street span. One less orphan, one less absurdity.

Point : repetitive argument : restated point. The bridge or culvert or whatever the hell it is will eventually be fixed. Also, if you have two putative parents fighting over whose responsibility the bridge is, it’s not an orphan. So, dumb metaphor, too.  

Sunday

Oh, God, not the schools again. Esmonde returns to whitesplain to everyone why the schools in Buffalo are failing. As best I can manage, here are the points he makes: 

1. State Education Commissioner John King was speaking directly to Donn Esmonde when he “lashed out” last week in a “conference call with the Buffalo News editorial board” when someone (Donn) pointed to socioeconomic factors to “excuse” Buffalo’s failing schools. (Let’s remind ourselves for a moment that the very best high school in the entire region – public or private – is a Buffalo public school). 

2. Esmonde spends a paragraph fending off strawmen, insisting that Buffalo teachers are good – just as good as those in the suburbs! 

3. Donn then attacks state testing, which is “one size fits all” and unfairly judges inner-city districts. We also spend a little time hearing about how bad the teachers’ union (of which Esmonde’s wife is a member & he fails – again – to disclose, although he does bother to mention that she is a “nonclassroom” Buffalo teacher) is, and how it’s perfectly reasonable to require professional teachers with masters degrees to also play janitor and clean up after their kids have breakfast in the classroom, rather than a cafeteria. Maybe if his wife was in a classroom and being asked to clean up breakfast, he’d have a different opinion of the policy. 

4. Charter schools are great, because they enable kids without special needs who come from parents who care to escape the kids from homes where parents don’t care, and to get a better education – i.e., Donn thinks charter schools are great because they help to provide certain kids a suburban school experience in a non-suburban environment. As much as Donn hates the suburbs, it’s clear that he loves everything about them, except location.  

5. Some parents just don’t care. 

I have heard countless stories – and seen a few myself – of houses where kids are barely spoken to, much less read to. Where there is not a book to be seen, including a coloring book. Where a blaring TV doubles as a baby sitter. Where kids grow up without leaving the neighborhood, much less going on a vacation. What ought to be seen as a national crisis is instead shrugged off as a fact of life.

But ignoring reality does not make it go away.

“Failing” urban schools, to my mind, are largely a symptom of a society that essentially warehouses its poor and broken families in inner cities. The concentration of poverty and problems only intensifies the dysfunction.

Here’s the thing about the “warehousing” argument. Our society doesn’t warehouse anyone anywhere. What our society does is provide some people with a choice, and others with none. To use the term “warehousing” is, first and foremost, offensive beyond measure – people warehouse goods, and to say society “warehouses” people is to reduce those people to little more than chattel.

I don’t think that’s a reasonable or fair thing to do – to literally dehumanize an entire population to assuage one’s conscience. It’s completely backwards. Someone genuinely concerned about the socioeconomic plight of people in the inner city would likely choose a different terminology to describe the fact that most of our poorest and least privileged fellow citizens are caught in a spiral of poverty, family crisis, crime, and economic despair. They’re not chattel – they’re people in desperate need of help. Calling them things isn’t helping them. 

And who better knows the plight of the inner city than a white baby boomer surrounded by people just like him. As much resentment as Esmonde has for suburbanites, he is guilty of everything he hates about them – choosing to live in and around people with a similar way of life. 

“Warehousing” implies that someone has made a conscious decision or grand plan to place people in the inner city. It’s not that – it’s that other people exercised a choice to leave that location. The great challenge is to help lift up the people left behind, not to reduce them to things. 

6. Here’s more misguided suburbophobia: 

The roadblocks of home and car ownership, along with high rents and little lower-income housing, have for decades barred poor people – many of them minorities – from upscale suburbs and their schools, which predictably are not on any “failing” list. It is not mainly a matter of “better” superintendents, principals and teachers. It is because those schools are filled with the offspring of higher-income, college-educated parents. It’s a built-for-test-success clientele. If you are blind to that reality, whether your name is John King or John Doe, I think you are missing the larger picture.

Reformers from regionalism guru David Rusk to economic-integration advocate Richard Kahlenberg say the only way the school dynamic changes is by lightening urban America’s load of poor people. That happens either by busing kids to economically balanced schools, or by building more mixed-income housing in the ’burbs. I don’t see either happening here anytime soon. The walls already are up, and they’re high.

Just because the barriers are invisible does not mean they do not exist. Those “walls” explain a lot, for those who can get their minds off of test scores.

Right. This is why Esmonde went out of his way to advocate for disinvestment in Clarence schools. So deep and burning is his hatred and resentment, he wants to systematically make the suburbs less desirable by doing harm to the people who live there.  And their kids. But the people “warehoused” in the inner city – he cares about them, despite the fact that the per-pupil rate of spending in those poorer districts is almost double that of Clarence. 

Successful people with good educations place a high value on education and work hard to make sure their kids get a good one, too. Let’s assume (a complete fallacy, but whatever) that every family in WNY started out in Buffalo. Some choose to keep their kids in the regular public schools. Some want their kids to go to a charter, or maybe a parochial or private school. Some decide to move to a particular neighborhood to get a shot at a particular school. How the hell is that different from moving to Amherst?

And Esmonde capitulates on the never-uttered notion that many inner-city poor people want their kids to do better and have things that they themselves could never have. He rejects by omission any notion of social mobility – the American dream itself. You want to talk about prejudice and racism, which is the oft-silent undercurrent of Esmonde’s suburbophobia? How about the fact that you “warehouse” yourself with other white professionals in a particular part of the city, and reject even the notion that your poorer counterparts could want better? Notice he’s talking about the test scores Albany wants, and throws up his hands and complains about the poor that we “warehouse”. He never suggests that any affected families want better, or are doing what they can with nothing. And what of the teachers? Seems as if Esmonde takes a very complicated equation, dumbs it down, and denigrates teachers and poor families as hopelessly stuck. 

His answer is to invoke David Rusk (again) and that the government impose a Stalinist master plan with quotas and governmental orders as to who can live where. Bus inner-city kids to the suburbs, because every kid will excel with a 2 hour daily commute, right? And force those mean suburbanites to relocate to the inner city (of course, white people who “warehouse” themselves within walking distance of the Bidwell Farmer’s Market or Spot Coffee would be exempt). 

Donn Esmonde is such a disingenuous, hypocritical Ass.™ 

Happy Father’s Day! Love, Carl

21 Jun

On Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (through his campaign apparatus) sent out an email honoring Father’s Day. It doesn’t get less controversial than this: 

Dear Friend,

Nothing is more important to me than my role as a father. Watching my three daughters grow up to become thoughtful, beautiful and strong young women has been, and is, the greatest joy in my life.
 
I can only hope that I can be the role model for them that my father has been for me my entire life. He taught me the importance of family, friendship and public service. I continue to turn to him for his wisdom and support.
 
This Sunday, I hope that you will be able to share this special time with your loved ones.
 
Happy Father’s Day from my family to yours.

Sincerely,

Andrew M. Cuomo Signature

 

Buffalo’s own Sarah Palin, Carl Paladino, took to Facebook to say this about his former election opponent: 

You know what else good fathers and role models do? They keep their mouths shut. They aren’t homophobes. 

They don’t have multiple families that they keep hidden. They don’t sire children out-of-wedlock. They don’t party ’til the wee hours in Allentown drinking holes. They don’t make up lies about “legendary prowess“. They don’t giggle at anal horse porn, or send around racist and mysoginistic e-mails.  

But above all, good fathers know to dummy up when it comes to hypocritically attacking the morality of others. 

Access and Issues

30 Sep

When you grant access to the Buffalo News to write a puff piece about Cathy Paladino and Carl’s 10-year old child by another woman, not his wife:

and when you grant access to the New York Post to write a similar puff piece about the same subjects:

Then you can’t complain if the “kid” is made an issue in the campaign. And you can’t rightly complain if the press wants to get the other woman’s side of the story. You can’t sit down with Andrea Peyser and discuss the whole thing over a “meatball hero”, and explain how your values prevented you from suggesting abortion, but somehow permitted a decade’s worth of deception and silence to your wife.

Just saying, you can’t have it three different ways.

Sharron Angle, Tea Party Hypocrite

28 Sep

Tea Party candidate for US Senate from Nevada, the detestable Sharron Angle, says this about Obama’s health care reform:

Angle’s prior aversion to government-run health care — at least for others — has been no secret. She openly touts her intent to “Repeal and replace Obamacare” on her website, and even claimed recently that such broad legislation was actually unnecessary because there was “nothing wrong with our health care system.”

“Our healthcare system is the best in the world,” said Angle of the American system, once rated37th-best in the world, in August. “Our doctors are the best…The access is not what is being denied.”

Despite Angle’s contention that access to health care is not an issue, more than 18 percent of Nevada’s population is currently uninsured, nearly 3 percent higher than the national rate.

And in 2009, Angle railed against mandated health care coverage even for autism treatment and maternity leave.

“You know what I’m talking about. You’re paying for things that you don’t even need. They just passed the latest one, is everything that they want to throw at us now is covered under ‘autism,'” Angle said, using air quotes for the neurological disorder. “So, that’s a mandate that you have to pay for. How about maternity leave? I’m not going to have anymore babies, but I sure get to pay for it on my insurance. Those are the kinds of things that we want to get rid of.

Anyway, Sharron Angle receives her health insurance through the federal civil service retirement program – that’s a federally-run single-payer program that you and I fund.

She’s one of those tea partiers who minds the “redistribution of wealth” only when she’s not the direct beneficiary.

Quick Snarks

28 Feb

A couple quick items of irony from reading the paper this weekend:

Charlie Rangel is getting a slap on the wrist for taking at least three corporate bribes trips to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008. How did he avoid further discipline? While his aides wrote memos to Rangel detailing that accepting the trips was illegal, no one could prove that Rangel actually read the notes. Incompetence and illiteracy win as a defense. Speaker Pelosi, for her part, says she’s going “just see what happens next.” So much for running the most transparent, ethically pure Congress in history.

A white sorority is being accused of cultural theft for winning a “black” stepping competition. Stepping is a form of performance clapping and foot stomping, and there are big competitions around the country. But when a white sorority won, not only did event sponsor Coca-Cola give the runners up (a black sorority) an additional first place prize, but the white group is being told to “let the Black folks have their own thing for once.” Quick! Is it too late to kick Jerome Iginla off the Canadian hockey team, because he is stealing white Canadian culture? Only in PC America is it alright to beat down racism and sexism everywhere we see it . . . unless it involves “historically black colleges” and African-American culture.

If you think Forbes lists are crap, so are all those ballot-stuffing “awards” Buffalo loves to get. Just sayin.

Turns out we’re not the third poorest city in America. Turns out we have poverty rates equal to just about every other city the same size. Of what, oh what, will the “third poorest city” rebranders do now that their sound bite is debunked?

Chris Collins and His Excellent East Side Adventure

12 Dec


Remember this story?

The Answer Lady reminds us that about a decade ago, Chris Collins invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to go into business with a Tom Steube, who was already no stranger to housing court. When Steube went bankrupt in 1998, he left several buildings unfinished, and as I noted in late 2007,

When the debt went bad, Collins had two choices:

1. Write the debt off, take a tax break, and basically let the ownerless, moneyless, interestless properties deteriorate until such time as they become a public nuisance slotted for publicly financed demolition; or

2. Foreclose on the debt and make an effort to re-sell the property by making the bare minimum in improvements needed to bring it up to habitable condition.

Of course, Collins opted for number one, and the city spent tens of thousands to demolish some of the worst offenders. Other still stand. Boarded up. Blighted.

Yet Collins vetoed money that the county legislature allocated for the Distressed Real Property Reserve Fund, which would help the county deal with blight.

When your point of view is all about dollars and cents, rather than people and sense, this is what you get.

Tee Hee

24 Aug

I wonder why the author of a site that recently whined and cried that WNYMedia.net was considering moderating comments, is now shutting comments off completely on selected posts.  Sayeth the great Oz,

All those who want a free discussion can come over here.

‘Cept when comments are shut off.

I tried to leave a comment about it in another thread, but it got deleted.  So much for “free discussion”.

Pedro Espada: Nepotism Watchdog

15 Aug

The Daily News reports that New York State’s totally awesome state government has a new watchdog to keep a close eye out for any nepotism in patronage positions in that fine institution.  Of course, this all has to do with the fact that Espada’s son was hired to be a deputy director of intergovernmental relations in the State Senate earning $120,000 – a job created especially for him, earning more than the actual director of intergovernmental relations.

Espada (D-Bronx) told the Daily News he never has publicly raised the issue when the family and “girlfriends” of fellow lawmakers were on the state payroll.

Upset at what he called the “pinata” treatment of his son, Pedro G. Espada, and the mostly anonymous quotes from lawmakers ripping the hiring, the senator warned all gloves are off.

“I’m not going to be a vigilante, but I am going to be vigilant,” Espada said. “I’m going to know why people are hired and what their job descriptions are.”

He added that “everybody (will be) cutting out all the nonsense about relatives, girlfriends. It’s over, it’s over, it’s over.”

Hurray for New York!  We need all the petulant hypocrites we can get!

Non-Insult Insults

9 Aug

“tool of the political class” (x2)
“idiot”
“tool for Brian Higgins”
“can’t make critical distinctions”
“brainwashed”
“fellow traveler”
“enabler”
“can’t read”
“creepy” (that one was repeated 3 times)

Those are things that one local glibertarian – who really hates it when people use “insults” when arguing with him – called me this past week.

Gosh, all I did was make him look foolish a couple of times.

UPDATE:  Now Kelly from Byzantium Shores, he knows how to insult a guy!