Archive for the ‘Creep’ Category

by jhwygirl

Wulfgar! at Left in the West gets the hat tip on this one.

From Friday’s hearings, detailed in several posts below. Watch Superstar State Representative Ellie Hill (HD-94) take on the Montana’s Christian Taliban’s Reverend Harris Himes.

Rep. Hill? THANK YOU.

This is a civilized society. It seems that some of the GOP running these committees forgets these things. Every statement does not fall under “free speech” and inciting violence is not anything that should be tolerated.

And Rep. Ken Peterson, of Billings? 10 minutes is not a public hearing.

You represent ALL, not just those than elected you. You are a disgrace to the state bar (if you hold it); a disgrace to the House Judiciary; and a disgrace to the Montana Legislature.

And pulling for seventeen executive actions in House Judicary on Monday morning, in less than 4 hours? That leaves no time for meaningful discussion between legislators – but that’s exactly what you want now, isn’t it?

You are a disgrace to democracy.

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by jhwygirl

Why do I call him Supermontanareporter? Because John S. Adams isn’t afraid to back down off of a story. Try and intimidate him – and believe me, it has happened, and it will continue to happen – and he doesn’t blink an eye. Adams is the stuff that becomes a Pulitizer.

And no, I’m not exaggerating. You heard it here first, but when it happens, all the credit goes to him, certainly.

I caught Tea Party jackass Tim Ravdahl, president of Helena’s Big Sky Tea Party on KGVO this morning, reading off his press release – which had appeared to be both taped and rambling, as the host kept playing multiple snippets of it througout the morning. An “exclusive” he said.

The parts I heard, he blamed the whole affair on being misquoted and the evils of political correctness and social justice.

Yep – that damned justice for society is an evil that we need to stop RIGHT NOW!

Well, apparently it was a press release addressing Supermontanareporter John S. Adams’ story in last Saturday’s Great Falls Tribune.

You’ll have to read that pretty quickly, as the GFT archives its stuff pretty quickly.

So Adams caught wind of banned Big Sky Tea Party president Tim Ravdahl’s press release and fired back at him, saying Ravdahl “plays loose with the truth” and lied about being misquoted or misrepresented.

Does Supermontanareporter Adams stop there? Nope. He called Ravdahl this afternoon to ask him for the specifics of the allegations Ravdahl was putting out in his press release. What did Tim Ravdahl do? After stumbling around the subject a bit, he hung up.

And lest Ravdahl try and discredit a good honest hard-hitting reporter like Adams, he’ll have some trouble – JSA taped the conversation. You can hear even hear the abrupt silence of Ravdahl hanging up on him.

Political correctness? Yeah – I’m a bit sick of it too – a liar is a liar, and when a reporter is ready willing and able to label a liar a liar, I’m all for throwing political correctness aside. The idea that you can’t call out a politician as a liar or a lie as a lie has gone on for far too long.

Thank Goddess for journalists like John S. Adams and George Ochenski. Long may they live, and all others like them.

by jhwygirl

In April, Missoula City Council will take up a proposed city ordinance that will ensure equal protection for everyone regardless of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

See? Is that a big deal? Or maybe the question is Why is this a big deal?

This is such a no-brainer for me to support, my mind sometimes has a hard time “supporting” stuff like this because I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that people can want to treat certain people differently based on who they are. How can people can think that way? Where to begin with such ignorance?

Tonight I first came across this. I’m reading the comments there, and frankly, I’m amazed at the openly bigoted and blatantly ignorant things people will publicly say and put their name and face to it.

Then I get to Missoula Red Tape where I read about a website titled NotMyBathroom.com, where the lies and misinformation continue. They purport – and notice the careful wording there – to be “an alliance of 17 organizations with members within the City Limits of Missoula as well as dozens of concerned citizens.”

Could that mean “An alliance of 17 organizations spread out over North and South American, with 2 members with the city limits as well as dozens of concerned citizens living in northern Idaho”?

These Mel Gibson fans even had the gumption to send out a press release.

I truly hope that the press picks up on that…someone like that, going through all that trouble to create two webpages and issue a press release deserves all the attention their little twisted brain desires.

by Pete Talbot

That’s my advice to the fiancee of Jordon Bryant Iddings, the alleged jerk in Thursday night’s downtown rampage.

Actually, it started at Hooters, that classy joint out on Reserve St. Then proceeded downtown to the Bodega and Reds. Iddings’ abhorrent behavior, and that of his five buddies, was blamed on a bachelor party — Iddings being the groom-to-be.

Here’s the Missoulian story. Read the comments, too, they’re as fascinating as the story itself. Apparently, Iddings had a Facebook MySpace page where he professed his love for his fiancee (shortly after, as the police report states, he groped a woman and then punched her in the face). And the wedding is still on, according to the comments. There was also a reference to the fiancee being with child. I sure hope that’s wrong.

Anyway, it looks like the MySpace page has been taken down, perhaps on the advice of Iddings’ attorney. The page is still up — thanks Pogo.

All I can say is: may I recommend a vasectomy, Jordy, to go along with that lobotomy?

by jhwygirl

Well, Ana wanted to see pics? Here’s just a choice few.

This one was so proud of her sign, that she had it wrapped in plastic:
proud supremacist

The sign over there on the right in this one, below, says “Typical White American Working Mobster” typical white american mobster

Of course, some still can’t resist the references to Osama bin Ladin. What do you want to bet this person had never even heard of Osama bin Ladin before September 11th? Yet alone that they even know how bin Ladin got to where he is? obama bin lyin

Did I hear someone say President Ronald Reagan?

Birthers were there too – check out the brown sign smack dab there in the middle: “Where’s the Birth Certificate?”
birthers were there too

So were seniors that have been fed the “nonsense” Obama spoke of the next day in Colorado Springs…do not kill grandma2

Oh – here’s one more. Let’s hope the pic picks it up up – what we have here is a sign that says “Congress, You Are In Our Site (sic)” which replaces every “o” with the cross sight of a rifle scope.you are in our site

by jhwygirl

(With a hat tip to Wil_M…)

I’ll be waiting for the outcry from the right.

Fox News “strategic analyst” Lt. Col. Ralph Peters was on Fox News today, spewing garbage about 23 year old Bowie Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho. I won’t go through all the crap he was spewing, but let’s just say that this guy is a jackass and a disgrace.

A cursory google shows this jackass to be a darling of the loonies – here and here….and if you really want to get disgusted, just take a breeze over this garbage.

I really need to add a “jackass” category

by jhwygirl

King George is at it again – creating a new Vice President administrative position while hiking tuition and laying off and drastically reducing hours on 24 of the lowest wage earners in the university system.

Somewhere I hear blueprints being rolled out onto a heavy antique oak table as a golf course fades quietly into the bulldozers….

Does anyone have a spare effigy out there in the garage? It might come in handy – looks like it’s going to be chilly this weekend…..

This is one of those times I really wish I was skilled at photoshop.

mr_20burns

by problembear

you can file this under despicable….

by Rebecca Schmitz

Via Mark T. over at Piece of Mind, here’s what happened to someone who didn’t want to celebrate the life of a virulent, noxious bigot:

Eason, a 29-year veteran of the state Department of Agriculture, instructed his staff at a small Raleigh lab not to fly the U.S. or North Carolina flags at half-staff Monday, defying a directive sent to all state agencies by Gov. Mike Easley…When a superior ordered the lab to follow the directive, Eason decided to retire rather than pay tribute to [Jesse] Helms.

State officials claim they didn’t force Eason to retire. Regardless, Jesse Helms was a disgrace to the nation and an embarrassment to North Carolina. A master of the southern strategy (something our Republican friends like to argue doesn’t exist, despite the example here before us), Helms used his career in public service to sow hatred and discord. He doesn’t deserve to be honored. And his life certainly shouldn’t cause another, better public servant to lose his job.

by Rebecca Schmitz

Do you remember those Mayan priests who needed to cleanse a sacred temple of the bad spirits created by Bush’s presence?

Should we pool our money and hire those guys to purify the Doubletree after Karl Rove leaves Wednesday night?

by Jay Stevens

Can you believe it? What…less than a week after I vowed to ditch the “creep” label, and along comes Idaho Republican Tom Loertscher.

This state legislator helped kill a bill that would have improved safety at state day care so as to encourage mothers to stay home and take care of their children.

 If that weren’t vile enough, Julie Fanselow found this little gem in the Idaho Falls Post Register:

Is this the same Tom Loertscher who in 1996 voted to slash welfare? That change pushed more than 20,000 poor Idaho women into the work force — and their children into government-subsidized (at a cost of $31.2 million a year) day care.

Not that Loertscher has anything against welfare – provided he’s the one getting it. The Environmental Working Group estimates Loertscher has raked in more than $900,000 in farm subsidies during the past 10 years. Included in that is $765,000 he received through the conservation reserve program. Essentially, he got that money for doing nothing.

Classy.

Creep: Carl Farnsworth

by Jay Stevens 

Today’s creep is Carl Farnsworth, an anti-tax zealot living in Alberton. He recently wrote a letter to the Missoulian accusing Missoulians of stealing from him:

Let’s fine-tune all taxes. Looking at the Missoula crime blotter, one sees a lot of crime in the urban interface. No crimes around my house, so why do I help the city? Schools? Don’t have kids and never will. Parks? Never been to one in Missoula and never will. Open space? Like it so much I bought my own and did not screw anyone into paying for it.

That’s a little different than what occurred in the last election when a bunch of cowards who I could easily defeat individually got together and stole some more of my money for their open space. Nice folks.

I read a quote recently that basically said to beware the society that considers one person’s actions illegal but condones a crowd doing the same thing. Thanks for leading the crowd.

I’m not really sure what kind of world Farnsworth wants to live in. Private parks that charge for entry? An end to public school? No taxes at all, and everything paid for out of pocket?

It’s simplistic attitudes like this towards taxation and government that cause a lot of needless bickering in politics. It’s a complete misunderstanding of the usefulness and purpose of government.

Let me put it another way by applying Farnsworth’s ruthless logic to his own situation. That is, if he doesn’t want to pay any taxes, why don’t let him, and take everything that taxpayer money has brought?

First, do away with the roads that Farnsworth travels on, and the cars he drives (they must have been transported by public roadways).

Any power or telephone service provided by line or satellite should be cut off.

If he uses any service that employs someone with a public education, it should be denied him.

And unless he built the house he lives in entirely with his own hands from materials he could cull and carry on his own property, away it goes! Steel from overseas (passing through taxpayer-funded customs and harbors built with taxpayer money), wood from Washington (shipped across taxpayer railroads, cut from public lands), etc & company, all come courtesy of someone else’s dime.

Of course, it goes without saying that the food he eats and the clothes on his back should also be taken, since all of that was transported thanks to taxpayer money.

That’s the thing. People take for granted what tax money brings. We make compromises: we pay taxes knowing that it helps support our way of life, while knowing that our money goes to things we don’t use, or don’t even want.

I sure as hell wouldn’t pony up to support the Iraq War of my own free will.

That’s why we hold elections. That’s why there are city councils, initiatives, open debate. Farnsworth had an opportunity to speak out against public funding for parks, schools, and open spaces. We have an open compact, in which we’ve decided that we will pool our resources to fund projects that are good for the community.

If Farnsworth doesn’t like it, he has recourse to change it. And if he isn’t satisfied with the results of his efforts, he can move.

Instead, Farnsworth has decided to accuse us of theft, even while he no doubt enjoys the benefits of our money.

Creep: Eric Dondero

by Jay Stevens 

One of the “benefits” of having a blog gain some notoriety is that I no longer have to comb the Internet for 4&20 blackbirds’ creeps. They come to me.

Today’s creep, Mr. Eric Dondero, emailed me, I presume, in response to my article in the American Prospect on Idaho’s Proposition 2. According to Mr. Dondero, I made up the notion that there was pervasive fraud involved in the gathering of Montanans’ signatures for Howie Rich’s ballot initiatives (mistakes are his, invectives edited for your Internet filters at work):

Mr. Stephens, you are a f*cking *sshole

Stop lying you pr*ck!

You repeat only tired old Communist/Fascist leftwing talking points in regards to brave libertarian petitioners who stood out in the blizzard cold, and then 95 degree heat, to collect 80,000 signagtures for property rights all over Montana. And instread of praising those of us who petititioned you accuse us of engaging in “fraud.”

How f*cking dare you, asshole!!! I want a mother-f*cking retraction.

I’m a Veteran you f*cker. I served 4 years in the Navy. I have three medals and an honorable discharge to show for it.

How many years did you serve? If your a non-Vet than shut the f*ck up.

You are on shaky ground Sir. If I ever, EVER hear you accuse me or my fellow libertarian petititioners again of “engaging in fraud” on an on-line Forum, I will slap you with a liable lawsuite so quick it will make your head spin.

Notice you didn’t say a word about the left-wing petititioners in MT for Minimum Wage and Stop the Lobbyists. You want some examples of serious shenanigans in petitition gathering. Check your own side. Oh, and btw, we libertarians and conservatives are no longer going to sit by and let you leftwing f*ckers get away with blocking us. We may have been polite in 2006. But expect us to fight you all every step of the way in 2007 and 2008. You’re hereby on notice.

NOW F*CK YOU AND HAVE A NICE DAY!!!

Libertarian Republicans

Fiscally Conservative, Socially Tolerant & Pro-Defense!

Dondero is a US Navy Veteran, former Libertarian Party National Committeeman, fmr. Senior Aide to US Congressman Ron Paul R-TX, and Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus.

There’s a lot to address in this email, but the first is the accusation that I lied about “pervasive fraud” in the Howie-Rich sponsored initiative signature gathering. I admit I only personally witnessed one act of questionable signature gathering, and heard anecdotes about fraud in signature gathering, but of course that wouldn’t be enough to get me to write “pervasive fraud” in the American Prospect. No, that line about “pervasive fraud” was lifted from the court ruling by Justice Dirk Sandefur (pdf), who wrote:

…the Court finds and concludes for the foregoing reasons that the signature gathering process for CI-97, CI-98, and I-154 was permeated by a pervasive and general pattern and practice of deceit, fraud, and procedural non-compliance.

Justice Sandefur’s ruling was later upheld by the Montana Supreme Court.

I suggest to Mr. Dondero that he take up the matter of lying with Justice Sandefur and the Montana Supreme Court. Maybe the justices would enjoy similar invective-filled emails. Surely Dondero’s fine prose and argumentation would cause those on Montana’s highest benches to reconsider their decisions.

As for the rest of the stuff…I looked to no avail for the clause in the Constitution prohibiting non-veterans from expressing opinions or participating in crafting public policy…so I can only assume Mr. Dondero must be confusing reality with the plot of Starship Troopers. (A great read, by the way, and I salute Mr. Dondero’s taste in science fiction.)

I also looked for a similar ruling finding signature gathering for the minimum wage and lobby reform initiatives were also “permeated by a pervasive pattern and practice of deceit, fraud, and procedural non-compliance,” but I couldn’t find it, either.

And has the word “tolerant” even been more egregiously out of place than in this email?

Mr. Dondero’s threats that he’ll make our leftwing lives miserable in 2008 understates how miserable Howie Rich’s initiatives made our lives in the summer of 2006. Again, it seems crazy that conservatives are lining up to make the next election cycle more negative after the expression of weariness by most voters of the rampant negativity this summer and fall, but as a liberal and a supporter of the Democratic Party, I welcome that tactic. And next election, please let’s not hear any complaints that “both parties” engage in negative rhetoric. There’s been enough bitter complaining from the right about its intention to amp up the hostility and divisiveness in elections, it should be clear who will be responsible for the tenor of 2008 rhetoric.

Lastly, at least one well-respected conservative website promoted Dondero’s Montana Republican Liberty Caucus as a small-government, individual-liberty promoting organization and viable alternative to the mainstream Republican party…but I think it’s fair that Montanans see the MRLC obviously doesn’t offer them a reasoned forum in which to pursue their agenda, only more bitterness and acrimony.

And to Mr. Dondero and his fellow travelers, I suggest you move on from the debacle of 2006 and find a constructive, Montana-based way to introduce this legislation into the public sphere instead of reacting to your legislative defeats with anger and denial.

Creep: John Coughlan

Today’s creep paid me a visit here at 4&20 blackbirds and left me an unpleasant little message. I deleted it, because…well…it was rude and vaguely threatening and I didn’t want others to think I condoned that sort of comment.

But then I was thinking it would be better to air out this kind of thinking, expose it to the light.

I should mention up front I believe in freedom of speech for all. Coughlan’s free to spew his hate — on his own blog or in public. But I also believe that you should bear responsibility for your words. John Coghlan can wish me pain and suffering, but he should suffer public humiliation for doing so. That’s why I’m posting his words here.

u should pack your liberal ass up and move back to massachusetts, are u kidding me?

if you really believe half the sh*t you say here then you should be the moron being tortured for being so **** stupid. When this nation falls ( and it will) people like you will be the reason it fell and also the first ones killed by the new rulers.

Where to begin with this? What got me was the belief that our nation’s existence is under threat from (one presumes) terrorists – how ridiculous is that? We survived foreign occupation, two world wars, and a running 25-year threat of imminent nuclear annihilation. Tell me, how in the world does terrorism compare? Answer: it doesn’t. Only in the paranoid delusions of a few bed-wetting radical right-wingers.

Honestly, it’s people like these that make you take the psychological analysis of Bush supporters seriously. According to a report by Jost and Glaser, conservatives exhibit the following traits…“anxiety about death,” “dogmatism,” “needs for order, structure and ‘cognitive closure’ – the need for a firm belief on a given topic.”

Jost noted that different economic groups may have different motivations for adopting right-wing ideologies. Disadvantaged individuals might be more likely to be motivated by a need to reduce fear and uncertainty, while the advantaged might be motivated by self-interest and a desire for social dominance….If the system is challenged, or threatened, then those who suffer most under it have the most rationalizing to do. “One way to minimize dissonance would be to redouble one’s commitment and support for the system, much as hazed initiates pledge increased loyalty to the fraternity that hazes them….”

Of particular interest in the context of the PIPA studies are Jost et al.’s observations on conservatives’ attitudes toward uncertainty. Uncertainty is perceived as a threat..

Thus, anything that challenges the conservative’s dogmatic ordering of the world would be considered a threat not only to the individual’s ideas, but to his perception of his world. And that would unsettle the poor soul. Maybe enough to get him to write hate mail to liberal bloggers.

Do I think this psychological profile is true for all conservatives, or even most of them? No. But it goes a long way in explaining people like today’s creep, or the 35 percent that stubbornly cling to the Bush presidency and policies despite the overwhelming amount of evidence that shows he is an idiot and amateur authoritarian.

People. Get a grip.

Creep: Daniel Shevlin

Today’s creep, Daniel Shevlin of Missoula, comes from the pages of the Missoula Independent. This is what he had to say:

Praise be to Allah

Thank God for freedom of speech, eh American Liberal? I mean, in what other country are you free to support terrorism, without fear of reprisal? Only in America, my friend. Just today, I heard a liberal friend of mine rage about “threats” coming from Israel directed toward Iran. Let’s remember the only threat worth mentioning coming from the Middle East lately… “Israel will be wiped off the face of the Earth.” Oops, sorry Liberals, that quote comes from your friends, the Iranians—Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be exact. The Hezbollah terrorists break into the nation of Israel, kill two soldiers on Israeli soil, then commence bombing innocent civilians with rockets…yet you defend them. Women have about as many rights in Islamic countries, like Iran, as my Doberman pinscher has here in America, yet liberals violently defend them. Islamic terrorists strap bombs on 8-year-old children to kill other children, and the American liberal supports them. The Islamic terrorists want to kill anybody who is not Muslim. Sounds kind of like what Hitler and his Fascist dictatorship also wanted, doesn’t it, American liberal? They wanted to kill everybody who wasn’t up to their notion of the “master race.” Homosexuals are killed by the hundreds in Muslim countries, by burning alive, stoning to death, or beheading in public squares, yet the American Liberal says nothing and continues to defend the Islamic terrorist completely. Muslims believe that if they kill innocent people who are not Muslim, then they will be rewarded with a “river of wine, a river of honey, and 72 virgins,” and the juggernaut of liberal support continues. How tragic and bizarre (not to mention hypocritical) is the American liberal’s defense of Islamic terrorism?

Ugh. Tripe like this constantly challenges my unqualified support for the First Amendment. Still. I stand up now and proudly defend Mr. Shevlin’s right to free speech.

But, just because you can say whatever you want (listening, Dennis?), that doesn’t mean you are free from bearing responsibility for your comments.

So…with that in mind…Daniel Shevlin, you are a complete and utter *sshole.

Here’s why: Shevlin is using a classic straw-man argument, creating a fictitious point of view, then attacking it. In this case, the fiction is odious, a “terrorist lover,” a “supporter of Iran,” and the rhetoric around those terms are so framed that no questioning the terms or semantics is tolerated. And the basic premise is that liberals are traitors.

In reality, of course, liberals do no like terrorism. Where we differ from our conservative friends is how to pursue terrorists, not whether we should pursue them. And in reality, liberals, who are asking for real national security, an end to an ideological war, and end to the corruption and cronyism that plagues our nation’s Republican party, liberals are hardly unpatriotic. We are fighting for the Constitution and the rule of law.

Shevlin is hardly a conservative friend. I’m not sure why he’d write something so hateful and distorting, which completely misrepresents liberals. He can’t really believe this, can he? To me, it sounds like the withering assuredness of a loony whose world view is being challenged by reality. Instead of actually working to solve some of these problems, which the conservative ideology has thus far showed it’s incapable of doing, he lashes out at any opposition.

Creep: Dallas Erickson

Congratulations to this week’s creep, Dallas Erickson! He’s managed to do something no other 4&20 blackbird creep has ever done! He’s a creep for two different reasons on the same issue!

Many of you are already no doubt familiar with this Stevensville resident and far-right fundamentalist Christian anti-gay activist. He was, after all, one of the sources behind Yellowstone Country’s recent voted-down obscenity ordinance, and has been working for years to eliminate pornography from the public sphere:

Erickson, of Stevensville, is the founder of Help Our Moral Environment, or HOME. The organization says it works to “significantly reduce sexual violence and the victimization of children, women, men and families by eliminating child pornography, regulating sexually oriented businesses and removing illegal pornography from the open market in Montana.”

[snip]

The Montana Human Rights Network has described Erickson as anti-gay, and his Web site formerly stated the organization’s opposition to “the homosexual agenda.”

Fine. So he’s a moral prude and crusader. For that alone, Erickson does not earn his 4&20 blackbirds “creep” label. I think he’s wrong, but I admit he has a right to pursue his agenda in our community. (An argument could be made to creepify him based on all the time and money Montana communities have spent on lawsuits overturning Ravalli County ordinances he spearheaded, but let’s let that slide for now.)

No, what has earned Erickson’s “creep” label is another matter entirely. And it has to do with Wal-Mart. You see, Ravalli County has passed a resolution limiting the size of big-box stores in their community (hurry! 154 may still pass!), ostensibly to keep Wal-Mart out, and Erickson doesn’t like it. In fact he started a “citizens’ group” to oppose it: “Citizens for Economic Opportunity.”

Why?

“…this is about free enterprise,” said Erickson….“This isn’t about Wal-Mart. It’s about the freedom to do business.”

I’ll let you digest that for a moment.

That’s right! Erickson is a free-market advocate! But only of business models he agrees with!

But before I say anything else, guess who Erickson’s biggest source of funding is? That’s right, Wal-Mart!

Citizens for Economic Opportunity, a group started by the conservative activist Dallas Erickson of Stevensville, collected $41,752.41 in its effort to defeat the resolution that would limit big-box stores to 60,000 square feet, documents show. Wal-Mart, which is seeking to build a supercenter in Hamilton, gave $41,000 of that amount in a check written in late May, just as the petition drive was getting under way.

Erickson said Wednesday that Wal-Mart had “contributed” to the drive to get 15 percent of Ravalli County voters to sign the petition – that drive succeeded – but he said he couldn’t be sure about the accuracy of the figure listed on the form filed with the state commissioner of political practices. The form was filed by Erickson’s group.

Erickson said his group used the company’s money to pay for several “major” mailings and to pay petitioners to gather signatures.

Don’t we already have enough big-money-sourced initiatives on our state ballots?

Yes, Erickson has hit a double creepdom. He’s a hypocrite of the worst sort and he’s a tool of a big out-of-state corporation looking to alter a Montana community in the name of a buck.

Double ugh.

Creep: Donnie Daniels

Donnie Daniels of Lovell, Wyoming, supplies us the goods today:

We’re at war, and judge doesn’t get it

In reference to the Tuesday, Aug. 22 Gazette opinion, I can’t believe it. How can The Gazette possibly believe that a liberal judge like Anna Diggs Taylor can be right in her ruling that the warrantless surveillance program is illegal?

This loony judge is one more legacy left by that nut Jimmy Carter. As for the American Civil Liberties Union, this is our terrorist bunch. We are at war, something The Gazette, Taylor and the ACLU don’t seem to understand.

The Gazette certainly has a right to its opinion, and I have a right to my money. Cancel my subscription to The Gazette immediately.

“We’re at war?” Um…with whom? With Iraqi insurgents? I don’t remember seeing too many Iraqi insurgents setting off IEDs on the US telephone lines. With terror? An emotion? I refuse to abandon my civil liberties over right-wing attempts to battle their own inner demons. Try a little sedative, maybe take some time off from work. Catch up on your summer reading. Stay away from me. With terrorists? How would you go about warring with non-governmental organizations? Like the ACLU?

(What is it with this paranoid vision of the ACLU? I mean, their mission is to protect dunderheads like the author of this letter. I’ve talked before how the group seeks to protect the rights of individuals — even degenerates like NAMBLA and Ollie North – why do the people most vulnerable attack the people that are looking to protect them?)

And where was that declaration of war? Only Congress has the right to make it. Haven’t heard a peep from them since…well…1941.

Buck up, pardner. The judge made the right call, and all the desperate fearful hysteria in the world won’t change reality. Time to come out from under your bed and face the world with courage.

Yes, calling New York House Representative Peter King a “creep” is like calling a Hummer a “car.” It’s too easy. But I have to, for his call to use ethnic profiling for airport screening:

Declaring that airport screeners shouldn’t be hampered by “political correctness,” House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King has endorsed requiring people of “Middle Eastern and South Asian” descent to undergo additional security checks because of their ethnicity and religion.

While the Missoulian might subscribe to this plan with its naive vision of vast “subpopulations” of Middle Easterners plotting to kill us all for the sheer joy of it, this is a terrible idea.

For starters, how do you identify someone’s religion by looking at them? And do you have time to give extra screening to every Muslim that passes through an airport terminal? There are, after all, a billion of them. Then there’s the awkward little fact that not all terrorism stems from the Middle East. Our country’s second worst terror strike was done by home-grown white right-wing extremists.

But the real idiocy behind this suggestion is that it doesn’t work.

To be fair to King’s fellow Republicans and the Bush administration, his little idea was met with widespread and near unanimous scorn. Some highlights:

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, a childhood friend of King’s whom the congressman calls one of the nation’s leading counter-terrorism officials, has previously called racial profiling “nuts” and “ineffective,” and eliminated the practice when he oversaw the U.S. Customs Service.

The U.S. Justice Department issued a policy three years ago banning racial profiling and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said yesterday that he doesn’t favor the practice.

“I think that, you know, taking action against someone solely because of their race and solely because of their religion I think is problematic,” Gonzales said.

To understand why ethnic profiling doesn’t work, read this fabulous essay by Malcolm Gladwell on pit bulls. Yes, pit bulls. His argument is that we have prejudice against certain groups, such as dog breeds, but, in the case of dogs, it isn’t the breed that’s responsible for vicious attacks, it’s always the owner, who through neglect or abuse or training created a killer dog.

That is to say the conditions which create a terrorist aren’t specific to the Middle East or Islam. That is, it isn’t a person’s ethnicity or religion that creates the terrorist. Gladwell:

“We have a policy against racial profiling,” Raymond Kelly, New York City’s police commissioner, told me. “I put it in here in March of the first year I was here. It’s the wrong thing to do, and it’s also ineffective. If you look at the London bombings, you have three British citizens of Pakistani descent. You have Germaine Lindsay, who is Jamaican. You have the next crew, on July 21st, who are East African. You have a Chechen woman in Moscow in early 2004 who blows herself up in the subway station. So whom do you profile?…

“You think that terrorists aren’t aware of how easy it is to be characterized by ethnicity?” Kelly went on. “Look at the 9/11 hijackers. They came here. They shaved. They went to topless bars. They wanted to blend in. They wanted to look like they were part of the American dream. These are not dumb people. Could a terrorist dress up as a Hasidic Jew and walk into the subway, and not be profiled? Yes. I think profiling is just nuts.”

Like the Missoulian’s rant against the Middle East and Islam, King’s view of terrorism and his desire to profile by ethnicity is born of a limited world view. Ascribing all the blame of terror to Islamic men of Middle Eastern descent represents an easy way of ordering the world. Believing that terrorism is utterly foreign and unfamiliar and a characteristic of race or culture avoids the sordid, ugly facts and confusing issues of poverty, nationalism, and alienation found not only in Palestine, Lebanon, and Iran but in Oklahoma.

It is simplistic and mean little minds like these that only exacerbate the danger of terrorism.

Creep: DC Kidd

In a conversation over at WRIM (get yer own link) over repealing the 17th Amendment – a debate I don’t want to get into here, but suffice to say I’m against it for many of the same reasons I support the end to our Electoral College – commenter DC Kidd dropped this little bomb:

So little faith in democracy! So little faith in the people!

Maybe campaign contributions aren’t the problem at all. Maybe you’ve given the wrong people the right to vote.

*****

Rich:

Every constitutional amendment since the Civil War is bogus and ought to be repealed.

We’ve given the wrong people the right to vote? Remember this is a paleo-conservative speaking. We can only wonder who he means.

First, let’s look at those amendments passed since the Civil War, shall we?

Thirteenth Amendment: Abolishes slavery. (1865)
Fourteenth Amendment: Made all people born in the US citizens; government can’t take away citizenship; extends protection of law to all citizens. (1868)
Fifteenth Amendment: Gives all citizens the right to vote, regardless of race. (1870)
Sixteenth Amendment: Allows income tax. (1913)
Seventeenth Amendment: Direct election of Senators. (1913)
Eighteenth Amendment: Prohibition of alcohol. (1919)
Nineteenth Amendment: Extends the right to vote to women. (1920)
Twentieth Amendment: Speeds ascension into office of elected President; clarifies succession of President; sets new dates for beginning of Congress. (1933)
Twenty-First Amendment: Repeals prohibition (the 18th Amendment). (1933)
Twenty-Second Amendment: Limits President to two terms. (1951)
Twenty-Third Amendment: Allows Washington DC to select Electors to vote for President. (1961)
Twenty-Fourth Amendment: Prohibits poll taxes (a fee paid for the chance to vote). (1964)
Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Sets up succession for Presidency after the V-P. (1967)
Twenty-Sixth Amendment: Guarantees suffrage at age 18. (1971)
Twenty-Seventh Amendment: Limits Congressional pay raises. (1992)

So, which of these would you give away? The one prohibiting slavery? The one extending the vote to women? I think it’s safe to say the 18th Amendment – Prohibition – was a throw-away. But the others?

Some of you might be tempted to dump the income tax amendment. But would you prefer raising taxes through other means, like a sales tax, or further property taxes? An income tax is probably the fairest kind: we each pay according to our means.

Others might be curious about the 17th – direct election of Senators. Me, I prefer to do things myself rather than hand my (feeble) power to some other body. Although if this were repealed, you bet your sweet *ss Burns would be out and Tester in. It might also make the state legislature races more interesting… Hm…On the fence. Could be a great topic for debate…moving on…

The succession Amendments, Presidential term limits (aren’t you glad about this one now?), pay raises, etc, seem unglamorous, but necessary administrative corrections.

The others protect the individual from arbitrary voting restrictions.

And DC Kidd would like to see them all go away? Why? Kidd:

Shane M. wrote: “The only solution I see is a more informed public.”

That is not a solution at all because the majority of people in this country are incapable of being informed. They can only be propagandized and programmed by mass media. Forget any dreams you may have of an enlightened proletariat.

The solution to the problem of low-quality, pandering political leadership is controlling the franchise, i.e., the laws that govern who is legally qualified to vote. Presently, the franchise is extended to just about anyone, with little or no regard to his personal attributes. Our liberal, and therefore misguided, interpretation of “equality” has enfranchised a very large number incompetent and unproductive people, who in turn tend to elect incompetent and unproductive politicians. By restricting the franchise to only citizens who have met certain age, education, and property ownership requirements, the quality of elected officials would naturally rise.

Of course, the qualifications for voting could be further specified to further improve the quality of the political leadership, such a language requirement or several years of military service, for example. But age, education, and property ownership would be start.

Let’s pause for a moment while we ponder the irony of a conservative decrying a political system that panders to its electorate…

The problem with this view, is how do we decide who should vote? If we go by DC Kidd’s guidelines – property ownership and education (age limits already exist) – does that mean if you rent, you can’t vote? So much for the majority of New York City. Or college students. Does that mean if you don’t have a college degree you don’t vote? Or a high school degree?

What makes a property owner a better voter? What makes a college-educated person better informed about civic issues than a high-school dropout? Would the education requirement disqualify military veterans who haven’t finished school?

You could argue that owning property makes a person more interested in local issues, but is that always the case? Might you be disenfranchising a number of people who actually have more knowledge about local issues? And who’s there to protect the rights of renters against landlords if renters can’t vote? Don’t renters have a say over how and where roads, schools, and bus lines are built?

And how do you guarantee that voter limitations wouldn’t be abused to, say, disenfranchise African Americans in Southern states or Native Americans in Montana or women or any minority group who would receive voting rights only as a privilege from the powerful majorities?

The assumption here, of course, is that DC Kidd himself is the model of an “informed” voter. He would like only those like himself voting. That’s why he mentions these qualifications – education, property, military service. These are the things he holds dear.

I, on the other hand, would require an essay test, thorough knowledge of literature and baseball statistics, and maybe a maximum income level. Definitely an amount of service to nonprofit or charitable organizations. Art is more important to me than property, in my opinion, in deciding who’s a better citizen.

But that’s me.

DC Kidd’s view is not uncommon among conservatives. It’s part of this “eliminationist” push you see from the right – this desire, not to debate or best liberal opposition, but to remove all non-conforming ideology from the public sphere. DC Kidd wants to tailor voter qualifications to ensure that his party of preference and his ideology never meets opposition or encounters debate.

In essence, he disdains democracy. If you don’t agree with his point of view, he doesn’t want you to vote.

There’s an irony here, of course. Be careful what you ask for.

David Crisp:

dc kidd,

But if standards for competence and productivity were imposed, wouldn’t you miss voting?

Creep: Rick Schlecht

The Gazette printed a flag-burning letter today. Great stuff. Very amusing. From Rick Schlecht of Joliet. Which rhymes! Kind of…

Shame on senators for not protecting flag

The Senate’s failure to pass the “flag desecration” amendment is just another sign of the time that this country is suffering from the same reckless leadership that plagued the early Roman Empire under her ignorant senators.

Anyone with half a brain and common sense can see that history does indeed repeat itself, and were I an enemy nation or terrorist, I should be laughing my head off. Were I a prisoner of such, I should be losing it!

Sorry. I just have to interrupt here. Uh…? I don’t understand the analogy about the Roman Empire and how it fits into flag burning. Sure, the Republican Congress’ obsequiousness to a would-be autocrat fits the Roman model of a corrupt Senate handing over the reigns of power to a dictator. But…flag burning? And, er, why would a terrorist laugh his head off that the US Congress refused to restrict freedom of speech?

This is not the first time an extremist has warned that freedom of speech will lead to totalitarianism. Honestly, I just don’t get it.

Sorry. Back to the letter.

Shame on those senators who, in spite of their so-called intellect, voted against this amendment and spit on the countless men and women who fought so bravely for their country’s flag and the freedoms we enjoy under it today.

The Stars and Stripes is a symbol of that bravery, and we must embrace it, honor it, protect it! Nothing short of this is acceptable! You burn it, you desecrate it, a thousand times shame on you.

Er, sorry again. But…how does restricting freedom of speech increase freedom? Isn’t freedom about protecting people we don’t agree with? A world where our Constitution and laws protected only those who resemble us in appearance and thought would not be a “free” world. This guy sounds like an ideal candidate for the Chinese politburo. Back to the letter.

As a veteran of the U.S. Army and Air Force, I am incensed at the dishonor done to that great symbol as I have witnessed committed by these lame-duck senators and any who would desecrate my flag. I served my country for that flag. I have honorably defended her against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I would die for her.

Those foolish senators have made a mockery of our nation’s flag, and are moments away from turning the United States of America into an ash heap. Rome is once again in flames, but this time, Rome is us. Shame, shame, shame!

You know, I don’t think anyone’s saying people shouldn’t be outraged by flag desecration. Just because there’s no Constitutional amendment doesn’t mean it’s a socially acceptable habit. Are there Constitutional amendments against burping in public? Farting in elevators? Chewing with your mouth open? Cutting taxes for the uber-wealthy while running through the budget like a drunken sailor?

Honestly, until one flag-burning-amendment supporter – just a single supporter! — urges for the impeachment of President Bush over his recent flag-destroying rampage, I’ll believe that this piece of sh*t legislation is nothing but distraction, and anyone who supports it is a crass partisan with no moral backbone.

Creep: David L. Green

Today’s creep, David L. Green of Missoula, is admittedly a minor one. Contrary to Dave Budge’s assertions that I’ll label anyone a “creep” who’s “not of his ilk on the reproductive rights issue,” I reserve creep status for…well…creeps, people who are close-minded, bitter, and who work to stir up hate or violence.

Let’s look at the lineup:

Jack Wells: State legislator who supports concealed weapons, militias, and the word “squaw.” That is, a racist supporter of right-wing extremists.

Kelly Wood: Said “Brokeback Mountain” was supporting a hidden gay agenda and used shabby stats to tell us gays were amoral sex fiends riddled with disease and prone to pedophilia.

Ralph Nader and Bill Napoli: The South Dakota state legislator whose anti-abortion stance seems to be fueled by violent rape fantasies, and the grandstanding “rebel” who enabled the movement that spawned him.

Bruce King: Equated the “Vagina Monologues” with porn; apparently feels that sexuality belongs solely to men.

Ethel Fay Jordan: Apparently feels that good Christians should demonize homosexuals because of six Bible verses in which Christ never says a word, and which are probably largely the result of prejudiced translation. So much for love and charity.

Joel Olinghouse: Accuses “liberals” of making stuff up about his President and the Iraq War and, weirdly enough, of wanting to enact an Aryan master-race plan of eliminating “mentally or physically challenged [children]”. And you wonder why the country is bitterly split along political lines.

Jenny Erickson: Says Montana’s anti-bullying policy shouldn’t include mention of gay children. Need I say more?

bob t: The worst of the lot, a commentator over at “What’s Right…” (go find your own link) who called Arabs “savages” and “quasi-humans” and called for their elimination by nuclear bomb.

Martin Weinstein: Believes that freedom of speech should be extended only to those who have nice things to say about the government, and argues that unfettered liberties lead to Nazi or Stalinist states. Oh, and liberals are allied with Islamic terrorists.

Mike Dey: Claimed that raising children out of wedlock was “dangerous” to society. Are single parents the new terrorists?

Nativist immigration foes: The slew of racist-spewing opponents to Mexican immigration who crawled out from under their rocks to leave comments at the Billings Gazette.

It takes quite an effort to land on my creep list. Dave Budge has nothing to worry about. Despite our many differences and childish swipes at one another, Budge wants nothing but good for this world.

Anyhow, today’s creep writes in to the Missoulian to attack David James Duncan and his new book on Christianity, “God Laughs & Plays” (of which I’ll write more later):

This letter is in response to the article appearing on the front page of the Missoulian on April 16, regarding David James Duncan. Duncan believes that the United States is in a national psychosis due to the two-headed beast of neo-con politics and Christian fundamentalism.

Duncan is the one suffering from a lasting mental disorder as evidenced by his modern liberal-eco paradigm. He is upset that Jerry Falwell appeared with Karl Rove, which apparently indicates a nefarious intermarriage of politics and religion promoting the idea that President Bush has a divine mandate to govern. Love is lacking in Christian fundamentalism, asserts Duncan, and in all fundamentalism for that matter. Christianity has been hijacked by self-serving, manipulative, cynical political operatives. Self-certainty by a Christian is not good. This is all pure poppycock.

Neo-cons advocate a free market economy with minimum taxation, limits on social welfare, a strong military and governmental policy that respects the importance of traditional institutions such as religion and the family. Duncan apparently believes that this program is being promoted by just cynical political operative that constitutes a threat to all that is wise and spiritual. This is totally laughable.

Duncan selectively quotes Jesus to promote his view. Jesus said in John 14:16, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." I wish to point out that so-called fundamentalists can be forgiven for having faith that Jesus meant what he said and promote that statement. If Duncan was so wise he would realize that some people actually take that assertion by Jesus seriously and in so doing they do not constitute a danger to the Republic.

No country stands for freedom and liberty like America. The ideal of America is the hope of mankind.

(You can always tell when a freeper is in trouble when he makes up terms like "modern liberal-eco paradigm" in an attempt to "balance" the debate and make himself sound smart. What the h*ll does this mean anyway?)

First, launching an ad hominem attack, accusing Duncan of having a “mental disorder” is not a good way to advocate for your version of Christianity. If Green had actually read Duncan’s book, he’d see that Duncan consciously avoids letting hate dictate his attacks on neocons and fundamentalists. Instead, the book is a gentle, pleasant feel-good suggestion to use Christianity to defeat modern conservatism.

Next, Green’s defense of neocons is…well…wrong. Neoconservatism is an ideology surrounding foreign policy. Period. (Incidentally Duncan gets this wrong, too.) Neoconservatism is the school of thought that advocates the use of America’s overwhelmingly superior military force to spread democracy throughout the globe. Iraq is the first step: according to neoconservative thought, installing a democratic state in Iraq would create a “domino effect” throughout the region, spreading democracy by popular uprising supported by US force and creating open markets and stable, peaceful governments throughout the Middle East. (In other words, it's a dumb-*ss ideology.)

They are not small government, free market tax resisters. Most neocons couldn’t care less about conservative social “values” of Christianity, family, gay-hating, and so on. H*ll, a good chunk of them are automatically disqualified from belonging to the Great White Society because they’re Jews – Wolfowitz, Perle, etc.

And even if these were the tenets of neocons, they’re still repulsive or at least un-Christian. Free market, social-welfare-disdaining activists hardly embody Christ’s message of caring for the weak and poor. And fundamentalist morality is an elegant code for saying the US should be white, straight, suburban, and wealthy. Forget tolerance, empathy, understanding, and compassion. These values are for p*ssys. Like Christ, for example.

Finally it’s ironic that Green quotes John 14:16, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." I think in his book Duncan is saying that people should follow Christ. Thus Duncan’s disdain for hate, for separatism, for racism, sexism, homophobia, war, and environmental degradation, all “values” that the current Republican party and their followers excel in.

The issues that Christian fundamentalism pursues the most are abortion, homosexuality, and plain ol’ sexuality. However, none of these seem to be major concerns of Christ himself. If anything, Christ was most concerned by social inequality. Poverty is his gig. Suffering. Why is it that conservative Christians eschew battling economic inequality in favor of picking on minority groups and women?

Um…maybe because truly following Christ might entail reconsidering modern America’s consumerist lifestyle? Christian fundamentalism allows Americans to consider themselves on a “mission” and part of a “destined” or “chosen” people without actually having to make any material, psychological, or emotional sacrifices.

David James Duncan objects.

Those of you who also read Ed Kemmick’s excellent blog, “City Lights,” are no doubt aware that I went off in the comments to a great post on illegal immigration.

It all started with a Kemmick story on a woman who married an illegal alien who was deported back to Mexico and can’t return to the States to be with his wife and child. By all accounts, the couple in question – Billings native, Josie Luna, and her Mexican husband, Gonzalo Luna – are hardworking, honest, religious, and decent folk. Their story is an antidote – and a reality check – to the vitriol spewed against illegal immigrants across the nation.

The lesson: immigrants are people.

Still, the column didn’t seem to awake any opponents to the realities involving illegal immigration – the complex web of economics, emotion, and human stories – but instead seemed to deepen the gulf between immigration hard-liners and…well…everybody else.

Admittedly there are many who emphasize the illegality of the immigrants’ actions as the basis of taking a firm stance against undocumented Mexicans in our midst. But there was still a weird nativist tone to many of the comments.

David Neiwert wrote a fascinating post about the re-emergence of racism in mainstream political discussion, racism that finds a natural home in the topic of illegal Mexican immigrants. In the post, he mentions the recent outcry about singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” in Spanish and links to a quote from John Chuckman:

There are roughly thirty-million Spanish speakers in the United States. The analysis here is interesting: an immigrant singing an anthem in his own language resembles someone changing the national flag. This argument does, perhaps unintentionally, reveal the real concern: Hispanics are changing our country, and we don’t like it.

I think Chuckman is spot on. Most virulent anti-immigrants spout garbage like, “they can’t speak English,” or other such nonsense, as if a language were what defines being “American.” (What I think makes an American an American may deserve its own post. Bottom line: if you live here, ta da! You’re an American.) It’s obvious they’re…afraid?…furious?…about the changes that are already occurring in our country to our language, to our culture, to the skin hue of our neighbors.

(In a truly fascinating side note, Neiwert compares the outcry to a Spanish “Star Spangled Banner” to the reaction to Jimi Hendrix’ rendition of the same song:

The creation of these effects was groundbreaking in its own right, far expanding the traditional techniques of the electric guitar. The rendition has been described by some as a generation’s statement on the unrest in US society, and others as an anti-American mockery, oddly symbolic of the beauty, spontaneity, and tragedy that was endemic to Hendrix’s life. It was an unforgettable rendition remembered by generations. When asked on the Dick Cavett Show if he was aware of all the outrage he had caused by the performance, Hendrix replied: ‘I thought it was beautiful.’

Indeed.)

In any case, it probably wasn’t surprising that these ugly, nativist ideas surfaced in the comments in the Billings Gazette.

So, without further ado, I bring you today’s creeps:

Legal citizen: Are we expected to somehow feel sorry for [deported man, Gonzalo Luna]?

Yes. (It’s a bad sign when you need guidance on when to feel certain emotions. Is there medication for this?)

ethel: It is curious how, since the '90s, law and order have been degraded to where we are rapidly destroying what was handed to us in freedom by the builders of European descent. Now, interlopers and benefactees of our culture, economy and social services are calling us 'fat, white, lazy Europeans' and demanding that we leave 'their' country. The USA is barely two hundred years old, Mexico has been around for centuries; but which one is the producer and builder and which one is the same corrupt structure it has always been because of its own apathy?

Note how the “degradation” of US society started in the 90s…when Clinton was President! Hey, ethel, why not blame the Republican-dominated Congress? It’s also telling that ethel feels that our liberties, culture, and country were solely the gift of Europeans. So much for the African-American slaves who enabled the Jeffersons, Madison, and Washingtons to…well…survive. Or who contributed to our arts, politics, and letters. Or the Chinese and Japanese immigrants on the West Coast…well, you get my point.

Her points about illegals draining our taxes is a common theme among the nativists. Of course it isn’t true, either. Illegal immigrants actually contribute more in taxes than they consume. But to paraphrase Colbert, reality has a left-wing bias.

LAH: I have been following the news coverage of the protest on Monday for some time. It struck me that if any other criminals announced that they would be convening in a locale in mass the police would likely arrive and arrest them. It will be interesting to see if police across the country ignore the opportunity to round up these criminals.

Another popular tactic, equating illegal aliens with serious criminals, like, apparently, pedophiles, drug dealers, and crooked Senators. (Later in the comments, illegals are compared to meth manufacturers.) Absolutist rhetoric like this is completely misleading. Would you call someone arrested for not pay parking meter violations a “criminal”? Me neither.

cme: I am curious. who paid for the hospital bill when the baby was born. I bet welfare did. one more reason that we don't need or want illegal aliens , immigrants, or what ever you prefer to call them, here. I would be among the first to call immigration on any one I knew was here illegialy. no exceptions. come here legally and I would help anyway I can. but otherwise, they are nothing other then a lawbreaker and should be sent home. in chains if thats what it takes.

Don’t let reality hit you in *ss on the way out, cme. Nowhere in the story does it say the Lunas were on welfare. In the comments it turns out they were both working citizens who paid for their medical bills themselves. Assuming Mexicans are on welfare = racism.

h: …There is something wrong when my little brother who is an english speaking American citizen is forced to learn the Pledge of Allegiance – in Spanish, not English.

Funny, people in Missoula pay for their children to attend the city’s “international school,” where kids are taught in Spanish. It’s actually a good thing to be bilingual.

vice: Here's an idea: let's borrow a page from the east Berlin playbook and land mine the border. Hard to cross illegaly with missing limbs.

Either a sociopath or a thirteen-year-old. Hard to tell the difference.

northeast montana: I am sure many of you have heard of how the "Star Spangle Banner" has been rewriten and sang in spanish. Truely we as Americans have to see a problem with this, as well as to have illegals in this country and think that it is ok. We are Americans. We follow the rules or are other wise punished for not. We speak English. That is what being American is all about. It is time we get rid of those who are here illegally and quite breaking down to there demands. This is our country. The "Star Spangled Banner" is song in English and only English and where we need to take care of our own people first. Not illegals that have figured out a way to get here. Go back to your own homeland!

To quote Ed Kemmick:

My favorite comment by far came from the woman who identified herself as a Hispanic and a legal resident of the United States. She found it odd that so many people who write about the sanctity of the English language apparently don’t mind mangling it themselves, with broken grammar and hilarious misspellings.

It goes on and on. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the solution is inevitable and it involves amnesty, guest worker visas, and no border wall.

Advice the hysteria-driven crowd: get used to the idea of Mexican immigrants.

Creep: Mike Dey

Today’s creep, Mike Dey of Missoula, was an easy target. His letter:

Motherhood out of wedlock is dangerous Every day when I turn on the radio I hear this ad that says that the most dangerous thing we do is not putting our children in a booster seat.

After some thought I came to the conclusion that condoning out-of-wedlock births by society is far more dangerous. In the months of February and March, 109 children were born, 43 of whom were out of wedlock, according to statistics in the Missoulian. This is almost 50 percent. There are reasons for being a single mother, but out-of-wedlock births should not be one of them.

Statistically, these 43 children will have more trouble with the law and have a poorer education than the children of a two-parent family.

It is time to quit glorifying motherhood out of wedlock.

 First, nitpicking, 43 of 109 births make it 39%, not "nearly half." 

Second, his statistics don't cover unmarried, two-parent families. I have several friends involved in relationships like this. They seem to be doing fine. 

We’re glorifying single-parent families? Uh oh, looks like I missed that directive in the latest liberal newsletter. Or is this guy still dealing with Murphy Brown?

The irony here is that Mr. Dey is probably against abortion, too.

As a parent, I can testify that all parents wish they had more help. And you can bet your sweet *ss that every single mom wishes she had an additional, responsible adult in the house to help out, not only with child care, but with bills.

The problem is more likely that these mothers either don’t want the father in the picture, or the father doesn’t want to be in the picture himself. And would Mr. Dey prefer unhappy marriages? I wonder how the children of abusive or drug-addicted fathers score on his little statistical spreadsheet.

Mistakes happen. They always have. They always will, no matter if you outlaw out-of-marriage sex, ban sex toys, or hang purity lockets around your pre-pubescent daughters’ necks. Instead of demonizing single moms – which won’t make them any less “dangerous,” according to Dey’s criteria – maybe we should consider solving the institutional problems that challenge single moms – like affordable day care – that will allow their kids to prosper.

Today’s creep is a fellow resident of Missoula, a certain Martin E. Weinstein who apparently doesn’t understand his basic civil liberties. In fact, Mr. Weinstein’s logic was so ridiculously hypocritical and convoluted, I almost forgave him the title of “creep,” which I like to reserve for people who are aware of their meanness of spirit. Weinstein seems merely confused. Maybe someone in need of a little Zoloft as well. (I think I may have seen this guy talking to himself down by the train tracks this weekend.)

Anyway, Weinstein’s letter to the Missoulian:

Professor is indoctrinating students

Gov. Brian Schweitzer and the Missoulian may want to reconsider their enthusiastic support for the petition for pardon for Ben Kahn, convicted in 1918 of violating Montana's now-defunct Sedition Act for opposing our involvement in World War I (“Righting a Wrong,” Missoulian, April 9).

This petition was initiated not by the descendants of Ben Kahn, but by University of Montana journalism professor Clemens P. Work, who “inspired”14 of his students to research the lives of people convicted under the Sedition Act. Professor Work believes that the Patriot Act shows a “stark resemblance” to the Sedition Act, and that both violate the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.

First, let’s look at Montana’s “Sedition Act.” From the Sedition Project:

"Whenever the United States shall be engaged in war, any person or persons who shall utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, violent, scurrilous, contemptuous, slurring or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the constitution of the United States, or the soldiers or sailors of the United States, or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the army or navy of the United States…or shall utter, print, write or publish any language calculated to incite or inflame resistance to any duly constituted Federal or State authority in connection with the prosecution of the War…shall be guilty of sedition."

The Patriot Act, of course, does not use such strong and clear language to discourage dissent. Instead, it defines “terrorist” in such vague terms – then denies basic civil liberties for those accused of terrorism – that just about anybody who participates in a protest against the government could fall under that definition. (See an earlier post for the language of the Patriot act in defining “terrorist.”)

(While the Patriot Act so far hasn’t been used to prosecute anti-war activists, such “radical groups” as the Quakers have come under federal scrutiny through the Patriot Act’s provisions.)

While Work’s opinion may set him against the Bush administration’s policies and rhetoric, his comparison of Montana’s Sedition Act to the Patriot Act is not without basis. He’s not some out-there crank making sh*t up.

Weinstein:

While Work is certainly free to publish his views, it is a dangerous, destructive abuse of academic freedom to use his classroom to indoctrinate students. Political indoctrination destroys free inquiry and standards. Students are graded not by quality, but by their political correctness – just as they were in Nazi Germany or the Communist Soviet Union. This petition is not an expression of free speech. It is a classroom assignment.

Of course, no one is forced to take the class, and I assume that there are other projects available to the students. Also, Weinstein’s claim that students are graded by “political correctness” completely lacks any basis in reality as unsupported as it is by any evidence and informed only by his own prejudice. Furthermore, to compare a professor who advocates that citizens should enjoy more freedom from government than they currently have to Nazi or Stalinist propagandists is completely unsound, unreasonable, and absurd. Nazis and Stalinists wanted less dissent against the government; Work wants more.

Professor Work and his ilk are misusing the First Amendment to destroy our Constitution and the United States, trying to lead us to a neo-Marxist utopia that would be a totalitarian state. They are sowing the seeds of defeat in Iraq in the name of freedom. They are in practice the unholy allies of Islamic terrorists.

The funniest thing I’ve read all week!

Misusing the First Amendment…to promote freedom of speech???

Apparently Weinstein thinks the only appropriate use for the free speech is to freely support the Bush administration, Our Great Leader, in his Quest to Democratize the World through Military Might.

How the exercising of our civil liberties will necessarily lead us to a “neo-Marxist utopia that would be a totalitarian state,” I’ll leave you to figure out. (To me it sounds like this guy needs to leave his tinfoil-wrapped motel room.)

“Unholy allies of Islamic terrorists”? Uh oh, using the “t-word” against Work. Hm, maybe speaking out against civil liberties is working for terrorists? Hm, maybe pursuing pre-emptive strikes against Mid East nations only encourages terrorists? Whatever. Don’t use the “t-word” in an argument. It’s inane. It’s an attempt to shut down discussion through the use of fear.

The Missoulian article concludes by telling us: “Schweitzer, whose German speaking ancestors immigrated to eastern Montana and were denied the right to speak their native language, said he won't stand to see those constitutional freedoms denied again.” Please, give us a break. The Schweitzers seem to have done pretty well here under our supposedly oppressive system.

What would a paranoid rant against academia, civil liberties, and freedom of thought be without a gratuitous swipe at the state’s Democrat governor?

Creep: bob t.

"What's right in Montana!" has provided me some useful material to write about lately. It's quite amusing sometimes. And let me say that I like the site's founder, Eric Coobs. I disagree with almost 100% of his politics, but I think he's a straight-up working joe who I would love to have a beer with some day.

But some of the folks who leave comments on the site are quite…repulsive. Really. This is not hyperbole. Today, for example, I read probably the creepiest opinion I've ever seen on Iraq, humanity, everything. It's so creepy it…well…read it for yourself. (Warning: You may want to bathe after reading this post.)

I can’t think of a single war that wasn’t based on some flimsy excuse. So not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn’t bother me at all, anymore than the “Domino Theory” bothered me when it was supposed to be the reason for going into Vietnam.

The essential idea then was to destroy Indochinese Communism, just as the essential idea now is to destroy Islamic fundamentalism.

This guy still supports Vietnam! If he had his way, we'd probably still be there!

First point: The Democrats’ version of American democracy is very sick. You couldn’t get a single soldier to fight in Iraq if he thought for a moment it was to spread Democrat “values.” Analogy: Massachusetts couldn’t raise a single brigade to fight for the Union in the Civil War if the liberals (abolitionists) told the soldiers the war was to free the darkies. So the soldiers were told the war was to save the Union. It wasn’t until years later, when the freed slaves starting competing for jobs in the shipyards of Boston, that the soldiers understood what they had actually done.

First…Democratic values…sick? Freedom from government intrusion? A balanced budget? Accessible, affordable health care? Wages high enough to actually live off of? Civil liberties for all, not just the people you like? These things are sick?

Second, Massachusetts regiments actually did volunteer to free the slaves. (Darkies?) In the first days of the war Massachusetts troops marching through New York City (of ambivalent feelings toward the war) almost touched off a riot as they sang the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Massachusetts was state of extreme anti-abolitionist sentiment. A better analogy would be New York or Pennsylvanian regiments.

Of course, we aren't fighting for Democrats' values in Iraq. We're fighting for…for…oil? Bush's ego? No one really knows actually.

And then…there's a strange whiff — actually a reek of racism in this section, isn't there? You almost get the feeling bob t. regrets the slaves were emancipated. Those poor white dockworkers! All that pesky competition from freedmen. It wasn't worth it, was it?

Second point: I support the war in Iraq only for the purposes of destroying Islamic fundamentalism, permanently pacifying the population (such as we did to the Japs in WWII), and for controlling the energy supplies of the Middle East. I could not care less about bringing democracy to Iraq, especially the diseased form of it you liberals have created in this country. And I don’t care if Israel is “wiped off the face of the earth,” as the president of Iran recently threatened. If I had my choice, I would prefer to see Iran wiped off the face of the earth first and then Syria, but I really don’t care who gets wiped off or in what order. They are all savages to me, or at best quasi-humans. The only important goal is that their numbers be radically reduced, and that those who survive, if any, pose no threat to Europe, the United States, or the energy supplies of the Middle East.

I don't need to add any comment to this section do I? Feeling dirty yet? Especially you Japs probably. Or anybody Jewish. Or, heavan forbid, if you happen to have darkish, olive complexions.

It's rhetoric like this that makes you realize why a Nazi filed as a Republican for a state legislative race.

Third point: I have no idea what President Bush is up to in Iraq, and he probably doesn’t know either. Blind historical forces are at work, and they simply must play themselves out.

This is the only point in the entire comment I agree with. Fortunately "popular sentiment" is a strong component of "blind historical forces."

Fourth Point: If you Democrats don’t think your “values” are worth fighting for, I can understand that. Nobody in his right mind would fight for them.

Au contraire, Mr. "bob t." I do think my values are fighting for. For example, I'm a big fan of the Constitution. Thus my financial and time support for the Democratic candidates in the upcoming midterm election.

You know, one way to judge a blog is by the character and beliefs of those that support your ideas in the comments. If the comments are civil and intelligent, you're on to something. If the comments are filled with racist, sexist, and homophobic dreck, well…you reap what you sow.

Creep: Jenny L. Erickson

The heroes were beginning to outgain the creeps, which may be good for Montana, but it's bad for business here at 4&20 blackbirds. But thankfully Jenny L. Erickson of Stevensville wrote in with her two cents to the Missoulian on the recently enacted anti-bully policy for Montana schools:

Proposal protects special interests 

Pamela Erickson in her letter to the editor in the March 22 Missoulian forgot the facts as she wrote to praise the Democrats' “leadership” for “act(ing) on the needs of our children.”

The facts are that the vote in the House to oppose the “bullying bill” was not because it required schools to have a bullying policy but because it required schools to have a bullying policy with one of the categories being “sexual orientation.”

Even the lobbyists for the Office of Public Instruction and the school boards opposed the bill because they said that when you add classifications in such a law, you leave some out and that invites bullying of the ones who are not included by students and teachers.

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If a school does not have a bullying policy in this day and age then they are negligent. If a bullying policy is written with classifications of people who cannot be bullied then they are just as negligent because of the problems it will cause those classifications that are not included.

The Democrats are champions of pushing the homosexual agenda items, one of which is a bullying policy in all the schools with “sexual orientation” as a classification so that they can receive special treatment.

The fact is, the Republican vote more closely represented the will of the Montana voters since 70 percent of the voters had just voted to not give homosexuals the right of marriage in Montana. The Board of Education, wisely, did not require classifications in the anti-bullying policies recently recommended.

Unfortunately I couldn't dig up a text of the actual anti-bullying policy, but based on the Billings Gazette report on the subject, the policy doesn't restrict protection to groups mentioned in the text. Here's the Gazette:

The new requirement says schools must have a policy "designed to address bullying, intimidation and harassment of students and school personnel."

It leaves the details of the policy up to local school boards. But the board does plan to send school districts a list of recommended features for a policy to comply with the order.

One of those features says the policy should "acknowledge that victims of (bullying) are often targeted because their perceived vulnerabilities," which can include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," as well as race, religion and disabilities.

I'm no lawyer, but I think that a policy that limits protection from bullying to certain groups is in for a world of litigious pain. This description of the policy by the Gazette seems to say the policy only seeks to ensure that school officials are sensitive to certain vulnerabilities, not that certain groups enjoy protection and others don't.

Why? Hm…might it be that some Montanans think that homosexuality is a form of deviance and homosexual teens should be harassed? They may not advocate physical violence against gay teens, but they might not think twice about, say, religious fundamentalist students confronting gay teens with images of damnation or labels of peversion.

That's bullying, folks.

That Erickson failed to mention the other groups mentioned in the "classifications" — the handicapped, racial groups — only underscores her prejudice. That she considers protection for gay teens from bullies is "special treatment," I can only conclude that the "usual" treatment of gays includes getting pummeled now and then, and she'd like to see this treatment continue.

Or, as written in a Helena IR editorial by several workers in the disability community:

The opponents to the enactment of anti-bullying policies are so intent to deny protection from violence to vulnerable kids who are or are perceived to be gay, they are willing to deny this protection to every student. Their position is not just malicious and hateful. It is also shockingly reckless, as it urges the board to leave vulnerable children without protection and deny this important tool to school districts and school personnel to address and prevent this violence.

Creep: Joel Olinghouse

Ugh. I don't know why ignorant rants like Hamilton's Olinghouse's bother me. The letter he wrote to the Missoulian is obvious tripe on every level:

"Liberals see the glass half empty

"At one time I thought liberals heard with the same kinds of ears that I have and saw with the same kinds of eyes I have. I no longer believe this to be true.

"When liberals see George Bush, they see a man with an arrogant swagger. I see a man who walks like one who is focused and has kept his word, a man who is not swayed by polls."

Hm. So unresponsiveness is now a virtue? In other news, black is white.

I don't see an "arrogant swagger" when I see Bush. I see an easy stiffness that hints at true uncertainy at his core. It takes courage to 'fess up to mistakes. It takes strong self-reliance to change course. Refusal to admit to wrongdoing or an inability to be influenced by others is a sure sign of uncertainty.

"When liberals see and hear only what the liberal press wants them to, they see an Afghanistan and Iraq mired in a hopelessness brought on by the Bush administration. I see 50 million liberated to freely work and worship as they like. I see thousands of schools and hospitals open for business. I see about a million immunized children."

Where's this liberal press? I want in on it!

Um…I guess Olinghouse missed the news bit that a man is going to be put to death in Afghanistan for converting to Christiantity, or that Iraq's government is likely to be dominated by Islamic fundamentalists. Of course, reading all the pesky news articles about Afghanistan or Iraq might actually affect his worldview, and we can't have that. Certainly that's why George Bush doesn't bother following the news, tho' it might have come in handy during Hurricane Katrina.

"Liberals who said that Bush did not 'connect the dots' prior to 9/11, now see a chance to attempt to impeach him for trying to connect the dots through surveillance of suspected enemies."

Um…the problem isn't that he wasn't getting enough info — the administration had plenty of information available prior to 9/11 to at least go on heightened alert. They just didn't have the manpower or interest to actually parse the information. And why not get warrants? It's not like they're difficult to acquire…unless the NSA is doing something it shouldn't, like data mining. Which would be bad. Very bad.

"When liberals see a mentally or physically challenged child they see someone who should have been aborted. I still am able to see God's handiwork in this child, a child who while still in his mother's womb cried out, 'Take my hand, not my life!'"

I must have missed the liberal newsletter that week when we were instructed to abort handicapped children.

Moron.

"This is just too good! As I was trying to figure out how to finish this off, I read Pat Williams' March 21 Missoulian diatribe. Dripping with left-wing elitism, he blamed everyone else for the failure of liberal talk shows. He sees the fact that Rush Limbaugh dropped out of school as a blight. I see a man who worked hard to succeed. Thanks, Williams, you are a gift that just keeps on giving!"

I agree with Williams: Limbaugh's every "rhetorical" flourish cries out for education. But then reason is not what Limbaugh is after.

Olinghouse is a complete and utter dud. His letter was an attack, not a discussion. And it's funny how character traits like "honesty," "integrity," "open-mindedness," and "competency" in his world have become the property of "left-wing elites." Hey, I agree!




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