Politics Progressive by Kevin_Foley
Moral paragon or 'most corrupt'?
April 10, 2014 12:45 PM | 68207 views | 0 0 comments | 1547 1547 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Deal dodges, blames Mother Nature
by Kevin_Foley
January 31, 2014 11:10 AM | 440 views | 2 2 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Georgia officials had at least 20 hour's notice a nasty winter storm would hit Tuesday sometime around mid-day. Sure enough, as I drove to my office in Smyrna from Kennesaw at 10:00 AM, snow was flying.

I left my office at noon. Ten miles and five hours later I arrived home.

I was lucky. My office manager arrived at her home in Powder Springs after midnight. Some Cobb County residents never made it.

When I drove to the grocery store at 11 AM on Wednesday, I-75 South at Wade Green Road was still a parking lot - 24 hours after the snow began to fall. The rest of metro Atlanta was gridlocked most of the day.

There were ominous warnings from the National Weather Service Monday. So, questions:

  • Why did Gov. Nathan Deal ignore them?
  • Why did he fail to act in the interests of Georgians?
  • Why were his people asleep?
  • What would happen if Georgia faced a more serious crisis?

Answer: Deal is the perfect example of what low taxes buy you.

Our indolent, unaccomplished, ethically-challenged chief executive regards you lowly Georgia tax payers as his subjects.

He knows his real allegiance is owed only to his big money courtiers, the wealthy real estate speculators, corporate high rollers, and wise guy Buckhead lawyers.

If you poor Cobb County peons had to sit on Route 41, your bladder bursting, your cell phone dead, your child waiting at school, your husband or wife parked somewhere on I-85, that's not the governor's problem! Why should Nathan Deal be bothered by such insignificant details?

Conservative readers, please, put your politics aside. Forget I'm a progressive.

Where was the warning from the State of Georgia recommending businesses close offices and stores Tuesday? I didn't get the call.

When questioned Wednesday at a news conference, Deal, clad in the de rigueur sweater vest to make it appear as though he had actually been out there with the stranded motorists on Johnson Ferry Road, told reporters Mother Nature, not he, was to blame for his government's lousy planning.

"There's not anybody in this room who could have predicted to the degree and magnitude the problem that developed," said Deal. "We will act sooner next time. But we don't want to be in here crying wolf.

He added, "We have been confronted with an unexpected winter storm that has hit the metropolitan Atlanta area."

Bull feathers, Governor Deal.

I've always thought former Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Crimmins' motto "failure to prepare is preparing to fail" are words to live by.

Evidently Gov. Deal doesn't.

He's up for re-election in November, folks. Remember well January 28, 2014 when you cast your vote.

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Lib in Cob
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February 03, 2014
We have learned that Governor Deal has appointed a "Severe Weather Advisory Panel". Last week Deal and anyone in metro county government received multiple severe weather advisories and they didn't listen. We should all feel more secure now, that we have a "Severe Weather Advisory Panel", right? Every meteorologist in metro ATL was spot on with the forecast and these dopes didn't listen, including the dopes in Cobb.

Uncle Sugar
by Kevin_Foley
January 27, 2014 01:15 PM | 698 views | 12 12 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, is among the many Republicans who gleaned no lessons from the shellacking the GOP took in 2012.

One of the many reasons Mitt Romney was kicked to the curb was because President Obama attracted 55 percent of women voters. It’s not difficult to understand why they flocked to the Obama camp.

Women were scared off by what GOP-dominated, mostly male Republican legislatures were doing in Red States, restricting access to safe and legal abortion, trying to enact laws forcing women to undergo vaginal ultrasound probes if they want an abortion, banning contraception, and defunding Planned Parenthood.

Women heard conservative male Senate candidates talking about “legitimate rape,” and rape as God’s will, and they ran to Democrats.

So Huckabee recently set up a straw man in a lame attempt to show it’s really Democrats women should fear:

“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let us take that discussion all across America.”

It’s Huckabee who’s insulting the intelligence of women. They know Democrats have fought tooth and nail with conservative Republicans like Huckabee to protect access to safe abortion, contraception, and reproductive healthcare if they’re poor.

“Uncle Sugar” is Huckabee’s condescending way of telling women he and many of his male Republican cohorts are vehemently opposed to abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. Republican men also don’t want women obtaining contraception, and they want to shut down Planned Parenthood which, for many poor women, is the only reproductive healthcare they have.

Like a lot of Republican men, Huckabee doesn’t understand that birth control pills are used to treat various female ailments as well as preventing unwanted pregnancy. I’m not surprised by his ignorance. I am surprised he would talk about out-of-control female libidos.

Huckabee made his remarks at the Republican National Committee meeting where party leaders are trying to figure out how to win back the women they lost to Democrats. The governor isn’t helping them.

But I encourage Huckabee and all other conservative males to keep talking about female reproduction the same way I encourage bigots who trash African-Americans, nativists who bash undocumented immigrants, and homophobes who demonize the LGBT community.

Keep it up boys. You’re the best thing to happen to Democrats in years.
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Kevin Foley
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January 31, 2014
Related to this, read Charles Krauthammer's column in the 1/31 MDJ.

Kraut says the way to win over women is to focus - ready - on late term abortion, this after condemning Huckabee's "libido" crack.

Middle aged conservative men talking about women's' reproductive rights has worked WONDERS for the GOP so far! As I say, keep it up boys!!!

Barr should condemn Nugent
by Kevin_Foley
January 22, 2014 04:00 PM | 669 views | 1 1 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I had occasion to meet in 2013 and debate Bob Barr on the issue of gun safety. I found him to be an honorable man who passionately believes the Second Amendment guarantees Americans unfettered access to firearms. Just as passionately, I disagree with his position, but we politely exchanged views on this important issue without resorting to name calling or inflammatory rhetoric.

As a member of the National Rifle Association's Board of Directors, I hope Bob Barr is as appalled as I am by the recent public remarks made by his fellow NRA board member, Ted Nugent. Here they are, word for word and in context:

"I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist raised communist educated communist nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America. I am heartbroken but I am not giving up. I think America will be America again when Barack Obama, (Attorney General) Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, (Sen.) Dick Durbin, (former New York City Mayor) Michael Bloomberg and all of the liberal Democrats are in jail facing the just due punishment that their treasonous acts are clearly apparent.

"So a lot of people would call that inflammatory speech. Well I would call it inflammatory speech when it's your job to protect Americans and you look into the television camera and say what difference does it make that I failed in my job to provide security and we have four dead Americans. What difference does that make? Not to a chimpanzee or Hillary Clinton, I guess it doesn't matter"

I believe Nugent thinks he has the NRA's support and won't be sanctioned for his outrageously abhorrent and disgusting views.

While he is entitled to them, Nugent's opinions reflect directly on the National Rifle Association and its entire Board of Directors, including Barr, its executive staff, its members, and the entire firearms industry.

As an NRA board member and a candidate running for the United States Congress, I call on Bob Barr to publically condemn Mr. Nugent's comments and demand his resignation or expulsion from the NRA Board of Directors.

 
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Lib in Cobb
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January 23, 2014
Kevin: Pigs will fly before Bob Barr gives away an endorsement, even if it's from a psycho.

Everything old is new again
by Kevin_Foley
January 16, 2014 10:35 AM | 413 views | 4 4 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I watched a fascinating documentary on the PBS program “American Experience” chronicling the momentous events of 1964.

I turned 11 years old that year but I remember much of what happened like it was yesterday.

As 1964 began, the accidental president, Lyndon Johnson, consoled a nation still grieving over the assassination of the beloved Jack Kennedy; the Beatles arrived in America and made us smile; Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston and then he became Mohammed Ali.

In 1964, white college students from the North descended on Mississippi to register blacks to vote during Freedom Summer and the Ku Klux Klan murdered three of them. The nation was appalled and demanded action.

In 1964, race riots broke out in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood after a policeman shot and killed a black teen. Rejecting Martin Luther King’s call for non-violence, Malcom X began speaking about achieving freedom “by any means necessary,” giving rise to the Black Power movement.

In 1964, LBJ lobbied hard for the Civil Rights Act and won its passage; students in Berkley challenged the University of California administration’s attack on their free speech rights and won, setting the stage for the Cultural Revolution that would follow; LBJ used the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to escalate the conflict in Vietnam.

In 1964, the Republican presidential candidate was Barry Goldwater. The Arizona senator was an unapologetic right wing extremist who promised small government and opposed the Civil Rights Act. He also seemed a little too eager to launch a nuke at the Soviet Union.

Listening to Goldwater’s speeches, I closed my eyes and heard 2014 tea partiers.

Goldwater cast every New Deal reform including Social Security as failures (remember, this is only about 30 years after FDR took office) and demanded states be left alone by Washington to conduct their affairs as they saw fit.

Then, as now, Social Security saved millions of elderly Americans from poverty and states like Mississippi couldn’t be trusted to guarantee and protect the rights of all their citizens. It was up to the federal government to step in and do it.

In 1964, Americans rejected Goldwater’s brand of radical conservatism the same way they told Mitt Romney to hit the road 48 years later. LBJ crushed Goldwater in a in a landslide.

It was a remarkable year.
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Kevin Foley
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January 22, 2014
@ Lib - Yes. As easy as invading Iraq and telling Americans we'll be greeted as liberators and the oil will pay for the war.

BTW, they do have a solution for everything: Tax cuts for the wealthiest.

Shooting down double standards
by Kevin_Foley
January 07, 2014 10:35 AM | 556 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Question the right of gay people to be left alone to live their lives and you're a celebrated hero.

Question the lack of sensible gun safety laws and you get fired from your job and even receive death threats.

Duck Dynasty's Phil Roberston candidly explained to GQ magazine why the LGBT community are sinners. A&E Network suspended him and then reinstated the duck call tycoon after right wing religious zealots started screaming about Robertson's free speech rights.

Dick Metcalf, a respected, long time columnist for Guns & Ammo magazine and a diehard gun rights advocate penned an opinion suggesting that, just maybe, some regulation of firearms would be a good idea.

Not only was Metcalf summarily fired, he began receiving death threats from readers. I wouldn't be surprised to learn Roberston, a spokesman for Mossberg guns, or one of his oddball offspring were among those who threatened Metcalf's life.

No conservative had any concern for Metcalf's First Amendment rights. Nobody on the right questioned why one of the most influential voices in the gun world was silenced. That's because double standards abound among conservatives.

For example, President Obama was most definitely born in the United States to an American mother but many on the right still insist he's not a citizen and thus shouldn't be president.

Sen. Ted Cruz was most definitely born in Canada to an American mother but the very same conservatives say Cruz is American through-and-through.

See what I mean?

So what awful things did Metcalf write that got him banished from Planet Firearms?

"The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, 'A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.' Note carefully: Those last four words say, 'shall not be infringed.' They do not say 'shall not be regulated.' 'Well regulated,' is, in fact, the initial criterion of the amendment itself."

Exactly. But, as I like to point out, facts frequently elude conservatives and very often enrage them, especially if they're armed.

Some 90 percent of Americans including gun owners say universal background checks on all gun sales make perfect sense. But the National Rifle Association said no to that and threatened lawmakers for even entertaining the idea. It should be noted that, in the wake of the Columbine massacre, even the NRA was in favor of background checks.

Alas, the obvious finally dawned on Dead Eye Dick Metcalf who clearly believed that given the stature he enjoyed, his ideas on the subject would be given polite consideration by G&A readers.
 
I could have told him not to bother, to self-censor because the gun industry, for which the NRA tirelessly works, would not be pleased.

Sure enough, after the parent company of Guns & Ammo received calls from two gun makers threatening to drop all advertising in the magazine unless Metcalf was disappeared from its pages, the columnist's free speech rights were extinguished without so much as a fare thee well from the right wing.

That's because many conservatives only care about their rights and not the rights of those with whom they disagree.

They'll tell you the Constitution is etched in stone. In reality, conservatives regard it as a flexible document intended only to support their rights and to be used against those who want guns regulated, or those who don't believe corporations are people, or those who believe a woman has the right to choose, or think gay people deserve the same rights as all Americans.
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LibinCobb
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January 07, 2014
Kevin: The religious right, especially the religious right gun whackos are as you have so eloquently stated are TWO FACED. They condemn the behavior of the LGBT community but then will say, "God will decide". Which is it? It seems the religious wingers would be a lot better off if they kept their opinions to themselves then people like me would not be calling them TWO FACED whackos. If God is all knowing, let him decide and just shut up.

Your fellow blogger, Chris Sanchez could very well be at the head of the class for two faced religious whack jobs. He derives permission from the bible for he and Phil Roberstson to be un-christian like. I called him out on this recently on his blog and he rather quickly deleted his posts. That's the old cut and run when anyone points out a glaring weakness in their argument.

Kevin, thanks again for being nearly the lone voice of reason in this political wilderness known as Cobb County.

Duck Travesty
by Kevin_Foley
December 30, 2013 10:50 AM | 683 views | 2 2 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I watch very little episodic television and never tune in to so-called reality shows, which aren't really real.
 
Producers merely outline scenes and let their "talent" - and I use that word loosely - act like idiots until viewers tire of their silly shenanigans and abandon them for newer, more bizarre fare.
 
Speaking of which, I can proudly say I have never watched "Duck Dynasty." And I never will. Short of blasting away at each other with their shotguns, there's nothing the Robertsons could do that remotely interests me.
 
If that makes me an "elitist," as MDJ columnist Roger Hines characterizes anyone not charmed by this grotesque clan of swamp dwellers or things like Cracker Barrel's "dumplins," then I enthusiastically plead guilty (Cracker Barrel may be the most ironically named restaurant chain in America, by the way).
 
For now, the antics of this bunch of backwater goobers have grabbed the attention of 14 million Americans. As the old saw goes, you'll never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator, right Jerry Springer?
 
I don't understand or care about all the Duck Dynasty excitement. But I do understand why so many Americans were offended by what Phil Robertson had to say about gay people and biblical teachings in a GQ magazine interview.
 
I read the entire article. Not surprisingly, Robertson impressed me as an ignoramus, to use Mr. Hines' word, with very little exposure to the wider world so engrossed is he in whacking quacking water fowl, Fox News and religious fundamentalism.
 
Curiously, Phil Robertson reportedly earned a master's degree from Louisiana Tech, but evidently his education was confined to studying the religious mores of 14th century Europe when he wasn't violently acting out.
 
But this is the 21st century and my reading of the Bible tells me Jesus Christ loves everybody; straight, gay, lesbian, bi, transgender, black, white, brown, yellow, red, old, young, sick, healthy, bad, good, rich or poor.
 
Jesus doesn't care who you are. He just loves you. And, more important, Mr. Hines and you others who love to bash the LGBT community, He wants YOU to love all your brothers and sisters.
 
So I don't get how Robertson can say he turned his life over to Jesus Christ in one breath and condemn others in the next. It seems unchristian.
 
Years of medical research show pretty conclusively people are born the way they are. But if you accept that science, then according to Mr. Hines, it means God made a mistake. But what if God decided to make LGBT people to test our tolerance? Or what if there is no God and the world is just a happy or unhappy accident, depending on how it's treated you?
 
I don't expect the Duck Dynasty crowd or the adoring fans defending Phil Robertson's intolerant views to explore these deeper questions. It's far easier for self-described "traditionalists" to judge and demonize those they don't understand.
 
It's behavior as old as the Bible.
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LibinCobb
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December 31, 2013
Kevin, I wish you and your family, peace, joy and health in the new year.

We need Billy Jack again
by Kevin_Foley
December 17, 2013 02:05 PM | 643 views | 11 11 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I was sorry to see Tom Laughlin, the creator of the iconic “Billy Jack” movie franchise, passed away. Very few film heroes fought injustice the way Laughlin’s former Green Beret did.

Billy Jack eschewed reason for round house kicks, negotiations for knock-out punches. He blasted bullies, rapists, white collar criminals and other assorted low-lifes, all of whom richly earned his ire.

His mission in life, judging by the only Billy Jack film I saw, was to protect the vulnerable and he always seemed to be in the right place at the wrong time, at least as far as the bad guys were concerned.

Billy would approach his leering enemy and calmly explain why what the creep had done was profoundly wrong - then came the karate chop to the throat or a boot to the head.

Billy Jack appeared at a time when President Richard Nixon was lashing out at his critics and particularly students protesting the Vietnam War. It became evident the Nixon administration would resort to any means necessary to suppress the anti-war protests when National Guard soldiers murdered four unarmed students at Kent State.

So Laughlin, a left wing political activist, produced an allegory for those sad times.

Billy Jack shows up at an “alternative” school in Arizona. It’s more like a hippie commune, but the point is nobody there is looking for trouble, just like the anti-war protesters exercising their Constitutional right to peacefully assemble.

Standing in for the Nixon administration are the local racists and red necks who make life miserable for the school's students and teachers.

Billy Jack represents justice, however harshly its meted out, and the dirt bags are soon getting what's coming to them as Billy shows them just how tough a liberal can be.

In 1977, Laughlin produced a sequel to his hugely successful first film called “Billy Jack Goes to Washington," but those were tame times compared to the tea party bullies on Capitol Hill nowadays.

I’d like to send Billy Jack to the House tea party caucus when it meets. Here’s the scene:

Billy, wearing his trademark jean jacket and flat brimmed hat with the Hopi bead band, stands in the caucus room, arms akimbo, glaring at the 80 House  tea party representatives.

Billy: So, Broun, you and these others want to cut food stamps by 40 billion dollars?

Broun confidently glances at the 79 others in the caucus with a smirk.

Broun: Yeah, that’s right. Says in the Bible them what don’t work don’t eat. Get it?

Billy smiles ruefully and shakes his head.

Billy: But food stamps help little kids, old people, even unemployed veterans. I think you should put that 40 billion back in your legislation. I know you don’t want any trouble.

Broun: What, from you?

Billy: That’s right.

Broun: Just you…nobody else?

Billy: Uh huh.

Broun: We ain’t afraid o’ you…

WHAP!

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mikeholzknecht@yahoo,com
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December 21, 2013
Billy Jack could have been filmed in Cobb County. As far as a waste of time for 500,000 Viet Nam vets, this Viet Nam vet recommends reading "Fire in the Lake" by Frances Fitzgerald and "The Brothers" about Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother Allen Dulles, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency by Stephen Kinzer.

Facts are much more interesting than fake history.


Fox dupes Senator Judson Hill
by Kevin_Foley
December 06, 2013 08:56 AM | 577 views | 2 2 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Every year about this time Fox News gears up for its “war on Christams” blitizkerig. The goal of this deliberate miscommunications campaign is to portray progressives as anti-Christian.

And every year, Fox News is exposed as a purveyor of this silly and false propaganda.

State Sen. Judson Hill can attest because he was dupped into believing a Fox News story that accused an elementary school in Bulloch County, Georgia with “confiscating” Christmas cards.

It turns out the Fox reporter, serial misinformer Todd Starnes, never checked with school administrators to verify the story. If he had he would have learned  the cards were removed "due to a legitimate personal privacy concern," according to administrators who added, “holiday traditions and especially those of Christmas are alive and well.”

“I am disappointed in the Bulloch County Board of Education banning Christmas cards & encourage them to reverse themselves,” Tweeted Sen. Hill, who followed that one up later with, “I will explore possible legislation, if needed, to protect religious freedom of GA taxpayers in GA schools as a result of this action.”

Let’s recap: a lie presented by Fox News and re-reported by other far right wing media as fact was repeated by a Georgia elected official representing not Bulloch County but Cobb County, 200 miles away.

This is a terrific example of how the far right media noise machine works.

Misinformation, distortions and, in this case, an outright lie, is circulated because it affirms the prejudices of the Fox audience, Sen. Hill and any of his constituents who follow him.

-more-

 

 

-2-

Rest assured, the fact that the original report was blatantly false will never be corrected by Fox News (which rarely if ever corrects itself) so as far as the collective audience is concerned, it’s true.

The second problem is Hill pandering to the religious right in his Tweet, “…protect religious freedom of GA taxpayers in GA schools”?

What the heck is Hill talking about?

I’m a Georgia tax payer and I don’t want any religion in the public schools for which my tax dollars pay. There are plenty of private schools for parents who want to send their kids to classrooms where religion is part of the curriculum.

The Supreme Court ruled on this years ago. Why is Sen. Hill threatening to take the law into his own hands?

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Mike H
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December 10, 2013
Judson probably isn't this stupid. He's just feeding the Republican base some red meat.

Then again, he might be as stupid as his base.

Crypto-racism
by Kevin_Foley
November 26, 2013 10:26 PM | 542 views | 4 4 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

You can’t be overtly racist anymore. So to express their hatred and intolerance, racists have resorted to a kind of code. You substitute more generally accepted words for the ones you can’t use.

An example of crypto-racism in on display in Dr. Mel Fein’s most recent MDJ column. In it, the sociology professor from Kennesaw State University lashes out at poor people, just in time for Thanksgiving. He uses the word “poor” in place of black, but his message comes through loud and clear.

So completely repugnant and prejudiced are his opinions, they invite translation:

 “The fact that the poor are frequently the authors of their own misery is indeed a painful truth,” Fein begins.

This is scarcely a novel observation. It of course overlooks the cycle of poverty that keeps the poor/blacks where they are. They have made great strides in breaking the cycle in other developed nations by providing job training, child care, access to reproductive education and healthcare services, quality education and after school programs, drug and alcohol counseling and other significant social services, but Fein doesn’t want to discuss or advocate those advancements. He’d rather blame the victim.

 “(T)he vast majority are too disorganized to make such efforts (to start businesses),” scoffs Fein.

When he says “disorganized” Fein actually means “lazy.” As in most all of his columns, Fein doesn’t employ research or statistics to support this argument. He just repeats a threadbare stereotype about poor/black people.

“(T)he poor, even if they have insurance, often do not seek help. Doctors, whom they regard as of a higher class, make them uncomfortable. As a result, even when they have Medicaid, they tend to stay home,” Fein baselessly declares.

Now Fein suggests that poor/black people have an instinctual inferiority complex that prevents them from seeking medical help when they are sick. Fein is apparently unaware of the multitudes of poor/black people showing up at free clinics nor does he have any data on the number of poor/black people not using their Medicaid benefits.

 "(W)hen they do see a physician, they are inarticulate when explaining their symptoms. Both intimidated by the doctor and generally inartful in expressing themselves, they make poor reporters of their own conditions. But since self-reports are a physician’s primary means of initiating a good diagnosis, understanding what is wrong becomes problematic,” says the professor.

This passage is not only fact-free, it’s transparently racist. No translation is necessary.

 “(T)he poor don’t enjoy being pushed around (and rich white people do?)  — by anyone, and that includes doctors. As a result, they are less apt to follow medical directions. Perhaps they do not get off their feet when so advised or they refuse to take a prescribed medication,”

Fein deploys a stunning generalization to make his baseless point: Poor/black people are “uppity” when being told what medication to take and how to use it because they “don’t enjoy being pushed around.”

“(T)he poor…drink too much, smoke too much, and eat too unwholesomely. Oddly, most do not even exercise sufficiently,” Fein concludes.

The professor is oddly ignorant that the same statement could be applied to many Americans, regardless of their ethnicity or economic status. But we already know what he really means and who he’s really talking about.

Dr. Fein ‘s crypto-racist opinions are appalling and mean spirited, borne of ignorance and personal bias. He’d do well to just keep his nasty opinions to himself and not besmirch his university any further.

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CobbCoGuy
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December 02, 2013
d young,

You really shouldn't rely on MSNBC's Martin Bashir for your info. You cited a misleading edit from a June 2013 broadcast. The remark you quote is an an out-of-context, and INCOMPLETE, paragraph from a 40 minute conversation. Incomplete in that Bashir selectively left out a couple of sentences.

Nice try, though.

Shortchanged at KSU Marketplace
by Kevin_Foley
November 13, 2013 10:34 AM | 615 views | 2 2 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

What was billed as a “marketplace of ideas” at Kennesaw State University quickly devolved into a second hand store full of debunked Obamacare myths, unsubstantiated opinions, and crypto-racism. Presiding over this shopworn inventory was none other than Dr. Mel Fein, KSU’s favorite reactionary sociologist.

Fein was supposed to debate Obamacare with Dr. Kenneth White, an assistant professor of political science. After KSU President Dr. Dan Papp declared the ground rules, calling for civility and collegiality, Dr. White offered a well-reasoned and ably supported rationale for why Obamacare, once fully implemented, will curb the runaway cost of healthcare while insuring some 40 million Americans so the rest of us will no longer pay for their healthcare.

When it was his turn, Fein could barely contain his disdain for White. He proceeded to condescendingly pontificate on the evils of President Obama and his signature legislation repeatedly and annoyingly punctuating his fact-free presentation with an “oh, and by the way” rhetorical device that quickly became annoying.

Fein breezily dismissed White’s accurate healthcare data as “damned lies” before declaring that law suits against doctors represent 10 percent of the total cost of healthcare in the U.S. (the figure is actually about 2.5 percent).

When Dr. White explained that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office forecast Obamacare would be paid for in 10 years, Fein’s response was “garbage in, garbage out,” evidently unaware that CBO numbers are accepted as reliable by both parties on Capitol Hill.

It became painfully evident White had prepared for the debate. Fein didn’t bother. Instead, he opined that poor people are incapable of starting businesses and noted, contrary to the Declaration of Independence, all men are not created equal.

The few times Fein did cite data, it was wrong. He insisted Obamacare had driven employers to place employees on part-time status to avoid paying for healthcare, a popular anti-Obamacare myth. In fact, labor statistics show part-time employment has fallen by 681,000 jobs this year.

Dr. Papp sat directly in front of Fein, so I couldn’t see his face but his body language resembled that of a man on the receiving end of a boiling water enema.

Meantime, the evening’s special guest speaker, the estimable sociologist Dr. Jonathan Imber of Wellesley College, was intently studying his shoelaces while Fein mindlessly vented his spleen. I’d love to be a fly on the wall of the faculty lounge at Wellesley when Imber regales his colleagues with his account of Fein’s presentation.

This was clearly not the sort of august and dignified forum Papp or the Dean of KSU’s College of Humanities and Social Studies, Dr. Robert Dorff, had in mind for their Marketplace of Ideas. Billed as “The Great Debate I: Obamacare – Yes or No?” the event was reminiscent of those times you invite an obnoxious uncle to dinner and by the end of the evening, you wish you hadn’t.

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Mike H.
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November 14, 2013
Dr. Fein’s performance reminded me of Sean Hannity on steroids, loud, aggressive, and as Mr. Foley said, “fact-free.” If using the words lie and liar are a substitute for facts, then Dr. Fein buried his opponent under a mountain of facts.

Obamacare isn’t perfect. Improvements could have been suggested by Dr. Fein and debated but Dr. Fein chose not to go the fact based, logic driven path. This was a sad day for KSU.

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