|January 31, 2014||Deal dodges, blames Mother Nature||2 comments|
|January 27, 2014||Uncle Sugar||12 comments|
|January 22, 2014||Barr should condemn Nugent||1 comments|
|January 16, 2014||Everything old is new again||4 comments|
|January 07, 2014||Shooting down double standards||1 comments|
|December 30, 2013||Duck Travesty||2 comments|
|December 17, 2013||We need Billy Jack again||11 comments|
|December 06, 2013||Fox dupes Senator Judson Hill||2 comments|
|November 26, 2013||Crypto-racism||4 comments|
|November 13, 2013||Shortchanged at KSU Marketplace||2 comments|
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:
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.
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…
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.
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?
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.
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.