Here is Senator McCarthy, speaking in June 1951 about the parlous situation of the United States:
How can we account for our present situation unless we believe that men high in this government are concerting to deliver us to disaster? This must be the product of a great conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, which it is finally exposed, its principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men…. What can be made of this unbroken series of decisions and acts contributing to the strategy of defeat? They cannot be attributed to incompetence…. The laws of probability would dictate that part of… [the] decisions would serve the country’s interest.
Now turn back fifty years to a manifesto signed in 1895 by a number of leaders of the Populist party:
As early as 1865–66 a conspiracy was entered into between the gold gamblers of Europe and America…. For nearly thirty years these conspirators have kept the people quarreling over less important matters while they have pursued with unrelenting zeal their one central purpose…. Every device of treachery, every resource of statecraft, and every artifice known to the secret cabals of the international gold ring are being used to deal a blow to the prosperity of the people and the financial and commercial independence of the country.
Next, a Texas newspaper article of 1855:
…It is a notorious fact that the Monarchs of Europe and the Pope of Rome are at this very moment plotting our destruction and threatening the extinction of our political, civil, and religious institutions. We have the best reasons for believing that corruption has found its way into our Executive Chamber, and that our Executive head is tainted with the infectious venom of Catholicism…. The Pope has recently sent his ambassador of state to this country on a secret commission, the effect of which is an extraordinary boldness of the Catholic church throughout the United States…. These minions of the Pope are boldly insulting our Senators; reprimanding our Statesmen; propagating the adulterous union of Church and State; abusing with foul calumny all governments but Catholic, and spewing out the bitterest execrations on all Protestantism. The Catholics in the United States receive from abroad more than $200,000 annually for the propagation of their creed. Add to this the vast revenues collected here….
-Richard Hofstadter, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”
According to the taxi workers’ alliance, Mr. Sharif’s fare started the ride asking him in a friendly way if he was Muslim, whether he was observing Ramadan, and how long he had been in the United States.
After falling silent for a few minutes, the passenger began cursing and screaming, and then yelled, “Assalamu alaikum — consider this a checkpoint!” and slashed Mr. Sharif across the neck, and then on the face from his nose to his upper lip, the alliance said. (“Assalamu alaikum” — “peace be with you” — is a traditional Muslim greeting.)
To Fox News, the GOP, the teabaggers and everyone furiously stroking Islamophobia: You have reaped what you have sown.
[Pamela] Geller’s blog, Atlas Shrugs, “lays bare her sympathies with extremist groups across the globe.” Geller “vigorously defended Slobodan Milosevic” when he was convicted of war crimes at the Hague, denying that the Serbs committed atrocities during the 1990s. She has “allied herself with racist extremists in South Africa in promoting a claim that the black population is carrying out a ‘genocide’ of whites,” and says that she “shares the goals” of the far-right English Defense League (EDL). “We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups [like the EDL] that oppose the Islamisation of the West,” she wrote. Geller has also embraced Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician who advocates banning the Qu’ran.
While Geller and Spencer have been basking in the glare of mainstream coverage, some of her fellow agitators have taken a lower profile, and for good reason. Their past writings reveal a history of extremism and bigotry that should lay to rest any notion that the organized opposition to the Islamic community center being built near the site of the former World Trade Center is based on “sensitivity” to the 9/11 victims
I wrote about this crazy woman in 2009. Hate to say I told you so, but here’s a few paragraphs from an opinion column I wrote in March 2009:
"The First Amendment also does not protect ‘fighting words.’ In Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amendment does not protect ‘fighting words, those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.’ [Rep. Michele] Bachmann is championed on extremist right-wing blogs as a ‘freedom fighter’ for advocating revolution and ‘breaches of the peace.’ ‘Atlas Shrugs,’ a blog authored by Pamela Geller, espouses armed revolution and claims the financial crisis was ‘deliberate, planned, staged…On Sept 11th, the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw down of money market accounts in the USA to the tune of $550 Billion dollars in a matter of an hour or two. This was a Financial Terrorist Attack on the seventh anniversary of 9/11.’
Geller interviewed Bachmann on Wednesday. Bachmann continued advocating resistance to the Obama administration, saying, ‘Make sure his first term is his last term. And then we have to be extremely bold, if we are fortunate enough to win the presidency in 2012. We have to be extremely bold in our agenda for freedom, we need a freedom agenda.’ Geller campaigns for opposition to ‘President Hussein’ by any means necessary. The comments on her blog range from, ‘I am growing more scared every day! We have to do something as a nation, while we still have time’ to ‘Osama bin Laden promised al-Qaeda would attack the American economy! Now, how much is Obama being paid by bin Laden, I wonder?’ Finally, ‘Logical American’ writes: ‘Can we get enough people together to sucede [sic] from the Union? It is becoming obvious that one party wants to enslave the whole US for now and all generations.’ Side effect: Revolutionary metaphor becomes encouragement.
Readers of Geller’s blog obviously take comments like this seriously, with one reader writing, ‘Smith and Wesson could make sure Obama’s first term is his last.’ Still, I do not support charging Rep. Bachmann with treason. However, if a democratic representative had said anything similar to her statements, the public would swiftly demand at the very least, the national party step in and reprimand the representative. There’s not similar outrage on the flipside, and it’s a damn shame. The GOP should firmly warn her that revolutionary metaphors add nothing to the debate and distract from bipartisan discussion. This warning could include the possibility of an official reprimand by the US House. Instead, there is a yawning void filled with the babble of Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Sean Hannity, and Matt Drudge. Side effect: Instead of bipartisanship, Bachmann’s ridiculous antics publically represent the GOP.
I’m a total font snob. I’m planning my wedding in Las Vegas, and because everything books up so ridiculously fast, I’m researching everything about 10 months in advance.
I know nothing about flowers except some are pretty, some make me sneeze, and some look like bouquets I used to send my grandmother. Therefore, I have no starting point for searching florists in Las Vegas.
I began eliminating by price, purchase minimums, etc. Then I began eliminating those sites created entirely using comic sans font.
I FUCKING HATE COMIC SANS!
I refuse to use it. I refuse to take anyone seriously who uses it. The florist may think that it’s playful and whimsical. That is what they want you to think.
Here’s what I think when I see it: OMG I HAZ LOTSA FLOWERZ LULZ!
That, or Comic sans’ bastard cousin, Kristen ITC. That is not professional.
Luckily, I found several sites that featured a beautiful portfolio and prices within my budget. And no comic sans anywhere. Funny - the sites with comic sans were actually on the high end of the spectrum.
I am a font snob. When you use comic sans, I judge you. That is my confession.
“If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.”—
A Wisconsin state law that took effect Jan. 1 requires any commercial insurance policy with drug benefits to include prescription contraceptives in their coverage. While this is a fair and reasonable piece of legislation, the Catholic Diocese in Madison, Wisconsin, is telling employees they’ll…
Wow. Just wow. Isn’t this a violation of privacy laws, not to mention human dignity?
“Alotta white guys say, “Hey man, that’s not fair. You can say whatever you want. You can say nigger!” Yeah, when I last checked, that was the only advantage I had to being black. You wanna switch places? You scream nigger and I’ll raise interest rates.”—
I love this picture. For so many reasons, I love this picture. First of all, context. I found it on the site girlcameramirror, which is exactly what it sounds like: girls taking pictures of themselves in various states of undress. Mostly the girls are young, skinny, and making that face girls make that I think is supposed to look like a kissy face but instead comes off more like “this is what I will look like when I get my lips done.” Also they show their boobs, which I like a lot.
It would be disingenuous of me to say I like those picture ironically. I do not; I like them because they are pictures of naked girls. But I also recognize that there is something kind of sad and troubling about girls posting pictures of themselves without their clothes on for no discernible reason other than the fact that girls have a biological compulsion to make boys salivate, and boys have a biological compulsion to do so, and then masturbate.
Girls want to be seen as pretty. Boys want to see pretty girls. (Plus, in my experience, girls want to see pretty girls too.)
Needless to say, somebody would have to feel pretty good about her body to post such a picture. The girls who tend to feel this way tend to have slamming bodies. So this picture is an anomaly on the site, a photo of two girls, obviously overweight, obviously good friends, with their shirts off, and apparently feeling very happy about themselves. That’s the context. And it made me feel good.
Second, there are the details. And the details are just as awesome as the context. The matching bathing polka dot bathing suit tops. That in itself is curious enough to warrant a thumbs up from me. Why are they wearing matching tops? Did they buy them together? Did one of them have both? Did they put them on specifically for the photo or are they on their way to some event where they are expected to wear matching polka dot bathing suits? (Bras?)
The goofy expression on the one girl’s face. To me, it is a face that says, “This is for fun.” What I read from her expression is simple: “Look how stupid I’m being with my friend,” the kind of face everybody makes for the camera now and again when she is having fun and wanting to record the memory. The face seems to harbor no resentment, no irony, no dismissiveness, nothing to suggest that she is making any kind of larger statement with this photo than she is being silly. I am a big fan of silliness. Plus she’s got a tongue stud.
Her friend’s expression is almost serene. Resting her head on her friend’s shoulder, she is absorbed in the image she’s creating. Her face holds no come hither look, no kissy face, no “I’m hot and I know it,” or even “I wish I was hot.” It’s just “girl with goofy friend.” She looks pretty. She looks happy.
Then there’s the post-photo decision to send the picture in to girlcameramirror. Why? What is the purpose? Why set yourself up like that? I don’t think it’s a political statement on their part. If I felt like it was, I think I would like the picture less. I choose to interpret it as, “we like this picture, we like the site, let’s send our picture to the site.” I think it’s as simple as that. I hope it is. I want these girls to be well-adjusted, happy BFFs with huge tits and matching polka dot bathing suits. Yes, they’re fat, and that’s part of the appeal of the picture. The image would be meaningless to me if they weren’t. I don’t even want to say I think they’re proud of being fat. I don’t think they are. I have no reason to think they’re proud; I think (at least in this moment) they are indifferent, which is better than pride. They are caught in a moment of unselfconscious happiness on a site which is all about the exact opposite of that, and that is awesome.
Michael Ian Black, I love your post. For so many reasons, I love this post.
Champagne corks are popping in the Golden State. A federal judge in California has lifted a temporary stay of his landmark decision striking down Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that put a halt to weddings.
Same-sex couples across the state are expected to begin lining up for wedding licenses again nearly two years after voters narrowly approved Prop 8. Still, it’s unclear how long couples will be able to take advantage of the restored right to marry. Prop 8 proponents who are appealing the Prop 8 decision are also likely to appeal today’s ruling on resuming marriages to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
A new CNN poll released yesterday found that for the first time a majority of Americans believe same-sex couples should have the right to legally marry. Fifty-two percent said it should be legal, while 46 percent opposed marriage equality.
Nate Silver at Fivethirtyeight.com has been analyzing recent polling on the issue, and concludes that the rapid shift in opinion toward marriage equality likely means that ”’having the debate’ is helpful to the gay marriage cause.”