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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Former-Secretary Bennett, could you be an even bigger son of a bitch?

Well, just when you think William Bennett couldn't be any dumber, he said in front of 4500 people and members of the news media, “I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” He later defended his comments by saying that he was, to use fewer words, using it as a straw man to argue against. Holy shit. That sounds like something Senator Byrd or David Duke would say. I mean, what the unholy FUCK was he thinking when he said that? It's one thing to be a racist asshole and bigoted idiot, but it's another thing to say that in front of that many people and defend your comments. As the old adage goes, it's better to be thought an idiot and be silent, than to speak and remove all doubt. I know what I want to give him for Christmas: A muzzle, and a one-way trip to Compton.


Sheryl said...
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Sheryl said...
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Sheryl said...

Something Byrd might have said 60+ years ago. Could you please give some examples of Senator Byrd saying anything like this in recent history?

Bush was an alcoholic since then. Does that mean that he is still an alcoholic? Or should we assume that people cannot possibly change anything negative about themselves? Once a racist, always a racist; once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic; once a loser, always a loser.

If so, you should help get Bush impeached because he has already bankrupted two companies. And on that score, you might be right; he does appear to have bankrupted our economy with reckless military spending.

In terms of Bennett, yes, he has always been an idiot, but it almost appears that you are using your beef with Bennett to attack Senator Byrd. Could it actually be because he was one of the most vocal opponenets to Bush's illegal war in Iraq? There have been lots of Republican bigots in Congress, but you keep mentioning Senator Byrd. It makes one wonder why Byrd, but not the other bigots (many of who have RECENTLY said bigoted things.)

You also mention Ted Kennedy when slamming democrats, who not only has not said bigoted things, but was right there alongside Byrd opposing the illegal invasion of Iraq. I don't know your position on the war, but the common denominator appears to be opposition to Bush's pre-emptive war with Iraq in the Senate, not bigotry. So I am assuming you were in favor of the invasion and are just doing your damndest to tar anyone who actually had the common sense to oppose it.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

My beef with Mr. Byrd is his rather disturbing history with the KKK. He claimed that he didn't know that they were a racist organization when he joined and thereby launched his political career. That is something I find to be complete and utter bullshit. He was born only a very few years before my grandfather, and my grandfather knew that they were bad news. They were a nasty bunch from their inception decades before Byrd was born, Byrd was in the South, and he claims he didn't know? Holy fuck. I frankly don't give a good goddamn what you think the motivation behind my dislike for Byrd is. For me, the words "former Klevern (sp?) of the KKK" are more than enough reason.

And Senator Kennedy... I have plenty of reasons to curse the day he was born, but far overshadowing all of the others is one word: Chappaquiddick. We also can't forget the Freudian slip when he called Senator Obama "Osama". Or what of his comments and demeanor during the Senate hearings for Gerald Reynolds as recently as 2002? Not a racist? Ask yourself, Sheryl, what you would have said had he been a Republican giving similar treatment to an African-American nominated by Bill Clinton for a senior position in the United States government. And then you imply that I'm being intellectually dishonest and using this as a reason for attacking Mr. Byrd and Mr. Kennedy because of their opposition to the current war in Iraq. That is utterly laughable. Have you seen me lambaste any other of a slew of vocal opponents to the war in Iraq, aside from Senator Kerry? Take those three out, and you still have a wide selection of other vocal opponents to the war in Iraq who have remained untouched at worst. In the case of Congressman Frank, I've even expressed some admiration, though I disagree with him on a wide selection of issues. Frankly, I don't know what to make of former-Governor Dean, though at least he's always interesting.

No, no, my dear Sheryl, my frequent jabs at Byrd and Kennedy have nothing to do with their stances on policy, and have everything to do with my belief that they are morally, intellectually, and ethically bankrupt individuals who are no more fit to lead than the current president.

For the record, I was in favor of the invasion of Iraq, but only because I take great exception to genocidal maniacs being given a free pass. However, I think the manner in which this war was waged had several significant elements of tactical idiocy that can only be laid at the feet of some members of the Cabinet and the Oval Office. At this point, I think we've accomplished about as much as we'll be able to do, and have little choice but to hope it will be enough. Recent developments with the Sunnis on the eve of the constitutional referrendum give some cause for cautious optimism. I've heard one person suggest that _The Art of War_ by Sun Tzu be the subject of a class for officers in the U.S. Armed Forces. Perhaps that person whose name I long since forgot was right, and perhaps he should have included the shapers of foreign policy.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

And Senator Byrd, hasn't made a racist comment in about 60 years? Forget his not insubstantial ties to the KKK as recently as the 1950s, a full decade after he claimed to have ended his affiliation with them. Let's take a trip down memory lane to that ancient time long before most of us were born, on March 4, 2001, when he said, "There are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time; I'm going to use that word." Where did he say this? In some out of the way church or conference hall with only a few hundred witnesses? No, he only said this on FOX NEWS!!! My memory is imperfect, but I think I would've remembered some great outcry against this type of thing. Sheryl, a little bit of research is not only good, but necessary.

Evilicious Blonde said...

M Chaos Darlin', this is why I don't talk about politics anymore. It's bad for the blood pressure.

Sheryl said... is your idea of objective "research"?

Sheryl said...

First of all, here's what he said:
Snow: Race relations?

Byrd: They are much, much better than they've ever been in my lifetime. I think we - this is my personal opinion. I think we talk about race too much. I think those problems are largely behind us. I think we can all profit by our mistakes. I think we've reached a new plateau, and I think it's going to keep going upward, that understanding and race relations.

"I just think we talk so much about it that we help to create somewhat of an illusion. I think we try to have goodwill. My old mom told me, 'Robert, you can't go to heaven if you hate anybody.' We practice that. There are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time. I'm going to use that word.

"We just need to work together to make our country a better country, and I'd just as soon quit talking about it so much."


I don't know what he means by "white niggers" and neither would you.

What I do know is that he opposed the war in Iraq, and considering the percentage of black people who join the military to get out of poverty, he was passionately promoting an agenda that benefits blacks.

In my community, the Martin Luther King parade was an anti-war march prior to the war. 60,000 citizens of San Antonio marched in that parade (many of them black.) When the speeches started, the main thrust was how blacks disproportionate serve in the armed forces and die for their country. Cannon fodder to lunatics like President Bush.

The real bigot is that lunatic in the White House who has defunded all sorts of social programs that benefit blacks in this country. Like it or not, when social programs are cut, minorities are the ones who get hurt.

Calm down, Sheryl

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Sheryl, first, I almost apologized for the tone, but not the content, of my response to your comments. That apology died when you attacked the facts when faced with superior data.

I grew up on Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern, and later, Crossfire. As such, I have some tendencies towards pomposity and bombast. I become particularly unbearable when I'm accused of intellectual dishonesty and when I'm stating historical fact. Is it so difficult to believe that I'm fully capable of despising people from both sides of the aisle for reasons completely independent of the war in Iraq? I've loathed at least some powerful politicians since I voted in my first election almost a decade ago, by which point I'd ceased being a Dittohead for at least a year because Limbaugh had become such a bitch to the Republican Party. Kennedy and Byrd are pretty much the only ones of that (then very short) list still left in a position of trust. was merely the first one I saw. Do a web search of 'march 4 2001 senator byrd fox news'. I chose Yahoo, though Google and others are good. If they are not to your liking, I suppose you may approve of CNN. Kweisi Mfume, who was the head of the NAACP at the time, took great exception to the remarks as shown in the archives of the New Journal and Guide, an African-American weekly newspaper founded in 1900. I am more than a little bit curious about why there was no great outcry when such a high-ranking leader of the largest civil rights organization in the United States took exception to the racially-charged comments of a sitting United States senator. Perhaps your curiosity is blunted by your ideology.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

And Sheryl, you were partially correct. When social programs are cut, the poor of all races get hurt. Due to the events in my region of the Gulf of Mexico over the last few months, that number became significantly larger. If you wish to disagree, fine. I'm fully capable of conducting a reasonable, civil debate in a calm tone. However, when you or anyone else insists on shouting at the darkness instead of flipping the light switch, that annoys me to no end, and you can depend on my not being too shy about expressing that.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Sheryl, I must admit to at least some curiosity: Had those comments been made by Trent Lott or the late Strom Thurmond, would you have been so forgiving? I very much doubt it.

Sheryl said...

Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond would not be passionately supporting decisions that benefit minorities. If Strom Thurmond and Trent Lott almost exclusively took on opposing the unnecessary and illegal invasion of Iraq, as Senator Byrd did, which disproportionately and adversely affected black citizens more than white citizens because of the percentage enlisting to sidestep poverty, then I would have a very different feeling about them and might let them off the hook for saying things that might be based on some lingering bigotry. But like that song "More Than Words," I would have to see behavior based on economic justice, not just talk of it.

The fact of the matter is that our country has policies that ensure that people who are raised in poverty will stay in poverty, unless they take unnecessary risks, such as join the military.

And yes, I agree that poor people get screwed in general, but I think it stands to reason that people whose ancestors were slaves would not benefit from inherited wealth. And yet you have the Republicans in Congress and the Bush administration fighting to eliminate the inheritance tax (I guess you would call it the "death tax.") So that wealth is polarized between those whose parents had and those whose parents had not.

On the one hand, they argue for individual responsibility, and yet in the same breath they initiate taxation measures that ensure that spoiled brats can live in luxuary all their lives because their parents had money, while those who start with nothing have to struggle in a system that benefits the wealthy. As Bob Hope said, "A bank is a place where they will lend you money if you can prove you don't need it."

Meanwhile, the people whose ancestors were screwed will also be screwed because they won't inherit anything, can't borrow anything, etc. They will be raised in areas with low property values. Since state's rights are wonderful, except when intervening in Presidential elections, we can have a system where many states base their education funding on property taxes. Then once again the poor get shafted because their schools can't raise the same amount of money as the wealthy districts.

Anyone with poor parents of poor parents of poor parents will not get the same levels of education to help them get out of poverty. Will Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond be fighting these things, so that when they make questionable statements they will have a track record to prove that they support progressive policies that help minorities get past the glass ceilings of institutionalized poverty?

If Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond were doing anything to eliminate these conditions that ensure that people living in poverty are likely to stay that way, then maybe I would be a lot less likely to consider them bigots.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Or, put another way, you don't care how execrable an elected official is as long as he or she supports your views. I'm sorry. My standards are higher, and as a result, I'm much unhappier every time I go to the polls. If there's one thing I know about human behavior, it's that, with enough time, one can come up with a rationalization for even the most depraved of behavior. My questions to you are thus: How many chapters of the KKK did Lott or the late and unlamented Thurmond create, and how many mistresses of theirs conveniently ended up in a lake? And for the record, how many chapters would Senator Byrd have had to recruit before you consider him a bigot?

I've made no bones about my libertarianism, though I'm closer to the moderate and conservative wings of that group and am far more pragmatic and distrustful of orthodoxy than the Libertarian Party.