HipChick's Journal - Archives
Excuse me, Sarah, but neither you nor folks like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or Michelle Bachmann don't get to tell Black folks that what they see and hear are not racism. See when you’ve been enslaved, lynched, lampooned for your skin color, and otherwise victimized by discrimination, you know racism when you see and hear it. You don’t have to hear the words “coon” or “nigger” to understand that you are being subjected to racism. Because it’s not necessarily or solely the terminology or statement but the spirit underlying it.
Problem is folks like Sarah Palin treat African Americans like the kid from that movie who said he sees dead people. “I see and hear racism.” As if the expressions Black persons perceive as racist are just a figment of their collective imaginations. Because what they see and hear really isn’t racism but someone exercising their Constitutional right of free speech. Believe it or not, there are limits to free speech, like uttering “fighting words,” “incitement to violence,” “defamation,” and “threats.” Arguably, racist speech fits into all of these categories.
The next excuse you hear is that the statements didn’t carry racist intent. What exactly was the intent underlying, for example, sending a noose to a person of color’s office? Moreover, what does that say about how ingrained racism is in our society that buried deep within certain folks’ subconscious are these thoughts and ways of expressing themselves?
We’re often told slavery was a long time ago and “my ancestors didn’t own slaves”. Or Jim Crow has been outlawed. Or that we have civil rights laws. Or that we elected a Black President.
The double-standard here is evident throughout history. It’s okay for a two-year old matter involving allegations of voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party to be resurrected right now, right? Or for various politicians and groups to ask groups like the NAACP to repudiate Minister Louis Farrakhan whenever he thinks about speaking publicly? It’s even okay for people like Michelle Bachmann to co-opt history and reverse the imagery by saying Obama is creating a “nation of slaves.” But it’s cheap, cynical, and outdated for a Black person or organization to label racism as racism, right?
Sarah makes nice fashion statements with her clothing, but she is ignorant to history. She speaks in sound-bites and talking points. The next time she utters an original statement, wake me.
This was back in 2006...not much changed
He said his views on 2006, which he also is sharing with other members of senior management, include these points:
• "We have a leadership style that probably is too directive and doesn't listen sufficiently well. The top of the organisation doesn't listen hard enough to what the bottom of the organisation is saying."
• "We have a management style that has made a virtue out of doing more for less. The mantra of more-for-less says that we can get 100 percent of the task completed with 90 percent of the resources. Which in some senses is okay and might work, but it needs to be deployed with great judgment and wisdom. When it isn't, you run into trouble."
• "The frontline operations teams, I think, have lived too long in the world of making do and patching up this quarter for the next quarter..
He said these problems can be corrected by behavioral changes that "will have to start at the top of the organisation." Continuing his overview of the current year, Hayward said BP still has "quite a lot of work to do" in terms of ensuring the safety levels that are sought for its plants, equipment and processes
2nd link is definitely worth reading in entirely -
Interesting echo of Murdoch's reach into attempting to shape elections:
fter a lifetime at the helm of the world's most powerful media organisation and in the crosshairs of the left, Rupert Murdoch has, of necessity, developed a reasonably thick skin.
The Dirty Digger is how he is disrespectfully referred to by Private Eye. Spitting Image always portrayed him as a shouty figure, irredeemably uncouth.
But his son James seems less ready to turn the other cheek, as it were. And this would seem to be the most plausible explanation for why Murdoch the younger, the chairman and chief executive News Corporation Europe and Asia, caused a media sensation on Wednesday by striding across the editorial floor at the Independent newspaper to berate its editor-in-chief, Simon Kelner.
In common with so many of the unpleasant episodes involving angry young men in modern London, it was a squall about reputation and respect. The newly relaunched Independent had produced a series of relatively innocuous promotional ads assuring readers: "Rupert Murdoch won't decide this election. You will."
There is no evidence that Murdoch senior has even seen the ads, but witnesses report that directly upon seeing Kelner, who was supervising the final production stages of that night's paper, Murdoch the younger began angry remonstrations. "What are you fucking playing at?" was his opening gambit.
A bewildered Kelner quickly ushered his visitors into his office, where they remained for what have been described as "frank and full discussions" for another 20 minutes. All were grim-faced as Murdoch, carrying a promotional copy of the Independent, accused the rival editor of breaking the unwritten code that proprietors do not attack each other and of besmirching his father's reputation. With his piece said and with the matter unresolved, the aggrieved media mogul left.Another likened the arrival in the newsroom of Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News International, to a mafia visit. "It was so bizarre. He came in all menace. You know the sort of thing: 'The boss has heard what you have been saying about him. He doesn't like it.'
To understand what these forces are, you have to start with a fact that is usually kept obscure: Britain is a country with a large liberal-left majority. Eighty-five per cent of us say the gap between rich and poor should be "much smaller", and a majority would get there by introducing a maximum wage that caps the incomes of the rich at £135,000 a year.
Across most policies, our views are to the left of all three parties. (These statistics are all from Mori, Ipsos or YouGov polls.) And Brits hold these views even though they are constantly told by the media that they are marginal, impossible, or mad.
Ah, you may say, but that's just what people tell pollsters. They vote for the polar opposite: look at Thatcher's victories. But look again. At every election where Margaret Thatcher stood, 56 per cent of the British people voted against her, for parties committed to higher taxes, higher public spending, and lower inequality. The media declared this to be a "landslide" endorsement of her programme of deregulation that continued for decades, and has now crashed the global economy.
Yet in this election, one of those distorting forces – the media – has been bypassed for an electrifying moment, and the second force, our dusty 18th-century voting system, may break entirely on election day.
The British media is overwhelmingly owned by right-wing billionaires who order their newspapers to build up the politicians who serve their interests, and marginalise or rubbish the politicians who serve the public interest. David Yelland, the former editor of the Sun, bravely confessed this week that as soon as he took his post, he was told the Liberal Dems had to be "the invisible party, purposely edged off the paper's pages and ignored". Only a tiny spectrum of opinion was permitted. Everyone to the left of Tony Blair (not hard) had to be rubbished – even when their policies spoke for a majority of British people.
The TV debates, then, were a very rare moment in which a slightly more liberal-left voice could speak to the public without the distorting frame of pre-emptive abuse and distortion. The window of permissible opinion was opened a little – and people responded with a wave of enthusiasm. It could've been opened wider still – to the Greens, say – and found a receptive audience too.
The reaction of the right-wing press to briefly losing the ability to frame how politicians address the public has been a frenzied panic worthy of Basil Fawlty. They have "revealed" Clegg is a paedophile-cuddling, Gaddafi-licking foreigner and crook who wishes we had lost the Second World War. But now – for a change – people can test the smears against what they see and hear with their own eyes, unmediated, on TV.
Rattled, the right-wing press now demands Cameron start publicly thumping the table and articulating the agenda he whispers to them behind closed doors, and can be uncovered in his policy documents: big cuts in public spending, big tax cuts for the rich. But Cameron sees the polling and the focus groups, and he knows the public loathe his real agenda. That's why his performances in this campaign are so stilted. Once Cameron is forced to address us directly, without being bigged-up by the Murdochracy he has promised to feed and fatten, he withers under the weight of his own deception.
In Britain today, the liberal-left are not just a silent majority: they are a silenced majority. But in this election campaign, the forces shutting them out and breaking them up have been exposed
Sarah Palin took time off from a book signing for "Going Rogue" to make a comment on Santa Clause and Barack Obama. "I wouldn't be surprised if Santa starts chanting "Ho-Ho-Obama. I mean they're both socialists."
The comment came last week at a midtown Manhattan Barnes & Noble. It would have remained there if Denise Bissell hadn't captured the moment on her new Motorola Droid phone,
then sent it to her son who sent it to TMZ.
"I'm really a fan of Sarah, especially her new shade of lipstick," said Bissell. But upon offering her book to be signed, the 57 year-old homemaker from Suffolk, Long Island was totally unprepared for what came out of the former Alaska governor's mouth. "I said, 'Sarah, how do you like our city during the holidays?'"
The video then shows Palin saying, "Gosh, it's busy with Santas. I expect one of them just to yell out 'Ho-Ho-Obama'. I mean they're both socialists." Bissell then asks Palin if she actually means Santa is a socialist? Palin responds, "Well, he wears red. I'll let you connect the dots. Though it may be a bit difficult for you. Bissell sounds like a Jewish name."
Bissell had just figured out how to send video by the Droid. She sent it to her son, who immediately forwarded it to all his friends. "This was the most repugnant yet intriguing bit of video I'd seen since "Two Girls One Cup", said Bissell's son, Ethan, a sophomore at Oberlin College. "I had to get the word out." He then sent it to TMZ, who aired it.
Palin reacted swiftly, posting on her Facebook page. "I want to categorically say that neither Christmas nor Jesus is a socialist. I believe there was some misunderstanding because the person I directed that to was Jewish, so the distinction between Santa Claus and Jesus may be confusing."
Palin also addressed the charge of both Santa and Obama being socialist. "Now do I think Santa Claus and Barack Obama are socialists? Well, they both don't seem to have a problem with giving things away, and both claim to represent the American point of view but aren't native to this great land."
Noted Republican conservative Rush Limbaugh came to Palin's defense on his show. "Sarah, tell it like it is. I have yet to see a birth certificate from either Santa Claus or Barack Obama. What I do see is a bunch drunk with power lefties giving free handouts to anyone with a sob story. You call that the spirit of Christmas? And while we're at it, why does Rudolph have a red nose?"
editorial by Frank Schaeffer
Before he'd served even one year President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted Left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled Right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds --- including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious Rightwing agitator, now progressive writer and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader) this unlikely Obama supporter --- are sticking with our President. Why? Because he is succeeding.
We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.
Obama's steady supporters will be proven right. Obama's critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst...
The Context of the Obama Presidency
Not since the days of the rise of fascism in Europe, the Second World War and the Depression has any president faced more adversity. Not since the Civil War has any President led a more bitterly divided country. Not since the introduction of racial integration has any President faced a more consistently short-sighted and willfully ignorant opposition - from both the Right and Left.
As the President's poll numbers have fallen so has his support from some on the Left that were hailing him as a Messiah not long ago; all those lefty websites and commentators that were falling all over themselves on behalf of our first black president during the 2008 election.
The Left's lack of faith has become a self-fulfilling "prophecy" --- snipe at the President and then watch the poll numbers fall and then pretend you didn't have anything to do with it!
Here is what Obama faced when he took office-- none of which was his fault:
An ideologically divided country to the point that America was really two countries
Two wars; one that was mishandled from the start, the other that was unnecessary and immoral
The worst economic crisis since the depression
America's standing in the world at the lowest point in history
A country that had been misled into accepting the use of torture of prisoners of war
A health care system in free fall
An educational system in free fall
A global environmental crisis of history-altering proportions (about which the Bush administration and the Republicans had done nothing)
An impasse between culture warriors from the Right and Left
A huge financial deficit inherited from the terminally irresponsible Bush administration…
And those were only some of the problems sitting on the President's desk!
'Help' from the Right?
The reactionary white, rube, uneducated, crazy American far Right, combined with the educated but obtuse neoconservative war mongers, religious Right shills for big business, libertarian Fed Reserve-hating gold bug, gun-loving crazies, child-molesting acquiescent "bishops", frontier loons and evangelical gay-hating flakes found one thing to briefly unite them: their desire to stop an uppity black man from succeeding at all costs!
What did the Republicans and the religious Right, libertarians and half-baked conspiracy theorists --- that is what the Republicans were reduced to by the time Obama took office --- do to "help" our new president (and our country) succeed? They claimed that he wasn't a real American, didn't have an American birth certificate, wasn't born here, was secretly a Muslim, was a white-hating "racist", was secretly a communist, was actually the Anti-Christ, (!) and was a reincarnation of Hitler and wanted "death panels" to kill the elderly!
They not-so-subtly called for his assassination through the not-so-subtle use of vile signs held at their rallies and even a bumper sticker quoting Psalm 109:8. They organized "tea parties" to sound off against imagined insults and all government in general and gathered to howl at the moon. They were led by insurance industry lobbyists and deranged (but well-financed) "commentators" from Glenn Beck to Rush Limbaugh.
The utterly discredited Roman Catholic bishops teamed up with the utterly discredited evangelical leaders to denounce a President who was trying to actually do something about the poor, the environment, to diminish the number of abortions through compassionate programs to help women and to care for the sick! And in Congress the Republican leadership only knew one word: "No!"
In other words the reactionary white, rube, uneducated, crazy American far Right,combined with the educated but obtuse neoconservative war mongers, religious Right shills for big business, libertarian Fed Reserve-hating gold bug, gun-loving crazies, child-molesting acquiescent "bishops", frontier loons and evangelical gay-hating flakes found one thing to briefly unite them: their desire to stop an uppity black man from succeeding at all costs!
'Help' from the Left?
Those that had stood in transfixed legions weeping with beatific emotion on Election Night turned into an angry mob saying how 'disappointed' they were that they'd not all immediately been translated to heaven the moment Obama stepped into the White House! Where was the 'change'?
What did the Left do to help their newly elected President? Some of them excoriated Obama because they disagreed with the bad choices he was being forced to make regarding a war in Afghanistan that he'd inherited from the worst president in modern history!
Others stood up and bravely proclaimed that the President's economic policies had "failed" before the President even instituted them! Others said that since all gay rights battles had not been fully won within virtually minutes of the President taking office, they'd been "betrayed"! (Never mind that Obama's vocal support to the gay community is stronger than any other President's has been. Never that mind he signed a new hate crimes law which included language punishing hate crimes against homosexuals for the first time!)
Those that had stood in transfixed legions weeping with beatific emotion on Election Night turned into an angry mob saying how "disappointed" they were that they'd not all immediately been translated to heaven the moment Obama stepped into the White House! Where was the "change"? Contrary to their expectations they were still mere mortals!
And the legion of young new supporters was too busy texting to pay attention for longer than a nanosecond… "Governing"?! What the hell does that world, uh, like mean?"
The President's critics Left and Right all had one thing in common: impatience laced with little-to-no sense of history (let alone reality) thrown in for good measure. Then, of course, there were the white, snide know-it-all commentators/talking heads who just couldn't imagine that maybe, just maybe they weren't as smart as they thought they were and certainly not as smart as their President. He hadn't consulted them, had he? So he must be wrong!
The Obama critics' ideological ideas defined their idea of reality rather than reality defining their ideas --- say, about what is possible in one year in office after the hand that the President had been dealt by fate, or, to be exact, by the American Idiot Nation that voted Bush into office… twice!
Just because we didn't get everything we wanted in the first short and fraught year Obama was in office not all of us gave up. Some of us stayed the course. And we will be proven right.
Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays, depending on your point of view) to everyone!
P.S. if you agree that Obama is shaping up to be a great president please pass this on and hang in there!
In her world, Ivy League is a slur; cities are not the "real America"; and those who know the price of arugula but cannot handle a rifle are not to be trusted. Palin is the antithesis of an aspirational figure. Her supporters love her not because they want to be like her, but because they already are like her. So for better and for worse, Palin is an entirely self-made – and, if her book is anything to go by, self-invented – personification of the kind of political animal Bush sought to both emulate and nurture. Bush was Palin-lite.
To that extent her performance over the past year has been more tragic than comic. Palin represents the thwarted aspirations and brooding resentment of a large section of white working class Americans. That is not to suggest that her supporters are necessarily racist, but polls show her support is racially exclusive.
Her base has plenty to be resentful about. Their wages are stagnant, their economic security has eroded, and their prospects for social and economic advancement have stalled. In 2004, white Americans were the only racial group for whom the poverty rate actually rose. The fact that it was lower than every other group is of little comfort. Demographically, they are set to become a minority by 2042. Geopolitically, the country for which they display so much patriotic fervour has lost one war, is losing another, and is regularly lectured by others about the urgency of putting its fiscal house in order. America is not what it used to be. The country they keep saying they want to "take back" no longer exists and is not returning.
On Friday, it seemed for a moment -- at least to Rush Limbaugh's listeners -- that the right had finally found the smoking gun to prove that President Obama secretly hates the U.S., its founders and even the Constitution.
Limbaugh read his radio audience an excerpt from what he said was Obama's senior thesis, which he wrote while at Columbia University. After more than a year shrouded in secrecy by the Obama campaign and a compliant media, the thesis had finally emerged, and it was even worse than some had feared.
The excerpt read by Limbaugh:
Limbaugh was, naturally, up in arms about this, calling the college-aged Obama a "little boy," and saying, "he still shares those same feelings."
Only not so much. As a bit of basic research would have shown Limbaugh, Obama didn't technically write a thesis at Columbia -- at the time, Columbia didn't really have senior theses -- though he did write a thesis-length paper. But it was on Soviet nuclear disarmament, not the Constitution.
Limbaugh and many others -- including Fox News' FoxNation.com -- fell for a hoax, believing that a post put up by a conservative blogger in August as satire was the truth. Apparently, Pajamas Media's Michael Ledeen was the conduit, as he dug it up and posted it earlier this week, apparently believing it to be true. (Not the first time Ledeen and Pajamas Media have been embarrassed by something he posted -- back in January of 2007, he reported that Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had died. Khamenei remains alive to this day.) Again, a bit of basic research would have prevented all this, as this isn't the first time conservatives have treated this particular blogger's satire as if it were true.
Limbaugh noted later on in his show that it seemed the excerpts were fake, though he said he didn't care, both because of a series of quotes falsely attributed to him recently and because, "I know Obama thinks it."
Update: Ledeen has put up a post noting that the excerpt is a fake, and that he fell for a satire.
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