|April 15, 2013||Wealthy, white and privileged||15 comments|
|April 08, 2013||Dr. Carson heals himself||6 comments|
|March 26, 2013||Bachmann's Obama jihad||20 comments|
|March 18, 2013||Emigre Ivutin needs a political education||no comments|
|March 12, 2013||The people spoke, Ryan doesn't care||15 comments|
|March 06, 2013||DHS to launch offensive on America...not||23 comments|
|February 27, 2013||CPAC reprises clown show||24 comments|
|February 20, 2013||Ill-informed opinion vs. inconvenient facts||5 comments|
|February 11, 2013||Pebble Beach "salutes" military, showcases economic disparity||11 comments|
|February 08, 2013||Senate endorsement: Dr. Paul Broun||7 comments|
Dr. Ben Carson became an instant conservative star after he insulted the president of the United States at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Carson’s speech there was otherwise un-noteworthy except to the likes of Sean Hannity, who christened the African-American neurosurgeon a presidential contender on the strength of his churlish performance.
Hannity subsequently interviewed Carson and asked the doctor’s views on same-sex marriage.
“Marriage is between a man and a woman,” replied the doctor. Fair enough; that’s an opinion held by many. But Carson continued.
Gays and lesbians, he said, along with criminal pedophiles and degenerates who practice bestiality, cannot be permitted to change the “definition of marriage.”
Same-sex adult couples who love one another and wish to wed so they can enjoy the legal rights of marriage are the same sort as those who molest children or have sex with sheep, in Carson’s view.
Coming from someone with his intellect and academic credentials, Carson’s words were not only shocking, they revealed his abject bigotry.
The comments set off a fire storm at Johns Hopkins University, where Carson teaches at the institution’s prestigious medical school. In response, he appeared on MSNBC to offer an apology - sort of.
“…as a Christian…I have a duty to love all people and that includes people who have other sexual orientations…if anybody was offended, I apologize…My point was that once we start changing definitions, where do we stop?”
Well, Dr. Carson should have stopped right there, but on a radio show just a few days later, he tore into his critics.
“(They) take my words…and try to make it seem that I’m a bigot,” Carson declared. “They're the most racist people there are…‘you have to think this way, how could you dare come off the plantation?’"
If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, then the last refuge for a bigot like Dr. Carson is the metaphorical “plantation,” in which he casts himself as a slave, whipped by the awful lash of progressivism.
And, you know what they grow on that progressive plantation, Dr. Carson? The kind of freedom that got you through the front door of Johns Hopkins, that’s what.
Late last week, Carson had another change of heart. In an e-mail to "the Hopkins Community" he said, “I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused. But what really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology…”
Dr. Carson’s mea culpa appears to be motivated less by genuine remorse and more by the e-mail that preceded his own, one sent to faculty and students by Dr. Paul B. Rothman, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Carson’s boss:
“…we recognize that tension now exists in our community because hurtful, offensive language was used by (Dr. Carson)...
“Johns Hopkins Medicine embraces diversity and believes that the same civil rights should be available to all regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
“…It is clear that the fundamental principle of freedom of expression has been placed in conflict with our core values of diversity, inclusion and respect.”
Dr. Carson is free to speak his mind. He’s not muzzled by political correctness, as he alleged at the prayer breakfast, no matter how offensive or intolerant his words. But when such words revile many listeners the way his did, there are consequences.
In Carson’s case, it appears he has been uninvited to speak at the Johns Hopkins commencement ceremony as he was scheduled to do in honor of his retirement from the university.
It’s a sad coda to a stellar medical career. And his political future, if he ever actually had one, is D.O.A.
Tiananmen Square or "re-education camps."
Is this the tea party vision for America? They want a country that looks like China?
No, sorry. It wasn't the package. It was the product. Americans emphatically rejected the stuff Republicans were pushing.
I said I was unaware of such a claim and added that I had no idea if it was true.
Well, it turns out it is true. The Department of Homeland Security purchased the ammo, but not to be used against American citizens as my questioner was clearly suggesting.
The bullets are intended for the 90 federal agencies and their 70,000 agents and officers the DHS oversees
Organized by the Bush administration in the wake of 9-11, DHS is responsible for U.S. Customs, ICE, the Coast Guard, the National Law Enforcement Training Center and so on.
Such a bulk buy of ammo for training and use in the field to save taxpayer dollars makes perfect sense...except to the black helicopter watchers, who rushed to ascribe all sorts of nefarious motives to the DHS purchase.
So it was the other night Lou Dobbs, who has successfully transitioned from respected business journalist to a monger of nutty conspiracy theories, played to this delusional paranoia by declaring on his Fox Business show that, along with all the ammo, the DHS had also bought "2,700 light armored vehicles."
Let's see: 1.6 billion rounds of ammo plus 2,700 light armored vehicles must equal Obama tyranny!
Dobbs then asked his guest, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre (of all people), "What in the world is going on at the Homeland Department -- the Department of Homeland Security seems to be arming up and the administration is trying to disarm American citizens?"
Except the Obama administration isn't "trying to disarm American citizens" and there is no evidence to suggest it is.
And the DHS didn't buy the light armored vehicles. The U.S. Marine Corps did.
Dobb's bogus information, like so much of what Fox News reports, came from a discredited blogger famous for making sh...I mean stuff up, the Gateway Pundit.
There are many other such hacks and they're a rich source of unsubstantiated and slanted "facts" for right wing media outlets and tin foil hat wearers.
It's a sad but routine formula for Fox News hosts and other such pundits in today's instant news cycle: Grab something, anything, that will affirm the viewers' or listeners' prejudices, dispense with fact-checking, present it as authentic, bounce it around with a kooky guest like LaPierre or Orly Taitz or Victoria Jackson, and then move on, the damage done.
It's also irresponsible and unprofessional, as Mr. Dobbs well knows.
Over-the-top patriotic demonstrations at sporting events reached a new low this weekend, when servicemen and women were on exhibit at Pebble Beach during the PGA tour stop there.
There was something vaguely obscene about watching an enlisted person earning a little more than the poverty level standing at attention while a bunch of rich kids played golf for a $6.5 million purse.
We're supposed to feel humbled by these young people who "protect our freedom" on the sunny shores of the Monterrey Bay, where some of the nation's wealthiest 1 percent enjoy undisturbed splendor in their heavily guarded and gated enclaves.
We're supposed to pay homage to the sacrifice and dedication of those service personnel while, at the same time, we watch people named named Brandt, Keegan and Tag smack a little white ball around for the entertainment of corporate swells ensconced in their hospitality pavilions swilling fine wine while whining about paying a few percentage points more on their income taxes.
We all know how these guys really feel.
Mitt Romney gave voice to their disdain of the 47% who don't pay taxes. That number includes, by the way, most of the same enlisted men and women they were "honoring" at Pebble Beach.
As long as he breathes, CBS seems determined to trot out the doddering Clint Eastwood as the face of the tournament, who eclipsed his performance as the Man With No Name with his shamefully embarrassing Obama chair-talking shtick during the Republican National Convention last summer.
Like Romney, Clint evidently has it in for the president and those working poor and disabled folks who don't make enough to pay income taxes, let alone afford the price of admission to cruise 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach.
I wonder how those enlisted men and women felt about being used as props by a giant TV network making a pile of advertising dollars, or if the sad irony ever occurred to any of them.
Maybe they should have asked for a slice of that CBS pie, but that's not how it works in Carmel, where such uniformed folk are perceived the same way the gardener or delivery man are regarded, hired help to be seen but not heard.
Those servicemen and women, you see, have an important role to play in the CBS show when the camera cuts away and we see them, naively unaware of being exploited, shaking hands with a series of millionaire golf pros who were instructed to recognize them, look grateful, and then move on to the next tee. Thus, the PGA, CBS and the viewer all bask in the reflected glow of their selflessness and heroism. Meantime, their commanding officers and entourages enjoy free admission to the shindig.
Ostentatious military displays have become de rigueur at televised sporting events. We used to sing the Star Spangled Banner and let it go at that.
Now, we must have fighter jet fly overs, American flags the size of the field, the singing of God Bless America at half time, and, of course, soldiers, sailors and marines in uniform to remind us that "freedom isn't free," never mind that all the jingoistic showboating renders real patriotism cheap and real courage meaningless.
But the offensive travesty at Pebble Beach gets first prize for its naked hypocrisy not to mention its showcasing of the symbolic economic wall between the have mores and have almost nothings.
I love Paul Broun. I dearly hope he wins the Republican senate primary in 2014. I'll even vote for him because there are very few politicians in these parts who could make Phil Gingrey and Tom Price look positively moderate.
"God's word is true," said Dr. Broun. "I've come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught (at the University of Georgia and Georgia Health Sciences University) about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. It's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior."