In a previous post, Pariahdog explained the historical context and meaning of the anti-Semitic joke told by John Whitbeck to warm up a Republican crowd in September, and Whitbeck’s dismissive response to the outrage it generated. The joke itself embodied the historically lethal ideas of deicide, replacement theology and the “greedy Jew” stereotype: “And by anti-Semitic, I mean really anti-Semitic. It’s about Jews presenting the pope with the bill for the Last Supper, so it packs two of the most toxic anti-Jewish stereotypes into a single punchline: God-killers! Cheapskates!” In their ignorance, or perhaps their cultural hostility, Whitbeck and his supporters have tried to claim that the offense taken to both his joke and his non-apology was manufactured and politically motivated.
Now, the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn has given us a contrasting incident involving accusations of anti-Semitism.
In the Crown Heights incident, the offense was caused by New York Councilman-elect Laurie Cumbo when she made a statement about a recent cluster of “knockout game” attacks allegedly perpetrated by African American youth against Jews. In her initial statement, Cumbo suggested that resentment over “Jewish success” was a factor in the attacks, explaining that in conversations with constituents during her campaign “many African American/Caribbean residents expressed a genuine concern that as the Jewish community continues to grow, they would be pushed out by their Jewish landlords or by Jewish families looking to purchase homes.” The Anti-Defamation League responded:
“…we are troubled by the incoming councilwoman’s sentiments, particularly her comment about resentment over Jewish economic success, which evokes classic anti-Semitic stereotypes.”
He was putting on a political show—one, like so many during his 14-year board tenure, that was woefully short on substance, but with potential to help fuel his campaign fundraising machine. Continue reading →
Anytime you find someone in the middle,
Anytime you find someone who is tepid,
Anytime you find someone who is lukewarm,
Anytime you find someone who has been in Congress for 25 years and no one ever heard of him,
You’ve got Oatmeal Man
Oatmeal Man, straddling uncomfortably, yards and feet of barbed wire
It’s hard to live in the middle all the time
Oatmeal Man, the man who said you could fit all of his black friends in the trunk of his car and still have room for the Republican elephant
Oatmeal Man — Gil Scott-Heron
If you live in Virginia’s 33rd House District, tomorrow’s Republican primary is the most important political opportunity in recent history. There is only one clear choice. Vote for Dave LaRock. It’s him, or “Oatmeal Man,” Sons of Confederate Veterans, real-conservative, 199% pro-life Joe May.
This may sound counter-intuitive. It’s higher political reasoning, proof by induction. Here are the reasons. Please meditate on them, quickly, and then run to the polls tomorrow morning.
In an article published Wednesday, Times-Mirror reporter Trevor Baratko explores the “wild, wild west” of campaigning in a still emerging online social media environment. Baratko approached my husband and me for this article because we had both been removed multiple times after “liking” Dave LaRock’s campaign page on Facebook. It’s common practice on Facebook to “like” a page for the purpose of monitoring the page’s activity and engaging in dialogue, and as I note in comments at the Times-Mirror, we have at no time been enabled to participate in discussion on that page although LaRock is campaigning to be our representative in the House of Delegates.
It’s an open question how exactly candidates for public office should navigate the new environment in which they find themselves. Many public figures and businesses have discovered that blocking critical comments from their Facebook pages only makes them appear imperious and as if they have something to hide. For an example of a different way to handle criticism (or in this case, open hostility and threats) see how the group Queer at Patrick Henry College dealt with PHC Chancellor Mike Farris’ comments on their Facebook page.
Facebook management isn’t the only area in which Dave LaRock has exhibited an inability to tolerate disagreement or criticism, however. A need for control coupled with entitlement, the sense that he has a special right to operate above the law, seems to be the character trait that most animates him. His 2012 arrest (final disposition still pending) for trespassing and destruction of property has become somewhat well known, prompting a falsehood-riddled “damage control” post (authored under an unaccountable pseudonym on a Republican blog) that LaRock is now distributing as his official statement on the matter. Continue reading →
In his television ad, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli attempts to reinvent himself as a progressive (i.e., he wants viewers to see him as someone who “stands up for the vulnerable,” who prioritizes the prevention of sexual assault, who volunteers at homeless shelters, etc.). This ad is clearly targeting the low-information voter (the very best kind for what the GOP has allowed itself to become), because everyone who knows what Mr. Cuccinelli has actually been up to in his time in public office finds it a hilarious farce.
Among the many gems surfacing about this guy is evidence that he is one of those deep thinkers who can’t quite grasp the concept of civil rights as it applies to people universally – you know, the rights guaranteed to every American under the 14th Amendment regardless of personal characteristics such as their race, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Continue reading →
It’s the same problem exhibited by commenter “Suzie Q” here:
Someone who hates [sic] republicans isn’t a democrat?
It’s tempting to just laugh at stuff like this (and I’m not saying you shouldn’t). But clearly, there are people who actually conduct their lives on the basis of this kind of “logic,” and some of them participate in our democratic process. Here’s the thought process that led to this howler, broken into its simple-minded steps:
It is a sad day for the Loudoun County blogosphere. The once critical blog “Too Conservative” has been seized by Loudoun’s radical right. Loudoun Insider, a much needed gadfly is taking a sabbatical. Sensing LI’s impending absence, an apologist for Eugene Delgaudio, a “team player,” has been hovering over TC like a vulture.
FOIA responses from Supervisor Delgaudio’s office reveal that his appreciation of “team players” is not without rewards. Delgaudio insures that they receive contracts, free advertising, and other plugs that provide the necessary finance and resource to conduct his business which now includes the seizure of abandoned blog properties.
Too Conservative hit moral rock bottom by politicizing the Sandy Hook gun massacre, a massacre of innocent children and adults by an obviously mentally ill individual who murdered his own mother, stole her guns and murdered twenty children with an assault weapon, riddling their little bodies with multiple lethal gun shot wounds. Absent from the heartless Too Conservative post is the word “gun.” There is talk of “evil acts” and wonderment “when God seems to look the other way,” but not a single word about guns.
Oddly, the author likes to talk about guns a lot which is not surprising in a county where the current and former LCRC Chairs are propagandists for the NRA. Too Conservative has turned to the dark side. You will see no more critical analysis of the LCRC. You’ll see no more exposure of local government corruption. You’ll find nothing of value. May it rest in peace.
Tom Seeman and "S." Mann at the Feb 2011 "LEC" protest. Note: This image has been altered to obscure the back of "S." Mann's head at the request of "S." Mann." She has also requested that we only refer to her as "S." Mann, which we confess to finding hilarious.
I don’t know both sides of the story. I read a letter from LCRC activist Tom Seeman. He attended the July 12 LCDC meeting and reported that Evan MacBeth, chairman of the LCDC asked him to lead the “Pledge of Allegiance” and then booted him out of the meeting. Supposedly, MacBeth called an “executive session” and asked all “non-LCDC and non-Democrats” to leave. Tom was the only person to oblige.
Excuse me, but what’s a “non-Democrat?” Is there a genetic test, ideological test or litmus test? Is Tony Hall, the Democrat who co-authored an anti-gay call for “Christian” insurrection against teh ghay a Democrat? Is there a Democratic equivalent of a Rhino? If Evan did what Seeman says, I’d bet you a dollar that quite a few LCDC members did not approve of the action. Democrats have little political power against the all Republican BoS. Their most potent tool is exposure, and that requires transparency. If the Democrats are going to demand transparency, they’d better practice it, right?
You might have seen a video that went viral over the weekend – five minutes of some of the most bizarre claptrap about gay people you are ever likely to hear, delivered by a speaker at a city council public meeting. I say “some of” because much of it could easily have come from certain public figures, or from one or two speakers addressing local public boards here in Loudoun.
Well, it turns out that the speaker in the video is a “protected person,” a resident of an assisted living facility and diagnosed with schizophrenia. She is a regular at these public meetings; the council members are familiar with her and listen to her politely. Her brother Patrick acts as her conservator:
He said he’s disappointed the video garnered such attention and jokes without the whole story.
“To me, it shows how little society really cares about people with mental health issues,” Patrick Svoboda said. “She does have a very tender heart … but anything she says is certifiably schizophrenic … she’s not some crazy conservative.”
He said her family has tried to get her help multiple times, but unless she harms herself or others, there’s not much more they can do.
This is the first I’ve heard about the threatening phone calls to League of Women Voters members, or the harassment of the Electoral Board.
Where are our investigative reporters?
Like Sarah Palin’s bull’s eye on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s congressional district, the Loudoun County Republican Committee’s image of President Barak Obama with a bullet hole in his head adds to the violent imagery that has increasingly taken over public discourse in this nation.
This is not a single, anomalous event in recent Loudoun politics. A significant factor behind the Loudoun League of Women Voters cancellation of a candidate forum for this election was threats made to LLWV members by phone at their homes by advocates of concealed weapons, and the League’s concern about the cost and adequacy of security for what has been a regular voter education event.
Sterling District Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio’s bloody handprint in literature denouncing homosexuality is another item to add to the pile.