Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reprinted without permission from digby's blog:

Does Jim DeMint really speak for the civil rights movement?

by digby

He thinks he does:

The Rude One has some news for Mr DeMint:

Conservatives will attempt to claim MLK as one of their own, and they will write worthless bullshit to try to colonize King. For example, here's Jonah Goldberg: "King pleaded for the fulfillment of America's classically liberal revolution. At the core of that revolution was the concept of negative liberty -- being free from government-imposed oppression." Oh, so that's why King wanted the federal government to pass civil rights legislation that the federal government could enforce.

Luckily for you, the Rude Pundit has never forgotten just how bad-ass Martin Luther King actually was, and he has written over the years about how King would fuck up conservatives' shit. Now, as a handy guide when you scream at Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity on the radio today, here's links to all of those posts in one place, all filled with King's words:

1. Martin Luther King was against prayer in school and thought that Christianity meant that you had to help the poor.

2. Martin Luther King thought America's use of military power was immoral and that protesters loved their country.

3. This is not to mention that Martin Luther King thought that money spent on useless wars would be better spent on anti-poverty programs.

4. Unlike today's Democrats, Martin Luther King believed that radical activism, even at the risk of arrest, was more important than moderation and compromise. Principle over popularity.

5. Martin Luther King believed that a janitor was as important as a doctor and that the government had the duty to ensure that the janitor was taken care of as well as the doctor was, including a guaranteed wage, health care, and more.

6. Martin Luther King believed that the rich needed to pay their fair share to help lift people out of poverty. They should, you know, spread the wealth, especially through taxation.

7. And, after a change of heart, Martin Luther King did not believe in owning a gun.

If that's the platform of Jim DeMint's Republican Party, where do I sign up? If it isn't, then Jim DeMint should probably keep his mouth shut.


digby 8/28/2013 02:00:00 PM

I've run into these guys they really think they can get away with it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thursday, August 08, 2013

From Unfogged's discussion of racism:

Overall, though, I think white supremacy, and racism more broadly, took a real PR hit during WWII. But then it got something of a makeover on 9/11, and it's been more and more in vogue ever since.

Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:22 PM

From the discussion of racism at Crooked Timber:

Doctor Slack 08.08.13 at 1:08 am

‘No open racism’ was more or less the axiom that Nixon invented. Sophisticated crypto-racism as the substitute — the kind that talked about “states’ rights” and advanced policies that just happened completely coincidentally to disadvantage blacks, but was really about God-given free-market capitalism and the wholesome American way — was his baby more than anyone’s. That was the Southern Strategy, and his fall from grace didn’t impair it one whit. It’s still a powerful and effective means of advancing racist objectives under the radar.

The thing is, once you have crypto-racism working its obfuscationist wonders for your cause, it simply doesn’t matter any more whether you pretend to make nice with the legacy of MLK. That’s just another part of the con.

‘Racism would be over if the Blacks would just stop talking about it’ is one of the contemporary strategies of crypto-racism. You’re unlikely to run into it from people who are genuinely non-racist or even just intellectually so. It is not rhetoric of naivete, it is rhetoric of deliberate deception. Most of the people using it know perfectly well that the conservative movement still says “nigger nigger nigger” and trots out all the usual stereotypes when it thinks it is behind closed doors; it even barely bothers to veil them, most of the time, out in the open. Crypto-racism is just a shift in tactics: concede for the sake of argument that racism is airquotes-’wrong’ and then simply go on the offensive, make the other guy constantly defend himself from the wacky charge of being the “real racist.” And while the opponent is busy admiring the polish on his Overton Window, work quietly at any level of government you can find to undermine the real gains of the Civil Rights Movement. (Like the Voting Rights Act, recently staked in the heart — to virtually no fanfare or outcry — by the Supreme Court.)

Doctor Slack 08.08.13 at 1:16 am

(Having said all that — that racism has receded overall in American society, especially toward the center and left of the political spectrum, is still undeniably true. I won’t pick any one out of a list of political actors responsible, because I think it’s hard to isolate: but I can say that the overwhelming factor wherever those gains were made is shame. No matter how dedicated someone is to racism, they still want to be thought of as a good and respectable person. Where racism ceases to be good and respectable, they at minimum have to hide theirs. That’s why comment venues on the ‘Net with anti-racist comment policies tend not to attract racists, and those without do; where racists feel accepted and validated, they don’t feel the need to camouflage or “sugarcoat” their beliefs. The social change has been largely that as racism has come to be identified in more and more venues with imbecility or malice, shame and the quest for social acceptance has gradually crowded it out; a process particularly accelerated in more racially diverse centres where there is a good possibility of knowing — or at least knowing about — living counterexamples to racist or crypto-racist stereotypes. Which is why racism still flourishes best in the most homogenous regions, on which the former “Southern Strategy” now depends.)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Here is a good comment on NSA spying from Making light:

#4 ::: Brad Hicks (@jbradhicks) ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2013, 07:13 PM:

One of the best things I've read in the last couple of years was Tim Weiner's history of the FBI counter-espionage and counter-terrorism division, Enemies. A lot, and I mean a lot, of it deals with black-bagging and warrant-less wiretapping.

The counter-espionage and counter-terrorism division was founded to determine if the "propaganda by deed" anarchist bombings and assassinations of a century ago were coordinated or just copy-cats, and if they had any foreign support, and the agent in charge, a young J. Edgar Hoover, found that he simply could not get the job done without the ability to break into suspects' homes and offices to read and photograph all their documents (black-bagging) and without listening to their phone calls without a warrant (warrantless wiretapping). They also lost two consecutive Supreme Court cases on the legality of the above. So they found ways to use the information they got, when they did find a terrorist group or a foreign spy ring, that didn't involve the court system, like tricking them into being afraid of each other or into turning on each other or into fleeing the country.

But Hoover understood something that none of his successors have understood: this was (arguably) important work, but it was also flat-out illegal. The FBI was getting away with something and it would be taken away from them, making the country less safe, if they abused it even once. Information obtained illegally could only be used inside the counter-terrorism and counter-espionage division, could not be shared with anyone outside the division, and could not be used for any purpose, no matter how important, other than to disrupt spy rings and active terrorist groups.

As an aside, Weiner explains that part of why Watergate happened was that Nixon tried to convince the FBI to black-bag and wire-tap everybody involved in the Pentagon Papers, everybody involved in the peace movement, and everybody involved in the McGovern campaign, to find out if they were infiltrated by or, worse, controlled by Moscow, and Hoover told him to (blank) off. What Hoover didn't tell Nixon was that yes, they had black-bagged and wire-tapped the main Russian spy network in the US and found out that the Russians did, in fact, have people in all three of those groups trying to influence them -- and failing. But because of internal safeguards, Hoover couldn't share that information even with the President. So Nixon set up his own wire-tap and black-bag squad, The Plumbers, and their incompetence was the Watergate scandal.

I tell this story because I want to make this point, which is very important to me:

From the Wilson administration to the Clinton administration, spies and counter-spies for the US did a lot of illegal things, from constitutional violations all the way up to murder and torture and support for rape gangs. But it's not our imagination that things have gotten worse since then. One of our important safeguards got dismantled when George W. Bush's legal team got away with the argument that Nixon tried and failed: "If the President does it, that means that it is not illegal." Bush, and now Obama, aren't ashamed of doing these things, and are only barely afraid of getting caught at them. Unsurprisingly, that turns out to matter, a lot, because if they have no fear of doing these things, and very little fear of getting caught at them, then suddenly it becomes a lot easier to imagine using them, even in situations that are far short of being matters of national survival.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Here is a nice little piece that explains whats going on in Fukishima right now.

Antifa says:
August 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Fukushima cannot ever BE “cleaned up” in any possible understanding of that phrase. No creature or machine can approach a molten reactor core and survive the heat and radiation long enough to do a damn thing. It is a sub-critical atomic bomb.

It has NO practical comparison to Chernobyl because Chernobyl did not meltdown — a couple of hydrogen and steam explosions shattered its reactor chamber and building and sent radioactive steam, fuel rod cladding and burning graphite all over the place. As the reactor blew apart it dispersed its fuel rods just enough to avoid their melting down and travelling through the concrete beneath the shattered chamber into the ground. They simply caught fire and started spewing radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

Even Chernobyl’s remains were utterly unapproachable. Picking up highly radioactive debris and then dumping a mountain of concrete on the exposed fuel rods and shattered reactor building was as much as was humanly possible. It will have to be done over again from time to time as the heat and radiation degrades the dome over the hot fuel entombed inside.

Fukushima is a thousand times worse, because it has had at least one and possibly two or more cores melt completely from complete lack of any cooling water. They melted and sank right into the ground. They have a life of their own now, which we are powerless to interfere with.

What is being done there is merrily pouring many thousands of gallons of water on these melted cores, which runs on through and becomes groundwater. They are also pumping fresh water into the leaky fuel rod tanks perched four stories above the ground in Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Yes, they are trying to capture this highly radioactive groundwater by building underground barriers and containment tanks, but these methods will only serve for the next year or two. They are steel, which will rapidly degrade and leak wholesale before long, and the hot broth they hold will all run into the sea and into the groundwater further inland.

They are also continuing to prop up the shattered reactor buildings with steel girders, buildings whose main features are gigantic swimming pools filled with used reactor cores, all perched four stories up in the air, all in varying states of damage, disorder and leaking. Only a constant supply of fresh water keeps them from igniting where they are and melting into a much bigger melted core than any of the reactor cores.

When these pools full of used fuel rods all fall down during the next big earthquake, their contents will meltdown and begin spewing radioactive isotopes into the air, sea and groundwater for thousands of years.

All of the melted material from the various reactor cores and fallen pools will eventually meld together into one enormous melted puddle as any intervening soil, rock, steel barriers or any substance known to exist on this planet is inserted between them to stop this melding. There’s no stopping this process.

Fukushima’s fuel will inevitably become one giant melted mass of subcritical nuclear material resting just below the ground surface, a glowing, open hole of utterly unapproachable heat and radiation sitting untouched for many long centuries, spewing radioactivity in all directions. Any substance dumped on it — in any quantity — will rapidly melt and become part of it.

We cannot ever touch it, or go near it, now or ever. We will see Tokyo completely abandoned after the next big earthquake, and never visited again.

TEPCO’s lies and crimes are irrelevant to the crime of building reactors of this design anywhere on the planet.

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