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  • dtoub 12:02 pm on Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 12:02 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Islamophobia, right wing idiocy   

    the ground zero mosque that is neither a mosque nor at ground zero: discuss 

    I’ve been following the “ground zero mosque” controversy for some time now, and every time I have wanted to blog about it, it occurs to me that pretty much all that I’d want to say about it has already been said. Let me just summarize my thoughts with some bullet points.

    • Islam did not attack the WTC or Pentagon; al-Qaeda did
    • If folks are upset about a supposed lack of sensitivity of an Islamic Cultural Center being built several blocks out of sight from the WTC site, then why aren’t they similarly offended by Christian churches near the site of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that was blown to bits by the Christian fundamentalist Timothy McVeigh. BTW, two churches are across the street, one on either side.
    • There are Muslim prayers held in the Pentagon and have been for many years
    • There is a mosque near the WTC site already and no one cared about it before, so why now?
    • The Imam who has spearheaded the Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero is not a radical terrorist sympathizer. He’s a Sufi who has worked for years to build interfaith dialogue and understanding. The US already sends him out as an emissary to Muslim countries for just that reason.
    • We’re a democratic republic founded on religious tolerance. If we don’t allow the Cordoba Center (now called Park51) to be built, haven’t the terrorists already won?
    • No one cares about the various adult theaters and video shops near “hallowed ground,” so how is an Islamic center such an offense?
    • How far away is sufficient, were the Islamic center to be moved? Is Iceland too close? Judging from the anti-Islam rhetoric and growing violence against Americans of the Islamic faith, it would seem Tunguska, Siberia is still too close to lower Manhattan for some folks.
    • Mayor Bloomberg has integrity, at least as far as this issue is concerned. President Obama had integrity then became wishy-washy. Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Pamela Geller, all of whom are inciting anti-Muslim feeling, are beneath contempt.
    Like I said, all of this has been said in one form or another by people who are far more eloquent and insightful. But I had to say it as well, since the controversy simmers on, some people are already getting killed over it, and the madness has to stop.
    • Paul Muller 8:53 pm on Friday, September 3, 2010, 8:53 pm Permalink

      The argument about a mosque a few blocks away is telling; a healthy culture would have already rebuilt the towers – or something higher – on the site.

      Mosque or no mosque – all we have from our leadership is the same hole in the ground.

  • dtoub 11:29 am on Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 11:29 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: right wing idiocy   

    dumb and dumber 

    Vodpod videos no longer available.


  • dtoub 6:46 am on Friday, July 17, 2009, 6:46 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: right wing idiocy,   

    what a surprise: pat buchanan hates people of color, women, Jews…hell, anyone who isn’t a white Christian dude 

    Picture 3I’m all for freedom of speech, however odious it may be. And I give Rachel Maddow a ton of credit for enduring what had to have been a painful discussion/debate with Pat Buchanan on the Sonia Sotomayor nomination. But given Buchanan’s known antisemitism, misogynism, racism and, frankly, clear hatred of anyone who isn’t a white Christian male, why do networks like MSNBC continue to hire him as a commentator and give his idiocy a prominent TV pulpit? Just consider his hypocrisy: he rails against Sotomayor as an “affirmative action appointee,” yet it never occurs to him that it could be argued that the Republicans took the same tactic when Miguel Estrada was nominated to a Federal court appointment. He argues that Sotomayor is not qualified for the Supreme Court. Given the facts of her education, performance and very substantial judicial experience (the most in 70 years for any Supreme Court nominee), this is at best intellectually dishonest, at worst racist and sexist. I am very comfortable stating my opinion that it’s the latter. Pat Buchanan is racist. He hates women. In the past he’s made it clear he’s not a fan of Jews either. Let’s stop giving him credibility by providing him with a TV pulpit and instant credibility. He has no reason to be hired as a TV commentator or “expert.” Trust me, there are more than enough jackasses on the right to put on the air, so do we also need to include someone who so blatantly gives comfort and support to all angry white male Christians out there?

    • Debbie 1:46 pm on Friday, July 17, 2009, 1:46 pm Permalink

      I give Rachel a lot of credit for taking him on even though he clearly wouldn’t STFU. Basically he believes that the most qualified person should get the job (I’m ok so far) but that it would indicate that only men, and white men in particular, were ever qualified to be on the Supreme Court (NOT!). And he really believes that since it was white guys who signed the Declaration of Independence. Clear right-wing anti-logic. I watched this on my way to my bike ride this AM and I almost screamed. He’s just too much.

    • dtoub 1:55 pm on Friday, July 17, 2009, 1:55 pm Permalink

      As usual, I agree with you!

    • Paul H. Muller 11:07 pm on Friday, July 17, 2009, 11:07 pm Permalink

      Pat is still fighting the WASP vs Irish Catholicism battle. I thought that was over in 1950, but I guess not.

  • dtoub 10:31 am on Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 10:31 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: right wing idiocy   


    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    • jc 1:36 pm on Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 1:36 pm Permalink

      Re-education camps LOL. What would we do without The Daily Show?? Pure genius.

    • mandy 8:08 am on Friday, April 10, 2009, 8:08 am Permalink

      hey David,have you ever tryed to compose with microtones?Is it possible finale to play them?With sibelius it is possible

    • dtoub 2:55 pm on Friday, April 10, 2009, 2:55 pm Permalink

      I haven’t, although I consider it from time to time. It’s not that I don’t like microtones—love Scelsi, Partch, kraig grady, Dave Seidel, etc. But I’ve never understood all the theory behind it, and there’s a great risk that what you write will either be extraordinary difficult to perform (I’ve got enough people out there who bitch at me that my music is “difficult”) or else could just sound “out of tune.“ When there’s a compelling reason for me to use microtones, i’ll certainly do so. Thus far, i haven’t found it in terms of my own predilections. Finale can notate quarter tones, but I’m not aware that it can deal with playback. There are other ways to get around this, I think. Hey, check out the two pieces in the post below—you were asking for something that was short, no?

  • dtoub 10:04 am on Monday, November 3, 2008, 10:04 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , right wing idiocy   


    I’ve been blogging much more of late on politics than on new music and other things, but this election is really important.

    No surprise here: I totally endorse Obama/BIden. The McCain of 2000 would have made this a tough choice. But McCain has proven to be a tool of George Bush. McCain reversed his principled stance on torture, supporting the Bush Administration’s idiotic belief that waterboarding doesn’t constitute torture and therefore can be applied to detainees. McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin was pandering at best, extremely dangerous and divisive judgement at worst. The tone of McCain’s campaign was the worst I’ve ever seen, and at one point even McCain seemed to realize he’d created a monster out of control. The last time I saw such blatant racism out in front was, maybe, the 60’s. I’m not saying McCain is racist; I don’t believe that at all. But I do think a lot of the core Conservatives out there who are coming to the McCain/Palin rallies are very racist.

    I think most folks who read this blog (all five of you) are keenly aware of how important this election is. It’s like the lettering on any auto transmission: if you choose D you go forward, R takes you backwards. i don’t want to go back to the same crap we’ve just been through for the past eight years. Some people don’t think that McCain’s administration will be another Bush administration. The reality is that McCain’s policies are very close, and often identical, to those of the failed Bush Administration. Indeed, Palin and many other McCain campaign officials can’t come up with any ways that McCain would be different from Bush whenever they get asked that by reporters.

    So please vote tomorrow. It’s not just a right, but a responsibility. And for those few people I’ve come across who remain unregistered and refuse to vote at all, don’t bitch when the government does something you disagree with.

    What remains to be seen is how much disenfranchisement will occur. We need to have some form of automatic voter registration, so that voter suppression will no longer be a tool of the right wing.

    • Paul H. Muller 3:49 pm on Monday, November 3, 2008, 3:49 pm Permalink

      I predict Obama with 340+ electoral votes.

      Voter suppression, ballot confusion and other such tricks only work in a closely divided contest where the margin of victory is less than the margin of error (Florida, 2000).

      Won’t work this time. Too many people want to throw the bums out.

    • Mary Jane Leach 8:30 pm on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, 8:30 pm Permalink

      I drove to New Hampshire after voting at 6am here in NY. I am so glad I did – it was truly inspiring. So many volunteers, flooding in from all over. Talking to voters who not only voted for Obama, but were emphatically for him. I’m exhausted, but it was really worth it.

    • Mary Jane Leach 8:32 pm on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, 8:32 pm Permalink

      I drove to New Hampshire after voting at 6am here in NY. I am so glad I did – it was truly inspiring. So many volunteers, flooding in from all over. Talking to voters who not only voted for Obama, but were emphatically for him. I’m exhausted, but it was really worth it.

    • everette minchew 10:04 pm on Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 10:04 pm Permalink

      I agree the Mccain of 2000 was a good candidate. This would have been a tougher decision to make if it had been that way.

      McCain was a better candidate before he started pandering and becoming W-ultra lite.

  • dtoub 2:30 pm on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 2:30 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , right wing idiocy   

    this is what colin powell was talking about… 

    …in terms of how we’re going to be perceived by the rest of the world. Why am I having deja vu about the 60’s?

    • paul bailey 2:51 pm on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 2:51 pm Permalink

      this is a reminder why i live in california

    • kraig Grady 3:19 pm on Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 3:19 pm Permalink

      Why i am glad I am in Australia.

    • J.C. Combs 5:38 pm on Thursday, October 23, 2008, 5:38 pm Permalink

      Hi David. I had to mention that the young lad is the spitting image of Paul Sunday from “there will be blood.”

      “Do you think God is going to come down here and save you for being stupid? He doesn’t save stupid people, Abel”

      PS: Can you hook me up with a plane ticket out of here and a place to stay if McCain pulls this one off? How about somewhere tropical?


    • J.C. Combs 6:11 pm on Thursday, October 23, 2008, 6:11 pm Permalink

      That might have been Eli Sunday, actually.

    • Paul H. Muller 12:29 pm on Friday, October 24, 2008, 12:29 pm Permalink

      My daughter teaches at a small college in N.E. Ohio and many of her students come from the local rural areas. The atitudes they bring are not too far from what was heard on the video. It is a real struggle to teach critical thinking skills in such an environment and at times she is frustrated. I tell her that is her most important job – not the subject matter, but to break through old habits of thinking and to show how to make decisions based on evidence.

      She is still fairly idealistic and is doing her best. But for every kid lucky enough to go to college and maybe change their mindset, there are thousands more who will only get more set in their ways.

      I’m not so sure I blame the people of Ohio – they have seen factories close and good jobs leave. Why should they think anyone in power knows anything, much less cares about them?

  • dtoub 11:40 am on Friday, September 5, 2008, 11:40 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: progressive wisdom, , right wing idiocy   

    brilliant comment 

    Just read this here (scroll down a bit from the top of that page to read this and other comments):

    It hurts to think how stupid the average Republican voter is in this country. That anyone in this country can countenance McCain’s pick for VP for even a micro-second shows how full this country is of dumbsh*ts. A red-neck, young-earth-believer, rapture-ready hockey-mom with virtually no experience and the GOP is going gah-gah over her? Republicans have nearly destroyed this country over the last 8 years, but they won’t be happy until they’ve finished the job with McCain/Palin. Good God, I’m just speechless. God help us all.


    The original article by Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, which is very much worth reading, is here.

    We’re so totally wicked hosed if Obama/Biden lose. Seriously. And we thought W wore his religion on his sleeve? We ain’t seen nothing yet.

    • kennedy121 11:45 am on Friday, September 5, 2008, 11:45 am Permalink

      Well she has foreign policy experience what with Alaska being so close to Russia! ;P I live in the UK, so I’m obviously an expert on French foreign policy. 🙂

    • dtoub 11:48 am on Friday, September 5, 2008, 11:48 am Permalink

      Guess this means I could run Canada tomorrow, since Philadelphia is only an hour away by plane. Hell, I could even take Giuliani’s old job and be mayor of NYC.

      These people are lunatics. In a saner age, we’d laugh them off the national stage. Seriously, are most people in my country this dumb?

    • kennedy121 3:28 pm on Friday, September 5, 2008, 3:28 pm Permalink

      Lol, I don’t think Americans are dumb… if you look at opinion polls that come out over major issues such as healthcare and the possibility of attacking Iran etc, you guys usually come down on the sensible side of the argument, its the people who control the money, media and political system who are the problem. Its not like Europe is some kind of utopia when it comes to this sort of stuff, but perhaps things aren’t quite as extreme, although in several countries (such as here in the UK) thats changing.

    • dtoub 5:44 pm on Friday, September 5, 2008, 5:44 pm Permalink

      Trust me—I don’t believe for a second that my country has a monopoly on stupidity. Far from it. And I really don’t want to accept that most people in the USA are dumb enough to vote for McSame and Palin. We’ve always been a nation that aspired to greatness, with things like the Nixon, Bush II and McCarthy eras notable blips (and yeah, there are many others as well). A big difference between much of the EU and the US, however, is our level of religious fundamentalism and associated intolerance. And we also still have big issues regarding race, gender and sexual orientation.

    • Paul H. Muller 11:01 pm on Friday, September 5, 2008, 11:01 pm Permalink

      Easy does it. Best not to watch too much TV these days.

      What I find most disconcerting is not the amount of stupidity or wisdom in the public but rather the ease with which they vote against their own self-interest.

      Somehow the Republicans have sold the idea that the individual is more important than society – that all the rules should be written to enhance the liberty of the individual rather than enhance the common good.

      Yet the lessening of government influence, the lowering of taxes, the reduction of the social safety net, etc is clearly on the wrong end of history. Consider: European countries have higher taxes and more active governments – all the things Republicans say are bad for you. Yet it is the European countries who have the better educational systems, better healthcare systems, better public transportation, stronger environmental safeguards, a shorter work week, six weeks vacation – in short, a higher quality of life. Meanwhile the US is on its way to becoming Brazil.

      The mystery to me is why people consistently vote against their economic and social self interest.

    • J.C. Combs 12:03 pm on Saturday, September 6, 2008, 12:03 pm Permalink

      This problem is easily identified, the problem of the electoral college and the huge advantage the bible belt and red states have against the rest of the nation, the people who educate themselves before they vote. I sincerely believe that for the bible belt religious voters, all they really want it is a good speech on their values and their god and here we are again, just like 2004, a close race. Who woulda thunk it back then, thought it was going to be a landslide by Kerry, but one by one the bible belts painted red and the electoral college was again helped the GOP.

    • kennedy121 1:07 pm on Saturday, September 6, 2008, 1:07 pm Permalink

      I second everything Paul H Muller says above! I don’t understand that either… the fact that people living in really deprived areas in the middle of nowhere, basically voting for the party which will lower taxes for the rich and corporations, therefore lowering standards of public services for those voters. The same happened here during the 1980s and Thatcher’s reign… although she, like Bush realised there’s nothing like a good war to fire the people up (Iraq is only unpopular among the US population because its dragging on and hasn’t been ‘won’ otherwise it would have been seen as acceptable by most in my opinion).

    • Richard Friedman 3:50 pm on Saturday, September 6, 2008, 3:50 pm Permalink

      It all comes down to a matter of branding, and education, or the lack of it. If you think too much, you’re elitist.

      And, this country is basically racist. One Republican was quoted as declaring the Obama’s as “uppity”. That is, for blacks, they don’t know their place.

      Lumpen Americans have no idea about what they’re voting for. To them it’s a team sport, like football. Root for your team, whether it be the Republican team or the Baptist team. They don’t know much more than that. And they expect God to take care of everything else.

      Mass deception, mass psychosis. Much of this country would welcome a fascist takeover so they can believe in a father-figure to set things right.

      However, there are many statements in scripture that these folks seem to ignore, the most important being “I am my brother’s keeper”. Were that alone words to live by, we’d be in a much better place today.

      Unfortunately, regardless of what they may say they believe in, the reality is “What’s in it for me?”.

      Religion is a disease, that leaves the host demoralized, crazed, and destitute. We’re screwed.

    • kraig Grady 5:53 pm on Monday, September 8, 2008, 5:53 pm Permalink

      It isn’t that people reacted this way to her , the press is just saying they do. That is the real method of propaganda going on here

  • dtoub 9:58 pm on Wednesday, September 3, 2008, 9:58 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , right wing idiocy   


    That’s pretty much all I can say about what the Republicans who are meeting right now convey to me. They are consumed by hate. Pure visceral hate of us nameless liberal folk. You know, us godless, perverted, heathen, elitist Eastern types (which used to be the codewords for “Dirty Jew” until these guys fell in love with our wonderful turncoat Joe Lieberman). Unlike the Democratic Convention last week, which had some positive, respectful words about John McCain as a person (just listen to Bill Clinton’s speech for one example), all these guys are doing is trashing Barack Obama and Joe Biden. And it’s personal. Even Michelle Obama isn’t immune. 

    Their hypocrisy is blatant and glaring.

    In their minds, it was fine, even legitimate for them to trash Obama, along with his association with his religious minister, Rev. Wright. That wasn’t decried as racism, nor was his personal life (indeed, his religious life) declared “off limits.” Hell, when Obama made a very subtle reference to racism, stating that he doesn’t look like the folks on Mt. Rushmore, the McCain team immediately criticized him for playing the “race card.”

    Well, all these right-wing folks are doing is playing the gender card. I have enough faith in the American people, other than the fundamentalists, to believe that they will see through the illusions. It seems that many of them, even Republicans, recognize this for the farce that it is.

    And I won’t even go further into the Palin fiasco. Yeah sure, someone like her is more qualified than Obama. He was…let’s see…head of the Harvard Law Review, an adjunct at my alma mater’s law school, and involved in State and Federal legislatures for some 12 years. And that’s in addition to his work as a community organizer.

    She was…a finalist for Ms. Alaska.

    I rest my case. And I didn’t even have to mention her devotion to abstinence-only education, her strict pro-life stance, her apparent willingness to ban books, her alleged association with the secessionist Alaska Independence Party, and Troopergate. The media, including the blogosphere, is doing a wonderful job of doing the vetting that McSame should have done ages ago. So I don’t need to echo what they’re reporting.

    But would it kill these folks tonight to at least acknowledge that Obama and Biden are good people? Then again, when you have nothing much to run on, you trash your opponent and hope it sticks. Obama is ahead in the polls. How’s all this trash talk working for you, John and Sarah?

    • Hugh 3:53 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008, 3:53 pm Permalink

      Seriously, you need vision correction. I have a discomfort with anyone that befriends terrorists, supports partial birth abortion, threatens our first and second amendment rights. Obama is an empty suit with a fanatical agenda. There will be no intent for Obama to move to the center – which is where most misled Democrats now are. They are fooled by his hypnotic speaking ability. Your description of the conservative viewpoint of liberals is absolutley correct except that it is not motivated by hate. It is motivated by a love of country (which Obama and his wife do not have) as well as a solid belief in God and values. You libs do not seem to have either of these. God help us.

    • Marsha Kistowski 4:37 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008, 4:37 pm Permalink

      I agree with you. I can’t believe the ignorance of these people. I feel sorry for them. I just hope and pray other people will see the good Senator Barach Obama will do for us as the next President of the United States. Please get out there and vote.

    • Elise Beaulieu 4:55 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008, 4:55 pm Permalink

      I live in Massachusetts and I am a middle-aged, educated, white, woman. I could never support Senator McCain & Gov. Palin for a number of reasons. First, Senator McCain has never fully satisfied the issues of economic problems for the middle class. Promising jobs is about as empty as it comes. Jobs where? Trickle-down economics has done nothing except increase the job market for those who perform unskilled tasks. Senator McCain has continued to instill the “fear” of terrorists around the corner, the same tactics that were used by George W. Bush. The Iraq war has cost us billions of dollars, and hardly supports the troops who are actually doing the fighting. The money has been poorly accounted for (millions going into useless ancillary companies) and when all is said and done, I doubt that the Iraq people are going to even thank us let alone pay us back. Senator McCain’s foreign policy is not a diplomacy that is so needed, but “walking with a big stick”. That doesn’t fly too well in the 21st century as we can see by George W’s international support. Gov. Palin is another ploy used by Senator McCain to capture the “female” undecided vote. I actually list myself as an Independent voter. Yes, I had actually considered McCain early on. But when he chose Gov. Palin, the “hockey mom” turned politician with her views on the environment, gross lack of international political experience, her lack of knowledge about the VP role in government, her conservatism, I was completely in Obama’s camp. A stated belief in God (Hugh’s remark) does not make for any good leader per se. We have countless examples of individuals who have scammed millions in the name of believing in God (the Fays come to mind). As far as Senator Obama and his wife Michelle, they have certainly expressed a belief in a Christian God. Radical ministers and views in the pulpit have raged for hundreds of years. I am sure that Senator Obama held and holds his own views. I listened for years to the radical Father Coughlin, who had very controversial opinions. I held my own ideas then and now. Michelle Obama has had the unique experience of being an African American woman in the US. She has the right to speak about the problems that she has encountered. As a woman I have had discrimination as well, and yes, there are times when visiting other countries, I have been ashamed to be an American.
      I hope we have a President Obama after Tuesday. We need to be done with this election and we need to start listening to who we are in this country and not sticking to the same old conversations that have convinced us to be such pigheaded spoiled ineffective people.
      And yes, please God help us to have a good, strong leader who will provide us with the best future in this country and the world.

    • Gary P 5:01 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008, 5:01 pm Permalink

      I’m sick to death of this name calling on both sides. How about some objectivity?

      Let’s face facts. Obama has no real experience, certainly no more than Palen. And as far as his education, I’ve had lots of experience with PHD’s who couldn’t tie their shoes…

      And Obama has waaayyyy too many inconsistencies. The people he hangs out with are scarey. His number for no taxes goes from $250k all the way down to 125k. I have no history on this man so I have to use the only thing I have which I mentioned above…

      I’m not in love with McCain by any means but at least I have 30yrs of history to know what he will do.

      And, if we’re honest, how is Biden a better VP than Palen???? Worse case is that they are even.

      So, if someone wants to dispute my version of the facts, be my guest. But, could you please stay away from words like hate, racism, age, hunting, and the rest of the emotional garbage.


    • Jennifer 5:02 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008, 5:02 pm Permalink

      You are 100% correct. The Republicans are “hating” on the Democrats. But only because they are doing so poorly. I really don”t give a rats ass about their name calling. I am trying to gather enough “enlightening” information to vote on Tuesday. McCain is too old and Obama”s background is shady. I mean that literally. Every attempt to see him as an everyday GOD fearing person has been taken out of the limelight immediately. I want to know why he attended a church for 24 years whose pastor preached HATRED. A persons choice of Pastor and their message is very important. If I attended a church and was not comfortable with the teaching, I wouldn”t go to that church anymore. So yeah, 24 years of attendance is hard to overlook. In addition to the fact that his campaign was launched and funded by thugs and Oprah Winfrey. I just want our country to be ONE NATION UNDER GOD.

    • Gary P 5:06 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008, 5:06 pm Permalink

      Elise Beaulieu, when’s the last time someone other than Brtain and Israel thanked us for WWII???? Using your logic, we should have left Hitler alone…

    • Gary P 5:10 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008, 5:10 pm Permalink

      Jennifer, good for you!!!! I agree 110%. I’ve voted in defense for the last 10 years… It would be so nice to actually vote for someone I liked and believed in rather than voting because I’s scared to death of the other guy…

    • Jennifer 5:26 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008, 5:26 pm Permalink

      Gary, I’s aint scared. I am a Hillary Clinton supporter. At this point I’m voting for the lesser of the two evils.

    • David Irlbeck 5:45 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008, 5:45 pm Permalink

      Few have questioned the patriotism of Senator McCain, and rightly so. He is a war hero, a highly respected Senator, and a man of great passion and integrity. Though I did not vote for him in this election, I do believe without doubt that he has served his country with honor and dignity and with an unrelenting determination to do what he believes is in the best interest of our country.

      In contrast, many have questioned the patriotism of Senator Obama. But if you should be one who doubts his patriotism, I would direct you to his own words on Monday, June 30th, 2008 in Independence, Missouri and there can be little doubt in the truth and depth of his patriotism:

      “Finally, it is worth considering the meaning of patriotism because the question of who is – or is not – a patriot all too often poisons our political debates, in ways that divide us rather than bringing us together.

      …Given the enormous challenges that lie before us, we can no longer afford these sorts of divisions. None of us expect that arguments about patriotism will, or should, vanish entirely; after all, when we argue about patriotism, we are arguing about who we are as a country, and more importantly, who we should be. But surely we can agree that no party or political philosophy has a monopoly on patriotism. And surely we can arrive at a definition of patriotism that, however rough and imperfect, captures the best of America’s common spirit.

      What would such a definition look like? For me, as for most Americans, patriotism starts as a gut instinct, a loyalty and love for country rooted in my earliest memories. I’m not just talking about the recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance or the Thanksgiving pageants at school or the fireworks on the Fourth of July, as wonderful as those things may be. Rather, I’m referring to the way the American ideal wove its way throughout the lessons my family taught me as a child.

      One of my earliest memories is of sitting on my grandfather’s shoulders and watching the astronauts come to shore in Hawaii. I remember the cheers and small flags that people waved, and my grandfather explaining how we Americans could do anything we set our minds to do. That’s my idea of America.

      I remember listening to my grandmother telling stories about her work on a bomber assembly-line during World War II. I remember my grandfather handing me his dog-tags from his time in Patton’s Army, and understanding that his defense of this country marked one of his greatest sources of pride. That’s my idea of America.

      I remember, when living for four years in Indonesia as a child, listening to my mother reading me the first lines of the Declaration of Independence – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I remember her explaining how this declaration applied to every American, black and white and brown alike; how those words, and words of the United States Constitution, protected us from the injustices that we witnessed other people suffering during those years abroad. That’s my idea of America.

      …In the end, it may be this quality that best describes patriotism in my mind – not just a love of America in the abstract, but a very particular love for, and faith in, the American people. That is why our heart swells with pride at the sight of our flag; why we shed a tear as the lonely notes of Taps sound. For we know that the greatness of this country – its victories in war, its enormous wealth, its scientific and cultural achievements – all result from the energy and imagination of the American people; their toil, drive, struggle, restlessness, humor and quiet heroism….”

      I have copied here only a small portion of the words that he spoke on that day. But I believe they reflect the greater intent of his heart. A heart filled with a love of country that I also share. Make no mistake, I am not “fooled by his hypnotic speaking ability.” Rather, I am deeply moved, energized, and filled with hope in a vision of America where we leave fear behind and move forward working with respect for each other to make our country and our world a better place for everyone.

      It is time that we Americans forgive each other and begin to treat each other with respect and kindness. It is time that we stop being afraid and consumed by our differences and start working together to overcome the enormous problems that we all face. The election will be over soon and regardless of who is our next president, we must take to heart our own patriotism, work together respectfully and follow our next leader with the hope that they will lead us to a better future.

    • dtoub 9:14 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008, 9:14 pm Permalink

      wow—nine comments all in a single day for a post I wrote two months ago. And all coming in the span of less than two hours. And here I thought only a small number of friends and folks who strangely enough like my music actually frequent this site. Given that I don’t have the traffic of Kos or HuffPo, I’m a bit suspicious that these are all legitimate posts. So let me at least address all the anti-Obama commenters in aggregate (and to those of you who expressed support for Obama/Biden, thanks):

      To those who seem to question Obama’s experience and suggest he “befriends terrorists,” get a life. Please. In two days, it will all be over and we will finally have a president who is not a political tool, who is intelligent and will restore our respect throughout the world. And let me give you a clue; that president will not be McSame/Palin. Indeed, McCain 2000 would have been very critical of the way McCain 2008 has been behaving.

      Obama is not a terrorist sympathizer. That’s nothing more than a phrase masking the racist and xenophobic view that anyone who isn’t white and anglo-saxon and protestant (or at worst, catholic) is “other” and thus not suitable for our presidency. That is a very anti-American attitude. All that this campaign has done is brought the undercurrent of racism into the fore. Just consider the “Muslim rumor,” that because Obama has a funny name that includes Hussein, he must be a Muslim. He’s not—he’s actually quite Christian (hence the right-wing hysteria over the Wright non-issue).

      But what if he were of the Islamic faith? So what? Why should that in any way, shape or form disqualify Obama from being president? Should my Judaism disqualify me if I were ever to run for politics (god forbid)? Should Mitt Romney’s Mormonism disqualify him? Should my atheism automatically place me out of the running? And what about those out there who are Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered? What about someone who is a woman?

      None of this discrimination belongs in my country. If you don’t agree with Obama’s policies, then fine—that’s your right, and I value the diversity in opinions that our system protects.

      But if you don’t support him because you think he’s a terrorist sympathizer, because he’s Black, because he’s “uppity” (as one legislator put it), because he’s got a “funny name,” or because you mistakenly think he is a Muslim and are bigoted towards those of the Islamic faith, then with all due respect, get the fuck off my blog.

      If that seems contrary to my known support for free speech and civil liberties, let me just say that this is my blog, and it’s here to serve my own purposes, not those of some right-wing anti-choice, bigoted, religious zealots.

      But remember, come January, all of you right wingers will still be well served by President Obama. Us liberal types will continue to defend your rights, support your freedom to marry whomever you want, respect your privacy and keep our country safe. Even though the current Republican administration totally screwed our free speech rights, our privacy rights, the rights of gays and lesbians to marry one another and made us less safe by stupidly invading one country in the Middle East that posed no clear and present danger to our nation.

    • David Irlbeck 5:12 pm on Monday, November 3, 2008, 5:12 pm Permalink

      By legitimate, do you mean authentic? If so, I think you can rest assured that these posts came from individuals who each have a different perspective on the current political race for president.

      I do not challenge that this blog belongs to you, but I would challenge you to be open-minded in allowing people with different perspectives to give voice to their views through this medium. And I would challenge you and everyone else that supports freedom and equality for all people to be respectful of those that do not share your perspective. I suspect that if we were to stop calling each other names, if we were to stop taking up offensive and defensive positions, that we might actually realize that we are, at our core, not so different.

    • dtoub 8:58 pm on Monday, November 3, 2008, 8:58 pm Permalink

      Yes, I mean authentic. If they are, then great. But it’s pretty weird that I’ve gotten more comments from folks I dont know in a 2-hour period than I usually get in a month. Was this post linked to somewhere that I don’t know about?

      Yes, I’m quite open minded, and do not need to defend that. And sure, let’s all stop calling one another names. But I reserve the right to call out right wing idiocy no less than others feel the need to criticize us progressive types. The difference is that folks like me don’t go around questioning other’s patriotism or expouse racist viewpoints cloaked in code words.

  • dtoub 12:22 pm on Saturday, August 30, 2008, 12:22 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: right wing idiocy   

    an alaskan’s perspective 

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    • J.C. Combs 9:21 pm on Saturday, August 30, 2008, 9:21 pm Permalink

      That person nailed it. Great blog post. I just hope he/she isn’t run out of town.

      This choice in VP further shows McCain’s weakness as another Bush with off-the-cuff, split decisions. If he’s elected, I think we should all be worried about what decisions he makes and how long he considers those decisions.

      So he said to himself, she has a great story and she’s a woman. That’s it! I cannot wait to see her field questions in a debate with Biden about the school system and her views on teaching creationism, denial of global warming, her decision to sue to have polar bears off the endangered list, etc. In the meantime, the press will be digging up why she had her sister’s ex-husband fired….. And between then we all will be still be scratching our heads.

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