Posted on November 21, 2009 by eric
It appears that among the great many things Sarah Palin does not know is the difference between former UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden and former Cheyenne Indian tribal leader John Wooden Legs. Her (poorly ghostwritten and apparently unedited) book, Going Rogue, erroneously attributes this quote to the college hoops legend:
Our land is everything to us…. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember than our grandfathers paid for it — with their lives.
In fact, the quote is from the tribal leader–which gives the words a rather different significance than Palin (or her hired hands) intended. If her teabagger supporters ever cotton on to the fact that her book approvingly quotes a critic of European-American land-grabbing imperialism, things could get really interesting.
Filed under: All the King's Men | Tagged: election 2008, imbeciles, politics | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 22, 2009 by eric
I’m just enough of a computer geek to find this amusing.
Filed under: All the King's Men | Tagged: election 2008, humor, politics | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 19, 2009 by eric
My trip to eastern North Carolina this weekend wasn’t all fun and games and pirates. I came out here to meet with a group of truckers who are organizing a union after growing fed up with having their livlihoods left to the whim of the bosses. This is a remarkable group in many ways. In a region where the Klan not too long ago paraded openly (we’re only a short drive from where a sign along Highway 301 once proclaimed “The Klan welcomes you to Smithfield. Help fight communism and integration.”), and where Confederate flags are still a common sight, this is a group of African-American and White workers joining together in solidarity. And in a state with the lowest rate of union membership in the U.S., they are doing so under the banner of an explicitly radical and militant union: the Industrial Workers of the World. The meeting — in what my son described as a “rickety old” community center — was almost like taking a step back in time; yet, for these workers, the effort represents a great leap forward. If there really is to be a revival of unions in this country, it won’t come from the top down, nor through legislative grants. It will come from the workers themselves, asserting their own collective interests and collective power.
It was in support of another such group of workers that Dr. King was in Memphis in April 1968. That’s why these North Carolina truckers chose this weekend to formally launch their union. I can think of no better way that I might have honored Dr. King’s legacy than by coming here to meet with these workers and support their effort.
Tomorrow, Dr. King’s famous dream will come one step closer to fruition, as the United States witnesses the inauguration of our first African-American President. I have plenty of reservations about Barack Obama, and little hope that his Presidency really signals a fundamental change in this nation’s politics or policy in a radical-democratic direction. Yet, his inauguration does undeniably represent an important and joyful moment. There will be plenty of time for critique and cyncism after tomorrow. For now, I’m happy to join in celebration.
Filed under: In Dubious Battle | Tagged: democracy, election 2008, history, labor, politics, race, radicalism, unions | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 5, 2008 by eric
Joe Lieberman (Me-Myself-&-I, CT) wants to let bygones be bygones:
“Now that the election is over, it is time to put partisan considerations aside and come together as a nation to solve the difficult challenges we face and make our blessed land stronger and safer,” Lieberman said in a written statement. “I pledge to work with President-elect Obama and his incoming administration in their efforts to reinvigorate our economy and keep our nation secure and free.”
While some might scoff, I say Obama should take Lieberman at his word and give him an opportunity to work with the new administration. An appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Kissmyassistan would be suitable.
Filed under: All the King's Men | Tagged: election 2008, politics | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 5, 2008 by eric
Posted on November 4, 2008 by eric
Posted on October 30, 2008 by eric
I wish someone would do a remix of this changing the name to “Barry”.
Filed under: All the King's Men | Tagged: election 2008, music, nostalgia, video | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 29, 2008 by eric
Parker Poe, a Raleigh, North Carolina firm that represents Democratic Senate hopeful Kay Hagen, has sent a “cease and desist” letter to GOP incumbent Elizabeth Dole over a campaign ad linking Hagen to a group called “Godless Americans PAC“. The letter contends that the ad is false and defamatory in suggesting that Hagen has accepted donations from Godless Americans PAC and shares the group’s anti-religious sentiments. As the letter notes, Hagen is in fact an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro, where she has served as an Elder and Sunday School teacher.
If Hagen were to pursue a defamation claim, it would be subject to the restrictive “actual malice” standard that applies to public figures under New York Times v. Sullivan. Under that standard, Hagen would have to show not only that the ad’s assertions against her are false, but that Dole and her campaign knew those assertions were false or broadcast the ad with reckless disregard for the truth. At least in the wake of the Parker Poe letter, Dole and her campaign are certainly on notice that Hagen contests the veracity of the ad’s assertions.
Of course, as a godless American myself, I’d like to imagine a world in which calling someone “godless” was not defamatory. But, in the current socio-political environment, “godlessness” is akin to uncleanliness. Candidates for public office are expected to proclaim their “faith” loudly and often. Indeed, the North Carolina state constitution declares that “any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God” is disqualified from holding public office (a provision that is patently invalid under the U.S. Constitution, but remains enshrined in the supreme law of my home state nonetheless).
I would have been just as happy if Kay Hagen really did reject religious mythology; but the fact is that she does not. I would have been even happier if Hagen were to affirm that non-believers are not second class citizens disqualified from holding public office; but I can understand why a candidate, especially in a churchgoing state like North Carolina, would be reluctant to take that stance. Under the circumstances, I’m happy enough that Hagen is taking a strong position in response to Dole’s “godless” smear.
(Thanks to Ed Cone for the tip.)
Filed under: All the King's Men | Tagged: election 2008, law, politics, religion | 5 Comments »