Author’s Note: I realize some people prefer the terms “Hispanic” or “Chicano.” I personally refer to myself as “Mexican-American” since I’m a first-generation immigrant. I know we all have our preference, but for the purpose of this article, I’m sticking with Ann Romney’s terminology.
Ann Romney is not running for office, but her recent remarks about the Latino community show the Right’s mentality on minority votes and, on a personal level, showed her contempt for people like me.
I like to think my arguments are better than just flinging insults or calling names, but I would like to vent a little steam before starting by saying that Ann Romney sounds like any abusive husband on a Lifetime movie telling his battered wife that it’s her fault she’s on the ground doubled over.
Let me explain. Ann Romney said:
“I spoke to women last night and I wanted women to understand how important this election is for their children. But as I was sitting backstage listening, I thought, it’s also very important that the Latino community recognize how important this election is for them.”
I like how she talks about women and mothers and that need to protect the family but seems to think Latinos don’t have those concerns or are somehow different. It sounds like nitpicking her grammar, but it actually makes sense a little later.
“And [Latinos] are mistaken if they think they are going to be better off with Barack Obama as their president. There really is only one way for prosperity, for small business, and that is, this is the simplest way I can say this: If Mitt Romney wins, America wins.”
Mrs. Romney’s assertion that helping small businesses is the best way to help the country falls apart for two reasons. Firstly, she assumes that corporate profits equal social prosperity. They don’t. The top earners in this country have had incredible success in the last several years, but the middle class hasn’t seen significant improvement in THIRTY YEARS. Small businesses are another matter. Yes, they could be doing better, but the self-serving nature of the Romney/Ryan plan is another case. It will hurt not just Latinos, but everyone.
It’s when Mrs. Romney starts talking about why Latinos are specifically deaf to the GOP that I start to put the pieces together.
“You’d better really look at your future and figure out who’s going to be the guy that’s going to make it better for you and your children, and there is only one answer… It really is a message that would resonate well if [Latinos] could just get past some of their biases that have been there from the Democratic machines that have made us look like we don’t care about this community. And that is not true. We very much care about you and your families and the opportunities that are there for you and your families.”
If I may, I would like to address Ann Romney directly.
Now that “Elves With Shotguns” is in the final stage of production and all I have to do is wait for RPGNow to approve the pdf for publication, I can finally sit back and enjoy the fruitful political and social discourse streaming through America’s media.
By that, of course, I mean foam at the mouth at the utter lack of comprehension at 3rd grade science. Three instances in the last few weeks have left me wondering why conservatives want to gut education since, besides a mountain of evidence that shows a strong public education would help our country, conservatives themselves show their own glaring ignorance of basic scientific concepts.
Limbaugh’s Concept of Science
Rush “Hindenburg of Sexism” Limbaugh is no stranger to denying climate change. He took it a step further recently when he claimed that global climate change created by human interference was a fraud because so many scientists agreed on it. It must be heard to be believed.
Here’s Rush’s argument. Science is not based on opinions. He has that part correct. No self-respecting scientist would agree with a new theory based solely on popular opinion. Here’s the part Rush left out: so many scientists agree with climate change because they have analyzed the data or otherwise performed their own experiments based on repeatable observations. That’s what scientific consensus means.
Scientists get behind a theory when a LOT of them can replicate experiments or verify that data and experiments were accurate. It’s not a popularity contest. By this logic, here are a few more things Rush must not believe in:
The Big Bang
Geologic models of the earth
The existence of extra-solar planets
The effectiveness of modern medicine
It does, however, reflect modern American conservative thinking: if there is evidence you are wrong, the evidence itself must be wrong.
The debate over abortion and taking away abortion rights is part of the larger war on women the GOP has been waging in recent years. Arizona also has the distinction of having some of the dumbest lawmakers in the country. Now that’s something to be proud of. This one, though, takes the cake.
Got that? In Arizona, you can be legally pregnant before you conceive. It’s a Christmas miracle!
Aside from the morally reprehensible act of denying women a basic medical treatment that is legal in the rest of the country simply because one ideology is against it, let’s consider the ramifications of this, okay? A woman can now retroactively be considered pregnant when she wasn’t. This opens up a whole can of legal worms. If they’re so set on making sure the potential for life remains, why not make it illegal to have wet dreams while they’re at it?
Nye was in [Waco] to participate in McLennan Community College’s Distinguished Lecture Series. He gave two lectures on such unfunny and adult topics as global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption.
But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”
The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.
At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled “We believe in God!” and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they’d always suspected.
Yes, folks. It appears that pointing out the moon does not glow, a fact we can prove because we have PICTURES TAKEN ON THE SURFACE, is now an affront to Christians. Let me tell you something… if your beliefs are so fragile that having someone call out a two-thousand year old document that uses poetry to describe the world as being a two-thousand year-old document that uses poetry to describe the world… you need help.
And Bill Nye, I know I wasn’t there, but being a resident in this state, I feel I should apologize. Please come back. We have beer and brisket and Mexican grandmothers that know how to cook.
And now, let’s enjoy a trailer for a horror movie that actually looks interesting. See you Monday, and stay tuned for more updates and news on Randomology Games and the upcoming “Elves With Shotguns.”
Is Victoria’s Secret finally setting some realistic standards?
Well, yes and no.
Model Candice Swanepoel (I am so glad I can just write this and not have to pronounce it) has gotten some flak from the press and the modeling industry because she’s getting too thin. Let that sink in for a moment. A model is TOO THIN for the modeling industry.
It’s not the first time this has happened. Alessandra Ambrosio was criticized last year for also being too thin, and in general, I get the feeling that the public is starting to really wise up about the whole “I need to be thin to be beautiful” mentality.
Why not just say “healthy” instead of curvy? I guess they’re implying “bottylicious” is not healthy.
Anyway, it’s really confusing when you consider that that some women really do get this thin on their own. They don’t starve themselves or anything. They just have a really strong metabolism. That’s fine. Some women have to work harder at it. That’s also fine. And you know what?
I’m sorry, but she does. Most of these models do. It’s one thing to be thin. Thin does not mean “anorexic.” You can be thin and healthy, but half these models look like they’d faint if they tried to climb a flight of stairs.
You can, however, be well-proportioned and slim. It’s doable. Jessica Biel is the best example I can think of right now. At least for the third Blade movie (oh dear gods, I can still remember it), she put on muscle and was fit.
Even if you’re not superheroine-shaped, a woman’s beauty isn’t about how she looks (as cliché as that sounds). Women just need confidence. How do does she feel about herself and ow does she handle herself? That’s the best way to gauge a woman’s sexiness. Even then, looking like you’re not a P90X participant is not the deal breaker. Looks are not the only deciding factor. I’ve been around women who conformed to “normal” standards of beauty and yet were ugly right to the bone. Confident, yes, but conceited, self-centered, and otherwise emotionally reprehensible.
Beauty is about YOU. If anyone ever tells you or makes you feel otherwise, kick him in the nads. And if it’s a girl, punch her in the ovaries. Hard.
And no, I’m not being a hypocrite by calling Candice too thin and saying beauty is on the inside. Girl looks like a dead body on CSI. She looks like her shadow weighs more. Even if she was Mother Theresa, I’d beg her to eat a cheeseburger for her own benefit.
Ah-nold is done with politics, but he’s going back to entertainment in a new endeavor called “The Governator.” He stars as a politician who saves the world as a nigh-invincible superhero. Sound like a fantasy? The first trailer looks like, well… what Ah-nold thinks he looks like in an action role.
And finally, although I’m very hesitant of anything involving Ryan Reynolds, I’m very curious to see Green Lantern. The new footage recently released shows us a little more of the Green Lantern universe and, just maybe, as far of a shot as it sounds, Reynolds might pull it off if he can get past the Sandler-esque comedy he usually does. See you Friday!
Lab rats contain the most rudimentary analytical skills. They can analyze their environment and, after some trial and error, adapt. Faced with obstacles, a lab rat will try different paths and strategies to get to food or an exit. In short, these small, obnoxiously cute animals show us the origins of critical thought.
Glenn Beck, it seems, lacks the common sense of the average lab rat.
Look, I know I’ve taken swipes at Beck over, and over, and over again, but the recent Arizona shootings and the calls for a more civil discourse have actually energized some on the Right to increase the violent rhetoric. Beck, though, has taken it a step further. Behold the ramblings of a man who thinks he’s right… because he cannot be wrong.
I’ll include the time signatures and some summary of what Becky Boy is saying. If you can stomach it, the clip is seven minutes long.
(00:00-00:45) They’re telling you that if you hear “crosshairs,” you’ll shoot someone. They think just hearing “gun” will set you off!
Beck plays a CNN clip where the network states they will try to not use language such as “in the crosshairs.” Why? It’s a term tied to guns. Such language, while not directly tied to the Arizona massacre, touches on a very sensitive subject, at least for the time being. To use such language is, as I wrote a while ago, not wrong in on itself. Language has its uses. Language can paint a picture and tell people exactly what you’re saying.
The problem though, is that you have to use language that conveys the emotion and sentiment you wish to give out, and language that references physical violence towards another person implies all kinds of things.
There’s a percentage of the population, a very small percentage, that will hear things like that and interpret it to mean that violence is necessary. The technical term is “wackos.” Metaphors and analogies should really be used by people who understand them. And yes, that’s a very elitist sentiment, I know, but it’s just as elitist to say that doctors should be the only ones cutting people to perform surgery.
And yet that’s not the issue.
No one believes that just hearing certain words will set you off, but using violent rhetoric does change the tone of the discussion. It makes it confrontational. It makes the opponent “enemies.” It does have an effect, just not the one Beck claims.
(1:55-2:10) People watch me because I don’t think they’re morons and treat them like they’re smart.
Now this one’s just plain funny. Beck thinks he treats his audience like they’re smart? Didn’t he spend an entire show using puppets to illustrate a point?
Yup, that was him. This is a man who used puppets, physically showed the metaphor, to make a point. By the way, that’s the kind of thought process a lot of people are worried about right now: people taking metaphors at literal value.
It’s not that people think that hearing “gun” will make you violent. It’s that using language tied to hunting or firing guns or physical violence insinuates that such action is acceptable. It softens the impact that such words have.
Like “Nazi.” It’s lost all meaning. Now it’s just shorthand for “mean.”
(3:35-4:30) Kids understand that Bugs Bunny isn’t real and Elmer Fudd isn’t killing things, but the media thinks that ADULTS can’t tell the difference when it comes to violent rhetoric. How dumb do they think you are?!
…Bugs Bunny? Really? You’re using Looney Tunes to make a point? Okay, I can see where he’s coming from. It’s the counter-argument that if the Left doesn’t want censorship of violent video games and cartoons, why should we watch what our political leaders say? Isn’t that saying that children are more aware than adults?
Well, it would be, except for one key fact.
Cartoons are cartoons and games are games. While most people understand that what politicians, media figures, and pundits say is simply word-play to get a certain reaction, these are statements coming from people who are supposed to be our leaders. Granted, most of us are cynical or educated enough to know that such language is just talk, but, unfortunately, there are people who seriously believe them.
Not to mention that what politicians say affects the real world. Shooting a hooker in Grand Theft Auto doesn’t physically hurt anyone. It’s virtual. When our leaders call out for “second amendment solutions” and pundits instruct their listeners that they must act or “rivers of blood” will flow through the country, then people waiting for instructions listen.
Still, Beck doesn’t think we should censor language in any shape. Why? Because, according to him, it will make the debate easier:
I can’t believe I’m about to write this. In fact, it will be easy to miss, so let me write it like this…
I AGREE WITH GLENN BECK.
Now that I’m done throwing up, let me explain. He says that if we allow people to say whatever they want, we’ll be able to see the intolerant, the ignorant, and we’ll know what people really believe.
I want you to remember something. This is the same guy who begged his audience to NOT bring signs to his massively important rally in August. He didn’t trust them to speak their minds. Why? Because if they were anything like the Tea Baggers in other rallies, they were going to make idiots of themselves.
Let’s summarize. Beck is mischaracterizing what people are saying about violent rhetoric. Even those in favor of some form of self-censorship don’t believe the average voter is affected by words. They believe people on the fringe who already have mental problems will be affected. Political leaders should hold themselves and the office they hold to a higher standard.
Secondly, Beck does treat his audience like they’re morons. He dresses up in a sweater on Fridays and uses blackboards like he’s teaching a grade school class complete with the use of voices.
Finally, he seems to think that cartoons and video games have the same influence as the media and political leaders. They’re not the same thing. My little website has nowhere near the reach of, say, the Huffington Post, which is why I can make the claim that I’d like Beck to be sexually violated by a horse. When the audience grows, I will have to be much more careful with that sort of rhetoric.
And Beck was right about something. It’s good to not censor. This way, we know the idiots. And thanks to his own words and actions, Beck has shown that he really is an uneducated, anti-science, religious zealot with a serious Jewish problem who clings to the Constitution not as an ideal, but as a security blanket. He’s got more enemies than Batman if you believe him.
So no, no one’s trying to censor you, Beck. It’s just that we keep disagreeing with you and you think people not listening to you is censorship.
This is what people who actually pay attention in school would call, “Obvious.”
Now go cry in the corner like the psychopathic man-child that you are. I need something funny to wash all that out of my brain, so behold some classic Bugs Bunny, then links below.
It looks like we may get twin suns in a few years. Looks like a star will go kaboom in the next few months to years, meaning we could have a very bright night sky. I can already hear the conspiracy theories and doomsday scenarios.
It’s been a heavy week, what with talks of violent rhetoric and other goings on around the world, so let’s talk about something light.
Yes, you too can be a founding member of the new generation that destroys Western civilization as we know it!
Well, not quite.
See, to say that something or someone is “anarchist” is a bit like saying you can make pizza. Are we talking Chicago-style pizza or New York-style pizza? Do you make it from scratch or do you use biscuits to make mini-pizzas like I do? Most anarchists say they want a world without government, without an overlord-like power telling everyone what to do and what’s acceptable. That’s the one constant.
The problem, though, is that the ways to go about reaching this world differ.
Much like La Raza, anarchy is a goal that lies far in the future. That’s not to say there are not anarchists now. There are. I’m one of them. I believe an ideal world is one in which every person is free to do as he or she chooses. This is a world in which we no longer need governments. It’s a world where personal freedom and accountability are held up there with life, liberty, and the rest of Superman’s motto.
The problem, though, is people.
Let me put it this way. Anarchy is the belief that the people have the final say and can govern themselves. Okay, fine… have you met the “average” person? Churchill once said that a few minutes with the average citizen are the greatest argument against democracy.
And he’s right.
We’re dumb. We really are. Think of the average person. Now think about the fact that half the population is dumber than that. And if you don’t understand that last sentence, you fall under the “lower than average” category. Sorry.
I don’t talk about education and art just because it’s something I do or like to do. Art and education, the appreciation of things not essential to survival and the ability to absorb knowledge are the keys to a fully anarchic society, one in which we move beyond progressivism and conservatism and simply evolve into a world of personal choice and freedom. The ability to learn and adapt is falling away from us. Whether we like to admit it or not, we’re in a world that embraces anti-intellectualism. Science is shunned as something evil or some conspiracy to control. Art is seen as some sort of freaky endeavor that only the crazy or slightly mad pursue.
Art and education are the key to our future.
I have friends who, despite being life-long conservatives, pursed a higher education and, through their studies and their acceptance of new ideas, realized that choice and freedom were the way to go. Art has, for many of my friends, spoken to them of themes and messages language just can’t handle or is too verbose to communicate.
The ability to think not just of the world but the world of art and reading “between the lines” is what stands between us a true anarchism.
And anarchy is not a negative term. It’s just used as such by people who don’t know better.
Anarchy is freedom. It doesn’t mean total chaos. It means choice, but also the ability to take responsibility for those choices. And that’s why an informed population is essential. That’s why education and art are, I truly believe in my heart and mind, the key to a free society.
I want anarchy. I want a world where movies are not rated. I want a world where information flows. I want a world where we hold people accountable for their actions. I want a world where fear of the unknown is replaced by healthy curiosity for new possibilities.
I want controlled demolition of everything around me.
And finally, showing why an understanding of the scientific process, or taking in as much data as possible, is important, here’s a Saturday morning Breakfast Cereal comic showing why the proper interpretation of data is important. Don’t forget to check the poll on the upper right, and I’ll see you on Wednesday!
Do our words matter? Every time I’m going to publish an article, I wonder who’ll read it, whether they’ll skim through and just go for the links at the end, check out the pictures, or if they just like to see if I misspelled something. Sometimes I like to think you read these pieces and take in every word with the relish of a meal after a fast.
Writers have egos.
I’m also painfully conscious that my words could be dangerous if taken in the wrong light. I use inflammatory language and titles. Are you kidding me?
I go over a lot of possibilities for each post. Some are great. Some suck. I take more time for the content, too. As much as I want to just rant and rave Lewis Black-style, I know I have to back up everything I say with facts, with analogies, with some real-world examples and applications. I think I do a pretty good job. Yes, I let my emotions get away from me sometimes, but it’s usually a calculated demolition. It’s always as close to directed chaos as I can make it.
Bill Maher made a very good point when he said that, yes, Bush was called Hitler when he was in office, much like Obama is called that now. Yeah. I remember. I did the same thing. I helped plaster bulletin boards with anti-GOP propaganda. And it was real propaganda. Pictures of Bush riding a bomb. Death tolls in Afghanistan. Equating blood and oil.
It was some pretty gruesome stuff. Sometimes I want to say and post things like that here. I want to call out the Far Right for the murdering, greedy bastards they are. I want to call Beck a rapist for taking gullible people and sweet-talking them into giving him their money. I want to call for war against rabid conservatism.
But it wouldn’t be right.
Who am I? I’m no one right now. I have readers, I have fans, but it would be a small blip. If I had a few million people following me, I could do some serious damage. And that’s the part our leaders have forgotten.
I can use the kind of language I’m using for two reasons. First of all, I know what I’m saying and what it means. I press buttons, but I know what buttons I’m pressing. As Doctor Joe Heithaus of DePauw University once told me, “The key to great writing is to learn the rules, then bend the rules, then break the rules.”
I break the rules of tact because I understand and want the kind of reaction such language creates. Others don’t do that.
Secondly, with such little exposure and power, I’m not someone who wields a lot of influence. I can say these things and they are taken as my opinion, inflammatory as they may be, because I wield no power. At worst, people think I rant.
However, put the same violent, passionate words in the mouths of high-level pundits and politicians, and imagery calling out for blood, calls of taking aim or reloading are not just a metaphor. They are a rallying call.
Metaphor, imagery, and various literary devices have their place in public discourse, but knowing how to use them is the first step in avoiding saying the wrong thing. This isn’t an accusation or an attempt to put blame on anyone for Saturday’s tragedy. But it did prompt me to think about this again.
Language is a tool. So is a hammer. But you can also kill with both.
And finally, if you still need a little closure from the Arizona massacre, here’s Olbermann with a surprisingly sobering message on the media’s reaction to the killings and the environment we’ve created by using violent language without realizing that violent language calls out for violence.
Oh, the hateful speech is in full swing. It must be Wednesday!
…I don’t even know what that means. I just needed some way to link these stories together and that sounded, at least in my head, like a legitimate strategy. Oh well.
One Tux Too Many
A young woman named Ceara Sturgis was cut out of her high school yearbook because she wore a tux instead of the traditional dress. Why would she do this? She’s a lesbian and, judging from her reactions in this video, she’s more comfortable in traditionally male clothes than dresses.
Unlike another now-infamous incident a while back, there was no problem with Ceara wearing a dress to prom (although she went with a guy, her best male friend) and there was no chance of girl-girl action occurring in the photo. There were no pride banners, logos, or calls for lesbianity to take over America.
The girl wore a tux.
End of story, except the principal quickly pulled her picture. Caera doesn’t appear at all. They didn’t even give her the courtesy of a blank frame. Nothing. The problem here is that it can’t be easily undone with a lawsuit or anything. The school would have to recall every yearbook, have the company reprint them, and re-distribute them, and by now e students have very likely signed books and would not give them back.
The year is over and this popular student, yes, she was well-liked, is now a ghost.
This all started last fall, but with the academic year gone, there’s nothing left to do. I really wish something had been done. Anything. Fire the principal. Make him pay reparations. Something. Poke him with a stick.
I don’t care.
With all the talk on “individual rights” versus “human rights” the right is screaming about right now, you’d think the right of an individual to express herself would get people more angry than anything else, but seeing as how she’s an abomination in the eyes of God, the right has better things to do.
Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), not to be confused with author Stephen King, defended Arizona’s immigration law by stating that not profiling goes against the very nature of law enforcement. Besides, law enforcement can routinely use their heightened mental abilities to scan for illegal without any real proof. While he’s against using racial profiling to discriminate-
I think I better let the Congressman explain in his own words.
Oh, brother, where to start? First of all, if someone uses a “sixth sense” to detect criminal activity, that person should donate his or her brain to science because they would provide evidence of psychic abilities. Secondly, there is a massive difference between racial profiling and behavioral profiling.
Behavioral analysis focuses on what you do, specific behaviors, and psychology. Racial profiling involves looking for the most brown person in the group. According to U.S. intelligence specialists, racial profiling can harm law enforcement efforts.
Think of it this way. You want the public’s cooperation? Don’t make them think you’re after them just because they happen to be a member of a race.
Of course, basing decisions on clothes is even dumber. Am I to believe the white guy dressed gangsta-style is a criminal because he dresses like the bad guys on Law and Order?
Though he’s taken the remarks back, he did so because he got such bad press about them. If more people in Arizona had backed him up, I’m sure he’d the first one out to set up an M18 Claymore.
Mines? Have we gotten to the point where this country fears immigrants so much that this idea is even said out loud? I always find it funny how people stereotype Mexicans as lazy and unmotivated while simultaneously complaining that Mexicans are taking all the jobs. Does Mullins actually think mines are going to keep people out?
We have illegal immigrants from China. They have to cross an ocean. A minefield will just prove a very explosive inconvenience. Given the efforts to get rid of mines planted all over the world following wars that tore nations apart, why does this man think that mines will fare any better here?
So there you have it. Racism and homophobia in one neat little package. Given how much we gain from our diversity and how much we claim to respect the rights of others, instances like this really do show that he belief in equality extends only to a certain group.
I had, at one point, another blog called Divine by Zero. Sadly, it never really went anywhere, but I like the name so much that I’m going to keep it for these alternating posts. So, what’s going on in the world? What can we gleam from these insights of madness?!
Or these links…
Did you know that a trend is sweeping the UK that jumped the pond from the US? Soon, it will be socially acceptable to drink vodka through your eye-ball! Or so the Daily Mail will have you believe. Needless to say, some people doubt this is happening, Gawker among them. Personally, I think that if you want to get drunk that fast, just buy a bottle of Everclear and go for it.
Someone give this man a medal or something for finally letting me hear Ian McKellen recite the poetry that is the theme to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And yes, he does the themes to Duck Tales and Saved by the Bell, too. Now if we could only find someone who will do lines from Jay and Silent Bob as Christopher Lee.
This has to be one of the greatest sermons I’ve ever heard. It’s from David Garcia, one of the pastors at the Crossroads Church in Laredo, Texas, giving a sermon with a twist, like always.
So when I was younger and I was living with my uncle, who was a preacher, I went out one day and said, “I’m going to the movies.”
“The movies?” he asked.
“Yes, the movies.” Of course, I went to this party and came home drunk. When my uncle caught me coming home drunk, he asked me where I’d been. I told him I was at the movies. He said I was lying, and he knew it. I asked him how he knew and he said that God had told him I was going to lie. And that really changed the way I saw God.
That night, I prayed and I said, “God… I only have one thing to ask you… stop telling my uncle when I lie.”
You know Farmville? Oh, those annoying little status updates you have to block and the hours my students wasted away on planting digital crops. Now, some modern-day Christ has designed FarmVillain, a Facebook application that lets you post status updates on your feed such as “You can now grow hemp on your farm, you know, for making rope,” and “Gift received! Claim your ten illegal farm workers to work on your farm.” That’s it. You click on the story you want and it gets put on your feed. You choose which updates to put up. I’m fond of the “You can now breed wookies on your farm” story, if only for the hilarious shocked wookie graphic.
Remember that little thing with Arizona and its law that will encourage racial profiling and cast suspicion on anyone who looks like a foreigner? Well, Rush Limbaugh, champion of the people, is here to quell those concerns. We can’t racially profile, he says, because “Mexican” isn’t a race. Therefore, no racial profiling of Mexicans can take place… It’s one thing when talk radio deadens the political debate. It’s another when it says something so utterly stupid that you have to wonder if the speaker didn’t shove his toothbrush in his ear that morning, scrub around for a minute, then remove it and a substantial amount of brain matter.
And for all you grads out there, congratulations! It seems you will not be entering a dismal dystopia where work is unheard of! Of course, let me give you some advice. It’s still a hard job market, and no job is beneath you if it pays the bills. Case in point:
And with that, I’ll see you all tomorrow. The Texas Board of Education voted on the final curriculum changes. To put it mildly, they took a piss on the history books before pleasuring themselves with an American flag. It’s… not pretty.
Ah, crap! Now I can’t get that image out of my head!
Let’s face it. Racial profiling is going to happen in Arizona. It already has. I went to great lengths to explain why this law is so wrong in the previous article, but now it’s spreading. The consensus from many conservative pundits is that racial profiling is necessary. We need to do this. Look at the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center! They all looked alike, didn’t they? As does every terrorist we’ve dealt with, right?
Okay… maybe not.
Here’s the deal. Racial profiling is illegal and wrong because it targets based on race. The idea that you can tell a criminal apart from a civilian just based on looks is stupid, but if you want to take this to its extreme, Arizona, I have a new proposal for you. Given your willingness to bend constitutional rights for the sake of security and economics, I’m sure you’ll be excited for this one.
It’s called the Rich White Guy Prevention Act of 2010.
It’s simple. Rich white guys tanked our economy. People with educations and high-level positions on Wall Street lied and cheated us out of our money. Clearly, in order to prevent this kind of thing from happening without having to resort to the financial reform some conservatives don’t want, we need to get at the root of the problem. Kind of how you want to destroy the kidnapping and drug rings in Arizona by targeting brown people.
Say goodbye to your breakfast tacos, muchachos.
Anyway, when the Rich White Guy Prevention Act of 2010 passes, the government will have the authority to target and detain any white guy who looks rich and may work in Wall Street. He will be asked to produce tax documentation proving his income is legitimate. If the white guy does not have proper documentation, he may be detained until such a time as federal authorities can determine if the white guy has ever cheated and lied for his money.
If you’re white, you have to understand that while not every white guy is a Wall Street crook, every Wall Street crook is white. They started it.
I know what you’re thinking. And I already thought of it.
“But, Michel,” you say, “that’s sexist! What about the women?”
Truth is, many rich white guys will oppose this measure, but that just shows how blind they are to the problem rich white guys pose to this country. Besides, I’m not against ALL rich white guys. I know some rich white guys. I’m talking about CRIMINAL rich white guys, the ones who helped put us in the worst recession in decades. They’re the ones we need to go after.
Hey Beck! Help me out here!
It should be easy to spot them. You can look at how they dress. They all wear suits and typically drive expensive cars.
“But won’t we end up rounding up white guys who aren’t in business? Maybe the guy’s a doctor!”
Good point. And yet we’re only targeting criminals. Not everyone. This has nothing to do with with your level of income or race. If you’re a criminal, you’ve already broken the law and this new law will just give the government the power to come after rich white guys who’ve made their money illegally. Fox News! Represent!
The Rich White Guy Prevention Act of 2010 is really about helping small business and keeping America safe. After all, don’t we owe it to this country to keep another Wall Street catastrophe from happening? If you don’t email this to your congressman and push to make it a reality, you’re with the terrorists. And you eat live puppies just to hear them scream.
After reading all that, I want you to really think about this…
Is there any reason why these arguments work with immigrants, legal or illegal, or citizens of this country who worked to become citizens, but not anyone else? For months, members of the Tea Party and people like Limbaugh and Beck have been crying about the government coming to take you. When I worked in Congress, even before Obama was elected, we were getting scared and angry letters and phone calls asking us if Obama was going to come after the guns. Then came the scare on death panels. Now they say financial reform is a way to spy on your bank account.
Except now we have a real law that comes after American citizens… and the people crying about those ridiculous rumors are all for it!
I get it. You don’t like the hispaniards. The brownies make you uncomfortable. That’s fine. You want to ignore a few basic facts about immigration just to make your little narrative make sense. Just to balance the universe out, I guess I’ll walk across the street the next time I see a white guy in a nice suit coming towards me. He might be planning to give me a loan for a house I won’t be able to pay or worse… he might be after our jobs and our women.
And if you’re Caucasian and you didn’t get the sarcasm in this article, feel free to write an angry, angry email.
I want to make sure I understand what it is your new law on immigration will do. If police have reasonable cause to stop someone they feel is an illegal, they may ask for documentation proving citizenship. That’s the main point in a bill that has such redundant mandates as claiming that illegal immigrants are committing a crime (that’s already a crime) and that the state of Arizona may sue the police if they aren’t doing a good job (you’re going to sue yourselves). You will also require legal immigrants to carry identification that verifies they are, in fact, legal immigrants. That would include me if I ever went to Arizona.
Are we all on the same page now?
I’ve gone on and on about how Texas has such a bad reputation. We keep doing stupid things like backing up a governor who wants to secede and making stupid changes to our textbooks. When I said I wanted us to stop being so stupid, I didn’t mean to imply I wanted someone to be stupider.
More stupid… Oh, crap, it IS something in the water.
How exactly will you be enforcing this policy? What constitutes reasonable doubt in a state where one third of the population is Hispanic? Will you be arresting and searching people based on suspicion of Mexicaness? Driving while brown? What?
Let me make something absolutely clear. I am an immigrant. A *legal* immigrant. I have the papers, social security card, driver’s license, W9 forms, and work-related stress like every other American. I want tougher immigration laws, but I don’t want them to be at the expense of those of us that have run the obstacle course to get where we are.
“But Michel,” I can hear you say, “if you’re here legally, you have nothing to worry about, right?”
Wrong. I do. It’s been a while since I took social studies in eighth grade, but I seem to remember something about the Fourth Amendment.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In modern Americanese, this means law enforcement must have reasonable cause to search for and ask me for documentation. This is why even the almighty Lenny Briscoe needed a warrant.
If a guy with dark skin is wet by the Rio Grande and he’s holding a bag with all his belongings, I bet you he didn’t just compete in a wet t-shirt contest. If a brown guy is driving a beat-up truck and is speaking Spanish, that is not probable cause.
Want to know how I know?
Could you tell the difference between a recent immigrant and an illegal immigrant? For years, we’ve had the national debate on whether we should teach dual language courses to students from other countries. I guarantee that many of these kids do learn English, but they will continue to speak Spanish at home. In fact, if you were to go into a recent immigrant household, you’ll find it a rough approximation of the life the family enjoyed in their native land.
I’ve lived here for years and I can’t tell who is a citizen and who isn’t a citizen. Are you going to go by accent? Well, there goes half the state. You could always go by clothes, like this knucklehead in Congress suggested.
Just say it, Congressman Bilbray. You’re looking for the sombrero, sarape, and guaraches. Newsflash: We don’t all look like Speedy Gonzales!
Do we need to do something about immigration? Of course, but we have to walk a fine line. This law will catch a lot of illegals. Do you mean to tell me that naturalization is not good enough? I am not equal to my fellow citizens and must carry a document stating I am here without breaking the law if I go to Arizona?
At what point did we forget about “innocent until proven guilty?”
And one more thing… You keep saying this isn’t about racial profiling. Will you be looking for Chinese immigrants too? Hey, I’m not really brown, but I could pass for western European. Think maybe I’m some socialist usurper? My girlfriend has some Middle Eastern blood in her. Think she could be a member of that infamous Mexican al-Qaeda?
There is no way to enforce this law without racially profiling. And there is no way to get results without detaining law-abiding citizens. Do you wonder why, after 9/11, we didn’t start rounding up Muslims and general brown people just in case? Since blacks make up such a large section of our prison population, do you think anyone’s seriously considered just planting microchips on blacks or asking them to prove they’re not violating that parole you assume is the reason they’re out on the street? Better yet, let’s put those microchips into the illegals! Yeah, that should solve our problems!
There is an immigration problem in this country. Don’t think I don’t know that. I see it first-hand. However, what you’ve done is a few steps shy of Japanese internment camps. You’ve ignored any notion of integration for the legal immigrant community. If the Hispanic community is mad it’s because we’ve been targeted. This is like performing an appendectomy with a Glock.
May your lawns grow wild and your babies feral as your gardeners and babysitters are arrested, you weak-willed, sycophantic bastards.