Wednesday, November 25, 2009

the mud god is my new god

the mud god is my new god,
because it never expects adoration
never demands virgin crimson
nor a glorious edifice

the mud god is my new god,
because it never clutches at gold
never crusades against the infidel
nor sends souls beneath it

the mud god is my new god
because it only wants rain

© Joseph E. Arechavala 10/5/09

Friday, November 13, 2009

What’s For Dinner

I read recently that Natalie Portman, the actress, decided to change from vegetarian to vegan.

I find the worldview of vegans to be quite interesting. Only in the late 20th and early 21st century we live in would this view now even be considered, let alone put forward as a moral choice.

Vegans ignore the basic, fundamental fact of life on this planet: everything alive - except plants - consumes something else, also alive, in order to live itself. So, we have grass eaten by gazelles, who are then eaten in turn by predators like lions, cheetahs and hyenas. We have ants who survive on various foods, which are in turn eaten by frogs, who in turn are eaten by snakes, who are then in turn eaten by birds like hawks.

In nature, mice function pretty much solely as food for other animals: snakes, owls, coyotes, foxes, lizards, etc. To claim that mice serve any other function than food other animals isn't really looking at reality. That’s why they breed so fast and have so many baby mice in each litter. In fact, this strategy applies to most of the animal world. Produce many young because most of them will get eaten.

I could go on, but you get the point. And while I’ll agree with vegans we should do our best to treat animals humanely and minimize their suffering, it’s more than a little ludicrous to claim that humans shouldn’t be eating meat and eggs, drinking milk or wearing leather on some moral ground when every other creature on this planet lives that way. Nor have I noticed predators being particularly 'humane' to their prey; in fact, some animals eat while their victim is still alive.

Argue your case on environmental grounds. Argue your case on health grounds. But arguing your case on moral grounds is inherently stupid.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Short November for Yankees? Or Maybe a Very Long One...

It’s positively revolting to watch the national sports press slobber all over the Yankees like a dog greeting his long lost master. They do the same thing with the Cowboys and Lakers.

They anointed the Yanks champs before the first pitch was thrown.

And you could tell, even though none of the Phillies said anything about it, they were pretty angry about being dissed.

Last night’s game one was their statement to the Bronx Bombers (and please excuse the paraphrase): “You can have this trophy when you pry it from our cold, dead hands.”

The Yankees couldn’t hit Lee, Sabathia couldn’t find his spots and the Phils waited him out. The NY relievers were anything but. And Chase Utley put an exclamation point on the proceedings with two homers.

Tonight we’ll see how Pedro pitches. And how the Yanks respond. They’ll have to if they want to stay in this, or they're done. But I have a feeling the Phils are coming back to Citizens’ up 2-0.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brought to You by the Letter L

I’ve noted in the last few years the growing intensity and shrillness of conservative voices. In the media, on the net, and in newspapers. People like Michele Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck have become louder and more piercing, the volume knob turning higher and higher with each infraction of the left they perceive.

Here’s why: they're losing.

The country voted for a liberal Democratic president. Society is ever so gradually loosening restrictions for gay marriage (it’s legal in six states now). Abortion is still legal after over 30 years of struggle to outlaw it. The struggle for religious tolerance continues, but it has become more widely spread. Our society is becoming more secular and less dependent on religious leaders.

They're losing in every sphere of the culture war they declared.

All of this bodes ill for the screechers. So they screech all the more loudly. But apparently, fewer and fewer are left to listen.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Baseball in October

“The agony was so real it was beautiful.” *
Their faces painted the picture perfect, textbook definition

Last out made, they walked, slowly, heads down,
pondered a November changed now –

on a cold day, but no colder than normal
for this ambition, started in March chill

ended in a darkened sports cathedral,
where the faithful left more dispirited

than after Sunday services with sins revealed.
“There’s no crying in baseball.” **

But, in private darkness, there was in the cars
on the way home.

* Mark Kizla, Denver Post, 10/13/09

** Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) “A League of Their Own”

© Joseph E. Arechavala 10/13/09

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gajillions of Dittoheads Vow to Never Watch Another NFL Game. Yeah, Right…

“Tonight, we are all Rush Limbaugh” will go down as one of the most hyperbolic and silly assertions ever written. has outdone itself in idiocy.

Where to even begin?

How about this? Rush Limbaugh can afford to buy an NFL team. Can you? Didn’t think so.

Second, the NFL will go to any length, breadth or depth to protect its most valuable asset: its antitrust exemption.

If you want to buy into the game, don’t go into the room labeled ‘controversy’ and hope to be able to pass into the room marked ‘NFL Owner.’ They don’t like it, they stay away from it, and the very last thing the NFL would like to be doing next season is reacting to Rush’s latest controversial statement.

You know, like “The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well” - I guess he doesn't remember Superbowl winner Doug Williams - and “Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream” and “The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit”.

So Rush, your bid was doomed from the start. And it’s nobody’s fault but yours.

And no, just record, maybe the folks at think they're Limbaugh, but I’m not.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dow Reaches 10000! Unemployed Millions Rejoice!

It’s interesting. We bailed out Wall St. just about a year ago. They're doing fine, aren't they?

Goldman-Sachs, the glad-handed recipient of hundreds of millions in government money, announced their latest earnings yesterday. And a robust $16 billion in payouts for employee bonuses (see I’m sure the announcement gladdened the hearts of those millions of unemployed, grateful that the big boys are doing so well. Their CEO says they need so much to keep talented people at their firm. These would be the same 'talented people' who put the economy in the mess it's in now.

But, hey, the conservatives tell us ‘capitalism benefits everyone.’

At least, in theory…

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Deja Vu With A Twist

In the mini-series “V” (the original back in the ‘80s), earth scientists start to suspect the aliens aren't as benevolent as they're letting on, and start speaking out against them. The aliens’ response is to go about discrediting the scientists with the public, and it works.

Life imitates art.

Republicans, beholden more than Democrats to big, polluting corporations are busily following this script. And corporations, who fear loss of profits far more than loss of jobs or increased costs they will just pass on to the consumer if climate change legislation passes – despite the fact that environmental laws they opposed in the past haven't had this effect – have been busily pulling their strings.

Look back a ways and you'll see a pattern. Just in case you don’t remember, this is a repeat from the 1970s when the Clean Water Act and Clean air Act were being debated. It’s a repeat of the 1990s when acid rain legislation was being debated. But it’s being done with a new twist. Don’t just attack the science, attack the scientists. They have an agenda. They’re really leftists bent on destroying capitalism.

Look on the websites of these ‘concerned citizens’ groups’ (with deliberately misleading names like the American Council on Science and Health) and see who’s really backing them. And understand you’re seeing a dog and pony show.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Captain Planet and the Planeteers Redux

I’ve observed an interesting phenomenon. Unless you have a child in their late teens or twenties, you likely don’t remember the TV show ‘Captain Planet’. Well, my now 19 year-old son watched it when he was young.

And now, my 8 year-old has suddenly discovered it on the Boomerang Channel. Watching the episode – no, I didn’t remember this one – I did suddenly remember how controversial the show was when it came on the air in 1990, how conservatives described it as propaganda for environmentalist tree-huggers.

Yet here we are in the 21st century, and conservatives talk about environmental responsibility as though they never opposed it.

Now, we’re talking about global warming. And the conservatives (mostly) refuse to believe it even exists.

Interesting how times change. Interesting how things stay the same.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Let’s All Support the Pedophile!!

I am stunned and outraged beyond belief at what I’ve read on the Washington Post and Huffington Post regarding the arrest of Roman Polanski on a 30 year old sexual assault case. That anyone would support Polanski – an admitted child molester – is beyond my capacity to understand.

It’s not like these are allegations. He pled guilty to a crime and fled the US, to live a life of luxury in Europe for decades, consciously avoiding the United States and Britain to stay of out of the hands of law enforcement.

What is it with this liberal defense of criminals?

Ira Einhorn and Mumia Abu Jamal immediately spring to mind. To defend people who have committed such heinous crimes is indefensible.

Perhaps it’s liberals need to defend those accused. Perhaps it’s the underdog mentality. Newsflash for you folks – sometimes, in fact most times – they're guilty.

And sometimes, the person just isn't worth defending.

The absolute worst defense I’ve heard is that he should be excused because of some ‘artistic greatness’. Excuse me, but ‘artistic merit’ isn't an excuse for moral depravity.

It doesn’t remotely approach a defensible argument.

I wonder, had been done to one of their daughters, if Joan Shore, Ariana Huffington and their like would be so quick to defend him.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Remember When Newspapers Used to Cost Money…

I’ve been reading some on newspapers and their troubles lately.

First, new technology makes old technology obsolete: the Pony Express was replaced by the telegraph, typewriters by computers, etc. Newspapers are suffering the same fate – they're being replaced by the net. Unfortunately for them, the newspapers are the old technology.

Going to the Wawa everyday (for those of you not from the Northeast, think of 7-11), I see very few people buying them, and those that do are always over 30, a really bad demographic for the newspaper industry.

And with instantaneous access and the 24-hour news cycle we now enjoy (Or don’t. That’s your call.), a printed sheet of paper is out of date by the time it hits the newsstand.

Third, people have grown to expect their news for free, from the networks, from CNN and Fox News (whatever you think of them), from the radio. So, for newspapers to charge for their content is an uphill proposition at best, especially if,, and others are still offering their content for free.

It’s really hard to see most newspapers surviving this, other than the major national papers – which will still struggle but will have a chance, at least – and those that serve small towns.

Other than that, newspapers are doomed. Progress – if you want to call it that – is inevitable.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


flashing silhouettes of trees swaying; press
a fallen leaf between pages of an unopened book
cloak your words so they won’t have to listen
begin the dance and if they follow twirl and twirl again
till dizziness overtakes and posy-ashes all fall


perform penance

claim visions in this empty space

dissonant moments on fogged mornings
can’t hide the sound of surf breaching the sand
butterflies aren't the only casualties on the beach
pick a seashell up and you'll hear the radio
an old-time opera for the discriminating listener


mortal sin

bleeding fingers from pruning limbs

flip through the diary to find that leaf
pressed to a heart so many decades ago
comfort us in heavens milky with mystery
protect the candle from the breeze with bandaged hands
lest darkness overwhelm glow of radio waves


tattered pages

walled in upon tree-lined canopies

© Joseph E. Arechavala 7/26/07

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Conservatives Invoke Reagan, But…

One thing I’ve noticed about conservatives, especially ultra-conservatives, is they like to invoke Ronald Reagan. Oh, they love to invoke him, as though he is their long lost messiah.

The problem is that the conservative movement, especially on the far right, is absolutely nothing like Reagan’s conservatism.

The first major difference between Reagan and today’s conservatives was he was a pragmatic over an idealist. Modern conservatives are exactly the opposite. They will die before conceding, believing even 80% is no conservative victory – it’s all or nothing. Look at last year’s election and the vilification of John McCain – a Senator who voted their way over 80% of the time.

Ron knew better. Reagan thought it necessary to defeat the Soviet Union and had no problem running up big deficits in order to do so, despite proclaiming himself a fiscal conservative.

The next thing about him was he carefully honed a public persona of likeability. Whether it was an act or not, I can only relate what I’ve read from others who met him; they invariably say what a great guy he was. I don’t know of anyone, even those opposed to all of his policies, who hated him as a person.

Nowadays conservatives go out of their way to not only be as unpleasant as possible, but literally revel in their opponents hating their guts.

Were he alive, I’m not sure if he’d approve. In fact, I can almost see him shaking his head and saying, “There you go again…”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Got No Strings To Hold Me Down--Oh, Wait...

Well, it seems the conservative nutjob crowd hasn’t been able to kill Obama’s hate-spewing, social-engineering, homosexuality-accepting, conservative-value-hating speech to school kids.


For the first time, school kids won’t be listening to some old white guy as President standing before them making a speech.

But conservative remain unhappy, because they know Obama is a closet socialist/communist/terrorist/racist/whatever, who they think will somehow use his super mesmerizing powers to entrance school children into performing little socialist/communist/terrorist/racist/whatever puppets.

Actually, they are the puppets. It’s an interesting phenomenon.

Ultra-liberal Democrats do it too, by the way.

Whenever their party wants a good protest, all they have to do is get some party loyalist to incite it with some outlandish remark, and good little marionettes that they are, the trained puppets of the Republicans or the trained puppets of the Democrats, perform flawlessly.

Both parties can count on their well-trained lapdogs. Whenever they blow their whistles, these folks dance like the sad marionettes they are.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Tuesday will be the 2nd anniversay of my niece's death. This poem is for her:

For Celina

is born

In 9 seconds,
Or 3 or 7, another


Into spheres of life

Dotted with distasteful stars
And periodic comets to doom
Life on this bubble


In 9 seconds—or 4, or 2—another


Replaces her

Usurper lent a ladder
Like Jacob’s

To fall and give way

To another baby

© Joseph E. Arechavala 11/5/07

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sports Builds Character – I Mean, Characters

Michael Vick is now a member of my beloved Philadelphia Eagles. I’m still trying to digest this. Yeah, yeah, second chances and all. Still, I really wish he’d gone somewhere else.

Sports – successful programs and teams, anyway – seems to build young men – and coaches – who think they can do whatever the hell they want and get away with it. Events seem to bear that out.

Here are a few names:

Rick Pitino
Alex Rodriguez
Kobe Bryant
David Ortiz
Ray Lewis
Allen Iverson
Michael Phelps
Steve McNair

Rape, adultery, theft, drugs, steroids, homicide.

We tell our children sports builds character. What we really mean is losing builds character.

The real message seems to be “Screw ethics – just win, baby!”

Now, can anybody tell me what I should tell my eight-year-old son?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It’s About Time for Obama to Put Up or Shut Up

We’ve been hearing it for months now, this health care debate. And what I’ve yet to see is our President offering anything other than vague generalities which amount to “trust us”, “we’ll take care of you”, and “we need to fix health care now”.

People are unnerved when you go and change something so fundamental in their lives. That is one reason why 9/11 was such a trauma to the country. The American mainland had not been directly attacked in centuries, and here we were suddenly facing the deaths of thousands in our largest city. It shook our fundamental sense of security to the core.

Health care something we also regard as an integral component of our society. We get sick, we go to the doctor. We get hurt, we go to the hospital. Our child becomes ill, we take them to the pediatrician. If something really bad happens, like cancer, we have reasonable assurances our health insurance will cover treatment. If you're going to change that, you’d better be prepared to offer specifics.

Now along come the Democrats, who want to not only change that, but radically change it. The radical nature of this change is scaring the hell out of everyone. And what is Obama doing to reassure us? To outline what the changes actually are? Not much. Innuendo, rumor and outright lies have been flying all over the internet and networks.

It’s time, Mr. President, for the vague generalities to be replaced by concrete proposals. For fuzzy assertions this really won’t bankrupt the country to be replaced by hard numbers. For ultra-right falsehoods to be repudiated with specific truths.

Stop telling us everything’s going to be all right, Mr. President, and start showing us. You're supposed to be our leader.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

File This Under "Why I Don't Watch A Lot of College Sports"

I just read a column on Grio about the racism of college athletics. No, not for using young black men. No, not for not getting them that fat NBA contract or NFL signing bonus. For using their images in a video game without compensating them. This is what is advocated as advancement for blacks?

How about getting the NCAA to graduate a few more of its players rather than tossing them aside after their eligibility expires?

The last I checked, these are supposed to be educational institutions. What are these universities doing to help these young men (almost always from impoverished backgrounds) graduate with degrees and succeed in society? Graduation rates are well below even 30% in many major schools – they should be ashamed of such pathetic figures. Yet, they're not, and nobody calls them on it.

The happy few will go on to NFL and NBA careers (and most of those won’t make the ‘star’ level money), but what about the rest?

These men are tossed away like useless rags once their eligibility is over, while universities rake in millions. Even the best sports careers last but a few precious years, and for many of these men, they don’t happen at all. Injury and the next rookie in line will end their livelihood, and then what? For many of these young men, the answer to that question is a sorry one indeed.

And where does all that money go?

It seems few of the high visibility schools give a damn about these young men and do nothing to help them, and the NCAA, for all its hollow preaching, is even worse. I love sports as much as the next guy does, but is the cost in young lives worth it? Maurice Clarett (or fill in the name of the latest former NCAA star you’ve recently read about being arrested) could be the poster boy for this failed system; what are schools doing to prevent more like him? Sadly, not a whole hell of a lot.

I realize there is some degree of personal responsibility on their part, but how can we expect much when so many of these boys are coddled through a system that now ranks even high-school teams on a national basis, and players are allowed to slide through with no emphasis on education?

School should be about learning, not sports. Sport has its place and its value, but not at the price these young men pay in the long term.

How about getting the NCAA to graduate a few more of its players rather than tossing them aside after their eligibility expires? And how about the NAACP ceasing to tacitly support such a disgrace?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Catchy Lies, But Still Lies

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of ‘their level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

Those are the words of Sarah Palin, late of the Alaska governor’s office. So now we will have conservatives, good little parrots that they are, mimicking her words. You will be obliged to listen to the endless ‘death panel’ comments all over Fox News. Assuming you watch Fox News.

The Republicans have never let anything so mundane as facts stand in the way of their opposition. It's their great talent, obfuscating behind those sorts of euphemisms – remember the ‘death tax’?

It'll be easy for Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, et al to use and rile up the great, largely ignorant, masses of conservatives who listen to them like gospel and wholeheartedly believe their words come from God directly.

Calling them 'death panels' is catchy and easy to remember. Nowhere near anything truthful, but catchy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The REAL Date That Lives in Infamy...

Sixty-four years ago today, on the morning of August 6, 1945, a B29 named Enola Gay took off from an airfield on the island of Tinian in the Marianas Islands.

A few hours later, the world changed forever.

A lone bomb dropped from the bomb bay of the aircraft, and detonated over the city of Hiroshima, instantly killing ten of thousands and setting off the nuclear arms race. Since that day, human beings have had the ability to obliterate themselves from this planet, and on more than one occasion have come frighteningly close to doing so.

Some believe the act of dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were criminal acts. Some believe they were a warning to the Soviet Union. Secret talks had been ongoing with the Japanese for months seeking an end to the war. But the United States demanded on unconditional surrender, and the Emperor refused.

So was the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima a criminal act by President Truman? I don’t believe so. Yes, it's true the Japanese has been trying to surrender since 1944. But the US insisted the Emperor had to step down, an absolutely vital step for a post-war Japan, and the Japanese remained stubbornly unwilling. Even after the first bomb, there were still internal arguments among the government and military officers to continue fighting.

The only alternative to the bomb was an invasion of Japan. The casualty estimates were staggering – hundreds of thousands of American lives would be lost, along with many hundreds of thousands of Japanese, mostly civilians.

The government of Japan, all but bankrupt of resources but determined to fight nonetheless, was training young boys to crawl under tanks and blow themselves up, like the kamikazes which had stricken many of our ships. They were teaching young women, equipped only with bamboo spears, to hurl themselves at our soldiers, inviting mass slaughter. People at home were tired, sick of receiving letters from the War Department telling them their sons had died. Truman knew his generals were not enthusiastic about invading. Everyone involved knew the price which would be paid in blood.

And let's not forget Japanese atrocities either, against Koreans, Chinese, and the Filipinos, not to mention our POWs.

History requires a balanced view. History demands it.

We should not exult in this day. It should be a somber remembrance, not only for the lives lost but also those saved - on both sides. I personally believe that Hiroshima and Nagasaki are one of the reasons we're still living on this planet. Without that example, the Soviets and Americans might have been more willing to push that button and kill us all.

This day should be a reminder to us how fragile we really are, and how quickly we would still be able to destroy ourselves if - unthinkably - we chose to do so.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Malkin Thinks All You Unemployed Are Lazy Slobs

“If you put enough government cheese in front of people, they’re just going to keep eating it and you’re just kicking the can down the road.”

That’s the opinion of Michele Malkin, who obviously thinks if all of you lazy morons would just get out, find work, and stop relying on the government dole, our economy would be in great shape. Forget the real world where companies have laid off millions of workers. Forget the real world where the Wall St. big shots still manage to get millions of dollars in bonuses despite being responsible for the worst tanking the economy has seen since the Great Depression.

She thinks you're actually waiting until benefits almost run out before you seriously start searching for work. Really, Ms. Malkin? Have you ever had to pay a mortgage? Buy groceries? Pay for a kid's doctor visit?

I’d love to see your evidence of this. Assuming you actually have some and aren't just spouting--again.

One has to wonder what sort of reality Ms. Malkin inhabits. It certainly isn’t this one.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Extremes of Life and Death

Two deaths touched me this weekend. Two who couldn’t be further apart, in time or age.

The oldest and last British veteran of WWI, Harry Patch, succumbed to the ravage of time at the age of 111 on Saturday. The WWII generation is rightly referred to as ‘the greatest generation’, but the generation who fought “the war to end all wars” was pretty great too. If you're not familiar with the history of the Great War, read some. The horrors are, even when compared against later wars, astonishing. Most of an entire generation of British young men went away to war and perished in the mud of Belgium and France. "Anyone who tells you that in the trenches they weren't scared, he's a damned liar: you were scared all the time," Patch said. A reluctant warrior, but an honorable one nonetheless.

At the other end of the spectrum, his family buried junior firefighter Jacob Rosa on Saturday, dead at age nine from cancer. The Camden, NJ Fire Department honored him as one of their own, having made him an honorary firefighter just a few weeks ago and helping him realize part of his dream to grow up and become a firefighter. They stood rigid at attention and saluted as his coffin passed before them.

I ever knew either of these two before I read about them in the paper. I hope they know how many others were touched by their lives.

The both earned their angels’ wings…

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Obama is the One Acting ‘Stupidly’

Whether this case of Dr. Henry Gates is a matter of racism or not isn't the issue. The issue is why did the president comment on it? Perhaps it was because he personally knows Dr. Gates, who knows?

But what I do know is this. The President of the United States has no business commenting on a matter in which he does not know the whole story. And to use such a strong word, especially when he admits not knowing the whole story, is wrong.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ultra-Conservatives are Scaredy-Cats

I comment on several ultra-conservative blogs, and one thing I’ve noticed is they aren't very nice to people who disagree with them. In fact, their strategy seems to be if they can’t win an argument on logic, resort to name-calling of the most vile kind. Despite the fact I’ve never made a negative comment to any of them, I've been called troll, lowlife, termite, roach, ratbag, maggot, punk, idiot, scumbag, degenerate, etc., among various other insults.

Rather than responding by referring to them as wingnuts, morons, craven little jerks, knuckle-dragging pinheads, corporate shills, pond scum, fascist stooges, etc., I prefer to take the more noble approach.

Conservatives, you see, pine for a world which no longer exists, that 1950s “Leave It To Beaver” world where everyone was white and middle class, not to mention Protestant. Today, there are Catholics and Jews who aren't invisible, blacks and Hispanics who refuse to mind their place, Sikhs with turbans, Muslims and, worst of all, gays.

Mind you, they won’t come out and say that they're prejudiced. They’ll couch it in terms of objecting to affirmative action as ‘reverse discrimination’. They’ll couch it in terms of protecting morality, in terms of defending institutions and traditions. They’ll say we should no longer consider skin color or religion or sexuality, that we’re past all that. But you can see it peeping out from behind all those facades they’ve put up to hide it every time they say ‘but’ right afterwards, as in, “I have nothing against gays, but…” You hear and read it every day.

This big new world that is changing frightens them enough to make them soil their underwear. They react by withdrawing, by denigrating, by belittling, and most of all, by denying. Facts are not facts; they're results of conspiracies by liberals spinning things to suit their socialistic ends. Truth is only ‘TRUTH’ if it agrees with their limited world view. They are the anachronism of the 21st century. If it wasn’t for Rupert Murdoch and the internet, they’d already be extinct.

So don’t be upset with those far-right conservatives. They're just too afraid to adjust. Take pity on them. Do your best to gently bring them into the light.

After all, the knuckle-dragging pinheads can’t help themselves.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Response to Rinku Sen of Talking Points Memo

In Sen’s article, “The White Supremacist in Us”, she asserts that institutional racism is still present, and accounts for the rise in hate crimes.

She’s wrong.

Hate crimes rise when economic times are bad. It’s quite a simple relationship actually, something which Ms. Sen seems to have difficulty grasping. She also fails to grasp that African-Americans are no longer the prime target of such crimes. Hispanics, primarily recent immigrants are, just as Arab-Americans and Sikhs were the primary targets after 9/11 and Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor.

She states: “Even a cursory look around most high end restaurants makes it clear that to these employers, only white people look good enough, that the only people willing to put up with dangerous conditions for low pay are Latinos and Bangladeshis and that black Americans don't belong in there at all.”

When is this meme from blacks going to die? Why do African-Americans keep coming back to this over and over? It’s past the expiration date for this excuse. And non-blacks are getting tired of hearing it after four decades of black advancement. Maybe, just maybe it’s the fault of the black community itself that they haven't advanced as far as they should have by this point. Just maybe you should be looking in the mirror rather than looking at us.

It’s easy to cite one example of anything. But where are the others? Where are the other, specific examples of institutional racism she claims? This is the best she can come up with?

It’s also fairly easy to blame an institution as 'racist'. But I see something else. You know what? I see Mexicans and Puerto Ricans and Central Americans and Asians and Bangladeshis and Pakistanis and Sikhs willing to work their butts off in lousy jobs with long hours that pay little, in the hope their kids will have a better life than they do – that’s my father, uncle’s, and cousins’ story after they all came to America from Nicaragua.

You know what I see, living in one of the poorest cities in the US? I see African-Americans who don’t care about their kids’education, who have this sense of entitlement that they are somehow ‘owed’ something. If you want to call that a stereotype, well that’s what I see. I see hard-working African-Americans, a lot of them. But I see the former too, and what I don’t see is a lot of blacks talking about it or criticizing it – Bill Cosby excepted.

And no, I’m not a racist. I don’t believe whites are better than anyone else. I don’t believe in ‘reverse discrimination’. I’m just reporting what I see. Is there some degree of racism in all of us? Undoubtedly, yes. But African-Americans need to do a little self-examination here.

In my opinion, blacks are allowing themselves to become the permanent underclass of America. And if that happens it’s truly a shame, because it means all those brave sacrifices made in the civil rights movement will have been made in vain.