Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Debbie Schlussel, Meet Charles Johnson

God I hate bigots.

I was curious about a post at LGF today about a doctor named Rashed who got into a little trouble for giving a severed hand from a corpse to a stripper a few years ago. No comment from Johnson, so I figured it's up to the reader to put two and two together and take as the lesson that that only a depraved Muslim could engage in such hideous behavior.

What Johnson doesn't include in his edited version of the story (you know he never gives the complete story) is that the stripper, one Linda Kay, not only kept the hand as a souvenir, but she also had six human skulls in her collection! Ok, I don't hold strippers to the same level of conduct as medical doctors, but this fact would seem to puncture the theory that this crepescule crime had anything to do with anybody's ethnicity or religion. I dunno for sure, but Linda Kay doesn't sound like a Muslim name to me.

Leave it to Debbie Schlussel to articulate what Johnson merely implies:
But I'm sure it had nothing to do with his religion or the barbarism often accompanying it. Because Infidel doctors sever hands of dead bodies for their stripper friends all of the time all over America. Right?
Debbie, I have news for you, but medical students have been playing pranks with cadaver parts for as long as there have been medical schools. Try googling "medical school pranks cadavers." I did, and I found lots of examples, including the following interesting read from a book by Merrill Reese:

Gee wizz, Jack Edelstein . . . hmmmm, is that a Muslim name? Somebody should ask Debbie.

"Bush need (sic) to do the right thing and pardon Libby immediately."

That was the first comment in the Libby thread at LGF, and it illustrates, perfectly, the neocon mindset.

You see, we live in a nation governed by laws, not men. The jury trial is an intricate part of that system. It generally benefits defendants in criminal cases, and if Mr. Libby did not want a jury, he could have waived his right to it. If he is dissatisfied with the result, he has the right to an appeal.

We have laws against obstructing justice and lying to grand juries. A federal jury, carefully selected to ensure as impartial a panel as possible, sat in the case and reached the conclusion that Mr. Libby violated those laws. The jury appears to have considered the case carefully, as demonstrated by the length of time spent deliberating. The fact that Libby was acquitted on a charge is a further indication that the jury decided the case on its view of the evidence, and not as the result of any bias or political motivation.

In other words, the system worked.

Now, the right wing talks a good game of "law and order," but like most of the crap that comes out of the RWNM (right wing noise machine), they don't mean it. O sure, they're all for putting away street criminals for ungodly lengths of time, but they don't have any real respect for law. In fact, they live by the motto of "whatever you can get away with."

Scooter Libby has blood on his hands, a lot of it. He was part of the whole criminal enterprise to get America to start an illegal and immoral war. Thousands of Americans have died, tens of thousands more are mutilated, and we'll never know how many innocent Iraqis have been killed, but it's surely in the many tens of thousands. Today's verdict is one small piece of justice. Like a cup of water in the desert, it's important cannot be measured by its quantity.

What does the right wing want? They want to "fix" it. They want to bypass the law and have their "man" take care of it. Forget about respect for law, forget the fact that Bush promised to fire anybody involved in this whole ugly mess (he'd had to fire most of his staff), forget about appeals, forget that we're all Americans, forget about all that, the right wing is only about winning, damn the system, just let me know who has to be paid to get this damn thing fixed.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ann(a) (ni)Coulter (Smith)

Ann Coulter is the Anna Nicole Smith of politics. ANS gained fame and fortune with her two big boobs, AC by being a big boob.

Here is the most important part of Coulter's "faggot" comment. It's the ten seconds of raucous applause given by the country's leading conservatives to Coulter's use of the word faggot in reference to a political opponent. 'Nuff said.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Real Issue With The Greenhouse Pictures

When I started researching the greenhouse pictures that appeared on LGF, I assumed that they were what Charles wanted people to believe they were -- before and after pictures of a greenhouse left by the Israelis for the Palestinians. I was curious because the Israelis left Gaza in 2005, and I wondered why LGF is "reporting" this issue in 2007. I wondered whether the story had been presented in full context.

This is important because defenders of LGF say that it's merely a "free speech site" that posts stories that can't be found on the "liberal" mainstream media. They say that Johnson, the site's owner, does little more than post news stories from around the world. If these stories show that Islam is a violent religion or that Muslims are prone to violence and terrorism, well, too bad if you can't handle the "truth."

Let's take a look at this defense, first in the abstract, then in the concrete.

In the abstract, what if I created a blog devoted to reporting news articles about Jews that were accused or convicted of some kinds of economic crimes, frauds, together with any other articles that cast Jews in an unflattering light. Then let's say that I permitted discussion of those articles, by registered members only, and that I revoked the registration of any members whose comments did not conform more or less to the ugly stereotype that Jews were greedy and untrustworthy in business matters. Wouldn't that be an anti-semitic web site? It's pretty obvious that it would be, and rightly condemned as such.

Even if all the news articles were true?

Yes, because it's reporting only a portion of the truth. When a witness testifies in court, he swears to tell the "whole truth." My hypothetical collection of news reports is no more the whole truth about Jews and Judaism than LGF's highly selective choice of articles is the whole truth about Islam and Arabs. It is absurd to defend this practice by claiming that he's "just posting news articles."

The bigotry is reflected not only in the selection of articles, but in Johnson's editorializing as well. The claim that Johnson merely "reports" in a neutral fashion is demonstrably false.

The recent posting of the greenhouse pictures is a good example. Johnson had posted a story from the New York Sun about Palestinians using land in Gaza on which synagogues had once stood as bases for launching rockets into Israel. But Johnson didn't just post this article, he added editorial comment. He posted pictures which he says are "before and after" photos of a Gaza greenhouse, and he wrote:

And as we pointed out last October, the high-tech greenhouses built by Israelis, that formerly provided employment for many Palestinians, have been looted, burned, and turned into cover for weapons smuggling tunnels.
In fact, the greenhouses were turned over in 2005, so why is Johnson posting this in 2007? Because he's not just "delivering the news," he's advancing a point of view and trying to reinforce an ugly stereotype about the Palestinians. The clear suggestion is that "these people" are just violent animals who destroy anything of value and therefore don't deserve to be treated with any humanity, etc. All institutionalized bigotry requires dehumanization of the victims.

The real story about the greenhouses is far more tragic than reported by Johnson and amply serve to illustrate just how complex and tragic the situation in Gaza is. In a nutshell, wealthy Americans, led by a Jewish investor, raised $14 million to purchase the greenhouses and turn them over to the Palestinian authority. A noble gift, but which turned out to be something of a white elephant. The PA was required to spend $30 million to repair the greenhouses. The Palestinians produced a bumper crop of fruits and vegetables, but they ended up destroying the crop because the border was closed and there was no way to export the crop (there was no domestic market for them, because Palestinians already produce, in their existing greenhouses, enough fruits and vegetables for domestic consumption.)

More info here and here.

So the truth is much different and for more complex than the "Palestinian animals destroy valuable Israeli property" story reported in LGF.

Now that we now know that Johnson knew that the pictures were not of the same greenhouse, we have to ask, why did he put them together and label them as "before" and "after" pictures?

The best defense of this is that the before picture accurately shows what the greenhouses looked like when the Israelis owned them, and the after picture accurately shows what the greenhouses now look like in the hands of the Palestinians. Ok, that would be a fair comment, if true.

But it's not true. The truth is that most of the hi-tech greenhouses were restored by the Palestinians (after the Israelis removed the most valuable equipment from them). Here are some excerpts from an article published in the New York Times in November, 2005.

Less than three months after the Israelis departed, Palestinians have repaired scores of greenhouses left by the settlers and planted a fall crop, and they are preparing to harvest an estimated $20 million worth of strawberries, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers and herbs and spices. . . .

The Israeli military demolished the settlers' homes before leaving in September, and piles of smashed concrete have yet to be removed. Some greenhouses were looted by Palestinians in the chaotic days after the Israeli withdrawal, but today they are hives of activity, filled with the sounds of power saws and hammers at work. . . .

When the Jewish settlers came to Gaza decades ago, they developed innovative techniques for cultivating high-quality fruits and vegetables in the barren sand dunes, where fresh water is scarce. When the Israeli farmers started leaving, they took their most valuable equipment with them, and some greenhouses were damaged or destroyed.

James D. Wolfensohn, the envoy for countries involved in Middle East peacemaking, cobbled together a group of wealthy Jewish Americans who pledged $14 million in compensation for the Israeli farmers provided that they left the greenhouses intact. The deal was reached just days before the settlers were evacuated, and it is not clear that it prevented much additional damage to the greenhouses. . .

The Israelis said they had about 1,000 acres of greenhouses in Gaza. But by the time Palestinian officials surveyed the land, they found only a few hundred acres in working condition. "We had to rehabilitate the greenhouses day and night to catch the fall planting season," said Muhammad Bader, who is running the greenhouse project for the Palestine Economic Development Company.

Today, crops are growing on close to 600 acres, and the Palestinians hope to plant on another 200 acres next month.

Last year, Palestinian agricultural exports from the West Bank and Gaza totaled about $80 million, Mr. Bader said. The fall harvest from the Gaza greenhouses could add about $20 million to the total this year, though the exact figure is difficult to predict, he said.

When the Israelis ran the greenhouses, Palestinian workers carried out much of the manual labor. About 3,000 have retained their jobs, and 1,000 workers and 2,000 private guards have been added. A typical worker makes $13 a day.

Not exactly the "Palestinian are animals" story that Johnson wants to report, so he manipulates a couple of photographs to create a story that suits his purpose.

Make no mistake about it, Little Green Footballs is an ugly cesspool of racial and religious hatred. It is devoted to inciting hate against all things Muslim and most things Arab. I admit that is not exactly a novel observation, but I think it's important to keep shining light on LGF, lest LGF achieve its greatest hope, which is to become "mainstream." It is not mainstream, it is fringe.


Charles admits that the "before" and "after" pictures are not the same greenhouse:
71 Charles 3/1/2007 02:08PM PST

ChenZhen: that's just stupid. I never claimed those photos showed the same greenhouse.

None of Charles' minions have the cojones to ask Charles why he labeled the pictures "before" and "after", or to ask him what's the point of putting the pictures together, if they're not the same greenhouse.
84 Charles 3/1/2007 02:13PM PST

Here's the page for this pile of crap at Digg:

[Link: digg.com...]

This one should be marked 'inaccurate,' because it is. In fact, the banned troll who posted it (banned for posting at LGF under multiple names, pretending to be different people, and yes, I can prove it) was almost certainly deliberately lying.

It's inaccurate? Charles just admitted that the the pictures are not of the same greenhouse! Needless to say, the LGF lapdogs are so used to being lied to by Charles that they're unlikely to catch this one. Even if they did, they wouldn't dare question Charles.

As for the whopper about banning me for posting "under multiple names," don't expect Charles to come up with his "proof" anytime soon. It doesn't exist. He's just lying, pure and simple. Charles banned me for linking to a site that challenged his assertion that the Killian documents were forgeries. The second name that Charles claimed I used, Killian, did not post until after I was banned. In fact, IIRC, Killian criticized Charles for banning me, and Charles banned Killian too! Charles also erased the Killian posts, apparently so that his lie that I was posting under multiple accounts would not be too obvious.