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Egret and crab

Monday, May 24, 2010

Uglytown

I took up arms and had a protracted Facebook battle with a young midwest libertarian this week over Rand Paul and the new conservative cause celebre, the right of private individuals to discriminate. I copy a portion of his last salvo.


"The conflict between protecting the 1st Amend.'s freedom of association vis-a-vis private discrimination, that's where the heart of the problem lies, no? It is a values choice. I have no problem saying I value personal liberty above equality. Without that primacy, I would argue, there can never be equality." 


I am not going into our back and forth, but my general point was that society does not have the luxury of tolerating this kind of discrimination and waiting for their precious "market" to sort it all out, e.g., let's say all the apartment owners decide not to rent to Hungarians or gays or atheists or blacks or jews, it becomes real problematic.

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It seems to me that we are getting uglier as a society and real fast. The right is pandering to the most vile, racist elements for votes. Here in California and across the land, social programs for the young, the old, the infirm and the mentally ill are the first to be cut, the free market darwinists suggesting that they rely on charity while the upper 1% and Wall St. run amok with their obscene profits and bailouts.

I saw a truck this morning with Resist Obama painted on the window, only the "o" was a hammer and sickle. I would wager that the driver couldn't identify Marx if you spotted him Harpo and Zeppo.  Now Sarah Palin is insisting that Obama is a tool for big oil, you couldn't imagine the delicious irony in her audacity and stupidity, she being the biggest whore for crude the country has seen in some time.

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Hispanics are obviously the current "vogue" target. Here is a somewhat dated clip of a man who wants to ban spanish speaking in parks in Tennessee.
There was a letter to the local rag a few weeks ago from a Fallbrookian named Lowery who wants all  latinos deported, regardless of immigration status.  Now, the truth is that deportations in the hot state of Arizona are up this year and crossings are slightly down, but facts be damned, we have to stop the brown skinned invader. Just as soon as he is finished raking the gravel around the cactus, that is.

Of course, stoking up the flames of racist hysteria is a tried and true winner with the native population here in the U.S. of A.  Worked with Father Coughlin and Buchanan and Maddox and a host of other grand elocutionists. The chinese, irish, italians, jews, blacks, they all had their turn in the stocks. We need a fall guy and now the mexicans are looking pretty convenient. 

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I know that I am an anachronistic peace and love throwback and what I think doesn't count, but so much of the current political argument does not meet the most basic civility and decency smell test. I am not a follower of the man from Gallilee with the sandals and the merry men, but I would hazard a guess that he would be appalled at the behavior of his minions. What kind of society do we wish to live in? Does your first amendment granted personal liberty to be an end times seeking, racist, xenophobic, polluter always have to trump my vision of a society where people treat each other with decency, you know the way they tried to teach us in the sandbox at kindergarten? Rhetorical question.

5 comments:

grumpy said...

the letter you site, to the Village News i'm guessing, is appalling...i kinda dig the reference to the Galilean and his merry men, though; shades of Robin Head; maybe Ridley Scott will cast Russell Crowe as Jesus in his next blockbuster; i can't wait...

grumpy said...

...oops, meant to say Robin Hood...

Sanoguy said...

Don't get me started!!!

Do people understand that Hispanics have been here, in California and the Southwest, longer than any other Europeans???

Short sighted, bigoted bastards!!!

I told you not to get me started!!

( And I am one of those later arriving Europeans!!)

Unknown said...

Robert, I very much enjoyed our back and forth. Three items; first, I'm not a libertarian. We didn't discuss public roads, sewers, schools, social security and the like. Two, It was clear from the discussion that the rank evil of Jim Crow lead to the need to override many state laws, and more loosely, community mores, through federal action and the civil rights. And that has been the overwhelming reaction from conservative commentators. Three, Hitleresque avatars (what's to be implied?), and sweeping attacks against those one disagrees with as stupid whores, hypocrits, and motivated by or pandering to racial animus without so much as a tip of the hat to the real problem of illegal immigration because of the statements of a few small town cranks, is, well, part of the problem. Then again, maybe Rand Paul realy is a loon; apple and tree and all that. Peace.

Blue Heron said...

Thanks for commenting, C. The avatar is actually Chaplin, but I admit he does bear a passing resemblance to the fuhrer. As for calling people like Palin stupid whores and hypocrites, let me just say that I try to call balls and strikes fairly from both sides of the plate. Long time readers will tell you that the blast is known far and wide for its even handed objectivity.