Saturday, May 29, 2010

Longer Than Expected

Actor-director Dennis Hopper died today at the age of 74. Given all the booze and drugs he consumed, Hopper must have had a strong constitution to live that long. Good for him.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell: The Demonization Begins

Under the No Surprise Here category. The Obama administration announced a compromise on Don't Ask/Don't Tell on Tuesday and it only took one day for GOP constituency groups like the Family Research Council to start painting gays in the military as a chamber of horrors.
Here's how the Family Research Council envisions things going if Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed: first, more straight soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines will be fellated in their sleep against their will. Then, commanders afraid of being labeled homophobes will refuse to do anything about it. Eventually, the straight service members will quit out of fear.
The Family Research Council is one of the most important groups on the religious right and their leadership is just as much a part of the Republican elite as Dick Cheney.

No doubt other GOP groups will be rolling out this kind of stuff in the coming days. John McCain and other Republican senators have also threatened to filibuster the defense bill if it contains language repealing Don't Ask/Don't Tell.

If Rush Limbaugh is an Army of One, he's an Army of One for the Party of Hate.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Perhaps the GOP Should Try "Language Deafness"

NBC News' First Notes has an interesting analysis of declining Hispanic support for Republicans--no surprise in the wake of the onslaught of anti-Hispanic legislation sponsored by Republican politicians in Arizona.

The conservative response to the association of the Republican Party with racism was to advocate the idiotic and ultimately racist ideology of "color-blindness."

If the American right is anything, it's a creative ideological force. Maybe they'll respond to the link between the GOP and anti-Hispanic bigotry by developing an agenda of "language-deafness."

Here's three sentences for future William Bennetts: "I don't hear English. I don't hear Spanish. All I hear is character."

Short Summer Reading List

For any students of political theory who might catch this, here's a short summer reading list. Amazon url's are in parentheses. I also have online url's for some of the classics. No particular order of preference.


1. Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings.

2. Michel Foucault, A History of Sexuality, vol 1. (

3. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (

4. Anthony Appiah, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers,

5. Carol Smart, Law, Crime, and Sexuality: Essays in Feminism, (

6. Slavoj Zizek, Living in the End Times, (

7. Karl Marx, The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, online at

8. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, online at

9. Shakespeare, Hamlet, online at,+Hamlet&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=Eez9S5TuG4H88Aamh9jYDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=falseFriedrich

10. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra,

11. hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism (

12. bell hooks, Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery,

13. Plato, Republic, Books XIII and IX, online at

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Not Much There There on Rush

Either Zev Chavetz, the author of Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One, decided not to reveal much during his interview with NPR or he doesn't have much to reveal beyond what any informed person could have gathered by following the media.

I rather suspect its the latter.

It looks like Limbaugh gave Chavetz interviews because he knew Chavetz would write a mildly favorable book that wouldn't try to plumb the deep depths of Rush Limbaugh.

And Chavetz delivered.

Three quick points:

One, Limbaugh conservatism is no longer the cutting edge of the right-wing populism. That prize goes to Glenn Beck and the Tea Baggers.

Two, Rush Limbaugh has been good for the left because he's a dynamic opponent who has forced the left to raise its game.

Three, Limbaugh is a good redemption story of someone who kept plugging away in the radio wilderness until he found a proper outlet for his talents and energy. I don't agree with much of anything Limbaugh says, but he's still an excellent example of the virtues of patience and perseverance.