Thursday, December 02, 2004

Al Franken

Read why David Horowitz is fighting back at charges against Al Franken.


Ghost Dansing said...

If one actually reads "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them; A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right", by Al Franken... especially the chapter on "Fun With Racism", one will quickly conclude that Horowitz suffers from a probable deficit in reading comprehension.

Aside from making some significant historical clarifications regarding the Democratic Party's DIXIECRATS, and their migration to the Republican Party, Franken makes additional astute comments:

We don't, for example, live in a race-blind society. Two Professors (MIT and U. Chigago), proved it with an elegant experiment. The professors selected 1,250 job advertisements in Boston and Chigago. To each employer, they submitted two pairs of made-up resumes. One pair of highly qualified candidates and one pair of average candidates. In each pair, one had a "black" name like Tamika or Tyrone and one had a "white" name like Amy or Brad. The professors found that the "white" names were 50 % more likely to be called for an interview than the "black" names.

George W. Bush was the beneficiary of affirmative action, in a number of ways other than the following example:

He got into Yale after a lackluster career at Andover. What people don't realize is that, like the University of Michigan, Yale had a point system when Bush applied in 1964. GWB recieved five points for being the son of a Yale graduate, twenty points for being the grandson of an extremely important Yale graduate, who was a U.S. Senator and a Yale Trustee, and a point for being a cheerleader at Andover. He almost didn't make it., though, because he lost 10 points for whowing up drunk to the interview. Fortunately, he got thirty points for being a Bush with over 920 on his SATs, and he slipped through.

Franken indicates, in his book, that he is "...not saying that all Republicans are racists or that all racists are Republican". He says that "...that would be a reprehensible overstatement, akin to something Ann Coulter might say."

He goes on to say that if Ann (Coulter) were a Democrat, she would point out that ".. after years of declining during Clinton, black poverty is now on the increase. And she would make great use of the fact that youth poverty among blacks is now at its highest level in the twenty-three years they've been keeping the statistic. And she'd blame it all on Bush. She'd claim it was because of overt, deliberate racism, rather than his more general bias toward the already privileged. She might even say that his tax cuts are inherently racist, because not only are blacks disproportionately likely to be at the bottom of the economic latter, but they're dispropportionately unlikely to be at the top.."

He writes: "But that's Ann (Coulter). I (Franken) personally would never accuse Bush's tax cuts of being racially motivated. I (Franken) just think that, very generally speaking, they happen to hurt black people and help rich people. Who tend, againg generally, to be white. That's all I'm (Franken) saying."

So, I think Horowitz is on a martyrdom trip, and has problems when the techniques of right-wing propaganda are used against him, and his ilk.

As usual, Republican propaganda is most effective when they're the only ones at the megaphone. The minute there is a straight-up debate (like in the last election), or someone providing counterpoint.. their arguments (seldom are there any actual arguments anyway.. more like strident assertions), quickly crumble.

Ghost Dansing said...

Oops.. "Chigago" should be "Chicago".

Pat said...

Except of course that Franken specifically called Horowitz (who has a black wife and mixed children) a "guest racist".

STCA said...

Thanks, Pat. Good to see people actually read the article by Horowitz instead of just blindly defending someone.

Ghost Dansing said...

Oh.. but as I said.. It seems more that Horowitz is simply playing the martyr, having had done to him what he has so liberally done to others.

On November 30, David Horowitz, editor in chief and co-founder of the right-wing website, posted a photo of Al Franken on with the word "Racist" printed across it in large black letters. But this merely seems part of a longer, historical pattern of throwing the "racism" label around:

Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai: In an October 9 blog entry, Horowitz called 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai a "racist." The blog entry, titled "Black Racist Wins Nobel Prize (Thanks to the Leftwing Racists on the Nobel Committee)," provided no argument as to why Horowitz considered Maathai a racist, but reprinted an October 9 Agence France-Presse article on Maathai's controversial comments on the HIV virus. According to Maathai, "It's true that there are some people who create agents to wipe out other people ... [HIV was] created by a scientist for biological warfare."

The Democratic Party: In an August 5, 2003, editorial titled "Challenging the Racist Democrats," Horowitz referred to the Democratic Party as "the party of special interest bigots and racial dividers" for its alleged support of "racist school policies." Horowitz wrote: "The Democratic Party has shown that it will go to the wall to preserve the racist laws which enforce these preferences, and to defend the racist school systems that destroy the lives of millions of children every year."

Huntington Beach, California, school district: On the March 15, 2002, edition of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, Horowitz called the Huntington Beach, California, school district "racist" for enforcing racial-balancing policies that prevented white children from transferring out of schools and black children from transferring in, saying, "What's going on here, it's probably a class issue. But we don't even know why these parents -- first of all, it's racist. The school district is racist."

Civil rights activist Lawrence Guyot: On the same edition of Hannity & Colmes, Horowitz disparagingly referred to civil rights activist Lawrence Guyot, also appearing on the program, as a "racialist;" asking rhetorically of the Huntington Beach school controversy: "How can we settle the racial problem when we have racialists like Lawrence out there agitating to make every problem a racial problem?"

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the NAACP: Horowitz has also used the term "racialist" in defending Samuel Jared Taylor, the founder and editor of American Renaissance magazine, which the Anti-Defamation League has described as a periodical that "promotes 'genteel' racism: pseudoscientific, questionably researched and argued articles that validate the genetic and moral inferiority of nonwhites and the need for racial 'purity.'" Horowitz defended Taylor as a "racialist," and attacked Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and liberal black pundits as "racists" in a July 15, 2002, blog .

The United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance: On the August 29, 2001 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Horowitz attacked the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa, between August 31 and September 7, 2001, as "racist." Horowitz defended the Bush administration's refusal to send a high-ranking diplomat to the conference, saying: "This conference is run by Arab and African states, -- all of them, to a state, practically, maybe there's one that's not a dictatorship, it's racist ..."

TIME magazine national correspondent Jack E. White described Horowitz in an August 30, 1999, TIME article as a "real, live bigot." White's article followed an August 16, 1999, column Horowitz wrote for, which bore the headline, "Guns don't kill black people, other blacks do." Horowitz wrote in that piece:

(Horowitz): "If blacks constitute just under half the prison population, for example, that cannot be allowed to suggest that the black community might have a problem when it comes to raising its children as law-abiding members of society. Oh no. Such a statistic can only be explained by the racism of a criminal justice system that is incarcerating too many blacks."

In his (Horowitz's) November 30, 2004, column, Horowitz defended himself against Franken's "attack":

"I have written more than a million words on racial and political matters -- all of them public record. There is not a single sentence, or phrase, or comment of mine that could be cited to justify Franken's attack."

Horowitz is of the "what problem?" crowd when it comes to issues of race relations. In other words, he labels "racist" those who see race as a continuing factor in socio-economic stratification, and seeing a role for continued governmental intervention to level the playing fields, at least as far as the law and public policy are concerned.

Horowitz's position are tacitly racist in the sense that it fails to acknowledge what I call the "naturally occuring" forms of "affirmative action" (like the George W. Bush example in the earlier post) that tends to allow rich creme to rise by virtue of its own rich cremeness... like a self-licking ice cream cone.

Discrimination happens in society. Handles like skin color and sex make discrimination easier.. other white immigrant minorities have found themselves on the low end of the social totem-pole in the past, but have assimilated and moved-on, out of the ghettos.

Horowitz's approach and philosophy simply returns society to a pre-modern status quo, where "good-ole-boy" networks work for the "good-ole-boys" with impunity, because.. in the end... the government is the only guarantor of any semblence of social equality (women were only given the vote in 1920), and to disengage government from that role on the pretense that race is not an issue is to ignore history and human nature.

Anonymous said...

I remember when AlF ranken (sic) wrote comedy for SNL. Now he is a bitter man.

Ghost Dansing said...

Franken is a political satirist.

STCA said...

I agree with Ghost's last comment. He is a satirist. But anytime someone critiques him, liberals come to his defense. Such circling of the bandwagons signals that people on the left view him more than a political satirist.

I think he was hilarious on SNL. And even his anti-republican skits on SNL were hilarious. But he discovered a market--the Michael Moore market--and has begun to take himself way too seriously, just like Jon Stewart.

Remember, he plans on running for office in 2006!

Ghost Dansing said...

Satire is a literary technique of writing or art which principally ridicules its subject (individuals, organisations, states) often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. In Celtic societies, it was thought a bard's satire could have physical effects, similar to a curse. A satirist is one who satirizes. Satire is not exclusive to any viewpoint. Parody is a form of satire that imitates another work of art in order to ridicule it. There are several types of satire:

Diminution: Reduces the size of something in order that it may be made to appear ridiculous or in order to be examined closely and have its faults seen close up. For example, treating the Canadian Members of Parliament as a squabbling group of little boys is an example of diminution. Gulliver's Travels is a diminutive satire.

Inflation: A common technique of satire is to take a real-life situation and exaggerate it to such a degree that it becomes ridiculous and its faults can be seen, and thus satirical. For example, two boys arguing over a possession of a car can be inflated into an interstellar war. The Rape of the Lock is an example of inflation.

Juxtaposition: Places things of unequal importance side by side. It brings all the things down to the lowest level of importance on the list. For example, if a guy says his important subjects in school include Calculus, Computer Science, Physics, and girl-watching, he has managed to take away some of the importance of the first three. The Rape of the Lock is also an example of juxtaposition.

Parody: Imitates the techniques and style of some person, place, or thing. Parody is used for mocking or mocking its idea of the person, place, or thing. Monty Python is an example of parody.

Satire has been a political tool for a long time.

Some examples of satire are:

Juvenal (c.A.D. 55-140) 16 Satires

A Tale of a Tub, Gulliver's Travels and "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift, harsh views of the world.

Candide by Voltaire, satirizing optimism
Erewhon by Samuel Butler II, a utopia, a form that is common in satire.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, a dystopia, also common in satire.

Ubu Roi (or King Turd), by Alfred Jarry, cacotopia.

Penguin Island by Anatole France, utopia.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, dystopia.

Mark Twain's later works, notably The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg.

Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor, satirizing contemporary religious attitudes.

C. Northcote Parkinson's satires on bureaucracy.

Thomas Nast's political cartoons against Boss Tweed.

The Landover Baptist Church, an internet parody of Christian fundamentalism.

Al Franken writer of political satire.

Stanley Kubrick's motion pictures Doctor Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange.

le Canard Enchaîné publishes satiric cartoons and columns along with well-researched information on French political or economic life.

''Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is a political satire, adopting a sci-fi motif.

The effectiveness of satire depends on striking a harmonic of socially-perceived truth and revealing its inconsistency or absurdity.

I'm not sure that I would characterize Michael Moore as a satirist.. his documentary-style had little element of intended humor or absurdity.. but he sure revealed to me a lot of things I didn't know about the Bush family, that would be difficult for them to refute. I guess the "liberal media" just missed some of the facts.

STCA said...

Snooze! So what? I love Kubrick movies...what does that have to do with Al Franken? You're comparing apples and oranges. You're acting like cinematic genius is on par with a coked up SNL writer.

Yes, he was funny--sometimes...but what's your point by just listing definitions and such?

I guess I gave too much creedence by calling Franken a satirist. He is a person involved in potty humor with a political lean. Is that better?

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