You’d think by now the idea that Rush Limbaugh is an offensive, racist, homophobic, bigot would be pretty uncontroversial. Apparently, that’s not the case with many of his conservative fans.
While it may not be possible to get a scientific consensus on this, there is a good chance that, at least in terms of offensive idea per sentence spoken out loud, Rush Limbaugh is the most offensive human being on Earth. Nobody has had a longer, more shameless career of spewing vile hate-mongering than he has. It’s made Rush extremely wealthy and, for reasons that may be hard to fathom, extremely popular with a certain segment of the population who respond to his unique brand of hatred.
So it was that when writer and comedian John Fugelsang composed a tweet which lampooned the way that Limbaugh interweaves casual racism with a seething hatred of the Obama administration, Rush’s fans went into full-on defensive mode.
Eric Holder resigns; or as Rush Limbaugh puts it, 'black guy doesn't want to work.'
It’s a good joke in the “funny because it’s true” kind of way, but conservatives weren’t laughing. Instead, to the amazement of anyone who has ever happened to listen to Limbaugh talk, they said that Limbaugh wasn’t the racist and John Fugelsang was the real racist for thinking up that joke.
Twitchy, a conservative website with nine full-time staffers with jobs exclusively devoted to getting pretend-offended by liberals and reposting unfunny, sarcastic tweets by conservatives who also happen to be pretending to be offended by liberals, ran with the story.
@JohnFugelsang Nice of you to put your racism on full display.
In which white liberal wants to make racist joke so says it's a joke someone else would say https://t.co/AyJ60yTctp
@JohnFugelsang you're quite literally one the stupidest individuals in existence today. Keep reaching for the top spot though, John!
@JohnFugelsang For 25 yrs I've seen people like you take Rush out of context. He is no more racist than you are.
But here’s the thing: Rush Limbaugh is a racist and, while he hasn’t said that exact quote (hint: that’s the joke), he has said many, many things that are much, much worse. There is no amount of context that can help Limbaugh pretend he isn’t fundamentally bigoted in ways that make it shocking to think he still has advertisers willing to put up with him.
After marveling at the backlash he had gotten for his tweet, Fugelsang went to work exposing how silly it was to claim Limbaugh wasn’t a racist in the most effective way possible: Limbaugh’s actual words.
I told a joke abt Limbaugh; was subsequently accused of lying & fabricating a Rush quote. So I shared some actual Rush quotes.
"Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?" - Rush Limbaugh
“The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”- Rush Limbaugh
[To an African American female caller]: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.” - Rush Limbaugh
“Let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do — let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.” -Rush Limbaugh
"Holocaust?" Ninety million Indians? Only four million left? They all have casinos — what's to complain about?" - Rush Limbaugh
A Mississippi rabbi and a restaurant owner have agreed to sit down and talk about a salad order gone wrong.
Rabbi Ted Riter, of Jackson’s Beth Israel Congregation, says he was kicked out of a Wraps Greek restaurant in Jackson because of his faith. But restaurant owner John Allis claims the whole thing was a big misunderstanding about a “Jewish Salad” that his restaurant sells.
The controversy between the two men began soon after Riter entered Allis’ restaurant on Tuesday.
“I asked the owner if I could have a Greek salad to go and he said, ‘The regular size or the Jewish size?’” Riter told WAPT. “He just goes into a tirade, throwing out all these expletives, ‘Get out of here.’”
Riter claims the owner told him, “You know Jews are small and cheap! Everyone knows that.”
The rabbi reportedly responded, “Did you really just say that to me?”
After asking whether Riter was Jewish, the rabbi was allegedly ordered to leave the restaurant.
“Expletives, F-bombs, and since I’d never been the recipient of that before, I was in shock, so I didn’t register it until the second or third time he told me to leave,” Riter told the Clarion Ledger. “It was a bit surreal. So I left.”
But Ellis has a different version of events. He claims the restaurant was extremely busy at that time and that Riter was acting indecisive. Ellis says he harbors no ill will toward the Jewish people.
“The guy said he didn’t want to do any business with us. He was probably offended because we offer different salads — that’s all,” Ellis told WAPT. “I said, ‘Greek salad or Jew?’ We have different salads. We have Carlito’s Way Salad. We have Grecian Salad. We have Jewish Salad. We have Greek Salad. We have Cesar Salad — we have a lot of salads. Names of salads derive from people; they don’t derive from the sky.”
Personally I would not have even entered that restaurant, I only eat at restaurants that are strictly kosher. It would appear this menu item was kosher, that is, it contained only vegetarian ingredients but it may have come into contact with non-kosher ingredients while it was being prepared. However that was not the cause of the dispute. The cause of the dispute was that the restaurant owner is a bigoted asshole.
That said, I hope the rabbi & his friends never enter that restaurant ever again.
Liverpool have deleted a tweet wishing their Jewish supporters a happy new year after it was met with a series of antisemitic messages on the club’s official account.
The club marked Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year in the Hebrew calendar, with a tweet on Friday that read: “Liverpool FC would like to wish all our Jewish supporters around the world a happy new year. #RoshHashanah”. However, the tweet was removed several hours later.
Liverpool have recognised various religious events and holidays on social media and was one of several clubs to mention Rosh Hashanah on Twitter on Friday. Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, contacted Anfield officials having received a number of complaints about the antisemitic abuse on the club’s site. It has also reported the alleged hate crimes to True Vision, the police’s online reporting facility, and investigations could follow.
A spokesperson for Kick It Out said: “It is encouraging that a football club recognises these holidays and religious landmarks - Liverpool did the same for Ramadan - but extremely sad when a club does that in a proactive manner and gets these responses. Premier League clubs appeal to supporters around the world and it would have been nice for Liverpool’s Jewish supporters to see this message from their club, that’s the bigger issue. It should be welcomed that clubs are doing this is in a proactive manner.”
Wishing You a Sweet, Happy, and Healthy New Year
Shanah Tovah from the White House! On Wednesday evening, Jews in the United States and around the world will begin celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
The High Holidays offer the Jewish community a moment of pause, a time to reflect on the previous year and recommit to the unending task of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. Together, working with people of all faiths, we can bring greater peace and prosperity to the world in 5775.
In his 2014 video message for the High Holidays, President Obama extends his wishes for a sweet new year and discusses why this time of year is so significant.
Hello. As Jews across America, Israel, and the world gather together for the High Holidays, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to you and your families for a sweet and happy new year.
My good friend Elie Wiesel once said that God gave human beings a secret, and that secret was not how to begin but how to begin again. These days of awe are a chance to celebrate that gift, to give thanks for the secret, the miracle of renewal.
In synagogues and homes over the coming days, Jews will reflect on a year that carried its shares of challenges. We’ve been reminded many times that our world still needs repair. So here at home we continue the hard work of rebuilding our economy and restoring our American dream of opportunity for all. Around the world, we continue to stand for the dignity of every human being, and against the scourge of anti-Semitism, and we reaffirm the friendships and bonds that keep us strong, including our unshakeable alliance with the State of Israel.
So let’s approach this new year with new confidence and new hope. Let’s recommit ourselves to living out the values we share as individuals and as a country. Above all, let’s embrace this God-given miracle of renewal, this extraordinary opportunity to begin again in pursuit of justice, prosperity, and peace. From my family to yours, shanah tovah.
SARCELLES, France — From the immigrant enclaves of the Parisian suburbs to the drizzly bureaucratic city of Brussels to the industrial heartland of Germany, Europe’s old demon returned this summer. “Death to the Jews!” shouted protesters at pro-Palestinian rallies in Belgium and France. “Gas the Jews!” yelled marchers at a similar protest in Germany.
The ugly threats were surpassed by uglier violence. Four people were fatally shot in May at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. A Jewish-owned pharmacy in this Paris suburb was destroyed in July by youths protesting Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. A synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany, was attacked with firebombs. A Swedish Jew was beaten with iron pipes. The list goes on.
The scattered attacks have raised alarm about how Europe is changing and whether it remains a safe place for Jews. An increasing number of Jews, if still relatively modest in total, are now migrating to Israel. Others describe “no go” zones in Muslim districts of many European cities where Jews dare not travel.
But there is also concern about what some see as an insidious “softer” anti-Jewish bias, which they fear is creeping into the European mainstream and undermining the postwar consensus to root out anti-Semitism. Now the question is whether a subtle societal shift is occurring that has made anti-Jewish remarks or behavior more acceptable.
“The fear is that now things are blatantly being said openly, and no one is batting an eyelid,” said Jessica Frommer, 36, a secular Jew who works for a nonprofit organization in Brussels. “Modern Europe is based on stopping what happened in the Second World War. And now 70 years later, people standing near the European Parliament are shouting, ‘Death to Jews!’ “
This is not the Europe of 1938. French leaders have strongly condemned the violence. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany this month led a rally against anti-Semitism in Berlin at which she told Germans, “It is our national and civic duty to fight anti-Semitism.”
Europe has seen protests and outbursts of anti-Semitism whenever the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has erupted, and some analysts say this summer’s anger is a cyclical episode that like others will fade away. Some note that the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents this year in France, for instance, is well below some years in the 2000s.
Yet as European support for the Palestinian cause and criticism of Israel have hardened, many Jews describe a blurring of distinctions between being anti-Israel and being anti-Jew.
US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has famously referred to execution by lethal injection as an “enviable…quiet death.” Clayton Lockett’s death was anything but quiet.
In April, Lockett’s execution in Oklahoma was badly botched and brought new scrutiny to the problems with lethal injection. The state’s Republican governor, Mary Fallin, ordered the Oklahoma Office of Public Safety (OPS) to conduct an internal inquiry into the execution. A summary was released Thursday.
The investigation, conducted largely by a bunch of investigators working for the state highway patrol, didn’t produce much new information. The report mostly absolves the state of responsibility, even as it further documents the torture inflicted on Lockett before he died. It sheds no light on the effectiveness of the new, controversial, and experimental drugs used to kill Lockett—drugs that had been predicted to cause a torturous death.
But buried in the report are some of the rarely seen minutiae involved in the machinery of death, the small absurdities of a government-sanctioned killing—the pre-execution shower, the mental-health consultations, and suicide prevention efforts—all directed at someone about to die. And inside the report is the story of a real dead man walking who clearly didn’t view lethal injection as the enviable death Scalia thinks it is.
Before his execution, Lockett had been one of two inmates challenging Oklahoma’s law that shrouded the source of the state’s lethal injection drugs in secrecy. He’d been unable to obtain any information about where the drugs came from, whether they were legally obtained, or any other details about their purity or efficacy.
All of these issues were relevant because, thanks to a shortage of traditional execution drugs caused after pharmaceutical companies either stopped making or refused to export them, death penalty states have turned to a number of dubious means to find substitutes. Some have illegally imported them from questionable pharmacies abroad; others have turned to lightly regulated compounding pharmacies, some of which are known to have produced contaminated or irregular products. And states have been experimenting with new drugs never used in executions before. That’s what Oklahoma planned to do. Not only would it not disclose the source of the execution drugs, but it planned to use an untested drug cocktail on Lockett.
Despite all of this, the state assured Lockett’s lawyers that everything would be fine; his execution would not involve any undue suffering that might rise to the level of cruel and unusual punishment. It seems clear from the OPS report, though, that Lockett didn’t believe them.
The report confirms earlier indications that Lockett was trying to find a way to kill himself before the state could. According to the report, Lockett refused to cooperate with his executioners. At 5 a.m. on the day of his execution, correctional officers sought to take Lockett for X-rays at the health center. (Why X-rays are part of the execution protocol is not explained.)
Lockett refused to get out from under his blanket and offer up his hands to be restrained. Corrections personnel at that point noticed blood inside the cell. They sought permission to use a Taser to forcibly extract Lockett from his cell, where Lockett had blocked the door.
When they finally got him out of his cell, prison staff discovered Lockett was suffering from self-inflicted wounds to his arms, and they found razor blades from a prison-issued safety razor and a homemade rope inside his cell. The report offers other evidence that suggests Lockett was preparing for suicide: About six weeks before his execution, Lockett had been suspected of hoarding hydroxyzine, an anti-anxiety medication he’d been prescribed. After he died, an autopsy showed potentially toxic levels of the drug in his system, suggesting he also attempted an overdose before he was executed.
Lockett was treated in the emergency room for the wounds on his arms. For much of the rest of the day, he seems to have been on suicide watch to prevent him from dying prematurely. He refused every meal, and he also refused to talk to his lawyers. Toward the end of the day, a mental-health staff member met with him, and then near 5 p.m., officers put him in the shower—hoping for a clean kill, if not a quiet one, perhaps.
More at Mother Jones. WARNING: Details are horrific.
The mask is off, here is the ugly face of TCOT for all to see.
Note the popular technique of quoting “their” Blacks like Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Mychal Massie, to get away with outright racism.
Here’s the slapfight as it’s going down
When Jodi Rudoren, Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, read Monday’s statement from the Foreign Press Association in Israel and the Palestinian territories, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
The association, representing some 480 resident correspondents and hundreds more visiting Israel/Palestine each year, protested “in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.”
The FPA said it knew of journalists who were “harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media” and accused Hamas of “trying to put in place a ‘vetting’ procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists.”
“Every reporter I’ve met who was in Gaza during war says this Israeli/now FPA narrative of Hamas harassment is nonsense,” Rudoren tweeted, referring to Israeli accusations that Hamas pressure on foreign reporters had helped massage the messages coming out of Gaza in the last month.
Rudoren’s Tweet was followed by a furious email exchange with the FPA, in which Rudoren denounced the statement as “dangerous.”
Crispian Balmer, last year’s FPA chairman and former Jerusalem bureau chief for Reuters, told Haaretz the FPA was not in the habit of issuing such protests without very good reason.
“When I was on the FPA board, we took our statements very seriously,” said Crispian Balmer. “They were never written on a whim and were only issued after broad consultation - either face-to-face at a board meeting or via a stream of email exchanges. Our prime concern was always the well-being of the foreign press pack and we would not pull our punches if we thought our members needed vocal support. We would certainly never issue broad statements condemning the behavior of one side or the other if we did not feel that a good number of our members had been impacted.”
Even more intriguing, Rudoren’s deputy at the NYT, Isabel Kershner, was one of the FPA board members who approved the statement. How could two colleagues from the same newspaper observing the same sequence of events come to such different conclusions?
“I was not in Gaza during the height of the hostilities, I have only been here a week,” Rudoren told me. “But in conversations with many colleagues, those who were here from NYT and other major news organizations who I trust, I have not heard about harassment, intimidation, censorship or threats. There have been a few anecdotes re Hamas people shooing photographers away from fighters’ faces at the hospitals, asking people not to shoot this or that, and yes, names and phone numbers were taken down in a spiral notebook of who was here, but nothing that these veteran war correspondents consider unusual.”
“I am confident the FPA based its statement on detailed reports from members regarding their experiences on the ground, and only had the best intention of protecting journalists and journalism, as it always does. But I found the wording of the statement overly broad, and, especially given the narrative playing out in some social media circles regarding foreign correspondents being taken in by the Hamas narrative and not reporting on the war fully or fairly, I was concerned that it undermined what I consider to have been brave and excellent work by very talented people,” she said.
Rudoren wasn’t actually there. Her conclusions are based on talking to colleagues. But several other reporters who spoke to Haaretz agreed with her. British freelancer Harry Fear was reporting for Russia Today TV when he was asked to leave Gaza by three plainclothes Hamas officials at Al-Shifa Hospital, apparently for referring to rocket launches near his hotel. But Fear said he did not feel he had been subjected to intimidation or interference for the four weeks he reported from Gaza, where he has worked intermittently since 2012.
More at Haaretz, including THIS:
Some reporters received death threats. Sometimes, cameras were smashed. Reporters were prevented from filming anti-Hamas demonstrations where more than 20 Palestinians were shot dead by Hamas gunmen.
If you’re paying attention to the events unfolding in Ferguson—and by God, you better be—then you probably already know there is a group of people in this country of ours who are determined to change the focus of the conversation about the murder of Mike Brown and the subsequent protests, attempting to shift the lens away from the Constitutional rights of U.S. citizens and the shooting of a black teenager.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know the folks I’m talking about. But here they are.
1) The Full-Blown Racist Troll
Block on sight. Some of them are friends of your Facebook friends—block them. Some of them are your Facebook friends. Many of them are accounts like this one: anonymous and relying on blatantly racist language, such as blackface imagery, “monkey” references, use of the “N-word,” etc. These have exploded over the last week. We’re talking hundreds. I’ve been using Twitter avidly for years, and I can’t recall ever seeing quite this much racist bile taking over an event-related hashtag (#Ferguson) as I have this week.
Block them and report them for spam immediately.
2) The “Wait for Evidence” Troll
This troll may or may not be anonymous and pretends to be focused on respecting and upholding the law. “We don’t know what happened yet,” they say. “Wait for evidence before you lambast an officer of the law.” They pretend that things like racism, police brutality, and police corruption don’t exist and insist that if concrete evidence is released, they will be swayed to feel “sympathy” for Mike Brown.
But they won’t. When evidence arises, they find objection to its relevance or veracity. They then transform into The “Mike Brown Shouldn’t Have [insert human action here]” Troll, our next entry.
3) The “Mike Brown Shouldn’t Have [Insert Human Action Here]” Troll
This troll (and the others as well) will go great lengths to justify the taking of black life, using justifications like “he shouldn’t have run,” “he shouldn’t have been sagging,” and “he shouldn’t have been walking down the middle of the street,” and “he shouldn’t have stolen something.”
These trolls come in all races and will insist that when a police officer (or a homeowner, or a security guard) assaults a person of color, that person must have done something to deserve it. The fact that Mike Brown was shot at least six times doesn’t register as overkill, even when two of those shots were in the head.
They will also extend effort to paint Ferguson as a ghetto, where this kind of thing happens all the time. Nope. Ferguson, Missouri had zero murders until Officer Darren Wilson killed Mike Brown.
4) The “Police Are the Good Guys” Troll
These folks have a blissfully naïve version of police in their heads, the one fed to them since they were children that says police are the good guys and that no matter what they do, they must have had a reason. These people have no concept (or pretend to have no concept) of the depth of white supremacy and the way it is ingrained in every facet of our culture—even our police. Because they believe the police are always right—and usually because they also believe that groups of black people are inherently violent—they have no qualms about police dressed in military gear, sitting on tanks and tear-gassing American citizens.
You may also hear these trolls say, “What about due process?” Well, we would proceed with due process. If they would actually arrest Darren Wilson. Which they haven’t.
We have seen them all.