Friday, October 21, 2005

Thank You, God, For the Slave Ships

This may be the the dumbest, most ignorant thing I have ever heard a black person say. That it was said on white conservative's radio show makes it all the more distressing.

From Media Matters, via Steve Gilliard:

On the October 18 edition of the syndicated radio show Janet Parshall's America, Project 21 national advisory council member and columnist for conservative website Mychal Massie declared to host Janet Parshall that African-American churches today "have succumbed to hatred" and "disobedience to God." Massie went on to proclaim that "the black people today that curse America are cursing God because if God had not permitted the Ashanti and Dahomey tribes of ancient Africa to trap other Africans and sell them to Muslims, who sold them to Europeans, we would not have what we have today."
This Project 21 is a creation of a Rupublican think tank, the National Center For Public Policy Research, and as such represents one of the GOP's several stillborn attempts to court black voters.

Will they ever learn?

The Magical Listening Tour Continues to Flop

Karen Hughes, responsible for improving America's image throughout the Muslim world, is getting clobbered at stop on her tour. This week it was Indonesia's turn:

(from Americablog)

JAKARTA (Reuters) - U.S. goodwill envoy Karen Hughes got a earful from a group of mostly female Indonesian Muslim students on Friday, who expressed anger at the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and attacked Washington's foreign policies.

Tasked by U.S. President George W. Bush to polish America's image overseas, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy is in Jakarta to meet leading Muslim clerics and students during a tour of the world's most populous Muslim nation.

"Why does America always act as if they were the police of the world?," Barikatul Hikmah, a 20-year-old student at the Syarif Hidayatullah University asked Hughes.
Lailatul Qadar, a petite 19-year-old student wearing colorful headscarves, added: "It's Bush in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and maybe it's going to be in Indonesia, I don't know. Who's the terrorist? Bush or us?"


Monday, October 17, 2005

Ken Blackwell In Full Effect, Y'all

They may not yet know the results of the Iraqi vote on their new constitution, but they do know one thing: the vote was so riddled with enough fraud to make the Ohio secretary of state mighty proud.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's election commission announced Monday that officials were investigating "unusually high" numbers of "yes" votes in about a dozen provinces during Iraq's landmark referendum on a new constitution, raising questions about irregularities in the balloting.

Word of the review came as Sunni Arab leaders repeated accusations of fraud after initial reports from the provinces suggested the constitution had passed. Among the Sunni allegations are that police took ballot boxes from heavily "no" districts, and that some "yes" areas had more votes than registered voters.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Judy Miller and the Anthrax

It was the height of the post-9/11 fear era. Someone mailed letters containing anthrax to ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, The New York Post, and the Florida-based company that publishes the National Enquirer in mid-September. If someone is trying to get America's attention with maximum efficiency of effort, s/he has hit just about all the top strategic targets for doing so -- except, interestingly, the New York Times.

On October 4, an employee of the Florida media company is confirmed to have contracted anthrax. This is obviously big news -- the first such case in the U.S. since 1976.

The next day, a letter containing a white powder is mailed from Florida to the New York Times reporter Judy Miller. The powder tests negative for anthrax.

Following this newfound bout of national celebrity, Miller spends the next several weeks or so making the news show and speech rounds to offer her expertise on the topic of bioterrorism, which just so happens to be the topic of her then brand new book Germs.

It always struck me as odd that someone would go to such lengths to raise fear in the halls of the New York-based news media industry, yet somehow skip over the Times. Or that someone merely carrying out a copycat hoax just happened to hit the one major media target that had been previously missed, even though that fact was not known at the time.

At the time, I, like most Americans, was too caught up in the moment -- and an extraordinary moment in history it was -- to think clearly enough about what we were seeing.

Given the distance that comes with the passage of time, and given lowly depths to which it appears Ms. Miller has shown a willingness to plumb in pursuit of notoriety, I am given to periods of willingness to entertain the notion that Ms. Miller may have been less the unwitting victim of a cruel hoax than we have been led to believe.

Is this worth discussing, or am I a conspiracy theorist tinfoil hat nutjob?

Anthrax attacks timeline here