Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “Glen Beck”

A Black Mark on Obama – Tom Rossi

From The Satirical Gazeeter and Hand Fishing Review…

Fox “News” report:

Welcome to the Fox “News” (actually makes quote sign with fingers) morning report. I’m Spiff Albinoman and we’ve just received an investigative report. This just in from the (insani)Tea Party Gazeeter and Hand Fishing Review:

It’s recently been uncovered that President Barrack Hussein Obama… is, in fact, black.

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Or, as some prefer, “African American.” It turns out that we, er… I mean the large, highly intelligent group that has come to be known as the “birthers” was barking up the wrong tree. In fact, the answer was right in front of them, all along.

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President Hussein may not, in fact, have been born in Kenya… but his father was. In fact Hussein Obama’s father was a full-blooded African and, in fact, black.

The meaning and significance of this can’t be overstated. This means that, irregardless of Obama’s mama and her national origins and/or race, Hussein is, in fact, at a bare minimum, half black.

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Therefore, this fight over where Hussein was born is, in fact, moot. Constitutionally, a person of mixed race must have been the result of a mixed-race marriage and is, in fact, illegal. In fact, the whole marriage was illegal and any and all offspring from that marriage are, in fact, illegal.

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This fact, these facts, in fact outweigh all of the ridiculous attempts to “Monica Lewinsky” President Hussein. In fact, many wonder why these attempts are being made, now that Hussein is, in fact, “termed out.” He can’t be re-elected and these attempts will, in fact, certainly be useless if Hussein does, in fact, stage some sort of coup, in order to install himself as permanent dictator.

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However, the revelation that Hussein is, in fact, simultaneously black and of mixed race, could and should be used to impeach him, in his present term.

Well, we certainly look forward to that.

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Next up after the break: George Will uses the letter, “F.”

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-Tom Rossi

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Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.

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Gun Control – It is about control. Glen Beck

I have been accused, ironically only around the gun control issue, that I do not share the “other side.” Perhaps. I have never really felt a need to give a platform to those who don’t agree with me beyond their freedom-of-speech right and I have never deleted a comment unless it was abusive.

But Glen Beck has me thinking. In his new book, Mr. Beck states that gun control is not about safety, common sense or saving American lives. In his opinion it is about “control.” He was preparing his book (he has gathered many other people’s work) when the tragic Sandy Hook shooting occurred and rushed to publish the book. I realize this was a marketing opportunity, riding the wave of a story no matter how tragic it was, but it leaves a sour taste. I suppose such an event never stopped those of us who support gun control from jumping straight onto the bandwagon, so why not the gun extremists?

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While Mr. Beck tries to dispel claims that anti-gun advocates with study after study – and we are all know you can find statistics to support other views – the crucial part for me is the issue of control.

For the record, his main attacks are on the premise that more guns means more crime, and that strict gun control in other countries have not worked. He sums them up in this You Tube clip:

What I find most interesting is Mr. Beck’s comments: “More gun control doesn’t mean less crime. More gun control just means more control.”

He is wrong. Preventing mass shootings at a school or university is about saving lives, plain and simple. But, I concede, control is a part of it. I want to control who can get their hands on firearms. I have no problem with Mr. or Ms. law-abiding, America citizen, having a gun in their house to protect their family.

But I want to keep guns away from criminals and people with mental issues. I want to make it as hard as possible for criminals to have access to firearms.

And I want to turn the question back to you, sir. When people talk of an armed militia, when they feel a need to stockpile, and to have automatic weapons are they not harboring sinister desires for control? When a person refuses to accept that the police are the trained professionals who must keep order on the streets, are they not willing to yield control?

It is about control, Mr. Beck, and that control works both ways. I want control in the hands of a democratic and open government  responsible for the safety of its people. I don’t want a lone wolf, political extremist, or sick individual, who has the control over the life and death of another individual.

That sir, as I am sure the vast majority of your target audience would agree, remains in the hands of God.

Final Note: Agree? Disagree? Please feel free to leave a comment below, but note any abusive comments directed at me or Mr. Beck will be deleted. I respect his right to voice his opinion and stand on my own to respond. Please join us for an honest  debate.

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Alon Shalev writes social justice-themed novels and YA epic fantasy. He swears there is a connection. His latest books include: Unwanted Heroes and At The Walls Of Galbrieth. Alon tweets at @alonshalevsf and @elfwriter.  

Does George Will have Glen Beck Envy?

George Will must think he’s losing readership share to Glen Beck. He has evidently decided that he needs to go deeper into conspiracy-theory-land to try to win his readers back. In his column in the March 7, 2011 issue of Newsweek titled, “High Speed to Insolvency: Why Liberals Love Trains”, George says, “…progressivism’s aim is the modification of other people’s behavior.” and “the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.” Wow.

Part of me wants to say, “Oh my gosh! George Will has found us out! We progressives will have to look up from our evil plans and think of a way to go deeper undercover while pretending to care about the future of the human race as a cover up!” But of course, sarcasm lands like a belly flop on the ears of a man who uses “word-of-the-day” toilet paper.

So, George (aka Pokey), let me see if I can help you out with a couple of things while keeping this on a level that you and your pal Gumby can understand. There are two types of individualism in America – real and fake. Progressives want real freedom and real individualism, while laissez-faire capitalists want fake. Real individualism is in thought, expression, love, and other highfalutin’ concepts like these. Fake individualism is whether you drive a Chevy or a Volkswagen, whether you like the Steelers or the Packers, or whether you watch Friends or Desperate Housewives on T.V. These are individual choices, it’s true, but they represent individuality only at the most superficial level.

The freedom your kind wants is the freedom to dominate: the freedom to take full advantage of the fact that your great-grandfather bought stock in Standard Oil way back when or maybe the Union Pacific Railroad, whereas my grandfather came over from Italy, just before World War I, without a dollar in his pocket.

Progressives want the next generation and those that follow to have the luxury of individualism as well – not to be chained to a desk for sixty hours a week nor to be afraid to go outside because the air could kill a person. You see, George, individualism is closely related to freedom, and real freedom can be curtailed by fake freedom. Your freedom to make selfish, childish decisions like driving a giant SUV to the video store that’s 1/8 of a mile away on a sunny but pleasantly cool day interferes with your own grandchildren’s freedom to breathe outside without coughing.

All that being said, I actually don’t like the high-speed rail plan either – but for sensible reasons – no conspiracies necessary. High-speed rail is not an urgent need in our society as it does not solve any current problems. What’s needed is a lot more and a lot better LOCAL public transportation. And, contrary to George Will’s Beckish rantings, this will mean MORE choices open to individuals, not less. George, like-minded pseudo-intellectuals, and overgrown children in general will still be free to pay 4, 5, or maybe even 10 dollars per gallon for gasoline, but those who would choose otherwise and would choose to try to provide a livable (and enjoyable) world for their grandkids will be able to do so.

Every day, individuals make choices between short-term and long-term preferences. Those of us who are blessed with common sense (most of America, I hope) make sacrifices today so that we may live longer, provide for our children, have some hope of future financial security. For example, most fathers might really like to buy a brand new Corvette but realize that, if they do so, their kids may not get to go to college or might not even have shoes to wear next month. As a society, we would do well to follow a similar program. Invest in things like public transportation now – suffer less from high gas prices, deteriorating roads, productivity-killing traffic, and the effects of pollution later. Trains get MORE efficient the more people use them. Can the same be said of cars? So maybe George is right. Progressives do want to change other people’s behavior – we want them to act like responsible adults who can see further ahead than their next purchase at the department store.

You see, George, it’s like this: Your freedom to spit on someone is in direct conflict with that person’s freedom and right not to be spat upon. I conclude from this that freedoms should be prioritized. For example, I fully support, without hesitation, your freedom to write ridiculous nonsense and to publish it as you are able. As is often said, in America, you have the right to be wrong. I believe this because I realize that my individual preference not to hear the blather of a mentally and morally deficient snob pales in comparison to my preference to live in a society that values and protects free speech. Likewise, I prefer to live in a world where my tiny nieces and nephews have a good chance at a healthy, secure future over a world where my own generation indulges consumptive gluttony.

Tom Rossi

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Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.

Tom also posts on thrustblog.blogspot.com


Robert C. Maynard

You have to love someone who drops out of school because it got in the way of his writing, only a few years later to study Journalism at Harvard (on a scholarship no less).

Robert Maynard moved through the journalism world to become Chief Editor of the Oakland Tribune. Two years later he became the owner, the first African-American to own a major metropolitan newspaper. He turned what was a  struggling paper around to receive recognition a few years later in the form of the Pulitzer Prize.

He was recognized for giving a platform to community-led organizations and initiatives and was not afraid to focus on local issues and injustices. He also co-founded a foundation that encouraged and trained young African-American journalists and is credited with helping inspire over a thousand such men and women.

A tribute to his life is posted at the Maynard Institute where he is quoted as saying in one of his last public appearances: “This country cannot be the country we want it to be if its story is told by only one group of citizens. Our goal is to give all Americans front door access to the truth,”

In a period of time when many countries are testing the waters of democracy, we must all acknowledge that a free and accessible press is a cornerstone of a free and informed society. We all love Glen Beck or Jon Stewart (there might even be some who love both – true news junkies) and they both have their place in the information model, but it is what lies between these polarities that will define how free our society truly can be.

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/

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