Mar. 11th, 2011

janradder: (godzilla)
So according to Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and the other congressional Republicans behind the recent hearings looking into the domestic radicalization of American Muslims, they are doing this to encourage Muslim leaders in the US to confront Islamist-inspired extremism and violence.

Here's my question -- when are we going to do the same regarding the radicalization of American Christians? Or how about the radicalization of right-wing conservatives? Because, you know, it wasn't Islamist-inspired extremists who shot and killed Dr. George Tiller, Dr. Barnett Slepian, Robert Sanderson, Shannon Lowney, Lee Ann Nichols, Dr. John Britton, James Barrett, or Dr. David Gunn. Nor was it Islamist-inspired militants who, since 1977, have been responsible for for 17 attempted murders, 41 bombings, 175 arsons, 96 attempted bombings or arsons, 642 bomb threats, 1993 incidents of trespassing, 1400 incidents of vandalism, or 100 attacks with butyric acid ("stink bombs") on abortion clinics across the country. No, those would Christian-inspired extremists. How about the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, or the shooting of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., or the recent attempt to detonate a shrapnel bomb filled with rat poison during a parade in Spokane, Washington honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.? Islamist-inspired extremists? No, right-wing-inspired extremists.

So I ask, why aren't we looking into the those groups and asking their leaders to confront the extremism and violence their beliefs inspire? Well, for one, those groups are mostly, if not all, white, and you know, white people just can't be terrorists, can they? But for another, those groups support the same causes and beliefs espoused by the curent breed of conservatives -- anti-abortion, anti-gay, and anti-government. Which I guess, in the opinion of those who hold those views, makes it somehow okay. Like Rep. Peter King, a staunch long-time supporter of the I.R.A., a known terrorist organization, who says it's okay for him to support the I.R.A. because they've never killed a US citizen (which, by the way, isn't true), and because their violence was justified. But you know what? It's not. None of this violence is.

What's going on in Peter King's congressional hearing is nothing more than a witch hunt and demonization of an entire group of people for the actions and beliefs of a few. It's the search for a scapegoat and a frightening return to McCarthyism. Which apparently doesn't matter to Rep. Peter King, who calls that comparison a "badge of honor." Mr. King, you and your cronies sicken me, and the fact that you are members of Congress makes me ashamed of our country.
janradder: (Default)
I started listening to this record last summer a little bit before the film crew came out to Minneapolis to shoot the interviews I'd set up for Color Me Obsessed. This was the first trip out tothe Twin Cities for the film's director, Gorman, and he wanted to see a show at First Avenue while he was out here and the Black Keys happened to be playing that week so we got tickets. In advance to the show, Gorman sent me Brothers because it was the album they were touring. I listened to it and I liked at the time. But I didn't go crazy about it. Over the past months though, it's grown on my more and more, and I'm finding it's my favorite album of last year, if not one of my favorites of the last several years. There's this raw, nasty sound to it. There's these amazing grooves that get deep down into your body like all the best soul and blues does. On songs like "Next Girl," the guitar is raunchy and mean, and then on songs like "These Days," it sounds heartbreaking in its quiet and simplicity. Really it's an amazing record, and I can't believe that I still like it more each time I hear it again.

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janradder

March 2012

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