Scenes from America

In Ferguson, Missouri, a police officer shot and killed an unarmed Black teenager. The shots were not at close range, indicating no immediate struggle, and there were at least six shots fired. Setting aside the subsequent character assassination of the victim, the police response to popular outrage and demonstrations has been militaristic in nature, and overflowing with issues of race and class in contemporary America. 

No one condones looting or violence, but the ridiculously overwrought police response has quashed the people’s right to demonstrate. 

Hysterical right wing commentators have overwhelmingly sided with the police officer who shot Michael Brown, labeling the dead kid a “thug” who clearly deserved to die. Of course, we still don’t have a copy of the police report surrounding the shooting incident. The people in Ferguson are outraged by the latest homicide of an unarmed Black teenager under questionable circumstances, and their demonstrations have been met with this: 

Some months back, there was a standoff in Nevada over Cliven Bundy and his cows. Back in 1993, Bundy didn’t like a change in policy at the Bureau of Land Management, so he refused to renew his license to permit his cattle to graze on public land. In 1998, a federal court barred Bundy from letting his cattle graze on the “Bunkerville Allotment”. In July 2013, a federal judge further ordered Bundy off of additional lands

It should be noted that, in both court cases, Bundy had an opportunity to be heard, and exercised it.

In 2014, the Bureau of Land Management undertook action to forcibly remove Bundy’s cattle from federal lands pursuant to the court orders. Hundreds of armed, right-wing, so-called “militia” came to Bundy’s aid in the Nevada brush, and the rancher became a right-wing, anti-Obama cause celebre. 

American fascists justify the homicide of Michael Brown, whom they dismiss as nothing more than a thug who got what was coming to him. They deride the outpouring of grief and anger in Ferguson as being nothing more than a subhuman gallery of violent looters. They have nothing whatsoever to say about a military show of force against lawful protests in Ferguson, and ignore the obvious provocation of police snipers and tanks aiming at civilians in middle America. 

But when Cliven Bundy disregarded a lawful order of the court, and declared some sort of idiotic war against a federal government he claims has no legitimacy, hundreds of American fascists came to his aid. The bloodlust against federal agents was shocking, and we had images that contrast with those out of Ferguson in one very salient way: 

In Ferguson, protesters are mostly African-American, and the government’s guns are pointed at them. 

In Nevada, protesters were mostly white, and they pointed their guns at government agents. 

It’s like the anti-Burning Man

 

Cliven Bundy had people aiming guns at federal agents, but we’re supposed to get all upset because some angry demonstrators in Ferguson broke a McDonald’s store windows or stole some TVs? 

The people who support Cliven Bundy’s defiance of legitimate government authority think that the demonstrators in Ferguson have no business protesting questionable government actions. 

Go home, America. You’re drunk. 

Transforming Americans into Enemy Combatants

Stealing a pack of cigars and shoving a clerk justifies being shot 6 times to death

If the rioting in Ferguson, MO is to stop, the police should be as forthcoming with the incident report of Brown’s homicide as they were with the surveillance tape of him apparently ripping off cigars from a store. If cops could justifiably kill every kid who shoplifted or shoved someone, we’d probably be almost all out of kids

What I’m waiting for is all the big swinging 2nd Amendment / open carry dicks to defend Ferguson residents against tyrannical government behavior. The people who live in that community have a right to protest, and, as one Facebook friend writes, “the police are supposed to be peace keepers. Not funeral planners in fucking camouflage and armored tanks.”

Many have already convicted Michael Brown of Black thugdom in the 1st degree, and are using an irrelevant incident to justify his killing. In the meantime, we don’t have a copy of the police incident report regarding the shooting (those who support the shooting don’t wonder why, or give a damn because it might interfere with their conviction of Michael Brown), and the police officer has, as far as anyone knows, not once been required to give a statement to anyone in any forum, much less under oath. 

No one is justifying looting or violence in connection with these protests, and not all of the demonstrations have been thus. Consider whether a police response that looks more like Iraq than Missouri is a ham-handed provocation that serves mostly to treat local residents as enemy combatants. 

Scary big Black kid may have resisted arrest or talked back to a cop, so don’t tase or pepper spray him. Just shoot him 6 times.

Missouri Martial Law

In Ferguson, MO this past weekend, a police officer shot (multiple times) and killed (once) a young man named Michael Brown for what seems to be no goddamned reason whatsoever. Anonymous are looking to out the name of the cop, because the city has dummied up. 

It’s bad enough that a cop shot and killed a young man who, witnesses say, had his hands up and was telling the officer he was unarmed. It’s bad enough that the town’s law enforcement now resembles a team hunting down Osama bin Laden more than a police department. 

As citizens lawfully and peacefully protest the homicide of Michael Brown, the town is pushing the Constitutional envelope to its outer limits

To top it off, a SWAT team today came into a McDonalds and arbitrarily arrested two journalists who were there eating and charging their devices without cause or charge, assaulting at least one of them. As arbitrarily and quickly as they were arrested, they were released without explanation. Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post have been wronged. 

Heads should (figuratively) roll over this homicide, this cover-up, this overreaction by a militarized police force, and this clear and obvious violation of the Constitution. 

Kathy Weppner Tries to Explain; Fails

Kathy Weppner, the Republican trainwreck running against Brian Higgins, has descended into self-parody with record-breaking celerity. I almost have to congratulate her on the speed with which she has beclowned herself.

On Monday morning, I went to her “Str8talk” blog to peruse its sanitized state and noticed that it had been completely scrubbed out of existence. The Weppner sanitization had been completed by redirecting to her campaign website. That means, we have to rely on the Waybackmachine to find anything and everything about what she thinks when it doesn’t really matter. 

But there may be something even better on her campaign website – a passive-aggressive page of whining about “yellow journalism“. In 1941, Frank Luther Mott set forth five elements of yellow journalism

– scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news

– lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings

– use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts

– emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips

– dramatic sympathy with the “underdog” against the system.

None of those exist in Zremski’s piece

Let’s now turn to Weppner’s epic self-defense. It’s an admittedly unique tactic – lashing out so furiously at the librul meediya in ALL CAPS AND RED TEXT AND ZOMG. 

As a threshold matter, I don’t precisely get why she all-caps the word “NEWS” rather than just capitalizing “Buffalo News”.  I’m thinking it might be her way of telegraphing the fact that the Buffalo News is a front for the Bilderberg/Illuminati conspiracy, or that it’s really an acronym for something nefarious.  (Also, I will edit out some of the text from Zremski’s article to save space).  

The first article from the Buffalo NEWS posted online Saturday March 22, printed March 23.   My final comments are under each news comment. 

I would like to thank the Buffalo NEWS for exposing themselves today as yellow journalists and providing the evidence to WNY for how they manipulate public opinion during elections.

Last week, while I was out of the country Buffalo NEWS Washington Bureau  reporter Jerry Zremski  sent an e-mail filled with questions about my past radio show topics, why I discussed them and where I read about the topics I discussed.  He indicated that his editor wanted these questions answered for an upcoming article.

I found the nature of these questions to be very peculiar however, I responded to the questions and now you can find  both the Questions and my responses  on the website & facebook.

Now it’s the public’s job to evaluate  questions and answers in full to see if the reporting lines up with the facts.

You see. How inconsiderate. She was out of the country while her serfs are out getting petition signatures on her royal highness’ behalf. How dare this middle-class peon working for the “NEWS” email her a set of questions

If Kathy Weppner wasn’t prepared at this time to be interviewed, or to have her background and viewpoints examined, then perhaps she should have waited until after her foreign travel to announce her candidacy. 

Readers must decide what the urgency was that this had to be published on Saturday.  In two separate e-mails (both on March 21st) I stated I would be available this week for an interview.  Could it be that petitions are being walked throughout the district right now?  Could it be that fundraisers are being set up right now? How many other campaigns have had this happen in the early stages of getting organized?  Why change any of the wording from the online version to the printed version? You decide

Let’s. 

Weppner final analysis in red of  BUFFALO NEWS ONLINE Article   22-2013 1:08 pm   (since removed) changes noted in print edition are in green & yellow.

 Here, Weppner posts the first several paragraphs of Zremski’s article

…Weppner refused to be interviewed for this story, instead answering questions via email.

Weppner response 1: Attached find my response to your questions. Sorry about the delay I was out of the country. Monday I will be releasing a report to the media regarding a pressing issue facing Western New York. You will be included in that release. I am currently putting together my platform and when that is completed we can sit down for an interview.

Let’s NEWS some more.  

Zremski Follow up: Jerry Zremski wrote:

5) Perhaps it is best if we talk about these things. What is your number?
Kathy Weppner response: For now I am totally focused on organizing my campaign. I anticipate having time next week to talk about issues in Western New York and the report I mentioned.

Phones work outside the country, and she punts here – she’s not offering to address Zremski’s questions – she will only “talk about issues in Western New York” as she defines them, and some “report”. I’m sure the report provides us with, I dunno, exquisite detail about how communist homosexual gangs of paper clips have conspired to bring down the WTC and American exceptionalism. 

Zremski notes that Weppner paid a lot of attention to the birther movement, going so far as to interview Orly Taitz, whom nobody with half a brain takes (or took) seriously. Weppner picks nits,  

“In a series of written replies to questions,”  is omitted in the printed version changed to:   “She also wrote.”There were eleven e-mails back and forth.  Why would this be taken out for the printed version? 

Because who cares. She reprints portions of the email exchanges with Zremski, 

Q1)  You have repeatedly questioned Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency. For example, in a 2010 Blog Talk Radio appearance, you said: “What Obama’s campaign has put out is not a birth certificate.” Do you still believe that Obama may not have been born in the U.S. and therefore may not be eligible to be president? 

A1 Kathy Weppner response: “I believe, at that time, Mr. Obama’s submission of a “short form” birth certificate was a topic of conversation nationally as there were many lawsuits attempting to see his long form birth certificate.  I found it interesting that there was such resistance to produce this when it should have been simple.  Mr. Obama Is our President”                                                                                               

Q2 NEWS follow up: Jerry Zremski wrote:
2) Your answer to my question about President Obama’s birth certificate is inadequate. Yes, Mr. Obama is our president — but do you believe he was born in the United States?
Kathy Weppner response: That question has already been decided. I raised three kids that took an oath under this president. Our family’s willingness to sacrifice for this country is clear period.   

It’s a simple yes-or-no question, yet Weppner is pathologically unable or unwilling to simply say, “yes, I believe Obama was born in the US”, or “no, I believe Obama is a Manchurian candidate placed as chief executive as part of a 50 year-long communist plot to make the US an Indo-Kenyan vassal state”. 

Weppner analysis of the NEWS article published:  Please note from  the questions asked by the NEWS that:

I was never asked about my involvement in “the birther movement as Mr. Zremski claims. Nor did I ever claim to be a birther.  I am not  exactly sure  what the “birther movement” means or who is in  it”?  What constitutes membership? 

No way she’s serious about this here. You don’t host Orly Taitz on your radio program, discuss birtherism, and then get to deny even knowing what the term means.  She appeared on some internet radio show and rejected Obama’s birth certificate there. 

Read carefully-Mr, Zremski  alleges that because “birthers” question Mr. Obama’s eligibility,  and I once stated, “What Obama’s campaign has put out is not a birth certificate,” that means I am  “a birther”.  Because Mr. Zremski believes I am a birther,  I must have believed in the past, and still must believe now, that Obama is not eligible to be president.  

Well, why discuss it, otherwise? Why complain about the short-form birth certificate, which is enough for anyone legally to get a passport or otherwise to prove their place of birth? 

This Article was not offered on an opinion page.   Mr. Zremski’s questions and conclusions are not journalism.  Mr Zremeski’s personal opinion about “birthers,” and his personal opinion on who qualifies as a “ birther,” interjected into an NEWS article  is bias masking as journalism.

No. Zremski’s article is factual in nature. His opinion was that Weppner’s original punt of an answer was inadequate. He had to ask her two times if she believed that President Obama was the legitimate head of state, and she refused to answer it directly on both occasions. He was cross-examining her, and she couldn’t handle it. The truth. 

Like many others, I was a show host doing an interview just like  Salon, MSNBC  and the Daily Beast,  when they also did interviews with Taitz.  The numerous legal cases involved had aspects we have never heard before. This topic was in the news and interesting!

Salon  2009  http://www.salon.com/2009/08/13/orly_taitz/
MSNBC 2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vNpXJxpu48
The Daily Beast http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/07/30/queen-of-the-birthers.html

It was especially interesting to right-wing tea party Obamaphobes. Weppner’s evasion and unwillingness to answer a direct question speaks for itself. Also, Salon and the Daily Beast give Taitz the mocking beat-down she deserves. Did Weppner do that? Is she doing it now, or is she denying that she even knows what “birther” means? 

Q1)  On that same radio show, you said that when Bill Clinton’s medical records were released, “they found out that he had VD.” I can find no proof of that; in fact, I found a quote from his press secretary in the late 1990s saying that Clinton’s most recent physical had found that he had never had a sexually transmitted disease. What proof do you have that President Clinton had VD?

Q2 Zremski follow-up Jerry Zremski wrote:
3) In your answer to question 3, you say, “Bush Jr. admitted cocaine use.” According to my research, he never admitted that. What is your source?

Kathy Weppner response to #2 follow-up: 
http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6130_102-65801/bush-admits-past-drug-use-in-interviews-with-author/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-seery/the-bush-cocaine-chronicl_b_37786.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/BothSidesAllSides/story?id=2773754

The ABC link is a Michael Medved opinion piece. He expressly states that Bush has refused to reveal his past drug use.  The HuffPo article, likewise, discusses how the media refuse to take Bush to task over his refusal to admit or deny past drug use.  You can see the pattern – the CNET article also shows nothing to confirm that Bush ever actually tried cocaine

A)  Weppner response 1: I find it interesting that I spent over 700 hours on the radio and you have focused on a fifteen minute interview on a blog show that I did not have documents in front of me for.  I was asked to appear on the blog radio to explain how I was transformed from a talk-show caller to host. My appearance ended after about fifteen minutes when I hung up realizing that I had been deceived and the real purpose of the interview was to ambush me with controversy. I had been asked about politicians and documents. I did not have the source of those allegations with me as I usually do for topics I discuss on shows,   I have no intention of digging though 9 years of clippings as my time is better spent on pressing WNY issues that matter.  The STD story you refer to originated in 1996, during the Dole Clinton race when reporters asked Clinton if he was hiding conditions like STD’s by  refusing to release his medical records.  There are still press accounts remaining online about this line of questioning you might want to research. There were so many other Clinton allegations over the years such as  American Spectator, the magazine that broke the “troopergate” story, Paula Jones etc.  alleging Clinton cocaine use using Little Rock Dr. Sam Houston as the source.  I also recall these kinds of topics coming up in the news again in 2000 & 2004 when Bush Jr admitted previous coke use, and again in 2008 during Pres. Obamas campaign because Obama admitted cocaine use in his book.  ie :
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/BothSidesAllSides/story?id=2773754
If  I confused  decades old issues  during the middle of a brief ambush interview that I ended by hanging up, if I did not properly cite facts or sources on this issue, my sincere apologies to listeners and to Mr. Clinton. If the public can forgive admitted cocaine abuse perhaps a momentary confusion by a talk show host seems worthy of forgiveness. 
http://capitalismmagazine.com/1999/09/the-coke-question-why-bush-not-clinton/
CNN ARTICLE
http://cgi.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/news/9609/13/clinton/

That’s quite the protestation. No one owes her “forgiveness”.  Zremski merely asked her for clarification of her views. Of course, there’s nothing in the CNN article revealing proof of a Bill Clinton STD, and the “Capitalism Magazine” *rolleyes* article is just another hit piece on Clinton. Here’s a tip – if you’re going to whine about unfair press coverage, don’t cite unfair press coverage. 

Q7)  On Nov. 15, 2008, you reposted an article called “White Guilt Is Dead.” What you posted includes this passage:  “I’ve always despised lazy white people. Now, I can talk smack about lazy black people. You’re poor because you quit school, did drugs, had three kids with three different fathers, and refuse to work. So when you plop your Colt 45-swilling, Oprah watchin’ butt on the couch and complain “Da Man is keepin’ me down,” allow me to inform you: Da Man is now black. You have no excuses. “ Do you agree with that sentiment? Some might find it to be racially insensitive – do you?
A1 Weppner response: I find your question as insulting as the stereotypes printed in this Philadelphia  Inquirer editorial titled  ‘White Guilt is Dead ‘. Some might find it to be racially insensitive – do you?  ‘  “ I was surprised the Inquirer printed  this. Did you pose the same question to their editors?
Q2 NEWS FOLLOWUP: 4) On the “White Guilt Is Dead” post, why did you post it?
A2 Weppner response: Regardless of his political policies, Mr. Obama’s election was a proud moment in American history. I always feel deep pride in the American people and their willingness to embrace all ethnicities. It’s a statement to the world that in America if you work hard you can achieve anything. If you read the article carefully it actually reflects the same sentiment that in order to achieve you must rise above the offensive stereotypes.
Weppner final analysis: I invite readers to decide why Zremski edited my comments the way he did.

I went back and read the article “carefully”. What I see is nothing about “willingness to embrace all ethnicities”, or that “if you work hard you can achieve anything”. I see some base fucking racism there. I see an article written by someone who is so filled with rage and resentment that he writes something so base and so ugly that even Weppner – in her “A1 Weppner response” – expresses surprise that it was published in the first place. Yet in the next breath, she’s characterizing it as a reconfiguration of Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus. The cognitive dissonance is stark beyond belief. If Weppner thought that reprinting this exchange would make her look better by comparison, I question her judgment, full stop. 

Weppner then addresses what Zremski wrote about her anti-Muslim writings and pronouncements. Nits are again picked. 

“THIS IS AN EXCELLENT SYNOPSIS OF ISLAM AND HOW IT WORKS,” Weppner wrote.   [wrote changed to “posted” in print version

Again – a distinction without a difference.

6)  On May 5, 2008, under the headline “Wake Up America,” you posted what you called “an excellent synopsis of Islam and how it works.” That synopsis says that after a country’s Muslim population exceeds 80 percent, people can “expect State run ethnic cleansing and genocide.” But Turkey, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates are stable and peaceful, with no ethnic cleansing or genocide, despite being more than 80 percent Muslim. How, then, is this an excellent synopsis of Islam and how it works?

Kathy Weppner response:  
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/12/international/asia/12cnd-indo.html?fta=y&_r=0
For your further research please see link  
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Wake+Up,+America!-a0173513219

“ A book called ‘Wake up America’ not about Islam but what we now refer to as  islamofacism  also came out around that time.   “Tolerance is cultural suicide when it is a one-way street. “ Hmm… some might say the last line reminds them of Democrat & Republican politics. I also suggest your further research regarding Indonesia  and Turkey, cleansing and genocide. I have included some links to broaden your knowledge:  Ethnic cleaning in Indonesia  2001 Thousands flee bloody Borneo ethnic cleansing.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/feb/26/indonesia.johnaglionby
“”Ethnic cleansing perpetrated by indigenous tribal fighters against migrants in Central Kalimantan engulfed the capital of the Indonesian province for the first time yesterday as tens of thousands of refugees fled hordes of head hunters. As the official death toll from eight days of carnage on the island of Borneo rose to 270, hundreds of local Dayaks swept through the city of Palangkaraya looking for settlers from the island of Madura. Police did nothing to prevent them burning dozens of homes and setting up roadblocks across the city to stop the Madurese escaping….The The slaughter was sparked by two local government officials who paid a group of Dayaks to attack a Madurese housing complex. Indonesia’s Antara news agency reported yesterday that the death toll is at least 400; Madurese in the Sampit refugee camp reckon it is several times that figure.”
 Indonesia discrimination against Chinese:
1)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_Chinese_Indonesians
“Turkey Armenian Genocide:
I had a guest on by the name of Thea Halo author of Not Even My Name.  Her mother was a survivor of the Turkish genocide of over three million Christians. She spoke later at UB. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Armenian_Genocide: “The Armenia Genocide was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian  subjects from their historic homeland in the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. It took place during and after World War I and was implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert.[…… There, the Armenians were subject to the whims of their Turkish and Kurdish neighbors, who would regularly overtax them, subject them to brigandage and kidnapping, force them to convert to Islam, and otherwise exploit them without interference from central or local authorities.[32] In the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the dhimmi system held up in Muslim countries, they, like all other Christians and also Jews, were accorded certain limited freedoms (such as the right to worship), but were in essence treated as second-class citizens and referred to in Turkish as gavours, a pejorative word meaning “infidel” or “unbeliever
Weppner final analysis of the NEWS published article:  Mr. Zremski’s report is incorrect.  The synopsis is not an essay about the religion of Islam alone and it clearly states that in my post. The synopsis dealt with the “system of Islam,” and it’s various components-the religious, legal, political, economic and military components in Islamic states. The synopsis was written by the author of a book entitled,  Slavery, Terrorism & Islam – The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat’,  by Dr. Peter Hammond , a missionary from Africa. My post clearly identifies the book and author as well.  It was posted at a time when all Americans were learning about the difference between Islam and Islamofacism. http://www.amazon.com/Slavery-Terrorism-Islam-Revised-Expanded/dp/0980263913

The problem is that Weppner – and WBEN – never set out to, e.g., teach the difference between Islam and what they term “Islamofascism”. The New York Times article from 2006 that she cites describes a singular crime against Americans. It has nothing to do with genocide or ethnic cleansing, but with a terrorist act. Stalin didn’t commit genocide in the Soviet Union because he was a Muslim. Hitler didn’t murder millions throughout Europe because he was heading up a Sharia-based caliphate. The Khmer Rouge’s Pol Pot wasn’t following the “dhimmi” system to create his agrarian dystopia. Milosevic and his henchmen in Bosnia weren’t Muslims committing genocide – quite the opposite, actually. 

3)  On Jan. 7, 2006, you reposted on your blog an item called “21 Things You Must Believe to Be a Good Democrat.” Among those reasons were “You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.” Does this mean that you think being homosexual is unnatural?

Kathy Weppner response: Please read all 21 Reasons below. Since you apparently, missed the humor and irony reason # 21 answers your question # 21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.   I know plenty of Democrats who feel their own party has been perverted by extremism. I know plenty of Democrats who are insulted by media who assume that all Democrats  think alike.  I don’t believe all Democrats think alike, ditto for Republicans. That’s why I am running.  That’ also the reason why the irony expressed in article is amusing.

Weppner analysis of NEWS article published: I stand by my response. Mr. Zremski called it an “essay”.  I called it humor. There are many different versions of this on the internet.   There is also a version for Republicans. Below are ALL of the 21 things in the article.  Buffalo News readers and editors should be asking why Mr. Zremeski picked  only #6 and ignored #21:

1. You have to believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.
2. You have to believe that the same teacher who can’t teach fourth-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese communists.
4. You have to believe that there was no art before federal funding. 
5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the earth’s climate, and more affected by yuppies driving SUVs. 
6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural 
7. You have to be against capital punishment but support abortion on demand. 
8. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity. 
9. You have to believe that hunters don’t care about nature, but loony activists who’ve never been outside of Seattle do. 
10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it. 
11. You have to believe the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars. 
12. You have to believe the NRA is bad, because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution. 
13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high. 
14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinen are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee or Thomas Edison. 
15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren’t 
16. You have to believe Hillary Clinton is really a lady. 
17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried is because the right people haven’t been in charge. 
18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender belongs in the White House. 
19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites and bestiality should be constitutionally protected and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal. 
20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese is somehow in the best interest of the United States. 
21. You have to believe that this letter is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.

WTF does that even mean? First of all, this confirms my going theory that Weppner is little more than a repository and regurgitator of mean-spirited right-wing chain emails. Secondly, it says you have to “believe” all 21 of these things in order to be a “good Democrat”. Where is the joke? What is funny about this? That homosexuals are abnormal and should be held up to ridicule? That feminists are garbage? That “Hillary Clinton is [not] really a lady”? Where is the “irony”, much less the “amusing” irony? It’s just culture warfare diarrhea.  

In 2007, she criticized an immigration bill that was before Congress at the time, saying it amounted to amnesty for illegal immigrants and adding: “If people truly want to be reunited with their families they can go home!”

Asked about the quote this month, she said: “Do you really think a complex issue such as immigration can be solved by asking a single, seven-year old, out-of-context question such as posed?” 
Weppner final analysis:  I stand by my response.

If you stand by your response, then what did Mr. “Zremesky” do wrong? Weppner blogged and spent time on WBEN with reductive xenophobia concerning immigration, so certainly she should be ready, willing, and able to defend or discuss something that she so casually wrote. 

9)  On Sept. 8, 2009, you posted an item on your blog headlined “Who Am I?”  It says, among other things, “* I was born in one country, raised in another. My father was born in another country. I was not his only child. He fathered several children with numerous women.” And it ends with the words: “Who am I? ADOLF HITLER. WHO WERE YOU THINKING OF?” That seems to imply parallels between Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama. Do you see such parallels?
Weppner response: To me the article was a humorous way to warn of the dangers of  not vetting a candidate properly, of relying on press reports that sound nice but have no substance in the report. To me it implies that Greek pillars, chanting for candidates and songs about them is bordering on dangerous idolatry.   To me it simply pointed out the dangers history has taught us in wholehearted support without doing your own critical evaluation. Stepford Media helps create Stepford Voters.  The article meant more about the criteria we are relying on to elect candidates in this modern age. 

Weppner final  analysis:  
Jeepers Jerry. You missed a few really important things. Did you read past the first line? Or did the rest not fit your agenda?

Again – WTF does any of this mean? Zremsky accurately condensed her response into something readable, and she’s complaining that he didn’t add in her pithy “Stepford Media” quote? She equated Barack Obama with Adolf Hitler because ha ha socialism and foreign. Any attempt by her to turn it into something about “vetting” is utter bullshit. There was no lack of vetting of Hitler. Hitler, first of all, was not duly elected to the Reichstag in 1933 in anything remotely similar to what the US did in 2008 or 2012. Secondly, Hitler and his ideology was well-known to Germans thanks to his 720 page book, “Mein Kampf”.

That book was a best-seller in Weimar Germany, and required reading between 1933 – 1945. The first chapter details Hitler’s upbringing in Austria, the fact that he fought in World War I for the dual monarchy, and his coming-of-age in Vienna. None of these pieces of information was unknown, and whether Hitler’s father had lots of kids with lots of women seems microscopically irrelevant in comparison to the malevolence for which he is remembered. 

Weppner’s “final analysis” is ridiculous on its face. 

Continuing to criticize The News’ line of questioning, she said: “Should I assume the NEWS supports the Obama administration’s new proposal to have the federal government investigate and monitor how newsroom editors decide topics and how topics affect policy?”

Asked about that purported policy, Debra Gersh Hernandez, spokesperson for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said: “I have no idea what she’s talking about.”

Weppner final analysis: 
I stand by my responses. Can the NEWS stand by it’s reporting? How could the news have missed this story that was covered internationally?  Can the NEWS stand by its’ sources? Stepford Media produces Stepford America. I read  ‘The FCC Wades Into the Newsroom…Why is the agency studying ‘perceived station bias’ and asking about coverage choices?’ This article published in the Wall Street Journal, written by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai in Feb.HTTP://ONLINE.WSJ.COM/NEWS/ARTICLES/SB10001424052702304680904579366903828260732    Quote FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai:

“Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.”

 I also read ‘CC Suspends Critical Information Needs Pilot Study …Will change methodology and will not ask questions of journalists or owners’ 2/21/2014  in broadcasting.com saying the questions were way out of line:http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/washington/fcc-suspends-critical-information-needs-pilot-study/129333   

– “The study has come under fire, fueled by commissioner Ajit Pai’s op ed in the Wall Street Journal this week taking issue with it.”

– “”Chairman Wheeler agreed that survey questions in the study directed toward media outlet managers, news directors, and reporters overstepped the bounds of what is required. Last week, chairman Wheeler informed lawmakers that the commission has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters and would be modifying the draft study. Yesterday, the chairman directed that those questions be removed entirely.

–  Commisssioner Ajit Pai “The Commission has now recognized that no study by the federal government, now or in the future, should involve asking questions to media owners, news directors, or reporters about their practices. This is an important victory for the First Amendment. And it would not have been possible without the American people making their voices heard. I will remain vigilant that any future initiatives not infringe on our constitutional freedoms.”

Look again. Weppner characterized this as the “Obama administration’s” proposal to intercede in the newsroom. The FCC is an independent agency, not directed by the White House, but run by a bipartisan board. It was one study that the FCC was conducting in one Southern market, and it responded to reporters’ concerns by halting it altogether. It wasn’t an effort to monitor, but to study. Here is the text of the questions asked. It’s a far cry from that to “OBAMA IN UR NEWSROOM ZOMG”. 

Weppner final analysis of Buffalo NEWS and the article published: Kathy Weppner response:

Attached find my response to your questions. Sorry about the delay I was out of the country. Monday I will be releasing a report to the media regarding a pressing issue facing Western New York. You will be included in that release. I am currently putting together my platform and when that is completed we can sit down for an interview.

Dear Mr. Zremski,

Reviewing your questions, I note that you did not ask one question about Western New York or about my agenda. Given the problems facing WNY I am surprised you’d focus on the minutia of radio talk show fodder, which is nothing more than food-for- thought-discussion. Additionally, just as your e-mail demonstrates, like reporters, hosts are often influenced from above regarding timely topics for discussion. Should I assume the NEWS supports the Obama administration’s new proposal to have the Federal government investigate and monitor how newsroom editors decide topics and how topics affect policy? 
Please know that I have no intention of responding to every topic I have ever discussed over the last 9 years. As a subscriber to the Buffalo NEWS I can assure you that if something is printed in the NEWS it does not mean the information is always credible. My time will be spent on agenda items. Now that we’ve addressed your editor’s pressing questions I would ask the NEWS to focus its’ attention on the real issues that matter to Western New York.

I am a strong supporter of a free press because I believe a strong press is a crucial component of a Democratic Republic. The Founders envisioned a strong checks- and- balance free press with robust debate. However, as my website will explain, we are now living in an age of “yellow journalism” and blatant bias. There is a whole generation now that has not been taught about yellow journalism. I will deal with that element on my website. You are free to print what you want.

As I said at my announcement, it is not for the media to pick winners or losers. I believe that the greatest threat to our American Republic is not whether you have a D-Democrat or R-Republican on your registration; rather, it is a media that serves it rather than the people. When the public fears to discuss what the media refuses to report, our country and our hard-earned freedom is lost. When the media assumes the election is over before it begins WNY loses.

I am aware that you have a new Editor at the NEWS since the last Congressional elections so please convey the following NEWS look-back information regarding the 2012 26th district race. To my memory, the NEWS published 2, perhaps 3 articles on Mr. Higgins’ opponent Mike Madigan with an overwhelming press focused on the Hochul- Collins race. The reporting was so out of balance this created much confusion for voters. Due to the last minute redistricting, no maps were available at the county. I along with many other voters contacted the NEWS and requested a map with street names be published so folks could figure out whose district they were in. The NEWS acknowledged the problem, but took no action. I spoke to many voters who did not know for sure until arriving at the poll, which district they were placed in, this despite the fact that the 26th district contains the two largest cities in WNY, Buffalo & Niagara Falls. 

As I stated in my announcement, a strong America was built by competition. The most important element is the competition and melting of ideas. WNY is no different. America must never allow politicians the comfort of having no competition. I will be tackling many of WNY challenges on my website. My time will be focused not on minutia and character assault but on the issues impacting WNY. I invite the Buffalo NEWS to rise to the challenge and to explore the issues anew with an open mind. I urge you to bring your A-team because WNY deserves nothing less.

As of Tuesday morning, this passage has been redacted. Probably because it’s a little crazy and more evidence of the end of punctuation. 

To the people of Western New York:  YELLOW JOURNALISM IS NOT MY PROBLEM…. IT IS OUR PROBLEM. The Buffalo NEWS has been caught red-handed manipulating the facts to manipulate the outcome of a campaign before it even starts.  You deserve better. The Buffalo NEWS owes a huge apology to its’ readers and to you.  It’s time for Western New York to empower themselves and demand it!    end analysis

 “Melting of ideas” alright. 

Perhaps Zremski’s article wasn’t an article at all. Perhaps Weppner missed its inherent irony; that 

“To me the article was a humorous way to warn of the dangers of not vetting a candidate properly, of relying on press reports that sound nice but have no substance…”

When the light of “vetting a candidate properly” is shined on Weppner, she takes out her shovel and digs her whole ever-deeper.  

I have a hard time believing that a serious adult wrote any of this, as it reads more like some of the blithering rantings you’d find at an online forum. It’s always a good strategy, I suppose, for Weppner to run against the media. It’ll play great with the base. But as far as her having any mainstream credibility whatsoever, it wasn’t Zremski’s article that torpedoed that so much as this astonishing response to it. 

Oh, and don’t bother trying to delete it. I took a screencap

Weppner Vetted

When right-wing fascistic talk radio intersects with real-life electoral politics, it usually shines a bright light on just how repugnant the ultra-right tea party is. It isn’t always elections that do it – for instance, Rush Limbaugh’s national sponsors began abandoning that drug-addled ship when he viciously attacked female activist Sandra Fluke

Forget, of course, for a moment that insurers pay for Cialis and Viagra, but the predominately male, Caucasian, baby-boomer, “me-Generation” types who populate hate radio in America are outraged – OUTRAGED – that insurance might pay for contraceptives to prevent the natural outcome of Viagra usage. 

And so it is that Kathy Weppner, a former host of an unlistenable train wreck of a hate radio show, is being asked to answer to a wider audience for a lot of the racist, nativist nonsense that she used to espouse and regurgitate to like-minded resent-porn enthusiasts, with impunity.  When she announced, I wrote that Weppner: 

… is not only going to be a tea partier, but is – quite literally – a low-information WBEN caller. “Kathy from Williamsville” is going to take her fact-free jingoism on the campaign trail. She is a walking, talking anti-Obama chain email, and anyone reporting on her should be sure to haveSnopes queued up on their mobile browsers. Seriously – there will be no point covering her campaign if you’re not able immediately to vet her pronouncements and cross-examine her on the inevitable fabrications and fantasies she’ll discuss. After all, she has a list of known communists, doesn’t seem to be ready or willing to represent Muslim residents of the 26th (hint: it’s the primitive blood lust), has declared “white guilt” to be “dead”, warned against a hyperinflation that never came, and – like Ronald Reagan – opposes Medicare

 The Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski queued up Snopes and went through her on-air and online pronouncements. I won’t examine the entirety of Zremski’s thorough article here; it speaks for itself. But consider these points: 

1. Weppner refused to be interviewed for the Buffalo News’ article; instead, she would only answer emailed questions. If a candidate for federal elected office cannot muster the courage or mental fortitude to be interviewed by the singular local paper covering her district, she’s fundamentally unqualified for public office of any kind. 

2. She – or someone acting on her behalf – went through her “Straight Talk” website with a fine-toothed comb to remove any odd nonsense and otherwise to sanitize it for a wider audience. Her problem is that the internet doesn’t forget, and the Waybackmachine holds all the embarrassing secrets she sought to expunge from her record.  I’ve written a lot of profane nonsense over the last 10 years, but I haven’t hidden a word of it. If you’re going to take a political viewpoint – even a controversial one – you defend it. You don’t run and hide from it when the rubber hits the road. She cannot defend her views. The expunged parts of her website are precisely what endeared her to the white omniphobes who support her for election. Now she’s trying to poo-poo them all away – all of her treasured opinions about the un-American, Muslim foreignhood of Barack Obama, all of her ridiculous nonsense about Islam being a genocidal religion, all of her promotion of Stepin Fetchit minstrelsy bullshit. Also, socialism on the march!

3. Birtherism – she can run, but she can’t hide. When it mattered, Weppner hosted lunatic birther Orly Taitz on her radio show and promoted her as a serious person. Now she says she acknowledges Obama’s legitimacy, but back then, she took a brown-skinned man with a funny name and single mom and assumed he was part of some half-century-long conspiracy to place a foreign-born person as POTUS. 

I believe, at that time, Mr. Obama’s submission of a ‘short-form’ birth certificate was a topic of conversation nationally as there were many lawsuits attempting to see his long-form birth certificate. I found it interesting that there was such resistance to produce this when it should have been simple. Mr. Obama Is our President.

The demands for the long-form birth certificate were an unprecedented, racist troll. Do you always take the bait and feed the trolls? 

4. Back to the minstrelsy – when asked about a blatantly racist opinion piece about “White Guilt”,  

Asked if she saw that language as racially insensitive, Weppner replied: “I find your question as insulting as the stereotypes printed in this Philadelphia Inquirer editorial titled ‘White Guilt is Dead.’ …I was surprised the Inquirer printed this. Did you pose the same question to their editors?”

Weppner deleted the “White Guilt” article from her site so recently that it still appears in Google’s cache. (It was still online on March 4th). She did not add any commentary to it – she didn’t question the appropriateness of the racism in that article, or query why the Inquirer printed it. She regurgitated it – verbatim – in its entirety. She endorsed it. Nice try. 

Weppner that very special confluence of hatred, bigotry, ignorance, & stupidity. She is, simply put, the prototypical, perfect tea party candidate. To that point, she’s still at it – uncritically regurgitating whatever conspiratorial nonsense she picks up from dubious sources: 

“Should I assume the NEWS supports the Obama administration’s new proposal to have the federal government investigate and monitor how newsroom editors decide topics and how topics affect policy?”

Asked about that purported policy, Debra Gersh Hernandez, spokesperson for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said: “I have no idea what she’s talking about.”

No one does. No one has any idea what Kathy Weppner is talking about. She is the tea party’s excreta, and she’s running for Congress. 

Extremism in Too Many Forms

Obama is unser Unglück, sagte der Idiot.

Some guy was on WBEN’s Hardline with Debo show on Sunday talking lovingly about his metallic penis extenders guns. I have no idea who this person was, but he was discussing how the Heller Supreme Court decision guaranteed an individual’s right to bear arms, and that state licensing schemes are illegal prior restraints of one’s 2nd Amendment rights.  

I’ve seen a lot of gun-huggers equate the first and second Amendments and prior restraint, despite the fact that, e.g.,  an anti-government polemic in a newsweekly never put a hole in another person. These people might be interested to learn that the 1st Amendment is not interpreted as being without limitations. Likewise, Heller held that your right to bear arms is absolutely subject to limitation. States have the right to regulate the time, place, and manner of one’s gun ownership and possession. The absolutist on WBEN made no exception for ex-felons or the mentally ill, nor did he make any exception for the type of weapon. Maybe the radical gun-huggers want ex-cons to have the legal right to own grenade launchers, but thankfully the Constitution has not been so mangled by even the most activist right-wing court to allow that. 

By this time, extremist cretin and has-been one-hit wonder Ted Nugent has reneged on his promise to die or go to prison following President Obama’s re-election. Nugent has made himself the de facto spokesman for the extremist gun-hugging movement, and the reactionary tea-party right has embraced him.  Mostly, it’s because he says wildly hateful and ignorant things, and suffers no palpable consequences therefrom. Because of this, he escalates his rhetoric from time to time, and has most recently, surprisingly found some pushback after having called the President of the United States a “subhuman mongrel“. Some prominent Republicans located their courage in the lost & found, and gently criticized the driver of the gun-hugging clown car. 

Why was this beyond the pale? Because subhuman, or “untermensch” and mongrel, or “mischling” were specific terms used by Nazis to dehumanize Jews and other racial undesirables. So, the gun huggers who support Nugent’s plain-speaking hatred should be fully cognizant of the fact that they are expressly condoning and supporting Nazi propaganda. Nugent and his ilk are too unintelligent and ignorant cogently to express genuine disagreements with President Obama’s policies, so they opt instead for racism, and then cry foul when they’re quite appropriately identified as racist. Simply put, not all Obama opponents are racists, but it’s safe to say that all racists are Obama opponents, and it’s not inappropriate to point out when they overlap. 

Let’s be clear on another thing: lefties sometimes say stupid things, too. When they do, they are criticized and in some cases ostracized. In at least once case, Nugent was doing the criticism. A lefty saying something stupid does not excuse Ted Nugent.  Each stupidity stands on its own demerits. Rage Against the Machine are not Democratic spokespeople, but Ted Nugent is a Republican mascot. 

It’s odd that Nugent should be the cause débile in any serious debate over policy. Ted Nugent is an admitted pedophile, (he convinced one girl’s parents to let him be her legal guardian so he could bang her that way, because ‘Murka), and avoided service in the Vietnam war by feigning insanity and shitting his pants. He loves huntin’ and shootin’ stuff that can’t fight back, but when it came time to serve his country, Nugent, “just wasn’t into it”. 

Meanwhile, we have a slide back into Apartheid as the Kansas and Arizona legislatures voted to legalize the separate but unequal treatment of the LGBT community in those states. The bill in Kansas never made it out of committee, but the Arizona bill is on Governor Jan Brewer’s desk.  Both laws purport to legalize discrimination against gay people in public accommodations to protect bigots’ religious freedoms. Getting a tattoo and eating shellfish are just as prohibited in the Bible as being homosexual, but no state legislatures have yet addressed these matters.  Cowering behind a phony cloak of religion in order to justify your own bigotry, hatred, and fear is nothing new.  People used religion to justify slavery and racial discrimination. Hitler effectively created a new religion – with himself as deity – to justify the subjugation of a continent. Your religious beliefs may instruct you to hate or fear gay people, or to treat them as subhuman mongrels, but gay people are equal under the law. This is why church and state are separate. Nugent’s Nazi rhetoric and these pseudo-religious anti-gay bills are cut from the same cloth of ignorant hatred, and they serve to demean what America is and should be. 

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, it’s fun for fraternity pranksters to hang a noose and a flag of treason around a statue of James Meredith, the first black man to attend “Ole Miss”. Meredith, incidentally, is still alive and at 80 years old has more bravery and integrity in his toenail than these frat boy racists-in-training will ever have in their lives. 

University Chancellor Dan Jones said the ideas expressed by the vandals had no place at the university. But others have disagreed, saying the university should not necessarily punish free expression.

Expressing a desire to lynch a black man is protected political speech? That’s quite a stretch. Slavery and Jim Crow were based on a belief that black people were subhuman. Also

Mr. Meredith, whose iconoclastic life included a stint as an aide to the arch-conservative Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, says the lessons of the incident have more to do with religion than race or higher education. “What has happened in America, particularly in Mississippi, is a breakdown of moral character,” Mr. Meredith, 80, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a lack of teaching of right and wrong and good and bad, the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer. That’s what the problem is.”

Mr. Meredith said the “nonsense” episode would intensify his effort to have his likeness removed from the university’s campus.

“It’s a false idol, and it’s an insult not only to God, it’s an insult to me,” Mr. Meredith said.

Free speech, like the right to bear arms, isn’t absolute or limitless and the government has to tread lightly when punishing or restraining speech, but it isn’t completely without authority to do so. Just try saying “f_ck” on prime time network television. What I’d like to see is the media report the names of the people who committed this hateful act. It should perpetually haunt them on Google. They’re not charged with a crime, but they did rightfully get expelled from their fraternity and the school. 

It’s not Barack Obama or a private health insurance marketplace that is un-American; sharting Naziistic propaganda to de-humanize a sitting President is un-American. It’s not Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid who are extremists, it’s the 2nd Amendment absolutists who argue for the insane to own M1 tanks. It’s not gay people who are an abomination, but those who would relegate the LGBT community to second-class non-citizen status. It’s not integration and multiculturalism that destroyed r weakened America, it’s racism. 

Obama came to office promising to change America.  He did, in many ways.  Not the least of which? Inadvertently emboldening neofascist extremists and racists.

The Reagan Legacy

Here is 30 years’ worth of Reaganomics / Trickle-Down Economics / Supply-Side Economics / Voodoo Economics in one chart: 

And another, for good measure: 

 

The wealth. It didn’t trickle down. Let’s revive the middle class. End the experiment. 

Nutshell

The Republicans in Congress, with the fringe tea party and its sycophants wagging the dog, are holding the country and the global economy hostage in order to prevent millions of Americans from having access to affordable, quality health insurance from private companies. 

In 1996, when the Gingrich Republicans shut down the government, they did so in part to hurt Bill Clinton’s chances for re-election. It didn’t work. Barack Obama is term-limited and can’t run for President again. So what’s the political benefit here? What incentive does Obama have to negotiate with these hostage-takers? 

That’s it. That’s what the Republican Party has become – the party of very wealthy keeping reasonable, market-based policies that help the middle class from being implemented. 

And by the way, if the government shuts down, Obamacare gets implemented anyway, and millions of Americans will be able to start enrolling in new policies via the insurance exchanges tomorrow. If you have employer-supplied health insurance, you do nothing and get some new guaranteed benefits. 

Public Sector Millionaires Wage Class Warfare on Poor

For your Friday watching pleasure, watch a Democratic Congresswoman explain the rank hypocrisy of her Republican colleagues who lead lifestyles of the rich and famous on a sub-$200k salary thanks to lobbyists, etc. As these public sector millionaires (like Chris Collins) work to cut food stamps and do further harm to America’s working poor, including eliminating SNAP benefits for veterans. (Brian Higgins voted against it.)

In my district, California 14, we have about 4,000 families who are on food stamps, but some of my colleagues have thousands and thousands more,” said Speier. “Yet, they somehow feel like crusaders, like heroes when they vote to cut food stamps. Some of these same members travel to foreign countries under the guise of official business. They dine at lavish restaurants, eating steak, vodka and even caviar. They receive money to do this. That’s right, they don’t pay out of pocket for these meals.

Let me give you a few examples: One member was given $127.41 a day for food on his trip to Argentina. He probably had a fair amount of steak.

Another member was given $3,588 for food and lodging during a six-day trip to Russia. He probably drank a fair amount of vodka and probably even had some caviar. That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his district. One of those people who is on food stamps could live a year on what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days.

Another 20 members made a trip to Dublin, Ireland. They got $166 a day for food.These members didn’t pay a dime. They received almost $200 for a single meal only for themselves. Yet, for them the idea of helping fellow Americans spend less than $5 a day makes their skin crawl. The families of veterans, of farmers, of the disabled, of the working poor are not visible to them, not even when they are their own constituents.

The Republican House of Representatives voted to literally take food away from working people. It now moves on to the Senate, where the bill will die a swift death. The balls on these guys.

1 2 3 4 5 6 11