The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Nothing New But the Outrage

Taking back my pledge not to opine on the upcoming elections. Can't help it. I have never before seen such hand-wringing by Democrats over how and why a douche like Donald J. Trump could be doing so well. Things have changed - the racists are out of the closet! The white male is ANGRY! The Republicans are out to EAT OUR YOUNG!!!

Look, I ain't heartless. I see the videos of people getting shot by cops. I see the brave marchers and the cries in the streets of Chicago. I can see that 9/11 led to a destabilization in the world FAR greater than the tragedy of the crumbling of a couple tall buildings. A hundred times more people have died since in needless wars. Thousands more are homeless and state-less. Civil liberties have been cast aside and zealots rule the roost. The waters are rising; folks starving.  But what's new, really?

Take Herr Drumpf. Sure he's a psycho. His politics are indecipherable. His manner wouldn't pass muster at a cock fight on a pirate ship. He's bigoted and annoying and undeniably ugly. And yet...he's just another version of the perennial Republican candidate for President. He has no polish, he has no discipline. He's the Republican Id incarnate. But is he really all that different? Perhaps only because he has no filter and a sick sarcastic sense of humor.

Look at the polls. They're in pretty much lockstep with every other presidential election of the past few decades, with the exception of the Reagan landslide of 1984 and Nixon in '72. Heady years those; heady years now. Given that, it's interesting the conservatives aren't doing even BETTER. But answer me this - did you really think that Republicans were going to up and dump their party en masse because their candidate lacked common decency? And I'm not trying to put down ALL Republicans as if there weren't some nuances there. It's a big tent remember - 100 million people or so! The KKK feels comfortable enough to endorse the guy but so do a lot of other folks, many who have morals and common sense. Some rush to disaster-zones and help out in tragedies, give money to the needy, and sometimes ARE the needy. Trump has 40-45 % of the electorate ready to pull the trigger, er lever, either with relish or holding their nose. Because that's what they do, Republicans. They vote...Republican. We're not a Parliamentary democracy - you don't get to choose the specific flavor of right or left leaning without wasting your vote entirely.

Romney was polished. McCain was savvy and a war hero. GWB was a dooffus, but not entirely unlikable (they say). GHWB had the Lyndon Johnson know-how and a gentle presence that made middle class Americans breathe easy. But they and Trump are part of a grand old party legacy that includes everyone from George Wallace to Susan Collins. Why don't Republicans see the truth about Trump? They never saw the truth about those folks either, apparently. Why start now?

The difference is the outrage. The difference is that the Tea Partiers (remember them?) now have a "disrupter" to vote for. They have a chance to stick it to that evil Clinton spouse. Theu can "send a message" and avenge the country for electing its first black president - from Hawaii via Africa no less - with a name that sounds like Osama. In essence, they're doing what Republicans do. Even Ted Cruz sank to his knees in an act of contrition and stumped for Trump. When one man endorses another he hates - that's the Two Party system for you.

The difference is the outrage. The visible outpouring of racial frustration over lingering issues of stigma and degradation, of neglect and coercion. This anger and outrage is exacerbated by Trump, but Trump doesn't cause it anymore than he pulls the trigger in Charlotte. He's a poster boy for the outrage, but he's still just another goddam white male Republican.

The difference is the outrage. My liberal friends are always busy tearing their hair out around this time in the election cycle. This time, it's a bit more hysterical. Even a lot more hysterical. The thought of a Trump presidency has a lot of us envisioning the end of the Republic generally. I don't know that Trump is crazier than Nixon, but we got through Tricky Dick somehow. I don't think Trump will win - he hasn't topped 45% even once. But when all is settled I suspect we will look at an electoral map that looks remarkably familiar. The more things change...

The country's stuck. It doesn't know how to move forward. But we're clearly in a 1965 moment of outrage and unrest and dis-ease. Disease is actually a good metaphor for the country's inability to recognize that racial divides equal political, social and moral divides. They must be confronted in order for us to move towards a more perfect union. And yet, it will take a whole-sale reexamination of the mechanisms of our society. And with white America generally uneasy, not just relishing their entitlement, it will be difficult. Very difficult. No one seems to think they've "got it good." And the ones that actually do got it good are laying pretty low.

So this, I'm afraid to say, is just another election between Republicans and Democrats in the United States of America. The stuff that you're seeing in the streets of Charlotte? That, on the other hand, is unadulterated outrage. And rightly so. Only the outrage is different, and one can hope there's more than JUST the outrage. Real change requires real organization, even a reconfigured Democratic coalition. 

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clarkson and his liberal pieties:

I see the videos of people getting shot by cops.

Hmmm. Videos of a handful of people shot by cops. An additional handful of stories without videos about people shot by cops. But it seems there's a vast blind spot for the 8,000 murders committed EVERY YEAR by blacks killing other blacks. And another blind spot for the number of whites murdered by blacks -- 500 last year -- versus the number of blacks killed by whites -- around 300 last year. When you account for the fact that blacks are about 13 percent of the population, murder is committed at an astonishing rate by blacks. About 11 times the rate of whites.

The KKK feels comfortable enough to endorse the guy...

Blacklivesmatter, a separatist racist group that seems to have taken inspiration from Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, is in Hillary's corner. It's worth reading the home page of the BLM website if you want to understand how much anti-white hate the BLM crowd has stored up. Meanwhile, legal assaults and prosecutions and a general change in thinking has reduced the Klan to cartoon status.

The thought of a Trump presidency has a lot of us envisioning the end of the Republic generally.

Only those suffering a psychosis induced by Hillary Derangement would believe that a Paul Revere candidate declaring, one if by land, two if by sea, that Islam IS the problem is the bad guy. Islam is the ideology that tolerates exactly no parts of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. And Hillary has put out the welcome mat for muslims who want to undermine Western Civilization as practiced in the US, muslims who want to establish the new caliphate here, make us all part of the ummah.


I don't know that Trump is crazier than Nixon, but we got through Tricky Dick somehow.

Oh, let us return to yester-year and those 1968 campaign promises of Hubert Humphrey, the Democrat who was determined to keep the war going in Vietnam, and Nixon who said he had a secret plan to end the war. Nixon did end it, though not soon enough.

Meanwhile, Nixon went to China, and whether we want to admit it or not, that step began a rise in Chinese prosperity that has produced far more good than bad in the world.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Typical. One by one, let's refute, shall we?

Whether blacks kill blacks is totally irrelevant to blacks being killed by cops. Violence in poor black neighborhoods is no excuse for using lethal force when you're not actually about to get popped. A gun pointed to your head. True, this happens occasionally, but it is NOT a grey area. Cops should know that when more than one of them pull guns on someone, not knowing whether they're dangerous, that they are in control. There is almost never a good reason to shoot.

BLM is a protest group. Whether they hate cops, or YOU hate blacks, is irrelevant. Until they start killing innocent white people in large numbers, they're just exercising their 1st ammendment rights. Farrakhan? Since when was he or any of his membership something to afraid of? Again, exercising their rights.

You have no idea whether Humphrey would have been a good president. Again, irrelevant.

There are Christian terrorists too, buddy. They target doctors who perform abortions. Are we going to outlaw Christianity? Again, your argument is irrelevant. Islam has no special hatred for Americans - but some Muslims living in some countries have damn good reason to doubt the sincerity of Americans when it comes to "helping" their region of the planet.

You sir, are living in some dystopia of your own making. The country is basically functioning in a manner consistent with its Constitution, flawed or perfect as you may believe it to be.

Anonymous said...

Again, your argument is irrelevant. Islam has no special hatred for Americans

Stated by someone with exactly zero experience with the action side of Islam. You, like all Americans whose thinking has been molded by the extraordinarily advanced thought of "Separation of Church and State" cannot expand your comprehension to grasp the fact that Islam is not only a religion, but also a political doctrine and a military. Thus, there is almost nothing about Islam compares with Christianity. But there are plenty of contrasts.

Islam will never accept a "Separation of Mosque and State." Hence, there is no chance that Islam and the Constitution -- America -- will become compatible. Not gonna happen.

Oh, yeah, those Christian terrorists, especially those anti-abortionists, all two of them, who've been prosecuted and jailed. Protesting outside abortion clinics is permissible, though there's no doubt the protestors outside an apartment house in which I lived, which had an abortion clinic in the basement, were a nuisance.

But the true opposition to abortion is handled by state governments that limit the number of clinics. The occasional Christian zealot is irrelevant. Meanwhile, on the subject of abortion, you might want to check on the Islamic view. Muslims disapprove -- hate -- much of what defines America.

Several days after 9/11, while at a Brooklyn coffee shop, I asked a Pakistani muslim customer for his view on the event. He explained it to me this way. He said, "In America you have too much freedom. Too much freedom. That is not good. That is why there was the attack."

You know how it goes. The men kill homosexuals. The men kill wives and daughters for various offenses relating to sex or public behavior. The men kill infidels. The men kill people who try to lure muslims into becoming Christians.

CAIR is a well-established organization fighting against free speech in America.

Meanwhile, the US is supporting the murderous Assad in Syria while allowing the muslims he's trying to kill to enter the US. By siding with Assad, we are also on the same side as Iran, which is attempting to recreate its Persian Empire and extend its arms all the way to the Mediterranean by way of Syria. Along the way, Iran is working to destabilize the Saudi Arabian monarchy and turn Saudi into the next Syrian-style wasteland.

Iran is using the Houthi rebels in Yemen as a proxy. And, of course, there is the fact that Saudi Arabia has two exports: Oil and Wahhabism. US frackers have taken away Saudi/OPEC power just as the various Wahhabist groups (al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram, ISIS) have started there move toward their Saudi home, which is going to start big trouble soon. The next president will serve as Saudi Arabia collapses.

Perhaps one day you'll realize the US and Western Civilization are intolerable to Islam and its adherents.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Hmmm. I would argue that Americans starting or feeding wars all over the world is not particularly Christian. Can't imagine why anyone, of any religion, would hate us.

But for a moment imagine that Islam itself were somehow dangerous as a creed. What to do with the 3.3 million Muslims living here already? What of the 1.6 billion Muslims living worldwide? Seems many of them outside of Islamic states are perfectly capable of living in diverse populations with laws that don't strictly adhere to the Koran. And a ton of Muslims HATE living in autocratic regimes.

If anything, we should be encouraging the pacifist elements of Islam rather than demonize the whole lot. I'd also remind you that we are a pluralistic society, and we try not to discriminate. You'd probably have us deporting anyone with even a smidgeon of anti-American sentiment. The fact is, we've gotten to be a long-lasting "regime" beCAUSE we tolerate that, not in spite.

I think you may be advocating a wall between Western Civilization and the Islamic World. Try it. We'll see how that leads to world peace and harmony.

Anonymous said...

Clarkson and his liberal pieties:

I would argue that Americans starting or feeding wars all over the world is not particularly Christian. Can't imagine why anyone, of any religion, would hate us.

Yeah, those Kuwaitis should hate America. Frankly, due to our stalwart unwillingness to give Allah and Muhammad the respect the Kuwaitis believe we should express, they undoubtedly do hate America.

Those former Yugoslavians, those Croatians, those Slovenians, those Bosnians and a couple of other groups, yeah, they too should hate the US for keeping the bloodshed to a minimum in that slaughterhouse. Could have been an early Syria, but due to the horribleness of the US, the worst was avoided. Gotta hate us for that.

Meanwhile, the only people muslims hate more than Americans are other muslims. Something tells me you can't name the players or their loyalties in Syria. And you aren't alone. Obama and Kerry are both in the dark, though Obama, with his deep personal understanding of Islam, favors the Sunnis, which means he's a pal to Saudi Arabia. That's one reason Huma Abedin is working for Hillary. Is she were a Shia, she'd be gone.

Meanwhile, I guess you're hearing religious voices in your head. Are Jewish leaders critical of Americans? Or is it just Obama who's gotten under their skin? That's more of an issue with Israel than Upper West Side and Park Slope liberal Jews. Especially the part of the crowd that believes a Park Slope Food Coop boycott of Israeli food products will change Netanyahu's attitude toward palestinians.

However, the Pope is becoming political. Anti-American political. That's astounding since it was a Turk muslim who shot Pope John Paul. And it was a palestinian who shot and killed Bobby Kennedy, and a long string of muslims who killed at least 1,000 more innocent Americans before 3,000 Americans were murdered on 9/11.

Maybe you forgot that about the muslims of North Africa and how they sided with the Nazis in WWII. Now Boko Haram is close to taking over Nigeria, a nation that is already more than half Islamic. Pretty soon the entire African continent will pray to Mecca.

And a ton of Muslims HATE living in autocratic regimes.

You misunderstand, some oppressed muslims (they're all oppressed by Islam) want to replace the autocrat oppressing them with a different autocrat who will continue the oppression. When it comes to masochism by religion, political doctrine and military abuse, no other group on earth can compete with muslims. They stupidly subject themselves to every imaginable form of abuse. Self-inflicted.

...we should be encouraging the pacifist elements of Islam rather than demonize the whole lot.

There are no pacifist elements of Islam. As they say, the moderates don't want to decapitate you, they want the Islamists to give you the Daniel Pearl treatment.

I'd also remind you that we are a pluralistic society, and we try not to discriminate.

News flash. Muslims are the discriminators. Spend a little time in a muslim enclave in Brooklyn. Pay close attention. They reject much of what defines America -- most notably Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. They show minimal interest in assimilating, in part because Americans don't give Islam what they believe it deserves.

I think you may be advocating a wall between Western Civilization and the Islamic World. Try it. We'll see how that leads to world peace and harmony.

Muslims would have no objection. In fact, they already support a middle east completely devoid of Christians and Jews. Muslims would approve of keeping an ocean or two between us and them. On the other hand, it is in their subconscious to colonize all Western nations and begin the conversion process. Get it? They dream of the global caliphate. They want us all to be part of the ummah, or die. Simple.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Go back to the books. Our purposeful destabilizing of Yugosalvia caused that war. Our keeping the bloodshed to a minimum is a farce. Yugoslavia was a prosperous country til we go involved. Sure it wasn't our choice of leadership - but so what? We have to export our Jeffersonian democracy everywhere?

Muslims are hardly the monolith you perceive. I hope a few grab you and give you the swirlie you desperately deserve, then argue in front of your wet face over the correct future of the religion. You will find as many differences as when you put Christians of 8 different churches in a room

Muslims are the discriminators in Brooklyn. Okay. Proof? I've seen and heard none of it.

The rest of your anti-Islam screed is pure Fox News nonsense. Sure Islam has its radical element, and I would argue it's been further radicalized by our rabid defense of Israel and meddling in countries the Western World created out of thin air. Not saying our defense of Israel is misplaced - but there are consequences for our defending the Holy Land. Only an idiot would expect you could stick a flag in Palestine and not suffer the rage of the followers of Abraham's other son.

It sounds so absurd. And yet, there it is.

Anonymous said...

More liberal pieties from Clarkson:

your anti-Islam screed is pure Fox News nonsense

Seems you know more about Fox News than I do, inasmuch as I watch approximately zero TV news. I admit to watching CNBC, however.

Bottom line, despite your belief in your knowledge of Islam, you don't know nuthin'. Perhaps, sadly, the day will arrive when you'll wake up. But that would make it too late.

Just so you know -- Palestine was never a nation. It is a place on the map like the North Pole is a place on the map. We know the name represents some geography. But it doesn't represent a nation, though the so-called palestinians have done a masterful job bamboozling a lot of people into believing it does.

Meanwhile, the history of the world is a story of changing borders. But the idiot muslims believe they have some kind of inalienable right to every square inch of the middle east based on nothing more than their assertion that it should be theirs. Well, that doesn't work. They have no capacity to move forward with more important matters than the control of some real estate the size of New Jersey.

It is their self-defeating obsessions that mask their utter failure to develop societies that can prosper without oil revenue. The Nobel Prizes are being awarded this week. The prices for physics and medical science have been announced. No muslims among the winners. The other winners will also be non-muslims, though it's possible a muslim will win the Nobel Booby Prize, otherwise known as the Peace Prize. Considering the bizarre nature of that award, it may well go to Bashar Assad.

Muslims are not a monolith. Just like Christians are not. But members of different Christian sects don't slaughter each other like Sunnis and Shiites. The closest Christians have come to that is in Northern Ireland, but the death toll there was a drop in the bucket -- insignificant -- compared with the brutalities of Syria or Libya or pretty much any Islamic nation you can mention.

Thus, your attempts to establish equivalence between the contentious parts of Christianity and Islam fall flat. As I said, muslims will NEVER separate Mosque and State, which means that no matter where muslims live, they will never acknowledge and accept the law derived as rendered by the US Constitution.

As Israel knows, the so-called palestinians demand the "right of return." They have declared that they are citizens of a nation that never existed, and that as citizens of this imaginary nation, the descendants of those who were pushed out Israel in 1948 believe they too are citizens even though they were not born in Israel. They claim there are 4 million palestinians living outside of Israel.

If the so-called palestinians were granted the right of return, their numbers would empower them to take over Israel through the ballot box. If that were to happen, the nation of Israel would be liquidated. The same game is afoot here. Of course Hillary and Obama are doing all they can to speed the process. However, even with their help it will take several decades.

It's not global warming you should worry about. It's an erosion of democracy through the combined efforts of "progressive" liberals, who, like it or not, are aligned with muslims, both groups sharing the aim of taking away Constitutional rights in the name of a "better world".

Clarkson FlatBed said...

He's a Zionist Neocon folks! Finally, a label that fits.

Muslims run the gamut. Your lot, narrow-minded.

Whether Palestine was a country or not is beside the point. Face it, Israel has not figured out how to govern without pissing off everyone in the process. Until they do, they're stuck with having chosen the hottest seat on the globe for a homeland. I see no end, certainly not in this century. Israel was founded on terrorism. Hey, and I love Israel. But let's not get all high and mighty, Solomon.

I would argue too that America has had to fight damn hard against its own Christian fundamentalism in order to secure and advance human rights. Not as bloody? You're not going far enough back, man! Civil war. Revolutionary War. French/Indian War. World Wars 1, 2 and 3 (the Cold counts), Vietnam, Korea and many more that AREN'T about Islam. We "Christians" managed to fuck it up every time, Euro-culture has hardly been on the right side of the line of terror and violence - almost never, actually. Only pacifists can claim the higher ground, but of course, they'd all be wiped out if they managed a plurality.

You're delusional, my friend. The world is out to get you? No, you're blog-commenting from a pretty safe distance, and I suspect you are unable to show compassion for the millions of peaceful Muslim civilians who don't give a shit about their "state." They want a quiet place to honor Allah, some food on the table and would probably appreciate the Americans leaving them the fuck alone.


Bob Marvin said...

"Christian sects don't slaughter each other like Sunnis and Shiites"

The Crusaders didn't sack Constantinople?
The Massacre at Béziers never took place?
The Hussites weren't suppressed?
There was no 30 Years War?
More recently, Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats didn't slaughter each other during WW II and again in the '90s?

ALL the Abrahamic religions can be quite violent,

Clarkson FlatBed said...

thx for adding to the mix, bob!
and there are plenty of Christians who would prefer to live in a theocracy.

I think Islam will come to terms with the fact it needs its Reformation. Remember, it's a few hundred years younger than Christianity. It already has its intellectual reformers.

And the millions of Muslims living in the U.S. have no problem reconciling Western government and the Quran.

I can't believe I'm arguing with this guy, except he's such a good debater!

Anonymous said...

Bob takes two stabs at creating moral equivalence between the urge of Christians and muslims to kill. First, before the Separation of Church and State, then he makes a second attempt as he reaches for a 20th century example. Of course the absolute paucity of examples of Christians slaughtering others is the point. He confirmed my initial statement.

Bob seems to have relied on the bad logic of "making the perfect the enemy of the good" to support his dream vision. However, due to the current prevalence of arms and the relative ease of transporting them, muslims are slaughtering each other and slaughtering non-muslims at unprecedented rates.

"Christian sects don't slaughter each other like Sunnis and Shiites"

The Crusaders didn't sack Constantinople?
The Massacre at Béziers never took place?
The Hussites weren't suppressed?
There was no 30 Years War?
More recently, Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats didn't slaughter each other during WW II and again in the '90s?

ALL the Abrahamic religions can be quite violent,


With respect to the future, the big threat is the spread of Islam. Global warming is a smoke screen.

Anonymous said...

More Boy Scouty stuff from Clarkson:

I think Islam will come to terms with the fact it needs its Reformation. Remember, it's a few hundred years younger than Christianity. It already has its intellectual reformers.


Inasmuch as Islam is a religion, a political doctrine and a military, an ideology that rules 22 countries, there is roughly zero likelihood that Islam will reform itself. If you understood the Islamic mind, you'd see there is no room for introspection. There are no reformers. Perhaps a few people try to play that role to entertain the Western media, but it's painfully obvious that Islam's strongest movements are moving it backwards toward the 7th century.

And the millions of Muslims living in the U.S. have no problem reconciling Western government and the Quran.

You are sadly misinformed. Seems you confuse the all-encompassing ideology of Islam with customs and civil society that other immigrant groups have shed rather quickly.