Dumb, dumb, dumb
Well, at least David Horowitz, that third-rate hate-monger and crass
attention-grabber, is having fun. The main claim to fame of this long-time
bogus intellectual (sort of like a Phil Terzian with street fighting
tendencies) is that, back in the '60s he was a radical lefty (Ramparts
magazine, Black Panthers, etc.) who "saw the light" and became a right-wing
The fact is that Horowitz was always an asshole and an idiot. When he was a
lefty, he was a loony lefty, and when he moved to the right, he always vied to
be more reactionary than the next guy. And while, with Peter Collier, he's
written a number of books about wealthy American families (Kennedys,
Roosevelts, Fords, Rockefellers, etc.), those familiar with his Center for the
Study of Popular Culture, and his reactionary agitprop work of the past 20
years, know that his real obsession is with race. Yes, it wouldn't be unfair to
call him a bigot.
And, of course, it's not that reasonable people can't disagree on the issue of
reparations for slavery. It's that Horowitz's arguments are worse than weak,
they're bullshit. A typical example of his reasoning is point number three in
his Brown Daily Herald ad: "Only a tiny minority of Americans ever owned
slaves. This is true even for those who lived in the antebellum South where
only one white in five was a slaveholder. Why should their descendants owe a
debt? . . . What about the descendants of the 350,000 Union soldiers who died
to free the slaves?" To which anyone with half a brain would respond, "So
Then there's this beauty from point number nine: "If not for the anti-slavery
attitudes and military power of white Englishmen and Americans, the slave trade
would have been brought to an end. If not for the sacrifices of white soldiers
and a white American president who gave his life to sign the Emancipation
Proclamation, blacks in America would still be slaves." These sort of
"arguments," riddled with half-truths, are beneath even the junior high school
debate club level.
Unfortunately, the Brown University campus got itself sucked into a pissing
contest orchestrated by the Old Urinemaster himself, and now, much to
Horowitz's delight (his intention in the first place), Brown has been made to
Charlie Bakst, a former editor of the Brown Daily Herald (if memory
serves, he covered the Scopes Monkey Trial for them), got it right in his
column on Tuesday, when he pointed out that, while certainly not obligated, the
Herald editors could have chosen not to run the ad or, better yet, they
could have published Horowitz's bonehead diatribe with further contextual
information or editorial comment. But they didn't do this, opening the door for
people on campus who were (quite properly) outraged by the stupidity of
Horowitz's arguments to foolishly deep-six the entire Friday run of the
BDH. Dumb, dumb, dumb. The coalition responsible for this lost a lot of
righteous indignation points with their rash, censorious behavior. We suggest
that they (and virtually anyone who is on the right side of an issue) study Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. as a role model for a tactician.
Conflict? What conflict?
As Ivy League students exercise their righteous indignation in untoward ways,
they're getting a lot of cover from the blatantly offensive behavior of Thomas
Goldberg over at the state Ethics Commission. Goldberg is the commission member
being investigated for voting to repeal the gift ban for state legislators,
because his brother and law partner, Robert Goldberg, a former Senate minority
leader, is a major lobbyist at the State House. By the way, Robert Goldberg is
also married to Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg of the Rhode Island Supreme
Court, who correctly recused herself from the high court's recent decision on
the commission's request to hire its own outside counsel for the
For Tom and Bob to so vociferously claim that their rights are being abused,
because Ethics Commission Executive Director Martin Healey is attempting to
investigate whether Thomas's vote on repealing the gift ban was a breach of
ethics, is mighty powerful chutzpah. This is why we need the Ethics Commission
in the first place. All arguments about the parameters of the commission aside,
Thomas and Robert appear to be exemplars of the old Vo Dilun philosophy that
holds there's no such thing as a conflict of interest in the Biggest Little.
In the world of do-it-yourself tool use, Ioan Soaita of Romania must deserve
some sort of prize. He got his penis caught in a (presumably round and metal)
wheel bearing after inserting it on a bet from friends at a party celebrating
the birth of his first child. Then he tried to free it, using a circular saw.
Surgeons reattached Ioan's pecker after a five-hour operation. We must remind
the poor guy that a good craftsman never blames his tools.
While it's generally acknowledged that the moron factor is off the charts in
Little Rhody, even Phillipe and Jorge were startled to read that a number of
numbnuts gun owners were hissing "communist" at state Representative David
Cicilline during his testimony, in support of a gun control bill, before the
House Judiciary Committee.
Naturally, "communists" must be the poster boys for the restriction of gun
use, a fact that would come as a big surprise to the many champions of freedom
who found themselves on the wrong end of the barrel before Joe Stalin and Mao
Tse-tung's cheery armed forces. Instead of hiding behind their weaponry,
it would be very nice for these patriots to have the balls to be identified and
go on the record when they're accusing Cicilline, or anyone else, of being a
"commie." Firearms are a factor in the recent rash of school shootings, not to
mention the guns-and-crack-fueled wave of bloodshed in the late '80s and early
'90s. Is anyone paying attention?
Lie back and enjoy it
Just when you think the GOP can't come up with more reprehensible people than
Big Time Cheney, Gail Norton, and John Ashcroft -- not to mention Dubya Bush,
the cross-eyed pimp for millionaires whose true colors are becoming clearer and
clearer every day -- we get Spencer Abraham, the new secretary of energy, lying
through his teeth to the public without batting an eye.
The flatulent, liver-lipped Abraham is trying to frighten the public into
believing that, unless we start drilling for oil in the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge, we'll all be huddled around burning trash cans for heat and
running our appliances from hand-cranked electric generators. His
arguments are about as precise as those TV forecasters who predicted the recent
Blizzard Kohoutek. This is just a plan old case of rape of the
environment, with no scientific or other logical justification. As a
wonderful recent political cartoon by Michael Thompson for the Copley News
Service pointed out, drilling in the Alaska refuge by Dubya's Big Oil
buccaneers is tantamount to the Taliban's destruction of the amazing Buddhist
statues in Afghanistan, but what's a few international treasures when
Poppy Junior's pals want to make enough money to buy the new trophy bride a
On Tuesday, March 20, the Urinal showed its wonderful analytic powers by
running a headline that said, "White House predicts major energy
crisis. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham says gas and oil exploration must
proceed in wilderness areas if the nation is to avoid a recession." If
we're facing such a cataclysm, perhaps one of the mighty minds at Fountain
Street might therefore suggest that Dubya's proposed tax cut isn't the greatest
idea in the world, after all. But it seems that Joel Rawson just couldn't find
space in the paper for this thought since the Incredible Shrinking Paper has
begun its latest cost-cutting measures.
Next up for your reading pleasure: :CueCat magnifying glasses.
On May 2, 1999, eight-year-old Chelsea Hillman passed away following
complications after a liver transplant she received in January of that year. As
painful as this loss has been for her family and friends, her parents felt that
the best way to honor their daughter, who loved reading, would be to build a
playground in her memory next to the site of the soon-to-be-built public
library in their hometown of Exeter.
Chelsea's parents, Russ and Annette Hillman, had no idea how expensive and
time-consuming this could be, however. According to Chelsea's dad, "The one
thing we didn't think of when we first proposed this idea was that we would
have to become full-time fund-raisers."
But year-round fund-raisers they've become. That's because the Hillmans'
methods for raising money have involved various grassroots stratagems. On
Sunday, April 1 from 2 to 6 p.m., they're sponsoring a "Swing into Spring
Fling" at the American Legion Post No. 12 in North Kingstown (on Route 2, just
south of Schartner Farms). It's a potluck meal event, and they're asking folks
to bring their favorite dish or dessert. DJ Bill Gannon will provide
entertainment, and there will be contests for the kids. Admission is $5 per
person, or $20 per family, and tickets will be available at the door. Seems
just like the type of event that readers of this column would want to know
about and get behind.
The last word in transportation
Your superior correspondents received this missive from an obviously frustrated
mass transit user. You may recall that the Almond administration, as has been
its habit, declared on the last day of the recent "blizzard" that state
employees could take a "personal day" if they so wished, but that it was
otherwise a regular work day.
The frustrated transit user wrote, "One last aside regarding the decision to
declare the state open for business, but with RIPTA using the Saturday schedule
during the recent storm. I am a state employee who uses RIPTA to commute to my
office in Providence from my home in Burrillville. Do you know what the
Saturday schedule is for bus route number nine, servicing Chepachet,
Burrillville, and Pascoag? It's "No service."
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