Archive - Mar 14, 2011

What's A Sense Of Decency?

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Before we begin, a quick note. Natural disasters are largely outside the remit of You Are Dumb Dot Net. Subsequent governmental incompetence or the insanity of stupid people reacting to it are, but that kind of thing has been thankfully minimal. I mean, I did see the results of a Facebook search on the words "Pearl Harbor" that, were my tear ducts for the human spirit already dry, would have made me weep for it, but assholes will be assholes. Also, CNN needs to find a better tag for their coverage than "QUAKE TSUNAMI DISASTER".

On to business. Memo to Peter King: YOU ARE A DIPSHIT.

I am not one to ascribe purely geological events to the will of an angry god or gods. In the spirit of those on the other side of the fence who do so ascribe things, however, I would like to point out that the single biggest news event taking place before Japan jumped eight fucking feet to the right was the opening of New York congressman Peter King's hearings on Muslim radicalization th. So any theological theorizing that assumes a reasonably competent response time from an omnipotent being can really only point one way.

Me, I just think Peter King is a bigoted prick. He's either part of, or trying to appeal to, the xenophobic wings of the GOP that piss their pants at the sight of a beard. The people who fear the caliphate and call people "dhimmi" and set fire to mosques. The people who need An Enemy in order to give their lives meaning. The people who think Obama is One Of Them.

King's premise is that Muslims aren't doing enough to help law enforcement catch terrorists. Any "not doing enough" argument is an argument from someone who has no fucking leg to stand on, because no matter how much is actually being done, and no matter how many facts are pointed out to them, they can simply declare it less than "enough". You may recall a significant use of this argument from 2002, when Afghanistan was tasked with proving it had done "enough" to stop harboring terrorists.

You can't fight "enough" with tales of Muslims coming forward. You can't fight "enough" with statistics, because "enough" isn't a threshold. It's not a number. It's not actual goalposts, it's a CGI model of goalposts that can be rendered wherever Peter King wants them to be. Wherever he needs them to be to keep stupid people focused on fear of a nonexistent terrorist invasion, instead of why oil companies don't pay taxes.

King's hearings are clearly theater for the hicks in the cheap seats. The only interesting question they raise is Malicious Or Stupid? And I know it's both, but it's rarely a straight-up 50/50 split, so which dominates? Is his belief genuinely bigoted, or is it deliberate manipulation for political gain? Let's look at some tape.

"I said that there are too many mosques that don’t cooperate with law enforcement. I think testimony today has backed that up. I never said there were too many mosques in America." - King, during the hearings.

OK. This statement clearly shows that Kind doesn't want to be perceived as a bigot. Or at least ostracized and ignored because he's a bigot. He wants this so badly that he's willing to blatantly lie about a statement that's clear, definite, and on tape. I'm guessing Congressional rules are written in such a way that you can't perjure yourself in your own hearing, but it's still pretty fucking manipulative.

On the other hand, back in the day, Peter King was a fervent supporter of the Irish Republican Army. Now, anyone with the tiniest clue can see where this is a hilarious bit of racist hypocrisy - the white Europeans blowing up department stores are freedom fighters, the swarthy Middle Easterners telling FBI informants they really wish they could blow up a synagogue are dangerous extremists. Peter King has addressed this hypocrisy.

"I understand why people who are misinformed might see a parallel. The fact is, the IRA never attacked the United States. And my loyalty is to the United States." - King, to the AP.

That's an awful answer. Worse, it's an awful answer only a jingoistic, nativist asshole would love. And it's not like King just idly stood by and said nothing while the IRA targeted civilians. He actively supported them. He more actively supported the IRA than any one member of CAIR supported al-Qaeda, yet Republicans treat CAIR like a bunch of terrorists.

I suppose, in the end, it doesn't matter if Peter King is a calculating hatemonger or a tried-and-true Islamophobe to the stupid, stupid core. Either way, he's a reprehensible dick and a disgrace to even the debased, diluted "ideals" that pass for American values in 2010.