OK, Maybe Some Blood For Oil

« November 2009 »

Memo to T. Boone Pickens, Clarence Thomas, and Larry Whitten: YOU ARE AND WERE DUMB.

As is so often the case, the pace of global stupidity vastly outclasses my ability to mock it. So it's time, once again, to look back to a simpler time, a time when people were only talking about Sarah Palin's book a little bit, and Lou Dobbs was still on CNN. We visit the salad days of late October and perhaps early November in our customary mid-week look at IDIOTS who SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS.

“They’re opening them up to other companies all over the world … We’re entitled to it. Heck, we even lost 5,000 of our people, 65,000 injured and a trillion, five hundred billion dollars.” - T. Boone Pickens, discussing the question of Iraqi oil to Congress last month.

OK, remember when T. Boone Pickens was going around pretending he was going to get behind alternative energy? Well, after a few months of making the rounds and talking about the importance of working together to save the future, Pickens then decided wind farms were expensive and went back to burning dinosaur juice. And not just any dinosaur juice, but the dinosaur juice that is our God-given right because we bombed the shit out of, overthrew the government of, and spent years pissing off the people of Iraq.

I'd always thought they objected to "No Blood For Oil" chants because it reflected badly on their motives. It turns out they were just objecting to the exchange rate.

"So why do you beat up on people if you already know? I don't know, because I don't beat up on 'em. I refuse to participate. I don't like it, so I don't do it. All nine of us are in the same building. If we want to sway each other we know where we are. We don't need oral arguments to do that. It doesn't make any sense to me." - Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, on his colleagues' practice of asking attorneys questions during oral arguments.

You know what? Even if everything Thomas called a "high tech lynching" during his confirmation hearings was in fact a lie, even if he never put pubes on Anita Hill's Coke, he's still a shitty, shitty judge. I think Clarence Thomas is the only Supreme Court justice who turned out exactly like everyone expected. You know how with Souter, you always hear them talk about how he ended up not being a reliable conservative vote, or how with Scalia, it never really came up during his confirmation hearings that he likes to strangle puppies to the accompaniment of the harpsichord? We never get that with Thomas. He's doing exactly what we expected of him - to sit there, in his robe, saying nothing until voting time, when he votes for whichever side of whichever case is more conservative. Why else would he accept what either attorney says at face value, without need for clarification or probing? Other judges think about how they're going to respond to a case. Many of them spend time considering the merits of the arguments, or, in Scalia's case, how he can top his last record for douchiest sentence in a written opinion. But Clarence Thomas doesn't like that, so Clarence Thomas doesn't participate. When he dies, they don't even need to replace him - just spray-varnish his corpse, prop it upright, and cast his vote according to whatever ideological divide you can find.

"It has nothing to do with racism. I'm not doing it for any reason other than for the satisfaction of my guests, because people calling from all over America don't know the Spanish accents or the Spanish culture or Spanish anything." - Larry Whitten, hotel owner and racist.

In case you didn't see the stories when they came out, the "it" that has nothing to do with racism was Whitten's request that all the Hispanic employees of his newly-acquired New Mexico hotels Anglicize their names and/or the pronunciation thereof. For those of you who play along at home, here's the two main reasons you can tell that it actually has everything to do with racism, instead of nothing to do with racism.

First, there's the assumption that people from all over America shouldn't be forced to encounter anything they don't know, and the corresponding assumption that they don't know about "Spanish anything". That lumping together and dismissing of a significant portion of the global population is traditionally espoused by, you guessed it, racist pigfuckers. Your second clue is that he asked his employees to ANGLICIZE THEIR NAMES. It was racist, or at the very least xenophobic (since it was based more on nationality than skin color) when they pulled that shit at Ellis Island, and it's dozens of times more offensive now, when most of us know better.

On top of all that, Whitten didn't want his employees speaking Spanish because he knew they'd be talking about him behind his back. This is, I admit, a problem. But it's a problem with two other solutions, neither of which were apparently within Whitten's grasp. First, he could stop being such a complete asshole boss. Or second, he could learn Spanish. Just the language, of course. Asking him to know about the Spanish culture or the Spanish anything would just be mean.