Category Archives: Libtard

Hot Air

My Bully Pulpit

It’s not easy being a thought leader of the free world, especially when operating out of the bustling metrop. of Bloomington, USA. See, this burgh still has a lot of small town qualities, one of which being everybody who’s anybody knows everybody else who’s anybody.

So, unlike my early days as a scribe in my beloved hometown of Chicago, I can’t get away with insulting, degrading, abasing, and otherwise verbally terrorizing people and dismiss them all, once the feedback starts rolling in, with a blase Ah, screw ’em; they’re all strangers to me anyway.

That’s why Friday was a tough one. My post that day had to do with the state of Indiana considering allowing non-professional teachers to teach here, as long as they qualify under a new category called Career Workplace Specialist. Under this proposed guideline, for instance, a working chemist could teach chemistry classes in an Indiana high school. The state teachers ass’n is aghast at the whole notion.

Chemistry Teacher

Those Who Do Can Teach

My take was the professional teachers should quit considering themselves divine emissaries, sent here to elevate our precious snowflake kids from slug-like ignorance to an enlightened swami state. Teaching, I pontificated, is something many, many, many more of us can do than only those who’ve been anointed by this holy land’s schools of education.

I predicted this stance would ruffle a lot of teachers’ feathers, and I was right.

In fact, the most heartfelt reaction came from one of the most beloved and respected teachers at Bloomington North High School. Elizabeth Sweeney told me in no uncertain terms that I was flat out wrong.

As I read her response to my screed, I could sense the undertone of pain of someone who’s devoted herself to the instruction of our town’s youth, who’s spent tens of thousands of dollars learning her craft in college, who is really on the job 24 hours a day, and who is justifiably proud of what she’s chosen to do with her limited time on this planet.

And you know what? I feel really bad about that.

I’ve met E. Sweeney on several occasions. I’ve done business with her. I like her. I respect her. Her reputation around town is sparkling. And now this person feels slighted by me.

I’ve grappled with my feelings about that this whole weekend. My conclusion? That’s the crappy part of running this communications colossus. But, as Linda Ellerbee once observed about the role of a journalist, if you haven’t made someone mad, or at least uncomfortable, you haven’t done your job that day.

So I’m going to continue to take the chance that someone on any given day will be incensed by my barkings and bleatings. I only hope the next such person is more deserving of a kick in the pants than Elizabeth Sweeney.

A Spade Is A Spade

On the other hand, one person, whom I don’t know, told me in the comments section of Friday’s post that I am a lib-tard [sic].

Whoever you are, thanks!

EP Comment

The McDonald’s Gap

Some 2000 fast food workers protested at McDonald’s world headquarters in west suburban Chicago Wednesday. Their main gripe? Pay.

McDonald’s may be one of the two or three most recognized American institutions in the world but its burger flippers make minimum wage ⎯ $8.25 an hour in Illinois. A McDonald’s employee who works, say, 37 hours in a week can expect to bring home, therefore, the princely sum of $213.67 after taxes.

MCDonald’s CEO Don Thompson makes more than $13 million a year.

McDonald's Alternative Handbook

More, Sir?

A Bloomberg article published in December 2012 calculated that a starting worker at McD’s would have to work one million hours to make what the then-CEO of the outfit made in a year. Working 37 hours a week, a person totals some 1924 hours in a year. The article also pointed out that McDonald’s pays for lobbyists to fight against minimum wage increases.

My suggestion for the protesters? Forget the company’s world headquarters; just dig up Don Thompson’s address and pay him a visit.

Hoosier Hornplay

Here’s a fun piece from Louis Armstrong:

h/t to Jan Takehara who, BTW, is such a Cubs fan that as a young adult she lived in an unheated, rundown apartment just because it was across the street from Wrigley Field. She lived there with a cat named Jose Cardenal.

Cardenal

Jose Cardenal

Hot Air, Hot Taunt

Libtard Pride!

A few years ago I screamed out in an earlier incarnation of this blog/colossus that I’m proud of being a liberal.

From Open Salon

Remember the days when calling people liberal was about as rotten as calling them child molesters? Yeah, after Piggy Figgy Newt Gingrich sent out marching orders in the form of his infamous mid-1990s GOPAC Memo, even the most dyed-in-the-wool Democrats ran away screaming if anyone even used a word beginning with the letter L in their rabbity-scared presence.

“Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party,” Newty wrote after the 1994 election in which his GOP had become, yep, the majority party in the US House of Representatives. That victory got Gingrich and his coatholders to thinking that with a little more luck and concerted effort they could wipe the Dems off the face of the Earth, or at least equate them in the anencephalic public’s mind with commies or Nazis.

Language, in fact, was so important to this goal that the GOPAC Memo included a couple of lists of words that Republicans could and should use in their speeches and sound bites to redefine the political landscape.

When referring to themselves or the Republican Party, Gingy advised, speakers should use certain words. “These words,” he wrote, “can help give extra power to your message.” They included:

  • Children
  • Common Sense
  • Courage
  • Crusade
  • Fair
  • Family
  • Freedom
  • Incentive
  • Legacy
  • Liberty
  • Moral
  • Prosperity
  • Proud
  • Strength
  • Tough
  • Truth

How nice.

When speaking of the, ugh, Democrats, Newt wrote, other, less complimentary verbiage was required. “These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast,” he counseled.

  • Betray
  • Bizarre
  • Cheat
  • Collapse
  • Corrupt
  • Crisis
  • Destroy
  • Disgrace
  • Failure
  • Impose
  • Liberal (Woo-hoo!)
  • Lie
  • Obsolete
  • Pathetic
  • Radical
  • Selfish
  • Shame
  • Sick
  • Steal
  • Taxes
  • They/them
  • Traitors
  • Unionized
  • Welfare

Old Joey Goebbels would have been proud.

The two most important words in that list of pejoratives seem to have been liberal and taxes.

Every Republican candidate for any office in the last two decades has villified liberals and screamed to high holy heaven about taxes.

To my chagrin, not one Dem I can recall stood up and said, Damn right I’m a liberal; what of it?

The GOP became so enamored with demonizing liberals that they even began turning the slur upon each other, so we were often confronted with the bizarre specter of two anti-tax, anti-affirmative action, anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-science blowhards accusing each other of the mortal sin of liberalism.

And the goddamned Democrats ran away and hid!

Well, I sure as hell wasn’t going to hide.

I stood up as proudly as that field full of extras, Tony Curtis, and Kirk Douglas in Spartacus, and shouted: I am a liberal! I’d have climbed the roof to holler it, only I’m not so fond of heights.

From "Spartacus"

I Am Spart…, er, I Mean, I Am LIberal!

Now that the Me Party-ists and other even more wingnutty factions of the Far Right have grasped control of the Grand Old Party, the word liberal seems far less ugly. Somehow not even the craziest Lefty can compare to the psychopathy of the new Right. As a matter of fact, self-described liberal websites have popped up all over the place. Even though pols, natch, still have not overcome their terror at the mere mention of the word, more and more wags and mavens are embracing it.

So, of course, the panic peddlers of the Right have had to jigger their language — remember, it “can help give extra power to your message.” The preferred slander today, apparently, is libtard.

This word alloy combines the “wisdom” of Newt Gingrich with the cruel intent of the towel-snapping high school gym locker room punk. Liberal and retardlibtard! — the term embodies a certain repulsive beauty, much like the brilliant and awe-inspiring colors of nuclear weapon flash.

I am, a certain segment of the populace is convinced, a libtard.

Really, Libtard?

So be it. As a matter of fact, I’m going to borrow a page from the LGBTQ and Black factions of my own club. Just as queer and nigger have been appropriated by those respective groups, I’m snatching libtard from the slack jaws of the citizens of Fox Nation.

I am a libtard!

Because if this guy considers me a libtard

Ted Nugent

… then I’m more than happy to be one.

 

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