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September 03, 2009

Glenn Beck loses 11 more sponsors

Glenn Beck: Officially too sketchy for sellers of miracle cleaning products, insurer, and Big Yogurt.

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"How is Jones a Maoist sympathizer?"

By being a member of STORM. Here is their 2004 treatise where they are rather explicit about their "commitment to the fundamental ideals of Marxism-Lenninism" and describe how they found "inspiration and guidence in insurgent revolutionary strategies developed by third world revolutionaries like Mao..."

I report, you decide:

http://base21.jinbo.net/new/show/show.php?p_cd=0&p_dv=0&p_docnbr=17775

Among the organizations endorsing this gathering are: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Let's Get Free, Youth Force Coalition, JustAct, Bay Area PoliceWatch, Underground Railroad and STORM/Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement.

"Anti-Arab hostility is already reaching a fever pitch as pundits and common people alike rush to judgment that an Arab group is responsible for this tragedy," said Van Jones, national executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. "We fear that an atmosphere is being created that will result in official and street violence against Arab men, women and children."

"No matter who ultimately is to blame for these bombings, we cannot tolerate stereotypes and blanket attacks against any ethnic group," said Raquel of STORM. "And we especially don't want Asian-American, African-American, Latino or Native American communities getting pulled into a frenzy of hatred toward our sisters and brothers. We must stand together."

Though people of color in particular will be invited to speak at the gathering, but everyone is welcome.

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They are not going anywhere if you ask me. You can yell moist all you want. Glenn Beck inside is owned if you ask me.

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Meanwhile, on republican family value front..

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/09/gop_lawmakers_graphic_sex-bragging_caught_on_tape.php

GOP Lawmaker's Graphic Sex-Bragging Caught On Tape

Manju, the phrase "Marxism-Leninism" appears nowhere in your link. It appears to be a garden variety leftist reaction to 9/11: we're against terrorism, but please don't use it as an excuse to promote racism or civil liberties violations. At the time there were stories of hate crimes against Sikhs by people who confused them with Muslims. The part about global justice is weird, but the other statements are exactly what an ACLU director would say.

"Manju, the phrase "Marxism-Leninism" appears nowhere in your link. It appears to be a garden variety leftist reaction to 9/11: we're against terrorism, but please don't use it as an excuse to promote racism or civil liberties violations."

O, sorry...i linked you to the wrong STORM release. I meant to refer you to their pdf treatise:

http://www.leftspot.com/blog/files/docs/STORMSummation.pdf

The treatise was written after the organization dissolved, and has nothing to do with the organization Jones identified with, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.


The Phantom said: "He described himself as a Communist."

So did Whittaker Chambers. Is there any reason for thinking Van Jones is now a Communist or Truther?

I too question the sanity or judgment (or bona fides) of Truthers, and of advocates for Mumia Abu Jamal's innocence -- as Jones was once (and perhaps still is.) But people do learn. How many of us in 2002 believed Iraq had a huge arsenal of chemical weapons and, by 2004, knew we had been mistaken?

"The treatise was written after the organization dissolved, and has nothing to do with the organization Jones identified with, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights."

The treatise was a "collective summation...written by former STORM members, collectively endorsed by a majority of the organization's former membership and was published in Spring 2004" according to wiki. So I think its an accurate description of the group, a group Van Jones belonged to before founding the "Ella Baker Center for Human Rights."

"So did Whittaker Chambers. Is there any reason for thinking Van Jones is now a Communist or Truther?"

Whitaker Chambers effectively renounced communism and displayed a deep understanding for its evil. Van Jones has hasn't displayed any amount of understanding as to why people would consider assocaitions with communists and 911denialists beyond the acceptable discourse.

And I would say the same thing about rep Jean Schmidt on tape today agreeing with the birther theories of a supporter:

http://rawstory.com/blog/2009/09/i-agree-with-you-whispers-gop-rep-schmidt-to-birther/

by that measure Bush is a pagan cultist.

Manju, bare "associations" with communists, or with crankcases, are not "beyond the acceptable discourse." And we have, I hope, come to understand that Truth, Justice and the American Way do not require that former communists name names before HUAC, put on a funny hat and dance for pennies on Wall Street, or shuck and jive for the RW as a career ex-Communist like Chambers. Surely the project of rehabilitating convicts through green jobs serves the public good more than groveling before red-baiters could.

The RW claim, repeated by e.g. The Phantom, is that Jones is a Communist because he was one -- after all "[h]e described himself as a Communist." But did he say recently that he is a Communist now (as Rep. Schmidt avows she is a Birther this month), or did he say he was one?

This article from four years ago seems to be the source of the characterization of Jones as self-described Communist:

..in jail [in 1992 in the aftermath of street protests], he said [in 2005], 'I met all these young radical people of color -- I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, "This is what I need to be a part of."' ... he decided to stay in San Francisco. 'I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary.' In the months that followed, he let go of any lingering thoughts that he might fit in with the status quo. 'I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th," he said. "By August, I was a communist.'"

So he spent ten years, beginning in '92, "trying to be a revolutionary." Was he still trying six years ago, four years ago, last year, this year? Again, is there evidence that Van Jones is now a Communist, or a Truther?

The likes of Glenn Beck, of course, see our president as a would-be American Stalin, and so working in his administration would count for them as such evidence -- but don't we need better?

And note Jones was just shy of his twenty-second birthday at the time of his Communist conversion. If he spent ten years "trying to be a revolutionary," he probably outgrew it by his early thirties, and went on to better things. A variant of a remark by Clemenceau, as I first heard it, is that if you're not a Marxist when you're twenty, then you have no heart, but if you're still a Marxist when you're forty, then you have no brain. That's unfair to some of the liflelong religious conservatives I've known, who have hearts, and some middle-aged (Western) Marxists who have considerable brains, as well. But why not credit Jones with a heart and a brain?

"Manju, bare "associations" with communists, or with crankcases, are not "beyond the acceptable discourse.""

I think with STORM we've demonstrated more than bare associations. I'd say the same thing about someone ionvolved with white suprtemacist groups a la robert byrd. If Jones had come out and dispayed an understnding of the suffering millions of people endured at the hand of people who thought like STORM, then I think its appropriate to let his associations pass into the past.

"Again, is there evidence that Van Jones is now a Communist, or a Truther?"

I don't see why he should get the benefit of the doubt, given his past and the fact he signed a 911truth.org pettion asking for an investigatopn into “evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur.”


high level Bush official should be investigated.

From Plame leak, aipac unresolved spying case, cheney energy paper, wmd lies, cherry picking intel, to why Bush ignore 9/11 warnings.

do you really think Bush is actually able to plan on his own all that? he can't even explain why we are in Iraq with straight face. "Evil doer"?

Iraq lies are unresolved. It will get investigated .

Manju, here's what the people on Fox are saying in response to the Jones affair:

The agenda laid out in Van Jones's book, "The Green Collar Economy," which we now know is an attempt to achieve radical ends, is squarely within the mainstream of the political left and the Democratic Party. He urged adoption of a carbon cap-and-trade program, renewable electricity mandates-- including Al Gore's outlandish and impossible goal of eliminating fossil fuel use by 2018, large taxpayer-funded green jobs programs, a so-called smart grid for electricity, more mass-transit subsidies, higher fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, federal funding for organic farms, a ban on new coal plants, expanded ethanol mandates, and even a spirited, multiple page pitch for a cash-for-clunkers program--he called it "Hoopties for Hybrids."

Given that both you and the author of this article seem to think Jones is a communist, this is a significant tie. So could you please publicly dissociate yourself from everyone who thinks mass transit and higher fuel efficiency standards are means to achieve "radical ends"?

"Given that both you and the author of this article seem to think Jones is a communist"

alon: the degree of separation between me an the author is much greater than that between jones and storm & 911truth.org or byrd and the kkk for that matter. guilt by associations are judgement calls i know, but he got close enough to the hate that's like to see a detailed serious and response from him dealing with the moral issues even if he was in all probability just a glib but uncommitted fellow traveler.

you have your lines (as with beck) and i have mine. resonable people can disagree.

I know there's no actual association between you and the author. I was implicitly referring to two other issues: one, coming from an email Robert Zimmerman sent me asking me to "reconsider my positions" on any issue on which I happen to agree with the communists (I gave him the examples of I/P and the environment); and two, more directly, you're not just attacking Jones but also defending Beck, who presumably agrees with the statements in the Fox article.

I'd be a lot less harsh if you said something like, "Beck is evil, but he happens to be right about Jones." Hell, that was my default position, until I started reading about the kind of activism Jones engaged in. Conservatives despise Color of Change, but in terms of both rhetoric and issues, it's no different from 1960s-style civil rights activism, complete with the emphasis on unjustly accused black men as with the Jena 6, and the way it addresses poverty's disparate impact on blacks.

These are some of very interesting basic question

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KI11Ak02.html

The following questions, some multi-part - and most totally ignored by the 9/11 Commission - are just the tip of the immense 9/11 iceberg. A hat tip goes to the indefatigable work of 911truth.org; whatreallyhappened.com; architects and engineers for 9/11 truth; the Italian documentary Zero: an investigation into 9/11; and Asia Times Online readers' e-mails.

None of these questions has been convincingly answered - according to the official narrative. It's up to US civil society to keep up the pressure. Eight years after the fact, one fundamental conclusion is imperative. The official narrative edifice of 9/11 is simply not acceptable.

Fifty questions
1) How come dead or not dead Osama bin Laden has not been formally indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as responsible for 9/11? Is it because the US government - as acknowledged by the FBI itself - has not produced a single conclusive piece of evidence?

2) How could all the alleged 19 razor-blade box cutter-equipped Muslim perpetrators have been identified in less than 72 hours - without even a crime scene investigation?

No, Squashed, it's not interesting, at all. When even Bin Laden and his allies, after denying involvement in 9/11 for years, are acknowledging their role in the attack and defending it by calling themselves freedom fighters, it's time to stop with the stupid questions. There are smart questions to be asked, concerning Bush's ability to prevent the attacks; in 2006 Condoleezza Rice said that in retrospect, Bush had advance warning that he ignored through incompetence. However, those admissions have nothing to do with LIHOP, and LIHBI (let it happen by incompetence) is a lot less catchy if you're the type that's afraid of black helicopters.

"you're not just attacking Jones but also defending Beck"

I'm defending Beck??? My first comment mentioned:

"You are right to point out such associations are common on the left (as white supremacist connections find their way into the right) but that’s precisely the problem, and precisely what wrong with both Van Jones and Glen Beck."

and, bob dylan is sending you e-mails?

Posted by: Alon Levy | September 10, 2009 at 07:43 PM

Right, there should be formal indictment then. Bin Laden of course already admited. But what we don't know is the exact chain of event. who is who. And who is doing what. How exactly did the system fail. (Is is gross negligence or cynical play?)

It's not a question if taliban and alqaeda were not involved.

Manju, I just had a thought about the Marxism issue. The Dalai Lama, I just remembered, is a self-described Marxist. He has said that the problem isn't Marxism, but totalitarianism. And he's right about that - the reason we find communism distasteful isn't that we have a visceral reaction to the idea of historical materialism or class conflict; it's that communist regimes are tyrannical. And that, arguably, is a feature of the people in charge of them.

It's relevant that no communist-led national government has remained democratic. But that says more about the sort of people who can succeed in a revolutionary regime, rather than about communism. The point here is that giving the likes of Van Jones or the Dalai Lama more power will not further any of the abuses of communism. The institutions they operate within - black civil rights and environmentalism for Jones, global human rights for the Dalai Lama - don't support revolutions or totalitarianism.

When conservatives decry Jones as a communist, they also invoke a separate subtext, one of "If there were a communist revolution, Jones would support it." We don't know one way or another - for example, if such a revolution were nationalist and racist, Jones would certainly resist it. Besides which, historians of Nazi Germany have long written about how totalitarianism gets the passive support of most of the population, and the active support of many with certain personality types. Historians of East Germany have found the exact same thing happening with communism. I'd be more worried about people who defend torture than about people who are ideologically Marxist - the former are likely to find work in any dictatorship, whereas the latter tend to splinter. In 1917, would you have realized Emma Goldman was going to become anti-Soviet?

alon: wheter or not Marxism can be detached from the totalitarian nightmares created in its name, the way we often detach religion from its atrocities, is certainly a deep question that a blog comment can't do justice. my quick answer is no because the philosophy simply doesn't respect individual rights as classically defined.

putting aside for a moment the notion of Marxism as a disinterested awareness of historical necessity (a notion not unrelated to the dangerous closed nature of the system), what Marxists inevitably argue for is the suppression of freedom, though their Orwellian jargon provides them cover. Marcuse's arguemnt--that in a capitalist sysem (which necessitates social and economic inequality) equal guarantee of political rights and liberites is itself repressive, since it inevitably benefits the ruling class, who can then use their dominance to furhter brainwash the public into accepting their false ideology, a project made easier by this illuson of freedom---is a case in point. In this system the repression of (repressive) ideas is justified, since it leads to real liberty, not unlike lenin's dicatorship of the proletariat would result in real democray. War is peace!

Of course the flaw here is that even if the analytical framework (of repressive ideas benefitting from the free market of ideas) is correct there's no guarantee those empowered to decide which ideas to ban will ban the repressive ones. And this is precisely what happenned over and oever again, as the vanguard intellectuals, like Lenin and Mao, empowered to make such decisions would use force first to suppress the former ruling class and then to repress their (even fellow marxist) critics, all the while quoting Marx himself.

Marx thought all systems other than his own were false systems of thought used by the ruling class to justify their rule in the eyes of he ruled. Marx therefore did not have to really answer his critics. rather he was the prototype deconstructionist. he could look to the economic infrastructure and see that Locke's political philosophy for example was just a cover for a political arrangement suitable to his (locke's) particular class, the beurgeoisie. Thus the system was insulated from criticism, and their descent into a repressive cult-like nightmare was quite predictable.

So waht of Van Jones? Is there any way out? I suppose the Dalai Lama excuse ( and I don't know why he called himself a marxist,i'm just guessing) is that one can believe in the ultimate goal of Marx, the final communist stage, without believing the the violent means, the closed epistemology, etc that marx and his followers thought necessary to get there. One would then be just a utopian idealist. But given STORMs respect for maoist peasant movement--ie shining path, naxalites, mao himself--it seem implausible that this was Van Jones position. he seemed actually want to enact this type of change in reality, like mao did. that he joined a group like that so late in the game, after the crimes against humanity of these very groups were so well documented, and has apparently never explained himself, makes him unfit for office, imho. we live in a general liberal consensus; we don't accept creeds like slavery, aristocracy, monarchy, fascism, theocracy, or that matter communism.

And that, arguably, is a feature of the people in charge of them.
Posted by: Alon Levy | September 11, 2009 at 07:56 PM

I think it's a general feature of any political system that put interpretative power/carrier of ideology in few hands. Naturally on things that can't be really refuted like dogma or ideology, in the end a class of priesthood/party officials emerges. After that human nature takes its course.

Modern representative democracy on the otherhand also has obvious flaw, imho. It doesn't foster innovative leadership decission (things that really change history) Instead, it's all public opinion engineering and low common denominator. It used to this flaw is hardly matter compared to a crazy king launching a regional war. But modern mass media and the potency of military technology now makes that flaw dangerous.

Democracy basically is about who can create mass hysteria and harness the power for few wealthy status quo.

I for one think fox-news-Palin-taliban-evangelist-zionist is a global phenomena. Sort of like virulent nationalism that burns the planet in the early 20th century. It appeals to nasty side of society (ethno/racial righteousness-militarism-religion) and will lead to massive world war again.

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