Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Flame Wars IV: the junk mail continues (updated)

This stuff is mind-boggling. You never know what floodgates you're going to open up with something simple like the use of the "Reply all" button. (The whole saga starts here.) The maroons are coming out of the closet a lot faster than Larry Craig, and they're relentless. I continue repeating my mantra that if they don't want to hear it, they don't have to. ("Hey, you guys call me. All I'm going to do is reply. I don't start anything, I just respond to you.")

Kyle, of course, having started all this, is salivating like some kind of caged puma, stalking back and forth, yelling about what a badass he is. And his friends get angry and jump up and down in stampy-feet anger, and I get to keep pointing out where they've been drinking the Kool-aid for too long.

If this goes on much longer, I'm going to have to open a sub-blog just for this stuff.

Anyway, I opened my email yesterday, and find a series of five emails, each one hitting "reply all" in some kind of incestuous daisy chain of support. (Considering that most of these guys are from North Carolina, Louisiana and Alabama, there's a lot of irony in the phrase "incestuous," actually...) Which means that the easiest way to reprint it is just go with the most current one. Here's what I saw.

(Again, I'm not going to correct anything except the unusual spacing and fondness for changing font sizes - always larger. And actually, this correction makes Garrett look a lot more literate than he actually comes across, if you ignore the blatant racism, but that's fine with me; I also cut out this weird habit he has of punctuating with between two and six sets of ellipses - you know, three periods each. I have no idea why he'd think that was cool, but for the interests of space, I'm replacing them all with double dashes.)
From: Mac A---
It sounds to me like you are on the wrong bandwagon. The last time a checked from this e-mail list it is Senator McCain10 Barack 0.
From: kimmel
And I’ll second this one!
From: Kyle
I tried to tell you Billy (you dumbass) YOU MESS WITH THE BULL, YOU GET THE HORNS. You are a waste of taxpayers money you Barney Fife Wanna Be BITCH!!!!!!!!
From: Garett G
I would like to apologize for not joining this debate earlier. Time has not been on my side these last few weeks. I do believe that it is my American responsibility to keep boneheads like you from spreading their political BS. I’m obviously not for the clown --.nor for the principles he promotes.

I own my company -- I employ people -- I pay my fair share of taxes -- I vote in every election -- And the bottom line is that this election has 2 sticking points for me:
1. National Security
2. Money(Taxes & Economy)

While I would love to put up numerous points about our national security -- I have to go to work-- Billy Boy -- please just do acknowledge one thing for me -- The US has enemies -- Can we agree on this? Would you agree that North Korea, Iran, etc-- that we have enemies?

Do you realize that -- a nuclear bomb that can fit inside of a suitcase -- if blown up on the steps of the White House would kill approximately 400,000 people? Do you not see the threat from these raghead boneheads? Not to mention -- it’s the same boneheads that get a enormous chunk of our money(about 700,000,000,000 Billion -- “in doctor evil voice”) that is sent overseas every year for energy imports -- thanks to the boneheads back in the states that support the tree huggers from keeping the US from exploring our own natural resources.

Energy Security: Sorry -- another good topic I’ll debate you into the ground -- but not enough time -- I will however attach a interesting article.
Uh, actually, he didn't.

It’s sad to see -- that Obama plays on people who are LAZY -- Billy Boy are you lazy? I saw you said you were a cop -- now I think cops are a real respectable guys -- other than the “Small Man Syndrome-Donut Eating-Bitichin Cause he doesn’t make enough money.” Are you one of those? Hope not -- hope you were a cop for the right reasons -- to serve your people -- to make your neighborhood a safer place and to continue this great country the way it should be.
He's not entirely clear on the "military" portion of "military police," but I figured I could let that go.
Back to my lazy point -- Obama’s biggest pitch is to tax the rich and redistribute to the poor -- well I’m sorry but that pisses me off!!!! Why do I have to work my ass off to redistribute that money to the dead weight of society -- I don’t mind helping people in need -- BUT I CAN’T STAND HELPING THOSE WHO DON’T HELP THEMSELVES.

Here’s an excerpt from the Tax Policy Center:
He reprinted the entire chart. I'll cut it for space. I'm guessing that he misread it, too.
It was also found on

So billy boy--how do you expect me to vote for someone that is for raising my taxes and redistributing my money? How is the economy going to do better -- if everyone has less money after uncle sam takes his?

Did you take economics? Do you understand the principles of capitalism? If you do -- you should enlighten your candidate. And that my friend--in why I will vote and support: John McCain for President 2008

sign up -- order your yard sign -- and lets beat down the opponent!!!!!!!!
So, being a big old pain in the ass, I replied.
Well, I suppose I should start from the top.

I can't be on the wrong bandwagon. I didn't join this little email group on my own. Kyle felt I needed to get emails full of lies, and I debunked them for him. Kyle isn't real bright, and isn't real original, but at least he's stubborn. If you'll look, you'll notice that I never instigated a single email, I just hit "reply."

If you don't want me to tell the truth about these urban legends you send out, don't include me. But if you do, then when you lie, I'll call you on it.

Yeah, speaking of bandwagons...

Jesus, but you're a moron. I've already explained this to you. You aren’t a bull, you're a steer. Learn the difference. And tighten your helmet - I'm telling you, you keep hitting your head, you're going to start wetting yourself more often.

Well, thank God for you. I may disagree with you on just about every point, but at least you seem to think about things a little.

Let's consider your two "sticking points."

National Security:
- Yes, I agree that the US has enemies. More now than we had eight years ago, for that matter. (By the way, only an idiot is going to be unwilling to try negotiations with other countries, even an "enemy." Why do you people seem to think that "no" isn't a possible answer for a negotiation?)

- How is an army supposed to stop terrorists, who, by definition are small groups? It takes police work - look it up, that's how every recent "victory" has been earned.

- Try looking at Iraq from the opposite point of view for a second. What would you do if America was invaded? What if a foreign army came in, blew the crap out of everything, and then set up camp. Would you fight? Would you do everything in your power to kick those bastards out? Well, that's how the Iraqi's feel. Consider it for a few seconds, and then tell me how you ever expect us to "win" there. They won't stop any faster than you would.

- Keep that last point in mind when you start thinking about invading any other country. Pakistan, North Korea, doesn't matter. They'll all react the same way.

- By the way, how the hell are we supposed to afford to invade anywhere? Have you looked at the stock market lately?

- Incidentally, do you remember two years ago, when the United Arab Emirates were going to buy our ports? Bush wanted to let it happen, and Congress finally got together on something and kept him from doing it. Yeah, the point you're forgetting is that McCain thought that it was a good idea for "those raghead boneheads" (your words) to have control of our ports? And Barack Obama spoke out against it. His statement at the time:

"Over four years after the worst terrorist attack in our history, not only are we failing to inspect 95% of the cargo that arrives at U.S. ports, but now we're allowing our port security to be outsourced to foreign governments. Clearly, more time should have been spent investigating this deal and consulting with homeland security experts and local officials. I support my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who are seeking a full review of this deal."

So who is it who shows better judgment on national security again?

- "Energy Security" - How many times do we need to go over this? Offshore drilling is, at best, a microscopic solution for the far future. According to Department of Energy analysis, offshore drilling would:

~~ Lead to a 1.2 cent reduction in gasoline prices.
~~ Provide 1 percent of today’s US oil demand and 0.25 percent of global demand (about 200,000 barrels per day of production compared to 20 million barrels/day of US demand and 80 million barrels/day of global demand)
~~ And it would do this by 2030.

How does this help us again?

OK. You bring up the same tax table that I showed Kyle. I'm guessing that you know that 95% of Americans will do better under the Obama tax plan than under the McCain plan.

Are you making over $200,000 a year? IRS data shows that 97% of filers make less than that. Are you in that top 3%?

Well, if you are, I have a question for you. You have to know that we're in a war, right? I mean, you brought it up, so you probably understand the concept. Well, are you aware that, in every other war in history, all of America gave up a little cash to support the war effort? I mean, let's be real. In WWII, people were scrounging tin cans for the war effort, buying bonds, and accepting higher taxes, all to defeat the Enemy. George Bush is the first president to try to run a war on credit cards and bad debt. And McCain admits that he voted with Bush 90% of the time.

In fact, let's go one better. First of all, let's break one quick myth - a lot of people are trying to blame the failure of the housing market on bad loans that were made because of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. Business Week explained that this was a lie. (Please, try to tell me that Business Week is part of the "liberal media" - I dare you.)

Now, the experts are telling us that the stock market is failing because of deregulation - because George Bush made sure that there weren't any rules that lenders had to follow, lenders took advantage of the situation, and everything went to hell. (That's the short version. Doesn't make it any less true.)

OK, despite what he wants to claim these days, McCain has always favored less regulation in the market. He'll lie about it now, but he's always supported deregulation. That's not the worst of it, though. Do you remember the S&L scandals in the 80's and early 90's? Do you remember Charles Keating? He was one of the worst offenders in the Savings and Loan scandals in the 80's, which were caused by deregulation in the Savings and Loan business. And he had five congressmen who were indicted with him - they were even called the "Keating 5."

One of them was a man named John McCain.

Now, McCain only got a slap on the wrist, and then he went on to become a "reformer." But he never tried to reform the banking industry. He never tried to support better consumer protection. All he did was to try and reform election financing. (In fact, he became known for creating a set of laws called "McCain-Feingold," which, by the way, he couldn't even follow during this election. Just so you know.)

So, McCain was involved in the S&L scandal, which was caused by the same philosophy that caused the current crisis. And he never did a damned thing to fix those problems.

How did he show better financial judgment again? I'm just curious.

But, hey, take care of yourself.


Update: So, it's been three days, and the yapping Republican corgis and chihuahuas seemed to have sullenly backed off. So, what have we learned?

Well, I didn't learn much. I'm just the stubborn type of asshole who'll be happy to do it again. As for Kyle, I doubt he learned a damned thing. The rest of them? Probably not - except maybe to be more careful who they include in their email chains. So overall, there was a net result of zero here.

However, on the same day that I posted this last bit, a right-wing shill at the Washington Post discovered just how toxic and evil the partisanship has gotten on the right. She begins:
Allow me to introduce myself. I am a traitor and an idiot. Also, my mother should have aborted me and left me in a dumpster, but since she didn't, I should "off" myself.

Those are a few nuggets randomly selected from thousands of e-mails written in response to my column suggesting that Sarah Palin is out of her league and should step down.

Who says public discourse hasn't deteriorated?

The fierce reaction to my column has been both bracing and enlightening. After 20 years of column writing, I'm familiar with angry mail. But the past few days have produced responses of a different order. Not just angry, but vicious and threatening.
Hey, welcome to the club, lady. This is something that some of us have known about for some time. And it's a problem that is almost entirely one-sided, from the Right. (I heard left-wing talk-show host Randi Rhodes try to say that she'd gotten the same treatment from the Left, but she got fired because, in the words of the president of Air America, Mark Green, "her abusive, obscene comments obviously crossed the line of what talent at a media company could say." Not quite the same thing at all. (I love Randi Rhodes, but she's wrong here.)

Our friends the Republicans possess a vast well of untapped hate, and they're happy to drop a bucket into it and spray you with the results. I'm not sure why - maybe it's the result of buying into Bush's constant stream of fear politics, or maybe it's some weird artifact left over from the Vietnam era. But the Right is busy drowning in hate, fear and ignorance. Their party needs a massive makeover and soon, or they're likely to implode.

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