Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pronounced "sew-toe-my-YOR"

What are we hearing about Judge Sonia Sotomayor now that she's been nominated to the Supreme Court?

"She's a terrible judge! She has a 60% reversal rate!"

"She's racist! She belongs to la Raza, a racist Hispanic group!"

"She's a Hispanic woman!"

Really, that last one is being used as a talking point against her (at least it has the dubious benefit of being true). Apparently, the fact that she is both Hispanic and female, at the same time, is proof positive that her selection was due to Affirmative Action. (Because, after all, there's no way that a Hispanic female could possibly be qualified otherwise, is there?)

"She has a 60% reversal rate!" You know, I love how that number is being bandied about by unhinged right-wingers. But since only 5 cases have gone to the Supreme Court, it's strange that it's even expressed in percentages, which are only useful when discussing significantly more than 5 of anything.

And, weirdly enough, since the reversal rate of the Supreme Court of the United States (or as some of us like to call it, SCOTUS) actually runs about 75%, doesn't that mean that she's doing better than average? Come on, folks! If you're going to play with numbers, at least stick to the ones you understand.

As for her "wise Latina woman" quote, let's look at this thing we call "context." It's used in legal circles sometimes, so it's almost related to the meta-subject here. But in a more specific way, it relates to Judge Sotomayor's statement, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Wow. That sounds almost like she's answering a question, doesn't it? In fact, she was specifically discussing the importance of judicial diversity in determining race and sex discrimination cases. Which is what the panel discussion was about.

And if you think about it, a woman who could have been a target of discrimination might have a more accurate view of it than, say, some fat complacent white man with limited opportunity to be discriminated against.

But really, why does this matter? The right wing didn't go up in flames when John Yoo (the author of the terror memos) wrote the following about Justice Clarence Thomas:
As his memoir shows, Justice Thomas's views were forged in the crucible of a truly authentic American story. This is a black man with a much greater range of personal experience than most of the upper-class liberals who take potshots at him. A man like this on the Court is the very definition of the healthy diversity his detractors pretend to support.
Ooh, look at that. John Yoo is a radical liberal!

More to the point, let's look at the confirmation hearing for little Sammy Alito. For some reason, the GOP didn't feel that they should oppose a conservative judge based on the following exchange.
U.S. SENATOR TOM COBURN (R-OK): Can you comment just about Sam Alito, and what he cares about, and let us see a little bit of your heart and what's important to you in life?

ALITO: Senator, I tried to in my opening statement, I tried to provide a little picture of who I am as a human being and how my background and my experiences have shaped me and brought me to this point.

I don't come from an affluent background or a privileged background. My parents were both quite poor when they were growing up.

And I know about their experiences and I didn't experience those things. I don't take credit for anything that they did or anything that they overcame.

But I think that children learn a lot from their parents and they learn from what the parents say. But I think they learn a lot more from what the parents do and from what they take from the stories of their parents lives.

And that's why I went into that in my opening statement. Because when a case comes before me involving, let's say, someone who is an immigrant -- and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases -- I can't help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn't that long ago when they were in that position.
For some reason, the same arguments, made by a white conservative, don't elicit the same reaction from the GOP. It's strange, isn't it?

SO they move on to their next meaningless talking point. "She's racist! She belongs to la Raza!"

The National Council of La Raza (NCRL), despite all the blatherings of that pinheaded moron Tom Tancredo, is not "a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses." They're a support group, fighting poverty and discrimination in the Hispanic community. (You can read about them here, if you want.) But in summary, Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo put it like this:
For those who aren't familiar with it, La Raza is basically a Latino equivalent of B'nai Brith or the NAACP. Garden variety and uncontroversial unless you thinks it's a public safety issue if more than a handful of Mexicans or Puerto Ricans get together in one place at the same time.
And I love this "racist" talk - let's look at the sources.

There's that useless gasbag Tom Tancredo, who built an entire presidential campaign on attacking Hispanics (frequently suggesting that every illegal immigrant is a criminal - "They need to be found before it is too late. They're coming here to kill you, and you, and me, and my grandchildren"); he even sang "Dixie" with the white supremacist group "League of the South."

Ann Coulter, who likes to point out that "Slavery... is the only African institution America has ever adopted," and who once wrote an article on immigration with the fascinating title "Bush's America: Roach Motel."

Rush Limbaugh - does everybody remember him saying that Donovan McNabb was overrated because he was black? Or Michelle Wie, the best 16-year-old golfer in the world" "(It's) a marketing tool they're using to build her to up to a level much greater than her actual accomplishments." (I mean, come on! A black or an Asian, actually good at sports?)

Glenn Beck, who links illegal immigrants to everything that's ever gone wrong with the country, probably to include the shooting of Lincoln.

Newt Gingrich, who wants us to believe that the "war here at home" against illegal immigrants is "even more deadly than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan")

Pat Buchanan - oh, come on! Pat is America's second most famous racist, right after David Duke.

(Oh, and notice how I did that: not only did I give specific examples of these people's racism, but for the most part, it's specifically the racism that NCLR is set up to fight.)

And before you say that these statements are all opposing illegal immigration, let's remember Pat Buchanan on the subject:
(They) are not assimilated into America. Many Hispanics, as a matter of fact, you know what culture they are assimilating to? — the rap culture, the crime culture, anti-cops, all the rest of it.
As I mentioned above, the NCLR is a support group. And the difference between a hate group and a support group is pretty obvious to most of us.

Hate groups like the KKK focuses on the loss of power by the white race because of all these brown people and "mongrel races." They use violence to promote their ends, and tend to break a lot of laws: as I'm sure you're aware, thousands of blacks have been killed, and hundreds of thousands attacked, injured or intimidated by the Klan since their inception after the Civil War.

Support groups like the NCLR are completely unrelated. The closest similarity that can be drawn has to do with the fact that they're fighting poverty and discrimination against a specific ethnic group. But, since that particular group does, in fact, suffer discrimination (for example, look at the specific examples up above), they have every right (and perhaps even the obligation) to do so.

They don't use violence to achieve their aims, they use financial assistance, education and mutual support.

(And, incidentally, you can ignore that whole "Reconquista!" argument - that's a conspiracy theory made up by noted lying gasbag Michelle Malkin.)

But in the end, all this talk is just the end result of continued GOP obstruction. It didn't matter who Obama chose as Supreme Court nominee, the GOP had already said that they were going to oppose whoever was chosen.

The new Republican Party motto: "We don't care about the country, just our political agenda."


Eman said...

You have shown time and time and time again you can't handle the truth. The truth is your president is a racist, his nominee is a racist and you are a liberal who can't stay on subject and has to say "Everyones saying it, everyones doing it". well I'm not. You and your ilk are distroying GM, Ford, Chrysler and more jobs across this land then you could ever create with your Trillion dollor stimulus plans. You haven't stimulated anything but government growth and you know it. You're pathetically Inncorrect. Get your mouth off the teets of the pork barrel pig and get a job!!!!!

Nameless Cynic said...

Um... wow. Let's see. How to respond to this wide-ranging display of idiocy?

You have shown time and time and time again you can't handle the truth.

Well, technically, I've lived with the truth a little longer than you have. I did a tour in the Middle East, came back, and watched as Bush II invaded a sovereign nation for no reason, and took the country I love onto the path of the "rogue nation." As the evidence came out, I was still in the military, and I found myself in the unenviable position of seeing my career be called into question, as we began to invade other countries like some kind of pirate nation.

So, instead of quoting Tom Cruise movies at me, why don't you explain how you plan to work toward improving the image of America in the eyes of the world.

The truth is your president is a racist

and your evidence for this is what, exactly? You can't just make unsupported statements like that without being challenged. This isn't Fox News, dude.

his nominee is a racist

I've already shown why you're an idiot for claiming that, and you no longer print my responses on your blog. If you can't handle the argument, don't make the stupid statements in a public forum in the first place.

You and your ilk are distroying GM, Ford, Chrysler and more jobs across this land then you could ever create with your Trillion dollor stimulus plans.

Well, damn. Let's start with the fact that it isn't my stimulus plan, it's been set up by people with a lot more knowledge in economics than I have. (Oh, and the word you're looking for is dEstroying. If you can't spell it, you shouldn't use it.)

And the people who distroyed GM and Chrysler are probably the people who decided to build more, larger cars, sucking down more gas, as the price of gas was skyrocketing to unheard-of heights. If the folks in charge had paid attention to the world around them, they might not have driven their company into the ground.

Get your mouth off the teets of the pork barrel pig and get a job!!!!

Funny thing. I have a job. I work in a hospital, trying to make a difference in the world; maybe ensure that more people get decent healthcare. I had another job before this one, in the US Military; that one lasted 21 years.

What have you done for your country lately, you whiny little punk? How have you improved the world around you?

I'm just curious.

Eman said...

"Bush II invaded a sovereign nation for no reason,"

No reason? Saddam was the only leader on the planet who used WMD to kill people. This proves he had them. He threatened to use them again. He used torture to keep his people in line and you never seem to say anything about that. If you look at government records mustard gas was found and many of the shells were leaking. They had to delouse an entire CNN news team because of it. All the evidence available said this tyrant had WMD from the Bush 41 administration to the Clinton administration to the British, Turkish, Israeli and Russian intelligence agencies. He was a source of instability and had the potential to sell his WMD to terrorists.

You have shown time and time and time again you can't handle the truth.

"So, instead of quoting Tom Cruise movies at me,..."

The quote is from me. "You have shown time and time and time again" is not in the stated line you say I quoted. Look it up!

"Let's start with the fact that it isn't my stimulus plan"

You support this President. You voted for him. You speak out for him on his behalf. If you didn't like it Mr. Marine you should speak out against it. This President offered no condemnation of the heinous attack and senseless violence on the two Army recruiters in Arkansas by a jihadist. I should think that would rile your high snf tight hair Mr. Marine.

"What have you done for your country lately, you whiny little punk? How have you improved the world around you?"

Again with the name calling. You need some anger managment Mr. Marine. What have I done? I work at the local jail for my Church helping people who have made mistakes get their lives back to some semblance of order and try to help them see their error and turn from the destructive lifestyle they lead. Many are hardened criminals. I preach at the jail. In many ways this is the only “correction” they see in that house of correction.

I play in a band which travels from Nashville to Green Bay spreading the Gospel through rhythm and blues music. I make no money doing any of these things.

My work is helping people when disaster strikes their homes. I clean floods and sewer back-ups and put homes back the way they were before fire took their way of life away. I treat people like I want to be treated and I don’t look at skin color or religion or sexual orientation. I just help.

Your bellicose condescension towards me is insulting and only serves to make you look like the internet bully you seem to enjoy being. If that’s what your desire is in life, if that’s how you want people to perceive and describe or remember you, that’s fine with me. I’m not here calling names. I’m calling you out for your support, blind support, of a man who is walking around apologizing for America. Obama has backed out of nearly all of his promises and has taken the Bush policies up more than tossing them out. All you can do to me is call names and point out spelling errors. Makes you look rather small. I’m asking you to stop calling names, stop belittling me and others you point to in your blog, and make your point without being lugubrious and obtuse.

Eman said...

“You know, I like to think that I'm a nice guy. A cheerful, cultured, man about town...”

Well there you are. You believe you are one thing. Most others disagree. This makes you right and the majority wrong? See below for details:

Barbra said: “while i publish comments that are in disagreement, I do not publish those that are sarcastic or treat me as if I were intellectually inferior. As a former radical leftist I am all too familiar with the way your comment reads. I now understand that intelligent people can disagree and treat each other with respect.

Oh, and then there's a group of guys who consider themselves Curmudgeonly + Skeptical, who did try to engage me a little bit, but now they close off comments in every thread where I say "hi" - it seems I'm not welcome there, either. (I wonder why? Could Rodger be angry because I called him a conspiracy theorist? Or a racist? Or is it just that they can't handle the fact that a former military guy disagrees with them on just about every level? I just don't get it - could it be my deodorant?)

No, it’s your treatment of others with differing and factually based beliefs that’s the problem Mr. Marine.

“Anyway, as far as I can tell, the point was that marriage can only be considered to be for procreation. Period. That's it, end of story. There is no other reason to get married, and therefore no gays can get married. (I wasn't clear on this going in, but we got around to it eventually.) Of course, they refused to admit that the logic starts to break down at that point. Straight couples who can't or won't have children (medical reasons, age, their own choice - whatever the reason) must then have their marriages invalidated, yes? Well, apparently not - the only reason to get married is to have children, but you're allowed to get married even if you can't have children. Unless you're gay.”

Marriage is a privilege. Not a right, and was made for a man and a woman, not some queer couple who want to benefit from the others good job. One of the biggest lies we see in the headlines of today is the lie of a right to gay marriage. If you do not believe gay marriage is wrong for society then you have not paid attention to recent history. In 1989, Denmark made gay marriage legal, as did Norway in 1993 and Sweden in 1994. What has happened since that time in those countries is moral suicide. 60% of children born in Denmark are to unwed parents. Half of all children in Europe are now born to unwed mothers. Between 1990 and 2000, Norway’s out of wedlock birthrate went from 39% to 50%. Sweden’s rose from below 40% to 55%. The push for recognition of “domestic partners” has depressed the number of traditional marriage as well. It cheapens marriage and pushes it more towards irrelevancy.
Once marriage or any status close to it has been redefined by the state to include same sex couples, the symbolic separation between marriage and parenthood is confirmed and made law and reinforced by man. What has been learned from Scandinavian culture patterns is the introduction of homosexual marriage has decreased the number of traditional marriages dramatically. The underlying gay agenda is to use the power of government to tell the world that sex between a man and a man or a woman and a woman is beautiful and wholesome, and to use the force of government to stifle and suppress all of those who refuse to accept it.

This is why society and the liberal agenda keep telling us we must be “anti-biased” and “politically correct” and allow homosexual clubs and diversity in our schools. It is to give their agenda and place in which to prosper and flourish and thrive, all under the illusion of progress.

Eman said...

And I would add this:

“And this week, I found new subjects to irritate people. The Right Wing decided that expanded hate crimes protection meant that priests were going to be locked up in droves if they spoke out against homosexuality.”

What is this about hate crimes? Who needs hate crime enhancement when all crime comes from envy and hate?

You seem to be a real advocate for pushing the limits on everything from gay marriage to size of government to law enforcement. You will never find the utopia you seek Mr. Marine.

You have a problem Mr. Marine. You are unable to be objective. Look at what others say. When you are unable to be objective, you always think you’re right and just and perfectly empirical. How self serving is that?

Find a way to argue your point in ways less callus because your influence is moribund.

I have requested a debate on my blog. Engage me without derision and I will reciprocate.

Nameless Cynic said...

OK, so I get to do a three-fer, since I can't let your garbage sit on my blog untouched.

First, Saddam didn't consider the Kurds "his people," nor did they consider themselves under his control.

And of course, at one point, Saddam did have chemical weapons. One of the reasons Cheney was so sure of it was that he and Rumsfeld sold them to him. (Remember this picture?)

But they didn't have them any more - they were gone by 1994. The Iraqis were cooperating with the UN weapons inspectors, when Bush II decided to invade.

Oh, yeah. Your mustard gas found? Myth (I'll let him handle the evidence.) Fox News was pushing mustard gas and sarin, based on little and no evidence.

Incidentally, "Marine?" That's my son. As I have stated numerous times, I was Air Force. My father was Army. My cousin was Navy. We've covered the military branches in my family. (Hell, my brother-in-law was Coast Guard, and they like to think that they're military...)

While we're on things you are significantly mistaken on, let's not forget that your "Sweden, Norway and Denmark are falling into unmarried Hell" is based on misleading, cherry-picked statistics. See, that's the thing. You can't say "others with differing and factually based beliefs" when you aren't, in reality, using facts.

So, let's go look at your little blog and see what you've got going on there.

Diogenes said...

Wow. This from the guy who called ME rude? :-) Go get 'em, N C, you need no help from me, for sure!