Sunday, April 29, 2012

War on Women Continues: Bain Capital-Owned Station DJ Suggests Listener's Gay Daughter be Raped Straight

Are we moronic yet?! Looking smart, morning crew! Well, not smart, per se, but certainly representative of your listening demo! And who's that handsome brute with the beer? Why, that's DJ Dieter. He thinks rape cures lesbianism.
Strange, he doesn't look like a braindead homophobic misogynistic bastard. Much. 
I have to admit: some days it's truly hard to pick which of the many outrages to spew forth from the political and cultural bile factory that is today's republican party I should write about here on Groobiecat Call. I mean, there are just so many to choose from, ya know? But this? This latest transgression against women is just so aggressively fucked up, that it warrants an immediate airing. 


Apparently, there's some homophobic misogynist dumbass named DJ Dieter on some Cleveland radio station who, when a caller asked for advice on what to do in response to finding his daughter kissing another girl, suggested "...get one of your friends to screw your daughter straight." 


Dieter's profile on the radioshow's website. Nothin' but class, DJ Dieter, nothin' but class.
Hard to know where to begin with this violently aggressive suggestion, but suffice to say that we've reached yet another new low point in the republican party's ongoing war on women. This one coming from a zany morning crew jock! Yeah, baby! Way to go!! Woohoo! 
Ughly. According to TruthWinsOut:
“It was appalling and dangerous for this show to tell a father that he should have one of his friends rape his daughter,” said Aaron McQuade, director of News & Field Media at Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). “That’s essentially how Dieter responded to this listener, and this is no laughing matter in a world where people are too often the victims of violence and sexual assault based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation. And Dieter gave this vile advice to everyone who was listening, including educators, parents and children – sending the message that it’s okay to physically or sexually abuse people who are perceived to be gay.”
There are countries like, say, Ecuador, where "forced confinement clinics" have sprung up to "cure" lesbians by torturing them sexually and otherwise. According to The Advocate
These clinics have also imprisoned gay, bisexual, transgender, and cross-dressing people, to a lesser extent than lesbians, “probably because they get to leave the family earlier than girls,” said Velasquez. “The girls have all told the same thing: They are threatened with rape or raped, handcuffed, starved and forced to dress like prostitutes.”
I'm just wondering: how is this any different from a white supremacist suggesting publicly that neo-nazis go out and beat up or kill black people? At what point is enough enough?


"You didn't make these cookies, did you? No, no.
They came from the local 7-11 bakery or wherever.
"
The Romney Connection: Aggrandizement through "Family Values" Radio Progamming?
But here's the thing: the radio station where Dieter works (can espousing hate-filled homophobic ultra-violence be considered a job?) is owned by Clear Channel Communications, which is also majority-owned by Bain Capital, the company that Mitt Romney started and through which became insanely rich. Romney is still connected to Bain which, unsurprisingly, also carries Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and other batshit crazy right-wing misogynists. 


So, here's the cookies and milk candidate whose company owns a company that puts out violent-hate speech in support of rape. Sounds about right for today's republican party.


Respond with Action: DJ Dieter's got to go; &Tweet Romney.

  • Sign the Petition. There's a petition to get this misogynist bastard fired from his job at the radio show. It's a small thing, but it merits a minute of your time to add your voice to a growing outcry. Sign the petition here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/540/714/054/fire-wmms-cleveland-dj-dominic-dieter/.
  • Write to the radio station. Email them at feedback@wmms.com and give them feedback on DJ Dieter. He should be fired. Period. No one should be allowed to urge violence against anyone, gay, straight, black, white, and especially NOT women. Or go to their website.
  • Tweet Romney himself. Why not? Romney is on Twitter. Let him know what you think of Bain's relationship to this radio station and how he makes money from violent hate-speech that endorses rape. Here's his twitter account: @MittRomney. 



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Study: Most and Least Violent States (Groobiecat Edition)

"Oooh, guns, guns, guns!" (source: Robocop clip)
Okay, so, there's a new study out that listed the most violent and least violent states in the US. The study by the Institute for Economics and Peace assessed factors such as number of homicides and violent crimes, the incarceration rate, the number of police, and the availability of small arms. The study  also concluded the following:
"The 2012 United States Peace Index (USPI) has found that  the U.S. is more peaceful now than at any other time over the last twenty years."
Okay, that's great news! According to its authors, the study "is the only statistical analysis of crime, and the cost of crime, in all 50 states," including the 61 most populous metropolitan areas, and concluded the following:
  • Maine is the most peaceful state for the 11th consecutive year; Louisiana is the least peaceful state.
  • Wyoming has improved the most while Arizona records the biggest fall.
  • The Cambridge metro area is the most peaceful, while Detroit is the least.
  • Further improvements in peacefulness would generate hundreds of billions in extra economic activity.
Although these are interesting data (Cambridge ain't cheap, but Detroit, my old hometown, very much is), I wondered about the states that are the least peaceful (also known as the most violent) and other factors associated with those states (like what else do we know about them?) So, without further ado, I give you Groobiecat's extended analysis on the study's findings:

Most and least violent states? Pretty much an easily predicted geographic conclusion.
With one exception--Utah (which is neither north nor south)--the difference between the most peaceful states and the most violent is a very North/South reality. Note too that of the most violent states, four of them are known for having the most gun-related deaths (based on 2010 data). Also, four of the top ten most peaceful states are in New England. Just sayin'.
Graphic: Groobiecat
Violent States Data Source: http://www.visionofhumanity.org/unitedstatespeaceindex/2012/
Gun Deaths Statitics Data Source: https://www.vpc.org/press/1006gundeath.htm
So, where are the states with Stand Your Ground Laws? They're pretty much the same as the most violent states.
As you may have heard, stand your ground laws enable those who have guns to use them with deadly force if they feel that their life is endangered by another. This is a pretty broad-brush stroke law that has led to a number of deaths that may have possibly been avoided. Click here for a summary of who and what is behind this legislation, which has become law in many states--not just the most violent. Here are 10 reasons to repeal the laws, which enable the person who does the shooting/remains standing at the end of an altercation, to essentially determine the outcome of the case, especially if there are no other witnesses (i.e., your word against the dead guy's that your life was threatened).

With two exceptions--New Hampshire and North Dakota--none of the top ten most peaceful states have stand your ground laws. On the other hand, all of the most violent states have them: 
Graphic: Groobiecat
Data Source: http://www.hlntv.com/article/2012/04/18/does-your-state-have-stand-your-ground-law


The most violent states with the majority of gun-related deaths. Got it. So how did they vote in 2008?
Um. Yeah.
Graphic: Groobiecat
 (Source: http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/map.html)
Hmmm. States with lots of guns and violence tend to vote republican. Makes sense.





Thursday, April 19, 2012

Okay, so, wait, about half the country is racist and/or insane?

Doh! How to explain that
the presidentiary race is neck and neck? 
Facts. Inconvenient, ignorable facts. The latest CBS/New York Times poll shows that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are currently in a dead heat. Really. Really?

So, it doesn't matter that Obama has in many ways continued several republican policies--and in some cases has gone even further to the right (e.g., offshore drilling, fast-tracking XL pipeline approval, continued Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, hasn't closed Guantanamo, exercising whistle blower law more times than Bush, NRC-favored nuclear power is ascendant, in spite of Fukushima, etc.). I've struggled with these center/right policies personally, but I realize too that Obama isn't just governing people like, me, he's governing another 50% of the population that thinks these are great ideas. I may not like it, but it may well be an approximation of representative democracy, even if it's not in peoples' best interests. Still, none of these facts mitigate the right's hatred of Obama.

Okay, so, what about the positive things he's done?

Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job
This was a headline in The Onion back on November 5, 2008. But, like a lot of Onion headlines, this was true. Obama did, in fact, take on the worst possible job in the country at the worst possible time, and helped bring the country back from the brink of the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression. Doesn't matter to the right. And it doesn't matter that he saved General Motors (and thousands of jobs) from extinction. Doesn't matter that the savings and stocks of people that were halved (based on laissez faire, free market actions that were started under Clinton, and exacerbated under Bush) have rebounded greater than two-fold since he took office. Doesn't matter  that his cash for clunkers plan was very successful. Doesn't matter that people can no longer be denied healthcare coverage for pre-existing conditions due to his healthcare plan. It doesn't matter that he got bin Laden.

Short-term (convenient) memory. None of these facts--or the easily remembered reality that the "eight year republican experiment under Bush" mired us in two wars and almost destroyed the world's economy--matter to the people who think that an out-of-touch plutocrat millionnaire who was enriched by purchasing companies, cutting them up, and laying off employees is somehow a better leader. Seriously. Seriously? 

The extreme right:
Who know they recycled?
If the facts don't justify anger/hatred, then what's the problem? If Obama's policies aren't worthy of republicans' anger, then why are republicans so upset? As I've written about the Tea Party, there's really a simple explanation: republicans against Obama  are either stupid, racist, or both. For many, this comes as no surprise. But it's the only logical conclusion. If a) Obama has continued fairly mainstream policies and many republican policies (he has); and b) if he has actually improved the country overall during his term (he has), then c) the only reason to be against him vs. the fluffy, wishy washy, out of touch millionnaire known as Mitt, there has to be a reason for the aggressively vitriolic hatred of Obama--other than policies and outcomes. And that reason is, clearly, d) stupidity/racism/fear.

The "Other Side" Explains why Obama isn't hated (but he is evil). I was on the website TheBlaze.com--a conservative "news" aggregation site to see what the other side was on about--when I read all these comments about Obama that had nothing to do with policy issues. Aside from the fact that I felt queasy clicking around the place--don't try this at home, folks--I thought I'd do a little experiment. I was reading s a meandering, sycophantic post about Glenn Beck's presentation at the recent National Rifle Association conference where he made fun of Barack Obama's campaign slogan "Yes we can!" (“Barack Obama‘s winning slogan was ’Yes we can.‘ That’s the dumbest damn slogan I’ve ever heard,” Beck said. “Don’t tell me what you can do. Will you do it? Will you do it? ‘Yes we can.’ What a bunch of crap that is.”) The comments were, predictably, of the snarky ad hominem variety and seemed to be generated by angry drunk schoolchildren (and not the fun, precocious intelligent kind, either). So I thought, lemme ask this group why they hate Obama so much; what is it about his policies that don't they like? Here's the response I got in return:

Interactions like these are just depressing on so many levels...

Um, right. These aren't arguments against the president's policies, they're dittohead bullet points spouted by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, and every other extremist conservative out there that drinks the Fox "News" Kool Aid. I'd almost feel bad for GIRLNURSE if I didn't think that her lack of knowledge and understanding of basic logic and facts were such a threat to the country. With the possible exception of the Solyndra fiasco, this person has no idea that she's espousing essentially racist views driven by fear and anger of a black man in the white house. Why? Because there's no depth to it and no data to back any of the assertions. Look at one example: "bowing to Muslims everywhere" is a phrase that justifies this person's hatred of Obama. Forget that Obama has actually pissed off Muslims everywhere with the drone attacks in Pakistan and that he killed lots of Muslims in the hunt for al Qaeda. The take-away for this person is that he's an apologist to the muslim world--not that this would be a terrible thing, since the United States as killed far more Muslims in Iraq than the Muslims have killed Americans. But no matter to GIRLNURSE. Such thoughts would be considered seditious to this person.

This also underscores just how successful Fox and the crazy conservatives like Beck, Limbaugh, et al. have been in persuading people like this. When logic, critical reason, and facts are no longer enough to persuade people, you have a country at war with itself and in very, very deep trouble. And it doesn't help that the republican party is more conservative now than it's been in a century. What to do? Not sure. But I will continue to try to use facts and basic logic against this juggernaut of not-smartness.

Christ, I just re-read this post--could I possibly post anything more depressing? Well, I could, but that's for another post. Instead, cleanse your political palate and ease your brain pain with Stephen Colbert, as he makes fun of Mitt Romney.
Yet another excellent example of why there's such a dearth of republican comedians.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New Research: Republicans are more conservative than they've been In 100 years

What's your favorite rightist cultural and political assault of basic decency and logic?
...and in other news, water is wet. It's well known that the mainstream media likes to take the easy way out and conflate the gridlock in Washington as the "fault of both parties." It's easier (and less contentious, sadly) to do this than the critical thinking required to parse who truly is to blame for the mess in Washington. But the truth of the matter is that while the left has stayed mostly left (w/ some conservative exceptions that I've documented here in the past), the right continues its rightward tilt toward toward conservative extremes


But don't take my word for it. This obvious reality is now backed up by scientific fact. According to the study's author, Kenneth Poole, of the University of Georgia:

"This is an entirely objective statistical procedure. The graphs just reflect what comes out of the computer. Howard Rosenthal and I, we've been working on something called Nominate. This does all the Congresses simultaneously, which allows you to study change over time. 
"The short version would be since the late 1970s starting with the 1976 election in the House the Republican caucus has steadily moved to the right ever since. It's been a little more uneven in the Senate. The Senate caucuses have also moved to the right. Republicans are now furtherest to the right that they've been in 100 years.
 "Ronald Reagan was so successful because he made all these deals with these huge blocks of moderate legislators. That's why he had overwhelming majorities for the '81 tax cut, the '82 tax increase, where they had to go back and adjust the tax bill in '82 and the Social Security fix in '83. then in '86, you had Simpson-Mazzoli, which included amnesty and tax simplicification. All that stuff passed with very large majorities. You cannot imagine anything like that happening now. Which is why the country is really in the tank. 

Full disclosure: this piece doesn't explain the methodology used, and it should have, but my cheeky
graphic underscores just a few of the many areas where the right has continued to lurch rightward...
(Source: Voteview.com and NPR)
Poole suggests that the Democrats share some of the blame in Washington (although he doesn't specifically state how and, ironically, makes generic references to how democrats shoulder blame, just like the mainstream media does!), but then goes on to conclude that the polarization in Washington is largely due to how far and relatively quickly republicans have shifted to the right end of the ideological spectrum.


Of course, this isn't something that has swayed right wingers in the past on, say, global warming. And many of them (such as Breitbart ingenue/apprentice and CNN commentator Dana Loesch) continue to state--wrongly, of course--that their party has moved to the left. But it hasn't, of course. 


I've said this before, but it bears repeating: President Ronald Reagan, the widely accepted father of the modern conservative movement, would not, today, be considered conservative enough for the current republican party. And data now support that claim.

One doesn't need a research study to tell what you what this means: if the man who helped establish and define modern conservatism in the 1980s would not be considered conservative enough today, logic dictates that the republican party has gone extremely far to the right. It's basic, if disturbing, critical reasoning.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cool Music Saturday: Daniel Land

Daniel Land. 
In a departure from my usual "beware the swelling tide of stupidity that is the extremist right wing in the United States" posts, I'd like you to check out some great dream pop music from the talented Daniel Land. He writes soulful, smart, thoughtful, memorable tchoons and has a new album coming out soon. After listening to these tracks you might want to buy it.




DL on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danielland
DL on Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/danielland
DL on Twitter: 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ya gotta read it to believe it folks. FOX News: Nazis are civil rights advocates

FOX News: National Socialists are Civil Rights Advocates. In other news, Hitler was a misunderstood artist.
Source: http://gallery.nsm88.org/displayimage.php?album=random&cat=0&pos=-635
In the latest iteration of up is down, right is wrong, Fox is news, the Fox affiliate in Orlando (I feel sick trying to type "FOX News'--ulp; just threw up a little in my mouth) apparently believes that neo-Nazis are just another civil rights group. According to the conscience of reality, Think Progress:
A Fox Orlando affiliate described Neo-Nazis as “a civil rights group” on a television broadcast and online. The group of Neo-Nazis, known as the National Socialist Movement, has been conducting armed patrols of the streets of Sanford, Florida, the town where Trayvon Marting was shot dead.
The Fox Orlando affiliate, WOFL, aired a shockingly uncritical report of the group’s activities. The Fox reporter introduced the group by saying, “There’s another civil rights group in town.” She also conducts an interview with the group’s leader, Jeff Schoep, without challenging any of his claims about the nature and mission of the group. Watch it (via Little Green Footballs):

Okay, so, we all know that FOX isn't a real news organization and that it's sole purpose is to promote apocryphal, regressive nonsense to millions of deluded people who have very limited critical thinking skills, but this is pretty extreme even by their jingoistic standards. See, these really are neo-nazis who worship Hitler, hate Jews, and believe that a pure, white race is the only race that matters.

But wait, I'm confused: didn't the United States commit the entire country and countless lives to fight national socialist bastards in a little skirmish called World War II? And isn't calling nazis a "civil rights group" kind of like calling Hitler a misunderstood artist? 

Let's play storm trooper dress up!
Armed Neo-nazis from Detroit are "patrolling" Sanford. Fox calls 'em civil rights group.
(Source: http://gallery.nsm88.org/displayimage.php?album=random&cat=0&pos=-433)
So, wanna know more about the nazi civil rights activists? Just check out their website. Apparently it's patriotic to celebrate nazis. I mean, they only killed millions of innocent people and waged war against all that is good and decent in this world. Stars, stripes, and swastikas. Nice.
Pure white, heterosexual, non-Jewish operators are standing by! (Source: http://www.nsm88.org/)

But wait, there's more!
They also have a record label and online shop with hate bands and super fun jewelry! Looking for that special Hitler head ring? Need to accessorize with the hard-to-find swastika necklace? Look no further, the National Socialist Movement has what your pure-bred sweetie is looking for! Fun!!
Are NSM's nazi accessories expensive? Heil no!
(source: http://nsm88records.com/theshop/index.php?cPath=28)