If you ignore them, they won’t go away, they’ll take over

I am so sick of Sarah Palin.  She is a dimwitted fool who holds no political office.  She is a racist, a bigot and completely insulting to those feminists who actually know what that term means.  I have often thought, with regard to the excessive piling on that the left does at Ms. Palin’s expense, why bother?  Why give her any more attention?  That’s exactly what she wants.  Just don’t pay any attention to her and that will be the end of it.

But one could say the same thing about Facebook – why complain?  You don’t like it, just leave it alone.  But if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you know that I’m not inclined to leave it alone.  There are too many people on Facebook.  It has achieved a firm foothold, like a tick that is dug in deep, and ignoring it can lead to dire consequences.

After the absurdity of Ms. Palin’s own tweets over the past few days, I feel that the same is true.  We ignore her and her ignorance at our peril.  These two pearls confirm it.  Talkingpointsmemo has the complete analysis, but the two key points are that (1) any Muslim who wants the mosque near ground zero is not peaceful, and (2) refudiate is obviously not a word.  Whoever among her handlers that is allowing this woman to use twitter should be fired.  But, like any experienced tweeter, Palin deleted the above, but rather than admit she did anything wrong, we got the following.

I want to know which works of Shakespeare this woman has read, that she would compare herself to the greatest writer the English language has yet known.  And please, gentle ex-governor, do tell which words the bard made up, so that we might learn from you ample knowledge.

But when I read about young Ryan Murdough, running for political office in New Hampshire, I realize there is good reason to worry about ignorance and hatred.  If there is no effort to make note of these frightening politicians, their influence will spread unchecked.

So, on I rant.

Inciting hate (and violence?!), getting rich


I’m pleased to see that some sponsors are starting to take note.

Anyone who cares to pay attention will have seen the strong protests at town-hall meetings, which were designed to educate the public about Obama’s proposed health care reform.   Such protests are in keeping with the highest ideals of the 1st Amendment and should be welcome by Democrats as an opportunity to stimulate discussion and public debate.  There appear to be some strategy memos that have been circulated among protest groups that urge ‘disruption’ instead of debate – the goal being to drown out the message of those who would promote Obama’s goal.  But even this approach should be welcome, as it forces proponents of reform to make their message louder and clearer and simpler.  I know this is not a simple topic and I don’t want to see it dumbed down to the point where discussion is irrelevant, but when I am trying a case before a jury, the most important thing is to make my message as clear and easy to understand as possible.

Of course, the thing about civil litigation is that it’s ‘civil.’. Most judges will protect me from a shouting match and interruption. Both sides get a fair chance to present opposing points of view.

And I’m also not worried about being shot or poisoned.

But the trouble with Glenn Beck is not that he’s a revolutionary or an agitator.  He is neither.  All the time that he reinforces a message of hated and racism to his millions of viewers and listeners, he is exploiting them for the purpose of profit.  We see a similar phenomena with former governor Palin.   She has left office to cash in on her popularity among the right-wing fringe.  Without the burdens of being an elected official, Palin will be free to earn enough without excessive oversight.  It may be questionable how well her book will ‘sell’ (many of Glen Beck’s books are given away through conservative website promos), but this of little moment compared to the millions she will be advanced by a publisher desperate for a best-seller.  Palin is free to take advantage of such an entity in the same fashion that she took advantage of the people of Alaska, who foolishly thought she would serve her entire term in office, but there is a problem.

When Palin tells you that Obama is going to have death panels that will come and kill your aged and infirm parents or your infant who has a disability, she, a person of note and respect, a former elected official, is telling you that your family is at risk of death at the hands of the government. That is incitement to violence.  It is also newsworthy.  Which means her face will be on TV and everyone will be talking about her outrageous comments.  That also means that a publisher will pay a higher number based on her significant popularity.  As long as she is a relevant voice, her earning potential will continue to be high.

The worry is that, in her efforts to create a financially secure future for herself and her family (a laudable goal), she is telling lies.  Again, that’s not anything that hasn’t happened before, but people look to her to understand the frightening world around her.  They trust her.  Does she care about them?  Does she care how they will react when she advises them of the imminent assault on their persons that will be coming from the Obama administration?  Or does she, like Rush and Beck, just care about the money?

This is what it takes for my local sports section to cover F1


The folks who run Formula One racing are idiots.  I understand that they want to contain costs and make the sport a bit greener, but the ways in which these monied elites go about attempting to achieve that goal are horrendous.  Earlier this year, the sport threatened to self-destruct for next season, with the ‘commissioner’ (FIA President Max Mosley)  going one way and the teams going another.  Then, just when a resolution was reached, Mosley started to send a signal that he was going to back out of the deal.  now, no one knows what’s going to happen.  So, am I going to spend any money on the fancy F1 app at iTunes so I can follow the races on my mobile?  Not until I know there’s is going to be an actual F1 season next year.

Oh, but wait, the insanity continues.  Now Bernie Eccelstone, the guy who basically owns the sport, decided that now would be a good time to talk about what a great leader Hitler was.  Good luck trying to walk that one back.  these people are giving Sarah Palin a run for her moeny.

So after an amazing and competitive championship last year, featuring a young and charismatic driver (Lewis Hamilton) who is also the first black champion (and driver), and after the phoenix-like rebirth of Honda as BraunGP, none of which was covered with any substance by the American media, now my local paper has something to say (scroll half-way down – still no respect).

That’s OK, F1 bigwigs.  We know how you feel.  After all, we threw snowballs at Santa.

Shannyn Moore – This is your moment


Have you ever been to Alaska?  It is truly the most beautiful part of this country.  Denali (Mt. McKinley) is pretty much the biggest protrusion on the planet.  The wildlife and natural wonders are as big as the massive territory Alaska occupies.  And though it was many years ago that I visited, I was so taken with the people, the food and everything about the place.  It felt so amazing and so different and so far away, but it also felt like I was still home, even more so than the times I’ve visited Canada.  Maybe it’s my legal training, but there’s something about being within the bounds of the USA, even if not the ‘lower-48’.

Shannyn Moore is a writer and radio host I had never heard of until Sarah Palin decided to dump a bucket of crazy all over the political news cycle.  Palin abruptly resigns for no discernible reason and then gets her lawyer to threaten Shannyn Moore, thus elevating anything Ms. Moore had to see from the level of opinion and anlysis to national news story.  If we were talking about any other failed vice presidential candidate, I would think there was some scheme at work, some nefarious plot to draw our attention away with spectacle and distraction.  But Sarah Palin is not like the stage magician who shows you a puff of smoke with his right hand while deceptively making the trick happen with her left.  I can’t give her (or her lawyer) that much credit.

So now, thanks to Palin’s threats of defamation and protracted and expensive (and frivolous) litigation, all of the sudden tens of thousands of people who didn’t know Ms. Moore’s name are now regular readers and commenters on her blog.  Now a story of corruption that no one really cared about or reported on (except, perhaps a handful of concerned Alaskans, including Ms. Moore) is front and center.  Why?  Because the pit bull with lipstick started barking again.

So my hope is that Ms. Moore will now have an opportunity to become another progressive voice of reason in our national discourse.  She already has a presence at Huffington Post and her circulation should only grow wider from here.  GOPer and hard-line conservatives can Governor Mrs. Palin bringing a new voice into the fold – one that is strong and brave and proud of her heritage as an Alaskan; one that reminds me how lucky I am to live in a country that includes such an amazing place.