Friday, November 13, 2009

Time to Learn to Think or Shut Up

Ok, I know it's not my turn, but I'm finally getting around to reading my Baltimore Sun from this morning, and now I'm pissed. Ron Smith is someone I've disagreed with on economic policy, but today he's proclaiming himself an idiot. Here's a link to his column in today's Sun.,0,2728617.column

His headline pretty well sums it up: Fort Hood massacre showshow political correctness can kill. Still, I gave it a chance and read it.

That only made it worse. According to Smith, Nidal Hasan's Powerpoint presentation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center two years ago was a clear warning that he intended to do what he did at Ft Hood and it was only the fears of those in attendance that they would be disciplined for speaking up against this clear call to arms to Muslims in the Army that stopped anyone from doing anything about Hasan before he started he rampage. Really? According to at lease one person in attendance, quoted by The Washington Post and CBS News, his superiors were upset that Hasan wasn't speaking on a medical topic like he was supposed to, and others in the audience were just kind of uncomfortable.

And what was this clear call to arms that was ignored for fear of the PC police? Muslims shouldnt be involved in conflicts that call on them to harm other Muslims, and if forced to do so by their military commitments, trouble could result. What was is radical call to arms to the Muslims, who obviously weren't the majority of his audience? The military should allow Muslims who feel it would be a conflict to kill other Muslims to obtain conscientious objector status. Why, the man should have been immediately institutionalized!

What else does Smith cite in support of his contention? He was in contact with al-Qaeda. Not entirely accurate. He was in contact with a radical imam in Yemen who had once preached in the US. No question that this guy's a radical. It's the main reason he's not in the US any longer. But the military investigated Hasan's contacts with the imam and concluded the inquiries that Hasan made were part of a legitimate investigation, for his job, that Hasan was making into the influence of radical Islam. Evidently Smith would have us bury our heads in the sand and make no contacts with radicals to find ways to combat them. Or at least not allow any Muslims working for the US to make such inquiries. We wouldn't want our best assets, those who are believers in Islam, to work in our favor. No, that would mean we couldn't castigate the allegedly terrible PC thought monitoring.

Smith takes it further into a broad attack on diversity. You know, it's terrible thing that a color guard at Yankee Stadium should maybe represent the vast diversity of NYC instead of being all white an male. It's vitally important, after all, that we only have absolutely the best at color guard, whatever the hell that entails, even if that means they're all white males. Color guard is too important to be made to reflect the USA in sacrifice of quality color guard displays.

Really, it's any attack on PC that gets on my nerves. It's all such bullshit. Most of what the right wing likes to call PC would have simply been called being polite in another time. You don't go around calling people names that they find insulting. Boy,that's so hard to get behind.

Now, it also lumps in such things as efforts to have people of all stripes have a chance at whatever, be it schooling, jobs, or military promotions. Ideally it means people of equal skills and caliber getting equal chances. On occasion people screw it up and put the cart of diversity before the horse of requisite skills. That's a perfectly fine thing to sue someone over. It doesn't happen very often though.

And Smith's entirely bogus conclusion that PC leads to mass killing ought to be rolled up in a large stack of Suns (because the damn thing is so thin and a shadow of its former self that you'd need a stack to get Smith's attention) so that someone can ask him where his PC leads to killing theory puts the gun nut in Pittsburgh who killed two cops because the thought Obama was going to come get his guns, the religious nut who walked into a Kentucky church and shot it up because it was too liberal, or the lovely fellows who strung up Matthew Sheppard and beat him to death because he had the effrontery to be gay. And let's not forget all those damn PC clansman and such over the hundred years or so up to and through the civil rights era who killed so many who failed to meet there expectations of diversity (you know, the monochromatic kind). And how many pro-life supporters have been killed over the years since Roe v Wade by pro-choice extremists?

It's idiots like Smith who encourage the much more widespread right wingnuts who kill that are a greater threat to our freedom and security than a lone, mentally troubled Army major who is representative of no one but his own mental problems. Ah, but Smith has every right to proclaim his idiocy in the paper and on the air. It's the USA, after all. But it's equally my right to point out an idiot when he rears his empty head.


  1. Thomm - The link was not working, so I republished your post with a corrected link.

  2. Thomm - I think you over read what Ron was saying and I also think Ron over stated his case. Ron Smith is an intelligent observer of news in my opinion, but I do not always agree. Still the whole fact that this guy was still in the military and being deployed is something that needs to be examined. Furthermore political correctness has been used by many as a way to silence free speech. Still very impassioned rant!

  3. Okay now it is Lee's turn to have some strong commentary. How about something to do with a Moon Knight character!

  4. Funny how Lee's the guy with the amusing, family stories but he's the one who had the most impassioned response, speaking of course of our friend who felt Lee was a racist for his subway experience post.

    Thanks for fixing up the link. I was using my wife's laptop at the time and had some navigational issues.

    I've thought Smith had some good sense previously, but this column just irked the crap out of me, obviously. I didn't even remember to object to his citation of Hasan's declaration of loyalty to Islam before country as a reason to censor the man and kick him out. Where, after all, is Smith's objection to the much larger number of Christians who put their faith before loyalty to country, or the Christian politicians who think it's their duty to uphold the rule of law as informed by their interpretation of Christianity over the rule of the Constitution. Hell, it was those guys who brought about more abrogation of the Constitution as viewed by a Libertarian such as yourself than over 70 years of Democrats, especially in terms of individual freedom from detention or imposition of one faith over another.

    I guess I found Smith's column to be largely a mask for anti-Islam propaganda via the use of the straw man of political correctness. Similar to how those on the right of made liberal a pejorative, the term political correctness was created from its infancy as a pejorative for ideas of tolerance and respect of fellow humans.

    Of course, I'm a liberal, but I'm also someone who thinks that, by and large, people are stupid. As I said during the dispute about Lee's subway post, humanity is brilliant. People are stupid. The objection to that post showed a stupid who probably thinks herself a liberal. Smith opted to write a column that showed him as a stupid conservative. Perhaps he can reclaim my now negative view of him, so I'll keep checking on his columns to see if he gets better. He's already ahead of Lee's liberal attacker, since she just gave up on the discussion.

  5. Give Ron credit, recently he made a remark that I thought was very telling when he was complaining about health care reform and referred to the republicans as someone who found their values now that they are out of power. Ron was never for the Iraq War or the Bush administration.

    Still I would agree this was not a well presented argument.