Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Nicest Man In The World

Meet the Australian Who's Saved 160 People from Suicide
Don Ritchie lives across the street from the most famous suicide spot in Australia: A cliff known as "The Gap." Most people would move, but Ritchie's stayed for almost 50 years—saving an estimated 160 people from suicide.

So what's his big secret? Ritchie wakes up every morning and looks out the window for "anyone standing alone too close to the precipice." If he sees someone who looks like they might be contemplating a jump, he walks over and... strikes up a conversation.

He just gives them a warm smile, asks if they'd like to talk and invites them back to his house for tea. Sometimes, they join him.

Every time I'm about to give up on the human race, someone like this comes along.

William Shatner's Hard-Hitting Interview With The DC Sniper

DC Sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, Tells William Shatner Other Shooters Involved in Plot - ABC News

Okay, leaving aside the fact that this is a very disturbing I the only one who finds it completely surreal that the guy who gets the story is William Freaking SHATNER?

Oh, sure, I can see spilling your guts to Leonard Nimoy, becuase he's got that whole neck-pinching mind-melding thing going on, but....Captain Kirk? TJ Hooker? Denny Crane?

I mean,   WTF?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Just When You Think They Can't Go Any Lower

A writer for the conservative magazine American Spectator claims Shirley Sherrod was lying when she says her father was "lynched." Why? Because Sherrod's father was beaten to death by white cops, not hanged.

You cannot make this stuff up.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lessons Learned? I Wouldn't Bet the Farm On It

Latest Newspaper Column:

It's been, to say the least, an interesting couple of weeks in American race relations. Things kicked off when the NAACP voted, at its annual convention, on a resolution that "condemns the bigoted elements within the tea party and asks for them to be repudiated." Note that the statement doesn't call all TPers racist. And as we know, it's not unusual in American politics for one group to ask another to "repudiate" its more fringe elements - so long as those fringe elements are on the so-called "left."

On one occasion, for instance, the late Tim Russert called on Barack Obama to repudiate, of all people, Harry Belafonte, for referring to President George W. Bush as a "terrorist," as if the rantings of an aging calypso star were somehow the responsibility of every black politician.

But, boy howdy, ask the TPers to distance themselves from the people at their rallies who carry signs showing the president as a witch doctor, complete with bone in nose, and just watch their old gray heads explode.

The immediate reaction was to go into their standard attack mode - as always, a variation on the old schoolyard riposte, "I know you are, but what am I?" It was the NAACP, the tea partiers asserted, who were the real racists.

Then the leader of a group called the Tea Party Express, a guy named Mark Williams, published a mock letter from the NAACP to Abraham Lincoln. "We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing," Williams wrote. "Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house."

Nope, no racism there.

Within a few days, Williams was, as requested, repudiated. He and the Tea Party Express were tossed out of the the Tea Party Federation. The NAACP issued a press release commending the federation. A new day of tolerance and understanding dawned in America.

Ha ha! Just kidding.

Enter Andrew Breitbart, the man who gave the world the infamous ACORN "pimp" tapes, in which members of the community organizing group were supposedly caught on tape advising a fake pimp and his prostitute how to set up in business and avoid taxes. The tapes were later discovered by the California attorney general's office to have been "heavily edited." They cut out the fact that, among other things, one ACORN worker had called the cops and that the supposed "pimp" (shown in the intro in full Superfly regalia) had actually been dressed in a suit and tie and claimed he was a law student.

After that, Breitbart was discredited and never again believed or taken seriously by anyone of any significance.

Hee hee! Got you again!

Breitbart claimed to have found a tape of a U.S. Department of Agriculture functionary named Shirley Sherrod telling an NAACP group that, in a former job, she hadn't given a white farmer who came to her for help "the full force of what she could do." She'd taken him to a white lawyer ("one of his own kind") and, as the clip ends, left him there.

The NAACP, apparently unaware of what a dishonest propagandist Breitbart is, condemned Sherrod. She lost her job with the USDA. Then the rest of the tape came out. Once again, things were not as Breitbart had presented them. Imagine that.

Sherrod found out that the lawyer she'd referred the farmer to hadn't done much. In fact, the poor guy was about to be foreclosed on. At that time, she went on to say, she realized that "it's really about those who have versus those who don't ... and they could be black; they could be white; they could be Hispanic."

She got to work, she helped save the man's farm, and she and hisfamily remain friends to this day. He and his wife even went on CNN to try to clear Sherrod's name. Instead of a story of racism, it was a story of overcoming it. The NAACP and the White House apologized and USDA head Tom Vilsack offered Sherrod her job back. She's not sure she wants it, and who can blame her?

In the end, everyone learned a valuable lesson. From then on,everyone listened to what other people were actually saying, instead of filtering it through their own prejudices and trying to pick out little out-of-context nuggets to pelt their perceived enemies with.

Ho ho! That's a real knee-slapper, that one is.