Weekend Reading Roundup (Down with the Tea Party Edition)

From racewire.org

From racewire.org

I’m a firm believer in First Amendment rights. For obvious reasons. But I’m also a firm believer in my right to spend my money in ways I deem fit.
Take the collection of quarters I spend weekly to have the Philadelphia Inquirer delivered to my front porch each Sunday. I use that as an example for one simple reason: If I didn’t have many friends/acquaintances over there, today was the day I would’ve decided to reclaim those quarters for summer Skee-Ball use.
No, not because TorturYoo held forth on something or other that I didn’t read. But because of Kevin Ferris’ Tea Party Marketing Talking Points headlined, “More than an angry mob.” Now, I’ve met Kevin before. And I appreciate the challenges he faces, being that few in that lil white building on Broad not named Tierney tend to agree with his stances. But this

A sense of humor. A vision for the future. There’s more here than anger.

… truly pissed me off.
Because what Ferris fails to share is that the “more here than anger” coalition includes: People who fly into government buildings. Tin-foil investors who think a pack of evil Leprachauns scattered JFK’s brains all over his wife. Mentally deficient imbeciles. Bad-to-the-core xenophobes who pack heat at public meetings. And racists who chain black men to the back of their pickup trucks for a hooting-hollering death drag.
To pretty it up because a few of them made safe, cutsey youtube clips is an affront to journalism and culture.
At least Frank Rich, with a gargantuanly bigger readership, sees these fear mongers for what they are.

It is not glib or inaccurate to invoke Oklahoma City in this context, because the acrid stench of 1995 is back in the air. Two days before Stack’s suicide mission, The Times published David Barstow’s chilling, months-long investigation of the Tea Party movement. Anyone who was cognizant during the McVeigh firestorm would recognize the old warning signs re-emerging from the mists of history. The Patriot movement. “The New World Order,” with its shadowy conspiracies hatched by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Sandpoint, Idaho. White supremacists. Militias.
Barstow confirmed what the Southern Poverty Law Center had found in its report last year: the unhinged and sometimes armed anti-government right that was thought to have vaporized after its Oklahoma apotheosis is making a comeback. And now it is finding common cause with some elements of the diverse, far-flung and still inchoate Tea Party movement. All it takes is a few self-styled “patriots” to sow havoc.

I’ll revisit the issue when one of those unangry heroes that Ferris commented upon pulls a truck laden with C4 up to the Sears Tower.

Other stories:
— Seven reporters called into action because two troubled teens apparently killed themselves by hopping in an Acela’s path. (I’d have referred back to some sort of Tea Party Youth comment if doing so wouldn’t render me a classless degenerate.
— So sad that Reaper’s cancelled. But at least Sock has a new show.
— I abide by the Dude. (In every single publication I’ve received this week sans SI.)
— A case is made for eliminating senior year of high school. (At first, I was all like, Are you kidding me? But then, I realized my GPA and class rank dropped considerably because, well, I didn’t much care about senior-year classes more than driving down to Camden for “study hall” which involved giggling at the hookers we saw, or going into Uncle Shammy’s for cases of Bud ponies sans proper identification.)
— A never-ending class war in North Jersey continues on and on. (When I think that there are few original stories out there in this slash-the-journo-staff era, I’ll think of this piece by Ben McGrath. Kudos.)
A man’s man takes up a gay man’s cause. Because the gay man was his son, who was killed in an auto accident. This takes on greater import when you realize the man’s man is a tough-guy NHL exec.
— Swedish biathlon gold medalist Bjorn Ferry comes correct with a boss quote about doping and capital punishment.
— And finally, Popular Science has a piece about progress in stopping the sort of brain tumor that killed my mother in 2005, and one about advances in treating the type of patient I’d have become if I was still trapped in the 2008 coma.

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