Incongruity and the Moment


Bloom County, by Berke Breathed. (n.d.)

The weather report for the next couple days is hardly catastrophic, but neither is it pleasant, and that in turn brings to mind talk of blustery, wet, generally unpleasant winter expected to be, overall, too mild to build significant snowpack in the Cascades, and while it is easy enough to hope such chatter is, well, merely chatter, it is also rather quite tempting to mutter something about, Damn it, Nature! stop wasting water like that!

Except, you know, we’re the human species, so the next thought to mind is also pretty obvious: Oh, right.

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Image note: I’m pretty sure I was playing around with the photocopy filter in GIMP. Never mind. It’s Bloom County, by the one and only Berke Breathed, and I’ve a date of 26 March 1982 for this particular episode.

Stats Report: Bigotry Edition


Stats ReportAh, the internet.

I don’t know, though. Maybe this one is hard to explain.

To start with, it’s been an unusual day with high traffic to the blog. Hardly the highest, but still, nearly thirty-fold surge compared to the usual trickle of readers.

Naturally, this interested me.

Among the stats available to me are the search terms used to access the blog. It’s generally an interesting survey; we might be surprised how many people, this many years later, search for “nancy amons porn”; we hate to disappoint them, but life is what it is.

Yesterday, though, we posted a note on anti-Islamic bigotry in Virginia. No real surprise there, of course; after all, it’s a country club in Virginia. But the post did draw some hits (something like twenty-nine, if we must be specific; yes, quite impressive).

And it’s the list of terms that brought people to the post that snatches my attention:

• dahlberg pikrallidas

• muslim beating and country club of fairfax

• ed dahlberg

• edward dahlberg fairfax

dahberg beat up stupid muslim [sic]

• ed dahlberg of clifton, va

• “ed dahlberg”

There are, of course, a couple others; there’s the people obsessed with one particular corrupt Washington State Patrol trooper, and the time I fretted about my liver after realizing the dosage of a painkiller.

But, yes, aside from those two, the rest of the search results had to do with Ed Dahlberg’s alleged assault against Mohammed Salim.

It’s one of those things that you wonder if someone is doing intentionally, for your benefit: “dahberg beat up stupid muslim”.

I mean, it even has the semi-literate typo.

Life goes on (for the living).

But, seriously, whether you’re a half-assed provocateur or a half-wit bigot, thank you for the chuckle. We appreciate it greatly.

Whack-A-Muslim on the Country Club Tip


Oh, the country club set. Who else can bring such proud drama to the American heritage?

An Army reservist and Iraq veteran who works as a cabdriver says a passenger he picked up early Friday at a Northern Virginia country club accused him of being a terrorist because he is Muslim, then fractured his jaw in an attack being described by Islamic activists as a hate crime.

Mohamed A. Salim says the passenger compared him to the men accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing 11 days earlier and threatened to kill him.

The Washington Post report from Joe Stephens and Justin Jouvenal reports that Ed Dahlberg, of Clifton, Virginia, has through his attorney released a statement asserting his innocence:

Country Club TryptichEd Dahlberg of Clifton, who has been charged with misdemeanor assault, denied hitting Salim in a statement released by his attorney ….

…. Dahlberg’s attorney, Demetry Pikrallidas, said Dahlberg did not assault Salim. Even so, he said, Dahlberg wanted to apologize to anyone offended by his remarks. Dahlberg was profoundly affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, Pikrallidas said, and misunderstood Salim’s response to his questions.

Dahlberg “became rather emotional as the discussion turned to jihad and 9/11, and especially heated on the subject of jihadists who want to harm America,” Pikrallidas said in a statement.

Pikrallidas described Dahlberg as a “hardworking family man and a church-going person” who had been drinking but was not intoxicated. He stressed that Salim’s video shows the ride began with six minutes of friendly conversation.

Perhaps the first thing that stands out is the starkly different claims; Dahlberg did not, according to his attorney, strike Salim. The question therefore arises: When someone asks why you are punching him, if you’re not punching him, don’t tell them that you’re punching him because, “You’re a [expletive] Muslim.”

Just, you know. Simple advice that comes to mind.

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Yes. Arkansas.


“If we can’t shoot them, we have to at least be firm in our threat to take immediate action against them politically, socially, and civically if they screw up on something this big. Personally, I think a gun is quicker and more merciful, but hey, we can’t. But we have to do something, we have to gain control of our representatives, if we don’t then what the hell are we doing as a party except having fundraiser dinners and meetings just to raise more money for future meetings and fundraisers, and giving money to empower and elect those who would betray us without having the control to keep them in line once we do?”

Chris Nogy

Chris Nogy is not happy. Indeed, the man formerly most famous for being married to a Benton County, Arkansas, Republican Party official has earned a new feather for his cap. John Celock explains for The Huffington Post:

Chris Nogy, the husband of a Republican Party official in Arkansas, suggested it was a shame that voters couldn’t just threaten to shoot GOP state legislators who voted for the state’s Medicaid expansion ….

Benton County GOP…. Nogy did not similarly target Democratic lawmakers “as bullet backstops,” he wrote, because in voting for Medicaid expansion, they were simply doing what their party wanted them to do.

PoliticsUSA.com reports that Chris Nogy is the husband of the Benton County GOP secretary, Leigh Nogy. Benton County is located in the northwest part of Arkansas, bordering Missouri and Oklahoma.

In his essay, Nogy described Medicaid expansion as a “threat domestic” and said that Republicans “need to get a LOT tougher if we are ever to assure that events like those that took place this week don’t happen again.” He noted that his 13-year-daughter was returning a $200 scholarship and plaque from the Arkansas Federation of Republican Women in protest.

The angry essay has already drawn criticism from fellow Republicans. The Benton County Republican Party condemned it, saying that they do not support shooting Republican lawmakers. And Lt. Gov. Mark Darr (R) tweeted, “The party that gets rid of its crazies first will be the long term majority party in Arkansas,” according to The Arkansas Times.

So far, Nogy is not backing down, though it is worth noting that, sadly, extreme strangeness is hardly a rare phenomenon among Arkansas Republicans. Celock notes that last year, “it was revealed that former state Rep. Charlie Fuqua, who was seeking a return to the Legislature, had written that he wanted to give parents the right to have the state government kill ‘rebellious children,’ and he suggested expelling all Muslims from the country.” And we ought not forget Rep. John Hubbard, who last year published a book arguing, among other things, that—

The institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.

Yes. Arkansas.

Sigh.

Herman Cain apologizes to American Muslims


GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain tried to apologize to American Muslims yesterday:

Cain 2012 LogoI would like to thank Imam Mohamed Magid and the ADAMS Center for extending their hospitality to me this afternoon. We enjoyed heartfelt fellowship and thoughtful dialogue about how patriotic Americans of all faiths can work together to restore the American Dream.

While I stand by my opposition to the interference of shariah law into the American legal system, I remain humble and contrite for any statements I have made that might have caused offense to Muslim Americans and their friends. I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it. Muslims, like all Americans, have the right to practice their faith freely and peacefully.

As I expected, we discovered we have much more in common in our values and virtues. In my own life as a black youth growing up in the segregated South, I understand their frustration with stereotypes. Those in attendance, like most Muslim Americans, are peaceful Muslims and patriotic Americans whose good will is often drowned out by the reprehensible actions of jihadists.

I am encouraged by the bonds of friendship forged today at our meeting, and I look forward to continuing this very healthy dialogue. The relationship we established was so positive that the Imam has invited me back to speak to not only some of their youth, but also at one of their worship services.

Robert Marro, Government Relations Chair, ADAMS CenterNaturally, some are wondering whether the race-baiting Republican who thinks he is President Obama’s worst nightmare simply because he’s black is genuinely represented by the statement his campaign released. One witness to his meeting with Imam Mhamed Magid suggested that Cain’s words could be trusted. “He seemed genuinely surprised,” Robert Marro, the Government Relations Chairman for the ADAMS Center, where the meeting occurred, explained to Talking Points Memo. “It was almost like he was saying, ‘I should’ve known better.'”

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The magic of Herman Cain


Cain 2012 LogoTo what degree is the maxim true, that there is no such thing as bad press? Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain may well be putting it to the test.

Recent days have witnessed what might be the official beginning of the public discourse debate about Herman Cain’s outlook on Islam and Muslims. The Hermanator has already challenged conventional wisdom by arguing that because of his race—i.e., black—we should vote for him because he takes the race card off the table against Obama. And then he went on to prove his point by arguing that President Obama is not a strong black man. When pressed, he acknowledged that he felt President Obama is not really a black man.

So there are plenty who have been watching with interest as Cain has repeatedly challenged conventional wisdom in terms of religious identity politics. Perhaps it comes down to the notion that Herman Cain is simply not going to win the GOP nomination, and it really does seem a safe bet.

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