Jimmy Carter — you are a very bad man

MOVED UP TO THE TOP, NOT BECAUSE I HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD, BUT BECAUSE THE COMMENT SECTION HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST FASCINATING TO APPEAR ON MY BLOG, AND I DON’T WANT IT TO GET LOST AS I PUBLISH NEW POSTS.

If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you may recall the episode in which Baboo, an Indian restauranteur, having been deported because of Jerry’s carelessness, wags his finger at Jerry, and repeatedly says “He is a very bad man.” That phrase keeps popping into my brain every time I hear anything about Jimmy Carter or, worse, actually see him speak.

We know that his most recent book about the Middle East is filled with falsehoods and that he plagarized and distorted stolen materials for his book. Cinnamon Stillwell, writing at the San Francisco Chronicle, gives a long laundry list of his policy failures, missteps, stupid decisions, and profound moral errors. Name a modern dictatorship and he’s in bed with the leader. Name a failed peace initiative that empowered the people bent on death and destruction, and he’s at the root of it. I will forever hold him responsible for the situation we find ourselves in today vis a vis the Muslim world because, when the Iran Revolution took place in 1979, it was his groveling ineptitude that emboldened the revolutionaries, not only to take on their own government, but to begin looking at the United States as a reasonable and viable target for their World Caliphate goals.

All of the splenetic feelings that guide me when I think about Carter bubbled up ferociously when I finally got around to watching Monday’s Jay Leno, which had Carter as the first guest. Although World Net Daily has come under some legitmate attack for its more loony news stories, I can tell you that its reporting about Carter’s appearance on that show is absolutely accurate:

Without mentioning the onslaught of attacks by Palestinian terrorists, former President Jimmy Carter told a national audience watching the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” there is “horrible persecution” of Palestinians at the hands of Israelis, and he is urging a return to peace talks between the residents of the embattled region.

“In Palestinian territory, there is horrible persecution of the Palestinians who live on their own land,” Carter said.

“A minority of Israelis want to have the land instead of peace. The majority of Israelis for the last 30 years have always said [they] will exchange their own land in exchange for peace. But a minority disagrees and they have occupied the land, they have confiscated it, they have colonized it, and they forced Palestinians away from their homes, away from their pastures, away from their fields, cut down the olive trees and severely persecuted the Palestinians.”

The 82-year-old Carter was on Leno’s show last night to promote his new book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

Leno said to the president who held office more than 25 years ago, “But when Israel gives something back, it doesn’t seem like they get anything for it. It seems like it just moves some angry people closer to them.”

“No, that’s not true at all,” responded Carter. “Israel hasn’t really tried to give ‘Palestine’ back to the Palestinians. They did give up some of Gaza. And then they moved out, and the Palestinians captured one soldier and tried to swap [him] for 300 children

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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    The product of a chemical reaction is from balancing the reagents, both the limiting one and the excess, in a balanced chemical equation, to produce the product. The reality, the truth.

    There are philosophical ways to look at truth and falsity. But I just go back to nature, and look at how nature works, and apply it to human ideas.

    How nature works gives you a glimpse into the truth of the universe. For example, studying how silk works produced kevlar and better sails and fabrics. Engineers in trying to produce things that work in reality, aka Truth, look to nature for inspiration and fundamental ideas. Truth is binary, and thus it is either there or it isn’t. So there is no opposite, really, it doesn’t exist. It is just a zero, something put as a place holder.

  • Lulu

    Just came upon this thread. Poor Mr. Carter. All but forgotten.

    I have a few questions. Do poor whites also have “unmerited privileges”? For example, do homeless whites or rural Appalachians count among the meritocracy?
    What about people of mixed racial background? Are they only half privileged, or not at all? What about people who are white but who belong to ethnic or religious minorities or other persecuted groups?
    What about people from upper-class black families?
    What about non-American black aristocracy, such as a Kofi Annan, say, or African or Jamaican elites?
    What about the unmerited privileges, say, of the Saudis, who if they hadn’t had the luck of being born on a huge portion of the world’s oil reserves in an oil thirsty world, would be as poor as Bangladesh, rather than living it up on oil billions?

    BTW, Helen, one experience that shocked me out of my liberal complacency occurred years ago when I was a lone white working mostly with African American professionals. Routinely, I overheard anti-gay, anti-white, anti-Hispanic and anti-semitic comments. I had always assumed that minorities who had been on the receiving end of prejudice would be more tolerant of others themselves. How wrong I was. Moreover, every concern was blamed on race even when race had absolutely nothing to do with the issue, professional decision, or whatever. This made me feel like I had to walk on eggshells, not express my opinions, and so on. It was an oppressive environment, and I was glad to leave it.

    So, Let’s face it, all humans, regardless of race are fallable and we each have to work on ourselves. No one is born a racist. Whether David Duke or Louis Farrakhan, it is learned. Martin Luther King advocated for a color-blind society in which we are judged by the content of our character- and not by assumptions based on our skin color, such as unmerited privilege, all whites are active or recovering racists, or the like.

  • http://writingenglish.wordpress.com/ judyrose

    I thought this thread was finished, but perhaps Lulu has reactivated it with some good points. Let’s see what comes in tomorrow.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    Hi Lulu, I’d say when you overheard “anti-gay, anti-white, anti-Hispanic and anti-semitic comments” that what you were hearing was prejudice, not racism. Every human being on earth can be prejudiced: Some are; same aren’t. Racism is a specific form of prejudice that irrationally tries to keep a certain group in their place by believing that one racial group in inferior (not as smart, not as ethical, etc.). Racism has to do with believing people of a given race are not as good as others due to their race (not achievement). This why it is said that only the majority race can be racists, only those on top wish to keep others beneath them. Many people wish to keep others beneath them for various reasons. That can be prejudice or just plain selfishness of hatred. Only when the reason is race is this prejudice called racism.

    As Martin Luther King Jr.

  • kevin

    Lulu,

    If you

  • kevin

    “But African Americans ( and women) still earn 75 cents for very dollar white men make.”

    Prove it.

  • dagon

    kevin,

    that is true:

    “More than three decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, women and people of color continue to suffer the consequences of unfair pay differentials. In comparing median weekly earnings, last year American women earned only 75 cents for every dollar a man brought home, with African American women and Hispanic women collecting just 66 cents and 57 cents, respectively. Significant wage gaps exist for African American and Hispanic men, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans as well.”

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=52661

    i’ll pull numbers from a more recent study as well, but i believe the percentages still hold.

    peace

  • dagon
  • dagon
  • dagon

    and a take from the positive side, which while optimistic, still places the wage gap at around 85% for black males

    http://www.businessweek.com/1999/99_48/b3657067.htm

    peace

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    I’d be most interested in a study that factored in women’s career choices — taking time off to have children, thereby losing time on the career track, and working part-time jobs, which usually entails lower pay. I know both of these facts personally, and I seem them often in the world around me.

  • dagon

    book,

    most of these studies factor in job to job comparisons. ie, what a white male corporate lawyer makes vs. an female corporate lawyer or an african-american corporate lawyer, etc.

    peace

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    Dagon: Even comparing job to job still doesn’t take into account the fact that half the women lawyers I know (and I realize it’s anecdotal), took more than the allowed 6 weeks attorney leave or bargained with their employers for shorter hours.

  • dagon

    book,

    that’s a great point for that percentage who need maternity leave. but what about the one’s without children?

    what about african american males? these are the discrepancies that are relevant.

    peace

  • dagon

    book,

    maybe this will help. notice the number are gathered for college degreed men and women who worked FULL TIME for the period of data collection. that means no maternity, etc. was factored in.

    http://www.iwpr.org/pdf/C362.pdf

    peace

  • kevin

    Dagon,

    Hispanic men and women aside (I’d guess they don’t make an allowance for illegal

  • kevin

    Dagon,

    “notice the number are gathered for college degreed men and women who worked FULL TIME for the period of data collection. that means no maternity, etc. was factored in.”

    Also notice that the research was done by three women for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Would it be unreasonable for a person to question whether they may have begun their research to support a foregone conclusion?

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    I know, Dagon, that there was an article in the NY Times a few weeks ago saying that black male and female lawyers tended to fare less well in the big firms, where the big bucks are. A sociologist posited that this was affirmative action’s downside, which saw them in an environment for which they weren’t prepared. I thought, based on my own out-of-date experiences, that blacks, like the women of my generation, feel that they don’t need to work as hard, having done their bit simply by having risen so high. That was certainly the case at big West Coast law firms in the 1980s. I wonder what it’s like now amongst all employees who are not white (or Asian) males. Again, that too could account for disparity — not opportunities, but attitude. I know it was a problem for me.

  • dagon

    kevin,

    most of the studies that i’ve seen try to factor in things like education and the like.

    there are myriad studies on the web. just google wage discrepecies by race for whatever industry you’re interested in. HR depts. have been wrestling with this for decades.

    personally, i haven’t experienced any of this (at least not to my knowledge) but my background is fairly unique.

    i would expect this to be widespread simply for the reason that once you hit a certain level in your career (doesn’t even have to be that high), social networking and comfortability factors play a larger role in what your next step will be. blacks have routinely been shut out of the clubs and neighborhoods that their white counterparts belonged to; and this is where the deals are made after a certain level.

    case in point, the country club whose 9th green was a stones throw from my childhood backyard just started taking applications from blacks and hispanics 8 years ago.

    it’s a private club so they can do what they want but this is an example of while on its face opportunity seems level, the “institutions” which matter almost as much, are still somewhat exclusive.

    things have been getting better, but the glass ceiling remains very much a reality.

    peace

  • dagon

    book

    “I thought, based on my own out-of-date experiences, that blacks, like the women of my generation, feel that they don

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    You’re making some assumptions about the firms at which I worked, Dagon. They were all business, and none of my fellow associates had any familial or social ties to the hiring partners. And I don’t care about universal mantras. I was relating my own experience at big downtown firms, which was that black associates, like women associates, resented being called upon to work, because we all thought we were “special.” My only caveat is that this perception is very dated, and as I’ve admitted all along, I don’t know whether it’s changed.

  • dagon

    well, maybe you’re being pc book,

    and i certainly don’t want to question exactly how ‘big time’ the ‘big’ downtown firms you’ve worked at have been but i must say that in my career, i’ve NEVER seen a preponderence of women (enough to make that kind of a generalization) who resented being called on to work.

    MOST of the women executives that i know have been type a bald-busters with poor people skills and messed up social lives. it’s what i used to like to call, ‘lady cop syndrome’. i saw NO slacking but a general attitude that seemed to convey a need to outdo the men. the same can be said for ambitious blacks that i’ve met in the professional world.

    peace

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    You’ve described some of Mr. Bookworm’s colleagues, Dagon. Woman, you’ve come a long way baby. By the way, you can be a vicious, back-biting ballbuster, and still think everyone owes you something. I’ve known those women too.

  • dagon

    book,

    true

    peace

  • Lulu

    Well, in my micro-environment at work I think that some of my African-American colleagues were not only prejudiced, they were racists according to the definition you used, Helen. In that setting, our boss was black, as were all the senior staff. So was the neighborhood the work site was in. Therefore in that setting, as the lone novice employee, just out of school, and white, I was the minority, and treated as such.

    That being said, it would be ridiculous and morally wrong of me to make assumptions about all black people based on the behavior of this small group of people- who despite their bigotry were, in many ways, very decent. I try to judge people based on their behavior and values, and I have seen that goodness and honorable behavior comes in all colors and ethnicities, just as does pettiness and cruelty.
    Culture is a major shaper of behavior. Some cultures emphasize education, some don’t. Some emphasize family life and child-rearing; some don’t. Some encourage good works, some encourage revenge, some teach self-discipline, some none. Moreover, people are uneven. My colleagues had thier issues about race, but they were wonderful friends to each other, warm, and did good works.

    To blame everything on skin color seems an obsession with dividing on externals, and it seems racist, in the sense that race is the deciding factor in judging people. I think this is very wrong. I think this attitude contributed to the anger and endless feeling of victimization among my successful, middle-class, and professionally powerful former colleagues. It could not have enhanced their lives.

  • Zhombre
  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    The proof doesn’t matter. Because it is individual productivity that matters. Data would of course show that blacks who work less and do less well performance wise, would get lower total wages per hour than whites who do better. That’s not proof of any inequality.

    I

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    “Most Americans think racism is a problem, but few think they are racist themselves, a poll finds.”

    See Poll: Most Americans see lingering racism — in others
    POSTED: 8:43 p.m. EST, December 12, 2006
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/12/12/racism.poll/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

  • kevin

    Dagon,

    Sorry for the length but I believe this to be a significantly more nuanced problem than some would have us believe.

    Since the circumstances on differences in pay that you pointed out did exist in the past, I would not be surprised if some of it still currently exists; therefore, it would be a weak position to argue the contrary. However, the solution (as Helen is so quick to declare) that “it’s plain ‘ol racism

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    I find it amazing that people like your ” friend (who incidentally happened also to be black),” have black parents, too. So much for logic, LOL This is joke, Kevin. Peace.

  • kevin

    I don’t understand your point so could you please clarify? Yes, it would be logical to say that his parents were black. The point of my sentence was he was 1) my friend 2) happened to be black so he had a diffenent viewpoint of anticipating our port call in Africa.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Asians treat whites well because they have respect for whites, they don’t have respect for blacks. It won’t change because blacks act differently. Things are so different in America and Asia, that the motivations for behavior are diametrically opposite. So one might justifiably say that Cynthia caused the problem, it is actually the other way around in Asian countries precisely because blacks don’t act like menial servants or inferior.

    Cynthia gets treated with respect and acts like she didn’t get the respect she earned. Injustice. Blacks don’t act like slaves or barbarians, so the Asians don’t know what to do with them and avoid them. Therefore blacks in Asia can justifiably act like Cynthia simply because the two places are different.

    Not in the specifics, but the simple expectation that she deserved better. She didn’t. Blacks in Asia do deserve better, so they are justified in expecting better.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    My point. Two black parents don’t HAPPEN to have a black child. It isn’t by chance.

  • kevin

    Helen,

    Thanks for the clarification; what I was trying to do was keep from saying my black friend since that would open me up to the charge of racism (e.g. why isn’t he just a friend; why do I have to point out that he was a “black” friend–even though that’s a relevant fact to the story.) Even I have a hard time shaking off the PC shackles but I am recovering.

    Ymarsakar,

    I wasn’t suggesting that if blacks behaved differently, that they would be treated differently in Asia–the point was that the my friend expected that in Africa I would now experience what he experienced in most other countries visited on a Westpac. And it was the air of superiority exhibited by many of the blacks on our ship that resulted in their receiving less than optimal treatment in Mombasa whereas my actions as a gracious guest resulted in great treatment and fond memories of friends I made while there.

  • dagon

    kevin,

    interesting points. i can only address it from my experience so forgive me if i don’t directly address some of what you’re saying.

    some people in the country, white AND black have a tendency of seeing the black community as some sort of ‘other’ where in reality, they have been one the integral ethnic building blocks of this nation since it’s inception.

    when did the slave trade end? not slavery per se but the bulk of the importation of sub-saharan slaves? most blacks can trace their presense in this country back to the late 1600’s through the late 1700’s. the evolution of american culture can charted in parallel with the evolution of black culture. there is no such thing as ‘acting black’ and there is ‘acting white’. for better or worse, black culture IS american culture so their is nothing to rebel against.

    also, most of what is commonly referred to as acting ‘black’, from the dialect to certain other affectations, can be traced to ALL races from the deep south. many are just ‘expressing their culture’ but it is hardly ethnically based. go to mississippi and find an old white laborer or fisherman; if you closed your eyes, chances are you would think you were talking to an older black man.

    now, this new crop of kids may be another story, taking their cues from the militants of the sixties or more recently, from a glorification of ‘street life’ or gangster culture. but once again, these sort of things occor within all races and are hardly representative of the plurality of black people.

    the problem is that most people don’t know the history; this is certainly true with a lot of young black kids. but don’t ascribe any sort of rebellion to it other than the natural rebellion of youth. i can’t speak to the men on your boat but basically a jerk is a jerk.

    i feel the exact same way when i go to a cubs game and watch how (some)suburban whites treat my fair city.

    btw, the poll that helen was referring to wasn’t a poll of black peoples attitudes towards racism. it’s a poll that states that when asked, most people would say that they personally are not racist, however they observe it as a problem in other people. an example would be the father of one of my past girlfriends, who clearly admitted the racism of his own father, yet refused to acknowledge that his uneasiness towards my relationship with his daughter might be a lingering residual of the racism that he admitted was present in the rest of his family.

    it trickles down from that.

    peace

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    Kevin, In the case of “black friend,” black is an adjective that describes friend. In the context of this discussion, it was necessary to identify his race. That is NOT racist; it’s just stating the facts in a clear way. All I did was try to joke about what occurs when we go crazy being politically correct. PC ought to stop us from being offensive, but sometimes all it does is cause us to speak in riddles. Pehaps we can agree on that.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    Folks,

    Listen to what Dagon says in comment #235. It is only the racism that we find within ourselves that we can change directly. This is not a matter for finger pointing but for self-examination. If that sounds spiritual, it’s because it is. But it’s not something exclusive to a given religion (although it is a part of most.) Taking an inner look at one’s self is a healthy human experience. Fighting about definitions like who can and who can’t be racist will never bring peace. Getting to know people of a different race can break down the barriers of prejudice and racism.

  • kevin

    Helen,

    “All I did was try to joke about what occurs when we go crazy being politically correct. PC ought to stop us from being offensive, but sometimes all it does is cause us to speak in riddles. Pehaps we can agree on that.”

    Yes, we can.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com Helen Losse

    Kevin,

    Peace. Merry Christmas.

  • kevin

    Helen,

    And a Merry Christmas to you and your family as well.

  • kevin

    Helen,

    “Getting to know people of a different race can break down the barriers of prejudice and racism.”

    But I also agree with Dagon that “a jerk is a jerk” so when I dismiss someone as being a jerk and that person also happens to be black I resent the racist card being played. So yes, I am biased; typically once someone has impressed me as being a jerk, I don’t waste my time on them.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com Helen Losse

    Hi Kevin, Am I a jerk? Or have you given me a second chance?

  • kevin

    No, you’re far from crossing the threshold! (C:

    I do apologize for being “abrasive” but I’m a stickler for proof when statements are presented as fact as opposed to opinion–one of those pesky scientist qualities.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    Thanks Kevin.