Thursday, October 23, 2008

So that's where Republicans get it! Noam Chomsky, Muslims, and Fear Mongering in America's Historical Pedigree

"The [mythical] theme is 'We are about to be destroyed by a horrifying enemy.' And at the last minute, a super-weapon is discovered, or a hero arises such as Rambo... this goes right back to the Eighteenth Century..." - Noam Chomsky

Thanks to CNN's iReport pages, I ran across this thought-provoking video featuring professor Noam Chomsky being interviewed by American University Professor Akbar Ahmed. I think it offers some historical context regarding not only anti-Islamic expressions within America, but also (in a larger context) some of the fear/hate mythologies currently being attempted against the Democratic Presidential ticket by Republicans (see my previous two posts).



For more on and from Akbar Ahmed, I'd advise a visit to Journey Into America. And again... please don't forget to vote, preferably early if your state still has early voting open (Illinois, for instance has early voting until October 30).

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

With Obama's "spread the wealth around" sentiment - r.e. his reply to Joe the Plumber - do you feel that JPUSA will fare better under a Obama presidency?

Starck Mad said...

Oddly enough, this myopic 'fear mongering' runs rampant in Uptown, via the 46th ward office.
Apparently, anyone who's against yet another failed flop-house, or methadone clinic, is somehow deemed racist or worse.
Get a clue everyone.....Jesus would NOT approve of the 46th ward office's mode of operation.

Jon Trott said...

Starck Mad,

I think everything Mr. Chomsky said re America's myths of fear also fits certain blog sites with which I suspect you are well acquainted--no URL to be provided here. The folks on those sites -- some of them, anyway -- have stated publicly that Obama is dangerous and even an antichrist. Nearly all of them loath Helen Shiller, the same woman who nearly all the folks I work with or see others from our fellowship serve respect and vote for. No, I don't think you can accuse Helen Shiller of being reactionary. She's a true progressive, as her history over two decades in Uptown shows. Meanwhile, even I have personally been attacked on the afore-mentioned blog, which again I am sure you are aware of. I bet I'd be loved if I was anti-Helen.

But more interesting is your comment re alleged "flop houses" and "methadone clinics." That smacks of McCain politics all the way... smearing away with reactionary, and made up, class-based cliches. I've been in Uptown since 1978 and was originally against Helen Shiller, for all the wrong reasons. She won me over with her "as I speak so I do" politics, and her enduring insistence that the poorest of the poor be remembered even as we collectively improve Uptown for all of us. I don't like being demonized by my neighbors, and I don't like seeing a woman of the frankly unparalleled political integrity Helen has shown being trashed via verbal stink bombs and outright fabrications. Sad, so sad.

Anyway, neighbor, maybe sometime we can sit down over some java and talk face to face about this stuff.

Starck Mad said...

Please......nobody is a more adamant fan of Obama than me.
Shiller is far from a 'progressive'.....she's revealed herself to be out for herself, and no one else.

Jon.....can you honestly say that the Wilson Yard project has been honestly addressed by her office?
Deception seems to be the rule of thumb with her office.

I've lived here for 17 years, and the general discontent seems to be growing.
As I said.....Jesus would NOT approve of her slippery ways.

Jon Trott said...

With Obama's "spread the wealth around" sentiment - r.e. his reply to Joe the Plumber - do you feel that JPUSA will fare better under a Obama presidency?

Ah, Mark. Why is it that I can spot your illogic anywhere? Still preaching to folks that Obama is the antichrist? Still calling people on their home phones with sexually explicit and offensive verbal assaults? My wife didn't like that much.

Your question is nonsensical. Doubtless the black helicopters will be coming and dumping large bags of 100,000 dollar bills on our roof. You can tell the world I told you so.

Jon Trott said...

Starck Mad wrote: Please......nobody is a more adamant fan of Obama than me.
Shiller is far from a 'progressive'.....she's revealed herself to be out for herself, and no one else.


Uh... man, that's just rhetoric. Not that I exactly hate rhetoric myself. But from whom did you get this info re Shiller being "out for herself"? She's human, so if you want to argue that ALL of us are at least sometimes out for ourselves (even when we don't know it), have at it. I'm just as cynical as you. But as for her record, I think it speaks of someone other-centered more often than not. Think how easily she'd have won elections if she sold the poor down the river and started hangin' with the block clubs and agreeing it was time to go NIMBY?*

Jon.....can you honestly say that the Wilson Yard project has been honestly addressed by her office?

Yes.

Deception seems to be the rule of thumb with her office.

And Obama is Muslim. See how easy typing that lie was?

I've lived here for 17 years, and the general discontent seems to be growing.

No doubt fed by hate-mongering on certain web sites regarding Uptown. Again, why I reference the Republican Party so often when dealing with folks who keep slapping falsehoods on Helen Shiller.

As I said.....Jesus would NOT approve of her slippery ways.

Oh, dear. You keep pulling the Jesus card, yet in the same sentence doing something Jesus wouldn't do. Namely, calling someone "slippery" who manifestly has been anything but. Love Helen or hate her, she's not one to muck about with words. She says what she means and means what she says. And that does remind me of Jesus.


* NIMBY = "Not in my back yard" and often refers to construction of affordable housing and/or minority movement into one's own area of the city.

Starck Mad said...

This is highly entertaining!
If you honestly believe, our beloved Alderman, is totally forthcoming and honest, then you are sadly myopic.
The great thing about Obama, is that he cuts through the crap, and one can straight away see his honesty and shining good intentions.
Shiller? She's the portrait of the slippery politician (gee, her son's a lawyer)......she has succeeded in treating a big 'mud hole' in Uptown, for all to wallow in.
We ALL should embrace a separation of church and state, but Shiller's crooked ways should be a call to action.

Jon Trott said...

Starck Mad,

Uh... I know you just have to hate Helen Shiller. You, and a few friends running the blog with no name (we'll mention here anyway), are so Helenophobic it leaves me wondering if you privately love her but just can't come clean. Er...

But the oddest moment in your last post was this:

The great thing about Obama, is that he cuts through the crap, and one can straight away see his honesty and shining good intentions.
Shiller? She's the portrait of the slippery politician (gee, her son's a lawyer)...


I could go off on you about where we'd be without lawyers. Progressives, the poor, non-whites, non-males... I could drop a serious bomb or two on that score. But really, all that is beside the point. Why?

Here it comes.... wait.....

BARACK OBAMA IS A LAWYER!!!!!

bob brown said...

Jon:

As an ignorant outsider on the local disagreement in Chicago and the Alderman in question, please help me with what appears to be a partisan non-sequitir on your part.

Mr Mad seems to be an ardent Obamanista. At the same time he opposes your favored Alderman Shiller and various civic projects.

How is it that the Republicans take the hit here as bad guys in this dispute between you and Mr Mad who appears to NOT be a Republican?

Or is he one of those Rs who is an Obamanista (not happening much here in Georgia) and scurrilous in all his other aspects including vis-a-vis Trott/JPUSA?

Thanks,

//bb

Jon Trott said...

Bob B,

Can't tell you much about Mr. Mad, except that he really doesn't like Alderwoman Shiller.

The reason I reference the Republicans is because for the last three election cycles they have done to the Democratic candidate for president what a certain crew of folks in my neighborhood (incl. Mr. Mad) are doing to our Alderwoman. Namely, using fear mongering techniques to attempt to undermine her credibility with the majority. For 20 years it has not worked. But that doesn't mean they won't keep trying.

So, in short, the fear/hate stuff which the Republicans have been using against Barack Obama is almost exactly what is being done locally to Helen Shiller. I find it incredibly depressing. (To be fair, I think the business re Palin's dresses costing $150,000 has been way overdone by the Dems and their supporters... but that Palins -- oops, pales -- in comparison to Obama being called a Muslim / Marxist / socialist / "friend of terrorists" / "unknown and therefore dangerous quantity".

Helen is called a marxist, a cheat (though with no documentation whatever), and a liar (again with no documentation whatever).

And me? I sigh, work for the candidate of my choice, try to respect others' choices even when different from mine, and be sad if my candidate loses and glad if they win. And yes, there are good Republicans. Many of 'em, starting of course with Honest Abe Lincoln. Just haven't seen as many lately on the ticket, that's all.