Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hyman AWOL on MLK Day

It’s more than a little ironic that Mark Hyman would use the occasion of the holiday commemorating Martin Luther King to accuse San Francisco of not sufficiently marking Veterans Day or Memorial Day holidays. Self awareness doesn’t seem to be Hyman’s strong suit.

Rather than making any comment on MLK or any of the plethora of related topics, Hyman gives us a typical example of his trademark “pastiche” editorials—commentaries in which the idea is to simply juxtapose a number of terms to prompt his audience to make conscious or unconscious associations among them, despite any logical connection.

This time around, the key concepts or terms Hyman wants to bleed together are “Angry Left,” “San Francisco,” “Homosexuals,” “Mexico and Brazil,” and “anti-Veteran.” The result of blending these ingredients is smelly right-wing ratatouille that has no purpose other than to smear those with whom Hyman disagrees.

The nominal topic of Hyman’s commentary is the decision by the San Francisco city council last summer to not bring the decommissioned U.S.S. Iowa to the city as a tourist attraction. In fact, many in San Francisco—including alleged uber liberal Diane Feinstein-- have
recently revived attempts to bring the battleship to the city, a fact Hyman ignores.

He also ignores the fact that in a city where gay and lesbian individuals hold a significant amount of political clout, there might be an understandable reason for being lukewarm about having the Iowa in San Francisco; after the tragic 1989 accident that killed dozens of sailors on the Iowa, the Navy slandered a dead crewman by suggesting he sabotaged the ship because of the rejection by other sailors of his homosexual advances—a charge that was later found to be false.

All this leads to Hyman’s accusation that San Francisco has snubbed and ignored veterans in general by only putting up a small amount of money for the city parades on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, while putting up tens of thousands of dollars for parades marking Mexican and Brazilian holidays, as well as “the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Parade and the annual Dyke March.”

Beyond the weak suggestion that raw dollar amounts given for a once-a-year parade are an accurate indication of the respect a group receives, Hyman’s charges are flawed. For example, Hyman elides the fact that the other events he mentions likely cost more to hold (for any number of reasons) than a Veterans Day parade. For example, despite Hyman’s assertions that San Franciscans don’t like veterans, it’s a safe bet that much more security is needed to protect lesbian and gay marchers from people who don’t like them than it would take to protect veterans from the non-existent “veteran haters” Hyman envisions stalking the streets of San Francisco.

Hyman also leaves out the fact that
the city’s funding is partially based on what money is raised by the groups sponsoring the events. The other parades Hyman mentions actually cost far more to put on than the city provides. The difference is that private groups raise the majority of the money. The city kicks in a percentage of this total as a way of encouraging groups to create events that will draw people to the city. There doesn’t seem to be a private organization fundraising for the Veterans and Memorial Day parades. Should the city spend more to make up for this? Perhaps, but that’s a separate argument. Hyman’s suggestion that the city is covering the costs of all these parades itself is simply false.

Then there’s that precious final line of Hyman’s: “The Angry Left just keeps getting angrier and they don't like veterans.”

Beyond the logical fallacies of 1) equating dollars spent by San Francisco’s city government on parades to admiration for those holding the parades, and 2) equating the actions of San Francisco’s city government with the “left” in general, Hyman’s accusation is disingenuous.

For example, Hyman ignores the fact that tens of thousands of those on the liberal side of the political spectrum are currently serving in Iraq, and countless more served in past wars.

He also ignores the fact that thousands of vets have organized and identified themselves as both veterans and anti-war (if not explicitly liberal), including
Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

And of course, Hyman doesn’t admit that he doesn’t like veterans either, at least if they are running for president against a candidate whose politics he likes. He’s
more than happy to dishonor their service and lie about them in that case.

Hyman also doesn’t like members of the military who’ve died in combat in Iraq, at least when he believes that there’s a choice between honoring their service and supporting a favorite politician. He’ll happily
blackout any recognition of the fallen if he thinks it politically unwise.

He also doesn’t like veterans who died in the line of duty if their mother does something to embarrass Hyman’s political heroes. He’s happy to personally
attack a veteran’s mom to score political points.

And obviously, Hyman literally doesn’t have a minute to spare to honor a fallen soldier who marched and fought in a different kind of war—the war for equality, harmony, and justice.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 3.53


At 12:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen Ted! Another great CounterPoint!
How much longer is it going to be until Americans recognize Hyman to be the New Fascist enabler that he is?
Thanks, and keep bustin' Hyman!

At 12:49 AM, Anonymous you sunk my battleship! said...

hyman says the uss iowa "earned" 11 battle stars but what the iowa doesn't want you to know, and what the liberal media refuses to report, is that the iowa doesn't really deserve them. other boats who served in the navy at the same time, but in a different ocean, say the iowa was never really hit by enemy fire and that in one engagement, actually sank an unarmed boat carrying a cargo of loincloths. furthermore, after the war, the iowa launched another boat's stars over the white house fence then accused its fellow boats of war crimes and atrocities. isn't it time the iowa come clean and release all of its military service records?
paid for by swift-boats and battleships for truth. not affilated with bush-cheney '04


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