Charles Johnson’s car?

I saw this picture over at Poor Man and immediately thought the car must belong to Charles Johnson, proprietor of Little Green Cesspools. (It doesn’t, Poor Man explains, but it sure wouldn’t surprise me.) Click to enlarge.

charles johnson's car.jpg

The Discussion: 28 Comments

Sad, but yes, there are American Taliban. I wonder how he/she would feel if their child was snakebitten and the required treatment at St. Jude’s in Memphis. Would they refuse to take her because it was founded by an Arab (Danny Thomas)?

January 26, 2005 @ 5:29 pm | Comment

Gosh, I’m shocked that this fine patriotic fella isn’t over there, defending our freedom from the Muslim hordes. I’m sure he has a good reason…like…um…wait, I know! He’s protecting the Homeland! Yeah…that’s it….

January 26, 2005 @ 5:59 pm | Comment

Some people just REALLY need to get a life.

January 26, 2005 @ 6:12 pm | Comment

Oh, that is hysterical.

You should know that in my community (Modern Orthodox Jewish) Chuckie is something of a hero.

Very frustrating for those of us who see things differently.

I’m going to blogroll, you.

January 26, 2005 @ 6:22 pm | Comment

I’m Jewish as well, but Chuckie could never be a hero of mine. How any Jew could support — no, venerate — a brutal racist after we learned the hard way the awful results legalized racism can bring is totally beyond me. Johnson paints himself as a friend to Israel and a patriot, but his outlook is shockingly akin to Hitler’s. It was the Jews for Adolph; it’s the Muslims for Charles.

January 26, 2005 @ 6:28 pm | Comment

That car is sure something else. I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t been blown up yet. Not because muslims are prone to blowing things up, but just because if I saw a car like that targetting any group I happened to belong to, I’d sure be tempted to do something to it … slash the tires or put some dents in the panels at very least.

January 26, 2005 @ 7:04 pm | Comment

Ugly car indeed, but Taliban? Well, …

Richard, I didn’t expect that you are a jew (no offense), but I expected Mark to be one.

January 26, 2005 @ 7:06 pm | Comment

oops, with enlarged view I have to take back my first statement. I certainly can’t tolerate ‘The only good Arab is a dead Arab’. It’s hate message. Sorry for my myopic

January 26, 2005 @ 7:10 pm | Comment

FSN9 — I’m glad to hear you say that.

Bellevue, why do you expect Mark to be a Jew and me not to be a Jew? Beware of stereotypes!!!

January 26, 2005 @ 7:30 pm | Comment

You’re right Richard, but Orthodox Jews are so happy to have a loud voice supporting Israel, that they take leave of their senses.

Chuckie doesn’t deserve Jewish support – or anyone’s support.

Part of the purpose of my blog is to help make points like this.

January 26, 2005 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

I’m a supporter of Israel, but also a believer in learning lessons from history. Hatred breeds hatred; referring to Muslims as beasts and stigmatizing them all as potential terrorists — that goes directly against that most prized Jewish virtue of rachmonos.

January 26, 2005 @ 7:59 pm | Comment

Richard: This guy is something of an ignorant nut bag (the driver of the car) and while various members of Charles website may agree with varoius stickers I wouldn’t ascribe them to charles. From what I have gathered from Charles site is that he doesn’t have a distinct trust of Muslims as a group, after all the terrroists on 9/11 were muslims and it was not exactly widely condemed among muslims. This is not to say he automaticly hates muslims (He links fairly often to the iraqthemodel ) the fact is Charles opinion is logical and there are plenty of better more deserving targets for this kind of thing

January 26, 2005 @ 8:25 pm | Comment

Is it any wonder that people in the middle east think that this is a vendetta against Islam.

It’s getting awful easy to hate America. The Arabs don’t need to lie about Americans plotting against them, Americans seem to be doing exactly what they are being acussef of.

America is getting pretty intolerant and pretty itinerant these days.

January 26, 2005 @ 10:08 pm | Comment

๐Ÿ™‚ Stereotype works.

You may be the first jew I *know* who openly supports Israel. Often among my jewish friends I had to make the case for Israel. Please, someone else takes that work load.

January 26, 2005 @ 10:33 pm | Comment

I often wondered why people support Israel. If someone could explain that to me in a logical way, I would appreciate it. And please, “Jews have the right to their own nation” doesn’t count. Nobody has “a right” to a nation. And I don’t see the same people who say tjat jump up to support Native American seccession movement.

January 27, 2005 @ 12:06 am | Comment

hari: I disagree.

The cornerstone of the LGF mentality is the belief that there are no moderate Muslims — a “fact” that they repeat over and over and over, ad nauseam. Thus, every Muslim is an extremist, and of course all extremist Muslims are potential terrorists, and all terrorists must die.

Maybe that’s “logical,” but that certainly doesn’t make it right.

January 27, 2005 @ 12:48 am | Comment

I used to live in the middle of a large Muslim comunity, they were all moderates. I didn’t know a single one of them who didn’t wasn’t an honest law abiding person or who would have comitted a hate crime or an act of terrorism.

Many Muslins living in non Muslim countries spend far more time worrying that they will be the target of an non Muslim extremist than they do plotting against anybody. When you look at both Europe and America, the number of Muslims who are the target of hate crimes certainly exceed the number of them who have committed hate crimes. Most just want to live a good life and to keep their heads down.

The more Muslim comunities feel that they are beig hurded, the more they will turn to extremism. For every moderate that the US kill in Iraq there will be a father, a son, or a brother who will be more suseptable to the call of the extremists.

January 27, 2005 @ 1:21 am | Comment

Look – I don’t normally use profane language, that is to say, I don’t normally use bad language to describe others. I rarely even use such language to describe the “behaviour” of others.

But in this case I am going to make an exception. Whoever is responsible for the exterior decorating of this utility car is, to be frank, an absolute to**er. A f**king idiot, in fact. A racist biggot. No sorry, a sad f**king loser!

Now look, before you all jump up and down in protest, at least do me the courtesy of hearing me out: the concept of a “swear word” – one that is considered indecent and inappropriate in polite contexts – exists in most (although not all) languages and cultures. Linguistic taboos arise from social taboos; in English, these generally surround obscenity (explicit references to sex and certain parts of the body). The link between forbidden words and forbidden actions is illustrated by the fact that there is a surprisingly close correlation between the degree to which a word is deemed unacceptable, and the degree to which the action that it denotes is also considered publicly unacceptable. Thus, to burp or fart is considered only mildly offensive, and as a result these terms are not used as swear words. To sh*t or f**k in public, however, would generally be deemed highly inappropriate and this is reflected by the taboos surrounding these words.

Of course, even when the subject matter being described is highly obscene, some words are considered significantly more offensive than others. It has been said that there is no such thing as a true synonym in English, and this certainly appears to be the case where obscenity is concerned. Copulate and f**k may share the same denotative meaning, but their connotations are markedly different (the first is biological terminology, the second is crude and contemptuous), and it is this that differentiates the two words.

There is a widespread public association between swearing and social class, and many of those who criticise the habit most strongly do so because they believe it to be a “common” and unrefined habit. It may be fair to say that many regular swearers come from anarchic or lower-class backgrounds, and that they swear primarily as a means of distancing themselves from mainstream society and affirming their position as a member of a particular social group. However, many famous swearers do not come from such backgrounds, and even English monarchs and American Presidents have been known to participate in the habit. The Late Princess of Wales, Diana, for starters, is said to have often used the words “f**k” and “ar**hole”, as well as the word “sh*t”.

The relatively recent liberation of sexual attitudes since say, the late 1960s (when I was born – I was boren in 1969) has also been accompanied by a more relaxed attitude to the accompanying swear words. The uncensored publication in Britain of D H Lawrence’s sexually explicit novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover, in 1960 (three decades after it was first written), was a landmark in sexual freedom and in the liberation of the associated swear words. I had to study this novel when I was a high school student in fact. The book contains repeated examples of both f**k and c**t (still to this day considered by many to be the two most offensive words in the English language), yet the resulting obscenity trial returned a not guilty verdict. Nonetheless, the first utterance of “f**k” on the BBC five years later (in an interview with Kenneth Tynan) provoked a public outcry similar to the one surrounding the theatrical use of “bloody” in 1914.

Although much of the public angst surrounding swear words concerns their explicit meanings, a personal survey involving a wide variety of spoken sources revealed that only 7% of the swear words used were intended literally (and most of these literal examples were relatively mild words such as “ar*e” – sorry, “a**” for you Americans!) Indeed, some swear words have become so dissociated from their meanings that they can be easily misunderstood. (As far back as 1848, Robert Browning used “tw*t” in his classic poem Pippa Passes, mistakenly believing the word to refer to an item of nun’s clothing!) The relative insignificance of literal swearing may simply be due to the astonishing profusion of non-literal forms, or it may reflect the fact that some of the more severe swear words carry a level of emotion that is inappropriate for many situations.

One common non-literal use of swear words is as a way of venting anger or resentment, either in the form of a general interjection (F**king hell!) or a personal insult. Many swear words are rich in fricative and plosive consonants that help to create a harsh and emotive sound. Often these insults accuse the subject of something deemed socially unacceptable: masturbation (wan ker), in cest (motherf**ker), an illegitimate family background (bast ard), or sexual deviance (bug ger). These terms are rarely intended to be taken literally, but their unpleasant connotations may help to preserve their emotive nature.

Alternatively, the subject may be likened to something offensive (ar**hole). Some insults are completely nonsensical; the writer Bill Bryson (amongst others) has commented on the irony that a frustrated individual may incite a hated person to commit the very act that would give him the most pleasure.

By far the most common function of swearing is a descriptive one, a role filled mainly by two words: bloody and f**king (the latter is undoubtedly the more severe). Most sources classify such words as adjectives or adverbs depending on their grammatical context, yet these words often refer ambiguously to an entire phrase or sentence rather than to a specific item within it. Because of this generality, the positioning of such words within a sentence is often arbitrary, and although their natural position is preceding a noun or verb, a speaker may subconsciously reposition them to create emphasis or rhythm in a sentence. Occasionally this involves splitting a clause in two, or even inserting the swear word as an infix within another word (as in “absof**kinglutely’ – very commonly heard in my native Australia in fact!)

Descriptive swearing usually conveys one or both of two impressions: emphasis or contempt. In their emphatic capacity, these words have sometimes been regarded as straightforward synonyms of the word “very”, but there are important differences (besides in acceptability). A profane epithet relies on connotation rather than denotation to express a feeling, with the result that, unlike the word “very”, it serves to strengthen the impact of a particular statement regardless of the grammatical context in which the word is used.

The epithet can sometimes be dispensed with completely, and the effect created instead by the substitution of a self-evident noun with a swear word (as in “I hate this sh*t”). The fact that such speech can still be understood perhaps illustrates how many of the things that we say are in fact redundant. Some speakers, unfortunately, may use descriptive swear words so regularly that they become largely meaningless, except as a means of creating general tone, or (worse) as a crude and clumsy way of maintaining the rhythm of a sentence.

So what am I really trying to say here? The answer is simple: as a means of expressing extreme emotion, swear words undoubtedly have great power, and they can sometimes achieve effects that are hard to create in more legitimate ways. Swearing may also be beneficial as a means of relieving pent-up anger, and studies have indicated that those who swear regularly suffer less from stress than those who do not. When used in moderation, I therefore believe that swearing is a valuable part of our language. However, excessive overuse of swear words is less commendable, not only because it is tedious, but also because it gradually diminishes the impact of the words involved.

Hence, as I said earlier, I very rarely resort to using what we might consider to be “swear” words.

Still, this photo calls upon me to do otherwise, and so I repeat, and rather unashamedly so, that the person responsible for the exterior decorating of this vehicle is a complete, utter, total, racist, bigoted f**king stupid ar**hole of a c**t!

Sorry if I have offended anyone!

Actually, I should really retract from this statement. The person in question has behaved in this way – he or she may not inherently be such a f**king stupid moron. But by adsvertising their masturbatory dislike for Arabs, they are in fact behaving like a f**king stupid ar**hole!

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

January 27, 2005 @ 1:30 am | Comment

O.K. So I was probably being a little too harsh on this guy in the way that I described him in my commetns directly above.

But let’s face it: the guy who owns this car is just plain dumb. I guess i should be more charitable, and take pity on him really.

Regards (again),
Mark Anthony Jones

January 27, 2005 @ 1:46 am | Comment

Actually, now that I come to think of it, if somebody in Australia was to drive around in a car with these kinds of stickers plastered all over it, he or she would be arrested. We have what are known as Racial Vilification Laws in Australia, which outlaw this kind of provocative and insulting racist behaviour.

Do you not have similar laws in America?

Regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

January 27, 2005 @ 2:09 am | Comment

Mark: I think it’s up to each state. As long as the First Amendment is still venerated (rightly), there is no hope on a federal legislation . Even ACLU stands for Klansman’s rights of demonstration.

I’m not questioning Australia’s efforts on racial harmony, but (no offense), I cannot imagine what happened to Chinese restaurant in Perth could ever happen in the States. You can say, Americans just love Chinese food!

January 27, 2005 @ 2:19 am | Comment

Sorry – me once again, for the third time runnig. Look, I am just mind-boggled that people could be allowed to get away with this in the United States. This is the year 2005, is it not?

Many other countries have laws prohibiting this kind of behaviour. In my native Australia, for example, at the Commonwealth level, anti-vilification clauses were pulled from the 1974 Racial Discrimination Act (RDA), following Coalition opposition in the Senate. When legislation was revived in the 1990s, again, due to opposition from Coalition and Green senators on freedom of speech grounds, saw criminal provisions removed. But in the end the Racial Hatred Act 1995 set up a civil rights-based complaints driven system, making unlawful, “otherwise than in private”, acts “reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult or intimidate another person or group of people”, if done “because of” their “race, colour or national or ethnic origin” –with exemptions for actions done “reasonably and in good faith”, artistic, scientific, etc. works, “fair comment” on matters of public interest.

Today, complaints under the Racial Descrimination Act are handled by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission through a process involving confidential conciliation, adjudication, and as a last resort the court system.

The state of New South Wales, where I am from, passed the first anti-vilification legislation in Australia, in the form of the 1989 Racial Vilification Amendment Act, modifying the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977. Section 20C declares:

“It is unlawful for a person, by a public act, to incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of the race of the person or members of the group.”

This sets a higher harm threshold than the Commonwealth law, with a requirement for “incitement”. Again, there are a series of defenses; the trigger is a complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Board. The RVAA also created, in Section 20D, a criminal offense of “serious racial vilification”.

So driving around in a private car that advertises the message that “the only good Arab is a dead Arab” etc. is definitely a criminal offence in Australia. No vehicle like this would be tolerated.

Regards again,
Mark Anthony Jones

January 27, 2005 @ 2:21 am | Comment

Dear Bellevue,

I know that I can find similar incidents of racial abuse and vandalism towards Chinese members of the community in the United States, and if you like I will provide you with evidence of this.

The incident in Perth is rare, and it is highly illegal – and yes, we Australians love Chinese food too!

I used to live a mere five minutes walking distance from China Town in Sydney, and I have many many Chinese and Asian friends in Australia. I grew up using chopsticks, and in fact, even when I am at home with my family in Australia (an Anglo-Saxon family) I find that we all use chopsticks on a more regular basis than we use knives and forks!

These kinds of biggots represent a minority in the United States I know. They also represent a very small minority of Australians. There are, unfortunately, racists everywhere in this world. As a way of educating people, racial descrimination laws are a necessity – just as it is a necessity to have laws that educate us in the need to give way to pedestrians when driving, etc.

Regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

January 27, 2005 @ 2:30 am | Comment

Mark: I bet it right that you are from Sydney rather than Melbourne – the red/blue thing ๐Ÿ™‚

Anything remotely similar to Perth incident is very rare, I understand. You know what, Chinese language newspaper published in US love to cover those story elsewhere – to prove that America is uniquely great. I may fall victim of this subtle brainwash.

I have formmer classmates living in Sydney and Melbourne, one in each city. The only racial related thing they have mentioned to me is Mrs Hansen (spelling may be wrong) and her occasional remarks making headlines. Guess she is much quieter now or lost her seat.

January 27, 2005 @ 3:08 am | Comment

๐Ÿ™‚ Stereotype works.

You may be the first jew I *know* who openly supports Israel. Often among my jewish friends I had to make the case for Israel. Please, someone else takes that work load.

Posted by bellevue at January 26, 2005 10:33 PM

How many Jewish friends do you know? I don’t know any Jewish people personally who don’t support or love Israel. I know a lot of them don’t support Bush.

January 27, 2005 @ 5:47 am | Comment

Bellevue,

On the same note, I don’t know 1 Chinese who hates China (not the CCP but China.) so much that he wants Bush to nuke China, Can you name one person?

January 27, 2005 @ 5:57 am | Comment

Mark, in re First Amendment rights in the U.S. you have to take into account both the Constitution as interpreted by the Courts, and the federal system as it exists within the U.S. Without going into a long post, suffice it to say that the courts have held that while the right to free speech is the closest there is to an absolute right, it does have limitations. This display obviously crosses the line between constitutionally protected “free speech” and “yelling Fire! in a crowded theater”. But, enforcing that standard is mostly up to local officials, who often take into account community standards. I note that this vehicle is from Kentucky. Were that same driver to head north to Dearborn, Michigan, he would likely find himself pulled over by local police there and told to remove them or face arrest. If this were a North Carolina vehicle, he could keep it displayed on his privately owned property, but would likely find himself subject to exactly the kind of ordinances you describe should he head into any city in the Research Trangle. Within the United States you are free the express any racist claptrap you desire, but you cross the line when to begin to advocate violent action. I suspect that boycotting taxicabs does not fall within that category. Neither does “Bomb Mecca”, coming from someone who obviously does not have the means to carry out the threat.
In essence, these sentiments are no different than those of the Tsunami victim wearing an Osama bin Laden tee shirt. It’s just that the latter’s were more tastefully expressed.

January 27, 2005 @ 7:37 pm | Comment

Yes, I agree with you entirely here lirelou. The same applies with the Australian legislation too really – you are free to express racist views – as you say, freedom of speech needs to be protected – but if you are seen to be inciting racial hatred and violence, well, then you have crossed the line.

“Bomb Mecca” most probably would not get you arrested in Australia if you displayed it like this, on your own personal property. But if you were to display these signs on public property, say, by spray painting the message on a public billboard, then I think you probably would be arrested – on both vandalism charges, and under the Racial Vilification Act.

“The only good Arab is a dead Arab” would be considered, I would think, as having crossed the line, if you were displaying this publicly – even in this case, where the message is displayed on private property – becasue in this case, the car is acting as a public billboard, and the message, it can and would be argued, incites racial hatred and violence.

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

January 27, 2005 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

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