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Judge not

By Tom Toles

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Stranger in a strange land

Suspicious Package, the band some friends and I formed a few years ago, returned Saturday from its triumphal world tour. Well, Europe, anyway. Actually, just Italy. More precisely, Porto Recanati, a lovely seaside town on the Adriatic. One performance only. But still! Some of us (me) in the band had not really played our instrument before, let alone sung into a microphone that was actually attached to something. But there we were on a fifty-foot-wide stage in a centuries-old fortress in front of over a thousand people performing something recognizable as music, including a pun-filled song I wrote about my life as a cartoonist.

It seemed EASILY the strangest thing that would happen last week, until I returned to read about Glenn Beck commandeering the anniversary of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech to make it even harder to ignore the most extravagantly ludicrous charlatan in the U.S. political/media landscape. And Sarah Palin thrown into the bargain! I have a dream, indeed. Somebody wake me up now, please. --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | August 31, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

You liberals are the ones giving Beck credence.

I didn’t go to the Beck rally.
I thought about it.
Why? Because of all of the attention the left was giving him.
I didn’t see any of Becks advertisements.
I only read the articles from the left.

So if Beck is a manufactured persona (Obama surely was) as one poster said.
Then the left has been helping him do it.

We know Beck is a sinner.
We know he is over the top with this Jesus thing.
We know we don’t want him as an elected official.

But man he sure gets your pinko commie panties in a bunch! Doesn’t he.?

That’s Entertainment!

Posted by: rexreddy | September 2, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

jonroesler wrote...
When a candidate for the presidency of the United States of America, on stage with nine other candidates, asks the question, "Who DOESN'T believe in evolution?" and three people raise their hands... How are these people still taken seriously?

Sure evolution exists in many facets of life. I don't think any one would deny that. As to the 'type' of evolution...now that is a different story.

Posted by: bertzel | September 1, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

How to put this, in a way that won't be too politically incorrect? Never mind. Here goes:

Is the shared wisdom of Glenn Beck and the people he shepherds really that, the only way out of our nation's current political and economic woes is to renounce The Enlightenment in its entirety and go back to a better (?) time where decisions were made for us by people who claimed to be representatives of an invisible and all-powerful entity whose existence cannot be proved but who will punish us if we dare not to believe? Really? That's the best they can do?

Pre-revolution economic and political feudalism is the solution to our problems? That was a BETTER time?!?

When a candidate for the presidency of the United States of America, on stage with nine other candidates, asks the question, "Who DOESN'T believe in evolution?" and three people raise their hands... How are these people still taken seriously?

Beck and friends are not at all shocking. That many of us still haven't gotten past a belief in the supernatural isn't terribly shocking. Maturity takes time, and growing up can be scary.
But throwing in the towel and ignoring everything we've learned and all the progress that's been made over the last 250 years and being willing to go back to the superstitions of the past... THAT is asking too much.

Beck doesn't seem to get that, he is on exactly the same side of that argument as the religious right in the Middle East, and the religious right in every other country on the planet. A true and very effective leader of the American Taliban... trying to restore what has been lost to progressive Enlightenment.

Beck is a good shepherd, and well paid.

Is President Obama a "true believer?" Probably so, but does that really make him "more" qualified to lead the U.S. of A?!?

So, okay. Bring it.

Posted by: jonroesler | August 31, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Instead of Tee shirts did they pass ont White Hoodies?

Posted by: vacarollm | August 31, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I usually play the Trumpet but now I am playing the Didgeridoo. It is a very difficult instrument to play but offers some very interesting sounds. I sing low bass and am able to match the "drone" sound on the Didg when I do "voice" over" application.
The Didg application to music repertoire needs a lot of work to make it work with current music systems.
If we want to get our nation back on track providing for the needs of its people; it will be necessary to expand our economy to current needs, get the corruption out of our governent and put a cap on corporate profits. There is no harmony, only chaos when reality is ignored and ignorance prevails.
David Eddy
taichi-wuchi@msn.com

Posted by: OchamsRazor | August 31, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's question something; Beck "commandeering" Martin Luther KIng's famous speech date implies ownership by whom...blacks, liberals? Toles is way off base reserving the calendar for his purposes. And assuming authority speaking for Jesus is wildly presumptuous and offensive. Tommy's knee-jerk liberalism obscures inquiry into a puzzling subject: Obama's convictions of faith. How such an obfuscating president can still secure cover from the left is troubling. Wake up folks...he's a fraud.

Posted by: ecrutle | August 31, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

PrairieDog60, Great Post!

Posted by: Jeff-for-progress | August 31, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Beck, like Palin, are entertainers. Period. They are not pundits. They don't cite facts. The don't refer to logic. They don't offer concrete solutions. Instead they tell stories.
"Momma Grizzlies"
"Hockey Moms"
"My message to you tonight is stand where He wants you to stand and trust in the Lord. If He tells you to do it, do it. If you can't figure it out, He will. Just do it."

If you want to be entertained by entertainers who already reflect your views and offer nothing new, by all means listen to them. If you want the facts and want to deal with reality - go somewhere else.

Posted by: thomgr | August 31, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

For those that enjoyed Beck's rally, I'm glad you had something to warm your day. But let's remain clear about something. The first idea for this rally was to promote Beck's latest book (fact). When it was realized that this would be too much of an ego-fest, they changed it to this "Restoring Honor" idea. This should tell you something.

This man is not genuine in who he is. He is manufactured. He is out to get attention and make money. He disguises this every chance he gets once he realizes it's becoming too obvious. What did Jesus say about people who use God's name for the purpose of enriching their own pockets?

Regardless of what Beck had to say, none of this is real. None of this is what it seems. This is the bait and switch that the political right/media machine is using to manipulate people. The other day Fox News was going off about some mysterious guy that is "maybe" providing funding for the Muslim cultural center a few blocks from the World Trade Center site. They wouldn't mention his name, but kept talking about him as this "evil foreign entity" who would make a terroist HQ out of this center. You know who that person is? Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns about 6% of NewsCorp, second only in holdings to Rupert Murdoch. That's right, the guy they were painting as this mysterious "terror funder" is their co-owner! They wouldn't mention his name because they knew it! Don't you folks see what's going on here? You're being used to enrich the pockets of a bunch of weasels!

The media and the Republicans in powerful positions in this country are really only interested in one thing, making more money. (And the Dems aren't far behind.) We don't need revivalist charlatans and blowhards to tell us what's wrong with the country. THEY are what's wrong with the country. What we need is for everyone, all of us, to tend our garden. Look out for your neighbors, no matter what color or religion they are. Decrease your carbon footprint so the world is still here and livable for our kids and grandkids. Teach your children what it means to value nature, value life, value everyone equally, value each day. Stop being offended by everything and everyone you disagree with. Investigate issues of concern to you (using reliable, not corporate, sources).

Most of all, if you really felt the whole "Christian" aspect of Beck's rally was a nice touch, then be the kind of Christian Jesus would have liked. Turn the other cheek. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Throw out the money-changers. Love one another. Forgive. Bless the meek, the poor, the sick, the Muslim, the immigrant, the "liberal", Afghans, Jews, Iraqis, Palistinians, etc. These things are the reason why Jesus was a revolutionary, why it was a "New" Testement.

It's not hard to do. The first step is to quit fearing everything and everybody. Live fearlessly and with love. The rest will follow.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | August 31, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Spot on. Well done.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | August 31, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

P.S. I forgot to mention a couple of the most important facts on the Beck Rally: He lifted up GOD---first. He didn't lift "himself" up, with the "me, myself, and I" --self-exalting words. The hundreds of thousands of people--were happy, not speaking badly about anyone, not carrying signs to put down anyone (truly Christlike). An authentic Christian does what is right in GOD'S eyes--as a top priority. GOD first, others second, "self" last. Self exalting is a characteristic of old satan himself. GOD is drawing a line in the sand--watching--who is for HIM; who is against.

Posted by: 1john518 | August 31, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, Tommy boy, you didn't disappoint me.
I knew you and all the tolerant, open-minded leftists out there would be having a cow over the Restore Honor Rally. Still can't seem to be able to handle that "free speech" thing, can you ??; unless of course it's spouting your leftist, liberal BS, lies, and distortions.

Posted by: Shrimper | August 31, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm not here to defend Tom Toles, but it is possible, just possible, to think that Beck had every right to have the rally he did and still criticize it because you disagree. I know that's hard to understand for some people but I didn't expect conservatives to say nothing but how great the anti-Iraq War rallies I attended were. I expected to see and read, and did see and read, a lot of conservative people who felt people like me misguided or wrong or even anti-American. Yeah, I didn't necessarily like it but it's called the real world where not everyone agrees with what I believe. I kind of like living there. Try it sometime.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | August 31, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I think I said it first, but it makes a great cartoon. ;-)

Posted by: SarahBB | August 31, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Did Mr. Toles watch any of the Beck rally? It was on C-Span, and he lifted up Dr. Martin Luther King, our nation. It was AWESOME! He said that he knows people label him a "fear monger", but "was it fear mongering", he asked, "to warn the people on the Titanic that they were about to hit an iceberg?" Maybe this is a case like passing the healthcare bill, when Nancy Pelosi said, "let's pass it, and THEN see what it says." HUH?!! Guess judgment was passed on Glenn's rally, but many didn't care enough to watch, and investigate to get the facts straight.

Posted by: 1john518 | August 31, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Well, Tommy boy, you didn't disappoint me.
I knew you and all the tolerant, open-minded leftists out there would be having a cow over the Restore Honor Rally. Still can't seem to be able to handle that "free speech" thing, can you ??; unless of course it's spouting your leftist, liberal BS, lies, and distortions.
MLK's niece was incredible; Rev. Al, and the rest of the race-pimps and hustlers just can't stand it when one of their own rejects their empty, black-plantation, rhetoric.
Sorry, you're ALL hypocrites of the first order. "I have a dream" too..... and it involves the wholesale defeat, repudiation, and eventual unemployment of this entire anti-American, Stalinist gang, called the Democrat Party come November....unless, Barack manages to cancel the election (Kagan and that "wise-Latina" should be on board for that , as well as that racist-pig Holder).

Posted by: Shrimper | August 31, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Why do Tom Toles and the other journalists at the Washington Post continue to ignore Alveda King's, niece of the Reverend Martin Luther King, great speech at the Restore Honor Rally? Does it destroy their template against Beck or are they prejudice against successful black conservative women?

Posted by: bignoisylawnmower | August 31, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

I can answer this question. She's his neice. This really doesn't mean much except she was born into the same family he was. I'm sure she has political views and beliefs (obviously, since she spoke at the rally), but the fact she's related to the late Dr King doesn't mean she immediately should receive more attention than many others who have such views and doesn't give a special legitimacy to the rally itself. I personally have many relatives who have very different views than mine. It makes for an interesting Thanksgiving sometimes, but that's about all it means.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | August 31, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Be thee not deceived by the onion-teared one. The Good Book warns against false profits, er, . . . prophets. Anyway, you Conservatives need a reality check.

Geo W. Bush had a Republican Congress for six years. SIX YEARS. Please name one department, bureau, office, or agency that they shut down to shrink "the bloated federal bureaucracy." NO, instead they created another cabinet-level department, Homeland Security, and marbled the Executive Branch with countless offices of "faith-based initiatives." So much for fighting excessive government.

Oh, and then to top it off, they demonstrated their commitment to fiscal responsibility by charging two foreign wars on the national credit card.

You guys love Reagan? OK, let's roll back the tax code to what it was under Ronnie. And let's reinstate the financial regulations that were in place then. Ah, Morning in America.

Posted by: HumanistPatriot | August 31, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm sixty-five years old and I remain amazed at the undeviating and unrepentant stupidity of the right. The only understandable reason to be conservative is because you're rich; you like things just fine the way they are. The rest of you are brainwashed slaves looking for easy explanations--readily served up to you by the likes of Fox, Limbaugh and Beck. Remember the "Up With People" movement during the Viet Nam era? Just another thinly-veiled White People Party: identical to the grotesque spectacle that took place on the Mall on Saturday. You don't fool anyone with an active brain cell,right wingers,you're the same as you've ever been.

Posted by: abhancock | August 31, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

i don't agree with Beck's religious beliefs. But i do know this: you are not a Believer.

Posted by: jpdtiga | August 31, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

the election of our nations first female president, Mrs Sarah Palin.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist
--------------------------------------
I liked that part about "Mrs." There was an early justification for not always using "Mrs" or "Miss" on the grounds that a woman does not have to reveal her marital status if she does not want to. That made sense.

But then a liberal feminist alliance made "Ms" an editorial requirement, and a woman HAD to be called "Ms" even if the whole world knew that she had five children by her husband.

Sarah Palin does not WANT to hide her children or her marital status. But liberals insist on hiding it FOR her, even while making dirty jokes at the expense of her daughters.

What HAS American liberalism come to? This is not how I remember the liberals of my college days.

The thoughtful, intelligent, tolerant liberals of my college days have been replaced by piranhas, turning on Alveda King simply because she is a black woman who went to Beck's rally.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 31, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Two very different groups gathered on Saturday. Mr. Sharpton's group peacefully marched and Mr. Beck's group peacefully gathered on the Mall. Both groups should be commended for the manner in which they gathered and conducted themselves. Although the groups obviously disagree on many things they were both civil and at the end of the day everyone went home satisfied that things went well. The only group that seems to be disappointed is of course the Left. Disappointed that Alveda King has the courage to speak without the approval of the Left, and disappointed that there was no evidence of any of the labels that Mr. Toles has printed on his cauldron. Victory is a very dangerous opportunity. President Obama's victories have galvanized a very large portion of the American electorate. They feel that our Nation is drifting away from God and the ideals of our Founding Fathers. Whatever the Left contributes to the discussion it is guaranteed that it will include name calling, factual errors, and deception. A very tired and failing contribution. With the changes that appear to be coming this November it might be a good idea if the Left shelve the same old tactics and try to demonstrate that they understand that there are those that don't agree with them. And that those who don't agree with them have as legitimate a right to their opinions as those of the more and more abandoned Left.

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 31, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Is it possible for liberals to use any tools other than sarcasm, and contempt for other views?

I am already living in a prison managed by liberals where my vote does not count any more. The public wants A but the liberals tell us all that B will be done for some complex reasons that only they can understand.

Maybe Beck would bring another kind of dictatorship, but at least it would be a change...

Posted by: rohit57 | August 31, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

If you have a bright person and wait long enough - this has got to happen. I could frame a copy and put it on my wall.

Exactly right, Mr. Toles.

Just perfect.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | August 31, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Tom I fear for this country when 70,000 is a million and and supposedly represents us everyday Americans. Beck is this day's PT Barnum. You know the one with the "sucker is born" saying. He is just cashing in on the ignorant and well meaning. How can he complain about Obama's religion when he has never explained his own. Where is his own religious leader in all this ? Who is it ? What happened to tolerance in the US ? His supporters would have you believe how nice they are but where is the tolerance ? It really is sad how ignorant some of these people are and that they apparently only read or view extreme right wing media. Again, where is the tolerance I grew up with in America ?

Posted by: Falmouth1 | August 31, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Pararanger22 --

If you actually read The New York Times, you would know that Douthat is their conservative opinion writer. He more or less replaced William Kristol, a Palin lover who was dubbed by The New Republic during Bush I's reign as "Dan Quayle's Brain", which sort of says it all. Douthat is nearly as conservative as Kristol, but not as strident.

Douthat is hardly the liberal voice of the NYT.

Posted by: Iceman3 | August 31, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Why do Tom Toles and the other journalists at the Washington Post continue to ignore Alveda King's, niece of the Reverend Martin Luther King, great speech at the Restore Honor Rally? Does it destroy their template against Beck or are they prejudice against successful black conservative women?

Posted by: bignoisylawnmower | August 31, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles,

I'm sure that none of us loyal to your blog (I need my head examined) would be able to convince you that Beck's rally was a success, from all angles. But perhaps an excerpt from the NY Times, no friend of Conservatives and arch-enemy of Beck, could convince you otherwise? (see below)

-------------------------------

"Mr. Beck Goes to Washington"

But whereas Obama wouldn’t have been Obama if he weren’t running for president, Beck’s packed, three-hour jamboree was floated entirely on patriotism and piety, with no “get thee to a voting booth” message. It blessed a particular way of life without burdening that blessing with the compromises of a campaign, or the disillusioning work of governance.

For a weekend, at least, Beck proved that he can conjure the thrill of a culture war without the costs of combat, and the solidarity of identity politics without any actual politics. If his influence outlasts the current election cycle, this will be the secret of his success.

-- By ROSS DOUTHAT, NY Times

---------------------------------

It's your blog, Mr. Toles, but perhaps you should do some literature review before throwing your rant grenades...


Posted by: pararanger22 | August 31, 2010 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Mr Toles:

This magazine cover, from Rev Wright's church, would make an excellent cartoon:

http://www.bizzyblog.com/wp-images/TUCC021206TrumpetPantheonUnk.jpg

Those ARE Obama, Wright and Farrakhan on the cover, and they aren't photoshopped.

Posted by: tacheronb | August 31, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Tom, President Obama certainly practices a Christianity that the Beckerheads do not recognize.

Posted by: JCD1978 | August 30, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Hmm...four comments none of which support your view. Would there were something that could be said to prop you up because you are more intelligent than the others and definitely more entertaining. Too bad you are midguided.

Posted by: quiensabe | August 30, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

You're one miserable and pathetic man, Toles...just like every leftist nut-job out there. Get help, please.

Posted by: DCer1 | August 30, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Please go back to Italy because it was cooler and Beck made it nicer in D.C. while you were gone. It's called the toles effect.

Posted by: jornolibist | August 30, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Tom, your chosen mindset precludes anyone from waking you now. But rest easy. Your wake up call is around the corner.
Word of caution. Sunlight is blinding to eyes too long in the dark.

Posted by: lvolkening | August 30, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Tommy ol Boy, its easy to sum up your messiah’s religious beliefs in three: “GOD D@MN AMERICA”, it’s the religion of his former pastor and “spiritual mentor” Jeremiah Wright.

“I have a dream” too and it involves the democrats getting massacred in the 2010 midterms ( a near metaphysical certainty at this point), a supermajority in the Senate come 2012 when weasels like Jim Webb and John tester come up for re-election (pretty likely), and the election of our nations first female president, Mrs Sarah Palin.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | August 30, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

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