I originally planed to “honor” Roger Goodell this week but I’m burnt out writing about that po-faced bastard. He’s guilty of egregious and persistent malakatude but I decided to write about somebody else this week. Jonathan Hoenig is a Fox News regular and founder of the Capitalist Pig hedge fund, which is almost bad enough to qualify for the crown of thorns in and of itself. But he said something really ignorant on teevee and that is why he’s malaka of the week:
“We should have been profiling on September 12, 2001. The last war this country won, we put Japanese Americans in internment camps; we dropped nuclear bombs on residential city centers. So, yes, profiling would be at least a good start.”
Really? First of all, the US at least temporarily won the first Gulf War by driving the Iraqis out of Kuwait, but that’s neither here nor there. His implication that we *won* the war by interning Japanese-American is ahistorical, batshit crazy talk. Not only was internment wrong, it didn’t aid the war effort whatsoever. It helped some Pacific Coast farmers steal land from their fellow citizens but it had squat to do with winning. I guess this hedge fund malaka doesn’t know who was President when a formal apology by the US guvmint was issued over internment. That’s right, the patron saint of modern conservatism, Ronald Reagan. Of course, many of his most ardent acolytes are shaky on the details of what President Reagan actually did. I suspect he’d forgive them: he wasn’t much of a detail man himself.
I have a longtime interest in this subject. Growing up in the Bay Area, I knew lots of people who had been interned. I was a kid who liked talking to older people and had a lively interest in history, which grew out of my love of old movies. My father was also honorary Japanese; having parlayed a facility with a language that he learned on Uncle Sam’s dime during the war into something he used in business.
I also wrote a paper on the subject that I was quite proud of for a college Poli Sci class. It taught me that even liberal lions such as Hugo Black and Bill Douglas could get it wrong whereas some ostensibly “conservative” Justices such as Stanley Roberts and Robert Jackson got it right. It was always a misnomer in Jackson’s case, he was more of a judicial restraint New Dealer like his colleague, the hot dog man, Felix Frankfurter.
In any event, I hate when people tailor history to suit their contemporary views. Hoenig is not only a capitalist pig, he’s full of shit when it comes to using internment to support his repressive, racist, and downright stupid position.
Malaka Hoenig is also one of my least favorite species of hypocrite: a so-called Randian libertarian. His idea of freedom, apparently, involves profiling, internment camps, and nuking people. It’s a form of objectivism that I find objectionable.
If I had a dollar for every time some right winger on Fox News said something historically inaccurate, I still wouldn’t be as rich, greedy or arrogant as Jonathan Hoenig and that is one of many reasons that he’s malaka of the week.
Finally, if you’re interested in the internment issue and it how it played out in the courts, Justice At War by Peter Irons is a classic.