Kathleen O’Brien Wilhelm

Kathleen O'Brien WilhelmRemember the Deer Lady? She was the Ohio blogger who thought that deer crossing signs were a waste of money because (1) deer can’t read and (2) they wouldn’t follow the law anyway. Well, I’ve been staying up to date on her. And it is really getting hard to believe that she isn’t involved in some kind of satire. I’m talking Billy Bob Neck level of satire. The vast majority of her blog posts are nothing more than logorrhea of conservative talking points.

Let me be clear: as much as I would like it, it does not appear to be satire. In particular, if you read the comments, you will see friends of hers defending what she has written. It isn’t like on Billy Bob Neck videos where there is the occasional comment, “It’s satire, you idiot!” Given this, her blog is of great concern. We are long past the time when we had actual communists ranting about the dictatorship of the proletariat. But we do indeed have a rather large subculture of proto-fascists.

This week, Kathleen O’Brien Wilhelm admonishes us to, Trust Your Gut America. She comes out swinging. As if to prove that Tea Party members really are racists, she starts by explaining why you would have to be an idiot to go where the wild things are. You know: cities. “No one with half a brain has walked down a dark alley knowingly in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit where gangs and drug-scum hang.” Why are alleys so dark? Perhaps it is because there isn’t a lot of reflected light off the faces of the people there. Regardless, “gangs” and “drug-scum” are signifies.

She follows up this sentence with a great example of one of my most hated conservative canards, “A hopeless bad place; pity the good people and police who must be part of this.” Right! The gang members and drug addicts aren’t victims in any way; they are just immoral people. I hear this kind of thing more and more. It is nothing but a justification for the rich being rich and the poor being poor. (Note also that the police are part of the “good people” because they never do anything wrong!)

Wilhelm is just getting going! Now is when the conservative talking point core dump comes into its all. Are you ready?

Yet, that gut instinct isn’t kicking in as America moves down this campaign trail of Obama, his crew and Obamacare. Run, flee, scream louder than the worst pain America. Obama’s zombie garble is taking America down. America is beginning Obama’s next four years. He’s had four full years to lead the greatest country in the world. However, all this socialist liberal has done is bad. Bowing to countries that hate us, giving to countries that want to kill us, focusing on his friends to kick at our values and break down the respect the world has for us.

This reminds me of a section call “No Comment” in The Progressive. Doesn’t this all speak for itself? The first sentence doesn’t even make sense. In the second she says we should scream in cancer level pain because… What? Gays can serve openly in the military? People with existing conditions have the ability to get healthcare? What exactly is it that makes America the dystopian hellscape that she thinks we should be screaming about? What is a “zombie garble”? What is a “socialist liberal”? Do you see why I call this logorrhea?

Then she just spews out long discredited claims. Bowing to countries that hate us? Not true. The rest of it makes no sense, except that last part about how much the world no longer respects us under Obama. Also: not true.

But she isn’t done yet! This is the last paragraph in full:

This golfer, campaigner is a danger to capitalism, freedom, the US Constitution. He is making America that dirty place like Chicago—corrupt, murderous, non productive, taxed and drained. What is America doing? Who is screaming with pain? One wonders if America is giving up, laying there and just taking it.

Don’t you just love the attack on Obama’s recent golf game?! Somehow, I suspect that she never had a problem with George W. Bush being a golfer. But okay, I hold it against Obama too. She then moves onto calling Obama a “campaigner.” This is the same old line that “Obama is only good in front of a teleprompter!” It’s just sad. But she isn’t done with her conservative riff! On she goes to mention the three things that every conservative loves but has only the vaguest of conceptions. It is hard to take these seriously from a woman who apparently thinks that one of the great freedoms we are missing out on is the freedom not to pay for signs that deer won’t read anyway.

What I’m most taken with here is that she abandons the “dark alley” and goes full tilt: Chicago is a dirty place! It is corrupt, murderous, non-productive, taxed, and drained! I think she starts that sentence talking about Chicago and ends talking about America. She seems to be under the impression that Chicago is a non-productive taker. Illinois is one of the many over-taxed blue states. Most of that doubtless comes from dirty Chicago. But smart people don’t turn to Tea Party members for facts.

The main thing about Kathleen O’Brien Wilhelm is how hateful she is. She just knows that all these people she has precious little experience with are evil and immoral. The Tea Party may only represent 8% of the population, but that is a lot for such vile thinking.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

10 thoughts on “Kathleen O’Brien Wilhelm

  1. This is such nonsensical madness that I’m almost tempted to read it, but I don’t want to A) add to the webhits nor B) sully my browser history that foully. I could die tomorrow and possibly the friends who disposed of my accumulated consumer crap might look at my computer and see what I’ve been viewing.

    The images of naked people better-looking than myself (thanks to the late David Rakoff for that joke) would be shameful enough, but this nutbag’s website? If I wasn’t around to say "no, no, I was looking at it ironically"? Too terrifying a thought to imagine. I wouldn’t even get a proper obituary in the paper (born then, worked there, died when.) It would just be "JMF: We Thought We Knew Him, And Now We’re Glad The Sleazy Bastard’s Dead. (Donations can be made to the Tea Party at hitlerhadsomegoodideas.com)."

    It doesn’t surprise me, nor is it worthy of notice, that people write this stuff. You hear it on the bus all the time. The conventional wisdom does not work for the overwhelming majority of Americans. People buy into conspiracy theories, explanations which say that the problem is not in ourselves but in the stars. That our system is perfectly logical, benefits those who administer it, and is in fact described in detail on page D-5 of the business section in your local paper, short-circuits the minds of most conservatives and depresses most liberals.

    It is extremely worthy of notice that people read this stuff. It’s a sort of moral/political apathy, thinking that "if they only knew the truth!" things would get better. I’m guilty of this myself; I’d much rather e-bloviate than be on the phone talking to voters. (It’s fucking terrifying and depressing; who am I to tell some live person their opinion about Voter ID is wrong, even though I think it’s wrong? It’s a complete stranger, I don’t have anything against them or want to be a rude jerk they actually answered the phone to talk with.)

    One of the many things I like about this site is that it’s not quite so deluded. There’s no presumption that setting the record straight will magically awaken the world, that one damning anecdote about the Truth of ObamaCare can shatter the system of lies. Or the left-wing equivalent; the World Trade Center conspiracy theories, which always struck me as pointless. (So, worst-case scenario, Bush killed thousands of Americans to start a war for oil? And, best-case scenario, Bush used the death of many Americans to kill many more Iraqis in a war for oil? And establishing scenario 1 proves what, exactly?)

    There’s no magic pill, no "if they only knew!" answer. Conservatives have the luxury of imagining this, as they’ve been in power for three decades and can pretend, like good Stalinists, that the only things separating us from paradise are the traitorous remnants of unbelievers.

    Liberals like myself need to get off our butts, call more people and knock on more doors. But man, I fucking hate doing that shit. It’s worse than telemarketing. At least in that job you’re kinda glad when people hang up.

  2. Today I learned that the DEA considers 8% of Americans "regular" users of illicit drugs. Interesting that the same percentage of Americans are "drug scum" as are tea party affiliated. Maybe the "drug scum" should get their own political party, they couldn’t do worse than this woman.

  3. 2. Remember, deer X-ing signs aren’t meant for deer, who can’t read, after all. They’re meant for sentient cars, like Herbie The Love Bug.

    I just can’t wrap my mind around how deeply this woman’s photo disturbs me. It’s like the "author photo" of that creep whose name is on the "Left Behind" series (ghostwritten, most likely.) A smug and self-satisfied, thoroughly physically repulsive image.

    How can you even put something like that out there unless it depicts a face you are pleased as punch to share with the world? With a noxious, sexless vibe, and an assurance that tons of readers want to see it?

    I’ve thought Susan Jacoby is America’s best writer since "Freethinkers" (nothing she’s written since has disabused me of that notion.) Her last, about aging, had a heart-ripping sequence where she described losing a partner to Alzheimer’s and being sexually alone. I don’t know how someone can live through an experience like that, much less write about it. But she does, and her author photo is of a genial scholar in her 60s.

    Not a gruesome photo like that of Wlhelm posted here, or the one the grinning-skull-head fake author of the "Left Behind" series used.

    I can only conclude that massive sexual repression is a huge selling point to right-wing readers. They must be happy to see faces that reflect what they feel. This is very sad, if it’s accurate. Sex in and of itself is not the single most important thing in the world, but intimacy makes us tolerate more bullstuff from a SO than we would otherwise. It helps us get out of our skins, become aware that different people are unknown creatures, and appreciate the degree to which our existence is dependent on everyone else tolerating our bullstuff.

    Anyhoo, that’s a horrifying photo. Ye gods.

  4. 3. (Because I’m still awake.)

    Part of our being an extremely logic-starved society is that we are susceptible to anecdotal arguments. Like, "I was just cut off in traffic by a Mexican; hence, Mexicans are bad drivers with no respect for others. What jerks those immigrants are!" It’s effective because we don’t tend to remember the zillion other times when Mexicans didn’t cut us off in traffic, and the zillion times when Caucasians did aren’t as vivid in our memory bank.

    Almost everything conservatives say is based on this kind of anecdotal evidence. "One time a liberal/a Mexican/a black guy did such-and-such" which is probably entirely accurate. I’ve been insulted and threatened by liberals and racial minorities, as I’m sure you have. Live in a city long enough, these things are bound to happen. Being insulted sucks, and being threatened is unsettling, but really not as scary as Ms. Wilhelm makes it out. It’s more of a pain in the ass, and one you gladly tolerate for the fringe benefit of not having neighbors like Ms. Wilhelm.

  5. @JMF – I loved David Rakoff. He gives me hope, because he was easily as ugly as I am. And my recent poetry attempts are largely thanks to him. It is sad that he died so young. (That was very funny about the obit, BTW.)

    I think you should consider political action. It isn’t really about convincing people. It is about determining who is on your side and getting them to vote. That’s the great thing about being a liberal: most people agree with you. (Interestingly, even most conservatives agree with you!) That’s why Republicans do well in midterm elections: because liberals don’t vote. Damn them to hell!

    I think I have a new slogan for the site: "Not quite so deluded"! I love it! But my position is based on years of disappointment. I always find it funny when people claim that if whomever just heard this one argument, they would agree. Chris Christie said the same thing about Bruce Springsteen. Apparently, Bruce just hasn’t been enlightened on the magic that free markets can do! The best I ever do is make libertarians scratch their heads for a while. But it doesn’t last for long. It does, however, amuse the shit out of me.

  6. @Andy – Just to show you how naive I was, I used to think we would do exactly that! I imaged Drug Pride marches, "We’re high, have a try, or get used to it!"

    Here’s something I don’t understand. Drug use affects people’s social interactions so little that employers have to drain bodily fluids from them to figure out if they are using drugs. Why then is using drugs such a big deal?

  7. @JMF – That’s the thing. I’ve been mugged. I’ve been beaten up. That’s how it always is: people who actually have to deal with violence and crime tend to be understanding. People who don’t have to deal with crime at all tend to be the most harsh. It is simple enough. I understand why someone might get to the point of mugging me. Someone like Wilhelm has no clue. Thus, it is easy for her to assume that criminals are just evil. The true evil, of course, is her ignorance.

  8. @FM – There is a drug user social movement, but curiously it has been largely absent in the US. Australia even provided federal funding for drug user unions and even a magazine for drug users. The very first drug user union within the US just started in 2012 in San Fran, from a grant from the Drug Policy Alliance (funded by Soros).

    Part of this is due to the fact that the US is the spiritual home of drug prohibition. Even congregating together can be a crime in some communities (freedom of assembly?). As a result many users have deep shame and guilt about their use.

    As for drug testing, of course! If drugs were as bad as we’ve been made to believe the users would be self-evident and testing would not be necessary. Furthermore if having a drug free workplace is so important, why isn’t everyone in a position of power (heads of Congress, executive, judicial branches) submitting to a drug test?

  9. @Andy – The irony is that when the US got started in drug prohibition, it was being pushed by other countries. It does go against what we long stood for, and I still claim the first drug laws were clearly unconstitutional. (Now the constitution has been interpreted so that they aren’t. Funny, however–and I wrote about this at the time–that 4 justices voted against the ACA for reasons that would invalidate the drug laws. Although they would never have seen that going forward.)

    Now, of course, the United States is the main country pushing drug prohibition. In fact, if it weren’t for the US, I believe the world would have made much greater strides in liberalizing the law. As it is, even ex-presidents won’t criticize the drug laws. The Borg really have assimilated them.

    Fear of drugs gets much of its power from its hidden nature. This is what connects it to homosexuality and witchcraft before that. It isn’t so much that the laws force people into the shadows as the shadows allow for the laws.

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