Twitter is a marvelous tool for some — 140 characters to demonstrate a complete lack of tolerance, demagoguery and good old-fashioned McCarthyism all directed by conservative Irvine city commissioners and senior officials in the Republican Party in the wake of last week’s city council meeting in which there was an effort to expand Irvine’s “friendship city” roster to include cities from China, Pakistan and Vietnam. It was a Tweeted confession of intolerance and limited vision by several.
It was the Vietnamese friendship city inclusion that drew the most ire and Red-baiting tweets from Commissioners Allan Bartlett and Lynn Schott, as well as GOP official and Flash Report publisher Jon Fleischman and California GOP official Kathy Tavoularis. Council member Christina Shea was actually begging Bartlett to retweet one of her tweets. Tweeting from the dais during a council meeting perhaps?
It was Classic stuff.
Some samples of the fun:
@KathyTavoularis Apr 8
Jana Fonda called Larry, she wants her communist party card back she lent you. #Irvine
@allanbartlett Wonder if Agran will somehow work in a reference to his friend Hanoi Jane Fonda?
Wow, such witty knee slappers.
Schott appears not to know the difference between a sister city proposal and a friendship city proposal. Which she should because she’s on her third run for city council and is a city planning commissioner, or was, before Five Points took over that function for the city.
We’ve never questioned the lack of freedom or poor record on human rights in Vietnam. Pakistan has a terrible record too. So does China. But Vietnam isn’t on the list of the 20 nations with the worst records of human rights violations. Fleischman tweeted that Larry Agran wouldn’t want people to read the Amnesty International Report on Human Rights violations from 2013. They probably shouldn’t read that organization’s report of Human Rights violations in the United States against immigrants, women, the poor, the old and the sick either. In fact many of these human rights violations can be tied to official positions in the Republican Party.
Perhaps Jon ought to read Amnesty International’s reports on Human Rights violations from China, Russia, various Eastern Europe countries, and those oil rich nations in the Middle East. Even Israel has an unflattering report. No nation is immune from human rights violations.
Vietnam is America’s 29th largest trading partner but we’re the top market in the world for Vietnam. And according to this 2011 report, trade between our nations is only going to increase. Vietnam’s economy will become increasingly dependent on America dollars. What better way to insist on changes to Vietnam’s political environment and human rights? You can’t do it unless you’re talking with them.
But to start dropping tags of “Commie Larry” and “Jane Fonda” references about her visits to North Vietnam in the 1960s, which have become more fiction than fact, Bartlett, Schott, Fleischman and Tavolauris are engaging in the sort of language and rhetoric that should have died out when Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy had his career effectively ended by Edward R. Murrow.
I had a small correction to my post from Friday after a brief Facebook exchange with Mayro Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway. I am still waiting for an answer on how to effect change in Vietnam unless there’s some sort of dialogue. I’ve posed the question to several politicos on the Republican side as well. My answer — so far — stony silence. Far easier to light the torches than actually present an idea I guess.
My favorite Tweet from these clowns:
@FlashReport Apr 8
Larry Agran is trying to sell a crap sandwich. In China, Vietnam and Pakistan – local city government officials are installed party thugs.
Fleischman fails to see that his Republican Party seeks to install party thugs as local city government officials. And to paraphrase, “These people have no decency.” Instead of ideas, they use taunts and name-calling. Cowards.
There’s one thing Agran has over all of these Tweeters. He’s worn the uniform of our nation. Agran was in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1962 to 1970, including 6 months of active duty training at Fort Ord and several years of weekends and part-time service.
What war was going on then?
Enough with the “Commie” talk; very John Birch of you Republicans to engage in that sort of thing, but it’s outdated and not effective. How about some constructive ideas for actually bringing about positive change in Vietnam? Because I haven’t heard a single idea from Republicans on what to do there.