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Saturday, July 20

Gapers Block

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I wrote this column four times, longhand, on a legal pad, but the text kept disappearing. After thinking on it, I realized it was because my subject — a hard right ideologue named Jill Stanek and her creepy smattering of adorers — is nothing. I was confused, because I know Stanek exists in the most basic sense of the word. It's just that she exists in the way that a shadow "exists." In fact — really they're nothing.

Who is Jill Stanek? Unfortunately for her, nobody. A "columnist" for the whack-job WorldNetDaily and an intellectual lightweight who couldn't argue her way out of a wet paper bag, Stanek impotently parries with her proclaimed opponents, people she refers to as "pro-aborts," "feminists" and "liberals."

Let me say this: on the issue of reproductive rights, I stake no real position. I don't consider it on my personal issue screen. This isn't about that. Stanek, were she to ever instantiate into corporeality — (that means if you ever begin to exist) — needs to be sat down and given her orange juice. Shown the difference between the real world outside of Orland Hills and her cloistered positive-feedback coterie of right-wing ideologues.

Now an introduction to Jill Stanek's world, population one whack-a-doo.

In Jill Stanek's world, facilities that will perform an abortion are "abortion mills." When challenged on this characterization — which is simply a propaganda device that Stanek probably learned at some sweaty weekend retreat for whack-a-doo right wing activists — Stanek responded with the definition of a flour mill, described one of several methods of performing an abortion which involves eventually destroying the fetus, and then, voila! A clinic is exactly like a flour mill! This kind of distorted half-reasoning is what makes Stanek so popular on the hard-right American Taliban speaking circuit, and so annoys the thinking people subjected to her constant rantings at, among other places, Rich Miller's Illinoize.

In Jill Stanek's world, progressives are on their way to extinction because they don't reproduce at the rate that conservatives do. By extension, that means when Jill Stanek tries to marshall all of her faculties, she reaches conclusions like, "Your political party is an inherited trait." Her words: "Do you distrust the army and other institutions? Do you find soft drugs, abortion, homosexuality and euthanasia acceptable? Do you seldom, if ever, attend church? Are you an environmentalist? These are progressive views, and you are thus part of a literal dying breed."

In Jill Stanek's world there is no problem our nation faces that cannot be solved by throwing young mothers in prison for life if they seek an abortion, and the same for the doctor who may aid them. Even if they have been raped. By, oh, say, their father.

How does an otherwise reasonable person turn into such a hopeless case? Simple — start out by not actually being reasonable within any possible definition of that word. That's a good start.

We know Jill Stanek isn't reasonable because of her apparent inability to draw an analogy or make a reasoned argument — witness her straight up dishonest writing in support of the Cook County Republican Party's campaign to portray Democrats as undertaking a secret plan to exterminate African-Americans.

Stanek points out that birth-control crusader and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist. Nevermind that Planned Parenthood long ago disavowed that aspect of Sanger's writings. She insists that PP does indeed "peddle" abortion to poor African-Americans — as opposed to the fact that they are simply making it available in poorer neighborhoods, since it is abundantly available in hospitals and clinics in nice neighborhoods. The ultimate goal: extermination of black people.

She falls into the racist trap that certain Republicans always fall into because they're, well, racists. For Ms. Stanek, despite the Democratic Party's (or as she calls it, the "Democrat Party," because focus groups show that calling it the "Democratic Party" is too positive) program of black extinction, they continue to vote for them because... it's not entirely clear why, but the implication would be that they're too stupid to realize what's happening to them.

In Jill Stanek's mind, or what passes for it, Planned Parenthood must be a eugenicist conspiracy because Sanger may have been a eugenicist. I like that logic. Let's apply it to some other institutions, shall we?

• The Catholic Church wants to forcibly convert or kill all Jews (Torquemada).
• Volkswagen Corp would also like to kill all Jews (Hitler).
• The Republican Party opposes most civil rights for blacks (Strom Thurmond, et al).
• The United States supports slavery (umm... the South).

The list could go on, of course. The point being that Stanek and those of her lowly ilk love to grasp at these historical curiosities and turn them into conspiracies or patterns or basic motivations. You have to pity Stanek and the hard-right ideologues in Illinois, who can't get anybody elected, can't get their own party to listen to them, and are otherwise barren, dried up and shriveling away into literal, not just figurative, nothingness, on their way to being a club that meets in Stanek's plastic-covered living room and takes minutes in a Filofax journal she keeps in an over-decorated box on top of the refrigerator. They've been unable for cycles and cycles to get anybody elected, and the candidates who swallow their electoral poison — "Run hard to the right and bring out the mythical hardcore conservatives that never vote" — never have won, and never will win, in Illinois.

You see, in Stanek's world, what matters is a single tree, not the forest. Taking a step back and looking at the forest, you'd see that Illinois has become more progressive, more open, more free. Illinois has become better and better, as she and her flaccid allies howl with fear-stricken crazy eyes that "The government has taken over the social work of the Church, to no one's benefit." Like polio vaccination and rural electrification. Take off the martyr's cloak, Jill, and take a step out here into the light — look at this huge, lush forest!

The real formula for many of these senseless ideologues, on the right and on the left, is the same. The more Jill salivates and foams at the mouth, the more she gets on TV or gets speaking engagements.

I prefer reasoned arguments — hung on your head, ringing your bells. But then again, I don't get speaking fees.

GB store


w / March 29, 2006 7:25 AM

I normally wouldn't care about some pyshco idealogue - but since South Dakota seems on the road to outlawing reproductive rights, people like this woman are starting to

Why is being an environmentalist progressive evil? Who ARE these people that hate fresh air and eventual political enlightenment?

clompy / April 3, 2006 12:38 PM

where do people like jill come from?
here's what i think: she is from a rich and sheltered life. somewhere along the way someone told her something might threaten her well to do existance. turns out that what she fears is progressivism. so she rails against it out of fear that her position of ease might someday fall into the hands of others. she decides to speak out. the reason she is popular (let's hope only to a few people) is because she says what they want to hear, and her followers are afraid to say it themselves and in all honesty are unable to come up with her half logic.
oh, what happened in south dakota is terrible.
and before long illegal immigrants might be denied medical service. a political group is doing it again, they want everyone to forget that immigrants are people. that is always dangerous.

John Powers / May 2, 2006 9:34 PM

"You have to pity Stanek and the hard-right ideologues in Illinois"

All six of them?


John Powers / May 2, 2006 9:36 PM

"Illinois has become more progressive, more open, more free. "

After 17 years of Mayor Richard M. Daley, how can anyone on earth possibly take this seriously?



About the Author(s)

Richard F. Carnahan is a true South Side Sox fan who's played a bit part in Chicago politics more than once over the years. Contact him at .

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