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January 09, 2008

Comments

Xeynon, your facts have a sexist white supremacist bias. I'll trust jesuwhatsit's, I mean Bikeshed's, offensive sweeping generalisations instead.

On the childbirth question, France, Britain, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Poland all have government programs to encourage women to have more children

No: they all have government programs to enable women to have the children they want, when they want them, without being economically or socially disadvantaged for choosing to have

think that a conservative U.S. attitude towards the value of motherhood may be valuable

The conservative US attitude towards the "value of motherhood" is that: (a) girls should not receive informative sex education (b) there should be no government programs to enable women to have the children they want, when they want them, without being economically or socially disadvantaged for choosing to have children; (c) contraception should not be free or readily accessible by all sexually active girls and women regardless of age.

The conservative "value of motherhood"... isn't.

On the childbirth question, France, Britain, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Poland all have government programs to encourage women to have more children

No: they all have government programs to enable women to have the children they want, when they want them, without being economically or socially disadvantaged for choosing to have

think that a conservative U.S. attitude towards the value of motherhood may be valuable

The conservative US attitude towards the "value of motherhood" is that: (a) girls should not receive informative sex education (b) there should be no government programs to enable women to have the children they want, when they want them, without being economically or socially disadvantaged for choosing to have children; (c) contraception should not be free or readily accessible by all sexually active girls and women regardless of age.

The conservative "value of motherhood"... isn't.

I can also point out that I never said women should be forced to give birth

You argued that women should be denied contraception and access to abortion to ensure supply of future workers. So, yes, you did.

Phil, byrningman - thanks a lot for coming to my defense.

Phil has a long-standing hate on for me: byrningman seems to have decided to join him. Internal politics, gotta love it...

No: they all have government programs to enable women to have the children they want, when they want them, without being economically or socially disadvantaged for choosing to have

Poland bribing women to have babies isn't proactive encouragement? Germany putting increasing the fertility rate "at the top of the political agenda" doesn't constitute a concerted government effort to increase the birthrate?

Wow. I am in awe of your wrongness. You have a truly Bushian level of imperviousness to empirical reality. At least I know I can no longer care a whit about any claim you make, since it's 95% certain it will be incorrect and 100% you won't have researched it.

regardless who cry on tv, the real concern with the econ. is iraq...the new efforts and focus on surge and money will not work . sunni or latter

You argued that women should be denied contraception and access to abortion to ensure supply of future workers. So, yes, you did.

Where?

I can't understand why I got angry about what you have to say - this is actually quite amusing. You just can't stop digging...

I think jesulgisac is one of those unfortunate bloggy types who doesn't think of itself as a troll, but is. This troll has openly insulted several posters on this one thread alone without once seeming apologetic or even, for that matter, making a coherent or fact-based point. From now on I'm filtering out those posts.

Jes: why, in the 15th century, a bunch of organized criminals from Europe walked in and stole everything.

So assuming the truth of what you just said, we just open the borders and see which organized crime group or disease will decimate the current population of the United States? It's time for payback for Manifest Destiny?

And I'm confused about why limiting illegal immigration necessarily equals racism in your book. I infer this from your claim that Xeynon's comments re immigration were racist. I went over all of them quickly and I think you are equating limiting Latin American immigration with racism.

From a purely practical standpoint, those most destined to benefit from illegal immigration are Latin Americans (and Canadians) due to simple geographic proximity. Therefore isn't condoning illegal immigration racist? What about the Asians, Africans, etc.? I assume you support the US's DV program? Why not use that program and simply increase the numbers? Why should the U.S. not screen for disease and criminal record? Why is screening for such racist?

No metric. Color me unsurprised. Gary, you really need a job screening scientific papers for publication.

Xeynon: Keep on firing! It's been fun to watch.

From now on I'm filtering out those posts.

You can do that? How? Because as far as jeguslsiac... whatever.. goes, I'm all for it.

Keep on firing! It's been fun to watch.

Alas, the hour grows late here, and I'm getting tired. I wanna be well-rested, because I've got a date tomorrow (hopefully with the future incubator of my babies). I'll be back, though.

As for the addict who "needs" that next hit of heroin - I favor using welfare only as a temporary safety net anyway, but if you do favor a more extensive use of it, how does one argue for the government subsidizing socially destructive behavior?

If you're talking about addicts, it isn't going to matter if you give them a bank card, cash, food stamps, or if you, personally, deliver a market basket of groceries to their doorstep. If they need to, they'll find a way to turn it into junk, or booze, or whatever their thing is.

IMO you just can't make things like that the focus of policy-making. You focus on the positive outcome you're trying to achieve, and work for that.

Somebody, somewhere will abuse it. Oh well. It's the price we all pay for doing anything at all, in the private and even personal domains as well as the public one.

IMO if you can satisfy the 85/15 rule, you're doing pretty good. I'll bet we actually do better than that in practice.

You just can't sweat the small stuff that much. Not that drug addiction and crime are small stuff, but I think you get the gist of what I'm saying here.

As an aside, if we wanted to actually help the social problems caused by chemical addiction, as compared to just punishing people, we'd probably do better to address it as a medical problem rather than a crime.

Thanks -

Xeynon: Where?

On the Ugh thread, in response to free provision of contraception and abortion on demand, you wrote:

Opposition to this has far more to do with more conservative social attitudes than it does with socialism. Note also that as the U.S. is one of the only industrialized countries that makes enough babies to maintain a stable-sized labor force and thus ensure the survival of its welfare state, we're not necessarily wrong to be more socially conservative.

since U.S. universities are on average of higher quality (17 of the top 20 in the world are in the U.S. - only 2 are in Europe)

this (17/20, 2) says nothing whatsoever about average quality.

byrningman: please mind the posting rules. I'm sure you can make your point without namecalling.

Demographics impact on more levels. You don't have to fall back on Malthus to see that every additional human needs additional resources and causes additional waste (water, pollution, etc.). Less growth is a good thing if that's all you consider. At the same time; expanding population leads to economic growth & older people need more resouces (medical costs, care, nurses, etc.) and those are often provided by the working people. Europe will face those problems soon and there are countries that encourage children being born for the latter reason. Promoting that via less acces to contraception or abortions should be condemned though.

I don't have time to go into all other issues mentioned (maybe a seperate thread about demographics/immigration?) but the percentage of foreign born people in the US is not that much higher than the percentages in many West-European countries. The lowest graph in my old Dutch blogpost shows the graph from 2003.

Education: The American level of education should be a source of concern for Americans. Here are the PISA 2006 figures to compare 15 year olds performances - and look at the figures of 3 and 6 years ago too. The university figures should be looked at carefully too. A lot of those list have a bias towards English area universities, you should judge the results 'per capita' and to judge their impact on the american level of education you should know how many of the people giving the university its standing come from the american educational system.

Dive on in. The water is fine…

It's certainly nice and warm. A little too warm...

Methinks someone's been pissing in the pool. Several someones, actually. Maybe they could relieve themselves at TiO?

Poland bribing women to have babies isn't proactive encouragement?

Wait, what? You're saying - and can link to a Polish government official news release - that in Poland, a woman can go to a government agency, say "How much will you give me to have a baby?" and get the money? That would indeed be news.

Germany putting increasing the fertility rate "at the top of the political agenda" doesn't constitute a concerted government effort to increase the birthrate?

Again: Can you find me a link to an official German news release that says that?

(And Hartmut: would you say the German government is "encouraging women to have more children" or allowing women to have the children they want, when they want them, without suffering from it?)

Heaven forbid that J actually contemplate the idea that she wronged someone. No, its that I hate her. That's the problem here. (As if I'd waste perfectly good hate. )

To paraphrase "Inherit the Wind," we grow an awfully strange crop of pacifists around here. This one thinks pacifism is comprised of constant insult, aggression and bullying.

"That's one of your stupider, more sexist and more racist comments, Bikeshed,"

I don't speak for the blog, but I've been here longer than any of the currently active blog-owners (Von says he's quit, otherwise he was here at the start, and ditto Katherine), and I have to point out that while you can disagree strongly, calling people names is simple abuse, and is a violation of the posting rules. Quit it.

And in general, people: less personality discussion and analysis, and more substance on issues, please. Re-up the tone.

Don't make me remind you who would have wanted that.

and I have to point out that while you can disagree strongly, calling people names is simple abuse, and is a violation of the posting rules.

Shucks, Gary, I'm fairly sure that as far as byrningman and Phil are concerned, insulting me is within the posting rules: certainly I don't think Phil's ever been warned off about doing so. Hard to tell: I regard his hostility as unremitting and his exercise of it as unpredictable, and tend to avoid reading his comments as much as possible. Byrningman just joined that group.

In a real pool, there's no separation of the water, but on the internet, ta-dah!

Just in case that is too cryptic, please feel free to wander over Taking it Outside where you can, well, take it outside.

"But the damn comment filter ate it."

The dog ate my homework excuse doesn't work.

You're new here, so you have no idea of the constraints we put up with. Yes, you have to sometimes break out links into only two per post. It's infuriating. So is my having to go through over a dozen steps every time I comment here, changing the address I put into the e-mail field, so I won't be rejected as "[email protected] is an invalid address," and then every time I make an error in the captcha -- which I typically have to reenter about 5 times per each comment -- and go backwards, I have to go into the Windows files to kill the Typepad cookie, even though Firefox is set to reject it, because every time you go backwards, "remember personal info" is automatically clicked on. Otherwise all my comments are rejected. It's insane.

Each time I comment it takes minutes. And most times I have to put in more than two links, I have to break it into multiple comments. Naturally, one has to save every comment to a text file before posting, to make this all work.

It's screwed up. I wouldn't put up with it if I hadn't been here long before the present state of absolute screwed-uppedness. (I like to hope that someday management will be up to fixing it.)

You're new here, so you're unaware of what we put up with, but, hey, too bad the dog ate your homework. I know it's frustrating.

Deal.

Gary:

The entire point of a "guest worker" program is that it doesn't allow people to become citizens, and thus prevents them from legally immigrating.

My comment lacked specificity. I did not intend to refer to the President's guest worker program per se. And you cut me off mid sentence in your quote, leaving off the

and increasing visas to Latin American countries,

part. I'm in favor of increased immigration generally (not just Latin America) and think increasing the H1-b numbers and the DV program numbers are a FAR better answers than simply saying those that were able to sneak in get amnesty. Even if I was advocating the President's guest worker program, how does that in conjunction with increased visas and a wall necessarily equal racism? Short answer: it doesn't.

Personally, I prefer a guest worker program that potentially has citizenship at the end coupled with increased border security in whatever form. I am willing to consider putting illegals in the program but have reservations. Something along those lines might be the sort of compromise needed to work with those that feel that all illegal immigrants should be barred from becoming citizens. Put them into a guest worker program for a while, then move them into permanent resident status, etc. Not a racist notion at all.

If anyone believes that a non-immigrant visa automatically equals "racism," why aren't they advocating for the immediate citizenship of all the H-1B's? After all, these are educated (bachelor or more) people currently working legally for American companies that had a need for their services! If the guest worker program is racist, then so is our H-1B program (keeping all those smart Asian and Indian computer programmers from becoming citizens and only letting them stay for a set number of years).

I am open to the argument that a wall isn't practical and that increased sanctions against employers is a better answer. But that doesn't mean that a wall is per se racist.

Those who take issue with my irritation ought to read through this thread and note that I have been insulted (explicitly called stupid, racist, sexist or whatever) without any justification, as have others, and that the person doling out such insults has not once made a single coherent argument and expressed any regret for their aggressive comments of a personal nature.

Furthermore, I stand by my observation that labeling Xeynon's completely uncontroversial observation that low birth rates in Western Europe is a cause of concern as 'white supremacist' is indeed stupid, sexist and racist (the latter two accusations based on the fact that the person making that insulted claimed that Xeynon is a white male who hates non-white babies).

I also stand by my observation that the person repeatedly insulting posters on this thread explicitly on the basis that they are white and male is indeed stupid, sexist and racist. It may not be sexism and racism in form that we typically think of it, but if I can't call sexism and racism 'stupid', then we have come to a very sad state of affairs indeed.

NYT oped stumping for the Bradley effect.

farmgirl: It turns out late undecideds did not break for HRC in proportions that could explain the discrepancies.

So we have a feel-good story:

-- that there was a populist backlash against the media's handing of HRCs misty moment

Or the ugly story:

-- that this grand American democratic pageant, New Hampshire, the first true primary, was streaked through and through with racism

Which explanation do we choose to believe?

Byrningman just joined that group.

That would be the group of people you've insulted in the worst, most explicit terms without any justification at all? Consider me a proud card-carrying member of that group.

"Shucks, Gary, I'm fairly sure that as far as byrningman and Phil are concerned, insulting me is within the posting rules: certainly I don't think Phil's ever been warned off about doing so."

It's not for me to draw the precise lines here between acceptable-if-discouraged insults, and outright abuse, but calling people names is an objectively recognizable specific form of abuse. There's no substance to it whatever.

We went round on this before, you may recall, in years past, when you tried to turn my name into an insulting verb; Hilzoy stepped on it as a posting rules violation. I consider any kind of attempts to relabel people with an insulting name, or make use of their original name to insult them, as clear and obvious abuse.

I certainly don't want to bug Hilzoy to get an Official Ruling at present, so I'm hoping people will take a word to the wise as to that being a line they can't cross here.

Disagree strongly? Fine. Outright sheer abuse? No.

If one has any doubt, it's not hard to re-edit before posting, or choose to wait an hour or a day to post. It's only our angry egos that get in the way of that. (And, sure, I'm hardly holding myself up as a model of perfect behavior and language around here; but folks are free to remind me, too, when I go too far.)

And "s/he hit me first!" also doesn't work off the kindergarten playground.

On the flip side, I'd offer some advice about possibly better ways to approach exchanges like this:

I can also point out that I never said women should be forced to give birth

You argued that women should be denied contraception and access to abortion to ensure supply of future workers. So, yes, you did.

But I hardly think my advice would be welcome.

Short version, nonetheless, is that we all frequently need to revise previous statements to further clarify what we were trying to say.

Rather than taking someone's past statement, after they've denied a particular interpretation of it, and insisting that we grasp the writer's true meaning better than the writer did, there are advantages to, instead, asking about the contradictions we perceive in the two -- or more -- successive statements by the writer, and trying to resolve the gaps in understanding.

Insisting that the person is wrong about what they really meant and felt, and that one knows better than they do what their inner heart and mind say, may not work as well as it's rumored to.

On yet another point, I don't observe a lot of worry about birthrates amongst liberals and leftists and people unworried about Teh Islamic Threat, nor do I see such worry about national birthrates amongst minorities (other than some men), but I don't have any hard numbers to point to.

Was that a racist statement I just made?

Well, as far as the gender card versus the race card goes, consider this:

I think most of us will agree that it is a lot easier for a politician to play the gender card "us girls need to stick together" than it would be for a politician to play the race card "us ... need to stick together".

We might criticize them both, but one is not to difficult to imagine actually being said. And another is almost unfathomable.

I have a hunch a lot of people (leftists) would be a lot more willing to buy the Bradley effect argument if this were only Obama running against a white man.

It is also tough to admit that there is racism within one's own party. I think more people on the left would accept that racism played a part if this had happened in the general election.

It is some sort of sick irony that the victory of the first woman candidate might come at the expense of another equally pernicious prejudice of ours. To believe that racism is alive and well and influences these things makes it a lot harder to feel good about HRCs ascendancy.

And I think that is what people want to do, which is why they will tend to discount these unsavory explanations.

"If anyone believes that a non-immigrant visa automatically equals 'racism,' why aren't they advocating for the immediate citizenship of all the H-1B's?"

Cite to those here who has opposed immediate citizenship of all the H-1Bs?

Without cite, relevance of imaginary straw people?

The argument "I haven't seen X supporting Y, therefore X opposes Y" is a frequently laughed at illegitimate fallacy.

"It is also tough to admit that there is racism within one's own party."

It is? There's racism within the Democratic Party.

There's racism within the hearts of some Democratic Party members.

There's some unperceived, unconscious, racism, and all sorts of prejudices, within almost every human being, and certainly including me.

That wasn't hard at all, it turns out!

;-)

Second try-typepad made me refresh and then posted an old post (sorry!). Here is what I meant to post

Jes: Can you find me a link to an official German news release that says that?

How about here or

here?

or a Rand Study?

I appreciate your point of view that there is no "birth rate" problem world wide. You imply Europe can simply allow sufficient workers in to remedy the problem. But most European governments apparently (see above) do not agree that immigration alone is a complete solution and that increasing the birth rate among their existing population will help.

Why do you think that looking to increase the birth rate in the existing population is necessarily racist and not just pragmatic? It is easier from a practical standpoint to rear an engineer, doctor, highly skilled steel worker, etc. in the U.S. for example than to rely on importing foreign workers. (I note that is not always the case and thus the large numbers of software engineers and even doctors).

I was an H-1B not so long ago, and I wouldn't have been interested in US citizenship even if it had been on offer. Nothing against US citizenship, I just already have a citizenship I'm perfectly happy with. My point is that H-1Bs, as far as I can tell, are for specific high-skilled jobs that the US supposedly has a shortage of (hence so many hi-tech H-1Bs during the .com boom). I think if you hang around on H-1B status for 5-6 years you can get residency if you want it.

Either way, I don't think H-1Bs have much to do with the immigration argument as it is typically conceived of. I don't think there's a country in the world that isn't happy to offer work visas to highly skilled workers who will pay taxes for a few years, then bugger off without benefiting from those taxes.

"The argument "I haven't seen X supporting Y, therefore X opposes Y" is a frequently laughed at illegitimate fallacy."

The reason it is frequently laughed at is because it is so frequently used as illustrated several times on this thread.

Forgot to add, that it is also frequently accepted uncritically.

We might criticize them both, but one is not to difficult to imagine actually being said. And another is almost unfathomable.

Ara, I don't know about that. I can see how Obama is not going to say that in a speech or in a BET interview, but this seems like an unstated notion when people are aware that they are minorities in a majority situation. There's a parallel, I think, with the arguments over the N word, where it can be used as an in group descriptor, but when used by a person outside the group, takes on an entirely different tone. I think one can read the stories of Oprah's support of Obama in that light and see that it is woven into the narrative, albeit not apparent at first glance.

Just to clarify the above, 'it seems like an unstated notion' is not about the Obama campaign, but the inevitable asymmetries of power when one group is in the minority.

bc, Xey asserted Germany putting increasing the fertility rate "at the top of the political agenda" doesn't constitute a concerted government effort to increase the birthrate but what you came up with (thanks for providing the links) was two news articles about a couple of right-wing politicians from a centre-right Christian party suggesting that childless Germans should have their state pension cut. If that (or a similiar proposal intended to penalise the childless) were "at the top of the political agenda" you would have made your case: but I fear you haven't. I have not myself heard of any such German government proposal, and I am fairly sure that if it had been seriously made with the intent of becoming law, it would hit the headlines here. (I suspect it would be illegal under European human rights law, too.)

Why do you think that looking to increase the birth rate in the existing population is necessarily racist and not just pragmatic?

I said that people who talk up declining birth rates as if having a low birth rate were a problem, show a high correlation with people who are racist/white supremacist. In general, this also often shows correlation with people who do not believe that women should have access to contraception/abortion and decide for ourselves how many women to have.

Oh, and having had a little while to think it over: while Byrningman's consistent references to me as "Bikeshed" do tend to show that his anger at being told he was making sexist comments was not because he isn't sexist, but because he doesn't like a woman telling him he's being sexist: still, for the record, no, I don't like it, even if his persistent use of it is losing his argument for him. Schadenfreude can only take you so far. Mmm, pie.

who do not believe that women should have access to contraception/abortion and decide for ourselves how many women to have.

A lesbian Freudian slip. "how many children to have". ;-)

Gary, I know you're trying to keep the sanity till the kittens can return but lay off Xeynon in re "the dog ate my homework". I recognize that your personal saga of frustration is, well, frustrating; that doesn't mean you should take it out on them, especially when they're new here.

Gary: Cite to those here who has opposed immediate citizenship of all the H-1Bs?

Without cite, relevance of imaginary straw people?

Good grief, Gary! My "cite" is that nobody here is advocating immediate citizenship of H1-b's on this thread! I am "citing" the entire thread! Instead, most appear to be advocating amnesty of illegals in the country. Perhaps they are not opposed to H-1b citizenship but they are not out there promoting it.

I NEVER said absence of advocacy equals opposition. You assumed that. So I will admit to a little lack of precision in my post that may have confused you and triggered your predisposition to assume and act condescending rather than offer substantive argument.

I think it is hilarious that when I point to the ABSENCE of argument on an issue you then ask me to cite those NOT arguing?

My main point has not been answered. Those that see a guest worker program as racist are not advocating for immediate citizenship of H-1b's (or other non-immigrant classifications for that matter)and callling those programs racist as well. Maybe they are in favor of citizenship for all non-immigrant classifications. But it's not being voiced. Why not?

IMHO, it is because those other non-immigrants here legally are not a very large voting block . .

Jesu,

I do admit the Bikeshed moniker gives me a chuckle, since you rather hilariously inadvertently confessed that your worldview was based on being teased by boys in your high school bikeshed (whether your perception of that situation is unknown). I was bemused to be the (wholly undeserving) target of that emotional transference.

You actually never stated what it is I said that was sexist, or stupid for that matter. I'm sure I often do say things that are stupid and maybe even sexist, I'm pretty sure I've said nothing like that on this thread however. If I did say something sexist, it would have been nice if you had been considerate to point out what it was, as I made it very clear I would like to know. You see, I consider myself a feminist.

he doesn't like a woman telling him he's being sexist
I don't like anyone calling me sexist, since I consider myself a feminist. You are convinced that anytime someone reacts disfavourably to you, it's on account of your gender. We call this a conceptual failure. It could be people just don't like being insulted.

Feminism actually means something to me, it's not merely an emotional defense mechanism. I spend a lot of time researching in a North African country, where I often donate my services to a certain indigenous women's organisation that is not at all popular with the authorities. So I risk a lot more for feminist issues than I dare say most people around here do. Furthermore, on a casual basis, I often risk a nasty beating or some other unfortunate fate when I defend an Arab woman's right to conduct herself or dress herself as she sees fit in my company (in public).

You have made it abundantly clear that your conception of feminism is some world of arbitrary and secret condemnation that men are not permitted access to and are, in fact, misogynistic in even asking for an explanation. In contrast, I consider feminism to be the extension of universal human rights to those humans who happen to possess ovaries, and thereby a cause that non-ovarian humans are perfectly capable of understanding, advocating, and even participating in.

Good luck with the bikeshed trauma issues, really.

With great trepidation, I second Anarch. I chime in fully aware that my contributions to the discussions held on this blog amount to a few small droplets in comparison to those of Gary. Perhaps ironically, that is part of the point.

Not everyone can be held to the standards of world-class bloggers like Gary. (And I make that characterization free of sarcasm.) Participation would be very low otherwise, I think. The per-capita presentation of useful information would be very high, but the room would be mostly empty.

I would further opine that sometimes "I read somewhere" is useful, if for nothing else, for illustrating what sort of notions random people have bouncing about in their heads. It also may serve well as a starting point for a more well-researched discussion that might not otherwise occur.

...a few small droplets in comparison to [the sea that] those of Gary [do].

What was in my head but didn't make it to the keyboard.

You know, that women are better at detecting misogynist statements than men are is an entirely unremarkable point of view. That every statement perceived by every woman as misogynist is therefore definitively and objectively misogynist is patently stupid.

You'll pardon me, Jesurgislac, if -- given your own proclivity for hurling abuse and insult unchecked -- I'll neither accept your counsel on what is and is not acceptable, nor rely on your memory of what I may or may not have been warned about, as you are demonstrably wrong on both matters.

Jes:
If that (or a similiar proposal intended to penalise the childless) were "at the top of the political agenda" you would have made your case: but I fear you haven't. I have not myself heard of any such German government proposal, and I am fairly sure that if it had been seriously made with the intent of becoming law, it would hit the headlines here. (I suspect it would be illegal under European human rights law, too.)

Not an "official German government proclamation" or such, but how about ">http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/23/world/europe/23germany.html"> this?

And I quote:

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her minister for family affairs, Ursula von der Leyen, have made it [the declining birthrate] a prominent issue. A program known as Elterngeld, or, literally translated, parent money, which began this year, replaces up to two-thirds of a new parent’s salary to a maximum of 1,800 euros a month, about $2,530, if he or she decides to stay home. It replaced a program that only helped lower-income families with at most 450 euros, about $630, a month.

Sounds like this "at the top of the political agenda" and is a prominent focus of the German government supported by specific policies.

BTW, what would be the basis of a human rights violation under EU law for such childbirth promotion activities by the government?

since you rather hilariously inadvertently confessed that your worldview was based on being teased by boys in your high school bikeshed

oh nonsense. Jesurgislac (I don't know her well enough to call her 'jes', my apologies for doing so previously) said

It was an early and instructive lesson

Redstocking could doubtless cite instead the kind of thing I'll cite now: socialist society men being afraid to run in a student election (after a rather nasty incident), 'supporting' a woman society member who had the guts to run, then at the hustings, yelling 'get your knickers off'. But things have got better since those early Second Wave days, as we all know....

(I wasn't the woman and so that didn't leave me with any 'traumas', not that it left her with any, either. And the men I was sitting with weren't among the barrackers. But it was 'an early and instructive lesson', yes, and I felt anger, yes.)

Would we be asking the same tiresome question, "Is NOT voting for HRC like voting FOR patriarchy?", if Elizabeth Dole had won the 2000 republican nomination? Having a vagina does not make you THE progressive political candidate in much the same way that having a penis doens't make you "reasonable," "strong," or "emotionless." There is more going on here than genitalia.

Why do you think that looking to increase the birth rate in the existing population is necessarily racist and not just pragmatic?

Because it's been used quite frequently in history by unambiguously racist and eugenics groups before? It's closely related to the arguments that undesirable elements like the heathen Chinese are outbreeding the civilized races....

I'm a little puzzled why this wouldn't be realized...

"[...] in much the same way that having a penis doens't make you 'reasonable,' 'strong,' or 'emotionless.'"

But it does give one worse aim, so it balances out.

That would be a much better answer, gwangung, if the word "necessarily" were replaced with "arguably" or "possibly" or "potentially."

"I'm a little puzzled why this wouldn't be realized..."

Of course, Jes never said any such thing as that "looking to increase the birth rate in the existing population is necessarily racist and not just pragmatic."

What she wrote was that "thinking a low birth rate is a problem in either Europe or North America has a high and strong correlation with some form of white supremacy."

"high and strong correlation" and "necessarily" aren't remotely the same things. Anyone who claims otherwise either read poorly, or is being dishonest. Charitable folks should assume the former.

My daughters would tell you I am one of the worst misogynists they know. Until I became a mother at age 28, I would always join the circle of men, never the circle of women.

Spending a year in a Catholic girls college in Rochester was the most alienating experience of my life. I was sarcastic, and no one seemed to realize I didn't necessarily mean it. One night my friends and I stayed up all night, discussing politics,sex, religion, what have you. The rumor rapidly spread that we were gossiping about everyone on the floor.

Working in the female-dominated fields like public librarianship and social work was a disaster for me. I intimidate conventional women. I never can accept that is the way it is and you can't do anything about it. I am a trouble maker pure and simple. When I am upset, I defend myself by getting more ascerbic. I perceive that men enjoy ballsy women who giggle and smile and debate with them lots more than women do.

My most successful social work job was working with a great group of seriously mentally ill guys who were absolutely trapped in the system. Some had been in jail; most had substance abuse problems. I never was so appreciated by a group of people in my whole life. They were so wonderful to hang out with. I excel at eliciting the sanity in crazy people and the craziness in apparently sane people. There are lots of the latter in social work and public librarianship.

I also did extremely well with male gay clients. One told me I must have been a gay male in a previous lifetime I understand him so well. Another paid me the greatest compliment I got as a shrink: he said I was his only experience of unconditional love. We had a strange therapeutic relationship. Until I treated him, an Irishmen from an utterly abusive family, I never realized how Irish I was.

I have never been hassled on the street by a guy in my entire life. I do smile a lot. I am perfectly comfortable being the only women in a subway car full of men. African American men tend to find older, heavier women attractive, which is lovely fun. In the early days of women's lib, women whined incessantly about street hassles. I wondered if I were the ugliest woman in the entire women's liberation movement. I often have long conversations with homeless men. One street person teased me that I looked very friendly and approachabe, but I subtly conveyed that I could turn you to stone if you mesaed with me.

In the early days of women's lib, women whined incessantly about street hassles.

For good reason (I'm glad you've never been hassled in the street, yes, smiling a lot probably helped...). Now, they seem to "whine" about being groped in the subway (you think perhaps they don't smile enough?)

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/27/opinion/l27grope.html

I have to wonder if all the people, men and women, ranting about Hillary phony tears react the same way to loved ones crying. Do you accuse your mom or your sister or your wife or your kid of using tears to yank your chain? Do you tell your son that big boys don't cry? I have watched people cry for 62 years, and it's bullshit that her reaction was staged. If it was, she should get the Oscar for best actress. . SHE DIDN'T CRY. Her eyes might have been wet, but there were no tears cascading down her cheeks. Good crying is usually noisy as well.

And if she had cried, what the hell is wrong with that? The human experiment with the patriarchy has not proven that bottling up your tears in a gun or a knife or an automobile or a fist rather than letting them gentle your cheek advances the human condition. I feel very sorry for people who has not enjoyed the therapeutic relief of crying. The most essential equipment in a shrink's office is the box of tissues. You could always sit on the floor. Some shrinks feel you are just marking time until you are able to cry.

"I wondered if I were the ugliest woman in the entire women's liberation movement."

Please don't take this in any kind of instrusive/stalker way, and I hope I'm not being inappropriately personal -- but you've been posting personal comments -- but judging from your pictures on your blogs, that seems entirely unlikely.

This is not a come-on; it is an observation.

Just as a reminder, you can also link to your blog posts, as well as cannibalize them.

I have never been groped in the subway but that might be because I have had a child or a backpack barring access. At four my second daughter traumatized her dad who was trying to prevent her from running around the subway pole. "Get your hands off me," she stormed to the utter fascination of everyone else in the car. So at 4 she knew how to deal. That's one of life's lessons. You can always stamp on his foot or thrust your elbow into his stomach if you are shyer than the four year old. Carry your briefcase in front of you. One of my favorite mom stories involved a hapless guy who called her over to his car and exposed himself. She took one look and said, "I am not impressed." Dear me, castrating bitchiness. Another one of my darlings said, "I would cut off his balls with a butter knife." That's the one who has traveled around the world, working in at least 70 world cities.

Thank you Gary. That is so sweet. I guess you mean the 26 year old picture, not the 62 year old one:) Hillary endearinging laughed that her friends remind her that at her age it's a compliment to have guys so obseesed with her. I obviously have no concept in inappropriately personal and I have never felt stalked except by toddlers who insisted on following me into the toilet or wouldn't stop standing on my toes.

Gary, have you figured out whom I remind you of or did you know it all along?

My "cite" is that nobody here is advocating immediate citizenship of H1-b's on this thread!

The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows people with specialized professions to work in the US for 3-6 years. It isn't intended to be a path to citizenship.

Legal permanent residency ("green card" residency) isn't restricted by time, or to particular professions. It is, intentionally, a path to citizenship through naturalization.

It's an apples and oranges thing. The programs have totally different intents.

H-1Bs do allow their holders to *also* apply for permanent residency and eventual citizenship, but they do that by applying for a green card *in addition to* the H-1B.

I have no problem with H-1B holders becoming citizens, and many in fact do. What I also would like to see, which does not exist now, is a policy permitting legal immigration in numbers greater than we currently allow.

The policy we have now is unrealistic and unenforceable. Or, it's enforceable, but only by moving us further down the path toward a police state.

It's not worth it. We have little to lose and plenty to gain in opening the door wider.

Thanks -

"Gary, have you figured out whom I remind you of or did you know it all along?"

Oh, no, you're my grandma!

Just kidding. Actual answer:

?

No.

Does this mean there's going to be Freudianism on the test?

One of my favorite mom stories involved a hapless guy who called her over to his car and exposed himself. She took one look and said, "I am not impressed."

Without in any way minimizing the real threats that women live with on daily basis, I have to say that this story made me laugh out loud at my desk.

Thanks -

Nothing to do with Freudianism, everything to do with writing styles.

Length of posts are a clue as well:) I will start linking to my blog. I am doing it the other way around, which makes no sense. Originally writing the comment and then cannibalizing my comment.

"Nothing to do with Freudianism, everything to do with writing styles."

Do I know you under yet another name?

To humor my children and disguise my wickedness, I have used other names, but you didn't know me unless it was in my Jane Austen phase:) I am a bit chagrined; I thought you would see more resemblance to my heroine. I guess I have been giving myself a bit more credit than I deserve.

Russell:

I agree that the door should be wider in most areas. It makes sense if you are going to open the door to let those here legally have first dibs. There are a lot of persons here on non-immigrant visas other than B-1 and B-2 (those are business visitor and tourist). H-1b is one example. The whole H category comes to mind. So does L (intracompany transferees), O's (extraordinary ability), P's (athletes and entertainers) etc. They came legally. There are well over 1 million documented temporary visas given each year (I think it approaches closer to 2 million for the worker categories). That's a lot of people. And they already have background checks!

I'm aware that you can still get to permanent resident status through some non-immigrant categories (I used to practice immigration law). it would be a different matter entirely if you simply said "you're here, if you want a green card, just say so!". I think it is interesting that we talk of amnesty without addressing what sort of impact that would have on our legal temporary workers.

I feel a bit bad putting up a link to this TPM post w/o putting up a balancing link to problems in the Obama camp, which gives me some insight into the nature of why the media finds being balanced easier than taking a stand. What Marshall says at the end is worth quoting to give a taste

This has spiraled pretty far in the last 48 hours. And I'm just now taking stock of it again. Like I said, it's not completely clear to me the mix of intention, inertia and accident involved. But this is explosive.

I feel a bit bad putting up a link to this TPM post w/o putting up a balancing link to problems in the Obama camp, which gives me some insight into the nature of why the media finds being balanced easier than taking a stand. What Marshall says at the end is worth quoting to give a taste

What? That Democrats can act just as badly as Republicans if they get a whiff of power? And that they're incapable of learning from the past?

Of course, Jes never said any such thing as that "looking to increase the birth rate in the existing population is necessarily racist and not just pragmatic."

What she wrote was that "thinking a low birth rate is a problem in either Europe or North America has a high and strong correlation with some form of white supremacy."

"high and strong correlation" and "necessarily" aren't remotely the same things.

Oh come on. First of all, that was not the only crude insinuation she made of the subject of racism to that poster.

Secondly, I noticed above you mentioned that perhaps you write the most posts on the blog. Now suppose I was to quickly mention that "there is a very strong correlation between frequent posting on the same blog and being a f**king d**kwad" in response to your post. I'm very impressed that would never think that I could be even remotely suggesting that you are a f**king d**kwad, especially in light of the fact that a few posts earlier I had just called another poster a p*ss gargling cr*tchnibbler for no reason.

"Good luck with the bikeshed trauma issues, really."

I've been distracted from something I meant to say much earlier.

We also saw the following from byrningman, in response to Jesurgislac's comment here:

Well that's a sad tale, but if you get over your high school traumas some day, you might notice that this blog, like much of the rest of the grown-up world, operates on different principles.

[...]

I fear it will never come, she's trapped in the deep dark bikeshed of the mind.

[...]

I'll trust jesuwhatsit's, I mean Bikeshed's, offensive sweeping generalisations instead.

[...]

That's one of your stupider, more sexist and more racist comments, Bikeshed,

[...]

Jesu,

I do admit the Bikeshed moniker gives me a chuckle

[...]

Good luck with the bikeshed trauma issues, really.

This is a campaign of abuse. It is deeply, deeply ugly.

Because of politics?

Because of things said on a blog comment thread about policy?

Only someone with overly limited empathy for other human beings who seem different enough from themselves could engage in such an ugly campaign.

Someone with little perspective on what's important in life, and what lines not to cross for reasons that, in the scheme of our lives, are effing trivia. (It's not like anyone here is a cabinet secretary, or MP, with discussion here affecting actual policy.)

Moreover, it's been continued since byrningman received an admittedly totally unofficial warning that he was in violation of posting rules.

What Jes has said is irrelevant. If Jes violates the posting rules, take it up with the kitty. As I previously stated on this thread, "s/he started first" isn't an excuse that flies around here.

I have no power to ban byrningman, but I can damn well say that he's engaged in ugly, nasty, behavior, that I don't care what his excuses are, and that while I'd started to grow some respect for him recently, I now thing very badly of him, indeed, something I don't expect him to give a damn about, but I want on the record.

And I can say that he should damn well knock it off. Don't argue. Don't defend. Don't pass it off on things Jes said -- I'm hardly biased by my inability to be annoyed with or critical of Jes.

Just.

Knock.

It.

Off.

"Secondly, I noticed above you mentioned that perhaps you write the most posts on the blog."

Say what?

My marrying an Englishman was much more complicated than people imagine. First, we both applied for the fiance visa, me here, him in the UK. . We had to detail every single meeting, with plane tickets, passport stamps, hotel stubs, restaurant bills, family photos, etc. He had to submit a police report from everywhere he ever lived. Thank God the UK has a national system. First the Vermont office rules on the visa then the American embassy in London. His fingerprins are checked, physical exam, HIV test etc.,original birth certificate, divorce decree.

It is hard to plan even the simplest wedding because we didn't know when the visa would be granted. We had a justice of the peace ceremony and dinner at an excellent restaurant across the street less than a week after he got here. The fiance visa is for 90 days; you have to get married during that period. Immediately after marriage, he applied for adjustment of status and basically went through the whole process again, fingerprints, physical exams, tax returns, my proof that I can support him for 10 years or until he becomdx a citizen. His status was absurdly unprovable; all we had was a tiny little yellow receipt you might get when you buy beer on the corner. He had to apply three separate times for employment authorization and advance parole, which you need if you leave the country. Otherwise, they will assume you have abandoned the adjustment application.

We finally got the green card interview two years and three days after our marriage. If it had been less than two years, we would have had to apply again after two years. You have to bring all your financial records, tax returns, physician report, photos, cards, letters from people attesting to your legitimate marriage. The interviewer fouled up after approving permanent residency, and he didn't get the actual green card until a year later. Everytime we traveled it was a big hassle; he was sent to a small room--very nervewracking. 90 days before the third year of the green card success, he applied for citizenship. If you aren't married to a US citizen, you have to wait 5 years.

Fingerprints, photos, proof of no criminal record, no driving violations, 7 of questions about what he has been up to, the whole absurd dance all over again. The FBI and CIA have checked his fingerprints three separate times.Throughout this whole process, the NY office doesn't answer phone calls, mail, or email. You have to go downtown and wait in line for hours to find out anything. He applied for citizenship the earliest time he was eligible. He waited 6 months for the interview, got 100 on the government test. Then we waited another month for him to take the oath, which was the day our first grandson was born. We started the process in Sept. 2001; it took 8 months short of 6 years. We didn't use a lawyer except I became one. All the necessary information was on the web because so many people meet online. There is a wonderful support community. I am so happy we are out of their clutches. It was quite expensive and they have doubled the rates recently.

Comment deleted at commenter's request.]

Seconding what Gary said @ 06:34 PM (ET).

(Make that 06:33 PM.)

[With apologies to Gary, quotation from deleted comment also deleted at original commenter's request.]

Ohh!

There's one you did right.

(I have no doubt about the others, but I can't speak to that just now.)

Just throwing this out there, most of the “illegals” I know, came here by way of airplane. I suspect if folks were really serious, they would start putting INS Agents and Border Guards at LAX and JFK.

Just a thought.

"I suspect if folks were really serious, they would start putting INS Agents and Border Guards at LAX and JFK."

I'm a bit puzzled at this: is it a joke?

Of course there are INS agents -- and Customs, and other law enforcement agencies -- at international airports. Ditto some Border Patrol.

How could it be otherwise? Or am I stupidly missing something obvious?

(It's because of this that there's been such a decline in international travel to the U.S. since 2001, given how many perfectly innocent people are being detained in humiliating fashion every day at our airports, leading to a major decline in business travel into the U.S., which combined with the decrease in tourism, ain't helping our economy, to say the least.)

"I feel a bit bad putting up a link to this TPM post w/o putting up a balancing link to problems in the Obama camp"

FWIW, the controversial comments I've seen are in my view squarely in the "tendentious reading" category. Obviously people need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and trying to maintain a Caesar's wife standard on race isn't a bad idea, but reading comprehension comes first.

... comes first in judging such issues, anyway.

My unladylike younger sister has been appropriately chastened and banished to a room of he own..

OK: I've been out of commission for a bit, obviously, and so wasn't following this. Now that I have gone through the entire thread:

I totally agree with Gary's most recent comments, the ones about what should be knocked off. Specifically: byrningman: the comments Gary cites here are completely out of line. If you have a problem with what Jes says, take her arguments apart. If you have a problem with her, go for a run, or make a little Jes voodoo doll and poke pins in it, or -- well, anything other than being uncivil here. This is an official warning. Continue doing it and you will be banned.

Jes: you often take what people say and reinterpret it in such a way that your new version is a lot worse than the original. To pick an example that doesn't get into the contentious issues of abortion and immigration, take this:

"byr: OK, so because she's a woman, she should be the first presidential candidate ever to be judged solely on the merit of her policies, rather than shallow caricatures of her personality?

You admit, then, that you were judging her on a shallow, sexist caricature of her personality?"

Honestly: that is just not what byrningman said there. It simply isn't.

Likewise:

"The fact that Hillary is perfectly willing not only to exploit such a dynamic but actually encourage it pretty much encapsulates my character-based reasons for having decided against ever voting for her.

So it's OK for male politicians to exploit the gender card, but when a female politician joins the game, that by itself is enough to say no one should vote for her?"

The claim that someone will not vote for HRC because she does X does not imply that that person thinks it's OK that other people do X, unless all the other candidates have also done X, and the person in question plans to vote (rather than sitting out the election on the grounds that s/he can't vote for any candidate who has done X, and all of them have.) In this particular race, have all the candidates played the gender card? Not obviously. I am unaware of Obama doing so, for instance. Someone who had resolved not to vote for HRC for this reason, and was planning to vote for a candidate who had not played the gender card, could not (on these grounds) be said to think it was OK for men but not women to play the gender card, at all.

Accusing people of being racists, or thinking of women simply as incubators, is of course much more serious stuff. If someone thinks (for instance) that a country's declining population (e.g., in Russia) is a problem -- one among many -- and that perhaps it would be a good idea to put policies in place that might try (non-coercively, e.g. by providing incentives) to affect this, that does not mean that that person sees women merely as incubators. Nor need such a person be a "militant white supremacist sort of person." There are all sorts of reasons other than white supremacy, let alone militant white supremacy, for being concerned about low birthrates, and for thinking that while raising birthrates and allowing more immigrants are both ways of addressing a decline in working-age population, they are not the same in all respects, and thus that one might, in some respects, be preferable to the other.

I don't think doing this helps either civility or your own arguments. In your place, I would think very hard before accusing someone of being racist, misogynist, a militant white supremacist, etc., just as you would before accusing someone of being a pedophile or a serial killer. They are all very serious accusations, and should not be made lightly. Please don't.

I thought Xeynon tried fairly hard to stick to substance, but frayed a bit towards the end.

Phil: I think this would have been a lot better had it ended after the word "apology."

To Xeynon, and to everyone, I'll say: yes, I should have been here earlier, and yes, pretty much everyone was provoked. My sense is that a lot of people said things that they would not have said had things not gotten out of hand.

On the other hand, we're all adults here. It's really not necessary to move past disagreement into anger. What does the most damage, I think, is criticizing people, not just their arguments. Even if you think your criticism of someone's character is completely warranted, that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea to express it here. (Personally, I tend to say these things to my cats. They know all about which comments annoy me. :) )

I'd also like to thank everyone who tried to defuse this, or didn't take the bait.

Two more things: first, I am aware that I warned byrningman but not Jes, despite feeling (fwiw) that they were both out of line. One reason for this is that I think it's a lot harder to say why Jes was -- I don't particularly want to try to enforce a ban on calling people sexist or racist, even though I generally think it would be a lot better to saying those things about their arguments. By contrast, deciding to call someone "Bikeshed" when that refers to a story about that person's past is out of line in a much more clear-cut and enforceable way.

I think that's the main reason. I cannot completely discount the possibility that I'm affected, just now, by the knowledge that when Andy needed a favor from Jes, one that I think (from her comments) she thought was no big deal but that mattered to him, she did it without hesitation, and without taking the fact that they had butted heads here to be relevant in the slightest.

I don't think that's why I didn't warn Jes, but I can't say it isn't with any great amount of confidence. Fwiw.

Second: I suspect that all the regulars here are pretty raw just now. I know I am. I think it's a time to cut everyone extra slack. I don't plan to do this by not telling people when I think they're out of line, as my previous comment should, um, indicate. But I don't plan to be making any sweeping judgments about anyone's character based on what they've said during the past week.

"Second: I suspect that all the regulars here are pretty raw just now. I know I am. I think it's a time to cut everyone extra slack."

Part of the reason I kept my mouth shut re the above.

"Phil: I think this would have been a lot better had it ended after the word 'apology.'"

I'm guessing, Hilzoy, that you meant to link here, rather than the comment you linked to.

Gary: yes, I did. Thanks.

Thanks for making a statement, hilzoy. I have to admit that I missed the origin of the "bikeshed" comments and was confused about what it referred to. After scanning through the thread, it's clear to me now that it was way out of bounds. There's always a certain percentage of comments that I consider not worth tunneling into, because of the time and effort required by said tunneling.

Part of my frustration with this and other, related disputes is that I don't trust myself to be fair, so I elect to do nothing instead. Not that I'm any longer in a position to do anything, but I have been.

And thanks too to Gary for his comments here. I think possibly he erred on the side of kindness in his interpretation of Jesurgislac's comments, but perhaps we might all consider the merit in leaning in that direction.

...and I completely agree with Gary that turnabout is not the proper response to some perceived wrong perpetrated by another, here at OW. Posting rules violations are not cancelled out by other, oppositely directed violations.

Thanks, Slarti.

I didn't say anything before because I hadn't been reading the thread, and so didn't know there was anything to be making a statement about. Thanks to the various people who emailed me and let me know I ought to.

I think ObWi needs a few more top-level posters (and more frequent posting), not just to get more activity, but more to allay some of the anger that builds up over these long threads. A new thread tends to shift people's attention and start the conversation all over again, while these long threads have a tendency to fall into anger and name calling.

"I think ObWi needs a few more top-level posters"

This is longtime popular standing opinion. Do you know any articulate, reasonable, vaguely right/libertarian/conservative types to nominate?

After we get back to three of those, another one or two left liberals might be added, and another couple of right/con/libertarian types, and than another lib-left type.

About 5/5 would probably be good, though it might take 7 con/right/libertarian types to balance out Hilzoy and 2 other left/liberals.

A year ago wouldn't be two late for this to happen.

I nominate OCSteve, for starters.

I would like to apologise for this comment I made earlier:

"Oh for goodness sake jesu. For goodness sake. Have you even taken the time to read some of the replies people have put up to respond to you? Indeed your high school story is sad, and I'm sorry that it has clearly affected you to this day, but it is a complete non sequitur. I agree with byrningman, I think you owe some people an apology."

Sorry Jes, if this came across as snarky. I didn't mean it to be a personal attack, only one on your ideas. (If it didn't seem a personal attack, then ignore my apology.)

I'd second the nomination of OCSteve.

I guess I'm not as concerned about the political viewpoint balance as others. I think it's important to have a good healthy blog first, and then to address one's mission statement later.

I guess I mean: if there were someone you wanted to read like K & H, would it really be worth putting off their nomination because it would tip the political balance of the blog? To me, the answer is no.

But, frankly, head counts are less important than post counts: K&H have been much more sporadic over the last few months. It might take one *extremely active* conservative to balance out the blog.

"It is also tough to admit that there is racism within one's own party."

It is? There's racism within the Democratic Party.

There's racism within the hearts of some Democratic Party members.

There's some unperceived, unconscious, racism, and all sorts of prejudices, within almost every human being, and certainly including me.

Racism raises it's ugly head once again...

I played a casual gig last night in a bar here in my town. While we were setting up, an older local guy walks up to me to shoot the breeze.

He mentions that he's looking forward to hearing the band, because he loves to dance. He used to be a good dancer, he says, but a year or so ago he got a heart transplant, and ever since then his dancing has been even better. The donor, you see, was a black man.

"!!!!???!?!?", thinks I.
"Hahahahaha" says I.

Later on, I see him on the floor, and think to myself, "He is actually a pretty good dancer for a white guy". Then, I had a good laugh at my own expense.

It's everywhere.

My marrying an Englishman was much more complicated than people imagine.

My brother in law recently married a woman from Columbia (the country, not the university) and their experience so far matches your own.

I'd second the nomination of OCSteve.

Thirded.

Thanks -

I'd fourth the nomination of OCSteve, fwiw.
Even if he did get mad at me once.


The Clintons are incredible media manipulators. They somehow have people feeling sorry for a person who is by far and away the national front runner, who has raised over $100 million for her campaign.

If New Hampshire is interpreted as the resurgence of women's voice in politics, I don't understand how this does not set the women's movement back. If the story coming out of New Hampshire is that women turned to Clinton because she became misty eyed, how does this do anything besides play into perceptions that women make emotional decisions for frivolous reasons?

If there's anything that pushes my buttons, it is people with senses of entitlement. She lost a caucus. Boo-hoo. Everybody was ganging up on her. Boo-hoo. This is what every politician has to go through: losing. I guess it wasn't going to be a coronation. Other candidates deal with loss. But she seemed bent out of shape over it. So people felt sorry for her and stormed to her side.

I just don't see how this perception -- and this perception will be there -- does any good.

Having said that, I used to think that Obama had a better shot in the general election. What did I base this opinion on? Polls. What can't I trust anymore? Polls. Maybe I was entirely wrong. Maybe I should support Hillary, because the country is so deeply and secretly racist that I have to question my assumptions that Obama's support is what his poll numbers suggest.

I can't imagine how dispiriting this would be for the Obama campaign, for the African-American community. You gauge your viability as a politician by polls. If Obama has this kind of let down in state after state, why would he run in four years or eight years? How could he ever know what his viability really is?

Hi,
This is strictly anecdotal no balanced sample or anything, but it is worth discussing those first two on the list they are gut-level, fear-based assessments.
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