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August 28, 2014

Comments

".... that Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya and is bent on destroying the country."

Everybody knows that! But did you know that old MacDonald was a bad speller?

Did the Dixiecrats have some liberal, or at least moderate, inclinations on most issues unrelated to race that I am simply unaware of?

I'm still trying to figure out that graph, but yes, Dixiecrats were populists in the sense that they supported huge infrastructure and FDR-type social programs back in the day. They were racists, for sure. When the Reagan Revolution happened, they turned against Government.

wj:

But I would note that, at least as I read the graph, ALL of the Republican gains in the House, from 2010 onwards, were Far Right. On the Democrats's side, gains have happened at least a much in the Center Left as the Far Left.

The graph is really hard to interpret, and I'm not a political scientist, so while I think its cool, I can't vouch for it meaning much. But its based on peer-reviewed work...so its probably not too crazy.

According to the chart though, the far right has been gaining steadily (at the expense of the center right) since around Reagan. I don't see a huge jag around 2010...but with so little data after 2008, an effect of Obama on increasing polarization could be hidden. I'd feel comfortable saying it is really unlikely there is a LARGE effect.

On the other side, the center-left has been steadily losing ground to the left since the mid-30s. Not much shift to the far-left (although some)...but this isn't a very leftist country by most standards so I'm not surprised.

As to the center left candidates in 2006-08...they seized swing districts...then lost them in 2010 when the Rs retook the house.

I suppose you could argue the center-left swing (giving Ds control of the house) was killed by a racist response to Obama (and a tea party swing)...but I'd just as easily attribute it to anger over GWs term lending Ds support in more conservative districts. GW gone, those districts gone.

None of that is bulletproof, so you might be right. But you seem to be pointing predominantly to one answer (Obama's race), when I see a multitude of contributing factors.

As to the Dixiecrat question, sapient has answered better than I could.

As to the Dixiecrat question, sapient has answered better than I could.

Thanks, thompson. In fact, I would be a "Dixiecrat" were it not for the racism (well, not now because they're Republicans).

Red states still have more African-Americans than the rest of the United States. African-Americans (despite the discussion of their "conservative" values) don't vote Republican.

Red states need Federal money for social[ist] programs that support the poor in their states. Some of the poor there are African-American, but many are not, and those who are not frequently vote against their interests because of racism.

Tragic. Because, like Guatemala, and other places, rich people are quite happy to hold a huge percentage of the wealth of their jurisdiction. When the less-well-off are pitted against each other because of race, there is nothing that they're going to win.

Dixiecrats were populists in the sense that they supported huge infrastructure and FDR-type social programs back in the day. They were racists, for sure. When the Reagan Revolution happened, they turned against Government.

Not exactly correct WRT the particulars.

Agrarian Southern Democrats had some populist leanings from the early 1900's, as long as the social largess was parceled out to whites only. The total traditional post civil war exclusion of Republicans from effective power in the south, coupled with the sweeping victories of FDR in '32 and '36 gave the Democrats huge majorities in Congress. The choke-point in Congress was the committee chairmanship tradition based on seniority. Many chairmen were thus from the south.

The went along with the social policies of the New Deal, but acted to effectively ensure that parceling out the funds was left up to "local option" and control. I'm sure you can guess where that led: Affirmative action for whites only.

With the rise of industrial unionism in northern factories, powerful southern Democrats began to get cold feet about the New Deal (cf. John Nance Garner), and the began to work with the GOP minority in Congress to actively block progressive legislation, esp. WRT unions who were seen as a racially blind force for both economic and particularly social equality...something these powerful southern politicians simply could not abide.

It was all about protecting segregation.

By the 40's the Southern Dems had pretty much swung into opposition and joined the GOP in a legislative coalition to pass Taft-Hartley, etc.

Brown vs. Board cemented their intransigence. With their seniority, they continued to block or alter liberal legislation. Conservative Democrats, using their seniority, continued to hold sway of powerful Congressional committees as well as the circus that was the HUAC.

This holding action began to disintegrate as the civil war in the Democratic Party raged through the 50's and 60's. The passage of the '64 Civil Rights Act was the watershed.

In the period '64-80 there was the increasing turn to the GOP as many of the old segregationist warhorses died (fuck you, James O. Eastland and your ilk) or switched parties.

By the time 1980 rolled around, it was pretty much a done deal. They didn't become Reaganites, they already were.

Guessing, I'd say it's 95% natural progression and 5% racism, but it could easily be 90% and 10%.

Those are pretty much my seat-of-the-pants numbers also.

To be dead honest, I think the political polarization of the US at the moment is fairly accurate representation of actual polarization among the people who live here.

Maybe the various left and right wing propaganda organs have whipped that up, but it seems to me that different groups of folks in the country have different interests, different cultural and historical legacies, different understandings about almost anything you can think of when it comes to public life.

I am, frankly, hard pressed to think of what we agree about.

Coates has found his way to a kind of regretful pessimism about race in the US, I've found my way to a similar position on pretty much everything.

IMO Obama was more or less our best shot at something remotely approaching middle ground. He is about as middle of the road as anybody I can think of on the current landscape. The man has his faults, but to be honest I think he sincerely thought he was going to come into office, roll up his sleeves, and get a sufficient number of folks on the same page that we could actually get some things done.

Instead, it's been six years and counting of cut-throat ankle-biting BS. Because there's no upside for folks in Congress to try to compromise, and turn that's because doing so would land them out of a job. I am, frankly, mostly talking about (R)'s.

Basically, IMO the country is FUBAR, because we, as a people, cannot get our sh*t together, and resolutely refuse to even try.

There are, really and truly, issues on our plate that should make us all sit straight up and pay some serious attention. Instead, we argue about the stupidest crap imaginable.

I think we're in for a generation or so of having our butts seriously handed to us. If we are remarkably and undeservedly lucky, it will result in us sobering up and taking care of business. I'm not placing any bets.

We're really really rich, and we have a huge (if decaying) legacy infrastructure, so we're not headed for 3rd world status anytime soon. We still have an ocean to the left and right, and relatively friendly folks north and south, and likely more ways to blow stuff up then is or was available to all of the rest of humanity that has ever existed combined, so I'm not seeing a serious risk of military harm. But as far as a robust, functional society, dealing competently with the normal challenges of public life, it just ain't happening, and I'm not seeing anything resembling light at the end of the tunnel.

Read 'em and weep.

"But, the minute somebody brings up the possibility that Obama, as an African-American, might be subject to racism, that possibility is minimized."

You didn't simply say that Obama might be subject to racism. It's obvious Obama gets hit with racism from the far right--Slarti mentioned his mother-in-law and hell, I mentioned the Kenyan birther thing in my reply to you. That's a given. Many people on the right (I couldn't guess percentages, but suspect it's fairly high) have racist attitudes towards Obama. I have a rightwing friend who told me a few weeks ago that Eric Holder was a terrible racist--I didn't want to get into it, but googled later and apparently this is a meme sometimes employed against Holder because he doesn't go along with this voter ID nonsense that the right pushes.

Where I objected was your suggestion that virtually all criticism of Obama from whatever direction is tainted by racism--that's rubbish. Even what wj brought up and I elaborated on wouldn't be racism--there were people on the left who projected their fantasy Obama onto the real Obama, imagined him to be someone who agreed with them on virtually every issue, attributed some sort of leftist perfection to him because of his background (both the racial thing and the fact that he'd been in Indonesia and goodness what else) and when it finally dawned on them that he wasn't what they imagined, they got mad. There's something absurd about that, but it's not racism.

But you were saying that people who criticized him for not working hard enough to obtain single payer were employing some racist notion that he's a black man and therefore lazy. That's bull. People on the left who made that sort of criticism claim that Obama and many other Democrats are really just centrists, and that Obama came into office wanting to strike deals with (imaginary) centrist Republicans and that he had no use for the left and that it took him years to see that centrist Republicans were a figment of his imagination. Whether you agree with that or not, it's not a claim that Obama is a bad President because he's black and lazy.

I think that any Democrat elected in 2008 was doomed to be demonized by the Republicans and the far right media machine. Since Obama is black, and since racism is still alive and well in this country, racism would be part of the process. If the victor had been HRC, it'd be misogynistic. If the President were a white Southern boy, there'd be some other way to paint him as un-American.

Donald, I wonder if you don't have a somewhat different working definition of racism than some of us here.

The view that any racist view must include blacks being lazy is simply incorrect. It is possible (and, I would argue, is in fact the case) to hold a race-based view that being black will necessarily equate to being liberal and supporting liberal goals. And that view is held both by those of the far right and the far left. The far right may add lazy, etc. to their picture of blacks, but the left's view is just as racist. At least as I would use the term.

russell:

To be dead honest, I think the political polarization of the US at the moment is fairly accurate representation of actual polarization among the people who live here.

I wouldn't be nearly so pessimistic. Pew did a recent study on polarization, found here (http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/12/political-polarization-in-the-american-public/ ).

There is unmistakable increases in polarization, and the polarized are more likely to be politically engaged and contribute.

But there is still a huge chunk of the voting public that is centrist, even if it has dropped somewhat. One of the findings of the study was that even if you look at measures of political activism, the 'ideologically consistent' are still a minority.

IMO, this centrist population has a real impact. I think Obama got a huge boost in 2008 by tapping into that centrist group. His message was pretty centrist, and he pulled in a lot of the battleground states because of it, IMO.

There is polarization in the populace, but I think there is more in both who gets elected to congress (due in part to our primary system and some other factors) and our media. I think the polarization in those is elevated compared to the population, and can readily skew people's perceptions of the overall populace.

but the left's view is just as racist. At least as I would use the term.

The 'left' may mistakenly assume black allegiance to the Democratic Party, and conflate that allegiance with support for various socially liberal causes (cf. gay equality/marriage) that turn out to be wrong, but that is not racism.

From the google machine:

rac·ism
rāˌsizəm
noun
the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.

Several commenters of 'the right' have mentioned that blacks are overwhelmingly socially conservative. I would agree. But to me, to hold socially conservative views is to fully be in tune with those things that conservatives say they hold dear: Tradition, respect for authority,church going, hard working, etc.....all those things that would, if they were white, be associated with 'success' and 'the American Way'.

So whenever some flaming liberal points out that the vast majority of blacks do overwhelmingly try hard to achieve success and do work hard but are still behind in every conceivable measure of education and especially wealth we get the fucking lecture about "unwed mothers" and "respect for authority" and "cultural pathologies".

Why is that?

I wouldn't be nearly so pessimistic.

Just calling it the way I see it.

Several commenters of 'the right' have mentioned that blacks are overwhelmingly socially conservative.

Plus me.

I second your basic point here.

It's interesting to me that Charles freaking Murray has finally twigged the fact that it ain't about skin color.

A major brainwave on his part. Well done, Charles. Although, of course, when it's blacks who are "dysfunctional", it's their genes, and when it's whites, it's onna counta society.

Baby steps, y'all.

Second class status breeds social dysfunction. Doesn't much matter what the basis of "second class status" is.

Just calling it the way I see it.

Sure, and you're welcome to your perspective. Perspectives can often be biased and colored, and these can be minimized by well done empirical research conducted by an experienced research group like Pew.

So, not entirely discounting how you see it, but I think Pew's data set contradicts your perceptions to some degree.

As an aside, I'd also point out the Orman situation in Kansas. A deeply red state has an independent with some chance of winning, although a lot is still up in the air in that regard. Even if Orman doesn't win, I do find his fundraising fairly impressive for an independent candidate. Perhaps a blip, perhaps part of a larger trend, its too soon to tell.

So, not entirely discounting how you see it, but I think Pew's data set contradicts your perceptions to some degree.

That's cool.

When Pew's insights translate into us actually getting our sh*t together and engaging as a nation in constructive public action, I'll think about revising my point of view.

Not discounting the value of Pew-style research, I'm just looking for somebody to show me real-life results.

Not discounting the value of Pew-style research, I'm just looking for somebody to show me real-life results.

Fair enough, I didn't understand the context of your dismissal of the Pew report. I'd actually agree the real life results are minimal at this time.

Like I said, I'd attribute both 2008 and Orman's chances as indicators that the middle might actually be pushing back against the extremism in functional ways.

That is purely IMHO, my perspective, without empirical support, etc etc and undoubtedly colored by my generally optimistic outlook on humanity.

The reason I brought up Pew was to contradict the point that the polarization in the political class is "fairly accurate representation" of polarization of the population.

I point that out because a polarized political class and a polarized populace are two very different problems. Neither is especially tractable, but a polarized populace is far more intractable, IMO.

But a polarized political debate that is not representative of the level of polarization in the general populace could be ameliorated by encouraging enfranchisement of the more moderate population, by voting for more moderate candidates in primaries, by funding more moderate candidates, and by changing aspects of our political process that encourage polarization (like gerrymandering, our primary system, etc).

There is a key difference between a polarized political process and a polarized population. The Pew report, IMO, indicates the population as a whole is not as polarized as our currently political class might indicate.

the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race,

What else is a belief that all members of a race are liberal? Is "liberal" not a characteristic?

And, just in case the thought arises, even people we all agree are racists don't argue that only blacks are, for example, lazy.

the Orman situation in Kansas. A deeply red state has an independent with some chance of winning,

And if he does win, we will be up to 3 Senators who are neither Republicans nor Democrats (King, Sanders and Orman). When was the last time that happened? (Circa 1900 as far as I can tell.)

As Russell noted in a different context -- baby steps.

a polarized political class and a polarized populace are two very different problems.

Gotta go with Thompson on this one. We have more than one issue currently where the population as a whole has changed position on something, but a bill to change the law can't even get a hearing.

Not to mention the difference between what polls show of about unqualified support for Israel among the general population (significant, but substantially less than a majority on many feature of Israeli government policy), vs essentially unanimous unqualified support from the Congress.

"The view that any racist view must include blacks being lazy is simply incorrect. It is possible (and, I would argue, is in fact the case) to hold a race-based view that being black will necessarily equate to being liberal and supporting liberal goals. And that view is held both by those of the far right and the far left. The far right may add lazy, etc. to their picture of blacks, but the left's view is just as racist."

I wondered if someone would raise that. I agree that someone who thinks blacks must necessarily be liberal is "racist" in some sense, though a very different one from someone who thinks blacks must be lazy. But I wasn't talking about that. I was talking about people like my deceased friend, who thought in 2008 (along with many other lefties) that Obama was some dream candidate for the far left (in American political terms, that is). I think he and others based that view not on the fact that Obama was black, full stop, but because Obama came from a mixed background both racially and culturally, had visited Indonesia, had written a deeply impressive autobiography, had been a community organizer, and had attended the church of someone who (whatever else one would say about Rev Wright) was very far to the left in his views. All those things taken together led some lefties to think Obama was their dream candidate. I was frustrated with such people because you only had to read some of Obama's speeches to see that he wasn't the dream lefty they imagined him to be.

But no, this isn't racism by any rational definition of the word. It was ,in my opinion, wishful thinking taken to the point of idiocy at times. But not racism. Even what you're talking about wouldn't quite be racism in my view. I grew up in the South--99 percent of the bigotry I heard was white directed against black. I can literally remember two occasions where someone said something anti-semitic . The second time it was when I was working in a temporary job in a warehouse and this black guy said someone was Jewish and then rubbed his fingers together indicating that this person was therefore obsessed with money. I was naively surprised--because I thought that members of oppressed groups wouldn't have that sort of prejudice. I suppose that was a racist view on my part--certainly it was naive and stupid, but I'm not going to put my 20 year old self in the same category as someone who insists that Obama is a Muslim out to destroy the country.

" It is possible (and, I would argue, is in fact the case) to hold a race-based view that being black will necessarily equate to being liberal and supporting liberal goals."

I also doubt that very many people on either the left or the right actually believe that. Everyone knows there are black public figures who are not on the left. Even people who are racist know this. People on the right who hate Obama do so in part because of racism in some cases, but I don't think their thinking works quite the way you imagine. If Obama were a Republican congressional representative or worked at some think tank and bashed Muslims he'd be a regular commentator on Fox News. I believe Allen West is an example of someone like that, though I don't know if he's a regular on Fox News.

Thinking about my 20 year old self, what I would say is that I was ignorant. I had the notion that if you were a member of an oppressed group (blacks in the South, for example), you would know how stupid white racism was and so by extension you would know that racism and bigotry in general were stupid. So I was surprised to see a black guy who I knew to be intelligent employing anti-semitic "reasoning". You could say that I was racist for thinking that a black man wouldn't be a racist. I'd say that I was 20 years old and naive about human nature. I was mistaken but putting my 20 year old self in the same camp with people who imagine that Obama is trying to turn America into an Islamic theocracy seems like an analytical error to me for all sorts of reasons. For one thing, my mistaken view was easily corrected by one encounter with reality. For another, my mistake wasn't hateful and malicious, only ignorant. Racists (as I use the term) don't immediately alter their views given data that doesn't fit. It seems to me that these things should matter. If you still want to use the term "racist" for all of this, then you're going to have to deal with the fact that the term is generally used to describe a huge moral failing, and people who are merely naive and whose views can be altered rather quickly by exposure to evidence probably shouldn't be lumped in with the Kenyan birther conspiracists.

Donald, the real problem is that racism of naiveté is probably the most damaging. The struggle for blacks would be way easier if everyone that wasn't a birther was simply aware of their prejudice. The unintended consequences of people who are unintentional racists are the real issue. Some people really want to excuse their lack of awareness as not being racist, which in some ways makes them worse.

That's weird--I thought I replied to marty, but it's not there.

"The unintended consequences of people who are unintentional racists are the real issue. "

That's vague. I agree it's often true, but I don't think my 20 year old naiveté is comparable to people who think Obama is a Kenyan Muslim out to destroy the country. My sin was ignorance and it was easily cured--I heard a black guy saying something anti-semitic and after my surprise, understood that I had been unconsciously assuming that oppressed people would be naturally less likely to harbor prejudices against others. So I can't see that my naiveté did any harm. Put another way, I don't have a problem with honest ignorance--the key word there is honest. People have to be willing to learn from their mistakes.

Now some lefties do harbor a tendency to think that the oppressed are without sin--I spend a lot of time reading about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (where I'm more on the Palestinian side) and yes, there are lefties who seem to think like that. And that is a problem. Or could be, if people like that had enough political power, say, to sway the government to follow some policy of arming Hamas, to cite some wildly unlikely hypothetical example. (I don't think that would be any worse than arming Israel, but it wouldn't be any better either). As it happens, lefties who romanticize oppressed groups don't have enough power in the US to do a lot of mischief.
There are people on the far left with other sorts of nutty beliefs--not necessarily racist, but nutty. 9/11 truthers, for instance. But they don't have much power. If they did, they'd be a problem.

Rightwing idiots in the US have much more power than the leftwing variety. We have an entire political party which seems afraid to tell some of its own supporters that their views of Obama are over-the-top bats*** crazy. And this has real consequences. Obama came into office clearly wanting to make deals with center-right Republicans (this is why some lefties don't like him). But he couldn't.
We have a country which can't have serious debates about serious topics because of it.

Actually we have a country that can't have serious debate on serious topics because outside the topic line: Economy, war, immigration etc. We can't agree on what problem we are trying to solve. Economy, is it unemployment, business spending, deflation, inflation, ? Immigration - stop it, bring in more qualified people, fix the undocumented problem, or is it the illegal problem? You can't have a debate when you don't agree on what to debate.

"We can't agree on what problem we are trying to solve. "

Well, that's part of it. But the rightwing craziness contributes to the problem. And by rightwing craziness I don't mean the policy differences--those are what the debates should be about-- but the silly and often racist conspiracy theories.

You can't have a debate when you don't agree on what to debate.

We can, of course, agree on what to debate if people will face certain facts. When the right wing rejects today the solutions they supported yesterday, just because Democrats are trying to work with them and push something forward, that's obstructionism and hatefulness.

The idea that non-affiliated representatives are going to save the day is a silly notion. What we need to do is kick out Republicans. Fortunately, demographics indicate that it will happen in the next decade. Thank [G]o[od]ness.

That does not mean that some housecleaining would not do the Dems some good also. And that's not about ideological purity tests but simple moral rot caused by too much contact with moneyed special interests.

Well, there is some left-wing craziness out there, too. Their conspiracy theories may not be as obviously damaging as the right-wing ones. But we are, for example, getting close to the point where the number of nuts who refuse vaccination for their children are going to mean that childhood diseases which we once consigned to history (at least in this country) are back with us. Which may not be as big an impact overall, but will be really hard on the children involved

And that's not about ideological purity tests but simple moral rot caused by too much contact with moneyed special interests.

Until campaign finance reform is possible (which means Democrats being elected President until a different Supreme Court exists), that's kind of a silly notion. In addition to the fact that there are no "moneyed special interests" owning Democrats that are as malignant as the "moneyed special interests" owning Republicans. First things first.

But we are, for example, getting close to the point where the number of nuts who refuse vaccination for their children are going to mean that childhood diseases which we once consigned to history (at least in this country) are back with us

Not left-wing, wj. Libertarian.

end ital

What else is a belief that all members of a race are liberal? Is "liberal" not a characteristic?

The somewhat mistaken belief by some "liberals" that most blacks are also "liberals" instead of "political allies" is not a belief that is SPECIFIC TO THAT RACE (there are white liberals you may have noticed) and is not asserted SO AS TO DISTINGUISH IT (the other race) AS INFERIOR...TO ANOTHER RACE (the cardinal distinguishing aspect of white supremacy).

However your so-called definition of racism does play nicely to the meme of "liberals are the real racists" (used by FOX assholes and others) which I'm pretty sure is not something you feel in any way whatsoever, but there you go.

Ousting corrupt and/or insane GOPsters is one thing but if they just get replaced by equally corrupt Dems with chronic backstabbing disease, a reversal is just a matter of time. The senate supermajority Obama seemingly had was pretty useless due to it having to rely on the above. Fory any kind of system reform the non-corrupt need a real majority which will not arise as long as the less extreme party tolerates the rot on the border to the formal enemy.


I'm not sure I can wrap my head around the idea of a libertarian conspiracy nut. Lack of imagination on my part, no doubt.

But the anti-vaccine nuts display the same antipathy to science as the right- (and left-) wingnuts. Indeed, I might go so far as to say that a quick index of insanity is the determination to reject empirical evidence in favor of belief. Not, note, that faith is equivalent to insanity. Just that faith which rejects evidence is. Regardless of the political (or lack of political) inclinations of those involved.

trying again.

</i>

Not left-wing, wj. Libertarian.

I've seen anti-vac crap from tea-party right-wingers, and DFH leftists. I'd agree that ideological sympathy towards libertarian ideology is a common thread, but it's definitely not restricted to those people best identified as libertarians. That rot is unfortunately more widespread than that.

Ousting corrupt and/or insane GOPsters is one thing but if they just get replaced by equally corrupt Dems with chronic backstabbing disease,

I don't really know, hartmut, what you're talking about. Who are the "equally corrupt Dems" with chronic backstabbing disease? There are some Democrats, not many, such as Joe Manchin, from West Virginia, who are extremely conservative (and I certainly wish he were more liberal).

Basically, this is an easy fix. Get rid of Republicans. Sure, don't replace them with criminals, but replace them with people who represent their constituents. I live in Congressional district represented by a teaparty Republican. Nobody I know would vote for this guy. The Congressional districts were drawn in 2010, when Republicans won everything because Democrats didn't vote in midterm elections. Democrats are dumb that way.

I tried to turn off the italics. Really I did. Bt I guess we need one of the superusers to do the trick. Sigh.

Bobby: "The somewhat mistaken belief by some "liberals" that most blacks are also "liberals" instead of "political allies" is not a belief that is SPECIFIC TO THAT RACE"

First, you can believe that something is specific to a race without believing that in is necessarily NOT a characteristic of people outside that race. Which, if I recall, I noted specifically. (In my 1:49 AM post. But perhaps you were responding to one of my later ones, where I didn't repeat that.)

Second, there is nothing which prevents something being racism just because it does not include seeing a particular race as inferior. That may be usual, but it isn't a requirement. All that is required is a belief, regardless of evidence, that belonging to race A means having characteristic B.

NV, actually where I've seen the most of the anti-vaccine nonsense is from those who could be labeled limosine liberals.

I guess that shows why anecdotal evidence is not definitive. ;-)

FWIW, wj, 'twas you what killed the italics in my Firefox.

I'm not sure I can wrap my head around the idea of a libertarian conspiracy nut. Lack of imagination on my part, no doubt.

wj, anti-vac doesn't actually need to be a conspiracy theory to work as an appealing thing for a libertarian. You can just go with rational self-interest and say "Well, better safe than sorry. I'll not expose my special snowflake to the risk of <anti-vac flavor of the day>, the sheeple can take the risks and my kids will wisely profit from herd immunity!". Or suchlike.

Although I'd agree that on a very superficial level conspiracy theorizing seems a weird thing to associate with libertarianism (though I suppose we have e.g. Rand's rantings to show how such a thing could be framed). An awful lot of libertarian thought I've seen includes a willfully ignorant denial of the fact that people can and will work together to further an end.

(Yes, yes, still more vague anecdata. =p)

Marty @ 5:38 above...Let's take your first item, the economy. Most would agree it needs to do better is some way or ways. So we agree there is a "problem". That is the debate topic. There are many solutions offered to make the economy "better"....from going back on the gold standard and repealing everything going back to the Sherman Anti-trust Act to socializing all large industrial concerns.

What seems to be widespread is the belief that some kind of political dysfunction is blocking the miracle solution or "getting on with it". Since the muddled center pretty much most major political outcomes, I feel we are in a situation where "the center in not holding".

I've seen anti-vac crap from tea-party right-wingers, and DFH leftists.

But this is where "right" and "left" lose their meaning. The fact is, vaccinations that are required, or strongly suggested, by Government, are rejected by those who either 1) are suspicious of Government, or 2) are not interested in the Commonweal, or 3) think that their Internet research is better than what the medical community recommends.

I might be marginally sympathetic to people in Category 3, except that the Internet should tell them, by now, that they are wrong.

There is another phenomenon (related to 3, above), that people think they are experts at everything, including things that they haven't spent much time studying.

Some of it is understandable. It's difficult for people who aren't paying close attention to figure out what they should be eating (for example). It seems, every other day, something new comes out that contradicts what was taken for granted before. Salt? No salt?

Anyway, vaccinations? Go for it! I had measles, mumps and chickenpox!

NV, actually where I've seen the most of the anti-vaccine nonsense is from those who could be labeled limosine liberals.

Not true. What you have "seen" does not appear to comport with the facts.

First, you can believe that something is specific to a race without believing that in is necessarily NOT a characteristic of people outside that race.

Could you please translate that into English for me? How's this: Blacks generally have curly hair. Does that assertion make me a racist? Or is it the truthiness of the assertion that makes one a racist or not?

Second, there is nothing which prevents something being racism just because it does not include seeing a particular race as inferior.

Well, you are entitled to your opinion, but the dictionary says otherwise. Look, to wash that element out of the equation is to make the term "racism" essentially without import, an explicit goal, by the way, of racial superiority apologists.

White superiority, down through the years, has had definite social, political, and economic impact that has been, and continues to be, detrimental to blacks.

The possibly mistaken conflation of black voting patterns with "liberalism" as it may pertain to gay rights, for example, has not had that effect and cannot, by any stretch of logic or imagination be called "racism".

Furthermore, blacks typically support the New Deal state, the overarching touchstone of modern day liberalism. To call them "liberals" in this regard is not in any way inaccurate. But again, that has nothing to do with what is or is not "racism".

I think 'racism' would be the wrong label if applied to political inclination within a group. There is no 'vote Democrat(ic)' gene. Or one would have to assume that US blacks are a race different from 'true' African blacks*. The racism would be in a chain of argument leading from the premises 1)Blacks are by nature stupid, lazy thugs 2)Liberalism is the religion of the lazy thugs and 3)Only stupid people (or smart** evil ones exploiting them)would ever support liberalism => Blacks are liberal.

*often praised for their Kristian(TM) conservatism, cf. Uganda's Kill-the-gays-law
**but that would be whites or half-breds according to 1)

From a German perspective, most anti-vaccination people over here seem to either belong to out-of-the-mainstream religious groups or are indeed a (better groomed) hippie variant. Anti-government guys play no significant role there or they belong to the first group and those beliefs are independent, i.e. they oppose vaccination per se not because the government supports it.
There are some freeloaders (profitting from herd immunity while avoiding the inconvenience) but they tend not be organized.
What unites the main opposers is the assumption that vaccination is unnatural. The religious ones consider it a (foolish) attempt to circumvent divine punishment for their sins (diseases being G#d's favorite tool), the 'hippies' see especially childhood diseases as a natural and necessary part of growing up. So, avoiding them would lead to a defective personality development. Hippie-specific is the general distrust in 'chemistry' as artificial and distinct from nature (even if the compounds in question are identical. In esssence it's vitalism reborn).

I despise Obama because e.g. NSA / Snowden / Manning / Drone Wars / Guantanamo / Afghanistan / Wall Street Bailouts.

I despise HRC because she is a FP hawk who e.g. threatened to "totally obliterate Iran".

I have no idea why sapient should be allowed to call me a racist/misogynist on that basis.


What you have "seen" does not appear to comport with the facts.

Which, Bobby, is why I carefully noted that it was what I had observed, rather than claiming it represented the entire picture.

I'm guessing that the list of people that novakant despises is quite long. As such, why limit it to racial or gender categories?

Let's just say that if there were such a list annoying, intellectually challenged trolls would be on it as well.

I'm not sure I can wrap my head around the idea of a libertarian conspiracy nut.

Let me introduce you to the Ron Paul Institute of Peace and Prosperity.

As an appetizer, that is.

Thank you . . . I think?

I know it's generally a good thing to learn something new every day. But I really think I could have lived quite nicely without learning that.

Difficult to excerpt this piece, as pretty well all of it of it is eye opening to someone unfamiliar with how the US system works at the local level.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/09/03/how-st-louis-county-missouri-profits-from-poverty/

About 80 percent of the people in the gym tonight are black, even though blacks make up just 27 percent of the town. According to statistics compiled by Missouri’s attorney general’s office, 71 percent of the people pulled over by Florissant police in 2013 were black. The search and arrest rates for blacks were also twice as high as those rates for whites, even though whites were more likely to be found with contraband, a contradiction that has also been widely reported in Ferguson.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, blacks make up less than eight percent of the Florissant police force. The judge and both prosecutors are white. In nearly all the towns in St. Louis County, the prosecutors and judges in these courts are part-time positions, and are not elected, but appointed by the mayor, town council, or city manager. According to a recent white paper published by the ArchCity Defenders, the chief prosecutor in Florissant Municipal Court makes $56,060 per year. It’s a position that requires him to work 12 court sessions per year, at about three hours per session. The Florissant prosecutor is Ronald Brockmeyer, who also has a criminal defense practice in St. Charles County, and who is also the chief municipal prosecutor for the towns of Vinita Park and Dellwood. He is also the judge – yes, the judge — in both Ferguson and Breckenridge Hills. Brockmeyer isn’t alone: Several other attorneys serve as prosecutor in one town and judge in another. And at least one St. Louis County assistant district attorney is also a municipal court judge...


But perhaps the most gaping divide between having and not having an attorney is that many people think that if they can’t pay their fines, they’ll be arrested and jailed the moment they show up in court. So they don’t show up. In truth, you can’t be jailed if you don’t have the money to pay a fine. But you can be jailed for not showing up in court to answer a charge. So under the mistaken belief that showing up in court broke will land them in jail, people chose not to show up . . . which then lands them in jail.

“That’s probably the single biggest misunderstanding out there,” says Vatterott, the former municipal judge. “We have to do a better job of informing people. I think it should say on the notice that even if you have no money, you need to show up, and it should be made clear that you won’t be sent to jail. But when I bring that up, the prosecutors don’t like it. The arrest warrants bring more fines and make the towns more money...

Well, maybe there's some redemption to come from the Ferguson incident.

"The [Ferguson City] Council said it would create a citizen review board to provide “oversight and guidance” to the police department, which has come under heavy criticism in the aftermath of Mr. Brown’s shooting."

"... the Council is expected to introduce an ordinance intended to limit court fine revenues."

and

"Another ordinance to be introduced on Tuesday will call for the repeal of the “failure to appear” offense, under which a fine is levied. Other small fines could be ended under the ordinance, including a $25 fee to cover the “cost of police personnel who arrange for the towing” of abandoned or nonfunctional vehicles."

Which, Bobby, is why I carefully noted that it was what I had observed, rather than claiming it represented the entire picture.

Noted. Alas, I misinterpreted your subtle qualifying clause due to a debilitating case of the "What? Racism rears its ugly head again?" vapors.

I have way too many cases of reading too fast myself to fault anyone else who does it to my "pearls of prose." ;-)

Perhaps the "tolerance question" is deeply entwined with the ponzi scheme that we have adopted as a suburban growth pattern.

Another important issue raised is the interaction of public policy with "free markets".

Comments welcome......

Respectfully,

bobbyp, flaming intolerant 9 handicap socialist asshat

Speaking of asshats, even Nicholas Kristof, a much maligned by liberals liberal gets it.

Folks, this is not 'effing rocket science.

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