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August 23, 2008

Is There A Full Moon Or Something?

Shorter Jacob Weisberg:

"You may or may not agree with Obama's policy prescriptions..."

but if you don't vote for him, you do so for one reason and one reason only:

... "the color of his skin."

No disagreement is possible on this question. None. Forget civilized debate, forget the exchange of ideas, forget that whole "dissent is the highest form of patriotism" thing. You see, under an Obama administration only one set of policy preferences will be tolerated: Obama's.

Just ask Jacob. The good thing about this is that when Obama is elected, we'll have a convenient method for identifying the racists: all we have to do is wait and see who criticizes him. Obviously anyone who does so will have revealed himself as a racist, and by their words, we will know them.

It would probably be a good idea to identify them in some way. After all, racists are dangerous people. I'm thinking a gold star.

The idea has historical precedents.

What a whack job. If Jacob wants a rational reason not to vote for Barack Obama, how about the thought that some people can't stand the thought of watching their country being torn apart for the next 8 years by a bunch of whiny, mouth breathing moonbats and their cretinous conspiracy theories?

In over four years of blogging, I have never used the term "moonbat". This is a first for me. That is a sad, sad comment on the travesty this election season has become. I intend it to be the last time I use that term.

And if this is the Obama campaign's idea of uniting America behind the audacity of hopeful change (though I certainly don't blame Barack Obama for Weisberg's idiotic column - in fact, I feel sorry for Mr. Obama) I want no part of it.

Morgan Freeman was right. The best way to get beyond racism is to just treat each other like human beings and stop talking about race.

Knock it off. You are doing real damage to this country.

Posted by Cassandra at August 23, 2008 07:42 PM

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Comments

Is this a surprise to anyone? Refuseniks have a psychological problem.

Posted by: Allen at August 23, 2008 09:20 PM

Well, it's not as bad as all that. We are told that we "may" have disagreements on policy. As long as we vote appropriately in spite of those disagreements, our hearts will not be judged.

Posted by: Grim at August 23, 2008 09:26 PM

Cassandra, I gave up moonbat for Copperhead long ago. Nothing else really seems to cover how much leftists hate this country.

Posted by: SDN at August 23, 2008 09:31 PM

Well, one would suppose that, even if you disagree with McCains policies the only real reason to vote against him and for a lightweight like Obama is that you hate American veterans.

Posted by: Pile On at August 23, 2008 09:33 PM

It is interesting that when 90% or more of one group vote for a candidate because of his so-called race, it's to be expected. However, voting against that person of color because of a disagreement over policy is not only considered to be wrong, it's racist.

Yep, that's the ticket, vote for a far left-wing Socialist because of the color of his skin because to do otherwise is racist. Delightful and to coin a phrase: "BS!"

Posted by: DougW at August 23, 2008 09:37 PM

Ain't gonna vote for the elitest scumbag and the pompous windbag. So sue me wiesberg, you usless waste of genetic material.
This Old Retired Petty Officer calls his own shots. Additionally, I have done more for this Great Nation than either of those two dirtbags. I would love to take them through a shellback initiation as we did in the old days. I do believe the attitudes would change and they would be duly humbled.

Posted by: Glenn M. Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RETIRED at August 23, 2008 10:00 PM

Why do you hate Obama????

Racists! :)

Posted by: Cassandra at August 23, 2008 10:11 PM

> I intend it to be the last time I use that term.

Cass, I predict it will be far from the first time you have cause to use it. That will not happen for another 20-odd years, until after most of the Gen-Xers are gone.

As Sean Connery's wife observed: Never Say "Never Again".

Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 23, 2008 10:16 PM

> It is interesting that when 90% or more of one group vote for a candidate because of his so-called race, it's to be expected. However, voting against that person of color because of a disagreement over policy is not only considered to be wrong, it's racist.

As I've noted here in other threads:
Voting FOR Obama as a result of his skin color is just as racist as NOT voting for Obama because of his skin color.

If skin color is a factor at all, you're a racist. Period. End of discussion, there is nothing more to be said. By definition, you're a racist.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Sorry, Reverend Doctor, but your kids are going to have to wait, certain groups of people still want to vote on the basis of skin color.

This point needs to be rammed down the throat of anyone making the claim that the only reason someone could NOT vote for Obama is due to his skin color. This idea is supported mostly by those who ARE going to vote for him because of his skin color.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 23, 2008 10:30 PM

I am not a big fan of namecalling, OBH :p

I joke around, but I don't care for it when liberals call anyone who disagrees with them a wingnut either. I don't really see what it adds to the discourse.

The reason I departed from my usual rule here is that Mr. Weisburg is the one who is calling literally ANYONE who disagrees with him a racist.

I did it to prove a point, but I don't like it much. We all think things like that to ourselves, but people can't get along in society if they refuse to exercise a control over their baser emotions; and they are really jumping the shark when they come out with ridiculous accusations like Mr. Weisburg just did.

There is no way he can read the minds of Democrats (because that's who he's REALLY accusing here) who end up not voting for Obama, and it's just pathetic to see someone stoop so low in order to blackmail people into voting for his candidate. It's unworthy of Mr. Obama, though one can't help but observe that he sort of drew this with his unwise and injudicious "I don't look like the other x,y,z... they'll try to scare you because I'm black" idiocy. For a candidate who keeps telling us he has the judgment to lead, he sure throws out a lot of ammunition that suggests he lacks that very quality :p

Posted by: Cassandra at August 23, 2008 10:39 PM

"If skin color is a factor at all, you're a racist."

Well, there is at least one other option: you could be an anti-racist. Several liberals I know are of this persuasion, and even a few conservatives -- to be honest, I incline to it myself, if it weren't for the fact that Obama is so very wrong on so many issues.

I would like to vote for Obama, precisely for the reasons that our Slate author cites: because just electing a black president would say a lot about where America has come on the issue of race. It would matter a great deal to a number of people I know -- black people, it's true -- who want so much to believe that it's possible. I want them to have that belief confirmed.

So: skin color is a factor for me, in that small way. If Obama were a marginally acceptable candidate, I might even vote for him for that reason. But it can't happen, because of who he proves to be and what he seems to believe.

Yet our Slate author is exactly wrong: race is the only reason I would have for voting for Obama. It's really the policy differences, and concerns about his character and lack of experience, that move me to oppose him.

Now, I may not be a 'typical white person.' I suppose you folks have had enough exposure to me to have opinions about that. Yet there we are.

Posted by: Grim at August 23, 2008 10:43 PM

I would like to vote for Obama, precisely for the reasons that our Slate author cites: because just electing a black president would say a lot about where America has come on the issue of race. It would matter a great deal to a number of people I know -- black people, it's true -- who want so much to believe that it's possible. I want them to have that belief confirmed.

I think there are a lot of people who feel the same way Grim. What Weisberg ignores is that many of us would vote for Condi Rice (a black person AND a woman!) in a heartbeat for President.

But I would not vote for Colin Powell even though he's nominally a Republican.

So race is not at all the dispositive factor. It's ideology and character. And trust.

Weisberg just really needs to get a life. And stop projecting his fears onto everyone else.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 23, 2008 11:20 PM

Yeah, well, I wouldn't vote for her. :) I've seen her work.

Posted by: Grim at August 23, 2008 11:24 PM

No problems with skin color.

Condi - maybe
Colin Powell - possibly
Obama - not a chance

Condi and Colin did themselves no favors at State. But I have a hell of a lot of faith in either of them than I do in Obama.

Posted by: yak at August 24, 2008 12:01 AM

Personally, I think too much has been made of Obama's acknowledgment that racism is one possible reason not to vote for him. He didn't even use the word. He inferred it as one possible fear-based attack him.

As far as the Slate editorial goes, I agree with you that it's an ignorant position. There are certainly legitimate reasons to not vote for any candidate, including Obama.

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 24, 2008 01:12 AM

I am not sure about Ms. Rice either, though it is only hearsay.
I would however vote for Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams with something approaching glee. The left side of the aisle would spontaneously combust.

Posted by: Russ at August 24, 2008 03:21 AM

I'd vote for WOW even if he were purple.

Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2008 04:01 AM

I intend it to be the last time I use that term.

Out of respect for bats, no doubt...

Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2008 04:10 AM

The 'proof in the pudding', at least in my case, Russ, is that while I've always been an admirer of Ms. Rice, I stated unequivocally that I would not even think of supporting her in 2004 when her name was floated as a future candidate. Reason: she was too inexperienced and I'd read from several sources that she had had a tough time as an administrator at Stanford.

I wanted to see her get more experience under her belt before I'd even consider her for a job like President of the US - IOW, the same standard I applied to Barack Obama.

Several years later, having watched her at the helm of the DoState, I think she has acquitted herself well. I'd definitely consider her now.

While I admire Sowell and Williams (I think they're both absolutely brilliant) I don't know that being smart is the same as being good at running things. I'd want to see some evidence of executive ability - often the very qualities that make one a good thinker make one a very poor executive. I'm not familiar enough with either man's resume to judge, there.

FWIW, I think Condi did well at State. The place is a snake pit - no one was going to turn that place on a dime.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2008 09:07 AM

Choosing BHO for the democrats nominee raises interesting questions. Choosing Biden at the last minute raises even more.

I can't help but wonder if the flailing about and acting illogically by Obama worshippers isn't more about self-flagellation and the reverse racism of being white.

Arguably, since Darwinism is the left's religion, and social Darwinism is their politics, when you reach the top of the food chain you become what you detest; a winner (Close to whiner) who looks down on others from that vantage point. Their humility is replaced by hubris as they beat themselves like a Swede in a hot sauna with a sturdy supply of birch branches.

In the coming days we will be witness to various and sundry manifestations of people who hate America, and by extension themselves, playing out in the public arena. They will rebel against their luck and simple fate that allowed them to be born into the most successful country/culture the world has known. Instead of making the best of the situation they beat their breasts in supplication to the GOD of fate that had the temerity to provide them so much.

Shakespeare and Lady McBeth; "...out damned spot!" seems to apply here as the allegory to 'damned spot' refers as much to skin color as it does with blood. Such are the underpinnings of the constant drumbeat of racism we are subjected to with the "Chosen One" BHO.

For the vets out there I keep thinking of CHOSIN everytime I read CHOSEN. But we have a different GOD and frame of reference. Does that make me a racist?

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2008 10:38 AM

Vet66 asks if he's a racist (rhetorically, I imagine). No one but Vet66 knows the answer to that question, however his post is nothing if not bigoted. He lumps all vets into one category, when in fact they blanket the full political spectrum including those who support Obama. He refers to some group who hates America "playing out in the public arena in the coming days", by which I can only imagine he means the Democratic convention. In that respect, he exhibits incredible ignorance and bias. And finally, he refers to some different God, as if those who disagree with Vet66's position are less than equal in every respect.

So while I cannot say if Vet66 is a racist or not, I can say that this one post contains all the elements found in racist thinking: bigotry, de-humanization, the slander an entire group of people, expressing hate-filled opinions with a tone of religious zealotry.

Overall, quite an impressive display of utterly contempible ideas.

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 24, 2008 10:58 AM

Sowell and Williams are indeed human beings in possession of superlative intellect. To throw leadership and executive experience into the mix, I will mention Herman Cain.

*retires to the background with a semi-bowing motion while making the universal sign of the BO with one slight alteration. That being a digit, the one normally used as half a peace sign, bisecting the O at a 45° angle. May he live long and perspire...*

Posted by: bt_in-an-indeterminate-state_hun at August 24, 2008 11:03 AM

He lumps all vets into one category, when in fact they blanket the full political spectrum including those who support Obama.

Cut the crap, Jeffrey. He did no such thing.

Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2008 11:13 AM

Jeff;

1966 was an interesting year for me and many of my brothers in Compton, CA. I graduated from High School, hired out with my employer from whom I just retired after 42 years of service, and got drafted in July of that year.

The group I went through basic training represented the poorer side of most towns in the U.S. at that time. The first idea that was reinforced over and over again was that there is no color in the service except for khaki green. It doesn't matter who is in the foxhole with you as long as he shoots straight and covers your "6".

I hope you find that idea less contemptible than the rest of my musings. I admit that my POV may be skewed somewhat by the way my brothers and sisters were treated as we returned in small groups from Viet Nam. But that is my burden to bear and I am sorry you find it tedious. At the least you found it worthy of comment and for that I am grateful.

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2008 11:17 AM

Bill: Vet66 wrote "But we (referring to Vets in the prior sentence) have a different GOD and frame of reference. So yes, he did separate out vets as a singular group, and that's clearly not the case.

If I mis-interpreted that statement, then I'd like to know how he characterizes those vets who are Democrats and support Obama?

Vet66, I was careful to comment on your post, not on you, because you wrote it and put it out there for comments. I'm sure that you're more than the sum of those few hundred characters. On the other hand, we each own what we commit to print.

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 24, 2008 11:39 AM

Jeffrey:

however his post is nothing if not bigoted. He lumps all vets into one category, when in fact they blanket the full political spectrum including those who support Obama.

It's amazing the way you insist on reading your own biases into what other people say. You desperately want to believe someone else is a racist, therefore he is.

vet66 said nothing like what you impute to him. Nothing. And if you are honest, you'll admit you read that into his comment. IOW, you'll own your own words.

For the vets out there I keep thinking of CHOSIN everytime I read CHOSEN. But we have a different GOD and frame of reference. Does that make me a racist?

No reasonable construction could read vet66 as saying that all vets support the same candidate or worship the same God.

For Pete's sake, Jeffrey. Get a grip. Your Freudian slip here says it all:

He refers to some group who hates America "playing out in the public arena in the coming days", by which I can only imagine he means the Democratic convention.

A little less "imagination", a little more logic.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2008 11:48 AM

Cass, I didn't call Vet66 racist. He asked if he was and I said I couldn't say, but that his post exhibits the same characteristics which make up racist thinking. Show me where I'm wrong about that.

You accuse me of being illogical in my assumption that he's referring to the Dem convention. OK, then. Who was he referring to when he wrote: "In the coming days we will be witness to various and sundry manifestations of people who hate America, and by extension themselves, playing out in the public arena."

His post is chock-full of knee-jerk biases: Darwinism is the religion of the Left, Obama's supporters are "worshippers" who "hate America", and who have a different "God" then Veterans. If I read any of that incorrectly, feel free to point it out to me.

Further, I'm an Obama supporter who's a Vet, a Democrat who loves my country, and Darwinism is not my religion. So all in all, I'm offended by the words that Vet66 chose to use in his post, and have said as much.

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 24, 2008 12:08 PM

Further, I'm an Obama supporter who's a Vet, a Democrat who loves my country, and Darwinism is not my religion. So all in all, I'm offended by the words that Vet66 chose to use in his post, and have said as much.

You can be offended by his comment, and that is a separate issue with which I have no quibble, Jeffrey.

However, he did not lump all vets into the same category, and no rational reading of his comment can really construe it that way. You chose to read it that way, which IMO illustrates that you have a few biases of your own that perhaps you ought to take a look at. Conflating your irritation with his remarks with something else he did not say doesn't justify reading racial bias into a remark when it's not there.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2008 12:15 PM

IOW, if I failed to make myself plain, not being that thrilled with progressives doesn't make one a racist :p

Which, now that I think of it, seems to be the argument Weisberg is making (if you don't vote for the Dem, you must be a racist!)

Pretty silly.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2008 12:17 PM

Interesting conversation...I was referring to the radical left that will bedevil the democratic convention with plans to "Recreate 68" and all that entails. It reminds me of those heady days when the Socratic dictum, "the unexamined life is not worth living" was replaced by such vapid phrases as "seek your own identity" and "finding yourself."

I read St. Augustine back then to make some sense out of the open conflict in vogue then. The City of Man is tasked with insuring the peace and the 'civilizing use of force.' Haven't these folks had enough of learning the hard way? Or do they simply love anarchy for the sake of anarchy...Their vision is forever framed in the razor wire atop the cyclone fence of history.

What a pity!

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2008 12:26 PM

So sue me sums it up right nicely for me regarding what anyone might think about why I will not vote for BO...

Hint: None of my reasons have any relation to a top ten posting not worthy of a rodent's tookus made recently by a certain blog Princess.

Posted by: bt_what-me-worry_hun at August 24, 2008 12:33 PM

You're right about that, Cass. I definitely have biases. As far as I know, that's the human condition. I have yet to meet a single person who is without bias to some degree.

I'm happy to entertain Vet66's alternative definition of what he mean't when he compared the Battle of Chosin to "Chosen" and his accompanying "different God" statement.

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 24, 2008 12:39 PM

The 60's are playing out again. There may be a "Full Moon" who knows? I heard Creedence Clearwater Revival's rendition of "There's A Bad Moon On The Rise" this morning.

What are the odds??

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2008 12:58 PM

"The 60's are playing out again. "
Seems that way doesn't it Vet66.

Having had the experience to live through the 60's once, I have no desire to see it happen again. At least not the wild in the streets part, ammunition component parts being so expensive.

So in the interest of peace, harmony and for the love of our fellow human beings, however misguided, idealistically naive or just damned hateful they may be, I would like to offer an alternative to those who loath our great nation with so much ferocity,
LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT...

Pheew! Where did that come from? =;^}

Posted by: bt_what-me-worry_hun at August 24, 2008 01:22 PM

I'm not voting for Obama because he lacks what I believe to be the requisite experience needed to run a country in a post 9/11 world. I am not voting for Obama because his ideology places him too close to socialism and would put government in far too much control of my life and the lives of my children then I am comfortable with. I am not voting for Obama because he does not represent any of my beliefs - I'd say maybe 2 out of 10 if we were to scale them - and McCain is closer on that scale.

However, Obama could be as white as the driven snow and it would make no difference in how I plan to vote. Not one iota of difference. And I resent the implication by Mr. Weisberg or anyone else that my decision is based on the color of anyone's skin.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at August 24, 2008 01:38 PM

It would probably be a good idea to identify them in some way. After all, racists are dangerous people. I'm thinking a gold star.

What about a military star? To Demonstrate that they are part of the oligarchy and status quo which must be broken.

the next 8 years by a bunch of whiny, mouth breathing moonbats and their cretinous conspiracy theories?

Especially given that moonbats require batteries and thus will contribute to Global Warming and Climate Change and Climate Reconfiguration, Cass.

To save the earth, batteries must be made clean, which would also make moonbats clean and without much energy to scream with.

The best way to get beyond racism is to just treat each other like human beings and stop talking about race.

Well the Democrats once exploited racial differences for economic labor on plantations. Now they exploit racial differences for political power, cause blacks somehow got the vote somewhere along America's history.

Knock it off. You are doing real damage to this country.

Can't make a utopia without breaking some omelets, Cass. Sacrifices must be called for to stay the course. The threat can not be allowed to become imminent before we take action.

Voting FOR Obama as a result of his skin color is just as racist as NOT voting for Obama because of his skin color.

Yeah, but you know that one has advantages over the other, right? Just like putting people into slavery because they are black has advantages over not making them slaves cause they are black.

I joke around, but I don't care for it when liberals call anyone who disagrees with them a wingnut either. I don't really see what it adds to the discourse.

It also doesn't make any damn sense, either. Since everybody on the wings of either two parties are fake liberals and Leftists, period. To call such wingers "nuts" is to call their own extremism nuttery. Which they obviously do not accept.

and they are really jumping the shark when they come out with ridiculous accusations like Mr. Weisburg just did.

How in the hades did "Jump the shark" keep getting into your generation's lexicon and vernacular usage? I know its origins from the show, but even still.

So: skin color is a factor for me, in that small way.

Only to the extent that military necessity requires it to fight the insurgency.

What Weisberg ignores is that many of us would vote for Condi Rice (a black person AND a woman!) in a heartbeat for President.

Given her willingness to be fooled by Putin and the DoS gurus, I doubt I would vote for her as President given current issues.

While BUsh has the same tendencies, he tends to get his generals, like Petraeus or Abizaid or Casey, to do the details. At least there, you have the hope of something changing. With Rice and her history on Palestine vs Israel, I do not have that confidence, what little there is of it.

FWIW, I think Condi did well at State. The place is a snake pit - no one was going to turn that place on a dime.

You have to execute, at a minimum, 50% of the payroll for State, Cass. But even if you don't do that, that doesn't excuse allowing DoS to run their own little foreign policies without paying for your own spy network and sabotage network to influence DoS employees. If you become leader of a kingdom and everybody in that kingdom is out to depose you, your first step is to gain control of the military, your second step is to acquire true intelligence on the situation, and your third step should be to destroy your enemies via the tools of subterfuge and military power.

Condi has no military power at her disposal, but she has plenty of agents.

He refers to some group who hates America "playing out in the public arena in the coming days", by which I can only imagine he means the Democratic convention. In that respect, he exhibits incredible ignorance and bias.

There's a reason why Jeffrey cannot tolerate my comments and must act as if they never existed. And it's not because his self-control is particularly strong in the field of human virtues.

vet66 said nothing like what you impute to him. Nothing. And if you are honest, you'll admit you read that into his comment. IOW, you'll own your own words.

He can't even pick a fight with me and finish it, Cass. Good luck on trying to get him to do better than even what that minimum standard calls for.

Cass, I didn't call Vet66 racist.

As I mentioned to Grim, there are loopholes present in laws, even the laws at Grim's Hall, and this is one of them. Argumentum ad hominem is saying "you are a racist, thus you are wrong". Which is different from saying "you are thinking racist thoughts and thus you are wrong to do so". But what is the difference, eh? It is only a difference of logic, not a difference of character.

You accuse me of being illogical in my assumption that he's referring to the Dem convention. OK, then. Who was he referring to when he wrote

Logic dictates that you should not hold yourself in such high regard, Jeffrey, that you believe you can read into what other people mean simply by a single comment they left on the net. Logic dictates that you must search out for the author's premises and philosophical beliefs before you can conduct yourself in an intellectually honest manner with regards to judging the author's thoughts and ideas.

If you even look like you require additional information about what Vet meant or did not mean, then you should have questioned Vet before you went into your bigoted conclusions, based upon the axiom that you, Jeffrey, see all and know all. You don't all. And it is obvious that you do believe you know all, for you are asking a question of Cass that you find of no importance, for you have no intention of using the answer, except to damage Cass's argument. You did not ask the self-same question of Vet... cause it didn't matter to you, because you believed you did not need the answer. You were bigoted and biased towards your own interpretations of what Vet meant. Your way is the superior way, that is the definition of bigotry.

His post is chock-full of knee-jerk biases

Here comes the psychological analysis attempt on political enemies in order to belittle their views. And this happend sub-consciously too, since it only came to light after the fact, not before when the argument was being formed.

Who is being more knee jerk biased here, Jeffrey who hid his real views and objections to vet, or vet who aired an independent view that wasn't targeted against a specific person?

Further, I'm an Obama supporter who's a Vet, a Democrat who loves my country, and Darwinism is not my religion. So all in all, I'm offended by the words that Vet66 chose to use in his post, and have said as much.

So everything is supposed to be about Jeffrey, is that it? For somebody that takes great pains to not use "ad hominem" arguments, you sure don't seem to get the purpose of the logic behind that fallacy.

Intellectual honesty has a purpose, and that purpose is designed to help people argue the merits, rather than confuse one's own personal biases with other people's beliefs or claims. It is no longer intellectual honesty and it is no longer a debate on the merits, when what a person means is only an "alternative definition". As if what people mean have independent definitions depending on whether it is Jeff reading it or the author himself.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 24, 2008 01:45 PM

It's hard to see much daylight between "I didn't say he's a racist... exactly..." and "his post exhibits the same characteristics which make up racist thinking".

What are we supposed to take away from that, exactly?

"Hey... *I* didn't come right out and *call* the guy a racist! I just observed that he says racist things!"

Come on, Jeffrey. That's pretty disingenous.

As I said, sorry but I don't see anything racist in his comments. I even tried to, at your behest. I guess that makes me a racist, too.

Sheesh.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2008 02:10 PM

...his post is nothing if not bigoted.

I didn't call Vet66 racist.

Heh. You really *don't* read what you've written.

Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2008 02:13 PM

Grab some popcorn, dim the lights and practice snapping your fingers while nodding your head in an appreciative gesture to the righteousness of the message. Think 50's era coffee shops infeste... er, attended by beatniks listening to bad, poetry of the spatial kind. You have been warned!


Vet66,

When you said,

"I was referring to the radical left that will bedevil the democratic convention with plans to "Recreate 68" and all that entails."
Did you have something like this or this in mind?

Posted by: bt_smile-you're-on-candid-camera_hun at August 24, 2008 02:29 PM

Cass, I'm not the one who put up a post collectively insulting everyone who's voting for a particular candidate. As far as I know, that kind of collective prejudice is the same kind of group-think as other forms of bigotry and discrimination - ethnic, gender, religion, and race.

Now if you disagree with that, I'd like to hear a cogent argument as to why rather than you tossing out the "racist" label again. For someone who posted "The best way to get beyond racism is to just treat each other like human beings and stop talking about race", you're using it quite a bit in this thread. Perhaps the word doesn't mean what you think it means?

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 24, 2008 02:30 PM

Bill:

A bigoted remark can be a remark which insults any kind of group - gender, religion, ethnicity, race, political affiliation, etc.

A racist remark is exclusive to race.

There was nothing in Vet66's comments which referred to race, but almost the entire post denigrated a group (Democrats).

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 24, 2008 02:35 PM

I didn't call anyone a racist, Jeffrey.

You did. You just keep denying it. That is the problem several people have had with you here - you come right up to the line on personal insults, identifying the person you are insulting with specificity so everyone knows exactly what you are implying, then you throw up your hands and exclaim, "Well! I didn't come right out and SAY it!"

And all the while you infer the most tenuous things from other people's comments, on some very shaky grounds.

As I said, I had no problem with your being offended by some of vet66's comments, but if you're making the case that two wrongs make a right I'm afraid you lose me there. Also, nothing he said makes him a racist, nor does it justify your calling him one.

If your point is that if someone offends you, you get to call them a racist, say it openly.

It think that's a dumb argument, but at least make the argument out in the open. Just don't be surprised if people laugh at it.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2008 02:41 PM

He asked if he was and I said I couldn't say, but that his post exhibits the same characteristics which make up racist thinking.

It was you who equated the two, and this thread is about a guy who is accusing anyone who won't vote for Obama of racism. It's hardly surprising the term would come up a lot, Jeffrey.

It is, after all, on topic. It's THE topic.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2008 02:46 PM

The difference is, I'm not the one calling other people racists, am I?

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2008 02:47 PM

Cass, I really am at a loss as to why you're missing the point of my post, but I'll try to address it more plainly one more time.

Vet66 asked after writing a very inflammatory post whether "that makes him a racist".

I said I don't know if he's a racist or not, but he used language in his post similar to what a racist would use. Then I went on to specify what that language was.

Now as I've already posted to Bill, group generalizations "all Dems, all Jews, all Blacks, all Whites, all Christians, all Women, all dog-lovers, all Republicans, etc." are bigoted comments.

Racist comments apply solely to a person's race.

Bigoted comments can apply to any of those groups.

As I've said numerous times, I can only comment on what a person writes. I cannot and do not claim to know what a person "is". Neither can anyone else. Yet Vet66 presumes to do exactly that with his depiction of unpatriotic, Darwin-worshiping, Obama-supporting Democrats.

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 24, 2008 03:13 PM

In the coming days we will be witness to various and sundry manifestations of people who hate America, and by extension themselves, playing out in the public arena. -- Vet66

I was referring to the radical left that will bedevil the democratic convention with plans to "Recreate 68" and all that entails. --Vet66

Yet Vet66 presumes to do exactly that with his depiction of unpatriotic, Darwin-worshiping, Obama-supporting Democrats. -- Jeffrey

Jeff, *you* -- not Vet66 -- are the one who lumped all the Obama supporters with the radicals.

And you know perfectly well that "bigoted" and "racist" are used interchangeably by the Left.

Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2008 03:36 PM

Bill, Vet66 clarified that he was referring to Recreate 68 in a later post, not in his original post, which is what I responded to.

As to racism and bigotry, I'm only clarifying my use of the terms.

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 24, 2008 03:51 PM

Odd that you kept harping on his lumping all Obie supporters with radicals long after he clarified his statement.

Your last complaint was written three hours after Vet66's clarification.

Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2008 04:13 PM

BTHUN;

I was hoping to avoid a trip in the "Wayback Machine" but here we are. Don't you find precious the guy in the reflectorized sun glasses explaining fascism to the disguised, tie-died rastafarian plant?

Jeff; At the risk of fanning the flames I will say that this conversation needed to happen because it is the "Elephant" in the room everybody is afraid to talk about. Are you surprised that the dialogue has degenerated into charges of fascism and racism? Was this situation predictable or not?

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2008 04:32 PM

The Elephant In The Room? Geez, is McCain going to Denver, *too*?

Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2008 04:42 PM

I go with my sisters to the Rangers game yesterday, and I miss all the fireworks...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at August 24, 2008 04:45 PM

Call me a 'Rican-Backwater-Simpleton, but I've never understood you Gringos with your Calvinistic ideals of pure blood & such.

We Latins don't have those hang-ups. We may have plenty of others; but not that one.

Posted by: Boquisucio at August 24, 2008 05:27 PM

Bravo Jefferey. You're right you didn't explicitely call him a racist.

Well it sounds like a duck,
It looks like a duck,
But I didn't say it was a duck.

Posted by: Allen at August 24, 2008 05:54 PM

Boquisucio;

Like my Peruvian nephew is so fond of reminding me;

"You got to sacrifice for the looks man!"

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2008 06:02 PM

Allen;

You left out the "Quack like a duck".

Sounds like an AFLAC commercial...LOL

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2008 06:04 PM

Bill, it's my original post that's being questioned. All my follow-ups have been in defense of my first post, so Vet66's clarification is after the fact.

Vet66 wrote: "Are you surprised that the dialogue has degenerated into charges of fascism and racism?" No, Vet. I'm not surprised - not for this blog in particular and not for the blogosphere in general.

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 24, 2008 06:57 PM

All my follow-ups have been in defense of my first post, so Vet66's clarification is after the fact.

Jeffrey has an interesting strategy. He makes a strategic decision to attack a town and then he sits there saying that he is justified in attacking the town cause he is currently defending it.

But did the strategy call for eliminating an enemy stronghold in the town or was it just a feint to make it appear like we are mobilizing towards the town and making it one of our logistical bases?

You can't tell, because the commander himself doesn't know why he did it. He just claims he does.

No, Vet. I'm not surprised - not for this blog in particular and not for the blogosphere in general.

Jeffrey prefers Grim's rules since Grim is more lenient on these matters for regulars of the hall.

It's not a judgment on Grim's rules, it is only a judgment of Jeffrey's virtues or lack there of.

"Hey... *I* didn't come right out and *call* the guy a racist! I just observed that he says racist things!"

Bill's not a child rapist. He just hurts little children... but I didn't attack him personally for I am just being hell on his ideas concerning little children... you see.

There are loopholes in these things that logic doesn't include for logic doesn't include the morality and ethical system which the audience brings to their little arguments.

You know law, Cass, you know how loopholes work in relation to human intent. Logic is just another set of laws, optimally self-consistent.

I guess that makes me a racist, too.

Officially as of today, only Asian people can be racist, and so you, Cass, being white, cannot be racist. Blacks can't be racist either, of course. Nor can Latinos.

Cass, I'm not the one who put up a post collectively insulting everyone who's voting for a particular candidate.

Oh, now all of a sudden Jeffrey wants to propose that Vet was making ad hominem arguments and that this is the reason Jeffrey made his attacks? Why didn't he mention this like... earlier? Or is calling someone's views racist a way of saying they shouldn't be utilizing ad hominem arguments?

There was nothing in Vet66's comments which referred to race, but almost the entire post denigrated a group (Democrats).

Then why did Jeffrey call vet's comments racist if it isn't... racist by J's own statements?

Cass, I didn't call Vet66 racist. He asked if he was and I said I couldn't say, but that his post exhibits the same characteristics which make up racist thinking. Show me where I'm wrong about that.-shall I blink now or latter?

So, I see. Vet is uttering racist thinking cause he "denigated" a political group called the Democrats. It makes much more sense now.

Cass, you are indeed the Seeress!!

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 24, 2008 07:41 PM

All my follow-ups have been in defense of my first post, so Vet66's clarification is after the fact.

hey Bill, run your little tactical analysis over this strategy here yo.

Did Jeff just say that his comments, apart from the first comment, is defending the first comment and thus Vet66's clarification is not valid in relation to Jeff's original charges?

His first comment is worth defending even after the original premises J put in his attack proves out to be wrong by vet's clarification? This needs your tactical finesse, Bill.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 24, 2008 07:44 PM

The reason why arguments towards the person is wrong is because it doesn't matter what a person is for that does not decide falseness or trueness of the statements from that person.

Even if a person is crazy and mentally unstable does not automatically invalidate their views. It just means they are less capable of defending and justifying their views, however.

It's okay to call someone a racist or crazy or any number of things, so long as you say in the same paragraph that this has no impact on whether they are right or wrong. It's sort of like telling the jury to disregard a testimony. It happened and it is may be true and it may exist, but disregard it.

If Jeffrey can make an independent argument, independent of his charges that Vet is thinking like a racist cause Vet is being bigoted or what not in insulting Jeffrey's political party, why Vet is wrong based upon Vet's own beliefs and logic, Jeffrey's case is well defended, even if it is not proven.

Here, I'll be a kind person and help J out.

Choosing BHO for the democrats nominee raises interesting questions.

Perhaps it does and perhaps it doesn't.

I can't help but wonder if the flailing about and acting illogically by Obama worshippers isn't more about self-flagellation and the reverse racism of being white.

Blacks are oppressed by the system and need a leader to carry them into the light. You cannot blame people for wanting salvation and attempting to reach it through faith, for is that not the same as Christianity?

Arguably, since Darwinism is the left's religion

That is logically inconsistent with your stated belief that Obama has "worshippers". Why would the left worship Obama when it is Darwin they are worshipping, in your view.

Their humility is replaced by hubris as they beat themselves like a Swede in a hot sauna with a sturdy supply of birch branches.

DO you imply that they become self-destructive? Some sacrifices are necessary, however, to create a better world than the one America currently has brought about.

In the coming days we will be witness to various and sundry manifestations of people who hate America, and by extension themselves, playing out in the public arena.

Would Cassandra's place be part of that 'public arena'? (Oops, did I drop character?)

But we have a different GOD and frame of reference. Does that make me a racist?

It only makes you a heretic, if what you say about the Left is true. And given such things, if Democrats were ever in the military and were veterans, how would their frame of reference compare with yours?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 24, 2008 07:57 PM

Here's how my version of how the argument would play out if I was acting like Jeffrey without Jeffrey's peculiar judgment.

But we have a different GOD and frame of reference. Does that make me a racist?

No, it doesn't make you a racist; what it does do is make your argument as weak as a racist one, however.

Believing that all veterans or even just mentioning that veterans all share the same view and God as you, vet, is extremely prejudicial and thus bigoted. This is not a good idea.

Utilizing a weak argument like that, vet, doesn't make you wrong. It just makes you prone to lots of errors.

I assume you don't wish to be labeled a racist and see yourself as a cosmopolitan kind of person. If so, if you want to propose stronger arguments than the racist ones you believe Obama is proposing, then you should refrain from categorizing people, including veterans, into one neat little box according to your own biases, vet66.

I hope you can see the logic of my arguments, vet66, and acknowledge that they aren't an attack on your person, only a disagreement concerning the self-consistency of your own beliefs and statements.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 24, 2008 08:07 PM

P.S.

I believe Bill, Cass, Vet66, amongst others, believe strongly that the Vietnam experience was detrimental in so many ways to the continuation of American liberty and security. I postulate that they never want to see a repeat of such an event on the American psyche, not to mention the blood on the hands of Democrats like Ted Kennedy. (splash)

How many Americans were lost to enlightenment because of what they experienced during and after and before Vietnam? How many?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 24, 2008 08:12 PM

I see the logic of your argument and they are well stated. For the sake of further discussion, I will say that there are different categories of veterans from John Murtha, whom I have disavowed from Haditha to the present, John Kerry who had his own reasons, to David Petraeus and John McCain and his fellow prisoners. There are those veterans who have been baptised by fire and those who supported them. They each have their own story. There are even folks who went to Canada to avoid military service in yet another category of vet.

I freely admit that I categorize groups based on the complexity of their members. The left wing members of the democratic party are a sub-group of that party. Far right members nominally associated with the Republican party, Libertarians, and independents are sub-groups of those parties. Fairness Doctrine notwithstanding, I take them seriously or not depending on their ability to properly explain their position in a civilized manner respecting my position.

Like McCain, many of us have questioned our faith under trying circumstances impossible to explain adequately. Personally, I take comfort in Shakespeares St Crispin's day speech in Henry V. I have said before that we had many a fine Padre in the service. We called him the man of a thousand hats as we listened to his homilies that reached all of us as a group no matter our religion.

My arguments may seem weak but they are not racist. Once again I invoke one of the most important concepts I learned in the military; there is only one color and that is khaki green. If that makes me a racist then so be it. I am biased to khaki.

We have a different frame of reference and our various experiences or lack thereof give us different perspectives. Maybe it is not my argument that is weak. Perhaps it is the other's different interpretation of reality to suit their purpose that is the culprit.

The direction we are going in this will ultimately include a discussion of morality, virtue, and ideals. It will include GOD, Duty, Honor, and Country and tolerance for those who disagree with what we each hold dear. For me it is the belief in the dignity of life.

In the vernacular; Jeff, If the shoe fits wear it! I do expect a discussion that is free of ad hominem attacks and respect for the views of others. I also expect a reverence for the rule of law for without that we have nothing to talk about.

BHO is known and judged by the people he associates with whether they be Wright, Pfleger, various Weather underground types, and Rezko. The same applies to McCain and the Keating scandal. They all have to be weighed.

What is glaring to me is that BHO preached change and, according to the MSM a collective tingle went up some legs. Then after Saddleback it became apparent that BHO needed help. Enter Biden and adios Hillary. BHO has some 'splaining to do' HT Ricky Ricardo.

Once again, am I a racist for questioning BHO and his team of advisors or should I quietly agree and wait for the "tingle'? The answer of course, is no you are not a racist for requiring a member of any race to explain themselves.

Has anyone heard the words "Melting Pot" lately?

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2008 09:04 PM

ymarsakar;

Thank you for that. Most of us still believe in the righteousnous of our cause during that time. Jane Fonda is an icon of the time that is difficult to put behind me.

I will endeavor to persevere in controlling the comfort of my biases and suffer the ridicule of those who hold our sacrifices in contempt less noisily. It is difficult having recently witnessed the activities of those in Berkeley who rally against the marine recruiting depot with the near total support of the city council.

I can tolerate quite a lot but it takes immense self-control when our men and women in uniform are used as pawns in a political game. It cheapens their sacrifice and those of their families.

In answer to your question; too many! Thank you for those enlightened words. We hear them infrequently as you can well imagine.

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2008 09:34 PM

It is difficult having recently witnessed the activities of those in Berkeley who rally against the marine recruiting depot with the near total support of the city council.

Petraeus has given you and all of us, the hope that insurgencies can be fought and defeated, without us being required to sacrifice that which we value, such as loyalty or honor.

What saves Berkley is the very thing they seek to undermine. Depending on their success, their fate will be determined.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 24, 2008 10:02 PM

Well Said!

Your lips to GOD's ears!

See you tomorrow...

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2008 11:06 PM

hey Bill, run your little tactical analysis over this strategy here yo.

1. Forces massing east of the fort near our common border with Bratislavia and Guava. They are blurred in the telescope, but I believe them to be Bratislavians. I am firing a warning shot to disrupt their attack preparations.

2. Forces massing east of the fort hoist flag and radio traffic indicating they are actually Guavanese on their regularly scheduled maneuvers.

3. I am continuing to fire on the Bratislavian horde.

Posted by: BillT at August 25, 2008 02:04 AM

We Latins don't have those hang-ups.

Then why do you inject your Castle-comments with Ciceronian phrases?

Hah? HAH?

So there.

Posted by: BillT at August 25, 2008 02:15 AM

...a collective tingle went up some legs.

A tingle went up *my* leg in the sim building yesterday.

It was a lizard.

Just one more reason why I don't wear a thong...

Posted by: BillT at August 25, 2008 03:06 AM

Jeffrey:

Sometimes I really wonder about you.

Here's an experiment. Why don't you try re-reading vet66's comment? And as you read, try stepping outside your preconceived world view for just one second.

That's right: because maybe you misunderstood, and if you misunderstood, the only way you will understand is if you sincerely TRY to set aside your bias for a moment.

We're going to start with a real whopper of an assumption: MAYBE VET66'S COMMENT WASN'T ALL ABOUT *YOU*. Try it on, Jeffrey. Because more often than not in life, the world really *doesn't* revolve around us, and when we choose to take offense, oftentimes it's because we took something personally that had nothing to do with us.

1. I can't help but wonder if the flailing about and acting illogically by Obama worshippers isn't more about self-flagellation and the reverse racism of being white.

Now let's put on the thinking hat, Jeffrey. Did he "come out and call all Obama supporters, 'Obama worshippers'"? No, he did not. Do you know that this is what he thinks? No, you do not. Yet you ASSUMED this is what he meant. And what's more, you ASSUMED he meant YOU, and flew off the handle.

Let me tell you how a McCain supporter (i.e., someone closer to vet66's position and way of thinking) interpreted the same passage:

This post is about "an Obama supporter" who clearly has gone beyond mere support and jumped into the "Obama worshipper" category - so much so that he can't conceive of Obama losing unless there is some racist conspiracy against him. Why would he do this? Oh - OK - vet66 provides the answer: white guilt.

Kind of different, isn't it, Jeffrey? And it totally follows from the context and the the preceding discussion, unlike your interpretation. Really not much to take offense AT, because it wasn't aimed at you, but at the topic of the post.. But you CHOSE to take it personally.

2. Arguably, since Darwinism is the left's religion, and social Darwinism is their politics, when you reach the top of the food chain you become what you detest; a winner (Close to whiner) who looks down on others from that vantage point. Their humility is replaced by hubris as they beat themselves like a Swede in a hot sauna with a sturdy supply of birch branches.

You took offense at this. I don't have anything to say about it one way or another. However, nothing here rises to the level of meriting your insulting response.

3. In the coming days we will be witness to various and sundry manifestations of people who hate America, and by extension themselves, playing out in the public arena. They will rebel against their luck and simple fate that allowed them to be born into the most successful country/culture the world has known. Instead of making the best of the situation they beat their breasts in supplication to the GOD of fate that had the temerity to provide them so much.

Here, you CHOSE to interpret this as referring to the Democratic convention, why I have no idea, because we weren't talking about that:

He refers to some group who hates America "playing out in the public arena in the coming days", by which I can only imagine he means the Democratic convention. In that respect, he exhibits incredible ignorance and bias.

Who's biased here? Vet66 made no reference to the DNC, nor were we talking about the DNC (so there is no logical basis for inferring such a reference from the preceding conversation). You concocted that one from your predisposition to think ill of him. He was, as he says, thinking of the Recreate68 ninnies (which totally makes sense, since the topic of this post was never Democrats in general, nor even all Obama supporters, but extremists who seem to have lost touch with reality).

4. Shakespeare and Lady McBeth; "...out damned spot!" seems to apply here as the allegory to 'damned spot' refers as much to skin color as it does with blood. Such are the underpinnings of the constant drumbeat of racism we are subjected to with the "Chosen One" BHO.

Again, nothing here that paints every Democrat or every Obama supporter with the same broad brush. Nothing at all, expect in your imagination, Jeffrey. But apparently no one is allowed to comment on the fact that allegations of racism have been a constant theme in this election without arousing your ire and (apparently) being accused of being a bigot.

And finally there is this:

5. For the vets out there I keep thinking of CHOSIN everytime I read CHOSEN. But we have a different GOD and frame of reference. Does that make me a racist?

And your response?

He lumps all vets into one category, [No, he didn't] when in fact they blanket the full political spectrum including those who support Obama. [He said nothing about the political orientation of vets.] And finally, he refers to some different God, as if those who disagree with Vet66's position are less than equal in every respect.[Dear God in heaven, man, have you ever heard of poetic license? Get a grip.]

Now let's read how you responded: with personal insults, to something that wasn't personally insulting to you (but that you CHOSE, for some bizarre reason I will never understand, to take that way):

Vet66 asks if he's a racist (rhetorically, I imagine). No one but Vet66 knows the answer to that question, however his post is nothing if not bigoted. He lumps all vets into one category, when in fact they blanket the full political spectrum including those who support Obama. And finally, he refers to some different God, as if those who disagree with Vet66's position are less than equal in every respect.
So while I cannot say if Vet66 is a racist or not, I can say that this one post contains all the elements found in racist thinking: bigotry, de-humanization, the slander an entire group of people, expressing hate-filled opinions with a tone of religious zealotry.

Lovely. I can't say he's a racist, but he sure talks like one! Dr. Jeffrey finds zat ze patient exhibits all of ze elements classically found in ze racist thinking: bigotry, de-humanization, the slander an entire group of people, expressing hate-filled opinions with a tone of religious zealotry!

Except that most of that exists only in your mind, Jeffrey.

And then you spent the next few hours defending the fact that YOU made a mistake, even after it was explained to you, instead of just saying "I'm sorry, I misunderstood and got angry."

How hard would that have been? And then you compounded the error by more implied namecalling:

Vet66 wrote: "Are you surprised that the dialogue has degenerated into charges of fascism and racism?" No, Vet. I'm not surprised - not for this blog in particular and not for the blogosphere in general.

That was uncalled for and deliberately insulting, and you know it. The only person who threw out accusations of racism was you, Jeffrey. You overreacted, and then you just kept on tossing out the insults.


Posted by: Cassandra at August 25, 2008 06:12 AM

Not surprisingly, I disagree. I've already posted too many explanations and defenses about why over-generalizations about groups are bigoted. Vet's later clarification changes nothing about his original post, which is what I responded to. This post marks the end of my participation in this thread. Feel free to have the last word. It's your platform, after all.

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 25, 2008 10:39 AM

> I would like to vote for Obama, precisely for the reasons that our Slate author cites: because just electing a black president would say a lot about where America has come on the issue of race.

But you're missing it. THAT's STILL RACIST. "Being sensitive to race" is racist in and of itself.

Until you STOP SEEING someone's race, you've got a measure of racism there to deal with (and I'm not claiming purity here -- I notice when I see a black man with a white woman, simply because it's relatively unusual though less so than it was 15 years ago).

Until your mind doesn't even register black or white, you've still got a basis of racism you've got to discount, override, or otherwise deal with.

No, humans may never get rid of that completely -- but it's the goal we should be aiming for.

Posted by: OBloodyhell at August 25, 2008 10:52 AM

> I am not a big fan of namecalling, OBH :p

Cass, I don't use it as a pejorative. It refers, like "libtard" to a class of people who stopped using their human capacity for reason long ago in favor of "feeling" their way towards what they imagine are solutions for problems.

They have given up any rational argument for claiming human respect, by denying the one thing that makes them specifically human. All they are are well-trained apes who know, for the most part, to wear clothes and shoes, and to not crap in the living room. Some of them may be able to count above 20, but for most of them, that's only if they take off their shoes and clothes.

They still get a measure of respect in public as long as they behave themselves, just for reasons of social decorum, but as humans, they cannot justify any real modicum of the behavior -- they decided not to be such a thing.

Humans timebind. They learn from errors. They care about consequences. They try and do better each time after they screw up.

None of these things apply to moonbats and leftards. They don't learn, they don't try and do better by figuring out how they went wrong. Someone got hurt? Is it someone they care about? No? Then that person doesn't matter. Is it someone whose hurt they can use to push their own agenda? No. Then that person REALLY REALLY doesn't matter.

I don't call them those names to insult, I'm simply identifying them by their self-chosen non-human qualities.

Posted by: OBloodyhell at August 25, 2008 11:03 AM

I don't have anything to say, Jeffrey.

Apparently you've decided to substitute what you want to think someone else said for what they say they said, or even what there is any evidence they said, and nothing anyone can say will change your mind because it was made up from the get-go.

You can do that, but if you do that and come out swinging on the basis of what you inferred and refuse to even examine the possibility that you might have misunderstood someone you already know you disagree with (gosh, what are the chances here?) it makes it very difficult to have a conversation.

Posted by: Cass at August 25, 2008 11:06 AM

That's a definition of racism that I find implausible. Racism is normally defined as the belief that race is of primary importance in defining who a person is.

The reason I would like to be able to vote for an Obama (were he benign on policy issues) is to demonstrate that this isn't so: that race doesn't make someone less qualified for even the highest office. I would like very much if we could show that race simply didn't matter.

This is not a racist position, but a position of antiracism: the desire to see racism undermined. Being aware of the fact that people are sensitive to race doesn't mean you believe that race should matter (which is racism: the belief that race really is important), just that you believe that in fact it does matter in the minds of many people.

Wanting to see racism as sentiment decrease is hardly evidence of racism. It's evidence that you're aware of racism, but who would not be?

Posted by: Grim at August 25, 2008 11:07 AM

> Yeah, but you know that one has advantages over the other, right? Just like putting people into slavery because they are black has advantages over not making them slaves cause they are black.

Ah, but advantages for WHOM? Taking money away from people NOW and giving it to people NOW solely because they are black is... slavery.

It enslaves people who had nothing to do with slavery, by taking their time and money(which is a form of time) at gunpoint, and giving it to someone else who did nothing to earn it (having great-great-great grandparents who were slaves is not "earning it", sorry).

How is that any different from slavery?

You don't correct a prior injustice by creating a new injustice. If people choose to voluntarily provide some form of reparations to the decendants of those who were enslaved, that is one thing. Taking it using the confiscatory powers of government is nothing less than attempting to extend slavery into modern times, but mostly reversing the subject group.

Posted by: OBloodyhell at August 25, 2008 11:16 AM

I think Grim has a point. Were he policy neutral, I would like to be able to vote for a black candidate myself, frankly. I'm not unaware of race. I just refuse to let it be (as Jacob Weisberg wants to think) the defining factor in how I treat people or make decisions.

It can even be *a* factor, but ONLY on a pretty damned level playing field.

I see OBH's point too, though, Grim - because the kind of "race consciousness" you speak of is only permissible as a one-way street (i.e., it is only allowable when it helps blacks, and then it amounts to de facto discrimination on the basis of skin color AGAINST those of other skin colors (Asians, for instance) because in your enlightened view they don't "need" your "help".

And that is wrong, because you're saying you can discriminate on the basis of skin color all you want... so long as it helps that group. But what about the groups you just discriminated against?

*crickets chirping*

That's like saying you see nothing wrong with letting the runner with the poorest track record have a 10 second head start because you'd kind like to see him win. It's a feel good remedy that isn't any fairer than handicapping him and which won't help him win races in the future.

Posted by: Cass at August 25, 2008 11:25 AM

> 3. I am continuing to fire on the Bratislavian horde.

Leave those Bratislavan whores alone!

They work hard for the money!

What? Oh.

horde.

Never mind...

Posted by: OBloodyhell at August 25, 2008 11:29 AM

Well, that's not quite what I said. What I said was that it would be nice to be able to demonstrate that the category wasn't important.

If I said I would always vote for an acceptable black candidate to empower blacks, that'd be what you're talking about. What I said was that I'd really like to see us have at least one black president, just to show that it was possible -- but only if he were the right guy, as measured by policy and other characteristics.

Posted by: Grim at August 25, 2008 11:29 AM

I'm not sure where I said you'd always vote for the black candidate, Grim? I didn't take your comment that way.

My point was that we haven't had an Asian president either. Or a Hispanic one. Down that road lies madness. I can just see both sides - that's why on balance, the only sane course is to ignore skin color and vote for the person (i.e., meritocracy).

Posted by: Cass at August 25, 2008 11:34 AM

Oh... and OBH???

/SMACK!!! :)

Posted by: Cass at August 25, 2008 11:35 AM

Cass:

I was reacting to this comment:

...the kind of "race consciousness" you speak of is only permissible as a one-way street (i.e., it is only allowable when it helps blacks....

My point was that I wasn't advocating "race consciousness" as a means of "helping blacks," but about showing that the category of race didn't matter. Insofar as a potential black President was otherwise qualified and acceptable, it is true that would be a benefit.

As for Asians, etc., I don't think it's relevant; an America that could elect a black president has done with racism. The black/nonblack divide is the one real, deep "racial" seam in this nation; indeed, if you say the word "racism" to an American, they expect that's what you mean. The few people running around college campuses claiming that there is anti-Asian "racism" in America could benefit from a few minutes' reflection on any of the statistical evidence available on the subject.

Posted by: Grim at August 25, 2008 12:01 PM

As for Asians, etc., I don't think it's relevant; an America that could elect a black president has done with racism. The black/nonblack divide is the one real, deep "racial" seam in this nation; indeed, if you say the word "racism" to an American, they expect that's what you mean.

Oh Lord.

Have you ever lived in California, Grim? I can't believe you typed that with a straight face.

That is PC nonsense. It is fairly well documented that people who are prejudiced against one group will often bend over backwards to be 'fair' to another group just to show they are not bigoted. There is actual evidence of this with war brides after WWII and Vietnam. They experienced warm acceptance in the South, whereas in California they had the hardest time being accepted into society (and by the families of the men they married).

As for college campuses, Asian students have been discriminated against, statistically speaking, by affirmative action. Eliminating legalized discrimination in favor of blacks, studies show, would dramatically reduce their numbers at elite schools, while dramatically INCREASING the admissions of Asian students (who would now be accepted at rates commensurate with their scores and ability):

Removing consideration of race would have little effect on white students, the report concludes, as their acceptance rate would rise by merely 0.5 percentage points. Espenshade noted that when one group loses ground, another has to gain -- in this case it would be Asian applicants. Asian students would fill nearly four out of every five places in the admitted class not taken by African-American and Hispanic students, with an acceptance rate rising from nearly 18 percent to more than 23 percent. Typically, many more Asian students apply to elite schools than other underrepresented minorities. The study also found that although athletes and legacy applicants are predominantly white, their numbers are so small that their admissions do little to displace minority applicants.

Posted by: Cass at August 25, 2008 12:27 PM

...the kind of "race consciousness" you speak of is only permissible as a one-way street...

That's one interesting aspect of the military.

You get pretty racially *un*conscious when you're depending on somebody to watch your back while your attention is focused to your front -- and vice-versa. When it comes to the country's best interests, I think most American's will adopt that same attitude.

Posted by: BillT at August 25, 2008 01:04 PM

I have not lived in California, no.

The thing you point to about war-brides, etc, is a real phenomenon, but it isn't about "proving you're not bigoted." Rather, it's that a deeply felt divide (such as the black/white divide) can make other divides invisible. It's not that you want to prove you don't notice them; it's that you really don't notice them, because your attention is on the big divide. For example, before the Civil War, Jews were completely accepted in the Southern White gentry. The divide that mattered was white/black, so if you weren't black, you were white.

The Irish, who were heavily discriminated against elsewhere, were likewise allowed to adopt one of the city of Savannah's chief heroes. He was actually Polish, but if you go down to the Sgt. Jasper memorial in Savannah, it declares him an "Irish American." The monument dates to 1879; people were happy to see it put up.

In any event, don't confuse 'quota-setting policies set in stone by law and regulation' with 'popular belief.' I'm not advocating any formal remedy to anything, nor setting benefits for one group at anyone else's expense. I'm just saying that, if a candidate I was planning to vote for anyway was also black, I see this as a side benefit of his election. Insofar as I considered his race at all, then, it would only be to be pleased that we could finally put to rest a bad idea.

Posted by: Grim at August 25, 2008 01:05 PM

It occurs to me that Bill's axiom is a good way of explaining the 'war brides' phenomenon. It's not the case that the soldier is embracing brotherhood with other (black) soldiers to prove he's not really a bigot, even though he harbors certain basic suspicions about the enemy.

It's that he finds the black/white divide, which may have seemed important back home, really fades into insignificance in the face of the new "those shooting at us"/"those helping return fire" division. For those who never left home, America's black/white divide may seem as deep as ever; but for those who have served overseas and under fire, it's irrelevant. The new concept of how to divide people overwhelms all such earlier divisions.

Posted by: Grim at August 25, 2008 02:29 PM

Dare I mention the Colin Powell for VP rumors.

If by chance they were true, how do you think it would be recieved? He was only chosen because he's black or experienced?

Posted by: Mrs G at August 25, 2008 04:06 PM

I will have to hurt myself if that is true.

Dear God. I could so see McCain picking Powell - it would be just like him. What a horrible, horrible mistake that would be.

You all know I am no fan of Colin Powell's. He was the least traveled Sec. of State in modern history at a time when we desperately needed someone proactive. I don't know what in the hell he was doing (other than working with Richard Armitage to dismantle programs passed by Congress behind the White House's back) but it sure as hell wasn't his (*&^ job.

Posted by: Don't Get Me Started on Colin Powell at August 25, 2008 04:56 PM

That was uncalled for and deliberately insulting, and you know it.

You sure that wasn't Jeffrey trying to be cuddly and warm, Cass?

(but that you CHOSE, for some bizarre reason I will never understand, to take that way):

Jeffrey has an emotional problem with people mentioning Vietnam or the experience of veterans back then. Whether it is Bill or vet66, it matters not, for Jeffrey's self-discipline was never all that air tight to begin with. Vietnam is just one of Jeffrey's buttons, you may say, Cass.

Vet66, if he knows this about Jeffrey, is either not addressing it because he prefers to resist Jeffrey's personal provocations or Vet66 does not know about that life event of Jeffrey's.

Out of all subjects that I have witnessed Jeffrey tout or defend, this is the one he will never ever just let go. He can ignore my comments that attack his views on politics for days on end, Cass, but once somebody mentions Vietnam, and it doesn't even have to be towards him, he goes off. And this is how things are, Cass.

Human beings are inconsistent like that. That is our beauty and our flaw.

I can't say he's a racist, but he sure talks like one!

It's actually another step removed, Cass. Jeffrey is trying to say that Vet66 is being bigoted and bigoted people have the same characteristics as racist people, and J said bigoted arguments have the same characteristics as racist arguments. So this makes Vet66's arguments the same as racist arguments because it is bigoted. J will then say that he didn't call him racist, directly or indirectly, because racism is about race and bigotry isn't specifically about one race or another. If that is true, you have to ask yourself why Jeffrey then said that Vet66's bigoted comments are 'like' a racist comment/argument if the diff between bigotry and racism is so stark that Jeff prefers to use it to defend himself and his ad hominem arguments.

Racism is normally defined as the belief that race is of primary importance in defining who a person is.

Racism is determining someone's worth, their relative superiority and inferiority, based upon their skin color. Preferably, you should have said that a black President who you intend to vote for will have greater influence amongst the black humanity due to the human need to find common cause with people like them, which includes people with skin color like them. This divorces yourself from aiding racism, it just makes you willing to take advantage of it in order to steer people away from it and other bad things.

When you know that a black president, just because he is black, will be seen as superior and be of greater worth in fighting the insurgency, then the insurgency is racist or the occupation is racist. The same is true for tribalism. If you need to utilize tribal practices because they are seen by the tribe as superior, such as growing beards, then you are appealing or utilizing tribal customs and traditions, rather than eliminating them. But a person's worth is still not based upon his skin color. He is effective because he is he, not because he is black. And if other people find him more powerful because he is black like them, that is other people's vices and problems, Grim. It is not a virtue of the black Prez.

You can either tolerate slavery or discrimination based upon skin color, Grim, or you can seek to eliminate it. Both choices have their own costs and benefits. The US, for whatever reason, has currently decided that getting rid of racism is better than simply tolerating it for some future generation to deal with. Of course, some people continue to disagree, as is expected in a democratic republic.

You don't correct a prior injustice by creating a new injustice.-OBH

I agree with you on this score. Unlike Grim, I'm not as tolerant of some actions that he would support, in fighting an insurgency. For example, the Post-Reconstruction era after the Civil War.

In the end, whether we blend in with the locals and utilize their culture or not, doesn't matter as much as what we are using that stuff for. Anybody can seek to convince the locals to side with us. But why are we doing it? That is a philosophical question, rather than a question of tools and means. If we are doing it to uplift them and make their lives better, then that means ultimately we are trying to get rid of the very things they are using or we are using. But how will we ever end racism if we cater to people's belief that they can get something for nothing, that they deserve something they have not earned solely because of their skin color? Not even the Sunnis were given the help of America for free. They had to help us as well and get rid of their previous erroneous beliefs about us. Their view change wasn't automatic, and I think it is because we stayed true to our cause and our philosophy. We did not allow foreign culture to corrupt us simply because we had to deal with them to convince an insurgency that their best interests are with us, not AQ. Use inshallah as much as you want, just don't ever believe in it.

Convincing blacks that their best interests are with Republicans over Democrats, free will over state will, economic independence to state welfare, will require some compromises. But the basic principles of liberty should never be compromised, for then what exactly are we convincing them to be better of?

Part of the reason why a black President can help heal the race divisions is because the Sunnis listen to Sunnis, clans listen to clan patriarchs, and Shia listen to Shia imams. They don't listen to foreigners like us, mostly. However, that is not to say that this means the black President would be good "independent of his or her policies". Blackness will be just one tool in the Prez's arsenal, but the core philosophy is what determines whether good or harm shall be done. It cannot be "independent" of policy, just as the policy of AQ, Sadr, and Sistani are not independent of whether we should provide them power or not just because we prefer to have an insider (Arabic) working with us in Iraq.

What I said was that it would be nice to be able to demonstrate that the category wasn't important.

That, by itself, won't convince blacks that their core political beliefs are wrong. Just as having a local government in Iraq did not automatically convince Iraqis that we are right and AQ is wrong. You can demonstrate that such categories, meaning propaganda tools of the enemy, are invalid and wrong, but it doesn't actually give you any new territories amongst the locals.

The black/nonblack divide is the one real, deep "racial" seam in this nation

The fact that federal troops left the South and then the South freely used KKK terrorism tactics to overthrow Republican governments in the south and replace them with Black Code supporting Democrat governments, was the start of why the divide continues unto this day. Even though the South changed, Democrats haven't.

It took WWII to desegregate the military and help the civilian sector desegregate. The Civil War wasn't enough, for the slave masters weren't entirely defeaten. Certainly the attitudes weren't.

That's one interesting aspect of the military.-BillT

And it is also why the military must be purged from college campuses and public spaces, Bill. You know it is the right thing to do in order to usher in a New Age for human goodness. We cannot have a competitor who destabilizes the order of the new world with their heresy, after all.

The new concept of how to divide people overwhelms all such earlier divisions.

Yes, the new concept of "allies" vs "enemies", certainly makes some things more clear. It is also why wars often bring people together, as much as they break them apart with destruction and strife.

It is also why the cycle of violence motiff of the Left is so much clap trap.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 25, 2008 06:52 PM

What I said was that it would be nice to be able to demonstrate that the category wasn't important.

That, by itself, won't convince blacks that their core political beliefs are wrong.

BINGO. Reference today's delightful article in the NY Times:

“I worry that there is a segment of the population that might be harder to reach, average citizens who will say: ‘Come on. We might have a black president, so we must be over it,’ ” said Mr. Harrison, 59, a sociologist at Howard University and a consultant for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies here.

“That is the danger, that we declare victory,” said Mr. Harrison, who fears that poor blacks will increasingly be blamed for their troubles. “Historic as this moment is, it does not signify a major victory in the ongoing, daily battle.”

Regarding why Jeffrey got upset, I understand that something set him off.

I have subjects which set me off too. Everyone does.

What I don't understand is that, having had ample time to cool off and having had the remark explained to him, he still defends what he said (which was clearly wrong).

What he doesn't seem to understand is that it *was* insulting, and he judged too hastily and on too little information. It's not surprising he misunderstood, but if you misunderstand and say something offensive, (at least to my way of thinking) you say "I'm sorry - I shouldn't have said that."

Lord knows, we've all blown our stacks around here a few times, and we've all apologized for it. It ain't that hard.

Posted by: Cass at August 25, 2008 07:45 PM

What I don't understand is that, having had ample time to cool off and having had the remark explained to him, he still defends what he said (which was clearly wrong).

He still thinks abandoning Vietnam was justified.

Is there a difference between the two? Not in my view.

Jeffrey, of course, can prove me wrong by disagreeing with me here, since it is his views and he has the right to change or correct interpretations of them, but he would first have to make an actual, you know, reply.

Lord knows, we've all blown our stacks around here a few times, and we've all apologized for it. It ain't that hard.

If the law proves you right on technicalities, you don't have to apologize. That is the society brought about by Vietnam. It was lawful, thus it was justified, thus nobody need apologize... especially people like Ted Kennedy or John Kerry or Jane Fonda.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 25, 2008 08:03 PM

If you look at it from Jeffrey's view point, Cass, nothing he has done is wrong or illegal. Jeffrey disagreed with vet and said he was wrong, or implied he was wrong, because Jeffrey judged vet66's initial comment as bigoted, therefore it is just like a racist comment. And thus... wrong.

But that's almost an ad hominem argument, except Jeffrey only thinks ad hominem arguments are when you attack a person's character. In order for that to be true, Jeffrey would have to believe that a person can utter racist or bigoted thoughts without being a bigot or racist. So when vet66 says he isn't a bigot or says that being a bigot doesn't make him wrong, Jeffrey has no answer for that. No answer except to invalidate the ad hominem argument.

Having Your Cake (Failure To Assert, or Diminished Claim):

almost claiming something, but backing out. For example, "It may be, as some suppose, that ghosts can only be seen by certain so-called sensitives, who are possibly special mutations with, perhaps, abnormally extended ranges of vision and hearing. Yet some claim we are all sensitives."

Another example: "I don't necessarily agree with the liquefaction theory, nor do I endorse all of Walter Brown's other material, but the geological statements are informative." The strange thing here is that liquefaction theory (the idea that the world's rocks formed in flood waters) was demolished in 1788. To "not necessarily agree" with it, today, is in the category of "not necessarily agreeing" with 2+2=3. But notice that writer implies some study of the matter, and only partial rejection.

A similar thing is the failure to rebut. Suppose I raise an issue. The response that "Woodmorappe's book talks about that" could possibly be a reference to a resounding rebuttal. Or perhaps the responder hasn't even read the book yet. How can we tell? [I later discovered it was the latter.]

As you noticed, Cass, he almost goes there, but stops right where the line says "to go any further would be to lay out a claim, and thus have it be vulnerable to a logical fallacy or a refutation". Except even the almost claim of Jeffrey is still vulnerable to logical fallacies and incorrect reasoning.

Can you refute a claim that hasn't yet been fully made? How about a claim that says Jeff is right, cause he is defending his argument, and Vet66 is wrong, because Vet66's original comment was bigoted, and thus Jeff's accusation that it is like a racist comment, is justified? That's not the topic. That's called changing the subject.

Argument By Fast Talking:

if you go from one idea to the next quickly enough, the audience won't have time to think. This is connected to Changing The Subject and (to some audiences) Argument By Personal Charm.

However, some psychologists say that to understand what you hear, you must for a brief moment believe it. If this is true, then rapid delivery does not leave people time to reject what they hear.

The subject was whether what vet66 said was true, accurate, fair, etc or whatever. It is not supposed to be about whether Jeffrey got it 'right' via extreme prejudice. It is not supposed to be about how Jeffrey feels about vets or Vietnam and so forth.

If it doesn't make a racist automatically wrong to call him a racist, then what exactly does it do for vet66's arguments to call his arguments bigoted and racist? That suddenly proves something? What does it prove? That Jeffrey is right about vet66 attacking veterans like Jeffrey?

Talk about your circular logic.

Internal Contradiction:

saying two contradictory things in the same argument. For example, claiming that Archaeopteryx is a dinosaur with hoaxed feathers, and also saying in the same book that it is a "true bird". Or another author who said on page 59, "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writes in his autobiography that he never saw a ghost." But on page 200 we find "Sir Arthur's first encounter with a ghost came when he was 25, surgeon of a whaling ship in the Arctic.."

This is much like saying "I never borrowed his car, and it already had that dent when I got it."

This is related to Inconsistency.

Then we have this little thing about how bigotry isn't like racism but racism is like bigotry, which makes vet66's bigoted comments just like racist comments...

Maybe if you stretch yourself far enough, Cass, you may see that as consistent ; )

Euphemism:

the use of words that sound better. The lab rat wasn't killed, it was sacrificed. Mass murder wasn't genocide, it was ethnic cleansing. The death of innocent bystanders is collateral damage. Microsoft doesn't find bugs, or problems, or security vulnerabilities: they just discover an issue with a piece of software.

This is related to Argument By Emotive Language, since the effect is to make a concept emotionally palatable.

Trying to make your attacks about bigoted or racist accusations more emotionally palatable by saying it is just his ideas, not his person, that we are describing, is pretty weak all in all.

Argument By Pigheadedness (Doggedness):

refusing to accept something after everyone else thinks it is well enough proved. For example, there are still Flat Earthers.

And in the end, that's just what's what, Cass.


Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 25, 2008 08:21 PM

Grim, I live in California from 1967-1990. Within that time frame, Mexicans and other nationalities in Central America went from
'Central American' to 'Hispanic.' Latins is more for South America and Europeans of Latin descent.

Asians, or as they used to be called, Orientals, went from being Chinese, Vietnames, Siamese/Thai, Japanese, Korean, etc. to 'Asian.' I have no idea why, it just seemed that it was preferred to explaining a completely different culture and mindset, as well as staving off a prejudice against any one particular culture or nationality.

As for college and so forth, I never noticed a difference in how many more students of one race or color there were over another. FWIW, on the junior college campus I attended, there were hardly any blacks. Not because they weren't welcome, but my hometown at that time didn't have a significant black population, so the slots were there, but no one was denied an education, either.

Back then, a college education was free in California. All you had to buy were books and supplies, and show up, do your homework and get your degree. Now there is, of course, resident and non resident tuition.

Posted by: Cricket at August 25, 2008 08:23 PM

What I said was that it would be nice to be able to demonstrate that the category wasn't important.

That, by itself, won't convince blacks that their core political beliefs are wrong.

BINGO.

You guys are attacking some position far removed from the one I'm actually defending. I can hear the explosions, but it's kind of like counting after lightning to see if the storm is coming or going further and further away. I think it may be going.

We're talking about a guy who said that race was the only reason people might vote against Obama. I was saying that, far from this being true, race is the one reason I kind of wanted to be able to vote for him -- but couldn't, because of policy differences.

I never said that I was out to change the core political beliefs of black people; nor did I say that I wanted to establish preferences for blacks in presidential races; nor did I suggest that I wanted to discriminate against "Asians" or whites or anybody else.

All I said was that I have some black friends (from the military -- because Bill is right to point out that it's one of the few parts of America where there's regular, genuinely aracial friendships and interactions) who would like to believe that the country has come together enough that being black no longer automatically disqualified you as president. I also said I'd like to see that belief confirmed, and that I think it'd be good for the country if it were confirmed. However, the guy has to be right -- he can't just be black.

Still, the only point I was making was that the author of the piece was exactly wrong. Race is the one reason for supporting Obama, from where I sit. The reasons I'm going to vote against him are everything else.

Posted by: Grim at August 25, 2008 09:10 PM

Cricket:

Thank you for that. I can't claim to understand California very well; not in the last hundred years, anyway.

I will say that I agree that the whole "Asians" thing is odd. I've spent a fair chunk of time in and around Asia, or with "Asians" of one kind or another. The concept that being "Asian" is a single thing with any sort of unitary quality is odd beyond belief. (Especially if you include Thais, "South Asians" like the Pakistani, etc.)

Posted by: Grim at August 25, 2008 09:18 PM

You guys are attacking some position far removed from the one I'm actually defending.

Actually, I'm making up my own argument which only extends a point you've brought up.

It doesn't matter to me whether you brought up the subject of race exclusion or inclusion concerning COIN, but it does need to be brought up and discussed in some fashion.

I never said that I was out to change the core political beliefs of black people

That has to do with insurgency or what you saw as a useful utilization for a President you would vote into office being black. Do you really think that this race thing in America is NOT an insurgency? That to heal the problem, one should not use COIN methods?

The only way to stop an insurgency is to change their core political beliefs, or rather the beliefs of the population the insurgency is targeting. To convince them that they can be part of the solution rather than only as part of the problem.

nor did I say that I wanted to establish preferences for blacks in presidential races

We are not fighting an insurgency against you, Grim. So what matters is what other people would do on that score.

When I mentioned that it cannot be independent of their (Presidents black) policies, I believe that was actually something Cass was talking about.

However, the guy has to be right -- he can't just be black.

We don't disagree on that score. Which is why I said his skin color is not the determinator of what good or harm will result in. And deriving from that foundation, I then would make the argument that the general black population, some say 90% vote for the Democrats, will not be healed or convinced that the race rift is gone unless you change their fundamental political beliefs or just stop the insurgency from working.

The reason I would like to be able to vote for an Obama (were he benign on policy issues) is to demonstrate that this isn't so: that race doesn't make someone less qualified for even the highest office. I would like very much if we could show that race simply didn't matter.

This is not a racist position, but a position of antiracism: the desire to see racism undermined. Being aware of the fact that people are sensitive to race doesn't mean you believe that race should matter (which is racism: the belief that race really is important), just that you believe that in fact it does matter in the minds of many people.

What matters is how it relates to other people's position. While it is anti-racism from your viewpoint, that doesn't matter much when you change the frame of reference.

This is in rely to what you said about me arguing against what you didn't propose. As you can see, I'm not directing my comments primarily towards the subject of what you said or didn't say.

I'm directing my comments towards what you are talking about, which is insurgency or racism.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 25, 2008 09:22 PM

The central original point I was bringing up concerns why other black people will not just "drop it" if they see you electing a black President, Grim. That won't convince people that your side is right or that their philosophy of reverse racism is wrong.

This correlates to how Arabs didn't automatically listen and agree with Americans just because Americans got some local Iraqis in the federal government to speak for us and the Iraqis. Getting the "Iraqi" local street "face" isn't a cure all, and perhaps that was a fundamental mistake Casey got into.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 25, 2008 09:25 PM

Do you really think that this race thing in America is NOT an insurgency?

Let me tell you what I think about it. I think the KKK was an insurgency -- one that was fought with law, by the US Marshals, but also by irregulars, like my great-great grandfather.

I absolutely do not view black Americans as insurgents to be defeated.

As for the politicians who manipulate the poorer black communities for personal advantage -- if that is what you are talking about -- I view them as despicable, but not military enemies. I wouldn't use "COIN methods" to "heal" the situation, because COIN methods do include snipers.

It is a bad idea to try to make things into war that are not war. Thank God not everything is war. I gather you are a young man, and may not yet appreciate the truth of this: but as a husband and father, let me say that I do not fear war, but I am glad there are places at peace where my family can stay in safety. Let us not rush to make those places more warlike.

This is not a racist position, but a position of antiracism: the desire to see racism undermined.

Now THAT is actually what I said. :)

Posted by: Grim at August 25, 2008 09:35 PM

You're welcome, Grim. FWIW, the video store I did the books for had one heck of a diverse staff: Two white chicks (me and one of the movie club girls), and the rest of the staff were Filipino, Japanese, Hispanic, Black, and Chinese.
We got along famously because well, heck, we were all in our 20s and it was 1985, Ronald Reagan was in office and life was bitchin.'

heh.

Now, for Little Michelle's speech at the DNC:

"That is why I love this country.

And in my own life, in my own small way, I’ve tried to give back to this country that has given me so much. That’s why I left a job at a law firm for a career in public service, working to empower young people to volunteer in their communities. Because I believe that each of us – no matter what our age or background or walk of life – each of us has something to contribute to the life of this nation."

Please...do NOT make me spit up. She spent the initial campaign saying how hateful America was, and now she loves this country for the very reasons she despised it?

Posted by: Cricket at August 25, 2008 11:34 PM

The thing you point to about war-brides, etc, is a real phenomenon, but it isn't about "proving you're not bigoted." Rather, it's that a deeply felt divide (such as the black/white divide) can make other divides invisible. It's not that you want to prove you don't notice them; it's that you really don't notice them, because your attention is on the big divide.

From my experience, this is definitely how it works (or at least worked) in the South. When I moved from the South to New Jersey and heard people ascribing group qualities to people whose ancestry was Irish or Italian or Jewish or Polish or Chinese, I was totally perplexed. (I've still not quite grasped the concept of a "Jewish" name.) Northerners would always express amazement at my puzzlement: they *knew* everyone in the South was bigoted so surely I was familiar with all these gradations of group identity. No, I'd tell them, where I come from there are only three kinds of people: black, white, and migrant farm workers (who are singled out not for ethnicity but for rootlessness).

I agree with Grim that given the choice between two comparably qualified candidates, one white man and one black man, I would tend to vote for the black candidate, in my case as a statement about the desirability of getting beyond race. By the same token (no pun intended), given a similar choice between a woman and a man, I would tend to vote for the woman. Which gets me to Cassandra’s point, I think: what decision would I make given a choice between a black man and a white woman? And if we do acknowledge that - regardless of what the South of my youth thought - there are other “minorities”, then how could I decide between a black man and an Asian woman? A man with one black parent and one Native American parent versus a man with one Anglo parent and one Hispanic parent? What if one of the candidates in the previous example was a woman? I’d need a calculator to add up the different “minority” points.

I do believe electing a black President will change some of the dialogue about race but I’m not convinced it will get us to a post-racial state of being. Electing Obama President will not mean that African-Americans suddenly start doing as well economically and academically as white Americans - it simply means that those who claim the economic plight of African-Americans is not (or is no longer) a result of discrimination will have another argument to make. Ironically, if a President Obama proposes large programs aimed at helping African-Americans, the fact of his Presidency would surely be advanced as an argument against the need for such programs. (Which is, as I read the newer comments, precisely the argument being made in the New York Times article Cassandra cited.)

Posted by: Elise at August 26, 2008 12:23 AM

Let us not rush to make those places more warlike.

Undermining racism creates war? Only if you leave it for too long and the insurgents are able to create the conditions for a revolutionary movement. They can only do so by creating mass poverty and resentment, like the Palestinian refuge camps. Let them progress to that point, Grim, and you will truly be fighting an insurgency, for there will be no choice about it any more.

I wouldn't use "COIN methods" to "heal" the situation, because COIN methods do include snipers.

COIN methods include a lot of things, and many of them aren't used for they are too kinetic, active, or requires first intelligence and preparation. If you can recognize the specific differences in geography that separates the conflicts of Afghanistan and Iraq, and what makes them special, why can't you do the same for America, where forces use the law to undermine the law and use society to undermine society.

The specifics of the conflicts in America do not call for kinetic operations, but they do call for counter-propaganda operations.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 26, 2008 01:03 AM

Ymar:

What's actually happening is not "progress" towards refugee camps, but a broad improvement. The black middle class has been growing steadily for some time. Racism is waning as a social force. Opportunity has never been greater, nor barriers lower; and welfare reform has broken the ties that bound many. Crime rates have fallen sharply since the early 1990s.

There remain problems, but they are social problems: failure of families, an underclass (not just black) of people who have broken homes for multiple generations -- and consequent poor educational achievement, poverty, etc. -- and so forth. As serious as these are, they shouldn't distract from the bigger picture.

The bigger picture is one of genuine progress.

If you can recognize the specific differences in geography that separates the conflicts of Afghanistan and Iraq, and what makes them special, why can't you do the same for America, where forces use the law to undermine the law and use society to undermine society.

Well, I do recognize the difference between Iraq, Afghanistan, and America. One of them is rising out of a state of war. One of them will remain an ungoverned space for some time though we are doing our best to help create good governance in it, bordering other ungoverned spaces which we cannot help: as a consequence, it will remain dangerous for a very long time even in the best case. The third is America, where there is a well-established rule of law, and where there has been no war in a hundred and forty years, nor anything close to war in thirty (if one considers the social difficulties of the Civil Rights era as "close to war," given that the National Guard was frequently required to enforce the Federal government's will on the population, from Boston to Texas).

The specifics of the conflicts in America do not call for kinetic operations, but they do call for counter-propaganda operations.

Not in any military sense of the term. Information Operations targeting the American public are not allowed, neither by the military nor by the CIA, or others.

Politicians can put out their own propaganda, but the concept is that they will check each other. (A highly amusing example of that is beginning now, with McCain running ads showing one Democrat after another praising him and his leadership and experience, including Obama's new running mate; while pointing out that Obama "brings a speech he gave in 2002.")

Citizens can certainly do "counter propaganda," as individuals, and fine -- good. We could use more of it, really. It's not quite the same thing as a military IO, though: and ideally, your opponents are not considered your enemies.


Elise:

You may be overthinking the issue. :) The concept is that you pick how you vote on other grounds; but that race isn't a barrier to your vote, but a side-effect that is pleasant if it works out right.

You don't need a calculator. Just, when it works out that way, you feel good about it. Fair enough!

Posted by: Grim at August 26, 2008 07:45 AM

Elise may be overthinking the point, but darned if I didn't enjoy the Catch 22 flavor of the last paragraph. =8^}

Posted by: bthun at August 26, 2008 09:18 AM

The black middle class has been growing steadily for some time.

The same was happening until Lyndon Johnson put a stop to it. What makes you think this cycle won't repeat itself, which would also produce more bitterness and dissatisfaction amongst disenfranchised groups that see other people prospering but not them?

Racism is waning as a social force.

To be replaced by new eng soc or political correctness.

Not in any military sense of the term. Information Operations targeting the American public are not allowed, neither by the military nor by the CIA, or others.

The central argument is what makes you think, just because you are willing to maintain the status quo of peace and stability, that other people in America ostensibly have the same intentions? Especially with Obama and war crimes commissions as well as with the behavior of Leftist purist ideology.

How will you convince them that destabilization, revolution, war, class warfare, and various other subterfuge and undermining operations is a bad thing, Grim, if you are going to be playing by the rules that they will not play by.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 26, 2008 10:33 AM

Well, the argument I've heard in Cynthia McKinney's little former spot is that the class structure and whites won't let somebody like Obama be President. He'll get assassinated and they expect this. They, being educated blacks.

The same kind of underdog, conspiracy, and resentment+bitterness I hear from them is the same thing I see coming from the Palestinians or the Arabs when they envy and hate America.

It's not a very healthy state of being and it is only kept in check by American security, rule of law, and the threat of military force.

Then there's the differences between the African view point and the American black view point. They share some similarities, such as reverse racism or tribalism due to white colonialism as opposed to American black's viewpoint over slavery and institutional racism.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 26, 2008 10:37 AM

Grim, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I wasn't overthinking *something*. And I'm glad you liked that flavor, bthun - it's one of my favorites, right after chocolate and cookie dough. (Parenthetically, I may be the only person my age who has never read "Catch 22" - or at least the only one who's willing to admit it.)

Posted by: Elise at August 26, 2008 10:57 AM

It's not a very healthy state of being and it is only kept in check by American security, rule of law, and the threat of military force.

Yeah, I don't really think black America is nearly that bad. There are certainly some problems, but it's not so great an issue that "law and the threat of military force" are necessary to keep them in check.

There are certainly some social problems, as they themselves would be the first to admit. American blacks are concerned about the lack of marriagable men in their community, the collapse of the two-parent family, and recurrent family failure over generations (which is what leads to the relatively high rates of deep poverty and criminality).

Still, there is also an escape route from that which more and more people are taking. There is the military, college, and direct access to the American economy (which the Palestinians can't even dream of in their sleep). There is also vibrant religion, which serves as an additional benefit for those willing to embrace it (and, at least outside of the Trinity-style liberation theology, an additional reason to think of these folks as brothers of a sort, rather than enemies of a sort: see Baldilocks' writing on the vast gulf between the black churches she has known and Trinity).

Counterinsurgency is supposed to have an end point, beyond which you've moved the sliding "warpeace" scale far enough toward peace that you can start treating people as neighbors instead of potential (or actual) enemies. If your scale sticks along the way, your COIN method isn't working optimally. Often, the grease you need to make it work is forgiveness and goodwill.

Posted by: Grim at August 26, 2008 11:36 AM

> in this case it would be Asian applicants.

I assume by this you mean Oriental applicants? Because I bet you aren't referring to Siberians, Afghanis, or Persians.... Perhaps some Indians (not Amerinds), who do also tend to excel, but not like those of Oriental descent...

That term "asians" (as a replacement for :"Oriental") needs to be nuked. It's just an effort by idiots of the Perpetually-Indignant class to keep everyone off balance and jumping through their PC hoops. Like the constant manipulation of "Black, Negro, and African-American" as "correct" terminology.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 26, 2008 12:39 PM

> Democrats haven't.

As I have noted for others, alway I like to cite the following on this matter:

The Dems have had two major schisms in the last 60 years over race -- in the 1948 (the Dixiecrats) and the 1964 Dem conventions (the latter in which legally elected black representatives from the South were disenfranchized at the convention by machinations of Humphrey and Johnson -- which led directly to the subsequent violence in the later 60s, including the 1968 convention. Details here).

The Dems also continue to promote victimhood and class warfare memes and policies which are divisive and have led to nothing good for American blacks -- the fruits of their attitudes are clear: ignorance, illiteracy, and futility, leading to a ridiculously large number of black males being incarcerated (correctly, mind you), massive levels of black illegitimacy (presence of a balancing fatherhood figure is a strong indicator of later success in life), and, through the prisons, widespread AIDS in the black populace.

When a black man or woman succeeds without their help, the Dems feel nothing whatsoever about denigrating them and their accomplishments by using offensively pejorative memes and terms -- terms like "stepinfetchit", "Uncle Tom", and "pickaninny".

In contrast, I suggest you consider the following:
We pledge that our American citizens of Negro descent shall be given a square deal in the economic and political life of this nation. Discrimination in the civil service, the army, navy, and all other branches of the Government must cease. To enjoy the full benefits of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness universal suffrage must be made effective for the Negro citizen. Mob violence shocks the conscience of the nation and legislation to curb this evil should be enacted.

-- from the 1940 GOP platform

Contrast especially with:
We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose one's associates; to accept private employment without governmental interference, and to learn one's living in any lawful way. We oppose the elimination of segregation, the repeal of miscegenation statutes, the control of private employment by Federal bureaucrats called for by the misnamed civil rights program. We favor home-rule, local self-government and a minimum interference with individual rights.

We oppose and condemn the action of the Democratic Convention in sponsoring a civil rights program calling for the elimination of segregation, social equality by Federal fiat, regulations of private employment practices, voting, and local law enforcement.
-- from the 1948 Dixiecrat's Platform

==================================================
Now, tell me again, please, which party has an open as well as disguised history of racism and segregation?
==================================================


THAT is the Con Job of the 20th Century.

Note: I've had people argue that the Dixiecrats weren't the Democrats. They were Democrats in 1944, and they were Democrats in 1952. Did they change radically somehow for one election? I think the 1964 convention showed both that they were still quite present and also that the so-called support by the Northern Dems of black civil rights was about as valid, honest, and forthright as that of a used-car dealer's support for truth in advertising.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 26, 2008 12:51 PM

> Lord knows, we've all blown our stacks around here a few times, and we've all apologized for it.

I HAVE NOT, DAMN YOU!!!.

Oh. Sorry.


(I just wanted to get it out of the way)

Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 26, 2008 12:54 PM

Hey, HEY!

DOWN IN FRONT will ya! <- note ! and not ?

We're trying to watch the blog, just in case a fight breaks out, ya know.

Posted by: bt_careful-with-that-axe-Eugene_hun at August 26, 2008 01:15 PM

> This is not a racist position, but a position of antiracism: the desire to see racism undermined. Being aware of the fact that people are sensitive to race doesn't mean you believe that race should matter (which is racism: the belief that race really is important), just that you believe that in fact it does matter in the minds of many people.

But when you do that, you give it validity.

I saw a T-Shirt on a picture of Lou Gosset, Jr., with the word "Eracism" on it. No idea what he meant by it, but I believe that as long as you ack racism by anything but overt rejection of expressions of it, then you defacto support it even when you had no such intentions.

You suggest it's got enough merit that it is something worth arguing over.

"Flat Earth" people are so wrong that their positions should be sneered down, not pandered to by taking them seriously (see earlier comment by Ymarsakar about "Argument By Pigheadedness (Doggedness)"). Racism falls in that category, too. You can certainly still have valid arguments about whether something is based on racism, but if it's clearly racism, then it's wrong, period, end of debate. Voting for Obama "because he's black" is wrong, and perniciously so. Such people need to be made to feel lower than dirt just for supporting such a racist idea.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 26, 2008 01:24 PM

A tingle went up *my* leg in the sim building yesterday.

It was a lizard.


Poor lizard.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at August 26, 2008 02:22 PM

Under Title IX I do believe the lizard is entitled to something, maybe a second opinion. In the meantime, I believe someone in the sim building is due a cigarette...

Posted by: vet66 at August 26, 2008 02:33 PM

No lizards were injured during the eviction.

She refused to leave voluntarily -- kept nattering about an MH-47 refueling probe...

Posted by: BillT at August 26, 2008 02:40 PM

"She refused to leave voluntarily -- kept nattering about an MH-47 refueling probe..."
The lizard? Or Madam Speaker Pelosi responding to the Drill Here, Drill Now crowd in Denver?

Posted by: bt_in-an-indeterminate-state_hun at August 26, 2008 03:32 PM

Ooog. I wouldn't drill Nan

*whap!*

Bad! *Bad* cerebral cortex! No cookie!!

Posted by: BillT at August 26, 2008 03:54 PM


There is the military, college, and direct access to the American economy (which the Palestinians can't even dream of in their sleep).

This is true and they know it. Which is why people are so very passionate about kicking the military off campus, you see. How can you say a deliberate intention, to keep people locked into an eternal state of resentment and economic destitution, isn't an insurgency?

As for the topic of enemies, the Sunnis were our enemies but now they aren't. As for African Americans, the case hasn't been decided yet, either way. Currently they have wrong beliefs but the current status quo denies them a reason to use violence for it, with the exception of the Black Panthers. That status quo is trying to be changed, however.

People like Reverend Jackson and Sharpton contribute to grievances and resentment. They do everything in their power to create an insurgency against the status quo or occupation forces, what they call institutional racism or white man's advantage.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 26, 2008 09:59 PM

As for the topic of enemies, the Sunnis were our enemies but now they aren't. As for African Americans, the case hasn't been decided yet, either way.

Ok, I know you're down in Cythia McKinney's district because you said so above. But don't drink the Kool Aid while you're down there.

African Americans are not in any way analogous to Sunnis in Iraq. It's not that they haven't decided if they are "our" enemies or not; it's that they're part of us. They're overrepresented in the US military's officer corps, for instance. The American project owes them a lot, and wouldn't be anything like what it is without them.

I understand the sense that there is a break between black America and the rest of America. There is, no doubt. This is another case, though, where an analogy to Iraq (or Israel -- you mentioned Palestine before) is misleading. The situation is simply not like those other cases, and if surface similarities are drawing you to recognize the three cases as part of a general "pattern," you're being misled by your analysis. Your methodology is drawing you away from the truth, not towards it.

Posted by: Grim at August 26, 2008 11:22 PM

They're overrepresented in the US military's officer corps, for instance.

As is the Upper Middle Class.

It then follows that some percentage of those black Officers are Upper Middle Class.

Which is, to the Left, a kick right in the ol' agenda...

Posted by: BillT at August 27, 2008 05:45 AM

Jeffrey only thinks ad hominem arguments are when you attack a person's character. In order for that to be true, Jeffrey would have to believe that a person can utter racist or bigoted thoughts without being a bigot or racist.

And so would any reader. That's why it doesn't make much sense to say, 'your comment is the kind of comment a racist would make ... but hey! *I* never said you were a racist!)

As much as I'm not a fan of name calling, I think if you're going to engage in that sort of thing it is best to own it.

Posted by: Cass at August 27, 2008 06:58 AM

I wouldn't drill Nan

Oh, you are *so* going to the Bad Place for that one :p

You owe me about a half cup of coffee, sir.

Posted by: Sister Mary Elephant at August 27, 2008 07:00 AM

[lowers head to keyboard while trying to suppress laugh brought on by Bill being busted by da penguin]

Posted by: "Joliet" Jake Blues at August 27, 2008 07:52 AM

...Bill being busted by da penguin

I don't mind, as long as it doesn't become a habit...

Posted by: BillT at August 27, 2008 08:19 AM

African Americans are not in any way analogous to Sunnis in Iraq. It's not that they haven't decided if they are "our" enemies or not; it's that they're part of us.

When I say it hasn't been decided yet, I mean that circumstances, enemy actions, allied actions, local pop motivations, economic standards have not led to the point of a noticeable break. When people take up arms, then you may say that there has been a noticeable break, just as if they no longer take up arms against the US, means that there is also a noticeable break in favor of us, as applied to the Sunnis.

What decides the change is both the environment and what people see as their best interests. If you have people convincing blacks that their best interests are violence, economic destability, or various things that will lead to this thing, but then blame all the problems on this conspiratorial white institutional racism that doesn't exist and can't be fought, then reality is in the process of deciding certain things. It is not a simple choice made by African Americans, alone, Grim.

This is another case, though, where an analogy to Iraq (or Israel -- you mentioned Palestine before) is misleading. The situation is simply not like those other cases

How can you claim that me by saying that a break hasn't been decided yet in relation to blacks in America while the Sunnis did make such a break attempt in Iraq, somehow a claim by me that these situations are analogous? If you recall, Grim, this is typical of a differentiation, not a comparison.

Your methodology is drawing you away from the truth, not towards it.

My methodology draws me to the conclusion that if you don't stop the domestic insurgent actions that are attempting to gain the loyalty and belief of blacks and other minorities in America against the US Constitution and classical liberal freedoms, you are going to face armed conflict or chaotic instability like what we saw in Iraq 2004 with the Sunnis.

When blacks believe that Lincoln was a Democrat, that the race riots were instigated by Republicans, that the Republican party is the historical party of slavery and discrimination, how can you deny that the conclusions I have made are wrong? They are setting the stage.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 27, 2008 11:08 AM

Which is, to the Left, a kick right in the ol' agenda...

Hey, who said that the Democrats wanted to cut military funding and recruitment only for economic reasons? There's more than one way to make people poor in the US.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 27, 2008 11:11 AM

How can you claim [that this is] somehow a claim by me that these situations are analogous?

Well, what you said was: "As for the topic of enemies, the Sunnis were our enemies but now they aren't. As for African Americans..."

That sounds to me like you're making an analogy between two groups in the category of "ethnic groups that are potential enemies of 'ours.'" The Sunni case is one where a group was an enemy, and now is not any longer thanks to successful COIN. The African American case is one where the issue is undecided.

If that's a misreading of what you're trying to say, please clarify. My point is that African Americans don't belong in the category of "potential enemies of 'ours,'" but in the category of "groups that are part of 'us.'" The cultural break is certainly real, but it doesn't justify concerns like this:

My methodology draws me to the conclusion that if you don't stop the domestic insurgent actions that are attempting to gain the loyalty and belief of blacks and other minorities in America against the US Constitution and classical liberal freedoms, you are going to face armed conflict or chaotic instability like what we saw in Iraq 2004 with the Sunnis.

No, we aren't. I am absolutely sure that we are not on the brink of the 'race war' that the KKK used to talk about back when they would show their faces in public here in Georgia. We're moving comfortably in the other direction: and the fact that the KKK is no longer welcome in the white community is surely evidence of that fact.

I understand how a new observer could be fooled by the rhetoric of those you see as insurgents. I don't know how long you've been in Atlanta, but a few years ago our version of the Rev. Mr. Wright passed on. His name was the Rev. Hosea Williams.

Hosea used to do all sorts of things to gin up conflict in order to get publicity for some cause or other -- some of them good causes, some not. He was a tireless advocate of Atlanta's homeless. He was at one point trying to get the city to install free bathrooms for them to use (all left-wing movements have to have slogans that can be chanted by mobs: "Pee for Free with Dig-ni-ty" was the chant for this particular movement).

Hosea would frequently get himself arrested for publicity, swear he was going on hunger strikes and being abused by the cops, and then bail himself out and go home as soon as the press left. Just the kind of guy you're talking about. In general, annoying because his antics were always stirring up trouble; but on the other hand, he was normally trying to help the poorest, which meant that people endured him with patience and something approaching goodwill.

He also staged not one but two marches through Forsyth County, where I grew up. The first one was a disaster -- the KKK came out from all around the South and attacked the march with sticks and thrown rocks, and so forth. There was minimal security, as it was meant to be a small event. Only seventy five marchers showed up for it, so nobody took it seriously except the KKK, who came out in force. The attack outraged not just the black community but the entire nation (the coverage of it was an early success for Oprah, then just making her name).

Hosea came back a few weeks later wanting to march again. The Sheriff of Forsyth County in those days was named Wesley Walraven, a good guy and a friend of my family. He didn't care for Hosea's occasional stunts, especially as they often portrayed him and his fellows as thugs, but he wanted a chance to make clear that the KKK wasn't welcome.

The second march drew tens of thousands of people, black and white, all wanting to make just that very point. This time, there was plenty of security. My father, in his capacity as an officer of the volunteer fire department, was among those called out to provide security and to disrupt any mobs that formed to attack the march (with high-pressure hoses). This example of the volunteer firefighters serving as a citizens' militia, by the way, has a great deal of precedent in American history.

In any event, the second march was carried off with great success, except that Hosea managed to get himself arrested again about something. He railed against the deputies, promised to starve, and then bailed out and left with the media trucks went home.

That's the truth about all this stuff. What you're reading as insurgency is show and lights. The real truth is that the people of Georgia -- white and black -- put up with the rhetoric, but when it comes to fighting, stand up together. If anybody tries to kick off a war in the black community, like the KKK wanted to kick one off in the white community, they'll find it's just as true today as it was twenty years ago.

Posted by: Grim at August 27, 2008 11:53 AM

I am absolutely sure that we are not on the brink of the 'race war' that the KKK used to talk about back when they would show their faces in public here in Georgia.

You can only say that due to the fact that America's law system is still upholding the Constitional protections, which Europe cannot claim for their law. The military is still a strong pillar and foundation upholding US civilization. Big states vs small states is still balanced rather than totally unbalanced. The 2nd Amendment still continues to be enforced, even if itsn't enforced everywhere.

Just because things are getting better in a conflict between two mutually exclusive factions, does not mean that it will continue to be this way. The enemy has a vote as well on how things will go.

No Golden Age will last forever and sooner or later people will see the decay and corruption that was covered up for a time.

but on the other hand, he was normally trying to help the poorest, which meant that people endured him with patience and something approaching goodwill.

Sadr tries to help the poor too, but it is only ever a path to political power. He can be endured with patience and good will cause he lacks the military component. As such, people can afford to tolerate him.

What you're reading as insurgency is show and lights.

They are only supporting or providing the backdrop, social and economic, for the domestic insurgency. If you think the domestic insurgency here contains only elements like the KKK or Timothy McVeigh, you are ignoring Soros, the ACLU, CAIR, The State Department (and you cannot really say that the KKK is getting weaker and that the same is also true of the DoS), and various other organizations, whether government or private.

Limiting the consideration of an insurgency to just the KKK and demagogues is not an accurate action, Grim.

All the trends showed that the South Vietnamese allies of the US would pull off the defense of their homeland. That was until a foreign influence stepped in and the US stepped out and defunded logistics for the South.

Trends are just trends. They will continue until something stops it and insurgencies are there to provide the stimulus, either way.

So long as the majority are agreed on some principle or what not and are willing to stand together against the darkness, things will be okay. The status quo will be upheld. Life will pretty much stay the same, if it doesn't get better, but it won't get worse.

But that's what insurgencies are for. To convince the majority to listen to a minority. Once that is accomplished, then you have a popular insurgency or rebellion. It is far better to stop it in its tracks now, rather than try to repair the Constitution, the economy, the law, or the nation after the fact.


Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 27, 2008 03:43 PM

You have mentioned progress on the race front here in Georgia. But what was the key ingredient to that progress? The key ingredient was the South and Southerners giving up on the idea of racism as being a valid life philosophy.

And until blacks give up their "institutional racism" and "historical grievance" life philosophies, the problem will continue to exist in one form or another, Grim.

Given that the majority of blacks vote for Democrats even when Democrats are against their values like gay marriage, I do not see any sign that this is happening on a trend.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 27, 2008 03:47 PM

"And until blacks give up their "institutional racism" and "historical grievance" life philosophies, the problem will continue to exist in one form or another, Grim."
Careful with that broad brush Ymar.

Not to insert myself into this intriguing conversation, but...

"Given that the majority of blacks vote for Democrats even when Democrats are against their values like gay marriage, I do not see any sign that this is happening on a trend."
Just as the British were made to realize that India was lost through patient and -mostly- passive, persistent resistance. Just as MLK guided the black people to be patient and passive in their non-violent struggle, yet assertive in their resistance to be relegated to second class status. So too are people of color seeing that the Democratic party is not the only place where they might find a home.

Slowly, patiently, staying on message and hewing closely to core conservative values makes this possible. Todays young entrepreneur and/or educated and productive citizen of color is tomorrows conservative individual.

There are people of all colors in this nation who are finding that the values of the Democratic party are not aligned with their values. Slowly, things change.

It may have been Bill who mentioned that the realization of the trend must be a real kick in the Dem's collective assets. Resistance is futile.

Posted by: bt_what-me-worry_hun at August 27, 2008 04:09 PM

domestic insurgency here contains only elements like the KKK or Timothy McVeigh, you are ignoring Soros, the ACLU, CAIR, The State Department

Stop right there. You're saying that a branch of the federal government is an insurgency? I happen to know folks in DoS. In fact, my sister works there. And that's not simply a mischaracterization, it's verging on slander. And personally, I think it ranks right up there with the moonbats who rail against the DoD as a fascist organization bent on destroying civil liberties. Yes, there are leftists in State. And there are also Conservatives. Currently, the Secratary of State is Condoleeza Rice, hardly a Soros flunky.

In fact, I'd even take issue with lumping the ACLU and Soros with folks like the Klan and McVeigh who are bent on destroying the Constitutional government we have. CAIR is trickier, but lets leave them aside for a moment. As far as I know, even though the ACLU and Soros practice a political philosophy I disagree with heartily, they do not advocate the denial of Constitutional Rights to American citizens through the use of violence. Nor do they advocate the violent overthrow of the Constitution itself. Until such time as they do, I have no problem with them espousing their particular political beliefs. And in fact, I think it's dangerous to advocate preventing them from doing so.

Posted by: MikeD at August 27, 2008 04:23 PM

One last point.

Having been born in the south and spending around three decades, off and on, in the south, I think I can safely say that the KKK is but the merest shadow of its former self.

If you do not believe me, ask Robert Byrd. =8^|

Posted by: bt_careful-with-that-axe-Eugene_hun at August 27, 2008 04:29 PM

Mostly comprised, I might add, of people whose family trees have few, if any branches.

Posted by: bt_careful-with-that-axe-Eugene_hun at August 27, 2008 04:31 PM

So too are people of color seeing that the Democratic party is not the only place where they might find a home.

Freed slaves thought the same after the Civil War, but they were put back in their place once the federal government of the US stopped enforcing the 2nd Amendment rights of freed blacks. Amongst other things.

You tell me what will happen to black youth, neighborhoods, and families once the 2nd Amendment is stripped into nothingness, like happened in Katrina? And who will people blame for their troubles? Not their Mayors, not their Governor, and not the Democrat party. It will become more propaganda grist to ousting white privilege from power.

Georgia has seen first hand, meaning the country not the state, what happens when you let foreigners instigate internal ethnic divisions. They tried working with Ossetia, but they lacked America's firepower to keep the law in tact. The same will happen to American when America loses her firepower and rule of law.

You're saying that a branch of the federal government is an insurgency? I happen to know folks in DoS.

When you have a bunch of bureaucrats purposefully leaking classified information, fighting the President's public policies, sabotaging the tools which the President will need for his policies... you may call it whatever you want to call it. But I'll call it what it is.

Slander? Tell that to the Americans who have died or been left as slaves in countries like Saudi Arabia because the Department of State found it more expedient to go with their own policy and Saudi Arabian subsidized retirement.

Currently, the Secratary of State is Condoleeza Rice, hardly a Soros flunky.

The Secretary of State believed she had a handle on Putin and Russia, to the point where Bush felt free to attend the Olympics. The Secretary of State Rice believed Russia would obey cease fires that she helped negotiate between Georgia and Russia. The Secretary of State believes in many things, but not even she can override the insurgency of the State Department. Even Maliki needed help before the insurgencies in his country could be crushed. Quite a lot of help, at that.

Do you really believe the State Department suddenly starts operating differently when you put a Republican cabinet member over it? Cabinet members come and go, bureaucracies are forever.

And personally, I think it ranks right up there with the moonbats who rail against the DoD as a fascist organization bent on destroying civil liberties.

I personally think that when you make arguments based upon falsified axioms, your arguments turn out to be wrong. In those cases, it matters not what it sounds like, it only matters what it is.

If you want to make an argument against the Dod, make it. Don't get auxiliaries like the moonbats to make it for you. Until you make an argument or a counter-argument, it has no force against mine.

Nor would tu quoque work to defend the State Department. Actually, that'd be like the vice a versa of tu quoque. The DoD is falsly accused of doing things, so the DoS must be the same way. As opposed to regular tu quoque which says "the DOD does wrong things, so that means the DoS is okay doing wrong things too".

As far as I know, even though the ACLU and Soros practice a political philosophy I disagree with heartily, they do not advocate the denial of Constitutional Rights to American citizens through the use of violence.

Neither do Palestinian or Islamic Jihad charity funds. They just give money and support to those that do. Run the list of the people the ACLU has defended, recently, pro bono. Sami Al whatever, ring a bell? GitMo detainees, ring a bell?

Soros' political philosophy is that just because he is guilty for having lived and acquired money when other Jews around him were tortured and killed, this means all of us must be tortured and killed to salve his twinging conscience. Or lack there of. That's not something I even care about changing, stopping, or arguing against.

And in fact, I think it's dangerous to advocate preventing them from doing so.

You don't know what I would advocate. It's dangerous to operate in an information vacuum on assumptions only.

When it's dangerous to advocate defeating the enemies of the United States Constitution, that will be a world to see.

Soros funds

You may be fine with his economical generosity, Mike, and wish to see it continue, but I do not. If I was provided a chance or opportunity to degrade or stop Soros' non-partisan funds, I would take it. Would you? Why or why not.

Slowly, patiently, staying on message and hewing closely to core conservative values makes this possible. Todays young entrepreneur and/or educated and productive citizen of color is tomorrows conservative individual.

Once the government destroys the US economy, all of that hope goes up in smoke. All it takes is time, time and Democrat leadership.

It is not the sole cause, however. Private organizations also contribute, in their own little way.

As was applicable to Iraq, hope for the best, plan for the worst. If all you are doing is talking about the hope of a better world, and you're not dealing with what will destroy that better world, then what benefit is it all in the end? Obama benefits, but that's about it. Hope without action, promise without payment.

As Russia has demonstrated in Georgia and the Democrats demonstrated in post-Reconstruction times, it doesn't take much to destabilize people's dreams of a better future. All it takes is time and money.

I do not know to what extent American can absorb such things or for how long. Such things remain uncertain, but what is certain is that sooner or later, it will happen. It may happen sooner or it may happen later 5 generations from now. Or it may never happen and the fate of America is ended with a boom, rather than a long dark journey into the night.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 27, 2008 05:53 PM

The Klan are actually integrated into the American political scene now a days. People like Robert Byrd, for example. To lob them in with Soros and the ACLU and what not, is to insult the Klan, not the other way around.

The Klan are more like Sunnis, very anti-American Sunnis, than Al Sadr.

They are not the model one should look for in today's world if one speaks of insurgencies.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 27, 2008 05:54 PM

Link

It's only dangerous to stop political speech if you are actually using the government or violence to do it

In that case, shouldn't you be more concerned about Obama and his supporters rather than, say, the State Department or what not?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 27, 2008 06:25 PM

First off, I am pretty sure you know I'm not some leftist bedwetter. Second, let's make very clear the differences between individual actions and group actions:

When you have a bunch of bureaucrats purposefully leaking classified information, fighting the President's public policies, sabotaging the tools which the President will need for his policies... you may call it whatever you want to call it. But I'll call it what it is.

I served this country for five years in the Intel business. Nothing, NOTHING pisses me off more than when some dunderhead gets a burr in their saddle and decides that they know better than the government about what is to be classified and what isn't. There's no need to lecture me regarding the leaking of classified information. K?

But again, that's the actions of individuals. And you're confusing the actions of those bad actors with the organization as a whole. Believe it or not, there ARE good, honest, dilligent (and even CONSERVATIVE) Americans working in the Department of State. And yes, I DO think you're being irresponsible to call the ENTIRE organization a domestic insurgency bent on destroying this country. The problem with the organization is that there IS no centralization of power within the organization. The true power at DoS rests in the hands of the politically appointed Ambassadors. And the real trick there is that while they can only be dismissed by the President, they can 'fire' anyone on their staff they want ('fire' is in scare quotes because the person doesn't actually lose their job, they're just sent home).

Now I want you to think about that for a second. The President exercises true command authority over DoS, because he decides who the Ambassadors are and when they're recalled. All this talk of Rice botching Georgia, and American's dying or left as "slaves" (and yes, I REALLY want to see your information on that one) in Saudi Arabia is ultimately at the President's feet.

And let's talk about that one a moment. I like George Bush. I think he's a man of principles who has the guts to fight public opinion in order to fight the most critical fight of this century. I think he's an honest man who believes the best of people. But I think he's got a terrible blind spot when it comes to his friends. Look at some of his absolutely stupid political appointments. Julie Meyers as head of ICE? She's the same age as me with ZERO law enforcement experience. The ONLY thing that recommends her for that job is her dad was a pretty damn good general. Harriet Meyers? Conservative though I am sure she was, she really was NOT among the most qualified applicants to the job of Supreme Court Justice. Larry Brown? Again, why the HELL are you putting someone with no EMA experience in charge of FEMA. That's just dumb! Colin Powell as Sec State? You put someone in State who is going to fight you daily on foriegn policy?

Now, please don't misunderstand. I know he's made some excellent choices too. Condaleeza Rice, however much you'd like to personally blame her for Georgia (which is highly debateable) actually has a GREAT deal of foriegn policy and defense policy experience, especially as relating to the former Soviet Union. But ultimately, I think what you need to examine is why a President, when faced with incompetent and/or inexperienced agency directors CHOOSES not to do anything about it, is it that Agency's fault, or the President's?

Posted by: MikeD at August 28, 2008 09:58 AM

And yes, it is extremely dangerous to try and use the government power to squelch free speech. But is is ALSO dangerous to attempt to silence opposing views. That is NOT freedom of speech, that is trying to monopolize the marketplace of ideas. And that's stupid. I never want my political opponents (as opposed to my military opponents, which is what I think your fundamental confusion is about) to be silenced. If you wish that they were, then you stand in direct opposition to everything the First Amendment stands for. Unpopular speech (of ANY stripe) is what that Amendment is designed to protect. And I KNOW you don't like what Soros has to say. Neither do I. But by god, I will fight anyone to protect his right to say it.

Posted by: MikeD at August 28, 2008 10:02 AM

Second Harrumph of the day from the Hun hovel at you MikeD...

Now let's go easy folks, I'm living on a fixed Harrumph quota!

Posted by: bt_what-me-worry_hun at August 28, 2008 11:13 AM

Harrumph? HARRUMPH?!?! You dare to harrumph me you, you... harrumpher?!?! Have at you!

Posted by: MikeD at August 28, 2008 11:41 AM

I think Harrumph is bthun for "Hooah."

Which, Hooah. I don't care for Soros' shady funding tactics; but if he wants to speak in his own name, let him speak.

Posted by: Grim at August 28, 2008 11:52 AM

In the spirit of ... ohhh, something or another, I offer a glimpse into the history of the Wholly Harumph.

And in the spirit of governments everywhere, I hereby authorize deficit Harumph spending.

Posted by: Gov. William J. LaPetomane at August 28, 2008 12:00 PM

The Wholly Harrumph first appeared in the Late Ogliocene (on a Tuesday) and was the size of a pygmy opossum. Fifty years later, through the miracle of evolution (theoretically), it reached the majestic size we associate with it today.

Or whenever it was that Ice Age was released.

Kinda hard to tell, what with the Farsi subtitles 'n' all...

Posted by: BillT at August 28, 2008 01:45 PM

"I think Harrumph is bthun for "Hooah.""
Thanks for the translation Grim. =8^}

But I am starting to get a little spooked with how you are able to decipher my thoughts as you recently did on the value we place on our ancestors!

And what with all this talk of alien babies, and Wookies pilfering FBI background investigations and all. [looks behind monitor, under desk, and in cd tray...]

Posted by: bt_what-me-worry_hun at August 28, 2008 02:28 PM

Black 33, Black 6 -- Back off another ten feet. Your rotorwash is rattling his CD tray and he thinks it's coming from his monitor or under the desk.

Continue to observe. Six, out.

Posted by: BillT at August 28, 2008 03:02 PM

But is is ALSO dangerous to attempt to silence opposing views. That is NOT freedom of speech, that is trying to monopolize the marketplace of ideas.

When you try to deny that there are insurgent operations and organizations going on in the United States, which just happens to include the State Department, who do you really think is supporting freedom of speech.

Do I see you devoting time and research to this topic, if you find my choices sub-optimal? Not particularly, no

So what you have, Mike, is an absence of arguments. You just have complaints, which have nothing to do with me and nothing to do with the topic I raised, for you do not choose to relate them.

There's no need to lecture me regarding the leaking of classified information. K?

Then don't act as if my position is unsupported just because you chose to bring along some anecdotal artillery.

Don't contradict yourself by defending the DoS by saying you got people you know in it and then saying the DoS's actions support my position at the same time.

It is an extremely ambiguous and unclear line you choose to walk. Which is the problem you should deal with, not the issue of lectures.

If you want to argue, pick an argument and a side to argue. Don't try to confuse the issue by taking both sides, for and against.

Either the DoS is part of the domestic insurgency against America or it isn't. You want to give anecdotal justifications for why it isn't, fine. You want to talk about how you already know the DoS is conducting internal sabotage against American Constitutional order at the same time, not fine.

But again, that's the actions of individuals.

An insurgency is nothing but a collated set of individual actions. That's why it is an insurgency and not a government or counter-insurgency.

And you're confusing the actions of those bad actors with the organization as a whole.

Suddenly the chain of command somehow disappeared because a few bad actors are left around with their heads intact? Be serious here. THis is not something new or faked like Abu Ghraib or Haditha. This is DoS policy.

As for private vs organizations...

That wouldn't fly in the military nor would it fly in the private sector. WHy do you think companies can fire you for what you say on blogs? Cause it reflects on the company and makes them look bad if you start mouthing off or start doing criminal things, for you are a representative of them, period. Not solely an "individual" at all, cause if you were just a private citizen, you could print, publish, and say whatever the hell you wanted. Reality has different considerations than people's personal preferences, however. To say that it is only the DoS' 'bad actors' doing such things and that this shouldn't be confused with the DoS as an organization, is complete illusion and, coincidentally, false.

I don't care for Soros' shady funding tactics; but if he wants to speak in his own name, let him speak.

Will you also let Ayers speak his political indoctrination in class to a new generation of revolutionaries, Grim. Or is there somewhere where you will actually draw a line, or do we have to wait until there is blood in the streets like on 9/11?

Believe it or not, there ARE good, honest, dilligent (and even CONSERVATIVE) Americans working in the Department of State.

Believe it or not, there were good, honest, diligent, and pro-Americans that were working in the Sunni insurgency helping to kill AMericans, you know. And the KKK in 1889. And the South in the Civil War. If you think by mentioning what you said, this somehow does something to challenge my positions which you disagree with, you are entirely wrong, Mike.

The whole point of an insurgency is to create a center of gravity where people, hard core or soft core, potential allies or potential enemies, start getting on your train rather than your opponent's.

What that means is that it is totally irrelevant what the insurgency is composed of, so long as they take their orders from the wrong side. A minority can control a majority. A bank robber can control innocents that outnumber the robber. A terrorist can control state policies of somewhere like Spain and France. But it has nothing to do with who is part of the organization, it has everything to do with who makes the policies, who gives the orders, and who decides how those policies and orders are carried out. Then, and only then, does it start mattering that good and honest people are in the DoS. Until then, the good and honest people might as well be evil and deceptive people, for their knowledge, resources, will, and skills are used by the leaders, which just happens to be on the other side of the US.

When your loyal Americans in the DoS start ensuring that these leaks are erased and punished, whether the public can see it or not, then you might have some ammunition to defend the DoS with.

THere were plenty of Sunnis that might have thought siding with the Americans was a better idea. They sort of got overruled, you may say, by all the other Sunnis who disagreed. So by your logic, Mike, I could defend the Sunni insurgency and organization by saying that they still have a few dissenters left somewhere around the periphery. I could shut down anti-insurgency and counter-insurgency operations against the SUnnis in 2005-6 solely based upon the argument that "there are still good people amongst that organization".

That's completely pointless. When an insurgency exists, you don't make progress by talking about how it doesn't exist because good people are in it. When an insurgency doesn't exist, you wouldn't even need to talk about how an organization has x amount of 'good' people in it, cause then it wouldn't matter. All that would matter then is discipline, policy, and effectiveness.

and American's dying or left as "slaves" (and yes, I REALLY want to see your information on that one)

Try googling ACLU Anti-Patriot Act/Boy. It may or may not turn out the results I have in mind. But even if it doesn't, there are plenty of documented cases of American citizens, women usually, who somehow got trapped in Saudi Arabia and the State Department would not do a thing to help them out, cause local laws says... well, I assume you know what Local Sharia and Saudi Arabian laws says about a wife's husband's powers and rights.

Now, please don't misunderstand. I know he's made some excellent choices too. Condaleeza Rice, however much you'd like to personally blame her for Georgia (which is highly debateable) actually has a GREAT deal of foriegn policy and defense policy experience, especially as relating to the former Soviet Union.

That's not in dispute. What's in dispute is how someone with a great deal of foreign policy and defense policy experience could get blind sided like that by Putin during the Olympics on the topic of Georgia. I expect regular Americans to be surprised by the Russian Bear's foreign policy and military actions. I expect Bush to be surprised and flat footed. But if Condie really has all that experience in Russia and can speak Russian and knows the RUssians... what's her excuse? It can't be the same as mine, Bush's, or anybody else's for that matter.

Rice serves as a useful point to remind people that the Department of State doesn't care who the leader of it is, it's still part of the insurgency. And when you are part of the insurgency, the borders aren't as concrete as you make it sound, Mike. It is neither "wholly" the entire organization nor is it "just a few bad actors" in that organization. In effect, it is totally irrelevant to speak of insurgencies as containing organizations, unless those organizations are from the top down devoted to the cause in one fashion or another.

It is more effective to speak of them as containing specific people, such as leaders and those that follow that leader. I mentioned Rice cause you mentioned, Rice, Mike. That has nothing to do with blaming her about Georgia; it has everything to do with blaming the insurgency operating in the Department of State.

You cannot defend the DoS by defending Rice. Nor can you defend the DoS by saying Bush, as King and President, has the power to make changes.

Just because a King can make changes and move the musical chairs around, doesn't actually mean there isn't a coup de tat attempt being planned against him. These issues are independent of the other. Often a coup de tat requires that a King's powers be removed or restricted. Other times, the King himself gives power to a coup de tat by limiting his own use of his powers or utilizing his powers unwisely.

There is no reason to believe that just because Bush has the Constitutional power to erase the Department of State's foundations and turf wars, that he will necessarily use it. And even if he does use it, that does not necessarily mean that there is no insurgency operating in the DoS and utilizing government and DoS sources, connections, and funds.

But ultimately, I think what you need to examine is why a President, when faced with incompetent and/or inexperienced agency directors CHOOSES not to do anything about it, is it that Agency's fault, or the President's?

WHy do you think an Emperor, if he has the power to destroy his enemies, doesn't or fails to? Cause the Emperor is one man that depends upon other men to gather intel, perform duties, and provide justified and useful advice to the Emperor. WHen you depend upon men, this is the same as depending upon your enemies once an insurgency takes deep enough root in your nation, empire, country, etc.

Any information telling Bush that there is a problem and what the solution is, first gets filtered by DoS and other Executive Branch or Congressional connections. Bush doesn't like to micromanage, so he often bases his opinions upon what DoS and DoD tells him concerning their respective parts.

When a King no longer can rely upon his corps of spies, assassins, and advisers, he then has to go out himself to get the info. Or have the info come to him in the form of a palace coup de tat. Then he'll have real information on reality, rather than what he was fed.

Bush is no puppet, but you asked the question and you got the answer.

(as opposed to my military opponents, which is what I think your fundamental confusion is about)

I believe Ayers and his folk and allies are current, past, and future military opponents of the US. You and Grim do not. It is as simple as that.

There is nothing else to debate about, if you will not recognize that basic axiom.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 28, 2008 05:27 PM

And I don't really want to hear the excuse that military enemies require military solutions. Not when Grim was talking about handing Sadr a political seat and pardon if it was expedient or useful.

When people can choose to kill or pardon enemies like Sadr, I don't want to hear those same people talking about how this means snipers will be trained on Soros, blacks, or Ayers.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 28, 2008 05:35 PM

Will you also let Ayers speak his political indoctrination in class to a new generation of revolutionaries, Grim. Or is there somewhere where you will actually draw a line, or do we have to wait until there is blood in the streets like on 9/11?

Will I let Ayers speak? As opposed to what, precisely? He's a citizen of the United States and -- however badly the government handled his trial -- he is a free one.

These universities that hire him know who he is, and what they're getting. They have freedom of association rights too. I have no standing to stop him, and no power to do so. I can register an objection ("I think that's a terrible idea"), and that's the limit of what I can do.

The City Journal piece is a fine example of registering an objection. Beyond that, we have no authority -- not we the people, and not the government. We have chosen, carefully and consistently for more than two hundred years, not to give ourselves that authority. There are very good reasons for that decision, and its continual endorsement by generations of Americans.

Is there somewhere that I should draw a line as to what I'll allow him to say? How would I enforce such a line if I drew it?

If you want to do anything beyond that, you'll need to spell out precisely what.

Posted by: Grim at August 28, 2008 05:56 PM

Is there somewhere that I should draw a line as to what I'll allow him to say? How would I enforce such a line if I drew it?

You should draw a line at the organizations that he will support via money. That is a form of speech, but it is not a form of speech in which it is he that is speaking or utilizing.

As for enforcement, how does anyone enforce anti-terrorism laws designed to freeze accounts that they want to be freezed?

Beyond that, we have no authority -- not we the people, and not the government.

The US has no private or secular authority to prevent the indoctrination of their own children into being the weapons of tomorrow's revolutionary war? That is indeed a suicide pact and the very reason why democracies don't last long without over arching protections.

If you want to do anything beyond that, you'll need to spell out precisely what.

You need to provide a space from which people are given an equal chance. Ayers and Soros does not wish to create such a space, for their ideas will fail and they know it. So they cheat, by whatever means are necessary. But you see that as lawful and right and requiring nothing more in terms of counter-action, whether from ethical obligation or legal obligation. I see things differently.

You know of all the kinetic, non-kinetic, verbal, non-verbal, actions that a counter-insurgency can conduct to weaken the grip of an insurgency on a local targeted population. Take your pick out of the box, Grim.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 28, 2008 11:30 PM

That is indeed a suicide pact and the very reason why democracies don't last long without over arching protections.

You'll find that the United States has endured longer under its Constitution than other modern states -- of any type.

You know of all the kinetic, non-kinetic, verbal, non-verbal, actions that a counter-insurgency can conduct to weaken the grip of an insurgency on a local targeted population. Take your pick out of the box, Grim.

My preference, if I get to choose, is to treat them as disreputable cowards unworthy of standing as 'insurgents.' Ayers has been teaching for -- decades? How many insurgents has he produced, versus how many former students who think he's a kook? Or Dohrn, at NWU? Yeah, she's there; yeah, she speaks. No, nobody's blown anything up for them since nineteen seventy-something.

They used to say, "Breeding will tell." I don't know about that; but idiocy will tell, sure as dawn.

Posted by: Grim at August 28, 2008 11:34 PM

No, nobody's blown anything up for them since nineteen seventy-something.

So you believe their strategy is not a threat, then? That new generation of Americans will not fall, primarily, for such manipulations?

You'll find that the United States has endured longer under its Constitution than other modern states -- of any type.

Of course it is has, which is why this is the grandest prize of all.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 28, 2008 11:37 PM

They used to say, "Breeding will tell." I don't know about that; but idiocy will tell, sure as dawn.

I would find that convincing, if not for the fact that Saudi Arabia and the entire MIddle Eastern world has such impact on us because of their... money and ideology. And that is what is being produced in Leftist movements, whether Soros funded or not, money and ideology.

Enough money and enough ideology and you got something worthwhile going.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 28, 2008 11:38 PM

Saudi money has had a huge effect, but in strange places. The 9/11 plotters drew from graduate-educated Muslims in Europe, who were convinced to strike at America to avenge affronts recieved in Europe instead. Is that Saudi money, or European anti-Americanism, or a situation where the two things harmonized? The latter, I would say.

Yet since 9/11, we haven't seen a lot of grad students turning to terrorism. The draw in Iraq, which has been the central front in the prestige war between America and the Islamists, has drawn a small but important foreign contingent -- the majority of the suicide bombers, but the clear minority of fighters. These are not people of the same class as the 9/11 plotters, or even Zacarias Moussaoui (right class, but an inferior brain).

There is a lot at work, but ultimately, I think 9/11 showed that suicide bombing on a grand scale can't break the West. It only provoked Afghanistan and Iraq. Al Qaeda is not enjoying a happy time in its worldwide propaganda. Even the Taliban aren't invoking bin Laden.

Idiocy will tell.

Posted by: Grim at August 28, 2008 11:52 PM

The fact that these things required time, even when they weren't being actively sabotaged, suggests that your mention of Ayers' lack of progress is not a deal breaker here.

The conditions must be right for revolution and the seizing of power. Any premature action can lead to setbacks, such as the arrest of Hitler or the arrest of the Khomeini. However, release these people and give them a second career, and you'll see interesting times.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 29, 2008 02:41 PM

Idiocy will tell.

Do you think it wise to underestimate the opposition, even if they are not de jure enemies? Or are you saying that reality or the fundamental laws of God will decide who is just and who is not just?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 29, 2008 02:43 PM

What I'm telling you is that 'creating conditions' for insurgency is what comes of treating citizens as enemies of the state.

Posted by: Grim at August 29, 2008 02:51 PM

So Ayers was radicalized because the US had treated him as an enemy of the state? Khomeini had acted to overthrow the Shah of Iran because he was treated as an enemy of the state and executed rather than released from jail?

Your generality doesn't apply to the specifics in this case, Grim. Of what use are broad brushes when they are too broad for the issues and goals at hand?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 29, 2008 05:03 PM

Yes, it does, because it explains why his students over the decades don't also turn into terrorists. Because they can plainly see that his conspiracy theories are fantasies, they don't resonate. There will always be a few madmen, or radicals; but this way, they are toothless because everyone can see that they're fools.

If you start cracking down, you start giving resonance to his theories. The harder you crack down on dissenters, the more resonance you get. You may create a political movement out of what was a lone idiot; if you crack down harder, you can break that movement but will drive the most radicalized underground. That's how you get a real insurgency instead of a crackpot professor who expends his energy preaching on the evils of America.

Posted by: Grim at August 29, 2008 05:07 PM

The harder you crack down on dissenters, the more resonance you get.

However, paint them as vainglorious, bumbling foolhards and their movement withers and dies for lack of recruits.

Would-be Weathermen weren't put off by the prospect of being caught by the FBI, they were put off by the fact that Ayers and Dohrn's buddies kept blowing themselves up because they were incompetents...

Posted by: BillT at August 29, 2008 05:43 PM

If you start cracking down, you start giving resonance to his theories.

Are lawful means of stripping his popularity and economic support away, truly 'cracking down' as you mean it?

they were put off by the fact that Ayers and Dohrn's buddies kept blowing themselves up because they were incompetents...

I would have thought that this would have been a positive point to most would be martyrs.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 30, 2008 04:49 PM

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