I Left “Lincoln” Angry and Ashamed

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In February, 2008 the wife of then Presidential candidate Barack Obama said “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.” Michelle Obama caught holy hell from conservatives for what seemed like an unpatriotic comment. She was wrong to say it but not for the reasons conservatives groan about. She was wrong to say it because, particularly when it comes to race relations, this country has NOTHING to be proud of.

Let me explain. Last week I went to see the Steven Spielberg masterpiece “Lincoln”, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones. Day-Lewis played Abraham Lincoln in the manner we are accustomed to seeing, the practical, folksy, clever politician. Unlike the Fonda or Massey version, this Lincoln displayed an honest insecurity about blacks. Talking to his wife’s black servant, he confesses that he does not know what emancipation will mean for blacks … that he himself does not have any deep relationships with blacks. I found the honesty refreshing. Jones plays Thaddeus Stevens, a Pennsylvania Senator and abolitionist whose views are radical for their time. He wants blacks to not only be free but to vote and be treated as equals in every way. The film makes an interesting commentary on whether the practical man or the ideologue has a better chance at making lasting change. But there was one scene in the film that made me angry and ashamed.

The scene takes place in the Senate chamber where a vote on the 13th amendment to the Constitution, ending slavery, is taking place. Seated in the upper balcony are a contingent of free blacks observing the vote. When the amendment passes, they leap to their feet in enthusiasm, many shedding a tear. As I watched the scene, my mind fast-forwarded to a November night in 2008  at Grant Park in Chicago where thousands of people were gathered to watch newly elected Barack Obama deliver his victory speech.  When Obama amassed enough electoral votes to win him the Presidency, the crowd went wild. Particularly notable were blacks in the crowd crying. Hell, I sat at home watching the TV and crying like a baby. I thought about my 80 year old black father whom I’m sure never thought he would see a black man become President. I thought about my four year old black daughter who would never find a black President the least bit unusual. I was 47 at the time and I didn’t think I would ever see a black President in my lifetime.

However “Lincoln” slapped me in the face and made me ask why the hell not?

Why are we  “proud” and self-satisfied that it took 143 years after the 13th amendment for a black man to become President? What is it about dark skin that made this event impossible for over a century? And when we finally pulled the lever, it was for a bi-racial black man with an exotic heritage — hell there were some blacks who complained “he ain’t REALLY black”. While I find that a stretch, I do believe that we would NEVER have elected a black man from American slave heritage. NEVER! Barack’s white mother and his youth overseas got him past the marginal bigots. (The hardcore bigots still go by the one-drop rule.) But there we were, crying with joy over our country taking 143 years to elect a black man with enough “mitigating circumstances” to make him acceptable.

I’m sorry folks, “Lincoln” made me angry and ashamed of this country. Now we excuse bigotry by citing the disproportionate amount of crime committed by blacks but there was a time when blacks were hated and denigrated solely for the color of their skin, the features of their face and the texture of their hair. Present day conservatives will be quick to blame the destruction of the black family on liberal policies. Implicit in this criticism is the acceptance that there was a time when blacks did not represent rampant drug abuse, crime and abandoned children. But they were hated just the same. If not hated, then discounted.

I can’t blame Americans entirely. Discrimination based on trivial differences is a human condition. It’s American hubris that bothers me. You don’t see Germans boasting about how they don’t gas Jews anymore, do you? I get angry when we pat ourselves on the back for progress that has been so slow in coming, progress that should never have needed to be made had we been a more decent tribe of people in the first place. It is true that Lincoln’s practicality was better in the long run than Senator Stevens’ ideology but Stevens would have vomited if he had been told that 143 years from the day he voted “Aye” on the 13th amendment we would still be wrestling with America’s original sin.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Photo by D. Van Nostrand [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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199 thoughts on “I Left “Lincoln” Angry and Ashamed

  1. Rutherford, I don’t feel any of the emotions you feel or suspect that the rest of us will experience. I was a history major and already know what has just been revealed to you. Remember we need context for judgement. The Civil War era can only be judged relative to its time, not our modern era. The United States was actually relatively enlightened compared to much of the rest of the world.

    Here is just one example of what is happening today.

    Please Google TED xGateway:Sofia Jannok:Singer of the people of wind & Sun talks about rights to earth and freedom. or maybe Sofia Jannok talks about her new foundation will get it for you too..

    Marie Boine about the ban of joik tells more.

    SomBy:the winner of Liet International 2009.

    About how the Sami are still treated.

    “What comes around goes around, but I’m not getting any farther.
    You’ve locked me in a prison. Spring comes, the sun shines and the birds sing. My world is shrinking like the melting snow. I don’t hate you today, maybe tomorrow.”

    Scandinavians chided us for our treatment of blacks during the 1960’s and they still congratulate themselves for their tolerance and liberality. They praise themselves while it is still acceptable for them to call Sofia Jannok a mongoloid mongol. Some are still practicing genteel genocide.

  2. Geez James, maybe we can all chip in and get you 40 acres and a mule. Will that make it right that your “Sami” ancestors were moved from their homeland, raped by their masters and had their children sold down the river?

  3. You miss the point, newt.

    Rutherford wrote that “I get so angry when we pat our backs for progress that is slow in coming, progress that should never have been needed had we been a more decent tribe of people in the first place” Rutherford is entitled to his opinion, and I understand why he feels as he does, but his emotions are based on lack of information. That was my point.

    Rather than write a short book, I used Sami as an example he could research for better understanding.

    I am more familiar with the Sami and that they also discriminate against each other, but I could as easily have written about the Lithuanians’ treatment of native Poles or Russia’s virtual extermination of the Veps. Even the Germans still have neo nazis.

    We haven’t even began to deal with Asians or Africans.

    None of us is a “more decent tribe of people” We are the same people, regardless of our physical traits. You yourself wrote that races don’t really exist.

    . Thus a “more decent” tribe lives only in our imaginations. We can’t even get along with members of our own races let alone others. That we have done as well as we have though with more to do is worth celebrating.

  4. James,

    Please accept my apology.
    Our posts overlapped and I didn’t see you reply to Newt.
    As a first generation Texan, my family has been entrenched in the deep South for over 200 years.
    We are descended from Mayflower immigrants, former slaves and Native Americans.
    If you really want to understand generational poverty, I suggest you read the “Slave Narratives”, available on the LOC website.
    We were making progress until Jim Crow.
    Do any of you North Easterners really think 400 years of slavery could have been overcome in one hundred fifty years?

    P.S. Rutherford, you run a real clean blog. Thanks.

  5. James, I don’t think Rutherford needs a lecture or an example on discrimination. I see you working very hard to bond with Rutherford, who do you think Rutherford is anyway? Is he Samuel L. Jackson playing a angry black man? I don’t think so. I think he is a man and on that basis, I do believe it is possible for the two of you to have enough common experiences to befriend each other. When I speak of the horrors of slavery to my black husband, he tells me, he has no way of knowing how bad his ancestors were treated and that he prefers to think they were owned by descent people. He is probably being naive, but that is how he prefers to think about it. He has moved on. Which is probably why he, a black man, and I, a white woman, have such a normal relationship with each other.

  6. Do any of you North Easterners really think 400 years of slavery could have been overcome in one hundred fifty years?

    Doublenaught (DN to save my future typing), welcome to the blog and thanks for the comments. I’ve been making this point about the incredible damage of slavery that CANNOT be overestimated for years now. The great conservative meme is “get over it”. No one wants to acknowledge the pervasive damage done by centuries of being owned by other human beings.

    Again, glad to have you on board!

  7. I’ve been making this point about the incredible damage of slavery that CANNOT be overestimated for years now. The great conservative meme is “get over it”.

    Which I’ll be happy to consider dropping when you admit that the “fixes” that have been employed since the 1960s have done their own sets of harm to society. Whether it is setasides a a Bakke, or affirmative action, or is nebulous and retarded cousin, Diversity, the “solutions” do more to harm than they do to advance. Either multiple standards based on skin color, or worse, no standards at all, and the soft bigotry of low expectations, which keep the “oppressed” in a ghetto of their own making, largely because excuses are proffered more than success.

    I know those truths won’t sit well with the designated grevance hustlers at your beloved MSNBC, but it doesn’t change them, no matter how much Toure continues to fraud tens of people into thinking he’s a deep thinker, or how much Al Notsosharpton resists we blueberries.

  8. “None of us is a “more decent tribe of people” We are the same people, regardless of our physical traits. You yourself wrote that races don’t really exist.”

    I disagree. Our “culture” is what defines us. It sets the initial parameter for our beliefs and values systems. To me, the terms race and culture are synonymous. That said, there are a great many differences, both in fundamental beliefs and values. What one group believes is right or wrong is often not the same as another group. If you were to take 10 moral question to a group of white people and black people, I bet you would get 4-6 of the questions answered differently. That we ARE different, to me is undeniable.
    ——————————

    Post 6 is very illuminating and explains a great deal about Newt both in attitude and tactics. I now get it.
    ——————————

    In my opinion, blacks are still slaves. They were free for a time and making progress, but that has all been taken away from them. This was done in such a way that they are blind to it, even grateful for it.

    Starting from nothing, while many others had a lot, is a disadvantage, one that is hard to overcome. Human nature, to take the path of least resistance, is a powerful tool for former slave owners to take back control over that which was lost. Herd them like cattle into neighborhoods. Give them “just enough” to survive. Give them a second rate education. Eventually you will have a people that are beholden unto you, and you can make them do anything. Give them the right to vote, and you can keep yourself in power indefinitely.

    It was a brilliant idea that, as we can tell by the voting percentages in the last election, worked out EXACTLY as planned. The black community is owned and controlled to the point they will do whatever it is they are told even if it is detrimental to their very existence. The chains that bind the black community is far stronger than any steel we had back then or even today. They are invisible, at least to the uneducated eye. Forged in dependency, they sap all the will from the people that once upon a time would have fought for their freedom. So cleaver was this plan they now fight to stay enslaved.

  9. Sorry about your genes, Rutherford, but things are tough all over. Makes a good story for the sob-sisters with the leaky waterworks (HT to Twain), but unfortunately for the racial ambulance-chasers, history is replete with such stories of slavery, abuse, genocide. None of that matters.

    What matters is whether you are going to live in the past, feeling sorry for yourself, with your hand out for a crust of bread, or you are going to stand on your hind legs, hump-and-get-it and make something of yourself. All else is irrelevancy.

    I don’t owe you a damned thing, Rutherford, because of something that people I didn’t know did to people you didn’t know, just because we share skin colors with them.

    The Jews figured out a long time ago that whining about past atrocities got them nothing, so they went out and accomplished things. My people (Scots) were treated like hell, but we figured out that nobody gives a tinker’s damn about it; they are just trying to make a go of it themselves.

    And I personally don’t give a damn about people who seem hell-bent on self-destruction. Every ethnic group in the world has come to the USA, been treated like dogs – or worse – and has put a little gravel in their gut and worked to better themselves. They have ALL been treated poorly, but figured out that whining, being criminals, doing drugs and alcohol, fucking everything that would lie still so as to have boodles of kids and prove you’re “a man” – but not man enough to take care of them – is a dead-end street.

    I’m sorry, man. This is a dead subject. Do what the Jews did; do what the Italians did in West Virginia; do what I did: by God, WORK! The rest of us are tired of supporting you, and we’re damned sure tired of the whining. We’re done.

  10. I agree, noah, our different cultures behave better or worse than others, but underneath it all, we are the same and as capable of the same deeds as the worst of us.

    I don’t go so far as to say blacks are still slaves, but they are victims of a Democratic ideology which imprisons them. Rabbit mentioned the vibrant black culture of the 1920’s and 1930.s and earlier when racism was more pronounced than it is now. Few people were willing to “help” blacks, so they built their own infrastructure in spite of the lynchings and race riots. Other groups did too.

  11. Thanks doublenaught. I want to read Slave Narratives. Please keep writing here.

    Newt, I like Rutherford, and I know enough to understand why he is angry, but he needs more information.I listed Sami links because seeing is believing. As you know I suffered my own form of overt discrimination, and it taught me a few things. Anger is fine if it motivates one to fight the system and succeed in spite of the obsticals. Otherwise anger and resentment are pernicious. Forgiveness is not only Biblical, it is good for one’s health.

    Rutherford, not you expressed anger, and my comments were directed at him, not you. You may think Rutherford doesn’t need to be educated, and you might be right.. No disrespect intended, but in this your opinion don’t mean squat. Mine is the only one which matters to me.

    My father’s family lived in North Carolina from 1900 to 1911. Several former slaves worked for them. The community thought it was odd that his family let black guests come in through the front door. Blacks and whites were friendly with each other, but each had a “place” my father’s family did not recognize.

    The former slaves told my aunt stories. On the whole they were treated well. One former slave ran the household’s finances and had virtual freedom.. She told about the whipping man. The over seeer, sometimes a black slave, recorded the various misdeeds slaves committed. Mostly, they were teenaged boys being teenaged boys.

    Each month a whipping man visited. His job was to punish wrong behavior and reinforce the benefits of working within the system. Each miscreant was tied to a pole and whipped as many or as few times as was appropriate. it might be only one whip across the back or the unfortunate was beaten almost into unconsciousness.The former slaves told of other owners who mistreated or abused their slaves. Blacks also owned slaves. Sometimes it was for economic reasons. On other occasions, they bought slaves to save them from an awful life.

    For our family’s employees, it was not so much the mistreatment which bothered them. They were mostly well- treated and liked. It was the loss of dignity and pride which came with being owned and their inability to chose their own destinies.

    Self loathing is another thing blacks and Samis have in common. They have internalized the perceptions of their oppressors. Blacks with fairer skin, and Samis have both assimilated and passed as members of the majority oppressive culture. It happened in my own family. They declared themselves to be Swedes. That is a true legacy of slavery and oppression.

  12. Rutherford –

    Thank you for this post and I AGREE. It IS frustrating and I AM ANGRY that it has taken so long. There is no excuse and bigotry be damned but here are the two points you did not make which I also find to be essential. There has STILL not been a female President of any color. More than half the population is female and the yet the glass ceiling remains firmly in place. I even consider the astonishingly low numbers of women in the Senate and House to be an insult. There is no excuse.

    Beyond that, however, here’s the one I really can’t forgive. When I look at how the Baptist church and people of color in general rolled out against the LGBT community in the battle over Prop. 8 in California (or in similar fights around the country) I am infuriated beyond words. Of all peoples, of all communities, those who have, themselves, suffered under the oppression of discrimination and bigotry should be at the forefront in defending the rights of ALL PEOPLE to enjoy all the rights of civil society equally. Equality is a civil right. It is a human right.

    When I saw Lincoln, I’ll admit, I didn’t think about how mad I was about the bigotry that continues to be coded into all manner of political messages to this very day (though I did note it), I was mad because bigotry is being exercised overtly against the GLBT community and the black community is encouraging it. Shame. Shame on all, of all colors and creeds, who still can not grasp the fact that “CIVIL RIGHTS” MEANS THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF ALL. All of us. Period.

    All these many years after Lincoln, how can that still be a question for any of us?

    Thump!

  13. Some of you have very broad assumptions about blacks, black culture, and “black community.” As a white person somewhat more intimately involved with blacks, I think you are mistaking economic inequality for traditions and beliefs. It is a fact, that babies born to single teenaged mothers are born disadvantaged and that is true regardless of their skin color. Parents with drug habits, another big disadvantage. In both of these scenarios the risk is almost insurmountable that their offspring will fall into the same traps. This is unfortunate, but this is not the “black community,” in my opinion. The “black community” has always worked hard to better their lot and to increase opportunities for their children. It isn’t reasonable to classify laid-off blacks (recession) with lay-about blacks and say, same bunch of people.
    Rutherford, no problem, just tell people, you are Swedish. And your anger will quickly dissipate.

  14. Rutherford, my reactions to the movie, “Lincoln,” was quite different then yours. It made me proud of our country and our form of government, that controversial issues can be addressed and can be set right, not everything all at once of course, but eventually.

  15. Newt, that is the advantage my ancestors had over Rutherford. They were whiter than the majority of this society. Once they removed their accents and changed life narratives they moved to the in group.

    The Russian Veps are being assimilated to death because it is easier to declare oneself a Russian than to remain a Vep. A local, formerly black family near us did the same because of their light skin. A few marriages with fair skinned Germans or blokes made them white. The old gossips who used to cluck “did you know?” are all dead.

    Many of us tend to lump people of difference races into one concept as you implied. One can perceive that they are all alike, but they are not.One “black community” Asian or white community does not exist.

    Dysfunctional, whites or any other group don’t define the race any more than high achievers do. Our government policies and attitudes have reinforced if not created a dysfunction among a growing segment of our society. Condemning that trend must not apply to the whole race. The real culprits are the people who created the system of victimhood.

    The anger never dissipates. It will consume you if you let it. Anger is nothing more than a tool to control motivation, to keep oneself awake without pep pills etc..My point still stands. Rutherford’s world has improved, while others still suffer harsh repression.

  16. “Many of us tend to lump people of difference races into one concept as you implied. One can perceive that they are all alike, but they are not.One “black community” Asian or white community does not exist.”

    I disagree again for the same reasons I mentioned before. While to every rule there is an exception, there are pervasive tendencies in cultures. There are many “truths” that can be shown as being dominant traits to cultural groups. In the case of blacks, many of these truths have defined what that culture is today.

  17. I agree with Newt in 15. Her point supports mine.

    Doubleaught, By “Slave Narratives” do you mean the WPA project of the late 1930’s? I am a speed reader, and I read though part of the book on line an hour ago. It confirms what I already know, which is good for me. Please tell me if you are referring to another book.

    John Lomax, one of the project leaders is a man I cited for a report in grad school. Ironically, some organizers of the project discouraged black participation. The oral history remained virtually unread until the early 1970’s.The Black Power Movement and changing theories of historical interpretation made the book available. Everyone here should read the book, but they won’t. I have book marked the book for more reading later.

    The stories are interesting. Two slaves were married, but they had different owners. One slave owner bought the husband so the couple could be together.

    A woman was accused of witchcraft. Other slaves said she could turn herself into a cat. Someone caught the cat and cut off a leg. Another woman lost her finger in an accident and kept her hand hidden for fear her neighbors would think she was the witch.

    Slave lodging was often a few boards converted to a shack.

    Back in grad school, I wrote a paper comparing the psychological effects of slavery, Jewish death camps in Germany, and also basic training. I got an A, so I must have known what I was writing about.

  18. Noah, what are those “truths have defined what that culture is today,” “in the case of blacks?”
    Rutherford, interesting article, comes down to the Facebook expression: “it’s complicated.”

  19. R, hello and pardon my absence. Busy, busy, busy.

    I have not seen Lincoln, not sure I will. My wife is not big on war movies so will probably have to watch it on On Demand. I find Civil War movies almost universally depressing yet oddly compelling.

    Perspective dear R. Slavery was an institution for 250 years in this country. It relied on a separation and demeaning of the black race, putting them in a sub-class of humans. How long does it take to overcome such damage to the social structure? Apparently, 150 years.

    James, I saw this and thought of you. You might check it out.

    http://pacificsearvi.wordpress.com/tag/sami-american/

    Demint is leaving the Senate?

  20. I was trying to say Noah that if for example, if we lump Hispanics together as one people we miss the differences between Mexicans or Salvadorians. People from Equidor or Columbia are also different. Even so, we have some universal cultural traits common to all.

    Another word about anger is if you feel it strongly about long gone people or events you are letting them control you from the grave.

  21. Thor, “Lincoln” is not what I would call a war movie, most of the scenes take place in the White House and in the Congress.

  22. Hi thor, I missed you.

    Thanks for posting that link. I certainly am interested, but the deadline is tomorrow. I will try to contact her, though her main focus is actual Sami people and what they face today. If she hasn’t already seen it she should watch Sofia Jannok’s talk.

    I heard that Demint is leaving the Senate to join the Heritage Foundation. Its president is almost 71 and wants to retire.

  23. thor, I found Krystan’s departmental phone number and left a message about what she might find interesting.

    The site also had this about the Sami experience::”As the prejudice is often difficult for Americans to see, much less understand,it has much to teach us about race.”

  24. “I was trying to say Noah that if for example, if we lump Hispanics together as one people we miss the differences between Mexicans or Salvadorians.”

    I agree but it really doesn’t speak to my point, or maybe distinction is a better word. Part of that is me not being precise enough I suppose. I prefer culture over race because it is more accurate. In my little part of the world we have many Sudanese people. These “black” people are a world apart from “American” black people. So different that for the most part, the two groups despise each other. They consider American black people to be lazy and violent(their words not mine.)

    Per Newts question. Some truths as I perceive them having worked close with low income black kids/families since around 2006.

    Predatory
    Low value for human life. By low I mean lower than mine.
    Opportunistic without concern for law or morality.
    Driven by appearance and money.

    I have had a group of kids confide in me several times jumping an individual and robbing them. In each case, it was the person getting robbed and beaten who was at fault. It was his fault for carrying cash. It was his fault for being alone in the wrong part of town. One time this group of kids, 5 in number, berated one of the kids for refusing to help them rob a homeless guy. It was an obvious and each way to get some money, and in their eyes, he was a fool for letting an opportunity pass him by.

    What I do with these kids, or did, was to have conversations where I present them moral dilemmas based on what they did. I never judge their answers but just kept asking questions. I put someone’s mother or sister or grandma in the place of the person they assaulted and ask them if they would make the same choice. In all but one case in 6 years time, none of them would change what they did.

    It is not so much that these kids are evil. Clearly their choices have no place in a civilized society. It is their culture. From a young age they realize that they want more. They are taught that no one is going to give them the glamorous life they see on TV. Unfortunately they are also taught that “how” they get there is of little importance, only that they get there. You do, whatever you have to do.

    Most of these kids believe it is not a matter of “if” they are going to go to jail, but rather “when” they will end up in jail. Doing time is a badge of honor and a right of passage. It is part of their culture.

  25. Noah, you are not working with black kids, you are working with disturbed youths with a criminal mentality, who just happen to be black. It is not their culture, it is their upbringing. Actually I thinking they have been separate from their culture. It is a darn shame, but when parents and/or other family members are absent, physically or because of drugs, kids are lost before they even start school. My stepchildren realized at a very early age that they had to respect their elders, get good grades, graduate from college, etc. They have raised their children the same way.

  26. I am a vender for 3 public schools. I have over 2000 children on file, all of which I have spoken with on numerous occasions. In my part of the world, this is a reality.

  27. Rutherford, let your daughter read this blog entry. I want her to pick up the angry and ashamed angle from her Harvard grad Daddy.

    Maybe an angry and resentful attitude will turn to a self defeatist attitude and eventually cause her to limit her opportunity. This is good because maybe it will leave a quality job available for my son, who will never get the special treatment due to his pinkish white skin in the first place.

    So, please….spread the word.

  28. Yes, it is an interesting article, Rutherford. I agree with it as far as the writer went, but basically the Civil War was over power. Two competing economic and social systems battled for supremacy, and at first they were fairly evenly matched. After settlement reached the Great Plains, the South faced a wall.

    The Plantation society which required slavery could advance no further because the climate was too dry to support the foundation of Southern society. The North through adaptation could spread to the west coast.

    Slavery was not the central issue of the Civil War. Lincoln later introduced it as a war measure. At one point, Lincoln toyed with sending black people back to Africa to establish their own home land free of discrimination here. Many former Americans live in Liberia.

    I understand your point, noah, but I agree with Newt in 27. Our daughter is a therapist who treats mostly young people as an alternative to detention. Three of her clients have been murdered. One of them burned down a therapy center. Most of them are black because North Omaha has a sick culture, but many are also white. Some are children of the rich in West Omaha.

  29. Noah, this is real simple, I do not believe you! I guess I am not surprised, since you have lied about a lot of things.

  30. By improving the lives of his workers, ol’ Henry [Ford] improved his own company’s competitive position and made it more profitable in the process. A century later and our supposed Captains of Industry don’t seem to understand this concept at all. For every forward-thinking employer like Starbucks, there are ten more who think nothing of shitting where they eat in the course of their ongoing negligence for the American workforce.

    This is a great friggin article which echoes much of what I’ve been saying the past few years. Our economic problems go beyond Obama or any Democratic policy. There is a disease within corporate America for short term profits at the expense of the worker, with long term catastrophic results.

  31. You believing me is really of no difference to me. If I thought for a moment you were a person of character I would disclose my organizations name and let you see if for yourself. As it stands I am closing it down at the end of the month. IF the NFP I joined with decides to take over, then that is how it remains. If they have not decided by the 10th of next month then I will be happy to post my website. its paid for till June anyway.

  32. Rutherford, I explained to my wife, who works her ass off on some shitty lap top so that we can send our boy to school that she should just be happy we can afford it and not be concerned that others get to sit on their ass and get special early schooling as an entitlement. She told me you can suck her dick. A response I actually thought was funny and fitting. I assure you she was being metaphorical.

  33. James, I didn’t view comment #1 as a lecture even though Newt took it that way. As I wrote to a friend on Facebook this morning, I think I should have been much more explicit about America’s self-congratulatory nature pissing me off more than its history of discrimination. Humans hating other humans for stupid reasons is well … human. It’s a built in character flaw. What bothers me is how we (Americans) think 143 years to accept a black man as President is something to crow about. It’s pathetic and disgusting.

    I’ve talked about this before but I’ll go there again. If you visit death camps in Germany today, they are on display as a testament to man’s inhumanity to man. Germans are humbled by their past, deeply ashamed of it and willing to grieve about it alongside the progeny of former victims and survivors. In the meantime, the South f*cking celebrates the Confederacy, talks with righteous indignation about the “Northern War of Aggression” and makes plantations (the equivalent of labor camps for the Negro) a goddam tourist attraction to celebrate Southern “culture”. There’s no regret. There’s no remorse. The states begrudgingly rejoined the union and then did all they could to keep blacks down in the following years.

    Now these same states are talking about secession today. These same states that suck the Fed teat so hard there’s hardly any milk left but they have the balls to complain about government overreach.

    PLEASE let them secede and fall into instant third world status while the states that remain, grow economically stronger now rid of their burden.

  34. When I speak of the horrors of slavery to my black husband, he tells me, he has no way of knowing how bad his ancestors were treated and that he prefers to think they were owned by descent people.

    Newt, I read that with great fascination. Your husband could be right. If we get past the disgusting notion of one man owning another, surely there were slave owners who viewed their “property” as “human” and accommodated somewhat for their comfort and welfare. I think, if your husband knows for sure that he is descended from American slaves, that his attitude is probably the best for his mental health.

  35. Rutherford, I agree our economic problems’ origins reach farther back than our time. Maybe our basically egalitarian economy is uhsustainable over time.I don’t know. I do know our son works for a company which still values its employees.Our daughter does too after a major shakeup.

    Thanks again for telling me about the Bill Moyers interview of Karl Marlantes about combat. I agree with him that there is a genetic component in our fighting.One will win and one will lose.

    I do feel sad about the man and his daughter who were creamated
    . in a wrecked truck as they begged to be shot.

    I also read some of the comments. They are the “same” people who met us when we came home.

    If you are still angry, you really should look at those links I listed.

  36. “PLEASE let them secede and fall into instant third world status while the states that remain, grow economically stronger now rid of their burden.”

    Yes please, because 9 of the top 10 states are Republican run. I am sure California will lead the way in the Liberal United States. I think you are mistaken which side will gain almost instant 3rd world status.

  37. Thanks, Rutherford for understanding I wasn’t lecturing you. I agree with much of what you wrote, but there is a difference. Germany was utterly defeated. I spoke to some of the survivors and a veteran. The allies rubbed their noses in it and forced civilians to tour the death camps. I have seen films. It was trauma for them.

    Many suspected or knew what was happening in those camps, but they chose not to believe it could be so bad. We were also friends with a Polish woman who survived while over 20 of her family died. The Germans forced to acknowledge a horrible event were psychologically broken because they could not escape their complicity.

    The Civil War was different. Most southerners believed their system, if not sanctioned by the Bible was not evil. As I wrote earlier, many slave owners treated their people well because they represented a large investment. Its crass, but you understand why a farmer takes such good of his/her livestock. Many felt they were being paternalistic as they cared for people who could not cope on their own. That, to me, is one of the worst facites if siavery.

    Others cruely mistreated their slaves. They raped women and broke up families. Even they believed they were part of the natural order. The North invaded and destroyed a way of life as they killed the flower of Southern youth. Northern carpetbaggers virtually wrecked the South. Even in 1900 when my grand parents settled in North Carolina for ten years it took a long time for the neighbors to accept the northerners.

    Do you see the distinction? It is as different as “God forgive us for what we let happen.” to “Save your Confederate money honey. The South’s gonna rise again.”

    If you really wanted to feel anger, you should direct some in favor of Ukrainians. Khruschev was once called the Butcher of the Ukraine. No one knows the exact number, but the Soviets may have killed or starved as many as 20 million Ukrainians. There was a scandal late in the Soviet era, but I don’t believe recriminations reached even level of confederate sympathisers.

  38. Our son and daughter in law wouldn’t mind watching California set adrift in the Pacific if our son’s company sent him out of state.

  39. Many of the people from Europe who came to this country in the 1700/1800’s were people who were willing to leave everything behind to get on a ship and cross an ocean for a new life. They were the more independent, adventureous, assertive, risk takers, desperate, running away, greedy, wanted to own land or start a business than the family they left behind. Each nationality faced a certain amount of descrimination but were willing to work for this new life. They found a place for themselves and they passed on the attitude to suceed down through generations. The Irish – Irish Need Not Apply – became cops, fireman or farmers. Italians were brick layers or stonemasons for instance. But they DID NOT stand out in a crowd.

    I met a young black woman years ago. We talked about family history. At that time I knew very, very little of mine. She did know her grand, great grand and great great grandparents. But she didn’t know where in Africa or what tribe(s) she descended from. At the time I didn’t think it was important until I got into researching my own.

  40. My husband’s family could have been freed blacks for all he knows. His grandparents died young and his mother never spoke of the past, she concentrated on the present and on the future. So that side of the family is a dead end. Anyone besides me watch some of those genealogy shows on television? Several of the participants on the show were surprised their ancestor was a freeman. My husband enjoys these shows, I asked if he would like to trace his ancestry, we have the time and the means, but he says he is not interested in his own ancestry.
    We attended a family reunion a few years ago for his father’s family, they had a portrait of the progenitor of the family. He was born a slave and it was quite obvious his father was white. He had aquiline nose and was quite fair. By implication, I conclude the conditions of his paternal great, great grandmother’s enslavement were not benign. I do believe my husband doesn’t want to deal with any feelings that certain knowledge would encourage.

  41. This notion of Rutherford’s that ones mental health rides on the experiences of one’s ancestors is insane.

    Then I guess that makes the Israel/Palestine conflict pretty damn nutty huh? That sh*t dates back a long time and is beyond a simple territory squabble … it’s a grudge match.

    But besides that, you miss my point. Newt’s husband has a choice to make. He can either be pissed about what was done to his distant relatives or find some way to reconcile it. He chose the latter, which I think is good for his mental health.

    And come to think of it old Rabbit … you’re full of rabbit turds. If I had a buck for every time you talked about your grandpappy fighting off the aggressive blacks who wanted to burn down his establishment I’d be a millionaire. So obviously, old family stories have an effect on your outlook. Don’t they? We are all, to some degree, the product of the experiences of our ancestors.

  42. My dad was punched in the nose as a kid. Somehow I got over it and didn’t let it ruin my life. Somehow I think my kids will get passed what happened to their grand father as well.

  43. We tend to accept things ‘as is’, if that is what we grow up knowing. That goes for slavery and war, among other practices and ritual. Face it, people are all messed up.

    The human race has been bent since records have been kept. Inherently territorial and often savage. We have to be kept in line, it seems, that’s why we have volumes of rules and legal precedent. Police and armies are hired to keep us regulated.

    The other animals in the world can maintain a balanced ecosystem, but we mostly change the equation. Over the past century we’ve had far-reaching influence.

    Industry and technology require sacrifice, often annihilation of some organic life in one form or another for the profit of men. Often the purity of water, air, or soil are at odds with progress. This, even knowing mankind cannot survive without them. And there’s the whole splitting of the atom thingy…

    Aside from the factories and goods of economy, the facilitators of empire keep arming the MIC. Much of our technology is used for ‘defense’ purpose.

    Beyond global, we can MANipulate™ our atmosphere and others in our solar system. Most of this ability and knowledge has been kept under wraps. Everything today is a matter of national security and therefore secretive. These ‘powers’ are not necessarily used for the good of all mankind. There is a certain membership requirement.

    We need guidance. We look to man’s institutions again in this continual loop we trend in. All have turned for profit. Capitalism has progressed into all our life’s actions and its fingertip marketing has slayed us.

    What’re we gonna do, George?

  44. I like Lurker’s comments. it is possible such immigrants dominated our and several other countries with predelictions for risk taking and initiative either through genetic predisposition or culture.

    I like the geneology shows too. Tracing our past helps us understand our selves. Any one of us could be a composite of some one who lived a hundred or more years ago. We can also discover which diseases and conditions a family line is susceptable to.

    Pioolman, we are who we are, and religions helps smooth the edges whether or not God exists. We could genetically engineer our selves into different people, but it would be more dangerous than the status quo. its been tried with nasty results.

  45. I like the Wonderful Life clip. Many of us have been where George was. However, one of the funniest Saturday Night Live skits follows. “Let’s get Mr. Potter.”

  46. good morning, all. A quick visit to say hello, and I see that there is an interesting discussion going on.

    Rutherford: thank you for a thought-provoking post. I participated in a mission to the Holy Land a few years ago, and one thing that becomes clear is how much the experiences of our ancestors do, in fact, form us. For example, if one is a Jew and one’s grandparents were victims of a pogrom or the Holocaust, one may well (and understandably) have a “that could have been me” view of life. Or bitterness if one’s ancestors were academics or professionals who were killed in China or Cambodia or a similar place.

    For Noah to equate such horrors, or the horror of slavery, with some kid being punched in the nose emphasizes how lacking in anything of merit he is. This, from someone who bragged about vandalizing cars or harassing people at gas stations. And who, on this thread, actually says he’d like to execute people who disagree with him (and goes out of his way to say he isn’t kidding).

    With the exception of Noah, who deserves (and doubtless lives with) scorn, I wish all a blessed holiday season.

  47. dead rabbit and noah wrote that hardship doesn’t necessarily have to lead to dependency and bitterness the way a portion of blacks, and whites have done. I’m repeating my point which agrees with theirs with an overused illistration.

    There is another way. (time to roll your eyes .)–the Sami. They are as bad as when Michael Jackson sang “I’m Bad.”Sami’s and Finns are the only people to defeat the Soviet Army until Afghanistan when Soviets’ enemy had help from us. They killed 27,000 soldiers while 2,700 of them died.

    In the early 1980’s, Norweigan Samis conducted a Watts style protest which occupied a quarter of the Norweigan police force. Unlike blacks, they did not burn down their own communities. They went to the equivalent of Beverly Hills and the gates of the White House. Their lawyers brought suit, and articulate members of the community dominated television news shows with their side of the story.

    Mari Boine, who I suggested you hear, said the news gave her information and ” it was like a volcano of anger and rage, because I then realized what had been done to my people.” She did not let her rage consume her as so many in America do. She dropped out of teachers college and used her talent to become a popular singer-song writer to publicize the Sami cause.

  48. “For Noah to equate such horrors, or the horror of slavery, with some kid being punched in the nose emphasizes how lacking in anything of merit he is.”

    Always taking the easy way out Emily. Post 9 made my point as well and easy as I can make it, sorry for you if you are not able to grasp it. IMO, as bad as blacks had it, Jews had it far worse, yet somehow they bounced back. I don’t hear them leaning on the crutch of blaming their past for current woes, woes that most of them never had to endure personally. The punch in the nose was an analogy you obviously, purposefully, failed to grasp.

  49. Emily, I’m glad you come back now and then to visit. One consequence of the election is that this place has become more hospitable so I hope you’ll come by more often.

    Of course, your comments are right on the money. We are a product of our heritage. I have first hand knowledge of couples in 20th century America whose marriages got off to rocky starts because of the prejudices of their respective families … prejudices formed and hardened over centuries. For Rabbit or anyone else to discount this is total nonsense.

    I’m still waiting for Rabbit to tell me how what his grandfather went through is irrelevant because it happened two generations ago.

    P.S. Emily, you have a happy holiday too! :-)

  50. Looking for a Liberal Free Zone? Here you go and I’ll even help you pack.
    “If you are a patriotic American who believes in Jefferson’s Rightful Liberty, who believes in the Constitution as written, who believes in the Declaration of Independence, and who wishes to live in a beautiful, secure mountain town that bans Liberals from living among us, consider exploring the Citadel as we evolve and build. If you need to escape your suburban life and the vulnerabilities your family faces, consider the Citadel.”

    http://www.iiicitadel.com/index.html

    The lunatics are actually building their OWN asylum.

  51. I am sorry, your family (s) were less than supportive of your marriage Rutherford. Much to my surprise, my husband and I escape that. Course we were both passed our prime at the time, but the biggest surprise was my 89 year old mother. She told me not to let this guy get away, since she deemed him a responsible adult. That almost made me feel bad, I didn’t tell her my fiancee was black ahead of their first meeting. I was counting on Jim’s natural charm to smooth the waters and it did. Sorry guys, but let’s face it a lot of you come with baggage. A couple of my husband’s distant relatives were quite concerned about us making it. I am not sure if they were weighing in on not trusting me or if their concern was outside forces making our life together unbearable. Anyway hasn’t happened. My grandchildren call Jim, grandpa and the same with his grandchildren, I am grandma to them. And the kids and grandchildren from our previous marriages like each other.

  52. “I get angry when we pat ourselves on the back for progress that has been so slow in coming”……”No one wants to acknowledge the pervasive damage done by centuries of being owned by other human beings.”

    Rutherford, with regard to your two statements above I really can’t comment as I have no current experience with blacks who feel that way. At one time I knew black youths and now know a few of my generation. What direction blacks today have taken can only be surmised by what I read. Bitterness in any race can exist by dwelling on the past. Native Americans have their own cross to bear as do the Jews. Does it make any difference to their bitterness as to whether or not they were slaves or victims?

    If one wants to, we can lay the blame on the wrath we have wrought throughout civilization in the name of religion for our lack of progress or pervasive damage.

  53. The lunatics are actually building their OWN asylum.

    LOL classic. Like any liberal would WANT to live with them. Too much.

    Well now at least we know where Tex went. ;-)

  54. I am sorry, your family (s) were less than supportive of your marriage Rutherford.

    Whooooooooaaaaa!!! You took a logical leap there Newt … understandable because I said “first hand knowledge” but no .. it was not my parents. In fact my late mother loved my wife dearly and my Dad thinks she’s the tops.

    Funny small anecdote: Before we got married, my mother told me “If you cheat on her I will tell her to leave you.” In the meantime, my father-in-law was telling my wife “You treat that man right.” :lol: Our parents were busy looking out for the other spouse.

    No, the discord I was referring to occurred elsewhere in my family a long time ago (early 60’s).

  55. If one wants to, we can lay the blame on the wrath we have wrought throughout civilization in the name of religion for our lack of progress or pervasive damage.

    And indeed we should.

    To solve a problem you must first identify it.

    Forget 40 acres and a mule …. how might things have gone if upon reentering the union, every former slave holder in the southern states was prosecuted for kidnapping and false imprisonment. Seems to me losing the war wasn’t enough to convince them they were wrong-headed so maybe a little time in jail might have done the trick?

  56. Oh …. and while the racist scum rotted away in prison, their plantations would be passed on … to their former slaves.

    Now THAT’s the ticket!!! Beats the hell out of 40 acres and a mule. ;-)

  57. There were Irish who came to this country to work for a family as servants. They had to work off their ticket at double or triple the amount or more from a salary which was quite small. If they were sick or injured and needed a doctor their employer paid but again it was to be paid back for more than loaned and they were not paid for the days they were unable to work. They were not allowed to leave or marry in some cases until all debts were paid. For some this amounted to many years and the dream of a new life came too late. Not to mention women and children who were considered the property of their husbands. No, absolutely, not the same as actually being owned but for all practical purposes they had little control over their life and were no freer than a slave.

    As James mentioned not all slave owners mistreated their slaves. They paid good money for one it would be foolish to neglect them. But some did, a woman I met in Virginia spoke of her grandfather being a slave owner. He had two slaves chained down by the river when it flooded. He would not allow them to be unchained so they drowned. She added he also beat his wife and children regularly and almost killed his wife once.

  58. Nah, Rutherford. Think about the former slave holders having to work for the former slaves! ;-) Actually that is what should have happened to the “overseers” who were the scum of the earth but they were replaced by the northern carpetbaggers who were equally scum. Ah, the spoils of war.

  59. Noah: I understand that it was intended to be an analogy–my point was that it was so far from one that it showed your limitations. Simply calling something an analogy doesn’t make it an intelligent statement or one offering anything of insight or merit.

    Actually, I doubt that you deal with many Jews. Otherwise, you would be aware of the very genuine tensions that exist in terms of assimilation vs. preserving heritage, and of what underlies the vast majority of Jews to vote for the Republican party. Ditto what underlies the vast majority of Asian voters to do so. But you can continue with mindless generalizations, because that seems to validate you.

    I do note that anyone who says that, if he were in charge of things, there would be executions of people who disagree with him–and then makes a point of saying it’s not a joke–has serious issues.

  60. Maybe R’s daughter and Rabbit’s son will get married and we can all meet at the wedding. :)

    James, I found that part of the Sami post intriguing as well. Apparently, we Americans are even prejudice about our prejudices.

    Tex left?

  61. I had an interesting conversation in the ladies room after viewing the movie. A lady, my husband and I were visiting with before being allowed into the theatre, was at the sink with me and I asked her, if she enjoyed the movie? She did. She told me, she was a very distant cousin of Robert E. Lee. I remarked that her family had a real stake in the war. Yes she said, her direct ancestor’s plantation was burned to the ground during the war and of course we all know what happened to Robert E. Lee’s plantation. Interesting enough, the number of southern racists I have met in my lifetime, and I have met my share, are all descended from poor southern whites, not the slave holding elites. I think it might have to do with competition for employment. And of course at the bottom of ladder, people still like to think someone is lower than themselves.

  62. Newt in comment 16 I link to an article on five myths about the Civil War and one of them speaks to how the vast majority of southerners were NOT slave holders. They were too damn poor. But vis-a-vis “What’s the Matter with Kansas”, these poor folk identified with the rich slave holders. Massa-wanna-be’s. Pathetic.

  63. Emily, must be that time of the month, you’re on another Noah crusade. I’ll try you again when you have regained your composure. Until then rant on.

  64. Aww, Noah–even for you, that’s puerile. But I do appreciate you continuing to demonstrate that you have nothing of substance or merit to say.

    It’s interesting how limited a person you are. You appear to need to put down other people so as to suggest that you, magnificent Noah who is capable of vandalizing strangers’ cars and harassing gas station owners and patrons, are something more than a not terribly bright or informed loser. Unfortunately, you aren’t at all persuasive.

    I do enjoy how Rutherford simply ignores you. Sad little dog, scratching at the door without any success.

  65. Hi Emily.
    It is intriguing isn’t it thor? I like weddings. Tex is gone, at least for now.

    Our son and daughter- in law kept their wedding a secret for three years because her family opposed Korean-Caucasian intermarriage.
    They didn’t mind the two of them living together, but a wedding was out. Our son won them over by reciting nursery rhymes in Korean.

    While it would have been satisfying to arrest plantation owners and otherwise savage the South, Lincoln knew it was bad long-term political policy. He wanted the nation to heal without the multi- generational grudges so common in Europe and Asia.

    His assination altered the plan, of course.

    My great grand grandfather was part of Sherman’s march to the sea.

    Lurker, I agree. Indentured servants were an important source of labor, and as you wrote many were little better off than slaves.Sweden also brought some white slaves.

    I also agree with newt’s last comments.

    A German once told me the problem with Americans is that we are rootless with few ties to our old cultures.We have little sense of identity. Maybe that isn’t such a bad thing.

  66. Busy packing today for my flight to DC tomorrow morning, actually at this point it is a matter of making notes on last minute things to go in the bags and instructions for the care of the plants and pets. Usually I can manage with one suitcase for a week, but with all my extras for the White House reception, 2 dresses, 3 jackets, and pumps, I will be wrangling 2 suitcases. I hope my daughter is more decisive than I am and tells me which to wear. I might check in with you while I am away, just depends…. But I will definitely fill you in when I get back home.

  67. You know Rutherford. I’d like to read about how ancient the grudge match between Jews and Arabs is. They both fought the Turks in WWI. I don’t buy the conflict is that old.

    As for my Grandpa, that shit went down in 1967 not 1867. But you know what? I carry no grudge.

    You claimed that Newt’s husband is almost lucky he sports rose colored glasses because the thought of cruel owners lording over his great great great grandpa too much to bear. My Great great great grandpa was a slave too. Ever read about serfdom in eastern Europe?

    Now, I get that anger is still with us over Jim Crow. But the slave trade? A business that enriched both blacks and whites? Who should I direct my anger at? West Africans?

  68. Dead Rabbit, maybe you should direct your anger towards the Romans, good possibility if they had not used slave labor, mechanized machinery would have been invented way back then. It is absolutely fruitless to live in the past, particularly when it was not your own past. And for the record, my husband doesn’t wear rose colored glasses, he recognizes many horrible things took place during slavery, but he refuses to go there.

  69. I got that and I agreed with you D R, but you didn’t get my entire point. We can go back in history, however far we wish to place blame, but why bother, we cannot change history.

  70. Rutherford the level to which you are wrong in your thinking is astounding. Did you take any history courses at all whilst at Harvard? Seriously?

    I also want to say to all the pity party folks here,most of you the lefties in residence. You place a false sense of victimhood and downright pussy-ness upon all that have lived through something harder than anything most folks here can imagine. get a fucking grip will ya!

  71. And for the record, I much prefer Rutherford not responding. He has never once had a reasoned response, all blinded by race and emotion. The silent Rutherford is my favorite Rutherford to date.

  72. Did you take any history courses at all whilst at Harvard? Seriously?

    It’s the mark of those who want to avoid the emotion behind this stuff that they get all intellectual and toss out accusations of historical inaccuracy. Point me to one thing I’ve said that is historically inaccurate in this thread. In fact, the link I dropped earlier points to the lies that conservatives tell in their revisionist history, i.e. Civil War was about states rights. Bullsh*t. It was about racists preserving slavery. End of story. And it’s what the current crop of conservatives don’t want taught in schools.

    It reminds me of BiW who counters every “founding father” argument with some bullsh*t about the Federalist Papers. Know what I discovered a couple of days ago? The Fed Papers are like the Bible … they f*cking contradict each other. The minute I heard that, it all clicked into place. BiW and his ilk quoting stuff as gospel that can be interpreted in different ways by different people. But they claim they know the truth behind it. I guess when God isn’t whispering in their ear, the spirit of Thomas Jefferson is.

    Pfffft.

  73. Tex is gone, at least for now. – J

    I hope he comes back in time for the Gonzaga – OSU game.

    “I guess when God isn’t whispering in their ear, the spirit of Thomas Jefferson is.” – R

    Selectively, of course. His Founding Father Demigod-of-Wisdom status seems to get ignored by most conservatives when it comes to estate taxes.

    “One time this group of kids, 5 in number, berated one of the kids for refusing to help them rob a homeless guy.” – Noah

    Why were they robbing homeless people? Doesn’t seem to pass the risk/benefit analysis. ;)

  74. Again, Noah–thank you for the “little twat” response. You affirm your limitations and immaturity. It’s telling that, when opposed, you resort to the most base and sexually demeaning terms possible. All they do is show that your constant claims about logic and reason and the supposed superiority of your views are complete shams. You are a charlatan.

    Oh, I don’t believe that I need to provide dates. Before the election, you posted about sitting in your van and chortling while people in a parking lot were forced to take your flyers about Obama from their windshields. A number of posters here, including the very conservative ones, pointed out how inappropriate your behavior was. Although they may have agreed with your politics, they would not countenance your behavior. I, too, although conservative, viewed that as the sort of vandalism (because that is what it is) that reflects poorly on the conservative movement.

    You then posted about leaving “post-its” on gas station pumps. Again, a stupid and juvenile stunt–and very much harassment.

    Interestingly, although you posted about both of these “activities” as though they were your own, verbatim accounts were all over the internet. So perhaps your current confusion is that you didn’t do the things you bragged about–you were simply (and unsuccessfully) trying to make yourself look clever and lying about what you actually did. I am willing to accept the possibility that the “ha, ha–guess what I did” posts were lies. Of course, that goes counter to your constant claims about your integrity–but what else is new?

    And as for your supposed preference for Rutherford not responding, that, too, shows what a complete child you are. You come to a blog and regularly insult the host and many of the guests, as well as making generalizations about those who disagree with you, but don’t want a response? Fair enough–you are no different from the inner city child who leaves graffiti around. And you certainly are no better.

  75. I trust that the other posters will confirm your prior posts about the flyers on the windshields and the post-its on the gas pumps. The fact that I don’t take the time to search out your comments means nothing other than that I have better things to do on this beautiful weekend.

  76. Newt opined: “Interesting enough, the number of southern racists I have met in my lifetime, and I have met my share, are all descended from poor southern whites, not the slave holding elites.”

    About those Southerners – how did you bring up the subject about whether they were descended from elites or from white-trash? Must have been tricky to work that into the conversation, eh? Good memories, too – let’s see here: a generation is about 20-30 yrs…the War ended in 1865…subtracting from 2012…147 yrs or so…divided by – oh, let’s be generous and call it 30 years/generation…I get your interview-ees being about five generations (AT LEAST) distant from the War…

    So you are telling us that people know generally who their ancestors are from five generations ago? Most, I would say, know who their grandparents were – that’s two. Three more before that? hmmm…I respectfully suggest that you are full of shit.

    And while we’re at it: do tell, what were the Northern racists like?

  77. Thank you, newt. Coming from you, that means a lot. I’ve already written I am proud for you. We look forward to stories of your adventures. Good luck with your luggage.

  78. It’s the mark of those who want to avoid the emotion behind this stuff that they get all intellectual and toss out accusations of historical inaccuracy.
    It’s the mark of those who are lame ass emotion driven idiots that respond like that.
    Your whole take on the election of Barack Obama is inaccurate as it seemingly paints his election as pure affirmative action with an “about time” twist. You’re too blinded by your emotions to see this I imagine but your rant in the post itself makes you sound like one of the bigots you rail against.
    As for other historical and emotion histrionics on your part.
    how might things have gone if upon reentering the union, every former slave holder in the southern states was prosecuted for kidnapping and false imprisonment.
    Well how about no matter what you feel about the laws of the times,that no laws were broken so your 21st century progressive dogma is misplaced at a min.
    ”No one wants to acknowledge the pervasive damage done by centuries of being owned by other human beings.”
    What a weak ass cop-out and historically inaccurate until you get to the 20th century. The racist policies that existed and still exist on many levels of US government and the racist motives of the populace are not the legacy of slavery and slavery is not the cause of the dilemma black America faces today.
    As for the Germany comparison you are flat out wrong. The Germans and the Japanese were forced by the victors to reframe their constitutions and laws to comply with an artificial “new” nature. A perverse attempt rewrite national identity and freedoms into a false and forced DNA. Perhaps given their cultural traits it isn’t surprising they accept censor and repression of free will and speech better than us;however,what you view as an epiphany is really just a way to forget,not a thing of remembrance or respect. I’d put it to you that the Germans don’t care about their past any more than the average Yank or Reb here and in fact are ever more increasingly nationalistic in their core beliefs. this is backed up pretty well by their economic positions and policies.

  79. Rutherford, I have already told you the basic cause of the Civil War. It was not “about racists preserving slavery.” The Civil War was about one thing, power. Economic, political, and cultural power.

    I may have misinterpreted that quote, but this is how it seems to me.

    . Southerners were not as a group saying they must leave the union because Northerners threatened to force them to stop lording it over an “inferior” race.Southerners did not get their kicks keeping blacks around so they could feel superior.

    Slaves, sometimes also Native Americans were nothing more than tools to run an agrarian economy.based on large labor intensive plantations . The society considered blacks to be better than whites or Indians to cope with hot humid conditions.As we know, slavery is as old as history, mainly to provide mass labor.

    Southerners were also afraid of slave revolts which happened from time to time, and more people over time believed no more slaves should be imported.

    The North became more mechanized through its factories than did the southern plantation system, and northern farms tended to be small enough that single families could work them. Prohibitionists were heavily influenced by Christians who believed keeping slaves was un Biblical. The movement had followers in the South, but it was stronger in the North because to oppose slavery cost nothing economically in the North while it did in the South.

    As i wrote before, the South hit a wall,and it chose to leave the union rather than to lose more power to the North. The concept of states rights and free choice to leave or stay was relatively strong in that era. New England states nearly seceded over a generation earlier. Slower communication and transportation contributed to such feelings. States had more freedom to make their own choices than they do now, because Washington DC was more distant.

    Of course, racism was endemic, but I think the Civil War was inevitable even if the slaves had been white or brown.

  80. If you travel back far enough through time, you will learn that most of our ancestors were enslaved at one time or another. Anger at long gone people is a dead hand reaching from the grave.

    Are you angry about the West Africans who raided neighboring tribes to provide the people for the European slave traders? They were selling slaves because the trade was lucrative and it weakened their enemies. Here is another example of the aftermath of earlier slave trading.

    Iceland is an isolated country with what has been assumed to be a homogenous Nordic population. For that reason, geneticists have been studying the people. Surprise surprise! About 40% of Icelandic genetic stock is Irish and Scottish. A tiny percentage is even Native American.

    Most of the UK genes come from the numerous slaves Vikings took home to Iceland.

    Of Monsters and Men of Iceland has just had a world-wide hit. The lead singer looks black Irish to me, not Scandinavian, though her soul is Icelandic.Should she be angry?

    You ought to look at the Sami links I provided.

  81. Why were they robbing homeless people? Doesn’t seem to pass the risk/benefit analysis. ;)

    #1 teens are not always the sharpest knives in the drawer. I guess is they were looking for anything of value, especially any drugs that they could resell.

  82. Having been a home owner in the Detroit and Richmond areas, the racial tension in Michigan is a 1000 times worse then the south.

    Hell, in the south black people and white people are neighbors. Detroit might be more segregated then South Africa.

    There is an immaturity with Rutherford that I find pretty pathetic. His anger reminds me of a middle schooler politically and historically aware for the first time.

    And as for the historical accuracy on this thread, R, could you give me some insight to the ancient grudge match between Jews and Arabs? I contest that, to some extent.

  83. The GOP has acted like a bunch of cowards over the Right to Work legislation here in Michigan.

    Some Tea Party representatives have refused to back the GOP on this just because of the dirty way it was handled.

    Nobody had a chance to have their voice heard. Nobody had a chance to read shit. Hell, ultimately I think I might be cool with Right to Work law. But, this was handled exactly the same way Obamacare was. Hiding the law from America. Picking and choosing who it applies to ( cops are exempt).

  84. “You affirm your limitations and immaturity.”

    Naa I affirm my utter contempt and lack of respect for you and your pms driven witch hunts.

    “Oh, I don’t believe that I need to provide dates.”

    No one is asking for any my little crotch cricket.

    “Before the election, you posted about sitting in your van and chortling while people in a parking lot were forced to take your flyers about Obama from their windshields. A number of posters here, including the very conservative ones, pointed out how inappropriate your behavior was.”

    Stay on topic kiddo. You said I vandalized cars. I get flyers on my car a couple times a week in the summer when I am in the city. As for being inappropriate, a myopic creature like yourself might see it that way. I bet they went home and talked to people about it. Maybe even had a political discussion. Maybe I made someone mad enough to go vote. Considering the turnout, I think maybe I needed to pass out more flyers. You do activism your way, on the couch eating bon bons, I’ll do it my way. thx

    “You then posted about leaving “post-its” on gas station pumps. Again, a stupid and juvenile stunt–and very much harassment.”

    Its a note little girl. Have you ever had your meds checked? Maybe you suffer from a chemical imbalance. You are overly sensitive if a post-it note gets you all hot and bothered. I never would have guessed people like you existed where a note would cause them to need p.t.s.d. counseling. Lighten up.

    “Interestingly, although you posted about both of these “activities” as though they were your own, verbatim accounts were all over the internet.”

    I didn’t say I invented the idea child. Of course I got it from the internet, I thought that much was obvious when I posted the facebook links showing the note. Did your naive little mind really think I took the time to create the graphic, circulate it, just to post it here? Really?

    “And as for your supposed preference for Rutherford not responding, that, too, shows what a complete child you are.”

    No it shows that I no longer care to have circular arguments with a dishonest individual. R doesn’t seek the truth. He seeks anything that backs up his predetermined truths, and disregards anything that would disprove his reasoning out of hand. Like you, he takes things out of context, focuses on the use of a single word and argues about that while ignoring the central point. Why on earth would I want to have a individual like that responding to me? It serves no purpose other than having to defend the truth 6 ways from Sunday. Trust me, this is far far better.

  85. The right to work thing here in Michigan has people more worked up than the election did. My problem with unions is that they do not do the very thing they are supposed to do, represent their membership. Despite the fact that 40% of union members are Republicans, 90% of union political dollars go to the Dimocrat party. People are forced to pay into a political activist group that does not represent their interest.

    That aside, I have always thought it a very communist notion to have people forced to pay into a group that they do not want to be involved with. I also find it another example of how stupid and inept that Dimocrats think people are that they cannot survive on their own without big government and unions.

  86. “Some Tea Party representatives have refused to back the GOP on this just because of the dirty way it was handled.

    But, this was handled exactly the same way Obamacare was. Hiding the law from America. Picking and choosing who it applies to ( cops are exempt).”

    I have a feeling this disturbing trend is going to continue and ultimately be our downfall. I have a feeling the Tea Party might leave the GOP behind and with any luck, if they can build on past success, form a viable Conservative 3rd party.

  87. projection is a primitive defense mechanism, Noah. Perhaps some day you’ll gain a little insight and stop needing to attribute to others your own qualities of selectively focusing on facts that validate your views. But I doubt it.

    As for your unfortunate need to use terms like “twat,” “c–t” (that was a previous one), “PMS,” and the like, it just shows how troubled a mother you must have had. If, in fact, you have a spouse or significant other (doubtful), she has my deep pity. Well-adjusted men don’t need to characterize women by reference to their body parts or hormones. I trust there’s a whole lot of insecurity about yourself as a male.

    p.s. You didn’t post a link. You posted these juvenile stunts as though they were your own. In other words, you lied again. Mr. “Accuse Everyone Else of Lacking Integrity” has none of his own.

  88. Psycho-analyze it anyway you like Emily. It boils down to nothing more than I think your a raving lunatic bitch…nothing more buttercup.

    I did post the links kiddo…2 of them. Go cook something…I’m hungry.

  89. So somebody who scratches ‘OBAMA’ in a car’s finish is automatically assumed an Obama supporter? I see how folks fall for all kinds of schemes based on that logic. Sometimes vandalism serves another purpose. When I see overt vandal acts, I always question their authenticity. I have known people over my lifetime to do the same type of thing in order to gain sympathy or to provide ‘proof’ of their accusations.

    Really it works the same with more serious crimes, too. When I hear of acts of terror, the first thing I consider is: Cui bono? It often reveals the true perpetrators of the crimes. It is all about perception and gaining popular support, now often from a global community.

    Our many factions of government with their media propagandists are expert at this tact. It is amazing how a few well played lies can excite and persuade an entire population with the use of deliberate wording and delivery.

  90. you are such a dolt, Noah. But thank you for again demonstrating what sort of person you are. In fact, you emphasized your lack of integrity by claiming that you might have encouraged people to vote by your flyer stunt. And by suggesting that you had any intention to provoke thought and discussion.

    What you said was that you did it to entertain yourself and how you don’t recall laughing so hard as when you sat in your van like a peeping Tom, watching people get upset because you insulted their political views. Read your own post. And, more importantly, you only claimed to post your flyers on cars with Obama/Biden bumper stickers. In other words, if you provoked anyone to vote (one of your defensees today) it would have been for the Democratic ticket. Either you are really so dim that you think that encouraging Democrats to vote would have helped Romney/Ryan (possible, since you claim you should have set out more flyers) or, more likely, you are offering a false rationalization.

    I don’t care what you think of me–although the “raving bitch” is one more demonstration of your inadequacy as a man. My problem with you is that you discredit two things that are important to me: Christianity and conservatism. There is nothing about you that honors Our Lord. You are a hateful, bitter person who seems to have nothing to do but insult people on blogs or play your truly moronic and childish pranks on them. You have called Rutherford the “N” word and regularly mock his work history and ability, character, and abilities–to what end? You accomplish nothing beyond being the cheapest sort of bully. And, like all bullies, you are a coward.

    As for conservatism, you are like the crazy woman who was finally the last straw for Senator McCain in 2008, with her hissing about Obama being “a Arab” and the like. I believe that conservatism is both morally and intellectually preferable for this country. And I believe that jerks like you make people run for the hills from what they see as a movement that attracts the worst sort of nasty, mean-spirited, bigoted, violent-natured (your musing on executing liberals) dregs.

    So you are an offensive person. People like Tex could be ascerbic or insulting, but there was no question that, at his core, Tex is a good Christian and citizen. You are neither and you do genuine harm to the values that you claim to espouse–but that really are nothing more than an excuse for you to bully and belittle and insult and mock others.

  91. @ anyone but especially James… Is Vilsack out of touch with realities? Is the Administration really so clueless and disconnected that they’re this contradictory and confusing and outright liars???
    POLITICO

  92. @112 I think this is a serious issue. The county based Electoral map demonstrates one angle to this. History is also repeating itself a bit methinks.
    @ dead rabbit & noah….thanks for some MI perspective. If you have more please let me know.

  93. Emily, you really are a simple creature. Of course I did it also for my own amusement. That does not mean it was my only motivation.

  94. Personal friend of mine. As you might suspect we disagree but this will give you an idea of the level of emotion people are feeling over this topic in Michigan.

  95. In a word, Aflie, yes.

    Vilsack is right that many rural counties including ours are losing population and thus, politicial influence. Most of the electorate is ignornant with little conception of what a farm is. Rutherford once wrote that in his guilty times he wondered if we should require current afffairs tests for prospective voters.

    I agree it is a serious issue, and I think we don’t have a new farm bill for reasons similar to our lack of a budget. Acordidng to a local news story a day or so ago, failure to pass legislation puts a hardship on dairy and other farms. An economist estimated that the price of milk could rise to as high as $8.00 a gallon. Unless the current farm law is extended without passage of a new law, farm legislation would revert back to about 1947,and that would be bad.

    I believe Obama wants to reconfigure rural America just as he wants to change the energy industry. Vilsack was a liberal governor who over spent as he tried to make Iowa the wind farm and ethanol Saudi Arabia for the US. He is following the party line.

    The Obama administration has attempted to change our rural culture.

    Vilsack dismisses the outrage felt last summer when a regulation threatened to prevent rural youth from working off their own family farms. Corn detassling would have not been allowed for them. They could not have worked for neighbors.The proposed dust and noise regulations seemed equally pernicious.

    You probably noticed that he said in effect, “your petty disputes are distractiong us from our most important goal, that of strengthing the rural economy. Follow our lead. We know better than you.”

    I have mentioned this before. Obama campaigned twice in eastern Iowa during our flood. It was a serious event, as bad or worse than Hurricane Irene. Our legislators asked Obama to come to the flood zone to dramatize our plight, and to draw national attention to what our area was enduring. Obama was in eastern Iowa, twice, and he refused to come west each time .Rutherford also agreed Obama’s snubbing the flood zone was a boneheaded decision.

    I knew then that Obama doesn’t give a dm about us. We are not his people. Vilsack’s speech better confirms my impression..My wife said “I didn’t like Vilsack when he was governor, and I don’t like him now. He was a bad governor.”

  96. Off topic: At the risk of offending some of the women on the thread, I have a style question. In my younger days (30 years ago) I considered women with tattoos to be kinda trashy. Now everywhere I look I’m seeing tattoos. I saw one gymnastics mother last week, straight forward middle class lady, with an elaborate tattoo on her forearm.

    Am I just a fuddy-duddy? Have the times passed me by?

  97. One last off topic and then I’m going to bed. The family watched the cult classic “Napoleon Dynamite” tonight. One weird-ass movie. Even scarier, my wife said she went to college with kids like that. Yikes! :shock:

  98. I believe that conservatism is both morally and intellectually preferable for this country.

    Emily, I truly believe one consequence of this election is that a growing number of conservatives want to prove you right by courting a larger crowd of voters and abandoning the nutjob (i.e. Todd Akin) ways of the past couple of years.

    I outraged my daughter yesterday when I said in 2016, if he runs, I might just vote for Chris Christie. I believe Christie is interested in getting the job done without insulting liberals, Muslims, women and the disabled along the way. But as I said, I think we’ll be seeing a growing crop of conservatives interested in building bridges over the next four years.

    Sadly, many here will dismiss them as RINO’s. :-(

  99. good morning, Rutherford. I do not understand tattoos–and don’t they sag when people get older? yech.

    I am torn. I am pro-life and concerned with candidates who do not make that a priority. I am fiscally conservative. But I believe that the ugliness and insults do make voters turn away from the Republican party and either vote Democratic or stay home.

    I believe that Governor Romney had been a very good candidate–certainly qualified. I like Paul Ryan very much. But I believe that they were persuaded to run a campaign that frequently veered into the language and conduct that alienated voters. John Sununu as a surrogate? Embracing Donald Trump and even implicitly birtherism?

    With the economy as it is and Benghazi, Obama was very vulnerable. I think that a different campaign could have very much made him a one-term President.

    Turned off that movie years ago when we tried to watch it.

  100. R@117. Ah yes, I’m afraid the times have passed you by. Remember when it was trashy to have pierced ears? Prepare yourself for your daughter’s first tattoo and I bet you don’t blink a eye at a pierced ear.

    I had to bite my lip when my first daughter came home with a tattoo. Granted it was very tasteful, a butterfly on her shoulder then a band around her arm which quoted words from The Lord of The Rings. She got her tattoo’s when they were not a fashion statement. On the other hand I allowed my daughters to have pierced ears when they turned 13, something my Mother did not allow.

    A bit of a humorous story although with a bit of sadness was my Mother’s reaction to her granddaughter’s tattoo. My Mother was a cancer patient with numerous surgical scars. When she saw the tattoo she ripped open her shirt and said ” you want to see tattoo’s”. I think she got her point across.

  101. We told our daughter when she was 17, “no tattoos until you are thirty.” She was angry, but the mood passed. She did get her ears pierced.

    Good for your mother, Ragi.

    I like Chris Christi too, along with some others. One important reason for supporting Christi is his man crush on Bruce Springstein. Bruce’s best work is behind him and he has questionable political view, but he is still the Boss,

    I agree with Emily, a different campaign AND an impartial press would have defeated Obama. Even now, Republicans are on the right side about the deficit, and I don’t think they should cave for Obama.

    However, the argument has evolved into taxes, not revenue. Republicans want tax cuts for millionaires and Obama wants to save the middle class by raising enough money to pay our bills with a small tax increase rich people can afford. No wonder the cliff doesn’t frighten Obama.

  102. R@119. I am listening to conservatives that say there needs to be a third party. I think people are tired of right and left wing nut jobs influencing our elections and I agree with Emily about language and conduct that alienated voters.

    Chris Christie would not get my vote because he is so obese. If one cannot take charge of their own health I cannot trust them to be in charge of the nation’s health.

  103. James and Raji: The “turn off behavior” is, of course, on both sides. OWS alienated alot of people–and rightly so. Unfortunately, their antics were sufficiently removed in time from the election that they didn’t affect it. If it were going on this fall, I believe it would have. And James is correct about the role of the media.

    If, as I believe, the conservative philosophy is the better one for this country, then conservatives should act in accordance with that assumption. By this, I mean that they should be constructive, clear in their message, respectful of others, and need to really seek to understand others’ points of view. When they resort to cheap insults, bullying, and to trivializing other citizens’ worth, they will continue to lose support.

  104. “When they resort to cheap insults, bullying, and to trivializing other citizens’ worth, they will continue to lose support.”

    Emily, but I thought that is what is taught in “Politics 101″ a required course for election ;-)

  105. @ Rutherford. tatt’s are just enjoying the subculture mainstream merge that occurs time and time again. Not unlike many of the clothes based fashion statements the come about losing the real messaging. Re females the classic example of this is giddy co-eds getting the tattoo on the base of their back thinking they are getting a bit o’ art and self-expression. this specific taft is known as the “Tramp Stamp”
    @ James & Emily and to a degree Noah. Conservatisms best chance is to burn it to the ground and phoenix it.It has become too muddled with ideologies that cause insurmountable divides between the base camps. As I see it there are three camps. The Libertarian the fiscals and the social cons.
    @ Raji. Not for nothing but that isn’t a fair meter to bring to the man. Taft was a big boy but he quite possibly did more than even Teddy R to stimulate Americans interest in physical activity and he was a pretty good POTUS and went on to SCOTUS. Not saying Jersey Boy could swing any of that but there it is.

  106. @ Emily… the rub is though that doing right and the rule of law should be enough. It is a very sad thing that telling truths and showing a willingness let alone a plan to make hard decisions is a fail point for political aspirations.
    This is one of those things that a find makes up the three point stool the democrats will sit comfortably upon for the next decade of office holding.

  107. i’ve thought about Christi’s weight too. But then Grover Cleveland was morbidly obese.

    Wouldn’t the world be a better place with more reasonable people like us? Ha!

    Rutherford wrote that in terms of race this country has NOTHING to be proud of. I don’t think he has recanted, so once again, I refer him to the Sofia Jannok link in my first post. I may be nice, but I am relentless when I want to be. It irritates the heck out of my wife sometimes. Heh heh!

  108. Sorry. I was thinking of Taft. Cleveland was fat too, but he also fathered a child out of wedlock, though he claimed not to be sure he was the father.

    We may let it all disintegrate like burning a prairie and then rebuilding. its too bad we learned we could vote money and favors for ourselves without wisdom or information.

  109. James R can’t recant because he is one of the racists in the equation.
    In his case he is driven by emotions and gets mad at Vulcans who look only for logic and reality (see Rutherford #87).
    To be fair he and I have danced around race for years now. He has some chops and skin in the game for sure but something holds him back. Perhaps he is coming out.

  110. On a completely different take but since I don’t have a blog currently has anyone else been keeping tabs on the whole UK tax stories regards Starbucks,Google,Amazon and Apple as the headliners??
    I have a little and find it very interesting especially since European powers France Germany and the UK are looking into cooperating on chasing multinationals into other sovereign nations.
    There is quite possibly,hell probably a lesson being written across the Pond that we will be forced to learn

  111. Emily, who said politicians were sane? ;-)

    Alfie, maybe it’s not a fair meter but I really would want to vet the VP! Taft was a big man who carried 300 lbs. on a six-foot frame not exactly what I refer to as obese but large. Christie’s body shape is a walking time bomb.

  112. Rutherford doesn’t come off as a racist, Alfie. He is just overly sensitive to discussions where race is involved.

    If everyone was honest, they would admit today’s America promotes racism and the media plays it up and down, resulting in mainly confusion with mostly rhetoric blurring the lines. It does charge emotions.

    Israel is an apartheid state founded on racist principles. No one wants to go there, but if you understand what is happening in Gaza and are aware of the discussion in Synagogue and other Jewish organizations, it’s ALL about separation and NOT even separate and equal. Arabs have rights, but they are treated as second class citizens.

    Written into the Torah in numerous places are statements of Jewish superiority and rights of rule, claiming the rest of creation is only here to serve Jewry. Kosher, anyone? You can’t get more blatant than that.

    Of course there are those claiming I am the racist for merely pointing it out. On the other hand, most of those blockheads have left the building.

  113. Alfie, no I was not aware so thanks for the information.

    “Starbucks, like Amazon, Google and Vodafone, the other multinationals who pay little corporation tax in the UK, has not broken any law. Technically, these are not “evaders”, but “minimisers”. They base their headquarters in places where tax laws are more favourable, such as Dublin or Luxembourg. In a recession, the UK wants these companies’ business, and their jobs, but at what cost? What’s the trade-off?”

    I’m not sure the reasoning behind Starbucks making a “concession tax” for a better use of terms. Multinationals base their headquarters in this country where tax laws are more favorable. Yes, I can see a backlash in the USA if the UK pursues this path.

    Are you aware that some states have a “use tax” and they are pursuing customers of corporations such as Amazon to levy the tax for past years?

  114. To this day, I don’t get why people like Newt were so bent out of shape over Romney’s 47% comment.

    How this mindset doesn’t concern liberals (Republican politicians pull the same shit) is beyond me. Politics 101, as someone just mentioned deals with the dangers of this:

  115. IMO it really didn’t concern them DR. It was an easily manipulated statement that could be made into something that their unthinking, believe whatever they media tells them, masses could get all emotional over without really having a valid reason why.

    If you were to take the average Liberal voter, and ask them to explain why they believed something, I think most would say..because someone told them to believe it. It is why we see so little back and forth from Liberals on this blog. Their justification for taking a stand on many things is only about an inch deep, Once you get past the talking point, they have nothing left to say.

    Per the video. It is just another Dim looking for their Obama phone. They want their hand out without having to do any of the work to solve what it is that got them there in the first place.

    When my NFP gave out cash assistance(not something we did often) we only did it for the people where helping them would get them back on track to being self-sustaining. If our help only bought them another month and they would be back in the same situation, then we did not help. They had to have a plan, a way to make it. I was not going to be another form of welfare where no mater how much I gave it made no lasting change. Detroit should be handled the same way.

  116. @ Raji 135 hadn’t heard that angle but in my state Obama Lite Gov. Deval Patrick tried to get New Hampshire businesses to report MA residents spending as he viewed it as a potential form of sales tax evasion. It is still technically a policy that goes unenforced and never will be due to the absolute deluge of legal cases it would bring.

  117. My comments will be all over the place because I’m playing catch up here and there:

    Most, I would say, know who their grandparents were – that’s two. Three more before that? hmmm…I respectfully suggest that you are full of shit.

    PF you couldn’t be more wrong. Americans in general are FAMOUS for claiming their connection to some generations-ago relative that might make them look more exotic or interesting than they really are. And Southerners with their annual celebrations of the confederacy are VERY into what their forbears went through.

    Sorry, Newt is not full of it.

  118. Regarding 93, all I can say Alfie is that the Japanese dedicated their Ground Zero to a monument to peace. We’re putting another monument to capitalism on our Ground Zero. Methinks whether it is a proper attitude toward slavery or being slaves to the almighty dollar, America has their priorities and perspectives up their ass.

  119. Maybe an angry and resentful attitude will turn to a self defeatist attitude and eventually cause her to limit her opportunity. This is good because maybe it will leave a quality job available for my son, who will never get the special treatment due to his pinkish white skin in the first place.

    On the contrary, my daughter will come away with the attitude that “I will NEVER let anyone dictate what I can and cannot do. I will live and die on my abilities. AND if society is as racist when I am an adult as it has been, I will work EXTRA hard to make sure I can’t simply be dismissed when Dead Rabbit’s kid shows up for the job.”

    DR, my Mom always used to say that blacks actually have an advantage. They can’t sit back on their laurels; they HAVE to work harder. She considered it a blessing of sorts. And to carry her thought process a step further, it is awfully sad how many whites are totally deluded about what losers they actually are because they have bought into the “America is my birthright” bullsh*t. Some Republicans capitalize on this self-delusion and tell white voters “you’re already the winners — THEY’RE the losers — and if you just vote for us, you’ll stay winners.”

  120. Rutherford, I explained to my wife, who works her ass off on some shitty lap top so that we can send our boy to school that she should just be happy we can afford it and not be concerned that others get to sit on their ass and get special early schooling as an entitlement. She told me you can suck her dick. A response I actually thought was funny and fitting. I assure you she was being metaphorical.

    Good to hear that was metaphor. I can completely discount what your wife said since she was responding to your version of me and not to me directly.

    I will give Mrs. Rabbit the benefit of the doubt since she’s not here to represent herself. You on the other hand are starting from the premise that the kids getting the “entitlement” are the kids of lazy slackers, takers not makers. I don’t buy the basic premise.

  121. Rutherford Wrong Fest
    @ 142 No! I have to side with PF on this one. In generic terms Americans don’t routinely give a shit about their ancestry beyond the great tier. In books,journalism,politics and life in general I see this to be true. People don’t go too far back because as you touch upon they simply don’t have to go back too far to get the unique schtick,usually to immigrant roots.
    @143 Yeah yeah yeah. they also were forced to rewrite their constitution and to go against their history and deem their military the JSDF. This is now bit of a warming issue in Tokyo,hell its heating up quite well. I will say this though you continue to attach emotions and now attitudes to Real Politik and this just drives me bonkers. Throw me a fucking bone here and nail down what about slavery or 20th century racism you want to really talk about.
    @144 There is so much that can be said on this one. I’m leaving your kid out of it. Your mom was special though,hell, prescient in some way. It is only a blessing if you have it in you to step up. I’m thinking you were never gonna be allowed to slack regardless your medical issues. You my friend are atypical and that is indeed unfortunate for scores of folks. As for your shitty jab at the GOP. The myth,mystique or whatever you want to call it is that the United States of America is something special and by no means some one dimensional knuckle dragging bullshit thing.This whatever you want to call it is the essence of what makes us all unique,special,EXCEPTIONAL. It has been on many occasions color blind and offers us all the best path to a better tomorrow. We dismiss it and even discard it at great peril to our collective good. It is ironic that the forces against it are so falsely blessed with the monikers of uniters and caring and open minded.

  122. Now, I get that anger is still with us over Jim Crow. But the slave trade? A business that enriched both blacks and whites? Who should I direct my anger at? West Africans?

    Jim Crow doesn’t stand isolated in history. It’s a direct descendant of the slave state, and how to treat these sub-human folks who used to be slaves.

    I know it’s popular among conservatives to point to the blacks back in Africa who sold each other down the river. It’s a distraction. Slavery made white men far richer than black. But for as much as you mention it Rabbit, yeah … West Africans who facilitated the slave trade do deserve our scorn. Perhaps a double helping of it.

    I am not suggesting that blacks should be paralyzed by anger. Blacks should be focused on self-improvement … just like everyone else should. I just want America to stop bragging about no longer beating its wife.

  123. I don’t mean to butt in but I am confused on the R v DR discussion. From what I’ve seen I’m siding with the dead rabbit but am wondering what comments I’m missing.

  124. It’s a direct descendant of the slave state…
    That is not correct sir.
    …how to treat these sub-human folks
    This is more along the lines of the truth,meaning perceptions and opinions.
    The connecting of these two ideas is disingenuous at best.

  125. And while we’re at it: do tell, what were the Northern racists like?

    PF you raise a valid point and it highlights the complexity and subtlety of race in America. From a certain POV, the South was more straight forward because at least you knew where you stood. Northern racism is less overt but there nonetheless.

    On another topic — the verdict is in, Green Day’s “Uno” is superior to Green Day’s “Dos”. I now await the third entry in their trilogy (entitled “Tre”) to see how that measures up.

  126. Alfie how can you say that is not correct? Slavery gone … but the perception of a sub-human race remained and Jim Crow helped to enforce keeping the sub-humans in “their place”. How could you possibly postulate that Jim Crow would have existed in the absence of the history that preceded it?

  127. DR @136. I’m not that much of a health freak and Obama’s addiction probably wasn’t going to kill him with what I thought was going to be four years. Although from what I have observed in a POTUS after four years, the aging process is greatly increased.

    On the other hand I do have serious concerns about the state of obesity that exists in this country particularly among our youth

  128. Your whole take on the election of Barack Obama is inaccurate as it seemingly paints his election as pure affirmative action with an “about time” twist.

    This statement takes time to grok. I certainly didn’t view Obama’s election as affirmative action. I think it is fair to say he was not as prepared to be POTUS as he might have been but that could be said for any number of Presidents.

    The “about time” piece is this — to my mind 147 years is too damn long for a country to move from abolishing slavery to even being able to consider putting a black in the Oval Office. But I admit as I write this, I find myself in a contradiction. If it takes time for blacks to recover from centuries of slavery, maybe it is fair that whites take time to get over their own bigotry?

  129. Because ever since its inception Americans have always classified some entity as “sub”. Whether the Native Americans when we got here,the black vis a vis slavery and immigration,to the Chinese we gladly allowed to build a railway but porked in every manner we could, to the Zoot Suits, or the “Irish need not apply” and the irony that the ancestors of the Famine fleers took up shop in places like South Boston home to some of the most iconic racism/school desecration memories in the 70’s. All of the folks I mentioned had laws put on the books to keep ‘em down and evolved into being the ones writing the laws.So in so many words thats how I can say it.

    Re Green Day so basically they are stretching out a triple album but not the legacy of filler.

  130. Maybe I don’t get the full picture but I support right-to-work states. No one should be forced to join any organization they don’t want to join and that includes unions.

  131. My point was you painted it affirmative action. Seriously dude lets break down demographic percentages and fess up to why the who’s get to be POTUS or anything else. That breaks it down for me. You’re shocked over 150 years someone from a group that never broke 15% of the general population didn’t produce a President. You would further state ( I presume) that the root of this MUST be racist in nature. You give humanity far too much credit and wrath at the same time.

  132. @155 I HATE unions and obviously support RTW for a number of reasons. I will say this on behalf of the unions. they should not have to accept responsibility for anyone not officially part of the unit. Fix that point and the unions really have no standing. Two sets of employees,well thats the employers problem.

  133. Alfie, I read enough of the 91% tax rate myth story to get the gist of it. It is interesting that the libs are demanding the tax hike on the rich … a tax hike which any competent accountant could probably help them nullify at tax time. Killing certain deductions would be much harder to get around IMHO.

    The tax rate hike is symbolic … and again as I’ve said before … it’s about not giving a break to folks who don’t need it.

  134. Yeah Alfie … releasing three separates in lieu of a triple-album probably avoids the accusation of filler but let’s face it, each album in its own right has filler and they probably could have left 40% of “Dos” for the eventual “rarities” album. Rolling Stone just gave “Tre” a four star review so I’m hoping it’s better than “Dos”. I needed to spin “Uno” a few times before I really liked it. Now I think it’s pretty damn good.

    They’ve abandoned politics for the time being.

  135. I HATE unions and obviously support RTW for a number of reasons.

    I assume this is a CURRENT statement but that you acknowledge the need for the union movement long ago … and that you acknowledge we will always need some method to protect the worker from his bosses.

  136. And as for the historical accuracy on this thread, R, could you give me some insight to the ancient grudge match between Jews and Arabs?

    First, I thought I said “Palestinians”, not the more generic Arabs but then there is the concept that there is no such thing as Palestinians. Was it Newt who called it a manufactured nation?

    Let me rephrase … the dispute between Israel and Palestine has biblical roots and doesn’t simply begin in 1948. I’d call any dispute with biblical roots a pretty long range grudge match.

  137. I don’t understand the reading practices of conservatives. I looked over the Vilsack article and it seems to me that folks (perhaps Alfie?) read the “irrelevant” quote and then stop reading. Vilsack goes on to say that there must be a change in priorities for the farm belt or they will be increasingly ignored in future elections. I’m fuzzy about which internecine squabbles Tom was referring to but if it is the first time in recent history that a farm bill was defeated, maybe Iowa, Nebraska, etal are losing some clout and need to do something about it?

    What am I missing here?

  138. “I think it is fair to say he was not as prepared to be POTUS as he might have been but that could be said for any number of Presidents.”

    Typical racist left kind of comment. If I can point to someone else who did it first, then I am ok. No more need be explained, and I am no longer accountable.

  139. With the economy as it is and Benghazi, Obama was very vulnerable. I think that a different campaign could have very much made him a one-term President.

    Turned off that movie years ago when we tried to watch it.

    At least with respect to the economy, this election was the GOP’s to win. That is why I think your assessment, Emily, of Romney is flawed. A strong GOP candidate could have beaten Obama.

    As for “Napoleon” — LOL I fully admit it is an “acquired taste”. :-)

  140. Regarding 121, Raji, my wife is a cancer survivor and refers to the spots targeted for radiation treatment as her tattoos.

    I guess I really am a fuddy-duddy because when it comes to pierced ears I will tolerate one hole per ear. This multiple piercing stuff doesn’t cut it with me. And since my wife is pretty conservative about such things I’ll let her determine the right age. ;-)

  141. “The “about time” piece is this — to my mind 147 years is too damn long for a country to move from abolishing slavery to even being able to consider putting a black in the Oval Office.”

    And what train-wreck would you have had us elect? Al Sharpton? Jesse Jackson? Louis Farrakhan? Fiddy-cent?

  142. Alfie … regarding Taft, great minds think alike, I posted 169 before seeing your post. My hat tips to you Sir.

    Conservatisms best chance is to burn it to the ground and phoenix it.It has become too muddled with ideologies that cause insurmountable divides between the base camps. As I see it there are three camps. The Libertarian the fiscals and the social cons.

    Considering how often we disagree I am amazed when you say something so right on the money.

    The libertarian wing has the best chance of survival because it taps into what makes us Americans at our core.

    The fiscal and social conservative movements are linked and must do a delicate dance that embraces financial responsibility with proper compassion for those less fortunate and a social policy that fights the important fights, like drugs and poverty, not homosexuality and birth control.

  143. Regarding 129, James, I’ll reiterate, I weaken my point by any implication that American racism is unique. It is our attitude toward our journey “to the light” that continues to bother me.

  144. @ 158 as I’ve said all along the rate was a fallacy. Also it bears repeating that the Romney deduction cap plan is better than tax hikes/Buffet Rule.
    @160 unions can and obviously have served good purposes. imo it is a case of more past tense but there it is. I know for a fact that unions get a pass on too many issues regards labor relations and formations. It is a f@#$ed field the game is played on. bottom line free choice and free will need to be respected. If a “shop” gets 90+ yea sure close it but for crying out loud 50 +1 is a scam.
    @ 162 I read the whole piece. Given that the Farm Bill was killed not due to farm counties but due to the Food Stamp and regulatory crap egregiously stuffed into it I found Vilsac out of line.
    That people are moving out of rural areas and that others are sprawling into formerly rural areas is a no brainer. That people with skin in the game are wary of the feds is understandable. That Vilsac downplays and outright lies about some of his Dept. acts against farmers and assorted agribusiness was pretty obvious read-ins.
    @171 Considering how often we disagree I am amazed when you say something so right on the money.

    Given how what I say is almost always “right on the money” I am amazed you disagree with me so often.

  145. 142 and 146 , our families are unusual.

    I have brief biographies of all of my paternal ancestors through about 1640 thanks to old stories and a family researcher who wrote a thick book a hundred years ago

    My wife and I found a wealth of family information in London’s Public Records Office and church registries. One of my ancestors was listed in the Doomsday Book. He was a farmer with an estate worth ten pounds..

    One of my direct ancestors married a daughter of John Alden and Precilla. Hannah, a 13 year old testified that a family on the outs with her parents were witches. Nathan the son of Allen, the first to move here sat on the jury which convicted them. He recanted three years later.

    They moved to the UK from Denmark. Allen lived in Wales before he and eight relatives came to America, when he was 27, one of the oldest people on the ship. He married a Danish woman shortly before they left for America.. He may have been traveling back and forth. from Denmark. He did return to Wales for a few years after the migration.

    My mothers family were Vikings who were enforcers in the Outer Hebredes around 1000 to 1200.Her family also has some ties with Finns and Sami.

    My blue eyes show I am descended from a single mutation who lived north of the Black Sea eight to ten thousand years ago.

    As you know Mormons are also interested in geneology.

  146. I agree with Alfie’s 173.

    Vilsack’s Department of Agriculture and other agencies tried to tamper with our culture and they would have made farming harder than it is. Child labor is also a comprehensive apprenticeship which trains future farmers. That was truly a big deal.

    As I wrote, the failure to pass a farm bill is related to the Democrats’ inability to pass a budget or for Congress to agree to stay off the cliff.

    I’ll look for the link, Rutherford. Atlantic Magazine had an article about Christi’s near worship of Bruce Springstein.He finally acknowleded Christi’s existence when he said he thought the governor was doing a good job of managing reconstruction after Sandy.

  147. Rutherford, our racial state also bothers me. However, you wrote that as far as improving race relations,” this country has NOTHING to be proud of” I’m quibbling over one word.

    After watching Mari Boine and Sofia Jannok you would probably make that statement less catagorical. They live in liberal Scandinavian countries which behave as if it was still the forties and fifties in their treatment of their minorities. Their experience shows that we have a right to celebrate “How Far We’ve Come”. Matchbox 20.

    You and Mari both have great minds, and the old cliche states that great minds think alike. You wrote “journey to the light. She spoke of lighting the darkness.Both videos have a few seconds of music which you could scroll by.

    Alfie is almost always on the money.

    I like the video rabbit–entropy.

  148. Rabbit, I don’t get the outrage over the councilwoman. Pork is as old as Congress itself. A bailout is just another flavor of pork. She wants hers.

    And if you don’t understand the problem with the 47% comment then I submit you’re being willfully thick. You’re in that 47% buddy. You don’t own your own business … you didn’t “build” sh*t and Mitt insulted your ass. You’re also a veteran and the minute you take advantage of any VA benefits, again you’ll be in Mitt’s 47%. Like many folks who sympathize with Republicans, you don’t even know when you’re being insulted. In fact, the great irony is that I am in Mitt’s 53%. I’ve never taken a gov handout in my life and I did start my own, albeit piss poor, business.

    Imagine that … the bleeding heart liberal fits Mitt’s ideal model more than you do. Hot damn.

  149. Alfie regarding 140, I don’t get enough clients to really worry about it, but when I do get a client I pray they don’t reside in IL so I don’t have to bother with sales tax.

  150. Given how what I say is almost always “right on the money” I am amazed you disagree with me so often.

    Did I ever tell you that humility is one of your best traits Alfie? :lol:

  151. “Rabbit, I don’t get the outrage over the councilwoman.”

    And that is the problem. Something this obvious, and Libs cannot see it for what it is.

  152. Emily opined: “If, as I believe, the conservative philosophy is the better one for this country, then conservatives should act in accordance with that assumption. By this, I mean that they should be constructive, clear in their message, respectful of others, and need to really seek to understand others’ points of view. When they resort to cheap insults, bullying, and to trivializing other citizens’ worth, they will continue to lose support.”

    Yes. Yes. Yes. There’s an old saying: Many forgave injury; none ever forgave contempt.

    Even my older brother, a dyed-in-the-wool conservative Republican, commented that the Republicans needed to get off the abortion/gay marriage/et al bandwagons and stop alienating everyone.

    The problem is that you and I may agree on 95% of things, but if I start being sarcastic, disrespectful and abusive (HT to Tex) regarding the 5% where we disagree, when it comes time to pull that lever in that very private booth, you’re going to say “F*ck you” and vote for the other side – every time. And so is anyone else. I just pissed away 95% support because of a 5% disagreement. Now expand that to another group I disagree with on another topic. And another. And another. Pretty soon I have alienated just about everybody whose help I need.

    No, the Republicans need a little soul-searching about whom they want in their party, pulling the strings. Do you want nut-jobs like Michelle Bachmann, or do you want moderate, reasonable people. If the answer is the former, prepare yourself for extinction.

  153. “You’re shocked over 150 years someone from a group that never broke 15% of the general population didn’t produce a President.”

    Excellent way of stating the fact. Now how can you apply that to the fact we have not yet had a female POTUS? I do believe the reign of the “old white men” is over. In future years, racism/sexism will be a thing of the past.

  154. What about the Asians or Native Americans , male of female? Why have none of them been elected president?

    Romney made the 47 per cent comment in the same spirit as Obama’s bitter clingers statement. Both were intended to be private.

    Romney was telling supporters he knew about 47% was a lost cause because of its dependence on government and hostility toward Republicans. He was discussing campaign strategy and reassuring potential contributors he wasn’t wasting their money.

    Romney was right. He could do nothing to convert most of the 47%, so it was best to concentrate on those with potential. Some black precincts voted 100 % for Obama, and other groups voted almost as consistantly. Millions of people in this country are dependent on government, and vote for the politicians who deliver the money.

    Its true that not all of the 47% are total dependents, but Romney’s point stands. He shouldn’t have said it the way he did, of course, because he handed the press and Obama an early Christmas gift. The accuracy of Romney’s statement and his judgement in making it are two different issues.

    Sofia Jannok and Mari Boine can help you with your “NOTHING” view, but this is the best I can do for the 47%

  155. In future years, racism/sexism will be a thing of the past.

    What an optimistic way to start my Monday morning. Raji, I truly hope you’re right but I think your prediction defies human nature.

  156. James he said 47% of people don’t want to take responsibility for their lives … that’s far different from a simple observation about dependence.

    You know, what really had me down right up to the election, was the refusal of some people to just admit that Romney made a very wrong-headed statement. This need to defend the indefensible is incredibly frustrating. It’s one thing to disagree on political philosophy but it’s quite another when we can’t even agree on when someone has been blatantly insulting.

  157. @ 185. I could offer up a couple of possibles regards women. They both boil down to the difference in the sexes and the character thereof.
    As for your comment that has Rutherford smiling. The ultra-cynical side of me agrees. I’ve said it before,I actually shudder at the possibility that 2016 will be one of the most concocted elections in our history. Either 2016 or 2020 will see some combination of female and/or Latino candidate being created/discovered.
    On the (D) side keep an eye out on Hillary and her crew and what Axelrod does nearing 2014. Keep in mind Davie practiced in MA with Deval Patrick before polishing Obama. It would be interesting if he hunts out a female or latino.
    I doubt the GOP will pursue or support Rubio in ’16.

  158. “You know, what really had me down right up to the election, was the refusal of some people to just admit that Romney made a very wrong-headed statement. This need to defend the indefensible is incredibly frustrating. ”

    You just described 47%+ of your posts. This is probably the most hypocritical statement you have ever made. This is you by design and practice. Never fessing up your side is wrong, defending the indefensible. Frustrated? Welcome to our world over the past 8 months.

  159. Rutherford, Romney said 47% of the voters would vote for Obama no matter what. He said they are dependent on government and believe they are victims who think the government has a responsibility to care for them. They are entitled to the government’s largess. He also said his role was not to worry about those people as potential election voters. They were lost to him.

    Romney is more pragmatic business man that politician. He was discussing allocation of resources in a private conversation with supporters.The comment sounds insulting, but it was not meant to be any more than Obama’s bitter clingers statement.

    I agree it was a boneheaded comment because he left himself open to attack. However, he was right–not about the number because many of them are on Social Security, veterans, or other pensions. Some of them are small business people either working part time or just beginning.Others are recent immigrants who will eventually be paying taxes.Some work at low-paying jobs or our economy cost them their jobs.

    However, a growing number of Americans have become dependent on our government and think we tax payers owe them more than we do. I personally know such people. They are essentially parasites. Romney lumped everyone together when they didn’t deserve to be. Other modified parasites are corporations like GE and Google which pay few income taxes in the US. This isn’t racial. My guess is a larger absolute number of whites than blacks are cultural and economic parasites. Insulting them is impolitic, but they deserve our scorn.

  160. James the key difference between the 47% remark and the bitter clingers remark was that Obama was telling his supporters that they needed to take the “bitter clinger” POV into account in courting these people’s votes. He was actually being inclusive even if one does not like his characterization. Romney on the other hand, as you say, was saying these folks were lost to him.

    When I asked former RNC chair Michael Steele about this a couple of months ago during his visit here, he agreed that the GOP must go after every vote and not declare any a lost cause.

  161. Rutherford, yes, Obama was hinting that the “bitter clingers” required a different strategy to win their votes, but his comment and Steeles’ with which I agree are in a different context from Romney’s statement.

    Obama and Steele were discussing future STRATIGY in general terms. Romney did not have that luxury. He was explaining his TACTICS. when time was limited and resources were fairly well-defined.

    Romney was using triage to enhance his changes of wining. We Air Force medics had a word for casualities corresponding to Romney’s 47%–expectant. Such people were at high risk of dying and they were left alone so we could devote our time to care for victims with a better chance of surviving. As with the old song, Romney said “time won’t let me” do anything else except ignore voters who were lost when there was no time for persuasion…

  162. OK Rabbit, I’ll concede the point on the eons-long feud between Jews and Palestinians. My offline foreign affairs adviser e-mailed me a red-alert that I was talking out of my ass and explained to me the history of Jews in the region. To say there has been a grudge-match dating back to the bible is simply inaccurate.

  163. “I’ve said it before,I actually shudder at the possibility that 2016 will be one of the most concocted elections in our history. Either 2016 or 2020 will see some combination of female and/or Latino candidate being created/discovered”

    Alfie, I too shudder at the future prospects because as you stated they will be created/discovered. They say history repeats itself but I don’t see the quality of Statesmen we have known due to concepts of greed, entitlements, et al.

    I think Michael Knox Beran at City Journal may have described the current situation in his article “Abolish Social Studies” .

    http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_4_social-studies.html

    “The test of an educational practice is its power to enable a human being to realize his own promise in a constructive way. Social studies fails this test. Purge it of the social idealism that created and still inspires it, and what remains is an insipid approach to the cultivation of the mind, one that famishes the soul even as it contributes to what Pope called the “progress of dulness.” It should be abolished.”

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