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lily
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I wonder what kind of fakery goes on in the monitoring of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons material.
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Please produce the fixes. The Republicans in Congress have made NO effort to "fix". They haven't even identified any real problems, just rant about socialism or big government interference etc. Seems to me you acknowledged that yourself: "Actually accomplishing anything policy-wise etc."
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2013 on Reality Politics at Obsidian Wings
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I just think it shows how mean they are.
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2013 on Reality Politics at Obsidian Wings
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I think Sapient has made the most significant point. The reason to support the use of power (and money is power)to make opportunity available to ordinary people and to keep the safety net intact is because it's the right thing to do, not because of guilt over what one's ancestors did, or because one is benefitting now by what one's ancestors did. Also if that argument is made--that it's the right thing to do--then the people who don't want to do the right thing have to come right out and say so, instead of digressing into a discussion about whether or not they are benefitting from history.
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live in the Soviet of Washington, and I've had that conversation, too. But sometimes it is convenient to ignore context. Nobody wants to be blamed now for crimes committed by an earlier generation. Discussing the past can feel like that. On the other hand, dismissing the past as if it had no current relevance can be more than just ignorance or defensiveness; it's a handy way to rationalize current continuations of past behavior. Imaginary conversation: Bill: Don't blame me for slavery and Jim Crow! I wasn't even alive then! You need to get your act together now! Joe: But we are not all in the same boat now. It isn't blaming you to discuss current deck-stacking unless you are involved in the current deck-stacking. Bill: If you work hard and go to school and don't do anything stupid, you will thrive. Joe: You probably will not thrive, regardless of your choices, unless you get a head start by being born into a well-off family. Nowadays hard work and good choices will leave you working two jobs for the minimum wage while the Food Stamps you need for survival get cut. You will lose your access to low cost birth control to attacks on Planned Parenthood, be unable to get affordable loans for college, and find out on election day that you can't vote because you can't afford a car and don't have a driver's license. Plus, you will have untreated health conditions because you can't afford insurance. So don't lecture me on how "you people" should behave. Bill: Don't call me a racist! I have an ideology that prevents me from supporting anything that would provide you with access to the middle class, so it's all your fault if you aren't as well off as I am. I worked my way up and you can, too! Joe: You would be in a better position to lecture me on self-help if you weren't aligned with the party that deliberately seeks to dismantle all of the rungs in the ladder. Of course that dismantling makes it harder to anyone, regardless of ethnicity. to climb, so the motive for the dismantling isn't necessarily race. However it affects AA's more than whites because, due to historical racism, more of them are starting out lower. Bill: You are blaming me again for what I did not so. Why should my taxes go to support services I don't need and create opportunities I don't need? You are an American just like me and you shouldn't be making race an issue. You should just be like me and stop whining about the past. And so on. There's another factor here that affects everyone at the bottom of the ladder regardless of ethnicity: hope or the lack thereof. The more the deck is stacked against people, the fewer of them who will make good choices in the hope of a better future. Why should they make good choices when those choices probably will not in reality lead to anything but drudgery and poverty? I see this all over the county where I live. The children of lower middle class whites graduate from high school, start out with the intention of making something of themselves and gradually drift into drugs, the black market economy, and a hand to mouth existence. Why? Because that's what's available. The alternative--go to school, get a good paying job, get married, have a house, have kids--mostly isn't. And the situation for the offspring of Spanish and Nahuatl-speaking immigrants is worse. In a way race is a digression since the Randian/Social Darwinist/I've got mine philosophy screws nearly everybody. On the other hand racism is still a current factor in the lives of the target ethnicities: veiled appeals to racism are a handy way to get people competing with each other for scraps so they don't notice who is hogging the cake. And denying the current affects of racism is a way of denying it's usefulness as a divide and conquer technique.
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Thank you, LJ. I wish I had more travel experiences. I've only been to the easy places like Ireland. I don't know enough about Kyrgyz to ask a question.
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I've heard the "throwing money at it solves nothing" argument many times. Of course starving money out of a situation invariably makes it worse. And many of those who do not wish to throw money at a problem which isn't directly theirs do wish to have money thrown at problems which are theirs. So that's an argument that I see as essentially a sophistry. On the other hand, I do think consideration should be given to exactly HOW money is spent on a situation, some programs being more effective than others. But I don't feel inclined to micro-manage how Food Stamp funds are allocated when the very politicians who vote to cut the funds are demanding tax dollars for themselves and the special interests in their districts and don't want accountability for that money. I don't see this as necessarily racist, although a racist would support the vote to gut Food Stamps while subsidizing white politicians and red states. Racism has always been handy for the racist. As racism became less socially acceptable some other rationalization was needed to justify the same misuse of power.
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"Here are some simple rules in life that will promote a decent shot at life: stay in school and apply yourself; do not have children until you can care for and afford them; obey the law; live within your means." These rules have worked less and less well for anyone over the last three decades. Individuals can cause their own failure. Widespread failure doesn't indicate that lots of individuals are individually failing; it indicates something seriously wrong with the larger systems and processes. One of the root causes of poverty in America now is the fantasy that tax cuts for the wealthy combined with cuts in government spending will have miraculous benefits for anyone except the wealthy person who doesn't perceive a personal need for the government spending. That myth inflicts poverty on people who are doing the right thing.
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I don't think he meant that white men have no standing to make any points about racism. I think he meant that white men lacked standing to make those particular remarks. I'm not sure I agree with him about that, but I think that is what he meant.
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The voter suppression laws are invented to keep likely Democrats from voting. Targeting African Americans is a means to that end. Some of the Republican politicians pushing the voter suppression laws might be motivated by racism, but the primary goal is to undermine the democratic process in swing states and districts to the advantage of the party that can't depend on winning on its own merits due to a lack of merits. Did anyone notice what the sociopaths in the House did today?
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BTW, I did not intend, by pointing out the purpose of voter suppression laws, to imply that all Republicans, or even most, are racist. I think that Republican politicians are interested in winning elections, and since their goal as politicians is to serve the 2% at the expense of everyone else, and their main tactic for getting elected is to appeal to the worst in the voters, then appeals to racism, like appeals to selfishness or fear or hating gays or fear that government tax money might be spent on a non-red state or fear that other people might not be living according to a rightwing interpretation of Christianity or whatever negativity they can dream up, is just one more means to an end.
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"The legacy of deliberate singling out of black people for adverse treatment - ranging from subjection to chattel slavery, to Jim Crow laws, to lynching, to bombing, to de jure and de facto apartheid, to redlining, to the kind of damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't way that any attempt at remedial public efforts are viewed, to differential prosecution of coca derivatives highly correlated to skin color, to differences in incarceration rates, to whatever example you like, not to exclude explicitly racist language in angry nasty tweets following Obama's election, tells me that a lot of people still carry around in their heads the idea that somebody's skin color can tell you something important about who they are." Also voter suppression laws. And several Republican politicians, including one from Texas, have been quite honest about the purpose of such efforts.
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Is there any way t share ObWi articles on Facebook? I'd like to share this one with a Christian friend who has strange ideas about how Jews are supposed to act out her church's ideas. I don't think she actually knows much about what Jews believe. She seems to see Jews as actors in a Christian production.
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2013 on Not all Jews who wander are lost at Obsidian Wings
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I love the layers of history behind current rituals. Events like Michealmas don't mean much to me in terms of modern religion, but do in terms of the layers of human experience in place and time.
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If it is Kyrgystan, I hope LJ will give us a detailed description of what he experiences there.
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Thanks, Cleek, Yikes. This is shaping up to deja vu all over again. Some air strikes to say, "You bad!" are one thing. Language that opens the door to boots on the ground for regime change is something else altogether. Once again, I just can't believe it. I just can't believe that the US would stupid enough to get involved in another regime change fiasco. But maybe I'm the stupid one for having unrealistic expectations. I am about to write to my Senators about this.
Toggle Commented Sep 4, 2013 on Bombing Syria Open Thread at Obsidian Wings
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A awful lot of those Amish "subsistence" farmers in Pennsylvannia are earning substantial incomes from puppy mills in their barns. The farm vs factory choice is a matter of personal preference. If I had to live as one of the working poor on a farm or in a factory in the mid ninetheeth century England I would pick the farm. But I'd rather live as a middle class American in 2013.
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The early factories were often hellish: long hours and low pay under very dangerous working conditions. Farm work would have to pretty bad to compete. But sometimes it was. There were periods when hired farm laborers were underfed, malnourished individuals who barely had the strength to do the required work. Work as a domestic servant could be grueling as well. The worst domestic work was for middle class families. They hired fewer servants and expected them to do more, plus he middle class families were usually home. Rich people hired lots of servants, expected less work from each individual, and moved around a lot, leaving servants at home with little work to do at all. I realize that the post is about broad trends over time. I also realize that my undisciplined readings of historical works gives me snapshots, but not the big picture. So I'm not disagreeing or drawing a conclusion.
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I oh see, Brett. I thought you meant that there was no difference between the innocent people who get harassed for satanic rites or supposed un-American activities. But here's the thing--there might be no Satanic rites, but there are sex abusers. In most witch hunts there are witches. So far as I know it's just you who has decided tha that the defining characteristic of a with hunt is there are not witches. Take the witchhunt atmosphere around sexual abuse in this country: there are sex abusers but the people who were tried and convicted in Wenatchee were innocent. There was a sex abuse with hunt in Minneapolis and a very famous one in Southern California. We had one in the next county over that combined sexual abuse with satanic rites. I do not think it is at all the case that witch hunts have not witches. I think the defining characteristic of a witch hunts is that the hunt is carried out without reference to logic, fact, or due process, fueled by hysteria, resulting in the persecution of innocents.
Toggle Commented Sep 2, 2013 on Unforgivable Sin at Obsidian Wings
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"Not everyone that got ruined over spying was guilty, this is different from other law enforcement in what way?" It's not different. That's the point. Innocent people having their lives ruined over Satanic ritual witch hunts is not different than innocent people having their careers stalled, their reputations smeared, their bank accounts emptied and their time wasted over guilt-by-association charges of having something to do with someone who was rumored to have maybe been a Communist, which by itself isn't illegal. Lillian Hillman, for example. But lots of less famous people had their careers stalled or ended. One of the differences between the Communist witchhunts and the sex abuse or Satanic ritual witch hunts is the victims of the Red Scare often weren't even accused of a crime--just of association with an organization or with someone who was in an organization.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2013 on Unforgivable Sin at Obsidian Wings
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I remember the build up to the invasion of Iraq very vividly. To the last minute I just could not believe that we would do something that stupid. I was angrier with the Democrats who supported it than with Bush because I expect better from Democrats. Another difference is this: so far as I know Obama isn't lying abou the use of chemical weapons and Bush misled people both about the imaginary connection between Iraq and the 911 event and the weapons of mass destruction.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2013 on Bombing Syria Open Thread at Obsidian Wings
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President Barack Obama addressed the crisis in Syria on Saturday, saying he has decided the United States should take military action against regime targets, but that he will seek authorization from Congress before taking action. "I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in Congress," Obama said during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden. Obama said any action would "be designed to be limited in duration and scope." Obama referenced an Aug. 21 attack at the start of his remarks, saying "this menace must be confronted." "The world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in Syria in the worst chemical attack of the 21st century," Obama said. "This attack is an assault on human dignity," Obama said, saying it "risks making a mockery" of the use of chemical weapons. "Make no mistake -- this has implications beyond chemical warfare," Obama said. Protesters could be heard outside of the White House before Obama came out to make his statement. AFP reports there were about 100 anti-war protesters and some 50 supporters of the Syrian opposition facing off outside of the White House on Saturday. There are, apparently, expressions of leftwing oppostion already. I hope this is all kabuki and posturing. I hope that seeking Congressionsal approval is a way of not getting the approval. But my hopes are frequently dashed.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2013 on Bombing Syria Open Thread at Obsidian Wings
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BTW I think that if Obama does authorize bombing, there will be outrage from the left. It is probably better to express the outrage now, so FWIW I also will send an email. The only people I know who really want some kind of intervention are Christian rightwingers who are concerned about the safety of the Syrian Christian community. And I don't think that our involvement will help them any more than our involvement in Iraq helped Christians there.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2013 on Bombing Syria Open Thread at Obsidian Wings
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I do not want us to invade Syria. That would be beyond stupid, well into immoral. I don't think the idea of bombing just to make some sort of point is a good idea either. I am very disappointed that it is under consideration. I think chaos theory has a lot of application to human affairs. Taking an action because of an intention doesn't mean the desired intention will happen. Most of the time something else happens because of all of the other factors. The only thing we know for sure about Syria is that we don't understand it and we sure as hell can't control it. It isn't even clear that we can influence it in the desired way. Thanks for the links upthread bobbyp. I found the Washpo article very informative. And Hi Steve! It's great to hear from you again!
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2013 on Bombing Syria Open Thread at Obsidian Wings
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I think that sometimes a competition gets started: who is the most lawnorder? The most pro-life? The most opposed to sex offenders? And, of course, the voice of reason gets confabulated with being pro whatever the competition is against.
Toggle Commented Aug 31, 2013 on Unforgivable Sin at Obsidian Wings
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