Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby portia » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:43 pm

Well, I read the transcript of Christie's newsconference.

Stupid hardly covers it. People often feel that "no-one will know; we can get away with this" and it is seldom the case. There is an element of failure of leadership in this. Part of Christie's job us to lead his staff, and these people obviously didn't get the message. Is that partly Christie's fault? I have no idea: it has been over 40 years since I was near New Jersey. But it is something that he should give some thought to.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Jnyusa » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:02 pm

I like Governor Christie too, but I don't think he would appeal to a national audience.

Rick Santorum won't either, but I can easily see him ending up in a front-runner position. Who the Democrats will run as a follow up to Pres Obama is a more interesting question, imo. I can't see Hillary wanting to live through that again and I can't think of anyone who's grooming is complete at this point. Cory Booker will run eventually (unless something weird happens) but he's not ready right now.

There was a time when I had hopes that former Mayor/Governor Rendell would go for a Senate seat and from there to the Presidency but I think now that a freak accident put him out of the running for national office. Senator Specter had to retire and let Rendell run for his seat; that would have made a lot more sense than Specter changing parties. But it can be, too, that the position as Party Chairman is a death knell, like agreeing to be a temporary filing clerk after you've been CEO of the company. I recall back in the 70s when Senator Brock was Republican Party chairman there were a lot of people (including me) who hoped he would seek a Presidential nomination; then the ignomy of Nixon's end killed it for all the presidential hopefuls, but it seemed too very tough to come from that administrative role back into a governance role.

Can anyone think off-hand of a Party Chairman who later ran for President? (My brain turned off when I got home from work today.)
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby hamlet » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:41 pm

Jnyusa: I think that right now, the whole crux of the issue is that things are kind of in a state of flux. At this point in time, I don't think politics has ever quite gotten used to the idea of the 24 hours news cycle, infotainment, and the constant attention of pretty much everybody. The simple fact that we've been talking about Chris Christie running for president in 2016 since about 2008 really says something, and I think it's really changing how things work even at the highest levels. It's not so much that you have to actually present a set of cogent ideas anymore, but you have to present an entire image of . . . "presidentiality" so to speak . . . even if that image is effectively empty. We don't have candidates anymore, we have characters. And yes, I include Obama in that, though not for the reasons I'm sure folks will attribute to my saying so.

I can't recall the last time a Party Chairman ascended, but that's not exactly surprising. There are times that I think the best character/candidate in the world is not the guy with experience and know how and clout, but the relative unknown, the new guy that nobody's been able to get a read on and understand yet. The guy with few or no scandals hanging off of him. The one that can be portrayed to the media and thence to the public as the newcomer and the better to mold his character (i.e., how he is received), his plot, his themes so to speak.

The Republicans, actually, knew this for a little while. Right now, though, I think that they're taking all the lessons learned from that previous cycle and applying them in the wrong way. They're appealing to the wrong damn base, a mocrocosm of objective crazies and either mistaking them for the majority or simply not caring via the miracles of gerrymandering and the quirks of electorate law.

I think that 2016 is going to be a fascinating election and I think something big is going to change. What? I don't know, but I think that things are primed for a real reaction to the idea that it's not so much about ideas or governance anymore as it is about stage craft and storytelling.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Jnyusa » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:49 pm

Hamlet wrote: We don't have candidates anymore, we have characters.


Yes, I agree; and that's a very good way to put it.

I also agree that President Obama falls into that category. He ran as the personification of an idea and not on his particular skill set, as (for contrast) Hillary did. And he won both primary and election because every one else in the field, having a known track record, was positively scary, though all for different reasons.

Yeah, it will be interesting to see what sort of personality emerges. And really, if they don't start emerging by the end of 2014 and vying for their party's nomination, it will be just about too late. One more reason why the timing of Christie's scandal is likely to hurt him a lot.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby portia » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:34 am

Is he a bully? He is certainly direct, and I get the feeling that no-one is ever in doubt about what he thinks. Which is good, much of the time. But Washington is a very different place from Trenton, and politics would be a different thing with him in the Presidency.

Something I saw on a Sunday morning talk show disturbed me a bit. A commentator took what looked like a memo that disapproved of the closure, and, it seemed to me, tried to spin it into some sort of admission that Christie was involved. But the person who was answering the questions did not "bite" on it, so I am not sure what the point was.
Last edited by portia on Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby hamlet » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:01 am

The point, Portia, as it has been for the last week that "Bridge Gate" has been the top news cycle, is fairly plain: to blame Christie as being entirely at fault for the issue. It's the media manufacturing news/controversy for the sake of a story and, possibly, for the sake of influencing politics, though I'd say that last part is probably more down to individual reporters/editors than the whole company which is more interested in viewership figures and money than who's in office.

The story is that Chris Christie shut down the bridge to punish a political rival. Whether or not this is FACTUAL is entirely, wholly, and utterly beside the point and irrellevent at this point. The only thing that matters to the people broadcasting the news is that this is the story and it's what sells.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby portia » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:20 am

Could very well be.We will have to wait and see what the newsmakers do, if nothing linking Christie turns up.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby hamlet » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:20 pm

portia wrote:Could very well be.We will have to wait and see what the newsmakers do, if nothing linking Christie turns up.


They'll do what they've always done: lie. Baldfacedly, shamelessly, and without hesitation.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby GlassHouse » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:17 am

This guy has a good point though, generally speaking, politicians get the scandal they deserve.

Character is destiny, and politicians usually get the scandals they deserve, with a sense of inevitability about them. Warren G. Harding surrounded himself with corrupt pols and businessmen, then checked out, leading to the most sensational case of bribery in American history. Ronald Reagan combined zealotry and fantasy, and Oliver North acted them out. Bill Clinton was libidinous and truth-parsing but also cautious, while George W. Bush was an incurious crusader who believed himself chosen by God and drove almost the entire national-security establishment into lawlessness without thinking twice. Christie, more than any of these, is reminiscent of the President whose petty hatefulness destroyed him—which is why, as NBC’s newscaster said when signing off on an early report on that long-ago burglary, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.

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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby portia » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:24 pm

Off and On, we have been seeing claims that the ACA will mean layoffs. However some comments are coming along that shed some additional light.

I know people who have to keep jobs they are not too happy with because the job provides health insurance. Apparently, there is some tendency for such people to sign up with the exchange and then quit the job that they didn't like. Yes, some will reduce their income, but it also provides an opportunity to start one's own business, stay home with the kids or to take a more satisfying job that does not provide insurance. (I also think it will provide a defense to employer pressure as the job is not the only source of insurance).

Possibly by next summer we should be getting some idea of how many jobs become vacant by the emploee's choice and how many are layoffs..
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Frelga » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:51 pm

And also someone leaving a job is not the same as the employer cutting a job. Employees leave all the time and are replaced. Given the unemployment, letting people who don't want a job leave and hiring someone who really needs a job seems like a win-win to me.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Minardil » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:44 am

portia wrote:Off and On, we have been seeing claims that the ACA will mean layoffs. However some comments are coming along that shed some additional light.

I know people who have to keep jobs they are not too happy with because the job provides health insurance. Apparently, there is some tendency for such people to sign up with the exchange and then quit the job that they didn't like. Yes, some will reduce their income, but it also provides an opportunity to start one's own business, stay home with the kids or to take a more satisfying job that does not provide insurance. (I also think it will provide a defense to employer pressure as the job is not the only source of insurance).

Possibly by next summer we should be getting some idea of how many jobs become vacant by the emploee's choice and how many are layoffs..



Fox News has been back beating the drum that a Congressional Budget Office report claims that the ACA will "destroy" 2.3 million of jobs. What the report ACTUALLY says is that up to 2.3 million workers may decide to voluntarily LEAVE their jobs, because they'll be able to purchase insurance through the exchanges, and won't be tied to their employers for coverage. You'd think that this would be a GOOD thing in the eyes of Conservatives, that workers would be free to make their own choices about their employment, and would choose to buy their own insurance, and maybe start their own businesses or whatever. But no, in the Bizarro World of what passes for "conservatism" these days, the ideal is apparently to suppress market freedoms and keep workers chained to jobs they don't want, all in the name of blindly opposing whatever it is President Obama might be trying to do.


http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/feb/05/sorting-out-numbers-jobs-workers-and-federal-healt/

Early headlines and media reports also had a negative take. On Fox News, Gretchen Carlson said, "The CBO now says the president's health care law will cut the number of full-time jobs in the United States by 2.3 million by 2021."

Democrats and liberal commentators said the law’s critics were misreading the report, and a full-fledged war of facts and spin ensued.

The issue that the law’s critics overlooked is the difference between workers and jobs.

They made it sound as if jobs are going away because businesses don’t create them or because they eliminated existing jobs. The CBO report, though, was referring to workers who decide on their own to leave the workforce, because they don’t have to keep working a job just to keep their health benefits.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby portia » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:16 am

After reading some articles on this mis-understandng (I am being polite, here) I wrote to my freshman Member of Congress to complain about the LIES he told in his news letter.
Opinions on what will happen are one thing, but flat out misrepresentations of what the report says are too much.

He, unfortunately, is still in the "shut up and vote" stage of being a new Congress person, but I keep hoping that some awareness of what he is doing will make him shape up a bit.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Cenedril_Gildinaur » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:31 am

Before the bridge incident, Democrats were convinced Christi was the Republican front runner, and Republicans were convinced that Christi was going to defect to the Democrats.

Now the Democrats wouldn't want him and he's certainly not leading the Republican pack.

Although it would have been interesting seeing the Democrats stop attacking his weight and suddenly saying that attacking his weight is politically incorrect if he had defected.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby portia » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:29 pm

I have noticed that for some of our sters, rumors and speculation are much more fun than actual facts.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby portia » Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:06 pm

Te CPAC conference was on this weekend.Some ofthe speakers were talking bout clarifying or purifying the message.

The problem with that is that there are always exceptions. These exceptions can be things that you do not want to do, even though they conform to your ideology .Libertarianism is especially prone to this sort of problem, as it stresses self-reliance. Self reliance is all very well when people have the means, education, training, or physical ability to be self reliant, but it breaks down when lack of self reliance has nothing to do with the person's own abilities (or under the stresses of fraud, which is another issue). A Conservative leader will often have to invent exceptions because he/she knows the society as a whole will not accept the ruthlesness that is iherent in many of these ideas. so they get waterd down, and get so tangled in their own inconsistencies that no-one knows what is being advcated.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Minardil » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:55 am

portia wrote:Te CPAC conference was on this weekend.Some ofthe speakers were talking bout clarifying or purifying the message.

The problem with that is that there are always exceptions. These exceptions can be things that you do not want to do, even though they conform to your ideology .Libertarianism is especially prone to this sort of problem, as it stresses self-reliance. Self reliance is all very well when people have the means, education, training, or physical ability to be self reliant, but it breaks down when lack of self reliance has nothing to do with the person's own abilities (or under the stresses of fraud, which is another issue). A Conservative leader will often have to invent exceptions because he/she knows the society as a whole will not accept the ruthlesness that is iherent in many of these ideas. so they get waterd down, and get so tangled in their own inconsistencies that no-one knows what is being advcated.


And it seems that they have pulled no punches, intellectually speaking.

Here's Sarah Palin reading her own, cleverly reworded version of "Green Eggs and Ham", by noted thinker "Doctor Seuss".

http://news.msn.com/us/video?videoid=8e1ec7c1-503e-c7e8-6065-23fba77d5ab8#tscptmf


I am afraid she might be talking a bit above the average Tea Bagger, though.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Minardil » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:03 pm

Hobby Lobby feels that including contraceptives in the insurance coverage they provide for their employees violates their religious beliefs, yet the company invests in these same companies that make contraceptives:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/hobby-lobby-retirement-plan-invested-emergency-contraception-and-abortion-drug-makers

In their Supreme Court complaint, Hobby Lobby's owners chronicle the many ways in which they avoid entanglements with objectionable companies. Hobby Lobby stores do not sell shot glasses, for example, and the Greens decline requests from beer distributors to back-haul beer on Hobby Lobby trucks.

Similar options exist for companies that want to practice what's sometimes called faith-based investing. To avoid supporting companies that manufacture abortion drugs—or products such as alcohol or pornography—religious investors can turn to a cottage industry of mutual funds that screen out stocks that religious people might consider morally objectionable. The Timothy Plan and the Ave Maria Fund, for example, screen for companies that manufacture abortion drugs, support Planned Parenthood, or engage in embryonic stem cell research. Dan Hardt, a Kentucky financial planner who specializes in faith-based investing, says the performances of these funds are about the same as if they had not been screened. But Hobby Lobby's managers either were not aware of these options or chose not to invest in them.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby portia » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:50 pm

I cannot recall who first said, in my presence, that evil is much less widespread than we think. Mostly it is stupidity.

Kissing one's staff member is dumb. It may be so dumb that it disqualifies the Congressman from holding office.

If it is not dumb, then it is an example of a very sexist male trait, that I will not quote.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Minardil » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:00 pm

So, what are Republicans saying about Clive Bundy, now that he has shifted focus from protecting his own right to graze his cattle for free on government land, to saying that black folks should go back to slavery and "picking cotton'?" Is he just NOW becoming an insane racist nutjob, or has he been one all along?
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Jnyusa » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:56 pm

You know, I think it's a little more complicated than that. May I tell a shaggy dog story without boring everyone to death?

In a CNN article about Clive Bundy, there is a quote from Phil Robertson about how happy the Blacks were working together with his own white family in the Louisiana cotton fields. So I looked up Phil Robertson to see what year he was born. And then, with the CNN article was an interview with Bundy, so I've seen what his approximate age is, and I know what his issue is with the federal government: grazing lands, another extremely complex war of interests involving not so much the ranchers themselves as the banks that are using their grazing licenses as collateral on agricultural debt.

OK, so here comes the shaggy dog. Last year I read one of John Grisham's lesser known works, A Painted House, which is based on his childhood in Arkansas in a family of freeholders that grew cotton - three generations in the fields, bringing help up from Mexico and down from the Ozarks during harvest. It is a truly stunning portrait of that way of life. But it also got me interested in cotton, because I couldn't imagine that cotton was still today picked by hand. One can hardly imagine a more back-breaking, time-consuming, skin-wrecking, inefficient way of harvesting if Grisham's eloquent descriptions are accurate. And of course it is not picked by hand any longer. The small farmers who persisted doing it that way were run into the ground by the banks, their lands bought up and converted to new plantations where the new slave is a very impressive machine about as big as a house. I spent probably a half-hour on the internet watching cotton harvested on a modern plantation. It was fascinating.

So John Grisham is about the same age as I am. Phil Robertson is not much older, and Clive Bundy is older still, and for all of us the era of hand-picked cotton is as obsolete as segregated schools. So what are these guys, Phil and Clive, talking about when they talk about the glory days plucking cotton (which can't be anything but a cocaine dream of un-lived idyllic pasts if Grisham is to be believed, and I think he is to be believed), or when they talk about the free range, which certainly ended before the Federal Reserve Bank was born, never mind before Clive Bundy was born? What are they talking about?

It's the very obsolescence of their own lives and experiences that they detest and fear and rail against. I think so. I think this is what it is. Blackness and the cultural attention it receives is the strawman standing in for a general paranoia about the increasing irrelevance of being white. And particularly rural white. And particularly rural white tethered to the old ways: unable to run a modern management program on a computer as every farmer today must be able to do; unable to put up private collateral for the banks as every farmer today must be able to do; unable to understand the formulas presented to them by the BLM or DoA, because those analyses were evolved by people with Ph.D.'s in engineering. Too old to scramble hard enough to keep up with the modernization of agriculture. Just that.

These guys are victims of a secular trend. It is not an original kind of victimhood, but to the victim the suffering always feels uniquely impertinent. It's like being a teenager and discovering sex; only these guys are old and what they are discovering is their obsolescence and mortality.

Sure they are racist. Bundy is racist in the same way that his is managerially suboptimal, racist in the same way that his is generally obsolete. What is troubling about him and others like him, I think, is that they are also finding a niche (for awhile) among politicians and parties that are so far removed from the world of the rural white person that they don't know the hawk from the handsaw. Like Joe the Plumber, Bundy and his peers are ciphers to the people who are using them. They are victims still, while standing open-mouthed on their platform of discontent. I find them strangely pitiful, and ... representative of dynamics a little more complicated than mere racism.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Minardil » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:26 am

Well, John Grisham grew up in the South where cotton plantations were something that would have been a part of his every day experience. Bundy is from Nevada - indeed his entire shtick is based on his deep roots in that state. HE certainly didn't grow up around Cotton plantations, they don't represent something he has had personal experience with.

Bundy was indulging in that central bit of delusional hypocrisy upon which the Right has built what passes for a motivating philosophy these days, the Paradigm of the Makers vs the Takers.

In the mind of the Right, a working class man who is on Unemployment because he lost his job when the factory was closed down and work shifted to China is a TAKER, a shameful socialist un-American parasite who is sucking off the government teat and destroying our country. Meanwhile, the billionaire who CLOSED the factory and sent work to China just to earn a few extra points on his stock options, who takes every tax credit and incentive the Government offers, who keeps his money in offshore tax havens, THAT guy is a MAKER, a Hard Working Patriotic Job Creating American Hero who is just playing the game by the rules (even when the rules give him huge handouts for his business, and when the only jobs he is creating are in China).

Bundy sees the world the same way. If HE tries to graze his cattle for free, he's a Patriot, and if the Government tries to regulate what happens on Government land, then the Government is Oppressing him. Meanwhile, poor Black folks on Welfare are lazy parasites who were better off as Slaves.

This dichotomy shows in stark detail the nihilistic moral ROT that permeates the heart of Conservatism these days.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby portia » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:22 am

And, Bundy does not see himself as a Taker, even though he is. Does he fence, water, or otherwise maintain the land that he appropriates for his cattle? Does he undo any damage that they do along the way? Isn't he treating that BLM land as if it is a gift from Heaven to him for which he owes nothing? Well, TANSTAAFL. THERE AINT NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH. He is taking from the people who pay for what he is refusing to pay for. He is also, probably, undercutting the price of people who do pay the BLM, or someone else, for what he is insisting on getting for free.

His attitude to the Government is merely delayed anti-social adolescence. God only knows what his attitude to Black people is.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Minardil » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:38 pm

And, Bundy does not see himself as a Taker, even though he is


Which was my point. Conservatives assign the roles of "Maker" and "Taker" based NOT on any legitimate. fact-based calculation of an individual's contributions to and benefits from society, but rather along purely tribal lines. "We're MAKERS, they're TAKERS" is about as analytical as they get.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Jnyusa » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:23 pm

Min wrote:Well, John Grisham grew up in the South where cotton plantations were something that would have been a part of his every day experience. Bundy is from Nevada - indeed his entire shtick is based on his deep roots in that state. HE certainly didn't grow up around Cotton plantations, they don't represent something he has had personal experience with.


Yes, it was Phil Robertson who referred to being a cotton picker in his childhood ... he was interviewed in the same article because he too was trying to explain that Black Americans had been better off picking cotton. That's what reminded me of Grisham.

Taker and Makers and how they define these to themselves - yes I agree with all of that. I wanted to point out that it's not just racism that fuels this kind of thinking. There is behind it, I believe, a wider, correct intuition of their own mismanaged obsolescence that makes them behave like animals caught in a trap.

Even if the BLM gives Bundy everything he wants, he's still dead because his land is overgrazed and the grazing licenses are his last collateral before having to mortgage the ranch, and once he's mortgaged and remortgaged the ranch it's a short road to total collapse. He will never again be sufficiently productive. He has no chance with or without the government, and at some level he knows that too.

One thing that would clarify the political conversation about national assets is an actual valuation of our national assets. We currently don't do one, and it leads to all sorts of accounting disarticulations. But you can't start there with someone like Bundy. All you can do is press forward to the electorate with counter-information, that before there were soil conservation laws the windbowls created by western ranchers were so vast their dust covered the cars in Washington, DC. Overgrazing kills the cattle, bankrupts the prudent farmers, leads to the inhumane feedlots we so despise (those of us who know they exist). That if one wants to know what it was really like to pick cotton, read John Grisham. Hand out paperback copies of his book at every Robertson autograph signing, every Nugent concert.

It's the job of the progressive alternative to articulate fact when fact has been lost, and we don't usually come anywhere near doing that. We're always on the defensive, which is a ridiculous place to be considering that the next stop these guys are going to make is the grave.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby solicitr » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:33 am

It was inevitable that when Cliveden Bundy became a public figure, and something of a conservative folk-hero, the smear machine would get to work with one of its favorite games, selective editing. Like some of the more infamous cropped photographs, by removing the context you can alter, even invert, meaning

... and so what I've testified to you -- I was in the Watts riot, I seen the beginning fire and I seen that last fire. What I seen is civil disturbance. People are not happy, people are thinking they don't have their freedoms, they didn't have these things, and they didn't have them.

We've progressed quite a bit from that day until now, and we sure don't want to go back. We sure don't want the colored people to go back to that point. We sure don't want these Mexican people to go back to that point. And we can make a difference right now by taking care of some of these bureaucracies, and do it in a peaceful way.

Let me tell, talk to you about the Mexicans, and these are just things I know about the negroes. I want to tell you one more thing I know about the negro. When I go, went, go to Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and I would see these little government houses, and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids -- and there's always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch. They didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

And because they were basically on government subsidy -- so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never, they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered are they were better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things? Or are they better off under government subsidy?

You know they didn’t get more freedom, they got less freedom -- they got less family life, and their happiness -- you could see it in their faces -- they wasn't happy sitting on that concrete sidewalk. Down there they was probably growing their turnips -- so that’s all government, that’s not freedom.

Now, let me talk about the Spanish people. You know, I understand that they come over here against our Constitution and cross our borders. But they’re here and they’re people -- and I’ve worked side by side a lot of them.

Don’t tell me they don’t work, and don’t tell me they don’t pay taxes. And don’t tell me they don’t have better family structures than most of us white people. When you see those Mexican families, they’re together, they picnic together, they’re spending their time together, and I’ll tell you in my way of thinking they’re awful nice people. And we need to have those people join us and be with us not, not come to our party.


Rather different, isn't it?

Meanwhile, nobody to my knowledge other than Chicago-area Jewish leaders has protested, and the national press certainly hasn't covered, this piece of nasty racism:


Chicago Sun Times readers were stunned last week to find that writer Neil Steinberg has penned a column comparing black supporters of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis against their brethren.

“As a general rule, individuals will sell out the interests of their groups in return for personal benefit. It isn’t just a black thing. Jews collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, helping them to round up their own people in the hopes they’d be the last to go.”

http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinberg/ ... n-buy.html



---------------------------------
I do find it rather amusing that Jny would declaim that "It's the job of the progressive alternative to articulate fact when fact has been lost" in the light have just previously ascribed the Dust Bowl to grazing(!) rather than the actual cause, straight-furrow deep ploughing-- a technique which was heavily and aggressively promoted by the US Department of Agriculture: the government. But then, it's hardly a secret that the "progressive alternative's" attitude towards factuality and truthfulness is entirely antinomian.

And I would suggest that, if you want to learn about picking cotton, read Booker T. Washington or Solomon Northup, not the fiction of a lawyer-turned-thriller-writer.
Last edited by solicitr on Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby portia » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:46 am

There are a lot of different ways to view various groups, from welfare parents to Wall Streeters, depending on what bothers you. We could go on trading snarky quotes forever. My particuklar concern is who is having to make up the expenses that Bundy is refusing to pay the BLM? Someone is. That money has to come from somewhere, and when it does either something else will be shortchanged, or somene will not get some service that they should have gotten.
Like Copyright infringement, it is theft.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby GlassHouse » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:30 pm

Rachel Maddow gives a pretty thorough history lesson on the roots of the kind of anti-government "sovereign individual" Posse Comitatus movement that seems to be where a lot of what Mr Bundy believes comes from.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/
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April 25, 2014 10:39 AM Cliven Bundy and the Posse Comitatus Movement

By Ed Kilgore
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Speaking of Cliven Bundy and Reconstruction…Rachel Maddow offered a fascinating segment last night showing the connections between Bundy’s resistance to federal authority and the Posse Comitatus Movement, rooted in Reconstruction-era efforts to remove federal military authority from the South. It’s a long segment, but it’s Friday and all, so if you have time give it a gander:

In passing Maddow cited a 2008 Washington Monthly piece by Kevin Carey retailing the history of the Posse Comitatus movement, whose exotic legal theories were being used, ironically, by African-American drug dealers accused of murder in Baltimore.

Bundy is standing on a long and disreputable tradition.


That said, I would never paint Bundy as a white supremacist. He has attitudes that I see in a lot of older working class people, even among the older members of my own family. He may be ignorant and uneducated but he doesn't seem to hate people for their skin color.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/c ... immigrants
More video has emerged of Cliven Bundy's slavery remarks, and they now include a bit about "the Spanish people" -- by whom Bundy appears to mean undocumented Hispanic immigrants. But there's a twist: The Nevada rancher actually seems quite fond of them.

"Now let me talk about the Spanish people," Bundy said in a new video unearthed by New York magazine, right after he concluded his thoughts on "the Negro."

"I understand that they come over here against our Constitution and cross our borders," he says. "But they're here and they're people. I worked side-by-side a lot of them. Don't tell me they don't work, and don't tell me they don't pay taxes. And don't tell me they don't have better family structures than most of us white people."

"When you see those Mexican families, they're together. They picnic together. They're spending their time together," he said. "I'll tell you, in my way of thinking, they're awful nice people. We need to have those people join us and be with us."


OTOH, it's possible he just like "the Spanish people" because they'll work hard on his ranch for peanuts.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby solicitr » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:25 am

portia wrote: My particuklar concern is who is having to make up the expenses that Bundy is refusing to pay the BLM? Someone is. That money has to come from somewhere, and when it does either something else will be shortchanged, or somene will not get some service that they should have gotten.
Like Copyright infringement, it is theft.


Well, Portia, I'm less worried about the Feds going short of money than I am the basis of their claim for it. While I don't think that Bundy legally has much of a case, really no case at all, morally he is certainly in a sympathetic position, a Fifth Amendment case not covered by the Fifth Amendment; he's really the victim of an enclosure, or something close akin. For 90 years his family and their neighbors had common right, just like colonial Boston Common or the village commons still found in a handful of places in England, but then in 1993 BLM "enclosed' it, declaring common right at an end. And what is interesting is that despite the claim that the seizure was "to preserve tortoise habitat," BLM was perfectly happy to let the exact same ranchers graze the exact same cattle on the exact same land- except now they had to pay BLM for the privilege.
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Re: Republicans, Redux (Second Derivative)

Postby Jnyusa » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:03 am

The General Land Act of 1812 allowed people to acquire federal land free of charge, but they filed property titles and paid taxes on the land thereafter. Land not subject to these grants was never a commons; it was always federal property. The minute the US Cavalry rode out there and ran off the Indians and planted a US flag in those territories, they became the property of the US government. When Nevada became a State (1864) it had to establish its own homestead laws consistent with the General Land Act, and these too require the titling of property.

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2014/04/14/cliven-bundy-has-no-claim-to-federal-land-and-grazing/

The BLM right to issue or withhold grazing rights on federally-owned land isn't like the Enclosure Acts of England which affected lands that were legally commons under the Danelaw and carried forward as commons under English law until they were arbitrarily privatized in the late 1700s. As far as I know there is no land in the US that is legally a commons unless a conveyance has been created to establish it as such. And even then, what does that mean? It means that the people who use it have the right to determine how it will be used and to share the cost of using it, which we determine in the US by representative government or by incorporation (such as condominiums create). It has never been the case, even under the old Danelaw, that one user could appropriate the land to the detriment of other users.

Bundy is on even weaker moral ground than legal ground, I would think, because one can justly argue (in Federal court presumably) that the Endangered Species Act is prejudicial and should require broader review at the State level. But to claim that the land is a commons and then claim in concert that one user has the right to appropriate it is without any moral or historical foundation at all.

If we want to talk about the moral rights of landowners, a more interesting and difficult problem (in my opinion) is the problem of private property that is used in such a way as to destroy the property values of other private owners in the vicinity.

We still have a lot of undeveloped land in the western exurbs of Philadelphia where I live. These lands have property titles that go back to the 1600s ... I was just looking a few months ago at the land grant maps commissioned by William Penn for the counties to the west of Philly - fascinating stuff! So they've been divided and subdivided over time as the population grew. Each subdivision erodes to some extent the quality of our habitat, but more pertinent here, it reduces the resale value of adjacent properties. It is my opinion that there should be something equivalent to "ancient lights" associated with semi-rural and/or exurban properties. We have not legally defined such rights except by inadequate environmental ordinance at the township and county level - e.g. building on steep slopes, creek banks, flood plains, etc. You can still take a woods alongside someone else's property, a woods that makes their property worth a million dollars because of the privacy and view and energy savings it provides, and chop it all down for a townhouse complex or a McMansion theme park, reducing by that process the value of the other guy's property three-fold. The other guy has no recourse.

You can see the impact on property values by looking at the sale price of homes that abut a golf course or township park or disused railway, versus comparable homes that are neighbor-bound. Or look at the rising cost of township services when new subdivisions are created, costs that are not put onto the developers and built into the price of new homes but smeared over all existing residents.

The reason we try to coordinate land use is because we want to protect the rights of all landowners and land users and new land purchasers, approximating in some measure parity among them, and not just the rights of carpetbaggers with oily tongues. This inherent conflict of interest is closer to the issues embedded in the concept of a commons, I think, than is the stink that Bundy is making.
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