It was a beautiful thing.
It was a beautiful thing.
Twenty years ago, I tried to get a piece making a similar argument published in 'The Crisis' the 'house organ' of the NAACP. It was roundly rejected. It does my heart good to see more and more black people who are not gay coming forward and telling the community, particularly the black church which is the undeniable well-spring of anti-gay sentiment in the black community, that they are on the wrong side of history.
Gay is the new black. And some Christian blacks must be willing to look into their hearts and find the seeds of fear that would have them deny the humanity of another in the name of God (just the way it was done to them not that long ago). Let's ask ourselves: do we fear gays or fear being gay? Why must gay leaders in our churches and communities serve clandestinely? Consider what the power of love and acceptance might offer if we are willing to stand courageously with gays as we stood for ourselves decades ago. Our freedom will not truly be granted until we can pass it forward. Gay is the new black, sadly, because many blacks haven't been willing to embrace their own practices, secrets, fear, and shame about homosexuality. Many blacks have not been able to reconcile their real-life experience with their faith, and until they do this, they are oppressed people who are also practicing the oppression of others.
We live in a time and place that puts high value on emotion, and that views emotions as self-validating. To feel something is thought by many to be sufficient evidence of its truthfulness, or at least its authenticity. This is a mark of the barbarian. I understand why post-Sixties liberals make the mistake of believing that nonsense. But conservatives?This is another one of those “scary-to-write” posts because what I am going to say so breaks with standard Left orthodoxy that it feels as if I am writing religious heresy. The above quote is taken from a post at Frum Forum written by a conservative about older conservatives (Fox Geezers) who get all their news from FOX News. My concern in this post is not with the Right-leaning people who think that it is sufficient that they feel that the HCR law leads to ‘death panels’ or that Obama is a Marxist Islamist. My concern here is with the Left-leaning people, my own political tribe, that think it is sufficient to ‘feel’ something in order for it to be ‘true’ or ‘authentic’. The barbarian I speak of is in the second sense of the uncultured or brutish person.
This made my day! Oh and welcome home sailor!
You've got to admire Newt for his honesty. He doesn't want our vote and is explicit in saying so. It's still insanely stupid but it's honest stupidity. Would that the GOP, as a whole, adopt this level of honesty and just tell the voters they don't want voting for them that they can vote for the other side. It would save the GOP a lot of pain gotten from contorting themselves to try to appeal to blacks while using racially charged and dog-whistle politics. It would save them the trouble of turning themselves into four dimensional toruses trying to court the Latino vote while simultaneously trying to scare the bejeezus out of the base at the thought of hordes of Mexicans coming over the border. And then there's Arab and Muslim Americans who it is manifestly obvious the GOP does not want their vote. They could at least be polite enough to tell Arab and Muslim Americans to just piss off.
If you’re a gay American, don’t vote for Newt Gingrich. That’s not a Democratic talking point — that’s reportedly what Newt himself said to a gay man in Iowa Tuesday.
When the WSJ abandons you and you're a GOP politician, you're done. The Journal has abandoned Boehner, calling him out by name. David Frum, over at Frum Forum, makes another interesting observation that the Journal is responsible for the GOP being in this position because they taught them that this is what they are supposed to believe as good conservatives. At some point, the GOP is going to have to decide that governing is more important to the nation than campaigning. It's clear, though, that they aren't there yet.
“Both Republicans and Democrats have agreed that this is going to happen and probably the best thing to happen now is just to get it over with — one more policy blunder— but just get it over with and move on because now it’s been framed as a tax increase which it’s not,” he said. “I know what’s going to happen and I agree with the editorial this morning in the Wall Street Journal,” Corker went on. “Probably the best thing to do at this point is just get this behind us and move on and hopefully figure out a way to deal with the real issues that our country needs to deal with.”
The Journal also of course as always favors tax cuts too. But not this one. The payroll tax holiday is the rare example of a tax cut the Journal strongly dislikes. In today’s editorial, the Journal suggests that its dislike is based on the holiday’s temporary nature. Yet the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 were temporary too, and that time limit did not disqualify them in the Journal’s eyes.
So to answer the question of whether 21 Dec 2012 will be the end of the world; in a word, no. Do I know exactly what is going to happen on 21 Dec 2012? No, but I'll hazard a guess:
The Sun is going to rise in the East and set in the West. People are going to be born and others are going die. The American news media will be patting themselves on the back and/or flaggelating themselves because of their horrible coverage of the 2012 elections. Dogs will be walked. Cats will clean themselves. The kids will be alright.
The thing I'm waiting for is 22 Dec when we will be treated to a lot of talk about 'a spiritual change' or 'spiritual evolution' that will have taken place. You can already see the shift if you are in an environment where the woo is thick on the ground. Two years ago, people were wondering if the 'polar shift' was going to happen (there were people who *genuinely* believed that the Earth was going to turn 'upside down' so that the continents in the Southern hemisphere would suddenly be in the Northern hemisphere!) or if there was going to be this or that cosmic calamity. As each potential calamity was thoroughly debunked, goal posts got moved until the 'end of the world' became 'there will be a spiritual evolution' or 'the beginning of a new spiritual vibration'. Now the really neat things about spiritual 'vibrations' and 'evolution' is that the evidence for them is anything you want them to be. So it's very convenient. But somehow, when people are trying to sell their books or whatever other woo flapdoodle is going to separate the gullible from their money they aren't talking about spiritual evolution but real, actual, 70s-style disaster movie events. But those can be verified and so aren't nearly as escapable.
No one knows exactly what will happen on Dec. 21, 2012 -- the day that the Mayan calendar runs out -- but it's safe to say there will be a lot of hype regarding what might happen.
Okay this is a truly majestic level of either laziness or stupidity. An end-user opens a ticket saying that he is unable to download from our web site. We have a tool that allows us to impersonate users so I logged in as him, thinking that perhaps he had not registered his product. That wasn’t the case. The way our downloads page works is this: you select what software you are interested in and then the page refreshes with links for the operating system you are using. So if you are on Windows you would click that, if you are using Linux or Solaris you would click those. Pretty simple, right? Not for this guy. He sees the page below and doesn’t even bother clicking the Windows link, he opens a ticket because he believes he cannot download the software.
What kind of thinking process would someone have to have, someone who works in information technology (we do not sell commercial software, if you are using our stuff you are in IT) to not even think to click the Windows link and see if he can download the software from there. Like I said, he’s either the laziest or the dumbest person on the planet.
I appreciate the comparison you highlighted between the gay vet who confronted Mitt Romney and the black veterans in history observed by Ta-Nehisi. I am a former soldier, having served in the US Army from 1985 until 1989 before being discharged after a witch hunt. My sister is a retired soldier and my son is currently serving. We have a tradition of military service going back to at least the Second World War. It is my father, who fought with the storied 761st Tank Battalion (the Black Panthers) and his generation for black soldiers and airmen that I want to talk about briefly.
On my mother’s side, there were three Tuskegee Airmen.
My father, as I said, was a tanker. Before WWII, both my father and my uncles had lived every day of their lives in either Louisiana or Alabama, respectively. My father joined the Army the week following the attack on Pearl Harbor because the Army would let him fight as either infantry or a tanker but the Navy would have had him shining shoes or being a cook. My father wanted to fight.
He spent four years in the Army, was decorated with the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. When he came home at the end of the war, he went to college where he met my mother, who had spent the war building airplanes as a ‘Rosie’. Because my father served, he and my uncles got the GI Bill that allowed them to go to college. World War II made my father who he was.
My parents stayed in Alabama, where I was born, until 1968 when they moved us to California. The 1968 election was the first time my father ever cast a vote in the nation he had fought and bled for. When I joined the Army my father was very opposed to it - partially because my sister had joined four years earlier, partly because of his memories of serving in a segregated military. To convince him that my reasons were good, I told him that it takes a special kind of man to go and fight for a country that does not consider him enough of a human being to go to school where he wishes, to vote in elections, to live where he can afford and to work in any job he is qualified for. That generation of black men who signed up and served knowing that they would return home and not be able to vote were very special men.
When I think of the generations of gays and lesbians who served in our military, I think that whether the likes of Romney (or a non-trivial swath of the GOP for that matter) realize it or not, they are in the debt of these folks and are in the presence of the very best of America.
I am not trying to blow my own horn. This is not about my service. I went in because I felt that I had grown up in a nation that did consider me an actual citizen and if my father could put on the uniform when he was, at best, a second-class citizen I could do no less. I just want us, as Americans, to acknowledge that gays and lesbians have served and continue to do so and that these are the very best of our nation. They get up and they do their duty knowing that the man or woman they love back home is not considered their actual, wedded spouse and yet they do it anyway. We should honor them as the exceptional Americans they are.
As a quick aside, I also want the gay community to get off their Left-leaning, anti-American high horse and recognize that our queer vets are the very best of us and give them our full support and thanks for their service.
So a colleague of mine took a call from a user who got a “cannot open file located in <path>” error. This person asked “what could it mean”. This begs the question of why this person didn’t immediately just go to the path and see if the file existed. I just responded to someone who got an error “cannot create project in directory <path> because a project already exists in that location”. Once again, the user asked “what could that mean”. Now, given that the error messages actually tells you “here’s where the problem lies” why on Earth would someone not just go and put eyes on the issue? What is it about error messages that computer professionals have trouble with “look, go here, the problem exists at this location”?
Since I bought my Mac in 2008, MacJournal from Mariner Software has been one of my staple apps. I just noticed in my RSS feed of MacUpdate that MacJournal 6.0 has finally been released. This is my first entry with the new version and even though it’s been a long wait for it to come out (I paid my $15 for my upgrade back in late September) it has been well worth the wait! The timeline function alone is fantastic as it allows me to see how active (or not) I’ve been with my journaling and blogging. I can now set word count goals for my writing week. I’m only just beginning to scratch the surface of all of the new features in this release.
Now, I'm not a middle class white guy, I'm a middle class black woman who grew up upper-middle class (and needless to say black) but sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. So since Gene Marks, the Forbes columnist, feels qualified to tell poor black kids what they should do I think it only fair to tell middle class white guys what they should do.
So if I were a middle class white guy, I would start early, certainly no later than my junior year of high school, reading deeply in American history. I would go much deeper than the history that I was taught in high school paying particular attention to how American history looks from the point of view of blacks and Native Americans. I would read some slave narratives and then work my way up through DuBois and Washington. I would spend a great deal of time reading the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. I would watch Glory until I had it memorized and The Color Purple and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman until I had no more tears to shed. I would ask more questions than I made statements when talking about race so I didn't come off as an entitled jerk who was blind to the realities that others face.
I would take some time studying, in depth, the exploits of the black men who fought in WW II. I would seek out Invisible Man and Native Son. I would buy a seat for an entire run of "A Raisin in the Sun". I would try to familiarize myself with what blacks have said about life in America so that I might have some idea what I was on about. When I heard a black person talking about racism, I wouldn't dismiss them out of hand or assume that the black person in question was making it up or 'whining'. I would have a sense of historical perspective, recognizing that 1967 isn't a time what no living human can remember but recent history as these things are measured in most countries. I would recognize that I have a perspective and that while it is the dominant perspective in America, it isn't necessarily the most accurate perspective.
I would avoid assuming that poor people are poor because of some fault of their own. If I were a middle class white guy, I would recognize the role that luck and random circumstance played in my own life. I'm not saying that white people who 'make it' or (if they were born with it) 'keep it' don't deserve what level of comfort they have. But luck plays a role and I would never forget it. I would train my brain to think outside of my own context. I would avoid using phrases like 'my black friend' or 'why don't blacks just...'
No sane person thinks that being white is a trip down the primrose path in America. White people have to get up and go to work just like everyone else. Whties get laid off, have car accidents, get divorced, have dogs that chew up their remote controls and teenage kids who listen to music their parents don't like or get. Life happens to white people too, just like it happens to everyone. But if I were a middle class white guy, I would try to remember the things that don't happen to me because I'm a middle class white guy. I would, for instance, remember that because I'm white and male, my intellect or competence will be decided after I open my mouth or act instead of having it dismissed before I do either as happens to, for instance, black women. If I were a straight, middle class white guy, I would recognize that I can marry the person I love and that it was injust that my gay neighbor or lesbian sister can't and that this was an injustice crying out for rectification.
If I were a middle class white guy, i would stand up and shout everytime I heard another white guy say that blacks just need to 'develop a habit of work'. I would put as much daylight between myself and the likes of Newt Gingrich as I possible could.
If i were a middle class white guy the very last thing I would think of myself was that I was in any kind of position to tell poor black kids what it was they should be doing in order for me to think that they 'deserve' success. If I were a middle class white guy, I would do everything in my power from being the kind of middle class white guy who writes articles in Forbes telling blacks what's wrong with them.
I am not a poor black kid. I am a middle aged white guy who comes from a middle class white background. So life was easier for me. But that doesn’t mean that the prospects are impossible for those kids from the inner city. It doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities for them. Or that the 1% control the world and the rest of us have to fight over the scraps left behind. I don’t believe that. I believe that everyone in this country has a chance to succeed. Still. In 2011. Even a poor black kid in West Philadelphia.
This could be interesting and, quite honestly, I would love to see Mittens have to pay a price for destroying jobs--because despite the rather typical Republican denials that we have to destroy jobs in order to keep them--when you destroy a company in Anywhere, USA and move the jobs to Someplace Else, Indonesia you haven't really created jobs in America!
Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital buying up and restructuring companies — sometimes with major job cuts along the way — has been a glaring vulnerability since his earliest political runs. But it’s rarely come up in his two presidential campaigns, where the GOP’s investor-friendly ethos has made rivals hesitant to use it against him. Until now, that is. Newt Gingrich got the toughest shot in on Monday, suggesting that Romney’s time at Bain showed he was heartless and out of touch with the average American. “I would just say that if Gov. Romney would like to give back all of the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, that I would be glad to listen to him,” Gingrich told reporters. Jon Huntsman’s been hinting at Romney’s investment capital years as well, albeit more subtly, making extensive use of a now infamous photo of Bain-era Romney awash in dollar bills in his new website 10kbet.com and an accompanying web video (This is the same Huntsman whose father is a billionaire). Why is the issue coming up all of a sudden? Despite the Tea Party’s anti-bailout streak, it isn’t because Republicans have suddenly decided they hate investors — Gingrich, for example, got pilloried in the conservative press as anti-capitalist over his “layoffs” line and conspicuously rededicated himself to a “positive” campaign the very next day. The real subtext is electability. President Obama has made it absolutely clear that this race is going to about the 99% vs. the 1% on taxes, entitlements, and regulation. Sure we think Bain Capital is a paragon of free market values, Romney’s Republican critics argue, but what about those swing voters who are all too easily swayed the first time they see an ad featuring workers Romney laid off?
Well done Mittens! Realistically, though, it's just a coincidence. That doesn't mean he shouldnt' get a ribbing for it though! :)
It's the type of coincidence every politician dreads. On Tuesday, political commenters reported that one of Romney's go-to campaign catch-phrases, "Keep America American," was a central theme of Ku Klux Klan publications in the 1920s, and served as a rallying cry for the white supremacist group's campaign of violence and intimidation against black Americans, as well as Catholics, gay people and Jews. The progressive Americablog first posted examples of the overlap, and a spokeswoman for Mitt Romney declined to comment on the matter when reached by HuffPost. The Republican primary debates have ignited issues of immigration and poverty in this country, both of which disproportionally affect minorities. But Romney, a multi-millionaire, has steered away from some of the more drastic positions his rival candidates have taken on these issues.
CERN has announced that they have 'intriguing hints' that the Higgs boson exists.Higgs Boson Search: CERN Releases New Data Said To Narrow Hunt For 'God Particle'
Scientists hunting for an elusive subatomic particle say they've found "intriguing hints" – but not definitive proof – that it exists, narrowing down the search for what is believed to be a basic component of the universe. The researchers added that they hope to reach a conclusion on whether the particle exists by next year. The latest data show that the mass of the Higgs boson – popularly referred to as the "God particle" – probably falls in the lower end of the spectrum of mass that can be produced by smashing protons together in the huge Large Hadron Collider, researchers from two independent teams said Tuesday. The two teams said their data indicates the particle itself may have a mass of between roughly 114 and 130 billion electron volts. One billion electron volts is roughly the mass of a proton. The most likely mass of the Higgs boson is around 124 to 126 billion electron volts, the teams said. Until Tuesday, the most likely mass was seen as between 114 and 141 billion electron volts. There is still a small possibility that the Higgs could be much more massive and found above 476 billion electron volts, physicists said. The revelations Tuesday were heavily anticipated by thousands of researchers who hope that the particle, if it exists, can help explain why there is mass in the universe. British physicist Peter Higgs and others theorized the particle's existence more than 40 years ago to explain why fundamental particles – building blocks of the universe – have mass.
Andrew Sullivan over at Daily Dish has this to say about the problems of the GOP. Like him, my fondest hope for 2012 is that the Republicans lose so badly that they have no choice but to reform themselves. I think that it would be the best thing for both the Republican party and the United States.
But in many ways, this is all a simple result of the intellectual and ideological collapse of the Republican party. All they have, it seems, are some visceral reactions to social change - Latino immigrants, gay spouses, tolerant Millennials - and an argument that remains unchanged for thirty years, regardless of a hugely changed world. So we have a Cold War mentality without the Soviet Union - and a crazy endorsement of pre-emptive war and torture as core elements of American exceptionalism! We have a myth of massive new regulations by the Obama administration. We have more tax cuts, as if Reagan's supply side policies have been vindicated in the long term. And we have more tax cuts, while revenue is at 50 year lows. Or we have truly utopian ideas like abolishing the Fed, bringing back child labor, and fracking our way out of climate change. The whole caboose is a sign of a party that has long since unmoored itself from the country it exists in. If one of the GOP's problems is that it has lost the last two generations, nominating a 68 year-old curmudgeon who told OWS to get a job and take a bath is not likely to help. Newt's still a boomer, with all that boomer baggage. But here's what he'd do. He'd clarify dramatically the options in front of us. In refusing any tax hikes on the wealthy, and pledging to end Medicare as we have known it, and proposing a pre-emptive war on Iran as Israel's proxy, he'd help put the real GOP agenda on the table. To have that destroyed by Obama, and to have him handily re-elected would reform that party in a way nothing else would. I always said it would get worse before it gets better. The hope now is that it will get much, much worse, and thereafter much, much better. But it's just a hope, not a prediction. Only a fool would predict anything at this point.
Yet more hysterical nonsense from people who think that holding blacks accountable for our actions is racist.
All these comments about the ethnicity makes me sick to my stomach... Stealing candy REALLY?? We persecute! What about stealing Countries and... people from their countries, what about stealing cultures and lives of innocent people, what about stealing freedom from those who fight so hard to keep it... Who are the masters of this theft craft?? Lets not point fingers -look at the cause of Africans in America and how they got here! Before we blame Ethnicity. Give them education don't outlaw it from them I blame signs like (White's Only!) Take a look at what Africans have contributed and judge them as American children- this is the repercussion of a failing system! If we do not fix this... This 7 eleven will be your home in a short time and that gun in your house will need more bullets... Lets give them something to live for because right now they will Die for your Iphone!
Police in Maryland investigating a mass shoplifting have released stunning footage of an estimated 50 teenagers ransacking a Silver Spring 7-Eleven location.
Officers who responded to the call around 11:20 p.m on Saturday said that young people congregated in surrounding parking lots quickly scattered upon seeing the police vehicles, NBC Washington reports.
The alleged shoplifters took items such as beverages and snacks, according to WXYZ.
Police said that they stopped six people -- each between the ages of 16 and 18 -- and found that all had food or drinks, but no receipts.
Niall Ferguson has a very thought provoking article at Daily Beast, calling for a ‘reboot’ of America.
He makes this argument:
6. The Work Ethic. Westerners were the first people in the world to combine more extensive and intensive labor with higher savings rates, permitting sustained capital accumulation.
There really is no way of arguing with very large parts of it. We might argue that it isn’t necessarily causative or we might argue that it puts insufficient emphasis on softer, more communitarian values, but we cannot argue that Europe in the 8th century was an insignificant backwater and by 1800 was fairly established as the most powerful civilization the world had yet seen. Two hundred years later, one of Europe’s progeny became the most powerful nation-state the world has yet seen. We might wish it were otherwise. We might be wholly unimpressed but we cannot deny that these are the facts. Nor can we deny that, as Ferguson lays out above, the major breakthroughs in all of the sciences in the 17th century that really started to accelerate the modern world into existence happened in the West. We might wish that history had played out otherwise but we cannot deny that history played out as it did.
I bring this up because I find it rather sad that on the Left no one is talking about this. In fact, on the Left no one even wants to look at this stuff. The comfortable tale that the West is in its current position because of a unique rapaciousness and evil on its part is much more to the liking of altogether too many people whom I have walked with proud solidarity all these years. Mr. Ferguson does miss some things. When even someone as conservative as David Frum or a good old fashioned Tory like Andrew Sullivan see the massive income disparity as something the United States might want to address you know things have gotten serious.
There’s something I think a lot of my American friends on the Left fail to grasp--this kinder, gentler, let’s slow down, let’s not compete, make everyone feel good by being not by doing isn’t actually what’s being taught in other parts of the world. It’s not. Kids in Japan, China and South Korea are learning something quite the opposite. They are being infected by the very same memes that made the West so powerful in such a short time.
The irony of this is that the nation that the Left says it wants, by its rhetoric, requires the six items above. I would add one more, reason. If anything should keep people up at night, worrying about the United States it is this fact: both the Right and the Left in this country are driven by ideological assumptions that are fundamentally at odds with the way the world works or is most consonant with social harmony and human happiness and both sides denigrate reason. Reason is that faculty that leads people to understandings such as: if I want you to not push me in the mud, I cannot reserve for myself the right to push you in the mud. Can religious teachings get you there? Yes, of course, the Golden Rule however, religious teachings can just as easily put you on the other side while there is no conclusion reason could lead you to that would prompt you to say, “Please refrain from pushing me in the mud, in the meantime I reserve the right to push you in the mud with impunity. I expect you to abide by this agreement.” Doesn’t that just sound absolutely ludicrous? Yet it is reason and only reason that boxes you in so you have nowhere else to go? Had a bad day? So what, maybe the other person did too. Beaten as a child? So what, this isn’t then and at any rate, shouldn’t you who knew violence when you were at the mercy of others now want to minimize the violence in the world? See how that works?
Yet, this tool which was hard won and is just lying around for anyone to pick up and use is reviled on the Left. Reviled. People will, when challenged, typically launch off into some obligatory and half-hearted hand-waving in the general direction of ‘well, of course, I think reason is important but I don’t want to be a robot’. Then they will start talking about their crystals and their Reiki master or Planet X. When confronted with the idea that the only fair position to take with all non-evidentiary claims is “equally false” and that there is no privileged place for any parochial religious beliefs they seem to not understand what the issue is or what is at stake. It is as if they think that their belief that there are these things called ‘vibrations of energy’ which effect them in various, non-specific ways sometimes bringing them boons and sometimes bringing them woe in accordance with the Law of Attraction. This ‘Law’ is that whatever you mentally give energy to, even in the sense of ‘I don’t want this to happen’ is what will happen to you. It is claimed that this law is backed up by a very idiosyncratic reading of quantum mechanics and string theory. But that is just to give it a scientific patina. It is pure magical thinking, all the way down.
If it were the case that these same people who hold to beliefs that are patently ridiculous could be consistent then that would at least be something. Instead, when confronted with beliefs that they dislike--say certain strains of evangelical Christianity--they are quick to say that those beliefs are ‘stupid’ or nonsensical and then will turn around and justify that position with a statement is just as over-the-top as the Rapture.
A common class background made it a little easier for working class youth – employed and unemployed, housed and homeless – to come together across the color line. This unity is complicated by the dominance of petty bourgeois folks in these occupations. The petty bourgeoisie are small shop owners, as well as professionals who serve in a managerial capacity, such as cops, judges, bosses, transit security, etc. Many of them are losing their jobs, houses, and businesses, and are being thrown into the ranks of the working class, so they are joining this movement. They are part of the 99%, but they have had very different experiences than the groups we have discussed so far, and this shapes their political outlook. Many higher paid workers are not petty bourgeois, but they still share petty bourgeois outlooks and ideas, especially the illusion that they are part of the “middle class”.
I had hoped this time it would be different. This time we’d keep our focus, be smart and not alienate people who it would be profitable to have on the side of the angels. Then I saw this and I knew, just knew, that OWS is doomed. I hope that before it tears itself a part in an orgy of “more-left-than-thou” accusation and counter accusation, somethings get done. I hope that before it alienates educated professionals that income inequality, joblessness and the fact that corporations are not people in any sense gets pushed to the front of the national consciousness enough that it won’t be at all easy to pretend, in six months, that it never happened and for the Beltway media to revert to “What joblessness? The deficit will kill us all!” But I knew that inevitably it would come to this, the inevitable ‘we must smash capitalism’ talk.
Later, in a demonstration that they only love certain *kinds* of working class people--those who aren’t, for instance cops or soldiers--there’s this bit:
They lecture working class youth when we chant “fuck the police” or “cops, pigs, murderers”. They don’t understand that we face police brutality all the time, and we’ve been struggling against it for a long time. Unlike us, these folks (used to) own property , and are used to the police protecting it. They have not yet learned that being part of the working class means owning nothing of significance, it means being dispossessed, and that means getting pushed around by the police who function as enforcers of the rule of the 1%. The police exist to make sure we don’t steal the luxury cars of the wealthy- or occupy the factories that make those cars.
We lecture you because cops ARE working-class people! We lecture you because the cop who deters you from stealing the luxury car is *also* the cop who deters some rapist from breaking into your house at night and violating you or someone you love.
We need to reach out to everyday people in our communities, those of us who are people of color, who are unemployed, who are mothers working more than 1 job to care for our children, who are workers and students. We do not need self-appointed leaders, more interested in their bureaucratic positions, and politicking, than in our collective liberation from white supremacy, police brutality, patriarchy and capitalism.
Best of luck with that.
It is difficult to speculate about where this movement is headed.
Actually, no, it’s not at all difficult to speculate about it. To the degree that OWS listens to this kind of campus radical bullshit the movement is doomed. Capitalism is not going to be overthrown and a whole lot of people aren’t going to trust anyone who is talking about overthrowing capitalism. Some of us--the writers of this piece are not among them--know some history and know how the movie that starts with people shouting about the glorious day when all will own everything in common turns out. It turns bloody and brutal and resembles nothing like a free society. It does not become more equal and just. Rather it becomes more unjust. It didn’t work in Russia. It didn’t work in China, or Cambodia, or Vietnam or North Korea or anywhere else.. It always went wrong, it always turned oppressive. We know this movie.
Earlier in the piece the authors say:
When we work, we produce goods and services to sell for profit, not to meet each others’ needs and desires.
Yes, in fact that’s precisely what we do. I do not go to work because I love my CEO. I do not work hard because I love the people who own the company. I go to work because when I do, I get paid and I can then take that money and buy the things I need and pay others who then go and buy the things they need and so on. There is nothing inherently wrong with that system. It should be a regulated system, but there is nothing inherently wrong with it. They are not going to do away with capitalism and they aren’t going to get all that many people to WANT to do away with it. The authors seem to forget that OWS started out as a protest about jobs. People who want to be able to work aren’t trying to ‘smash the system’ but to reform it so that they can be part of it.
To the degree that OWS buys into this campus-socialist crap it dooms itself to irrelevance. It breaks my heart, though, I so wanted it to be different this time. I wanted my side, the side that is for the people and not for the rich and the powerful, to be smart. Alas, it isn’t so.
The whole sorry thing is posted at People of Color Organize!
Got a nail in one of my tires on the sidewall. Which means I have to replace the tire. Which means I have to replace all *four* tires. Because I have an all-wheel drive vehicle and the way the AWD transmission works either I can replace all four at once or I can eventually have to replace the center-differential on the transmission. Probably going to run about $700 for the set.
It’s a bit past four, I’m streaming Duke Ellington to my iPhone and listening using Bluetooth headphones so if the phone rings I can just answer and immediately put on my tech-goddess hat. I feel like the weight of a certain amount of pretending to believe certain things for the sake of having the community I live in has passed from me because I realized, earlier this week, I couldn’t stop pretending that things that are nonsensical really made sense provided you just didn’t think about it too much or didn’t try to apply it to the real world. If you simply put that stuff to the side, the ideas were as solid as possible.
I also realize that I have been squandering my mental energy and writing talent on message boards for far too long. The ideas that I’ve been trying to communicate over on ButchFemmePlanet are altogether too complicated for a message board format and there is a kind of persistent reflexive pseudo-egalitarianism that I think is, ultimately, toxic to really good, meaty intellectual discussion. Plus it’s all on a message board so it’s never going to be seen by a publisher or editor or blog aggregator or, for that matter, anyone else who might be able to help me move toward publication.
So the energy that doesn’t go into writing my book is going to go here.
There are two projects that I have been going back and forth with (my writing habits appear to mirror my reading habits) committing to neither. One is a sci-fi spy novel set in the Pacific Republic, a Asia-bloc nation that spun off when the United States breaks up. The lead character, Grace Nakamura, is a spy-master who specializes in defections.
The other, the scarier book, is non-fiction. What I am after is nothing less than to show, from the point of view of one of the people who is supposed to benefit from the postmodernist/deconstructionist ideas that have seeped out of the left-leaning academy and made it into the mainstream of left-leaning (but not necessarily liberal) thought. There are a whole lot of ideas and theories that have been bandied about, most of which do not appear to have been checked to see if reality was at all in agreement. The goals of postcolonial thought are the right ones, from my estimations. The methods, on the other hand, I know won’t help.
The Left in America needs a reset, which is the working title of the book. I intend to call it Reset. Sometime last night or perhaps this morning I had an epiphany. If I took all the little scraps of writing I did when posting on those message boards, sometimes casting--forgive me for saying it--pearls before swine, and redirected it into my actual writing I could get this book to a place that I’d feel comfortable trying to find a publisher. So that is my goal. I’m either going to write a spy novel (which I’ve always wanted to do) or I’m going to write a non-fiction book (which I’ve also always wanted to do).
I’m about to go mix myself a cocktail, in 37 minutes I can log off the phones and then take a nice hot bubble bath to just let it all go and then spend a weekend with my wonderful and beautiful wife. Damn I’m a lucky woman.
At this point, perhaps I should be very clear about another matter, one which should already be clear as a result of what I've said. But confusion breeds easily these days, so I want to hammer home this point. When I use the term European, I'm not referring to a skin color or a particular genetic structure. What I'm referring to is a mind-set, a worldview that is a product of the development of European culture. People are not genetically encoded to hold this outlook; they are acculturated to hold it. The same is true for American Indians or for the members of any culture.
It is possible for an American Indian to share European values, a European worldview. We have a term for these people; we call them "apples"--red on the outside (genetics) and white on the inside (their values). Other groups have similar terms: Blacks have their "oreos"; Hispanos have "Coconuts" and so on. And, as I said before, there are exceptions to the white norm: people who are white on the outside, but not white inside. I'm not sure what term should be applied to them other than "human beings."
"This is what has come to be termed "efficiency" in the European mind. Whatever is mechanical is perfect; whatever seems to work at the moment--that is, proves the mechanical model to be the right one--is considered correct, even when it is clearly untrue. This is why "truth" changes so fast in the European mind; the answers which result from such a process are only stopgaps, only temporary, and must be continuously discarded in favor of new stopgaps which support the mechanical models and keep them (the models) alive. "
The British convince themselves that they loathe extremism. Continental Europe experienced the devastation caused by fascism and communism in the 20th century, but Britain has not had a revolution worth talking about since the 1640s. In France, Marine Le Pen of the Front National may well be the runner-up in the 2012 French presidential elections as her father was runner-up in 2002. In this year’s British local elections, the pathetic BNP managed to win just two council seats, while in the 2010 general election Labour took the sole parliamentary seat held by Respect, George Galloway’s alliance of the white far left and Islamist religious right.
The success of the mainstream in vanquishing the fringe has reaffirmed a cheering stereotype. Dear old Blighty may not be the most exciting place on Earth, but it is a steady, sensible and, above all, safe country. Yet although extremist parties fail as badly in Britain as they have always done, Britain has become the European capital of extremist ideas.