Tuesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    in America’s uncivil war Republicans are the aggressors

    “Many Republicans do not accept Democratic governance as a legitimate outcome” of elections, said Thomas Zimmer, a history professor at Georgetown University who is writing a book about political divides in America. “America is nearing a crisis of democratic legitimacy because one side is trying to erect one-party minority rule.”

    8
  2. Teve says:
  3. CSK says:

    Mary Wilson, co-founder of The Supremes, has died at 76. She was something. RIP.

    7
  4. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: This makes sense. The modern Republican Party is essentially the party of Jim Crow, and Jim Crow is explicitly anti-Democratic. The aim of such Government is most certainly not to fairly or evenly represent the citizenry but instead to control that citizenry and keep them in their place, be it high or low. We get confused because Republicans often wrap themselves in the flag and act as if they are the protectors of America. But this false patriotism has no more legitimacy than the phony Christianity of the Falwells or the Bakers. Jim Crow is about preserving an American caste system, something that people with actual American values have struggled against since before the country was founded.

    13
  5. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan:

    no more legitimacy than the phony Christianity of the Falwells or the Bakers.

    I just started watching an HBO show called the Righteous Gemstones, about a fucked-up family of mega church preachers, and it is good and dark. John Goodman’s the patriarch. Recommended.

    5
  6. Teve says:

    @reuters

    A legal scholar cited by Donald Trump’s lawyers in arguing that it is unconstitutional to have an impeachment trial for a former president said Trump’s defense team misrepresented his work ‘quite badly’

    3
  7. Teve says:

    @acyn

    Lindsey Graham warns that if the House Managers call one witness, the defense is going to call Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Cory Booker, and Eric Holder to testify

    @kevinmkruse

    Are you *sure* Republicans couldn’t just call every black Democrat that Lindsey Graham can think of?

    1
  8. CSK says:
  9. Teve says:

    @CSK: I was just looking at that. The dumb ass mob is looking at years in prison, while the elite assholes who incited them for months will get off Scott free.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    North Korea upgraded nuclear missile programme in 2020, says UN diplomat

    North Korea maintained and developed its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes throughout 2020 in violation of international sanctions, said a UN diplomat with knowledge of a confidential report given to security council members on Monday.

    The report by independent sanctions monitors said Pyongyang “produced fissile material, maintained nuclear facilities and upgraded its ballistic missile infrastructure”, and continued to seek technology for those programmes from abroad.

    The annual report to the security council’s North Korea sanctions committee comes just weeks after the US president, Joe Biden, took office. A state department representative said on Monday the administration planned a new approach to North Korea that includes a full review with allies “on ongoing pressure options and the potential for any future diplomacy”.

    Butbutbut Kim wrote trump beautiful letters and they were in love…

    1
  11. Owen says:

    I was looking for something else, and the algorithm led me to Johnny Cash – Hurt.

    I knew Johnny recorded it late in life and hadn’t heard it in a while. I remembered it as emotionally charged, but had never seen the accompanying video. Having recently been involved in several friends and family members end of life journeys, this recording has new resonance with me.

    2
  12. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    All I can think of is Mary Martin singing “I’m in love with a wonderful guy” in the original cast recording of South Pacific.

  13. Joe says:

    @Owen: Johnny Cash – Hurt has long been my absolute, bar none, favorite music video of all time. If you have not seen this, drop everything and watch it now.

    @Teve: Think of all the privates buried in soldiers’ graves who must be just shocked that their generals died of old age, in bed.

    1
  14. Kathy says:

    The 14th Amendment, Section 3, states:

    No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

    To me, this reads that Trump can be barred from holding any office, but it doesn’t say how. Can Congress vote on it? Does someone with standing need to sue? Is it a matter for the DOJ to bring before the courts?

    What’s clear is this kind of disability from holding office, can be overridden by a 2/3s vote from Congress.

    Yeah, the optics of taking this route, however it goes, when the Senate fails to convict Trump are rather bad. it seems like persecution, in a way, to keep hammering for a desired result after the legally prescribed process does not succeed.

    But so what? it doesn’t look as bad as inciting an insurrection.

    1
  15. Sleeping Dog says:

    John McWhorter: The Neoracists

    Where McWhorter, a black man, contends that woke anti-racism is in fact racist and a religion, not a philosophy.

    One can divide antiracism into three waves. First Wave Antiracism battled slavery and segregation. Second Wave Antiracism, in the 1970s and 1980s, battled racist attitudes and taught America that being racist was a flaw. Third Wave Antiracism, becoming mainstream in the 2010s, teaches that racism is baked into the structure of society, so whites’ “complicity” in living within it constitutes racism itself, while for black people, grappling with the racism surrounding them is the totality of experience and must condition exquisite sensitivity toward them, including a suspension of standards of achievement and conduct.

    Third Wave Antiracist tenets, stated clearly and placed in simple oppositions, translate into nothing whatsoever:

    1. When black people say you have insulted them, apologize with profound sincerity and guilt. But don’t put black people in a position where you expect them to forgive you. They have dealt with too much to be expected to.

    2. Black people are a conglomeration of disparate individuals. “Black culture” is code for “pathological, primitive ghetto people.” But don’t expect black people to assimilate to “white” social norms because black people have a culture of their own.

    3. Silence about racism is violence. But elevate the voices of the oppressed over your own.

    4. You must strive eternally to understand the experiences of black people. But you can never understand what it is to be black, and if you think you do you’re a racist.

    5. Show interest in multiculturalism. But do not culturally appropriate. What is not your culture is not for you, and you may not try it or do it. But—if you aren’t nevertheless interested in it, you are a racist.

    6. Support black people in creating their own spaces and stay out of them. But seek to have black friends. If you don’t have any, you’re a racist. And if you claim any, they’d better be good friends—in their private spaces, you aren’t allowed in.

    7. When whites move away from black neighborhoods, it’s white flight. But when whites move into black neighborhoods, it’s gentrification, even when they pay black residents generously for their houses.

    8. If you’re white and only date white people, you’re a racist. But if you’re white and date a black person you are, if only deep down, exotifying an “other.”

    9. Black people cannot be held accountable for everything every black person does. But all whites must acknowledge their personal complicity in the perfidy throughout history of “whiteness.”

    10. Black students must be admitted to schools via adjusted grade and test score standards to ensure a representative number of them and foster a diversity of views in classrooms. But it is racist to assume a black student was admitted to a school via racial preferences, and racist to expect them to represent the “diverse” view in classroom discussions.

    I suspect that deep down, most know that none of this catechism makes any sense. Less obvious is that it was not even composed with logic in mind. The self-contradiction of these tenets is crucial, in revealing that Third Wave Antiracism is not a philosophy but a religion.

    6
  16. dazedandconfused says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Lotta straw in that man, but it does reflect the toenail-curl felt by many at contact with the “wokefulness” of a few. As McWhorter mentions later on this isn’t to be taken as criticism of BLM or pretty much anything about the civil rights movement, it’s about a small subset of the left that is currently a bit over the top with this stuff.

    I doubt he is happy to see it’s found a happy home within the RW bubble-verse. May that give him cause to ponder further.

    4
  17. Jen says:

    @Owen: Holy cow. I’ve heard Cash’s version of the song (which I actually prefer over the original NIN version), but had never watched the video. That is a gut punch.

    2
  18. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: I’ll check it out. Would also recommend Greenleaf. Similar series about a Black MegaChurch in Tennessee.

    @CSK: I always thought she was the most attractive and best singer in the Supremes. Don’t get me wrong, they were all thoroughbreds you’d write home to Mom about if you could get the time of day from either one of the 3. Diana Ross had a certain sultry “it” factor about her though that came through the speakers and the microphone. Mary’s solo albums were great but didn’t have the ‘je ne sais quoi’ of Diana. RIP Mary.

    2
  19. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I suspect that deep down, most know that none of this catechism makes any sense. Less obvious is that it was not even composed with logic in mind. The self-contradiction of these tenets is crucial, in revealing that Third Wave Antiracism is not a philosophy but a religion.

    Amen.

    2
  20. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    They were all unique. I’ve read many times that Florence Ballard was the best vocalist of the three, but her death at age 32 (so young) and the tragedies she endured before that cut her off from reaching what might have been her true peak of artistry.

    Mary, too, had a lot of pain in her life: the death of her youngest son. She gave us some great music. And she was, as you say, beautiful.

    3
  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    Lotta straw in that man…

    Keep in mind, that the article is an excerpt from a book, so what seems to be straw, maybe fleshed out. McWorhter is a pretty courageous writer and usually calls it as he sees it, so I don’t think being in a conservative journal bothers him, in fact he needed to place the piece there.

    I agree, that this is really about a segment of woke, white left that frankly has too much influence. If McWorhter were white, the white, woke mob would seek to cancel him, but he’s already taken away the easy traitor to his race accusation. They’ll howl any and demand that the Atlantic drop him and Columbia sanction him. It is what they are.

    3
  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: Both versions are great but Cash’s is, as you said, a gut punch. I remember having a similar reaction when I was sitting in my apartment alone and for some reason Hank William’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” came on. I’m not a Country Music Fan and I thought about turning it off but instead listened to the lyrics all the way through. Devastating.

    2
  23. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Hey… remember how the GOP and all the conservatives said that the economy would collapse and the stock market would crash if Biden became president?

    And remember how that happened and nearly all Americans are homeless and living in the streets since the economy collapsed since every job creator left and every job went overseas and immigrants overran our borders?

    Yeah, that last part, not so much.

  24. Northerner says:

    @Teve:

    @acyn

    Lindsey Graham warns that if the House Managers call one witness, the defense is going to call Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Cory Booker, and Eric Holder to testify

    Why would it be a problem if the defense called them? It would make the trial go on longer, but wouldn’t that be to the Democrats advantage — the longer Trump is on display, the better chance he’ll be remembered when the 2022 mid-term comes, and that has to help the Democrats.

    2
  25. ImProPer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “Butbutbut Kim wrote trump beautiful letters and they were in love…”

    Trump’s handling North Korea, has as to be the dumbest foreign policy debacle in our history. Premeditated stupidity on a grand scale. “Out of all my predecessors, I, me, the one and only Donald J Trump, is the only one that was granted audience with the Kim regime.” He evidently didn’t know they were isolated by the world to thwart their bellicose aspirations coupled with nuclear ambitions.
    There are the “beautiful love letters” though, and I wouldn’t be shocked if North Korea named a national Holliday commemorating the idiot, and his help in expanding their nuclear/ missile program. “Orange dotard day”

  26. Teve says:

    @Northerner: I don’t understand what kind of threat he thought he was making, everybody’s just finding it weird that he named four Black people. Eric Holder left the government in 2015, why’s Lindsey bringing him up?

    2
  27. Kylopod says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Where McWhorter, a black man, contends that woke anti-racism is in fact racist and a religion, not a philosophy.

    If you want to agree with McWhorter’s points and debate them on the merits, that’s fine. But I would have thought you’d know better than to engage in the whole “Lookee! A black man is saying it!” game. That’s the logic Republicans use all the time when it comes to their own views on race–they find some black guy praising the Confederacy or claiming most African Americans are on the “Democrat plantation,” and they act like it validates their own claims and insulates them from charges of racism.

    The irony is that this tactic is about the most flagrant example of racist identity politics imaginable.

    7
  28. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: To be honest, those are pretty close to sentiment expressed on the farthest wing of the Left. However, this article is a basic 101 tactic of information warfare–make the most extreme seem like the most common.

    Are they black people that believe similarly? Sure–I call them slave shippers. You can never overcome if you have a victim’s mentality–even when you have rightfully been victimized.

    Long time readers here know that ole Jim Brown 32 is a veteran–the grandson of veterans, the son of a veteran, and the husband–of a veteran. We have a different mentality. I don’t need white people to acknowledge anything or frankly to agree with it. Im going to do what I need to do–and if anyone tries to stop me because they are jealous that I was born the color of a delicious Krispy Kreme donut and they weren’t–they will be challenged. Ferociously

    Im not at all a fan of many of today’s civil rights strategies. I believe the dominant society has adjusted to them and they achieve very little because they rely on white guilt in order to right the wrongs of slavery and Jim Crow. Booker T Washington and Dubois were both right. Now is the time to push for greater equity in areas we’ve traditionally inhabited (i.e. sports, entertainment, military) but also open a broader front in areas we’ve culturally eschewed. If there were more black doctors and medical researchers, we’d have more black people getting vaccines and frankly living longer. Why? Research begins with developing a question–which is inherently biased towards the person asking the question.

    I don’t make the rules. People trust people that look like them who come from similar backgrounds. Conversely decision-makers will not make decisions that accurately consider the needs of people not represented at the table. The days of guilting people at the decision-making table to consider the black folk is over. We need to be at the table(s) in Medicine, Finance, Technology, Teaching, Politics (especially local), etc. This will require a cultural change on our part. The legacy of Jim Crow is that we still tend to focus on professions we were allowed to enter during that period. That appears to be changing–in fact–it must change. Will they be resistance to competition from people already in those spaces? I assure you it will be fierce but can be overcome.

    8
  29. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: I read the Wikipedia entry on the song, and Trent Reznor reportedly said of Cash’s version: “that song isn’t mine anymore.”

    It takes a pretty secure artist to say something like that.

    4
  30. gVOR08 says:

    Kevin Drum has a post based on a “deep dive” Molly Ball made into the effort to save the 2020 election. A short excerpt wouldn’t do it justice. An AFL-CIO staffer recognized a year ago that Trump would try to steal the election by declaring it over while he was ahead on Tuesday evening. He coordinated what would become a 20 million dollar cross-organization effort to stop Trump.

    Drum concludes saying the affair shows how strong our democracy is. Then he takes off his moderate colored glasses and realizes that business support was key, and the next GOP wannabe autocrat may take pains to bring the business community on board with him. Also, Drum doesn’t say it, but it helped a lot that Trump, being Trump, had a poor plan.

    2
  31. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Silence about racism is violence. But elevate the voices of the oppressed over your own.

    Um… yes? Give the oppressed a chance to speak and boost their statements before adding your white-splained version. That seems pretty straightforward and reasonable, actually.

    Almost all of his commandments are entirely reasonable if you boil them down to “here are two views that are both defensible, and in conflict. Navigate this with the respect of considering both, and the humility to understand that sometimes you’re going to screw it up.”

    He doesn’t mean to be reasonable, but most of this list is actually pretty good.

    Show interest in multiculturalism. But do not culturally appropriate. What is not your culture is not for you, and you may not try it or do it. But—if you aren’t nevertheless interested in it, you are a racist.

    How is that not just “embrace and sample what is different, but consider whether you are using another people’s suffering for your fashion?”

    There’s a lot of accidental wisdom in McWhorter’s piece.

    5
  32. gVOR09 says:

    @Teve: Either Graham is just playing to his base or, as happens with conservatives, he’s believing his own BS and thinks there’s some Deep State secret he can work out of them. With Lindsey I see either, or both, as possible.

  33. Kylopod says:

    @Jen:

    I read the Wikipedia entry on the song, and Trent Reznor reportedly said of Cash’s version: “that song isn’t mine anymore.”

    The entry also mentions that when Reznor first heard about it, he worried it would be overly gimmicky. That wasn’t an unreasonable reaction–this sort of thing, where a legendary musical veteran covers a much younger artist, usually is.

    1
  34. Gustopher says:

    @Teve:

    I don’t understand what kind of threat he thought he was making, everybody’s just finding it weird that he named four Black people. Eric Holder left the government in 2015, why’s Lindsey bringing him up?

    If memory serves, Holder has been working on protecting voter rights and/or voter outreach since then. I think this is just Lindsey Graham’s way of acknowledging the importance of the work Eric Holder has been doing.

    Also Somehow this all goes back to Fast and Furious, and maybe Benghazi.

    2
  35. DrDaveT says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    However, this article is a basic 101 tactic of information warfare–make the most extreme seem like the most common.

    JB32, were you already familiar with McWhorter’s writings on this topic? I’d be particularly interested in hearing your opinions about Losing the Race.

    FWIW, McWhorter is one of my two favorite linguists, and his writings and lectures on language are fabulous. That, of course, is irrelevant to his standing on topics outside his professional specialty, other than to establish that he is indeed a Very Smart Person.

    6
  36. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod:

    The entry also mentions that when Reznor first heard about it, he worried it would be overly gimmicky. That wasn’t an unreasonable reaction–this sort of thing, where a legendary musical veteran covers a much younger artist, usually is.

    Given that “Hurt” appears on the same album as Cash’s cover of Depeche Mode’s “My Own Personal Jesus”, I think that’s a reasonable concern.

    I love Johnny Cash’s version of MOPJ, but it is gimmicky as hell. A good chunk of Cash’s later catalog has the gimmick of “Who would you never expect Johnny Cash to cover… let’s do that.” It generally works well, because it’s done earnestly — Rick Rubin would find songs Johnny might like, record his own demos of the songs so Cash wouldn’t be immediately put off by Nine Inch Nail’s style (for instance), and then go forward if there was an interest.

    There’s not a hint of ironic appropriation in any of them.

    2
  37. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:

    …than to engage in the whole “Lookee!

    That wasn’t my intention and that it came across that way, was my mistake.

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Thanks for the comment, it is edifying.

    2
  38. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: according to a linguist friend of mine in Ohio, McWhorter is a very good linguist. His politics seem pretty reactionary though. I unfollowed him on Twitter a few weeks ago because I didn’t want to keep rolling my eyes.

  39. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT: Both Kathy and I have admitted to being fans of his writings on linguistics. His political commentary, though, has often leaned uncomfortably in the direction of “Fox News Democrat.” For instance, back around the 2007-8 period, there are clips of him stating that the only reason for Obama’s rise was his being black. He also has served on the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. In fact I was a little surprised when he identified himself in 2011 as a “cranky liberal Democrat.” Up to that point I had taken him to be center-right.

    3
  40. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT: @Teve: @Kylopod:
    I never miss anything McWhorter writes about linguistics.

    3
  41. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher: I think one of the reasons people are cynical about this sort of thing is that it’s often seen as a tactic for washed-out stars to appeal to a younger crowd. There was an element of this in the early ’90s when Neil Young was dubbed “the godfather of grunge.” Not that this didn’t lead to any good products (I happen to think Pearl Jam’s “I Got Id,” which features Young on lead guitar, is one of their best, most underrated works), but it was definitely reaching a bit, as it ignored the lengthy history of punk and alternative music that grunge actually grew out of.

  42. Owen says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: It’ll happen after the COVID hoax disappears, everybody knows that.

    1
  43. Mikey says:

    @Gustopher:

    There’s a lot of accidental wisdom in McWhorter’s piece.

    It just seems to me a lot of it is him trying to say a lot of things are mutually exclusive that actually aren’t if one considers context to have any value at all.

    3
  44. DrDaveT says:

    @Mikey:

    It just seems to me a lot of it is him trying to say a lot of things are mutually exclusive that actually aren’t if one considers context to have any value at all.

    Actually, I thought that his list provided a pretty good practical scorecard for deciding whether individual people are being reasonable or not. To wit: for each item on the list, if you apply their standards for those two things, is there any room left in the middle? If not, they are not being reasonable, and their opinions can safely be ignored.

    The question of how many “woke” people (influential or otherwise) would actually fail that test is an empirical one, and I don’t know the answer.

  45. MarkedMan says:

    @ImProPer:

    There are the “beautiful love letters” though

    There are so many strange things about Trump, which led to so many odd behaviors and statements, but that one always stood out for me. What the heck was going through Trump’s mind when he made those statements about Kim? “We fell in love.” Huh? What was that even supposed to mean?

    2
  46. Just nutha says:

    @Teve: while accusing the other side of doing it.

    1
  47. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I’ve wondered the same thing. Was Trump trying to be funny?

    1
  48. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: There’s a couple of Anka covers that I think are great, perhaps better than the originals: “Everybody Hurts”, “Wonderwall” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. They are done in a big band swing style and I think the fact that he didn’t try to mimic the originals but spent the time to find his own kind of music in them is what makes it. YMMV

    1
  49. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: At the risk of being a nickel psychiatrist (OK, no risk, I’m diving right in) I wonder if there isn’t something going on with his cruel and authoritarian father and strange relationship with his mother (as far as I know he has never mentioned her). Does he just not have any concept what love is, and gets confused by the strong emotions he feels around cruel and abusive people?

    3
  50. MarkedMan says:

    Wokeness, like so many things, started out as a trait to be admired, but has evolved to be just the latest stick self righteous *ssholes use to beat others with. I strive not to loose site of the original decency in the concept and get pushed off course by the modern Pharisees walking around in sack cloth and ashes who have appropriated it for their own purposes.

    2
  51. Jen says:

    @CSK:

    Was Trump trying to be funny?

    I think humor requires at least some self-awareness. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone who displays less of a sense of humor than Donald Trump. His only version of “humor” is a bullying form of teasing.

  52. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I think you’re pretty much on target with this appraisal. Trump’s mother appears to have been largely absentee, or at least a non-factor, during his early childhood, and his father alternated between emotionally abusing his sons (“You’re worthless!”) and exalting them (“You’re going to be kings!”) Little Donald learned to be cruel and destructive early on in life, throwing rocks at neighboring kids. And he repeated his father’s behavior with his own children, particularly Donnie Junior and Eric. When Ivana wanted to name their first-born son after his father, Trump’s reaction was: “Suppose he turns out to be a loser?” No, I don’t think he knows what love is.

    I could almost feel sorry for him.

    Almost.

    1
  53. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Yep. He has no sense of humor whatsoever–unless you call ridiculing the physically handicapped, older women, and overweight people a manifestation of a sense of humor. The man’s a sadist.

    3
  54. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: I was reminded a little of Omarosa’s account of Trump telling her “I don’t love you leaving at all.” While I don’t exactly trust her (though a lot of what she “revealed” just seemed uninteresting rather than questionable), it sounds just like the way he speaks, and she’d have to be more creative and perceptive than I’ve taken her to be to make that up. Indeed, I’ve noticed people have a tendency when quoting Trump to modify his statements to make them sound less bizarre–one example is his statement “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” which has often been misquoted as “Who knew health care could be so complicated?” (Changing it to a rhetorical question makes it sound a tad less strange, since it puts it in the form of personal bafflement, whereas in the original he’s declaring as a fact that he’s the first person in history to have figured out that health care is complicated.)

    Whenever people compare him to a toddler, one thing I think often gets missed is that it isn’t just that he’s emotionally immature–it’s also that he seems to be weirdly lacking in some very basic facets of social intelligence common to most functioning adults. He seems to have trouble understanding some of the most basic elements of human interaction, and sometimes it feels less like a child than an alien trying to pass for human.

    5
  55. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Trump is a creature of appetite.

    1
  56. Kurtz says:

    @CSK: @Teve:

    And then there’s this.

    The Michigan GOP doing its best to go full militia.

    2
  57. Jen says:

    Speaking of humo(u)r, this Twitter thread is divine if you enjoy the UK and its delightful sense of humor…how Weetabix has managed to get that many brands and official accounts chiming in is a thing of beauty.

  58. Kurtz says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    J. McWhorter, following the hallowed path of C. Thomas, T. Sowell, and B. Carson: craven self-interest followed by finger wagging at straw figures. But damn, that cabin is so comfortable.

  59. Kylopod says:

    @Kurtz:

    J. McWhorter, following the hallowed path of C. Thomas, T. Sowell, and B. Carson: craven self-interest followed by finger wagging at straw figures.

    Despite my criticisms, he isn’t anywhere close to being as far down the rabbit hole as those others.

    (My lord that’s a badly mixed metaphor–but you know what I mean.)

    1
  60. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kurtz:

    The following thoughts are based on a small sample size and I maybe way off base, but I was once surprised, but no longer am, by how small c conservative African-Americans can be when expressing their thoughts and opinions in a milieu where they are comfortable. McWhorter opinions maybe more widely held than we might expect. I really don’t know. From reading McWhorter for several years, I do know that he is typically thoughtful, well reasoned and measured, all traits that foster discussion and argue against dismissal.

    3
  61. CSK says:

    I’m watching the video montage of the Capitol riot presented as evidence against Trump in the impeachment trial.

    Anyone who seriously maintains that these people were just a harmless crew of jolly japesters out for a lark is demented.

    5
  62. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    I’ve read one of his books “Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue,” and listened semi-regularly to his podcast on linguistics, “Lexicon Valley.” I have a couple more of his books on my Audible wish list, and a lecture series on linguistics, but I just can’t warm up to the subject any more. I haven’t read his political commentary at all.

  63. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I do know that he is typically thoughtful, well reasoned and measured, all traits that foster discussion and argue against dismissal.

    William Shockley was a brilliant engineer, arguably the person most responsible for the invention of the transistor and the creation of Silicon Valley. He was also a serious racist who thought that blacks were genetically inferior and we should pay low IQ women to get sterilized. Somebody can be brilliant in one area and a total nutcase in another.

  64. Kurtz says:

    @Kylopod:

    That’s true. My characterization was unfair in that regard. I agree with some of what he says, but I bristle at some of his strong assertions, just as I criticize some of the actions borne from the view he is criticizing here.

    He is definitely someone worth taking seriously, but American* politics tends to produce intranecine conflicts rooted in a desire for stasis. I see that in his argument here.

    I should repeat, my criticism of him was unfair in my initial post. Then again, he’s significantly more accomplished than I am. And a hell of a lot smarter as well.

    So maybe I’m just too cranky to be posting today, because I despise Loury and I am unfairly associating McWhorter with him. Yes, this is definitely it. Mea culpa.

    *Politics in general, but I think the structure of our political system magnifies these problems.

    1
  65. Kurtz says:

    @Kathy:

    He is a Dem.

  66. Kurtz says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Agreed. I ate my crow in another post. If I saw McWhorter on the street, I would apologize. And he would be confused why a stranger is apologizing.

    2
  67. sam says:

    One of Trump’s impeachment lawyers sued him last year — and accused him of making claims about fraud with ‘no evidence’

    Last year, Philadelphia lawyer Michael T. van der Veen filed a lawsuit against then-President Donald Trump accusing him of making “repeated claims” that mail voting is ripe with fraud “despite having no evidence in support of these claims.”

    This should make for some interesting cross during the impeachment trial.

  68. Kathy says:

    In Great Britain, it seems it’s good to be the Queen (and perhaps the perpetual King-in-waiting).

    I know the esteem and affection that for some reason many Britons, and in particular the English, have for the Windsors, but, really, it’s well past time to join the XXI Century* and become a republic.

    *In the days of the early internet, a common tagline, roughly a precursor of today’s memes, was “Join the XX Century before it’s over!” The XXI still has some years left on it.

    1
  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Diana Ross had a certain sultry “it” factor about her though that came through the speakers and the microphone. Mary’s solo albums were great but didn’t have the ‘je ne sais quoi’ of Diana. RIP Mary.

    Yeah. all the way around. When I was studying music in university, this phenomenon was described with the observation that someone or another “had a better voice, but wasn’t a better singer.” There seems to be an intangible at work.

    4
  70. ImProPer says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “What the heck was going through Trump’s mind when he made those statements about Kim? “We fell in love.”

    I’ll venture a guess. “Kim loves me, and sees that I am the greatest and bestest leader in history”, in a constant feedback loop. I doubt he would of allowed anything resembling policy objectives to cloud this up.

    “Huh? What was that even supposed to mean?”

    Trump, when he is feeling particularly benevolent, can actually be transactional, hence the “we” in “we fell in love”. For Donald this was quite large.

    @Kylopod:

    “Whenever people compare him to a toddler, one thing I think often gets missed is that it isn’t just that he’s emotionally immature–it’s also that he seems to be weirdly lacking in some very basic facets of social intelligence common to most functioning adults. He seems to have trouble understanding some of the most basic elements of human interaction, and sometimes it feels less like a child than an alien trying to pass for human.”

    Good observation. In his long career of self promotion, he always appeared to be an amateur actor playing the role of himself, and not selling it very well.

    1
  71. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    I never implied that intelligence excludes racism, but I see no evidence in McWhorter’s writings that would suggest he is racist. His argument, as I see it, is that there is a subset of the woke left, that has turned anti-racism into a contradictory pseudo religion and that is harming rather than helping the advance AA interests.

    4
  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: “We fell in love.” Huh? What was that even supposed to mean?

    It means they had hot passionate gay sex, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    1
  73. Kathy says:

    @ImProPer:

    Come, we don’t know what went on in private between the dictators. Maybe Kim did a quick calculation and told Trump “Who’s a good boy?” and things progressed from there.

    3
  74. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod:

    He (Trump) seems to have trouble understanding some of the most basic elements of human interaction, and sometimes it feels less like a child than an alien trying to pass for human.

    I’d say he’s a lizard person, but IIRC the Nashville bomber took the lizard person thing literally.

  75. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    The notion of Trump having hot passionate sex with anyone strikes me as implausible as well as nauseating.

    3
  76. ImProPer says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “Wokeness, like so many things, started out as a trait to be admired, but has evolved to be just the latest stick self righteous *ssholes use to beat others with. I strive not to loose site of the original decency in the concept and get pushed off course by the modern Pharisees walking around in sack cloth and ashes who have appropriated it for their own purposes.”

    Good points. The “woke” have been difficult to criticize, during this chapter of our history. They blend in pretty well with the people who actually do invaluable work helping the downtrodden, and bringing injustices into the light of day.

    1
  77. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “It is what they are.”

    Oh those mean canceling libs are so bad! Bad! Why can’t they act like real Americans and simply attempt to murder members of Congress?

  78. Loviatar says:

    Late stage wokeness:
    The look on Nicolle Wallace’s face when John Heilemann told her Republican’s aversion to facts didn’t begin 4 years ago with with Trump, but actually started 20 years ago with her former bosses Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    2
  79. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Thats a good way to put it. Karen Carpenter has probably the best voice Ive ever heard. Flawless. But very little ‘it’ compared to even a Linda Ronstadt or Janis Joplin.

    2
  80. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “His argument, as I see it, is that there is a subset of the woke left, that has turned anti-racism into a contradictory pseudo religion and that is harming rather than helping the advance AA interests.”

    Okay, my previous comment was too much snark and too little substance. But the fake seriousness of the anti-woke crusaders really gets my hackles up. Because what you’re describing isn’t really the argument at all, just the preamble — the real argument is “anyone who claims to care about racism is a fraud and an asshole, which means that racism isn’t real.”

    I think everyone here can agree that the Woke Twitter mob is annoying — but political actors on the right then expand that to say that everyone who is opposed to racism is just one of them, and the way to defeat them is to deny racism’s existence. Or to insist that it’s really whites who are the most discriminated against, because they’re not allowed to use the N-word while rappers are.

    2
  81. ImProPer says:

    @Kathy:

    “and things progressed from there.”

    Oh you’re bad! I wish I could unsee this now lol

    1
  82. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Janis did not have a beautiful voice but she had ‘it’ in spades, held nothing back, poured it all out on the stage.

    2
  83. MarkedMan says:

    @ImProPer:

    They blend in pretty well with the people who actually do invaluable work helping the downtrodden, and bringing injustices into the light of day.

    I never thought about it like this before. Well put.

  84. Kathy says:

    @ImProPer:

    Feel free to use it, just give me credit 🙂

    There’s an old European expression, that people deemed uncivilized are like dogs, or maybe like wolves, and are either at your throat or at your feet. This kind of describes Trump’s attitude towards Kim, from Kim’s perspective, beginning with ridiculous, overblown threats, and ending with “we fell in love.”

    He may have been all bark and no bite, too. He certainly has never stood up to a dictator, except Kim, and even then he submitted easily.

    1
  85. MarkedMan says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I always remember an interview with Elvis Costello where he described being a young musician just starting out and his agent got him and his mates a gig backing up a middling famous American Bluesman for a UK stop of a European tour. Elvis said that to a man they knew more chord progressions, more music theory and had better technique than that old man. But from note #1 they realized they had nothing on him and everything to learn.

    1
  86. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I never implied that intelligence excludes racism, but I see no evidence in McWhorter’s writings that would suggest he is racist.

    I didn’t mean to suggest that McWhorter was racist—although he could be—perhaps I should’ve picked an example of where the nuttiness didn’t involve race, but what I meant to illustrate was that one can be brilliant in one area, as my linguist friend tells me McWhorter is in linguistics, and be a bonkers nutcase in another area. IQ really isn’t this thing that is uniformly spread across the cracker. It can be extremely lumpy.

    2
  87. MarkedMan says:

    @wr: F*ck what those on the Right say about wokeness. Who cares? The danger is that by not calling out the *ss holes there is a risk of making the entire movement a joke. Just ask Al Gore what it means to have everything you did and said twisted into a sarcastic meme.

    Thirty years ago a certain American feminist started blathering on about how all heterosexual sex was rape. The fact that other people doing good work attempted to explain her, talking about nuance and context, instead of saying “Yeah, what the hell was she smoking when she said that?!”, allowed the Right the to use it to define the movement. The average Joe and Jane were hearing “these radical feminists want to destroy marriage”, which was nonsense but they needed to hear that wasn’t true. Instead they heard stuttering defenses about why their beautiful children were products of rape.

  88. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: yep. there are 5000+ colleges in the US, you can always find an overenthusiastic freshman at Oberlin who is protesting Taco Tuesday or something and say “Look at these stupid liberals!” Fox and others dine out on that bullshit. I’ve gotten irritated at overly woke people myself, but one has to look at the totality of everything. I’ll take the side of people who stay up too late arguing about whether Black is better than African-American, rather than the side that makes excuses for goddam Nazis.

    8
  89. Teve says:

    @Teve: and I’ve had four shots of vodka so if you think I’m going to correct the redundancy of the phrase “the totality of everything”, you’re out of your mind. 😀

    6
  90. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    I read the deep dive today. Given how much effort, time, money, and how many volunteers were required, I’m astonished anyone would take this as proof that American democracy is strong.

    Granted, perhaps election officials, up to secretaries of state, would have defended the results. after all, it’s their work, and for some their career. But it’s harder to say whether political appointees like those in election boards, or state legislators, wouldn’t have bollixed up the works for partisan gain, or in exchange for some kind of bribe by Trump.

    It’s also hard to say how much effect the efforts to defend democracy had. But it’s easy to see that the fact so many people got involved, even across party lines, indicates confidence in the strength of US democracy is not great.

    BTW, not that it matters, El Cheeto has yet to concede.

  91. CSK says:

    Well, Bruce Castor made an ass of himself today. Alan Dershowitz apparently told Newsmax that he had no idea what Castor was talking about.

    http://www.thebulwark.com/bruce-castor-the-disaster-artist/

    3
  92. inhumans99 says:

    So I see from another site I frequent that the it is unconstitutional to impeach an ex-President argument was defeated. Good, whether or not Trump ultimately gets convicted let’s get this show on the road and get some Republicans on record that they are cool with Trump’s lynch mob revisiting the Capitol building in another 4 years to finish the job they started on on Jan 06.

  93. Kylopod says:

    @wr:

    But the fake seriousness of the anti-woke crusaders really gets my hackles up.

    Let me say that I don’t think anti-woke crusaders are necessarily unserious. Some are, certainly, but many are pretty sincere in their outrage. I think a lot of it boils to down to an inability to step outside their own perspective on how much of cultural progressivism is a good thing, and how far is too far.

    Take, for instance, J.K. Rowling. She and her defenders would claim that she’s the victim of woke culture (though some of her own behavior is a lot more cancel-y than her defenders are willing to admit). This is pretty ironic given that–at least in the past–she herself would have been dismissed as overly woke by many on the right. On the other side, there are plenty of liberals who complain about wokeness, but who wouldn’t hesitate to dismiss Rowling’s views on this issue as reactionary and richly deserving of the condemnation they’ve received.

    The problem I have is that everyone who complains about wokeness seems to view themselves (and whoever agrees with them) as the ultimate arbiters of what constitutes excessive wokeness and what constitutes legitimate social progress that everyone ought to get behind. There’s a lack of recognition of the level of subjectivity in determining these things, and a lack of willingness among people to engage in any self-examination when it comes to disagreements on these matters.

    And just for the record, I do think there are some troubling trends that some anti-woke people point to, though I tend to think a lot of the examples are overstated. That’s my biased perspective, based on my limited experiences. But whenever I hear people talk about “the woke mob” like it’s some easily defined, monolithic entity, that’s when my eyebrows go up.

    5
  94. Mu Yixiao says:

    @wr:

    But the fake seriousness of the anti-woke crusaders really gets my hackles up. Because what you’re describing isn’t really the argument at all, just the preamble — the real argument is “anyone who claims to care about racism is a fraud and an asshole, which means that racism isn’t real.”

    I think you’re painting with too broad a brush here–and making correlations that don’t exist. In essence, you’re saying “this is black and white, there’s no room for gradiation–or even differentiation.” In a way, you’re proving his point: If you’re not woke, you must be racist.

    I think everyone here can agree that the Woke Twitter mob is annoying — but political actors on the right then expand that to say that everyone who is opposed to racism is just one of them, and the way to defeat them is to deny racism’s existence.

    That sounds like you’re saying “someone might use this improperly, so we can’t have it”. If “the other side might use this to their advantage” means we can’t talk about and debate subjects, then… everybody better shut up about everything.

    McWhorton is pointing out hypocrisy–which needs to be done. The hypocrisy of the “woke” needs to be ridiculed just as much as the hatred of the racists.

    The idea that we must accept* all foreign food as equal to American but it’s “racist” for two white women to study traditional Central American cooking techniques and bring authentic CA food to Portland deserves to be ridiculed.

    The fact that we are told we must accept* all cultural fashion as valid, but a high school girl looking for a dress to wear to prom got raked over the coals because she bought a qipao she thought was beautiful deserves to be ridiculed.

    I firmly believe that everyone should experience more of the world’s culture–because it is all equally valid. And it should be shared.

    I once had a wonderful dinner prepared by an African Dominican who studied in Japan and served a group comprised of Canadians, Germans, Russians, and me. I will never forget it–not the food, nor the experience of sharing it with such an amazingly diverse group.

    —-
    * We’re not allowed to have an opinion; “I don’t like it” is automatically racist, not a matter of personal taste.

    2
  95. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: if Anthony Bourdain were alive today he would say you were full of shit. There’s about 100 episodes of shows you can watch where you can see Bourdain participating in rituals, including cooking rituals, that he didn’t come from, not just participating but encouraged to participate in, because he was respectful. You can always find some wackos who will complain but if you’re respectful of another culture they’re typically respectful of you.

    2
  96. EddieInCA says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    If you have access to a high quality record player, listen to any Carpenter’s album, and remember that Richard was was recording Karen on shitty 1960’s analogue equipment. Her voice is flawless, not a missed note anywhere ever, and clear and almost perfect. I’m still amazed listening to that voice.

    I has to explain to my nephews that there was no “autotune” back then; that was her actual voice.

    3
  97. Teve says:

    * We’re not allowed to have an opinion; “I don’t like it” is automatically racist, not a matter of personal taste.

    In the decade I’ve been coming here there’s only been two or three people who’ve ever been so obviously in bad faith that I just quit responding, and you just hit the bell. Later tater.

  98. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    McWhorton is pointing out hypocrisy–which needs to be done. The hypocrisy of the “woke” needs to be ridiculed just as much as the hatred of the racists.

    I suspect that you are not trying to create a 1-1 equivalency between the “woke” twitter mob and the racists, but that’s how this reads.

    3
  99. EddieInCA says:

    @Kathy:

    If the GOP was still in control of the House, I have no doubt it would be very different right now. I think Trump might have come much closer to pulling it off if we were taking about Speaker McCarthy, with people like Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz and others in charge of committees.

    I don’t think we’re all quite aware of how close they came to actually pulling off the attempted coup.

    4
  100. EddieInCA says:

    @Gustopher:

    I suspect that you are not trying to create a 1-1 equivalency between the “woke” twitter mob and the racists, but that’s how this reads.

    Bingo.

    2
  101. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @DrDaveT: Never heard of the guy but I Googled a dozen or so summaries to get the gist of his points in this particular book. Ole Jim Brown’s subject of choice outside of politics happens to be metaphysics, of which linguistics plays a part, so I may perhaps ingest some of his views on the subject.

    On race, I am always dubious of authors on the Black condition with no connection to the South. It doesn’t appear that this man has any. It’s been awhile but I’ve stated here that Northern and Southern racism are fundamentally different in kind. Northern whites simply dont want to be around Blacks. They don’t care if Black people make money, build wealth, or educate themselves. Southern whites? Oh hell no. You better not be better educated or make money…but by all means come be part of the community. Clean our houses, nurse our children, pray with and for us…but stay your black ass in your place.

    Guys like McWhorter and Bill Cosby can have a hard work, bootstraps view of how Black America can overcome because Northern city blacks had some leeway to move in their own circles for self improvement and upward mobility. What leeway did my grandmother have cleaning white peoples houses and doing their laundy for a dollar a week? Or my Grandfather selling bootleg liquor (nickle a shot) to Navy sailors on port call at the local Base. These people and the millions like them didn’t have a values problem. They had a pathway problem. And its arguably that the only reason their were some pathways for the McWhorters, Cosbys, and other Northern blacks is simply because it wasn’t that many of them to be a threat to Whites in those cities. The Great Migration only paid off for the ones that went early. The late comers either went back South or became trapped and impoverished up North.

    McWhorter’s comparisons to other marginalized minorities are useful but flawed in that many of these immigrants were middle class or skilled working class in their home country. Thats a better start than parents that are sharecroppers or laborers with 3rd grade educations and shitty schools under resourced by low property taxes. Its not that he’s wrong, its that 2 things can be true at once. We are talking about multi-axes problems that require multi-axes solutions. As I mentioned before, Washington and DuBois were both right.

    Where I do agree is that I also feel that we focus too much on the Black underprivileged. That’s a smaller group that many believe…much smaller. It was useful to raise the floor in the 60s,70s,80s…now I believe we really need to be raising the ceiling. Getting the children of the Black working class into the higher fields in Medicine, Finance, Tech, etc is going to change the trajectory of those families for generations. Many kids do things because they have a relative that did something similar. Black kids are no different. As soon as Cousin Tyrone becomes a Doctor a couple of his your relatives are going to say ‘shit I can do that too!” And they’ll go do it.

    You don’t change culture by pointing out that the culture has flaws. Black people developed a survival culture to…survive. It worked. You change culture by facilitating new experiences for the members of that culture that brings new perspectives into the group. My family now has access to things Ive picked up being a military officer as well as things Ive picked up working with SpecOps. We move a little differently because of that. This and other experiences in other fields that Blacks can encounter is going to move towards the cultural in the direction McWhorter advocates…but it doesn’t happen the other way around. This is why Govt intervention is in fact necessary to speed this change.

    11
  102. Kathy says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I don’t think we’re all quite aware of how close they came to actually pulling off the attempted coup.

    I think close enough that Congress ought to consider a law that limits the causes for challenging electoral results. And it should explicitly exclude sowing baseless doubts as a valid cause.

  103. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod:

    Take, for instance, J.K. Rowling. She and her defenders would claim that she’s the victim of woke culture (though some of her own behavior is a lot more cancel-y than her defenders are willing to admit). This is pretty ironic given that–at least in the past–she herself would have been dismissed as overly woke by many on the right. On the other side, there are plenty of liberals who complain about wokeness, but who wouldn’t hesitate to dismiss Rowling’s views on this issue as reactionary and richly deserving of the condemnation they’ve received.

    The problem isn’t Rowling’s views, per say, but her complete lack of respect.

    No one gives a shit if she thinks trans women are real women or not, or whatever the current threshold of perfect wokeness is. People do give a shit that she uses her position to punch down rather than lift up or even just ignore. She doesn’t respect trans people as people, never mind accepting their experience (not approving, just accepting, in the “well, they’re here, and they aren’t going anywhere, and people give them enough shit without me going out of my way to add to it.”)

    I don’t know if trans women are real women — I don’t even know what that means, but if pressed I would say “I don’t know, there’s some fuzzy gray area, why are you bothering me, just let them live their lives as best they can and stop bothering me.” And, I’m sure if Rowling were saying things like that, people wouldn’t hold her up as a steadfast ally, but she also wouldn’t be a lightning rod.

    You can treat people with kindness without understanding them, approving of them, or even liking them. It’s possible.

    Instead, she is apparently now writing books about a male serial killer who dresses in women’s clothes when he kills so no he can sneak around undetected and get access to his victims in vulnerable situations and so no one will connect it back to him. And then screaming that she is being victimized when people point out that at this point she’s just trolling and being an asshole.

    She’s doing the usual right-wing playbook of victimhood. It’s boring.

    I so wish Daniel Radcliff would come out as transgender and the entire Harry Potter franchise was forever marked by Transgender Harry/Harriet. I don’t care if it turns out that he has acknowledged being a she, or whether he was born with lady bits.

    7
  104. EddieInCA says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    You don’t change culture by pointing out that the culture has flaws. Black people developed a survival culture to…survive. It worked. You change culture by facilitating new experiences for the members of that culture that brings new perspectives into the group. My family now has access to things Ive picked up being a military officer as well as things Ive picked up working with SpecOps. We move a little differently because of that. This and other experiences in other fields that Blacks can encounter is going to move towards the cultural in the direction McWhorter advocates…but it doesn’t happen the other way around. This is why Govt intervention is in fact necessary to speed this change.

    Well said. In my current gig, we work alot in South Central Los Angeles. As such, we hire alot of locals from South Central. In fact, we hire as many as we can. Some as extras, some as security guards, some as caterer helpers, etc. Some of the guys we hire are hard-core Bloods and Crips – just to secure the neighborhoods while we shoot. Alot of them are ex-cons. Some have never been in jail or prison. As a lifelong Angeleno, I have always known about the issues in South and East Los Angeles. But it wasn’t until I was deeply involved in the neighborhood that I realized how badly we have failed so many of these communities. I’m talking about 30 year olds who graduated high 12 years ago that still don’t have their first bank account. I’m talking about 45 year olds who have been driving for 25 years without insurance. I’m talking about 50 year olds who have never been to a doctor as an adult.

    But the rub is that they’ve never been taught many of the things that we take for granted. They don’t know how to budget because: A) no one ever taught them, and, B) every time they make some money, it goes to food, rent, or utilities. There isn’t alot left over to “budget”.

    Back in the day, alot of these young brothers would join the military, and learn life skills in addition to a trade or craft. Today that’s less likely.

    We hired one guy, 45 years old. Did 10 years for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Smart guy. Three kids, two moms. Started him off as a PA, and now, two seasons later, he’s in the camera dept, making $2K-$3K per week. We had to teach this guy how to open a bank account, budget his funds, pay his bills on time, and save for the times he’ll be out of work. The beauty is that he’s going back to the neighborhood and starting classes where he’s teaching young brothers how to do what he’s learned.

    Too many people don’t realize that alot of their fellow countrymen never had a fair shot to begin with. It’s easy to place blame until you see it for yourself.

    11
  105. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    The problem isn’t Rowling’s views, per say, but her complete lack of respect.

    I could see the pronoun issue being described as a matter of respect (or common courtesy). What Rowling has been saying (and writing entire books about) is much darker. I have no doubt she genuinely loathes Donald Trump. But she seems to have no awareness of how similar she sounds to Trump when he called Mexicans rapists and added that “some I assume are good people.” That is not simply disrespectful; it is spreading poisonous myths that are used to justify violence and persecution against the group in question.

    6
  106. Gustopher says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Northern whites simply don’t want to be around Blacks.

    Don’t you go black-splaining white racism to me! That’s my cultural heritage! That’s my family you’re talking about!

    Seriously though, I think you’re missing a lot of subtlety. There’s the Northern White Liberal Racist and the Northern White Conservative Racist, for instance, and it’s mostly the NWCR that doesn’t want Black folks around, and has a more expansive view of what around is.

    The NWLR, on the other hand, is very excited to be dealing with a Black person who is doing well, but not quite as well as the NWLR. They want to put their arms around the Black person and say “Hang in there, buddy, you’re doing great! What progress your people have had! Someday, we’ll be equals.”

    The NWLR is also very bothered when the Black person is their equal, or better. They don’t want to show it, of course, so it’s just passive aggressive. And, if the Black person is too many levels below them, they’ll feel guilty and exploitive, and want to hire a first generation latino instead, so they can say “wow, what a hard worker that guy is, we need more like him!”

    The NWLR is also very happy to see Black folks doing well somewhere else. Not just ok with it, but genuinely happy, because it means this country is progressing and it’s far enough away that it doesn’t feel like someone intruding on their space. Their space is really quite small.

    I catch my better family members and my friends doing that all the time, and I assume I just don’t catch myself nearly as often as I do it, but maybe I’m a little better than most.

    (My worse family members are more the conservative branch of the northern white racist, with the broader sense of “around here” that would include the Presidency, even though any of them deal with the President…)

    Liberals can be patronizing shits. But I like to think that our racism is a less worse racism, and hope that the next generation will be a bit better than us.

    So far, that next generation seems better. They seem to believe more of the things that my generation just wants to believe.

    5
  107. CSK says:

    “many people are saying”–to use Trump’s favorite locution–that he’ll fire Castor and Schoen and seek new representation. He was screaming at the television set today.

    He’ll be reduced to hiring second-year students from a low-rent law school, at this rate.

  108. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @EddieInCA: I used to produce sample-based NYC-style 90s hip hop back in the day as a hobby. It is heavily 60s/70s Bebop, Jazz Fusion, and Rock and Roll. All the cool stuff I listened to coming up.

    My record collection was about 500 albums at one point–all dug from thrift shops and garage sales all over the South East. Carpenter albums were automatic buys for me. They were great listens and I even made a few nice songs from phrases I sampled all them. Then I got re-married and the new wife made me sell the collection and most of my equipment. Oddly enough–she recently bought me one of the new portable record player now creeping back into stores. So I guess I have permission to start record digging again.

    1
  109. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @EddieInCA: That’s a great story and contribution to the community. I have some relatives that went to Atlanta to try their hand at the film industry. Country folks. Of course, they caught major shit from the family because none of us ever thought about the entertainment industry as a career.

    Long story short–did they get famous? No. They got in a few commercials and a couple of bit roles in shows on networks I’d heard of. But the process–the process made them move a little different. They aint country cousins anymore. One has even written his second children’s book. They trajectory of this node of the family is changed. This is what its all about. The opportunity has to be there AND people have to be willing to try something new.

    5
  110. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Oh, so many possibilities!

    But he hires the best people!

    He has the best lawyers money can’t buy.

    He should hire Homer Simpson (“Ken, I would be lying if I said my men aren’t committing crimes.”)

    He should represent himself. he knows more about the law that the lawyers!

    They say a man who represents himself has a fool for a client and an idiot for a lawyer. He’s already both.

    On a serious note, given there’s no way 17 GOP senators will vote to convict, he should have instructed his lawyers to offer no defense. Simply state, “This is an unconstitutional proceeding, and we won’t legitimize it by pretending otherwise.” His only real concern is how his lawyers make him look.

    1
  111. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Gustopher: Thanks for the perspective from the opposite side of the fence.

    1
  112. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    He should hire Homer Simpson

    Why you canceling Mr. Lionel Hutz?

  113. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    A new special release from the House of Luddite.I didn’t know that you could make the cat lips move just by speaking. I’ll have to remember that if I ever Zoom teach. 😀

    3
  114. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Not to mention the fact that the woke crusaders are frequently completely clueless. I once heard someone droning on about whitewashing in Hollywood and they celebrated as their counter example a person of Japanese descent playing someone of Chinese descent, because the actor and subject were both Asian. It was all I could do to keep from laughing. It seems like half of all Chinese movies are about the evil and debased Japanese of the Nanjing massacre, and both countries take racial purity to a level unimaginable in the West. Both cultures are so much more prejudiced than the US it is not even on the same scale.

    Fortunately real life is not that complex. Do you recognize the worth of all humans and that individuals may have struggles that you cannot understand but should nonetheless try to understand? And do you recognize that some people are advantaged over others merely for nonsense like the color of their skin or their religion and you should take that into account? Then you are 90% there.

    4
  115. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: With his little tiny “fist”? You gotta be kidding me.

    1
  116. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Karen Carpenter had a good voice, but it was never one of my favorites. I think Linda Ronstadt’s is just as good a voice quality wise, but it might be harder to recognize because she wasn’t a particularly careful singer and had a relatively *untrained* voice, IIRC. Definitely a better singer, though.

    2
  117. MarkedMan says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I think I get a glimmer of what you are saying. I’m a 60 year old white guy from the (then) completely segregated south side of Chicago and am very familiar with the casual or explicit racism there. I love my family and am a big Chicago fan but I find that racism just exhausting. But when I lived in the South it was a whole ‘nother thing. The racism there felt just… evil. It was sick and twisted and destructive of everyone and everything. I don’t know how to explain it but it was so much more debased than what I understood, which was significantly debased to start with. So debased I don’t ever want to live in Chicago again.

    4
  118. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: I know exactly what you mean by the racism in the South being a whole different thing. I had never seen or experienced such a thing in all my times traveling up and down the West coast, the Southwest, the Rocky Mountains, and into parts of the upper Midwest. There were, obviously, still racists, but nothing like what I witnessed when I lived for a while in Memphis and traveled into the deeper parts of the South. I was embarrassed to be white, because I was NOT like those white people, and horrified that the black people I met there looked at me with so much distrust. It was completely beyond the pale as far as what I had previously experienced as a white girl who traveled relatively easily amongst all people of ANY color that I had crossed paths with up to that point.

    4
  119. Kurtz says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    With his little tiny “fist”? You gotta be kidding me.

    Oh ffs dude. Why? Why? Why?

    I could at least block any mental image arising from the hot sex comment…but now I’m trying to figure out where the sharpie goes.

    You ruined my evening.

    2
  120. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    One has to pay Hutz.

  121. Kurtz says:

    @Kylopod: @Kathy:

    Contingency[?]
    No[,] Money down!

    1
  122. EddieInCA says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I have some relatives that went to Atlanta to try their hand at the film industry. Country folks. Of course, they caught major shit from the family because none of us ever thought about the entertainment industry as a career.

    Good for them.

    I’ve done 10+ shows (features and series) in Atlanta since 2008. I joke that if you work in the film business in LA as a normal crew member, you get to live in a two bedroom apt in the Valley. If you work in the film business in Atlanta as a regular crew member, you own a house in town, a house on a lake, and a boat. For most working full time in film in ATL, it’s true. Other than film/TV and Tech, there aren’t that many $35/hr-$60/hr jobs in GA, and the film business has over 100 of those jobs on every show in Atlanta. We’re working hard to get more POC in film and TV in GA, NC, OH. Hell, I know two shows in Oklahoma going right now. Funny how all these “red” states claim to hate Hollywood, but fight among themselves to give credits to get them to film in their localities.

    Good on your family to exploring it.

    5
  123. DrDaveT says:

    @wr:

    Because what you’re describing isn’t really the argument at all, just the preamble — the real argument is “anyone who claims to care about racism is a fraud and an asshole, which means that racism isn’t real.”

    I’m sure that someone’s argument, but it certainly isn’t John McWhorter’s. Not even close.

  124. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “The fact that we are told”

    And here we have the famous false equivalence at the heart of this. “We are told” — by whom? Oh, look, some random people on Twitter who have a fetish about “cultural appropriation” and — shudder — disapprove of us.

    And on the other hand… we have institutional racism in the form of police departments that feel free to gun down Blacks, a justice system that incarcerates Blacks at a much higher rate than whites, school systems in which Black children are arrested and hauled off in handcuffs for behavior ignored in white kids… and on and on and on.

    The game of the anti-woke people is to say that these two are the same. There is fault on both sides, but really it’s worse to have some rando be mean to you on Twitter than, say, be unable to access the Coronavirus vaccine because you live in a Black neighborhood.

    That’s why I say the anti-woke people are fake serious and mostly full of shit. Because they compare minor annoyances caused by people with no actual power to institutional actions enforced by the actual legal and political systems of this country and complain that the former is at the very least as great a problem as the latter.

    As for JK Rowling… she made public comments. Some people didn’t like them. What possible importance does this have?

    5
  125. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: “I’m sure that someone’s argument, but it certainly isn’t John McWhorter’s. Not even close.”

    But it will be the argument of many on the Right who hold up McWhorter’s book as proof that libs are the only real racists.

  126. DrDaveT says:

    @wr:

    But it will be the argument of many on the Right who hold up McWhorter’s book as proof that libs are the only real racists.

    So blame them, not McWhorter. He is not responsible for their misrepresentations, misunderstandings, and outright lies about his book.

    1
  127. james hunt says:

    @Teve: We 74,000,000 real people are not going to accept a stolen election!! If it were won fairly i would accept that and say America went nuts!! But there is proof and because of the hate for the GREATES PRESIDENT EVER ,TRUMP”, they will not look at it because of socialist and RINOS in the Republican Party!! We “THE AMERICAN PATRIOT PARTY” ARE NOT GOING TO ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN!!! Socialism, BLM, KKK, ANTIFA, socialist, The Republican SWAMP Creatures, are “GOING DOWN”!! We are not going to tell our children that stealing and lying is to be rewarded!! Do you know the penalty for stealing?? just ask your kids and that is what we 74,000,000, are going to do and no way of stopping it!!!! Do the crime pay the penalty!!! Here we come fighting like HELL to save this country! Look at the ,southern boarder, loss of jobs, turning on union jobs, abortion, $15 min wage and what that is going to do to business, turning against GOD! and bungling the virus and “VACCINATIONS! IMPEACHMENT ,KIS BACK IN SCHOOL.JOINING THE WHO AND GETTING CHINA OF THE HOOK(WILL NOT WORK WE KNOW WHERE THE CHINA VIRUS STARTED AND THEY WILL PAY DEARLY!! WE NEED TO TAKE THEM”OUT” AND WE WILL!!!! And its only been three weeks! IT IS GOING TO STOP AND STOP NOW!!! THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS!!!!

  128. EddieInCA says:

    @james hunt:

    Yawn…..