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Extreme Intolerance: An Immoderate Tirade (Part One)

November 17, 2015

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Part One: The Student Protests

Every so often, even a diehard moderate is driven beyond mere indignation, beyond a willingness to compromise and dutifully stitch up the holes in our social fabric. When the tail starts wagging the dog… when reason no longer suffices in the struggle against cultural lunacy… when we finally hear one insult too many after hearing those insults for half a century… some of us reach the dreaded “Popeye Point”: a visceral, irrepressible, over-the-top response that causes us to drop any pretense of mild-mannered moderation and exclaim, with the immortal sailor, THAT’S ALL I CAN STANDS, ‘CAUSE I CAN’T STANDS NO MORE!

I don’t pack a handy can of spinach inside my shirt, so you probably won’t see me revving up my fists and pummeling my oppressors while “Stars and Stripes Forever” blasts triumphantly in the background. But I feel like doing some verbal pummeling all the same. Feel free to join me, if only to release the pent-up steam from your cerebral hemispheres.

What roused The New Moderate’s ire this time? It started with the viral outbreak of surly student demands at American colleges from coast to coast. First at the University of Missouri, where the president was bullied into resigning after standing accused of “inadequate” responses to a few isolated racist incidents perpetrated by stupid local bubbas. (He wanted to help, really he did, but his good intentions fell short of student expectations.) The son of a black multimillionaire went on a hunger strike to force the resignation, and the football team threatened to boycott its own games.

Just how racist an atmosphere prevails at the University of Missouri? Well, the school boasts a black student government along with six other special diversity programs for African Americans on campus. What’s more, visibly half the students protesting along with the blacks were white — not to mention the iconically irate adjunct professor who shooed the media away. Enough said.

From Mizzou the mayhem spread to Claremont McKenna College (formerly Claremont Men’s College), where a well-intentioned dean wrote that she wanted to help those students “who don’t fit our CMC mold.” Her choice of words proved fatal to her employment status.

Meanwhile, nonwhite students at Ithaca College, which boasts a “chief diversity officer,” organized a movement to oust their president for sluggish responses to alleged racial incidents on campus. At the moment, he’s hanging onto his job by a thread.

Soon the contagion spread to the storied halls of Yale, where the spectre of culturally insensitive Halloween costumes (Indians! Mexican mariachi musicians! Cultural appropriation!) led students of color to assail the master of Silliman (a residential college) for failing to provide them with a “safe” space. He apologized abjectly. When the master’s wife had the audacity to write that “free speech and the ability to tolerate offense are the hallmarks of a free and open society,” the emotionally battered students went to the university president with a list of six demands, including the banishment of the offending couple. (Done!)

But here’s the topper: they called for the construction of a campus monument acknowledging that Yale was built on land stolen from indigenous peoples. (Fine, but why stop at Yale? Why not all of Connecticut? For that matter, how about the entire United States? Why don’t we all just rewind American history, return to the lands of our ancestors and leave the continent to its original inhabitants?)

At Dartmouth, some 150 “Black Lives Matter” protesters stormed the college library and verbally assaulted white students with profanities and accusations of white privilege. (You can bet that if 150 white protesters stormed a library and hurled insults at black students, we’d be seeing nonstop coverage of the incident on CNN and MSNBC for the next two weeks.)

Those who love the language of grievance will coo over the demands whipped up by angry marginalized Amherst students: that the elite college confess its “institutional legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, anti-black racism, anti-Latinx (sic) racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-Native/ indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Middle Eastern racism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma, and classism.” Whew! Did they forget any victims? Witches, perhaps? (Excuse me… Wiccans.) And how about calling for a fatwa against heterosexual WASP males, those perennial evildoers?

By now we’re all familiar with the vocabulary of outrage. When we see 20-year-old protesters bandying terms like “patriarchy,” “cultural appropriation,” “white privilege,” “microagressions,” “rape culture,” “systemic racism,” “institutional racism” (is there a difference?), “colonialism” and “hegemony,” it’s reasonable to assume that their stealthy professors, viruslike, have inserted a lethal dose of ideological DNA into their half-formed minds.

The progressive takeover of academia by “Grievance Studies” scholars and their intellectual progeny seems to be nearly complete. Where once our liberal arts professors inflamed their students with a lifelong passion for knowledge and debate, today’s Orwellian propagandists seem hellbent on pure indoctrination. And of course, they find a receptive audience eager for an excuse to get angry.

Instead of educating bright minority students so they can prosper and take their rightful place in the middle class, the grievance specialists are churning out a generation of hostile, petulant intellectual robots whose icy adherence to the prescribed language of class war — along with their extreme intolerance of any ideas that depart from scripture — will only drive a further wedge between themselves and the American mainstream. Maybe that’s what they want, but it’s not what they need.

Roger Kimball, the crusty author of Tenured Radicals, calls these newly minted manipulators “crybullies.” They’re not violent, but when they whine loudly enough, heads roll. And of course, nearly all those heads are white — because, as we’ve been carefully taught, even well-intentioned white people are inherently racist.

Yes, racism exists and it always will; most of us are genetically programmed to favor our own tribe. And yes, racial minorities have often faced brutal discrimination and demeaning attitudes. Today’s college administrators can provide a nurturing environment for diverse groups of students, but they can’t guarantee an unblemished four-year passage… they can’t wave a wand to silence the occasional hatemongers.

Disadvantaged students admitted to a premier American college, many of them as the result of generous diversity initiatives and scholarships, should be thanking the gods (and the college) for the advantages they’ve gained — advantages that will serve them handsomely for the rest of their lives. The vast majority of us privileged white folks aren’t as lucky. And of course, nobody cares about working-class whites: let them live in their trailers while they grow fat on Cheetos and beer. There’s no affirmative action plan to send these unloved proletarians to Amherst and Yale; maybe that’s why they vote Republican.

Why the immoderate response to a series of peaceful protests? Because the ideologues have rigged the game. Because aggrieved students of color can derail careers and reputations simply by crying racism. (It doesn’t work in reverse; we’ve been instructed that people of color can never be racist.) Because those same students cause white flak-catchers to cringe, crumple and grovel for mercy before their heads fly. Because Americans need to identify as Americans, not representatives of special identity groups. Because ideological race politics can blind us to the genuine indignities that individuals of all races face from time to time. Because a generation of doctrinaire scholars has been poisoning young minds, defaming Western civilization as nothing more than an endless chronicle of oppression, racism, exploitation, rape, colonialism and genocide. It has to stop.

Shakespeare, anyone? Bach, Rembrandt, Isaac Newton, Emily Dickinson… the Parthenon? Will you toss them all into history’s dumpster along with Christopher Columbus and Simon Legree? You’d better not, because a polarized society needs reasonable moderates to listen to legitimate grievances from both sides and take them seriously.

Don’t make us shut our ears. Above all, don’t make us reach the Popeye Point.

Coming later this week… Part Two: The ISIS Massacres

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate.

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140 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2015 5:20 pm

    We agree with everything you says —

  2. November 17, 2015 8:04 pm

    An awful lot of kids in this generation have been raised in a bubble. No free play, only parent/nanny supervised play-dates. No more dodge-ball or tag, and no more pick up ball games, only adult-supervised youth sports (where the adults are the only ones who get in fist fights). No playing with invisible guns. No more letting kids figure out the rules of their own games – someone’s feelings might get hurt, or the rules might be unfair. No reading classic books that might offend anyone’s sensibilities. No Halloween parades. No Christmas carols or Hanukkah songs at the Holiday Concert. Everyone gets a trophy. Everyone is a special snowflake. Everybody wins.

    Is it any wonder that many of these kids can’t cope? They cry for safe spaces and coddling, and when they don’t get it, they throw tantrums. And they get want they demand, from the feckless academics, who don’t want to lose their jobs.

    • November 17, 2015 9:17 pm

      Yes! That’s an angle I hadn’t covered, although it might apply more to affluent white college students. We’ve probably spoiled the black students through entitlements and red-carpet treatment at exclusive colleges, so it probably amounts to the same thing in the end.

  3. Pat Riot permalink
    November 17, 2015 11:45 pm

    “Everyone is a special snowflake.” hahahahahah lol

  4. November 18, 2015 12:22 am

    It is ironic that they wield unending victimhood as a mighty sword to slay the prissy academic administrators that are their greatest supporters. They become bored or overwhelmed by their studies, and search for more stimulating activities. SNL wouldn’t even be able to parody these groups, because the reality exceeds anything a comic could develop. And the sad truth that is always ignored is that thousands of brighter students are passed over in some perverse bow to the holy grail of diversity to admit and fund these easily offended snowflakes in their “academic careers”.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 18, 2015 9:46 am

      Some of these students are our best and brightest.

      What is disturbing is that they so much intellect has been directed so badly.
      That is a problem that will remain long after the protests die.

      These are the people we will be looking to solve future problems with ISIS or social security or healthcare.

    • November 18, 2015 12:39 pm

      What’s especially sad is that the smart minority kids who get educated at these elite schools could have become vital, positive community leaders. Instead, they’ll end up as enemies of the society that helped them out of the ghetto. And, through their incessant anti-white propaganda, they’ll probably be fouling the water for several generations to come.

  5. November 18, 2015 12:53 am

    Priscilla brought up the personal lives and the way they were raised. Rick did mention that the students are indoctrinated to the propaganda the schools spread.

    But one thing that needs also to be discussed is the unacceptable debating of issues between opposing views in classes and campuses today. Where years ago students were encouraged to expand their minds, discuss opposing views and learn about all subject matter from as many angles as possible, today if the student does not regurgitate what is lectured by the professor they get a bad grade even when their positions are acceptable theory. In the past students were encouraged to discuss various opinions, today they are cut off before the discussion can take place. There are some schools that still promote this discussion, but they are becoming further apart and fewer in number.

    So kids are raised where they do not make the rules of their own game and compromise the rules with the other kids playing, then they attend schools where opposing views are discouraged and working to obtain differing solutions to the problems never happen, so when they are finally in leadership positions in companies and government, again that word (compromise) never enters into any conversation, so we see many companies that fail due to stringent authoritarian leadership and government that fails citizens with stringent authoritarian leadership.

    Then as a comparison, we see tech companies that survive by hiring individuals with social interaction skills where discussion of disparate positions is encouraged and compromise allows product development that benefits the masses instead of small numbers of users.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 18, 2015 9:38 am

      Suddenly nearly all of us are facing what the right has been claiming for decades, that education has been taken over by the extreme left.

      But we are far from the real problems.

      The tilt of a college does not matter much so long as there are many choices of college and government is not actively seeking to homogenize and subsidize them.

      But that is where we are.

      Governments heavy involvement in college financing, means that we look less critically at the value we are getting for what we spend.
      Further the myriads of different means that government funnels money into higher education, makes colleges more answerable to government than to anyone else.

      I do not mostly care if yale or Mizzou have become a checkboard of safe-spaces and homogenized intolerance. My kids will go elsewhere. What I care about is that Yale and Mizzou are close to the norm. That my kids may not have the option of a good “liberal” education – where liberal means what it used to – broad and tolerant.

      Though I disagree over the significance of their outrage and the demands of these students, except that they seek to leverage force to accomplish their objectives I have little problem with their protests, anger, expression, even their efforts to change things.

      If we want the freedom to advance values with merit, we must allow others the freedom to advance their values – even values we see as lacking merit.

      It is not that these protestors seek to air their grevances that is the problem, it is that they wish to silence any who do not agree with them.

    • November 18, 2015 12:42 pm

      Yes, with trigger warnings and safe zones, no exchange of ideas can take place. These people are essentially social grievance fundamentalists — they think by the book. You made an interesting point about this mentality creeping into the business world, where it could stifle creative thinking.

      • November 22, 2015 12:58 pm

        Rick, it has become much more difficult to identify individuals coming out of college or in their first few years of employment that have the ability to discuss issues openly and accept differing opinions. But that does not mean that is not possible to do. While an employer may use some form of a test to evaluate an applicants technical knowledge before even interviewing an applicant, those tests can have certain leading questions inserted to evaluate a future employees ability to work with a group as a team player. It is not easy, but it can be done. The other way employers are finding team players and those that can compromise positions is through contract employment. Many outsiders see this as a way for employers to cut expenses through no benefit employees, but many employers see this as a very easy way to employ an individual for 6 months to a year, observe their work and social interact skills and then hire permanently or terminate the contract with no legal ramifications when that occurs.

        What is apparent to many outside the academic world is leaders of successful businesses are not looking for the qualities that our universities are producing in a large number of employees today. I wonder if that is why you hear horror stories of graduates with 6 digit college loans that can not find employment commiserate with their education.

  6. November 18, 2015 3:27 am

    I do get tired of being beaten up by the liberal side of the aisle, as if I’m somehow not good enough because I’m white. The data make it clear that whites *do* have privilege; I’m not about to argue with that fact, not for one minute. But, I’m sick of whining, period, on both sides of the aisle. The whining at these colleges is about as repugnant as white males whining that they’re discriminated against…as much as right wing Christians saying they are being persecuted. Would everyone please stop seeing themselves as victims?! I’d like to see your next blog address the right wing whiners, if you can think of something negative to say about them.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 18, 2015 9:22 am

      Right wing christians are being persecuted, and white males are being discriminated against.

      Not to the same extent as minorities, but it is still real.

      Further the right wing is not looking to silence anyone. They are merely asking to be left alone.

      Regardless, every issue does not devolve to two extremist groups at odds with each other and the truth somewhere in the middle.

      You can not solve discrimination by discriminating further.

      Discrimination effectively demonstrates that government is a poor tool to solve most of our problems.

      It has been 60 years since Brown, 50 since the VRA and CRA.

      Despite the tirades of these protestors racial tensions in this country have declined, but not because of anything government has done. If anything it seems that the actions of government have made things worse, not better.

      That is something “Moderates” should start to think seriously about.

      How effective has government been at solving the problems it has taken on ?

      I can not see any government program or action that can claim to have been an overwhelming success. Many are clearly abysmal failures.
      Most even if they have arguably had some small positive effect, have done so at great cost and have corrupted our political process.

      On many issues I share the values and desired ends of those on the left.
      But government action is not the answer.
      The ends do not justify the means.
      And bad means rarely accomplish good ends.

      • November 18, 2015 1:31 pm

        Dave, I’d argue that racial tensions have escalated dramatically over the past two years or so — starting with the Trayvon Martin case. (That’s why I find myself writing more and more about race.) But I have to agree with you that leftists are more inclined than right-wingers to attempt to silence the opposition. Conservatives can be just as dogmatic, but laissez-faire is part of their world-view, after all. That’s not the case with leftist ideologues.

    • Roby permalink
      November 18, 2015 9:44 am

      cougrrl, I am with you. Unfortunately the word privilege has been co-opted by the same college culture that thought Ward Churchill was speaking wisdom, so we have to now use another word. I can’t stand the college left and have done things, real things to fight them, as I was in academia for far too long.
      But the the students of color aren’t just on about nothing at either, there is something there, as I know from my black friends, that no one should have to accept and that is totally rational to complain about. Its a shame the language of the left has been taken up to do that, it makes the complaint sound stupid. There were death threat issued by white racist idiots at Missouri and that is no joke at all, given how many campus shootings occur. Many white people just say, well, its a tough world they should suck it up, racism will always exist. Due to my family history I am not one of them and I just see a whole lot of oblivion on the part of white folks who I would expect more empathy from.

      • November 18, 2015 10:14 am

        Roby, how much empathy do you have for those falsely accused of racism, misogyny, homophobia?

        True racism has been trivialized by those who cry racism at everything and for any reason, sometimes falsely. And like the villagers in “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, people have been desensitized to real racism by the crybabies who use accusations as a strategy to get attention and sympathy.

        False accusations of rape apply here as well. True rape victims were not helped by the fake Duke rape story in Rolling Stone. And the current definition of “rape” on many college campuses would send half the boys to jail. But that definition, and stories like the one in RS ultimately belittle the trauma of real rape victims.

      • November 18, 2015 1:21 pm

        Roby and Priscilla: Both of you raise valid points. We should sympathize with blacks and other minorities who face genuine discrimination (not to mention police brutality and other by-products of bigotry). But good God, I’m so tired of the exaggerated “grievance studies” rhetoric… tired of having to walk on eggshells when dealing with our various racial and special identity groups… tired of the double standard that forgives outrages committed by minorities that we’d condemn if they were committed by whites.

        A few days ago, about 150 black students barged into the college library at Dartmouth and shouted the most vile racial slurs at the white students studying there. Nobody was hurt, but it was an assault just the same. Students were terrorized on the basis of race. (Hard to believe these were actual Dartmouth students on the rampage, not outsiders.)

        The incident was covered almost exclusively by right-wing news sites… nothing in the mainstream media. If the tables had been turned, and white students had done the terrorizing, we’d be watching CNN and MSNBC cover the incident nonstop… and Obama would be calling for a national discussion on race. This is part of what drives me to the “Popeye Point.”

        These college protesters aren’t underprivileged ghetto kids with hopeless futures… they’re hand-picked and coddled with preferential admission, scholarships and special programs to nurture them during their college years and beyond. Yes, I’d call it black privilege, and for them to play victim drives me nutty.

      • November 18, 2015 4:35 pm

        Rick there is also another discrimination that few people can uncover, but it exist. That is in interviews for hiring. And that is due to the tremendous difficulties an employer has in firing a minority employee for incompetence or inability to be a productive employee for some other reason. Where a white employee can be terminated after a certain number of warnings in their file, and in some states, no advanced warning is required, try firing a minority. You will be in court or other legal entanglements for months, if not years. This is not something that has been brought on to minorities by whites, it is due to the ability of minorities to know every bell to ring, every chain to pull and every equal rights attorney to call when things go south. We experienced that where I worked in area like the Pharmacy, where pharmacy techs were non degreed employees as well as in technical positions that did require a technical degrees. Even the hard working minorities that were picking up the slack complained about lazy employees, but getting rid of them was a months long endeavor.

        So the way around this issue was to sort degrees for applicant by the majority of the race by student. Schools with higher minority school graduates were identified and graduates from those schools were filtered out. Some whites may have been filtered also since all of them were filtered.. The legal position was to find some issue with the school and use that as the reason for not interviewing graduates from that school. Then names were used. John stayed in, Jonquils were filtered out. Again something in the resume or school was used to support a no call for an interview. And there were some other filters that could be used, but that gives you the idea.

        Was this right. Hell no. Was there individuals that may have been excellent employees never interviewed, You bet. Should this never have happened. That is the question based on the prior history of minority hiring. If a minority could be terminated for the same reasons as a white and the same legal environment had been active for both, then no, this should not have happened nor would it have happened. But when the employment practices became unequal and it took months to fire slack off minority employees compared to slack off white employees and it took thousands of dollars in legal fees that resulted in the same decisions for the minorities as whites, then yes.maybe this was justified.

        And only the minorities were to blame as they were the ones bringing the legal challenges that ended up getting thrown out of court because more documentation than was ever necessary went along with any termination, minority or white. And many employers decline to take issues like this to court, so they end up paying back wages, the employees legal fees and attorneys keep finding individuals to take as clients as that is there honey pot.

    • November 18, 2015 9:47 am

      cougrrl, why do you think it is that so many people want to be seen as victims? Could it possibly be that, in today’s bizarro world, victims are the “good guys” and “non-victims” are the “bad guys”? So, of course, there is a rush to claim victim status, so that the arbiters of social justice will anoint you and render you immune to criticism……or even law.

      • Roby permalink
        November 18, 2015 10:23 am

        Well, quite a few people (mostly white ones, sorry) are prepared to be very philosophical and accept the racism will always exist. So, they should be prepared to be just as philosophical and accept that complaints about racism will always exist from its recipients, of all colors. Neither is going anywhere, they are linked. History is a bitch. Just yesterday, a large group of adults in our culture were lined up to torment and terrify a 10 year old black girl who had been made the first to try to enter a sacred white-only classroom, today everything is just great and that is all forgotten (for many who are white and conservative anyhow.)

        The other day I followed a facebook link about Christians perhaps boycotting Starbucks because someone got offended that there wasn’t enough Christ in their Christmas coffee cup design. There I found Christians bitterly complaining about how persecuted and attacked they are in the US. Christians make up 70% of the US population, if I have that correct, they are a large majority, and some still manage to feel bitterly persecuted. Now how would a real minority who came here as slaves, got regularly lynched, had to sit in the back of the bus, use different facilities, all in my lifetime (other than the slave part) and not some long ago pre-historical time, feel? Do you think they would just accept that, not feel like a distinct group, and never complain? Oh, but let them do so and they are just claiming “victim” status, how pleasant that must be for them! Geez, I sure wish I was black and had it so good.

      • November 18, 2015 10:30 am

        Yep, my Facebook feed was loaded with posts on that Starbucks story, Roby.

        Of course, every single post was by one of my liberal friends, mocking the idea that anyone could be offended by a coffee cup. And, I heartily agree, that anyone offended by a coffee cup is a moron. Except that I don’t know anyone who was.

        It seemed a tempest in a coffee cup. And a manufactured tale, to boot. Oh I’m sure there was someone, somewhere who cared about this, but it’s interesting that this would be the story when the college campuses are blowing up, terrorists are using immigration as a tool of invasion and god knows what else (and I use god in a collquial sense).

    • November 18, 2015 12:50 pm

      cougrrl: Maybe I should have planned a tirade in three parts instead of two. The next installment will be about ISIS, but as long as I’m dealing with religious fundamentalists I could probably insert something about our own fundamentalists. The common thread here is orthodoxy — and the rigid intolerance of “non-scriptural” ideas. ISIS and our progressive left are always quick to brand independent thinkers as heretics, but the right has its own set of orthodoxies, too.

    • November 19, 2015 10:10 am

      Yeah, you’re correct.
      The 1920s was the Lost Generation.
      This is the Whiners Generation.

      • Roby permalink
        November 19, 2015 12:10 pm

        Would that they were merely whining.

  7. dhlii permalink
    November 18, 2015 9:08 am

    If Mizzou, Yale, …. are the hotbeds of racism that these protestors claim – would you send your children there ?

    If they are places where the freedom to express ideas is supressed – would you send your children there ?

    College seems like a less appealing place.

  8. dhlii permalink
    November 18, 2015 9:43 am

    This demonstrates the need to excise sports from college.

    In far too many colleges sports have assumed sufficient importance that they have the power to dictate on issues that have nothing to do with sports.

    I have no problem with football students exercising their power. The problem in this instance is that excercise is well outside the realm of sports.
    While they are exploiting that, it is not a problem they created.

    • November 22, 2015 1:18 pm

      Dave, this may demonstrate the need to excise sports from colleges, but now and into the far distant future, there is way too much money generated by college sports. Just look at the top three teams in sports revenue. Alabama, $124 million, Texas $120 million, 116 Million (all 2008 numbers). college football generated $3.4 billion (2013 numbers) The years do not matter since the numbers have only become larger. And with numbers this large, no one is going to accept going back to the days when college sports were for sport and entertainment of the students.

      This is free enterprise and I doubt anyone will propose any changes to that product. The only reason the football team had an effect on MU’s president getting canned was the million+ they would have lost if they had not played in K’City that Saturday. In this case, money talked and people listened.

  9. Roby permalink
    November 18, 2015 12:57 pm

    “It seemed a tempest in a coffee cup. And a manufactured tale, to boot. Oh I’m sure there was someone, somewhere who cared about this…”

    Well, apparently he got 8 million hits. I don’t what percentage came from liberals being amused, but I don’t think that this tale has been manufactured. The Christian posters on the one article I followed seemed real and quite upset about the persecution the experience in America. I have no doubt that most Christians are not upset (and if Starbucks remains in business then that will have been demonstrated.)

    Priscilla, again, I do often respond to you, please do not think that I am picking on you, the truth is that you and Rick have very similar takes on race and PC and I disagree with nearly everything Rick writes about race, which seems to have been the major topic here for quite a while, at least since Confessions of an Ex-White Guy. Specifically, I think that Rick and you both have confused the radical form of the racism complaint with the basic underlying issues that people of color face. I hear about these racism issues from very non-radicalized apolitical black friends, one of whom is even half white, who are trying like anything to fit into middle class white America. They all have long lists of stories that make them feel like the target of idiots racists and not rarely. They don’t like it.

    Yes, PC is stupid, Eric Idle (or maybe John Cleese) said a few years back that if there was any issue that was worth a Python reunion film it would be having a poke at PC. PC is an airbag that begs to have a pin stuck in it. Personally, PC also may have cost me my part-time tutoring job at a local college, although my director claimed budget issues, I think that I did not disguise myself well enough. I’m glad to be out of there anyhow, that environment tired me out. (As a plus I am now working on my classical guitar repertoire to make up the lost income playing classical/jazz guitar in fancy restaurants, which is a much better way to earn some extra cash!)

    You and Pat had some recent posts on the PP tapes that I thought said something exceptionally useful: too often people judge the source of an issue, instead of judging the issue itself on it merits. Judging the issues of race in America based on the stupid and worse than stupid behavior of activists leads to having a very negative issue of the reasonable complaints that underlie this movement. I don’t judge Christians based on the idiot evangelical who posted the Starbucks hates Christ, or even the not small number of his fellow Christians who took up his complaint. That would be stupid.

  10. Roby permalink
    November 18, 2015 1:50 pm

    Rick, it was far from Dartmouth and the students were are far cry I am sure from Dartmouth students, but I can tell you that at my little Vermont college I met as a tutor with minority students who had been recruited heavily to come to meet a federal minority quota. Most were exceptionally unqualified to be there, although the school basically has almost no entrance standards in the first place and is desperate for students.

    In particular I remember one black basketball player from inner city Washington who was a math major, unfortunately any math question that could not be answered by pushing 2 or 3 buttons on a calculator was not within his realm. Worse, I understand my wife’s Russian much better than I could understand his inner-city English. He did not stay long. He may even have debt as a result, I do not know, but some utterly naive recruiter did him no favor by bringing him. He was the worst case example, but there were many other inner city recruits who were also hopelessly out of their depth, no study skills. There were also a small number of successes, kids who made the leap and will have a degree and a better life. Is this minority program worth it? I don’t have the answer, but there are those who do actually profit and most likely get a better life.

    There were no black protests at my school, at least not by black students. They did all self segregate in the cafeteria and when I saw them walking around campus.

    College and other types of “freebees” that are created for such students is a complicated issue, morally and practically. I see both sides and I cannot say that for me there is a wrong or right side about opinions as to whether this kind of thing represents disgusting reverse discrimination or whether the benefits, the kids who do make the leap, make it a useful way of removing some people from the cycle of ignorance and poverty. Luckily, I do not have to decide, its bigger than me. It just is.

    • November 18, 2015 3:16 pm

      Roby, I must have seen a dozen news stories about the library “invasion,” and all of them placed it at Dartmouth. The story probably originated with the conservative Dartmouth Review, but they wouldn’t be able to fabricate an incident of that magnitude on their own campus.

      Anyway, as you can tell, the recent protests (and the racial climate in this country over the past two years) have disturbed me deeply. (Not that I’m “disturbed,” you understand.) Sometimes I wonder if blacks and whites have reached the point of no return — that we’ll never again be able to coexist amicably in this country.

      What’s especially tragic is that well-educated blacks who have benefited from diversity initiatives seem to harbor some of the deepest hatred toward whites. (No doubt we can credit their lefty college professors for fanning the flames.) So, as a result, we now have angry, uneducated ghetto blacks at one end of the scale, and angry, educated middle-class blacks at the other end.

      I’ve noticed the tendency among blacks to self-segregate, dating back to my college years in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Every group with a strong ethnic identity tends to do it. (Armenians are no exception.) But most ethnic groups assimilate after a few generations; few third-generation Armenians name their kids Vahan or Nevart, for example. By contrast, blacks seem to be distancing themselves from the American mainstream a little more with each generation, even as more of them reach middle-class status. Not a healthy development.

      • Roby permalink
        November 18, 2015 4:09 pm

        Rick I think you misunderstood me, I don’t question the Dartmouth story or that it happened at Dartmouth. It was my own college PC experience that happened “far from Dartmouth.”

        I haven’t had the same experience as you have, but I am in Vermont and you, if I remember correctly, are in Philadelphia. I got an Associates degree in Auto Mechanics at Penco tech, Bristol PA, graduated in 1980. There were lots of black students there from Philly, so I have the flavor. Philly was the location of a real race war, Mumia, the Africas, MOVE, Rizzo, its was a really racially charged place. I suspect that if you have lived in Philly long that particular racial culture, black and white, has given you your reasons.

        http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/05/13/406243272/im-from-philly-30-years-later-im-still-trying-to-make-sense-of-the-move-bombing

        Yeah, liberal NPR. This seems like a good piece of journalism that does not make excuses for MOVE or Rizzo’s police,

        One thing I understand about race is that bad experiences change people and their opinions. I’ve had my own bad experiences with radical black kids and black racism, in high school in Princeton NJ in the 70s. Where there had been a race riot a year before my family moved there. The NJ suburb where we lived prior to Princeton was 100% white, but I heard the N word constantly from every age group. SInce my father taught black history to black students at Rutgers in Newark I was very aware of all that racism and not even a black person in sight. As well, when King was shot, my parents let me know about it the next morning and asked my opinion. My opinion being young and naive was that it was probably a good thing, which came from the fact that my teacher, who was a conservative woman, talked about the civil rights movement in class, she was strongly disapproving, King was a troublemaker. My parents were appalled. Through the lens of nostalgia, King now seems less controversial than he was then.

        In Princeton I had for the first time black friends and black tormentors, as a skinny long haired hippy kid. My black friends were the ones who hated the militant black stuff, they hung out with whites instead, the hippy kids. So, very very complicated.

        The Dartmouth situation drastically changes my opinion of the media, of the Black Lives activists, of the level of stupidity that PC can generate on campus and the danger it presents. That “protest” was assault pure and simple (unless of course the actual reporting from the scene is not truthful) and the administration is apologising to the activists who did it? That is simply insane, way beyond what I expected, even from PC.

        This does NOT change the sympathy I have for the shit that my black friends have to put up with (badly said, my sympathy with my black friends and generally blacks in America for the shit they have to deal with).

        Complicated, so very complicated.

  11. Roby permalink
    November 18, 2015 2:53 pm

    Rick, Well, the Dartmouth Black Lives Matter library protest you led me to is my own popeye moment. That and the school’s response change my opinion of the seriousness of this. That is disgusting, insane, out of control.

    You also have a real point, I find no coverage of this outrage outside of the conservative press. A game changer for me. Liberal bias in the media, much worse than I imagined. The stories that one does not mention matters, intensely. Yes, that is blunt rewriting of history Ouch. Fuck.

  12. Roby permalink
    November 18, 2015 3:04 pm

    Priscilla I take back every word I have ever said in defence of the mainstream media. I think that I just may have flipped polarity from being a wishy-washy liberal leaning moderate to being a wishy-washy conservative leaning moderate. I am in shock, I am outraged. There is no bumper sticker that could do justice to my feelings (I am trying to retain my sense of humor here, not really working.)

    Anyone want to take a bet as to whether this story will ever penetrate, Say, the New York TImes? &^%$#(*

    • dhlii permalink
      November 19, 2015 11:31 am

      You start with a presumption that the media is some kind of unbiased observer and witness.

      Why do you expect more of the media than you would of yourself ?

      While the modern media has a tendency to tilt significantly more left than right,
      it is the presumption that the media is somehow perfectly objective that is at the root of the problem.

      We should not accept unquestioned assertions from any source.
      Not left, not right. Nor should we presume that there are only left and right perspectives.

      The media leans heavily left, but they can be counted on to report somethings regardless, of whether the story favors the left or right. The media will report, controversy, egregious misbehavior, violence, regardless of what perspective it favors.

      We need to accept that NYT will represent a specific perspective, just as Fox will represent a different one.

      We should follow both and glean what we can from each. Grasping that they come with specific points of view.

      • November 19, 2015 1:47 pm

        I agree with your take on the media.
        And I extend it to other sources as well…
        To sources like you, who doesn’t lean, but TILTS askew.
        But in this case, after very carefully weighing it from 360-degress of scrutiny, this one post passes the reasonable test.
        See, even a broken brain gets is right once in a millennium.

  13. Roby permalink
    November 18, 2015 5:55 pm

  14. Roby permalink
    November 18, 2015 6:04 pm

    So, after being depressed and angry for a couple hours about this, suddenly I remembered that we are in the age of the cell phone camera and did a search of Youtube. The footage I found is above.

    This is obnoxious and disruptive but nothing on this footage really lives up to the characterization on the conservative sites. Maybe there is more that did not get caught, but this is the age of the cell phone camera. I guess I need some kind of evidence that they did more than chant.

    Nevertheless I don’t think that a school administrator should be making general and negative political comments about conservatives, if she did, that is way over the line, I’d fire her.

    As of now I think I’d have to put in a full day of looking into this to have some idea if the conservative sources invented the worst parts. I guess its important enough to do that, but time is precious, even to me.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 19, 2015 11:18 am

      So your takeaway is that conservative sites are the big evil problem because in your view they may have exagerated the degree of offensiveness of these crybullies ?

      I think if the Jews were conservative, you would find a way to blame the hollocaust on them.

      It is important for us to observe and accurately report the misdeeds of others.
      But inaccuracy in reporting does not alter the fact that it is the misbehavior that is the central issue.

      • Roby permalink
        November 19, 2015 12:07 pm

        You still cannot for the life of you read. or perhaps the problem is not reading but thinking. You are dying to have me say the words that you put in my mouth, but I never said them, not even close. This describes 97% of your responses to other posters. It makes you a pointless person to discuss anything with unless one is an absolute masochist.

        This morning I am actually feeling some understanding of the conservative point on PC and biased news coverage by the mainstream media, which is what any intelligent person who can read and think would take out of my posts about the Dartmouth protest. Even your incredible reading disability and perpetual need to create strawmen is not going to change that. If you have sympathy with the conservative point of view here, the smart thing to do would be to leave me in peace with my new insight. Unlike you I can change my mind on things and more than once a decade.

        Now, sure as the sun rises in the east you are going to reply with some convoluted irrelevant nonsense. I won’t respond further and be your foil.

      • November 19, 2015 1:34 pm

        Yeah, I’ve noticed he does that a lot, where he accuses me of saying or doing something he himself did. It’s the psychological term ‘projection’ which buttonholes him pretty well:

        A psychoanalytical theory, projection is the process whereby one subject believes they see attributes (both good and bad) in another. The theory views this tendency as a defense mechanism whereby unenviable or unpleasant traits, impulses or ideas are attributed to another. In this way, the projector is able to avoid the unpleasantness in themselves. However, the theory goes on to explain that in severe cases of projection, the condition of projection may degenerate into paranoid delusions to the point that the projector believes others are responsible for the projector’s problems and are secretly plotting against them. The projection basically allows a subject to ignore faults within themselves.

  15. Roby permalink
    November 18, 2015 7:41 pm

    This, by a person who was part of the protest, seems objective. He left the library and was ashamed of what the protest turned into. Plenty of evidence of meanness and bullying, none as yet of the violence that was claimed on conservative sites. I still consider this disgusting and consider the College to be gutless to have apologised.

    Still, apologies were in order… by the group, not to the group.

    http://thetab.com/us/dartmouth/2015/11/14/i-was-proud-to-be-part-of-last-nights-protest-until-it-turned-ugly-978

    Washington post has an article it provided the link to this one. Perhaps the mainstream media will follow through, slowly.

    • November 18, 2015 8:01 pm

      I saw that article by the participant. Good perspective. Sorry to have ruined your day, Roby. You don’t have to do a political about-face, but we should all be aware of how selective the media can be in the stories they allow to see the light of day. It’s all about supporting narratives now. Naturally the conservative press jumped on the story, and just as naturally the mainstream/liberal press suppressed it. It’ll be interesting to see if it goes mainstream. And yes, I thought it was appalling that the college apologized to the protesters.

      • Roby permalink
        November 18, 2015 9:34 pm

        You apologizing to me? Stop that!
        (just trying to keep my sense of humor.)

        Seriously, if the mainstream media don’t take it up in a day or so, I will throw in the towel and start thinking of Fox as an equally valid news source.

    • dhlii permalink
      November 19, 2015 11:12 am

      The premise of the protests produces these bad consequences.

      A presumption that you are entitled to restrict the speech of others inevitably leads to bullying and potentially violence.

      No doubt the protestors are angry – even legitimately angry, but there is no difference between the hateful speech that offends them and the hate they spew at others.

      One persons pain is no less real than another.

      Our laws are not supposed to elevate one viewpoint over another.

      • Roby permalink
        November 19, 2015 11:57 am

        God help me, I agree with you Dave.

  16. Roby permalink
    November 19, 2015 12:19 pm

    Woke up just as pissed off about this as I was last night. I think the conversion will take, PC on campus has been elevated to my mortal enemy and the mainstream media are part and parcel of it.

    I’m writing letters, starting with with the Administration at Dartmouth, one of whom called the Black Lives Matter Dartmouth Library protest, which was an explosion of explicit black racism, “a beautiful thing.”

    I know this sounds like a wild claim, but I had no small role in one President Ramaley losing her position at UVM, she was a PC idiot and I had some idea of the best levers to pull and access to them. Don’t guess I have that at Dartmouth though.

    If I were a conservative news outlet I would make the Dartmouth Library protest the centerpiece of my news coverage for a good long while.

  17. November 20, 2015 10:55 am

    Interesting development at University of Illinois, where someone has set up a “white students union” Facebook page https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/11/20/white-student-union-challenges-black-lives-matter-at-university-of-illinois/

    The page apparently characterizes the BLM movement as terrorism.

    I don’t think there should be white student unions, but neither do I think there should be black student unions, so it will be interesting to see how campus activists attack this idea. I’m sure that their “logic” will involve the concept of white privilege, but, at some point, the internal weakness and hypocrisy inherent in their arguments will be glaring……

  18. November 20, 2015 2:07 pm

    This is also interesting….for 2 reasons: 1) an Ivy League dean actually apologizing to conservatives may be unprecedented and 2) apparently this was brought about by a social media app called Yik Yak, which I’ve never heard of before , but is something like Twitter, only anonymous. An anonymous majority perhaps?

    http://thetab.com/us/dartmouth/2015/11/20/dean-ameer-apologizes-after-yak-storm-1153

  19. November 23, 2015 10:28 am

    One more link ~ Victor David Hanson, writing on how language has been used to create victimhood : ” This tiny vocabulary sampling reflects another recent epidemic of victimhood, as the English language is further squeezed and massaged to create reality from fantasy.”

    https://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/silly-words-for-silly-people

    • November 23, 2015 12:29 pm

      Thanks for the link.
      Victor is a wonderful writer. I enjoy reading him even when I disagree with him ( this time I’m fully in accord with what he says)

  20. Roby permalink
    November 23, 2015 4:24 pm

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/11/23/university-of-kansas-professor-placed-on-leave-for-using-racial-slur

    She meant nothing by it towards anyone it was simply an honest and objective statement that she made about not seeing the word itself anywhere. First Amendment!

    Yes, these PC activists really ARE little fascists (in a sense of the word that is so loose that its wrong, but there should be a word that means what people think that fascist means) PC has now “jumped the shark.”

    The higher ed system is about to seriously degrade unless reasonable people in the education community have the guts to stand up and say that these methods have become an assault on free speech that must be stopped.

    This tactic is supposed to improve the racial harmony situation? Its a complete failure! Its promoting a race war. And I, as known, am a bleeding heart liberal on the subject of race.

    Professors who are subjected to this should sue. Thank god I am out of Higher ed.

    Let someone start a clean Facebook page called I hate PC and they will have millions of hits in an hour.

    • November 23, 2015 5:05 pm

      In most respects I agree with you, but in one I don’t. And that is because smart people should know what is acceptable speech and what is not. Common sense should tell you that the use of the N word is unacceptable in any and all cases except when the subject of any conversation or panel discussion is specifically that word and everyone knows beforehand what is going to be discussed.

      And then common sense should tell administrators to dial back on the “penalties” when something like this happens. One would think if she addressed these students and told them she was sorry for using that term and meant no disrespect, but was using it as an example, then that should be enough.

      And common sense should tell those offended that the apology should be enough since they are going to run into many things worse in their remaining lifetime than a meaningless remark like she made.

      But then common sense has become something like unicorns in America. We all want to believe it exist, but it does not.

    • November 23, 2015 6:07 pm

      “Let someone start a clean Facebook page called I hate PC and they will have millions of hits in an hour.”

      I Googled it. And there are some like it- but those are about people hating their desktop PC, and loving their MAC.

    • November 23, 2015 7:20 pm

      Kansas demographics: 84% White; 5% Black.
      University demographics: 74% White; 4% Black; 10% Hispanic; 4% Asian
      International student demographics: 6% – many from African nations

      Percent International Africans protesting: 0%
      Percent Hispanics protesting: 0%
      Percent Asians protesting: 0%

      I’m not sure if there’s any significance to these numbers, but I have an eerie feeling Dave will associate them with GDP before I can click my heels three times like Dorothy in Oz and say “There’s no safe space in Kansas”

  21. Roby permalink
    November 23, 2015 5:22 pm

    Ron, I agree that she was indiscreet and made an error of personal judgement, although she clearly did not mean the word as a slur. The students would not even let her apologise, that is where I become Popeye:

    “This was the According to Lawrence Journal-World, Quenette had prepared a statement of her own to clarify her comments and apologize, but several students didn’t want to hear her apology. “Someone said, ‘No, this is over,’ and they all got up and left,” Quenette told the publication.

    “The belief that democratic deliberation is neutral is wrong and dangerous,” the open letter reads. “Do not allow the guise of free speech to be invoked and crowd out our demand.””

    The last sentence is idiotic gibberish and as students someone needs to tell them so. but I guess no college official will.

    Not only will these idiots not be employable, they will ruin it for their fellows as well. Hire Black college grads? How will they prove to potential employers that that they are not destructive supersensitive demand machines?

    • November 24, 2015 12:41 am

      Roby, not sure if you read my comment on November 18th, about 1/2 way down the comments made so far, about employment of blacks and the way discrimination can happen and not be detected in employment practices.

      You stated “Not only will these idiots not be employable, they will ruin it for their fellows as well. Hire Black college grads? How will they prove to potential employers that that they are not destructive supersensitive demand machines?”

      Like I said, we found that is was not a positive occurrence to hire black employees in many cases due to what you describe as “supersensitive demand machines” and when their demands were not met or they failed in their abilities to do the job and were terminiated, employers find themselves in court due to discrimination practices. So like you question, it is better to find ways to not even interview than to interview and find yourself in court because you hired someone else more qualified and less demanding, or you found out too late that the black employee was not able to do the job, was terminated and then filed a discrimination lawsuit.

      When you hire a self centered, spoiled white kid out of college and they don’t fit in, they can be terminated. Try that with the same type minority, and be prepared to pay thousands to labor attorneys to defend you in court or hire the employee back.

  22. November 24, 2015 12:36 pm

    People have lost their fricken minds!!!!

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/university-ottawa-yoga-cultural-sensitivity-1.3330441

  23. November 29, 2015 11:25 pm

    Where have all the Moderates gone, long time passing…?

  24. jimi888 permalink
    November 30, 2015 2:48 pm

    Hey Jay, I’ve been practising classical guitar fanatically, got addicted to that, which is a good thing. Now I am relearning the Bach unaccompanied cello suite #1 for guitar. I was playing just the cello notes, no counterpoint. Much, much harder with the added counterpoint.

    My model:

    But here is a thought. The has been the worst year I remember in decades. Shots fired everywhere, at home and abroad. Jerks everywhere and riots. I am thinking of 1968-1970 as the last time things were so bad. I see analogies.

    Trump–> George Wallace
    Hillary–> Nixon
    Bernie—George McGovern (72 I know) or Eugene McCarthy (but I liked him)
    LBJ—Obama
    ISIS death cult–>Pol Pot death cult
    Czechoslovakia–> Ukraine
    Putin—> Brezhnev
    Student and race riots–> Black Lives and student protesters
    Assassination of MLK, JFK—> near daily ideologically motivated shootings
    Communist menace–> Radical Islam menace

    Unfortunately, there are no parallels in good things, music, culture.

  25. November 30, 2015 8:53 pm

    It’s satisfying to be able to combine physicality and mind to make/create something, like a guitar solo. All I’m dexterous and coherent enough to ‘create’ are scrambled eggs.

    Your comparison list is amusing. But the best match for Nixon is Cruz, a comparison I’ve made in the past. They’re doppelgängers in deviousness and untrustworthiness, and share the same sneaky facial look in frontal photographs. Cruz is the candidate I worry the most about becoming president, a man with a history of embellishing mini-lies and self delusions, an unModerate Conservative with right wing agendas that will undermine conciliation and consensus government.

    None of his views on the wedge issues are moderate. Gun regulation for example. With him in the White House there’d be no chance of passing any reasonable laws to ‘infringe’ the rights of kooks or mentally unstable misfits from committing the kinds of acts od rapid fire mayhem and murder we saw at the PP clinic this past week. The dingy presidential candidate is an extremist 2nd Amendment advocate. Here’s a link to Crud’s – er, Cruz’s views on the subject:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/ted-cruz-second-amendment-government-tyranny

    • December 1, 2015 1:13 am

      Jay..And don’t forget Cruz’s position on the NSA gathering data on phone records. I am old enough to remember two things concerning phones and privacy. One is the 2 and 3 family party lines that were common until the late 50’s. Depending on your location, you could have one or two other families and if you picked up the receiver and someone was on their phone, you could hear their conversations. Each party had a different number of short rings to identify who had an incoming call. But that was also when people were considerate of others and would put down the receiver when they picked it up and the line was busy.

      in addition, you received a bill from the phone company with every long distance call you made with the called number, the length of time and the date and time.

      No one really had much expectation of privacy on phones back then, but in today’s environment people bitch about cameras in public squares, parks and streets because “it is an invasion of privacy”. So having billions of calling records is now an invasion of privacy.

      Now Ted Cruz supports the ending of the NSA from gathering data that was listed on bills years ago, leaving the government in a worse situation when it comes to tracking terrorism.

      So please don’t degrade Ted for his position on logical changes to the gun laws in the country as everyone, including the mentally unstable and redneck kooks are going to need that gun when the terrorist are running around the country because the NSA can’t find them.

      So Ted is being consistent in his extreme support of rights guaranteed by the constitution. He may have the possible look of a Nixon, but no where near Nixon’s moderate positions when it came to governing. Remember, Nixon and Ted Kennedy had a compromise healthcare bill ready to go to congress with support from both parties that had most of the characteristics of the current ACA. Watergate scrapped that from going to a vote just a few days before it was to be entered into the congressional record. Due to Watergate, nothing happened in congress after that.

      • December 1, 2015 9:34 am

        I have mixed feelings about Ted Cruz. On the one hand, I do believe that he is a brilliant and principled man, with no true extremist views on anything. A conservative, basically, not a wingnut of any sort. And really more “conservatarian” than most, especially in his agreement with Rand Paul on military spending, NSA spying and such. On the other hand, I find him, as so many do, unlikable in many ways. I’m not sure why that is, but it certainly helps that his face is a bit Nixonian, he speaks like an evangelist, and his very calculated path to the GOP nomination has been clearly influenced by Trump’s candidacy. He has implied a somewhat nativist position on immigration, without really being specific ~ all the better to scoop up the Trumpsters when, presumably, the Trump campaign implodes.

        All that said, my main problem with him is that I’m afraid that he may be unelectable in a general election, and would give us the utterly craven and oligarchical Hillary Clinton.

        As far as the metadata issue, I believe that the real problem is distrust of the government, particularly on the right, even the moderate right. We’ve seen how the IRS was used to target conservative groups, and we’ve heard the constant refrain that “right-wingers are more dangerous than Islamists”. The fear is that data collection is going to be used to ferret out political enemies as opposed to terrorists. Given the track record of the “Justice” Department in this administration, I’m not sure that that is an entirely irrational fear…….

      • December 1, 2015 12:24 pm

        Trust your instincts, Priscilla – the reason you don’t ‘like’ Cruz is because you’re sensing his smarmy true self, the smug fascism buried under the tea party conservative gloss. He’s a mean spirited little prick. With the self righteous hypocrisy of J. Edgar Hoover. Like father, like son, both he and Papa Cruz are self-serving exaggerators. Trust your instincts – Cruz is a Crud, an unprincipled demagogue, and from a Moderate’s point of view his Christian-Conservative dogma on gun control and abortion ARE extremist .

      • December 1, 2015 2:33 pm

        Priscilla, I agree with you 100% about the distrust in government, but I wonder what the reaction of those same individuals will be when we have another attack in the country by terrorist and people wonder why the attackers were not identified before it happened. I agree with Ben Franklin when he said something like “People who give up essential freedom for temporary security deserve neither”, but in this case I do not find where we are giving up any freedoms if the NSA has a list of called and calling numbers. They can still get the info from the communication companies, it just takes a few days which could be the difference between an arrest or an attack.

        As for Cruz, I have not liked his “born again” Christian “better than thou” attitude since he came on the scene. There are many other candidates that would do most of what he would do and not force their beliefs on people with differing views. I am a Christian, but a moderate one who believes anyone can believe however they want as long as it is not against the law. If you are Catholic and do not believe in any form of birth control, or you are a Christian that does not believe life begins until late in the pregnancy and abortion is acceptable, then I am not one of the bible pounding fire and brimstone Christians that believe my way is the only way.

        So given that, there are three individuals that I will refuse to vote for if they are nominated. Clinton, Trump and Cruz. (I am discounting Bernie). I will vote for the Libertarian as that vote will count just a little in helping that party to stay on the ballot in my state. But I think these three individuals are as bad as the other in their own right and none are qualified to be President. So my voting for or not voting at all for one of them will have the same effect. We get bad, bad or bad. What’s the difference?

      • December 1, 2015 12:37 pm

        Yes Ron, I remember the Party Line phones. When I was a kid my grandmother’s sister who lived in a farming community in what was then rural New Jersey was hooked up to one. And I got the standard lecture about not snooping on other’s conversations. And like you, that introduction to phone usage left me With no expectation of privacy during phone conversations.

  26. jimi888 permalink
    December 1, 2015 1:19 pm

    Jay, I am an interesting oddity, I get almost all of my news by reading it. I have no visceral reaction to the candidates because I never see video of them. I hardly know what they look like and don’t know how they sound (except, unfortunately, Bernie). I hate TV and obnoxious personalities, like politicians, enough that I let very little of their personas into my life and mind. Life is short too many better things.

    But from my reading I gather that Cruz is just as you describe. Frightening.

  27. jimi888 permalink
    December 1, 2015 3:51 pm

    No agency or system could possibly actually listen to all of our phone conversations. When someone commits an act of terrorism then the logs are pulled out and searched for connections. People who are suspected of be potential terrorists have their conversations monitored as well as those of their associates. It was always a poorly kept secret even before that idiot who is hiding under Putin’s skirt did his leaking. Why should this recording of my conversations bother me?

    • December 1, 2015 5:22 pm

      Well if someone wants to listen to my conversations, have at it. The same people concerned about their private phone conversations are the ones concerned about cameras in pubic places invading their privacy or are the ones posting every detail of their lives on Facebook or Instagram.

      Go figure.

  28. jimi888 permalink
    December 3, 2015 12:58 pm

    Another day, another mass shooting. And I don’t believe that anyone has the answer. Perhaps over a very long period we could become a less gun-infested culture, perhaps, but that is no answer today. This is just going to continue, I blame a series of vast impersonal forces that can hardly be stopped.

    I am in favor of stronger gun laws, some of the exceptions are absurd, but gun laws would not have prevented yesterdays tragedy. Really nothing would, a homicidal maniac can perform a slaughter on on day of the week and nothing can stop that in a free society, at least in ours.

    Staggering Stats: There Have Been More Mass Shootings Than Days This Year
    by TOM COSTELLO and ELIZABETH CHUCK

    Despite only accounting for five percent of the global population, an astounding 31 percent of the world’s mass shootings occur in the U.S.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/san-bernardino-shooting/staggering-stats-there-have-been-more-mass-shootings-days-year-n473436

    • December 3, 2015 2:13 pm

      jimi..Yes you are right that any additional gun control laws would not have prevented this from happening. But there are a couple things that we may need to look at.
      1. How much of this violence is being promoted by the divisiveness in our government. Its worse today than it was when VP Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton because of differences of opinion. Now that antagonistic environment is filtering down into society and the extremist on both sides are acting out the actions of the government officials, while years ago they decided the issue between themselves.
      2. This most likely will be defined by the Obama administration as “workplace violence” and lax gun control laws will be blamed. Why? Just like Nidal Hisan who was radicalized and became an Islamic terrorist, there is a good possibility that Shahid Farooq was also a radicalized Muslim and knowing there were many people gathered at his workplace for a party, the ability to kill in mass and escape unharmed from that location provided a favorable time to act. But the Obama administration does not want any indications of lax security to be associated with his legacy, so this will go down as workplace violence and lax gun controls and extremist GOP’er can be blamed.. And given this is the last year of his administration and that 9-11 occurred shortly after the last democrat that sat in his chair had just left office, this is not the time to bring up the fact that Republicans are associated with tighter security than democrats. And last, the Muslim attack in Tennessee has still not been labeled “terrorist” by the FBI. So it seems he has instructed his justice department to lay off “terrorist attack” in any findings and the FBI’s hands are tied when it comes to providing final rulings on these killings.
      3. There are 300 million plus guns in America today. If the government can not control drugs, illegal immigration, prostitution (now labeled as escort service) and other criminal activities not defined as “white collar”, how can anyone expect the government to control the movement of 300+ million guns. And do we make the manufacturing of guns illegal in America so there are no growth in the numbers already there?

      One only needs to go to social media to find the problem that exist in America today. It is people and the movement to “acceptable” sociopathic behavior that was never acceptable in the past. People disagreed, but never to the level of personal attacks like today. If you disagreed years back, most of the time you argued the subject. Today, you attack the other persons integrity and morals. You make it personal. You make it to the point that anyone that has a radical view on any subject will turn to violence and allow that small piece sociopath DNA to surface and take control.

      But in the San Bernadino incidence, all early indicators are this was a young Muslim man who went to Saudi Arabia, was radicalized by the imams, returned home and began his plan for Jihad so he could claim his 72 virgins awaiting him in Jannah. They say if we allow 10,000 Syrians into the country, maybe only 10 will be a terrorist. So there is a picture going around of M&M’s and the caption reads, “there are 10,000 M&M’s and ten are poison. How many will you eat? The same hold true with refugees as well when it comes to allowing more into the country.

      • December 3, 2015 3:02 pm

        You’re pretty much right on the money all the way around, Ron. Heard Brian Ross on ABC News call it “workplace jihad” which I guess will become a new term to sort of “soften up” the terrorist aspect of these attacks. Maybe “going postal” will just become “going jihadi,” huh?

        And, as far as making disagreements personal, one need not look any further than yesterday’s NY Daily News, attacking Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz as “cowards” for extending their thoughts and prayers to the victims, at a time when no one yet knew any of the facts surrounding the shooting. So, naturally, the media latched right on to the “right wing gun nut” theory that was immediately put out there by Hillary Clinton and the rest – while the bodies were still warm. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/12/02/front-page-of-the-new-york-daily-news-god-isnt-fixing-this/

        And, the idea that, if there were stricter gun control laws, terrorists would not be able to get weapons is ludicrous and bizarre. And, at any rate, authorities have now announced that they found 5,000+ rounds of ammo, 12 pipe bombs (we need stricter bomb control, too) and loads of evidence that this guy was in touch with international ISIS terror leaders. But, if only Republicans and Christians would calm down, I guess we’d all be fine, right?

        I’m sick at heart over this,just thinking of the families who now have to get through the holidays, and the rest of their lives, without a loved one….but also because things will likely get worse before they get better, and because we have the worst possible leadership to turn things around.

      • December 3, 2015 4:05 pm

        My guess is that the wife was the terrorist mole who radicalized the husband.

        I heard they met online, and he went to Saudi Arabia, and ther were married there. She, apparently, was a Pakistani citizen; so how did an unmarried Muslim woman her age end up in Saudi Aribia? And how exactly would both husband and wife become radicalized online, in so relatively short a time? And how much sense does it make that an ordinary, previously unradicalized woman, with a newly born 6 month old baby, would be building explosives in the apartment where her baby was present, and be cold-blooded enough to participate in a military-style slaughter?

      • December 3, 2015 4:09 pm

        Eh. women! Can’t live with ’em, can’t become radicalized without ’em.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 3, 2015 6:10 pm

        I understand your points Ron, but why should I be more frightened of Muslims than of the homegrown loons who committed the other 344 mass shootings this year? They came in every flavor, If I am going be generally against every type of religion or ideology of race that committed a mass shooting I am going to have no one to talk to at all. It would be interesting to see an analysis of how all the mass shooters sort out motive- and cultural background-wise.

        This is a disgusting act and a tragedy but dropping bombs on a Doctors with out borders facility and then shooting doctors and patients as they escaped which killed, if I remember, over 20 innocents was forgotten immediately and will not be a campaign issue etc, while the one or two mass shooting cases by muslims out of 355 so far this year will probably get more attention and have more affect on people’s political opinions than all those other things combined. Yes, I know we weren’t deliberately bombing innocents but mistakes were made and they are still very dead and none of us really gave a crop for more than a few minutes. Our outrage is very selective and, unfortunately, very often highly influenced by our ideological preferences.

        This is wrong for many reasons, not the least of which is that it magnifies the shooters and gives them more impact than they deserve. Terror doesn’t work if people are objective and rational and resist feeling terror.

      • December 3, 2015 6:54 pm

        Well I can’t defend a position to prohibit Muslims from coming into the country legally when we do not prohibit other people from coming into the country illegally. But one has to understand the ultimate long term goal of Islam. 1. immigrate to countries with a lessor Muslim population. 2. Have many children to increase the Muslim population within the community. 3. Spread out throughout that country, and bring more immigrants into that country until you have a sizable percentage of the population. 4. Take control, using violence where necessary, to convert the remaining population to Islam or eradicate those that will not convert. So as long as we know the ultimate goal and what lies ahead, then we can plan for whatever the eventual environment we live in will be,

        As for your comments about the hospital, one only needs to look at U.S. Army Lt. Clint Lorance, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland and U.S. Army National Guardsman Sgt. Derrick Miller. It was reported that there was a good possibility of court martial of those involved with the bombing of the hospital in Afghanistan. You can bet your ass that those at the top will not be held responsible, it will be someone in the enlisted ranks or lower level officer ranks that will pay the price like the three individuals I listed. One can see the administration and senior leaders of the military do not support our troops given the fact that individuals are in prison for protecting others. When you send troops to fight, errors are going to happen and in many cases, they are not errors, they are the right moves, but wrong on the side of the rules of engagement. So those that do the right thing end up in prison because the rules of engagement are political and not combat compatible And no one ever hears about the soldiers that got screwed by senior leadership.

      • December 3, 2015 9:03 pm

        “Well I can’t defend a position to prohibit Muslims from coming into the country legally when we do not prohibit other people from coming into the country illegally. ”

        Why can’t we limit the number of Muslims entering the country, specifically from nations with recent history of radicalazation?

        Same limits should be put on Spanish speaking immigration, to Keep the US from becoming a duel English-Spanish speaking nation.

      • December 4, 2015 1:37 am

        Jay..you have already answered your question. “Why can’t we limit the number of Muslims entering the country, specifically from nations with recent history of radicalization?”

        “Our nation is under attack, and all these dumb asses can do is play politics”

        If the president wanted to get something done, he would summons the leadership from congress to his office and work with them like the “leaders” we have had in the past that have accomplished something while in office.

        Now it is divide and conquer to get their party reelected, nothing more, nothing less, other than a legacy.

    • December 3, 2015 3:46 pm

      I’m a gun owner who wants limits on automatic and semiautomatic weapons, and on the amount of ammunition that can be purchased – laws similar to those passed in Australia. That may not stop dedicated criminals and terrorists and mentally crazed people from acquiring weapons capable of mass carnage, but it will make it more difficult for them.

      And I want to make it more difficult for EVERYONE to own guns of any kind. Stricter background checks. Recurring gun licensing tests to show competency using them – like we have for driver’s licenses. Higher fines and/or jail time for illegal possession.

      (And was Roby kidnapped and being held for ransom; or is jimi888 an alternate split personality who has taken over?)

      • December 3, 2015 4:19 pm

        Without getting into the whole gun control debate (although I guess we will anyway), I think that it’s important to point out that gun control laws will do jack to stop Islamist terrorism.

      • December 3, 2015 5:42 pm

        “Without getting into the whole gun control debate (although I guess we will anyway), I think that it’s important to point out that gun control laws will do jack to stop Islamist terrorism.”

        You’re right, it won’t stop Islamist terrorism. But stricter gun laws could hinder Islamic terrorism by guns. And it would hinder domestic mayhem like the PP shooting. And cut down on the availability of guns in the inner cities that end up in the hands of gangbangers.

      • December 3, 2015 4:20 pm

        Oh, and yeah, what’s up with the name change Roby/jimi?

      • December 3, 2015 5:58 pm

        Jay, so we make automatic and semi automatic weapons illegal. For this example, fine. So now we have terrorist (domestic, alien or mentally ill) who decide the next best thing is a pistol with a clip. As an example 8 shots. Now we walk into a conference room filled with people and with just one gun, we fire off 8 shots. Best bet is at least 7 hit a target and that is done in 7 to 8 seconds. People scattering, falling over tables, falling to the floor, (the whole scared to death scenario). Clip emptied after the 8th shot, clip released, new clip inserted (2-3 seconds) 8 shots fired off, another 7 hit. Now increase the shooters to 2 instead of 1 and in 15 seconds you have 14 people down. Now put two gun in their hands and you have 20-25 down. All within about the same amount of time that these two individuals used a long rifle (whatever the type and caliber) to kill and wound those the shot. No one has said, but I would think they were in that room longer than 15-20 seconds. Point is I don’t think the damage would be much less with gun control or ammo clip control one way or the other.

        So now, we have 300+ million guns in America. Lets assume that 10% are automatic or semi automatic. That is 30 million. If we can not identify 12 million illegal immigrants, how do you think we are going to identify who has 30 million weapons? And then, we can’t control the people coming over our borders, so how will we control guns coming in when the Mexican cartels find importing illegal guns into America is a lucrative business. Best bet is it will be as lucrative as drugs.

        Only non-criminals follow laws.

      • December 3, 2015 7:21 pm

        Ron, I’m not an expert on firearm fatalities, but the difference I see between your pistol with a clip analogy and an automatic weapon attack is the number of potential casualties from the latter would be far greater in an attack where large numbers of people are in attendance.

        With your pistol scenario all seven out of eight bullets would have to hit a vital organ to kill the target victim. I just looked up hospital statistics in Los Angeles for patients admitted with gunshot wounds: the mortality rate for those not shot in the head or heart was around 2.5%.

        Automatic rifles like the AK-47 can empty an entire 40 round cartridge in less then a minute, and fires high penetration bullets that can produce significant wounding. And multiple wounds are more likely from automatic weapons.

        Plus the chance of a shooter with a single shot pistol being swarmed and disarmed by those attacked is greater, as is a take down by law enforcement at the scene.s. So it seems to me chances of surviving a single shot shooter is way greater.

        And you’re right, you couldn’t eliminate all banned guns in the US. But you could reduce them significantly over time, as they did in Australia: an estimated 70% to 80% of banned models were turned in after the buy-back law went into effect. High fines for possession or sale after the grace period expired encouraged the turn-ins. And future manufacture or import also became illegal. And the sale of ammunition was thereafter regulated as well.

        Again, stricter gun laws not a perfect solution, but the number of mass shootings in Australia has plunged significantly since the law went into effect there and I think they would here as well.

      • December 4, 2015 1:00 am

        You could be right on all counts, But Australia has one main difference from the United States. They do not share a border with Mexico, so the illegal trade in banned substances would be easier to control. We can make the laws sticker and I would expect only those that are law abiding citizens to follow them. In fact, knowing the redneck people living around my neck of the woods, I would expect a lot of law abiding citizens today to become criminals when they refuse to turn in the guns. They will find a way to get ammo, even if they had to make it themselves.

  29. jimi888 permalink
    December 3, 2015 5:52 pm

    Jay and Priscilla, its not deliberate at all, I don’t know how it happened.

    If I’m going to be Jimi I’m going to need a psychedelic stratocaster as my symbol. A few weeks back when I revamped my account trying to get posts send to my mailbox I chose the account name of Jimi888 but kept the screen name of Roby. Now, for no reason I have had my names switched. I do not actually have multiple personalities (I don’t think). I’m not sure how much work I am willing to put into fixing it. Finding the Strat icon might be easier.

  30. jimi888 permalink
    December 3, 2015 5:55 pm

    Not all the news is bad:

    “Premeditated mass shootings in public places are happening more often, some researchers say, plunging towns and cities into grief and riveting the attention of a horrified nation. In general, though, fewer Americans are dying as a result of gun violence — a shift that began about two decades ago.

    In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. The rate of shootings that didn’t result in death declined even more precipitously, from 725 in 1993 per 100,000 people to 175 in 2013.”…

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/03/weve-had-a-massive-decline-in-gun-violence-in-the-united-states-heres-why/

    • December 3, 2015 6:00 pm

      Yes, but how much of the drop in homocide rates is due to medical improvements and advances in treating those wounded by gunfire?

      • December 3, 2015 6:23 pm

        Jay the article states “The rate of shootings that didn’t result in death declined even more precipitously, from 725 in 1993 per 100,000 people to 175 in 2013.” Aren’t they saying here that the total number of shootings declined and the medical treatments would not have had any impact because no one was shot to begin with? Or am I missing something in the way the data is provided?

      • December 3, 2015 8:26 pm

        You’re correct, it does cite that statistic.
        So yes, it looks like the numbers dropped.
        Your link offers these explanations: Clinton’s crime bill; increased police presence and oversight; reduced lead poisoning and alcohol reduction.
        So it looks like gun related attacks dropped from ‘horrible’ to ‘shocking.’
        This is like saying youre no longer hanging from a noose6 feet from the ground, but now are hanging 4 feet from the ground.

        What wasn’t tracked? Gun availability.

    • December 3, 2015 6:19 pm

      Jimi…HUMMM maybe I will just call you “Cricket”. Anyway, that was an excellent article. Guess it won’t get much national coverage as it does not play into the hand the liberal press wants to play. And isn’t it amazing how much easier it is today to share this type of information than in 1993.

      Now we need a study on how obnoxious and rude people were back then to others they did not know compared to how they are today on social media.

  31. December 3, 2015 8:43 pm

    Just saw fat butt Christie on Fox.

    Lard buttocks thinks prayer IS the answer to Islamic terrorism. The Liberals are to blame for disparaging prayer. Obama is to blame. Political Correctness is to blame. Prayer, he said, is mankinds greatest boon.

    Question is if he gets down on his knees in prayer to solve our problems is he going to need help hoisting those chubby cheeks up?

    These fools get me angrier day by day.

    Our nation is under attack, and all these dumb asses can do is play politics.

    When the WTC was attacked all Americans bonded together. Democrats and Independants weren’t blaming Bush.. We now have a small-minded generation of Americans ruining our traditions, ruining our lives with their petty ideological bickering.Like Rome when the Barbarians were at the city gates, we are going to be engulfed.

    • jimi888 permalink
      December 3, 2015 10:52 pm

      But seriously Jay, what do you really think?

      • December 3, 2015 11:00 pm

        Sorry.
        It’s just so frustrating to hear so much crap and not be able to do anything but complain.

      • December 4, 2015 1:38 am

        Hey we can do something. Vote for Trump in November 2016. (I think I am gong to throw up!)

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 3, 2015 11:05 pm

        Oh, I do understand. Not too many moderates in sight are there?

    • December 4, 2015 1:23 am

      Jay no need to be personal in disagreement with ones positions. We have too much of that going on throughout society and it is not doing anyone any good. By the way he has lost a lot of weight since his bi-pass surgery.

      What I find unacceptable with everything from gun violence to budget issues, I do not see any leadership coming out of the White House. Blaming the other party is not leadership. I do not see the White House requesting meetings with the opposition to work out differences. Damn, the only one running for president that has said there are acceptable compromises on both sides concerning gun control and both sides need to sit down and talk to see if something can be worked out is Bernie Sanders. What does that say for the ones we have elected and the ones we have to choose from for future elections.

      And we can’t even get the current administration to classify anything that looks like and smells like a terrorist attack as a terrorist attack. See link:
      http://wgbhnews.org/post/us-treasury-boston-marathon-bombing-not-act-terrorism

      And if you listen to anyone associated with the federal government, they are all trying to direct the california attack to being a workplace violence issue. Obama does not want anything classified as a terror attack under his watch and will do anything to make it that way.

      Like you said “Our nation is under attack, and all these dumb asses can do is play politics”

      • December 4, 2015 11:50 am

        Interesting, Jay, that you get fired up over Christie making a speech blaming Obama for a failure to lead. Or is it because Christie is fat? Or because he believes in god? I pay pretty close attention to politics, and I have my issues with Christie, but I have not heard him propose that prayer is the answer to terrorism.

        But you’re fine with Obama calling a terrorist attack “workplace violence” and calling for gun control as a solution?

        I’m not following your thinking at all.

      • December 4, 2015 1:16 pm

        You’re right, you’re not following my thinking. Where did you come up with the idea Im OK with Obama, or anyone else, calling the attack workplace violence? As just noted above, I guessed the wife was a terrorist mole days ago. And called out the media for their whisky-washy commentary about not calling the attack terrorism. And I’ve condemned Obama’s politically correct refusal to describe ISLAMIC terrorism for years.

        Obama is an ass in many ways. And Christie is fat ass-head too. He came up with his “The power of prayer is still the most powerful thing in the world,” statement in response to a request from Greta on Fox, asking for his opinion on the NY Daily News “God won’t fix this” front page, and their headline that “GOP presidential candidates offer prayers — not solutions on gun control — after San Bernardino massacre.”

        The skeptical News is right – prayers to a non- existent God are ineffectual waists of time. And if the Jewish-Christian-Muslim God existed, and prayers to him were answered, recent evidence would suggest He is answering Muslim prayers more often then Christain or Jewish prayers.

        Face it: Prayer is only people conversing with themselves: and the thought that politicians are seeking guidance on governance by talking to themselves is truly scary.

        And by the way, Christie recently vetoed a NJ law to make it more difficult for mentally disturbed people to own guns. I wonder if that was an NRA prayer-assisted veto?

      • December 4, 2015 2:17 pm

        Jay, for those that believe in religion, most all do not believe that there is one god that is the same god for Muslims, Christians, Hindu’s etc. So when you say Christians and Muslims pray to the same god and right now the Muslims are winning, that is not correct in that the Muslims believe in a completely different god and the teachings of Islam is completely different than the teachings of Christ and the disciples. But to an atheist this is like talking to the door knob. Maybe if you read some of the Bible and then some of the Quron you would quickly find the differences.

        But one thing one can not argue with is the laws in our country being based on a Christian teaching. One should not question where another person obtains inner strength. Where you may find strength in talking with a buddy at the local bar, Christie may get strength to do what he feels is proper through prayer and meditation.

        I would suggest that one of the reasons for the moral decay in our country today is the lack of religion in peoples lives and the fact more and more people are finding satisfaction through self centered gratification and not through what the older generations found in a power they felt much greater than themselves.

        So don’t make fun of someone that does believe and don’t make comments about “god” and one “taking to themselves” as this is more of an unacceptable personal attack than calling someone fat to someone who does believe.

      • December 4, 2015 4:17 pm

        Sorry Ron, we’re going to have to disagree on what’s an acceptable or unacceptable response to those who interject their religious beliefs into political discussions about topics that effect my life. If an American Muslim politician starts spouting about virgins waiting for the devout in the afterlife, I hope you’re not suggesting I have to treat that idea with silent respect. How about a ‘mystic’ politician who seeks answers from a Ouija board? Does that demand respect? So why should I respectfully demur to the idea that answered prayer will solve the real problems confronting us?

        Like Christopher Hitchens once said: “Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did.” Expecting efficacious results from praying to a man-made god is the same as expecting a positive outcome when praying at the slot machines in Vegas.

        And for perspective, I of course have read the Old and New Testaments many times, with all the gospels, and the Koran from beginning to end, and dozens (maybe a hundred) books about the world’s religions. In the ‘old days’ of on-line discussion groups, before ‘blogs’ – when we commented on so-called ‘bulletin boards’ – I was one of the original members of the A&A (Atheists & Agnostics) group. Back then, those were open discussions — with little moderation or censorship of opinion, including vitriolic input from Ultra Religious Christians, and Orthodox Jews, and from Muslims as well. And so I can tell you with certainly your statement that ” Muslims believe in a completely different god” then Christians and Jews is incorrect: all three religions believe in the same Omnipotent Invisible Entity; yes they have differences of opinion of concerning what the OIE ‘said’ and wants and expects – what you referred to as the divergent teaching of Christ and disciples. But the Jews also disagree with Christianity’s teachings of Christ and the disciples, which they find divergent – you’re not suggesting Jews don’t worship the same god, are you?

        Of course I respect your right to believe, as I respected my parents and grandparent’s right to believe – but when a politician or anyone else seeking the presidency interjects their religious beliefs into the public discourse I believe I have an obligation to contradict those faulty assertions with the same verve I would with any other fact checking of assertions they make.

      • December 4, 2015 5:23 pm

        My apologies, Jay, if I missed your having said that you’ve criticized Obama’s handling of Islamism and terrorism.

        As far as religion goes, I strongly disagree with you about politicians and religion. I have absolutely no problem at all with a politician who is religious, as long as his/her beliefs are not in conflict with the rights and freedoms of others and as long as he/she accepts that in this country, and under our constitution, there is an establishment clause that prohibits a state religion, as well as prohibiting the government from favoring any one religion over another.

        That said, I am neither an atheist nor a theist – I guess the most accurate term would be agnostic. I pray during Game 7’s when my team is losing and when raffle numbers are being called.

        Speaking of HItchens, I was a huge admirer of his, and watched his many debates on the existence of God. Although he was a brilliant debater, I though he lost every one, because he was too invested in his own atheism, to the point where he would never admit that you can’t just take “belief,” put it up against “reality” and destroy the value of belief. He wanted to prove that all religious belief is just bullshit, but the truth is that some beliefs, religious or not, are more bullshit than others. He knew that, but he couldn’t say it.

        So anyway, I’m gonna go ahead and agree with Ron (and Chris Christie, I guess) that, if prayer is what gives a leader the strength to do what is right, to unite and lead in a positive way, I have no problem with him saying that his religion guides him. That is not oppression, it’s not theocracy, and you can disagree with his “faulty assertions” all you want, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

  32. December 4, 2015 11:53 am

    It’s looking like my observation the other day that the wife was a radical ISIS mole is correct!

    • December 4, 2015 5:24 pm

      Yes, you absolutely were. I bet Ray Rice would have taken care of her….;)

  33. jimi888 permalink
    December 4, 2015 8:29 pm

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/our-shared-blame-for-the-shooting-in-san-bernardino

    I thought I was gonna hate this and choose to read it as a likely example of liberal excess. Actually, I found to to be mostly quite good. I know I will now be labeled as liberal, but… Oh well, Sometimes I am I guess.

    • December 4, 2015 9:24 pm

      Yes I agree with the article and with you.

      As Moderate’s (we need a better descriptive for us with more pizazz) we straddle Liberal and conservative views, because both sides are periodically right/wrong/. And end up accused of being a Liberal Devil or a Conservative Devil, depending on whose ideology We’re confronting.

      What I really liked in the New Yorker piece was the observation that owning military style weapons is protection from ‘a phantom threat we cannot name.’ That’s the bedrock NRA meme: our liberty will be jeopardized by the phantom threat if we reduce the Mass murder style weapons to the masses; a groundless assertion.

      In the 1920s we had the Lost Generation. Now we have the Paranoid Nutso Generation.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 5, 2015 1:49 am

        Jay, the article might suggest people believe we need military style weapons to fight some phantom enemy, but I have a different view on the 2nd amendment. And many people i talk with also believe the same. I think we need changes to gun laws, BUT, I do not trust our government to stop once they get their hands on that right. It may be they ban military style guns, then someone will use a high powered hunting rifle to kill some people, so making a second change will be somewhat easier, then the next change will be some sort of controls on pistols, etc etc. So my position is we do not let the government make the first change to protect against future changes.

        You don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in our politicians, especially the left wing politicians.

      • December 5, 2015 3:47 pm

        It’s OUR government, Ron, reflecting the views of the majority, through elected representatives.

        NRA induced Paranoia: The phantom government will enslave us if we’re not armed to the teeth.

        Why hasn’t that enslavement happened in Australia, after they pretty much outlawed most high powered weapons? Why hasn’t it happened in ANY of the modern Industrial European nations, all with way stricter restrictions of personal ownership of guns? Are any of them under the boot of tyrannical government oppression in Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, or England?

        (btw, see this):
        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/07/nyregion/in-scotland-unlike-america-mass-shooting-led-to-stricter-gun-laws.html?_r=0

        The only way OUR government could enslave us is by a complete takeover of the military, and all police forces throughout the US – an ISIS-like takeover of our cities and states. Do you seriously envision that happening here? And as far as party politicians, do your really think it would be Liberal Democrats who would be more likely to force tyranny on the citizens of this country? Our history over the past 100 years points to a different source of worry. Ask who was behind the federal Comstock censorship laws; the Prohibition of alcohol; laws against birth control; against sodomy between willing partners; laws against the teaching of evolution in public schools; laws against the freedom of choice for abortion; against the right to smoke marijuana in private. Yes, you got it – the most forceful proponents of taking away those rights were and are the Conservative Religious Right, who now dominate and control the Republican Party.

        The U.S. would be a better place if we had less guns, less religious zealotry, less political correctness, less immigration from non-European nations, a whole lot less women on prime time TV cop shows pretending to be Robert DiNero in lipstick, less gluten-free food in supermarkets and on restaurant menus, and a LOT MORE old time bars and pubs where you buy 3 and get 1 free!!!

      • December 5, 2015 7:23 pm

        Ron – Would you be willing to outlaw these assault rifles?

      • December 10, 2015 6:34 pm

        Sorry for the long delay. Been out of town. Like I said, I do not trust our government. Our government today is not based on ordinary citizens going to the capital and legislating and then returning to their businesses or work as was the case when the founding fathers wrote the constitution. I am thankful that George Mason drafted the declaration of rights in Williamsburg Va in 1776 that was used as the bases for the Bill of Rights in the constitution and we have that to refrain our government. Today, unlike when this was written, our elected officials are owned by special interest and do not represent the average American.

        So to answer your question, I have no problems with expanded background checks. Other than that, I see a government that will ban these guns, then something will happen that another form of a firearm will be banned and after 50-100 years, guns will no longer be allowed at all and only the criminals will have them.

        Now if you truly believe that guns should be controlled, then do it the right way. Introduce an amendment to the constitution amending the 2 nd amendment and have the states ratify that amendment. That puts the changes in the hands of legislators that are more closely aligned with the citizens (maybe not completely, but more so than DC) and takes it from those that are aligned with special interest groups.

      • December 11, 2015 12:07 pm

        Hi Ron, welcome back.

        This is the primary weapon in use when the 2nd Amendment was written:

        Do I need to say more?

      • December 11, 2015 1:46 pm

        I did not receive anything about the primary weapon, but I suspect you have tried to show a musket or some form of flint lock weapon.

        According to the following web site, automatic weapons are strictly regulated and in some cases, based on state laws illegal.
        http://gun.laws.com/automatic

        According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the modifications made to the guns used in San Bernardino made them illegal assault weapons. So the weapons were purchased legally and later modified. So what good are laws when they are only there to be broken?

        This argument will go on for years because no one wants it solved for the most part. What better issue is available, other than abortion, to split the country for political reasons and garner votes based on a parties position?

      • December 5, 2015 8:56 pm

        Fat Boy Christie’s veto was sustained in N.J.
        People on the Terrorist Watch List, who can’t board US air planes, can still buy the same kinds of guns that were used to attack American Citizens in San Bernardino.

        Yeah, even though they’re not part of any Well Regulated Militias, potential terrorists still have 2nd Amendment protection to kill Americans.

        http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/12/03/nj-lawmakers-fail-to-override-veto-of-gun-law-legislation/

      • December 10, 2015 6:43 pm

        This argument is as ridiculous as much of what is posted on social media. To reiterate, most of our elected officials are bought by special interest. Right now there are more paid for by the NRA than are not, so common sense legislation goes wanting. Limiting the mentally ill and those on terrorist watch list certainly should not have a gun. Any gun all the way from a one shot 22 pistol. But we know how far moderate, common sense legislation gets in our government today.

      • December 11, 2015 1:07 am

        I have to disagree with you on the terrorist watch list, Ron….and, as a libertarian, you should disagree with yourself, lol. The current list is a bloated, bureaucratic mess that did not include either the Tsarnaev brothers or Syed Farook or his wife. It has included lots of perfectly innocent law-abiding people, as well as their relatives, friends and acquaintances.

        Christie pissed off a lot of conservatives by signing a bill in NJ prohibiting those on the watch list from buying guns, so it perplexes me as to why Jay is particularly angry at Christie. I would be ok with bannng people on a list that was carefully maintained, incorporated reasonable due process standards, and was not subject to political manipulation. I don’t know if that’s possible, but I do know that the current list isn’t any of those things.

      • December 11, 2015 1:15 pm

        Priscilla, yes you are right. Given the information you have provided that the no-fly list is not accurate, then I would not support this. And that goes back to my previous comments about not trusting the government. If they can’t even get a no-fly list right, how can we expect them to get anything right? While a innocent person may not be able to fly, the Tsarnaev brothers or Syed Farook or his wife are able to freely go about their business. And while that same person could not buy a gun, the terrorist can.

        Since I now know this fact about the no-fly list, I will put Christie next to Trump and Cruz at the bottom of my GOP candidate list as Christie should be the main candidate to know if this list is accurate or not. He was a former prosecutor using that info!

    • December 4, 2015 11:00 pm

      Well, Roby/jimi, I read the article and think it is an intellectually dishonest and not very original bit of liberal crap.

      On the other hand, I would not label you a liberal, despite your affinity for liberal ideas. You’re far too thoughtful and not nearly smug and nasty enough to be a liberal – in fact not smug or nasty at all. And, although that sounds horribly suck-uppy, it is not meant to be. It never ceases to amaze me though, how hate-filled “real” liberals are.

      Maybe you two are willing to share the blame for those dead people in San Bernardino, but I think that’s nuts.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 4, 2015 11:09 pm

        Thanks Priscilla. Even, Ah shucks. I appreciate your decency too.

        Sharing the blame is something we are doing in a general for gun deaths.

        “To search for an ideological sorter for these killings—this one is a terrorist, but this one is merely a nut, and this one is sort of a nut and sort of a terrorist—while refusing to do obvious and simple things to prevent them is to be responsible for their perpetuation.”

        At first I thought that this sentence started out promising and then become absurd. Then I reread it, rethought it and found that I agree with it. Not in the sense that I fell like I am responsible for this or any such outrage, but that as a society we are responsible collectively as the Germans were for allowing Hitler. It’s clumsy imperfect way to think, some people are giving every waking minute to fighting the willy nilly availability of weapons, are they responsible? But the general idea has merit, as a collective group we allow this, as the Germans allowed Hitler.

      • December 4, 2015 11:14 pm

        While Robi is contemplating his reply, I’ll poke my nose into the thread:

        What was intellectually dishonest, Priscilla?

        And do you consider proposing restrictions on the kind of firearms used to murder those people in San Bernadino a liberal position?

        I seem to recollect that a high percentage of police chiefs nationally are in favor of banning access to thos kinds of guns for personal ownership – and I’d be willing to bet you the majority of those cops are not liberal.

      • December 5, 2015 12:09 am

        Well, before I get to the intellectual dishonesty, I’ll just ask you a rhetorical question: why do you assume that I am against reasonable gun control, including restricting certain types of weaponry? Because, ya know, I’m not. One does not have to be a Second Amendment absolutist to see that the anti-NRA hysterics have been cooking the statistics on mass shootings and gun deaths to the point of calling suicide by gun “gun violence” and labeling domestic violence shootings mass murders if at least 3 people die (say the husband shoots his wife and child and then himself). I’m not saying that that kind of violence isn’t awful, but it doesn’t happen because of lax gun control. And the charts and statistics I have seen since the San Bernardino attack are off-the-charts ridiculous.

        Ok, so the article implies that the French should not share the blame for their terrorist shootings because “getting assault rifles in France is hard work. ” As if the amount of work involved is relevant, or as if California, where the attack took place does not have the strictest gun control laws in the US, or as if it is not absolutely true that very often states and cities with the strictest gun laws (Chicago & Washington DC) have some of the highest rates of gun crime. There are all kinds of ways to interpret these things, and enforcement matters A LOT. But, no, the article just blandly ignores all of the complexities in order to make its case. Just the way it wraps up with the ludicrous “phantom threat we cannot name” nonsense. Is that why you are gun owner, Jay? Are you afraid of a phantom threat? Of course not, and neither are members of the NRA. But there are real threats and there is also the matter of the Constitution. Apparently the author didn’t want to go into much detail?

        Look, gun violence is a huge issue and it must be addressed. But just wailing and blaming and demanding legislation, even if there is no evidence that the legislation will solve the problem, will not work.

        By the way, I like the hybrid “Robi” spelling….that works

      • December 5, 2015 8:05 pm

        Priscilla, I guess I jumped to the assumption your criticism of the article had to do with the opposition to gun control because that was the author’s main point of contention, and you initially didn’t specify what you found intellectually dishonest.

        If you are in favor of reasonable gun control, what kind is that? Are you in favor of banning the kind of weapons in the photo I posted above to Ron, with the same question?

        What about the law the Republicans voted down a day after the San Bernardino rampage that would have prevented people on the government terrorist watch list, and those with severe mental problems, from legally purchasing gun? As a moderate, were you in favor of it?

      • December 6, 2015 1:42 am

        Jay, the guns that you pictured are the illegally modified A-R 15’s used by the killers in San Bernardino. The guns didn’t look like that when they were legally purchased by someone. The modifications that turned them into more deadly assault weapons (ability to load large capacity magazines, fire automatically etc) are already banned in most states. So yeah, I’m fine with banning those modifications. Didn’t prevent the terrorist slaughter though, did it?

        Btw, pipe bombs are also illegal. But that didn’t really stop those two lovers either, did it? I suppose if someone had just told them that making IEDs in their apartment and jacking up their long guns was against the law, maybe the terrorist attack would never have happened! Oh, but they probably knew that first degree murder was illegal, so maybe not…..

        Christie already signed a law in NJ that bans anyone on the federal terrorist watch list from buying a gun, so I’m not sure where you came up with that. And people with a history of severe mental health problems are also barred. The law that he vetoed would have required local law enforcement to be notified if a potential gun-buyer tried to expunge his mental health records. But the law already allows expunged records to be searched…..the law he vetoed wouldn’t have added any safeguards that don’t already exist under NJ law.

        Political theater, pure and simple. But people fall for it, so politicians just keep doing it. Pass a law! We need a law! (never mind that the law won’t be enforced and that terrorists and criminals don’t give a rat’s behind about the law)

      • December 6, 2015 9:46 am

        Oops, I see that your comment re: the banning of those on the terrorist watch list vote was not about your fat friend Chris Christie, but the vote in the Senate the day after the San Bernardino attack. Sorry, it was a non-objective misread, I guess 😉

        It certainly sounds reasonable to bar terrorists from buying guns, until you realize that the law would utterly and completely remove any constitutional due process afforded to anyone on that list, which once mistakenly included Sen, Ted Kennedy. The Attorney General’s office would be able to unilaterally deny a gun purchase to anyone, as long as they were placed on that list….so, if some bureaucrat decides you might be possibly be a terrorist, say goodbye to your constitutional rights. You would have no right to ask for a hearing to find out how you got on the list or to have it removed, even if there is zero evidence that you are a terrorist. I believe that the current list is over 1M people.

        Do you trust that the list would not be abused? Political theater, pure and simple…..

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/25/terrorist-watch-list_n_5617599.html

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 6, 2015 11:45 am

        Priscilla, I agree with you completely that this is political theater. No tightening of gun laws will prevent these tragedies today with the country awash in weapons. If someone wants to do this kind if thing they will do it and there is nothing we can do to stop them.

        But it does not have to be that way forever and the country could slowly change, generation by generation. So, I support that political theater. The over the top gun culture is disgusting. I don’t mean hunters or normal people who want to be safe in their homes, I mean gun worshippers and those who think that without a citizenry that is armed to the teeth our government could take over and impose something like communism or fascism in the sense of what people believe that the word fascism believes. That part of the American culture is really sick and I am ashamed to live the country with the worst murder rate in the civilized world, or perhaps anywhere and a gun culture that is out of control and contributes mightily to our disgusting situation. That is where we are and this knee jerk reaction about guns following the worst of the daily slaughters is quite understandable to me, even if no gun legislation that is within the realm of the presently politically possible would change anything by very much immediately. It is infuriating and makes one ill when there is a huge problem with an obvious contributing cause and there is a political bar against addressing that cause.

        What Jay is articulating is part of the long-term process of people becoming just sick to death of the daily news of yet another slaughter. For me it was the slaughter of a class of first graders that did it more than anything. Call me irrational, I hate the NRA, their scumbag president and what they represent. They are a far greater danger to me idea of what the American way ought to be than the fact that 3 million muslims live in America.

        Yes, I am slowly changing my perspective on the muslim situation as well, radical Islam is a serious problem, even if thus far, since of 911, they have succeed in doing very little actual damage. Why let people into this country from places like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia? Their values are not our values. Why let more Muslims in at all to become citizens? Its not because we are a Christian culture and should favor Christians, its that the Muslim culture contains a virus that we don’t want. I would be fine with closing the door to any new immigration of muslims to the US, notwithstanding the fact that most of them are harmless and do not follow the holy war version of Islam that many here believe is the one and only version of Islam. Because, as I said above, it is infuriating when there is a serious problem and politics will not allow it to be addressed. This is an area where I can sympathize with the frustration of conservatives.

      • December 6, 2015 2:22 pm

        An Agnostic/Atheist Amen to everything you said Roby!

      • December 7, 2015 11:38 am

        “But it does not have to be that way forever and the country could slowly change, generation by generation.”

        Oh my, Roby, if I didn’t know better, I would say that you sound like a Burkean conservative! True conservatism is not about right-wing politics or fascism, any more that true liberalism is about leftist politics or fascism (funny how everyone at the fringes becomes fascist….). And there are always reasonable disagreements among moderates of good will ~ the “science,” so to speak, is never really settled.

        I pretty much agree with everything you said here- it’s a great comment. The only bone I would pick is that I think that the sort of political theater that we have seen over, say the last 10 years, has become dysfunctional, in the sense that its goal is not to promote organic changes in society, but to divide people into petrified political and ideological groups. Rick’s “amen corners,” if you will. No offense to Jay’s hearty “Amen!” with which I generally agree.

  34. jimi888 permalink
    December 5, 2015 12:24 am

    Since my name is morphing every which way and has left my control I leave you with this reply about the dark forces at work.

    • December 6, 2015 2:52 pm

      Roby are you signed in on New Moderate through WordPress?

      If so, have you tried this?

      Go to WordPress.com on your browser.
      When WordPress shows, look for your present name icon on upper right of the screen and click on it.
      That should take you to your profile page, where you can change your Public Display Name

  35. December 6, 2015 7:50 pm

    Too little too late…?

    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7009/muslim-reform-movement

  36. jimi888 permalink
    December 8, 2015 12:05 pm

    Having come around to the idea that we should not let new muslims immigrate to the US, then Trump said the same and GOP leaders roundly denounced him, including Paul Ryan.

    I think I am a person who is pretty independent and who makes up his own mind objectively.
    In reality it is amazing how influenced I am by who it is who supports an idea, rather than the idea itself. If I think that the people who support an idea are reasonable people and people of my own ideology that carries huge weight, I ruefully admit. And the opposite situation holds as well, if someone like Trump says it it must be wrong, although I know that even a broken clock….

    I find myself to the right of Paul Ryan on muslim immigration, so now I wonder about myself and question why I think that we need to keep new muslims out. And yet, under the circumstances, the idea does not seem to be insane.

    Weird thing, the brain.

  37. December 8, 2015 1:18 pm

    Interesting the firestorm that has broken out over Trump’s remarks….what he is proposing is not even remotely as extreme as what FDR did to Japanese-Americans during WWII, and Trump did say that the ban he proposes would be temporary. My initial reaction was “hell yeah, these people are crazy, and they’ve caused enough trouble!”

    But, after that initial reaction, I changed my mind for a few reasons: 1) this is not 1942, and we presumably have much more efficient and high tech ways of sorting out immigrants who arrive at our shores with documents, online histories, biometric data etc. (of course, that excludes many refugees who have none of those things). 2) Not allowing American citizens who are Muslim back into the country after travel would be unconstitutional, without evidence that they have become traitorous or radicalized, in which case, they still should be allowed back in and either arrested or tracked by the FBI, depending upon what the evidence shows. 3) I still have my doubts that Trump is really serious about being President, or that he is loyal to the GOP. This statement of his is right out of “Art of the Deal”- the “bombastic opening salvo.” It is deeply embarrassing to the other GOP candidates, who would never make such an irresponsible statement, but, like Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment, it gives the Democrats and the media a big paintbrush with which to paint the whole party.

    I’m still in favor of suspending the refugee resettlement program for now – it is far too easy for anyone to pose as a refugee. But, this idea of Trump’s could jeopardize that, by making reasonable caution seem like bigoted nativism.

    • December 8, 2015 3:50 pm

      Priscilla, on a follow up interview I saw on tv this morning, Trump clearly stated the ban did not apply to Muslim Americans returning to the US.

      I’m in favor of a short term ban on all ‘unknown’ Muslims entering the US, until we have in place those ‘high tech methods you mentioned to filter out potential terrorists with a higher degree of certainty.

      After we ‘figure that out’ as Trump said, I’d like to see a reduction on the number of Muslims we allow to immigrate here permanently, and those we allow here on long term visas – and that specially should exclude Muslim sects who preach radical Islamic ideology of the kinds financed by Saudi Wahhabism.

      • December 8, 2015 5:17 pm

        I agree, Jay…and I did read about that interview, in which he specifically said it did not apply to American citizens. I’m guessing this is still a bombastic opening bid by Trump, which, in his book, he explains is the way to make the other side think that they got a good deal, when he gives in on certain points. It may be that The Donald really is the only one on either side who can play the media better than they play him.

        And in addition to restricting Muslim immigration and getting a better handle on admitting refugees, there is now the obvious need to identify the sources of radicalization. Both the Tsarnaev’s and Farook were American citizens who became jihadis….. It wasn’t Islamophobia that done it.

  38. December 9, 2015 10:51 am

    Here’s a WSJ commentary worth reading, putting in perspective the feasibility of Trump’s suggestion to temporarily keep Muslims from entering the US. It’s about the best analysis I’ve read so far and provides a really interesting legal overview of applicable laws, and I was surprised to learn of some of the citations.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/did-trump-just-win-1449604108?mod=djemBestOfTheWeb&cb=logged0.5908197339158505

  39. Archie Itchywagger permalink
    January 18, 2016 9:14 am

    The Meaning of Life: Learn more, and work hard; be good, but not too good; have pleasure now, when you can; if you waste time, you waste life; be self-sufficient, and gain independence; be logical, and don’t suffer; make good decisions, and be positive; free yourself from pain: avoid it; don’t worry, be happy; do as you would be done by, and be nice; follow your God’s will, not your inflated ego; defend individual liberty (your own especially); bring the most good to humans, by being a good human being; stop making sense of life: just live it; act in your own self-interest, and also for the common good; do anything you like (as life has no meaning anyway), then spit; life has no inherent meaning, so give it one; live an ordinary life, but with gusto too; find a good question to answer, then answer it; learn practical things, and gain the world; love people impartially, but not too much; care for nature, and go and dig in your garden; live long, and prosper.

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