Gun Laws Policy & Law

Doubling down

Among many, many others of similar passion:

  1. pat stevens ?@stevepatg39m 
  2. david simon, I hope a black guy punches you right in the fucking face just for being white..
  3. Michael Bailey ?@mikelbtko1h

    David Simon A Jewish man… “One less Jew to answer, One less Jew (cont) http://tl.gd/n_1rldj72

  4. Willy Scanlon ?@shanlone1h
  5. @7sMRD313 Then David Simon should leave for Israel with the rest of the Fucking Jews who think that they own this country.

     
  6. Robert Aguilar Jr. ?@robertaguilarjr3h
  7. David Simon can take the first Asiana flight the fuck out of here too!!

    My actual words: “Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American.”

    *        *        *

    Some random moments in my lifetime when I have been intensely proud of my country:

    1.  “Ich bin ein Berliner” and “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

    2.   The arrival of U.S. carriers off the shores of Indonesia after a devastating tsunami.

    3.   Standing on a lawn in College Park, Md. when President Reagan arrived to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a black family that had endured a cross burning there.

    4.   The realization that if the state of Iowa — Iowa! —  could accept gay marriage, then a great wall of intolerance was certain to collapse in our own time.

    5.  The rebuilding of New Orleans with the celebration of American culture as its essential fuel.

    6.  MLK’s 1963 address from the Lincoln Memorial.

    7.  Walking among the graves at Coleville-sur-Mer in Normandy and walking the ground at Gettysburg, Antietam and Cold Harbor.

    8.  The first time I actually heard the Library of Congress recording of Woody Guthrie singing “This Land Is Your Land.”

    9.  The night we answered precisely an act of mass murder by the necessary capture or death of Osama bin Laden.

    10.  The Gourds’ cover of “Gin & Juice.”  I’m not kidding, but no, I can’t quite explain.

     

    Random moments from my life in which I have been ashamed to be an American.

    1.  The shooting down of a civilian airliner by the U.S. Navy and the deaths of hundreds of ordinary people for which a president said he would never apologize.

    2.  The assassination of Dr. King.

    3.  Our drug war and the realization of what it has done to our underclass, to the northern Mexican states and to our own civil liberties.

    4.  Extra-legal rendition and torture.

    5.  The imagery of young Americans chanting, “U.S.A., U.S.A.” gleefully in the wake of the necessary but sobering death of Osama bin Laden.

    6. Listening to Irving Berlin’s sanctification of a nation-state at every seventh-inning stretch.

    7.  The federal sentencing guidelines and the evisceration of the federal judiciary.

    8.  The killing of doctors, bombings of abortion clinics and the harassment and stigmatization of patients in the name of a political cause which then claims the mantle of pro-life.

    9.  The systemic response to the death of an unarmed 17-year-old boy, profiled and shot to death.

    10.  The callow  insecurity that accompanies any cry of “America, right or wrong” or “America, love it or leave it.”

     

    As with 300 million other souls, I am fully vested in the American experiment.  I try my best to be attentive to what America achieves for its citizens and by its citizens, and what it offers the world.  When we are honorable and generous and in concert with our stated ideals, pride naturally follows.  When we act otherwise, shame is, for me, the resulting emotion.

    To those who can’t conceive of anyone ever being ashamed, or expressing shame at those moments when this country abandons or even betrays its core values, I’m actually willing to go even further than my initial comment:  You may, in fact, be the one who doesn’t understand what it means to be a proud American.  Not truly and not deeply; not without some measure of shame as well.

    Why not?  Because just as good cannot be truly understood to the marrow without a corresponding sense of evil, pride in one’s country — if it is substantive pride, and not merely the rote, pledge-allegiance mouthings of patriotic cliche — requires the sober knowledge that American greatness is neither assured, nor heaven-sent.  It comes to us from our national premise and ideals — and our willingness to maintain those things at all hazards.  And if you’ve never felt ashamed for us for having strayed from our core values in even the most appalling ways — say, the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans, or a My Lai  or Kent State , or Bull Conner, or COINTELPRO, or life sentences for juvenile defendants, or prisons-for-profit — then maybe you’ve never really acknowledged what the actual stakes are for a republic, or how much work, rather than platitude, is required to assure an honorable, democratic future.  Yes, you claim an all-encompassing pride and you wallow in it, brooking not even a mention of anything shameful that happens on our watch as citizens.  But in fact, real pride is earned and internalized only with a grown-up understanding that even a good or great nation, while deserving of our allegiance and civic commitment, can indeed shame itself. Saying so when it happens is a fundamental of self-governance, as all dissent is a fundamental of self-governance.

    I’m not going anywhere.  And I’m doubling down.  Our national response to the death of an unarmed 17-year-old, and the new legal construct that prevents any judicial redress of his death is shameful and as an American, I am ashamed.

471 Comments

  • Would you have named names in the 50’s ? Your compulsion to give the odious Reagan some props, and be ‘balanced’ makes one wonder.

    Also, you really know nothing about Iowa if you were surprised by that ruling.

    • I can’t credit Reagan with a moment in which he spoke for fundamental liberty? I can disagree with someone all day long and still acknowledge when they do something right. Ideology is a bad crutch, and anyone who writes people off ad hominem is making a fallacious mistake.

      As to Iowa, I’ve passed through a few times, but I know it little. Still, I know Maryland as one of the most liberal states in the U.S. and Iowa got there first. Very proud of Iowa for it.

  • For a while there (particularly during the whole NSA ‘scandal’) this site was producing some wonderful debate and rigorous argument. It was a great anecdote for the Huffpos and Guardian CIF’s out there. But recently, it’s got quite ugly around here…

    Not a criticism of anyone in particular (hell I’ve barely contributed to any worthwhile debate). It’s just sadly predictable how the Trayvon verdict brought ideologues out in their droves.

    • You need to be specific. Don’t come here and say something vague then dip, that’s not how debates or discussions are made. What Ideologues are you talking about and what irks you about the whole verdict in general?

    • I somewhat concur MG. The banter and haughtier here is stifling at times. Had I turned off the notice thingy, I wouldn’t be responding to you now; because of the closed mindedness at times. However, that tends to be “part of” debating issues.

      Most of U.S. sit in harsh judgment of dissenting opines.

      Be that as it may, please keep up the banter. Getting along with or without Mr. Simon and those who do (or do not) agree with viewpoints espoused here is necessary, for the sake of halting arrest of human developments.

      I like your candor – and will continue discussion below – upon your other comment today.

      • Hey, grumble away (the founder of the blog finds it to be an okay protocol)

        Your comment below, was noteworthy; and (sometimes) type-talking to others (which – btw – is not “necessarily” “unworthy”) – especially in the quasi-anon web forums; tends to be a way of self therapy.

        Doesn’t matter if the physician couldn’t heal himself;
        chaos was secondary to the art-of-form endeavor of trying.

        Beets Rum & Coke….

  • If the assasination of osama bin laden makes it to the top 10 of america’s greatest moments, one fails to see why celebrating it by chanting should be a cause for shame…
    May the day come in our lifetimes when foreign commandos storm the white house in the middle of the night, put a bullet in the head of the then coward in chief, who, if he is anything like his predecessors, will that week alone have killed more women and children than OBL ever did in his lifetime, then drop his body in the ocean for good measure.
    If you spoke a foreign language, you could perhaps then read a “liberal” blogger from nicaragua, or cuba, or iran, or iraq, or lebanon, or palestine – the list is very long indeed – rejoice at the “necessary, precise answer” to your country’s innumerable war crimes, while gently chiding his countrymen for being a tad too cheerful in their celebrations.

    • That day will not come in your lifetime. For one thing, while it may be true that recent American interventions have let to the deaths of civilians at points, and that this is regrettable and offensive, it is also true that American presidents have not targeted civilians specifically and as a matter of strategy, and have instead sought to direct their interventions to presumed military targets. OBL and his crew sought to kill civilians on a mass scale, without the slightest regard to the military relevance of those targeted. They were mass murderers, with intent.

      For another thing, the U.S. President occupies a residence with the full faith and backing of a sitting, elected government of which he is the commander-in-chief and which assumes and guarantees his safety as a national essential — whereas, sociopaths and vainglorious thugs who spill blood in the name of theology are usually found hiding in secret compounds, furtively avoiding the inevitable for as long as possible. One scenario offers the opportunity for plausible retribution. The other requires an act of war against an entire nation-state. In other worlds, Mr. Miguel, you may have the hunger, but you and the rest of this world lack the capability. Or, for that matter, the balls.

      When they come for their enemies, they’ll destroy an office building, or an embassy, or a civilian aircraft, or a synagogue, or a discotheque. When they want blood, they are indiscriminate. When we reply, it is at least premised on targeting the right motherfuckers. That’s a fundamental difference. So no, they will not be sending commandos to the White House. Not ever. They’ll be arranging instead to destroy ordinary, unarmed human beings. Everything from murdering children in a Chechen elementary school to pushing men in wheelchairs off of ocean liners. That’s the kind of commandos they send.

      Your false equvicalency between Mr. Obama and Mr. Bin Laden is as ridiculous as it is dishonest.

      And to the extent that an individual who purposely — willfully — targeted NYC office buildings and a series of civilian airliners, leading to the death of thousands of uninvolved, unaligned civlians nonetheless resisted all efforts to locate and extradite him, his death by extralegal means was indeed necessary, precise and justified. These are adjectives that really can’t be applied to the American president under your passionate, but intellectually corrupt claim of equivalence.

      I do not know of the thousands of innocent civilians killed by the U.S. in the same week as Osama bin Ladin. Perhaps you can be more specific in the extremity of your allegations. Otherwise, again, there is scarcely an equivalence worth discussiing.

      • ” American presidents have not targeted civilians specifically and have instead sought to direct their interventions to presumed military targets.”

        Really? This is such an outrageous claim, and the evidence against it so tragically voluminous, one wonders whether one should even attempt a refutation in a blog posting.
        The conservative estimate for the total number of *child* deaths as a direct result of the iraq sanctions in the 90’s is thought to be about half a million. The authoritative study is by Harvard’s Joy Gordon:
        http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674035713
        Half a million. Even as we speak, unmanned drones are routinely bombing areas in pakistan, a sovereign nation against which no war was declared, against the will of its also elected government, then coming back for what’s known as the “double tap”: luring rescuers into the scene with a first, small strike, then finishing everyone off with a second strike. All from the comfort of the Pentagon’s control room. Full metal jacket meets 2011, a space odissey. Some balls, indeed. The relevant evidence for those and other displays of manhood from the government you elected such as deliberate targeting of funerals, etc… can be found on
        http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com
        Had I sought to establish an “equivalency”, as you put it, between 9/11 and the direct, predictable consequences of america’s foreign policy, i would indeed have been dishonest, for the latter is incomparably worse.

        • I agree with you on the effects of American foreign policy on the many thousand innocents that suffer as a result of the sanctions and such, And the fact that when Americans die as a result of a terrorist attack such as 9/11 the American response to it tends to be so heavy that tens or hundreds of times the victims of such attacks are killed in American retaliatory actions in either “boots on the ground” type retaliation or the drone warfare that David is quite a critic of as well.
          I do call BS on your analogies between some like OBL and Obama or even Bush much as I dislike the guy and the ruin he has brought upon the hundreds of thousands of people.

        • You’ve got some fundamental problems with logic and fact there, kiddo.

          1) The UN sanctions against Iraq were implemented not by Barack Obama, but by the UN itself, a multinational body.
          2) The American presidents directly involved in the sanctions do not include Mr. Obama. Not at all.
          3) The vast majority of estimated child deaths occur prior to 1999 when limits were imposed on the amount of oil that could be sold for humanitarian resources. By 1999, which would be, oh, nine years before Mr. Obama assumed office, the last remaining limitation of the use of oil revenue for humanitarian purchase had been lifted.
          4) The claims of 500,000 child deaths is scarcely conservative. Actually, claims for the 1990s sanctions deaths range from 100,000 up to a high of 500,000.
          5) Even these figures suffer from one fundamental flaw that claimants to genocidal intent do not ever acknowledge. There is actually no change in population growth for the ten years prior to the sanctions to the ten years endured under the sanctions. How can this be so if half a million Iraqi children are dying from malnutrition? The obvious and unacknowledged answer is that malnutrition of children under the age of five was a fundamental of Iraqi political and economic life with or without the UN sanctions. So that while the sanctions — particularly in the early years of the 1990s — may have resulted in malnutrition deaths, a more fundamental and pre-existing threat facing Iraqi children was the extreme poverty throughout the country, the regime’s indifference to addressing that poverty, and Saddam’s primary focus on military means rather than economic viability. All of these things exist without regard to the sanctions.
          6) Tellingly, child malnutrition did not manifest itself in the northern, Kurdish part of the country that was not subject to Saddam’s maneuver and prioritization. There, child deaths were stabilized and actually reduced under the sanctions — indicating of course that outside of Saddam Hussein’s rule resources were available to reduce and avoid malnutrition deaths if that was a regime’s actual priority. In short, blaming the malnutrition issue on the sanctions alone is disingenuous in the extreme.

          As to your second point, I am no proponent of the drone program as I worry that it is indeed less precise than claimed and that too many civilians are being killed. But your reply does not address your failed equivalency: Are you suggesting that the drone program is targeted randomly to cause civilian deaths, or that civilian deaths result from its use in targeting militants? Because that was my point and it remains my point. The U.S. drones are targeted at militants, for better or for worse, acknowledging that the outcome is not always for the better. The manned airliners, with the exception of the Pentagon flight, were targeted purposely at a mass of non-military innocents — and even the Pentagon flight of course purposely consigned a planeload of civilians to certain, willful murder. Just as the mass of terrorist strikes are so targeted. Merely citing civilian deaths and claiming equivalency ignores this fundamental and dishonestly so.

          As to your descriptions of manful behavior, you have again walked away from your own premise. I believe we were speaking of where armed commandos might or might not fear to tread. I remember no drones being operant in Pakistan on the given night; those were indeed helicopters landing with commandos. And I do not believe that we will see a corresponding endeavor in Washington D.C. any time soon. On the other hand, if those who you herald can obtain any remote weapon such as a drone, a bomb or chemical weaponry, I do not have any doubt as to their imprecision and indifference when it comes to aiming such at civilian, rather than military, targets. They will simply try to kill the most people they can, regardless of who those people are.

          But to bring us back to my original essay: I did not praise the drone program at all. And elsewhere on this site I have expressed my concerns about it. I spoke of the specific and targeted killing of Osama bin Ladin, a man who purposely murdered thousands of innocent people. I was proud not only of the necessary and legitimate response to 9-11, but to the precision that limited the required violence to a considerable extent. You wish for comparable violence in Washington, and I tell you that is unlikely. Then you vent about the drones as if that is in any way representative of the Abbottabad raid. And then, after hoping for the death of Mr. Obama because of alleged thousands killed by him in the same week of Mr. bin Ladin’s death, you are challenged on that number. You then bring up Iraq malnutrition deaths that occurred in the decades well before Mr. Obama had even served as a senator, much less as president. Huh?

          Factwise, you are all over the map here. It borders on incoherence.

          • I’m of the opinion that all of the above parties, this forum founder included, are juxtaposing suppositions of facts not in evidence in combination with emotional angst.

            It is bad form (and probably not even legal – with 500 different USDOJ.gov agencies crawling through every word now ever spoken by you) to make suggestions about the Washington residences and offices being in harms way.

            Please stick with facts (and Mr. Simon, having now broached these subjects {off topic} once again – I would challenge you to start a new Thread on the subjects at hand!

            Would also suggest that you consider reading Crossing the Rubicon by Michael Ruppert.

            Though I find him a consummate self-promoter, the facts within his book are only outclassed by the more recent publication by author Andrew Kreig and his book “Presidential Puppetry”.

            As one former military person involved in big Gov and national security is on the record saying;

            “Whatever it is that you think your government is doing and how much, how bad you believe they are behaving – it is far, far worse and more than you could ever imagine”

            Do we seek the truth here;
            or just cognitive dissonance reinforcement of our desired (emotional) opinions?

            I’m just saying…….

            • The idiocy of comparing OBL to Obama is something that is so obvious to me that I dont find it necessary to respond with facts to that.
              I’m not juxtaposing anything. Or maybe your comment was in response to the other contributor to this thread, other than David and mine wasn’t your object of scrutiny. But if you meant to include me in the juxtaposing of facts then…you cant possibly be disagreeing with me that for the three thousand something Americans killed in 9/11, the combined life to innocent life lost comparison is many times over in the countries and/or entities we have retaliated against. Be it Cheney and his cronies’ “war on terror” or Obama’s continuing drone business. And yes, I know suicide bombing

              • 1st of All (and I despise censorship) – the posting by Miguel at 6:16 needs to be redacted. It is both inane and illicit!

                Secondly, Mr. Simon has made emotional anxiety of the events of his kindred paramount in discussions of 9/11. He remains somewhat obtuse to factual discussion and has juxtaposed the colorful reality he desires to believe against the black & white facts of the issues.

                It is a sad state of affairs – Both!

                Finally, along that same line of banter, (though you weren’t the priority of the critique) – you TOO – swallowed up the babbling, banter, reinforcing, B.S. that has been thrust upon U.S. by black op programming, propaganda and veiled agendas.

                FACTS & veiled agendas such as;

                WHAT HAPPENED AFTER 9/11? All airlines in the United States were grounded for two days after 9/11. Yet, on September 13, 2001, the White House authorized six Saudi jets to fly 140 Saudis out of the United States. Twenty-four of them were Laden family members, were allowed to leave American soil and land in Saudi Arabia. (Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack)

                • Mr. Lakshman, allow me to interpret:

                  Mr. Haas believes 9-11 to have been a conspiracy. I’ll say no more.

                • Now you are putting words in my mouth.

                  The difference is, Mr. Simon; is that I’m willing to consider the possibilities all.

                  Whereas you are hard lined against considering any possibilities.

                  That’s the very essence of cognitive dissonance that is annihilating good faith discussion in this country.

                  AE911Truth.org simply calls for an open debate and investigation; because 1500 Architects & Engineers have placed their career and reputations at risk calling the Commission report a fabrication.

                  That is, of course, Mr. Simon (being that he likes placing words in the mouths of others) decidedly being on the side of people who believe the planes and buildings melted; but Mohammed Atta’s passport escaped the inferno.

                  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/mar/19/september11.iraq

                  • Yes, well. Sorry if my suggestion that “black op programming, propaganda and veiled agendas” constituted any sort of allegation of conspiracy on your part. I had no intention of putting words in your mouth. Those that were there already just seemed a little oblique for Mr. Lakshman, and I was just trying for a direct summation. Apologies.

                    • I’m living a conspiracy case SIR. No need to find a way to get there.

                      Nor do I spend my time and talent frowning down as a passion.

                      Just seeking the truth and debate on the reasons why having factual discussions is such a tedious task for a purported educated mind.

                      Enjoy your new, free to be full of integrity WaPo and your realm.

                      You win!

                • Yes, of course. What was I thinking? You are the only sane voice in this discussion. Thanks!
                  I have no interest in going down the path of discussing your conspiracy theories regarding 9/11. Yes, go ahead and call me simple minded, gullible and any other unflattering adjective but when I hear 9/11 and conspiracy in the same sentence I get tired head. I’m sure you have in your highly intellectually evolved brain a great reason to believe such but in my brainwashed one, those theories border on the same level of idiocy as the one comparing Osama to Obama.

  • Arguing the semantics of who did what how to wind up in which way can readily be considered an exercise in futility. We have enough problems facing U.S. today, as well as in the weeks, months and years to come; to where one’s energy/ intellect should not be wasted on those items of yesteryear – but the morrow.

    In Texas a 14 year old was shot with the owner of the lethal weapon claiming the kid was perceived to be an intruder. A rather simple dynamic; being there are convoluted, draconian laws in Texas that still permit one to take one’s wife out back and shoot her.

    How do we utilize the vast expertise, experiences, scope & breath of intellect found here; to make sure no one else demises due to “Stand Your Groud” laws.

  • “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

    That made you feel pride in your country? Wasn’t Reagan the one who had actually stalled negotiations with Gorbachev, hellbent on his Star Wars fantasies and on demanding nothing but an unconditional Anschluss of Eastern Europe into global capitalism?

    That moment was a pathetic lie, on every level.

    • Adrian,

      I would love to see you in a room of actual Eastern Europeans — Romanians and Poles and Germans and Latvians and Czechs who had actually lived in this countries and endured their governments from the end of World War II until the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. I don’t credit Mr. Reagan’s military build-up with the collapse of the Soviet Union’s array of vassal states; we did that with blue jeans, and rock ‘n’ roll and fax machines and film and books and all manner of consumer goods. But Mr. Reagan had the moment of declaring what was becoming apparent to the entire world — that the Soviet surveillance state could no longer hold a lid on a world in which the New York Times front page could be faxed to any phone anywhere in the world, and that the walls were going to come down.

      And yes, it was a time to say so. And indeed, the Wall of which Mr. Reagan spoke would soon be no more. And for you to pretend there is no marked difference between life in the Soviet satellite states and what would follow their collapse is really untenable. Do you know any Eastern Europeans? I do. And it wasn’t Mr. Reagan’s “stalled negotiations” with Mr. Gorbachev that in any way delayed the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. That battle was won by the West remaining the West and becoming ever more accessible to dissidents in those countries, who were eventually able to assert for freedom. You want to discredit Mr. Reagan for some of his policies, fine. I am no supporter of most of Mr. Reagan’s policies. But raving about an Anschluss of Eastern Europe on the part of the West makes you sound an ass. No one who lived through Budapest in ’56 or Prague in ’68 or the crackdown on Solidarity in the early 1980s would use such language to blame the West for its judgment of what the Berlin Wall meant and why it needed to go.

      • The operational word is “unconditional”. That which was officially celebrated as a “reunification” in my own country was indeed exactly that, an *unconditional* Anschluss.

        As with the oligarchs in Russia, East Germany was overnight turned into a free-for-all for the rich West, a veritable fuckfest of looting and corruption.

        That’s not me singing the praises of the Gulag, or downplaying the often intentionally arbitrary and grotesque violence displayed by Moscow and its satellite regimes.

        But why do you think so many people did feel “Ostalgie” and even today quite a few continue to vote for The Left party, partial successor to the GDR’s state party SED?

        Is it because those people are all ideologically blinded idiots and/or economic losers? Or is it because they at least intuitively understand and miss the dialectical freedoms they enjoyed living under an at least *official* form of oppression? Or is it because they see that capitalism really isn’t all that either and because they also get it that the ostensibly social democratic party has completely abandoned the social democratic project (faithfully following the example set by the US Democrats and UK’s Labour party)?

        I am half-Romanian, my father grew up under Ceau?escu’s regime. And he, like all of the other people I know who experienced real-existing Communism have little love for what went down there. But they (the smarter ones anyway) weren’t dreaming of unfettered capitalism either, although admittedly many were bribed by the spoils capitalism once offered to the majority of people. Mostly they were dreaming of some form of actual, functioning socialism. When the Wall fell, they were hoping for at least honest democracy.

        Instead, the very moment they were included into the global liberal project, that project had no more reason to uphold the illusion of an eternal marriage between capitalism and democracy. And all our governments are more and more coming down on the side of capitalism without democracy.

        The Western takeover, if you prefer that term, of East Germany’s entire infrastructure happened as unconditionally as today’s increasingly de-unionized working class has to accept whatever scraps are left on, or under, the table.

        • I am entirely sure, even without having lived it, that the reunification of Germany could not have been undertaken without some alienating and dystopic dynamics. The West had been the west for generations and the east was at the margins of that. And the east was certainly swallowed whole, without recourse to its own history, logic or origins. But I’m sorry, it is one thing to critique the excesses of capitalism — something I spent a lot of verbiage doing myself — and quite another to even begin to suggest that the surveillance states of Eastern Europe were anything for which nostalgia can be summoned. Or if it can, I can have little regard for it intellectually.

          Marx’s critiques of capitalistic excess still stand, true. But Orwell’s assessment of the socialist surveillance state is pretty unyielding as well. That Wall represented a pure evil. To have an American president ask for it to be torn down — any president, even one that I could scarcely ever support in other regards — was a moment of pride for me. I lived as a citizen of the world, my passport allowing me to come and go as I might. On the most basic level, Mr. Reagan was claiming that right for everyone, regardless of where the armies managed to come to rest in 1945.

          • Life in Eastern Europe was more than the neverending drudgery and suffering we assign to it, as we do with life in the Medieval. They did have fun, and at least everyone was in equal shit. There’s a real freedom in that, one which cannot exist within the nominal freedom of the West. You can easily see this lack of freedom in the resurgence of fascist, racist and sexist thought, talk and action throughout the free world today.

            Not sucking Stalin’s dead cock, just saying that capitalism isn’t it either. The illusion that capitalism and democracy were ever compatible was only possible in the faux-vacuum created by the influx of money, resources and cheap labour. And the welfare state approach to taming capitalism isn’t going to come back either, and all dreams in that direction are not only useless, but a hindrance.

            Anyway, I don’t think Reagan was “asking”. He was an actor creating a television moment. Maybe I’m being cynical, maybe I’m seeing cynicism. In my perception, he was pre-emptively taking credit for what the people of East Germany achieved.

            • You might not be sucking Stalin’s dead cock, but you’re definitely giving it a little squeeze there, kiddo.

              • LOL

                (the kiddo “touch” / “stroke” of key-pen is awesome)

                Capitalism and other pursuits of happiness are just fine for the human race; as long as such is checked/balanced with wariness against the logical (but inane) push for One Big Corp running it all.

                Competition is a must; with a sense of humanity spread throughout.

                Socialistic pursuits are contrary to the push for One Big; but an essential piece of the puzzle for humanity’s sake.

                Life must have balance and uniqueness; lest we all wind up as batteries for the Matrix.

              • Let me preface this by saying that I prefer American democracy, with all its imperfections, to the Soviet regime that my family lived under until we immigrated to the U.S. in 1989.

                Still, I remember my parents lamenting that some things were better “back home.” People basically got paid to go to college for instance. Maternity leave was seemingly interminable and your job would be waiting for you when you were ready. People had a month off or more from work to spend in the country over the summer. Seniors all had pensions and lived fairly comfortable lives. No one went hungry.

                Now, of course there were many more bad things to outweigh the good and the fiscal and political untenability of the USSR eventually did it in. But you can see why people would have some nostalgia.

                As for the Anti-Semitism us Jews supposedly suffered in the USSR, I’m sure it still existed by the time I was born in 1980. But at least it was all out in the open. There is anti-Semitism in the U.S. too, but here no one will call you a name to your face. Which is better? I’m not sure.

                Sure, my parents weren’t able to vote for one candidate or another in the USSR. There was one name on the ballot. But doesn’t it seem like that’s sometimes the case here too even if there are multiple names?

                I’m sure the people in East Germany had it a lot worse than we did in Kiev. I’m simply saying I understand why someone might say the things Adrian did.

                • This thread starts out disingenuous. The remark on Reagan, inferring it is ubiquitous reason for pride. With a conclusion totally lacking in foundation. Who demanded “Capitalism”? The Wall signified the State’s right to deny choice and that wasn’t the free will vote between capitalism and communism. East Germany was being oppressed into an ideology of another realm and that’s why the damn wall went up in the 1st place; to prevent people from choosing to break free of the tyranny.

                  It is as if the slamming premise purveyor regrets that the Wall was removed because Reagan received “some” credit.

                  Who gives a [c]hit – the damn wall (and tyrannical ideology) was torn asunder!

              • “you’re definitely giving it a little squeeze there, kiddo” — Great comeback. Did you learn that at comeback school?

                How about you stop chewing on Reagan’s rotten ball sack for a moment and look at the post-Communist world. Do we have less walls today?

                I’d strongly reject that hypothesis. Just look at new walls that have sprung up since then, e.g. the wall between Mexico and the US, the wall in Israel, the walls around gated communities.

                In fact, one might argue that the rich parts of the world are more of a walled garden than ever before.

                http://i.plikomat.pl/media/i/d20ee73d51f683ade81ebe0afaef7f07.jpg

                An honest rendering of Reagan’s speech would be: “Hey, Russians! Let’s MOVE this wall. We’re all white, after all! Let’s instead build new, higher, stronger walls to keep the niggers, sandniggers, and spics at bay!”

                And you applaud him for that.

                • Rather twisted thinking to suggest that any individual demanding an end to a longstanding political incarceration should be rendered invalid because of other injustices, and even future injustices to come. At that thinking, no one can ever speak to any wrong as long as his or her society remains complicit or might even become complicit in any other wrong. That sort of deconstruction makes all progressive human endeavor pretty fucking meaningless.

                  As to your imagery about Mr. Reagan and his ballsack, I never voted for that man, much less sought to fellate him. I opposed almost every domestic policy he could conjure, and most of his foreign policy as well. But when he stood at the Berlin Wall and said it had to come down, he was right. Not wrong. Right. And I was proud that he represented my country at that moment, rather than representing say, the other superpower which had sealed off Eastern Europe not merely from all uncontrolled and unmonitored emigration — yes, your analogy to say, the U.S.-Mexican border is fraught with dishonest equivocation — but from all emigration whatsoever.

                  If you are so enraged at myriad injustices extant that you can’t acknowledge the culminating moments of a successful end to any given injustice, or give credit for such, you might want to consider that rather than considering the big picture, you’ve lost all perspective.

                  • I’ve gotta say, this is far and away my most favorite sentence in the history of the internet:

                    “As to your imagery about Mr. Reagan and his ballsack, I never voted for that man, much less sought to fellate him.”

                    • Tempered angst, coupled with superior writing skills and the tolerance permitting banter with the obstinate is quite entertaining.

                      Whether it is tucked, plucked, suckled or fruk’d.

                    • I hope you’ve been following the concurrent discussion with this gentleman in the commentary on the “Banality of Ideology” post. There, at least, all of the genitalization in the conversation is actually to the precise, um, point.

                • I’m in concurrence with Mr. Simon on this issue.

                  You are perverting the banter with illogical absurdity that is made (initially) quaint, by your utility of risque vernacular.

                  Where, in the first instance, you opened your mouth (so to speak) and Mr. Simon’s comeback did assist you in putting your [its] “foot” in it.

                  You’ve now gone off the deep end.

                  Trayvon was not free to walk in peace because he was a black youth and Mr. Simon went publicly on the record (risking mass public disdain) – in stating he was ashamed for America on the result that Zimmerman got off “Scot Free”.

                  You take the noble risk and go down a tangent of assault on America as a whole based on a collateral attack of an issue that was of great success to the entire world – in the wall coming down.

                  Doesn’t matter who made it happen or what the former POTUS’s motivations may have been, including grandstanding.

                  The WALL IS DOWN!

                  And that’s a good thing!

            • Let’s talk about the great “perfect capitalism” lie. ‘Cause “the bigger the lie, the more they believe.”

              [I wish there was a like button for the commentaries. ‘Cause I don’t want to be involved in this argument but I’d like to click “like” and support Adrian. It is so very typical how Americans assess communism. All the things I’ve read are exactly saying the same things, which are created by that great lie. ]

              • No, if you truly didn’t want to be involved in the discussion you would read the post, comments and move on. You want to be involved. You want a like button because you want to offer your opinion favoring one side of the argument but don’t want anyone questioning it. That’s exactly what a “Like” button allows you to do and I am glad there isn’t one on this forum.

              • 1st of all the “Like” button is a pain in the ass. Would rather it be A,B,C,D,E – “importance” button.

                Such as the Trayvon Martin story breaking; it irked me to “Like” the story etc.

                As for the collective “Americans assess” – Bull [c]hit.
                Yes, we are borne in different environments;you and I but that doesn’t mean that all of us in Germany in 1942 were Hitler-ites.
                Even in this limited forum, many points of view stand apart. Mr. Simon and I are even diametric on several issues.

                Finally, do you profess yourself to be an expert in Communism? Are you advocating for – or against?

                And what makes you so solemnly sure that you haven’t bought into a “big lie”?

                Or do you think the American government is the only authority taking the license to perpetuate verbal, repetitive, reinforcing bull [c]hit?

      • ” I don’t credit Mr. Reagan’s military build-up with the collapse of the Soviet Union’s array of vassal states; we did that with blue jeans, and rock ‘n’ roll and fax machines and film and books and all manner of consumer goods. ”

        Don’t kid yourself–it was both.

        • Don’t kid yourself. Read Scott Shane’s “Dismantling Utopia.” Then go visit the Philadelphia Navy Yard even today and take a gander at the rusting hulks of a 600-ship Navy that Ronald Reagan thought we needed for a war that would never be fought. Or contemplate the money wasted on the Star Wars strategic defensive initiative that never worked. And then, from the pages of Shane’s book, realize how much more effective a simple fax machine was in undercutting the Soviet empire.

          The military-industrial complex can try to claim that victory. But that’s weak gruel. It was the information age and the reality of the West’s rising standard of personal wealth.

  • You know, a real test for our quaint little democracy will come in a few decades, when whites become the minority to non-whites. I can only hope that the non-white majority will treat us minorities better than we have treated them in America’s first 250+ years. (Full disclosure: I’m white, hence the “us” and “we.”)

    The thing is, I think all the racism deniers, the obfuscators, all the willfully unempathetic across the country see this coming. Oh, you’ll never hear them say it out loud, but they’re angry. I know them. They figure: All right, now y’all done put one’a them in the White House, so now racism’s over’n done with. Wipe hands. Fin…

    But they’re also scared. They see a rising demographic tide and are, through their votes, trying as quickly as possible to erect a ballast against the erosion of their supremacy. Look at the voter suppression efforts flying through state legislatures across the USA, especially in the South. They need to codify into law the preservation of their privilege before they lack the votes to do so. And thank you so very much, US Supreme Court, in your infinite wisdom, for aiding and abetting this process by striking down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act last month. Bravo. Good show. The folks in favor of all this are OK with living in a potentially apartheid state, just as long as they still have enough resources to build a wall high enough to keep all the rabble out. Rest assured, they will be voting for the Venality/Greed ticket in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020…………

    • Honestly, whites becoming a plurality might actually save us from ourselves in the long run. When most of us look in the mirror and see American mutt, rather than white or brown or black, we’ll actually be that much healthier.

      • Cue the Bill Murray!

        “We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts!”

        • Just behind the Gettysburg address in patriotic oratory.

          In my family, the arguments over pedigree were between my mother’s Hungarian-Jewish peasantry and my father’s Russian-Jewish peasantry. It’s true that a Galitzianer would sell his mother, my mother would say, but a Litvak would deliver. To which my father would reply, do you know the recipe for Hungarian chicken paprikash? First, you steal a chicken….

          • I miss the days of yore – when Don Rickles could say that

            ‘my wife is forbidden to have anything to eat or drink after 6 pm – or else I get awakened at 2:30 in the morning with a – “hey, pssst, I’ve got to go to the bathroom, get up and help me with the jewelry”‘

        • I was with Bill Murray and gang when he drove his pick up truck around Kentucky during the Stripes filming.

          Also had to shell out $500 to bribe him to leave my 65 friend alone who lived next door to him in Malibu (he kept asking her to baby sit his new gang of uncontrollable ankle bitters).

          He’s “out there” in more ways than 1 – that guy….

          I’m a mutt (either yid, or not, related to Elvis or not, hillbilly or Cherokee or not – Bavarian or not) – depending on which relative wants to belong to what particular group of that particular moment.

          Truth is, like Obama, Liz Warren etc – NONE of U.S. know who we are without DNA proof (or empirical evidence/looking alike) – we accept what we are told (indoctrinated) – to believe whence we come.

          We are ALL (for the most part) Traditionalists!

      • Oh I totally agree, Mr. Simon. American mutt-dom can’t come quickly enough as far as I’m concerned. Once we all look like beautiful Derek Jeters, perhaps we can finally move past race in this country. (Oops, bad example to give to an Orioles fan 😉 ) I’m just saying there’s a sizable faction within American society that wants to fight that inevitability tooth and nail. They don’t necessarily do it overtly, but it’s hard to know what to do with the fact that they keep winning elections. I am wondering, Mr. Simon, what solutions you might offer, or do you see yourself as more of strictly an observer/annotator, or something else? I am not intending sarcasm in the last sentence at all — I’m genuinely curious.

  • Until we come of age where all men/women are simply men/women. As the day may come when mankind’s collective thought process is how to lift each other up – instead of taking each other down. Till that day

    Class/Race are a factor of life that arrests our human development.

    For there can be a day where police are a welcomed sight, honored and respected – Even Loved; instead of feared, loathed and tolerated as a necessary authority that will always be abusive.

    For in the hand of the lawmakers and peacekeepers is the heart/soul of our nation.

    If they don’t care about a dead Trayvon on the ground;
    it is because we don’t care

    ENOUGH……. to make sure that racial bias is NEVER an issue….

  • David,

    I’m writing 1) because I have not read your thoughts on the right to carry laws in the U.S. I believe somewhere in this blog, in a response, you indicated that Zimmerman would have remained in his vehicle if he was not carrying a hand gun. I agree with this, and part of me keeps going back to it. Remove the gun from the episode between Zimmerman and Martin, and you remove the homicide. You even remove the altercation that took place. We have, in America, a civilian population empowered to carry firearms to the grocery store. There is no need, in my opinion, to empower civilians in this manner, and it is, arguably, the root of the problem. Why is it that you have not commented on this?

    2) With regard to race relations, and the role of race in the Zimmerman debacle – I have two things that I’d like to ask. One, beyond the question of ‘was Martin profiled’, or ‘would this have happened to a white kid’ is the question – how do whites and blacks start talking about this and working to make it better. If white and black people are to engage in this conversation, is it not reasonable to think that black people should admit that part of the problem is the black community’s inability to manage itself, in conjunction with the white community’s admission that race inequality exists? How do you draw white Americans to the table who perceive that black Americans fail to recognize their own failures? I suppose what I’m asking is, beyond winning the debate, where do we go from here, and what is expected from black Americans in all of this?

    Also, I’m curious how you perceive yourself as a white American who speaks out on behalf of black America. I am white, and I am as outraged as I have ever been by the use of self-defense law to acquit Zimmerman. But I don’t account any of my feelings to race, I account them to being a father of an 18 year old, and to having been a 17 year old who could have been in that same situation that Martin found himself in. I feel, palpably, the hurt of Martin’s father, who said that he couldn’t be there when his son needed him most. I feel for this family, the Martin family, as a parent, sharing their pain. But how do I, as a white man, fully empathize with black Americans? Can I? I don’t share their burden. I don’t come from the ghetto, I don’t live in the ghetto, and to quote a song from when I was younger, I stay the fuck out of the ghetto. It may be easy to dismiss a notion that one must come from these origins – being black, being the underclass – to fully connect with that underclass- but in trying to avoid being a white man marching, how do you account for your own privilege when addressing these issues? I suppose this question might only come up if you are addressing the members of the underclass that you write about, but have you done that? Do you know how they would react to you? Would their derision at your outrage to this injustice, at not being a member of their cohort, silence you? I’m curious to know how you feel about this.

    Thank you

    Paul

    • Why do you think it is incumbent on individual African Americans to “control” their own community before their civil liberties are guaranteed? Do you control the white community and its excesses or failures, or speak for its hypocrises? Black-on-white violence is actually extremely rare in the United States. The vast majority of violent crime is intraracial, so much so that while I live in a majority black city, my chance of being killed is no greater than if I lived in Omaha, Nebraska. I know because I ran the figures. My chance of being killed by a black assailant in Baltimore is miniscule. So, the actual threat is vastly overstated by white fears.

      Given this, are you now suggesting that only when you are sufficiently reassured that the black community has self-policed itself of all the pathologies that are attended on its underclass — because, hey, the black middle class is no real threat to anyone, just as the white middle class is no threat — that then, you’re willing to extend sufficient civil liberties so that the Trayvon Martins of the world can walk down a street with candy and a cellphone and survive? WTF?

      As to who I speak for, I speak for me. I’m not speaking for black people, or white people. You mistake me in every sense if you think so. I’m saying that when another American is denied his basic civil liberties right down to the pursuit of life and liberty, then I am less free and my country is shamed. I am speaking for me, for what this kind of behavior does to my soul and spirit, as an American. Why do you, once again, feel the need to create imagined racial allegiances in my mind?

      • How inane is it that no matter how the conversation skews – it becomes racial/radical? No one is speaking for anyone (or can – unless others have assigned that person the privilege).

        What we have here is a forum, online, with a person of larger than average experience/insights – talking to U.S. who have less of such; about a subject that has ramifications for All of U.S.

        Racial inequity is another form of bullying – pure and simple.

        Elites utilize their power and money to skirt the law and burden the majority of U.S. with the bill. The BILL in this case is the sanctity of life is waning.

        For the sake of what?

        Bullies……..

        Zimmerman (as the tape links above detail) – did some shaky stuff. A witness stated that when he worked with GZ, the air of tranquility also was waning. That GZ would do whatever it took to please the crowd, including abusing a middle eastern male ad hoc.

        Though GZ said on the 911 that Trayvon looked like he was reaching into his belt; it is just as feasible that he was trying to make up a reason to use his gun – as it is to say GZ felt he had to do so.

        Bullies are person, persons, people, mobs who pick on others because they feel superior and/or look at their prey as weaker/inferior.

        My disdain for bullies has no barometer…..

        (which is why I’m fighting my bullies to the ultimate end)

      • I don’t think black Americans have to control their community before their civil liberties are guaranteed, and I don’t, personally, need any reassurance from the black community. I do believe that Martin was racially profiled, and that an illegal homicide took place. I think you can argue, successfully, that racial inequality exists in the U.S., and that this case does highlight some of those inequalities. What I was talking about, or trying to articulate, was my own experience with white people who have a difficult time discussing these inequalities, and who, instead, point to the black community and say ‘they commit the majority of crime – they need to clean that up!’. Please don’t ascribe this erroneous thinking to me, I’m simply reflecting what friends of mine have said, even what I’ve read here. And the point is not to apply that thinking to the argument of race/SYG/Zimmeran – that would be ridiculous – but just to say that it seems to me that a lot of white Americans have a hard time engaging in the conversation about race without (erroneously) pointing out the black community’s failures, so wouldn’t it be wise, if you want to bring both sides to the table to discuss a road forward, for both sides to admit their failures.

        Could be that I’m wrong. Could be that white Americans who feel they need concessions from the black community simply need to practice some introspection and realize their own biases. And in no way am I saying that the black community needs to realize its own faults before this case of Trayvon Martin being killed is discussed as a legitimate grievance.

        As far as speaking for black people – I agree that you are speaking for yourself, and did not intend to say otherwise. I didn’t post in your blog to try and argue against your thoughts on race– I agree with your thoughts – I posted in your blog to ask your opinion on how black and white people can successfully begin to discuss these issues (and to ask your opinion on gun carry laws, which you ignored). I have personal experience, talking with black people, that to speak as a white man about the problems that the black community faces can draw ire from some black people, who feel that a white man can’t understand, and I was curious if you’d had the same experience. Perhaps this question is superfluous to the conversation that you are having.

        This conversation about race that is taking place in your blog — it changes as it moves to the street, to the office, to the water cooler. It becomes less about Trayvon Martin and more about the inherent biases most people carry with them. The conversation is vital, and I think your blog is excellent, and as the conversation moves forward, if it does, I’m kind of thinking out loud how both sides can best approach each other and best maintain the other’s dignity. And this may also be superfluous to your conversation.

    • “But how do I, as a white man, fully empathize with black Americans? Can I? I don’t share their burden. I don’t come from the ghetto, I don’t live in the ghetto, and to quote a song from when I was younger, I stay the fuck out of the ghetto.”

      I’m a black American, but I don’t come from the ghetto, nor do I live in one now. Mr. Simon has pointed out several times – people keep ignoring the existence of the black middle class. Which, by the way, which was Trayvon Martin’s background – he didn’t come from the ghetto any more than I did. Blacks are not an economic or cultural monolith. If you want to avoid being, in your words, “a white man marching”, stop thinking of black people as a strictly defined set. Sure, there are shared stories and experiences, and sometimes the vertical identity of blackness can create a bond where no other exists. But that’s true for any ethnic group in this country, right? As for empathy – you don’t have to share a burden to recognize that it exists. You don’t have to share economic or geographic origins to recognize injustice and mistreatment. But if you set a group aside as ‘other’, if you separate yourself in thought and deed, then empathy will not be the result.

      • It’s astonishing, really. My only guess is that they don’t encounter life among actual black folk to any considerable degree. So the stereotypes prevail.

        • That would be my guess. I once heard a reformed Aryan Nation recruiter speak when I was in college. People in the audience asked him how he thinks he came to be so deeply prejudiced. One of the first things he said is that he lived in a place where everyone looked like him and thought like him. I think that unfortunately describes many places in America. Of course there’s still a lot that has to happen to turn a kid in a homogeneous community into a member of a white power group, but as we all know and have been discussing here, one need not be burning crosses to be a racist. That’s where it starts. Where it goes after that is subject to many different variables.

            • I think personal socioeconomic experience explains a lot of the perspectives here, fortunately/unfortunately.

              I am a white male several years removed from college. I think the greatest part of my education growing up was being the minority in every school I attended – the super minority, K-12 — admittedly, most of this thanks to busing. The academically enriched programs were established at inner city schools. I don’t remember the exact breakdown — but most of us bused in were White. And the vast majority of the neighborhood kids were Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, etc. I don’t know if inner city kids were bused into the more suburban areas for school programs. Regardless, the consequence of this arrangement was a blessing for me. I was exposed to multiple cultures and perspectives from a very early age. I didn’t graduate high school as part of a monolithic white bubble. My first girlfriend was Asian. My first best friend in grade school was Black. From an early age, diversity was natural.

              As an adult, I have lived in several cities in various states — and the one constant I hear from friends starting families is, “Time to move out of the city.” And into the suburbs. To the supposedly better schools.

              I think a big key here may be busing. Whether for academic enrichment or just to integrate for integration’s sake — the integration of children across various races/ethnicities from an early age is probably the only way to substantively address the divide and create a first-hand knowledge and understanding of others that I think most sheltered, closed-minded adults are incapable of achieving.

              As for policy to get us there — I’ll defer to the experts. Thx.

      • Monica, those words — I don’t come from the ghetto, etc — I can see now, were poorly chosen. I was not trying to say that all black people are from the ghetto. Your comments are noted.

        Best to all.

  • Why, I wonder is that most (or all perhaps) apathetic/callous/racist comments are by men or at least what appear to be names of men? Now I realize that its is mostly men commenting on this forum and post so the appearance/conclusion is probably skewed. However I see a pattern almost everywhere in society as well where women are generally more empathetic, open minded and welcoming of others points of view. Is the fact that there are so few women in positions of power why progress toward a more progressive society has been painstakingly slow? I’m sure smarter people than me have tried to answer this before so I thought I would ask.

    • You know, I’m always leery of labelling somebody a racist because he uses “racist” language. The two are not necessarily in harness.

      • I don’t know the difference between racist and “racist”. You may have a point. To me its just a technicality/semantics. I’ll use the same analogy someone else on this or another post on this forum used about the Supreme Court comment regarding pornography…Its hard to describe, especially these days as David says since most of us have learned not to use overtly racist language or tone…but I know it when I see it..

      • This isn’t real clear to me either. Words matter. I’d say the #1 rule of not being a racist is don’t use racist language. And vice versa.

        • You’re wrong Katie – words are like plasticine you can bend them beyond their intended meaning. If I call my best mate (a man of colour) a black bastard who should get back into the jungle would that automatically make me a racist? If he calls me a honky motherfucker in return would that make him a racist? What about black men calling each other nigger? There is contextual setting as well to consider.
          Lakshman is right – rascism isn’t defined soley by spoken language alone (although it can be) but by a certain tone, behaviour, action, and more often than not what isn’t being said. Flip it around, can somebody who is a black belt PC ninja who is extremely careful and clever over their word usage ever be a racist? Of course they can – they just hide it better.

          • I doubt anyone is listening to your conversations with your buddies trying to figure out whether you are a racist. It’s pretty clear that we are talking about language used in the public forum. Well, that’s clear to me at least.

            And you’ll note that I didn’t say that a lack of racist language = a lack of racism.

            • The above scenario is real. I used to go to a gym in England and the gym owner, John, used to call Jack a fucking black bastard all the time. Meanwhile, they go to the pub together as best mates. Was Jack a racist, yeah probably, but his best mate was a black man. Figure that out. Ya see, there is this thing called banter which white liberals don’t quite understand in their race to bannish langauge which they personally find upsetting from the comfort of the white suburbs..

              I was watching Gran Torino the other day, and it reminded me of it.

              • There’s probably a more academic term for it, but this is an example of something I’ve always thought of as the ‘proximity exception’. Even the most virulent of racists will sometimes express a fondness or acceptance for an individual minority who is part of daily life, justifying the emotion by stating, “ ain’t like all them other !” It’s tokenism at its lowest point.

                Words matter. I grew up around plenty of white people who would prattle on about “nigger” this, and “black ” that, sometimes prefaced by “You’re different, but…” We could chat in class, hang out at recess (lunch as we got older), share seats on the school bus, etc. We may have been buddies, but we could never really be friends, in the deepest, truest sense of the word. Every relationship has invisible lines – what would happen when I crossed one, and became just another “nigger”? The candor was appreciated, though, because I knew where I stood, and I knew how much (or little) to invest in our relationship.

              • Would enjoy a legitimate debate between a panel with Katt Williams on one side of the dais and Bill Cosby on the other.

                Raised as one who was always the lowest on the social wrung (because mom moved us around 33 times before I was 16) – also only Caucasian (during desegregation) in an all black/Latino school in NY – it was customary for all of us to utilize “niggah please” in playing the dozens on each other.

                My best friend (Lowell) and I used to go everywhere and test the limits (because we could each box/kick box really well) – of the prejudices of others (and we were both strong long distance runners if the situation proved foreboding) .

                Even if I met all of the old gang today – we would all be wise enough to re hash old memories (and do routines long forgotten) – totally out of ear shot of anyone else.

                If you analyze humor empirically – you will realize that much of what we laugh at is quirky bad (a person trips and spills the lunch platter – Richard Pryor saying to the guy bleeding on the ground “n — please pick your teeth up, put em back in your mouth – the fuzz is coming”)

                It is what we “believe” to be the scienter of the parties that is the basis for how relationships are defined.

                My best friend now is Vietnamese and very short, he calls me fat f—- and I call him liddle frkr in our texts –

                and I would gladly take a bullet for him and he me.

                But we don’t do that in public and would growl like wolves if someone else abused one or the other of us.

                All that being said (so you understand where I’m coming from) – as for the Rule – (and I believe it was Chris Rock’s comedy routine {maybe})

                Free speech is free speech. The comedy routine gist was that, if they guy robbed you at Toys R Us on Christmas eve – you have the “license” (okay) to yell – “Somebody stop that N–”

                The crowd laughed and so did I – at the routine….

                in reality — such would be a sad state of affairs – but the saying would call attention to the dynamics

    • Our society is way out of balance with valuing the masculine over the feminine. Both are inside all of us, so it’s not as much men vs women as it is yang vs yin. One way to look at it is that the masculine values an “either/or” framework of competition and may the best man win. The feminine favors the “both/and” of collaboration and allowing space for all voices.

      We need a balance between the two, because the yang alone is destroying us.

      • Aup – Here We Go – now it’s a woman v man thingy…..

        (just kidding – sort of)

        A very bright southern bell who dated myself and someone in the CIA at the same time – said something to me that has never left to this day.

        Girls have all the sweetness in the world and their portion of the money. The smart one’s attached themselves to powerful men while the rest of the gals try to get the other half of the money.

        As for your reflection on the “yang” I’m compelled to yank back my reflections until you are more thorough in your premise foundation and have supplied sufficient proof of “it” being the thingy that is destroying us.

        I can tell you this, each man that has stolen my career, life savings and companies has utilized a female federal justice in the doing (including 2 Chief Justice’s)

        and I feel both Yinged – Yanged (and even yanked) by it all…

        for I’ve taken notice of “that” (female justice) dynamic long ago.

        If a man had done such to me – I probably would have shot him already…..

        • First of all, I deliberately said masculine vs. feminine and not male vs. female. We all carry these traits to differing degrees.

          Second, this:

          “Girls have all the sweetness in the world and their portion of the money. The smart one’s attached themselves to powerful men while the rest of the gals try to get the other half of the money.”

          If this is how you truly feel, then you need to interact with more people. Imagine substituting “black people” for girls in that ridiculous paragraph. Misogyny is no less disgusting than racism.

          • Yes – you did, a “politically” correct “masculine v feminine”. However, it is those “degrees” that you seem unwilling to broach upon – while touching upon the realm of ambiguities thereof.

            Same as Mr. Simon broaching a subject matter and then barking with his censorship authority – We Ain’t Going There.

            Both a bully mentalities afraid of legit debate; and fosters arrested human development.

            ——————————-

            And – once again – you seek to cater to the crowd, pander, look down upon me with a holier than thou mindset; whilst utilizing half baked rebuttals incongruously placing words in my mouth and thoughts in my mind.

            I said a woman said something that has stuck with me to this day. There’s no statement that it is my mindset. Rather it is a foundation of questions that beg.

            You even carry your disingenuous and bullying mentality into the realm of the inane with the Pat Robertson reflection below and personally attack me in a “ruthless”, crass and reckless disregard for the truth.

            Until you refrain from the trolling for a battle I’ll permit the root word to solve the issue of the ignor-ance.

            • Whatever, Mr Laser. You’re just talking in circles.

              I am wondering which part of this predominately male crowd I’m pandering to. Maybe I’m just the world’s worst panderer.

              Maybe if we stick to the topic at hand, we’ll have better luck.

              Sorry for the distractions, Mr. Simon.

      • Agree mostly, but I don’t think the imbalance is destroying us, it’s just making it harder for society to function as it should do.

    • Many people (myself included) believe that the world would indeed be a better place if there were more women at the helm in business, politics, technology and many other fields. Women do have the qualities you mentioned in greater abundance than men and we are also more likely to be better listeners, seek consensus, multitask effectively and much more. The differences between men’s and women’s brains have been studied so there is science behind this. I don’t know if anyone has ever studied whether the incidence of racism is higher in men; I would think it would be very difficult to determine. Anecdotally though, it does seem to be the case that women are more tolerant overall than men. In my experience, men are more rigid while women are more flexible.

      In addition, I think it’s easier to be tolerant and feel more of a kinship to those who have been discriminated against when one has themselves been the victim of unfair treatment. Recall that women still aren’t paid the same for their work as men and there is still systemic sexism I many corners of American society. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that all the advances in women’s rights have happened over a relatively short period of time, just as the advances for blacl people have. And neither struggle is completely over. No matter how much some people want to sweep things like this under the rug, there is still much to do.

      As for your comment about few women posting here, I don’t know what the ratio is but I would hazard a guess that there ARE more men. Other than myself, I’ve seen only a few other women in the comments here. A woman who reads this blog actually pinged me on Twitter to say how nice it was for her to read a female voice here. She said where she lives, politics is more a man’s world and she doesn’t know many women who discuss political issues. She lives in Texas, she told me, but I would guess there are many other places around the country where this is true. I guess many women feel politics just isn’t their business and so they aren’t informed on the issues, don’t closely follow the news, etc. In many cases, women probably lack the time to do so, because they are doing the lion’s share of childcare, housework, etc. To me, this is deeply troubling. In fact, it’s deeply troubling to me that anyone, regardless of gender, isn’t informed politically. Alas, it seems to be somewhat common, as our low voter turnout rates and other stats tell us.

      • Hello fellow female. 🙂 A good friend of mine gave a TedX talk about conscious feminine leadership. Here’s the video and I hope you (and everyone) will find it worthwhile.

      • Concur, on all points. To your point about women feeling politics isn’t any of their business…I live in TX and agree with your friend. Politics here indeed is a man’s world. Probably true of many places, not just TX though. Especially in traditionally patriarchal societies like mine. As an example, my wife became a US citizen in 2005, could and should have voted in subsequent elections including the big one in 2008. She just didn’t care. enough. I kept asking her to, she never did. I became a citizen last year, voted in Nov 2012 and she went along with me to vote. So…

        • Yeah… like I said, it’s very sad to me. My mother is the same way. But I guess you can’t force people to be interested in something if they’re not.

        • That’s democracy – but if you don’t vote stop whinging about the government, tax raises, price of fuel, cost of property, etc, etc. You opted out – suck it up.

      • Anna

        1st off – please read my “just prior” remarks on this to Katie (directly above). Secondly, does anyone remember how Bill Maher’s show “originally” started?

        Politically Incorrect.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Maher

        Only Bible thumping RWNJ ‘s (for the most part) insist that women are not entitled to equal pay. Our federal government knows better than to even try such crap and intelligent women realize that such philosophy is borne of “class consciousness” (that would be ruling class) consciousness and corruption.

        Corrupt men of power realize that women are less likely to be confronted by angry men who are being subject to abuse of power and/or authority. Hence – intelligent women, willing to be corrupt – can advance themselves more readily. (This is the same logic, true to form of “sleeping one’s way to the top” – as was demonstrated in Demi Moore’s movie with Michael Douglas – in multiple ways {the woman who helped Michael Douglas also – corruptly – played multiple sides of the chess games to get her to be top dog}).

        Ruthlessness (note the root word is a gal’s name) “IS” – more often than not – a matter of chicanery/ corruption.

        Bill Maher demonstrated his character and put $1 million of his own money – publicly – for Obama. At the same time Mr. Maher has openly spoken his mind about some of Obama’s failures and said he won’t be sending such a stipend again..

        The issues of Trayvon v Zimmerman are also an issue of “class crash consciousness”. If the roles were reversed and Zimmerman (a son of a judge) – was dead on the ground – only the incongruous would dare argue that non-white Trayvon would have gotten the same – rush to not guilty SYG reaction by the Sanford Police (who already had a history of bad faith abuses of non-whites).

        We, Americans (and the human race) are constantly in a flux of arrested human development; due to our bias and class consciousness.

        Here in SoCal women were the ground force – By Far- in pushing for Obama. If (perhaps) an empirical study were to be done (independent and pure) on woman as housewives being politicos, versus women not married as politicos – I would be you’d find many more “non-married” woman involved in political discussions/processes.

        Maybe the solution is to adopt the N’arn way (Babylon 5) and children belong not to any parent and roam around developing as they wish (even picking their own names at age of 10) – and to further expand on that free society pureness by marriage becoming a thing of the past.

        Would women be more free to be – Then?

        • Ruthlessness — the root word is rue, not ruth. Rue comes from an Old English word.

          Ruth – A woman’s name from ancient Hebrew derived from a word that means “female companion.”

          http://www.etymonline.com/

          On the rest of you post, you have me baffled. Feminism isn’t about throwing out the institutions of marriage and raising families. There are also lots of intelligent and ambitions women who don’t sleep their way to the top. If I were you, I’d stop forming all my opinions based on television and movies.

          Seriously, imagine inserting “African Americans” or “black people” into any of these generalizations you are making. Sad that I have to tell you to do that, but it seems like there’s a real disconnect there.

          • FIRST of all-

            Merriam Webster states “without ruth” and / or your neat argument void of the reality that “coin of phrase” occurs when obvious overruns mundane.

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/word/word.php?date=Apr-02-2010

            ————————————————

            Movies imitate life and are more surreal than your biased haughtier is willing to give them credit for. (Odd case in point is the “Ghost Writer” and the good faith reason why the director {with a very bad history} – was being attacked by the U.S. DOJ dot Gov…..

            Being that your disconnection seeks first to find fault and put down – instead of legitimate discussion about what society is doing;

            chances are good results will be futile.

            —————————————————-

            If you insert Hitler as GZ and a dead yiddish youth on the ground – imagine the uproar and call for lynching.

            Sheessshhhh – it is NO wonder why the remarks on serious items of “sequestering” and such is getting NO discussion whatsoever.

            WE tends to be the side of the prominent (bully) of the given moment. You’d rather make me out to be the subject of your disdain (one who has man LGBT friends and women who adore me – in person {even though I’m way out of shape} – also been a victim of child abuse, daughter abducted, only white in all black school – lived in 18 states and SO much more).

            Instead of having a legitimate discussion on the issues at hand – whilst also trying to seek a solution.

            Sucks to me – trying to be legitimate…

        • In fact, you sound in perfect harmony with Pat Roberston.

          “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
          (from a 1992 fundraising letter)

  • Mr. Simon;

    Have you ever considered the dynamic of a more quaint blog name?

    David Simon Says…..

    (I’m just sayin………. it’ll get more playing)

    And – btw – also remember to acquire any similar web name
    (especially David-Simon and {if you do go there} “David-Simon-Says”)

    My Petters-Fraud website web hits were 4 to 1 of the pettersfraud

      • May I please, pleease, PLEASE sit in a room with you and just listen to you talk for a good while. I promise, No touching. hashtag-lovethisblog hashtag-loveyourdamnshows hashtag-amazeballs

      • You win the Internet David 🙂 Fuck quaint indeed.

        I’m continuing to wait patiently for you to come to Chicago for beers or any adult beverage of your choice. It’s on me. We can talk about newspaper paywalls. Kidding! Though, hell, why not?

        • I notice Obama’s presidency isn’t on the list. Phew, there’s hope for Simon. Obama is a liar. Worse – way worse – then Dubya.

          • People’s cognitive dissonance about the realities of our country (war mongering empire for oil) – and misguided belief that the POTUS runs the country – isn’t quaint –

            it’s disheartening….(sad state of affairs).

            Obama’s parents met at a Russian language class in Hawaii.

            Does that spell out who he “really” is?

            If not – then read the new book by Washington D.C. Attorney, Radio Show Host, National Press Club insider Andrew Kreig – titled

            “Presidential Puppetery”.

            Email me and I’ll send you a review copy (it mentions my battle with Romney on page 230, 231).

            • Here’s what I believe. Every job is a role. It comes with assumed responsibilities to fulfiil the role – regardless of the written job specification. At the moment, the role of the united stasis of america president is to continue along the same path the previous incumbents filled – with no wriggle room. At this stage – America is run by corporations. The only difference between presidents is the rhetoric employed to get that job done. The job is to put the people to sleep. No more no less. At this stage, you can put Jo Bloggs from the local neighbourhood bar in charge of the presidency and the same results will accrue. The system is on a one-way track down a spiral staircase. It all ends the same.

              I don’t blame Obama. Obama is just another puppet of the regime. At this stage, unless there is a massive seismic shift in public opinion about what American life is all about – forget cheaper gas, medicare et al – then we’ll continue to see more of the same , and worse. The system won’t allow any deviation from it’s course of action, and the current players are going to get steam-rolled into conformity by invisible forces of the collective pushing down on them – hard, fast, and without remorse. Bradley Manning springs to mind.
              .

              • Obama and Michele came from Sidley & Austin. My partner (who lost $250 million to Goldman Sachs/ Bain Capital’s Paul Traub /Tom Petters) – also utilized Sidley & Austin.

                He believed that he had Eric Holder’s ear (and his family history would Blow Your Mind as to the verity of such giving good grounds that he had just that) – where he could implement my plan and turn it all around.

                When my book comes out in 2014 Dec/ Jan 2015 – you’ll understand why Obama was never going to lose any election to Pitten’s.

                Presidents are puppets, like Jamie Dimon and Llyod Blankfein are.

                They can run things and receive the glory and wealth of Alvaraz – as long as they never interfere with the real Puppet Masters.

                As Dimon or Blankfein can be ousted by the Board

                so – too – can any Prez….

                • the prez can be ousted, but at this stage it doesn’t mean anything, you get another paper leader and the juggernaut still rolls down the hill, regardless – just a different set of brakes. That’s why less government is always better – they really are just the fleas on the dog.

                • Respond- [email protected]:40

                  We “have” improved as a nation, in both ways n means of doing better and being worse.

                  In all probability even Mr. Simon would have to look up the race riots of 1921 and what happened to “Black Wall Street” in Tulsa.

                  It was a joy (for me) to see our country elect a non-Caucasian with a very odd name as POTUS.

                  On the subject of Obama, his life style, his parents, even his sexual preferences – i’m fully aware. He’s still 1/2 the ebol that Romney would have been (and NOT just because of my personal civil war with Pitten’s).

                  GWB left the “boy” a back of worms to set him up for a downfall; but President Obama’s Administration handle those (inherited) dilemma’s – in world class fashion.

                  The difference between your “we’re frkd mindset” and mine – is that I’m (daily) doing something about it on many fronts – and invite you all to do the same.

                  They (the nefarious hordes/ Dick Chenney’s and GZ’s/SYG wicked one’s get away with it);

                  because we stand idle by – or buy into their babbling B.S. – and allow them to do so.

                  • The fact that Americans went batshit over Obama’s election success says it all. So fucking what if he’s a black man? Jeezus. For real?

                    As for doing something, I’m an impartial observer of American foreign policy, whilst living in NZ. There’s a saying here – when the US gets a cough, we get the flu. It’s important to me what happens in the US – although they regard us as “Mexicans with cellphones”. From this far away, with no power (c’mon, I’m a poor student, barely able to afford soup-mix) I’m just bitching.

                  • I will say it is a pleasure to be able to put forth my bullshit, and have it slapped down en-masse by the posters on this site. I’m learning a lot here. My friends have no interest in politics – how I envy them! Their lives revolve around the outcome of the All Blacks last game – jeezus, can you imagine how sweet life would be if you could live like that? Haha, we win everything.Oh well, back to watching a video about how Obama lies. And he does…lots.

  • If one pays attention to the several key pieces of evidence irrefutable.

    GZ’s 911 call – the non visual witnesses “during the shot moment” 911 call

    and

    George Zimmerman’s Police interview (combined with the Medical Examiner’s testimony that Trayvon had NO DNA of Zim’s upon him and the Emergency medical response teams remarks/combined with police cell phone pic of GZ at the very moment)

    Then the conclusions would be far different than the banter heretofore.

    1 – 911 Transcript
    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/326700-full-transcript-zimmerman.html

    2 – Picks of George Zimmerman immediately thereafter
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/03/1213239/-Officer-s-Cellphone-Pics-Show-Zimmerman-May-NOT-Have-Been-Punched-the-Night-he-Killed-Trayvon

    3 – Police interview the night of the homicide
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nARWOZO4Kg

    4. Medical Examiner testified NO Zimmerman DNA on Trayvon’s hand/fingernails and EMS testimony injuries insignificant (no bloody mucous membrane of the nose)

    5. 911 Recording – AFTER the shooting by Jane (warning – it is emotional)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llX90xbd8Ug

    6. Jenna Lauer 911 call when Trayvon was shot and other 911 calls
    with an attempt to “timeline” each
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgqMucTblCg

    NOTE: – there are a 3 items here TellTale of huge significance…….

  • I was hoping with the screen name to jog your memory from 45 years ago. I am a year older than you. I went to Rosemary Hills Elementary. However, my father got a promotion and moved the family out of that neighborhood from a 1 1/2 bath house to a 3 bath house in an upper middle class neighborhood. Less Jewish, majority WASP, and the blacks were Huxtables. Very different from Rosemary Hills. I also think that you probably had a realization of differences in income levels as far back as elementary school. I know I did. The real impact of strictly racial disparities really hit me when I lived in Chicago for several years.

    • Rosemary Hills had Summit Hill and the black community off Brookeville in its catchment area. We had Glen Ross, Rollingwood Apartments and the second eight housing at Friendly Gardens. Yeah, it was a little corner of Montgomery County that actually had real income disparity and even pockets of poverty. But you know what? Having gone to Monkey Hills instead of Kensington or Leland, I always felt a little more at ease walking into a room where I was in a minority than some of the Chevy Chase and Bethesda kids, or at least it sometimes seemed that way. When I got to Baltimore, it didn’t seem implausible to be a white-boy reporter in a majority black city. Not that Baltimore was our little corner of Silver Spring, just that a certain amount of pluralism was, well, ordinary.

      • It’s funny that you mention being comfortable even if you were the minority in the room. I too don’t mind standing out. But I think many other people feel differently.

        My mother-in-law, who is white, Polish and Catholic, once expressed discomfort going to a hospital that was in a black area to see her doctor. Basically she was usually the only white person in the waiting room. Now, she grew up poor, but I guess it was still a white, poor area. But I know for a fact that she doesn’t have one racist bone in her body. What she was expressing, I think, was simply that need to feel that you belong and many people feel ill at ease when they figure they stand out and everyone is looking at them.

        When she told me this, I thought about what she said and suddenly realized that this was a perfect “teachable moment.”

        Now you know how most black people feel in white society, I told her.

        A look of sudden understanding crossed her face.

        You’re right, I never thought of it that way, she said.

        • Yup. The force of will that some white folk bring to bear to never, ever go there in their minds — to be walking in Trayvon Martin’s shoes on a street and be followed, profiled and confronted as he was — that is not to be considered. Only the risk and threat to a grown-man, armed with a gun. That doesn’t make them racist. But it certainly doesn’t argue that the dynamic is anything other than racial.

          • Okay, now I had to go do some research. I have some disdain for Wikipedia; but love the links (and the fact that they permanently archive items that are changed).

            As per “racial” profiling there are 2 definitions. One strict and one broad. Strict is the issue of “race” is the controlling factor. Broad is the issue that “race” is evident as the issue through empirical evidence.

            Here’s another way they coin the 2 – Racial
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_profiling and Offender http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offender_profiling Zim claims his motive was “offender”…

            There is evidence that GZ “could” have been profiling. Thus I concur with Mr. Simon’s conclusion that there’s also no evidence exculpatory of the dynamic.