Re: Gun control

1

It feels like citizens are reaching a boiling over point on gun control - where regular people who are in favor of gun control are finally boiling over with fury at the current state of affairs.

And regular people who aren't in favor of gun control are boiling over with fury in their parallel universe, where gun control has been expanding instead of receding over the past 30 years.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:54 AM
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It really is fucking crazy. I know half the comments on this blog are marveling over how rightwing can the nutters possibly get, but it really is impossible to grasp all at once.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:56 AM
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People, by-and-large, have always supported gun control in the US. This hasn't kept the Democrats from getting their asses kicked on that issue.

It's all about intensity. Even for me - someone who long ago reached the boiling point on guns - it's not a terribly salient issue, in the sense that it's unlikely to change my vote.

A candidate who works against gun control and (for example) supports a higher minimum wage is going to get my vote against someone who is the opposite on both issues. As important as I think gun control is, there are a lot of issues that are more likely to actually change my vote.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:01 AM
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A candidate who works against gun control and (for example) supports a higher minimum wage is going to get my vote against someone who is the opposite on both issues.

True, me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:05 AM
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Not really on topic, but a "molon labe" thong has really quite a different valence than I think they are really going for.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:06 AM
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While it's not necessarily true, I think there's a powerful belief among Democrats that their electoral disaster in 1994 was due in significant part to backlash against the assault rifle ban. I seems like they have tended to run away from gun control issues as fast as they can ever since then.

I recall reading some one, I think at LG&M, demolishing that particular myth about 1994 a few years ago.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:09 AM
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6: Also, it was alleged to be the reason Gore lost Tennessee in 2000. No idea if that's true.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:12 AM
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I think it's usually a mistake to look at what voters prefer in order to explain what the US government actually does. It's pretty much all money and interest groups that are moving things around.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:13 AM
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Something something the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

The gun nuts turn out 100% to vote on the single issue, and they turn out in primaries as well as the general. The people in favor of gun control tend to be kind of squishy on it. If Newtown didn't mobilize people enough to get things done I don't really see what will.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:16 AM
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I think it's usually a mistake to look at what voters prefer in order to explain what the US government actually does. It's pretty much all money and interest groups that are moving things around.

For example, the proposed anti-Export-Import-Bank legislation is strongly backed by 1) US airline corporations, and 2) conspiratorial wackoes. And yet some media members talk as if the legislation is now inevitable because of the great victory of conspiratorial wackoes in the Eric Cantor primary. That seems to be a coincidence.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:18 AM
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Just yesterday I passed an anti-E-I-Bank billboard! "AMERICA SPENDS $8 MILLION PER DAY ON ISRAEL. CLOSE THE BANK" and vote for whoever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:21 AM
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The one Republican I ever voted for in my life, I voted for because the democractic candidate was running to the right of him on guns. Guns didn't turn out to be an issue during the governorship, but he did commute the sentence of everyone on death row. And then was convicted on Federal corruption charges and went to jail for five years. I feel like my instincts were somewhat accurate there.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:29 AM
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The 1994 realignment was along a wide range of issues, to the extent it was about issues at all. You might as well say 1994 meant Democrats must mimic Republicans to thrive.

Wait a minute...


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:18 AM
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6: Look at what happened in Colorado last year, where two state senators lost recall elections in blue-ish seats (and a third resigned to short-circuit the recall) pretty much entirely on the strength of voting for fairly anodyne gun control laws.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:28 AM
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My sister is a Democratic state legislator in a very red district. I was disappointed to see she voted for some stupid, incremental "lets allow moar guns everywhere" law last year, but it was pretty clear that her constituency had been pretty well riled up in favor of the thing. Its the kind of thing I know she would prefer to vote against, but its hard to see the advantage of her putting her seat on the line over it, especially since it was going to pass anyway.


Posted by: Sp|ke | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:38 AM
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The main problem is Southron values poisoning the rest of the country. Everybody on both sides of my family, 90% of whom are Northern rural residents, are gun owners. One or two of them are gun nuts, but the majority are perfectly sane about it. I dunno how they vote, but I've never heard them advocating voting on a strictly 2nd Amendment line.

But these fucking Southerners! The best thing we could have done at the end of the Civil War was hang the ruling class of the Slaveocracy and all the Confederate officers. And put the rest of the reactionaries in concentration camps out west. That would have shown them that we weren't fucking around. But of course we had to be "fair", so they mistook our kindness for weakness, and now they've completely taken over again.

Only one thing to do with a mad dog.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:42 AM
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Send it for a noon walk with that kooky English dude?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:43 AM
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But these fucking Southerners!

Like Clive Bundy and Ruby Ridge and the Michigan Militia?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:45 AM
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Only one thing to do with a mad dog.

You could maybe try the Milkwaukee protocol?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:46 AM
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@18: I saw plenty of confederate flags on trucks when I lived in Ohio. "Southerner" is more a state of mind these days.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:47 AM
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18, 20: Yeah, that's my whole point: Southern values and culture have rapidly infiltrated the North over the last 50 years and that's led to all of our problems today.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:49 AM
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According to this definitely 100% reliable site the Bundy ancestral line ended up in the US via Mississippi.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:49 AM
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Nah, nutters gonna nut. No matter where they live.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:51 AM
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I mean, yes, the Civil War and racism is the defining lens through which much of US today should be understood. I'm not rejecting that. But this anti-federalist gun-nuttery has arisen all over the place, and I don't think you can blame Sherman exactly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:59 AM
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STATES' RIGHTS 4-EVAH.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:59 AM
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natilo is right on all counts


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:59 AM
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The best thing we could have done at the end of the Civil War was hang the ruling class of the Slaveocracy and all the Confederate officers.

I can see the case for hanging Jeff Davis and a few other leaders and war criminals pour encourager les autres, but on balance, "malice toward none, charity toward all" was probably the right policy to avoid a decades-long guerrilla conflict. The real mistake was in restoring the franchise to former rebels. Without that, no Compromise of 1877, no decades of Jim Crow, no free rein to the Ku Klux Klan, etc.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:02 AM
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27: fine ony the confederacy leadership and the leadership of the states that wfm reb


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:06 AM
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and every confed flag and field grade officer


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:07 AM
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28: One could make a case for stringing up the top military leadership as well, not least because it might have spared us from Washington & Lee University. (Nathan Bedford Forrest would of course have been hanged even under the milder policy because war criminal.)


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:11 AM
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I mean, what is it about these northern and westerners that made them susceptible to the southern message? They have agency.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:14 AM
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31: yeah, but


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:31 AM
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Hold on, we haven't established exactly who we're going to have had hanged. Is there a checklist we can work off of?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:32 AM
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flowchart


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:33 AM
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I mean, what is it about these northern and westerners that made them susceptible to the southern message? They have agency.

To some extent it's probably the Great Migration and reactions to it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:33 AM
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35 yes


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:39 AM
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How much difference would killing the Southern aristocracy have made? Certainly today the Lost Cause mythology doesn't know class boundaries. Wasn't there a lot of support for the established order amongst poor whites back then?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:41 AM
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35/36 Doesn't explain the West, though. Wyoming, for example.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:41 AM
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How confident are we in our premise? It certainly feels like there is more outrage about gun shootings, but is there as much, in any measurable way, as there was in the 80s when the Brady campaign got organized? It also feels as if mass shootings are becoming more common, but that's subject to debate.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:46 AM
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|| The dream is dead, Heebie. |>


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:50 AM
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But these fucking Southerners! The best thing we could have done at the end of the Civil War was hang the ruling class of the Slaveocracy and all the Confederate officers.

I really can't get behind a "hang 'em all" sentiment, especially when the overall goal is a dramatic reduction in violence.

As I understand it, we learned a lot about recovering from dictatorship and genocide in the 20th century, not just with the experiences of deNazification and the demilitarization of Japan, but also with Truth and Reconciliation committees in places like South Africa. I don't think "hang 'em all" was a big part of that lesson. Reconstruction could have done a lot more to silence the slavocracy for good, but not like that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:55 AM
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41 you more sanguine than I wrt South Africa


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 10:14 AM
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Notes: Obviously, much respect to Southerners of all races who have stood up to bigotry and fascism.

Per 29, the political and military elite should have, at the very least, been imprisoned for long, long terms. And yeah, no re-enfranchisement.

As far as de-nazification and what not, maybe ask the Roma and Ainu how well that worked out? If anything, the US military-industrial complex nazified itself via Operation Paperclip and other means.

Okay, now I am shifting into full-McManus mode, so I should probably log out.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 10:54 AM
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43.last: you're not quite there. That disgusting fucking ghoul advocates blood in the streets. Fuck him.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 11:02 AM
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You are also speaking for me, Natilo.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 11:07 AM
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I'm with Natilo too. I mean, ""malice toward none, charity toward all" was probably the right policy to avoid a decades-long guerrilla conflict." has a certain plausibility to it. But in the end what we got was only different from a decades-long guerrilla conflict in that the guerrillas weren't killing/etc. army forces they were just attacking poorer, blacker people. I don't see how trading a (potential) stretch of guerrilla war for literally a hundred years (minimally!) of terrorism targeted at the people least able to protect themselves is a good idea.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 11:17 AM
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"malice toward none, charity toward all"

was ok, as long it was supposed to include black people.

We could have killed a bunch of the leaders of the Confederacy, but it wouldn't have mattered if there wasn't a sustained commitment to maintaining the civil rights of the former slaves. Some kind of land reform/economic reparations would have been a good idea too.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 11:22 AM
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No, they shouldn't have been hung. They should have been sold as slaves in West Africa.

Many of the wackier TP types here have Southern roots. Not a majority, probably, but enough to notice. The gun thing here, though, is a dead bang loser pretty much everywhere in the state. Putting it on the table really increases the intensity level on the other side -- it's bad enough to have creeping socialism, but talking about taking away guns, that's the direct route to Stalin.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 11:39 AM
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49

It's really frustrating that anyone would think that gun safety is about taking away all your guns.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:05 PM
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When you look at the serious gun nuts/people who care about the second amendment a lot "gun safety" and "taking away your guns" start to look a lot closer....


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:12 PM
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It's really frustrating that anyone would think that gun safety is about taking away all your guns.

The more "nuanced" version of this view is that that the effete wazzock liberals' idea of gun-safety involves the Big Brother nanny state telling you, the patriotic citizen gun-owner, what you can and can't do with your gun; that They will decide that some guns that you feel you have the right to own should be off-limits for everybody; and that if They think your views are too extreme for Their tastes, the jack-booted thugs will come and take your guns away.

When you take out all the pejoratives from the above, it's actually mostly correct. And I'm on board with that plan.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:27 PM
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|| The dream is dead, Heebie. |>

Hopefully the venture capitalists will understand that true utopia lies in big, clean, well-lit laundromats with lots of big tables and some TVs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:27 PM
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48 is right. The gun stuff is somewhat independent from the tea party stuff.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:29 PM
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When you look at the serious gun nuts/people who care about the second amendment a lot "gun safety" and "taking away your guns" start to look a lot closer....

What?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:37 PM
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A colleague of mine just posted something to her private FB about how she would not let her son go to play in a house that has guns in it (a rule my parents enforced when I was a kid), and immediately her thread was overrun by friends of hers accusing her of bigotry and secretly wanting to put them all in camps, etc. Welcome to [rural state], colleague!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:39 PM
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I swear I heard an interview with a woman at a gun rights rally who said "The government can't tell me what kind of guns I can have, or who I can shoot if I feel threatened." I can't find it now, though.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:43 PM
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Data point.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:44 PM
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There's no evidence that the bulk of the Republican Party of the 1870s, not to mention the very large minority of Northerners who voted Democratic, would ever have had any interest in/stamina for a 10 year guerrilla war in the South fought to secure the rights of black people. It just want going to happen ever. That said, I do think that realistically with a slightly less corrupt Republican party you could have seen (a) disallowing the franchise to former rebels, which would have done a ton of good (b) federal, and especially judicial, intervention to prevent the full implementation of Jim Crow in the 1890s. The result wouldn't have been paradise on earth but could have had interesting results, including things like forestalling the second great migration and ensuring Southern states with voting, powerful black majorities (eg Mississippi had a black majority through the 1930s).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:50 PM
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I recently went to our [rural town] WalMart, and discovered that guns aren't just in the gun section. They're sort of scattered around sports supply and the discount aisle. They're packaged exactly like toy guns, with BOLD FONTS and EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! about what a great time you're going to have together. I had a hard time figuring out they're real. 75% off! What a steal!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:50 PM
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54: Yes, witness the freakout over "smart" guns that require a second factor of some kind (wrist band etc.) in order to fire.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:53 PM
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On gun control, I think the gun nutters are despicable and have blood on their hands, but there is a real question about how much gun control matters. The gun nut explosion has coincided very generally with a decrease in the rate of violent crime and there's not much evidence that any gun control measure conceivably achievable in the US would have much of an effect on violent gun deaths. If the choice is trading off gun control for an expansion of the welfare state or other liberal priorities (not saying this is always the choice on the table, but it sometimes is) I'd take that trade in a heartbeat.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:54 PM
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I agree with 61, but the situation described in 59 just make me nervous.

I guess that make me a bigot.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:56 PM
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59 doesn't exactly make me nervous, because when used correctly, guns are about fun and games - by all means, go hunting, and go to the shooting range, and shoot beer cans by the river. Knock yourself out.

The self-defense language seems way more frightening to me. There should be absolutely no consideration given to aiming a gun at another human being.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:09 PM
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Aren't many guns, when used correctly, about violence and killing? (Hunting isn't exactly not about those things.)

If all you want to do is go to the range or shoot beer cans, couldn't you just use, I don't know, a bb gun? Of course at the range especially you'd probably want to use a real gun, but the reality of the real gun comes from its suitability for actually killing people, oder? You want to practice with something whose basic purpose is that. Shooting a gun at a range isn't like fencing with a super-bendy button-tipped foil.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:13 PM
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I read some commentary that I was immediately grateful for, maybe in the Slog. The writer was saying that he just doesn't like guns and doesn't want them around him. He says that preference is never paired up with its counterpart ("I enjoy having guns, shooting them recreationally and hunting.") and it should be. I thought he was exactly right.

Actually, I just don't want people having guns in public spaces because I don't like them.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:13 PM
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Of course at the range especially you'd probably want to use a real gun, but the reality of the real gun comes from its suitability for actually killing people, oder?

The human outlines are creepy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:15 PM
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64: there's more skill involved in shooting at gunpowder distances than there is at BB or pellet gun distances.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:26 PM
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66: oh, it gets a lot creepier than that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:31 PM
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In thread merging news, you all will recall the idiot in my neighborhood who shot the German exchange student who'd walked into his open garage around midnight. Kid was an all-state soccer player for one of the high schools here.

That was in April. So in yesterday's paper there's a story that the lawyer for the shooter had put out a press release that he was sponsoring a public watching of the World Cup game in our principal downtown park. Renting a couple of big screens, and running some cable, I guess. When asked just what the fuck he's doing, lawyer says it never, not in a million years, would have occurred to him that gathering a bunch of local citizens to cheer against German soccer players could be thought to have any conceivable relationship to just this one of his many cases. No, he just likes soccer. This game in particular.

By noon, the story was that the judge had told him at the scheduling conference yesterday to "knock it off."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:32 PM
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And there's also an undeniable thrill from controlling something powerful and potentially destructive. The same sort of thing you get from using power tools or riding a motorcycle or driving a sports car.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:32 PM
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I found it pretty boring shooting at a range. Shooting at old refrigerators or car doors or phone books or propane tanks or whatever seems like it would be more fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:34 PM
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Not only has it been getting easier to own guns, it's been getting easier to own incredibly deadly guns, it's been getting easier to own them with no documentation, and it's been getting easier to legally murder people with them. All of this without any increase in the gun-owning proportion of the population, so it's just the existing gun fans become more dangerous, more emboldened and somehow also more angry.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:34 PM
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And there's also an undeniable thrill from controlling something powerful and potentially destructive.

IYKWIM


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:38 PM
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68: Oh, it's creepy all the way down.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:49 PM
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72 - I can't find the cite, but those actually go together; as America is more suburban and urban, the proportion of people who are hunters (like my uncle, who shot duck and quail with my grandfather when growing up in rural Colorado) diminishes, and the proportion of gun owners who own a) handguns and b) lots of guns goes up. To stay in business, I think gun manufacturers have made a concerted effort to target preppers and paranoiacs.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:52 PM
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I spent a while watching These Assholes this morning.

They are already preparing for when you take their guns away.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:53 PM
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it's just the existing gun fans become more dangerous, more emboldened and somehow also more angry.

That's the worrisome thing about those open carry jackasses. Whatever psychological problem they're suffering from, owning a gun didn't relieve it, owning a whole personal arsenal didn't relieve it, and walking around in public with their rifles isn't going to relieve it either.

And once you've reached the point of carrying AR-15 into Chipotle, there's not much further you can push things without actually shooting someone.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 1:53 PM
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Shooting at old refrigerators or car doors or phone books or propane tanks or whatever seems like it would be more fun.

You'd probably like Tannerite.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:11 PM
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I've shot at abandoned cars and refrigerators. It is more fun. Throwing empty beer cans in the river and shooting them as they float away is even more fun.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:30 PM
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77: I don't know, these dudes seem totally normal. They're just totally ready for anything so long as it doesn't involve running and/or getting something from the top shelf.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:31 PM
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You'd probably like Tannerite.

If you look up ammonium nitrate fertilizer on Amazon, the "frequently bought together" function suggests:

This item: ZEOMAX Garden Aid 25 lb $8.29
2 lb Aluminum Powder - 30 Micron - 500 Mesh $21.00
Magnesium Ribbon 25g 99.8% Pure 65ft-75ft long $8.50


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:37 PM
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In partial recompense for my youthful crimes against water, I spent the afternoon installing a drip irrigation system. My dad has caught whatever disease Megan has.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:39 PM
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81: And the name of a good lawyer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:40 PM
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Your father and I have been emailing recently and I think he's a wonderful man.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:44 PM
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That's the worst variation on a "yo mama" joke I've ever heard.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:47 PM
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Your own mother wrote me recently to consult about a greywater system for her yard, noslow.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:49 PM
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I'm glad she chose a such a competent and reliable adviser.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:51 PM
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I shoulda stuck with neB.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:53 PM
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You really should have. That guy's a catch.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:54 PM
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I have long thought so.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:58 PM
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How confident are we in our premise? It certainly feels like there is more outrage about gun shootings, but is there as much, in any measurable way, as there was in the 80s when the Brady campaign got organized?

My assertion was grounded in that I have been diligently reading my facebook feed. Why do you ask?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 4:03 PM
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Hey Natilo, just wondering in my artless southern way: how much time have you spent in the south collecting wisdom on southern values?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 4:36 PM
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You know, the South does send out news of its byways. FloridaMan is a particularly effective ambassador for southern values.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 4:46 PM
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I'm with Smearcase in being really sick to death of the use of anti-Southernism by coastal US liberals. It's not like there's nothing there but the trope has become so lazy and exaggerated and masks both the extent to which the problem in the US is rural and exurban white people, full stop, without regard to inherent Southerness, and the extent to which big Southern cities are often pretty damn liberal (eg Houston's lesbian mayor).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 4:54 PM
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You gotta admit, though, that whole Civil War/slavery thing was a big demerit. Not cool, south. Not at all cool.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 4:58 PM
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93: You are perhaps aware of how Californians are perceived?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 4:59 PM
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Well, I am not sure which Californian stereotypes you mean, but I know a handful of them (flaky, New Agey, if in LA, then blond and plastic surgeried, if in NorCal, then stoned hippies, etc). And you know what? We have those stereotypes because there are some people like that here. And to the extent they vary from fucking bigot gun nut Southerners, I think that's an improvement.

I am sure that not everyone in either location fully conforms to the stereotype, but the core bit that the stereotype emerges from is really there and the South's is ugly.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:07 PM
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I mean, there is also a case to make that Californian history has all sorts of ugly incidents, but I don't think that a substantial piece of the stereotypes about Californians is how much they lynch Filipino ag workers and continue to rip them off a hundred years later. There were really ugly and bad incidents here, but if it doesn't come to mind as fast as "surfer" then California has given the rest of the world something more to work with. And doesn't try to remind everyone of the bad parts constantly (Trayvon Martin, for a recent example).


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:15 PM
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if it doesn't come to mind as fast as "surfer" then California has given the rest of the world something more to work with

This line of reasoning is perplexing. Something more entertaining to work with?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:18 PM
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Californians are a bunch of racist okies dressed up in Republican fundraiser drag if they hit oil money, or otherwise making meth in bakersfield, no? That was always my impression.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:22 PM
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I mean, the coasts are fine, but you won't find any part of the country more thoroughly racist than white, inland California.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:23 PM
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I guess the surfers are pretty racist too, despite being coastal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:24 PM
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Yeah, Prop 187, Prop 8, Prop 13, Governor Schwarzenegger, President Reagan, one perception among many fine choices you skipped is "delusionally self-satisfied." If we're going with cute stuff like "stoner hippie" for CA, I'll cherry-pick "hospitable" and "charming accent" for the south.

I've probably alienated Halford now but his is the actual point: it's really satisfying to categorize an entire region as, oh, well-enough represented by "fucking bigot gun nut" but if people care at all about actual progress they will forego the pleasure.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:29 PM
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No, 103.1 is totally right. If white Californians still dominated politics we'd be a potentially very conservative, if schizophrenic, state, as was true as recently as the mid-1990s. The only reason why California is reliably liberal is that it's now a majority minority state.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:35 PM
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Let's all post our SAT scores the state we hate the most.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:37 PM
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I hate surfing as a concept.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:39 PM
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I actually don't hate California. I just hate a certain kind of smugness that sometimes happens here.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:42 PM
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My parents' neighbor has a giant above-ground pool right up against the house. That can't be a good idea, can it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:44 PM
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107.1 -- that's more true up North.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:46 PM
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Delaware.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:50 PM
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Delusionally self-satisfied underlies all parochialism and is a piece of all regional stereotypes. If you didn't think those other people were delusional about their big city or the night sky in the desert or the local food or the warmth of the people, you might agree with their assessment and go live there. If there's regional pride, it reads as delusional self-satisfaction to anyone who prefers elsewhere.

Yep, 103.1 is a good list of ugly Californian history. But the difference is that:

1. They are currently losing here by increasing amounts.
2. They are legislation and elections, not relentless interpersonal bigotry in addition to legislation and elections.
3. There is enough other stuff in the perception of silly California or techno California or movie California that the racism is only part of the mosaic. The story out of the South is overwhelmingly racist women hating gun nuts, with the rare 'New Orleans' or 'barbecue' thrown in.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:54 PM
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Not saying that there isn't racism, even interpersonal racism, in California. But I do think it has a different nature and is a lower proportion of the mix than Southern white supremacy and its residue.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:56 PM
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Everyone loves New Yorkers, right? Brusque and hardbitten, but lovable?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:56 PM
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Where in the south have you spent the most time, Megan?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 5:58 PM
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Just because, you know, obviously it isn't homogeneous; maybe your personal experience is coloring your impression.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:01 PM
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Indiana.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:01 PM
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I don't know, I'm living in an interracial same-sex relationship in the south and adopting black kids and it's really not that bad for any of us. I mean, the reasons the girls came into care were probably related to the history of racism and Lee's job problems (north of the Mason-Dixon) were about race and sexual orientation. But on a day-to-day basis there's no one casting evil glances at the grocery store or anything worse than that. I'm sure there are gun nuts, but I mostly avoid them just fine.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:03 PM
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I've always hated those bastards from Wyoming.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:06 PM
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Megan is way off. There are racist rural white people everywhere. Residential segregation in the south is a lot less severe than in the north as far as I can tell. For example, unlike Pennsylvania, in the south "black people" is not a concept exclusively associated with cities.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:07 PM
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Sure, there are racist rural people from California too. But I'd bet money that your first thought of a Californian, the very first stereotype to come to mind, isn't some asshole from Porterville who hates the Portuguese dairy farmers.

If your first thought is any other stereotype (asshole Silicon Valley guy) then California has given your mind something more to draw a regional stereotype from than rural racist. Mostly, that is not true of the news that comes out of the south.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:20 PM
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Delaware's a good one.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:21 PM
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But I'd bet money that your first thought of a Californian, the very first stereotype to come to mind, isn't some asshole from Porterville who hates the Portuguese dairy farmers.

Ok, probably not, but … so what?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:21 PM
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Are you saying that stereotypes are more important than reality, or that stereotypes are by definition accurate?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:24 PM
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I think she's saying that stereotypes wouldn't exist if they weren't true?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:25 PM
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121: oh god those assholes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:25 PM
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Or are at least rough-and-ready guides.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:25 PM
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If you want to know about a place, ask someone with no first-hand knowledge.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:26 PM
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Well, I do want to acknowledge that there is racism here. But I think it has a different character than Southern white supremacy (more multi-lateral, mostly) and also that it isn't the overwhelming image of the region. That the local kinds of racism isn't so overwhelming that it has become the first thing people think of when they think of here, even given the truth in 103.1.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:28 PM
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That the stereotypes are born in something and differ regionally for a reason. That the ugliness in the Southern steerotypes (not universal to every Southerner, not the only kind of ugliness out there) is based on a real facet of their culture, and it is appropriate to call that out.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:34 PM
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128: I wonder what Rodney King or Oscar Grant would say about that.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:35 PM
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Off to garden while the light and breeze is good.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:38 PM
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That the stereotypes are born in something and differ regionally for a reason. That the ugliness in the Southern steerotypes (not universal to every Southerner, not the only kind of ugliness out there) is based on a real facet of their culture, and it is appropriate to call that out.

Analogies, of course, are banned, but you might want to think a little bit about how that same line of reasoning works when you apply it to stereotypes associated with some other cultural groups. Also you might want to think about the difference between believing that the South's fame for racism reflects real racism and believing that it means that other regions, less famous for such things, are necessarily less racist.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:39 PM
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you might want to think about

Or you might not. Who can say! I should probably try to be less smarmy in my phrasing.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:40 PM
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Modelo Especial is growing on me but the foil is really annoyingly hard to peel back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:56 PM
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134: go with the sabre opening


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:58 PM
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This cranberry-water-Sierra-Mist-gin drink is terrible. There need to be more mixers in this appartment.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:09 PM
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I agree that there are reasons why popular stereotypes come into being and take hold, but those reasons often have little to do with the stereotyped subjects.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:27 PM
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I think we need to be clear here: are all of the "The South is just alright with me" insisting that the rest of us ignore the fact that white people in every region of the country vote one way, and southern whites vote another? Like, is it more important top be sensitive to other peoples' feelings than to look at actual data?

I don't know why working class whites everywhere in America except the South tend to vote for the party that generally is more helpful for working class people, while working class whites in the South vote for the party that hates people of color. It's a mystery, but clearly the way to get to the bottom of this mystery is to pretend that fact isn't true, and to insist that all of the other states are too racist (they just forget to vote that way).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:49 PM
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^people


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:50 PM
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Let's all post the state we hate the most.

Oh, that's no contest: South Carolina. Sorry, alameida.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:52 PM
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110, 121, 125: Hey! Delaware is a perfectly fine state.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 7:58 PM
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Maybe all the people in other regions complaining about the South being so racist should move there and try to change it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:02 PM
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I like to think I improved North Carolina very slightly during my time there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:04 PM
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128: I wonder what Rodney King or Oscar Grant would say about that.

Not to take the thread off on a tangent or anything but for the life of me I can't figure out why the cases that are the least race related get the most traction. Grant was an accident and King still would have gotten his ass kicked if he'd been white.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:05 PM
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Everyone is pwned by Randy Newman.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:21 PM
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Adding to my previous comment about being in a foreign country aka the midwest, at the microbrewery where I just had a tour there was a big "no guns" sign on the front door. Glad we have to make that alcohol/gun combination = bad explicit. The brewer seemed nice, only started 3 months ago, doing their first bottling tomorrow! I hope he's not overrun by gun nuts.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:28 PM
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When Randy Newman bursts in, you'll wish somebody with a gun was there to protect you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:32 PM
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I don't know why working class whites everywhere in America except the South tend to vote for the party that generally is more helpful for working class people, while working class whites in the South vote for the party that hates people of color. It's a mystery, but clearly the way to get to the bottom of this mystery is to pretend that fact isn't true, and to insist that all of the other states are too racist (they just forget to vote that way).

Lots of bad stuff certainly happens in the south, but taking this to be the True Meaningful interpretation of voting patterns depends enormously on how you slice and dice it. Cities vs. suburbs vs. rural, the proportion of white people in a given district, and also who counts as working class. And if you think that it's not the case that lots of rural white Pennsylvanians and Ohians are racist as hell, I don't know why.

Mitt Romney won the white vote in New York -- and everywhere except Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut and New Hampshire. And if you look at just white males, the pattern is stronger.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:37 PM
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81 is disturbing, but fortunately ZEOMAX is just zeolite; it doesn't contain any ammonium nitrate. So that's OK.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 8:37 PM
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Mitt Romney won the white vote in New York -- and everywhere except Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

And except Vermont, I think. (Sticking up for my home state.)


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:06 PM
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148 is right.

Also I get so torn, because there is a lot of Texas asshattery that gets under my skin, and so I complain a lot. But I think I'd complain equally about other region-specific things if I lived elsewhere. I do get defensive when the south gets over-criticized, because it seems to be coasting on tropes and ignoring the problems caused everywhere else.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:11 PM
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2. They are legislation and elections, not relentless interpersonal bigotry in addition to legislation and elections.

Wait, what? The elections and legislation happened in Texas because of relentless interpersonal bigotry and the ones in California happened because...Californians are quirky but enlightened? Or just independent of anything about Californians?

3. There is enough other stuff in the perception of silly California or techno California or movie California that the racism is only part of the mosaic. The story out of the South is overwhelmingly racist women hating gun nuts, with the rare 'New Orleans' or 'barbecue' thrown in.

Ok, as I said to regional sociologist Natilo, please tell me about all the time you spent in the south when you discovered that most people there are overwhelmingly racist women hating gun nuts, and please account for my time there believing I knew a mix of people. I have to say, I've spent almost a year in California and though if I were to generalize, I'd say people from here are a bit dim and astonishingly incurious about anything more than twenty miles from where they live, I have to admit that the generalization has lots of biases and is not sound.

Well, I do want to acknowledge that there is racism here. But I think it has a different character than Southern white supremacyi in that you live here and your friends aren't racist and apparently California doesn't have a stereotype of being racist, so it can't really be all that bad. I feel like I heard this same shit from people in Chicago, a city with no race problems at all, god knows, because Midwesterners are decent folk and racism is not part of what we know to be Midwestern. Sound familiar?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:48 PM
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2. They are legislation and elections, not relentless interpersonal bigotry in addition to legislation and elections.

Wait, what? The elections and legislation happened in Texas because of relentless interpersonal bigotry and the ones in California happened because...Californians are quirky but enlightened? Or just independent of anything about Californians?

3. There is enough other stuff in the perception of silly California or techno California or movie California that the racism is only part of the mosaic. The story out of the South is overwhelmingly racist women hating gun nuts, with the rare 'New Orleans' or 'barbecue' thrown in.

Ok, as I said to regional sociologist Natilo, please tell me about all the time you spent in the south when you discovered that most people there are overwhelmingly racist women hating gun nuts, and please account for my time there believing I knew a mix of people. I have to say, I've spent almost a year in California and though if I were to generalize, I'd say people from here are a bit dim and astonishingly incurious about anything more than twenty miles from where they live, I have to admit that the generalization has lots of biases and is not sound.

Well, I do want to acknowledge that there is racism here. But I think it has a different character than Southern white supremacyi in that you live here and your friends aren't racist and apparently California doesn't have a stereotype of being racist, so it can't really be all that bad. I feel like I heard this same shit from people in Chicago, a city with no race problems at all, god knows, because Midwesterners are decent folk and racism is not part of what we know to be Midwestern. Sound familiar?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:49 PM
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144: because in both cases they fit a pattern of police mistreatment of and brutality towards minorities? Even assuming for the sake of argument that those specific cases weren't race-related, you treat people badly enough for long enough and you kind of forfeit the benefit of the doubt. And in both cases you had white police officers getting off (or getting off lightly) in court.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:52 PM
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Grant was an accident

!?!


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 9:56 PM
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I think we need to be clear here: are all of the "The South is just alright with me" insisting that the rest of us ignore the fact that white people in every region of the country vote one way, and southern whites vote another?

I am/we are suggesting that maybe it doesn't boil down to a surprisingly simple explanation that happens to justify your enlightened indignation? And perhaps adding that calling people stupid rednecks or the equivalent doesn't make them lay down arms and weepily say "how wrong I have been!"?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 10:03 PM
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Now I am being an asshole, because this particular thing really gets under my skin. Possibly I should check out of this thread, but I assume tomorrow I will not be as good as my word.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 10:10 PM
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This thread seems on the verge of going (even further) downhill, so it's probably a good time to check out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 10:13 PM
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Everyone's got bad stuff in their past. The South (and wannabe Southerners) does seem to embrace it more than most anywhere else. No one is making them fly that damn flag.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 10:37 PM
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154: Neither one of those cases fit jack, that's the problem. The cops in the King case should never have gone to trial. That asshole, by his own admission, led cops on a high speed chase while drunk as shit because he knew getting another DUI pop would violate his parole for fucking robbery. He only got the baton treatment after shrugging off a taser and then throwing off cops when they tried to swarm him. Somehow the two black passengers in the car got taken into custody without a mark on them. Later in life he managed to drown in his own pool loaded up on booze and coke so I guess it all has a happy ending.

I'm not really getting at you personally, people know what hits the papers. But it rankles me a bit that Rodney King comes up far more often than Mark Fuhrman, who every time he ventures out in public should be surrounded by citizens and beaten like a pinata.

155: Gah, that murder talk was nuts. Dude's incompetent, but he didn't actually intentionally execute a motherfucker in front of a crowd on a train platform. He got convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to a couple years in jail.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 1:05 AM
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148, 151: I'm making this comment before actually looking up the numbers, so if I'm wrong there will be egg on my face, but whites in the South do vote differently (more Republican) than whites in the rest of the country, and the effect doesn't go away when you slice and dice the demographics as suggested. Ned's right about segregation often being worse up North, I don't know what Megan is on about with the stereotypes, but statistically different voting behavior in a way that looks driven by racial animus is a real contrast between the former Confederacy and the rest of the country.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:21 AM
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No one is making them fly that damn flag.

...in Michigan where I saw it all the time, if I was out in the country.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:28 AM
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but statistically different voting behavior in a way that looks driven by racial animus is a real contrast between the former Confederacy and the rest of the country.

It's hard to square this with that article about Milwaukee from last week.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:30 AM
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Remind me about the Milwaukee article?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:43 AM
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This is the sort of thing I was thinking of.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:46 AM
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"Assholes are everywhere" is what I was getting at when I noted the confederate flags I saw in Ohio (although is it a coincidence that they were confederate flags?), but there do seem to be some states (and not all in the South, Arizona comes to mind) where the assholes are dominant enough to win all the damn time, as opposed to just some of the time.

I agree with 159: not all regions have pluralities that are determined to celebrate the region's ugliest legacies. The New York draft riots were disgraceful, but I've never heard of a significant NYC demographic pushing for an official "New York draft riot heritage day".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:56 AM
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OTOH, anecdotally, I was one of the people saying "No one ever says anything racist to me" not that long ago, and a Californian did this weekend. Nice bubbly blond woman in her early forties from San Diego, visiting us because she works for my husband, chatting about how a friend's daughter is acting out disturbingly in her late teens, with the tattoos and the acrylic nails and the all the time on Twitter, and then she leaned over and in a hushed voice said "If you know what I mean, she's acting like a wigger!"

And to my eternal shame, I said "Mmm" and let it pass. (I mean, I didn't want to make a thing about it what with her working for my husband, and it was late, and I was tired. But the right thing to do would have been a cold "I'm afraid I don't know the word. What does it mean?)


Posted by: Marie of Roumania | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:59 AM
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And I remembered what you were talking about with Milwaukee, the study showing that Wisconsin was the worst state in the nation for black children. That is awful, and needs fixing, but I don't think it's at all incompatible with what I said about voting behavior.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 4:07 AM
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168: I think she meant the Scott Walker article, about how Milwaukee has incredibly toxic racial politics because the great northern migration got there decades later than it did everywhere else, which meant that the black population never got established enough to have a middle class and the white, Northern European/Scandinavian immigrant population that traditionally held all the blue collar jobs thinks of them as a permanent underclass.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 4:12 AM
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And that the Milwaukee area has the most segregated voting patterns (between urban and suburban and black and white) in the country.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 4:13 AM
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Here:

Thanks to a quirk of twentieth-century history, the region encompasses a heavily Democratic and African American urban center, and suburbs that are far more uniformly white and Republican than those in any other Northern city, with a moat of resentment running between the two zones. As a result, the area has given rise to some of the most worrisome trends in American political life in supercharged form: profound racial inequality, extreme political segregation, a parallel-universe news media.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 4:16 AM
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And:

During this period, the WOW counties continued to expand. But unlike suburbs elsewhere, they had not grown more diverse. Today, less than 2 percent of the WOW counties' population is African American and less than 5 percent is Hispanic. According to studies by the Brookings Institution and Brown University, the Milwaukee metro area is one of the top two most racially segregated regions in the country. The WOW counties were voting Republican at levels unseen in other Northern suburbs; one needed to look as far as the white suburbs around Atlanta and Birmingham for similar numbers. The partisan gulf between Milwaukee and its suburbs in presidential elections has now grown wider than in any of the nation's 50 largest cities, except for New Orleans, according to the Journal Sentinel series.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 4:18 AM
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Oh, I hadn't seen that. But from the quotes you pull, it's an article saying one Northern city votes like the South does generally. Doesn't that prove rather than refuting the point?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 4:31 AM
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One Northern city votes more that way that anywhere in the South except for New Orleans.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 4:50 AM
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162: The boyfriend tells me that the flag fliers in MI are often older (60+), rural, and often children of folks who moved North in the Great Migration. Out of his college classmates who had flags, he says all of them now live in the South.

For my own part, the northern city I grew up in was incredibly racist. It's hard to draw good conclusions about geography by anecdote, though, since a high schooler has much less control over her social circle than an adult. We were at a wedding last month with quite a few grad school classmates (from all over the South), and I was utterly relieved I didn't have to see them on a daily basis anymore. So racist.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 4:56 AM
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And, depending on how you look at it, the white suburbs around Atlanta and Birmingham. (That is, the Milwaukee suburbs, according to the article, match the Atlanta/Birmingham suburbs -- the fact that polarization is higher seems to be because Milwaukee city is more Democratic.)

I mean, Milwaukee appears to be a hot mess, to use a technical term, but the whole point of the article is that it's a weird outlier in the region, and even in its own state. Milwaukee's the biggest city in Wisconsin, but the more rural remainder of the state is much more Democratic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 5:01 AM
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Milwaukee is obviously superior to every city in the south. There's no such thing as Old Charlotte or "The beer that made Tampa famous."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 5:15 AM
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177: Also, The Fonz.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 5:19 AM
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And Laverne.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 5:21 AM
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Also, my dad lived there in 1949-50.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 5:31 AM
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Of course, if the Weekly World News is right, Hitler managed a Radio Shack there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 5:45 AM
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No love for Lenny and Squiggy? What's up with that?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 6:16 AM
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162 -- Right, the cancer has been spreading.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 6:38 AM
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Anyway, in a few hours I'm heading for someplace that's so rural and white that the entire African American population would fit comfortably in a van.

For other reasons, I'm really looking forward to it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 6:45 AM
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Milwaukee is the hottest mess in the country, and every single major city in Texas voted blue last election, yet South=Bad is the most important foundation to assign blame for everything.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 6:53 AM
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Non Hispanic whites represent 83% of Wisconsin vs. 44% in Texas, 55% in Georgia, and 65% in Alabama.

People here are seriously trying to argue for white vs. non white voting behaviour in Wisconsin vs. the South as evidence that it's unfair to stigmatize the South as worse than the North? Is there any state in the Northeast or Midwest where Obama didn't get at least forty percent of the white vote? Is there any state in the South other than VA and FL and maybe NC where he got over thirty percent? (And those states voting patterns don't help - it's transplants from outside the South now living in culturally non-Southern areas who are voting dem). If Southern whites voted like Northeastern or Pacific Coast or Midwestern whites then the South as a whole would be the most Democratic region in the country. Or to put it differently, the proportions of White, Black, and Hispanic/Asian in Georgia and Maryland are virtually identitical yet Obama won Maryland by close to thirty points while losing Georgia by eight.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 7:33 AM
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I'd say "rural/urban" in combination with "white/nonwhite" to explain voting patterns. I don't know how to carry that out wrt Georgia vs Maryland, but that's my guess.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 7:36 AM
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And rural white non-Southerners are embracing Southern iconography and culture because . . . well, it can't be because those stand for /validate racism, because non-white Southerners aren't racist?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 7:48 AM
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Milwaukee is the hottest mess in the country, and every single major city in Texas voted blue last election

Second hottest mess by the standard you're using, after a Southern city. And when you say that every major city in Texas voted blue, I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean that whites in every major city voted like whites generally do in the North. You mean that the cities are majority minority, and the minorities voted blue.

I get how maddening the South-blaming is, and I agree there's too much of it. But the voting behavior of white people in the South generally is still significantly different than that of white people in the North generally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 7:56 AM
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Heebie's wrong here: http://m.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/10/1159759/-Percent-of-White-vote-won-by-Obama-2012-by-state

You can argue that it's white urbanites making the difference in some of those states, but it certainly doesn't explain the difference between MS or AL and MT or ND or VT.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 7:57 AM
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But the voting behavior of white people in the South and inland West generally is still significantly different than that of white people in the North and coastal West generally.

FTFYPK


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 7:59 AM
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191: Okay, but the inland West is an awfully small population.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:01 AM
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No. The main difference is that whites in suburban counties in MD are a hell of a lot more likely to vote Dem than whites in suburban counties in Georgia. White suburban Atlantans are extremely conservative and Republican. Whites in Montgomery county not so much. Take a look at map of counties where Obama got less than 20% of the white vote. Again that's where he got less than half of his national average among white voters. Look at Wisconsin, look at Texas and Georgia.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:02 AM
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Conceding 193 is still way different than the original claim, that gun nuttery is due to Southern Plague Spread.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:05 AM
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I get how maddening the South-blaming is, and I agree there's too much of it.

But surely we can all agree that midwesterners who put confederate flag stickers on the cars are assholes.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:06 AM
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If you want my overarching belief about what's wrong with 'the South', it's that the Southern Strategy as practiced by the Republican political/media machine has set up a feedback loop -- I don't know that the racially driven voting is exactly organic anymore, but there was enough of it going on originally to create the identification with the Republican party and to make white Republican voters feel embattled, and then the right has been very successful in feeding that; the plutocrat political money is maintaining the racially-charged voting behavior, that might have dissipated by now if it wasn't useful to the plutocrats.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:10 AM
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Not sure about the Midwest, but in the Northeast gun control has long been used by Dems as a successful wedge issue when competing for the suburban white vote. It was one of the big factors in flipping suburban NYC from purple/red to dark blue/purple over the course of the nineties. Candidates in Westchester and Bergen aren't likely to loudly proclaim their NRA endorsement, though their opponents will.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:11 AM
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195: Indeed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:12 AM
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I will concede that rural whites in the Northeast do tend to be pretty big fans of '2nd Ammendment rights'.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:13 AM
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I guess you don't count Ft. Worth as a major city? I suppose that's fair enough.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:14 AM
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193: Dammit, Fulton County, you (and, uh, I guess that one county in Eastern Shore MD) just had to ruin our Northeastern lack of representation on that map. Interesting that the Upland South isn't particularly represented.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:14 AM
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I blame Lynyrd Skynyrd.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:17 AM
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Even conceding that 193 is correct, it leads to a far more modest claim, which is that a bigger majority of Southern whites vote like a less significant majority of non-Southern whites do. While that is a distinction (which is why I opened my initial comment with "it's not like there's nothing there") it's much less of one than what you often see framed by mostly coastal liberal blog commenters, particularly if youre talking about Southern cities. And it definitely doesn't get you to the IMO completely spurious claim that conservative beliefs among non-Southern whites are the result of "creeping Southernism." The anti-new deal conservative coalition was always made up very heavily of Western and Midwestern whites and this has been true since at least 1935.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:18 AM
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Also, the whole framing of this equates The South with The Whites in The South, which is super annoying. Yes, maybe the cities vote democratic because of the non-whites...who are regular old people who vote and so on and so forth.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:21 AM
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The map in 193 is remarkable. I'm kind of shocked that the south comes out so much worse than the border north. Franklin County PA is really conservative, really racist, 95% white, and has no cities. But yet 30% of people voted for Obama.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:21 AM
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204 is also true, and as I've said before anyone who, e.g., automatically equates Atlanta* with racist white people isn't actually friends with a black person.

*and more controversially "associates Boston with the opposite." But that one's not really true anymore.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:23 AM
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Milwaukee has the most segregated voting patterns in the country and yet doesn't show up on the map in 193?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:23 AM
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WOW counties were 29,32,34 for Obama. I guess the point is that's low for suburbs? But, yeah, nowhere near 20%.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:29 AM
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Didn't you say that those suburban Milwaukee counties are 98% white? Not too many suburban Southern counties would come anywhere near that degree of pale.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:30 AM
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204: That's a real problem, but it's a verbal one -- that is, saying there's something screwy about Southern white voting behavior is true. Using "the South" to refer to "Southern whites" is wrong and kind of casually racist itself, but that error doesn't make the thing that's being imprecisely referred to go away.

207: See where the article said that the suburban counties look like the suburbs of Atlanta and Birmingham, rather than being unusually Republican by Southern standards. I haven't looked at the numbers, so I'm making this up, but it's possible for Milwaukee to be the second most segregated in voting behavior without being anywhere near the most solidly Republican if the city center of Milwaukee is unusually Democratic for a city surrounded by heavily Republican suburbs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:31 AM
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206: Wait did anyone ever think actual Bostonians weren't super racist?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:37 AM
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It could also be that Milwaukee has fewer black suburbs than other cities.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:47 AM
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The anti-new deal conservative coalition was always made up very heavily of Western and Midwestern whites and this has been true since at least 1935.

Except that that's become generally less true over the past quarter century. A big part of those things on Milwaukee is that it's suburbs aren't behaving like other non-Southern suburbs - i.e. as places like suburban Chicago and Philly and so on have gotten less Republican, it's done the reverse.

Even conceding that 193 is correct, it leads to a far more modest claim, which is that a bigger majority of Southern whites vote like a less significant majority of non-Southern whites do.

Fifteen to twenty five percent in the South vs forty to fifty five percent in the Northeast, Midwest and West coast. That is not a modest difference. If Georgia and Texas whites voted like those in MD, NY, WA and NH* they'd be deep, deep blue. Hell, if TX and GA whites voted like those in the fucking Dakotas those states would be purple to blue.

*NH has one of the bluest white populations in the US - more so than NY or CA or really anywhere outside New England or the Pacific Northwest.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:47 AM
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It's a shame the US didn't have more Lutheran immigrants.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 8:55 AM
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NH has one of the bluest white populations in the US

NH is full of smurfs? Are they allowed to vote?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:03 AM
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197: Re: gun control in Midwestern suburbs, it varies quite a bit. Is the suburb close enough to get spillover gun violence? Is there a strong hunting culture (MI, WI), or mostly farming (IA)? The gun enthusiasts I've known in that part of the country were generally fine (if not thrilled) with limited bans on weapons that were clearly not for hunting (the joke about deer in bullet proof vests comes up a lot) and especially statewide bans for stuff "inside city limits" (eg the Chicago handgun ban).


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:04 AM
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its, it's whatever.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:04 AM
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213.1 -- the main difference between the Milwaulkee suburbs and other northern suburbs is precisely that they're more uniformly white in Milwaulkee, not that other Midwestern whites aren't less racist.

213.2 is part of an annoying tendency to amalgamate election results with sweeping cultural generalizations. Sure, the Deep South has a large black minority so if you could flip more of the white vote you'd have different election results. This tells you very little about the kind of cultural differences and broad-brush painting Smearcase started by complaining about, especially in a world where the problem is very much white people generally and where Southern cities are often both tolerant and welcoming of minorities. It also ignores huge differences in the "South" between eg Mississippi and Kentucky and TX and etc etc.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:17 AM
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213.1 -- the main difference between the Milwaulkee suburbs and other northern suburbs is precisely that they're more uniformly white in Milwaulkee, not that other Midwestern whites aren't less racist.

What's your basis for that? I mean, the Milwaukee suburbs are way more Republican than the rest of Wisconsin, lots of which is pretty white.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:19 AM
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aren't s/b are there.


Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:19 AM
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219 -- that was the premise of that New Republic article, namely that the Milwaukee suburbs are unusually uniformly white by northern or Midwestern standards.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:22 AM
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Sure, the Deep South has a large black minority so if you could flip more of the white vote you'd have different election results.

If you could flip the white vote to something approximating the Northern white vote. I really mostly agree with you about the broad-brush stereotyping, but the Southern white voting behavior really is, statistically, different from the voting behavior of "white people generally". Sanctimonious northerners make too much of it, the way it's discussed is often stupid and counterproductive, and so on. But there really is something going on with Southern whites that's regionally distinctive and problematic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:22 AM
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221: But it didn't claim that that was the whole explanation for their voting behavior.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:23 AM
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But it hasn't spread in some Plagueworthy Zombie South way where you can blame the ills of the North on the contagions of the South.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:24 AM
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Can't blame the South for all or most of the ills of the North; we've got plenty of our own homegrown racism. But there is a Southern contagion thing; Confederate flags up North exist, and they're an expression of political/cultural solidarity with the bad part of the South.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:29 AM
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So the obvious next question is: if we're not doing this merely to remind ourselves how enlightened we are, what should we do about the vile southrons?


Posted by: Sister Mearcase | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:30 AM
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I guess, but you're at most talking about flipping 20-25% of the white voting population in the South to produce electoral results like the North -- that is, turning the roughly 20% of Southern white "liberals" (or Dem voters) into the 40% you see in the North. Even amalgamating "electoral results" to "cultural generalizations" which is problematic, that at most gets you to "there's a smaller minority of white people in the South than in the North (where such white people are also a minority) who are willing to vote for Democratic candidates in national elections." That is very very different than saying "the South is the source of our problems and is nothing but racists and creeping Southernism is destroying the US" which is where these conversations mostly end up on places like this website, and quickly.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:31 AM
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226: do ???

I think you're in the wrong place, my friend.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:32 AM
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227 to 222.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:32 AM
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In the North/Midwest, the flag is displayed by disenfranchised rural whites. In the South, it's displayed by the state legislatures. The Southern Strategy worked, and works everywhere white people are gathered, except for places where that's limited by either class or a strong enough cultural aversion.

I don't think #NotAllSoutherners concern trolling, which in some ways (including the truth of the core claim) isn't unlike #NotAllMen concern trolling, moves the needle in the right direction with regard to cultural aversion.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:33 AM
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If I knew that, I'd know everything. I mean, I agree with you that equating "the South" with "the treason-in-defense-of-slavery" crown is obnoxious and counterproductive, and we should be supporting and trying to politically empower the minority and sane-white Southerners. But other than that, I have no idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:34 AM
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231 to 226.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:35 AM
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Crown s/b crowd. Or crow. Or cow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:35 AM
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159 to 231.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:37 AM
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233 -- without actually running the numbers, I'd be very surprised if the voting patterns of exclusively white people in say Orange County CA or the outer Chicago or Cleveland suburbs differed much from those in the Milwaukee suburbs. It's the integration of the suburbs that has made them less politically toxic most places.

225 ignores the long history of Southern and Western and Northeastern conservatism. Was Barry Goldwater a result of creeping southernism? Al D'Amato? L. Brooks Patterson?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:42 AM
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I don't think #NotAllSoutherners concern trolling, which in some ways (including the truth of the core claim) isn't unlike #NotAllMen concern trolling

For god's sake, Alvie, even ogged speaks of an analogy ban. Also are you kidding me with this?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:43 AM
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is part of an annoying tendency to amalgamate election results with sweeping cultural generalizations.

Actually I was responding to an attempt to argue that the political attitudes of Southern whites are similar to non-Southern whites. They're not.

that was the premise of that New Republic article, namely that the Milwaukee suburbs are unusually uniformly white by northern or Midwestern standards.

That was a significant part of it, yes.

This tells you very little about the kind of cultural differences and broad-brush painting Smearcase started by complaining about, especially in a world where the problem is very much white people generally and where Southern cities are often both tolerant and welcoming of minorities.

Hello Jonathan Chait. Racism, not at all relevant to American political behaviour. But I agree, political attitudes and one on one personal behaviour are not the same. Though I wonder to what extent that's limited to UMC blacks - are white suburbanites in the South really more welcoming of poor inner city blacks than their counterparts in the North? Admittedly we're talking about a pretty low threshold, so it wouldn't actually surprise me.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:48 AM
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Anecdotally, I was powerfully impressed (and shocked by myself) visiting a friend in Tennessee ages and ages ago by how comfortably integrated her friends were; the being shocked at myself part was that her friends were much more so than I was used to at home.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:52 AM
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235: 225 ignores the long history of Southern and Western and Northeastern conservatism.

It explicitly doesn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:53 AM
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I think the best argument for the "southern zombies" point of view is Canada. The difference between the US and Canada is that we have the south and they have Quebec. So I think it's fair to blame just about anything that's bad about the US and not about Canada on the pernicious influence of the south.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:55 AM
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239 -- OK, fair enough. But broadly speaking the "creeping Southernism" line of argument clearly does.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:57 AM
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I can think of one confederate flag that's flown in our city of 15,000 and I'd say they're rare on bumper stickers, belt buckles, t-shirts. I saw far more driving along the interstate to Columbus than I would in a week here in the south. But white people's Confederate flag responses are weirdly complicated, so yesterday I saw this article about a reality tv show on Mississippi lesbians and was shocked to see one in a tattoo in the tenth picture, even though I shouldn't have been. More shocking was the seeming prevalence of interracial relationships among the group.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:57 AM
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I don't think #NotAllSoutherners concern trolling, which in some ways (including the truth of the core claim) isn't unlike #NotAllMen concern trolling, moves the needle in the right direction with regard to cultural aversion.

But #YesAllNortherners? #DownWithAnalogyBan?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:58 AM
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The difference between the US and Canada is that we have the south and they have Quebec.

That's the only difference, eh?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 9:59 AM
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#NotAllAnalogyBans


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:00 AM
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#ManyNorthernsButAlsoManySouthernsButPerhapsInAWorseWayButMaybeWeShouldWorryAboutOurOwnRacismFirstEvenWithoutTheSouthWeWouldntBePerfect


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:03 AM
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242: Flipping that picture upside down and looking closely, the tattoo seems to also include "Heritage Not Hate." Which is of course still BS but does make it closer to imaginable for a lesbian to have.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:03 AM
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242 gets at the heart of this, which is that people are so much more mixed up and self-contradictory than #NotAllSouthernersTrollery pretends. The confederate flag on a pick up truck owned by a Mexican American guy, the super racist-seeming quarterback gets suspended because he got into a fight defending his black teammate against something racist, etc. People are a big muddled mush and voting patterns don't mean much for many people besides which team colors you fly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:07 AM
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247: A sentiment like that is the normal context in which I'd expect to see it, though I still think it's bullshit. But I'm not a real Southerner even though I technically am.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:07 AM
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Actually I was responding to an attempt to argue that the political attitudes of Southern whites are similar to non-Southern whites. They're not.

Right, this is 100% true, and yet is not the same as saying that the majority whites outside the South* are not racist. I mean, maybe they're not, but you need more than a handwaving assertion that Skokie is part of the Gumdrop Kingdom by virtue of its location.

The problem with American politics is, to a first degree of approximation, racist white people, who are common everywhere but much more common in the South.

* And inland west, which is already giving the game away.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:08 AM
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The problem with American politics is, to a first degree of approximation, racist white people

Truer words were never spoken.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:09 AM
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My knowledge of Kentucky is pretty limited, does anyone know what's up with Southeastern Kentucky? Why does it light up on that map when the rest of the upland south doesn't? Why does it end at the Tennessee border?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:12 AM
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252: My knowledge is also pretty limited and I've never been to the southeastern portion of the state, but my first guess is that it's because it's much poorer than the rest of the state as well as adjacent areas of the Upland South in Tennessee and Virginia.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:17 AM
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Then what makes it different from West Virginia?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:20 AM
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All I can think of about southeastern Kentucky is that there are no cities of any size there, as opposed to central (Lexington), northern (Louisville, Cincinnati area), and...I don't really know the west. I don't know if like Elizabethtown, Bowling Green, and Paducah are urban enough to support this guess at what's going on there. Bowling Green maybe, and it does have a biggish university there.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:20 AM
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Actually, that map's a little broken as the colors don't seem to be consistently applied. Here's a better, Kentucky specific map.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:21 AM
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242,247: For a lot of people the Confederate Battle Flag represents a big "fuck you" to effete urban bicoastal elites and everything they represent rather than white supremacy first and foremost. That's certainly how my cousins see it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:23 AM
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West Virginia has a long history of unionized resource extraction industries and a Democratic machine. That's been changing, though. If I recall correctly, it was well represented in the band of states whose votes for Obama were much lower than their votes for Kerry.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:23 AM
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It's so wonderful that this thread lives yet. Well done, all.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:24 AM
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I'd be very surprised if the voting patterns of exclusively white people in say Orange County CA or the outer Chicago or Cleveland suburbs differed much from those in the Milwaukee suburbs

I find that quite plausible, i.e. that the most Republican parts of the suburbs in LA, Cleveland or Chicago are like the suburbs as a whole in Milwaukee. And in turn white people in those areas are still less likely to vote Republican than their counterparts in the South. The weird thing about the Milwaukee suburbs is that in both WI and the Upper Midwest as a whole the white vote split evenly.

FWIW Romney won the white vote in CA by a high single digit margin, though I suspect that if you just look at the coastal white vote he lost or at best tied. Whites in inland California are pretty fucking Republican.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:26 AM
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I wonder if it has something to do with how small Kentucky counties are compared to those in most states. The whole county Rowan had been living in has under 20K population, less than half that of the city he's from originally. I'm not sure this should impact anything in terms of percentage trends, but a few hundred people voting single-issue on coal mining or whatever could have an impact. And anti-Obama sentiment for crackpot reasons beyond just racism definitely run wild there.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:27 AM
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For a lot of people the Confederate Battle Flag represents a big "fuck you" to effete urban bicoastal elites and everything they represent rather than white supremacy first and foremost.

Sure, but is it a coincidence that they settled on that particular flag as their "fuck you liberals" symbol?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:30 AM
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261.first: Maybe--all the counties in that region are in the 15k-35k range. (As another data point, the one sub-20% voting county in Pennsylvania has under 15k.)

261.last: Yeah. His wife has aliens in her knees!


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:32 AM
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I's also expect, linked to poverty, that a small population means a very small voting population because ages are going to skew young. Also, KY is a state that disenfranchises felons, full stop.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:34 AM
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262: This. Someone who wants to say "fuck you" to coastal liberals but who is completely unconcerned with the racist implication of the Confederate flag, I've really got a problem with them (which I might choke back in the interests of political expediency and thinking that they might be convertible, but still).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:36 AM
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Living in Germany made me somewhat question whether the US has the right approach to free speech. I think banning the confederate flag, politicians and political parties who promote the confederacy, and white supremacist groups would be pretty reasonable.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:40 AM
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Tennessee has pretty small counties too, though.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:41 AM
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262: There isn't really an equivalent handy symbol just lying around, is there?

265: Agreed it takes a certain willful blindness to the racist and treasonous nature of the things done under that flag.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:46 AM
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Replying to my own 268.1, I guess the Gadsden Flag is doing a pretty good job there. Maybe in time people will switch.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:48 AM
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266 Not to mention putting lefties on official employment blacklists (joined ANSWR in college, want to be a teacher or nurse or city planner, too bad), criminally investigating politicians who call the President a fucking warmonger... Bans on extremist speech don't just affect the people you want them to. They're used against anyone who expressed what a broad cross section of the elite believes are unacceptable opinions. The Verfassungsschutz spends at least as much of its energy going after the leftwing Verfassungsfeindliche as it does the right wing ones.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:48 AM
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I'm fine with "racist white people" being the US's political problem to a first approximation, but it's still kind of misleading about what the real problem is, which is conservative-libertariansm (often prompted by racism, but still). Sweden and Germany and England prove that you can still have a pretty redistributionist state and restraints on capitalism with a population full of racist white people; demographics and history work differently in the US, but even so you were able to win a lot of white racists for the New Deal (as Alabama's "Song of the South" demonstrates).

The laissez faire, anti-State streak in US politics is older than and different from racism generally and Southern racism in particular; notably, it was largely dominant in the roughly 45 years that the party that won the Civil War completely ran the country.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:55 AM
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270 is eye-opening. Reminds me of how even though we have constant threats against the government by right-wing weapon hoarders, it seems like when cops do practice exercises the threat is always eco-terrorists or some such B.S. Really, THAT is what the powers that be are afraid of?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:55 AM
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I guess it's not "older than" the racism, that was a pretty dumb thing to say. But my point is that the American attitude to the State, which has largely ruined the country for social democracy and may be ruining the world b/c of climate change, is different from and deeper than "racism" specifically and certainly from Southern racism, since it's also largely the legacy of the exact people who won the civil war for the North.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:05 AM
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since it's also largely the legacy of the exact people who won the civil war for the North.

Spin this out for me? I mean, if it means that industry won the War for the North, and that rich industrialists fund the Republican party now, I guess I follow you, but that seems like a weird usage of 'exact people'.

Overall, I was trying to get at this in 196. I think racism is politically important because the plutocrat/class warriors have done an incredibly successful job of harnessing it. The plutocrat/class warriors, who drive the attitude toward the state that you correctly deplore, are the real problem, and aren't necessarily personally driven by racism. But without their use of racism as a tool, they'd be much easier to fight.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:17 AM
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Retracting 274.1 -- never mind, I looked back at 271, which explains exactly what I was a little puzzled by.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:19 AM
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274 -- I meant the Republican Party of 1876-1915, which largely defined itself on the basis of both having won the civil war and a kind of nominal (though in practice unenforced) anti-racism and on anti-unionism and generally laissez faire economics. That's a very incomplete and maybe unfair picture of the Republican Party, particularly the progressives at the end of that period, but it's true that the people who were responsible for pro industry, laissez faire, anti-union policies in the later 19th century were very heavily Union officers and also heavily identified with the party of Lincoln.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:24 AM
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"Not to mention putting lefties on official employment blacklists"

THAT'S JUST WRONG


Posted by: OPINIONATED NED FLANDERS | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:25 AM
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If I'd been paying attention, I would have understood that from 271, which really was clear. In my defense, I'm also working.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:25 AM
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Very unusually for my commenting here, I'm not "working" now, but also 271 wasn't that clear.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:29 AM
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Just last week toured the Paine Museum in Oshcosh. Owner was a fiercely anti-union industrialist. In his office was a large portrait of his uncle/namesake, a Union officer killed at Chickamauga. Physical manifestation of what RH is referring to.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:57 AM
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I'll endorse 271, mostly, which is why I used the phrase "first degree of approximation". I don't think the Bircher/Goldwaterian strain of American politics is actually synonymous with the George Wallace wing, but thanks to ideological sorting, there's less and less gap.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 12:27 PM
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I guess they're separable, but the Goldwater strain specifically immediately latched on the Wallace wing by defining the Civil Rights Act as the most obvious offense against libertarian dogma. Given the existence of all the other aspects of the regulatory state that drew much less outrage from Goldwater types, I have to think that there was a lot of real sympathy in the Goldwater camp with people who objected to the Civil Rights Act on racial, rather than libertarian, grounds.

To put it another way, I think libertarian-Goldwater types tend to be either (a) cynical plutocrats who have no interest in reducing the power of the State except as it applies to them or (b) racists who are delighted to find cover for their less acceptable beliefs, with a scattering of (c) decent people who are using odd terminology for reasonable concerns about the power of the State and tend to drift away from the other two types as they get older.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 12:50 PM
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I agree that there's a merger of the multiple strands, but calling it "racism" I think obscures more than it reveals -- the primary interest has always been locally powerful groups who feel threatened by an expansion of the franchise to people different than them and want to maintain their power (economic, familial, whatever) from being redistributed (think small business owners, farmers, religious conservatives, etc).* While that very most definitely has strong racial overtones in the US, it's not quite the same thing as plutocrats playing the race card.

*I'm super influenced by Corey Robin here, who convinced me that there's really just one general theory of conservatism.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 2:07 PM
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What I keep on getting stuck on is that racism is the effective sales pitch for that kind of conservatism, which makes racism a sine qua non for the level of success it's had here.

Not that enlightened topless Europe is political nirvana, but for a long time they (waving vaguely at an entire continent and the islands off the coast) were successfully able to provide politically plausible/successful alternatives to it in a way we weren't, and it seems clear to me (waving vaguely at an argument that would take a lot of work to solidly support) that American conservatives successfully tied racism to conservatism in a way that European conservatives didn't. Not that there aren't European racists, but that single-payer-health-care-is-oppression-because-black-people is the argument that worked for conservatives here and either wasn't attempted or wasn't successfully made there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 2:15 PM
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The flag is a rallying point -- which is what flags are for -- and serves a validating function, like Fox News.

I know there are people that are using the flag for Fuck You Coastal Liberals. Two points: (1) no one gets a pass in 2014 for lack of awareness of the primary message of the thing and (2) what did Coastal Liberals ever do to you? Other than make you treat women and minorities like actual human beings. And make you teach science in your schools.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 2:49 PM
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(2) what did Coastal Liberals ever do to you? Other than make you treat women and minorities like actual human beings. And make you teach science in your schools.

And being so effete with their kale or bitter herbs whatever Obama ate that time. Arugula.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 2:52 PM
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I think it's the combination of homogeneity, rapid broad based economic growth, and recent memories of extreme deprivation. Most of the European welfare state was adopted in the three decades after WWII with living standards skyrocketing, negligible unemployment, and relatively low numbers of immigrants, many of whom were in any case seen as temporary. Certainly the past two decades have seen plenty of racially charged demonization of the poor, and a drastic slow down or modest reversal of the welfare state.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:14 PM
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it seems like when cops do practice exercises the threat is always eco-terrorists or some such B.S.

You and I must be going to different exercises.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:27 PM
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Somehow conservative racists in Europe are either Christian Democrats who are way to the left of the Republican Party, or far right parties which are not treated as mainstream. Somehow in the US our religious conservatives and the far right conservatives have an alliance that doesn't happen the same way in post-Fascist Europe.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:37 PM
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I think perhaps some of your colleagues took my 16.last a bit too literally.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:44 PM
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The relationship between being far right and being right wing on economics is a lot less true in Europe than here and the mainstream conservatives tend to run the spectrum from pretty damn right wing on economic matters to center left (no, being loudly in favor of very popular existing welfare state stuff while wanting to 'reform' it doesn't mean you're not right wing, just that you're not into political suicide).


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:48 PM
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Apparently, I'm staying in a hotel room that once housed Al Capone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 3:57 PM
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292: After all, why would they lie about that?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 4:13 PM
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292 Ask to see the hotel safe.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 4:59 PM
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||At the library now with the kid and there's a little girl here, maybe 3 years old, who sounds exactly like Pootietang. My kid is playing with her and she's like Zabbba doobee shooo, for wizzle shizzle shay!" Said with enthusiasm.|>


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 5:16 PM
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I feel like this website doesn't focus enough on making fun of the small children of strangers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 5:51 PM
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296: One of mine just said, "I'm sad all the time because I missed you when you were a little girl!" and then in a very angry voice, "I WANT YOU!" so apparently I'm raising creepy stalkers.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 6:07 PM
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290: Man, people are losing their shit and sending in death threats over a dog. What a mess.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 6:19 PM
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American conservatives successfully tied racism to conservatism in a way that European conservatives didn't.

I'd have guessed that post-WWII European politics were an anomaly in this respect, since the memory of the Nazis probably made it impossible for any side to make an explicitly racist appeal.

I think racism gets a lot of its potency from economic distress -- it's not merely a matter of personal opinion. White working-class men face a lot more competition today (from women, immigrants and globalization) than they did 50 years ago. Racism and hostility towards elites are convenient outlets for that frustration.

I don't see any good way for liberals to address the racism aspect of this; what should they do, express sympathy for a formerly privileged class that is encountering a fair playing field for the first time?

I think there might be some constructive response to the anti-elitism, but I'm not sure what it is.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 7:14 PM
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Somehow in the US our religious conservatives and the far right conservatives have an alliance that doesn't happen the same way in post-Fascist Europe.

Our authoritarian conservatives spent decades hating Communists. Their authoritarian conservatives were Communists.

In the East, anyway.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 7:21 PM
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I spent all night drinking in what used to be a Jc penny's and now can't feel my lips. This is a metaphor or some thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:44 PM
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Goodnight very distant reprobates.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:48 PM
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Good night, Moby.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 10:59 PM
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Good morning, teo.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:03 PM
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Good morning, Awl.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:05 PM
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(They look exactly the same here, so it's not hard for me to switch back and forth.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:06 PM
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IYKWIMAITYD?


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:08 PM
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Indeed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:09 PM
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Seriously, though, it's 10:15 PM and the view from my window could easily be mistaken for 10:15 AM.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-27-14 11:19 PM
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I don't see any good way for liberals to address the racism aspect of this; what should they do, express sympathy for a formerly privileged class that is encountering a fair playing field for the first time?

I think framing the triumph of global finance capital as "those privileged white working class males are meeting fair play for first time" is maybe the problem here.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 12:37 AM
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I think it's the combination of homogeneity, rapid broad based economic growth, and recent memories of extreme deprivation. Most of the European welfare state was adopted in the three decades after WWII with living standards skyrocketing, negligible unemployment, and relatively low numbers of immigrants, many of whom were in any case seen as temporary. Certainly the past two decades have seen plenty of racially charged demonization of the poor, and a drastic slow down or modest reversal of the welfare state.

I was going to make a comment along these lines. Much of the welfare state was set up 1) before high levels of immigration, and 2) in the shadow of The War. Now, since social welfare programs generally make society better for everyone, it's a lot harder to dismantle than to not set up in the first place. There are cranky racist Europeans who might go on about how polygamous Somalis with their 5 wives and 30 children are using up all the social services, but if they are politically active, they're more likely pushing to limit immigration instead of trying to dismantle national healthcare.

Somehow conservative racists in Europe are either Christian Democrats who are way to the left of the Republican Party, or far right parties which are not treated as mainstream. Somehow in the US our religious conservatives and the far right conservatives have an alliance that doesn't happen the same way in post-Fascist Europe.

This too. Though I'm not super sanguine about the far right parties remaining on the fringe. I'm hoping Greece is an anomaly and not a canary. Interestingly, a lot of center-right Europeans look on in envy at the US immigration system, which they see as a huge success. They see us as dealing with waves of Catholic immigrants willing to work hard without complaint and who desperately want to assimilate into American culture. Of course, there's little interrogation as to root causes of why they have a lot of angry alienated Muslim youths in their cities.

To the extent larger cultural differences come into play (caveat of all sorts of overgeneralizing going on), there really is an ideology of libertarianism and 'self-reliance' that runs deep in the US that doesn't really exist in the same way in Europe. Europeans whatever their differences seem to generally accept that living in collective society requires submitting to a social contract. They may fight over the type of governance, but rarely over the idea of governance, at least not in the realm of actual politics. In contrast it seems deep down Americans think of ourselves as self-sufficient Gentleman Farmers who happen to live in close proximity to each other. FREEDOM is a core value that we're always worried about losing, no matter how tenuous or inappropriate of a value it is in any particular instance, e.g. the 'freedom' to die of untreated medical conditions free from government interference, freedom from government enforcement of workplace safety standards, freedom of Nazis to march down the streets of Skokie, etc. A lot of this is nonsensical or downright perverse to Europeans.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 12:43 AM
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So, anyways, part of the uphill battle in the US is reframing the government as protector of our freedoms against other forms of oppression (corporate, religious, etc.), rather than as the exclusive source of oppression, as Republicans have semi-successfully done. With corporatism somehow synonymous with "The Free Market" in a lot of political discourse, this is going to be hard to do.

American religion is also a bit of a problem. We were the recipients of Puritans and a lot of the anarchist theocrats kicked out of Europe. In Southern Europe, freedom of church and state is as much about protecting the state from a powerful religious hierarchy as it is about protecting religion from the state. N. Europe basically just has statist Christianity, where the two are combined but ultimately the church is subordinate to the state. We have a bunch of religious denominations that grew out of traditions actively hostile to the state and who see the secular political realm ultimately as subordinate to the sacred.

TL;DR: Europeans in general don't have to deal with militant anarchist Christian groups who see the state as illegitimate. In Catholic countries, people in the mainstream are pretty on guard against what they see as church interference into the state, in Protestant countries those sects not willing to play nice with the govt. came to the US or stayed marginalized.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 1:13 AM
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Far-right, or at least harder right, views on immigration and Europe are becoming more mainstream in the UK as the Tories tack right to counter the perceived threat of UKIP. I'm never quite sure how seriously to take the supposed threat of UKIP, though. They are, after all, a party with zero MPs. And, as Alex has outlined on his blog, they aren't purely a party comprised of people with right-wing or racist views.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 2:41 AM
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||

NMM2 Bobby Womack

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 5:36 AM
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I think framing the triumph of global finance capital as "those privileged white working class males are meeting fair play for first time" is maybe the problem here.

That's not what I meant. When I said "fair play," I was referring to the fact that for many desirable jobs, the pool of applicants is now much more diverse than it used to be. I think that is generally a good thing, in the sense of treating people fairly, and it is caused by changes in cultural norms.

As for global finance and capital, I think it's curious how it seems to benefit the very wealthy (obviously) and the very poor (because an exploitative factory job is still arguably better than being a peasant farmer), at the expense of everyone in between. It's curiously morally ambiguous. (And now I feel like I should have been reading those Piketty discussions...)


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 9:30 AM
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315: I wrote a response last night, decided it was hopelessly naive, and binned it. I think part of the answer is that there are two competing systems that would both be improved by transparency in hiring/promotion. Things like affirmative action and non-discrimination seem to lead to resentment about "unqualified minorities" receiving unfair promotion, when really, everyone has to meet the same minimum requirements. (I'm thinking public sector in particular.) The problem is that resentment is strong, and employment records of job applicants shouldn't be publicly available. Nepotism/elitism is the other problem, which is actually unfair, but maybe not seen in the same way among disaffected white folks. I think transparency would help, but I have no idea what that might look like, plus the jobs where this comes into play are more about connections and soft skills, which don't lend themselves to a checklist for job applicants.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 9:49 AM
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316: Sort of relatedly, I wonder whether one could do anonymous ("blind") hiring, where an employer would evaluate people's applications without seeing their names. It seems like, at least for some jobs, you could understand someone's previous work experience and recommendation letters just fine without seeing their name, and it would help avoid bias due to gender and ethnicity.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 10:45 AM
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They could conduct interviews over gchat. If a computer ever got hired then something something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 10:48 AM
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I'm sure Skynet would be an extremely competent lab manager.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 10:53 AM
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Probably pushy about budget requests.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 11:20 AM
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I don't think this thread has spent enough time blaming the Constitution and the methods it set up for interpreting the Constitution for some of the early failed attempts to build the US welfare state.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 1:08 PM
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||

Help me here, please. I'm trying to order transcripts and I need to reset the password for my account at one of my degree granting institutions. It gives me a new password in the form of:

To determine your new password join together the following elements, in numerical order:
1. Last four digits in Home Phone Number
2. The first character is the Capitalized Letter ' H '
3. House Number (or P.O. Box Number) in Home Address
4. First character of lowercase ZIP/Postal code in Home Address

Just WTF is a lowercase ZIP code? This is driving me crazy.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 1:14 PM
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You've clearly gone to a site that's been hacked or spoofed for phishing purposes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 1:21 PM
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Trying to account for postal codes from countries that use letters?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 1:25 PM
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It's also internally contradictory. Is the capital H the first or the fifth character? Could be either, depending on how you read it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 1:29 PM
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That must be it. I got it finally. I think I messed up on one of the other steps misremembering what was the last address I have on file with them.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 1:31 PM
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And shouldn't it be 'sequential order' and not 'numerical order'?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 1:32 PM
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Want me to just grab their whole database for you?


Posted by: Helpful Skynet | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 1:35 PM
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Sequence is FIFO.
I can guess many people have an H in their password.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 06-28-14 2:28 PM
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