Don't Shout "Racist!" in a Crowded Theater
Jun 15, 201308:56PM
About a year ago, John Scalzi wrote a post about how "being white is the easy setting in the game of life."
Right there we see that he's assuming middle class, Midwestern Americans, because there are quite a few places in the world where being white won't help you at all. He's basing his assessment of humanity on his own upbringing in a very nice part of Ohio. Subjective, and incomplete.
He got flak. You won't find a lot of it because it's the kind of discussion he feels has to be "carefully managed."
He plans to do a followup:
"Hey, remember a year ago when I wrote a piece talking about how being a straight white male was like playing the game of life on the lowest difficulty setting? And then a bunch of straight white dudes lost their minds about it?"
TRANSLATION: "I demeaned a group based on their race. By objecting to this, they're racist, even if they're not of that race."
Actually, no, John. A bunch of people of various ethnic backgrounds, from Hispanic to non-American white to black to mixed Native American and black took issue with it, because it was at best shallow, and at worst a projection of white liberal guilt. http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/item/thoughts-and-interviews-on-race-and-culture
Predictably, when invited to discuss the issue further with the above people, in a polite email, Scalzi completely ignored the issue. I can't presume his motives, but someone did suggest that the purpose of his posts is more to promote his books in the guilt-ridden, white, racist, liberal sellout market than to actually accomplish debate. To support this, they offered his tendency to "carefully manage" blog comments (newspeak for "censor dissenting opinions").
In fact, even a BLACK liberal writer made several critiques of his position, starting with Scalzi's own self-described "passive-aggressive" approach to never identifying characters' race, so people can "assume" whatever they want, which means, of course, the whites generally assume the characters are white, and in a white-dominated nation, those of other ethnicities do too, because that's the default setting in contemporary America that he mentioned. In other words, he's not actually doing anything about the problem except whining.
But for dissenting with him, he seems to presume I'm prejudiced, when I've written POV characters who are identified as female, black, Asian, Hispanic, gay, bisexual, transsexual and even white. Projecting much?
But note: His assumption is that dissenters MUST be white, and MUST be angry with the fact that they're privileged. I do sense projection here, because this is the man who defines "being poor" as being ashamed of a free school lunch, or not paying utility bills on time. Which sounds tragic to people who saved every penny to move nations, learned new languages, worked in the sex industry to pay bills, stole food from work or simply got no lunch at all, and I know plenty of such, and even fit a couple of those categories myself. So as I've said before: I have no doubt from his scribblings that Scalzi played life on the easy setting. Now that he's gotten rich, he needs to properly excoriate his success to avoid being a bad liberal.
An actual racist (I've met a few) would say, "Well, yes, I've done well, because I'm genetically and intellectually better than those lesser races." They would have no reason to get upset with his post, because it would tell them exactly what they wanted to hear: That they're at the top of the heap, awesome.
Now, there is racism in America (why, I don't know. I'm an immigrant, I don't get it, and as I've said before, you all look like Americans to me. Most people accept that statement. I've had a few people, always "liberal," tell me that I don't see any difference because I'm "white." And 95 times out of 100, it's a white "liberal" who brings up race first.) And the ways to defeat racism generally come down to treating individuals on their merits, and attempting to correct injustice when identified.
Writing all your characters as default setting whites, shouting "RACIST!" and culling blog posts is probably not an ideal way to accomplish either goal. I had lengthy discussions with black writers and editors about Scalzi's post, and their concurrence seemed to be that it was shallow. I'll go a step further: It was an elitist white male passively-aggressively talking down to others about how awesome he is, but he feels guilty about it, so don't judge him too harshly.
Sorry, John, if you assume that ONLY white males could disagree, that any dissenter MUST fit that demographic, that your subjective opinion is inerrant, you have the problem.
Blog posts won't fix it.
ZOMG! USAF TELLS AIRMEN NOT TO READ THE NEWS!!!!!!WTFBBQ
Jun 10, 201303:32PM
No, they didn't.
I just had to cover this with friends who don't believe me.
The story is bullshit from beginning to end.
Okay, NSA information may be in the public domain. It remains, however, "classified." If you download it onto a computer, they can, in theory, have a problem.
This doesn't matter to most users.
_IF_ you have a gov't computer or contract computer with NIPRNET access, you MAY put the stolen classified information onto your secure USAF computer.
At this point, there has to be a nerd slapfight between USAF computer security, assuring NSA computer security, that the information has been removed. USAF can't let NSA search its classified data, and NSA can't take their word for it, and can't tell USAF exactly what is at risk.
IOW, nobody wants to do the reams of paperwork involved in a menage a trois security leak that probably isn't anything to worry about anyway.
So they're saying, "Don't use your controlled access to reference ANYTHING to do with this case."
It's closing the barn after the horse escaped, but it's a necessary CYA.
Feel free to contact the unit (it's a single unit) PAO and ask for clarification.
Oh, and watch for black helicopt
Of course, even his opponent seems to be unaware of the Heller Decision, and doesn't see a problem in compromising a right.
"Universal background checks without registration" are mutually exclusive. The one predicates the other.
And once you allow someone to define limits on a right, they can then move the goalposts, and have.
From a civil liberties POV, it doesn't matter how many people are alleged to die. We could jail more criminals without that pesky Fifth Amendment, too.
Of course, the columnist is also defending the Patriot Act. Which likely puts him at odds with most Americans.
Back to the opponent endorsing safe storage--define it. What constitutes safe? At what point am I liable for someone else's actions? Should someone be criminally liable if their minor accesses porn on an "insecure" computer?
They're both statists. One is just slightly less statist than the other.
A pox on both their houses.
So I sent this:
11:16 AM (5 minutes ago)
Sorry, sir, but your statements show you clearly lack the professional knowledge to write about firearms in any capacity.
You were slightly less statist than the NYT columnist, which I appreciate.
But there's a huge amount you need to learn in order to have an informed opinion on the matter.
However, I always appreciate writers getting notice and making money. I wish you well.
Recent work from Michael Z. Williamson
TOUR OF DUTY, Baen Books, August 2013
HOW TO SURVIVE THE END OF THE WORLD, National Geographic Channel, 2014 (props and consulting)
http://www.SharpPointyThings.com custom blades and historical costumes
11:18 AM (3 minutes ago)
So sir, but go fuck yourself.
And this guy claims to be on our side.
It's Amazing What One Has To Believe To Be A "Liberal"
Jun 06, 201301:34PM
I thought I posted this a few years back, but it's updated now, so:
That it was legitimate for Bill Clinton to claim military leadership as "head of the Arkansas National Guard" which at the time was sitting at home, but illegitimate for Sarah Palin to claim military leadership as head of the Alaska National Guard in wartime, with all the supplemental Arctic rescue missions it performs.
That Palin is unfit for office because her daughter is pregnant at 17, and her husband had a DUI a decade ago. This does not apply to Obama, whose mother was pregnant at 17 and whose father had multiple DUIs.
That Vice-Presidential candidate Palin serving as governor for two years, mayor for a decade, with prior experience as a councilwoman has "very little executive experience," compared to Presidential Candidate Obama's…ZERO executive experience.
That Obama is qualified because he was a "community organizer" in Chicago. Just like Al Capone (who ran soup kitchens and thrift shops).
That Obama has more executive experience than "Mayor" Palin, with a monthly budget of $21 million and 2500 employees, conveniently forgetting that "Governor" Palin had 77,000 employees, two foreign nations to deal with, and a monthly budget of $1.2 billion.
That there's nothing questionable about someone spending $21 million a month to get a job that pays $400,000 a year, when that candidate claims to care about the poor.
That the collapse of financial institutions because of bad lending practices mandated by law under Bill Clinton, which led to one of Obama's friends making tens of millions of dollars, is the fault of the Bush administration.
That the Democrats will have withdrawal strategies to remove our troops from the Balkans, Korea, Germany, Japan, the Philippines and Italy Real Soon Now.
That gas prices going up are good for the environment, and bad for the economy, and something must be done about it.
That oil companies operating at less than a 10% margin are evil bastards, unlike those banks and pharmaceutical companies operating at 30%.
That a "windfall profits tax" will show those oil companies, because they would NEVER raise pump prices to recoup the cost.
That a "windfall profits tax" would show those oil companies, especially the four largest who are not US owned or based.
That society must come first, at the expense of the corporations who employ people and generate capital, of the doctors, engineers and other professionals who create society, and that society owes a debt to homeless illiterates for their great contributions.
That Obama finds it acceptable to join a "Coalition of nations" (like in Iraq) to "Remove a despot" (like in Iraq) and "Save innocent populations (like in Iraq) with "UN sanctions" (like in Iraq) but the war in Iraq is wrong.
That the failure of New Orleans cops in the dome to stop the rapes was the fault of BUSH, and not the fault of the MAYOR, whose department it was.
That despite hurricanes Camille and Andrew and warnings from experts going back 20 years and the fact that New Orleans is below sea level, Bush is at fault for not taking precautions for Katrina.
That the governor of Louisiana wouldn't sign over control of the Guard to the feds voluntarily, had a civilian with no military experience attempting to run that operation, waited 24 hours to "think about" Bush' offer of help, spent four hours on TV at a "prayer vigil," and Bush was at fault for the suffering.
That “Easily accessible” New Orleans should have been repaired within hours of “a little rain.”
That despite New Orleans having a Democrat Mayor, a Democrat City Council, and a Democrat Chief of Police, Louisiana having a Democrat Governor, a Democrat Lt. Governor, a Democrat Attorney General; 24 of 39 Democrat State Senators, 67 of 105 Democrat State Representatives, a Democrat Representative in the House from New Orleans, and one of two Senators a Democrat, the disaster after Hurricane Katrina was the fault of the Republicans.
That Bush is responsible for the shortage of military manpower because of the force reductions that took place in 1995.
That Bush should keep his nose out of local matters, but should have stuck his nose into New Orleans pre-emptively with troops.
That Bush should have provided buses to get people out of New Orleans, with no local request, no federal authority, no way to force people aboard, and for all those people who have cars but didn't use them.
That people couldn't evacuate from New Orleans because they didn't have cars, despite the short walking distance, the mass transit, the helpful people giving rides. Why? Because the GOVERNMENT should do it for people.
That the governor of Louisiana refusing to let other states' National Guard troops enter the state is Bush' fault.
That the weather problems that have been growing for the last 100 years were created by Bush' environmental policies. Karl Rove was probably in on it, too.
That the Corps of Engineers recommended a control dam in lieu of levees in the 1950s, and is responsible for the failure of the levees.
That the liberal eco-freaks who demanded levees are not responsible for their failure. Nor are they responsible for the pollution, decline of aquaculture and decline of bayou due to the levees preventing floodwaters from dispersing silt on a regular basis.
That the lack of buses for evacuation in New Orleans wasn’t the fault of the mayor, but was the fault of G.W. Bush, who secretly sent the Navy SEALs in the night before to cut all the fuel lines, just so blacks would suffer.
That we should have sent people down who "cared." They wouldn't have had anywhere to stay, any supplies, any way into the city or any way to get people out other than the tools already in use. But they'd have "Cared."
That Bush was evil for creating HSA and giving FEMA so much power, and should have given it more money and more power for the Katrina disaster.
That the government should have done something about the looting in New Orleans, and not worried about the looting while more important things were going on, and stopped the looting that affected people's lives, but not stopped the looting that was people getting back at "society" for its evils, and stopped the looting, and, and...
That Bush should have stopped the looters, but in a sensitive and compassionate way that respected them as people, to get at the root cause of the looting.
That Bush was wrong for flying over New Orleans without landing, and was wrong for going into New Orleans and wasting time.
That Bush' environmental policy caused hurricane Katrina, which was not the worst storm in history.
That putting refugees into military facilities was “imprisonment,” because of course, they should all have been put up at the Hilton.
That it was a good thing to give out credit cards with $2000 on them for refugees in New Orleans to use to replace critical necessities like plasma screen TVs and Louis Vuitton purses while shopping in nearby Atlanta.
That areas below sea level and subject to flooding are wetlands and must be preserved for nature, as long as they’re occupied by white farmers and not poverty-stricken blacks and bare-breasted college chicks in New Orleans.
That Bush' policy on experimental research with stem cells, which authorized more lines than had existed previously, was insufficient.
And directly lead to the death of Christopher Reeves, as it was GUARANTEED that research would have found a cure that could have been implemented in time to save him.
That US "Dual use equipment" sold to Iraq was military aid, and the "dual use equipment" was all used for peaceful purposes.
That Kuwait, a British Protectorate until 1961, was "A legal part of Iraq" which was a British Protectorate until 1918.
That Iraq has billions of dollars worth of US military equipment like Kalashnikov rifles, Mikoyan-Gurevich planes, Mil helicopters, ZSU armored vehicles, T-72 tanks and SCUD missiles.
That the Soviet weapons Iraq had were a "Secret deal" bought with US $$, arranged by those Soviet loving presidents, Reagan and Bush.
That all nations and governments are to be respected, but the 34 nations backing the US in Iraq are backward puppets.
That "right wing" sources are "Sanitized and biased and have an agenda," so all research should be done with left wing sources that are never sanitized nor biased and have no agenda.
That despite Bush coordinating with Putin to reduce US and Russian warheads from 6000 to 2000, he's a hateful warmonger.
That a family member of a US politician getting a government contract is nepotism and fascism, but a family member of a UN politician getting a UN contract is coincidence or properly vetted.
That embedded reporters never get hurt because they're "pawns," not because they're on the SAFE SIDE of the most powerful weapons in the region when a fight starts.
That US troops have deliberately killed lots of journalists, like, um...er...um...
That Sgrena was deliberately targeted by troops who knew she was coming, while she was traveling at a moderate rate of speed that caused only moderate hydroplaning, then missed her with hundreds of bullets from an armored vehicle and barely scratched her car, killed a "security" man, detained her, released her to tell her story...oh, come ON! Not even a Communist can be stupid enough to believe this psychotic crap.
That the enlightened, non-bigoted, non-Fascist liberals of the Blue States control most of the economy, so they should get to decide the elections and economic concerns of the nation, and that the Red States are largely redneck, illiterate, Bible-thumping trash who don’t deserve a vote.
That the "intelligence failures" around Sept 11 go "all the way to the top." But only the conservative top, not the liberal top.
That the US didn't give "enough" tsunami aid (26 Dec, 2004), to people who declined to participate in the Tsunami Warning System when it was set up in 1948.
That after the US did give "Enough," it was evil for "undermining" the UN, the only body with the "moral authority" to give aid, by setting up a joint venture with the UK, Australia and Japan to deliver it.
That the UN would have been as honest with tsunami aid as they were with the Oil for Food program. Oh, wait...
That the tsunami's 250,000 casualties were an unprecedented disaster that had to be dealt with at once, unlike the millions of ongoing dead in Africa.
That Bush was wrong for not speaking out about the tsunami at once, but it was okay for Kofi Annan to finish his three day ski trip in Jackson Hole before flying back to New York to "lead the effort."
That global warming is a serious issue because if the average temperature rises another 1˚C, it will be almost as warm as it was during the Viking Era.
That Bill Clinton operating in Somalia and Haiti without a UN mandate was good, but G.W. Bush operating in Iraq without a UN mandate was bad.
That France operating in Cote d’Ivoire without a UN mandate is okay, but the US operating in Iraq without a UN mandate is bad. (NOTE: we now have a UN mandate.)
That the potential profit from oil in Iraq makes the entire war unjustified and immoral, and we should instead go to war in Zimbabwe where there are no US interests, just to prove our morality.
That the people of Iraq must therefore be sacrificed for the moral good, to avoid the risk of an immoral profit.
That gas prices went up not because of growing industry in Asia, new regulations on refining and civil unrest in Venezuela, but because “Bush has oil interests.”
That gas prices are going up because of the oil companies’ political maneuverings. This would mean there is no shortage driving the prices.
That the doubling of gas prices in 1999 eighteen months before the election was Bush’s fault.
That the doubling of oil prices from 2000-2005, during two wars, was a heinous personal profit by Bush.
That gas hitting half the price (in adjusted dollars) that it hit in 1983 proves this.
That a neighborhood watch is a good thing, unless that neighborhood is on the border where illegal immigrants flood through, in which case it's racist vigilanteism.
That euthanasia of terminally ill patients is a good thing, and mercy killings of critically wounded enemy soldiers is a bad thing.
That liberal Democrats are not racists, and voted against Condi Rice purely from principle, while criticizing Bush for not having "enough" minorities in his cabinet.
That we have a "right wing" press who made serious hay out of this event.
That allowing military recruiters on campus violates the professors' "Free speech" to speak ill of the military.
That Caucasians who riot or kill should be jailed, but minorities who riot or kill are misunderstood and lashing out against repression the only way they have. This is not a condescending, racist attitude.
That "Africans" have a "different sense of time" than Caucasians, and it is wrong to fire a black employee for tardiness or absenteeism. This attitude is not condescending or racist toward blacks.
That legislators fleeing the state to prevent a vote is a "Stand."
That collectively storming out of Congress because the Supreme Court made a decision you didn't like isn't a temper tantrum worthy of a three year old.
That selling out your party and swapping alliances after giving voters your word is an act of bravery.
That the Patriot Act, allowing the government to obtain library or bookstore records as “an important tool for investigating and intercepting terrorism” even though they haven't done so is morally repugnant, but banning assault weapons that haven't been used in crime IS "An important tool for fighting crime and terrorism."
That one should serve 2 years in jail for possessing but not using an “assault weapon” in California, and get probation for molesting one’s children.
That by sending food to Saddam we lightened his economic burden so he could buy weapons, therefore we bought him weapons.
That Enron and Arthur Andersen broke the law under Bill Clinton and were punished under George Bush and this is the fault of the Republicans.
That free trade is bad but open borders are good.
That enlisting in the military and traveling to Iraq to fight is a stupid and cowardly copout to the Neocon conspiracy, but ripping "Bless Our Troops" stickers off cars is a brave act of defiance.
That poor people "Have to" enlist in the US Military, because of a Neocon conspiracy to deprive them of jobs.
That the predominantly college educated white male membership of the US military are "minorities" who had no choice but to enlist.
That the predominantly college educated membership of the US military are "poor dumb cattle" who are ignorant of politics.
That there is a "Growing 'Progressive' majority" who apparently don't vote.
That the conspiracy around elections is so huge that Kerry only won CA by 9%.
That 51% is not a mandate for GW Bush, but 38% was a landslide for bill clinton.
That someone on death row who asks to stop appeals and die is sick and incompetent and should be kept alive, but a person who chooses to die when sick should be allowed to.
That the US sold Saddam the weapons of mass destruction he didn't have.
That closing military installations is a good thing, unless it's a base in a liberal congressleech's district that spends billions to employ hundreds.
That a crucifix in a jar of urine is "art" and a Quran in a restroom at a prison is a "Hate crime."
That one should never criticize a person's physical appearance or infirmities, and Ann Coulter is a "deformed skank."
That to counterpoint a "mean people suck" bumper sticker, one should also stick on a "neuter Newt" sticker. And it's not a mean sentiment.
That Alan Greenspan is controlled by Karl Rove, who had him appointed under Bill Clinton.
That it is acceptable for Muslims to kill Christians and Jews, kill missionaries, burn Bibles, destroy Hindu shrines and build mosques from the rubble, but if an American kicks a Quran, it's a war crime and we're running a "gulag."
That the best way to make a statement is to wear a "Defeat Capitalism and Bush!" Tshirt when ordering coffee at Starbucks.
That it was necessary to "determine the intent" of Democratic voters in FL in 2000. This does not mean those voters were too stupid to read a name and punch a hole in paper, given pre-perforated paper, a series of holes and a punch, on a ballot designed by their own party.
That it was necessary to "determine the intent" of voters who didn't vote the straight party ticket, because no voter ever votes outside their party.
That a good liberal opposes letting people use guns to defend themselves and their businesses because of the benefits of crime to police, insurance companies and large corporations who can afford the loss their smaller competitors can't. Only a "rightwinger" would support letting an individual engage in self-determination.
That when a Democrat Congress refused to support Bush’s tax policy and shut down the government, that was the Republicans’ fault, and when a Republican Congress refused to support Clinton’s tax policy and shut down the government, that was the Republicans’ fault, too. And again for 0bama.
That the Bush administration imprisoned dozens of people under the guise of the war on terror, far worse than FDR who imprisoned only 110,000 Nissei (and other Asians, because they "all look alike"), German-Americans and Italian-Americans in WWII in concentration camps with inadequate food, water and medicine without even accusations, looted and sold their property, attempted to pack the Supreme Court with six additional Justices and had the FBI investigating waitresses who talked to soldiers and sailors as potential "spies" or "prostitutes" and is a textbook example of a liberal icon.
That Republican Strom Thurmond should have apologized for his party’s actions regarding civil rights in the 1950s, when he was a Democrat. (per Daschle)
That no Republican ever helped civil rights, except possibly Abraham Lincoln.
That Democrats run all the low-crime, high-standard of living cities like Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago and DC.
That Bush started a war in Iraq for no good reason, unlike the wars Bill Clinton started in Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, Haiti and Bosnia.
That Bush cleverly used a time machine to go back to 1987 to give Bechtel contracts in Iraq.
That democrats believe in free speech and artistic expression, like Tipper Gore with her Parents Music Resource Center.
That bill clinton was great for keeping a defense plant open and saving “hundreds of jobs” at a cost of several billion dollars, when he could have paid the employees $1 million lump sum each in severance and spent less.
That using taxpayer money to send poor inner city children to the same schools rich liberals send their children to is “elitist.”
That to keep the pet rats one is giving away safe, a simple note of “No breeders or feeders” will suffice. And of course, ALL labs prefer using pets of unknown origin to lab raised rats with a clean genetic background.
That it is IMPOSSIBLE for a nation to survive with a lower tax rate than we have now. No nation has EVER done it. The US barely survived to the present day without proper taxation.
That as soon as “the rich” are “properly taxed” the investment of new capital by those taxed immediately and without delay improves the overall economy.
That a class war is undesirable, as long as those thieving rich Republicans are made to pay. (Paraphrasing Howard Dean's campaign site).
That Americans are bad for not learning the local language when legally traveling abroad, and Americans are bad for not learning the language of our illegal immigrants.
That we can shoot a projectile into a comet by radio control from several million miles away, but that it is “impossible” to shoot down a missile.
That it is impossible to shoot down a missile, and all those successful trials and the several successes with 1960s designed Patriots are flukes.
That Bush is an idiot who couldn’t help in New Orleans, and should have done more in New Orleans.
That Bush is an evil genius who started a war for profit motives and to get re-elected, and made billions and got re-elected, and is an idiot who has no idea what he’s doing in Iraq.
That the press who cruised by people stuck on their roofs during the New Orleans disaster were doing the “Right thing” by “drawing attention” to it without helping.
That the minor celebrities criticizing the press for that were “just trying to make money by drawing attention to themselves.”
That taking the above, no celebrity should ever make a comment about a disaster. Unless it’s a liberal comment, then it’s okay.
That Sean Penn, wearing a flak vest, in a four person boat, with an unplugged bilge, with a friend and his publicists was "brave" for floating out in the floodwaters in NOLA, even though he never actually rescued anyone.
That a conservative government has an obligation to appoint far left judges and cabinet members for “balance,” and a liberal government has an obligation to appoint far left judges and cabinet members to “keep the right out of power.” For balance, of course.
That the US hasn’t been attacked since Sept 11, and we are therefore less safe.
That conservatives who voted based on fears of further attacks are paranoid. Liberals who voted the other way based on fears of further attacks are realistic.
That Osama bin Laden and other self-declared enemies didn’t like Bush, therefore the best thing to do would be to take their advice on who to elect.
That Bush deliberately created environmental conditions to create a hurricane for the purpose of killing blacks.
That Bush had sufficient power to create major storms and major disasters. Maybe we should pray to him in case he becomes a wrathful God.
That Bush was simultaneously an idiot incapable of dealing with Iraq, and a diabolical schemer running a conspiracy so large that none can stop it.
By the way: Bush is Hitler.
That it was a Good Thing when bill clinton bombed peasants in Bosnia to force sociopath Milosevic to take pity on them and surrender, which he didn’t, and it wasn’t fascistic, incompetent or cruel.
That it was a Bad Thing when Bush liberated Iraq from sociopath Hussein, caught him and began building infrastructure, because it was fascistic, incompetent and cruel.
That cyclical variations in climate disprove some of the outlandish claims of Creationists, but not some of the outlandish claims of proponents of “Global Warming.”
That nuclear waste is a horrible disaster waiting to happen, because there is no way to contain it, despite the 2 billion year old natural reaction sites at Oklo, Gabon.
That radiation from nuclear reactions is dangerous for millions of years, and yet people live at Ground Zero in Hiroshima.
That coal is safer than nuclear, despite coal plant explosions killing more people than nuclear, mining killing more people than nuclear, and waste products in the atmosphere killing more people than nuclear.
That GW Bush was responsible for failing to sign the Kyoto Protocols in the 1990s.
That it was a good idea to drill for oil in ANWR in the 1990s when oil investor Al Gore was Vice President, and a bad idea to drill for oil in ANWR in the 2000s when oil investor GW Bush was president.
That a secret Israeli nuclear test caused the earthquake that led to the Dec 26, 2004 tsunami. There are no natural events.
That a secret US earthquake machine led to the Haiti and Chile earthquakes of 2010.
That anti-globalization protesters should use big airlines to fly to Sydney to protest capitalism and globalism.
That the US should “consider other nations’ interests” when we vote. Of course, those nations naturally extend us the same courtesy.
That Alan Greespan is a Republican puppet controlled by Karl Rove, who had him put into power under bill clinton.
That the press has a right wing bias, and the person reporting this is a left wing news commentator.
That one should make up for buying a Mercedes SUV that will never go off road or even bump a railroad track with an “environment” license plate.
That unilateral action in Iraq after Hussein bankrolled terrorists in a foreign country (suicide bombers against Israel), violated 7 U.N. orders over 12 years and sparred with three different administrations was wrong, but unilateral action in Kosovo for purely internal matters was right.
That Kosovo and Bosnia were an immediate threat to the US and our interests and Iraq was not.
That “Bush lied and people died” about being out of Iraq in an undefined amount of time, and Clinton told the truth about being out of Bosnia in six months.
That Bush lied about WMD in Iraq, but Wesley Clark testifying before Congress about WMD in Iraq was just “mistaken.”
That Bush lied about WMD in Iraq, and the 550 tons of yellowcake (enough to build 100-1000 bombs) that Canada bought from the new Iraqi government didn't exist.
That Saddam had that uranium for peaceful purposes for the reactor he was eventually going to build.
That Bush got into the Guard through favors that arranged for him to have a technical degree, perfect eyesight and balance and the ability to pass a flight physical so he could serve in a unit that had already deployed once to Vietnam.
That the 1998 doubling of Halliburton’s military contracts from $284 million was Bush’s fault.
That the Bush administration is helping corporate corruption by convicting or indicting executives of Enron, Arthur Andersen, Tyco International, Worldcom, Adelphia Communications Corporation, Credit Suisse First Boston, HealthSouth Corporation and others, including Martha Stewart, and having the Department of Justice bring charges against 20 executives of Enron alone, and its Corporate Fraud Task Force winning convictions of more than 250 persons to date, and signing the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in 2002, imposing stringent new accounting rules in the wake of the Arthur Andersen scandal. http://www.factcheck.org/
That Steven Kelman, who was administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy during the Clinton administration stating, “One would be hard-pressed to discover anyone with a working knowledge of how federal contracts are awarded...who doesn't regard these allegations (Halliburton) as being somewhere between highly improbable and utterly absurd,” in the Washington Post is lying.
And so is Bill Clinton's Undersecretary Of Commerce William Reinsch who said, “Halliburton has a distinguished track record. They do business in some 120 countries. This is a group of people who know what they're doing in a difficult business. It's a particularly difficult business when people are shooting at you.” (Raleigh, NC) News & Observer
That Halliburton’s $7 billion contract authorization, for which they billed the government $2.5 billion, is a Republican-run ripoff.
That despite having lost the LOGCAP contract in 1997, Halliburton was awarded a no-bid contract by the Clinton administration to perform work for US troops in the Balkans. This is corruption by the Bush administration.
That there’s no point in investigating the fraud in the UN "Oil-for-Food" program instead of Halliburton because Saddam Hussein and Kofi Annan are not candidates in the next presidential election.
That no individual bears blame for wrongdoing. It’s society’s fault. To fix those faults, society needs more power to reign in those ills.
That hurting the stockholders of Enron is a good lesson to other corporations. The thousands of peons unemployed by this are of no concern to a true liberal.
That we should raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour, so we can find out what a $50 cheeseburger tastes like.
That corporate income tax is a good way to get revenue without hurting the individual, because no corporation EVER considers the tax an expense and something to be charged to the consumer.
That the government couldn’t be trusted to treat native peoples and blacks fairly, but can be trusted to treat everyone fairly in the future. This is not racist.
That the Blue States have more infrastructure and industrial wealth, and therefore their votes should count more than those agriculturalists in the Red States. This is not a Fascistic endorsement of corporatism.
That Democrats who appoint blacks and make press releases about it are not racist, but Republicans who appoint blacks and just get on with business are racist.
That blacks appointed by Republicans are usually pale by the “Brown bag” test, and therefore not black enough to really be counted as black. The person telling you this is a white liberal and not a racist.
That the liberals in State Dept arranged sales of commonly sold materials such as chemicals and university grade disease samples for study to Iraq, while the conservatives in Defense objected. Twenty years later, this is the fault of conservatives.
That Hussein converted crop dusters to spray chemicals and mount guns. This is our fault for selling them to him. Obviously, anyone’s motives for buying agricultural equipment should be examined. This is not paranoid when done by liberals. When done by conservatives, it’s a paranoid attempt to cause peasants to starve. Even if it’s the same incident.
That Powell and Condi were appointed because of traits such as loyalty, intelligence and competence, not because of their race. This proves Bush is racist because he didn’t find people with darker skin to improve black “visibility.”
That Bush was the first consecutively elected governor of TX, president for two terms, a Major League Baseball team owner, an energy CEO, a fighter pilot, a key player in another president’s election, a Harvard and Yale graduate, and a “failure.” The person telling you this is a fast food slinger with a “successful” blog.
That anyone who doesn't serve in the military is a coward, unless they're a liberal.
That anyone who can't serve in the military should volunteer to be a contractor, but contractors are money grubbing mercenaries.
That “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq refers to an intact, armed nuke with a delivery system, but in the US refers to common self-loading rifles.
That the US Army has troops in the Balkans collecting hostile fire and imminent danger pay for some unfathomable reason, because Bill Clinton brought peace to it in the 1990s for a mere $5 billion, and ended the war there.
The Iraq War was about oil. Look at how much we got from Iraq between 1991 and 2005.
That Iraq wasn’t behind 9-11, just like Germany wasn’t behind 12-7.
That the best way to persuade someone to your political position is to abandon all those conservative trappings such as manners, politeness and dress, and just scream at them while wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt with a pot leaf on it.
That all intellectuals appreciate the cleverness of an epithet such as "Chimpy McShrubya Bu$hitler."
That such insults are useful for reducing divisiveness and will ensure political opponents will listen carefully to your arguments.
That the Bush Administration is inept because they haven't been able to capture or kill bin Laden, but the Clinton Administration is the hallmark of competence because they had two prime opportunities to take bin Laden out... and refused to give the go-ahead.
That Bush has made us less safe, but anyone who proposes new anti-terror policies is exploiting fear.
That you will persuade people of your position by dropping leaflets from overpasses, onto the windshields of swiftly moving cars.
That you will persuade even more people by duct-taping misspelled day-glo posterboard to the chainlink of pedestrian bridges.
That riding shotgun with Ted Kennedy is safer than shooting shotguns with Dick Cheney.
That all poor people are democrats, unless they’re traitors to the species. No poor person is allowed to believe in free enterprise.
That people can’t afford good housing because of exploitation, not because they waste money on booze, tobacco, crack, car stereos and fancy rims.
That Kuwait was “Always part of Iraq” just like California was “Always part of Mexico.”
That Iraq is unstable with Shia, Sunni and Kurdish regions, and is entitled to annex Kuwait, which will make the divisiveness better.
That it’s not important that a person online who claims to be a political scientist can’t spell “Facism,” (sic) you should respect his expertise on “Oil War II.”
That the war in Iraq is about oil, because 1.5% of our oil comes from there. (3.5% in mid 09, under 0bama)
That exit polls and surveys are never wrong, so if the election turns out differently than predicted, it must have been rigged.
That only 112,000 people would benefit by the repeal of the death tax, so it’s not worth repealing. Conversely, every working person in America will suffer from that loss of revenue.
That Mark Foley sending suggestive IMs to an 18 year old is a horrible scandal and condemnation of the Republican Party, but Barney Frank having sex with 12 year old boys is a “private matter.”
That Mark Foley sending suggestive IMs to an 18 year old is a horrible abuse of power, unlike Bill Clinton having sex with an intern, which was a “private matter.”
That Mark Foley sending suggestive IMs to a page in 2005 wasn’t worthy of notice, until election time 2006.
That Mark Foley sending suggestive IMs to a page in 2005 wasn’t an issue, but in 2006 it became traumatic to the poor victim.
That Bush has a massive conspiracy to cover up Sept 11, but couldn’t hide Cheney’s hunting incident.
That you should never insult someone over physical appearances they can’t help and G. W. Bush LOOKS LIKE A CHIMP!
That John Kerry really cared about the poor, which is why he never let them live in the four houses he wasn’t using, and never donated a mere .5% of his $500 million to charity. What’s important is that WE contribute.
That Bush Sr was bad for vetoing more bills than anyone since Coolidge, and Bush Jr was bad for vetoing less bills than anyone since Woodrow Wilson.
That Bush is a puppet for listening to Karl Rove, but if he were to listen to a liberal advisor, that would make him a wise thinker.
That Rs who carry through on their campaign promises are "idealogues," and Ds who renege on theirs are "honest and ethical."
That the Republicans under Bush raising the deficit is "Morally indefensible," and the Republicans under Clinton refusing to raise the deficit is "Morally indefensible."
That Saddam was a war criminal for committing genocide, but his conviction was "questionable."
That the Iraqis are just as good as the rest of us, but incapable of holding a fair trial.
That there's suspicion Saddam's trial was not really handled by the Iraqis, but by "foreign interests." The solution to this is for the UN to assist, without being "foreign interests."
That Saddam's sentence of death is "cruel and unusual" in the wake of an "unfair trial." We should not make assumptions about the case, except the assumption that it was unfair.
That Saddam might not actually be guilty of gassing Kurds, raping and torturing men and women in prison, exterminating villages and executing dissenters. It might have been…someone who looked like him. Yeah, that's it. Or maybe he was ORDERED to by like, the CIA! I'll bet Karl Rove was in on it!
That the US orchestrated Saddam's execution, because it was easier than dropping a grenade down the hole.
That the death penalty was wrong, executing Saddam was murder, and Bush should hang for it.
That it doesn't matter that Saddam was tried under his own laws. Bush should still hang for it. Because!
That Bush CREATED Islamic Fascism, in 1993. (This is an exact quote)
That the press are a vast, right wing conspiracy who show the military to be dumb, evil and brutal, Ken Lay and other capitalists as corrupt, expose Republican sex crimes, because all these people are left wing activists.
That the press are a vast, right wing conspiracy who extol the virtues and hide the sins of hardcore rightwingers like Teddy Kennedy, Barney Frank and Michael Moore.
That Michael Moore is only making millions of dollars so he can give it to charity.
That Saddam Hussein, with a net worth of over $109 billion, was "left wing."
That Saddam Hussein was good for Iraq, because he didn't kill that many people, apart form purges, a war with Iran, 3-10,000 gassed Kurds and over 400,000 executions. But still, he wasn't a bad guy, and things were better with him in charge.
That Bill Clinton's masterful cruise missile attack against Hussein in 1993, following allegations of death threats against former President Bush, was only a peaceful gesture.
That clinton's combat operations against Iraq in 1993, 1998, and against Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Somalia, Haiti and Bosnia show just how peaceful he was.
That Reagan creating jobs at $30,000 a year was just a case of the "Rich getting richer," as we were told by Michael Dukakis when he spoke to "middle class people like you" at a country club at a $1000 a plate dinner.
That it's outrageous and immoral for the government to track people, even criminals, except gun owners, Christians, and business owners.
That the close election of 2004 was definitely rigged, but the close election of 2006 definitely was not.
That Iraq should not be left dependent on the US, and Iraq should not be allowed to sell oil, because "it just proves the war was about oil." Iraq should develop other resources, such as…er…um…well…
That liberal programs raising the minimum wage and guaranteeing medical care to everyone (except the self-employed and family businesses, who don't count) have made Massachusetts the "Best state in the country for working people," as long as you disregard the crime, bureaucracy, high retail prices and $2000 a month rent.
That government can't be trusted, and the government should do something about it!
That Kerry was good because a majority of incarcerated felons voted for him, and Bush was bad because a majority of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines voted for him.
That China is our best trading partner, we should love China, but we shouldn't export jobs because it's bad for America.
That supporting oneself with a job makes one a "slave," but subsisting on charity from the government makes one "free" and "empowered."
That money is being wasted building infrastructure in Iraq, because the Iraqis lack the training to properly defend it, but we shouldn't use more US troops to defend that infrastructure and money.
That there are no US interests in Iraq, so we should pull out, and redeploy to Darfur, where there are lots of US interests, such as…um…er…
That "Faux News" is thoroughly inaccurate, biased, and offers nothing substantive about the war in Iraq, which is why it's the preferred media of the US military.
That poor black soldiers are being "exploited" by the military, and middle class white soldiers getting the same pay are "overpaid mercenaries."
That the Iraqis should take more charge of their nation and run it their way, as long as they do so in a progressive, western fashion.
That lies, deceit and disorder are good if they "Start a dialog."
That only people who have served in the military can support the war. Anyone who hasn't served isn't entitled to an opinion because they can't know how horrible war is. Of course, no service is needed to oppose the war.
That if someone who supports the war claims to be a veteran, it should be loudly shouted that they didn't really serve in combat, only in a "support position."
That if someone who did really serve in combat supports the war, it should be loudly announced that he was only an infantryman, not educated in the niceties of sociology, and therefore not entitled to an opinion.
That is someone who served in special operations supports the war, they're just a war-mongering, brainwashed Republican shill.
That sexual infidelity among democrats proves they are "charismatic men who can get laid," but sexual infidelity among Republicans proves they are "amoral."
That the US Army uses "terrorism." You know: Killing people instead of starting a dialog.
That the US spends billions of dollars with no return in Palestine, Guam, Puerto Rico, aid all over Africa, the Marshall Islands and elsewhere for the privilege of being "Imperial."
That all the poor soldiers who re-enlisted or enlisted since the Gulf War had no idea they could be involved in a war in the Middle East, and Bush is Hitler.
That the US freeing Cuba, the Philippines and half of the Pacific from Spanish and then Japanese occupation at its own expense was "imperialistic."
That Saddam's chemical stockpile "decayed in five years," unlike every other chemical stockpile on Earth that has lasted up to 90 years, and is not a threat to world peace, but the small number of Stingers sold to the Mujahideen still have viable batteries 25 years later and are a "terrorist weapon of mass destruction."
That failing to adopt tactics and gear liberals like means conservatives "Want troops to die," and adopting tactics and gear liberals hate is "War profiteering." Because, obviously, ivory tower liberals are experts on military operations and procurement, and conservative military commanders are not.
That climate modelers are very accurate with their gloomy predictions for 2040, even though they somehow can't get next week right.
That the invasion of Iraq is a diabolical, brilliant scheme that goes back to 1993, and is an unplanned debacle.
That a media company firing a highly-paid commentator who is unpopular with a large number of viewers is "censorship." However, this does not apply to conservative commentators.
That the drugs used for lethal injection are "cruel and unusual," but the same drugs used for physician assisted suicide are "humane and painless."
That Feudalism is "Progressive."
That Sept 11 was caused by ten years of bombing Iraq, and there is no connection between Hussein and bin Laden.
That unskilled manual labor is a commodity to be protected, but intellectual labor is "capitalist greed."
That spelling doesn't matter for Democrats, as long as the "point" and "feel" is gotten across, and Hillary can spell "Tommorrow" without fear of ridicule. But Quayle using the acceptable dictionary spelling "potatoe" is a moron, especially if the press doesn't notice until the 3rd graders do.
That Quayle's use of "Potatoe" is more important than Biden's claim that FDR went on "TV" in 1929.
That billionaire capitalists are bad, except for George Soros
That currency speculators are especially bad, except for George Soros
That George Soros helping evict and exile other Jews in Hungary during WWII shows good moral character.
That George Soros, looting the Bank of England for $5 billion in currency speculation and damaging the British economy in 1992 while pocketing a billion for himself is a liberal icon.
That rich people who use tax havens to avoid paying tax in America are bad, except for George Soros.
That outsourcing overseas is bad for the American economy, unless Michael Moore does it.
That “minorities” are just as good as white males, and white males therefore need to fix the inequalities.
That white males are stupid wimps who nevertheless run a very successful conspiracy to keep everyone else down.
That Karl Rove was worse for the world than Karl Marx.
That Joseph McCarthy was worse than Joseph Stalin.
That Republican presidents have magical powers to control the economy, job market, value of the dollar and price of oil, and evilly hurt America with this power. Democratic presidents do not have this power; if such problems occur during their tenure, it's the fault of Republican congresspeople who have the same power. Democrats are better because they don’t have this power.
That Bush is a moron, but the two guys who couldn't beat the moron are geniuses.
That it's okay to burn or destroy a flag in protest, as long as it's the US flag and not the Mexican flag.
That the high stock market of the 1990s showed how good Bill Clinton was for the economy, and the high stock market of the 1990s showed how greedy corporate interests were.
That largely conservative business people who voted for Bush in 2000 yanked all their investments in November 2000, causing an economic downturn, because of fears about Bush' economic abilities.
That if conservatives are so in favor of the war, they should all enlist to serve, and those 90% of serving soldiers who vote Republican are not an indication that they already have.
That hate is not a family value, and Republicans should all be sent to Iraq to die.
That Bill Clinton was good for defying the UN and starting wars in Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti where there were no US interests, and killing US troops, but George Bush was bad for defying the UN and starting a war in Iraq where there are no US interests except oil, political stability and state-sponsored terrorism, and US troops have died.
That paper ballots are bad because they can be misread, and electronic ballots are bad because they can be misread, and the Republicans will use those to steal elections in counties run by Democratic election officials.
That there's no international consensus on the war because we don't have France, Germany or Russia helping in the War on Terror, only the UK, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Turkey, Poland, the Czech Republic, Pakistan, the Philippines, Spain, Bulgaria, Austria, Canada, Argentina...
That the memos about Bush' physical were "Fake, but accurate."
That Bush hates the environment but spent money for a well-designed, insulated, geo-thermal, eco-friendly house as a cover story.
That Hussein wasn't involved with terrorists except Abu Abbas, Abu Nidal, the PLO and Hamas, and several al Qaeda agents using his embassies in Europe under their AQ names.
That any Iraqi chemical agent would be harmless because it "Decays in five years," according to "expert" Scott Ritter, but somehow the US has had Mustard Agent at Ft Rucker since WWI and Sarin and VX at NCD since 1968, and a WWII ship was hauled up off the coast of New Zealand with live mustard agent, and the chemicals we have found in Iraq were still live...
That we really need the French to win this war, just like we needed them in WWI, WWII, Southeast Asia...
That France and Germany are opposed to involvement in Iraq, unless it involves several billion dollars worth of illicit arms sales and construction of deep bunkers for Hussein.
That black people are "intimidated" and "unable to handle" electronic voting machines, but somehow manage to operate ATMs and welfare issue benefit cards. (Hey, a BLACK DEMOCRAT brought this up. Don't blame me.)
That Bush is Hitler.
That large numbers of Europeans don't like us, which will be very important when they vote in the November election. Oh, by the way: Bush is Hitler.
That we have inadequate public health care while Medicaid pays bills for people in "poverty" who can afford to overeat to obesity, and have cars and cable TV.
That the same "right wing" biased court that "put Bush into power" reaffirmed Roe vs Wade and struck down internet censorship. Twice.
That it's tragic the government won't help the Gulf War Vets suffering from nerve agent Saddam let loose in the war, and Saddam has no WMD program.
That The Iconoclast of Crawford, Texas (Bush' hometown) with 400 readers endorsing Kerry is big news, but the Lowell, MA (Kerry's hometown) newspaper with 220,000 readers endorsing Bush isn't.
That Bush pulled favors to get a pilot slot, and his friends cleverly got him a degree, perfect vision, perfect hearing, perfect balance, the ability to pass an advanced flight physical, a $2 million dollar plane and a year of active duty to learn to fly it in lieu of a deferment.
That Bush is a coward for becoming a pilot in a unit that had already deployed to Southeast Asia and had several hundred combat missions, and it's his fault the Pentagon didn't follow through or deploy his unit again.
That Bush was AWOL because "everyone knows" you have to do 12 drill weekends a year. At least, civilians know this fact. It's not in DoD, NGB or USAF regs, but it's still a fact. So there.
That John Kerry was good for volunteering for the military, and Bush was bad for "escaping" the military in a National Guard unit that deployed to Southeast Asia, and volunteering to fly a high-performance fighter plane when he should have volunteered to serve like anyone credible, and the college professor telling you this got a deferment and burned his draft card.
That there were no WMDs in Iraq, except for the reactor at Osirak, the sarin used on the Kurds and Iranians, the several tons of sarin found in the Euphrates, several roadside bombs made from binary nerve agents, a couple of crates of mustard agent mortar shells, 550 tons of yellowcake and an area the size of California still to be searched that has "only" yielded hidden aircraft, missiles and tanks.
That Bush is worse than Hitler for evilly using Constitutional authority to appoint judges, and FDR was a liberal icon for trying to add 6 extra justices to the Supreme Court to rubberstamp all the unconstitutional ideas he had.
By the way, did you know Bush is worse than Hitler?
That the world is secretly run by Halliburton under Karl Rove's direction.
That corporations have no rights, but the government requiring a corporation to get permission before publishing something by someone not living in the US and not subject to our Constitution violates the First Amendment and unfairly denies them the millions of dollars they're going to steal from readers with information that wants to be free.
That doing something perfectly legal that a liberal doesn't like is "exploiting a loophole."
When other nations attack America, they're "justified." When America attacks them, we're "Hostile."
That failing to vote for Hillary is "sexist" and failing to vote for Obama is "racist," so 100% of liberals are bigots.
That Hillary and Obama have "experience."
That Hillary was the wife of a president, so she's as qualified to have the job as the wife of a surgeon is to have his job.
That Hillary will crack down on evil hedge fund scammers like Marc Rich, whom her husband pardoned as he left office.
That Kerry supported the war, before he opposed it.
That Hillary supported the war, before she opposed it.
That the WMDs were real when Hillary made an issue of them, but false when Bush did.
That the S&L scandal was criminal, except for the part Hillary was involved in.
That corporate boardmembers are leeches on society, except for Hillary Clinton.
That one should care about the environment, but applaud Hillary for successfully defending Tyson Chicken for poisoning streams.
That taxing the rich will improve the economy, just like kneecapping athletes will improve fitness.
That the Earth is doomed to sudden, immediate disaster if we don't stop global warming, but a year of drastic global cooling that reverses the trend is a misinterpretation because changes don't happen that fast.
That the "normal" average temperature of Earth is that measured between 1961-1990. The billions of years when the average temperature didn't fit that mean are all outliers.
That Obama's admitted collegiate drug use is good thing, but Bush's alleged collegiate drug use is a bad thing.
That the one drop rule is racist, unless it assists in getting government handouts.
That even with recent cooling, the Earth is STILL .035 degrees above "normal" (being defined as the temperatures measured at selected urban sites between 1961 and 1990). This is a disaster.
That the Earth getting warmer is due to global warming. When the Earth gets colder, that's due to global warming, too.
That Al Gore's CGI image of a collapsing ice shelf is "Fake, but accurate."
That socialism has failed all over Europe, but maybe if we try it one more time…
That it would be great to have a female executive, as long as she was a liberal feminist female executive. Otherwise, no deal.
That Obama has 1% the Middle East experience of the typical veteran (his tour lasted three days), and that's good enough. Nor should any of those troops contradict him.
That Bush is bad for having twice the approval rating of Congress.
That despite taking in more corporate donations than Bush, McCain, Kerry and Gore combined, Barack Obama is "not beholding to special interests."
That despite Obama lying about NAFTA, state tax breaks, Palin's executive experience and his connections to terrorists and anti-American groups, he's "honest."
That when Republicans take tax deductions they’re "loopholes." When Democrats fail to pay taxes they’re "mistakes."
That Israel's claim to statehood is invalid because it was an "immoral, imperialist" decision by Britain, but Iraq is a valid nation because of its creation by the imperialist British and French.
That Israel isn't a legal country, but Jordan is, and came from the exact same British mandate.
That Israel can't cite the League of Nations and UN resolutions granting them statehood, but the Palestinians get to cite the UN rights to theirs.
That Gaza and the West Bank aren't validly Israeli territory acquired by wartime annexation, but the post-WW2 European borders are. It’s ludicrous to suggest the return of Königsberg to the Germans.
That anti-Semitism is wrong, and Israel is a corrupt, illegal state created by an evil system.
That the Surge in Iraq was wrong, but a Surge in Afghanistan is just what we need.
That more troops in Afghanistan will win the war, just like they did for the Russians, the British, the Moghuls…
That it was shameful of Republicans to make Republican Arlen Specter toe the party line, and if Democrat Arlen Specter knows what’s good for him, he’d better toe the party line.
That coal is okay for Democrats, because that’s clean coal, not the dirty coal of Republicans.
That Bush was bad for spending $5 trillion in 8 years, and 0bama is good for spending $5 trillion in 90 days.
That National Health Care will reduce health expenditures 30%, and there will be no concordant increase in taxes, because the government is so efficient.
That National Health Care is why so many nations are more solvent than the US, such as…um, well…
That one of the first things 0bama did was take the troops out of Iraq, in the first 60 days, within the year, as soon as practical, except for certain special troops who are needed to stay. Definitely by 2010, though, unless 2011 is better.
That Lieberman was a Sellout for quitting his party, and Specter was a Hero for quitting his.
That the government and unions can run defunct auto companies. Look how well it worked in the USSR.
That we must stamp out intolerance, and re-educate the intolerant until they’re tolerant of everything except intolerance.
That Democrat Wilson was president during WWI, Democrats FDR and Truman during WWII, Democrat Truman during Korea, Democrats JFK and LBJ during Vietnam, Democrat Clinton during Bosnia, Haiti, Bosnia, Somalia and Bosnia, but the Republicans are “Warmongers.”
That GM bailouts were bad under Bush, but good under 0bama.
That bailouts were a good thing for a bank owned by Democrat Daniel Inouye, and there was no conflict of interest.
That the massive global credit crisis was the work of ONE MAN…George W. Bush.
That a few dozen “right wing operatives” managed to show up at every Town Hall meeting across the country within a few days, with local license plates and ID, and manipulate all the polls, to shout down the millions of Americans who want socialized medicine, which will only be given to a few people, and won’t cost any money.
That MSNBC editing a clip of man with gun outside an 0bama rally to hide the fact that he was black, and then ranting about the “Racism” of opposing 0bama, is an example of right wing bias in the media.
That it’s immoral to allow US oil companies to engage in offshore drilling at their own expense, but moral and right to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to help the Brazilian national oil company drill off their shores.
That people who are not climate scientists shouldn’t be involved in the climate change/SSTs destroying the ozone/new ice age/AGW/whatever the panic of the month is, except, of course, for Al Gore.
That Al Gore has no conflict of interest between his carbon credit business and his paid lectures on global warming.
That according to Al Gore, the best way to reduce global warming is to stop venting CO2 to the atmosphere, and instead vent waste heat and water vapor from geothermal power into the atmosphere.
That during the Bush years, American political power was bad. During the Obama years, it’s bad that America has lost its power.
That business owners with employees are just leeches on America, unlike homeless people.
That democracy in Iraq was an impossible lie under Bush, but may be the “star” of the 0bama administration.
That the Surge failed, but Iraq is much more stable now, despite it.
That “unilateral” action in Iraq was wrong, but 0bama’s unilateral action in Pakistan is okay.
That 0bama’s good for closing Guantanamo at once…within 60 days…6 months…a year…maybe by 2012. 2013?
That 0bama is good for releasing three people from Guantanamo. Bush is bad for releasing five hundred.
That 0bama is good for pulling troops out of Iraq at once…within 60 days…6 months…18 months…within 18 months of when the generals says it’s safe…before 2012…maybe if we re-elect him…
That land belonging to farmers and ranchers that gets flooded is “wetland” and must then be preserved as a wildlife refuge, just like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
That land that floods is “wetland” and must be preserved, unless it’s coastal land flooding due to “Global warming.”
That the best way to deal with “Big Oil” or “Big Tobacco” or “Big Pharma” or “Big Finance” is Big Government.
That there are too many people on the planet, but it’s horrible that millions die from malnutrition, poor water, and “global warming.”
That it's wrong to monopolize a resource against the consumer, unless that consumer is an employer and the resource is labor.
That the Earth is in a constant state of flux, which is why we can't safely dispose of nuclear waste underground, and the Earth is static, so any changes are the result of Anthropenic Global Warming.
That corporations are leeches, so you should never work for, buy from or trade with them.
Republicans should like 0bama, because he's a lot like Reagan, who caused all these problems. Democrats love 0bama, who's a lot like Reagan.
That Reagan is a lot like 0bama because…he just is, okay?
That America is naïve in wasting money and bodies to fix Iraq and Afghanistan, which they also wish to steal.
That America should treat other nations with respect, and who cares if 0bama got their heads of state reproduction Hobbit swords, iPods of his speeches and Region 1 DVDs for a blind man? What do those countries matter anyway?
That Borders Books failed because you can't centrally plan an operation that size and be competitive, and a central planning model for the Federal government will manage our economy better than
Blake Powers has a new book out. I wrote the intro. It's worth having. Here's what Blake has to say about it:
I am pleased to announce that my latest book, A Different View: Travels to Al Qa'im and Beyond, is now out as a trade paperback via Amazon's CreateSpace and on Kindle. This new volume in the A Different View series showcases day-to-day life of Marines at Al Qa'im on the Syrian border while I was with them on the last part of my first embed. It then transitions to Germany and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where I introduce readers to a very special ceremony for arriving wounded.
To borrow from my preface: "This is not a book about combat, or combat photography. While every combat reporter wants that one-in-a-million shot or video snippet, such images can only show a few seconds out of what can seem an eternity. Blood sells, and the 99 percent of time that is routine or even boring is not news. It is, however, real." This volume is part of my continuing effort to share the "real" with the public at large.
Author and veteran Michael Z. Williamson provides the introduction, and MaryAnn Phillips of Soldiers' Angels Germany provides a very special foreword to the book. Here is a taste of what others are saying:
"A Different View is a personal and vivid narrative of the author's experience in a combat zone, showing not combat but the mundanity, humor, and boredom that make up ninety-nine percent of life 'inside the wire.' The author's photos and narrative illustrate how service members cope and adapt to the surreal conditions, and how injury and death are still close by. This is a valuable book, and anyone who cares about America's troops and the fight in the Middle East will find it worthwhile."
Larry Bond, bestselling author of Shattered Trident
"My first thought as I looked at the pictures was"I've been there," "I think I know that guy" and the fine details of multiple deployments come rushing back like they were yesterday. I can smell the pictures. Blake captures a reality through a very narrow opportunity that many will never understand. Those that have been there will look at the pictures, remember their experiences, and if they are viewing with another warrior, they will simply glance at one another as they both will remember the events they lived through and will do so with a smirk on their face. They will do it for those that were there with them, that didn't come home."
Maj Pain (USMC),http://www.OneMarinesView.com
"Lest we forget - Blake Powers helps all of us who were not there witness the everyday lives and achievements of our armed forces in Iraq with gorgeous pictures and thoughtful commentary."
Toni Weisskopf, publisher of Baen Books
"None of us really know what it's like to be 'on the front lines' unless we've served. Which means most Americans really have 'no clue'. Blake shows these guys and gals in their environment. Sure, there are fun times, how could there not, you'd go bonkers otherwise. But the real deal is just being 'in country'. Living it, breathing it, seeing it, being enveloped by it every waking moment (and sleeping too) then getting through it as best one can. He has really put this out there for all of us, those lucky individuals who have been lavished with the most amazing country in the world, to feel safe, made so by the sacrifices of these brave men and women."
David Mecey, former Staff Photographer, Playboy magazine
"A Different View is well-titled; it gives the reader an alternative perspective of the fruit yielded by the American effort in Iraq. Most of it is good fruit. The book is well worth your time...and your money."
Juliette Ochieng, author of Tale of the Tigers
Given feedback from readers, the Kindle version of this new book was created specifically for Kindle in an effort to deal with format and photo issues that were reported with the previous volume. While the print and Kindle covers will be slightly different, it is hoped that the presentation of the photos will give readers the best possible experience.
Full copies of the reviews provided by David Mecey and Juliette Ochieng can be found at http://laughingwolf.net/?p=541.
A Word on Subject Matter
Apr 27, 201307:08PM
California has a ban on 30 round standard capacity magazines (which they dishonestly call "high capacity").
But, if you have a an AR15 in .50 Beowulf caliber, then that same magazine holds 10 rounds, and is a 10 round magazine. Even if you could put 30 rounds into it in 5.56mm. So, call it a ".50 Beowulf magazine," and it's legal. Call it an "AR15 magazine" and it's not. Even if it's the same magazine.
If you are not a professional in this field, and pass a law, we who are professionals will find a way around it, and will.
Because fuck you, that's why.
The Fail, It Burns
Apr 22, 201311:22AM
From an exchange with Vox Day (Who lists me as a writer of interest), when I criticized his fetish for Creationism.
"Mr. Williamson, with all due respect, you don't appear to realize that you are not only dealing with a number of people here who are smarter than you are, but are also better educated in science than you are. It may help to keep in mind that at Vox Popoli, those who live by the rhetoric tend to die quickly and brutally by the dialectic."
That's the funniest thing I've read this week. Thanks.
I was at first interested in your site. I thought I had found the anti-Scalzi. And in fact, I have.
that is not a compliment.
So, first, by what metric does he assume, after one email exchange and a couple of comments that there are a "number of people" there who are smarter than me?
It's certainly not impossible, but per standardized testing, the odds are 99.8% in my favor. That is a mathematical extraction based on my tested IQ. So unless his blog is a haven for pure geniuses, it seems unlikely. Nor have I seen much demonstration of any hard scientific knowledge among his supporters. Though to be fair, I haven't read much of his blog and don't plan to.
Given that most of the interest there is in unquantifiable local social issues, devoid of cites or analysis, it's untestable, but my perception is his belief is incorrect. There's a lot of opinion there--some little of which I concur with--but a lot of BS, including the obsession with myth (Creationism) over science. It even repeats the "Evolution is losing support among scientists!" bleat that's been around since...Darwin. Yet every year we have better information, better ability to define what we're looking at, and better ability to predict what we don't see. That's called "Science." He even cutely entitles his response to me, "rhetoric is not science." Indeed. His rhetoric is not science.
Second, he seems unaware that for Darwin to be challenged is a POSITIVE thing for science. It means we've refined the theory and have improved precision. Much like the Earth went from spherical to oblate to precisely delineated, and we are now working on equations to explain orogenous upthrust (which isn't as sexy as it sounds).
Third, it doesn't matter how smart or educated either of us is. Facts are facts. Extrapolations are extrapolations. And mythic fantasy is mythic fantasy, even when called "religion." It is untestable, unprovable, and not scientific. There's also an implied assumption that the scientists working in genetics aren't as smart as...a blogger. Which again, is not impossible, but is irrelevant.
He knows nothing about me other than our two emails and a couple of comments. But he knows I'm not as smart as he because I "believe" different things. In point of fact, I believe very little. I observe. If there is no conclusion to be reached, I delay judgment until there is.
Fourth, it's entirely possible to disagree with the modern American left, while being just as idiotic, prejudiced and intellectually dishonest as its worst practitioners...which he ably demonstrates (forex, constantly calling Scalzi "McRapey," apparently completely missing the point of one of John's blogs that I do agree with), despite his ability to solve the softball pre-algebra question I tossed at him. During the Spanish Civil War, the Fascists and the Communists were diametrically opposed, yet largely indistinguishable. Or in a non-Godwin sense, pick European peasants forced to choose between Viking raiders or the Franks.
And Darwin's (or any) ideas are only "dangerous" to bleating ideologues. Information falls across a spectrum from factual to opinion, from useful to not. A truly smart person analyzes the content and comes to a conclusion, adapting the conclusions as needed as new facts are presented. That, we call "Science."
As I have predicted for years that they would, biologists are beginning to turn away from Darwin's dangerous idea of evolution by natural selection. Even self-styled champions of evolution such as PZ Myers have reached the point of giving up on their erstwhile secular saint:
We aren’t using Darwin’s model anymore; he had no accurate notion of how inheritance worked, for instance — genes and alleles, the stuff of most modern theory, are not present anywhere in his works. “Darwinian” is also problematic. It does have a specific, technical meaning, but it’s often applied thoughtlessly to every process in evolution.
Besides, everyone knows Coyote and the Great Spirit created the universe.
I have been asked for an opinion on the above poll, showing "90% of Americans support background checks," and how I would respond to people who cite it. It also asks what people think of armed guards in school, and how effective they think it would be.
The question shown is simplistic and without context, and is a straw man.
Would it matter? 90% of Americans used to support slavery. 90% used to support bans on "pornography" that included the Kama Sutra. It's nice that they have a poll. I have a Constitution.
And what untrained amateurs think of security protocols is uninteresting to me.
As far as "guns sold on the internet," they either must go through an FFL, or be sold face to face, if private, much like they were when such ads were placed in newspapers. So the question here is: Why do you hate the internet? Why do you hate modern communication?
Can someone make a sale to someone illicit anyway? Yes. You know what we call those people? Criminals. And guess what? THEY DID THAT ANYWAY, and will do it anyway. That's what it means to be a criminal.
But when they drag your ass away for selling or possessing unlicensed milk that wasn't properly pasteurized, etc, "for the children," don't expect any sympathy. When they jail you for tax evasion over the "Garage sale loophole," no sympathy. It's what you voted for and wanted.
Nor can you ever complain about TSA, who checks travelers to "keep us safe" and "protect the children." If it prevents just one bomb, won't it be worth it?
And next time, try having a clue what you're talking about before engaging in debate.
Against My Better Judgment
Apr 17, 201312:16PM
I'm going to show I can create a better conspiracy then the conspiritards.
"Hey, we need you to help us crash airliners into the WTC and kill several thousand people to further our agenda."
"WTF? Dude...is this a joke? Go @#$^ yourself."
"Hey, we want you to help us orchestrate shooting some kindergartners to get control in place."
"What kind of #@$ing monster are you? Seriously."
"Hey, we want to set off a couple of bombs at the Boston Marathon, so we can get the drone program and RFID in place. If we do it right, it shouldn't hurt many people, though of course, collaterals are possible. Just some nice loud distractions at the end. That way, any large gathering will be a just target for drones, scans and otherwise. Overall, this will mean less real attacks. The cost benefit is positive."
"Makes sense. Okay, I'll help."
"Dude! WTF? That actually killed and maimed a lot of people! You said that wasn't going to happen."
"Well, it had to be big enough to get people's attention."
"That's not what I signed on for. I'll tell..."
"Who, exactly? Even if you managed to tie us in, you're complicit and the mob would kill you. And you carried the bombs, so you're the logical suspect. We're all high-ranking officials with excellent cover. Best keep your mouth shut if you know what's good for you."
"Yeah, whatever. Remember, we need drones, RFID and better monitoring of the internet. Even if you blame this on the Muslims."
I don't believe it, but this one would at least be feasible.
In reality, this is going to come down to:
RIFs who have learned to scale their attacks and keep quiet about them, lest the US military show up and sodomize them with JDAMs, or some native crazy who hates something or other. If the latter, given the target, I expect it's some anti-capitalist lefty.
Privilege - Not Just A Word
Apr 10, 201302:13PM
I like to interact with people, and I find I learn more about them, and about myself, by interacting with people I may not agree with. Either one of us persuades the other, or we learn more about ourselves, or we find new insights into our positions.
This apparently isn't common.
I've occasionally interacted on Facebook with one [name redacted by request], as she styles herself. She's big on gender issues, race and social issues. I probably agree with her stances about 40% overall, which is better than average.
I was looking at some links on her page, and the tone there was strident. I do that myself. No harm, no foul. However, if one is fighting stereotypes, one should avoid using them oneself. I made a polite comment that a message aimed at people in general agreement, with the intent of bringing them closer, should be worded amiably, not accusatorily. She seemed to miss the thrust, replied with something else, and I posted my infamous summary of worldwide historical repression, because a lot of Americans (apparently including her) miss that there's a lot more to it than black/white and the former Confederate slavery.
Her response was "Oh, wow, a middle class white male has an opinion on race. I don't think I'll waste time reading that." And it ended with, "Why don't you actually try talking to some black people?"
My first thought, was "Wait, this teenager is white, middle classed, middle American. This is not just the pot calling the kettle black, given my background, it's the pot calling the fine china black."
Then I thought, "That can't be what I just read. Did I just walk into The Simpsons or Monty Python?"
Then it was, "Wait, this person is supposed to be passingly aware of my background, WTF led to this outburst? Did her brain just shut down and she revert to tribal shouting?"
I bowed out of the conversation, because obviously, no rational discourse was going to be possible. We'd gone from generalizations to epithets, and by "we" I mean "she."
After that, I decided I needed to finish edits on my story collection coming out in August, and then come back to it.
So, let's go back to, "Why don't you actually try talking to some black people?"
I was in high school in the early 80s, peak of the break dancing craze, and I was a pretty damned good dancer. That means I hung out with a lot of black guys—at clubs, at school, at home. They came to my place to practice, I went to theirs. Sometimes our parents invited us or them to stay for dinner. I remember one who had a vivid sense of humor, including self-deprecating jokes when he found out we had watermelon. And yes, occasionally, one of them was a punk, but there were a lot more white punks who wanted to emulate what they thought black people were like.
Most of them lived in a slightly poorer area near the school, with numerous material goods--cars, projection TVs, which I'm led to believe was because their traditional areas were cheaper, so status was shown materially. (And for the record, we spent a couple of years receiving food stamps and other assistance after my parents divorced.)
My mother sold real estate, and occasionally (and let me stress occasionally) someone would ask about racial makeup of a neighborhood, or ask her to limit showings to whites only, and she would tell them it was illegal for her to discuss such things, or to attempt to limit purchases. Interestingly, it was generally poorer whites who were concerned about this, not middle or upper class, and it happened only a handful of times over several years.
Of course, that small element of racism does affect things, as does the natural tendency of people to form into tribes of like-minded individuals.
I had black teachers in school, and they were generally the funnest, most informative and down to earth.
The observant respondent would remember that I served in the US military. They may also be aware that the military is no longer segregated. Guess what? I was trained, and trained with, people of every race and color, some of whom barely spoke English, being either recent immigrants like myself, or from the Philippines, where we have a treaty agreement allowing them to join our military directly.
And, when I got to my permanent duty station, my roommate was…BLACK! Kersey was an odd duck from Cleveland, and we didn't talk much, until the time he threatened to kill me with his bare hands and an iron pipe, and shortly got some mental health treatment and processed out. It seems other people had had issues too.
My next roommate was a white kid from Oregon, an alcoholic, didn't last long, and moved into an abandoned mobile home with no power because he couldn't keep even a minimum wage job.
So, the last three years of my service I roomed with Wendell, who'd trained in an overlapping timeframe with me in Texas, so we already knew each other slightly. Wendell was not your typical black, I guess, since he was an immigrant from Antigua, thereby being British.
Let me elucidate for the civilians: we spent three years serving in the same unit, and sharing a 15' square barracks room. I knew him pretty damned well. We drank together, cruised bars together, did road trips to conventions together, and did a bunch of field exercises together.
Now, I had to sit down and think about all this, because my roommate was not "That black guy, Wendell." My roommate was "Wendell, the sergeant from the Power Section I spent three years of my life with." I've said it before, I will say it again—race is only important if you insist on making it important. If anyone asked, "Who do you room with?" I replied, "Wendell, Power Shop." And no one ever said, "Oh, right, the black guy." Largely because we had a LOT of "black guys" including the First Sergeant, our Section Superintendent and one of the engineers. So, yes, I took orders from black people, Hispanics, Asians, women, and never kept a tally because it never fucking mattered to me. Were they competent? By and large. Did they have the authority to define my tasks? Yes.
Were there racists in the unit? Yes, a few.
Now, for reasons not relevant here, engineering tends to congregate immigrants. My shop had me, a Mexican, and a Filipino and five native born Americans (one of them black). In the unit of 120, there were a couple of other Mexicans (And I mean men with Mexican passports, working on their citizenship, as I was), several Filipinos, another Brit, a German. We hung out in groups of our own nationality, and groups of immigrants vs native borns, and Engineers vs other units, and cadre vs transients, and AF vs other branches, and military vs civilian, because that's what people do. I rarely saw color itself be a defining matter, except among a handful (both white and black).
I do recall one asshole in my shop liked to refer to us as the "Fuzzy little foreigners." Though he generally didn't deliver it in a derogatory fashion, and we wore the sobriquet proudly. And note: I was included in that definition, despite being "White."
It wasn't the only bigotry I encountered from him, and that first roommate, Kersey, repeatedly mocked my birth nation to my face. Words were had over that. Occasionally, other people made comments about "Damned foreigners taking our jobs" and expressed that we shouldn't be allowed to own property or businesses.
Now, at least I was able to honestly identify the assholes, since I don't "look" like an immigrant, though I did still have a bit of an accent. They'd usually trot it out right in front of me, against regulations and common sense. But, bigotry works in all directions, and if you assume because I look like a certain imagined stereotype, I must think and act like said stereotype, congratulations, you just did it yourself.
So, moving on, I was Reserve and Guard for 20 years after that, and again, served with many people of many races and cultures. In fact, my last deployment was a 4-way split between Utah Air Guard (mostly Mormons), New Jersey Air Guard (mixed bag), Guam Air Guard (Mostly Chamorro people, and Catholic) and Puerto Rico Air Guard (very Hispanic and very Catholic) in a desert full of Arabs, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Filipinos (all Muslim), Indians (from India, and mostly Hindu, with some Muslims), Georgians (Muslims and Christians), Japanese, Koreans, Aussies and Brits. And being the military—you don't get a choice. You go fix, move or fight with whomever you're told to, and you have to manage to get along. And I enjoyed the hell out of it. We took turns doing Saturday night cultural dinners.
But that was Reserve, meaning I had a real job and a real home otherwise. And in college, I was a stripper. That meant I hung out with other strippers, mostly female, including a Thai and a very astute, striking black woman working her way through law school.
Oh, yes—it was a mostly Asian neighborhood we lived in.
Now, as far as Indianapolis, for anyone familiar with it, go take a look at East 52nd Street. I'll wait. What color are most of the people in that area? Oh, right—THEY'RE BLACK! Didn't matter to me. Most of them were good neighbors, though it was amusing watching the "photographer" next door, who never had models or materials or any camera gear, get busted by 17 cop cars and a SWAT van. That is, until he went to jail for dealing drugs and his ex and her friends burgled my house. But yup, several years in a black neighborhood as one of the few white people, and it didn't bother me at all. My daughter at age 3 insisted on stopping at several local revivals, because she's always loved to dance, and a bunch of people dancing and singing was definitely her thing, even if we're not Christian. (And before that we lived in the Irvington neighborhood, which might have a few blacks, too. I honestly never bothered to keep a tally, as hard as that is for some people to believe.)
A former girlfriend and I had a several month long affair with a full blooded Sauk woman who was a very strong LGBT and feminist activist. We didn't agree on everything, but I certainly learned a lot.
Quite a few of these people—such as the last lady—would have a strong level of agreement with many of your positions. Some would agree in part (and I do myself). Some would not agree at all. In the subjective world of human interaction, there are solution sets of right and wrong, that intersect in various ways. If you're stuck looking for one point solution, you clearly didn't manage calculus, and might need to go back and look at basic algebra again.
But let's move back to my childhood for a bit—I grew up quite poor near Liverpool, originally in a small flat with no central heat and no TV. My father is Scottish, my mother is English, and if you bother to read a little history, you might find that the two cultures had a few issues over the last few centuries.
My maternal grandfather was an RAF officer, and my mother spent several years as a child in Rhodesia, when it was Rhodesia, with all the household and base staff being local Africans. If I recall correctly, India, Cyprus and Kenya were in there, too.
Now, Britain, or rather, England, has its own history, but most of its colonial repressions were overseas, and for different motivations. And that's key. When I meet someone of a different color, my first thought isn't, and can't be, "OMG! This person's ancestors were slaves and my family profited from that!" Nope. The Brits pretty much didn’t keep slaves, my working class family certainly didn't, though several likely served on a few slave-busting ships.
No, when I meet someone of exotic looks for the area I'm in, my default thought is, "Oh, this person must be of or descended from one of our colonies." And even if some of the colonials were lower class, lower class is INFINITELY above "slave." There is simply no way possible for me to look at a black person and feel what a native born American of any color feels. Add to that, I moved here in 1978, so nothing that happened before that can possibly involve me.
If you look at my FB wall, you'll find blacks, Hispanics, whites, Asians (actually in Asia, as well as Asian Americans), transsexuals, gays, bisexuals, white people married to blacks, Hispanics and Asians, and people with backgrounds that include multiple races, cultures and ethnicities.
My friends include agents, authors, editors and technical people of (a variety of) color. We often disagree, and I've noticed that color is an issue for a lot of Americans. It's inescapable. Given the segregation issues shortly before I was born, the war a century before that, and the slavery before that, I accept it's a valid concern. But here's the important part: I don't share that concern, and assuming I do, can or must is trying to stereotype me based on my skin color.
So, you tell me, does that count as "actually talking to black people"? I'm adding up somewhere around a couple of decades or more of my experience, though as I said, I don't really keep a tally for score. I talk to PEOPLE.
See, the problem with a lot of self-claimed "liberals" is they're not. They're only tolerant if you agree with them. This seems to include you. You like it when I agree on certain gender issues. You go childishly apeshit when I just might have an informed opinion that differs slightly from yours, based on my own subjective experiences, broader world view, longer life and different background.
But even if I am "Wrong" on an entirely subjective subject, then any persuasion aimed at me must be diplomatic and with cited sources, otherwise it's simply an opinion, and available evidence suggests my opinion is more informed than yours…which does not mean it is necessarily objectively correct.
You don' t want actual debate, because it might shake you out of your comfortable worldview. What you want is tribal association.
If you look at me and assume based on my skin color I think like some stereotype of a middle class American white guy—you're a racist. If you assume that all black people agree with the position you've assigned them in your worldview—you're a racist. If you insist that people can't tell the same jokes about this President that they told about previous presidents because he's partly black and that somehow makes things different—you're a racist (especially as you insist simultaneously they can't treat him differently).
Much like the most virulent anti-gays are often hiding a secret part of their orientation that scares them, the most vocal users of the race epithet frequently demonstrate the most stereotyping and racism.
After all, let's look at your screen name again: "[radacted] Protagonist (her FB recognition tag) [redacted]." Ah, yes, the "PROTAGONIST!" The white, middle class, middle American woman flying in to right wrongs and correct perceptions, and tell people how they must think and feel, on behalf of those poor minorities who aren't capable of doing so themselves. And if you have a different perception than she? Well, then maybe you need to talk to people on her approved list, to learn the right things. No right-thinking person could disagree.
(ETA, missed an important item from my notes: It's possible you're not as "white" as you look either, using the contemporary American definition. If so, you should know better. If not, then don't try playing the smug superior card.)
You're not a protagonist. You're not even an antagonist. You're an annoying little nit. And until you can accept and believe there are people with different worldviews, who may cross paths with you, share the path for some of the journey before taking another route, or walk alongside without joining you, you will continue to be only a minor irritant, accomplishing nothing.
In short, you need to learn how to be liberal and tolerant.
You might start by actually looking up the Wikipedia article on the word "privilege" and consider the many definitions and meanings it can have.
And then maybe go talk to some black people…who don't entirely agree with you.