The state of Indiana is full of great kids!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2017

That was (David's) mother:
The state of Indiana is full of great kids.

For the latest confirmation of this encouraging fact, we refer you to this news report in this morning's Washington Post. We'll also note this important fact:

It seems that the child in question got lucky with her selection of parents.

Reading the Washington Post's report, we thought about our own sainted mother. We also thought about Bernie Sanders. Also, Larry David.

In the past few days, we'd been recovering from a type of sickness induced by the experience of reading last week's New Yorker. As our whole staff struggled to recover from the magazine-inflicted flu, we watched the first two episodes of the current season of Professor Gates' PBS program, Finding Your Roots.

Sanders and David were the subjects of the season's first program. We also watched the season's second program, which featured three more famous subjects.

Our own sainted mother was rather tight-lipped about her personal history. In a recent award-winning report, we described the way her Casey Stengel story and her "longest game in major league history" story seemed to turn out to be one story, not the apparent two.

That said, she told very few such stories. And a few of her stories weren't true!

Watching those PBS programs this week, we were struck by the way the parents of Gates' subjects had also been extremely reluctant to discuss their personal and family histories. In the most striking example of same, Larry David, for the first time, learned his mother's first name!

Joe Otterson explains for Variety:
OTTERSON (10/3/17): Series host Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and his researchers were able to determine that David’s mother’s family came from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, with his grandparents having been born in the city of Tarnopol, Poland. In addition to information about David’s grandparents, Gates and his team also uncovered that David’s mother was also born in Poland and that her birth name was Regina, while David had always known her as Rose. “I cannot believe I didn’t know her real name,” he said. “It’s so typical of my mother to withhold something like that.”
Larry David was raised by his mother. He just didn't know her first name!

(Neither he, nor Professor Gates, knows why his mother's name was changed, assuming it actually was.)

For ourselves, we never knew how our parents met until we were told the story by our older half-brother, when we were at least fifty. Our mother never talked about matters like that. We'll guess those parents in Indiana are being a bit more forthcoming.

In the second program of this new PBS season, Carly Simon is told something concerning her alleged "race." We don't mean this as a criticism of Professor Gates. (We're not even sure he used the term.) But might we suggest that Carly Simon, and everyone else, doesn't quite have a "race?"

Does anyone actually have a "race," except to the extent that they may choose to think of themselves that way? Consider three different terms:

Whether we can name the people in question or not, everyone does have an ancestry. Everybody had two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents. Your "ancestry," a simple matter of fact, leads on back from there.

Similarly, everybody has an "ethnicity" to one extent or another. As a general matter, this is a reference to the places where your ancestors lived, and/or to the language and cultural group to which they belonged.

These are simple matters of fact. The notion that we all have a "race," and that it forms our "identity," is rather different.

Within the American context, the idea that we all have a "race" comes from the world the slaveholders made a very long time ago. Those people created a highly disordered world. Part of the disorder they created is the idea, which dominates our thinking even today, that we all have a "race," and that it defines our "identity."

This idea is one part of the wide-reaching poison the slaveholders handed down. Within our current American culture, no one is more devoted to maintaining this idea that we liberals are.

Within our modern American culture, people get told that they have a "race;" we all get pigeonholed hard. But do people actually belong to a race? Everybody has an ancestry. Except within our slaveholder-scripted heads, does anyone have a "race?"

Carly Simon has an ancestry. Societal strictures to the side, does she actually have a "race," unless she wants to picture the world that way? What makes us cling, with such devotion, to the world the slaveholders made? Wouldn't it be a smarter world if we remembered, even once in a while, to let this corrupt idea go?

"That was your mother," Paul Simon once said. His traveling companion was 9 years old. To hear that child told about his mother and father, you can just click here.

For the prologue to that conversation, you can just click this. These are two of our favorite songs. Because everyone wants to know these things, they strike us as deeply humane.

Dancing to the music of Clifton Chenier, the king of the bayou: To our ear, that story is deeply humane. According to our older half-brother, it isn't entirely unlike the way our own parents met.

107 comments:

  1. How can Somerby write a whole column inspired by a girl who wants to wear a suit without once mentioning the social construction of gender? He feels more comfortable denying the reality of race than sex, apparently.

    He claims liberals cling to the concept of race most strongly. That is idiotic when racial bigotry cannot exist without race, and is most strongly represented among conservatives (even if you allow that it exists in both political groups).

    When people in our culture discriminate on the basis of appearance (skin color) then race has social meaning and it is very real to the people who live with it. Somerby's nostalgia about his mother is irrelevant to the daily struggle of people with visible differences that are assigned meaning by others, beyond individual control. Race is real in that sense. Liberals recognize that and try to combat it in its destructive forms, the ones that close doors and deny opportunity. Conservatives do not. But everyone admits that there is the phenomenon of race in our culture because of such visible differences in appearance (not because of genes or heritage). No one asks a black person if they are from British Guiana, Puerto Rico or the Bronx. So Somerby's attempt at post-racialism is premature.

    Today Somerby goes from vitriolic to sanctimonious. When will be find his way back to intelligent?

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    1. Biological sex is assigned gender meaning by nature. Take it up with her.

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    2. You need to read more about the biology of sex. Gender identity is also determined by biology and sometimes it is not congruent with sex organs present at birth. This mismatch is biological just as much as congruence is. That is the current finding among those who study the biology of sex. Gender (male or female) is a construct and can be assigned to match the biological gender identity even when the sex organs do not match. And then there are the people who are born with sex organs of both sexes and those whose sex organs are abnormal due to circumcision mishaps or birth defects. In some cases it is considered preferable to change physiological sex when that happens, leading to a mismatch with one's biological gender identity. This can be more complicated than you think.

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    3. Better tell the chimpanzees male dominance and maternal nurturing is a construct.

      Also those who celebrate or support surgery and hormones to change artificially achieve the appearance of normal gender and sex congruence are not progressive but barbaric.

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    4. Is sex reconstruction surgery also barbaric after cancer treatment?

      You don't want to start comparing animal behavior to humans. For one thing, males often kill the offspring of female chimps when they take over another male's harem. You think that would be a good analogy to human blended families? Chimps practice size dominance, not male dominance. You want to always be forced into submission by someone taller than you? I'm glad humans aren't chimps.

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    5. "You think that would be a good analogy to human blended families?"

      It happens all the time.

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    6. Step fathers kill the children of their wives former marriages all the time?

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    7. "For over 30 years, data has been collected regarding the validity of the Cinderella effect, with a wealth of evidence indicating a direct relationship between step-relationships and abuse. This evidence of child abuse and homicide comes from a variety of sources including official reports of child abuse, clinical data, victim reports, and official homicide data.[2] Studies have concluded that "stepchildren in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States indeed incur greatly elevated risk of child maltreatment of various sorts, especially lethal beatings".[3]

      Powerful evidence in support of the Cinderella effect comes from the finding that when abusive parents have both step and genetic children, they generally spare their genetic children. In such families, stepchildren were exclusively targeted 9 out of 10 times in one study and in 19 of 22 in another.[4] In addition to displaying higher rates of negative behaviors (e.g., abuse) toward stepchildren, stepparents display fewer positive behaviors toward stepchildren than do the genetic parents. For example, on average, stepparents invest less in education, play with stepchildren less, take stepchildren to the doctor less, etc.[5] This discrimination against stepchildren is unusual compared with abuse statistics involving the overall population given "the following additional facts: (1) when child abuse is detected, it is often found that all the children in the home have been victimized; and (2) stepchildren are almost always the eldest children in the home, whereas the general ... tendency in families of uniform parentage is for the youngest to be most frequent victims."[3]"

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  2. Those DNA tests work by comparing a given genome with the data bank of other genomes stored for different countries around the world. They then quantify the extent of correlation (similarity) to give a percentage match. Someone can be strongly correlated with a place that they and their ancestors never lived. They can similarly NOT be correlated with a place that they are from, simply because the databases don't sample minorities within geographic areas very well. You can't find a correlation with people who were not included in the database.

    There are not unique genetic markers that would identify someone as any nationality or race. That is part of what is meant when people say that race is a social construct, not a biological entity. This business of categorizing people based on their DNA is only a statistical trick that plays upon everyone's natural desire to build an identity around their relatives and where they came from. It isn't real. It is a marketing scam that is abusing people's sense of themselves.

    To the extent that this new emphasis on identity, encouraged by genetic testing, is instilling attitudes about the certainty of determining ethnicity, it is as dangerous as the turn-of-the-century ideas about genetics that fueled Hitler's quest for dominance of the master race. It is no better this time around, when people are being told that science has verified that they are 97% Ashkenazi Jew from Austria (on the basis of a match with a database that was put together through selective sampling).

    Somerby is correct that family stories drift over time. So does history. But this idea that pseudoscience can correct that is wrong. I feel very sorry for the guy who switch lederhosen for a kilt based on a mail-away genetic test, or the poor woman who thinks she's Nigerian instead of American, because of a test that told her so.

    Our identity serves a useful purpose. It needs to be more firmly grounded than this. If people are easily convinced they have an entirely different past, what else will they be easily convinced of, when it suits commercial or political interests to tell them so? And Somerby seems as easily led as everyone else. What will he think when a test tells him he and Conan are related and he is 97% Irish -- the one race that can never join the melting pot (according to 19th century belief)?

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    1. Well stated re: the construction of race. I was talking to one of my friends at work, who’s a self-described Buddhist and a very good person. He brought up the topic of the Dalai Lama. I think the concept of the ultimate reality of such a being is utter bullshit, so I felt compelled to point out that, when examining the science of human evolutionary history, we're all related to each other.

      He could have been the next Dalai Lama! Alas, it was not meant to be, since his ancestry appears to be Irish. Could be the green eyes and ruddy hair, and that he’s named Smith. And that his ancestors were nowhere near Tibet.

      Anyway, it's too late. He wasn't chosen in time to assume that mantle when he was born. But it's a guarantee that he is genetically related to the Lama, as you and I are. And as you and I are to each other.

      Identity politics. It’s a potent political weapon. Always has been. Tribalism. You might find that word a million times when it comes to this particular website.

      And I’m glad to see Bob coming out of his stupor. Always interesting when the subject veers slightly off-topic.


      Cheers!

      Leroy

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  3. Aren't you and TDH in violent agreement on the main point? You say that people's "visual differences" are "assigned meaning by others." TDH says that people "get told" they have a race.

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    1. In language, there is a phenomenon called linguistic marking in which one thing is defined as normal while the other is considered a deviation, different than the other. So, up is normal and down is marked. Above is normal, below is marked. Male is normal, female is marked. Open is normal, closed is marked. White is normal, black is marked. The marked items take longer to think about because they are exceptions to the norm.

      When people are assigned a race, white (or whatever is the majority) is normal and is not assigned a racial designation. Black (or whatever is the minority) is different and is assigned a designating term, a label.

      So, not everyone is told they have a race. Just the people who are different are told they have a race (or whatever else constitutes that difference).

      A friend's daughter went to visit the Navajo reservation during a high school trip. She came home lamenting that she had no culture whereas the Navajos had so much. Later, when the Navajos teens visited her school, she started to realize that she too had culture, but she had been taking it for granted as normal and didn't recognize it until she saw it through their eyes.

      Skin color (not race) is one form of difference. There are many others. In our society, people with a darker skin color have formed a social identity and subculture around their skin because of the shared history of slavery. In other cultures where that hasn't happened, the concept of "race" based on skin color is not entrenched the way it is here. Religious and ethnic differences may be more important to people there. But in the USA, the racial subculture is just as important to its own members as it is to those who are not part of it. When Somerby accuses liberals of emphasizing race, he ignores that black people themselves care about maintaining the integrity of their subculture and they are liberals. Their influence on other liberals leads to the respect for culture that underlies the importance of race to liberals. If the two were not confounded, I do not believe liberals would care about race.

      Somerby ignores the importance of the subcultures formed around ethnicity by immigrants, for the same reasons as the racial subculture among blacks. To him, perhaps this feels more natural. If he were to accuse liberals of caring about ethnicity, he wouldn't be wrong either. It is part of our respect for immigrants in general that we value the multiculturalism that is part of our American heritage. I'm not sure why Somerby is framing this as a flaw of liberalism.

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    2. white (or whatever is the majority) is normal and is not assigned a racial designation. Just, wow. You might want to do a little reading on American apartheid, particularly in the south during the Golden Age of Lynching (roughly 1875-1945).

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    3. You seem to be willfully misunderstanding what I wrote. Maybe it is late and you are tired.

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    4. No, what deadrat says makes perfect sense. It's your own seemingly endless peroration that smacks of your having typed it while slipping in and out of consciousness, the same state that, as if by sympathetic magic, your writing leaves the reader in.

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    5. Deadrat can stick up for himself.

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    6. Anonymous@11:52A, a coupla things: first, I sleep between dawn and noon, so I’m sleep reversed, not sleep deprived. Secondly, you have no more access to my interiority than you do my sleep habits, so anytime now you can stop guessing at my state of mind. I don’t take this personally, since you seem to claim the gift of knowing how others feel from their argumentation. (Or maybe it’s just TDH and me and “liberals”) If my disagreement with your comment arises from my misunderstanding or from your own inexactitude, then feel free to correct one of us. There’s merit in the argument that the majority can define normalcy and thereby ignore difference. I call this the Flesh-Colored Band-Aid Phenomenon. But if you think white people in thi country haven’t been explicitly and repeatedly told their “assigned” racial designation, then I urge you to do the reading assignment I suggested. As always and of course, it’s up to you.

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    7. You don’t care to learn anything about psycholinguistics or cognition. That’s your choice. Just don’t call me names out of the fog of your own ignorance. The majority doesn’t need to be explicitly told it is normal — it is inherent in thought. We don’t live during slavery now. Why does racism persist? Don’t bother thinking about it — just blame white people.

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    8. Ooh, Unknown, "peroration". Did you look that up in your Dictionary of Very Important Words? Or your manual on How To Write Like A Pompous Ass?

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    9. Anonymous @10:17P Once again I urge you to refrain from telling me what I care about. It’s only polite. If you re-read my comments, you’ll fail to find a single instance when I call you names. i’ve said that your claim is wrong. Perhaps you should consult a psycholinguist to find out why you consider that an insult. The majority may well internalize its own normalcy, but that doesn’t mean that white people in this country haven’t been told repeatedly and explicitly about their place in the hierarchy of normalcy. I didn’t say anything about slavery, i didn’t say anything about racism, and I didn’t blame anybody. Odd that you, apparently an expert in cognition, should think otherwise. And I hope you’re not insulted that I intend to ignore your instructing me about my ignorance. Your commentary here undercuts my confidence in your qualifications to do so.

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    10. I have no time for this.

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  4. Actually the kid has crappy parents. They could have respected her preference while teaching her that dress codes exist in organizations and businesses, usually for a positive reason, and that if she participates in these she should abide by their rules. This is an organized religion they hoped to bring her up in, and instead they teach her to take its rules with a grain of salt The practical result is to risk imperiling her immortal soul. If they are right about their beliefs, and they have undermined the Church's authority and contributed to her abandoning its principles, they have failed in their own objective. Declaring them good parents because they chose to let her violate the rule is simplistic and only righteous to an adolescent mentality.

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    1. The dress code stipulates that the child should dress up, not whether he or she should wear a suit or a dress. If you look at the picture, she is wearing a nice dressy suit, not flip flops and jeans. If you want to use religious language, she should respect how God made her, which is a male child in a female body. Religion doesn't tell children to be male or female. God does that. If you believe in the immortal soul, it is better to stay on God's good side, not the church's.

      Somerby sounds ridiculous when he praises people in a news article for being good or bad parents. He cannot know anything more about them than the article describes, accurately or not. Further, I don't think a childless man is the best authority on good parenting. But, these parents are teaching their child to follow her own heart and not bow to arbitrary authority, which is a form of character building. I approve of that.

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    2. The article suggests girls were expected to wear a dress, boys a suit. God made her a masculine girl child, who will probably become a feminine heterosexual girl adult as most tomboys do. Encouraging her toward adopting a masculine gender as an adult would violate the Church's teachings. The Church recognizes gender as important and does not endorse identifying males as women or females as men. If the parents would prefer to teach her to follow her whims they are also teaching her not to respect the authority of her religion. They can't have it both ways. The authority is not arbitrary, it is founded as solidly in reason as secular law, upon a belief in Jesus Christ as savior and the Church as representing Christianity on earth. It spells out reasoning behind recognition of gender and sex differences as meaningful and good in their complementary functions.

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    3. If this child is a boy, as both he and his parents consider him to be, then wearing a suit is entirely appropriate. Who is the church to tell him he is not a boy? That isn't their decision to make. It belongs with the parents, the child's doctor, and the child. Parents should not abdicate responsibility for their child's well-being to any church, no matter how solemnly it talks about Jesus.

      I do not believe there is anything about gender reassignment in the Bible. I would assume these parents, if they were religious, would have prayed about their situation and listened to God's word in their hearts, acting with love toward their son. I doubt the church has done as much.

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    4. There are churches who will tell parents that a misbehaving child is possessed by a demon and that the demon needs to be driven out of the child's body by beating him, for the good of the child's immortal soul. If he dies in the process, at least he will go to heaven. Gotta love that old time religion!

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    5. Demon beaters are barbaric in the same way as physically abusive parents who confuse or seek to medicate their children with hormones to serve a social agenda.

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    6. Again, you think the impetus for gender identity change is coming from the parents and not from the children. Hormone that delay puberty do not change anything about the child. They maintain the status quo until the child is old enough to make an informed decision about whether to have surgery or take male or female hormones. Trying to impose a gender identity on a child doesn't work. That is true whether the child is being changed from a boy to a girl due to a botched circumcision, or whether a child is born male but feels female and wants to get rid of the male organs that remind him of his deviance, feel foreign to his sense of self, are inconvenient and prevent him from being accepted by society (e.g., using the girls bathroom instead of peeing with the boys).

      If a girl hates her nose, she can have cosmetic surgery when she becomes an adult. Some might consider her vain, but most people won't blame her for it. After the surgery she will usually feel happier and more self-confident. If someone who feels like a girl finds it hard to express that identity because of her masculine beard, dangly bits, broad shoulders (which don't fit in women's clothes) and deep voice, and decides to seek medical treatment to conform to her internal sense of herself as a woman, why does society get freaked out? She already feels deformed by her male body. After treatment, she will feel more feminine and better able to conform to society's expectations for women, better able to gain acceptance, and thus happier and more self-confident.

      If there are more parents with trans kids in the news these days, it isn't because it is the latest liberal fad. It is because there is greater acceptance and thus less need to hide one's difference. It is because some of the social battles can now be fought because there is that greater social support and acceptance. You think these are parents acting out their own needs via their kids, who are basically normal but being "confused" by their deviant parents. That is inherently disrespectful to the kids involved, but it is also none of your business and kind of presumptuous since you have no way of knowing how the kids feel. You might, however, look at the faces in the photos and ask yourselves whether a kid that doesn't want to be male would be smiling in her suit like that.

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    7. "Hormone that delay puberty do not change anything about the child."

      They "run the risk" of allowing the child to develop into a normal cisgender adult, which mustn't be permitted.

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    8. "whether a child is born male but feels female and wants to get rid of the male organs that remind him of his deviance"

      A person should be actively discouraged from maiming himself and eliminating his sexual function in order to be "accepted in society." It's hard to believe anyone thinks this way much less regards himself as progressive or compassionate in thinking this way. It's nowhere in the universe of reason or ethics.

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    9. "She already feels deformed by her male body. After treatment, she will feel more feminine and better able to conform to society's expectations for women, better able to gain acceptance, and thus happier and more self-confident. "

      Feeling deformed in one's body is a psychological problem requiring a psychological solution and also a push for social acceptance of nonconformity of gender appearance and interests to biological sex.

      What is not a reasonable or humane solution is accepting that therapy in the form of mutilation and hormones designed to satisfy social judgment is anything but barbaric and backward.

      Compassion and acceptance require rejecting those therapies and treating the person's psychological maladjustment.

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    10. "That is inherently disrespectful to the kids involved, but it is also none of your business"

      But gay conversion therapy to conform a sexual preference to a biological sex in order to make someone feel more socially comfortable is everybody's business and should be outlawed.

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    11. "You might, however, look at the faces in the photos and ask yourselves whether a kid that doesn't want to be male would be smiling in her suit like that."

      You might ask yourself how much pain, psychological maladjustment and confusion it will cause her for her parents to identify her as a male when at puberty she would have developed into a heterosexual adult female. According to the gender theorists, we should continue to call her "he" because actually "he" would not really be a heterosexual female adult but a gay man with the wrong body parts.

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    12. You are very confused about sex. Go read a book.

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    13. The confusion about sex involves people who think a reasonable solution to someone's mental maladjustment to the reality of being a male is castrating himself.

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  5. Slight correction there. Not everybody has 8 great grandparents. Or even four grandparents. If, (although it hardly ever happens) your parents are brother and sister, then you only have two grandparents.

    Far more common is for parents to be first cousins. My educated guess is that if everyone could trace their ancestry back ten generations that there would be at least one set of first cousins marrying in that tree (even though the Catholic church did not allow it). Thus a person whose parents are first cousins has only 6 great grandparents.

    More common still, are multiple connections. For example, my mom's ancestor Ambros Honer (1761) is related at least 4 ways to his wife Maria Schmid (1761). They are 3rd cousins once removed by two connections and also 4th cousins once removed by two more connections.

    Insofar as there are races, it is a fact that if you take two white people at random, they are going to be more closely related with multiple connections than a white person and an African or a Chinese or an Indian.

    For example, I am related at least 7 ways to Sarah Palin. We are about 8th cousins. She is related two ways to Alec Baldwin (about 9th cousins once removed) and so am I, we both being descended from the immigrant Sylvester Baldwin who died in 1638 on his way to the colonies.

    On the other hand, our connection to, say, Barack Obama Sr. is going to be much more distant.

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    1. Unless you attend Thanksgiving dinner together, such connections are not very meaningful. Would any of those distant connections loan you money?

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    2. I think this depends on how much Neanderthal versus Cro Magnon DNA you have. Those DNA tests can tell you that. I would guess Trump is almost entirely Neanderthal whereas Barack Obama is mostly Cro Magnon. See how useful these tests can be!

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    3. My husband says that is being racist against the Neanderthals. He is secretly hoping he has Neanderthal DNA.

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  6. Very good post; thank you Bob.

    "Within our current American culture, no one is more devoted to maintaining this idea that we liberals are."

    Yeah, constant liberal race-mongering is nauseous indeed.

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    1. I think you mean "nauseating".

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    2. Mao is still putting the finishing touches on his English skills.

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  7. I hate the practice of the government officially assigning people to race or ethnicity. It's too much like Nazi Germany and South African apartheid. When asked my race on a survey, I answer "human".

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    1. When you check a box on a survey, the government is not assigning you to any category. You are self-classifying. You decide.

      Human may be a cute reply, but it prevents demographers and government agencies from allocating resources appropriately.

      Maybe this fundamental inability to understand the difference between measuring something and assigning it is part of why you are a conservative and not a liberal. If you think the government is requiring you to be old when it sends you your social security check, I can see why you would be upset.

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    2. AnonymousOctober 14, 2017 at 3:32 PM -- I am sympathetic to your comment. My bio-statistician wife assures me that there's often some medical reason to look at ethnic group.

      However, people are individuals, not cells within and ethnicity. You talk about "allocating resources appropriately." IMHO it's appropriate to allocate resources to those individuals who need them. But, it doesn't always work that way. Resources may be allocated to a specific ethnic group. And, privileges are definitely allocated by ethnicity in some cases. E.g., college admission is tilted against Asian applicants and in favor of black applicants.

      When the government treats people this way, it is encouraging people to think of themselves, not as Americans, but as members of one ethnicity in competition with other ethnic groups. The race hustlers encourage bad feelings between groups, e.g., the BLM or those who chant "white privilege." In reaction, we're seeing a growth of white race hustlers. Trump is mild, compared with what we have seen in the past and may again see in the future.

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    3. You want to do away with the benefits of recording demographic information just because you think one group in one limited situation might get something extra? That makes no sense at all.

      The term "race hustler" is loaded language and has no place in a good-faith discussion. It impugns the motives of people who are concerned with racial inequities.

      You might take a look at the situation with caste in India. The lower castes were so discriminated against that quotas were established for each caste in civil service and education, and in many corporations. That system seems to work. So the idea of quotas is not inherently bad or unworkable. It is an issue of fairness and people tend to see it that way. Except not you. You seem to think that the people with the highest test scores should get all the top spots, regardless of the obstacles that have held back people with lower scores but more life difficulties. You only want to consider the test scores, not the whole person and what he or she had to overcome. I don't see the fairness in that.

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    4. AnonymousOctober 14, 2017 at 5:28 PM -- If I were to paraphrase my comment, I'd say I want to do away with recording demographic info because it promotes race hatred and racism.

      I meant "race hustler" to apply to people of any races who promote dissension between races for their own personal benefit. In particular, I meant to include white nationalist leaders as "race hustlers".

      You assume that race is the same as obstacles, but it's not. I have three half white/half black cousins. Their father is a Ph.D. engineer. Their mother is Ph.D. in English and an M.D. My cousins had advantages over most college applicants, yet they were given preference in college admissions. OTOH there are plenty of poor whites who had plenty of obstacles. BTW, there's no justification for colleges discriminating against Asians. If anaything, they should get exxtra-favorable treatment, because they or their families are more likely to have been victims of discrimination.

      Unfortunately an idea has completely taken hold that colleges should represent the same ethnic distribution as the whole population. This wrong-headed idea is continuing to have tragic consequences for people of every ethnicity and for the country as a whole.

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    5. Most campuses take economic disadvantage into account. They do not treat race as synonymous with disadvantage. You are behind the times if you think they do that.

      It is a sin that Southern California does not include a strong representation of Hispanic students in the UC System. So, yes, colleges should represent a similar ethnic distribution to the local population or our schools are not doing right by the students who live here. It suggests that discrimination exists when the proportions of students in K-12 are not reflected at the college level. That is how demographics is used -- to identify when discriminatory practices may exist. Then you have to figure out what they are and remedy them. The reaction is not knee-jerk to just admit more minority students. It is to figure out what is keeping them back and fix that. Again, your belief that underqualified students are being admitted based on race is wrong-headed and does not reflect current practices in college admissions.

      When you cling to an outdated belief and refuse to acknowledge current practices, it makes people suspect you are doing so for racist reasons. That contributes to a stereotype that conservatives are racist people. I would hate for that to be true in your case. But you do keep coming back here with the same statements, over and over, regardless of what anyone says to you.

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    6. AnonymousOctober 14, 2017 at 6:31 PM -- Colleges may take economic disadvantage into account, but they do not take into account economic advantage for black students. My half black cousins received preferences, even though they had every advantage.

      I totally agree that there's a stereotype that conservatives are racist people. The tragedy is that affirmative action programs that seem to help disadvantaged blacks, and which do help some blacks, also harm many other blacks. Here's why:

      The key is that a student's academic ability should reasonably match the level of college she's attending. Thanks to affirmative action, blacks on average lag the college they attend. The result is that over half of them do not graduate. And, of those who do graduate, only a small percentage major in STEM.

      Delete
    7. AnonymousOctober 14, 2017 at 6:31 PM -- Coincidentally I just ran across this article:

      UCLA law professor: Affirmative action hurts more minority students than it helps
      MARK MCGREAL - UCLA •OCTOBER 14, 2017

      Affirmative action hurts more minority students than it helps.

      That according to Richard Sander, a professor in the UCLA law school, who during a speech at a meeting of the Bruin Republicans on Wednesday argued that affirmative action creates the unexpected problem of “mismatch,” a data-backed critique of the preference program...

      Sander made it very clear in his talk that mismatch is not just about race, but can also be about legacy status, people attending on athletic scholarship, or any student who was chosen for the school based on a preference rather than test scores.

      http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/37872/

      Delete
    8. And there are studies showing that test scores aren't good predictors of student success either.

      Delete
    9. We get it David, second class colleges for second class citizens.

      Delete
    10. @12:53 AM,

      Are you suggesting that people who don't attend a prestigious university are second class citizens? If not, what is the point you are trying to make with your comment?

      12:53 AM let me ask you, and anyone else who would care to answer, another question. Because a higher proportion of blacks than whites have been and continue to be raised in disadvantageous socioeconomic conditions do you think that diversity programs should be in place which provide most of their benefits to blacks who have been raised in relatively advantageous socioeconomic conditions?

      Delete
    11. AnonymousOctober 15, 2017 at 12:51 AM
      And there are studies showing that test scores aren't good predictors of student success either.

      12:51, you can't get around the actual results. Less than half of black college students graduate, and very few in STEM.

      AnonymousOctober 15, 2017 at 12:53 AM
      We get it David, second class colleges for second class citizens.

      You're getting close. How about: Second class colleges for second class students. Note that my version says nothing about ethnicity. Let me expand on what I mean:

      Students are able to learn at different rates. Students who can learn rapidly should take classes that move rapidly. Students who take longer to learn should go to colleges that provide more time to learn.

      Delete
    12. You are describing colleges as if they were elementary school classes, complete with tracking. Colleges don't work that way. Neither do students.

      Delete
    13. Try this:

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/nail-biting-standardized-testing-may-miss-mark-college-students/

      Delete
    14. Anon 11:51 -- colleges may not officially use tracking, but it kind of works that way in difficult STEM classes. E.g., when I went to the University of Chicago, 100 students registered for the Physics with Calculus class. By the end of the school year, all but 25 had transferred to the easier Physics Without Calculus class. They couldn't keep up.

      Some math major friends of mine got gradually squeezed out as they reached higher level courses and couldn't learn the material (or couldn't couldn't learn it fast enough to keep up.)

      Anon 12:02 -- that study is bogus, because it ignores the difficulty of the college as well as the difficulty of the courses taken. The study concludes that SATs aren't predictive because Podunk College Black Studies majors with low SATs have the same GPA as MIT physics majors with high SATs.

      Delete
    15. David, you don't know what you are talking about. Many of the elite colleges are abandoning the SAT/ACT. So do open entry schools, but the ones in the middle are the ones keeping the tests.

      Your idea that calculus weeds out non-serious students from STEM is only partially true. Composition classes weed out non-literate students from the humanities too. Students do shift around until they find their proper major or discover their vocation via interest. STEM is easy for students well prepared in math but students who are forced into it by their parents persevere with tutoring, fail multiple times, learn the needed math and go on in the field too. They don't have the luxury of switching when things get hard. Every major gets hard eventually -- that is the point of education. Those who don't give up eventually succeed. If they learn at a different pace, it is because of preparation not innate ability.

      That was the point of the article I mentioned. Students who have had the experience of devoting effort to achieving a goal do best in college because they persevere and know how to keep going when things get difficult. Your friends who were squeezed out lacked persistence, not smarts. They think things are supposed to always be easy and don't see the connection between hard work and success. So they take a path of least resistance. That doesn't predict success in any field.

      The elite schools gave up using SAT/ACT scores because they don't predict whether a student will give up or work harder when things get difficult. Asian students (who you seem to idolize) understand this and work harder when they encounter obstacles because no one praises them for being smart, they are praised for digging in and working hard.

      This emphasis on innate ability that white people cherish is a bogus side effect of the idea that intelligence is genetic when what is needed to succeed in life is the ability to overcome obstacles and keep working toward one's goals.

      Delete
    16. Anon -- I agree with most of your comment, except your last paragraph. It's not the case that only white people focus on innate talent nor that white people focus too much on talent. We all recognize that innate talent varies from person to person as does the ability to overcome obstacles.

      I recall visiting Harvard with my daughter to see if she was going to apply. The Harvard speaker had a scathing comment about high school students with high SATs and mediocre grades.

      I have no direct knowledge of why some schools gave up using SAT/ACT. I do have a nasty suspicion that they were embarrassed by the enormous difference in scores between the Asians they accepted vs. the blacks they accepted. As you probably know there's a lawsuit pending from a group of Asians. Not having SAT/ACT numbers allows the colleges to hide the enormous difference. Thus they can continue as system that treats black students more or less like window dressing: most of the blacks don't graduate and hardly any graduate in STEM. But, there are lots of black faces around.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/us/affirmative-action-battle-has-a-new-focus-asian-americans.html?_r=0

      Delete
    17. The six year graduation rate for black students at Harvard in 2013 (latest year I could find) was 97%, compared to 98% for whites.

      Nationwide, black students graduation rate was 44% compared to 58% for white students. A study of degree completion in the UC system found that financial considerations were the biggest factor determining completion of college. Some students run out of money and have to work full time or they have family concerns.

      Calling the black students "window dressing" is ridiculously bigoted. Harvard can choose from the top high school students nationwide.

      This focus on Asian students isn't due to a concern about discrimination, but an effort to undo affirmative action. Quotas are established for certain categories of students to achieve balance in the student body. There are always more qualified female applicants than male, but admissions offices cut off female enrollments at higher score levels than for males. Is that because women are smarter? It is more because they are more diligent in high school and more likely to be seeking careers requiring a degree. Asians are in the same situation. There are too many living adjacent to certain campuses that wish to achieve more balance in their student body. This is true at Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, which are close to large Asian immigrant neighborhoods where parents urge their kids to go to only a few highly visible schools close to their home. This isn't a matter of prejudice or negative attitudes about Asian students, but a matter of wishing to have a variety of demographic backgrounds present on campus.

      The elite schools in CA have the same problem with students who self-select to apply to only certain campuses and not others. Hispanic students do not apply to the UCs but to the CSU. Black students apply to USC and CSU Dominguez Hills, not UC Irvine or UCLA. Affirmative action rests on the idea that a school should not be attended only by one ethnicity, but that part of a good education is the opportunity to meet and interact with a wide variety of people with varying backgrounds. Conservatives are perverting this goal to achieve their own ends of shutting out minority students and giving preference to white students. That would do a disservice to those white kids who will graduate and work in a multicultural environment after graduation.

      Delete
    18. Anon 2:43 - you have some valid points, but I would question a couple of them.

      1. It's true that schools wish to have a variety of demographic backgrounds present on campus. But, it goes beyond that. Schools are under pressure to have the same % of blacks as the greater community. This has become an unquestioned axiom, although I don't know what the justification is.

      2. Your comments seem to assume that ethnicity is the most important aspect of a person and that dealing with some people in an ethnic group helps when dealing with others of that ethnicity. But, I can see how false that is in my own family. I have a half-black cousin, also, named David, who went to Princeton. David comes from an upper middle class, highly educated family. Having David at Princeton didn't help students there to understand inner city blacks or even lower middle class blacks. It's my understanding that the blacks at top schools tend to resemble my cousin. That is, they typically come from well to do, educated families.

      Delete
    19. Speaking of the importance of 2:43 PM's "black students at Harvard," here are seven and a half minutes of Walter Benn Michaels from November, 2006 [6:57 to 14:27].

      Delete
    20. Thanks CMike. Interesting talk.

      Benn appears unaware of how big the affirmative action adjustments are. He says in passing that he's not interested in the "10 extra SAT points" given to black college applicants. In fact, a Princeton U. study showed that
      African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 SAT points
      Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points
      Asian Americans are penalized by 50 points.

      http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-adv-asian-race-tutoring-20150222-story.html

      Delete
    21. I said that gender is also an aspect of diversity, not just ethnicity. Religion too, and SES. The experience that others are not just like you and your family, that they see things differently but have valid points to make, confronting new ideas, that’s what’s important, not forming new stereotypes as you suggest. You think all college educated blacks are like your cousin. Sounds like you could have used a better education.

      Delete
    22. Instead of trying to pick up diversity through osmosis on a campus with a diverse student body, why don't affluent college students at elite schools take off a semester, travel to some region of the country that is unfamiliar to them, and work a low wage job side by side with people of different ethnicities. Or would that not be quite the structured type experience you think would be necessary for it to be valuable?

      Delete
    23. I had friends who did exactly that during the 60s. They were upset by the cold shoulder they got from the working class who picked up on their condescension and fed it to them for lunch. They also learned the importance of staying in school because the idealized blue collar jobs weren't much fun.

      Delete
    24. 11:51 PM,

      Why would that 60s experience be less valuable than being on a campus with a diverse student body? 6:55 PM had said,

      >>>The experience that others are not just like you and your family, that they see things differently but have valid points to make, confronting new ideas, that’s what’s important.<<<

      If someone made it to college without understanding people whose socioeconomic status was different from their own did not care to be condescended to, then finding that out would have been an invaluable lesson. Confined to the campus the feedback from those classmates, drawn from demographics other than their own, might not have been blunt enough for the student to gain such a remarkable insight.

      Delete
    25. On the other hand, learning about diversity isn't the only thing you learn at college. So going to work in a blue collar job wouldn't teach you the actual content of your college courses. That's why students do such things in the summer and not while school is in session.

      Delete
  8. Conservatives support the status quo, and thus were the defenders of slavery and later bitterly opposed the civil rights legislation of the 60's. Had the term existed back then, they would have labeled Dr. King's efforts as "identity politics". Racism has been a real force in America, regardless of the artificiality of it as a distinguishing factor. Liberals acknowledge the artificiality of it, but also acknowledge its existence and its noxious legacy.
    Not all conservatives are racists, just as not all liberals are free from prejudice. But there is still a very strong residue of racism in America, and conservative embarrassment and acknowledgement of their complicity is evidenced by the way they like to claim nowadays that "Democrats were the party of slavery, whereas Republicans were the party of Lincoln and anti-slavery, and this 'proves' that today's Democrats are racist."
    It would be nice to live in the world Somerby envisions, but he ought to recognize the attempt by the right to label anyone as racist who even tries to discuss racism. This is an attempted trick to deflect any criticism, to tarnish their political enemies, and to try to arrogate to themselves the moral high ground.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "This is an attempted trick to deflect any criticism, to tarnish their political enemies, and to try to arrogate to themselves the moral high ground."

      And Bob seem to be trying to help them by typing this:

      “This idea (race) is one part of the wide-reaching poison the slaveholders handed down. Within our current American culture, no one is more devoted to maintaining this idea that we liberals are.”

      Delete
  9. David, do you think Mr Trump acted correctly in decertifying the Iran deal? Do you agree with his North Korea policy? How about his Ukraine policy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caesar -- I think Iran was not fully complying and the Iran deal is not really a treaty. There's no full written copy and the Senate never voted on it. I think Trump is trying to negotiate a better deal, and I approve. But, I am not optimistic. Obama already gave away the store by giving Iran $1.3 billion in cash, so we have little leverage.

      NK looks hopeless. I think Trump is using his negotiation skills to try to get a truly useful deal, after Clinton, Carter, Bush and Obama failed. I approve of Trump's effort, but I think he will fail, too. If he succeeds in getting NK to drop nukes, he will deserve Nobel Prize. But, I think we're doomed to see NK with H-bombs and rockets that can deliver them anywhere in the world.

      Here again, Obama put the US in a weak negotiating position. Khadafy voluntarily gave up nukes at our request, with a promise of US protection. Obama broke that promise and overthrew Khadafy. Obama's unfortunate action sent a message to every dictator in the world: Do not trust US promises. Hold on to your nukes no matter what.

      Ukraine -- I'm afraid I don't know what Trump's Ukraine policy is.

      Delete
    2. "Obama already gave away the store by giving Iran $1.3 billion in cash, so we have little leverage."
      Wrong. First of all, 'Obama' didn't simply hand over $1.3 billion in US taxpayer money; this was Iranian money that had been frozen by sanctions. Secondly, the treaty was narrowly focused on Iran's nuclear program, not on any other Iranian malfeasance; to incentivize them to stop development, the signatories of the treaty relaxed the economic sanctions; these sanctions had practically crippled the Iranian economy. Thus Iran has a huge incentive to comply with the treaty, which they have been doing, according to the agency (IAEA) tasked with monitoring this. You don't get to decide based on what you personally "think" Iran is doing.

      Delete
    3. The rest of the world joined with the US to impose sanctions before the Iran treaty. One important reason for the treaty was that the will of other countries to continue imposing sanctions was eroding. Today, there is little chance of getting other nations to go along with a reimposition of sanctions. I doubt Trump knows that.

      Delete
  10. Bob, when someone is transgender, you use the pronouns appropriate to their apparent gender, not their biological sex. You don't put air quotes around "he" or "she" and you definitely don't put their name in parentheses: "That was (David's) mother:" If the child is named David, he is named David, and that name should be used.

    When you do otherwise, you show that you are at best provincial and at worst a denier or the body of literature about transgender people, which is no better than being a climate denier or any other kind of denier of science. It isn't cute, it is offensive and backward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you choose to assign pronouns to sex, you continue to do so if you believe it makes sense, especially if you believe adopting individual preference has negative consequences, such as more crazy parents seeking attention by pushing their children to announce they identify with a gender different from their sex, leading to confusion and pain in more people.

      Others take offense at any gender pronouns. Do we accommodate them? What if a person declares himself an absolute materialist who rejects gender and asks you call him "it"?

      Telling a feminine male he should think about identifying as "she" and "woman" leads to barbaric surgery, medications, and psychological misery, often suicide, but that doesn't matter to those who use the issue to demonstrate their sophistication, which is actually stupidity.

      Those of us whose semantical choice is to align biological sex with pronouns for reasons we believe are sound should continue.

      Delete
    2. Who gets to define acceptable language? Being able to rule on what may or may not be said is a way of gaining power over others.

      Delete
    3. What do we call a very feminine heterosexual male who enjoys wearing a dress and makeup, but has female girlfriends and hopes to be a father? Your answer will be "whatever that person prefers" but that is a ridiculous standard because it means nothing, and requires you to call someone who tells you he is a dog Fido. Pronouns should refer to biological sex. Anything else is crazy town.

      Delete
    4. If a child such as Mozart were to be so attracted to playing the piano that he crept out of bed to do it at night, disobeyed his parents in order to play when he should do chores, and otherwise couldn't tear himself away from the piano, would you claim that his parents were forcing him to be a musician?

      You are mistaken in the source of the identification. It comes from the person, not from the parents or from society. Society is trying to force these people to be something they do not feel they are. The strength of their conviction that they are not their biological sex comes from within, not externally, and it is not a "whim" or an "inclination" but is felt so strongly that it causes real distress to be forced to conform to social demands. Such children often contemplate suicide when young teens because of such demands that they be what they do not feel they are. They do poorly in school, they have trouble forming friendships, their relationship with parents is damaged, they do not fit in anywhere and feel despair because of it. This is a real and serious problem when who they are doesn't fit social demands that they be what they are not. You really need to read the literature on this.

      Refusal to understand what is going on, reflected by insistence on incorrect pronouns and trivialization of their sense of themselves (wears a dress is not the same as feeling one is female) is hurtful to other people. It goes way beyond insensitive to active harassment.

      Comparing this to someone who thinks he is a dog is an insult. These people are not mentally ill. Their hormones don't match their biological sex. Attempts to "fix" that God-ordained endocrine problem don't work. The best solution for everyone involved is for the child to adopt the gender that matches their sense of themselves, not their genitalia. Trying to change that internal sense of who you are, which IS grounded in biology just as much as the sex organs, don't work well and cause major distress and life problems that don't end with childhood. It is an act of cruelty to insist that children must be what you tell them to be, not what they are.

      Delete
    5. Try this one:

      https://www.amazon.com/As-Nature-Made-Him-Raised/dp/0061120561

      This is about a twin boy who was raised as a girl following a botched circumcision. It also reviews the literature on attempts to change gender. Perhaps the life story of this boy whose parents tried to assign a gender different than what the child experienced internally will convince you that social reassignment of gender doesn't work. A child needs to be raised as the gender he or she feels internally. The strength of that conviction of maleness or femaleness needs to be respected by parents. Doctors know this. Why is the general public having so much trouble with it? Religion is certainly part of the problem. Where is compassion? Just like you cannot pray the gay away, you cannot change this fundamental aspect of identity by telling someone to wear different clothes.

      A tomboy is not a girl who thinks she is a boy. A tomboy is a girl who knows she is a girl but enjoys doing the things boys do. She may chafe at the restrictions imposed on women and girls and envy boys, but she doesn't think she is a boy. For a girl who believes she is a boy, this isn't a stage she will grow out of. That feeling intensifies with puberty. It doesn't change when you buy her dolls and nice dresses and tell her how pretty she is. That will make things worse.

      Delete
    6. "Just like you cannot pray the gay away, you cannot change this fundamental aspect of identity by telling someone to wear different clothes."

      Nor can you change their biological sex by cutting off their genitals or through hormones. A person remains his or her biological sex. The strength of a conviction about maleness or femaleness does not change maleness or femaleness. A male can feel more feminine than masculine and be most comfortable behaving in a way most females behave, and a female can feel more masculine than feminine and more comfortable behaving in way most males behave but they are still a male and a female.

      Supporting biological alterations to try to "match" the sex with the identity is barbarism and is less acceptable than gay conversation therapy because it involves a radical and destructive physical alteration that ruins the person's sexual function. Hormones are used to conform him further to a gender. It's a sick temporary social insanity that history will ridicule.

      A person's proclivities for wardrobe and other interests that do not conform to the norm of his sex should be accepted but the rest is harmful and wrong and doesn't represent progress.

      Delete
    7. "Their hormones don't match their biological sex"

      Most gender ideologues would celebrate reducing male hormones in a feminine male to enable him to look and behave more like a female, but would be furious if his parents decided to treat his non-conforming sex and gender by hormonally enhancing his masculinity. The reason is most activism in this area has little do with acceptance and is about other issues.

      Delete
    8. I've known several heterosexual men who are effeminate but not gay. There is no reason to give them hormones or change their effeminacy, especially if they are happy with who they are. Not everyone has to be the iconic tough guy to be male or the dainty sweetheart to be female.

      You keep missing the point. The child is the one who feels male or female. This isn't about parents or society or religion or anyone imposing a sexual identity on the child. As the child gets older, it becomes pretty obvious whether he or she feels male or female inside. Insisting upon treating a child in a manner that does not match that inner identity can cause many problems for the child, worse problems than allowing that child to be whatever gender he or she chooses. I don't think most parents want to give a child hormones or surgery, except perhaps to delay puberty so that the child can make a decision that has lasting consequences at an older age.

      There are people you meet every day who have changed their appearance to conform to a gender identity different than their biological sex organs. You don't know and it isn't obvious and people take them at face value. The problem is when someone switches and their family and friends are aware of the change. This often happens in college, so we have students who change their names, appearance and become the other sex when they are in a new environment, away from home and people who know them. It can go smoothly or be difficult, depending on family and environmental support (e.g., a school that will accept the changed name, as it does routinely for students who marry in college).

      I think it is no one's business whether a person is trans or cis gender. Activism surrounds things like workplace or school discrimination, inability to get health care, and similar practical issues with consequences you seem to be dismissing.

      There have always been transsexuals but they have blended into their communities without notice. It is time to stop the discrimination and let people live their lives as the gender they feel most comfortable expressing. It is no one's business what is in their pants or what their medical history might be. If you think activism is about other issues, you might ask yourself how those issues arose -- where they come from.

      Delete
    9. "There is no reason to give them hormones"

      There is no reason to give anyone hormones to cause them to conform more strongly to any gender in their appearance or behavior. Gender ideology activists approve of changing who a person is through artificial hormones, as long as the hormones make him or her a gender that is different from the norm for their biological sex. They would strongly oppose using hormones to bring someone's gender more in line with a biological sex norm. To cause a feminine male to "feel" masculine or a masculine female to "feel" feminine internally. The reason is the objective is to upend all norms associated with sex and gender regardless of whether the result is greater human misery.

      Delete
    10. A man who is OK with his sexual identity as a man does not need hormones. If he has an endocrine problem he can see a doctor. What rights is he being deprived of that would require activism?

      Delete
    11. 13 year old boy: I feel like a girl and I like girl things
      Father: The doctor said he can give you medicine that will make you grow boobs, and then you can cut off your penis to look like a girl. Boys won't date you because they know you're a male with boobs. Or he can give you medicine that will make you grow more muscular, want to have a lot of sex like the other boys do and want to play with guns. And you can keep your penis.

      Delete
    12. There is no magic pill that changes gender identity.

      Delete
  11. One of the lib commenters please clarify for me: If a minor thinks they are trans and want to change gender or whatever, do they have the right to do it without parental consent? Who's obligated to pay for it if so?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They should be able to declare their gender without parental interference. The state should step in if there is interference and alterations should be covered by insurers. If the teenage boy becomes pregnant and chooses not to become a mother, he should be able to have an abortion without parental involvement.

      Delete
    2. @7:17 Of course not. Minors are permitted to have abortions without parental consent because of the unfortunate circumstances of rape and incest. That doesn’t apply in this situation.

      Delete
    3. Is rape and incest much different than gender oppression?

      Delete
    4. Also, if incest is consensual, what's the problem?

      Delete
    5. Go back under whatever rock you crawled out from.

      Delete
    6. You're mentally ill and a danger to society.

      Delete
    7. Translation of Anon 7:17 and 7:53: transgender should just shut up and get bullied back into the closet. Is that the conservative mindset in a nutshell?

      Delete
    8. The conservative mindset is encourage acceptance for choices in wardrobe and interests that are not normally exhibited by a person of a biological sex, but shake your head at the mental derangement and backwardness required to endorse cutting off of genitals to achieve the appearance of being the sex you're not.

      Delete
    9. I seem to recall how the extreme right wing, e.g. Roy Moore, J. Sessions, wants to (re-)criminalize homosexuality. Very encouraging there.

      Delete
  12. Back in the '20s when the eugenics movement was still an acceptable thing, someone made the statement that he (I recall it was a man) supported exclusionary immigration laws "in order to protect the American race."

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    Replies
    1. The 1921 words of the progressive hero and eugenicist Margaret Sanger are wiser than ever today, especially the parts about the burdensome physically disabled and poor. " I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the "unfit" and the "fit", admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective."

      Delete
    2. The problems with eugenics were amply demonstrated by Hitler during WWII.

      Delete
    3. Hillary Clinton "I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision. And when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, I am really in awe of her."

      Margaret Sanger's vision all those years ago in Brooklyn "Birth Control is not advanced as a panacea by which past and present evils of dysgenic breeding can be magically eliminated. Possibly drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupidly cruel sentimentalism."

      Delete
    4. Hillary didn’t endorse eugenics. She endorsed birth control, you ass.

      Delete
    5. Hitler had some good points except for the genocide thing. If only he humanely deported them to Madagascar instead.

      Delete
    6. better trolling please

      Delete
  13. Like Somerby, canines have had it with being described as belonging to 'breeds.'

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