In Jackson, Mississippi, a young child speaks!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 2019

Also, Cather's "immigrant girls:"
Willa Cather's My Antonia describes the experiences of immigrant families in the Nebraska of the 1880s (and beyond).

She focuses on the girls and women within these immigrant families. These families often, though not always, encounter the distancing, disregard and disdain experienced by newcomers at all times in all parts of the world.

Part of the greatness of Cather's book lies in the unembarrassed way it describes conventional female beauty. It manages to does this without engaging in leering.

Meanwhile, how odd, given the modern American context! Some of the immigrant girls described in the book are among the "whitest" people found anywhere on the face of the earth.

The immigrants in this book are often extremely "white." In this passage from My Antonia, Cather's narrator describes "the Danish laundry girls:"
The four Danish girls lived with the laundryman and his wife in their house behind the laundry, with a big garden where the clothes were hung out to dry. The laundryman was a kind, wise old fellow, who paid his girls well, looked out for them, and gave them a good home...His girls never looked so pretty at the dances as they did standing by the ironing-board, or over the tubs, washing the fine pieces, their white arms and throats bare, their cheeks bright as the brightest wild roses, their gold hair moist with the steam or the heat and curling in little damp spirals about their ears. They had not learned much English, and were not so ambitious as [Antonia] or Lena; but they were kind, simple girls and they were always happy.
Cather seems to have been a woman who loved other women. She reinvented herself as a man in the person of her narrator, Jim Burden—a male narrator who is mysteriously able to describe the physical beauty of the immigrant girls without tilting toward the more conventional "locker room talk."

Earlier, Burden has described the Danish girls in the manner shown below. In this passage, he describes the threat the vibrant immigrant girls, Scandinavian and Bohemian alike, presented to the existing order in their small Nebraska town:
The country girls were considered a menace to the social order. Their beauty shone out too boldly against a conventional background...

Our young man of position was like the son of a royal house; the boy who swept out his office or drove his delivery wagon might frolic with the jolly country girls, but he himself must sit all evening in a plush parlour where conversation dragged so perceptibly that the father often came in and made blundering efforts to warm up the atmosphere. On his way home from his dull call, he would perhaps meet [Antonia] and Lena, coming along the sidewalk whispering to each other, or the three Bohemian Marys in their long plush coats and caps, comporting themselves with a dignity that only made their eventful histories the more piquant. If he went to the hotel to see a travelling man on business, there was Tiny, arching her shoulders at him like a kitten. If he went into the laundry to get his collars, there were the four Danish girls, smiling up from their ironing-boards, with their white throats and their pink cheeks.
The four Danish girls were immigrant girls, but along with "Norwegian Anna" and Tiny Soderball (a Swede), they were extremely "white," not "brown."

The four Danish girls were "white!" Despite this somewhat nebulous fact, they were sometimes viewed by their native-born neighbors in the way Burden describes in this passage:
I thought the attitude of the town people toward these girls very stupid. If I told my schoolmates that Lena Lingard’s grandfather was a clergyman, and much respected in Norway, they looked at me blankly. What did it matter? All foreigners were ignorant people who couldn’t speak English. There was not a man in Black Hawk who had the intelligence or cultivation, much less the personal distinction, of Antonia’s father. Yet people saw no difference between her and the three Marys; they were all Bohemians, all ‘hired girls.’
Burden goes on to exult at the ultimate success of these immigrant girls and their families. "I always knew I should live long enough to see my country girls come into their own, and I have," he says. "To-day the best that a harassed Black Hawk merchant can hope for is to sell provisions and farm machinery and automobiles to the rich farms where that first crop of stalwart Bohemian and Scandinavian girls are now the mistresses."

It's the oldest girls in these immigrant families whom Burden most admires. In this passage, he describes the challenging circumstance which gave them their moral greatness:
Those girls had grown up in the first bitter-hard times, and had got little schooling themselves. But the younger brothers and sisters, for whom they made such sacrifices and who have had ‘advantages,’ never seem to me, when I meet them now, half as interesting or as well educated. The older girls, who helped to break up the wild sod, learned so much from life, from poverty, from their mothers and grandmothers; they had all, like Antonia, been early awakened and made observant by coming at a tender age from an old country to a new.

I can remember a score of these country girls who were in service in Black Hawk during the few years I lived there, and I can remember something unusual and engaging about each of them. Physically they were almost a race apart, and out-of-door work had given them a vigour which, when they got over their first shyness on coming to town, developed into a positive carriage and freedom of movement, and made them conspicuous among Black Hawk women.
The older girls had assumed the burden of helping their families emerge from crushing debt. In Burden's eyes, they stood apart from their younger, more advantaged siblings because they had learned so much "from life, from poverty, from their mothers and grandmothers."

"Physically they were almost a race apart," Burden says. Later, he describes Antonia Shimerda Cuzak, the eldest girl in a Bohemian immigrant family, as "a rich mine of life, like the founders of early races."

We've thought of these passages as we've watched an 11-year-old girl in Jackson, Mississippi crying bitter tears in the past day or two, in this case for her mother and her father.

English seems to be her second language; this makes her eloquence much more apparent. It's easy to see her heart and mind struggling to give voice to her soul as she assures us, among many other things, that her father isn't a criminal:

"Government, please put your heart—let my parents be free with everybody else, please...My dad didn't do nothing. He's not a criminal."

"The Hispanic people aren't doing nothing bad," this apparent immigrant girl says at another point. "They aren't stealing nothing. The immigrants just want jobs inside the company."

For fairly extensive videotape, you can just click here.

This immigrant girl is extremely eloquent in her second language. Just for the record, her family is here because both major parties have wanted them here, as have major business interests. Her parents were hired, and have now been arrested, as part of an ongoing upper-end scam.

"Purity of heart is to will one thing?" As with Black Hawk's oldest immigrant girls, so too here. The nation had a lot to gain from the purity of heart Cather described. So too from the "conspicuous" purity of heart on display as that young girl speaks.

Jackson, Mississippi is full of great kids! We "liberals" might make out better in life if we try to help people understand that important human fact, as opposed to doing what we instinctively prefer—as opposed to casting about for new, improved ways to call The Others names:

Deplorables? Racists? White supremacists? According to major top anthropologists, the instinct to disdain and insult the other tribe is deeply bred in the bone.

We humans are strongly inclined to regard others with disdain. Some will call Hispanics names. We liberals are wired to do the same with those people, the Trump voters.

Are we like the racists, or do we differ? Like President Johnson way back when, we can "teach it flat or round."

154 comments:

  1. "Part of the greatness of Cather's book lies in the unembarrassed way it describes conventional female beauty. It manages to does this without engaging in leering."

    Somerby sounds like he has never read a book by a female author before. Men leer, women not so much.

    ReplyDelete
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  2. "We humans are strongly inclined to regard others with disdain."

    No, dear Bob, we humans are not inclined to regard 'others' with disdain. You liberal zombies are.

    We humans are inclined to deal with immigration in a rational way: collecting applications, organizing background checks, visas, sponsors, permits and so on. To make the whole process as safe and painless as possible.

    That's one of the differences (among many) between you zombies and us humans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may be exaggerating a bit Mao:

      https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/trend-lines/27852/russia-needs-immigrants-but-lacks-a-coherent-immigration-policy

      Delete
  3. "Jackson, Mississippi is full of great kids! We "liberals" might make out better in life if we try to help people understand that important human fact, as opposed to doing what we instinctively prefer—as opposed to casting about for new, improved ways to call The Others names"

    As if the left were not already humanizing immigrants who are being terrorized by Trump and his minions! As if the left were not already telling everyone in earshot that these are real people being affected by Trump's scapegoating.

    Somerby's post today is offensive in the extreme. Someone need not be beautiful to deserve empathy or admiration. They need not be white. They need not be children. The hardworking fathers of these children deserve as much admiration as Somerby heaps on those Norwegian washer women. The sons on those Midwestern farms worked as hard as their sisters because everyone works on a farm. Somerby might know that if he weren't so focused on the descriptions of beauty, his underlined passages that titillated his youth perhaps.

    It is offensive when someone like Somerby bends over backwards to praise women for doing what men routinely do, as if a woman who can write or who works to support a family is something so unusual that it requires special notice. What did Somerby think the mothers and sisters of Irish immigrants were doing in Boston? What does he think today's girls and women do every day? Some wash clothes! Are some are worthy of empathy and concern despite being less beautiful than these Nordic goddesses of Somerby's overwrought imagination.

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    1. Black Americans deserve jobs at a living wage. Build the wall.

      Delete
    2. Immigrants are no threat to jobs held by black Americans. Too many black Americans do not receive a living wage. Are you going to vote to change that?

      The latest news is that Republicans are taking money from programs that benefit the poor in order to fund the wall. But you pretend they care about black Americans! Phooey!

      Delete
    3. Somerby's post today is offensive in the extreme. Someone need not be beautiful to deserve empathy or admiration. They need not be white.

      The point is that they need not be brown to be declared “the other.” We humans will seize on any difference to divide us.

      It is offensive when someone like Somerby bends over backwards to praise women for doing what men routinely do,….

      He’s not. He’s discussing a book he likes, a book that he thinks makes a cogent point. The contrast is between those country girls and those who disparaged them and their families, not between those country girls and their male relatives.

      Perhaps you missed all this because you were too busy being offended.

      Tell me, does it hurt to be that ignorant?

      No?

      Too bad.

      Delete
    4. @deadrat

      “The point is that they need not be brown to be declared “the other.” We humans will seize on any difference to divide us.”

      Except that liberals are objecting to conservative *policies* that are cruel and anti-immigrant and indeed racist. Liberals are not objecting to conservatives because of a difference in skin color, religion, or ethnic background. Conservatives earn the opprobrium due to their support of racist, cruel policies that deserve to be condemned. Somerby tries to equate these liberal objections with ordinary racism, which they are not, and he is wrong to do so.

      Delete
    5. Deadrat, did you miss this part:

      ""Part of the greatness of Cather's book lies in the unembarrassed way it describes conventional female beauty. It manages to does this without engaging in leering."

      It is almost as if Somerby is arguing that past discrimination against immigrants wasn't racist because Cather's girls were tall white beauties. It is as if Somerby wishes to wash away the taint of the eugenicist movement and the nativists who put special restrictions on those coming from Eastern Europe and from Asia compared to those from Northern Europe. These were the folks who later supported Hitler and whose primitive racial theories were the justification for murdering Jews (and others) in the ultimate purification of the German homeland.

      It is as if Somerby were ignorant of the white supremacist alt-right fascination with Nordic mythology, now embodied in comic book heroes in a spate of movies aimed at young white men. Young men who became enraged because a movie made a woman into a hero instead of a victim. To the extent that Somerby finds Antonia beautiful, he echoes the white supremacist ideology that puts such girls on a pedestal and makes them the reason justifying their violence, the propagation of the Nordic white race.

      Can Somerby and deadrat really be this clueless? This isn't just about some book that Somerby likes. We all know that Somerby only reads his ancient college philosophy textbooks and Einstein-made-simple. When he picks up a novel such as My Antonia, there is a reason and it isn't pretty.

      Delete
    6. @9:55A,

      I’m going to just assume that you’re the same ignoramus posting @9:55A as the one posting @12:31P.

      You write:

      Except that liberals are objecting to conservative *policies* that are cruel and anti-immigrant and indeed racist.

      Speak for yourself. If a politician or apparatchik implements cruel policies to make a political point, say by unnecessarily traumatizing children by separating them from their parents and holding them in filthy concentration camps, then that person is a monster. If someone supports that politician and rationalizes such behavior, then that person is also a moral monster. Which is why I say of Republicans, “They walk amongst us as human.”

      And when it comes to liberals, I’m the oldest whore on the block.

      TDH holds an opposing view, that by labeling those we oppose as the deplorable “other,” we make the same category error as those we deplore and we make it less likely that we’ll win elections.

      He’s a better man than I.

      I read TDH because he’s a contrarian and challenges what I believe. I find that I can disagree with him without drawing dumb conclusions like he’s trying “to equate liberal objections with ordinary racism.” I recommend it to you.

      Delete
    7. Deadrat, I am @12:31 and I am not @9:55.

      Everyone here is a better man than you. Calling someone an ignoramus without addressing their statements is name calling.

      You say it is dumb to conclude that Somerby is trying to equate liberal objections with racism. Here is where he does that:

      "We humans are strongly inclined to regard others with disdain. Some will call Hispanics names. We liberals are wired to do the same with those people, the Trump voters.

      Are we like the racists, or do we differ?"

      You might feel that when he asks the question "are we like the racists" he isn't actually suggesting that we are like them. That is a semantic error. He raises the question because he is making that suggestion and he wishes his audience to consider the ways in which we might be similar.

      Somerby doesn't have the guts to say anything directly. He never does it. But he does insinuate and there is no wiggle room in the things he suggests that would permit your excessive literalness of reading to exonerate him. There is no reason to raise any of these "questions" if he hasn't thought exactly what he asks.

      Somerby is an ass and so are you, if you cannot see why he writes this stuff. If you have never thought about any of these right wing memes that Somerby introduces daily, you haven't read broadly enough on the internet. These are just talking points -- right wing ones. They appear all over, coming out of everyone's mouth, on the day that they are the marching orders. Kellyanne Conway says the same thing as Hannity and as various senators and staff members and they echo Trump's own tweets and they all say this conservative horseshit and Somerby joins in the chorus.

      You read TDH comments because you are a troll and you like to pull other people's noses. It is surely not your best trait.

      Delete
    8. @11:38A,

      I’m going to just assume that you’re the same ignoramus posting @9:55A as the one posting @12:31P.

      No, I didn’t miss that part of the blog post wherein TDH describes Cather’s treatment of female beauty. We just draw different conclusions. You write:

      It is almost as if Somerby is arguing that past discrimination against immigrants wasn't racist because Cather's girls were tall white beauties.

      Sure, for values of “almost as if” equal to “nothing like.” As an aside, the discrimination wouldn’t have been racism, since the discriminators and the discriminated against were all white. TDH is pointing out that Cather painted this prejudice as unwarranted and absurd.

      It is as if Somerby wishes to wash away the taint of the eugenicist movement and the nativists who put special restrictions on those coming from Eastern Europe….

      Sure, for values of “as if” equal to “not at all.” Eugenics and nativism are all part of the cacophony in your head that you call thought. They have nothing to do with TDH, Cather, or the former’s interpretation (for good or ill)) of the latter’s novel.

      We all know that Somerby only reads his ancient college philosophy textbooks and Einstein-made-simple. When he picks up a novel such as My Antonia, there is a reason and it isn't pretty.

      Speak for yourself. I only know what Somerby tells me about his reading habits. And he claims that he couldn’t make it through Einstein’s book. When he picks up My Antonia, what isn’t pretty is your inability to reason about his subsequent analysis of the book.

      Delete
    9. @6:56P

      Deadrat, I am @12:31 and I am not @9:55.

      I’ll take your word for it, but I can’t tell the dumb without a program (by which I mean nyms).

      Everyone here is a better man than you.

      Everyone? Even that moral and intellectual idiot David in Cal? Even our own Village Troll, Mao? That would hurt my feelings. If I had any.

      Calling someone an ignoramus without addressing their statements is name calling.

      Calling someone an ignoramus is to call them ignorant. And if you’ve read my comments and can’t tell that I address other commenters’ arguments, then you’re the biggest ignoramus of them all.

      You say it is dumb to conclude that Somerby is trying to equate liberal objections with racism. Here is where he does that:

      "We humans are strongly inclined to regard others with disdain. Some will call Hispanics names. We liberals are wired to do the same with those people, the Trump voters.

      Are we like the racists, or do we differ?"

      You might feel that when he asks the question "are we like the racists" he isn't actually suggesting that we are like them.

      I might, but I don’t. TDH is actually suggesting we are like them in our blanket condemnations and tribal thinking.

      … He raises the question because he is making that suggestion and he wishes his audience to consider the ways in which we might be similar.

      Yes (he said with gritted teeth) and what’s wrong with that?

      Somerby is an ass and so are you, if you cannot see why he writes this stuff.

      Calling me an ass is a fair cop, but unlike you, I don’t claim to read minds. I have no way to know why he actually writes the stuff he writes, and I don’t really care why he writes it. I read what he writes. Some of it I agree with; some of it, I don’t.

      If you have never thought about any of these right wing memes that Somerby introduces daily, you haven't read broadly enough on the internet.

      TDH has a view of political action different from mine. So do right-wing scum, but since I can think straight, I don’t classify everybody who disagrees with me as right-wing scum.

      You read TDH comments because you are a troll

      Then you don’t know what a troll is.

      and you like to pull other people's noses.

      True as charged.

      It is surely not your best trait.

      It’s not a good trait, but alas, it turns out to be my best. I’m even more unpleasant in person.

      Delete
    10. Neither Somerby nor his sole fanboy have any useful insight into human nature or politics. This comes as quite a shock to them! Don't monkey with the monkey, but it is fine to rat on the rat, all it does is ape the ape anyway.

      Yes Trump and the Republicans are racist in their actions. This is not news, this has been a feature of their plan of action going back decades. Republican strategist Lee Atwater put it plainly:

      "You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger". By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this", is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger". So, any way you look at it, race is coming on the backbone."

      Attaboy Lee, heckuva job.

      Ronald Reagan called African diplomats ‘monkeys' in call to Richard Nixon

      Yes it is good to call out racism. No we do not unjustifiably disdain Trump voters; indeed, only we liberals will continue to push for policies that help them if they are in need. These people bring lots of problems - drugs, crime, they're racists, and some, I assume, are good people. I know that human being and fish can coexist peacefully.

      Delete
  4. "Deplorables? Racists? White supremacists?"

    Yes Bob. Pretty much describes our immigration policy. Last I looked, there isn't a border wall between Canada and the U.S.

    I would love to see the Punjabi Sihks I deal with almost every day, truck drivers living in Canada, move here. Wonderful people. But they often wear turbans, which is very scary. And they’re afraid to come here, even if they could.

    One day, just recently, I went outside of the warehouse where I work to talk to one of those drivers, to let him know I had his documentation ready for the freight I had just loaded, and realized I had walked up to the wrong rig. The white guy inside stepped out. When I realized I had the wrong driver, I told him so, and said I needed to talk to the driver backed up at an adjacent dock door. “What, you mean that fucking dot head?”

    I just looked away, and never looked at him again. Should have torn him a new one. Think it would have mattered? I don’t. They’re to “other” to communicate with. I guess that makes me a bad person.

    Leroy

    Leroy

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Most illegal immigrants arrive in airplanes on tourist visas and simply stay here. That's why a wall is stupid.

      Canada may build a wall to keep out the many Americas who will increasingly find this country less habitable.

      Sikhs (note spelling) are increasingly dominating the trucking industry. You might consider whether that white truck driver might have been motivated by the competition. As self-driving trucks come on the scene, the competition will become more intense and there may be greater animosity.

      Leroy, Leroy, you are a bad person for saying nothing. These small opportunities to push back are important. Try to rehearse what you might have said to this guy "Language like that has no place here" or "Keep that garbage to yourself" so that you will be ready next time.

      Delete
    2. "Try to rehearse what you might have said to this guy "Language like that has no place here" or..."

      Meh. The dembot was right to keep quiet.

      Start lecturing working people on their 'incorrect' language, and you're likely end up with a broken nose.

      This is one of the many reasons why zombies hate working people.

      Delete
    3. Leroy is no dembot. Pay attention.

      When the working people depend on you for their employment, you can insist that they show respect for other workers in the workplace.

      It is clearly different in the people's republic of nowhere, apparently.

      Delete
    4. Eh... what? Word-salad much, dear dembot?

      Delete
    5. Look, I broke Mao!

      Delete
    6. 12:49
      Thank you for the correction on spelling. You missed “to” where I should have written “too.” I blame the tequila.

      But you’re absolutely right about a couple of points. Yes, the trucking industry (deregulated under Reagan) is not what it once was, providing living wages to the drivers. The Sikh drivers I talk to are in a precarious state. Business is slow, and from what they tell me, it’s very expensive to live in Canada.

      But the angry guy was misguided, in the sense that he didn’t even know that the driver was Canadian. And as far as competition goes, he would have called the driver a nigger were he black, from my view.

      I think the idea of self-driving trucks (or cars) is oversold. But your point is taken. I suppose the fact is, most people don’t understand that the role of capitalism is to pit one against the other, for the “competition” of wage slavery.

      Second, I’ve never forgotten that encounter, and had already decided that never again would I remain silent. I had never encountered such unbridled bigotry before at my work site. I should have at least said something along the lines of “that’s my brother you’re talking about, asshole.” Because those drivers are really, really fine people. I’m more prepared now as a result of that encounter. Wish I didn’t have to be.

      I have a lot of stories, but this isn’t my website. Thanks again for the critique.

      Leroy

      Delete
    7. "he would have called the driver a nigger were he black, from my view"

      Nigger! Oh noes! Horror, horror. Say it aint so, brother.

      I'm so shaken up and hurt, I'm all trembling.

      Please excuse me for I will now retreat into my safe space for a week or two.

      Delete
    8. Rest easy, city of cats/cat country. Preference?

      Delete
    9. Mao, you 8chan shitposter, please leave your mom’s basement and step out into the light of day!

      Delete
    10. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/02/the-world-of-american-hikikomori.html

      Delete
    11. Leroy writes:

      >>>Yes, the trucking industry (deregulated under Reagan) is not what it once was, providing living wages to the drivers.<<<

      Alas, the hard truth is the Motor Carrier Act was a law passed and signed in 1980 LINK:

      >>> ...Eventually, the combination of stagflation, the oil crisis, and the independent truckers’ strike helped push through trucking and railway deregulation. Led by Senator Ted Kennedy and economist Alfred Kahn and signed into law by President Carter, the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 would eliminate oversight on shipping rates and competition in the trucking and railway industry.

      It limited the Interstate Commerce Commission’s (ICC) authority over trucking (the ICC was later abolished in 1995), which had overseen the transportation industry for over 40 years. Combined with airline deregulation in 1978, it was the complete deregulation of the transportation industry.

      There were no longer any restrictions as to what rates a shipping company could charge independent of whether they shipped by train, plane, or tractor-trailer. Deregulation also eliminated restrictions on competition within the trucking industry. Any company could now compete and bid for business whether or not they were union, non-union, or owner-operated rigs....

      While independent truckers were certainly struggling during the oil crisis because of high diesel prices, deregulation of the trucking industry was an incredibly shortsighted endeavor. It may have opened up more opportunities for non-union and owner-operated rigs to compete for business at the time, but opening the floodgates of competition would create a race to the bottom that would only serve to undermine the whole trucking industry for years to come.

      Without limits on competition, union trucking firms with good labor standards and respectable pay could no longer compete against non-union firms willing to cut corners and pay their employees less.

      The vicious competition it enabled would quickly see 188 trucking companies go bankrupt. It would decimate the ranks of the Teamsters, one of the largest and most powerful unions in the country, who had originally fought for trucking regulation in the 1930s. Altogether, deregulation drove down wages across the whole of the trucking industry.

      Trucking, as a profession, never made a comeback. Once an entrance into the middle class through long stretches away from home, low wages and tougher working conditions made it an undesirable occupation, especially for long-haul trucking. No longer home to the open-road outlaws and concrete cowboys of the ’70s, becoming a trucker was now the equivalent of operating a sweatshop on wheels....<<<

      Delete
    12. Thank you for the correction, Cmike.

      Leroy

      Delete
    13. Cmike, just read your post on hikikomori. Fascinating, and dismaying. Your breadth of erudition is quite astounding, I must say.

      Leroy

      Delete
    14. Did CMike write the article referenced by hardindr? If not, what are you talking about?

      Delete
    15. If CMike did write the article, maybe he can tell us why hikikomori is not simply agoraphobia?

      Delete
    16. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    17. Sorry hardinr. Thank you for the link, it seemed to fit quite well with the conversation.

      I've seen you around for years, and not just on this website. Usually agree with you, and hope to see more of your own erudition.

      Leroy

      Delete
  5. Somerby is saying "we liberals" again. Somerby is not liberal.

    Somerby belatedly realizes that Trump goofed when he used an orphaned baby as a prop in his photo op. Somerby is trying to spin that as a show of empathy. Somerby is turning the accusations that Republicans are heartless against liberals by pretending that we are the ones lacking empathy today, because we call Trump and the Republicans out on their remorseless actions and hypocrisy.

    Trump owns this. Willa Cather won awards because of her writing, not because Norwegians are beautiful or immigrants deserve to marry bankers' sons. She was a journalist before becoming a novelist and she won a pulitzer for her writing. It is wrong to co-opt someone else's book for your own unrelated purposes and make it seem as if Cather would agree with any of Somerby's ugly rehabilitation of Trump and The Others.

    Most of us who read My Antonia, did not leer at the girls in it. Some of us were disappointed that Antonia didn't leave that farm, that her goals for her own life were so limited. But Antonia was happy at the end and that is important too. Antonia was never interested in those town boys and she ultimately married someone who shared her goals, not someone who would have leered at her for being suntanned, as Somerby does.

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  6. My Antonia is not about Antonia or about immigrants. It is a coming of age story in which a young boy at first has a crush on a companion then idealizes her, then comes to appreciate her as a person.

    Somerby is stuck in the madonna/whore stage. He sees Antonia as an idealized version of both womanhood and immigrant experience. Cather tries to be realistic about portraying both, but her main character is smitten and doesn't see Antonia as she is (from the details provided). The book is about how his view of women changes.

    It is not surprising that Somerby doesn't see this. He has a problem with women generally and this is another manifestation of it.

    Trump demonizes immigrants but the solution is not to idealize them either. They are people, fully realized and multi-dimensional. Relating to their plight as people is needed, not making angels of their children to motivate sympathy.

    As Somerby continually notes, The Others are people too. They no doubt love their dogs and enjoy TV and have many good traits, but they are also doing the wrong thing and believing garbage and making a mess of our country, and they need to be told that and held accountable for their participation in evil, from Trump on down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Evil? Democrats have killed 57 million nameless faceless powerless invisible humans since 1973. Nothing that has ever happened in this country approaches that evil.

      Delete
    2. God has killed every single living creature on this earth going back to the beginning of time, except for those currently alive (whose days are limited). How evil is that?

      Delete
    3. Translation of the fetusolator @6:58P, "Democrats have consistently supported the right of women to control their own bodies, and I define that as evil."

      Buy a clue, Sparky. It's not political affiliation that defines who has or performs abortions. Republicans as well as Democrats have abortions. The determining factor is sex: women have abortions. Republicans as well as Democrats perform abortions. The determining factor is training: medical professionals perform abortions.

      Delete
    4. "Nothing that has ever happened in this country approaches that evil."

      Allow me to introduce you to President Ronald Reagan.

      Delete
    5. @deadrat
      Should Democrats/liberals adopt your term “fetusolator” to describe pro-life Republican “Others”, or will that gain votes for Trump/GOP? What would Bob Somerby think?

      Delete
    6. Deadrat, you are almost there. When there are laws against professionals performing abortions, then women will still have them but they will be performed by non-professionals or will be self-induced. These amateur abortions are dangerous and unintentionally kill women. That is one reason why even those who dislike abortions are willing to keep them in the hands of medical professionals instead of returning to the days when they were done illegally by those without training, or performed by desperate women on themselves.

      This is why someone with the attitude of @6:58 is considered to have no concern for women.

      At the heart of the need for abortion is men. Some men will not accept a baby, others will provide no support for it, yet others will physically attack a woman who becomes pregnant, and yet others will shame or throw a pregnant woman onto the street, and yet others will fire her from her job, and some men will deny women access to her own baby insisting it be put up for adoption, and yet others will insist that a woman do everything they say because they are obviously untrustworthy if they become pregnant, and so on. There are nearly always consequences beyond the baby itself, and sometimes those consequences are intolerable and a woman might wish to end her life rather than suffer them. That is why some women are desperate and why they would inflict damage on themselves to avoid the men in their lives finding out they are pregnant. So access to abortion comes down to men exerting control over women and that is why it is so often men who are adamantly against abortion.

      Breeding more white babies to prevent replacement is part of the white supremacist platform. Women are supposed to be cared for by white men and their role is to breed and care for children so that the white race will prosper. So there is a definite tie between conservative views of women's participation in society, the overlap with white supremacist views which would roll back everything women have gained since they got the vote, and fundamentalist religion which espouses the same medieval place for women in our society.

      So, this is not just about abortion and not just about women's bodies. It is about racism and bigotry and white male domination and the use of violence or force (political or otherwise) to maintain privilege at the expense of those who are subjugated. And it isn't just people of color who are the targets -- women too are being targeted by white supremacists.

      So, deadrat, appreciate the support but please understand what is at stake. This isn't just about abortion.

      Delete
    7. People who kill others are not good or sympathetic. This goes for women who kill their babies if there is no extreme circumstance present, which is almost always the case when women "exercise their right to" kill their babies.

      Delete
    8. Fetusolator and other terms are used to conceal the fact that abortion is one human being killing another. They don't want you to remember that a fetus is a human being.

      Delete
    9. "I'm going to invite a disabled infant to my house, knowing he can't leave, then I'm going to ask him to leave, and when he doesn't because he has not yet learned to walk or feed himself and this burdens me, I'm going to shoot him under the Castle Doctrine. You think controlling my property is evil!"

      Delete
    10. A better analogy is I'm going to leave my swimming pool gate open knowing there are 1 year olds playing 10 yards away likely to crawl in and drown. If they don't drown I'll go tie cinder blocks to their feet.

      Delete
    11. Does 11:58 and 12:28 really think that a woman's body is the same as a house or a swimming pool? Does he not see the implied ownership of the house or swimming pool by someone external? Are woman's bodies owned by someone else? The analogies here imply that they are. Are women separable from their bodies? Is anyone? Does this commenter think that women think of their bodies as something separate from their selves?

      Delete
    12. Women's bodies are owned by women or "are" the women. They are the only means by which the helpless individual whose existence they knowingly took the risk of realizing, is sustained until he can survive on his own.

      An ethical person does not kill that individual regardless of a legal right to do so or the fact that she owns the means or is the means or both, whichever semantic construction you like.

      Those killed as a result of this right existing are conscripts for preserving certain rights of the woman, not unlike those killed by random mass shootings were the same for preserving the right to self-defense.

      None of that makes a killing moral.

      Delete
    13. Every society considers killing in self defense to be moral.

      Delete
    14. The examples involved the mother doing the killing or the mass shooter doing the killing. The deaths resulting from the actions of the mother or the shooter are the price we pay for a right to a certain freedom. Neither are moral killings.

      Delete
    15. When a mother has an abortion, she is acting to protect herself. That is self defense. It is moral.

      In order to define this as something other than self defense, you must consider the status of mother and fetus as something different than intertwined with the mother in control of her body and self.

      I don't know why you are talking about mass shooters or other killers when that has nothing to do with the situation women find themselves in when pregnant and considering abortion. Those are highly emotional situations and perhaps you intend some of that emotionality to spread to the topic of abortion. That is a propaganda ploy not any kind of serious consideration of how women feel or why they make the decisions they do, which are entirely theirs to make.

      I find this consideration of what is moral to be akin to vegetarians discussing the morality of eating meat. Humans have to eat something, I see little difference between eating animal vs vegetable matter as both are living beings. Nature demands that we must eat to sustain life and the only possibilities are other living things, since we cannot eat dirt. Abortion is similar in the sense that a decision is made to sustain one life at the expense of the other, the woman is never happy about it but it is also not a "moral" or "immoral" choice, it is most often a necessary one.

      I find God and nature to be amoral. Applying morality to amoral situations is a loser. When people do it, I believe they are being manipulative and not serious about discussion, they just want to impose their own conclusions on others, as men want to impose their control over women in this situation.

      If you had any insight into your own motives, you would blush.

      Delete
    16. @11:15A,

      When there are laws against professionals performing abortions, then women will still have them but they will be performed by non-professionals or will be self-induced. These amateur abortions are dangerous and unintentionally kill women.

      This is an argument from consequences, and although it’s true, I find it weak. We have laws against drunk driving even though people routinely drive drunk anyway.

      This is why someone with the attitude of @6:58 is considered to have no concern for women.

      I can only guess what goes on in the mind of a fetusolator. In my experience, they do express concerns, but those are inextricably intertwined with a malignant and irrational religiosity. But there are non-religious people against abortion, so it’s wise to understand that we can only guess in the case of @6:58.

      At the heart of the need for abortion is men.

      This statement is followed by a long list of the failings of men, all of which I’m willing to grant, but none of which are useful for your argument. At the heart of the need for the right to have an abortion is the necessity of granting women autonomy over their bodies, an autonomy that’s necessary for any individual to be free.

      [tl;dr: your claims that white supremacy and “white male domination” are tied up with the abortion issue.]

      Maybe. But if white supremacy were a driving factor, then I’d expect more fetusolators to advocate abortion for the fetuses they consider mongrels. But I don’t hear that. Fetusolators are against the abortion of every blastocyst.

      This isn't just about abortion.

      Fetusolatry is closely associated with many regressive ideas. But there are those who oppose abortion rights without the extra baggage. It’s a wise idea to make the right to abortion all about abortion. There’s a strong argument to be made on the side of individual rights, and you don’t have to condemn all your opponents as white supremacists.

      Delete
    17. "When a mother has an abortion, she is acting to protect herself. That is self defense. It is moral."

      Dembot, you're getting real close to winning the grand praise of the most stupid dembot here (obviously resident dembots-reptiloids don't count).

      Self-defense is, y'know, defense.

      If someone's attacking you, dembot, then under some circumstances you may be forgiven for defending yourself with violence.

      And killing the attacker could be forgiven only under very, very dramatic circumstances. And only after a thorough investigation.

      Does it sound like a description of pregnancy to you, dembot? If it does, your brain must've decomposed beyond recognition...

      Delete
    18. @deadrat

      “you don’t have to condemn all your opponents as white supremacists.”

      Why isn’t the same true for your term “fetusolator?” You can oppose anti-choice positions, but you don’t have to condemn all your opponents as “fetusolators.”

      Delete
    19. Mao, thank you for sharing your touching #YouKnowMe story of your abortion decision with us. The moment when the doctor told you that if you continued your pregnancy your medical condition would worsen and greatly increase your risk of death was especially moving. How did you decide whether to save your baby or yourself? The choice to abandon your husband and children and save your baby instead must have torn you apart. How could you choose? And when you knew that you had only weeks to live, what did you do then? How did you tell your parents? What did you say to your other children? Will they name the baby after you? You are far braver than I could be, so my thoughts and prayers are with you in your final days. I know that most of us would have chosen abortion with the hope of adopting but I too would have cursed God for giving me such a choice, who can make it and how can a woman live after choosing a baby over the needs of her children? Mao, you are an amazing woman!

      Delete
    20. Fetusolator @11:54A writes:

      Fetusolator and other terms are used to conceal the fact that abortion is one human being killing another. They don't want you to remember that a fetus is a human being.

      Fetusolator is a neologism that I coined from fetus + idolator, meaning one who worships fetuses, raising concern for the fetus above the well-being of actual individuals. As far as I’m aware, I’m the only one who uses it, and I do so to express my contempt for zealots like 11:54A, who substitute a conviction of their own rectitude and their faith in their particular religious cult for an understanding of ethics, legality, and biology.

      A fetus with origin in a human sperm cell and a human egg is human. Biology informs us that it can be nothing else. The same is true of the zygote, blastocyst, and every stage of human embryogenesis. The question is at what stage, if any, does the human in utero become an individual with rights that society protects, and if it does, what happens when those rights conflict with the individual with the uterus in question.

      I don’t use the term fetusolator to conceal anything, and fuck you very much for suggesting otherwise. I use the term to reveal my contempt for you and your fellow zealots.

      Delete
    21. Mao, thank you for sharing your touching #YouKnowMe story of your abortion decision with us.

      Oof! That should leave a mark, even for a self-admitted troll like Mao.

      Delete
    22. @6:06P quotes me thusly:

      “you don’t have to condemn all your opponents as white supremacists.”

      and then asks

      Why isn’t the same true for your term “fetusolator?” You can oppose anti-choice positions, but you don’t have to condemn all your opponents as “fetusolators.”

      What makes you think it’s not true for my term fetusolator? Although I prefer the word contemn rather than “condemn.”

      There are anti-choice people who understand that theirs is a moral position that must not be legislated. There are anti-choice people who make nuanced judgments about the permissibility of abortion depending on the length of gestation. There are anti-choice people who understand the need for abortion in cases affecting the life and health of the mother. C Everett Koop comes to mind.

      I don’t call any of these people fetusolators.

      Delete
    23. Mao, our very own Village Troll writes:

      If someone's attacking you … then under some circumstances you may be forgiven for defending yourself with violence.
      And killing the attacker could be forgiven only under very, very dramatic circumstances. And only after a thorough investigation.


      Under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, you are pretty much automatically forgiven for killing someone you thought was a threat. The state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you didn’t feel threatened. There’s no “thorough investigation” because the law also allows the killer to sue officials who bring a homicide case that fails to lead to a conviction.

      (In practice though, you get the free pass only if you’re white.)

      But thanks for playing. It was adorable. Really.

      Delete
    24. @1:02P writes:

      Women's bodies are owned by women or "are" the women. They are the only means by which the helpless individual whose existence they knowingly took the risk of realizing, is sustained until he can survive on his own.

      This is a strange (but for the argument, probably necessary) use of the word “individual.” Many women get pregnant either without “knowingly” taking a risk or with knowingly taking all reasonable precautions to prevent pregnancy. In any case, it’s none of your business, right?

      An ethical person does not kill that individual regardless of a legal right to do so or the fact that she owns the means or is the means or both, whichever semantic construction you like.

      Thanks for sharing. So this is a private ethical issue and not a legal one?

      Those killed as a result of this right existing are conscripts for preserving certain rights of the woman, not unlike those killed by random mass shootings were the same for preserving the right to self-defense.

      This is a strange (but probably unnecessary) metaphorical use of the word “conscript.” I take it that this means that abortion is the price society pays to preserve the right to bodily autonomy for half its population. Those killed in mass shootings don’t die to preserve the right to self-defense. They died to allow unfettered access to just about everyone to weapons of mass murder.

      None of that makes a killing moral.

      Thanks for sharing again. So abortion is a moral matter best left to the consciences of individual women?

      Delete
    25. @5:12P writes

      When a mother has an abortion, she is acting to protect herself. That is self defense.

      This is surely true of all abortions performed late in the third trimester. (Anyone who doesn’t understand why and can’t find the answer may ask for edification.) But it doesn’t apply to abortifacients taken with days of intercourse.

      I can’t follow the rest of your argument which starts with highly-emotional women, descends into a rabbit hole of vegetarianism, and emerges with an amoral God. I think this is easier than you make it out to be.

      An embryo is at some stage either an individual or it isn’t. If the latter, we’re done. If the former, then we don’t allow one individual to use the body of another without permission. If at some point, we perfect surgery in utero that requires tissue from the father of the fetus, we still won’t pass laws requiring the father to undergo an invasive procedure to procure the necessary tissue. We may think the unwilling father an immoral brute, but we shouldn’t violate his bodily autonomy. What’s good for the gander, so to speak, goes for all geese.

      Pregnancy is not an illness, but it’s not a benign state of bliss either. Death and severe complications occur in about 1% of pregnancies in the US.

      Delete
    26. @11:15A writes

      Should Democrats/liberals adopt your term “fetusolator” to describe pro-life Republican “Others”, or will that gain votes for Trump/GOP? What would Bob Somerby think?

      “Democrats/liberals” can do what they want. I’m not in the advice business.

      How would I know what will or won’t gain votes for Trump? Gallup tells us that a reliable 40+ percent of voters are just fine with a President who’s a malignant narcissist, a compulsive liar, a total ignoramus, and complete incompetent. Do you think that percentage might go up if fetusolators were called out as such?

      What would TDH think? My guess is that he’d disapprove of my rhetoric. What’s your point?

      Delete
    27. "If at some point, we perfect surgery in utero that requires tissue from the father of the fetus, we still won’t pass laws requiring the father to undergo an invasive procedure to procure the necessary tissue. We may think the unwilling father an immoral brute, but we shouldn’t violate his bodily autonomy."

      The father is an immoral brute if we have a moral standard that includes an expectation that parents should contribute to the survival of those they produced with the understanding of the risk of that outcome.

      We understand the immorality of a father who does not attempt to support his child financially. To claim that it is moral to deprive that same individual, at a younger age, necessary physical assistance when his very life depends on it, is completely illogical.

      There is no credible moral standard that permits the father to carelessly produce someone and then deprive him of, in your example, the temporary use of his body.

      It's easier to imagine a first grader who requires a blood transfusion from a parent. One who understood that if he were to reproduce, this procedure would be necessary for the survival of his son or daughter. We would expect him to undertake the risk. And we would understand what it means morally were he to kill his son or daughter in order to avoid the risk. The legality of the killing would not enter into the moral consideration. Nor would the age of the victim. There's also no credible moral standard that devalues a human being based on his youth or "failure" to have fully developed his abilities.

      The circumstances under which the government should be involved is debated and debatable, but the morality of the act in almost all cases is not. There was a time this was understood and most people recognized the complexity of certain cases while at the same time also understood the immorality of the act in the rest.

      This isn't a left-right difference in a moral standard. One side has simply begun to argue that noticing that what takes place is the killing of a human being by his or her parent, who is morally obligated to assist that helpless human being, violates the parent's bodily autonomy.

      When pressed, they must either adopt a new moral standard that would be completely foreign and depraved to most on the right AND left, or acknowledge that under their own moral standard, this social condition is more problematic and consequential than any other.

      The crazies on the far left who have no issue with parents killing sons and daughters have dedicated themselves to fomenting emotional rage about "control of our bodies" so that these realities remain unrecognized.

      Democrats do not even recognize the right for others not to fund these killings. As recently as ten years ago, every Democrat recognized that right.

      There are rights that are necessary in a free state that are abused and exercised immorally. The 1st and 2nd amendments for starters. We have a moral obligation to notice and criticize those instances in which the irresponsible exercise of these rights offends, harms, or kills others.

      Delete
    28. "Pregnancy is not an illness, but it’s not a benign state of bliss either. Death and severe complications occur in about 1% of pregnancies in the US. "

      No one who is not willing to accept the normal risk of a pregnancy should have sex without being sterilized first or without having proof of her partner's sterilization. No male should engage in sex if he is either not sterilized or has not to the best of his ability determined that the woman will not kill anyone produced from the act.

      "There is only a small chance of pregnancy if I use this method, and if it fails I'll kill him or her and force myself not to think about my son or daughter as a real human being" represents a severe moral deficiency. Women often regret it, and exposing the reality of abortion to deter the act is better than contributing to a willful blindness that will haunt the ones who eventually recognize what they've done.

      Deliberately concealing the truth of it represents extreme moral depravity, but it has somehow become the required Democrat policy.

      Delete
    29. "This is a strange (but probably unnecessary) metaphorical use of the word “conscript.” I take it that this means that abortion is the price society pays to preserve the right to bodily autonomy for half its population. Those killed in mass shootings don’t die to preserve the right to self-defense. They died to allow unfettered access to just about everyone to weapons of mass murder."

      In both cases, unjustified killings are the consequence of unfettered access to the use of the tools or procedures that kill, such access being a necessary evil to preserve the use of them in morally justified instances.

      In the case of abortion, many times more senseless deaths result but the mass shootings draw more attention because the rest of society experiences a level of insecurity and relates to others' losses. In the case of abortion, the victim of the violence is unseen and unknown and often his existence is unknown to any others. Fathers who object to the killing of their son or daughter are also sympathetic victims.

      Delete
    30. @10:48P

      You keep saying “we,” as though your horrifying moral certainty is simply universal.

      Did I mention that the father is a hemophiliac? Or the likelihood that the surgery will kill the mother, who has three other children?

      But I’m not about to argue about “credible moral standards” with a cult member. Mostly because that’s a fool’s errand, but also because I don’t care about your moral standards as long as you’re willing not to write them in the United States Code or any state’s revised statutes.

      No one needs to adopt a “new” moral standard because you say so, and women having the right to abortions is simply neither the most problematic or the most consequential problem we face. Except of course to fetusolators.

      Sons and daughters are children, and children are born. There are no “crazies on the far left” who have no issue with parents killing their issue. And the only one in an emotional rage is you and your ilk.

      As recently as ten years ago, same-sex partners couldn’t get married. So what?

      We have a moral obligation to notice and criticize those instances in which the irresponsible exercise of these rights offends, harms, or kills others.

      There’s that “we” again. If you think you have a moral obligation to criticize others, be my guest. It’s part of the 1st Amendment that you apparently also find immoral. As. long. as. you. don’t. write. your. moral. outrage. into. the. law.

      And you really have no right not to be offended.

      Sorry, but nobody cares about your feelings. Get over it.

      Delete
    31. No one who is not willing to accept the normal risk of a pregnancy should have sex without being sterilized first or without having proof of her partner's sterilization. No male should engage in sex if he is either not sterilized or has not to the best of his ability determined that the woman will not kill anyone produced from the act.

      Now you’re just trolling me. Is my face red, or what?

      Delete
    32. In the case of abortion, the victim of the violence is unseen….

      Often because it would take a microscope.

      Delete
    33. So, the dembots and zombie-feminazies feed on the same trashy talking points?

      Quelle surprise. Yawn.

      ...actually, as a bonus, why wouldn't you dembots/feminazis explain to us why any heterosexual act is essentially an act of misogynistic violence. Please.

      Delete
    34. Dang, deadrat, you're a machine. Match, set, post. Or something like that. I've always liked fetusolator, but it's somewhat ungainly.

      "Zygoteolater" seems seems equally (Or more) cumbersome. How about "embyrolator." It’s more smoov. And since all stages of the pregnancy are in fact embryonic until the point of viability – sometimes artificially pushed way back for medical reasons – it makes some sense.

      Nah, I’m wrong. Fetusolater it is! Heh heh.

      Leroy

      Delete
    35. "Often because it would take a microscope."

      Smaller human beings are less valuable than larger ones. Is that what the feminists are going with now? Could be problematic.

      Delete
    36. "Now you’re just trolling me."

      Yeah sure you're being trolled. Imagine a moral standard that holds children should be wanted.

      This is foreign to the left now?

      Delete
    37. "Did I mention that the father is a hemophiliac? Or the likelihood that the surgery will kill the mother, who has three other children?"

      All the extreme circumstances were addressed and the legal policy was placed aside.

      This is about morality of the overwhelming proportion of killings.

      Democrats strenuously avoid facing the question head on because they know the answer.

      Delete
    38. "There’s that “we” again. If you think you have a moral obligation to criticize others, be my guest."

      Then we are to understand you have no moral reservation about not criticizing the fact of human beings, in this case mothers, killing other human beings they produce.

      It does make other criticisms you might express regarding man's inhumanity to man, which involve something less serious than killing innocents, rather less credible.

      Delete
    39. "As. long. as. you. don’t. write. your. moral. outrage. into. the. law."

      Hearts and minds. Those who have both understand or are compelled to come to understand the reality and gravity of what is now enthusiastically defended as acceptable by the left.

      Delete
    40. Some of those so-called innocents are not so innocent, as it turns out.

      Delete
    41. The size of human individuals is immaterial.

      There are no human individuals so small that it would take a microscope to see them. Your cult — and which one is it by the way? I’m curious — has convinced you that conception is magic, but it’s likely only one of many absurd pieces of magical thinking that you’re convinced of. You are, of course, entitled to this magical thinking and the expression thereof. I just don’t want you writing your nonsense into law for the rest of us. Deal?

      Delete
    42. Imagine a moral standard that holds children should be wanted.

      We’re not arguing about children. Try to focus.

      Delete
    43. Hearts and minds.

      Your heart has been replaced by an implacable ignorance, and you mind by swiss cheese.

      Those who have both understand or are compelled to come to understand the reality and gravity of what is now enthusiastically defended as acceptable by the left.

      Sorry, the above is borderline incoherent.

      Are you willing to forgo writing your cult’s prescriptions into law or not?

      Delete
    44. All the extreme circumstances were addressed and the legal policy was placed aside.

      Nice use of the passive.

      This is about morality of the overwhelming proportion of killings.

      Not for me. I don’t argue morality with cultists. This is about the legal issues of guaranteeing women the right to bodily autonomy. No matter what your cult has told you.

      Democrats strenuously avoid facing the question head on because they know the answer.

      Only in your cult world. Democrats have squarely faced the question and come down on the side of women’s rights. You just don’t like that answer so you accuse them of violating your cult’s moral code.

      Delete
    45. Then we are to understand you have no moral reservation about not criticizing the fact of human beings, in this case mothers, killing other human beings they produce.

      There’s that “we” again. Who is “we”? You and the rest of your cult?

      Again, the above italic sentence is borderline incoherent. I think that’s because you must rely on murky language to make your case. I think you’re asking (in the guise of a conclusory statement that doesn’t even follow from what I wrote), “Do you find it immoral not to criticize women who have abortions?”

      The answer is no, it’s not immoral. In the case of embryos that have insufficiently-developed nervous systems to qualify them as sentient, I don’t believe abortion has a moral dimension.

      In the case of perinatal abortions, I understand the medical conditions involved, and I understand that these are private medical decisions best left to patients and doctors. So I find no need for criticism there either.

      I understand that your cult tells you to shame women who get abortions, but sorry, I’m not on board for that.

      It does make other criticisms you might express regarding man's inhumanity to man, which involve something less serious than killing innocents, rather less credible.

      Oh, dear. A cult member with no understanding of the issues and no moral compass of his own might think me “less credible.” Whatever will I do?

      Delete
    46. "The answer is no, it’s not immoral. In the case of embryos that have insufficiently-developed nervous systems to qualify them as sentient, I don’t believe abortion has a moral dimension."

      So if mere potential for future sentience, sentience non-existent in an human being at a point in time but expected to exist in the future, eliminates his moral right not to be killed, I'll remember that next time someone I don't like is in a coma and I'd like to kill him.

      It will be a failure in reasoning if you now hang your differentiation on deciding it's important that "sentience existed at one time." It would also follow that those further along in development, an adult vs an infant or child, or whose aptitudes in various areas are stronger are more valuable. Or that a chimpanzee is more valuable than a human infant.

      I don't think you believe abortion at any stage is moral at all, Deadrat. You might be making your arguments because you fear someone hurting the feelings of someone who obtains one of the extremely rare morally justified abortions.

      There is enough intelligence in the public sphere to handle the simple idea that some abortions are morally justified and most are not. Every Democrat as recently as 10 years ago held that position. The number that are not excusable justifies the use of shame for the unjustified, in the same way we rightly use shame to reduce racism or the abuse of other rights by mass shooters and the like.

      Delete
    47. @12:02P,

      No one except the two of us are reading these exchanges, and without an audience, the snark isn’t as much fun. So I’m gonna drop it.

      Your religious cult has poisoned your thinking. Allow me to illustrate:

      I'll remember that [the absence of sentience] next time someone I don't like is in a coma and I'd like to kill him.

      I realize this is hyperbole, but your cult has convinced you that your cult is all about love. Therefore anyone — in this case, I — who disagrees must harbor some animus, in this case toward embryos. As absurd as that is. As an aside, you may regard your cult’s disapproval as the only thing that keeps you from killing those you dislike, but I believe you’re better than that.

      Your cult has convinced you that long-standing tradition and consensus are valuable guides to truth. Thus you note that “Every Democrat as recently as 10 year ago” agreed with you. But at some point in this country’s history, just about everybody agreed that black people were rightfully slaves, that women shouldn’t make or hold political power, and that homosexuality was a sickness, an evil, or both. Secular society improves. Cults move in retrograde. For about the first 1700 of the 1900 years of its lamentable history, the Catholic Church didn’t condemn abortion before quickening.

      It would also follow that those further along in development, an adult vs an infant or child, or whose aptitudes in various areas are stronger are more valuable. Or that a chimpanzee is more valuable than a human infant.

      Your cult has convinced you that human life (as your cult defines it) has some intrinsic worth. Thus the tortured arguments that you infer I’d make about value. Human life has no intrinsic value. I’m not sure about chimpanzees, but on many levels orangs are much more valuable than any human infant. Orangs are a threatened species; humans are in over-supply. Given the the likely anguish and destruction that a human will inflict on the world compared to orangs, the latter are much to be preferred. But my reasoning doesn’t depend on some non-existent scale of value imposed from without.

      Your cult has convinced you that it has a monopoly on right thinking. You can’t even recognize the autonomy of my own thought. As I tell you what I believe, you deny that I can believe it. I must be afraid of hurting the feelings of someone I don’t know. A ludicrous position for anyone who’s read my comments.

      Your cult has convinced you that morality is a thing, an objective set of rules with an existence independent of those who follow them. This is an error of reification. Morality is just a label we apply to what we do. These labels change with time and place. Your cult once approved of slavery. Now, not so much.

      I value myself. This means I have a sense of individuality and appreciation of my own experience. This leads to a prejudice in favor of those with that same sense, what I’ve called sentience. I have decided that the best way to preserve my enjoyment of my experience is to grant the same protections I wish for myself to everyone with my capacity for enjoyment. There is no justification for this decision, and it’s not one honored much in human history. But there it is.

      Let’s assume for the sake of argument that at some point in human gestation an embryo becomes an individual. Before that point, it’s just human tissue. i don’t care about its potential. I can’t read the future. After that point, this embryonic individual is using another’s body. I won’t stand for anyone using my body at my risk and without my permission, so I side with a pregnant woman’s decision to withdraw her permission to remain pregnant.

      And if I were in a coma, I would still like my bodily integrity preserved. If I were in a persistent vegetative state with no cerebral neuro-electrical activity, I wouldn’t.

      You seek to shame others. You only embarrass yourself.

      Delete
  7. I don't understand Somerby's emphasis on the whiteness of Antonia and the other immigrants in Nebraska. Why was that odd to him?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think he finds it odd. It confirms his understanding that humans search for ways to divide us from "them." W E B Du Bois wrote that   "[t]he problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line" and American history seems to bear that out, but it turn out that even in the absence of variation in skin color, we can still divide our communities.

      Delete
    2. Personally, I divide them into pro-choice and fetusolators.

      And then turn around and talk about the unfortunate tendency we humans have to divide ourselves into communities.

      Delete
    3. ‘That said, a lot of people are "pro-life." There's a name for people like these. They're known as "fellow citizens."’

      Delete
  8. My barber, Sam, is a Mexican immigrant. I once mentioned to him that my father could not have had the career I did, because Jews weren't accepted as insurance company executives. Sam was surprised. Prejudice against Mexicans is based on their supposed bad qualities. But, he didn't understand how there could be prejudice against Jews, who were regarded as smart and able. Of course, Bob's post gives the answer. One can always find an excuse to be prejudiced against someone who's different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David, since you are of Jewish heritage, you need to be aware that Jewish stereotypes weren't only about positive qualities but also about negative traits such as greedy, conniving, cheating, avaricious, mendacity, coarse and unrefined (bad taste), social climbing, bad in bed, and menacing (clannish, unfair business practices, plotting against non-Jews).

      Hitler added in degeneracy and blamed Jews for things like modern art, jazz, debauchery of youth, decay of traditions, and so on. Anything considered undesirable was blamed on the Jews.

      Delete
    2. 2:25
      Is that you, real deadrat? Because that was funny as hell. If you ain't the real deadrat, you should name yourself. You got a career here! Just look at me!

      I have to travel soon, maybe that's why I laughed out loud at this.

      A Gathering of Comrades

      Leroy

      Delete
    3. Leroy, thanks for the reminder. Jews were blamed for communism too.

      Delete
    4. Sure, @2:05. However, if one ignore ethnicity, characteristics like greedy, conniving, cheating, avaricious, and mendacity might be valuable in the insurance business.

      ;) Half joking

      Delete
    5. 3:22 you forgot ugly. Those noses!

      Best big nose joke (I've heard them all):

      Hey man, it's starting to rain. Can I stand under your nose?

      Leroy

      Delete
    6. Give it a rest, Leroy.

      Delete
    7. Leroy,

      There is only one real deadrat, and it is I.

      @2:25 can’t be the real me because years ago I gave up addressing David in Cal directly. David in Cal is a moral and intellectual idiot, and if you argue with an idiot, it won’t be long before people won’t be able to tell the difference.

      If I recall correctly, David in Cal was on the agenda at one of the monthly meetings of Jews. His case came up just after the consideration of a motion condemning cinnamon raisin bagels and just before the discussion of how to take over the rest of the banks. There was overwhelming agreement to toss him out of the tribe when someone pointed out that there was no more reason to believe he was Jewish than there was to believe any of his bullshit, like the current nonsense about his Mexican barber.

      I wasn’t at the meeting and only learned about this second hand.

      Delete
    8. Thanks for clearing that up. Good to see you.

      Leroy

      Delete
    9. @2:43

      A Side Effect of a non-being and somethingness attempting humor and failing disastrously is Getting Even.

      Delete
  9. David is of course a tremendous bullshit artist.


    What man or woman hasn't heard of prejudice against the Jews? World War II and the Holocaust? I wonder if "Sam" ever heard of it? It was in all the papers, you know.

    David, maybe your dear old dad should have worked for Donald j Chickenshit counting his casino money. Jews are the only race of people he trusted to do that, preferably wearing a yarmulke. Certainly not a black, that would never do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.aish.com/jw/s/Surprising-Facts-about-the-Jews-of-Mexico.html

      Delete
    2. Yes, mm, Trump was never prejudiced against Jews. In fact, he deserves credit for opening up the ritzy golf clubs in Palm Beach to Jewish membership.

      Delete
    3. Wrong, David, Donald J Chickenshit stereotypes Jews just as he stereotypes blacks, and Irish and Italians and Muslims etc etc etc. That is most definitely besides being a sign of pure ignorance a form a prejudice. His decision to open Mar-a-Lago to Jewish membership was simply a decision suggested to him by his business manager during one of those frequent periods in his business life when he was, shall we say, down on his luck.

      Delete
    4. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/08/trump-calls-netanyahu-your-prime-minister-jewish-american-event/3398487002/

      Delete
    5. https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-rolls-out-anti-semitic-closing-ad

      Delete
    6. https://theweek.com/articles/835714/what-donald-trump-said-about-jews

      Delete
    7. hardindr - Israel is called the Jewish State -- the homeland for Jewish people. So. IMHO it's an awfully slim act of prejudice to call Netanyahu "your PM" when speaking to a group of Jews.

      mm - poor Trump not only has to do the right, but he has to do it for the right reasons. Perhaps you will say he had the wrong reasons for strongly defending Israel in the UN and for moving the US Embassy to Israel's capital Jerusalem. Nevertheless, what I see is that Trump has done more for the Jews than any of the Democratic candidates, including Marianne Williamson and Bernie Sanders.

      Delete
    8. Were the Jewish people that Trump was speaking to Israeli citizens? If not, then why would Netanyahu be their prime minister? Are you not familiar with the trope of Jews and Dual Loyalty?

      https://theintercept.com/2019/04/07/unlike-ilhan-omar-donald-trump-accuse-american-jews-dual-loyalty-israel/

      You also chose not to comment on the many other times Trump has expressed antisemitism...

      Delete
    9. hardindr - I have seen that criticism of Trump's ad before. It's entirely bogus IMHO.

      First of all, it's not true that "the four readily identifiable American bad guys in the ad are Hillary Clinton, George Soros (Jewish financier), Janet Yellen (Jewish Fed Chair) and Lloyd Blankfein (Jewish Goldman Sachs CEO)." OTC Barack Obama is readily identifiable. Bill Clinton is readily identifiable. James Comey, I think, is the one shown along with Hillary at 0.05.

      Also, I wouldn't call Lloyd Blankfein "readily identifiable". I doubt if more than 1 person in a 1000 would recognize him. Soros is better known than Blankfein, but even Soros would probably not be "readily identifiable" to most Americans.

      Second, these Jewish people are shown very briefly.

      Third, most people don't even know that these people are Jewish. I myself was not aware that Janet Yellen is Jewish (nor do I care.)

      This complaint about Trump's ad is just the usual political mud-slinging.

      Delete
    10. It may be business as usual to you and to Trump, but it is not to White Supremacists, who notice and appreciate these shout-outs. It is also not nothing to Jews. Liberals care about creating a society that doesn't single out groups for hatred, that doesn't support the bigotry of white supremacy and similar doctrine (Q-Anon for example), where all citizens can participate without encountering such slaps in the face during an election. There is no excuse for this and claiming ignorance on behalf of Trump or Sam the barber is unacceptable.

      Delete
    11. @5:06 How do you know what White Supremacists notice and appreciate? I would assume that there aren't a lot White Supremacists in your circle of friends.

      I question your assertion that liberals don't want to single out groups for hatred. Hillary may have lost the election by calling a big group of us a "basket of deplorables." A black Republican candidate was told by a liberal radio host to stop eating "coon flakes." I recall when liberals insulted Mormons by referring to Romney's "magic underwear". My impression is that liberals will single out anyone for hatred when an election is at stake.
      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/republican-hits-back-after-radio-host-tells-him-to-stop-eating-coon-flakes

      Delete
    12. I believe the reference to "magic underwear" comes from South Park.

      White supremacists tell us all what they notice and appreciate. They tweet too. They announce themselves proudly these days.

      Your idea that liberals only hang with other liberals is kind of stupid. For example, I play duplicate bridge and we select our partners based on playing ability, not politics.

      You don't have to form specious impressions of liberals. Befriend a few and then you will know for sure whether they single people out for hatred just during elections (or in between them too). Your examples of "hatred" demonstrate a very thin skin for teasing and humor, but I suppose that is what Bill Maher was talking about Friday night when he said people are too angry and polarized these days. That story about coon flakes sounds like the kind of thing Russia made up during the last election. Do you really need to reach that far for an example?

      Delete
    13. Why do you always have to be such a disingenuous bastard, David? Trump connection to the state of Israel is based on the fact that it is currently being governed by an extreme right wing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who worked hand in glove with the treasonous republican congressional leaders to undermine and attack former President Obama, and disgracefully was invited to address Congress by republican traitors.

      I can't wait to see how friendly Donald J Chickenshit will be with the Israeli government when they finally throw Benjamin in prison for his extraordinary corruption.

      Every American president in my lifetime has supported the State of Israel unconditionally, and rightly so. And that will never change, at least in my lifetime. This is not negotiable as far as I am concerned. But, that doesn't mean we must accept their directives on how we conduct our foreign policy.

      Delete
    14. mm - What do you mean by "extreme right wing" as applied to Netanyahu?

      Delete
    15. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/24/world/middleeast/benjamin-netanyahu-otzma-yehudit-jewish-power.html

      Delete
    16. David, you disingenuous phony bastard, you're in your 80's and you are asking me to define what extreme right wing means? The political philosophy you have identified with ever since you obtained John Birch Society membership card?

      I decline to go chasing you down your diversionary rabbit hole, asshole.

      Delete
    17. Why include these Jewish people in the ad, if, according to you, no one has any idea who they are? Political ads are very expensive, and always carefully thought out and planned, especially in a presidential campaign. Who would a political ad that features and denigrates Jewish people in finance and banking be aimed at? Is this really that hard?

      Delete
    18. hardindr - these Jewish people were on for literally a fraction of a second. Of course I can't say why they were included. But, their tiny exposure seems to me to make their inclusion insignificant. YMMV

      I have trouble seeing how Trump could appeal to antisemites. Almost half of his family is Jewish. He chose to put Jewish daughter and son-in-law in top positions.

      Delete
    19. Antisemites have always had Jews they find acceptable or even like, just as racists have done with some black people.

      https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/storm-and-menace

      Delete
    20. hardindr -- So, you can't prove you're not an antisemite by
      -- repeatedly denouncing antisemitic groups
      -- being close to your Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren
      -- supporting Israel to a greater extent than prior Presidents
      -- selecting Jews to be among your very top advisers

      Bigotry is a handy accusation. There seems to be no way to refute it.

      P.S. compare Trump's behavior to his predecessor, who took his wife and children to a bigoted church for 20 years and who treated Israel worse than other Presidents.

      Delete
    21. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/03/09/trump-called-gary-cohn-a-globalist-heres-why-some-people-find-that-offensive/

      Delete
    22. Obama treated Israel so poorly...

      https://theintercept.com/2016/12/30/barack-obama-wasnt-nearly-as-tough-on-israel-as-republican-presidents/

      https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/13/netanyahu-backs-down-in-u-s-israel-military-aid-deal/

      https://time.com/3894355/barack-obama-adas-israel-synagogue/

      Delete
    23. Choosing not to veto, Obama lets anti-settlement resolution pass at UN Security Council
      In dramatic departure from eight years of policy, US abstains, enabling 14-0 vote; Israel accuses Obama, Kerry of abandoning it; Palestinians hail ‘day of victory’

      https://www.timesofisrael.com/choosing-not-to-veto-obama-lets-anti-settlement-resolution-pass-at-un-security-council/

      Delete
    24. I never heard the word "globalist" used as an antisemitic slur. Trump made a big deal about being a nationalist, that is putting US interests first. It was obviously in that sense that he meant "globalist" as a criticism.

      I have no patience with those who find (or invent) some obscure meaning to a word or gesture and claim that it tells us something about someone. The Washington Post is no longer a good newspaper.

      Delete
    25. I have read about the far-right for many years. Globalist is a euphemism they use for Jews:

      https://forward.com/news/355135/when-trump-says-globalists-some-fans-hear-the-jews/

      Delete
    26. https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/if-obama-treated-israel-like-reagan-did-he-d-be-impeached-1.5218035

      Delete
    27. hardindr,

      Don't waste your breath. David in Cal is a moral and intellectual idiot, in fact, he's this commentariat's Village Idiot. He can't learn and can do little beyond swallowing whole right-wing propaganda and regurgitating it here. Of course globalist is a term of abuse employed by antisemites. It's the modern form of international as in The International Jew, Henry Ford's exercise in bigotry from the 1920s. Then, as now, the slur is that Jews have no loyalty to their country of citizenship.

      Delete
    28. Obligatory "calling David a moron gave us Trump" post.

      Delete
    29. hardindr - thanks for the link from the Forward. That newspaper is highly anti-Trump. It's not surprising that they asserted that "globalist" is an antisemitic slur after Trump used the term.

      However, can you find links showing the word "globalist" being used as an antisemitic slur before Trump used the word. If "globalist" is really a common antisemitic slur, there should be various links showing it used that way.

      Delete
    30. If Trump creates a new word, glimish, and defines it as being something anti-Jewish, is it any less anti-Jewish simply because no one used that word before Trump?

      Delete
    31. There would be a circularity to this argument, if it were not that the white supremacists also use the word globalist (glimish) as a negative term referring to Jews. This shared usage is part of what links Trump to the white supremacists.

      Delete
    32. @10:55 -- in this case, Trump used an old word, and he used it in its ordinary meaning. His opponents claim that the word also has some obscure meaning -- a meaning that none of of us were aware of. That's a big stretch.

      Delete
    33. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2013/agenda-21-and-jews

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Liberals stand up for immigrants like Antonia. Conservatives enact cruel, anti-immigrant policies, such as family separation and child caging. Liberals object to these policies, and note, correctly, that Trump and his advisers, as well as a significant part of his base, engage in fear-mongering and the demonization of Hispanic immigrants. Liberals correctly ascribe the Trump-conservative anti-immigrant fervor as stemming from white supremacist and racist attitudes which must be called out.

    And for this, Somerby pronounces that liberals are engaged in the same kind of “otherization” as conservatives. He is essentially saying that calling out actual racism and xenophobia is the same thing as being racist and xenophobic, as if these were baseless charges, or as if liberal objections to conservative policies were the same thing as racism based on superficial attributes such as skin color, religion, or ethnic background.

    And in so doing, Somerby fails to come to grips with the reality of the resurgence of racism and white supremacy under Trump, and apparently thinks that ignoring it or refusing to call it out is preferable to allowing it to re-gain the upper hand and that conservatives must not be confronted with the realities of their policies and the consequences of their voting habits for fear of hurting their feelings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liberals stand up for immigrants who are not like Antonia too. Who wouldn't love Antonia? She is white and beautiful and hard working and all things good. Liberals see the good in people who are not tall, who are brown and not particularly Nordic, wearing mismatched t-shirts and carrying toddlers with runny noses. Liberals care about young men in their early 20s who don't want to join gangs in Ecuador.

      Delete
    2. "Resurgence of racism" is a myth unless your measure is whether you're "with the crazed infanticidal left or racist." In that sense, to the extent the racist left pushes that decision, YOU are creating any "resurgence" and you will lose. Again.

      Delete
    3. Leftists don't stand up for immigrants. They ignored Obama's cages. They push for immigration only with an interest in creating more votes for democrats so a gay, abortion, socialist anti white anti male agenda can be advanced. They don't care about anyone but themselves.

      They cry RACISM but every accusation from a leftist is an admission.

      Delete
    4. 11:43:
      You are right. There is no resurgence of racism.

      It never went away.

      Delete
    5. "They cry RACISM but every accusation from a leftist is an admission."

      This is an echo of "Every accusation from a rightist is a projection."

      The right wing tactic of turning every valid objection to the right into a flaw of the left, using every candidate's strength as a weakness just doesn't work on left-thinking people because the complaints don't fit the facts, don't match reality. People on the left have a habit of comparing statements to reality. People on the right do not. So this tactic may work fine with right-wing audiences, but it won't convert left-thinking people because they demand additional evidence.

      The latest attack seems to be to call leftists "racist" as if the long history of support for civil rights will be forgotten in favor of silly arguments and name-calling. But this is mostly just reinforcing those already committed to Trump and not doing anything to detach additional prospective voters from their attitudes. Because anyone who has been paying attention won't believe this desperate-sounding nonsense. And it conjures up the image of PeeWee Herman or some 5 year old, saying "no puppet, no puppet, you're the puppet."

      Delete
    6. Leftists hate white males and are both racist and sexist.

      Delete
    7. 12:05:

      “Leftists” hate misogyny and racism, not misogynists and racists. Kind of like “hate the sin, not the sinner.”’ Everyone should disapprove of these things.

      Delete
    8. "We humans are strongly inclined to regard others with disdain. Some will call Hispanics names. We liberals are wired to do the same with those people, the Trump voters."

      All people name things. It is part of how we form categories and concepts and represent reality mentally in our memory. Thinking is not possible without it.

      The question is what is being named and for what purpose. Saying that leftists engage in name-calling so that makes them no different than rightists is ridiculous. So is trying to stamp out naming, a necessary cognitive process.

      We are individually defined by the things we love and the things we hate (feelings). We are also defined by the things we say and the things we do (behavior).

      Somerby cannot elide the fact that rightists and leftists think, say and do different things, hate and love different things. Those differences define the categories of left and right. The acts of thinking, feeling and doing do not define them because those are the things people in both groups do. But the content is different. We think differently, feel different things in response to the same situations, act differently in the world. Those differences matter.

      So, Somerby, who must surely know this having been a philosophy major in college, is being an ass again. And he is doing this in service to the latest right wing talking point -- that the left is racist because it talks about race (David's version of "the govt is racist because it asks about race on its forms").

      When did Somerby become conservative? When did he become a shill for the conservatives? I'd say that happened around the same time as Russia started manipulating our electoral system, but your mileage may vary. Maybe other leftists realized his conservative before we did and it is the reason he no longer appears on anyone's blogroll.

      Delete
    9. There are good and bad Democrats and Republicans. The main difference is Democrats see goals and Republicans see systems. Democrats don't deal in the realities of the species and try to work within that framework of reality. They deny it exists and try to work with wishes and shoulds, with disastrous results every time.

      Delete
    10. What is your evidence for the generalizations about Democrats? This sounds like more of the "Democrats vote their feelings whereas Republicans use reason" meme. What are these "realities of the species" you refer to? Is this white-supremacist speak for immigrants are bad people because they come from an inferior race or women are the weaker sex because nature made them that way?

      This claim that Democrats have disastrous results is nonsense too. Is that way so many people like their Obamacare and want to keep it?

      I do agree that Republicans frame the world differently than Democrats. Your comment is an example of that. Republicans DO believe without evidence that the changes wrought by Democrats are bad and are responsible for bad things in their lives, but that is because Republicans believe what Trump and others tell them -- that the trade war with China is being paid for by the Chinese, not American farmers, and similar garbage. Without a shared reality, it is hard to find agreement on other beliefs.

      You seem to consider your beliefs and judgments to be "realities." You should consider whether there exists a reality separate from both Democratic and Republican views of it, that is discoverable using scientific method (invented because it avoids the pitfalls of human thinking and tests reality to determine what it is). There is knowledge independent of partisan thinking, but you need to admit that it exists and look for it diligently in order to find it.

      If you are going to argue against idealism, you aren't going to find many takers on either side of the aisle. People know what happens without a goal (vision of a better society) -- corruption and graft because personal interest substitutes for the common good.

      Delete
    11. "What are these "realities of the species" you refer to? Is this white-supremacist speak for immigrants are bad people because they come from an inferior race or women are the weaker sex because nature made them that way?"

      Actually I was thinking mostly of Marxism but you people are so unhinged about identity you can't carry on a rational discussion.

      You don't look for knowledge, you look for ways of controlling others because you are paranoid and emotional.

      You are sheep who latch on to the latest bogeyman (yesterday Russia, today it's "white supremacy") because you're limited and gullible due to indoctrination or mental health issues.

      To take your examples, nature made men less interested in caring for babies and women less rational problem solvers. Who is "weaker" is a stupid question. Women are physically weaker. Men are weaker as nurturers. Men are responsible for intellectual framework that brought about and sustained the strength and freedom of this country. Rational people support it and those consumed with identity based rage would like to tear it down at any cost.

      Lefties are maladapted to reality so can never be happy.

      Delete
    12. Just as I thought. You are not serious -- just another troll.

      Delete
    13. "You don't look for knowledge, you look for ways of controlling others because you are paranoid and emotional.". Says the guy who wants a wall built and have the government tell women what to do with their bodies.

      Once again, every Right-wing accusation is a confession.

      Delete
    14. Democrats don't deal in the realities of the species and try to work within that framework of reality. They deny it exists and try to work with wishes and shoulds, with disastrous results every time.

      Yeah, Democrats see the framework of child labor and say, “We wish that wouldn’t happen. If fact, it shouldn’t happen.” So child labor laws. Democrats see the framework of dire poverty among the elderly and say, “We wish that wouldn’t happen. In fact, it shouldn’t happen.” So Social Security.

      Disastrous results every time.

      “Republicans see systems.” To be manipulated. See this system of taxation? Let’s make sure rich people can evade those taxes. So gigantic deficits.

      Not disastrous, yet. Give it time, though.

      Careful there, Sparky. You’re approaching David in Cal levels of dumb.

      Delete
  12. “Accusing someone of racism is racist.”

    Somerby is slightly more nuanced than this, but he is still expressing this standard right-wing talking point in post after post.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The fact that a liberal blog like TDH attracts a lot of right-wing commenters attacking liberals isn’t all that surprising.

    What is surprising is that these commenters are expressing views similar to the so-called liberal blogger in this case.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Somerby argues that liberals should try to make The Others aware of the humanity of the immigrants, instead of calling them names.

    Somerby goes on at length about the eloquence of this particular 11 year old girl, with video. Are The Others deaf, blind, unable to see and hear that eloquence, unable to understand in her own words that she is human and worthy of being treated that way? If that girl's eloquence can't get through to The Others, how does Somerby expect liberals to get through?

    When you cannot talk to and convince The Others that they are wrong, what is left but name-calling, shaming, use of the law to compel humane treatment, enactment of laws via political coercion, demonstrations and protests, volunteer intervention, and all of the methods used by the left beyond simple name-calling?

    Somerby is an ass. There, I said it. Now he can call me an ass-ist, an ass-hater, a bad person. Because I use my words instead of an assault weapon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Er, Sparky? Somerby isn't going to call you anything. I doubt he even reads his comment section. He certainly never replies to it.

      And why would he with commenters like you? There, I said it.

      Delete
  15. It’s amusing that deadrat, one of Somerby’s biggest defenders in the comment section, can’t or won’t follow Somerby’s advice. Bob has this to say about pro-lifers, back in 2016:

    ‘That said, a lot of people are "pro-life." There's a name for people like these. They're known as "fellow citizens."’
    (http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2016/04/a-week-in-life-rachel-maddows-hannityism.html)

    The fact that even Somerby’s fans can’t follow Somerby’s advice says something, either about his fans, or perhaps that his advice is unsound and unworkable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don’t get me wrong, @10:03A, I’m glad you’re amused. Vivo ut serviam and all that. I just don’t understand why you’re amused. Why do you think I’m here? Do you think it’s so I can slavishly follow TDH’s advice on every issue?

      Why do you think I object to wrong-headed comments from the crowd of Anonymi Ignorami? Do you think it’s because I never consider that TDH might be wrong?

      The fact that even Somerby’s fans can’t follow Somerby’s advice …

      Why, again, should it be odd for me to like some of what TDH writes but think that some of his advice not worth following?

      … says something …

      Thank you, Capt. Obvious. Continue, please.

      … about his fans

      Maybe that his fans don’t think he’s perfect?

      or perhaps that his advice is unsound and unworkable.

      Let’s see if I have this right. Commenters who sometimes agree with TDH don’t always agree with TDH. The fans might be wrong; TDH might be wrong.

      Quite the insight, Sparky.

      Delete

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