BREAKING: Services suspended today!

MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2022

That mission of national import:  You may recall the mission of national import to which we referred last Thursday.

That mission got pushed ahead to today. Also, we don't expect to post tomorrow, although we can't be sure.

As we depart on that mission, we'll recommend this report at Slate, though we don't recommend its contents:

The Black BYU Students Asking the Questions White People Don’t Want to Answer

For those who want to consider the way the quality of the national press corps is sliding, the pure silliness of that report by Hampton and Kircher is a document for the ages.

We may go into detail in the future. Be sure to watch the videotapes included in the report.

A serious nation can't function this way. Top experts agree on that point.


  1. " we'll recommend this report at Slate"

    Thanks but no thanks, dear Bob.

    "The Black BYU Students..."

    Eh... "the black students"? What the fuck could that mean? Would you translate it from Lib, please?

    1. BYU stands for Brigham Young University, located in Provo Utah (get yourself a map). The administration there is conservative and students have some stricter than usual rules to follow: women cannot wear short sleeved shirts or dresses and jeans/long pants/shorts for women are discouraged.

      Somerby may not realize the historic legacy of this particular school, and thus may not appreciate the context in which these students are enjoying themselves.

  2. the way, dear Bob: we're puzzled by your limitless interest for meaningless zombie drivel, while paying no attention at all to your tribe's media advocating WW3, not to mention spreading literal Nazi propaganda.

    See here, for example:

    How come, dear Bob? Is it because you're a liberal?

  3. What objection can Somerby possibly have to young people exercising free speech rights in Utah?

    The report in question is an interview with the kids who are asking poll questions on controversial topics of their fellow students and putting the results on TikTok. It seems entirely unobjectionable to me.

  4. "A serious nation can't function this way."

    Some black kids are having fun on TikTok -- call out the cops!

  5. Somerby apparently has a doctor's appointment. I hope he is feeling better soon.

  6. Part of the dementia, or dementia like aspects of
    getting older is quite often.... racism. The
    "second childhood" of growing old corrodes lessons
    learned, belies complexity, and some bad old ways
    come drifting back.
    Bob seldom writes about anything except race issues
    now, he's hardly the only one obsessed with it.
    Still, it's sad. I don't much disagree with his
    take on these self satisfied young people; time
    is likely to catch up with them. But is this
    really the main thing he can occupy himself with
    as our Country flounders, and may fall to scum
    like Mao?
    Yesterday's post on the generally "gotcha"
    over Meadows was not completely wrong- these
    horrifying texts are being leaked for a
    political purpose, the question being "is it
    an important one?" Bob, who may be utterly
    disinterested in the future of the U.S., and
    may drift back to his parents dream's of watching
    the slaves take in the crops, would seem
    sure the right answer is "no."
    When the "lizard brain" catch all comes out
    Bob is usually on much thinner ice. Certainly
    yesterday's post was not as embarrassing as
    Bob's freakish response to "legitimate
    political discourse."

    But Bob is lost for good. He's
    fallen and he can't get up.

  7. One of the group’s Tiktok videos has over 18 million views, and that’s prior to the Slate article/podcast. (It seems doubtful that that number will grow simply because it was mentioned in Slate, which is hardly a media juggernaut.)

    The point is, student groups like this can reach a vast audience in ways that completely bypass traditional media, or the 5 outlets that Somerby considers “mainstream.”

    Yes, young people can be passionate but misguided, but then, they are the future. I for one am interested in what they are saying and doing.

    I don’t really know what Somerby’s objection is to the Slate article, since it’s really just an interview, unless he simply objects to giving a relatively unfiltered voice to people he deems immature and who therefore must be either silenced or corrected by their “betters” in the media.

    1. I'll smack ya in the tail feather.

    2. Off your meds again @5:57?

    3. Seems to me like 5:57 boils things down to their essence.

    4. There is no place for threats here.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. As long as the media supporters of the Democratic party foster the perception that its interests are largely defined in terms of race and sexual orientation issues, they will play into the kind of culture wars that an authoritarian asshole like Ron Desantis espouses. Just watch almost any episode of The View, for example. The Slate piece is a kind of two-fer, advertising an interracial survey about sexual orientation, or a three-fer if the intersection of those two topics in a religious (Mormon) context is considered. Well played. Somerby's objection is that it is trivial. I thought the video was boring. Then again to each their own. Readers of Slate choose their media as do Fox viewers and the Venn diagram of these two groups does not have them intersecting. If dumbing down the liberal community with reporting like this is a part of Somerby's criticism, the same can be said for conservative media, only more so in my opinion (unless you think Kid Rock and Ted Nugent are intellectually fit for mass consumption), but liberal media is only targeted by Somerby for some reason. It would be as, back in the day, if Jon Stewart on Comedy Central repeatedly declared himself a liberal and seldom if ever criticized Hannity or any of those other clowns. That's what makes Somerby a disingenuous critic and begs the question of who pays him for this drivel?

    1. To the extent that I can follow what your saying, I do not agree; identity politics has been the right wing's most powerful tool, and class warfare has not been a particularly effective tool for the Left. The Left waking up to how identity politics can be a powerful tool for them has really shaken those on the Right. How apoplectic the Right get over this emerging tool being used on the Left is a "tell" into how effective it is.

      It is beyond naive to think that if those on the Left stopped talking about race and gender, that the Right would back down in some way. This is the kind of sucker born every minute thinking of Obama and Clinton that got us nowhere, except further right.

      Somerby says in response to the Slate piece: "A serious nation can't function this way." Hardly trivial.

      Somerby targets the Left because he does not support their values.

      You can not point to someone on the Right who is in Somerby's circumstance; he claims to be a "liberal", yet is only supported by right wingers.

      Right wing oppression, whether racial or gender or otherwise, is a major impediment to progressing towards a healthier society. The key thing that those in power have released is that rank and file right wingers are perfectly fine suffering, as long as The Other is suffering worse.

    2. The left is not creating a culture war by supporting civil rights. The right has been and remains the party that is still fighting the civil war, the party that will not tax or regulate the rich, the party of privilege. The so-called culture war is their way of signaling to voters what interests they serve, just as the left does when it focuses on its issues. We need to be clear in informing prospective voters about what we stand for, and not get distracted by addressing the filth spewed by the right.

    3. It's what is leading so many Hispanics to leave the party.

    4. 9:41 Don't tell that to Texans Greg Casar, Rochelle Garza, and Jessica Cisneros - all leftist progressives recently winning the "Hispanics".

      Competent analysis shows that Latinos are not leaving the Dems, but that Republicans are doing a better job at motivating right wing Latinos, particularly those that are typically infrequent voters.

      Latinos are suffering from right wing economic and racial oppression, yet establishment Dems avoid appealing to these concerns, thus a lack of voter motivation; however, when leftist progressives run, who address these issues head on, they tend to win.

    5. "It's what is leading so many Hispanics to leave the party."

      Meh. What's leading "Hispanics" to leave "the party" is that "Hispanics" are a tool of WHITE SUPREMACY!

    6. 7:27,
      Good one, Cecelia.

  9. "As we depart on that mission, we'll recommend this report at Slate, though we don't recommend its contents:"

    Why is Somerby still reading Slate?

  10. Oof Somerby just seethes hate and jealousy.

    What these kids are doing is not new, it is called street epistemology and the one that has been innovating it the best is a guy on YouTube, Anthony Magnabosco. He is pretty amazing.

    It is a way of getting people to examine why they hold certain beliefs, and if those beliefs are reasonable and tenable. The technique involves using questions in a way that avoids offending or insulting (so you'd think Somerby would be supportive).

    1. In his preview, Somerby mentioned how “the quality of the national press corps is sliding”, and the silliness of “the report” (which is written, not by the subjects of the report, but by the reporters). So he gave no indication—zero, zilch, zip a dee do dah—that he was going to criticize the kids being reported on.

      Get it? Somerby over and over again criticizes reporters, but dummkopfs take him to be criticizing the subject of their reporting.

    2. Somerby uses nitpicky criticisms of reporters in order to give a wider audience to right wing views at a supposedly liberal blog. Most of his criticisms of reporters evaporate with a little scrutiny. Meanwhile, Somerby ignores the huge issues in media criticism that are regularly examined on actual liberal blogs, chief among them bothsiderism. Somerby not only doesn't examine it but he promotes it himself and agrees with the opinion writers who express bothsiderist views.

      I consider the so-called media criticism to be shield behind which Somerby hides in order to take potshots at actual liberal issues. Beyond his supposed media criticisms, he expresses a number of opinions that are not very liberal at all, such as the idea that a focus on civil rights is unnecessary and will drive voters into the arms of Trump.

    3. Riiigght, @11:53. That explains why he wrote several posts recently attacking Kevin Drum’s commenters for being so mean, and why he says things like “we’re a pitiful tribe.” Surely he isn’t criticizing any non-journalists? What do you think?

  11. This is what real media criticism looks like:

    Pretending that push polling is legitimate political polling and presenting the results of such surveys as "news" is a form of disinformation.

    1. I wonder how much the "pushing" impacted those answers; on their own, those responses are concerning for non conservatives - it sure looks like about 60% of Americans lean right, with only about 30% or so being true leftists. Yikes. That's depressing.

      I think Somerby's notions are wrong, silly really, that people are turning right due to calling out racism and such, but I wonder why so many lean right.

      It is strange, like that answer on impeaching Biden if he participated in a money making scheme with his kid, I mean, Trump did this in spades. I don't think Biden is particularly corrupt, I am not bothered by Hunter, but Trump is clearly one of the most corrupt people of all time.

  12. ""What is a woman?" Morgan wondered in an interview that aired on Tuesday.

    "I'm not going to respond to the question," Trump replied. "A woman is someone that swims at a certain time and doesn't get beat by 38 seconds."

    During the interview, the former president said that transgender athletes should not be allowed to compete in women's sports.

    Conservatives have recently criticized Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson because she declined to define "woman" at her Senate confirmation hearings."

    1. A woman is whoever identifies as a woman.

      Conservatives are infantile.

    2. Oh dear.

      War is Peace.
      Freedom is Slavery.
      Ignorance is Strength.
      The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman.

    3. Mao,
      You forgot this old chestnut.
      There is a Republican voter who isn't a bigot.

    4. It's why Hispanics and blacks are leaving the Democratic Party.

  13. One hallmark of Somerby's posts here, day in and day out, is that he doesn't trust experts, denigrates expertise, and mocks those with specialized knowledge.

    Today Kevin Drum asks why people today don't seem to trust experts, with a series of graphs. He concludes:

    "I'm not claiming this is the whole story. But overall, distrust of experts is a Republican-driven phenomenon. You're missing a lot if you don't acknowledge that."

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  15. Why do we need to be concerned about racism? Because incidents like these happen to young people who are just going about their everyday lives:

    "Rachel Scheuerman is facing hate crime charges after slapping the 17-year-old Little Caesar's employee in late March. An attorney representing the worker, Ronald "Skip" Kelly, told KFOR that his client is "shocked and traumatized" by the incident.

    "They didn’t have any of the crazy bread,” Kelly told KFOR. "She just kind of went foul about the whole issue."

    The Black Wall Street Times labeled the woman a "racist Karen" after reviewing video of the incident.

    Scheuerman reportedly started hurling racial slurs at the Little Caesar's employee after she was told that the store was out of crazy bread.

    "She proceeds to call him the 'n-word,'" said Kelly. "She don’t just call him the 'n-word.' She prefaces with 'you f-ing n-word.'

    Scheuerman then slapped the Little Caesar's employee across his face after he said that her words didn't hurt, according to the reports.

    The teen told his parents about the incident when he arrived at home, and they took him to the Enid Police Department to file a complaint. But the family sought legal counsel after not hearing back from the police department.

    "If this child would have done anything to this lady, his mother and father would have to have him in a juvenile arraignment within 48 hours, I guarantee it. There is clearly an unbalance," Kelly told The Black Wall Street Times. "Any African American student or kid that went into an establishment and slapped a White person upside the head, they would’ve been arrested that same day."

    Scheuerman is charged with malicious harassment based upon race, which carries a maximum $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

    Racially and ethnically motivated attacks are becoming more widely scrutinized around the country. Earlier this week, a video showed Latina students in Columbus, Ohio being physically assaulted for speaking Spanish."

  16. Oof. Somerby's strange nitpick about the McCarthy reporting, as predicted, is falling to pieces. The real problem with the reporting is that it was obviously withheld to better monetize it.

    "This is serious shit!"

  17. Responding to trolls only encourages them. Stay disciplined, my friends.

  18. When someone walks right up to you it's harder to hate them. Much easier to hide in a recording booth for your radio show, swipe at them on social media, become a stupid blob who hits like buttons every day hoping someone does the same to your virtual self

    1. It may be harder to hate them but it is also harder to talk to them if you have to see them every day and want to remain on good terms. Online, politics don't have to be avoided in order to keep the peace.

  19. Looks like Somerby has decided to retire, or his medical procedure didn't go well. In either case, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  20. Anne Althouse picked up something that Bob might have commented on, if he were posting today:.

    "What exactly does [Elon Musk] believe can’t be said on [Twitter] right now?"

    "It certainly doesn’t take long to find discredited race science, arguments that women are intellectually inferior, antisemitism, defenses of white supremacism and transphobic comments that remain on the platform even under current policy. It is easy to assume that the banned speech that Mr. Musk is standing up for is worse even than that. As the comedian Michael Che put it on 'Saturday Night Live,' the $44 billion deal shows 'how badly white guys want to use the N-word.' All of this is a moral and ethical case for keeping moderation policies in place...."

    From "Let’s Be Clear About What It’s Like to Be Harassed on Twitter" by Elizabeth Spiers (NYT).

    "It is easy to assume" a lot of things! It's also easy to splatter opinion columns with the idea that Musk is a racist, sexist pig and that to declare that you've made "a moral and ethical case" for censorship... and — paradoxically — that you're fighting misinformation.

    It's interesting how much free speech the opponents of free of speech already have.

  21. Free speech is a tool of WHITE SUPREMACY!

    ...and that's why totalitarianism is the way of dear Bob's liberal tribe...

    1. Nice.
      Next time you're in Texas, I'll pick-up the tab for your abortion.

  22. MTG and Boebert are fighting, trying to pretend they aren't the same person, but Randy Rainbow sees through that. I enjoy this song extra because I know how much Somerby hates it when someone is called a Karen:

  23. Meanwhile, this column on the value of an education, by Paul Krugman, is interesting:

    It is safe to tell you about it in comments because Somerby would never mention it.

    1. Some points not mentioned by Krugman:

      1. The percentage of college students who fail to graduate is considerably higher for blacks than for whites and Asians. Arguably, the cause is affirmative action. Many blacks would graduate from lesser colleges than the ones they got into via preferences.

      2. The difference in earnings by college major must be substantial. A degree in software engineering or any of the sciences is apt to be more valuable than a degree in Humanities. And, a degree in politicized stuff such as Ethnic Studies or Women's Studies is apt to be particularly non-remunerative.

      3. The biggest lie in student debt relief IMO is that the money comes from nowhere. In reality, when the government takes on unpaid student debt, other people will lose out. The money will add to their taxes and subtract from their benefits. The losers include those who never went to college and those who sacrificed to pay for college and to pay off their college loans. College loan forgiveness is welfare for the rich, or, at least, welfare for people who are not poor.

    2. "Arguably, the cause is affirmative action. "

      Actually, the main cause of failure to graduate is not flunking out but is lack of funds to continue. Because black students have less money than white ones, their ability to continue their schooling is in greater jeopardy.

      There is a great pay disparity between employment in the private sector and public employment, and there is a great pay disparity between jobs that involve helping other people and jobs in commerce. To the extent that black students are attracted to jobs that involve helping their community, they earn less money, but that is also true of anyone who goes into teaching, public service (government), and helping professions such as counseling, social work, and most medical fields excluding physicians with specializations. Women are subject to the same disparities as minorities, who seek employment in government because there may be less bias there.

      You can also argue that the debt forgiveness will be a stimulus to the economy because it is better for students to be able to buy homes and pay for their families than to have them endlessly in debt and unable to support their families. This is part of why marriage is declining, the avg age of childbearing is higher and families are smaller.

      You didn't read Krugman carefully enough. He explains why your last several sentences are untrue. Note also that Biden is contemplating means-tested loan forgiveness, which will exclude the rich, who do not need welfare.

    3. Thanks for your thoughtful response, @6:53. Your assertions may be right, but I'm not sure. Here are some points
      -- 54% of black students at 4 year colleges fail to graduate in 6 years. That's a lot of students.
      -- Federal pay (including fringe benefits) is better than private industry pay today, on average
      -- Some jobs in commerce pay well; other pay badly. E.g., graduates in ethnic studies are qualified to work in McDonalds or as a shop clerk. These jobs pay badly.
      -- the bias against women and minorities, once very real as I well know, is now a thing of the past. On the contrary organizations public, private, and non-profit are actively seeking and promoting women and minorities.
      -- Yes, debt forgiveness is a stimulus, as is any government spending. And, it's true that heavy college debts hamper marriage and home buying. However, people with college loan debts are far from the most needy. And, stimulus makes today's inflation worse.

    4. "And, stimulus makes today's inflation worse."

      Raising taxes reduces spending, which lowers inflation.

  24. "A serious nation can't function this way."

    There are no non-serious nations.