SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2023
Also, what Paul Krugman said: Last evening, Tucker Carlson was finishing his opening segment.
In that opening segment, he had discussed the beating and the subsequent death of Tyre Nichols. Tucker had gone to the usual places, saying elites are using the incident to increase their power over people like his viewers.
Briefly, let's be fair. On this rarest of occasions, he didn't say that the Chinese Communists were behind the whole thing!
His remarks about Memphis were crazy enough. For today, though, let's start with what Carlson said as that first segment came to a close:
CARLSON (9/27/23): So it's Friday, apparently a big day for bodycam footage. We got what we showed you from Memphis tonight. But in San Francisco, authorities also released bodycam footage from that very weird Friday night at the Pelosi household in Pacific Heights in San Francisco back in October.
We'll have that—not that we can make sense of it, but we'll have it anyway. And of course, we'll continue, for the duration of this show, to monitor the riots that appear to be unfolding across our country tonight.
We'll be right back.
As it turned out, the riots to which Carlson referred were unfolding inside his own head. For today, we'll focus on what he said about the Pelosi bodycam footage, which he still can't make sense of.
Upon his return, Calson played that bodycam footage. After that, he tried to decipher the footage, or at least he pretended to try.
You can watch the bulk of what Carlson said simply by clicking here. He starts by saying that the 911 operator in the Pelosi incident ought to be "fired immediately." She's plainly our "dumbest 911 operator," Carlson said, without attempting to explain his assessment.
Sadly but unmistakably, it's the type of judgement Carlson constantly makes about the nation's women. Later, you'll see him affirm an account of what's seen on the bodycam tape—a poorly sourced, misleading account which NBC News aired in real time, then quickly retracted.
Now that the bodycam footage has been released, we can see that the NBC account was grossly misleading (and flatly wrong in parts). Inevitably, Carlson—he still can't make sense of what happened that night!—said it was basically accurate.
"Shame on NBC," the excitable fellow excitedly said, complaining about the fact that NBC News had quickly disavowed its report and suspended its reporter.
This sort of nonsense is broadcast, each night, to millions of Carlson's viewers. Elsewhere, people are exposed to vastly different factual claims and assessments.
When large societies break down into an array of such disconnected groups, it becomes very, very hard for such societies to function.
For the record, Carlson does this sort of thing on a nightly basis. He may believe the things he says. It may be that he doesn't.
Do we, within our own blue tribe, ever have any blind spots? We're going to say that we actually do. Consider something Paul Krugman wrote in his latest New York Times column.
Tucker Carlson seems to be crazy-adjacent. Quite plainly, Paul Krugman is not.
That said, Krugman's strength has always lay in his analysis of policy matters. He's less strong in the area of politics, as he showed at one point in yesterday's column.
Krugman was discussing "rural resentment" and the role it plays as rural voters keep trending Republican.
Much of his column made perfect sense. Eventually, though, he said this:
KRUGMAN (1/26/23): What about rural perceptions of being disrespected? Well, many people have negative views about people with different lifestyles; that’s human nature. There is, however, an unwritten rule in American politics that it’s OK for politicians to seek rural votes by insulting big cities and their residents, but it would be unforgivable for urban politicians to return the favor. “I have to go to New York City soon,” tweeted J.D. Vance during his senatorial campaign. “I have heard it’s disgusting and violent there.” Can you imagine, say, Chuck Schumer saying something similar about rural Ohio, even as a joke?
J. D. Vance seems to be transparently phony. Plainly, Paul Krugman is not.
That said, is it really hard to imagine a Democratic politician making the sort of remark which might fuel rural resentment? Not too long ago, a fairly well-known Democratic pol made this famous remark:
You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Eventually, every major politician will make a dumb remark. Vance makes dumb remarks on purpose. Plainly, Barack Obama does not.
That said, rural and small-town America has been looked down upon by upscale urban progressive elites for as long as such places have existed. This pattern obtains fairly widely all over the world, but also right here in this country.
Many Trump voters feel disrespected by our blue tribe's elites, even by blue tribe rubes. In many cases, they feel disrespected by our elites because they routinely have been.
Within our tribe, it tends to be the way it is with human tribes all over the globe. We find it hard to see the truth about the way our own tribe behaves. Even a person as bright and decent as Paul Krugman may fail to discern the pattern.
We wouldn't vote for major Republicans ourselves. We also wouldn't say the things we see blue tribers say, on a daily basis, about the deplorable people who do.
From comments threads on up to the top, we love to name-call these fellow citizens. Please please please don't speak to Those People, we tell our major news orgs.
Tucker Carlson lives off this dynamic. He can see that it exists. Quite often, we blues cannot.
Spoiler alert: Your lizard is going to tell you that we're just stupidly wrong in what we've said about Krugman's statement.
Your lizard is going to tell you to split tiny hairs in search of that verdict. According to an array of experts, that's the way lizards work!
Tsk. What we're getting from your today's post, dear Bob, is that Krug and Demigod Barry are good-decent persons. And incomparable Mr Carlson is a crazy person, despite CCP not being mentioned.
...but - yawn - dear Bob, we are already well aware of these totally unsurprising (for a liberal) peculiarities of your personal opinions. See you Monday...
Somerby is not a liberal.Delete
Yawn? That’s a hot one. Do you have any conception of how boring your stupidity is?Delete
Do you have any conception of how stupid your boredom is?Delete
Hey friends of pigboy Mao are in no position to judge anyone else ‘s intelligence. Glad you find his intellect exciting, Bob.Delete
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Obama is trying to be sympathetic but he is calling out bigotry. Somerby ignores that, pretending that this is just blue tribe snobbery, but what does Somerby think it means when Obama talks about "antipathy toward those who are not like them"? We saw a full day of it yesterday when Cecelia objected to trans people using bathrooms.ReplyDelete
Somerby makes it sound like big-city liberals are mocking the rubes for their clothing or their accents or their lack of broadway shows. That isn't it. Rural areas are big Trump supporters because they are repositories for bigotry. Perhaps Somerby thinks bigotry is A-OK if you are a hick. Or perhaps he doesn't believe bigotry is a thing, just as he tends to deny the existence of racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.
When Somerby acknowledges the problems existing in rural areas with respect to accepting differences, then I will consider whether blue tribes are showing unfair bias against rural bigots. Right now, Somerby is illustrating Krugman's point that no blue politician dare criticize small town America's hatred of those who are different.
Anonymouse 12:55pm, not all trans people, just the fully equipped ones.Delete
If it ain’t drooping, they can be pooping.
You perhaps think that quip is clever. It is a perfect example of (1) your belief that you get to tell other people what to do, (2) your belief that demeaning others is funny, (3) your stupidity, since no one poops on the floor in full view of anyone else, with or without a penis (poop doesn't come out of the penis, even in men), (4) your cruelty -- it is painful to have to go and have no where to do it, but as long as it isn't you, you don't give a damn what other people suffer.Delete
You think you are owning me for complaining about you. You are actually showing your awfulness as a person to all on the internet. And you are undermining Somerby's argument about right wingers being worth consideration because they aren't as bad as liberals call them -- except of course they are, just look at you.
There is no law anywhere that says that only trans people who have had surgery are entitled to the full rights of citizenship in this country, entitled to equal treatment under the law, and the respect of others.
We don't prosecute micro hate-aggressions in our society, but your remarks about trans people fully qualify. That we allow you to say any mean-spirited ugly thing you want about people you hate, doesn't make you a good decent person, not even in Somerby's universe.
Have you noticed that not even the trolls defend you here?
Anonymouse 1:58, you’re here to write at least six paragraphs, multiple times a day, casting aspersions on Bob.Delete
I’m just one more outlet that keeps you from chewing off your buttons.
If you imagine that you have any impact on what I write about Somerby's essays, you are deluded.Delete
Keep in mind, Cecelia, that Somerby teaches us that right wingers such as yourself are victims, and we in our superiority ought to pity you. So, if I call you scum, it’s only my habit of treating right wingers as functional adults, and for that, I am truly apologetic.Delete
Anonymouse 2;20pm, goodness no. By your responses, I’m not even sure you can read.Delete
mh, don’t be, sweetie. Nobody cares.Delete
Cecelia, you have now written far more comments than I have today. Oddly, none of them say anything. Time for you to go watch TV or tend your garden or whatever it is that trolls do in their downtime.Delete
Any time Cecelia is defending Somerby, is time Cecelia is not cheering along Right-wing tyranny, in the name "freedom".Delete
Anonymouse 2:45pm, but you’ll never look away.Delete
What? This makes no sense.Delete
"Not too long ago, a fairly well-known Democratic pol made this famous remark..."ReplyDelete
Look how far back Somerby had to go to find Obama's remark. J.D. Vance is current. What current blue politician has said anything similar? Has Chuck Schumer said anything similar?
Somerby, dishonestly, says "not too long ago" but this quote comes from April 2008. That was 15 years ago. More thumbs on Somerby's scales.
No one is allowed to tell the truth about thought in small town, rural America. That gave us Trump, when he realized he could turn hatred into a grift that would make him tons of money. And the right wing climbed right aboard that train and is still riding it, while Carlson feeds right wing hatred of anyone different from themselves.
You think this is untrue? Go back and read the comments of David in Cal and Cecelia about trans people yesterday.
I live in a blue state, CO, which depends on rural commerce for success. It has many small towns and only one big one (Denver). Cows, mining, crops, a tech industry, lots of federal agencies and military, and tourism (skiing, hiking, climbing). Why are we blue with so much rural enterprise? Because we don't hate people in CO. We care about the environment, we respect diversity, and we stress kindness as a mantra -- you can buy the t-shirt in the airport that says be kind to others. Our rural voters nearly threw Boebert out of office for terminal stupidity, and when her Democratic challenger lost a very close race, he didn't even ask for the recount he was entitled to by law. Because people in CO are nice to each other.
Somerby doesn't understand nice. Neither does Cecelia or AC/MA or many of the people who vote right wing out of spite, meanness, and who love Trump's cruelty and will make DeSantis a nominee because he sought to hurt immigrants and Democrats with expensive stunts.
Is Somerby unaware that they make horror movies now about hapless tourists getting stuck in small towns after dark? Nothing supernatural, just small town anger that terrorizes big city folk passing through.
Differences wouldn't matter so much to Somerby, or anyone else, if people were taught to be nicer to each other, not just their neighbors and familiar faces, but to everyone. That just doesn't happen on the right. And I've never heard Somerby preach consideration for The Other without a heaping measure of abuse for the left. And that abuse seems to be the point of Somerby's essays these days. Even today, Somerby ends by calling us lizards whose brains cannot tell us anything true about our world.
Right on about Colorado. I live in the Northern part of the heinous peninsula in which the governor and his minions last year banned no less than 11 math books. Math books. Among the infractions they cited were passages in word problems that were felt to unnecessarily encourage empathy. Maine, where my son attends college, is like Colorado, predominantly rural and blue. The most common lawn sign I saw while dropping him off freshman year said "Be nice". No "Fuck Biden" bumper stickers nor "Let's Go Brandon" lawn signs. So Bobby, I will give these people you refer to their due respect, as soon as they chose to be less offensive to me, which in all likelihood is never.Delete
anon 1:12, where do you get the idea that I don't "understand nice?" I'm all for nice, and have a pretty good idea what "nice" is; it is many things, but I agree with the dictionary definition of the word.. It's not clear if you are lumping me in with people who vote right wing, and "love Trump's cruelty" - hopefully not. I voted for Clinton and Biden. I think Trump is vile. You may not have noticed, but I've been designated a "Dembot" by the leading authority who often appears on this site.Delete
You aren't very nice here.Delete
This isn't a matter of who you voted for, but of what values you may hold. Niceness and kindness are valued in some places and not others. I think it is even reflected in the way people drive in CO compared to CA (where there are lots of Dems but not any kind of stress on cultivating kindness or being nice to others). People in NYC would be proud of their New York attitude, which has nothing to do with niceness. But I do think that all Democrats share a concern for helping others and caring about what happens to other people.
I haven't noticed many of those values expressed by you and I have noticed that you spend nearly as much time as Somerby attacking the more obviously leftist commenters here. Somerby shows that anyone can say they are liberal, without necessarily walking the walk. That applies to you too. If you're actually nice, trying being nicer to people here.
anon 5:44 - I'm not very nice here??? I'll give you credit for chutzpah, given that, obsessively, every day you attack TDH, multiple times, and for what? Because he suggests that libs have flaws too, and maybe they should try to think of ways to seek common ground with red state voters? It's one thing if you were rational, but unfortunately that's rarely the case.Delete
Let's not attack TDH.Delete
Let's instead laugh at TDH''s nonsense about finding common cause with people who hate mankind.
I'm not seeing where Carlson was making a "judgement" about the "nation's women"ReplyDelete
"He starts by saying that the 911 operator in the Pelosi incident ought to be "fired immediately." She's plainly our "dumbest 911 operator," Carlson said, without attempting to explain his assessment.Delete
Sadly but unmistakably, it's the type of judgement Carlson constantly makes about the nation's women. "
I don't watch Carlson, so I have no idea how routinely he calls women dumb. I don't see 911 operators as a sex-typed job. That particular operator failed to recognize Pelosi's coded plea for help (Pelosi was trying not to antagonize the intruder who was holding him hostage). The operator nearly hung up on Pelosi before catching on to what was happening. I assume Carlson may have discussed that previously, since he was not reporting the event for the first time. The news was that the video was being released, not that the attack happened.
Aside from that, Somerby offers no proof of Tucker's sexism. Personally, I don't think that calling a specific 911 operator dumb because of a mistake she made, is any kind of sexism. But maybe Carlson said other things that Somerby is not reporting today.
Meh. Dear Bob, being a liberal, has no idea who wimmin are anyway.
Even Ketanji Brown Jackson -- who's a million times smarter than all liberals combined! -- can't determine that.
"Please please please don't speak to Those People, we tell our major news orgs."ReplyDelete
Actually, liberals have been asking why papers like the New York Times do not interview Democratic voters the way they do right wing voters. The Times series of focus groups demonstrably skew right, and readers want to hear from a wider group of voters, beyond just Trump voters in small towns. That seems fair to me.
Why is Somerby interpreting demands for equal coverage as an attempt to cancel Republicans? That is paranoid and a talking point of the right wing, not any kind of accurate understanding of what the left has been requesting from papers.
Obama’s remark is basically sympathetic, miles away from Carlson. That’s pretty obvious. But. you can always tell when Bob is attempting to play his readers for rubes, our come the lizard people. When counter arguments are no where to be found, crass insults will do.ReplyDelete
Bobby can't even interpret a quote from Obama without putting a snowflake right wing spin on it.Delete
"That said, rural and small-town America has been looked down upon by upscale urban progressive elites for as long as such places have existed."ReplyDelete
What exactly is an upscale urban progressive elite? It sure describe a minuscule number of Democrats.
When Somerby says "as long as such places have existed" is he referring to small towns? That would then include all of human time since humans stopped being nomadic and settled in towns dependent on agriculture. Cities are a relatively new development. If you want to ask who started the name-calling, it has to be the small towns, since they preceded the cities and would have felt threatened by big-city changes, advances, innovations, and the tendency of diverse others from different places to congregate in crossroads of commerce, which is what cities were.
So, the bigots in small towns are the ones who have to extend the olive branch by abandoning their disdain for city dwellers. It would help if rural people would acknowledge the benefits brought to them by big cities and stop pretending they have a lock on morality and goodness, and they tend to do. No one likes being called evil by a bunch of hicks, even if one of them is named Somerby.
Anonymouse 1:51pm, I’m sure if Bob read his comment board, he’d be grateful today for your service as “show and tell”Delete
Huh? What does that even mean?Delete
Note that Vance did NOT criticize or disparage the PEOPLE who live in New York. He disparaged the milieu. And, he was fairly accurate IMO. There is a lot of violence and disgusting things in New York City.ReplyDelete
Compare this with liberals who feel free to disparage and make mocking jokes using the derogatory term 'hillbillies". How Krugman could have not mentioned this practice is mind-boggling.
David, you cannot have the milieu without the people. It might surprise you to know that crime rates are generally higher in rural areas than in all but the largest cities. I do agree with you that crime is disgusting, however.Delete
Liberals didn't invent the term hillbilly.
"The term "hillbilly" is Scottish in origin but is not derived from its dialect. In Scotland, the term "hill-folk" referred to people who preferred isolation from the greater society, and "billy" meant "comrade" or "companion"."
From the Encyclopedia of Arkansas:
"In modern American popular culture, the term hillbilly is often used interchangeably with other epithets for poor white people such as “redneck,” “cracker,” or “white trash.” But, throughout much of the twentieth century, the word hillbilly conjured a character whose geographic origins were more narrowly defined. Referring to poor, uneducated whites, generally in the Appalachians or the Ozarks but not always confined to these two Southern highland regions, the hillbilly made his literary debut only in 1900, in the pages of the New York Journal. The term was likely in common use, however, in the rural South by the late nineteenth century. Although the subjects of the Journal piece were residents of the Alabama hills, the first scholarly use of the term appeared four years later in a study of Arkansas Ozarks dialect. One can argue that “hillbilly” and Arkansas have been synonymous ever since."
As noted, the widespread use of the term in the South preceded academic usage and also use in cities to refer to rural people. It makes sense that people in Southern cities would be more in contact with those in rural Southern mountains than liberals in Northern cities. J.D. Vance has made a career out of using such derogatory terms in his book, and he is far from a liberal.
Liberals disparage right wingers for reasons having little to do with where they live and a lot to do with who they are and what they do.
I myself have never used the word "hillbilly" in reference to white trash, crackers, hicks, deplorables, malcontent undereducated losers and the like. NYC is the penultimate amalgam of diverse cultures cohabiting a small space in large numbers peacefully. It does not rank in the top 20 American cities for violent crime. It is a global center for culture, finance, art and entertainment. That is the milieu that JD Vance disparages and ignorant rubes like DIC find violent and disgusting.Delete
Althongh Tucker Carlson says lots of untrue things, he also reports true and important things that the mainstream media don't report. E.g, the background, goals and organizing efforts of ANTIFAReplyDelete
Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Friday that Antifa “does not appear by accident” and intends to secure a political outcome in the wake of Memphis police releasing footage of a fatal altercation involving officers and a motorist.
“As we speak, Antifa is coordinating riots on both coasts and in between. That would include Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, California, as well as Atlanta, Georgia, New York City, suburban Washington, D.C., et cetera, et cetera. Barricades are going up right now in Times Square.
This is a media trend that I've noticed for a long time. Mainstream media tends to pretend that demonstrations just arise spontaneously. They tend not to investigate and report on the organizations that are conducting these demonstrations.
Why would you believe anything the clown Carlson says, David? It makes you look stupid. Just saying…Delete
Tucker was incorrect when he said that riots were happening. They weren't.Delete
"Tucker Carlson lives off this dynamic. He can see that it exists. Quite often, we blues cannot."Delete
We've seen today that Tucker Carlson invents things that have not happened, such as Antifa and riots, and attributes them to us. We can see that this is not happening, but David cannot. Presumably Tucker's other viewers cannot either.
Is it worse to call people stupid hillbillies or is it worse to make up riots and call liberals violent (and disgusting) because of it? Somerby's values seem to be a bit skewed, in my opinion. Why does J.D. Vance get to say any ugly thing he wants without rebuke, while we have to follow Somerby's rules or be accused of having lizard brains?
DIC: don't hold your breath waiting on the prognostications of your favorite liar/ Nostradamus. What a joke.Delete
On second thought, go ahead and hold your breath.Delete
More garbage from "highbrow", DinC.Delete
Really, David? Is that what Tucker "reported"?
Was that before or after he suggested the U. S. should invade Canada?
“I’m completely in favor of a Bay of Pigs operation to liberate that country,” Carlson said. “Why should we stand back and let our biggest trading partner … why should we let it become Cuba? Like, why don’t we liberate it? We’re spending all this money to liberate Ukraine from the Russians. Why are we not sending an armed force north to liberate Canada from Trudeau? And I mean it.”
The right-wing personality then laughed and said, “I’m just talking myself into a frenzy here.”
Ha-ha. We don't know what's funnier: Mr Carlson's incomparable sarcasm, or brain-dead dembot reaction to it.
...thanks for the laughs, dear dembot.
Sarcasm is something people who understand humor use. What does it have to do with Right-wingers?Delete
Nothing, dear dembot. So, maybe you should stop being one.Delete
Demonstrations are legal. They are the way the grassroots people express displeasure with some policy or action of those in power. Protest is another word for demonstration and protests are legal too. They are an exercise of American freedoms of speech and assembly. A demonstration or a protest is not the same as a riot, which involves violence by people or visited upon people by either other groups or by authorities such as police or National Guard or militias.Delete
Here is the Wikipedia article on Antifa. Note that it is nothing like what Tucker Carlson and David in Cal are describing:
It might be helpful if the NY Times would interview some antifa members, instead of another group of MAGAts (asking them yet again whether they still support Trump).Delete
Still waiting for those violent demonstrations that Antifa was planning, DIC? Maybe the Soros money didn’t materialize. LMAO. You might consider extracting you head from that part of Carlson’s anatomy. Jeeze.Delete
Bob's back to pretending there is a liberal, somewhere in this great big world of ours, who could possibly be more condescending to Republican voters than Republican politicians are.ReplyDelete
It's a flat-out ridiculous premise, and Bob should be ashamed for posting such idiocy.
A few years ago a couple of writers for the National Review collaborated on a takedown of those very people that Bobby would have us believe are the targets exclusively of urban liberals. They accused them, that is the denizens of such bastions that spawned JD Vance, of being thoughtless, shiftless, often substance abusing malcontents. A cumulative dead weight on our society. You would have thought they were discussing the Negroes. No, these two were describing a segment of our society that was/is downtrodden, rural, predominantly white, and who would ultimately carry Donald Trump to the presidency. So, no, Bobby, your tribal bullshit does not apply here. The intelligencia of the right wing could pick out a deplorable in a line-up. According to these right wing pundits, and the publication that sanctioned their musings, it was always a question of character. Go call them out.Delete
And by the way, there are more than a few predominantly blue rural states in this country including those in the northeast - Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine as examp!es, that do not fit into the simp!e- minded construct here, the difference being that these states are more educated and less racist than let's say the likes of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama. Bobby's neat little urban liberal vs rural conservative dichotomy doe not hold up to close scrutiny, thus I am not compelled to follow down his contrived path.Delete
Unamused, have you looked at nonwhites as percentage of pop in those less racist rural states?Delete
Cecelia seems to be suggesting that minorities are responsible for crime. Actually, poverty is chiefly responsible.Delete
In Denver, roughly 10% of the population is black. That is the same as for Los Angeles. Los Angeles is about 47% Hispanic or Latino. That doesn't seem to make it more crime ridden.
Stockton, the place in CA with highest violent crime, is 12% black and 40% Hispanic. Why is crime so bad in Stockton? Agriculture has been declining at the same time as there has been an influx of poor Asian immigrants lacking skills and education. Poverty has led to crime among poor people as well as people preying on the new immigrants. There is high gang activity in all of the demographic groups, poor housing with people packed together into apartments not built for high density, and few good jobs. Not coincidentally, these factors are cited by sociologists as the causes of crime worldwide, chiefly poverty and lack of education.
Measures to address poverty and social problems related to lack of skills and education are exactly the ones that Republicans oppose in Congress. That is also most likely why there is higher crime in red states, who lack the better social safety nets found in blue states.
While black people may experience higher violent crime rates, they do not commit mass shootings, nor are they serial killers. White men do that. Black people are more likely to be victims of crimes, not just perpetrators. The factors causing crime, including poverty and lack of education, are disproportionately higher among black people, partly due to the legacy of discrimination and racism, and partly due to the lack of family net worth to fund training and education and permit black people to live outside crappy neighborhoods.
"1. Rates of violent crime in the United States have declined significantly over the past two decades, but disparities persist.
2. Exposure to violent crime damages the health and development of victims, family members, and entire communities. Low-income people and racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected.
3. Violent crime is geographically concentrated in particular neighborhoods and in more localized areas known as hot spots; evidence suggests that problem-oriented policing of hot spots can be effective.
4. Strong social organization, youth job opportunities, immigration, and residential stability are among several neighborhood characteristics associated with lower crime rates."
Programs aimed at supporting the neighborhood characteristics that prevent crime are exactly the ones opposed by Republicans, targeted for defunding and eliminated from Republican budgets. This is most likely why red states and red cities tend to have higher crime. When the Republican tendency toward bigotry is thrown into the mix, then the worst outcomes are going to be among minorities who have little alternative but to inhabit the worst areas for crime, especially in the South.
This isn't rocket science. The blue states have the will to do what is needed to reduce crime. The red states do not. Despite that, strong black social organization in predominantly black cities, such as Atlanta, have kept such cities off those top-10 violent crime lists:
Biden has allocated billions for violent crime reduction (with solid results). Congress should do the same.
Somerby seems to be conflicted, at best, about the value of education. Southern states tend to have worse educational systems than northern, especially blue states.Delete
In Chicago, the ongoing problems of the schools could well contribute to the high crime rates. There have been dramatic recent improvements in the schools, so it will be interesting to see whether that leads to decreases in violent crime there.
Somerby's tendency is to deny the reality of large improvements in specific school districts, attributing them to hype and cheating, but it is hard to see why elimination of corruption in district operations and improvement of school funding wouldn't contribute to actual better outcomes for students, which should have an impact on crime rates.
Since Al Capone and collusion with gangsters, through the days of the Daley machine with its boss, Chicago has long had the reputation for graft, bribery and corruption in both private and public enterprise, including the schools. But that has been changing:
"In 2014, the Office of the Inspector General for Chicago Public schools received over 1300 complaints involving accusations of impropriety. Its subsequent 43-page report and audit noted that corruption and theft were still a major problem within CPS, detailing major theft of school funds, kickbacks to CPS employees, falsification of student transfer data, fraudulent selective enrollment applications, and ethics violations. In one particular case involving a half-dozen employees, almost $900,000 was stolen in what Inspector General Nicholas Schuler called a "major purchasing and reimbursement scheme". The schools involved were later identified as Gage Park Academy and Michele Clark Magnet High School. A spokesman for CPS later issued a statement that "Chicago Public Schools is committed to working with the Office of the Inspector General to eliminate corruption, fraud and waste across the district."
There is every reason to believe that if more school funding reaches children in their classrooms, statistics for academic performance should improve, which will give all Chicago kids more opportunities. Chicago has only implemented anti-gang policing with neighborhood and community involvement since 2020. Both of these should have a visible impact on violent crime rates. Test scores are already dramatically higher in Chicago. Somerby may dismiss these but there are concrete reasons why improvement should be occurring and it would be surprising if it did not. Somerby's habitual critical stance may arise because of ignorance about what has been happening in Chicago schools, good and bad.
Unnamused mentioned nothing about crime. His focus was on rural states in the north that he described as being better educated and not racist.Delete
These states are overwhelmingly white. How does he know these states are less racist?
Does he know the per capita income difference between Vermont and Alabama is 7k and Alabama is a much more diverse in pop.
Unamused can know that Vermont and Maine are less racist because the people there have elected Democrats to office, who support anti-racist policies and programs. Racist is as racist does. Civil rights is part of the Democratic Party platform. Electing people who wish to dismantle social justice measures and civil rights is a racist act.Delete
It does sound odd to hear Cecelia imply that perhaps those without any black neighbors may appear less racist because there is no one around for them to oppress. If you are saying that people need to live around black people to be identified as racist, that is wrong. What about those who live in Idaho and the rural areas of the Pacific Northwest? They are some of the most racist people on earth and they have moved to those less diverse states specifically to avoid being around diverse people. Idaho is definitely not a blue state, nor is Wyoming or South Dakota, other bigoted places with few black people.
How do we know the people who live there are bigoted? They say so. Also, you can tell by the billboards the minute you enter the state. The policies of the state are in line with other red states, especially in terms of limiting abortion rights and aid to the poor.
Vermont is 1.5% black whereas Alabama is 26.8% black. The poverty rate in Vermont is 10% whereas Alabama's poverty rate is 16.1%. That poverty rate is a relevant statistic. There are many people who live in the rural areas of Vermont and Maine who are very poor, but they will find more help (rent subsidies, heating fuel subsidies, food stamps, support for job seekers) in a blue state that cares about addressing the social problems of its residents.
You will not see anyone with a lawn sign asking others to be kind or nice in Wyoming, Idaho or South Dakota. In rural areas you will see Trump signs and anti-Biden signs and gun stickers and hunting trophies, and anti-abortion billboards. If you want to know whether they are racist or not, you must sit next to them in a local bar and make a Trump-sympathetic leading comment. Then their beliefs will be clearly expressed.
A racist is someone like the woman at my bridge club who, without provocation, said "If I had a gun I would shoot that no-good Obama." Or who makes a joke about Michelle being trans (look at her upper arms), or who says the government is too busy giving handouts to those people, so they have gotten lazy and don't want to apply for any of the Help Wanted jobs in their town. I've heard all of these myself, from nice white people who considered me safe to talk to because I am not black. Cecelia perhaps considers these sorts of remarks just "telling it like it is" when it comes to black folks. You hear less of this shit in Vermont than in Idaho, I guarantee it.
Anonymouse 3:27pm, six paragraphs of saying that we know people in overwhelmingly white states in the Northeast aren’t racist because they vote for Democrats and are pro-choice.Delete
Not true for overwhelmingly white states in the northwest. Why? They don’t reliably vote for Democrats.
Oh, and states in the northwest and south don’t offer subsidies for indigent people their states. Right,
Yes, you have understood what I wrote. There are militias in the NW that are explicitly trying to start a racial civil war by attacking BLM protesters. The racist white supremacist militias have been documented by David Neiwert (at Daily Kos) for several decades, going back to the 1980s militia movement. He has written several books about them and their connection to Trump. Then there is the Bundy crew, with the same alt-right agenda as Trump, including privatizing public lands and sovereign rights. There is a deeply right-wing religious extremist minority inhabiting rural areas of the NW, described in Tara Westover's biography, Educated. These people are as deeply conservative as any Texas secessionist group. And yes, they are racist bigots.Delete
How do you know who is a bigot? They say and do bigoted things. Try reading a book sometime.
Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump Hardcover – October 17, 2017
The Age of Insurrection: The Radical Right's Assault on American Democracy Hardcover – June 27, 2023
In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest Paperback – April 2, 1999
Red Pill, Blue Pill: How to Counteract the Conspiracy Theories That Are Killing Us Hardcover – September 10, 2020
Anonymouse 4:05pm, and there’s Antifa. Some of those guys made a trip to Atlanta fairly recently and caused some trouble.Delete
Do you honestly think it’s the regular people in the Northwest, who have been there for generations, attracting militia members rather than the vast open spaces and the off the radar isolation?
You don’t hear yourself. You are stunningly closed minded, dogmatic, and tribal. You’re as intellectual as a cultist and just as cordially predisposed towards anyone who doesn’t share your views.
No, the militia people explicitly want to create their own state, called Greater Idaho, incorporating the Eastern parts of Oregon and Washington, the Northeastern top corner of California and the bulk of Idaho. It has been on the ballot in some states already.Delete
I think the people already living there were invaded but I also think they provided a welcoming environment with their own conservatism. Read Neiwert's book to see the origins of the militias there. This originated in those areas and others went there because it was hospitable to their views.
Calling me names doesn't change any of the facts about what has been going on in the Pacific NW. Calling people who disagree with you "cultists" is ridiculous. This isn't me saying this -- go look at the books I listed, written by a respected author who is an expert on history of that area. He has previous books on things like the Orcas who migrate along the coast there, and the relocation of Asian people during WWII. I'm not making this up. This is history.
Here is some support for the idea that the NW is receptive to the militias, not being unwillingly invaded by them:Delete
"When asked why some Eastern Oregonians don’t just move to Idaho, McCaw said it’s because they can’t take their land with them, as some of them live on land that has been in their families for generations.
Erhardt adds, “We are talking about many people who have been on their land, this has been their land in their family for a 100 years.”
This refers to the Greater Idaho Movement, which would create a home for conservatives by merging the rural parts of several states into a larger Idaho.
Cecelia, what is your point? Bobby made a sweeping statement regarding how highbrow urban elites view rural folk. As in they "...look down on them." On what basis is this narrative constructed? What I see here is Somerby lecturing to progressives about our disrespectful manners. My point, to underscore the remarks of the Coloradan, is that the rural population is diverse and depending on factors outside of that single geographic attribute may or may not be deplorable. I can view the rural Maine citizen with the "Be nice" lawn sign as a good neighbor of over a thousand miles distance and the homeowner up the street or more commonly in the rural south with the "Fuck Biden" bumper sticker as a disrespectful yahoo. And whether or not their demographics include population salary differences or more racial diversification has no bearing here. So here is what is wrong with Bobby: his condescension. Not of progressives, or comically, even Einstein, but of that segment of the population that we dare not call out for their feelings to be hurt, the poor snowflakes that if we were just a little nicer would perhaps stop hurling epithets at us. Bobby would like us to pat them on their collective heads and tell them how much we have misunderstood them so that they will like us more and perhaps respect our viewpoints. In other words, he condescends them. Because these are fully formed adults who demand to be taken seriously. This is not Kumbaya territory here, as much as Bobby, in his condescension would like it to be.Delete
Hmm. Having "be nice" as a lawn sign sounds retarded.
...but then, of course, a retard can very well be a good neighbor. Not to mention an intellectual equal to a liberal. So, point taken.
Well played, perfect example. And for that I will break form and give you a little pat on the head. Mommy doesn't do enough of that, clearly.Delete
Be nice, dear dembot.Delete
You can be retarded and be a great American, but you can't be a Republican and a great American.Delete
Yes, dear Gyorgy, whatever you say. Watch your blood pressure.
I got the bat in my trunkReplyDelete
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Cause I'm cruisin' down the ave system thumpin'
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I take a lot of pride in that Brooklyn shit
I didn't make it up I was born with it
I got the Saturday night fever
The bars and pizzerias
The tinted up windows cuisettes with their feet up
Drive to the bridge take it for a climb
I'm on top of the world lookin' down with Brooklyn pride
So glad you could stop by! Would you like to meet Mister Fanny?
If so, then please reply here in the affirmative. I can make it happen!
Of course Somerby gets around to repeating this old right wing grievance against Obama, where they use Obama’s quoted statement to pretend to prove to themselves that he was contemptuous of rural voters. Never mind that Obama himself wasn’t a product of East Coast big cities. And never mind that, as a previous commenter pointed out, Obama was urging sympathy for rural voters, not contempt.ReplyDelete
But leave it to Somerby to fully accept the right wing interpretation of Obama’s statement without the slightest hint of pushback or defense of Obama.
The right wing has made hatred of “liberal” big cities an integral part of their identity and makes disparaging remarks about them every day. Of course they use Obama’s single statement to vilify Obama in perpetuity. That is also part of the right wing belief system, that liberals automatically hate the Others, (which Somerby adopts wholesale without analysis), and they misinterpret and amplify a single utterance, just as they lie about so much else.
Bill Clinton, frequently praised by Somerby as a true “man of the people”, who grew up in extremely modest means in Arkansas, was equally vilified by the right as an elitist.
Somerby has now fully descended to the level of accepting the right wing’s framing of Obama.
At this point, there is no distinction between Somerby’s blog and a standard right wing blog. Even calling himself a liberal isn’t a unique gimmick. There are plenty of liberal-hating (so called) leftists out there.
Bill Clinton is a freaking genius and was rescued from upper class prejudice all his young life by prominent people to which he shrewdly ingratiated himself.Delete
Bob said that Sen. Vance and Tucker Carlson are phonies, He explicitly stated that Obama and Krugman are not, though they too should be careful of a condescending tone.
That sentiment is in stark contrast to how you describe Bob’s sentiments toward both Krugman and Obama.
But then you aren’t here to be an honest broker, you’re here as a hitman.
Hillary Clinton is a freaking genius too, and so is Obama and Michelle, who had a law degree herself and mentored Obama in his first lawyer job, long before becoming first lady.Delete
In high school, Bill Clinton worked on Fulbright's campaign as an intern and later during summers as an aide. Then he went to school at Georgetown (where he was student body president) before he went to Yale Law School and Oxford. Was any of that hard work "rescuing"? I don't think so.
The Washington DC establishment hated Bill and Hillary because they were low-class Southerners. They succeeded because they ignored the established high society social circles and created their own milieu, which others wanted to be part of. Not because anyone high class accepted them or vouched for them. Clinton formed his own power network by chairing the Southern Leadership Conference, as Governor of Arkansas. That gave him a base to run for President, not acceptance by the usual DC power elite.
The Miller Center calls itself nonpartisan but all of its articles online are about Republican presidents, including G.W. Bush and Reagan.
Calling Clinton shrewd and using the word "ingratiating" as if he had to slime his way in the back door, is ridiculous. Clinton earned the regard of those he encountered through his brains and hard work, not via contacts and kowtowing to high class people.
Can't you see how silly you sound when you suggest that a Nobel-prize winning economist needs to be careful of a condescending tone in his columns? Krugman has earned the right to lecture others because he is an expert in economics. The idea that his "tone" needs to be "watched" to avoid hurting the feelings of ignorant right-wingers, is ludicrous.
You cannot tell a hitman from an honest broker yourself, as evidenced by what you quoted here, uncritically and without quote marks around the big words you would never have used without copying them from someone else. (Who says "his young life" in normal conversation?)
No. Clinton is a genius. The others are very intelligent. He’s smarter. Not better. Smarter.Delete
Yes, indeed. He had to face regional and class prejudice from the left.
There's no evidence that Bill Clinton is smarter than Hillary Clinton and many people consider Obama to be brilliant.Delete
High society in Washington DC is not "the left" it is the wealthy and powerful who have lived in that area for generations, and that social structure exists in every major city in our country. Blaming the left for it is wrong. Al Gore, for example, was a member of that social structure, while Bill Clinton was not. Regional and class prejudice came from both parties and not "the left." It was a class issue, not a political one.
Thinking that Bill was the smart one, when the Clintons were always a team, illustrates the sexism of the time.
“mh is from poor southern white trash. Ask her.”Delete
Congratulations. You showed contempt for poor white people. As a troll, can you decide if you want to embrace Somerby’s lesson about sympathizing with poor whites or do you show your true colors? We have the answer.
If you go back and read Somerby’s posts about the Ken Burns country music documentary, they are even nuttier than you remember.ReplyDelete
He was complaining about the impeachment of Trump going on at the time, and how that supposedly showed how liberals (or the Democrats, who knows which term he chose to use) were contemptuous of the “Others” in all those Trump-voting red states where country music was the music of Trump country, and Dolly Parton was one of those red staters, and she was profiled in the Burns documentary, and did we liberals have contempt for her?
Read them if you don’t believe me.
MH, I'll pass on trying to go bacvk and read them - life's too short. I'm fine taking your word for it.Delete
Thanks, AC, I guess? You do see the connection to this current post, right? Somerby claimed that impeachment of Trump was an example of liberal condescension and contempt for rural voters. Instead, it is a constitutional tool put in the constitution by the “founding fathers” to get rid of a corrupt president. So, Somerby has to invent liberal condescension in order to try to make his case.Delete
Here is one list of the top 10 most violent cities in the country:ReplyDelete
1. Memphis, TN (before the current protests)
2. St. Louis, MO
3. Detroit, MI
4. Lubbock, TX
5. Baltimore, MD
pause for a moment to notice that 4 out of 5 are in the South
6. Chicago, IL
7. Oakland, CA
8. New Orleans, LA
9. Albuquerque, NM
10. Stockton, CA
pause again to notice that NYC and Los Angeles and San Francisco and Seattle/Portland and Denver and Boston and most of the other top "blue" cities in the country are not in the top 10
What is the South doing wrong? Stockton is in a rural area. What puts Lubbock on that list (and no, it isn't anywhere near the border with Mexico, neither is Albuquerque)?
The safest cities in the US also have the best school systems and highest rates of college grads:
1. Aliso Viejo, CA (a suburb of Los Angeles)
2. Zionsville, IN
3. Bartlett, IL (a suburb of Chicago)
4. Shrewsbury, MA (suburb of Boston)
5. Lake in the Hills, IL (suburb of Chicago)
6. Bergenfield, NJ (suburb of New York City)
7. Franklin, MA (suburb of Boston)
8. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (suburb of Los Angeles)
9. Winona, MN (on the border with WI)
10. Ridgefield, CT (northern suburb of NYC)
That website (housingwire.com) had a slightly different top 10 most violent cities, including Saginaw MI, Flint MI, Wilmington DE (outside Philadelphia), Alexandria LA, Camden NJ and East St. Louis, IL instead of some of those on the other list. But notice that, again, the traditional big cities, especially the ones in blue states, are not among the most violent places to live.
The same pattern holds. Blue cities are safer than red ones, except for Chicago and Detroit. Red Southern cities are worse for violent crime than blue ones and the safest cities seem to be in Northeastern blue states and in Southern California.
Oddly, Southern California also has a long border with Mexico across which immigrants seek asylum and gangs attempt to smuggle drugs. And yet San Diego and Los Angeles are not hotbeds of violent crime. Why not? Like NYC, Los Angeles is one of the most diverse places in the country. In the LA schools, 97 languages are spoken by English learners.Delete
And yet Tucker and Trump and other Republicans try to portray blue states as mismanaged and crime-ridden due to their policies on immigration and social justice. It is the red states that are less habitable and more dangerous for their citizens. The fear that entails may be why red state voters find Republican approaches more attractive. Fear may also propel red state residents to live in small rural areas where, paradoxically, they are less safe.
"NYC Los Angeles and San Francisco and Seattle/Portland and Denver and Boston and most of the other top "blue" cities in the country are not in the top 10Delete
What is the South doing wrong? "
Ummmn . ... not having international cities full of tech billionaires?
Atlanta has Coca Cola and Mailchimp billionaires. Musk is now in Texas. Wealthy people don't have anything to do with lowering violent crime rates.Delete
Next you'll be suggesting that NYC has less violent crime because Batman lives there.
Better trolling please.Delete
Jim Walton, one of the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, is the richest person in Arkansas and the wealthiest among the group, with a net worth of $34.5 billion.Delete
The Richest Person in Every State in the South 2016:Delete
Alabama -- Jimmy RaneDelete
"Founder of lumber business Great Southern Wood, Jimmy Rane is better known as the Yella Fella, his cowboy alter-ego that appears in his company's TV commercials. After reading about how Frank Perdue had branded chicken, Rane decided to brand a different commodity product, lumber. His gun-toting, horse-riding Yella Fella character fights bandits in company-branded westerns, some of which barely mention lumber at all. No matter: The ads are bizarre enough to be memorable, and they helped create a famous name in a previously unbranded category. Great Southern Wood now hauls in more than $700 million in revenue a year. Rane first got into the lumber business by accident. As a law school student in 1970, he stepped in to mediate a family dispute over his father-in-law's estate and ended up taking over a small business that manufactured fence posts. He tried to sell off the machinery but couldn't get rid of it all. So instead he put the machines back to work as part of a side business, while he served as a county judge. Eventually he turned full-time to the lumber company, and he is still CEO and chairman today."
Mississippi -- Leslie LamptonDelete
"Leslie Lampton founded refining and chemicals conglomerate Ergon in 1954. Initially a petroleum retailer with just two employees, today the company produces and transports crude and engages in oil and gas exploration. It also manufactures asphalt products, like the kind covering the country's roads, and runs a real estate unit that develops and manages commercial and residential properties across the southeastern U.S. In all, Ergon employs more than 2,300 people and brings in more than $4 billion in estimated annual revenues. The intensely private Lampton remains its chairman. He graduated from Ole Miss in 1948 and has donated funds to renovate the university's engineering school through Ergon."
West Virigina -- Jim Justice IIDelete
"Jim Justice for governor! West Virginia's only billionaire, who switched party affiliation in 2015, from Republican to Democrat, wants to succeed incumbent governor Tomblin (D) in the election in November 2016. He won the Democratic nomination in May 2016. His campaign hopes to capitalize on the popularity he gained in the state after rescuing the historic Greenbrier Resort from bankruptcy, giving it a $250 million facelift, transforming it into a 10,000-acre complex with PGA-quality golfing, an underground casino, and with any luck, ski slopes. The source of his original wealth, the coal business he inherited from his dad, has however caused headaches -- and not just because coal prices have fallen. Protests and lawsuits have piled up, and at one point in 2014, he faced over 200 pending regulatory violations, resulting in million-dollar settlements and fines. Despite this, Justice is still a coal evangelist, and in 2015 spent $5 million to buy back some of the mining assets he sold to Russian Mechel in 2009."
Louisiana -- Tom Benson and familyDelete
"Louisiana sports magnate Tom Benson owns the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. He started out as a bookkeeper at a Chevrolet dealership in New Orleans before funneling his earnings into a steady procession of his own auto dealerships, local banks and, eventually, sports teams. He bought the Saints (NFL) in 1985 and picked up the Pelicans (NBA) in 2012. He has been locked in a bitter dispute with his heirs over control of much of his fortune. Benson had been planning on leaving his teams to his daughter and two grandchildren, but in January 2015 he decided instead to leave them to his wife of 10 years, Gayle. His daughter and grandchildren sued, claiming Benson is no longer competent to run the teams. In June 2015 a judge declared Benson competent. He's now trying to exchange team stock held by trusts for his heirs with some $500 million in promissory notes and forgiven debt, though his (potential) heirs are moving to reject the deal. The two parties reportedly reached a settlement in a separate case involving trusts controlling Benson's Texas assets, which include real estate and a bank, in January 2016. Benson also owns a 26-story office building that's named for him and Champions Square, an outdoor entertainment venue next to the Superdome arena where the Saints play."
You should get the idea -- there are billionaires in the South too.Delete
The idea that the South lacks billionaires is majorly stupid given the dark money that funds conservative candidates and especially Trump, but also anti-abortion campaigns, efforts to restrict what is taught in classrooms, organizations like the Chamber of Commerce which writes legislation to advance conservative interests in state legislatures nationwide, think tanks and conservative universities and any number of clandestine conservative efforts designed to suppress Democratic votes, fund extremist candidates and PACs, meddle in public education, and so on.
The South is not poor because it lacks billionaires. It is poor because it does not invest in its people.
I will be more precise for you. Because the south is not full of international cities full of tech billionaires and college graduates?Delete
A more interesting question is are you trolling or really that stupid? Or maybe you're insane. Whichever it is, kiss my ass bitch.Delete
There are universities and grad students all over the south. Georgia Tech, Emory, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Duke, lots of schools in Texas, Univ of Memphis, lots of state universities. The problem is the south doesn't invest in its people by supporting public schools. Its general population is ignorant which contribures to social problems, which it spends no money at all helping people with. There is more divorce, worse health problems, more drug abuse and alcoholism, a higher suicide rate -- because it has a political philosophy of not investing in people but only helping out business and the wealthy.Delete
Calling someone a bitch changes nothing about the hole the South keeps digging for itself. People in the South deserve better than the current slate of ignorant know-nothing self-interested idiots, all Republican grifters with no social concern. That approach doesn't work and that is why the South is doing less well than the blue states.
Don't forget that there is more covid, because fewer people wear masks because of Republican ignorance during the pandemic. People suffer more in the South because of their poor political leadership. It is sad, and then they keep doing it to themselves by electing more Republicans.Delete
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