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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 71,370

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I see what you're doing with your series of trick-Q OPs. What sort of answers are you looking for?

In particular, what do you imagine any Biden supporter will say? As far as I can tell, we Biden supporters are all well past the stage where we think any single candidate is God's Answer to All Our Problems.

Joe Biden is a little older than I'd like, but anyone who's clinging to either Warren or Sanders really should not be talking about Biden's age.

Joe's a good man with a proven liberal record. Lib-er-al. He has not adopted the latest buzzwords, but he's been a liberal his whole life. Likeable? He melts my heart with his sincerity. On target? His opening campaign video with the Charlottesville Nazis made me cry. Godlke and without flaws? Uh -- no.

But look at our field of candidates. With the exception of Tulsi "The Mole" Gabbard, every single one believes in and acts on core Democratic principles. We'd all have to be really, really, really stupid to sit this one out or vote for someone like Jill Stein. I don't think Biden supporters are that stupid.

Does that answer your question?

Remember that haunting question: "If you always wondered what you would've done in 1930s...

... Germany? Well, you're doing it now."

There were pastors who opposed the Nazis, at great risk to their own lives.

Then there were the others.

Be my guest! Ronald Reagan (or his speechwriter, Peggy Noonan) had the gift of uplifting words...

Now, personally I think Ronnie was a fraud, but you have to admit that phrases like "It's morning in America" and " ( America is) a shining city on a hill" really resonate with how we have always liked to see ourselves. Those words called out to our better natures.

Every president in my lifetime, no matter which party, has managed to produce something uplifting and fairly optimistic for an acceptance speech at his nomination and for his Inaugural speech.

Not Donald Trump. With him, what you see is what you get: dark, thuggish, full of hate and derision. At every moment when he is offered a chance to show us something else, he reverts to what he is and how he sees the world. There is no "morning" imagery, just grievance and resentment.

My most enduring impression of his acceptance speech will always be of Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt, two experienced Republican operatives/commentators working for NBC, sitting in the darkness of the arena afterward, absolutely stunned and sickened by what they had just witnessed. Schmidt started talking about the Constitution and the intent of the Framers with depth and insight, and the man just choked up.

First, "the American people" voted for Hillary over Trump by 3 million votes. The "lesson"...

...that needs to be learned has to do with fighting against New Jim Crow Laws that suppress votes, vicious gerrymandering that carves out seeming GOP majorities from what are actually majority-Dem districts, and old-fashioned crap like that. Obama, Holder, and other high profile Dems are working on this, and you can check it out at All On The Line.

In addition, there are 3rd-party and spoiler candidates that invariably peel off left-leaning folk and young idealists. Democratic tolerance works against us in close elections. I, for one, am no longer amused and have run out of tolerance.

The new-fangled stuff has to do with electronic voting machinery that is and always has been hackable. It's not so much that your vote get flipped before your eyes (though that has happened), but that totals can so easily be changed in mid-transmission. Paper ballots are far more reliable, and we need laws that stop over-excitable media types from calling elections before votes are truly counted.

More new-fangled chicanery is the use of Face Book to transmit propaganda. Right now, the GOP and Russian bots own the FB political advertising and comment space. First we need to convince one of those billionaires running a vanity-campaign to redirect their money toward FB in a way beneficial to all Dems. Second, as soon as we can get rid of Moscow Mitch and Red Don, the House and Senate need to rein in Zuckerberg with sharp-toothed laws about his business practices.

Finally, we have to recognize that our last presidential election was subverted, sabotaged, and invaded by a hostile foreign power, and act accordingly. Again, getting rid of McConnell and Trump are Priority One, as they and their enablers are literally treasonous.

Not every voter knows all this, but DUers do, and it is our job to keep straight in our minds that the majority of the American people did NOT vote for this.

Just saw Colbert on "perineum sunning" & haven't laughed so hard in years...

Josh Brolin got sunburned in the place where the sun don't shine, and he is upset

Because this is allegedly an ancient Taoist practice

And all I can imagine is a bunch of pranksters passing around a joint and saying, "Hey, dude, they went for goat yoga, didn't they? .... This time we'll tell them to let the sun shine into their butts for a great spiritual experience."

Great Goddess, I howled with laughter.

How old were you when you "heard this myth"? Also, the "greatest generation" wasn't...

An old journalist wrote a worshipful tribute to his dad and the hard times his dad & mom lived through, and called it The Greatest Generation. Nobody called them that before then, no disrespect intended.

When the young men of my generation were being sent off to war in Southeast Asia we were accustomed to thinking of ourselves (the USA) as the good guys, the guys who won wars, the guys who fought on the right side of history. I was raised to believe that. Ending two World Wars and liberating the concentration camps ought to count for something, one would think.

Instead the politicians in Washington DC (all of them part of the so-called greatest gen) sent our men off to fight an unwinnable war for all the wrong reasons, and because they could not admit it was a god-damned mistake, they kept on drafting and sending soldiers until the revulsion back home tore the country apart.

Excuse me for some of us having had the youthful idealism to believe that we could do better than that. And by gods some of us did -- though power creates its own vortex, and while we rejoiced at unseating Nixon, Newt Gingrich was getting his start.

Also excuse me if we got old. The children we begot are in their 40s and 50s, and those of us who are still alive are trying to eke out a retirement from pensions that vanished while providing at-home elder care for their own parents. Some of those people are DUers.

It wasn't us who "pulled the ladder up" after themselves. Go to the rich and powerful GOPers for that -- only what they did was knock the ladder out from under us and everyone else.

Which brings me to this: STOP DIVIDING US BY GENERATION, AND GET A GRIP ON THE REALITY OF CLASS WARFARE. Class warfare crosses generations and seeks to perpetuate itself at the nexus of money and power.

The Irish in my family came at different times in the 1800s...

There were two sisters that were the sole survivors in their family of a journey on a "coffin ship" during the Famine. There was a tailor who left his apprenticeship in Ireland and stowed away on a ship because of the cruelty of his master. I can't remember the rest just now, and of course never met them.

Before I took a tour of Ireland in my 60s I had only met two people from Ireland in my life. LOL I've mentioned how I was born in California and raised in Hawai'i, and now live in California again. I look like my immediate family, as expected, but really had no idea that there were a whole nation of people who look like they could be my actual cousins.

The history of the Irish in America makes for some interesting reading -- and I learned some startling and even sad things from the PBS series on the Irish in America. (PBS documentaries have just about all the ethnicities covered. Recommended.)

One of the things I learned along the way was the reason the Irish dug the Erie Canal. It seems the original idea was to rent slaves from Southern plantation owners, but as it happened the Southerners were well aware that the job was going to be a man-killer, so they declined. Slaves, after all, were valuable property. Enter the immigrant Irish.

Many of the early Irish immigrants arrived completely illiterate. The British, who had ruled Ireland for centuries, tried to stamp out Roman Catholicism in all of Britain, Scotland, and Ireland, after King Henry VIII broke with the Pope. It was brutal and violent. Religion became an emblem of identity for the Irish that they refused to give up, and since they'd been fighting the British for centuries already, it was just one more grievance. One tool of oppression was to close all the schools run by the Church, and since public secular education was a completely alien concept, this meant no education for anyone who refused to convert. I don't know when education became a thing again.

They farmed potatoes for themselves; the land was fertile, and a diet based on potatoes, buttermilk, and (I think) cabbages was nourishing enough. A pig was wealth. The rest of their energies went to the English landlords who sold their crops away. Then the potatoes failed, and rotted to black goo. The landlords still sold the crops grown for their estates out of the country, even during the Famine.

Half the people either died or left. The population never recovered its original numbers until just about the time I went on tour there. For generations after the Famine their biggest export was people. Even today there are more sheep than people.

Thinking on this is depressing. Their manner of living had been quite primitive, compared to what the US had become by that time. They arrived in a largely Protestant country that was mighty suspicious of their supposed allegiance to Rome. Some spoke no English, and nearly all had an accent that was hard to understand. Their behavior was not polished. They brawled, seemingly for entertainment. They lacked skills. They arrived at the bottom of the social ladder. I think I heard the quote, "They will never assimilate," in that PBS documentary.

I think the stories of some of the single women were inspiring. A fair number went to work in the mills -- and sent money home. Many became cooks and maids, and thought themselves fortunate to be living in a grand house instead of a thatched cottage with a peat fire and no running water -- and they sent money home, too. These women discovered independence.

In any case, your grandparents were of a more fortunate generation -- and even they were part of Ireland's human exports looking for a better life.

I think about the Irish who came in the 1800s not so much because they are exceptional in either achievements or suffering or sheer numbers, but because for me they typify the way immigrants both change America and are changed by it. The Italians, the Irish, the Eastern European Jews, all came in waves and all changed America and made it (us) a richer culture. What do we have to fear from what some call "the browning of America"? In my mind, nothing. The only thing we have to fear is white nationalists losing their freaking minds over the prospect -- and until Trump came along I naively believed we had mostly grown out of that poison.

Sorry this is too long, but your post provoked a thread of thought I had to untangle, and now it's way past midnight.


Noel Ignatiev, scholar who called for abolishing whiteness, dies at 78

I remember the controversy for a couple of reasons. One is my ancestry is Irish, and popular prejudice at one time said the Irish were no better than apes and could never assimilate. (Yet somehow we did.) But mostly I remembered it because it seemed to confirm my personal experience of growing up in Hawai'i: that race and culture are malleable and fluid.

Interesting man, and an interesting obit.


Noel Ignatiev, scholar who called for abolishing whiteness, dies at 78



Ignatiev’s best-known book, “How the Irish Became White,” was immediately influential and controversial upon its publication in 1995. It touched off a firestorm of debate at the time at academic conferences and in the pages of newspapers. In time his view that whiteness is a social and political construction — and not a phenomenon with a biological basis — has become mainstream. The resurgence of white identity politics and white nationalism in recent years made Ignatiev’s arguments relevant to a new generation of readers who argued the notion that race is more about power and privilege rather than about ancestry, or even identity.

The book detailed how the Irish, who had first come to North America as indentured servants and were reviled by the more settled populations of English and Dutch Americans, became, by the mid-19th century, accepted as white. Sadly, Ignatiev argued, the Irish became incorporated into whiteness just before the Civil War, through support for slavery and violence against free African Americans. To become white, Ignatiev wrote, did not mean to be middle class, much less rich, but rather to be accepted as equal citizens and to have access to the same neighborhoods, schools and jobs as others.

“To Irish laborers, to become white meant at first that they could sell themselves piecemeal instead of being sold for life, and later that they could compete for jobs in all spheres instead of being confined to certain work; to Irish entrepreneurs, it meant that they could function outside of a segregated market,” Ignatiev wrote. “To both of these groups it meant that they were citizens of a democratic republic, with the right to elect and be elected, to be tried by a jury of their peers, to live wherever they could afford, and to spend, without racially imposed restrictions, whatever money they managed to acquire. In becoming white, the Irish ceased to be Green.”

Ignatiev’s argument touched off fierce debates; critics argued that he went too far in conflating racial and class privilege. He went on to found and co-edit a journal, known as Race Traitor, whose motto was “Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.” His ideas seemed extreme for the time; critics called Ignatiev — who was Jewish — divisive, even self-hating.

At a 1997 conference at UC Berkeley, on “The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness,” Ignatiev argued that “whiteness is not a culture but a privilege and exists for no reason other than to defend it.”


"A popular cordless household tool costing as little as $100" This is a phrase meant to live forever

...in the annals of political comedy.

Vote suppression is such a big issue we might need more than an umbrella group here...

I don't know how to highlight just the electronic voting issues when so much else is going on.

The GOP historically takes a multi-pronged, Hydra-headed approach, and has been at this since Reconstruction. Doesn't matter the party name at the time -- it's the white-sheet bunch wearing business suits. They seriously do not want anyone who is not white (and preferably male) to vote at all. The old Jim Crow laws were ugly and in-your-face -- and guess what? They are all back in new guise.

Take Gerrymandering, for instance. "All On the Line" the joint project of AG Eric Holder and President Barack Obama, is working on that issue, but they need our help.

But wait -- there's more. Bush/Cheney jumped at the chance to cash in on those troublesome hanging chads. Why be explicitly racist when there's money to be made (Neal Bush invested) -- with the bonus of controlling the outcome?

The early days were hair-raising if you paid attention, and DU was paying attention. There was one place where the final count started to roll backwards. There was another in Riverside, CA where a "technician" strolled in and changed out the mother-boards. There was a Democratic Senator, triple-amputee war hero Max Cleland, who lost his seat with results in several counties reading 88,888 in favor of his opponent. The equipment has proven hackable from the beginning. Recently it's been pointed out that in the interest of immediate results, the tabs from each precinct are wirelessly transmitted to a computer that collects all the data and then decides what the results are.

As Stalin said, it doesn't matter who gets the votes; all that matters is who counts them. And right now, computers are counting them.

DU needs to step up again to educate our members. The other night, when my brain was too befogged with heat (Santa Ana winds out here in the fire zone) to respond coherently, one of our good people started an OP rejoicing that his experience with the new electronic voting machines was easy and pleasant. Help!

So whatever we do, I want an opportunity to share info as multi-pronged as is being deployed against democracy. Maybe a Forum with several Groups within it. Ideally, the forum should have a spot on the home page, same as the Primaries forum.

That's all I've got for now. As you can tell, it has been on my mind a very long time.
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