A MENTAL PICTURE

Here is a story about Sterling Heights, MI residents opposing the building of a mosque in their neighborhood. There is a picture of people protesting on the roadside with the story. But let's be honest for a moment: do you really need to see it?

I think you know exactly what you're going to see. It's going to be a bunch of dumb looking, shabbily dressed white trash with faces that look like they're sucking on lemons. Their haircuts and facial hair will be 20 years out of date. Their shirts will feature motorcycles (or in this case, a semi truck) or jingoistic symbols. Their signs will be poorly scrawled with a marker on Walmart posterboard. They will look like the people you moved out of your hometown to get far, far away from. They are the people who call in to AM talk radio shows and fill local newspaper comment sections with incoherent bile. And you'll see the picture and think, "Yep. Saw that coming."

mosque

As a good liberal I know I am not supposed to hate these people. I am supposed to feel bad for them, as they are often poor, given few opportunities and shoddy educations, and actively encouraged to lash out at anyone different than themselves by the political and economic elites who ream them six ways from Sunday their entire lives. But here's the thing: I hate these people. Go ahead, take away my membership card. I won't appeal.

To people on the coasts and in the Beltway, these "salt of the Earth" / "Blue Collar" types are convenient pawns. Elites do everything humanly possible to avoid having to live near these miserable excuses for human beings, but when it fits their narrative they are more than happy to wax poetic about the virtues of the plebeians that a fictional character described perfectly as "racecar-loving wide loads." That isn't fooling anyone, though. The disgust is so thinly veiled that it would take an act of willful ignorance not to see it. And you know what? I don't blame them. These old, illiterate, racist, hate-filled people disgust the wealthy Republican candidates who pander to them, and they disgust me too. I'm embracing it.

A lot of progressives believe in engaging people like the ones pictured here in some kind of dialogue, as though they can be appealed to on a rational level to give up their deeply ingrained prejudices and hatreds. Why? What is the point of trying to reason with unreasonable people? Nothing they believe is based on reason, rationality, facts, or evidence. It would make no difference, for example, to politely explain that if the city council denied permission to build some scam artist's megachurch they would be squirting blood from their eyes in rage. The "evidence" that supports their beliefs – mosques as repositories of weapons and terrorists – are nothing more than a recitation of their subconscious insecurities and fears. Do you think explaining that to them will matter? I don't. They don't deserve any of your time or energy. The only thing they deserve is derision.

Call it classism, snobbery, or whatever you want. In my view the best thing to do is ignore them and let time, the law, and social change steamroll them into irrelevance. Just go to court, win the right to build the thing, and forget that any of these people exist. One of the reasons they're so freaked out these days is that they are getting outnumbered and a lot of them are nearing death. Let's use that to our advantage and save everyone the frustration and wasted effort involved in trying to deal with them like adults.

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54 Responses to “A MENTAL PICTURE”

  1. T.W. Says:

    Oh heavens, these remind me of exactly the type of people that had shown up to the "Draw Mohammad" contest in Phoenix a few months ago. When you see an old guy exercising open carry and a "FUCK YOU JANE FONDA" patch on a tattered denim jacket, you just know some members of humanity aren't having faith in. I hope that in close elections, a few of them might actually vote in their own self-interest, but other than that I am fine staying far, far away.

  2. Eau Says:

    Yes. This.

  3. Jen Says:

    The difference (one of many) between Sterile Whites (local vernacular) and my hometown of Dearborn, located on the other side of Metro Detroit:

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8080858

  4. Katydid Says:

    Their constant terror and hatred is just exhausting, but I disagree with Ed that they're dying out or that they're confined to the midwest anymore. It's also contagious–my elderly parents (the children of immigrants themselves) have fallen into this Fox-inspired way of thinking. Not that long ago, my father was ranting on about "coastal elites" and I had to remind him he was born and raised on a coast *and still lives on one*. Gee, what does that make him?!? (disgruntled to be reminded, that's what)

    Just this past Saturday while I was driving them around to around round of their endless, Medicare- and Tricare-paid medical appointments (they're both huge consumers of medical care paid for by taxpayer dollars), they were whining about "takers" (really, you guys?) and spouting the Fox-approved rant against "Mooslim immigrants from Syria". I reminded them both that in their parents' lifetimes they were affected by "No Irish Need Apply", and the fundagelicals don't consider their Catholic faith to be Christian.

    They're not even Midwesterners; they didn't grow up like this.

  5. Major Kong Says:

    But! But! I thought they were all about "religious freedom"?

    You mean they're not?

  6. Safety Man! Says:

    @ Major Kong

    You should see the exploding heads when they debate whether or not Muslims should be allowed to own firearms.

    To the blissfully ignorant among us, yes, this is a topic of actual conversation in certain circles.

  7. Hazy Davy Says:

    I'm with Katydid.

    My f-i-l is a thrice-married Catholic immigrant who worked 35 years for the government (in a job bargained for by a union, I think), and who never served (though he claims he wanted to) because his flat-feet prevented him.

    Oh, and he's definitely not white, and is the beneficiary of social security and medicare.

    But he's constantly railing about the need for walls, to abolish unions, the evil of the government, entitlements, how the only heroic thing to do is serve. He repeats Dinesh D'Souza's repetition of W talking points (how we had to invade Iraq, or they'd have nuked us, as Iran certainly will, now).

    Obama is ready to take his guns.

    I've tested him…he honestly does not (can not?) understand that Muslim and terrorist are not synonyms.

    I'm also with Ed. After about 10 years of trying hard to reason with him and educate him, I'm giving up…this is just his "recitation of their subconscious insecurities and fears." And I can't reason him out of fear, no matter how much I want to.

  8. Katydid Says:

    I'm sure if my parents owned guns (what a scary, scary thought), they'd be sure Obama was coming to get them, too. Both my parents went to college on my dad's GI Bill (tuition was free; the bill covered books for both of them) and my mother gets Social Security benefits even though she hasn't worked a day in her life because she gets a cut of my father's, but they're both indignant that some indigent child might get a (crappy) school lunch without having to pay for it. Even though they've both been the recipients of anti-Catholic bigotry, they can't make the mental leap that anti-Muslim bigotry is just as wrong.

  9. Jason Says:

    "You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons."
    -Jim, Blazing Saddles

  10. Skipper Says:

    I don't worry about mega churches. Those are just institutions for separating fools from their money. Keep your eye on the fly-by-night strip-mall churches run by some guy who got his divinity "degree" in an auto-body shop and was ordained by a rodeo clown. That's where the real hate is preached.

  11. c u n d gulag Says:

    The frightening thing is, these people are the ones who vote in every election!

    Take a look at the peckerwoods we have in Congress. These are the people who look at the Louie Gohmert's running for office, and think, "Ya know, dat dere feller is pretty dang smart, so I'll vote for him!"

    "Idiocracy" wasn't a fiction comedy, it was a future documentary.

  12. Dave Dell Says:

    Skipper – I recall the early 70's going to college in Melbourne, FL. (Before Melbourne grew like a mushroom). I had to live in West Melbourne, the capital city of Florida Atlantic coast rednecks, for the cheap rent since my $175 a month of GI Bill didn't cover much. I recall a tent revival flyer that proclaimed a prophet of the second coming would preach that night. He was (and yes, it was all caps) "ORDAINED BY GOD FROM A CLOUD OF GLORY". Drove past the site that night. Big crowd.

  13. peon Says:

    This story is complicated by the Chaldean Iraqi angle of the story. Your analysis of midwestern poor white trash bigotry was a simplistic look at what is actually going on in Sterling Heights.

  14. Davebo Says:

    Excellent point peon.

  15. Dave Dell Says:

    I've said it before, here as well as other places… These people can be mobilized for good purposes. Where's a Huey Long when you need him? Bernie Sanders is a faint echo to that mobilizing force. No one else is close.

  16. geoff Says:

    "Call it classism, snobbery, or whatever you want. In my view the best thing to do is ignore them and let time, the law, and social change steamroll them into irrelevance."

    I really don't thing time is going to steamroll these people into irrelevance, alas. These are the same folks who opposed (successfully, it turns out) school desegregation 40-50-60(!!) years ago. Racism and xenophobia are as American as apple pie– they're not going away. Especially not with the giant right wing megaphone (Fox/Rush/Beck et al.) is egging them on every step of the way.

  17. bb in GA Says:

    @geoff

    one more time

    Fox – 2 – 3 million per day 'best' program
    Rush – 4- 5 million per day
    Beck et al way < Rush (2 – 3 million ?)

    Adult pop of the US ~243 million

    My theory is the reverse of the megaphone. The wise $ heads figured out that there was a vast underserved market segment out there in the ether and created programming to sell their toothpaste, toilet paper, and tennis rackets and VIOLA – we got Fox, Rush, etc…. I have heard as much from Limbaugh….

    //bb

  18. moderateindy Says:

    The people you have to engage are the ones on the fringe. The ones that have not gone full on Fov news RWNJ. Those are the people you need to talk to, and give reasoned arguments to, because as people get older they often drift towards fea,,r and hate. You need to talk them off the ledge before they fall into the fetid abyss that is the right wing noise machine. Once they cross that rubicon it becomes a death spiral of constant alarm and outrage, and no amount of talking matters then.
    I have a friend that is fairly conservative, and has been on disability for years. He is late forties, and lives with his mom, who pays for all his bills, so his SS check is all disposable income. He has argued against Obamacare, and actually once said, I'm sick of paying for these moochers. Not another dime of my tax money for them. This is the type of disconnect you often deal with. Someone that doesn't pay taxes, and collects cash complaining about entitlements. Of course his mother is well off, so when she passes he figures he'll officially be a 1%'er
    When you bring up his income stream he'll justify it by saying I paid into it, so I should be able to collect. He worked perhaps the equivalent of 4-5 years in his life. I doubt he paid in enough cash to cover what he gets in a year.
    As far as I'm concerned it's a good thing that we have such a system where if something bad happens there is a safety net. You would think that someone in his situation would have the same viewpoint. Instead he complains about the system and "those people".

  19. Fred Says:

    @Katydid

    The whole "no irish need apply" thing is a myth.

  20. Misterben Says:

    I grew up in Sterling Heights; graduated SHHS class of '96. Understand that it's not a "small town" – it is 100% suburb. Just subdivision after subdivision of ranch houses peppered with strip malls, with a few isolated big box malls decaying here and there.

    Sterling Heights was pretty prosperous when I grew up there – lots of upper-tier blue-collar Big Three workers with four cars and a boat in the driveway and a pool in the back yard. But SH suffered from the Detroit area's perennial problem: outward flight. The (until recently) endless migration of wealth away from the core. Lots of better-off SH residents sent their kids to college, waited a couple years, and then moved to a bigger house in a more far-flung suburb. The only folks who stayed were the diehards, and those who couldn't afford to move.

    The ones who moved were replaced by very different people, indeed. Immigrants from all over the place – but mainly the Middle East – who had moved into Detroit a few years prior, and were moving out to the suburbs now that they had their economic feet under them.

    In many ways, this was great for Sterling Heights (in my opinion). A lot of those people opened businesses in the decaying strip malls and brought some life back. But the city government utterly bungled the opportunity presented to them, and failed to make any effort to welcome the newcomers, or integrate them into the existing neighborhoods – such as they are.

    And, of course, the old diehard "Sterile Whites" (yup, that's the lingo) hate all the "Arabs" moving in, hate the new stores, hate the mosques.

    It's really sad, because it didn't need to be this way. Sterling Heights is so same-y from neighborhood to neighborhood that it could make an excellent melting pot. But with almost no civil society, and an incompetent local government, the opportunity to be a model for other cities was just completely wasted.

  21. Greg Says:

    @Fred: or maybe not: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/01/the-teen-who-exposed-a-professor-s-myth.html
    Note the link in this I scholarly article to the actual article's publication site.

  22. Katydid Says:

    Thanks, Greg; the No Irish Need Apply was very much an actual thing, and anyone with any sort of research skills can see it for themselves.

  23. Drew Says:

    But even if it *were* a myth, the point is the same. The Irish used to be "ethnic" and face a lot of discrimination, but now they've graduated to "white." Same with Italians. It's amazing how quickly their descendants have forgotten this. They'll get blitzed on St. Paddy's day and still say they're Irish when their family came generations ago, or talk about their grandma's cannoli recipe but forget about what their families really went through.

  24. Doctor Couth Says:

    I've been visiting my wife's folks for a couple of days. I read their local paper's opinion page this morning and learned a few things from the letters to the editor. For one, a Black columnist who compared Kim Davis to a diehard segregationist is "anti-white" and there should be a "white" version of the paper for "caucasians" [this letter was published; what worse submissions came in?]. For another, because a drunk driver once killed someone in a wreck, the state's voters should reject a marijuana legalization referendum [because reasons]. And finally, following an acrostic-form paean to Donald Trump's leadership [I shit you not], I learned that Trump is the answer to America's problems because he "believes in the Bible and the truth of God's word about social justice, the sacredness of marriage, the qualities of a good home and the standards of sexual morality."

    Laugh all you want, until you realize that this newspaper serves a swing county in a swing state, and these people will probably be deciding the next presidential election.

  25. sluggo Says:

    Scary Fucking Stat of the Day:

    50% of the population has an IQ under 100.

  26. Timurid Says:

    So…

    "Conservative" elites hate and fear poor and working class minorities. They also hate and fear poor and working class whites.

    "Liberal" elites hate and fear poor and working class whites. They also hate and fear poor and working class minorities.

    The main difference is that each side wants to mobilize or suppress the vote of different groups and must modulate their public behavior and speech accordingly.

    This seems like an awful lot of work to maintain a charade. We just need a Man on Horseback more qualified and genial than that goofball Trump to unite the superior minds and spare us the need for this whole democracy business…

  27. Katydid Says:

    @Drew; many of the Irish came to America impoverished (from the effects of the Potato Famine and the British taking their land out from under them), Catholic (which the fundagelicals all hysterically insist is not Christian, even though technically it's the first Christian religion), and a good number of them spoke Gaelic as a first language. The Germans faced similiar discrimination for similar reasons. Many Italians, too, only they had the extra disadvantage of being darker-skinned than the Irish and (some) Germans. You can hear the echoes of this discrimination in the rwnj's hysteria over "non-Amurkun-speakin', non-Christian MOOOslims" from Syria.

  28. Name Says:

    @bb in GA

    and much of those 2,3.. 5m overlap.
    but they are marginal bracket voters. and obedient.

  29. J. Dryden Says:

    @ bb in GA –

    The numbers you (accurately) quote may themselves be inaccurate–every time I hear ratings quoted it's within a context that exposes ratings measurements as being wildly inaccurate.

    But assuming that they are true (which, again, they may be!), I would counter with this: you're right that the viewers of Fox News, the listeners of AM Talk Radio, do indeed make up a minority of the population. Granted. Given.

    However:

    One does not need to watch Fox in order to be influenced by it. If, for instance, the local Reverend watches Fox News, and uses its talking points in his sermons, then an entire congregation, though none of them watch the programming, are essentially getting the second-hand-smoke version of it. If Fox News is on at the barber shop, the doctor's office, the nursing home, then technically only one 'household' is watching, though that viewership may run into the dozens, even hundreds–and everyone who watches can spread the word with simple person-to-person conversations.

    I'm not suggesting that that's what's happening everywhere–merely pointing out that if enough people become carriers of the Message, then the Message gets heard, second- and third-hand. (Which may well mean, conversational exaggeration being what it is, that a lot of people are hearing something even more outlandish. Scary thought.)

    And you're also right, I think, that the market existed before the broadcasters. But just as hearing others spout racism will cause one to stop self-criticizing one's own racism and instead double-down on it, there's no reason to think that Rush, Fox, etc. haven't encouraged people to embrace and intensify their inner Tea Partier. (Whether or not you think this is a bad thing is up to you.)

    You are right. Fox doesn't directly reach the vast majority of Americans, and demonizing it as the direct cause of all our ills is foolish. But I guarantee you that, while Fox viewers* make up a minority of Americans, they make up a majority of those attending that protest against the mosque.

    History is made by those who show up. Most Americans don't show up. Fox News viewers, based on the results of primaries and the composition of protests and petitions, show up. The power of Fox is not, therefore, indicated in terms of raw numbers, but in the numbers of participants.

    *I use the term to include those who listen to Rush, etc., or who get their news from TownHall, and so on. Probably a 'tar 'em all with the same brush' bit of bigotry on my part, but fuck it.

  30. Fred Says:

    @Greg

    Cool, that's pretty interesting that she found that evidence.

    @Katydid

    Seems like a lot of people with professional expertise in research missed it, or contest the ubiquity of the sentiment.

  31. Halcyon Says:

    I certainly don't begrudge anyone who feels that way. I do sometimes too. But, well… some of these people are still influencing children and grandchildren too. Hell, I certainly grew up steeped in this shit. My parents are still Fox News True Believers. And if no one had bothered to engage with me and argue the obvious stupidity I was spouting just because it was what I had grown up with, I'd probably still be doing it. I can't help but feel there are still a few who can be saved and, just as importantly, can be shown that these people are crazy.

  32. Arslan Says:

    There's no reason why poverty makes one automatically right, but I think the mistake you're making here is assuming that these types are "working class" Americans. Many of them, especially the boomers, are quite privileged. I'm sure a great many of them at least own their houses and aren't saddled in debt. Then they may be drawing a pension or at least Social Security, and they get Medicare as well.

    This might be a good time to remember that during the Vietnam War, most college students and graduates supported it.

  33. Andy Says:

    Your timing is impeccable Ed. I recently had a serious conversation along these lines with my wife. It is my sincere belief that liberals generally trend to be polite, affable people who shy away from confrontation in sociopolitical situations. These outward expressions of hate lead me to believe that people have become entirely too comfortable being rude and offensive. We might all be better served by unleashing our “inner asshole” and publicly shaming the mouth-breathing morons who regurgitate Breitbart talking points.

  34. Nunya Says:

    I grew up in a town largely funded by defense department spending and home to a monstrous military aircraft plants. Most of the people who lived there were strongly Republican and, post-Reagan, forgot that their livelihoods were, in fact, dependent entirely on Government expenditures.

    My formative years were spend with flag-waving xenophobes. Homophobia, racism, and hatred of anyone who didn't look and speak like their tribe was accepted as was a love of warfare.

    At some point, I looked at the people I respected and found that they were some of the few intellectuals I was fortunate enough to encounter. They encouraged me to leave my home town and experience life in a part of the world where smart people were respected and where discussions based on facts and not on jingoism were prized.

    The good intentions of those rare people kept me from becoming one of these ignorant, fearful people that dominate much of the dying parts of the country. It may seem futile, but you may just win a convert or two at least from the young.

    As for the rest of the geriatric Fox News listeners, fuck them. They're all lost causes at this point.

  35. mothra Says:

    This story is complicated by the Chaldean Iraqi angle of the story. Your analysis of midwestern poor white trash bigotry was a simplistic look at what is actually going on in Sterling Heights.

    Alright, so sprinkled among the midwestern poor white trash are Iraqi Christians who hate them some Moooslims because of religious violence perpetrated against them by Mooslims in the old country? Don't see how that changes much, other than explain the opposition is informed by some other kind of religious hatred. Bigotry is bigotry is bigotry–no matter who is spouting it or why.

  36. Ray Says:

    I want to re-post this so very badly, but my family members that fall into these categories would become less tolerable than they already are. Having to associate with people of these beliefs, but more successful and wealthy, yet still clinging to all of their back country roots truly makes every holiday and family gathering a practice in unbelievable self control and silence.

  37. Ethelreda Says:

    My thoughts, FWIW.

    1) When arguing about politics or policy, you are trying to reach bystanders rather than partisans. So this makes it worth showing up as the nicer, better informed person. This is also why it is worth taking people on when you know one or two *idiots* are just going to repeat talking points forever and dominate the conversation. If you can get other people to think they are idiots also, you win.

    2) Existentially, (terrible start to a point) I personally find that if I am judgmental to others, I judge myself also more harshly. Conversely being nicer to myself makes me nicer to others. I have to just believe all humans have worth to always be able to see my own. I suppose it is the selfish reason to try to remember the humanity of others.

    I still think they are idiots. Human, worthwhile idiots, lol.

  38. Katydid Says:

    @Fred; if a 14-year-old child found copious proof of No Irish Need Apply simply by using Google, then the NINA-deniers must be the mental equivalents to the climate-change deniers. How does that saying go? "There are none so blind as those who will not see".

  39. greenergood Says:

    I am a liberal, probably even way further left past liberal – but my brother matches all the definitions of right-wing in this article, EXCEPT he's a hedge fund manager, not a blue-collar, miserable, white ex-factory worker – he's proud of his racism while not wearing a white hood, proud of earning enough money so his children don't have to go to schools where they'd be forced to associate with non-white children, proud to know that his wife can spend her life going to her gym and personal trainer and use her spare time helping at glamorous fundraising events for their children's exclusive school. He hates blue-collar, white workers as much as he hates people of another colour (unless they're chapion basketball players, or hip-hop singers his kids like) because they're not like him and my guess is that they remind him of where he came from – Gordon Gekko syndrome …

  40. Skepticalist Says:

    Please! Erect a mosque rather than another creationist museum–anything but of what these sign carriers would approve. These are people incapable of making fun of themselves and they have so much to work with. I have a hard time with people who worship stupidity and admit that they are curious about nothing not displayed on Hummer bumper stickers.

    If you have a way to get to them, please post it.

    I remember after 9-11 that a number of Upstate New York farmers of middle eastern origin, put up signs such as: "We Love America" on their property. It was probably a good idea considering the climate of the times. Sadly, maybe it's still a good idea.

    I'm an old man. I remember my best friend's parents telling him to say that they were French rather than admit being Italian. Evidently it was okay to be Catholic if one was French. Maybe it had to do with Lafayette or something. Anti-Catholic prejudice was big just 60 years ago.

    Oh….My favorite quote of the week was from of all people: Bobby Jindal. He said it's a lie that Donald Trump reads the bible. He's not in it.

  41. Mo Says:

    What creeps me out to the point of nightmare is that during the Chinese Communist takeover, these resentful peons were the ones most easily led to destroy others. One of the Red leaders boasted how he could go into a village and turn it Red within days, with granaries sacked and landlords murdered.

    Later, cadres were drawn from the resentful and marginally criminal skanks and losers that everyone else loathed. They were the apparatchiks of collectivization and Mao's Great Famine, only too happy to turn in their neighbors' pig to the communal kitchen and work someone else's water buffalo to death.

    When you're not particularly smart, or good-looking, or athletic, or talented, or fashionable, or rich, or funny, or kind, or generous … when you're always passed over and get the leftovers, because you just don't have all that much going for you, I can sort understand how this sort of treatment might get old quick and breed resentment and humiliation and unremitting fear of losing what little you have, hatred of those you view as more privileged, combined with worship of rich people who can throw their weight around. A pack of sullen bully-wannabes.

    Unless, of course, you're a decent human being. Then you play the hand you got dealt and try to do the right thing by everyone else.

    You'll be the first to be killed, of course, if the trash are given an avenue to power – one of the big lessons the 20th century taught us.

    Now what do we do? How to we defuse the insane?

  42. calpolymom Says:

    I couldn't agree more. I would love to share this on Facebook, etc. but the people I work for are right wing loons and would probably fire me. I live and work in deep red Orange County, California.

  43. Brian M Says:

    greenergood: You may love your brother, but when I hear about the utter pride spreadsheet diddlers have in their scams…errrr, profession, I start thinking about tumbrels.

  44. Katie Says:

    I was just having this conversation with my husband the other day. I threw up my hands and said "I'm classist and I don't care". I find myself avoiding certain parts of town because they are always crammed full of white trash and it makes me really uncomfortable and unsafe. I once had a panic attack at a Walmart the night before Easter because I couldn't handle the crowd.

    In truth, I harbor a deep fear that I am still one of them and the rest of the upper-middle class will figure out I'm an imposture no matter how much money I give to my local NPR station.

    At least *I* can find my own insecurities are attached to my prejudices.

  45. bad Jim Says:

    calpolymom, Orange County's kinda purple now. Loretta Sanchez is one of our congress critters. My nieces and nephews summoned me and our equally godless Australian cousins to dine at Baos Hog (the apotheosis of the pork bun, in Little Saigon aka Garden Grove). Fifty years ago it was nakedly racist, even anti-Semitic. We still manage to elect crazy people to Congress, and vaccination rates are scandalously low, but we're fairly adept at understanding mangled English.

  46. quixote Says:

    I grew up in Cambridge, Mass. Whaddya mean "these are the people you left your hometown to get away from"?

    "These people" were mythical figures to me. I saw them on television sometimes, but you know how it is when you're a kid. They didn't really exist.

    Then, as an adult, I had to spend some time in north Florida.

    I was like some medieval rube landing on one of those white spots on a map marked "here be dragons." And, yes, I left town as fast as I could to get away from "these people."

    You're wrong about one thing though. There are plenty of young ones. And there are plenty who devolve as they get older and angry. We're never going to age out of it. It's going to take changing minds.

  47. HoosierPoli Says:

    I don't hate them. I pity them. As Nietzsche pointed out, pity is actually worse than hate. You hate equals, but pity inferiors.

  48. Katydid Says:

    @hoosierPoli; my feelings toward them are more exasperation. I'm #$%#$% tired of every conversation having to be held through the denialism and the willful ignorance of facts. I don't want to have to keep trying to educate the willfully stupid that "two plus two equals four" while they plug their ears and scream that it equals cheese.

  49. democommie Says:

    @Skepitacalist:

    Teenage knot heads burned a SIKH temple, just a few miles from Palermo,NY (where I lived for about a year, five years after the event). The head of the Sikh congregation tried to get the morons who were put in jail a more lenient punishment, the judge was having none of that. My guess is that the locals still blame the Sikhs for being fuckin' MOOOOOOOOOZLIMZ!!!!!

  50. Gino Herron Says:

    greenergood, I graduated high school with a few hundred prosperous catering class( lawyers, stockbrokers, investment advisers, and contractors) assholes along with some who became 1%ers. The smugness is matched only by the condescension and racism. I, however, became a labor organizer and union business agent. You can imagine some of the conversations at and around the 40-year reunion a couple years ago. The fact that I'm a rather large individual likely prevented some of these encounters from going high noon, but it was pretty exhausting and definitely a bullshit experience. In a few years when the 50th rolls around, I assume many will be relieved their bolshevik classmate won't be showing up. I'd rather join Buscemi in the wood chipper outside of Fargo than spend time with them again. So, yeah, I hate the bastards and don't intend to waste any time trying to convince any of them this country's wealth was built in a prosperous, union-represented middle class. They've made too much money off-shoring jobs or clipping coupons from investments in companies that do the same to do anything but laugh at my cherry socialist observations.

  51. Fred Says:

    @Katydid

    "Simply by using google" isn't exactly that simple. in 2002 Jensen would probably not have had access to complete digital archival research accessible by google.

    Researching the NYT the occurrence of 2 NINA postings in 70 years of publication seems rather definitive in the absence of a complete record.

    NINA "Deniers" also seems kinda over the top. But you obviously feel strongly about this. Otherwise why would you call into question the intelligence of everyone that had approached the topic prior to July of 2015.

    Take a breath

  52. Morzer Says:

    "Researching the NYT the occurrence of 2 NINA postings in 70 years of publication seems rather definitive in the absence of a complete record."

    That assumes that the NYT is the most likely place to find a representative record of such things. My guess is that you'd have to look at the more tabloid papers and that even then there's quite a substantial body of anecdotal evidence that you would miss. I would suggest your methodology is somewhat questionable.

  53. Robert Says:

    One thing that surprises me about these comments is how many of you have living parents. If my father were alive, he'd be ninety five; my father- in-law would be a hundred and three. I like to think that my dad would have been immunized by his lifetime devotion to St. FDR and the Blessed Eleanor, as well as a career in the USPS. In my generation, one of my brothers teaches English in a city college and another was career USAF (now a contract specialist for the DOD). I spent my entire working life with the VA (Prosthetic Service). Socialism been berry berry good to my family, and we all know it.

    Given who and how I am, and living in Oakland California, I don't hear people talking this kind of balloon juice. I don't mind that at all.

  54. The Unicornstitution | Swinging dead cats Says:

    […] I'd like to do a series of posts explaining why the belief that the Republican Party, in its current incarnation, is capable of governing responsibly is a dangerous myth. Obviously, there's a large market for irresponsible federal government at the moment, as there was back in 2000 and 2004. A certain bloc of voters actually want ill-informed lightweights like themselves in charge. This and subsequent posts won't be for those people, a voting bloc amounting to about 30% of the nation's electorate, as I don't believe there's any way to communicate with them effectively. […]