Life In The Bubble

Two posts from MyDD and one from Kaus; the first from Matt Stoller:

The RNC cannot afford to embrace their netroots as an audience because of the increasingly extreme and racist nature of their base. It’s not Redstate specifically, it is, as Glenn Greenwald notes, their entire pundit class. Actually, it goes beyond that, to their leadership. For instance, it’s not just James Dobson embarrassing Republicans anymore; Senator Jeff Sessions, Senator Sam Brownback, and Senate candidate Michael Steele have all compared stem cell research to the holocaust.

But the right-wing blogosphere is where racist and extreme sentiment is most obvious and trackable, it is a veritable steady diet of the stuff. No matter how persuasive Patrick Ruffini might be, and he seems like a smart fellow, the RNC cannot afford to be tagged with their base sentiment, whether it’s Little Green Footballs calling for nuclear attacks on Muslims (or ‘constitutionally protected hate speech’ as advertisers who don’t want to be associated with the site see it), right-wing and neo-Nazi embraces of extremist groups like the Minutemen, voxday calling rape victims ‘stupid’, or front-pager Blanton at Redstate calling Coretta Scott King’s funeral which President Bush spoke at a ‘Def Comedy Jam spectacle’ with ‘demands for handouts’.

The second from Chris Bowers:

Later yesterday, I wrote a post arguing that what the progressive netroots wants in Democratic candidates is also what the general public wants. Now, I would like to point out that the topics and issues the netroots focuses on are the same issues on which the general public and / or the Democratic Party is focused.

Mainstream issues, mainstream candidates, and mainstream ideology. For all our carping about the “MSM” (and I really hope we can all dump that term), it turns out that within the world of politics, we, the progressive netroots are as mainstream as any institution comes.

Mickey Kaus perfectly explains why I shake my hands in the air in frustration when I read things like this:

2. The Heartland Breakout Meme seems like B.S. of the sort that consistently hurts Democrats (and others who believe it): B.S. is B.S.. Bloggers are allowed to point it out (he says defensively)–especially if it’s B.S. the mainstream press has no particular interest in pointing out (because it kills the story, or because they’ll seem homophobic).** But this B.S. falls into a special category: the sort of gratifying myth that in the past has helped lull liberals (and gay rights activists who may or may not be liberals) into wild overconfidence. Remember when Democrats actually believed that Fahrenheit would help push Bush out of office? It didn’t work out that way. Moore’s film didn’t change many minds in part because, as York puts it, it “never reached audiences that had the power to defeat the president at the polls.” Despite all the “heartland” hype, it was a blue-state movie. York notes that Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ–a mirror-image “red state” movie that did well where Fahrenheit did badly, badly where Fahrenheit did well–prefigured the 2004 results, in that it attracted an audience roughly three times the size of Fahrenheit‘s (or four times Brokeback‘s!).

Much of Democratic politics seems to now consist of embracing and fanning similarly comforting, but ultimately deceptive, liberal memes. Enron has fatally damaged Bush, Abu Ghraib has fatally damaged Bush, Katrina has fatally damaged Bush, Abramoff has fatally damaged Bush, the Plame investigation will fatally damage Bush–you can catch the latest allegedly devastating issue every day on Huffington Post or Daily Kos (and frequently in the NYT). If you believe the hype–if you don’t compare Michael Moore’s box office with Mel Gibson’s box office, in effect–you’ll believe that Democrats don’t need to change to win. They just need to push all these hot memes forcefully. If you don’t believe the hype–if you think that netroots Dems are too often like the Iraqi Sunnis who think they’re a majority–you’ll look for a Bill Clinton-like alternative with greater red-state appeal.

I looked at it a little less calmly:

I don’t like a lot of what the Republican party has to offer; that’s OK, I think we need a national dialog to make good policies. It takes two.

But given that, it may be puzzling to some (hey, JC, how’ re you?) why it is that I bash the media for their blind partisanship toward establishment liberalism, instead of cheering them as an ally.

It’s because I find myself in a risky place surrounded by people who have lost the ability to tell bullshit from reality. Our party is wounded, leaking ideologically and demographically, and we sit here drinking quack nostrums made from apricot pits and listening to fake spirit mediums tell us everything will be OK because our dead ancestors FDR, JFK, and LBJ are looking over us.

They’re not.

29 thoughts on “Life In The Bubble”

  1. Matt Stoller is beyond help. So am I, but I have a song in my heart.

    I’m glad you picked up this Mickey Kaus article, which I have been trying to get Justin Gardner to read (as that worthy person has been over-occupied with a “Cheney shoots people” meme).

    I’ve also been pushing a “Death to Memes meme”:http://lgc-colloquium.blogspot.com/2006/02/death-to-memes.html at lgc. (Warning: lgc is a blog-spawn of Charles Johnson’s lizard empire, so be appropriately fearful if you are Matt Stoller.)

  2. There’s another side of the bubble: things that ought to be INCREDBLY NOTEWORTHY to anyone with FDR or JFK blood running in their veins are crowded out by crap such as the Cheney Shoots People brainfarts.

    “Exhibit A”:http://gumptionology.blogspot.com/2006/02/i-have-dream-part-n1.html : In India, starting later this year, “According to one estimate, approximately 113 million [untouchable and out-caste] children between the ages of 6 and 14 are now eligible for reserved seats in private schools.”

    This has the nascent possibility of fundamentally improving the lives of 600 or 700 million people. Naturally, it’s almost completely under the MSM’s radar. I don’t even hear anyone from the Rainbow Coalition. I wonder why–aren’t Indian-subcontinent Hindus “People of Color”?

  3. AL — the problem is that liberals are not liberals anymore. Not in the FDR, LBJ sense. THAT Liberalism is hated (and pretty well describes a lot of Republicans).

    Instead Dems are infected by “Folk Marxism” as Taranto coined it. Oppressed and Oppressor classes based on identity groups that are favored or hated.

    Look at the comments about the Minutemen. Illegal immigrants from Mexico are “oppressed” groups and more valuable and higher caste because they are non-white and non-American. Inconveniently Christian but you can’t have everything. That ordinary working people might not want to compete with lots of workers willing to undercut their wages for semi-skilled labor never occurs to them, or if it does to the MyDD and Kossites, their attitude is all to the good. They WANT to replace the “oppressor” class of mostly white working men (the most evil group on the planet) with a bunch of saintly illegal immigrants.

    Look at the LGF comments. MOST Americans want stronger action and would be happy to nuke Mecca, Islamabad, Teheran, and points in between. Despite the PC-multi-culti Folk Marxism of oppressed and oppressor classes in the media and Dem party, no one has forgotten the 79 Embassy hostage crisis or 9/11. Cartoon Jihad just proves to most Americans that Muslims will not allow them to live their lives unless slapped down HARD. Repeatedly. If a cartoon in Denmark has them raging “Death to America” then the only solution is a good dose of ass-kicking, the harder the better.

    Kaus is exactly right. Dems delude themselves that the economic (Affirmative Action is inevitably going to make middle/working class whites vote Republican), social, security, and criminal justice preferences of a coastal/urban elite matches that of a working class or middle class suburban/ex-urban mass.

  4. To add to Jim Rockford’s comment above, Norm Geras writing recently about interviews with George Galloway in Egypt:

    “Their most interesting feature is that they display in the clearest possible form how far, for Galloway, the role assigned in classical socialist thought to the working class, now falls to Islam.”

    (Geras is a pro war Marxist blogging from the UK. If you don’t know his work its a real treat.)

    Galloway is a Stalinist and I think his motive in reassigning the role of the working class to Islam is to play to “Folk Marxists” who’s belief system makes them ready, nay desperate, to believe anything that maintains the role of the US and capitalism as the villains. The whole post is well worth reading: http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2006/02/the_last_unconq.html

  5. This goes back to one of the classic roots of the downfall of the Democratic Party in the 80s and 90s. Liberals often live in an intellectual cocoon.

    The thing is, your average, classic, Manhattan/Burkeley liberal can easily have been born, raised, go to college, marry, and work (say in a newsroom or lawfirm) for years and have never really encountered a conservative face to face on a regular basis. When your big contraversy in your social sphere is whether Bush should be impeached, or actually drawn and quartered, there is a problem. Ideas are not honed, presumptions are never tested. Traditionally conservatives have lived in a ‘liberal’ world with the MSM, universities, etc always there to make the liberal idealogy abundantly clear.

    Democrats in the 20th century did an impressive job of engraining the idea into the public consciousness that their ideas were not just correct, but obvious and unassailable. But that has all ended in the last decade or so and now they are required to defend their beliefs rigorously and most liberals are simply not trained or equipped to do it. So instead of engaging the enemy they simply declare victory and cross their fingers.

    Its worrying, however, that conservatives are becoming subject to the same problem. With the onset of Fox News, the Blogosphere, conservative institutions in general it is now for the first time possible to totally insulate yourself from the liberal idealogy. Thats not good and bodes badly for the future.

  6. And yes Mr. Rockford, you seem to know exactly what a democrat is (you’re so smart!)

    Let me break this to you gently…. I live in Phoenix, and I’m for the minutemen (gasp). I also know a lot of hardcorp democrats who are in favor of some kindof of border shutdown. The problem is that politics over this issue is controlled by companies like walmart that want the cheap labor, and latin american groups who don’t want the borders closed. Republicans have to deal with this issue becuase their base is pissed. I wish democrats would deal with it too, but I don’t think there’s the same pressure.

    Most americans would be happy to nuke mecca? Maybe if your only news source is WorldNetDaily. According to a ‘scientific’ ABC poll, only 42% of american favored bombing Iranian nuclear sites (though according to fox news, %60 of americans are for whatever force is neccessary). Still, Iran is not mecca, and mecca has no bombs. Try again.

    I may not use the word oppressed, but our foreign policy/tariffs/taxes on foriegn goods help prevent 3rd world nations from selling items in our markets (in fairness, their goverments don’t help either). And yes, some corporations do use pollitical advantages over the individual…. for more information read on Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, or the medicare package that passed last year. Some sort of advantage always exists, it’s impossible to give the world a completely fair break. But there are things we can do to give more people a chance (like bringing democracy to Iraq, for example)

    I’ve been willing to admit the democratic party has problems. I’m not willing to admit that I’m a weak, lilly-livered, terrorist-loving marxist. Sorry.

  7. I agree with everything Alchemist just said. Maybe we need a 3rd party. (Libertarians?[No, a _viable_ third party, where the nuts dont run the show]).

  8. “AL — the problem is that liberals are not liberals anymore. Not in the FDR, LBJ sense. THAT Liberalism is hated (and pretty well describes a lot of Republicans”

    conservatives just love to say this, but they arent terribly consistent about it. For ex they blast Hilary as a commie for supporting national health care, and ignore that Harry Truman (whom they like to fawn over rhetorically) also supported it. The fact is that on economic issues mainstream Democrats the last 20 years are MORE conservative than FDR, LBJ, etc.

    Yes many of them support affirmitave action – some folks seem to forget that LBJ started that, and Nixon (of all people) expanded it. The mainstream Dem position is hardly more pro affirmative action now then it was in 1965. What would FDR have said -well since he lived in a time when it was common for political machines to hand out jobs to Irish, Italians etc for political support in ethnic communities, I doubt hed be all that shocked by it.

    As for immigration, there are Dems and Republicans on both sides. But its hardly surprising that Dems would prefer policies that help working class folks at the expense of the upper class, while Reps would seek to blame foreigners for lowering wages. Thats been the split since the 1920s for crying out loud (oh well there WERE dems in those days, like Bryant, who defended the Klan and hostility to immigrants, but they were beaten by the Al Smith wing of the Dem party)

  9. “Yes many of them support affirmitave action – some folks seem to forget that LBJ started that, and Nixon (of all people) expanded it. The mainstream Dem position is hardly more pro affirmative action now then it was in 1965. ”

    Problem is that in 1965 blacks couldnt get a sandwich or get into a decent school. There was a real argument that they had been screwed over so badly for so long they needed a leg up just to get back even. That was 40 years ago. At some point you have to talk about taking the training wheels off and letting people compete on their own. Todays liberalism has no mechanism whatsoever to envision that. Instead it seems to be an endless cycle of dependency that demands further government aid in an endless cycle. The identical policy can be totally at odds during different time periods. At some point a philosophy of favoring differnt races/classes for its own sake entered the idealogy, instead of doing it pragmatically for a concrete goal. If it turns out AA is hurting blacks in the long run, liberals should be the first to come up with a plan for ending it- perhaps surplanting it with something more effective. Instead there is entrenched and kneejerk defense.

  10. A party that BSes itself on matters related to its own political fortunes (always its primary mission) will BS itself on all kinds of lesser things as well. And they do.

    And really, once a group is locked in full Ghost Dancer mode, all you can do is sit back and wait for reality to have its day and prepare and position yourself to pick up the pieces.

    This is of the reasons I was pleasantly surprised to see the GOP react as it did to Abramoff. I watched both prominent elected officials and its allies outside plunge into serious discussions about the larger problem of earmarks, line-item veto variants, and the mechanics of rent-seeking favouritism in Washington – then elect a reformist leadership, even though polls showed no significant effect yet. They had every excuse and opportunity to BS themselves, if they wanted to – and chose not to do it.

  11. I agree with Mark, but have no real power to make new policy.

    For example: I would like to change affirmitive action to give prefernce to low income, low college education families (first generation college students). I would also design a plan that targets communities with traditionally low college attendance.

    This plan would still include large minority populations who are trapped in poor neighborhoods, while excluding people like the kids of Will Smith.

    For Border security:

    I would beef up immigration patrol, and specifically target companies that knowingly hire illegals. I don’t blame the immigrants for coming (I probably would too), but they need to be sent back as well. But the companies should no better. They grew up here, and should have to respect american laws.

  12. whoops, that’s not really security.

    Hopefully, if you can slow down the rate of immigrant travel, it will be easier to catch drug smugglers and terrorists.

    I still support some border wall/national guard program, but it may not be enough. Asian refugees often spend their life savings just for the chance to be snuck into the US. We are a a very large nation, and people that really want to will always get through the cracks.

  13. So, alchemist, you prefer a Marxist solution to the affirmative action question? To each according to his need?

    I consider myself a conservative (what used to be called a Liberal, before Marxists hijacked the term, albeit with the help of a few reactionaries on the right), and there’s nothing wrong with race-based affirmative action. In fact, it’s the ONLY kind that is defensible. Just don’t do it for the sake of racial diversity, but make sure it has as its objective the remediation of the effects of past race-based discrimination. And don’t let just anyone benefit — the only race that was enslaved and declared to be second class citizens by Jim Crow segregation was the black race, so we should only use the extraordinary remedy of race-based affirmative action to provide justice for discrimination against black Americans. Everyone else has had a decent, if not equal, shot at success in our society.

    If Wil Smith’s kids get an additional edge because of AA, so be it. It’s worth it if it gives someone else a fair shot who’s been hurt by racial discrimination (whether against him personally, or his father, or his grandfather). I have no patience for anyone who thinks he’s been dealt an unfair hand because he doesn’t have the advantage of having a dad as talented (and therefore wealthy) as Wil Smith. That’s life, now go get a job — they’re out there to be had, since we have the good sense not to let the lefties run the country.

    There was a time when the American dream meant being able to gain greater prosperity for one’s children than one had for himself — not to obtain instant gratification of one’s materialistic desires at the expense of one’s neighbors. Remedial race-based affirmative action acknowledges that wealth is usually something to be gained over generations, not acquired more or less intantaneously — that’s why we acknowledge that racial discrimination that kept one’s grandfather from going to college has a present economic impact.

    Now, however, at least for some people, it’s not enough to create increasing prosperity and opportunity over generations; rather, some of those who call themselves “liberals” identify economic liberalism as the evil oppressor that is preventing the arrival of a workers paradise, with free health care, cell phones and Ipods for all. What those supposed “liberals” won’t acknowledge, is that economic liberalism, otherwise known as free market capitalism produces the wealth that enables our society to indulge liberals’ misguided undertakings. We’ve tried the left’s prescription, and it didn’t work. In fact, it has never worked anywhere it’s been tried. You’d think that we all would have figured that out by now.

  14. “Problem is that in 1965 blacks couldnt get a sandwich or get into a decent school. There was a real argument that they had been screwed over so badly for so long they needed a leg up just to get back even. That was 40 years ago. At some point you have to talk about taking the training wheels off and letting people compete on their own. Todays liberalism has no mechanism whatsoever to envision that. ”

    in fact Bill Clinton passed welfare reform, and made some modest changes to affirmitave action. Of course its hard to end a program that has a strong, identifiable, politically active constituency behind it. Have you noticed that candy is made Canada these days, to avoid the sugar import quotas? thats got nothing to do with “liberalism” its just the way politics works.

  15. “So, alchemist, you prefer a Marxist solution to the affirmative action question? To each according to his need?”

    favoring first generation college kids in college admissions doesnt have much to do with marxism.

  16. “If it turns out AA is hurting blacks in the long run, liberals should be the first to come up with a plan for ending it- perhaps surplanting it with something more effective. Instead there is entrenched and kneejerk defense.”

    well thats a differnt dimension. Not liberal vs conservative, but “paleoliberal” vs “neoliberal” neoliberal being someone who shares the goals of liberalism, but is open to new policies. There are in fact many democrats who follow that approach. To see more details I suggest looking at the website of the Democratic Leadership Council, and the Progressive Policy Institute.

  17. Wow, there’s a lot of bitterness there.

    I think you’d be surprised to know that what alot of schools do can barely be called affirmitive action. It’s more an ‘academic capitalism at work’.

    The new affirmitive action is now called generating ‘diversity’. Schools want to show that they are truly a unique environment. So they accept students who make their student body more ‘exciting’ to prospective students and potential fundraisers. A student from Bangladesh is going to be asteriked on an incoming class, as with someone who is a native hawaiin, or Russian 1st generation, black, etc. etc. etc. Heck, since there are fewer men at college now, strong male “students are now getting favorable treatment over women”: http://www.time.com/time/education/article/0,8599,90446,00.html/

    This is all an effort to raise more money, increase standing, and get your name into US news&world report. Isn’t that capitalism?

  18. That’s good news Nortius. Most people don’t realize the caste system was always race-based.

    I found the whole MyDD “racist” theme particularly amusing, as it assumes only whites can be racist (or does he think black racists vote Republican?). And affirmative action is institutionalized racism by definition, regardless of whether you feel it is justifiable

    LOL is someone questioning the “liberal media meme” again? They self-report as 5:1 liberal. That inevitably colors their outlook, especially as they generally report on a wide range of issues they never fully understand.

    In fact, they’ve created a serious problem for Democrats. Did Kerry ever think anyone would look seriously at his Christmas in Cambodia fable, his exaggerated claims about U.S. atrocities, or the circumstances of hs Vietnam service that he campaigned on? Obviously not, and the decision to make Vietnam the focus cost him the election.

    So one naturally asks “Why? Why did Kerry & Co not realize how vulnerable to criticism their exaggerations made them on this issue?” And the most reasonable answer is that before talk radio and Fox News, no one would have raised those criticisms to public attention, because the gatekeepers in the media would not have allowed it; remember, the Swift Vets held a press conference, and no one showed up (does anyone think that would be the case if 250 NG vets had come out with a campaign against Bush demonstrating he had lied?). The same dynamic was at work in RatherGate.

  19. in fact Bill Clinton passed welfare reform,

    To be fair, though, he also vetoed it three times iirc, so he did so pretty reluctantly. It clearly would never have happened with a Dem Congress.

  20. welfare: not quite sure what to do with the welfare problem. Obviously, we can’t let people do nothing. AT the same time, bussing people 3 hours away to work a minimum wage job is not going to get people out of poverty either (or improve the lives of their children).

    There was an intereasting program started in New York City a few years ago, creating a non-profit bakery (this program was privately-funded). This bakery primarily employs low-income workers. The work is hard, but there are incentives for staying with the program… including free day care, clean smoke-free/drug-free apartments, full health insurance, employable job skills, and possible management positions.

    They almost went broke a few times early on, but are now making profits (which then have to are either donated or are used to build larger production facilities).

    It’s really not that different from FDR’s programs, let’s give something to people that want to work a chance to do something worthwhile.

    I think creating programs like this are worth the effort, without being a ‘free handout’. Ideally a goverment program of this nature would need to be self-sufficient, and removed from beaurocracy. I don’t know if that is possible, but worth investigating. Probably could be better prioritized by a state rather than federal goverment.

  21. Alchemist — No I’m not smart. I’m as dumb as post. But even as dumb as I am I can see a broad pattern in Democratic politics repeating itself endlessly. Look at Dukakis, a man I worked for. Part of his problem was one of the stupidest campaigns in history (he had a double digit lead prior to the Rep Convention) and Susan Estrich. But the problem ran deeper. His nonchalant response to the question of what would he do if his wife was raped and murdered lost him the election. Because living in that Folk Marxist bubble he could not conceive of a member of the poor, downtrodden “criminal class” being well, evil.

    Americans DO have a basic morality, not yet usurped by moral relativism and nihilism implicit in the Folk Marxist doctrine. Unlike Dukakis they don’t have private security for the rest of their lives, and rightly fear crime. Need I mention Dem’s soft-on-crime attitude more concerned with criminals than victims?

    Why is it that only Reps at the rebel Congress level can propose a fence across the border and criminalization of illegal immigration at the felony level? Dems and various Dem media groups (check out the Nation) went ballistic over this proposal. Because Mediacrats and Dem politicians are in the bubble, no one they know are threatened by illegal immigration including their constituents. Meanwhile rebel GOP Congressmen like Tancredo act they way they do not because of superior morals but because their working class constituents demand it. The official Dem response to the Minutemen is that they are a KKK-style hate group, and the border should remain “open.”

    Tancredo famously said the Mecca should be bombed if a nuke went off in the US. I don’t think that was a faux pas but a deliberate attempt to tap into the anger and resentment towards the Muslim world which is unrelentingly hostile to the US, on the part of his working class constituents. None of whom want to be “loved” by Muslims around the world but do want them to stop attacking us.

    Affirmative Action creates winners and losers based on race. The Univ. of Michigan Law School case is instructive. A white working class woman with higher test scores and grades was denied admission while an African American man with lower scores/grades was admitted. Or the University of California, Irvine where Asians and Whites were “screened out” and Latinos and African Americans were admitted with significantly lower test scores. The political impact of this is that Whites will increasingly vote Republican, to the degree that Republicans oppose AA and Dems support it. The difference between a Law Degree from Michigan (Top 5 Law School) and say, Michigan State, is staggering in Life Time Earnings. Dems rely on people being too stupid to see their own economic interests. Not smart and it explains the collapse of the white vote in the “Red States,” people can pencil in their own children being pushed backwards in the queue in government hiring, contracts, and education (along with private sector of course). Tammany Hall style spoils politics automatically generates opposition from the non-spoils excluded group. The essential “sales pitch” to white voters by Dems is “you’ll feel morally superior about voting Dem, but move to the back of the line in spoils.” And they wonder why they see “Reagan Democrats?” [Solution: offer White voters a big spoils that offsets their being pushed back in line in obvious ways by a net GAIN]

    I would like to see the Dem party suffer death or near death so that the old-style FDR liberalism can return. Based on working and middle class people and making the argument that only by scaling government “BIG” to meet “BIG” problems can people have peace and security: massive military buildup, redundant infrastructure including a revitalized Amtrak, a military posture that deters attacks by making it clear that we can (capacity) and will (political unity) destroy any potential aggressor. I am afraid we will only get there however by a split in the Republicans or a disastrous defeat in 06-08 and tossing out the Kossacks.

  22. Jim: I would like to see the Dem party suffer death or near death so that the old-style FDR liberalism can return.

    Why would it return? It was based on Keynesian economics that no longer exist. It opposed itself to international communism, national socialism, and fascism – all of which no longer exist.

    It was based on a labor-oriented industrial view of America that no longer exists. It claimed to be capitalism’s only salvation, and the idea that capitalism needs saving no longer exists.

    It was politically based on organized Labor. Organized labor still exists in a severely atrophied form, but no Democrat under the age of 60 gives a crap about Labor. (Especially Labor’s views on immigration.)

    It was based on ideas of progress which new Democrats no longer believe in. And on ideas of democracy that a surprising number of “Democrats” no longer believe in.

    And it had a robust foreign policy, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Neoconservatism. Good luck getting THAT back.

  23. This is of the reasons I was pleasantly surprised to see the GOP react as it did to Abramoff.

    Yes Joe, giving Tom Delay a seat on the committee that’s investigating the scandal was a stroke of pure freakin genius.

    Sort of a “go F@$k youselves, we’re in charge.

  24. rockford-

    welfare: I still don’t beleive poor are ‘evil’. But there are those who will never pull themselves out of poverty. But simply saying they’re worthless does not solve the problem. Maybe the adults are beyond reproach, but the children are not.

    The problem is the apply named ‘cycle of poverty’, where children are stuck in a system where they do not learn what they need to know to be succesful in the world. Then they raise they’re children the same way. They’re needs to be programs to encourage these students to stay in school at all costs, afterschool programs to keep kids away from drugs, and programs help those with no access to college to get in and stay in.

    Crime: both republicans & democrats have passed harder and harder crime/drug legislation in the last 20 years, without actually fixing the problem.

    One of the worst disasters is the ‘drug kingpin’ law, where offenders can get lighter sentences for ratting out another offender. The problem is that the actual ‘kingpins’ have plenty of people to rat out, while the lower echilons have relatively few. The result is that low-level offenders who can’t afford lawyers are often paraded as ‘kingpins’ while the actual kingpins get off lightly.

    If congress really wanted to be hard on drug crime, it would make it illegal launder money in american banks. Unfortunately, major US banks make alot of money from laundering, and so fortune 500 companies. Both have paid alot of money to make sure the issue never comes up. To read more Eric Schlosser “Reefer Madness”, and Jeffrey Robinson “The laundry Men/The Merger”

    Nuke on Mecca: IF we are nuked, we should nuke who is responsible. I don’t think mecca is our biggest threat. I also don’t think that this statement will stop terrorists from trying to nuke us. Therefore, all I feel it did was piss everybody off.

    AA:Ironically, when affirmitive action was removed in California;, the first thing it did was remove white students in favor of asian students, who were held back by artificial ‘diversity guidelines’. More on that in 18 above. I do not support race guidelines as such, but at the same time if I had to choose between two near qualified students, I see nothing wrong with picking the student who is less advantaged.

    I’m a little confused by your last paragraph… are you saying you want big goverment or that it’s wasteful? I would agree with the latter.

  25. Alchemist,

    In what fantasy world are you living that you think money laundering is legal in the US?

    18 U.S.C. 1956

    Lawyers for big multinationals spend a lot of time worrying about money laundering, RICO, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, all of which could and would be used against the Fortune 500 if they got into the drug business.

  26. But they’re not enforced very closely, well not as closely as they should be. Browse through that “The Merger” or “The laundrymen” (the latter I haven’t read), for an indictment of banks and businesses getting rich by looking the other way.

    Or you can look at this senate report from 2001 “here”:http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/ites/0501/ijee/levin.htm/

    And I haven’t even started talking about Native american gambling yet.

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