The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Big Whoops

I'll go out on a limb here, but I think McCain just lost the election. When he asked to suspend the debates, and a (I believe) Fox poll had 90% of Americans believing the debates should continue...that puts him on the defensive, seriously. If Obama has any game at all, he will keep McCain on his heels until he runs those polls up until they get ugly. McCain loves the unexpected move, the game-changer. One could take the position that he saw postponing the debates as a non-political act, but I doubt it. If so, he would have worked it out with Obama in private, rather than making a challenging public announcement--and if he doesn't understand the difference, he's a lousy judge of human psychology, and I don't believe that. Does he want to postpone the election? No? Then the American people need to get to know their prospective leaders. Hell--people have ALREADY VOTED, more and more of them every day. It feels like a desperate stall--that, and keeping Sarah Palin away from media at the very time we need to be drilling her, figuring her out, either being impressed or dismissing. My very strong sense is that they consider her of very limited use: photo ops and highly structured environments only. If that isn't true, then Name of God...why not let us see her brilliance? I smell flop sweat, and it isn't coming from Obama. Hell, I'm hearing CONSERVATIVE commentators saying that McCain isn't behaving in a Presidential fashion, and that Obama is being the adult here. That's not good.

So I add it up, and think that this is the turning point, the point where McCain shoots himself in the foot. The debate, supposedly, will go on. If McCain doesn't show up, it's a one-man Town Hall, and unless Obama blows it completely , McCain loses points. If he DOES show up, he looks like a "Flip Flopper" (an asinine term. want a leader who never changes his mind, even after evaluating new information?) and loses points. Methinks he has hoisted himself by his own petard.

But I could be wrong. I'm sure you guys will remind me if I am.


I'm experimenting with using Buzzword to communicate with my writers on Hannibal. Don't know if it will work yet, because I'm not certain of the subjective difficulty of working with this terrific piece of web-based software. And in the creative fields, you MUST feel completely comfortable with the basic tools before you can enter flow and create. So I have to wait and see if the guys feel comfortable. It would speed up communication if they could use it, but the most important thing is that they be able to relax and have fun. The best tool in the world is no good if it doesn't fit your hand.


Christian H. said...

Obama seems to be the better candidate anyway. If you compare the first five minutes of their acceptance speeches you can easily see that McCain is pushing that same old "family values, basics" crap.
That has nothing to do with competing in the global economy where we are sorely outmatched.

More terms of this backwards establishment and we'll be the latest third world country barely able to feed ourselves.

Also, David Letterman caught McCain in a bald-faced lie yesterday. McCain was supposed to appear on Letterman but canceled at the last minute citing "The economy is in trouble I have to go to DC." Of course, Letterman has footage of McCain being interviewed at the time his show was to record in a different CBS studio.

If this is indicaive of his ilk as commander-in-chief we may as well just resign ourselves to being less and less.

Slightly off-topic I was reading Variety yesterday and there was a story about women overtaking men in college degrees and Doctorates.

It's what I already know, most white men's only skill is that they insist they're better than black men. Actually that goes for every other cultural group. I'm sick of it.
It's why our economy is basically destroyed. People come here with no plans on over-achieving. They figure "I can just remind myself I'm not black" and the crummy job and lacking work-ethic I possess is OK.

The McCain camp seems to think business as usual is sufficient. It's not. Every American needs to take a long hard look at themselves and honestly say they could do more for the country.

Obama seems to want more personal responsibility - which is his way of saying - "you brothers need to get ya shit together, HOW THE FUCK AM I THIS CLOSE TO BEING PRESIDENT IF RACISM IS SO BAD." I totally agree. I've excelled at Microsoft though they are hicks to the n-th degree.

It would be a breath of fresh air to see him win. I'll probably vote this year, but not because he's black but because he is a seemingly worthwhile candidate.

And besides, the only job that can prepare you for being President is President, maybe VP.

Perhaps we do need to give a hard-working persn the seat instead of someone who's had everything handed to him as most Presidential candidates have.

It's much easier to buck the trends when you don't have 7 houses to lose and you understand what it's like to have to rely on your skill level and not your socio-cultural position.

And McCain is about 800 years old but still doesn't seem very wise.

Steve Perry said...

"It's what I already know, most white men's only skill is that they insist they're better than black men."

Oh, yes, of course, absolutely, positively, that's true. Every white man I know says this all the time, me included, and I must confess I see this insistence as the cause of all of America's troubles -- the housing crisis, the war, racism, sexism, obesity, the length of the Emmy Awards Show, all of this and more is due to Most White Men's Only Skill.

I hope you don't take offense, Christian, but your comment may be one of the most racist ever put up on Barnes's blog, and not just passing stupid, but shading right on into moronic.

Anonymous said...

I hope you're right, Steven. This election has me all white-knuckled. I keep telling myself, don't look at the polls, don't look at the polls, don't look at the polls, but I can't resist and it doesn't help much when Obama gets ahead by a few points because I think, it's too soon; something will happen and he'll fall behind again. [sigh] We won't know until it's over. I live in one of the reddest of the red states so my vote won't count but I'm voting anyway.

By the way, here's a few more percentage points of hope: Omitting cell phone users may skew polls

Nancy Lebovitz said...

Christian, you haven't stepped on my own personal toes, but you have insulted a number of my friends, not to mention 10s of millions of people.

White people are a majority in this country, so that means white men are something over 25% of the population. If the majority of them were in that defective, the country would be in much worse shape than it is.

That being said, there's obviously a moral collapse at the top, and I don't know if there's any underlying reason or if it's just a case of shit happening.

Josh Jasper said...

If the polling is correct, this is about the biggest blunder McCain has made so far. We'll see how it ends up, but if the issue is mostly resolved by Friday, before the debates, McCain is not going to look good.

Christian H. said...

Steve, I call em like I see em. Can you explain why a person shot up the Long Island railroad platform and claimed "black rage?"

A lot of you are totally annoying and I won't take it back. I'd tell anyone not to hire me. It would be their loss. I'm offended all day.

I feel bad that perhaps we have moved from racism to placism. It's evident int he presentation of all black men as illiterate rappers. How does that keep the country moving forward.

The country is in bad shape and will get worse if we elect another person who isn't quite bright enough to figure out that giving away a surplus means a deficit.

BTW, I hope that no one was offended that I have my opinion and it is what it is. If I'm that bad a judge of body language and facial expressions, hey, I apologize to every asshole I was talking about.

Steve Perry said...

You didn't offend me, dude. You'd have to have something on the ball to do that. You did kill whatever credibility I was willing to extend in your direction.

You can have an opinion. You can believe what you want. Don't want to apologize for putting your foot in your mouth? Hey, no skin off my nose. But at the risk of tripping the metaphor po-lice, it sure sounds an awful lot like the pot calling the kettle black.

I don't see how your racism is any purer and nobler than the white folks. Stupid is stupid, no matter what color the guy wearing it happens to be.

But, hey -- I'm a white guy. You know we are, thinking we're better and all.

Bennett said...

I'd like it noted that my main skill is parallel parking. I can slide in with about half an inch to spare on either end of the car, and still manage a perfect ten inches from the curb.

Taking reassurance in an illusory superiority to 35 million people on an arbitrary chromatic factor is only my /second/ most marketable skill.

I mean, you see it on all the resumes, don't you? Right there under the "Check This Box To Indicate Whiteness" there's the essential "Are You Better Than A Black Man?" I know if I were a hiring manager, I'd definitely look for aspirations of racial superiority as a major attribute in any potential employee. It's right up there with violent tendencies, sexism, and nose-picking in terms of desirable behavior.

Oh, and people who think that their main problem is skin color and not personality. That's also an attractive trait.

And sarcasm.

Christian H. said...

I don't think anyone who knows me would say I was racist. As I said body language says it all. But then maybe in my delirium I'm overreacting.

I guess I had a bad week and I'm taking out on all of the innocents in my life. No wait I have nothing to take out on anyone. I deal with people at the time. I make a very good salary and do nothing but sit and type.

Speaking about personal observations shouldn't make one "stupid" or "having nothing on the ball."

The term most is not all so if you immediately lump yourself or your friends there how is that me being racist?

I would rather discuss the disturbing use of the worst stereotypes to define a race.

Would you be happy if Tom Cruise was famous for being shot multiple times?

Frank said...

You mean you hope it is a mistake on McCain's part, but I'm thinking it's not.

But I do think it is a defining moment in the campaign and I think the result will be a matter of how people perceive it.

First, McCain proposed postponing the debate, not cancel it. So it may happen. But that's not what is important here. The debate itself is not what people will focus on.

So we look at the polls and Gallup is saying "Most Americans (78%) favor congressional action to help fix the current Wall Street economic crisis, but only about one in five think that should entail passing a plan similar to what the Bush administration has proposed."

McCain says he's going to go to work instead of campaign. Obama essentially said he wasn't needed.

Then immediately after his presser, Bush called him back to work with the subtext "Hey, this is going to possibly affect your Presidency, you'd better be involved." and off Obama goes.

Actually, a good political move for McCain would be to go ahead with the debate because Obama had put aside three days to prepare for it and his preparation time was interrupted. He only got one day of prep. And everyone knows Obama is not so good without a teleprompter which is why he needed so much prep time (and why he is not debating as much as McCain wanted and refused Town Hall style debates). McCain could catch him less than prepared. But again, the debate is a smokescreen will ultimately affect nothing.

But here's the thing, everyone knows that McCain works across the isle to build coalitions. He has done it so many times before. People in general are offended at a $70 trillion bailout even though it is likely not to cost the government anything in the end. If something other than that results, McCain will get the credit even if he didn't do anything (which is unlikely).

And how Obama participates will either underline or contradict his rhetoric about his ability to work across the Isle.

We do not know how this will turn out yet. But these are politically perilous waters for both candidates.

But more so for Obama.

Marty S said...

I really can't believe this. We are possibly sitting at the beginning of a second great depression with millions more people out of work and we are more concerned with will the crisis win more points our preferred candidate than the outcome. There are problems with all the plans being presented, but we better get together and come up with something half way decent but a whole lot of people's future probably depends on it.

Anonymous said...

dream on, frank

McCain doesn't look much
like a hero of any kind
and most definitely he doesn't look
like Presidential Timber

just a quirky
cerebrally compromised
prima donna
who has made a devastatingly BAD decision
in his choice of a running mate
and whose bellicose attitude
toward the rest of the world
is inappropriate and dangerous

Frank said...

just a quirky
cerebrally compromised
prima donna

Yeah, that's what Republicans called him when he put Abramoff away.

That's also what they called him when he formed the Gang of 14.

Funny how that works.

who has made a devastatingly BAD decision
in his choice of a running mate

You mean as opposed to a guy who thinks that there was Television in 1929 and that FDR was President when the Depression ensued?

The fact is Marty is expressing what most people feel. And, you know, there really is a chance that McCain feels that it is too important to let politics come before doing something regardless of how it appears to people.

And regardless of what happens in November. This is the man who said he'd rather lose a campaign than lose a war back when he was counted out.

So. Just maybe.

Again, the cards are in play, the wheel is still spinning and we won't know for a while how this ultimately will affect the race.

But I'm thinking that Obama saying he wasn't needed is not going to play the way he intended in the long run.

Frank said...



"John McCain has gained ground and is now tied with Barack Obama among registered voters in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update for Sept. 22-24, with each candidate getting 46% support.

This update covers interviewing conducted Monday through Wednesday, and as such includes one night after McCain's announcement that he was suspending election campaigning and flying to Washington to help seek a bipartisan solution to the financial crisis."

Anonymous said...

Side thread: It's looking like Caloric Restriction is unlikely to increase absolute maximum human lifespan. There is still the possibility of increasing individuals lifespan to closer to that maximum though;

St. Louis, Sept. 24, 2008 — Calorie restriction, a diet that is low in calories and high in nutrition, may not be as effective at extending life in people as it is in rodents, according to scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Previous research had shown that laboratory animals given 30 percent to 50 percent less food can live up to 50 percent longer. Because of those findings, some people have adopted calorie restriction in the hope that they can lengthen their lives. But the new research suggests the diet may not have the desired effect unless people on calorie restriction also pay attention to their protein intake.

In an article published online this month in the journal Aging Cell, investigators point to a discrepancy between humans and animals on calorie restriction. In the majority of the animal models of longevity, extended lifespan involves pathways related to a growth factor called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1), which is produced primarily in the liver. Production is stimulated by growth hormone and can be reduced by fasting or by insensitivity to growth hormone. In calorie-restricted animals, levels of circulating IGF-1 decline between 30 percent and 40 percent.

"We looked at IGF-1 in humans doing calorie restriction," says first author Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Washington University and an investigator at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome, Italy. "For years, we have been following a cohort of people from the CR Society who have been on long-term calorie restriction. We found no difference in IGF-1 levels between people on calorie restriction and those who are not."

The CR Society members, who call themselves CRONies (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition), had been on a calorie-restriction diet for an average of seven years when Fontana did the measurements, but their IGF-1 levels were virtually identical to sedentary people who ate a standard, Western diet.

Steve Perry said...

Okay, let's suppose for a second that I said that all Negroes are shiftless, lazy, shucking, jive-talkin',watermelon-eating, fried-chicken loving ne'er-do-wells.

Not all of them, just most of them.

Are there white people who believe this? Sure. You really think most of them do?

In what forum, outside the Ku Klux Klan, would such a statement fly unchallenged? What black man would sit there and listen to such tripe in this day and age?

Oh, well, he just said "most," so that doesn't include me, hey? That how you'd roll?

If you are a writer, then you need to understand your tools, and words are pretty much them. If you had said, "Well, I've known white men who think they are better than black men." no problem. I've known some of those. But unless you have a touch of omnipotence, you don't know "most" white men, so you can't say that. Nor is there any evidence that your generalization is true.

You can believe it. You will play hell proving it.

You don't know what most white men's skills are. That makes you ignorant, and there's no shame in that, I don't know it, either. The cure is easy. But the statement you made is beyond ignorant -- it is thoughtless. You didn't think it through. Which equates to stupid in my book.

What I see is you blowing smoke. And therein my comment out you not having anything on the ball.

You are in a forum of bright, literate, passionate folks. We differ in a lot of things, from politics to philosophy to our professions. A lot of us buy our ink by the barrel.

This is not the place to make racist statements. It's not the place to claim much of anything without evidence to bolster it, because you will be challenged on the truth of what you offer.

And not only do Most White Men get tarred with your better-than-black brush, they think they are better than every other cultural group, if I read your sentence correctly. Hard to say -- it's not cast very well.

It might be so in your direct experience, though I doubt it, but you can't extrapolate to multiple millions based on your limited exposure -- it's a failure of basic logic. Your sample is too small.

I saw an albino crow once. If that was the only one I had ever seen, I might say that crows were white.
Both postulates are true: 1) I saw a crow. 2) The crow was white. Therefore 3) All crows are white.

The syllogism fails. It does not follow.

That a rap singer is partially-famous because he got shot and survived is because the rap singer is playing gangsta, and that's part of his marketing bling. It doesn't get me to buy his CDs -- he's selling to an audience that is impressed by it, and I could care -- it ain't my music no matter how many times he got shot. It wouldn't be my music if a white boy from suburban Dallas was singing it.

It has zero to do with What Most White Men's Only Skill is or isn't. There's no logic in it.

We all have our public personas. If yours is to be Angry Black Man, fine, your choice. But if you are going offer arguments to convince people of something, you need to work on it. Kicking in the door of the local bar and calling the patrons motherfuckers doesn't really seem the way to go, because one of the motherfuckers is apt to hand you your head.

Christian H. said...

Okay, let's suppose for a second that I said that all Negroes are shiftless, lazy, shucking, jive-talkin',watermelon-eating, fried-chicken loving ne'er-do-wells.

Not all of them, just most of them.

Are there white people who believe this? Sure. You really think most of them do?

In what forum, outside the Ku Klux Klan, would such a statement fly unchallenged? What black man would sit there and listen to such tripe in this day and age?

Dude, what you just said was a group of negative descriptions. What I said was most of you that I come across spend what seems to be an inordinate amount of time coming up with "juicyFruit commercials" that emphasize your great role in the creation of EVERYTHING. The problem is that the major inventions involved no more than 20 people.

Since you want empirical evidence;

What would you think of a person who looks at a person with sagging jeans the same as a person in a suit?

I see this all day. I noticed you made no mention of the fact that body language is pretty damning evidence. I was thinking about wearing a spy camera and then you can tell me what you see in the body language of NEARLY EVERY WHITE MAN I SEE.

I'm not an angry black man, I'm a successful SW developer with several years Microsoft experience. That means I work around 80% white men. So it therefore stands to reason that I have been around enough of you to determine personality traits by conversational patterns.

There is a finite number of personalities and backgrounds so simple interpolation allows you to group people by their attitudes.

I hate the thought that people just don't want to have one country with one group: AMERICANS, but that's how it is.

You still haven't answered how you would feel if on the one hand, you have the likes of Obama but on the other hand you have record companies, etc. propagating the WORST STEREOTYPES imaginable - some of which Steven Barnes has noted on this very blog.

How can I say that people aren't doing exactly what I say with such GLARING CONTRADICTIONS?

Of course, A LOT of the blame has to be placed with my race for letting you get away with it for so long. But it is hard to grow up in a society that was based on the statement "all men are created equal except slaves."

We all know after the Civil Rights Act supremacists just went underground. Smiling in the face of blacks while making sure their kids bought 80% of the "gangster rap."

What kind of person wants illiterate criminals as the role models of a large group in a country?

What kind of society would blindly endorse clothes that are too big unless they don't have the best interests of those people at heart?

How do you think the country can move forward with 33M people being told that they should be like dope-selling rappers or idiot athletes?

If you can actually truthfully answer these questions perhaps I will believe that you are just a regular person who hates the creation of ghettos and the destruction of little kids.
If not you're just some guy who doesn't want to recognize his own faults.

Steve Perry said...

No, dude, what you said was:

"It's what I already know, most white men's only skill is that they insist they're better than black men. Actually that goes for every other cultural group. I'm sick of it."

It was dumb the first time you said it, it's still dumb.

What you said was:

" ... most of you that I come across spend what seems to be an inordinate amount of time coming up with "juicyFruit commercials" that emphasize your great role in the creation of EVERYTHING."

Most of me? We've never met, to my knowledge. So when you say "you," what you mean is plural and "you white people."

What you said was:

"So it therefore stands to reason that I have been around enough of you to determine personality traits by conversational patterns."

"You people" again? Why, that sounds like, oh, I dunno ... racism. And you obviously haven't been around enough of us if'n you are judging us all by computer geeks you work with.

Do you really believe a bunch rich old white guys got together at their secret society and said, "Hey, let's see if we can get the black kids to buy oversize pants that hang off their asses." and started that fashion?

That came off the streets, dude.

Did the clothesmakers jump on it and try to make bucks from it? Sure. But they do that no matter who the group is -- business men are in it for the profit, and they'll market Farah Fawcett's hair, Beatles T-shirts or Obi Wan Kenobi's underewear.

It isn't about the man keeping the brothahs down, it's about the man filling up his bank account.

Like Deep Throat said, they follow the money.

If a dog bites you, that doesn't mean all dogs everywhere will. If you want to take your experience and extrapolate it across the universe, that's your business, but you can't sell it to me -- 'cause, and not to put too fine a point on it, the statement "most white men's only skill is that they insist they're better than black men." is bullshit.

And if that is all you got, we're done here. Consider yourself shrouded. (The Paper Chase, for those who don't know the reference.)

Josh Jasper said...

Because Frank likes polls, here's today's:

• Gallup: Obama 48%, McCain 45%, with a ±2% margin of error. Yesterday, the candidates were tied 46%-46%.

• Rasmussen: Obama 50%, McCain 45%, with a ±2% margin of error, compared to an Obama lead yesterday of 49%-46%.

• Hotline/Diageo: Obama 49%, McCain 42%, with a ±3.2% margin of error, compared to a 47%-43% Obama lead yesterday.

• Research 2000: Obama 48%, McCain 43%, with a ±3% margin of error. Yesterday, Obama was up 49%-43%.

Whooops indeed.

McCain is also nose-diving in battleground states like VA

Thursday : Obama 50%, McCain 45%, with a ±4%

Which is a change from Sunday: McCain 50% ; Obama 48% .

The only battleground state McCain has a significant advantage in is Florida. Real Clear Politics has a nifty little election map. You can play around with it too, seeing what the election looks like if disputed states change one way or the other.

Marty S said...

While I don't agree with everything Christian has said I don't think in some sense he is completely wrong. About three or four months ago my doorbell rings and I answer it. Standing there is a black man in a sports jacket and wearing a tie. I definitely gave him a quizzical look and to a large extent it was because he was black. I saw in his face his reaction to the look on my face and immediately felt bad. But, I suspect that what he thought I was probably thinking and what I was thinking was not precisely the same. Most people dressed like he was dressed who come to my door belong to the Jehovah's Witnesses. My thoughts were, Can he be a Jehovah's Witness? I don't think many Blacks belong to the Jehovah's Witnesses. He must want something else. I guess I was stereo typing by assuming a Black was probably wasn't a Jehovah's Witness.

Josh Jasper said...

Oops. Messed up the poll link

here it is

wraith808 said...

"It's what I already know, most white men's only skill is that they insist they're better than black men. Actually that goes for every other cultural group. I'm sick of it."

I have to go with Steve here... this is one of the stupidest things I have seen posted in the comments of this blog. And though I wouldn't label it racist, I would label it prejudiced, wrongheaded, and offensive. And yes, I am black.

Steven Barnes said...

O.K. I've been busy, but I'll weigh in.
1) Protein and Caloric Restriction: of COURSE you have to watch the protein! The whole thing was to lower the calories while keeping all of the nutrients. I don't do it because it seemed to promote obsessive-compulsive behavior.
2) Was Christian's comment racist? Yep. Does he seem angry? Yep. But anger is a mask over fear. Do black people have any specific reasons to be afraid that relate to their race? Historically, yes. This generation? Maybe...but they were taught by their parents and grandparents, who most certainly did.
3) I believe that the average member of any group thinks their group is better. Do white men think they're better? I think so. But then so do Japanese, women, Christians, whatever...on the average. Unless you've been emotionally crippled, or are rather evolved. The black grasping for "equality" is evidence of damage, not enlightenment. You shouldn't aim at breaking even while everyone else is trying to kick ass.
I understand Christian's comment, and have heard variations on it--modified for group identity--from the majority of people I've ever known. NOT from the majority of my close friends, but I do have friends with such leanings. They are still good, smart, worthwhile people, whose damage is in a different arena than mine...or whose perceptual lenses are different.
One thing's for certain--so long as people are polite, I love the fact that Christian said what he believes. The only way to move forward is to actually see the little imps at play. We've all got 'em, folks. They just have different names and appetites.

Anonymous said...

The solution seems obvious to me. instead of postponing the debate, McCain should have asked if the financial crisis could have been postponed. Clearly the debates are more important.


All kidding aside, the Dems have the majority in the house and enough Republicans to go ahead in the Senate. if they want to pass the bill, they CAN.

Of course, they would have to resist playing politics by adding goodies to the bailout, like restricting oil shale drilling and millions for ACORN.

Ooops. They couldn't resist. How serious are they when they can't do the bailout without larding it up?

Or are they playing politics now, trying to pin their own failure on McCain? Given McCain put himself on the line- and your initial comment Steve tells me you know he's done that- the Dems have a lot of incentive to not do the deal (despite having the votes, before larding the deal up) and blame the failure on McCain. Reaching out to the other side isn't always the best idea when they don't have your- or the country's best interests at heart.

Anonymous said...

Further to my last comment about "playing politics" on the Dem side of the aisle...

Harry Reid on Tuesday:

"We need the Republican nominee for president to let us know where he stands and what we should do."

Reid on Wednesday:

“it would not be helpful at this time to have [Barack Obama and John McCain] come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation’s economy. … We need leadership; not a campaign photo op.”

Reid on Thursday afternoon:

With the economic news only getting worse each day, I call on the President, Senator McCain and Congressional Republicans to join us to quickly get this done for American families.

Reid on Thursday afternoon

Harry Reid says he’s not scheduling any votes in the Senate for Friday.

The reason: He says he wants to give John McCain “no excuse” for missing Friday night’s presidential debate.

And the lard added to the (now failed) bill

The proposal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-Nev., and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd , D-W.Va., also includes an assortment of other items, such as $490 million for Byrne grants, which go to local law enforcement agencies; $250 million for NASA to work on the space shuttle’s replacement; and $1.2 billion for the National Institutes of Health.

The administration took issue with a variety of items, including language that would reinstate a ban on oil shale development in the Rocky Mountains. The White House also objected to the unemployment insurance extension, food stamps funding, and aid to states for Medicaid programs.

The administration also cited as objectionable a provision that would have cut the price of birth control pills at university clinics and Planned Parenthood centers by undoing part of a 2006 deficit reduction law (PL 109-171). That law removed university clinics and private birth control clinics from the list of entities eligible for “nominal” pricing under the Public Health Service Act, which outlines a series of federal health program partnerships with states, localities and nonprofit schools.

What do any of these items have to do with saving the US economy from crisis?

Steve Perry said...

I wasn't arguing with Christian's right to say what he thinks, only pointing out that I think it's wrong.
Badly expressed. Incorrect. Without merit.

The comment wasn't that this group thinks itself superior that group over there. It was that the particular group cited -- Most White Men -- are limited to this belief AS THEIR ONLY SKILL.

The computer geeks I know are sometimes lacking in social graces, to be sure, but if the ones Christian is running with mostly believe that, then he has fallen into a nest of chowderheads indeed.

How do they find their own zippers? Feed themselves?

I don't believe that feeling superior to black men is their only skill, or they wouldn't be there doing what they do.

You know, there are times when color matters, not "Yes," but "Hell yes!" -- to say else would be foolish. But it isn't the only thing that does matter.

I'm a lily-white cracker from Louisiana, You -- speaking to Barnes here -- are a black man from Los Angeles. But you know what? You and I have more in common than you and Christian do.

I'm older, but we are from the same generation. We are both married, with two children, a girl and a boy. We have worked in the same business for almost thirty years. You support Obama, so do I. We studied the same martial art under the same teacher at the same time and place for ten years. We've broken bread together. We have many of the same goals for our lives.

There is, I believe, a mutual, earned respect. If that doesn't matter more than skin color, we are all well and truly up shit crick forever.

Yeah, color matters, but not so much that this white guy and black guy can't get along. You don't hold my color against me.

More, even though I don't want to get a swelled head, you have a sense of humor and it is warped enough to sometimes align with mine. We have sung doo-wop on panels together, and done improv together on a stage. You are funny, smart, fit, and a seeker -- I said as much in a GoH intro in a program book once. You can laugh at me or with me, and you'd rather laugh with me.

I don't consider myself superior to you. Well, save as where I can make it sound funny. (That's not racial, it's personal ...)

I can make a joke about seeing an article in the paper about poisoned watermelon and hurrying to ask you if you are all right. You can ask me how my wife/sister is without me going to find my shotgun.

(I expect I like watermelon and fried chicken as much as you do, and then some.)

Putting all the white ones here and the black ones over there? It ain't me, babe. That's what it sounds like Christian is doing.

You people?

"What do you mean when you say 'You people?'

"What do YOU mean when you say 'You people ...'"

It might make him feel better to vent it, and that's fine. Venting has a place. But it doesn't help in the let's-reduce-the-polarization area.

You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar.

Anonymous said...

>You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar.<

Goofy sidenote: That's not literally true.

"In a small-scale survey of the dietary preferences of kitchen Drosophila (species unknown), we find, contrary to received wisdom, that you catch significantly more flies with vinegar than with honey. However, no condiment tested was sufficiently attractive or lethal to comprise a promising direction for future pest control strategies."

Steve Perry said...

Marty --

As I understand it, there are more black folks in the Witnesses percentage-wise than in any other religion in the country, just under 40%. Most of them who have knocked on my door over the years have been either a black-and-white pair or both black. Never seen two white ones.

Anybody who rings my door wearing a suit is apt to be suspect. I figure they are going to try to sell me something and since I probably already have enough magazines or vacuum cleaners or encyclopedias, last thing I care about it what color they are.

I remember when OJ got off, even though everybody I knew believed he did it. Barnes and I were talking and his comment was that it wasn't about black or white, it was about green. That's what the best lawyers want.

Lot of people seem inclined to attribute to malice stuff which properly belongs to stupidity, and a lot of what moves America is less about what color your skin is and more about what the denominations in your wallet are.

Hard to justify being a bitter billionaire ...

wraith808 said...

My problem with the comment is 'most'. I don't think that most people know most of the people of any race. Perhaps most of the people I have come across, or most of the people I have known. But an unqualified most?

Do white men think they're better? I think so. But then so do Japanese, women, Christians, whatever...on the average. Unless you've been emotionally crippled, or are rather evolved.

And why is it necessary that your own sense of worth be inflated by denigrating someone else's accomplishments or potential? My self worth and self esteem come from what I do, not what black men as a whole do, or what black men as a whole are capable of. I'm not a member of some generic whole that defines who I am as an individual. I don't think I'm emotionally crippled, nor do I think I'm evolved.

But I do think that this kind of thinking is harmful to humans as a whole, because no matter how you justify it, in the end, it affects your relations with everyone that's not exactly like you that you come into contact with. And that's the reason that people have preconceived notions of what a person should be like and should do and should like because of something that in no way should be a definition of who or what a person is.

Christian H. said...

) Was Christian's comment racist? Yep. Does he seem angry? Yep. But anger is a mask over fear. Do black people have any specific reasons to be afraid that relate to their race? Historically, yes. This generation? Maybe...but they were taught by their parents and grandparents, who most certainly did.
3) I believe that the average member of any group thinks their group is better. Do white men think they're better? I think so. But then so do Japanese, women, Christians, whatever...on the average. Unless you've been emotionally crippled, or are rather evolved. The black grasping for "equality" is evidence of damage, not enlightenment. You shouldn't aim at breaking even while everyone else is trying to kick ass.

My statement wasn't racist. It was my observation. Maybe I should have said "your most practiced skill."

I said that because I work around mainly white men. I end up fixing stuff they ruined in websites and stuff. Rather than spending as much time as possible BEING BETTER, MOST OF YOU (yes i said it again) spend your time being white. Perhaps it could explain why about 80% of whites are either anorexic or fat slobs.
I have had co workers tell me more than once that I was doing too much.

That's how I base my statements, not anger or hate. I'm a realist. Bill Maher said something really interesting. He said that America doesn't really make anything anymore. He's right.

I'm sorry that whites are the majority and they set the tone for the economy.

Of course the manual labor jobs that black men are gravitating towards doesn't help. I guess they believe the hype like you.

If I were to say I was angry it would be because of the "glass ceiling." Men need to stand up for themselves. Women on the other hand are in a really bad position stuck between those who I call Rufus and Dufus.

But at any rate I still don't see the answers to my questions, Mr Perry. I like how you side-stepped the 50 Cent thing though.

Marty S said...

Charles: You hit the nail on the head. I heard on TV that someone did poll that showed a large number of white democrats had at least one negative opinion of Blacks. I googled the poll. Found the report with the complete results and methodology. Many of the ket questions asked your opinion of most blacks. I would have refused to answer these questions because I don't know most Blacks. If I had I would have answered very positively because the vast majority of blacks I do associate with are college educated, middle class people who except for color are no different than the white people I associate with.
By the way as an addendum to my previous post. I have deer in my backyard and pass a horse farm on the way to the nearest numbered road, about 3 miles from my house, so about the only people who have are Witness's and lawn care guys. The latter don't wear suits.

Steven Barnes said...

I think this discussion has been excellent. Find a comparable one on another site, and I'll be glad to visit. We don't "have" to prop ourselves up by cutting others down, it's just a common and effective (short term) technique practiced the world over.