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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19761 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-May-23, 19:26

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-May-23, 18:14, said:

Btw, if I understand correctly , congrats on a sane election and sane choices made, and a sane loser who conceded honorably.


Very much so, although the relationship between conceding that he lost the election and 'sanity' might be a bit of a stretch considering his pentecostal proclivities.
From the Guardian:

Quote

As recently as last year, Morrison publicly acknowledged the spiritual influence of Houston on his life, and in his maiden speech to parliament credited him with the pastoral work that helped guide his faith at an early age.




non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#19762 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-May-23, 21:14

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-May-23, 19:26, said:

Very much so, although the relationship between conceding that he lost the election and 'sanity' might be a bit of a stretch considering his pentecostal proclivities.
From the Guardian:

I see, so he can only plead temporary sanity. Still better than Trump.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19763 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-24, 08:31

Russell Moore, Public Theologian at Christianity Today and Director of Christianity Today’s Public Theology Project channeling Lindsey Graham said:

I was wrong to call sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention…a crisis. Crisis is too small a word. It is an apocalypse. The investigation uncovers a reality far more evil and systematic than I imagined it could be. How many children were raped, how many people were assaulted, how many screams were silenced while we boasted that no one could reach the world for Jesus like we could.

That’s more than a crisis. It’s even more than just a crime. It’s blasphemy. And anyone who cares about heaven ought to be mad as hell.

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#19764 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-May-24, 17:17

The “well regulated militia” has done it again.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19765 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-24, 18:00

Kate Crawford,Editor, Slow Boring said:

From her blurb describing an upcoming discussion with Leah Boustan, Professor of economics at Princeton, and Ran Abramitzky, Professor of economics at Stanford, of their book: "Streets of Gold: America's Untold Story of Immigrant Success"

The facts, not the fiction, of America’s immigration experience

Immigration is one of the most fraught, and possibly most misunderstood, topics in American social discourse—yet, in most cases, the things we believe about immigration are based largely on myth, not facts. Using the tools of modern data analysis and ten years of pioneering research, new evidence is provided about the past and present of the American Dream, debunking myths fostered by political opportunism and sentimentalized in family histories, and draw counterintuitive conclusions, including:

Upward Mobility: Children of immigrants from nearly every country, especially those of poor immigrants, do better economically than children of U.S.-born residents – a pattern that has held for more than a century.

Rapid Assimilation: Immigrants accused of lack of assimilation (such as Mexicans today and the Irish in the past) actually assimilate fastest.

Improved Economy: Immigration changes the economy in unexpected positive ways and staves off the economic decline that is the consequence of an aging population.

Helps U.S. Born: Closing the door to immigrants harms the economic prospects of the U.S.-born—the people politicians are trying to protect.

Using powerful story-telling and unprecedented research employing big data and algorithms, Abramitzky and Boustan are like dedicated family genealogists but millions of times over. They provide a new take on American history with surprising results, especially how comparable the “golden era” of immigration is to today, and why many current policy proposals are so misguided.

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#19766 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-25, 06:30

Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors Coach said:

I'm not going to talk about basketball. Nothing's happened with our team in the last six hours. We're going to start the same way tonight. Any basketball questions don't matter.

Since we left [pregame practice], 14 children were killed 400 miles from here. And a teacher. In the last 10 days, we've had elderly Black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo, we've had Asian churchgoers killed in Southern California. Now we have children murdered at school.

When are we going to do something? I'm tired. I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I'm so tired. Excuse me. I'm sorry. I'm tired of the moments of silence. Enough!

There's 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on HR8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple years ago. It's been sitting there for two years. And there's a reason they won't vote on it: to hold onto power.

So I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings. I ask you: Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers? Because that's what it looks like. It's what we do every week.

So I'm fed up. I've had enough. We're going to play the game tonight. But I want every person here, every person listening to this, to think about your own child or grandchild, or mother or father, sister, brother. How would you feel if this happened to you today?

We can't get numb to this. We can't sit here and just read about it and go, well, let's have a moment of silence -- yea, Go Dubs. C'mon, Mavs, let's go. That's what we're going to do. We're going to go play a basketball game.

Fifty senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage. Do you realize that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want background checks -- universal background checks? Ninety percent of us. We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote, despite what we, the American people, want.

They won't vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power. It's pathetic! I've had enough!

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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Posted 2022-May-25, 06:34

Jonathan Bernstein said:

https://www.bloomber...author_18529680

Tuesday was the fourth and final big primary day of May, with most of the action in the South. Next week is quiet, and then seven states hold primaries on June 7. Highlights, bullet-point style:

The one-third club got even bigger. Several candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump in competitive Republican races have wound up with about a third of the vote. That wasn’t doing much for Trump’s would-be reputation as omnipotent GOP kingmaker, and what happened in Georgia on Tuesday was even worse. In the two contests that Trump put the most time and money into, in an attempt to punish incumbent Republicans who refused to help him illegally overturn the 2020 election, Trump’s candidates lost badly. US Representative Jody Hice, whom Trump backed to defeat incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the official who had refused Trump’s personal entreaty to “find” enough votes to overturn President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Georgia, received only about 34% of the vote, with Raffensperger able to win without needing a runoff. And Trump’s candidate for governor, former Senator David Perdue, couldn’t even reach the one-third club. He was blown out by incumbent Governor Brian Kemp, losing by about 50 percentage points while only receiving about 22% of the vote.

Trump did have a few things to brag about. In the cases where the party came together to support his candidates, they did well against little competition. Last week it was US Senate nominee Ted Budd in North Carolina. This week it was former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders winning the Arkansas gubernatorial primary and Trump friend Hershel Walker winning the Georgia Senate primary, both by large margins. It’s important to note that the latter two, at least, will probably be Trump allies if elected. But it’s hard to credit Trump for those landslide wins, since both had statewide appeal and both had consensus support among party actors.

Indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton may not be the worst elected official in the US, but he’s perhaps the most embarrassing one. He clobbered state Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a runoff Tuesday by a two-to-one margin. Really, Texas Republicans? Paxton’s been under indictment for years, and that’s for a different alleged crime from the one he’s currently under investigation for — that’s the one that drove much of his own staff to resign in protest of what they considered flat-out corruption. There must be hundreds, maybe thousands, of extremely conservative lawyers in the state, perfectly capable of suing Democratic presidents and otherwise fighting for the Republican policy agenda, but who can also plausibly stand for the rule of law in the Alamo State. Why don’t Texas Republicans choose one of those?

Whether it’s Paxton or Kemp or Raffensperger, one of the lessons of Tuesday’s voting is a familiar one in US politics: Incumbents win primaries. Yes, every once in awhile an elected official fails to win re-nomination, but it’s rare, even when there’s seemingly good reason. And yet one of the big factors driving Republicans in Congress is fear of being defeated in primaries. Politicians are always paranoid; what varies is what they’re paranoid about, and at least since House Republican Whip Eric Cantor was shocked by a primary loss back in 2014, it’s primaries that worry them the most. (Many are in safe districts, but as a practical matter they’re safe from primaries, too). In particular, quite a few anti-Trump Republicans have retired rather than face re-election. Kemp’s and Raffensperger’s wins suggest that some of those retirees may well have been able to stay in office had they only been willing to fight back. Perhaps that will happen more in 2024.

But for now? Don’t take Trump’s unimpressive endorsement record this month as evidence that the Republican Party is any less dominated by its radical, and increasingly anti-democratic, faction. Kemp and Raffensperger deserve tremendous credit for standing up against Trump and for democracy when it mattered after Election Day in 2020, despite incredible pressure. But before and after that, both supported efforts to make voting harder, and in some cases to make election administration more susceptible to partisan interference — at least when the party likely to benefit is the GOP. Those aren’t purely Trumpy positions within the Republican Party. They preceded Trump, and they’re widely shared by most members of the party, whatever their views of the former president. It’s good to see that the party didn’t punish Kemp and Raffensperger for refusing to go further by fabricating votes. But that such things are even in question shows how radical the party has become.

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#19768 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-May-25, 15:16

An understanding of the second amendment requires reading the first amendment: in the first amendment, it states that freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble peacefully, and freedom to petition the government for redress cannot be abridged.

This means that the rights cannot be even limited in some way. This is the way to state an absolute right: it can't be taken away (Congress shall make no law) or reduced in any manner (or abridged).

The second amendment, though, in its final two phrases only offers this: the right of the people to own and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Infringed has a whole different meaning from abridged. Infringed means totally stopped.

Here is the takeaway: if the writer's had meant gun ownership was the same type of absolute right as free speech and free press, they would have written that final phase as: shall not be infringed or abridged.

That it was written the way that it was-only using infringed-is telling; it is the dog that did not bark in the night. Gun control is certainly constitutional as long as the right is not infringed, meaning halted altogether. It does not grant the right to be your own personal army.
Bottom line: regardless of SCOTUS decisions, the constitution states that your 2nd amendment rights can be reduced; they just cannot be eliminated.

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#19769 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-May-25, 15:23

Quote

I'm not going to talk about basketball. Nothing's happened with our team in the last six hours. We're going to start the same way tonight. Any basketball questions don't matter.

Rather than Steve Kerr, this would have been more meaningful had it been a Republican Senator - any Republican Senator.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19770 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-26, 06:44

Mary McCord, acting assistant attorney general for national security from 2016 to 2017. said:

https://www.nytimes....896ed87b2d9c72a

Permissive gun laws and easy access to firearms make the United States a prime target for firearms-based terrorist attacks like the one in Buffalo. They subject the population to the constant threat of mass shootings like the one in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were fatally shot. Whether that shooting ultimately meets the statutory definition of terrorism or not, it certainly has terrified people nationwide, raising fears yet again that children are at risk, even in their schools, from a violence abetted by the ready availability of semiautomatic weapons.

Along with dozens of other former national security and law enforcement officials, I delivered this message last year in a brief filed with the Supreme Court in the latest gun case to come before the justices, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.

That pending case concerns restrictions on carrying concealed firearms. But whether the gun is concealed or not, there is no question that the ready availability of guns in the United States challenges not only public safety but also national security. The United States must treat the easy access to semiautomatic weapons as the national security threat it is.

Quote

The concealed-weapon case awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court presents the first significant Second Amendment issue to be considered by the justices since 2008. Although it involves a challenge to the validity of New York’s longstanding concealed-carry restrictions, the arguments advanced by the challengers, if accepted, could call other gun-safety restrictions into question. The signatories of the national security brief — including former career and politically appointed national security officials — were united in urging the court to consider the national-security and public-safety threats posed by easy access to firearms.

This warning is not new.

Nicholas Rasmussen, a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, warned as he was stepping down in 2017, “We find ourselves in a more dangerous situation because our population of violent extremists has no difficulty gaining access to weapons that are quite lethal.” And in early 2021, Christopher Wray, the F.B.I. director, told a Senate committee that racially motivated violent extremism was “the biggest chunk of our domestic terrorism portfolio” overall, with “militia violent extremists” trending.

Second Amendment absolutists are fond of saying, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” But a security guard at the Tops supermarket — a 30-year veteran of the Buffalo police — had a gun. He used it. But it was no match for body armor and an assault weapon. National security and public safety require far more than a good guy with a gun. They require effective regulation over access to these weapons.

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Posted 2022-May-26, 06:51

Heather Cox Richardson, American historian said:

All day, I have been coming back to this: How have we arrived at a place where 90% of Americans want to protect our children from gun violence, and yet those who are supposed to represent us in government are unable, or unwilling, to do so?

This is a central problem not just for the issue of gun control, but for our democracy itself.

Quote

At home, where our focus on free markets has stacked our political system in favor of the Republicans, the vast majority of Americans want reasonable gun laws, reproductive rights, action on climate change, equality before the law, infrastructure funding, and so on, and their representatives are unable to get those things.

Capitalism, it seems, is also trumping democracy at home.

https://heathercoxri...rX8t9MoPvvM&s=r

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Posted 2022-May-26, 07:12

Josh Barro said:

John asks:

I think that the fact we have over 400 million guns in circulation in the US is a problem equal to COVID, Ukraine, inflation, etc. That we have an “armed citizenry” represents a public-safety issue, a public-health issue, and a threat to democracy all rolled into one, and this seems to be massively under-covered in the mainstream media and on Substack. Why do you think that is? Why don’t you focus on this issue?

John sent this question in a few weeks ago, but it’s especially relevant this week for obvious and tragic reasons.

I would not rank guns at the top of the list of problems John provides — drastically more people have died from COVID than from firearms over the last couple of years, for example.¹ But I broadly agree that it would be desirable if the US had fewer guns, and if we had policies that materially restricted access to guns compared to the policies we have now.

Violent crime is a major problem in the US — one that’s gotten somewhat worse over the last three years — and one of the reasons it’s a bigger problem here than in peer countries is the large number of guns in circulation. Guns also facilitate suicide — suicide accounts for a majority of all gun deaths. Perhaps the largest public health benefit from reduced availability of guns would be fewer suicides.

The reason I don’t write about the topic very much is that I don’t think either the political arguments we have about guns or the available policy changes we might implement about guns are likely to have important effects on death rates or violent crime rates.

We cannot have the broadly restrictive gun policy of places like Japan or the United Kingdom, not just because of the practical and constitutional challenges associated with confiscating hundreds of millions of American firearms, but because doing so would be very unpopular — Gallup finds only 19% of Americans think handguns should be generally prohibited, down from around 40% throughout the 1980s.

Instead, we end up talking about policies with very limited effects at the margin — prohibitions on certain kinds of rifles (even though a large majority of gun deaths are associated with handguns) or changes to background check systems that have only marginal effects on availability. And in addition to these policies being mere tinkering around the edges, the poll results that often show them to be very popular are a mirage.

For example, universal background checks poll extremely well, but if you put them to the voters as referenda, the results show you a country that’s close to evenly divided — passing by one point in Nevada, losing by four in Maine. That 2016 proposal in Maine started out up 40 points in the polls, and gun control proponents outspent opponents by a 6-to-1 margin. And it still lost — because Americans aren’t as supportive of even incremental gun regulations as they claim to be when pollsters ask.² Americans on average want a country where it’s pretty easy to get a gun, and we’re going to have to make policy within that context. And as such, I think gun policy is a very weak lever for moving outcomes about well-being, and I don’t focus on it very much.

I also think there is a way in which the public conversation about guns is extremely similar to the one about COVID. Back in February, I quoted Sam Adler-Bell’s New York piece about David Leonhardt and his COVID-hawk detractors, in which Adler-Bell admitted that much of the fight over residual non-pharmaceutical interventions (such as masks) was “as much about how we should regard all this suffering as they are about how we may prevent it.” He wrote:

The pandemic has dealt unspeakable damage, but our social system has evinced a remarkable capacity to metabolize mass death and to acquiesce to more and more morbid definitions of normal. For Leonhardt’s sharpest critics, this appetite for normalcy is a disturbing sign of our callousness; for his defenders, it’s the only way beyond our despair.

And I think this explains the nature of a lot of the immediate response after mass shootings. Efforts to pass incremental gun control laws aren’t just a strategy to prevent shootings; they are also an expression of outrage about the shootings, and about gun culture more broadly. They are a statement about how we should regard a mass murder — and a political fight can make that statement even if the underlying legislation never becomes law.

I think it’s an understandable impulse to want elected officials to reflect your anger and, in certain contexts, a perfectly healthy impulse. Politics is something we do together and it has expressive content. But as you have likely noticed, this is not what I think politics is for.

I don’t need elected officials to express my anger over people being killed. If they reflect people’s anger at no political cost, that’s all well and good. But if — and this is what I fear is happening in Texas — you have Beto O’Rourke take a political approach around guns that’s more designed to appeal to national grassroots Democratic donors than the marginal Texan voter, then raising the salience of the gun issue will simply hurt Democrats and make them less likely to win his and other elections in the state. And I don’t think that serves the interests of anybody on our side, including those who would like more stringent restrictions on guns. Remember, it’s not just liberals — it’s not primarily liberals — who get energized by the gun control debate.

Finally, I’d note the parallel disbelief among politically engaged liberals about gun policies and COVID policies: wanting to know how the restrictions they favor aren’t being implemented, even despite pages of issue polling they can point to in order to claim the public is on their side. I don’t say this to pile on, especially this week — on the merits, I think these people are quite a bit more right about guns than they are about masks. But I think it also behooves them to understand that the issue polling is lying to them, on both issues. Their values and priorities differ from most of the public’s, and that’s an important thing for anyone to know when engaging in politics.

* * *

1 We might also consider how the public rates the problems John listed by looking at Gallup’s monthly Most Important Problem survey. In April, 23% of respondents cited inflation, cost of living, or fuel prices as the most important problem facing the country; another 12% made more general complaints about the economy. 5% cited issues with Russia. 4% named COVID or other disease. 1% said guns or gun control, with another 2% commenting more generally on crime or violence.

2 I would refer you to my January podcast with pollsters on the bedeviling unreliability of issue polling, including the issue of “acquiescence bias”: people are just too likely to tell you they favor almost any proposal.

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Posted 2022-May-26, 07:22

Jonathan Bernstein said:

https://www.bloomber...author_18529680

I don’t have the expertise on guns and violence that some of my Bloomberg Opinion colleagues or many academic experts have. So I really don’t know which of the gun-control policies Democrats have proposed would be helpful, which would make little difference and which would create new risks.

What I do know is that that Democrats are a normal US political party, which means that they are mainly pragmatic problem-solvers. That is, what US political parties are usually good at is finding out what makes their constituents unhappy and attempting to do something about it. They listen to voters in their districts; to the party coalition that nominates them; to their strongest supporters. Some of their solutions may turn out to be highly ideological. Some are not. They’re generally willing to cut deals to pass something, figuring that something is better than nothing. If it doesn’t have the votes, or it’s implemented and it doesn’t work, they’ll try something else.

The Democrats have been like that for well over a century. The Republicans used to be like that, too. The instinctive approaches the two parties took differed, in part because of ideology, in part because different groups made up different coalitions and in part because parties wind up with legacy policies that they support because they’ve always supported them.

This is how US democracy works, when it works. Politicians notice things that their constituents don’t like, and they come up with proposed solutions or sign on to someone else’s proposed solutions. Politicians usually aren’t experts at policy. They often, in fact, think really stupid things about policy. But they are — they’re supposed to be — experts in the problems their constituents encounter in the course of their lives, and they consider it — they’re supposed to consider it — an electoral and representational imperative to be seen as attempting to alleviate those problems. Which often entails actually trying to do so. Which often forces them to consult with experts, or to figure things out by trial and error, or at least to keep trying.

What’s gone horribly wrong is that one of the two major parties, the Republican Party, has mostly abandoned all of that. All politicians seek publicity, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but most Republican politicians have become expert only at saying things that play well in Republican-aligned media rather than about problems their constituents are having. And nowhere is that more clear than in their reaction to the horrible gun massacres that are now a regular part of life in the US.

What do Republican politicians do? They offer up cliches about thoughts and prayers. They act outraged that Democrats are “politicizing” tragedies, which is to say Democrats are acting as if school massacres are problems and their jobs as politicians is to propose solutions. And if Republicans do attempt to propose solutions, they often sound … well, let’s just say they’re willing to sound entirely ignorant.

See, for example, Texas Senator Ted Cruz claiming that school shootings could be ended by restricting entry to a single door, which prompted a good deal of ridicule. Or Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who said that all it takes is “to harden these targets.” I’m no expert, but I do live in Texas and know that we’ve had mass murders in a school, in a Walmart and in a church over the last few years, and I can’t even imagine “hardening” all the schools, places of worship, and grocery and big box stores. Nor, given that Patrick and the Republicans are working hard to allow anyone who wants to take weapons wherever they want, do I even understand how open-carry laws mesh with hardened targets.

My point here isn’t just that these are bad ideas. I suspect that a good number of the Democrats’ proposals on gun violence are bad ideas, but the Democrats are at least making real policy proposals. What Cruz and Patrick and most other Republicans are talking about aren’t policy ideas at all. They’re just nonsensical things to say in the wake of a shooting until the news cycle moves on, when they can be forgotten until the next mass shooting. Bad ideas can be improved, or defeated by better ideas. Nonsense words do no one any good.

(Even the Republican ideas for expanding gun rights aren’t really attempts to solve constituent problems. They’re best understood as attempts to stoke anger and outrage, and to find policy ideas extreme enough to prove their proponents are the True Conservatives.)

A lot of gun-regulation supporters are indignant because their policies poll well and yet are not implemented. I’ll mostly defend the US system, with its status quo bias and its various ways of allowing intense minorities to win policy fights. And that’s not the problem, anyway. There are plenty of available compromises that could protect the interests of most gun owners while still actively attacking the problems that the US and no other nation has with gun violence.

That Republican politicians are almost unanimously lacking any interest in doing anything about those problems? That’s the breakdown of democracy.

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#19774 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-May-26, 07:24

View Postbarmar, on 2022-May-17, 10:59, said:

What do you think about the sanity of R's who believe, and make legislative policy based on:

- The "big lie"
- Replacement Theory
- Critical race theory teaches that we're all racists, and grade schools are teaching it
- Abortion should be banned when the majority of the country believes that it should be available in some form.
- Gun ownership isn't a serious problem

These people just ignore reality.


I commented a bit ago about abortion and gun control, and said I would try to get back to the others. I'll say a bit about CRT.
I think my problem with CRT is not so much either the C or the R but the T. I have tried to make sense of it. I read an article a few days back, maybe in WaPo, that had at least a half-dozen CRT advocates trying to explain what it was. It appears to mean different things to different people but one tent seems to be that people like me who think that a major part of any solution to racial problems lies in education are at least naive and perhaps racist. Let.s stick with naive, I am very willing to admit I can be naive.

Now I will look at a couple of news items describing very different situations.

First: Last night (Wednesday) on PBS Newshour they were interviewing a couple of guys who co-wrote a biography of George Floyd. In high school, he was very athletic and hoped to become a pro. But he never graduated from high school. Ok, but what is the suggestion? I don't know if, for example, Babe Ruth ever graduated from high school. I know my father never started high school. So is the suggestion that we should downplay the importance of finishing high school? Or should we find a way to help people finish high school? The theory is that this was an example of systemic racism. The practical suggestion for helping wasn't mentioned.


Second: This morning there is an article in the Baltimore Sun.
https://mail.google....TwtpWlkxKhXsSnM
It tells of a massive amount of money in support of young scientists who in one way or another contribute to diversity.
It has some weird features, but to me this sounds like a great idea. The difference, of course, is that this will help young scientists. These young scientists finished high school long ago and I would guess most of them have Ph.D.s The idea is to help them in their early years. We can all use a little help in our early years. I mentioned a little weirdness. Of all the features of this program that they might have mentioned, one that was prominently featured was that it would relieve the young scientist from writing grant applications. Well, I can say from experience that writing grant applications is a pain in the butt but I never thought of it as overwhelming. You want someone to support your planned research so you write up a description of your planned research. Reasonable enough.

I guess my conclusion is that CRT is an expression of hopelessness. I am all in favor of expanding educational opportunities. If that approach is seen as naive, or, worse, as racist, I am at a loss as to what to do.
Ken
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#19775 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-May-26, 16:26

View Postkenberg, on 2022-May-26, 07:24, said:

I guess my conclusion is that CRT is an expression of hopelessness. I am all in favor of expanding educational opportunities. If that approach is seen as naive, or, worse, as racist, I am at a loss as to what to do.


The problems come from the "race" not the critical theory part.
The philosophical concept of critical theory has been around - uncontroversially - to "the masses" for many decades.
It sees a problem in a social realm and seeks to change it as opposed to the usual sociology blather of "understanding".
In this case How can we reduce the amount of racism (or sexism/ignorance/interest in football etc etc).

Imagine if we had critical education theory.
Then people might start asking "how can we improve learning/knowledge in the community" (a post-structuralist approach) rather than saying "Why are people ignorant" (a structuralist approach).

Well, we do, there's vast tracts of scholarly stuff written about CET - there's even whole Journals devoted to it.

The response from Dr Strangelove in Texas to mass shootings is a case in point.
America would surely benefit from some "critical gun theory".
Instead of a steadfast belief in "inalienable rights" - invented by a bunch of violent, self-serving, slave-owning, agrarian socialist, hoons, hundreds of years ago.

A bit more talking to children and a bit less staring at mobile phones/television might be a good start.
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#19776 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-May-26, 17:08

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-May-26, 16:26, said:

The problems come from the "race" not the critical theory part.
The philosophical concept of critical theory has been around - uncontroversially - to "the masses" for many decades.
It sees a problem in a social realm and seeks to change it as opposed to the usual sociology blather of "understanding".
In this case How can we reduce the amount of racism (or sexism/ignorance/interest in football etc etc).

Imagine if we had critical education theory.
Then people might start asking "how can we improve learning/knowledge in the community" (a post-structuralist approach) rather than saying "Why are people ignorant" (a structuralist approach).

Well, we do, there's vast tracts of scholarly stuff written about CET - there's even whole Journals devoted to it.

The response from Dr Strangelove in Texas to mass shootings is a case in point.
America would surely benefit from some "critical gun theory".
Instead of a steadfast belief in "inalienable rights" - invented by a bunch of violent, self-serving, slave-owning, agrarian socialist, hoons, hundreds of years ago.

A bit more talking to children and a bit less staring at mobile phones/television might be a good start.


Before we can reach CGCT (gun control) we will need CFPT (Fox Primetime) and CET or CCDT (Cult Deprogramming)
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#19777 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2022-May-26, 17:21

View Postkenberg, on 2022-May-26, 07:24, said:

First: Last night (Wednesday) on PBS Newshour they were interviewing a couple of guys who co-wrote a biography of George Floyd. In high school, he was very athletic and hoped to become a pro. But he never graduated from high school. Ok, but what is the suggestion? I don't know if, for example, Babe Ruth ever graduated from high school. I know my father never started high school. So is the suggestion that we should downplay the importance of finishing high school? Or should we find a way to help people finish high school? The theory is that this was an example of systemic racism. The practical suggestion for helping wasn't mentioned.

Do you think George Floyd died because he didn't finish high school? I find it really hard to understand what your point here is.

I would say that critical race theory is an attempt to think about racial issues a little more systematically.

Let me give you an example. I recently "read" (listened, as an audiobook) 'The Warmth of Other Suns' by Isabel Wilkerson, about The Great Migration. A truly wonderful book. But one thing I learned is how little I knew about this topic. It's a mass migration of 6 million people across the US that has shaped the development of all major cities in the "North", and did more to put pressure on the "South" to end Jim Crow laws than anything else.
Now, I am ignorant about many topics. But I've also lived in the US for six years, still follow US news and debate, and even read the Watercooler on BBF. Yet I hadn't even come across it as an explicit topic. Yet I have seen so many references to the immigration by the Irish, why they left, the discrimination they faced initially, etc.

Don't you think it makes a difference when the US turns the immigration of Italians or Irish into part of its national folklore knowledge, but is silent about the more recent lived reality of a larger share of its population, that undoubtedly has done much more to form life and politics in the current US? Which helps us relate to the family history of some, but not others? No single individual makes an explicit "racist" decision to learn or teach about Irish immigration, but not about Negro migration. Yet here we are, and I doubt it doesn't make a difference.

And of course that's only a very small piece of the puzzle. There are still many people alive today who lived under Jim Crow, and many more whose parents did, or whose parents escaped from it during the Great Migration. Do finishing US high school students know more about the founding fathers, or about redlining? Which of the two is more relevant to explain the society they live in?
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#19778 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-May-27, 06:34

View Postcherdano, on 2022-May-26, 17:21, said:

Do you think George Floyd died because he didn't finish high school? I find it really hard to understand what your point here is.

I would say that critical race theory is an attempt to think about racial issues a little more systematically.

Let me give you an example. I recently "read" (listened, as an audiobook) 'The Warmth of Other Suns' by Isabel Wilkerson, about The Great Migration. A truly wonderful book. But one thing I learned is how little I knew about this topic. It's a mass migration of 6 million people across the US that has shaped the development of all major cities in the "North", and did more to put pressure on the "South" to end Jim Crow laws than anything else.
Now, I am ignorant about many topics. But I've also lived in the US for six years, still follow US news and debate, and even read the Watercooler on BBF. Yet I hadn't even come across it as an explicit topic. Yet I have seen so many references to the immigration by the Irish, why they left, the discrimination they faced initially, etc.

Don't you think it makes a difference when the US turns the immigration of Italians or Irish into part of its national folklore knowledge, but is silent about the more recent lived reality of a larger share of its population, that undoubtedly has done much more to form life and politics in the current US? Which helps us relate to the family history of some, but not others? No single individual makes an explicit "racist" decision to learn or teach about Irish immigration, but not about Negro migration. Yet here we are, and I doubt it doesn't make a difference.

And of course that's only a very small piece of the puzzle. There are still many people alive today who lived under Jim Crow, and many more whose parents did, or whose parents escaped from it during the Great Migration. Do finishing US high school students know more about the founding fathers, or about redlining? Which of the two is more relevant to explain the society they live in?


I will get to your lead-in question but let me start by expanding on my closing remark "I guess my conclusion is that CRT is an expression of hopelessness." An analogy:


A person has pains, lacks energy, goes to a doctor, they run some tests, there is a conversation:
Doc: You have cancer throughout your body
Patient: I could do Yoga, would that help?
Doc: Uh, no.
Patient: How about radiation therapy?
Doc: Too late.
Patient: Chemo?
Doc: It might prolong your life an extra month but you will feel miserable.
Patient: What should I do?
Doc: Shop for a burial plot.


Now to your question "Do you think George Floyd died because he didn't finish high school?" My first reaction was "No, of course not, I never said such a thing" But upon reflection, I would say "No, not exactly". You mentioned a book you read. Back in my early 20s I read A Choice of Weapons", by Gordon Parks One story proves nothing of course. My question is, how do we get more results like Gordon Parks and fewer results like George Floyd? Everyone would benefit. Does CRT have any suggestions that stand any chance at all of being implemented and would any of them have any chance of working? My suggestion would be, partly, to help young people get a better education.CRT seems to read that as being about as useful as providing Yoga classes. (I take Yoga classes, I just don't expect it to perform miracles.)



We have a deep problem. When I said that my problem with CRT was the T, I meant that I am not sure I have heard of any suggestions from them that that have been successfully implemented with good results.



When I was in high school my English teacher asked for suggestions about the high school graduation speech. I suggested not having one. She replied "Kenneth, we want CONstructive suggestions not DEstructive suggestions" .I hope I do not sound like my English teacher but I think we need practical thoughts rather than some theory that purports to explain everything and help with nothing.
Ken
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#19779 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-May-27, 06:57

The quote below comes from "Critical Race Theory, Methodology, and Semiotics: The Analytical Utility of a "Race" Conscious Approach for Visual Qualitative Research"
Stefan Lawrence, Kevin Hylton (2022) Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies 22(3), pp. 255-265

Quote

Critical race theory (CRT) has transitioned recently from university campuses to the popular consciousness of the United States, the United Kingdom, and beyond, by way of mention in mainstream media as well as the highest political offices in the world. CRT is an academic field of inquiry, a movement and/or framework—rather than a theory (Hylton, 2010, 2012)—which has sought to examine the racialized experiences, structures, and outcomes of contemporary Western social democracies. It is a movement of activist scholars that emerged in the United States in response to the obfuscation toward race of critical theory in Legal Studies. Significant inconsistencies in the consideration of the place of "race" in legal circles impacts life chances, freedoms, and everyday experiences in social structures. The movement, which began in the mid-1970s, consisted of scholars, lawyers, and activists, all of whom expressed disquiet that the headway made during the civil rights era had begun to stall and, in some instances, regress (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001). Early CRT scholars, such as Derrick Bell, Alan Freeman, and Richard Delgado became increasingly critical of what they described as colorblind ideologies, and the inability of scholars to explicate the complexities of racisms as systemic, unspectacular, covert, and often ambiguous. For the early pioneers of CRT, such guiding social frameworks failed to recognize the more subtle discriminatory practices that have evolved in light of liberal anti-racist policy (Bell, 1980, 1992a; Delgado & Stefancic, 1995).


I suspect the discussion here is being sidelined by the use of the term theory in the sense that a mathematician might understand it as opposed to the intended meaning (outlined in the quote).

An example related to pain (just for you Ken!) was also published recently: Application of Critical Race Theory in Palliative Care Research: A Scoping Review (2022) Marcewicz, L., Kunihiro, S.K., Curseen, K.A., Johnson, K., Kavalieratos, D. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 63(6), pp. e667-e684.

Quote

Context: Structural racism negatively impacts individuals and populations. In the medical literature, including that of palliative care, structural racism's influence on interracial differences in outcomes remains poorly examined. Examining the contribution of structural racism to outcomes is paramount to promoting equity. Objectives: We examined portrayals of race and racial differences in outcomes in the palliative care literature and created a framework using critical race theory (CRT) to aid in this examination. Methods: We reviewed the CRT literature and iteratively developed a rubric to examine when and how differences between races are described. Research articles published in The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management presenting empiric data specifically including findings about racial differences were examined independently by three reviewers using the rubric. Results: Fifty-seven articles met inclusion criteria. Articles that specifically described racial differences were common in the topic areas of quality (75% of articles), hospice (53%), palliative care services (40%) and spirituality/religion (40%). The top three reasons posited for racial differences were patient preference (26%), physician bias (23%), and cultural barriers (21%). Using the CRT rubric we found that 65% of articles posited that a racial difference was something that needed to be rectified, while articles rarely provided narrative (5%) or other data on perspectives of people of color (11%) to explain assumptions about differences. Conclusion: Palliative care research frequently highlights racial differences in outcomes. Articles that examine racial differences often assume that differences need to be fixed but posit reasons for differences without the narratives of those most affected by them.


I think they are concluding that not thinking about something doesn't mean it isn't there.


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#19780 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-May-27, 07:21

Ken,I probably know even less about CRT than you do, but (and maybe because of ignorance) I’m not as pessimistic as you seem to be.

Most of us, most of the time, are unaware of our own biases and assumptions. It takes some stimulus to make us, if we’re paying attention, have our eureka moment.

I think back to when feminism got started in NA culture. Much of its success (incomplete though it is) was due to something that was called ‘consciousness raising’. As I recall, the idea was that many of us, especially of the male persuasion, were oblivious to our behaviours and attitudes towards women. We’d all grown up in a male dominated society and what we may now call male privilege was simply the way things were.

Becoming aware of one’s biases….either as an individual or as a society….seems to me to be the first and most important step towards counteracting them….towards changing attitudes.

CRT seems to me to be an attempt to identify the sources of racism: to make people aware. It’s not, despite the GOP grandstanding, about telling white people that they’re all racist. It’s about showing how society historically has been and (to a lesser but still significant degree) still is structured so as to perpetuate racism at a level at which many are unaware….they need consciousness of that issue to be raised

Once one has one’s awareness raised, solutions follow almost automatically. I suppose not for everyone, but for some people. And once a significant group of people exhibit a change in attitude, that can affect more and more people.

Thus I don’t see CRT as needing to embody suggestions for changing societal attitudes.I see it as an attempt to create wider awareness of the nature of the issue, which awareness would automatically bring about change. Nobody likes to think of themselves as a bigot. Even the most racist bigots I’ve met think of themselves as good people and find ways to justify their bigotry, without acknowledging that it’s bigotry as opposed to common sense…‘I’m not a bigot but……’ is a common giveaway.. Many are beyond hope: they’ll never change (imo). But as awareness spreads, attitudes can change


Look at gay marriage. Look at gender equality. Is there still homophobia? Of course. Compare it to 50 years ago. Is there gender inequality in almost all walks of life? Of course. Compare it to 50 years ago.

Changes in racist thinking has (it seems to me) been slower than those examples but there have been changes. CRT, if my vague understanding of what it is has any resemblance to reality, might help accelerate those changes, not because it offers a prescription for change but because it helps open eyes to the often out-of-sight structural factors that foster and perpetuate prejudice

Now, again, my vague understanding is that CRT is an academic approach…..not intended for pre-college level education, and I suspect only a small number of college students would ever @ctually take a CRT course but even so as it’s ideas become more broadly known, it may (one hopes) contribute to that consciousness raising.
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