Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What Would U.S. History Look Like If It Were Written By Texas and Arizona?

History is one part truth. History is also one part fable. It is a site of political contestation and struggle. As the state of Arizona (with its rules banning “Ethnic Studies”) and the state of Texas (reimaging its U.S. history curriculum to conform with the Tea Party and Christian Nationalist perspective) have both embraced a more “conservative” view of history, it only seems fair and reasonable to take their efforts at face value. Theirs is not an assault on academic freedom. No, it is an effort to diversify and make more inclusive and “American” the curriculum taught to our children.

Many, on both sides of the political divide, have treated these new guidelines with much derision and complaint. I suggest that the best way to understand the teaching of history as imagined by this brave new world is to work through the reality it offers. To that end, I present U.S. history as outlined in the politically correct guidelines offered by Arizona and Texas. Sometimes the old is indeed the new…welcome my friends to Tea Party U.S.A.

The Essential Dates and Events of U.S. History as Approved by the States of Arizona and Texas

1607– Jamestown founded. Capitalism, which can trace its roots to the Bible, is now firmly rooted in the New World.

1660-1800Triangular Atlantic trade continues to bring wealth and prosperity to America while giving opportunities to new immigrants.

1776–War for Independence against the tyrannical, evil British empire. Colonists suffer oppression that is unprecedented in human history. Minutemen singlehandedly defeat the evil British Empire in 1783.

1788–The United States Constitution is signed as a document to stand for all time, inspired by God, and never to be changed.

–America continues to expand westward into empty territories. American settlers make the land bloom with the help of friendly Indian tribes.

1823–America guarantees the freedom of all countries and people in the Western Hemisphere with the adoption of the Monroe Doctrine.

1848–Mexico, in an act of friendship following their humiliation at the Alamo by the great Republic of Texas, gives their territories to the United States.

1860s-1900s–The Gilded Age of prosperity. American capitalism provides opportunities for all people to grow wealthy, secure, and happy. Liberals and Progressives begin working against American freedom and capitalism by forming unions, demanding unfair compensation from their employers, limiting the rights of children to work in factories, and imposing restrictive regulations for the “safety” of employees. Many brave men die fighting Communist influenced unions as they riot in America’s cities.

1861-1865–Civil War fought because of an overreaching, tyrannical federal government and its desire to limit the freedoms of all Americans. 620,000 people die including many brave and noble black Americans who fought on the side of the Confederacy. Northerners and Southerners eventually find common ground through Redemption and move forward as brothers and sisters in the USA.

1865-1870s–Democratic terrorists called the Ku Klux Klan begin a reign of terror in the South until brave Republicans defeat them.

–Using the Antiquities Act, Theodore Roosevelt establishes the National Park System. In one bold stroke Roosevelt establishes Socialist policies that steal land from the American people.

1913–More Socialism and class warfare ushered into the U.S. with the federal income tax system.

1917–America enters and wins World War 1 singlehandedly because the French are cowards.

1929–Great Depression begins. Tens of millions unemployed because of FDR’s failed economic policies. His New Deal introduces the nanny state, prolongs America’s economic collapse, and weakens the economy until Ronald Reagan renews America.

1941–Patriotic Japanese Americans volunteer to place themselves in gated communities so that America will be safe from Imperial Japan.

1941-1945–America enters and wins World War 2 singlehandedly because the French are cowards. Out of necessity, the United States drops atomic bombs on Japan.

1945-1965–A high point in U.S. history, as freedom and prosperity reign over all Americans.

1950–Senator Joseph McCarthy fearlessly highlights how America is infiltrated by communists from Russia and China. Big Hollywood and the liberal establishment are brought to their knees by his brave efforts.

1954–Brown v. Board of Education removes the parental right to send children to the schools of their choice and with the company they desire. A dangerous and unconstitutional era of activist Supreme Court decisions begins.

1955-1968–George Wallace and Martin Luther King Jr. lead a Civil Rights Movement to ensure that all Americans are judged by “the content of their character and not the color of their skin.”

1964-Barry Goldwater ignites a revolution in Conservative thought and values that resonates to the 21st century.

1968–The cinematic classic The Green Berets starring John Wayne, America’s greatest actor, debuts.

1971–America largely withdraws from Vietnam on the cusp of victory because it was weakened by The Gays, The Women’s Movement, and “The Counter-culture.” The French are cowards whose failure forced the U.S. to intervene in Indochina.

1973–Roe vs. Wade, the worst legal decision in the history of the Supreme Court is decided.

1974-Phyllis Schlafly, pioneer for the rights of women, takes a stand against evil Leftist feminists who want to ban motherhood, force mothers to work at jobs outside the home, join the military, become lesbians, and receive advanced educations which they do not need.

1974Nixon forced to resign by liberal conspiracy.

1980–Ronald Reagan, America’s greatest president, restores American providence by ushering in a new era of economic prosperity, cutting the federal budget, and corrects the unfair federal tax code in order that the hard work of the richest Americans is justly rewarded.

1989–The Berlin Wall falls. Ronald Reagan wins the Cold War singlehandedly.

1992-2000–Democrat president Bill Clinton in office. His reckless personal behavior and irresponsible foreign policy choices weaken America internationally. The U.S. economy is almost destroyed by his tax policies. His wife Hillary Clinton furthers the march towards Socialism by advocating for free public health care and to destroy the insurance companies that drive us economic growth.

2000–George Bush elected in a landslide.

2001–Terrorists attack America on September 11th. Because of Bill Clinton’s policies, a weakened border, a lax immigration policy, rampant multiculturalism, and the Democrats’ weakening of the military, America is left open to attack.

2003–Dr. King’s vision is finally made real. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court strikes down the reverse discrimination policies of the University of Michigan. Freedom rings across the land.

2003The country of Iraq, a rogue state, part of the Axis of Evil, and led by the dictator Saddam Hussein–a co-conspirator in the 9-11 attacks–is liberated by President George Bush.

2008-Arizona war hero John McCain introduces Sarah Palin to the world.

2008–Barack Obama is elected. America is in a Constitutional crisis as Obama is unable to prove that he is a U.S. citizen.

2008-the present. Brave Americans begin joining Tea Parties and 9-12 freedom groups. Millions of their members march on Washington DC.. Freedom fighter, James David Manning, places Obama on trial in absentia for treason and sedition.

2008Sarah Palin, mother, governor, author, actress, comedienne and role-model begins here meteoric rise to political stardom. She ushers in an era of robust, common sense approaches to political problems tempered by real American values.

2010Barack Obama remains President although his rule is illegitimate. Brave patriots such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh continue to lead the people’s resistance against his tyrannical rule.

2010-Patriotic legislatures in Texas and Arizona lead the battle against racial quotas and ethnocentrism as they draft legislation to defend all of America from an unending and unfettered stream of foreign invaders.


Werner Herzog's Bear said...

Well done, this is the best distillation I've seen of the larger Teabagger narrative of American history.

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

thanks, we shall see if folks "get it" or if it lands with a thud.


Big Man said...

Sounds about right. I would have spent some more time talking about the rise of domestic terrorists naming themselves after dangerous jungle cats, who were only subdued when the U.S. recognized the need for more prisons to revitalize rural communities.

Joanna said...

The sad and disturbing thing is, there are people who would look at this and approve 110%. Seems to be that the curriculum that most schools teach today are actually just as narrowly focused, full of lies and patently ridiculous as this!

OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin said...

Or the Cliff's Notes version:

George Washington cut down the cherry tree and did not tell a lie.

Then Lincoln freed the slaves.

After that, we won WW2 because of American Ingenuity.

Then, MLK had a dream and Rosa Park's feet got tired.

Now we have all these gays, moozlums, and illegals taking over everything.

Oh wait, that's the same as what's believed about American history right now. Forget I said anything.

MXH said...

I almost fell out of my chair when I saw "George Wallace and MLK..." and "George Bush elected in a landslide."
It's funny, but it's sad because this won't be much different from what will be taught in schools. I call for a boycott of publishers who give in to revisionist history.

BadTux said...

Sad to say, I know plenty of people back home in East Texas who would read the above, and think it was real, not sarcasm. I.e., they have no clue as to the real history of this nation, just some vague ideas floating around that look suspiciously like what you wrote above. GAH, the STUPID, it burns, it burns!

- Badtux the East Texas Refugee Penguin

Anonymous said...


You brought back memories of a Michelle Shocked song that I really love "Memories of East Texas".One of my favorite passages:

"You know, their lives ran in circles so small. Ah, they thought they'd seen it all. And they could not make a place for a girl who'd seen the ocean".

Is it really that bad?

Anonymous said...

freakin perfect..well done

BadTux said...

Yeah, Anon, it's really that bad. They have no clue, and no desire to have a clue. Like one girl told me when I was in school, when I talked about the Iran embassy crisis (oh no, I'm dating myself!), "why should I care? How does that affect my daily life?" If it wasn't something to do with makeup, her job, or school, she didn't care, and neither did most of her peers. It's willful stupidity, for the most part, and the reason I left -- folks back there aren't *inherently* stupid, they *choose* to be stupid, and indeed are *proud* of it.

- Badtux the Southern Penguin

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Unfortunately most people won't even get it. These so called "real Americans" are some of the biggest idiots on the planet.

Signed, a Canadien

Batocchio said...

Well done! Besides the pivot from the noble Confederacy to the evil KKK made up of that other party, and the Wallace-MLK line, this may be my favorite:

1941–Patriotic Japanese Americans volunteer to place themselves in gated communities so that America will be safe from Imperial Japan.

Frog said...

This is a tremendous post, I'm not sure how long it took you to compile this illustrious list but it was well worth your hard work.

I fully support your message in this particular post, and the message of your blog as a whole.

I would love for you to read my blog, we share very similar ideology as well as a taste for irony and sarcasm.

Many of my posts are satire and I really feel like they would strike a chord with the authors and readers of your blog.

Anyway, keep fighting the good fight, I look forward to reading more of your blog and I hope you take the opportunity to give mine a chance.

I appreciate your message and dedication.

Sandy Gholston said...

This is fantastic stuff ... top notch. Keep up the GREAT work.

Michael said...

beautiful! Nice work, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Regarding 1607: It's not "Capitalism", it's now known as "Free Enterprise".

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

@Bigman--Those damn panthers. There was so much I wanted to add, but couldn't.

@Joanna--Already there are some conservative sites agreeing with the list as they try to deconstruct it.

@Ohcrap--You and your reality based community can go to hell ;)

@MXH--I am all for white rights. You didn't know that Dr. King was a Republican who would have endorsed Glenn Beck?

@BadTux--Stupid does burn doesn't it?


@Canadian Anon--Thanks again.

@Battochio-Appreciate the complement as always.

@Frog--We will check you out. You know the funny thing about these types of things they are easy because they write themselves (almost).

@Sandy--We try. Thanks.

@Michael--Sharing makes the world go 'round. Hope to see you again.

@Crikers--The difference is?


Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

This post had me laughing. Great work!

mrs lizard said...

You forgot Poland.

Firstfall said...

Well, they at least have the right idea in 'gasp' making it illegal to be her illegally! (Sorry, but that is just how I feel.)

The rest was quite funny - and sad if they see it that way for real.

k1352 said...

Good article, but you didn't use the word "freedom" often enough.

Harry Allagree said...

Fabulous work you've done! Nails it on the head. Unfortunately, P. T. Barnum's famous still seems to hold in the good ole USofA: "There's a sucker born every minute!"

OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin said...

Like clockwork...

"Texas wants to rename slave trade as "Atlantic triangular trade"


Cobb said...

Are any of these questions on the SAT?

And.. could you do one of those for France?

Finally, it is becoming clearer that all of your opponents are idiots and fools.

Anonymous said...

It's missing 1969:

President JFK lies to the public about "moon landings," to hide his plans for a socialist agenda.

RiPPa said...

Chauncey, I friggin died right here:

"1968–The cinematic classic The Green Berets starring John Wayne, America’s greatest actor, debuts."

OK man, that was brilliant... the whole damn thing!

John Kurman said...

Hey, don't stop when you are on a roll! Let the fantasy continue, like:

2150AD The USS Jefferson Davis destroys the Klingon Empire with a single, well-placed photon torpedo...democracy is restored to the Galaxy. Huzzah!

chaunceydevega said...

@Kit--Well thank you.

@Mrs. Lizard--Didn't you know that Pat Buchanan says that if we gave into Hitler WW2 would have been avoided? Where have you been?

@Firstfall--I got something coming up on immigration. Look out for it.

@K1352--In the amended version we will have to correct that. What other words to include?

@Harry--In the Fox News Age it seems one is born every second.

@ohcrap--They are only getting started. They have a game plan they have been sitting on for years.

@Cobb--Unlike some I only write about things in my depth, so nope can't do one for France. I am glad that you are finally coming around. There are lots of smart folk with whom I disagree. The problem is that we live in an age where all opinions are elevated to the same level regardless of how specious and foolish they may be. Thus, the jonah goldbergs and glenn becks of the world. But Cobb, you have to agree those Texas and Arizona folks are idiots of the first order. No?

@Anon--we never did go to the moon. No I am serious.

@Rippa--I try. But you are the king.

@John--Nope. Can't happen because God only placed life on Earth. Sorry.

Batocchio said...

I came back to pass on the "triangular" bit, but I see someone's already commented on it. Here's a bit more, if you want it. Via C&L, the blog Texas Freedom Network has been live-blogging the Texas State Board of Education meeting.

11:12 – [Benjamin] Jealous specifically notes that the revised standards change a reference to the slave trade to the “triangular trade,” obscuring or downplaying the transportation of slaves to the Americas. Board member David Bradley says he sees no such reference in the standards. We do: eighth-grade U.S. history includes a standard that lists as one of the reasons for the growth of the planation [sic] system “the Atlantic triangular trade.” The originally proposed standard said “growth of the slave trade.” The standard still mentions “the spread of slavery.”

Yes, because when one hears "triangle" one thinks "slavery." The reality often outpaces the satire with these people. I'm reminded of Bill O'Reilly in 2005, arguing that his ancestors came to America on a boat, too:

CALLER: [It’s] because of slavery. If you take someone's language, someone's history, and someone's culture, and then you just release them out into the world, you think they're going to be successful as a people?

O'REILLY: All right. But let me counter that, [caller], and you can comment on my comment. That's the prevailing wisdom in a lot of the precincts, is that because blacks were in slavery in the United States, they were never able to develop an infrastructure of education and culture to compete with the white majority. That is the prevailing wisdom in lots and lots of places. Let me submit this to you, and then you can comment on it.

My people came from County Cavan in Ireland. All right? And the British Crown marched in there with their henchman, Oliver Cromwell, and they seized all of my ancestors' lands, everything. And they threw them into slavery, pretty much indentured servitude on the land. And then the land collapsed, all right? And everybody was starving in Ireland. They had to leave the country, just as Africans had to leave -- African-Americans had to leave Africa and come over on a boat and try to make in the New World with nothing. Nothing. And succeeded, succeeded. As did Italians, as did -- and I'll submit to you, African-Americans are succeeding as well. So all of these things can be overcome I think, [caller]. Go ahead.

Immigration and forced captivity are just the same, you see. O'Reilly and Pat Buchanan can set up their own "ethnic studies" course in Texas and Arizona. Right-wingers have claimed Guantanamo is like a holiday resort, and next up, the Middle Passage was a pleasure cruise. (Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get some muthafuckin' iced tea.)

Cobb said...

I'm being snarky. I still think you're shooting barrelfish. But when the barrel is Texas and Arizona, your shot is not going very deep.

Cobb said...

GTMO *was* a resort. Still is. Have you read Stashiu?


When you all are finished shadowboxing and read the actual operating manual for GTMO like we do on the Right, let us know how your jokes, parodies and ridicule goes.

chaunceydevega said...


Do you really support the madness at GITMO? Holding people incommunicado indefinitely there and at black sites?

Please tell me no. I thought you defended the Constitution? And I hope you aren't one of the Right wingers like the tea baggers who support the bill of rights for themselves but not for others...

that would be disappointing.


Cobb said...

It has been a long time since I've thought about enemy combattants and the ways and means by which certain individuals are assigned that status.

But I do know that there haven't been any pardons issued from the White House, nor has the White House been able to summarily dismiss the military tribunals in process there. I also know of no other state in the union willing to take the prisoners.

What I would like to know is what the flow is. Which is to say, having grown up healthy in Los Angeles, where Crips have killed 9000 people during the 20 years I grew up there, I'm a little to hardnosed to care about three dozen folks transported through CIA black sites over the same period. So, I'm kinda 'whatever' to that.

Is it Constitutional? Of course it is, otherwise the ACLU would have tried more than it did.

Cobb said...

BTW I do support the Bill of Rights for everybody on the planet. Literally. That's why I say America should be an empire.

BadTux said...

Um, Cobb, except that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled *multiple times* that it is *not* Constitutional -- and the Executive Department has simply ignored the Supreme Court in the matter.

Regarding states "willing to take the prisoners", the Federal Government does not need the permission of states in order to establish prisons in a state and transfer prisoners there. You are grasping at straws, my friend.

- Badtux the Constitutional Penguin

Cobb said...

So where's the case? I'd like to see what the specific ruling is and exactly how GTMO is unconstitutional. Which provisions of its operation are unconstitutional and what efforts have been made at compliance - why exactly were the provisions established in the first place?

We all know that Obama is evading all of this legalese by shooting everybody with drones, rather than capturing them... Is a clean kill better than a bad arrest and detention?

BadTux said...

You might start with Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 2006. There's also a more recent case, but geeze, you can use Google just as easily as I can, yo!

Cobb said...

That's Hamdan. That's one case of one individual who won a suit that his rights were violated. That's not GTMO. That's like saying New York is unconstitutional because somebody was deprived of their rights in New York.

BadTux said...

Uhm, by that standard Brown v. Board of Education didn't outlaw school desegregation because it was just one person sayin' his rights were violated. Doesn't work that way once a case makes it to the Supremes, yo. Also check out BOUMEDIENE v. BUSH, 2008. Just sayin'.

Note that none of these say that Gitmo itself is illegal -- it's just a prison, after all -- but that various practices such as not giving prisoners access to due process protections, depriving them of the right of habeas corpus, etc. are illegal. And that's what the objections to Gitmo really are, in the end -- not about its physical location.

Bill the Lizard said...

@Cobb, regarding your statement: "I still think you're shooting barrelfish... let us know how your jokes, parodies and ridicule goes."

To quote Nabokov:

"Satire is a lesson, parody is a game".

So, you may see parody and cheap jokes here, but Chauncey's satiric intentions are actually very serious.

I personally can't think of a better way to show disapproval at the obvious whitewashing of American history than to show exactly what that whitewashing entails.

Plus, I must admit that I've personally enjoyed watching conservative forums try and figure out whether this timeline is serious or not.

The fact that some people have to question it shows me just how serious this discussion actually is:



Me, I'm personally waiting for this timeline to show up on snopes.com because people don't know their own history well enough to figure out what's real and what's not.

However, if all this is too lightweight for you, I'm all for going back to debating Constitutional history if you'd like.

How Deep is the Commitment of Black Conservatives?

I personally think the underlying issues attached to both articles are the same: the conservative desire for "traditional" values at the cost of historical reality.

To quote Chauncey from February 2010:

"From Glenn Beck's Thomas Paine impersonator, to the predilection of middle age white men to dress up like Revolutionary War era minutemen at Right wing rallies (people I like to call Patriotic Furries), as well as to the signing of The Mount Vernon Statement (what is an ostensible commitment to "American values" and "conservative" principles) these high theatrics are a signal to some imagined past of a perfect American founding."

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...


You have to think systematically on this. The precedents set for "foreigners" soon and do often apply to U.S. citizens.

If you love the Constitution as you claim to, please don't play the dangerous game of "I'm a little to hardnosed to care about three dozen folks transported through CIA black sites over the same period. So, I'm kinda 'whatever' to that."

Why? Because tomorrow it could be you. What do you think set the precedent for the targeted killing of American citizens? Or that the president can "disappear" U.S. citizens? To paraphrase Brother Malcolm, this stuff from "abroad" does indeed come home.


Cobb said...

I am suspect of popular democracy, which is to say that I don't fundamentally trust an anonymous crowd of people who can barely handle their own business to assume responsibility for handling the business of others. So quite frankly I tend to fall on the side of restraining populism to the extent that I might be considered more than a bit elitist. But then how could such a term not be applied to the university system? Elitism *is* civilization. Fortunately we Americans have a cosmopolitan and meritocratic rather than a tribal and autocratic elite. So far.

So I should think that bloggers as public intellectuals ought to bring insight to bear in their provocations that lead people towards the principles at dispute, not to merely mock pitiable opponents, and it is in that regard that I find the amount of citations of credible principled conservative thinkers sadly lacking.

What I see instead is a series of broadsides at Bubbaville and guilt by association spread around thick. And now it has escalated to the whole of Texas and Arizona, at which point the usefulness of the ridicule inverts the pique to insult. It's like going from Stuff White People Like to a guide for Good Germans. Like its obvious why we should punish the people of Arizona and Texas - this *must* be what they believe...

But there's your problem. What if the people are idiots and fools. Well then only other idiots and fools would fight them as their primary enemy, which is why all this kind of bloggery fuels lower and lower common denominators of populism.

When we engaged the matter of Black Conservatives, it all boiled down to why someone like me should be such an ideologically pristine, talking about Oakeshott and Hayek, when 'reality' is Glenn Beck and teabaggers. After a while, the insinuations become intolerable.

Cobb said...

Look, I am well adjusted to the reality of my peasant status. I know seven men whom I trust with the keys to my house and to take over if and when I get shot in the face. And some of those men will shoot back. But I don't suffer any illusions of thinking that life is just a dream or that real power cares about my life or your life. I know what it's like to NEED a lawyer. I know what it's like to NEED a gun. And I'm working my way towards a kind of life where I have my security by owning the machine rather than the person. Either way, I'd be the wrong person to fk with. The point is that I know my value as a human being and I don't need to be leveraged by abstracts. We'd all *like* to be, but we ought to have taken the red pill by now.

You all forget that I'm the guy who jawbones cops. I'm the guy who would rather hang out with first responders than with social workers. I'm they guy who thinks skiing is for people too lazy to hike and that the former set have their entire idea of mountains upside down. I'm not trying to live in the comfortable belly of social protection in a socialist world made comfy by conventions and treaties and laws. All those are just fluffy artifices and figleaves in front of raw human nature. I'll study human nature, thank you. Sure I believe in the rule of law, but I also know we have too much law and too many lawyers and sometimes what you need is some rawdog chivalry. Well, America needs quite a bit, especially when you see how easy it is to rewrite the MCA as Obama's Congress has proven. What is the new Administration except another gang of lawyers undoing what the last gang did? What's the Constitution got to do with it, especially when public intellectuals and write arbitrary historical revisionism and sell it to their political masses?

I'm trying to be a part of the process that undoes the lapdog media.

Cobb said...

As for shooting Americans. Hell, Americans do it every day. I'm not so impressed with the means. The only way to absolutely reduce that number is to give power to the people, which means to take power away from the Government - which is why I'm Conservative.

BadTux said...

Err, Cobbers, first three words of the Constitution are, "We, The People". This is a democracy. Government isn't a fascist tyranny imposed upon us by some evil foreign dictator. Every single one of the *******'s in Congress and in the White House is there because the majority of voters in their state, district, or nation voted for them -- every single one of them. Government is *US*, We The People. If you hate government as a whole, you hate America, because government in America *IS* America.

So I guess the next question is, "Why do you hate America?" But you already answered that, with your rant about populism and how those stupid common folk shouldn't be allowed to rule themselves... but what is your alternative? A tyranny of the minority over the majority? Really?

That is the core intellectual bankruptcy of today's conservatism. It is inherently anti-democracy and pro-tyranny, despite all the lip service to concepts like "Freedom!" Which reminds me of the most hilarious scene from that right-wing jizz-fest movie 300, where the Spartan leader bellows "FREE-dum!". In reality, Sparta was a brutal slave state where the majority were slaves kept in slavery via a brutal and repressive tyranny, and the notion of freedom was a cruel joke for all but a small minority. That, sadly, appears to be the modern conservative notion of the word "freedom"... freedom for me (conservatives), but not for thee (the majority). Is it any wonder that conservatives have to wrap themselves in flags to get elected, with such an inherently anti-American message?!

Cobb said...

Let me put it to you this way. When 9/11 happened, all Americans everywhere told the government to DO SOMETHING. And they did. The thing is that the Right said do something because they generally feel that this is the only thing government should do. (But we'd be fine if Obama fired the entire TSA tomorrow). I suspect the Left said do something because they always expect the government to do something.

Understand your impulse to erase everything the government has done in the GWOT is the basic impulse of Conservatism. We simply don't trust government to do a good enough job and that the unanticipated consequences outweigh the benefits. We don't trust government to fix people's lives - that's our own problem. The point of love on the Constitution and all that Originalism is about the quality of life of people with no need (or mandate, or tax bill) for the government to always be doing something. Surely you get that.

BadTux said...

The problem is that your philosophy is one of a tyranny of the minority over a majority. If the majority in a democratic society wishes to do something, the only way for the minority to impose its views upon the majority is via tyranny and force.

For an example of how that was done in practice, see the KKK in the immediate post-Civil War era, where the white minority in the South imposed its tyrannical rule over the black majority via force of arms. It appears that you back those who withdrew Federal troops from the American South in 1876 because "it's not the proper role of the federal government to ensure basic civil rights for black people". That is the logical conclusion of your libertarian anti-government screed -- it enshrines rule of the generally pacific majority by the most vicious, venal, and well-armed minority. That is how it has always worked -- *always* -- wherever the Libertopian "drown government in bathtub" notion has ever been tried in this universe (as vs. fictional Libertopian universes where unicorns are pink, cotton candy grows on trees, and perpetual motion machines don't violate fundamental laws of physics).

Bill the Lizard said...

@Cobb, regarding: "So I should think that bloggers as public intellectuals ought to bring insight to bear in their provocations that lead people towards the principles at dispute, not to merely mock pitiable opponents, and it is in that regard that I find the amount of citations of credible principled conservative thinkers sadly lacking."

No, I'm sorry. I don't buy this excuse.

Those who you label as "pitiable opponents" first off have the right to vote. And they do so often, as shown by the Texas curriculum change, the Arizona banning of ethnic studies and the Arizona Illegal Immigration law.

Secondly, they have the right to free speech, which they also have no problems exercising on forums, blogs, radio, TV and other communication networks.

And finally, these "pitiable opponents" are generally well established individuals, meaning that this recent surge of mock-traditionalism and America-first values is coming from the middle/upper class and well-educated.

Honestly, they don't sound helpless to me. This isn't "bubbaville", as you call it.

If random "Joe Average" conservatives don't know their own history well enough to defend themselves and their positions against obvious political satire, then that's their problem. And quite frankly, it shows that the article was a success.

Satire is not designed to offer constructive solutions to things. Rather, satire is designed to show that something is not right with the system and that things need to be re-examined.

OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin said...

CD said: "Because tomorrow it could be you."

Not in conservatopia. Big government for you, small government when they want to run roughshod over you.

It never applies to them. Until it does. Then they predictably cry foul and come crawling to all those librul institutions they claim to hate: ACLU, NAACP, etc., knowing they will never be turned away regardless of what their problem is.

Conservatives are grifters, ripoff artists and hypocrites who lie to themselves on a constant basis. As much as they decry government, they need government to back them up. And with the more violent force, the better.

Cobb said...

@Bill. Well it's actually really simple, which is to point the finger at the people who write the legislation - the sponsor of the bill. These aren't retards off the street, they're the topdog lawyers in the state. They're the guys who hobnob with the corporate elite and other employers of your generic American peasants. Bottom line, quote the legislators and then explain how things deviate from the principle of political philosophy - either through incompetence, populism or graft.

Anyway, the culture wars were only suspended by 9/11. There was no solution. Now people are going back to what they wanted to do.

Cobb said...

@Crap. Of course there is consistency, and you could see it transparently. Here's an exercise. I'm going to list the Cabinet offices and you guess which ones the Left wants larger and which the Right wants larger:

Health & Human Services
Housing & Urban Development
Veterans Affairs
Environmental Protection
Homeland Security
Management & Budget

How does the US finance a deficit equal to 12% of GDP with a savings rate of 2.5%?

Cobb said...

@Tux - You don't understand Conservatism, but that's OK it's not easy to get - especially for peasants.

The tyranny of the minority is always a tyranny of people who *can* as contrasted with the tyranny of a majority of people who *cant* and wish they could. It has always been this way since the beginning of humanity. Revolutionaries vs Rulers. Oligarchies vs the Masses.

The quality of civilization depends upon how much is demanded of the people by the ruling minority. To be Conservative is to demand to be left alone by the ruling minority and to keep that ruling minority from centralizing too much power.

That is the opposite direction from attempting, as socialists and communists do, to gather the largest possible united majority from every corner of society and then aggregate their consent into an unstoppable force then pledge guarantees.

This is exactly what we hear when people say: "*Everybody* needs healthcare (insurance) and *nobody* should ever go broke because they get sick. It's a fundamental right." So you identify millions and millions who want that goody, unify under a glorious and wise leader, and call all dissenters enemies of the people.


BadTux said...

I see. So our legislators in Congress are a tyrannical minority who are chosen by, uhm, not We The People, but by pod people from Mars who take We The People's place at the voting booth. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Cobb!

I repeat: Every single one of the SOB's was put there by We The People. This is a democracy, not a tyranny. You appear to live in a universe where unicorns are pink, cotton candy grows on trees, and votes in the United States are counted Stalin-style. But that's not this universe, and that's my problem with today's conservatives -- they insist upon living in their peculiar little bubble universe where our government is imposed upon us by pod people from Mars, rather than voted into office *by* us, and then try to force their deranged notion of tyranny of the minority upon the majority, except, of course, with them being the minority who are the tyrants (self-serving, much? Duh!).

So yeah, I think I do understand conservatives -- I just wonder if conservatives actually understand themselves and just how anti-American their undemocratic philosophy really is. I somehow doubt it.

Cobb said...

So what you're saying is that so long as Congress is elected by a majority they will do the right thing? Surely you realize that the initiative for today's Congress is to redo or undo what yesterday's Congress did. Why do 'we the people' keep changing our minds?

Work with me here. You can't attack at every opportunity. Remember, I'm the happy successful guy. I don't walk around with a gripe.

BadTux said...

The majority is not always right, and changes its mind from time to time. But the majority is always the majority. The only alternative to democracy is rule of the majority at gunpoint by a minority, and that way always leads to tyranny. As Winston Churchill pointed out, democracy is the worst of all forms of government -- other than every other form that has ever been tried.

BTW, regarding your doomsday scenario of the majority voting themselves endless bounty at the expense of the minority, that is only possible if the minority in fact possesses the majority of the wealth of a nation. If wealth is fairly evenly distributed, the only way for the majority to vote themselves goodies is to also vote to tax themselves to pay for those goodies, so it is a self-limiting endeavor that eventually settles on a stable equilibrium between taxing and social services where people vote for social services that are more cost-effective for government to provide, yet still have a significant capitalist component to take care of those things that socialism doesn't do well. See: Norway, which has more millionaires per capita than the United States, yet far better social services. Norway early on in the post-WW2 era adopted the tax policies of Eisenhower, which discouraged concentrating wealth into a few hands and encouraged instead investing it into the building of the nation, an endeavor which inherently creates a more equal wealth distribution. As a result, Norway scores well both in measures of economic freedom and in measures of political freedom. Hmm, socialist tyranny? Don't think so ;).

Cobb said...

Norway doesn't scale. Never did, never will.

But you haven't undone the idea of the universal scope of the rule of government. The way I see it is Conservatives use the strength of family to protect against the abuse of government. Liberals use the strength of government to compensate for family dysfunction. My point is that if you have a proper family that scales up a bit, you don't need government. So the entire idea of democratic rule is limited by scope.

For example. There is no ministry of rock and roll. Rock and roll is of the people, by the people and for the people - but it is entirely run in private enterprise. It doesn't need (in fact it defies) taxation, regulation, oversight, certification and bureaucracy. It is alive, well and thriving and it works completely independent of democratically elected legislative bodies, executive committees and judicial review.

My partisan point is that if you peasants would stop screwing in the bushes and get properly married, you wouldn't be begging for child welfare services and ultimately a welfare state. My intellectual point is that limiting the scope of government increases the ability of private action. My analogy says that government regulation would kill rock & roll and that's called creeping socialism.

It's not about establishing rule over everything. Liberal weenies are massive control freaks, which is why they are trying to always rewrite history, so they can get the masses on their side, democratically elect whatever they want, and justify their own sort of tyranny.

The conservative impulse and aim is to establish and maintain a minimal negative ruleset - like Ten Commandments, and keep government off our front lawns and out of our rock & roll.

One would think that blackfolks would instantly understand that - except that black politics over the past generation has been all about increasing government intervention for the sake of public accommodations. Makes perfect sense if you're poor and have nothing of your own but the occasional use of public facilities. Makes less and less sense the more you get your own family and organizations together.

Socialism. Good for broke peasant, Bad for Fresh Prince.

BadTux said...

I see. So Norway doesn't exist in your universe because it's only 1/8th the size of the United States, and scaling it up the other 7/8ths would turn it into the sort of dystopian hellhole that your fantasy universe says is the inevitable ending point for socialism. Err.... it's easy to argue when you dismiss every counterexample as "doesn't apply". Dishonest, but easy.

I think this conversation is done. Unless you have some argument for why Norway, which scores near the top in all measures of economic and political freedom, doesn't scale that doesn't include pulling **** out of your ****, we're beyond the realm of honest conversation and into the realm of dishonest partisan hackery, and frankly, I'm not interested in a discussion with a dishonest partisan hack.

Bill the Lizard said...


The public votes to put their political officials in office.

And they vote to approve the proposals that those same political officials support and attempt to pass into law.

The US may not be a pure democracy, but we’re still a Representative Democracy. And thus, it’s the average taxpayer within the States who holds some of the responsibility for the actions of their elected government.

And if the average Texas or Arizona taxpayer is unwilling to have a straight discourse on a subject because they’re too busy buying in to Glenn Beck’s warped concept of history instead of actually reading a book on the subject, then satire is the next best weapon in an author’s arsenal.

As an avid blogger, I would think that you’d understand that. Honestly, what else is the point of posting our political views on the internet if not to attempt to sway other people?


Bill the Lizard said...

But, if you’d rather I “quote the legislators” and point my finger at them, then how about this:

Arizona, as only one example, has a history of enacting both legal and economic policies which are specifically harmful to minorities. Some would say that these policies even target those minorities. And the recent ban of ethnic studies and the Illegal Immigrant law are just two of the most recent salvos in this political war.

All you have to do is check out Arizona’s history with Right-to-work, which has been in its State constitution since 1946, to see what I’m talking about:

Right-to-work was marketed to Arizona voters in the 1940s as something that was going to “protect the worker”. The idea as that by eliminating mandatory union memberships, individuals could then make up their own minds regarding whether or not to join a bargaining unit.

But, what Right-to-work actually did was give expanded hiring and firing rights to employers. It also kept hourly wages down, and ultimately prevented any form of Unionization at all. Thus, the people who needed the most economic help – read: the blue collar workers just below or above the poverty line – were basically denied the safety net that everyone should have.

By the late 1950s, Unions in Arizona were basically dead. And they were killed by groups like the Charter Government Committee (CGC) in Phoenix who were made up entirely of (you guessed it) white, male, upper-middle class businessmen and lawyers – the people who either owned the companies or represented the companies.

And while the average Arizona citizen may not have been a member of the CGC, or even be a conservative, it was the average Arizona citizen who voted in favor of Right-to-work. And, currently, it’s their children and grandchildren who continue to vote in support of its existence. That means that they continue to hold responsibility for the consequences of that law.

Because of Right-to-work, Arizona's wage structure is now about 10 to 25 percent lower than other major industrial centers. And Arizona, despite a booming industry base, ranks 29th in Median Household Income within the United States.



So, now knowing that Right-to-work kills unions, look at the demographics for Arizona and see who Right-to-work hurts the most:

30.1% of the total population of Arizona is Hispanic or Latino (around 1,965,000 people). And out of that number, 19% between the ages of 18 and 64 are living in poverty. That's about 370,000 people.

4.2% of the total population of Arizona is Black (about 270,000 people). And out of that number, 13% between the ages of 18 and 64 live in poverty. That's about 35,000 people.

58.4% of the total population of Arizona is Non-Hispanic White (about 3,800,500 people). And out of that number, only 3% between the ages of 18 and 64 live in poverty. That's about 115,000 people.



So, three-forths of all impoverished people in Arizona are minorities, specifically Hispanic or Latino.

Why do you think people like César Chávez fought so hard against things like Right-to-work:

And honestly, when looking at things from that presepective, Chauncey’s timeline and it’s satire because more funny / scary. Just check out 1860-1900 and 1929.

Joanna said...

I would like to repost this list on my blog, but I wanted to get permission first.... of course I will link back to the entire post. I could not locate contact info, which is why I am asking this in the comment section!

OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin said...


Of course there is consistency, and you could see it transparently. Here's an exercise. I'm going to list the Cabinet offices and you guess which ones the Left wants larger and which the Right wants larger:

Don't bother with the list, Cobb.

The right wants to expand anything that murders, maims and kills, especially if someone can make a profit off of the death, then claim they are for small government.

The right wants to expand any law, position or program that regulates individuals' behavior they either are too ignorant to understand or too lazy to research.

The right has never seen any contradiction between limiting first, fourth, fifth amendment rights of individuals through segregation era police, loyalty oaths, restrictive covenants, etc. They don't mind paying taxes to enforce those things. They only care about taxes when it means dismantling their rigged game of bigot laws based on arcane social norms.

Those kind of taxes, they call states rights.

Conservatives are simply liars, primarily to themselves, mainly about their own self-righteous greatness....fact check them even when they tell you the sky is blue

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

@joanna--sure, repost away.


Cobb said...

@Tux History exists in my universe. The mote of Norway's socialism is obstructed by the beam of Stalin's. Of Mao's. Of all of the Marxist experiments in Africa and Central America.

If you run out of patience on a blog, I think that is prima facia evidence of you having no tolerance for other Americans who have a say. But you can't hide forever.

BadTux said...

Cobb, Wow, so that's your only retort? To confuse democratic socialism with Communist tyranny imposed by evil dictators? What next, you are going to state to me that lemons are sweet because apples are fruit, lemons are fruit, apples are sweet, thus lemons are sweet?

Civilized intellectual discourse, sir, requires at least lip service to honesty and fact. I have pointed out at least two instances where you have made intellectually dishonest arguments that ignore the existence of entire nations, indeed, of the entire Western European continent. You have shown that you are not interested in civilized intellectual discourse but rather are interested in furthering your radical agenda via whatever dishonest means are necessary, so why should I attempt civilized intellectual discourse with you? It would be like attempting civilized intellectual discourse with my cat.

On second thought, my cat is more honest. Have a nice day.

Cobb said...

@Bill. The Right to Work stuff is interesting. I read similar stuff when I moved from the Northeast to Atlanta in 95. On the whole, I think that unions have done their share to modernize and improve the working conditions of Americans and that there is very little marginally left for them to improve.

My bias is of course because I'm in the computer industry, one that has zero history of organized labor and is guided by a more fiercely meritocratic culture. And yet you'll hardly find a better place to work in America than the likes of Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Google, Intel, IBM, SAS, Dell, Gateway, EDS, Perot Systems or SAIC. So I think I'm not far off when I suggest that there are place that unions are useless.

The real question to my mind, when looking at an entity the size of a state is what kind of business they are trying to attract by their labor policies. I mean you can't just 'be powerful' and lord it over everyone. There has to be give and take among the elites, and have understanding of which direction they wish to go - which obviously has to attract people.

If Arizona is trying to make itself into Silicon Valley, they're going to have a difficult time. It's not going to happen - I know they were trying that in the early 80s. Clearly Goldwater had a lot to do with whether or not Arizona was a union state or not, and I don't doubt his legacy is alive.

The ethnic makeup of Arizonans is tangential to my way of thinking, which is economic and ideological. I always stay away from any assertions about the economic interest of ideological position of an ethnic group. In any case I dispute the idea that the racial minority population of Arizona has been static since the passage of the laws in question, as if the CGC decided one day way back when to punish 48% of the population. It's likely a question for Thomas Sowell, why did all of those minorities come to Arizona after the passage of such a law. My guess is that (which I believe anyway) unions have been the enforcers of color bars for a long time and that there is more labor opportunity for despised groups where unions don't play. But that pales in comparison to the obvious fact that Arizona is a border state and its population increase is from immigration legal and otherwise.

To continue on the main thread, I am quite convinced that there is nothing special about Mexican immigrants but that America hasn't decided with any economic sense, what our immigration policy should be. And since that indecision remains at the Federal level, it is not in the least bit surprising that the states are taking the ball into their own clumsy hands.

Cobb said...

@Tux. I am suggesting Tux, that what works for Sweden and Norway and whatever other nice comfy modern socialist state works because it has evolved through the will and works of the people there. We are not Swedes and Norweigians here in America. It's silly to assume we will inevitably grow into some oversized copy. This debate you are having with this American would not take place in Sweden. They are happy not being who we are. Their destiny is their own, as is their history. We have no need to take them as a model, and as I said, it simply wouldn't scale.

If you doubt me, check out Norway's immigration policy.

The short answer is that Norway's policy to accept immigrants totals about 44,000 a year. How could such a country be a model for America?

Cobb said...


Abortion is murder.

No I don't really believe that. I actually believe that individuals have a right to make life & death decisions. But to the extent that we both believe that indiscriminate killing is morally wrong, why don't you give me some real numbers to ponder?

I mean right now, for example, there are about 17,500 murders per year in the US. I can't imagine any reasonable person suggesting that these are politically motivated. So if you see conservative killers, perhaps you could give me a number that tells me I should care more about what you're talking about

Cobb said...

I am enjoying hijacking the topic. But I really should speak more about it. I defend states rights and free and fair interstate travel and commerce. And coming as I do from California, my mother from Louisiana, my father from Connecticut and my wife from Michigan, I pay a lot of attention to which states people choose to live in.

Even before we had Fair Housing laws, ethnic minorities of all sorts moved to some place they thought their fortunes would blossom, and why wouldn't they? Further, I am not aware of any great effort to suppress the expression of religious faith in America.

So it seems to me that the overwhelming majority of Americans live and worship where they like, and that this is a particular strength of the nation. If it is so intolerable in Texas, there's always South Dakota. 157 bucks by Greyhound from Dallas to Sioux Falls.

I would also want to know, for those who believe it to be the case, exactly what necessity exists for a counterfactual history? Is anyone asserting here that there is a particularly corrected history that serves the interests of ethnic minorities in Texas or Arizona?

Although I disagree with Bill about the usefulness of unions, I think that a politically corrected historical revisionism is more useless and more dangerous than a labor movement on behalf of the blue collar and working classes. And so I am suspect of the impetus to get back into this particularly frothy area of the Culture Wars.

BadTux said...

Approximately 12.5% of the U.S. population is foreign born (Source: Migration Policy Institute). Approximately 10.6% of Norway's population are foreign born (Source: Statistics Norway). But immigration, or indeed the notion of Norway as a model for America, was not my point, as you well know. My point was that your notion that democratic socialism (the majority voting to tax themselves to provide government services to themselves that the free market has not or cannot cost-effectively provide) was tyranny was nonsense, since Norway is a democracy, has a significant amount of socialism in their economy, yet rates near the top on all measures of economic and political freedoms.

Your reaction to that statement -- to handwave away the existence of entire nations (of which Norway is but one of many which I could have used) -- is one which is not intellectually honest and which is not conducive to rational civilized discourse. You cannot simply ignore facts that disagree with your thesis then expect people to hold civilized discussions with you. Intellectual dishonesty simply is not conducive to such things. The hostility you sense towards you has nothing to do with your political beliefs, and everything to do with a perceived lack of intellectual honesty caused by doing things like handwaving away the existence of entire nations. Have a nice day.

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

@Bad Tux--I am enjoying watching this car wreck. But notice I have been relatively silent. As the new classic Poltergeist warned "don't go into the light!"

That is my way of saying on many issues Cobb is impervious to reason as he is blinded by ideology and is proud of not reading those works of scholarship (or data more generally) with which he disagrees. Thus, having a conversation or dialogue is a moot point for when you score points they go unacknowledged/are ignored/deflected/or the subject changed.

It is an entertaining display of rhetorical aikido, but unfortunately it leads no where.

Save your energy.


Cobb said...

You're a bad tux BadTux. In the same day you tell me to pull my head out of my ass, and then you tell me I'm unfit for rational civilized discussion. I think you're just one of those angry people that likes to stay angry. My nickel says you hate Steve Jobs and his happy iPhone customers too.

Since I believe in states rights, there are perhaps some more socialist inclined states that you'd prefer implement the will of the people than others. So Norway might not be a good model for America, but it might be a good model for Vermont. Still doesn't scale.

Cobb said...

CD's advanced pedantry allows him to snipe without the appearance of ill will or intolerance. But since he hasn't kicked me out of the woodpile, I try to behave and not insult anyone. My questions of course always go unanswered because they don't follow the script. I wonder what Friere would say.

I'm still trying to determine if CD is a Scribe or a Pharisee.

..time to get on the plane. see you in three hours

BadTux said...

Well, Cobb, since I was not attempting to find models for America, but merely stating a counterexample to a blanket assertion you made (that democratic socialism where the majority rules is tyranny), I'll pass on talking about your blanket statement that "Norway doesn't scale", a statement for which, I note, you still have provided no (zero) evidence to support. But bald assertions of opinion masquerading as fact appear to be your stock in trade so... (shrug).

I love my iPhone, BTW, and am looking forward to the upcoming 4g release in June :). And if I seem irritated, it is because lies are toxic to public discourse, and it irritates me to see people baldly lying in service to their ideology, whether said people are tighty righties or loonie lefties. Civil discourse relies on having at least a modicum of respect for truth and facts. Have a nice day.

Bill the Lizard said...

@Cobb, regarding: "My bias is of course because I'm in the computer industry, one that has zero history of organized labor and is guided by a more fiercely meritocratic culture. And yet you'll hardly find a better place to work in America than the likes of Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Google, Intel, IBM, SAS, Dell, Gateway, EDS, Perot Systems or SAIC. So I think I'm not far off when I suggest that there are place that unions are useless."

Sixty years ago, Grey and White Collar jobs were viewed as being in direct conflict with Unions and Unionization.

Time Magazine (Jan 5 1959)

This is because the increase in automation and technology was starting to shrink the number of blue-collar employees.

However, because of various reasons, including the 2007-2010 financial crisis, labor unions with grey and white-collar employees is on the rise.

And the reason for this is simple. To quote Andy Stern, the president of the Service Employees International Union: "White-collar workers, who used to think their education and standing guaranteed them a certain amount of insulation, are now realizing that's a fantasy in this economy"


Just look at the jobs lost by sector over the last three years. Banking is doing great because they not only got a bailout but because the financial sector is handling the business that is created in handling the U.S. trade deficit:


But take a look "Architectural and Engineering" or "Information" or "Finance" and "Insurance" or the "Private sector"... That type of job decline is scary.

Myself, I work in a library for an Ivy League university. I never thought that I'd have to worry about layoffs. First off, I'm educated. Secondly, I have a Union to protect me. And third, it's an Ivy League University (i.e. HUGE endowment)!

However, there has been a hiring freeze for over the last year. And the university has just started layoff/forced retirements for both Unionized and non-Unionized employees.

So basically, meritocracy is not a magic bullet in the wake of the harsh realities of supply and demand.


I mean, just look at the jobs lost over the last four years:



Bill the Lizard said...

So... if that's the way it is for grey and white-collars, can you imagine how bad things must be for blue-collar families right now?

The people in construction, farming and other labor positions are really hurting. For them and many others, this is the worse economic hit they've taken since the Great Depression...


And quite frankly, unions are what are necessary in order to ensure that people are able to make a living wage. Honestly, I think it's extremely important to recognize that Arizona passed and continues to support Right-to-work because no unions gives that State access to cheap and economically immobilized labor.

The reason they don't move away Cobb is because they're below the poverty line and can't afford the luxury of transplanting their families without the promise of steady outside income.

This is the same reason why families are trapped for generations inside inner-city ghettos.

And by sidelining ethnic studies and requiring that police check the documents of anyone they stop who "looks" illegal (i.e. anyone who looks Hispanic or Latino), Arizona is just attempting to legally justify their systemic marginalization of Hispanic/Latino population.

Cobb said...

@Tux. Well no wonder you're grumpy. You misinterpreted me entirely. You're hung up on the tyranny thing. If you reread the comments, you'll notice that you used the word tyranny about five times before I said it once.

I don't think the Scandinavians are tyrannical, nor do I think socialism inevitably leads to tyranny. But I don't like where it leads - serfdom. (which would be an allusion to Hayek). But I am fundamentally opposed to Marxist materialism and I oppose even creeping socialism. I hope that clears this thing up for you. Surely you have recognized what's going on in Greece and the PIIGS.

I also haven't responded to your allusion to the KKK, a private army of terror acting on behalf of a segregationist and white supremacist philosophy. I think it was inevitable that such an institution would not last long in America. I've tried to get deVega to weigh in on his theory of how Klan membership and membership in White Citizens Councils declined precipitously long before the Civil Rights Movement began but he was silent on the question. (Whitey on the hook).

My answer, strictly speaking is a kind of weasely version of Goldwater's opposition to States Rights violations of principle. However I do see the compelling case for the exception which was the total effect. My history is fuzzy on whether Congress passed authorizations for Federal troops and National Guard actions before or after, but I do understand the principle. You should know that in the back of my head is an understanding that the state with the highest black per capita income is New Hampshire, which is a fact that surprises most people. I don't think that New Hampshire scales either but I can see both New Hampshire and Sweden as a fine destination for some trickle of the oppressed.

Cobb said...

@Bill. I hate to be brief with you because you bring up some interesting points, but I like where you are going with the conversation, towards matters of economics. And I would basically assert that I agree with the skeptical account of a broad meritocracy in America. My experience has turned my theory around on the matter, and for the past six months or so I have developed a theory of the American Peasantry.

Without getting into that, I would just simply say that there is a real meritocracy in America but if you're not in the upper middle class or a military officer you're probably not in it. As I'm sure BadTux knows, in our industry we say that a lot of people could be eliminated by a very small shell script. There is inefficiency that has a calming effect on society, but it shouldn't be augmented by a socialist political majority. However I will grant this: If income inequality is as great a problem as a lot of you grumble, then perhaps a socialist political majority is inevitable. But it would be nice if Obamoid zombies would admit that's what they want.

As well as agreeing that the myth of meritocracy serves to preserve domestic tranquility, so too does the myth of 'social justice'. Whenever I hear the various whingings in search of programs that raise minimum wage and 'close the income gap' I fail to see how they expect to achieve that other than through coersion. Unfortunately I don't have a coherent enough abstract of those arguments pulled together in my mind to combat their fallacies effectively - perhaps someone around here could indulge me in that logic.

Bottom line, America is still a place where people in coach don't sneer and spit at people in first class, and they still try to save their frequent flier miles. If the rear of the plane rushes fist class, the plane will nosedive.

So. Why should Arizona in particular be a union state? If unions are so beneficial, why don't the voters keep them for themselves? I think the elites in Arizona have done well by the majority thus far and if that majority changes.. well I doubt the unions will sit on the sidelines. But isn't that already priced into the equilibrium? Michigan is the union state. Why isn't that enough? I think it's generally difficult to make the case for oppressive discrimination when what is denied is denied to all.

Finally, I would add that the idea that rewritten history books would help the lower classes is rather silly. This is a bourgeois dispute between college educated political opponents. Gloria Aldanzua and company are enshrined at Brown University, not among the browns that don't attend university. A multicultural curriculum doesn't raise the minimum wage.

Which brings us back to the context of this parody. We conservatives find no joy in battling the impoverished as you claim, we relish debates such as this, with you NPR swilling bleeding hearts.

Cobb said...

So yes let me pick up on the idea that the Culture War is about middle class re-education. I agree. Brainwash the cops. Brainwash the middle class voter. I agree. But the elites want the immigrants for the same reason as ever. Labor. We're all labor.

chaunceydevega said...

Yes, Conservatives love the poor--ginning up their anxieties about those people, the immigrants, blacks, gays, and "values" as opposed to talking about structures, wealth inequality, and the modern kleptocracy that is screwing all of us.

You left yourself open for that one...

Cobb said...

structures like tenure?

chaunceydevega said...

Now you really are revealing how little you know about academia. No Cobb, you know exactly what I mean--this is why folks disengage from you, as there are no common grounds for honest discourse because of how you deflect.

I promised that I wouldn't look into the light and I did. My bad.

Unknown said...

am a tad late reading this but just had to pop in to say this is one of the most genius posts i have ever read....
keep up the great work...

Cobb said...

People disengage from me because they want easy answers, sweetness and light and I don't give it to them. They want pure logic without emotion, they want hope without suffering. I'm a buzzkiller and I refuse to be dismissed. I was here on the web before you and I'll outlast you. I am the permanence of struggle. Face me.

Unknown said...

may i suggest that the rewriters of your great history begin with:

"in the beginning god created the heavens and the earth...... blah blah blah..

then they could recalibrate the history timeline so that 1607 = year 1...

Cobb said...

Besides, you can't get away so easy just saying 'structures' without giving an example. If you don't like the example I gave, give a better one or shutup and stay frustrated. What do you think we're all dumbass students looking for meaning here?

chaunceydevega said...

My final point Cobb. Really.

You win. Does that feel better? Because most of the time that is what I think you are looking for.

And why the dig at the teacher comment? Do you feel like you are being schooled at times? Guess what Cobb there are folks out there smarter than you, who know more about a given topic. I am comfortable acknowledging that about myself and it causes me no insecurity. You on the other hand seem at times to have an adult version of college snowflakeitis where you are the beginning and end on any topic--even if you are arguing outside of your depth.

It is sad because you consistently do not live up to your label of curious, intellectual and skeptical (well the latter yes, but in the worst sort of "if I don't like it, it must be untrue sort of way").

You are really bright Cobb. I know there are folks who don't think you are and I would defend you indefinitely. But you are not intellectually honest. A big difference.

As I said before styles make fights and we are building up to a good and entertaining one. So this is all part of the storyline for me.

OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin said...

Cobb said:
So if you see conservative killers, perhaps you could give me a number that tells me I should care more about what you're talking about

@Cobb, conservatives care about two things: eliminating competition so they can have more munny, and worshipping fetuses and guns. That is until fetus is born.

At that point, fetus becomes competition, and of course the product of our sinful nature, so they're fair game. (And we know how conservatives feel about competition, despite their loud paeans to supposed meritocracy.)

I'm not interested in converting any conservative to my view; I do not want or need the buy-in or approval of conservatives on any topic. Now go wave the confederate flag along with the rest of the party of lincoln.

@chaunceydevga, conservatives have rendered themselves incapable of any kind of honesty, because they lie firstly to themselves. So just about any conversation with them outside the weather or other superficialities is bound to fail. I don't see the point, personally.

Cobb said...

I'm not interested in winning. I'm interested in getting to the point at which people who disagree with me can accurately describe my position and motivation. As well, I'm trying to accurately describe that of my opponents. Nor am I interested in synthesis. I don't need problems to be solved in this domain because I don't think they do get solved. I want to understand the factors involved in the equilibrium.

So if you think I'm playing to win you have misjudged why I'm here. I'm playing to be clear, and I understand that is a long term project which requires patience. Now if you look at the number of times I have been insulted by this group over the past week, you should probably wonder why I even bother, as I do. In fact, the thing that keeps me going is that this is not my website. I don't have to live with this. I'm making the effort, in enemy territory, to explain the POV of someone who understands and sympathizes with the Right, which is demonized regularly here.

I think you presume, as do your colleagues that and adequate amount of research vindicates your cause and that should trump all other considerations. For me to acknowledge your research and still disagree gets me branded intellectually dishonest, which is probably the only dig that hurts. Again, only because my effort is to provide a UN like understanding.

This thread in particular is noxious and painful because it involves the sort of propaganda that stands for the illogic of the Other even in the face of my presence. And I see the willingness to believe your fiction over my realness. You make up an entertaining minstrel show of what the American Right is all about, we are accused, state by state of being tyrannical, dishonest, stupid, anti-constitutional, living in another universe, self-righteous, uncivil, hypocritical, grifting, violent, hateful, undemocratic, provincial and that just about covers what's been said here in a week.

That's just hostility.

Cobb said...

Why the dig at the teacher comment? I'm writing about that on my blog. I'm curious about how academics believe they serve the lower classes when it costs so much to attend university. I suspect that they ideologically overcompensate and that such an overcompensation might be practically disingenuous although heartfelt.

I reference my own experience at Vision Circle, at a Harvard conference, of MIT's OCW and the willingness of the professoriate in general to engage in a medium where they don't get paid.

If the new media is going to save us from manufactured consent, scholars are going to have to go open source. And I say that American higher education is *structurally* incapable of saving the public discourse from the likes of Limbaugh, Hannty, Olbermann, Maddow etc.

So your mockery is apt. It is self-mockery as well. You are incapable of stopping bullcrap historical propagation, especially when you alienate people like me who don't believe the hype.

chaunceydevega said...

Boo hoo Cobb.

This really is an object lesson in Conservative victimology--I do so love when it rears its ugly head.

Be real, you can lob all variety of insults and invective and then it is you whose feelings are hurt? Who feels like they are some sort of Other in the body politic? Alienated?

You dish it out regularly, and sometimes you have to take it. Don't play the oh so common--especially among White conservative men--I am a victim card. It doesn't hold water.

Cobb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cobb said...

Victims demand apologies and reparations. I'm just telling you how uncivilized and hostile you are in what is putatively and educational setting.

chaunceydevega said...

Last point. Uncivilized and hostile? Again, take ownership for your own words and deeds in a moment of critical self-reflection.

As I said before, please own your name calling, invective, and how you often dismiss people. I think that is uncivilized and hostile in what is putatively and educational setting.

BadTux said...

There is nothing more uncivilized or hostile in a supposed intellectual discussion than a blatant disregard for truth, honesty, and fact. 'Nuff said on that.

Cobb said...

Does anybody want to say anything else about the subject or are we terminally meta at this point?

tim gueguen said...

A suggestion for a different starting date:

October, 4004 B.C. God creates everything in 6 days, including Adam and Eve, who were of pure European stock and spoke English like the writers of the King James Bible, the Apostles.

Bill the Lizard said...

@Cobb, regarding: "Does anybody want to say anything else about the subject or are we terminally meta at this point?"

Last post on this subject, as I think things have spiraled a bit:

I think, when looking at Chauncey's timeline, you have to understand why it was written.

It wasn't written to make fun of people. It was written to attempt to open their eyes regarding the reality of what is happening.

And what exactly is happening?

Well, let's take a look at Arizona's recent track record against it's own citizens:

First we have Right-to-work, which disproportionately impacts minorities and those below the poverty line. It's been in effect since 1946, helping to keep Unions out and income down...

Then Arizona attacks the Tucson school district ethnic studies program because it claims that these programs supposedly "teaches Latino students that they are oppressed"... this is basically a free speech issue.

Then a reactionary illegal immigration law which is basically unconstitutional because it violates people's civil rights and ignores the Federal governments preeminence over immigration issues...

And then finally Senator Russell Pearce is attempting to repeal aspects of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in order to fit his own political agenda... in other words, he's attacking US citizens.

AZ State Senator Russell Pearce's Next Target: Anchor Babies

Honestly, for a party that claims to support original intent and strict construction, the Republican party in Arizona is sure playing fast and loose with the Constitution.

If that really the type of policies that you and other conservatives support? I thought the Constitution was sacrosanct.

Remember, the people most harshly impacted by these Arizona policies are US citizens - not illegal aliens.

Cobb said...

How cohesive do we need to be in an open society? I think this is the central question behind everything here. Americans clearly don't share creation myths or historical myths.
So right now there is a cabal in power in Arizona who want to reverse the political corrections of the previous administrations. This is not particularly surprising. If it's unconstitutional, it won't stand.

Remember there is Section 287(g) that basically puts local law enforcement in partnership with the Feds on ICE matters. It's practically a formality because the bottom line was that there was simply not enough loot to fund the massive expansion of the Border Patrols that people wanted.

At bottom, the failure of the White House and Congress to come up with a comprehensive solution to immigration is fueling the entire mess.

What the Right wants is for all Americans to believe the same historical myths, and morally we don't want second-class citizenship. There is a huge contradiction underlying the fact that people who are defacto uncivic are given equal and sympathetic treatment - it undermines patriotism. Now we can debate the proper patriotism, but the Culture Wars are eternal.

When I said this..
"Principles: The current situation is untenable and must be corrected now. We encourage immigration. Obey the laws. Speak the language. Pledge allegiance. Get along with your neighbors. Be a good citizen, or be gone. We will tolerate no second-class citizenship."

..I got 100% props from the Right. But in America, you can't get enough people to focus on that. From my POV it is that question that matters most - will we continue to accept illegal immigration for the sake of cheap labor? I think Bill, you can see the common concern we share.

Arizona is seeing the kind of kidnappings and murders that are typical of Mexico. These are more pressing issues than canon wars and wages, and that is what is driving the paranoia behind this political movement.

Again, Victor Davis Hanson would be my guiding light on the cultural side of this matter. I haven't really focused on immigration issues over the past three years.

Mark Prime said...

Wonderful piece, Chauncey!

Problem is, the history books will be revised every year. Kind of a groundhog day scenario of forgetting history and it repeating itself ad naseum.

robert t. said...

Geez. They left out finally making a Star Trek movie back in 1980.

Buzzz said...

The saddest/scariest part to me is that my Mom would read that and say it was all correct. If you haven't already, check out the book "Lies My Teacher Told Me" great book about how history is altered to suit the ruling class. Makes me ill.

Ablemonk said...


Rick Shenkman's books regarding history myth are also very worth perusing.

@Cobb - I predate not only the internet but the open source movement, and I find your comparisons regarding the corporate IT world to the real world amusingly narrow and ignorant.

Cobb said...

@ablemonk. Context please.

chaunceydevega said...


@Robert--A misunderstood class inmao.

@Buzzz--Great book.

@Ablemonk. May I enter your temple? I will check out that text.

Karl Eklund said...

For a different history try:http://uniso.karleklund.net

If nothing else you may be interested in why we evolved "race"

OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin said...

@Cobb said:

"Arizona is seeing the kind of kidnappings and murders that are typical of Mexico."

Stay tuned for the next rwnj meme: People are only against SB1070 because they hate whites, want open borders, and want drug killings in Arizona.

It's already upon us...give it a couple more days and it will be conventional wisdom.

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