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Showing posts from April, 2013

When our eyes deceive us

Conor Friedersdorf has a good post up about the coverage of the incident in Boston and how some conservatives are already reacting to what they think the media will do. Here's a point I want to add to:

There are times when journalists bungle this sort of coverage in ways that are unfair to the right and times when they handle things in ways that are unfair to Muslims. But as a general matter, tolerance is urged when the perpetrator is Muslim, and not when the perpetrator is a white right-winger, not because journalists only value tolerance in one situation, but because when guys like Tim McVeigh perpetrate terrorism, there's never an irrational backlash against white men.

That racial and ethnic tolerance will prevail goes without saying.
He's completely correct. And I think people have this reaction in part because it's a numbers game. Sure, there are some people who are just going to be outright racist regardless of what the facts say. But other well meaning people don…

Southern Heritage and Accidental Racist

If you haven't heard about it, Accidental Racist is a song put out by LL Cool J and Brad Paisley. I haven't listened to the song because I despise country music and rap isn't really my thing. But I've read some of the lyrics and it's about as dumb as the title would suggest. Yeah, their hearts seem to be in the right place. But jeez are they ignorant of history. And being ignorant isn't really an excuse when you take on a subject like racism, nor does it make anything an accident.

Apparently, in explaining himself, Paisley invoked the whole souther heritage excuse as a reason for liking the rebel flag and whatever other stuff he talks about in the song. Lawyers, Guns, and Money has a post up pointing out how you can celebrate southern heritage without doing things Paisley does, like wearing a rebel flag:

Paisley wants to know how he can express his Southern Pride. Here are some ways. He could hold a huge party on Martin Luther King’s birthday, to celebrate a So…

North Korea's latest hissy fit

This happened last week I think. But basically North Korea, or really just Kim Jong Un, decided he wanted to stir some shit up and said some stuff about bombing the US or something. I don't really know the details because I don't pay close attention when these things come up. I don't want to completely ignore what could be real consequences that are related to this issue. One of those things is certainly the horrible situation the North Korea people live in. And there are probably some long term, large scale IR issues to be taken seriously (such as the safety of South Koreans). But I wanted to suggest that we shouldn't pay much attention to this type of nonsense.

The media loves this stuff. A crazy dictator saying crazy shit is a great way to fill time on cable networks. My suspicion is that it's also a way for Americans to sit back and relish in how awesome we are while laughing at the crazy. But I don't think we should pay much attention to the crazy shit ta…

The war on poverty

It's been quite a while since I posted. I've been doing a new internship. Usually I sit around reading politics all day and something comes up that I want to write about. But actually doing things gets me out of that routine. And I think after I do things I just don't want to expand the mental energy needed to keep up my normal blogging output. That, and I go through dry spells where I just don't think I have anything unique to say, or I tweet about it.

Anyway, now that I've done my obligatory explanation for my extremely slow (some would say non-existent) blogging lately, I wanted to jump back in with some thoughts about the war on poverty. But I don't want to talk about that war on poverty, the one where we try to help people get out of poverty. I want to talk about the one that rich people and Republicans are waging on the poor, the one in which they want to essentially punish the poor for not being one of them.

It's not officially a thing like the goo…