Latest Threads
Latest
Greatest Threads
Greatest
Lobby
Lobby
Journals
Journals
Search
Search
Options
Options
Help
Help
Login
Login
Home » Discuss » Journals » fishwax » Archives Donate to DU
Advertise Liberally! The Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Advertise on more than 70 progressive blogs!
fishwax's Journal - Archives
Posted by fishwax in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Apr 27th 2010, 12:49 PM
Although I live in New York City ...

New York City!?!

And I hate to say it, but based on the horrible logic portrayed in the rest I must conclude that, since she is in New York City, somewhere in Arizona a village is missing its idiot.



... I’ve found myself very protective of Arizonans, as I try to reconcile not only the politics but the emotions behind that law.

I've found myself feeling more protective about the thousands and thousands of innocent folks for whom, because they have brown skin or hispanic sounding names, the Arizona government is intimidating and harassing simply by passing this bill. Let's not lose sight of whose constitutional rights are being threatened here, okay?

Although, reading through this article a second time, the "very protective of Arizonans" line seems ambiguous. At first, it appears she means to say she's feeling protective of them from the criticism they're receiving from the rest of the country. But as you read through the rest of the article, where she subtly fans the flames of anti-Hispanic hysteria by claiming "In the meantime, Arizona ranchers are being shot and killed ...," maybe what she's really feeling protective towards Arizonans about is the threat of the Other.



However, the issue seemed to hit a fever pitch when a prominent Arizona rancher, Robert Krentz, was shot and killed last month by someone who was believed to be an illegal immigrant.


Key word: "believed" to be. In reading the article that she links to with that claim (Fox News, of course), it appears the only evidence to support this is that the dying rancher said "illegal immigrant" on his radio before he died. Most of the evidence seems to point, instead, to drug smugglers--they found 290 pounds of marijuana on the property, the ranch is on a known corridor for drug running, and the rancher's brother had reported drug smuggling activity to the authorities the day before the guy was shot.

Now, I know that the issues of drugs and immigration are related, since both relate to porous borders and since the smuggling of immigrants often involves similar or related networks to the smuggling of drugs. But they're far from the same issue. And stopping immigration isn't going to stop the illicit drug trade, nor prevent its violence from spilling over onto folks like Robert Krentz. So clearly this law isn't about something else: punishing Arizona's non-white population.



And when a flawed law is magnified through the prism of extreme partisan politics, it only looks worse. With President Obama calling the law “misguided” and the mainstream media painting Arizona out to be a rogue state, all it does is make people go to greater lengths to defend their position.

Wait, what? Earlier in the article, she said "Simply put, I think it is a bad law that is missing the bigger picture of what is really going on with illegal immigration" -- but Obama calling this law "misguided" is extreme partisan politics? I think that reveals where the real partisan politics is coming from.



In the end, the saddest part for me is that we are all losing with this immigration law. Arizona is being shown in a negative light in the media, and once again Hispanic voters in Arizona have yet another reason to distrust the Republican Party.

Amazing how she has managed to capture the two fundamental tragedies of this law: Arizona is getting some bad press and Hispanics are having second thoughts about the GOP.



In the meantime, Arizona ranchers are being shot and killed and very little has been done to prevent it from happening again.

Fanning the flames, as noted above ...
Read entry | Discuss (0 comments)
Posted by fishwax in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Mar 04th 2010, 07:02 PM
Just about every person has their own pet grammar peeve. Some like to gleefully scold others for grammar mistakes, as though an occasional bit of informal English were simply too much for civilized society to put up with. Some see changes in the language as evidence that the very fabric of society is raveling, but irregardless, the language continues to evolve.

As it turns out, many common grammar mistakes aren’t actually mistakes at all, but rather perfectly natural and understandable adaptations of the language. And often, in spite of protests by amateur and professional grammarians, they have decades or even centuries of history supporting them. So, in celebration of National Grammar Day, I wanted to offer a brief list of common grammar mistakes that aren’t really mistakes.

Number One: “Hopefully” is perfectly acceptable as a sentence adverb.
Admittedly, my subject line is likely to raise the hackles of those who insist that hopefully should only mean “in a hopeful manner.” Frankly, though, “hopefully” has been used for more than 70 years and there is no reasonable objection against it. Fortunately, it is a useful word—much easier than alternatives such as “it is to be hoped that.” Thankfully, it is very likely to be misunderstood in most cases.

Honestly, the fact of the matter is that we use all kinds of sentence adverbs in English (such as “admittedly,” “frankly,” “fortunately,” “thankfully,” and “honestly”). But while a sentence like "Thankfully it isn't raining" wouldn't raise any objections, "hopefully it isn't raining" does.

Number Two: It’s fine to use “their” and “they” as gender-neutral singular pronouns.
It’s nothing new – in fact, this usage dates back to the 14th century. It’s certainly easier to use and more elegant than “his or her” or “his/her” or “s/he,” and if used with care there is very little chance of misunderstanding.

Considering that most of our greatest writers (from Chaucer and Shakespeare on down the line) have used singular they/their, and since people have been using it this way longer than Modern English has even been around, it’s interesting that objections to this usage have only been around (as far as I can tell) for the last few decades—as its use has become associated specifically with a desire for a gender-neutral pronoun.

Number Three: Feel free to boldly split infinitives.
Sometimes, it’s true, splitting your idea is a bad idea for stylistic reasons, and of course it’s possible that a split infinitive can create confusion. However, there is no real “rule” against it, nor is there any logical reason that infinitives ought not be split. And, further, sometimes splitting the infinitive can reduce confusion.

Split infinitives were common in Middle English, but died off in Early Modern English. They were rarely used by the likes of Shakespeare, Dryden, et al, but there was no prohibition against them, even then. They were just considered inelegant. Until the late 19th century, when usage of the split infinitive became more common, and then the grammatical-powers-that-be began to rally against them.

Number Four: Don’t trust Robert Lowth when it comes to preposition placement.
Robert Lowth wrote the first important book about English grammar, and many of the rules he claimed back in 1762 are still referred to today. Unfortunately, one such rule is that absurdity about how a preposition is something you shouldn’t end your sentence with. Aside from finding the construction inelegant, his reasoning was based on his understanding of a Latin rule that he believed prohibited such constructions. In fact, there is no such prohibition in Latin—and even if there were, there would be no reason to apply such a rule to English, since English is not a Latin language.

What’s more, while there are some constructions in which avoiding a sentence-ending preposition might be stylistically pleasing, there are all kinds of situations in which avoiding that construction requires absurd acts of linguistic contortion. So feel free to use prepositions wherever you want, provided your meaning is clear.

Number Five: “Irregardless” is a word.
Don’t get me wrong—I wouldn’t use irregardless in formal writing, but I still find the hysteria about this word entertaining. The basic objection is that “irregardless” is illogical because it means the same thing as “regardless,” even though the prefix “ir-“ is supposed to be a negation. But irregardless isn’t unique in this regard: inflammable means the same thing as flammable, for instance, and boning a fish is no different from deboning a fish. In both cases, a negative prefix is attached without changing the meaning of the word. An even weirder example is “unravel.” In spite of the negative “un-,” unravel means the same thing as ravel. But what’s weirder is that if you look up “ravel” in most dictionaries, they actually include “unravel” in their first definition. An alternate definition is “to tangle or complicate,” so the word ravel contains both a specific action and its opposite.

What’s more, it’s not the case that “ir-“ is always and only a negation. Like most of our negative prefixes, “ir-“ is also an intensifier, and that is consistent with how people tend to use “irregardless”—to emphasize just how regardless it is.

Number Six: It’s okay to use “less” with countable nouns.
I know that the “10 items or less” signs in the speed lane at the supermarket piss some people off, because (the theory goes) one is supposed to use “fewer” for countable nouns and “less than” for uncountables.

But this is not actually a hard and fast rule. Oddly enough, while “less” sounds odd with countable nouns (“less bananas,” “less books”), it sounds perfectly natural when those countable nouns are actually counted (“less than five bananas,” “less than twenty books”). This is most evident when talking about money or time, as even the most rigid of presiptivists wouldn’t likely object to a sentence like “I have less than twenty bucks in cash right now” or “I have less than 30 minutes to get this paper done.”

So a phrase like “12 items or less (than 12 items)” actually makes sense.

Anyway, there are more such alleged-mistakes that I could include on this list, but in the interest of brevity I wanted to keep the list to six items or less.
Read entry | Discuss (119 comments)
Posted by fishwax in The DU Lounge
Tue Feb 16th 2010, 01:42 PM
The use of "I feel badly" is not a modern corruption of the adverb, so much as a residual usage of an adjective that is no longer used in as many different situations as it once was. But badly (like poorly) was long an adjective meaning ill or unhealthy, and people used to use it with verbs other than feel, such as "I am badly" or "he has taken badly" (meaning he has taken ill), "you appear badly" (meaning not that you are half visible, but that you look ill); they also used badly in constructions where it was more clearly an adjective, such as "in a badly way."

This history of the word is apparent in the tinge of quaintness in phrases such as "thinking badly" of someone or "speaking badly" of someone (meaning not a failure to enunciate, but rather "speaking ill").

"Badly" is always an adverb. It ends with an ly.

There are plenty of adjectives that end in -ly. Ghostly, holy, monthly, weekly, princely, scholarly, goodly, friendly, kindly, and so on.
Read entry | Discuss (1 comments)
Posted by fishwax in The DU Lounge
Mon Feb 15th 2010, 06:21 PM
If you're talking about a specific El Camino, it would be incorrect to not say "El Camino" instead of "the El Camino." Yes "el" means "the," but "el" isn't an article in English, so it makes no sense to drop the "the" just because of a redundancy: "El Camino was stopped at the light when another driver ran into El Camino from behind" is incorrect, for instance. (Also, if "the El Camino" is a redundancy, then "an El Camino" is a contradiction.

The same is true with the oft-protested "with au jus." Yes, in French "au jus" means with the juice, but "au" isn't a preposition in English, so there's nothing wrong with adding a preposition. If you're talking about a specific preparation of beef (roast beef au jus) then it isn't necessary, because in that case you can assume the foreign phrase is translated directly (as is also the case with Chili con carne). But if you're talking about au jus as a separate sauce, served on the side in its own container, as some restaurants do with French dip or Italian Beef sandwiches, then it's okay to speak of a Roast Beef sandwich with au jus.
Read entry | Discuss (3 comments)
Posted by fishwax in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Feb 11th 2010, 02:02 PM
"likely" and "probably" when talking about a person of color, because the reality is that just from their ethnicity you can't know. It's an assumption. I think the analogy works well in that it is based off of someone's ethnicity. The assumption is that someone's color means they have certainly had a certain set of experiences, which isn't necessarily true.

Of course it’s an assumption, but it’s an assumption based on the history and continuing reality of racism in the United States. And of course I used words like “likely” and “probably” – because it’s likely and probable.

Personally, I’m not going to make sweeping claims about all African Americans or all Hispanics or all Asian Americans. I use modifiers out of respect for the diversity of opinion and experience within those communities, and also to counter the assumptions of uniformity that are often made by voices from the dominant culture. Also (and this is a related point) I use these modifiers to counter the assumptions of absolutism with which you distorted Number23’s original point, such as suggesting that her assertion that minorities know more about racism necessarily means that all minorities should agree about any given issue. Finally, I generally try to avoid absolute statements in discussions like this, because I’m familiar with the tendency to point to some exception and pretend that this defeats the general rule, as you have done thus far.


Racism is an ideology. Experiencing it doesn't necessarily increase one's understanding of it.

Experiencing (or even participating in) systemic racism doesn’t necessarily require any knowledge or understanding of the ideology of racism. But experiencing a lifetime of systemic racism likely gives you an understanding of what racism looks like and feels like that those with a purely intellectual relationship to racism simply don’t have. Their opinion on whether or not a given situation is offensive or fits that pattern of racism is therefore an *informed* opinion in a way that the opinion of the typical white person simply can never be.

To disagree with the general assumption that minorities, who have experience dealing with racism, are more capable of identifying racism than the average white person, you would either have to believe that (a) all things being equal, experience carries no weight; or (b) people of color have some deficiency such that all things are not equal. The first is ridiculous—the second, obviously, profoundly offensive.

Of course it’s true that someone without *experience* can develop a deep understanding of the ideology (Tim Wise, for example). But when the intellectual relationship to racism as ideology is used to dismiss the experience of someone who has lived a relationship to racism as underlying social structure – well, that’s a problem.

As for your analogy to communism, the ideology of communism is a different animal from its institutionalization. The issue of “communism as ideology” is different from communism as practiced and experienced in the Soviet Regime, which is different from communism as practiced and experienced in Cambodia, and so on. Growing up under communism in Romania gives you a knowledge of communism as practiced and experienced in Romania. Studying Marx in college can’t really provide the same understanding. Of course, that doesn’t make the former’s opinion on politics or the free market in the United States inherently more valuable. Why would it?


What about loud and proud racists? Does being racist make one more able to discuss racism?

Why would it?

Simply using a hammer doesn't give you any sense of what it is to be a nail.
Read entry | Discuss (2 comments)
Posted by fishwax in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Nov 17th 2009, 10:33 PM
Earlier this week I posted that the Graduate Employees Organization was going on strike at the University of Illinois this week. Yesterday was rainy and cold, but there were 700 or so grad students and supporters out on the quad at 8 in the morning, making their voices heard. Among the marchers were supporters from the faculty; from the undergraduate population; from other unions on campus, in town, and around the state; and from other grad student organizations in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa (as well as Illinois). It was quite a sight.

The picketers were back out today, even though it was colder and still rainy; and while a few hundred strikers and supporters were marching on the quad, the administration was back at the bargaining table. By one p.m. we learned that the union and the administration reached a tentative agreement on a contract, with the administration meeting our demands to protect tuition waivers. Ironically, the wording is apparently very similar to what the union proposed way back in April, and is actually *stronger protection* than what the union proposed (and the university rejected) at Saturday's 6 hour bargaining session.

It has been an interesting couple of days on the U of I campus, and it's not official yet -- there will be an official ratification vote sometime later this week. But for now the pickets have been suspended and everyone who spent most or part of the last two days marching in the cold and the rain is feeling pretty good!

I know some people here expressed their (much appreciated) support for the striking workers, and so I wanted to be sure to let you all know how it turned out!


Read entry | Discuss (18 comments)
Posted by fishwax in Latest Breaking News
Sun Nov 15th 2009, 03:01 PM
Source: Champaign News-Gazette

The union representing graduate and teaching assistants at the University of Illinois will go on strike at 8 a.m. Monday.

But the UI said the issue over which the strike was called is an "11th-hour" issue that had not been part of the negotiations until Saturday.

The union and the UI both said they had reached agreement on almost every issue in a six-hour bargaining session on Saturday.

But the union sought a guarantee of continued tuition waivers for graduate and teaching assistants, the GEO said.

Read more: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/200...



The university's suggestion that this is an "11th-hour" issue is false. Protection for tuition waivers has been a focus for the GEO from the beginning. The claim is particularly amusing in light of the fact that the university has stalled throughout the negotiation process. The union had to call for a federal mediator just to get the administration to agree to talk about something other than the ground rules for negotiation. The union has been bargaining for seven months and has been working without a contract for three months, but the administration didn't get around to actually offering a wage proposal until the union filed an intent to strike petition and then scheduled a strike authorization vote (a little less than two weeks ago).
Read entry | Discuss (26 comments)
Posted by fishwax in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Nov 09th 2009, 11:59 PM
After several months of negotiations (most of it not particularly serious on the part of the university administration) and almost three months of working without a contract, the Graduate Employees Organization (which represents Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants at the University of Illinois main campus in Champaign-Urbana) voted last week to authorize a strike. I thought some folks here might be interested.

From the union's press release:
Over the course of a three day vote, an overwhelming 92% of participating GEO members chose to authorize a strike against the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. With the vote, GEO members have given the strike committee of the GEO a clear mandate to call a strike at any time. The Graduate Employee’s Organization, American Federation of Teachers/Illinois Federation of Teachers Local 6300, AFL-CIO, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a labor union representing all teaching and graduate assistants (TAs and GAs) on the UIUC campus. With over 2600 GEO members, and over 2600 graduate employees represented in the bargaining unit, the GEO is one of the largest higher education union locals in the United States.

The GEO has been negotiating with UIUC administrators for over six months. The GEO seeks a contract that will set the minimum salary for a 50% nine month appointment at the University’s estimate of a living wage for a graduate student in Urbana-Champaign and protect tuition waivers for TAs and GAs. While the GEO presented the administration with a full contract proposal on the first day of negotiations, the UIUC administration declined to offer a counterproposal until August 11th, just four days before the GEO’s previous contract expired. The UIUC administration’s initial contract proposal sought to freeze GEO wages for three years, reserve the right to furlough and layoff graduate employees in good standing, and to count “in-kind” compensation such as housing or meal vouchers toward the minimum salary mandated in the contract.

(more at link)
Read entry | Discuss (10 comments)
Posted by fishwax in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Oct 01st 2009, 11:17 AM
I posted here about how this mysterious “American Police Force” outfit is more likely a scam than a front group for Blackwater. They plagiarize a Blackwater website, sure, but they’ve also apparently plagiarized a Junior Association “Career Guides” website, an answer on “answers.com,” a book description on amazon.com, and private investigation websites of widely varying quality.

For example, if you’re interested in APF’s Investigative Services, you can learn on their website that:

“We have investigative agents that specialize in certain areas and most of them speak several different languages such as Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Ukrainian, Polish, English to name a few. That covers about 90 percent of the worlds spoken language. We can provide you with the expertise to investigate the case and hopefully bring the culprit justice.

We specialize in results for corporate investigations, covert operations, surveillance, industrial espionage, counter intelligence, and sabotage encompassing both criminal and civil statutes. We offer intellectual property protection Internet crimes Phishing network exploitation corporate intelligence hacking and database intrusions.


But don’t worry, if you want someone a little less sinister to perform those services, you can find the same services offered (word for word, including the silly claim that Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Ukrainian and English covers about 90% of the world’s spoken language) on the web site for this guy:



Much less sinister!

But anyway, the real humor I wanted to point to comes from the insurance fraud section of the APF website, where an apparent misunderstanding of the syntax of the source they’re plagiarizing from leads to the claim that APF will gladly stage car accidents, set businesses on fire, claim that they have lost the ability to work, and more!

Our unmatched experience and reputation has enabled APF to conduct thousands upon thousands of private investigations. If you would like to verify insurance claims/fraud, we will not hesitate to:

Insurance Fraud Investigations

o Stage car accidents.
o Order auto theft.
o Set their businesses on fire.
o Claim that they have lost their ability to work.
o Stage a break-in or theft of personal items.
o Inflate the value of a stolen item.
o Add relatives to a list of people allegedly injured in a car accident.
o Hire witnesses to support their version of the claim incident.


Read entry | Discuss (12 comments)
Posted by fishwax in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Sep 30th 2009, 10:55 PM
There has been a lot of discussion on various blogs (including here on DU) about AP news reports that a mysterious company called "American Police Force" has contracted with the Two Rivers Authority in Hardin, Montana to take over their empty prison (and/or take over policing duties for the town of 3000, which doesn't have a police force). (A sample article from the Billings Gazette: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-... )

A number of people have suggested links to Blackwater, which is perhaps a natural assumption given our fresh memories of the Bush Administration, and these assumptions were bolstered by language on the company's web site (www.americanpolicegroup.com ) which appears to draw from a Blackwater subsidiary:

http://www.americanpolicegroup.com/special...

Our extensive tactical firearms training facility, the U.S. Training Center is capable of providing a wide range of instruction and training for all types of law enforcement organizations. From basic firearms training to complex SWAT tactics our corps of instructors can meet all your training requirements.


The U.S. Training Center is a Blackwater (Xe) company, and the website for the U.S. Training Center has the exact same quote the APF site has. So the conclusion that it is Blackwater is perhaps understandable, but hasty.

Further perusal of the APF website finds that they've cobbled together quotes from a variety of defense and security contractors and private investigators. For instance, under "Experience" on their primary home page, they claim to have "years of experience and vast global resources to provide timely and professional international investigation services." Some company called PDI Investigations in Missouri makes the exact same claim.

It gets better:

Under "Investigative Services" on their "American Private Police Force" page, they reassure the reader that: "In all cases, private detectives and investigators assist attorneys, businesses, and the public with a variety of legal, financial, and personal problems."

As luck would have it, that's exactly what the Career Information page for Private Investigators says on the Junior Achievement Center's web page.


The "American Police Force" also provides Cruise Line Security: "Cruise ships are like a small city where passengers are encouraged to forget their troubles and relax once onboard ship. It is natural for passengers on vacation to let their guard down, especially when out to sea in a resort-like setting. My advice: Don't let a false sense of security aboard a cruise ruin your vacation by becoming a crime victim."

If that precise language sounds familiar to you, it's probably because you read this article about protecting yourself while on cruise ships at the "Crime Doctor" web site.


And the list goes on.

*****

When I initially saw the dustup about the secret police force and looked at the website, I thought it might be some weird attempt to promote a movie or something. But considering what we know of who represents "American Police Force" as a company, I think a good old-fashioned scam is much more likely. After all, the public face of the company, Michael Hilton, has already done time for construction fraud:

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-...

Public records from police and state and federal courts in California show that Michael Anthony Hilton, using that name and more than a dozen aliases over several years, is cited in multiple criminal, civil and bankruptcy cases, and was sentenced in 1993 to two years in state prison in California.

Hilton pleaded guilty in March 1993 to 14 felonies, including 10 counts of grand theft, one count of attempted grand theft and three counts of diversion of construction funds, according to Orange County court records. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but it is unclear how much time he served.


According to this Billings Gazette article, the APF's "director of legal affairs" is named Mazair Mafi. I don't know if it's the same Mazair Mafi who is a personal injury lawyer in California, but that's the first google hit that turns up on the name. And of course, it's also worth noting that, according to the APF's contact page, the Public Relations Director for this huge, 25-year-old security firm (which can not only train military forces in cutting-edge counter-terrorist techniques but can also, conveniently, be hired out to investigate a cheating spouse) is Becky Shay, who until a few days ago was a beat writer for the Billings Gazette. (I say that not to disparage journalists, Ms. Shay, or the Billings Gazette itself--but it seems odd that a company like Blackwater would pluck a staff reporter from a small regional paper to be the PR director of such an operation.)

Anyway, I know a lot of people (on DU and elsewhere) are worked up about this mystery and in particular about the Blackwater connections, so I just wanted to throw that information out there.
Read entry | Discuss (101 comments)
Posted by fishwax in The DU Lounge
Sat Sep 05th 2009, 11:57 AM
There were a few games (and one sucker punch, below) on Thursday, but that's just a warm-up.

Now opening Saturday is finally here!

The two biggest matchups are Alabama and Virginia Tech (in Atlanta) and Georgia at Oklahoma State.

My team, the Oklahoma Sooners, take on BYU later tonight in that new Cowboys/Jonestown stadium. So who is your team playing? or what games are you looking forward to?

Read entry | Discuss (129 comments)
Posted by fishwax in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Jul 26th 2009, 06:05 PM
It is no credit to acknowledge that racism, racial profiling, discrimination, etc. exist in general if every time a specific example comes up one's immediate response is to argue that people of color are simply wrong in identifying that as an example.

"Every day, minorities are hassled even more than white people are. I get it. But the Gates incident was not one of those occasions."

So what makes you so certain that what happened with Gates is "not one of those occasions"? Is it because Gates was dressed in slacks and a shirt rather than "hip hop fashion"? Because if that's the reason, then I believe you have a very shallow and limited understanding of the reality that minorities face in terms of harassment and discrimination. The clothes one wears do not provide immunity from harassment or discrimination.

Is it because Gates is financially successful? Because, again, I think that demonstrates a short-sighted view of what institutional racism is. The size of one's bank account does not provide immunity from harassment or discrimination.

Is it because Gates is well-educated and well-known, with a prominent position in the community? Again, short-sighted. Fame, education, and social prominence do not provide immunity.

Is it because (as I've seen a few other posters suggest), Gates studies African-American history, so he has a warped view of race relations? Because that's not just short-sighted, it's stupid beyond words.

Is it because the initial news reports all suggested that Gates was belligerent, etc.? Is it because the police report (from which those early news stories were drawn) said that Gates was tumultuous and suggests there was no reason for him to be so? Because if so, that demonstrates a lack of understanding of what police reports are, who writes them, etc.

Perhaps it's because, while you give lip service to believing in the existence of racism and discrimination in general, the idea of someone like Gates being subject to it in the specific makes you a bit too uncomfortable about the reality of race in America today.

Whatever the cause, it is exactly how significant numbers of DUers have reacted to damn near every topic that has come up with respect to racism over the years, from Michael Richards shouting the n-word at people in his audience and then talking about lynching, to the Jena Six, to last month's fiasco at a Philadelphia pool: "Sure, racism still exists, but this isn't really a good example of it."

It seems to me such posters are willing to admit that racism is real as long as everyone else promises to never, ever talk about it. In reality, it's just another way to get out of confronting the real problem.
Read entry | Discuss (7 comments)
Posted by fishwax in The DU Lounge
Sun Jun 07th 2009, 01:36 AM
I finished it earlier this evening. I didn't enjoy it, I'll admit--but I'm curious what others here who have read it may think of it ...
Read entry | Discuss (10 comments)
Posted by fishwax in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri May 22nd 2009, 01:06 AM
No real surprises here, but an interesting visual.

Obama's speech:


Cheney's speech:


Here's a link to the CBS story: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/05/21/po...
Read entry | Discuss (12 comments)
Posted by fishwax in Latest Breaking News
Thu May 14th 2009, 10:47 PM
Source: Associated Press

Board advocates dumping UND nickname, logo

By DALE WETZEL – 3 hours ago

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Board of Higher Education has agreed to drop the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian head logo, a move intended to resolve a decades-long campus dispute about whether the name demeans American Indians.

The name and logo, which is a profile of an American Indian man with feathers and streaks of paint on his face, could still be saved if North Dakota's Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes agree by Oct. 1 to give the university permission to use them for at least 30 years.

However, tribal officials say that possibility is remote. Unless the name and logo receive tribal endorsement, they will be retired for good on Aug. 1, 2010.

The board, which met Thursday at Dickinson State University, voted 8-0 to retire the logo and nickname. UND President Robert Kelley began making plans for replacements.



Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/articl...



The University of North Dakota and the University of Illinois were the two most vociferous holdouts when the NCAA started moving against such mascots and nicknames a few years ago. The U of I finally dropped their Chief Illiniwek a little over two years ago, leaving the UND Fighting Sioux as the only Division I school that was using a Native American mascot without the consent of the tribe in question.
Read entry | Discuss (36 comments)
Profile Information
fishwax
Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your ignore list
Not a DU Donor
21395 posts
Member since 2001
Visitor Tools
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.
 
Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals  |  Campaigns  |  Links  |  Store  |  Donate
About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.