jasiu1108 [at] gmail [dot] com

Person #3427: 88 Posts

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  1. I was a big backer of Unsure... (0 Replies)

    … until they chose Other as the VP. Tragic mistake. An “own goal”. Reminds me of McCain choosing Palin. Now I have to find a different candidate.

  2. no getting off the train once chosen (0 Replies)

    Apologies for using a Harry Potter reference, but this is sort of like putting one’s name into the Goblet of Fire: Once you get picked, there’s no backing out. Whatever happens, we’re stuck with it, including cost overruns.

    Or maybe a marriage is more accurate: You can get out, but it is going to be messy.

    Does anyone think that if Boston gets picked by the USOC and, say, a year from now the consensus (once those pesky “details” are known) is, “Hey, we thought it was a good idea, but not so much now. Sorry!” that the USOC and other involved parties are just going to say, “Hey, thanks for trying. Better luck next time.”??? Especially after turning down other cities that would have followed through (especially LA) the USOC isn’t going to be having any of that.

    Seems to me that the most effective way to cut this thing off is to make it clear to the USOC, before they make their decision, that there is significant opposition and a chance that the city would back out.

  3. do it! (0 Replies)

    My dad and I have talked about forming the Sam Adams Party in the event of a Bush and Hillary battle. Anyone can register for it, but we won’t be running any candidates. Instead, we will be drinking cans of Sam Adams on his porch all day long on election day, you’re all welcome to crack open a can and bring a chair to sit next to us.

    I’m there!

  4. non-binding question? (1 Reply)

    Seems like every two years there is at least one non-binding question on my ballot. I don’t know the procedure, but as part of that organizing and agitating, could such a question be put on a ballot in the near future (in the absence of an “official” question)?

  5. full list (0 Replies)

    See here.

    I once starting to consider what a tour of Massachusetts towns in England would be like and how long it would take…

  6. view from a cop (3 Replies)

    I found this piece from the Washington Post by an ex-St. Louis cop pretty enlightening.

    One example: A couple of officers ran a Web site called St. Louis Coptalk, where officers could post about their experience and opinions. At some point during my career, it became so full of racist rants that the site administrator temporarily shut it down. Cops routinely called anyone of color a “thug,” whether they were the victim or just a bystander.

    This attitude corrodes the way policing is done.

    The problem is that cops aren’t held accountable for their actions, and they know it. These officers violate rights with impunity. They know there’s a different criminal justice system for civilians and police.

    Even when officers get caught, they know they’ll be investigated by their friends, and put on paid leave. My colleagues would laughingly refer to this as a free vacation. It isn’t a punishment. And excessive force is almost always deemed acceptable in our courts and among our grand juries. Prosecutors are tight with law enforcement, and share the same values and ideas.

    We could start to change that by mandating that a special prosecutor be appointed to try excessive force cases. And we need more independent oversight, with teeth. I have little confidence in internal investigations.

  7. except... (2 Replies)

    As far as I can tell it does very little, except provide certain whites a new way to lord it over their less enlightened (probably poorer and perhaps less educated) cousins.

    And when black people use the frame of white privilege, who are they trying to lord it over?

    That’s my biggest problem with this whole thread. The views of the people who are actually the subject of the racism are missing and few here seem to be actually making any effort to go out and check the numerous articles, blog entries, Tweets, etc. that will fill in the blanks (in the absence of any black participation here).

  8. I suspect... (0 Replies)

    …that anyone who might reply would, after reading all this, just shake their head and think “where the hell do I start?”

  9. seriously? (2 Replies)

    Here’s the problem: A comment like that makes it sound like you are trying to minimize the experience many black have with the cops, even if that isn’t your intent. “Everyone should do that.” The difference is in the consequences. The worst I’m going to end up with is a night in jail, maybe a bruise or two, and a headache.

  10. how do you reconcile that with daily realities? (2 Replies)

    What I’m missing is what your approach actually is. How do you reconcile telling a kid that “the whole world is theirs” while also having to tell him that if he has a confrontation with the cops, he’d better be polite and all “yes sir/maam” and not sass off so that he can, in the worst case, be picked up later at the police station (rather than being identified at the morgue)?

  11. or maybe it is about what you can easily see (2 Replies)

    What started happening 50/60 years ago is that the most blatant, visible forms of racism (particular Jim Crow) diminished. But I’d like to hear from any black readers of this forum what they think about the statement “we ceased being a ‘fundamentally racist society’ about 50 years ago”. It is easy to make such a statement if you aren’t the target and if you don’t see the daily affects of the continuing racism.

  12. but not fully (1 Reply)

    If people took the word only as the definition you gave, I’d be fine with it. My thing is the word, as colloquially understood, can be taken to mean special treatment above the norm. The privileged few. A prep school kid from a privileged background.

    That is a white POV. Substitute “white people” for “people” in what you wrote.

    From a black perspective, given the historical context added to the common experiences from the present, privilege is an appropriate term.

    Now, if what you are saying is that we have a problem because the whites can’t understand the framing the blacks are using, I can see that as an issue. Although the irony is rather rich. “Black people, please don’t use the phrase ‘white privilege’ because, well, um, OK, it’s a white thing. You just wouldn’t understand.”

    If there is a better way to frame the fact that encounters that blacks have with police are much more worrisome than those whites have – one easily understood by everyone – that would be great.

    My main concern is that getting stuck on the phrase/word can make some of you – whom I consider my allies – sound like you are denying the problem. Try not to do that (please).

  13. stuck on a word (1 Reply)

    The word “privilege” in the phrase “white privilege”: Seems that black people just get the concept and a lot of white people have a hard time with it. Referencing Merriam-Webster:

    priv·i·lege a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others

    So if you don’t like the word, ignore it. But at least understand where someone is coming from when they use the phrase. But remember that word “benefit” for later.

    Another take on this was Sebastian Stockman’s piece in the Globe op-ed section yesterday.

    On our walk to the car, I asked if I could check out the awesome souvenir she’d brought back in her checked luggage. She handed me the three-foot-long machete. I wasn’t wielding it recklessly, or hacking at trees, or threatening anyone. Nevertheless, even at 6:30 in the morning, that kind of weapon attracts attention.

    A police car pulled up to the curb. Philly cops are notoriously — oh, what’s the word, pugnacious? I was understandably nervous.

    “Is that a machete?” the cop in the passenger seat asked.

    “Yes?” I said.

    “Why don’t you put it away?”

    I did, and the cops . . . pulled away. They never even got out of the car.

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m very happy not to have been booked, or cuffed, or wrestled to the ground, or pepper-sprayed, or had a gun pointed at me in any of these instances. I’ve never been worried during a routine traffic stop. I’ve always taken for granted that I’d be given the benefit of the doubt.

    That is the privilege given to most white people: The benefit of the doubt. Put a black kid in that situation and, if I were a betting person, I’d put money down on a different outcome.

  14. football and law enforcement cooperate at college level too (0 Replies)

    This story in the New York Times from back in October details how “justice” works in Tallahassee for FSU football players. It is a long article, but shows how athletes are treated differently after committing crimes ranging from stealing a scooter to domestic violence.

    Here is a key part of the problem:

    The officer seemed deeply reluctant to charge Mr. Wilson, saying he did not want his name on the arrest report, according to the student.

    “He told me that he had not arrested Wilson because he was a football player, and he did not want to ‘ruin’ his record by arresting him” if there was a chance he might be innocent, the student wrote.

    I have maybe watched a total of 30 minutes of football (at any level) since reading that article.

  15. please read some Lakoff and get back to me (1 Reply)

    MP actually quoted a question directly asked of Lakoff at Truthout.org. The questions was about progressives (continued and repeated) surprise at how irrational arguments sometimes (often) trump rational arguments.

    He quoted the question but ignored the actual context of the question (and the answer) and twisted it into something else. Lakoff never uses the word “irrational”. It isn’t about the irrational trumping rational – it is about not understanding how the whole brain works and why some arguments just do not resonate. Note what he said in response:

    What progressives call “rational arguments” are not normal modes of real reason. What counts as a “rational argument” is not the same for progressives and conservatives. And even the meaning of concepts and words may be different. Cognitive linguists have learned a lot about how all this works, but few progressives have studied cognitive linguistics.

    What he is getting at is that Democrats continue to think that if they just talk “rationally” and put the facts out there that everyone will get it, because it makes sense to them. But his work has shown that the brain just doesn’t work like that. I’m not going to explain it all because he does a much better job than I do.

  16. but again... (1 Reply)

    that has nothing to do with Lakoff’s work.

  17. and that has to do with Lakoff... (1 Reply)

    … how?

    I’ve read a ton of Lakoff’s work and it doesn’t seem that you understand what he’s getting at. That’s fine – it just looks like an excuse to reopen wounds as Christopher pointed out.

  18. ya know... (1 Reply)

    I’m re-reading the original post and wondering what the Lakoff bit has to do with the question asked at the end. Where I thought if might go was some sort of analysis of the Coakley team’s messaging though a Lakoff lens but instead someone ended up with the same old blame thing.

    What was the point again?

  19. please explain further (1 Reply)

    I’m not sure what it is you don’t understand. How people can have such attitudes? If that’s the case, take the logic out of it. It’s almost pure emotion ingrained since childhood. Go to almost any online news site that allows unmoderated comments and tell me that you are going to get anywhere with logic with any of these Yahoos (which happens to be a good example site to check).

    Maybe growing up in a rather racist white suburb of Detroit at a particular time (60s and 70s) allows me to understand this all too well.