“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Are Obama's Very Black, Very Left Mentors What America Needs?


  1. "This is Your Nation on White Privilege

    September 13, 2008, 2:01 pm

    By Tim Wise

    For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

    White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

    White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

    White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

    White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

    White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

    White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.

    White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

    White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

    White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”

    White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

    White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

    White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

    White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a “light” burden.

    And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole “change” thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain…

    White privilege is, in short, the problem."

  2. White privilege is being Ash and being taken semi-seriously because of the color of your skin, even if you don't live in America.

    Arabs Elect Israel's Newest Fool

    Dang, sometimes it's hard to live in the reddest state in the USA. Try as I did, could only score a McCain bumper sticker. No McCain/Palin available here, due to the demand in less red states.

    Had some really nifty Belgium rabbits in the stock barns.

  3. Black privilege is having a drunken moslem multimarried man who leaves babies all over Kenya and beyond as your father knocking up your slutty 17 year old unmarried mother, running for President, getting 98% of the black vote, and calling the country racist.

  4. "Trashier, trashier, than, than....the Staten Island Landfill", Ash.

  5. Ash

    do you have any political thoughts of your own? Just wondering.

    I laugh at the attacts on Palin while camparing her to "The Community Organizer." Remember McCain? He's the one running for President, not her.

  6. I personally think that bob's recent turn to unwholesome and creepy cross-dressing has much to do with Palin/McCain's drop in the polls.

  7. ah come on Trish, Reverend Manning's a gas.

    Beats listening to Ash.

  8. Reverend Manning, being black, and possessing black privilege, can say what a lot of people feel about Obama, and get away with it.

  9. "ah come on Trish, Reverend Manning's a gas."

    Okay, but your avatar's disturbing.

  10. IOZ can be quite funny sometimes:

    Even John McCain's been catching up on his dialectical materialism, or whatever.

    "We’re going to put an end to the reckless conduct, corruption and greed that have caused a crisis on Wall Street."

    Yeah! Down with the capitalist vultures! Arise ye workers from your slumbers! At last ends the age of cant!

    People, particularly those who write and yabble about economics in the media, seem desperately confused about what, precisely, led to the "crisis in the market." In fact, the line from A-to-Z is straight and easy to follow. The complexity of the various investment vehicles and insurance schemes that are now collapsing like so many card houses, their oft-lamented opacity, and the labyrinthine undertakings of the failing financial institutions are all baroque detail, fancy scrolling, and gold leaf on the stolid edifice of our failures. American "capitalism" abandoned capital for debt. I mean, rather than investing money, it invested obligation. I mean, it "collateralized debt." It paid its IOUs with IOUs.

    At its most essential, our economy rested not on a foundation of production, but of consumption. Remember. The Consumer Economy. But an economy built on consumption, producing nothing of value, has no means or mechanism to drive up general wages. Wages in the United States have stagnated for three decades, at least. Since this would naturally lead to a situation where consumption would likewise stagnate, some alternative means of producing spendable income had to be created. The United States government and the Federal reserve embarked upon a deliberate project to remove restraints on home-ownership (such as being able to afford to buy a home) and then to allow--to encourage--these new "homeowners" to collateralize their own mortgage obligations in the form of loans, which they would use to buy TVs and new bathrooms and Hummers and brand-name purses and so on and so forth. No one worried that this constituted a liability backed by a liability, because Home Prices Were Going to Go Up Forever! Of course, what drove rising home prices was not an increase in quality, nor an increase in actual personal wealth, but rather the fact that buyers on the housing market were afforded increasingly large mortgages with decreasing obligations to make down payments or to, you know, pay the fuckers back.

    The financial institutions then took these mountains of liability and treated them as assets. On the proposition that one ah dese days folks would pay back what they owed, which on the scale of rationality is right up there with The Rapture, they leveraged money which they in fact had already spent purchasing houses for America's vast herd of impecunious private citizens into investment capital. Needless to say, it's all going to hell.

    Fortunately, Who Is IOZ? is Too Big to Fail, and we shall continue our color commentary from the sidelines until the plebs set fire to the stadium.

  11. Do this, don't do that, don't praise Sarah so much, don't post Sarahmania so much, your avatar is disturbing, your recent turn to unwholesome and creepy cross-dressing has much to do with Palin/McCain's drop in the polls. Blah.

    Well I don't want to be thought a creepy cross dresser, though you get to wear pants.

  12. "Black privilege is having a drunken moslem multimarried man who leaves babies all over Kenya and beyond as your father knocking up your slutty 17 year old unmarried mother, running for President, getting 98% of the black vote, and calling the country racist."

    That deserves a fist bump....and Whit...the lady I just showed that post to says, "whit is so clever." and she is very good looking.

  13. Liberals and their commie friends all over America were saddened by the stock market rise today.

    Signed, former creepy cross dresser

  14. Does anyone know--
    Ash, do you know--that old street adage about greed being stronger than fear, or is it fear being stronger than greed?

    Can't recall, not being a stocker, but it would seem to be a handy piece of knowledge in days like these.

  15. But fear is temporary, greed is permanent. Greed is a much stronger emotion than fear. Greed in this sense is a good thing, more like motivation and risk taking.

    In criminal enterprises, too, it would seem obvious that greed is stronger than fear.

    Fear Is Temporary, Greed Is Permanent

    Best I could do.

  16. I remember reading something about that saying just today Bobal but I'm not sure what the exact saying is (if one exists). A quick google kept referring to it without citing it. The gist of it is that the markets respond to just two things - fear and greed. I think.

  17. Big Ten Polls

    Posted by TOM BEVAN

    The University of Wisconsin has released surveys of eight Midwestern states (Sept 14-17, 600 RV in each state) showing a close race in all but one (Illinois, of course):

    McCain 45
    Obama 45

    McCain 45
    Obama 45

    Obama 46
    McCain 45

    Obama 45
    McCain 44

    Obama 47
    McCain 45

    Obama 48
    McCain 44

    McCain 47
    Obama 43

    Obama 53
    McCain 37

  18. Obama and the Democrats need to hang crepe to win and they have been hanging heavy the last few days. Hopefully enough for them to hang themselves with.

  19. You won't be able to keep your eyes off of Todd, if you are anything like my wife, who thinks he's something to look at.

    "Crooner" McCain Sings Streisand

    Have you noticed, Obama has no sense of humor. If he were a painter, there would be no people in his pictures.

  20. I tend to go for, you know, the ones in uniform.

  21. Even if they're never (clears throat) *home*.