March 29, 2010

Marriage and Parenthood for Minorities

Justin Katz

Although those who wish to fling accusations of bigotry seldom manage to hear, I've long maintained that same-sex marriage is a bad idea because of its effects on the institution, not a matter of oppression. The typical response is the intellectually inept claim that calling a particular same-sex relationship "marriage" will not affect any particular existing opposite-sex marriage. That's more likely than not to be true, but it's the cultural effect that will have repercussions, harming the most vulnerable in our society, for whose welfare a strong marital culture should be reclaimed and maintained.

The point arises, at this time, because of an echo in a race-related AP article that's been widely published over the past few days (emphasis added):

The founder estimates more than 300 celebrations are being held this weekend. The aim is to try to stabilize, if not reverse, the trend of non-commitment within the black community. According to 2009 census figures, 41.9 percent of black adults had never married, compared to 23.6 percent of whites. Studies show blacks also are more likely than other ethnic groups to divorce and bear children out of wedlock.

Experts blame the disparities in part on high black male unemployment, high black male imprisonment and the moderate performance of black men in college compared with black women.

They also note the lack of positive images of black marriage in the media and several misperceptions about matrimony - that it's for white people, that it's a ball and chain, that fatherhood and marriage are not linked.

If marriage is principally about the love and comfort of the adults, and not about the fact that what they do tends to create children, then those inclined to shirk responsibility are free of a cultural mechanism to tie them to their children, and the other adult with whom those children are biologically linked. Our society has certainly gone too far down that path, already, but changing the legal definition of "marriage" would cement the flawed principle into the culture.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Seems like a discussion for a longer venue, however it is my understanding that the black population and their lack of 2 parent families is a relatively recent phenomenon, possibly correlating to increased poverty, hopelessness and being left out of the American Dream.

It might be a chicken and egg question, which again is probably not best addressed in blog posts or comments.

Of course, the fact that Ma., with same sex marraige and VERY liberal values of all sorts (domestic partners, social welfare, etc.) has the lowest divorce rate in the USA - while "Red Bible belt" states have some of the highest might cast a different light.

Also, very religious Christians have a higher divorce rate than non-believers....casting doubt, as per your opinion, on the institution of strong religion.

"The Black family has crumbled more in the last 30 years than it did in the entire 14 decades since slavery,"

Hmm, 30 years? Like since Reaganomics started???

Definitely a complicated situation, however much of this comes back to both history and freedoms. You can crow all you want to about black folks having access to the same "hope" that white Americans do and did, but I suspect if we were each to spend a year in their skins at various times and places over the past decades, we would find out differently.

Your cry is really a cry (hopefully) for social justice, which I support.

Posted by: Stuart at March 29, 2010 2:51 PM

As with Stuart, I understand the breakdown of 2 parent families anomg blacks is a fairly recent occurance.

I can't recall, or cite, the source of my information; however I unerstand that in the 30's and 40's black illegitimacy was rather low.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 29, 2010 3:00 PM

People do what they have to do to survive. When those big bad unions provided Detroit jobs for large numbers of the black population, they flourished. When the white collar "office" revolutions and outsourcing left them out of a job, they did (en masse) exactly what you would expect someone to do - run as far away (drugs, crime, etc.) from reality as they could get.

If you want people to act civil, they must be treated in a civil fashion and be allowed to enjoy the benefits of Free Society.

Ask ANY person of color who has lived in Canada or England if they are treated better than black folk here. The answer comparison! America is still somewhat of AmeriKKKa to the black folks, although admittedly getting better as we go. But we are not there yet.

Posted by: Stuart at March 29, 2010 3:06 PM

So let me get this straight, you support in principle the idea of denying individual liberty to promote "cultural effects" that you feel beneficial? So I could say ban guns not because I disagree with the 2nd amendment but because of my concern for the cultural effect that violence has on children?

Nothing at all to worry about here, libertarians?

Posted by: Russ at March 29, 2010 3:24 PM

Justin is well aware of my opinion on various conservative social crusades, Russ. Please don't interpret silence as agreement. Many of us (libertarians) simply have nothing more to add on the subject.

Posted by: Dan at March 29, 2010 3:49 PM

The breakdown of the urban black family is a direct consequence of government welfare programs begun under Johnson's "Great Society." They were designed so that the highest level of welfare payments went to single mothers. And voila! People respond to incentives.

It is correct that before the 1960s there nearly no difference between the races in terms of social behavior.

So, leftists, are you proud of what your beloved government has done here?

Posted by: BobN at March 29, 2010 4:10 PM

Simple thinking, Bob.

You seem to forget that the same social policies were part of the War on Poverty which lifted Appalachia (white people) from complete poverty and gave them health care and food. I know - I lived there and saw the clinics! White people - 100%- Scots and Irish, mostly.

The cities BURNED (riots) before the Great Society - inconvenient facts!

I'm not pimping for welfare - I'm probably on your side on that one! I would engineer social policies to provide BIG disincentives to folks considering having children without the means. Of course, that might greatly upset the Catholics, who believe(d) in the last generation that 10 kids was just about enough!

Rather than assign simplistic blame on a very complex issue, why not think it thought a bit?

Conveniently enough, the white dudes did provide some good employment for the black and poor folks in the late 60's - as cannon fodder in Vietnam! But I don't think that did much good for our society as a whole, Colin Powell aside.

Posted by: Stuart at March 29, 2010 4:20 PM

non-commitment within the black community, is a bad thing

non-commitment within the gay community,

Now I get it !
Thanks Justin

Be well all

Posted by: Earl at March 29, 2010 4:33 PM

Since Stuart introduced it, does anyone have an explanation for Appalachia's lack of development?

There are ample natural resources, one might say abundant. The largest cultural group is Scotch-Irish (not Scots and Irish as Stuart puts it. They were Scots banished to the "Irish Plantations" from England, then migrated to America) this is the same ethnic group that inhabits most of the South. I understand that the Hatfield - McCoy feuds were largely 19th century mythology. In any case they were impoverished; like Brazil, it seems hard to understand.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 29, 2010 5:48 PM

Having lived and worked in the Mountains of the east, I can say that there are two or three basic factors at work there...but the big one is.....

The settlers of the mountains were screwed by Wall Street - the mineral rights to all their lands were sold for pennies an acre - even though the folks signing on the line could not read. This includes coal, oil, gas and other resources. Every tree in those states were cut down to feed development of the eastern seaboard - again, with no profit to the locals except a couple dangerous jobs.

So, in a word, exploitation. Wall Street and stockholders made the money, not the land owners or locals. BTW, these ancient contracts allow the coal companies to dig up your farm into a complete strip mine. No protections.

Another related factor is lack of education. There is some truth to the stereotypes of incest, etc.
Anyone who has ever traveled over the mountain passes between VA and WV can understand the difficulty in having varied gene pools in these mountain hollows. As a result, inbreeding did not help the general intelligence of the area very much.

But mostly I think it was that they were taken advantage of.....not allowed to enjoy "the commons", which was rightfully theirs, but that our system (The Guilded Age) allowed for Robber Baron to control and take.

That's my take from having lived there and talking to the locals. I knew folks who remembered when there the first car was sighted 200 miles away!

Posted by: Stuart at March 29, 2010 6:40 PM

Lack of specialization, insufficient division of labor, cultural factors. Natural resources can be a curse when they induce people to take the easy road to short-term wealth (farming, coal mining, logging, etc.) rather than investing in long-term competitive industries. I'd refute Stuart's progressive (Marxist) claim that they were exploited by the rich, but I have pledged not to respond to his nonsense anymore.

Posted by: Dan at March 29, 2010 7:32 PM

Interesting post but how do you address the 50th State of Hawaii settled by the Polynesians who color tone is whiter than European white to Blacker than African black and has neither of the ethnic blood line of the races?

In Hawaii there is no ethnic majority. All residents are considered a minority. Due to the constant intermarriage that has been ongoing for over 200 years the family trees are enormous.

There is no historically documentation of slavery ever being practiced in Hawaii even though Hawaii was built on plantation (all contract labor).

In Hawaii you almost never hear of a person referred to as black or white unless it's by a mainlander! That is because some of the Polynesians might look black but take great offense being called that!

It is a sorry statement about the USA that there is a class that is taught to students leaving for the mainland to attend college about racism and discrimination.

Posted by: Ken at March 29, 2010 8:19 PM

Stuart is a bigot.
He pretends to champion "people of color",but somehow thinks it's necessary to run down Whites and Christians in the process.His comment about inbreeding could be applied to Hasidic Jews.I grew up near a large community of them.Due to close marriage,,most of their kids are susceptible to hereditary disease,poor eyesight,and a very high level of learning disabled children.The Israeli Army doesn't draft them-they don't even want them as volunteers(don't confuse Hasidic with Orthodox Jews who are no more closely married than anyone else)-I worked with a lot of Appalachian Whites in my job and served with them in the military-I never noticed them to be "slow" as Stuart insinuates'
I attended a high school from 1960-63 that was abot 40% Black.There were a couple of Hispanics and no Asians.The Black students virtually all came from two parent working homes and siblings all tended to have the same last name.I only knew one set of siblings who didn't.
The ONLY girl who got knocked up was White.It was a big deal back then.
Ironically,the civil rights movement had the unintended effect of denuding Black communities of professionals and business people.These people no longer needed to confine themselves to segregated (de facto) communities and naturally moved out to take advantage of wider opportunities.Those left behind lost many of the pillars of their communities.
The Johnson Great Society social engineering programs didn't encourage individual initiative,but rather dependency.
The Vietnam war spared two groups:the college student elite and minorities who had arrest records and/or drug problems.Also,many minority youth didn't bother to register,nd weren't looked for very hard.
The average serviceman in Vietnam,White,Black,and Hispanic,came from working class/lower middle class homes.
Most of my friends who went to Vietnam did okay later on in life.Except for health problems.
Stuart is literally talking out his ass on this subject.
The snide comment about only Colin Powell benefiting from Vietnam shows just how ignorant Stuart is.
The military offered many young men of color and many non-college bound Whites a chance to advance based on merit and not by being to the manor born(think Whitehouse).
Which ethnic group has the least out of wedlock births?Asians.Which group's youth achieve the most consistently highest successes in school.Asians.
Being born out of official wedlock doesn't mean you won't succeed-particularly if your parents have a stable relationship.Not everyone wants to get officially married.
I've rambled here,but Stuart admitted he's a believer in social engineering,which is anathema to anyone with a sense of independence or a functioning brain.
I lived in an Italian neighborhood as a teenager and NEVER met a Stuart.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 29, 2010 9:05 PM

Does anyone else think of the Stuart character from MADtv when they read Stuart's posts here?

Posted by: Dan at March 29, 2010 9:48 PM

Perhaps, Joe and Dan, you are missing when I am being humorous and/or cynical......

In any case, suffice it to say that History and Historians agree about the Robber Barons. They have names you know, such as Carnegie, Rockefeller, etc.

Read a little. Here is a summary of a book called:
"Railroads, Deforestation, and Social Change in West Virginia 1880 - 1920."

"The principle reason for the deeply-embedded poverty in Central Appalachia is the fact that the region continues to be a colony of industrial powers. Beginning in the mid-19th century, iron, coal, railroad, and timber companies teamed with national, state, and local politicians to exploit the natural resources -- coal and timber -- and the people of Central Appalachia. The result was devastation of a culture, destruction of a people, and destruction of the environment. And, I am incorrect to use the past tense -- clear-cutting of forests continues and "mountain-top removal" mining continue to destroy the culture, communities, and landscape of Central Appalachia. Lewis' book is an excellent description of what happens when politicians and industrial leaders join in league to exploit a region."

Which part of that don't you understand? I saw it with my own eyes. It continues today. There are pictures in the WV Historical books of 20 mile views with EVERY single tree in the virgin forests cut down. The railroad runs right through the mess.

Dan, tell us what you know and how. I have visited all the parks and historical sites in WV and read the books. I talked to the people. I know a number of people who owned land there and then moved when the coal companies stripped mined next to them.

This is FACT.

Maybe you are refuting something else - and this part (Appalachia) is a bit off subject - although not that far, because it does prove your point somewhat. It is not ALL Racism based, it is more about the haves and those who work for them (the have nots).

Oh, and people in Appalacia are VERY Racist, although very nice. Our friend told us a story passed down about the last colored person who came through the town 100 years ago! They blamed something on him, and chased him out! That was the end of that, and they have not seen one since. I doubt they voted for Obama.

Posted by: Stuart at March 29, 2010 10:34 PM

And who is to say that the book quoted by the Leftist Stuart isn't just another leftist screed like Howard Zinn's POS Marxist history of America?

Just because you were there doesn't mean you understand what was happening. Millions of Americans lived through the Depression but didn't have a clue as to what caused it or what would solve it.

I don't understand why Stuart equates the ghetto riots of the 1950s with the destruction of traditional family values which began in he 1950s but took several years, in fact about a generation, to metastasize into the dysfunctional subculture we have today. There isn't much logical connection between the two so he doesn't seem to have a point.

Posted by: BobN at March 29, 2010 10:52 PM

Oh, I see Bob.

Those people who had their land and resources taken for pennies an acre...they just don't understand. The robber barons were there to help, and the downtrodden just didn't get it.

And where, pray tell, is your knowledge of the area coming from? Can you show us some books or other historical documents to prove your case?

I didn't think so.

Listen, Bob, just because something does not fit your world view does not mean it isn't true. Coal brought MANY good things to this nation, but the stealing of it and the destruction of the improper mining techniques brought a lot of misery and suffering. What is wrong with telling the truth? Do you whitewash ALL history, or just ours?

Posted by: Stuart at March 29, 2010 11:08 PM

My experiences in the military and law enforcement run counter to what Stuart says about Appalachian Whites.I did run into some extremely racist people-most were from Northern cities!!Chicago was the most racist place I've been in my life.
Some guys I knew from Tennessee and Kentucky were among the least prejudiced folks I've met.My mentors in INS were two agents from rural areas of North Dakota and Kentucky-they were two of the sharpest guys I've known and I learned a lot from them.
Sheldon Whitehouse seems to me like a very biased individual-not necessarily based on race or religion,but more in the sense of arrogant entitlement-the "right sort" dontch'a know.
I'm sure he'd crap himself if his daughters married "beneath" themselves-a useless fop is what he is.
Stuart-what'd you do in those areas-sell franchise businesses?I know you will avoid being specific-it's your trademark.
Anyone ever tell you that you have a very disgusting habit of acting like you're some superior intellect when in fact you come off more as a parrot of stale leftist talking points from the 30's? You have colossal gall accusing anyone else of looking backwards.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 30, 2010 2:50 AM

Joe, let us not stray into issues of racism. True, Stuart does seem misguided, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

While it is true that Black illegitimacy has reached very high rates, we should not overlook the fact that White illegitimacy is 4-5 times what it was in 1975 and now exceeds 30%. As a society, we have a problem. It might be worth investigating why it is effecting the Black population to a larger degree. This does seem evident and was predicted in the Moynahan Report more than 40 years ago.

Being from the South, my family has been associated with a Black family for well over a 100 years. They have a family farm of a few hundred acres and since the 1920's have moved away from farming, being mostly teachers and more recently social work and government occupations. A number are in the military. My point, until the current generation illegitimacy was relatively unknown with the usual incidents before modern birth control. Such situations resulted in marriage. My further point is that I am inclined to think there is a social class component as well as a racial component. I have no figures to refer to, but I am wondering what social class the majority of White unwed mothers fall into. Judging from who I see toting infants, I have my own opinions.

Why don't we move to a discussion of the FBI "Army" that recently "arrested" a "militia" which turned out to be 7 members of the same family. The Attorney General reports they were about to "go to war with the government". First of all, "war" seems an overstatement. Possibly "armed insurrection". We have a history of that. I notice that the 200,000 surviving Confederates were not charged with sedition. Maybe that is reserved for manageable size groups. For my own part, I have complained to TSA people about what I thought was a needless search. Their response is "look at Timothy McVeigh". I cannot escape the idea that they are attempting to gin up a fear of "domestic terrorists" to justify their wide net searches. After their arrest, "militia" members expressed anti-tax and anti-immigration views. That has a familiar ring to it. They are also alleged to have contemplated use of "weapons of mass destruction", to wit, a bomb. That seems like a bit of "description creep". I suspect the FBI is attempting to concoct an enemy "worthy of them". I wonder if Homeland Security reads these posts.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 30, 2010 7:59 AM

Another thought before I get to work. There has been an obvious societal shift, being "in a relationship" has become a marriage equivalent. TV shows teach us that becoming preganant without marriage is a cause for celebration, not embarrassment. Celebrities are becoming "unwed mothers" at an alarming rate. This reminds me of my question about social class. With a few notable exceptions, I regard most movies stars, and like "celebrities" as trailer trash.

This also presents a "right to life" problem. Aside from immediate marriage, what does one do about an unwed pregnancy? That needs some thinking.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 30, 2010 8:09 AM

Stuart believes that merely repeating his allegations makes them more credible, but I doubt he is fooling anyone but himself.

The topic of this thread is the negative effects of the destruction of traditional families in the urban black community, as a perverse, direct result of socialist welfare programs. Since Stuart has nothing to contribute to this topic, he is trying to change the subject to coal in Appalachia. Nice try, but no cigar.

Posted by: BobN at March 30, 2010 9:03 AM

Of course Big Sis will be trying to link these nitwits they arrested to ANYONE who wants existing immigration law enforced.It fits in nicely with the poison spread locally by Peter Asen,Matt Jerzyk,Shana Kurland,Pat Crowley,Ramon Martinez,Juan Garcia,Fred Ordonez,David St.Germaine,Juan Pichardo,Roberto Gonzalez,Steven Brown,Grace Diaz,Rev,Clinker,Rev.Anderson,Rabbi Flam,David Segal-gee,are you getting the idea?
These people use slander to call out people as racists who merely want the laws we have now respected.
As far as I am concerned the aforementioned folk are every bit as bad as the nutjobs the FBI just arrested.Actually worse,because they get listened to by pus boils like Sheldon Whitehouse and Lincoln Chafee.
The little "militia" certainly could have done some damage-the miniscule BLA killed dozens police officers nationally in the 70's.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 30, 2010 9:25 AM

Since I prompted further explication of Appalachian difficulties, I feel some repsonsibility.

Stuart has some of his facts right, the collusion between monopolies and corrupt government in the 19th century is well known.

His conclusions from those facts may be open to question. For instance, I am not sure of the long term effects of "clear cutting". It happens in nature by way of forest fires. The plain fact for Appalachia seems to be that the railroad came to town, and no one got on board. In most places, during the 19th century, when the railroad came to town it preceeded prosperity. Why they preferred to remain a "coal miner's daughter" is an interesting question. That they are "racist" comes as no surprise, most isolated groups are.

OK, back to "the negative effects of the destruction of traditional families in the urban black community".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 30, 2010 9:26 AM

Since the Leftists approve of subject-changing as a debating tactic, this little video illustrates the behavior of Stuart's, Russ's, Phil's Lefty's allies on the Left when they encounter in person those who disagree with them:

And this little photo essay compares the Searchlight demonstration to the previous week's Leftist demonstration in Los Angeles - at which one would you or your family feel more comfortable?

Posted by: BobN at March 30, 2010 9:32 AM

Yawn, pajamas media, townhall, WND, Drudge, Yawn, Yawn, Yawn.

I enjoy hearing about YOUR experiences and knowledge, not that of far right pundits who are often paid or otherwise rewarded for their bullshit. But you seem to have very little real world experience (Bob) and therefore must revert to name calling, etc.

As to my time in West Virginny and other such places, I was very young and unskilled. I basically homesteaded, living with wood stoves for heat and eating low on the food chain (beans, local honey, etc.) We befriended the locals, and even went to their church....a first for me, since I had only been in Catholic mass previously.

We also became friends with local historians, one of whom had the job of overseeing millions of acres of forest lands and mines for WestVaco, and name which you might recognize from your milk cartons (they make them).

He showed us the current relatively enlightened policies of forest management, but at the same time did not fool us about the history.

Anyway, interesting theories about birth control, etc. It seems like the right wing keeps grabbing stuff out of their hats until they get close to the target - never mind if they are wrong the first 9 out of 10 times, they will come up with something sooner or later.

The truth is that it is ALL of the above and none of the above. These things are extremely complicated. To blame birth control as the reason for out of wedlock births is ridiculous! Heck, my mom took birth control pills in the early 60's, and by the end of the 60's they were everywhere. Yet the rates of high out of wedlock births is MUCH newer than that! The sharpest rise was 2002-2007! There goes that theory!

But reality does not matter to many.

It would be MUCH more provable that the right wing tendency to NOT teach birth control, sex ed and to limit reproductive choice is responsible for the increase - along with hopelessness and poverty. In fact, that strong recent increase ties right in with the Bush admin and their ridiculous abstinence stuff. Hard facts to swallow, if you don't mind the pun on words.

Here's another one to throw out. Who is to say that marrying the woman who you had an "accident" with is a good thing for you, her, the children or society? That would seem to be a complicated question - as to whether a person should spend their entire life with someone they may not consider their soul mate.

Lots of issues here, but I vote mostly for poverty and hopelessness. You get what you ask for, and the right wing enjoys having a vast underclass with little possibility of advance.

Posted by: Stuart at March 30, 2010 10:18 AM

Oh, so Stuart only pays attention to news outlets that advocate his own biases...can't be bothered with any other points of view lest he learn something.

Posted by: BobN at March 30, 2010 10:34 AM

RE: "Lefties in disagreement"

I am not unaware of activities of the "Left". Let us take the famous 60's. It was not the John Birch Society that shut down Columbia, Berkeley, ad nausem. It was not the Young Americans For Freedom that fomented the riots in Watts, Detroit, Chicago, Washington, etc, it was those who went "All the way with LBJ". The Tea Party people are not threatening that "it will be a long hot summer". It was not Nixon's "silent majority" of "hard hats" who set off the bomb in Greenwich Village originally designed for an Officer's Club at Fort Dix.

I note that there seem to be few Republicans in the "Flash Mobs" gathering in Philadelphia.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 30, 2010 1:19 PM

Bob seems to gloss over the fact that folks like me constantly say we support others rights to protest!
Another inconvenient fact.

What we lament is the total lack of clear thinking and cause/effect that some seems to exhibit. But stupidity is/was never outlawed, so I support their right to that also!

However, Bob also constantly fails to remind us that this country is a republic governed largely but those we VOTED IN. It does not matter whether 500 or 50,000 people show up in the public square, nor how many ugly signs they hold up. Fact is, YOU LOST...GET OVER IT.

In terms of protest, I attended many in the range of 100,000 to 600,000 people - and I can tell you for certain that the government did not change as a result of them! An RV convention in Nevada causes me no threat. But Bono can draw a larger crowd than Palin any day of the week. Heck, Obama drew the largest crowds in history to some of his events pre-election and post-election. Even that does not matter - just the vote does.

Just because people are violent or mad - on any side - does not mean they should be listened to more than those who sit home silently. And, make no mistake about it, most decent Americans are hard at work, raising their children and pursuing their leisure activities - and NOT in Nevada watching a media/star/quitter dole out talking points for millions.

Posted by: Stuart at March 30, 2010 3:00 PM

Stuart-you sound more like VISTA with each post.Not a problem,but why so non-specific?
You are so fast to bleat about the "stupidity"of the "right wing".
Maybe you don't realize that there are a whole lot of people who don't get their ideas from apoplexic pundits,or Sarah Palin.
Many of us get to our opinions by reading,experience,observation,CSpan,andeducation.
You take an attitude of smug superiority which is a nonproductive way of backing up your assertions.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 30, 2010 5:23 PM

>who don't get their ideas from apoplexic pundits,or Sarah Palin.

Maybe you don't, but Bob does because I was simply responding to his post about Palins rally in Searchlight......

If the shoe does not fit, then it is not yours. You are you, and your ideas and opinions are yours alone.

However, a lot of people on the "new" right (tea party, etc.) appear to be getting their ideas from media stars, corporate hacks (Armey, Freedomworks and MANY other corporate funded groups) and others who make lots of money from their efforts.

Bob constantly refuses to put forward his own experiences and historical precedence, preferring to spew out the most recent BS from the birthers, John Birch Society and Drudge. Normally, this is what I expect, but Bob seems better educated than that.

As far as generalizations, here is another for you! Most RI righties I read about and hear from appear to me to be liberals. But due to the problems in RI, which are obviously partially caused by the status quo there, they feel they have to "act" far right.

Message to them. The rest of us can understand complexity. You don't have to buy ALL the stuff hook, line and sinker in order to express disapproval with your state and local governments.

Posted by: Stuart at March 30, 2010 6:05 PM

Joe, hearing you on the Matt Allen Show!

Hey, what does VISTA mean?

Posted by: Monique at March 30, 2010 8:43 PM

Oh, No, you mean Joe calls in to that ugly mug at the top of the page?

Damn, I would never put my face on a banner.......either should he!

I hope he's paying big time for that banner and link.

Heck if I know about VISTA - only thing I can find on the net is the Vietnamese site - maybe he is referring to them because they are Socialists? Obviously an inside joke only he knows about.

Posted by: Stuart at March 30, 2010 9:27 PM

VISTA is nothing arcane.It is,or was, the domestic version of the Peace Corps.Volunteers in Service to America.
I wondered about Stuart because VISTA personnel didn't exactly live in garden spots and didn't get paid that much.The areas Stuart describes were the kind of locales they were assigned to.
It wasn't a trick question.
I don't know how successful they were.The Peace Corps was a good idea and worked out fairly well in practice.It attracted skilled and serious people.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 30, 2010 9:42 PM

Ah, that VISTA - like Americorps!
I know that well, as one of my kids volunteered in that between college and grad school. She worked at national parks in AZ as well as in inner cities....even painted place in Detroit!

But I didn't know those people "sounded" like anyone in particular.

I only speak for myself. If I generalize, it is based on the rhetoric, writing and speech I hear from the right side of the aisle.

If you look though my posts, though, I often chastise the righties expressly for their supposedly simple (talking points) answers to every complex issue. It seems they cannot get it through their heads that issues are extremely complex, which is why social science and politics will never be like real science and math.

The answer to many of the questions posed here is really "it depends".

Posted by: Stuart at March 30, 2010 10:16 PM

Stuart, you are a lying punk a-hole. I have never said anything that would originate from or be aligned with, birthers or Birchers.

You owe me an apology.

Posted by: BobN at March 30, 2010 10:34 PM

>>>I have never said anything that would originate from or be aligned with, birthers or Birchers

Well, you surely didn't deny that you read townhall, wnd and other places that "report" this stuff and in fact, make it up and distribute it in the first place.

If, as you say, you don't read any of these or related sites or email lists, etc. - then, yes, I would apologize and let you tell us the bookmarks and email lists which visit for your news and information.

Posted by: Stuart at March 30, 2010 11:19 PM

I just stopped in to see how the war of words was going.

I was amazed Monique didn't recognize "VISTA".

Funny how such "new age" ideas perish wothout a trace. On the other hand "Right Wing" ideas like the John Birch Society (funded by the guy who brought us NECCO wafers) go on forever. The JBS must have perished from its bomb shelter headquarters in Lexington, MA at least 20 years ago. Here we are with the name still being tossed around and still recognized.

My bad, I Googled it and found JBS still exists. They list an address in Wisconsin, so I assume that they have left the bomb shelter in Lexington. They have a page dedicated to their founder, Robert Welch. Real old timers, now deceased, tell me they were at Harvard with him until he dropped out to start a candy company. That was "NECCO" New England Candy CO. They brought us NECCO wafers and a number of other candies. I recall their rather large plant on the Cambridge side of the Charles River.

An aside on the Boston Americorps (is that still alive?) the girls were forbidden to wear ear or nose piercings on the job. This resulted from their propensity to get in fights and rip eachothers ears and noses.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 31, 2010 12:20 AM

Not good enough Stuart. You first crossed a line with your arrogant, contemptuous, lying posts, but now you have made a personal attack and publicly slandered me, and you are too arrogant and cowardly to admit it. I don't have to justify my news sources to you or anyone else. Of course, you have never bothered to check the factual references I posted, so you keep writing you confrontational lies.

The fact is that anyone who reads this blog and comments will make his own decision about who is right on the issues. If it were possible to take a poll I don't think you would fare well.

To me you no longer exist.

Posted by: BobN at March 31, 2010 7:28 AM

you are a lying punk a-hole.
To me you no longer exist.

Wow. This from an Ivy League grad no less. Most of us rabble are pumping out our basements and trying to find roads that are not closed to get to work, but BobN has plenty of time to compose these witty remarks for our benefit. Thanks Phil

Posted by: Phil at March 31, 2010 8:32 AM

I am 100% amazed that you don't know about the John Birch Society being BIG TIME today!


How can this right wing revolution go on and people like you not know about it?

They are WORSE now. They are out in the open. I just saw a billboard on 95 (down south) for them.
Heck, they FINANCED AND SPONSORED the recent CPAC conservative convention - PLEASE google that.

They also have a bunch of web sites and magazines under other fool people.

Faust, this is mainstream now...I'm not pulling this out of a hat.

Please look!

Don't be blind. I was invited into a John Birch cell myself - in recent years.

I'm shaking my head - amazed that you think the JBS is something from past history. It is bigger than ever today, and picking off those tea party people and other never do wells.

To be more clear, the John Birch Society was the main sponsor of the biggest conservative mainstream convention in 2010 - where Romney and all the other GOP hopeful Prez candidates spoke!

Posted by: Stuart at March 31, 2010 9:36 AM

Phil is unable to see the irony in the fact the he had the time to post his "contribution" to the debate this morning.

Posted by: BobN at March 31, 2010 9:57 AM

Phil has stated he's a quahogger.Due to the sewage plant failures and resulting contamination,he won't be able to do that for awhile.
I think this disaster is about the only thing that has everybody in RI on the same page.
My son came over with a pump and we spent all day fighting the water.It seemed like the scene from "Das Boot" with the sub springing leaks all over.
I have an unfinished concrete floored basement.The water was coming up through a solid concrete floor.
In the end we prevailed with essentially no damage.
I learned a long time back that plastic sealable "tubs"are a great investment.I If properly closed,they can most likely survive inundation.They certainly protect stuff completely if the tops are clear.
They are good for attic storage too(roof leaks and squirrels).
I had considered cutting down the pine tree near my house because it's a ladder for squirrels getting into the attic.I decided to make a truce with the squirrels-they can run around there in the daytime,but they gotta be out by sundown :).
The pine tree roots moderated the amount of water in my basement.
Most of my neighbors need the firemen to pump them out.
Now,that is why I don't mind real estate taxes.Because you get something for them.Providence firemen are excellent.
Cicilline wastes money on personal security,a"director of protocol",and "investigating" his brother's scam while demonizing firefighters.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 31, 2010 11:48 AM

Joe you da man. The entire bay is closed to shellfishing. I don't even have access to my oyster farm either for non harvesting activities. Talk about burdensome regulations. But you won't see me joining the John Birch Society or quoting Ayn Rand as a result of increasingly strange weather patterns or minor setbacks. Let's instead acknowledge the difficult and exhausting work done by firefighters and police especially in times like this. Once the water recedes then some of you can go back to your normal carping about pensions and benefits.

Posted by: Phil at March 31, 2010 12:46 PM

For Joe & Stuart

Stuart, I confess that I didn't know JBS was still with us. I did look, they were a sponser of CPAC, but not the main sponsor. The conservative movement has borrowed the "big tent" idea from the Democrats. Of course, we don't use a tent from Barnum & Bailey.
"a billboard on 95 (down south) for them"
The South was full of their billboards for "Save our Republic, Impeach Earl Warren". Those seemed to last into the 70's.

Joe, the squirrels. FIrst you need a 4 foot length of Type M copper tube, 1/2".
Then take nails of a size that seems confortable, grind off the heads and sharpen the point. Create an inverted umbrella on the former head end of the nail with blue masking tape. Drop that into the copper tube and use a razor to slice off the excess tape. Now you have a blow gun which is death on squirrels. Silent and won't alert the neighbors. Of course, you can also put a Pepsi "2 liter" bottle on the end of a .22.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 31, 2010 2:46 PM

JBS is growing like a bad cancerous tumor....
They know their name is bad, so they are starting magazine and sites under other names - some of which are quite popular.

This is not fringe. Fringe does not sponsor - out in the open - the biggest conservative conference in the USA.

It really scares me how close Bush and friends came to taking us to complete ruin and totalitarianism, and it scares me just as much that violent and/or radical extremists are now mainstream in the GOP.

And, yes, Bob - if you support CPAC and conservatives in general, you are supporting this. That is, unless you denounce it all - but I see almost no denunciation coming from the right - rather they seem proud of their spawn.

Posted by: Stuart at March 31, 2010 8:30 PM


I realy can't "get behind" the JBS, but in their heyday they may have a good purpose as a bulwark of sorts. That would have been in the 50's and 60's.

We are probably neither old enough to remember the "left" of the 30's and 40's, but they took pride in being "card carrying members of the Communist Party" and passed national secrets to the Russians. Hiss, Rosenbergs, etc.

However, even into the 70's and 80's it was a frequent comment on the Left that "Communism is OK, it is just that the Russians haven't got it right". That seems to be the same sort of dichotomy we see now in "I hate the war, but I support our troops", i.e. soldiers are a good idea, but this war isn't. I hope that analogy doesn't fail me.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at April 1, 2010 8:50 AM

That's funny, Faust - I must have forgotten about Nixon going to China (and every President since) and telling us how OK Communism is by their actions!

I must have missed how much of our coal and oil comes from that Communist/Socialist place called Venezuela.

I must have missed that our bosom buddy ally Israel started largely with Kibbutz which were communist communities.

In fact, many religious orders on our own country work on a similar tack.

Can you ever stop holding up these boogeymen and telling us we are about to get taken over?

What is there to fear from any "ism" except the idea that people might like it? If your or my way is really the best way for Man and Earth and Beast, that will become obvious. And there is little doubt that the ways which allow the most freedoms are the ways which will prevail.

Let's be clear about communism - or, better yet, about cooperative living as done by folks everywhere from gated condos to catholic monasteries. There is nothing wrong with cooperative living AS LONG AS THOSE INVOLVED ARE VOLUNTARILY DOING SO. See the point about freedom. Anything done at the point of a gun is wrong.

The evil in this country to date has not been the trumped up communism charges of McCarthyism, but rather the internal politics of slavery, jim crow and the KKK. As opposed to being one or two people you can point to in that dept, it is tens of millions....who lived and still do with the creed that all men are NOT created equal.

Posted by: Stuart at April 1, 2010 9:15 AM

Stuart-the problem isn't 'communism"per se.I mean,it's ridiculous to think a communist party could ever sway the American people.Even in the 30's it was mostly a bunch of intellectuals who hed wet dreams about "workers and scholars unite"or some such similar crap.
What bothers me is the tendency of the left,like yourself,who tend to see everything through a lens of group dynamics.
The right appeals more to people as individuals and sees them as such.
Of course none of this applies 100%(not even Ivory Soap is 100% pure)but in general it is true.
BTW your comments about the JBS are inaccurate.
I was invited to a JBS function to speak on immigration issues.They made a DVD and distributed it.
I met a lot of decent people there.They weren't obsessing about communism,but more about mainstream issues such as free trade and the damage NAFTA and the WTC have created.
They do not endorse political candidates,not even those who aremembers.They oppose the UN.I agree with that completely.
I didn't meet any racists nor hear such talk.
The JBS Speakers' Bureau,who give presentations around the country includes three Afro-Americans and two Hispanics.
The magazine New American states that it is produced by the JBS.Their imprimatur is not hidden as you suggest.
The NRA magazine is called American rifleman,not "The NRA Magazine" for example.
To be accurate,there was an element of racists and anti-semites in the JBS in the 50's led by Revilo P.Oliver.JBS founder Robert Welch took them on and expelled them.
There were actually two Jewish men on the Board of Directors of the JBS at its founding:Admiral Ben Moreell,USN, wartime commander of the Seabees,and Alfred Kohlberg,an industrialist.
I think,Stuart,you are confusing the JBS with the Larouchites who certainly do fly under false flags.Their organizations and publications have historically been misleading as to their genesis.
There is no nexus between JBS and that group.
A lot of what the JBS was saying not too many years ago about the economic situation was sadly proven correct in the economic debacle still going on.
Basically,they oppose the "one world" mentality,as do I.
If you actually READ what they put out,you will find it is not racist nor "moonbat"material.It's conservative without being overtly partisan.They criticize Republicans as much or more than they do Democrats.
Do your homework.
The JBS has no subsidiary organizations that I am aware of.
If you want to be honest,just think of which party supported segregation in the 50's.The Democrats.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 1, 2010 11:00 AM

Another thing,Stuart-conflating the KKK and the JBS is dishonest and palin wrong.The JBS accepts any American citizen(by birth or naturalization)as a member.The KKK are truly racist scumbags.
No comparison.
You never mention non-White racists such as the New Black Panther Party(unconnected to and disavowed by former members of the Black Panthers of the 60's)or Voz de Aztlan,or arguably,La Raza("THE RACE"!!).
The original Black Panthers weren't really racists in the classic sense-their particular nemesis was the police.They never really ranted against White people in general to any extent.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 1, 2010 11:33 AM

>>hich party supported segregation in the 50's.The Democrats.

Silly point, Joe - since you know all the southern states turned republican when the dems gave MEN equal rights...and have basically fought against such things since then.

As to the JBS, all poisons go down better when sweetened. As I mentioned, they wanted me to join - apparently thinking that since I expressed myself as wanting a decent and honest government and people, that I would want to wear their robes. No.....I, in general, would never want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member.

On one hand you talk about individualism, but then you join and align with such groups - and apparently you don't see the hypocrisy of that.

The magazine and web site I mentioned is one of the JBS trickery, although admitted, whereas they suck in new readers without letting them know they are the John Birch Society.

It's actually a bit laughable - wasn't John Birch big time against Communist China? Now we have people typing on Chinese Computers, using Chinese tools, talking Chinese medicine, having their products built from Chinese steel - and still complaining about China!

Heck, even your Hero William Buckley spoke out against the JBS - when the Society circulated a letter calling President Dwight D. Eisenhower a possible "conscious, dedicated agent of the Communist Conspiracy!

This is the group you support? A group that calls the GOP leader of the country and the winner of WWII a commie?

Far out, man!
Let me get back to you after my local politboro meeting.

Posted by: Stuart at April 1, 2010 11:35 AM

I am an individualist.I evaluate what I hear from JBS just like any other organization.
My "hero" William Buckley?Where did you get that?
I have to say I don't think Eisenhower was a communist.
I notice you duck every other point I made.I've been called a lot of things,but not a hypocrite.I belong to several organizations,the NRA and Disabled American Veterans among others because they represent my point of view with some clout,an increasingly impossible task for a single individual unless they have a talk show,or are George Soros.
You,Stuart,like most leftists,can't respond in detail to assertions you find uncomfortable.
The idea here is honest debate.I have dropped name-calling because you spend too much time here to be just a troll.
You probably believe what you say,but you seem to have little faith in your ability to challenge a lot of what comes your way.You say some things about your personal experiences,but are a little vague on specifics.there's no reason to be paranoid here.People don't get banned for having ideas,here,just for threats,etc.
It's real easy to get banned on RIF.Just disagree with Alex or Crowley too often.Actually,I think Brian Hull has moderated that tactic significantly.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 1, 2010 12:05 PM

I don't know what RIF is, and therefore know nothing about being banned there.
As far as here and elsewhere, I would never have to be banned since I was raised as a gentleman and would not post if the owner of site requested such.

Yes, I do believe my ideas - although admittedly I may throw a little drama into the situation, as with the JBS. There are probably some great people who belong to that. There were also a bunch of great Nazis, I'm sure. People elected GW Bush because of his "pull my finger" and "aw shucks, have a beer with me" personality.

But I see the political discourse in this country lately as much more dangerous because people put up with racism and hate with the excuse "well, Beck says SOME things that are true". Heck, if I blabbed for hours a day, 90% of what I said would be based in facts. But if the other 10% said "we are losing our nation and becoming communists unless you get your gun and riot" for the other 10%, I do not deserve a break.

You fight for your goals and give to your causes, and I'll give to mine. However, I am not joiner when it comes to these groups, whether Code Pink or JBS. Life it too short.

Again, my posts are not meant to address you directly unless specifically stated - I am, in general, addressing a lot of the BS I hear from the right. By definition, the right in RI is MUCH further left than elsewhere - which is a good thing. Rhode Islanders have always been suspect of dogma, and hopefully this will continue. They also have always been tolerant of others, another good thing.

So keep in mind this is the political sphere. I don't go marching down the street each day with signs - rather I try to enjoy the day.

It looks like the waters will stop and we might get to enjoy a dry easter too!

Posted by: Stuart at April 1, 2010 3:46 PM

Stuart writes:
"That's funny, Faust - I must have forgotten about Nixon going to China (and every President since) and telling us how OK Communism is by their actions!"

I recall reading Bill Buckley's book about accompanying Nizon on that trip. The anecdote I remember best is the Chinese taking Nixon to a play where Americans are referred to as "sunning dogs". Buckley wondered why it could not be "amicable running dogs".

It is hoped that such "engagement" will lead China out of the darkness, perhaps it has had that effect. God knows China has paid in the blood of millions for her association with communism. Meanwhile, I fear too many Americans believe China has turned a new leaf. It is still a communist country, ruled by generals. I fear there will be rivers of blood before the generals surrender their positions.

They are presently spending an unreasonable amount of their income on "defense".

This may occasionally work to our advantage. Last week China cut a deal with Mexico to drill offshore, this week Obama decides that maybe we have drills too. I think we have the Chinese to thank for that.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at April 1, 2010 9:02 PM

Stuart-RIF is Rhode Island,an avowedly leftist progressive blog.It was started by Matt Jerzyk,sold to Pat Crowley,and subsequently sold to Brian Hull.
You wouldn't get into too many arguments there,although you're not as doctrinaire as those people.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 1, 2010 9:24 PM

Well, any blog which was "sold" a couple times has little interest to me!

And sitting around calling dittos with people does not sound like fun, either.

Faust, surely you know that China spend less than 2% of GDP on their military, while we spend closer to 10% when debt on the deficit (from the military part of the budget) is figured in.

Math - we are spending about a trillion above board this year, plus vast other amounts on vets care, interest, nukes (energy dept), homeland security, etc.

Call it 1.4 trillion all told.
our GDP is 14 trillion - that makes 10%.

It works out to about $14,000 per taxpaying entity (we have about 100 million of those) per year.

Sound like the pot calling the kettle black.

Posted by: Stuart at April 2, 2010 2:16 PM

Well,Stuart that blog is self-described as the "progressive"one.All the most radical leftists in the state are involved with it as owners and/or contributors.Talk about conservatives being hypocrites,they can't hold a candle to the left.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 3, 2010 1:56 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.