The best reply to Coates’ reparations article

A lot has been written about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article in The Atlantic on reparations, but there haven’t been many coherent critiques. Coates made criticism pretty difficult first of all by producing what may be the best magazine length work on race in America that anyone has ever written. But he also introduced a sort of rhetorical sleight of hand that made it difficult to respond to his central thesis.

Coates didn’t get bogged down endorsing any potential program of reparations. He merely laid out the moral case. Most critiques have foundered by taking his bait, focusing on the practical impossibility of delivering reparations and missing the real power of Coates argument. Along the way, almost everyone who tried to take him on fell into some version of the “it wasn’t so bad” trap.

When in trouble, look to a nerd.

Economist Noah Smith, who also writes for The Atlantic, has been one of Coates’ more pointed critics for some time. In a short piece he takes much of the punch out of Coates’ thesis without wasting energy trying to diminish the power of Coates’ case. Smith focuses on the flaws of reparations on a moral rather than a practical level.

Smith argues that the pursuit of reparations is itself a kind of energy-wasting trap. He gives several reasons, but the 3rd carries the most punch:

Reason 3: Because good things can never make up for bad things 100%. I think this is just how human psychology works. If your parents beat you and then buy you ice cream and apologize then no matter how much ice cream they buy you, or how much they apologize, there will always be that memory of them beating you.

The danger of reparations is in its focus on the past. There is no justice or restoration in the past. A past denied carries a festering sore into the present. What was done must be dealt with. By the same token though, picking at the scab doesn’t help. At some point there must be a determination to conquer the past by building a brighter future.

From Smith

Over the years, I’ve come to realize this: Escape is the only true revenge. If African Americans can live good lives, and can be fully incorporated into the fabric of American society and American institutions, then the bad guys lost.

And that’s got to be good enough. Or else nothing will be.

Well said.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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329 comments on “The best reply to Coates’ reparations article
  1. Your mode of explaining all іn this article is actually fastiɗious,
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  2. kabuzz61 says:

    Wow! NOAA had to amend another false narrative about Global Warming. Saying the hottest year ever was 1994. Now they had to put it back where it belonged in 1936. Alarmists.

    The Obama caused border mess is just getting worse. Clinicians are now forbidden to give accounts of what is going on or they will be arrested. Disease is rampant. They actually flew some of these kids in chartered airlines but they had heads full of lice and/or scabies. I sure hope the airline deloused when they were done.

    Obama caused all of this and it is just getting worse. He is sending no troop support to the border. Resources set aside for military are being used. 70% of the border patrol is not guarding the border due to this crisis.

    But you liberals wonder and worry about reparations. I think Chris will cover the Lincoln Assassination next. It will take him awhile to catch up to events.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Also, from the 2010 election in N. Carolina compared to the 2014 primary election in N. Carolina with the new voter I.D. law, 29% more blacks voted.

      It seems conservatives are correct. Minorities actually do know how to get I.D.’s without a problem.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…I’m very concerned with the fact that you get your morning news from The Blaze. I’m actually a bit disappointed.

        Anyway, you evidently inadvertently left out the bit that the Voter ID law does not go into affect until 2016. Surely the good folks at The Blaze (and likely you) know that the law is not in effect and must have just mistakenly forgot to mention it. You would not be trying to obfuscate anything here.

        You might also want to look at the various primaries and candidates in 2010 versus 2012 to see if you can see some other reasons why turnout might be different, and again, I’m assuming this was just a small oversight on your and the Blaze’s part rather than an attempt to make a political point.

        Lastly, you are fighting a bit of a straw person here.

        Most of us wacky liberals are moderately cool with voter ID laws done the right way with the appropriate amount of outreach into the community and appropriate provisions made for those without ID.

        In fact, increased voter turnout is often found after implementation of voter ID laws (when done right) because of the massively increased media attention to voting and the specific outreach into the communities.

        You (and the Blaze) are trying to make a point that everyone agrees will happen if it is done right, but that effect likely won’t be seen as the newness wears off (or when there is no outreach to help folks…like in Texas).

        Of course, you are trying to make a point about a law that has not yet taken effect, but hey, I’m sure that is just an oversight.

        You also fail to mention that 44 percent of the NC voters said the changes made them feel less confident that voting rules were fair and 66% said the rule changes did not make them feel more confident in the security of the election.

        So, if this is what you count as “conservatives being correct”…well, that explains a lot.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        There is a typo in my third paragraph. It should read, “…various primaries and candidates in 2010 versus 2014” rather than “versus 2012”.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, you are correct on one issue. It does come into effect 2016. My source is Judicial Watch. I misread the paragraph on North Carolina.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Jesus Buzz….bad, bad, kitty. I really do not like swatting animals, but you make it hard not to roll up a newspaper.

        You say I’m right one one issue…the problem is that one issue was the whole point of your comment.

        Let’s just put aside that Judicial Watch is about a rightwing as The Blaze, and the quote you are getting is from JW quoting The Blaze.

        Either you aren’t critically reading Judicial Watch or you happily just want to lie to folks.

        The 29% increase you site is a percent change in the raw number of votes. You know what else increases the raw number of votes, an increase in population, which shockingly, has happened with Black folks in NC. Couple that with all the other effects that should be associated with massive media attention to voter ID, nothing here is a surprise, including your really bad misrepresentation of the data.

        When you wander down through a morass of moderately useless tables, you will see that the Black turnout increased by less than 2%.

        Is it an actual phobia of math and numbers or do you do this stuff intentionally?

        Bad kitty!

      • DanMan says:

        Kabuzz, scroll down and check out Ms Owl, she asked for recitation on your NOAA data manipulation, got it and can’t accept the results

        per Steve Martin, comedy is not pretty…but its funny

      • DanMan says:

        it increased? huh?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I asked for proof. I got “recitation”, i.e. uninformed propaganda from less than reputable fringe sources.

        Par of the course for the cowards and idiots waving the pseudo-conservative flag here.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/jun/25/steve-doocy/foxs-doocy-nasa-fudged-data-make-case-global-warmi/

        kabuzz and DanMan rate as pants on fire.

        …which sound like a great opening for some conservative slash fiction….

    • DanMan says:

      on the plus side Kabuzz, they have a 15% affirmation of eligibility for the 2.9 million inconsistent information on applications for Obamacare subsidies! Smart Power!!11!!

      http://nypost.com/2014/07/02/85-percent-of-obamacare-inconsistencies-cant-be-fixed/

      • kabuzz61 says:

        DanMan, NOAA gets caught lying about GW data and the Silly Bird thinks that’s fine. I am not surprised.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        What lying? Cite it. Prove it.

        But you can’t. You’re a brainless ball-sack of bile and bigotry. And a coward, besides.

      • DanMan says:

        check below birdbrain

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…buddy…after getting a rolled up newspaper to your nose (bad kitty!) about your slight “misrepresentation” of the NC primary, I’m not sure you should be chastising folks for thinking it is fine to lie.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        So you support NOAA’s misrepresentation for 10 years? I can see the Silly Bird approving, but not you.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      kabuzz, your self-satisfied, deliberate ignorance about climate abounds.

      Despite the conservative penchant for myopic assholery, the U.S. is not the entire world, and cherry-picking from our regional temperature variations does not “disprove” a clear, ongoing shift in global temperatures on this planet as a whole.

      For a global look at data, from reliable sources that will give you the whole picture, how about:

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

      But you’re too devoted to your own ignorant opinion to even consider facts rather than the pre-digested conservative pabulum on which you apparently love to gorge yourself.

  3. DanMan says:

    hilarious watching gay men argue for birth control and abortion isn’t it?

    • DanMan says:

      or is it hetero progressive guys that don’t want to contribute a dime for their sexual activities with their partners? even worse!!

      what kind of guys are y’all? just run of the mill argumentative lying progs or the ultimate cheapskate playas? Bet I don’t get an answer to that.

      • John Galt says:

        Gee, you ask the question of whether someone is a lying sack of shit or an asshole and don’t get an answer. Wonder why?

        You go to the doctor and are prescribed drugs suitable to your personal situation, which are then covered by your insurance company. Some of us take the radical position that women ought to be able to do that too.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Women can do that just as well as men, John. You would be lying if you said otherwise. Are you saying otherwise?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        As opposed to Dan, who has to fuck himself over since no-one else loves him?

      • DanMan says:

        Ms Owl is bringing her best arguments today…to the same effect she typically garners. yer killing us today girl.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Then die, already.

      • DanMan says:

        what? Monday you were calling for somebody to shoot Alito and today you wish me dead? you having a bad week or what? still laughing

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Did I call for it? No. I pondered what the reaction would be from foaming “Second Amendment solution” nutcases on par with the pinheads we have here. But trust you to lie and distort the data, even from merely a day ago. You’re really incompetent, even at falsehood. It’s pitiful.

      • DanMan says:

        poor girl, maybe you should step out and have a smoke to get your thoughts together

      • DanMan says:

        June 30 was Monday, today is Wednesday. two days right? here’s your quote:

        I wonder how they’d feel if someone “Second Amendment”-solutioned the conservative wing of the Court,” go back and read the whole quote and you’ll see you were wishing for a result of said ponderence.

        you still can’t resolve days, weeks, months can you? How many months are 22 weeks again?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “ponderance”? You can’t read or write adequately. And you’ve shown you can’t think or understand, only be told what propaganda to spout.

        So who cares what you say?

      • DanMan says:

        you

  4. Turtles Run says:

    It seems Hobby Lobby has found themselves in a “uh-oh” moment. While vigorously fighting for their religious right to not fund birth control by falsely calling them abortifacients Hobby Lobby has been directly investing funds that invest in funds that buy pharmaceutical stocks of companies that make the very drugs and devices they claim violate their religious freedom. Additionally some of these companies also produce abortion inducing drugs as well. Hobby Lobby does not seem to mind their religious beliefs being violated by investment products but if they can prevent women from exercising their medical choices then have at it.

    FYI: Hobby Lobby could have easily select investment choices like the Ava Maria fund that only invests in companies that do not violate Catholic teachings. But they didn’t feel that need to do so.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/hobby-lobby-retirement-plan-invested-emergency-contraception-and-abortion-drug-makers

    • CaptSternn says:

      Hobby Lobby makes no attempt to prevent women from exercising health choices.

      The owners of Hobby Lobby are not Catholic.

      • Turtles Run says:

        They just won a SCOTUS case that allows HL to deny choices in birth control to its female employees. It was in the news.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Nope. They just won a case that says Hobby Lobby doesn’t have to pay for it. The employees still have access as they always had.

      • DanMan says:

        HL was on board with paying for birth control. They were not on board with paying for abortifacients. You know that yet you keep repeating your party line. Very weak but typical of you and your ZinnFriends.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Dannu boy – Then why did they sue over these 4 types that are not abortifacients? Why are they OK with plowing millions into funds with abortion drug manufacturers?

        Are they removing options of birth control from these women on their health insurance? Yes, they are. You are in favor of companies making health care decisions for people.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ah yes, Turtles shows that he is incapable of making his own choices and believes the same of everybody else.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – It is you that wants to allow companies to make medical decisions for people. This pretty much follows the line of thinking when it comes to right wingers and allowing women to control their own bodies.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Nope. You can make medical decisions for yourself. Thing is, you might be able to force somebody else to pay for those decisions, especially if doing so goes against their beliefs.

        FYI, you going out and raping, beating, robbing or even killing another human being you find inconvenient is not controlling your own body.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Might not be able to force somebody else to pay, that is.

    • desperado says:

      If these “abortifacients” are so abhorrent and are in such grievous violation of the Hobby Lobby folks religious convictions, why did their health insurance plan cover 2 of them prior to the suit being filed in 2012?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Because they didn’t realize those were included in the coverage. They should have done better homework up front.

      • Turtles Run says:

        What is really funny is the the SCOTUS pretty much gave the Obama Administration the green light to have the HL insurance company or administrator to provide these birth control methods on their own dime and they will be reimbursed by the Feds.

        http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/how-obama-can-make-sure-hobby-lobby-female-employees-are-covered

      • DanMan says:

        Hey ladies, here’s your champion. The rootin’, tootin’ high falootin’ husk of a man from Pasa-get-down-dena!

      • DanMan says:

        They weren’t included in the language of the law until Sebelius put them in. Remember Obama assuring the nation Obamacare did not cover abortions? Bart Stupack was the only one that believed him. Anybody heard from him lately?

      • desperado says:

        Stern, that’s lame even for you. HL has these strong religious convictions are they aren’t aware what their insurance covers? No, more like this whole stunt had nothing to do with religious freedom from the get go. It was to score political points.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Um, what political points did Hobby Lobby score exactly? I didn’t even realize the company was running for office, or that it could.

        Anyway, that was their explanation. Feel free to prove them wrong.

      • desperado says:

        Capt. Obtuse strikes again.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        HL won. They proved they can’t be forced to buy what the government says they should. HL is apolitical and I am sure has dem’s and repub’s working for them.

        HL does have a core belief system and that is what is baffling liberals. When you are a wandering generality with no firm beliefs it is impossible for them to understand.

      • John Galt says:

        What political points did they score? You’re kidding, right?

        The Green family (HL’s owners) have given hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative religious organizations. While some of this money has undoubtedly been used charitably, some of it has been used for explicitly political aims. It is patently absurd to claim that this family is not involved in politics. The previous coverage of some of these same contraceptive means prior to seeing the light and realizing they were offended by being required to do what they were already doing is quite transparent.

        Green can do whatever he wants with his money. But jumping into the spotlight can have some uncomfortable side effects.
        http://www.salon.com/2014/03/27/hobby_lobbys_secret_agenda_how_its_secretly_funding_a_vast_right_wing_movement/

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        There are Christians on the Left, too, Dan. But of course you need to lie. Self-delusion is all you have when you’ve lost all self-respect.

      • DanMan says:

        we’re laughing at you and not with you this morning Ms Owl, go see what you flew into above

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        As usual, you’re too incompetent to address the actual point, and have to attempt to divert attention elsewhere.

        When will you perish of your own incompetence? Like, by drinking lye or something.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Why is it moral to invest in and profit by manufacturers of abortifacients, but not to pay for insurance which provides them to employees?

      Oh, right: it’s just standard Republican hypocrisy and misogyny.

  5. desperado says:

    Scalia in 1990:
    “To permit this, would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. The rule respondents favor would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind, ranging from compulsory military service, to the payment of taxes, to health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws, compulsory vaccination laws, drug laws, and traffic laws; to social welfare legislation such as minimum wage laws, child labor laws, animal cruelty laws, environmental protection laws, and laws providing for equality of opportunity for the races.”

    What happened? The 1990 case dealt with religious beliefs of Native Americans, the one yesterday dealt with religious beliefs of Roman Catholics, of which Scalia is one. Establishment of religion, anyone?

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Hypocrisy is a Republican value.

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      Haven’t read the decision yet but was this touched on? Would be interested to hear if they addressed this and drew a distinction.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I’m guessing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 may have set a new precedent which had to be taken into account by the Court, which is supposed to follow the rule of law, after all.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        That might be the case if the decision is based on federal law, rather than constituional standards.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        The very first words of the Court’s ruling on the Hobby Lobby case:

        The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) prohibits the “Government [from] substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise ofreligion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability” unless the Government “demonstrates that application of theburden to the person—(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furtheringthat compelling governmental interest.” 42 U. S. C. §§2000bb–1(a), (b). As amended by the Religious Land Use and InstitutionalizedPersons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), RFRA covers “any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.” §2000cc–5(7)(A).

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Bam. Thanks!

        I need to read the whole decision over the weekend (I’m a nerd like that).

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Part of the conclusion by the Court:

        The Government has failed to satisfy RFRA’s leastrestrictive-means standard. HHS has not shown that it lacks other means of achieving its desired goal without imposing a substantialburden on the exercise of religion. The Government could, e.g., assume the cost of providing the four contraceptives to women unable to obtain coverage due to their employers’ religious objections. Or it could extend the accommodation that HHS has already establishedfor religious nonprofit organizations to non-profit employers with religious objections to the contraceptive mandate. That accommodation does not impinge on the plaintiffs’ religious beliefs that providing insurance coverage for the contraceptives at issue here violates theirreligion and it still serves HHS’s stated interests. Pp. 40–45.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        It turns out the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 was originally enacted to protect the religious beliefs of Native Americans. From Wikipedia (whom I’m still uncomfortable quoting):

        “The law, in conjunction with President Bill Clinton’s Executive Order in 1996, provided more security for sacred sites for Native American religious rites.”

        AND

        “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to all religions, but is most pertinent to Native American religions that are burdened by increasing expansion of government projects onto sacred land.”

      • Crogged says:

        Extra points for finding the court decision (and the reasoning behind it) which prompted Congress to write the law.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_Division_v._Smith

        I am trying to find the actual Supreme court ruling. I still don’t trust Wikipedia.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Next best thing: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/494/872

        Would this the very same decision cited by Desperado — Scalia’s opinion from 1990– that led to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 — which is the basis for his opinion on the Hobby Lobby case?

      • Crogged says:

        Yup.

        I’m just not quite as bothered as some of my yellow bellied, pinko, lib, brothers and sisters fellow travelers regarding this decision. And if I were Christian I would be bothered by appealing to courts to determine which of my beliefs are primary.

      • objv says:

        A+ Tutt!

      • CaptSternn says:

        Indeed, OV. Tutt is very sharp, and she has a legal mind. I think her boss refers to her as the company’s legal department.

        Crogged, Hobby Lobby didn’t appeal to any courts to determine what beliefs of theirs is primary.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        The fact remains that a corporation is legally separate from its owners. And you cannot show me any way in which a corporation itself can meaningfully be said to be a practitioner of any religion.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Here is your reading for the day, Owl.

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        And as usual, Sternn, you’re too dense and wrapped up in yourself to understand what it really means. But, of course, YOU are the special snowflake who has come to save us, and decades of jurisprudence and thousands of judges have all been wrong.

        What else are you up to in your fantasy life? Or would that be embarrassing to Tuttabella? (I’m imagining her fainting on a bed, dressed up as the Constitution, and you in black robes swinging in to save her….)

    • DanMan says:

      1993 – Clenis signed a law sponsored by Chuck Schumer of all people aptly named the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Also supporting it on the dem side were Harry Reid, Tom Daschle and a host of other current and former liars within the dem party.

      “The RFRA restores First Amendment constitutional protections of individuals with a free exercise of religion claim against the coercive power of the State. Lorence said that as American culture and public policy grow more and more hostile to Biblical concepts and practices, the RFRA will help shield Christian families, and all other peoples of faith, from having to choose between surrendering their religious beliefs or suffering loss for standing true to their beliefs. For those who home school because of their religious principles, their home schools are now more secure.”

      http://www.hslda.org/courtreport/V9N6/V9N601.asp

      what’s that about repubs and hypocrisy?

    • kabuzz61 says:

      For the dumb, and you two know who you are. HL is not Catholic. This case involved the government telling a private company to provide something they found went against their beliefs. Now if you can’t understand the difference, buy a comic.

  6. desperado says:

    No Republican war on women? Let’s recap:

    Since 2011, 27 states—all controlled by Republicans—have passed laws restricting abortion rights.

    Justice Roberts’ decision to allow states to opt out of Medicaid expansion. Nearly 70 of adults enrolled in Medicaid are women.

    The Hobby Lobby ruling which Alito went to great lengths to make clear was aimed specifically at contraception.

    The ruling against public employee unions, which again Alito made very clear was aimed at home health care workers who are overwhelmingly…..you got it….women.

    Rock on, Supreme Misogynists.

    • CaptSternn says:

      I suppose you also believe abolishing slavery was a war on white men.

    • desperado says:

      Stern>>>>>>>>>>grasp>>>>>>>>>>straw.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Desp, I know you are a hateful man and you make facts up to please yourself, but this tripe is your lowest. You are a petty, bitter man who seems to think he reads peoples motives as fact. Dreamland liberal. Right up there with Silly Bird.

      • desperado says:

        Which part isn’t true? (That sound you hear is the cowardly kitty rushing out the cat door).

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz is always good for a drive-by of deception. I have yet to see him stick around to actually defend any of his claims… perhaps because he knows he can’t.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        See? He’s a pitiful, brainless coward, and always will be.

  7. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Back to our discussion of reparations and opportunities, there is some interesting research on reading proficiency, being poor, living in a bad neighborhood, and graduating high school. We have an intern who gets to do some pretty fun (and interesting) research, and so I get to review some fun and interesting stuff with her.

    While almost no studies like this are perfect, this is a pretty big, relatively well-conducted longitudinal study:

    About 12% of children do not graduate high school by the age of 19.

    If the child was a proficient reader by 3rd grade, 4% failed to graduate.
    If the child was not a proficient reader by 3rd grade, 16% failed to graduate.

    Obviously, lots of factors in there, but at least one factor would be early childhood education.

    However, it gets more interesting.

    38% of children spent at least one year in poverty, but 70% of dropouts spent at least a year in poverty. Black and Hispanic children are substantially more likely to spend a year or more in poverty than are White kids.

    If the child lived one year in poverty, 22% failed to graduate compared to 6% of those who never lived in poverty. If they lived in poverty for more than half their lives, 32% fail to graduate.

    If the kids lived in poverty for one year and were not a proficient reader by 3rd grade, 26% do not graduate.

    If the kids lived in poverty for one year and were a proficient reader by 3rd grade, 11% do not graduate.

    If the kids lived in a poor neighborhood, had poor reading skills in 3rd grade, and had lived at least a year in poverty, 35% do not graduate.

    If the kids live in a middle class neighborhood, had poor reading skills in 3rd grade, and had lived at least a year in poverty, the percentage drops to 20% that do not graduate.

    Toss in race, and the numbers don’t exactly look like equal opportunities for all.

    About 25% of Black and Hispanic students not reading proficiently in 3rd grade do not graduate high school, compared to 13% for Whites.

    If kids read well by 3rd grade but live in poverty, the graduation rate differences by race are small.
    If kids read well by 3rd grade and never lived in poverty, the graduate rates are above 95% for all races.

    Unfortunately, Black and Hispanic kids are less likely to read proficiently in 3rd grade.

    Across the board, living in poverty hurts your chance to graduate high school.
    Living in a poor neighborhood, even if your family is middle class, hurts your chance to graduate.
    Not reading well by 3rd grade hurts your chance to graduate high school.

    The solution to this problem?

    Eliminate federal welfare programs, cut free school lunches, and not fund early childhood education. If parents just cared more about their kids’ education, all these problems would fix themselves.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Well, since the federal government is involved, and there are free lunches, there is no problem, right? Parents don’t need to be involved at all, the federal government is there to replace the parents.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Why yes Stern…that is exactly the point of the research. Parents don’t need to be involved at all.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, can you ever NOT make a dishonest argument?

        Evidence suggests otherwise.

      • Tuttabella says:

        What about city government?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tutt…I think the city gov’t (and state gov’t) probably have a lot to do with the quality of the schools.

        Going to school in a poverty stricken area, even when your family is personally middle class, greatly decreases the likelihood that you will graduate high school.

      • CaptSternn says:

        City governments usually don’t deal with public schools. Public school districts have their own elected officials, their own little form of government.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        As usual, Sternn displays his self-contented rural ignorance of anything outside of Texas.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_district

        “Not all school systems constitute school districts as distinct bodies corporate. A few states have no school systems independent of county or municipal governments. One prominent example is Maryland, where all school systems are run at the county or, in the case of Baltimore City, the county-equivalent level. Other states, such as New York, have both independent school districts and school systems that are subordinate to cities. The Hawaii State Department of Education functions as a single state-wide school district.

        “In the 2002 Census of Governments, the United States Census Bureau enumerated the following numbers of school systems in the United States: 13,506 school district governments; 178 state-dependent school systems; 1,330 local-dependent school systems; 1,196 education service agencies (agencies providing support services to public school systems).”

        There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Sternnatio.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Wow, Sternn’s memory is so short that he forgot his own second sentence.

        That’s impressive idiocy, there, sport.

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      Interesting stats. Thank you.

      And a very typical response from Stern. Head in the sand. Ignore the problem. Stick to snide remarks and try to change the conversation. Much better than actually addressing the issue.

      Anyway, anyone who is sane and cares knows that there is not equal opportunity in this country. The Horatio Alger stories, while entertaining, are the exception; not the rule.

      I have seen other studies that show that not only is the US more unequal when compared to most comparable countries (Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc.), we also have less social mobility than almost all of those countries.

      The “American” rags to riches story is actually more likely to be seen in a place like Australia or The Netherlands rather than here in the US. That is the sad reality and the reason is that poverty in the US is systemic and generational. Policies in this country over the past 30-40 years have created a more or less permanent underclass in society that, if not addressed, will eventually cause us serious, serious problems socially. Anyone who doesn’t know that is ignorant of history.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Republicans don’t care.

        FOX “News” is all about the circenses.

        As for the panem, er… let them eat cake?

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Frankly, I blame both parties. While I think the modern Republican Party and the ideology exposed by many modern conservatives have been largely to blame, I think both have been complicit in creating the problem.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Owl, why do you think a private company should be forced to sell the best at the same price as the worst?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        [not serious] Sternn, why are you still beating Tuttabella? [/not serious]

        Oh, wait; you’re not? Gosh, then I guess that would have been a flagrantly dishonest question if I’d asked it seriously.

        Perhaps even your planarian brain can extrapolate the obvious comparison to your own flagrant and all-too-typical dishonesty.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I’m tired of being a punching bag around here, even if it is in the figurative sense.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Sorry. I meant in the hypothetical sense.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Apologies to Tuttabella; perhaps I should have ranged farther from the stereotypical “Have you stopped beating your wife?” example for Sternn’s favorite bit of rhetorical dishonesty.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        WIFE?? What wife? He told me he was single. Well, separated. 🙂

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Just kidding, by the way. I don’t want to start any rumors.

        We are both unequivocally single.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Without delving into the details of your relationship, you seem far from unequivocally single.

        Let’s go with unequivocally not-married.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        HT, you were saying something the other day about conservative marriages/relationships with respect to Cap and me, and actually, it seems many progressives on this site have traditional marriages. I think Turtles’s wife is a stay-at-home mom, and so is Intrigued.

        Cap and I live separately, each of us in our own home, and I work full-time and don’t cook much, whereas Cap is an excellent cook, so it’s not like we have a traditional relationship. All this talk about me being the little woman is silly. (Not that Turtle’s wife or Intrigued are, either.)

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tutt…don’t you understand…all of us in traditional marriages…they are all beards to cover up our gayness.

        I fit just about every outward stereotype of a conservative republican. You and Stern are just free-love hippies destroying traditional values.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Exactly. A friend of mine once said Cap and I look very “1970s”.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yep. We just don’r conform so we are destroying tradition. Shame on us. 🙂

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Well, since liberals federal policy that has been on the books for decades that convinced a majority of people that they are unable to achieve because they are poor and/or a minority. How do you think they would do in the long run? Don’t you think most of the failures have been going on generationally?

      Again, quit making excuses for people that are bad parents and lack responsibility. You are only perpetuating the problem. Man, give the minorities the benefit of the doubt that they can rise above it.

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      So, the claim here is that the main reason that we have seen an explosion in inequality in the US and a decline in social mobility (especially when compared to other comparable nations), is because of “liberal” policies? Evidence for this?

      Stern cites the National School Lunch Prgram which was enacted under the National School Lunch Act in 1946. This was during a time, I might remind you, that inequality was much less and social mobility was exploding. If such programs are the reason why we are in the state we are in, then one would expect that the trend went down from there but the exact opposite happened. In the 1950’s, inequality DECREASED and social mobility INCREASED. Facts gentlemen. Facts.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, I didn’t cite anything. I replied to HT’s comment.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Your words exactly:

        “Well, since the federal government is involved, and there are free lunches, there is no problem, right?”

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT’s words exactly:

        “Eliminate federal welfare programs, cut free school lunches, and not fund early childhood education. If parents just cared more about their kids’ education, all these problems would fix themselves.”

      • kabuzz61 says:

        75, your line about an explosion in inequality…is…making…me…laugh. Stop it.

        Quit making excuses for people who act irresponsible especially to their children.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Facts for you Buzz.
        http://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/pikettyqje.pdf

        This is an actual study with actual data done by, you know, actual experts.
        They even have nice graphs for you to look at.

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      And Dan, if that is really what you think socialism is, you clearly failed high school economics class.

  8. geoff1968 says:

    Let’s examine our millions. Let’s say there are 300,00,000 million Americans. Perhaps 6% are black. That would be 18,000,000. Perhaps there are 15% Hispanic, that would be 45,000,00. The rest of us are white. That would be 237,000,000.

    300,000,000 Americans cannot be wrong.

    • John Galt says:

      Your numbers are wrong (there are more than twice as many blacks as you say, more Hispanics, and you’ve ignored Asian-Americans and Native Americans). But more importantly, what the hell is your point?

    • Tuttabella says:

      He probably just forgot to post the cool video that explains everything. His message is incomplete.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      The multicultural classic Coke commercial from the early ’70s would be appropriate for this particular post of his, the one that goes:

      “I’d like to teach the world to sing . . . “

      • tuttabellamia says:

        With the caption: “300 million Americans in perfect harmony can’t be wrong.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        “Brought to you by the Coke brothers.”

      • John Galt says:

        That’s terrible, Tutt. Plus, perfect harmony is not exactly the most apt description of American these days.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Maybe the “harmony” of our current politics is really just a John Cage piece?

        If that’s so, I really, really want repeated performances of *4′33″* during the lead-up to the 2014 elections.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Have we ever had perfect harmony? The fact that Houstonians of vastly differently political persuasions, with a couple of Chicagoans and a even one Minnesotan thrown in, despite our dissonance and sour notes, somehow found a way to unite under the flag of this blog, is proof of a strange form of unity.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Darn. That song has been stuck in my head for most of the day. I had fanially forgotten about it, then I scoll down to this again …

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Our last two Presidents have been W and Obummer…clearly, 300,000,000 Americans can be wrong.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Actually, George W. Bush was elected by 50,456,002 Americans (in 2000) and 62,040,610 (in 2004). Barack Obama was elected by 69,498,516 Americans (in 2008) and 65,915,796 (in 2012).

        So we don’t know about whether 300,000,000 Americans can be wrong, since the decisions have been made by 17% to 23% of them.

        Of course, our voter-turnout rates are lousy in comparison to other countries. Methinks I’m seeing a pattern here….

        http://www.accuratedemocracy.com/d_datac.htm

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Sure…I just didn’t want to do the math.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      JG, count the legal Hispanics and his number is pretty close.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        You want to defend that claim with actual facts and references, kabuzz?

        But of course not: you’re an uninformed coward.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        See? Kabuzz knows he can’t defend his regular, rancid lies.

        So he tucks his tail between his legs (down where his head is) and runs away.

        Every time.

        He’s an incompetent liar, but a superb coward.

  9. Owl of Bellaire says:

    And Republicans continue to drive away the young. If such recklessness continues, they’ll be cementing their eventual demise through simple demographic change.

    http://www.clarionledger.com/story/dailyledes/2014/06/30/evan-alvarez-resigns-college-republicans-joins-democrats/11763673/

  10. desperado says:

    The Supreme Conservatives must be giddy. They got to screw over women and working people in the same day.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Well, Alito was very clear to point out that if your (the Corporation as a person) religious beliefs are against other medical procedures (e.g., immunization or blood transfusion), then this ruling does not necessarily apply.

      Nope, only women and their slutpills.

      Fortunately, the vast, vast majority of organizations are not so stupid as to impose something like this. It will be the moderately rare goofballs. Unfortunately, it means that the folks currently working for these goofballs get adversely affected.

      • desperado says:

        Homer, I would add to your remarks 2 words–so far. Do you really think the fundamentalist fruitcakes are going to satisfied and stop here?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        What’s that I smell? Whining? Constitutional rights win again. Yay!

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Well Buzz…I’m sure supporting Christianity rather than other religions is a triumph of Constitutional rights.

        Someone smarter than me (and you) would suggest:

        “Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations? ”

        “Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution’s] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.”

        “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”

        Interestingly, an IUD costs about the same as a month’s minimum wage salary at HL.

        But hey, you ladies can either keep your legs closed or find employment elsewhere.

      • objv says:

        Homer: I usually find your posts entertaining and thought provoking, but your latest are condescending malarkey.

        You claim to care so much for women’s rights, however, most women think abortion is wrong. Most women are still religious. To be clear, you are only valuing the so-called “rights” of pro-choice, non-religious women and want Hobby Lobby, a family owned business (which includes the women of the family), to pay for contraception which violates their religious beliefs.

        Most contraception is still covered by HL. Women who work for Hobby Lobby can still pay for morning after pills and IUDs out of pocket. And you are living in a strange world if you think HL employees make less than $55 a month – the least expensive cost of an IUD in Houston.

        http://clearhealthcosts.com/search/?query=IUD+birth+control&state=&rzip-distance=50&rzip=77002&x=31&y=12&latitude=&longitude=

      • objv says:

        “Hobby Lobby’s minimum full-time hourly wages are now more than 90 percent above the federal minimum wage. Minimum wages for part-time employees are also well above the average for retail. Hobby Lobby has increased its minimum wage for full-time hourly employees by $1 an hour five years in a row. In addition, the company has added thousands of jobs in the last year alone at a time of slow employment growth nationwide.”

        http://www.becketfund.org/hobbylobbyfactsheet/

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Damn slut pills? Is this how the Republican part intends to appeal to women?

        What about the millions of women who take birth control because of hormonal issues? I guess they are out of luck, huh?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Actually, OBJ, I didn’t mention that I care so much for women’s rights. I do care, but I didn’t claim that I do.

        The majority of women who get abortions and a majority of women who are on birth control are religious, so no, I’m not only valuing the rights of non-religious folks.

        If may data that say most women view abortion as wrong, but a whole lot of women are getting abortions, and less than 20% of women want to outlaw all abortions with the exception of the life of the mother.

        The interesting thing seems to be that we’ve carved out birth control for “Christian organizations” (and we are definitely through the wormhole we we are talking about corporations having religion), but Alito claimed that such exemptions would not apply to Jehovah’s Witnesses or other religions that might have moral problems with many medical practices.

        It has to seem a bit odd that this specific exception was made.

        Sorry, I was not clear in my writing. I believe HL does generally pay well more than minimum wage, but a minimum wage person wanting an IUD can have to pay up to a month’s pay if she does not want the cheapest IUD in Houston (because not everyone can utilize the cheapest IUD possible).

        You consistently have issues with me being “condescending”, and while I certainly can be condescending, I’m not sure how the above post fits that description.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        I think it is an interest question Homer.

        What if, in the next few years, an owner of a private business refuses, for example, to cover immunizations claiming that they are against their religion? Given the reasoning in today’s decision, they should be free to do this.

        Ironically. what this is going to lead to is a signle payment health care system administered by the government. Be careful what you wish for.

      • John Galt says:

        For the record, objv, the $55 price was labor only. The device itself was extra. The next lowest price was $810. This was stated on the site to which you linked.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Aren’t IUDs intended to *prevent* having to deal with labor?

        🙂

      • objv says:

        Homer, Alito wrote:

        “In any event, our decision in these cases is concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate,” he wrote. “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs. Other coverage requirements, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests (for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious diseases) and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them.”

        http://www.cbsnews.com/news/supreme-court-exempts-hobby-lobby-from-obamacare-contraception-mandate/

        In no way did Alito limit the ruling to those of Christian faith. He only stated that future decisions on religious liberty would have to reflect factors such as the prevention of major outbreaks of infectious disease.
        ——————————–

        Homer, when I said you were being condescending, I was being far too kind. When you mentioned “slutpills” and women keeping “their legs crossed” you were using insulting and inflammatory language which the vast majority of those who are pro-life do not use.

        And, yes, some women do override their religious views when faced with the threat of an unplanned pregnancy. Many suffer intense feelings of guilt. You compound the problem by wanting to force religious people with deep convictions to fund what they consider murder. Ending a life, even if it is still in utero, is not an easy decision. Funding it is also abhorrent to many.

        In the case of Hobby Lobby, the owners pay their employees relatively well for retail work. They also provide benefits of 401ks, health coverage (minus abortifacients), and Sundays off. I disagree that their workers cannot pay for the morning after pill or an IUD as an out of pocket cost. As with any employer, workers make employment decisions on a wide variety of factors. I believe HL’s compensation package more than makes up for the potential need for certain abortifacients.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Funding the Department of Defense might be abhorrent to many pacifists.

        But they do it anyway.

        Funding federal subsidies to hog farmers might be abhorrent to many vegetarians.

        But they do it anyway.

        Funding the space program, weather satellites, etc. might be abhorrent to many Flat Earth believers.

        But they do it anyway.

        Being an adult in a diverse, free society means occasionally having to deal with, or even passively support, many things you don’t agree with.

      • objv says:

        JG: You are right. I went back to the site and saw that the cost was for insertion. PP lists the cost for getting an IUD as between $500 and $1000. Medical pricing varies a great deal and is often negotiable so it has been difficult to find information on the actual cost.

        There are other options besides the IUD. For example, I couldn’t tolerate birth control pills and IUDs were considered unsafe for quite awhile. I was able to use other methods to avoid pregnancy before my husband and I decided on a permanent solution. 🙂

      • objv says:

        Owl, aren’t you confusing federal funding with private funding?

      • John Galt says:

        “Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution’s] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.”

        Homer posted this quote (it was from Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent). This is the most important point to me about this train wreck of a decision. What are the next laws that a legal corporation can decide are morally inconvenient? Health and safety codes? Working hours? Could an employee not bring a ham sandwich to work if the owner is kosher?

        Where is the line and are you really sure you want courts adjudicating where it is on a case-by-case basis?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”

        Almost right. Obamacare ventured into a minefield. If it was better thought out, given time to debate, grown into a policy slowly, problems would be minimal. Obama has already changed or delayed Obamacare numerous times.

        And you liberals are wondering why some have problems with it? Cheesh!

      • John Galt says:

        Alito writes the decision as a narrow one about contraception only. Why? What is the legal distinction between contraception and any other form of health care?

        Objv: HL is not being asked to “fund abortion.” They were (until today) required to provide a standardized health insurance package to their employees. These did not include abortion, they included some methods of birth control that some ultra-conservatives falsely equate with abortion. There is no monetary argument for this (one unplanned pregnancy costs more than providing contraception for dozens of women, at least). The argument is based on the personal views of the majority shareholders of a legal entity, which should have (but alas now doesn’t) absolutely anything to do with the adherence of that corporation to relevant employment laws.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, I take some time off to rest from an extended road trip and this happens. So the court ruled that people or companies don’t have to pay for abortions or adortificants. Good for the court. Abortion and abortificants areb not health care, except to save the life of the mother or twin.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…you often like to talk about the slippery slope from your perspective (and generally say we have already slipped down that slope).

        I don’t like slippery slope arguments, but you just said that it was good for the court to rule that a company does not have to provide coverage for abortifacients.

        In the past, you also have said, “No one is trying to outlaw birth control pills”.

        Since obviously some folks believe birth control pills are abortifacients, this seems like a pretty clear indication that there are folks happily who will try to outlaw birth control pills.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Since obviously some folks believe birth control pills are abortifacients, …”

        Subtle deception there, HT. But still a deception. Some “birth control” pills are abortificants, and some people do not wish to be forced to pay for abortificants. Not all birth control pills or methods are abortificants, and companies like Hobby Lobby and the owners are not against all forms of birth control, not against all birth control pills or paying health insurance coverage for those that are not abortificants.

        I really don’t like this kind of court case or ruling, or even discussing this particular issue. I don’t support the PPACA, I don’t support forcing anybody to buy or provide health insurance at all, much less get into details of what is forced under such a law.

        Reminds me of a civil case on which I was a juror. In civil cases, the decision to convict does not have to be unanimous, only 10 out of 12 makes a conviction. It turned out to be 11 to one, me being the one holdout. At that point it was a discussion of what level of liability would be passed on. I refused to take part in that discussion as I stated that I believe no level of liability, no conviction, and I would not budge. The 11 decided on only 10% liability, the defense was quick to agree. Turns out that liability has to be 50% or more to actually be liable, less means no liability, basically an acquittal by numbers.

        Too bad the PPACA doesn’t work that way.

      • objv says:

        JG: I realize that you do not think that IUDs constitute murder, but the fact of the matter is that those who oppose types of contraception/abortion think that they are contributing to killing a human life and they have a right to object on moral grounds.

        I’m not quite sure what to make of your example of a kosher employer objecting to employees bringing ham sandwiches to work, but I would say that the employer would have a right to limit ham sandwiches if his kitchen were kosher. If I understand the concept of kosher correctly, the employer would have to throw away any utensil or plate the ham sandwich touched … that might get expensive after awhile. 🙂

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      If corporations are people, I think they need to start paying the same rates of tax as people.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Their deductions for expenses should match individuals as well.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        If Hobby Lobby is a Christian person, I want to know how we check whether it’s circumcised, when and where it was baptized, how it manages to receive Communion, and in what fashion it expects Jesus to handle its “soul” after its “death”.

        In reality, of course, Alito and his conservative cronies are political lickspittles who distort law, logic, good sense, and justice, purely to fit their own prejudices and those of their masters.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        *Actual* human beings (as opposed to corporate imposters) also have expenses. If those expenses outweigh their income, it’s a problem. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have to pay taxes on the income, regardless of the expenses.

        Why should corporations be treated any differently, if they’re to be accorded full rights as persons?

        Or do hypocritical conservatives once again want to have their cake and eat it, too?

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Of course they want to have their cake and eat it too.

        I have expenses for food, transportation, electric bill, etc. If a corporation is a “person” legally now based on the reasoning of this court, why should a corporation be able to deduct the expense it incurs paying for electricity against its taxable income when “real persons” cannot?

      • CaptSternn says:

        75, the concept of corporate personhood goes back well over 100 years, it is not a new concept. What it basically means is that the constitution doesn’t grant congress special powers over corporations or the people. For example, the federal government is not granted power of censorship. The 1st amendment doesn’t grant any rights, we have the right to free speech without the amendment. It doesn’t grant congress any additional powers either. The entire Bill of Rights and many other amendments are redundant and unnecessary.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        I know all about the concept of corporate personhood. I have studied corporate law extensively.

        I also know that the current court has extended the concept of corporate personhood to heighs we have never seen before. So…the question is..why stop there? I mean, might as well go all the way. Why are corporations allowed to deduct certain expenses and, as an individual “real person”, I am not?

      • CaptSternn says:

        I took a lot of deductions when I was self employed, but I did not incorporate.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Then it’s kind of irrelevant, then, isn’t it?

        Idiot.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Of course, Stern…your position on this is a position with which is it difficult to argue.

      Although you would think it wrong to do so, you would believe that it should be legal for a company to decide not to give health insurance at all to female employees at all and to only insure male employees.

      When that is our starting point, companies can generally do anything they want.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, HT, I support your right to discriminate, I support your right to refuse to do business with or shop at Hobby Lobby. I support your right to pick and choose who is allowed onto your property and into your home. I even support your right to discriminate at the polls and vote against republicans. And that makes me a terrible person in your eyes.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      In your dreams my failed blogger friend.

      Also, the court unanimously ruled that Obama’s abuse of his executive power has to stop when it comes to recess appointments.

  11. kabuzz61 says:

    I have been reading the comments and I have to sum up the liberal position.

    1- Throw money at it and it will magically be fixed.
    2- Poorer people have to work long hours.
    3- The kids don’t have the same advantages, etc.

    To sum, the parents and children do not have the ability to achieve without white people’s help.

    Professional people work very long hard hours yet have the time to make sure their children are educated.

    If you think some of the teachers aren’t up to par well, they are owned by the democrat’s. Make it easier to get rid of poor performing teachers.

    There is nothing that can be done to force parents to be good parents. Not a thing, so the constant will still go on and children will fail.

    Quit making excuses for people. Maybe they’ll wake up.

    • John Galt says:

      Yes, I have no doubt that this is what you get from reading the comments through your rose-tinted glasses.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Buzz….”Quit making excuses for people. Maybe they’ll wake up.”

      So, if we take your reading comprehension skills and apply it to your own comments, we would interpret this as saying you believe minority folks have been sleeping and need to wake up? That is a pretty damning thing to say about minorities.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Again, Homer goes to people of color. When will you stop? All races except for a very small Asian group have failing students. Were you one??? You write like it.

      • John Galt says:

        Buzz, you’re treading on awfully thin ice when criticizing the writing skills of other posters.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      1 – Money doesn’t fix all problems, but *reducing* spending seldom helps. Moreover, if confronted with an obstinate, obstructive, political party which opposes *any* program in the first place, it’s generally easier to slip through funding changes rather than to spend the money to attempt to create a newer, more effective program. Change is expensive.

      2 – If poorer people work longer hours, their children will have fewer advantages AND opportunities, despite Sternn’s abuse of the English language. And that has an excellent chance of continuing the generationally accumulated deficits which have largely contributed to the poverty in the first place.

      3 – Poverty reduces both changes and opportunities. But this has *nothing* to do with “[W]hite people’s help”, despite the glib accusations of racism that the conservative claque here loves to throw about. Heck, our president is Black, by the standards used for much of our nation’s history. Race and its history in our country *caused* the generational deficits we now see accumulated in their effects; that doesn’t mean that minorities are incapable, just that they haven’t had the advantages that ignorant, privileged, White conservatives ignore because they’re so used to them.

      “There is nothing that can be done to force parents to be good parents.” Of course not; nor would conservatives favor such a thing. But there are plenty of thing that can be done to HELP parents to be good parents. Of course, they tend to be expensive. But conservatives care about the family unit until they actually have to put up money to encourage it. After all, hypocrisy is a Republican value.

      Here’s a news story I linked to on this blog, shortly after NPR first aired it. Would that we could have such efforts nationwide.

      http://www.npr.org/2012/07/13/155103662/struggling-families-lift-themselves-out-of-poverty

  12. John Galt says:

    When I hear Sternn and Kabuzz opine on racial issues, I get a sense of deja vu, a return to my childhood. They seem to believe that once the “Whites Only” signs, both literal and figurative, came down, then the playing field was level and nothing more needed to be done. I heard this basic attitude a lot as a kid in Atlanta, a city that handled racial issues better than most Southern cities (and has resulted in Atlanta being what it is today rather than being Montgomery or Jackson). Of course, those saying it were busy packing their bags for the suburbs as fast as they could, depriving the inner city of both financial and human capital. Why leave the city for the ‘burbs if the playing field was truly level?

    There are exceptional people (of every race) who triumph despite long odds. But we as a society need most people to achieve economic and personal independence, a large part of which comes through the acquisition of skills and a work ethic that make one employable. A child whose sole options are schools that are poor in quality, whose parents have to work long and irregular hours to keep a roof over their heads, whose family has no history of educational attainment, and whose relationship with public authorities is not uniformly supportive, has a much harder road to walk than others. And, today in 2014, it remains that black children are more likely to suffer these disadvantages than white ones. While there are many reasons (or excuses) for this that could be debated ad nauseum, the basic fact is inarguable.

    I’d be delighted to move past a racial view of all this, to put resources into strengthening families, communities and schools wherever children are disadvantaged, whether that is the third ward, Appalachia, or the Rio Grande Valley. The return on this investment would be huge.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Indeed. What we need to address is *generational poverty*, whether it shows its face in Birmingham or Appalachia.

      Such an effort requires investment both in institutional capital (schools, materials, transportation, etc.) and in social capital (parenting classes, financial assistance, after-school programs, etc.).

      But we have a modern Republican Party which doesn’t believe in long-term investments, only in short-term payoffs on a time-scale less than the next stock-market report or the next election.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      JG, you do know that professional people work long, hard hours but yet still make sure their children’s education needs are met. Again, another excuse.

      Of course the Silly Bird wants to throw money at the problem, which will magically make children pay attention in class and have their parents assist in their education.

      The problems you sited in Georgia is almost 60 years old. I mean, come on, when are the excuses going to stop? Even Bill Cosby and other black professional’s put the burden on the kids and parents. But you know better???

      • John Galt says:

        The problems I cited are from the 1980s and they have not disappeared today. Professional people with office jobs work during the day, giving those who care time to spend with their children at night. If you’re working blue collar jobs and have night and weekend shifts, this time is eaten away by trying to earn a living.

        It’s rich when you, Dan and Sternn base arguments on out-of-context Googled quotes from prominent blacks.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…if you are doing to make political/social/economic policy decisions based on Bill Cosby, does that mean we get to implement George Carlin’s policy positions?

        How much of a goofball do you have to be to use the opinion of one celebrity Black person as how all Blacks should be living? No one is making policy positions based on Jeff Foxworthy or Dane Cook.

        You trot out Herman Cain or Cosby to speak for all “Black people”, but no one assumes that Romney or Carlin speaks for all White people.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, again, professional people do not work 9-5. They work until that days work is done.

        Most blue color work is 9-5. Again, excuses, excuses and more excuses.

        What you are saying is the parents of failing kids do not spend any time with them, the children are disobedient and refuse to do their school work. I got it now.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Kabuzz, just how old, decrepit, and out-of-date ARE you, anyway? “A lot”, judging from the ridiculously outmoded nature and cultural ignorance shown by many of your comments.

        It’s not just “blue collar” and “white collar” any more. We’ve moved out of an agrarian economy, out of a manufacturing economy, and into a service economy.

        “Pink-collar workers” are another category, if you insist on using such terms.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink-collar_worker

        And, as anybody who’s done any actual office work in about the last decade or so should know, the cleaning staff tend to come in quite late in the evenings. But perhaps you don’t drive your horse and buggy near the Galleria, to see the lights on in those new-fangled tall buildings where they’re busy vacuuming.

  13. desperado says:

    Sure is easy for those who have never been affected personally by discrimination to advise those who have to “just get over it.”

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Something tells me, if the shoe were on the other foot, they’d be stamping their feet and demanding justice. But, since they’re the ones who benefit, it’s “best” to sweep everything under the rug and move forward.

      Hypocrisy is a modern Republican value.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Heck Owl. We saw how they threatened open revolution when someone suggested that they might have to sign a card with their information when they buy firearms. They are happy denying other people of rights and opportunity buy dang you to Hades if you inconvenience them for 30 seconds.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I wonder how they’d feel if someone “Second Amendment”-solutioned the conservative wing of the Court, and Obama got to appoint replacements while the Senate was dominated by Democrats and newly freed from the tyranny of easy filibusters….

      • CaptSternn says:

        Turtles, we do have to fill out a form, present a state issued photo ID and pass a background check to buy firearms from licensed dealers. Imagine if we had to do all that to cast a vote in a public election?

  14. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    I’ve tried to respond to this a half dozen times today, but there is so much goofiness going on that it is impossible to respond to it all.

    If Noah Smith’s response is the best response to Coates’ article, then the others must really, really suck.

    His Reason 3, “Good things can never make up for bad things 100%” is built on a flawed analogy (or anamilephor for Tutt) and then doubles down by letting perfection be the enemy of good.

    If you parents beat you, but then apologize and buy you ice cream, you are always going to remember that they beat you, and it is going to suck.

    However, a closer to home comparison might be that your parents beat you, and then intentionally hampered your learning environment, forbade you from reading, and did not send you to school.

    Your parents apologizing and buying you ice cream is going to suck.

    Your parents apologizing, then getting you enrolled in the best school, arranging for private tutoring to help you catch up, and buying you ice cream is still going to suck, but now you have something of a fighting chance.

    If Smith’s “moral” argument is that what is done is done, so no need to look back there because it is a waste of energy, he is a slightly more articulate version of Ann Coulter.

    Things I learned from reading the comments today:

    The housing market collapse was due to poor people being bad at math.

    Stern does not use the English language like the rest of us. Where we might use the word “possibilities”, Stern uses “opportunities”. Poor people and rich people have the same possibilities to become wildly successful, but for most users of the English language, their opportunities are probably not the same.

    The poor kid coming up through schools in Sharpstown (or middle of nowhere West Virginia) has the possibility to graduate summa cum laud at Harvard. She’s just going to have to overtime lots more hurdles than the kid enrolled at River Oaks Baptist. Possibilities are the same. Opportunities…not so much.

    Our more libertarian brethrens’ stance of “not my problem, life’s not fair for anyone, so quit your whining” probably is not going to win the hearts and minds of folks who have all the normal unfairnesses of life experienced by our libertarian friends, but also get to enjoy a few additional unfairnesses that often come along with being minority, gay, female, poor, etc.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Homer is a classic example of someone that doesn’t understand.

      You can’t move forward unless you stop looking back. That is literally and figuratively true.

      Money, although you liberals LOVE to throw money at problems, will not solve this issue.

      Your examples of the rich effect all races but you seem to hint minorities. Again, you think only in color.

      In your world, parenting has nothing, nothing to do with the success or failure of their children.

      And life is not fair, not to me or anyone. So quit whining, quit seeing people of color all the time and quit telling folks they can’t survive without the help of the white man.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…I would love for you to point to a person (an insane or sane person) suggesting that parenting has nothing to do with success. You are building a straw person, catching it on fire, and then pointing at others while smelling of gasoline. I just don’t get that.

        I’m re-reading my comment…looking for the line that “money will solve the issue”, but nope, I’m not seeing it. I might suggest, however, that a lack of money might not help the issue either.

        Undoubtedly, issues of being rich versus poor affect all races. Oddly, however, in 2014 in the US, socioeconomic status and race are significantly linked.

        I’m suggesting that might have something to do with a few hundred years of consistently stacking the deck in favor of some groups but not others. You seem be believe that this history has no effect today, and minorities are lagging behind for some other reason that you just can’t articulate.

        I’m pleased you have found a fundamental, basic truth that seems to work for you, but I think you might not understand the meaning of the words, “literally and figuratively”. It is neither literally nor figuratively true that you cannot move forward unless you stop looking back.

      • flypusher says:

        “Money, although you liberals LOVE to throw money at problems, will not solve this issue.”

        Actually Buzzy, what we’d really love is for people to stop pulling crap like redlining and all the other forms of socially sanctioned discrimination/theft. That right there would be a huge improvement and wouldn’t cost you a cent.

        People like you who deny the problems are just as bad as people who feed off the problems. You both hold back progress.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Apples and oranges Fly.

      • flypusher says:

        No Buzzy, it’s you and your ilk yet again failing to listen (or read). The real message of Coates’ article was that America needs to admit that black people still get obstacles thrown in their way by other people and that America should make that stop. That’s not a handout, or calling minorities incapable of success on their own, or any of the other crap excuses you give; it’s just common decency and fairness. All that would cost you is a bit of honest self reflection, but even that is too much for the likes of you.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Houston-stay-at-Homer wrote, “Our more libertarian brethrens’ stance of ‘not my problem, life’s not fair for anyone, so quit your whining’ probably is not going to win the hearts and minds of folks….”

      Right; because the modern libertarian is a sociopath, and folks rightly flee from giving anyone with that dire condition any sort of significant power over them.

  15. Bart-1 says:

    I have funded my own education and retirement thank you very much, Just can’t win for lying can you? Truth hurts doesn’t it? I have never cowered to hide my identity like you have repeatedly done.I am “guilty” of trying to get you not to. my bad thinking you would have that courage. But a coward will never be anything but a coward. THAT is abject hypocrisy. Especially talking about the “rules” when asked repeatedly by chris to “tone it down” and “dial back” the rhetoric you refuse. Even Your President has whined about the need to tone down the rhetoric, but you are Public Enemy #1.You who were banned innumerable times for violating Chron comments policy want to talk about rules and hypocrisy? Take your meds please so you can maybe avoid the obscenities and insults your anger and hatred spew regularly..

    • Bart-1 says:

      posting the same thing twice now Bubba? Meds must be wearing off

    • bubbabobcat says:

      That’s the problem with pathetic lying wingnuts like you bart. You create your own blatantly false “virtuous” narrative and believe everyone else is as stupid as you to buy it.

      “I have never cowered to hide my identity”, eh bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis? Really?

      And that is why even when I outed your stupidity when you lost track of which sockpuppet you were posting under and even talking to yourself pretending as if you were two different people you refused to acknowledge you were a sockpuppet troll. And a pathetically stupid one at that.

      Bart, my hard earned taxpayer dollars you did not earn one whit were meant for you to instill some decency and ethics in 12 year olds. NOT for you to pathetically devolve yourself to adopt their silly middle school childish schoolyard bullying antics amongst adults in your stolen taxpayer funded “early retirement”. Like I said, no ethics, morals, or sense of shame whatsoever.

      As for whining about toning down the rhetoric, now WHO posted FIRST on here casting aspersions on the character of multiple people unprompted? Why surprise, surprise, none other than consummate hypocrite bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis.

      You are right about one thing bart. “A coward will never be anything but a coward”. And you continue to prove that over and over and over again.

      • Bart-1 says:

        OK, Einstein. My REAL identity unlike the cowards who hide in anonymity like yourself.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Really bart? Replying 2 weeks after everyone has moved on to get the last word in?

        Amazing what petty depths you will sink to be an online gutless badass wannabe.

  16. flypusher says:

    So I had a look at the rebuttal, and it’s comments, and I thought this comment was from someone who got it:

    “Monetary reparations are the wrong approach, because it makes no sense to hand African Americans money and consider the account settled, when there is still a persistent pattern of economic victimization he expertly documents that will take that money right back, and more besides in the future. The “reparations” he demands are simpler — repentance. He wants the continuing victimization to be explicitly recognized by society at large and finally stopped. No money needs to change hands, just stop taking from them for the first time, please for the love of god. That is his message.”

    I’m willing to bet a vast majority of Americans, regardless of race, would enthusiastically embrace the concept of a truly post-racial society. You do have people on the left, the Jacksons & Sharptons & QXs, who feed off divisions, and the people on the right who perpetuate practices like redlining, who still get in the way of that. But even if tomorrow morning, those obstructionists were swept away, and we finally had a society where race ceased to matter, the blacks would still have some catching up to do. That’s because they still would have been denied something that Owl had previously commented on in greater detail: the chance to compound wealth across generations.

    Is this an argument for $ reparations? No. It’s an argument to remember that the problem of discrimination still isn’t fixed, and even when it is ended, the effects are still going to linger.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Aside from simple understanding and empathy, i think Mr Coates may be calling for actual repayment to victims and/or their immediate family who are still alive, people who have suffered clear and direct losses not so long ago.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I didn’t actually get that impression, Tutt. I saw it more as a call for a “Truth and Reconciliation” type of public airing and acknowledgement, coupled with social policies to address the general aftermath of discrimination rather than to offer payments to specific aggrieved persons.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Or maybe the specific, recent examples, complete with living people, were used to bring the injustices closer to home, to make them more vivid and understood to the reader. I mentioned that point on Lifer’s original blog entry on the Coates article. And what OF these recent examples? Shouldn’t they get immediate redress, while the victims and perpetrators are still alive, while it’s still fresh? Or we can let the clock run out, and just lump them in with all those other past injustices that are too old to address.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        The courts are the places to seek and obtain specific redress. The government doesn’t exist for doing specific favors to specific people (despite the favors for wealthy donors that our Congress-critters love to sneak into bills); it exists to take actions for “the general welfare”, which includes ensuring some degree of societal justice.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        25% of all state, city and federal request for bids are set aside for minorities and women. But that discrimination is justice right? Pathetic hypocrite.

      • Turtles Run says:

        75% is still not good enough for you?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Are “minorities and women” specific individuals? Well, no. They’re classes of people, with historical disadvantages.

        I mean, ideally, we’d end up with 50% of bids going to women, on average, wouldn’t you agree? Be happy it’s only 25%.

        Think, kabuzz. Assuming you’re still capable, after your steady malnourishment on conservative swill.

  17. I don’t really have a dog in this hunt, my own ancestors not having come to the Land of the Free until the dawn of the 20th century, bits of human flotsam fleeing a tide of religious persecution on the distaff side, and the horror of famine on the spear side. All this reparations nonsense just seems so 1800’s to me.

    Coates is a person who has discovered life is not fair, and is utterly consumed by the notion that somebody must be at fault, and must be made to pay for it. Never mind that those who are at fault are in the grave, nor that those who would pay are innocent of the specified crime, and in many cases bear burdens of their own. Coates is seemingly oblivious to the notion that unfairness is an underlying property of existence in this universe, and that the only constructive way to deal with it is to fight it as best you can in your own time, and then simply get on with living.

    I have no patience with, nor use for, people like Coates who make a living gnawing on the bones of past grievances. Screw ’em. I’ve got stuff to do.

    • texan5142 says:

      You got stuff to do and yet you took the time to read Coates, time to think about your response, and time to post those thoughts here on this blog…….lol. I hear you man, I gots stuff to do too…..or is it also?

    • flypusher says:

      “Never mind that those who are at fault are in the grave,…”

      All the people responsible for the most recent bout of redlining (which happened in 2005-ish and is documented in Coates’ article) are all dead now? Really? That’s a shock, given that it happened less than 10 years ago.

      Faulkner was quite right about the past not even being past.

      • CaptSternn says:

        There is good reason to not loan money to people that can’t pay it back. That was being done starting in the late 1990s, and it hit the nation hard in 2008.

      • flypusher says:

        For you short-attention-span people, here is the relevant portion form the end of the Coates article:

        “Plunder in the past made plunder in the present efficient. The banks of America understood this. In 2005, Wells Fargo promoted a series of Wealth Building Strategies seminars. Dubbing itself “the nation’s leading originator of home loans to ethnic minority customers,” the bank enrolled black public figures in an ostensible effort to educate blacks on building “generational wealth.” But the “wealth building” seminars were a front for wealth theft. In 2010, the Justice Department filed a discrimination suit against Wells Fargo alleging that the bank had shunted blacks into predatory loans regardless of their creditworthiness. This was not magic or coincidence or misfortune. It was racism reifying itself. According to The New York Times, affidavits found loan officers referring to their black customers as “mud people” and to their subprime products as “ghetto loans.”

        “We just went right after them,” Beth Jacobson, a former Wells Fargo loan officer, told The Times. “Wells Fargo mortgage had an emerging-markets unit that specifically targeted black churches because it figured church leaders had a lot of influence and could convince congregants to take out subprime loans.”

        In 2011, Bank of America agreed to pay $355 million to settle charges of discrimination against its Countrywide unit. The following year, Wells Fargo settled its discrimination suit for more than $175 million. But the damage had been done. In 2009, half the properties in Baltimore whose owners had been granted loans by Wells Fargo between 2005 and 2008 were vacant; 71 percent of these properties were in predominantly black neighborhoods.”

        These banks ADMITTED to predatory lending. Did it ever occur to you that some (or many) of those borrowers could have kept making their payments if they had been offered fair and reasonable terms ITFP??????

      • CaptSternn says:

        That was the result of the federal government pressuring banks to stop denying loans to people that could not afford them. Thing is, nobody was forced to buy a home, to take out a loan to buy a home.

        You see, Fly, you do not accept the idea of personal responsibility. Yes, people will try to make money, some with less honest but legal, and even being pressured by the federal government, means. Then there were the people trying to make money by buying homes and taking loans they could not afford. It went both ways. That’s what we get with more and stronger government.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – Can you please point to any laws or actions by the government that forced banks to loan to non-credit worthy individuals. The only thing I can see is the CRA which forced banks to serve the communities they were chartered too. In other words the banks had to prove why they were denying loans to people who were credit worthy, not that they were to loan money to people that could not pay it back.

        This is the same lie you keep repeating because you approve of redlining, that you support people banks denying certain people loans even if they can pay it off. You have often made this claim and it again supports the conversation we have had over the prior few days.

        There was no government attempts to get people to get into loans they could not afford, that was the fault of unscrupulous lenders that would package these loans and immediately sell them off. It was the free market that kept up the desire to create more of these financial trades not the government. Most of the buyers of these products did not know these instruments were load with bad loans. But hey lets blame everyone but the peddlers of this garbage its the tea party way.

      • flypusher says:

        So the government MADE those banks do all those things that got them in hot water with the Justice Dept? Don’t you think the banks would have put up a fight in court if that were true? After all it’s not just a lot of $, but reputation on the line here. You really don’t think before you post, do you?

      • flypusher says:

        ” Thing is, nobody was forced to buy a home, to take out a loan to buy a home.”

        Thing is, nobody forced Wells Fargo or BoA to treat black loan applicants unfairly. They chose that themselves.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ok, Turtles, there were no bad loans made. There was no CRA amendment of 1996. There was no repeal of the Glass-Stegall Act. There was no housing bubble, and that means no housing bust. There was no recession or crash in 2008.

        It was and is all just a grand conspiracy theory, a “vast right wing conspiracy theory”, all because Obama was elected in 2008 and became president in 2009. There was no high unemployment, and everything is wonderful now.

        There is no uprising in Iraq these days, the Muslim Brotherhood is not on the rise in Egypt and Libya, there is no such organization known as ISIS or al Qaeda. Clinton killed people just to distract the nation from the blue dress.

        The moon landings were faked. The CIA killed Kennedy, the man on the grassy knoll.

        All because a man that has a mother who is white got elected to the office of President of these United States. But none of it is real, just a “vast right wing consipracy”.

        Really?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Fly, what you are saying is black’s do not have the ability to know when they are buying something they cannot afford. Dress it up all you want, but that is just what you are saying.

        If someone comes up to me and offers me a loan for a million dollar house, I would pass because not only would the payments be high, but the utilities, etc.

        You liberals have a very low opinion of minorities.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Thing is, nobody forced Wells Fargo or BoA to treat black loan applicants unfairly. They chose that themselves.”

        So now it is the fault of black people? Even though for years people like you have said it had nothing to do with black people or the loans they requested?

        Really?

        The left is so confused, or so much in denial, or just so deliberately ignorant and so darned determined not to accept responsibility for anything it is really amazing.

        Bush43 made a Status of Forces Agreement with the elected government of Iraq to keep troops in Iraq until 2011, then maybe withdraw. Obama failed to renew the agreement and withdrew the troops. The left praised him for “ending the war” and bringing the troops home.

        We conservatives pointed out that it was the agreement Bush43 made, and that Obama was making a mistake by not keeping troops in Iraq. But no, it was all praise for Obama for ending the war and bringing the troops home.

        Now it has all fallen apart. No more praise for Obama, just go back to blaming Bush43.

        How often do I need to repeat myself? I didn’t like Bush43, or Bush41, or even Reagan. I don’t make excuses for them, I voted third party in several elections. But you can’t get away from you blind support of demmocrats and your absolute denial of any responsibility.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Kabuzz, you are not being poltically correct. Correct, but not poliically correct.

      • flypusher says:


        “Thing is, nobody forced Wells Fargo or BoA to treat black loan applicants unfairly. They chose that themselves.”

        So now it is the fault of black people? Even though for years people like you have said it had nothing to do with black people or the loans they requested?

        No Sternn, it is the fault of the BANKS. Your reading comprehension continues to be horrid. They took a plea deal when the Justice Dept. went after them. It that what blameless banks do? Pay huge fines and admit to cheating people? Maybe on your planet, but not mine.

        If you want to blame the gov’t for something (and you always do), blame it for failure to regulate.

        So Buzzy, do you really think every one of those predatory loans was for something as obvious as a “million dollar house”? I suppose if someone falls for the Nigerian e-mail scam you think that no blame legally or ethically should fall on the scammer because the victim should have had the ability to know? No matter how YOU dress it up, you’re saying that racial discrimination doesn’t exist anymore. And as usual you couldn’t be more wrong.

      • flypusher says:

        “Now it has all fallen apart. No more praise for Obama, just go back to blaming Bush43.

        How often do I need to repeat myself? I didn’t like Bush43, or Bush41, or even Reagan. I don’t make excuses for them, I voted third party in several elections. But you can’t get away from you blind support of demmocrats and your absolute denial of any responsibility.”

        One more thing, you want to rant at me, then you rant at me about things that I actually said. Don’t be dumping all your bad blood with your concept of the left on me. That’s total bullshit.

        I take zero responsibility for the debacle that is Iraq. I said from the beginning that it was a fool’s errand and I was right. If the people in Iraq can’t look past their ethnic/religious tribalisms and function as a unified nation, then we can’t make them live together, short of having tens of thousands of troops there for decades keeping them from each other’s throats. It’s going the way of Yugoslavia, and I’d rather not waste any more American blood and treasure delaying the inevitable. Far better for us to find the most rational actors, like the Kurds, and do business with them. And maybe a few drone strikes at ISIS, if the opportunity presents itself.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Fly – I have to defend Cappy one one thing. His reading comprehension is not horrid, he knows exactly what you and I said but in typical troll fashion he rather argue what he wants us to say versus what was really said. Most tea party supporters us this tactic because they know their position on matters is far extreme that their is no defense, they really are schizophrenic when it comes to social issues.

        You could almost compare them to the Know Nothing Party but in this version they are the psychopath party

      • Turtles Run says:

        Please excuse the horrid spelling.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I’m trying to follow the convoluted line of thinking on this one. There seem to be two lines of comments coming from one side of this argument.

        Buzz and Stern seem to be saying:

        (A) You liberals are racist and believe minority members are too stupid to understand mortgage rates and what they can actually afford.

        While at the same time, saying:

        (B) Minority members are too stupid to understand mortgage rates and what they can actually afford (hence the high default rates).

        I guess your position could be that folks were not victims of predatory lending and knew exactly what they were getting into but just rolled the dice anyway (which would get you back to point B above anyway)?

        Of course, in your world, it should be perfectly legal for banks to give higher mortgage rates (and more adjustable rate mortgages) to Black folks (when compared to White folks with the same financials) because gov’t should not be enforcing policies based on race.

        Capitalism and freedom baby!

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I’m with you Tracy. The left seems unable to move along without something to feel guilty about. Mind you I said feel. If people haven’t moved on, let them stay stuck in the 19th century.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        The Nineteenth Century is where *Republicans* want to take us, with their racial, social, and economic policies. The Gilded Age was the heyday of low-tax, low-regulation policies, and we all know just how successful that era was for the common man.

        But Karl Rove has well instructed modern propagandists to accuse the enemy of what you yourself are doing. And Republicans follow him, despite how obvious the tactic may be. So stupid hypocrites infest the modern Republican Party.

    • fly, although you accuse Cap of writing what he wants people to say, you might attend to the log in your own eye. To wit, “fight it as best you can in your own time.”

      Coates is as worked up about over events that occurred hundreds of years ago as he about predatory lending practices from 2005. The former are most definitely not in our own time; the latter is. If the merry band at Well Fargo has done wrong, by all means, go after ’em. Just don’t come to me with your hand out regarding events that occurred prior my advent on this lovely little rock we call home.

  18. Bobo Amerigo says:

    What a shallow piece. Smith is an economist? If this is the best reply to Coates’, then there have been no good ones.

    [I liked that he responded — with wit — to some comments, though.]

    To think that we can just live in the present and look to the future strikes me as just silly. Humans are always dragging around the past, the present and the future — usually simultaneously.


    Reason 3: Because good things can never make up for bad things 100%. I think this is just how human psychology works. If your parents beat you and then buy you ice cream and apologize then no matter how much ice cream they buy you, or how much they apologize, there will always be that memory of them beating you.

    Reason #3 is nonsense. The goal is not to lose a memory of the past, the goal is live productively in the present with the memory, to come to terms with it, and be whole.

    I submit that children of dis-functional families do this every day. So do victims of crime. America is full of people who do and have done this. Most of us probably know people like this.

    In #3 Smith offers no evidence, just his opinion of how human psychology works. Evidence is a key aspect of rhetorical strength. He has none.

    I give this effort a C- because he wrote in complete sentences.

  19. CaptSternn says:

    So here we area again on this subject. Noah seems to have some points in his view of the Coats article and what should be done, what has actually already been done and more.

    And that gets back to the discussion we ended up having under your last entry, equal opportunity. All that are here legally, citizens or legal immigrants, have equal opportunity. But, as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make the horse drink. We can’t make people take advantage of the equal opportunities.

    Many on the left like to bring up people like Paris Hilton, a young lady with major advantages, but not with greater opportunity. The same could be said about Obama’s daughters, they have major advantages.

    But why do such people have advantages? The answer is simple and easy, somebody in their family, their parents or ancestors, took risks, took advantages of the opportunities that we all have and managed to succeed. Well, what many here would call success. I think most of us see ourselves as successful, even if we aren’t filthy stinking rich or have great political power, or both.

    Fifty told the story of a chair, ended up saying that Uncle Louie was long gone, but the chair stilled showed scars. That is an interesting way of putting it, but in today’s world, all the old Uncle Louies are gone and so are all the chairs, at least for the most part on both sides. Those that still exist are elderly, and I think the vast majority have put it behind them as “that was just the way it was”, yet have no desire to return to such things..

    People of my generation and younger have no recollection of such things, we never witnessed nor experienced them from either or any point of view. My parents remember such things as segregation, but they never showed any racism and taught me so well that I never saw any difference in people just because of the color of their skin or their sex or religion or lack of religion, they never showed bigotry to me, so I grew up absent of it.

    So here we are today, my generation and younger, and we all have equal opportunitiy. But not all take advantage of those opportunities, or take as much advantage of those opportunities, or make it so their families and children and future generations of their families have greater advantages.

    So why should any of us be held responsible for others not taking advantage of the opportunities we all have? All that we owe others is to make sure they have the liberty and rights, the freedom, to take advantage of the opportunities we all have. This we have done, and more.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Dang it, Cap – the chairs aren’t gone. They’re antiques, generations old. We live with them. They are *things* – not people. I’m talking about cultural memory, here. It’s intergenerational. I’m suggesting they be fixed the best way practical, and we move on. Have they been? That’s another topic. Are you saying anything different? I don’t think you are.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Meh. What do you say? I have American Indian blood in me, part redskin. How have American Indians been treated, are treated? Have you recently visited a Reservation? I have.

        I have Irish blood in me, want to know how the Irish were treated?

        Adoptive family were sharecroppers, great grandfather murdered by a FreeMason who got off, probably because of his FreeMason connections. What of that?

        I am probably alive today because of the laws against abortion in Texas when I was concieved. What of that?

        I don’t bring these things up to play the victim, to demand that somebody give me something because of what was done to my ancestors, natural or adoptive.

        I do not whine about past issues and demand special treatment, I have equal rights and oportunities. I take advantage of them to my own desires and extent. Lead a horse to water …

      • fiftyohm says:

        Well, sports fans – you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him think.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Fifty, just because your simile didn’t work doesn’t mean you have to insult people.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Buzz- It wasn’t a simile. (And I’ve wired a couple of years to rip off this quote from an absolutely hilarious piece of theater, and with apologies to Matt and Trey:) “It’s a metaphor!!!”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Cap is truly multi-cultural. I like to say he is more Irish than anything because of his rhetorical skills. 🙂

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Metaphor, simile, analogy — it’s all the same. 🙂

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Something is wrong with that ethnic analysis, Tutt.

        Sternn isn’t a Gael; he’s a gall.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Sternn, you’re spouting puerile nonsense again.

      “Many on the left like to bring up people like Paris Hilton, a young lady with major advantages, but not with greater opportunity.”

      Really? So any poor, minority child can easily become featured with a best friend on a reality television program? Or, more generally, gain notoriety through partying with Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar De La Hoya, or making a sex tape with Rick Salomon?

      Advantages CONVEY opportunities, Sternn. It’s absolutely dumbfounding that you refuse to recognize this. Advantages offer status and connections and resources which open the doors to opportunities which would otherwise be closed, or at least so remote as to be astronomically unlikely.

      “People of my generation and younger have no recollection of such things, we never witnessed nor experienced them from either or any point of view.”

      Then you’ve had your eyes closed or been hermetically closeted in your double-wide. I’ve seen a private-school secretary speak dismissively to a minority-race prospective parent in the way she never would have to someone White who walked in off the street. I’ve seen research from universities where studies compared the response to seeking a rental, or a job, for those with “Black” names versus “White” ones, or when accents suggest one race rather than the other. There’s still racism in our society. Your failure to recognize it says not that you are virtuous, but that you are blind.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “So any poor, minority child can easily become featured with a best friend on a reality television program?”

        Honey Boo Boo. Your argument is invalid.

        Many others as well, Swamp People, Ice Road Truckers, Cup Cake Wars, … all the reality shows that have ruined most TV watching for me.

        You still don’t grasp the difference between advantages and opportunities, but there are major differences. So you don’t know somebody that knows somebody, and that means you don’t get a specific job at a specific company because there was somebody that knows somebody. Get the job at a different company.

        No, you would rather make excuses. Making excuses, whining about being a victim doesn’t usually get people ahead in life, unless you are Quanell X. Well, he had opportunities and he took advantage of them. Think he would have the power he does if he were white?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        As Houston-stay-at-Homer mentions above, Sternn, you seem to confuse the words “possibilities” and “opportunities”. I can think of a couple of *possibilities* to explain that lapse:

        1) You are an illiterate hack;

        2) You are a mendacious troll;

        3) All of the above.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        That’s just your own head spinning, Dan.

        It’s easy to get that much rotational velocity going when the vessel is empty.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I accept your surrender.

  20. fiftyohm says:

    I inherited a beautiful 19th century dining room set. Sometime, before I was born, a drunk uncle was leaning back on one of the six chairs, and broke a leg. (Not his – the chair’s.) The set was valuable, both for its utility and its esthetics. No one knew how to fix it.

    Drunk Uncle Louie, (this part is not metaphor – I actually did have a drunk uncle Louie), opined, between swigs of his recently opened Blatz, “Therce nuthin’ wrong with it.” For decades, the ladies of the household would carry on in hushed tones at each family gathering about how, “Something must be done about the chair.” Problem was, they had no idea what, nor any suggestions as to the ‘how’ of the matter. Everyone agreed there was a problem, so their nattering offered nothing towards the solution.

    Over the years, somebody, (maybe it was drunk Uncle Louie’s drink brother), suggested tying a 2×4 to the leg with bailing wire. This distasteful ‘solution’ was not attempted. More years passed, and Louie’s wife suggested breaking a leg on each of the remaining 5 chairs for symmetry. Great Grandma said, “I just wish the whole incident had never happened, and we’d just forget about it. (I think the last movie she’d watched had something to do with ‘Eternal Sunshine”, or something.) Some suggested we banish sot Louie from the family, and never speak of him again. Meanwhile, the chair sat by itself in the corner, and a folding chair was brought out whenever company came to dinner.

    Finally, fifty or so years after now long-dead Uncle Louie’s screw-up Mrs. Ohm and I contacted a restoration specialist He said the thing to do was to fabricate a new leg, (he had the tools and techniques to do so), and we told him to go for it. A couple of days later, he called with a problem. “The walnut used to make this chair was from a single, old-growth forest in Africa. It was cut down for farmland a century ago.” Any other material would not match perfectly, and the result of Uncle Louie’s blunder would be forever visible to the keen eye. We had him proceed as it was the best we could do.

    Who did and did not contribute to the ‘solution’ of this problem? Certainly not Uncle Louie. Nor the nattering ninnies who pointed out its existence and said something should be done. (That was painfully obvious.) Those who held forth on the existence of the problem without proposing any rational solution were just blowing smoke. Crude, bailing wire and 2×4 solutions were similarly useless. There are several other constructs here that I hope ring true. What I mean to illustrate here is that the best ‘solution’, however imperfect, was to fix it as best we could, and get the hell on with out lives. God, how I grew tired of hearing about that damn chair my entire childhood!

    • fiftyohm says:

      BTW: The etymology of the word “reparation”, is to *repair*, not to *repay*.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I wonder what the chair had to say about all this.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Not a word. It had, apparently, no personal memory of the event.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        But what if everyone who sits in the chair breaks one of its legs, again and again, and no matter how often someone repairs it, or however often the chair strives to repair itself, someone new is always there to give it a swift kick and bring it down again, so it just gives up?

      • fiftyohm says:

        Tutt- Drunk Uncle Louie is dead.

        The discussion is not about racial discrimination. The topic is about what to do about past discrimination – slavery in particular. The chair does not represent a person. The chair represents a concept. It bears a scar of a stupid act, long past.

        OK?

      • Tuttabella says:

        But the Coates article didn’t focus on slavery or institutionalized discrimination, the effects of which are now rather abstract and “historical” due to the passage of time, so much as on more recent examples of outright theft due to trickery, in which the victims and/or immediate family are still alive and could truly and clearly benefit from redress.

        That’s why I prefer the more concrete terms “return” or “give back” versus the vague and abstract “reparations” or even “restoration” suggested by Owl.

      • Intrigued says:

        Fifty, Tutt nailed your metaphor. We haven’t fixed the broken chair because for whatever screwed up reason people would rather deem the chair as useless and keep breaking it down so that it can never be restored to it’s full functionality. In your metaphor you actually restore the chair to functionality even though it may look different than the other chairs. What has society done to fix the damage caused by slavery and the stolen wealth of African Americans? Affirmative action? Equal Oppurtunity? You would disregard both as being the “nattering ninnies”, the useless females. Fifty you think you are superior to Stern but you really aren’t. Pathetic. Really!

      • CaptSternn says:

        Really, Intrigued? Do you think you are superior? Do you look at others as inferior? Do you walk around with you nose in the air demanding that others step off the sidewalk when you pass, to make room for you?

      • fiftyohm says:

        Intregued- Here’s what I suggest: First, read more carefully. Just what in the hell do you think the careful repair job was? Did you ever even consider it might have been affirmative action and equal opportunity? (There’s a ‘join all chairs at the table’ metaphor there, you know.). Second, you really need to dismount your feminist high horse. There are those who just sit around and talk about problems without doing or proposing anything. In this story, they were ladies. Also in this story was my drunk uncle. Ya figure therefore I believe all men are drunks? God, how tiresome.

        And thinking I’m superior to Cap? More of your projecting notions about me you know absolutely nothing about.

        Gotta tell ya, a more “pathetic”, and ill-reasoned response I’ve not read in some time.

      • Intrigued says:

        Fifty, any projected notions I have made about you have come from your previous comments. If my memory is correct you oppose affirmative action and question the extent to which the Govenment should impose employment laws on the private sector. If my assumptions are wrong maybe you are doing a poor job projecting your beliefs in your comments.

        Now I asked what has society done to repair the damage caused by slavery? Prohibiting uncle Louie from breaking any more chairs does not repair the damage. Prohibiting the discrimination of the broken chair does not repair the damage. So what have we done to repair the broken chair?

      • fiftyohm says:

        Intrigued- It is left to the reader to determine the manner of, and the extent of the ‘repair’. Obviously, chair legs are somewhat different than the real subject here. If you cannot enumerate a single thing that our society has done to mend the leg, I’ll be of no help. If you believe that any and all manners of repair are, or could be, effective, reread the story. I took no editorial position on any specific redress here. I did suggest some are probably neither useful or inappropriate.

        You seem to be of the mind that any opposition to your vision of affirmative action is racism, pure and simple. Frankly, that vision is a gross oversimplification, pure and simple. If you think that any and all opposition to government intervention in private sector transactions is racist, well, see above. That type of closed-minded, my way or the highway, view of a complex social problem is no less tiresome than your insipid sexist claptrap. (Or, in fact, other commenters on the other side of the spectrum.)

        Here’s a hint, directly from the story: The chair cannot be perfectly restored by any effort. It can be repaired reasonably, both esthetically and functionally. The ‘how’ of all this is for you to decide – in much the same fashion as Coates left it. What is not for you to decide is that any divergence from your personal view of that is stupid, racist, sexist, ignorant, or without validity. Actually, I don’t give a damn what you think. I do reserve the right to be disappointed, though.

      • Intrigued says:

        Of course you don’t give a damn what I think. I criticized your metaphor and questioned your intentions behind it, your poor fragile ego must be shattered. (insert sarcasm)

        I read your metaphor and interpretted your argument to be we have restored the chair to functionality and all we can do now is accept the past and move forward. Coates argued that we haven’t acknowledged the full extent of the damage. Hell some are still arguing whether drunk Louie broke the chair or the chair broke itself. My only question was what have we done to fix the damage caused by slavery? You claim the chair was restored the best way possible. If your metaphor has any relevance you should be able to answer that simple question.

        “The ‘how’ of all this is for you to decide – in much the same fashion as Coates left it. What is not for you to decide is that any divergence from your personal view of that is stupid, racist, sexist, ignorant, or without validity.” Back at ya fifty! You sure do dish the judgment but you sure can’t seem to take can ya?

      • Intrigued says:

        Fifty to clarify, I never said your metaphor was was sexist. In the past you have dismissed EEO laws and affirmative action as useless and counterproductive, the same as the “nattering nitties” in your story. Now you claim AA and EO to be part of the fix. It seems you would rather assume accusations opposed to explain your contractictory beliefs.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Intrigued- Everyone but you seems to understand the ninnies in the story were the ones who did nothing but talk. Further, whilst the chair was fixed in the story, the extension that we are done with the issue of race relations in America is remarkably creative, And remarkably wrong.

        You want to get on the side of an issue that will really, really do some good for the black community? Advocate the rationalization of sentencing in our courts. The current situation is that a black male aged 15 has today about a one in three chance of spending time in prison. (Mostly on non-violent, drug-related charges.) About one in three black males between the ages of 25 and 34 are “in the system” today. The impact of this on families, employment opportunity, and long-term economic mobility is disastrous.

        There is nothing of more significance to normalizing race relations in our society than this. Of course it’s not on your list, so it must not be a valid notion.

      • Intrigued says:

        It’s not on my list? Since you only understand your blathering rants here you go. “More of your projecting notions about me you know absolutely nothing about.” Yes a fair judicial system without race profiling should be a top priority. Why would you think I wouldn’t agree with that?

        All I have said is we have done little to nothing to fix the chair and have asked you numerous times what you think we have done to fix the chair. I finally got an answer “Further, whilst the chair was fixed in the story, the extension that we are done with the issue of race relations in America is remarkably creative, And remarkably wrong.” Great! Why was that so hard?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Modern prohibition is based on racism. Opiates were outlawed to target Chinese, cocaine outlawed to target blacks, marijuana outlawed to target Mexicans. Prohibition needs to be repealed … again. Only this time it was done without a constitutional amendment, and that level of damage to the constitution will be very difficult to undo, especially when so many, including many here, don’t want to undo that damage.

        It is much more than just sentencing guidlines, but nobody is willing to discuss what is politically incorrect. Forget the sentencing issues, the real question is why are so many black people “in the system” to begin with? Not many people will even address that question, because to do so makes that person look like a racist. Unless, of course, the person addressing it is also black, then they are called an Uncle Tom, or worse.

        To address the issues you two are discussing would take an honest, open, bald faced, fact oriented debate or discussion. We would not actually begin with black people, white people, or even one eyed one horned purple people eaters, but with do-gooders trying to make things right, to give reparations over the past few decades but actually making things worse and doing even more harm.

        That would focus on the democrats and their supporters, and that the end justifies the means, to oppress people, make them dependent and control them. First people with darker skin, then women, and eventually everybody.

        Want to have an honest discussion about it? I don’t think it is possible. Why are so many black people, especially black males, “in the system”? It isn’t because police want to harass black people.

        There was a young lady and her even younger boyfriend that were robbing people at gunpoint in store parking lots, and when caught and asked why she did it, her reply was, “I have no choice. That is what black people do and I am black.” Who taught her such a thing? Where did she learn such a thing? Why would she believe such a thing? The black police officers and detectives did not appreciate such a comment.

        Now, as usual, I will be called a racist. I have not one racist bone in my body, nor one racist hair on my head, but I have already been labeled a racist here and this comment will drive people to further accuse me of being a racist. And in so doing we will never actually discuss nor address the real issues. That is part of the way the leftists exert control over people, all people.

      • fiftyohm says:

        OK, Cap – The first paragraph was 100% correct. To the rest:

        ” Three strikes and her out” sentencing laws have a hell of a lot to do with the current problem. They are a result of the “law and order” crowd who are decidedly on the right-of-center. You cannot lay that at the feet of the left.

        The rest is really a chicken and egg argument. You’re not going to tell us that a kid growing up with his dad in prison has (real) equal opportunity, are you?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, the kid has as much equal opportunity as anybody else. Maybe not the advantages, since his dad made poor choices and wound up in prison and did not provide for his children. That is on the dad.

        But each person can grow and choose a different path and be better. To better provide for themselves, their family and their children and their future generations.

        What is stopping them from doing so, regardless of skin color?

        I recently met a young lady that is changing things in her family. Working hard to give her children a home and advantages she was not given and did not have. What does it matter about the color of her skin?

      • fiftyohm says:

        I see. So am I to understand you to say that the nuclear family unit, with a resident father and mother, is unimportant because the kids without can make their own courageous and independent choices, and are afforded the freedom to do so? That’s sure not the drum beat I hear from the right.

        If you do not hold with the above, then the nuclear family is, in fact, important to our society. If you believe this, why, if the kids can make their won and proper choices, absent one?

      • Intrigued says:

        Stern did you here the story about the white drunk who claimed he drove drunk because that’s what white people do? What was the purpose of your story and why would you assume this lady represented black people in anyway other than the color of her skin? Why do black people have to carry the burden of others stupidity? Whether made up or real it should be discarded as a stupid irrelevant crime story.

      • Intrigued says:

        Wow sorry about the typos. I was hurrying to get that posted before I was needed by the fam.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Cap- The reason skin color came up in this particular discussion is that you said, and I wholeheartedly agree, that drug laws were, at their origin, and continue to be in their effect, fundamentally racist. Remember?

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Loved the story, fifty: a great metaphor. We can’t undo the past, but we can try to compensate for its effects.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Thanks Owl. I thought you’d get it.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Just because we dont agree with every single point or heap you with praise doesnt mean we dont get it. I like the part about the aunts wringing their hands over the problem yet doing nothing about it.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Thanks, Tutt. But didn’t you find that sexist?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I can be sexist about it, too. I often compare this predominantly male blog to a place where “men hens” hang out. As we say in Spanish: “Parecen viejas.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I should probably keep a low profile for a while after that comment i just made. I am sure i have pissed off both sexes.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Fifty – I thought the metaphor was perfect. The chair may never be exactly the same but an honest effort was put in to repair the past break and is now an equal part of the chair even if it does look a little off.

        Owl – I remember once you described the act of repairing past injustices in one of two ways. I am paraphrasing here but you once claimed that we can try to repair race relations with direct quotas (wrong but cheap) or through years of difficult change to reform our social institutions (difficult and expensive). Unfortunately there are too many in our society that refuse to even admit a problem even exists, so even a dialogue on the issue is near impossible.

  21. Tuttabella says:

    I’m not really impressed with this Noah person’s reply — too flippant and superficial – the proposed solution a valid one but easier said than done. I expected a more earnest approach, a more fleshed out solution. In any case, just a tiny morsel of food for thought, not very stimulating, not much to build on.

  22. texan5142 says:

    Nice Chris! Never mind the halfwitts …… My apologies to halfwitts, they are way ahead of some who post here.

    How is the gardening going Chris? Pulled six nice Cucs today and a Bell Pepper. Looks like a big ass Deer ate the Sunflowers and some Okra tops. Lettuce patch is grand and the tomatoes are coming along nicely . Grilled tuna steaks with fresh veggies for supper.

    • Turtles Run says:

      My wife tried growing sunflowers one year but the problem was that she also has two bird houses for Purple Martins. After spending one morning admiring her birds and professing her love for them she noticed they ate her sunflowers. She then proceeded to use the type of language on those birds that she generally reserves for me.

      I love my wife.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I would like to place an order for a grilled swordfish steak to go, please.

      • texan5142 says:

        Funny, I bought those also. I think I am gonna sear them in a skillet of sauteed garlic and onions with olive oil tonight.

  23. kabuzz61 says:

    Your obsession with race AGAIN.

    If you check the comment section the last time you posted this I commented that no amount of money can fix this. Forgiveness and moving on is the only thing. Not forget, forgive.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      For some reason, neo-cons always want *others* to forgive *them*. But they’re better at holding grudges than virtually anyone else alive.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Owl, something tells me that Kabuzz was probably never a liberal like yourself. Or do you even know what “neo-con” or “neo-conservative” means? Then again, why do I bother to ask? You just make up your own definitions on the fly.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Accusing others of what you yourself do? Karl Rove would be proud of you, Sternn.

        Why, you’re almost as much of an asshole as he is.

  24. Bart-1 says:

    I disgaree with him on many/most things: The need to use obscenities and insults in a “discussion” (i account this to being in the liberal mindset of “Owl” and “bubba”), support for this “resident” in office, or the need to be in a union to have a funded pension and retire early and live a life of relaxation and golf like we do, but I do agree with his stand to NOT get involved in the Iraq War again and his statement here:
    desperado says:
    June 13, 2014 at 11:58 am
    Dan, you’re never going to have any success overcoming your mental health issues until you stop living in the past. Just trying to help.
    Just insert “Dems” for “dan”. Noah Smith (and despo) accurately describes Coates’ (and most Liberals’) condition well.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      So the cowardly troll bully bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis who posts simultaneously under multiple ID’s and hypocritically character attacks yet whines about “obscenities”? In the same post?

      You have outdone yourself again bart despite your past spectacular ethical contortions.

      Picking and choosing when to use decorum and what constitutes character again bart? Do as I say not as I do bart?

      Luckily bart, you are the neither the final authority nor arbiter of ANYTHING of significance. Much less this blog (re: NOT yours). Deal with it.

      Another variation of your usual self unaware infinite loop of hypocritically whining about someone else’s purported hypocrisy. Yaaaaaawn.

      Pretty bold when no one’s around to call you on your lying crap eh bart?

      Ooooh, an “obscenity”. Tsk Tsk.

      How “brave” of you to character attack when you think that person isn’t around or you mistakenly believe unable to respond. Still haven’t changed your cowardly bully “style”, have you bart? I am shocked, absolutely shocked I say.

      Slink away again to your “early retirement” with MY taxpayer money bart. Dadgum lazy gub’ment slackers. Oh that’s right only THEY are all government takers. Never you when you don’t own a mirror in your life.

      • texan5142 says:

        You two should get a room. : p

      • Bart-1 says:

        the liar would be the one who claimed I was “forced to retire”, remember that one? Your entire poit just serves to prove my point. At least Craig (Despo) and Chris aren’t the cowards who hide in anonymity. I’ll give them that much.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Wow you really can’t help yourself with your abject hypocrisy eh bart?

        You create 3 simultaneous anonymous ID ‘s online for the sole purpose of bullying others and you have the gall to call anyone else a coward?

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