Why I Hate People #374 with guest writer SHELLEY TREGOR

I know it isn't only older folks who do this, but it sure does seem to be common among those of my relation and acquaintance: Why do senior citizens seem to think it is okay to comment on the racial make-up of the crowd at a meeting or restaurant or other gathering, particularly when the predominant race or ethnic group represented in the group is different from that of the commenter? And why won't they take silence as a proper response?

Here's what I typically do:
If the commenter is a friend or relative of mine, I will let that person know that I am not interested in hearing such "observations" and I will tell them nicely - but specifically - why I find such remarks troublesome or offensive. If, however, the commenter is either a random person nearby (and you'd be surprised how often this seems to happen) or someone of only tangential acquaintance, I will look at the commenter for a long moment, partly to make sure I have correctly understood the intent of the remark and partly to make it clear to the person that I heard what was said, and then I will turn my eyes and attention elsewhere. I will simply be silent; I avoid even an "mm hmm" or "uh-huh" for fear that either could be perceived as tacit agreement or complicity in the views of the commenter. I do not actively change the subject. I'd rather there be silence in an effort to indicate that I am pointedly not responding versus simply glossing over a potentially awkward moment by moving the conversation (and, thus, the person's attention) elsewhere.

First off, does this sort of thing happen to you, too?
Do you notice certain categories of people (by age, urban/suburban, socio-economic background, religious background, college-educated vs. not, geographic history, etc.) doing this more often than others?
If it does happen to you, what do you do?

Intentional Misunderstanding

There was a point where the one thing that could unite us was that the avaricious fraud in the investment and banking community had an adverse effect on our economy. Then Occupy Wall Street happened. Now the most entrenched people on the right are acting like fraud was not the issue. Instead, they are taking the opportunity to take pot shots at the people who have taken the anger to the streets. They have taken the position expressed in the photo above that anyone who is angry at Wall Street wrongdoing should blame themselves. The reason why is because they have assumed (perhaps rightfully so) that most OWS participants are left-leaning. Instead of settling for common ground with people who think differently than they do, they would rather switch to defend Wall Street against the great unwashed masses.

I recently pointed out in another post that the motivating factor for most Republicans to deny human contributions to climate change is to try to keep liberals from controlling the dialog on an issue. For them, it's not about solutions, it's about control. Now that's real mature.

The Great Lazy Unwashed complaining about the mess they got themselves into.

The Cain Scrutiny

My father sent me this video below of Boyce Watkins explaining just what makes Herman Cain a racist. Here Watkins is supposed to be debating against Ron Christie, but Christie seems to be having a different discussion with someone else. If you notice, the first time Christie responds to Watkins, he protests the accusation that blacks who act a certain way are "acting white." Ummm. Ron, no one said anything about you or Herman Cain acting white.

Boyce simply states clearly that the more trash Herman Cain talks about black people, the higher his numbers go in the poll. He then compares Cain to someone like Colin Powell whose dignity puts him above throwing blacks under the bus like Cain does.  Ron Christie is a smart guy and he's probably used to being the smartest black guy in the room, but not on this day.

And now Herman Cain thinks that racism in America doesn't hold black people back. No Hermie, it doesn't... unless you're one of the many black or hispanic people disproportionately thrown in jail for pot possession. Here is a link to a story about this phenomena as it happens on the West Coast and here is a link to a story as it happens on East Coast.

If you were wondering if racist pot busts are the last vestiges of our national shame, oh no. Oh no no no. Just read this short article from Dave Sirota on how race effects umpire calls in Major League Baseball. Fascinating stuff. One could dispute the data in the study Sirota profiles, but I'll just say this - I've never heard of an academic study that proves race bias (or racism which Herman Cain admits exists) has no effect on its subject.

Pogrom's Progress

Conservative pathology will not effect how Barack Obama will do in 2012 election. The staunchest 20% or so of the electorate who always hated Obama because he was simultaneously black, liberal, and viable will never stop believing the goofy shit they believe about him to further justify their hatred.  It does bring to mind a good question though; how will conservative pathology effect the chances of a Mormon like Mitt Romney in 2012? There has not yet even been a Catholic Republican nominee for president. We all know that in the hierarchy of religions and cults, Catholics are higher up than Mormons, a little.

Mitt Romney is the Republican frontrunner and that is without the support of conservative Evangelicals. That is not just because Perry and Bachmann are the Evangelical favorites. It is because Romney is a Mormon and enough conservative Evangelicals don’t like/hate/feel superior to/sit in judgment of Mormons. Just as many Conservatives think it is acceptable to openly denigrate Muslims, gays, etc, many conservative Evangelicals don’t have a problem trashing Mormonism, and by extension, Mormons. We saw this on Friday when a high-profile Perry supporter and Evangelical called Mormonism a cult with an assured viciousness that let you know he would no sooner support Mitt Romney than he would let his daughter sauna with Herman Cain.

If Romney becomes the Republican nominee as I presume, he can count on a good share of Independents swinging his way. But for him to win he would need enough independent votes to make up for the Evangelicals and other random Conservatives who hate Mormons because hating just comes so damn easy. How tolerant they become of Mormons by the time Election Day rolls around will depend in small part on the defeated evangelical candidates and Sarah Palin. The more Perry, Bachmann, and Palin support Romney, the better his chances would be, theoretically. Romney has the option of making Perry his running mate, but he may worry about Perry being his Palin factor, dragging the ticket down as people realize more and more how empty-headed Perry is. I still think that Romney will go a-courtin’ Haley Barbour who bailed out of the race before he became (more) damaged goods.

Conservative Evangelicals will see this one coming down to the Muslim versus the  Mormon. I try to imagine what they think the wages of electing a Mormon are and it must be akin to their expectations of Obama’s favoritism towards Al Qaeda. If Mitt Romney’s going to be president we better get Congress to declare that marriage is between a man and a woman - not a man and a woman and a woman and a woman and a woman and a woman and a woman.  

Herbert Hoover was Right About One Thing

"The trouble with capitalism is the capitalists; they're too damn greedy!"

- Herbert Hoover

If only my ears could vomit.

Last week I listened to an interview on NPR with Bill Frezza, a venture capitalist and fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute “which advocates for limited government and free markets.” In the interview he clarifies that businesses are not looking to hire people out of charity. Businesses are job creators incidentally and not so by purpose. They hire only as far as it suits their need to make money. Business hiring is something that occurs independently of everything except the financial needs of the company. That’s fine. I agree that this is how most businesses operate. But then Frezza went on in business shill mode complaining about the negative effect of taxes and regulation on so-called job creators, capping it with the question, “why would those people run out and try to risk their businesses by hiring more.”

“Busted, you fink” I thought to myself while listening to the interview. After previously admitting that businesses hire only as far as it suits their needs, Frezza fell back into the explanation that businesses won’t hire in an atmosphere of higher taxes and regulation. But by his original point, businesses that aren’t going to hire aren’t going to hire anyway, regardless of the business climate he says is being set in Washington. He then freely admitted that businesses are “hunkering down” by not hiring for the duration of the Obama presidency. So to recap Frezza's points, employment is not a tool for charity, but for evil. 

In explaining the need for business to be amoral Frezza tried to come off as a lobbyists for the entire business community, but his specialty is just the large greedy niche that try to make their problems everyone else's problems. I’m talking about the business sociopaths who believe in owing nothing and being owed everything - the ones who feign fragility when faced with taxes and regulation and who never mention jobs unless they are laying off workers or using employment as a chip whenever they don’t get their own way. Contrary to Frezza’s testimony, we don’t have to allow for capitalism by any means necessary.  

I don’t make it a habit of watching Fox News, Fox Business Channel, or CNBC, but I’ve seen enough of them to witness apologists for the business sociopaths whine about the undue burden of government. Their cries would be believable if they ever produced a docket of people whose successful honest businesses were forced to close down either because of taxes or regulations. These chumps are like our friend Frezza who talks tough on the one hand about how "business gotta do what business gotta do" and then squeals about not having the perfect conditions for their businesses to flourish because Washington has turned off their bathwater, blown out their candles and turned off their Yanni CD. My guess is that business is just as resilient as the millions of households who have to pay taxes and follow rules then get up to live another day.

This notion of an epidemic of business being put in ruins by federal taxes and regulation is just another floater in the toilet of conservative paranoia along with “them coming to take your guns,” and ACORN stealing the 08 election. It has become de rigueur for the greedy to stick the "job-killing" modifier on the word regulation in hopes of gaining the sympathy of scared members of the middle-class, but don't take my word for it. This is what Bruce Bartlett, former senior adviser to Reagan and Bush I has said about the contrived linkage between regulation and employment:
"regulatory uncertainty is a canard invented by the Republicans that allows them to use current economic problems to pursue an agenda supported by the business community year in and year out. In other words, it is a simple case of political opportunism, not a serious effort to deal with high unemployment."
 When you see what regulations they are describing as job-killing, it should make you most suspicious.

-CEO compensation disclosure
-Rewarding whistleblowers
-Requiring mining companies to disclose information about mine safety
-Requiring employers to post notices informing workers of their rights

Are any of these believable impediments to employment?

Meanwhile, Darrell Issa, the Republican Chairman on the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been conducting hearings on how excessive regulations have been hurting business. When Issa became chairman in 2011 he made the claim that Barack Obama was one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times. Then he backpedaled, claiming he meant the administration and not the president was the most corrupt in modern times. He further softened his tone by saying that he would not be using his position to prosecute this corrupt administration.

Instead, Issa finally settled on a deceptive crusade against regulations using cheap Republican tricks to embolden him. Some of his witnesses are simply opposed to certain regulations that others in their industry lobbied for in the first place. In other words, their gripes are not as much against Obama as they are against their industry peers. Issa has also gone so far as to call in a herpetologist for testimony that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s placement of nine species of snakes on the injurious wildlife listing is hurting the economy. Issa has turned the hearings into a charade drowning out those small business owners who may actually have legitimate complaints with regulations made for bigger outfits that negatively effect them. Not that it matters to Issa whose goal is really to create a political stunt to portray the Obama administration as an over-regulating behemoth who is further damaging the economy. Issa is not doing this as a service to the general public, but to the corporate community. It begs the question of how much taxpayer money Issa is spending for his excesses as the committee chairman.

Meanwhile, when the Tea Party tried to stand in the way raising the debt ceiling back in August, there was no outcry from the greed apologists about how irresponsible the Tea Party was and how their actions would adversely effect job creators. Instead the so-called job creators made silent chummy pleas with Tea Party affiliated lawmakers to come to their senses while they publicly bashed Obama. The reason for the hypocrisy is that tBig Business can still rely on the Tea Party to carry their water when it comes to the call for less government.

To hear greedy corporate shills cry poverty while corps roll in record profits is pathetic. What’s even more pathetic that they are trying to get the little guy to back them up for nothing in return. Business is not the enemy. Greed is the enemy. The biggest complaints against the current business environment are coming from capitalist cowboys who don’t want any responsibility aside from making as much money as they possibly can any way they can. They try to convince us that they should be given all the advantages at everyone else’s expense because someday they might hire people when they absolutely need to. No deal.

If there is no active beneficial social component to you and your company’s scheme to get as rich as possible by any means necessary, stop expecting breaks along the way. I do not elect my officials to make life easy for the people who already have it the easiest, but want it even easier. I don’t elect my officials to further indulge the greedy in more greed. I elect officials who will look out for the people whose lives really are closer to the margins, who are making five figures and dutifully paying their taxes, who can’t afford lawyers to help them skirt the law, who are trying to find ways to send their children to college, who are one illness away from financial ruin, who have done everything right just to have their pensions devalued by people who got bonuses to do it. THOSE STORIES ARE REAL! 

A Time Waster for Your Monday

AOTL doesn't want you to rush back into your work week any faster than you do so to help you stall until the donuts and coffee and kick in, Here's a Monday morning puzzle. (Due to compatibility issues some puzzle pieces may lie outside the puzzle boundary rendering them unretrievable. Hopefully, this will be the worst thing that happens to you today)

If we can't have our American Dream then deal with this...