A Ku Klux Klan snowman in 2010? It’s not even in the South…
A Ku Klux Klan snowman in 2010? It’s not even in the South…
Billionaire hedge fund manager and liberal philanthropist George Soros clearly doesn’t care what his establishment peers think any more — but he can still get his opinions published in the Wall Street Journal:
Our marijuana laws are clearly doing more harm than good. The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.
Law enforcement agencies today spend many billions of taxpayer dollars annually trying to enforce this unenforceable prohibition. The roughly 750,000 arrests they make each year for possession of small amounts of marijuana represent more than 40% of all drug arrests.
Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually. It also would reduce the crime, violence and corruption associated with drug markets, and the violations of civil liberties and human rights that occur when large numbers of otherwise law-abiding citizens are subject to arrest.
Pollster Stanley Greenberg and political operative James Carville, last year, reported on a series of focus groups with older, white Republicans in Georgia. They were on a quest to understand the hardcore opposition to Obama. Is it racist?
They concluded no. They admonished us to “Get over it.” The animus to Obama, they claimed, is “based in the same unwavering, bedrock conservative principles that have always led them to oppose liberal policies. Some of their subjects even claim to be post racial-”proud” there is an African-American president.
I have my own informal focus group, and I’m not buying it.
I work as a psychologist in nursing homes, and I talk daily to the older salt of the earth. The other day I assessed the cognitive status of an 87-year-old male member of the Greatest Generation, and realized yet again how enmeshed racism is in our cultural DNA.
The Globe and Mail has an intriguing survey of levels of tolerance in countries around the world. Specifically, people in various nations were polled on whether they would dislike having neighbors who were of a different race, a different religion, spoke another language, were gay, etc. In most categories, the United States falls into the middle region between very tolerant and intolerant locales, suggesting we’re not as open-minded and live-and-let-live as one would expect of a “nation of immigrants.”
Below, places where the most citizens say they would object to having a neighbor of another race:
No doubt he and his mates thought he was being really funny — right up until he got fired! From Reuters:
A New Zealand television host has quit after sparking a diplomatic row when he ridiculed the name of Sheila Dikshit, the chief minister of the Indian capital, New Delhi.
Television station TVNZ came under heavy criticism after its “Breakfast” show host Paul Henry mispronounced Dikshit, despite being told by the lead anchor that it is pronounced “Dixit.”
India summoned New Zealand’s high commissioner on Thursday to formally protest against what it said were “racial remarks” involving Dikshit who was asked last month to take charge of the floundering Commonwealth Games preparations.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on Monday that Henry had resigned after several hundred complaints to the broadcaster regarding his Dikshit comments and questioning whether the nation’s Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, who is of Indian descent, was “even a New Zealander.”…
A new study from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis looks at how much African Americans and whites favor or prefer their own racial group over the other, how much they identify with their own racial group, and how positively they feel about themselves.
The work, by Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in the School of Science at IUPUI, looked at both consciously controllable sentiments and gut feelings about social stigma and found a significant difference in both groups between what people say they feel and their less controllable “gut feelings.”
“The Importance of Implicit and Explicit Measures for Understanding Social Stigma” appears in the current (September 2010) issue of the Journal of Social Issues.
Many studies of stigma have been conducted since the end of World War II but until recently they have looked primarily at explicit (recently learned) attitudes and did not include implicit measures of deep seated feelings acquired earlier in life and not consciously accessible.
I suppose it’s somewhat comforting to know that the United States is not the only country with xenophobic pastors and politicians who want to burn Korans, or in the case of France, ban women from wearing burqas (those head-veils) in public — but it’s not exactly going to make life any easier for the French, who have already seen a threat to the Eiffel Tower as a result!
The Guardian reports on the emergence of a neo-Nazi movement in Mongolia. The groups hate the Chinese and post disturbing videos on YouTube of women having their heads shaved against their will. The Nazi identification is surprising, to put it lightly, considering Mongolia’s own history, but the followers have definitely taken fascist fashion to a new level:
A new strain of Nazism has found an unlikely home: Mongolia.
Once again, ultra-nationalists have emerged from an impoverished economy and turned upon outsiders. This time the main targets come from China, the rising power to the south.
Groups such as Tsagaan Khass, or White Swastika, portray themselves as patriots standing up for ordinary citizens in the face of foreign crime, rampant inequality, political indifference and corruption.
Dayar Mongol threatened to shave the heads of women who sleep with Chinese men. Three years ago, the leader of Blue Mongol was convicted of murdering his daughter’s boyfriend, reportedly because the young man had studied in China.
Matt Taibbi mouths off in the wake of the Shirley Sherrod affair, at Rolling Stone:
“You don’t get control of the White House and two governors and the Justice Department, and then start arguing with people carrying signs.” – Al Sharpton
Years ago a friend of mine in the media told me a story about an experience he had covering the execution of John Wayne Gacy in Joliet, Illinois. You won’t find anyone in the world who’d have been sad to see serial child murderer in a clown suit like Gacy die, but this reporter friend of mine said the crowd outside the prison on execution night freaked him out almost as much as Gacy had. There were something like 400 people outside the gates at Joliet and there were people selling commemorative t-shirts and pounding beers and chanting (“Kill the Clown!” was a popular one) all night.
Mediamatters tells us “Never Trust Andrew Breitbart.” Do you think he’s lost all credibility, or actually gained some amongst Tea Party types?