Links 8/27/10

Live Tiger found in check-in baggage Traffic

Van-mounted body scanners coming to a street near you? Raw Story (hat tip reader John D). So this is where your tax dollars are going….

Beck rally will be a measure of ‘tea party’ strength Washington Post (hat tip reader Skippy):

Beck, who is both admired and assailed for his faith-based patriotism and his brash criticism of President Obama, plans in part to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. as an American hero. He will speak on the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech, from the spot where King delivered it.

Tea Party Rocks Primaries Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone (hat tip reader Frank A). You need to read this.

Dodd vs. Warren shows that government is broken Andrew Leonard, Salon

Japan’s Consumer Prices Slide, Adding to Risk of Slower Growth Bloomberg

Despite recovery, the credit crunch actually gets worse Eurointelligence

An Autopsy of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Economix (hat tip Mark Thoma)

Fiscal Austerity and “Third World America” Simon Johnson

David Dayen’s Portrait of HAMP Failures Mike Konczal

Calls for radical rethink of derivatives body Gillian Tett, Financial Times. A generally fine piece, except she calls on ISDA to become a genuine trade body….when we only know how to do lobbying organizations masquerading as trade groups here in the US.

This Is Not a Recovery Paul Krugman, New York Times

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Doug Terpstra

    Taibbi’s piece is a scary look into the dim cavity of the regressive mind—a fragile and empty vessel that the wing-nut media is filling with cartoonish hate- and fear-mongering. If you’re not a beckerhead or dittohead, you will be surprised by the calculated race-baiting and weird charges of socialism flogged by media as talk-radio moves to Fox Noise and the loonie moonie Wash Times. Beck channeling MLK is stranger than fiction.

    It can happen here. Taibbi’s examples come close to shouting fire in a crowded theater, which will inevitably serve as catalyst for unfocused violence, against Muslim cabbies, Mexicans, and others. The FCC says we can’t see a nipple, but this stuff is okay?

    Once again, in the perfect vacuum of DC leadership, Obama and the Dems are curiously mute about this, even colluding with it as evidenced by the urgency of so-called ground-zero mosque controversy. It makes you wonder if they are simply scared sh*tless as usual or maybe even collusive because: a) division and distraction protects their tenure via contributors who are the appropriate targets of rage, or b) in Obama’s case, a two-year exile in the briar patch of a GOP congress is baked into the cake to enable SS “reform” and other evil intent, under the fig leaf of theatrical obstructionism.

    1. Ignim Brites

      Taibbi’s argument is typical progressive self-soothing. He cannot accept that he is isolated from the people and so resorts to fantasies of false consciousness. Whether you are for or against it, the protest against illegal immigration is real. If rich white liberals would add a few words to the party line about the utility of the illegal immigrants, “They take jobs native citizens are unwilling to do”, they might begin to understand. Those few words: “at the wages we are willing to pay.”

      1. alex

        ‘the protest against illegal immigration is real’

        Which protest? The one about the economic issues is very real, but easily debunked stories about decapitated bodies just serves to undermine the valid complaints.

        ‘If rich white liberals would add a few words to the party line about the utility of the illegal immigrants, “They take jobs native citizens are unwilling to do”, they might begin to understand. Those few words: “at the wages we are willing to pay.”’

        I heartily agree with the words you’ve added, but the statement that “they take jobs native citizens are unwilling to do” is a verbatim line from George W. Bush. Would you call him a liberal?

        1. Ignim Brites

          Good point Alex. But I might turn it around and ask if rich white liberals are really liberal when the accept the premise that illegal immigrants take jobs that Americans will not.

    2. DownSouth

      “Taibbi’s piece is a scary look into the dim cavity of the regressive mind—a fragile and empty vessel that the wing-nut media is filling with cartoonish hate- and fear-mongering.”

      That’s a great description of the approximately ¼ of the American population which can stare at Obama’s birth certificate and yet still believe he wasn’t born in the United States.

      The drive to legitimate their prejudice against Mexican immigrants by making their prejudice “rational” hinges on three arguments:

      1) Crime—the immigrants commit a disproportionate number of violent, drug and property crimes
      2) Macroeconomic—the immigrants take more from the economy than they give back
      3) Microeconomic—the immigrants take jobs that willing Americans would take and at less pay

      Numerous empirical studies debunk points #1 and #2. Studies such as this one have repeatedly shown that immigrants are actually less inclined to commit violent, drug and property crimes than native born Americans. The macroeconomic effects of immigrants are a wash.

      So that leaves point #3. But here the nativists fall victim not to a campaign of distortions and outright lies, but cognitive inconsistencies. For they make their argument strictly against illegal immigrants. But the highly educated and highly skilled immigrant who comes to take jobs away from native-born Americans is a legal immigrant. So the nativist claim of protecting the jobs of native-born American workers from immigrant workers falls victim to cognitive dissonance.

      If one strips away the “rational” prejudices, all that remains are the irrational ones. And there’s a name for that. It’s called racism.

      1. eric anderson

        As I have pointed out before (comment got eaten?), some of the brightest lights in the Tea Party movement are black, Hispanic, and Indian.

        It is the antagonists of the movement for liberty and rule of law in this country who are suffering the dissonance.

        1. DownSouth


          Whites don’t have a monopoly on irrational behavior.

          Nor do non-whites have any special immunity to a well orchestrated campaign of lies and disinformation.

        2. Anonymous Jones

          It is your comments, eric, that are totally disconnected from reality. I have no idea how you have convinced yourself that I and most of the others in this country are against liberty and the rule of law, but you appear to have done so without anything that could be remotely considered factual or logical.

          I’m not against many of the principles of Tea Party or many of the principles of Glenn Beck. How many people could possibly be against the values of “Honesty, Reverence, Hope, Thrift, Humility, Charity, Sincerity, Moderation, Hard Work, Courage, Personal Responsibility, and Gratitude?” I’m certainly not. The disconnect is that there is very little evidence for (and a ton of evidence against) the claim that Beck and the leaders of the Tea Party actually live a life using those values.

          And I highly doubt anyone has “eaten” any of your comments. Nothing you say is, or has ever been, compelling in any way.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The other day, there was a thread about presidents fading into obscurity, I am reminded of how much the ancient Egyptians hated the abnormal-looking Akhenaten and his alien new government and new Sun religion that after he was gone, they chiselled off his likeness and name from all public carvings.

        In both cases, one detects the same psychological motivation.

      3. LeeAnne

        Here’s a rational argument.

        I don’t like my government behaving illegally and being forced to live with the consequences. And I was taught that ILLEGAL is WRONG; politically correct Orwellian language notwithstanding.

        There are all kinds ramifications for the 30,000,000 people under a segregated (see different) legal system, treated by law differently and to the detriment of everyone forced against their will to live in the system for the profit of corporations, bankers, governments, Mexican grandees and their political and financial counterparts in the US.

        And the argument in favor of corporations, bankers, government and political hacks, Mexicans as well as Americans, always goes the same:

        1. These poor people are getting one big break.
        2. You’re politically incorrect.
        3. You’re against immigrants.

      4. alex

        “The macroeconomic effects of immigrants are a wash.”

        If you only look at mean values, but looking at mean values and ignoring the variance is a simplistic approach.

        “So that leaves point #3. … they make their argument strictly against illegal immigrants. But the highly educated and highly skilled immigrant who comes to take jobs away from native-born Americans is a legal immigrant.”

        The economic effect of any given immigrant (legal or illegal) on any given American depends on whether or not that immigrant has similar job skills to the American. If they do the effect is detrimental, and if not it’s beneficial. So long as we have immigrants with a wide variety of job skills, the effect is fair. But we don’t. Instead we have a concentration of low-paid job skill immigrants (many illegal) and a concentration of immigrants and legal guest workers with “tech” skills (IT, engineering, math, science). This is driven by political power, not fair and reasonable economic arguments. Why don’t we have more immigrant doctors, lawyers and accountants? Answer: they have better unions (oops, I meant professional associations) than landscapers and IT workers.

        1. DownSouth

          “This is driven by political power, not fair and reasonable economic arguments.”

          Truer words have never been spoken.

          It’s just too convenient how the Tea Partiers carve out an exception for the Microsofts of the world, which have the money and political clout to procure visas for the workers they need so that they can be “legal.” But if it’s some dishwasher working for some powerless mom and pop restaurant, why it’s the crime of the century!

          The hypocrisy is so palpable you can cut it with a knife.

      5. Borealis

        If one strips away the “rational” prejudices, all that remains are the irrational ones. And there’s a name for that. It’s called racism.

        The reigning irrational prejudice of Western progressives is the unassailable dogmatic belief in the “racism” of any fellow citizen with whom they might be in fundamental disagreement about policy. A reassuringly simple and neatly-packaged world view, a big, fuzzy, warm blanket of an accusation that comforts the morally smug and intellectually lazy-minded.

        It’s so bad it has the power to reduce the occasionally spot-on DownSouth, and the often astute Taibbi, to the blinkered inanities of a Tom Friedman.

        1. DownSouth

          If you can make a rational argument, and back it up with empirical evidence, then why don’t you do it?

          Irrational prejudice plainly never constitutes a legitimate government interest.

      6. Sundog

        I’d like to amplify this bit of DownSouth’s comment: “But the highly educated and highly skilled immigrant who comes to take jobs away from native-born Americans is a legal immigrant.”

        The classic line is that supply and demand balance; there may be quite a bit of volatility (in human terms, you’d rather be with family and friends in Ohio but must move to Texas for economic reasons) but the pressures of supply and demand create incentives for raising productivity and thus living standards.

        But what happens when this dynamic is short-circuited by importing skilled labor? Along with major distortions in career choices among youth, I contend there is a loss of legitimacy. (Every little bit counts, and I do believe we’ll be experiencing a crisis of legitimacy for some time.)

        And, rather than racism (not to deny it), I see the driving force among Fox Party/Tea Party emotion over “illegals” as the lack of legitimacy on the part of these immigrants. GWB attempted to deal with this but couldn’t get his party to buy in, perhaps because some recognized that emotions over the issue are easily inflamed (disfunctional incentives to maintain the problem rather than rectify it).

  2. anon

    >Van-mounted body scanners

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Psychos and police-state control freaks will develop the power to monitor, dominate and destroy anything down to the cellular level over the next 50 years (e.g. synthetic biology, artificial intelligence + modular self-reconfiguring robotics, molecular nanotechnology). This is nothing like nuclear weapons that can be centrally controlled with relative ease. These technologies will be available to everyone. How do we deal with the troubled teen who, instead of bringing a gun to school to kill a few people decides to develop a virus that kills a billion people? It’s just simple proteins. Don’t think the average person won’t be capable of doing this in 50 years. We’re coming to a point where a single person will be capable of inflicting massive damage on the whole planet, if not kill us all.

    How do we transform our culture to co-exist as gods? Given our present culture the only option it seems is to give the State absolute dominance in order to maintain order and survival. We’re becoming essentially automatons in a police state (or Google state) that tracks our every thought and movement within tightly controlled environments. Can’t we do better than this? What is it fundamentally within our psychology that leads some of us — but not most of us — to seek dominance and power or commit acts of unspeakable horror? Can’t we just cut that tumor out (from our culture, genetics, or whatever) before the cancer kills our species or leaves us all living in a hellish dystopia?

    1. Sundog

      anon: “Can’t we do better than this?”

      Unlikely. Get used to it.

      Also, put yourself for just a moment into the place of a fifteen-year-old girl living today in a small town in northern Mexico. All authorities, from the local police to the top national government, are owned by the sort of people who deal with opposition by sawing off their heads, their arms, their legs, their genitals, and depositing the remains in front of the school you formerly attended but now your parents won’t let you out of the house. She has no idea what’s going on, because journalists are being killed and media organizations are being bombed into submission.

      You might think you’re describing a distopia. But plenty of folks would love to live there. Their numbers will grow.

  3. anonymous

    I read the Taibbi piece as the garnish to the hit-piece on the Koch brothers from the New Yorker. Once we get past the “no evidence doesn’t mean it never happened” attack on John Lewis on the public steps of the Capital building while surrounded by police, we have a TPM blogger busted for setting fire to an office and then watching as the Tea-Party was blamed. I just read a piece claiming that opponents of the Ground Zero mosque are aiding the terrorists by undoing the message of love President O was elected to serve up. This despite the fact that virtually every terrorists organization hates O as much or worse than they did Bush.

    The Tea Party is pissed off because they think they’ve become second-class citizens in their own country and they really aren’t going to take it anymore. I don’t personally see them as anymore bigoted than any liberal living in an all white enclave, perhaps less so. They are anti-illegal immigration, very much so, and the failure of the public school system despite the piles of cash thrown at bad schools, bad students, and a few bad teachers hasn’t done much to increase their faith in government.

    I find much of their rhetoric and conclusions irrational, but no more irrational than believing a guy who borrowed money to buy a house he couldn’t afford from Tony Rezko was going to fix the US financial system. There are degrees of irrationality and freaking out about illegal immigration seems fairly tame compared to believing a man who couldn’t graduate with Honors from Columbia was somehow going to clean up after George Bush.

    The Tea Party isn’t racist, isn’t anti-immigration and is pro-small business. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some nuts in the bunch, but so far the only people setting politician’s offices on fire appear to be liberals.

    Weimar 1923, this ain’t. Not even Bangkok, 2009-10. They’re vocal, pissed-off and proud. I get the sense some liberals don’t like Palin cause they’re afraid she might drink out of the finger-bowl at some state dinner.

    1. Leviathan

      Anon (2), you are so right. I am not really active in the TP movement but am on email threads with local leaders frequently. Let me tell you, accusations that this is not a “genuine” grass roots movement are way off base. Don’t be confused by the Koch brothers stuff or even Palin and Beck (who are wildly popular but not leading anyone directly–inspiring, but not leading).

      My impression is that this is the authentic expression of lower middle class people who believe in what they heard in civics class and Sunday school, passionately. For that matter, while Taibbi sees the Fox people, etc. as crass commercialists, I suspect THEY are also sincere in what they say (and hey, if you can make a buck too, this is America–I think left-wing firebrands never took a vow of poverty either).

      Taibbi ignores the fact that the Republican establishment (not just McCain) is scared sh*tless by the TPM–much more so than lefties like him. TPers don’t like the Dems, but they HATE the Republicans, or at least the shambolic leadership structure.

      Taibbi also ignores the fact that no one is being attacked, no property is being damaged and there hasn’t even been a fistfight started by the “bigoted” TPers. So where is the justification for comparing them the genocidal Hutus of Rwanda? Does he not see that he hurts his own credibility with hyperbole like that? Guess not.

      1. chad

        “Taibbi ignores the fact that the Republican establishment (not just McCain) is scared sh*tless by the TPM–much more so than lefties like him”

        that’s a really good point, the media aligns the Tea Party with Republicans but the reality is they’re just as hated as the Democrats. I think in November what you’ll really see is ousting of incumbents from both sides. A Democrat majority doesn’t mean a Tea Party defeat nor does a Republican majority mean a Tea Party victory. The Tea Party’s purpose is to throw the bums out.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      “The Tea Party is pissed off because they think they’ve become second-class citizens in their own country and they really aren’t going to take it anymore.”

      Second-class to whom, and who is responsible? Second-class to illegal immigrants? Do you know any and what their lives are really like, what it takes to leave your family, risk capture and deportation to put yourself at the tender mercy of coyotes or employers without any legal recourse for non-payment or other maltreatment?

      That leads to the second question. Who really benefits from the status quo? Yes, Illegals do to a paltry degree, relative to their plight under banana republicans down south, but it is the economic elite who benefit disproportionately. Why do you suppose employers (supply-siders) never risk sanctions or penalties in this issue … ever?

      Many in the tea party fall victim to the kiss-up/kick down syndrome, allowing expert class-war race-baiters, those who benefit most from the status quo, to suppress their natural empathy and blame (lesser, browner) fellow victims of the international crime syndicate of globalization. Party members can’t seem to understand they are tools of the very same elite that have caused their downward mobility.

      1. anonymous

        Ahem. Well, the people I actually know who support the tea-party are legal immigrants or the children of legal immigrants. Their objection to illegal immigration is based on the fact that it is illegal.

        As for the sense of being treated as second-class citizens and by whom, they might be referring to people like you, Maureen Dowd, et al. They are distinctly unhappy about being characterized as bigots, racists, or crazies after a lifetime of paying taxes and paying bills on time. They are extremely unhappy about seeing their tax dollars go to banks that exploited people who bought too much house or failed to appreciate that there might be a risk in purchasing a home they could not afford with an ARM.

        As for falling victim to expert race baiters etc, I take the opposite view. It is you who have fallen victim to the race-baiters and allowed protests against government to be mis-characterized as protests in favor of racism.

        The administration is extremely keen to make the November election a referendum on the “racism” of the Tea Party movement, rather than a referendum on Congress’s and the WH’s economic policies.

        We’d agree, I think, that the economic policies of this administration have been a dismal failure. I’ve no problem with critiques of small government advocates that actually critique their positions, ie: we need more spending, not less.

        The Krugman link lays out pretty clearly why that’s not happening. So, rather than fess-up to the fact they messed-up bad, Dems and their dupes change the topic. They are too dishonest, IMHO, to simply state the bald truth, and so instead turn to tired accusations of racism.

        You’re helping the administration hide their failures.

        There are plenty of real problems with Tea Party positions. Racism isn’t one of them, at least to a degree that Tea Party supporters are more or less racist than the rest of the population. The smears are dishonest and indefensible.

        1. DownSouth

          “The administration is extremely keen to make the November election a referendum on the ‘racism’ of the Tea Party movement, rather than a referendum on Congress’s and the WH’s economic policies.”

          Somewhere along the line the obvious fact that the racist antics of the Tea Partiers are not the agents of a desired or feared apocalypse, that its just more kabuki for the masses, gets lost. And it is lost because one side needs the other, so that each can inflate its agenda into a chiliastic battle for the soul of America. Tea Partier and administration flunky are locked in a full-blown, mutually sustaining foile a deux, and the only person each dislikes more than the other is the one who wants to call attention to the actual record of the Republican and Democratic parties.

          Heaven forbid should the election be about something substantive, like decent jobs that pay a living wage.

          1. anonymous

            Your unsupported accusations of racism repeated on this thread are grossly insulting to the overwhelming majority of those calling for smaller government. The only possible outcome I can see from engaging them or you is that I might say something rude. Small government advocates are wrong, IMHO, but they are not anymore or less racist than the rest of the population. To suggest they are on the flimsy arguments you erect is simply odious.

          2. DownSouth

            Yes, I understand anonymous. All the racist allegations against the Tea Partiers are unsubstantiated, they never did a thing to deserve the scorn that is being heaped upon them, and none of this ever happened.

  4. eric anderson

    re Taibbi

    The insults the Tea Party and conservatives have endured on this and sites of similar orientation have gone on for so long and become so paranoid, it simply doesn’t have any sting now. We are numb to it. Much of it is so far off the mark, it only makes the source of the rude comments look delusional or mentally challenged.

    Call us what you will. Some of the brightest stars in the Tea Party firmament are black, Hispanic, and Indian.

    My own vote for governor in Iowa this year will go to a black man who represents fiscal conservatism, religious conservatism, and increased personal liberties (with responsibilities). He was the blue ribbon chess champion at this year’s Iowa State Fair, and he’s run a small business or two. I think a lot of Tea Party sympathizers are going to pick Jonathan Narcisse over the two puffy old white guys running on the Dem and Rep tickets, touting the same old empty promises and snake oil.

    Anyone who loves God and freedom is my kin. It is a veritable rainbow coalition. I have brothers in every tribe. You’ll find many military and ex-military types in the Tea Party movement, people who have served with other Americans of many colors, who consider them brothers and sisters in more ways than one.

    I’m sure there are racists in every group. Like the black youths who ran amok here recently at the end of the state fair, shouting that they were going to “get whitey,” or kill the “crackers” and “honkeys.” But Tea Partiers aren’t running around ganging up and stabbing non-whites in bars. Are they?

    The lefties’ arguments are not resonating with the public. Generally people don’t want more government, more spending, more central control idiocy. Failing in their bid to persuade, they revert to playground mode and start name-calling. The hard truth is that “Gallup poll reported that Americans self-identify themselves as 42 percent conservative (a historic high), 35 percent moderate and 20 percent liberal.”

    Tony Blankley recently summed it up:

    “A year ago, it seemed possible that a majority of Americans — rattled by economic collapse and under the sway of a popular, charismatic president — might buy in to plans to fundamentally transform America away from liberty, prosperity and greatness and toward security and a massive, protective state. At first, many of us were hesitant to speak out when we thought we might be but a few. (Of course, some of us saw what was coming and spoke out before the 2008 election. See my columns from the spring, summer and fall of ’08.)

    “But as the first details of the transformation were revealed to the nation — in Obamacare, the stimulus, bailouts, nationalizations and running roughshod over the Constitution — it became clear that the price for security turned out to be our birthright of liberty. Americans were not that rattled.

    “Now that we who cling to our liberty know we are a majority — and potentially a very large majority — we are aroused to the defense of our ancient rights — and we will not slacken in our efforts until that repulsive plan for transformation has been expurgated from the body politic — to quote Franklin D. Roosevelt — ‘so help us God.'”

  5. guicciardini

    As far as I’m concerned, if Beck wants to hold a rally commemorating Martin Luther King, and there’s even a *single* Confederate flag at said rally, they lose the right to call themselves not racist, no matter how much the Tea Party wants to protest otherwise. The movement has to police itself.

    There’s no justifiable reason to use that flag to honor a man who stood for literally everything opposite.

    1. anonymous

      Why not just imagine it happened and cut to the chase? Really? Your mind is clearly made up.

      Judging many by the actions of the few is what exactly? The spirit of MLK in action? Or crass bigotry, rooted in class hostility?

      Can’t be letting those NASCAR types anywhere near the front of anyone’s bus.

      Great post!

      1. guicciardini

        Because that flag stands for the institutionalized, legalized (by Big Government, in fact) oppression of millions of American citizens and treason against the United States for the direct purpose of *owning* said millions of Americans.

        The Confederate Constitution said it straight out. So did all of the Confederate leaders.

        If you use a banner based off their second and third “national” flags, then you’re implicitly condoning their viewpoint.

        And you can go fuck yourself. I like NASCAR.

        1. anonymous

          My, my, my. So you like NASCAR despite the fact that you’re virtually certain to find folks in attendance wearing Confederate flag articles? You don’t let the flags stop you from liking the sport?

          And so many NASCAR events occur south of the Mason-Dixon line. If we follow your convoluted thinking, the NASCAR events are really celebrations of slavery because if even one person shows up wearing a Confederate t-shirt, all in attendance and the organizers can no longer deny they’re racists.

          In the adult world, an apology would be in order. But that’s probably asking too much. I’m aware of what the flag stands for. If you choose to view its display as a statement in favor of racism, and you like NASCAR, well, we can only assume you’re endorsing racism and slavery.

          I get your point, btw. And you’re completely wrong to suggest the bad judgment or insensitivity of a few justifies smearing all those in attendance as racists, much as you clearly want to.

  6. Ishmael

    First I think Palin is an idiot and Glenn Beck is just pure whacko, but you folks who seem to not understand the “illegal” in illegal alien are just pure wrong and probably live in some 95% white neighborhood around Harvard or Yale.

    I am out in the desert in New Mexico and Arizona quite often looking at geology. Starting a few years ago, illegal aliens would come up to me asking for money. When I would say no and it would get ugly. Each time it has gotten uglier. The last time my significant other was with me and it was really scary.

    From then on when ever I am out there I have my side arm strapped on very visible and a seni-auto 12 guage shotgun with me at all times. I do not go alone. I will use them and not even think twice about it.

    When a government will not protect its borders then that government has given up its right to rule and should resign from office. Taibbi living in New Jersey running around surrounded in his nice little neighborhoods and NYC does not know shit!

    1. DownSouth

      Well Ishmael, you certainly are doing your part in, as Matt put it, “a calculated campaign to demonize blacks, Mexicans, and gays and convince a plurality of economically-depressed white voters that they are under imminent legal and perhaps even physical attack by a conspiracy of leftist nonwhites.” And, as he went on to point out, you’ve “almost completely succeeded in distracting the public from the real causes of their economic misfortune (i.e. Wall Street corruption).”

      With your story telling, purely anecdotal and devoid of empiricism, you engage the exact same tactics that the MSM does when it sets out to demonize a group. But these tactics work, as is evidenced by the current environment in which fear of immigrant crime and actual immigrant crime are so out of sync.

      This study explains how youth of color are demonized by the MSM, but the tactics the MSM uses to stereotype youth of color are the exact same tactics you use to demonize Mexican immigrants:

      Finding #1: The news media report crime, especially violent crime, out of proportion to its actual occurrence.

      Finding #2: The news media report crime as a series of individual events without adequate attention to its overall context.

      Finding #3: The news media, particularly television news, unduly connect race and crime, especially violent crime.

      Finding #4: Few studies examine portrayals of immigrants on the news. Those that do find that immigrants rarely appear in the news, and when they do, it is connected to violence.

      All this adds up to a horribly distorted portrayal, and policies affecting Mexican immigrants are bound to be influenced.

      Just look what the demonization of youth of color by the MSM has wrought:

      • Youth of color in California were more than eight times as likely to be incarcerated by adult courts as White youth for equally serious crimes

      • Youth of color are treated more severely than White youth at each stage of the justice system, even when charged with the same offenses.

      • An in-depth study of youth prosecuted as adults in 18 of the largest jurisdictions in the country, found racial disparities similar to the earlier reports, and raised serious concerns about the fairness and appropriateness of the process.

      • Two-thirds of the carefully constructed studies of state and local juvenile justice systems found that there was a “race effect” at some stage of the juvenile justice process that affected outcomes for minorities for the worse. The effects of race may be felt at various decision points, they may be direct or indirect, and they may accumulate as youth continue through the system.

      • Court reports prepared prior to sentencing by probation officers consistently give more negative portrayals of Black youth even when controlling for offense behavior and prior record, thus leading to harsher sentencing recommendations for Blacks. Professor George Bridges concluded that “The children would be charged with the same crime, be the same age and have the same criminal history, but the different ways they were described was just shocking.”

      1. chad

        You’re making his point for him when you say “the tactics the MSM uses to stereotype youth of color are the exact same tactics you use to demonize Mexican immigrants”. Ishmael knows, like anyone on the border, that “illegal immigrant” is not the same as “immigrant”.

        I don’t know why it’s so hard to see the difference.

      2. KFritz

        Ishmael didn’t quote MSM. He cited personal experience. Where he goes wrong is to demand that the government base policy on his individual experience. Or resign. I’ll let cooler heads label that thought pattern. I’d behave exactly as he does on the ground. There are enough anecdotes like Ishmael’s to convince me that the policy of forcing illegal immigration to inhospitable, isolated terrain has created a dangerous, ugly situation.

  7. petridish

    And once again the deafening WHACK of the cultural cleaver is heard as a population of 300 million is divided into manageable pieces, while the real criminals escape unscathed.

    Do you really believe that rhetorical flourishes like “hperbole,” “liberty” and “12-guage” will save you?

    Today you are an easily manipulated part of the plan. Tomorrow you will be just another problem.

    1. Ishmael

      petridish — the difference between you (as well as most Liberal/Progressives) and me, is you are looking for someone else to save you and I look to myself.

      1. psychohistorian

        The problem that I have with your not looking to others for solutions is the throwing the baby out with the bath water attitude that social constructs provide no value and can be ignored at leisure. Do you really want to live in a society that degrades into anarchy? I am sorry but can’t believe that a return to the wild west of all being armed represents a positive societal move.

        Please don’t go down the self reliant path with me either because you would lose. Society has worked so far because we are not all a bunch of welfare queens but we have a sociopathic elite now that is more of a serious threat to mankind’s existence that a gaggle of welfare queens.

    2. chad

      “Do you really believe that rhetorical flourishes like “hperbole,” “liberty” and “12-guage” will save you?”

      This is my second defense of Ishamel’s post. Yes, a 12 gauge will save you. I don’t know what fantasy land some of you are living in but out in the desert a 12 gauge _will_ save your life. There are places near the border (Brewster county TX is what I have experience with) that are basically lawless because of lack of man power. Don’t believe me? Load up and take a road trip, it’s a plain as day fact.

  8. Doug Terpstra

    “…you folks who seem to not understand the “illegal” in illegal alien are just pure wrong and probably live in some 95% white neighborhood around Harvard or Yale.”

    I live in Arizona, formerly part of Mexico. And I think I understand what illegal means—that congress passes many sausage-grinder laws of relative legitimacy and that the elite selectively and routinely ignore them with impunity and immunity.

    Not thinking twice about killing another person after the fact sounds like faux macho bravado, but I do hope you think twice before pulling your trigger. In many cases killing is illegal.

    1. Anonymous Jones

      This was a fantastic comment. It continues to be difficult for humans to see the subtlety of the world because they want (nay, demand) the world be black or white. It foments so much anger that the world is not as simple as the limits of their capacity for thinking allow.

      Let the person who has broken no law cast the first stone.

  9. petridish

    Ish–perhaps I should have said A VERY SMALL manageable piece.

    Keep your back to the wall.

  10. Ishmael

    Wawawa the bankers screwed me. Someone else screwed me over this. The elitist are ruling the world. I did not get my fair share which I deserve. You are helping to obfuscate the real problems. Wawawa! The oil men are evil! Wawawa! CEO’s should not make that much money!

    Did I miss anything! Oh yeah, then there is such nonsense as we need to ignite a nuke in the gulf and a methane bubble that is going to blow up all of the south.

    I just summarized 80% of the comments that are always on this blog. No one ever shows one workable real world example of what they want.

    Goodbye, I can not stand the humor any more.

      1. EmilianoZ

        I will miss him though. I don’t agree with him and from his past comments he’s probably a bit of a bigot, but it’s still good to have a diversity of opinions here at NC. It wouldn’t be fun if we spent our time agreeing with each other and patting each other on the back. I fear NC’s readership will drop significantly if we keep driving people like him away. I have to say he might not be totally wrong. Liberals systematically discount security issues but his post had me thinking. I’ve never been to those border areas. What do I know? I hope he’ll reconsider.

        1. Skippy

          I miss Dan Duncan cough…Ish? All must have a voice, that’s the first thing, consciences is a messy business…eh.

          To Ish and all the immigration hard cases. From the formation of the lower South Western States there has always been a state of interplay between land owners and across the border labour, full stop.

          This is a case of enticement, not invasion…full stop.

          Prior to the GFC the very people that now pull their hair out and brandish old hate symbols, are the very people that profited from this arrangement…full stop.

          Arizona in particular has largely been stocked with interstate whites from the mid-west and the south over the last 30 odd years. Hence they brought their ideological prejudices with them.

          To boil it down all the way, the bread crumb trail was set out for the boarder crossings, the employers of these people and the resulting economic benefit was to the states them selves and over many decades. Now that things have taken a down turn its *get the fuck out wet back*….shezz, thanks for providing us your toil at less than minimum wage (oh had they not come, what economic forces would have applied them selves to that, lower living standards, mob to make fun of or group used to validate white conservative supremacy.

          Skippy…Where would any of these states be with out the decades of servitude by these disadvantage people. I think all the haters should be pointing the fat white finger at them selves, they set the playing field. The folks that decry the Hispanics benefited for decades and now need a target to pin the blame on[?], your masters are having a good laugh about now…ohh and for the non whites jumping on the band wagon, well its a case of we got here…got my toe in the door…hate the new wave…I’m with you whitey

          PS. still remember my uncle calling Barry Goldwater and telling him to get his F’en immigration boys off his property so they could get back to work. 10 min later they GONE…LOL…3 white supervisors for 20 Mexican laborers, its was a good game…eh.

  11. Debra

    Thanks for the link about the tiger cub.
    That was cute. As for smuggling tiger cubs in hand baggage, human animals are capable of any kind of behavior, as history has shown us.
    I’m not sure that stiffer penalties are the panacea that some people seem to think they are.
    I’m going to share with you my mother in law’s story about one of her friend’s encounters with a Muslim man within 200 feet of her home. (She has lived in the same area of Paris for over 50 years now, probably. A long time, at any rate.)
    The 85 year old woman, a French national of Spanish origin was walking to the local supermarket to pick up some food in a very cosmopolitan area of Paris when she was stopped by a bearded, forty or so year old Muslim (we presume..) man (probably of French nationality, but who knows ?) who asked her where her husband was, and why she wasn’t wearing a veil. On seeing her incredulity, he promptly announced that soon she WOULD be wearing a veil.
    Incidents like this one make me very very uncomfortable.
    Specially when I remember that human beings are only superficially rational. ALL OF US.

  12. William

    Taibbi’s piece, along with the earlier piece this week in the NYT (Egan – Building a Nation of Know-Nothings) are just the latest examples in an extremely troubling trend, marked by liberal media types perpetuating the sterotype that only THEY (liberal / media / east coast / west coast) are smart enough to know what’s best for this country (and, by definition, all of us in fly-over country). The rest of us, apparently, are simpletons too imbecilic to grasp what seems so obviously correct for the country in liberal vision.

    There are plenty of extremely well-educated individuals residing in places other than NYC and/or Berkeley, CA who are simply fed up with the many misguided policies coming out of Washington. Talk to any small business owner around the country about why he/she isn’t hiring additional workers(higher healthcare costs, higher taxes, substantial uncertainty about what’s next to hit them from the not-so-knowledgeable-about-business minds in DC) and you’ll see the pattern. Unless you’re an ivory tower academic, which is how this administration is staffed – a large part of the problem.

    Taibbi, Egan and many others (including many who post on this blog) simply cannot accept the fact that their ‘chosen one’ community organizer President has turned out to be basically incompetent, and dishonest about the state of the economy to boot. Liberals cannot wrap their minds around the notion that their 52% elected leader has lost vast support among the ordinary Americans the liberals such as Taibbi and Egan love to discredit in print and on the air. Evaporation of which support has left his approval ratings in tatters. Which, unfortunately for the liberals, is not the result of some vast, Fox News generated conspiracy of idiots. Instead, it is the result of ordinary, hard working Americans reacting to the facts before their eyes.

    “Change We Need”, indeed, is coming for the liberals this November. It cannot happen quickly enough.

    1. craazyman

      Who you talkin’ about man?

      The Big-Zero gets hammered on this blog. LOL

      He couldn’t win a race for dog-catcher in 2012 around here.

      However, I will say that Taibbi’s been great on the financial crisis and the Goldman looting, but that article in question here about the Tea Party I don’t think met the same standards. It really was a rant.

      It’s like Chris Hedges and his obsession with right wing Christians. I’ve actually met many of that type and they are wackos, for sure, but they are some of the kindest and least racist, most polite and most humanitarian wackos you’ll ever meet. Although they are still wackos, unlike the liberal Eastern Ivy League elite, who are wackos also, but who aren’t kind or humanitarian, usually, and who are often narcissistic conceited, arrogant, kleptocratic scumbags.

  13. frosty zoom

    maybe they’ll use the “Z Backscatter Vans” up and down the street in front of the eccles building.

    now, ¡that’s! transparency.

  14. PityTheBankers

    America is Wiemar redux. The psychopaths will regain power thanks to Obama and the feckless, impotent Democrats. The tea party brown shirts and their fascist conservative backers who are chiefly responsible for this countries demise will soon have the opportunity to finish the job. The Taibbi piece provides nice insight into the demented “thought” process of the teabaggers. They will be the foot soldiers of the coming fascist order.

    1. KFritz

      Accurate description of worst case scenario, excluding external shocks which could exacerbate matters. Let’s hope the worst doesn’t come to pass.

  15. Sundog

    Interesting that NC seems to have come up on some tea party target list recently. Nothing to do with Mayer’s piece, I’m sure.

  16. rd

    Re: Dodd vs Warren

    Obama needs to nominate Elizabeth Warren and ask Dodd to carry her water through the Senate since he will not be back.

    The Democrats should win the argument if Republicans start to fight the concept of having a consumer advocate in the two months before the elections.


    Taibby is trying to help the clueless but sadly they are 2 brainwashed. We learn NOTHING by only reading/listening 2 people that cleverly charm us 2 believe we think alike.Hopefully we have learned our lessons but by the tone/feedback most are doomed 2 repeat and this time I’m afraid we are tuly DOOMED.

  18. Random Blowhard

    The picture of Obama and Pelosi at the bottom of the page really brightens up the website.

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