Mike Kueber's Blog

July 31, 2015

Sandra Bland

As with most the white-cop, black-victim stories on Facebook, I initially don’t devote enough energy to learn the details (conveniently, that help me to avoid rushing to judgment), but if stories don’t go away I eventually find myself commenting.  That happened a few days ago regarding Sandra Bland when one of my Facebook friends (and law-school classmate) posted her disgust with some macho cops.  Before I provide our Facebook thread/stream-on-consciousness, I suggest these take-aways:

  1. The race card.  Liberals and the media prefer a narrative of white-cop, black-victim.  If the cop is white, then race is relevant.  If the cop isn’t white, like the Bland case, the Staten Island case, or going back to the white Hispanic neighborhood cop Zimmerman, then race isn’t mentioned.
  2. Resisting arrest. The vast majority of the incidents involve the victim resisting arrest or a lawful order.  A simple solution would be to teach people to not resist arrest.  Instead Bland was taught that she didn’t need to cooperate with a cop other than giving her name and driver’s license.
  3. Black-on-black crime.  Most people believe that cop-on-black violence in only a small fraction of black-on-black violence, yet the media provides only a small fraction of its energy in highlighting and examining the issue of black-on-black crime.  No wonder that race relations in America with a black president are the worst they’ve been in years.

I wonder if any of the people who are so critical of the policemen in these situations have every had a family member who has served in such a capacity.  I’m not sure whether I would sleep easier with a son soldiering in Afghanistan or policing in a rough part of town.  But perhaps most people aren’t as critical of the policemen as the media suggests.  Ordinary people on juries and grand juries often absolve the policemen who has already been convicted in the media.

Facebook thread:

My friendly law-school classmate:  My mama always said something along the lines of big guns on their hips make them think they are big men everywhere. wink emoticon We were talking about this troubling issue about the whole Bland video at work this week. As CNN Commentator Mark Lamont Hill stated, “I refuse to legitimize police violence against people by telling them that if they behave differently, maybe they won’t die . . . maybe you won’t end up on the ground. Yes, there are strategies we can use to survive. But the fact that we live in a world where we have to deploy strategies not to be murdered or killed or assaulted by police unlawfully is absurd.” Trooper Encinia’s attitude that he is entitled to submissive, obsequious, blind obedience to his every comment is what was so disturbing. And it would have been disturbing whether or not Sandra Bland died. His arrest of her was wrong. Plain and simple. And these kinds of arrests happen all the time, but they are not on the national news.

Kueber:  I’m not sure this is much of a story if Bland hadn’t subsequently committed suicide. And I don’t know if the arrest caused the suicide.

My friend:  Did you read what I said? “And it would have been disturbing whether or not Sandra Bland died.” It would not have been “much of a story” unless it was you or one of your kids who was arrested on this bogus stop. She was arrested because the trooper had to prove his dominance and that all should fear and respect him whether he’s being an ass or not and then she was held on a completely made-up-after-the-arrest charge and then she was held in a jail cell for 3 days and then she committed suicide. You want to argue the precipitating event. That is avoiding the point here. The point I was making in this particular post was that we should not have to bow down and kiss the feet of every single police officer no matter what they do. Surely you can agree with that.

Kueber:  A black CNN commentator used terms very similar to describe his view – i.e., you said we should not have to bow down and kiss the feet, while Marc Lamont Hill said we shouldn’t have to kiss the officer’s butt. Of course, I agree with that, but….  about a year ago, I had an experience very similar to Bland’s initial encounter.  Some gruff, old white cop was directing traffic for a massive cop-funeral procession and he suddenly started yelling at me for being in a lane that he wanted empty.  As a lawyer, I knew he was in the wrong and I was mightily tempted to elevate the argument (as lawyers are wont to do when they know they hold the winning hand), but instead I followed the cop’s belittling instructions with only enough talk-back to maintain my self-respect without escalating the matter.  Lamont Hill went on to say, “Black people have a right to assert their dignity in public.”  I felt like asserting my dignity, too, but instead I backed off and came home to write a blistering post to my Facebook wall about the unprofessional cops in SA.

Kueber:  As I thought some more about this matter, I wondered how I would feel if one of my kids was involved, and I’m not sure whether I would be more disappointed in my kid as the cop or my kid as the driver.

My friend:  Mike, spoken as a person of privilege, my dear.  [She loves to accuse me of white, male privilege.] And the reason for noting the race of the CNN commentator? Does that make his statement less or more valid? I just don’t think that the trooper would have been insisting, first of all, that you tell him why you were irritated. That kind of question is manspeak to the little ladies who are supposed to be pleasant to the big man at all times. Okay. You want to argue about whether she should have answered his question about why she was irritated? Or why she wouldn’t put out her cigarette? Or why she was scared of getting out of her car when he was acting like a bonkers macho pig? And I don’t mean pig as in police-speak but in macho-speak. And let me tell you that I actually do have friends who are police officers. And I would be very, very disappointed if they acted like this. And I would be very unhappy if my kids argued with a police officer because I want them to live. Pretty stunning support for why this was such a bad arrest.

A friend of my friend:  Tell it, girl. I’m with you 100%. It seems so obvious to me. We shouldn’t be pointing at Sandra Bland’s behavior as causing this disgrace, both her treatment and the racial hatred that animates so many people in Texas. I can’t even imagine living my entire life with the fear and outrage she must have felt, while smiling and being a “good girl,”

Kueber:  Refusing to look at Sandra Blank’s behavior reminds me of the Bush-43 comment about the soft bigotry of low expectations. “Scared of getting out of her car!” R u kidding?

My friend:  And I am not refusing to look at Bland’s behavior. I looked at it. I watched the video several times. And he had absolutely no reason to threaten to drag her out of her car. She had broken no law that required that kind of response. She hadn’t even “cussed” at him yet, if you want to consider that an arrestable offense WHICH IT IS NOT. Her later outraged response to his outrageous behavior was understandable to me. Not the wisest or most Godly behavior. But understandable. Perhaps if she had licked his boots after she had offended him BY HONESTLY AND DIRECTLY ANSWERING HIS QUESTION AS TO WHY SHE WAS IRRITATED by his bogus stop, then maybe she would have just been humiliated and not arrested. Yeah, I can sure see why he had to abuse, humiliate, and throw her on the ground FOR PULLING OVER BECAUSE HE WAS APPROACHING FAST BEHIND HER and failing to signal a lane change. We need to stop trying to be apologists for what is clearly bogus behavior by the trooper. His arrest warrant was even more bogus because he knew he did not have any real justification for his behavior. NONE. And every time someone supports this arrest by blaming her “behavior,” they add another nail in the coffin of our civil liberties. Now, to go back to the beginning of this string of comments, my post was about how Encinia’s behavior and reactions are reprehensible regardless of whether Sandra Bland died. And yes, this is getting publicity because she died. It is a shame that someone has to die before this kind of issue is discussed. And for those who are posting all those “I support the police” statements, the implication is that police are infallible. They are not. They have hard, scary jobs. I deeply admire the ones who do it well. And when the others screw up they should be called on it. Because they have scary power. So we the people have to make sure they use that power fairly and wisely. And off of my soapbox now. G’nite.

Kueber:  I watched the video for 17 minutes and the crux of the matter seems to be when he asked her to put out her cigarette and she refused.  Although she had the right to refuse that request, he had the right to ask her to get out of her car, and she had no right to refuse that.  From that point on, most legal experts agree that the officer was entitled to take the actions he did, even though Brand sounded confident that she was entitled to sit in her car and say nothing other than “you’re doing all of this because of a traffic ticket.”  This altercation didn’t happen because of the lane change; it happened because of how Bland responded to the traffic stop.  Encinia did not threaten to drag Bland out of her car until she refused his polite request that she get out of her car. You mentioned the danger to our civil liberties; do you consider an individual’s right to immediately challenge an overreaching authority figure (cop/fireman, teacher/principal, captain of ship or plane) to be an important civil liberty? Both you and Lamont Hill express your distaste for kissing the ass/boots of an officer, but I wonder what that has to do with an officer politely asking you to put out your cigarette. And finally, I noticed that the officer’s name is rarely used, and I wonder if that is because it doesn’t fit the preferred liberal/media narrative of the privileged white authority figure abusively dominating the oppressed black person. Reminds me of the media’s need to characterize George Zimmerman as a white Hispanic.

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July 27, 2015

Jeb Bush and single mothers

Filed under: Culture,Facebook — Mike Kueber @ 3:31 am
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A couple of years ago, a Facebook friend posted a poster bragging that single mothers had raised the two best presidents of modern times, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  She got mad at me when I countered that their mothers may have been divorced multiple times, but neither was single long.  Furthermore, in the case of President Obama, he was co-raised by his grandparents.

Last week, a similar poster appeared on Facebook along with a criticism of Jeb Bush for something he wrote two decades ago in a book, Profiles in Character. In a chapter titled “The Restoration of Shame,” Bush apparently blamed the “irresponsible conduct” of births to unmarried women on a flagging sense of community ridicule and shaming.

When Bush was recently asked by MSNBC about the passage, he responded, “My views have evolved over time, but my views about the importance of dads being involved in the lives of children hasn’t changed at all. In fact, since 1995 … this book was a book about cultural indicators and the country has moved in the wrong direction. We have a 40-plus percent out-of-wedlock birth rate.  It’s a huge challenge for single moms to raise children in the world that we’re in today and it hurts the prospects, it limits the possibilities of young people being able to live lives of purpose and meaning.”

NY Times columnist Charles Blow recently challenged Bush’s position and instead opined a two-prong solution:

  1. First, we should seek to reduce the level of unintended pregnancies in this country. This means that we must wrestle earnestly with poverty, as well as make a more comprehensive sex education and a full range of contraceptive options available, regardless of income.  People should become parents on purpose and not by accident.
  2. Second, we have to examine how we have used the law as an instrument to push unwed fathers out of homes, particularly poor ones, rather than encourage them to stay.

I agree with both men.  Blow’s solutions involve government activity, and that is especially appropriate here since many policy analysts believe that the government’s welfare policy played a large role in causing the disappearance of the dad from many families.  But Bush’s concern for cultural decay is also appropriate because government policy alone does not dictate morality and values.

July 23, 2015

Larry Summers vindicated?

Filed under: Culture,Education,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 11:13 pm
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In 2005, at a conference on diversifying the science and engineering workforce, Harvard president Larry Summers proffered three potential explanations for why women were underrepresented as professors in the highest science and engineering positions:

  1. High-powered job hypothesis (i.e., women were distracted by family obligations)
  2. Different availability of aptitude at the high end (test results showed that men tended to have both the highest and the lowest scores)
  3. Different socialization and patterns of discrimination in the search and placement

In his conclusion, Summers explicitly attempted to provoke further discussion by suggesting that different aptitude was the dominant cause, saying he would like nothing better than to be proved wrong.

But, instead of proving Summers wrong, the politically-correct police charged him with sexism and careless scholarship.  After a year-long trial in the media, Summers was forced to resign as president of Harvard.  And when his name was floated as a potential Secretary of the Treasury under President Obama, this brouhaha was used to sink his prospects.

I thought of Larry Summers today when I read an article in fivethirtyeight.com about six American boys winning the International Math Olympiad.  The article pointed out that boys have dominated not only the American team but also teams from other countries ever since we joined the competition in 1974.  Eighty-eight percent of the six-person American teams have been entirely boys, and the teams from other countries average 0.5 girls per six-person team.

Joe Klein once defined politically incorrect as a statement that is true, but not proper to be uttered in public.  The lynching of Larry Summers seems to be an excellent example of the politically-correct police on steroids.  Or, as Summers said, I would love to be proved wrong.

July 16, 2015

Cutting to the chase of political correctness

Filed under: Culture,Facebook — Mike Kueber @ 12:31 am
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When I was running for the SA City Council, my biggest issue was the outrageous employment benefits given to the police/fire.  One of my friends suggested on multiple occasions that I soften this criticism at candidate forums by first describing the appreciation I felt for the people who staff these first-responder positions.  But in the heat of a stump speech, I invariably failed to soften my spiel and instead cut right to the chase – i.e., the police/fire unions were taking advantage of the city.

My tendency to cut to the chase manifested itself again today on Facebook when I criticized a poster from a state senator calling for more respectful language.  Senator Zaffirini proposed:

  • WISH MORE PERSONS USED RESPECTFUL LANGUAGE. This includes not describing a person by a condition, illness, or disability and not joking about them. Examples follow:
    • Say, “the person who is blind,” NOT “the blind person.”
    • Say, “the patient with diabetes,” NOT “the diabetic patient.”
    • Say, “the student with an intellectual disability,” and do NOT use the “R” word.
    • Say, “the person under guardianship,” NOT “the ward.”
    • Do NOT say, “I’m having a senior moment” or “My Alzheimer’s must be kicking-in.” Such conditions are serious and certainly not humorous for those who have them (or their loved ones).
    • Do NOT say, “She drank until she was cross-eyed” or “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” Such statements demean persons who have strabismus or one eye.

If I had learned a lesson from my friend, I might have first said something nice to the senator about being respectful and even noted that I had recently learned that autistic kids (sic) sometimes take “mainstream classes,” not “normal classes.”  But instead I cut right to the chase:

  • “I think most of these examples are unnecessary tweaks that produce stilted speech. What’s wrong with “ward”? I agree with the so-called “R” word, but didn’t realize that the term had been become so bad that it can’t be spelled out in polite society.”

Senator Zaffirini responded – “Mike: Indeed, the “R” word is anathema among all of us who champion the needs and interests of persons with intellectual disabilities. Using “ward” is like calling a person “chattel.””

Following this exchange, I did a bit more research and learned that the senator’s suggestion were based on a new strategy in the disability community to encourage the use of “people-first language.”  According to Syracuse University Disability Center:

  • People-first” or “person-first” language is a way of describing disability that involves putting the word “person” or “people” before the word “disability” or the name of a disability, rather than placing the disability first and using it as an adjective.  Some examples of people-first language might include saying “person with a disability,” “woman with cerebral palsy,” and “man with an intellectual disability.”  The purpose of people-first language is to promote the idea that someone’s disability label is just a disability label—not the defining characteristic of the entire individual.

Bottom line – I recognize that I have a sensitivity deficit and am willing to consider reasonable modifications to my speech pattern (adjectives placed before nouns) on a case-by-case basis in order to avoid offending reasonable people.

July 7, 2015

Sexism (and racism) – part 2

Filed under: Biography,Culture,Philosophy — Mike Kueber @ 5:59 pm
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Yesterday, I posted about the definition of sexism and how most people could easily stumble into so-called sexist statements.  No sooner had I blogged about that sentiment than I commented as follows on Facebook about people ridiculing a dead young man who had jumped into a lake even though he knew an alligator was in the area:

  • “Young men often do stupid, dangerous, risky stunts. No need to disparage him with a racial epithet (cracker) or hyperbolize about him being eaten.”

Upon further reflection, however, I elaborated as follows on the racism and sexism:

  • Of course, it’s OK to use racial epithets if you are one of its victims. So perhaps Ted Wood [the person who made the cracker comment] is a cracker, which makes his comment politically correct. Also, I perhaps said something sexist when I said young men often do stupid, dangerous, risky things, but that has been my life experience. Young women don’t do those things nearly as often.

Because I believe the charge of sexism and racism is too casually bandied about, and because I believe people are too easily offended, I accept the mission of pointing out how unreasonable these standards are when applied to situations that are not politically correct.

p.s., on reflecting on this issue, I believe I acted badly in shunning the Dixie Chicks after their lead singer Natalie Maines said those mean things about George W.

July 6, 2015

Sexism

Filed under: Culture,Sports — Mike Kueber @ 10:19 pm
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In the wake of the American women’s success in World Cup soccer, the Washington Post took the opportunity to charge Great Britain with sexism.  The charge was prompted by the Brits’ national organization congratulating the women’s team for making it to the semifinals with the following tweet:

  • “Our Lionesses go back to being mothers, partners and daughters today, but they have taken on another title – heroes.”

According to the Post, the tweet is sexist because it was not something that would ever be said about a men’s team.

I agree that something like that probably was not uttered to men on the Golden State Warriors as they returned home from winning the NBA title in Cleveland, but does that make it sexist?

According to Merriam-Webster, sexism means “behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.”  Based on that definition, any belief that family generally plays a larger role in the life of a woman than it does in the life of a man is sexist.

I suspect, however, that makes much of America sexist.  Although feminists are free to pressure women to discard the traditional outsize role of women in raising a family, the vast majority of American women continue to reject the feminist call.

Perhaps the term sexist should be limited to attitudes that reflect negative stereotypes because surely the political-correct policemen don’t expect us to cease making general comments on the other sex.

p.s., the Post article commented that the British women soccer players were much more “accomplished” than their male counterparts.  “Accomplished” means highly trained or skilled.  The women may be relatively accomplished, but I don’t suggest they compete on a level field against the Brit men.

June 29, 2015

A very important person

Filed under: Culture,Philosophy — Mike Kueber @ 2:16 am
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A liberal Facebook friend, Cary Clack (former E-N columnist), recently posted some thought-provoking comments about the prevalence and pretentiousness of the term VIP.  Inexplicably, the term has become ubiquitous and acceptable in a nation of supposed democratic egalitarians.  Indeed, while watching Downton Abbey, the early 1900’s period piece on the British aristocracy, I am continually jarred when I see the train cars labeled first class and third class, but Clack’s comments jolted me into realizing that our progressive society has not progressed as much as I assumed.

Kids growing up in the 60s and 70s thoroughly rejected that sort of classism and elitism, but they seem to be making a surreptitious revival.

May 28, 2015

Ann Coulter strikes again

Filed under: Culture,Media,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 12:52 pm
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Cassandra Lazenby, a local TV personality and Facebook friend, recently posted her outrage over a two-minute clip of Ann Coulter’s comments during an interview on Fusion TV with Jorge Ramos. Coulter is flacking her new book, Adios America.  Cassandra said:

  • Complete & utter ignorance. We need to stop giving bigots like this platforms to spew hatred & ignite racism. I cannot stand this woman and I’d guarantee most “American Anglo Women” don’t want her speaking on their behalf. (Myself included — I’m half Anglo & half Hispanic… What does that make me… Ann?) God bless Jorge Ramos for staying professional in that interview.

You might guess what Cassandra’s friends thought of Coulter.  The following are their unedited comments:

  • Rolando Medina fuck you stupid bitch. wow she is really stupid.
  • Roger Flores Wow.
  • Janie Hernandez Martinez Wow what a b#&@$!
  • Luis Munoz I’d be upset if I actually took her seriously. She’s just just a waste of good oxygen.
  • Tommy Gregory never heard of her, and already forgotten her.
  • Ron Davis wow,,,,,,,,,,! pendeja !, and she probably vacations in Cabo, has a latina housekeeper, gardener, and nanny,,,,,,,,I hope they pee in her coffee……….VIVA MEXICO !
  • Scottie C. Jackson The same “Anglo” culture that brought slaves to an inhabited land, killed the inhabitants and were in search of “freedom”?  When ignorance points a finger its own ugly is exposed.
  • Andrea Heisler Melcher When will this woman just go away?
  • Robert Rivard Amen.
  • Janie Hernandez Martinez This is what I would have told her when she said there is nothing I can tell you. Well your are going to piss of enough Mexicans that you are going to feel like YOU are in Syria lol just saying…
  • David Gonzales I take her as serious as I take a child when they tell their parents they hate them. She’s just a delusional crazy white lady who can’t stand the fact that America is as diverse as it is. I’d rather give Flavor Flav another show. That brotha doesn’t discriminate against anything lol
  • Selena Mejia You’ve got my blood boiling this am…we can never move forward with stereotypical assumptions around us. Let’s prove her wrong!  #FuelToTheFire
  • Ben N Hilda Salazar I bet any Sponsors that support her will drop her now or feel the rath of the Latin public…Please list the company’s that support her..so we can Ban these companies…
  • Jim Luna stupid bitch!!
  • Adam Morales Where does this stupid Bitch live…
  • Olica Garcia Wow.
  • Joe Enriquez Wow Ann… the last time I checked… America is 100% made up of immigrants from other counties. No different than the white Anglo settlers that came to North American from Great Britain, Ireland, Scottland, Germany, and many other predominantly Anglo…See More
  • Dina Majd She’s wearing a cross too. What an idiot. Middle Easterners are some of the kindest people. There are radicals in every country including USA. I’m curious why she’s such a hater. We aren’t better than everyone else bc we live in USA. We are just lucky we have the privilege to have freedom.
  • Joe Enriquez This woman is using her left wing prejudicy and hatred towards non-white people to make a name for herself. She has no business on TV or tabloids. She is a hipocrit and represents nothing but white supremacy, prejudicy and hatred coming out of her mouth. I don’t believe she represents today’s Anglo American majority. She is in her own little plastic bubble that just needs to be popped.
  • Blanca Hammond What an idiot and just as stupid are those that buy her book. Crazy woman has no clue that her ancestors were immigrant she is just ignorant !
  • Natalie Morales Jackson Can’t stand her!!
  • Irma Brunn She sounds stupid!
  • Martha Vergara Zurita What a dummey.
  • Rosanne Valdez Wow !!! I have never liked this woman. I hate talking negative about any woman trying to do her thing. But I am ashamed that she is called a woman a furthermore an American. She makes me sick
  • Melissa Uribe The ignorance of some people. And hello Ann the American culture? Is a mix of all the people who migrated to America! We are all immigrants unless she is full blooded Native American good luck with the argument.
  • Tanya Garza I am also Anglo and Hispanic…I would NEVER co-sign her ignorance and allow her to speak on my behalf!!
  • Amber Tamayo Such ignorance from this lady!! She should have been smacked on air!
  • Nate Aguilar Never seen this fired up side of yours cassandra… I must say I like it! As for this lady, she must not eat out cause who does she think is cooking her food!
  • John Palmer She is the the most ignorant person on earth.
  • Laura Soto Native Americans where here first, who crossed the ocean… Same people who’s ancestors killed and stole the land. Everyone is an emigrant, so unless your really pure suck it up leave your life and shut the hell up…
  • Joseph Acevedo Pendeja
  • Jackie Tristan Sotelo She is trying to sound smart & nothing,but crap is coming out of the hole on her ignorant face.
  • Richard Chacon Ann Coulter is right. You are more likely to be killed by Mexicans because barbacoa tacos taste too delicious. Damn you arteries!!!
  • Richard Chacon All i know is that lady needs an Enchilada plate with extra tortillas. Did you see the her toothpick legs?
  • VeroErniee Garcia I think the tanning bed got to her brain!
  • Buddy Howell she’s right….facts will always supersede opinions
  • Edgar Hector Villarreal Enough said!
  • David Garcia Wow is all I have to say
  • Pete Perez She’s an idiot. THIS IS WHERE ITS AT! https://youtu.be/h0EnAmUUzl
  • Buddy Miles Express – We’ve Got To Live Together
  • Manda Cass As an anglo woman, I definitely don’t want her speaking for me. She absolutely disgusts me.
  • Miguel Briones Ignorance at its finest
  • Mark Tilford What a freak.
  • Rick Kristin Navarro THE HELL WITH HER!!!!!!!
  • Braziel Jr C Breathe in breathe out
  • Will Dayoda True dat
  • ShaNito Reyes That’s a true nig right there, nuff said
  • Louie-Azalia Fernandez There will be a special place for her when she is gone !
  • Dallas Moore wow. I can’t believe she just tried to compare Mexican immigrants to the world’s worst terrorist organization. Obviously she doesn’t even know what the word “culture” means. Immigrants are simply seeking a better jobs and lifestyle. They’re not trying to wipe western civilization off the face of the earth. What an idiot.
  • Jim Lee Is this a Democrat coffee clutch tongue emoticon
  • Sylvia Ortiz What an ignorant bitch! People like her are keeping the hatred alive. She’s always talking out of her ass!
  • Paula Lovette McKoy  yep that’s all I got…
  • Laurie Butler Bouton She needs to rethink how she says things. Illegal immigrants are a huge threat to the welfare of this country and I believe they should all be deported, but comparing them to ISIS is ridiculous.
  • Joshua Holt wow
  • Enrique Serrano Louie-Azalia Fernandez take care of her please

So many comments; so little to say.  When I read comments to NY Times columns, I am regularly amazed at how deep many of the readers think and how good they are at articulating their thinking.  Suffice to say, Cassandra Lazenby’s Facebook friends don’t seem to enjoy as much exercising their critical thinking skills.  I attempted to create a little balance by posting the following comment:

  • Coulter is obviously a provocateur par excellence. Witness how many commenters called her ignorant or a bitch without saying anything substantive. As Toby Keith sang, “I know what I was feeling, but what was I thinking?” Coulter’s point is that America is being overrun by too many immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, who have values antithetical to American values or have no experience in how a working democracy functions. Most commenters don’t bother making a point. Laura Butler Boltin makes a good point, IMO, that comparing illegal Hispanic immigrants to ISIS is ridiculous.

I half expected commenters to turn on me, but no such thing happened.  The comments continued to be scathing, but nothing to refute anything Coulter said.

After posting my comment, I viewed the entire one-hour interview. Ramos and Coulter talked over each other a lot, but maintained their civility.  Ramos is Mexican-born, American-naturalized, so he was not in a strong position to counter Coulter’s full-throated attack on Mexico’s culture.

Ramos’s essential points were that (a) most immigrants are wonderful people and (b) America will benefit from increasing diversity until 2045, when minorities will become the majority.  Coulter’s main points were that (a) America is not becoming more diverse, but rather is becoming more Mexican (30% of legal immigrants and 60% of illegal immigrants), and (b) “the browning of America” is not a good thing because most of the illegal immigrants since 1970 are coming from “peasant cultures” (more Nigerians than English) and they are a drag on the American economy and way of life.

Coulter made several questionable assertions, including one that Teddy Kennedy assured Americans that his Immigration Bill of 1965 would not change the ethnic composition of America.  With some additional research, though, I found an article in the Christian Science Monitor that seems to confirm her Kennedy assertion:

  • The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs,” he said during the Senate debate. In retrospect, the mix of immigrants, legal and illegal, shifted dramatically in favor of Latin America and Asia – a fact that Kennedy, in later years, would attribute to illegal immigration.

Yes, Ann Coulter is provocative.  Guess I will add Adios America to my reading queue.

April 8, 2015

John Saunders is rooting for the home team

Filed under: Culture,Media,Sports — Mike Kueber @ 9:41 pm
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This week on The Sports Reporters, John Saunders’s “Parting Shot” consisted of his lament that there were no black coaches in the Final Four and only one in the Sweet Sixteen. According to Saunders, this development is not a mere aberration. Rather, it is a reflection of a disturbing trend in college basketball – i.e., the return of racial discrimination. How else would you explain that during the last decade, the percentage of black coaches decreased from 25% to 22%? (Maybe the fact that blacks comprise on 13% of America has something to do with that.) How else would you explain that twelve black coaches had been fired this year alone? (Maybe they didn’t win enough games.)

I don’t begrudge a black man for rooting for black coaches. I was rooting for Wisconsin because it started four white guys while the other three teams had none, and I wanted the Wisconsin players to show that white men could play winning basketball. I considered the Wisconsin players to be underdogs, and I suppose Saunders continues to think of black coaches as underdogs, too, even though they have had and continue to have plenty of opportunity to prove their merit.

If I were famous, however, I suspect that my rooting for the white team would be challenged by many as racist, whereas Saunders’s statement sailed by without any concern.

Of course, Saunders has a history of this. A few months ago, he was euphoric over a Chicago little-league team, Jackie Robinson West, winning a national championship because it was all-black. Again, this is rooting for the underdog. Unfortunately, the team was stripped of the title a few months later because of illegal recruiting.

No one will accuse Saunders of being politically correct, but, of course, he is.

April 6, 2015

Real men don’t get offended

Filed under: Culture,Law/justice — Mike Kueber @ 2:36 am
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Unfortunately, the big news following Wisconsin’s upset of Kentucky last night hasn’t been the game, but rather the post-game conduct of the Kentucky players and fans. Although post-game riots are usually the province of the winning team’s fan, in this case it was the sore-loser fans in Lexington.

But the Kentucky players were even worse sore losers. Three of the players walked off the floor without the traditional handshake and one of them during a press conference responded to a question about Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky by uttering under his breath, “Fuck that niga.”

Not surprisingly, the utterance did not result in a media firestorm. Instead the media quickly moved past the incident and pivoted first to Andrew Harrison’s apology and next to Kaminsky easy acceptance of the apology.

Kudos to Kaminsky. As argued in a column that my brother Kelly recently posted on Facebook, real men don’t get offended.

As for any consequences to Harrison, Kentucky coach Calipari was asked if that were being considered and he responded with, “Nah.”

And when a Yahoo columnist Dan Wetzel pondered the incident, he quickly concluded that this was a racist incident:

  • “Harrison’s comment, while a racial slur, likely wasn’t rooted in racial anger anyway. This was immaturity and embarrassment. He wasn’t creative enough to put Kaminsky down any other way, so he fell to the lowest rung on the ladder, a rather absurd one too since, as noted, Kaminsky is white.  Still, apologies should count, so let that one. If Kaminsky said he’s good with it – not that the victim here usually has much choice – then so be it. Turning Harrison into a piñata for varying forces on acceptable racial language doesn’t seem reasonable either. This really wasn’t about race.”

It seems that a black person won’t be accused of racism unless there is compelling, direct evidence, but a white person, like the Ferguson cop, will be exonerated of racism only after a comprehensive investigation of his life history fails to discover any utterance or action of a racist nature.

I understand the double standard regarding the use of the word “niga,” but I don’t think there needs to be a double standard for judging someone a racist.

 

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