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January 14, 2018 11:54 PM UTC

MLK Day Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.


45 thoughts on “MLK Day Open Thread

  1. Don’t be Bipartisan with a bunch of Lying, Anti-Democratic Partisans.

    And Democrats, even though Republicans are stoopid, that cannot be your only message to voters. 

    1. Interesting point. Indeed, stupidity is a selling point among the dumb-as-dog-shit white working class, the GOP's principal constituency. It's time for Democrats to let go of the illusion that racist dumbass whites can be appealed to based on class. It's an illusion that's invariably proven false. In recent elections, non-whites saved Virginia and Alabama, and if the U.S. is to be saved from the roaring dumpster fire known as the Trump administration, non-whites will need to do the heavy lifting there as well.

      1. Yeah buddy! The future of America is brown, tan, olive, golden….with a sprinkling of pink and white.

        This is what scares the crap out of Trump voters – the browning of the American norm. But young millenial and  "Z"voters (born from 1990- to 2000) are generally more comfortable with those toastier skin tones, and also with rapid technological change. Which means that they do tend to vote more progressively.

        So yes, we will depend on those with more melanin to get us over the Trump. And we will also depend on young people of various melanin levels who embrace change, instead of fearing it.


    1. Jobs are one thing — even more worrisome are the coming AI wars:

      Russian President Vladimir Putin predicted in September that whoever becomes the leader in artificial intelligence "will become the ruler of the world."

      China is making a big push to be a dominant force.

      Beijing said it wants the country to be a leader in artificial intelligence by 2020. In July, government officials set out goals to build a domestic artificial intelligence industry worth nearly $150 billion in the next couple years.

      1. Russia and China move forward on high tech. Meanwhile, back in the USA, Trump wants to bring back jobs for coal miners. Also recently noted that the Carrier plant in Indianapolis has laid off more workers. So much for Trump's influence there.

        Moderatus: over to you.

    2. David — here is a related effect that robotics is having on the body politic:

      Robots Can’t Vote, but They Helped Elect Trump

      Acemoglu argues that recent technological developments have helped drive voters to the right:

      The swing to Republicans between 2008 and 2016 is quite a bit stronger in commuting zones most affected by industrial robots. You don’t see much of the impact of robots in prior presidential elections. So it’s really a post 2008 phenomenon.

      with the themes of recent literature on the political economy of right-wing populism, in which economic shocks to dominant population groups engender a political response that sharpens group identities and enhances support for conservative politicians. This pattern is evident in our finding that the impact of trade shocks on political polarization appears largely attributable to increases in foreign competition facing manufacturing industries that are intensive in the employment of non-Hispanic white males.

      Fears of lost jobs and economic security, fanned by demagogues telling everyone it's a zero-sum game but offering no positive solutions, will invoke a self-defeating response from the lizard brain.  Trump instinctively has tapped into that powerful fear. 

      1. I think it's actually a reasonable response. If you see the kind of job you can do disappearing, you see no future work for yourself you can support a family on, and you know that Hillary Clinton isn't going to solve the problem (and that is a fair conclusion)…

        Then you turn to someone who might fix it. Because unlikely beats no. And if that someone also gives voice to the primal scream you want to have for a world that's abandoned you, all the better.

        A lot of people made a very reasonable choice voting for Trump.

        1. That makes perfect sense . . . 

          Trump = “reasonable choice” cuz’ he can fix anything [anyone else, including Hillary, couldn’t] ???

          (. . . ummm, I guess I need to check the definition of “reasobbable” cuz’ apparently I got no fucking clue what it means . . . )


        2. Wow, David…  I am appalled that you think it is a fair conclusion that "you know that Hillary Clinton isn't going to solve the problem". 

          Have you become that cynical, or simply burned out?

            1. Duke – This is why I stopped coming here. Don't like what is said, attack the person.

              Davie – I was stating the view of Trump voters. But I do agree with them that it's very unlikely Hillary would have done anything effective for them. She's a core member of the establishment and would not cross Wall St.

              Dio – My comment was it is reasonable to go with small chance over no chance if that's how you view the two candidates.

              1. So David, to clarify, you understand why displaced/discouraged white blue collar workers might vote for Trump.  You believe (thus speaking in their voice) they "know that Hillary Clinton isn't going to solve the problem".

                I attribute it to multiple factors:

                1. The primal scream you correctly pointed out (as have many articles interviewing those voters)

                2.  A tone-deaf campaign on Hillary's part

                3.  25 years of villification of the Clinton family

                I actually believe as much as Trump and today's GOP are corrupting our nation's institutions, values and traditions, it would be much worse had Hillary won, particularly if the GOP retained control of the Senate and House.  I firmly believe the GOP would be on a jihad to destroy not just her, but the foundations of the Presidency and our democracy.

                As for the harsh question I posed to you, it was because your comments seemed to be yours, and thus I was sincerely drawing that conclusion based on the many years I've read your comments.  But I do apologize, and should have known better.

                  1. But how many web surfing coal miners with high speed internet access would be motivated to dive into detailed position papers on a campaign website?

                    Were there any TV ads in those markets empathizing with their plight and showing how Democrats had already made efforts to help?

                    1. Probably not. I've already opined on several threads about the complacency = ineptitude attitude of her senior campaign aides.

              2. I was doing some repair work on one of my walls.  I knew I had no chance of removing a Phillips screw with the regular screw-driver in my pocket, . . .

                . . . so, my only reasonable choice was to pound on the Phillips screw with my forehead? . . . 

                . . . goodgawd!

              3. I will echo many of davies' comments above and also offer my more or less sincere apology for assuming you voted for Trump. Your rhetoric seems to indicate where lies your sympathies. But, may I humbly suggest to you that you try to refrain from breaking a rule I learned about in high school football.

                Rule #9….Don't take yourself so damned seriously.

                Your defense of Trump or any of his claimed accomplishments is support for a deranged, petty, tyrant who is enabling the destruction of Americas' democracy and the entrenchment of policies and procedures that will set social justice in the US back by decades. I cannot see how anyone who cares for anyone but themselves can offer support and encouragement to this pernicious and hateful administration.

                You must be doing well in the stock market, David…or does my making that assumption hurt your feelings too?

        3.   Okay, David. But I'm puzzled. Factory jobs started disappearing in the late 70s. Billy Joel's Allentown came out in 1982–35 years ago. By that time the phenomenon of low-education jobs going elsewhere, or being phased-out by automation, was in full swing. So why are there so many bitter, angry and most puzzling, surprised middle-aged white guys now? They were young then and had the opportunity to choose a path not so easily replaceable by a machine. They should have seen this coming down the track and prepared for it.



          1. If I may interject an observation here, skinny, I am in complete agreement about that curious circumstance. The Republican party, already repleat with racists and homophobes, allowed itself to be hijacked by a madman. The latent racism festering in this country has been continuously and increasingly malignant. When the trend of off-shoring factories began, no corporation wanted to talk about their greed. It was too easy and useful to blame it on brown people themselves and not the profit demanded by the never-ending hunger of the Dividend Machine.

            Those same white workers were simply out competed by those who did not share their sense of entitlement. I have been an employer in the construction industry for more than two decades. I have watched this happen, David.

          2. They should have seen this coming down the track and prepared for it.

            Shouldn't we use right-wing logic on this, then?  If they didn't see it coming, it's their own fault and they don't deserve our help.

            Of course, now that GOMBY has promised to restore Big Coal, the people who have suffered the most since the 1980s are now rejecting programs designed to help them.

            1. Have to disagree with Duke here. Yes, the party may have been overwhelmed by the Trump candidacy; that's a better word than hijacked. But the party was truly hijacked several decades ago by the religious right. As good as Reagan was on some public lands issues; despite appointing James Watt as Secretary of Interior; he has to bear a major share of the blame for opening the door to the religious loony tunes that Barry Goldwater warned us all about. 

              1. If you prefer the word overwhelmed, I will not object. You very correctly place emphasis where it is deserved…on the Christian right. The radical, corporate Christian clergy and the pervasive and powerful grip it has on the millions of its true believers is a force with which we must reckon.

  2. Oops…

    Historian finds German decree banishing Trump's grandfather

    The decree orders the “American citizen and pensioner Friedrich Trump” to leave the area “at the very latest on 1 May … or else expect to be deported”. Bild called the archive find an “unspectacular piece of paper”, that had nevertheless “changed world history”.

    Trump was born in Kallstadt, now in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, in 1869. He emigrated to the US aged 16 initially to escape poverty, attracted by the gold rush.

  3. At least the Dutch reporters know how to hold Trump's buffoons accountable:

    …a Dutch TV reporter asked Mr. Hoekstra about comments he made in 2015. “The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos,” Mr. Hoekstra said at the time. “Chaos in the Netherlands. There are cars being burned. There are politicians that are being burned … and yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”

    Mr. Hoekstra said the reporter’s claim about the statement was “fake news.” The reporter then showed a video clip of the remarks, prompting Mr. Hoekstra to deny he had just used the term “fake news.” The exchange went viral.

    Looking like a deer in headlights, the ambassador tried to brush off his interrogators. Maybe Mr. Hoekstra had watched President Trump spew lies and hate without apology for so long that he thought he could get away with it, too. Not in The Hague, apparently. The journalists came back repeatedly — “This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions,” one said.

    On Friday, Mr. Hoekstra apologized in an interview with a Dutch newspaper: “I’m shocked I said it. It was a misstatement. It was simply wrong.” He added, “I got countries mixed up.”

    … The US ambassador to the Netherlands “got his countries mixed up”. I suppose the real reason there are so many vacancies in the Trump administration is due to a shortage of incompetent, feeble-brained sycophants willing to serve.

    1. Hoekstra was born in the Netherlands and is reportedly very proud of his Dutch heritage. The claim that he mixed up the Netherlands with another country is patently absurd.

      1. Exactly.  If he'd just stopped with the apology, he probably would have been forgiven.  It was the ludicrous added comment that proved his incompetence as an ambassador, and sub-par intellect. 

        Apparently, only his wealth, Dutch heritage and fealty to Trump were considered for his nomination.

  4. [T]his is the day when we are all supposed to come together and agree that Martin Luther King’s entire public career consists of one line from one speech, which showed that his top priority was ensuring that mediocre white applicants be able to attend their first choice of college. So it’s worth remembering how he was actually perceived by the “respectable” wing of conservatism[.] (in which conservative megagenius William F. Buckley says that King basically committed suicide).

    1. Martin Luther King Jr. Spent the Last Year of His Life Detested by the Liberal Establishment

      The New York Times editorial board lambasted King for linking the war in Vietnam to the struggles of civil rights and poverty alleviation in the United States, saying it was “too facile a connection” and that he was doing a “disservice” to both causes. It concluded that there “are no simple answers to the war in Vietnam or to racial injustice in this country.” The Washington Post editorial board said King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country and his people.” A political cartoon in the Kansas City Star depicted the civil rights movement as a young black girl crying and begging for her drunk father King, who is consuming the contents of a bottle labeled “Anti-Vietnam.”

      In all, 168 newspapers denounced him the next day. Johnson ended his formal relationship with King. “What is that goddamned nigger preacher doing to me?” Johnson reportedly remarked after the Riverside speech. “We gave him the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we gave him the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we gave him the war on poverty. What more does he want?”

  5. Hey Pols – can we  please not sponsor ads from white supremacist Gavin McInnes? His CRTV show is currently in the Pols ad banner.  Mcinnes is the founder of the racist group , the  "ProudBoys" and he is trying to make racism hip and cool.

    He says himself that he "Wants to make my message mainstream". He is a sexist racist asshole masquerading as a hipster.

    I'm not threatening a "boycott Pols" moment or anything – just want to call it to your attention. If you have any control over the ad content of the banner ads, then get rid of this nasty sludge. 

    1. That particular ad raised some eyebrows for us too. Unfortunately there is no way of controlling Google's ads from our end that we presently know of. With that said, there is a lot in the world we don't know. A lot.

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