We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...in the present depression, the out of work and poor are as numerous, but both unhappier and yet far better off than prior generations. This is not the rant of some right-wing laudator temporis acti, or the death throes of an aging old white guy, but rather empirically based and shared by most of my friends in the ascendant Mexican-American middle and upper-middle classes, many of whom are becoming quite conservative.
The cars of our poorer brethren in our major discount stores are late model and often expensive. People get into them with full carts of food and clothing. Housing here is cheap and good. How to square this circle between official poverty and misery and the veneer of a well-off general public?
I did an experiment the other day. I priced “wicker” furniture at Kmart and Wal-Mart and then drove up to an upscale North Fresno design outdoor living boutique. In short, the local version from China was about $300 for an ensemble, the high-end version was priced at $1700. To the naked eye, they were again almost identical and explain what I mean by the “veneer” of affluence. Ditto everything from jogging clothes to watches, and one can be outfitted in Selma for 10% of the cost of the brands of those popular in Palo Alto.
One wonders: if killing bin Laden was a courageous, gutsy decision by Barack Obama, where were the liberals when President Bush approved the killing of Zarqawi? Do you remember any of them praising that decision as courageous and "game changing?" No, neither do I.
Did you hear that ripping sound? Two liberal icons known by their silly stage names — Mahatma Gandhi and Malcolm X — have just been torn down from their sanctified perches thanks to a pair of massively researched but finally damning new biographies.
Both men, it turns out, were at pains to take on phony identities. Each hid his homosexuality, each was racist, each took pains to manufacture favorable coverage, each was driven by petty hatreds instead of shining ideals — each of these supposedly principled figures was an out-and-out phony.
I am very sympathetic towards those whose homes have lost value with the crash of the housing market. Knock on wood, my house has seen no decline in market value and has steadily increased in value throughout the national housing crisis. People were told that buying a house was a "good long-term investment" for their retirement. So instead of renting, they bought, and now they face a huge loss of equity that's destroying their life savings. It was easy mortgage money that helped pave the way to housing hell. Shame, shame, shame.
The fact (assuming these biographies are accurate) that Gandhi and Malcolm X were gay does not in any way dim their appeal to the left - in fact, I would argue that it enhances it. These were men of the left and it is ok for them to be gay. It is men of the right that deserve to be outed and scorned.
As for their racism, Malcolm X seems to be the real racist. From the article, it appears that Gandhi was just promoting his extreme non-violence. Nothing is worth fighting for and actually, nothing is worth dying for as it's hard to say you are dying for a cause if the only thing you do for it is die. I think I remember in the movie Gandhi, he argues that he basically has won if someone were kill him as even in his death, they would still have do deal with his body.
Knowing the truth about both of these men, I doubt many on the left would change their opinions. Many of them are racist and many are "non-violent". The ones that aren't will still line up behind the "vision" that has been ascribed X and Gandhi.