When Facts Fail and Knees Jerk An Introduction to Thomas Sowell’s “Black Rednecks & White Liberals” – By Amanda S. Green


When Facts Fail and Knees Jerk

An Introduction to Thomas Sowell’s “Black Rednecks & White Liberals” – By Amanda S. Green

After a couple of weeks of angsting over what book to review next, the decision turned out to be easier than I thought. I knew going in I didn’t want to do another book on the last election, Hillary Clinton or Trump. I’ll come back to them, but not right away. I also knew I wanted something that didn’t send me screaming into the night, which is exactly how I felt while reviewing TSAR. Yet it had to be something timely and, more importantly, interesting. Then a headline in the local paper caught my eye and the decision was made for me. So, starting today, I’ll be spending the next several weeks discussing Black Rednecks & White Liberals: Hope, Mercy, Justice and Autonomy in the American Health Care System by Thomas Sowell.

I’ll admit, the title of the book intrigued me. I’d never heard the term “black redneck” before and wondered how in the world Sowell managed to get away with using it. I will also admit to being a fan of Sowell’s writing on economics. However, as alluded to earlier, I chose this book based on something that happened locally and, after reading the description for Black Rednecks & White Liberals, I wondered what Sowell’s take on current events might be.

Over the last year or so, we’ve been inundated with reports from around the country about statues being removed and parks and buildings being renamed. Why? Because politicians have been worried about those names and statues being racially insensitive in today’s enlightened age. I’ll even admit in some instances, they were right. However, as with so many other movements, things have reached the point of being ridiculous.

The latest case in point happened recently in Corsicana, TX. Corsicana isn’t a big town – the 2010 census placed its population at 23,770. Located an hour south of Dallas, it’s not one of those places you expect to see in the news, much less the national news. Yet that’s exactly where it found itself this week and all over the statue of a gorilla.

Yes, you read that right, a gorilla.

Specifically, Dobby the gorilla. A 500-lb statue that had been in place in a circus-themed public park for 19 years. During that time, there had been no problems with Dobby. In fact, the city took steps to insure the safety of children using the park as well as of Dobby by placing him in a cage. You see, Dobby hadn’t been reinforced when he was first brought to the park. So, what you had was a gorilla, one fist upraised, in a cage in an appropriately themed public park.

Suddenly, local government received complaints about how racially insensitive Dobby was. They were offended, I tell you, offended. Oh, and those complaints? There “about” 45 of them. Forty-five. If my calculations are correct, that’s 0.19% of the city’s population complaining, and that assumes those complaints came from citizens of Corsicana.

But, being concerned politicians, the city council removed Dobby. After all, they couldn’t be viewed as being insensitive to the concerns of their constituents, could they? What they didn’t expect was for it to blow up in their faces. Flowers, stuffed animals and balloons suddenly decorated Dobby’s now empty cage, a memorial to the beloved gorilla. One man staged a sit-in from inside the cage. There was a candle light vigil for Dobby. There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to Dobby’s memory. Part of the problem, beyond the fact Dobby had become a fixture at the park, was city government acted without actually letting the citizens give input on the issue. In other words, they knee-jerked based on a few complaints and, I have no doubt, memories of the protests about Civil War statues commemorating Confederate generals, etc.

As I said, it blew up in their faces. Reports now indicate Dobby will be returning to the park. Which he should, especially when you have local government officials admitting they don’t understand why there was suddenly concern about Dobby being “racially insensitive” and when those same government officials don’t detail what the complaints actually said. Was it because Dobby’s arm was upraised? What was it?

[No, it’s because Democrats are enormously racist and think black people look like gorillas.  Then they project this on everyone else.  Truth is, of course, all people look like gorillas.  There was a gorilla at the springs zoo who looked remarkably like my brother and had his expressions too.  My kids loved it.  BUT democrats are enormous racists, so they think it’s only black people who resemble gorillas, themselves having been evolved from fairies and unicorns.  I wouldn’t mind if they’d stop pushing their evil on us – SAH]

In other words, where is the context and what is the culture that not only brought about the complaints but caused the city council to respond in such a knee-jerk reaction?

And that brings us back to Thomas Sowell and Black Rednecks & White Liberals. (All quotes come from the preface of the Kindle edition.)

I knew I was in for an interesting read with the first sentence: Race and rhetoric have gone together for so long that it is easy to forget that facts also matter—and these facts often contradict many widely held beliefs.

Such a simple statement and one that, on its surface, appears self-evident. Yet, it points out the problem facing our country right now. Politicians are so afraid of being seen as racist or, at the very least, insensitive, they act without taking a moment to consider the complaint. Facts have been thrown out the window all too often (and not just in race issues but also in other hot button issues like gun control. We’re seeing that play out in the media right now with the latest press for gun control). No one wants to deal with those pesky little facts when the feelz are so much more important. (Sarcasm high here.)

In the preface to the book, Sowell explains his purpose “is to expose some of the more blatant misconceptions poisoning race relations in our time.” That is a huge task he’s set for himself. More than that, as I read the book last night, it dawned on me just how big of a risk he took in publishing it back in 2009. He doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t hesitate to place blame where he sees it – both within the African-American community and with white liberals. He brings forth facts that will shatter the beliefs of some people – if they would sit down and read the essays in the book. Most of all, he gives us something to think about and does so in a way that is not only readable but thought-provoking.

[E]ven a work seeking primarily to untangle a complex set of historic social issues can provoke the fashionable question: “But what is your solution?” Yet there is not the slightest danger that there will be a shortage of solutions. On the contrary, an abundance of uninformed solutions has been one of our biggest social problems.

Isn’t that the truth and aren’t we seeing so many examples of that today? It doesn’t matter how well-meaning a so-called solution might be, if it isn’t based in facts, it is doomed to failure. Perhaps not right away but eventually it will fail. The question then becomes how great the harm will have been.

One thing Sowell said in the preface really struck me, especially after having just re-read Lenin’s The State and Revolution:

Common sense can be more readily expected when writing for the general public than when writing for the intelligentsia.

Think about that single sentence for a moment. “Common sense can be more readily expected when writing for the general public than when writing for the intelligentsia.” It’s important that we ask ourselves why that is. Then we have to ask why, if that is the case, the so-called intelligentsia have failed to recognize that truth. Is it because they don’t want us to seek common sense solutions to the problems that plague us today? Are they afraid of losing status or power? What is it? More importantly, why have we allowed ourselves to be swayed by them?

Sowell does state certain facts about the essays contained in this book. They are something we need to remember as we go forward: [T]hese essays do not mean that (1) all Southern whites were or are rednecks, that (2) all black Americans today or in the past were or are black rednecks, that (3) Jews are exactly the same as the other groups with whom they are compared, or that (4) slavery is somehow morally acceptable because everyone was guilty of it. He states this because, as he points out, you can’t predict “the clever misinterpretations that others might put on one’s words.” Keep those premises in mind as we go forward with the book.

Next week, I’ll tackle the first essay, “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”. In the meantime, if you haven’t read this book before, I highly recommend it. Here’s a teaser from the next chapter:

Moreover, such cultural traits followed blacks out of the Southern countrysides and into the urban ghettos—North and South—where many settled. The very way of talking, later to be christened “black English,” closely followed dialects brought over from those parts of Britain from which many white Southerners came, though these speech patterns died out in Britain while surviving in the American South,143 as such speech patterns would later die out among most Southern whites and among middle-class blacks, while surviving in the poorer black ghettos around the country. For example:

Where a northerner said, “I am,” “You are,” “She isn’t,” “It doesn’t,” and “I haven’t,” a Virginian even of high rank preferred to say “I be,” “You be,” “She ain’t,” “It don’t,” and “I hain’t.” …These Virginia speechways were not invented in America. They derived from a family or regional dialects that had been spoken throughout the south and west of England during the seventeenth century.

Now consider these two paragraphs and think about speech patterns we hear today. We’ll be discussing that and much more next week. In the meantime, think about other instances where facts have been pushed aside in favor of rhetoric. What about where common sense has been tossed aside for the convoluted “solutions” of the intelligentsia?

Until later!

[For raising the tone of this blog — ATH is culture! — and helping me with the exposing of the roots of the current mess — in her case with more facts! — if you decide to  send the woman a drink–  And her Amazon author page is here –  Also, she has a new book: Light Magic, under her Ellie Ferguson pen name. SAH]

424 responses to “When Facts Fail and Knees Jerk An Introduction to Thomas Sowell’s “Black Rednecks & White Liberals” – By Amanda S. Green

  1. That almost sounds like a 4chan/8chan troll with the gorilla statue. I wonder when they’ll get around to the gorilla statue outside Harvey, ND? (oh, my bad. It’s apparently already gone. I haven’t driven through there in a couple of years now)

    • Sadly depending on the arm gesture it is perfectly plausible. If culture can be harmed by squinting at something it’s a target. Same reason you see bathroom laws and bake the cake laws. It’s not about the actual good but about making others bend their knee.

      • You really have to squint hard to see anything. It is simply a raised hand and fist. My guess, someone squinted just right and then realized the gorilla was in a cage and their feelz made them think that it represented putting some group or some person in prison. Welcome to the age of the perpetually butt-hurt.

        • Just thinking if the excuse was a black power gesture. And it’s not that feel bad, it’s that they can enforce their will on the subhumans

        • Maybe they had just seen Planet of the Apes?

          • Although nobody knows who Lenny Bruce was anymore it does little to reference him, even though it was he who pioneered what has become our modern stand-up comedy monologue back in the late Fifties. He observed — when being persecuted for working “Blue” — that it had become mostly a circumstance of once town A ha d arrested him, and town B and town C, then what kind of sh**hole town was town X that they let a notorious criminal like him work there?

            So it is with such statuary as the gorilla in question. When everybody else is signalling their virtue and their wokeness and repudiating past racism, what kind of town us yours that doesn’t have a #MeToo Moment? (For that matter, what would you think of a Hollywood starlet who had never been sexually harassed? At some point it becomes a badge of dishonor, like still being a virgin in 12th Grade.

            • When everyone has a tramp stamp, the ones that stand out are the ones without.

            • Yep. There are some good interviews of Bruce talking about just that if you take time to dig for them. And yes, it is very much the same thing we see now — between the #MeToo movement, the Confederate statues, the NFL players protesting during the National Anthem and so on. It isn’t so much a matter of conscience with a lot of them as not wanting to appear to be racist, sexist or whatever.

          • So they got rid of the damned dirty ape?

  2. I think the common sense bit is just damning with faint praise. The nation is being/has been remade into an insane asylum because we cannot place a single speck of blame on perpetrators who are not Emmanuel Goldsteins and responsibility is a four letter word. The rulers see their subjects as little more than pets.

    • Exactly! That is one of the points Sowell makes in the first essay. He also notes how those so-called well-intentioned liberals are also responsible for more harm than good. What is different with his approach is he uses facts to support his arguments, as well as history.

      • That makes assumption of good intentions for anyone but themselves. The ones pushing this carp are no different from Lenin in that it’s sweet words to cover a mailed fist.

      • Sowell has had more experience with his words being twisted, his work misrepresented and his arguments misinterpreted than I expect any of us can imagine. It has reached a point where he almost always has to include a chapter in every book addressing the most probable abuses of his positions.

        That the man has not entirely given up hope for our culture is remarkable.

    • The creation of the ‘victim’ culture has been going on for a LONG time. I remember having discussions with people a decade ago about the change of society to ‘everybody gets a medal for showing up’. Even before then it was already fashionable to encourage people to blame their problems on others, whether it be parents, teachers, or ‘society’. We’re seeing the harvest of those ideas playing out now. The cynical part of me thinks that this is the goal. The (slightly) less cynical thinks there is a generation of educators looking at the Frankenstein Monster they’ve created and are having an ‘Oh SHIT’ moment.

      • I go with intended. Between the nobody fails mindset, bastardized schools and the dehumanizing effect of social media and collapsing local ties the goal of getting a pliable, dependent culture was achieved.

        • My question is that is this the result they intended to get or did they actually think they were making things better?

          Trying to read things like the direct works of Carl Jung has left me less than impressed with the education I received. I had to spend hours doing additional research at times in order to understand what he was talking about. (Honestly days or weeks). And I’ve read for more than most people on a variety of subjects.

        • Andrew Brew

          I go with intended also. I am just finishing Richard Mitchell’s “Graves of Academe”, a most excellent polemic (almost forty years old now) against American public schooling and its deliberate and self-serving evil effects.

      • Yep. You can go back to early in the 20th Century for part of it but much of it came with the Civil Rights Movement (entitlement) and then progressed from there into education (everyone is special and everyone is a winner) and beyond.

        • Hah! The fatuity and false claims of the Civil Rights Movement is the subject of one of Professor Sowell’s earliest steps beyond economics: Civil Rights : Rhetoric or Reality.

          It is now [1984] more than three decades since the historic Supreme Court decision on desegregation, Brown v. Board of Education. Thomas Sowell takes a tough, factual look at what has actually happened over these decades — as distinguished from the hopes with which they began or the rhetoric with which they continue, Who has gained and who has lost? Which of the assumptions behind the civil rights revolution have stood the test of time and which have proven to be mistaken or even catastrophic to those who were supposed to be helped?

  3. Ooooohhh! Nice Choice! I’ve had this sitting in my ToBeRead stack since first it came out, but other, lighter, things kept creeping past it.

    • I have been amazed at how easy this is to read. Pull it out and give it a try.

    • It’s a great book. Conquest and Cultures is probably my second favorite of his. Does a lot of adding context to the reality of racism and cultural conflicts around the world throughout history.

      • Terry Sanders

        The only piece of his I’ve read through was A CONFLICT OF VISIONS. But that was enough to cement my extremely high opinion of him.

  4. Great choice! It’s on my shelf & I’ll re-read it checking back here for your insights. I suspect it will be almost as much fun as sitting across from you discussing Sowell food with a bottle of Jameson by my side.

  5. I cannot speak as to the fairies, but the unicorns might take issue. After all, they at least look better. Yes, from any angle. Even that one. Perhaps even especially that one.

  6. I get the idea that the coming weeks will still Amanda’s posts accompanied by a drink, but that fermentation alone will suffice and distillation not be a requirement. Egad, I might need learn something of wines.

    • Nah, I’ll just sip the good booze as I read this instead of the booze quickest to numb the brain so I could get through Clinton and then Lenin.

      • I was only speaking for myself there. I shall not attempt to proclaim what anyone else might or ought to drink. Hrm… a slow enjoyment of Whistlepig rye might be something to consider.

        • Hmmm, I may have to try that after I drink the Angel’s Envy finished rye my son gave me.

          • Angel’s Envy is outstanding. Unfortunately it is also expensive.

            • I know. That is why it hasn’t been chucked or shared with those friends who would not appreciate it. My son is a good young man who knows his mother enjoys a good drink. Of course, I have shared that desire and appreciation for good booze with him. VBG

  7. Down boy!
    No one likes being around a randy bull.
    Though I must admit, that snow white flank, the gentle twist of her horn…

    • My cousin is Randy. I’m Orvan. ♉

    • Kind of a shame that Thomas Sowell isn’t writing a column anymore. however, the fellow is 87 and deserves to take time for enjoyable hobbies at his age. He’s got a very interesting bibliography if anyone is interested in reading more of his work. (Besides, you can race ahead of Amanda and anticipate where she’s going.)

      What do you get when you cross a minotaur with a unicorn? A shaggy, snow-white, blue-eyed triceratops?

      • He’s got an awesome bibliography, Mike. I found a couple of other essays last night as I was prepping the post that I may pull into the discussion before moving on to the next book. I have always loved his writing but I’d only read him on econ. This is sooooo good and I’m having a blast reading the book even as he makes me think.

      • One does NOT cross a unicorn. Unhealthy, that is.

        • Given their penchant is for killing non-virgins, how would you safely cross with one, anyway? (Much less cross one.)

          • Thus the comment on the view. If you see a receding unicorn, you have survived the encounter. Or avoided it.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Sorry but it’s not the case that unicorns kill non-virgins.

            It was that they could only be captured by virgins.

            On the other hand, unicorns have been known to associated with non-virgins but only with very trusted non-virgins. 😉

            • He has this right. Unicorns are… selective. See a unicorn? If one wishes to approach, let it. If one prefers to wander off, DO NOT pursue. And never, ever attempt to corner. Be truthful. Or at least do not lie. “I prefer not to say.” is… comprehended. (Yes, they can speak. They’re fantastic at language(s)… [but oh that cruel joke they played on China] but most conversation outside their kind… is found tedious.)

              • I’ve always wanted a unicorn mount. I’d hang it right over the fireplace mantel.

            • Yes, it’s the case.

              Indeed, the other way to catch a unicorn involves standing between it and a good stout full-grown tree. Then you dodge as it charges to kill. Once its horn is impaled in the trunk, it’s caught. Assuming, of course, that you can dodge well.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Of course, it has to be a very large tree.

                Unicorns were known to get elephants caught on their horns and died when they got too many elephants stuck on their horns. 😉

        • But I’ve always wanted to cross a unicorn with a pegasus, though some have warned that horny flying horses might be a bad idea.

          • Actually, that’s how we got horses. There’s an old story, likely apocryphal, about Marilyn Monroe suggesting to Albert Einstein that they have a child, because with her looks and his brains, the child would have easy success in life. He supposedly retorted “What if it had my looks and your brains?

            So when the unicorn and pegasus bred, we ended up with horses with no wings or horns….

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              The version of that story that I heard predates Einstein and was set in England. 😉

              • Considering the degree to which Monroe’s beauty was surgically created it seems unlikely she’d be so dim as to say such a thing.

  8. Removal of statues, removal of history, all viewed through a marxist lens. I read the story about the gorilla and shook my head. Too many people offended by too many dog whistles.
    Then there’s the statue of Cornwallis in Halifax Nova Scotia that got removed because he was racist and put bounties on the local native population. Once again feelz triumphed over history.
    Reminds me, I have a book on the founding debates of Canada and confederation I should get around to reading. Something that most of us Canadians have little knowledge of.

    • Yep — and the book on the founding debates sounds interesting.

      • 500 pages including index and appendices. Have to find time to read it really. It was an interesting discovery that there was only one copy that had been set up and published in over 150 years.
        The lack of proper teaching of our history is a crime to behold.

    • Remember how there used to be World War 1 artillery pieces in all the parks in Hamilton? Ever notice they’re all gone now? Same thing, same reason.

      • Orillia, Ontario. Couchiching park. They are removing the statue of Samuel Champlain and “reworking” the whole piece so it doesn’t deintegrate the local native peoples. They are removing the three small “cannons” (more like signaling pieces) because the reserve across the lake felt that them pointing that way was a bit too much. I hate parts of the modern era….

        • I thought they were removing all your WWI artillery because you eevul Canuckies invented blitzkrieg.

          Shame on you and your evil armed motocrosseers!

          (Sorry, but it really did freak me out to learn about that blitzkrieg thing. Kinda broke the narrative that nobody won battles in WWI.)

          • …and that it was all a vastly futile effort to even show up for a war, because nobody could possibly have won after the invention of the Maxim/Vickers designs.

            Just another self serving myth – if the idiot British Generals had taken a bit more time training up their massive volunteer Army in tactics like the Canadians figured out instead of hurrying to fling the half trained troops into the Maxim guns in walking ranks, they could have turned the northern German lines and basically won the war for the French in 1916.

            • “Lions led by donkeys” as the Germans described the British soldiers.

              • I tend to be suspicious of such adages. The German infantryman had to retain respect for his counterpart; failing to do so could be deadly. OTOH, disrespect for one’s enemy commanders comes as easily as disrespect for one’s own commanders and helps embolden morale: “Tommy may be tenacious but in the long run his generals will do our work for us.”

                None of which is to say they were wrong.

            • Three Armies on the Somme is an extremely good read, and will leave you extremely frustrated at the end of it. By the end of the Battle of the Somme, they’d figured out how to actually win offensives–put an entire army’s worth of artillery on a one or two corps front, don’t put your final objective out of visual range, and have reserves ready to move immediately to reinforce the assault elements against the counterattack.
              And then the Western Allies utterly forgot all of this by 1917.

        • I hate parts of the postmodern era….


    • Our schools also ensure too many Americans are ignorant of our founding. This is a feature, not a bug to those wanting to control us.

    • Some in Savannah want to change the name of the Talmadge bridge because Gene Talmadge’s past (but not the suspicious voting). They were wanting to name it after that pioneer in cookie sales, Juliettte Gordon Low, but I think the bill didn’t make it. I was hoping they’d rename it after Quash Dolly. He was a slave in Savannah who earned freedom for him and his family – and led the British around Patriot lines, which let them take the city.

      Poor Quash Dolly: No one wants to mention him anymore.

      • Recently, folks have been trying to promote Juliette Gordon Low as a lesbian pioneer. Which may or may not be true (I’ve heard it’s not), but certainly doesn’t mesh gracefully with founding the Girl Scouts.

        Modern progs. Can’t keep their traps shut, not even long enough to achieve their own goals. Have to show off their super clever virtue signals more than they have to win.

        • I think they think they ARE winning. They certainly manage to maintain the stage that gives voice to their. . .ideas. As has so often been pointed out most of them have no idea how completely unhinged and devoid of reality that a large part of the country sees them.

          • This is where the Quash Dolly Memorial Bridge would have been funny. It could have been pitched straight-up: a Savannah slave who, through diligence and hard work, earned his and his family’s freedom. Since no one mentions his involvement in the American Civil War anymore, it had a strong chance of approval with none the wiser until after the bill became law. Best scenario would be after the official renaming.

            • That sounds like a really interesting story. I did a search for Quash Dolly and Quash Dolly Memorial Bridge without finding any results. Got a good source for more info?

              One of these days I want to do more research into the actual treatment of slaves. I’ve heard that the treatment wasn’t nearly as bad as it is typically portrayed. Also, from a human nature point of view, and from a purely selfish POV it doesn’t make sense. Even if you ‘own’ someone you’re not going to get decent work out of them with threats and violence. At the same time I can also see that if I was enslaved and forced to do work, that I’m going to be really unhappy and find as many ways to get free and/or sabotage as much as possible without getting caught.

              • Try Quanamo Dolly. I did a post on him a couple of years ago, and coincidentally, it came up first in a Google search on that name. I’m tempted to link to it, but linking to your own source is how fake history gets made.

                • No worries. I appreciate the info. I’m in infosec and part of good hygiene is not clicking links unless you are damn sure of the source and where it is going. There are some interesting ways to obfuscate links and if the start of the link looks ‘legit’ it’s easy to sneak in a ‘googlee’ or something. Our visual recognition doesn’t always catch it. Training to catch them can make reading some books painful.

                • Oh wow. That’s got some interesting similarities with how the ‘300’ was told in the movie. The slave led an ambush through a pass to flank them.

                • linking to your own source is how fake history gets made.

                  Or worse, a History Ouroboros. Vicious beasts they almost invariably bite you in the arse.

                • Quanimo Dolly begins to bring up some references.

              • Terry Sanders

                Brookhiser mentioned that George Washington had that problem. He was highly displeased with his slaves’ productivity, but refused to play Simon Legree, and never found a better solution. One wonders what might have happened if he’d had someone to suggest economic incentives.*

                Better yet, if they’d looked at the quaint Roman custom of the *peculiam.* With *him* doing it, it might have become fashionable…

                *As some later planters used–basically a quota system, where after you’d met it, your time was your own for the rest of the day. And you were allowed to keep any money you got–say, by selling produce from your back garden.)

              • Slavery existed all over the world from pre-history to the modern day. There’s a lot of variation.

                For instance, in the Caribbean, there were islands (such as Haiti) where they imported enough slaves to entirely replace the slave population every five years.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        LOL 😆

      • We used to have a local riverfront park named Goethe (pronounced Gay-tee; gotta love those regional screenings.) Turns out he was very racist (like Henry Ford-level), so they removed his name from the park. When they asked the local residents who they wanted it named after now, the locals glared and said they’d rather keep the temporary name.

        So it’s called River Bend. Probably a better option at this time, given the tendency to remove everything.

  9. I read Sowell’s book several years ago. It’s interesting to see just how much the Blacks and Whites in the South had in common, in terms of culture. The Afro-centric, Kwaanza, We Were Kings overlay? Not central to their lives. I suspect that it will die out in a few years.
    But, the food/family structures/largely Fundamentalist Christianity culture that preceded it? Likely to last.

    • Not only that but the immigration patterns and how the sudden influx of those from the South and how they were seen by their Northern “cousins”, not to mention the impact on the Northern culture. Then there is the data about the difference between those form the South and those from the Indies. It is all very interesting reading and it will make you think.

    • Having spent two years of my undergradate time as an Anthro major studying African culture and history, I am amazed at the LACK of understanding that so many of these race hustlers exhibit whenever they talk of Africa, as if it were some kind of lost utopia. I have friends from Nigeria who are appalled by the American black and their lack of understanding.

      Anyone who has actually taken the time to study the history of Africa knows its not a simplistic matter. There is no way you can gain some knowledge of it and conclude that it was merely a matter of some colonial policies. If anything Im offended that these race hustlers get away with the simplistic lies they perpetrate…and even worse how their focused audience has willfully chosen not to challenge those lies by going to find out for themselves. No such thing as Kwanzaa in Africa, no such thing as too good to use European schools for their own betterment. An American black would do better in going back to “his roots” by taking up the worship of Vodun than listening to the likes of CAIR and Jesse Jackson et al.

      • Well said. In the first essay, Sowell discusses much of what you said and shows the differences between the 1945-1960 period and then the post 1960 period. The statistics are enough to horrify anyone who takes the time to look at them and consider what they mean. I’ll be going into them in some detail next week.

      • It actually seems akin to something that observers pointed out recently about some anthropologists and archeologists. The subject was in Northern Europe, a now submerged island with ancient artifacts – and evidence that they lined the shore with heads on stakes. There was some speculation that this was evidence of a ritual. More than a few have pointed out that the most likely meaning was “Scram!”

        • Hey, maybe it was a ritual “scram!”

          Seriously, it doesn’t surprise me. To many simply can’t or won’t see the most obvious explanation, much less accept it.

        • Ahhh, anthropologists and archeaologists. Was in a museum this weekend and there was a clay figure with moveable arms and legs fastened by plant fibers. Description was “unknown purpose ritual figurine”. Was from Central America and the first thing I thought of when I saw it was “It’s a f*cking kids dolly”. The girlfriend was highly amused at my statement.

          • As I said, the most obvious explanation most definitely can’t be the right one in their eyes. There has to be something sinister or unpleasant or something.

            • Roger Ritter

              David Macaulay’s book, “Motel of the Mysteries” is a great send-up of academic theorizing about everyday objects from the past.

          • Most regretted picture-not-taken. In the British Museum’s “Romans in Britain” display, they had these round, highly polished stone donut things labeled “child bracelets”. Um. No. Even children have knuckles bigger than that. It was much neater to know I was looking at >1000 year old sex toys.

            • ::cackles::

              Apropo of nothing (but slightly related) at a display of artifacts from Pompeii in Denver some years ago, I was inordinately amused by the fact that, so far as I can tell, penis grafitti across human history and culture all looks exactly the same. (I mean, sure, I suppose there’s only a limited number of ways to draw said bodypart in a quick-and-dirty manner, but still. I find this a hilarious representation of the fact that although in many ways we might be very different from the ones who came before, in certain fundamental ways we really, really aren’t.)

            • On the flipside, it’s amazing how often a pestle for grinding grain is mistaken for an item of worship.

            • Were the stone rings too small for a weighted-warp loom?

          • Well it *is* a fairly cheap and common joke among archaeologists that if you just can’t figure out what it was used for, call it ceremonial. At least the archaeologists that I got to know whilst in school in the 80s had a sense of humor. Not so sure about the ones today.

            • This. I know of an anthropology professor who teaches that when they can’t figure something out, they call it a religious object.

              • I can just imagine about a 1,000 years in the future someone finding an almost intact i-phone. “Primitive religious object, unknown purpose, possibly a holy object for Eris”.

                Of course since I think Apple users tend to join ‘The Cult of Apple’ I’m not sure it would be inaccurate.

        • Heh. And of course there are the various gyrations of the academic community to ‘splain away the mass child-sacrifice sites that have been found… because of COURSE people in the past (who were probably ruled benevolently by a matriarchy or something) didn’t do such awful things! That’s all on the evil Christians/Jews/other people who object to mass killings of children!!

          • Tell me, did you laugh hysterically when you typed in “ruled benevolently by a matriarchy”? I certainly did as I read it. I swear those who claim matriarchies would do away with all the wars and violence, etc., never went to middle school with pre-teen and early teen girls and certainly have never been around a woman with PMS — or going through menopause.

            • As hysterically as I could whilst at work. 😉

              It’s like an article I saw recently about “How to write well-rounded female villains” and it started off with some nonsense about how women are “always” viewed as loving mothers, kind, etc etc and so writing a female villain is HARD, and my first thought was “This person has clearly never gone to public schools of any kind. Or anywhere with groups of women that socialize on a regular basis. Or held a job that included women. And possibly has never met a woman in their life.”

              • Yes! It’s like saying a woman would never, ever make a sexually explicit — or even utter a sexual innuendo — that might “sexualize” a man. Or saying a woman can’t harass someone. Folks, women can be and often are mean, evil creatures. We’re human. It happens. The only thing you do when you put us on a pedestal is give us the high ground which makes it all the easier to pick you off. VBEG

                • Women, in my experience, have tended to be far, far nastier in the sexual-innuendo department–and other things–than most men I have known.

                  Case in point: I like true crime, and I’ve been trying out various true crime podcasts this last year. My favorite is run by two men, who although often quite funny, and who on occasion do use bad language (usually one in particular, when confronted with some truly heinous crimes), they generally keep things clean, not too graphic, and are always respectful of the victims, and they make it clear that although they ARE deeply fascinated by crime, they are also doing this with the intent of education and, in the case of unsolved crimes, the hope that the perpetrator will be caught. And they remain almost entirely politically neutral, and the humor largely comes from them poking fun at each other and being a bit silly about it. (They are friends from childhood.)

                  The other highly-recommended podcasts I’ve tried that are run by women? I haven’t made it past the first episodes. (And usually, not even through the first episode–and I’ve tried three different ones, with three completely different sets of podcasters.) The language is vile, they dwell on the gory and graphic side of the crimes with a glee that I find disturbing, there is little interest in the victims as anything BUT the victims, and an unhealthy fascination with the perpetrators and the crimes. That, along with a more or less constant stream of political remarks (I leave you to guess which side of the political spectrum, heh) as what passes for “humor”…well, I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth and a distinct unwillingness to listen to anything by other women if this is how they behave.

                  Is it solely because of gender? Probably not–I’m sure there are offensive male podcasters out there I haven’t encountered. But I found the three-to-one ration within the genre of true crime that I listened to to be…depressing.

                  • I started college at 17 and before that spent a lot of time around a college campus. I was actually ‘adopted’ by a couple of the girls on campus and hanging out with them was educational. Especially when they were drinking.

                    I’ve also had women that were amazingly aggressive when they decided they wanted things to proceed further than I was interested in at the time. While in the Navy I spent a lot of time at the USO and I had to stop taking naps on the back couches because a couple of the girls would use that as an opportunity to ‘play’. Despite being told ‘No, I’m in a relationship’ multiple times.

                • Terry Sanders

                  There’s an old comedy-mystery series featuring a sixtyish retired prep-school master in a Boston suburb. In one book he is forced to hide from the police in the linen closet of a Ladies’ Room. When his benefactor comes back to get him out, he is almost a nervous wreck from an hour or two overhearing women’s private conversations about men.

                  The “Leonidas Witherall” series, by Phoebe Atwood Taylor. I am given to believe the author really was a woman…

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Barbara Hambly had an experienced mercenary leader shocked by the jokes that he overheard women telling.

                    He thought he told “bad jokes” but the jokes the women were telling were worse. 👿

            • *cough* Sarah put this up at Instapundit …

              Women are getting bitchier at work: study
              If there really is a “special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” lots of women may sadly be headed there.

              That’s according to a new study out of the University of Arizona, which found significant incidences of women-on-women rudeness at work.

              Allison Gabriel, assistant professor of management, and her co-authors asked 1,440 full-time employed men and women about whether they felt demeaned, ignored or addressed unprofessionally during their previous month of work.

              “We found . . . women [in the workplace] are ruder to each other than they are to men, or than men are to women,” Gabriel says in a press release.

              [END EXCERPT]

      • This is one of the things I find most disturbing about the reactions in certain quarters to the Black Panther movie. Unlike virtually all preceding spandex battle flicks* this one has “significance” and says “important” things about colonialism and The African Experience.

        I fearfully expect there will be Wakandan cults inside thirty years and folk claiming affinity to one of the Wakandan tribes. Despite the fact that this is whole cloth nonsense derived from old pulp novels by authors such as Merritt, Haggard and Burroughs.

        *Wonder Woman being the comparable film and for similar reasons.

        • Those cults are already having their seeds sowed. I’ve been amazed at the number of idiots on Twitter and elsewhere who seem to actually believe Wakandan tribes and the nation actually exist. Of course, they are also the ones who fail to realize this isn’t the first superhero movie with a black main character. But who are we to ruin their narrative with little things like facts?

          • Shrug. No different than Wicca or OTO, which is also pulp occult fiction. Better than the “Black Athena” crap.

            The main thing is that there has been a long time now between US revivals of interest in African culture, so it’s about time for kids to start looking up Swahili again. And since the Internet is full of info, they are likely to find some real history in there.

            If black people want to dream a little about a culture where black people do STEM, that’s not the worst thing in the world.

            Having benevolent illusions about the Old Country is pretty common among Americans! God forbid I should say anything against fantasy heritage, when St. David’s Day was yesterday and St. Patrick’s is later this month.

            • And since the Internet is full of info, they are likely to find some real history in there.
              Oh, the internet is full of it, alright….

              And don’t you dare disparage St Patrick! Any man who can get a city to turn its whole friggin’ river green is a man to be honored by hoisting a pint or 12, I say!

            • *evil little smile* So since the South African farmer murders are coming out in the MSM, as well as the current government’s calls for seizing white-owned farmlands without compensation… how long do you think before someone thinks “Black on White Apartheid?”

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                “Black on White Apartheid”

                That’s Racist!!!!!! [Sarcastic Grin]

                Seriously Shadow, that’s exactly what’s happening but our “betters” won’t/can’t see that. 😦

              • They may think it but no one will dare SAY it, because raaaaacist.

          • who are we to ruin their narrative with little things like facts?

            Only h8ers would be so vicious. “Facts” are tools of the Oppressors.

          • See the Nuwabian Nation and Tama-Re

        • I’m not against the Cult of the Wakandans. I’d love to see a bunch of educated, energetic, hard-working people of color take any region of Africa and turn it into a technological and social gleaming city on the hill; especially without resorting to genocide or displacement like we did with the Native Americans. Preferably with a democratic-republican form of government with a better Constitution than we have now. (Bill of Rights first, all negative form of rights only, and with a more robust means of removing the ne’er-do-wells that seem to gravitate to government offices.)

          • with a more robust means of removing the ne’er-do-wells that seem to gravitate to government offices
            Actually putting tarring and feathering into the Constitution, you say? Hmmmm….. I think we need a Constitutional Convention!

            • Yes please. With so many politicians so frequently getting severe cases of ‘mouth open, foot inserted’ I’m not sure how sane and rational people (that maybe the problem) can view them as some sort of elite ruling class deserving of special privileges. Lying idiots who deserve frequent mocking and pointing out that they are at best, ignorant, deceitful, lacking morals, and integrity. . .yes. Hero worship or viewed as a ‘God’ hell no!

              • I refer you to H. Beam Piper’s novel A Planet for Texans, where under certain conditions, shooting an elected official counts as free speech.

                • Those circumstances being “He had it coming, and you can’t get 12 jurors to unanimously disagree with that!”

                  • Bringing back duels to the death would do a great deal to curb politician, media overreach, and, at least after the first 10 or 15 deaths, result in the SJW types having a semblance of using their brains before they open their mouths.

              • Maybe making a regular fruiting/vegetabling in the stockade a part of being in office? Or even running?

              • Trump has a long record of being a grifter and a conman.
                Which evidently makes him much more honorable than the vast majority of politicians.

                I just figured he wouldn’t be much worse, and am both pleasantly surprised, and horrified at the implications.

                • It means that as bad as everyone thinks Donald Trump is, the rest of our elected and appointed politicians are an entire magnitude worse.
                  Frankly, I kind of like the idea of a planet for Texans. Criteria for legally shooting any politician: demonstrated proof he or she lied in the official performance of his or her office, to include violation of their oath of office.

                  • Freehold, Michael Z Williamson. I’ve had mixed feelings about some of his books, but the Freehold series is one of my favorites.

                    If you haven’t read them, to hold office on Freehold you must have served in the military and you pretty much give away your wealth to serve the public.

        • Someone on Twitter made the mistake of asking what “Black Panther” meant to folks… I’m old enough that, to me, ‘Black Panther’ translates automatically to domestic terrorist.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          #OreoPanther. The movie is a typical example of the Alt-Right artistic movement, which seeks to extinguish authentically minority patterns of behavior.

        • What I found curious was that the two religious cults of Wakanda that are explicitly described and portrayed are not black in origin. One is devoted to Bast, an ancient Egyptian goddess, and while Egypt is on the same continent, its original culture was Afro-Asiatic, whereas the language spoken by Wakandan characters was Xhosa, a Niger-Congo language actually spoken in South Africa (that’s like having people in India worship Amaterasu). The other is devoted to Hanuman, an Indian deity. Of course the “generic exotic” is a common thing is Western works set in other cultures; Lee and Kirby were hardly the first examples of it. But really, it would have been more authentically “African” to have the Wakandans worship Erzulie or Papa Legba.

          • The Egyptian thing isn’t new. Been a huge component of the “we wuz kangz” mindset. Yes, the Egyptian society made amazing strides but they were closer to the other early societies like Mesopotamia in location vs subsaharan. Like the wampanoag taking credit for Pueblo.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Just to be obnoxious; imagine a world where India was incorporated into the Co-Prosperity Sphere, and the IJA eventually able to supplant the local religions with Shinto.

          • I think they may have simply been operating in the Hollywood tradition typically applied in Westerns, having their tribes be an amalgam of all tribes, thus putting feather headdresses and breech clouts on everybody, commingling beading and needlework patterns, and everybody living in army surplus canvas tents.

            • I’ll give you that explanation for the Wakandans speaking Xhosa, which is actually spoken in South Africa, a long way away from Wakanda’s apparent location (if they wanted a click language, they could have had them speaking Hadza, which is a lot closer to the right general area, though it’s a lot more obscure). But Bast is like having your generic “Indians” building igloos; and Hanuman is like putting them in yurts or having them drink kumiss! I think it goes even further than the level of generalization you’re describing.

              Of course, Wakanda’s an African kingdom imagined by a couple of Jewish guys from New York. . . .

              • Yeah, but in the Marvel Universe, Bast/Bastet is a person. She left Egypt and came to Wakanda. Same deal for Hanuman. (And to be fair, Indian Ocean trade routes and travel were a thing, and Hanuman did go places in the mythology.)

                Also, Bast was not actually a Black Panther character until 1999. Until then, the entire religion was a background picture in 1966. (Yes, Marvel was probably jumping on the Black Athena train. But It is an H. Rider Haggard thing too.)

                • Marvel has, on several occasions, had the Black Panther comics written* by one or another contemporary African-American pop Intellectual™ for example, a few years ago Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an arc. Why this is deemed meritorious rather than condescending is difficult to explain.

                  *for uncertain values of “written”

                  • Hmmmm. There was supposed t be a dash between “pop Intellectual” and “for example”.

                    One further consideration: rigid application of logic to comic books is never advisable. Possible consequences could result in endless speculation about whether Superman hitting a baddie with a steel girder doesn’t constitute pulling his punch as the girder is materially softer than Superman’s fist, why a flying super-hero punching a villain in mid-air combat doesn’t cause them both to spin uncontrollably (I make allowance for the possibility that Iron Man, for example, has compensators built into his armor to avoid such problems, but the target of such a blow should nonetheless topple tail over teakettle) and whether the rules governing lifting of Thor’s hammer are transitive.

                    In that direction lies madness.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      In the Wearing The Cape series, there a short discussion about the problems that an Atlas type (flying strong-men) have fighting another Atlas type in mid-air.

                      Part of the answer to the problems is to hold onto the other Atlas while punching him/her. 😉

                    • I don’t think my concern is so much with “logic” as with the way that Western culture tends to blur other cultures together into a single “exotic culture.” It’s not confined to the comics; Hector Berlioz did that sort of thing in the 19th century, and there are elements of it in Amadis de Gaul, the chivalric romance that Don Quixote parodied.

                      I actually quite liked BP; C and I just saw it a second time and enjoyed it every bit as much. But I’m perfectly capable of feeling that and at the same time being amused by incongruities.

          • “One is devoted to Bast, an ancient Egyptian goddess, and while Egypt is on the same continent, its original culture was Afro-Asiatic”

            That one doesn’t surprise me; this fits in well with the whole “Egypt was built by blacks” mythology, although I doubt Lee and Kirby had heard of it, the guy they initially got to write the limited edition of the comic for the movie, Ta-Nehsi Coates, certainly had.

        • Christopher M. Chupik


      • For many of those suckling at this myth it is as simple as a single mother’s child’s fantasies about a father never known.

      • they talk of Africa, as if it were some kind of lost utopia
        Yeah, some Utopia……
        Having recently read (though not finished with it – as I know the end of the story, I’m loathe to continue) a military history of the Rhodesian SAS, this idiocy is particularly fresh in my mind.

        • Odd how Utopias are always getting lost, yet never getting found, even in a world covered by Landsat, Seasat, Thissat, Thatsat, Whatsat, etc. Every Utopia must be afflicted with a Gilligan or such to get THAT lost. Or perhaps Occam would say there is an existence failure where Utopias are concerned.

          All I know is that I’ve not encountered one. Which should be obvious, really. “Attempted Utopia” doesn’t count, unless you are deeply into horror. Such are hellish places to visit and nobody wishes to live there.

          • Simple reason why none of our recon sats can find them. They’re all in pocket universes. Where’s the gate to Shangri La? Don’t know. And getting to Brigadoon is a pain. Gate only opens every 100 years? Well, unless your true love is there. Getting to Oz seems easier than either of those.

            • The explanation for Galt’s Gulch is simpler: It’s John Galt’s ray screen that keeps it hidden.

            • It’s all the time in the airplane over the Pacific, and the ticket cost, that makes trips to Oz difficult. 😛

              • Ask Kate about it.

              • Trust me, going by ship isn’t exactly a picnic. That’s a really big empty section of the Pacific between Australia and Africa. That particular route didn’t even have much in the way of other ships.

                Being out there with nothing but the blue makes it really easy to understand why sailors were such a superstitious lot.

            • It might explain the Three Dog Night song.

          • “Utopia cannot precede the Utopian. It will exist the moment we are fit to occupy it.” — Sophia Lamb

            Sophia Lamb may have been a witch and a Randian villain of terrifying proportions, but she was dead right on this one.

            • We had that once, didn’t we get kicked out?

              Achieving ‘Utopia’ might possibly be the worst thing we could do as a species. Where would the drive to explore come from? What would we become as a species if we no longer had challenges? I think we’re seeing a small taste of that now and the results aren’t pretty.

        • From a South African friend of Sarah’s:

      • The scene is Fort Gordon, spring 1990. Having a cigarette during one of the 15 minute breaks in instruction, and having a conversation with an E-7 reclassing into my MOS and one of the Kenyan trainees (also an E-7, we were selling them 60s era telecom gear and training them how to train people how to fix it) when a young lady with skin a few shades darker than mine comes up enthusiastically and talks to the Kenyan about this and that and the other and tells him her first name and says “Its African”

        Then he replies “it is not any African name I have ever heard.”

      • Africa is a rhetorical ploy to them, not a real place. You might as well expect an Arcadian trope to actually reference Arcadia.

  10. As to why the Intelligentsia lack common sense, it is in part because they share in common a world view that is insulated from the common people, being as they enjoy massive privilege (having your view of the mora universe constantly reinforced is privilege indeed!)

    For example, CNN’s Don Lemon cannot grasp that Fox News doesn’t report the news with the same weighting as CNN (and all other MSM outlets) because they use a different scale to determine what is newsworthy. Self-reflection is not a characteristic practice for the Privileged.

    CNN’s Don Lemon apologizes for false criticism of Fox News
    One of CNN’s top anchors partook this week in the press’ favorite new game of sniggering at Fox News’ programming decisions. The problem here is that Don Lemon’s exact claim, that Fox ignored news of White House communications director Hope Hick’s looming resignation when it was first reported, is totally false.

    Fox not only covered the Hick’s news as soon as it was reported Wednesday afternoon, but the right-leaning cable news network also covered it every hour for the rest of the day.

    “I said something last night that was an attempt to make a broader point about Fox News and how they downplay bad news about the administration,” Lemon said Thursday evening.

    “I think you understood it. Most people understood it. It was saying that — I think it was a bad example about Hope Hicks, but there was a broader context if you watched the entire show about how Fox hadn’t covered — they hadn’t covered it at all, but how they broadly downplay big stories and important news for this White House.”


    It seems likely that Lemon would be wholly unable to name an instance when CNN broadly downplayed big stories and important news for the Obama White House. Or the many times they complained about “Republicans and Conservatives” blowing up stories all out of proportion, like “Fast & Furious” or Lois Lerner’s weaponization of the IRS against TEA Party groups, or those embassy protests that got a little out of hand.

    I’d call Lemon a schmuck but that seems insulting to schmucks.

    • So very true, RES. But let’s not forget that a number of them also know exactly what they are doing and are proud of it. They really are the ones we have to beware of.

      • Cry out the crime above the fold. Correct the record page b14 three weeks later

      • Let’s also not forget that Lemon is an idiot. What he knows about firearms would fit in a thimble and not even come close to filling the bottom.

    • Calling Lemmon a schmuck is a misunderstanding of the situation. He’s not mistaken, he’s lying. Because he’s a propagandist.

      In fairness to RES, I think it is fair to say that Lemmon is a -stupid- propagandist, in that he sucks at his job and tells stupid, obvious lies.

      • I allow as I like to pretend to be present as charitable.

        I could argue that he is a schmuck for imagining anybody would believe so transparently self-serving an explanation, but I think in this case he is more clueless than dishonest … else he’d attempt to come up with a less revealing explanation.

        • Considering he was the one who asked if the Malaysian airliner disappeared into a black hole, maybe “schmuck” is aspirational. Pond scum, perhaps?

    • I like how Lemon uses ‘broader context’ instead of saying he was talking out if his arse.

    • I always wonder how someone could not blowup about something like Fast and Furious, or the IRS Targetting Conservative Groups. What part of the friggin’ government giving thousands of guns to violent criminals could you NOT find wrong? What part of the figgin’ government violating the Constitutional 1st Amendment rights of anyone could you NOT find wrong? Look, I understand that there are times where for the good of the people of this country, a President, or department might break the law because the law wasn’t written well enough to cover the situation. But those cases MUST be adjudicated. You round up innocent civilians and toss them in a concentration camp for 4 years based on executive order, or Congressional law, the Supreme Court better damn well try them, and if necessary, sentence them severely; or find their actions to have been justified.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Due process is racist. Accountability is racist. It is right and proper that the government illegally conspire to violate the rights of human beings, because human beings are livestock to be managed by the government.

      • Because the ends justify the means is the buzzword. Same as how those kids in the Branch Dividian complex deserved it.

        • Another FBI atrocity.

          • knew an ATF guy who was there. Some reason he was no fan of Clinton and Reno. But, pre-Reno he was ordered to NOT arrest David the nutjob while he was out jogging, then Reno et al decided to make a ‘good’ show of things. He also said that the injured feds from the aborted attempt were shot by their own guys who went Spray And Prey. The video with bullets coming out the walls, was blue on blue.

            • I saw that they’re making some sort of mini-series about it and they bring up a whole lot of things like that. It doesn’t really make anyone involved come out smelling like a rose. I think the article was on The Federalist earlier this week.

              I didn’t remember that those events were what drove Timothy McVeigh to blow up a federal building. (Or heck, I freely admit I was in college and I was more interested in chasing women and drinking beer than watching the news).

              • The whole Clinton admin was all for shows of force. Keeps the proles in line, don’tyaknow. Elian Gonzalez needed how many full armor swat members to “rescue” him. Read some of CNN’s headlines on a search for him and be nauseated. ”
                Elian Gonzalez still a hero in Cuba,15 years after rescue …
                Communist News Network for sure. All the other networks are just about as bad.
                Clinton part Deux would have been more of the same. Probably a lot more.

                • I remember. Clinton being elected was the deciding factor in my decision not to re-enlist. I refused to serve under a CIC who I was 99% sure was a weasel.

                  That kind of stuff may keep the proles in line in other parts of the world, but they aren’t us. Us? Even if you do manage to take our guns we can cause a lot of disruption.

                  • only 99%? gee, you’re generous (~_^)
                    More than a few like you.

                    And they can’t get all the guns as it’d be impossible. They have no clue to how many guns you or I might, or might not have, or lead, powder, casings, primers. etc etc.
                    Not to mention how easy it can be to make your own, C&R stuff that can be bought and shipped without ffl, (like an 1889 Mauser in 7.62×51 rechambers).
                    Not an AR fan, but I have been tempted to get some uppers in both .556 and 7.62×39 and fab lowers for them. Even the printed lowers are starting to be worth a damn. I’ve seen them fabbed from sheet steel, much like an AK. I’d be willing to bet, they could confiscate every gun they think they know about, and the populace would still be better armed than the Gov’t.
                    The founders wanted it that way.

                    • Very true. I trained with the M-16 while I was in the Army and I’m familiar with platform. It’s an easy round to shoot and it’s fairly cheap. The downside is that it really isn’t the all powerful round the Progressives seem to think it is.

                      I think they’ve forgotten that “There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous people”. Someone determined to wreak havoc is not going to be held up much by not having a firearm. The people screaming there’s no way that people with ‘just’ rifles could fight the Armed Forces seem to have missed the fact we’ve been fighting the Taliban for 17 years. I suspect that their knowledge of tactics consists of watching John Wick or maybe the ‘Terminator’ on HBO re-runs.

                    • and, on average, your typical legal gun owner of today is an Einstein compared to the Taliban. even without actual firearms at all, we’d not be a force one would take lightly. We weaponize PVC and hairspray FFS. It’ll do more than launch potatoes.
                      And that is the mild things I can think of. They really don’t want to make us get even more creative by tossing the Constitution by the wayside.

                  • I am… “anticipating” is the wrong word, as it implies I want it to happen… a major mass casualty event without a single incident of weapons use (either blade or bullet).

              • I am not sure I would credit the claims of “what drove Timothy McVeigh to blow up a federal building.” McVeigh was clearly several pickles short of a deli meal before then and Federal actions likely were merely a contributing factor.

                Frankly, I still lean toward the thesis that he was a loose cannon which somebody else charged and aimed. Call that another indictment of the Feddies.

                • I was working full-time and taking college classes full-time when it all happened. If I actually had time to turn on the TV it usually wasn’t to watch the news.

          • The fibs have been rotten for a long time.

            • I’ve observed with amusement the shrill Leftist defense against Trump’s “slandering” the reputation of the FBI, but then I wasn’t born last night and am not yet so far into my dotage as to forget the Left’s long-ongoing “critique” of the FBI. It seems the only times the Left expresses love for the FBI is when the FBI is oppressing conservative Americans — when it acts as their, not America’s, secret police.

              • That’s because the FBI worked to the benefit of the Left. If they had done this to Obama or Hillary the’d be calling for the FBI to dismantled until it was forgotten like all the rest of the history that the Left finds inconvenient.

              • It’s the caveat when people ask why the left is “reversing course” from blm by defending the fibs. They are not. The fibs are the official line of inquiry that slanders the target department. They’d rather no local law enforcement, just jackboots from DC

          • This is why I’m really down on the FBI. It’s a FAMILY thing. Roger Wheeler was wife’s uncle.


  11. “Race and rhetoric have gone together for so long that it is easy to forget that facts also matter—and these facts often contradict many widely held beliefs.”

    Facts are racist tools of the White Patriarchy. So it reason, and logical discussion. And math.

    I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. I’m quoting.

  12. Love Thomas Sowell, although at this juncture, I only know his writing via his Book on Economics, which I used in my homeschooling. Will definitely seek to put this book in my permanent library…

    • Mary, I was pretty mush the same when this was one of the books recommended. I’d read him on economics and enjoyed it, even though econ isn’t my usual cup of tea. This book is really wonderful. It is an easy read and very thought-provoking.

      • I had read his columns whenever they were in places like National Review. Those were often NOT about economics, so this is “old hat” in some ways. Still, I might pick up this book and read it.

    • I think Sowell writes a lot about economics but he has at least a few books about ‘intellectuals’ that are well worth reading.

      • Sowell’s books on Economics are, I believe, largely of his later works. Early on he mainly devoted himself to Culture issues.

        Here, per Wiki, are his books up to BR&WL:

        1971. Economics: Analysis and Issues

        1972. Say’s Law: A Historical Analysis

        1975. Race and Economics

        1980. Knowledge and Decisions

        1981. Pink and Brown People and Other Controversial Essays

        1981. Markets and Minorities

        1981. Ethnic America: A History

        1983. The Economics and Politics of Race

        1984. Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?

        1985. Marxism: Philosophy and Economics

        1986. Education: Assumptions Versus History

        1987. Compassion Versus Guilt and Other Essays

        1987. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles

        1990. Preferential Policies: An International Perspective

        1993. Inside American Education

        1993. Is Reality Optional?

        1995. Race and Culture: A World View

        1995. The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy

        1996. Migrations and Cultures: A World View

        1998. Conquests and Cultures: An International History

        1998. Late-Talking Children

        1999. Barbarians Inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays

        2002. The Quest for Cosmic Justice

        2002. A Personal Odyssey

        2002. Controversial Essays

        2002. The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late

        2003. Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One

        2004. Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy, revised and expanded ed.

        2004. Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study

        2005. Black Rednecks and White Liberals

        Note that of the thirty works only about eight of them are somewhat about economics, and those among the first ten and then his texts immediately preceding the book we are discussing..

        • Sowell started off as a Marxist, so it’s not like he doesn’t know how the other half lives.

          (And talk about looking better with age…)

          Admittedly he takes second place to my favorite economist, Dr. Walter E. Williams.

      • I’d recommend that you not bother with the e-book version of Vision of the Anointed. The OCR scan read periods for all commas in the book, among other “small” problems. Buy a print copy. I made it through, but 1) I’d read it before and 2) I was determined not to let the OCR defeat me.

        • The OCR problems in this book aren’t as bad, at least not so far. Mainly limited to removing the space here and there at the end of a sentence. It hasn’t yet gotten to the point of being annoying.

          • You’d think a book from 2005 would have been submitted in electronic format, and would be pretty darn easy to put into e-book format (w/out any OCR whatsoever). *smh*

            • Nope. There are still a few publishers who prefer hard copy submissions. Others who only recently went to digital submissions and some editors who still do their edits and note on hard copy. Then they expect the author to input all the accepted changes AND return the hard copy with their stets and “not a chance in hell am I doing that” or whatever.

              • I’ve gotten that with technical documents I work on. Mine are only in the 100-200 page range, but I refuse to print them out for them. I email them and they can waste their own organization’s paper, ink, and time. And if they want me to incorporate changes, they need to be in the digital copy or a digital Comment Resolution Matrix. Or it becomes, “Mhmmm, that’s nice.”

  13. Sowell is a great choice! Anything by him is well-worth reading. Thanks!

  14. You nailed it about the gorilla statue. I couldn’t help but think of the gorilla Willie B, named for white Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield.

    On dialect: I grew up hearing both blacks and whites speak the dialect recorded in the Brer Rabbit stories. The last one was a white door greater at a Walmart in the late 1990s. Teachers and parents carefully worked to teach children to abandon it because it was considered a mark of low raising. Jeff Foxworthy gets into this somewhat when he talks about a brain surgeon speaking “Southern.”

    • That reminds me. I need to pull out my copy of Brer Rabbit — first or second edition — and scan in the opening pages. They are the best example I have ever seen about how publishers have changed text over the years. They are also a perfect example of the dialect Sowell discusses in this first essay.

      • The “Ocracoke Brogue” has been considered one of the last living relatives of Early Modern English, and has been studied by scholars from Great Britain and the United States as such.  With modern mobility and mass communications it is being lost.  Thankfully this was not before a good deal of documentation had been done.  More recent scholarship recognizes that the dialect, while closely connected to that of the original settlers as the result of the isolation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, developed it own unique qualities over three hundred years.

        • I gather that this dialect is deemed most comparable to the one dominant in Shakespeare’s London. It would be interesting to see his plays performed in the authentic tongue.

          Interesting, but incomprehensible.

      • Anybody else remember ‘Little Black Sambo’? I even think there was a restaurant chain named ‘Sambo’s’ at one point. (I was 5 or 6, I kind of remember there being a story about him on the placemats). Something about him getting a tiger to chase itself around a tree fast enough that it turned into butter he used on his pancakes.

        *From wikipedia “However, it would become an object of allegations of racism in the mid-20th century. Both text and illustrations have undergone considerable revisions since.”

        I’m kind of wondering how ‘Aunt Jemima’ syrup has survived the last few years.

        • I have a Little Golden Book of it from when I was a very little kid and even then, it had been modernized some. And yes, there was a Sambos restaurant.

          As for Aunt Jemima, I’ve wondered the same thing. They have updated her several times over the years, iirc. How long until they completely change it?

          • Uncle Ben’s anyone?

            • Oh yes! There’s another one to wonder about.

              • Do wonder how long it will be before Uncle Tom’s cabin is memory holed.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Sadly, the term “Uncle Tom” is too useful for the Liberal Haters for it to disappear.

                  IE an “Uncle Tom” is a Black Republican. 😦

                  • And like many libreral beliefs, the truth is a different matter, or even the opposite.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Nod, the character of “Uncle Tom” in the book is different than the slur.

                • As a high school library flunky in 1977-ish, that was one of the books on the list that we pulled off the shelves for disposal. Also The Federalist Papers, stuff by Tom Paine, and everything by Mark Twain.

                  We had two copies of A Communist Manifesto. They were still on the shelf in my senior year.

                • I still remember the stunned review of a man who was talking about how Uncle Tom reminded of him of Gandhi, and how could anyone think he was a horrible thing. . . .

            • I thought sure Obama would be their spokesman.

          • I was in the grocery store the other day and noticed that a ramen brand had changed their “Oriental” flavor to “Soy Sauce—same “Oriental” flavor!” (I’m assuming the latter half of the phrase is going to disappear after a while.) (I do admit that it’s a more useful descriptor—I hadn’t realized it was a soy sauce spice packet.)

          • *Phew* I hadn’t really thought of it in a long time until you mentioned Brer Rabbit. It’s been long enough that I don’t even remember if the food was good.

            It’s probably only a matter of time until AG and Mrs Butterworth’s either change their name or go through a complete re-branding. It’s probably more of a matter of that crowd preferring Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods rather than lower themselves to going to a ‘normal’ grocery store with the peasants.

            • They’ve been yelled at by the SJWs in the past. The picture is much less “mammy” than it used to be. But yes, some have demanded they give up the name altogether.

          • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambo's

            I had the Little Golden Book too — however Sambo is Indian (dot not feather), not African.

            • Ah! Ok, like I said, I was 5 or 6 so distinctions like that were lost on me at that age. I’m more surprised I remembered it at all with any degree of accuracy. I just remember I really liked the story on the placemat and enjoyed spreading ‘tigers’ on my pancakes. I was also at the age I thought making my mashed potatoes a ‘volcano’ with gravy and peas was amusing 🙂

          • SheSellsSeashells

            As a child, I had a stuffed tiger toy from Sambo’s.

        • They got rid of her head kerchief and made it a modern bob, is all I can figure. That, and it’s a pretty tasty syrup, if the real maple version isn’t in one’s budget (which, for me, it rarely is). I prefer Mrs. Butterworth’s, but Aunt Jemima isn’t bad.

          • Same, Mom always bought Mrs Butterworth’s growing up so to me it is still what syrup is supposed to taste like. Even though I’ve since moved on to Grade B when I can find it.

            • I finally had a shot at trying real maple syrup–either for the first time, or first time was so long ago it might as well have been–a couple years ago.

              I’ve always hated ‘maple’ flavored things. Come to find out, maple flavoring doesn’t actually taste like actual maple syrup. That’s some damn good stuff!

              • Truth be told, I’ve never had anything else. Grew up in Quebec, so…

                • New York City is close enough to Montreal that syrup was maple. Also Mom was from Montreal so could be her preference. Add in the reasonable cost in NYC and voila!

                  • Also take into account that you don’t generally use nearly as much syrup when it is true maple. Drowning your flapjacks in maple syrup would be beyond excessive.

              • It actually took me a little bit before I liked it. It wasn’t quite thick enough. The grade B stuff seems to have pretty much vanished the past few years. (Probably because the stuff was priced similarly to liquid gold).

                I don’t mind, I don’t tend to have the weekend pancake-fest as often as I used to. Got an amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses maple syrup instead of sugar that is just fantastic though!

                • Now that’s just teasing. Willing to share the recipe? Got a jug in the fridge that’s dying to be used on stuff other then pancakes….

                  • Yes 🙂 I’ll warn you it uses a couple expensive ingredients:
                    3 cups blanched almond flour
                    1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
                    1/2 cup maple syrup
                    2 eggs
                    1 tsp salt
                    1 tsp baking soda
                    1 tsp vanilla extract
                    2 cups chocolate chips

                    Pre-heat oven to 375
                    Blend eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Give the dry ingredients a quick stir, then add the egg/syrup and mix. Melt the coconut oil, blend in, and finally add the chocolate chips. (mix well before or hot coconut oil melts the chips).

                    With my current oven the cookies come out just the way I like them at 11 minutes. You can use normal coconut oil but the virgin (unrefined) adds just a hint of coconut flavor.

                  • The other one to try is available from epicurious. Do a search for ‘Jose’s peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chocolate chip cookies’. Skip grinding the cup of oats, 350 for 13 minutes (depending on your oven). Scoop the dough with an ice cream scoop.

                    *The chocolate chocolate chip is accurate, there are 2 types of chocolate in the recipe.

                    These are my all time favorite cookie. The only problem is peanut allergies seem to be coming more common so I have to be very careful to make sure I have everything cleaned very well if I’m cooking for some of my friends.

                    When I make my couple trips home a year if I don’t bring some back with me I get a ton of crap for it. I don’t know if they miss me or the cookies 🙂

              • Sort of like “vanilla,” which was plain milk or ice cream with no flavoring. I was probably forty before I encountered real vanilla, and learned that it’s actually a flavor instead of a non-flavor.

              • Now you know how the Glatun feel.

              • One point on some maple-flavored things: some of them are made with “maple sugar”. It’s basically condensed syrup. But it does taste a little different from the syrup when it’s put in things (like those danged maple sugar candies that are like a maple-leaf-shaped sugar cube… yum).

                But all those things with “maple flavor”? Yeah, too strong.

            • It was standard for people to fill the empty bottles with sand and use them as door stops. Us? We used locally made cane syrup.

        • We used to go to Sambo’s when I was a kid but somewhere in the 70’s it changed it’s name. Hmmm, to what … Ah I thought it changed to a Denny’s but instead Sambo’s sold a bunch of it’s restaurants to Denny’s. So the one I remember in North Chico would have changed because it was sold.

        • My mother’s parents had a copy. It fell apart from much use. Remember the butter bit and remember thinking that was odd. We only knew of Sambo’s restaurants from the commercials. Seem to recall they had a tiger mascot at one time. Remember them trying to “rehabilitate” the name.

          The irony? Little Black Sambo is set in India..

          Aunt Jemima products have survived by changing her picture. Shrug. Even the Quaker on Quaker Oats is a bit younger than he used to be.

        • The Sambo’s chain had a place near Vacaville, along Interstate 80. Must have been in the late 1970s. OK, pancakes. OTOH, how hard is it to screw up pancakes and sausage?

          The wikis have an entry:

          Originally named for Sam Battistone, Sr. and Newell Bohnett, the restaurant capitalized on the similarity (I remember the scenes from the story on the walls), and died due to outrage at the raaaaacism*.

          The article also touches on how the Sambo story evolved mid-century.

          (*) According to Stacey McCain, the proper spelling requires 5 ‘a’s.

    • Speaking “Southern” in the Northeast or Coastal West is almost guaranteed to get your presumed IQ downgraded at least one standard deviation. James Damore has claimed that it almost ensures you wouldn’t get hired at Google.

      That’s because they’re so tolerant. Otherwise they’d simply lynch you for Wrong Think without wasting time on inquiries.

      • I don’t have a reliable cite, other than a single claim, that after the Civil War, the accent of girls from wealthy Southern families sent to Northern finishing schools was regarded as a speech impediment and treated accordingly.

        OTOH, there was once a British politician in the 1980s who thought the accent of the American South was the perfect dialect for politics, and cultivated the accent. Can’t remember who he was, but remember hearing him on the BBC shortwave.

        • Well…I suppose he wasn’t entirely wrong? I know *I* have a kneejerk reaction to a politician with a thick southern accent. Granted, that reaction is “UNTRUSTWORTHY! ALERT! ALERT!” but that’s probably because I was a teen when Clinton was in office…

          • Clinton made a point of sounding like a Yankee when he was governor. When he announced he was running for president he stuffed wads of cotton in his cheeks, wore a strap-on belly, dyed his hair gray, and affected a ridiculous “Gone With the Wind” accent.

            We’re talking “major TV makeover”, but even locals, who saw him on TV all the time, didn’t seem to notice…

      • I know! I played that to great effect when I lived in SoCal. It infuriated my friends when I’d play the ‘Big Dumb Hick Act’ with a really thick accent. Not helped by the fact I’ve spent enough time living in the South that if I get drunk the accent tends to slip out whether I want it to or not.

        • I think a southern accent is sexy. Especially the different words/phrases for things and actions.

          • Depends, some of the accents do sound really good, some of the thicker ones, ugh! I have a bad habit of picking up the vocal patterns of people that I’m around. Southern just ‘sticks’ better than most of the others.

            The more cultured British accent just kills me. I could listen to a women with that accent read Hillary’s book and probably not puke. (Mostly because I’m just listening to the voice, not what it is actually saying).

            • My husband’s Alabamian sounds great to me. He was raised by a schoolteacher. I don’t know if hubby’s accent is “thick”.

              • I’d doubt it. If he was raised by a teacher I’m guessing it’s just the hint or flavor of the accent. I freely admit I’m weird, I like voices and I can’t date a woman if I don’t like her voice. I’ve even met a few who were physically very attractive but I was actually turned off by their voice.

                • Always a nice day for singing in the rain …

                  Of course, standards for beauty tend to evolve.

                • Make that “raised by a teacher who corrected the grammar of total strangers in department stores” and you’ve got it.

          • Agree. I like Southern accents.

            • Same. I find them really nice to listen to. “Honeyed” and musical, to my ears.

              • Shucks, y’all two gals just packed so much mush into the mouths of all guys heah that there’ll be no corn to pone.

                Yankees and other varmints tend to not distinguish between different levels of Southern accent, often unable to tell a Virginia Drawl from an Alabama Mosey. Beloved Spouse was once driven nigh unto distraction by an Audiobook of one of Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan novels in which the reader employed a Deep South Promenade for the Charlotte Twang of its bilingual college professor narrator.

            • Amsel, Matthew

              Is it bad that I kinda want an audiobook of Dyce read by someone with a pure Southern Belle accent?

        • It is as if you could evaluate a CPU by examining the printer.

      • On Google’s hiring practice, it got a lot worse than blacklisting southern fspeech, at least according to the lawsuit.


        Claimed: If you have < 5 years experience, aren't Black, Female, or Latino, your application was memory-holed.
        That, and the instructions were to be purged occasionally. Love that transparency.

        Discovery might be quite entertaining on this one.

      • A lot of medical supplies come from Chattanooga. When I was living there, it was always fun to watch the local sales reps reliably take overconfident (and impatient!) Yankees to the cleaners.
        They had it down to an art form.

  15. Purchased Light Magic from Amazon on Tuesday, finished it last night, and entered the first review on its Amazon page. So I win.
    Most excellent read by the way, if you liked Witchfire Burning you will be similarly taken with this new visit to the village of Mossy Creek. I gave it five stars in spite of a handful of typos and the feeling that Amanda went far too easy on the bad guys.

  16. Ah! Great One’s musings reviewed.
    Good news, and somewhat better for our livers

  17. I read this book years ago, then lent it to a friend and never saw it again 😦 It’ll be interesting to read your take, Amanda!

    • I hope you enjoy it. I will say, it is much more fun to read and write about than TSAR was. Mind you, I had fun snarking Clinton’s book but it was still a chore to get through. Reading something that makes sense, that doesn’t push false agendas, etc., is a relief after those two.

  18. Such a simple statement and one that, on its surface, appears self-evident. Yet, it points out the problem facing our country right now. Politicians are so afraid of being seen as racist or, at the very least, insensitive, they act without taking a moment to consider the complaint.

    My present audio book for the kitchen is A Patriot’s History of the United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen.  This is not my first time through, but I am presently up to the eight chapter – The House Dividing 1848-1860.  

    Politicians being afraid to speak on the subject of race is nothing new.  At one point the Congress, to save themselves from having to deal with the contentious subject of race and slavery it made it impossible for the subject to come to the floor.  All items related were to go to a committee whose function was to report that the subject could not be discussed at this time.  The more they tried to avoid the subject, or postpone the subject, or find a safe way around the subject the worse it became.

  19. Most of all, he gives us something to think about and does so in a way that is not only readable but thought-provoking. 

    We are discussing something written by Thomas Sowell are we not?   For those familiar with him this, then, will come as no surprise.

    • Agreed but it is still a welcome surprise for those who aren’t familiar with anything but his writings on economics. I had worried because I’ve been burned before by authors who are great communicators on one subject and who become boring or confusing on another.

      • True. Also not all people who write well can speak well extemporaneously. Through the magic of interwebs I have been able to listen to a number of interviews Sowell has done over the years and am impressed by his clarity there as well, all in all the man is an impressive thinker and communicator.

        • Fortunately for Sowell (and Walter B. Williams, as well) he earned his stature before Affirmative Action came into effect. His high school teachers didn’t cut him any slack about being authentic.

          John McWhorter has, I gather, expressed a niggling insecurity that, for all his academic brilliance, his path was lubricated by his being melanin-blessed. There are certain activities he admits partaking in simply because his racial appearance earns him no slack and he knows all achievement is genuine.

          • A little gift from Dr.Williams (my personal fave among economists, and a wonderful lecturer):


          • expressed a niggling insecurity
            *running around like hair is on fire*
            *flinging poo*
            He used a word like the N-word!

          • Dr. Sowell has a mellifluous voice.

            • Oh my. That reminds me of the following conversation with Goodman, the original director of the forensic team at the Jeffersonian on Bones:

              <Blockquote?Zack: What do we talk about?
              Goodman: Your work, of course.
              Angela: Zack's work consists of removing flesh from corpses. Hodgins dissects bugs that have been eating people's eyeballs.
              Hodgins: Leave me out of it, I am not going.
              Goodman: And how do you see your job?
              Angela: I draw death masks.
              Goodman: Is that really how you see it?
              Angela: Don't you?
              Goodman: You are the best of us, Miss Montenegro! You discern humanity in the wreck of a ruined human body. You give victims back their faces. Their identities. You remind us all of why we're here in the first place, because we treasure human life.[Angela absorbs this and, on the verge of tearing up, embraces Dr. Goodman]
              Goodman: Oh for God's sake.
              Brennan: What happened?
              Zack: Apparently, all Angela needed was to hear her job description in a deep, African-American tone.

          • Sadly enough, I have actually seen people declare that since Sowell got the benefit of AA, he shouldn’t oppose it. When I pointed out the insanity once, I was actually told that the letter of recommendation he got were the same thing.

  20. *squeeeeeeee* Thomas Sowell!!!!! *fangirls*

    Regarding the gorilla statue, I can’t help draw a parallel between that and all of the companies cutting off their relationship with the NRA based on the anger of a Twitter mob and seeing their reputations crash. Just as the Twits represented a very small population relative to those who like the 2nd Amendment, those who saw the gorilla as racist represent a very small percent of the people in town.

    • And, to take it a step further, I found myself wondering as I read the initial reports about Dobby the Gorilla if those complaints actually came from anyone within the city. Just as I wonder how many of those targeting companies with ties, however tenuous, with the NRA are actually customers of those companies.

      • Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if those complaints were from out-of-towners. Was it Rush Limbaugh who discovered that the hordes of complaints targeting his advertisers actually tracked back to about ten mouthy activists?

        • That and his … incredulity about many of the “long-time listener, first-time caller” folks who disagreed with him.

        • Good point. How hard would it be to convince a foreign group to flood any company’s complaint e-mails? Not very hard at all.

          • FLASH E-mail Mob.

            • A little bit of code, a long list of emails you’ve harvested so they are ‘real’, a little more code to make the messages appear to be similar but random, and a badly secured email server and you have a ‘flash mob’ that doesn’t exist and yet just sent 10,000 messages. If you get a few people and pay them for a few days of creating Twitter accounts you can do something similar. Twitter would probably be easier because you just have it RT the original Tweet.

              Grrr, I’ve been meaning to try and write some code to try and track some of the trends. I really want to track the timelines of some of what’s going on in the Progressive movement to see how much of this is originating from single sources and just ‘spreading’ out vs how much comes from unique sources. Once those sources are identified, try and see if they are real people and see if there’s enough information available to determine if they are political operatives or not. I have weird hobbies.

            • I find the possibility of a GREEN LANTERN E-mail mob more fearsome.

        • Limbaugh? Those were Russian ‘bots.

          Leave us not forget which American political faction lives by Astroturf.

          Why Did It Take Two Weeks To Discover Parkland Students’ Astroturfing?
          The response was professionalized. That’s not surprising, because this is what organization that gets results actually looks like. It’s not a bunch of magical kids in somebody’s living room.
          “Can you believe these kids?” It’s been a recurring theme of the coverage of the Parkland school shooting: the remarkable effectiveness of the high school students who created a gun control organization in the wake of the massacre. In seemingly no time, the magical kids had organized events ranging from a national march to a mass school walkout, and they’d brought in a million dollars in donations from Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney.

          The Miami Herald credited their success to the school’s stellar debate program. The Wall Street Journal said it was because they were born online, and organizing was instinctive.

          On February 28, BuzzFeed came out with the actual story: Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aiding in the lobbying in Tallahassee, a teacher’s union organizing the buses that got the kids there, Michael Bloomberg’s groups and the Women’s March working on the upcoming March For Our Lives, MoveOn.org doing social media promotion and (potentially) march logistics, and training for student activists provided by federally funded Planned Parenthood.

          The president of the American Federation of Teachers told BuzzFeed they’re also behind the national school walkout, which journalists had previously assured the public was the sole work of a teenager. (I’d thought teachers were supposed to get kids into school, but maybe that’s just me.)

          In other words, the response was professionalized. That’s not surprising, because this is what organization that gets results actually looks like. It’s not a bunch of magical kids in somebody’s living room. Nor is it surprising that the professionalization happened right off the bat. Broward County’s teacher’s union is militant, and Rep. Ted Lieu stated on Twitter that his family knows Parkland student activist David Hogg’s family, so there were plenty of opportunities for grown-ups with resources and skills to connect the kids.

          [END EXCERPT]

          • AKA Weaponizing the Children.

            So, how is this different than handing a 10 year old Tutsi a AK-47 and telling him to go everyone not a Tutsi?

            How’s that saying go? You never let a serious crisis go to waste? What’s really interesting is one of his own fellow Democrats says, “Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn. He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to the front end of a steam locomotive. ” Which is exactly what they are doing to the children of Parkland School

            • If you’re interested LWC episode from Thursday night is available on YouTube and he has both Jordan Petersen and another of the students that was at the school during the shooting on the show. It was an interesting watch. He’s NOT like the other students the MSM has been trotting out the past couple weeks.

              I actually need to watch it again and pay a little more attention this time. I was distracted when I watched it earlier.

            • If the children had been properly weaponized at Parkland they’d have been able to shoot back.

              • Along this same line, there is an op-ed piece in the Dallas Morning News today by James Ragland discussing some of the Texas ISDs that have armed their teachers and administrators. The money quote from the administrator who began the Guardian Program in his district goes something like this: We made a mistake when we made our schools gun-free zone. We wouldn’t think about making a bank a gun-free zone. And yet our children are worth much more than our money. The implication being why are we putting more importance on protecting our kids than we do our money? It really is something to think about.

                • Sasha and Malia Obama did not go to school in a gun-free zone.

                  Remember the kerfuffle about that? One leftist pundit actually said it was acceptable because it would be a big deal if something happened to one of them.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        I’ve wondered that about many of the ACLU lawsuits.

        Did somebody in the community contact the ACLU about a “Christian Display” or did the State/National ACLU learn about the “Christian Display” and search for an “offended person” in that community?

        • I can’t answer that with anything except anecdotal information. A school district not far from here had plagues at the openings of some of their buildings. These plagues had religious sayings on them. They had been in place for years without any problem. Suddenly, the school district find itself the center of a suit and, upon digging, discovered the instigator wasn’t anyone local. It was an out-of-state interest group. The group apparently spent its time and money looking for such “violations” to bring to court against school districts. Because, you know, they ere protecting our young. Riiiiight.

      • And many have wondered about whether it was actually a Corsicanan or not.

      • I wonder how many of those targeting companies with ties, however tenuous, with the NRA are actually customers of those companies.

        I would guess it is on a par with the number of people putting one-star reviews of Limbaugh’s, Levin’s, Beck’s, Ringo’s, Kratman’s, Correia’s, Sarah’s, Stephanie Osborne’s, Andrew Klavan’s (I could continue but I trust the point is made) who have actually read those books.

      • With the right code and a little creativity you can generate a lot of ‘complaints’ pretty quickly and even add an element of randomization to make it look organic. It takes even less time of you’ve already got a couple thousand twitter accounts setup to echo whatever you want.

        I actually contacted Budget (been a customer for over a decade, renting a car from them on average 16 or so days a year) and they haven’t sent me any type of response. Though they might be a little upset that I told them their dropping the NRA caused me to join it.

      • Apparently, only 13 people had ever bought NRA-discount tickets on Delta. It cost them $40 million in subsidies to remove the program.

    • The problem comes when the companies are defacto oligopolies. Some will see a hit but others don’t care about the little people that make up NRA. Car and airlines will still be required for business travel which is a huge chunk of the income. And in many cases they are monopoly suppliers to major corps. But they can preen to their peers and enough of the untermensch will still have to use em. At least that tax grab will slap delta. Shouldn’t have happened in first place though. Unless admitting they expect return to great recession.

      • I see Delta’s CEO is trying to claim that severing its contract with the NRA was an effort to remain “neutral” in the gun debate.

        So add insult to injury in Delta’s crimes against gun-owners.

        People who only attend to the rhetoric and overlook actions still believe that the GOP is the party of Wall Street even though the vast bulk of donations go to the Democrats. Large institutions tend to like political factions which lock out their competition, at which the Dems excel.

        • Which is why I love how the state legislators are trying to take away at least some of the tax breaks Delta got from them by crying financial need. After all, if they are financially sound enough to do away with the monetary support they got from the NRA, then they shouldn’t need additional tax breaks, should they? VBEG

          • Hell, I’d be fine with them losing it regardless. Gotta pay you see fair share yanno. Unless they are admitting they expect another major crash soon.

        • I’d actually be understanding if it had been for future years as opposed to immediately (iirc it was mostly for travel to national meeting). But part of the problem is that so many political fundraising ventures are marked as charities and given full support.

  21. Amanda you should read one of Sowell’s collection of newspaper columns.

  22. Larry Patterson

    Reading the comments, and remembered this. Many English come to Portugal every year. A few have Nigerian accents, but most have the accents of where they grew up, be it Estuary, Brommie, Mancusian, or Scouse.
    There in no black English in England, and also, white people on the dole have the same social problems that people in inner city USA display. So I have come to the opinion that welfare keeps people ignorant and dependent, wherever they live.
    And, BTW, LBJ was a flaming racist.

    • Yeah, but LBJ also hated white people. And his wife. And his family.

      I guess he liked himself, but that’s about it. He was pure nasty. (Albeit he didn’t have people turning up dead, so that makes him nicer than some politicians.)

      • As a Texan, I have no problem saying he was a miserable bastard who probably hated everyone.

        • hmm, might quibble at “probably”

        • Larry Patterson

          He gave a speech at the air show show in Midland in ’61 or ’62. Dad must have known of him, perhaps First National had had dealings with him. Anyway, Dad booed and hissed all through his speech. Dad had been the one to get the Reporter-Telegram to change their policy and publish a picture of a black customer who had won an award.
          I was only 9 or 10, but never saw him explode with anger in public before or after like that.

      • Papa (Cajun grandfather) said LBJ was so crooked that he screwed his socks on.

      • No, it means that Texas has way more empty land to conceal bodies, and at the time the forensics were inadequate.

    • Have you read Theodore Dalrymple’s _Life at the Bottom_? He looks at that exact thing.

  23. Christopher M. Chupik

    The gorilla statue story looked like it would be the dumbest thing I’ve seen today, but then I learned China had banned the letter “n”.

    • What????

      Okay, details please.

      • There’s a link upthread about it. Seems they banned Animal Farm and the letter “N”. Sounds almost like a perverse form of Sesame Street, doesn’t it? or maybe I’m feverish again.

        • Some of the things they banned because they were being used as “code” to express dissent. There was a phrase that’s a homophone for “We think Xi sucks” (that’s a paraphrase) that looks totally innocuous in English. I think the letter ‘N’ is a similar thing (remember Chinese doesn’t have ‘letters’ for most things) – it looks like a word character or is a homophone for something the gov’t doesn’t like.

          • N appears to because of its usage in “N years” — how long he will be president now.

          • Paul from Canada

            It is because the chief pig in Animal Farm was “Napoleon”, hence the “N” being code for the autocrat.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          You mean “A-imal Farm”, do-‘t you?

          • Tha-ks – I had bee- wo-dering how that worked. Of course, I still have -ot worked out how they i-form people of the ba-, -or how they bri-g charges a-d prosecute without using the forbidden letter. Getti-g a co-victio- would seem u-possible without also i-dicti-g the prosecutor.

            At a-y rate, we -ow have the Chi-a that Ca–ot say ‘-o.’

  24. elainethomp

    Your comments about what Sowell says reminds me of stuff in the Theodore Dalrymple book I just finished: Spoiled Rotten: Toxic Culture of Sentimentality. Which might be worth a look when you finish this one. Both authors are sane, which is more than can be said for the others you’ve blogged.

  25. Side note: Sowell is mistaken on one point–his use of the word “redneck.” The behaviors he describes are more properly those of what were referred to back in the day as “white trash.”

    • Actually, he takes it back to a time when it was used before the term “white trash”.

      • Interesting. That’s very old school, then.

        • One thing Sowell does is look at historical trends and statistics. He also uses, and educates the rest of us, on the sources of words, etc. Yes, as you said, what he described as redneck could also be the same characteristics we tend to associate with “poor white trash”. He even uses words to that effect. That is one of the things we’ll talk about next week.

          • One thing Sowell does is look at historical trends and statistics.

            Sowell had a deprived childhood, growing up at a time when schools and teachers were not expected to make allowances for oppressive society and intent on drilling their students in correct procedures and methods. They knew that “as a Black Man” Sowell could expect to be cut no slack and that any mistake, no matter how minor, could be used to discredit the entirety of his work. In consequence he learned to think things through, support his assertions with facts and logic, and think his arguments through carefully.

  26. Now I’ll have to see if I can dig out the book before next week. I must have picked it up either right when or not long after it was published, because I know it was in a bookstore. Borders or B & N, I can’t remember right now.

    (Reminds me that I really do need to get the rest of Mr. Sowell’s ouvre, too.)


    at the Supreme Court, the lawyer trying to defend the Minnesota law that bans all political apparel in the polling place was quizzed about what would pass and what would not.

    A T-shirt with the Second Amendment is political and banned. A T-shirt with the First Amendment is all right.


  28. I can’t believe I missed this one: thanks!

  29. Thomas Sowell is one of the authors that I try to acquire and read every book that he’s written. His op-eds are golden too.

  30. Larry Patterson

    Speaking of rednecks, Ray Wylie before he was sober, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIUonm0LgAQ

  31. Bast wasn’t even used as part of the Black Panther’s mythology , as others said, until like 1999. Prior to that it was the more animistic ‘Panther Spirit”.

  32. I must share!

    Bwa ha ha ha ah ha hahahaahhahahaha -*gasp* haahhahahahahahahahahaha~

  33. Pingback: THE READING MASOCHIST TAKES A BREAK FROM PAIN:   When Facts Fail and Knees Jerk An Introduction to … - LILES FILES

  34. Quote: a Virginian even of high rank preferred to say “I be,” “You be,” “She ain’t,” “It don’t,” and “I hain’t.”

    When I was growing up in the 1950s Deep South, “ain’t” was so common, my teachers were on a mission to rid us of it. They succeeded. I can’t recall hearing anyone use it for so far back, the memory is gone.

    • Larry Patterson

      Mz Mac in 4th grade wouldn’t let anyone say tote or other non-standard (non-Yankee) words.

    • ehh, they was still tryin ta rid us of it in the 70s and it aint gone yet.

  35. Pingback: Oh, Monday, how I hate thee - Nocturnal Lives

  36. Thomas Sowell tried out for the Brooklyn Dodgers?! This begs for the alternate history world series where he faces off against Fidel…

  37. Pingback: Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Part 2 by Amanda S. Green | According To Hoyt