This is non-negotiable.

The majority of Americans support:

Basic civil rights, immigration and immigrant rights, stronger and more effective gun regulation, women’s rights and abortion rights, progressive taxation and higher corporate taxation, stronger environmental regulations and dealing with climate change, rehabilitation of criminals and decriminalization/legalization of drugs, social security and medicare, labor protections and rights, raising the minimum wage and tuition free college, universal healthcare and strong social safety net, funding infrastructure construction and maintenance, multilateral foreign policy and limiting aggressive militarism, getting big money out of politics and ending influence of lobbyists, etc.

This represents the center of public opinion, not the political left. This is why both political parties are far to the right of most Americans. This is why studies have shown the political elite don’t represent their own constituents and wrongly assume they are more conservative. This is why the corporate media in having a right-wing bias is trusted by so few Americans.

Understand this. Bernie Sanders is a moderate centrist and New Deal Democrat. Hillary Clinton is a stalwart conservative and Goldwater Republican. Trump is a radical right-winger and an old school fascist. Don’t believe the lies that the media and political elites tell you when they attempt to hide this reality.

The silenced majority must make its voice heard by any means necessary. It’s time to end authoritarian rule of corporatism, oligarchy, plutocracy, inverted totalitarianism, or whatever you want to call it. What we need is a functioning democracy, a government of the people, by the people, for the people. And that is what we must demand, accepting nothing less, even if that means mass protest and civil unrest or, failing that, whatever it takes.

Our government spends trillions of dollars a year to oppress and harm, to imprison and kill millions of American citizens and innocent people in foreign countries. And that doesn’t even include the vast sums of wealth and resources given away to cronies and corporations, from defense industry contracts to corporate subsidies, from infrastructure costs to natural resources on public lands sold at below market prices.

This is unacceptable. Those trillions of dollars could and should be used to fund what most Americans want and support, to promote the public good for all. This is non-negotiable. This is the bare minimum of what must be done, if we are to avoid the worst consequences of our present path of self-destruction. This is neither a threat nor a prediction. It’s a statement of fact.

This present social order and power system is not sustainable. If it isn’t taken down by revolution or civil war, it will slowly collapse under its own weight or will be destroyed in a world war or will end in climate change disaster. If we are to survive as a society, change must happen and we must prepare for the worst. Listening to the public isn’t namby-pamby liberalism. It is a prerequisite of national security and hope for the future. We are all in this together or else we will all be doomed together. It really is that simple.

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145 thoughts on “This is non-negotiable.

  1. Sadly you are correct. We cannot continue to “soil our nest” if we wish to prevail as a people and a species much longer. I am unsure how the far left was silenced and left for dead politically, but when a centrist like Sanders is considered a “socialist” and a “communist” by many, you know we have gone too far towards the right.

    As for the Military, I was part of a military family, I was born while my father was still in the Navy. Nobody I know still serving thinks we need another 10 billion dollars poured into the Military Industrial machine, especially not at the price of what makes America truly great. We are not on a war footing (yet) and what is the point of going on if the arts, humanities, and even education is cut and discarded. I realize that dumb and non-questioning masses are easier to control, but isn’t everything that is going on slowly killing the goose that continues to lay those highly sought after golden eggs?

    • There are actual left-wingers in the US. But the kinds of policies they support are far to the left of a centrist like Sanders. Actual left-wingers would support such things as anarchosyndicalist worker ownership of companies, democratic representation of labor unions on corporate boards, forced dismantling of transnational mega-corporations, creation of publicly owned and operated state banks, greater government funding of public media, direct democracy at the local level, etc. Sanders doesn’t come close to being radical in the slightest. His views are simply that of the average American, the center of public opinion.

      It’s not just another 10 billion dollars put into Pentagon spending. Most of it so far has been deficit spending and so not paid for. As I wrote in a recent post, the War on Terror is nearly 5 trillion dollars and very little of it has been paid for. Over the next several decades, about another 3 trillion dollars will be added to that simply paying on the interest of debt. That doesn’t even include all Pentagon and Homeland Security spending. Nor does that include the 6.5 trillion that the Pentagon ‘lost’ and can’t account for. Then Trump wants to add more spending on top of that, which probably will be deficit spending with yet more growing interest. All of this will be thrown on top of the growing pile of permanent debt, as we waste our wealth and resources like there is no tomorrow.

      I find all of this bizarre. It is strange to watch an entire ruling elite act in a way that appears suicidal. The only thing that might explain such behavior is that they are hoping for another world war where, as with WWII, all US enemies and competitors are left weakened. They maybe are hoping to further grow their wealth and power through mass destruction of global society, in the hope that the US ruling elite will be the last man standing. Either way, it is madness.

      • I too believe they are hoping for a war. They certainly seem to be gearing up for one. I just fear that we will be the ones to start it and will be the ones to suffer the most from it. The Might of the US is not something that should come down on any one country, the widespread death it would create is unthinkable

  2. https://socialecologies.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/when-the-sleepers-awaken/

    “Most of us drift through life aimlessly, disturbed at best by the physical or mental anguish and pain of work, family disputes, squabbles with friends or bosses – or the general misgivings we have about the economy, politics, looming war, rampant disease, social unrest, and other disturbances that seem to pervade our global nightmare. We just wish to get on with our lives rather than all these seemingly insurmountable problems that continue to accumulate, mount up, encompass and enfold the world around us in both our everyday lives and in the world at large. And, yet, we cannot turn away, we live in a pressure cooker that feels about to burst – as if the world and our lives were becoming day by day more and more bloated and filled with some toxic wasteland of disturbances that disturb our perfectly normal ordinary world and bring us to the end of the mind’s tether. It is during such times as these that certain people begin to awaken from their normal lives, begin to question things around them, begin to ask why it is that the world so full of unrest and hate, why are my children, my wife/husband, my boss, my … why are so many people unhappy and so full of chagrin and animosity. Why is reality, my world seemingly breaking apart? Why do I feel so powerless in the face of this overwhelming shadow that seems looming over every facet of my life?.”

  3. I honestly think that Hillary could have won if she didn’t stoop to the level Trump was campaigning at. If she had let him throw his tantrums and not resorted to name-calling and zingers, more undecided voters may have gone to her side. When your “most qualified” candidate is pulling the same antics as a TV celebrity, you start to lose that credibility

    All I ever heard from Hillary supporters is “IF YOU DON’T WANT A FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT AND VOTE FOR THAT SEXIST THEN YOU’RE A SEXIST TOO” kinda got old quick. Actually they’re still saying that over on twitter and FB.

    • If she had acted differently, I’m sure she could have won. But if she acted differently, she would have been a different kind of person and politician. She simply acted according to who she is. And many people didn’t want what they saw.

      I heard someone make a similar argument about Trump. She was a caller on CSPAN. The lady said that if Trump only acted differently then he might do some good as a president. But if Trump didn’t act like Trump, he wouldn’t be Trump. The problem isn’t how he acts, per se. Rather, the problem is that he is Trump and does what a Trump is wont to do.

      If every politician and candidate were different… if Americans were different… if the entire country was different… if reality was different… we’d have different results. There are endless what if scenarios. I’m fond of them, as it is easy for me to imagine alternatives. But they aren’t ultimately satisfying. The world is what it is. And people are what they are.

  4. Well, B., you have finally explained to me why the folks on “the Right” can use the same pejoratives for Democrat leaders that “the Left” uses for the Right’s leaders – fascist, Nazi, dictator. I thought Americans just thought all those things were the exclusive attributes of the Left, you know, because of the long cold war anti-communist harangue. All the leaders are Right of all of the people – this is so much more powerful than the existing overwhelming narrative, where half of America thinks the Democrats are wrong because they’re “Left” and the other half thinks they’re correct because they’re “Left!”

    Wow, all that crap, all that theorizing about our perception of the whole political spectrum sliding to the Right so everything “looks” Left . . . wow, you just cut right through all of that shit. I don’t know how acceptable this will be to those on “the Right,” but it sure helps me, my worldview.

    THANK YOU.

    Jeff

    • You are probably one of the majority who is to the left of most of the political and media elite. But it’s hard to have the sense of this. We never get to hear how many people agree with us. And we are always told that we can’t have what we truly want, that we must endlessly compromise.

      But who are we compromising with? Why is it the majority is supposed to compromise with the minority by allowing power to shift right? And why are we told this is ‘moderation’ or whatever? Why do we allow the ruling elite to constantly portray what most Americans support as left-wing extremism and radicalism?

      • totally explains so much about the independents and the Libertarians. This is revelation to me, and I imagine it would be to most folks – if only they can hear it like I did. Kinda looks like other folks saw different points, not this at all.

        • Here is my issue. I’m a strong supporter of democracy. I have no desire to force my views onto the majority. But when I’m part of the majority, I have no desire for a ruling minority to force its views on me and my fellow citizens, as if we are imperial subjects who are supposed to just shut up and take it. And it really pisses me off when those in power try to blame their own failures on the American public, when this same ruling elite does everything in its power to not do anything the majority wants.

    • What interests me the most is that the majority doesn’t know it is a majority. There is some social science research into this. When people think they are a minority, they feel isolated and disempowered. So, convincing the majority that they are actually a minority is highly effective social control. But when people suddenly realize they are the majority, change can happen quickly. It usually requires some event to engage most of the population and when they see all the others engaged only then do they realize they are part of a majority. Such an event would have to be something like a mass protest movement, of the kind not seen since maybe the Populist Era.

      • I’ve been starting to wonder why who we’re going to vote for has to be a secret from each other. Seems to me if every voter could watch the trends in real time, we wouldn’t all be throwing away votes on candidates with no chance, we wouldn’t all be guessing . . .the campaigns get this data, why can’t the bloody voter?

        • You bring up a good point I hadn’t thought about. Our electoral system is designed to keep the majority from becoming aware of itself. It isn’t just that we don’t see the vote happening in real time. The entire electoral system is so tightly controlled so as to determine and limit choices to what is pre-approved by the party duopoly. And then the corporate media keeps out all alternative candidates from the debates so that the public never learns that they agree more with third parties than the main parties.

          This could be changed in a number of ways, such as debates that require participation of all candidates. Also, there is runoff voting which would forever eliminate effective social control through the threat of lesser evil voting, either vote for us the lesser evil or else the mad man will be let loose on the world. Runoff voting would make it possible to vote your conscience and principles by not letting the greater evil determine your preferred vote. If the majority could freely vote in this manner, we’d have a functioning democracy and the majority would quickly learn that they are a majority.

          This won’t happen without a revolution or something equivalent to a revolution (e.g., a nationwide mass protest movement). Making these democratic reforms would effectively remove power from the ruling elite. It would shift government from rule of the minority over the majority to a government run through public debate and coalitions. New dividing lines within the present majority would form, but they would be dividing lines much further to the left. We wouldn’t be arguing, for example, over whether or not to have universal healthcare but what kind. Now that would be an argument worth having.

  5. we have proof that the media/Hollywood and pop culture are just arms of the US government propaganda department and that celebs are shilling hard for them?
    That’s been happening for a LONG time man
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:COINTELPRO_targets
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_squad
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_influence_on_public_opinion
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congress_for_Cultural_Freedom
    And those are just the known operations (and it took a long time for them to become publicly known — Mockingbird’s files were only declassified in 2007).

  6. While shit like the above has been US history since at least the 1800s, I feel like it’s only since Iraq-afghanistan that the USA has wide-scale shot its credibility. Like that’s the blunder that actually put the reputation over the edge. I dunno man. I feel like the USA soft power is declining. Like it’s image as the “leader of the free world democracy” is declining. But an honest look at us history. Shows it never really was any of that. I’m patriotic I guess, the USA is home to me but I have no illusions. Also the neocon “un-patriotic witch hunting culture wars” of the early to mid 2000s is old news. We’re in a new era

    • What you say sounds like my own attitude.

      I’m American and it is all I know. I like my country. I admire the principles that the American revolutionaries fought for and I admire the principles that so many Americans have fought for since, from the abolitionists to the civil rights activists. But the sad fact is that much of the inspiring fights Americans have had is against their own oppressive government, either state or federal (sometimes both simultaneously).

      Still, for much of American history, many Americans had a sense that the country was getting better, if not for them then for their children and grandchildren. Even many people in other countries often perceived the good the US government did was greater than the harm. But in more recent history since the War on Terror, the US has lost its moral high ground, both among Americans and in the larger global world.

      I had this sense of American decline for a long time. Maybe it’s just because I’m a pessimist. I suspect it is more than that. Even the earlier wars we had in Iraq, under the administrations of Bush sr and Clinton, seemed pointless and without moral vision. It seems we simply got in the habit of starting wars and mass violence became our addiction. If we didn’t have a good reason to start a war, then we needed to invent a reason.

    • I read things like that and I just shake my head. I’m continuously surprised by how many Americans know so little about American history. I don’t expect people to know it in great detail. But it’s sad that much of what they think they know isn’t even true or is severely distorted. Obviously, in terms of informing the public, our education system is a failure along with our corporate media.

    • “The jury was never told the FBI called off an analysis of the anonymous 911 caller’s voice to determine identity. In short, the jury was unaware the case was fixed and that J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI were willing to let a policeman’s killer get away with murder to imprison two COINTELPRO targets.”

      That is depressing. This kind of thing used to happen all the time. COINTELPRO and similar programs were used for great evil. With the War on Terror, we’ve returned to those bad ol’ days. Imagine what secret documents will be released decades from now that will tell of the great evil that is happening all around us right now without our knowing about it.

  7. When they realized blacks could buy guns, white Americans and their caste enforcers started demanding gun control.

    • It started after the Civil War. Blacks even formed their own militias to defend their communities. The backlash that followed violently took away what freedom blacks had temporarily won. A black man with a gun is no match with large angry mobs of white people looking to lynch blacks.

      This conflict got even worse with WWI. Black veterans came back and many of them kept their military weapons. This is what led to literal race wars all across the country, which were small civil wars with battles in the street between often military-trained combatants on both sides. Jim Crow and the Klan was used to put those blacks back in their place.

      But then the Black Panthers formed and started openly and brazenly carrying guns, although civil rights activists before them had been less conspicuously carrying guns for decades. That is why all of a sudden right-wingers like Reagan became concerned about better gun control, i.e., better social control by keeping blacks from having guns to defend themselves.

  8. The fact of the matter is that since forever our government has wantonly rallied needlessly against those seeking equal rights or affiliated with socialism/communism because it’s a threat to their power structure and it’s resulted in ruining people’s lives, lynching, persecuting, and of course killing people, and in all out war against other countries.

    • The strongest supporters of socialism/communism in early-to-mid 20th century America were often blacks, especially in the South. MLK was always being accused of being a commie, since many civil rights activists were radical left-wingers. Part of the reason left-wing ideologies were so attractive is that they taught all people are equal and so deserving of equal rights and equal treatment. When such principles of equality are seen as a threat, there is a major problem in society.

      And of course it wasn’t just in the US. The US military destroyed countries under communist governance because in many cases they were treating their citizens according to equality (e.g., Afghanistan). And so the US promoted theocratic authoritarians and brutal dictators who would ensure that inequality would be enforced because inequality is better for large profits for corporations and better for mass social control.

    • There has been a long history of the US government involving itself in the entertainment media (as was also done with the news media). Many of the war films made by Hollywood earlier last century were overt state propaganda. The Pentagon will give free use of military tanks, fighter jets, etc to any major movie producers who will write scripts that are in line with state propaganda. That is true to this day.

      But a lot of this isn’t blatant propaganda, per se. It’s just that we live in a corporatist society. Big gov and big biz are inseparable. A revolving door exists between them with corporate cronies becoming politicians and government officials while those leaving government positions become corporate lobbyists and corporate board members (Hillary Clinton was on corporate boards while both she and Bill were advancing their political careers). Many right-wing think tanks and lobbyist groups funded by corporations have direct ties to government officials and sometimes will write the bills that Congress passes.

      The entertainment industry is tied up with big gov interests in various ways. I bet you’d find interesting connections if you were to analyze all the CEOs, upper management, board members, stockholders, and lobbyists. You’d probably find some names of politicians and former politicians among them or else family members of politicians. It would be shocking if the entertainment industry didn’t end up promoting what essentially is propaganda that promotes the ideological positions of the US government. That is simply how corporatism works and we have a corporatist system of politics and economics.

      Our entire sense of reality is constantly being manipulated by those with great wealth and power. Most Americans are against most wars, until the war drums of propaganda begin. And propaganda is powerful, especially when the public has grown so used to it that they no longer see it as propaganda. That is the same reason why the majority of Americans remain unaware that they are the majority and that, as the majority, they are far to the left of the political, economic, and media elites.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/how-your-taxpayer-dollars_b_836574.html

      “The short-term impact of the military-entertainment complex was enlistment surges correlating to specific 80s box-office hits. As just one (albeit huge) example, recruitment spiked 400 percent when Top Gun was released, leading the navy to set up recruitment tables at theaters upon realizing the movie’s effect. Medium term, of course, is the Red Dawn effect. Contemporary missions are now named after the film (and various other militarist fantasies from the 80s), tapping into the hardwired psyches of the “Wolverines who have grown up and gone to Iraq,” as Milius recently called the 80s generation.

      “Then there are the standards that were set for the long haul. Today, the Pentagon offers Hollywood just as much enticement for militarism, and just as much punishment against antimilitarism, as ever. On top of the 80s militarism that is now endlessly recycled in the cable rerun-o-sphere, it’s a safe bet that whichever Jerry Bruckheimer or Michael Bay blockbuster is being fawned over by teen audiences is at least partially underwritten by the Pentagon, and as a condition of that support, these blockbusters typically agree to deliberately reiterate the morality of the military and war.

      “By contrast, as the director of The Hunt for Red October recounted, this new reality prompted studios in the 80s to start telling screenwriters and directors to “get the cooperation of the [military], or forget about making the picture.”

      “This helps explain why for every one decidedly anti-war movie that’s made, we see scores of movies made that glorify militarism. Since the 1980s, taxpayer dollars have been subsidizing militarist movies on the basis of their militarist content; at the same time those subsidies are withheld from anti-militarist movies on the basis of their anti-militarist content. That has created a movie market dynamic that then preferences the production of militarist films — militarist films which have an obvious and ongoing psyche-shaping effect on our larger attitudes about militarist ideology.”

  9. Someone’s take on the far right is interesting:

    “The conventional view of what awaits the US (and possibly France and the Netherlands) in 2017 is an erratic ruler who enacts contradictory policies that primarily benefit the rich. The poor will lose, because populists have no hope of restoring manufacturing jobs, despite their promises. And massive inflows of migrants and refugees will continue, because populists have no plan to address the problem’s root causes. In the end, populist governments, incapable of effective rule, will crumble and their leaders will either face impeachment or fail to win re-election. But the liberals were wrong. PiS (Law and Justice, the ruling Rightist-populist party) has transformed itself from an ideological nullity into a party that has managed to introduce shocking changes with record speed and efficiency. /…/ it has enacted the largest social transfers in Poland’s contemporary history. Parents receive a 500 złoty ($120) monthly benefit for every child after their first, or for all children in poorer families (the average net monthly income is about 2,900 złoty, though more than two-thirds of Poles earn less). As a result, the poverty rate has declined by 20-40%, and by 70-90% among children. The list goes on: In 2016, the government introduced free medication for people over the age of 75. The minimum-wage now exceeds what trade unions had sought. The retirement age has been reduced from 67 for both men and women to 60 for women and 65 for men. The government also plans tax relief for low-income taxpayers.”[6]

    PiS does what Marine Le Pen also promises to do in France: a combination of anti-austerity measures – social transfers no Leftist party dares to consider plus the assurance of order and security that asserts national identity and promises to deal with the immigrant threat. Who can beat this combination, which directly addresses the two big worries of ordinary people? We can thus discern on the horizon a perverted situation in which the official “Left” is enforcing austerity politics (even as it advocates for multicultural and other rights) at the same time that the populist Right is pursuing anti-austerity measures to help the poor (even as it advances a xenophobic nationalist agenda). That is the latest figure of what Hegel described as die verkehrte Welt, the topsy-turvy world.

    And what if Trump moves in the same direction? What if his project of moderate protectionism and large public works, combined with anti-immigrant security measures and a new perverted peace with Russia, would somehow work?

    http://thephilosophicalsalon.com/donald-trumps-topsy-turvy-world/

    If Trump does deliver, then that could be the end of the Democrats.

    • I’ve wondered about that. A while back, I wrote a post about Trump’s (and Bannon’s) rhetoric that resonated with old school progressivism of the New Deal variety. But that rhetoric has largely died down since he became president. It doesn’t seem clear that he plans to actually do anything progressive. We’ll see.

    • If Caucasian men on average have lower rates of the warrior gene, why have Caucasians had such a long history of mass violence that they’ve spread all over the world? And why are they the only people on the planet who have started world wars and dropped atomic bombs on cities? And why have a disproportionate number of genocides been committed by them? Obviously, violence must have many causes beyond a some isolated genes.

      • It’s the Neanderthal genes, more prevalent in your Europeans – but no, sapiens is the nastier one of the two. Still, it does appear that the purer sapienses of sub-saharan Africa do not rule the world. Maybe more in your terms, our recent co-existence with the Neanderthal in Europe could have spawned the white man’s “race theory?”

      • some other gene, or several. “Warrior gene” is only a name, of course. Wasn’t it the “psycho gene” before that? It really doesn’t sound like a useful, controllable gene expression. The regular ones for war – well, we must all have those, doncha think?

    • That is something that has interested me for a while. I like seeing people deal with problems at the local level. We simply have too much dysfunction and corruption at the political level, both federal and state, often even in city governments.

    • I looked at a bunch of the answers. There is so much confusion, imprecision of terms, and lack of clarity that it seems pointless in trying to make sense of the debate.

      Libertarianism, for example, began as part of the 19th century European workers’ movement, along with Marxists, socialists, and anarchists. There are many Americans who hold left-libertarian positions, whether or not they identify as libertarian, but the corporate media defines libertarianism as right-wing as being the opposite of left-wing economics as framed by Cold War rhetoric. This makes no sense.

      According to polls, most Americans want free markets but don’t trust capitalism, corporations, and big money in politics. Are we talking about the ruling elite are conservative or the American public being conservative? The former is true and the latter is false.

      So, when it is said ‘America’ is conservative, what does that mean and who is ‘America’? Does ‘America’ only mean Americans with most of the wealth and power? That is an odd way of describing a country, especially one that likes to claim itself as a democracy or representative republic.

      Speaking about just the American public, we also have to keep in mind that it is a population that is tightly controlled by a plutocratic and corporatist economy, through a corporate media that uses the propaganda model, a political system controlled by a party duopoly, and a government with a hidden deep state. It’s amazing with all this massive social control of the public that they still manage to give voice to how far left they are on so many issues when polled.

    • “In 1983, 90% of U.S. media was controlled by 50 companies. Now that number is only 5. This means that 90% of the news and entertainment available on your devices is tailored to promote the corporate agendas of Comcast, The Walt Disney Company, News Corp, Time Warner, and National Amusements.”

    • This indicates how much plasticity genetic potential has in human development. Not just different results but in some cases literally the complete opposite results.

      “When it comes to personality traits however, there is often times a major difference. It is thought that this is because identical twins can actually be mirror images of each other. In other words, they use the opposite sides of their brain. This means that one will be logical and the other more liberal or artistic. Another revelation that came from this research is that the twins will have the similar fingerprints, but on the opposite hands, which further goes along with the mirror image theory and discussion. In many cases, they will even use the opposite hands of the others because of the varying brain dominance. As the embryo split, each half took on its own identity in as far as how it would think.”

  10. New Cold War, anyone?
    https://theintercept.com/2017/02/28/the-new-yorkers-big-cover-story-reveals-five-uncomfortable-truths-about-u-s-and-russia/

    Even the MSM is admitting this about the DNC:
    https://theweek.com/articles/682596

    Holy crap, the Establishment Democrats are worse than Trump. I’m increasingly not sorry that Trump won, despite the fact that he’s a dishonest man himself. The Establishment would have been worse. We’d be looking at war with Russia.

    • If it’s a choice between Cold War II and World War III, the first option would be more preferable than the second. But avoiding both options would be most optimal. As for the establishment, they might be happy with either option.

    • I’m not sure white flight has increased more than ever before. It’s more likely that nothing has fundamentally changed. We know that systemic, institutional, and internalized racial prejudices/biases remain in our society. Tons of research has shown this.

      Then again, there have been changes. But maybe they are hard to measure. Interracial dating, marriages, and children has increased. That indicates something different. States and cities such as I live in are becoming more diverse. Populations are shifting in various ways, whatever it adds up to.

    • One commenter made a good point. Wealth inequality goes far beyond income inequality, as most wealth inequality is accumulated over generations and inherited. That cross-generational wealth is where racial disparities show most strongly. It has been much harder for blacks to accumulate wealth because of historical legacies of racism and blacks were hit the hardest by the housing boom, as they had a greater proportion of their wealth invested in their homes. Just because a black person starts getting ahead with a better income, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’ve yet accumulated enough wealth to easily escape the community they were raised in.

      “This Times analysis suffers from a major weakness, which is that it assumes high income equals high net worth, which is far from the truth. Anecdotal cases aside, I believe most blacks are like President Obama and would choose to live in the best neighborhood that they can afford. Unlike President Obama, however, most blacks who make good income today are not able to accumulate enough wealth to displace old money from affluent neighborhoods. In this regard, government tax policies that favor capital gains over earned income have no doubt contributed to worsening racial and social segregation.”

  11. I live in relative comfort and affluence in Manhattan, with a professional career. I’m also a first-generation Latino man who grew up in the affluent suburbs of Washington.

    A few hours ago I read an article about a funeral home in an eastern Kentucky community that is 95% white. The article detailed a sharp spike in mortality rates among middle-aged white women in this community, the highest in the country. It chronicled the sad lives of two cadavers, both felled by drug addiction and cigarette-induced cancer. The saddest part was the tale of the daughter of one of these dead women, how she was unable to get proper clothes for her mother’s cadaver because her mother’s house had been totally ransacked after her death.

    This past weekend I just helped my white friend take his white half-sister to settle her in at her dorm in one of the best law schools in the country. His half-sister grew up in a terribly dysfunctional home where her mother was a drug addict and her father as an alcoholic. Her family lived in rural western Pennsylvania.

    And now I read this article.

    These are all tales of a society that is ripping itself apart. They tell of wealth and income inequities so vast that it may lead to long-term political instability and radicalized political violence.

    As someone from Latin America, I am well aware of my region’s vast inequalities, which have long caused its notorious political instability. This is now happening here. Do we really want that as a nation?

    • Many people, myself included, have said similar things. If you know a bit of history, in the US and elsewhere, you know this can’t end well. But we don’t have a historically well informed population. It’s not a lack of education that is the problem. Few Americans with college degrees seem to know much about history. There is no profit to be had in knowing history and education in the US all about getting a good-paying career.

  12. The authors’ complaint is that class modifies but does not override race in the USA. And our law agrees. Bernie Sanders’ campaign proposed to reduce economic inequality and thus to reduce (not eliminate) class stratification of neighborhoods. That proposal would benefit most Americans, black or white, but it would not specifically reduce racial stratification, which has clearly exceeded any defensible dimension.

    • Here is the thing. The primary tool for racial oppression has been economic. Slavery, Jim Crow, race wars, sundown towns, redlining, etc were all very much about economics.

      There is a reason Black Wall Street, the wealthiest black community in the country was firebombed. There is a reason when blacks were driven out of towns all their property was taken by the whites living there. There is a reason blacks were kept out of the best jobs, kept out of labor unions, and kept out of New Deal Programs.

      If the economic oppression is removed, racism becomes a whole lot less potent. It still exists, but anyone who has ever known poverty wouldn’t dismiss economic issues. This is why some of the strongest early 20th century support for Marxism and communism was found among poor blacks. This is why MLK understood racial oppression was inseparable from economic oppression, in his organizing a poor people’s movement.

      Identity politics without economic force in everday lives is empty symbolism, a toothless pitbull

  13. While segregation most assuredly exists, there is a fact which few seem to realize, one which is played out locally and internationally. People wish to be “with their own”.
    One does not have to go far. The are, within every large city, enclaves of “likes”, a self ghettoizing process. Internationally the number of separatist movements is growing not shrinking. Countries are resenting more and more the “dilution” of their populations by immigrants.
    Perhaps then we must look as much, if not more, towards finding ways to achieve better cooperative interaction and tolerance between groups instead the current, and somewhat failing mantra of forcing them together.

    • But the perception of one’s own people is highly dependent on societal conditions, including social constructs and demographics. Rich people, black or white, probably don’t think of poor people of their own race as being their own people. Similarly, when whites immigrated from the South after the Civil War, Northern whites didn’t perceive them as being part of their own people.

      At an earlier time, white Puritans didn’t see white Quakers as their own people, instead imprisoning, torturing, and banishing them. White landowners in early Virginia didn’t see white indentured servants as their own people. Benjamin Franklin didn’t see the German-Americans as his own people. And the English didn’t see the Irish as their own people. Or even earlier, the English feudal lords didn’t see the English peasants as their own people, actually seeing them as a separate race.

      There has never been a conflict of social identities in all of human civilization that hasn’t disappeared when the conditions changed that previously promoted and maintained that divide. To argue that race is different from every social construct that has ever existed is plain ignorant. All social constructs seem absolutely real and permanent to the society that believes in them.

    • I made that argument in a post. But that is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone else make that argument. It seems like an obvious observation to make. It’s as meaningful, if not more meaningful, than most of the correlations that race realists and genetic determinists love to obsess over. This correlation should be repeated over and over by everyone on the political left in any and all forums of discussion, especially in the alternative media and social media.

      We on the political left have to get serious about controlling the narrative, instead of constantly being on the defense. We have to stop pulling our punches because we are afraid of a real fight with real consequences. We need to fight as if every conflict is a battle in a war of attrition, slowly wearing down the enemy and never backing down. We need to be tough, as if we actually believe what we claim to believe. And we should never fear calling a spade a spade.

      The age of wussy, fence-sitting liberals is over. Feelings are going to be hurt. And everyone has to pick a side, not of political parties but of morality and justice.

      https://www.democracynow.org/2005/4/27/howard_zinn_to_be_neutral_to

      AMY GOODMAN: Howard Zinn, you called your autobiography You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train. Why?

      HOWARD ZINN: Well, it came from — I stole it from myself. That is, I used to say that to my classes at the beginning of every class. I wanted to be honest with them about the fact that they were not entering a class where the teacher would be neutral. It was not going to be a class where the teacher spent a half year or a year with the students, and they would have no idea where the teacher stood on the important issues. This is not going to be a neutral class, I said. I don’t believe in neutrality. I believe neutrality is impossible, because the world is already moving in certain directions. Wars are going on. Children are starving. And to be neutral, to pretend to neutrality, to not take a stand in a situation like that is to collaborate with whatever is going on, to allow it to happen. I did not want to be a collaborator with what was happening. I wanted to enter into history. I wanted to play a role. I wanted my students to play a role. I wanted us to intercede. I wanted my history to intercede and to take a stand on behalf of peace, on behalf of a racial equality or sexual equality, and so I wanted my students to know that right from the beginning, know you can’t be neutral on a moving train.

    • I’ll just categorize that under silliness. I don’t really care what the founders thought about race. It’s not as if they are our gods whose opinions we must submit to. They were simply humans and, of course, they lived at a time when racism dominated. But they were complex people. Benjamin Franklin was prejudiced against Germans in his perceiving them as different and yet he ended up publishing a German language newspaper. He also was originally prejudiced against blacks and their rights, until those like Paine convinced him to become an abolitionist.

    • Given enough time, everyone who lives close together will assimilate. It can take generations or centuries, but it always happens. Assimilation doesn’t always happen as expected, though.

      For example, consider the much maligned Jews. European Jews are actually the result of a millennia of non-Semitic people assimilating to Judaism. This is why European Jews are lighter-skinned than other Semitic populations.

      Yet the Jews who refused to leave their homeland to assimilate to European culture ended up instead assimilating to Arab culture. These Jews who never left, we call them Palestinians.

      Assimilation is a funny business. Mix people together and over time they become mixed up. This doesn’t lead to mere homogeneity most of the time. It usually just creates new kinds of differences.

  14. Reactionaries aren’t interested in reason or argumentation or science or philosophy for its own sake, as the structured, disciplined pursuit of the Truth and the Good. Their interest in “logic” and “argument” is only as a source of power and domination.
    They like invoking logic and reason for the rhetorical power it gives them to manipulate others. They like philosophy and social science insofar as it supplies them rationalizations for their unjust domination (notice how they laugh at psychology and sociology as not real science… until it’s evolutionary psychology, then somehow wishy-washy unreproducible soft sciences are great because they rationalize a social darwinist worldview). They like STEM insofar as it gives them fuel and weapons of war and power over the natural world.
    So in this case the female MP makes an ethical argument about the inherent equality and worth of women, but of course ethics isn’t a field that reactionaries recognize as “rationally” legitimate, since it can’t give them dominance over other people (and indeed often challenges their power). To them the “rational” argument is that the men can beat you up, and they don’t care about you, and you lack market power, so therefore you deserve less compensation for your labor. “Rationality” just means acknowledging and submitting to the unavoidable facts of superior force; might makes right. That’s how your hardcore fascist thinks.

    • This is why I’ve come to the conclusion that all race realists are racists. There simply is no way to separate the two. Race realist is the politically correct way for racists to identify themselves. It’s just manipulative rhetoric, a cowardly and deceptive refusal to admit the obvious. I have much more respect for people who will at least be honest with me. Without honesty, everything that follows is bullshit.

  15. I’m going to have to disagree. We, in America, always try to place blame on something else. It’s not my fault my child doesn’t behave…they have a biological abnormality that causes it. But this article isn’t saying “biological abnormalities don’t exist.” What they are saying is that in France they treat the child before assuming it is a biological abnormality. My child has structure, my child is happy and well behaved. She says please and thank you. She follows rules, etc. HOWEVER, a few months ago (she’s 4) she went on antibiotics that had red dye in it. We don’t give her a lot of sugary drinks and when we do it is a very special treat of sprite. She was running a fever, had a horrible ear infection and was crying in pain. Within 1 hour of being on the antibiotics she was running around like a mad woman. Over the course of the 1 week on those antibiotics she became Satan. She was uncontrollable, running around screaming, tearing things up, ignoring us, and being extremely violent. She wasn’t sleeping yet she wouldn’t stop moving. And when I say extremely violent, I mean she was hitting us, kicking us, biting us, spitting on us, clawing us, pinching us, etc. (All of which is very very uncharacteristic of my child. She is a very loving kind and gentle child who worries if someone looks sad.) We would say ouch or that hurt and she would laugh at us and tell us she wanted it to. That night we stopped the antibiotics and said no more. We called the MD the next day and confirmed it was ok to stop them. Within 12 hours she was returning back to normal. Within 24 hours she was completely normal. The doctor informed us this will happen.

    Now, why do the French have less children on ADHD meds? Because the French put more emphasis on the foods they feed their children. They put more emphasis on fresh foods, not boxed and canned foods. They put emphasis on REAL foods and not chemical filled things. In America the emphasis is on quick and easy…not what is healthy. Those things that are usually quick and easy are typically carbs filled with chemicals, processed foods, sugary foods, etc. And quite frequently they include artificial coloring and flavorings because the chemical processing takes out natural colors and flavorings. And let’s face it, if your child is diagnosed with ADHD, which is easier…giving them a pill a day or reading every label of everything you bring home, making every meal from scratch, making sure they don’t get too much sugar every day, etc. Heck, that cuts out kool aid, chips, candy, cookies, bread, lunch meat, canned fruits and veggies, any drink at the store other than water or unsweetened tea or coffee, processed cheeses, no McDonalds, KFC, other fast food restaurants, and so forth. You would have to track down local bakeries that don’t add chemicals to make the bread last longer and be more elastic. You would have to find companies that make things all organic. For some reason most people would rather fill their child with drugs than change FAMILY behaviors. This is why we have more children than France with “ADHD.” Because they are willing to change what isn’t working even if they have to work hard to change it. In America we take the fast and easy approach. You get results immediately with the drugs and it is easy to toss a pill at them.
    Reply to AnonymousQuote Anonymous

    • There are many contributing factors that are different between these two societies. One is a hyper-individualistic and brutal Social Darwinian pseudo-meritocracy built on centuries of genocide, slavery, and oppression. The other is a functioning social democracy. Other important differences could be pointed out.

      • Even so France and to somewhat lesssr extent other European countries are recently having issues with assimilation of North African Muslim immigrants children and violence terrorism and radicalization. North African Muslims suffer multigenerational poverty and exclusion in France. Banlieues.

        As usual, it’s not usually the immigrants committing crimes and radicalizijg but their children and grandchildren

        • They are having issues with assimilation based on a refugee crisis involving the post-WWI forced dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, neocolonial exploitation, Cold War conflict, proxy wars, covert operations, coups, assassinations, puppet dictators, destruction of democracy, support of theocracy, millions of innocents regularly killed over several generatoins, War on Terror, climate change-caused droughts, etc. All of this has been caused or contributed to by foreign governments, especially Western governments. This is built on centuries of ongoing racial and class conflicts in European history, including the legacies of colonial imperialism.

          Assimilation is always a slow process. The Roman Empire spent centuries trying to assimilate the barbarian hordes of Europe, but they ultimately failed before those backwards Europeans took down that once great Mediterranean empire. Yet after the collapse of the Roman Empire, various European societies slowly assimilated aspects of the Roman Empire, developing into Western imperialism, colonialism, and feudalism. This process took most of Europe about a millennia or so, until finally a new assimilated culture could begin to be clearly identified as Western. For example, it took the Celts, Scandinavians, Germans, and Normans more than a millennia of bloodshed to assimilate into what eventually would be called the English.

          As for our present situation, even in Europe, immigration violence is relatively low. Most of the increase in violence, as far as I know, hasn’t come from immigrants and their children. There has been a right-wing and reactionary radicalization of the native populations of European countries. It’s just few people ever both to compare this native population violence against the immigrant population violence. I would like to see good data on this. I hear lot of people repeating what they think is true, but I never see the evidence for why they think it is true other than other people are also repeating the same claims.

          Even if it were true, this might be a normal pattern. Europe has seen millennia of violence rates that increase and then settle down following population shifts. And Americans were making similar complaints against European ethnic immigrants in the early 19th century. Yet immigrants almost always assimilate, slowly or quickly depending on the kind of society, but the only time assimilation fails is when there is enforced segregation (e.g., American blacks). I always take such allegations with a grain of salt because, when one researches them, they so often are found to be nothing more than stereotypes. I do take seriously the problems of refugee crises, especially those that could be avoided (e.g., Irish potato famine).

          Desperate people unsurprisingly do desperate things. So, if the children of refugees are being targeted with prejudice, oppressed by system and institutional biases, and residentially and economically segregated, it would be entirely predictable that bad results would follow. I’ve pointed out the research that shows diversity only correlates to distrust when there is segregation. What I’d like to see is the data on violence, oppression, and police brutality committed against these immigrants and their children. And then I’d like to see that compared to rates of violent crime in immigrant populations, broken down in various ways: older and younger, foreign-born and native-born, etc.

          But most importantly I’d like to see research that controls for at least the most obviously significant confounding factors: poverty, inequality, segregation, political disenfranchisement, racial/ethnic targeting, etc. Consider that last one. We know that American blacks get stopped, arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned more often and more harshly than do American whites, even for crimes that have been proven to have higher rates for American whites. So, how do we know the bias against these populations aren’t built into the institutions that create this data, such as the police?

          Now consider this. All these points I make, all these questions and criticisms, they seem obvious to me. And I can’t help but think that they should be obvious to everyone. Yet most of this is rarely if ever mentioned, much less seriously discussed, by right-wingers and neo-reactionaries. As far as that goes, you won’t hear much about it by mainstream liberals, Democratic politicians, and corporate media. Why is that?

          Look at this essay below, “Crime and the Native Born Sons of European Immigrants.” It was written in 1937. The author, Harold Ross, discussed and analyzed these very same issues. He even considered the confounding factor of economic segregation, among other issues. So, how is it that such an essay could be written 80 years ago and so many people to this day continue to make ignorant arguments, as if such confounding factors don’t exist? Was Harold Ross some genius or, like me, was he simply willing to state the obvious?

          http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2714&context=jclc

          The European immigrant, landing on American shores, was forced to find cheap lodgings as he was usually penniless. These cheap lodgings he found in the disorganized slum areas of the industrialized American cities.5 The behavior of the new-comer himself was determined by behavior patterns organized in the culturally more stable European environment but his native born children suffered the stresses and strains of the new individualistic environment.

          These children, the native born offspring of foreign parentage, were reared under those barren, poverty stricken socio-economic conditions that produced a higher crime rate than a more sheltered and prosperous environment. The environment of the slum dwellers meant for all the inhabitants there, be they of native or foreign parentage, a life conditioned by irregular, poorly paid employment, by a family disorganized by the necessity of the mother to leave the task of home-making in search of work to supplement the chief wage-earner’s meager income, by the general institutional disorganization, by inadequate educational opportunities and a sordid, barren milieu for the children. These vital forces were far more powerful than the fact that one slum-reared child’s parents spoke Italian and another’s parents spoke native American slang, that the one ate spaghetti, and other beef stew

          If the crimes of the native born of native stock and those of the native born of foreign stock were stimulated by different causes, the cause in the latter case being a cultural clash between American and European customs which is non-existent in the former case, then there should be little similarity in the growth from childhood to careers of crime between both groups. If, on the other hand, crimes in both cases were stimulated by the same cause, namely dwelling on the same socio-economic level, then there should be definite similarity in the maturation from childhood to crime.

          Anti-social behavior first becomes evident in the delinquencies of predatory boy gangs. Boys naturally tend to play with other boys. The environment determines whether this spontaneous grouping is social or anti-social, whether it is a respectable Boy Scout Troop or a predatory gang.’ The typical city “kids” gang consisted mainly of the native born offspring of foreign born parents, but nativity per se was not responsible for the gang problem.7 All boys of the same socio-economic class, whether of foreign, negro, or native white parentage, enter into gangs with equal facility.8 Boys of the more prosperous classes do not form anti-social gangs, not because they are of native white stock, but because of their prosperous environment.9 It is needless for them to rebel against the mores and law, for life has been comfortable to them. Others, regardless of parental nativity and because of their lower socio-economic position, did not willingly accept the mores and law that doomed them to a barren life, so naturally violated them.

          This disregard by delinquency of nativity is illustrated by Chicago districts near the Loop, the stock yards, and the south Chicago steel mills which have had high delinquency rates as far back as the records go, and yet whose” population composition has been constantly changing. 0 In many cities it has been noted that the incidence in delinquency varied more accurately with community background than with nationality. High rates coincided with the areas of physical deterioration.”

          There has been no fixed boundary between the boy’s predatory gang and the adult’s criminal group.’ 2 Behavior patterns organized in the former were carried over into and accentuated by the latter. Sons, both of native and foreign born stocks, made this promotion from juvenile delinquent to adult offender with equal facility. A follow up of 420 Chicago cases found a negligible difference.’ 3 Continuance of anti-social conduct was dependent upon other conditions than nationality. 4

          Further, evidence that the crimes of native born white of both European and American parentage were the resultant not of conditions peculiar to either group but of the same general socio-economic pressures affecting both is shown by the fact that the types of crimes the immigrant’s sons were guilty of were similar not to the offenses of their parents, but to the offenses committed by native Americans. This tendency of the second generation to shift away from crimes peculiar to immigrants and towards native crimes is substantiated by records of all commitments to Massachusett’s penal institutions during the year ending September 30, 1909, and by the records of convictions in the New York Court of General Sessions from October 1, 1908 to June 30, 1909. 25

          In summary, then, it was noted by an examination of both American and European reports that the differences in socio-economic conditions between urban and rural life resulted in differences in crime rate whatever may be the nativity or cultural heritage of the individuals. Further it is contended that there are just as marked differences between the environment of prosperous and poverty stricken districts within the urban areas which also result in differing crime rates. Thus the crime of the native born sons of foreign born parentage may be a result not of cultural maladjustment as is usually held, but of their position in a poverty class, a class which breeds criminals with equal facility from all its constituents be they of native or foreign parentage. This view is substantiated by evidence that indicates that native born whites of both American and European parents, if on the same socio-economic level, formed predatory groups, that both grew up into careers of crime with equal facility, and that both were guilty of the same types of crime. This coincidence of factors indicates that the criminality of both was not due to conditions peculiar to each group individually, but to general conditions affecting both equally, namely, their residence in a poverty stricken socio-economic class.

          This explanation, if accepted, harmonizes the apparent contradiction between statistical studies, on the one hand, which demonstrate a higher crime rate for the native born of European parentage than for the native born of American parentage, and the personal experiences of countless officials and investigators, on the other hand, who claim, after handling hundreds of second generation offenders, that the foreign stock from which the offenders sprang was in no way responsible for the criminality.16 As the native born sons of foreign parentage tend to be segregated on that income level which has a high crime rate and the native stock tends to be dispersed through all income levels, then obviously statistical studies would endow the former with a higher crime ratio. […]

          In conclusion concerning the number and causes of crime of native born individuals of foreign stock, in contradiction to accepted opinion, these views are tentatively presented.

          2) Statistics seem to indicate a higher crime rate for the native born of European stock only because they disregard the various income levels. What their actual crime rate is is still a matter of opinion and it is this writer’s hypothesis that all peoples on the same socio-economic level have approximately the same crime rate.

          1) The second generation is not a group culturally adrift with neither the culture of their parents nor of their new environment to guide them, but is a group with a very definite culture, a culture of a socio-economic level that is determined by irregular, poorly paid employment and results in broken homes, inadequate eductional and recreational opportunity, and a general stunted environment. And this culture determines for its inhabitants, whatever their nativity, a high crime rate.

  16. I also 100% agree with those saying that having unreasonable expectations is part of the problem. Used to be, in Kindergarten, we played with clay and sang the ABC song. Now kids are expected to sit in seats and do worksheets, and some kindergarteners even have HOMEWORK! I don’t remember having any homework at all before 4th grade, and even then, it was no more than 30 – 60 minutes max on a given night, and most nights it was little or nothing. Now kids in 4th grade bring home hours of homework daily. Not reasonable to expect of a 4th grader.

    An interesting study was done on admission dates to kindergarten. Kids who were enrolled a year younger had a 30% greater chance of getting an ADHD diagnosis. So fully a third of kids who get diagnosed would no longer have “ADHD” if they simply went to school a year later. Interesting in terms of the article that French kids don’t usually start school before age 7 – could that explain part of the discrepancy?) Doesn’t sound like a brain chemistry problem to me – it sounds like a problem in maturation. Combine this with the developmentally inappropriate expectations that are now being thrust upon our younger kids and it’s no wonder we’re seeing increasing rates of diagnosis.

    Open minds are essential to learning. ADHD kids have lots of great strengths to build on. They don’t need to be hit, but they do need to learn discipline earlier and it’s harder to teach them. They also can’t be expected to do things they think are boring and pointless for hours every day. But that’s hardly a disease.

    I hope that my story can help inspire parents to realize that their kids DO have the ability to self control, if properly motivated, and that they CAN learn discipline, especially if you find another educational environment that builds on their strengths instead of one that constantly criticizes them for not magically succeeding in areas they have the most difficulty with or are simply not yet ready to tackle developmentally.

  17. I think it should also be noted that China has a much lower incident of Bipolar and Schizophrenia (none of these are even remotely disputed as being cause by social-economical factors). Now is the lower incident that there are less actual cases or that doctors simply do not believe that these disorders exist and thus are not diagnosed and thus under reported (due to cultural believes)?
    After living in Paris for a year for school I can easily say that French people (at least at the university level) show similar levels of ADD/ADHD behaviour as my Canadian counterparts. If a study was done with American standards and those results were lower than in America (you could easily do a control by adjusting the study by testing American children by French standards) there may be something to this argument but as it stands this article is severely lacking in evidence.
    Look at the literature, even European literature, clearly states that ADHD is a organic biological problem not a social-economical one. Although ADHD may be over diagnosed along with depression and Bipolar, as GP in general are not well equipped to deal with mental health issues and thus make incorrect diagnosis (anxiety for example can cause almost identical ADHD symptoms but is caused by social-economical factors.
    Reply to AnonymousQuote Anonymous
    clearing up a few things
    Submitted by Simon Says on May 30, 2013 – 3:56pm
    I think it should also be noted that China has a much lower incident of Bipolar and Schizophrenia (none of these are even remotely disputed as being cause by social-economical factors).
    If you are suggesting that because Bipolar and Schizophrenia have biological markers, that social-economical environment and experience can’t be argued as being influential, you are entirely incorrect. The link below is an article that discusses the “traumagenic developmental model” of Schizophrenia;

    http://www.childtrauma.org/images/stories/Articles/psychiatry_022.pdf

    The biology of our brain is affected by and altered by our environmental experiences, especially in our early developmental phase. Even our genes are altered by environment and experience; the study of this is called “Epigenetics”.

    Look at the literature, even European literature, clearly states that ADHD is a organic biological problem not a social-economical one.
    Again, the 2 are NOT mutually exclusive; i.e. If it is biological then it cannot be experiential. This paradigm is completely false.

    Biology influences behaviour, environment and experience, just as behaviour, environment and experience influence biology and genetic expression.

    Both prenatally and postnatally, the infant brain is developing based upon both its genetic influences AND its environmental influences. In the womb, neural development is responding to the mother’s emotional states, especially if the host is stressed and fearful for prolonged periods. This releases glucocorticoids in to the hosts blood stream and that rise in glucocorticoids is passed on to the developing foetus through the unbilical cord. This increase in glucocorticoid triggers a slow down in development of prefrontal areas and triggers increased growth in the amygdala and other primitive areas of the brain assoicated with more immediate survival needs. In otherwords, it is preparing the infant for entry in to a world where there is a heightened threat and the need to respond to that threat is more of a priority than developing empathy and reasoning functions.

    The brain’s “blueprint” is more of an artist’s representation than it is a detailed construction drawing. Environment fine tunes the developing brain to meet expected needs.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean “bad parenting” is the cause. Although to a great extent parents do determine infant environment, they are not in complete control of it and there are always unforseen circumstances. The key is to understand that when an infant experiences fearful environments, especially prolonged fearful conditions, it negatively affects important areas of brain development. Whether this is fear in the infants environment, or whether it is fear states experienced by the mother while the infant is still developing in the womb is only relevant to what is called “windows of development”. Research suggests that there are certain parts of the brain that, if they miss their developmental window, never have that opportunity again.

  18. Historically, ADHD (or let’s call it “the hunter’s characteristics of exploration, fast reactions and hyper focus on what’s important for survival”) is and was very important for human civilization. Hunters needed those qualities to survive and bring home the meat. But when humans became more and more localized, worked the land, planted and harvested, those genes started to become less important – it doesn’t mean that those who had those qualities were not important (they always had a role), but those who could concentrate for hours and hours on a repetitive task would be able to work the land better and were more valuable to a local society and therefore THIS type of behavior was valued.

    • Iirc most Argentines (argentina being widely seen as a white place) have at least one non-European ancestor. So a high amount of white argentines aren’t “pure”

      Latin American racism sucks in a different way from Anglo but equally sucky. Instead of one drop rule it’s a color gradient with white on top. Either way still a hierarchy.

    • I’ve come across that before.

      I’ve wondered if, because of Latino immigration, this racial order might become dominant in the US. I can sense a more complex racial order already developing that goes beyond the old black/white frame. If someone is perceived and identifies as a white Hispanic such as a Cuban, then they are allowed to join the white club. One’s moral character and societal status is thus determined.

      On the other hand, this other racial order offers different kinds of opportunities, even as it offers different kinds of oppression. This relates to the contrast between Germanic freedom and Roman liberty, the former being a birthright while the latter allows much more flexibility. So, if a new racial order were to develop influenced more by the Spanish system, it could take many and maybe entirely new forms.

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/liberty-in-spanish-florida/

    • Social stratification by skin tone has a long history even in the US. Light-skinned blacks could pass as white. To this day, being able to pass as white offers immense opportunities. Light-skinned blacks are on average wealthier than dark-skinned blacks, avoiding some of the discrimination from generations of systemic and institutional racism in employment, housing, and education. Even black jurors are more likely to see dark-skinned blacks as guilty for the exact same crime a light-skinned black is accused of.

      In sundown towns, an odd thing sometimes happened. When the blacks were driven out, the light-skinned blacks were often allowed to stay. And even though everyone in that town knew they were black or had black ancestry, they were simply treated as white from that point forward and began identifying as white on census records. They were the model minorities of the community and so they were given an exception, just as long as they and everyone else didn’t talk about it. They simply mixed into the population and their blackness entirely disappeared.

      So, it would be very easy to create a hybrid between the English and Spanish racial systems.

    • Maybe it’s the same reason the American public was so leftist in the early 20th century. And maybe it’s the same reason the American public has become so leftist in the early 21st century.

      Growing inequality of wealth, power, and opportunity. Most people don’t like being oppressed and forced into desperation. And so most people, when they find themselves in such conditions, turn to political and economic ideologies that at least attempt to offer answers to their problems.

      The fact of the matter is most people aren’t stupid, even when they are under-educated. People look to more leftist countries such as the Scandinavian social democracies. People look to how leftist policies transformed countries like Portugal. They see the results and they’d like to live in a society like that.

    • There was two points she made. The first point interested me the most, about her experience growing up.

      When she was poor, she didn’t notice as much racial tension and conflict. There is some truth to that, even though it can seem counter-intuitive. Oftentimes, if you are poor especially in a diverse city, you are forced to deal with people of different races, ethnicities, religions, and ideologies. It’s why a lower class liberals and conservatives are more familiar with one another whereas upper class liberals and conservatives tend to ideologically segregate themselves.

      The second point was less surprising. Most wealthy people have spent their entire lives segregated from the rest of the population, from anyone who is different from them. They aren’t just segregated from minorities but also segregated from lower class whites and those of different ideologies. Wealthier people tend to surround themselves with people who are exactly like themselves because they have great freedom and opportunity in where they work and live, where they seek education for themselves and their children, where they go to church and what organizations they belong to.

      When someone from outside of their insular enclave enters their community, that person sticks out to an extreme degree. These wealthy people are highly sensitized to differences.

  19. America has created a racial hierarchy where they’ve put blacks/non white Latinos at the bottom and Asians in the middle. All of this “blacks should act more like and that” is not going to change the simple fact that White America has created a permeant underclass of blacks and non white Latinos in this country. Chris Rock famously said, “No White man would ever trade places with me, and I’m rich!”

    • I doubt that last part is true. There are many severely poor whites who would trade places in an instant with a rich black. I’m not even poor and I’d gladly change my race to gain vast wealth. Most people aren’t that attached to their race in a simple sense.

      Anyone who has known severe poverty wouldn’t be so cavalier about it. The racism a rich black experiences is absolutely nothing in comparison to severe poverty. My God, severe poverty is one of the worst fates imaginable, no matter the race.

    • This contradicts what the political right claims with the culture war rhetoric. The white working class rarely sees the inside of a college classroom, the place where the young are supposedly indoctrinated and turned into commie atheists. Yet it is the college-educated who have higher rates of religiosity, compared to the white working class. And it is the white working class that has most powerfully embraced economic populism and progressivism.

    • Bannon really is a madman lusting for power, his mind ruled by a dark and demented ideological dogmatism. And it is not an exaggeration that he’d love to create an authoritarian regime, if he thought it were possible. That is why I’m glad we are getting this out in the open and hopefully out of our system.

      That has always been the advantage I saw of a Trump administration. We’ve been slowly moving toward greater authoritarianism for the past century, no matter which party is in power. We are so close to not being able to change course, if we aren’t already past that point. But I knew that Trump would inspire people to finally fight back while we still had some hope of fighting back.

      Another New Democrat with creeping authoritarianism would have been much more dangerous. What freedom we had left would disappear while few noticed. And that would have been more insidious than anything Trump and his minions could threaten us with.

  20. Very interesting discussion, here is my 2 cents.
    Yes, us is definitely in decline both in relative term and absolute terms. However for all the pro China commentators, this may not be a good thing for China or the world. For the many bad things US has done, but for better or worse, we are living in a world order that has created by US, and overall this world order is peaceful, no matter the millions of people US has killed in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, or the coup it started all over the world etc… because compare to WW1 or WW2, there is no comparison, this is because US has the culture, economic and military means to keep allies and enemy in line.
    Once US dominate collapses, you are going to see many mini conflicts like post USSR, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-Soviet_conflicts
    But this time, the wars will be much bigger and destructive. We are talking about India vs Pakistan, Greece vs Turkey, SK vs NK South American against each other, Africans killing each other, Middle East in even shitter situation or maybe even European wars once again.
    And China won’t take over US role to mediate those conflicts, so far China is playing very smart, they are still keeping their head down and develop quietly while it let everyone else around play active role in world affairs.
    The best China can do is build a China centric East Asian order at home, which very much like the old times before. And relay more on the role of UN to mediate the affairs of nations far away. Also I think they are in the process of building a new global economic order like OBOR to keep the money flowing to keep people from fighting each other, who knows, maybe this can be successful, but I doubt it.
    Here is also my 2 cents on how US has got to its place today. US’s decline is absolutely no one else’s fault except its own. Right now we have a system, where most of the politicians are alrightly brought and paid by the economic interest, and those politicians are fighting each other to represent the vision of the corporations, while at the same time neglecting the people it is suppose to govern and protect.
    US politicians is willing to play chicken to burn down their own nations (Ted Cruz effort to shut down government over Obamacare) to do what? Not to even fight for the right cause, but to fight over trivial things that future historians will be completely buffed by. Repeal Obama care, LGBT issues, race relations, abortion. while completely ignore important issues like income inequality, tax distribution, climate change etc…. But with election cost millions of dollars, and vast of the campaign contribute came from corporation and super PACs… do people really expect them to bit the hand that feeds? Of course not, social issues are so much more exciting and emotional!!!!
    Simply, US government has stopped working for the past 20 years or so, at best it is getting along for the sake of getting along, it no longer dreams for a better future for its people or the world.

  21. Right now US is fighting very hard to keep its status in the world on a global stage, US is being challenged by many other nations. But I don’t think US will maintain this, because its home base is being hollowed out. The election of Trump means one thing, that the US population has awoken, they have realized how little its own government cares for their own well being. However they have no ability to see the real problems or the changes that is needed to solve them.
    Democracy ONLY works well, with a informed citizenship that has the ability to do critical thinking for themselves, rather than what the politician and media tells them. However the amount of bullshit that has been peddled from the media from both left and right has totally paralyzed the American people. They know the politicians are bad (Congress approval rating at 11% and going lower), but at the same time, the Congressman successful reelection rate is at 90%!!!!!! This is proves that the people are being brainwashed and polarized. Here is the logic… All congressman is bad, but my congressman is the exception…… without realize that your congressman is full of bullshit as well, but he/she keep blame other congressman and you believe it lol.
    With such ignorant/uninformed/partisan population, undoubtedly they don’t know the real problem to their suffering, so of course when some outsider orange billionaire vs typical politician, he wins, and of course, since the people don’t know what causing their suffering, he told them its the immigrants, the politicians, people believed him.
    Unfortunately Trump will only take US done a path of accelerated decline. This is not something that I personally looking forward to, for better or worse, US is my home, my future is tied to this place.
    However, in the end, US won’t really suffer much due to its inherited advantages by its geography.
    It has its own content, with 2 weak neighbors north and south, US is also bordering by 2 oceans on each side as protection barrier.
    At worst, US power decline and it pull back all of its power projection overseas, but the homeland will not come under threat, and in time, if US sort itself out, it can start to do power projection once again.
    There are a few rare apocalyptic long term scenario to the threat of US existence and ending its power projection for good, but I don’t think they will happen, but here it is.
    1 The underclass became self aware of the shit they are actually in, aka the vast Latino underclass being oppressed more and more in the future by Whites, which make them gain a political consciousness for self government, I mean heck, they already have a much higher birth rate than any other race in US, if US fail to fully integrate them into US society, it would be a long term problem. Possible same scenario thing for Blacks as well.
    2 Another possibility is the current divide in US became more and more extreme, red state vs blue state competition became violent, and for some reason, 1 side starting to lose and look like it will never gain back power again, so why not try something extreme. This will be American Civil 2.
    3 Last scenario I see US politics became totally destabilized with further failure of government institutions, riots everywhere, and US military takes over, suspend the constitution, this will be the end of US democracy, and if this scenario happens, I can foresee there will be competitions within the US military Generals themselves, all trying to unify the nation with the slogan of Bring American Back again lol. But just like in the Roman empire, it will never succeed, the generals will just fight endlessly with each other to weaken the nation more.. This is also unlikely to happen, because US do have a strong history of insinuation democracy, however there are 2 trend that would make this possible, 1 while all US institution is currently failing, the faith and confidence in the military has only became stronger, US military budget is also increasingly this means the military is winning the influence war, and as US loses the ability to use civil means as diplomacy overseas, it relies evermore on US military, which only builds it up. This combine with the failure of other US government and politician, the military take over scenario is not impossible.
    All about 3 scenario are extremely rare and will probably never happen, but if they do happen, those are the only way for US to stop being a global power. So I expect US will be on the world stage for hundreds of years to come, if it can stay united.
    Right now although US is in decline but it still have overwhelming advantages in many fields, if it can change it policy, everything is possible. But I think with Trump, US is full throttle on a backward course.

    • I see a different interpretation.

      Most Americans still trust local government, as they still have positive opinion of small businesses and increasingly are turning to alternative media. The public mistrust isn’t across the board but focused at the further away an institution is from their daily experience or else to the degree it involves concentrated wealth and power.

      Even so, most people don’t vote most of the time. That Congressmen get reelected simply means that most people have stopped voting and the voters who remain are the most partisan.

      Plus, those who do vote have some hope of influencing their own Congressman. This may be naive, but it isn’t hypocritical or irrational. A Congressman represents the state population and so is more vulnerable to influences at the state level, even though that influence has been quickly decreasing over time as big money cronyism and corporatism takes over.

    • That was a dark portrayal of the changes happening:

      “I don’t think this administration thinks the State Department needs to exist. They think Jared [Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law] can do everything. It’s reminiscent of the developing countries where I’ve served. The family rules everything, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs knows nothing.”

  22. Trump is the symptom not the vaccine. i see the problem is the gridlocked & incompetent congress not the presidency (hence 8% congressional approval ratings). executive orders won’t do much until congress make things law. because of congress, people now see a strongman leader like trump and Putin as more attractive solution. but would he solve the fundamental problems? too early to tell, but my money is on no.

    • “The twin database, for instance, allows us to look at mortality difference between boys and girls,” he added. “If they are born at the same time in a family, the parents directly have to choose between investing resources in one or the other — hence if twin girls suffer more from child mortality or have less chances to go to school than their twin brothers, this is a strong sign of gender discrimination.”

      That demonstrates an important point. Even twins who are raised together don’t experience the exact same environment. That is true even in utero, as twins are often born with different weights which indicates different amounts of nutritional intake. That continues throughout their lives, such as twins being treated differently and having different life experiences, the differences accumulating over time and leading to different results, sometimes even polar opposite results (e.g., the interesting phenomenon of twins surprisingly often having opposite personality traits).

  23. Definitely. I used to go down at least once a year prior to about 2012. Then I took a travel hiatus til last year. Right after 9/11 you guys took an understandable turn toward being crazy over-cautious. Probably around 2005 I noticed it had calmed down, not to pre-2001 levels of relaxed, but you were starting to get back to some normalcy. By 2016, your media was just FEAR, all the time. Always something to be afraid of. I don’t remember it being that petrifying when I was younger. 2016 had an us vs them mentality that I’d never seen before.

    • I think those in power are realizing that social control is getting more difficult. There is simply too much public mistrust, frustration, outrage, anger, etc. So the elite are forced to push more blatant forms of manipulation, like fear-mongering. The elite are using fear more forcefully to try to control the masses because the elite themselves are beginning to feel fear. They can sense that they are losing control and so their attempts to regain control will become increasingly extreme.

  24. I doubt Vladimir Putin personally dislikes gays that much, but he’s using hatred of gays (among other things) to distract from the fact that Russia’s economy and living standards are slipping fast. Whipping up hate for a politically powerless minority has always been a right-wing strategy for distraction from destabilizing issues. This is no different.

  25. I was thinking about this the other day. My brother is a good case study- as he’s an Uncle Tom but also of a conservative/opportunistic (“realist”) mindset that echoes Many. When I say that, I mean- they believe that Might makes Right. If you think about it, a lot of Chans/Krishnas think that way. They observe whites have more social clout and then accept that reality and act according to it.
    Years ago we were watching a movie called the Incredibles – a Disney animated movie. In it, the lead character, a tall massive bulky guy punches a short, fat ugly guy at work- he punches him through a few walls if I’m not mistaken. I said “there was no reason for that”. My brother said, “he (the short guy) deserved it”. And that’s the mentality of the Realist- those low on the social totem pole can be harmed because “that’s the way it is”.
    When I examined this mentality further, what occurred to me is that such people thrill to see the existing power hierarchy reinforced. They get angry when they see someone violating it. Such people for example would laugh in a movie where a short, ugly looking guy got “put in his place” by a tall, attractive man. Why? Because it reflects the status hierarchy. NOW though- if there were a scene where a short ugly guy picked on a tall, handsome man and beat him – such people would be appalled. Because that violates their static sense of the hierarchy. Such things shouldn’t happen! It’s like a low level employee castigating a Senior Vice President. This is how they think.
    Forget for a moment Left/Right as we think about them politically. The vast majority of people are Realists- who accept and protect the status quo order, including social pecking order. A much smaller % are Idealists like genuine liberals who believe in racial equality, etc. – who believe that Right makes Right. I would say 75% of people are realists, esp. in the social realm- whatever their political views.

    • I see it as more systemic than a single generation. But the Boomers are a major factor, if only in that no generation in US history has ever gained so much concentrated wealth and power and no generation in US history has lived so long and remained in their careers so long. We simply have a bunch of old and increasingly senile Boomers who are ruling the world.

  26. Why this isn’t a hot button issue today, before it is irreversible (if it isn’t already), is beyond me. Unfortunately partisan politics is getting in the way of people examining this issue objectively. It is observable even in this thread. People seem to be okay with such leaks when it benefits them politically because they are operating from a position that they “have nothing to hide.” Problem is that you may not have anything to hide today, but you never know who may be in power and what will be socially abhorrent tomorrow. Hitler, for example, used lists compiled by the government a decade prior to his reign to locate and track Jews, homosexuals, etc.
    Privacy is a huge issue for me. The possibility of abuse far outweighs the benefits gained in security.
    permalinkembedsaveparentreportgive goldreply
    [–]thesheeptrees 286 points 10 hours ago
    I always prove that privacy is fundamental by observing that toilets have doors.
    It’s not a crime to shit, it’s not immoral. But even prisoners in America are allowed to put up a blanket half way up their cell while taking a shit.
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    [–]turkey45 57 points 10 hours ago
    Huh. They put up a blanket when shitting . Never thought about that.
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    [–]Redditsoldestaccount 112 points 10 hours ago
    Divide and Conquer still works like a charm
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    [–]FactsTrumpFeelings 108 points 10 hours ago
    I believe it is within our nature to instinctively position ourselves in tribes/groups for the purpose of self preservation, even if that “preservation” is in purpose rather than in being. I don’t know how one is supposed to combat that. How does one change their nature without serious reflection and effort? Even if one is conscious to this realization, is it even possible to combat it?
    I know this comment doesn’t continue the conversation of privacy in any way, but this is something I have put a lot of thought into and the theory of “divide and conquer” is a theory I have wrestled with a lot. I recently read a great history book (Post War by Tony Judt) that went into great detail behind Hitler’s war tactics of Dived and Conquer and how it totally shattered the social fabric within nations and how those social deteriorations impacted their rebuilding after the war. Hitler, being short on men to manage conquered territories with an iron fist, used to exploit social wounds within nations by arming historically oppressed peoples and giving them the task of governing those who collectively oppressed them. This led to a string of civil wars throughout many nations that still have a visible effect on their societies today.
    Sorry, I could go on about this forever. Thank you for sparking this out of me, though. There is something enjoyable about social discourse for me.
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    [–]Redditsoldestaccount 56 points 10 hours ago
    Even if one is conscious to this realization, is it even possible to combat it?
    Intense introspection is necessary. I used to cheer for the “red team” but now I have come to know it is all theater. I’d say I’m fairly liberal now
    I have enjoyed your comment, the tactic is so effective because of our tribal instincts. Cheers my friend

    • I’d be willing to bet that various forms of identity politics, partisanship, ideological dogmatism, and groupthink are most common in societies that have a social order that maintains disconnections: high inequality, segregation, racial ideologies, etc. It would relate to why the degree of mistrust in a society is strongly correlated to the degree of segregation between populations, no matter how much diversity is present or how it is measured.

  27. Dude I don’t even think Trump wants this much power. Or if he does, he sure as fuck doesn’t want the intelligence community to have it. The intelligence community plays above the President. We had J. Edgar Hoover doing all his shit back then, and we’ve got them fucking around with elections all over Europe and even here. Hell, even Chuck Schumer told Trump “You don’t want to mess with the CIA” or something like that.
    What terrifies me is that they can silence the little guys and control them with blackmail if they so choose. Imagine if some radio host or local politician was starting to get big in a way they didn’t like, and they told him to cut it or else they’d leak some weird porn he watched three years ago to his wife and family. This is some deep state level 1984 shit.

    • I don’t think Trump knows what he wants or what he is doing. As far as I can tell, the guy has mental issues. He is not acting rationally. No rational person would fuck with the CIA. But Trump has spent his entire life in protected privilege that he has never had to face any consequences.

      He doesn’t understand what real power looks like because he has never been the target of it. Organizations like the CIA don’t normally fuck with powerful people like Trump, except when those powerful people fuck with the CIA and threaten their power.

      Trump, although powerful in the private sector, is going to learn what real power is like. And in the process we are all going to be fucked as our political system becomes weakened and deligitimized.

  28. Direct Link to info on Wikileaks site:
    https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/cms/index.html
    Here is what we know so far.
    Obama told the American people that the government would no longer hide zero day exploits from manufacturers and claimed to have set up a Vulnerabilities Equities Process to review them. We now know that either the CIA misled Obama, or Obama misled the American people.
    US tech companies lobbied extensively to prevent this, as it hurts their ability to sell their products.
    The CIA has hundreds of zero day exploits and can hack almost any smart tv, android phone, iphone, or router, and possibly self driving cars as well.
    The CIA has been using the State Department consulate in Frankfurt Germany as a headquarters for hackers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
    The CIA has been collecting a library of attack techniques from malware produced in other states, including Russia. The CIA has the ability to use this library to misdirect attribution of hacks by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of stolen malware.
    Edit to add update:
    Per Ed Snowden, this leak confirms the US government has been paying to make US software unsafe. They share these exploits with governments known to spy on journalists and human rights groups.

    • If you didn’t have fear about what a police state can do, you should immediately begin to reassess your views. There have been many people who have mysteriously died while privately investigating those in power or pushing for official investigations. I’m not sure why this seems to bother so few people. Have we gotten to the point where targeted assassinations of US citizens is considered acceptable?

      When you pay attention to this kind of thing, you begin noticing examples of it in all kinds of places. There have always been a ton of mysterious deaths surrounding the Clintons, the number of which defies probability. Investigators seem particularly prone to mysteriously die or to commit ‘suicide’ right before they were about to release damaging info.

      Consider the skiing ‘accidents’ of Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy, that randomly preceded what was supposed to be the beginning of a major official investigation, the deaths causing the investigation to never happen. Here are two other examples of deaths that just happened to be convenient for those in power:

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/democracy/

      “Following the Florida fiasco, the strangest thing in the world happened. Democrats rationalized it away, as their candidate rolled over and played dead (Kerry in 2004 followed Gore’s example, handing Bush a second term). The fullest recounts ever done showed that Gore won Florida (even more troubling developments happened in 2004), but no one wanted to know, especially not Democrats. To know the truth would mean having to admit the dark reality before us. And here we are still afraid of the truth.

      “Maybe there were good reasons for that fear. The powers that be were nothing to sniff at. I was reminded of this in coming across Clint Curtis’ allegations about vote rigging. What really caught my attention was the ‘suicide’ of an investigator, Raymond Lemme, who supposedly was about to bring info out to the public. There was also the suspicious death of a high-level Republican consultant, Michael Connell, after having been subpoenaed in a vote rigging investigation.”

      • One of the things people are freaking out about is that the CIA was able to use Samsung TVs to record conversations, and keeping them powered on when they appeared to be off.

        • They supposedly can turn your computer’s camera on as well, without the light coming on. Computers were supposedly designed so that was impossible. The camera theoretically couldn’t be in operation when the light was off. All safety mechanisms are now meaningless. You have to assume that everything you say or do with technology or near technology is being recorded.

  29. “Modern cars (and by “modern” I mean since mid-1990s) often have electronically-controlled power steering, power brakes, computer-controlled transmissions and drive-by-wire throttles. They aren’t “autonomous” in the sense that the computer can navigate on its own, but they can be hacked in the sense that the ECU could, say, simultaneously signal full throttle, steering assist off, braking assist off (or even “brakes off”) and lock the transmission in drive.
    This is one of the reasons why I drive older cars with manual transmissions and non-electronic brakes. That and the lack of black boxes or tracking devices, of course.”

    • I’ve always assumed that kind of thing was possible. Just as I’ve always assumed that they can spy on you using your own smartphone and computer camera. If someone with great power or hacking ability is out to get you, it is fair to say that you are simply fucked. If they want to destroy your career, professional reputation and personal life, they can and will do so. If they want to kill you, there are a thousand ways they can accomplish it. The best you can hope for is to never become the target in the first place because, once you are targeted, it is already too late to save yourself.

    • It is low quality research. That is always irritating. There are too few subjects to be useful and they aren’t representative of the US population. Besides, it appears confounding factors weren’t controlled for.

      Even ignoring all that, all that it might show is that people have feelings elicited when shown such pictures. It can’t even determine which feelings are elicited. Maybe it is simply the unease one feels in being reminded of the issue of race in a racist society, even if one is stridently anti-racist.

      Sharon Smith
      Nebraska? Seriously?

      rabbit51
      Yes, not exactly a cross-section of Americans is it Sharon?

      pinto
      The EEG subjects consisted of 19 students. . . at the University of Nebraska.

      Tim Owens
      To even publish an article on a study with such a small sample size is irresponsible. Is this WAPO or the National Enquirer? Shame on you.

      Norm99
      The research paper on which this article is based is not yet widely available. Most likely, the current news article is based on a press release from either the authors’ university or the journal publisher’s publicity department. Neither provides much assurance that the study’s results or the conclusions drawn from them are valid.
      WAPO and other news outlets should refrain from publishing articles from such sources unless they find at least one prominent researcher in the area, not associated with the authors, who has read the original research paper and publicly vouched for its quality and the importance of the findings.

      magritte88
      The journalist is of course not responsible for the headline, but the Post should be ashamed for its representation of what the “studies” – really a series of investigations by one group at Nebraska, from what I can tell – purport to show. Interracial couples are still relatively unusual – and no doubt in Nebraska!!! – and what the brain data show could easily be linked more to the unusual factor than to disgust. The rates of interracial marriages, as one commentator noted, are rising markedly. Those who may be disgusted by the sight of interracial couples will no doubt vote defensively in view of that reaction. While race consciousness will probably never die, it needn’t be toxic, as the note from Hawai’i shows. And we should certainly not be careless about how we treat it, as the ugliness at Mr. Trump’s rallies demonstrates.

      Nuschler808
      Being a resident of Hawai’i I find this all to be…confusing? Everyone is a minority in Hawai’i. No one ethnic group has majority.
      I find it strange to come to the mainland–the upper 48 and see entire groups of white people! Or black?! Where are the Asians??
      Where are my friends and colleagues who are Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese, Portuguese, Mexican, Tongan, Filipino, Russian and so on? No one identifies as Filipino-American or Japanese-American–we’re just Americans.
      Census takers frequently just write “Other” as we may have 20 completely different ethnic groups in our ancestry. We’re not “homogenous” in that we still have Japanese Cultural Centers and a private school for the “Children of Hawai’i” but that ends up being that if you have one drop of Hawai’ian blood in your ancestry you can send your children to school.
      I’m trying to think of even one couple who have the same ethnicity? None!

      arthurnadas
      According to a NYTimes article in 2007:
      “If it does everything, what exactly is it that it does?
      For example, the insula “lights up” in brain scans when people crave drugs, feel pain, anticipate pain, empathize with others, listen to jokes, see disgust on someone’s face, are shunned in a social settings, listen to music, decide not to buy an item, see someone cheat and decide to punish them, and determine degrees of preference while eating chocolate.“
      Accepting this, there is no basis for picking out “disgust” as the reason for the insula lighting up. On the contrary, perhaps they were just “turned on” by the interracial couples! Bad science!

      radrave
      Talk about a study trying very, very hard to prove its assumptions!

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