March 28th, 2008

More on Obama and courage: affirmative action is waiting in the wings

Whether it was a joke or not, Obama said he wants us to have an epiphany and vote for him. Well, I had one about him yesterday, and it’s that he has a major deficiency in the realm of moral courage.

It explains a lot about Obama. His inability to definitively break with Wright, for example. His voting record in the Illinois Senate, where he had a marked tendency to vote “present” to avoid taking tough stands on controversial bills. His hedginess on the issue of welfare reform. His back-and-forth stance on the Iraq War (and if you think that is at least one area where Obama has been consistent, read this and think again).

Now Seth Colter Walls points out in an article in Newsweek that, because of challenges being mounted to affirmative action in several states, Obama is about to be confronted with another major issue on which he has studiously avoided taking a stand. As with some (but most definitely not all) of the topics on which Obama has been fence-straddling or silent, this is a racially-loaded minefield for him. Take a stand against, and he might lose some of his black support. Take a stand for, and he might lose some of his appeal to moderates, and reveal himself as the unadulterated liberal that he is.

Obama’s fuzziness may certainly be at least partly strategic—an attempt to be, if not all things to all people, then at least as many things to as many people as possible. This trait is hardly unusual in politicians. But Obama takes it to an extreme degree, and over time it is starting to hurt him. It is such a consistent characterisitc of his, across so many areas, that one can conclude (as I have) that it is part of his personality on a very deep level, and not just a political ploy.

Obama’s inability to get specific in the primary campaign in Pennsylvania is another symptom of both his lack of courage and his desire to keep it vague. In a state where he’s trailing badly:

Pollster and political science professor G. Terry Madonna of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster notes that after about three weeks of campaigning in the Keystone state, the Obama campaign has not yet figured out how to translate the candidate’s lyrical rhetoric into a gut-level connection with these kitchen-table-issue-driven demographics.

“What has surprised me to date—and this is partially why Hillary’s campaign worked well in Ohio—is that Obama has not been putting his focus on specific policy proposals to help these kinds of folks,” Madonna said. “You’re campaigning in small town in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, blue collar communities, where families are having tough times getting kids to college or paying for health care. Hillary goes in and gives her five proposals, like she did with mortgages—and even if you don’t agree, you recognize that she has a statement, and she’s saying, ‘I’ll fight for you.’ For Obama, none of that has happened here, and that has shocked me.”

Well, Mr. Madonna may be surprised and shocked. But I’m neither. In fact, I would be surprised and shocked were it otherwise.

Madonna says of Hillary’s Pennsylvania campaign (italics mine), “even if you don’t agree, you recognize that she has a statement.” That is exactly what Obama so often finds it so difficult to do—make a statement that might alienate some voting bloc he needs.

Way back in June, Ed Lasky of American Thinker blasted Obama in a piece I only found today when, after my own Obama-epiphany, I googled “Obama moral courage.” The Lasky piece is entitled, fittingly enough, “Obama and Moral Courage,” and it blasts Obama for not taking an earlier and clearer stand against his church and its pastor, specifically on their anti-Israel rhetoric and official resolutions.

What did Obama finally say, when pressed? That he “strongly disagrees with the portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict presented by individual members of the church.”

If this is not “Clintonian” of Obama in the classic (that is, Bill) sense, I don’t know what is. And Lasky goes on to point out that Obama’s “statement” was followed by weekend speeches to his church, but he never used them to address the issue in any way. He was utterly silent on the matter in that forum. Why am I not surprised?

70 Responses to “More on Obama and courage: affirmative action is waiting in the wings”

  1. Xanthippas Says:

    Basra?

  2. The Dude Says:

    Great blog post! You (and Ed Lasky) nailed it. Obama is ALL talk, no courage. If elected, I believe, he would be totally overwhelmed and certainly wouldn’t have the guts to stand up to powerful dictators. Like previous presidents (Jimmy Carter, for instance) America’s enemies will see his weaknesses and pounce. McCain is America’s best HOPE.

    Dude

  3. Ozyripus Says:

    Is neo suggesting that, regarding moral courage, or moving into a post-racial society, Obama is no Ward Connerly?

  4. Sergey Says:

    there is an article today at American Thinker called Whites Can’t Make Blacks Happy:

    “One of the creepy things about our ‘need to have a conversation about race’ is the assumption that whites can somehow make blacks feel better, or be happier, or be more self-accepting. Nobody has the power to do that, except what individuals do for themselves, one person at a time.”

  5. Gringo Says:

    All hat and no cattle is a phrase tailor-made for Senator Obama. OTOH, one might associate cattle with the Senator, as he seems to be speaking BS at times.

    The phrase as applied to the Senator could also mean that there is nothing behind that hat that he will reveal to anyone. This is nothing new with him. His refusal to take a stand on policy issues on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania in 2008 is consistent with how he conducted himself when he was in Law School at Harvard , where he was elected President of the Law Review

    “He then and now is very hard to pin down,” said Kenneth Mack, a classmate and now a professor at the law school, referring to the senator’s on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand style.
    Charles J. Ogletree Jr., another Harvard law professor and a mentor of Mr. Obama, said, “He can enter your space and organize your thoughts without necessarily revealing his own concerns and conflicts.”

    From Law School to the campaign trail, we are witnessing someone who finds it exceedingly difficult to take a stand, for fear of alienating a potential supporter.

  6. Sergey Says:

    This was a quote from
    http://onecosmos.blogspot.com/
    Read it all, it is very good.

  7. Occam's Beard Says:

    But…but…neo!

    Hope! Change!

    Change! Hope!

  8. Matt Says:

    Most Americans support some form of Affirmative Action. Even Condoleezza Rice acknowledged this yesterday. While not directly saying we need Affirmative Action she hinted at why it is still relevent:
    Miss Rice told editors and reporters at The Washington Times, “descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that.” “That particular birth defect makes it hard for us to confront it, hard for us to talk about it, and hard for us to realize that it has continuing relevance for who we are today,” she said.

    I don’t imagine Obama will take a much different view than this.

  9. Fredjr Says:

    I think Condoleeza Rice’s snarky remarks about Affirmative Action exhibit an unfortunate continuing inferiority complex about the abilities of AMERICANS who just happen to have an African heritage. I’m getting tired of this ongoing, unresolvable, ideological debate about race and AF. The real problem – one which affects all American children – is the degrading quality of our public education system, thanks in no small measure to the NEA and its Leftist educrats. That, and a culture which continues to devalue education.

    I can’t wait to hear what Dr. Sowell has to say about Dr. Rice’s remarks. Especially her remarks about throwing in her support for George Bush back in 2000 because of the No Child Left Behind Act, which I consider to be a boondoggle, letting the foxes to continue to guard the henhouse. Dr. Rice’s remarks some months ago about paralleling the Paleosimians with blacks in the Jim Crow South were also revealing at her historical lacunae.

  10. Cappy Says:

    small town in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, blue collar communities
    His wife is actually hostile to those in the blue collar communities. She told a gathering in Zanesville not to go into profitable careers. I would have to think that Obama shares this hostility.

    OK, here comes the flames from Matt. No, I haven’t parsed every word out of Mr. and Mrs. Obama’s mouths. I will leave that task to Matt.

  11. expat Says:

    When I see the twists and turns Obama makes in order to be liked by American constituencies, I try to imagine what he will do to restore America’s image in the world. I don’t think a 3-dimensional world can accomodate the necessary maneuvers.

  12. DuMaurier-Smith Says:

    To call someone a coward is, to my mind, to strip them of everything. I think Obama is rather an empty suit when it comes politics, but is he a chronically scared empty suit? I don’t know.

    In the absence of contrary evidence, I think I’ll vote for a severe case of black anomie combined with contemporary politics (sleaze). It’s common for someone struggling with identity to embrace extremism, an identity with the boldest outlines. I think race is a fiction, and don’t have a good way to express this notion, but bear with me: “half-breeds” recoil against that “half” which considers them contaminated. If one drop of Negro or Indian blood excludes you from being white, you are very likely to be black or red with a vengeance, no matter what color you are.

    That is who I think Obama is, a victim of anomie, trying to sleaze his way through politics, clutching to an identity of blacker than black, hoping no one will notice how light he actually is. Would he die to protect his family, friends, or others, or run away and hide? I don’t know (I hope I never know) and prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  13. Anarchus Says:

    For me, the most annoying part of the entire Obama campaign has been his supporters’ continual chants of “Race doesn’t Matter”, even as the anointed one and his minions maintain their suppport of racial preferences and set-asides.

    Either race doesn’t matter or IT DOES MATTER and we have racial preferences — but it’s intellectually offensive to have it both ways at the same time while claiming moral superiority on top of THAT.

  14. Kevin Says:

    This got me to thinking about Teddy Roosevelt’s thoughts about the “Man in the Arena” versus the critic. It is ironic that in McCain the GOP nominated the person most opposite Obama in this regards (among those running). Not just as a naval aviator/POW where he showed physical courage. But as a legislator who fought for many causes and was often able to forge a successful legislative coalition (some wise, some not – campaign finance, telecoms regulation, the Iraq surge, critic of Rumsfield, immigration reform (which may have failed), gang of 14 etc.). It will be interesting to see the man of action with a long paper trail who has probably offended everyone on at least one issue fighting the empty suit with no paper trail who has ducked almost every issue.

    Kevin

  15. PersonFromPorlock Says:

    Oh, c’mon! “Political courage” is on everybody’s list of oxymorons!

  16. Bill Says:

    To use the term affirmative action is to play the game with liberal words. Affirmative action covers many different programs. What Mr Connerly attacks with his initiatives are quotas and the preferences used to achieve quotas. Mr Empty Suit, like most liberals, uses the term affirmative action to try and muddy the water. While the parts of affirmative action other than quotas and preferences would be attacked as racist if used to help whites, most whites don’t really care about them. They do care about preferences and those of us who work for their repeal (being from Washington State, we’ve done out part already), should always use the precise language.

  17. tom swift Says:

    I began to suspect that Obama was not a courageous man when he wrote that his grandmother uttered “racial or ethnic stereotypes” that made him “cringe.”

    Cringe? Over trivia like that? Hell, if he had to deal with China or Iran or even southern Senators, he’d plotz.

    No thanks.

  18. AST Says:

    Obama’s fuzziness may certainly be at least partly strategic—an attempt to be, if not all things to all people, then at least as many things to as many people as possible.

    I’ve thought this myself for quite a while and it seems to be turning into a consensus among conservatives. What does it say about the other Democratic candidates that they either didn’t notice it or wouldn’t address it for all these months? The material from Jeremiah Wright’s sermons has been readily available, along with Obama’s calling him his mentor, yet it just comes out when he’s almost sealed up the nomination!

    I think Barack’s not the only one with a lack of courage.

  19. DWPittelli Says:

    No doubt one can make a good case that Obama is not especially courageous, as politicians go. However, I don’t see that you can make a case that he is lacking in courage, either as politicians go, or compared to McCain or Clinton, in particular.

    Further, affirmative action is a particularly weak place to make either argument. Even Republican politicians have almost all be been afraid to actually come out against affirmative action, even in places such as Michigan, where the voters themselves (and not just Republican voters) have decided to end it through referendum.

  20. Vince P Says:

    I think he lacks courage because he’s a liar.

    He is hiding behind a false face and he lies to protect the person he actually is. He tries to be all things to all people.. insecure lying coward

  21. Moe Says:

    Barry Hussein Carter

  22. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Extremist Says:

    Obama recently hinting that if Rev Wright had not retired, his messiahness might have left the church:

    “Had the reverend not retired and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying there at the church,”

    –Barak Hussien Obama

    http://news.aol.com/story/_a/obama-suggests-ex-pastor-is-contrite/n20080328164909990069?ecid=RSS0001

    What courage…

  23. Robbins Mitchell Says:

    Obama: half honky,all donkey

  24. Amused Observer Says:

    I challenge anyone to square affirmative action with the 14th amendment.

    “…nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    Our Constituiton does not grant us rights, it constrains and limits the powers of the government. We are either governed under the rule of law or we are not. If we are not governed by the rule of law then we are ruled by the whim of man, not really very far removed from the divine right of kings.

  25. Vince P Says:

    What a stupid thing to say.

  26. Vince P Says:

    I have heard her stupid and offensive drivel. It doesn’t mean i have to be just as nasty. She embarasses herself

    [Note from neo-neocon: that commenter has been banned.]

  27. Foxfier Says:

    DuMaurier-Smith Says:
    It’s common for someone struggling with identity to embrace extremism, an identity with the boldest outlines. I think race is a fiction, and don’t have a good way to express this notion, but bear with me: “half-breeds” recoil against that “half” which considers them contaminated. If one drop of Negro or Indian blood excludes you from being white, you are very likely to be black or red with a vengeance, no matter what color you are.

    I call this the “Spock” syndrome. (Spock was half Human. He was more Vulcan than most Vulcans.)

    I’ve noticed: most of the folks who are obsessed with “black”ness think Obama isn’t black, BECAUSE he has that white blood in him.

    I’ve got Indian blood in me.
    I’ve got slave blood in me. (true, said slaves were in Ireland, but a slave is a slave)
    My family does go a bit “over” for being Irish, at least on my mother’s side, but we don’t hate ANYONE for it– we take the joy and leave the jerks, so to speak.

    I think anyone who is hates/is repelled so much as to dispel the good from themselves for so stupid a reason as race or nation should NOT be given power, let alone power over those they hate/are repelled by.

  28. Truth Says:

    I think he lacks courage because he’s a liar.

    2nd liar:McCain Strolls Through Baghdad Market, Accompanied By 100 Soldiers, 3 Blackhawks, 2 Apache Gunships»

    3rd liar: Sen. Hillary Clinton spoke about her trip to Bosnia in 1996

    The mighty godfather of lies is Bush, which horse you put your money on?

  29. Foxfier Says:

    “Truth”-

    Let’s see… a guy who actually did something…
    or a woman who claims she did something until it’s proven, on tape, that she’s lying through her teeth.

    Also: believe someone who libels, or not … um… I’ll go with “not.”

    Have you no shame?

  30. Harry Says:

    You are on to something here, neo. When I was reading your post it struck me how much the man you were describing sounds like Deval Patrick during his campaign. Our state’s liberal media and Dems swallowed the bait.

    But there are many more eyes on Obama, and this long campaign is finally starting to enlighten voters as to the character of the man.

    Excellent point by Anarchus, too.

  31. Sergey Says:

    DuMaurier-Smith is absolutely right. In Russia the worst type of antisemites are half-breed Jews. And in Russia so-called “Jewish question” stands as prominent as race relations in USA.

  32. sagi Says:

    Keeping it vague is what Obama does best.

    As harry McH pointed out, Obama never said he would have LEFT the church, only “ … then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying at the church …”.

    That is a lawyerly difference, one that talks about about comfort and nothing more … as in “if the cushion wasn’t in the pew, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable sitting there”.

    What a con man.

  33. Elliot Says:

    It is not that Obama does not have courage. A man without courage would not have taken the political risks he took to get elected when he did (see his initial run for state office). Rather it is that so disciplined, and so strategic, that there is a lot of fear that we could be getting something very different from normal with him. And if you look at the company he keeps, his roots, and the few times he has alluded to his core beliefs, I am quite afraid about what it is that we will be getting.

  34. Cappy Says:

    Sergey, as a Jew, here are the Jewish Questions:

    1. Why would any Jew kiss up to Jew haters?
    2. How soon can I put an end to any attack?

  35. John Bono Says:

    There is an implicit assumption when it comes to affirmative action–that a white person is less likely to hire someone who isn’t white. However, if Barack Obama wins the election, that is prima facie evidence that such an idea is false. My guess, however, is that in secret, sadly, he is not interested much in equality at all, otherwise he wouldn’t associate so freely with the likes of Jeremiah Wright.

  36. Tatyana Says:

    Cappy, you’re posing your questions to a wrong person.
    Sergey proposed completely false (and, frankly, offensive) analogy – and you’re reacting as if he really said something meaningful.

    Jews is Russia were never granted any form of affirmative action. Anti-Semitism in Russia is encouraged by the governmental institutions and is a fact of life. Now as always. In short, there is no “Jewish history months” there.
    There is no mass exodus of Blacks from US. There is (and have been, as soon as government of the time allows it) mass Jewish emigration from Russia.

    People of mixed Jewish/Non-Jewish heritage (what he disgustingly calls “half-bred”) deal with it in many different ways. As people of mixed ethnicity do in every country where their racial composition determines their success in life. Some display courage under fire – and become “bigger Jews than their rabbi”, some chose to join the oppressor’ side and by same psychological need to belong become even bigger fascists than Slavs. Some dodge the identity question as much as possible. I have known half-Jews of all three varieties.

    Sergey had demonstrated his racist streak here before – the way he described Georgians residing in Moscow, for example, was totally appalling.

  37. John Bono Says:

    BTW, just in case anyone is wondering, I didn’t think that until I heard about his association with Jeremiah Wright. Anyone who would willingly associate with as virulent a racist as Wright, for as long as Obama has shared a relationship with Wright, can only be because Obama is either sympathetic with or agrees with what Wright believes.

    If Obama truly believes he is a “post-racial” candidate, he would oppose affirmative action because its time would have passed with his nomination, because that is proof that white people are willing to hire a black man.

  38. Sergey Says:

    “some chose to join the oppressor’ side and by same psychological need to belong become even bigger fascists than Slavs”
    This is exactly what I asserted. And that being Jew can ruin your career. Everything else you said is quite correct, and in no way contradict my assertions. As for racism, this word in modern usage hardly has any specific meaning and is just meaningless swear-word.

  39. Sergey Says:

    As a specialist in population genetics and human behavioral genetics, explorating specifically race formation and behavioral adaptation, I tend to describe myself as race-realist, like John Derbyshire explained the term. Race is not a cultural construct, this is common ancestry revealed by specific genetic markers, and I know a lot of exellent studies identifying these markers and exploring their geographic spread. Deny reality of race is a fool game. Genetic make-up is a real thing, which in thousand ways predetermines human reactons on everything, both phisiological and psychological, for example, proclivity for alcoholism and drug abuse, temperament, steadiness against different environmental stressors and so on.

  40. Tatyana Says:

    Yes, being a Jew in Russia will (not “can”) ruin your career.
    And it also will close the doors of good colleges for you, despite the high academic achievement. And will make you a subject for thug attacks – and the police will just laugh, observing. And so on, so on.

    Which is exactly the opposite of life blacks in US have.

    Being a person of mixed Black/Non-Black racial composition in US if anything, will propel your career. You have more chances to be accepted into prestigious college than someone on equal (often – higher) academic level if (s)he is white. You have more chances to land high-paying job. And what I find hard to explain to Russians living in Russia – this attitude is not just government-prescribed. People generally are more attentive here to those they perceive as suffering side. They will cut them lots of slack, unlike to those of their own race/ethnicity.

    re: racists. Funny, racism exists, but the word doesn’t, eh? Look in the mirror if you want to see a living example.

  41. Promethea Says:

    Tatiana . . .

    I don’t believe that Sergey is “racist.” He seems to be very thoughtful scholar who tries to understand the world as it is, not as we would like it to be. I always find his posts interesting, even though I may not agree with his conclusions.

    Please don’t call someone “racist” just because you disagree with them. There are better and more convincing ways to argue with them.

  42. Sergey Says:

    Tatyana, I just re-read what I wrote about Georgians in Moscow (as well in Georgia). And know a funny thing? All these are not my personal observations or views, I heard the stuff from my family best friend, a Georgian himself. I suppose, if you heard this from a Georgian, you would not find it a bit racist? Harsh words, I agree, but no harsher than can be typically heard from an intelligent Russian about non-intelligent Russians.
    Exactly this makes dialog about race so weird: national self-criticism is allowed, but the same assertions from a person of another race labelled as racism. I do not deny that racists exist, only that this label used so indiscriminately that it lost any meaning.

  43. Vince P Says:

    I’m so sick of people who substitute the need to make an argument with just calling someone a racist.

  44. Tatyana Says:

    Promethea,
    “Racist” is a specific term, meaning of which you can easily find in any dictionary (possibly excluding those issued by Social Studies departments of Ivy League colleges in the last 20 years). Sergey fits the definition.

    I’m sure you have your reasons for your high opinion of him. I don’t. He consistently displays lack of understanding of American reality, which doesn’t stop him of giving us his evaluation and advice. I’ve seen thousands of Russians like him online – inflated sense of self-worth, self-importance, Soviet-upbringing-bias in every opinion , but delivered with astonishing confidence, although the person HAS NO CLUE.

    Calling him “a scholar” is too ridiculous for criticism.

    My name is spelled Tatyana. Not Tatiana.

  45. Tatyana Says:

    Sergey,
    The following are your own words. Not a quote, not vague, not “may be, possibly, not scientifically proven but rumored that”, etc.

    I copy:

    #
    September 16th, 2007

    Georgians are notorious for theatrical posturing and lack of sincere interest in real achivements. They are poseurs par excellence. When confronted with real adversary, like Abkhas guerillas, they lose miserably. They also are notorious for unusially high percentage of criminals and insane cruelty.

    This is a nation of narcissists, very good in dancing and singing and any kind of show buisness, but hardly in anything else (except organized crime of the most malignant sort). A good half of the most heinous crimes in Moscow is performed by Georgian etnic mafia structures.

  46. Tatyana Says:

    VinceP,
    I made an argument. Twice. No, three times.

  47. Sergey Says:

    Another weird thing: race-wise, Georgians do not differ from Russians: they are Caucasian (pun intended) and also Christians. So all the discussion there was not about race or religion, it was about culture. I thought it was self-evident, but still, found myself accused of racism. So to criticise cultures is also no-no? All multiculturalists and leftists would tell you exactly that. So breach of PC-think taboo automatically will make you racist. Isn’t this weird?

  48. Tatyana Says:

    Oh, yeah, “my best friend is Georgian” [insert Jewish, Black, Chinese as desired] canard.

    I’m not even amused. That famous Russian knack for picking up discarded Western fashion – in this case red herring-type argumentation – is too boring.

  49. RedPencil Says:

    The lack of courage is all over Obama’s encounter with the
    issue.

    I mean, it sounds like he was scared of the idea of maybe Choudhury’s jailers having an appreciable voting block or something. And this was an issue which had the unanimous (discounting the ever discountable Ron Paul of course) support of both houses of Congress! If he lacks the courage to agree with everyone about something where “right” is this obvious, what will he do about something a little grayer??

  50. RedPencil Says:

    Sorry for my last bad using of HTML.

    Try that again (my friend Preview is not here!)

    The lack of courage is all over Obama’s encounter with the Shoaib Choudhury
    issue.

    I mean, it sounds like he was scared of the idea of maybe Choudhury’s jailers having an appreciable voting block or something. And this was an issue which had the unanimous (discounting the ever discountable Ron Paul of course) support of both houses of Congress! If he lacks the courage to agree with everyone about something where “right” is this obvious, what will he do about something a little grayer??

  51. Tatyana Says:

    A note/clarification to people objecting to my use of the term “racist”.
    If there was a commonly used and widely understood word to describe a person who’s prejudiced against people of a different nationality, ethnic origin or decent, I’d use it.
    But it is not – so I use the term that is currently understood to mean a person discriminating others by criteria of race.

    I’ll appreciate suggestions of more relevant word.

  52. Sergey Says:

    You never heard about ethnicity based criminal syndicates? To say, for example, that most Causa Nostra members are Italians is racism? Or that this organisation was behind most heinous murders in Chicago in 1940 is racism? Moscow in 1990s was very similar to Chicago in 1940.
    Dictionary definition of racism is belief that different human races are biological species, or that they are so different in their capabilities that deserve different treatment under law. I never said anything of this sort.
    Racial differences really exist, but being statistical averages, they much less prominent that individual differences. If individual differences do not preclude us from requiring equality under law, this is even more pertinent to racial equality under law. But this is totally another matter than possibly can be revealed by any scientific research about race: this is moral and legal judgement, and no empirical evidence bears any significance to validity of these principles. People are equal under law not because they are the same, but quite independently of their personal differences. This is by the same logic true for races: they are different, but equal.

  53. Tatyana Says:

    Sergey, I wasn’t asking YOU.
    What you have been saying in threads on this blog stripped you of any authority.

  54. Sergey Says:

    “If there was a commonly used and widely understood word to describe a person who’s prejudiced against people of a different nationality, ethnic origin or decent, I’d use it.”
    Tatyana, this word exists. Such person is called bigot. And this is not the same as racist.
    I have no qualms to be called bigot. Honestly, I am. Just as Churchill, Kipling and lots of other noble men. I confess to have many prejudices, and in most cases they are very useful can save you from lot of trouble. But know what? Most people have them as well. To pose yourself being free of prejudices is hypocrisy, because this is not humanly possible. This is the way our cognitive apparatus works.

  55. Vince P Says:

    Tatyana: I default the “debate” or whatever the hell this is to Sergey. Your tactics have totally disinterested me from anything you have to say on this topic.

  56. Tatyana Says:

    VinceP: I’m heart-broken.

  57. A Democratic trainwreck? at Amused Cynic Says:

    [...] here.  Neo-neocon comments incisively on the fuzziness of Obama’s rhetoric-based candidacy here, and notes that the affirmative action debate is heating up again, and that this will put Obama in [...]

  58. Sergey Says:

    WIKI:
    A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own, and bigotry is the corresponding ideology.

  59. Tatyana Says:

    Legal definition of racism.

    the term “racial discrimination” shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. ‘[1]

    This definition does not make any difference between prosecutions based on ethnicity and race, in part because the distinction between the ethnicity and race remains debatable

  60. Vince P Says:

    Tatyana: On this topic I can’t find the energy to care. But I want you to know I hold no grudge or animonsity towards you.

  61. Cappy Says:

    Well, I’m not well versed on Russia. If there is any problem there, send more Jews here. They are doing just fine thank you and have contributed greatly to building the USA throughout history.

  62. Sergey Says:

    I already stated, quite unambiguosly, that I believe in equality of all people under law. That is why I am against affirmative actions that contradict this bedrock principle. Moral and legal principles do not need any empirical foundation and do not depend on it. They belong to another universe, orthogonal to empirical reality. If your principles are “reality-based”, they can, and eventually will be, shattered by new empirical knowlege. That is, you have no principles at all. You shall not hold your legal, moral or religious beliefs hostages of the latest issue of “Science”, or allow your opinions and prejudices distort your legal judgments. Even ancient Romans understood this. They depicted their goddess of justice, Femida, blindfolded. Not colour blind, but completely blind.
    Only savages act according their emotions and prejudices, that is why they are so insanely cruel. Civilized people have laws and principles applied irrespectively to subjective opinions about people to whom they apply.

  63. Sergey Says:

    This is a fallacy to hold human rights and fundamental freedoms on equal footing. The law can be founded either on the former, or on the latter, because they can and will contradict each other. Also, human rights of one group can contradict human rights of another group, which makes laws founded on conception of human rights riddled with contradictions. Affirmative actions are a good example of this: first, they compromiss principle of equality under law, second, they arbitrary give some group advantage over another, so trumping human rights of unprotected group.
    I find the whole concept of human rights alien to US constitution, in which rights are understood as restrictions on government intervention. Human rights apologets, on other hand, do not restrict, but expand government intervention.

  64. Truth Says:

    Foxfier, “Have you no shame?

    Look to the mirror you will see shameless face!

    What prove you like, a video telling the truth about her visit isn’t enough to you?.

    McCain walked ten of meter in “Shorjah” market in Baghdad will all the area scured and telling it’s Iraq save, while none of Iraqi goverment can walk ten meter in any place outside Bubble Zone.

    Is there more lies dude, unless they are same ilk to you?

  65. Vince P Says:

    Why are the Iraqi people so barbaric that even their own government can’t walk around?

  66. DuMuarier-Smith Says:

    Sergey wrote: “I find the whole concept of human rights alien to US constitution, in which rights are understood as restrictions on government intervention. Human rights apologets, on other hand, do not restrict, but expand government intervention.”

    The Bill of Rights makes explicit those rights which the framers felt were indeed human rights, innate rights of sovereign citizens, and could not be granted, and therefore could not be denied by any gosvernment. The Constitution was assumedly a contract between the federal government it established and the people. All it could state were the agreed upon powers it did or did not have Changing the contract assumedly required the permission of the people. (Yeah, right.)

    Human rights seldom collide with each other, but they are often misrepresented as doing so. For example, freedom of speech or conscience is rarely such as to require abridgment. Self defense is a human right accepted even by Thomas Hobbes, and, like freedom of speech, has no counter-right with which to be in conflict. There is no right to be free from public experiences execept in the privacy of your abode. So if you don’t want to risk offensive speech, stay home. However, there are civil rights which have to do with relationships among people which sometimes derive from exercising human rights. While the government can’t forbid the expression of ideas, it can regulate time, place and manner to protect civil rights–which may frequently conflict. You may have a right to taking your turn on the soap box in the park oratory. You may not have a right to use a loud speaker everyone in the park can hear because of their right to be be sufficiently free of you to enjoy the park.

    Human rights conflicts usually arise when politicians and political jocks want to sacrifice human rights for political ends. Hate speech and hate crimes are a case in point: Any way you cut it, when you punish someone for their emotions or attitudes regarding others, you create an Orwellian government punishing thought crimes and create political prisoners. Such legislation is patently unconstitutional, whether by the feds or, under the 14A, by the states and local governments.

    I disagree that human rights are often in conflict; civil rights frequently are often in conflict and are properly handled by governments. Human right conflicts–as in PC thought control efforts–are usually the result of distortions and political machinations.

  67. Vince P Says:

    I cant speak for Sergey but I think he meant what you mentioned in your last paragraph…”Human Rights” meaning “Political Correct Thought Police” type things.

    I’m of the notion that if something costs other people money , then it isn’t a human right.

    Or .. If you can’t have it on a desert island, then it isn’t a human right.

  68. DuMuarier-Smith Says:

    Vince P: I should have simply written that human rights have to do with person rights to be, to own their own life and mind. The more conflicted Civil rights typically deal with “how to be” in social contexts, hopefully to maximize everyone’s human rights.

  69. jim Says:

    Read these comments on Obama’s cousins website. his blogs interesting they should mention if Obama doesn’t get the election there could be burning in the us.
    Obama campaigned for him in kenya, he lost the election and they rioted, killing women and children in the ill fated church. Nice family !!!
    http://raila2007.wordpress.com/2008/03/15/obama-and-the-future-kenyan-politics/#comment-7906

    read comments # 14,15,16
    http://iperceive.net/obama-odinga-the-kenyan-jihad/

  70. The Column » Blog Archive » “White Man’s Greed” Says:

    [...] He’s a wuss! He hedges on welfare, he hedges on affirmative action. “[H]e has a major deficiency in the realm of moral courage.” He won’t speak up against his own church’s victim mentality until he absolutely has to [...]

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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