Was Marx Right?


Shirley Sherrod and her resignation have been much in the news lately (Shirley Sherrod and the Resignation! Get all their greatest hits on a three CD collection!). She’s in the news because of comments she made that were taken out of context by a fairly amoral blogger. Those remarks, within context, were quite interesting, but what I mostly found interesting was her conclusion that it wasn’t race that mattered in America at this point, but class.

Now this is hardly an original conclusion, but it is one that I’ve found myself believing more and more over the last few years. I, after all, have far more in common with my black co-workers than I do with Bill Gates, despite the fact that the two of us have the same skin color. He lives in a world that has nothing to do with my world. His class is so vastly different from mine that we might as well not even be in the same universe.

I think at this point in America, and broadly through the rest of the world, the only colors that matter are those associated with whatever currency you’re used to. I can guarantee you that a rich person, no matter their color and no matter where they live, has live substantially better than anyone who has the same skin color as the majority in that place but merely gets by.

Howard Zinn wrote a book many years back called A People’s History of the United States. He makes much the same conclusions about race and class, and at the time I tried to read it, I scoffed quite a bit. Now, though, I’m beginning to think he’s right.

Class matters, no matter how much the two parties (the Republicans especially, given that they are the party of the rich), try to downplay the notion. It overwhelms everything else. Marx was very wrong about a great many things, but in this case, yeah, he was right.

Now for those who haven’t seen it, the entire Shirley Sherrod video. Do watch it! It’s fascinating.

Mmmm… New Tron Trailer!


Savor the goodness.

Things Worth Reading


I’m not in the mood to write anything big today, but I did want to draw your collective attention to some really interesting stories out there on the web.

I blogged a few months ago about Phoebe Prince, the girl allegedly “bullied to death”. I suspected the story had quite a lot more layers to it than the simple narrative the media was trying to put forward, and I was correct. Slate.com has a wonderful three-part investigation of the case, and you can read it here.

Andrew Sullivan, who can always be relied upon for some much-needed perspective when chaos reigns, has published a piece on the Sherrod situation and on the first year-and-a-half of the Obama administration. The money quote:

The public may be frustrated by the lack of progress in the economy, and who can blame them? But they are still looking for solutions more than someone to blame. And most are fair enough to understand that Obama has no magic wand, that these problems are bone-deep, and that he has passed actual, substantive legislation that fulfilled clear campaign pledges in an election he won handily. Yes, they are queasy about government growth. So am I. But only government can rescue a free-market capitalist system that destroyed itself – and millions of jobs; deep recessions require short-term fiscal boosts; the health insurance reform was moderate and centrist and you have to have a heart of stone to sit back and watch so many suffer with such waste and cruelty; and there is a steadiness in Obama that no one should under-estimate. Here we have a black president presiding over 10 percent unemployment and his ratings, in a deeply polarized polity, are still above Reagan’s at this juncture in a similar long-term economic crisis.

PZ Myers weighed-in as well with a good article of his own. He also has some great pics of the always-idiotic Fred Phelps making an ass of himself at Comic-Con.

Finally ABC News has a great piece about police officers arresting people for the alleged crime of filming them while they are doing their jobs. The officers claim it’s a violation of their privacy rights, which is clear bullshit, especially since many of them have dashboard cams, which I would say might violate the rights of the accused.

There’s your reading homework for tonight, boys and girls. There will be a test tomorrow. Or not. :D

Diet Update, July 23


So… I’m down to 259lbs! That’s from a start two weeks ago at 267.5. I know this pace of weight loss can’t continue, but it’s nice while it lasts. If I can settle into a nice, easy, two lbs a week, I’ll be happy.

You See, I Learned Something Today…


Shirley Sherrod is now being apologized to left and right… well, mostly left. There are some on the right who have been bitching about the lousy treatment she received, too, and that’s good.

There’s a lesson to be learned from this, and that lesson is “get your fact straight before making a decision.” Especially a very public one. Now the White House, Tom Vilsack and the NAACP are having to apologize for not knowing what the hell they were talking about.

You know, if you get the chance you should find and watch the entirety of Sherrod’s video. It’s actually quite fascinating. She strikes me as a woman I’d love to sit down and talk with. She’s clearly lead an interesting life and hearing her talk about that and the situations she’s lived through is really interesting.

Oh, and on a side note, can we please find a way to describe her mistreatment other than “thrown under a bus”? Yeesh.

It’s Too Darn Hot!


Currently here in Phoenix it’s in the low hundreds. Currently in my apartment it’s in the low 90’s. This is because my AC is out.

You know, I love living in Phoenix, but I hate the summer and I really hate it when my air conditioning isn’t working. :(

Subtle Satire


Also, why is there a silent “b” in “subtle”? I’ll wonder that rather than ponder the fact that many Christians would nod along with this video and say, “That’s absolutely right!”

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