I Think We’re All Bozos on this Bus

For those of you too young to remember, that’s the title of Firesign Theater‘s fourth album released in 1971. One of the founders of Firesign Theater, Peter Bergman, passed on recently.

While the album ponders man’s place in a world dominated by technology, I think it is also an appropriate description of the political theater surrounding gas prices.

First the facts, the price of gas has gone up $.26 over the past year. That’s around 7%. We’ve seen those sorts of price spikes before, but this time the rise was more rapid than it has been in recent past.

The Republicans, who have been frustrated with the improving economic picture, have seized on this issue to support their claim that the current administration’s policies are really hurting the economy rather than helping it.

The general theme that all of the Republican presidential candidates have used is that more domestic drilling will bring down the price of gas. Gingrich has gone so far as to promise to bring the price down to $2.50.

The truth is that this President HAS increased domestic oil production dramatically. The last time we produced this much domestic oil was 2003. As a result we are reducing our dependence on foreign oil, but the cost of crude on the open market has still gone up.

The other reality is that oil is a globally traded commodity. As a result, there is precious little any President can do to affect the price over the short term.  In fact the current run up in price has little to do with supply and everything to do with speculation.

From Politifact.com

“What can you do to change the market in the short term? The answer is not much,” said James Bartis of the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research group that provides independent policy analysis. “It takes many years to open up a new oil field, to prepare and get production from a new oilfield. Generally, I would say a decade is the minimum.”

So why are gas prices going up so quickly?

  1.  Speculators are concerned about the rising tensions between Iran, Israel, and the United States. In particular, the most recent jump in prices started more or less the same time as Republican candidates began talking about how they wouldn’t hesitate to attack Iran if Iran continued to enrich uranium.
  2. The growth of the economies in India and China are driving up demand for cars and gas. Oil companies are expanding their production capabilities in these countries because they see the opportunity for growth. They are REDUCING their refining capacities in this country because demand for gas in this country is going down – 7% in the northeast since 2005. When demand goes down, refineries lose money. When refineries lose money, they close, as two did last year in Pennsylvania, another did last month in the USVI, and a huge Philadelphia refinery will in July if a buyer doesn’t step up. If this last refinery does close, gas will go up in the Northeast because it will have be transported from the Gulf or overseas. Huge new refineries in India are already delivering 40,000 gallons of gas a day to customers in the Northeast.
  3. It is increasingly expensive to extract crude oil because all of the “easy” oil has already been pumped. That means more risk, more spills, and more expense. Domestic or international doesn’t matter. There is no “cheap” oil left in the ground.

While it may not be convenient for the Republicans to accept, the reality is that our best long-term options are not going to come from drilling another hole in the ground. They are going to come from more efficient use of our current resources and development of alternative energy sources and transportation options to replace fossil fuels.

That is best done by everyone getting on the same page regarding the components of a thoughtful energy policy.

Unfortunately, the clowns that populate the current political landscape seem incapable of having that sort of conversation.

 

37 Responses to “I Think We’re All Bozos on this Bus”

  1. Keith says:

    Jeff,
    If the answer is always….”drilling wont help because it takes X amount years to do it” then we’ll never do it. If we had agreed to drill X amount of years ago we’d be X – years ago closer to having it. This is not an acceptable answer.

    This however may do nothing for the price as the market sets the price. What it will do is create more jobs AND reduce the need to depend on the middle east.

    Note – I have very recently made a large bet on natural gas as a part of the solution ……. its clean, available and cheap and WE HAVE IT.

  2. Keith says:

    Jeff,
    I’m being careful as to how I say this due to the sensitive nature of the topic.

    If I were a dem and it were 2006, and the event that took place in Afganistan the other day occured on Bushs watch I would be saying something like this all over the media.

    The world hatred of America continues to sprial upward new polling shows. The Bush policy of US soldiers killing cilivians in midnight raids is said to be the most recent example of our failed attempt to “win the peace.”

    Why does Obama get such a pass?

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Keith,

    You may have missed this in the post.

    We ARE and HAVE BEEN drilling. That’s why we are producing more oil now than we have since 2003.

    What all experts have said is that drilling won’t help reduce the price NOW and that those Republicans who say that it will are misleading the American people. As I said in the post, there is currently a glut of crude oil on the market and in this country. So it isn’t a problem of supply.

    As far as jobs, I’ve also posted on that in the Keystone Cops post. All of the qualified oil industry workers are working because we ARE drilling all over the place. Just like a number of other industries (e.g. software developers) demand exceeds supply. So the thought that drilling a few more oil wells will magically reduce the unemployment rate is FALSE. Also, from that same post, the pipeline will get built as soon as Nebraska produces a plan for a better route.

    Finally, if you recall, I did hold Obama accountable for killing an American citizen without the benefit of due process. I wasn’t the only one.

    What the dems wanted in 2006 was Bush to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama has done one and is doing the other. What more would you have him do?

  4. Keith says:

    As to drilling we are doing LESS on public land, that which Obama can effect, and more on PRIVATE land.

    As to the other point – I was pointing out the BIAS in the media for not screaming at the tops of their lungs, headlines, that the killings were the policy of the Obama administration. It would have been GW’s fault PERSONALLY had that occured on his watch. (ABUGRAB)

    High gas prices were blamed on Bush providing for his friends in BIG OIL by the media. No one in the same media is suggeting that Obama is running the gas prices higher for his friends in BIG OIL. In fact OBAMA is admitting the President does not control gas prices. DId he say that in 2007? Again my target here is not Obama but the MEDIA whom you do not consider bias……….

    As a side note the engery guy was in front of congress the other day and said lower gas prices are not the objective.

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Keith,

    The government DOES have some control over drilling on private land too, because of regulation; but that whole question is a red herring anyway. The price of gas (at least in the short term) is not a function of the supply of crude. That’s the bottom line.

    The other bottom line is that someday (some say sooner, some say later) we as a planet are going to run out of oil. We have already passed the point of “peak oil”. Cost of extraction is going up. Environmental risks are going up. Demand in India and China is going up. Supply is going down. The only direction prices long term are going to go is up. We’ve got to agree on a rational energy policy that embraces this reality. That’s what the energy guy was saying too.

    That said, the government can rig markets to benefit their friends. That is the “soft” corruption I’ve mentioned exists in the “gift” economy that warps current government policy. So Bush shouldn’t be help accountable for market fluctuations, but he IS accountable when he institutes government policies for the express purpose of benefiting his friends, even if those friends happen to be in the oil business.

    I don’t think that Obama has many friends in the oil business.

    Finally, we’ve also gone over the whole question of bias. I DO NOT claim that the MEDIA in general is not biased and would appreciate it if you stop pushing that in my direction.

    There is too much bias in the media right now. Virtually all broadcast media, with maybe the exception of public stations, IS BIASED.

    Virtually all internet media, with the few exceptions like politifact and factcheck ARE BIASED.

    There are some newspapers who earn the right to have an opinion because they separate their reporting from their opinions. Those newspapers and their web sites ARE NOT biased. Their news stories tell both sides to the best of their ability. But they are also NOT NEUTRAL on their opinion pages.

    There are a lot of other newspapers and magazines who ARE biased because they MIX their opinion pages and their newspages. The WSJ, Investors Business Daily, The Washington Times, and the Washington Examiner are some good examples.

    The ONLY print source that I’m aware of that is both ethical in their news coverage and balanced in their editorial coverage is the Christian Science Monitor.

  6. Keith says:

    we now understand we have agreement on bias….what i need you to understand next is the effect of that bais on the voting public. MOST, I would argue, who are not well informed get what they do think they know from the mainstream media, this includes mainstream entertainment. Talk radio, more convservitively biased, does not have the same impact on those folks, I would agrue, because those folks don’t listen. So when Christianity is ridiculed on in mainstream media there is no counter balance.

    If Bush rigged the markets of big oil then Obama either a0 is compicited by not doing something about it or b) doing the same thing.

    Its rediculas….both did nothing to effect prices. I just find Obama to be less the cridible when he says “the president cant control prices” when he said that of Buish. If Bush could control them as you’ve suggest, then Obama could to. SO since the prices arent coming down I am to assume either Obama wants them high also or he simply cant control them….

  7. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Didn’t say that Bush rigged big oil markets.

    I did say that it appeared that the Bush administration cut special deals with Big Oil. Whether they did or not has not been proved, but the appearance is almost as bad as the fact.

    Bush was not responsible for high gas prices.

    He is responsible for allowing his VP to hold closed door meetings on energy policy where only execs in the oil business were invited. He is also responsible for when he allowed an oil company to cut a sweetheart deal with the Kurds which undermined the central government in Iraq. Finally he is certainly responsible for promoting a strategy which claimed that we could topple the government of Iraq, install a democratic government friendly to this country, and then help them use their oil revenue to rebuild their country in our image.

  8. Keith says:

    and Obamas energy guy said high gas prices are ok. We agree both are not held responsible!

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    In 2008, private citizen Chu said that boosting domestic gas prices over 15 years to the level of Europe would encourage consumers to purchase more fuel efficient cars and shorten their commutes. He is of course right.

    But one person doesn’t get to decide what the energy policy of the country should be. As a private citizen, however, he has every right to express his opinion. That opinion, however, is not shared by his current employer.

    As Secretary of Energy, Chu has said that he supports the Obama administrations policy to keep gas prices low.

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2012/03/19/gaseous-politicians-nonsense-demagoguery-on-gas-prices/

  10. Keith says:

    NOt going to play tit for tat, but Mr. Chu while representing the Admin said higher prices aren’t the issue.

    Get atricle in Sundays Wash Post front page regarding the budget talks last summer. You should read it…..

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Couldn’t find the article that you mentioned. If you can find a reference to it, please post it.

    What I did find is references to the Wash Post fact checker on this issue.

    This one again disputes your claim regarding Secretary of Energy Chu.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/mitch-danielss-unfounded-claim-president-obama-wanted-higher-gas-prices/2012/02/29/gIQAPJJliR_blog.html

    This second one disputes a claim that Obama advocated higher gas prices while President. It also deals with your comment regarding private versus public drilling.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-claim-that-wont-die-did-obama-want-higher-gas-prices/2012/03/13/gIQAf0EW9R_blog.html

    If you have other facts, please post them. Otherwise, I think it is clear from these fact check exercises that the current Republican attempts to pin high gas prices on this President or members of his cabinet are just more “big lie” political tactics.

  12. Keith says:

    I have condemmed them from the beginning….I do not agree that the President is to blame for higher prices.

  13. keith says:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV?id=%7BEA0E2B36-391C-47D3-A57F-2D6790DDFA35%7D&title=MSNBC%20Host%20Blames%20Limbaugh%20Gingrich%20Santorum%20Rhetoric%20For%20Trevon%20Martin%20Death

    This womens words are what I believe to be wrong with the left.
    Her comments are racist, they are filled with hatered and lack of understanding. They place her bias above the comments of the people she accuses as being wrong. She lacks understanding and is guilty of attempting to inflame the situation. This Jeff is a great example of the hatered on the left.

  14. keith says:

    http://nation.foxnews.com/obamacare/2012/03/26/obama-lawyer-laughed-supreme-court

    I pointed out the word “tax” to you weeks ago verse penalty and you called it semantics. Care you offer a different thought?

    Also George will wrote a nice piece in yesterday Wash Post finding a brief that hold “contacts” to be highly valued and esteemed and worthy of the highest protects. The mandate would cause one to enter into a contract unwillfully and with no end. This would never be considered legal.

  15. Jeff Beamsley says:

    First, as I’ve said before, Fox is not a credible reliable source of information. So I’m not going to comment on what they said.

    The issue of the tax question is a legal one which has produced an interesting partnership between both plaintiff and defendant in this suite. Neither of them want this to be considered a tax because they both want the constitutionality of this law decided now. If the court decides that this is a tax, then they can duck the whole issue by claiming that states have no standing to bring their action because the tax to which they object hasn’t yet been collected. They can send everybody away and tell them to come back in two years when the tax is being collected and THEN we will decide whether or not it is constitutional.

    While George Will is a smart guy, he isn’t a constitutional lawyer. He and all of the other columnists and talking heads are trying to make their own legal arguments, but they don’t mean squat.

    Go read opinions of the legal scholars as well as the opinions of the court watchers to see what is going to happen.

    My bet is that if the court will only decide to rule now if the liberal judges feel that they have Kennedy on their side. If they don’t, they will duck this and see how the election pans out. If the dems win, they will get another bite of the apple in 2014 when the mandates and fines start happening. If the republicans win the white house and the senate, they will likely repeal the healthcare law and the judges won’t have do rule on anything.

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    As far as anything posted in the breitbart site, I’m sorry, you simply can’t assume that the video is an accurate recreation of what was actually broadcast.

    Here’s a more reliable post.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YnIVfF3q1s&feature=related

    Let me know if she has quoted anyone inaccurately.

    I’m sure that many African Americans can share incidents similar to the one she described happened to her father.

    I think that she have every right to share her concern that the killing of Treyvon Martin represents similar evidence of unchecked racism. Hopefully there will be a thorough investigation and a fair trail.

    Just in case you were planning to make the argument that racism is no longer an issue in this country here’s another post you should read.

    http://www.wfae.org/wfae/1_87_316.cfm?action=display&id=8453

    http://ideas.time.com/2012/03/09/missing-the-mark-on-derrick-bell/?xid=gonewsedit

    Also please be careful with your righteous wrath and the use of the word “hate”. This is an appropriate use of the word “hate”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKv7Seapz2U

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-mississippi-murder-teenbre82k1lw-20120321,0,4163242.story

  17. keith says:

    As to the last post I made; I didn’t post the fox article for an opinion or anything they contributed. Merely the QUOTES FROM THE JUSTICE….
    nothing more then that. You said weeks ago that the tax vs none tax was no big deal. I was pointing out the justice has a like mind to mine. IT IS A BIG DEAL but for different reasons. The Justice, because it is a matter of fact, for me because OBAMA said there would be NO TAXES for anyone under the income level of $250k…..

    As to the brightbart video. I saw her live and thats it…..My excitement is she took this unfortunate death and extrapolated, that this is the partly the fault of four republicans. That’s what all my comments were directed at. She has NO CLUE what took place that night, and she comments through the bias of her life. Its lazy, ignorent and harmful to our country.

    Today those comments get laughable as the guy is a registered DEMOCRAT!!! So, how do republicans influence this dems behavior. Her stament in its entirety should never have been made in the first place.

    http://freebeacon.com/registered-dem-killed-trayvon/

    For the record, if the guy murdered the kid he should have the full force of the law thrown at him. Justice should be served. Until then MR Zimmerman should be presumed innocent until found guilty. Watch MSNBC for just one min tonught…..You agree with that.

  18. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You are REALLY missing the point.

    Trayvon Martin’s killing was a tragedy. I agree that we likely don’t know all of the facts. I also share your hope that there is a complete and thorough investigation and if necessary a fair trial.

    But that’s not the point.

    The point is that like it or not, there is an African American in the White House.

    This duly elected President has been the target of racial slurs since he took office.

    I agree that many of those were motivated solely by political differences. The problem, however, is that more than a few of those attacks were BOTH political and racial. So that line between political opposition and racial bias has been thoroughly and deliberately blurred BY BOTH SIDES. Those seeking to obtain political advantage either for or against have used race. Those with genuine racial bias either for or against have used politics to excuse their attacks.

    Those vying for the Republican nomination have not only tolerated this racial bias toward the President, but have themselves expressed racially biased opinions. I’m not suggesting that any of them are racial bigots. I am suggesting that they are all trying to win support from the portion of the voters who are going to oppose President Obama because of the color of his skin. Don’t think that I need to provide a list.

    It is this atmosphere of tolerance for racial insensitivity and bias that the commentator was calling out. The same attitude that allowed that police officer to call an obviously successful African American man “boy” twenty years ago, is the same attitude that African Americans are seeing on display among Republican candidates and many of those who oppose President Obama.

    So it doesn’t matter what party Zimmerman was a member of.

    It doesn’t matter that Zimmerman may have been acting within his rights to defend himself.

    It also doesn’t matter that the police can’t arrest someone who uses deadly force in Florida to defend themselves.

    It doesn’t matter that Zimmerman said he was attacked, nor does it matter that some people claim that Zimmerman used a racial slur to address the kid.

    All that matters is that an unarmed African American kid was shot dead by guy who said he thought the kid looked suspicious, decided on his own to pick up a gun and follow him, and the police didn’t arrest the shooter.

    This one fact re-enforces the opinions of those of color and those who have been watching the line between political opposition and racism get blurred, that this remains a country where an African American person is still vulnerable and regarded as somehow less than a full citizen.

    Almost four years after this country elected its first African American President, this fact is a major disappointment to many people including me.

  19. keith says:

    I believe thats all over blown.

    98% of the US are not as you’ve discribed. The 2% is represented by Al Sharpton and others, some on the right, speaking through a mega phone. The 2% also can be viewed on my part as the New York Times calling Zimmerman a “White Hispanic.” I’ve never heard that name before. Will you condem them along with me as trying to inflame the situation? Do they address President Obama as a White African American?

    Until we don’t see race and class, this wont be behind us.

  20. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You are simply wrong.

    The last time you used this data you were wrong and you are wrong again this time.

    Surveys show that roughly 10-15% of whites identify themselves as racists. Same is true about African Americans. The difference is that 72% of the population is white and only 12% of the population is African American. So that means that there are six times as many white racists (27M) as African American racists (4M).

    I agree that the NYT reference to white Hispanic was curious, because I don’t recall hearing it before. I went ahead and goggled the term and it turns out that there actually IS a definition for a White Hispanic and it is recognized by the US Census Bureau. That’s because race is different from ethnicity. So someone can be racially white and ethnically Hispanic. Since the article was written by a Hispanic woman, Lizette Alvarez, I suspect she knew exactly what the term meant.

    You’d think that someone like Bernie Goldberg who first raised a stink about this on Fox would have done the same quick search that I did.

    So no I don’t think that she was trying to inflame the situation. She was simply reporting a fact using a term that is probably more familiar to hispanics in Florida than it is to folks like you and me.

    If anyone should be providing an apology, it is Mr. Goldberg and Fox because clearly they are the instigators that you suggest we both condemn (wait while I show my shocked face).

    It is also interesting that at the point in time when racist hate groups are growing because of opposition to an African American President AND the gap between the rich and poor is at historical highs, that folks like you are suggesting that we ignore racism and the warping influence that wealth has on government policy.

    I agree that racism and the concentration of wealth and influence in the hands of too few people are existential problems that we should figure out how to leave behind. That won’t happen by ignoring them.

  21. keith says:

    Jeff,
    The New York Times used the words White Hispanic and you found a way to justify it as not being intended to be inflamitory. At lest you could have agreed it was in poor judgement. Lets say I, white person, were doing an article on inter city unemployement of 18 – 25 year old African Americans males. I spend two months living amoung them and then discribe one of their traits as Niggardly, then filed it with Fox News. What would the libral media think? What would the black communite reation be?

    Have you seen what the African Americansmembers of congress are saying? Jeff, there are no real facts in this case they that know and they are speaking that way. Why with the absense of facts?

    These race issues are simply lost on me. I have too many friends from ALL races to accept them as being more then a very small minority who the press and librals choose to magnify. Then, the reaction from the right media, Sean Hanity, Glen Beck and others, blows the issue in the other direction, ie Mr Zimmerman is a Democrat, like that has anything to do with anything. After an issue gets emotional, like this one has, facts simply dont matter. Thats my point.

    http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/28/bowles-simpson-goes-down-defeat/

    A sitting President, in his fourth year, sent a budget to the House and it gets ZERO (0) votes. Can he be considered serious?

    And what of Healthcare? The most over blown news coverage in history as it was being being tossed aboout on Capitol hill two years ago. It goes on trial before the Supreme Court and Travon Martins case gets the Major coverage in the National “mainstream media.” Thats curious to me.

    I don’t know if you’ve kept up but the Solicitor General didn’t do so well. Perhaps it was the subject matter didn’t make for an easy defense. Justice Ginsberg took such pity on him she was pratically coaching him at one point.

  22. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Keith,

    According to other published reports, the local police said the Zimmerman was white. His family said that he was Hispanic.

    The NYT reporter was using an accurate term that also reflected the information that was available.

    This is classic Fox News stuff.

    You really should let it go.

    This IS an emotional issue in the African American community. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, but you seem to have a tin ear for this sort of stuff. I’ll post something in the near future that may help explain why you may have a tin ear for racial issues.

    If all of my voters are concerned about something, it is my responsibility as their elected representative to say something. No different from the tea party guys calling Obama a socialist nazi. I certainly wish that it weren’t so, but it is the sort of politics that is practiced on both sides of the aisle these days.

    As far as the budget article is concerned, did you wonder why you had to post something again from the Washington Times?

    This is all politics. Republicans were bringing these bills to the floor. They pushed their budget through on a party line vote and then brought up both the Simpson Bowles budget and the White House’s budget so that they could vote them down. Democrats chose not to go along or give the Republicans any sound bite material that they could use against them in the fall. This was all political theater intended to hoodwink the casual reader into thinking that something important and potentially embarrassing for the President happened. In your case it appears to have worked.

    It is hard to argue against the Supremes. But I agree that he did not have his best day. I think that he was somewhat thrown off by the aggressive questioning by some of the liberal judges, but I agree that he is paid to be ready. The bottom line is that this is theater too. The questioning is how these judges position themselves with the other judges. Though they are asking the questions of the lawyers, what they are really doing is asking the questions of each other. All of the hard work will go on behind the scenes in the next three months as each faction tries to fashion arguments that will result in a majority opinion.

  23. keith says:

    I only have a tin ear for racial stuff as its absurd to me that the “mainstream media allows the left to get away with it and in fact they promote it. I only respond to that!!!!

    You failed to answer my question, would it be appropriate for me to use the word niggerdly when filing an article on unemployed 18 – 25 year old African Americans?

    Also, there is a $1 million bounty out for the “capture” of Mr Zimmerman by the black panthers. Is it legal for you citizen to place a bounty on another. Could the Tea Party.

    I simply oppose those who see racicm everywhere………..and further when its on one side only.

  24. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Keith,

    In this case “absurd” is clearly in the mind of the beholder.

    As far as the media, we already agree that there is very little unbiased media, so I don’t think there is any value in getting any more upset about the sins of left than it is to get upset about the sins of the right. They are both unrepentant sinners. Their business model depends on offending and demonizing those they disagree with.

    As far as use of the word “niggerdly”, I’m sure they are appropriate ways to use it that will not offend. I’m sure you can also use it in a grammatically correct way and still be offensive because of your INTENT. If you INTEND to offend someone, you don’t have to use offensive words to do that. So a thoughtful author would probably not use that word in an article associated with African Americans because they would realize that it could be construed by some readers as offensive.

    Could you please post a credible reference to your claim that the Black Panthers have a $1M bounty out on Zimmerman? I went to look it up and the only articles I could find were in right wing papers. The Trib was the only credible paper that had a reasonable article listing the facts. They are very far removed from what you said. This is a very small group of crazy people trading on the name of Black Panthers.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-na-nn-black-panther-party-20120327,0,6125970.story

    You can choose to ignore racism, but clearly it exists. White people are killing African American people because of the color of their skin. Whether this was the case with Zimmerman, we don’t know, but it was certainly the case in MS where the murderer was just convicted of a hate crime. We also know from surveys that there are African Americans racists, just a lot fewer of them that White racists. As a result, statistics suggest if racists are equally active across the board,you are going to see six times as many hate crimes against African Americans as you would going the other way.

    No bias, just math.

  25. keith says:

    Jeff,
    YS)As far as use of the word “niggerdly”, I’m sure they are appropriate ways to use it that will not offend. I’m sure you can also use it in a grammatically correct way and still be offensive because of your INTENT. If you INTEND to offend someone, you don’t have to use offensive words to do that. So a thoughtful author would probably not use that word in an article associated with African Americans because they would realize that it could be construed by some readers as offensive.

    MR) Thats an amazing comment given you support the Mexican gals writing and the NYT approving the use of the seldom if ever used, contirved/made up term “White Hispanic” in this case. Yet you find no reason to believe that wasnt ment to be inflamitory????? Show some consistancy my good friend.

    I’ve seen the black panter comment on the news on several outlets.

    Also, we don’t know about the racisim in the zimmerman case. Read the “real transcript.” the 911 operator ask “what color is he” zimmerman never offered that. NBC is reviewing why their guys editied the tape to make is seem zimmerman was calling the kid black.

    I am not defending zimmerman….if he is guilty he needs to be punished. But lets keep the racisim out of it until proven…….and lets not condem him in the media or before a trial is one is even necessary

  26. Jeff Beamsley says:

    The best advice to someone who finds themselves in a hole is to stop digging. That’s the advise I’m giving you.

    The hole of you’ve dug in your attempt to defend the conservative media is only getting deeper.

    The NYT used the phrase white Hispanic only once in third paragraph of an article on criticism that the Sanford police force was receiving. It was the Fox guy who grabbed this technically accurate description of George Zimmerman and tried to turn it into a big deal. I’ve also posted another article from a different paper where the reporter mentioned that the Police first reported that Zimmerman was white (not the news media). It was his family who said that he was also Hispanic.

    Here’s the wikipedia page on White Hispanic as an accepted and legal term as well as some history on its origin.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans

    Here’s a thoughtful discussion on the Huff Post about conservative talking heads attempting to turn this into evidence of racial bias on the part of the NYT and others.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/white-hispanic-zimmerman-conservatives_n_1386512.html

    So as far as who in the media played the “race” card first, it appears to be our friends in the conservative media (please insert again my shocked face).

    Finally, “Mexican gal”

    Are you serious?

    What do you know about Lizette Alvarez to make that sort of assumption?

    Is Cameron Diaz also a “Mexican gal”?

    Time to stop digging and step away from the hole.

  27. keith says:

    You are lacking in judgement today.

    I asked about Nigerdly for a reason. You appeantly cant bring your reasoned answer to that supposed situation, which I completely agree with, to the New York Times allowing “WHITE HISPANIC” to be brought into this one, which by the way happens to be a real case. Get it? I am defending no one on the right, which I clearly stated above. Use your progressive terms all you want but you simply will not define mine my good friend. Just like I will not accept “undocumented worker” over illegal alien. However for the New York TImes to basicly intoroduct the term “White Hispanic” to the nation in this article, under these circumstances is reresponsible. While you don’t agree you anynalisis of this is contradictory, I will continue with my belief it is.

    All the while you ignor this……….

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2867002/posts

  28. keith says:

    Jeff,

    In keeping with your sourcing filter, THE HUFFINGTON POST? I thought
    you were only going to allow the Christian Science Monitor.

    As an aside, when I post a link, it is rarely for the opinion or the commentary, though sometimes I will. Mostly its to show the issue or the facts in the article, assuming they are correct.

    A thoughtful peice from the Huffington Post is in violation of what you would consider legitimate, unless of course you would include Fox also. Simply watch MSNBC and the Huffington Post contributors and editors who appear virtually nightly. You’ll soon learn what thought means to them.

    As to use of the word “gal” this is perfectly acceptable to me and it will remain so.

    I need to know nothing of Lizette Alvarez, if you would be looking at my words correctly you’ll note it was the NYT’s I’m taking to task, something you are not willing to do. Yet you would take me to task for using the word Niggerdly.

    To clearify, I would never use that word, I’m am using it here to drive home a point to you, one which you are not accpeting for some reason. To an unbiased person the two examples are the same. You however are allowing a pass to the Gal and the NYT’s. That shows your bias as you wouldn’t allow me the same leway. I am totally unbiased on this just pointing out yours Jeff.

    I find most of Fox’s view and the way they are choosing to cover the story just as insane as everyone elses. You simply can not carry on this conversation with out the facts and having them all on the table at once. The left started it in the media, thats just what I observed. Then Fox countered by showing what the left was doing to Mr Zimmermen by unfairly, at least by what anyone knew at the time, yelling race. Its silly. LEt it play out! What we do know, is NBC has admitted they tampered with the 911 tape to make race appear to be an issue. Look with BOTH EYES open Jeff.

  29. keith says:

    As to your comment to me, you wrote this;

    Finally, “Mexican gal” Are you serious? What do you know about Lizette Alvarez to make that sort of assumption? Is Cameron Diaz also a “Mexican gal”?

    My response is I trust YOU and you told me above;

    Since the article was written by a Hispanic woman, Lizette Alvarez, I suspect she knew exactly what the term meant.

    I would only be incorrect in calling her a “Mexican gal” if you first were incorrect.

  30. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You can discount Huff Post if you want. They only provided a time line. I’ll check the CSM later to see if they used the White Hispanic term.

    The whole argument that Fox and Rush, among others, made regarding White Hispanic hangs by a single very slender thread. That thread, like the use of the word niggardly, suggests that Lizette Alvarez intentionally used a term to suggest that this was a white on black crime.

    This is a serious allegation for an award winning journalist and a paper that I think we both agree strives to tell all sides of the story.

    I don’t know what her intention was, but I can tell you with some confidence that if the paper were interested in sensationalizing the term “White Hispanic”, it would have been in the headline, in the first paragraph, and mentioned several times in the body of the story.

    I have also provided proof that it was not invented by the author and is a grammatically accurate term which is used by the government and used in the law. Just because you aren’t familiar with it doesn’t mean that others aren’t and that it can’t be used to describe someone.

    I have also provided proof that it was the Sanford police who first identified Zimmerman as white. If Ms. Alvarez were interested in making this a white black issue, she would have just reported what the Police said and not added the accurate term that Zimmerman also has Hispanic heritage (his mother).

    So what proof have you provided that this was an intentional act other than your own reading of the article and all of the other inflammatory things you’ve heard from Fox and Rush?

    Finally, it is likely that Ms. Lizette is also familiar with the term White Hispanic because she, similar to Mr. Zimmerman, is also a white Hispanic.

    Now just as a friend, you DO have a tin ear with regard to some racial issues.

    Not all Hispanics are Mexican and not all Mexicans are Hispanics.

    I know that you didn’t mean any harm, but “Mexican gal” reflects the sort of casual unintentional bigotry that is part of the problem.

    Ms. Lizette, BTW, was born in Miami. Her family comes from South America. Alvarez is a common name throughout the Spanish speaking world. She is the bureau chief for the NYT in south florida. I don’t think that she was trying to make any point other than factual when she used the term White Hispanic.

  31. keith says:

    Jeff,
    My use of the term “gal” are not and will not ever be defined by anyone but me. There is no offense to the use of that word intended, meant or anything else. There is no biogtry in that term as used by me. No one will ever define my words. You may choose to participate in the redefining of words and people I have not. It is common for me to use that word as in “she’s a nice gal” or “that’s a smart gal” or “you know, that mixacan gal for fedex.” How others choose to accept my term is their issue not mine. In fact using that logic this makes them a bigot in the same way you suggest I am.

    As to the term “white hispanic” what the “mexican gal” meant with the term is one thing. What the editor of the New York times was allowing by interjecting/introducing that term into public discourse in this way/event is quite another. To me its in line with what we know of what NBC with the editing of the tape, which could be considered insiting a riot, and CNN for interptiting a tape as well.

    My only comments are not about the event only the absolute race baiting in the media. My comments are not racist, bigoted or anything else.

  32. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Keith,

    Your response is perfect example of how tone deaf you are.

    I wasn’t objecting to your use of the word “gal”. Go back and read what I said.

    “Gal” is a little old school, but I don’t have a problem with it.

    I was objecting to your use of the word “Mexican” which you used again in this most recent reply.

    Hispanic or Latin are the correct terms. Unless you know for a fact that the Fedex “gal” is from Mexico, calling her a Mexican demonstrates at least ignorance and insensitivity if not some bigotry against Hispanics. Just because she speaks Spanish does not mean she came from Mexico. Just because she has a Latin sounding last name does not make her a Mexican. There are 358M native Spanish speakers. Only 112M of them are Mexicans. What’s worse, that Fedex “Mexican gal” you’re referring to is most likely a US Citizen born in this country (not Mexico). My mother’s maiden name was Schmidt. She was born and raised in Chicago. If you were good with accents, you might be able to pick that up, but you would never call her a “German gal” even if you knew her last name. Starting to get the picture yet?

    As far as switching your criticism from the author to the editor, this is just a weak an argument. You should just give this one up. I don’t know what the Editor’s choices were, but I have no problem with the choices that he/she made.

    The ONLY thing that made “white Hispanic” inflammatory were the reactions of Fox News and Rush.

    I’m not going to defend any of the broadcast media (other than maybe public stations). I agree that they manipulate their audiences and can’t be trusted.

  33. Keith says:

    Guilty!!! You said above the gal was Hispanic. I thought that meant Mexican. I googled it and I am incorrect, it doesn’t. Guilty.

    My position though remains unchanged. Both she and the NYTimes choose an interesting time to introduce the world to that term. After all it was you who said “I agree that the NYT reference to white Hispanic was curious, because I don’t recall hearing it before.”

    You went on to say;
    “I went ahead and goggled the term and it turns out that there actually IS a definition for a White Hispanic and it is recognized by the US Census Bureau. That’s because race is different from ethnicity. So someone can be racially white and ethnically Hispanic. Since the article was written by a Hispanic woman, Lizette Alvarez, I suspect she knew exactly what the term meant.”

    I would agree she knew what it meant and she knew what she was doing. I also believe the NYTimes editor had the same reaction as you and yet continued. Just as NBC did and just as CNN did. This was all inflamitory.

    It also comes as no suprise to you I oppose this sort of classification. Until we no longer create sub groups for ourselves we can not be the United States of America. Thats my version of “Imagine.”

    In the end the right sees this, calls foul, and they seem to be defending Mr Zimmerman which THEY ARE NOT. I really wish you could call them both ways, then you and your comments would be benifical. When you simply run past this stuff on the left, or dare I say the MAIN STREAM, it cheapens your arguements. You justified the “Hispanic gals” choice of words because of what it meant to her, regardless of how 99.99999999999% of her readers would respond to it, including you. You then tell me niggerdly would be an inappropriate word for me to use. You say nothing of MSNBC show host Al Sharpton acting as a instigator, then hosting his show. The main stream media influences situations. So does fox. But remember, its fox verse EVERYONE……

    You cant, Jeff, write and make nuanced agruements about Bill O’Reily being responsible for the deaths of Abortion Doctors due to his langue and simply let these same things pass on the left or mainstream. In a word its hypocritical. If you are going to spend your time finding Spritual Wickedness on the right, you then can’t say, “I’m not going to defend any of the broadcast media (other than maybe public stations). I agree that they manipulate their audiences and can’t be trusted.” You must expose it on the left also. If not, you are disqualified from ever doing so.

  34. Jeff Beamsley says:

    This argument hinges on even a thinner thread than the previous one.

    That thread is that no one is familiar with the term “white Hispanic”.

    Clearly bureaucrats in government know what the term means. I suspect that police and lawyers know what the term means. Those involved with immigration are familiar with the term. Also I suspect that most of those in the Hispanic community are familiar with the term because they have to fill out the forms where the term is used. Basically when stuff gets an entry in Wikipedia, it is a term that a lot of people care about. In the case of Wikipedia enough people cared about in February, 2007 for the editors at Wikipedia to add it to the site.

    The fact that it has remained hidden from you and me for the past four and a half years doesn’t mean much. Neither of us are deeply involved in the Hispanic community.

    So unless you can come up with some data suggesting that there was some deliberate intent (good luck), I think you (and all your conservative friends) are busted on this one too. :)

    I’m not going to support any instigator. If Al Sharpton is calling Zimmerman a murderer that someone needs to stop (approximation of O’Reilly’s call to action), he is just as wrong and just as responsible as O’Reilly if someone chooses to take him up on his suggestion. As I said, I have to depend on you to bring these things up. I refuse to patronize any of the channels that make their money this way.

  35. keith says:

    To your last paragragh….you seem to find it on the right however yet fail to stumble upon it on the left. The black cacus, I believe, drafted a resolution for the arrest of mr zimmerman.

    I am a participant of your blog for a few reasons and a main one is how a Christian can only see “wickedness” in one direction. I counter your thoughts to somehow, mostly poorly articulated, show you what you don’t see……

    I can see problems on the right and dont dispute them. There also is a difference between “sin” and opinion or policy….. Your most rectly nes post dances around that reality to an extent. Both sides how beliefs. Many are not matters of sin…. Whether we all pay taxes or only half are required to do so is not a matter of sin…rather a choice of what’s bets.

  36. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Keith,

    In many cases, (e.g. broadcast media), I see it on both sides and respond by boycotting.

    After the first day or so, I haven’t been paying much attention to the Trayvon Martin case because it clearly got way out of hand.

    My suggestion is if you want me to pay more attention to some of these things, post a link to an article from a credible source. I’ll read it and then respond (as I’ve done in the past).

    As far as sensitivity to sin is concerned, the data suggests that it is a much bigger issue for conservatives than it is for liberals. That doesn’t meant that liberals don’t believe in the concept of sin. It only means that liberals think that caring for the weak, fairness, and liberty are more important.

    What appears to be frustrating for conservatives is that they DO believe just as strongly in sanctity (sinlessness), respect for authority, and loyalty as they do in caring for the weak, fairness, and liberty. So conservatives have a difficult time understanding why liberals discount those things completely.

    Gay marriage is a perfect example. Liberals support it because in their minds it doesn’t hurt anybody (liberty) and gay folks seem to be able to form interpersonal bonds that are just as strong as straight folks (fairness).

    Conservatives never get that far. They feel gay marriage is sinful (sanctity) because their pastor told them it was sinful (respect for authority) and because other conservatives said that gay marriage threatened the foundations of the family (loyalty) – or some approximation of the above.

    It wasn’t always thus.

    Conservatives and Liberals used to be able to focus on the things that they had in common (care for the weak, fairness, and liberty) rather than the things that they have in difference.

    With the rise of wedge issue politics and talking head “entertainment”, now we don’t trust each other and allow other people to remind us regularly why that is the case. We focus on our differences almost exclusively and seek only a majority so that we can enact our policies rather than seek compromises that have something for everyone.

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