Conservative Myths – Dependency

The basic construct of democracy is that candidates campaign for votes. The candidate that gets the most votes wins the office.

Since this is a representative democracy, candidates try to give voters a sense of how they are going to behave if they get elected. This gives voters an opportunity to select those candidates that they feel would best represent them.

What has happened over the years is that this country has divided into two dominant parties. It would be convenient to say that conservatives are served by Republicans and liberals by Democrats, but that is a fairly recent development. The Republicans of Lincoln were the liberal party and the Democrats were the conservatives. The politics of race transformed the South into solid Democratic territory as the result of the white backlash to the civil war. The Democratic Party itself under FDR became significantly more liberal, but continued to hold its southern wing together by ignoring the plight of southern blacks. Kennedy and Johnson lead the legislative charge for civil rights in the 60’s. Racial politics caused another seismic shift during the 70’s when Nixon’s Southern Strategy embraced angry white men unhappy with Johnson’s civil rights activism. That strategy was expanded by Reagan who widened the Republican tent to include the evangelical vote that helped elect Carter.

The result is that we now have two parties that are pretty far apart ideologically. Both have their sets of beliefs. This particular post is going to look at some of the myths that are at the foundation of conservatism. There are likely some myths at the foundation of liberalism too. I’ll try to find some of those too.

The myth is simple. Cash assistance for the poor prolongs their poverty. Reagan pledged to free the poor from the spider’s web of dependency by cutting their benefits. This allows those who believe in this myth to claim that eliminating benefits is really a compassionate act.

Fortunately there is no data to support this claim.

In fact, much to the contrary, cash assistance is common place in the rest of the world. 119 countries have at least one type of unconditional cash assistance. The US has none. In 52 additional countries the cash transfers require simple acts like enrolling your children in school. The only cash assistance available in this country is Temporary Aid to Needy Families. It has a huge bureaucracy whose sole role is to make sure that the aid is TEMPORARY.

MIT studied seven cash transfer programs in Central and South America and found “no systematic evidence that cash transfer programs discourage work”.

The World Bank 2014 report came to a similar conclusion regarding their cash assistance programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

In this country, a UC Berkeley study found that welfare payments did not increase single motherhood.

Though welfare as we know it was eliminated by Bill Clinton in 1996, the claim that welfare produced generations of dependents also failed the fact check. 40% of welfare recipients were off welfare within two years. Two thirds were off welfare within 5 years.

What about benefits?
More cash welfare improves the longevity, educational attainment, nutritional health, and adult income of poor children.

How about the results of cutting welfare?
Initially it appeared to encourage a lot of people to get jobs. But as soon as the Clinton boom faded, so did the jobs. Whatever gains the poor made during that period now appear to be the result of a strong economy and the expanded earned income tax credit.

Zombie Politics
This is one of those ideas that simply won’t die. This myth is buried so deep in the conservative mind that facts really don’t matter.

Paul Ryan proposed eliminating the last remaining vestiges of federal assistance and replacing it with block grants to the states who impose tough work requirements on the beneficiaries.

There is no data suggesting that cash payments to the needy are abused.

There is no data suggesting that reducing payments somehow provides a greater incentive to work than poverty itself.

There is plenty of data that suggest that those who suffer most from poverty are those who have the least ability to change their condition – children. There is also data that shows investing in poor children produces adults that are less dependent on the government because they are healthier, better educated, and more likely to be tax payers.

So why do we persist in an idea that is both cruel and foolish?

Because conservatives are more afraid of someone getting something that they don’t deserve than they are of injuring someone who is innocent. As a result, those who represent conservatives have found that if they blame the poor for their condition, they get more votes than the candidates who suggest that welfare could be an effective strategy to combat poverty.

Hopefully the next generation will not be so short sighted and hard hearted.

98 Responses to “Conservative Myths – Dependency”

  1. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Please don’t post hearsay. If you have some documentation from a credible source regarding the twitter posts, please provide it.

    Your comment, however, misses the purpose of those posts. It was to give those who feel that they have experienced either overt or institutional racism an opportunity to share their experiences. It was also to tempt those who might be considering violence to share their thoughts publicly so that the authorities could respond.

    Regarding the false report of the KKK, you can either assume that this was propaganda by the organizers to sustain a high level of anxiety among their followers, or that it was information that the organizers felt obligated to share that turned out to be bad. I’ve been in these sorts of situations in the past, and the informal information channels can be very difficult to manage (e.g. beware of the brown acid). You seem to take it as evidence that the organizers have some ulterior unstated motive.

    As I’ve said before, I think their motive is quite clear. They want the University to take a “no tolerance” stand against both overt and institutional racism on campus.

    This is not an unprecedented request. Many universities have a “no tolerance” policy on hate speech, for example.

  2. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Student activism over debt load seems to be an entirely reasonable action.

    There is plenty of documentation suggesting that the debt load that many students are piling up is unsustainable. It warps their post graduation choices and ultimately does long term damage to their careers and the economy.

    We can get into a discussion of why this has happened on another day. Suffice it to say that we are among the few industrialized countries in the world that force our students to fund their own higher education.

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    It’s going to take me a while to get to your posting of Rush Limbaugh. I am really not interesting in anything that he has to say. As a result, I’m going to need to get a lot of other things that have higher priority out of the way.

    Rush Limbaugh is an example of the worst of broadcasters. His interest is not in enlightenment. His interest is in his own bottom line, which hopefully is finally shrinking.

  4. Keith says:

    I posted about Bruce Jenner because it is one in the same. We are now in a culture where facts don’t matter, only what I say and want matters. i.e. Bruce says he’s a women so he’s a women. Well fact – he is not a women, he is a man dressing like a women. Regardless of what he says he’s a women.

    The students at UofM.. I say there is racism and therefore there is racism, or, I say your words are hateful and rasist so you are racist and hateful. The bar of what’s real and what is made up, I’ve called this changing the language in the past, is getting more and more mainstream…. Just once listen to Melissa Harris Perry and her host of friends on a Saturday morning on MSNBC. It is relevant because these are the people who create the incubators for this type of re-education. Is laughable until I hear someone say that a white guy in a cell phone saying these ?$&/%# are hassling me is somehow now an unsafe environment….

    You are not able to call racism, you are not a full person, or, the rest of the neiborhood buying up a house to keep someone out, with some white guy using the n word. If I were to feel unsafe every time I was called a honkie growing up or when I worked in the neiborhood near downtown Detroit I’d be in the corner sucking my thumb at my mothers house. That’s what I equate these kids to.

    But if you feel the need to call me, a guy who has very close, personal, life long black friends, and even a very close Nigerian female friend whom might say we dated for a few years, a racist, then ease feel free to do so. More evidence your side is making up new rules that everyone else needs to play by.

    Rule #1 create the chaos

    A black gay man is voted student body president. What discrimination has held him back?

    The hunger strike kid is a child of privilege. No one would consider his life experience to be oppressed. And yet he they are the two new faces of oppression. Laughable really.

    We all face challenges….

  5. Keith says:

    They want $15.00/hr for every working student
    They want all student debt forgiven
    They want free public college tuition

    They want, it seems the 1%ers to pay for it.

    Watch the interview. Neil is as respectful of this young mind of mush as can be…

    It’s non-sense. Total non-sense. If you can’t go to college, don’t go. If you want to go but have to go $150k in debt and you choose to do this, then don’t wine. Make a reasoned decision.

    I’m not suggesting life is a bowl of cherries.

    I like Neil’s point the best “all the other countries can’t afford this either. All she is passionate about saying it that the 1% are hoarders and they are the problem….. Sorry young lady, they aren’t.

  6. Keith says:

    The tape is chopped up but I agree with everything President Obama is saying here.

  7. Keith says:

    The young kids complaining about student debt should have known these facts. Colleges are over supplying graduates to the work force. Many with a degree that is valuable to no one. They are loaded with student debt. And the colleges simply raise tuition. Why? Because the kids can get loans…. You figure it out Jeff.

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    “I posted about Bruce Jenner because it is one in the same. We are now in a culture where facts don’t matter, only what I say and want matters. i.e. Bruce says he’s a women so he’s a women. Well fact – he is not a women, he is a man dressing like a women. Regardless of what he says he’s a women.”

    Bruce Jenner has nothing to do with the current student protests. The only connection is that they both bother you.

    For someone who doesn’t seem to care much about the facts of climate science, economics, physiology, psychology, or sociology – you are getting awfully worked up because a man is going through a gender transition to become a woman. The treatments are perfectly legal. At some point he can petition the court to recognize for a change in gender to go along with the name change.

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    There are two student movements that have recently been joining forces. The first (Mizzu) is objecting to racism. You question whether or not that racism is real, but you are white guy. You have also completely ignored that white people threatened to kill black people because of their protests. That is racism.

    If you have some way to trivialize death threats, please focus your next response on that.

    Posting a lot of white conservative backlash does not advance your argument.

    Also this isn’t about you or your friends. This is about the fact that there is institutional racism in this country AND in Columbia, MO there are white people who want to kill black people.

    The second movement is protesting the bank-friendly way that college education is financed these days. If you have some way to rebut the fact that this process is harming the students and the economy. Please share it.

    Your suggestion that students should know that the economy is rigged is the reason why they are protesting. They agree that the economy is rigged to benefit the wealthy and they want to raise the awareness of their peers that this is a bad deal for everyone that isn’t wealthy.

    But blaming the victim is something that conservatives are good at.

    What upsets you is that students and minorities are no longer willing to accept being the victim. They are organizing to oppose those forces seeking to oppress them. So at some point you are going to need to choose which side you would like to be on.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out in 2016, but you can be sure this is going to mobilize a lot of young people and people of color to head to the polls. They are not going to be voting for Republicans.

  10. Keith says:

    I include Bruce Jenner because of their. He says he’s a women, he’s not and he never will be. It doesn’t matter if a court says he is. He isn’t. He never will be. However our culture is changing to allow what we say to be true, to be true. Just like because I disagree with someone I’m a racist. Whether I am or am not isn’t relive my, someone says I am. Just like my baby inside of me is a baby because I say it is. If I want to abort it it’s not.

    You paint with a very wide brush of what I believe Jeff. Don’t let the dens mantra, conservatives don’t believe in facts sink in too far.

  11. Keith says:

    YS) You have also completely ignored that white people threatened to kill black people because of their protests. That is racism.

    MR) this is wrong. Racism or a hoax, whatever it is it is wrong. And not to split hairs but it’s after the fact. The protestors were not demanding the president be fired over this or admitting publicly by reading a statement his white privilege…

  12. Keith says:

    Climate change is another fun one. Your side “the fact lead people” have proved nothing. You assume you know what the facts say. I do not say the climate isn’t changing, it always does, rather who knows the real effect, are the fact really correct, and if so what change should, if any can we make and to what effect. Man made CO2 is soooooo very little of what goes up…

  13. Keith says:

    YS) What upsets you is that students and minorities are no longer willing to accept being the victim. They are organizing to oppose those forces seeking to oppress them. So at some point you are going to need to choose which side you would like to be on.

    MR) I’ll try this one more time. Oppression???? My goodness Jeff you’ve just to find your senses. This is not oppression. Just set back for a moment. This is exactly what I’m try to get across from your Bernie Sanders like thinking. THIS IS NOT OPPRESSION!!! If it is then everyone oppressed!!! There to no legitimate greivence. If they have one then I have one.

    Until we stop thinking intern of classes and groups and minorities then we will never be one. Nothing in our society is blocked to anyone. Except the short white point guard. He’s probably not going to make it.

    Join me Jeff in putting aside racial indulgences. I’m color blind, how about you to. Let’s not look at the color of skin but the content of charicture… I don’t not see color, only Gods creation. Wish you would too.

  14. Keith says:

    The black students and others of color in the protest have reportedly not allowed white students into the safe zones this segregating themselves. In light of one of the protestors demands that the former president of the university to apologize for his ehite privledge, should white students be fearful that at any given moment they will be asked by a crowd of protestors to renounce their white privilege… If so is not the university acting President job to make it safe for the white students who might not wish to renounce the privilege or are unaware of such a thing. Can you imagine the pressure the white students must be under right now Jeff?

  15. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Sorry buddy but you are the one who is splitting hairs. Your basic issue is that these protesters have no basis to complain.

    But the reality is that the overt and institutional racism that the protesters are complaining about IS real. The threats of mass murder demonstrate that.

    The protesters were demanding the removal of the President because of a perceived insensitivity to the problem, WHICH HE ADMITTED.

    It is fascinating to track how much of your political position is based on belief (racism is a minor annoyance that we all experience, human activity is not the cause of climate change, concentration of wealth is a good thing, etc.) rather than fact.

  16. Keith says:

    The intolerance of liberals is beginning to be self evident.

  17. Keith says:

    Didn’t liberals demand conservatives be tolerant of others views?
    Please join me in calling for tolerance…

  18. Keith says:

    All these new terms being created.

    Safe zone

    White privilege

    Hate language

    Gay marriage

    See what the left does Jeff? To create legitimatesy, you change the language, make a new term, or redefine a term. Then, gain acceptance.

  19. Keith says:

    In due course, anything or anybody that is prior to the civil rights movement or anyone not progressive will be shut down, removed, muted, done away with. Someone else once did this…..

    The Jewish folks build museums and collect all historical facts regarding the holocost so humans will always know what happened and what evil can reside in humans.

    It appears now this young group of protesters feel oppressed because someone in the past was once thought to be racist…

    You know my Italian ancestors were treated poorly in “the new country” upon arrival 1912-1927…

  20. Keith says:

    To your comment about concentrated wealth.

    Jeff, liberal social progressives always have complained about this..

    I am from the Clinton taxes rates… I’ve always said that. I am for strong inheritance taxes. However I am understanding of family businesses that need to be slid or closed because the inheritors cannot afford to pay the taxes and the business can not carry the debt burden to do so…

  21. Keith says:

    Is it a fact that human activity is responsible for climate change?
    It’s not a FACT! Many think it’s highly likely.

    What is a fact is that climate change has always been the norm. how much that’s attributable to humans activity is highly in question. Jeff, how confident are you of the temps recorded more then 50 years ago? 100? What’s also not known is if human activity is responsible for some change, to what effect? The biggest question is what if anything should we do about it? Finally who says it’s a bad thing? There have always been floods, heat waves, tornadoes and hurricanes… And I suspect there always will be….

    Racism is not the problem it once was. Does it still exist, yes. It no longer oppress people in the USA. No citizen, in my opinion, is denuded access to anything based on the color of their skin. Except to my knowledge there are no white cornerbacks in the NFL but we’ll disregard that. Is there still segregation in the U.S.? I think so. Churches in the U.S. On Sunday morning are the most segregated parts of our society. Is it because of racism? I don’t think so. I don’t think you go to a very large inter city church that’s nearly 100% African American and find a congregation not accepting of a white visitor. I can tell you I’ve been that visitor and was welcomed by everyone around me. I think you’d find the opposite is true.

    What we find ourselves in now is a new frontier ushered in by progressives. What you feel is truth whether it is or isn’t true. So, as I posted a link earlier today, if black students can’t even go to college because a building is named after a president who they think might have been a rasist, well I don’t know what to say about them. They certainly aren’t living for today, and they sure as heck aren’t prepared for life. Someone introduced the word “offended” into the liberal progressive play book and it’s not a good thing… I must be way out of touch because I think there is nothing to be gained by being offended. It serves no purpose. Also Jeff, what’s the gain? If they change the name of the building from Wilson to whatever, how does that change anything for those students? Wilson was still the president. They still have to go to class and make grades. The works still spins round and round and what little racism that still exists still exists. Racism is merely hatred. Do you think you will erases hatred from the world? Hatred is sin. Do you think you will erase sin from the world?

    Your facts that you think my political views are absent from aren’t facts at all Jeff.

  22. Keith says:

    Two things standout from this article. First the use of the wrong term. Can say illegals!!!! Fact they are here illegally. Fact the word applies. Fact liberal dems get pissed when you don’t speak the correct language. As soon as you do nothing you say matters. You’re out.

    Second Ttump has no right to host the show… Enough said.

    If your side continues down the path they are on, and the continue to win, there will be no debate, there will be no decent. (A poll recently found 27 percent of dems think it should be unlawful to voice opposition to climate change ….

    Where is the level of tolerance liberals have all along asked conservatives to exhibit. It is very clear progressives are tourney of nothing.

  23. Keith says:

    Jeff, I don’t know that I would have gone out of my way to say what this young lady did. She invited trouble. However she is correct all lives matter. I would say “black lives matter, all lives matter.” However are you getting this? The college president of UofM did the rest of the country a huge disservice by stepping down. He set a precedent that emboldens the other young children that they can cry and scream and get their way too.

    Please join me in condemning the thought that because I am offended, for any reason, you must lose your job.

  24. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Your response to the Bloomberg OPINION article from a senior editor for the National Review (conservative magazine) is very interesting.

    In the article the author praises Obama’s response to the free speech controversy roiling college campuses.

    Your response was that this was an example of liberal intolerance.

    If it were indeed liberal intolerance, shouldn’t we have seen a different response from the “liberal in chief”?

    This article is in fact proof of one of the basic difference between liberals and conservatives.

    Conservatives are tribal, authoritarian, closed minded, and fear-based.

    Liberals are open minded, anti-establishment, empathetic, and fact-based.

    Where conservatives are concerned about RINO’s and apostates, liberals have no problem attacking their own when they take positions that are not supported by facts. That’s basically what Obama was doing when he suggested that college students need to think more deeply about what free speech really means.

    Liberals ARE intolerant of belief-based arguments, regardless of who is promoting them.

    If that is what you are complaining about, then I happily admit that I and my liberal brothers are guilty.

  25. Keith says:

    You misinterpreted my comments. I was saying President Obama is being critical of the students lack of tolerance for other views and he was calling them out for it. To which I applaud him… The self evident comment was he is a liberal calling out the liberals. Self evident.. Hope that helps clear it up.

    Liberals create their own truths, I.e. Abortion isn’t taking a life, that two men can be married etc… Change the language and definition. Then call it fact. Sorry my good friend not biting.

    Republicans are just as guilty….

  26. Jeff Beamsley says:

    What you are talking about is motivated reasoning. Basically warping the facts to match your beliefs.

    I’ll take on the examples that you suggested in minute. There are much better ones for liberals.

    Here’s a short list.

    Nuclear power – generally safe, but some liberals and environmentalists oppose any expansion of nuclear power. I’ve got a problem with what you do with the waste, but agree that the plants can generally be operating safely. That’s basically Obama’s position too.

    Vaccination – There is a group that includes a lot of liberals who feel that vaccinations lead to autism. The science just doesn’t support it. I have an autistic child. I know how heartbreaking that can be. But at the moment there is no one to blame for their condition other than the belief that God has a purpose for all of us.

    Fracking – There is also a large liberal and environmental group that opposes fracking of any kind. The science suggests that the problems with fracking are due to irresponsible management of the drilling operation and not the method of fracking itself. You should be able to enforce best practices through regulation. That’s what those concerned about pollution should be doing rather than focusing on the technique.

    Abortion – NO ONE KNOWS when a life begins. As I’ve posted before, science can identify when something meets the definition of being alive. But the actual moment when that occurs is not science can answer, nor do they try. Instead they view life as a process.

    Science does say that a fetus can’t feel pain before the 28th week because the brain pathways just don’t exist yet. Science also says that a fetus can’t survive before the 26th week more or less, and even then being born this early has a lot of serious potential complications because the digestive and lung capacities just aren’t sufficiently developed. So the advances in neonatal care are the result of new effective methods to keep the baby alive long enough so that the rest of their systems can develop sufficiently so that the baby can survive on its own.

    Gay marriage – There is no science here. Your objection is strictly religious. So it becomes a discussion of belief. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.

    Language – ??? Language changes all the time. Both parties attempt to define the other using language. No science here other than admitting that language has power and everyone has the ability to change language for whatever purpose they choose.

  27. Keith says:

    Ah ha …….. So you are able to see “spiritual wickedness” from both sides!!! I almost don’t feel the need to point out the hypocrisy of your posts any longer!

    You cant belittle the right unless you belittle the left for the same lunacy… So since we agree both side are equal in being stupid then all was have left is what is correct. No need spending time how individuals are spiritually wicked. We all are. Progress!

    I found this to be interesting.

    President Obama is beginning to resemble Presidrnt Bush in his last year and a half. He will not change course and he is bewildered as to why he is being questioned, even by his own side, when he once had overwhelming support for his actions in the Middle East. This sir the the pendulum or continuation effect. It’s also where you wrongly thought in 2007-2009 period that the country would never again trust the republicans to lead our interests. Now I’m not suggesting the republicans are going to win next year, but the dovish presentation President Obama is projecting certainly no long has the appeal it once did.

    Think of it this way. I large companies the management structure swings between centralized and decentralized at baring intervals. To grow a company a decentralized style generally works best. When growth has been large and things need to be “controlled and managed” and a centralized “comanand and control” style is favored.

    Bush played to our go get them, cowboy, we win because we’re stronger, mentality, Obama to our enough is enough, let them take care of themselves… Aggressive verse some what passive. (I’m surebyoubeould say this deffrently.) But you get the point. The pendulum swings on both directions. Think free market thinkers verse Bernie sanders “democratic socialism.” We will always swing back and forth depending on perception of how things are going. What’s interesting is very seldom can the person in charge make this adjustment. That’s because they were hired/elected to do what that do. Ie bomb Iraq, or get us out of wars. Grow the business or get the business under control.

  28. Keith says:

    What do these young folks do when they get to the real world? Am I allowed an opinion on the job? What happens when their boss has a different view then theirs? Harded in a dangerous direction

  29. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I appreciate that you “stand aghast” at the positions of some of these college students.

    What they are doing is taking on journalism in the larger effort to raise awareness regarding the issues that they care about – racism and the way that higher education is financed in this country.

    Since you are one of those who feels that media is biased, you should appreciate this position. That fact that you criticize it reveals that you aren’t really concerned about media bias. You are only concerned about media that doesn’t agree with you.

    These kids are in a somewhat different position.

    They feel that they don’t need journalist or traditional media to carry their message. They don’t feel at all compelled, as a result, to participate in what they feel is a sham of balance. They want their story told and are only interested in participating with those who are willing to tell it.

    Not sure where all this is going or where it will end up, but this is the student movement coopting the tactics of Fox News, Brietbard, Drudge, and all of the other right-wing media outlets.

    How does that feel?

  30. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Regarding the conservative Princeton group, I don’t have any problem with what they are requesting. It does seem a little odd that they are asking to speak with the University President rather than trying to work it out with the group that they oppose. But there is a strong element of respect for authority in their message, so it is consistent with a conservative mind set.

    What I am more concerned about is your response.

    Aren’t you the guy who just wrote “The old saying seems to be true, a consecutive doesn’t believe in God and they don’t go to church. A liberal doesn’t believe in God and laws must be passed to be sure there is no public mention of God. Or, a conservative doesn’t like beef they don’t eat it. A liberal doesn’t like beef and they see to it laws are passed that it’s never served in places they eat.”?

    Now you’re suggesting that this group is right and and the group that is essentially disrespecting authority is wrong? If you really to plan to walk your talk, I would assume that your response is that you would simply “not go to the church” of those that you don’t agree with. Or that would simply not “eat” the policies that the group you disagreed with are promoting. Your willingness to offer a value judgment belies what your feelings really are. 🙂

  31. Keith says:

    I’m pointing out how stupid ALL of this is…

  32. Keith says:

    And to clearify what you incorrectly guessed of me. This is the last paragraph from the article. Dr King would have agreed with this. We need to learn to put away our individual groups. That’s what I’m for.

    “We firmly believe that there should be no space at a university in which any member of the community, student or faculty, is “safe” from having his or her most cherished and even identity-forming values challenged. It is the very mission of the university to seek truth by subjecting all beliefs to critical, rational scrutiny. While students with a shared interest in studying certain cultures are certainly welcome to live together, we reject university-sponsored separatism in housing. We are all members of the Princeton community. We denounce the notion that our basic interactions with each other should be defined by demographic traits.”

    To some we’ve reached this level of discourse. In other words ” objecting to the objectors.” Or in other words still, and much simpler terms, ” I am offended that you are offended.” How about we just stop the nonsense.

    Asking for President Wilton’s name to be removed it insane. Should Dr Kings be removed from everywhere it’s in place because he was an adulterer? President Clintons because he is a rapist? Reagans because he was devoriced? GW’s because he has a DUI? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  33. Jeff Beamsley says:

    “We need to learn to put away our individual groups. That’s what I’m for.”

    “If your side continues down the path they are on, and the continue to win, there will be no debate, there will be no decent. ”

    Start walking the talk buddy. If you want to put away groups, you can start by finding some other way to refer to conservatives and liberals. We are not on two opposing sides. We have two different ways of looking at the world, but we also share much more than either group is willing to admit.

    I spend a fair amount of time talking about the shortcommings of conservative thought because it is difficult for me to understand. It is a politics of “belief” rather than fact and that doesn’t make sense to me. But I regularly admit that you are welcome to your beliefs and that arguing beliefs is pointless. So my digging into these beliefs is really just my own way of coming to terms with the fact that conservatives and liberals think differently. As far as associating you with any particular group, you do that yourself.

  34. Jeff Beamsley says:

    As far as the FT opinion column, it’s behind a paywall, so I can’t read it.

    From the headline though, I get the drift.

    As I said earlier, I find the current student protests interesting and invigorating. I am a big supporter of student activism because I was politically active during my college days and have remained so.

    The current student movement is taking on some big issues and does NOT want the help of the print or broadcast media to do it.

    The media’s reaction is to immediately claim that the movement is against free speech and attempt to make this a discussion about political correctness. It’s not.

    These kids want to root out racism in the University AND campaign for a better system of financing higher education. I agree with them on both.

    Wilson was a racist. So it is entirely logical, if we are going to take down the confederate flag, KKK monuments, and other examples celebrating slavery, that we also take a closer look at Wilson.

  35. Keith says:

    YS) Wilson was a racist. So it is entirely logical, if we are going to take down the confederate flag, KKK monuments, and other examples celebrating slavery, that we also take a closer look at Wilson.

    MR) the last member of the KKK to hold national off was Democrat senator Byrd. Should he insist all record of him be wiped away? Far King was known to be an adulterous person. Should we take down every mention of him? Etc ect ect….. Why do the sins of someone else have any impact on my ability to learn while at college, or some how burned or oppress me? Jeff, it’s silly. You recognize this too.

    As the conservative belief verse you facts. Let me try another way. You assume facts based on your own created premise based on your own values. Let’s try it this way. Abortion, your facts detaining life are based on a child unable to survive before 21 weeks, or whatever it is, therefore it can’t be a life. Science says that. I wouldn’t disagree with that. It’s also not relevant. A baby 21 weeks, 21 months, outside of the womb can’t survive on its own. It too is dependent. So you’ve chosen what life means based on when science says life can survive outside of the womb. Why is that the determining factor? You can create any criteria you like. It’s still a belief !!!

    Life begins when the process starts….. No one disagrees with that.

  36. Jeff Beamsley says:

    the last member of the KKK to hold national off was Democrat senator Byrd. Should he insist all record of him be wiped away?

    There are probably better examples than Senator Byrd. He renounced his affiliation with the KKK. Strom Thurmond never did, though we later discovered that he had an illegitimate daughter (whom he appeared to deeply love) with an African American woman.

    Life, like Wilson and Thurmond, is complicated. I only said that we should take a closer look at Wilson’s history of racism and figure out how to balance his support for the white working man with his racist views of African Americans. This sort of nuance is comfortable for liberals. I appreciate that conservatives are more comfortable with binary decisions.

    Far King was known to be an adulterous person. Should we take down every mention of him? Etc ect ect….. Why do the sins of someone else have any impact on my ability to learn while at college, or some how burned or oppress me? Jeff, it’s silly. You recognize this too.

    What is silly is your attempt to conflate a legitimate concern about racism with the larger subject of human frailty. Strom Thurmond was a racist. Did the fact that he loved his bi-racial daughter make his political positions any less repugnant? No. It simply demonstrates that he was a complicated man whose private life didn’t match his public one. Does he represent the sort of institutional racism that has no place in this country? Yes. That makes him a legitimate target for any group seeking to redress the wrongs of institutional racism.

    Dr. King was not a racist. If at some point in the future, we become so puritanical that we want to “out” all of the adulterers in our history, King would be one of a long list. Did the fact that he broke his marriage vows lessen his message of civil rights for black people? No. Did his adultery ultimately undermine his ability to serve as an inspirational symbol for all who fight against institutional racism? No.

    For the college protesters, Wilson is a symbol of the institutional racism that they feel pervades their PARTICULAR campus. Taking that symbol down, just like taking down the Confederate flag, demonstrates that the current administration at the Yale does not endorse Wilson’s views on African Americans. They are not asking that all symbols of racism be expunged from our society. This sort of hyperbole is typical in liberal/conservative discussions. That is also silly.

    Your pivot to abortion is an interesting demonstration of the very motivated reasoning that we’ve been discussing. I’ve already shared much better examples with you of ways that liberals engage in motivated reasoning. Abortion doesn’t happen to be one of those.

    Here are the facts (and a little of my own opinions).

    1. The Rowe decision DID NOT attempt to determine when life begins. I’ve shared this with you multiple times, yet you persist in suggesting that either I or the SCOTUS view fetal viability as the start of life. The SCOTUS only decided that until the fetus can survive outside the womb, the rights of the mother take precidence. Any attempt to change Rowe would have to decide what rights a fetus does have (unclear) and why those rights take precedence over the rights of the mother while she is still carrying the fetus. That is unlikely because it causes all kinds of other legal problems. That’s why conservatives like Scalia question the whether it is even appropriate to assign any rights to those in Scalia’s words who are not “walking around”.

    2. I don’t know when personhood begins, nor is there any consensus among scientists on this fact. I am perfectly fine that the decision to terminate a pregnancy up to the limits of fetal viability is left with the mother.

    Many scientists and doctors endorse the view of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which stated in 1981 that the existence of human life at conception is a question to which science can provide no answer. Since that time, scientists and physicians have remained more or less mum on the issue of when life begins.


    3. As we have discussed before, you confuse the start of the process (conception) with the end of the process (personhood). I use the term “personhood” only to prevent the inevitable confusion the comes from using the word “life”. It is true that almost everyone agrees that the process of becoming a person starts with conception. When personhood starts, however, has many camps. Here are the general breakdowns that I have been able to find.

    a. fertilization
    b. implantation
    c. segmentation – this is 14 to 21 days after fertilization but after the time when the zygote can split to become twins (or more)
    d. brain function – 22-24 weeks when the brain actually starts to work
    e. birth

    In quick summary:

    IMHO, students have every right to object to racism at the institution in which they are enrolled. They are asking that the INSTITUTION demonstrate a commitment to stamping out symbols of racism. Whether or not Wilson is a symbol of racism is what needs to be discussed.

    Most everyone, including me, agree that the process leading to “personhood” begins with conception. We also all agree that a newborn baby is a person. I don’t know how much before then “personhood” starts and I’m ok with that uncertainty.

    Science has not decided when “personhood” starts. The SCOTUS did not weigh in on “personhood”. They simply said that until a fetus is viable, the states can’t interfere with a mother’s right to terminate her pregnancy. They said nothing about whether or not a fetus becomes a person at viability. This left the decision of “personhood” up to the mother.

    There are MANY people including whole denominations that pick one of the five moments I’ve listed as the point at which “personhood” starts. Jews believe it is at the moment of birth when the head emerges from the womb. Jehovah’s Witness believes that it is when blood is present which is approximately the same time as segmentation. I could go on, but clearly there is not agreement even among religious groups about “personhood”.

    When life begins is a BELIEF not science. Everyone is welcome to their belief. The problem arises when one group attempts to impose their belief on another that doesn’t share it. That’s what the courts are for.

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