49 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-27-16

  1. Obama’s legacy.


    ” Fights broke out at malls around the country Monday night sending shoppers, who were looking for post-holiday deals, scrambling for the exits.

    No one was seriously injured in the mall melees, which, during the panic, also prompted numerous false reports of gunfire.

    Police in Ohio told Cleveland.com that officers used pepper spray to disperse a large crowd following a fight at an upscale shopping mall in Beachwood, just outside of Cleveland.”

    “One male juvenile was arrested for allegedly trying to hit an officer during the incident, which police said appeared to have been “loosely organized on social media.”

    There were similar disturbances at malls around the country including in New York, New Jersey and North Carolina, where chaos erupted at a mall in Fayetteville and emergency medical personnel were called in to assist someone who had a medical episode while fleeing.

    In Memphis, Tennessee, police arrested several people following fights at two malls there. No one was injured and no gunshots were fired, despite reports indicating otherwise.”

    “There was no official word on whether any of the fights, which were also reported in Arizona, Texas, Indiana and Connecticut, were connected.”

    Sure. It was just a bunch of random coincidences…. πŸ™„


  2. Thomas Sowell is retiring from writing his columns. I can’t say that I blame him, given the current state of the Republican Party. Sowell wrote about many issues, but was particularly brilliant when he wrote about economics. He was the successor to his mentor, Milton Friedman. I will miss him, but may go back and reread some of his old books.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I got a 53, which is very high for an attorney who is the son of an engineer. It would have been higher if I watched modern movies or TV. That is what happens when you are old, were born in Lubbock and grew up in the South.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I was going to take the quiz. But got stumped on the first question. “Have you lived in a community where at least half didn’t have college degrees?”
    The only people I knew who had college degrees before I joined the AF were my teachers.
    After I went to Carolina, almost everyone I knew had a degree.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ricky, I took it, and the highlighted guesses as to my identity were hilariously “off” (I’ve put the relevant ones in bold:

    Scoring You got 39 points.

    The higher your score, the thinner your bubble. The lower, the more insulated you might be from mainstream American culture.

    See below for scores Charles Murray would expect you to get based on the following descriptions.

    48–99: A lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with average television and movie going habits. Typical: 77.

    42–100: A first-generation middle-class person with working-class parents and average television and movie going habits. Typical: 66.

    11–80: A first-generation upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents. Typical: 33.

    0–43: A second-generation (or more) upper-middle-class person who has made a point of getting out a lot. Typical: 9.

    0–20: A second-generation (or more) upper-middle-class person with the television and movie going habits of the upper middle class. Typical: 2.


  6. Chas, You are like me. We were born in one world, then moved to a different world. Meanwhile, both worlds completely changed.

    When I was young, every one of my relatives outside of my immediate family lived within 100 miles of Lubbock, Texas. However, Dad was an aeronautical engineers, so we always lived in or near big cities. After all of my grandparents died, I didn’t go to Lubbock for many years. From 2011-2014, my son was in law school/MBA school in Lubbock. I loved going back there. When I went to the traditional service at his Baptist Church, it was like I had never left. The retired farmers, teachers and businessmen were the same pious, friendly, wise older people I had known and loved as a child.

    However, Travis said the younger West Texans were different from their grandparents. He commented that there was a coarseness and a rudeness that comes from watching The Apprentice or Jersey Shore or imitating the behavior of modern athletes or entertainers. I never fully accepted his conclusions, but I had to admit that living in the modern US had taken a toll, even in Lubbock.

    Happily, the Mexicans were just as I remembered them. They were hard-working, quiet, family oriented and extremely friendly to older white people who treat them with respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In reality, I’m “A lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with [low] television and movie going habits.” I lived for a little more than a year in a neighborhood in Chicago that wouldn’t be described as “working class.” It was one of the two years I’d describe as the worst of my life; I was about 27, and it’s the year I started going gray. The neighborhood and the housemates were such a horrid fit for me that I couldn’t wait to get out. (And I had a really bad volunteering experience, and a friendship crashed, and I had to get a new engine in my car . . .)

    In other words, my experience with pop culture has been quite limited, and I haven’t been in public schooling since eighth grade. But I don’t dye my hair, I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 43 and dating my husband, I’ve never owned a car newer than five years old, my teeth are crooked because my family couldn’t afford orthodontics, and I grew up in an 800-square-foot house as one of seven children of married parents, with a father who died without life insurance when three children were left at home, and most of us have had low household incomes most of our lives. It’s lower-middle class, not upper-middle-class, reading widely, but without a lot of pop culture.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I got 48–probably because I grew up in the port of Los Angeles surrounded in those years by many people who didn’t speak English as a first language, and then because I married a Navy guy.

    The likely description of people who scored 48 and above does not apply to me.

    Interesting. I could see where some of these questions were headed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. To make clear, this is my father’s general resume: missionary; janitor; church planter in the Appalachians; janitor at a private school; and finally (the job he had during the years of my childhood I remember) stock clerk at Motorola. He retired at 65, with three children still at home, and his job having convinced him he shouldn’t “waste” money on life insurance, and died two years later with three children who were 13 to 16 still at home.


  10. Huh.

    “You got 79 points.

    The higher your score, the thinner your bubble. The lower, the more insulated you might be from mainstream American culture.

    See below for scores Charles Murray would expect you to get based on the following descriptions.

    48–99: A lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with average television and movie going habits. Typical: 77.”

    I guess I’m slightly above typical. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Score 58. My parents were very working class. Hubby and I are the only college graduates of our siblings and I was the first of all my cousins. Hubby’s mother was a nurse. I guess that is college.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I scored 40. They say “second generation upper middle class……..
    They are wrong on the “second generation” thing. My dad finished the seventh grade and was an industrial electrician. He never had any mney.
    I suspect the survey didn’t consider depression babies.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I received a 54 also. I think I got that because I worked one summer in a paper mill to earn money for college. Even though my father was an engineer I marked his job as blue collar because it was making the paper machines run. Interesting tidbit. He could listen to a ball bearing and tell you how many hours it had left before it would need to be replaced.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. My score, 59
    I guess the fact that I grew up in the town where John Glenn’s space capsule was made made it a middle class to upper middle class town. I remember seeing an article in the National Geographic about my home town having the highest average number of swimming pools in the nation when I was in grammar school. Downey, CA. We were also the poorest family in our neighborhood. Daddy was a teacher then a school Principal. 3 dentists, 2 steel fabrication firm owners, 1 fireworks company owner (Red Devil, Black Panther, the fireworks for Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm) one jewelry shop owner, a machine shop owner, 1 NFL player (Rams) later an NFL head coach, a lawyer, president of the Los Angeles City firefighters union, a factory owner…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. They asked a question like, “Have you been around people who smoked…..”
    I don’t even KNOW anyone who smokes. Didn’t in H’ville either.
    I once hitch hiked from Westover AFB in Mass. to Montreal. My only hitchhiking experience. That must have counted for something. And I worked in a box factory one summer while in high school. $0.50/hr.


  16. I worked in a plastics factory in high school and was a bookkeeper for my father’s business for a time.

    I have often gone to bed aching from a full day of work tending children and/or gardening.

    Which reminds me of another Navy wife I met long ago–the wife of an airdale, or flyer.

    They were stationed in the Philippines–which tells you how long ago that was. She was telling a group of us how wonderful it was to be stationed there. “I had seven servants!”

    My jaw dropped–we had just finished the world’s worst engineer tour on a submarine. “What did they do?”

    “I had one nanny, two yard boys, a laundress, a woman who just ironed, a housekeeper and someone else.”

    I stared at her and mumbled. “So did I–it was me.” Incredulous, I looked at this perfectly groomed and dressed woman–with fine manicured fingernails–and asked, “what did you do with all your time?”

    “Played bridge and tennis, shopped with my friends and we had fantastic Bible studies.”

    No submarines in the Philippines, no Navy at all in a few years, but I couldn’t decide if that was even of interest to me. Not tend my children?

    I have no idea what she would have scored on that test . . . πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I scored 57 — fairly accurate for a first generation middle class.

    In the same vein; these NYT maps illustrate the popularity of certain TV shows by regions in the US. Duck Dynasty Facebook likes correlate the closest to Trump voting patterns.

    I don’t see how fighting in malls is Obama’s fault. They take place in the cathedrals of consumerism — shouldn’t we blame mindless consumerism. Besides violence continues to decline in the US — about 10-15% during the Obama era alone. The height of violent of crime was approx 1990 and its been in decline ever since.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I graduated from high school in 1975 and the only people in my school who smoked were the handful who dropped out. At the University of Texas Law School about 10% of the students were from the Ivy League. They all smoked and smelled up the library. I can remember thinking: “You graduated from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton and never learned that smoking was bad for you? We learned that in elementary school in Grapevine.”

    Chas, They still smoke in West Virginia. Travis and I were in Morgantown to see Baylor play the Mountaineers a couple of years ago. The town is small, so the stadium shares a parking lot with the hospital. Patients were coming out in hospital gowns and standing in the rain, just so they could light up. Addiction is a powerful thing.


  19. One of those mall brawls was in a mall in a town a little over half an hour from here, that Nightingale frequents fairly often, & we’ve been to a few times.

    The fact that there were so many, on the same day, around the same time frame, sure does sound like there was some kind of plan or challenge spread on social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I think we are all too old to get a really low score. My son, daughter-in-law and all my nieces and nephews might be below 20.


  21. H I read that article earlier today and found it to be stereotypical drivel.
    I have watched both shows and neither is that good or that bad. I will say this though, at one time TLC was bleeping out words on Duck Dynasty to make you think they cursed. Papa Phil put a stop to that.
    The Duck Dynasty people have visited my town. The men look nothing like that in real life. You would pass them on the street and not know.


  22. HRW, My favorite part of your article is that no one in Mississippi, Louisiana, South Alabama, South Georgia or Brady, Texas watches Modern Family.


  23. Tychicus, You are a young man. I know you are young because you played soccer. Texans the age of Hank Hill and myself viewed soccer with great suspicion. Come to think of it, your soccer playing may have lowered your score by 15 points.πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Those types of maps tend to generalize and reinforce stereotypes. However, the regionalism exhibited between Modern Family and Duck Dynasty is very real. I found it interesting that African Americans, Hispanics, and Natives had similar viewing patterns. And looking at the Daily Show — you can pinpoint the college towns in the MidWest.

    Duck Dynasty is just another reality show — i.e. pre-packaged and cheaply done. And yes the Robertsons are nothing like their show – for one thing, prior to the show, they were all clean shaven.

    I’ve watched Modern Family a few times — although better than Duck Dynasty in my opinion, its not much of a sitcom and tries too hard to have all the “right” characters. I no longer have cable — so its netflix and DVDs for me.


  25. I’ve seen a couple of episodes of Modern Family. Chas, in Modern Family, the dad is married to a much younger foreign woman who had a son by her first husband and now they have a baby together. Grown son is gay and he and his “husband” have an adopted Vietnamese daughter. The grown daughter is married, has three kids and is kind of normal.


  26. Ok, Modern Family is actually quite funny. (And the dad of one of our former reporters is the director.) I watched a couple seasons of it (have fallen away since).

    I’ve never seen Duck Dynasty.


  27. Ha ha. Ricky, I actually played any sport that included any kind of ball, and Chas, you’re right – I don’t watch TV. However, the real reason is because I haven’t lived in the US for more than 10 weeks since I was 23.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. HRW, Duck Dynasty is sort of the ultimate Confederate show. It is strong in all the Southern states including the two (Missouri and Kentucky) that were occupied early in the War.

    The good news is that my people seem to have captured much of northwestern Nebraska and a county in Southeastern Oregon. The bad news is that they voted for that horrible Yankee.


  29. Well, it occurred to me that some of the questions were biased regionally. For instance, it gives a list of restaurants and asks which you have visited in the last year. My town has only one of those. Many of the others are probably located in the big city, but it is not snobbish that I don’t eat in them, because we rarely eat in the big city. Likewise, it asked if I or my spouse has ever bought a pickup. If it had asked if anyone in my family has ever done so, I’d answer yes. I grew up in the Southwest, where pretty much every family owns one. But I’m a girl, so I myself have never owned one, and my husband has spent most of his life in the Midwest, so he has not.

    Ask a few other things, like “Have you ever been a minority, racially, in your neighborhood?” and I could say, “Yes.” “How many residences?” “Three.” “How many years of your life?” “At least eight.” Or “Have you ever lived in the same house or dorm room with a person of a different ethnicity/nationality?” “Yes.” “Name the cultural backgrounds.” “A Chinese lady who grew up in the Philippines, a Central American Indian who grew up in California, and two Puerto Ricans. And I would have lived with an African-American except she didn’t get permission to live off campus.”

    Right now I probably do live in a little bit of a “bubble.” I’m in a rural area, and I rarely see anyone who isn’t white, and my friends and family are pretty much all conservative or ultra-conservative Christians. But it’s hardly a historical anomaly for a person to have mostly similar people surrounding him. And I read fairly widely, not always with people I agree with. It also wasn’t that long ago that I had black foster children and was in regular conversations with a hostile neighbor who was an atheist and occasional conversations with my Muslim neighbors–with whom I once ate a meal. And I have two brothers and four nephews who have married cross-culturally, and my closest friend has adopted cross-racially.

    So I guess it depends on how one defines “bubble.” If limited engagement with pop culture puts one in a bubble, I will gladly stay in mine.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Chattanooga’s Hamilton Mall was also the scene of deliberately manufactured chaos yesterday. The whole place had to be evacuated when a few guys threw fireworks into a shop. Several people were injured in the crowd trying to get out. One pregnant woman fell or was pushed down some stairs. But I don’t think there were very serious injuries overall. This is the second holiday incident at that mall. On Black Friday a teen was arrested for attempted murder in a shooting at the mall. It is not generally a dangerous area at all.


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