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08 November 2012


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The Twisted Genius

Thanks, Adam. These cartograms are very interesting and IMHO very enlightening. This is exactly what I was thinking about. And the software is free. All I have to do is compile it. Cartography has come a long way from my mid-seventies classes with sheets of albanene paper, radiograph pens, bottles of india ink and steady hands.



I have heard this argument for decades and understand it but think it irrelevant to the point I have made. this is a FEDERAL REPUBLIC. Population density in metropolitan areas of the east coast, west coast and midwestern cities do not affect the general tenor of politics in the country as a whole. You can win elections nationally on the basis of that population density but the result is that the actual blue areas (not the cartoons in the pictograms)are "besieged" by the red states and the internal red areas within the blue states. The blue areas have always thought themselves to be the "real" America. They continue to do so, but they carry the burden of the hostility of so many who find the "blues" to be an abomination. pl

Paul Escobar

Mr. Lang,

When you say the blues are "besieged" (regardless of their federal victories)...are you referring to the red victories at the local/state levels?

I think this is what you mean, but I could be wrong.


Paul Escobar

They are surrounded by populations that are culturally and therefore politically hostile to them. pl


Are you seeing another civil war on the horizon, Pat? Or are you fearing the destruction of America's entrepreneurial culture?

One of your comments somewhere sticks on my mind, mind you I don't remember it verbatim:

Black soldiers are declining, they don't want to be soldiers any longer but prefer to become paramedics. Do you think our media people, whenever they report about anything concerning US military wait till they have an image with lots of black people, are offered some or ask for at least one? Anyway they always are quite visible. Are there any statistics?

Strictly I was puzzled by US citizen in the Trayvon Martin case. They seem to be quite able to distinguish a "a pure white" from a Hispanic white. Deeply puzzled. I wouldn't be able to distinguish.

And obviously Obama's last second move in favor of Hispanics was a clever one.

But wasn't there a fear in the US some time ago, that the US could turn Spanish?

Concerning your article about the racism in Flyover America, as you call it, I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say. Are you suggesting that if the interest politics are somehow weakened it will go away, hate radio, it seems there is more than just Fox out there, will vanish too? Or is it a somehow natural outcome of the population's natural self-interests? ...

Is "white America" or the red center similarly endangered and encircled as Israel? In "white America's case" by either multicultural forces or special interests that want to destroy the true American dream? Isn't a political elite of millionaires it's very special latest metamorphosis?

I am babbling of course, you should be used to it by now.;) But as always, I am trying to understand.



Sadly I must say that you don't completely understand the US. Blacks are still eager to jointhe US armed forces but they don't want to be fighters. They want to be people who work in hospitals or drive trucks or some such thing. Paramedics in civilian life? you rarely see a Black civilian paramedic. The US is in a cultural and political split similar in severity to that in the 1850s. This time it is a red/blue, rural (including small and medium sized towns)/urban split as well as a North/South division. You can see this split here in the reaction of Northerners to the idea that they might in any way be at fault. Will that lead to lead to some calamity? I have no idea. pl

Will Reks

Let me add to this with my own spin which might be wrong.

Plenty of black folks in the Army. Most or many join for economic reasons. It provides a stable job with decent benefits. For many it is an escape from wherever they were born.

This does not mean that they have any desire for front-line fighting as infantrymen. I'm not saying that there aren't blacks in infantry units. There are.

Babak Makkinejad

The notion of "White" in the United States is not entirely physical; it is religious as well. That is, there are "White" religions and then there are Not-So-White religions.

Various Protestant sects are considered "White"; Catholicism was considered Not-So-White specially if its adherents were from Spain and Italy.

When Enrico Fermi went to meet the US Secretary of the Navy in 1939 in regards to fission bombs, the receptionist told the Navy Secretary: "There is a dago out there to see you."

On the other hand, people whose skin coloration is far darker than mine are considered "White"; they are Jews, another (Now) White religion.

Islam is not considered a White religion nor are Bahai, Hindu, Sabean, Yazidi, Jain, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Sikh, Druze, etc. no matter how fair-complexioned one is; in my opinion.

I recall a case in which a "White" woman broke her relationship with an American of Armenian ancestory (one of the oldest and most cultured people on Earth) because her father kept on asking her: "Are you going to give me darkie grand-kids?"

The obverse of this is that very many Black women in US will not enter into a relationship with a "White" man.

I have personally been subject to racial and cultural slurs in Fly-Over America over many years. I do not believe this racialism is politically motivated based on the currents of the domestic politics of the United States; it is a cultural disposition that has existed for decades, if not centuries.

I understand that many of the residents of these areas are proud to belong to Northern European races. One could admit that the Northern European races have contributed enormously to the progress of Mankind and I suppose if I were a Northern European I would also take pride in the achievements of my ancestors.

On the other hand, a "White" couple of my acquaintence were not served in a small-town in US South recently.

No comparison with Israel is apt.

For since 1960s at the very least Americans do not internally discriminate against different religions, ethnicities, and races - discrimination is illegal and it is enforced. I find that quite admirable; US is not creating ethno-religious enclaves through discrimination.

Fundamentally, I think, in US there is equlaity but its color is green - that is; the color of Yankee money.

One should expect that inter-marriage, over a few thousand years, will dissolve many of these issues.

Babak Makkinejad

Looking at the maps in this post; the Reds seem to be surrounded - East, West, and North; and South is Mexico.

And Reds have no access to the Pacific Ocean.

Furthermore, at least in the Southwest, there is a substantial Spanish speaking population - "the Fifth Column" - as it were.

On the other hand, the Republican Party, by making a presentation to Red America that it is indeed their political home, has kept them anchored in the Two-Party System of governance in the United States.

Should the Republican Party lose these people, then there is a real danger of extremist political movements in the United States; men like David Duke will no longer be the exception but the new political normal.


Thanks, Babak,
unfortunately your suggestion that it may be ultimately about religion and only superficially about skin color does not fit my German experience. One of the main targets of the extreme right over her are Germans with Turkish origin. Not long ago a group of young people the neo-nazi cell was found out to have operated all over Germany for 10 years without anybody connecting the dots. In fact these people were often suspected to be victims by some kind of Turkish mafia. Before there were some arson attacks against Turkish homes. The cell was from Eastern Germany, the arsons happened even close to me in the North-West.

If I recollect the last decades, the East with enormous economic difficulties after the ill conceived privatization of former state assets with the resulting loss of work places surfaced prominently. Religion hasn't played a major role over there before the fall of the walls, while it played a prominent role in the rise against the state powers. Churches often functioned as meeting places. But due to the economic circumstances the right has gained ground there rapidly after the German reunification. The victims there are always "the visibly other", asylum seekers, black people, the wife of an Egypt Muslim academic, who tried to fight bias in court. Controls were so weak she was stabbed in court, if I remember correctly. Fact is even before the "secular internationalists" hadn't really tried to integrate their foreign guest workers before, so the ground for the right was somehow prepared by them too.

When I lived in London I liked the many "colors" around, an obvious result of the British empire. I liked it when it got more colorful over here.

I respect religion deeply, and was never drawn to the complex Indian religious universe, or new age religion, but I also deeply fear religious bigots, the self-righteous that seem to misuse religion. A scholar over here argues that religion, or more precisely the monotheist tradition has two central traits. One is to fight the other, the other is to care for the ones that need care. Could the component to fight the other be simply result from the fact that religion is some kind of memory, storage of human experience with life and dead over the centuries? Thus I am not quite sure if it is really about religion. But I accept your perspective on it.

Somehow the German history forces me to assume it may ultimately be all about the economy. Even religious people first and foremost need to be able to live and work, the history of the German churches under the Nazis is an interesting story. Even before the takeover the "German Christians" inspired by Nazi ideology were founded.

If I may switch abruptly, Iran may well be an authoritarian religious system, but they are no Nazis, I think even the attempts to pressure them economically is the wrong way. But strictly I should read the monthly newsletter by a German-Iranian whom I met ages ago. But alas, I should also devote my time to my duties.


Thanks Pat, thanks Will,

I have learned to respect the military perspective. Fact is as other Germans I had never problems with the occupation on German ground either. On the other hand, I also empathize with the black people that prefer not to fight as infantrymen, if they prefer not to and have the choice. I guess I would also ask myself the question for whom and what am I supposed to sacrifice my life here. Why should I kill these people? This is biographically no doubt influenced by my father who was drafted into Hitler's army with 17 in 1944.

I was always fascinated by an incident during WWI were Germans and the British decided to stop fighting to celebrate Christmas. Babak may like that ultimately religion surfaces here in a surprising way.



All US soldiers are first and foremost warriors and killers. That is what they are sworn to do and what they are trained to do. Over and above that some are trained to perform other tasks as well. we don't have labor troops in the US Army. pl



You have stopped writing here from some sort of sense of grievance but I never answered your request for statistics on the racial and class composition of the US armedforces.



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