« Able Archer 83, Andropov's stovepipe and the Neocons (by CP) | Main | Beware of the MEK By Richard Sale »

05 May 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Col: I'm a lot more interested in how he hopes to revitalize Baltimore economically. And how he thinks the TPP is going to make a difference in these failing urban areas. (Yes, sir, that is the whiff of the dreaded economic determinism.)



All that is worth saying has been said in literature. Have you read "the Bear?" I recommend it highly. I guess you missed the post in which I wrote that the plight of Baltimore Blacks who have not had the gumption to leave results from the destruction of the area industrialization base because of the baleful effect of free trade. pl


Maybe the right dog hasn't come along. Sam Fathers, call home.


Obama's biggest contribution as President was getting elected. Everything since has been a let-down.

For the next 30 years, he will be galavanting around the world doing what he does best - pontificating in a manner that has little practical connection to actual problems. A sort of Tony Blair with attitude. Let's just hope that he stays away from foreign policy matters. In any case, his endless appearances on various mid-day talk shows in mid-week has so debased the currency of presidential address, that most of the country tuned him out years ago.


Col: I will read it. But it took me a while to get over “As I lay Dying.” Faulkner is a great genius, but a very heavy one.

I didn't comment on your post about Baltimore's de-industrialization because I agreed with it.

Unlike you, the President seems stuck on sociology. Pointless.

If you believe culture is largely created by geography and economics, it's a waste of time to focus on individual failings, particularly, in a dying community. Cf. http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Samaritans-Secret-History-Capitalism/dp/1596915986

Moreover, the President wants to craft a "solution" that absolves the local politicians in Baltimore and supports adoption of the TTP.


Did Obama say anything that wasn't factually accurate?



He implied that Blacks are not responsible for their own fates. pl

different clue

I still suspect that the first main thing Obama will do with his life will be to collect the hundreds of millions of dollars he expects to be paid by the FIRE sector and other interests he has made or saved several trillion dollars for through his actions in office. And the second thing he will try doing is getting his daughters married to economic glamouroyalty the way the Clintons were able to do for Chelsea. And then speak and activise on racial issues as long as that doesn't interfere with
upwardly mobile marriages for his daughters and harvesting the money he expects he is due.



No offense but that didn't answer my question. Did he say anything that was factually incorrect? Based on what you wrote as to what was said I don't believe he did but before I comment further I'd like to know what others think as to the accuracy of his remarks.


This is a wise insight that not all cultural upbringings have. For instance, APA head Marty Seligman's early work on Learned Helplessness in shocked dogs showed most just laid down and whimpered, while a few brave entrepreneurial dogs tried everything. Freedom, self-responsibility, and taking control of one's future are habits based on a certain way of viewing the world, which, I gather, the Army trains well. What would a program look like that would train these habits in civilians? What components?



What you note is something that many in America don't want to hear. Across the board many are unwilling to accept responsibility for their own affairs. It's always someone else's fault. My alma mater has now fenced off the pond on campus due to personal injury lawsuits as students skating on thin ice have got injured. We are developing a culture of entitlement and the culture of personal accountability that helped build this nation is being lost. We see that in all the Wars on Poverty, Drugs, etc where we have spent trillions but the problems are worse than when the War began. So just throwing money is not the solution.

Similarly, the largest financial institutions are no longer responsible for their speculative losses. Future generations are now becoming more responsible for our current living standards. More and more people want a society where there are no consequences for personal choices and actions. The belief in the free lunch grows.

I wonder how folks will react when the unicorns don't show up.

Nancy K

GCP, I did not find fault with what President Obama said, but then according to Tyler I am a Libertard so what do I know. I think many will agree with what he said and many will disagree and that seems to be the say the country is going. If we were a family we would be called dysfunctional.



Ah, IMO, you are looking for a way to call or think me a racist. Please yourself. I should have said that what he said was factual but also irrelevant. It has been 150 years since slavery and 50 years since Jim Crow. Many Blacks have moved on into the main stream of America. Colin Powell, General Lloyd Austen, Tyson, the astronomer, Obama himself, Henry Louis Gates. We could list a great many. The schools in Baltimore are not good enough? My wife and I went to a very poor quality parochial school in Maine. I went there because my mother was not bright enough to understand that the very good public high school in the town would have been better for me. I, and my wife, are here to tell you that a poor high school is better than none. We overcame that hindrance and Blacks should do the same thing. Are you going to tell us who you are? pl


Nancy K

We are not a family and should not be. [pl



Ah, I forgot. You did not answer my point that Obama excused Blacks from responsibility for themselves. pl



I agree with your point in many cases. Some blacks don't want to be helped and I agree Obama hasn't really addressed that point.


"The first is setting an example of excellence for our children — because if we want to set high expectations for them, we’ve got to set high expectations for ourselves. It’s great if you have a job; it’s even better if you have a college degree. It’s a wonderful thing if you are married and living in a home with your children, but don’t just sit in the house and watch “Sports Center” all weekend long. That’s why so many children are growing up in front of the television. As fathers and parents, we’ve got to spend more time with them, and help them with their homework, and replace the video game or the remote control with a book once in awhile. That’s how we build that foundation.

We know that education is everything to our children’s future. We know that they will no longer just compete for good jobs with children from Indiana, but children from India and China and all over the world. We know the work and the studying and the level of education that requires.


"You know, sometimes I’ll go to an eighth-grade graduation and there’s all that pomp and circumstance and gowns and flowers. And I think to myself, it’s just eighth grade. To really compete, they need to graduate high school, and then they need to graduate college, and they probably need a graduate degree, too. An eighth-grade education doesn’t cut it today. Let’s give them a handshake and tell them to get their butts back in the library!

It’s up to us — as fathers and parents — to instill this ethic of excellence in our children. It’s up to us to say to our daughters, don’t ever let images on TV tell you what you are worth, because I expect you to dream without limit and reach for those goals. It’s up to us to tell our sons, those songs on the radio may glorify violence, but in my house we give glory to achievement, self-respect and hard work. It’s up to us to set these high expectations. And that means meeting those expectations ourselves. That means setting examples of excellence in our own lives."


"Because if America stands for anything, it stands for the idea of opportunity for everybody. The notion that no matter who you are or where you came from, or the circumstances into which you are born, if you work hard, if you take responsibility, then you can make it in this country."


Colonel wrote:

'Ah, IMO, you are looking for a way to call or think me a racist.'

Not at all. In fact, I don't think you are. If I did I would tell you. I simply don't think this country will ever solve the problem of our developing a permanent underclass (black or otherwise) by telling others to 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps'. That didn't work very well for the Romans did it? Would you prefer we continue on this path until we have 40% of the country expecting bread and circuses from the rich patrons of today? I think you are on the right road when you talk about jobs/trade which I find interesting.

'Are you going to tell us who you are?'

You already know. You know my email address and you've emailed me - to tell me when I've been a bad boy. You've attempted to ascertain my location through my ip address which I do not hide nor disguise and since I use public ip's assigned to me personally it shouldn't have been hard for you to find me. If you must know and it's some kind of big deal it's

Jack Harris
League City, Texas

Anything else?


Nancy K:

Obama wants it both ways. He can't talk about the ills of black society and then send all their jobs overseas with things like the TPP. What we are doing now has NOTHING to do with free trade much less fair trade. What comparative advantage do any of the countries in any trade deal have over us when it comes to manufacturing other than slave wage labor?

Why do we have minimum wages so low that working people (including those in the military) qualify for public benefits? Why are all of us paying taxes subsidizing big business because they want to pay slave wages?

I could go on ............

Will Reks


It seems Obama was responding to a push from Letterman to blame racism for the plight of blacks. As you said, Obama is a refutation of the notion that blacks cannot move upwards into the middle class and into the mainstream. If he didn't think they were capable of doing this I doubt he would waste time with his new initiative which will end up, in my opinion, being a legacy project.

Obama has no problem playing the Bill Cosby role. I can't question your main contention as it's something you have inferred and I have not.


will reks

What is my "main contention?" pl



I don't think you are a bad boy at all. The burden of the aftermath of slavery lies on us all. pl



Every Democrat in office or running for one is busy beating the "college" mantra. My brother managed to become a VP of a fortune 500 company without one. Plenty of others were run into bankruptcy by leaders with more than one. This sounds more like a speech to a party constituency than to poor black men.

Will Reks

That Obama believes that blacks are in no way responsible for their situation.


The evidence in black-white healthcare disparity, to the detriment of the former, is just beyond denial. It literally starts before the conception, although that sounds counterintuitive. A female's eggs have been created in the womb of her mother (in contrast to the sperms) thus explaining why a female has not only genetically but environmentally been subjected to the environmental factors that affected the grandmother. Indeed, for generations, blacks are responsible for their misfortune by being born from the wrong womb. Obviously, it is not a color issue but an economic resource issue. Though there is no determinism, the odds are just stacked against the resource-poor. I am not an expert in THREE-GENERATION APPROACH IN BIODEMOGRAPHY but as a layperson, this sounds to be reasonable.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad