Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our Affirmative Action President

If I wrote a piece arguing that Barack Obama is our first Affirmative Action President, would I be put down as a racist? Or a realist?

Most people under fifty who went to academically competitive universities in the United States saw what has come to be known as Affirmative Action babies: Minority students, mostly black, who simply could not cut the work at the competitive college level.

Forget bringing up some Herrnstein & Murray Bell Curve arguments about “racial differences in intelligence” or some such: A lot of the minority students simply did not have the cultural and educational background to cut it.

In my own case in the early ’90’s, I remember quite clearly talking to an African American student who had no idea who Napoleon III was. The first Napoleon—Napoleon Bonaparte? Sure, he’d seen the movie. But Napoleon III? President of the Second Republic, ruler of the Second Empire, the Revolution of 1848? Not a clue. In fact at first, I think he thought I was pulling his leg about there being a “Napoleon the Third”.

This young man was smart—smart enough to realize that he had been accepted to Dartmouth because he happened to be black. He struggled academically all the while—because he was simply unprepared for the exigencies of a place like Hanover. His high-school had not equipped him with the tools needed to succeed—

—which was of course the tragedy of Affirmative Action:
Tens of thousands of minority students were granted places at elite American colleges and universities which they were simply unprepared to handle. They could speak the academese, they could fake it on a one-on-one interview, they were careful to suck-up to the university administration, which made their presence possible—

—but when you got down to brass tacks, they could not cut the work.

They weren’t stupid. They were simply unprepared.

What was interesting about the college establishment back in the early ’90’s was its reaction to this failure of black students: They ascribed it to racism.

Racism of the professors, racism of the other students—the failure of the black students simply had to be because of racism. There could be no other explanation: Racism was all the explanation necessary.

The university establishment so thoroughly inculcated the notion that racism must be the reason for the Affirmative Action babies’ failure that a causal chain kicked off, as relentless as a Greek tragedy:

1. Professors started lowering their standards when it came to black students, in an effort to prevent the unqualified black students from failing—and thus avoid the racism accusation, self- or otherwise.

2. Because these efforts at minority grade inflation were so transparent (we all have horror stories of black students getting favorable and grossly unfair treatment by professors who were willing to do anything to give black students a C+/B–, while cutting everyone else absolutely no slack), it made the other students realize that a black student was not necessarily the academic equal to them. It wasn’t just whites who came to this (unspoken) conclusion—Asians especially came to think of black students as sub-standard. And the Asians resented them, likely because so many Asian students with better academic records than blacks or whites were excluded from elite universities. A Korean girlfriend I had my junior year openly despised black students at Hanover precisely for this reason—and she wasn’t alone among the Asian Americans.

3. The insistent clamor that black student failure could have no other cause than racism made the black students themselves resent the very society they were seeking to join, as they believed this society was out to get them. After all, the establishment academics at the university were openly saying that racism—not lack of preparation—was the cause of black student failure. So that must be the reason for the black students’ failure.

4. Finally, and most tragically: This insistence on racism as the cause of black academic failure, and the grade inflation that it begat as a direct result, made prospective employers realize that a black graduate from an elite American university was not necessarily as capable as a non-black graduate. “You’re a Dartmouth graduate? Wow! Oh, you’re black? Hmm . . .”

In other words, the very charge of racism as the reason for black students’ academic failure created a worse and far more pernicious racism.

This was the lot of Affirmative Action babies.

In 2008, we elected Barack Obama as president: He had this great blah-blah, that great look, this great poster, that even better concept—hope.

But he can’t cut the work. He is our Affirmative Action president.

We cannot expect him to cut the work. After all, he simply does not have the background or preparation. Where did he start out his political career—community organizer was it? Admirable. From there, he became an Illinois State Senator from 1997 to 2004—even better. In 2000, he ran for and lost the Democratic primary for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, retreating back to his State Senate seat—but then he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004: And he won.

So far, so good. He did his time in a small pond, before stepping into the big pond.

But notice that he never had any sort of executive power and responsibility. He was never placed in charge of running a large bureaucracy, he was never in charge of carrying out a specific policy. In the Illinois State Senate, as a U.S. Senator—even as a guest lecturer and then senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School—Obama was always just another face on a committee.

This is key about Obama: He has always been one more member of a committee—he has never been point-man. He has never been the man out front, leading.

In 2004—thanks to a brilliant speech at the Democratic National Convention—Obama became a bright light in the Democratic Party firmament. The speech helped him win the U.S. Senate race, and position him as a potential presidential candidate.

When he ran for president in 2008, I don’t think anyone really thought he would win the nomination, let alone the presidency. The general consensus of the commentariat was, Obama would lose with dignity to Hillary, but gain valuable experience for a possible run in 2016 (if Hillary won in 2008), or 2012 (if McCain won in 2008). In 2016, Obama would be all of 55—a seasoned politician but still a young man, likely with a term as Governor of Illinois under his belt.

But of course, the unexpected happened: Obama won the relatively unimportant Iowa caucus, which gave him the opportunity to deliver the brilliant Iowa speech:



That speech was moving—it swooped—it soared. Even I—a confirmed Conservative with enough cynicism to outmatch a brothelful of hookers—was moved almost to tears by that speech.

More to the point, Iowa was the first time a large portion of the electorate got an eyeful of the man: And he looked good. Presidential, controlled, articulate—a winner.

That speech—more than any other—won him the 2008 presidential election.

Now, of course—three years later—we know better: Obama is a terrible president. Not by my conservative standards—by the standards of his own party and core-constituency: Obama is simply awful. In foreign policy, domestic policy, fiscal policy, regulatory policy, and most especially human & Constitutional rights, he has been a lot of hot air in a bag.

Taking the point of view of the Left, this is what Obama has done—or not done:

Foreign Policy: He has continued two illegal wars—Iraq and Afghanistan—and expanded foreign intervention in three more countries: Yemen, Libya, and most troublingly of all, Pakistan. He has allowed himself to be captured by the hard-Right Israeli lobby, and is isolating America from the rest of the world—“isolating” being the polite term for “the rest of the world hates our fucking guts—and with good reason”.

Domestic Policy: He has passed “health care legislation” which is a joke. Since it does not have a public option, it basically gave insurance and medical companies an oligopoly. Thus the health care industry gouges the average American worker worse than ever before, while simultaneously adding an insidious bureaucratic layer of rules and regs that are drowning small businesses—all a direct result of the Obama health care “reform”.

Fiscal Policy: Forget the ginormous Federal government deficit ($1.6 trillion per year, and counting), Obama is more concerned with the health and welfare of the banks—and the bonuses of the banksters—than with the fact that U-3 unemployment is hovering at just under 10%, a figure which would be in fact closer to 13% if the government were honest and counted as unemployed those who have been out of work for more than 2 years. He has not prosecuted any of the people responsible for the Mortgage Mess fraud, or for the fact that the 2008 bank capital injections were funneled into the 2009 bonuses of the banksters—which is essentially criminal fraud.

Regulatory Policy: There has been no effort by the Obama administration to beef up regulations—something that he promised in 2008 would be his top priority. (And which even I, a confirmed Conservative, think is woefully inadecuate and ineffective.) If a sound regulatory structure requires transparency, accountability and consistency, then the regulatory structure across all industries is in worse shape under Obama than during the W. Bush administration: Financial regulation is a joke (CDS market transparency anybody?), the FDA’s budget has been cut and then cut some more, there is a disgusting revolving door between government and private industry (Michael Chertoff, anybody?), and worst of all, regulations are applied capriciously: The politically connected get a pass, while the marginal or the individual who stands up for his rights gets hammered.

Human & Constitutional Rights: The Obama administration is actively and openly carrying out the assassination of American citizens. The Obama administration has in practice suspended indefinitely the writ of habeas corpus. The Obama administration is murdering blameless civilians in faraway lands by remote control. The Obama administration is harassing—and in some cases detaining—whistleblowers, and anyone who points out wrongdoing, while allowing the wrongdoers to go free, unpunished and often as not rewarded. The Obama administration promised to shut down the illegal prison camp at Guantánamo—but instead has expanded the archipelago of American gulags around the globe.

Is there anything more to say?

This is what Obama has done—or not done: He has failed to live up to his twin promises of “hope” and “change”. Fact is, if he was a white guy, I think there’d be some serious calls for his impeachment—that’s how bankrupt his administration has become.

And now, with these obvious, inexcusable failures and broken promises on the record, what do we get?

We get the charge that Obama’s failure to get re-elected will really be a reflection of racism on our part! If Obama doesn’t get re-elected in 2012, we are to blame!

In other words, our racism is the reason Obama is failing!

I swear I’m not making this stuff up—from an editorial in The Nation written by Melissa Harris-Perry:
The 2012 election may be a test of another form of electoral racism: the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts. If old-fashioned electoral racism is the absolute unwillingness to vote for a black candidate, then liberal electoral racism is the willingness to abandon a black candidate when he is just as competent as his white predecessors.
The editorial’s become quite the lightning rod: There’s been a shit-storm of commentary from both the Left and the Right—repudiating Harris-Perry in no uncertain terms.

But actually, I sort of agree with her.

I do not agree that the 2012 election will be a “racist” election: Rather, I agree that racism will play a decisive part in the future election—or likely non-election—of another black president of the United States.

The United States—by an electoral fluke—did not elect a black man: They elected an unqualified man. The American electorate wanted this unqualified man to be qualified—we wanted Barack Obama to be all the things we projected onto him: Good, wise, clever, cautious, brave, etc.

But he was none of those things: Rather, he was a mirror for our hopes and aspirations—what we wished our next president to be.

And in fact, I think there was racism in the 2008 election—racism that favored Obama: We wanted to elect a black president, regardless of how unqualified he might have been. I mean really, if a freshman senator with no leadership experience had run for the Democratic Party nomination—and been white—would he have won? Would he have had even a chance?

No—but Barack Obama, by virtue of the color of his skin, did get that chance.

So we, the American electorate, gave it to him: Just like Affirmative Action babies at the university level who get admitted no matter how low their grades and test scores, we admitted Obama and elevated him to a place he really had not earned, and for which he was unprepared.

And we were thrilled about it. We talked about all this “post-racial” nonsense, and collectively slapped ourselves on the back—like a bunch of narcissistic idiots blinded by what we wished to see, rather than by what was actually there.

But then, and of course inevitably, there was this incredible disillusionment—literally, the loss of our illusions—with regards to who and what Barack Obama really is. His lack of performance—briefly sketched above—made us realize he was nowhere near what we had hoped for, or even what we could reasonably expect.

Obama was simply unprepared. He talked the talk—boy! could he talk the talk!

But the other stuff? Y’know—the actual work of being president? Not so hot.

So what do you think this has instilled in the American electorate? The same sense that it instilled in my former girlfriend back in college, the same hesitation that prospective employers get, when faced with an Ivy League graduate who happens to be black: Resentment, suspicion, racism.

And a pernicious racism at that: Whether Obama wins or loses in 2012 will depend on the caliber of the Republican opponent. But after that, the American electorate will likely not support the next electable black presidential candidate—no matter how terrific he might be, no matter how smart, no matter how proven a leader he turns out to be.

The words will be different, but the sentiment will be the same: “He’s so smart and clever and charismatic—wow! Oh, but he’s black? Hmm . . .”

61 comments:

  1. Over 10 years ago I did a brief stint in a southern governor's office. I reported to an African American woman who let me in on a sort of secret among African American politicos: The use of "articulate" as a tell of someone's view of blacks. See, saying black instead of African American meant nothing. But if you listen to white people you will hear that the best and sometimes only compliment they will ascribe to a black person is being "articulate". This was especially humorous in the south where many of the white politicos sounded like Foghorn Leghorn "I say, I say, this here session is a-called ta order!" Since then I can't help but notice its use, like in the above piece.

    That said, Dartmouth might have been the worst thing to ever happen to you GL. It seems to have left you jaded in so many ways. My only confusion is that after your experience there, why did you get enamored with Barack Obama? Your use of "we" in the last half of this column makes me think you must have voted for him. For a self-proclaimed Conservative to vote for Barack Obama for what seems like racial sympathy reasons belies both the subtle racism of low expectations and some sort of profound race guilt.

    Again, with a time machine, I'd take you back in time and tear up your Dartmouth application.

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  2. Are you suggesting we hold everyone to the same high standards? But.... then we'd have to make JUDGMENTS. And OFFEND PEOPLE. I cannot stand behind any such sentiments.

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  3. Gonzalo, I agree with your point. I worked with a successful company in the midwest. GE bought the place and then proceeded to move in people with different racial backgrounds to meet 'diversity' quotas, clearly pushing aside local male white candidates that were better qualified. I'm all for a colorblind society, but that means hiring the best candidate regardless of race, not to meet racial diversity quotas. By the way, I'm a white immigrant that works hard and is not looking for or getting any special treatment, but it's upsetting when you see fairness morphing into reverse discrimination.

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  4. Nobody can cut the work since American politicians (as almost any other politician anywhere) are just working girls who do what they are told to do by 'Big Money'. What would John McCain have done different had he won the elections? A war with Iran? QE4 already in action? What else? And the first Affirmative Action American president was Ronald Reagan, a peanut headed actor, a disabled person, who was just put in office to read speeches.

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  5. Gonzalo,

    First, I didn't vote for Obama or anyone else. Voting is a dishonest proposition, I believe, because those who lose are forced to comply to the wishes of those who win, no matter how ridiculous those wishes are, the law be damned and rewritten to appease. Obama won, and now everybody, including me, who didn't vote, are forced to comply with his fascist ideas, and to fork over money to the insurance companies. I believe, that I should be able to say: "Fuck you Obama, may you be blessed on your way to hell, but I do not wish to do as you want. I opt out."

    Second, his speach did not inspire me at all, call me racist I guess, but Obama have said none of the right things, just bunch of collectivist hype. Being form a communist country, I can smell that collectivist thief far earlier than anyone else can.

    Third, I agree, this will be a precedent in election history. But, I think to the best, since the idea of elections followed by enforcement is so immoral, why shouldn't it show that immorality even during the elections?

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  6. So what do you think happens if Obama has as his opponent in the next election another black man(Herman Cain)? I'd be interested to hear your take on how the electorate reconciles who to vote for then.

    Thanks

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  7. I believe that, at least, half of the American people are morons.
    Last night I watched, on TV, an interview of a lawyer and a medical doctor.
    They were both arguing for higher Federal taxes!
    Their rationale being that higher marginal tax rates have no effect on GDP.
    They gave examples of the higher rates in earlier years, "as proof".
    Of course they never bothered to read about Hauser's Law.
    Which shows that Federal Tax receipts, since the late 1940's have stayed at a more or less constant percentage of GDP. About 20%.
    Regardless of marginal rates.
    So a "half truth" is OK for a medical doctor and a lawyer.
    And so it is for most everything of the learned Americans, including
    race.
    Just because Obama could be so eloquent he must be qualified for President of the US.
    Did those who voted for him check his socialist background? His accomplishments?

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  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:U.S._Federal_Tax_Receipts_as_a_Percentage_of_GDP_1945%E2%80%932015.jpg

    Ebag, I'm sorry, but more than five percent of the entire GDP in variance is not what anyone considers "constant".

    As to the article, Obama is indeed a failure, but so were many of his white predecessors.

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  9. Actually this will probably result in the electorate giving up on the entire process all together (which is happening if you listen to the Wall St protestors). We suffered through eight years of George W. Bush telling us one thing, then doing another (all while drooling!). For all his talk about the middle class, it was clear that he knew d*ck about it.

    Then came Obama. A guy who talked about the struggles of the middle class as if he lived it. He wanted to renegotiate trade deals to make them fair. He wanted to end the wars. He wanted to give us affordable healthcare. He wanted to come along and change America and give the middle class a voice that would fight for them.

    He was a f@#king liar. He turned around immediately and threw us under the god-dam bus so his corporate friends could walk away with billions. He went from accusing the Bush administration to freaking admiring them! Trade deals? He must have had amnesia. Wars? He meant start 3 more wars not END the current wars. Middle class? F!@k the poor! Healthcare? Hahahahahahaaa! I can't believe we seriously believed that $hit!

    Maybe it was his qualifications. Maybe he was just unprepared. On the other hand, perhaps he was prepared. Prepared to say anything to win so he could go in there and serve his corporate masters. In fact, if you could name one thing he has done extremely well, it is serving corporate america. Record profits and record poverty. Its a win-win!

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  10. Obama's re-election will depend solely on the state of the economy. If it's as bad as I think it's going to be by Nov '12, a mannequin would crush Obama. He'll join Herbert Hoover in the outhouse of history.. but at least Hoover did'nt suffer from an oversized ego.

    I have also seen what "affirmative action" does; I worked at a local utility company where we required to pay particular attention to "address racial inequalities in the system". Many unqualified blacks were subsequently hired-- and after a while fired. It did nobody any good, including those blacks, who knew full well why they were hired.

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  11. Nowhere, have I heard this notion of Obama as the "affirmative action president." I think it is quite accurate.

    I too, attended University in the late 80's/90's when these policies were widely accepted. I fully agree with your assessment and witnessed it firsthand.

    Your listing of Obama's failures should be required reading for anyone still intent on supporting him.

    He won me over with the early speeches and I voted for his hope and change, only to be bitterly disappointed.

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  12. Gonzalo, I wonder what you'd say about someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger; the terminator turned governor. The fact of the matter is that Obama is merely joining a long line of grade B actors and mediocre personages that have graced political office in this country. That's the preferred state of affairs actually as that makes them pliable for those who ultimately control the nation's affairs.

    I think when you take a broad view of American politics, you'll find a remarkable consistency in policies pursued across administrations, particularly over the last 25-30 years or so. Except for managing perceptions from a marketing standpoint, there's no real difference between various administrations or political parties that happen to be in control at any given moment. So, in this sense, Obama continues largely to carry out the precedents that have been set before. For him to bring hope and change, or any of that other stuff he campaigned on, would require a wholesale change in the entire US political structure and that ain't happening. Moreover Obama's lack of tenure and the relationships that are normally formed from that mean that he can't pigeonhole folks like an LBJ or call in on past favors. That means he's weak and that's what we seeing more than anything else. Again, I might add that that's the preferred situation for those who are really in control.

    From a marketing/campaign standpoint, Obama was the man for the moment. The country was looking for change and who better to give it than someone who was vastly different (at least on the face of matters) than anyone who had aspired to the presidency before. From a marketing standpoint, his campaign will be the stuff of study for years to come. Sadly, the same will not apply to his presidency.

    As to the racial aspects, to be sure, there was some White guilt that played into his election just as there was Black pride. Both of those emotions are waning under the reality of Obama's failed presidency. As I recollect, recent polling shows his approval rating among African-Americans hovering slightly above 50%. The pain of the economic upheavals have been more acute in the African-American community than anywhere else.

    Harris-Perry along with the Black Congressional Caucus are basically going all out to close this widening enthusiasm gap by raising the specter of racism mainly to get blacks turn out up and to tug at white guilt. From the perspective of many African-Americans, Obama has been dissed and he's faced a strident opposition greater than most presidents have faced starting from literally days after his inauguration. We seen a run on guns, the birther nonsense, talk of secession from Rick Perry and etc. So, some of the talk about racism may very well have a base.

    Notwithstanding that however, I see Obama's administration basically being an extension of Bush's and that's not what I voted for. Come 2012, I've concluded that the only sensible thing for me to do is sit it out. The vote no longer matters.

    As to an Affirmative Action presidency, I just think this assertion is off base and unsupported. Obama is just joining a long line of incompetents who've been purchased lock, stock and barrel by the monied elite. I guess you might say that they're equal opportunity employers.

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  13. Sorry Gonzalo I usually agree with you, but the same could be said about latinos. How do we know that you aren't an "affirmative action baby" too?

    "You’re a Dartmouth graduate? Wow! Oh, you’re latino? Hmm"

    Just calling a spade a spade. The reason different classes of races from lower socio-economic backgrounds tend to fail, is they are exposed to hundreds of different carcinogens on a regular basis, breathe contaminated air, drink contaminated water, eat contaminated food, and are deficient in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. You of all people should know about this Gonzalo, since you wrote an article about this earlier here:

    http://gonzalolira.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-distinguishes-rich-from-poor-today.html

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  14. Dear Anonymous:
    Wikepedia does have a leftist, socialist tendency.
    Their Hauser curve is wrong.
    Try the following link:
    http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/5728
    Federal tax receipts show a variance of less than 1/2 percent of GDP, regardless of marginal rates.
    "He who makes the tax law makes the loophole"
    Try as you may to stick it to the rich they'll pay, on the average, 19.5% tax, period.

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  15. Regarding "African Americans" or the "black race".
    Given that I've spent many years in the Miami, Florida area.
    Blacks from the Caribbean, Central and South America are very competitive with whites.
    Plus they don't carry a "chip on their shoulder".
    The Democratic party and the, so called, black leaders and the unions are keeping "African Americans" in the "plantation".
    Racism, racism is what's keeping you down brother!
    That's their battle cry.
    Hard work, savings and an honest life is what will get you out of the plantation.
    Damn Jesse Jackson, Nancy Pelosi, Obama and all the "plantation" owners.

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  16. GL,

    You've got this all wrong. But let me preface this by saying that I hate Obama's guts.

    Now Obama may be a con artist and a lier, but he's certainly not "unskilled." In fact, he's one of the most intelligent and politically skilled prseidents of the modern era.

    Sure, if you assume he actually wanted to do anything he campaigned on, then he's a fool and a failure. But if he studiously conned his way into office and never intended to do anything he promised, then he's one of the smartest guys in the room.

    Let's see: the week after he was elected he appointed a bevy of Wall Street, ah well, street walkers for his economic team, skillfully out manouvered progressives on health care - no public option, no drug reimportation, no bargaining with drug co's, no public negotiaions, but you now gotta buy dirt health insurance from quasi criminal companies, which he campligned against. And when progressives complained his boys called them drug addicts and f***ing "retards" to their face - and Obama's gotten away with it.

    He was elected to be a change agent, but he made sure there was no "change". Look who he first appoined, and then who he recently appoined to run the White House, and if you think he doesn't know exactely what he's doing, you're the one who's the mark.

    This guy is smart. Real smart. Just two more examples. He said he wanted to end the Bush tax cuts, and he could have done that anytime before he lost the House - which was pretty much clear before the election - and he could have had his Dem congress raise the debt ceiling before the new House was sworn in. But he didn't? Why? Do I need to spell this out for you?

    He's always wanted to cut SS and Medicare, he said so AFTER he was elected to the WP - he hand picked the Deficit committee to mostly include people who thought the same way, keeps pushing for cuts in Medicare with the new Super Congress - keeps following his agenda which is not a progressive one. And he's getting away with it.

    He grows an organic garden and then appoints Monsanto and agri-business types to office. Smart move. How many people out there know that?

    He pushes an extreme form of No Child Left Behind but makes sure his own kids are sent to a private school with a philosophy which is the antithesis of NCLB

    He cares about jobs, and then reappoints one of the most right wing economists in America to the FED in order to service the bankers - hey, I'm trying to keep this clean. Yes, old Bennie Boy, Hand Maiden to Wall Street, and keeps Timmy, the Wall Street bail out princess.

    Stupid? Affirmative Action? Please. TPTB hired one very smart operator to head off change when the country was craving for it. They hired an extremely competent and capable employee by the name of B. H. Obama to get the job done that THEY wanted done - not the job you wanted done - and he's delivered "big time".

    Rule of thumb: nobody who gets elected president is stupid. Bush included. After all, Bush got almost everything he wanted as president. It's the "progressives" who can't see who Obama really is who are the stupid ones. And the conservatives who actually think Obama's a socialist are even more stupid and deluded than progressives - if such a thing is possible. But that's a rant for another day.

    Regards,

    Unna

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  17. Dear Unna:
    Bennie boy a right winger?!
    He is a Keynesian!
    That's pretty extreme left wing, honey.
    The Wall Street bankers are not capitalists, they are criminals.
    They counterfeit for a living!
    At least corporations have to sell a product.
    Be it food, entertainment, trinkets ... to sell in the open market.
    You don't have to buy their shit if you don't want it.
    Make sure that you understand the distinction between good all criminals aka bankers vs corporations.
    Incidentally, I must not have much to do today to keep posting these rants tonight!

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  18. Did the Media have any role in the Obama miracle/revolution?? Do you not recall all the media hype leading up to the election? They actually scripted it, just like with Carter. (and boy, were they pleased afterward....tingling sensation in the legs and such)

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  19. Wisdom and discernment are no longer valued or taught in our culture. The wise and discerning could easily see that Mr Obama was an empty suit, even before his convention speech.

    A wise man once said - "By their fruits you will know them." Mr Obama was so immature he hadn't produced any fruit at all. If he had been white and had the PR machine he had, he would have been elected.

    Blaming our economic condition and our standing in the international community on affirmative action is misguided. Establishment presidents of both parties are typically mediocre students. They always promote More Wars and Bigger Government. As a student George Bush II was not the brightest star in the academic firmament. He presided over the biggest American military operation since WWII, the creation of the biggest government agency in American history - the Department of Homeland Security - and the biggest expansion of the welfare state in 40 years - the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

    The idea that there are differences between the two parties is a myth. If we elect an establishment candidate of either party we will all be headed down the exact same road to impoverishment and fascism. The only difference will be the speed at which we all careen toward the precipice - fast or really fast.

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  20. Whether or not BHO is smart, intelligent or even above average is irrelevant. Whether or not he is
    a Liberal, Socialist or a Progressive is irrelevant. What is relevant is what he is doing to our country. Actions speak louder than words, if you pay attention.
    No one in any media will even come close to touching on what BHO is all about. He is nothing more than an extremely well trained individual that was plucked from the bottom of the economic ladder and polished to look the part and speak the part. However what people can not seem to admit is that he is nothing more than a "plant", a puppet whose strings are being pulled by a yet undetermined person or group whose sole goal is for him to do as much damage to our country as possible for as long as possible.
    He has shredded not only our political system but also our Constitution. And, he is doing it with the aid of useful idiots on both sides of the isle. And, I will not be surprised if one way or another he gets re-elected for another term. I'll even go so far to say that I think that there's a 50/50 chance that come November 2012 and he's loosing that there will be some type of "crisis" and it's entirely possible that all elections will be suspended "until further notice". Given the egregious acts that he has already committed, is it such a stretch to think that such a thing is possible? I hope that I am wrong about that. We'll see.

    Just John

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  21. Brilliant work. Thanks. Too bad you will have to come with us. . .

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  22. Ebag has it totally right. Obushma is doing what the ruling class wants.

    The most overused and meaningless term in the USA is "racism" (for more liberal crybabies and idiots) and the second most is "socialist" (for more conservative crybabies and idiots). When someone uses either term they are trying to elicit an emotional reaction that has nothing to do with rational analysis. If you are stupid enough to think that Obama is a Socialist than check out the websites of various socialist groups such as socialistworker.org and you will find that they disagree with him as much as they did with Bush.

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  23. I wonder whether your Asian ex-girlfriend knew about the incident you mentioned 2 weeks ago. I doubt it; Asians in Universities generally don't give a damn about other students and mind their own business.

    And, I would bet that the black guy you mentioned here will be ahead of you, socially. He might not be actually doing anything, but at least he would have built connections you would never use or enjoy. At the worst of worst, he would be working in Africa for an American employer; that's an option closed to you forever.

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  24. Ebag, Keynesianism is not left wing. President Richard Nixon said - "I am now a Keynesian in economics." Republican Vice President Dick Cheney said - "Deficits don't matter."

    Keynesianism is an equal opportunity economic theory. Modern Monetary Theory, the establishment choice to replace Keynesiansm, is as well.

    The extortionist ideas embraced by those who pull the strings in the financial system and the people who pull them do not change with the political winds. Our current secretary of the treasury, Tim Geithner, appointed by President Obama, was hand picked by his predecessor Hank Paulson, who was secretary of the treasury under George Bush II. The president of our Central Monopoly Monetary Authority, Ben Bernanke, was appointed by George Bush II and reappointed by President Obama. Alan Greenspan served under presidents Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II.

    And there is nothing modern about Modern Monetary Theory. It is a greenbacker money system wrapped in different vocabulary. These systems always result in massive inflation. Civil war greenbacks lost 67% of their value in 4 years. In the greenbacker system in place during the American Revolution the currency lost 97% of its value in 5 years. When Zimbabwe did it their currency lost 99% of its value in 2 years.

    A wise man once said - "There is nothing new under the sun."

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  25. Dear Ebag,

    I think that K Smith is right on Keynesianism. It's an equal opportunity "counterfeiting" device, as you would put it. As Ron Paul and R Nader both said together on a TV interview, these guys are neither liberal nor conservative, they're really corporatists. They don't adhere to any formal political ideology, they just serve financial interests in any way they can. So in that sense, yes, Bernanke is not a conservative.

    I also agree, Wall Street today is not "capitalism", it's more of a "protected" criminal association that skims productivity from the real economy without adding value. For me, it doesn't matter whether you sell hot dogs on the sidewalk, pound nails at a construction site, run a factory, or do brain surgery to the tune of a Mozart opera, you're a real (fill in country of choice), doing real work, in the real economy. All useful work, honestly done, is deserving of respect and should be fairly compensated.

    This view would place hookers on a higher social and moral level than Wall Street con artists and the politicians and regulators who serve their interests.

    This morning I reread GL's piece. Obama carefully placed Wall Street insiders in charge of the economy and "economic reform", he carefully ran health "reform" through the most insurance and big pharma friendly Senate committee he could find, he retained Bush's sec of defense. And my understanding is that there exists a thinly veiled "Geithner" policy of no criminal prosecutions for Wall Street bankers. Too disruptive, so they say. I think it's a big mistake not to recognize that these are, in the end, Obama's policies - not policy blunders as GL seems to believe.

    On a politically incorrect note: maybe the answer to GL's problem is that Obama is really not the first black president, Bill Clinton was the first "black" president. Obama is really the first black Bill Clinton. They both went to Ivy League schools, and both seemed to do well, Obama being elected editor of the law review by his peers. Were they all guilty white liberals who elected him?

    The best thing, and the worst thing, about Obama may be, in fact, that he's black. The best thing is that America elected a black man president. He's been such a disappointment that we forget what an incrediable thing his election really was. I found, shockingly, that the most elequent words spoken by anyone on election night were spoken by John McCain in his concession speech. The speech was true, and seemed to come from the heart, when he spoke about the significance of Obama's election - all politics aside. In defeat McCain rose to the occasion and spoke as a patriot and not as a politician. Wish we could have had more of that John McCain....

    Of course, the worst thing about Obama may be that, because he's black, African Americans to their disadvantage, will very understanably find it next to impossible to abandon him. Most white progressives, however, continue to live in their own hell of surpressed prejudices which they will never admit to nor confront within themselves. Hence, the phenomenon of "white liberal guilt" which makes it impossible for them to think critically about Obama or vote against him.

    Regards,

    Unna

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  26. Dear Unna and Anonymous:
    I agree with you that "counterfeiting" has been, and is being, used by both the Republicans and the Democrats.
    Left, right whatever one calls them.
    Cheney, Nixon, O'Rielley ... they wouldn't know what economics is if it bit them in their butts.
    But, the group that is smiling, chilling and in control is the bankers.
    The Republicans vs Democrats is a side show to keep the American people distracted.
    Pro-choice vs pro-life, gay vs straight, "free" health care, wars, state rights vs central government ...
    The bankers could care less.
    They just keep making their cut of every dollar that gets spent.
    And the more the Government spends the better for them.
    Fiat money and fractional reserve banking, those are the root cause.
    That's how these criminal bankers rob us all.
    And the American people, they just don't get it.

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  27. 98% of affirmative action in this country goes to women (mostly White) and Blacks. But let's never forget who controls the system and who benefits under it. I'm talking abount indirect affirmative action that is all around us. Call it nepotism, the good ole boys network, ethnic associations, religiious affiliations etc.

    I regret voting for slick willie in 92, dubya in 00 & 04 but it is Obama I regret voting for most. When I voted for Obama, I voted for an Ivy League version of Muhamid Ali, Nelson Mandela or Al Sharpton. Brains and cojones like JFK and RFK. Instead we got a hybrid of Steve Urkel and Mugabe blindly working for the hidden elite. I feel betrayed by Obama.

    An American version of Putin would win by a landslide in 2012.

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  28. Obama gave 20 trillion dollars in transaction guarantees to the global bankers. That buys a lot of love. I think they will choose to re-elect him.

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  29. Obongo is nothing more than a tool of the jooz! He was selected and groomed for this, like many others are today. The only reason he's in office is to further the racial divide in the USA. To save Hillary for more important--and evil things. And to take the blame for the coming economic collapse.

    Obama should be more worried about when his usefulness to the jooz ends, not the next election! When his usefulness ends, he will b e"Kennedy-ized" and it will help start the race war--which they also want!

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  30. Obama is basically a creation of the CIA and AIPAC. His remarks that have 'inflamed' Israel are nothing but a ruse to make people believe he isn't a tool of their lobby, AIPAC.

    He may be Kennedy-ized at some point as noted above, after all, the same people behind Obama are the same people and forces that popped JFK in Dallas. On the other hand, Obama puts an ostensibly black face on the system, allowing the people pulling the strings to claim racism is behind the majority of the US population, meaning whites, going against the President and "his" policies.

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  31. One more note, Sergio is incorrect on his remarks about Affirmative Action. "Liberal" statisticians (most of the jewish of course) have claimed that White Women benefit more than anyone from Affirmative Action. That was only true for a little while. It is now a fact that non-white women, mainly blacks and latinos, benefit far more than White women from AA, especially when educational levels are taken into consideration - and the majority of blacks and latinos with those "college educations" flat out did not belong in college in the first place. These women of color earn far more than their White counterparts when they all have the same education or have the same job. Same is true amongst men. The system is rigged in favor of non-whites (and of course for jews who run the ultimate, racist old-boy network) and what has many non-whites worried is the eventual collapse of this system. And it will collapse.

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  32. Dibango and Walt235 are right.

    The speech that is supposed to have got him elected was only read by him with a teleprompter. The assurances that he gave the American people were'nt his. He was told to lie about them to get elected and he did what he was told.

    Just look at the people surrounding him, all from corporations that run this country by remote control.
    This guy is neither smart nor dumb. He is just playing his part and cannot take his own decisions.
    Presidents who don't doesnt play by their rules get Kennedyzed. As simple as that...

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  33. I think your a fool trying to avoid being called a racist. Blacks and Jews are morons and the US Army proved it in the early 1900`s with their IQ tests. Culturally biased is a bunch of feces. You know it, I know it. Coward!

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  34. Mohammed Ali on First Black U.S President

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P93mPk6EExk&feature=related

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  35. Unna, if McCain had been elected we would all be in the exact same boat. Remember during the campaign, when he nobly announced he was leaving the campaign trail to return to Washington to save the economy? A couple of months ago the entire gaggle of Republican senators voted to increase the speed at which the Banksters loot our wealth, with the endorsement of their Republican Senate leadership.

    If McCain had been elected he would have placed the exact same Wall Street insiders in charge of the economy and economic reform as Obama. Elizabeth Warren, Turbo Tax Timmy, and the Bernanke were all Bankster picks, not Obama picks. The Geithner policy of no criminal prosecution for Wall Streeters is not an Obama policy. It is a Bankster policy. We would have the very same players and the every same polices if McCain were in office.

    Obama was supposed to be the No More War president. We are in more wars now than when Obama took office. More wars mean big government spending and more Bankster wealth extraction.

    And if you think Obamacare is a Democrat plan, hold onto your socks. The healthcare legislation written by the Republican leadership during the Nixon administration was even more far-reaching than Obamacare. Universal healthcare is a Bankster plan.

    The idea that our political parties embrace differing ideologies and policies is an illusion. The ideologies and policies both result in massive government spending. Both parties are tools of the Banksters to loot the wealth of America.

    America is arriving at the realization that both parties spend like drunken sailors on the exact same things. They have not yet made the connection between government spending, money system extortion, and Bankster wealth extraction. It is only a matter of time until they do.

    It remains to be seen if the Banksters can keep enough of America in the dark about their endgame, and keep the crumbling money system propped up long enough to transition it to the replacement money system they intend to use to continue to enable them to loot our wealth. The old system is unraveling faster and in more public ways than they expected. Their desperation is becoming more and more obvious.

    I'm glad I popped lots of popcorn. We are all experiencing the most incredible show of our lifetimes.

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  36. I think this system is in a death spiral, as in going 'round and 'round in the toilet bowl on the way down. I thought Clinton was really bad, and actually felt relieved when Gore lost; then I discovered that the choice between young Bush and Gore was like the choice between being whipped with barbed wire or having bamboo splints shoved under the fingernails. When I realized that Bush was actually worse than Clinton, I also took note of his earpiece and sudden episodes of incoherence at press conferences (of which he had a record low number).

    Because of this, I then assumed that whoever won the 2008 election would be worse than Bush, and was right. (That would have been the case also had McCain won; McCain is nearly as much a socialist as Obama, and even less intelligent.) What did surprise me were Obama's sudden episodes of incoherence when his teleprompter would fail---there is a pattern here, if one has the wit to see it.

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  37. Obama captured by the hard-Right Israeli lobby? That's an interesting perception. The Israeli right considers him to be the U.S. president most politically unfriendly to Israel since George H. W. Bush. The Israeli left likes him, though.

    To put it in terms closer to home, it's as if Mr. Obama expected Chile to give up not only not only Antofagasta, Tarapacá, and Arica, but Valparaíso, Santiago, and Región O'Higgins too. A position diametrically opposed to the views of the current Israeli government and its supporters.

    That Obama attempted to discourage the PLO bid for a declaration of statehood from the U.N. is only good sense -- an attempt to avoid another war and potential American involvement in it. Doesn't it make sense to first make peace and then declare statehood, rather than declaring statehood first and inviting outside military intervention from Iran and perhaps Russia?
    Iran on Palestine

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  38. I enjoyed your article,and of course the comment by K. Smith who was right on.Obama had more in common with Mccain than he would admit and vice versa,so what real choice was there?NONe.Both had jooz heritage which means money.

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  39. You, Gonzalo, are a racist. A racist through and through. How dare you criticize in the slightest a man who is more popular that Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy and Jesus Christ combined, all because of the color of his skin. I only hope that some human rights commission, somewhere, gets wind of what a vile and contemptible racist you are, and proceeds with charges of fomenting hatred against a member of an identifiable group. President Obama is doing an outstanding job of managing affairs both foreign and domestic, as well as healthcare in general and the economy in particular (I'd like to see you or anyone else do better). Nothing would please me more than to see Mr Obama elected for another 4 years, and for certain constitutional changes to be made so that this champion of hope and change, this paragon of virtue, can occupy the office of president for more than 8 years (his image on Mount Rushmore, in addition to his Nobel peace prize, would be a decent tip of the hat for the excellent work he's done so far). Again, shame on you for your vile character assassination and smear job on the greatest president which America has ever had or will ever have, and all because of his skin color. Disgusting.

    How did I do? Was that enough sugar-coated bullshit, or was it a bit too thick, and therefore, noticeable? Now for some straight dope. Obama is a complete bullshit artist who can talk the talk, but he can't walk the walk. I wouldn't trust the man as far as I could throw him, but then again, I don't trust any politician. The only thing these prick politicians give a damn about is power. How to get it, how to keep it and how to expand it. They don't give a shit about the rest of us (never have and never will) and view us as a necessary evil to be endured as long as we keep our mouths shut, pay our taxes and keep voting for them, which leads me to a couple of observations: if voting made a difference, they wouldn't let us do it and it's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes (the first quote is from Mark Twain, I believe, and the second is from Stalin).

    Anyway, that's my rant. Good night, Irene.

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  40. I liked what Gonzalo wrote and do think that white guilt played into Obama's being elected. And I agree that Obama is a sad continuation of W's politic and wars.
    However, the comments by Ebag the scumbag and a few others are racist rants and should be removed from this website. I know you right wingers think it's fun to bash "niggers" and Jews, but it's sick.

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  41. I just don't want to die early from starvation and neglect as I enter my senior years, but I don't see anyone on the political scene that is going to prevent that...

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  42. Gonzalo, you sound like Rush Limbaugh talking about Donovan McNabb. When you ascribe regular faults to race, it seems like racism.

    Obama is not stupid, he is weak and a placater. He's not even as bad as Bush was, and Bush was the ultimate "Affirmative Action" president.

    Look at the other clowns running - Perry, Romney, Bachmann. None of them are geniuses.

    Chico

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  43. Dear Anonymous:
    "Ebag the scumbag".
    How cute that you can make up rhymes!
    You must be a PHD from Harvard!
    What do you find racist about calling bankers criminals?
    A fiat and fractional reserve banking system is criminal.
    Because the bankers are counterfeiting.
    Herman Cain, a Republican African American, disagrees with Obama.
    Is he a racist too?

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  44. Govt. regulations are not the answer to the various financial crises. Regulations are another form of central planning, a.k.a socialism.

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  45. No way Cain will get the Repunod. One straw poll doesnt a campaign make. White voters will stay away in droves should Cain be the candidate. Exactly what the country doesnt need: two black candidates owned by the banks.

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  46. Hello,

    I reread Ebag's comments and I, at least, don't find them to be racist. He made a comparison between successful blacks from the "West Indies" as they used to say, and American blacks who grew up in a culture of dependency. See Colin Powell. Many people have made this observation, and without getting into its merits, the statement is certainly not racist. In fact it's essentially anti racist since it seeks to explain under achievement as a function of culture and sociology etc and not as a function of race.

    Regards,

    Unna

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  47. I am a retired law professor, and was on the Admissions Committee at the U. of Wisconsin Law School for several years in the 1970s. What we saw, as it pertained to black applicants, was what I would call 'bracket creep." An applicant with good grades and a 162 LSAT, who could perform quite well at Wisconsin, was getting accepted to Harvard -- plus having a full scholarship offered -- where he would have to compete with all the students with 170-180 LSATs. So at best, he was going to be near the bottom of the class.

    But we needed some black students, or else we were being "racist." So we would do the same thing in turn -- dip down to take applicants with a 154 or 155 LSAT, still not terrible but well below what we would accept from a white student. And again they would be competing with white students with much better credentials, and for the most part (there were a few exceptions) they would either flunk out or be in the bottom 10% of the class.

    And I do know of at least one case where a colleague, politically conservative as I am (despite us both teaching at Wisconsin), had 6 flunking grades out of his 150 students in Wills and Trusts. He checked, and lo and behold, it was the 6 black students in the class. So he said he could not do it, and did not want the shitstorm that would follow if he flunked them all. So he raised 2 of them to C- and another 2 to D.

    Who knows? Maybe one of them will represent you in court one day.

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  48. On whole, Gonzalo, a really poor post.

    Obama's tenure was a failure. But it's a stretch at best, of times to think of his 2008 win a result of Affirmative Action or white guilt. The best explanation was that people wanted someone who would offer a 180-degree shift from Bush, and Obama was that guy.

    It's impossible to whether Obama was unprepared or just unintelligent. Some would say he started off with a losing hand to begin with, and then proceeded to play them without any strategy.

    What we can say is that there are a myriad of reasons why Obama's been a failure, and many of these can apply to his predecessor as well.

    The worst part is that aside from perhaps Ron Paul, no one else has any tangible strategy either, and so the future looks bleak as well.

    And lastly, the whole Napoleon III comment is a joke. The vast majority of intelligent Americans (or Global citizens) don't know much or care much about Napoleon. It has about as much authority for predicting intelligence as color itself.

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  49. Obama was a great brand. One that fit the zeitgeist all too easily. But that's it.

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  50. GL here's my 2 cents.

    As a Latino, who once felt I was down trodden by the man; I joined the Marines then went on to College.

    After graduating with a BS in Physical Science Chemistry and a minor in Biology; I felt like I had arrived.

    Shortly thereafter I got a sense of entitlement. I'm equal if not better damn it!

    I started to resent affirmative action as a policy (even though it had served me all my life in one for or another).

    I felt all my efforts were of my own doing and that all minorities who had not achieved what I had achieved; were inferior.

    Then in 1999 when I entered the Corporate world and witnessed first hand how we the colored will never be equal; I had a reversal in thought.

    The day that we reach equality in this country; is the day that affirmative action can be suspended.

    Until then, it must remain! The reason most minorities don't measure up Mr Lira! is because of the poor environment and lack of self worth that has been bestowed upon them (at schools, at soccer fields at home, etc...)

    You on the other hand must come from a very wealthy family.

    Your arrogance is very clear! You are what is called a sociopath. I bet you are always right, always, full of your self and very clear on your goals and aspirations. Well good for you.

    Not all sociopaths are killers. Some run, corporations, write books and are quite successful; but always at the cost of many people.

    Remember that Dartmouth article you wrote? You will always be a inferior to the white man; regardless of your IQ! Just like me.

    So get off your high horse; and use your intelligence to better society; not to poison it with your rhetoric.

    Without role models the next generation of brown people will be doomed to repeat the errors of the previous.

    Whites don't have to worry about that. They don't walk into establishments and immediately feel inferior.

    I have witnessed that feeling of inferiority, Even now after 15 years of employment and career growth; I still get the cold treatment. Even my mixed children (white and Puerto Rican) are beginning to witness this treatment (and they don't look Latino at all) in the classroom and other venues.

    One thing that separates us Puerto Ricans from other "races" is the amount of integration we have created. All Puerto Ricans; whether black, brown or blancos are Boricuas.

    That level of integration has never happened and never will be in the USA. Therefore, programs and measures are needed to bring "equality" into the equation.

    Obama may have benefited from affirmative action; but I'm sure he has earned 99% of what he has today.

    Is Obama perfect? NO. But he's a lot better than that silver spoon fed Idiot that preceded him (George W Bush).

    One last thing. How can a Latino ever be a republican in the USA is beyond me. The GOP may have freed the slaves; but today they are oppressive, narrow minded, bigots (I count my own father in law in that sentence).

    Therefore I can't get ever support them period. So how do you support them?

    Oh, I just remembered! Your not a Lation living in America! You are in Chile where I'm sure your part of the elite upper class who's still pissed that the royal treatment he got at home at an early age; was not duplicated in the USA.

    Whites don't want us here Mr Lira! Period! We are only good to clean the yard! I'm sure you feel the same way about those Guatemaltecos who clean your toilet.

    I was a fan of your blog; until now.

    Buena suerte; Pendejo; come mierda!

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  51. Dear Boricua:
    I was born in Cuba and my wife is a Boricua.
    Neither one of us, nor our children, feel inferior, to anyone.
    I worked at a US engineering firm for 31 years and did quite well.
    As well as all of the other Cuban immigrants that worked with me.
    My wife is a retired US school superintendent.
    I'm not a Republican, I am a Libertarian.
    I can't imagine why any Latino would be a Democrat.
    All that Democrats offer is victimization, entitlement and poverty equality.
    Good luck to you.

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  52. Gonzo, you apparently learned more at Dartmouth out of class than in it. Spot on observation. White guilt is horrible.

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  53. Ebag, you are jumping to conclusions. I've never said that I'm a democrat. The dual party system is broken; period. I also never said I feel inferior. I just feel frustrated and disenfranchised. However, I know that I must work hard to keep and to earn what is coming to me.

    I'm glad you are doing great. I'm sure I will be alright too. But I worry about the future if the current climate doesn't change.

    I'm not sure where you are geographically, but in the Eastern seaboard the sentiment, ignorance and treatment of "minorities" is disguised.

    I hope my future and the future of all races; will be as good as your golden years.

    Buena Suerte.

    Boricua.

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  54. Thanks, Gonzalo, for a another interesting and thought-provoking piece. Equally though-provoking, and maybe a little more interesting are the comments from your readers.

    Folks, don't you all know by now that every human comes with primordial biases that help(ed) us survive in a hostile environment? We're smart enough to identify and label them with words that end with "iscm," but this doesn't change the fact that we, like all other species, are most comfortable with others like ourselves. Being civilized might help us to attenuate or tamp these feelings down, but we'll never be able to get rid of them. We can't deny that we're different from each other. And it will always be natural to first be suspicious of folks who are different from ourselves.

    I really don't like Obama and would never have voted for him, but not because he was black. The man had been a US Senator for only two years. He didn't know sh-- from shinola. That being said, I am proud of the fact that our country elected a black man. (I personally, didn't think it would every happen.) Whether it be because of white guilt, affirmative action, conspiracy by TPTB or just giving someone a chance, he made it to the top position. Turns out, he's not a good president, but I'm sure we'll live through it. By the way, I started comparing him to Carter way before seeing or reading it elsewhere.

    One last thing, I once had a young black guy working for me who came to me and complained that one of his co-workers was treating him like crap because he was black. After a long and private discussion, I was able to convince him that that guy treats everyone like crap, which, after several examples, he was able to see. At the end of the meeting, I offered this young man some advice to take or leave. I said, "please don't think that everything bad that happens to you in life, happens because you are black. Sh-- happens to everyone." He thought about that for a second then said thanks and went back to work. I don't know that I changed his life, but I do know that when the other guy gave him crap later, the black guy gave it right back.

    One final word to you pinheads who don't like negative, racist postings on this blog: get over it. This is free speech. I love the variety of opinions that folks post here.

    Keep up the good work, Gonzalo.

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  55. Not disputing your overall thesis, but I think you should have come up with a better intro here. I am as white as they come, and fairly intelligent too, and don't think I knew exactly who Napoleon III was when I was an undergrad. I also seem to remember a lot of white Dartmouth undergrads whose admission was a baffling mystery - and more than a few black people who were bright, intelligent, personable, etc. I know, I know, anecdote is not data and all that. but I'm wondering just how many black people you actually got to know in College - and whether you judged them by criteria other than "can you answer this trivia question?"

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  56. First of all I apologize in advance 'cause English is not my native tongue.
    Gonzalo is pulling our chain and writing this controversial post to elicit responses as the ones he's getting from all of you. But in a way, he's just repeating what old SA catholics say about the concurrency of Apocalipsis and the election of a Black Pope. So that way catholics'd never have a black dude in the Vatican, but extrapolated to the WH...In this case, since things were so bad after Bush jr. No one wanted to win. BHO was the best scapegoat for the shit thats falling right now...

    I have to recommend the book OUTLIERS: the secret of success by Malcom Gladwell, black writer BTW (specially the epilogue: If a progeny of young colored children is brought forth, these are emancipated)...
    From what I know of Chileans, they think pretty high of themselves when they're compared with other people in SA and their superiority complex is extremely notorius all over (just a tad lower than the Argentineans). Even though they have marked indians features they have an usual saying: "En Chile no hay negros.."

    You just have to see Pinochet as another tropical dictador dressed up with nazi uniform. This clown and Margaret Thatcher were two dumbsh... highly regarded by conservatives and neoliberals all over the world, without even acknowledging that the reason of their brief success were just regular black swans outcomes: North sea oil discovery and copper price rising in the 80's...See now how TSHTF in Chile lately. However, nobody can deny that Gonzalo writes good fictional anecdotes for a non native...

    On the other hand, have you ever seen a South Korean girl dating a Latino? in the 80s? come on. And the closest Gonzalo got to a black guy in the US was when he ate hotwings at KFC.

    In fact of all the list of Obama's flaws he wrote, he hasn't even mentioned the most important ones: The appointment of John Holdren as his Science Zar, the one and only Neomalthusian racist that wants all brown & black people in the world dead, and the massacre of black Lybians by US backed rebel forces...In fact, that's his worst feat up to date. For all I know, any US president (black, white or yellow) that had challenged the existing WS-weapons lobby , would be sleeping six feet under with a dum-dum inside his front lobe.

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  57. Mr. Lira,

    Several months ago you wrote a piece in which you layed out a scenario regarding hyperinflation. You explained that we would see 5% inflation by March of this year, which we did, 10% by around this time, and it appears that we are, and 15% by March of next year.

    Might you re-visit that topic anytime soon to review what you had written, where we are now, and what you see coming?

    Bill Thomas
    Roseville, CA

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  58. I liked the comments much more than Gonzalo's post. The last two were my favorites. A very contraversial post at that, and I believe written with that intent.

    I enjoyed reading them, which showed me that there are still free thinkers around, which is encouraging.

    Passionate debate and holding ourselves accountable is a good thing. Belief systems aside, I came away with a sense of the readership of this blog as being a reasonably smart bunch.

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  59. Thanks GL for having open honest discussion. I believe that bho is just the symptom of the problem. The problem is the parties are both bought and paid for. The differences are all smoke and mirrors on real issues they are the same...for the most money. Therefore the fact "The love of money is the root of ALL EVIL" is the key to everything wrong with the world today. This reflects on everything! This is the real evil we face and it will be difficult or impossible to break.

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  60. Whoever made the point about Obama's incessant posturing on taxes was precisely on point. Why didn't he urge the Democrat-controlled Congress of his first 2 years to just go ahead and repeal those mean old Bush tax breaks for the rich? Why did he (rightly) point out even during the lame duck session that raising taxes in the middle of a recession is a bad idea?

    But why not dig deeper and ask why we allow ourselves to become so worked up over this political party pep rally bullshit. Yes, Bush succeeded in cutting top tax rates for the highest bracket. But this began in 2003, not when he took office. So taxes were reduced from the 39.6% rate under Clinton to 35% under Bush. Most of the lower wage brackets were also reduced by 3%.

    Our real discussion as a society revolves around the size of the federal government. Yes Bush increased it, and then Obama really put his foot on the spending accelerator. If you think this is because of economic conditions, then you are sadly mistaken. We need to return to sane spending levels and spend the money for Constitutionally-valid purposes.

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  61. Small point to the above poster ... Malcolm Gladwell is British, and racial identities and issues are completely different in Britain to the US, particularly for mixed race children who, these days in Britain, are not seen as particularly "different" to the white majority at all.

    The other issue was that Thatcher was not a "dumbshit" whatsoever. The reality of 1970s Britain was horrendous; the country was on its knees with continual rolling strikes, power cuts, water supply problems ... even the dead went unburied, and IMF intervention.

    Thatcher stopped Britain from turning into today's Greece, and, interestingly, for all her detracters, public expenditure continued to increase throughout her administration.

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