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Master Directory of Articles

OK, this is a major shakeup of all my web space. I’ve been breaking up erictb.info, realizing that the clusters of articles on the main pages there is basically too cluttered, so I had begin by making separate pages for major essays, and now, I decided to drop a bunch of them here, and list everything to date, by category.

Entertainment and media


Interests

Personality, Typology and the Human Experience

Math, Science and Technicalities


Travel and Transit


RELIGION AND POLITICS

Christian Doctrine

Political matrix is actually 3D

Right/Left: who the power serves (private or govt. enterprise)
Libertarian/Authoritarian: how much power wielded
Populist/Corporatist: who holds the power

In my recounting of the history of the race issue, based on Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, I had noted how there were always these same three approaches to progress, but that the middle ground, generally represented by a movement and party called “libertarianism” now, was held by a movement and party called “populism” during the end of slavery.

In actuality, you still hear the term “populist” today, and usually attributed to conservatives, in their anti-government sentiments. When you think anti-government, you think “libertarian” (anti-authoritarian), but it’s also anti-corporatist.
The original Populists, recall from https://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/review-the-new-jim-crow, criticized large corporations and the wealthy elite, viewing the privileged as conspiring to keep poor whites and blacks locked into a subordinate political and economic position, and took aim at conservatives (known as a party of privilege) and pointed out divide and conquer tactics of these powers. Causing alarm for the conservatives (favoring racial division), they were eventually forced to become conservative by various intimidation tactics. This sort of figures, as they were not as progressive as liberals, and agreed with the conservatives on some point, and so were apparentely drawn along the lines of what they agreed were the excesses of progressivism.

To this day, they ideologically remain blended in with conservatives and/or libertarians on what’s largely the Right. Anti-government sentiment is based on the government taking hard earned resources and giving it to underserving minorities.
(The government wasn’t seen as bad when it served mostly whites, but when it opened up its services to blacks, then it became evil, and eventually associated with what became the nation’s number one enemy, the “Communists”. It seems the Republicans had always been the more fiscally conservative party, opposing the New Deal, and this shift of goverment assistance to minorities is what laid the groundwork for the eventual Southern Strategy. All that remained was the Democrats adopting Civil Rights platforms on top of the programs (with the “Great Society” superseding the New Deal), and the Civil Rights opposers then found refuge in the more fiscally conservative party, and the association of the issues: big bad government and black causes, was complete).

So while you had the “paleo-cons” who were the “blue-collar Archie Bunker” types who favored limited government and even worker (union) protection, this gave way more to neo-cons, who on one hand lumped unions in with an “underserving” class (even if it included whites), and still favored a Republican “limited government” platform (“austerity”), they were seen as compromising on this, to allow for certain interests, like legislation in favor of religious influence. Government power then was good, if it enforced moral “values”. Hence, actually taking on a measure of authoritarianism.

So then, both paleo-cons and a new “Libertarian” party would begin criticizing “neo-cons” for money-draining endeavors such as the drug war, militarism and the support of Israel. They even criticize corporatism, going as far as to acknowledge cronyism and corporate welfare as a drain on the economy, unlike the more mainsteam conservatives who think business can do no wrong, as they deserve whatever they can get.
I find myself admiring a lot of what they say. But then they always end up joining the neocons in dog whistling, with the biggest focus regarding “big government” always coming back to the blacks on welfare (eventually, at least). I tried to give people like Ron Paul a chance, when they spoke of the drug war’s negative effects on blacks, and wondering if this was a genuine concern, or if it was apart of a bit of a fixation on “blacks and their problems” (that is the backbone of dog-whistling), but that in this case simply takes a different tack from the others. Sure enough, I eventually read of the same old dog whistling from them.
These views also seem to be more likely to be antisemitic, which of course figures, given an anti-Zionist platform. They’re often part of the “it’s the Jews” crowd, holding them as the force pulling the strings in the financial and media worlds (areas blacks obviously do not have the power to be accused of controlling).

When I believed the spectrum was just a 1D line, I had always said that it was actually a circle, so that the further right or left you went, you came to the same point, which was marked by extreme authoritarianism. (What’s known as libertarianism was assumed to be dead center). Then, through Politopia and Political Compass, I realized authoritarianism and libertarianism was a separate factor of a 2D matrix. I wasn’t sure if the dimensions were still circles, with extreme right and left and extreme authoritarianism and libertarianism meeting at a point. (I figured extreme authoritarianism [totalitarianism] would lead to a revolt that would shatter the system, leading to anarchy, which was the libertarian extreme. Or from the other direction, anarchy would lead to chaos, which would cause a backlash and erection of an authoritarian system to gain control and maintain order).
So maybe. If left/right still worked that way, the true shape of the matrix would be something called a “Clifford torus” or “duocylider frame”, which is similar to a familiar torus or “donut”, but with one important twist. When one pair of opposite ends are brought together (forming a tube or hollow cylinder), then to avoid distorting the object when bringing together the other pair of opposite ends, this step must be done in higher dimensional space. (You turn the 2D square into a 3D cylinder in the first step, so the second step would add yet another dimension or rotation, making it 4D). This will create a square field bent around into a boundless surface (like a sphere, but still measured with a square’s orthogonal grid and retaining it’s area, instead of geodesics). This is the shape of a video game screen where going off one edge (vertical or horizontal) brings you to the other side.

But now, again, it seems populist-corporatist is really an additional dimension on top of those. The dimensions seem to collapse or fold on top of each other; sort of like when scientists use a 2D Minkowski diagram to measure the three dimensions of space, plus one of time. Vertical becomes time, so then horizontal ends up representing all three dimensions of space.
To prove they are separate dimensions, we should be able to factor them together, yielding a cube of eight combinations of the three sets of opposite poles:

Right-libertarian-populist (rhetorical US ideals; paleocons)
Right-libertarian-corporatist (“CEO’s deserve unlimited ‘freedom’ to rule”; neocons)
Right-authoritarian-populist (“take back the country”; religious right)
Right-authoritarian-corporatist (fascist state)
Left-libertarian-populist (hippies, etc.)
Left-libertarian-corporatist (yuppie professionals)
Left-authoritarian-populist (Marxist “worker” ideals; Bernie Sanders)
Left-authoritarian-corporatist (socialist state)

The Rightists using populist and libertarian language are all operating from a “rugged individual” or “Wild West frontier” premise, where conquest over others isn’t really wrong in itself, if you are not weak or lazy. So they don’t care about everyone‘s “liberty” or rights as individual “people”. Only for them, deemed “earning” liberty, which is “not free” as an old saying goes.
This is where the de-facto system ends up becoming both authoritarian and corporatist (no matter who is elected, and how much this is decried in the political rhetoric), with the people suffering the most from it being blamed for their own plight.

Whoever feels lacking of power (even if still in power and trying to protect it) will appeal to libertarian and populist sentiments, but if power is gained or needing to be protected, these will always turn back into authoritarianism and corporatism, as rules and structures will need to be put in place to maintain the order of the ideals. (Like US conservatives criticizing the “statism” of Communism, in favor of “freedom”, which they believe is being taken from them here, yet when their ideal system was in place, others’ freedom was suppressed using both the government and business.
It’s like kids whining because another kid is genuinely bullying them. He even taunts them for “whining” ⦅and being “victims”⦆, but then when the adults chastize him, he begins whining that he’s being “abused”.
In this case, whining doesn’t cease being “whining” because he thinks his complaint is “valid” and not the other kid’s).

So maybe the overall shape is a “Clifford 3-torus” (a cube bent around in 4, 5 and 6 dimensions so that its boundaries join each other. Can’t find much about this shape)?

Gender equality creates long needed “gender neutral” pronoun

Sorry, grammar nerds. The singular ‘they’ has been declared Word of the Year.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/08/donald-trump-may-win-this-years-word-of-the-year/
[Don’t know how the title slug got bound with a story about Trump]

I had long thought we needed a gender neutral singular pronoun.

“Earlier, the so-called proper way to say it would have been, ‘Everyone wants his or her cat to succeed.’
But what gave this word new prominence was its usefulness as a way to refer to people who don’t want to be called ‘he’ or ‘she’.”

I would think it was just easier to say or write, as the three word “his or her” is just too “clunky”. It interrupts the flow of even my thoughts!
“They/their” seemed to be what filled the bill, as it’s simply taking the plural, which was already neutral, and moving it to the singular. I would say the spelling should have been changed for the new use. Like perhaps, the Brooklynese “dey” could have finally found some justification and official usage.

In passing, I also remember hearing, briefly in some English class along the way, that the “‘s” as a possessive term, is a contraction (which “‘s” always indicates, so it was like a mystery what that was for) actually of “his”. So “the man’s cat” is actually “the man, his cat”. This naturally raised the question of what about women? Why no “‘r” or something? It was said that back when the language was developing, women owned nothing, so the contraction never developed. (I later imagined, something like a part of themselves. Like I imagined a more fresh mouthed male could have interjected “what about ‘her boobs’?”, but appparentely no one thought of that).

One commenter pointed out English already had a third person singular gender neutral pronoun: ‘one’ and acknowledged that it sounds too formal.
“One”, while a legitimate third person pronoun, doesn’t quite fit, as if referring to a particular person, it sounds too “general”, like not necessarily that peraon, or perhaps a “fourth person”, even. Lke “that person wants one’s cat to succeed”. I guess technically correct, but just sounds funny, and is simply not what developed.

I think there were also other attempts, such as “hizzer” or something like that, and then, you see “s/he”.

“Blackness” as a negative archetype

“Blackness” is an archetype (ruling pattern emblazoned on our “collective unconscious”) of general negativity. Why? As entities embedded in the material world, in order to find our way about, and protect ourselves from physical threats we need signals from the material world. The quickest is a form of energy that fills space and bounces off of objects, and is then triggers receptors in our eyes, producing an image of all the physical items around us. We call this “light”. It’s obviously a good thing, and its absence is called “darkness”, in which we are vulnerable to objects we can’t see.
It does also become a “cover” for other people doing things that either threaten us, or might be otherwise opposed by other people (such as in society in general). So across the board, darkness” (or “blackness”) took on a very negative connotation, and thus becoming such a universally negative archetype. (One notable exception is when it became opposed to redness, as in financial status. Red can go either way in being positive or negative, since it is the color of blood, and thus can represent either life itself, or danger, where blood may be shed. And the same with it being roughly the color of fire, which can heat enough for comfort and health, or to destroy. So in this instance, “in the black” meant being out of the state of financial danger represented by “in the red”, and from here, the upcoming “Black Friday”. That term was originally negative though, referring to a financial crash).

So this archetype eventually was unfortunately overgeneralized to skin color, and from there, as more justification (including “biblical”) needed to be made [particularly for the institution of slavery in the 1600’s], dark skin was assumed to be a “curse”. Seeking to find this curse in scripture, one was readily found, in Genesis 9, and on groups of people descended from the man believed to be the father of the “negroid” race. Some went further than that, and said it was the “mark of Cain”. Cain was before the flood, and according to the global flood theory most conservative Christians believe in, his descendants should have all perished. But they’ll probably say that while Noah and his sons were of Seth, Ham’s wife carried the genes.
(But now we’re getting further and further into unbiblical speculation. As it is, the “curse” on Canaan was not on all of Ham’s descendants, even if it was in reaction to something he did, and most importantly, it was not uttered by God, but by Noah himself, in a hung over anger. God never claims to honor it).

Adding to this, since the lighter skinned people were quicker to both develop technologically, plus adopt the biblically based monotheistic religions that supposedly promoted more civility, the home of many of the dark skinned people, Africa, became known as “the dark continent”. Even though nearly all tribes of men outside the Abrahamic traditions naturally gravitated toward polytheism and ritual (and many within those traditions still fell back into it in different ways), “demonic religion” became specially tagged on these people.

And all of this would be used to justify the coralling of these people into inferior positions in “civilized” society. And the removal of this restraint blamed on the downfall of civilized societies (by misguided or even malicious “do-gooders” trying to make all “equal” just for the sake of equality without regard of “the facts”, or perhaps to purposefully bring down the civilization out of envy or whatever).

And then the resultant dysfunction of many of the people would be the ultimate validation of this. Then, people try to oint to “other ethnic/immigrant groups” who suffered discrimination, but “pulled themselves up”, while blacks have never recovered, and then take this as proof of the original stereotypes of the blacks (“culture” replacing “genetics” now, to most) being lazy. But what’s ignored, is this archetypical nature of “blackness”, where other groups were “white” skinned, and could hide their identity. This created what I’ve called a “hierarchy” of “whitness”, where “black” is naturally at the bottom of every version of this list.

So they would then react in anger, and through intimidating stances (such as “gangsta/“thug”/“copkiller”), actually owning very negative stereotypes of themselves (and the negative term taken from the racists), but then continue to suffer from the consequences of them.

This has all been like a runaway domino effect. So bad, that the negative connotation is even still evident in people attitudes toward skin tone even among “colored” people themselves (and especially younger females).

The Nation of Islam and others recognized this archetype, as one of the introductory things they taught (as you can see in the stories of Malcolm X and others), is how “black” is always “bad”, and white is “good”. This was blamed on “racism”, and as the Bible also recognizes the dichotomy, it was taken as proof that the Bible was just a “white control tool” (likely “corrupted” by both Jews and Christians as the rest of Islam teaches).

Of course, the “black is bad” stereotype had also spread to other things, such as cats; becoming a symbol of “bad luck”, and the ghoulish atmosphere of Halloween as the pets of its witches. (This has even led to some cruel treatment of them).
In this vein, these afrocentric forms of Islam influenced hip-hop, and one popular rap even linked all of this together:
Black cat is bad luck; bad guys wear black…
Must have been a white guy who started all that…
[Then eventually counters with a Black Muslim reverse racist theory of white features such as blue eyes being a “disease created by leprosy”].

On the flipside, “white” became an archetype of “purity”, because the “color” indicates a state of light that stimulates all of our optical receptors (R, G, B cones equally, plus luminosity rods), and so is an absolute visual state that thus also (opposite of black, which hides) exposes any foreign objects, so that if you see something “white” or “clear”, it likely has nothing else in it.

It was still wrong to generalize this to skin. No human skin is truly white either, not even that suffering from albinism. (In that regard, to hold up the general “lightness” vs “darkness” as determining good or evil by them fitting these archetypes is analogous to an average person looking at a criminal and thinking he’s “good” in comparison. That person is still far from the true mark, and has simply set up his own mark based on his current status).

Yet in religion, all biblical characters were traditionally  drawn as Caucasians rather than as the olive-skinned people who actually live in that area. (Fostering this illusion, was that the Jews had largely intermixed in Europe, most taking on its “white” skin, and so added to the assumption that this was the original “race” of the people in the Bible, beginning with the first man, Adam, and only excepting the descendants of Ham and Japheth. Many interpreters acknowledged Japheth as being divided between Caucasian and Asians, while some actually placed the Caucasians in Shem‘s line like the Istaelites!) Meanwhile, the Devil and demons were generally portrayed in colors, including black, in black and white drawings.

All of this figures in the “implicit bias” or “commonsense racism” discussed by Ian Lopez in Dog Whistle Politics (see https://erictb.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/book-review-dog-whistle-politics ), where he cites the “Implicit Association Test”, where people pair words like white with good, and black with bad (p.44), which “shows that racial discrimination often results from unconscious thought proceses, and need not stem from intentional malice, or indeed, any conscious purposes at all”. He points out “It’s true that we’re ‘hardwired’ to unconsciously assign meaning to perceived differences. But it’s false that we’re automatically programmed to think in terms of race. Rather, notions of race come from a shared culture steeped in racial stereotypes, as well as from material arrangements like segregated cities that make race a supremely salient social category”. He then cites a race scholar who points out “the unconscious is largely social” [i.e. “collective unconscious”, which is where archetypes spring from], and that the environment is what creates the negative associations and uses them in priming our psyches.

So it is incorrect to blame the Bible or whites for this; it’s an archetype that has been taken out of its original context and misapplied to justify oppression.

The archetypal (unconsciously engrained in the human psyche) nature of this dynamic makes me wonder if we’ll ever be able to completely eradicate all negative connotations of “blackness”.
We should all recognize this archetype (as a product of the unconscious) and how it influences our views of blacks, (they themselves, and everyone else, of course, often through what’s called “commonsense racism”). Then, it would be easier to eliminate unfair discrimatory attitudes in ourselves.

What should we “just” do to make the world a better place?

Someone recently asked on a list, how we would fill in the question “If people just ___________, the world would be a much better place!” (This sparked from a discussion on type or temperament, where another person said “If people just listened to reason, the world would be a much better place!”)

As an INTP (whom this last person was also), I always tended to think that, but then the whole point of type is realizing that others don’t think as we do, and so there will be no way to make everyone else see the need for “reason” as we do; let along make them use reason in the way we think it should be.

Ilustrating this typological difference, the OP, an INFP, then filled in “loved one another.” Then, an INFJ then filled in
“showed more compassion”
“truly listened to each other”
“stopped judging each other”

Seeing this discusion, after initially not knowing what to say, I suddenly saw this as an outlet for some thoughts I was developing.

So I would say “owned their own propensity to offend others”. I’ve been recently thinking of creating a meme that says something like “The question isn’t ‘[why] can’t we all get along?‘, it’s ‘can we look at our own problems before blaming others?’” For that is the cause of people not being able to get along.

Just looking at politics (and especially the race issue, which is where that question is often asked), there is so much blaming going on. It brings to mind that question being asked by the guy at the center of the LA riots, and he sounded so innocent, as a victim of police brutality, but when I later heard that he was initially confronted to begin with for committing a crime, him asking “can’t we all get along” seemed ironic. Whatever crime he was committing, is not conducive to “getting along”! (And of course, neither is others using his crime as an excuse for [overboard] police brutality, or demonizing the whole community or [sub-]”culture”, which really is a new category for “race”.
I’ve elsewhere noted that the root of racism is not so much to put others down, but to exalt one’s own group. So then, the other group is seen as a “threat”, and then must be put down in some way.  This is the heart of the question here. Most of the “dog whistle” style of today is people feeling put upon, with their “society”, which they want to see as “exceptional”, being unjustly demonized, and this used to demand something of them in restitution).

The concepts Beebe discussed in Integrity in Depth provide a nice framework for discussing this stuff. We all gravitate towards “nature” (in contrast to “integrity”), and it becomes the excuse both sides of every conflict use. Economic inequality is justified because of “the market”, which is basically the “survival instinct” carried to an advanced level, and yet the crimes of the poor is also the survival instinct gone to an unhealthy extreme. Both sides put forth their reasonings why their own behavior is justfied, while excoriating the other side for what’s essentially the same thing. But they never see it as the same thing; it’s “different” when WE do it. (fundamental attribution shift).
The same with the current Syrian crisis. Islamists are acting purely in nature; whether the “offensive” desire to gain more control and bring the world under Islam (control them before they control you), or perhaps a reasoning that it’s a “defensive” retaliation for the West trampling on their turf (control them back, from them controlling you). Then, our reaction, to shut out refugees trying to escape them, because the terrorists themselves may slip in amongst them. That’s the natural drive for self-protection.

(For this reason, while leaning to the left, mainly because I’ve been so put off by the right’s racial “dog whistling” and misguided blame; I’m aware that the left’s solutions might not always work as idealized. So I end up not knowing which position to really take in issues such as the refugees. Or how really to solve our own financial and racial situations).

But anyway, the point was, that people need to bring “integrity” [an ethic of justice and care] into their dealings in nature, but we can’t when we’re in this loop of self-justification for acting purely on nature.
We often don’t even see it as “nature” when we do it; we see it as some kind of [faux] “integrity” in fact, and only see it as unbridled “nature” in the other side. Like because we can appeal to a “fact” for why we believe or do as we do, people tend to think that by itself turns it into some sort of “integrity”; as if you’re credited for “good” just because some form of efficiency determines your course of nature (and thus you can’t be acused of malice or neglect towards others). But that’s still by definition, “nature”.

The prime example is conservative Christians who railed on about evolutionism (which they accused of leading society to just go with the basic desires, which is “nature”, or in biblical terminology, “the flesh”), and looked down on others, such as “jungle dwellers” when extolling the “civilization” of the western Christian nations, but then favors the unbridled “market”; not seeing how that too is apart of the same “nature” they identified in others, and has contributed to a lot of the moral decay of society. They just blamed the decay all on Darwin/Marx/Freud (and minorities), while insisting the financial power structure HAD to be the way it was, as if it were an act of God (whom many did claim “gave” them their power; i.e. “divine providence”).

Also, a lot of conflict between “the Church” and “the world” is from the Church reading scripture, and seeing God’s “standards” for human behavior (basically, “the Law”), and while the whole premise of the Gospel is that man could not do it, and so needed Grace (where Christ died for sin), Christians developed a notion that once we “convert” to Christ and become “regenerated” (by the Spirit of God), NOW we can keep the Law better (or at least show we are “trying”), and what do many do from this point, but go right back to condemning the rest of the world, who are apparently, or even obviously in many cases, not even “trying”. They accuse them of being “in the flesh” (i.e. “nature”, which many had made evil in itself, or “fallen”), while the judgers presume themselves to be “in the Spirit”. So then, any sin someone points out in themselves must be fiercely denied as an attack of the enemy (whether the other people themselves, or the old standby of “the devil”).
This is the cause of much of the dispute in the world, at least as far as religion (which often does undergird the other politial issues, at some point).

They miss the point that justification is no longer about behavior. All have the same nature, and justification is God receiving Christ’s righteousness, and no longer holding man’s sin against him. (And you have the Parable of the Unjust Steward where Christ illustrates what would happen to people like this, if God really were to still judge by the Law).
Good behavior then is to be out of love (not fear, which religion has been using), which would be a product of integrity [i.e. justice, amiability, patience, etc.] which is basically the image of God; what sets us apart from the rest of nature (inanimate matter and living animals).

So I would say “if people just realized their own propensity to nature and let that keep them from looking down on others, the world would be [on the start to being] a much better place”.

Book Review: “Dog Whistle Politics:”

Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class Ian Haney López New York, Oxford University Press, 2014.

Here’s another needed and far too rare political “prophet” sort of work to add to the “how did I miss this?” stack. First, Michael Horton’s scathing critique of the Christian political slant, Beyond Culture Wars (1994; seen mentioned in Christianity Today, but did not see in a bookstore until ’96), and then, columnist Carl Rowan’s The Coming Race War. (1996; found ’98, at Borders, 5 WTC). Both, two years after publication. Now,I’ve gotten a little better, as it’s one year (or maybe 1½) after publication. Still, too long, especially after writing stuff that could have cited it, including the “Ten Common Arguments in the Race Issue” http://www.erictb.info/racearguments.html and half a dozen other articles on politics here, including the last one “Slavery As the Ideal System”.

So this, like those two other two mentioned, nails all the issues in a way I just haven’t seen much. (And he even goes into why this is so).

The whole theme is that middle class Americans are being led to “vote against their own apparent interests”, in favor of affluent plutocrats, seen as on their side against “unproductive” minorities; which is the whole plot to begin with.
“Big money came to see dog whistling as a way to promote policies that favored society’s sultans. These policies are roughly the same advocated by malefactors of great wealth during the era of the robber baron: low taxes, a minimal or non-existent social safety net, and corporate control over the regulation of industry.
Their aim was not to wreck the middle class, but to convince average Americans to support policies that transferred wealth and power to the already extremely wealthy and powerful. Like the nonwhites injured by dog whistle racism, the middle class was not a target—just collateral damage” (p.74)

Here’s some of the best notes:

•Shows that the whole concept of “race” was just a convenient mechanism to justify slavery of Africans and expropriation of Native Americans. In the beginning of the 1600’s, before European settlement began in earnest, “white”, “red” and “black” did not exist as a concept of “races”.

For almost anyone, it is wrenching to encounter, let along participate in, the level of intense suffering associated with driving persons from their homes or forcing people into bondage. If, however, we can convince ourselves that our victims are not like us—do not feel pain the way we do, are not intelligent and sensitive, indeed are indolent, degenerate, violent and dangerous—then perhaps we’re not doing so much harm after all; indeed, more than protecting ourselves, maybe we are helping the benighted others. And how much better, in terms of excusing our own self-interest, if it turns out that forces beyond anyone’s control (and hence, beyond our moral responsibility) doomed these unfortunate others to subservience; if, say, God or nature fixed their insuperable character and determined their lot in life.

(From this point; I’m surprised he didn’t go into the current dog whistle I’ve mentioned elsewhere, of the “superhumanization bias” against blacks, which included the adultification of young black kids).

•”Three racisms”: “hate”, “structural”, and “implicit bias”. A lot of dog whistling deflection comes from assuming “racism” is “hate” only, and the main rival to that view today is “unconscious [i.e. implicit] bias”, which he also terms “commonsense racism” (which includes the whole “stereotype as ‘fact‘” concept).

•Discusses “Strategic” racism, where politicians who may otherwise not really have any hatred in their heart, nevertheless use it for their own goals.
Politicians like Wallace (the first “dog whistle” politician), Goldwater and Nixon started off moderate, but then adopted racial politics to win elections.
(That ironically sounds familiar, as what do the dog whistlers always say, but that blacks’ problem is that they want “free stuff”, and that it’s the liberals promising it to them to get votes. As I pointed out, it goes both ways!)
Includes whole history of this tactic, such as the “convict leasing” that immediately replaced slavery in the South.

“…because strategic racism is strategic; it is not fundamentally about race. The driving force behind strategic racism is not racial animus for its own sake or brutalizing nonwhites out of hate; it is the pursuit of power, money and/or status. Yes, provocateurs stimulate racial hatred intentionally, and yes, they do tremendous damage to nonwhite communities. But strategic racists act out of avarice rather than animus. Their aim is to pursue their own self-interest; racism is merely a route to mammon, not an end in itself” (p.47; bold added)

•In conjunction with this; mentions that racists are just regular and even “decent” folk (“who see racial injustice asa normal feature of sociey”), and not always hate-filled terrorists, or whatever. (p. xii, 5, 37, 41ff, 112). This touches upon what I was recently getting at here: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/a-new-look-at-the-survival-instinct

They’re basically average people who identify (psychologically, meaning to see it as an extension of their egos that they feel virtually nonexistent without) with a historic system whose errors they refuse to completely admit were wrong, so they have to defend, and try to validate it by upholding the legacy in one way or another (and then refuse to repent of their part in it).
Hence, the problem can’t be rich capitalists; they’re our heroes; an extension of us (even if I myself haven’t lived up to the ideal, and have to admit they’re “better” than me). So it must be the blacks, whom our forefathers then must have been right in trying to suppress (even if you can get some of them to lip the protocol, “it was bad thing”. The whole point of dog whistle ideology is implication, and often subconscious).

•Faithfully recounts the whole “Southern Strategy”, which is a process often ignored by modern dogwhistlers, trying to tag all “racism” on “The Democratic Party — then and now”. (I’m surprised he didn’t mention this part of the dog whistle rhetoric).

•Shows how think tanks arose in the 70’s to continue the dog whistling after conservativism suffered from a lack of credibility at the end of the 60’s. They then found an ally in Ronald Reagan.

•Goes into “backlash” as an assumed “natural” process, shaping people’s responses to the issue

•Suggests “liberal elites” had a sympathy for racist sentiment (such as that racial equality was disruptive, and this is what we saw in the recent minor controversy over a Bernie Sanders rally), which is why they were slow to “favor retreat” from conservative rhetoric. Among them as well, “the dog whistle harping on welfare, forced busing and law and order struck powerful chords, making it that much harder for Democratic leaders to see coded race-baiting for what it was—a strategy, not a natural reaction. (p.33-34)
(Also, later, because they didn’t want to be seen as stirring the racial pot, especially, knowing conservatives were throwing back the charge of “the race card”. This then connects to the whole “post-racial” sentiment.
This was always a big frustrated question for me, but now it seems it should have figured all along. This would be like I and others being embarrassed about black crime (and the general image that goes with it, as I discussed in Makers-Takers), and thus not wanting to speak out but so much on it, because it’s a part of our own identity. (I did address it in the rap essay, and otherwise figure public discourse and even the black community is already filled with images and outcries of “black crime”, so contrary to dog-whistlers’ assertions, the issue is already being addressed more than enough). So I’ll get annoyed when people try to rub the problem in our faces. If I were white, even holding the same views, my identity would identify with that race instead of black, and so it would be a bit harder to criticize racist rhetoric, and easier to allow dog whistling premises to pass.

Likewise, in the Christian world, it’s probably also why more moderate, and perhaps even liberal Christians don’t want to go after the archconservatives. Like “new-evangelical” apologetics taking a stronger stand against “separatist” old-line fundamentalists who are constantly attacking the more contemporary Church. Many of them still respect the greater pietism of the old-liners, even if they don’t follow it themselves, and thus they are seen as still ultimately on their side against “secularism”, the “real enemy”, though the old-liners don’t see it that way, but have lumped them in as having sold out to secularism, themselves. When I associated with a more old-line church, and would ask more moderate Christians what they think about old-line positions such as on music —[which is actually a dog-whistle issue among them; more on this below]; they would always dismiss it by saying “just submit to their leadership if you are under them”).

•Talking about racial inequalities only confirms people’s beliefs: “Of course there are inequalities, and now you’ve shown me the natural differences are greater than I thought”.

•The whole conversion of “colorblindess” into a “culture” assessment. (p. 92ff). The origins of “the problem is black families”, which is pinned on a book by future Senator Moynihan and Nathan Glazer, in Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians and Irish of New York City” and by The Moynihan Report shortly afterward.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/14/culture-poverty-poor-power-welfare-sanctions-cuts

When the term “culture of poverty” was first used by the anthropologist Oscar Lewis in 1959, it was seized upon as “evidence” that poverty is not caused primarily by an absence of material resources. This was never Lewis’s intention.

This was wilfully misinterpreted…; it was absorbed into an ancient moral critique of the poor; identified in modern industrial society with chaotic, disorganised lives, absence of parental ambition for children, aversion to hard labour and a tendency to addiction.

Lewis’s work influenced a report by Daniel Moynihan during the Lyndon B Johnson presidency’s “war on poverty” in 1965, which spoke of a “tangle of pathology” in relation to black families, and highlighted a “deviant maternalism” as a consequence of the fugitive male.

But the idea of culture as a cause of poverty has been tenacious; because it not only is readily assimilated to earlier ideas of “the undeserving”, but also lends a shimmer of scientific authority to ancient prejudice. This culture poses an anthropological problem, similar to that faced by imperialism when it confronted the “savage” societies of its overseas possessions. It requires colonisation of unorthodox or aberrant beliefs, and conformity with “correct”, universal values, which always coincide with those of the rich and powerful.

This seemed to be a “liberal” attempt to address the problem; having “acknowledged the destructive legacy of past racism in distorting the cultures of nonwhite groups.” (Lopez, ibid.) But, “This was an important concession, but one that only half followed the liberal insight from mid-century that tied the situation of nonwhites to past and present social practices. In their focus on the present, Glazer and Moynihan largely dropped structural impediments fromt heir analysis. Rather, in ‘major part’, they directed attention to ‘the home and family and community’ for the immediate causes of the inferior educational, social and material position of racial minorities”.
So the “report” then, was used to determine the civil right movement’s increasing demands for equality could not be met because of “failings in the black community itself”; namely “the Negro family”. (We can see right here, why some blacks who are knowledgeable still mistrust liberal Democrats as little better int he race issue).

“Race” was replaced with “ethnicities” (and from here, is briefly mentioned the charge that “other groups pulled themselves up”), and then the real problem was made “culture”, even though this perfectly matched the old “race” category. (And what would they eventually begin fighting under the banner of, but a “Culture War”, in which race has always ended up connected in one way or another to the moral and financial issues that “war” was framed on?)
So under the banner of “colorblindness”, they could actually continue the same old racial stereotypes, but then claim it is “culture” and not “race”, and that they are just going by “fact” (and from there, deflect charges of “racism” onto the other side, including claiming whites are the true “victims” of it. Even the Anglo-Saxons became the most vulnerable, victimized minority, from being the only group ineligible to claim affirmative action).

Ethnicity told a story of groups either defeated or elevated by their own cultures. Dog whistle politicians embraced the ethnic fiction, amplifying themes of deviant nonwhite behavior and white innocence. The narratives promoted alike by the ethnic turn and racial demagogues—a lack of work ethic, a preference for welfare, a propensity toward crime, or their opposites—reinvigorated racial stereotypes, giving them renewed life in explaining why minorities lagged behind whites. These stereotypes might have faded as society addressed racism. Instead, they became the staples of political discourse, repeaded ad nauseam by politicians, think tanks and media.

“Colorblindness” cast the ongoing of the problems to the people themselves, instead of ongoing structural components of racism. This then led to a return to the old “laissez faire” concept of “rugged individualism” (from the old “robber baron” age of the past, the nation voted away through the New Deal), which was one of the things the “deficient” black culture refused to adopt.
Scholars in the 1990’s remarked that “a new form of prejudice has come to prominence, one that is preoccupied with matters of moral character, informed by the virtues associated with the traditions of individualism. At its center are the contentions that blacks do not try hard enough to overcome the difficulties they face and that they take what they have not earned”. (p. 100, citing Kinder, Sanders Divided by Color: Racial Politics and Democratic Ideals).
So many have come to believe that they prosper because they possess “the values, orientations, and work ethic needed by the self-making individual in a capitalist society”, and thus, “It is now virtually commonsense, at least among the GOP faithful, that minorities fail, and they succeed, as rugged individuals”.

An extension of ethnicity across the color line might have been a felicitous development, for instance if society had come to see nonwhites in terms of cultural variety and a shared humanity. Instead, though, when ethnicity eventually was applied to nonwhites, it changed form and became another way of explaining unbridgeable difference. Where supremacist conceptions of race attributed minority failings to nature, ethnic conceptions would link virtually the same faults to their culture. Ethnicity ultimately replaced nature with culture, but otherwise left the stereotypes explaining minority inferiority largely untouched.

(This tactic also allows them to acknowledge “the good ones“; who do not fit the stereotype of the race, without this damaging the stereotype itself).

This method to “reconceptualize racial dynamics” is framed as a tactic to ultimately prevent amelioration of inequality by attacking the “traditional liberal solutions”; including that “they themselves create cultural pathologies in nonwhite communities”. (And here, on p.97 we get mention of conservative thinkers such as Charles Murray, Dinesh D’Souza, and another one I had never heard of, Myron Magnet).

“Clearly, something must explain white dominance, but what?”
“If racism does remain a problem, how can conservatives object to remedying it?”
“What makes these efforts [welfare, job training, housing, education] futile, or unfair to whites [who once benefitted from them]”?
Most importantly, “how can conservatives talk about why minorities pose a looming threat, if race is just a matter of skin color [as their position of “colorblindness” argued]”?

They deny racial groups can be defined by “culture” only when challenged; otherwise, they routinely employ ethnic terms as a coded way to talk about racial groups and their supposedly incompatible behaviors and beliefs.

“Whites believed in structural remedies when they saw the poor as people like themselves [i.e. other whites], folks sometimes trapped by larger forces or bad breaks. They shifted to a belief in personal failings when they began to see the poor as nonwhites fundamentally unlike themselves. Today, conservatives like Gingrich seek to both stoke and exploit the conviction that the poor chose their fate”.
Meanwhile, he cites Dr. King as acknowledging that the black family as part of the cause of its present crisis culturally and socially induced. Yet his solution was access to jobs, education and housing, coupled with freedom from further exploitation.

Ethnicity provides a basis for blaming minorities for their inferior positions, since it faults their supposedly defective cultures; simultaneously, it exhonerates whites, since racism is no longer to blame for inequality. This in turn answers the question of government help: such assistance is futile because only nonwhites can reform their inferior cultures and self-defeating behaviors. Finally, the ethnic turn promotes a new culture talk that surreptitiously resurrects old stereotypes, allowing conservatives to reinvigorate a pernicious aspect of racism; contentions about fundamental differences in behavior and culture between innocent whites and threatening nonwhites.
Racial demagogues could drop direct references to biology and racial groups, and still stir racial passions. Ethnicity helped establish a commonsense framework in which discussions of dysfunctional culture and menacing behavior were readily understood as describing the essential identity of nonwhites.

Yet racial demagogues did more than resurrect old stereotypes; they altered them in ways that combined assaults on nonwhites with attacks on liberalism. Shaped by the coded language of conservative dog whistle politics, racial stereotypes increasingly connected ideas of minority inferiority with rightwing political narratives. Today, the most powerful racial stereotypes—the ones most generally credited and in widest circulation—dovetail precisely with dog whistle naratives jointly attacking minorities and liberalism.

It should be emphasized at this point, that this is not to deny that there is any validity to the notion of “culture”.  For instance, I’ve long acknowledged that this whole “thug/gangsta” image, greatly promoted in recent generations by industries like entertainment, is about a “culture” or “sub-culture”, and thus not every member of a “race”. However, one problem is that this is not recognized enough, when in practice making that “culture” nearly coterminous with the race, save a few “good ones”.
So the main problem this leads into, is that if you want discuss “cultural” difference (in terms of “problems”), fine. But the purpose of this is always to compare to one’s own culture, seen as up to “par”, if not par itself, which is also assumed to be “exceptional” (which is really just a softer word for “superior”).
THAT‘s where the “racism” lies (the making of one’s own group “better” than others, which is the original definition), but this is always attempted to be hidden behind the “fact” of “culture”!

Dog Whistling in the Religious Right

Among conservative Christians who engage in dog whistle rhetoric or general belief in “exceptionalism”, the entire set of well-known scriptural teachings on the sinfulness of all men (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:9-20 Galatians 3:22, Luke 18:9-14, John 9:41) goes right out the window in favor of a pure cultural merit, and they don’t even realize it. (And they are actually the ones who have spoken the most of a “Culture War“, and though this is more about “secular humanism” and moral liberalism and not [directly] race, still, these “forces” are part of what they complain has forced “egalitarianism” on to them. Here’s an example of the line of reasoning used to dismiss scriptures like this: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/an-example-of-the-legalism-of-the-running-the-race-teaching/#comment-3332)

If an individual says “I am justified by my good works”, or a “cult group” or other religion says “we shall be saved by our works” then their “heresy” is obviously recognized, and these people regarded as hell-bound sinners rejecting Christ’s Gospel. But when “mainstream” [“orthodox” evangelical] Christians themselves extend this same rationale to “culture”, it’s a different story. Individual “salvation” no longer matters; it’s the salvation of the nation from others’ [external forces] sins by our own goodness.
Hence the current rash of “harbinger”s or other “prophecies” of “judgment” on America for its cultural “sins” [everything but historic racism, of course] —that like all others are all passing by unfulfilled, about now.

Also, “culture” was long used as a racial dog whistle in the old Christian music debates within the church. Christian music using “secular” (contemporary) styles such as rock are condemned as “worldly”, supposedly for being produced by an “ungodly” post-Christian culture; but ultimately for the style coming from blacks. But then secular (such as classical, or strictly patriotic) music done in a traditional style is considered acceptable, because the “culture” they were produced in was “Christian”, and therefore “sacred”.

One expression of “colorblindness” was the saying “not skin, but sin” (which a common tract was even written on). While I thought that was a nice idea, overall the “sin” part was still not owned by the evangelical “culture” producing the meme; but was rather, generally, seen as external; like race was something “secular” society was having an issue with, but their problem is “sin”, and as one contemporary music critic addressing charges of racism in the teaching brushed it off with, “The Bible has the answers”. But the Bible is in this case simply thrown at others, while one assumes they’re already in line with it.

So “not skin, but sin” basically becomes “not color, but culture”. To put it together,
not skin color, but sin culture.
That “sin culture” is always seen as belonging to someone else, including those of the other “skin color”.

That’s why, even though there’s a lot of truth to the notion of “culture”, it still leads back to bona fide racist sentiment.

So this “cultural” focus just leads to distortions of the Gospel into an imagined “Christian culture” that is an extension of biblical Israel, in being “chosen” by God; but unlike Israel, infused with the Spirit, making them overall behaviorally “superior” or “exceptional”, even if every single individual in the nation or culture was not regenerated.

Another, particularly nasty manifestation of “colorblindness” is the actual reappropriation of the “N” word to people [hypothetically of any race] who do bad things (which even blacks, trying to neutralize it in the past, said was a better use for it). What I had been seeing in “conservative news” article comments is it then being used for the black criminal[s] of the story. So now, they get to openly use the N word on blacks (as boldly as an antebellum slavemaster or Jim Crow sheriff, though usually spelled differently like removing the e) while still vigorously denying “racism”! (Talk about “having your cake and eating it too”! Who could ask for a better setup? But like the “emperor with no clothes”, these people so buy their own reasonings and think is passes with everyone else, and have no concept of “the appearance of evil”; i.e. what it looks like to others).

On P.102 he puts the strategy all together:

  • Race is just a matter of blood, and has no connection to past or present social practices.
  • Racism means being treated differently on the basis of race. Since affirmative action treats whites differently because of race, it constitutes racism. On the other hand, there is little racism against minorities today: witness the absense of proven malice.
  • Ethnicity shows that whites do not exist as a dominant group, but only as ethnic minorities with just as much right as other minorities to protect their own group interests
  • Group cultures differ, and it’s not racist to acknowledge that white ethnics have succeded, and nonwhite groups have failed, on the basis of differences in group capacity and behavior. Moreover, since groups are the masters of their own fate, it is futile (in addition to being racist) for government to give some groups special handouts

“When laid out this way, it’s no surprise that Reagan and other political leaders since have embraced colorblindness. It sounds liberal, yet works like a racial cudgel, denying that there’s discrimination against minorities, elevating whites as racial victims, justifying white superiority, and facilitating dog whistle racial appeals that emphasize culture and comportment”.

•Highlights the Clintons’ use of racial politics (such as “getting tough on crime”, which was an instance of a liberal use of the “dog whistle”; which I clearly remembered him “needing” to do during his first campaign to compete with the Republicans, especially with the whole “Horton” campaign still fresh in mind); and that Bill used his Arsenio appearance make himself look like “the first black president” and a “friend” of blacks or “honorary brother”. (“[race-baiting] may have violated Clinton’s values; indeed, he was likely deeply troubled by the perceived need to racially pander. Whatever the case, though, Clinton bit down on that whistle and blew. At root, the ‘racism’ in dog whistle racism is the ‘strategy’…[lying] in provoking racial animosities in order to gain votes and power.” p.113)
In this point, it also mentions the black vote being “not so much disdained as taken for granted. The black community could be pushed away and even slapped down a bit, without seriously jeopardizing African American electoral support. After all, the reasoning went, where could they go?” (This is basically the “lesser of two evils” premise, which is also working on the right side, where Republicans have taken their electorate for granted, who essentially have no where else to go).

•As racial politics dies down after Clinton reforms, Heritage Foundation blames failures of tax cuts for rich on “social programs”. This is what set the focus back on “lazy minorities”, to the present (I definitely had noted how the rhetoric had died down, and then kicked back up around 2004).
And of course, 9-11 also drew more ire towards “Arab Muslims” and “illegal immigrants” from across the southern border.

•Mentions John Birch Society as being founded by candy manufacturer Robert Welch (“In a conxtext in which actual domestic support for communism was virtually nil”; so the term functioned as a hyperbolic catchall for the New Deal), and later mentions the Koch brothers (as billionaire backers for the Right, of course), so I’m surprised he never mentioned their father’s co-founding the JBS. (And that he dog whistled a connection between communists and civil rights as a serious threat to the country).

Here, it’s made clear that the whole platform of the Right against “government” really started with opposition to the government (who had initially benefitted whites through the New Deal) extending the benefits to blacks.

“Punch, parry, kick” (p.129) Here he really nails the rhetorical deflect-and-turnabout dynamic conservatives use:

The punch is the dog whistle’s initial coded race-talk (including caricatures, such as an image of Obama on a “food stamp” bill with stereotypcal black food, or the “Obama phone lady”).
The parry is where they then play dumb, refusing to see any connection between their comments and race. This, where they often say “it’s fact, not racism”, and may accuse the other side of “whining”.
The kick is the counterattack, where they accuse the accuser of being the one injecting race into the conversation. This is where they level the charges of, “playing the race card”, and “being the true racists”.

•191ff Obama not “liberal” enough. Was not really constrained by GOP in the beginning, when they were in disarray, and their ideas largely discredited. With Obama silent, then their standard story about race and betrayal became the sole coherent narrative.

Suggests he may have been compensating for the “double strike” (in the eyes of the Right) of being both black and Democratic

•He at this point makes the distinction between the “colorblindness” of the Right, and the “post-racialism” as the left’s counterpart. Unlike colorblindness, post-racialism could acknowledge the damaging effect of past racism, but now doesn’t want to discuss it beyond that.

Some other things I’m surprised weren’t mentioned (in addition to the denial of Southern Strategy as a rhetorical tactic, the Koch-JBS connection, and “superhumanization bias”):

•Asians often being cited by dog whistlers as doing “better than whites” in intelligence scores. He uses the terms “nonwhite” a lot, and points out that the definition of who counts as white may change, but Asians are not yet being included as “white”, though nevertheless used to prove that the dog whistlers are not exalting their own race, because “look; we’re admitting others [the Asians] are better than US!“.

•While giving that one reference to Murray, surprisingly didn’t mention the attempts through his “Bell Curve” theory to still maintain some sort of natural difference.

•That there are plenty of rightwing people who do want to “discuss race” (and even condemn leftwing “political correctness” for censoring it), though of course, this is to openly blame minorities. These are the ones regarding the “dog whistlers” as “cuckservatives“, and rather than dog whistlers themselves, they would amount to regular audible whistle blowers! But I guess he’s focusing on the dog whistlers themselves, not on these more radical fringes. But these fringes were allowed to make their voices heard more by the dog whistlers softening the audience up for them!

•Another thing that could have been covered, since it was pointed out the nation favored the New Deal in the past, even citing the IRS headquarters inscription “taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society”, is how they were able to do it back then with no income tax. This would build his argument (below) that a “return” to “liberal government” is the solution.

•How the illusion of “black culture” being bad, was fed to many of them for a profit, and then further broadcast by they themselves to the entire world, through entertainment venues such as “gangsta rap” (which of course also benifitted the huge media empires publishing it). I’ve always seen this as a ploy to justify racism, (in the very vein of those rappers claiming to be anti-white and pro-black). Now, everybody sees that stuff, and the kids emulating it from coast to coast, and it “proves” more than anything else, that all the stetreotypes of blacks are true. They themselves openly flaunt it, even!

The book ends on “What to Do”

Politicians: Obama is not in a position to take on race directly, but must 1) articulate and govern according to a positive liberal vision, and 2) “give a consistent and coherent account of who the culprits are”; “who’s holding us down, and even pushing us downward”, since “with so much hardship in their lives, people want to know who to blame” (“resentment abhors a vacuum”); pointing out that dog whistle politicians have made assigning blame their principle task.
However, we should not engage in scapegoating and clarify that it is not wealth itself or corporations that are the problem, but that we cannot ignore self-interested billionaires and corporations that attempt to distort the democratic process to serve their own interests. (And he cites Teddy Roosevelt, a “great capitalist”, who nevertheless lambasted “malefactors of great wealth”. 3) Liberal politicians must encourage their allies and appointees to discuss race.

Civil Rights Organizations: 1) promote liberalism 2) spark a new civil rights movement. He has us imagine three positions regarding racial justice: a left commitment to directly addressing inequalities, a rightwing agenda of reversing civil rights and preserving the status quo, and in the middle, universal liberal programs that only indirectly help minorities. “By staying silent on race, the left effectively disappeared: no one was arguing for direct responses to racial injustice.” What happened, is that that middle position came to be seen as “left” and even “radical”, and even Democrats fearing being identified with “left” programs. (“this is where we find ourselves today”).

Foundations and unions: Most have also retreated from directly engaging with racial justice. If the issues they do address touch on poverty, they will also inevitably intersect with race, and if they seek government help, will be contested in racial terms. Public unions find themselves the targets of aggressive attacks, particularly economic ones, such as the cost to taxpayers of fulfilling pension obligations, and also “a racial refrain that paints many unions, especially public ones, as havens of unproductive minorities” (I saw this first hand on the Christian board I debated on! As I’ve said in Makers-Takers, “even if you’re working, you’re still a ‘taker’, if you essentially ‘want too much’ ⦅including any sort of job security or benefits⦆'” All of this should make it clear, that “slavery” is basically the hypothetical ideal of this system).

So these organizations’ principal work should be “a long term project to restore luster to liberalism itself”, including a “consensus on how to help the middle class”. They had backed down from defending this, due to pressure from the Clinton and Obama administrations to tone down on demands for New Deal style solutions for economic challenge, shifting rightward with the rest of the country. Or, they hold a complacent sense that liberalism needs no defense, and will naturally win out in the end.
But looking at the way the conservative think tanks and media conglomerates (and the influence of people like the Kochs), “in today’s political climate, bad ideas thrive with sufficient resources behind them, and good ideas wither from neglect. Liberals must acknowledge the skewed nature of the marketplace of ideas and foundations and unions must step up their commitments to supporting advocacy organizations, think tanks, and grassroots groups motivated to re-engage the increasingly one-sided debates…”. This extends to supporting universities (including schools like law, business and medicine), starting with liberal arts programs to help foster the values and critical thinking that undergirds liberalism, as conservatives have been effective in pouring money into endeavors like this.

The rest of us:
Consciously consider race (“The racial subterfuge of coded appeals that has done so much to wreck the middle class is easy to pierce, but only if one consciously mulls over how race might be involved”).
Raise one’s voice (“Rightwing racial attacks on liberalism depend on cowing into silence those opposed to continuing racial demonization, thus allowing dog whistle calumnies to spread unchallenged”. In discussing how colorblindness makes those who point out racism seem to be the racists, he interjects a second time “as if pulling a fire alarm means one set the fire, or dialing 911 means one committed the crime“.) So to defeat dog whistle racism, we need to sound that alarm! (And for persons of color, this is especially risky, since there’s additional pressure to stay silent and “show that race no longer matters”).
And it doesn’t necessarily mean electing more Democrats, for they can use the whistle as well.

He praises the Occupy Wall St. movement as good, showing that “tremendous passion exists around issues of economic inequality” and how social media comes to good use; but erring in refusing to engage in party politics (like the Tea Party did) and accept major financial backing; and also ignoring race. (“It was a curious spectacle, to see many white youth in Oakland up in arms about economic injustice but resistant to talking about racism, in a city where wealth and poverty correlate so closely with color”).

It's not about color, it's about the Law
Typical “dog whistle” meme that attempts to accuse the other side of falsely making the issue about race. It totally ignores all the instances where the black victim WAS obeying or not resisting, and still got shot. It in one brush stroke makes all black victims automatically guilty of resisting arrest, just because they got shot. It implies the police are always right, and black kids are always wrong. This really needs to be challenged, nonstop

So he basically advocates for “liberal” use of “government”, and a focus on race. I admit that I have been greatly influenced by the “post-racial” mindset, in basically cowing to the Right’s tough talk against “government”, and “the race card”. I would say that Obama was using “tact” in deflecting from race, which is what I had been saying all along. How can we keep pushing both for “government”, and decrying “racial discrimination”, when the other side has been loudly trashing both issues as us just wanting to tyrannize them (à la “Communism”) in order to take “free stuff” from them, and we have not even been answering that charge.
I still think there is wisdom in recognizing a limit of government, as it, just like big business, or dog whistle organizations, is composed of humans who often act on their own self-interest, which corrupts the goals, and leaves those they are supposed to help still not helped that much.

But he does say, continuing with the comment electing Democrats not being the goal; “Rather, the goal is to restore a political consensus that sees government not as a handmaiden to mooching nonwhites, but as a powerful tool for promoting liberty and opportunity for all“.

The result of dog whistle politics is that while so much money has been going to the super-rich, people still continue to insist it’s all gone to the minorities (like claiming “22 Trillion” went to “welfare” programs since Johnson, as I’ve seen).
The goal is to restore the paradigm of the “robber baron”, who through “rugged individualism” can milk dry as much of the people as they can; and then not only that, but to have it all blamed on minorities, who then are the ones deemed needing restraints put on them. (Just as in the old ideal setup of the Old South, which many are still hoping will “rise again”!)

This, (aside from the arguments of the dangers of “big government”, and whether it “works”, or whether programs will really help the minorities for whom the ghetto lifestyle is so engrained) I would say is a good start.

Here’s an article with some of his points:
8 Sneaky Racial Code Words and Why Politicians Love Them
http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2014/03/_racial_code_words_8_term_politicians_love.html

Why Mirrors Reverse Left and Right but Not Up and Down

Why Do Mirrors Reverse Left and Right but Not Up and Down?

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2015/02/17/physics_girl_mirrors_flipping_images.html

Saw this the other day, and tried to think about it, but was too busy on the typological stuff. Saw it again today, and watched the video

To simplify it in my own terms, it’s true, as she says, that in the mirror image, left is still left and right is still right. When I thought of this, even before I mentioned, I started by imagining lines, from my right to the “right” side of the mirror image, and from the left to the left, and of course, top and bottom as well. I at the time just figured that is what reverses the image, but didn’t really think of why horizontally (width) and not vertically (height). But the key is the fact that it’s not a left-right switch, but back and forth (depth).

In any rotation, two dimensions are involved. We can “left/right face”, and with 180° (a full “about face”), then back and forth are reversed, but then so are right and left. We can also rotate head forward 180°, and then right and left will be the same, but back and forth and up and down will be opposite. And we can rotate sideways, and then left and right will be opposite again, along with up and down; and back/forth will be the same.

What we’re interested in is comparing the first two, where back/forth are reversed.

The reason there is a difference between width and height, and width seems to be the one that changes, is because height is the dimension in which we are anchored to the ground by gravity, and width then becomes an extra “free” dimension (while depth is the basic dimension you look “forward” in). So when we want to reverse “back and forth”, the dimension we turn in is always right or left. As the video mentions, we have a symmetry in this free dimension, but not in height, where our feet and legs are on the bottom to stand on, and our heads are on top. We could “turn around” the second way (like a half somersault), but that would mean standing on our heads (or hands).

With a mirror, the light from left, right up and down heads straight from you, to the mirror, and then bounces back to you, in the same position. This flips back/forth without flipping any of the other two dimensions. So we end up with a negative image, meaning an image with one dimension reversed. Like multiplying positive or negative humbers, an odd number of negatives is negative, but an even number is positive.
Notice, when you add another mirror (or look in a horizontally bent mirror, like in a funhouse), you get a reflection of the reflection, which is then a positive image (the words on your shirt will read as normal), but rotated 180°; facing you, so that width is now reversed (your head now nods in different directions), and depth is still reversed as well (And height still normal). The double negative is a positive. If the mirror is bent vertically, then right and left will be normal (your head nods the same way again), but up and down will now be reversed. The words on your shirt will be both backwards and upside down, which will be a positive image that when rotated 180°, will read as normal. A completely concave round mirror (bent in both dimensions); then all three dimensions are reversed, and you get a negative image rotated 180°. Every move you make will be reversed by the image. The word on your shirt will read forward, but upside down.

The way to think of it, again, is that in the mirror image, what’s to your left is still left, and right is still right, but that’s just your left and right. Most people looking at you (who will read you shirt normally) are going to be looking toward you, which is actually the other direction, and what’s left to you, is right to them, and vice versa.
If you want to read what is on your shirt normally (like another person would), you must take it off and rotate it horizontally (or we can imagine the shirt staying where it is, and you have to step forward and then rotate horizontally). So you are flipping both width and depth. The mirror flips you in depth only, which reverses the image you are looking at. You are now looking at yourself as an outside observer. However, what other observers of you see as left (where a word begins when we read left to right) is now right, and what they would see as right, where the word ends, is now left.

This again, is because the way we rotate is horizontally, while the vertical dimension is what we are anchored to, and is basically only for holding ourselves up, not for rotating, normally. Up and down are the same for everyone, where left and right (and back and forth) are not. And as the only other dimension we don’t look “through”, like depth, and can see things parallel to our line of sight, besides height, is width, we are totally geared around width, like in reading and writing.

As the video says if our bodies had vertical symmetry; let’s say, we were living “X’s”, with two other legs instead of arms, and our heads in the middle, AND also, if we lived in zero gravity, with no ground, the “vertical” dimension would not be the same for everyone, and we would be using it too, as another way to “about face”. When others saw us, facing us, but upside down, they would see the words on your shirt upside down and backwards. But is’ important to remember you wouldn’t really think of it as “upside down”; it’s the way you’re used to see the image when looking at someone else. But it is still a vertically flipped; you just don’t realize it.

If, instead of zero gravity, you lived on the side of a vertical surface, where everyone agreed on one of the horizontal directions. Let’s say the surface is to the east (facing west), and then everyone would be pressed to the east, and then the subjectively oriented “right/left” would not be used, and everyone would have the same fixation of one side of their body to the east. But if they had freedom in the vertical dimension; maybe there was still gravity (so that “down” would still be felt as “down”), but you had a way of clinging onto this surface and moving around it, like insects. So looking in a mirror, we would still see the same negative image, but expecting it to be both upside down and backwards, we would only see it as backwards, so that width seems normal, but height seems flipped, (that is, from the way we normally see it).

This is where mirror dynamics resemble the fourth dimension, as you would read in Rudy Rucker. In a 4D rotation, the two dimensions could be the forth dimension itself (called ana and kata) plus back and forth (or left-right or up-down). That rotation would involves only one of our familiar dimensions, so you would get a negative version of the object without using a mirror!

What is this thing called “type” anyway? (New Introduction to the theory)

What is this thing called type? People liken it (and it’s predecessor, classic temperament theory) to “astrology”; where people are grouped, according to behavioral traits, into categories, which in that case are marked by the time of year you are born.

But type is really based on the way we cognitively divide reality.
It’s just like the way we divide spacetime between back and forth, up and down, left and right, and past and future. So likewise, we also divide reality into what is “I” (“subject” or the individual) or “not I” (“objects” in the “environment”). This forms the basis of what we can call “orientation” (also commonly called “attitude”).

We also divide our cognition into taking in information that comes to us (which is basically involuntary), and then making rational (voluntary) decisions with it. These modes of processing are also split.

So we divide the information we take in (perceive), into what is clearly observable by our physical senses (“tangible”, “visible” or “practical”), and what is not based on the senses, but rather inferred from other data in some way. (And thus, intangible, invisible, hypothetical).

We also make a distinction between “subject” and “object”* in our decisions, which stems from a sense of right and wrong (and usually leading to courses of action to make what’s deemed “wrong” to “right”), as determined by our reactions. Emotions (leading to our reactions; whereby we are making rational decisions) can tell us that the affect on us is from something about the object (which is “impersonal”), leading to a focus on the “mechanics” of things, or it can tell us that it is about our “soul” (the “subject”, and hence, “personal”). This will generally split the neutral “right/wrong” into the more impersonal “true/false” or the more personal “good/bad”.

These are the bases of the three main variables in type; two preferred functions (one perception, and one judgment), and orientation. Orientation then becomes split into a third and fourth variable, based on which orientation is dominant, and then, which function is oriented environmentally or individually. The dominant function will take on the dominant orientation, so this also tells us which function is dominant.
The other preferred function will be “auxiliary” (needed simply because we also must have a preference in other mode of process; both perception and judgment).

A Sensing type is one whose primary outlook is tangible, material or practical “at hand” data and/or experience, which they generally “itemize”, and thus think in terms of what simply “is” or “isn’t”, or the substance of reality (which is what sets the idea, or “could/couldn’t”).

An iNtuitive type is one whose primary outlook is the “filling in” of experience with [mental] “constructs” such as concepts, hypotheses, or theories, which all involve “larger contexts” or meanings behind things and [non-physical] “patterns”. Even physical or visible things, like in comparing one thing to something separate, but has some sort of inferred similarity. Focusing on a property to compare, like its shape; they have turned into an “idea”. This is what “could” or “couldn’t” be (which explains or improves what “is/isnt”, or “substance” of reality).

A Thinking type is one whose primary rational outlook is looking at the world “impersonally” or “technically”, in terms of objects and how they work, which we can call the “mechanics” of things. (including people), often with a focus on goals such as efficiency. They tend to think in terms of “true” or “false” (which is what will automatically determine “like/dislike”).

A Feeling type is one whose primary rational outlook is looking at the world in terms of people or humanity, and the elements that makes them “subjects”, which is basically what could be called “anthropic” (or “humane”), and ultimately deals with the “soul”, with its emotions and values; usually with a focus on goals such as individual or group harmony. (They will often mirror the other person’s inner state and adjust their behavior accordingly). They approach life in terms of being human first, and seeing others as humans to interact with, and objects are to be looked at and used from the perspective of how we relate to them. This leads them to “think” in terms of “good” or “bad” (which will assume what is “correct/incorrect”).

An introvert is a person whose ego focuses on its own individual perspective through the dominant function. The perspective is described as approaching the environment and eliminating what is irrelevant according to his own internally held standard.

An extravert is a person whose ego focuses on the environment through the dominant function. Carl Jung described the ego or “subject” as essentially “merging with the object”. The environment itself, or its judgments (consensus of other people, efficent courses of action, etc) the are taken as his own.

A Judging type is one whose preferred judgment (decision making) function is oriented environmentally. They will tend to take on the “judgments” of a group (consensus, harmony, etc), or courses of action determined by the environment (e.g. what’s most efficient, etc) as their own values. Then person then seem to desire more “closure”, since he expects decisions to be “set” according to external factors. (His preferred perception is then what will be oriented individually, according to a storehouse of impressions).

A Perceiving type is one whose preferred perception (information gathering) function is oriented environmentally. The person tends to remain “open” to new, emergent (often variable) information, before making a judgment (which is what will then be individually oriented, according to a strorehouse or rational principles).

So the four letter type code comes together as follows:

1 Dominant orientation: introvert (individual-focused) or extravert (environment focused): I/E

2 Preferred perception function: Sensation (tangible or material focus) or iNtuition (hypothetical focus): S/N

3 Preferred judgment function: Thinking (impersonal, mechanical focus) or Feeling (“soulish” focus): T/F

4 Function orientation and position:
a) function of indicated letter (J/P) is environmentally oriented (deemed important in personal interaction)
b1) If this matches with dominant orientation (#1=”E”), then this is the dominant function.
b2) If not, (#1=”I”) then this function is auxiliary, and the other function is dominant and introverted.

*(Right here we see where two of the variables can be associated with the common terms “subjective” and “objective”, which may cause some confusion when these terms are encountered. One is dealing with an individual or environmental orientation, where only the individual is conscious of his own “soul”, and thus everything in the environment {including other people} become “objects”. The other is dividing all of reality directly between impersonal “objects” and personal “souls” {individual or environmental}, and making rational assessments based on which of these two categories we are reacting based on).

Since the dominant orientation shapes the functions (coloring the dominant function, and the auxiliary is then presumed to be opposite), then we can speak of eight different function-attitudes (also sometimes called “processes”), denoted with the function dichotomy letter in capital, with the attitude in lowercase: Se, Si, Ne, Ni, Te, Ti, Fe, Fi.

Again, these divisions are already implicit in all the data we run across in life.
In everything we process, there is some sort of tangible object or energy (light, sound, etc.), that can be taken in immediately or stored in memory. It can be intangibly connected to other objects, contexts, ideas or impressions, either directly or through less conscious means. We will think something about it is true or false, and this based either on external means we’ve learned from the environment or are dictated by the local situation, or internal principles we’ve learned individually, often through nature; and we may like or dislike it or something about it, again,based either on an external values we’ve learned from the environment, or internal values we’ve learned individually through nature.

What I find are the best definitions of them:

Se: awareness of material reality in the environment
(turn outward for attention to immediate at hand objects, such as physical/practical items, as it occurs)
Si: awareness of material reality filtered by individual knowledge
(turn inward to compare at hand data such as physical/practical items with a storehouse of fact and experience)
Ne: awareness of hypothetical reality inferred from the environment
(turn outward to “fill in” experience of objects with mental/ideational constructs such as connections or patterns)
Ni: awareness of hypothetical reality inferred by individual impressions
(turn inward to subject’s unconscious to “fill in” mental/ideational constructs with connections like “hunches”)
Te: assessment of “correct/incorrect” (mechanical “truth”) by an environmental/cultural standard
(turn outward to objects to determine their proper relationship to each other)
Ti: assessment of “correct/incorrect” (mechanical “truth”) by an individual/natural standard
(turn inward to internal “blueprint” of proper relationship between objects)
Fe: assessment of “like/dislike” or [soulish] “good” by an environmental/cultural standard
(turn outward to evaluate proper relationship involving/between people)
Fi: assessment of “like/dislike” or [soulish] “good” by an individual/natural standard
(turn inward to internal “blueprint” of proper relationship involving people)

Another way to look at them is in terms of an individual’s “images” of reality, for perception, (in addition to his assessments of it, for judgment).

Se: individual’s images match current environment
Si: individual’s images ONCE matched the environment, but currently can only be held among individuals sharing the experience
Ne: individual’s images never matched environment, but are still based on the environment (and thus they can possibly be shown to others)
Ni: individual’s images have never matched the environment, and can only be directly perceived by the individual.
(and hence, why this one is so notably hard to explain).

Te: individual’s assessment of true/false (mechanics of the situation) are determined by the environment.
Ti: individual’s assessment of true/false (mechanics of the situation) are determined by individual reflection.
Fe: individual’s assessment of good/bad (soul-affect of the situation) are determined by the environment.
Fi: individual’s assessment of good/bad (soul-affect of the situation) are determined by individual reflection.

Another way of looking at it is that in deciphering the two different attitudes of each function, the question to ask is:
WHO is really doing the actual Thinking? (the subject, or an object; i.e. Other person, group, computer; e.g statistics, etc.)
WHO is really doing the actual Feeling? (subject, or an object; i.e. other person, group, culture).
WHERE are your sense impressions? (directly from the environment, as they occur, or filtered individually through memory)
WHERE do meanings (inferred from sense impressions) TAKE PLACE? (other patterns that are in the environment, though stored in memory; or individual impressions which are outside the pattern, from stuff likely repressed from memory).

From here, we are able to identify 16 “types”.

So the MBTI questions basically measure, first, introversion or extraversion. Then, the two preferred functions, one perception, and one judgment. Then, it measures general “judging” vs “perceiving” behaviors, and from there is able to put together the type code. If you score high on Judging, then it must be the judgment function you scored highest on that is “extraverted”. The perceiving function must therefore also be introverted. The reverse for scoring high on “Perception”. The one whose orientation matches the first letter (I/E) must then be your dominant, and the other, the auxiliary. Which ever one is extraverted will color the general “J” vs “P behavior. Hence, that can be treated as a standalone dichotomy.

So, to recap the entire process:
Our ego chooses the inner or outer world (environment or individual), and begins choosing a dominant function to use in its world. First, the class of function is chosen: either an information gathering or decision making function. Then the specific function is chosen (tangible/material awareness {substance of “what is”} or hypothetical awareness {idea of “what could be”} information gathering), or technical/mechanical {“true/false”} or “soul”-focused {“good/bad”} decision making). An auxiliary function will be the opposite class of function in the opposite orientation.
And there, the type is set, and the rest of the functions will eventually fall into place!

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