Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


ck4829's Journal
ck4829's Journal
August 27, 2014

The 'Bad' Magnifying Glass and the 'Good' Blindfold

"Obama is on vacation... again!"
"Obama is lazy"
"Tell Obama to get off the golf course!"

This is just a microcosm, one that represents what is going on here. Obama has taken vacation, but his 138 days pales in comparison to the 1138 days that Congress has taken.

What causes people to ignore the fact that the Republican-led Congress has taken nearly ten times the vacation that Obama has taken? It's almost comical, and indeed, the perfect point to lead into this because of how disproportionate it is.

Humans have a natural tendency to exaggerate the harm caused by what they deem the 'other', and to dismiss any notion of harm caused by a group that is familiar to them.

It's tribalism at it's core. (In this case, the 'good' Republicans vs the 'bad' Democrats)

Today we have systems, politicians, media, and more that serve to exaggerate the exaggerations already present, entrench them, and enshrine them in our society, and make them ideas that are firmly rooted in our culture.

And it's something that feeds into privilege, whether it be white, male, wealthy, straight, and so on.

Ferguson - They're all rioters and making it about race... no matter how peaceful they will be. But the city has absolutely no problems inside it even though it's putting out more arrest warrants than people who live in the city.

Crime in general - A white person who commits a crime is just mentally ill, an outlier so to speak. A black person commits a crime and the entire community is somehow responsible, they all have to confront what is going on.

Inequality - A safety net for the poor is reprehensible, they should all be viewed with suspicion. But a rich person earned his inheritance and network of other rich people.

And you will find far more examples with even cursory glances, so ask why, and I mean really challenge the people who walk around with this way of thinking... that why some groups are responsible as a whole for their violent members, but other groups are not their keepers. Why the actions of some people merit disdain, but similar (Or even greater) actions by others get a shrug.

The Magnifying Glass of the 'bad other' and the Blindfold of the 'good familiar' will only hold us back a whole, and I think that this kind of increasingly entrenched tribalism will only lead us to ruin in the end.

August 19, 2014

Tea Party politics vs Unemployment Insurance 2

Back in 2011, I had written this thread:


It was entertaining, but also very frightening to see all the wildy diverging and unsourced data about cutting people off from unemployment insurance.

Next month, it will be three years since I wrote that and many of the links from those things I had pasted have since faded. So I decided, why not make another one, all from articles and discussions after I had posted this thread?

So here goes...

"Disagree...It's been shown that about 1/3 of people on unemployment find a job immediatly when the unemployment ends."
-Here is where it's shown. Ready? Ha! Fooled you.

"Here’s another statistic you should know: two-thirds of people on unemployment find a job… wait for it… within two weeks of their benefits running out. In other words, the job search tends to get serious when the well is about to runs dry.
-Nothing to back this statistic up."

"The vast majority of people on unemployment find a job within the last two weeks of benefits ending."
-Nowhere to be found.

"I think that the records show most people on unemployment get a job about two weeks before their benefits run out."
-Problem finding the record for the record?

"Government stats show that about 70% of people on unemployment get a job shorty after their Benefits run out. Why? Because all of the sudden they really needed a Job."
-Government stats are pretty easy to cite, why didn't you?

"There are a lot of statistics that support people getting "comfortable" on government assistance. For instance most people on unemployment get a job within the LAST 2 weeks of their payments."
-2 weeks? Oh really?

"I cannot find the documentation to support this assertion, but I believe it is true that most people on unemployment find a job right before the unemployment expires."
-Finally someone who says he has nothing to support his assertion and admits it's just a belief, that's all you had to say!

It looks like the right wing echo chamber that we don't see is starting to find something to latch onto with two weeks, so if you ever see a person say something like this, ask them where they got their data, and if they say "Most" and "two weeks before", ask them ten times as hard.

Profile Information

Member since: Sat Mar 20, 2004, 10:37 AM
Number of posts: 34,679

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»ck4829's Journal