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Baitball Blogger

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Current location: Seminole County, Florida
Member since: Sun Mar 18, 2012, 10:16 PM
Number of posts: 41,963

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Taking one from Tucker who fears his vote will be diluted every time we "import a new voter."

Take into account that this fear that the demographics in this country would one day flip was a common conversation among older white Americans back when I was young. They always feared that one day they would no longer be in the majority. From there, this fear went from the older generation to present day with the replacement theory, which I gather claims that dark skinned people and Jews, are going to replace Anglo-Americans, and particularly, white conservatives.

So, let's break it down further.

Tucker pointed out that he feared that his vote would get diluted every time we "import a new voter." So what he fears is people coming from other countries who know a different way of life, a different value system. Well, we all know that immigrants to this country were once white. And they brought with them a different way of life, a different value system. Somehow, we all made room for those differences and even thrived.

Those earlier immigrants, their grandparents, made the trek across the sea because they were told the streets were lined in gold. How many people know that? But the present day immigrants are coming here because of America's promise of equality and a better way of life. Which seems reasonable. But the reason why conservative white Americans fear them is because they're bringing with them a different way of life, a different value system and most importantly, one that doesn't see White People as a superior race.

This is one of the ironies in America. White conservatives have been battling against the concept of equality for nearly two and a half centuries. It is one of the most fundamental concepts in America. The one that makes America different from all the others. What do you say about that, textualist? Oh, I know what they would say. Equality is only for white people, since the founding fathers were white. You know, if you want to expose textualism as the con-job it is, why don't you start there? If we can convince them that argument doesn't hold true, then everything about the textualist process falls apart like a jenga tower without a foundation.

Anyway, these new arrivals to America do not, or will not comply with the Anglo concept of superiority. Thus, "imported votes" means conservative white Americans are going to have to deal with "uppity" new Americans. That's where we are today.

I think it comes down to the saturation problem they have with assimilation. I am a prime example. I grew up in a very diverse American enclave. The Canal Zone. We all got along. We were all Americans in a foreign land so we were daily reminded of what made us all the same. It was a bonding experience. When I was young, I was everything American. Country girl, hippie, Twyla Tharp dancer, even a hobo on Halloween (easy costume), Emma Peel...(Okay, I admit that sometimes I mixed the British with the American). But the point is, that when you were overseas, there were no lines that divided one kind of American from another.

It was a time when America was truly great. You could just say the words, "I am an American," and it was a passport to better treatment overseas. But back then, America was a kinder, gentler nation to the countries that hosted them. Not so much today, so no one should be surprised that the only thing they see is the ugly American. You know, those kind of American tourists who are so insular in their rural lives (metaphorically speaking) that they don't have the common courtesy or common sense to be civil in a foreign land.

Well, as these things go, they raised children who double-downed, and their kids are following through with the example by not being civil to other Americans in their own land. That's where we are today.

Anyway, I don't know if you can sort out from what I revealed about myself how I formed my first identity. So I guess I'll get to it. When I was living abroad, I knew that I was different from my Panamanian relatives. Unlike them, I related to all things American, including this shameful admission that I grew up thinking that I was white. It almost made sense. I didn't have to check off a box marked "Hispanic" until I applied to go to college in the U.S. In fact, it wasn't until my Senior year in college when I realized I wasn't white, at least not in the sense that America was sorting us out. I wasn't Anglo, which was the difference that kept escaping me, because, let's face it, everything we saw and breathed during the time that I was raised, was Anglo-oriented. You know it's true. It was the time of the white savior, where only the white character had the answers or the brute force and will to change anything. It was a time when Hollywood was casting goodness in a white light as was every other form of media. And, sad to say, they were just reflecting what white American society wanted at that time.

So, maybe I can be forgiven for my early identify confusion. I put it together in my Senior year of college when I volunteered to work in the school counselor's office. I was asked to compile the stats for the student body based on race. That's when I saw on paper, what was very apparent to the eye. My college's composition of white to minority student was 98 to 2 percent. But that's not the part where the light went on. The light went on when I found that I had to put myself down in the Hispanic section. The counselor may have even said, "Don't forget to include yourself."

It was a strange swing of emotions, because that was the moment I saw myself through someone else's eyes. And it wasn't the being an Hispanic part that was the problem. After only a few years away from home, I was already discovering the gift that comes with being bi-cultured. There is a hidden strength that comes from good memories from people who loved you and expressed their kindness and goodness in a different language than English. So, no, it wasn't that. It was that I realized in that moment, that I was being viewed and judged in a way that made me feel less than what I was.

I don't think that anyone who knew me back then, could have pictured how I would turn out after my years of fumbling to find my place in America. Bottom line, I never did find that place. I know that I probably won't be alive by the time America finally meets its promise of equality. But, what's important to know now is that I began to stop assimilating to the fraudulent version of America at some point in the nineties. That's when I stopped viewing the conservative white culture as an ideal that I aspired to be a part of. I couldn't see it before because the Hispanic culture is basically conservative. And some basic conservative choices in life are cross-cultural. But, then in the nineties, the hate talk began. That's when I found myself the lone voice in the room speaking up for minorities and heard comments like, "Why do you keep defending them. You're not Hispanic!"

And that should catch in your throat, given everything we're seeing about the Right's next move. Going back to Tucker's comment, about having his vote diluted, isn't it interesting that the conservative Supreme Court provided a fix for it? Now they're going to force women to breed voters for them, to fill in the shortfall. They will have a chance to indoctrinate them into their conservative Anglo-culture. The one that I rejected. And, guys, it isn't going to matter to them if they adopt Hispanic or black babies. They are going to get the first run to indoctrinate them into respecting their white dominance. What happened to me occurred by chance. Though it was a painful education, I don't regret what I went through because I have always valued truth and I prefer living in America with my eyes wide open, than feeling like I have to whittle away at my principles in order to be accepted by people who are too afraid to make waves against a toxic environment that is taking over this country.

But, it was a transition that I could make because my basic core was established in another time, with parents and aunts and uncles who gave me a strong foundation to work from. These babies that are going to be chatteled off to conservatives who long to protect a racist way of life they've grown accustom to; and their twisted perspective of good and evil, using religion to remove the power and rights from people they don't like...those chattled babies don't stand a chance.

What the conservatives plan to do to the next generation is social engineering. It's almost in Mengele territory, without the scalpel.

So, Tucker. I hear you. But, you see, I protest this move to chattel the next generation before they're even born, because the intention to indoctrinate them into a way of life adverse to my own, well, that will dilute MY vote.

Man, it's like the South really did rise again.

Posted by Baitball Blogger | Mon May 16, 2022, 12:37 PM (6 replies)

So, what does everyone think of my new sig line?

Does it make my butt look too big?

Seriously though, it doesn't happen often, but I think this one is for the times.

"It's a poor academic who does not take human suffering into account. The conservative Supremes can extrapolate abstract concepts to the moon, but the flaw in their reasoning will become apparent when people start turning blue in the face from the lack of oxygen."
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sun May 15, 2022, 03:57 PM (15 replies)

Is the pattern clear enough to start suing the right-wing nuts for inciting violence on

innocent people? I mean, how more clear can it be? It's like the early days when drunk drivers got away with killing people with their cars. So many got away with next to nothing. MADD arrived, the laws changed and the number of incidents just dropped.

So, why can't we have a massive campaign to stop people from killing for hate? And it should begin with getting people off platforms where they can incite others to violence.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sat May 14, 2022, 09:27 PM (40 replies)

Ha! Trump's America First program is being blamed for the baby food shortage.

His trade agreement created shortages because his deal prevents us from importing it from other countries. Our shortage was caused by a recall of Similac due to a defective product. And now Trump's deal has kept us from backfilling the shortfall from Canada, for example, who has a surplus of the baby food.

Editing to add that we all know why Trump didn't write in a stopgap measure to account for shortfalls in supplies. It's because Republicans don't believe in safety nets. LOL!
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sat May 14, 2022, 07:48 AM (54 replies)

Major Rant: I'm sure someone mentioned this before, but imbalances in US income is creating

oligarchs in this country. As I see them, they're people who have the money and power to influence political decisions in this country without having to actually run for office. No wonder the young are disillusioned. Especially during this time when climate change needs our attention, and the young are sensing the futility of their situation. Now, more than ever, we need to come up with a plan that we can all agree on. If nothing else, let's come together for the sake of the young, so they can inherit a better world than the Republicans are setting them up to get stuck with.

Of course, exchanging ideas on how we're going to do it, I have no idea. I can just share observations that should make a difference.

For starters, we should agree that any policy that increases the wealth gap is putting this country in a precarious situation. I have said it in another thread when I was talking about socialism. The fear of socialism was the issue that won South Florida for the Republicans. (i.e. Don't vote for the socialist!) They exploited it with great skill. But they looked at it from the usual point of view. They saw it from the point of the stingy taxpayer.

Here's the other pov: Socialism was an idea that came about because of the huge income disparity between the very poor and the very wealthy. On top of that, the poor were in the largest percentage of the population. We'll say, 90% compared to the top 10%. So, the one quick conclusion is that Socialism occurred as an attempt to alleviate suffering.

No argument here that it was not successful when used as the only governmental relief policy/program. But that's a subject for another day. What I do want to point out is our dilemma. And that is, that income disparity eventually destabilizes a society. You can either try to alleviate the problem, or create chaos so that people can't focus on productive fixes.

People, like De Santis, have chosen to create chaos in order to distract us and obstruct the change that can improve everyone's lives. And his reasons are very simple: As long as people like him have access to cheap labor, their worlds continue at a high level of enjoyment. Cheap labor and cheap products. THAT's their real objective. And meanwhile, our country continues to get destabilized because of income inequality.

America is going to be a continual challenge for Republicans. People are getting smarter about their personal value. We can thank Covid for that. Republicans are finally forced to see that hourly wages are too low, and people have decided it wasn't worth dying over.

I know the next step is for Democrats to organize the workers, but here is the most puzzling thing about living in America. Everyone on DU knows how to fix this problem: Raise wages and provide a good health plan to the workers. But Republicans do everything they can to stop it, for one simple reason: They want access to cheap labor. It's the only way they can live in the reckless manner they have grown accustom to.

And here goes my rant as I begin a little comparative study from the experience I gathered from living in Panama. Back in the 60s-70s, most of the Panamanians still had few means to good, steady income. The US presence in the Canal Zone was helping to change that by providing a civil service and military market that had disposable income. Living side by side was an education. We Americans would drive in and off the base, each time riding along a military fence that separated the two countries. I lived in an area where you had to drive past the poorest section of Panama to get to our schools. It was a place we called Hollywood. An inside joke, which, doesn't seem so funny any more.

The poor lived in hovels made out of a patchwork of discarded trash. Pieces of zinc were valued, as was wood. But too many had walls made out of cardboard. These homes were simple one bedroom contraptions no bigger than many people's bedrooms in America. And they were built on stilts to keep the houses protected from the creek that ran through Hollywood, which would flood during the rainy season.

The water in the creek was always an opaque clay color. For drinking water someone from the family would walk across a pathway made of boards, which looked like a flimsy catwalk, to get to a potable faucet. One faucet for a community of about 75. Oh! And I remember some would repurpose kerosene cans to collect the water!

In the dry season, they would organize games on the flat area that ran up to the military fence that separated us. I saw all of this as I grew up, and for the most part, the repetition desensitized us. It was our reality. They lived in poverty on the other side of the fence. We would watch seconds of their games as our bus drove past them. They were always busy. Either playing soccer with a ball with loose threads, stick ball, or flying small kites made out of Christmas wrapping paper, string and thin stems from palm leaves. (I know, because my uncle made one for me.) Oh, and the tails were always long, made out of ripped cloth bits. It was quite a vibrant community.

But now that I'm older, I see something that I never considered before. This kind of destitution must have served a purpose, or there would have been more action, more resources to fix the social problems. And now I think that it comes down to the cost of labor. In Panama, it was incredibly cheap. And paying people pennies for their labor, does improve your own standard of living.

I did see one major change from one generation of my relatives to the other. When I was very young, my Tias and Tios were people who knew how to actually do things with their hands. Many times my Tios would join in with the laborers and lead the projects. My Tias knew everything about maintaining a ranch AND still had careers in the community. Feminists in their actions, but ultra-conservative in every other way.

The next generation, my generation, I saw a drastic change. Most of the people my age that I have had a chance to really get to know, believe manual labor is for the uneducated. If you mention gardening or building things with your hands they respond, "I get someone else to do that for me." And it's a thing of pride to them. I just have to say, it's a good thing we have youtube videos, because eventually they're going to have to learn to do something.

But, going back to the cost of labor, there was one thing in my father's generation that was an illumination about the relationship between the rich and the poor. It involved the concept of cash tips. My parent's generation never understood the concept. My Tios and Tias, especially. They would feed their workers lunch and offer drinks, and they would fill grocery bags with canned food and used clothes when the workers were ready to go home, but tipping? Nope.

One day my father and my uncle had to kill some time for an appointment. They decided to get their shoes shined by a young lad who was on the street. It was a 15 cent shoe shine. My dad gave the kid a quarter and told him to keep the change. My uncle gave him a quarter and asked for his dime back. My dad asked him why he didn't just give him the whole quarter and my uncle responded, "No, porque se acostumbren." No Because they'll expect it. (Or, they'll get accustom to it.)

See, this is how I think Republicans respond to the labor force. They talk up tip inducements, but the reality is, their employers do everything they can to get workers to work for nothing. The situation becomes so bad that the workers walk, leave; and all Republicans can do is call them lazy. But this pattern is creating an inequity in our country that can lead to the very destabilization that has occurred in third world countries.

I just wish people who are dealing with income issues would just get smart enough to realize which party is reality based, and actually on their side. And stop helping Republicans degrade everyone around them, because, disparaging people may feel like you have it all together, but we see it as a desperate attempt to deflect from the fact that the Republicans have no new ideas, except to stir up support to throw everyone else off the lifeboat. Eventually, they'll get to you.

I think we can see what comes next for Republicans. They're deep in a hostile take-over of this country. Or, at least trying to. So the next time they cry, "Socialist!" it's because they don't want you to see what they're really up to,
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Fri May 13, 2022, 09:25 PM (7 replies)

We know we're not all equal, because our votes are not being counted equally.

Because of gerrymandering and the electorate college most of us already are worth less than one full American. This country uses a devious way to dilute our power, even before we walk into the voting booth.

So, I was wondering, is there a map somewhere that has calculated the fraction of human being that we each stand for? You know there has to be such a map, because the clever reactionary right has been using these math hiccups for quite a while. They know exactly how many more people we have to bring to the polls, to offset their lesser number of votes. It's such a game that it is beginning to make sense that they would intentionally go out to populate the States where the electorate college gives them an edge.

The election in 2000 exposed another kind of flaw, when it was known that areas of Florida that were populated heavily with Democrats used machines with a higher rate of spoiled ballots. Thus, the Florida Democrats missed a huge opportunity to "find votes" by not upgrading the machines. I think that situation still stands.

Wouldn't it be, ha-ha, funny if we became competitive in 2024 if the Fl. Democrats did nothing else but upgrade those machines?

Does it cost money? How much does it cost us when we lose?

So, anyway, I think someone needs to put up that map, because I want to buy a shirt that shows how much of my real worth has been taken from me as an American. I love this country enough to wear that shirt, even though its a sad statement about the false promises that define this time period in America. But, by wearing that shirt, it lets other people know that I know that we live under an unfair system and that, I'm someone that wants that to change for the better for the next generation.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Thu May 12, 2022, 10:50 AM (4 replies)

Why don't we just face the truth. Conservative Anglo-Americans are so terrified

of the power-shift in this country because of the changing demographics. They fear fair elections, because the math is not on their side. So they're now cheating and double-downing, forcing their agendas down our throats, because they don't plan on letting up on their crooked methods.

For example, we sit here knowing that it's just a matter of time to reverse Alito's weak case, but that is only going to happen if we can stop them from stealing our elections. And that's the point. Everything about what they do will be an effort to hold onto power, illegitimately.

So, assume they're all complicit in running an illegitimate process in the Court, the courts, the Congress, their churches and their governorships. Wherever you see Republicans, expect the worst.

We must never assume they have the integrity to perform any government job without supervision. So we never let up demanding an honest process, but always check their work. Do not take their word for anything. Their word means nothing. Conservative anglo-Americans are in a free-fall and they're going down in the ugliest manner.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Wed May 11, 2022, 09:20 PM (37 replies)

What the Florida Democrats are doing wrong.

Reposted from the Florida group.

I know there are progressives in Florida who are as frustrated as I am. Because we can't find new blood that can bridge all the differences in Florida, we keep defaulting to the past. Well, I can't address how to capture all the different kind of voters, but I do have this to add, regarding the loss of the South Florida vote:

I once took a class titled, People of the Carribean and latin American culture. (Or something along those lines.) What the Anglo-oriented, old boy Florida Dems needed to do, and failed to do, was to reach out to academics like the teacher who taught that class, and ask them a simple question: Do you believe that the socialism that occurred in Latin America, can happen here? They will tell you no because the socio-political factors are different. And they will tell you no because the main reason that socialism got out of hand in Latin America was because there was a 10-90 split in resources. Ten percent of the people (Really, more like 1%) had all the wealth and resources, and everyone else was dirt poor. No middle class, like we have here. Just dirt poor.

So, when a military-minded socialist would show up it was easy to capture the support of the people because they were destitute and desperate. I mean, third world desperate. Not what we have in America. Toppling over the wealthy families, who were in the minority, was not difficult. It didn't take much. And, yes, the countries were disrupted quickly; and yes, those that made it through have a nasty story to tell.

That is not likely to happen here in America. We have a middle class. Though I don't know for how long because Republican policies are taking us closer to a 1% - 99% split. And because we have first world views on what constitutes poverty. Because of that, we might get toppled over in a similar, but not the same manner. And De Santis is representing that take over.

The old guard Florida Dems need help and as a voter, I am giving permission to anyone outside this State with ideas to come in and tell them that their time is over and they need to start listening. They can start by getting more latino and latina representation in their party.

There are still pitfalls to worry about, even with their help. Latin Americans who enjoyed that top 10% wealth in their countries know the benefit of living in a country where everyone is hungry and poor. They get cheap labor, which allows them to hold onto more of their money and status. THOSE people will tend to be Republicans.

I always find it galling that Anglo, conservative Americans don't fully understand the world they're pushing us towards. By interfering with education and creating financial hardship on people, they are driving us closer to the very situation that everyone wants to avoid. They really don't see the world they're creating by keeping the hourly wage low, for example. They see themselves always in that top 10%, and if they find themselves struggling, it is always someone else's fault. Never do they look inward to see how they're adding to the equation.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Tue May 10, 2022, 11:02 AM (8 replies)

What Republicans won't tell you aloud, but it's their Achille's Heel.

It's this: They don't like other people's children. Specifically, they don't want to spend a penny of their money on the public services and infra-structure required to raise a new generation of children. And local red governments don't want young adults in their cities, either, because of the fear in the rise of juvenile crime.

The only ones who want to build public schools are the good buddy developers who will receive federal and state money to make it worth their time. It's about the government money. It always is to Republicans. So, in Florida we watch helplessly as public school teachers and public school programs get throttled. It's constant harassment attacking them with mean-spirited Republican-style regulation. It's obvious that the goal is to end public school, so Tallahassee politicians can send tax dollars to private religious schools. They're on a destroy mission and aren't thinking of the countless number of young children raised in struggling homes, who will drop out of school, because they can't learn in a hostile school environment.

And, the best for last. That pesky juvenile crime rate that is associated with the young. That's a real boogey man in the suburbs. There is nothing worse to a Republican white suburban woman, than the fear of a young black person traipsing in the neighborhood, day or night. It's such a fear in the suburbs that the young can be zoned out of white islands, like they did in my City and like they did in the Villages. Forced to accept high density housing, my City found a work around by zoning the buildings for Seniors only. On another part of the City there is affordable high density homes built across from a new school that advertises itself as a "classical Christian school." When it was first approved in the nineties (or maybe early century), the word was that the housing was meant for families that would attend the private school. Can they even do that legally? Look to the Supreme Court for guidance on that one.

In sum, Republicans haven't thought this one out. I was a child of the sixties. I remember we were here in great numbers, and the one thing conservative parents could count on, was that we did not respect their way of life. They were hypocrites, hokey. In a world with social media, there will be no limit to the shit we're going to hear about what goes on in their religious households.

This is a preventable disaster and someone should bring it to their attention. Right now they're too busy laughing it up because they think we have to accept the word of the five liars on the Supreme Court. I say we keep hitting them with the cost expectation for their decision. The Congress has to justify the costs for the programs they bring to the floor, so why doesn't someone do the cost analysis for Alito's folly, so we all get to know what we're getting into.

Posted by Baitball Blogger | Mon May 9, 2022, 07:15 PM (24 replies)

I still can't get it out of my head that Clarence Thomas said that stare decisis doesn't matter.

You know what? I think he and Ginni were the leakers of the Alito document and Clarence is now doubling-down by marginalizing the importance of the Supreme Court's long tradition. This is the kind of bullshit strategy that sovereigntist are known for. He is just as bad as they are, though I believe the source of his problem is his wife.

The man lives with a woman who is involved with extreme right-wing radical troublemakers and activists. She has rubbed off on him and radicalized him. Look at the trail of evidence: He was the lone dissenting vote when the Supreme Court voted to allow text messages connected to January 6th investigation to be released to the plaintiff in the case. Included in those messages were texts from Ginni Thomas that implicated her involvement further. It was a case where he should have recused himself.

Red flags everywhere. My money is on Clarence and Ginni Thomas.

I honestly believe we have pro-insurrectionists on the Court and we should all be in shock.

Don't you all miss the years when he wouldn't say a word?
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sun May 8, 2022, 07:41 PM (29 replies)
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