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Link Harvest: Middle Class Question and Answer

I forget how I stumbled on this old piece, but it is remarkable for the way it frames its question and how it answers the question.

In doing so, the article - quite by accident -- models one of the biggest weaknesses of the current progressive movement. This requires further elaboration, but am traveling. Mostly wanted to make sure I save this.
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Links re: Pai + FCC

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How My Brain Works, An Example

Here is an example of how my brain processes differently from most other people and why my status updates and posts usually need to end up so long. The original link and article were shared to FB. Here is a link to the original article. FB makes it difficult for me to link back to the original status updtae/link share from Wednsday.

I knew when I published the link with a brief comment that folks would not understand what I actually loved about it. Because it takes me 1500-2000 words to explain my thought processes. But I decided it was worth trying to explain for people who have any interest in how I tend to analyze things. So I reproduce my actual 1500+ analysis below.

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My incredibly long drash on Amalek, Purim and Why Most of What You Hear on the Subject is Wrong

For those in the mood for 5000+ words:

Wherein I discuss the true nature of the mitzvah of Shabbos Zachar by examining the many apparent contradictions between the story in Exodus and the command in Deuteronomy. Furthermore, I delve deeper into the connection between Purim and the reading of the story of Amalek, demonstrating that the connection is far more significant than the surface explanations provided with regard to the lineage of Haman. I also examine why Purim, like the war of God with Amalek, is described as being "in every generation" with a perpetual command to remember both Purim and Amalek.
Finally, I rebut those foolish ones who would identify a modern nation as Amalek, and use this identification to give themselves leave to commit heinous crimes in direct contradiction of the commands of the Torah. V'davar pela that, despite the clear words of the text and the instruction of the sages, there are those accounted wise in other matters who take it upon themselves to make such a great error, and thus endanger the entire nation of Israel. As it is written: "wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good."

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A quick rant on how the market and stereotypes reenforce and drive each other

Your favorite maintream -ism seems to persist despite all market logic and all societal logic. Why? I suggest that problem is that those studying the problem has suffered from the elephant problem. i.e., We have different disciplines that examine different parts of the elephant and conclude it is because the elephant is like a snake or a wall. Worse, the way academia works, suggesting that an elephant may be a combination of a snake and a wall seems to get translated into "saying it is a snake as well as a wall is an effort to deny and undermine the essential snakeness of the elephant" or "the insistence that the wall must also (at a minimum) include a snake demonstrates the complete invalidity of the discipline that found snake and its insistance on inserting snake into the totally unrelated field of walls."

But society is complicated and complex systems have remarkable powers of re-enforcement. Worse, our failure to appreciate the elephant for what it is -- a mutually re-enforcing composite -- prevents us from understaning it or how to deal with it effectively.

Having written this specific lengthy rant as a comment on FB, I'll park this incomplete and largely unfootnoted essay here for anyone who cares.

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As a result, today the gaming word is pretty much divided 50/50 between men and women. This includes consoles, which once again boast a host of unisex games. But the stereotypes persist, which continue to impact investment, marketing and social norms. This creates, for example, a distinction between the actual market (50/50 men/women) and the existence of "gamer culture" (still heavily male). This includes a much greater number of men who identify themselves as "gamers" than women, despite the market evidence.
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Whatever Happened To "Obama's Army?"

Micah Sifry, who knows his way around this stuff, has written this article which explains what happened to Obama's "Movement 2.0."

It's worth reading and gives you a better understanding of the tension that continues to reverberate through the Democratic Party today.

Sometimes I try to remember what it was like back in 2008. I particularly remember what it was like to have a foot in two worlds -- the "Netroots" world and the traditional Washington world. At the time, I had such confidence that the incoming Netroots world would be able to reinvigorate and re-organize the Washington World. At that point it wasn't a question of trying to sweep it away or treat it as an enemy. It was more like a gang of happy techies trying to share their enthusiasm and excitement with their older relatives who couldn't understand why anyone would *want* a phone that did all kinds of stuff other than make calls and who found all this babble about revolutionizing and disrupting annoying. I can remember my older coleagues laughing at the naivete of the newcommers, then getting annoyed and frustrated with their refusal to get with the program and follow instructions from on high.

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The Political Construction of Segregation

This is a fascinating article, pulling together recent research re-discovering older research.

What happened is somewhat prophetic for modern times, and a good contrary example. For about 25 years following the end of Reconstruction, Southern African Americans and poor whites formed a successful progressive third party movement called the "Fusion Party." Technically, African Americans were Republicans (which was still the party of Lincoln), a party white southerners refused to join. So they formed "fusion tickets" of Repblican African Americans and independent poor whites.

In the South, the Democratic Party remained the party of the elites (a role that became occupied by the Republican Party in the North). Threatened by economic populism, the Democrats used their control of the media to create a race issue and drive poor whites away from African Americans. They also unabashedly resorted to physical violence -- in one case forcing a Fusion mayor and board of Alderman to resign at gunpoint. Once back in power, the Democrats instituted a rigid Jim Crow segregation to prevent a similar interracial movement from occurring ever again.

(Eventually, poor southern whites would form a new progressive movement that would focus on economic progressivism, but would maintain the now ingrained tradition of racial hostility and discrimination. This is the Woodrow Wilson/Huey Long progressivism that most people are familiar with, and which created the idea that economic progressivism is in tension with racial justice.)
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More documentation that income inequality is major contributor to economic stagnation

And one plus factor for the Gen X folks I need to factor in to my Demographic Snake calculations.

To quote Billy Joel:

Every child has a pretty good shot/To get at least as far as his old man got.
But something happened on the way to that place
They threw an American flag in our face.
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