A Philosopher's Blog

Why Demonize the Poor?

Posted in Ethics by Michael LaBossiere on January 20, 2014
Poverty

Poverty (Photo credit: Teo’s photo)

Certain pundits of the American right have continued the tradition of demonizing the poor. For example, Fox News seems to delight in the narrative of the wicked poor who are destroying America. It is certainly worth considering why the poor are demonized.

One ironic foundation for this is religion. While “classic” Christianity regards the poor as blessed and warns of the dangers of idolatry, there is a strain of Christianity that regards poverty as a sign of damnation and wealth as an indicator of salvation. As Pope Francis has been pointing out, this view is a perversion of Christianity. Not surprisingly, Pope Francis has been criticized by certain pundits for actually taking Jesus seriously.

Another reason for this is that demonizing the poor allows the pundits to redirect anger so that the have-less are angry at the have-nots, rather than those who have almost everything. This is, of course, classic scapegoating: the wicked poor are blamed for many of the woes besetting America. The irony is, of course, that the poor and powerless are cast as a threat to the rich and powerful.

The approach taken in regards to the poor follows the classic model used throughout history. This model involves presenting two distinct narratives about the group that is to be hated. The first is to create a narrative which casts the members of the group as subhuman, wicked, inferior and defective. In the case of the poor, the stock narrative is that the poor are stupid, lazy, drug-users, criminals, frauds, moochers and so on. This narrative is used to create contempt and hatred of the poor in order to dehumanize them. This makes it much easier to get people to accept that it is morally permissible (even laudable) to treat the poor poorly.

The second narrative is to cast the poor as incredibly dangerous. While they have been cast as subhuman by the first narrative, the second narrative presents them as a dire threat to everyone else. The stock narrative is that the poor are destroying America by being “takers” from the “makers.” One obvious problem is crafting a narrative in which the poor and seemingly powerless are able to destroy the rich and powerful. The interesting solution to this problem is to cast Obama and some Democrats as being both very powerful (thus able to destroy America) yet someone in service to the poor (thus making the poor the true masters of destruction).

On the face of it, a little reflection should expose the narrative as absurd. The poor are obviously poor and lack power. After all, if they had power they would hardly remain poor. As such, the idea that the poor and powerless have the power to destroy America seems to be absurd. True, the poor could rise up in arms and engage in class warfare in the literal sense of the term—but that is not likely to happen.

At this point, it is natural to bring up the idea of “bread and circuses”—the idea that the poor destroyed the Roman Empire by forcing the rulers to provide them with bread and circuses until the empire fell apart.

There are two obvious replies to this. The first is that even if Rome was wrecked by spending on bread and circuses, it was the leaders who decided to use that approach to appease the masses. That is, the wealthy and powerful decided to bankrupt the state in order to stay in power. Second, the poor who wanted bread and circuses were a symptom rather than the disease. That is, the cause of the decline of the empire also resulted in larger numbers of poor people. As such, it was not so much that the poor were destroying the empire, it was that the destruction of the empire that was resulting in an increase in the poor.

The same could be said about the United States: while the income gap in the United States is extreme and poverty is relatively high, it is not the poor that that are causing the decline of America. Rather, the poverty is the result of the decline. As such, demonizing the poor and blaming them for the woes is rather like blaming the fever for the disease.

Ironically, the insistence in demonizing and blaming the poor serves to distract people away from the real causes of our woes, such as the deranged financial system, systematic inequality, a rigged market and a political system that is beholden to the 1%.

It is, however, a testament to the power of rhetoric that so many people buy the absurd idea that the poor and powerless are somehow the victimizers rather than the victims.

My Amazon Author Page

My Paizo Page

My DriveThru RPG Page

Enhanced by Zemanta
About these ads

51 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. WTP said, on January 20, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Yet another of Mike’s straw men (that’s not a straw man, but it is but it’s really not but it really is). What reasonable, responsible people are “demonizing” the poor? You will notice how Mike dismisses as media kerfuffle things like Polar Bear/Knockout game yet lacks the self-awareness to see when he blows things out of proportion himself.

    I mean really, can anyone provide a mainstream justification for this sentence: there is a strain of Christianity that regards poverty as a sign of damnation and wealth as an indicator of salvation.. Which stream is that? Who is it that creates a narrative which casts the members of the group as subhuman, wicked, inferior and defective.? I want names, not whiny bullsh*t. Like most of Mike’s posts, I couldn’t get much further than that, but I did scan down an did not see one proper, concrete name. This is nothing but ranting, leftist BS…but I already used the term “BS”…lost style points there I suppose…It’s become a cliche but this is typical of the type of thing that makes one dumber after reading it.

    The better question is “why demonize the rich?” Or even better, given what transpires right here on Mike’s own blog where he turns a blind eye is “why demonize the Jews?” I would argue that there is far more demonizing of the Jews, both here and elsewhere than any real demonizing of the poor. I truly am curious as to Mike’s view of the Jews. That frenchy last name of his doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, but that’s just proof of MY racism, I suppose. I don’t doubt Mike will come up with some mealy-mouth sidestepping of the actual question, so I’d like to ask the one person here who knows him. Any light there, Magus?

    • apollonian said, on January 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Talmudic Theory And Demonstration In History

      Well WTP, I’d agree there’s good deal of question-begging for this blog’s article, esp. the very last sentence, “It is, however, a testament to the power of rhetoric that so many people buy the absurd idea that the poor and powerless are somehow the victimizers rather than the victims.”

      “So many people”?–well HOW many, exactly?–and what’s the specific citation or reference to substantiate the assertion?–which assertion is quite mis-leading–there aren’t too many who really think that way towards poor–this is rather poor exposition, I submit. So the entire essay can safely be rejected as utterly lacking in substance. What would seem much more attn-worthy is the second-to-last sentence regarding the “real cause” of American decline.

      But we see, WTP, u want to push the Jews, baiting the gentiles. Very well: Jews are criminals who rule, WTP–that’s why we hate them–always have–it’s actually a tradition, well-founded, too. Now u want to lie (like typical Jew) and say (a) Jews don’t rule; (b) they just do well as they’re soooooo “intelligent.” WTP: u could just take present Israel as defining case in pt–a blood-thirsty, mass-murdering terror-state–what more do u need? Of course we know: Jews are liars (Gosp. JOHN 8:44), and insisting they’re like God, refuse to accept any reality not conforming to what’s “good for Jews.”

      And we’ve ALWAYS conceded Jews are astute criminals–successful criminals must be astute to taking advantage of suckers, suffering “Decline of the West,” by Oswald Spengler. How did gentiles become suckers for Western decline?–they were suckered into tolerating Jews, obviously, in all their hubris, adopting “tolerance” as the West became prosperous, w. rising middle-class, Jews becoming “emancipated” at French revolution, financially evermore powerful as the gentile morons fought one-another, warfare evermore dependent upon finance, esp. w. Renaissance, after the middle-age.

      After all, Jews have the foremost instruction manual for criminality, the Talmud (see RevisionistReview.blogspot.com and Come-and-hear.com for best Talmudic expo).

      So there u have it, WTP, a complete, though brief, expo, w. the theory (Talmud), and the demonstration in history. Q.E.D.

      • apollonian said, on January 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm

        Ah yes, I forgot to note: WTP wanted to know what Christian sect rather demonized the poor–that would surely be Calvinism which holds to “pre-destination,” adding the idea that those who seem to be rich and got that way by hard work deserve their riches, a sign of favor or reward fm God. Those who were/are poor just didn’t exert themselves sufficiently, so they can’t blame God–some Jews hold to this sort of reasoning also, I’d say. Of course Calvin assumes a free society and -market conditions.

        • WTP said, on January 20, 2014 at 4:13 pm

          Yes, Pomeranian, you’re cute when your spewing, but try to keep quiet whilst the grown ups are talking…perhaps you can find a modern-day Calvinist to enlighten?

          • apollonian said, on January 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

            Ho ho ho ho ho ho–u’re “grown-up”? Anyway, u were given all u need on “demonizing” of Jews–how can u demonize demons? ho ho ho ho. Note no professional or establishment figure criticizes Jews without suffering. Jews are above criticism, the test of rulership, never forget–it’s why they’re so cordially hated, don’t u see? Ck what happened to Prof. Robert Faurisson, http://revisionists.com/revisionists/faurisson.html.

            • WTP said, on January 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm

              Knew that would get your goat, aegagrus. You do have some points below. Of course blind nuts do find the occasional squirrel. Kinda ruins the squirrel’s day, though.

            • apollonian said, on January 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm

              Ok, so much for ur “demonizing” of Jews, and why Prof.s don’t criticize Jews, knowing their career may suffer. Note also Mike is something of an author too.

            • wtp said, on January 20, 2014 at 10:21 pm

              Oh, yes, If there’s one thing I do believe about Mike, it’s that he’s waaay too afraid to say what he really thinks of the Jews. I mean, it’s pretty obvious wouldn’t you say? But until these cowards in academia speak up, the Jews will continue to have us all by the short ones.

            • apollonian said, on January 21, 2014 at 5:13 pm

              WTP: there u go “demonizing” Jews, saying they got us by “short hairs,” eh? And it’s NOT NOT NOT “cowardice” to refrain fm suicide. Mike deserves lots of credit, walking a thin line, never doubt.

              At root, PRACTICAL power of Jews is their money & banking system (the Fed) which almost magically generates money at will–this will finally come to an end, of course, in the imminent hyper-inflation (in which we’re already in beginning stages) but then top Jews will still control most of the real money (gold & silver), the food, etc.–gentiles will STILL have to unite on positive principles–original US Constitution is good model, but needs emphasis on states rights, primacy of local gov., etc.

              My emphasis has always been for Christian Renaissance, it’s emphasis upon Christian TRUTH TRUTH TRUTH, hence the Aristotelian reality, model being St. Constantine the Great who revived, somewhat, for a time at least, the then moribund Roman Empire.

              Good practical leader, for near-future, at least, is Rand Paul, though he also sucks-up to Israel, if u notice, so desperate for money people find themselves–that’s how/why Jews rule. Real leadership must come fm proverbial “grass-roots,” thus the need for REAL Christianity, thus genuine anti-semitism. So far, things haven’t yet gotten bad enough for folks to focus on the satanic horror of Israel, for example.

    • magus71 said, on January 20, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      “I mean really, can anyone provide a mainstream justification for this sentence: there is a strain of Christianity that regards poverty as a sign of damnation and wealth as an indicator of salvation.. Which stream is that? Who is it that creates a narrative which casts the members of the group as subhuman, wicked, inferior and defective.?”

      I’ve been studying the German sociologist Max Weber. His most important work, The Protestant Work Ethic, (which I have not read, but know the thesis), shows that Calvanism began the idea that prosperity was an indication of God’s favor. Calvanism made work the center of life. The idea was that money was a product of important work and with money Christians could help more people. Weber showed that Protestant nations during his time produced something like 5 times the goods and services of Catholic nations and 10 times that of Muslim nations. It’s important to note that these Christians placed the emphasis on the importance of work, not so much of the money. They just happened to do a lot of good by working hard and a lot.

      One thing that Mike does not seem to acknowledge is that the entire social system makes necessary more social system. I think he should acknowledge that on the whole, the current welfare state is damaging society at several levels. Britain is experiencing the same thing. It is of course subtle and slow. Like spoiling a child, it takes years to see the damage. He does not address the generations that stay on permanent welfare. This is not just about economics, but the psyche of the nation.

      • WTP said, on January 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm

        A fundamental element of economics is the psyche of the population being studied. A free market economy is irrelevant to a people who do not believe in it. They won’t work, they won’t try. What’s the use if they are abused of the notion that they will not reap the rewards of their work, regardless of the reality? Of course it takes a lot of work to get an entire population this deceived as eventually someone is bound to stumble upon success which others are bound to see. Unless they listen to too many philosophers who ask “Who you gonna believe, us or you’re lying eyes?”

      • magus71 said, on January 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm

        Mike, does the state owe us a living?

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

        Society, by its nature, is a social system. As you note, bureaucracies tend to grow until they choke themselves out. So, you are right to note the importance of pruning the state. The challenge is having a healthy economic system that allows people who wish to work to find good jobs.

        One way to see the social contract is that we agree to treat each other ethically, be that in not robbing banks or not being robbed by banks.

  2. T. J. Babson said, on January 20, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Mike, there is at least one logical fallacy in your post. The “poor” you are referring to are not actually poor because they have been lifted out of poverty by government assistance programs.

    Also, you should provide at least one reference to provide evidence that anyone actually holds the views you claim they hold. What you have written sounds a lot more like Democratic talking points than anything I have ever heard coming from the mouth (or the pen) of a Republican leader.

    Can we agree that able-bodied adults should make an effort to support themselves? Can we agree that there is a problem when able-bodied adults are content to live on government assistance?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      If the “poor” are not poor, then that would be a factual error. A logical fallacy is a mistake in the logic, for example “Bill is a poor dancer, so he is poor, so he deserves the support of welfare programs aimed at helping the poor” would be a fallacy of equivocation (shifting between meanings of “poor” while acting if the meaning is not shifted).

      You can just turn on Fox News or scroll through comments here on this blog if you have doubts that people demonize the poor.

      Yeah, able bodied adults should support themselves. Provided that they can actually find work. I’ve known a number of hard working people who worked crap jobs here in Tallahassee because the economy was in the crapper. For example, one guy worked hard doing deliveries. The job paid badly, but that was all he could find at the time. He did eventually end up in the Army. But, he certainly did not deserve to be demonized just because he was poor. It wasn’t because of any special moral defect in him-rather, it was because of the economy of the time.

      • WTP said, on January 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        You can just turn on Fox News or scroll through comments here on this blog if you have doubts that people demonize the poor.

        I presume this refers to myself and/or Magus and possibly TJ himself. We (dare I speak for others) are speaking of people on disability who are not truly disabled. I speak of my brother-in-law(-in-law) and his daughter who are definitely not poor. Momma works to support the whole family. My BIL(IL) can bowl and do yard work but cannot do real work because he is “officially” disabled and would not show up in the very questionable statistics that you quote. It is not demonization to expect people to work.

        Who here, name names, has demonized working people like your friend who did deliveries? And really, doing deliveries is not hard work and depending on what you deliver can be a fairly well paying job. Cripes, cry me a river.

        As for “can actually find work”, such is not hard to do even in this economy. I know because I know people, relatives, etc. who have a high school education who have found work. Now if you have criminal convictions in your past, can’t pass a tinkle test, or other such problems, the probabilities are much higher that you are not able to find work. But that’s not “demonizing” the poor, it’s describing the exact situation the person by their own actions put themselves in. No one here (no reasonable one that is) has suggested that people who can’t find a job are ALL criminals, etc. Yes, there are people who have trouble fitting themselves in, but this is much like your whining about the Polar Bear/Knockout game. Not every problem is solvable at the instant we all would like. But people can find jobs. If you know of someone who has a clean record and cannot find a job, send them my way. I’ll see what I can do. Happy?

      • WTP said, on January 20, 2014 at 6:52 pm

        BTW, the corollary/inverse of You can just turn on Fox News or scroll through comments here on this blog if you have doubts that people demonize the poor. is

        You can just turn on MSNBC or read my posts here on this blog if you have doubts that people, much like myself, demonize the rich.

      • T. J. Babson said, on January 20, 2014 at 7:33 pm

        “But, he certainly did not deserve to be demonized just because he was poor.”

        Mike, do you really claim that Fox News demonizes hard working people who happen to be poor?

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 22, 2014 at 3:27 pm

          They seem to be a tad indiscriminate in their view of the poor. At least certain Fox folks-like those in the clips I linked to.

      • WTP said, on January 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm

        Note that Mike links left and far-left sources. They’re not biased at all. We could argue their perspectives ad infinitum, but if you get out in the real world, you will find many, many opportunities are available for those who never give up. Never, ever give up. Said by some brit who didn’t like the poor. He was after all a “Conservative” (after being a “Liberal”), so guilty as charged QED.

      • apollonian said, on January 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm

        These citations are fm known, even notorious, shills and provocateurs and DO NOT demonstrate the opinion is held seriously by significant numbers. One must remember the top criminals are a small minority and need the rest of the population to be diverted w. in-fighting and propaganda.

      • WTP said, on January 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        Also, none of these links justify the statement (members of the group are) subhuman, wicked, inferior and defective. They are talking about fraud and people such as my BIL(IL), who BTW is not poor thanks to his wife. These are gross exaggerations and misrepresentations of what was actually said. But you can tell from Mike’s reading material that he lacks a broad perspective on the issues of the day. I mean really…Wonkette? Grow a pair.

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 20, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      It is not so much a factual error as an error in reasoning. I referred to your error as a “logical fallacy,” but if you would prefer “error in reasoning” I will oblige.

      • WTP said, on January 20, 2014 at 5:10 pm

        He’s gonna gum you to death with word games, TJ. It’s his MO/SOP/whatevs. Don’t bother starting if you’re not committed to finishing the job. Just my advice.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 20, 2014 at 5:19 pm

        You accused me of a fallacy, but what you pointed to as an error was my alleged incorrect use of the term “poor.” If I say “Ted is poor” and you say, “Ted is not poor-his welfare check lifts him above the legal definition of poverty”, then you have claimed I have made an error in the facts. That is, my claim is not true. A fallacy is when the logic itself is flawed.

        Factual Error: “Cows are fungus.”

        Logical error:
        P1: If a cow is not a fungus, it has hooves.
        P2: This cow has hooves.
        C: This cow is not a fungus.

        • WTP said, on January 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm

          Good job. Makes TJ’s entire point irrelevant. Is this what you teach in your classes?

        • apollonian said, on January 20, 2014 at 5:43 pm

          There’s no logical fallacy for Mike’s second example (“cow is not fungus”), as the conclusion follows for logical validity–it’s also factually true, too.

        • TJB said, on January 20, 2014 at 5:55 pm

          The point is that you are using the word “poor” in a deliberately confusing way. On the on hand you want people on welfare to be “poor” so you can accuse conservatives of being heartless, but on the other hand you refuse to acknowledge the effect of social welfare programs in lifting people out of poverty.

          This is sophistry and goes beyond a simple factual error.

          Also, I agreed to use the term “error in reasoning” rather than “logical fallacy.”

          Also, you are correct in that your post does have factual errors as well.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm

            People on welfare would seem to be poor, at least in an intuitive sense of the term. As you note, welfare is supposed to lift people out of poverty. But it seems worth considering whether the programs actually work. That is, a person is poor and then gets on welfare, thus ceasing to poor because of the welfare program. A lot hinges, as you point to, what we mean by “poor.” We could go with the government’s definition or some other one-but we should set a plausible definition that doesn’t beg any questions. What do you suggest?

  3. TJB said, on January 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    On Sept. 13, the U.S. Census Bureau will release official poverty estimates for 2010, and those numbers are likely to be higher than last year’s staggering 14.3 percent poverty rate for 2009.

    However, Census poverty figures are based on a narrow measure of income that often doesn’t accurately reflect an individual’s true economic circumstances, according to University of Notre Dame Economics Professor James Sullivan.

    “A different measure of poverty that’s based on consumption, rather than income, would not only measure poverty more accurately, but would lead to a better understanding of the effects of policy and would help lawmakers craft policies to better serve the nation’s poorest,” according to Sullivan, whose research examines the consumption, saving and borrowing behavior of poor households in the U.S., and how welfare and tax policy affects the well-being of the poor.

    The Census poverty measure ignores the effects of some of the most critical anti-poverty weapons, most notably the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid, food stamps, and housing subsidies.

    “Income received from food stamps, for example, grew by more than $14 billion in 2009. By excluding these benefits in measuring poverty, the Census figures fail to recognize that the food stamps program lifts many people out of actual poverty,” Sullivan says. “If these programs are cut back in the future, actual poverty will rise even more.”

    http://news.nd.edu/news/25960-census-poverty-numbers-grim-but-measures-misleading/

    See the problem?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 22, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      One problem with consumption based measures is that thanks to credit cards and loans, people can consume beyond their income. As such, a person who is poor could have a consumption rate (for a while) above poverty.

      But, economic measures should be regularly re-evaluated to match the realities of the time.

  4. WTP said, on January 21, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Here you go. Here’s how the evil rich techies of Google should be treated. Damn them for riding their own bus to work. They should ride the same buses as everybody else. That would be “fair”, right? Lowest uncommon denominator uber alles.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/01/16/sf_tech_backlash_google_buses_get_private_security_guards_says_reuters.html?wpisrc=burger_bar

  5. T. J. Babson said, on January 21, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Look who is coming your way, Mike:

    In a radio interview last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) made some disparaging comments about pro-life conservatives, stating they had “no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

    Those remarks drew the ire of conservative talk show host Sean Hannity, who on his Monday radio program declared he had enough and was abandoning his home state, where he hosts his widely syndicated radio show and his high-rated Fox News Channel television program.

    “Now I want to tell you something – I was born and raised in New York,” Hannity said. “I want you to know that and I can’t wait to get out of here. I really can’t. I don’t want to pay their 10-percent state tax anymore. I live in the second-highest property taxed county in the entire country in Nassau County. I can’t wait to sell my house to somebody who wants it. I can’t wait to pay no state income tax down in Florida or Texas. I haven’t decided yet, but I’m leaning Florida because I like the water and I like to fish.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2014/01/20/Hannity-to-Flee-High-Tax-New-York-for-Florida-or-Texas

    • WTP said, on January 21, 2014 at 9:59 am

      And that’s why my cube mate is here. Couldn’t take paying the high NYC taxes and saw the way things were going, right back to the failures of the 70′s. Demonizing the rich. That’s a smart move.

      TJ, do you believe that Mike truly understands that it is factually inaccurate to state that for one man to get richer another must get poorer?

      • T. J. Babson said, on January 21, 2014 at 11:50 am

        “TJ, do you believe that Mike truly understands that it is factually inaccurate to state that for one man to get richer another must get poorer?”

        Maybe in the abstract. But in most cases I believe he thinks the pie is a fixed size, the rich get big slices they don’t deserve, and the poor are noble victims cheated by a cruel system and get only crumbs.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm

          There is no essential vice in wealth nor essential virtue in poverty.

          • WTP said, on January 22, 2014 at 5:09 pm

            But that’s the way to write if you want to be safe…and popular…and well-liked*. That last one was important to Willie Loman, you know. Low-man, get it? That Arthur Miller bagged himself a Marilyn Monroe so he must have known something.

            *Thoughtful, insightful, wise, philosophical, courageous, and/or bold not so much.

      • T. J. Babson said, on January 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

        I think Mike does not really believe that there are a lot of people out there who have no desire to be productive members of society.

        • WTP said, on January 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm

          Another question…do you find it annoying that we have to speculate as to what his “clarifications” are or as to what he’s actually saying? I mean, not that we don’t know what he’s saying but he says stuff then denies it then says the same thing in different words two weeks later, then denies that. It’s not like these things all that complicated relative to stuff you and I do every day in our jobs. This is simple stuff. Say what you mean and mean what you say. We’d be out on our as*es if we were this evasive at our jobs.

          • apollonian said, on January 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm

            WTP: u forget the line of work Mike must negotiate–thought-control can be tricky, don’t forget–and I’m not kidding, either. We’re seriously in final stages of “Decline of the West,” by Oswald Spengler. Ck all the experts (who truly speak realistically–Peter Schiff, Marc Faber, Greg Mannarino, esp. the Austrian school at Mises.org), Fed is killing US Dollar. As I noted above, Mike deserves a good deal of credit, having courage to present this blog, for example.

            • T. J. Babson said, on January 21, 2014 at 11:05 pm

              “As I noted above, Mike deserves a good deal of credit, having courage to present this blog, for example.”

              I fully agree with this statement. There are not many philosophy professors as open minded as Mike.

            • WTP said, on January 21, 2014 at 11:34 pm

              TJ, that’s …I keep running out of synonyms for pathetic. You think it takes “courage”? Show me ONE “courageous” position Mike has taken here. He’s had opportunity after opportunity to take a very easy stand against the Jew bashing that goes on quite regularly here. Do you not notice how scarce he makes himself when such ranting flows most heavily? I really am beginning to believe that he is a Jew hater himself. I don’t like putting Magus on the spot, but given Mike’s absolute cowardice on the subject, I am curious to know this.

              You consider Mike “open-minded”? You yourself once expressed frustration at his refusal to admit fault. His positions are reliably left wing, as again you yourself point out his conformity to the democrat party line. It’s boilerplate academia. How is that open minded? Look, I have a VERY low opinion of the academic world but I would be hard pressed to say Mike is leading his colleagues in this department. He may be typical at best.

              Maybe you and I have different meanings for the word “courage”. Like puts the “ape” in apricot.

            • TJB said, on January 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm

              Look at it this way, WTP. We would have been banned long ago at any other philosopher’s site. The fact that Mike puts up with us counts for a lot.

            • WTP said, on January 22, 2014 at 12:22 am

              Oh, puh-lease. He’s let me know I’m persona non grata to the point of ignoring everything I say…except when he uses it for grist for his own posts. And by what reason should any one with a reasonable argument be banned anyway? What have you, Magus, or even I ever said here that would deserve a gag order. Not that he could enforce one. Heh, as Mike himself once said if someone cannot take the harsh they should stay out of the blog overuse. Of what use is a blog if your gonna shout out into nothingness? Hell, he can’t ban us, even me. Who else would post here?

            • apollonian said, on January 22, 2014 at 12:29 am

              WTP: u’re TYPICAL Jew w. the typical chutzpah–as we see–and u wonder why Jews are sooooooooo cordially hated?

              “He’s had opportunity after opportunity to take a very easy stand against the Jew bashing that goes on quite regularly here.” Ho ho hoho oho. LIsten to the Jew demand the host suck-up to Jews–but of course, the Jew REFUSES to admit he’s typical chutzpah-filled Jew demanding gentiles kiss his . . . ring.

              So u think “he’s Jew-hater”?–ho ho ho ho ho–welcome to the club, eh? ALL GENTILES ARE ANTI-SEMITES, a rule well-known among Jews, comrade–get a clue, for goodness sakes.

              U think he’s “Jew-hater”?–THEN LEAVE–did u ever think of that? Ho ho ho ho ho ho. Can’t stand criticism?–LEAVE. Can’t stand TRUTH?–LEAVE. Who’s blog is this, after all?

              “Pathetic”?–I’ll tell u who’s pathetic, ho hoo ho ho ho ho–it’s someone who calls someone else “coward” for not obeying the commands of one like u, WTP.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 22, 2014 at 4:12 pm

          I’ve thought about this. There are clearly some who are not productive and some who do not want to be. As far as the percentage-I do not know.

    • magus71 said, on January 22, 2014 at 7:25 am

      I live in New York, for the moment. I’m scheduled to move to Hawaii in April, if all goes as planned. New York is absolutely oppressive. I do not own a gun here, because NY State Law, combined with Army regulations, makes dying preferable to wading through the red tape that is intentionally wrapped around the system in order to dissuade people from getting guns. My grandfather was from NY, his father was a judge and a county sheriff in NY back at the time you could be both at once. My great grandmother immigrated from the Netherlands, and came to NY. That was back when people in the state were free. Then the progressives arrived on teh scene to save everyone. The state is seriously messed up. In Hawaii, I won’t even need a fishing license to fish anywhere. I can grab a spear and catch dinner. I really have no idea why anyone would want to live in the north east given the weather and state governments there. Unless they want methadone. Then it’s a great place to be. Maine was pretty much the same way. Combine the horrendous winters, taxes, and weird dystopian laws the local city government began passing, and you understand why I couldn’t a cop there anymore.

      • Anonymous said, on January 22, 2014 at 7:50 am

        Yes magus: criminals have strong hold in NY & N.E. as u note–but it’s getting just as bad everywhere too, evermore, the Feds taking-over. It’s said Bloomberg is serious candidate for Sec. Def. Evermore, we’re all Palestinians, it truly seems.

        What I emphasize is this ever-growing police-state is justified on terror, which terror, like 9/11, was done NOT by Arabs or Muslims, but by CIA and MOSSAD. Sandy Hook was a total farce where no one was killed–see MemoryHoleBlog.com. People need to see the REAL enemy–it isn’t Arabs or Muslims at all.

        • magus71 said, on January 22, 2014 at 10:09 am

          Don’t get me wrong. When I look at the murder rates in Louisiana and compare them to Maine, there’s a stinking difference. But I’d like to live somewhere that I feel the freedom I felt 20 years ago. Where the conscientious, law abiding people are not subjected to heaps of rules and regulations because of the bad apples. To me, the Wild West would have been a better place to live than Utopian Maine. But that’s just me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,911 other followers

%d bloggers like this: