Monday, May 19, 2008

Stamps


  • I agree wholeheartedly that young Americans need some improved basic financial education.
  • I had meant to mention that I picked up some stamps honoring Pauling, Hubble, and Bardeen (and Gerty Cori of whom I've not heard). Since that was months ago and since the rate has increased from 41 cents to 42 centers, I'm not even sure if they're still available.
  • Philip Greenspun, who usually has what might be called a "fresh take" on current events, has a rather strange post questioning why Farrakhan/Jackson/Wright would vote for Barack Obama.

5 comments:

Jason said...

Greenspun is just asking that question rhetorically to observe that Obama's popularity with whites gainsays the whites-are-racists rhetoric of Farrakhan and Wright. You can agree or disagree with Greenspun on that point, but his observation is hardly strange. It's mundane.

Angry said...

Well, maybe I'm not reading it correctly, but I find it strange that:

(1) he argues (specifically his last paragraph) that the success and apparent lack of hinderance from racism for one black man somehow discredits any and all claims of racism by those black leaders. This seems so apparently absurd from an MIT professor that it seems strange to me.
(2) With all the abhorrent things Farrakhan has said, he chooses this argument to discredit him?
(3) He is lumping Jackson and Wright with Farrakhan? That seems rather disingenuous at best.

Finally, I certainly disagree with him, and I disagree that his observation is mundane. I actually find it offensive. If he wants to claim that this country is over and done with racism, then he's got quite a burden to overcome and not with some silly rhetorical question. For pretty much any minority group which has suffered from prejudice, there are successful examples, but their existence, by themselves, is no proof of the lack of discriminatiion.

Jason said...

(1) Greenspun doesn't say "the success and apparent lack of hinderance from racism for one black man somehow discredits any and all claims of racism" in his last paragraph, or in any of his paragraphs, even to within a 0th-order paraphrase. No reasonable person would deny that there are racists of any race. Greenspun's assertion is rather that white racism isn't, and I quote, "what is holding back others in America with black skin", an assertion with which you may, again, agree or disagree; but it's a mundane assertion.

(2) Greenspun's undoubtedly correct assessment that Farrakhan is voting for Obama is hardly an attempt to discredit Farrakhan. I suspect you, I, and he, share contempt for Farrakhan; but Greenspun's blog post makes no argument for or against Farrakhan, specifically. Where do you see that?

(3) There's nothing "disingenuous" about lumping Farrakhan, Jackson and Wright together. Indeed Greenspun is up-front about his criteria for lumping: Those three are (my words) black leaders preoccupied with white racism, and they are all voting for Obama. (Personally, I'd add that they all hate Jews. But that's just me.)

Greenspun never said as you attributed to him "this country is over and done with racism" and surely doesn't think it. If you, Angry, think this or any other country will ever be free of racism, and that complete absence of racism ought to be a criterion for policy, then you are deluded. Fortunately, most Americans understand this, even if you don't.

Regarding your "I actually find it offensive." Fortunately, the constitution enshrines no right not to be offended. Because if it did, then people would claim to be offended by whatever they disagree with, no matter how mundane. Wait... what?... LOL

Angry said...

Jason,
I'm not sure why you're taking so much exception to what I've written, but as you so righteously point out, our great constitution grants the wonderful double negative: "no right to not be offended."

As for quoting, I clearly didn't not quote nor paraphrase Greenspun, admitting right off the bat that I may not be reading his posting correctly.

Apparently we still disagree on what can be considered a mundane assertion.

As for your latest claim that Greenspun is not making any argument against Farrakhan, I posit as evidence a quote from the great (Talmudic?) scholar who goes by the name Jason:

"Greenspun...gainsays the ...rhetoric of Farrakhan..."

Anyway, even with your explanation, I still don't like what Greenspun is saying.

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