Is Obama Insensitive to Uneducated Whites?

Politico links to this story about Obama describing uneducated whites to a much more fortunate audience. Uproar follows, predictable. Weekly Standard (which naturally wants the more liberal and more probable of the Democratic candidates to do poorly) is shocked. Daily Kos (which naturally wants the more liberal and more probable of the Democratic candidates to do well) is shocked anyone cares.

Here’s the story which reported Obama’s statement:

Mayhill Fowler: Obama: No Surprise That Hard-Pressed Pennsylvanians Turn Bitter – Off The Bus on The Huffington Post
These qualities of hospitality, patriotism and endurance are exactly what Californians need to hear about Pennsylvanians. And when he spoke to a group of his wealthier Golden State backers at a San Francisco fund-raiser last Sunday, Barack Obama took a shot at explaining the yawning cultural gap that separates a Turkeyfoot from a Marin County. “You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” Obama said. “And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Obama made a problematic judgment call in trying to explain working class culture to a much wealthier audience. He described blue collar Pennsylvanians with a series of what in the eyes of creamy Californians might be considered pure negatives: guns, clinging to religion, antipathy, xenophobia.

Senator Obama’s statement generated heat for the following reasons, in combination

a) he described a less fortunate group to a more fortunate group
b) his description describes a legitimate grievance of the less fortunate group
c) his description attributes attitudes stereotypically seen as positive within the less fortunate group as a result of the legitimate grievance

Obama’s statement is thus no more or no less than if Senator Clinton had described blacks to San Francisco backers as follows:

“You go into some of these inner cities in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of ghettos in the Industrial North, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each succesive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising they get bitter, and they cling to their single mothers or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

I assume that if Clinton had said this Daily Kos would be a lot harsher and Weekly Standard would be a lot softer. I could be wrong, but I assume a lot of outrage over this is manufactured.

(For comparison, take Obama’s pastor, who if he was associated with Hillary Clinton would be a Grand Wizard in a political branch of the Klan.)

Tibet should remain a part of China

Tibet should not be split from the rest of China. This is why the Communist Party should start the groundwork for welcoming back the Dalai Lama as the Head of State of Tibet. This is why all people who support China should support the Olympic protests.

The Flag of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile

It’s clear that China has done a lot for Tibet. As Catholicgauze notes, Tibet was historically “feudalistic with large ungoverned spaces featuring roaming bands of thieves.” Tibet is much richer today, and the recent completion of a train to Tibet promises even more economic intercourse with the outside world. Further, a quick look at the map shows that Tibet’s neighborhood is home to former-Soviet dictatorships, states suffering Maoist insurgencies, and general misery. Tibet is safer inside China than outside China.

Sadly, the Communist Part is now China’s greatest enemy in Tibet. Bursting into monasteries, killing monks, beating civilians, and behaving in a disproportionate, unsophisticated, and stupid way to the Tibet “314” Uprising. The Communist Party’s 1970s-era tactics of violence and intimidation are appropriate for a backwards country, like China was under Mao Zedong. They are increasingly dangerous for a developed country, like China is becoming. This risks the peaceful development of Tibet.

As China goes from being a weak country to being a strong one, she will gain friends who expect decent behavior (Britain, Germany, Australia, Japan, etc) and create enemies angered by her support for their enemies — the Burmese, the Vietnamese, the South Vietnamese exiles, the Darfuris, and others. If China’s solution to uprisings is to escalate the problem, Beijing will gain more enemies than friends. If the Communist Party learns to de-escalate problems, Beijing will gain more friends than enemies. How can Tibet development if it is part of a country that the world distrusts?

Olympic Tank

The Communist Party’s escalatory policy to social problems is echoed in the behavior of the fingqings, those angry young men who embarrass China and threaten violence to any who support for Tibetans. I read a post, for instance, where one Chinese student in America was hurled with insults calling for her death a thousand times, calling for an investigation of her parents, and reporting that one informed the National Security Bureau, the Chinese embassy, and the local government of her statements. This swarming of dissidents would not happen if China did not want it to happen. Chinese who stand up for good behavior by the government — Chinese who are most in turn with the behavior that China needs to have — are called race-traitors (literally “Han-Traitor,” often used for “China-traitor” because Han are virtually synonymous with Chinese).. It does not help China to oppress Chinese living in America. As the world learns about China’s oppression of Tibetans inside China — and how China does nothing to deter fingqing oppression of Tibetan activists abroad — China’s case in Tibet will be harmed.

A Chinese Patriot

Tibet should remain a part of China so that China can develop Tibet. For China to sustain this policy and retain its place in the world as a respected country, China needs to de-escalate the situation with the Tibetan people. The best way to do this is to invite the Dalai Lama (and his successors) back to Tibet as the Head of State of Tibet, whether in a continuation of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the Central Tibetan Administration, a People’s Lamate of Tibet, or something else.

Tibet’s growth and development should be encouraged by all people who support those countries. The monks who call for the return are Tibetan patriots, and the Chinese students who support Tibet are Chinese patriots.

Support Tibet. Support China. Support the protests.

Support Chinese development of Tibet.

Protect the country against Zombies

Another day gone back. Another day without a comprehensive zombie-defense plan from any of the major candidates.

Man warns City Council of possible zombie attack – Salt Lake Tribune
Wyndham-Price even paused to joke that Georgia’s saltwater taffy is better than Utah’s. “I hope that is not an ad hominem,” he shrugged.
Then he got specific and all reason helicoptered into the ether.
City Creek needs an emergency-preparedness plan, he demanded, against zombies.
Zombies are fierce,” he said as a crammed council chamber laughed nervously. “They are going to catch us in there.”
Wyndham-Price admitted he never has seen a zombie attack but is sure one is coming. And shoppers could be sitting ducks in a sky bridge.

The Zombie threat is widely recognized. An oral history of the zombie war was recently a best seller. But still our elected politicians do nothing.

Why?