Racism in my hometown

I want to share a story with you this evening.

I happened to be at a local bar this weekend.  I was in a group of people that I know, but don’t know really well, so we usually don’t get into discussions about politics or religion or anything else very deep.

Anyway, I realized that one woman in the group was getting irritated at one of the guys because he was texting her jokes that she considered racist.  I volunteered to make the call whether the jokes were truly racist.  Why?  Well, partly because I like to be annoying, but mainly to try and make a point to the jokester.

I started out by giving the guy some advice.  “Imagine that everyone on that side of the bar is black (or African American).  If you’re whispering the jokes to me, most likely you know yourself that they are racist.”  The jokester came back with something I’d heard before, “I tell my black friends these jokes and they all laugh, so I can’t be a racist.”.

Well, needless to say, he let fly with about 10 jokes in a row, all centered around our new President-elect.  Several involved laziness stereotypes, a few even mentioned lynching or swinging from trees.  How this guy could possibly think his jokes were funny or non-racist, I can’t imagine.  Yeah, he’s not a sheet-wearing cross-burner…  he’s just a guy telling jokes that make a group of people feel like they aren’t wanted and don’t belong.  Wait- isn’t that pretty close to the same thing?

Obama-Phish

There’s been a slug of phishing emails since the election, trying to sucker us into going to a web site that will undoubtedly do something really nasty to our computers, or will give us a form to fill out to help someone steal our identity.

The text of the emails is actually pretty funny, as they seem to generally revolve around Obama being impeached even before he takes office, and about how McCain is taking over.  Good for a chuckle – I have no idea if 1) a President-elect who has not been sworn into office can be impeached, 2) what would happen if the President-elect were convicted and imprisoned before swearing-in.  Maybe I’ll look that up and report back on it.  Even though I don’t know of any reason why it would happen, it’s an interesting theoretical question.

Mandates for change

One thing I’ve always found interesting about elections is that regardless of the level of office, tally of votes, electoral college count, whatever, the winner claims a mandate for change whereby they are going to do all these things to turn the country around.  It was doomed before, I won, I have a mandate for change, and I’m going to change all sorts of stuff to bring us back from the precipice.

In 2000, there was a change in the White House from Democrat to Republican.  Bush won the electoral college, yes, but the general election was virtually a draw.  Did Bush have some huge landslide, some indication that the country asking to be saved from a horrible Democrat fate created by Clinton?

The last switch of party, in 1992, had Clinton winning the popular vote with 43%.  Wow, hardly a indication of the populace running from the failed Republican policies hoping to be saved by the Dems.

Overall, probably the biggest % vote that caused a shift in party control of the White House in the last 50 years would have been Reagan in 1980 with about a 10% lead over Carter .  The last time before that would have been Eisenhower in 1952 with a 10% lead.

So what does all this tell me?  It tells me that for the most part, we the people don’t want a bunch of change.  We pretty much like the status quo.  When things start to get a little unpleasant for some of us, we swing our votes in the other direction.  We’re steering the United States down the center of a road, and if we start drifting too much, we don’t crank the wheel hard, we make a minor adjustment to bring it back to center.

So, President Obama, be cautious over the next 2 and 4 years.  Keep the car in the center of the road.  Preserve the status quo.  If you nudge the car too far to the left side of the road, the people will nudge it back at the next election.

Ugh.

What can I say?  I can’t say I’m surprised, because I’m not.

Oh well, brace yourselves for the next 2 years, at least, and hope the libs don’t screw things up too bad.  If the analysts are right, we should expect a foreign-policy test of the new president shortly after he swears in.  Hope there’s some nuts under the fluff.

Voting

Aaron paints such a rosy picture.

I like to think positive.  I didn’t get to vote until after work, so my number was 1228.  1228!  If I hadn’t voted, I wouldn’t have had a chance at cancelling out at least one dufus voter in this election who didn’t bother to learn about the issues and probably couldn’t spell or pronounce the names on the ballot anyway.

It IS a little disheartening to be an Illinois voter though.  We downstate are pretty much at the mercy of the Chicago masses that churn out one corrupt politician after another.

So now we watch the news and wait.

Baughers around the world

I’m hoping to post news articles regarding the Baugher extended family in my area here on my site.  Unfortunately the news is a little quiet regarding our family right now, so instead I’m going to Google on Baughers and point to other interesting Baugher sites, even if they might not be directly related.

Here’s a neat site detailing some of the ancestry of the first Baugher in America.  I’m fairly certain that in some distant way I’m related to these Baughers, mainly due to the mention of one of their decendants giving the benediction at the Gettysburg Adress.  That story has always existed in our family history, so they have to be tied together.

Pandora

If you happen to be getting too much Manilow from Pandora, you have the option of adding variety to your station.  I happen to have a Neil Diamond station, and I’ve definitely noticed that over time, as I give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to the songs it’s played for me on that station, that the content can get pretty narrow and even repetitive.

So, you can either add variety to that Manilow station, create a new station that’s of a different genre, or even create a QuickMix of selected stations that you already have created.

I know what Aaron means by getting the live versions of the songs rather than the studios.  In many cases, it looks like the songs come from the “greatest hits” compilations, which tend to lean in that direction.  I imagine it does have something to do with the licensing.

All in all, though, it’s a very cool site with minimal advertising.  I’ve been exposed to more new groups and songs through Pandora than I could ever get through my local broadcast radio stations.

I think, therefore I am. At least I think I am.