Tuesday, March 13, 2007


One of the comments on that last bunch of lists in my previous post, about the number of women compared to men, got me thinking about “quotas.”

Back when the whole Republican-“big-lie”-“dirty-tricks”-style-propaganda was refined under Nixon and replaced the much more obvious and centuries old “divide-and-conquer” strategy of previous regimes, the right-wingers used “crime in the streets” and “urban crime” as code for “uppity” n-words.

But when the right wingers finally got their man in—Ronald Reagan—that became “welfare queen” which was code for a mythical black Chicago welfare mother who had many fathers for the numerous children she used to collect so much welfare she could afford to ride around that city in a Cadillac limousine!

But after Reagan failed to fulfill any of his promises—something which in typical “big lie” fashion his supporters insisted was exactly the opposite, as he increased the size of government more than any previous president, increased the federal deficit more than all previous presidents combined, increased the incidence of violent crime, pregnant teens unwed mothers, welfare recipients, and created a whole new class of families called “homeless” etc.—while pretending to represent “family values” as the first divorced president and the first who ignored some of his kids to the point of dysfunction, he became the right wing’s FDR or JFK or RFK or any of the other heroes of the “liberal left.”

So much so his right wing supporters want to replace previous presidents on money and build a monument to him on the mall in DC. They say it’s for “winning the cold war” by bankrupting our country to pay for a military build up that was completely unnecessary since it turned out all the “secret” “intelligence” that was always deliberately leaked about how the Soviet Union was capable of defeating our military if we didn’t spend more and more turned out, as usual with “big lie” style rightwing propaganda to be a big lie!

In fact the Soviet system was crumbling from within, and their so-called military might consisted of disgruntled underpaid troops who were deserting at record numbers and weapons that were falling apart and not being replaced. Anyone who was in office while this was going on, merely had to blow a strong breath their way and the whole thing would collapse, which it did, under Bush senior, who ignored the ramifications of the “end of the cold war” and failed to take advantage of the possibilities for a permanent world peace, but instead used it to distract us as his regime sold off a lot of what we used to think of as “America.”

Then Clinton came in and fulfilled all of Reagan’s promises by being the first president to actually cut the size of the federal government, cut the welfare rolls, cut crime rates, cut teen pregnancies, while at the same time not just cutting the deficit but making it disappear and turn into the largest surplice in our history.

Under such successful conditions it was difficult to come up with “dirty tricks” and “big lies” that worked, outside of revising the realities of Reagan’s regime and focusing on “family values” and the Clintons “liberal leftist” lack of them, despite what appeared to be a rock solid marriage in the face of wide spread rumors of his infidelities (by the way have you noticed that the top three candidates now favored by Republicans, Guilliani, McCain and Gingrich, have been married several times each, while the top three favored by Democrats, Hilary, Obama, and Edwards, haven’t?).

So the right wingers pulled out the old race card and replaced “welfare queen” (when it was exposed as a lie by the as-always-several-years-late media) with “quotas,” meaning the “affirmative” reallocation of opportunities for “black Americans” to even out two hundred years of being deliberately and “legally” discriminated against.

“Quotas” became the big code word that got the right riled up again, that and “the homosexual agenda” to turn “America’s” children into mini-gays and lesbians.

The “gay” thing worked better because “quotas” just didn’t have the ring of “welfare queen.”

And because “quotas” and “affirmative action” were difficult to defend in some cases. Like when a working-class white kid from a family that never had anyone go to college, let alone graduate from one, worked hard to make the grades and fulfill the requirements for entry into a university and was displaced by an “African-American” student from a “middle-class” family with parents who graduated from college and were “professionals” and who, the student, hadn’t done as well in entrance exams and high school grades etc.

These cases were rare, but enough of them added up to anecdotal evidence of what the right very adroitly labeled “reverse discrimination.”

In the face of Clinton’s successes, the whole “quota” tactic failed to rally anyone other than die hard right wing Clinton haters anyway, so it slowly disappeared, used in a few local instances to raise some money or rally the base, but basically discarded.

But now, in response to my last post, about “some favorite” artists in one of my obsessive alphabet lists, it is noticed how few females I include. In my comment on it, I mention a 1974 poetry anthology I edited—NONE OF THE ABOVE—that had fewer female poets than males, and only one “black” poet.

At the time there were many anthologies of black poets, and since I was trying to gather poets who mostly weren’t anthologized anywhere, I ignored a lot of my favorite poets who happened to be “black.” Though I regret to this day that I didn’t include Ahmos Zu-Bolton, a friend and a fine poet, and discover more un-anthologized black poets than the only one I included, Lorenzo Thomas.

As for the proportion of female poets, there were more in my anthology than in any previous poetry anthology that I know of, outside of ones that excluded men altogether.

And the reality is, that if I had edited a poetry anthology any time sooner, say from the late 1950s until 1974, it would have consisted of almost nothing but “black” poets as my favorites, just as any anthology I edited from 1974 onward would have consisted of more and more women and gay poets.

But at this point in my life, despite continued inequities, so much of the racial prejudice and sexist attitudes of my youth have almost completely disappeared (yes I know in wage differences and job opportunities there is still a way to go, but that seems mostly residual to me as actual attitudes have mostly progressed, even allowing for the occasional back lash) that a lot of victimization based on racism or sexism seems often to be as knee jerk as the right wingers hatred of Clinton and attributing everything he accomplished to the “great communicator” i.e. liar, Reagan.

(By the way is it as true for your friends as it is for mine that a lot of "liberal" women seem to not like or support Hilary over the other Democratic candidates? As it also seems to be true that a lot of "black" Democrats don't support Obama, mostly because they don't feel he can actually win, but a few because they feel he isn't descended from slaves originally brought to "America.")

To prove it was an incidence of trying to be honest about “favorites” when the choices were arbitrarily limited to one per letter, I promised next time I couldn’t sleep I’d come up with lists of females for all those categories in the previous post. I hoped it wouldn’t happen soon.

But last night I was awakened by a phone call in the middle of a sound sleep, and as usual, had trouble getting back to sleep, so I did the female lists right there, some of which turned out to be easier than the mostly male ones, because, in fact, there are many women "artists" I admire greatly.

This post is already too long, so I’ll include those lists in my next post. And maybe after that I’ll do some all “black” ones.


Another Lally said...

Your sense of history is truly warped. The average Lally would have abandonded the Democratic party afer Kennedy was killed.

Open your eyes to your history and the history of this nation.

To speak out against injustice is one thing, but to not see what is really going on is another.

Do you actually think that certain people are being held back by government ? The fact is that certain people for the most part have not taken advantage of the educational opportunities open to them. The 'culture' would rather be 'not acting like certain other people' compared to being well spoken and industrious. They salivate at the feet of the movie and music industries who give them role models who are pimps, gangsters and drug dealers. These are their heroes instead of being seen as the enemy of the social growth that they are supposedly screaming is denied them.

Lally said...

Wow, talk about not knowing history or being willing to face reality. God bless you whoever you are. Anyone who makes less than half a million or more a year, and/or believes in reducing government interference in our private lives, and/or believes that every citizen of this country, or for that matter everyone in the world deserves an equal opporunity to get ahead, and still votes for most Republicans, is self-deluded. No Republican president since Eisenhower, and no Republican administration in my lifetime, including Eisenhower's, has ever protected the individual against the power of big business except when the Democrats controlled Congress and were able to pass legislation protecting certain rights of individuals, but even they have never been able to do more than slightly curb the immoral greed and inherent prejudice of corporate power. Not that corporate power can't be fronted by women or minorities or that any ethnic group or gender or religion etc. has a monopoly on self-rightousness and self-interest. And as for the not very subtle racial references in your comments, I am as tired now as I've been for the last few decades of people referring to "role models" in the entertainment business as always being negative, especially if they're "black"—as if. Every ethnic and gender and whatever other divisions have been used against people to divide them has ben portrayed in films and music as depraved or homicidal or in other negative ways, and all have also been protrayed heorically, humanly, and even as ordinarily flawed bu good. Maybe my next list will be examples of that.

Another Lally said...

Lally said, "Anyone who makes less than half a million or more a year, and/or believes in reducing government interference in our private lives, and/or believes that every citizen of this country, or for that matter everyone in the world deserves an equal opporunity to get ahead, and still votes for most Republicans, is self-deluded."

Republicans have as one of their basic tenets the desire to limit government in the private lives of our people. The only intrusions by specific Republican administrations were such things as military intervention during Reconstruction to support the former slaves, the Anti-Trust Laws and Eisenhower's invasion of Arkansas to protect the rights of the Little Rock Nine to attend a previously segregated public school.

Republicans have been the champions of human rights since this nation was founded. It took the Indian Eviction Act to give rise to the Party of Lincoln. Andrew Johnson, though Lincoln's vice president, was a Democrat from South Carolina who reneged on many of the rights that the former slaves were granted.

Reconstruction was ended by a president who was a Republican in name only.Radical Reconstruction, 1866-1873 emphasizing civil rights and voting rights for the Freedmen. A Republican coalition of Freedmen, Carpetbaggers and Scalawags controlled most of the southern states. In the so-called Redemption, 1873-77, white supremacist Southerners (Democrats calling themselves "Redeemers") defeated the Republicans and took control of each southern state, marking the end of Reconstruction.

Once in power the Democrats instituted Segregation, Jim Crowe and various voting limitations on the Freedmen. This lasted until the passing of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts of 1965.

The Solid Democratic Southern politicians either voted down or fillibustered all previous Civil Rights actions. Even the Civil Rights Act of 1965 was fillibustered by the Democrats.

Big business is the engine that made this country great. Our industrial base is what allowed us to win WW2 and allowed all the growth and prosperity that took place after WW2.

Remember, it was the Democratic administrations who sent armed troops against striking workers.

To the present day Democrats have been self-serving. Just look to how many Democrats 'converted' to Republicans because they knew they could not get elected as Democrats.

I am not being self-righteous. I see politicians as a necessary evil. Most are no different than any other scammer who will promise anything to get elected and not bring to fruition anything promised. I just find that the record of the Republican party is far superior than that of the Democrats.

I hope we can continue this dialogue since we Lallys are always strong in our beliefs until proven otherwise.

Lally said...

In my lifetime, which began during FDR's last term, it was Democrat Harry Truman that ended the segregation of the armed services and began to reverse some of the Jim Crow laws supported by Republicans as well as Southern Democrats. And one of the main reasons the country did so well in WWII and the post-war '50s that so many Republicans often seem so nostalgic for was a strong work force due to strong unions that made it possible for a working man to support a family, own a home, etc. and a graduated income tax that paid the bill for that war and kept corporate bosses from earning more than 8 or 9 times what their workers made, (as opposed to now when they can make as much as 3,000, you read that correctly, 3,000 times as much as their workers), but even Eisenhower realized that corporate power was beginning to ruin this country when he warned in his departing speech about "the military-industrial complex" which has only grown since then. It wasn't him, but Kennedy and Johnson, two Democrats in case you forgot, who brought about the advances in civil rights laws and human rights and it was Nixon, a Republican who tried to reverse some of those gains, and Republican appointed judges all the way up to the Supreme Court who did everything they could to reverse racial gains, including Renquist when he was a Republican party functionary trying to keep non-whites from voting at all (as the Republican party continues to do to this day, one of the reasons they fired their own appointees as federal prosecutors, their latest scandal, was because they didn't pursue "voting fraud" among minority voters, not caring if they ever pursued voting fraud cases involving voting machines that leave no proof of votes cast and are owned by companies headed by prominent Republicans and surprisngly disenfranchise all kinds of minority voters in key districts that, oops, swing the vote to Republican candidates even in districts where exit polls conclude the opposite, etfuckingcetera), do we really have to get into all the "dirty tricks" and lies and scandals and bullshit proven proven may I say it again proven by the tapes they kept of themselves talking in the oval office when Nixon was its occupant! for god's sake, yes the Democrats and all politicians make compromises often in favor of the lobbyists that get to them or in favor of their consituencies or districts etc. and often are involved in scandals that include lies and bribes and everything else we've seen this adminsitration personify, but the Democrats have no illusions about big business interests, even when they vote for them, while Republicans convince their sheep like followers (ever been to a Democratic Party meeting or convention? and compared it to a Republican one?) that it's all Democratic propaganda or that what's good for Enron or Halliburton or Exxon-Mobil or the drug companies or insurance companies ad infinitum is good for the rest of us etc. And as for smaller government, only one administration in my lifetime reduced the size of the federal government, Clinton's! Reagan expanded it more rapidly than anyone since FDR and now Bush Jr. has expanded it even more than Reagan did! The only thing Republicans have stood for in recent years is less taxes for the rich, no gay marriage and no stem cell research and no criticizing Israel and privatizing things that have been proven to work (social secuirty has never been broke and never will be if politicians of both parties can be kept from borrowing from the social security trust fund) and supporting "faith based" initiatives. Whoever you are, another Lally, you can't be so ignorant about recent history to not know that all the natural disasters that occurred on Clinton's watch were handled expertly and rapidly and efficiently by FEMA and then all the experts he had assembled who did such a good job were fired and replaced by Bush cronies and loyalists who knew nothing about handling disasters and then Katrina. I'll be here all night if I listed every fact supported argument why Republicans stand for nothing you claim they do any more. Maybe some Republicans do personally, I have many Republican friends, but the party as it is constituted and run now does not and hasn't for a few decades. Any working person in this country who like I said makes less than 500,000 a year, and cherishes his or her privacy and rights has done best under Clinton's administration out of all of the past several Republican ones. Every indicator, from crime to teenage pregnancy to the diminishing gap between wages of white and non-white workers etc. etc. etc. went in the righr direction under Clinton, and only stalled when Gingrich tried to stop him and eventually failed. More money was spent on investigating a supposed financial gain of 10,000 dollars (!) supposed crime by the Clintons, an investigation which did not discover any crime at all was commited, and instead pursued a private sex act between adults, more money was spent on that investigation and the resulting impeachment process than has been spent on any investigation into why the disaster that devastated New Orleans occurred, not as result of Katrina, which barelty damaged the city, but as a result of the aftermath of Katrina when FEMA and the federtal government stalled in its response in the same ways it stalled in its response to 9/11 and then, likewise in both cases, responded to the wrong things (invading Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11 while continuing to support Bush allies the Saudis despite the fact most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis and it was the Saudi schools and the Saudi financed terrorist groups that etc. etc. and Katrina victims remain homeless and destitute all this time later while FEMA still has trailers parked all over the place and going to waste, in fact rotting away, etc or are selling them at an enomrous discount to Republican supporters etc. etc. It's too ridiculous to even have this argument at this late date. The Republicans controlled everything, every branch of government and every major corporation (in the industries that have been setting the national agenda: oil, gas, drusg, insurcance, banking, medical corporations etc.) and media outlets, despite proaganda to the contrary, and still they couldn't fucking save one American city from catastrophe or win a war that's been going on far longer than WWII.But look, if you listen to Rush and agree and all the other media apologists for the Repbulicans, I'll never convince you of anything different.

Another Lally said...

You seem to forget that we were still in the depression during WW2. Unions were primarily socialist organizations who supported strikes at the expense of war production. FDR and Trumann had no compunctions about sending in troops to break strikes.

The post war boom was not instantaneous. It took a few years after WW2 during the Eisenhower administration for the housing, highways and production in a peace time economy to take shape. Even these were tinged by racial inequity.

Eisenhower's warning against the military industrial complex had little to do with corporations per se. He was specifically warning against the over exuberance of the Pentagon and military suppliers. He saw what happened in North Korea when ton after ton of napalm was dropped all over the country. As far as the public was informed napalm was first used in Viet Nam.

Eisenhower fought against the expansion of the Viet Nam conflict knowing that military suppliers cared only about bucks and not the guys in boots on the ground.

Kennedy continued the programs of the GOP in his quest for school integration and Civil rights. He even cut taxes to invigorate the economy. He was hated by the Democrats. He couldn't pass wind in Congress.

Johnson favored Civil Rights because he knew that there was no stopping them by law. States could no longer discriminate against people and have others look away. Even with the passage of the Act the Solid Southern Democratic block fought against implementation and enforcement of anti-discrimination policies.

I would have preferred RFK in 68 but that was not to be. Nixon won by default with his promise to end the war in Viet Nam with honor. He came through on his promise and the war and the draft were ended.

What we were not privy to during the early 70's was that prominent ,e,bers pf the Democratic Party were having secret dealings with the USSR. Even Bill Clinton had plans to defect had the draft not been halted. This is well documented in his draft evasion campaign.

The Democrats were involved in conspiring with the KGB against Ronald Reagan as documented by Paul Kengor.

"In his book, Kengor focuses on a KGB letter written at the height of the Cold War that shows that Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) offered to assist Soviet leaders in formulating a public relations strategy to counter President Reagan's foreign policy and to complicate his re-election efforts.

The letter, dated May 14, 1983, was sent from the head of the KGB to Yuri Andropov, who was then General Secretary of the Soviet Union's Communist Party.

In his letter, KGB head Viktor Chebrikov offered Andropov his interpretation of Kennedy's offer. Former U.S. Sen. John Tunney (D-Calif.) had traveled to Moscow on behalf of Kennedy to seek out a partnership with Andropov and other Soviet officials, Kengor claims in his book.

At one point after President Reagan left office, Tunney acknowledged that he had played the role of intermediary, not only for Kennedy but for other U.S. senators, Kengor said. Moreover, Tunney told the London Times that he had made 15 separate trips to Moscow."

Renquist had little effect on the Supreme Court at that time. Most often he was the lone dissenting vote on decisions. Even the notorious Manifest Destiny case in, I think Connecticut, was a decision passed by the Liberal wing of the court.

The voting irregularities have been and continue to be investigated. The problem thus far is that mostly Democrats have been found at fault, especially in Florida.

You praise Clinton far too highly. He was the first president since WW2 not to preside over the Cold War. All he had to do was not mess anything up. Instead he raised taxes higher than ever before. He cut the military including the out-sourcing to Halliburton. He sold technology to China and hastened the pace of globalization and the exporting of our manufacturing base.

Katrina should have been handled by Louisianna with federal aid. The National Guard should have been mobilized by the governor to remove the people who could not or would not leave New Orleans with Katrina approaching. The federal government can only respond in states that do not suspend habeas corpus only after being invited by either the governor or legislature of that state for specific purposes. Governor Blanco did not and to date has not suspended habeas corpus as it concerns Katrina.

FEMA is a temporary aid after disasters. People do not become wards of FEMA for indefinite periods simply because they refuse to do for themselves.

FEMA did not initially respond to the Trade Towers attack. The first responders were the FDNY, NYPD and constructions workers who left their jobs along with their heavy equiptment. Louisianna couldn't muster a few buses in the entire state ?

Concerning Clinton's FEMA, FEMA has simply been converted into a political cotton-candy operation-and is working overtime to turn the American people and local governments into federal dependents.

Bush came in promising to go after corporate malfeasance and Enron, Tyco and Worldcom have been exposed and prosecuted.

He didn't expext 911. The CIA and Clinton should have since they were warned in 1998 that such an attack was being planned with illustrations included. They wrote off the double towered building as the Petronas Towers.

Lally said...

I knew it was pointless to argue with you. Now you're just embarassing yourself and the Lally name, if you really are a Lally. Once you said Nixon fulfilled his promise in 1968 to end the war with honor, you showed your inability to deal with reality (let alone the KGB bullshit, God forgive you for buying into and trying to promulgate those calumnies, Dante wouldn't). Nixon kept the war going and in fact more people died after he made that promise than before, very much like "mission accomplished" for our present incarnation of Republican promises unkept. And if you think our withdrawal from Vietnam, which happened under Ford, not Nixon, who in his almost two terms failed miserably to fulfill that promise, was honorobale, then you truly are living in some other world than the rest of us inhabit. So God bless you, write all the comments you care to, but there's no dialogue possible in this exchanged so I'll refrain from wasting any more time and energy on your warped fantasies.

Another Lally said...

Year of Death or Declaration of Death Number of Records
1968.......16,592..... 36,152
1969.......11,616 Nixon In Office
1991-1998.......11..... 22,041

Even including remains verified since withdrawal, Johnson sent more US troops to their deaths in defense of French colonialism.

You have strong views but weak information.
Better information may bring your views closer to reality.

Lally said...

PS: Nice try, but no cigar. As usual with rightwingers, I guess "others" don't count, like Vietnamese, Cambodians, Iraqi civilians, et. al.

Another Lally said...

There you go assuming that I am a Right Winger. I'm a realist. The numbers were not to demonstrate just that fewer Americans died during Nixon's presidency, but that the war was being de-escalated after 1969.

It is the terrorist and sectarian jihadist who kills civilians and then blames others for making him do the killing. The great majority of Iraqi civilians killed have been killed by suicide bombers. We do not have forces that include suicide bombers.

Why did you neglect to include Yugoslav civilians killed during that action ?

If your tact was anti-war, I could agree easily, but the anti-establishment line of thought blamed solely on the Republican politicians causes me to disagree.

Historically our family has thrown their allegiance behind ideals of which they felt strongly. Each instance proved that more research should have been undertaken. From the flight of the Wild Geese to the guilotining of Thomas Arthur Lally, we have found ourselves alone on the battlefield championing the failed allegiances that we have pledged.

I found that the lesson not to be repeated was that we should always research greatly anything that we feel the need to champion. The stronger I believe that something is Right, the more I now research the background and the information on which I have made my decision.