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"When You Turn an Election into a Three-Ring Circus, There's Always a Chance That ...

... the Dancing Bear Will Win."

So says Nancy Isenberg in her NYT Best Selling White Trash, The 400-Year History of Class in America.

And we do know which "bear" has the dancing candidate.

My family's first two generations in America. perhaps "addicted to work", moved us from a German peasant class into America's "shop keeper" class. While in college I knew I was leaving the class into which I'd been born but could not have verbalized what I was doing. Some of the youngest generation have made it to the professional class, but did they realize the American dream or an American nightmare of Manifest Destiny: world domination. Its costs in America are considerable.

Isenberg's two other solo ventures stir my interest, Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr and Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America. I'll do White Trash first.

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Those of us who were in favour of immigration of new peoples into the UK in the 60s did expect we would become more like the USA but sadly it hasn't worked out that way. Many but not all of the new arrivals have stayed in their own community's and of course you have white flight from areas where the new comers congregated. This has resulted in a Multi cultural society without those cultures mixing. But as I say this is not so in all cases the Afro-Caribbean peoples and Hindu and Sikhs have done well in integrating into the main culture especially the second generation, without losing their own culture. 

It  takes immigrants several generations before becoming interateded into the community.

Try to be patient.

Thinking about Eastern and Southern Europeans in the U.S.

Here I have a friend who's dad is 90 years old and imigrated to the US from China. We haven't talked much about it, but his dad was held on Angel Island - the Ellis Island of the West with the Asian Exclusion act.

One of the many things that's great about the San Francisco Bay area  is the diversity.

I've read that a reason this region is economically prosperous is because of the diverse cultures that have allowed fo flourish.

Some old time Californians hate people from Asia. Chinks, Gooks, Japs, the slurs go on an on.

Mexicans - I don't know what White Protestants think about them. Mostly angry that they are Catholic.

Someone I know said he filled out and mailed in his ballot after work  the day he received it - as though it was a horse race.

Perhaps he only voted on one or two 'things,'  which is okay.

I asked him how he made his selections. He said by watching commercials.

I can't tell if he's joking or not. Sadly I think he isn't and unfortunately he may have voted on each  and every ballot measure.

I feel like I waste my time reading each measure including the text of the law  and take time to think about the initiatives and talk with others before deciding what to vote for when others make their choice based on TV commercials.

The 'knews' doesn't cover ballot initiatives they are to busy with the horse race to cover the topics.

It's disgusting.

Maybe this is why we have a Representative Democracy.

Crap shoot - roll the dice and see what happens.

It’s sickening to me.

Chris, don't sicken until you ask him more.

If he counts the commercials he will know how the big spenders (pharma, oil, Koch brothers, etc) want him to vote.

If he votes oppositely to them he's probably a progressive or an environmentalist.

If Ads weren't successful they wouldn't make them. Why would the Koch brothers spend all that money if it wasn't effective. 

Stephen, did the Kochs hack your account or did you forget your meds?

I spoke with him today.

He said he has been talking with coworkers about the ballot measures for some time. He works at a local middle school so his response that his voting was based on commercials was a 'joke.'

It's still unbelievable to that he was able to fill out the ballot upon arival.

The worst phrase I've ever heard is "It's commonse sense."

There was a nuclear bomb that 'fell' out of an airplane in the Med.

A mathmatician querried many people about where it might be. Low and behold they found it based on his statistical query.

Finding the nuke was an almost impossible task and the best example of collective 'guessing.'

Perhaps voting works the same way, though lately it hasn't worked very well.

Chris, which election(s) persuaded you that voting hasn't worked very well?

I think I've always know that. When the League of Woman's Voters lost hosting the debates and it was turned over to the duopoly of the R's and D's it seemed more obvious. As it continued with changes within the FCC to neo-liberalism and fewer broadcast companies it seemed to become even worse. 

I don't think it can be pinpointed to any singular action.

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

Attributed to  Einstein at:


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