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May 19, 2008

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So Who Knows? Politics, Presidents, and the Second Amendment

I feel obliged, as the presidential race becomes somewhat clearer, to weigh in with whatever semi-useful insights I have.

* Hillary is apparently finished as a presidential candidate. This is good news for us. All her Second Amendment b.s. aside, she despises guns and gun owners. A friend of mine at the National Shooting Sports Foundation ranks her and Chuck Schumer as the two senators who hate the Second Amendment most.

* Barack Obama doesn't hate guns or gun owners, but he doesn't see why there should be guns or gun owners, and would vote for any anti-gun law that landed on his desk. He might consider special exemptions for bitter rural people, but who knows?

* John McCain this past week went to the NRA Convention and revealed what a hell of a pro-gunner he is. However, if John McCain thought it would win him the election, he would go to the NRA and eat his grandchildren at the General Members' Meeting. The temptation, therefore, is to assume that McCain is just shining us on; however, he has the uncomfortable habit of speaking the truth every now and then.

* On the other hand, when he does this, he immediately panics and changes his story. So who knows?

* In 2009, Congress will almost certainly be controlled by Democrats.

* However, Congress will remain just as gutless and feckless as it was under the Republicans. So who knows?

* The Supreme Court decision on the Second Amendment is due next month. Any laws proposed by Congress will have to take into account what the Supremes say, pro or con. So who knows?

I am going off to look at photos of Ms. Jaime Pressley.

--- In response to overwhelming demand, here is a photo of Ms. Jaime Pressly. Ms. Pressly has the power to cloud mens' minds. If you feel dizzy or faint, stop looking immediately and switch to a photo of Rosie O'Donnell until your system returns to normal.

Jaime_pressly_is_sexy2_l

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Comments

Dr. Ralph

As long as you're here now Dave.... I just got my latest issue and was excited to see a feature article on the 20 greatest knives by none other than our hero and bet my son the "Gator Knife" was sure to be among them. He said I never even heard of it, it's a bet. I laughed to myself thinking so this is what insider trading is all about. Needless to say the knife you have been espousing as the best for the money was not there. After your .338 nonsense I should have known better than to trust you.

Emmanuel

Clay, I think I confound your joke.

I am:
1. Not conservative. (Note that I didn’t say I’m liberal.)
2. An unashamed deer killer and eater.
3. A journalist. (I’ve also worked on an assembly line putting together commercial fridges and worked tearing roofs off houses – but I guess I’m still “elitist” scum.)
4. Confident enough of my manhood to be unafraid of a strong woman. Some men fear strong women and gravitate to weak and servile ones. I speculate that these men secretly know they’re weak and servile, too, and need someone even more so to pick on so they can feel like a man. If I wanted to “provide for” another living thing, I’d get a fish, not a wife.

I drink quite a bit of American beer – most of it from my local microbreweries, which use barely and hops grown here in the U.S.A., rather than rice grown in Asia and hops grown in Eastern Europe, the way the giant swill-beer companies do. I eat sushi, tofu, French food and bloody steaks in equal proportion. (Well, maybe not equal – French food and sushi cost too much to eat very often.) Personally, I’m not much for group hugs, but if they work for others, that’s their own business. That is, unless they come after me with gun in hand to enforce compulsory group hugging.

To cap things off, my family has been here since the 1690s, which, statistically speaking, is probably longer than yours. (Is that fact supposed to signify something important? Not to me it doesn’t. If it signifies anything significant, that thing probably has roots in blind nationalism, in-group bias and xenophobia.) Lastly, there were plenty of us on the frontier, ranching cattle.

So, Clay, it looks like the binary “conservative/liberal” distinction falls apart when confronted with evidence. Hardly anyone falls perfectly into one hypothetical camp or the other, just as no year’s weather conforms to the hypothetical average. I’ve confirmed this anecdotally in my work as a journalist talking to people about what they believe. And for people in other countries and cultures, most “conservative/liberal” constructions are flat useless.

Another way to expose the “conservative/liberal” dichotomy as meaningless is to study the moral and intellectual hodgepodges that constitute our two major parties. The “opposite sides of the aisle” are usually just loose alliances of disparate groups who think they need one another’s help to grab power. Our political terminology has been so abused that to say a person is “conservative” or “liberal” tells us very little specific information about that person’s beliefs.

Anyhow, I figure your post was mostly a joke. But if you want some good reading on all the confounding variables that explode the “liberal/conservative” binary (e.g., religiosity, race, geography, income levels, etc.), let me know and I’ll post some.

-Emmanuel

Dr. Ralph

Emmanuel, why not post statistics on welfare recipients and illegal immigrants and their party of choice? I'd love to see it, as it would pretty much defend Clay's stance...

Emmanuel

Coming up shortly.

Jim in Mo.

Del in Ks
5/18 I posted my opinion on that subject and I'm standing by it. Makes me puke the BS I'm seein on tv, radio. Die hog jaw killer die! I don't care what people think of me but you'll know what I think.

Gman

My liberaltarian funny bone got kinda a kick out of Clay Cooper's long comparison, but I'm hopin' like the dickens that the phrase "true believer" was tongue in cheek.

True believers and good hard-headed red-blooded skeptical Americans don't usually mix too durn well.

Thomas

Dave,
Your sick to even mention Rosie O'Donnel in the same paragraph as Ms. Jaime Pressly. I keep haveing flash backs of her in "Another Stake out" The horrors of seeing her in black leather again. I think I will go gouge my eye's out now.

Tom the Troll

Emmanuel

If it’s data ye want, it’s data ye shall have.

Let’s start with your request for information on “illegal immigrants.” Because Hispanic immigrants seem to be on everyone’s mind right now, I’ll limit my comments to them. I’ll also ignore your thinly veiled implication that illegal immigrants are inherently lazy. Anecdotally, most of the folks I see who might be my in California town illegally are working their butts off at manual labor to send money home. I sit at a desk most of the day.

I draw numbers from a study published in the May 2005 edition of the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, by David Dutwin, Mollyann Brodie, Melissa Herrmann, Rebecca Levin, called “Latinos and Political Party Affiliation.” I found it through an academic library portal; you should be able to look it up at many fair-sized universities and public libraries.

First and foremost, who paid for this data: The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Research Center funded the study. Feel free to charge those groups with congenital and incurable liberal ideology that may have tainted the information, but if you do, provide evidence rather than assertion.

Out of 1,185 non-citizen Latinos from Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, 32 percent identified themselves as Democrats and 21 percent as Republicans – hardly a preponderance of liberals, though still enough to signal a slight preference for Democrats, even after a 3 percent margin of error. The remaining 47 percent were either independents, identified as “other” or didn’t know their affiliation. Viewed another way: 60 percent who identify with a party at all call themselves Democrats, 40 percent Republicans. That’s a solid majority for the Democrats, but a far cry from a coup. Among white evangelical Christians, for example, 72 percent voted Republican in races for the U.S. House nationwide in 2006, according to the Pew Research Center.

When we add Latinos who are citizens to the non-citizens, the numbers change drastically: 45 percent call themselves Democrats and 22 percent call themselves Republicans, with a 2 percent margin of error. Delving further, the big shift to the left occurs when Latinos become citizens, get registered to vote and actually cast a ballot. Most who call themselves Republicans stay Republicans, but those who are on the fence or don’t know break blue as they enter the political system. Viewed another way: Among all Latinos who identify as with a party, 66 percent call themselves Democrats and 33 percent Republican. Still a far cry from the black and white picture of the joke Clay posted, or even the somewhat clearer tendency for white evangelicals to vote Republican in congressional races.

Among the Latinos sampled, those who identify as “traditional” (i.e., an emphasis on family and religion) are more likely to identify as Republicans. Latinos who identify themselves as “American” rather than “Latino” are also significantly more likely to identify themselves as Republican. Fair enough on both counts – other data confirms that we see the same thing elsewhere.

But then we also find that Latinos who agree that “politicians care about Latinos” and who say they “trust government to provide services” and who say they “trust politicians” are more likely to identify themselves as Republican. Moreover, this correlation is stronger than the first two I mentioned: It tops out at a 75 percent probability of being Republican if one fully agrees with the statement, whereas the previous two relationships never break a 55 percent chance of being Republican for full agreement. (We can’t say for sure, but this subset of the sample – who trusts the government to provide services – might well represent illegal immigrants also on welfare.)

This seems shatteringly counterintuitive to the logic of the joke Clay posted. Setting that aside, the real picture of non-citizen Latino’s is decidedly less black and white than the joke would have it. My point here isn’t that there’s something wrong with the joke – hell, I laughed at it. My point is that the joke is oversimple when viewed in light of evidence instead of cliché.

More on welfare recipients later tonight.

Emmanuel

Dr. Ralph:

If it’s data we want, it’s data we shall have!

Let’s start with the request for information on “illegal immigrants.” Because Hispanic immigrants seem to be on everyone’s mind right now, I’ll limit my comments to them. I’ll also ignore what seems to be an assertion that illegal immigrants are inherently lazy. Anecdotally, most of the folks I see who might be my in California town illegally are working their butts off at manual labor to send money home. I sit at a desk most of the day.

I draw numbers from a study published in the May 2005 edition of the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, by David Dutwin, Mollyann Brodie, Melissa Herrmann, Rebecca Levin, called “Latinos and Political Party Affiliation.” I found it through an academic library portal; to double check me, it can be looked up at many fair-sized universities and public libraries.

First and foremost, who paid for this data: The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Research Center funded the study. Feel free to charge those groups with congenital and incurable liberal ideology that tainted the information, but if you do, provide evidence rather than assertion.

Out of 1,185 non-citizen Latinos from Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, 32 percent identified themselves as Democrats and 21 percent as Republicans – hardly a preponderance of liberals, though still enough to signal a slight preference for Democrats, even after a 3 percent margin of error. The remaining 47 percent were either independents, identified as “other” or didn’t know their affiliation.

Viewed another way: 60 percent who identify with a party at all call themselves Democrats, 40 percent Republicans. That’s a solid majority for the Democrats, but a far cry from a coup. Among white evangelical Christians, for example, 72 percent voted Republican in races for the U.S. House nationwide in 2006, according to the Pew Research Center.

When we add Latinos who are citizens and have registered to vote and actually voted to the non-citizens, the numbers change drastically: 45 percent call themselves Democrats and 22 percent call themselves Republicans, with a 2 percent margin of error. Delving further, the big shift to the left occurs when Latinos become citizens, get registered to vote and actually cast a ballot -- the ballot casting being the tipping point. Most who call themselves Republicans stay Republicans, but those who are on the fence or don’t know break blue as they enter the political system. Viewed another way: Among all Latinos who identify as with a party, 66 percent call themselves Democrats and 33 percent Republican. Still a far cry from the black and white picture painted by the joke Clay posted, or even the somewhat clearer tendency for white evangelicals to vote Republican in congressional house races.

Among the Latinos sampled, those who identify as “traditional” (i.e., an emphasis on family and religion) are more likely to identify as Republicans. Latinos who identify themselves as “American” rather than “Latino” are also significantly more likely to identify themselves as Republican. Fair enough on both counts – other data probably confirms that we see the same thing elsewhere.

But then we also find that Latinos who agree that “politicians care about Latinos” and who say they “trust government to provide services” and who say they “trust politicians” are more likely to identify themselves as Republican. Moreover, this correlation is stronger than the first two I mentioned: It tops out at a 75 percent probability of being Republican if one fully agrees with the statements, whereas the previous two relationships never break a 55 percent chance of being Republican for full agreement. (We can’t say for sure, but this subset of the sample – who trusts the government to provide services – might well represent illegal immigrants also on welfare.)

This seems shatteringly counterintuitive to the logic of the joke Clay posted. Setting that aside, the real picture of non-citizen Latinos is decidedly less black and white than the joke would have it. My point here isn’t that there’s something wrong with the joke – hell, I laughed at it. My point is that the joke is oversimple when viewed in light of evidence instead of cliché.

More on welfare recipients later tonight.

Emmanuel

Well, Crap. You can see my edits. I tried to make the second one sound less testy.

Dan

Dave,

You have been looking at Ms. Presley's pics too much, and your mind has become clouded.

Especially in the IL State Legislature, and later on, Obama has been pretty consistent in his opposition of firearms in the hands of civilians.

http://www.dakotapolitics.com/blogPost.asp?PostId=7092

D

Bubba

Did anyone else recieve the DVD from the NRA on deer hunting and the loss of gun rights in England and Australia?
It is very sad to see the works of art that were destroyed in the name of "gun control"!
BUT, this thought comes to mind.
At some point in time, IT WILL HAPPEN, whether in our lifetime or not. There are too many "anti-gunners" about!

Think about it!

Bubba

R Riggins

Thanks Dave for the picture of Ms. Pressley. Since you are working so nobly to further her exposure to the world I think the least she could do is invite you to meet over a few drinks and then later a candlelit dinner. After all we all know that you gunwriters get all the babes. Soldier on Dave it has to be tough.

semp

The whole Legislative Branch of the United States needs to just take six(6) years OFF! Just GO AWAY! After 200 hundred years of scribling we have enough Law to get us by. THEN in 2014 we can have one BIG ERECTION for Congress and start again ... hopefull with new folks and maybe do something good?

Otherwise this current boring, donothing, look-at-me ma shit will just drone on til the clock stops .

Emmanuel

Dr. Ralph:

I've had a heck of a time finding many recent "welfare" statistics. Googling seems to produce a sharp drop off in detailed tracking after 1996.

For what it's worth, though, here's a factoid from before the 1996 reforms. More than 65 percent of welfare recipients weren't voting liberal -- or conservative, for that matter. That's because more than 65 percent of people receiving public assistance were children, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

But I'd still like to try to dig further when I'm at work today, with access to a few more resources. Just who should we count as a "welfare recipient"? What programs should we count? Or would it be more constructive to go by those a certain percentage below the poverty rate?

Michael

Dave,
You really are an unmitigated, reprehensible tease. PLEASE SHOW A PICTURE OF MS. PRESSLEY!
RE: I am a bit afraid that Obama would sell out this country almost as easily as Hillary would.
Remember that democracy means being able to vote for the candidate you dislike the least.

JohnR

Before anyone here gets too cozy and snuggly with Barrack Obama, read the editorial piece in the June "American Rifleman" concerning his voting record as a senator. He is most definitely not a friend or even a casual acquaintance of the Second Amendment. Neither is Hillary Clinton for that matter, but I think Sen. Obama is worse.

Mark-1

Emmanuel,

Think the welfare statistics dropped off in 1996 because to collect welfare now, the person is put to work. "Welfare" isn't what it once was...at least in NY.

Have to admit there's a bunch of dogma clinging by the frustrated and frightened. I call it maintaining your Faith.

Dr. Ralph

I'm sure those children were cashing their checks Emm... Last time I was driving through government subsidised housing or "the projects" as we call them I got pulled over for being white. "What are you doing here son? Buying dope?" Wonder why they would think I didn't belong there...

Emmanuel

Mark-1:

That was my assumption, too. More than a decade after the reforms, even the Heritage Foundation has called them a success.

Dr. Ralph:

It could very well have been a "DWW." Race profiling works in a lot of ways and directions. It also seems plausible that you got pulled over because you were driving a car or truck instead of walking or taking the bus like most people who can't afford a car. Or it could have been because your vehicle was conspicuously nicer than those in the projects. I grew up next to the projects, and even though my family's cars were always used and very modest, they stood out against jalopies just down the street.

But if this traffic stop happened in the late 1990s, the cop didn't have much statistical grounding for a DWW. A 1997 study cited by the American Psychological Association found that a slight majority of welfare recipients were White (38 percent), followed by 37 percent African Americans and 25 percent other minority groups, such as Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans.

Those numbers, however, are old and might not mean anything anymore. At the very least I suspect the Latino portion is now different.

I should note -- and this goes to my previous posts as well -- that it takes a lot more data than I've cited to say anything conclusively. One study, or even two or three, is almost never enough to pronounce something as incontrovertible fact.

Lastly, we can't forget that studies are notoriously good at finding what their financial backers want to find, and I don't know who paid for the study cited by the APA. It's no secret that the APA definitionally includes a preponderance of graduate-degreed academics with agendas of their own.

The stuff I pulled from the APA can be found here: http://www.apa.org/pi/wpo/myths.html


Sexy Man

Dave,
Now i may be wrong but i believe the above mentioned Ms. Pressly has recently become a Mrs. Pressly now i may be wrong i know she just had a child but i dont know if they got married..

Just a little gossip i got from the wife's Magazines..Not that i read them..

Signed,
The sexiest man Alive

Paul Harvey

For what it is worth...you always vote for the lesser of two (three) evils. My aunt (rich) who gave money to "Osama Barama" and has had lunch with him says that he is "against" guns. That is why she supports him. Don't close your eyes to his ambitions.

Clay, are you employed?

Paul Harvey

semp

corn

Dan

Clay,
Your forwarded email was kind of funny, but I think the fact that many people see these kinds of stereotypes as completely true leads to the kind of animosity we see in politics now.

I guess I fall on the line of your too descriptions; I like guns, my steak bloody-rare, a Miller beer on a hot summer day, and as far as working productively, I probably average 60 hours a week (not that this is something to be proud of...)

I also like sushi, french food, have multiple college degrees, and work at a desk job.

I identify with gun rights, but tend to vote democrat based on economic and environmental issues. Like me, 90% of the voting public can't be pigeonholed like the joke tries to do. Unfortunatley, alot of people think they can because they don't know any better.

Bubba

Keep voting Democrat, (liberal) and the only environmental and economic issue you will have to deal with is where you can go to stab a deer to death with a spear...
Maybe Mossberg will reinvent the slingshot to throw an acceptable "turkey" pattern. These will be sold with a seive to help in sorting pebbles to appropriate shot size!
Deer season 2009: There will be an atl season only! Limit 1! Hunting hours are from 12:00:00AM GMT until 12:00:01AM GMT! Arm cannot be cocked for throw until hunting hours start and atl must strike target PRIOR to the end of hunting hours!
A total of three (3) tags for each state will be issued by lottery on 11:59:59PM, prior to opening day!

Bubba




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