Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trying to pinpoint the "party switch"

The theory goes something like this:
"The Democrats used to be racist. But they switched parties, and now the Republicans are racist."

Ok. When?

When did this happen? I realize that these things would necessarily happen over time, but when did the racists migrate from the Democrat party to the Republican party?

Take, for example, a well-known Democrat who was part of the KKK and the "racist" Democrats before the alleged "switch". Robert Byrd has held continuous national public office for the state of West Virginia from 1952 until his death in 2010. If Robert Byrd "switched" on racism, but never switched parties, how is that possible?

We can assume that a single man might have a eureka moment in which he suddenly and completely switches beliefs about a subject like racism. But can a whole state, like West Virginia, switch at the same moment?

And when did the entire state make that "switch"? Here's a short history of Robert Byrd's political and racial history. Tell me when you think the entire state of West Virginia changed on racism.
  • Formed a new chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, early 1940's
  • "Kleagle" for the KKK, 1943
  • Wrote a letter stating, Byrd "shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side." 1945
  • Wrote a letter to a KKK "Grand Wizard", 1946.
  • When running for office, Byrd lied and said he quit the KKK "after about a year", 1952.
  • West Virginia's 6th congressional district, 1952:
    • Robert Byrd (D) - 104,387 (55.58%)
  • West Virginia's 6th congressional district, 1954:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 73,535 (62.73%)
  • West Virginia's 6th congressional district, 1956:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 99,854 (57.40%)
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1958:
    • Robert Byrd (D) - 381,745 (59.19%)
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1964:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 515,015 (67.67%)
  • Byrd personally filibustered for 14 hours against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Voted against Thurgood Marshall's Supreme Court nomination, 1967
  • Byrd "indicated it was time that [Martin Luther King, Jr.] 'met his Waterloo'" to the FBI, 1968, just months before MLK was assassinated.
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1970:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 345,965 (77.64%)
  • Byrd was the Majority Whip, 1971-1977
  • West Virginia United States Senate elections, 1976:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 566,359 (100.00%)
  • Byrd was the Majority Leader, 1977-1981
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1982:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 387,170 (68.49%)
  • Byrd was the Majority Leader, 1987-1989
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1988:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 410,983 (64.77%)
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 1989
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 1991
  • Voted against Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court nomination, 1991
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 1993
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1994:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 290,495 (69.01%)
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 2000:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 469,215 (77.75%)
  • Byrd refers to what he called "white niggers" on national television, 2001
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 2001
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 2006:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 291,058 (64.41%)
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 2007
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 2009


Monday, January 9, 2017

Self-test: Am I Literally Hitler?

I know what you've been wondering. "How can I tell if I'm literally Hitler or not?" Well, here's a handy test to see if you are!

Question 1 - Employment is down. Do you:
A. Lower taxes for businesses.
B. Increase government spending on infrastructure (e.g. roads).

Question 2 - More families have both parents in the work force. Do you:
A. Give families subsidies which are transferable to the school or daycare of their choice.
B. Open public education centers, including "Gardens of Children" for the very young.

Question 3 - Healthcare is expensive. Do you:
A. Loosen regulation providing competition between insurance companies across state lines.
B. Provide single-payer healthcare where doctors' salaries are paid by the government.

Question 4 - Crimes are being committed using guns. Do you:
A. Strengthen ties between the communities and law enforcement.
B. Create a national registry of guns and gun owners, thereby denying guns to potential criminals.

Question 5 - Women are getting abortions at higher rates. Do you:
A. Provide education on sex, abstinence, adoption, and family planning at healthcare centers.
B. Provide government funding of abortion.

Question 6 - The economy is not going well. Do you blame:
A. The government which provides businesses with incentives.
B. The rich bankers who control the flow of money.

Question 7 - A portion of the population disagrees with your policies. Do you:
A. Explain to them why your policies are better than the alternatives.
B. Fine or arrest persons who obstruct your policies.

Give yourself one point for each answer of "A". Subtract one point for each answer of "B". If you come up with a negative score, CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE LITERALLY HITLER!

Q1 - Hitler helped revive the country by massive infrastructure projects. By jumping on the popularity of the automobile, as well as the added mobility, Hitler made spectacles out of each road project. To increase the popularity of these infrastructure projects, Hitler also founded the "People's Car Company", or Volkswagen, to provide reasonable cost automobiles to the German people.

Q2 - While "Gardens of Children", or Kindergartens, were already being formed in the 1850's, it was the Nazis who instituted a public education system with the intent of alleviating the burden on households, while simultaneously doubling the available workforce by freeing the mothers to work outside the homes.

Q3 - Hospitals became parts of the state under Hitler. Since healthcare was free, people went to the doctor for anything, causing massive delays in care and bottlenecks in service. Doctors who were paid by the government did not make enough money to endure the massive need, so many left for Austria where they could set their own rates.

Q4 - The Weimar Republic created a gun registry, and the Nazis used it to take guns from the Jews. This left them defenseless when they came to load them on the trains.

Q5 - The Nazis were huge fans of eugenics and the use of abortion to control the population. Poor people, degenerates, gypsies, slavics, and jews were provided abortions in great numbers. The pure Germans, however, had programs to increase their rate of reproduction including one called Lebensborn, or "Wellspring of Life".

Q6 - The Nazis blamed the Jews, particularly jewish bankers, for their economic ruin following World War I. They began with boycotting their businesses, then with outright taking their money.

Q7 - The Jews, being the target of the Nazi's ire, were fined and arrested on any cause the Nazi's could concoct. (Very similar to the persecution of christian bakers of today who did not toe the party-line.)