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Metafilter seems to slant liberal and other favoritisms:
July 11, 2001 4:38 AM   Subscribe

Metafilter seems to slant liberal and other favoritisms: BushII's been in office for six months. Occurences of "Dubya" come up 538 times in a Google sitesearch of Metafilter. The word, Clinton: 823--despite his several more years in office since Mefi's inception. "Bush"=1580. "Bush" and "idiot" come up about 1/3 that of simple search for "Clinton". 91 times does "Clinton + idiot" come up, some of which seeming to berate Gore. Mr. Nader, ahem. . .about 618 hits! What other lexigraphic mixtures of keywords can you get the skinny on?
posted by crasspastor (126 comments total)

 
My take (gut feelingt) is simple: must readeers and users of Metafilter are literate, articulate, and rage-free. and this indicates usually an intelligent slant toward the left. What does this mean? Simple. No fixed in the past. Willing to see govt. help individuals (the hypoctires who pretend otherwise are the big takers of pork in Congress)...and as they say, birds of a feather etc. etc. mostly an anti-Fox "news" approach, where under the guise of objectivity Fox presents right-wing spokespeople much more than centrists or left-leaning. So here is a forum for those who are in the middle or to the left (over 50 percent of voters afterall voted for Dems for presidency), and allowance is made for those feeling and believing otherwise. Not happy with arrangementy? ask for your money back.
posted by Postroad at 4:56 AM on July 11, 2001


literate, articulate, and rage-free. and this indicates usually an intelligent slant toward the left

Throw arrogant on that list and you might have something. The idea that one who is literate, articulate, and 'rage-free' would automatically slant to the left is really just thinly veiled bashing of those who don't slant that way.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:29 AM on July 11, 2001


Postroad: Oh wow, I am now illiterate, inarticulate, and I have a really nasty anger problem... it's people like you that keep me voting conservatively buddy.
posted by prototype_octavius at 5:39 AM on July 11, 2001


Yeah, I've noticed those trends in MeFi for a while. I think it is one of the reasons I keep coming back. I like reading commentary from people I don't really understand.
posted by prototype_octavius at 5:41 AM on July 11, 2001


users of Metafilter are literate, articulate, and rage-free. and this indicates usually an intelligent slant toward the left.

Damn, I thought I was at least literate.

Guess I better git me sum of them thar hooked on phoniks books. I got sum lernin to do.
posted by justgary at 5:52 AM on July 11, 2001


crasspastor, you might want to consider that the number of posters and posts has gone up quite a lot since Bush was elected -- since MeFi featured in quite a few articles online and in print -- so doing a wordsearch and count and then trying to draw a conclusion from the results without factoring in member growth and such is, quite frankly, meaningless.

it's people like you that keep me voting conservatively buddy

prototype octavius, if you're voting a particular way because of how other people think of you, you've got a serious priority problem.
posted by lia at 6:05 AM on July 11, 2001


Thanks lia! I'll be sure to keep you informed of my progress in ridding myself of bigotry! As if that is the only reason I choose to vote conservatively.
posted by prototype_octavius at 6:08 AM on July 11, 2001


ljromanoff: why does thinking Left politically and socially positively correlate with level of education? Why was the average "W" voter less educated than the average Gore voter? I'm not saying there aren't brilliant people on the Right, but on average, statistically, IQ and education clearly, overwelmingly correlate with being Left of Center. Any thoughts?
posted by ParisParamus at 6:12 AM on July 11, 2001


Hey Paris, care to back-up that statement with a link?
posted by Mick at 6:17 AM on July 11, 2001


ljromanoff et al., sociologists consistently find a correlation between education and liberalism. That is, the more someone is educated, they have a slightly greater chance of being politically liberal.

James A. Davis, from the National Opinion Research Center and Harvard University says "study after study shows better-educated and younger Americans to be more liberal".

I got that quote here

And don't tell me that "literate, articulate, and rage-free" is not virtually the same thing as education.
posted by ktheory at 6:18 AM on July 11, 2001


Paris: I have no research to back this up, but my gut reaction is that it boils down to exposure. A great many intelligent people go on to college and/or other forms of higher education, where their thinking is shaped (at least initially) by the predominantly liberal professors. Professors, on the other hand, are drawn to academia for a similar reason... it shelters them from the real world, which is the only way that their naive worldview can survive. This creates a cycle, as the thinking of more and more people is influenced by a profession that by it's very nature attracts liberal thinking.

Then they venture out into the real world, and they give up on their liberal worldview. As Winston Churchill said (paraphrasing?): "A person who is not liberal when he's 20 doesn't have a heart. A person who is not conservative when he's 40 doesn't have a brain."

As ktheory points out, liberals tend to be both better educated and YOUNGER.
posted by gd779 at 6:22 AM on July 11, 2001


Mick: even if someone else hadn't posted one, I would think you would at least be able to accept that as self-evident. P.S.: education also correlates positively with arrogance, but that doesn't negate the other things.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:23 AM on July 11, 2001


Paris: Universities generally tend liberal - not sure why, any number of things could explain it (only the more liberal actually want to be university faculty, research facilities tend to believe in the Church of Science and not of Tradition, etc...). This easily explains the correlation between leftness and education.

The correlation between leftness and intelligence may derive from the fact that more intelligent people tend to seek out more education. I personally (as a left-center libertarian) believe that the complexity and connectedness of the world at large plays a part as well: more intelligent people are generally more comfortable understanding complex interrelations within systems, and the more holistic policies generally espoused by liberals seem a better fit with that worldview than the comparatively isolationist, short-term policies espoused by conservatives.
posted by Vetinari at 6:25 AM on July 11, 2001


You knew this was coming, right?
"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill
posted by mac at 6:28 AM on July 11, 2001


I'm not the authority on this thing, but I have a hypothesis: In areas of high population there seems to be a higher concentration of the left, as opposed to more rural areas, where the right seems to disperse more widely. From my own observations, many (though not all) of the more densely populated areas tend to pull in more funding for education programs. You can see where I'm heading with this.

Does that make any kind of sense? Are any of you people in the know on this issue?
posted by prototype_octavius at 6:30 AM on July 11, 2001


"A person who is not liberal when he's 20 doesn't have a heart. A person who is not conservative when he's 40 doesn't have a brain."

This is somewhat true. But it's also true that by today's standards, Churchill's political views, as well as those of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon would be left of Center.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:36 AM on July 11, 2001


I seem to recall another great quote: "A conversative is a liberal who has been mugged."

Although I tend more towards conservative, I have a healthy amount of liberal/left tendencies as well...and I'd estimate that there is a very slight amount of higher intelligence (on average) among my left-leaning acquaintances. Very slight, but perceptible. MeFi, in my experience, leans more heavily left than right, but not exclusively by any means.

Finally: from Prototype_Octavius: In areas of high population there seems to be a higher concentration of the left, as opposed to more rural areas, where the right seems to disperse more widely. Agreed.
posted by davidmsc at 6:37 AM on July 11, 2001


Ok. Back again. Fact: college is not filled with lefties. Schools of business and engineering etc are consrvative; humanities and arts, left-leaning. Admninistration, very conservative. You hear from lefties because they are in the articulation game.
How many wise men have said that one is a fool not to be radical in one's youth and then conservative in one's older age? (ie, conserve the values you had when you were in your best years.)
Liberals=guilt; conservative=rage. Look at the blustering conservatives in congress, the rage-filled Rush Limbaugh's.
You can be young, conservative etc and I accept your position,. But then why do you also want social secuity, govt handouts for schools, medicare, subsideies for industries and farms, govt help for storms etc? This is Big Govt using tax money as they deem wise. At least libertarians want no help from govt and want to go it alone as they see fit.
posted by Postroad at 6:38 AM on July 11, 2001


Hmmmmm... well I've been in a bad place where I needed gov't help for storms. It's called a hurricane. Oh yeah, I'm writing this while thinking of sunshine and flowers. No rage! Just sunshine and flowers...
posted by prototype_octavius at 6:43 AM on July 11, 2001


Throw arrogant on that list and you might have something.

Pot (to Kettle): Black!
posted by jpoulos at 6:51 AM on July 11, 2001


I seem to recall another great quote: "A conversative is a liberal who has been mugged."

I remember the other half being "A liberal is a conservative who's won the lottery," although now that I think about it that doesn't make sense, since the other half of the Republican constituency is rich people... anyone remember how this actually goes?
posted by tweebiscuit at 6:57 AM on July 11, 2001


In areas of high population there seems to be a higher concentration of the left, as opposed to more rural areas, where the right seems to disperse more widely.

Obviously then: liberals attract, conservatives repel.
posted by rodii at 6:57 AM on July 11, 2001


Fact: college is not filled with lefties. Schools of business and engineering etc are conservative; humanities and arts, left-leaning...

I was just typing that, Postroad. I was also thinking if, in my experience, I'd agree with ParisParamus' comment education also correlates positively with arrogance and wondering if it could differ by Faculty, or depend if your education was formal or not. Arrogance doesn't spring from education, but from closed-mindedness. I guess some people go to Univ, etc. and just keep obtaining and spewing information that confirms what they already believe.
posted by spandex at 6:58 AM on July 11, 2001


The Churchill "quote" is actually bogus. A good summation was in the WashingtonPost letters column a few weeks back:

<quote>This quotation is frequently but mistakenly attributed to Churchill. It is anyway unlikely that Churchill would subscribe to this philosophy: He was a swashbuckling soldier at 20, and a Conservative member of Parliament at 25. A couple of years later he switched to the Liberal Party (which was not liberal in the modern sense), and later went back to the Conservatives.

The phrase originated with Francois Guisot (1787-1874): "Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head." It was revived by French Premier Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929): "Not to be a socialist at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head."</quote>

So stop trying to ride on Churchill's coattails, eh.

My own interpretation of the red vs. blue counties map is, when people have to figure out how to live in close quarters with many different economic strata and diverse races (big cities), they implement more stereotypically 'liberal' policies. When people can pretend that they're the only kind of people around (sparser populations), they get 'conservative'.
posted by s.e.b. at 7:01 AM on July 11, 2001


In areas of high population there seems to be a higher concentration of the left, as opposed to more rural areas, where the right seems to disperse more widely.

I can't disagree with that, although my (probably baseless) hypothesis is that it has more to do with the diversity of the population. I think that people who have more contact with people of other races, backgrounds, beliefs, etc. are more likely to lean left than those who have less experience with people unlike themselves.
posted by harmful at 7:08 AM on July 11, 2001


Meanwhile, as I check spelling... Sorry, s.e.b.
posted by harmful at 7:10 AM on July 11, 2001


People, people! Can't we all just get along?

One thing that is interesting is that, if we assume that better education overall equals leftie, how is it that most liberals seem completely clueless on basic economics, the scientific method, and human nature? :)

I think Mefi skews left because it draws members from a typically left-leaning demographic: under 30, college educated, moderate income. AND we shouldn't discount that, for this demographic, most of their political education was conducted under Clinton. You vote what you know.

Maybe one of the more technical Mefis could set up a tally-board so we could punch in our demographics and see what we are made up of here...? I'd be intersted in seeing the socio-political composition.
posted by UncleFes at 7:11 AM on July 11, 2001


I second that motion!
posted by prototype_octavius at 7:13 AM on July 11, 2001


Why is everyone equating education level with intelligence? I have met many people (and I am sure most of you have also) that are very educated, but they are only book-smart (to use a un-educated colloquialism).
posted by internal at 7:14 AM on July 11, 2001


and a pony!

I think there's also the problem with the perception that all of one's viewpoints can be labeled conservative or liberal.

Economically I skew conservatively, socially I also act in a conservative manner (reserved) but support 'liberal ' choices, and my viewpoint on government depends on whether local, state, or federal.

I'm certain (I hope) that most people here are not sheep following the liberal or conservative demagoguery.
posted by Mick at 7:22 AM on July 11, 2001


(...which was not liberal in the modern sense).

Oh, you have to laugh. I really don't know how to read that parenthesis.

Churchill crossed the floor in 1906, expediently joining the Liberals after their landslide victory. But to argue that the party of the "People's Budget", (eventual) female suffrage and constitutional reform was "not liberal in the modern sense" just shows how much the term has been maligned to the point of meaninglessness in American politics.
posted by holgate at 7:24 AM on July 11, 2001


Good point Mick! I tend to be split on quite a few issues when it comes to liberal vs. conservative... it's not like people would accept the label "liberal conservative" or "conservative liberal." So many people (including congressmen since many of them don't count as people) just grab one or two things and vote according to those. Shouldn't we be looking for a bigger picture?
posted by prototype_octavius at 7:29 AM on July 11, 2001


Simple explanation. Nader comes up so many times because he's interesting. Bush and Clinton are boring - not much to talk about unless they screw someone or something up.
posted by fleener at 7:29 AM on July 11, 2001


Oh yeah.... I justrealized that there's always been that beast called partisan voting.
posted by prototype_octavius at 7:30 AM on July 11, 2001


I second that motion!

Predictions:

*90% of members consider themselves left or left-leaning
*Median age will be around 26.
*Median annual income will be around $35K
*80% will live on either coast, with 70% of that on the west coast
*60% will have voted for Gore in the last election; 15% for Nader
*Most (75%) will work in technical or creative jobs
*a solid 10% will be non-American
*Mefi will have a larger representation of minorities than is repesented in the general population, especially African -mericans.

At least, this is how I picture it. What do you think?
posted by UncleFes at 7:31 AM on July 11, 2001


I wouldn't doubt those numbers. I never considered the racial stat. though. Good estimates Fes!
posted by prototype_octavius at 7:34 AM on July 11, 2001


At least, this is how I picture it. What do you think?

That it doesn't matter a jot.
posted by holgate at 7:37 AM on July 11, 2001


Although I am a liberal (and I believe a fairly intelligent one) the rest of my family is quite conservative and religious--and they are also some of the most intelligent people I know. Which tends to confuse the hell out of me, but it does help keep me (sometimes) from making sweeping generalizations about conservatives.

I think that MeFi is proof that no "side" has a monopoly on intelligence or education--or on arrogance, for that matter.
posted by witchstone at 7:37 AM on July 11, 2001


"A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged."

Naww, the appropriate reply is: A liberal is a conservative whose just been arrested.
posted by skallas at 7:39 AM on July 11, 2001


there's always been that beast called partisan voting.

As late as the mid-80s, I think most people voted a straight ticket rather than for individuals. My parents certainly did. Splitting your card, as they call it here, is a fairly recent phenomena, widely done for maybe 15 years.

That it doesn't matter a jot.

No tittle? :) I didn't say it mattered. Just looking in the mirror, is all.
posted by UncleFes at 7:39 AM on July 11, 2001


I'll be 28 in exactly a week.
Ten years ago, I was almost roboticaly conservative in my views. I've been sliding left ever since, towards something approximating the position of a libertarian right now.
When I look back on my more Republican days, I veered in that direction convinced that a person was entirely responsible for their lot in life, that religion offered a fine template for morality (I was Catholic), that the stick was more effective than the carrot in dealing with the behaviour of others, and other such views that I now realize had more to do with my social position at the time than had to do with any sort of thought or analysis.

I often see these same attitudes under the skin of most Republican views and activities, and because of this, as a species, they tend to strike me as emotionally immature as I was at 18.
As internal pointed out, there is significant divide between book smart and general emotional development.

Not that I'm a paragon of emotional development now, mind you. (see my profile)
posted by dong_resin at 7:40 AM on July 11, 2001


Ahem. All that seemed a lot more relevant towards the middle of the thread, when I started witting it.
posted by dong_resin at 7:50 AM on July 11, 2001


writing it.
11 in the morning may be a tad early for cocktails.
posted by dong_resin at 7:53 AM on July 11, 2001


11 in the morning may be a tad early for cocktails.

11 in the morning is the perfect time for cocktails. A little picker-upper before lunch - superb!
posted by UncleFes at 7:57 AM on July 11, 2001


Actually, I took witting it as pure pun. Maybe just a Freudian slip?
posted by prototype_octavius at 7:59 AM on July 11, 2001


I must not be very intellectual because that whole electoral map tells one thing and one thing: more people voted for Gore. Period. The pressure!!! I can't take the pressure!!! Can't I be dumb and be on the left?
posted by victors at 8:00 AM on July 11, 2001


I must not be very intellectual because that whole electoral map tells one thing and one thing: more people voted for Gore. Period. The pressure!!! I can't take the pressure!!! Can't I be dumb and be on the left?

If you're looking at an electoral map and seeing more votes for Gore, then I'd say the answer to your question is an emphatic yes.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:01 AM on July 11, 2001


At least, this is how I picture it. What do you think?

Misleading. Where you've come from and what you've experienced along the way might be a place to start. Hard to fit into multiple-choice format, though.
posted by spandex at 8:09 AM on July 11, 2001


not to be a poopyhead, but isn't this more of a MeTa thing?
posted by hijinx at 8:09 AM on July 11, 2001


At least the liberals among us won't have as many nightmares.
posted by timothompson at 8:10 AM on July 11, 2001


1)I think Mefi skews left because it draws members from a typically left-leaning demographic: under 30, college educated, moderate income. AND we shouldn't discount that, for this demographic, most of their political education was conducted under Clinton.

2)My take (gut feelingt) is simple: must readeers and users of Metafilter are literate, articulate, and rage-free. and this indicates usually an intelligent slant toward the left.

Hmm, I think #1 is right on.
posted by justgary at 8:26 AM on July 11, 2001


11."From Fronto I learned to observe what envy and duplicity and hypocrisy are in a tyrant, and that generally those among us who are called Patricians are rather deficient in paternal affection". -Marcus Aurelius
posted by clavdivs at 8:26 AM on July 11, 2001


i wasn't always a liberal.

"coming of age during the plague
of reagan and bush
watching capitalism gun down democracy
it had this funny effect on me
i guess" -ani
posted by th3ph17 at 8:38 AM on July 11, 2001


and, just to boost the google searching:

Nader! Nader! Nader!

[i also think that MeFi is not nearly so uniformly liberal as you are assuming, btw]
posted by th3ph17 at 8:41 AM on July 11, 2001


Thanks for the clarification, s.e.b. I won't use that "quote" anymore.

hehehe. A word of advice to everybody: political parties are useful (probably even necessary) but don't take them too seriously. I don't think that they serve anything but themselves. You've got to think for yourself and have some fun with politics, otherwise you burn out.
posted by gd779 at 8:44 AM on July 11, 2001


MeFi is left-leaning, to be sure, but there are a lot of different kinds of lefties here. Anti-corporate types and environmentalists are distinctly different from your old-fashioned bleeding hearts, and actually there seem to be relatively few of them.
posted by kindall at 8:50 AM on July 11, 2001


Few old-fashioned bleeding-hearts, I mean.
posted by kindall at 8:50 AM on July 11, 2001


Perhaps I'm just being naïve here, but when did polital affiliation have anything to do (realistically) with conservatism vs. liberalism? When did voting pro environment mean that you're also going to support the myriad other Democrat viewpoints? Why be so bipartisan? One would think that after this most recent travesty of an election we'd realize that the system has nothing to do with the people anyway, despite rather impressive democratic forms. Historically, in my conversations with others as well as in my voting practices, I'm nothing less than a Socialist--perhaps a Social Democrat. Fine line between the two. But does that mean that I have to care if the whales are destroyed? We have 300 million people in the US alone--doesn't that imply that we have 300 million unique viewpoints? Statistics don't mean a damn thing.
posted by vandoren at 9:00 AM on July 11, 2001


Um, vandoren...

George Dubya Bush just pushed through a tax plan that will end up cutting into Social Security and Medicare and god knows what other social spending. At the same time, he plans to increase military spending to include a nuclear missile shield for which we don't have a Cold War opponent to defend against. He is opposed to a patient's bill of rights. He wants to drill for oil on federally protected land. He also is opposed to a worldwide effort to cut back on emissions that cause global warming.

Pick whatever flavor of liberalism you wish, be it social, economic, pacifist, environmental, and chances are there will be a Bush policy that opposes it. This has been one of the primary problems of his presidency so far, and why he's become so unpopular so quickly. Because he's managed to alienate a good number of the centrists that voted for him (or were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt) through one or another of his policies.
posted by dogmatic at 9:16 AM on July 11, 2001


dogmatic ~ you're missing my point completely. I am not, by a long-shot, supporting Dubya's stance as president of the US--my feeling is, in fact, that he is nothing more than a squatter that got in through a loophole. What I am saying is that there is no reason to look at his policy and split it down the line, conservative vs. liberal. We, as Americans, want to think too black/white on issues, and that's something that, perhaps, it's time to eliminate.
posted by vandoren at 9:19 AM on July 11, 2001


This has been one of the primary problems of his presidency so far, and why he's become so unpopular so quickly.

Not so unpopular, and not so quickly. It could it be that half the nation thinks he's doing a good job, and that all these things you mention are worthy ideas.

Except the missile shield, even I have to admit that's stupid. But my understanding is that Rumsfeld is going to streamline the military, and that it will eventually reduce the military budget substantially.
posted by UncleFes at 9:29 AM on July 11, 2001


What? But then we'll only be able to block half of the imaginary missiles!
posted by dong_resin at 9:38 AM on July 11, 2001


if we assume that better education overall equals leftie, how is it that most liberals seem completely clueless on basic economics, the scientific method, and human nature? :)

they do?
posted by rabi at 9:39 AM on July 11, 2001


i agree with vandoren here, I could give two shits about the breeding grounds of the Caribou. I like eating tasty animals, etc. Humans are more important to me than animals. But, on the other hand, Mike and his boyfriend want to get married? great, go to town. You want an abortion, sorry for your trials and tribulations, but again, its none of my business, so go right ahead. I want to have a gun. I should be able to. Common sense draws a line between Conservative and Liberal viewpoints.
posted by jbelshaw at 9:53 AM on July 11, 2001


they do?

They seem to. California seems to think that supply and demand have no relation to each other; no one can prove that global warming is anything more than increased sunspot activity and cowfarts, but they want to spend billions to eliminate human C02 emmisions that account for less than 5% of the total; and they believe that they can get teenagers to stop smoking by having the government tell them not to. Those are some representative cases, but seemingly part of a larger pattern of reality denial.

Common sense draws a line between Conservative and Liberal viewpoints.

Hear, hear.
posted by UncleFes at 9:56 AM on July 11, 2001


Can Wednesday be everybody play nice day?

ANYWAY... I went to business school, and I am viewed by others as being liberal. I do not like labels, we are all intelligent people here who like to make up our minds on things. It is too easy to say "fucking conservatives" or "fucking liberals" and carpet bomb an enitre group of people with prejudice.

I am a person, I don't think I need an adjective to qualify what I believe.
posted by tj at 10:04 AM on July 11, 2001


tj: Play nice? On MeFi? Are you feeling ok?

True true. It is always easier to validate one's opinions by stereotyping the so-called "opposition"; maybe that's a given. I think that is one of the sure signs of lack of true intelligence. Does the person grasp the ability to understand multiple perspectives?
posted by prototype_octavius at 10:12 AM on July 11, 2001


Common sense draws a line between Conservative and Liberal viewpoints.

Hear, hear.


Only if you think of it in terms of the International Date Line, rather than the Greenwich meridian.

Not everything can be resolved by lukewarm compromise.
posted by holgate at 10:26 AM on July 11, 2001


Only if you think of it in terms of the International Date Line, rather than the Greenwich meridian.

Not everything can be resolved by lukewarm compromise.


What do you know? Holgate and I agree on something. I guess Satan is ice skating to work right now.
posted by ljromanoff at 10:29 AM on July 11, 2001


Is anybody else intrigued by the idea of a MeFi demographics survey? I'm contemplating how that could be done. . .
posted by Dreama at 10:29 AM on July 11, 2001


justgary: AND we shouldn't discount that, for this demographic, most of their political education was conducted under Clinton.

I never voted for Clinton, didn’t like his show, so your theory could be reworked.

vandoren, dogmatic:
If you consider Bush as an agent of powerful businesses and the rich, his agenda makes much more sense. Look at the few issues dogmatic listed: tax cut in which the rich recieve massive amounts of money compared to others, increase military spending guarentees contractors more money, HMO corporate protectionism from the legal system, give the oil industry more real estate, keep pollution levels where they are. I should note here that Gore, as head Kyoto diplomat, successfully postponed signing the accords, and if elected was going to stall for another eight years.

From this framework, the previous administration looks quite a bit like the current one.

Add to Bush’s list arsenic levels in water (which Clinton didn’t think about dealing with until he left office); gutting worker protection from RSI (Clinton procrastination again); Powell’s son, as head of the FCC, wants to ease lax media monopoly laws (lax thanks to Clinton’s ‘96 Telecom Act); a steadfast allegiance to free trade (Clinton/Bush I, NAFTA; Clinton, WTO; Bush II, FTAA) regardless of wide spread, global opposition to the pro-corporate, anti-worker agenda.

As lagado corrected me in a previous thread, calling Democrats — especially anyone connected with the DLC — liberal is a complete misnomer and corruption of the word. So what you two were getting at, that modern politics and parties have anything to do with a unifying humanist philosophy (liberalism vs. conservatism), is spot on. It does, however, have quite a bit to do with protecting extremely powerful investors.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 10:30 AM on July 11, 2001


Mefi is most definitely left leaning, but I think within that group is a minority (like myself) who are "center-left/third way/clintonian" meaning we buy the whole social injustice tip, but don't see anything wrong with encouraging business/corporations to a point. This screws us because the conservatives say we're hippie liberals while the liberals say we're sell outs. Of course I can take solace that it seems the majority of the electorate are in the center-left/center-right part of the population.
posted by owillis at 10:39 AM on July 11, 2001


holgate: I don't mean comprimise, i mean "a idea from column A, an item from column B...". International date line if you will.

It seems that there are ideals on each side of the coin that logically should be on the same side. How can you support the death penalty, and still want to refuse women's right to choice. Or be pro-choice, but want to refuse peoples right to bear arms. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
posted by jbelshaw at 10:54 AM on July 11, 2001


Doesn't a post that only links things drawn from MeFi (even if the link is to google) belong in MetaTalk?
posted by anapestic at 10:55 AM on July 11, 2001


owillis, I agree with you. While I'm hoping to not open a whole 'nother can of worms here, I believe in two things that are considered diametrically opposed by most: abortion, as a practice, is wrong and the thought of the procedure sickens me. The right to do with one's own body what one wants (including, but not limited to abortion and euthanasia), is paramount and should not be decided or prevented by anyone other than oneself.

Does that make me "Clintonian" or a waffly person with no moral center? Or does it just show that some of the modern world's toughest issues to crack produce strong feelings on both/all sides, and all opinions should be RESPECTED and LISTENED TO, not dismissed out of hand? Most here on MeFi, whether left/right/purple/white, etc., seem to be respectful people who value this kind of civil discussion. Please keep it that way.
posted by msacheson at 11:02 AM on July 11, 2001


"consider Bush as an agent of powerful businesses and the rich," I have heard Republicans(them votin kind) say this almost word for word. so why(why) do they(republicans) keep voting(?) republican in the presidential election? and Capt. I couldnt agree more about" I never voted for Clinton, didn’t like his show"
posted by clavdivs at 11:10 AM on July 11, 2001


so why(why) do they(republicans) keep voting(?) republican in the presidential election?

Because they (a) believe that the policies Bush has in acting as an agent for business and the rich favor them, (b) they choose to vote Republican based on factors other than policy (like, say, tradition), (c) they vote based on Bush's stance on matters other than economic, or (d) they don't have any other adequate choices addressing their political beliefs - they consider Bush, for all his perceived flaws, as their best choice.
posted by UncleFes at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2001


Holgate and I agree on something. I guess Satan is ice skating to work right now.

He'd better get his skates on: I definitely saw him flying a pig outside.

Actually, while I was out, I was thinking about the notion of "common sense", and the points at which compromise positions are neither "common" nor make sense. And they're more often than not the basis for civil war: the sovereignty of parliament, the legality of slavery, the ethnic identity of a state, or of its rulers.

And I don't know what sort of conclusion I should draw from that, especially in a modern context where the politics of ideology are giving way to something quite different.
posted by holgate at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2001


Holgate: I've always sort of seen common sense (and compromise based in common sense) and a matter of the dreamable versus the doable. The dreamable is mostly what we argue about here - you and I have different dreams, different visions, of how the world should work. Common sense compromises between us [man, is it getting cold in here or WHAT?] are the realm of the doable, of utility. They are the rough equivalent of the both of us taking and allowing the other a step towards their vision of how the world should work.

One thing I think we've "discovered" is that all of us here are alternately conservative or liberal based on issue rather than strict ideology; that's a common sense stance, in that we are working on what's doable. It's more common now than it used to be, because we've all gotten to see the results of strictly ideological antagonism. At the same time, if you and I are discussing a subject, it's pretty likely that we are going to be on opposite sides of it, since our sense of what's dreamable - our individual ideologies - are opposing, and that's what drives our individual common sense's. But I have no doubt that if you and I were Hemisphere Kings and we were forced to make global choices, what we'd likely do is compromise based on what we saw as doable on each issue.
posted by UncleFes at 11:42 AM on July 11, 2001


I believe in two things that are considered diametrically opposed by most

Well, I'm in that school of thought as well. Abortion is a yucky nasty procedure, but if someone wants to do it to themself, it's their right.

Sort of like defending the free speech rights of the Klan, in a way.
posted by owillis at 12:02 PM on July 11, 2001


UncleFes, I’d say mostly D (best of the worst — Holgate makes a good point that this was a bad choice) with a sprinkling of B (tradition). A (agreed with his economics) is just wrong, since voters couldn’t differentiate Gore’s and Bush’s policy statements.

owillis: but don't see anything wrong with encouraging business/corporations to a point

I don’t have problem with that either. Problem is, I think we passed it with the Taft-Hartley Act.


anap: Doesn't a post that only links things drawn from MeFi (even if the link is to google) belong in MetaTalk?

Most perceptive comment in this thread yet. Delete me.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 12:20 PM on July 11, 2001


The "more education = more liberal" line is pretty much true, but not in the way the liberals here are snarkily trying to make you think it means. Most people get their college degree and then move on into the Real World. Those that stay on, to get masters and PhDs, are essentially devoting their lives to academia. That means they become increasingly reliant on the government for loans, grants, etc. (And if they're at a state school, they're more or less reliant on the government for their job itself, and housing, and food, and on and on.) They put themselves in a situation where Big Government can only be better for them personally. Thus they think and vote liberally. And of course huge percentages of MA and PhD types end up as college professors, and the wheel keeps on turning. In short, it's not that they're "more educated" per se, merely that those who choose a career in academia - one of the most liberal professions on the planet - are the ones by far most likely to even have the desire to get the pieces of paper that define them as "more educated."
posted by aaron at 12:21 PM on July 11, 2001


The "more education = more liberal" line is pretty much true, but not in the way the liberals here are snarkily trying to make you think it means.

That's probably just your ignorant rage talking ;)
posted by UncleFes at 12:40 PM on July 11, 2001


I agree with anapestic. This is a really great discussion about the MeFi community, but it should be ported over to MeTa.

Besides, it willl enjoy a far longer life should that be the case. An lordy knows, there is much more to be discussed than the xxx number of posts above.

Either way, have fun y'all. I am content watching from the sidelines
posted by sardines at 1:01 PM on July 11, 2001


I agree with anapestic. This is a really great discussion about the MeFi community, but it should be ported over to MeTa.

For the record, I never said, meant, or implied that this was a really great discussion.
posted by anapestic at 1:02 PM on July 11, 2001


Politics can only be the art of the possible. That's why I was thinking about the definition of "common sense", in the context of 18th-century common-sense philosophy, and how its was followed by a more complex conception of hermeneutics, which isn't relativism per se, but rather an awareness of the different conditions in which positions are adopted.

It's as if, after an era of ideology, we realise that we're having to negotiate not just between the dreamable and the possible, but between different domains of possibility. (Or, if you like, scalability.) In a sense, we're having to reconstitute the catagorical imperative.

Most people get their college degree and then move on into the Real World. Those that stay on, to get masters and PhDs, are essentially devoting their lives to academia. That means they become increasingly reliant on the government for loans, grants, etc.

That's makes for fine theory, but it's a very oversimplified view of the reality of modern academic research.

Far too many of my friends have, after gaining their masters' and doctorates, abandoned Oxford and taken jobs in (as you call it) The Real World: consultancies, investment banks, accountancy firms. The reason? As you said, academia doesn't pay the bills. And while it may be a triumph of the market, I can't help but regard the drift of research chemists and physicists into accountancy as a colossal waste of talent. Especially when you consider that at least some PhDs have to stay in academia in order to produce the next crop of college graduates, or more crucially, to train up research staff who may eventually work for Celera or Merck or DuPont or Intel.

In that sense, to regard academics as servants of Big Government is to misunderstand the modern academy: if private industries had to meet the cost of training their high-end staff from high-school age to doctoral level, it might become clear how good a deal they get.

Most academics deserving of the title could move into the private sector and double their salary overnight. A couple of my friends have done precisely that, and intend to return as soon as there's enough in the bank, because they miss teaching. Choosing not to do so shouldn't be regarded as a kind of liberal cop-out.

In fact, most young academics tend to spend as much of their spare time as possible working in the Real World (or, alternatively, becoming guinea-pigs for the pharmacology school) just to ensure that they're not saddled with loans. And it's perhaps that state of affairs, combined with the condescension of the "Real World", that truly conditions the politics of academia.
posted by holgate at 1:08 PM on July 11, 2001


Aaron, then why aren’t veteran military members, dogcatchers and every Congress Member registered Socialists?

Active-duty military personnel rely on government for housing, pay and most of their loans. I don’t see them uniformly voting Democrat, or as you would say, “liberal”. Perhaps there is something else you’re looking over.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 1:12 PM on July 11, 2001


if private industries had to meet the cost of training their high-end staff from high-school age to doctoral level, it might become clear how good a deal they get.

Private industries do meet that cost, they do so by paying the higher salary that the more advanced degree demands.

I suppose industries could pay that cost directly by contracting with individuals to subsidize their education and then keep the employee on at a low salary until their investment has been returned, but that would obligate that employee to stay at said company for several years without the opportunity to take a better offer. The current system makes much more sense.
posted by ljromanoff at 1:24 PM on July 11, 2001


understood, and sorry to put words in your mouth Anapestic. It was not intended.

I will add though (with all due respect).....

As an "online user" (whatever the hell that means) for 15+ years, I am consistently amazed as to how the MeFi users beat each other up on a daily basis. If I was in a bar with you people, I would be throwing a coaster over my beer due to the onslaught.

That being said!!!!!........



This has been one of the most civil and intelligent discussions that I have seen here in months. I mean, frankly, rock on people - this is great discussion.

This is not to say that there have not been intelligent thoughts floating across these pages. No No No. Jesus- H. George W. Tony Blair, SUV, Right-to-Life, California Blackout, Indy Music - Christ! I have found some of the greatest links since I started visiting here. And it is not just about some person spending all day just finding obscure links - no, i get a view of the world that I would not see on a daily basis and I am grateful for that. Y'all rock in my book.

However - in recent months and this may be a summer doldrum, I am too sweaty and full of piss and vinegar type of thing - there has been a trend to attack the individual at the expense of the argument or issue. As an outsider, I have really noticed it. Ok, it is fun for the first few threads to see the lefties piss on the righties or visa versa. After that, the phrase that comes to me is "Get back to where you once belonged". Let us talk issues here, not personalities.

Which brings me back to what I really wanted to say: I think that this is one of the most civil, intelligent threads that I have read on MeFi in the past few months. All of you posters rock in my book. For the most part, all the posters have focussed on the idea and not the individual - and that fucking rocks. From my view on the fire escape, this is what it is all about.

Keep on keeping on.

Cheers all!

See ya in a few months.
posted by sardines at 1:43 PM on July 11, 2001


per Anapestic, want to take it over here?
posted by UncleFes at 2:00 PM on July 11, 2001


Just to finish with the slightly tangent on academic funding:

Private industries do meet that cost, they do so by paying the higher salary that the more advanced degree demands.

Doesn't that have to be based on the principle that all tuition is unsubsidised? That a transaction between the student and the university is wholly "balanced out" by the wages of a future employer. Which is a valid one in certain respects, and for certain disciplines, but isn't suited to the collaborative structures underpinning the research and teaching of the sciences at a university level.

The difficulty is one of intangibles. You can't train up chemistry PhDs without essentially making them apprentices on full-scale research projects. Those projects' costs may run into millions: so, should the PhD students' tuition fees include, say, part of the cost of renting the cyclotron or the NMR machine for experiments? If you're getting inconsistent results because of inexperience, should you be made to cover the cost?

You can see, I hope, why it's fiendishly difficult to treat a science PhD as an individual transaction between the student and the institution: there's always going to be an element of subsidy, which means the employer gains at the institution's expense. So to balance out the budget, should colleges be invoicing their graduates' employers? Or should the employers be pre-contracting not just with individuals, but agreeing quotas with colleges? Neither, I'd imagine, fits with your view on individual freedom of employment. (Nor does it with mine.)

The current system, at least in Oxford's science faculties, is actually something that compromises between the current system and the individual subsidy you talk about. That is, private companies will invest in projects and produce collaborative research. And more and more projects are being transformed into profit-making spinoffs, such as Oxford GlycoSciences. But unlike, say, the individuated world of the MBA or the history doctorate, the collaborative nature of postgraduate science can't be convincingly resolved into a set of single-person transactions.
posted by holgate at 2:15 PM on July 11, 2001


Gah. Second reference to "current system" should be in quotes.
posted by holgate at 2:26 PM on July 11, 2001


The "more education = more liberal" line is pretty much true, but not in the way the liberals here are snarkily trying to make you think it means. Most people get their college degree and then move on into the Real World. Those that stay on, to get masters and PhDs, are essentially devoting their lives to academia. That means they become increasingly reliant on the government for loans, grants, etc. (And if they're at a state school, they're more or less reliant on the government for their job itself, and housing, and food, and on and on.) They put themselves in a situation where Big Government can only be better for them personally. Thus they think and vote liberally. And of course huge percentages of MA and PhD types end up as college professors, and the wheel keeps on turning. In short, it's not that they're "more educated" per se, merely that those who choose a career in academia - one of the most liberal professions on the planet - are the ones by far most likely to even have the desire to get the pieces of paper that define them as "more educated."
posted by aaron at 12:21 PM PST on July 11

Oh please. A master's makes you more beholden to government? Since when, exactly? The states hire most professors, not the federal government, and they look for grants from everyone. I'd like to see something in re to private funding of research vs. federal and state, as well as mixed projects. You need to look at who academia attracts more in any case, what sort of personalities. Um, maybe they want to help people get an education, or better the world in some way. Gosh, that was really decent of you, aaron. Flaming troll.
posted by raysmj at 2:34 PM on July 11, 2001


Aaron: If you don't think America's colleges and universities - the envy of the first world -- have helped the nation much at all . . . Mercy, I feel so much pity for you. Also, what of those damned super-lefty MBAs? I imagine some of them receive federal loans. Cough, cough.
posted by raysmj at 2:39 PM on July 11, 2001


I'm posting my ass off over here ...

Hell, we already got a Zippity BOP!!™
posted by UncleFes at 2:46 PM on July 11, 2001


Well, I'm in that school of thought as well. Abortion is a yucky nasty procedure, but if someone wants to do it to themself, it's their right.

Sort of like defending the free speech rights of the Klan, in a way.
posted by owillis at 12:02 PM PST on July 11

Why? That makes no logical sense. Zero. Is it a crime, or just a medical procedure, or something in between? And if it's something in between, is it a misdemeanor? And if it's not, then how is it equal to the existence of racial supremacy groups? Meantime, I had several major leg operations when I was in my early '20s. I'm here to tell you that they were very nasty and yucky. Most medical procedures are nasty and yucky, as a matter of course. Why? I guess because they are conducted by doctors who received federal loans for med school and are beholden to Big Gummit, blah blah.
posted by raysmj at 2:50 PM on July 11, 2001


ahh well. the thread WAS civilized. thanks.
posted by jbelshaw at 3:15 PM on July 11, 2001


No, it wasn't civilized when aaron started engaging in slander. But imagine you agreed with him, so that was civilized? Or comparing people who conduct abortions to Klansmen is civilized?
posted by raysmj at 3:18 PM on July 11, 2001


Why are you trying to invalidate a particular argument by labeling it a troll? If its so ludicrous, give a counter-argument, and since you believe that the first point holds no merit, you should be able to invalidate it with a lucid reasonable argument.
posted by jbelshaw at 3:23 PM on July 11, 2001


Or comparing people who conduct abortions to Klansmen is civilized?

Ahem, raysmj, I believe that you need to go back and re-read the comment. There was no comparison of abortion providers and klansman. The klan reference was only raised as a second example of how one can have the ability and/or willingness to support people's rights despite opposition to how they are using those rights, i.e. disliking abortion but not denying someone the right to have one if she wants, or disliking the racist message of the Klan but not denying that they have the right to express that message.
posted by Dreama at 3:40 PM on July 11, 2001


What Dreama said.
posted by owillis at 3:48 PM on July 11, 2001


Dreama: It's still ridiculous. Ahem. The Klan reference was not civilized. What I want owliss to do is examine his views, which is utterly civilized. If the procedure is so wrong, why should it be kept legal? Many of your fellow conservatives have argued the same thing, time and again, some particularly more so since it's become fashionable to say that abortion is bad, but it should be kept legal because I or someone else want the choice. And then the Klan reference was provocative in any case. How's abortion comparable to hate speech? It's a medical procedure. It isn't speech.
posted by raysmj at 3:51 PM on July 11, 2001


You can see, I hope, why it's fiendishly difficult to treat a science PhD as an individual transaction between the student and the institution: there's always going to be an element of subsidy, which means the employer gains at the institution's expense.

Since every university I know of solicits grants from alumni and other gifts in order to finance itself, every degree (science or otherwise) is somewhat financed by these giftgivers. Presumably, those giving gifts have given some thought as to how their gift will be used. For public universities, this can be expanded to include govt. grants as well. To this extent, some portion of every college student's degree is financed by someone else other than the student, who is essentially purchasing something of value (either an education or merely a degree, depending on the circumstances.) As the student benefits from this, so does his future employer.

However, I think it is excessive to suggest that industries are therefore getting a huge discount because of this, if for no other reason than in many circumstances they are the gift givers in the first place. But even if that was not the case, the majority of expense involved in attaining a degree is not deferred to someone other than the individual who is getting the education - which is then passed on to his future employer due to his ability to command a higher salary.

Perhaps we are arguing a matter of degrees here. If there is some statistic that could actually break down the average cost of a college education and where the funding for that comes from, I would like to see it.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:04 PM on July 11, 2001


How's abortion comparable to hate speech? It's a medical procedure. It isn't speech.

Do you not understand that one might consider something to be morally allowable but not a moral good?

I don't think shooting heroin is a good thing, but I don't consider it morally wrong or something that should be prohibited. One could make the same argument for abortion, or for making racist speeches.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:07 PM on July 11, 2001


Argh. I didn't say abortion was wrong. What I did say is that for me it was probably not something I would pursue along with my spouse. Terminating a pregnancy (whether you consider it a baby or a bunch of cells) isn't an easy decision. That said, its not my or the government's place to say someone can't do it. I think that's what the whole idea of choice is.

Same way someone can find what the Klan preaches as offensive (I sure as hell do) but totally defend their right to say it.

The most extreme circumstances are what tests our system.
posted by owillis at 4:12 PM on July 11, 2001


ljr: But back up why you say such, not you particularly, but the abstract "you." Heroin doesn't harm anyone but yourself and your family, maybe the state which is asked to pick up medical bills you sustain or folks one might rob to get money to pay for the horse (which, one could argue, is tied to its being illegal). The primary "wrong" I hear in re to abortion is that it's a killing of a living thing, if not murder then something close to it. And if it is, then it shouldn't be at legal, or at least subject to a fine. My own position is that it's more a matter of when the abortion is conducted. To make your own decision, though, you have to look at the scientific evidence, examine your position, rather than spout the day's conventional wisdom.

owliss: OK. Got that cleared up. Never mind.
posted by raysmj at 4:18 PM on July 11, 2001


Well, no owliss, on second thought I still don't get the Klan line - what the Klan does is, to my mind, reprehensible and not one of those morally iffy or merely questionable things -- but I'm not going to string you up for it.
posted by raysmj at 4:20 PM on July 11, 2001


ljr: But back up why you say such, not you particularly, but the abstract "you." Heroin doesn't harm anyone but yourself and your family, maybe the state which is asked to pick up medical bills you sustain or folks one might rob to get money to pay for the horse (which, one could argue, is tied to its being illegal). The primary "wrong" I hear in re to abortion is that it's a killing of a living thing, if not murder then something close to it. And if it is, then it shouldn't be at legal, or at least subject to a fine. My own position is that it's more a matter of when the abortion is conducted. To make your own decision, though, you have to look at the scientific evidence, examine your position, rather than spout the day's conventional wisdom.

Well, the actual wrongness of either heroin use or abortion is not really the point. The point is that there is a distinction between something that is bad and something that is impermissible. It is certainly not unreasonable to think that one could think of abortion as morally bad but not morally impermissible, and that Klansman holding and espousing racist views also bad but not impermissible. Whether or not you actually agree is beside the point.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:29 PM on July 11, 2001


ljr: But why is it bad but permissible? You don't have to answer the question here, not at all. But that's what my whole post above was getting at.
posted by raysmj at 4:33 PM on July 11, 2001


what the Klan does is, to my mind, reprehensible and not one of those morally iffy or merely questionable things -- but I'm not going to string you up for it

Wonderful word choice there. Of course the Klan is reprehensible. But under our constitution they have as much right as you to make their reprehensible speech (unless they incite riot, "fire in a crowded theater", etc. - stuff beyond the first amendment's scope) . Once we decide we won't allow XYZ speech because we don't agree with it, it endangers the rights of the rest of us.
posted by owillis at 4:45 PM on July 11, 2001


owliss: Don't disagree with you at all there. No way.
posted by raysmj at 4:54 PM on July 11, 2001


ljr: But why is it bad but permissible? You don't have to answer the question here, not at all. But that's what my whole post above was getting at.

My reasoning is that if one does not violate another individual's rights, then it's permissable. This, of course, would include being a crack addict, for example. Ruining one's own body through heavy drug use is undoubtedly bad, but I don't think anyone should be prevented from destroying themselves if that is their choice.

Other people's moral frameworks are different, but probably also include these variations of ethical degree. I know of very few true moral absolutists.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:03 PM on July 11, 2001


zagging between the Klan and crack zig:

If there is some statistic that could actually break down the average cost of a college education and where the funding for that comes from, I would like to see it.

Academic financing is famously opaque: the accounts of my college, for instance, ostensibly separating centuries-old endowments, ancillary costs, and tuition costs, are of the sort that only the accountant understands them.

However, this report by the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education is pretty comprehensive in its assessment of the system in the US. It looks at "sticker price" (ie tuition), the additional costs of attendence (housing, books, transportation, etc.), and the instructional cost to the college.

The most relevant conclusion, in terms of the issue of costs, is this:

Virtually no activity, other than self-supporting auxiliary enterprises such as dormitories and cafeterias, generates enough revenue to pay for itself. Everything is "subsidized" to a greater or lesser extent, either through tax revenues, endowment income, or private giving . . . courses in the "hard" sciences typically are more expensive to offer than courses in the humanities or social sciences. Yet most institutions do not charge higher tuition for higher cost programs, and lab fees (when assessed) barely begin to cover the costs.

The obvious answer, you'd think, would be to make tuition fees reflect instructional costs. But the rate of increase of the "sticker costs" is actually greater than that of the instructional costs, with the knock-on effect of forcing a greater proportion of students to rely upon loans.

In short, American academic finance is in a mess.
posted by holgate at 5:07 PM on July 11, 2001


Virtually no activity, other than self-supporting auxiliary enterprises such as dormitories and cafeterias, generates enough revenue to pay for itself. Everything is "subsidized" to a greater or lesser extent, either through tax revenues, endowment income, or private giving

I must say I'm not surprised about the amount of money that comes in from sources other than tuition. As a former university instructor I saw first hand how everything that could have a nameplate stuck on it was available for donors to fund.

But back to the original point, if donors want to subsidize to a certain degree the investment industry makes in university educated employees in order to have their name on a kiosk or a classroom, that's their choice.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:23 PM on July 11, 2001


I'm filled with mayonaise! There's never a dearth of lightbulbs when hippos come back from Taiwan. Lately, though, in the middle of balogna I take umbrage concerning latent bouts of hypertropism. I wonder how sincere the carpet is? There was something familiar about the complete lack of yellow in the deep, wide, fat-filled cuticles. Mary, you know, never speaks of invisible wigs even though many talented penguins drive trains through my elbow.
posted by honkzilla at 8:12 PM on July 11, 2001


I love you, honkzilla.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:30 PM on July 11, 2001


honkzilla, are you taking Secret-Code-via-the-Internet lessons from Usama Bin Laden or something?
posted by ljromanoff at 8:32 PM on July 11, 2001


I'm busy all day and come back to THIS! What in tarnation happened? I can't even follow it for christ's sake! Did I mention my original intent was something akin to uhh. . .good nature? Freakin' wierd.

I have a feeling it's cos ljr got his dirty mitts on it. -; )

I originally thought it kind of neat to compare loaded terms against other loaded terms as kind of a neat sermon to who and and what MeFi is. To respond to one of the only "on topic" posts, that the community is larger now, therefore of course we would find more disparrgement of BushII: I thought of the same thing actually. Yet still the MeFi crowd was still somewhat substantial (from my absent-from-mefi understanding) for a couple of the Clinton years. You have a point (whoever you were, waaaaaaay up there), but I hadn't enlisted the statisticians until later tonight. Now I have a bunch of paleass guys over here guzzling coffee and yammering about numbers with nothing to do. Gee thanks all!
posted by crasspastor at 9:55 PM on July 11, 2001


crass: Bush was also running for president for the last year and a half or so of the Clinton terms in office. I remember seeing Bush's face on the front cover of one of the major newsweeklies (Time, I think - I just remember seeing the mug) in June or July 1999. The headline was something the effect of, "Our next president?" The campaign began in earnest in early 2000.
posted by raysmj at 10:27 PM on July 11, 2001


Oh, much understood raysmj. But there were other candidates. Hence the occurrence of "Nader" being out of proportion.

Funny how Nader has sort of become something of a living (important) margin of error.
posted by crasspastor at 10:40 PM on July 11, 2001


crass: Also, search for "Bill," and you'll come up with a number of Clinton references. "Clinton" and "sex" clocks in at 205, Clinton and horny 7 times, etc. Anyway, Clinton and Monica comes up 59 time, while Bill and Monica comes in at 48. Bill and Dubya makes it in at 238, but there is Bill, and then I'm Just a Bill on Capitol Hill Bill. Clinton and Mr. Cheney's first name get 91 hits. Good luck!
posted by raysmj at 10:41 PM on July 11, 2001


There was nothing outwardly too serious about me beginning this thread.
posted by crasspastor at 10:49 PM on July 11, 2001


Jelly doesn't have bones.
posted by dong_resin at 12:45 AM on July 12, 2001


I have a feeling it's cos ljr got his dirty mitts on it. -; )

Hey, man! That ain't right. You can lay this one on me, ya hippie. Go back to the bong now.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:36 AM on July 12, 2001


can't not can. I've got to stop posting first thing in the morning. Argh.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:37 AM on July 12, 2001


Grumble, grumble, grumble, damn Bush, grumble, grumble, grumble, idiot, grumble, grumble, where's my remote...
posted by honkzilla at 1:31 PM on July 31, 2001


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