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The differences between right and left
Posted by: McQ on Friday, July 06, 2007

One of them is neatly summed up in this post at Suburban Guerilla, where, talking about the death of a leftist blogger, Susie tells us that leftist bloggers are owed support (something, she says, the Democrats are woefully poor at providing) by those they support:
Someone from either the Democratic party or some liberal organization showed up a few years back at the Philadelphia Drinking Liberally to ask the question, “What do bloggers want?” She had, of course, already answered the question: Free Lexis-Nexis access! One account to be shared by I don’t know how many bloggers!

I looked at her. I cleared my throat. “Actually,” I said, “If we need Lexis-Nexis, most of us can figure out where to get access. What we really need is help with actual survival. Most of us need health insurance. We need computers. In fact, the single biggest thing you could do is set up a program that would give free laptops to bloggers, because so many of us live hand to mouth and when our computers go, we’re silenced.”

“Yes, but Lexis-Nexis…” she said, already tuning me out.
Seriously. We've decided we want to do this and what we do helps you so, you have an obligation to support our needs.

Sounds like a cultural view to me. She goes on:
I don’t know what it is about liberal groups whose leaders assume you should live on air while you give your life to the cause. Has it even occurred to them how much harder it is to get a “regular” job when you’re publicly and politically active? I guess not. After all, they’re already employed.
You know, somehow I've managed to keep this endeavor completely separate from my work. They don't even know I'm politically active in the blogosphere. But more importantly, note the attitude. A cause taken up voluntarily and without anyone asking you and suddenly someone else owes you for that?

Now, to her credit she's attempting to do something about it:
And so I am talking to lawyers about putting together a non-profit to help progressive bloggers. Not, as some groups offer, to help them organize for the Democratic party - to help them personally. I plan to recruit every blogger I can for the effort. One local blogger is working right now to put together a concert benefit with a big name.
The point is the attitude that led to this discovery. The "I'm entitled because I chose to do this" nonsense. I can't help it, it irks me. But it is also indicative of a real difference between thinking on left and right, at least at this point in time. I look at people like Bill Roggio and Michael Yon who do the reporting they do in Iraq through reader donations. They certainly would never say they were "owed" support because they chose to do what they do. Instead, they understand that no one - no one - owes them a dime because they want to report from Iraq.

Of course the comments are interesting as well and all pointed at a favorite theme, no matter how difficult it is to twist it into the conversation:
This is exactly why we need national health care. Only in America would this kind of impediment hinder free speech like it does.
The culture of entitlement. Coming to a legislature near you in 2008.
 
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This is exactly why we need national health care. Only in America would this kind of impediment hinder free speech like it does.
Because in most other places, the impediment to free speech is prison or death.

Two questions...

1 - What is this woman on?

2 - Where can I get some?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
The "I’m entitled because I chose to do this" nonsense. I can’t help it, it irks me.
I wholeheartedly agree with the fact that an entitlement psychology is bad and irksome. But if she’s out doing something, I think she’s showing a kind of entrepreneurial spirit. If her argument to the Democrats is "we’re doing something to aid your cause, it is in your interest to help us," that’s different than "I’m entitled because I choose to do this."

Still, a fundamental problem in this country is that people often fail to face the fact that they are personally responsible for their own lives. That doesn’t mean one can’t work to promote social justice or solve community problems. But if one gives in to an entitlement-based psychology one hurts ones’ own self-esteem and capacity to be truly happy and free. Given that this blogger has gone and worked to create a non-profit, I don’t think she’s fallen into that trap. Nor do I think this is a "right-left" split. I think an unwillingness to accept personal responsibility for ones’ own life is a problem in American culture that cuts across right-left lines.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I went to the welfare office today to pick up my government cheese. I’m an entrepreneur! In fact, the only other profession that has more entrepreneurial spirit is a professorship at a podunk collage. They have an unusual way to make money by stringing random words together in a bunch of nonsense. Dog chocolate fire hydrant. Let’s not judge, lest you leave your muffin in the carwash. Revolution is good bug transformer. Me smart. Pay me now with tax dollars.
 
Written By: MrErbMcDumb
URL: http://
??? So being an educator is not a valid profession? Or does anyone who gets paid with tax dollars (educator, police officer, soldier, etc.) simply get dismissed? In any event, the point stands: one has to accept personal responsibility for ones’ choices in life. Do you deny that?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Education is broom dust grilled on hot cheese philosophy of post-colonialist memes in transit, as Nebraska is to Nazi Germany circa 1000 BC. Tax paid rodeos are wise if you factor in droids. Is that so strange? Am I smelly?
 
Written By: Leftist
URL: http://
Everyone is entitled to get a job and carry their own weight.

If you can encourage someone to voluntarily give you their own money, you’re an entrepreneur.

If you get the government to force me to give you money, dead weight is the politest term I have for you.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Still, a fundamental problem in this country is that people often fail to face the fact that they are personally responsible for their own lives.
And which side of the political ideology is most trying to change society to do away with personal responsibility?

And which candidates have expressed a desire to make life a government mandated shared responsibility?
"In fact, the single biggest thing you could do is set up a program that would give free laptops to bloggers, because so many of us live hand to mouth and when our computers go, we’re silenced.”
What they can’t go to the library like many people do and blog from there? Or while their getting their lattes at an internet cafe??

Conservatives are liberals who’ve been mugged by reality...

Libertarians are conservatives who’ve been mugged by the government...

From what I’ve seen, and what my wife has experienced at her workplace, those entering the workforce now-a-days seem to have an over abundance of entitlement graving. As if, because they’ve gotten a college degree, they are owed a high paying job, like some chrome plated plastic trophy they got playing soccer. Not for winning, but just for showing up.

Maybe ScottE could comment on if he sees this viewpoint in his students.
 
Written By: keith_indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
A couple of points;

I have remarked on a couple of occasions in the past about the apparent lack of charity between the lefty bloggers. I think the prime example of that, is Susie Madrak herself. She claims Capozzolaas a friend. So the question comes, where she and her friend so destitute as to not be able to force a needed funds Capozzola’s way?

The funny part is, she seems to be looking for an external factor here, without looking at the internal factors first. I’d ask , as a starter, just what did Capozzola die from? Was it lifestyle choices that drove that death? If so, it seems out of bounds to be blaming "the establishment".

Finally, her call for lefty bloggers to be supported by "the establishment" would seem to be counterproductive, in that the reason they became so popular in the first place was there disconnection from "the establishment". It strikes me as possible that what she’s giving voice to here is a long held secret wish to be considered part of the establishment.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
"....

Written By: Leftist"

Wow. The first Leftist I have agreed with in quite a while. Perhaps because it is expressed so clearly, as opposed to the usual left-wing argle bargle epitomized by Prof. Irwin Corey.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Maybe ScottE could comment on if he sees this viewpoint in his students.
Sees?

Do you think for one moment he doesn’t instill that viewpoint into his students?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I should get back to grading (gotta take responsibility for my choice to teach in the summer), but I’ll comment.

Many (but certainly not all!) students are coming to college with an already cultivated sense of entitlement. I see that less in material concerns (Mainers are pretty pragmatic on material issues) and more in the education experience itself. The so-called helocopter parents have often protected their child from failure, which of course hinders the ability to develop both a strong sense of responsibility and self-esteem. I’ve had a student get mad because I forced her to do a presentation in class (everyone had to). Turns out that in high school her parents convinced the teachers that she had anxiety attacks and she got the option of doing extra writing instead. Nope. Not in my class! She turned out to be a good speaker too, though it took a couple years. In fact, perhaps the biggest change in the time I’ve been teaching (nearing 20 years) is that students really want a clear path to an A. What exactly do I have to do, how many pages, how many sources, what am I looking for. Many want a formula — a checklist of what they need to do to get a good grade. I’ve decided that they are afraid of failure; high school is now designed to be so stress-free that it’s actually made some students unable to handle stress. I’ve taken to designing assignments without that clear path, with no specified number of pages, and a variety of possible directions.

There also seems to be a sense that they are entitled to entertainment, and education should be in soundbite form (Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham jail, for instance is "too long." "He could have gotten his point across in one or two pages.") High schools provide textbooks laid out with what they need to know. It takes awhile to get them used to the idea of reading something not designed as a textbook. There also is an increasing dislike of any criticism, especially if made publicly (I publicly critique, in a respectful manner, presentations so everyone can learn from the mistakes of others. Some people really think that’s nasty of me, or that I should give "equal criticism to everybody.")

I think that fits in, though, with this responsibility issue. High schools and parents increasingly want to shield kids from failure and criticism, giving them stress free approaches to tasks. That doesn’t even make sense for my four year old, let along a high school kid.

The good news is that is actually changing as students are becoming more cynical about the way they’ve been treated in school, especially now that they claim they’re just being taught to pass standardized tests. Many feel liberated by being able to do things their own way, and knowing that diversity of opinion is respected. Back in 2003 some high school kids sat in on one of my American foreign policy classes where we had a vigorous (but respectful) debate about attacking Iraq — the class was split about 50-50 on the issue. The high schoolers were wide eyed at seeing an actual open discussion free flowing discussion where students would be more than willing to disagree with the teacher. There is a healthy rebelliousness, but it gets challened in a positive way. Rather than protests and angry anti- or pro-war demonstrations, they become active in ways that actually do something constructive. Some of my colleagues from the 60s are upset that there isn’t more student radicalism about Iraq (though even most Republican students have turned against the war). But whether its the environment, Iraq or other issues they actually go out and do something positive, and seem less prone than previous generations to follow the politics of anger.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Do something "positive" and mooch. Just like you. Just like you teach them. You sir, are a wonderful human being.
 
Written By: Erbscum
URL: http://
Thanks Scott, that actually fits with what we’re seeing.
 
Written By: keith_indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I am tired of reading the baseless and juvenile attacks on Scott Erb (and yes, I realize it’s my choice to read them or not). If you don’t have a constructive disagreement you should consider saying nothing at all as you simply appear foolish.

I’ve certainly disagreed with Scott, but I also think he’s had many interesting and instructive comments. Comments in this blog are generally interesting, thoughtful, and enjoyable to read, but it has been less so lately, in large part due to the moronic ad hominiem attacks. If your emotional command isn’t higher than that of a teenager, you should find another blog.



 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Talk about synchronicity...
Don Chance, a finance professor at Louisiana State University, says it dawned on him last spring. The semester was ending, and as usual, students were making a pilgrimage to his office, asking for the extra points needed to lift their grades to A’s.

“They felt so entitled,” he recalls, “and it just hit me. We can blame Mr. Rogers.”

Fred Rogers, the late TV icon, told several generations of children that they were “special” just for being whoever they were. He meant well, and he was a sterling role model in many ways. But what often got lost in his self-esteem-building patter was the idea that being special comes from working hard and having high expectations for yourself

...

Signs of narcissism among college students have been rising for 25 years, according to a recent study led by a San Diego State University psychologist. Obviously, Mr. Rogers alone can’t be blamed for this. But as Prof. Chance sees it, "he’s representative of a culture of excessive doting."

Personally, some people are sounding a lot like she who will not be named, when talking about who is, or is not an authentic libertarian or defending a certain sock-puppet blogger and AUTHOR.
 
Written By: keith_indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Ironically, there may be a class issue involved here. I teach at a place where 80% of the students work while studying and most are from middle or working class backgrounds. I have friends who teach at a nearby expensive private college, and their students are almost all upper class high SAT students. And, believe me, I’d rather have my students than theirs. They report that students treat professors more like servants, and have the attitude that they are paying a lot for their education and they should be catered to. Students actually working to put themselves through college are looking to get something to better themselves, and they more often than not really want to improve. I still see the trends, but the pampered wealthy are probably suffering from doting parents more than the working class. I can understand why — having two young children I know it’s really tempting to want to give them everyone one can. But ultimately that does more harm than good.

While I criticized high schools awhile ago, I think high school teachers are also suffering from parents who want to intervene every time their kid has a problem. It’s not just that the kid thinks he or she is special, but the parents are so convinced that their kid is special that they expect others to bend over backwards for them. Real self-esteem comes from overcoming obstacles and building self-confidence; you have to have a chance to fail in order to do that. When parents call me, I can just say ’sorry, FERPA regulations prevent me from being able to discuss a student’s performance in any way.’ Their retort (and luckily this is very rare) is often "I’m paying for this," or "what if the student signs a release that you can talk to me?" I still refuse, though I’ll listen if they want to give me information that might be helpful (and sometimes it really is).

We have had parents following kids around the first week of school, getting hotel rooms nearby for the week, and students have complained that their parents call their cell phones three or four times a day to check up on them. That also creates a lot of dependency on students for their parents. And again, I think students where I teach are better than most, I really prefer to be at a non-prestigious rural school for that reason (though a couple years ago we were on Kiplinger’s list of ’best higher ed values’)!

BTW, I don’t believe in extra credit. If they can’t handle the usual credit, why get extra?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I have friends who teach at a nearby expensive private college, and their students are almost all upper class high SAT students. And, believe me, I’d rather have my students than theirs. They report that students treat professors more like servants, and have the attitude that they are paying a lot for their education and they should be catered to. Students actually working to put themselves through college are looking to get something to better themselves, and they more often than not really want to improve.
Heh, I bet you could get a government grant to study that.
 
Written By: keith_indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I have friends who teach at a nearby expensive private college, and their students are almost all upper class high SAT students. And, believe me, I’d rather have my students than theirs.
I dunno Scott - I dated a couple of them Colby girls and they were down right pleasant!
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Ah, but did you "complete the transaction"?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Wasn’t the initial question framed in terms of a representative of the democratic party asking left bloggers what they would want? If Suburban Guerilla’s request for support from the Democrats was unsolicited, then it would most definitely be a gratuitous demand for entitlement, but that doesn’t quite fit the bill here. If someone from the Republican or Libertarian party came to me and said, "hey, what can we do for bloggers?" I might also suggest some charity towards bloggers in need who the party believe make a meaningful contribution towards the causes the party advocates.
A small handful of top bloggers gets some help: Fellowships, stipends, consulting gigs. The rest of us? Bubkis.
In fact, she isn’t even saying that the Democratic Party doesn’t give support, just that it doesn’t spread the support around to as many people as she would like, or more specifically to those in need. So the blogging budget needs to be applied in a more "progressive" manner? Sounds internally consistent with what I can gather about Suburban Guerilla’s point of view.
 
Written By: nmj3e
URL: http://
"If your emotional command isn’t higher than that of a teenager, you should find another blog."

Does that apply to McQ, also?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I think his point, Scott, was not that educator is not a "valid profession", but that it’s not in the slightest bit entrepreneurial.

(Though on the other hand, he wasn’t really very well-spoken, and his choice of name was a cheap insult.)

(Entrepreneur, N. "a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk."

Educators do useful and real work, but they aren’t organizing or managing an enterprise, let alone, as professors, with considerable initiative or risk. Tenure, in fact, is the opposite of risk and thus of entrepreneurship.)

She might be showing an activist or can-do spirit, but it’s not entrepreneurial; calling on someone else to provide for you so you won’t be taking a risk (ie, to support you when the effort won’t pay for itself) simply isn’t entrepreneurism.

(Also, the "government cheese" crack was an un-called-for cheap shot, since you weren’t advocating a government handout. Last I checked, at least, the Democratic Party wasn’t an arm of the State and their notional support of individual bloggers just isn’t "welfare".)
 
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
In fact, she isn’t even saying that the Democratic Party doesn’t give support, just that it doesn’t spread the support around to as many people as she would like, or more specifically to those in need.
Or, put another way "They don’t give me free stuff, so I’m upset..."
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"If you don’t have a constructive disagreement...
I would like to take issue with Grimshaw. Yes, I would defend his (Grimshaw’s) right to say anything, etc. However, the gist of his suggestion is that elite Liberal rules of discussion; i.e., limiting discussion to those who wish to take the time to prepare the equivalent of a scholarly treatise* in the manner taught to those with a liberal arts education, are inappropriate to an internet magazine like QandO.

Rude hooting and vulgar ridicule are sometimes an appropriate response (see British House of Commons debate). Yes, erudite pot-shotting is good too, but it is not the only appropriate and effective method for responding to material that is deemed unacceptable.

Grimshaw does not so much complain of the grossness of the particular complaint, but suggests a general elite liberal censorship. Not appropriate at all for QandO IMHO.

*As in "I say, old chap, if you cannot speak with the proper upper class dialect and phrase your comments in the manner taught to the this priveleged class in its private institutions, well, you really should not be allowed to speak at all."

 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
The funny part is, she seems to be looking for an external factor here, without looking at the internal factors first. I’d ask , as a starter, just what did Capozzola die from? Was it lifestyle choices that drove that death? If so, it seems out of bounds to be blaming "the establishment".
Found this:

http://susiemadrak.com/2007/07/02/19/38/the-best-healthcare-in-the-world-2/


He has several chronic diseases, and because he’s been under- or unemployed, he’s been without health insurance for the better part of six years. He finally got some this spring, after working nine months at a temp job that finally turned permanent.

For him, it was too late.

Turns out what he thought was a prolonged case of the flu over the holidays was actually a systemic infection, and by the time he could finally see a doctor, it was pretty serious. He was in the hospital off and on for months. He was released not too long ago, but the day he was getting ready to go back to work, he fell and hit his head, causing a massive brain hemorrhage.

Turns out the drug they were using to treat the infection prevents his blood from clotting. They can’t operate on his brain, though, because they can’t stop the bleeding.

When I left the hospital, his family was waiting for another brother to arrive so they could take him off life support.
I think its a real stretch to try to suggest that "nationalized health care" would’ve had any other effect on Capozzola’s death.
 
Written By: h0mi
URL: http://
I tend to agree.
Let’s see, Kids... what syndrome would be consistent with what’s being described, here? Show of hands?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Notherbob, you did not hit the nail on the head. I’m referring to comments which are pure insult, irrelevant and childish. For example, signing one’s post "Erbscum" fits the bill. If you think that’s an appropriate response, I really have nothing else to say as I’d consider you unreasonable and unreachable. By the way, I am not suggesting some sort of elite Liberal rules of engagement. That’s very funny, actually. It’s the last thing I’d suggest. I’m nowhere close to being an American Liberal.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://

 
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