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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Monday, December 19, 2005

WSJ Blues:
   A Lesson in Geography (and Rhetoric) 101

James Taranto, offering his Best of the Web in the WSJ's OpinionJournal, suffered from myopic adolescent shenanigans last Wednesday.

Out of Africa
From a Baltimore Sun article on Anthony Brown, who is running for Maryland's lieutenant governor on a ticket with Martin O'Malley:

He chose a partner who reflects some of the diversity of Maryland. Brown is the product of the marriage between a Cuban father raised in Jamaica and a Swiss mother.

"It does not hurt that he is an African-American," [Rep. Elijah] Cummings said. "African-Americans in the Democratic Party want to see somebody on that level representing them, coming from that community."

OK, here's a trivia question. Which of the following countries is in Africa?

a. Cuba
b. Jamaica
c. Switzerland

Actually, as far as we know, the answer is d. none of the above.

Actually, Mr Taranto, what's your point? Cuba is not a homogenous population. Many Cubans have an African heritage for exactly the same reason as nearly all African-Americans do. Or are you raising the possibility of "grandfathering" in Jim Crow credentials for politicians? What should that threshold be? 1/8? 1/16? 1/32?

By reinforcing the negative stereotype of money equals racism, it is little wonder the WSJ has such a tough time appealing to a broader base of readership.


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