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Tag Archives: people
A couple months ago, aGallup pollrecorded a small uptick in the percentage of Americans who identify as liberal to 23 percent, or what Gallup, eliding the margin of error in the poll, called a new high. My Post colleague Chris Cillizzawonderedif liberal was no longer a dirty word.
We will see. After all, there were far more conservatives in that Gallup poll, which, for some, means were still a center-right nation. But whether people call themselves conservative isnt necessarily that telling in the first place. A recent book by two political scientists shows that liberal may be a dirty word, but liberalism is alive and well even among people who call themselves conservative.
In Ideology in America, Christopher Ellis and James Stimson describe a striking disjuncture. When identifying themselves in a word, Americans choose conservative far more than liberal. In fact they have done so for 70 years, and increasingly so since the early 1960s.
But when it comes to saying what the government should actually do, the public appears more liberal than conservative. Ellis and Stimson gathered 7,000 survey questions dating back to 1956 that asked some variant of whether the government should do more, less, or the same in lots of different policy areas. On average, liberal responses were more common than conservative responses. This has been true in nearly every year since 1956, even as the relative liberalism of the public has trended up and down. For decades now there has been a consistent discrepancy between what Ellis and Stimson call symbolic ideology (how we label ourselves) and operational ideology (what we really think about the size of government).
Looked at this way, almost 30 percent of Americans are consistent liberals people who call themselves liberals and have liberal politics. Only 15 percent are consistent conservatives people who call themselves conservative and have conservative politics. Nearly 30 percent are people who identify as conservative but actually express liberal views. The United States appears to be a center-right nation in name only.
This raises the question: why are so many people identifying as conservative while simultaneously preferring more government? For some conservatives, it is because they associate the label with religion, culture or lifestyle. In essence, when they identify as conservative, they are thinking about conservatism in terms of family structure, raising children, or interpreting the Bible. Conservatism is about their personal lives, not their politics.
But other self-identified conservatives, though, are conservative in terms of neither religion and culture nor the size of government. These are the truly conflicted conservatives, say Ellis and Stimson, who locate their origins in a different factor: how conservatives and liberals have traditionally talked about politics. Conservatives, they argue, talk about politics in terms of symbols and the general value of conservatism and news coverage, they find, usually frames the label conservative in positive terms. Liberals talk about policy in terms of the goals it will serve a cleaner environment, a stronger safety net, and so on which are also good things for many people. As a result, some people internalize both messages and end up calling themselves conservative but having liberal views on policy.
Ideology has two faces: the labels people choose and the actual content of their beliefs. For liberals, these are mostly aligned. For conservatives, they are not. American conservatism means different things to different people. For many, what it doesnt mean is less government.
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Poll: Portlanders more likely to be renters, young, well-educated Leaning to the left: Second of three parts
Portland hasnt always been as liberal as it is now. The 2013 Oregon Values & Beliefs Project survey shows it is far more liberal than the rest of the metro area and the rest of the state. A full 43 percent of Portlanders describe themselves as very liberal on social issues, compared with just 11 percent of the rest of the region and 13 percent of the rest of the state.
But it wasnt always that way. For most of its 153 years, Portland politics were dominated by conservative businessmen, and the City Council carried out the wishes of the Chamber of Commerce. It wasnt until a young legal aid lawyer named Neil Goldschmidt was elected to the council in 1970 that the tide began to change. His election as the youngest mayor of any major American city two years later signaled the growing number of liberals in Portland.
After Goldschmidt resigned as mayor to became U.S. Secretary of Transportation in 1979, however, voters replaced him with a conservative Democrat, Commissioner Frank Ivancie. Although Ivancie was replaced by liberal small-businessman Bud Clark four years later, the council still had at least one genuine conservative as late as 1990, Portland police Officer Bob Koch.
Ever since then, however, no member of the council could be considered conservative. Few conservatives have even bothered to run for it. The three major candidates for mayor in 2008 Charlie Hales, Jefferson Smith and Eileen Brady shared so many liberal positions that political reporters had trouble finding any significant policy differences among them. In fact, after Hales and Smith made it into the general election, the hottest issue was how little each candidate was voluntarily accepting in campaign contributions until Smith self-destructed in a wave of stories about his personal behavior.
So why is Portland now so liberal? Some clues can be gleaned from the demographics in the poll. Among other things, they show city residents are younger, better educated, less religious, newer to the state, and less likely to own their own homes than those in the rest of the region or state.
According to the poll, more people between the ages of 25 and 44 live in Portland. The greatest difference is in the 25 to 34 range, which accounts for 26 percent of Portlanders compared with 20 percent of the region and 16 percent of the state. But the spread in the 35 to 44 range is almost as great. It accounts for 21 percent of Portlanders compared with 16 percent of the region and 14 percent of the state.
After 55 years of age, the numbers are pretty much the same in all three areas.
People in Portland have gone to school longer than those in the rest of the region or state. Only 7 percent of Portlanders have not progressed beyond high school, compared with 13 percent of the region and 16 percent of the state. A full 30 percent of Portlanders have post-graduate degrees compared with 15 percent in the region and 13 in the state.
Portlanders also are less religious. A full 57 percent say they are not religious, compared with 37 percent of the rest of the region and 36 percent of the rest of the state. Given a choice of major and alternative religions, 39 percent of city residents claimed no religion.
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No one should be surprised that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to occupy key strategic assets within the Crimea.
Crisis in Ukraine
Monday, March 03, 2014
GAZA CITY Palestinian resistance movement Hamas plans to step up its demands for an end to the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel, a senior Hamas official said.
“Escalation in this regard aims to put pressure on those that contribute to the blockade to lift it,” Hamas spokesman in Khan Younis Hamad al-Regeb said.
He added that Hamas had a list of protest activities in which Gaza residents most affected by the blockade planned to participate.
Al-Regeb said activities would be held outside embassies and consulates so that the Gaza people’s message might clearly reach the outside world.
“Our patience has run out with this blockade,” al-Regeb told Anadolu Agency.
Israel imposed its stifling blockade on the coastal strip in 2006 following Palestinian legislative elections in which Hamas won a majority of seats.
The blockade has deeply impacted the lives of Gaza’s almost two million inhabitants, with essential goods including fuel, medical supplies and building materials becoming increasing scarce.
The ordeal faced by the people of Gaza was made even worse some eight months ago when the Egyptian government began destroying the network of smuggling tunnels linking Gaza to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
A Palestinian official on Sunday said that around 40 percent of Gaza’s needs used to come through the tunnels, which are now being actively destroyed by the Egyptian army.
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The Scarlet Alliance, a lobby group for the sex industry, today rejected claims by State Liberal MP Peter Abetz that sex workers were victims of exploitation.
Perth-based alliance spokesperson Rebecca Davies said it was wrong for Mr Abetz to assume all sex workers were victims, based on his limited experience as a counsellor.
Of course, people going to Lindas House of Hope have got problems, but you cant assume everyone in the profession is the same, she said.
Peters views are, I think, influenced by his religious background – he views all sex workers as victims of exploitation.
He doesnt accept anything that doesnt fit the victim narrative.
He has travelled all over the world, but I find it interesting he apparently has not made it to Northbridge to talk to the people from Magenta, who have more contact with sex workers in WA than almost any organisation.
This whole debate has nothing to do with whether sex workers enjoy their work, but everything to do with labour rights and human rights.
Janitors may not enjoy what they do, but that doesnt mean we criminalise their industry.
Ms Davies said a lot of problems Mr Abetz focused on were social issues, not peculiar to the sex industry.
She said the way to deal with these was not sex industry legislation but harm-reduction strategies.
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Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 5, 2011, 5:14 p.m
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When Greg Abbott was paralyzed by a fallen tree in 1984, Mark Phariss flew 500 miles to his friend’s bedside. They were law school pals who swapped stories over dinner, job leads and airport rides, and they still exchange Christmas cards today.
Their friendship is now at an extraordinary junction: Phariss, who is gay, filed the Texas lawsuit that a federal judge used this week to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, which Abbott, Texas’ attorney general, has vowed to defend all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Both chalk it up as a remarkable coincidence. Abbott, a Republican who is running for Texas governor, said Friday he still considers Phariss a friend, even though they’ve lost touch in the past decade.
Phariss, who never told Abbott he was gay, echoed the sentiment even as Abbott works to uphold what Phariss considers to be discrimination.
“If I was only friends with the people I agreed with, particularly in Texas, I wouldn’t have many friends,” Phariss told The Associated Press.
Texas joined Oklahoma and Utah as the latest deeply conservative states that want to take its newly quashed gay marriage bans to the Supreme Court. A federal judge in San Antonio ruled Wednesday that Texas had no “rational” reason to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, but declined to enforce his decision pending Abbott’s appeal.
Whatever the outcome, the history between Abbott and Phariss adds an intriguing backdrop to one of the most divisive social issues in the U.S.
Abbott made clear at a campaign stop Friday he doesn’t approve of Phariss’ quest to wed his longtime partner. He also expressed no sympathy at the thought of refusing his old friend the right to marry his partner of 16 years, Victor Holmes, an Air Force veteran.
“When the constitution is upheld, we’re all winners,” Abbott said.
Abbott said Friday he only realized Phariss was gay when his name appeared on the lawsuit, and said Phariss’ sexuality doesn’t change his opinion of him.
Theres a good chance that when they announce the winner in the Best Documentary Feature category at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, it will be the Egyptian film The Square.
Its one of my favorite movies this year. Throughout the film, which follows the uprisings in Tahrir Square since the onset of the Arab Spring in 2011, its as if youre right there, on the streets, living and sweating with the demonstrators, feeling their pain, their joy, their frustrations, their exhilaration and, ultimately, their uncertainty about the future.
With documentaries, theres always a risk that real people who cant act will be dull that filming a real drama in real time with real people can never be as dramatic as having a genius like Steven Spielberg orchestrate the whole production with star actors. And yet, the film pulls it off. The real people in The Square are as believable as Jack Nicholson or Meryl Streep on a good day.
What these people crave, above all, is human dignity. Tahrir Square is the source of their power, the place where they can gather in huge numbers, sing songs, drink coffee at midnight, fight the police and scream for what we in America often take for granted: freedom and opportunity.
But the real drama of the Egyptian story is that these revolutionaries only causes are to take things down. Theres nothing good to cheer for. There are only bad people to rebel against.
The people scream to take down the dictator Hosni Mubarak, and after he goes down, millions erupt in a frenzy of joy. A year and a half later, they scream to take down his successor, Mohamed Morsi who turns out to be even worse than Mubarak and after he goes down, millions erupt again in a frenzy of joy.
And so it goes.
The tragedy in the film is when people realize the limits of their power. There is absolute clarity in what the people dont want oppression and poverty but very little clarity about how the country can get to a better place.
Thats why The Square might be the very best hasbara film ever made for Israel.
As I watched the Arabs of Egypt scream for their rights, I couldnt help thinking that they were screaming for precisely what the Arabs in Israel already have.
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Palestinian Man Reaches 125th Birthday; Despite Poverty, Displacement And Violence, Arabs In Gaza, West Bank Have Long …
Al Toum explained to Al Arabiya News, a Saudi-owned publication, that he consumes olive oil and thyme, a medicinal herb, every morning for breakfast and rabbit meat for lunch every day. He also said that ghee a kind of clarified butter that is typically associated with India forms an important part of his daily diet.Emirates 24/7 News reported that Al Toum believes he may actually be the oldest person on earth and would like to be so recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Over the span of his immense life, Al Toum has observed a bewildering array of historical events and foreign powers come and go from Ottoman Turks (for whom he fought during World War I as a young man) to the British to the Egyptians to the Israelis and now, Hamas, the fundamentalist Islamic militant group that governs his native Gaza.Al Arabiya reported last year that Al Toum reminisced about how during his youth he could travel around the Middle East (between Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and even as far away as Libya) without carrying any passports or identity papers.He also evinced a melancholy longing for what he claimed was a peaceful past under the Ottoman Turks.Under the Ottomans, everything was free, he told Al Arabiya. We used to work in agriculture and grow berries, peaches, grapes, sell and eat [them].
Al Bawaba noted that Al Toum returned toGaza following the Ottomans defeat in the First World War and had four sons and five daughters. His extended family now numbers some 370 people. I have 300 grandchildren and I cannot remember all their names, he bragged to Al Arabiya news.Emirates News noted that at some point during his early manhood Al Toum also worked in the Mediterranean port of Haifa and in the Negev desert town of Beersheba (now both in the modern state of Israel) before settling down in Gaza as a farmer.
Under British mandate rule (which governed what is essentially now Israel and parts of contemporary Lebanon and Syria from 1922 to 1948), Al Toum said he was involved in the insurgency. I was with them [the Palestinian revolutionaries] and I had a gun; I knew how to carry it and shoot, he told Al Arabiya. We used to go at night and destroy bridges used by [British] occupiers.In 1948, when Al Toum was almost 60 years old, he witnessed the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of his fellow Palestinians from their homes by military forces of the brand-new state of Israel. (He quipped that many Arabs kept their house keys thinking their displacement would only be temporary.)
The Turkish Anatolian news agency noted that Al Toum, a devout Muslim, now spends his days reading the Holy Quran and watching news on television, adding that a seemingly endless stream of reports of violence and killings in Arab countries distress him greatly.Al Toum also had some simple advice for his huge family and for Palestinians as a whole. Protect your land, the way you protect your wife and children, and work in agriculture as this will encourage you to preserve your land and defend it, he told Al Arabiya.
While Al Toum may represent an extreme case, life expectancies across the Arab world, including for the Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank, are quite high by Western standards.Al Bawaba reported that the Middle Eastern climate, food and the tendency to rise early (for prayers) lend themselves to promoting good health and long life, despite rising rates of obesity, high rates of smoking and stress arising from periodic violence.
With respect to the Palestinians specifically, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) reported that Palestine has witnessed improvements in life expectancy over the past two decades. Indeed, expectancy has increased about five to seven years over the past two decades, PCBS noted — from 67 years in 1992 to 71.5 formales in 2013; and from 67 to 74.4 for women over that same span.By 2015, Palestinian life expectancy is expected to reach 72 for males and 75 for females.These figures are slightly below the corresponding rates for regional peoples. According to the CIA World/Factbook, the average life expectancy in Israel is 81.2 years, while for neighboring Arab countries, the figures are 80.3 in Jordan (a nation with a Palestinian majority population); 78.2 in Qatar; 77.5 in Kuwait; 75.5 in Lebanon, 75.1 in Syria; and 74.6 in Saudi Arabia.
Despite these Western-quality longevity figures, elderly Palestinians are beset with problems. Among other things, PCBS noted that more than half (54.8 percent) of elderly Palestinians have not completed any education the figure for old women was as high as 71.1 percent as of 2012. Moreover, more than one-third (37.7 percent) of all Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank are illiterate.Also, data from the Palestinian Family Survey for 2010 revealed that 70.7 percent of the elderly (those aged 60 and over) are infected with at least one chronic disease.
A shockingly large portion of elderly Palestinians smoke including 30.9 percent of males. In addition, more than one-fifth of the elderly lived below the poverty line in 2011 (with poverty rates in Gaza roughly double of those found in the West Bank).
At any rate, Al Toum has already lived 50 years beyond current expectancy rates for his people, and perhaps as much as 70 years beyond what might have been expected when he was born.