Saturday, December 19, 2009

Knee-jerk Positive Thinking Is A Mental Disorder



In her new book "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America", social critic Barbara Ehrenreich lays out how an epidemic of postive American thinking from the Iraq War to the build up to the recent financial collapse has led to misery and brought us nearly to the brink of economic collapse.

Ehrenreich recently noted that, "two weeks ago, I was in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at a meeting where people who were about to be laid off told their stories. A woman next to me said that when her unemployment insurance runs out, she'll live in her car. Then, another woman said, 'Well, we have to remember to be positive, and that means don't watch the news, don't read the newspaper, just concentrate.'"

There is no shortage of postive thinking delusion when it comes to the law school scam. The Wall Street Journal for example did a front page story not long ago questioning the integrity of the post graduate career statistics at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. When it comes to delusion, facts and statistics apparently don't matter. Just last week the ass clown career center dean of the law school (Graham Sherr) gave a presentation to the unsuspecting 1L's in which he stated, "there are more jobs than there are of you, but you have to shun bitterness; bitterness is ugly." He then proceeded to demonstrate how positive delusional thinking would somehow reach out and magically bend the supply curve in the legal marketplace. Apparently, it worked because several minutes later the same fraudulent, puffed up career stat numbers that were criticized in the WSJ piece magically appeared on the overhead screen.

155 comments:

The Yuppie Attorney said...

"...the power of positive think can change a demand curve..." OH MY GOD!! If that is not a red flag that someone is talking out his ass, then I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

Barbara Ehrenreich is a white, middle aged, PhD (hard science), and female, not Indian.

Anonymous said...

but she eats a lot of indian food

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is under 25 in this country should move to Norway or commit suicide.

Liz said...

Yay for someone finally getting it!

And to address the above comment, can we move to Norway? Not that I would ever ditch my ridiculous loan payments or anything like that....

JD Underdog said...

Great thoughts, Tom. The positive thinking movement fuels the law school scam.

Mike said...

This is the same "think positive and everything will work out"/"if you fail it's because you weren't positive eneough" baloney peddled by Susan Cartier Liebel and other solo hucksters and charlatans.

Anonymous said...

I love that book "Bright Sided"

I agree with its thesis.

However, as the risk of contradicting myself, I just want to point out for those who are interested that unemployment deadlines have been extended through February. I know that was a concern for some. Please, no attitude. Just letting you know.

Anonymous said...

5:11 - Susan is worse. Think positive now pay me money is more like her mantra.

Anonymous said...

"...there are more jobs than there are of you..."

Really? On what planet is this true, you fucking truthless shyster?!

The Bizarro World?

Stupid Sexy Flanders said...

I think the main problem is this dichotomy:

1. Pessimism is a survival trait
2. Optimism is a success trait

Pessimism allows people to survive. Scientific studies have shown that pessimistic people are more alert to dangers and take appropriate evasive maneuvers. However, pessimistic people never become huge successes. They survive, but remain mediocre at best. If you never take chances in life, you can't have those chances pay off.

Optimism allows people ignore to dangers, and go full steam ahead. Sometimes it works out, oftentimes it does not.

So, basically, it goes something like this:

Pessimism if necessary for survival. Optimism is necessary, but not sufficient for great success, but can also lead to peril.

Anonymous said...

Success is overrated.

Life is overrated.

Anonymous said...

Stupid Sexy Flanders who are you? By far the most intelligent comments on this site. Do you have a blog?

Anonymous said...

609

Having studied the issue, I know your comment is untrue. Most of the most successful people were successful because they overcompensated due to fears they would not succeed. It was not because they had an over inflated sense that they were great. The problem here is you miss a third possibility: realism. Many of the most successful people pursued their ambition with realism rather than optimism. The problem with most Americans is not that we should become pessimist. The book's thesis is that we are no longer realists.

Stupid Sexy Flanders said...

Haha.

Comment #13, you are too kind. I try my best to write up decent and fair comments. I'm just an average joe, I'm sure many of my thoughts aren't that great.

I tend to be a "middle of the road" person. While I'm disappointed that law school didn't work out well for me, I don't have as much animosity as many of the blog writers out there. (though, I'm relatively young) I don't really have a blog, but thanks for the compliment. I attempted it once but I'm not a great writer.

As for my identity, I go by a myriad of names on different sites. I think I mostly go by Coder Emeritus (weak name, i know). I've posted a couple of times on JDU. I also posted a couple of times on Philly Black sheep and had a bit of an intense argument back in late summer/early fall with someone who identified himself as "Big Law Guy." It was a bit crazy. I actually have at least a dozen or so friends who made it as big law associates, so I don't have an automatic hatred for big law, just the way the often treat temps. I'm also sometimes Drake Mallard on one of the smaller sites.

Anyway, I've read that the Senate extended unemployment benefits into February. Good luck to all those unemployed.

And everyone, have a wonderful winter holiday and a superfun New Year's!! :)

Anonymous said...

Loyola 2L, you lived in vain!

Nando said...

Most pre-law lemmings suffer from said mental disorder. They all believe that *they* will be the exception and make law review, develop great contacts, wow their professors and legal practitioners with their "skills," land a federal clerkship, land in Biglaw, easily pay off their "investment," make their family proud, etc.

thirdtierreality.blogspot.com

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Anonymous said...

Where is Dave Moss?

Fan of Trailer Tom said...

No, you cannot move to Norway (on a US passport). You can get a 3-month visitor visa and get one 3-month exension.

Unlike Norway, the US is a winner-take-all society. As Alec Baldwin says in "Glengarry Glen Ross," : "First prize is a cadillac, second prize is a set of steak knives, and third prize is you get fired." On top of being winner-take-all, the media and popular discourse focus exclusively on the few winners and brush the many losers unobtrusively under the rug. So people -- especially the young -- have no conception of the statistical unlikelihood of striking it big. Yet another problem is the self-help industry, populated by rogues and charlatans like Norman Vincent Peale (whom Ehrenreich discusses). Go to the self-help section of any nearby Barnes and Noble and it will be populated with titles like "The Power of Positive Thinking," "The Magic of Thinking Big," and other such baloney.

I'm grateful I have an EU passport. And my only guru is Trailer Tom, who is still behind bars and is being exploited there by unsavory sexual predators.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Children are conditioned to believe that they can be anything, and that any retard can go to college/law school, and every deadbeat own a home. Another reason why kids are so out of control today. Every parent thinks their kid is special and the next big thing, hence the reason we have so many monsters running around.

Anonymous said...

FedEx and UPS, the world's two largest package delivery companies, hire thousands of extra workers every holiday season, usually college students and 20-somethings. This year, the unemployment rate is at 10 percent and many experienced professionals are looking for work. A lot more people came to job fairs wearing a coat and tie, said UPS spokesman Norman Black.

Rolf Wick applied online with UPS after being laid off from an IT management position. The 42-year-old, who lives in San Francisco, was managing a staff of consultants and administrators. Now he's a driver's helper, tracking the status of packages and running from house to house making deliveries.

Gullo earns about $13 an hour with FedEx, far less than the $36 an hour he makes on average as a free-lancer in the news business. He said he felt out of his element at the start of training, where he made minimum wage for a week driving a small rental truck "around a lot of cones." That's some difference from last holiday season, when Gullo was writing for popular programs such as "World News Now" and "Good Morning America."

Fan of Trailer Tom said...

"Positive thinking" is just part of a ruling-class ruse to deceive people into thinking that their success or failure is dependent on their indvidual attitude -- and thus not to focus on systemic causes. Looked at systemically, the US now has less social mobility than supposedly ossified Europe. Buy hey -- you could be the next Bill Gates! Can't afford an education? Finance it! The world is your oyster! Can't get a job and up to your back teeth in loans for a third-rate academic credential? Why, you've got to be even more manically upbeat and positive than before.

Anywhere else in the world this kind of manic optimism -- which is entirely disconnected from what is happening in the real world -- would get one put in a straitjacket and locked in a loony bin. But this pathology is encouraged in the USA. Why? Because in this manner -- by making success or failure supposedly dependent on an individual's positve attitude (or lack thereof) -- the US ruling class forestalls civic disquiet, riots and revolutions.

In the streets of Latvia, Greece, and France, people are taking to the streets to protest at unemployment and governmental cutbacks. Because such collective action is required to tackle systemic problems. But in the US, the fake ideology of the individual being solely responsible for his success or failure makes such collective action more difficult. Unemployed or doing grunt-work document review? Why, you've got to be more optimistic, smile more, send out more resumes.

Even when individuals do recognise that the US is coming apart at the seams, their solutions are still individual -- like buying guns and ammunition and plots of land out in the wilderness. There is no conception of society, or of collective action. And the self-help positive-thinking movement has been instrumental in killing any embryonic ideas or movements along these lines.

Christ, I could do with some of Trailer Tom's moonshine right now.

Anonymous said...

Fan of Trailer Tom - I agree. Years ago there was a fantastic BBC documentary on the same subject - people being told they could be anything, anyone. But could they really? The kind of work that it requires to surpass class, race, poverty is Herculean - few manage to do it because of the emotional and physical cost. Most people give up - and settle. They have families, other things to do, other things that bring them pleasure etc etc. It's a bunch of crap forced down our throats- you are right to shift the burden to the individual and get it off the system.

Yet, despite it all I chose to remain optimistic - because otherwise I would go insane.

Anonymous said...

Snuffy just told me that over at Cravvie, everytime they advertise for a staff attorney gig, they get like 1200-1500 resumes.

Anonymous said...

It is the American way. We give up our subsidized health care, education, safety net, and middle class wages for that 1 in 10,000th of chance of hitting that magical lottery ticket.

The legal education scam works in the same way. Young people highly leverage themselves, thinking that have a good shot of making that top 5% of their class. Even if they "win" this round, they still only have a 1 in 30 chance of making partner. It's a fool's game in which 99% of the players delegate themselves to a life time of paying off non-dischargeable debt and working in jobs that they cannot stand. The suicide, alcoholism, and depression rates in this profession are the highest anywhere, and the ABA and state bars have positive thinking gurus standing by, just a phone call away.

JPM said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/03/2009_32_tue.shtml

Pessimism v. Optimism

Anonymous said...

VIVE LA REVOLUCION!!
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VIVE LA REVOLUCION!!

Anonymous said...

How much are you guys paying a month on student loans?

Anonymous said...

160,000

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

11:40

Well said.

" But in the US, the fake ideology of the individual being solely responsible for his success or failure makes such collective action more difficult."

You forgot to mention that this is a fake, CORPORATE ideology drummed into the American populace by corporations, the Republican party, the right-wing noise machine and its pundits in the corporately-controlled media.

JPM said...

It's the Joel Osteenization of America. Just spend 15 minutes watching his sermons on tv in the huge facility that the Rockets used to play in.

All these lemmings are told that if they just "think positive on it and pray and work harder" God will give them all things they want. Meanwhile corprations are not simply praying and hoping and being positive...no....they are framing the law and policy that creates the framework within which they conduct busnienss to maximize their their benefit.

ps Tony Robbins owns an island out in Fiji.

Anonymous said...

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/
video/us/2009/12/1
8/in.god.we.trust.cnn

Joel Osteen video on CNN today: "Can God really wipe out your debts?" God plans to prosper you this year. Just keep praying.

Lawyers Against The Law School Scam said...

the problem is that our culture has been evolved and molded over decades via the mass media and hollywood and academia. All of these institutions are funded and operated by the rich and powerful. It is in the interests of the rich and powerful that americans DO things, and not just take it easy in a secure and leisurely life.

And culture is the operating system of the homo sapiens species.

Thus, we are americans are a type of livestock, bred to be fodder for the corporate consumption machine.

We are so highly propagandized that we are in essence a separate species of homo sapiens. Call us homo sapiens Americanus.

America is a cattle ranch, and we are the cattle, programmed by our culture to buy, to go into debt, to consume, to work work work.

Anonymous said...

Optimism was one of the primary ingredients that contributed to many people choosing to join the "Westward Movement" in this country. Hope and Optimism each were one of the many ingredients that contributed to someone in Italy in 1929 jumping a ship to America, doing so without family, money, or anything but what was on their back. Hope, optimism, and a belief in one's self and one's talent is what propels most entrepreuners, such as Bill Gates, to take the path least pursued....try it kids, it might just work out for you! And, you just might move away from yoru generations P.C. "stepford wife"- like approach to your life and its unfolding. It takes guts....many of you don't have it....haven't been taught to problem solve, risk take, nor think for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

I agree. A little optimisom goes a long way.

For example, taking a slightly lower salary for a year (when u consider how much the agencies jerk you around), would get you some substanative experience. You could use that to A) get a better job or B) solo and only get on the higher paying projects.

Nando said...

There have been SEVERAL great, analytical comments on this post.

This country has always suffered from delusional positive thinking. Look at the Klondike Gold Rush, the 1849 gold rush, the Oregon Trail, etc. HOW MANY PERISHED IN THESE ENDEAVORS? We have been inundated with Horatio Alger success stories.

Corporations have simply embedded this insidious thinking deeper into everyone's minds. TV and other media have been the most effective tools for Corporate America's dangerous message, i.e. "ANYONE can succeed, if they just try hard enough and believe in the system."

The whole "success depends on your attitude" dogma puts the blame on society's "failures." That is what it is designed for, i.e. "Don't blame the system. You had a chance at success but YOU blew it."

There is also a second purpose: Those among the political social, and economic elite can then point to this "creed" and say: "We earned our success. NO ONE gave us a handout. We made our way in the world - so can you!"

Of course, many of these pigs were from wealthy, connected families to begin with. Some were simply more ruthless than others, i.e. they stole their way to success. Others simply bought some politicians and won favorable (or no-bid) contracts. Any when these things fail, they simply demand a bailout or subsidy from government. All under the ruse that their industry/business is "too big to fail."

To the recent posters, i.e. at 5:38 and 5:37,

Realism is what is needed - a sense of knowing one's limits. This can prevent someone from making terrible decisions, in the first place.

Also, to cite the EXCEPTIONS to make your point that anyone can succeed is a logical fallacy.

We need to base our decisions on reality. Sadly, most young people have been inundated with the idea that THEY can accomplish ANYTHING they set their minds to. This is horseshit.

JPM said...

@5.28

Jesus, I was waiting for someone to mention Bill Gates as an example of "anybody can do it" delusional thinking.

Gates came from a very wealthy family and had access to computers way before they were widely available. Of course he is a smart guy.....but being smart would not have been enough.

Fan of Trailer Tom said...

Americans have generally not achieved "class consciousness." Most people in the US think of themselves as "middle-class" and both politicans and media foster this delusion. Thus a family of four subsisting on $30,000 a year considers itself "middle-class." In my humble opinion, even a NYC lawyer on $120,000 doesn't deserve the appellation (if one considers housing, schooling, and childcare expenses in NYC). These people are working-class -- even if they hold advanced degrees. The credentialed proletariat and often -- if the posts on this blog are anything to go by -- a credentialed lumpenproletariat. All the more strident then becomes the media propaganda of Americans being "middle-class."

The two taboo words in public discourse are "class" and "revolution." The idea is to keep workers -- which includes document review serfs -- from recognising their class interests (which are at odds with those of the big boys) and acting accordingly.

The intellectual junk food that is peddled in the stead of class consciousness is that of the enabled individual, the master of his destiny and the captain of his fate. You too can be the next Bill Gates! Horatio Alger and Ayn Rand have proclaimed it! Just be positive! The audacity of hope!

Anonymous said...

I agree. A little optimisom goes a long way.

For example, taking a slightly lower salary for a year (when u consider how much the agencies jerk you around), would get you some substanative experience. You could use that to A) get a better job or B) solo and only get on the higher paying projects.

5:57 PM

___________________

I don't think in this economy that is a problem, the problem is more so even getting those positions, even $30k shit law jobs are pretty competitive now, or non-existent. But, let's say you DO take these jobs...you don't actually gain much out of it, because the "skills" you learn aren't really high in demand or lead to a better career. Especially not for only one years worth of work.

Law is a very prestige driven field if you want to have a real, reliable shot at getting anywhere. The school you went to, the judge you clerked for, the firm you worked for, all those things matter if you want to be an employee somewhere, and if you want a reliable way to have a client base when you choose to go out on your own.

Without that stuff, you have to figure out how to make it on your own, and while it is possible, you don't really have a safety net. In fact it's far more likely that you'll fail, and you'll also drive up your stress to a large degree.

It takes money to make money, that's why a law degree is a bad investment for most people. You're already putting yourself in the hole and costing yourself options and a few years without really getting anything to show for it. Being capable in terms of skills as an attorney is only part of the equation, an even bigger part is your marketing and business acumen...things you didn't think you'd be doing as professional and probably have very little knowledge of.

You have to understand the concept of a sunk cost. You've already wasted your time and money getting your degree and you can't recoup those costs. So instead of wasting time being delusional about it, you have to figure out what you're actually going to do about it...and for most people that's get the hell out of the legal field. THAT'S where you can take the lower salary and then work our way up, somewhere in business maybe. Or use your undergrad degree. Hopefully it wasn't something worthless like Poli Sci, and you can actually spin the law degree as furthering your interest in your undergrad just by adding the legal perspective to it.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

If you're fed up with this crap - as Barbara Ehrenreich and others are - then march and protest with us!

Enough with these traps.

-Cryn, Creator of Education Matters
http://alleducationmatters.blogspot.com/

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

That's right, Fan of Trailer Tom, we're nothin' but credentialed proletariats. But that can be a painful realization. I mean, I went to Ivy Leagues, blah, blah, blah, but am doing the exact same thing my grandmother did during the Great Depression- I sell sweaters.

http://ivyleaguedandunemployed.com/2009/12/02/why-i-have-a-job-the-phd-who-works-at-a-high-end-department-store-when-not-crusading-against-student-debt/

Anonymous said...

Once again, I think people are missing her point. She's not advocating pessimism. She's advocating realism. Realism does not assume you will fail or succeed. It assumes that both are possible. The problem with Americans is that the propaganda machine that is consumerism and the "American Dream" (delusion) tells us we are only suppose to think of one of half of reality. People who truly get ahead accept that there are both. It is extremely hard to overcome the programming of this society. It is possible, but it takes a lot of emotional discipline regarding the bullshit that the society tells you. I agree with those who say this is all about feeding corporate America. Really, what she's saying is repeating what some famous political philosophers have said. Forgetting the name right now: Their thesis is that to control a population you must make them feel comfortable. Not that they actually have comfort. But feel it. It is all about the emotional state of believing that if you are making 30k a year living in a shack, then you have enough money to buy a car that cost you 50k or the rich should be taxed last than you because one day you will be rich. It is irrational, but that's the American delusion for you.

Emily said...

Mr. Savage has an interesting perspective on this socialist hack.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
9gzvk0OjMDg

Anonymous said...

8:29 is right about Gates' family. Also his mother was on the board of several corporations and she is the one who hooked him up with IBM in the beginning. His parents were affluent and well-connected.

Fan of Trailer Tom said...

To be "realistic" is to realise that the days of growth are over. This isn't the golden era of 1945-1973, when the "American dream" had some meaning: the US was top dog, the economy was in long-term expansion; and there were jobs to be had (particularly for the skilled and credentialed). But that era is over. US hegemony is drawing to a rapid close; jobs have either been outsourced or the manufacturing has wilted in the face of unrelenting foreign competition; oil is not cheap; and the planet generally is more crowded and competitive. A generally declining standard of living and quality of life afflicts every strata of American society save the very rich. Indeed, the polarisation of US society provides further corroboration -- were any needed -- of a country in decline. This is the reality. And to maintain a manically positive attitude in the face of this is to be mentally unbalanced. I also am not advocating "pessimism" -- but then it's not pessimistic to say one is unlikely to be a big winner in a state lottery. Or make partner in a prestigious law firm. The odds are stacked against one. To acknowledge these odds does not make one a pessimist -- but being deliberately oblivious to them does indicate one is deranged.

Jubilee Now said...

THROW OFF YOUR CHAINS SNUGGIE PEOPLE!!!

YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT THE DEBT THAT ENSLAVES YOU!!

Anonymous said...

1213

We are on the same page. I was simply addressing the label of calling what you describe pessimism as others set up. There is nothing pessimistic about being realistic. You may eventually decide that despite the odds you want to do something, but you should understand the odds. To me, such a person is not pessimistic. They are being realistic. They are also not indulging in the delusional fantasy that positive thinking is what counts. They realize they may fail at it, but they accept the risk. Really, what the delusional thinking does it is to convince you there is no risk or to not consider the odds. So, you buy that 50k car when you are making 30k. You are told you can afford that mortgage you can not possibly afford.

Anonymous said...

Also, what the delusional thinking does is to convince you that there are no losers. That the pie is always growing. But, at any given time, that's not possibly true since we live in a world of finite resources. Eventually, someone will get more resources than you do whether through corruption or being a good competitor.

Anonymous said...

When one starts down the path of "class" being the culprit, it begins to wreak of P.C. or ACORN staff like thinking.....I believe that "class" was an even bigger issue during the 1700 to mid-1900's. Hello, I don't think employers any longer provide separate doors for "Irish", "Italians", "Germans", "Scotts", "Afro -Americans/Blacks" that certainly was true in the North as well as in the South - and this occured during the 1920s people...if not before. True, one will face weird idiocyncratic examples, despite the laws that protect, but it isn't in any way as it was in the past.That said, it doesn't approximate what real issue - the economy period. The fact Gates came from a wealthy family has ZERO relationship to the fact he was motivated and insightful based on intelligence and creativity, and analytic thinking applied...being from a wealthy family means nothing...with that logic, he merely would have coasted to Ivy League, done the country club or polo scene, and sat back and enjoyed the trust fund. Wealth has nothing to do with application of talents, bud. It may open doors, but I know plenty of wealthy people, given every opportunity, who merely squandered it....so cut the crap, just sit down and apply yourself, rather than make excuses and playing constant victim. It isn't the problem presented, historically there always are obstacles in every economy, it really is about what you do to problem solve. Sit back and whine, and you go no where. YOu sound like a typical American who thinks based on gender, race, and/or class, the world owes you.....that is loser thinking. No one owes you anything, you owe yourself something - try guts, risk taking,critical thinking, and applying creativity. You may not want to have Gates' goals, nor posses his abilities, but you might be better off than you are now.

Anonymous said...

Anyone starting off with class does not matter should be ignored as part of the problem in this country. Bill Maher once said, and I agree with him, "the problem smart people is that we let idiots rule the world." The fact is class determines resource allocation. Resources on a finite planet are finite. I am not interested in the extreme exceptions to that rule, but instead the norm because statistically speaking (you know that pesky concept of risk) it defines the likelihood of outcomes between losers and failures. We don't provide electricity into our homes by the number of times lighting strikes, and we should not consider societal economic issues that way either.

Jonathan said...

Optimism has its place. "I am going to do well arguing this motion because I am prepared and know the subject matter" is a better frame of mind when you have indeed prepared and know the subject matter.

But it will not create more jobs or allow you to make enough money to support a family by hanging out a shingle in a saturated solo market.

Anonymous said...

Ten statements I hate hearing when solving a problem or working through emotions because something bad has happened:

1. It will all just work itself out
2. Things happen for a reason
3. Look at this as an opportunity
4. They are in a better place
5. No one likes a quitter
6. God don't give us anything we can't handle
7. Think happy thoughts
8. You just don't believe it enough
9. Smile, it can't be that bad
10. Jesus said not to worry

First, on looking at my list, I think I know to many religious people.

Second, the more I think about it, the more I realize how much all of this is meant to make you feel like everything that happens in your life whether you choose it or not is your fault.

Lighting strikes you in the middle of your house? Well that's your fault too. God did not give you want you could not handle. You should not have been standing in that exact spot, and even if you are, it is still your responsibility.

We live in such a fucked up society.

Anonymous said...

I read this book a couple of months ago and was very impressed. Finally, someone is counteracting all of the phoney, "feel good" b.s. that's out there.

She is so right to view the knee-jerk positive thinking comments that people make to those who are going through a tough time. Instead of being helpful, such comments are mindless, superficial cliches which reveal an empathy deficit, as Eisenreich astutely calls it.

Anonymous said...

Best quote:

"Opposite of optimism is not pessimism, it is realism."

Words to live by.

It is perfectly normal to be pissed off, bitter, and depressed after losing a job, being diagnosed with an illness, or losing a job. Sometimes there is no "bright side" or meant to be, shit happens in this life, and you just have to grin and bear it.

Anonymous said...

"...there are more jobs than there are of you..."

This is probably true, but only if one counts the numbers of 1Ls at the lecture, and discounts the legions of unemployed around the country not at the lecture.

Anonymous said...

I think we should remain optimistic in our personal lives - but challenge government/corporate sponsored optimism.

E.g. If a loved one is ill - you remain optimistic in order to go on. On a personal level we do this for survival- and we have to.

But if the doctor was fucking him up and then saying remain optimistic that would have been an ENTIRELY different optimism - and I would have banged him on the head.

That's the difference. We have to learn to challenge the SYSTEM'S optimism - the system that is fucking us up and then saying be happy. But remain optimistic in our own hearts about our own actions and our family. Does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

By the way, what the fuck happened to the healthcare bill. If this is not the time to come out, when is? The Dems were NEVER going to allow a real public option. They just went about flapping on it everywhere - they are all fucked up. They figure if we lie to the people they will still vote for us - who else do they have - but if we fuck up the health insurance industry we ain't winning the next election. Next time I am voting Republican even though I have been a DEM - at least with them you get what you see. The Dems are like the nice boy that turns out be ASSHOLE - while the Rep. are always assholes.

Anonymous said...

The Democratic and Republican parties are really one party. They serve one master, and it is called large corporations. If you look at their policies, neither party even serves small businesses anymore, much less workers. The health care bill is a perfect example of that. While they are glad handing each other, and talking about how they helped "us" what they are doing is to help large insurance companies.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in several countries around this globe, including spending time in former USSR, helped me easily come to the conclusion that we live in one of the greatest countries. If you think "class" is such a material and salient factor to whatever time and place in which you apparently "merely survive" daily (rather than daily embracing life, try other less developed and less evolved cultures and countries. You clearly are in the group that does nothing but sit back and arm chair analyze, rather than get out there and "do" to solve your daily living problem and/or perspective. Speak to people who arrived in this country with nothing but a dime, and who carved out an emotionally and financially successful daily life, and you in fact might come to appreciate a differing point of view. I predict if i spoke to you in ten years, ypou've be doing nothing different then, than you are now...bc/ you are "stuck"....Sorry,bud. You need to get out of your own way.

Anonymous said...

11:05, that's another reason to hate immigrants; they're too optimistic.

Anonymous said...

You lost me with USSR. Anyone still spouting about a regime that has not existed for almost 20 years is idiot not work my time. Times change. Things don't last forever. Apparently, you are still stuck in the fantasy version of America inside your head rather than the real one we are living in now. You are an living, breathing example of why we need to move toward realism rather than deluded optimism. It is tough enough to deal with all our very real differences when dealing with facts as they are TODAY, but when you started spouting delusional references to the USSR- you are just nuts. I expect my response will get as far with you as if I am talking to the guy talking to himself on the train, but I thought I would give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

By the way, interestingly enough, after I started getting more real in the last couple of years, my life has taken an upswing despite the speed of the change. Part of the reason is I tuned out the idiots who want to live in fantasies. They don't help you succeed. What helps you succeed is to realize how tough things are, and make decisions accordingly. Understanding class matters, economic issues, etc gives you a leg up against others because you are no longer fooled by any of the marketing tools this society used to try to control you and make you docile ignorant sheep.

Anonymous said...

Nearly a week after extending their support to ‘Shave India Movement’, Bollywood actresses Minissha Lamba, Neha Dhupia and Mugdha Godse have come together again to support ‘Spray India Movement’ under the aegis of ‘Women Against Stinking Armpits’ (W.A.S.A). These women aim to mobilize like thinking women across India to pressurize men into using deodorant sprays of a particular brand (Old Spice) to help India smell better.

Good Luck

Anonymous said...

Right, the USA is better because they offer so many more civil liberty protections than the USSR.

On your drive home this holiday season, I hope you don't get stopped at any of the "internal immigration checkpoints" that are popping up on the roads all over the country where they demand to see your your papers. The Obama SS guards are increasing funding for this operation in the 100 mile constitution free border zone which includes NYC, Boston, DC, LA, and 2/3rds of the American population. An on line activist youtube movement has started to stop this practice and allow people to exercise their rights,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=5OydW39DZzc

but a pastor in Arizona was recently beaten and tasered for exercising his 5th amendment rights to not answer the question.

Wake up America! The corporations are not only taking your economic self-sufficiency, but your political liberties as well. Law and the legal profession has been sold off to India to the lowest bidder.

Anonymous said...

Why do the nutjobs always have to enter a good discussion to ruin it for the rest of us?

Anonymous said...

Optimism itself is not a bad thing.

It is the false senses of entitlement and self estemm that the liberals that have hijacked our educational system.

They replaced good old yankee common sense for gibberish and gobblyegook
Good old American can do spirit has now evolved into an expectation that our corrupt govt will fix everything.

It won't and it can't.

Anonymous said...

1:47

Would you rather have bright, shiny, spotless and uncorrupt Corporate America fix everything?

Sounds like you would...

Anonymous said...

Bollywood actresses Minissha Lamba, Neha Dhupia and Mugdha Godse have come together again to support ‘Shave India Movement’ hoping to gain support among Indian woman to shave their pubic hair in an attempt to make the country a little less stinky. So far, little progress has been made in that direction.

Anonymous said...

I love how conservatives attempt to blame liberals for what are conservative arguments. "Morning in America" was a Reagan phrase about irrational optimism.

For the record, liberals view risks differently than conservatives. Liberals say the opposite of what you the conservatives here are writing.

We want a social safety net because society is full of not just winners, but also losers due to scarce resources. Therefore we need to have a safety net that addresses this risk or a floor through which people do not follow since we know that some will fall even if they are best little Puritans on the planet.

If challenged, I will bother to pull out the various articles in which liberals discuss precisely this issue. I also think it is amusing giving the fact that so many conservatives who post here are on the bottom of the ladder that they continue to follow beliefs that basically say they deserve to be here at the bottom. Yet, oddly, they post as if the rules do not apply to them regarding winners and losers.

Anonymous said...

"I tried that positive thinking stuff. I knew it wouldn't work and sure enough it didn't."

- Rebecca from "Cheers"

Anonymous said...

2:44, I need to correct you on a "minor" point that isn't so minor:

The problem isn't a "scarcity of resources." There are more than enough resources to go around.

The problem is a HOARDING of resources by the extremely wealthy & the corporations. In addition to the actual hoarding of huge sums of money, these folks/entities do not pay their fair share in taxes, instead exploiting "loopholes" put into place by the politicians they've bought.

These scumbags get the benefit of the laws of this country and an environment favorable to their increasing wealth levels. It's time for them to start paying up, beginning with higher taxes on large capital gains and non-salary bonuses.

If they try to "offshore" their wealth to avoid taxes, they should be fined and criminally charged.

I know this is a pipe dream, but I had to say it.

Anonymous said...

Even if they were not hoarding (which I agree that's where were right now as a country with wall street), the issue still would be that ultimately there are scare resources. The idea that you can grow economies endlessly is a myth due to the very nature of the fact that resources are going to be limited. The hoarding of those limited resources just exacerbates the problem.

Anonymous said...

I teach as an Adjunct in a tier 2 law school and was told to keep job prospect references upbeat. I refused and told them they can fire me but I will not lead these kids on. I bluntly tell then kids that unless they get stellar grades, they're initial job prospects will be dim. To me, this is the knowledge they need, moreso than is knowing the difference between real and personal property.

Anonymous said...

to all the lemmings talking about the other lemmings. now that "subprime" has become standard lexicon, the bottom is in. Economic cycles happen. When the hiring boom commences in a couple of years, everyone will again beat the expansion drum and forget the past two years ever happened. Its the American Way.

Anonymous said...

4:51, what makes you so confident that there will be a 'hiring boom' in the legal field in next couple of years?

#1, the market is way, way over-saturated with "lawyers" (people with Tier 2-3 JDs and licenses to practice, but not much experience, other than temp doc review). Even in the best of times, these people couldn't find work; they were shut out initially because of their poor "pedigrees," and the time spent doing doc review has only made the elitist shutting-out worse (if that's possible).

#2, the last legal hiring boom was false, built on illusions, credit, and over-inflation. $160k/yr for a snotnosed first-year associate at the big firms was an enormous illusion, as were $45/hr doc review rates, with meals and cars. Over, done with.

#3, doc review will continue to be offshored to India because it's CHEAP. Clients want CHEAP, even if it's riskier and there are more errors. They're penny-wise and pound-foolish, but since corporations obviously don't have to take risk into account anymore in our corporate welfare state, who cares? As long as it's CHEAP, they can review the documents in Afghanistan, for all the corporate clients care. The people running these things get to show their boss in their annual review that they saved the corporation x-millions of dollars in legal fees and they get a star, a raise, and maybe a promotion.

Fan of Trailer Tom said...

Many of the comments here seem to have been written by people with room-temperature IQs. Even Trailer Tom is brainier than them. I can't imagine them being lawyers or indeed professionals of any kind.

First of all, the problem of unemployment and lower wages is not just a corollary of the present depression. It has been going on for some time and reflects long-term structural changes in the US and world economy. The employment patterns of yesteryear are not coming back. Most worthwhile middle-class jobs that remain are under threat. The US itself is gradually morphing into a low-wage economy, with a few privlieged people at the top. Recognise this reality and plan accordingly.

There is not going to be a hiring boom ahead. Law schools are churning out 45,000+ new lawyers every year. They will be joining several tens of thousands of lawyers who are marginally employed. There are not going to be any "careers" for the majority of these people.

Unemployment is a growing structural problem in the Western world as Western capitalism sinks inexorably deeper into crisis. indeed, people from ex-communist countries look back with nostalgia to communist times:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1221064/Oppressive-grey-No-growing-communism-happiest-time-life.html

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,634122,00.html

But perhaps if we smile and grin enough, we can forget about all this.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is going on with the unemployment extension????

It is only extended until 2/28??? Does that mean that if I finish out my "tier" in early March I am shit out of luck? If I pick temporary work, and my tier end date will be pushed pass the deadline, I will get nothing. What an incentive not to work, no wonder the unemployment rate is 10%!

Anonymous said...

What's the incentive of $405 a week? ($364 after taxes).

Anonymous said...

The incentive is that you don't know how long you will be unemployed for. Do you take a 2 week project and risk pushing your next tier level into March (thereby invalidating 20 additional weeks of unemployment), or do you just sit around the house for those 2 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I get it now.

I never take 2 week projects. They're usually clusterf-cks.

In the case you're describing, I'd definitely turn down the 2 week project so as not to screw up unemployment.

The only complication would be if the 2 week project was offered by the agency cited in your unemployment claim; in that case, they could report you to the Dep't of Labor for turning down the work.

Anonymous said...

To get a measley two months, we had to hand over to the military-industrial complex 2 billion dollars. Gotta love Congress!

Anonymous said...

It really surprises me how "stuck" many of you twenty and thirty somethings are in the reality of the "stuff" fed you in the last 25 years e.g. reference to being stuck in past ala reference to USSR. Fact is those of you who've come through the alleged U.S. academic systemn of the last 20 years have been so short-changes in terms of a real education that you frankly don't know the reality. The only thing I agree with is the structural global changes, but that is a distinct and separate issue from why living here still beat anyting out there in the globe. Reference to the USSR is not a dated referenc bc/ if you really understood the reality of global changes since early 1990s, you'd realize that area of that world really hasn't changed e.g. Putin's current goals. What you see is an illusion, and frankly you will find that much of what you believe is true is merely the "Emperor Has no Clothes". IN fact, I am not a conservative as you imply, I am quite liberal...it is just that I think the majority of you all have no clue, except the person admitting the global economy has changed, but that in and of itself doesn't change why I prefer living here and stgill think it is tghe best to be living period, regardless of 25+ years of more change since mid-1980's. Ebver here the phrase "the more things change, the more things stay the same"...not much has changed guys except economic realities and the hard and fast rule of figuring out how to problem solve, rather than whine.

Anonymous said...

7:22 - Class doesn't matter? Really?? Please put down the Kool-Aid, you have drunk way too much already.

Anonymous said...

8:46, if 7:22 drank even a little of the Kool-Aid, they wouldn't be typing here. They'd be dead. "Drinking the Kool-Aid" is a reference to metaphorical suicide, based on the Jonestown incident.

I think the proper reference would have been, "7:22, whatever you're smoking, put it down."

I agree with you, though - class is alive and well. It's the new frontier of bigotry, even though it's old hat.

Anonymous said...

What does "cluster-fuck" project mean that 8:16 refers to?

Anonymous said...

8:59
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_the_Kool-Aid

You are correct in it's origins, but it's use by 8:46 is proper.

Anonymous said...

Norway is two hundred times better than this shit.

Stupid Sexy Flanders said...

7:00 PM who asked about unemployment extensions,

Here is my understanding:
The congress extended it to the end of February because they knew that the defense appropriations bill was the only bill they could pass on time before the December 31 deadline. So they did it as a temporary fix.

The real fix is in the jobs bill, which they couldn't get to until early next year at the earliest. This is because of the healthcare debate going on and also debates over whether the money paid back by all the banks who used TARP should be re-funneled into jobs creation or to pay down the govt debts.

As for my earlier statement a few days ago about optimism, I still think it's a crucial element to success. Mind you, it can't be totally blind optimism. You can't just walk around thinking you'll win the lottery. But successful people are risk-takers. (and, of course, many failures in life are also risk-takers who wound up on the wrong end).

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Time to organize and protest.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Hopefully I am not considered a nut job here. Ignore them. Let's continue with good conversation.

Anonymous said...

I am a professor at a 3rd tier law school and I have a few Indian students who smell like they have been bathing in gallons of curry, goat semen, and sweat.

OH MAN! I think that Smelly Indian was eating out a cow because it stank like ass in there!

The Yuppie Attorney said...

I am not a Psychologist. From my understanding of Optimism and Pessimism, it goes beyond seeing a glass half full or empty. That is quick and dirty test that fails. Use this test: When a person's project or plan utterly fails or falls apart what does that person do? An Optimist will keep plugging away. A Pessimist will accept a loss and move on. Bad things happen to the good, the bad, and the unsuspecting person. It is a hard trait to be able to move away from something you threw blood, sweat, money, and tears into (read Law school). Which type are you?

Bye the bye, never ever tell an HR person you are a Pessimist if you want the job.

Anonymous said...

Don't tell an HR person you believe in anything other than politically correct, Establishment-sanctioned ideas.

HR people are the most useless wastes of an organization's money. They're vicious, catty, untrustworthy, and vile. They come in three varities: the Type A, strap-on-wearing Alpha Female, the gossiping, airheaded bimbo, and the effeminate, gay male, scheming bastard.

All are equally dangerous. Watch yourself around them.

I believe companies should forego HR nitwits and let managers do their own hiring.

Anonymous said...

Also, regarding the temp agency HR bastards:

Make sure you participate in the "voluntary" Affirmative Action surveys. Despite their claims that participation is "voluntary" and no penalty attaches if you choose not to "participate," they do hold it against you when they're compiling their own voluntary racial quotas on their projects. If you don't play their game, then they don't know what race you are - or so they claim, because they obviously know you're white if you choose not to participate - and you go to the end of the line for a project.

This is obviously an issue for white people who, when an Affirmative Action survey is put in front of them, know instictively that their claim of "White/Caucasian, non-Hispanic" can only harm them in an employer's voluntary Affirmative Action program, as in they're not looking to increase the # of non-Hispanc whites on a project.

Not trying to race-bait here, but....

Anonymous said...

1038

Accepting risk is not optimism. It is realism. You eventually realize that just like with optimism that pessimism hinders you from seeing the way the world works. I suppose we are talking in semantics, but you keep making the book to be about pessimism when it is about realism.

Anonymous said...

If you did not have some race to blame for your problems, what would some of you do with your lives? Probably nothing. Just blame some other groups. Perhaps, the ginger people.

Anonymous said...

Realism = the proper balance of optimism and pessimism and the ability to know when it's appropriate to express either, in the proper measure according to the situation.

Anonymous said...

1:20, the Voluntary Affirmative Action post is correct. No one is blaming any race; it's a true fact in today's world. Black folk may be screwed at the Elite level of law, but just take a look at any NY project and you'll observe a lot more brown faces than white. This is an indication of racism: racism at the elite level against colored folks, and racism against whites at the temp doc review level.

Racism exists in some form against every race.

Stupid Sexy Flanders said...

1:22,

I'll try to make this my last post on this topic.

What you propose, evaluating your environment and knowing when optimism is good or is too much, is an important trait to have, of course.

It is interesting that you consider "realism" to be a balance, because I've never heard it used that way. I've only ever heard of realism being used as a way to justify limitations on things (in effect, being pessimistic). For example, you will hear things like "let's be real here, we can't do that." Or "let's be real here, that'll take too long." It's never something optimistic like "let's be real, we'll totally get that done on time." You know what I'm saying? I guess it just depends on your perspective and how you grew up. It's good to know your limits, but sometimes your abilities are higher than you think, and you should shoot a little above them. Like when applying to colleges, you should have "dream" schools and "lock" schools. It's important to try to reach for things even if you think they are a little out of your reach. People can't go through life thinking "let's be real, that girl is too hot for me, I shouldn't even try." It's important to try. Assess your abilities, and reach one level higher, I guess.

I definitely understand the flip side of the coin. You should't be overconfident about things.

Anonymous said...

The unemployment rate amongst African-Americans alone indicates just how out touch you are with reality. In many cases, it is at 25 percent. In Detroit, it is at 50 percent.

While you bitch about some useless survey checking off your race, the actual outcome is that you as a white person to this day are more likely to get the job than people of color.

Listen, it is not that it is not shit for you given how badly corporate America treats everyone below the super wealthy. It is that trying look to racial groups that are treated worse than you to claim that they are somehow treated better is beyond pathetic.

If you want to do something about your lives, look at the people causing your problems rather than those who are facing even larger battles than you.

Anonymous said...

156

Your definition of realism is only one version of it. The one being favored here is another. Frankly, your definition arises out of the American culture of denying that there are real risks in life. Realism can lead to either pessimism or optimism. There is actually nothing wrong with either three- it is more of a question of balancing them together with realism being the default position rather than one of the two extremes.

Anonymous said...

Barry is racist? Looks like Barry calls himself Barry.


Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine got a holiday surprise Tuesday morning when a mysterious "Barry from D.C" called WTOP's call-in radio show to complain about traffic.

Turns out the call was coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and was none other than President Barack Obama.

"Well, uh Governor Kaine, this is actually the President of The United States calling," Obama said after being announced on the show as "Barry from D.C."

Anonymous said...

2:48, why don't you learn how to read something in context before you start spouting off your PC-racism bullshit.

The post re. Voluntary Affirmative Action is regarding the legal temp agencies in NY, not black laborers in Detroit. No one argues there isn't a huge unemployment problem in the black community in Detroit. There is a huge unemployment problem in Detroit, period. Blacks are certainly suffereing there.

BUT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT LEGAL TEMP AGENCIES IN NYC, YOU IDIOT.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how the wealthy class manipulated poor whites over status at the end of Civil War and slavery? By blaming blaming the poor whites circumstances on blacks.

Once again- 25 percent unemployment in the African-American community. It is beyond pathetic that generation after generation the lower class white folks still don't get it is about class manipulation. If you want to have a problem with politics that keep you at the bottom, stop whining about social nets and start trying to strength them.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, terms like PC came about in the 80s, when Reagan was implementing many of the economic policies (now adopted by both parties) called neoliberal economics (an updated version of laissez faire economics).

The argument about being PC was designed as a distraction by corporate conservatives to placate social conservatives and the lower class whites. That you repeat it in a different way here is not surprising. You have never though an independent thought a day in your sorry lives.

It took freely from the Southern Strategy to make it a nation wide strategy to pick up blue collar and mostly ignorant white folks. You are still spouting the same talking points he did in an updated way even thought the policies he advocated are the ones that led you down this road of economic depression.

In short, you are rubes who generation after generation don't get why you are on the bottom. It is certainly not the distraction of a group that is rated lower than you on the totem pole. Hint: Look up on the totem pole, and you will find your answer there. But really, this is about for some of you kicking the cat at home because your boss kicked you.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that many laws school students are admitted simply based on skin color, genitalia, or place of birth (meaning not the US).
In fact, this is the way it works for all schools and jobs.

Is there any question why America is going to hell in a hand basket?

Could you imagine the French making it hard for French kids to get into schools and obtain jobs?

Anonymous said...

Fact: I've had "Voluntary Affirmative Action" survey forms shoved in my face by every legal temp agency in NY.

Fact: On this AA survey form, there are about 8 or so racial classifications. Anyone who doesn't fit into one of the breakdowns is lumped into "White/Caucasian, non-Hispanic."

Fact: there are an inordinate # of people of color on temp projects in NY.

So, are the AA forms benign or are they being used by the agencies to identify candidates by race in order to fill racial quotas?

I'm a white, non-elite WASP, non-elite Jew. Which means I'm in a bad place because no one is looking out for me and my well-being. I'm not a member of the elite privileged class, nor am I an "oppressed minority." I'm one of the forgotten people, and my demise and the demise of those in my position is the ruin of the US.

Anonymous said...

This post started out being a discussion of the need to return to realism. We come full circle. Here's the reality: Many of you turds are losers because you can not get beyond repeating the same old shit about how you are here due to race that your parents (equally losers like you) were spouting. You didn't lose your spot with the big boys because some black guy took it. You lost it because you were never going to be given a spot in the first place. If you eliminate all the other races today, you would still be on the bottom of society. That's reality. So, whine away. Bitch about other races. Frankly, it does not matter any more. You are just getting what's coming to you.

Anonymous said...

Losers whine about doing their best.

Winners go home and f the prom queen.

-Captain John Mason, Her Majesty's SAS (retired, of course)

Anonymous said...

No, PC came out in the early 1990s on US college campuses where it became verboten to speak up against Democrat/liberal precepts that were being (and still are) crammed downed the throats of college students.

PC = political correctness and is the left wing's policy of brainwashing and muffling dissent.

You might want to read up on your history, missy.

Anonymous said...

Dear 6:54 PM,

You're a worthless cunt. I hope you're killed in a drunk driving accident on Christmas Eve.

Anonymous said...

Political correctness was a term that was around in the 80s that far right wingers had already adopted. It was part of the grand bargain by corporate conservatives manipulating the ignorant masses.

It was later sanitized in the 90s for public consumption to allow pricks like those who post here to use it, but it was known in conservative intellectual and political leadership circles.

It grew out of the 80s, in part, as an way for the corporate conservatives, who don't give a shit about these issues, to influence electoral outcomes. The whole "vote for one thing, get another strategy" that now dominates both parties.

The idea: Idiot zenophobic/racist conservatives vote on illegals, race, blah, blah, blah. You name it- it is all a distraction.

The corporate conservatives get neoliberal economic policies. Idiot leftist vote for "change they can believe in" and other touchy language from the 60s, and they get neoliberal economic policies.

It is hard to feel sympathy for you at this point if you have not yet realized the nature of the game is to distract you idiots with shit that does not matter. It is all about hide the ball. That's why realism matters.

Then, again, perhaps you know this. Perhaps, being duped, you have decided to just accept your lot by spouting the same shit that fooled you in the first place because you knew the emotional comfort of the lie.

Anonymous said...

"The idea: Idiot zenophobic/racist conservatives vote on illegals, race, blah, blah, blah. You name it- it is all a distraction."


9:01 P.M.

Yreah, those godamned idiot "zenophobes!"

Anonymous said...

The idea: Idiot zenophobic/racist conservatives vote on illegals, race, blah, blah, blah. You name it- it is all a distraction."


9:01 P.M.

Yeah, those godamned idiot "zenophobes!"

Morpheus said...

Take the red pill! Take the red pill!

Anonymous said...

9:01 PM - You are illiterate and quite wrong. Where do you come up with this gibberish?

You are full of hate and stupidty.

Anonymous said...

Drop dead.

Anonymous said...

sMACK THE BLACK OFF EM!

Anonymous said...

WE WANT BLACK POWER!

David said...

There were many intelligent comments on this post. But the last few are very retarded. Even I can do better than that...someone has not been taking their medication....

Jay Leno said...

Go suck Paul's cock some more, you bucktoothed hack.

Anonymous said...

The site is populated by a few bigots who use anything as an excuse to attack other racial groups. We could be talking about hockey, and suddenly we would have one of them post, "Yeah, hockey is great, but I tell you I would enjoy it better if it wasn't for affirmative action in soccer." The truth is, and that's what I wanted to get across in engaging them- the bigotry is meant to be a distraction. The conservatives do not have any real arguments. Notice, and I am guessing it is probably the same posters, when they could not respond to the class issue (the one guy discussing of all things the USSR), how quickly it turned to race.

Anonymous said...

"Hi, Thomas Frank!"

Anonymous said...

Yes, Thomas Frank argues that the GOP uses distractions to serve corporate interests. This is about understanding reality. While we sit here whining about people who don't affect economic outcomes (like those who whine about affirmative action), the real store is being given away through Wall Street bailouts. Vote on gays, guns and defense (previously blacks, crime and defense), and end up with privatizing social security.

My argument is similar, but non-partisan. I argue that both parties are captured by the same underlying corporate interests. Notice the continuity in DC despite the party change when it comes to underlying corporate give away?

Vote on inspirational change that you can believe it (very 60s), and end up with a sell out to Wall Street and health insurance companies.

Choose between Brand X (the Republicans) or Brand Y (the Democrats), but in either case, while some things change, the underlying economic policies remain constant because they favor the super rich over the rest of us.

Next year, when you go vote, if you vote Republicans, it will be because you supported the corporate give away. If you vote Democratic, it will because you supported the corporate giveaway. Vote Republican, that means you supported free trade. Vote Democratic, that means you supported free trade. That's the underlying reality. Both parties preying on us by pushing the right emotional buttons. But, it is your choice about which emotions they choose to prey on. Which do you prefer- bigot or hippie? What do you get- neoliberalism.

Anonymous said...

Oh, as as for Bright sided, this is what realism is all about. Realizing that ultimately for the issues that affect you economic life, you don't have a real choice at the ballot. Do you want to go to war with Iraq or Afghanistan? You choose. Because we are all about choice. Die by hanging or die by bullet in the brain. Choice you can believe in. Real values voting.

Anonymous said...

So what's your solution to America's then..."Bolshevik Revolution, Mark II?"

Anonymous said...

So what's your solution to America's problems then..."Bolshevik Revolution, Mark II?"

Anonymous said...

There are no easy solutions or revolutions. I am not interested in theories whether far right or far left. No saviors that are going to come carry us off into some promised land because there is no promised land. No utopias. That's reality. Once you can accept that, then may be you will stop clicking your life away at these document reviews. And, if enough people accept realty, maybe the country can become better by finally making some hard choices. But that's a big if since most people prefer their fantasies.

Anonymous said...

Well, then you have no solutions. OK, thanks for wasting all of our time.

Reid said...

I have been digging deep in to the health care reform bill. Reform my ass! Now they want to require everyone to carry insurance without regulating the insurance companies or offering an option for people who can't afford the hight ticket Blue Cross plans. It angers me to no end to see this plan rolling out for the sake of a plan. Again, we are screwed as citizens.

Anonymous said...

1250

Until tonight you didn't even realize there is a problem with both parties considering, if I am right, you were comparing my arguments to what a Democratic activist was saying.

And, by the way, I did provide you a solution- accept reality and work towards addressing the underlying economic problems in this country, but don't expect any major changes until the country changes with you.

That's a solution, but it is just not a make you happy fantasy. Ironically you are typical of why we won't work towards solutions. You want it easy. It took us decades of conservative economic policies being parade around like they are left versus right to get into this mess.

It will probably take us decades to get out of it. Sorry if you can't handle that reality. But, it is what it is.

Anonymous said...

Health Care Bill:

No repeal of the antitrust exemption for the health insurance industry, a mandate to buy private insurance policies that already are too expensive to buy, no subsidies if you make over 44k a year, weak provisions against pre-existing conditions. The industry's wet dream.

On the bright side, you will be forced to have coverage so that they can claim universal coverage although the coverage may not provide health care.

Anonymous said...

"And, by the way, I did provide you a solution- accept reality and work towards addressing the underlying economic problems in this country, but don't expect any major changes until the country changes with you."

Bullshit, that's just more vague "hope and change" platitudes.

Anonymous said...

It is not bullshit because not offering you hope or change. I don't give a shit at this point whether you act on what I am saying or not. I come here because I want to be reminded of why I need to stay focused. You can do whatever the fuck you want. Like most looking for a magic cure, you will do that anyway. That's what got you into this mess- going to law school as a magic cure.

Anonymous said...

Die in a fire.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me of the other reason: to not end up like someone like you. Someone who would say to anyone "die in a fire" is someone I don't ever want to be. Keeping life real therefore becomes even more important for that reason alone.

Anonymous said...

3:28, why don't you post some more, you trolling N-word.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing up any confusion about your bigotry. At end of the day (and this is very real), call me whatever you want, and I am still going to have a better life than you. That's something that makes me smile even as you are reduced to calling me names. Hopefully others outside of the bigot/s will chime in with real discussions. Otherwise, I am going to leave it at this comment while you spew.

Dianna Abdala said...

bla bla bla

Anonymous said...

Haha!! I love that the phrase "N Word" is now an insult.

You N word!

N word, N word, N word.

And C word for the ladies.

Can't say the word(s), but the first letter of the word, followed by "word" will suffice as an insult in these PC times.

Anonymous said...

WAY TO GO 9:38. You probably already have a better life than that miserable fuck! A lot of unhappy people and crazies on the Internet.

Anonymous said...

HEALTH CARE REFORM SUCKS!!
VIVE LA REVOLUCION!!
HEALTH CARE REFORM SUCKS!!
VIVE LA REVOLUCION!!
HEALTH CARE REFORM SUCKS!!
VIVE LA REVOLUCION!!
HEALTH CARE REFORM SUCKS!!
VIVE LA REVOLUCION!!

Anonymous said...

I Heart Black People.

Anonymous said...

Black, white, yellow, green, brown - who cares. As long as you can find a nice person in these crazy times - it's getting harder and harder to find decent people. I'll take them in any shape or form or color ---ok biiiiiiaaatches.....?????

Anonymous said...

Where are Sonia and Emily???

What is their take??

Sonia said...

I am baking a blueberry pie. I don't have time to for this racial rubbish talk. My ingrate son in law will be here any minute.

Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays you old goat!!

Maybe you should mix some laxative in your son-in-law's dish.

Anonymous said...

They are two factions of the same party. Both are the business party.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk8pxyAWTBk

Anonymous said...

You people all suck, if you didn't get accepted to a 1st tier law school the jokes on you, why bother? paralegals make more $ than you losers..sadness..

Anonymous said...

8:35 P.M.,

Go plow headlong into a bridge abutment at 100+ MPH.

Anonymous said...

10:01PM EAT ME!

Suzanne said...

And here is my Happy New Years story in response:
Around 2005, I was taking paralegal classes after my ability to do anything with my communications degree had run its course. One of my teachers (a practicing attorney) suggested that I go to law school. My initial reaction was to be flattered, but I also thought that I was a bit too old (I was about 30 years old), that I didn't want the debt, and I wasn't sure of how successful I would really be. But, like a dummy, I gathered my stuff together and applied and got into a Fourth Tier School. I had no idea what that truly meant other than that I expected that it meant that I would never be nominated for the US Supreme Court.
So, I enrolled, got a job with lots of writing experience and was a ranking member of the law review. I figured that I was set. After all, employers LOVE people who can write, and law review was the golden ticket to a job of any kind.
Well, they do like people who can write. In particular, they like men in the top 10% who can write. I had fond memories of interviewing for a dinky 20 hour a week law student job with some joke of a local attorney and even he blatantly dug into whether I was married. I also had memories of working a clerical job where my female boss blatantly discriminated against any woman who was married because she was certain that they'd have a baby and quit; not to mention that the male bosses seemed intent on punishing women who had to leave to take care of a sick kid while it was all right for young guys to call in sick with hangovers or fall asleep at their desk and neglect their work. With that, I figured that my situation was probably going to be no different once I graduated...and which is why I tried so hard with joining organizations and law review.
I met with a career services lady who was helping the Journal people who were close to graduating and still unemployed to find work because "this is a barometer of how the rest of the school is doing if even the law review people can't find work." I noted to her, "isn't it curious that of the remaining people who can't find a job that only one of them is male, and the other five are female? Don't you feel that is strange considering that one of these women is ranked somewhere around 5th in her class and is second in command on the law revue?"
That was met with an uncomfortable response.
The good news is that this girl with all of these credentials eventually found something.
The last time I saw the career services lady at a networking function, I said, "well, I'm still unemployed. Is there any news on new jobs?" I thought maybe she would have news or introduce me to someone at the function to talk to.
I was then told to "go mingle with people." She then bolted out onto the balcony and kept drinking.
And its like that at other functions. I ran into a professor who asked what I was doing. He is a guy who is completely obsessed with success and helping others become successful. I told him I was unemployed. I might as well have told him that I was carrying a vial of Anthrax on my person. He said, "keep on looking!" and then got as far away from me as he could.
So, yes, that's where positive thinking got me.

Anonymous said...

no offense, Suzanne - but maybe there is something really wrong with your interviewing style or resume because your credentials would open doors...no doubt. its you as a person and that isnt the profession's fault.