Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dang Those White, Religious, Old, Poor People!

Okay, okay.  I know I just posted, but I can't help myself.  I've been reading this poll that was released by the Public Policy Institute of California on blogs here and there.  Tonight I took the time to actually read an entire article about it and it made me laugh.  That's probably due, in part, to the clear bias of the writer, Justin Ewers.  I mean, he is entitled to his opinion, but then I hope he is an opinion columnist and not a news reporter.  Anyway, here's a note to self - the publication of Justin Ewers' very biased opinion is more evidence of the extremely conspicuous MSM slant. Don't believe me?  Read this excerpt from this same article we're about to discuss:

"Some observers found it ironic that while an African-American was finally winning the presidency, his strongest supporters appeared to be torpedoing the rights of another historically persecuted minority group. 'It was the black vote that voted down gay marriage,' Bill O'Reilly said almost gleefully on Fox News." 

So, back to the Perpetrator Poll.  Well ... read first and I'll meet you on the other side of this segment:

"The poll released today by the Public Policy Institute of California, though, finds that Prop 8's strongest support came not from African-Americans but from white conservatives, born-again Christians, and low-income voters. Party affiliation, age, and religion played a far greater role in determining the measure's final outcome than race, the poll finds. More than 3 in 4 Republicans voted to ban same-sex marriage in the state, as did 85 percent of evangelical voters. Only 43 percent of all voters between the ages of 18 and 34 supported the ban, while 56 percent of those over 55 did.

Voters on the coast generally supported same-sex marriage and the more culturally conservative inland areas of the state voted against it, but ultimately it was income and education—much more than race—that determined voters' preferences. While only 43 percent of college graduates voted to ban gay marriage, 69 percent of voters with a high school degree or less voted for the proposition. Nearly 2 in 3 voters making less than $40,000 a year voted for Prop 8, while 55 percent of those making $80,000 or more voted against it."

So, what's the underlying message J-dawg wishes to convey?  Is it, "Hooray for violent protests against religions!  We were right!  Spray paint away, troops!"?  Or perhaps it is, "Screw the old people. They're so dense and backward.  They wouldn't know civil rights if they were hit over the head with them."  (Let's just forget that they were the ones who actually lived during the real deal, the Black Civil Rights Movement).  Or, better yet, maybe Ewers is loving this "uneducated people voted for Prop 8" angle. Pshaw.  As if level of education is equivalent to or indicative of intelligence.  Sorry, no can equate, good buddy.  Not in this country.  Let me remind you that we have the poorest excuse for an education system, so don't tell me that a high school diploma as opposed to a college degree is any indication of lack of intelligence.  Accusations of that sort, be they overt or embedded, are pure stupidity. Here are a few names of little ol' uneducated people to jog your memory.  All of these humble folk either didn't go to college or dropped out before they graduated.  And yet, their unintelligence (by your standards, Mr. Newsman) has earned them more money than you can prossibly dream of. Here are your stupid smart people, Justin-tolerant:

Mary Kay Ash
Richard Branson
Coco Chanel
Simon Cowell
Michael Dell
Barry Diller
Walt Disney
Debbie Fields
Henry Ford
Bill Gates
Milton Hershey
Steve Jobs
Rachael Ray
Ty Warner
Frank Lloyd Wright

Sheesh!  There sure are a lot of stupid millionaires.  But, since we really can't make a valid case for the education factor, let's move on from dumb people and pick apart poor people.  These humble tyrants must be the real perpetrators.  Dang poor people.  Ah, well, we'd better not protest at soup kitchens, that would look really bad for our cause.  So, let's stick with the Mormons and we'll just sneakily boycott and blacklist the heck out of the wicked and intolerant poor people on the side. Just as an aside here, I think it's a fair assumption that a large portion of those same poor people gave of their money to support Proposition 8 (considering a staggering $36 million was raised for the Yes on 8 campaign).  I find it commendable that these people who are struggling to survive on a meager income are willing to part with precious money in order to protect a sacred tradition and institution.  I find it far less commendable when a high profile Hollywood star throws $1 million at a cause that would eventually lead to the disintegration of the family definition best equipped to provide children with the safest, most nurturing, and least confused life.

So, since the religious angle is bigoted, and the uneducated angle got an F, and the poor angle didn't make cents (pun intended), how about pick on the old people for supporting Proposition 8? This just makes me sad.  My Granny and Grandpa lived with us throughout my adolescence. The America I grew up in held the elderly in the highest regard.  They were not treated with scorn and derision and neglected the way they are today.  The aged are wise for a very good reason, they've lived longer than the rest of us and have seen more than the rest of us.  We would do well to live by the guidance of our elders. Instead we are quick to discount them because they can't figure out e-mail and they tell the same jokes over and over and they sometimes have bad breath and need more help than makes us comfortable.  We are a very messed up society indeed if we put more stock in the rantings and ravings of young adults than we do in the quiet conviction of our wise elders.

Ah, 'tis a twisted world we live in.  And let's not forget that it is the meek and humble who, after enduring unthinkable persecution from the wicked, will inherit the earth.  Oh, but wait, that's a religious reference.  I'm not allowed to use scripture to support my beliefs.  I forget.  Religion has been overruled by the great, demanding secular church whose gospel is one of self-gratification and scorn for believers.

So, I thank the Public Policy Institute of California for illuminating the comforting fact that gay marriage supporters are largely secular, young, rich people.  That definitely boosts my confidence in gay marriage. Not.


MrsWaltz said...

Mr. Ewers did not equate education with intelligence; you inferred that he did from your reading. He simply stated that voters with undergraduate degrees or higher were more likely to vote against Prop 8, which is true. Until there is a way to objectively capture IQ scores of voters, no one will be able to tell how "intelligent" any voter bloc is. The list you provided doesn't do much to make your case. While I agree with you that education level is not absolutely correlated with intelligence, your list of outliers actually reinforces the meaning of the statistical norm. Another reason your list is irrelevant is that it comprises 6 dead people (Mary Kay Ash, Coco Chanel, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Milton Hershey, & Frank Lloyd Wright), 2 British citizens (Richard Branson & Simon Cowell) and 7 American citizens. Of the 7 American citizens, only one (Steve Jobs) is a citizen of California. And his company gave $100,000 to "No on Prop 8."

hope said...

pearl, i don't know where to start here. you bring up so many good points.

i think our society needs to take a long hard look at ourselves. we really do scorn old people and children are just accessories.

this is wrong. and not smart (no matter how many ipods we own or know how to use).

the other side says all the time "family is jacked anyways! so why not let us help strengthen it! we want to get married!" all the while treating children as if they have a right to them, and calling old people, out loud, bigots and ignorant. (saying also, that when they die off, they'll have their way).

this is terrible.

Concerning the money: I think it is so fascinating to see how many people donated to the yes, as opposed to the no side. you say some celebrities donated $1 million, but who? did any single celebrity donate $1 million? and how many?

I just think its funny that all these celebrities were saying this is a fundamental right, and yet they are only willing to throw down 100,000 dollars to help. If I had a ton of money, and I thought it was fundamental right...i'd be throwing down a lot more money than that.

which is something you saw for the yes side. they put their money where they thought it was important, even though its supporters were not as wealthy.

Pearl said...


I don't think there's one person who would doubt that gay rights activists would take any Prop 8 study released and try to find a way to make it work for them. As would the supporters of traditional marriage. Mine is a preemptive strike (i.e. "Don't you dare infer that just because a majority of Yes on 8 voters had not received a college diploma the supporters of traditional marriage are somehow more stupid than No on 8 voters). That kind of faulty attempt at correlation doesn't fly with me, so I'm eliminating it as an option.

As for my list of multi-millionaires, your points are moot. It makes no difference where they live(d) and whether they're dead or alive. The fact remains that they were people who had smarts and intelligence that did not require conventional education validation. Therefore "no college diploma = unintelligent" is just plain dumb.

the.rainbow.reclaimed said...

What is "intelligence." Does it include common sense?

I know a lot of smart people that live literally on a different planet when it comes to real life.

I think the article is definitely inferring that those you voted yes are literally not educated. This move makes it easy to say: well, they're just ignorant.

This is wrong. I validate the wisdom of traditional marriage.

MrsWaltz said...

I apologize for misunderstanding your pre-emptive argument. It's just that you stated that "maybe Ewers is loving this "uneducated people voted for Prop 8" angle. Pshaw. As if level of education is equivalent to or indicative of intelligence. Sorry, no can equate, good buddy." so I had the idea that you inferred that Mr. Ewers had equated them, not that you were implying that someone in your comments section was going to.
Regarding your list of millionaires, I again misunderstood your intentions, since I couldn't figure out why you included them. However, I still assert that compiling a list of outliers to prove a point actually reinforces the fact that they do deviate from the statistical norm.
Finally, the article doesn't infer anything. Audiences/listeners infer. Articles/messages/messengers imply. And a summary of statistical findings is simply descriptive, not implicative. Immediately after the election there were a lot of people on both sides of the vote who pointed to preliminary stats numbers showing that 70% of African Americans voted for Prop 8. Mr. Ewers is simply pointing out that level of education was more strongly correlative with voting than race was.

Pearl said...


Knowing Justin Ewers' bias on the subject, the fact that he felt the poll was note-worthy would suggest that his translation of it would be anti-Yes on 8 campaign. I, therefore, was proving how this would be faulty logic.

And regarding your assertion that my list of "outliers," as you dub them, fails to prove my point illuminates only your determination to misunderstand. I have proven quite aptly that you can in no way definitively claim that intelligence (smarts) only comes with a college degree.

Your nit-picking on terminology is silly and only proves my point further since the definition of "infer" actual includes the word "imply."

[in·fer (n-fûr)
v. in·ferred, in·fer·ring, in·fers
1. To conclude from evidence or premises.
2. To reason from circumstance; surmise: We can infer that his motive in publishing the diary was less than honorable.
3. To lead to as a consequence or conclusion: "Socrates argued that a statue inferred the existence of a sculptor" Academy.
4. To hint; imply.
To draw inferences.]

And finally, Mr. Ewers was not "simply pointing out" anything. The poll/study already did that. He was putting his own spin on it as opinion authors often do.

MrsWaltz said...

I didn't dub anything an "outlier." It's a statistical term for observations that are far removed from the grouping trend. The point is that they're exceptional cases. I'm sorry that you think I am determined to misunderstand; I'm actually quite determined to understand and also, to explain my own views thoughtfully and respectfully. As far as I know, no one has ever (not here nor elsewhere) tried to "definitively claim that intelligence (smarts) only comes with a college degree" so your list of exceptional people confused me.
Regarding "infer" and "imply" I appreciate you pointing that out to me; I never knew that the least common meaning of "infer" was synonymous with "imply". I have always used "imply" for "imply" so it's nice to have another option.
Finally, I know that there have been many verbal attacks - and too many physical ones (even one is one too many) -- against the Yes on 8 voters since the election, and you're likely feeling defensive. I understand how you would be, but I don't see anything but descriptive statistics in this article. It isn't "anti-Yes on 8," it's a pretty standard breakdown of voter demographics. Mr. Ewers titled his article "Poll: Black Voters Not Responsible for Passage of Same-Sex Marriage Ban in California" so it seemed obvious to me that that was the crux of his article. And Mr. Ewers is not an opinion columnist. He is, according to his bio at US News & World Report, "a senior editor in the Money & Business section at U.S. News & World Report, where he covers small business, Silicon Valley, and executive management. Most recently, he has written about eBay's growth strategy and Garmin's dominance of the GPS market." He's pretty much the go-to guy for trend summaries.

Pearl said...


I am not defensive. I am debating. This eyelash-fluttering innocence you defend in Justin Ewers is just simply not accurate.

So, since you seem to need the piecemeal evidence of his bias and presumptions, I will give them to you. They are hard to miss. While Ewers is an expert in his field, it is clear that he is an opinionated expert using his authority as an editor to not-so-very subtly promote his own ideology.

So, right off the bat, the way the poll is presented actually lends an undertone of blame rather than explanation. The first sentence goes like this, "The first major post-election poll on the outcome of Proposition 8 finds that huge majorities of Republicans, evangelicals, and older voters were responsible for passing the initiative banning same-sex marriage in California." (I also find it telling that he seeks to lend weight to the findings and, consequently, reduce confidence in previous findings by introducing it as "the first major post-election poll....").

And then, based on poll findings, Ewers goes on to "exonerate" Blacks of all responsibility for passing the initiative even though HUGE majorities of Blacks voted yes on 8. Why does it matter if statistically they weren't responsible for the swing? And why do they need someone to excuse them from their enormous yes-vote contribution? I'll tell you why. It's simple really. Gay rights activists cannot go after Blacks without absolutely destroying any hope of achieving gay-sympathetic concessions. So, by "the first major post-election poll" finding other demographics to be the "swing votes," they are clapping their hands and jumping up and down because now they can simply scoot the Blacks off to the side and ignore their huge contribution while continuing their even-more-righteous-with-these-new-poll-findings vendetta against religion (and stupid poor people).

Well, then Ewers says, "Voters were most sharply divided not by race, as some political pundits have suggested, but by income level and education..." even though the poll director specifically states, "But the more important distinguishing factor - aside from religion, partisanship, and age - is education and income." JE apparently has a strong desire to hone in on and emphasize the poorly educated poor people who voted for Prop 8. Reading between the lines, that's equivalent to saying, "highly educated rich people voted No on Prop 8." Ewers is trying to effect a judgment from his readers here - a judgment that Proposition 8 couldn't possibly have been a good thing if poor, stupid people voted for it.

In the end, Waltz, Ewers' language is what betrays him and his bias when he says things like, "Many political commentators have contended that socially conservative blacks were the swing votes that sealed the measure's fate." And, "Some observers found it ironic that while an African-American was finally winning the presidency, his strongest supporters appeared to be torpedoing the rights of another historically persecuted minority group."

MrsWaltz said...

In my lit classes, my favorite part of any discussion was when it became obvious that each person's "reading" of the text was informed by diverse worldviews. I'm having that same "Aha" moment now that you've pointed out where you see bias in Mr. Ewers' article, and for that I must thank you. I always appreciate it when I am able to see things from more than one perspective.
However, I still contend that because so many commentators did attempt to assign responsibility/blame to the African American voters, that Mr. Ewers' language is appropriate. He states plainly that "the measure's passage was not due to the historic turnout of black voters"; I don't know why you put quotes around "exonerate" as he did not use that word anywhere. You ask "And why do they need someone to excuse them from their enormous yes-vote contribution?" Perhaps because so very many people were determined to highlight the African American votes as the deciding ones? Whether or not he said it "gleefully," Mr. O'Reilly did say "It was the black vote that voted down gay marriage."
Additionally, you state that Ewers shows his bias when he focuses on income level and education as "most sharply divided" and you refute it with the statement:
even though the poll director specifically states, "But the more important distinguishing factor - aside from religion, partisanship, and age - is education and income." However, that is not all that the poll director said, just the part that supports your view of Mr. Ewers' bias. The beginning of the article's quotation from the poll director is:
"The real dividing line on Proposition 8, according to our poll, is socioeconomic status," says Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California and the poll's director.
I will grant you that "sealed the measure's fate" and "torpedoing the rights" are clear examples of Mr. Ewers' leanings on this issue, but his commentary is hardly egregious. Certainly no more so than your insistence upon attributing his use of education level demographic information to mean "smart" or "stupid."

Pearl said...


You claim a desire to respectfully discuss, but I guess that only holds true on other people's blogs. You are a very different person at home than you are abroad:


"When words have been twisted beyond comprehension, in attempts to demolish reason, we resort to clearer means of communicating rather than shutting up and appearing complicit." - WaltzinExile

ruby said...

The title is brilliant: Ornithophilia

Pearl, the Opine Editorials totally called her out on this too:

waltzing with opine

MrsWaltz said...

While you are certainly welcome at my blog anytime you like, please do not remove content from my blog and post it here. That content is my property and as such, you may not use it without my express written permission. Second, I understand if you take offense to what you saw, as it was, indeed, offensive. But that blog is my domain, not yours, and I was feeling pretty raw that day so that's what I posted. I have been nothing but respectful and open to debate here and you have no cause for bringing this up that I can see - for taking it out of my "home" if you will -- unless you had no other response for my most recent comment?
I've been told that many of my blog titles are brilliant but it's always nice to hear it again.

When you boil it all down, what it amounts to is that we all have a worldview we cherish and we are all concerned about our families. I came here to learn more about a worldview that is vastly different from mine, because I believe knowledge leads to understanding, and understanding leads to empathy, and empathy leads to people who are able to live in harmony despite vastly different worldviews. You, however, came to my blog and copied and pasted material here in order to...I don't know what. Attack me? Make me feel defensive? Shut me up? First of all, that won't work, and second of all, there's nothing to be gained by it.

Pearl said...

Listen MrsWaltz, what it comes down to is this. I did not "remove content" from your blog. I simply quoted you, with full credit given to you, even providing a link. I will remove the quote if you'd like.

I did not post that to attack you, make you feel defensive, or shut you up. If I felt you were saying anything inappropriate, I would have just stopped publishing your comments. The reason I did post it was to show readers the real Waltz. This exaggeratedly sweet, eye-lash batting, ignorance-claiming Waltz is not the same person who, perhaps emboldened by a like-minded following, flips off supporters of traditional marriage on her own blog.

I do not truly believe that you care to understand another world view. That's lovely rhetoric, but while you certainly talk the sweet talk here, you seem to be an altogether different person at home.

Who knows, maybe you've reformed since that lovely finger-pointing post, and maybe, as you say, it was just a bad day. But in my heart of hearts, I believe you wish only to nit-pick and distract. The way you are stringing out this poll debate is nonsensical and will eventually lead to us debating the meaning of the words "the" and "and." And all under this pretended ignorance that Opine Editorials apparently also saw through.

I love respectful debate. I really do. What I can't stand, Waltz, is disingenuity.

P.S. I always have an answer to defend my beliefs and opinions. :) I just feel that we are hashing and rehashing a tired conversation and that you said it best when you said that each of us is entitled to our diverse perspective.

(Oh, and I put exclamations around the word "exonerate" exactly because it was my word and not his.)

*For the record, I was not offended by what I saw at your blog. I have been flipped off so many times over Prop 8, that I have become immune to that little symbol.

Liberty Belle said...

Wow Waltz....touchy....

Anonymous said...

hahaha. That's funny waltz. You got snaaaagged.