If I get arrested….

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto is a policy analyst and part-time dungeon master. When not talking endlessly about matters of public policy, he is a dungeon master on the NWN World of Avlis

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59 Responses

  1. Avatar Adam says:

    My favorite part is where he credits “one of the founders” with the “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees” quote.

    It was actually Emiliano Zapata who said that.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Adam says:

      My favorite is this response:

      “Anyone (especially left wingers) who thinks this is what Conservatives/Republicans stand for probably don’t have the slightest clue what they are talking about,” wrote another.

      Because, he’s right, it is completely irrational to think people stand for the things they go out of their way to make happen.Report

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    I’m always glad when they do shit like this. It’s the best way to see who they really are.Report

  3. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I’m going to note that his name is Lorenzo Garcia

    What’s wrong people? My great-grandparents passed through Ellis Island over 100 years ago and I’m still more pro-immigrant.

    If you need, I will bake you a cake with a file in it.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to NewDealer says:

      Back when I used to read the SF Chronicle, there was a person constantly writing letters to the editor about how immigration was ruining this country. Not illegal immigration, mind you, but immigration period. There were too many of them coming in, taking our jobs, over-crowding out schools, and destroying our way of life in general. Her name? Yeh Ling-Ling.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to NewDealer says:

      Eh, this is Texas. For one, it’s not impossible that his family has been in Texas a century or more longer than yours has been in the States, and on top of that, there is an unsurprising (given certain cultural tendencies that like high religiosity and traditionalism) trend among a large number of n-generation (where n is usually >2) Latinos to be at least sympathetic to conservatism. And again, this is Texas, so conservatism easily turns into this sort of thing. The YCT at UT has a fairly proud history, over the last decade, of blatantly offensive publicity stunts like this. It’s how they get attention on an historically very liberal campus, and it serves quite well the primary purpose of many conservatives: pissing off liberals.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Chris says:

        “it serves quite well the primary purpose of many conservatives: pissing off liberals.”

        I think you are right and it says something about a movement or idea being intellectually bankrupt that this is their primary purpose.

        When I was 11-12 years old, I had a t-shirt that said “Welcome to New York” and showed a picture of a police outline of a body like they do for murders. It was my favorite shirt. An adult saw me in the shirt and said “why do you want to be the lowest common denominator” and I felt rather ashamed. He was right. The t-shirt was immature, crass, and dumb.

        Yet I see all these middle aged men proudly wearing “annoy a liberal” swag and placing bumper stickers on their cars with the same message and now I feel a kind of pity for them.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Chris says:

        I have “annoy the liberal” swag.
        Naturally, this can’t be worn (even in the house. someone might see).

        It wasn’t “annoy the liberal” swag when it was printed.
        It was simply “Boston Strong”.Report

  4. Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

    I like the picture of him holding a sign saying “fast cars, firearms and freedom, it’s a Texas thing.” Setting aside that yet again we have an asshat Texan who think those things are peculiarly special to his godforsaken shithole of a state, the “freedom for me, but not others” implication of his antipathy to illegal immigrants is all too typical.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

      Eh, “shithole of a state” is going too far. I am not a Texas partisan, and I don’t even particularly like it here, but it is a beautiful place, culturally diverse (central Texas has long-standing Hispanic, German, and Czech communities that retain a great deal of their language and cultural traditions), and in the cities, well-educated and generally progressive at the local level. People are moving here in droves, and not just from Oklahoma, but from the Bay Area, New York, and pretty much everywhere else.

      The state’s politics are fucked up, to be sure, but a large part of its dysfunction, I think, is a desperation among state conservatives in the face of unstoppable demographic trends and cultural changes that will render them significantly less powerful in most of their lifetime.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:

        I’ve been in 47 states, and in no other state have I met people as arrogantly provincial as Texans. Even the decent ones I’ve met have been surprised that I don’t think Texas is the greatest state in the union. Above all, a state is its people, so a state filled with shitheads is a shithole. (Not that every Texan is a shitheaf, but the state culture breeds an inordinate proportion of them.)Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Eh, I still think that’s unfair. I’ll grant you that Texans have an unrealistic view of Texas’ place in the world, largely (I think) because so many of them have never been anywhere else in the world. It’s a big place; it’s hard to even get out of Texas once you’re here. And I will admit that parts of East Texas are weird in a way that I find unappealing, but a lot of that is wrapped up with the economic realities out there. But much of Texas is full of wonderful people. While Austin isn’t going to win any awards for friendliest city, some of the nicest people I’ve ever met have been from McCallen or El Paso or Loredo. Texas isn’t one state, it’s about 15, and the people are pretty different in each one. So if you’re judging Texas on its people, I gotta ask which ones?Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:

        Fairness has nothing to do with it. 😉

        Look, I know there are good people everywhere. My point is that even the good people I’ve met from Texas, generous, smart, funny, nice, are infused to some degree with that attitude. Basically, it’s too much a part of Texas culture, in a way that I’ve never experienced elsewhere. As you note, too many of them have never been anywhere else. Or as I said, they’re provincial. But I meet students who’ve never been anywhere but Michigan and maybe Ohio–they’re provincial, but more in a wide-eyed naive way, not in the smug self-satisfied way I’ve experienced with Texans.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Yeah, it’s just a cultural difference, though. It doesn’t make them shitty people, or Texas a shithole of a state. It takes some getting used to, I admit, but I’ve definitely been here long enough to be used to it and I rarely even notice it anymore. Mostly I notice the “Austin is the greatest place on the planet!” stuff, which I find significantly more annoying. I’ve never been to a city that liked to talk about itself as much as this one. Here’s what I hear on a typical TV newscast in Austin:

        “In today’s news, Austin did something wonderful. Meanwhile, a new report lists Austin as #1 in #1-ness. And now a report from Reporter Just Out of College Imitating Typical TV News Voice, on location downtown. TV News Voice? Yes, Vapid Anchorperson, I’m here downtown, where earlier today I spoke to Austin residents about how Wonderful Austin is. [Cut to woman with a nose ring and $3,000 purse.] Austin is wonderful. I just moved here, but I’ve already decided it is better than every other city on the planet. There you have it, Vapid Anchorperson. Thank you, TV News Voice. In other news, Austin residents have done something the residents of other cities would never be capable of doing, because they don’t live in Austin.”

        After ten minutes of this, there will be a 10 second report about a murder somewhere in town, then 5 seconds of national/international news, followed by a weatherperson taking 5 minutes to tell you that it’s going to be hot and sunny for the rest of the decade, and then 15 minutes of talking about the Longhorns.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:

        Wait, Austin is San Francisco?

        (And, I think you care too much about my opinion of Texas/Texans. Are you worried that I’ll succeed in my mission of expelling it from the U.S.?)Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        It’s not just you. It’s a common attitude among non-conservatives outside of Texas, and it irks me. It reminds me a lot of the way people talk about the South, and being a Southerner, I get a little defensive when I’m reminded of that.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:

        Southerners are the nicest, most generous folks in the country, make the best food, and make the best music. But the political culture is still horrible in so many ways that a lot of criticism is still deserved.

        And, you know, Texans earn the disdain. I’ve been in 47 states, including Texas, and in each one I’ve met great people and seen beautiful country. The people in Iowa are nicer, Oregon’s more beautiful, California’s more diverse, Florida is at least its equal in beaches…Texas is fine, but it’s not that special, and in no other of those states do I hear people boast about it like Texans. I’m a midwesterner, and to us boasting about yourself is just not acceptable practice. You boast, others are going to start sticking pins in you to deflate your ego.

        Besides, it was your governor that started talking about secession. I’m just being nice and saying we give him what he wants.Report

      • Avatar Adam in reply to Chris says:

        I’d say New Yorkers rank, if not higher than Texans, then at least pretty damn close on the “I’m from the greatest place in the world and you’re insane to think anything else” scale. I really need a catchier name for that.Report

      • Avatar Jonathan McLeod in reply to Chris says:

        @jm3z-aitch The complaint you raise is one I often hear about Americans.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chris says:

        Adam, I’m first to admit that residents of New York City and its associated suburbs in Long Island, New Jersey, and Conneticut can have this sort of attitude. I still say we are better than Texas because our politics inflict less damage on the nation and world as a whole. We also share a begrudging respect for residents of other world cities because of our cosmopolitan nature.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Chris says:

        in all fairness, NYC is America’s world class city.
        (No, san francisco doesn’t count, please be serious).Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        While Texans’ attitude towards Texas doesn’t really bother me, I find my girlfriend’s New York chauvinism insufferable. I suppose my feelings about New York are pretty similar to James’ feelings about Texas.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:


        You should hear Canadians talking about their health care system! (*grin*)Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:


        That’s totally different. The Bay Area is the best place in the world.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:


        Oh, sure, if you move the goalposts like that, I totally agree.Report

      • Avatar Jonathan McLeod in reply to Chris says:

        @jm3z-aitch Oh, yeah. You should hear the Canadians *I* hear talk about their health care system.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Chris says:


        Even more provincial than San Franciscans and New Yorkers?

        I had friends in college who would not visit me in Long Island because it was not New York. I’ve turned people off from ever visiting New York with my evangelism. I know San Franciscans who don’t register anything beyond Berkeley as in their visiting range.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        New, I frequently, frequently tell my girlfriend, who’s from Queens (a fact that she will mention, casually, in any conversation with someone we’ve just met), that her New York chauvinism is her least attractive trait. To which she will inevitably reply, “If you were from New York, you wouldn’t feel that way. You would understand how great it is.” To which I will reply with my head exploding.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

        Once I was driving my daughter and a couple of her teammates to a track meet. As we drove (shudder) north of San Rafael, this kid from Belvedere said, perfectly seriously, “I just don’t feel safe in Novato.”Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:


        SF was insufferable, but my experience was that was overwhelmingly people who had moved to SF because they thought it was “THE PLACE TO BE” and they were desperately trying to keep that illusion. Most of the born-and-raised SFranciscans I met were surprisingly nice and not really so arrogant.

        I’ll give NY a bit of a pass because, well, it is America’s leading city, arguably even the world’s leading city (or among the top handful). As a NY friend of mine once said, the only other American city that really felt like a city to him was Chicago, and by comparison it was just so much smaller. It’s still a type of provincialism, but at least it’s tied to something that truly is superlative in its way.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Chris says:

        World class cities: London and NYC.

        I think Chicago is somewhere around 3rd to fourth class.
        (Pittsburgh, which you don’t care about, is somewhere around 6th tier).Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Chris says:

        Really, if you’re comparing your provincialism to New York City’s provincialism, we’re down to “Hitler v. Stalin for Worst Evah!” competition.Report

      • Avatar Squeelookle in reply to Chris says:

        I live in Oklahoma and can vouch for J@m3z’s experience of our neighbors to the south. There’s something about their attitude that is absolutely despicable. It’s like every pocket of the old “american exceptionalism” attitude up and moved to Texas and now they make a habit of insulting the rest of the country about how much “better” Texas is than everyone else.

        Take my cousin from Dallas out for barbecue or steak? He’ll say Texas food is better. Take him to something local cultural? Dallas symphony, or whatever theater he saw the musical at, is better somehow. Oklahoma state fair? Texas’s is “better.”

        It feels like Texans can’t miss a chance to insult the rest of the country or to pretend their shit doesn’t stink.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

      Speaking of fast cars, can somebody explain to me why American conservatives see mass transit as the greatest threat to freedom of all time and idealize cars as the best form of transportation? I can understood why people would perceive welfare state measures as a threat to freedom on an intellectual level. I don’t agree with them but I see where they are coming from. The opposition to mass transit and the ideologicalization of transportation policy is just silly.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Not at all, it’s a classic “If they get theirs, I’ll never git mine!”Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Judging by talk radio, you can be too dumb to realize that every BART rider is one fewer car on the freeway and still get a driver’s license.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I think a lot of people misunderstand how massively subsidized our freeway system is. I don’t know the comparative numbers for subsidies, but the freeway system ain’t exactly a model of user-fee funding. And when Pat Brown, iirc, emphasized that California was going to have freeways, not toll roads, he was very purposefully intending to socialize the costs; so it requires a bit of ignorance to favor freeways over mass transit on “freedom, not socialism!” grounds.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Don’t get me started on freeway subsidies.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        James, thats part of it but hatred for mass transit seems to go beyond simply a misunderstanding of how much car based transportation are subsidized. Mass transit and urban living in general are seen as anti-American while low-density, auto-dependent suburbs as continuations of small-town, all-American life. The rhetoric about suburbs is almost Jeffersonian in level.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to LeeEsq says:

        The rhetoric about suburbs is almost Jeffersonian in level.

        Lee, Hank Hill tending his law is the Jeffersonian yeoman farmer. If you were an American instead of a New Yorker, you’d understand.

        Don’t get me started on freeway subsidies.

        Well, I tried, but apparently you’re not quite as provocable as I thought. 😉Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to LeeEsq says:

        It’s a time thing.

        Properly identifying even a quarter of our automobile/diesel truck subsidy funds would be an enormous task, from the crude to the gas to the distribution systems, let alone the actual physical freeway.

        I remember a train thread a while back where someone was griping about Amtrak and about an hour’s worth of research led to me to the conclusion that rail is hardly subsidized at all in comparison to flight or the automobile, and the data abyss I was staring at was… deep.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to LeeEsq says:


        At a guess I’d say it comes down to three things:
        1) A car goes wherever you want it to go, public transport follows designated routes.
        2) A car goes whenever you want it to, public transport follows set timetables
        3) A car is your own private space, whereas public transport is a communal space.

        Cars are the only form of long-range land transport that allows for personal autonomy, which is why they are romanticised.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        oh, give me a break. Cars are romanticized because of SEX.
        Isn’t that obvious?Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to LeeEsq says:

        James: That explains why they might prefer cars to mass transit, not why the deep loathing.

        Tom Delay, for instance, single handedly delayed mass transit expansion in Houston for over a decade. Even when Houston voters approved it, he made sure to explicitly deny Metro any matching federal funds (while approving such funds for Dallas).

        Houston, capital city of sprawl and ridiculous traffic. Tom Delay just ideologically LOATHED mass transit to the point where it honestly seemed like he was gonna have a stroke at the idea of his area having a bus accidentally traverse it. And light rail? You might as well be punching the baby jesus.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        JamesK, what Morat said. Its not just that the car is romanticized but that trains, trams, and buses, walking, biking, and high-density living is loathed.

        As to your three points, point 3 is true to an extent but a car is a communal space when your shring with your romantic partner, friends, family, or workmates. Cars are only private space if you are in them alone. Point 2 is false. In heavily-utilized systems, the wait time is only a couple of minutes. Five at most. With cars you need to deal with traffic. If you live in a heavily populated, auto-dependent area like Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston, etc. than you deal with traffic a lot. Point 1 is also wrong in that if transit system is extensive enough, the trains do go everywhere or you just need to walk a little.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I’m not sure about the history, but is it possible that right-wing opposition to public transportation is a backlash against opposition to cars and/or the promotion of public transportation as morally superior?Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Is that, by any chance, based on something silly like treating our entire military budget as a subsidy to oil consumption? You have to look out for these kinds of shenanigans whenever someone claims to have calculated the “true” social cost of something he doesn’t like.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Different people are skeptical of or hostile towards mass transit for different reasons. Some of it is simply because it’s not their preference and attention given to mass transit is attention not given to roads. Some of it is that the boosters of mass transit have a more ambitious agenda and more specific ideas of how people should be residentially arranged regardless of what their preferences might be.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Brandon, there has never been any moment in the history of the automobile, where there was serious opposition to cars as a mode of transport in the United States. Federal, state, and local governments have favored cars over all other forms of transit by the 1920s. In the post-WWII history, the favoritism doted on cars became immense. When cars were still relatively knew, there was a movement for safe driving because earlier adapters tended to run over a lot of people but thats about it.

        Will, so its all about subsidies for me and my lifestyle preferences but none for thee.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Is that, by any chance, based on something silly like treating our entire military budget as a subsidy to oil consumption? You have to look out for these kinds of shenanigans whenever someone claims to have calculated the “true” social cost of something he doesn’t like.

        You mean the train thing?

        You see shenanigans all the time in public policy analysis. In fairness, a lot of time it’s inadvertent, people look for data until they find some that meets their preconceived notion of what the data should look like, and they stop.

        Thus, whenever you’re doing this sort of thing, you need to dig harder than you’d like, you need to look for stuff that refutes your preconceived notions instead of reinforces them, and you need to keep your conclusions tentative.

        That takes a lot of time.

        But on the raw numbers, sometimes you can find pretty big oddness. Direct train subsidy doesn’t even come close to direct plane or car subsidies, just on the raw numbers for Amtrak vs. the national highway budget and the cost of the air traffic control system. It would take a lot of contributory subsidy activity to even come close. And it’s pretty unreasonable to assume that train fuel is subsidized anywhere near enough to accommodate the difference, even assuming that car and plane fuel wasn’t subsidized at all…Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

        “Different people are skeptical of or hostile towards mass transit for different reasons.”

        You can focus on the least charitable reason if you choose.

        I’d personally be perfectly fine trying to even the playing field as much as possible as far as subsidies go. I don’t find a whole lot of support for that position among supporters of mass transit, though. And it’s a rather complicated issue more generally with what does and does not count as a subsidy. So, absent truly objective measures, a lot of people tend towards those policies that support their preferred lifestyle over the preferred lifestyle of others. (And by “a lot of people” I don’t particularly mean one side of the discussion. Though people tend to assume I mean the other side of them.)Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Tom Delay just ideologically LOATHED mass transit to the point where it honestly seemed like he was gonna have a stroke at the idea of his area having a bus accidentally traverse it.

        Ah, one can dream…Report

  5. Avatar Squeelookle says:

    Weren’t these the people who keep planning to secede from the USA and start Civil War 2.0? I’m glad I don’t live there.Report

  6. Avatar Squeelookle says:

    Duplicate comment error again? I’ve lost a few comments today 🙁

    Conservative opposition to public transportation is simple to understand if you look at it in their worldview. Conservatives see the car as something for the haves. If you have a car, to their mind you are obviously someone who worked for it and deserves it. They see buses and public transportation as something for the poor, and since in their mind the poor are all lazy moochers it’s imperative that public transportation be quashed so as to ‘incentivize’ the lazy mooching poor to somehow get jobs that they can’t afford a car to drive to.Report

    • Not sure if you saw my comment from the other day, but it’s coming up as a “duplicate comment” because the previous comment was taken and stored in the spam folder by the site’s filtering software. So it checked your new comment against the others and found a duplicate. Ultimately, you’re going to just have to repost comments with minor alterations (I’m not sure how much alteration is required, but it doesn’t appear to be much) whenever one gets shuffled off into the spam folder.Report

      • Avatar Squeelookle in reply to Will Truman says:

        I am confused because it happens the first time I click the post comment button, why would it be a duplicate in the spam filter?Report

      • I’m afraid that I don’t have an answer for that. All I can tell you is that a few days ago I looked into instances where you said duplicate comment error (& then pasted the comment) and there was a comment in the spam folder with similar content as pasted comment.Report