January 28: What is Politics?
You don't have full rights of free speech. Anything else that's not regulated? Besides the sun? We mentioned that? Can't regulate our thinking. They can regulate how we deal with it, but not -- they may try, by what we read sometimes. Probably been laws for almost everything at one time or other, maybe not now. They finally got rid of about two years that was on the books in San Francisco since the 1850s that did not allow you to fly kites in San Francisco. When you think of some of the laws that have been passed we begin to wonder why somebody comes up with something. They decide that it's important for society. And so, people pass laws.
I talked about Livermore library and pornography and the attempt by legislatures now saying that they have to have at least one computer that is blocked or they will lose funding. Those are interferences. If you will, sometimes people say with our free choice others believe it's necessary for government to do it, They're doing it because politicians think that will get them elected.
Anything else that you can think of that is not
regulated? Anything? No? What about freedom of religion? Do we have that, or is that
A It's regulated in a way.
Q Well, in some ways. obviously, religions that violate what we basic human?
Q Um, the particular religion that allows rattle snakes to crawl up your body has been banned.
It's still in existence. Religions that exorcise to get rid demons. People by locking them in the closets
and cutting off their breathing. Those are banned.
Who determines what a religion is in this country legally? The IRS! Which is rather strange. They are the ones to decide whether a religion gets a tax deduction & therefore is really a religion. They have pulled back on a couple lately. About five years ago there was the Universal Life Church that used to sell people ministries.
A. Yeah. I'm a minister of that.
Q. You got it free on the internet?
Yes, well they used to get tax deductions. They were first $5 for a ministry & then it went to $10. People used to do it and even perform marriages. But, the IRS cut them off about 5 years ago.
A. So does that mean technically I'm no longer a reverend?
No.You're a reverend. You could call yourself reverend, nothing stops you--so you are fine. However, don't try and get an IRS deduction anymore. Just like you know, you're a member of Amway.
They're not accepting your pet dog as watching your products anymore. People used to write off their dogs as watchdogs because they had stocks of Amway in their house. So in a sense, it's really weird that it's the IRS that determines.
Freedom of press. Yesterday's people indicated -- and I can't remember the state, maybe Arizona, but a state that allows concealed weapons -- has passed laws. A law indicating that you are now allowed to carry concealed weapons to church. So as a reverend, as a minister, you better be careful. But it's interesting because back in the 1830s a law was passed that said that people had to carry guns to church on Sunday. To protect themselves from the hostiles.
In Connecticut up until 1966, the law said you could not have sex in any position but the missionary position. 1966. Now that's not that long ago. Now some of you are laughing because you know what that means. The position missionaries use. Woman on the bottom. Man on top. Prone. Lying down face-to-face, if they're the same height. Does anybody know why missionaries insisted that the only position to have sex was and to bare babies was in the missionary position? It's the most likely chance of the egg and the sperm maybe? No. They wouldn't have known that. Sounds logical, but no. in fact there are books that tells you different ways to have -- whether you want a boy or girl based on the acidity, There's evidence that that does make a difference. Most of you don't want a boy or girl right now anyway. The reason for the missionary position is that they found it's the only -- it was the only position that the humans could engage in because animals had sex in the other positions, but not face-to-face, And humans were the only animals quote unquote, that had sex face-to-face. Now we know that that's not exactly true anymore. but that was the way the missionaries saw it, So that's what distinguished us from the lower animals,. So if you want to know the reasoning. And I'll bet you your anthropology it was because ot your thumb.
So what happened in 1966? Well, a guy walked by an open window. heard some strange sounds. Looked in and saw a married couple in their bedroom having oral sex. He called the cops. I know that's funny. Most of you would have just stood around and watched. Cops came, and they busted the couple. Went to the Supreme Court. The Court said that that was far too narrow a definition, that you can't force people into a specific kind of action. However, five years ago the Supreme Court ruled that states, and there are 22 of them, were allowed to outlaw oral sex, sodomy, and anal sex. And bestiality. Those things were permitted to be outlawed by states and 22 banned them. And so they have people going around looking at open windows and calling the cops.
But this does, as I indicated, as laws so even your own personal behavior in your own bedroom is restricted. In 1966, as well, the Supreme Court had another ruling pertaining to Connecticut. They had banned all birth control devices from being sold. And also banned any information being distributed about birth control. And that went to the Supreme Court. I believe it was Grizwald v Connecticut in 1966, and the Court ruled that this was the first major division decision by the Court that said that we have certain privacy rights.
The next major decision was which one? The right of privacy? It was the abortion decision. Roe v Wade, 1973. They used the same amendment. I chose some stuff that just way out for playing games, but I think it makes a point that we are regulated. And the point I'm trying to make here is that when it's impacting us everyday every way we act,
So, the big question is so what? And the answer is maybe it doesn't mean anything to you, but I think it's important to know at least what's influencing you. Not that we can do anything, but the fIrst step in being able to do something is knowing about it. If you don't see it, if you don't know about it, you're more likely to be frustrated and angry because you're controlled and you don't know why.
I know if I mentioned this before, but as I indicated, people who may be pessimistic tend to be the individuals who don't know what's happening around. They can't see it. They're not observant. I already told you I am extremely observant. I lack tact, but I'm observant. But the plan I mentioned earlier, why you ever notice young children and
they say whatever they think whenever they feel like this. That's part of being kids. Well, what happens? Why somewhere -- seventh or eighth grade -- do they control what they're doing and saying and seeing? Obviously it's socialization. Somewhere along the line the ability to be free and is being knocked out of you and diddley. I think there's a good reason. I didn't talk about this last time? Yes? no? About my kid, didn't I? Yeah. I thought I did. Please remember my stupid stories so I don't have to repeat them. I'm glad it's not me.
Well, as I say, gives us the opportunity to take action if we want to. And as I say it can be anything. And when my oldest son first entered elementary school I decided that I wanted to be involved. Um, first day of school or so. Why did I want to be involved? Number one, it's a political institution. How? They got an elected school board. They have an elected PTA, if you want to look at it on the local level, and that has a lot to do with the educational process, the system, and my attitude was that I wanted to know what was going on in the schools. I want to be sure the schools didn't screw up my kid's head. I figured that was my job. So I'm happy.
In any case, within the first week or so they usually send home this little note. Says do you want to join the PTA? You know, will you help out? Would you collect Campbell soup labels? Will you be a room mother. Well, I wrote sexist. And they got real upset. They called me up immediately and said, well we're sorry. We never thought about that. Um, we'll change that to room parent. I said well, I don't mind if you change the wording or room -because I'm from New York. In any case, I wasn't a room mother/parent, That was a mistake. They're the ones that bake the cupcakes for the parties. That wasn't exactly my political at that, but I did get involved,
It was funny because last semester I had a young
man in class, friend of some of you, Do you know Derrick? Derrick's on our baseball
team. He comes over to me one time, beginning of class. We started talking and he
says, my landlady hates your guts. Oh, okay. She hates my guts. Why? Well, twenty
years ago I was on the PTA with her, And she is still pissed. If I piss somebody
off for twenty years, that's great. Usually it's just for a little while. I love
it. So I said, well what was the situation? And it's funny because I'm sure I exaggerated
the story, but the way I recall it anyway, the P.T.A. had decided that they wanted
to run a mother/daughter fashion show and a father/son sport night. Well, I think
that's kind of type casting, you know? Definitely. And I was a little upset about
it, but my approach is to try and make it personal. I understand, but I don't like
sports. I think it's fair. Well, as soon as I said I don't like sports all of these
women looked at me and said gay. If you don't like sports and you're a man, you're
in real trouble. So I could see the looks;but there was one woman who stood up for
My husband doesn't like sports either, she said, but he's a real man. He's got a motorcycle and guns. Well, not having a motorcycle and guns, I felt like crawling into a hole atthat point.
Any case we made a change. I don't remember exactly what it was. This was probably a minor compromise. We probably had a father/son fashion show -- no, we wouldn't have had that. We probably had a father/daughter fashion show and a mother/son sport night. Something, I'm sure. It was just a reversal of something. But at least we had a little change and said something. It's amazing how you can say things and people hang on and dislike you for twenty years. And that's why a lot of people are afraid to do anything or say anything. Even get anything done because we all have this insecure personality. We want to be loved. We have to apologize all time.
It's too bad you're not from New York. You'd get more accomplished. But it's funny how these things do happen and carry on. And people getting upset and say things. Now this was not last year, but this was a number of years back. Probably fifteen, twenty. I had a student sit in the back of the room. And I told about my involvement trying to get things done in the school. And I mentioned that one day I was working at the school my son was in, second grade, andthey have these centers that parents go in and work with the kids. And she sent me. over -to this room which was sort of a library. They didn't have a librarian. They hired a woman from the community, and I just happened to look -- I looked at the books and she's got the books classified as sports and girls. So I looked at her and said well where are the boys books? Those are the sports books, I said, well what if a girl wants to read a sports book? And I said look, there's a Nancy Drew mystery around the girls. What if my son wanted to read a Nancy Drew mystery? She said, well he wouldn't. Well, I hate to tell you, because if he did he'd be called a cootie kisser.
It's really fascinating to me and this is a little off the subject. Kids seem to have the same language. The same stupid jokes at the same age/grade every year. Parents don't teach it. Teachers don't teach it. It's a culture. There's a third grade culture. There's a second grade culture. They laugh at the same jokes. I was amazed when I started working -- elementary jokes. They were telling the same jokes that I had told in the third grade. And they were surprised 1 know them. But I haven't much outgrown third grade, but it's very interesting. I haven't figured that out. I think it's the socialization. They reach a certain level with words so funny like poo or something and that's not funny of third grade when they use the F word. In any case, that was way off.
So I'm telling a story about going to the library, and the young man in the back of room raises his hand and says, was that Mission San Jose Eiementary? He says that was my mother. And 1 remember her coming home talking about this weird trouble making guy that was a knee-jerker talking about how these books should be.
So she was upset. The son remembered it. 1 was a weird troublemaker. 1 didn't go to the principal. 1 just gave the example. Yet, a couple of weeks later she changed it. She actually had the Dewey Uecimal System
Why do people do things? Well, sometimes it's philosophical and other times it's just because they don't think about it. It's always been done that way. My kid comes home in second grade he says, daddy, how come the girls always get to go into classroom first? I couldn't believe that in this day in age they lined up girls, they lined up boys separately, and they let the girls go in first. And I said, a don't know. I'm a teacher. So I look at him. Why do you think the girls go in first:? And he said because girls are prettier. Well I wasn't about to let that go by. I'm not going to let my kid turn into a sexist. Well I don't know. 1 think boys are just as pretty as girls, Well, dad, you can have your opinion and I can have mine. Definitely precocious kid even then.
Wail, next time 1 was in school helping out there 1 went to the teacher. Well how come? She said I don't know.
It's always been that way. It's just the way we do things. I said something, well, would it hurt to change-, Well probably not. And do you know the next day she let the boys go first? The girls got to go last. Which was nice. We don't like to be second class citizens back of the line. But two weeks later, revolution occurred. She integrated the lines. I didn't even say anything. The sky didn't fall down. Chicken Little didn't run around and -- but again, the point simply being that that was just the way it was always done.
So involving yourself sometimes just in things that are important to you sometimes could mean simply suggesting something, it doesn't necessarily always mean blowing up the buildings. Things can got done often by one person.
Um three years ago, it may be two now, a young woman here at Ohlone College had asthma and she was that -- even though we banned smoking in the classrooms and buildings that people were smoking outside the classrooms, and she wanted to have smoking banned totally on the campus at Ohlone. She went to administration, to the newspaper. They all sort of the laughed at her. Student government listened to her and throw her out. Well, she finally went down to our board of trustees and she kept at it. Persistence for her own sake of her health to the extent that the board created a semi-compromise which wasn't fully making her happy, but in a sense it did get something done. This boardthen banned smoking under these eaves here. It banned smoking on the steps above the stairways, and so that it limited that you had to be smoking in the open spaces where no on.-- was around. Now granted some people don't follow that process, but you know that rule was developed mainly because of one person who had asthma and was concerned about it herself. And she didn't care about the ridicule, which I'll tell you has got to be tough. A woman at 19 not caring. I gave her a lot of credit. I never met her, never met her, but I was impressed by her persistence.
Well, we've talked about involvements and getting involved, but it's time perhaps you quote put something in your notes. So when is he going to give me something I can write? It's the first time it's happened in this class. As I told you before. it will be nice if I give you one definition of politics, but -- I've never been nice. So Iim going to give you four definitions. However, there's a reason underlying those reasons for four definitions. I'll probably give you twenty. They say the same thing. However I think the way you define politics would also have a big impact on the way -1 taught it.
in other words, I think the way an instructor does. And what I'm going to do is look at it over the years. The discipline over political science probably becomes what we call a high school discipline.
And the first definition probably used for politics was
politics is the power of government. Politics is the power of government. Well, if I was an instructor teaching politics, under the definition politics is the power of government, what would be the main structure of the class? What would I get you to try to learn Obviously the power of government, but what about it? A Three branches. Q Well, perhaps. How it's carried out through the three branches. You must have learned this somewhere -executive, legislative, judicial. Where does their power system come from? Constitution. So it will be structured around the which could be structured around the three branches which could be in the government around the Constitution and how it's carried out. So obviously in that kind of a course we'd spend a lot of the time studying the Constitution. If many instructors made their students memorize the whole thing. That's obviously not done anymore because we tend to think of education in a different fashion, although some memorization is done.
Many of you did have to memorize the preamble to the Constitution. How many of you at some point memorized the preamble? What grade? A Eighth grade. Q Who else memorized the preamble? A Eighth. Q Senior year? Did you go to Logan? That wasn't a wise
guy comment about Logan. But I had two people in my senior year and they were at Logan. What school did you go to? Granada in Livermore. Where else? Eighth grade. Q I guess eighth grade is the memorization grade. Do you remember any of it. The first line? We the people. Anybody? We the people ... We the people... We the people of the United States ...
You know, memorization is a funny thing because sometimes you memorize and nobody analyzes or deals with the meaning, We will deal with the meaning, but I'll never forget it took me God knows how many years -- I think I was out of high school before I knew what the Pledge of Allegiance -- one nation invisible. Why say indivisible? Invisible made sense because when I memorized it, and it wasn't until 1956 that they put into the Pledge of Allegiance, so all my years of elementary years we never said under God. And so under God. Because I didn't learn its one nation invisible with liberty injustice for all. People think I'm an atheist, but it's the faults of our government
Um, in any case, the next definition that came into being probably in the early 20th century makes a lot more sense for political science today because it expands it a bit. Politics is the power of government and/or people's attempts to influence that power of government. I will say it one more time. Okay. I said the second definition of
politics is politics is the power of government and/or
peoples attempts to influence that power. Okay. What
would I add to the course now probably with that extension
of definitions that I didn't discuss previously? What else
would we teach?
A. Maybe talk about lobbying? At least participate in
trying to influence the government certainly lobbying. How
else do people attempt to influence government?
A. By being a politicians.
Q. Well they could decide that they're going to run for
office and a number of people get annoyed or get on the
boards and, you know, I certainly did. I got pissed off in
a soccer game. You get involved. You become, in a sense. I
don't necessarily mean just running for the federal
government. We do things or our egos get involved.
A. Strikes and picketing. Demonstrations. Violence.
Revolution. I mean those are ways, some legal, some not,
some successful, some not, that people do attempt to
influence government. How else?
Q. How else?
Q. Well sure. Bribery or campaign contributions.
Q. Petitions? Definitely. What else? Bills? What do you mean? Like legislative bills? They can't introduce, but people individually without petitions, but go and is he to their legislature and try and convince them or introduce legislation? Yeah, that happens quite a bit, actually. What else? Well we have a new modern technology. What are people using? Before I even go, let's go in the old technology. Letters to the editor, to newspapers. Certainly, a very active way and taking some of your new technology in the last twenty or thirty years, what has been ways people are attempting to influence politics?
A. Politics now.
Q. Well less thirty years and now?
Q. Well computers. In what fashion?
Q. Yeah, the internet. Let me go back. What's the thing? I shouldn't ask it that way? Television, right? How do we attempt to influence politics through television or radio?
Q. How do we attempt to influence politics not how the
A. Making fun of it.
Q. Maybe making fun of politics through the media?
A. How would we make fun,Shows like In Living Color, or
oh, well, yeah but that's not us. It might be used, but
we're not the writers. I see what you're saying. Those
shows make commentary. We can send in ideas and some shows
A. Riots. News cameras certainly want. By the way, it
was active, the protest of the 60s made sure that they
wouldn't act up unless the media was present because they
knew they would get great coverage. So certainly they tried
to get them out for coverage of demonstrations. Good
Well same thing with political cartoons. It's not us that's doing it, it's true that there's individuals. I'm talking about a mass population. What options do we have? Most of the time we don't do the cartoons, although people are doing it, so what do we do? We appear on Jerry Springer. Trailer park trash. But not Jerry Springer because I don't think much political is have 600-pound women with 300-hundred pound breasts putting whip cream on them. One of my students gave me Jerry Springer tape. The one that's censored. Too Hot For TV. She let me -- and it literally was a 600-pound woman dancing around with -- 1 guess they were breasts. I was about one quarter through. I was about through. It's amazing to me. But Oprah or Rosie or whatever talk shows are more and more, people do get involved and do express themselves. And in many cases they definitely directed towards politics. Any of you know
Tom McMann He's going to be on Oprah. It's been postponed
to Monday. Is it for the book he wrote? Yeah. They've
changed his name. It works for me. He was on there
previously when the first book came out. He was to have a
toilet bowl and to teach our kid -- your boy -- to become
potty trained, they put a cheerio and let it float and he
was suppose to hit the cheerio. I think Tom refused to
demonstrate. it is my understanding. Did he talk about
that on the show? Did he talk about that yesterday? Yeah
the psychology class about the cheerio in the toilet bowl?
A. yeah. Yes he did.
I just donut want to make it seem like I'm picking on him.
But this time apparently it's not live and they pretaped
everything and they went around and interviewed people who
gave suggestions of the book.
So it sounds like little things for Olone College and the woman who runs the preschool here, she is not the head who heads the preschool, I should say, but is not the directors academically as such. U will probably there too, so 1 got to try and remember. That's not political necessarily but certainly dealing with people~s needs. But we mentioned Oprah so I will give Tom a plug. he deserves it.
Well, the internet. How do we attempt to influence politics through the internet? On-line polls. Forms certainly and then the reporting of those poles all over the
place. Some legitimate, some not. Some are many poles are
not statistics. Liar liar use statistics. Because, you
know, there are times depends on the word what they're
trying to do to you and they're -trying to sell a product. I got this call the other night and just a poll, he was taking and it was obvious, you know, afterwards that he was trying to sell a product. I usually check it out first. I'll answer them. How old do they do? We try to influence politics through the internet.
One person from one side of the world and it will get
around like crazy or you can click on.
It's amazing how fast things have processed. I received an
E-mail the other day, raising. The Telaban -- Okay the
Telaban, who were the political leaders now in Afghanistan
andhat's happened to the woman there and as other
oppression of women in Afghanistan and this was very
extensive and they asked people to sign a petition
protest to the United Nation as to the treatment of women
there. Well, I sent off the petition and this had come from
Washington state and 1 sent it off to the woman who was in
Massachusetts and I got this back indicating they were so
overwhelmed. They were asking people not to -- they
couldn't handle it, E-mail wise. Millions responded: So a
simple petition not just anywhere, but certainly in even in
our own country is going to create a real -- internet just,
you know, is loaded with materials on that kind.
HOW else do we use the internet today politically?
A Creating web pages.
Q. Yeah. Web pages, not just us creating them.
Politicians are feeding the people information to them but
more so we are Creating web pages supporting or attacking
politics. There must have been about 90 people attacking
Newt Gingrich. And certainly of Course the most active way
of using the internet is E-mail as I was just implying and
every politician today gives their e-mail addres:~;es.
Actually have the internet went up a new technology and it's
&Lill being functioning with shows and PUIIGICIdnS the FAX
machine Instant -- instantaneous information being sent.
And another thing with the internet is news groups.
Whatever. News groups creating conspiracy
theories and going crazy, but sending around information.
And some of the services like AOL having politicians come on
and responding to questions. As people basically E-mail
them back and forth.
Sometimes in what almost real time they're using real player and people are actually videotaping and -- and it's used politically so that we do have in the last couple of years a whole new approach.
Go back to television.
I mention this an my chapter in the media how many Clinton was helped when he went on M-TV for getting out Rock Your Vote and the turnout of the young people because of the his approach to the young people in 1992.
Student: He was trying to pick up chicks.
Um, and his appearance on Arsenio Hall with the dark classes and the saxophone is in a museum that I happened to visit when I went
down there. I couldn't believe it. They had this whole
section to his saxophone and the glasses he wore on the
show. So, politicians trying to use us and us trying to use
the political process.
The third definition. Probably the one that's most
commonly used today by most political scientists worded
maybe differently, but it's been around for 25 years. The
definition is politics is who gets what, when, and how.
Politics is who gets what, when, and how. Who gets what,
when, and how. Okay. If politics is who gets what, when,
and how, the question is what does that add to the study
that I didn't mention before? Who gets what, when, and
A. The budgets?
Q. Well how the budget functions, the way it is, yeah.
Why is that budget created that way? So in other words, we
have to look at economics. We have to study economics. in
other words, why do certain people have more influence
financially? Why do others not have? So we have to look at
sociology, A certain groups. Okay? Obviously Microsoft
versus me. Who's going to have more of a say?
You know, if you will, in the political system and why are there less -- so fewer women in Conqress? And why
previously were there none? Why does some groups seem to
have more influence then those that don't have the numbers?
There are probably today more Muslims in the United States
than Jews. There is little doubt that Jews have a greater
say than the Muslims. Why? Those kinds of things are
worth, you know, at some point, examining limitation to the
impact on our political system. Why that small country of
Ireland has as much influence in the United States?
A. Is it because they're Catholic?
Q. No, because in fact, maybe -- possibly. I don't think
that's why there are Irish people in this country. it's
amazing how many people have Irish blood. I think that's
because of their morality. They like producing kids even if
they're not from Catholic. How many of you have Irish
blood? And she's African/American. They don't care who
they mix with. The fact is that. Yeah.
Well you get to the plantations, we can talk about that in another story.
But the reality of the situation is that, and, of course,
we're dealing with a mixed population, Go out to the mid
west.And yet there are, you know, if we would have made
this number by these, there was a million Irish in Ireland
and yet people in this country support the Irish like crazy
especially against the British. Actually the largest
population -- although I would say that the Irish have the
greatest mix -- which you are among all races, colors, or
creeds, but the largest settlement population -- does
anybody know which country? Germany. How many have German blood in your -- in you? But in some ways, we don't see the -- maybe there isn't a reason for it with the German population with the Irish in the United States.
The fourth definition, the way you lead your life, is a definition of politics that was first present by a person name Abbey Hoffman. He was one of the organizers and leaders in the 'late 1960s of a group known as the Yippies, the Youth international Party, but decided to get involved in politics rather than living isolated in communes. His name became well-known among students a few years ago when he came out of hiding again back in the Cos. in 1972, Hoffman was busted on a drug charge. He disappeared, went underground, had plastic surgery, and continued working in politics. And then he turned himself in. Hoffman with the Yippies made fun of societies. Their basic philosophy was to let it all hang out. They believed the American society had 'to be able to laugh at ourself, so they did things for fun. Because part of that was the organization that took place at the Chicago conference in 1968, but they would do things like surround the pentagon where the military headquarters of the United States Army is. They had a hundred thousand and they were chanting. And they told everybody that the chant would raise the pentagon up and break off the foundation and soon it will stop and break. Well it was fun on TV to watch and the military is sitting there, just in case it happened.
Ready to shoot. But that's the kind of thing they did including creating a stir in Chicago. They poured LSD in the water. it took a long time before the Chicago water people and the water people said there's just not enough LSD to make this water impacted, but everybody was nervous and concerned. Okay he wrote a book called Steal This Book. That was the title of the book telling you how to rip off society, like getting black boxes for cable. How, you know, just to get even with the big companies that were part of the war machine that was -- I was going to say I think that's the number one stolen book. Q Probably, but the -- but he made a lot of money on it. But that wouldn't surprise me. All right. His attitude was that everyone -- everything you did in your life was political. However, then if you are, everything you do is political. It's how you lead your life, how do you end politics? A Suicide. Q And that's what he did. He committed suicide. When he came out of hiding and got involved in politics -- he was the one -- don't trust anyone -- but now he was 50 and he was more or less -- saying don't trust anybody under fifty and don't trust anybody over thirty. And he took his own life. But what do we mean when we say what do we add to the course politics is the way you lead your life? Politics is the way you lead your life. What do we
A. Probably what you buy.
Q. Well it could impact you -- what you buy, sure. You
buy a gas-guzzling car and you're effecting the whole
political system because you're burning gas at an expensive
rate,but it is and expenses.
I was in Salt Lake City, 90 cents a gallon for the major
brands for regular. How do they get away with it? I guess
it's under a buck. I think in new York 33 cents a gallon.
Certainly, what do we call it when it's a personal choice?
A. I was going to say there are some places here in the
Q. But are they major stations?
A. Arco that has 99 cents and then there's one in San
Jose, a couple.
The guy knows them all.
A. Yeah, I like to drive two hundred miles to save a
Q. Yeah people do that. What else? The way you lead
A. The things you watch.
Q. Well what do we call the study of studying people?
A. Psychology. Why people function individually the way
they too. In other words, it does impact how? Well I think
my best example I like to use was 1982. Going back awhile.
Was anybody here born in 1982 yet?
A. Next year they will be. Getting up here. But in 1982there was an election in California for governor. it was the last time we had a democratic governor, and that was Jerry Brown. The man in office was Tom Bradly. He was the mayor of Los Angeles for a long time. And he was a well-respected democrat and was also African/American. Well, he was running against -- do you remember Duekmajian? So it was very close. However, when the election was over, Bradly lost. Now obviously there was racist and people didn't want to vote for him. However, they took that into account. Polls and now they were wondering what happened. So the pollster went out to survey and found out they found that a very small percentage about a half maybe one percent of the people who said that they were going to vote for Bradly. When they walked into the polling booth could not cast the ballot for a black person. Translation: They might have argued they weren't racist, but it shows you how deep seeded racist can be.
Psychologically without people knowing it, why? Because of terms added to have attitudes, even TV shows. People aren't aware of it, don't want to function under it, and yet some people do. It may not impact you or me as much, but it's there. Of course when your a member of those kinds of groups you're aware that that's there. In some parts of the country it's -- influence how you vote, how you work with how you higher, if you have a company. You know, it's interesting, New York city, the east coast, in some ways one
of the big differences is just the way we look at minority groups.
We have a word for every minority group and derogatory. If you are living in New York and you don't call people Italian. You don't call them Spanish. You got ginny wop, spick, mick, honkey, kike, gook, pachuko, chink. it goes on and on and on. I don't have anymore. I can probably think of a dozen. New Yorker here -that you -- you got to 'Learn something in that class. Cracker. Those are words that are nice in California because you people don't know most of them. My neighbor who just moved to Arizona is from the east coast and it took me years to get him to shut up. He was really a nice person. He doesn't mean anything by it, but he just could not refer to people as people. They had to have a commentation and it was driving me crazy, you know, and I'd -- and my next door neighbor noticed that one of the times he was afraid to tell him. It's funny how we're afraid to say that. I don't appreciate your using that word.
But what's a Ginney. Anybody know the meaning? Italian, wop, same thing. What's a kike? Jew. How many knew kike? That's nice now all of you do. I'm spreading dirty words. What's a gook? It's originally used for Korean. It's being used towards Vietnamese. She addressed that in a funny way. She's a comedian. Man, I was driving down the street and she was, man, if you're going to call me a man, call me a gook.
So they made it funny. Minority groups make fun of it they -- but rather -- and it depends on now you approach it. Spicks, Spanish. Mick, Irish. Canook, French Canadian. Meanwhile I was very happy when my friend moved because like him. I asked him who we sold the house too and lie said to a Chinese couple. Now it may sound crazy, but it was nice to hear him say that than a couple of chinks. So we had educated him, 1 think. On that 'Level. 1 even joked about it and kidded him about it and he said all right. So there are certainly levels about other words that some of you use naturally and how they can impact.
Let's take a simple word that you hear people using all the time. Girl. That's a derogatory word. Oh, no. I'm seven years old. I like being called a girl. It makes me feel I am mature and sweet. When you refer to a mature woman as a girl, it's a put down. Now you may not see it as that. We do that. Certain people do that, and it's done as a friendship thing. But what is a girl? It's an immature saying. Hey boy. How does it impact politically? Well, give me an example.
In New York city I remember the interview directly there was a woman running for office. They interviewed this guy on the street and asked him, "Are you going to vote for her?" And he said no way. And they said well why? And he says because she's a girl. And girls go on the rag once a
month and therefore they can't make rational decisions,
Now it doesn't matter that at that point she was 59 and hadn't had her period in ten years. The mind, the mentally, you know, we hear hey shes ragging on me. Well, these are derogatory terms. It's implying a certain attitude that I am implying and affect voting. I'm not saying necessarily, but it's amazing how those kinds of -- I Jewed him down -those kinds of words can effect the way we look at people who were running for office and how we're going to vote and that's what we mean by the way we 'Lead our lives. We may not have to spent a 'Lot of time on it, but it can. Look at 1984 when Geraldine -- Bush made a bull out of the fact that he was running against the voice "I kicked a little ass today." And typical. She's a bitch. People said, well, George Bush said the same thing. He's a real man. Because then they're bitches. That kind of effect I don't know if it would have changed the outcome of the election, but it was interesting to listen to the way. However does that mean that we cant' elect a woman to the presidency? No, it doesn't. But interestingly, I personally -- and a personal statement that the first woman or first African/American are republicans. Not democrats. Why do you think I said that? Because I don't think a republican woman or republican African/American is as threatening. They seem to be more a part of the establishment and so they can be passed as white.
A. Okay. There's no doubt that a Colin Powell had a chance.
A. Jessie Jackson wouldn't have won in a million years.
There's no doubt that Elizabeth Dole has a chance. Shirley
Chisholm, a black woman would be seen as part of the
establishment as easily. I could be wrong, and times may
change. But I am absolutely convinced that one of the
problems -- one of the problems Bill Clinton faced right
from the beginning was that he had art assertive aggressive
outspoken wife and it you can it control your wife how can
you control your- country'? I obviously don't believe that,
but 1 think it created a 'Lot of tension among those people
who believe that a woman's place is to be seen and not heard
and certainly a First lady should be engaging in charitable
work -- helping little kids. Not getting involved in
sitting in on cabinet meetings.
So, those attitudes are changing just like the attitude that said we're not going to elect a Catholic because if Catholics get elected, the Pope will run the country and that was what was yelled and you may laugh now, but seriously, in 1980 when John F. Kennedy was running the BibIe belt in the south, that was the thing that was spread all over. They would not, you know, catholics going to mean the Pope is going to run the country and they viewed the Pope as the anti-Christ not for the affairs he had, but because he was Catholics The fact that he won and the fact that the Pope didn't take over the country perhaps has eased
the situation for other Catholics running for president or for office today. so times do change, 1980 was not that long ago. The year that most of you were born, but it's twenty years ago. Or nineteen years ago.
Okay any questions on those three definitions? or four definitions? Well, it's not just the definitions that impact how a class is taught, it's also the philosophy of the instructor.
One, politics is the power of government.
Two, politics is the power of government and people's attempts to influence.
Three, politics is who gets what, when, and how.
Four, politics is the way you lead your life.
Well what I was saying is that -- I have more time yet -and that the way an instructor views the class is what they direct their class towards. some instructors believe that your purpose here is to be like them. Turn you into little Dr. Kirshner's. You didn't have to laugh at that. I mean, I know how ridiculous it is. I can't even got my kids to follow my philosophy. But the fact is that that means they want you to be active in politics, run for office. They send you down to the city council to do reports, whatever. That's not my attitude, as you can pretty well judge. one of the things I've identified to you already is that if you can function in some fashion which we can call politically by improving your own lives, I've been successful. Besides
understanding the way the process really works. But I also hope that you can come out of this class realizing that Our political system is as diverse as our people and how wonderful that diversity is. Okay, What do I mean by diverse? I mean it it really
Is amazing and this Is, the important element for you to understand too is that anything never, poitical in -this country When you realize how anything ever gets done politically.
How diverse we are. I first visited California driving
across country in my Corvette on Route 66. Before Interstate Highways. Anyone remember Route 66 to California? I looked at the Redwood trees. And I said wow why don't they chop them down and make low-cost housing for the poor? In New York City you have a tree every four blocks so the dogs have a place to go. People in California were ready to kill me - Got down to Santa Barbara. I heard people bitching about the oil spill. Who cares about your dumb birds--oil is important. I paid more for my oil, four times as much as I was paying for my rent on the east coast. We freeze to death. You people are nice and warm and cool out here. You don't worry about freezing. You have no idea what it means: Attitudes. How can you expect somebody from New York to have a sense of ecology. Of course I've changed. Now I'm in California. You don't touch my birds or my trees. The hell with people!
How can you expect somebody from San Francisco with a heavy homosexual population to be able to communicate about problems with somebody from Oklahoma City? Not that they don't have gays they just refuse to admit they do.
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