Following FBI reports this morning that the suspects implicated in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing are of Chechen descent, efforts to thoughtlessly stereotype the alleged terrorists were impeded by the majority of Americans’ lack of basic knowledge about Chechnya or the Chechen people, a new study has confirmed. “Our research shows that, while many Americans would like nothing more than to make sweeping, insensitive generalizations about these two individuals based purely on their ethnic identity, this process is largely impeded by the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans truly know next to nothing about Chechnya, including even the very barest details of what or where Chechnya is...”I suppose it's meant to be "funny" in the usual Bill Maher way, but this time Крокодил has revealed a truth that runs counter to official Politburo axioms. All Party Members are required to believe several hundred axiomatic assumptions, all of which are transparently, blatantly and provably false. The germane axiom here is "Ignorance breeds prejudice." If the axiom were true, then American ignorance about Chechens would cause us to develop all sorts of damaging bigotry about Chechens, not prevent us from developing biases. Needless to say, the ACTUAL FUCKING FACT is that familiarity breeds stereotypes, and stereotypes are pretty good generalizations. None of them are 100% true of all members of the group, but then no statement about humans is ever 100% true. We're complex critters, we're all different, and some of our differences are closely aligned with racial and ethnic divisions.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.