Warren Buffet is at it again, saying rich people like himself should be paying “a lot more” in taxes. This man is a walking contradiction.
Actually, let me expand that: Any rich person who supports higher taxation but also donates to charity is nothing more than a walking contradiction.
By supporting higher taxation, a rich person is (presumably) saying “I have enough money, and the government should tax me more because they can do more good with my money than I can.”
Alright, that’s a valid argument. Not necessarily a correct argument, but certainly a valid one.
Yet these same people invariably donate to private charities. Warren, for example, is donating something like 99% of his massive fortune to charity — a noble endeavor by any account.
So riddle me this Warren… if the government was so worthy of your money and so much better at spending it than you are, why are you donating to private charity instead of donating to the government?
Logic is a real pain, isn’t it?
This blog draws a fair bit of attention and fire from our friends on the left. On any given day the spam filter usually has at least a few examples of the left coming unglued over some topic.
The vitriol and hatred apparent in these posts is simultaneously sad and laughable. Sad that people would not only think, but also express, wishes for AIDS and death and what-not. But laughable in that these very same liberals claim the intellectual high-ground while resorting to baseless smears and unhinged rants.
What surprises me is how many trolls come out to bash Bristol Palin’s performances on Dancing With The Stars, and express absolute OUTRAGE over “you people” voting for her.
Like all hate-mail/comments, these posts get sent straight to the trash, but I thought I would share a few excerpts with you.
One particular poster, a lovely lady named Linda, would like to tell everyone:
you people make me sick…
she is in no way as good as the others….all you people see is Sarah Palin…what a bunch of losers.
oh please…you are all a bunch of hypocrites…Bristol should not win this competition…all you people and Palin have ruined a perfectly good show with all your political crap. And we wonder why our country is in the shape it is in.
To which I must reply, if you are honestly becoming so worked up over a reality television show, and drawing parallels between the condition of our country and the remaining contestants on DWTS, then you are probably not in a very sound position to be criticizing anybody.
“You people make me sick.” REALLY?! Are you literally becoming physically ill because a young lady who happens to be Sarah Palin’s daughter still remains on a reality television show that you watch? Your hyperbole makes it clear that the only reason you are so bothered by Bristol remaining on the show despite your opinion of her abilities is because she is Sarah Palin’s daughter. I kind of doubt you would be coming unglued if David Hasselhoff were still around instead… so really, who is the hypocrite?
Another lovely lady named Kathy was kind enough to share:
You all are really stupid if you think Bristol can dance. As for your “Tea Party” agenda, goes to show how stupid you are to politics as well. Palin is nothing but a quitter!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m sensing bitterness over the stinging defeat of progressive liberalism, due in no small part to the Tea Party agenda, which only continues to gain steam as time goes on. Don’t worry, Kathy, the world isn’t going to end if Bristol makes it another day. But it might if Obama doesn’t get government spending under control. So I’m glad your priorities are in the right place. Kudos on the extra exclamation points.
And finally, my favorite from someone named Markny:
You people are just plain stupid. You’d vote for Hitler if he ran as a republican.
Ah yes, because invoking Hitler is perfectly normal behavior for someone protesting the result of a reality TV show. Good on you chap! Never mind the fact that Hitler would never be supported by conservatives because Hitler was a socialist. The ugly and unfortunate truth of the matter is that, although Hitler would probably (hopefully!) NEVER be elected here in the modern USA, if anyone were going to vote for him, it would undoubtedly be the far LEFTIES, since his economic philosophy and elitism so closely mirrors their own.
The list goes on an on. Each week there are a few dozen of these. It just amuses me that in the face of such serious problems, the lefties are coming unglued over Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars. Crazy!
Today is Veteran’s Day. If you can, hug and/or shake the hand of a veteran today.
Over one million servicemen and servicewomen have died in defense of freedom and to maintain the safety of this greatest nation on Earth. Almost 24 million veterans are alive today, including almost 2 million veterans of WWII, and about 600,000 veterans of the global war on terror.
One of my favorite parts of Hillbuzz is hearing the diversity of anecdotal stories, both from the Boyz and from the readers, so please feel free to share your experiences today if you meet and talk with any veterans, or if you attend any sort of commemorations or services.
And to all the veterans who read this blog, I thank you for your service. I think I safely speak for everyone here when I say we are grateful for your contributions and proud to have you reading (and hopefully posting!) here on Hillbuzz.
God bless America, and her veterans.
What’s happening today?
Is anyone watching Beck’s special on George Soros? If so, any thoughts?
Remember that tomorrow, Thursday, 11/11 is Veteran’s Day. If anyone is doing something special for the troops, let us know!
Also, this Sunday is the premier of Sarah Palin’s Alaska on TLC. Personally, I have lost almost all my respect for TLC over the years, but I might tune in to see this show. Is anyone else planning to? Do you think that, politically, it’s a good move?
******** UPDATE ********
I just plowed through about 800 comments that were trapped in the filter. Undoubtedly there were messages that shouldn’t have gotten through that did, and ones that should have gotten through but didn’t. I understand and share your frustrations with “Gremmy” but until we can move off of WordPress.com hosting, there is nothing we can do. We are already using Akismet spam filter, and we’re not allowed to tweak the configuration or to install third-party plugins.
So, we hope you’ll continue to bear with us, and we appreciate your patience!
Last night I went through the spam filter and read well over 200 messages. A few of you voiced concerns about your messages getting trapped by the spam gremlin. I understand your pain as it has happened to me many times. But please note that we have virtually zero granular control over how the spam filter functions. WordPress has this magical formula that traps messages for no good reason and we can’t really change that unless we turn the thing off completely, and if we did that then this place would turn into a giant spam fest. Also, sometimes WordPress just swallows entire posts that never show up at all.
I have looked and looked for ways to improve or tweak the WordPress spam filter, but there just aren’t any. So, unfortunately, we are stuck with it until we can move the site to its own server.
We will continue to monitor the spam filter as often as we can and try to get all your trapped posts out into freedom as quickly as possible. But please remember that we aren’t trapping your posts on purpose, and we only have limited hours in the day. The spam filter fills up continuously throughout the day. I’d say about one new message every 5 seconds. It’s physically impossible for us to stay absolutely on top of it 24×7.
I know exactly how frustrating it is to have a long or insightful post not show up for hours, but we are honestly doing our best.
Here are a few tips to avoid getting filtered, or to help us identify you as a legitimate poster quickly:
1) Get a Gravatar. We have posted about this if you need help. Gravatars help us identify real people quickly, and after time we will start to recognize your name and Gravatar and approve you without having to analyze your post.
2) Keep your links down. Try to limit yourself to 1 or 2 links. 3 or more links almost always gets you filtered.
3) Keep it PG. This should go without saying since we like a relatively civil exchange, but “bad words” are usually tagged by the filter.
4) Avoid walls of text. Very long posts often get tagged by the filter, and lots of text with no paragraph breaks also tend to get tagged. This is not to discourage you from writing long posts — we like thorough analysis here — but if you can be more concise then you might not get filtered. Also, breaking your post into paragraphs helps us analyze your post quicker if it does get filtered.
5) Avoid using quotes (single quotes [ ‘ ] or double quotes [ ” ]). OK this one sucks because I like to quote all the time, but lately I have noticed A LOT of comments getting filtered to spam by regular posters with absolutely zero indication as to why they would be filtered. Right this very moment there are at least 8 in the spam queue that are like this. What do they have in common? Quotes. I’m not saying never use them again, but just note that if you do, your post might be filtered so please have patience if you don’t see it right away.
Happy Thursday! What’s going on in your neck of the woods today? What are you doing today to defeat and destroy the progressive ideology?
I haven’t been following many stories very closely these last few weeks due to work overload. But one story did catch my eye.
I think what’s happening in California with the governor’s race is absolutely deplorable. I don’t want to go into all the details of the case, so if you’re unfamiliar with then I recommend Googling for Meg Whitman housekeeper.
All I will say is that a person who’s watched any network law drama for more than 2 episodes should be able to immediately identify that Gloria Allred is obviously acting without her client’s best interests at heart. Gloria Allred should lose her license to practice law. When she was asked by Mark Levin if her client was an illegal alien, she said “No… she is not from another planet”. That pretty much sums up the clown show she’s running. Even Leno is doing jokes about how stupid these efforts are. I sincerely hope they do not pay off.
The housekeeper, Nicky Diaz, is undoubtedly receiving relatively substantial compensation for playing her part. Or, rather, I should say an unknown relative of Nicky Daiz is undoubtedly receiving compensation, while Nicky herself is probably receiving star treatment from Gloria. I guess that’s what a hack like Allred considers to be “making an informed decision”.
What say you?
Hi Folks, apologies for my relative infrequency of posts. Life/work has been so busy these last several weeks, but K. asked me to look in to something and post my analysis here.
A few waves were made recently when a CNN/Time poll found that Miller only had a 2-point lead over write-in candidate Murkowski in Alaska.
Considering Murkowski is running a write-in campaign it would seem highly improbable that she could be polling so well. A closer look at the numbers may explain why.
I am not an expert on polls, nor am I a statistical analyst. In fact, I mostly slept or skipped my way to a near-four-point in the only college statistics course I took. However, I don’t think you have to be either a pollster or a statistician to notice the obvious.
The one absolutely glaring issue with this poll is that the breakout by age shows “N/A” for the 18-34 age group.
If you examine the trends among the age groups it is clear that Miller does better the younger the voter while Murkowski does better the older the voter. Somewhere north of 20% of the population of Alaska falls into the missing age group, so their absence is clearly no small issue
Along that same path, it appears there is a possible problem with the age distribution of the sample. Unfortunately the data doesn’t seem to include actual counts of the respondents by age. But we are in luck because “margin of error” is a standard statistical process, and the poll does include margin of error for the age breakdown of voter preferences.
I won’t go into the statistical mumbo-jumbo here, but if you’re curious you can check out Wikipedia’s article on margin of error. All I will say is that you have to almost double your sample size for each additional 1% of sampling error you want to eliminate. Thus, a 5% margin of error means a sample size of about 384, while a 4% margin of error means a sample size of about 600.
Note the margin of error for the 50-64 age group: 5%. Now note the margin of error for the 35-49 age group: 6.5%. Using this information we can make an educated guess that this particular poll includes at least 50% (and possibly upwards of 67%) more participants in the 50-64 age group than it does the 35-49 age group. Yet according to data from the last census, 22-26% of the population of Alaska falls into the 35-49 age group, versus only 14-20% of the population falling into the 50-64 age group.
In other words, the poll seems to have way oversampled the 50-64 age group versus the 35-49 age group. Coincidentally, Murkowski does far better vs. Miller among 50-64 year-olds (+2) than she does among 35-49 year-olds (-6).
Another observation is the relative distribution of the sample among the three major boroughs of Anchorage, Mat-Su Area, and Fairbanks. Again, using the margins of error as a guide, we can deduce that Anchorage – where Murkowski fares best – likely accounts for 50-55% of the sample. Yet Anchorage only accounts for about 42% of the state’s population, so again it appears that the poll is giving improper weight to the more pro-Murkowski demographic.
We cannot infer from this data how the poll would look if the rest of Alaska were proportionally represented in this poll, but if the other two boroughs that were polled are any indication, it would seem that Miller is averaging about a 16 points lead outside of Anchorage.
So what do we conclude from this? Even considering the “likely voter” bias (which is not explained in the publication), it seems highly unlikely that the relative age distribution in this poll is representative of actual voters come election day. Add to that the glaring omission of the 18-34 year-old voter group – which almost certainly breaks for Miller by 6+ points – and the possible bias towards Anchorage residents, it would seem that this poll is not nearly an accurate representation of how anyone is actually faring in Alaska (except maybe for McAdams, who seems to be all but forgotten).
But does that mean CNN is fudging the numbers? Or is it pure coincidence? I can’t say. I doubt that CNN’s pollsters would fudge the numbers after the fact, but it is possible that the polling strategy intentionally set out to achieve a sample that was inherently more likely to be pro-Murkowski.
Or, maybe there is a perfectly good explanation for the missing age group, and maybe it was pure randomness that the age distributions don’t match the actual demographics. Who knows. Like I said, I’m not a pollster or statistician. Just a guy who looked at the data and saw some problems. You’ll have to make the call yourselves.
***** UPDATE *****
An astute reader pointed out that the percentages for “Under 50″ segmentation do not match the percentages for the 35-49 age group. If 18-34 year-olds were not included at all, we could expect these two segments to match, since the only folks under 50 would all be included in the 35-49 age group.
Clearly, that is not the case.
If you look at the 50 and Older segmentation and compare it to the two age groups of 50-64 and 65+, the percentages seem to average out. Once you consider the larger sample size for the 50-64 age group relative to the 65+ group, 39% (Murkowski) is a plausible average between 37% and 43%, and 24% (McAdams) is a plausible average between 25% and 21%.
Note that Miller’s lead among the Under 50 group is actually LARGER than his lead among the 35-49 group. This basically confirms that the 18-34 group must be breaking even more for Miller. Assuming an equal sample size to the 35-49 group, Miller would have to be polling at least 45% to Murkowski’s 33% (+12) among the 18-34 demographic (McAdams would be polling the same: 19%).
But that may not be the end of the story. If you compare the sampling error of the “Under 50″ group to the sampling error of the “35-49″ group, you can see that the Under 50 group has reduced its sampling error from 6.5% to 5.5%. This suggests that the sample size of the entire Under 50 group is at least half again as large as the 35-49 group alone, but probably not fully doubled.
This is relevant because it suggests that the missing 18-34 demographic probably has a smaller sample size than the 34-49 group, which means Miller would have to be doing even better among that group to produce the averages shown in the Under 50 segmentation.
Interesting stuff. Fun to dissect.
There is already an open Never Forget 9/11 thread posted by the fabulous Chrissy. It is not my intent that this thread usurp that one. I just felt that on this day, of all days, I could not go without posting what is on my mind.
For the spiritual among us, I have a few thoughts for everyone to ponder.
I believe things happen for a reason. Not that your life is predetermined, that things are “fated”, or that you have a meeting with destiny. Just that… well… life gives you chances to learn lessons, and lessons give you knowledge to make a difference.
No disappointment, no failure, no tragedy is a complete loss if only you can find the lesson to be learned within it.
I also believe that life gives you second chances. Second… third… fourth… chances to learn the lessons you may have missed along the way.
9/11 happened for a reason. I believe that in my heart and soul. It is our job to learn the lessons, and make a difference, so that it doesn’t have to happen again.
Reasonable people can disagree over the exact lessons 9/11 should have brought us.
Sadly I think progressives would tend to say it was a lesson in how U.S. “imperialism” causes other people to hate us, and therefore we are the real bad guy. Considering that progressives tend to adhere to moral relativism, if they adhere to any moral code at all, it doesn’t surprise me that they would refuse to acknowledge the vast evidence before them of the good this country has done. But it does sadden me, and makes me all the more intent on finding the real lessons of 9/11 so that maybe, just maybe, I can help share those with someone who fails to see.
I feel that many of us learned the right lessons, but too many of us — perhaps myself included — have fallen back into complacency. As time passed, the painful memory faded, the scars on our souls healed, even as the scarred earth remains.
And then, we let ourselves down. We let down those who sacrificed themselves that day to save others:
We started to forget entirely.
The government, in it’s usual well-meaning-but-thoroughly-inadequate fashion, proclaimed 9/11 to be “Patriot Day”. A nice platitude, but wholly insufficient to describe either the horrors or the heroism of that day. “Patriot Day”. What does that even mean? To me, EVERY day should be a Patriot day.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Chrissy’s uplifting story about the survivor whose dog led him to safety. I literally feel pride in my heart when I hear the tales of the heroism of others recounted by those that were saved, or by the families of those who decided to do something about that other jet. The heroism displayed on that day makes me proud just to call myself an American. But so long as terrorism exists on this planet, 9/11 should also be remembered for what it is: a stark and dark reminder that evil exists, and WE are the target simply because of who we are!
9/11 should be in our thoughts every single day, because 9/11 was just one terrible example of the very real and very constant danger that we all face each and every day. It was also, I believe, a warning. Our second, or maybe third, or maybe even fourth chance to learn whatever lesson the cosmos was trying to send us.
I can think of dozens of lessons learned from 9/11 just off the top of my head. Everything from “life is precious” to “don’t sweat the small stuff” and everything in between. But here are a few simple, immutable truths that stick out in my mind today.
1. Terrorism can only die. Or Live. There is no surrender.
The Shot Heard Round the World began a terrible and deadly saga that eventually resulted in the surrender of the British and the formation of the greatest nation in the history of the world.
The attack on Ft. Sumter in 1861 began a terrible and deadly saga that eventually resulted in the surrender of the Confederates and the abolition of slavery.
Pearl Harbor started a terrible and deadly saga that eventually ended with the surrender of the Japanese and the death of one of the world’s most barbaric and evil dictators.
9/11 started a terrible and deadly saga that has not ended and, truthfully, may never end. There is no ultimate victory to be had, at least not strategically. Terrorism cannot surrender. There will be no laying down of arms, no signing of a peace accord on a naval ship or at some fort.
Terrorism can only die. This is an immutable fact. A simple lesson.
2. Terrorists are impossible to placate.
Our President acts like he can charm the terrorist into no longer hating us, or somehow placate them by taking every available opportunity to kowtow to Islam, even when politically damaging.
The terrorists have already told us what they want. Even if you accept them at face value, giving them what they want is impossible for any President. This is another immutable fact. Another simple lesson.
3. It only takes one terrorist to kill thousands and terrorize an entire nation.
Every day, hundreds or thousands of people slip across the border into the United States. Most are just hoping to escape a bleak and desperate situation for the chance at a better life in America. But among the hundreds or thousands each day, it is undeniably possible that one or two “criminal entrants” may be terrorists. For decades our border has been porous. For decades terrorists could have been slipping through, and maybe even carrying materials for a dirty bomb or chemical weapon.
Fact. Immutable. Simple. Lesson.
These are but a few examples among many… dozens or perhaps even hundreds of lessons remain unstated. Yet our elected leaders fail to grasp even these simple truths, and in many cases, so do we as a nation.
The border remains open, and each new day brings new potential for terrorists to sneak across. Congress lacks the will to secure our border, regardless of which party is in power, while blaming it on logistics. And far too many of us believe them.
We accuse our own population of radicalism and inciting violence for just talking about burning a Koran, while our enemies burn the American flag almost daily. We continue to “PC” ourselves into docile submission out of fear of being branded a “racist”, a “radical” or “insensitive”. Even worse are those who are doing the branding — whether wittingly or not, they aid the terrorists in their ultimate goal — Ummah — one-world Islamic theocratic government, by brow-beating even those of us who have legitimate, reasonable concerns about the way Islam is conducting itself in this country.
What a shame it would be if our own ignorance… our own unwillingness to learn the simple lessons of 9/11 were to come back and haunt us.
Now I know what some of you are thinking, because I’m thinking it myself while writing this very article. “Why are you using WE? Don’t lump ME into that group of ignoramuses! *I* didn’t forget about 9/11!”
Point taken. I’ve felt, thought, and said those very words, and I’ve been participating here long enough to know that I’m largely preaching to the choir on this particular issue. And preaching to the choir is great… often times cathartic…. and fun! But sound does not escape an echo chamber. I think that on this day especially, we must be ready to cast off our self-identification as the “immediate WE” and engage the “broader WE”, as in We The People. Otherwise, no real progress will ever be made.
I don’t claim to know the right answers. I don’t claim to know all the lessons that should or could have been learned that day. I didn’t know anyone that was killed that day, so it didn’t touch me personally in the way it touched many of you.
On this day of remembrance, I have no lost friends to recall, no lost family to mourn. So I try to remember those I did not know, and honor their sacrifice, and to seek out and re-learn the wisdom and the lessons that I was given an opportunity to personally learn that day. Maybe even learn some new ones in the context of present day and in light of current events.
I hope you all do the same, even if you think you’ve already got it all figured out. I’m a big fan of taking time out to reflect. And a day like today presents the perfect opportunity to achieve a reflective state of mind.
It is said that God protects babies and fools. But to be a fool, you must lack the opportunity or capacity to gain understanding. Those who are presented with evidence and refuse to acknowledge or consider it cannot later claim the mantle of “fool” in hopes of some Karmic reprieve.
Those of us with the capacity to understand also have the obligation to understand, and the obligation to share. The obligation… or indeed the Divine Opportunity… to help impart wisdom on a fellow human being.
It is my sincere hope that if every person who reads took just one measly hour out of their day to THINK about 9/11, and find a simple truth, a simple lesson to share with friends and family, and shared that today, that the whole entire country would be a better place by tomorrow.
That’s really what life comes down to for me. A series of occurrences — some good, some bad, others terrible — and opportunities to learn with each of them. Being willing to learn, and more importantly being willing and unafraid to share your knowledge, is what allows humanity to grow and prosper. It’s what makes us more than just the sum of our parts.
Call it God… call it Divinity… call it Providence… or just call it plain ‘ol Karma. We owe it to ourselves, our children, to each other, and to humanity as a whole to not sit down… not be silent… and most importantly…
…to never, ever forget!
A jobless recovery is like being half pregnant.
Gerald Celente — trend forecaster
This is kind of an addendum/offshoot to Chrissy’s earlier post about the Canadian recession.
I can’t really identify a single point in time when the term “jobless recovery” began making its rounds, but no doubt it was rustled from the deep recesses of economic vernacular by some OXY(gen deprived)MORON who thought it would be a good way to stop having to use the word “recession”.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not disputing the existence or validity of such a term. A “jobless recovery” is certainly a viable economic occurrence. But only in the sense that that the economic indicators show a paper recovery. It’s kind of like having a $300,000 sports car in the garage, but no gas to put in the tank.
I’m simply saying this so-called jobless recovery is not what we were promised. The team of top economists assembled by the “smartest administration ever” promised us their $800 billion economic stimulus plan would keep unemployment below 8%. We were supposed to be well on our way to 7% by now. Even their worst-case prediction wasn’t this bad.
As you can see, Russia and Canada are already recovering (as were virtually all of the other countries I looked up, but they cluttered the graph). Yet we are still on fairly shaky ground. And our overall trend line isn’t looking too great either:
I wonder how much more “recovery” we can take?
I hate to just paint an ugly picture and sign off, so I’ll go ahead and opine on why the recovery is thus far jobless. I believe it comes down to a single word: uncertainty.
Business hates uncertainty because uncertainty represents risk. Business people — especially small business owners and entrepreneurs — are inherently risk-averse. Therefore, the very people everyone is waiting on to fuel the jobs recovery are themselves waiting to see what their business climate is going to look like.
Unfortunately for America (especially the folks who are unemployed), virtually every major piece of legislation either on the table or already passed by this Congress creates more and more uncertainty for business. Nobody knows how Obamacare is going to impact their business. Nobody knows how Obama’s latest economic regulations are going to impact them or the business climate. Nobody knows when credit is going to relax. Nobody knows if Cap & Trade or Card Check will pass. Nobody knows what will happen after this year’s election. The list goes on and on.
I compare it to football. How could a coach prepare his team if he didn’t know how many yards the field was going to be, how many downs he would have per possession, or how many points would be awarded for reaching the end zone?
The comparison sounds ridiculous, but when the government passes legislation that imposes or alters requirements, or changes economic regulations, it is essentially the same as “changing the rule book” or “altering the playing field”. No coach could prepare for that scenario, and neither can a business owner.
It’s a shame that Congress doesn’t “get it”. But really, why should they? Figures indicate that an absolute maximum of 30% of all members of Congress have any business experience, compared to over 40% who are lawyers. Sadly, the actual figures of practical business leadership experience is probably much, much lower, I would estimate around 10-15%.
It’s no wonder Congress sucks at fixing the economy. They are clueless about the factors that drive entrepreneurship and hiring, because they’re clueless about business in general!
If we really want to fix our economy then we need to support and vote for candidates who actually understand business. And since these days big business is often in bed with big government, I prefer folks who have run small businesses.
What say you?
Update: A few people pointed out that Russia’s numbers were “suspect”. It’s a valid point, so I replaced them with Germany.
Today in History:
On September 4th 1957, Orval Faubus, then-governor of Arkansas, ordered the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Little Rock Central High School, in defiance of a unanimous decision by the SCOTUS to strike down all segregation.
Orval Faubus was a Democrat. He was adhering to the Democrat party’s near unanimous opposition to integration and equal rights for black Americans.
President Eisenhower, a Republican, was forced to federalize the Arkansas National Guard so he could order them out of the schools, and replace them with members of 101st Airborne. Not to be outdone, Faubus simlpy shut down Little Rocks schools from 1958 to 1959 to prevent black and white children from attending the same schools.
Faubus would eventually temper his stance on racial issues, but not until after his segregationist stance eventually cost him most of his political clout.
When I learned about race history in American, I never learned that the Democrat party was actually responsible for the Civil War, for the KKK, for segregation, and for the long and disgusting history of general oppression of blacks post-Civil War. As a young man I always assumed right-wing rednecks were responsible.
And I had what I consider to be a fairly conservative education, by educational standards.
What about you?
UPDATE: Adding my 2¢ — CtH