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#306056 - 03/18/18 06:23 PM Are we really insane?
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I wonder, is the United States insane? This is, I think, a fair question. How about, for starters, the "if you keep on doing the same thing, over and over, and expect different results you are crazy" thing. We do that one with vigor.

A trillion dollar war on drugs that can't even keep the price of drugs up is over 40 years old! Drug use is not down, we are spending more on them and we also 'importing' more. the war on drugs is also responsible for most of the drug deaths because criminals, and not regulated drug manufacturers are providing the drugs which are getting progressively more dangerous. One would think, on the face of it, that we would see what others have done, specifically Purtugal, who seems to have fixed their problem by simply deciding drugs were a health problem.

We have an 18 year, trillion dollar war going in Afghanistan. From reports we get the military continues to repeat their 'plans for victory', over and over, and we get the same results, over and over - flat out failure even though 'victory' seems to be a moving target and, as far as I can tell, nobody even actually has a clue as to what 'victory' is! Afghanistan has been called "The Graveyard of Empires" which, as far as I can tell, flat out right. They defeated Alexander the Great and the British Empire, at the height of its power, and everybody in between. We, with hubris, lies, and our continuing devotion to the military industrial complex, just keep on fighting a war that can not only not won but even the concept of 'winning' seems to be somewhat of a mystery.

Then there is the gun thing. In 2016 we had over 38,000 gun deaths and 2017 there will be more. No other nation has these kinds of numbers without actually being in the throes of war, invasion or civil war. The clue here is REALLY plain, other countries do not experience this sort of thing because THEY REGULATE AND CONTROL THEIR GUNS! Its another one of them "here we go again" things. The rest of the world does not have our experience because they regulate and control their guns! All the other so-called arguments are just plain silly, and have NOTHING to do with our gun problem and simply distracts. The last country to deal with their gun problem was Australia. When they did that their gun violence tanked. All this stuff is public knowledge. The question is REALLY simple. If the rest of the world doesn't have anywhere near the same problems we do with guns, and the difference is regulating them, then what are we doing? Why, basically, acting like crazy, ignoramuses, incapable to doing what is right to protect ourselves.

We have a president who lies between 70% and 85% of the time. WE elected this man to office even though we knew this simple fact. Right now over 40% of the voters support this man. He is also supported by the main Pentecostal organization (fundamental religious), won over 50% of the female vote even though he is personally committed to their degradation, use, and denigration. I can go on and on about our president, the lying jackass, but we all know about this. Basically this is, as far as I can see, yet another example of national insanity.

Oh, one last one. We have been recently gifted with a 'tax plan', and budget. it moves over a trillion dollars to the richest amongst us. To accomplish that one we are reducing, right now, Medicare and Medicaid to the tune of 35 billion dollars EACH year. We have increased our military BUDGET by more money than any other country in the entire world! (and that's just the increase!) We have done this even though our infrastructure is failing, our schools are broke, and our healthcare is so bad that our projected life expectancy is actually declining, unlike the rest of the industrialized world. The really interesting thing is that much of the support, of the Lying Jackass, is actually from the very people who are dependent on Medicare, Medicaid, etc. I know people like this. When I tell them about the cuts their reply is simply, "I don't believe that". My assumption is that once they feel the results they will change their minds but, as far as I can tell, that assumption would be wrong and blame would be assigned elsewhere.

As an aside I would point out that the rest of the industrialized nations of the world have seriously reduced their healthcare costs by 1)making healthcare a social rather than for-profit industry, 2)regulating all facets of healthcare, and 3)providing tax payer funded, free, healthcare. Not us! Apparently we are trying to privatize our healthcare instead (making it more expensive!).

I can go on and on about this stuff but, pretty much, I betcha, you get the message. AS far as I can determine one of the main reasons is that we have a two party system and one, the right, fights, lies, and spends with abandon and with no problem. The left, on the other hand fights back by not actually fighting. They call the right on none of their claims and lies because, apparently they don't want to make anybody angry. I think that Hillary mirrors the problem pretty good. When Hillary told the coal folks the facts she acdtually felt bad about that and tried to roll it back! When she debated the Lying Jazckass she ALLOWED the man to bully her with nary even a little whine. The woman has been maligned for over 30 years are she just ignores it. As demonstrated by Hillary, the left is simply not capable of fighting back with any vigor and spends most of its time begging their supporters to actually vote! This seems to say that they are above all that ill mannered stuff. The result is that the right has been able to claim anything, lie to their heart's content, for, literally, years and years. The result is a genuine lack of faith in government, everybody fighting with one another (parties are at it but, even within the parties too!). I do not understand why, if somebody is a public figure (politician, tv/movie star, etc) then its ok to lie about them with impunity. This is not true, for instance, in the UK, as well as most other industrialized countries. We, however, not only expect the lies but almost half of us actually believe those same lies. This has been going on for so long that we expect it and it has become 'normalized'.

We should all recognize, as Hitler said; "If you tell a lie loud enough, and long enough, the lie becomes fact". The right has used this for years and its really paid off - for the righteous Republicans.

I suspect that if a professional mental health expert would examine the nation as he/she would an individual, that the results would not be far off 'insane'. I wonder, is this the way great empires fail? Do they simply, over time, implode? We are a democracy, the people are, in theory in charge. Given how we are behaving I would humbly submit that we gotta a problem!

Oh, this stuff is real. Its easily found on the net if you are at all interested.



Edited by jgw (03/21/18 07:16 PM)

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#306302 - 04/09/18 09:21 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I thought I would add one more to my list of national insanities. This one is for prison, and paroles. First some references:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/01/why-sweden-closing-prisons
https://www.theatlantic.com/internationa...uperior/279949/
https://thecrimereport.org/2017/07/20/want-to-end-mass-incarceration-fix-probation-and-parole/\

The United States continues to incarcerate a larger percentage of its population than ANY other country in the world! The latest offense in this effort to be #1 is the 'private prison'. I know a guy who was a guard in prisons in Bulgaria during the Russian occupation. Then he moved to the United States and has been a prison guard in one of the private prisons in California for a few years. He recently quit due to the company saving money and putting guards at risk. He no longer felt safe and quit! The United states also has the highest rate of recidivism in the world. What we are doing, according to many, is not only failing in fixing our criminal problem but actually making sure that them that break the law keep on doing that because they have no other recourse. The problems of surviving once out of prison, due to the system, is virtually impossible except for a few truly amazing people. If you read the above (google "prison not the answer" for more) you will understand better what is going on.

In Arizona, they have changed how they handle parole and, as a result, they have actually cut their costs by a huge amount whilst, at the same time, cutting recidivism by a huge amount. Countries in Northern Europe are actually starting to shut down existing prisons due to a real reduction in criminals by NOT doing what we are doing. We currently have, for instance, an Attorney General who is determined to increase the number of prisoners, thereby enriching shareholders in the private prison scam.

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#306310 - 04/10/18 12:38 AM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: North San Diego County
I saw an article in the paper yesterday about denying Medicare coverage for opiate prescriptions longer than 30 days. The government has once again decided to do the stupid thing because it is easy. Ignore the fact that people with chronic pain really need a way to control it. Instead they suggest ibuprofen!

The "opiate problem" is mostly a product of cutting chronic pain victims off prescription pain meds and driving them to black market heroin with unknown Fentanyl or even car-Fentanyl content. People with prescription pain pills know what they are getting, so they very rarely overdose. Driving them away from known dosages is the height of insanity.

I predict even more death because of this stupid policy. Even if they are not willing to seek heroin, I bet more and more vets and elderly decide self-immolation on the Capital Steps is preferable to constant pain.

And what's up with the Veterans Administration? They KNOW VERY WELL they could move a lot of vets off opiates or vastly reduce their need by prescribing cannabis. We have medical marijuana in lots of states now, but vets who use it are subject to harassment and getting cut off from VA treatments. This is insane. It's the one thing that could help with the opiate problem.

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#306312 - 04/10/18 12:56 AM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 823
There is no left though there's a new one struggling to form itself. We have centrist/right democrats and far right republicans. The left has been systematically dismantled for decades now. Hence the reality we are in.


Edited by chunkstyle (04/10/18 01:01 AM)

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#306329 - 04/10/18 08:33 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: chunkstyle]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15967
jgw That is truly a rant worthy of our name!
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#306331 - 04/10/18 09:22 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I think the problem with the left is that its got a lot more youth than the right. Many of the youth see things as a single dimension and everything is absolute (I know, this is mean spirited and painting an entire group). That being said, this seems to be what happened when bernie was not loved by the entire Democratic party. The result was that the supposed group of youthful Bernie supporters hated Hillary (basically, I think, they bought into the baloney of the right about her because, I think, social media is so full of conspiracies, lies, and just plain crap). That being the case they were also at least partially responible for the jackass winning. I was not exactly delighted with her myself but I voted for her anyway because the only other viable choice was the jackass.

The answer is pretty simple, and, I suspect, very difficult. Somehow those that do not agree with what the Republicans are doing (ie. "the right") then they should vote Democratic whether the like the Democratic candidate or not. I think its that simple. I am also sure that everybody will probably not agree with that. It would be interesting that those that do not agree might explain why and offer a different option that can actually win.

In other words I think that the actions of the Republicans, and the right, have created a 'left' whether anybody recognizes that or not. There is only one home for those not in agreement with what is currently going on. If they don't fight back the good old USA is going to end up a refuge for dictators, haters, and all the rest of that stuff.

Some of my own reasons for my belief and the actions of the right that makes me think this are:
wrecking the environment
apparent belief that war is the answer
Racism
lies about immigrants
Irrational hate of several groups
Constant lies and innuendo
Dislike of science

I could go on and on but, that's basically it..........



Edited by jgw (04/10/18 09:25 PM)

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#306339 - 04/10/18 11:10 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: North San Diego County
Maybe the real reason the ultra-left is dead, is that the Soviet Union no longer exists. They identified at least somewhat with the Communists, but now Russia is run by a fascist dictator. Maybe it always was, but in any event there is no longer anything left of left.

Now the only "left" countries are places like Scandanavia, which is rather weak tea for the hard-core leftist. So we have people who like Sweden on one extreme and people who like Hitler on the other. Admiring Sweden is so innocuous, that the current left in this country seems pretty centrist.

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#306348 - 04/11/18 01:44 AM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 823
There's been a lot of reporting on the Sanders yute vote costing the Annointed one her election JGW. It should be remembered that more Hillary primary voters went for Romney in the general than Bernie voters went for Trump. That largest demographic of Sanders primary supporters that went for Trump in the key battle ground states (which Sanders won in the primaries by the way) were older white male boomers.
PIA, is the Ultra Left the same as the Alt Left?


Edited by chunkstyle (04/11/18 02:23 AM)

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#306357 - 04/11/18 07:22 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: chunkstyle]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15967
The short answer to the question is, yes. DJT is proof of that. The issue, then, is, can we be cured?

Somewhere, someone has noted that the basic tenet of representative democracy is that our representatives reflect the views and interests of their constituents. Our current system does not do that, although I stubbornly believe it can. There are anti-democratic forces hard at work undermining that system, and they are legion: corporations, think tanks, the Republican party, foreign governments, social movements, religions.

There is, though, an awakening of sorts going on. There was the women's march, black lives matter, occupy, #metoo, and now the Parkland kids. While these are discrete movements, they are rowing in the same direction. Combine them and we have a real movement. I'm hoping it is a generational change.

I had a conversation today with my son about how different his world is from mine. He's starting out in the work world and I'm retiring from it. By his age I was on my 11th job, and first career, was married and had bought a house. His opportunities are much narrower, and his prospects are less visible. Even with a college degree and savings in the bank, it's just plain harder.

But something about his and the following generation - they're much more level-headed. So, yes, we've been insane. But, the kids are alright. They've got this.

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#306360 - 04/12/18 02:30 AM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: NW Ponderer]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13945
Loc: Florida
Quote:
the kids are alright. They've got this.

I think you're right.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#306361 - 04/12/18 03:08 AM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: North San Diego County
I sure hope so. I don't want my declining years to be miserable. Maybe I need to move to Sweden?

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#306371 - 04/12/18 07:28 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: Greger]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 823
Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
the kids are alright. They've got this.

I think you're right.


What good is it if we keep ignoring them and have lousy candidates?

Coulda Woulda Shoulda


Edited by chunkstyle (04/12/18 07:28 PM)

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#306373 - 04/12/18 09:06 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I have 3 kids and they are all over 50 years old. One thing I have noticed about them is that they, literally, are race and sex preference blind. They, literally, don't give a damn about that stuff. If anybody tries to talk to them about it they tend to look absolutely amazed that its even a subject of conversation. Of the three my son voted for Trump. I have not talked to him about that one but, from what I can gather, he is undergoing a bit of buyer's remorse and he has not changed his views on race or sex preference in the slightest. He runs a company that I used to have and his hiring practices reflect this complete disinterest in the two subjects. My daughters feel the same way (one is an accountant and the other works in a law office writing pleadings).

I have also noticed their friends also don't consider those two things to be of any lasting interest. So, just based on this, I think things have changed one generation from me. Then there are the grand children and they are absolutely liberal when it comes to race and sex preference. They REALLY don't care about that stuff!

I can go down another generation but it seems the same. Basically, much of the stuff many seem to care about (race and sex) just don't seem to take up all the room they did in my generation. I have no idea about entire classes but, as far as I can see, its much better down the line.

So, "The kids are alright. They've got this" is, as far as I can tell, spot on!!!!!

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#306379 - 04/13/18 03:07 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 823
I'd say that many who didn't see the outcome of the presidential election or the associated political landscape revealed are either living in a large metropolitan city or a medium town that's harboring a college, hospital or prison or a combination of the three. Clinton country basically. A bastion of neoliberalism democratic centrism, where identity politics are supported. Kudo's to your adult children JGW, that they no longer feel it appropriate to yell something racist or homophobic from their car windows. That's a triumph of sorts for the centrist Democrats.

Then there's racism in judicial sentencing and policing, debt traps, massive wealth inequality, wage theft on a grand scale, extraction capitalism that's put us on the brink of environmental collapse, ruinous military adventures and an economy in decline for most Americans.
We celebrate gay weddings while ignoring immense wealth inequality. Sexual stereotypes being broken while corporate crime goes unpunished.
What's insane is voting for horrid candidates that support the very policies that have gotten us here and then ponder if the country has somehow gone mad.

" Our goal is to make the beliefs, ideas, and governing approach of the new choice the dominant political thinking in America before this decade is out. Just as the New Deal shaped the political order for the industrial age, the new choice can define politics in the information age.

Our purpose is not to seek the middle of the road but to build a new road that leads beyond right and left to move America forward.

The industrial age is over; the old isms and the old ways don’t work anymore. Today, and in the months to come, we will put forth new answers and a new way of thinking which are based on the principle of inclusion and work for the greatest public good. We invite the American people to join our cause."

-Democratic Leadership Counsel 1991. Presided by Bill Clinton.

The 'Kids' wanted a return to new deal values as exemplified by Sanders. The 'Grownups' insisted on neoliberalism embodied in Clinton. The grownups got their brains broke with the result.



Edited by chunkstyle (04/13/18 03:11 PM)

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#306386 - 04/13/18 08:20 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Let me try again on this one. The United States has a two party political system. The theory is that we have a Right, Left and Middle and that voting, basically, tends towards the middle. All this talk about how left the left is and how right the right is just doesn't really make any sense as the choices are REALLY simple. I think its generally agreed that, historically, the left tends to capture more of the middle than the right.

The problem is that there is also a serious problems, in all factions, of actually taking time out to actually vote. In Washington state, for instance, ballots are mailed to the voters addresses. The voters, of that state, then have the onerous task of filling out the ballot and sending or delivering said ballot. That's it! The the last general primary election a whole 27% turned out and, in the last general election a whole 38% turned out. These are, incidentally, considered large turnouts! These are simple facts and these facts are not only discouraging but demonstrate a general failure of voters to actually vote! We ALL are aware of this one. When there is a vote virtually all the talk is how to get the damned voters off their butts and actually vote, irregardless of druther, party, or whatever.

I also suspect that much of this starts with school. I suspect, based on nothing, for instance, that the reason youth that can vote, don't has to do with schooling, and what and how, they are taught. Given the current youth political breakout that might, hopefully, change. Then there is the poor. The poor tend to also not vote. There is one simple fact and that is that the politicians know, exactly, who their voters are and they tend to pander to those that vote. I am a senior and senior tend to vote so we get stuff. Youth and the poor, on the other hand, do not vote and get screwed over. The problem, I think, is that they just don't understand, or believe, that voting helps them at all. That being said there is a simple, logical and provable fact, if you are in a group that votes you win, irregardless of party.

Then there is the other point where those that would naturally vote for the left (even if they are in the middle), and if the left is not waaaaay left. This means, basically, that if the left does it right they should win. That being said, the left usually presents the dullest candidates, rarely toots its own horn, etc. The right, on the other hand, constantly toots its own horn and its candidates tend to be more 'pretty' than the left. All this is, incidentally, my personal beliefs but I am wedded to none of it and will not get upset if anybody disagrees because this stuff is VERY personal to the individual.

So, yet again, when it comes to voting and politics what we get is, basically, what the voters chose, even those who never voted as they are just as responsible for what we have as them that did vote. What is really offensive is when a voter on the right, or the left, votes for the other side because they are upset about a single issue instead of paying attention. When you add that into the mix, wherein the vast majority can't even be bothered to vote at all, we are left with an insane system based on a lack of caring, a lack of understanding, lazyness, and ignorance. Its a wonder we even have a country and, if it continues, we won't for all that much longer.

It may also be of possible interest that there is another voting block that ALWAYS votes - immigrants. If they can get citizenship they will vote and the politicians are also well aware of that one.

I wish us ALL good luck!


Edited by jgw (04/13/18 08:22 PM)

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#306395 - 04/14/18 12:45 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 823
Lots to chew on here JGW,

Originally Posted By: jgw
The theory is that we have a Right, Left and Middle and that voting, basically, tends towards the middle. All this talk about how left the left is and how right the right is just doesn't really make any sense as the choices are REALLY simple. I think its generally agreed that, historically, the left tends to capture more of the middle than the right.


This part of your post is the most eyebrow raising for me. The Oberten window may be a more accurate way of describing our current state of politics rather than trying to define left or right or the degrees of separation between them. With that in mind, I would say that our political landscape has shifted to the right since 1980's weather it's a 'left' administration/congress or 'right'.
That Oberten window was wrenched back to the middle mainly due to one candidate.
There was immense dissatisfaction in the public mood with the status quo. IMO, much has to do with the acceptance of very bad ideas put into practice by both of the political parties with horrendous results. This has produced what we are seeing today. Voting for either party does not reduce the problems people are living with and one possible result of this is voter apathy.
You assume that voting for flavor #1 or flavor #1.1 will produce different outcomes with all social evidence over the last thirty years to the contrary.
The three part documentary by Adam Curtis starting with 'F#ck Off Buddy!' covers a lot of this ground. It basically explains how Game Theory from the cold war era was disseminated into political and economic spheres and gave birth to bad ideas shared by both political parties and leading economists today. I highly recommend you have a look:

[censored] Off Buddy!


Edited by chunkstyle (04/14/18 02:13 PM)

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#306407 - 04/14/18 09:41 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I was going to respond at length but changed my mind. I also watch a couple of the link you sent. As far as I can tell all the 'experts' continue to fail. One of the majors we currently have are the "true believers". They eschew common sense, fact, etc. basically anything that would challenge the belief. I still believe that we have a 2 party system and each tends to go too far because they no longer talk to one another. That happened when they got rid of ear marks. Our leaders need to speak to one another and get along. They also need to cut back on raising money, self serving, greed and lies. The problems are across the spectrum from left to right.

Voting is what we got. That seems to be where the real problem is and, hopefully, somebody will figure it out. If we are to survive we need an elected class that actually works with each other instead of mouth service. We now have a new voting class that has entered - youth. They have been missing, perhaps they will help it. Then there are the poor who also don't vote. I think this not voting thing is a serious part of the problem and I support mandatory voting. Even if you don't vote for a single thing a blank ballot also sends a message.

Thanks for your input - appreciate it...........

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#306408 - 04/14/18 10:51 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 823
There's a lot to be said about the younger generation. In fact, I was listening to an interview of the director, Adam Curtis, on a podcast from the Yutes. They had him on to talk about his latest 'Hypernormalisation' which does a remarkable job of explaining the current zeitgeist and how we arrived at Trump (who actually appears several times in it from both recent and older footage, times in the documentary). Highly recommend watching this film. Very informative of the collapse of the western neoliberal order and the loss of confidence it's people.
In depth and riveting, for me the take away is that there is not a vision for the future from the left yet though there is one that is trying to find it's voice. Unfortunately the instruments of power within the democratic party are trying to maintain itself and primary out new voices from the election.
This is the core problem of voting. As someone put it about 2016 'it was a choice of death by cancer or death by firing squad.
What we seem to be approaching is French economist Piketty's comparison to 19th century France's illiberal democracy whereby the elites are choosing whom we shall vote on. All the candidates are controlled by the entrenched power structure. So what, then, does voting get you? It doesn't change anything....... (heard that sentiment before?...)

Sanders was a real opportunity to shift the Oberten window. What's interesting is that his insurgency has stuck and left an apparatus for funding progressives, among several independent progressive funding sources now, in the critical primaries. What we need is a vision for a future (say, wasn't that Sanders campaign slogan) or we may end up with a blue wave resulting in a dead end like the Arab Spring.





Edited by chunkstyle (04/14/18 10:52 PM)

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#306418 - 04/15/18 07:35 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I received, daily, about 20 requests for money from the left. Some are cloaked in "sign this", or scare me tactics (we are broke and can't continue without ....", etc. I mark them all as spam and they just change their ip and keep on coming. Its pretty disgusting. I can't even figure out who, or what, half of them are. Then there are the stories about the national dems attacking otherwise good candidates so they can stick in one of their hacks. My fond hope is that the dems, and the left, just stop it and start actually doing something. I know that there are those who are working, very hard, locally but many are saying they are getting absolutely no help from national. I am concerned.

I would, for instance, love to see some ads that pointed out the differences between right and left. They are pretty glaring and easily proven (the "tax reform" would be a good place to start). That being said, I just don't see it happening. I am not the only voice saying this but, instead of building treasure in the bank they gotta start fighting back!

Oh, again, when there is a 40% voter turnout its portrayed as a landslide. They say the left is energized and I hope that is true. What I do know is that the left remains splintered. EVERYBODY has to just stop it, recognize that there are 2 sides and make up their mind which one they are more comfortable on. Instead, it seems to me that on both sides, factions continue with the "my way or the highway" crap. I really don't care what the right does as I stand on the left. I wish others, who should, would stop the bickering and get to work.

In other words I am not so sure the left needs a vision for the future so much as an agreement on just not agreeing with the right. Privatization, massive debt, unending wars, you know, that kind of stuff the right is so proud of. I have always found it interesting, for instance, that the rest of the developed world spend less on healthcare than we do, by like 4 times less. They do this by controlling the entire industry (there are no secrets here). Remember, the rest of the developed world now exceeds our expected longevity due to their healthcare. The question, in this case (and most others) is pretty stark - do you think its right that healthcare, in other developed nations, has extended their longevity whilst ours continues to decline?

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#306420 - 04/15/18 10:41 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 823
There are good solid campaign finance groups that are backing candidates that meet progressive criteria. Digging around the web will help you identify these groups. Working Families Coalition, Our Revolution, Indivisible to name a few.

The problem as I see it is that the right believes in increasingly wrong things (as Adam Curtis' sprawling documentary of game theory examined) and the Democrats believe in nothing (again, explained in 'Hypernormalization). When Democrats keep voting to deregulate banking, oppose reproductive rights, shrug their shoulders on privacy and vote to go to endorse international violence it should become increasingly obvious that there is no left voice. There are moments in an election when they will borrow a left voice and talk in terms of left wing solutions but there record shows them to behave otherwise.

Do you really believe, JGW, that the democratic party needs to be against another political party rather then be for something? That seemed to be the play that Clinton used.

'I'M WITH HER!' - what did that even mean except she wasn't her opponent?

If you are saying that what is needed is some technocratic tinkering around the edges and a clear distinction between centrist Dems and the right I would respectfully disagree. Sanders and Corbyn have proven that point.

'It does feel like we are at the end of something' is a sentiment I agree with and there is a brawl going on as to what will come next. Suburban 'Normies' (as the yutes are calling them) would like to return to the familiar comfort of the status quo. What the normies are not getting is there was and are real reasons for why we got Trump. Libs are going crazy convincing themselves it was Russian interference, FBI interference etc... What the Libs can't seem to face are the deep structural problems in our society.
Right now the far right has a clear eyed vision of what they would like the future to be. The left is trying to define one but is fighting an uphill battle from both the right and the centrist dems.

Allow yourself a favor and have a listen to an interesting yute podcast conversation with Curtis:






Adam Curtis interview on Chapo yute podcast


Edited by chunkstyle (04/15/18 10:42 PM)

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#306421 - 04/15/18 10:49 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 823
"What we were talking about, in many cases, is people who are at the center of society at the moment, they are not out in the margins. They would have a lot to lose from real political change because it really would change things in the structure of power. Or - and this is the brutal question: Do you just want things to change a little bit? Do you just want the banks to be a little bit nicer, or for people to be a little more respectful of each other's identities - All of which is good - but basically you carry on living in a nice world where you tinker with it. That’s the key question. But you can't just sit there forever worrying about big ideas because there are millions of people out there who do want Change. And the key thing is: they feel they’ve got nothing to lose. You might have lots to lose, but they feel they’ve got absolute nothing to lose. But at the moment they're being led by the Right. So things won't remain the same."

Really puts the hook in ya...

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#306434 - 04/16/18 07:12 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Your question are a bit odd, I think. I don't care if banks are nice or not. I do care when they cheat, lie, steal, gamble with other's money, and work very hard to shatter our economy. I also find it interesting that they continue to do this stuff on a regular basis and our congress continues to reward their efforts. Except for the efforts to control them, during the Obama administration, they have been able to run amuck under bother parties. I have always found it interesting that the congress, years ago, at the behest of the banking industry, passed a law removing all responsibility from them that hold personal information on others. that one started out as a banking request but our congress, in its infinite wisdom, extended it to everybody. Nobody even bothers mention that one and, I think, its still out there which would explain why there have been no convictions for them that have that data (its a source of revenue for every one of them).

As far as actual changes goes. That one is actually quite pesky. Change tends to bring chaos which, until the jackass came on the screen was not exactly a favorite of the public, or the elected class. Change is, I think, a kindofa crap shoot so we have to be careful with that one. I am flat out, however, sending bad guys, including white collar criminals to prison. I am also, flat out, against the Obama solution of giving very rich criminals, and corporations, huge fines instead of prison. I am also against paying these fines whilst never admitting guilt. If this kind of thing is change then I am all for it. I also have absolutely no hope that any of that is ever going to change. Wealth simply owns too much of gov, basically with bribery condoned by law such as political contributions (bribery), etc., to allow that to actually happen.

I can remember, years ago, when I actually knew some of the elected. I once asked about change and they just laughed. When I mentioned that they mentioned 'change' when running for office they laughed again. When one tried to get down to it change was explained by questions like; "tell me what you think change is", "what kind of change do you think works?", and "really?". As far as I can tell nothing has changed and has actually gotten worse over time. Most of the time, when there is actual change, its not really a good thing. The current tax bill is an excellent example of really bad change. Another is dumping all the environmental regulations they can (the one allowing coal producers to dump poison into running water was one of my favs in that regard). One can go on and on about this so why bother?

Oh, people feel they have nothing to lose? That is true until they actually do lose something. I think the next big loss is going to come with Medicare. They are reducing that one by 25 billion a year. I am 83 years old. I also have a place in Canada <G> and we are considering buying in Mexico too just to be safe. We are, basically, getting ready for 'change'. Another reason people feel that they have nothing to lose is because they have never been anyplace where people REALLY have nothing to lose. I remember a story told to me by a professor I had in college. During the depression they held a march on Olympia so people jumped into their jalopies and went to the march. He was, at the time a registered Communist and had friends from Russia visiting. The Russians couldn't believe the march as everybody seemed to own some kind of transportation which was not true in their country. I remember him also telling me that them that went to Olympia, in their jalopies felt they had nothing to lose. For a very long time my wife and I have traveled the world. We are independent travelers and do not take cruises or the rest of that. I know what people that have nothing to lose look like and Americans are not them. My problem with the whole thing is that they could be and, with the Jackass, they stand a better chance of losing than I have seen in a very long time.

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#306436 - 04/16/18 08:47 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 823
My apologies JGW. The question that you responded to was not mine. It was a question that was asked of Adam Curtis by a co-host of a podcast that I have been following. The podcast hosts are millenials and are asking the director some excellent questions that you seldom get from the news/entertainment industrial complex. I had posted this podcast on the previous page and made a hash out of quoting Curtis. Sorry for the confusion.
My thoughts are Trump didn't happen in a vacuum and he wasn't voted into office because all the racist ran out of the woods and into the voting booth. Nor did the people vote for him to diminish their circumstance. It's very much worth looking at the circumstances leading up to Trump.
I agree that we havn't seen the co-option of government as bad as the current situation since three guys got in a room and decided on McKinley. The only thing that government is listening too is money and that goes for either side of the aisle. In my own district we have a progressive candidate that has popular proposals that she is committed to fighting for. Has backing of progressive parties and local union support. Has support from the last democratic candidate that lost to the incumbant republican by 6 points in a district that went to Clinton +5 points.
Along comes the DCCC and pledges the loser candidate their support and has convinced her to change her mind and run again. We now have a split primary ticket. This is a play that has been repeated thru out the country. The DCCC is not supposed to pick the winners in the primary. Yet here we are. Watching the DCCC blow into town and chose the candidate for our district.
Might explain how we get 78 Democratic representatives to vote with the Republicans on their Volker Rule Regulation Harmonization act that will ultimately allow banks of a certain size to invest FDIC insured money.
So what, then does simply pulling a lever for a candidate with a D next to their name gitchya?
You mentioned an educated voting public as one part of the solution. I agree with this. I find it interesting that a resurgent labor striking to do just that has not been mentioned on this board. Thousands went into the street in West Virginia and Oklahoma recently. States that had gone heavy for Trump but also showed support for the Strikers. Interesting....
One final thought about the observations of the communist professor. Where I agree that a lot of deprivation can be perceived a lot of todays destitution is not. I have recently toured my hometown that I grew up. To say that there had been some changes is to put it as a centrist. It is third world now. Settled in 1790's as most were around here, it was a village sporting 2 centuries of architecture with some industrial remnants scattered up and down the river from an earlier water driven industrial time. There were lots of carriage barns and fencing and even sported a catholic church. Today it's like most eny other small town. Carriage houses and barns have fallen down, porches have rotted off hose fronts, lots of junked cars in yards and multiple electric meters on what were once proud homes. This slow motion grind has been going on for much of america. What was once a solid community of mostly Democrats commuting to the nearby larger towns and cities for good paying jobs has descended into a desperate town that had a referendum to dis-incorporate in order to save some money. Shift the responsibility over to the county and state. It was rotten with Trump signs...

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#306439 - 04/17/18 07:18 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I think the jackass was elected because of two things. First there is the thought that there were "good old days" and that is what they want to return to. There good old days - were not! If you just go back 20 years ago it was MUCH different, and not better. We have continued, until the jackass, to become more civilized. Anyway, many also just think that change is good and they never really think on what that means. I remember having the same feeling and voted against a long time senator to vent my speen. He lost the election and I learned my lesson as I felt a bit responsible and he was a good guy and actually a friend <sigh>

The Dem national does continue to screw it up. Hillary, however, is running a plan to help organize, fund and train local groups and is having success in that one. I am not a big Hillary booster but she really isn't the devil either. I live in a town that was established, by Lincoln, as the second capital if they lost the civil war. We used to have 3 large timber mills and they are now all gone. Our main industry is now retirement (lots of folks from California). Our population has been around 19,000 for a very long time. Our weather projections will not change much from normal in spite of climate change and prices are not all that high. Sounds like you were from one of them east coast towns with all the old stuff. We have a town like that pretty close called Port Townsend. I used to own stuff down there but sold it all off (one housed the Old Port Townsend Brewery (hasn't run since the 1800's)

I remain convinced that the real battle is against two views and they are represented by 'left' and 'right'. The political parties are supposed to reflect that but they have confused themselves. I think the left should simply run educational ads that go something like; "this is what they do and stand for" and "this is what we do and stand for" The problem is that it would be a real crap shoot, on both sides to actually explain what they do. The Republicans are certainly not going to mention that they are the party of spending, big time, for instance. Actually I think that the parties being just as closed mouth about themselves as is gov and I really don't understand that one.

Anyway....................

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#306440 - 04/19/18 01:33 AM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15967
Not all of the States of the Union are insane, but soon, clearly are: Tennessee lawmakers punish Memphis for removing statue of Confederate and KKK leader - WaPo (limited access). I'm speechless. Seriously. Is this 1850?

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#306443 - 04/19/18 05:52 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Then there is the apparent status of public education in many of the red states. This one astounds me and kinda proves the simple fact that many of the American electorate are actually unable to act in their own best interest. The marches by teachers tend to bear it out as, apparently, the parents of the school children were, again apparently, supporting their own public school system. It is so bad, in some rural areas in Kentucky that the school systems in some rural areas are only open 4 days a week as they lack the funds to heat the schools! The teachers, they say, make approximately 30% of what they make in other states. They say, for instance, that Oklahoma trains all sorts of teachers and soon as they get their degrees they flee to other states that pay, at least, a living wage. I live in the state of Washington. If our school systems had regressed to the state of those in many red states the parents would be out in the streets, along with the teachers, in force.

I just have trouble understanding how parents, in any state, could allow their public school systems to deteriorate to such a degree. I guess this explains how populations can be hoodwinked and otherwise misdirected to vote contrary to the needs of their own children. Its kinda like the unions that marched, during the Vietnam war to keep that war going even though their own children were being killed in a war that made no sense and should never have occurred. The very fact that we have a war that's been going on, for over 18 years, killing ours, for as far as I can see, no reason at all is, I think, peculiar all by itself.

We expect the congress to start behaving and doing its job. My question is why in the world would we expect any such thing when those expecting such continue to elect an elected class obviously working, very hard, for just about everything contrary to their own needs. We live in strange times................

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#306448 - 04/20/18 03:52 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 823
JGW
I, also, was considering a long written response but found this article from Rolling Stone instead:

Word from the street


Edited by chunkstyle (04/20/18 03:52 PM)

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#306534 - 04/30/18 07:15 PM Re: Are we really insane? [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1950
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
The United States spends approximately 2 times as much on healthcare than the other 12 High-Income countries of the world. This is government money spent for PUBLIC healthcare! What this means is that the United States is spending MORE on public healthcare, per capita, than the other High-Income countries are spending on their own universal healthcare. Let me repeat, we are spending more money on public healthcare than anybody else than other countries spend on universal, government paid, healthcare. This even gets a bit more interesting. The United States expected life expectancy is actually falling whilst the rest of the high-income countries. Take drugs, for instance. If you check the prices of whatever you are being subscribed, you will find that Canada will, on average, price their drugs approximately 50% of what you have in the United States. I am talking about drugs that are exactly the same as those in this country made by exactly the same companies! (who get to make at least 50% more here than any place else, and still manage to stay open for business)

Basically the other industrialized countries of the world treat healthcare as a social responsible paid for by taxes. In the United States healthcare is a for-profit enterprise that is, according to all the stats, is simply not as good as healthcare in other nations of the world. The answer, of course, is simple. Other government actually control the costs of their healthcare. The United States, however, does not and actually supports a greedy, failing, system of healthcare that has actually reduced OUR life expectancy!

I guess I should express my admiration for those who support our healthcare, especially those who are aware of these facts, and are, apparently, quite willing to sacrifice their own lives to continue to support a system that is going to kill them. For the rest of us, I have no idea why we haven't risen up and demanded that we get healthcare that is, at least, as good as those nations with national healthcare systems. The fact remains, we have remained docile, and apparently content to die before others, rather than even vaguely fight back.

We, in the United States, seem to live in a very strange world?

A link for the heck of it:
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publicat...bal-perspective

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