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#308828 - 10/06/18 01:53 AM The Blindness of Good intentions
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16229
The Facebook hack, the 2016 election, the rape of a woman taking in a Florence refugee, the killing of Botham Jean, the Kavanaugh appointment... what do they have in common? In my view, the blindness of people with good intentions.

It is a human condition, I think, that people with good hearts discover the depravity of others' too late to save themselves. Botham Jean was at home in his apartment, and apparently left his door unlocked because he didn't fear his neighborhood. I rarely lock my own. He died because an officer, who didn't share his values, shot reflexively before investigating. The good Samaritan assumed a hurricane refugee would be grateful, rather than predatory. Trump was elected because too many people thought (perhaps self-deceptively) that he could be reformed once he was in office, people still want to believe that Brett Kavanaugh could be a fair Justice despite all of the contrary evidence (beliefs that are skewed by political opportunism), and Facebook's leadership consistently underestimates the depravity of its platform's users.

Facebook is a particularly useful example. Because social media has been used for organizing resistance to tyrannical rule, and its raison d'etre is free expression, its purveyors think of themselves as wearing white hats and lack the imagination to appreciate that the tools they create and use themselves could be used for nefarious ends - like genocide of the Rohingya, organizing terror campaigns in India (and the U.S.), or widespread disinformation campaigns by state actors.

And so we have a Trump in the White House, will soon have a Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and overt racists running US policy. I'm not sure where it will end, but I'm mightily sick of it.
_________________________
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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#308832 - 10/06/18 01:32 PM Re: The Blindness of Good intentions [Re: NW Ponderer]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 973
One positive has been the cracks in the wall of the propoganda that had led to this state of affairs.
The far right has been exploiting it by offering racism, xenophobia, misogyny etc..
It's all they have and their think tanks have run dry of ideas. Owning the Libs is their reason for being.
At the same time there is an emergent left from a decades long absence. They have the only real ideas and vitality but they are a small minority. Despite their size they have already had an outsized influence on the party.
Raising the minimum wage
Medicaire for all
Legal reform
Green works project,
Anti imperialism
Campaign finance reform
Etc...

I can't imagine a true progressive force rising without the crack up of the centrists and the growing awareness that they have proven to be ineffectual for decades now on average working peoples lives. Best represented by the tone deaf 'America is already great!' Jingoism of the last presidential election.
Perhaps, in the current political space we may finally see a true progressive coalition be seated in congress that can agitate from the inside instead of being sidelined.
Time will only tell but the current political energy is on the left. The centrists will not go willingly.

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#308836 - 10/06/18 11:24 PM Re: The Blindness of Good intentions [Re: chunkstyle]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 14268
Loc: Florida
Quote:
Time will only tell but the current political energy is on the left.


The left is always where the cool kids hang out. Drinking absinthe or smoking marijuana. Dreaming big dreams and making big plans. Always with the best intentions.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#308838 - 10/07/18 03:36 AM Re: The Blindness of Good intentions [Re: NW Ponderer]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 973
I think you've confused solidarity and labor with trustafarians Gregor. Or the old SDS?

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#308847 - 10/07/18 04:41 PM Re: The Blindness of Good intentions [Re: chunkstyle]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 14268
Loc: Florida
I may have confused good intentions with the pavement on the road to Hell...

I want extreme left reforms as much as anyone on this planet.

Unfortunately half the voting population of the USA wants authoritarian fascist reforms.

They are currently in power. Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.
Most state houses, most local governments.

You blame Democrats for the problem because they have not been able to change voters minds. When was the last time you tried to change a Republican's mind? How'd it go?

For some reason offering them more money, better insurance, a clean environment and a safe workplace, diplomacy instead of war, an economy that benefits everyone, legal weed, rainbows, unicorns, and free candy has only made them hate all these things and to try and do away with them. Because some of their tax dollars might go towards helping someone who desperately needs it. A bridge too far.

We may make a few advances come November, but any small gains we might make over the next two years will be offset by unhinged right wing anger in 2020.

I still have faith that America will one day come to it's senses. I no longer believe I will live to see it.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#308850 - 10/07/18 09:23 PM Re: The Blindness of Good intentions [Re: Greger]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7923
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
half the voting population of the USA wants authoritarian fascist reforms


I don't think it's half. Maybe a tenth. Unfortunately another 4 tenths are simply gullible enough to email a Nigerian prince their bank account number, so they can become millionaires.

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#308853 - 10/08/18 02:22 AM Re: The Blindness of Good intentions [Re: Greger]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 973
Originally Posted By: Greger


You blame Democrats for the problem because they have not been able to change voters minds. When was the last time you tried to change a Republican's mind? How'd it go?

For some reason offering them more money, better insurance, a clean environment and a safe workplace, diplomacy instead of war, an economy that benefits everyone, legal weed, rainbows, unicorns, and free candy has only made them hate all these things and to try and do away with them.



Healthy New York plan is a state initiative that has won over republicans and democrats alike here in New York. For republicans sitting on town boards and trying to figure out how their going to swing a budget, its the cost savings that convinces them.

Free and fair elections resolution that is a constitutional amendment initiative that has been adopted by five states so far and this may be the year that it can finally get passed in our state senate (it's had enough support in the house but has been stalled in the senate committee). I've had folks with Trump yard signs give me a "Oh hell ya.." response to a signature request and explanation of what it's about. An amendment to ban corporate monies from elections. That's an issue that has broad deep support regardless of party or income.

Your second paragraph of democrat attributes I would disagree with. There's democrats as a brand and democrats of reality. A mostly corporatized market world neoliberal type to win elections with 'opportunities' and 'access'. Trying to win political contests like it was a college debate. It's as confounding to me as Trump supporters believing he's a populist in the american historical context of populism.

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#308873 - 10/08/18 07:06 PM Re: The Blindness of Good intentions [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2129
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I am not sure about the good intentions but I am absolutely sure about the incompetence and inability of the Democrats to even vaguely mention anything they might have done right. Obamacare is a great example of that one. They allowed the right to bad mouth Obamacare with vigor, ie. "If you tell a lie, loud enough, and often enough" it will become fact - Mein Kampf (I think). The simple fact is THAT WORKS! Its also true that the Dems don't have to lie - they just have to speak up but that would be bragging and against the rules in the civilized society they live in so they demure. I remember another instance when somebody pointed out that Obama NEVER tooted his own horn because it was just unseemly.

On the other hand we now have Jackass. He never misses a chance to claim the wonder of his works (regardless of whether they are or not). This is a constant with this administration and people not only believe but REALLY believe. To argue with these people is a complete and utter waste of time as they are never confused with truth or fact as that is simply not the point.

Sorry, I am absolutely convinced that the Dems must start tooting their own horns as much as possible. There is actually a lot to toot about! Most of which is in the process of being removed or destroyed by the right. You know, stuff like voting rights, the environment, healthcare, social security, medicare. All this stuff is under fire yet I hear little or no feedback from the left. One example is that Medicare will be done in 8 years unless something happens (the money was given to the 1% who were, I guess, more deserving). If the Dems don't have a plan I would suggest they start talking about the stuff they used to be responsible for and, hopefully, continue to support. I think they should also mention that they have been responsible, since Herbert Hoover, for cleaning up the fiscal disasters of the political right, you know (again), stuff like the Great Depression, the 2008 collapse of banking, etc. I have always thought it interesting that the Republicans claim to be the ones fiscally responsible yet the Dems have always been the ones to pickup the pieces after they have had their way and, at the same time, never question the Republican claim to the fiscal responsibility crown. The current administration has, as far as I can tell, run up a TWO TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT in 2 years. We have a president who has claimed to be the king of debt and knows how to handle it, ie. just don't pay your bills.

One last. We are now paying more money on our national debt that Medicare costs! This is due to our national debt and the interest incurred. The Left MUST start tooting their damned horns! (at the very least <sigh>)

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#308884 - 10/09/18 02:43 AM Re: The Blindness of Good intentions [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 973
Two points JGW,

There is no left wing in american politics currently and hasn't been for some time. There are plenty of great thinkers on the left but are seldom heard from or invited on corporate media. There is no left. Simply two right wings of different extremes.

The 'Financial Services Modrnization Act', often referred to as the repeal of Glass-Steagel, was a bipartisan bill that was signed into law by Bill Clinton. Many view this as the key factor that played into the 2008 financial meltdown. You can't reasonably argue that 2008 melt down had only republican right wing fingerprints on it. Right wing democrats did as well.


Edited by chunkstyle (10/09/18 02:44 AM)

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#308897 - 10/09/18 06:05 PM Re: The Blindness of Good intentions [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2129
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Chunk;
I am a bit confused. I never mentioned Glass-Steagel although I tend to believe it had to do with the mess in 2008 there are many who would argue that Glass-Steagel had nothing to do with it.

Your claim that there is no left wing is becoming common amongst lefties who seem to believe that they are the only ones who can grasp the 'TRUTH'. The simple fact is that we have two basic political views; the right and the left. The right hates ALL regulation and the left does not. Its that simple although I expect disagreement. This has, incidentally, nothing to do with religion, immigration, etc. which are all extemporaneous to the political fact.

You, basically, ignored what I said to make a couple of point. I think that Clinton signed the repeal because he actually believed that he was on a path to solve ALL political problems. I have no facts to back this one up, other than a few friends of mine. My claim, of course, is so vague that I fully expect it to be completely rejected and I am fine with that too. If I didn't say it I would question it myself!

I remain convinced that the Dems should be loudly, and often, tooting their own horns.

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