Author Topic: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion  (Read 6765 times)

jordanread

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Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« on: July 03, 2017, 10:42:55 AM »
I have some ideas for this, but I'm going to wait and see how this evolves. This thread is being created as a sister thread to Small Daily Acts of Political Resistance. The thread I linked to is all about specific actions people are taking, ideas on what to take, but not the why. This is a good thing. But damn if some things get said that would be an awesome conversation. In order to keep that thread on track, this will be the spot for discussing those actions, the ethics, morality, and viewpoints behind them, or anything else that people want to ask. Now, political discussions on the internet...well, you know. That being said, this forum is arguably one of the best places on the internet, so I'm relatively certain this will wind up being an exception to the rule. But just in case, here are some guidelines I use, and they allow discussions to move forward pretty well.

  • Comments are based on the viewpoint of the author.
  • Disagreement as to underlying beliefs are disagreements on the underlying beliefs, not a statement about your character.
  • Unless specifically stated, nothing said here is personal.
  • Ensure that your comments specify it's the action or opinion you are critiquing, not the person.
  • AFAIK, we are all human here. Start at that common ground and things get productive.
  • There is an entire history, and an entire thought process behind decisions that people make. We don't know what that is. If you are asked to explain your core beliefs, it's only for understanding, not to make you change them specifically.
  • Instead of attacking people, ask questions to figure out where they are coming from. It's probably not malicious.

Let's see how this goes. This will be a good discussion all!
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CanuckExpat

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 09:10:35 AM »
Thanks Jordan, I'm posting to follow.

If it helps any, I'll copy and paste some rules/guidelines from a similar space that I thought stays relatively civil (though they have the advantage of being able to be heavily moderated). I'm not the boss of anything, but I think the following are useful to keep in mind, tell me if you disagree:

* Try to stay dedicated to evenhanded, empirical discussion of political issues
* Aim for a neutral space where those of differing opinions can come together and rationally lay out their respective arguments. Neutral in the sense that no political opinion is favored - only facts and logic. Your comments will be judged not by its perspective, but by its style, rationale, and informational content.
* Be courteous. Avoid demeaning language, sarcasm, rudeness or hostility towards others
* Source your facts. If you're claiming something to be true, you need to back it up. There is no "common knowledge" exception, and anecdotal evidence is frowned upon
* Put thought into it. Explain the reasoning behind what you're saying. Argue your position with logic and evidence.
* Address the arguments, not the person. The subject of your sentence should be "the evidence" or "this source" or some other noun directly related to the topic of conversation, not the person. "You" statements are suspect.


If this post disappears, it means I got tired of it showing up in my unread replies, and it may have devolved into more political fighting than I care for. I'm retired and don't need my blood riled up :)
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jordanread

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 09:19:24 AM »
Thanks Jordan, I'm posting to follow.

If it helps any, I'll copy and paste some rules/guidelines from a similar space that I thought stays relatively civil (though they have the advantage of being able to be heavily moderated). I'm not the boss of anything, but I think the following are useful to keep in mind, tell me if you disagree:

* Try to stay dedicated to evenhanded, empirical discussion of political issues
* Aim for a neutral space where those of differing opinions can come together and rationally lay out their respective arguments. Neutral in the sense that no political opinion is favored - only facts and logic. Your comments will be judged not by its perspective, but by its style, rationale, and informational content.
* Be courteous. Avoid demeaning language, sarcasm, rudeness or hostility towards others
* Source your facts. If you're claiming something to be true, you need to back it up. There is no "common knowledge" exception, and anecdotal evidence is frowned upon
* Put thought into it. Explain the reasoning behind what you're saying. Argue your position with logic and evidence.
* Address the arguments, not the person. The subject of your sentence should be "the evidence" or "this source" or some other noun directly related to the topic of conversation, not the person. "You" statements are suspect.


If this post disappears, it means I got tired of it showing up in my unread replies, and it may have devolved into more political fighting than I care for. I'm retired and don't need my blood riled up :)

It won't disappear now!! Yeah, they're pretty good rules. I'll have to remember the sarcasm one. I'm bad at that. Greenback beat me to it, so a good chunk of the current conversation is about the ethics of reaching outside of your own area in another thread. It's going relatively well so far, so I'm just going to leave this here for the next bit that comes up.
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jordanread

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 10:32:56 PM »
So after another discussion that ended extremely unsatisfactorily, I now feel like we need to make sure we have a solid foundation on which to begin discussion. I don't have a specific issue in mind, but regardless, I think that starting at the beginning will be useful. I will answer the questions tomorrow, when at a keyboard, but I'm pretty sure I can post the questions without screwing up from a phone.

When it comes to politics, how do you describe yourself? Republican, Democrat, libertarian, anarchist, etc. Why do you choose this particular label (if applicable)? What metrics and guidelines do you use to vote? What country are you in? What role do you think the government should have? Federal, state, Providence, etc. Describe your perspective on the current political situation in general, and for your country in particular. Is this a good thing, bad thing, or something more nuanced? Do you feel that there is opposition to this? What do you do to address this?

I'll probably wind up requesting additional information and clarification. Remember that this is not a judgement at this point, just a desire to understand where you are coming from.
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marty998

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 03:12:34 AM »
- Centre Right. I used to be centre left, but I am noticing that I am shifting my views as I age.
- Vote based on whoever is the least worst option
- Australia
- Our system works well enough, but there's quite a bit of overlap between Federal and State when it comes to Health and Education.
- Our country is not as polarised, or rabid as the US. However, we are slowly and unwittingly marching down that path, because the major parties are no longer reflective of the communities they serve.
- This is a bad thing. With more minor and special interest ("1 issue") parties in parliament, tough but necessary decisions and reforms cannot be undertaken by a government that runs on the thin majorities, or exists only with the support of minor parties.

I used to favour a free for all - more diverse voices the better. However as I age, I understand the problems with that approach. We now have too many disparate interests represented in our Senate, all with competing priorities.

The result is that reforms just don't happen.

Elected governments need to be able to implement their agendas, whether good or bad. Forcing severe compromises on every single bill is a sure fire way for a country to slowly stagnate.

We are permitted to vote often enough (every 2-3 years) that the country can't go balls up without the people voting the bastards out in time. Unfortunately, this control fails to operate when both major parties have substantially similar agendas.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 07:43:01 PM »
I think political labels and allegiances are disappointing shortcuts to critical thinking. I'm in favor of many left, right, libertarian, and moderate viewpoints; I suspect that none of the supporters of those ideologies seem equipped to think rationally on a majority of topics since such "thinking" so often descends into tribalism and "virtue signalling". For president, I voted for Ralph Nader a couple times and most recently voted for Evan McMulllin. I'm pessimistic that our political process can grow substantially more enlightened any time soon.

LalsConstant

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 09:28:45 PM »
When it comes to politics, how do you describe yourself? Republican, Democrat, libertarian, anarchist, etc. Why do you choose this particular label (if applicable)?

I have a very hard time describing myself because there's no "tribe" that thinks like I do.  I've been called a libertarian and I think that's technically accurate as far as it goes, but I tend to disagree with many other people who are also called libertarians on some definitive issues like fiat currency.



It's also accurate to say I have a lot of classical (stress on classical) liberal values, like actual original 1770s era liberal values, not what's called "liberal" now which is anything but liberal.

As I've studied and read and learned, I've begun to classify myself as a Goldwater Republican.  They need to bring that man back from the dead and run him again.  I think that's a pretty good description of me: seek simplicity, compactness and elegance in government, don't try to engineer people's lifestyles or beliefs with public policy, and be fiscally conservative are three core ideas I have.

What metrics and guidelines do you use to vote?

I don't have a hard set of rules because everything is relative and I don't like most candidates for most offices, but a good way to try to suss them out is I go down the Bill of Rights and see what are the impacts of this candidate's stances on each right delineated there.  It's not usually the end of my thought process but it's a start.

What country are you in?

Texas.



What role do you think the government should have? Federal, state, Providence, etc.

Federal is easy, the original list is pretty good:

Quote from: Article I section 8
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

The problem is, it needs to be that, and ONLY that, or as  close to only that as possible.

State and local government are pretty flexible (I believe no state is beholden to another except insofar as they all have to respect the federal government, use the same money, etc.) but should also strive to be minimalist and highly defined and very restrictive.  The Texas Constitution of 1876, with a cleanup, would be a good model (for example the legislature can only meet for a limited time every other year).

Describe your perspective on the current political situation in general, and for your country in particular.

Fucked, but nobody understands why it's fucked.  "herp derp deeerrrr Donald Trump Deeeerrrp", completely ignoring the fact that he is the symptom and not the problem.  And when he does do something right it gets spun like it's a bad thing.

Meanwhile the government writ large is pretty much this and has been for decades:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV2ViNJFZC8

Is this a good thing, bad thing, or something more nuanced?

Well of course it's nuanced.  I don't see anything good happening in my lifetime, but I hold out hope for the future:
Quote
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
     and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off
     work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the
     deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing
     as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the
     morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at
     work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young
     fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

People have come through much worse after all.

Do you feel that there is opposition to this?

Opposition to the status quo you mean?   Yes and no.  The establishment is fighting Trump as hard as it can.

But that's an anomaly.  They won't let someone who is outside their system win again.  It's all just pageantry.  You have to understand American politics is all identity politics, it's all show.

In a weird way, I'm sort of glad Trump won, and not because I particularly like Trump, but because his winning at least showed America isn't as complacent to the establishment as I thought it was, that we're still in this thing.  Our spirit's not dead, it's just buried.

What do you do to address this?

Not as much as I used to.  I campaigned for Ron Paul years ago, realizing if we didn't get a small government advocate in office at that point in history, we were doomed to a long line of government bloating administrations doling out bread and circuses.

We got beat so hard, it's like we might as well have not bothered.  Valuable life lesson there.

I contribute a little to some organizations which support specific rights and occasionally bother officials with a letter here or there, but it all goes into the memory hole for the most part.

It is what it is, outside of my locus of control.  I can't stop the trends, they started long before I was even born.

I'll probably wind up requesting additional information and clarification. Remember that this is not a judgement at this point, just a desire to understand where you are coming from.

Good luck with your experiment, but it's really pointless to try to actually engage anyone at this point.  If you aren't a Marxist Atheist extreme left wing post modernist with a terrible haircut you're like literally a Nazi.  I wish I was being facetious, but that's where we are.

jordanread

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 11:27:29 AM »
First, I've been having a lot of trouble answering my own question. I'm used to discussing things in a conversation, and I have answers to questions, but no good way to go between them all without a context that almost always comes up in intelligent discussions like this.

Second, LalsConstant, that was amazing. Thank you. It actually got me thinking a bit more, and I realized some things as far as the reasons I do things that I didn't quite think about in this context.

Third, I'm working on my actual answer right now. I actually ran through the political compass survey again based strictly on ideals, and then again based on the current climate, which I think is where I was having issues adjusting my answers.

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LalsConstant

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2017, 01:31:39 PM »
Well I am glad to have helped.  This is a noble experiment eve if I am pessimistic that useful discussions can be had in the current climate.

iris lily

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2017, 07:14:38 PM »
Well I am glad to have helped.  This is a noble experiment eve if I am pessimistic that useful discussions can be had in the current climate.
agreed, and posting to follow!

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2017, 08:01:57 PM »
Just for the record, this stuff is hard to get down. Easy enough in a discussion, but following up to explain something, and trying to get it all down coherently...not the same. I did do two of the political compass things. One from a place of "in a perfect world", and one from a place of where we are currently. It's odd. I can probably be best described as a Libertarian, but I wind up voting more often to the Left, due to the current circumstances. I keep thinking that if we modified the education system to focus on actual critical thinking, questioning, and logic, the next generation wouldn't need the stuff I feel like we do currently. Hopefully this weekend I'll get to finish up the actual post. Turns out I'm stupidly busy these days.
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A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2017, 08:22:33 AM »
Just for the record, this stuff is hard to get down. Easy enough in a discussion, but following up to explain something, and trying to get it all down coherently...not the same. I did do two of the political compass things. One from a place of "in a perfect world", and one from a place of where we are currently. It's odd. I can probably be best described as a Libertarian, but I wind up voting more often to the Left, due to the current circumstances. I keep thinking that if we modified the education system to focus on actual critical thinking, questioning, and logic, the next generation wouldn't need the stuff I feel like we do currently. Hopefully this weekend I'll get to finish up the actual post. Turns out I'm stupidly busy these days.
Libertarians are in an interesting spot. I can't remember the post, but there was a blog post recently showing a breakdown of the US sector in the 4 typical political compass quadrants. Libertarians are by far the rarest quadrant of American voters (something like 3.5%), and split their votes between Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump.

The nice part is that libertarians make up a big part of the intelligentsia class (it's why so many people here identify as "libertarians"), so libertarians punch above their weight.

 
Quote
Good luck with your experiment, but it's really pointless to try to actually engage anyone at this point.  If you aren't a Marxist Atheist extreme left wing post modernist with a terrible haircut you're like literally a Nazi.  I wish I was being facetious, but that's where we are.
Definitely something a Nazi would say!
I find this to be the case on a lot of social media, but I find face-to-face interactions are a little more "down to earth." Most social media and news media is structured to advance the Toxoplasma of Rage.
The only winning move is not to play.

jordanread

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2017, 11:43:58 AM »
Most social media and news media is structured to advance the Toxoplasma of Rage.
The only winning move is not to play.

In agreement with the first part. Also, that was a really good article (at least towards the end, when the author wound up actually talking about Toxoplasma).

And my gut reaction was that not playing is a poor way of doing things. Nothing gets done, nothing gets discussed, nothing gets solved. And then, by the time I completed typing my second sentence, I came to think that you meant playing the game as using controversy to create a rage-driven conversation. And that I am in agreement with, but only to an extent. We are dealing with people, after all. It's kind of like the Vegan Outreach methodology talked about in the beginning of the article. This is at least part of why I think that education is the biggest thing that can be done, just not for this generation. It seems weird to say, but I think as a species we need to overcome the baser instincts. I've got some thoughts on emotion, and how much it impedes things, yet at the same time creates passion for things, but that's not something fleshed out entirely.

Quote
But also lost is our ability to treat each other with solidarity and respect.

I liked this quote from the article, because it draws a distinction that is very important to me. Treating a person with respect is a good thing for the most part, but actually respecting a person is something that should be earned. I respect very few people in life (out of 7 billion, that's not that hard), and I don't respect people by default. However, I do treat people with respect by default. I feel like that's an important distinction.

Good luck with your experiment, but it's really pointless to try to actually engage anyone at this point.  If you aren't a Marxist Atheist extreme left wing post modernist with a terrible haircut you're like literally a Nazi.  I wish I was being facetious, but that's where we are.

I forgot about this until it was quoted by ADBG. Personally, I'm of the opinion that generalization like this, where one extrapolates from the media or a few interactions to an entire group of people (and don't even get me started on the idea of 'others') does a disservice to all involved.

This one is more of a personal opinion, but I'd be curious as to what you all think about the generalization bit. Should that be a 'rule'?



Something was brought up elsewhere as well, and I'd be curious as to your opinion. I have strong feelings about it from a personal perspective, but not so much from a political one. Here is the backstory:

Something you feel strongly about was up for a vote or something like that, and you contacted your representative to express your feelings. A vote or conversation was had, and you know what your representative did. Do you follow up? Do you express thanks or disappointment? Does that make a difference?

Personally, I'd think yes. What say you?
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LalsConstant

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2017, 06:22:56 PM »
I don't know what to say other than I'm just really tired of being called an actual Nazi for expressing these opinions:

- A $15 an hour minimum wage is just going to hurt people who are trying to get a foothold on the employment ladder.
- If the Clinton campaign had engaged voters with working class populist sensibilities, she would have won the 2016 election despite her other scandals, etc.

I could give other examples, but my point is, even if I'm wrong about these ideas, they have nothing to do with National Socialism if you use any common sense.

At this point I'm just... I'm just done.  People don't want to discuss anything, they want safe spaces and echo chambers.  I'm not saying you should spend all or even a majority of your time in discussions either, it is draining.  But it is just beyond useless to try now, everyone is so hyperbolic.

To be clear none of that happened on this site.

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2017, 05:13:58 PM »
Ok.  I'm a fiscal conservative and social liberal.   I like it when the government acts in a fiscally responsible manner, probably because I have a natural bias towards long term planning.    I don't really care who is boffing who, what clothes people wear or whether they have safe spaces or not.   I don't even care what bathroom they use.

 I'd like to understand better:

1.  why do the Republicans hate the ACA so much?   Is it because it forces people to buy insurance?    (and I don't buy that they hate it just because it originated from Obama.    The GOP may be full of grumpy old white guys, but I find it hard to believe they'd waste their energy hating Obama.)

2.  why do people support Trump?    And is he actually doing something good?   (The media is constantly complaining about him, with some justification.)


lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2017, 07:10:21 PM »
2.  why do people support Trump?
1) Trump is not Hillary, Hillary would have started WW3

2) Trump's character, despite his wealth, captures the ethos of middle America in way endearing to those who share elements of his simplistic world view

3) Trump is ineffective and that's the whole point: the government can't screw you if it's gridlocked

4) Trump is an necessary eccentric departure from politics-as-usual; even though he is ineffectual at achieving policy objectives (or even having policy objectives), his value is in shaking up the over-complacent and technocratic thinking that has dominated Washington for over a generation

My main problem with Trump aren't his (elusive) policies but his anti-intellectual spirit. The closest thing to an intellectual defense of Trump can be found with the Claremonsters that map to bullet (4) above. I can only guess they are being disappointed by the ineffectiveness of their champion for change, though some probably cling on to the notion that Trump's presidency will knock people out of their stupors even if it ends up being nothing more than 4 years of vile mud-fighting and tweeting.

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2017, 07:48:30 PM »
2.  why do people support Trump?
4) Trump is an necessary eccentric departure from politics-as-usual; even though he is ineffectual at achieving policy objectives (or even having policy objectives), his value is in shaking up the over-complacent and technocratic thinking that has dominated Washington for over a generation

This viewpoint has been growing on me, lately. I'm still a strong believer that not everyone who voted for Trump is an overt racist/bigot/misogynist/etc*, but every person who is definitely voted for Trump. I know that not everyone who voted for him falls into some basic category. What I'm coming to see is that people were so sick of whatever they were sick of, that they intentionally voted for someone so completely unqualified and unhinged with the sole purpose of rocking the boat. To let the government know: We're still here. We're still paying attention. We will not be ignored. I do think that the presidency was a monumentally stupid thing to use to be heard in this case (especially when the only thing to say is essentially a bellow), but I also get that people were incapable of finding a more effective way of doing so.

2.  why do people support Trump?
1) Trump is not Hillary, Hillary would have started WW3

I also know that people believe this. I haven't ever talked to or heard of anyone who logically came to this conclusion, so it more goes to remind me how gullible the population is. And that makes me sad.

1.  why do the Republicans hate the ACA so much?   Is it because it forces people to buy insurance?    (and I don't buy that they hate it just because it originated from Obama.    The GOP may be full of grumpy old white guys, but I find it hard to believe they'd waste their energy hating Obama.)

I wouldn't have much trouble believing they'd waste their energy in that way, but I think you are right. It's not the only reason. There are partisan lines, and the fact that a huge piece of legislation got passed by the other side doesn't help. But, giving them the benefit of the doubt, and assuming that there are actual real political beliefs related to political parties, the GOP says they are about smaller government. I think it's more about the government forcing people to buy insurance. Never mind the actual facts of the way insurance work, and the fact that a mandate is the only way to get it to work, it's still Uncle Sam telling people what to do.


*There are some thoughts regarding people giving someone like that a platform, and how that makes people a party to it, but I don't know if I'm going to go far enough to apply those labels directly to people.
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LalsConstant

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2017, 08:05:39 AM »
1.  why do the Republicans hate the ACA so much?   Is it because it forces people to buy insurance?    (and I don't buy that they hate it just because it originated from Obama.    The GOP may be full of grumpy old white guys, but I find it hard to believe they'd waste their energy hating Obama.)

I'm not a Republican myself, but I side with them on ACA repeal, I know a lot of them and I think it's a very practical and laconic set of arguments that most of them give:

1 - The government has been meddling in American healthcare since the early 20th century and everytime we get a new law, the cost of healthcare increases.  During the ACA debate.  Republicans said this will just increase the cost even more.  It did.  By a lot for many people, especially people who have to buy their own insurance.

And that's exactly what happened.  We were better off before it, generally speaking.  I am greatly, greatly condensing this idea here for purposes of the discussion, obviously we can open a whole can of worms and unpack many aspects of this if we wanted to.

2 - The same argument you make, the government shouldn't be able to Big Brother you.

3 - Anything else we sell in America has gotten better, cheaper and more available to even our poorest citizens by selling things in a free market, but for this mechanism to work, people have to act in a manner which is economically rational.  When people aren't allowed to make rational economic decisions because they're forced to buy something, or they will be given something at no cost to themselves, that short circuits the whole process.

2.  why do people support Trump?    And is he actually doing something good?   (The media is constantly complaining about him, with some justification.)

I personally am not wild about Trump because I think his actual platform is unworkable and would hurt the country if fully implemented, however I see the appeal to some people:

  • He is a populist at a time when many groups feel dissatisfied with our current system of government.  The US has a long populist tradition going way back.
  • He is not part of the current political establishment, and even people like me who think Trump's ideas for how to run the country are bad at least get some schadenfreude watching him abuse the mainstream political establishment.  I personally hate political parties as a concept so it's amusing to see someone wrecking them. 

    I personally have used the "sabotage" and "gridlock" voting strategy many times because neither Republicans nor Democrats make any headway on issues, they just make things worse so the best thing to do is just cripple the system.  When neither political party represents the interests of the American people, our system gives us the recourse of doing things like voting for people like Trump in order to just throw a wrench into the works.
  • Trump is not what I would call intelligent, however he is very "smart" in that he is crafty, cunning and opportunistic.  Some people relate to that.  Like if I wanted to discuss the themes of a novel with Trump, I don't think we'd get very far, but if I had to bet on who would win a poker tournament, I'd pick him.
  • Trump has spoken out about some issues in a frank way where he's right, but it's not politically correct (example, CNN is fake news and has been for decades).  I have to admit it's refreshing to hear the POTUS say it so plainly.
  • The two Trump supporters I know are actually black from blue collar backgrounds.  Obama was a massive disappointment to them and they're just fed up with the Democrats.  They felt like Trump spoke to their interests without treating them like mascots.
  • He unintentionally does the right thing for the wrong reason sometimes (rejecting the Paris Accord for example; while I agree that particular proposal is poorly thought out and am glad we rejected it, I think the reason Trump rejected it is due to an incorrect understanding of the problems at hand).
  • In a weird way, all the criticism of Trump endears him.  See my comments above: I'm sick and tired of being called a sexist, a Nazi etc. just because I don't agree with centrally planned economies and 76 genders as reasonable bases for policies.  Trump is constantly called Hitler by screeching, inarticulate and unpleasant people when he's not even close to Hitler.  All the roasting and blasting the mainstream media does to Trump is like a clear signal to people that this is their champion against the prevailing current political vision which is screwing them.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2017, 08:36:40 AM »
Ok.  I'm a fiscal conservative and social liberal.   I like it when the government acts in a fiscally responsible manner, probably because I have a natural bias towards long term planning.    I don't really care who is boffing who, what clothes people wear or whether they have safe spaces or not.   I don't even care what bathroom they use.

 I'd like to understand better:

1.  why do the Republicans hate the ACA so much?   Is it because it forces people to buy insurance?    (and I don't buy that they hate it just because it originated from Obama.    The GOP may be full of grumpy old white guys, but I find it hard to believe they'd waste their energy hating Obama.)

2.  why do people support Trump?    And is he actually doing something good?   (The media is constantly complaining about him, with some justification.)

1. While not a Republican I was (and still am) opposed to the ACA for two main points. 1. It is a dramatic overreach by the federal government declaring that you MUST purchase a good or service or face penalties. 2. It is completely ineffective at it's stated goal which is to make healthcare more affordable. It has made health insurance cheaper for some people and vastly more expensive for others with a net result of being more expensive for all. It mostly lowered the income limits for Medicaid which will end up bankrupting some states sooner or later once they start having to pay a bigger and bigger share of that bill.

I would prefer a more free market solution where health insurance could be offered with various covered services, deductibles, etc. Instead we get a very limited set of options that are generally one-size-fits-all and more expensive than they used to be. A plan with a $5,000 deductible if you get cancer or are in a bad auto accident would keep most people from going bankrupt due to medical bills while not costing so much as to make it worthless. Pay for the occasional doctor/nurse visit in cash on the spot and it might not cost the $100+ your insurance gets charged for 5-10 minutes of face time. If you have greater/more frequent healthcare needs then you buy a plan with higher premiums and lower deductibles. There's no such thing as a free lunch. A 20-something who goes to the doctor once every other year should not be charged as much as a 50-something who has diabetes and a heart condition. The third-party payer model is just inherently flawed as it separates the consumer from the actual price of the goods and services. The suppliers of healthcare offer little or no transparency in pricing and generally don't have any incentive to lower prices as their consumers aren't shopping based on price.

2. I don't like Trump and didn't vote for him but I can see some of his appeal. He taps into a populist strain that many people can identify with. If you consume media and popular culture in most forms it is generally representative of a coastal and elitist mindset. If you live outside a large city anywhere in the rest of the country you probably find this mindset condescending or offensive. In my mind he has done two good things, appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and Gen. Mattis as Secretary of Defense. I'd say three because of getting rid of the transgender policy in the military but that's not really official yet. As an infantry soldier in the Army for over a decade I am tired of seeing the military used for social experiments instead of being focused on destroying our enemies.

The mission of the Infantry is to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver in order to destroy or capture him, or to repel his assault with fire, close combat, and counterattack.

FM 3-21.8  THE INFANTRY PLATOON AND SQUAD

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2017, 11:22:13 AM »
Ok.  I'm a fiscal conservative and social liberal.   I like it when the government acts in a fiscally responsible manner, probably because I have a natural bias towards long term planning.    I don't really care who is boffing who, what clothes people wear or whether they have safe spaces or not.   I don't even care what bathroom they use.

 I'd like to understand better:

1.  why do the Republicans hate the ACA so much?   Is it because it forces people to buy insurance?    (and I don't buy that they hate it just because it originated from Obama.    The GOP may be full of grumpy old white guys, but I find it hard to believe they'd waste their energy hating Obama.)

2.  why do people support Trump?    And is he actually doing something good?   (The media is constantly complaining about him, with some justification.)

ACA is a massive new entitlement, which the GOP is absolutely opposed to. ACA is also the weakest of the major entitlement programs, as there are very few people actually benefiting from it (mostly Medicaid). GOP gambled they can repeal this particular entitlement program before it blows out of control, like Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security.

Also, ACA is bad policy from the conservative viewpoint. I know people say "oh, it's totally a conservative policy," but it's not, and I suspect people saying that merely think of single payer as the only moderate policy, and any policy which allows private insurance companies to exist is automatically Republican.
Politifact has an article on it here:
http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2013/nov/15/ellen-qualls/aca-gop-health-care-plan-1993/
Basically, an entirely symbolic act, with even less GOP support than everything McConnell put forward.

So, ACA does the following:
1. Puts people with pre-existing conditions in the common pool, with the same rate. This is anti-Conservative. It obscures the cost of paying for sick people. Conservatives prefer high-risk pools. Yes, high risk pools are poorly funded, but that's a feature, not a bug: it means Americans don't really want to foot the bill for the people with pre-existing conditions.
2. It expands Medicaid massively. GOP supports health-care markets, not Medicaid expansion.
3. Subsidies to pay insurance are provided through income-based subsidies, not tax credits. That means I get no money if I buy an individual insurance plan. That's the opposite of what conservatives want...they want me to get a tax credit for buying health insurance, and to eliminate the employer subsidy. ACA does nothing to change the reliance on employer-coverage for high earners.
4. Lack of faith in cost controls.
5. Financing mechanism is based on obfuscated health-care taxes and taxes on high-income earners. Entitlement programs should be based on broad payroll taxes, like FICA. That's part of why ACA has such strong support despite not really benefiting anyone: it doesn't really HURT anyone either. People would have an attitude if they saw "obama-care tax" on their paycheck.
6. ACA is not fiscally sustainable. It's based on budget gimmicks and ultimately a Cadillac health insurance tax that's never really going to get implemented, along with continual restriction in other health spending that's not realistic.



Trump gets support because he's Republican. American voters are highly partisan.

scottish

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2017, 12:05:47 PM »
That's a lot of information to digest.   I have to say it's refreshing to get this without being bombarded by anti-Trump rhetoric.

This note jumped out at me:

I'd say three because of getting rid of the transgender policy in the military but that's not really official yet. As an infantry soldier in the Army for over a decade I am tired of seeing the military used for social experiments instead of being focused on destroying our enemies.

The mission of the Infantry is to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver in order to destroy or capture him, or to repel his assault with fire, close combat, and counterattack.

FM 3-21.8  THE INFANTRY PLATOON AND SQUAD

The military (not the US military, just military in general) has some history of atypical sexual behaviour, specifically homosexuality.    IIRC there were elite Greek military units that were entirely homosexual.   Wikipedia says this was also prevalent among the samurai.   This was a long time ago of course.

I've never served in the military, including the US military.   I expected that soldiers aren't really interested in homosexuality versus heterosexuality, transgender and so on.    Respect I have for my colleagues and training partners is based on how they act and how well they perform, not their sexual orientation.

But sometimes I'm startled at how naive I can be.    So...   is sexual orientation a big deal in the US army?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 12:09:12 PM by scottish »

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2017, 01:13:45 PM »
That's a lot of information to digest.   I have to say it's refreshing to get this without being bombarded by anti-Trump rhetoric.

Yeah, I'd say that so far, we're doing well overall. I'd actually modify the second sentence, and say that it's refreshing to have a conversation without rhetoric. There was actually a study I read a while back, and it completely puts rallies in a different light for me. One of these days I'll have to find it again, but it's something along the lines of a 3 syllable chant short circuits some of the higher level thinking. It's amazing to watch this. "Yes we can", "I'm with her", "Lock her up", "Drain the swamp". I actually watch elections and rallies to see if this holds true, and for the last 3 elections, it has. Crazy!

That's a lot of information to digest.   I have to say it's refreshing to get this without being bombarded by anti-Trump rhetoric.

This note jumped out at me:

I'd say three because of getting rid of the transgender policy in the military but that's not really official yet. As an infantry soldier in the Army for over a decade I am tired of seeing the military used for social experiments instead of being focused on destroying our enemies.

The mission of the Infantry is to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver in order to destroy or capture him, or to repel his assault with fire, close combat, and counterattack.

FM 3-21.8  THE INFANTRY PLATOON AND SQUAD

The military (not the US military, just military in general) has some history of atypical sexual behaviour, specifically homosexuality.    IIRC there were elite Greek military units that were entirely homosexual.   Wikipedia says this was also prevalent among the samurai.   This was a long time ago of course.

I've never served in the military, including the US military.   I expected that soldiers aren't really interested in homosexuality versus heterosexuality, transgender and so on.    Respect I have for my colleagues and training partners is based on how they act and how well they perform, not their sexual orientation.

Yeah, this is something that I feel like I should feel strongly about, but I also know that there are some fundamental issues related to this that I seriously can't relate to. Never been in the military (although I was quite literally 1 minute away from joining the Marines at one point in my life), don't really feel like a desire to serve a country, and am cisgender. I do extrapolate to a global and cultural level quite often, so I think those statements weren't actually helpful or productive in that sense. I am super interested in the idea of the military used for social experiments. I really want to go down the rabbit hole of all the times that has been done going back to Vietnam, but I don't know how helpful that would be to this conversation. To that end, I'd actually say it's more of a social experiment to ban people from the military. It's not like transgender people haven't been in the military. To me, it seems that changing what has been is more of the experiment.

I'm digging the focus on the ACA right now, but I did want to ask a question that relates to what was mentioned above about rhetoric.

  • Trump has spoken out about some issues in a frank way where he's right, but it's not politically correct (example, CNN is fake news and has been for decades).  I have to admit it's refreshing to hear the POTUS say it so plainly.

The 'fake news' comment is nothing but rhetoric. It's a term that came out during the campaign (or at least went mainstream). And just like the chants I mentioned above, it seems to short-circuit discussion. I know when I see that, my initial response is that the person saying it is regurgitating phrases, and haven't bothered to think things through. It takes a fair amount of effort to move beyond that initial reaction, and dig deeper, but I try. And I'm going to now. I can't argue the point that the news is biased (on either side), but why would you call it fake news? Can you tell me exactly what you mean by that? Also, bear in mind, I don't watch news, I read it.

Now, the ACA. Holy crap I'm loving the discussion. And I completely get the free-market argument. For some reason though, health insurance seems like an exception (especially with what the state of the healthcare system was before the ACA). There doesn't tend to be the ability to act economically rational thought when one's health is involved. And I know that one of the stated goals was to reduce health-care premiums, but I never really did buy that. I also thought that the stats relating to 'number of insured Americans' seemed to stop there. I personally thought the point was to focus a lot on preventative care, reducing the cost of things that increase quality of life, and decrease costs of treatment if caught early. That was the main thing I truly love about the ACA. It was the things it required as a base level of care. These things weren't available, especially considering that the vast majority of insured folks received it through their employer. So I don't think the free-market worked all that great (not with this population anyway). The power dynamics were just too off.

Add in the fact that ERs cannot turn away someone, we've already got things in place that suggest a base level of 'morality' for this country. We're not willing to let people die. Why not make it cheaper by reducing the number of emergencies?

Also, I know I said a few things that can be taken as an attack on people. That was not useful to the conversation, and I apologize if it came across that way.
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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2017, 06:33:20 PM »
FM 3-21.8  THE INFANTRY PLATOON AND SQUAD

Okay, I will admit, I have no idea what this is, or what it was in reference to. I found the Army Training Publication (link: here), and started to read through it. And then I thought to myself "Wait a minute. I can actually ask the person who made the comment that sent me down that path! I should ask for clarification. I mean, it might be an interesting read, but I don't know that I will allot the (immediate) time if I'm way off base."
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scottish

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2017, 03:33:04 PM »
It looks like the ACA can be pretty expensive for middle class and up.   Up to 10% of your income if you earn between $60K and $100K.   The more you earn, the more you pay.   I can see how that would get your attention.   I didn't really understand just how big an impact this could have on your personal finances.

Up here we get cranky because we pay a special OHIP (Ontario health insurance plan) surcharge of about $1000 per year in the top income bracket.


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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2017, 04:13:50 PM »
It looks like the ACA can be pretty expensive for middle class and up.   Up to 10% of your income if you earn between $60K and $100K.   The more you earn, the more you pay.   I can see how that would get your attention.   I didn't really understand just how big an impact this could have on your personal finances.

Up here we get cranky because we pay a special OHIP (Ontario health insurance plan) surcharge of about $1000 per year in the top income bracket.

For the record, you didn't specify what 'you' and what 'they' mean. I'm trying to make this a nice discussion area. Lack of clarity in what you said goes against that. Explain and expand please.
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shenlong55

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2017, 04:26:43 PM »
It looks like the ACA can be pretty expensive for middle class and up.   Up to 10% of your income if you earn between $60K and $100K.   The more you earn, the more you pay.   I can see how that would get your attention.   I didn't really understand just how big an impact this could have on your personal finances.

Up here we get cranky because we pay a special OHIP (Ontario health insurance plan) surcharge of about $1000 per year in the top income bracket.

So, about $6-10k/year?  That's about what I would have paid for my employer-provided coverage in 2013 if I had been able to afford it then (went back and looked at my oldest benefits summary).  I'm sympathetic to the plight of the middle-class, but that just seems like the normal cost of insurance in America to me.

scottish

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2017, 05:12:18 PM »
It looks like the ACA can be pretty expensive for middle class and up.   Up to 10% of your income if you earn between $60K and $100K.   The more you earn, the more you pay.   I can see how that would get your attention.   I didn't really understand just how big an impact this could have on your personal finances.

Up here we get cranky because we pay a special OHIP (Ontario health insurance plan) surcharge of about $1000 per year in the top income bracket.

For the record, you didn't specify what 'you' and what 'they' mean. I'm trying to make this a nice discussion area. Lack of clarity in what you said goes against that. Explain and expand please.

'You/they' would be a middle class American without qualifying insurance through work.    If I understand the rules correctly, which I may not.

'We' would be a middle class Canadian living in Ontario.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2017, 08:47:48 PM »
That's a lot of information to digest.   I have to say it's refreshing to get this without being bombarded by anti-Trump rhetoric.

This note jumped out at me:

I'd say three because of getting rid of the transgender policy in the military but that's not really official yet. As an infantry soldier in the Army for over a decade I am tired of seeing the military used for social experiments instead of being focused on destroying our enemies.

The mission of the Infantry is to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver in order to destroy or capture him, or to repel his assault with fire, close combat, and counterattack.

FM 3-21.8  THE INFANTRY PLATOON AND SQUAD

The military (not the US military, just military in general) has some history of atypical sexual behaviour, specifically homosexuality.    IIRC there were elite Greek military units that were entirely homosexual.   Wikipedia says this was also prevalent among the samurai.   This was a long time ago of course.

I've never served in the military, including the US military.   I expected that soldiers aren't really interested in homosexuality versus heterosexuality, transgender and so on.    Respect I have for my colleagues and training partners is based on how they act and how well they perform, not their sexual orientation.

But sometimes I'm startled at how naive I can be.    So...   is sexual orientation a big deal in the US army?

When you have a group of (generally) men in a dangerous profession where you rely on others for your life there is a constant need to tests those in the group to make sure they can cut it. You will find this among police office and firefighters as well, probably in any dangerous occupation. If you are relying on those people around you for your life you want to make sure they're strong enough, whether physically or mentally. If someone can't take the pressure from being insulted, mocked, played practical jokes on etc., can they be trusted with your life? Signs of weakness are preyed upon with the ultimate goal of forcing that person out of the group.

Honestly I don't really care if someone is gay in the military. The only person I've known to be openly gay was a guy who was assigned as one of our medics. He was wearing a rainbow wedding ring and someone made a joke about how it looked gay. When he responded with mentioning his husband the person making the joke apologized and said "oh, that's cool" and that was it. He wasn't picked on or ostracized. However, the dynamic between a group of all men, and a group of mostly men with any women is very different. I've spent most of my time in the Army in all-male combat units. When I joined a support/logistics unit for a while that was about 75/25 male/female and then came back to an all male combat unit the difference was immediately apparent.

My problem with having someone in the military who's transgender is that they are very likely not physically/mentally/emotionally fit for the military. I consider it to be a mental illness if you are a man who wants to be a woman or vice versa. I would not want to place my life in the hands of someone who is mentally ill if I were in a combat situation.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2017, 09:03:28 PM »
Someone openly transgendered might be mentally fitter than someone secretly transgendered. It's not clear banning openly transgendered people would increase mental fitness (by your rubric) in the military if that ban merely brushes the problem under the rug. Didn't the Rand Corporation recently put out a study on transgendered service members?


calimom

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2017, 10:05:52 PM »
That's a lot of information to digest.   I have to say it's refreshing to get this without being bombarded by anti-Trump rhetoric.

This note jumped out at me:

I'd say three because of getting rid of the transgender policy in the military but that's not really official yet. As an infantry soldier in the Army for over a decade I am tired of seeing the military used for social experiments instead of being focused on destroying our enemies.

The mission of the Infantry is to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver in order to destroy or capture him, or to repel his assault with fire, close combat, and counterattack.

FM 3-21.8  THE INFANTRY PLATOON AND SQUAD

The military (not the US military, just military in general) has some history of atypical sexual behaviour, specifically homosexuality.    IIRC there were elite Greek military units that were entirely homosexual.   Wikipedia says this was also prevalent among the samurai.   This was a long time ago of course.

I've never served in the military, including the US military.   I expected that soldiers aren't really interested in homosexuality versus heterosexuality, transgender and so on.    Respect I have for my colleagues and training partners is based on how they act and how well they perform, not their sexual orientation.

But sometimes I'm startled at how naive I can be.    So...   is sexual orientation a big deal in the US army?



By some, yes.  Oh,sweet Jeebus, yes. A short, imperfect history: women allowed in the US military 100 years ago. Desegregation almost 70 years ago. "Don't Ask Don't Tell" over 20 years ago; rescinded in 2011. Same sex marriage (with all its rights and responsibilities) recognized 2 years ago.

Not sure what the actual reality is by those who serve is; my only reference is my late Vietnam-era father having as his best military buddy an African American man. I suspect he'd have the same 'who gives a shit' attitude toward gay people and same-sex couples.

The transgendered ban was one f the latest attempts by #45 to smokescreen attention to this topic, so we don't pay attention to something else far more Machiavellian that's happening elsewhere. Social engineering, indeed.

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2017, 10:55:11 AM »
It looks like the ACA can be pretty expensive for middle class and up.   Up to 10% of your income if you earn between $60K and $100K.   The more you earn, the more you pay.   I can see how that would get your attention.   I didn't really understand just how big an impact this could have on your personal finances.

Up here we get cranky because we pay a special OHIP (Ontario health insurance plan) surcharge of about $1000 per year in the top income bracket.

For the record, you didn't specify what 'you' and what 'they' mean. I'm trying to make this a nice discussion area. Lack of clarity in what you said goes against that. Explain and expand please.

'You/they' would be a middle class American without qualifying insurance through work.    If I understand the rules correctly, which I may not.

'We' would be a middle class Canadian living in Ontario.

Got it. Thanks.


I consider it to be a mental illness if you are a man who wants to be a woman or vice versa. I would not want to place my life in the hands of someone who is mentally ill if I were in a combat situation.

That makes a lot of sense. I think I understand your position a lot more. I don't agree, but I think that's outside the scope of this particular discussion. I'm going to play off of LIEA's comment, understanding where you are coming from. So do you think the ban he talked about would actually make a difference for the positive? I understand that based on your beliefs of the mental fitness of transgendered people, preventing transgendered people would be a net positive to you. But do you think a ban itself would accomplish this? Historically, those who have the desire to serve in the military just hid the things that weren't allowed, hence the reason a super important word in some of the legislation surrounding things was 'openly'. So in regards to a ban, or a policy, I don't really see it making a difference. What think you?

Also,

If someone can't take the pressure from being insulted, mocked, played practical jokes on etc., can they be trusted with your life? Signs of weakness are preyed upon with the ultimate goal of forcing that person out of the group.

I can actually get behind this, kind of. I'd think that the issue goes to the nature of insults, practical jokes, etc, though. I personally wouldn't equate practical jokes or mocking for fun to mocking someone for who they are. On the flip side of what you said (that actually proves what you said), why would you bother saving the life (or even risking your own on behalf) of someone who constantly fucked with you just because of who you are as a person? I wouldn't. Now, I can agree that if the jokes and stuff weren't actually related to who they are as a person, and they couldn't take it, fine. But it's hard to differentiate.

And this next bit is just curiosity, because as I mentioned I haven't had this experience.

However, the dynamic between a group of all men, and a group of mostly men with any women is very different. I've spent most of my time in the Army in all-male combat units. When I joined a support/logistics unit for a while that was about 75/25 male/female and then came back to an all male combat unit the difference was immediately apparent.

What differences were there?



PS, I'm totally not picking on you. You just provided the most thorough explanations, and that's what I'd like to clarify.
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Michael in ABQ

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2017, 10:50:05 AM »
It looks like the ACA can be pretty expensive for middle class and up.   Up to 10% of your income if you earn between $60K and $100K.   The more you earn, the more you pay.   I can see how that would get your attention.   I didn't really understand just how big an impact this could have on your personal finances.

Up here we get cranky because we pay a special OHIP (Ontario health insurance plan) surcharge of about $1000 per year in the top income bracket.

For the record, you didn't specify what 'you' and what 'they' mean. I'm trying to make this a nice discussion area. Lack of clarity in what you said goes against that. Explain and expand please.

'You/they' would be a middle class American without qualifying insurance through work.    If I understand the rules correctly, which I may not.

'We' would be a middle class Canadian living in Ontario.

Got it. Thanks.


I consider it to be a mental illness if you are a man who wants to be a woman or vice versa. I would not want to place my life in the hands of someone who is mentally ill if I were in a combat situation.

Quote
That makes a lot of sense. I think I understand your position a lot more. I don't agree, but I think that's outside the scope of this particular discussion. I'm going to play off of LIEA's comment, understanding where you are coming from. So do you think the ban he talked about would actually make a difference for the positive? I understand that based on your beliefs of the mental fitness of transgendered people, preventing transgendered people would be a net positive to you. But do you think a ban itself would accomplish this? Historically, those who have the desire to serve in the military just hid the things that weren't allowed, hence the reason a super important word in some of the legislation surrounding things was 'openly'. So in regards to a ban, or a policy, I don't really see it making a difference. What think you?

What you do in your off-duty time, as long as it doesn't negatively affect your readiness, go for it. Mutilating your body through surgery or hormones crosses that line. I'm reminded of a South Park episode ("Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina") on the transgender subject about a decade ago that captured the absurdity of the whole idea. Annual health assessments are conducted in the Army so it would be pretty hard to hide something like major surgery or hormonal treatment. The idea of having a transgender person serve openly in the military is just a big joke. "If I call myself a woman I can use the lower PT standards and get more points on my PT test" (a female scoring a perfect 300 out of 300 points in my age group would only equate to 245 of 300 using the male standards)  "Can we use the female showers if we just say we identify as a woman?" The answer to both questions is yes per official Army policy. There are some steps to go through but essentially a man can declare himself a woman in the eyes of the military and head over to the female showers and get a much higher score on his next PT test.

If someone can't take the pressure from being insulted, mocked, played practical jokes on etc., can they be trusted with your life? Signs of weakness are preyed upon with the ultimate goal of forcing that person out of the group.

Quote
I can actually get behind this, kind of. I'd think that the issue goes to the nature of insults, practical jokes, etc, though. I personally wouldn't equate practical jokes or mocking for fun to mocking someone for who they are. On the flip side of what you said (that actually proves what you said), why would you bother saving the life (or even risking your own on behalf) of someone who constantly fucked with you just because of who you are as a person? I wouldn't. Now, I can agree that if the jokes and stuff weren't actually related to who they are as a person, and they couldn't take it, fine. But it's hard to differentiate.

And this next bit is just curiosity, because as I mentioned I haven't had this experience.

Once you've proven yourself to the group, the joking and/or insults decreases. It's a means of bonding and building camaraderie but it also serves as a way to try and filter out anyone who can't cut it. We have a guy in my unit who is a self acknowledged asshole but is effective at his job and usually very funny. If you do something wrong he won't sugar coat it, he'll just tell you that you were an idiot and it will teach you to do it better the next time, I'm reminded of another sergeant who is very hard on the soldiers under his command and they love him for it. The other night while almost everyone else was already getting ready to go to sleep he had a younger soldier redo the briefing of his plan for a mission about 15 times, making him start over every time he made a mistake. In the end the soldier did a great job and now knows his job and how to brief a mission far better than he did before. There was a lot of berating along the way but every other soldier in that section was paying rapt attention and gleaning that knowledge.

However, the dynamic between a group of all men, and a group of mostly men with any women is very different. I've spent most of my time in the Army in all-male combat units. When I joined a support/logistics unit for a while that was about 75/25 male/female and then came back to an all male combat unit the difference was immediately apparent.

Quote
What differences were there?

For one, the joking around, insults, etc. were much more prevalent and harsher in the combat unit than in the supply unit. If there's a woman in the room the guys are much more guarded in what they say. I rarely curse in my normal civilian life but once I'm around the guys in the Army my language becomes much rougher and I swear pretty often for emphasis. If there's woman around I tend to catch myself and keep my language cleaner.

I'm actually at my annual training right now and we just spent the last few days practicing assaulting and clearing buildings. One phrase you'll hear over and over is "violence of action" if you walk into a room you're going to get shot and the guy behind you will probably get shot. If you move in very quickly and violently (kicking the door open, throwing in a flash bang grenade, etc.) you are less likely to get shot as you will surprise and overwhelm anybody waiting inside. Telling guys on one hand to exhibit that violence and aggression and then in the next breath to make sure they're being politically correct in their language, etc. doesn't work very well.



PS, I'm totally not picking on you. You just provided the most thorough explanations, and that's what I'd like to clarify.


LalsConstant

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2017, 11:09:45 AM »
I can't argue the point that the news is biased (on either side), but why would you call it fake news? Can you tell me exactly what you mean by that? Also, bear in mind, I don't watch news, I read it.

Oh indeed the term itself is a buzzword and it probably isn't the most precise term.  I think it fits however, in that news has to be held to a very high standard of objectivity to have any value. 

The problem is that almost no media, print media included, reports facts on major political discussions without at least some editorializing, to the point it's not even subtle or debatable that the intent is there any more.  I mean when Noam Chomsky of all people calls the NYT "pure propaganda" you have a problem.

Information which is presented as objective reporting, but which uses rhetorical tricks, deception or strategic omissions to predispose the reader to a desired conclusion (one dictated by the report's creator), is presented in bad faith.  So I think the term "fake news" is entirely fair, sure it's news, but there's something very disingenuous about it.

Now, the ACA. Holy crap I'm loving the discussion. And I completely get the free-market argument. For some reason though, health insurance seems like an exception

Okay not discussing as fake Republican here, just my opinion.

My first question in response to this statement of exceptionality is why is it an exception?  I know you elaborate more on this, but the fact you can't really say why here is illuminating and props up a point I will make below.

(especially with what the state of the healthcare system was before the ACA).

I just want to stress this was a system which the government created with a free market component, not an actual free market.  Granted, a lot of it was completely unintentional (most of the mess we're in now is a holdover from WW2 era wage controls), but it's worth pointing out that there hasn't been a "free market" in US healthcare in my lifetime (again I'm 36).  The government dictates what we can/must get, gives advantages to employer provided plans, who can be included, etc. and that's been in place all my life.

  There doesn't tend to be the ability to act economically rational thought when one's health is involved.

Well, consider this.  If I want to buy a pillow, I can go on say Amazon or dozens of other sites, look up pillows, compare prices, compare reviews, and I have all this information at my fingertips.  It's not perfect but it tends to work pretty well, I usually will wind up with a satisfactory pillow.

The same is true for non healthcare services.  When I hired movers recently, I was able to compare and contrast many services quickly and the movers, even ones I didn't hire, were eager to quickly inform me what I would pay and the conditions of their service, etc.

Healthcare, since it's not sold freely like this, cannot be purchased in this way.  If I call a physician and ask how much a standard annual examination is, they won't be able to tell me.  They have no idea.  Similarly if I need a surgery on my knee or something, there is no calling three different providers and getting quotes.

But the reason it is this way is because we have forced it to be this way.  Left alone, healthcare would resemble other goods and services and would behave the same way.

Remember above when you said it seems like an exception?  That's because it's been artificially forced to be an exception, and it's been that way so long we don't even realize it any more.

  And I know that one of the stated goals was to reduce health-care premiums, but I never really did buy that. I also thought that the stats relating to 'number of insured Americans' seemed to stop there.

And that's an issue I have with the ACA: health care is not health insurance.  Health insurance is a service where the overall costs are reduced for a group of people who pool risk.  It doesn't work when you're not allowed to exclude people or charge them more for the higher risk they represent, because if everyone's included your actuarial assumptions go off the rails.  Costs don't go down when health insurance is used as the coverage vehicle, they go up, because that's how insurance works: the more uncertainty and greater risk in the insured, the higher the prices will be.

  I personally thought the point was to focus a lot on preventative care, reducing the cost of things that increase quality of life, and decrease costs of treatment if caught early. That was the main thing I truly love about the ACA. It was the things it required as a base level of care. These things weren't available, especially considering that the vast majority of insured folks received it through their employer. So I don't think the free-market worked all that great (not with this population anyway). The power dynamics were just too off.

Two points:

Most people don't have cancer (for example), so widespread diagnostics is a waste of money.  Also, not to conflate the issue too much, but it's the over use of unneeded tests being used to pad bills (especially when the government is paying) and protect doctors from lawsuits which is driving costs up.

As I said above, a free market for healthcare hasn't existed in my lifetime.  You can't attribute the problems to a system that was never really implemented.

Add in the fact that ERs cannot turn away someone, we've already got things in place that suggest a base level of 'morality' for this country. We're not willing to let people die. Why not make it cheaper by reducing the number of emergencies?

Which could be done by driving the cost of basic medical care way down, which isn't going to happen under the ACA or what preceded it.

Now for the record, I do favor the free market, but Thomas Sowell has taught me that one problem with free markets is that unrestrained actors can ignore external costs.  In this case, the external cost is people who are forced to default on medical bills they cannot possibly pay due to circumstances beyond their control.  The fact is, we do pay for the healthcare of very sick people regardless of what we do, so most of my ideas about how to fix this basically assume an 85-95 percent free market and the rest would be a provision to basically deliver the medical care to unfortunate people at no cost to them because it's cheaper for the public to just pay for just their health care rather than their health care plus their bankruptcy procedures (to say nothing of other considerations). 

I think most of us agree something has to be done for certain people, but hard cases make for bad law.  You shouldn't build an entire system as if everyone is this unfortunate.   

In fact, you shouldn't "build" a system at all, you should let one emerge and then react to it only in economically rational ways and think very carefully about what you do, using reason and data rather than listening to lobbyists.  That includes not giving health insurance to people who are a poor fit for health insurance due to the risk involved, and not charging high risk people (like me!) the lowest rates, etc.

I personally can think of a couple ways we could harness the power of a free market to bring the costs way down while still protecting that small slice of vulnerable people who might have difficulty paying for their care under this system, but the point I'm getting at is this kind of thinking is not even on the table in Congress because what I'm calling for is let's allow a better system to come into being and then iterate public policy rationally.  You'll never see these kinds of ideas get any serious political traction.

jordanread

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2017, 11:16:19 AM »
Damn. That was an interesting response Lals. I will actually respond a bit later, but I wanted to thank you.

Michael, I also want to thank you for your response. The quotes are all messed up, so I haven't responded, but I did read it. There are a few points I'll address later, but damn it's a tough read (logistically). :)
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Raenia

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2017, 11:51:07 AM »
Just want to say I really appreciate that this thread exists, and I've learned a few things today by reading it.  Nothing to add right now, but kudos to everyone for being able to have this conversation.

scottish

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2017, 05:18:10 PM »
There doesn't tend to be the ability to act economically Well, consider this.  If I want to buy a pillow, I can go on say Amazon or dozens of other sites, look up pillows, compare prices, compare reviews, and I have all this information at my fingertips.  It's not perfect but it tends to work pretty well, I usually will wind up with a satisfactory pillow.

The same is true for non healthcare services.  When I hired movers recently, I was able to compare and contrast many services quickly and the movers, even ones I didn't hire, were eager to quickly inform me what I would pay and the conditions of their service, etc.

Healthcare, since it's not sold freely like this, cannot be purchased in this way.  If I call a physician and ask how much a standard annual examination is, they won't be able to tell me.  They have no idea.  Similarly if I need a surgery on my knee or something, there is no calling three different providers and getting quotes.

But the reason it is this way is because we have forced it to be this way.  Left alone, healthcare would resemble other goods and services and would behave the same way.

Remember above when you said it seems like an exception?  That's because it's been artificially forced to be an exception, and it's been that way so long we don't even realize it any more.

Sounds good in theory.   "In theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice, there is."

- Health care is not like hiring a mover.   Health care can make the difference between a good life and a miserable life.
- Health care is much more expensive than hiring a mover.   And you often don't have much time to shop around and negotiate.   You can't always plan your health care needs.
- People with no money get no health care?

I don't buy it.

If this approach to health care works so well, why can't we find examples of it in practice?

RangerOne

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2017, 07:07:45 PM »
In general I agree with the statement that if you 100% agree with any particular party you probably aren't being very critical of your positions.

At the same time there are many politically polarizing issues that I really don't care that much about one way or the other, so the political compass may have pushed me more one direction than needed, as my answer to some of those questions likely would have been "I don't care".

Still here are my current results for (https://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2?ec=-3.88&soc=-4.26):



This result doesn't surprise me. I generally think of myself as center left and socially liberal. I occasionally agree with libertarians on economic issues as well.

I think there is boat loads to debt and talk about on any policy position.

The polar opposite government to which I would prefer would be a religious totalitarian regime. Though I do occasionally defer to authority to save people from their own stupidity.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2017, 07:08:09 PM »
There doesn't tend to be the ability to act economically Well, consider this.  If I want to buy a pillow, I can go on say Amazon or dozens of other sites, look up pillows, compare prices, compare reviews, and I have all this information at my fingertips.  It's not perfect but it tends to work pretty well, I usually will wind up with a satisfactory pillow.

The same is true for non healthcare services.  When I hired movers recently, I was able to compare and contrast many services quickly and the movers, even ones I didn't hire, were eager to quickly inform me what I would pay and the conditions of their service, etc.

Healthcare, since it's not sold freely like this, cannot be purchased in this way.  If I call a physician and ask how much a standard annual examination is, they won't be able to tell me.  They have no idea.  Similarly if I need a surgery on my knee or something, there is no calling three different providers and getting quotes.

But the reason it is this way is because we have forced it to be this way.  Left alone, healthcare would resemble other goods and services and would behave the same way.

Remember above when you said it seems like an exception?  That's because it's been artificially forced to be an exception, and it's been that way so long we don't even realize it any more.

Sounds good in theory.   "In theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice, there is."

- Health care is not like hiring a mover.   Health care can make the difference between a good life and a miserable life.
- Health care is much more expensive than hiring a mover.   And you often don't have much time to shop around and negotiate.   You can't always plan your health care needs.
- People with no money get no health care?

I don't buy it.

If this approach to health care works so well, why can't we find examples of it in practice?
There are many examples of markets functioning effectively in controlling health care costs in areas where insurance has typically not provided coverage (plastic surgery, lasik, various elective surgical procedures). Source: almost any libertarian blog.

Edit: behold!
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 07:10:27 PM by lost_in_the_endless_aisle »

scottish

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2017, 01:10:29 PM »
I thought you were advocating a free market for *all* health care, not elective health care?

How does the website of one hospital in Oklahoma demonstrate that the free market is working well for elective health care?   I see that they list their prices.   But I don't see prices for complications that occur during the operation.

When I try and find another orthopedic surgery service in Oklahoma, I get this one for example:   http://www.southwestortho.com/knee.html#knee-arthroscopy   They don't list prices.

So maybe the free market is working for knee repair in Oklahoma, and maybe it's not.   How would you tell?


Lagom

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2017, 01:54:41 PM »
A slow burning thread, but kudos to all involved for staying relatively civil thus far. A few thoughts on all of the above:

1) I've never seen anyone on this board call someone a Nazi for saying HRC would have won if she had a more populist message, but I'm very sorry if you have experienced that behavior. Certainly it has no place in a rational exchange.

2) I find it incredibly interesting how quickly "fake news" pivoted from what AFAIK was the origins of the term being popularized - people pointing out the Russian bots and extreme rightwing internet zines that spread lies and conspiracies (predominantly about HRC, but also Obama, ACA, etc.), into a term that has been somehow successfully coopted by Trump and his supporters. I suppose I at least have to give him some credit for savviness on that point.

3) Speaking of the ACA, you guys do know there is a 70 page thread that, some bombast aside, actually goes into great depth of the pros and cons from a evidence-backed standpoint? Not trying to be dickish, just noting that there's some good stuff there if you want to dive deep.

4) Though to respond to one specific claim made about "overreach," the mandate is literally the only way ACA will work as intended. That's fine if you want to take issue with that one thing on libertarian grounds or whatever, but it's pretty reductive to criticize what happens/will happen when the mandate is weak and/or unenforced vs. if there were an actual commitment to make the ACA work as intended (also, costs always were going to have to go up somewhat before they went down. More sick people in the pool = higher costs. Fewer sick people in general = lower costs over time. Pretty straightforward logic).

DarkandStormy

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2017, 09:06:16 AM »

Still here are my current results for (https://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2?ec=-3.88&soc=-4.26):



This result doesn't surprise me. I generally think of myself as center left and socially liberal. I occasionally agree with libertarians on economic issues as well.


We're very similar:
Economic Left/Right: -4.63
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.59

Would love to see where #45 would fall.
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Lagom

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2017, 12:53:59 PM »

Still here are my current results for (https://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2?ec=-3.88&soc=-4.26):



This result doesn't surprise me. I generally think of myself as center left and socially liberal. I occasionally agree with libertarians on economic issues as well.


We're very similar:
Economic Left/Right: -4.63
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.59

Would love to see where #45 would fall.

Mine are also similar, except I am more strongly a social libertarian, it seems (by that quiz anyway).

Economic Left/Right: -3.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.49

Seems about right, though my economic stances are unusual and not well captured by these sorts of quizzes (I am very much free market/small govt in some areas, and very not so in others).
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 11:25:42 PM by Lagom »

CanuckExpat

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2017, 11:03:05 PM »
Like Lagom, I'm also fascinated by the usage of the term "fake news", my understanding is also that it seems to have morphed from a specific description of literal fake news articles written about events that didn't happen to sway opinion, and now is instead either being used as a badge of honor, or to label "mainstream media" with which you disagree. It is also interesting how in some corners, being mainstream, at least for media, is a slur.

That reminds me of two graphics I came across that I would like input on. They were both attempts to categorize different news sources, the second being a reaction to the first. The relationship between the two and the implications disturbs me. Wondered if any others had opinions.

The first:


The second:


My view looking at them is that the first graphic represents a good faith and "reasonable classification; while I might quibble with some of the labeling, exact placement of different sources, etc. that I think it's a good framework, and that I would find more to agree with than disagree. I've read other commentary essentially trashing the center of that circle, and highlighting this as evidence of the bias in the media. The second graphic to me almost looks like a strawman (the axes are "tyranny" vs "freedom" for example..) but presumably there are people who agree with it.

How does one reconcile such different view points, or hope to find middle ground when there could be such different ways of looking at sources of information? Is the second a strawman that can safely be ignored, or am I so biased that I don't see the positives in it? 
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 09:12:40 AM by CanuckExpat »
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Lagom

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2017, 11:32:36 PM »
I think that there has been a successful propaganda push to divorce a substantial portion of our population from understanding the lines differentiating journalism, truth/facts, opinion, and bias. Journalists can have bias, and yet still report accurately without (overly) injecting their opinion, for example. But in the age of sound bytes and reality TV, that is too nuanced for many. You're either with us or against us. Your news is fake, or it agrees with my opinion of how the world should be. Very troubling indeed.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 11:36:15 PM by Lagom »

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2017, 09:55:44 AM »
I think that there has been a successful propaganda push to divorce a substantial portion of our population from understanding the lines differentiating journalism, truth/facts, opinion, and bias. Journalists can have bias, and yet still report accurately without (overly) injecting their opinion, for example. But in the age of sound bytes and reality TV, that is too nuanced for many. You're either with us or against us. Your news is fake, or it agrees with my opinion of how the world should be. Very troubling indeed.

It's far easier to control people divided into neat little crowds of seemingly competing interests that mostly control themselves.  I don't claim a vast conspiracy to create the situation (though there are plenty that do), but it has no doubt been exploited and will continue to be exploited. Our slow increase in narcissism will not help, as is evidence by our near complete rationalization of the killing of innocent people thousands of miles away through drones, missiles, donated weapons, etc..   


Michael in ABQ

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #45 on: August 23, 2017, 10:40:09 AM »
Like Lagom, I'm also fascinated by the usage of the term "fake news", my understanding is also that it seems to have morphed from a specific description of literal fake news articles written about events that didn't happen to sway opinion, and now is instead either being used as a badge of honor, or to label "mainstream media" with which you disagree. It is also interesting how in some corners, being mainstream, at least for media, is a slur.

That reminds me of two graphics I came across that I would like input on. They were both attempts to categorize different news sources, the second being a reaction to the first. The relationship between the two and the implications disturbs me. Wondered if any others had opinions.

The first:


The second:


My view looking at them is that the first graphic represents a good faith and "reasonable classification; while I might quibble with some of the labeling, exact placement of different sources, etc. that I think it's a good framework, and that I would find more to agree with than disagree. I've read other commentary essentially trashing the center of that circle, and highlighting this as evidence of the bias in the media. The second graphic to me almost looks like a strawman (the axes are "tyranny" vs "freedom" for example..) but presumably there are people who agree with it.

How does one reconcile such different view points, or hope to find middle ground when there could be such different ways of looking at sources of information? Is the second a strawman that can safely be ignored, or am I so biased that I don't see the positives in it?

I'm with you on the first. I disagree with some of the placements (NY Times and WaPo definitely skew more liberal than indicated on that graphic) but overall it's a reasonable interpretation.

The second one is just junk. With Infowars as being "the best" news source with Breitbart close behind I can't give that much weight.

News is largely a form of entertainment. If you think of it as reality TV I think it provides a useful framework. Some of it can be pretty good and relatively truthful (Deadliest Catch, some other reality shows on the History channel or Discovery), some of it is complete garbage (i.e. Housewives of blank, anything with a Kardashian, etc.). At the end of the day "journalists" are selling content either directly through a subscription, or through advertising. They are trying to get as many eyeballs, clicks, etc. and don't need to let truth get in the way of a good story. The sensational and misleading will always get more views than the nuanced and reasonable. "Donald Trump supports Nazis!" "The president expressed regret at recent violence" Which headline do you think is going to get more clicks?

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #46 on: August 23, 2017, 06:49:13 PM »
Like Lagom, I'm also fascinated by the usage of the term "fake news", my understanding is also that it seems to have morphed from a specific description of literal fake news articles written about events that didn't happen to sway opinion, and now is instead either being used as a badge of honor, or to label "mainstream media" with which you disagree. It is also interesting how in some corners, being mainstream, at least for media, is a slur.

That reminds me of two graphics I came across that I would like input on. They were both attempts to categorize different news sources, the second being a reaction to the first. The relationship between the two and the implications disturbs me. Wondered if any others had opinions.

The first:


The second:


My view looking at them is that the first graphic represents a good faith and "reasonable classification; while I might quibble with some of the labeling, exact placement of different sources, etc. that I think it's a good framework, and that I would find more to agree with than disagree. I've read other commentary essentially trashing the center of that circle, and highlighting this as evidence of the bias in the media. The second graphic to me almost looks like a strawman (the axes are "tyranny" vs "freedom" for example..) but presumably there are people who agree with it.

How does one reconcile such different view points, or hope to find middle ground when there could be such different ways of looking at sources of information? Is the second a strawman that can safely be ignored, or am I so biased that I don't see the positives in it?

I say this as a subscriber to The Economist that its editorial slant falls distinctly within a narrow ideological range. Slate is considered complex? Haha. I read the Huffington Post as well and it belongs further into the dustbin than it is plotted. Vox is decent but has a problem with being both smug and naive at times. The Atlantic is probably the most deserving to be in the top center group.

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #47 on: September 20, 2017, 12:48:44 PM »
And I will not 'pipe down.' The 'RACISTS!!!!11!' thing is used far, far to often by the left to derail discussion of any opposing viewpoint.

If you want to continue discussing it (hopefully without generalities and bias), and without derailing this specific thread, I'm sure it would be welcome discussion here: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion

Thanks for the pointer CE. So the context was this:

Every day since last Friday I am participating in political action  by *not* marching in St. Louis's daily race protests (mostly peaceful) as well as the rioting performed at night by thugs. Avoidance of all is a statement, wondering if anyone notices, haha.

It would be really great if we could keep racist epithets like "thugs" out of this thread.

Personally, I'm a bit torn on this particular instance. I'm at work right now, but I've got some ideas percolating and I'll write them out later. There will be some focus on things I've discussed here, about how something is said, but there will also be a bit about both sides of this argument. On the one hand, I'm all about creating an environment where we stand up against things that are racist and the like, but I also have noticed it being used to shutdown an actual discussion. I don't think that was the intent in this instance, but it has that effect, simply due to the way it was said.

As I said, I'll jump in to discuss later, but thought I'd leave this here and see what you all think. Remember the guidelines.



Here is a response from the thread. I'm not a mod, so I can't move it, but it's part of the discussion.

The "thug" thing - again.  Yeah, I know it's a side track, but it brings out a pet peeve of mine.  Right now the political environment is heavily polarized with an enormous amount of fear on both sides of the political spectrum.  Some of it is hysterical; downright silly.  Some of it is quite justified.  But one of the side effects is the polarization WITHIN the group as each element tries to prove it's ideologically "pure" by policing behavior and setting discussion frameworks.  Hell, you can see it inside the White House, Congress, and the other miscellaneous bits and allies of the so-called alt-right as they tear at each other.  And on "our" side it's people who want everyone to toe some ideological line or make some litmus test.  Well, you can have victory over this despicable administration and you may even achieve ideological, language purity based on whatever current grad school sociology trend.  But if you want both at the same time, don't hold your breath.  This is a struggle where allies are a little more important. 

Edit: I'll add that this should be considered but otherwise treated as the foam it is and ignored.  You can PM me if you agree or want to tell me to take my center/left views to Hillaryland and fuck off.
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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2017, 02:21:49 PM »
I don't think "thug" is a racial term. It just means "bad people I dislike who are behaving aggressively." It's used to refer to Trump himself, right in the NY Times:
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/opinion/the-trump-possibility.html
Quote
Donald Trump is a thug. He’s a thug who talks gibberish, and lies, and cheats, and has issues, to put it mildly, with women.


Midwest

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2017, 02:28:49 PM »
Every day since last Friday I am participating in political action  by *not* marching in St. Louis's daily race protests (mostly peaceful) as well as the rioting performed at night by thugs. Avoidance of all is a statement, wondering if anyone notices, haha.

It would be really great if we could keep racist epithets like "thugs" out of this thread.

Personally, I'm a bit torn on this particular instance. I'm at work right now, but I've got some ideas percolating and I'll write them out later. There will be some focus on things I've discussed here, about how something is said, but there will also be a bit about both sides of this argument. On the one hand, I'm all about creating an environment where we stand up against things that are racist and the like, but I also have noticed it being used to shutdown an actual discussion. I don't think that was the intent in this instance, but it has that effect, simply due to the way it was said.


Any time you throw out or imply the term racist, you are calling into question the OP.  If the statement is racist in nature, that's appropriate.  That statement had nothing to do with race and everything to do with behavior.

In this case, the OP was talking about persons of unknown racial make up destroying property and rioting.  The OP used a term that has been applied to whites and african americans. 

It was all about marginalizing the OP in this case. 

PS - These morons (the one's damaging property not the peaceful protestors) are rioting and the biggest comment is that Iris called them thugs.  I'm more concerned with their actions. 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 02:40:18 PM by Midwest »