Author Topic: America on the precipice: What are you doing?  (Read 11928 times)

mathlete

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1782
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #150 on: January 12, 2021, 12:24:53 PM »
Wondering how "off topic" this is when a core part of the MMM philosophy is, "Herp derp, why doesn't everyone just be a rich white guy who is completely and totally insulated from current events?"

seattlecyclone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5613
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Seattle, WA
    • My blog
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #151 on: January 12, 2021, 12:27:54 PM »
This. When the choices presented are #1 or #2, I tend to agree with the Democrats that #1 is more important given the rarity of invalid votes happening in practice. However I am somewhat angry that both parties seem to accept the or framing rather than trying to achieve #1 and #2. I'd be really happy to see us move to a system where there's a little bit more verification of voter eligibility, and we also go out of our way to make sure every eligible voter has easy access to the documents they need to prove their eligibility.
Given the rabid search by Republicans for evidence of fraud in the 2020 Presidential election and its complete and utter failure, #2 has already been achieved.
Yeah, how many hundreds of thousands of people - maybe millions - have been unable to vote because they're supposedly worried about the 4 or 5 people who stole their grandmother's mail-in ballot or whatever?  It's getting a little silly, tbh.

What I would say to both of you is this: Trump's presidency has been a prime example of how weaknesses in the system can and will be exploited eventually. Before Trump there was never a president who tried to profit off the presidency by granting favor to foreign dignitaries who would spend money staying at his properties. Before Trump there was never a president who pardoned people who were convicted of felonies related to his own bad behavior. These things, and so many others, never had any organized system put in place to prevent them, because they were just Not Done and we trusted our presidents to act within certain bounds of propriety. I think it's great that we've had no evidence of any significant quantities of illegitimate votes...yet. I also would like to see existing weaknesses in the system addressed in a way that does not prevent legitimate voters from casting ballots.

As I stated in my previous post, I agree with you that the evidence points toward #1 being a much bigger issue at present than #2, and yet I'd like to stop with the framing that we can only do one or the other. Let's find a way to make both happen.

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6090
  • Location: Avalon
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #152 on: January 12, 2021, 12:33:48 PM »
This. When the choices presented are #1 or #2, I tend to agree with the Democrats that #1 is more important given the rarity of invalid votes happening in practice. However I am somewhat angry that both parties seem to accept the or framing rather than trying to achieve #1 and #2. I'd be really happy to see us move to a system where there's a little bit more verification of voter eligibility, and we also go out of our way to make sure every eligible voter has easy access to the documents they need to prove their eligibility.
Given the rabid search by Republicans for evidence of fraud in the 2020 Presidential election and its complete and utter failure, #2 has already been achieved.
Yeah, how many hundreds of thousands of people - maybe millions - have been unable to vote because they're supposedly worried about the 4 or 5 people who stole their grandmother's mail-in ballot or whatever?  It's getting a little silly, tbh.

What I would say to both of you is this: Trump's presidency has been a prime example of how weaknesses in the system can and will be exploited eventually. Before Trump there was never a president who tried to profit off the presidency by granting favor to foreign dignitaries who would spend money staying at his properties. Before Trump there was never a president who pardoned people who were convicted of felonies related to his own bad behavior. These things, and so many others, never had any organized system put in place to prevent them, because they were just Not Done and we trusted our presidents to act within certain bounds of propriety. I think it's great that we've had no evidence of any significant quantities of illegitimate votes...yet. I also would like to see existing weaknesses in the system addressed in a way that does not prevent legitimate voters from casting ballots.

As I stated in my previous post, I agree with you that the evidence points toward #1 being a much bigger issue at present than #2, and yet I'd like to stop with the framing that we can only do one or the other. Let's find a way to make both happen.
The weakness in the system that Trump exploited was not weaknesses in the electoral system, it was weaknesses in social media that allowed him to spread lies and sedition.  It was weaknesses in the mainstream media that did not call out his lies.  It was weaknesses in the Republican Party that enabled and supported his lies and sedition.  The electoral system held firm.

FrugalToque

  • Global Moderator
  • Pencil Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 669
  • Location: Canada
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #153 on: January 12, 2021, 12:50:50 PM »
Wondering how "off topic" this is when a core part of the MMM philosophy is, "Herp derp, why doesn't everyone just be a rich white guy who is completely and totally insulated from current events?"
There's always a concern, when one maintains a focus on one aspect of existence, that one is doing this to the exclusion of all else.

It shouldn't be the case that having a "Low Information Diet", which refers mostly to ignoring 24 hour cable news and celebrity gossip, means that one believes racism and classism don't exist.

There's an effort here by we moderators, on this forum, to evict the worst racists, moderate where infringements occur, and make sure we're a positive force - all while making sure this stays an Early Retirement Forum.

As the same time, we are aware of the way Early Retirement has a "(White) Boys' Club" feel to it and I toss out sexist pricks occasionally, too and try to keep the language here as accessible as possible in this free-for-all of hundreds of thousands of messages.

Toque.

ericrugiero

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #154 on: January 12, 2021, 01:06:00 PM »
My reading of history is that indulging "election integrity" usually means making it harder to vote. More hoops to jump through. No same day registration. Voter ID. That stuff.

Just because "election integrity" has been framed in a way so as to advance Apartheid doe snot mean it has to always be that way.

The non-crazy people can steal their framing and use that against the crazy ones :-D.

--------------------------------------

I think the Dems need to learn to use the Right's rhetoric against them. Even though I am apprehensive of Big Tech's powers, I am loving every bit of the a*se-whopping that the "corporations are people" are getting. More than any good arguments, I think real consequences may convince some crazies to become less crazy.

You like to live dangerously, huh? :)

Think about it.

"Election Integrity" has two legs:
1. All valid voters can vote without any undue barriers and their vote is counted.
2. No invalid votes are counted.

The "Right" gets all wound up on the fictitious issues they perceive with #2, while intentionally screwing up #1. Rather than trying to badmouth the phrase "election integrity" itself, I think the Dems should just rhetorically support it with the clarification that they want both of the issues with election integrity addressed. Simple.

You will, of course, suddenly see the right dislike "election integrity", because they love their Apartheid. But in the confusion some good laws might get passed that addresses #1.


This. When the choices presented are #1 or #2, I tend to agree with the Democrats that #1 is more important given the rarity of invalid votes happening in practice. However I am somewhat angry that both parties seem to accept the or framing rather than trying to achieve #1 and #2. I'd be really happy to see us move to a system where there's a little bit more verification of voter eligibility, and we also go out of our way to make sure every eligible voter has easy access to the documents they need to prove their eligibility.

YES!  When each party is focused on one of the two legs we end up not doing a good job of either.  Why can't we do both well? 

We need to do a better job of making sure all areas of the country have places to vote that are accessible without traveling long distances or waiting in long lines.  Tons of people voted early here.  If we allow that in the areas with long lines, it should spread out the crowds and shorten the lines. 

At the same time, is it really that big a deal to prove who you are in order to vote?  I know some people don't have state issued ID's.  Let's figure out a way around that problem.  What does everyone have?  Birth Certificate?  SS card?  It can't be that hard to figure out.  Maybe we issue a voter ID card for people who register and don't already have a gov issued ID.  You couldn't do that the same day but I'm not sure we should allow someone to register to vote the day of the election.  It's not like the election date isn't known years ahead of time.  Publicize the last day to register and then vote two weeks later (or however long we need).  If someone isn't willing to register ahead of time (and we don't make it difficult) they aren't very motivated to vote. 

If we do a better job of providing places to vote and allow more early in-person voting then there doesn't need to be so much mail in voting.  (especially since most elections won't take place in a pandemic)  Reducing/eliminating mail in ballots would reduce the risk of fraud.  We need absentee ballots for military and others who are away for long times, but outside of a pandemic, is there really a need for mail in voting from people who live within 15 minutes of a polling place? 

maizefolk

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5186
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #155 on: January 12, 2021, 01:14:56 PM »
I agree.

The people who stormed the capital were led there by lies and deceit they should have seen it coming. The shades get added when people start expanding that out to everyone at Trumps rally, then to everyone that voted Trump, then to every Republican. Creating groups to hate causes more division, but because it's the simplest way to tackle a topic and feel good (I'm right, and they're wrong) it's hard to move past.

This summarizes things really well dreadmoose. And I really appreciate posters like CodingHare who have made a similar distinction of holding accountable the people responsible without sabotaging ourselves by trying to expand out our definition of those responsible to too large a group. If we can stay focused on imposing severe consequences on the people who stormed the capital and the people who lead them there, we line up most of the country (well 88% of us) on the same side.

It is interesting to me that there are two natural human instincts at play here about how to deal with people who do bad things. And the two instincts are in direct contradiction to each other.

-One strategy to hold people accountable is ostracism. You (the person who did the bad thing) are cut out of our life, and so is anyone who continues to talk to you or help you.

-Another strategy is to get together big group of people who all agree it was bad (forming a posse*) and go after the person who did the bad thing.

Ostracism works well as a punishment when the vast majority of people are all in agreement about imposing the punishment and only a small number of people or a single individual is being punished. Otherwise, the strategy either fizzles out, or degenerates into two warring tribes which punishes everyone, the bad and the good. Forming a posse to go after the bad people can work even when agreement is less complete or the group to be punished is larger. But it specifically requires bringing as many people as possible together while also trying to peal as many people away from the bad side as possible so you'll outnumber the bad people you are going after by a lot. This necessity (build up the number of people on my side, while pealing away people on theirs) is in conflict with the ostracism approach where anyone who has any connection with the same bad people is also bad and should also be punished.

I wonder is some of the big disagreements we see with regard to strategy in threads like this one are the result of different people's subconsciouses having very different senses of how common Trump supporters/republican voters are in our day to day lives.

*I'm using this term here, but this strategy is the same one you see employed in anything from trying to win local elections to world wars. It's not an ideal term, since, while for many people it'll bring with it the idea of westerns, for others they'll think of the role of some posse's in lynchings in the south. If someone has a better term for this strategy, I'm all for renaming it. The problem with both strategies is that they work equally well when the majority of society is focused on punishing a thing that is genuinely bad, and when they are focused on punishing a thing that is not. I've yet to see any approach to punishing bad people that only works when the people being punished really are bad.

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6090
  • Location: Avalon
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #156 on: January 12, 2021, 01:21:34 PM »
My reading of history is that indulging "election integrity" usually means making it harder to vote. More hoops to jump through. No same day registration. Voter ID. That stuff.

Just because "election integrity" has been framed in a way so as to advance Apartheid doe snot mean it has to always be that way.

The non-crazy people can steal their framing and use that against the crazy ones :-D.

--------------------------------------

I think the Dems need to learn to use the Right's rhetoric against them. Even though I am apprehensive of Big Tech's powers, I am loving every bit of the a*se-whopping that the "corporations are people" are getting. More than any good arguments, I think real consequences may convince some crazies to become less crazy.

You like to live dangerously, huh? :)

Think about it.

"Election Integrity" has two legs:
1. All valid voters can vote without any undue barriers and their vote is counted.
2. No invalid votes are counted.

The "Right" gets all wound up on the fictitious issues they perceive with #2, while intentionally screwing up #1. Rather than trying to badmouth the phrase "election integrity" itself, I think the Dems should just rhetorically support it with the clarification that they want both of the issues with election integrity addressed. Simple.

You will, of course, suddenly see the right dislike "election integrity", because they love their Apartheid. But in the confusion some good laws might get passed that addresses #1.


This. When the choices presented are #1 or #2, I tend to agree with the Democrats that #1 is more important given the rarity of invalid votes happening in practice. However I am somewhat angry that both parties seem to accept the or framing rather than trying to achieve #1 and #2. I'd be really happy to see us move to a system where there's a little bit more verification of voter eligibility, and we also go out of our way to make sure every eligible voter has easy access to the documents they need to prove their eligibility.

YES!  When each party is focused on one of the two legs we end up not doing a good job of either.  Why can't we do both well? 

We need to do a better job of making sure all areas of the country have places to vote that are accessible without traveling long distances or waiting in long lines.  Tons of people voted early here.  If we allow that in the areas with long lines, it should spread out the crowds and shorten the lines. 

At the same time, is it really that big a deal to prove who you are in order to vote?  I know some people don't have state issued ID's.  Let's figure out a way around that problem.  What does everyone have?  Birth Certificate?  SS card?  It can't be that hard to figure out.  Maybe we issue a voter ID card for people who register and don't already have a gov issued ID.  You couldn't do that the same day but I'm not sure we should allow someone to register to vote the day of the election.  It's not like the election date isn't known years ahead of time.  Publicize the last day to register and then vote two weeks later (or however long we need).  If someone isn't willing to register ahead of time (and we don't make it difficult) they aren't very motivated to vote. 

If we do a better job of providing places to vote and allow more early in-person voting then there doesn't need to be so much mail in voting.  (especially since most elections won't take place in a pandemic)  Reducing/eliminating mail in ballots would reduce the risk of fraud.  We need absentee ballots for military and others who are away for long times, but outside of a pandemic, is there really a need for mail in voting from people who live within 15 minutes of a polling place?
My understanding is that the long lines, the limited places to vote and the difficulty in getting an appropriate ID have been deliberate, racist, tactics to reduce the Black vote.  Which is why those pictures of long lines to vote, and long waiting times, whether for early voting or voting on the day, show long lines of people of colour not long lines of wealthy white suburbanites.

And the risk of fraud is negligible, as demonstrated by the 60 Republican legal challenges to the 2020 Presidential election, not one of which alleged fraud.

At this point in the discussion I'm not clear why you are still being so deliberately obtuse - and that's me being polite.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17199
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #157 on: January 12, 2021, 01:35:02 PM »
It's kinda embarrassing how difficult the US makes voting for it's citizens.  I can't think of any other democratic country that does it worse.

ctuser1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1585
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #158 on: January 12, 2021, 02:04:52 PM »
You couldn't do that the same day but I'm not sure we should allow someone to register to vote the day of the election.  It's not like the election date isn't known years ahead of time.  Publicize the last day to register and then vote two weeks later (or however long we need).  If someone isn't willing to register ahead of time (and we don't make it difficult) they aren't very motivated to vote. 

Just because an 18-year-old teen mom in Detroit, or a homeless in NYC is less motivated to vote, it does not necessarily follow that their voice is less important than that of a landed white farmer in a rural area.

There are many ways to get around the "integrity" objections about same-day registrations. make them vote provisionally perhaps, which will only count if the race is close. If the provisional votes are being counted, then make the burden of proof reside with the election officials and the partisan poll-watchers in order to discard the vote.

ericrugiero

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #159 on: January 12, 2021, 02:18:41 PM »
My understanding is that the long lines, the limited places to vote and the difficulty in getting an appropriate ID have been deliberate, racist, tactics to reduce the Black vote.  Which is why those pictures of long lines to vote, and long waiting times, whether for early voting or voting on the day, show long lines of people of colour not long lines of wealthy white suburbanites.
I know that's the perception and there may be some truth to it.  Regardless, I think we should change it because everyone should have the option to vote. 

And the risk of fraud is negligible, as demonstrated by the 60 Republican legal challenges to the 2020 Presidential election, not one of which alleged fraud.
I don't agree that it's negligible.  Whether it happened this past election there is still the possibility.  All American's should want to reduce the instances of fraud. 

At this point in the discussion I'm not clear why you are still being so deliberately obtuse - and that's me being polite.
I'm not being deliberately obtuse.  My political views are different than most on this board but I can assure you I want nothing more than a fair democratic election in which everyone has the opportunity to vote and only legal votes are counted.  I will live with the results whether I like them or not.   

kei te pai

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 436
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #160 on: January 12, 2021, 02:21:58 PM »
https://www.mediadesignschool.com/news/mds-creative-advertising-alumni-are-encouraging-overseas-kiwis-vote

In NZ the Russians helped enrol voters (its a joke just in case some find it not funny!)

ericrugiero

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #161 on: January 12, 2021, 02:23:10 PM »
You couldn't do that the same day but I'm not sure we should allow someone to register to vote the day of the election.  It's not like the election date isn't known years ahead of time.  Publicize the last day to register and then vote two weeks later (or however long we need).  If someone isn't willing to register ahead of time (and we don't make it difficult) they aren't very motivated to vote. 

Just because an 18-year-old teen mom in Detroit, or a homeless in NYC is less motivated to vote, it does not necessarily follow that their voice is less important than that of a landed white farmer in a rural area.

Their vote is absolutely 100% as important as mine, yours or anyone else's.  I never said or meant to imply anything different.  But, I am very willing to spend an hour registering to vote to ensure a fair election and I would expect anyone who cares about democracy to do the same. 

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17199
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #162 on: January 12, 2021, 02:30:01 PM »
You couldn't do that the same day but I'm not sure we should allow someone to register to vote the day of the election.  It's not like the election date isn't known years ahead of time.  Publicize the last day to register and then vote two weeks later (or however long we need).  If someone isn't willing to register ahead of time (and we don't make it difficult) they aren't very motivated to vote. 

Just because an 18-year-old teen mom in Detroit, or a homeless in NYC is less motivated to vote, it does not necessarily follow that their voice is less important than that of a landed white farmer in a rural area.

Their vote is absolutely 100% as important as mine, yours or anyone else's.  I never said or meant to imply anything different.  But, I am very willing to spend an hour registering to vote to ensure a fair election and I would expect anyone who cares about democracy to do the same.

Not true at all.  In the American system, rural votes are more important than the 18 year old mom in Detroit, or the guy in NYC.  Rural votes count for more and are not equal.

ctuser1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1585
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #163 on: January 12, 2021, 02:30:31 PM »
And the risk of fraud is negligible, as demonstrated by the 60 Republican legal challenges to the 2020 Presidential election, not one of which alleged fraud.
I don't agree that it's negligible.  Whether it happened this past election there is still the possibility.  All American's should want to reduce the instances of fraud. 

Yes, all American's should want to reduce real fraud.

Has widespread occurrence of "real fraud" been proven? I can cite quite a few studies detailing real disenfranchisement.

Fraud and disenfranchisement are both bad - right? 1 vote of fraud <=just as bad as> 1 disenfranchised voter. So perhaps we should take the same approach banks take with signature verification for checks. If measure A reduces possibility of fraud by X%, but increases disenfranchisement by Y%, then the value of (X - Y) adjusted for the cost of implementing A should determine whether that particular measure should be implemented or not - no?

The problem most people have with the right is that they want to do real, intentional disenfranchisement and voter suppression in order to chase fictitious fraud that hasn't ever been proven anywhere.

You couldn't do that the same day but I'm not sure we should allow someone to register to vote the day of the election.  It's not like the election date isn't known years ahead of time.  Publicize the last day to register and then vote two weeks later (or however long we need).  If someone isn't willing to register ahead of time (and we don't make it difficult) they aren't very motivated to vote. 

Just because an 18-year-old teen mom in Detroit, or a homeless in NYC is less motivated to vote, it does not necessarily follow that their voice is less important than that of a landed white farmer in a rural area.

Their vote is absolutely 100% as important as mine, yours or anyone else's.  I never said or meant to imply anything different.  But, I am very willing to spend an hour registering to vote to ensure a fair election and I would expect anyone who cares about democracy to do the same.

Certain groups of people are underrepresented, per voter turnout data, and their votes count less.
Anyone who cares about democracy would want to reduce that discrepancy.

Voter turnout data till 2018 (could not find reputable source for 2020 data in my 5 minutes of google):
http://www.electproject.org/home/voter-turnout/demographics
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 03:24:14 PM by ctuser1 »

American GenX

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 645
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #164 on: January 12, 2021, 05:21:11 PM »
Yeah, if you don't vote, your vote doesn't count for much.  Imagine that.  lol

Voting was very easy for me - in and out in a few minutes.  I'm not sure why anyone would say that's "difficult"  They didn't ask to see any ID, but I did have to sign a paper.

Kris

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5857
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #165 on: January 12, 2021, 05:29:20 PM »
Yeah, if you don't vote, your vote doesn't count for much.  Imagine that.  lol

Voting was very easy for me - in and out in a few minutes.  I'm not sure why anyone would say that's "difficult"  They didn't ask to see any ID, but I did have to sign a paper.

If you were in and out in a few minutes, you are likely not part of the demographic that Republicans are trying to suppress.

ctuser1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1585
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #166 on: January 12, 2021, 05:31:35 PM »
Yeah, if you don't vote, your vote doesn't count for much.  Imagine that.  lol

Voting was very easy for me - in and out in a few minutes.  I'm not sure why anyone would say that's "difficult"  They didn't ask to see any ID, but I did have to sign a paper.

Yeah! A Gen-X white (?) mustachian living in a blue state (?) did not have his vote suppressed. Take that!! lol..

Sid Hoffman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 821
  • Location: Southwest USA
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #167 on: January 12, 2021, 08:23:11 PM »
It's kinda embarrassing how difficult the US makes voting for it's citizens.  I can't think of any other democratic country that does it worse.
The problem is the generalizations. The "US" doesn't do voting at all. There's no such thing as a US election. What happens is 3142 county elections take place among all the states and D.C., each with its own rules and people running their local show. That's 3142 different voting authorities reporting up through a minimum of 51 state governments plus various other places like Guam, PR, and others that hold elections, just not for federal offices.

I've noticed a lot of people seem to not understand that the US is a lot like the EU in terms of just how much autonomy each individual state has, separate from the overall governing body. The US has more cohesion than the EU, but there's still a very clear separation between states in the same way that nations within the EU are clearly separate as well.

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3412
  • Location: South Korea
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #168 on: January 12, 2021, 08:29:42 PM »
It's kinda embarrassing how difficult the US makes voting for it's citizens.  I can't think of any other democratic country that does it worse.
The problem is the generalizations. The "US" doesn't do voting at all. There's no such thing as a US election. What happens is 3142 county elections take place among all the states and D.C., each with its own rules and people running their local show. That's 3142 different voting authorities reporting up through a minimum of 51 state governments plus various other places like Guam, PR, and others that hold elections, just not for federal offices.

I've noticed a lot of people seem to not understand that the US is a lot like the EU in terms of just how much autonomy each individual state has, separate from the overall governing body. The US has more cohesion than the EU, but there's still a very clear separation between states in the same way that nations within the EU are clearly separate as well.

Don't give them too much grief, there's a sizeable part of Congress that doesn't understand this either.

MilesTeg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1227
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #169 on: January 12, 2021, 08:58:39 PM »
Wondering how "off topic" this is when a core part of the MMM philosophy is, "Herp derp, why doesn't everyone just be a rich white guy who is completely and totally insulated from current events?"
There's always a concern, when one maintains a focus on one aspect of existence, that one is doing this to the exclusion of all else.

It shouldn't be the case that having a "Low Information Diet", which refers mostly to ignoring 24 hour cable news and celebrity gossip, means that one believes racism and classism don't exist.

There's an effort here by we moderators, on this forum, to evict the worst racists, moderate where infringements occur, and make sure we're a positive force - all while making sure this stays an Early Retirement Forum.

As the same time, we are aware of the way Early Retirement has a "(White) Boys' Club" feel to it and I toss out sexist pricks occasionally, too and try to keep the language here as accessible as possible in this free-for-all of hundreds of thousands of messages.

Toque.

I fully approve of the move as this thread has gone a direction I did not intend. I had hoped to spark some discussion about how people like us would evaluate our current life and financial strategy in light of the current events but that's not what happened. Oh well.

Davnasty

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2631
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #170 on: January 12, 2021, 10:13:28 PM »
Yeah, if you don't vote, your vote doesn't count for much.  Imagine that.  lol

Voting was very easy for me - in and out in a few minutes.  I'm not sure why anyone would say that's "difficult"  They didn't ask to see any ID, but I did have to sign a paper.

Not all polling locations are created equal.

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54240651

Quote from:  bbc
In Georgia, thousands of voters waited hours just to cast their ballot during early voting. Many attribute the long wait to voter enthusiasm, but other factors - like a limited number of polls, understaffing or computer glitches - have also been blamed.

Here are some personal accounts of people who waited as long as 11 hours

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54532189


ctuser1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1585
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #171 on: January 12, 2021, 11:06:12 PM »
Yeah, if you don't vote, your vote doesn't count for much.  Imagine that.  lol

Voting was very easy for me - in and out in a few minutes.  I'm not sure why anyone would say that's "difficult"  They didn't ask to see any ID, but I did have to sign a paper.

Not all polling locations are created equal.

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54240651

Quote from:  bbc
In Georgia, thousands of voters waited hours just to cast their ballot during early voting. Many attribute the long wait to voter enthusiasm, but other factors - like a limited number of polls, understaffing or computer glitches - have also been blamed.

Here are some personal accounts of people who waited as long as 11 hours

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54532189

The examples you show are all "undesirable" voters.

Why do you think an upstanding, 'conservative', 'real American' like American GenX should have to care about their issues with voting?

I'm sure the delays turned many people off voting, as intended and should be!

Khaetra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 698
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #172 on: January 13, 2021, 05:20:44 AM »
I fully approve of the move as this thread has gone a direction I did not intend. I had hoped to spark some discussion about how people like us would evaluate our current life and financial strategy in light of the current events but that's not what happened. Oh well.

To get back on track here...

While I don't think much will happen in my neck of the woods, I did cancel my doctor's appointment that was on the 20th.  The office is right next to a Govt building and if I don't have to put myself near where a situation might happen, then it's best to stay away.

Money-wise, I am leaving everything where it is and have a small amount of emergency cash (small bills) on hand, but I always have that just in case. 

As far as food, sadly due to my diet 99% of all the things folks usually stock up on are off my eat list but I do have a freezer full of chicken and a way to cook it, but I really doubt things are going to get that bad.

I just plan on staying home until after the inauguration, keeping an eye on the news (especially local) and either working on some of my crafts/play video games/putter around the house.  Hopefully thing will calm down soon.

cerat0n1a

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2040
  • Location: England
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #173 on: January 13, 2021, 06:23:14 AM »
I've noticed a lot of people seem to not understand that the US is a lot like the EU in terms of just how much autonomy each individual state has, separate from the overall governing body. The US has more cohesion than the EU, but there's still a very clear separation between states in the same way that nations within the EU are clearly separate as well.

Nevertheless, the EU is able to organise elections for the European Parliament in a way that doesn't lead to any difficulties whatsoever (400 million people eligible to vote, higher participation rates than the US, even though the thing is largely a rubber stamping body). India, a country of 1 billion people, with hundreds of languages, multiple ethnic groups and religions, way higher levels of illiteracy, and arguably more at stake seems to be able to organise elections that have a result available the next day and without any tangible claims of elections being stolen, problems with a peaceful transition and power and so on.

To vote here, I have to annually confirm (online, or by post) my address. That gets me on the electoral register and takes seconds. When there's an election, I can vote by post, online, or (what most people do), I can walk a couple of minutes to a local school, government building, or in my case, our village hall, and vote in person. If I wanted to drive there, I could do. If I want to have someone cast my vote for me, I can appoint someone to do that. If I stand in line, it's for a minute at most. The whole process of selecting your president doesn't exactly give a favourable view of the country, to say to the least.

This does mean there are things that users of this forum can *do*. The US has a uniquely participatory democratic system in comparison to the above places. You're voting for plenty of other things, not just a President. You all have the chance to influence one of those 3142 electoral systems. You all have an opportunity to do something about voter registration. In the most talked about presidential election ever, fewer than half of the US population voted. Of course, plenty of the population is too young, or too foreign, but there's still a sizeable proportion who couldn't or wouldn't vote.

maizefolk

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5186
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #174 on: January 13, 2021, 06:39:47 AM »
In the most talked about presidential election ever, fewer than half of the US population voted. Of course, plenty of the population is too young, or too foreign, but there's still a sizeable proportion who couldn't or wouldn't vote.

In the 2019 UK general election 67.3% of registered voters voted. This was the election with Brexit on the line wasn't it? So it seems like folks should have been pretty motivated to turn out and vote.

In the 2020 US presidential election 66.7% of potentially eligible voters (including both registered voters and people who could have registered to vote and hadn't) voted.

That's not to discount that some states make it much harder to vote than others, and that we should have some sort of national minimum standard for voting access (right now we don't so some people wait in line for hours, and other people are in and out in 5-10 minutes). But it doesn't seem like we're actually lagging that far behind you folks on the other side the the Atlantic in terms of how many of us actually do vote.

maizefolk

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5186
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #175 on: January 13, 2021, 06:54:35 AM »
A bit closer to being back on topic:

I work at a university and some of the people I work with will be teaching on Tuesday during the inauguration. They're worried enough about violence and unexpected outcomes that they're trying to come up with plans for what to do at what level. How bad can things get and you keep teaching class like nothing is happening? Is there a window where you acknowledge something is happening but go on with the lecture? When do you just cancel class entirely?

It's probably good planning to do anyway, better than trying to make the decision in the spur of the moment.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17199
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #176 on: January 13, 2021, 07:21:55 AM »
It's kinda embarrassing how difficult the US makes voting for it's citizens.  I can't think of any other democratic country that does it worse.
The problem is the generalizations. The "US" doesn't do voting at all. There's no such thing as a US election. What happens is 3142 county elections take place among all the states and D.C., each with its own rules and people running their local show. That's 3142 different voting authorities reporting up through a minimum of 51 state governments plus various other places like Guam, PR, and others that hold elections, just not for federal offices.

I've noticed a lot of people seem to not understand that the US is a lot like the EU in terms of just how much autonomy each individual state has, separate from the overall governing body. The US has more cohesion than the EU, but there's still a very clear separation between states in the same way that nations within the EU are clearly separate as well.

I'm fully aware of the Byzantine and totally unnecessary set of rules that have been implemented around voting - and have the temerity to argue that it's still stupid.  Elections should be standardized and held in the same manner across the country.  The current system is an embarrassment - and results are worse than basically every other democratic country I can think of.

ctuser1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1585
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #177 on: January 13, 2021, 08:18:31 AM »
It's kinda embarrassing how difficult the US makes voting for it's citizens.  I can't think of any other democratic country that does it worse.
The problem is the generalizations. The "US" doesn't do voting at all. There's no such thing as a US election. What happens is 3142 county elections take place among all the states and D.C., each with its own rules and people running their local show. That's 3142 different voting authorities reporting up through a minimum of 51 state governments plus various other places like Guam, PR, and others that hold elections, just not for federal offices.

I've noticed a lot of people seem to not understand that the US is a lot like the EU in terms of just how much autonomy each individual state has, separate from the overall governing body. The US has more cohesion than the EU, but there's still a very clear separation between states in the same way that nations within the EU are clearly separate as well.

I'm fully aware of the Byzantine and totally unnecessary set of rules that have been implemented around voting - and have the temerity to argue that it's still stupid.  Elections should be standardized and held in the same manner across the country.  The current system is an embarrassment - and results are worse than basically every other democratic country I can think of.

I actually like the lack of standardization part of the system design.

I think of it as microservices architecture pattern in system design. https://martinfowler.com/articles/microservices.html

You have a set of very loosely coupled, cooperating modules (=election process in individual counties) that eventually report using the same interface (=election results and counts).

The benefit of this type of architecture is security and maintainability. It would be maddeningly difficult for a bad actor to effective sabotage the process in a meaningful way.

It also makes things much easier to be replaced/updated.

---------------------------

As an aside, this pattern is the polar opposite of how blockchains work. Blockchain algorithms are impossible to update once they have been distributed everywhere. I once saw a jargon enthusiast on TV advocating for "blockchain based election security", and wanted to scream at the TV set.


Morning Glory

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1480
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #178 on: January 13, 2021, 08:21:57 AM »
A bit closer to being back on topic:

I work at a university and some of the people I work with will be teaching on Tuesday during the inauguration. They're worried enough about violence and unexpected outcomes that they're trying to come up with plans for what to do at what level. How bad can things get and you keep teaching class like nothing is happening? Is there a window where you acknowledge something is happening but go on with the lecture? When do you just cancel class entirely?

It's probably good planning to do anyway, better than trying to make the decision in the spur of the moment.

I was in college for 9/11. Heard about it in the radio while driving to school. They didn't cancel any classes, just carried on as normal but with an endless loop of CNN on the TVs in the common areas.

maizefolk

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5186
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #179 on: January 13, 2021, 08:27:44 AM »
A bit closer to being back on topic:

I work at a university and some of the people I work with will be teaching on Tuesday during the inauguration. They're worried enough about violence and unexpected outcomes that they're trying to come up with plans for what to do at what level. How bad can things get and you keep teaching class like nothing is happening? Is there a window where you acknowledge something is happening but go on with the lecture? When do you just cancel class entirely?

It's probably good planning to do anyway, better than trying to make the decision in the spur of the moment.

I was in college for 9/11. Heard about it in the radio while driving to school. They didn't cancel any classes, just carried on as normal but with an endless loop of CNN on the TVs in the common areas.

I was in high school. We had an all school assembly in the morning (I remember it was something about non-violent conflict resolution of all things) and then went back to our classrooms and heard what had happened. Class schedule went as normal the rest of the day, but with TVs tuned to news channels on in every classroom, so not a lot of instruction happened.

I guess I never really knew how much the "adult" work stopped or carried on that same day.

ericrugiero

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #180 on: January 13, 2021, 08:44:37 AM »
You couldn't do that the same day but I'm not sure we should allow someone to register to vote the day of the election.  It's not like the election date isn't known years ahead of time.  Publicize the last day to register and then vote two weeks later (or however long we need).  If someone isn't willing to register ahead of time (and we don't make it difficult) they aren't very motivated to vote. 

Just because an 18-year-old teen mom in Detroit, or a homeless in NYC is less motivated to vote, it does not necessarily follow that their voice is less important than that of a landed white farmer in a rural area.

Their vote is absolutely 100% as important as mine, yours or anyone else's.  I never said or meant to imply anything different.  But, I am very willing to spend an hour registering to vote to ensure a fair election and I would expect anyone who cares about democracy to do the same.

Not true at all.  In the American system, rural votes are more important than the 18 year old mom in Detroit, or the guy in NYC.  Rural votes count for more and are not equal.

That's not exactly how it works.  Votes in states with low total populations tend to be worth more.  The system doesn't discriminate based on rural vs urban. 
Votes in DC (no rural areas at all) are worth more than any state besides Wyoming.  Votes in rural Texas or California (there are lots or rural areas in Texas and California) are worth less than your mom in Detroit or guy in NYC just because of the large total number of voters in the state.  As a general rule, states with low populations do tend to be more rural but it's not really a rural vs urban thing.  Reference:  https://www.fairvote.org/population_vs_electoral_votes

OtherJen

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4137
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #181 on: January 13, 2021, 09:40:00 AM »
A bit closer to being back on topic:

I work at a university and some of the people I work with will be teaching on Tuesday during the inauguration. They're worried enough about violence and unexpected outcomes that they're trying to come up with plans for what to do at what level. How bad can things get and you keep teaching class like nothing is happening? Is there a window where you acknowledge something is happening but go on with the lecture? When do you just cancel class entirely?

It's probably good planning to do anyway, better than trying to make the decision in the spur of the moment.

Given the frequency of school shootings and the general contempt (I'm understating here) for higher education in the Trump cult, it's smart to plan for this.

I worked at a university in Detroit on 9/11. We screwed up our experimental setup that morning because we were glued to the radio (no TV, internet was overloaded). I went home for the day when the skyscrapers near my building were ordered to evacuate (as per the radio station based in one of those skyscrapers).

MilesTeg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1227
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #182 on: January 13, 2021, 10:30:35 AM »
One thing that I will definitely be changing going forward is how much of a cash emergency fund I keep. I've always been in the camp of keeping a very small cash fund (on the order of a couple weeks) and saying that I would rely on credit cards to cover other emergencies because it's not like the world's gunna end and my credit cards would no longer work right?

Well, within the last month we've had a terrorist attack against telecommunications infrastructure and a terrorist attack/insurrection against the U.S. Goverment. With a bit more competence and scale its possible that those events could have caused both a major disruption in banking and a major disruption in government operation simultaneously. Not exactly the world ending but a lot closer to a major social upheaval than I had previously considered likely.

cerat0n1a

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2040
  • Location: England
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #183 on: January 13, 2021, 11:44:43 AM »
In the most talked about presidential election ever, fewer than half of the US population voted. Of course, plenty of the population is too young, or too foreign, but there's still a sizeable proportion who couldn't or wouldn't vote.

In the 2019 UK general election 67.3% of registered voters voted. This was the election with Brexit on the line wasn't it? So it seems like folks should have been pretty motivated to turn out and vote.

In the 2020 US presidential election 66.7% of potentially eligible voters (including both registered voters and people who could have registered to vote and hadn't) voted. .

I certainly wouldn't hold the UK system up as an example to copy. It's comically archaic and unfit for purpose. Our first past the post system, means that in most places, there's not much point voting, as people have suggested about your vote counting for less in e.g. California. As this was the third general election in 4 years plus an extremely divisive referendum, most people were (and still are) pretty fed up of the whole thing and engagement with politics is at an all time low. Well under 10% of people watched the tv candidates' debate. No-one is going to be storming the Houses of Parliament to protest an election result here, that's for sure. The only saving grace of our system is that it was all done in a month.

The turnout figures are not like for like, in any case, as we have odd rules about who can vote in which election and you are allowed to be on the roll in multiple places (quite common for university students) but still only vote once. It's estimated that up to 4 million people could be on the roll in a particular constituency but not legally able to vote. It's not like Australia where turnout is typically well over 90%.

dang1

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #184 on: January 13, 2021, 11:49:57 AM »
One thing that I will definitely be changing going forward is h
....
 upheaval than I had previously considered likely.

https://www.ready.gov/kit
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days.

SachaFiscal

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #185 on: January 13, 2021, 01:13:52 PM »
I'm not really changing anything except like others have mentioned I'm keeping more cash than I used to (but I started doing that after the pandemic hit). After the pandemic I may make some trips up to Canada to see what life is like there in case we need to make a move up there in the future, but not seriously considering moving there yet.

The attack on the Capitol is very serious and eye opening to how misinformation has been used to manipulate a large number of people in this country to believe falsehoods (like election fraud, virus hoax, anti-mask, etc.). Social media as a tool has been used malevolently for political influence and power. 

But for me, things aren't so bad that I would consider relocating to a different country. I live in a blue state but in a neighborhood with some trump supporters.  I saw some Trump/Pence campaign signs up as I was walking around an adjacent neighborhood a couple weeks ago before the riots.  It made me nervous that so many people still believed in the election fraud conspiracy.  But this week walking around, I saw all those signs had been taken down.

I think the tide is turning on Trump. He's been banned from so many sites online. Many major corporations are cutting off contributions to him and congress members who support him. He is losing influence in the Republican party. Also Parler has been taken offline.  These things make me think things are going in the right direction.

It's important, though, that Trump and his violent followers must be made accountable for their crimes. To deter others from committing acts of violence against the government in the future.

I really think that it's gonna be okay, guys :)  Go outside, breathe some fresh air, spend some time with the insects and animals that have no clue about all this human drama.  May you be happy and healthy!

Cranky

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2780
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #186 on: January 13, 2021, 01:25:53 PM »
A bit closer to being back on topic:

I work at a university and some of the people I work with will be teaching on Tuesday during the inauguration. They're worried enough about violence and unexpected outcomes that they're trying to come up with plans for what to do at what level. How bad can things get and you keep teaching class like nothing is happening? Is there a window where you acknowledge something is happening but go on with the lecture? When do you just cancel class entirely?

It's probably good planning to do anyway, better than trying to make the decision in the spur of the moment.

I was in college for 9/11. Heard about it in the radio while driving to school. They didn't cancel any classes, just carried on as normal but with an endless loop of CNN on the TVs in the common areas.

My Dh was teaching and they actually closed the university and made everyone go home. I can’t think of any other time they’ve shut down like that.

The good news, such as it is, is that both of his classes right now are online anyway, and they’ll probably just shut the labs down.

John Galt incarnate!

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1991
  • Location: On Cloud Nine
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #187 on: January 13, 2021, 02:16:14 PM »
It's kinda embarrassing how difficult the US makes voting for it's citizens.  I can't think of any other democratic country that does it worse.
The problem is the generalizations. The "US" doesn't do voting at all. There's no such thing as a US election. What happens is 3142 county elections take place among all the states and D.C., each with its own rules and people running their local show. That's 3142 different voting authorities reporting up through a minimum of 51 state governments plus various other places like Guam, PR, and others that hold elections, just not for federal offices.

I've noticed a lot of people seem to not understand that the US is a lot like the EU in terms of just how much autonomy each individual state has, separate from the overall governing body. The US has more cohesion than the EU, but there's still a very clear separation between states in the same way that nations within the EU are clearly separate as well.

I'm fully aware of the Byzantine and totally unnecessary set of rules that have been implemented around voting - and have the temerity to argue that it's still stupid.  Elections should be standardized and held in the same manner across the country.  The current system is an embarrassment - and results are worse than basically every other democratic country I can think of.

AMENDMENT X [1791]

The powers not delegated to the United States  by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the  States respectively, or to the people.



The Framers dreaded  concentrations of power so they designed a government   consisting of a sovereign national government (federal government) and sovereign State governments.

 Under the Supremacy Clause all States must comply with federal law but under the 10th Amendment each State has  sovereignty over all other matters including the rules and administration of elections.

Each State's political subdivisions also have power to establish election procedures and how they are administrated.

My favorite explication of federalism is Justice Hugo Black's reverential embrace of it  in Younger.



Younger v. Harris (1971)

This underlying reason for restraining courts of equity from interfering with criminal prosecutions is reinforced by an even more vital consideration, the notion of "comity," that is, a proper respect for state functions, a recognition of the fact that the entire country is made up of a Union of separate state governments, and a continuance of the belief that the National Government will fare best if the States and their institutions are left free to perform their separate functions in their separate ways.


This, perhaps for lack of a better and clearer way to describe it, is referred to by many as "Our Federalism," and one familiar with the profound debates that ushered our Federal Constitution into existence is bound to respect those who remain loyal to the ideals and dreams of "Our Federalism."

The concept does not mean blind deference to "States' Rights" any more than it means centralization of control over every important issue in our National Government and its courts.

The Framers rejected both these courses.

What the concept does represent is a system in which there is sensitivity to the legitimate interests of both State and National Governments, and in which the National Government, anxious though it may be to vindicate and protect federal rights and federal interests, always endeavors to do so in ways that will not unduly interfere with the legitimate activities of the States.

It should never be forgotten that this slogan, "Our Federalism," born in the early struggling days of our Union of States, occupies a highly important place in our Nation's history and its future.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 02:36:06 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3412
  • Location: South Korea
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #188 on: January 13, 2021, 02:57:21 PM »
It's kinda embarrassing how difficult the US makes voting for it's citizens.  I can't think of any other democratic country that does it worse.
The problem is the generalizations. The "US" doesn't do voting at all. There's no such thing as a US election. What happens is 3142 county elections take place among all the states and D.C., each with its own rules and people running their local show. That's 3142 different voting authorities reporting up through a minimum of 51 state governments plus various other places like Guam, PR, and others that hold elections, just not for federal offices.

I've noticed a lot of people seem to not understand that the US is a lot like the EU in terms of just how much autonomy each individual state has, separate from the overall governing body. The US has more cohesion than the EU, but there's still a very clear separation between states in the same way that nations within the EU are clearly separate as well.

I'm fully aware of the Byzantine and totally unnecessary set of rules that have been implemented around voting - and have the temerity to argue that it's still stupid.  Elections should be standardized and held in the same manner across the country.  The current system is an embarrassment - and results are worse than basically every other democratic country I can think of.

Byzantine may be accurate and our lack of standardization frustrating, but worth noting that despite adding even more complexity this year with COVID, every state government reported a successful election with record turnouts.

Morning Glory

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1480
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #189 on: January 13, 2021, 07:39:58 PM »
I just looked and I will be teaching on inauguration day, but it's clinical at a hospital so I'm in more danger from Covid than terrorists 🙂. Too bad I won't get to watch the whole thing live 😟.

marble_faun

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 604
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #190 on: January 13, 2021, 11:25:44 PM »
It will take more than a MAGA mob to dismantle the the US.  We've had all kinds of domestic unrest over the years, including an actual civil war, and we're still here. 

As citizens of a democracy, we need to pay attention and to be ready to challenge authoritarian dictator-type rule.  But so far, at the highest level, the process is working.  Trump was voted out of office and will leave. 

It does seem like some of the MAGA rioters were part of organized extremist or domestic terror groups (Vanilla ISIS as we call them), but they are still very fringe-y and nothing new (Timothy McVeigh, Ammon Bundy, etc.).

To me, stockpiling ammo and awaiting a cataclysm just feeds the weird energy, like all the people who hoarded toilet paper back in March.  So I'm keeping informed, but otherwise just going about daily life.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 11:32:23 PM by marble_faun »

marble_faun

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 604
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #191 on: January 13, 2021, 11:40:42 PM »
P.S. Since we are on the MMM forum, I feel compelled to point out that there are survivalist businesses that prey on peoples' fears in order to sell stuff. 

Who are these consuma-suckers buying $$$ long guns?  An aluminum baseball bat is sufficient for most riot-defense needs. Plus you can play baseball with it! :-)

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3412
  • Location: South Korea
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #192 on: January 14, 2021, 12:11:45 AM »

Who are these consuma-suckers buying $$$ long guns?  An aluminum baseball bat is sufficient for most riot-defense needs. Plus you can play baseball with it! :-)

How else will I express my self validation at Starbucks without a $2000 rifle and $800 worth of attachments?

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4417
  • Age: 125
  • Location: Just past the red barn on the left.
  • Here to learn.
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #193 on: January 14, 2021, 08:38:13 AM »
Is it accurate to say that the USA is strong b/c the government survived the Civil War 158 years ago? That was very different time, very different knowledge levels, very different levels of technology, very different sensibilities.

I'm not sure anything before the 1950s is a good yardstick.

OzzieandHarriet

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 480
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #194 on: January 14, 2021, 09:18:44 AM »
Well, FWIW, the feds announced this morning that they are closing the National Mall entirely on Inauguration Day.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/national-mall-closed-inaugruation-day/2021/01/14/1ca4e540-561c-11eb-a817-e5e7f8a406d6_story.html

maizefolk

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5186
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #195 on: January 14, 2021, 09:46:42 AM »
Is it accurate to say that the USA is strong b/c the government survived the Civil War 158 years ago? That was very different time, very different knowledge levels, very different levels of technology, very different sensibilities.

I'm not sure anything before the 1950s is a good yardstick.

What's interesting is many modern systems of governments in the developed world don't have histories that stretch much past the 1950s. Germany is currently operating under a government that came into being in 1949, France in 1958 and so on.

Having an older system of government is both a good and a bad thing. It is bad because people are reluctant to fiddle with something that (mostly) works and has for centuries. I don't think the present government of the USA is likely to ever repeal the electoral college. Heck we couldn't even convince enough states to pass the ERA. It is good because people are reluctant to throw away something that mostly works and has for centuries and even if they should want to, they are also less likely to think they'd succeed when countless other attempts have failed over those same centuries of history.

It's worth remembering that at the time of the US civil war, there were still plenty of people alive who could remember the adoption of the US's system of government which made it a lot easier to think about getting rid of that system and putting a new one in its place.

OtherJen

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4137
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #196 on: January 14, 2021, 10:22:35 AM »
Well, FWIW, the feds announced this morning that they are closing the National Mall entirely on Inauguration Day.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/national-mall-closed-inaugruation-day/2021/01/14/1ca4e540-561c-11eb-a817-e5e7f8a406d6_story.html

Cue screaming from the Radical Right about "my property/my freeedom" in 3...2...1...

marble_faun

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 604
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #197 on: January 14, 2021, 11:37:11 AM »
Is it accurate to say that the USA is strong b/c the government survived the Civil War 158 years ago? That was very different time, very different knowledge levels, very different levels of technology, very different sensibilities.

I'm not sure anything before the 1950s is a good yardstick.

The Civil War helped make the central government as strong as it is now. 

But you don't have to look that far back.  In the 1960s we had tons of riots, assassinations, bombings, and major divisions between right and left, but eventually the situation normalized. 

Apart from a small minority of idealists, most Americans are not going to engage in any form of radical activity so long as they feel like their lives are stable and they have food on the table and a roof over their heads. So to me, the growing gulf between rich and poor is the most worrisome trend, beyond anything specifically to do with Trump right now (though he may be harnessing some of the anger). It's a slow-moving change, and we aren't in a situation of mass poverty and desperation yet, but if we keep going down this path, we could be heading into true revolution territory.

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14613
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #198 on: January 14, 2021, 11:47:28 AM »
I'm in no way a political scientist, and this is from an admittedly small sample. I have seen a lot of reform over the past half century when there was a peaceable civil protest movement, that also had a small but violent extreme group not necessarily endorsed by the peaceable side.  Basically people in power found it was safer to accede to the reasonable requests because otherwise the radical violent group would become stronger.  Think Black Panthers in the US, FLQ in Quebec/Canada, IRA in Northern Ireland, and I am sure people can come up with many more.

Right now, the US has the collision of the BLM and related issues (brown, First Nations, etc.) and the issue of blue collar jobs disappearing and people seeing their lives being worse than their parents'.  Plus the added social issues of environmental issues including but not limited to global climate change, Big Ag, and just general pollution, and the various social changes with changes in gender roles (I am lumping all the rainbow issues, gay marriage, access to abortion, access to social support [maternity leave, welfare, job protection, minimum wage laws, labour protection laws, etc. etc.], etc.).  It is a lot to handle all at once.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17199
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: America on the precipice: What are you doing?
« Reply #199 on: January 14, 2021, 02:31:20 PM »
Is it accurate to say that the USA is strong b/c the government survived the Civil War 158 years ago? That was very different time, very different knowledge levels, very different levels of technology, very different sensibilities.

I'm not sure anything before the 1950s is a good yardstick.

The Civil War helped make the central government as strong as it is now. 

But you don't have to look that far back.  In the 1960s we had tons of riots, assassinations, bombings, and major divisions between right and left, but eventually the situation normalized. 

Many of what you're describing was actually caused by the government though.  At least the CIA certainly did (and probably still are).  They did things like infiltrate pseudo-socialist group The Weathermen with their own people with the goal of making the group more radical and likely to perform terrorist attacks against citizens of the US . . . the reasoning being that this would reduce support for socialism.  And it worked great.  After the CIA radicalized the group the Weathermen started bombing stuff and lost public support.  It also helped lead to the tensions that caused the Kent State shooting.