March 19, 2019, 09:24:59 PM

Author Topic: Politics and other ailments of the real world  (Read 210030 times)

Offline xiagan

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2985 on: February 03, 2019, 08:32:07 PM »


"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2986 on: February 04, 2019, 06:26:04 PM »
Something I read that is super appropriate to the political climate we're living in - sorry for the length:

"Peace. Warm yourself, warrior, while I tell you of peace. History is unerring, and even the least observant mortal can be made to understand, through innumerable repetition. Do you see peace as little more than the absence of war? Perhaps, on a surface level, it is just that. But let me describe the characteristics of peace, my young friend. A pervasive dulling of the senses, a decadence afflicting the culture, evinced by a growing obsession with low entertainment. The virtues of extremity – honour, loyalty, sacrifice – are lifted high as shoddy icons, currency for the cheapest of labours. The longer peace lasts, the more those words are used, and the weaker they become. Sentimentality pervades daily life. All becomes a mockery of itself, and the spirit grows … restless.

Is this a singular pessimism? Allow me to continue with a description of what follows a period of peace. Old warriors sit in taverns, telling tales of vigorous youth, their pasts when all things were simpler, clearer cut. They are not blind to the decay all around them, are not immune to the loss of respect for themselves, for all that they gave for their king, their land, their fellow citizens.

The young must not be abandoned to forgetfulness. There are always enemies beyond the borders, and if none exist in truth, then one must be fashioned. Old crimes dug out of the indifferent earth. Slights and open insults, or the rumours thereof. A suddenly perceived threat where none existed before. The reasons matter not – what matters is that war is fashioned from peace, and once the journey is begun, an irresistible momentum is born.

The old warriors are satisfied. The young are on fire with zeal. The king fears yet is relieved of domestic pressures. The army draws its oil and whetstone. Forges blast with molten iron, the anvils ring like temple bells. Grain-sellers and armourers and clothiers and horse-sellers and countless other suppliers smile with the pleasure of impending wealth. A new energy has gripped the kingdom, and those few voices raised in objection are quickly silenced. Charges of treason and summary execution soon persuade the doubters.

Peace, my young warrior, is born of relief, endured in exhaustion, and dies with false remembrance. False? Ah, perhaps I am too cynical. Too old, witness to far too much. Do honour, loyalty and sacrifice truly exist? Are such virtues born only from extremity? What transforms them into empty words, words devalued by their overuse? What are the rules of the economy of the spirit, that civilization repeatedly twists and mocks?’

Erikson, Steven. Midnight Tides: 5 (The Malazan Book Of The Fallen) (pp. 328-329). Transworld. Kindle Edition.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2987 on: February 06, 2019, 10:28:27 PM »
In a bit of good news from the blight that is US politics, the Democrats taking back the House is starting to bear fruit. Since 2016 Republicans have blocked every single avenue into investigating the rampant corruption of Trump and his many cronies. They can no longer do that. This article on CNN lays out just how dramatically tides have shifted.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/06/politics/house-intelligence-transcripts-mueller/index.html

My prediction: Trump is out before the end of 2019 (if the Mueller report doesn't finish him, the investigations that the GOP can no longer block will) and McConnell/the GOP will claim they were against him all along, and lay the blame for every evil, reprehensible action they have championed purely at Trump's feet. The GOP will then, of course, say the biggest threat is "Democratic socialists!" (and every way they screwed their voters was all Trump, not them) and tell their brainwashed base voting Republican again is the only way to stop it.

And, I suspect, that brainwashed base will buy it hook, line, and sinker. We'll just have to hope the energy we had in 2018 carries over to 2020.

I am steadily feeling more confident we will finally get rid of Trump, though the huge amount of damage he (and the Republicans who used him) have done to our democracy and our most vulnerable will persist for decades, if not longer. As far as the thousands of innocent children Trump ordered abducted (and is now refusing to reunite with their parents because it's "too hard") ... they will live with the trauma of his actions for the rest of their lives.

Offline xiagan

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2988 on: February 07, 2019, 09:08:40 PM »


This is just the start, I guess. It's nice how they looked the wrong way when he was a racist, homophobic asshole but once he takes $400 out of their pocket they scream murder.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2989 on: February 07, 2019, 09:14:51 PM »
This is just the start, I guess. It's nice how they looked the wrong way when he was a racist, homophobic asshole but once he takes $400 out of their pocket they scream murder.

Yup. The only thing that will snap them out of their blind devotion to Trump is when he starts directly hurting them, both financially and otherwise. I have no sympathy for these people, as they were 100% fine with him hurting anyone who was not them (and even over a thousand innocent children) until they personally were affected. But it's reassuring to see his blind cult members *finally* starting to turn on him, and I think it's why McConnell will dump him before 2020.

The tax plan that screwed these people was actually McConnell, not Trump - Trump simply rubber stamped it into law because he knew he'd benefit - but I'm certain McConnell will have no problem making these people THINK it was Trump, and will easily get their votes again in 2020 by lying and saying he never supported the bill he passed.

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2990 on: February 17, 2019, 12:26:31 PM »

I saw this circulating elsewhere. It's incredibly scathing, but too irresistible not to post, so I put it in spoiler tags.


Spoiler for Hiden:

Someone asked "Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?"

Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England, wrote this magnificent response:

"A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

'My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set."


Offline xiagan

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2991 on: February 17, 2019, 01:16:27 PM »
This is great. Haven't seen someone murdered by words so thoroughly in a while.

Got something too:


And for you Brexiteers:

"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2992 on: February 18, 2019, 08:55:08 PM »

I saw this circulating elsewhere. It's incredibly scathing, but too irresistible not to post, so I put it in spoiler tags.


Spoiler for Hiden:

Someone asked "Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?"

Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England, wrote this magnificent response:

"A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

'My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set."


100% all of this. I loathe anyone who voted for and supports this orange asshole, and that includes my so-called "countrymen". MAGA supporters are, without exception, absolutely terrible people.

Online Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2993 on: February 18, 2019, 10:18:14 PM »

I saw this circulating elsewhere. It's incredibly scathing, but too irresistible not to post, so I put it in spoiler tags.


Spoiler for Hiden:

Someone asked "Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?"

Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England, wrote this magnificent response:

"A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

'My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set."


A little while back John Cleese summed it up more simply: "These are the stupidest people you will ever meet."

It is absolutely astonishing that so many people can look at this profoundly weak man and see strength. But they see themselves in him, don't they? I've seen street interviews with these freaks, and they live in a bubble of deliberate ignorance, fear and resulting lack of empathy. From what I can tell they simply don't WANT to be a part of a larger world, or to use their reason. They want to operate on emotion, their angry, petty gut feelings and pretend that it's reason by concocting scenarios. Seeing all this unfold I've wondered what American society can even do about these folks, since there seems to be no reaching out to them, and they're fed a steady diet of opinion reinforcements by their chosen mediums.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 10:38:58 PM by Eli_Freysson »
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2994 on: February 19, 2019, 03:18:23 PM »
Seeing all this unfold I've wondered what American society can even do about these folks, since there seems to be no reaching out to them, and they're fed a steady diet of opinion reinforcements by their chosen mediums.

I don't think there is anything we can do to bring these folks back, at this point. They're basically a lost cause. The only way forward is to isolate them as much as possible (outvote them) and push back as hard as we can against the Republican voter suppression, gerrymandering, and other dirty tricks that allowed these ignorant angry racists to have an outsized voice in our politics.

Essentially, we have to ensure that the majority (many of whom haven't voted in the past) continue to stay motivated, keep voting, and keep these idiots as far away as possible from real political power until they all die off. I don't see any other solution. The GOP has brainwashed them beyond recovery.

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2995 on: February 19, 2019, 04:31:00 PM »
Bernie announced he's running and already my Facebook feed is full of people who supported Clinton in the last election vomiting vitriol. In fact the only reason I even knew he's running is from posts by angry centrists

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2996 on: February 19, 2019, 09:49:59 PM »
Bernie announced he's running and already my Facebook feed is full of people who supported Clinton in the last election vomiting vitriol. In fact the only reason I even knew he's running is from posts by angry centrists

Just a reminder that we've since learned many of the folks who people thought were divisive "Bernie Bros" in 2016 were actually Russian trolls. I reposted this from MAGA Reddit today.

https://twitter.com/girlsreallyrule/status/1094690511011672064

All I'd say is before we say progressives are splitting (again) we make sure the people screaming on both sides are actually progressives and not MAGA trolls or Russian bots.

EDIT: There's no indication he plans to run as an independent (thus splitting the progressive vote) and I think he knows better. While I'd prefer someone younger and less old/white, I will 100% support him if he wins the nomination.

To be fair, I'd support a potato if it was up against Trump. :p
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 09:52:08 PM by tebakutis »

Offline Peat

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2997 on: February 19, 2019, 10:21:28 PM »
Ah, truly, there is nothing more 'entertaining' that a circular firing squad on the left.

Which segues perfectly into the latest going on in British politics, where a group of 7 MPs have left the Labour party with the intent of setting up a new political party.

Now there's a lot of thoughts I have on that, but the main one is the fear that it will make life much easier for the Conservatives. Who knows? Maybe this new centrist group will start to make inroads into the Tories where there's a number of MPs at risk of deselection but I'm not exactly sanguine. There's certainly enough people in this country longing for a more centrist choice than the two stark raving poles of insanity, but first past the post isn't kind to that. And the forerunners aren't exactly impressive. But then, neither's the competition!

Of course this has been a long time coming. They - and a number of other Labour MPs - clearly don't want Corbyn as Prime Minister. And, tbf, the feeling's been pretty mutual in terms of wanting them in the party. I guess its not in the nature of the left to grin and bear it in the name of power. Or, in this case, be mature adults.

Anyway. Should be interesting.

And I managed that without swearing!

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2998 on: February 20, 2019, 07:53:25 AM »
And I managed that without swearing!
Well done! ;D

I'm minimising my exposure to politics at the moment, for the sake of my wellbeing...
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Offline Neveesandeh

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2999 on: February 20, 2019, 04:01:16 PM »
Three Conservatives left today to join the independent group, plus one more from Labour.