January 19, 2018, 09:38:17 AM

Author Topic: Politics and other ailments of the real world  (Read 126864 times)

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2535 on: December 17, 2017, 07:02:09 PM »
You folks could always move to Akureyri.

Almost no crime, small enough to be quiet and big enough to offer every service, and a lovely geothermal swimming pool. Sure, the climate kind of sucks, but you can't have everything.

No joke, I have been trying to get my wife to agree to move out of the US for years now. I hate the gun culture here (and the acceptance of mass shootings), and the complete denial of reality by right-wingers, and the terrifyingly bad healthcare system and focus on the rich over the poor. As children in the US we are constantly indoctrinated by being told "The US is the best country in the world!" when in fact it has serious flaws.

I actually have a pretty good shot at getting a job in Sweden or Norway. Both have game companies that are hiring designers, and my master's allows them to hire me despite being a foreigners. Several of my friends have gone on to work for companies out there, so it's definitely a possibility.

But my wife went through college, grad school, and a got her Ph.D. so she could get her position as a tenured professor, and she really doesn't want to leave that (she loves the work). So my hope now is to convince Emma to study aboard when she turns 18 and hope she finds someone she likes while outside the US and decides to get married and stay there. At least then, I can get my child (and grandchildren) out of this backwards country. :p

Offline Peat

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2536 on: December 17, 2017, 07:40:49 PM »

Great points Peat! I think you're right, what we're seeing with the dems is a common problem between progressives elements in countries all over the world and the parties that "represent" them while... not doing so. And yeah of course as you mention the wing in power is going to emphasize similarities and be like "why can't we all get along?" while happily ignoring the answer to that question.

So why aren't centrist politicians just republicans? Well the long answer goes to subtle differences in ideologies, but the short answer is that they are often representing neoliberal interests in gerrymandered zones where a republican can't win (but there are also plenty of cases where a Repub could have won and the candidate simply didn't have a network w/in the Rep party infrastructure. Corporate interests generally fund both sides of competitive elections).  In CA state politics they're called "moderate Dems". They still want to gut environmental protections, block civil rights protections and ensure corporate unaccountability.  The difference between the repubs and these Moderate Dems is basically that the language they use to do it, and the fact that their district would never vote Repub esp in a national election.

Okay, first off, these gigantic posts? These are why you're always in the "How many words didn't you write" thread :P (I keed, I keed).

First point - yup. Although I'd add there's a pretty big issue in terms of many socially progressive people being fiscally conservative and a growing number of fiscally progressive people being fairly conservative on social issues, particularly migration. Being progressive, being liberal, that covers a whole range of stuff and its not always mutually compatible.

Which is why I think there's gotta be a two way street. Are the big progressive parties representing a lot of progressives in the way they want to be represented? No. But either the left gets into the big tent and accept there's going to be some pretty major differences, or they sign away power to the right for the next gods knows how long. And you never know what happens when you give away power.

Of course, you never know what might happen if you stick to your principles through thick and thin and see where the winds of fate blow. It sounds nasty, but the financial crash was the best thing to happen to some of the left in a long, long time.

As for the centrist democrats - why not move to a more Republican place? (Genuine question as much as anything - relocating for politics is acceptable here, but I don't know about there). I suspect you're underselling the long answer, and focusing too much on fiscal conservatism in socially progressive folks.

Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2537 on: December 17, 2017, 07:58:34 PM »

The politics thread is definitely an "American politics" thread. As far as I'm concerned, I never understood why everyone was rooting for Bernie Sanders, the Internet had the hits for him, and suddenly forced him down for Clinton who came out of nowhere and had the charm of a boiled potato. To this day I wonder if Bernie would have won...

At the beginning of the primary I thought Clinton would hands down be a more viable candidate against Trump.  Then Bernie raised more money from the grassroots than any candidate in history.  By the end of the primary (esp. considering the corruption scandal) it seemed clear to me that Bernie had the power to mobilize an enormous quantity of nonvoters Clinton had no access to, meanwhile the centrist Repubs she was courting simply didn't vote for her.  In retrospect I firmly believe Bernie would have won the election.

Sorry about the Americaness. Ok, I'm going to get back to my true love: playing Skyrim in comfy sweatpants while eating ice cream.
I have to comment on this. And I'm going to get shot.

If Berney had won the primary, I would've gone out and voted for Trump, accepting the terrible things he would do. And I have a lot of friends here in Georgia that say the same thing.

That actually might have been better for the country though. It would've been a Capitalism VS. Socialism election, and the turn-out would've been huge. then we would really find out where people want this country to go, and start there.

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2538 on: December 17, 2017, 11:07:51 PM »
I have to comment on this. And I'm going to get shot.

Haha you forget that the liberals want gun control!  I wouldn't want Trump to win but totally respect your right to make your choice @ultamentkiller

But that's a good point-- maybe more Repub nonvoters would have come out to vote against Bernie and he woulda lost too.  (PS-- I'm not a socialist btw and I still love Bernie-- just saying)

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2539 on: December 17, 2017, 11:32:22 PM »
Oh how us Europeans laugh at American political definitions and the 1950's discredited concepts still hold you in thrall 70 years later. It is like generational brainwashing.

Socialism is such a scary word a country practising it may build roads, hospitals and schools from the public purse for the benefit of the populous. Employ a standing army and police force and work in general towards a better nation for those who live there. The political system in Europe generally being described as Liberal Socialism. In the UK 98 billion (roughly 2/3rds of tax revenue) is spent in the social state. That's education healthcare, pensions, infrastructure etc. We spend a smaller proportion than many European and Scandinavian countries.

When an American mentions socialism they are in general referring to something to the right of centre in European politics and usually in their own self interest that must be done down and done away with. A witch hunt is always an option for the ironic icing on the cake.

So when you scream socialism it's often an attack on ideology that asks awkward questions like if we are 30% of the worlds economy and the richest nation how come so many live in poverty? Or now the richest in the nation have there tax cut how much longer will it take to pay off the 20 trillion national debt? Or can we have a fairer society if we do things differently?

When medical aid is reduced yet again to being for those who can afford it you can always tell yourselves at least there was no socialism involved and you don't want that sort of thing here?

Now American banks believe in socialism, they received massive amounts of government money because they were all too big to fail and having their bailouts and nobody going to prison has pretty much ensured that it will happen again.

Perhaps cui bono is the question. This irrational fear of an ideology keeps you at the mercy of an economic system that at best has no regard for you and at worse puts your needs beneath the drive for profit.
 

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2540 on: December 18, 2017, 12:32:21 AM »
So, from the people I've been reading, next week in the US is going to be scary AF.

For those who haven't been following closely, Special Counsel Robert Mueller (a Republican) was appointed by AG Rod Rosenstein (a Republican appointed by Trump) to investigate the Russia collusion story after Trump fired James Comey (also a Republican). Thus far, Mueller has indicted and flipped several people lower in Trump's circle, including Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos, who Trump's team learned was cooperating with Mueller's team for some time before it was announced (meaning he may have been wearing a wire).

Both Flynn and Papadopoulos were given sentences far lighter than the charges, suggesting they cut a deal by providing evidence incriminating those above them (scuttlebutt says that's Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law). If Kushner is indicted (which also might happen next week) odds are good he will immediately flip for Mueller to save himself, and the only person he could flip on is ... you guessed it ... Trump.

Needless to say, Mueller's team has been closing in on increasingly damaging conduct leading all the way to Trump.
In response to Mueller's actions, for weeks now, Fox News and Republicans loyal to Trump have been pushing the "Mueller is corrupt" angle as the pressure mounted on Trump. The plan was to give Trump cover among their base for firing Mueller, which, while not legal, he may still do (or he may just fire AGs until he appoints one who will fire Mueller). Either way, if Trump fires Mueller or fires AGs and appoints a flunky to do it, it could set off a constitutional crisis. No one really knows what will happen at this point.

But, it gets worse. It was recently revealed that Mueller's team legally obtained like 50,000 e-mails from Trump's transition team that Trump's transition team didn't know he had. They thought those e-mails had been hidden. This mean's Trump's team (who Mueller's team spent the last week interviewing) just learned that Mueller had all of the information in those e-mails when he interviewed them, information they were certain he *didn't* have. This also means if anyone on Trump's team lied (which is highly likely, given how stupid most of them are) they now know Mueller *knows* they lied, which terrifies them.

Today, in an unprecedented display of crazy time, Fox News (which acts as Trump's official mouthpiece) actually told all their unhinged viewers, in an equally unhinged segment, that Mueller is attempting to stage a coup (they actually used that language!) with false evidence. They claim Mueller's only goal is to unlawfully frame Trump and disenfranchise every Trump voter out there, and are loudly suggesting Trump immediately fire Mueller and purge the FBI, CIA, and other government agencies of "traitors" who want to "destroy the US government".

This is actually happening. A major news organization in the US is now literally saying a Republican appointed by a Republican after Trump fired another Republican is STAGING A COUP against the United States government. All this after Trump floated the idea of establishing his own security force of spies answerable only to him. It's terrifying. As of now, rumors state Trump might actually fire Mueller next week, and Fox News' recent escalation in insane rhetoric about Mueller being a traitor executing a coup supports that. 

So, next week could either be the start of the end of Trump's insane term in office ... or the start of the dissolution of American democracy.

Links:
Sample of Fox News rhetoric about removing Mueller (all of their "facts" are BS)
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/17/gregg-jarrett-muellers-allegedly-lawless-acts-have-corrupted-his-probe-and-demand-his-removal.html

Write up of today's coup segment:
https://splinternews.com/fox-news-accuses-fbi-mueller-of-coup-to-overthrow-tr-1821366749

Quote
“So the investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign has been crooked from the jump,” Watters said. “But the scary part is we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters. Now, if that’s true, we have a coup on our hands in America.”
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 12:39:17 AM by tebakutis »

Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2541 on: December 18, 2017, 12:49:51 AM »
Oh how us Europeans laugh at American political definitions and the 1950's discredited concepts still hold you in thrall 70 years later. It is like generational brainwashing.

Socialism is such a scary word a country practising it may build roads, hospitals and schools from the public purse for the benefit of the populous. Employ a standing army and police force and work in general towards a better nation for those who live there. The political system in Europe generally being described as Liberal Socialism. In the UK 98 billion (roughly 2/3rds of tax revenue) is spent in the social state. That's education healthcare, pensions, infrastructure etc. We spend a smaller proportion than many European and Scandinavian countries.

When an American mentions socialism they are in general referring to something to the right of centre in European politics and usually in their own self interest that must be done down and done away with. A witch hunt is always an option for the ironic icing on the cake.

So when you scream socialism it's often an attack on ideology that asks awkward questions like if we are 30% of the worlds economy and the richest nation how come so many live in poverty? Or now the richest in the nation have there tax cut how much longer will it take to pay off the 20 trillion national debt? Or can we have a fairer society if we do things differently?

When medical aid is reduced yet again to being for those who can afford it you can always tell yourselves at least there was no socialism involved and you don't want that sort of thing here?

Now American banks believe in socialism, they received massive amounts of government money because they were all too big to fail and having their bailouts and nobody going to prison has pretty much ensured that it will happen again.

Perhaps cui bono is the question. This irrational fear of an ideology keeps you at the mercy of an economic system that at best has no regard for you and at worse puts your needs beneath the drive for profit.
 

I just don't want free college. I'm all for college loans, loan-forgiveness for needed jobs, and forgiving loans for demographics with a high unemployment rate. But free college? My Bachelor's degree is potentially worth shit since lots of people have one. The masters is the new bachelors as they say. Make it even easier for people to get? Great. And then I'm paying for someone else to go to college and party for a semester for the rest of my life. Not interested. The rest of it I could probably easily be swayed on, since I'm mostly ignorant.

I will say my perspective on health care has changed. I'm all for it, so long as it's done in an efficient way. So far I haven't seen a proposed health care system that would do that. Maybe the one where the states manage it with federal and state-funding, and set minimum requirements for coverage, but I haven't done enough research on the topic.

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2542 on: December 18, 2017, 01:19:00 AM »
Quote
All this after Trump floated the idea of establishing his own security force of spies answerable only to him.

But every fascist state has it's own secret police answerable to it's leader and not the rule of law....

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2543 on: December 18, 2017, 01:33:21 AM »
And putting Newspeak1984 into practice?

“Stories are made up by people who make them up. If they work, they get retold. There's the magic of it.”
 Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2544 on: December 18, 2017, 03:37:26 AM »
But free college? My Bachelor's degree is potentially worth shit since lots of people have one.
Just bringing the cost down to the value.
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"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2545 on: December 18, 2017, 04:20:37 AM »
Quote
I just don't want free college. I'm all for college loans, loan-forgiveness for needed jobs, and forgiving loans for demographics with a high unemployment rate. But free college?

Yeah who would want that!
The college costs are paid from taxes. Upon graduation your earning potential is increased by a third and subsequently you pay more tax to educate the next lot through the system. Who loses?

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2546 on: December 18, 2017, 05:38:24 AM »
You folks could always move to Akureyri.

Almost no crime, small enough to be quiet and big enough to offer every service, and a lovely geothermal swimming pool. Sure, the climate kind of sucks, but you can't have everything.

@Eli_Freysson and @Nora you guys are sweet!  Eli, does that mean I have to marry you too?  Maybe Teb's family and I can stay in your basement...

Quote
I just don't want free college. I'm all for college loans, loan-forgiveness for needed jobs, and forgiving loans for demographics with a high unemployment rate. But free college?

Yeah who would want that!
The college costs are paid from taxes. Upon graduation your earning potential is increased by a third and subsequently you pay more tax to educate the next lot through the system. Who loses?

@ultamentkiller as someone who's taught college courses, that system is royally f*ed up too.  Check this out:

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

And the money doesn't go to profs, 25% of PhDs are on food stamps. Some get paid per course (aka minimum wage) those that have salaries haven't seen salary increases since the 1970s.  The price of education is higher than it's ever been, but it all goes to bloated administrations.

@Rostum Re: socialism--
Spoiler for Hiden:
it's a tricky concept. You're right that it's critics tend to be echoing 1950s propaganda, but it's proponents in the US tend to be equally polarized and there are some things there worth criticizing. I think it worked well in Europe but Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia didn't have the same experience.

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2547 on: December 18, 2017, 06:51:58 AM »


Okay, first off, these gigantic posts? These are why you're always in the "How many words didn't you write" thread :P (I keed, I keed).

@Peat the real reason I'm not writing can be found in the Skyrim thread:
http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?topic=9929.msg180625#msg180625

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2548 on: December 18, 2017, 08:54:36 AM »

@Eli_Freysson and @Nora you guys are sweet!  Eli, does that mean I have to marry you too?  Maybe Teb's family and I can stay in your basement...

I'm afraid I don't have one. You'd have to camp on my balcony. :)
I'll notify your next of kin... that you sucked!

Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2549 on: December 18, 2017, 07:49:27 PM »
But free college? My Bachelor's degree is potentially worth shit since lots of people have one.
Just bringing the cost down to the value.
This made me laugh really hard. Fair point. But paying for bachelor's degrees could trigger paying for Masters degrees. To be fair though, I'm not sure many would have the willpower to keep going, so that could be worth it.

Quote
I just don't want free college. I'm all for college loans, loan-forgiveness for needed jobs, and forgiving loans for demographics with a high unemployment rate. But free college?

Yeah who would want that!
The college costs are paid from taxes. Upon graduation your earning potential is increased by a third and subsequently you pay more tax to educate the next lot through the system. Who loses?

@ultamentkiller as someone who's taught college courses, that system is royally f*ed up too.  Check this out:

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

And the money doesn't go to profs, 25% of PhDs are on food stamps. Some get paid per course (aka minimum wage) those that have salaries haven't seen salary increases since the 1970s.  The price of education is higher than it's ever been, but it all goes to bloated administrations.

@Rostum Re: socialism--
Spoiler for Hiden:
it's a tricky concept. You're right that it's critics tend to be echoing 1950s propaganda, but it's proponents in the US tend to be equally polarized and there are some things there worth criticizing. I think it worked well in Europe but Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia didn't have the same experience.
Interesting. This has not been my experience in 2017. I agree the system is screwed up, but it's not like they're not telling you. When I applied for loans, I had to read all of these things that took about an hour. They mentioned over and over again how you shouldn't take out more than you need. they mentioned what happens if you default and cosign. And students who take a basic financial course should know that you never pay the minimum amount on any loan.

I think the problem here is that too many students and parents aren't reading all of the terms and conditions. They're tough to get through, but it's worth it. Beyond that, high schools aren't offering enough classes to help students figure it out. I think we should return to the way it was before the 90s so that there's more responsibility in choosing who gets loans so it doesn't help increase the ever-increasing national debt, but right now, Republicans are too concerned with the size of government to think how the bureaucracy is required for an ever-growing country.

As for the ridiculous costs for college, I understand where part of it is coming from. In the 70s and 80s, students put up with being crammed in a room with another person that you can touch both walls by reaching out. Now, almost every college I see in Georgia has elaborate rooms with fancy bathrooms. And of course the food in the cafeteria must be really really good. And what about that fancy gym with the Olympic- sized swimming pool and the diving board? How could we possibly go to school without that. Administrators definitely get paid too much, but part of the problem is with the parents and the students themselves. We love our luxuries to the point we're willing to go into more debt to have them.