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Simon Steele

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About Simon Steele

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    Mr. Fancy Pants
  • Birthday 05/28/1979

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  1. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Yeah, he drives me nuts. With AOC, I see a young, bright person who may make some missteps but wants to do good by people. With Lieberman? He supported the death penalty, he loved vouchers as a "solution" to public schools, oh, and of course, he seemed to think No Child Left Behind was just a wonderful idea. All of those things support the wealthy and hurt the poor.
  2. Have you played any of the Far Cry games (or Assassin's Creed)? It reminds me a ton of those games but with a more complicated combat system. I like Horizon a lot--it's an open world game full of icons and that kind of gameplay is super addictive for me. Everyone says it is a beautiful game, but I thought it felt...I don't know, everything kind of blended together. I spent almost thirty minutes on a tutorial mission because I couldn't find the guy I was following (or his marker). Everything was so blended together, I couldn't make out the details. But it's a fun game.
  3. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Wow, that seems really weak of him. He starts out strong and based on what he says, you feel like he should end with, "The prospects of me ever accepting a job from him are remote."
  4. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Look, I know you think she's the greatest ever, but she's not liberal. I try not to hold it against anyone who was conservative in their youth--people can change, but she didn't let go of so many conservative beliefs that I don't know how anyone could believe she isn't center/center right. That she was so cozy with Wall Street kind of takes away her "leftist" card. It's time to move on from Hillary. Republicans have been moving to the right for decades, and that is why Hillary exists right there in the center. If not to the right. Anyone who is as hawkish as she gets automatic R next to their name.
  5. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Maybe HeartofIce meant the new right. Hillary was definitely center-right of the George Bush party, but the Republican party really doesn't seem to match that anymore. That's how I took it, anyway.
  6. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Haha, my life is this stuff. I guess I should be on break...back to course work next week.
  7. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    I think Peterson has potential to derail this thread too, but I also believe he is a kind of perfect example of what conservative "reasonable" politics have become in America. I don't want to derail the thread, but I do think a systematic deconstruction of the walking fallacy that is JP might help us better understand the nightmare the U.S. has become. That's just me though.
  8. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    It's interesting too--Peterson really "hit" at the right time, when the alt right (which I use interchangeably with these conservatives who live and die at Trump's altar--they are mostly white men who don't believe they are racist, but instead, are horribly discriminated against) came out of the woodwork. I think this talk of Peterson as an alpha male is interesting too. He looks like Mr. Peanut when he gets on stage (he just needs a monocle and cane), he's not tough, and he gets whiny and aggressive when people review his work negatively. The idea of the alpha male (a philosophy created between bench press reps) indicates they are precisely the evolutionary answer to saving humanity from all the beta weakness our PC culture is creating. Peterson seems to have embraced this view of strength. I'm sure he's taking MMA lessons in his spare time. But natural selection does not work the way the "Alpha Male Doctrine" thinks. Natural selection removes those groups who cannot adapt to new environments. If the new environment is a PC culture that prides itself on striving toward enlightenment, then the alpha male is doomed to go instinct. This seems to be it. White people (really a significant percentage of white men) seem terrified of the prospect of the world changing. For the first time in (ever?) white men are forced to consider aspects of their privilege that they've had the luxury of ignoring. You just showed me why this argument is useless. Yikes. That analogy is terrifying.
  9. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    White nationalists love that his "individualism" just so happens to be him fighting against the rights of marginalized groups. His arguments against transgender law also applies to arguments against equal opportunity laws and laws created in the civil rights era to protect marginalized persons. It doesn't matter if he "endlessly" (or twice) criticizes the alt right. Something in his "logic" has attracted them to his cause, and as an academic, he should be willing to stop and say, "Why am I attracting these people?" But like I said, by and large, his biggest group of supporters are young white men who feel powerless in this scary world. They believe that making your bed in the morning and standing up straight is just the thing to fix their lives. His views on gay couples raising children, on modern women's unhappiness being formed by feminism--that women are ignoring their biological needs, are the kind of conservative talking points you see on Fox News. His support of "borders" and "limited immigration" go flat in the face of individualism. He assigns collective tags to an entire group of people: Latinx. Limited immigration might impact all immigrants, but a border only impacts one specific demographic. They are a collective mass to him, they are not individuals. His logic is so faulty and broken at the core, I don't know what to tell you. He doesn't even do the reading on epistemological viewpoints he vehemently tries to attack. He is the epitome of conservative philosophy: positions that support the further marginalization of anyone who is not a white male. But go to his lectures, keep paying him his money, and continue to watch the world around you change in ways you aren't comfortable with (even though you made your bed everything morning and stood up straight more often).
  10. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    It's weird how much Peterson supporters hate the fact that when alt-righters see him, they get hearts in their eyes. Tells you something is wrong with his approach. But he's also the philosopher of young lost white men who need a role model in these "difficult times for white men."
  11. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    I see--thank you for clarifying. I've felt the same way too about many politicians. I don't know. Such a cluster at this point that things seem grim. I like your point about young people growing up with it, and I hope that younger generations have developed skeptical eyes toward the barrage of BS they're bombarded with. My son is 14 now, and he's always coming to me about memes and Youtube videos he sees. He seems to know something is wrong with the arguments he's seeing (anti-women/trans/and everything else). I'm glad he wants to work through it. I hope this is true of most kids. I have trouble with the quote system too. The biggest distinction to make between postmodernism and neo-Marxism (which puts them directly in opposition) is that postmodernism deals with the view that no canonical truth exists--only viewpoints. Neo-Marxism may take aspects of this, but people like Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas, and the rest would argue they are pressing against a false canonical "truth" but there is a truth worth pursuing that will put the world right. Postmodernists deconstruct and lack activism while neo-Marxists take accepted "truths" (I like the term ideology better) and try to show how those ideologies are harmful. The neo-Marxists would argue that we can make positive change through political action. I have a definition from a text that seems reductive but maybe helpful--that this line of thinking calls current ideology into question, and then it initiates action. Neo-Marxism can be seen as a melding of practical theory with social action. Postmodernists would (likely) say you can't uncover and evaluate ideology (or for them power). Power doesn't exist as a reality imbued with meaning that needs uncovered, but instead it is a...thing(?) that just exists and it generates reality and meaning. Everything is impacted by it (positively or negatively) from the biggest aspects of society and culture down to the fiber of an individual. Foucault argued that you can't view power as a force of repression--that is too reductive. Instead, power just produces our reality. So all you can do is engage with the dominant arguments/discourses from within this wide reaching force of power. Ultimately, one thing will be replaced with another. I think another way of viewing this is through structuralism and post-structuralism. Structuralists (really Saussure) argued about the signifier and the signified. This gets so complicated though because what we are talking about is how language functions--nothing more. Signifier and signified are "word" and "concept." The concept (a horse) exists with the word created for it. They are inextricably linked. While post-structuralists would say that word and concept exist very much apart from each other. With that said, postmodernists align with poststructuralists (for the most part), and here is where I am making a leap (I can't confirm this, but I bet it could be confirmed), but Marxists and neo-Marxists are structuralists. They see the world in very different ways. A postmodernist presidential candidate, then, would not likely be the best choice because no matter what he/she did or promoted, it would be contributing to the rise of another dominant discourse. A neo-Marxist believes positive change can occur, and ultimately, any Marxist believes a Utopian society does exist. In some ways, I might argue Trump is a postmodernist in how he constantly changes what the truth is. There is no (T)ruth. It's a discourse he's in control of. But a neo-Marxist is adamantly against this. Truths do exist, and we can push back against the ideologies of someone like Trump. I think this is useful to remember as we roll toward another election cycle. The ideologies we allow to shape how we see the world always need to be evaluated. Twenty years ago, it was progressive to say homosexuality was not a choice--you were born one way or another. A new (non-scientific) approach says it is a choice. Binaries and social action force us to choose, but that this is constraining on freedom. It's interesting--where saying homosexuality was once a choice was considered repressive, now that idea has been wrestled with and reformatted to allow individuals more freedom (in theory). Obviously, I love this stuff, but I always feel like we have to be careful when people like Peterson come along with a "simple" solution for all society's ills. His lumping of Marxism and postmodernism is the kind of re-crafting of truth someone like Trump does all the time. It is uniformed, it paints the other side as the Enemy, and it is very political. In conclusion ( ), Slavoj Zizek does a great analysis of the 1988 John Carpenter classic They Live where he likens Rowdy Roddy Piper's sunglasses that see through the illusion aliens have created as sunglasses that allow Piper to see through ideology and observe the world in its true state. A postmodernist would scoff at the notion that such a real world exists!
  12. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    I'd say Jordan Peterson is their "philosopher" and he's leading the charge on these poor Nietzsche readings. Strangely, though, Nietzsche really is a post modernist. I'd also argue the left is very much post modernist in their approach to identity. The removal of binary lines from things like gender, for example, are not only a project started by Nietzsche (to be clear--the removal of binaries in general) but were picked up by Foucault. Jordan Peterson's biggest rant against liberals is their allegiance to "Neo-Marxist-post-modernist" professors who infect the youth. While there is no neo-Marxist-also-post-modernist out there (very different theories and epistemology in terms of what they intend to impact), I would agree that post modernism is beginning to win big in the Democratic party. I think this is a good thing. But this is precisely where we see the Democratic rift. I'll put more below. I'm not sure there is a Sanders affiliated media (maybe some specific outlets are more in line with him), but even this one you post kind of gets it wrong. In some ways, I am exactly the kind of supporter they allege: I am a Marxist (not a socialist necessarily). I believe the Presidency is about the ideology of either heavily chaining down OR dismantling capitalism (as we know it). Sanders is in an argument against the monetary system that governs this country, and that, to me, is the biggest flaw in this country. However, when Sanders lost the primary, me and my little coven of communists (we meet at craft breweries and talk Marx) all sucked it in and said, "Hillary it is then." We aren't some cabal of (complete) lunatics. We all saw Hillary as fundamentally better than Trump. She wasn't fighting the battle we were interested in, but she was a step closer, we figured. A lot of the Sanders stuff seems really strange. See below: Which people haven't come up with new things? Do you mean Sanders? His team? Or his supporters? In terms of supporters, anyone with a Marxist philosophy has plenty of new ideas, and we see Sanders as a good step in the right direction, but he is trapped in classic Marxist belief patterns: All society's ills can and will be solved if we address issues of class inequality. Neo-Marxists as far back at the Frankfurt School began shifting that singular vision to understanding class is just a piece of societal ills, for example, race and gender are equally important. You still have modern Marxists who focus on class (Slavoj Zizek) but he would look at Bernie as someone not willing to commit fully to the paradigm of communism--the final evolution of human society. Sanders promotes democratic socialism, which is an interesting notion. But he also looks at issues beyond class. He is the only candidate I remember ever directly addressing the issue of police power and abuse of power in honest terms: "And thirdly, we have got to demilitarize our police departments so they don't look like occupying armies. We've got to move toward community policing, and fourthly, we have got to make our police departments look like the communities they serve in their diversity." So depending on who "they" are in your post, I think a socialist is looking exactly at the problems you mention about the massive income inequality we're seeing in America. Many of these people are informed by the works of new views on Marxism and socialism who view America's capitalist system as no longer capitalist, but hyper-capitalist (a form of extreme capitalism that comes at the cost of traditional values, and it benefits the already wealthy). Some activists really make the argument that the system of capitalism is so corrupt, that we have to trash the whole thing (Wayne Au). I will also add this caveat: The work of modern activists, politicians, and scholars may partly be a redux of previous thoughts and writing, but as you read their work and see what they're doing, they're really having to go over that work again to undo the misconceptions Americans have about these original ideas due in large part to the Cold War. I love Sanders. I love the progressive socialists he's inspired such as AOC, but I am under no illusion that even if he (or she or anyone) were elected, that they could enact the necessary change to the problems you noted. The system is so entrenched in money, how long would it take for that to change? More than four years. More than eight. I mean think about the tax increases Roosevelt put in place with the New Deal. How could we ever hope to get to that again in the modern climate? You point out the post digital world we live in, and that's a scary world because people are so overloaded with info, they don't support policies in their interests. If Roosevelt had to deal with social media and the vast amount of misinformation put out there by those who opposed him...I don't know what he could have done. In terms of existential threats, how do you overcome the issues of the social media age to deal with the "classic" societal issues of income disparity, racism, sexism, and hatred against the Other? The (post) digital age should have been a freeing time of unlimited access to information. And it is. Just not good information. Anyway, I write all this, and I don't mean to argue with you. I just want to clarify what I feel like the NYMag article got wrong, and in turn, what people have wrong about Sanders supporters in general. Don't forget, 90 percent of his supporters went on to vote for Clinton (where only 75 percent of hers went on to support Obama). A real divide exists in the Democratic party, but I think it's not so wide as we think. What we lost in 2016 were the independents, and on that... Just a minor point of contention here (as someone who wasn't a Clinton fan). I do think Warren is exciting and charismatic. She is a capitalist through and through, this is true, but she would be someone who would target those "independent" Americans that Clinton lost. Those who voted for Obama and then voted for Trump. She talks a lot about income disparity. However, my point of contention ends there. I tend to think you're right, she would not do well against Trump. His barrage of racist, sexist, and truthless claims would overwhelm her. Just the Native American issue might be enough to sink her. But how do you deal with that? Any candidate will face this from Trump. Hillary's emails, Warren's Native American heritage, and I (assume) Sanders' a communist. How do you get past this kind of thing? Do you need a guy like Joe Biden who used to be Mr. Gaffe? (God, he seems so professional and statesman-like nowadays) Clinton played the "address the nonsense very quickly and move onto more important things" but it didn't work. I remember watching her last debate with Trump and any doubts I ever had about her were completely removed. She was excellent. She was so qualified and smart and it just showed in how she carried herself. But she lost. Emails? Jumpsuits? She seems mean? I don't know what it is. And I don't know what you do to get around Trump's barrage of insanity. A minor edit to the last paragraph: I mean, I do know what it is that caused Clinton to lose--we all do. She's a woman. And so is Warren. Trumps stirs up so much bigotry that anyone who is not a white man would likely face a huge uphill battle. I'm all for this battle, but I just want to say that I understand why Clinton lost.
  13. Simon Steele

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    I was in Medicaid in Colorado for a couple of years, and I think Colorado is fully supportive of Medicaid's expansion (they don't want people kicked off). The method for signing up through the website was HORRIBLE. Whoever designs these things for the gov't. clearly has little experience designing user friendly systems. I went through three times following the instructions very carefully to report my new income, and then it took me calling them to get it right. No matter what I did it would only save that I had new insurance or new income--never both. If I tried doing the reports separately, it'd only save the last one, and it wouldn't let you add them at the same time. When it turned out I had the program for three months too long, they gave me one more month before booting me. I bring this up because at least our state seems to want you to be covered. I can't imagine if I had little to no experience with the internet, if I was terribly sick, and I had to rely on that shitty system to get my info in. Your other option is going in and meeting a tech (last time I went, and this wasn't even for the initial sign up--just a re-verification meeting) I was there for four and a half hours. You can call them but I have never waited less than an hour (once two hours and I gave up). Sometimes they call you and say, "You need to come in and meet with us. Tuesday at 2pm is your meeting time. Please call if you need to reschedule, but we make no guarantees we will get back to you." Oh, I work Tuesdays at 2pm. So you call and they don't call back and you know you have a four hour wait time ahead for "dropping in." It's a terrible system that needs some money put into it. But since it's for the poor, who cares, right?
  14. I didn't know that. That's really f'd up. And I hate his union busting attitude too. I always liked that he seemed compassionate toward the poor, but it sounds like I've had the wool pulled over my eyes. He was a Fox News host, after all. Damn. Is there a good Republican?
  15. I absolutely think they are pure evil too. There is no moral goodness left in that party aside from a few outliers (I think John Kasich has some good morals, though he is also an enemy of teachers--or perhaps teacher unions, and I chalk this up to him being misinformed more than being in the pocket of some wealthy donor). Either way, the Republicans are represented by Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump and both of these men have shown a willingness to put themselves (and their positions of power) over the good of the country. Mulvaney as the new Chief of Staff is another problem. While it's almost funny that Trump can't get anyone but a low level ass kissing goon to do this important job, Mulvaney is a monster. He hates America's lower classes. And he'll do anything Trump says. These guys hurt our fellow countrymen by cutting entitlements (entitlements meaning, to me, that every American has a right to a good supply of food and affordable housing). They have ignored climate change so long, obstructed progress so long, that my son and someday his children will likely live in a terrible environment. These people are monsters, and they have to go. Sometimes I hear people say, "These old men will die out then things will get better." There isn't time to wait for them to die out. But how can we convince Americans that these people are hurting them? To vote them out? We can't. And it's scary.