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Martell Spy

U.S. Politics: Hey! Teachers! Leave Them Kids Alone

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7 minutes ago, Shryke said:

The truth is basically that Nixon used the culture war to stomp the american left's face in and the democratic party was left out in the wilderness for decades, with their only way to succeed being (or seeming to be at least, but I think it's pretty accurate) tacking towards the centre ala Clinton, who actually won. As voting demographics are shifting you are seeing new strategies being employed but that is a distinct change from what they were doing and what seemed to be the only thing working in the 1970s-2000s.

Meh while this depiction isn't really wrong, it paints liberals as victims.  That's the other side's schtick.  We can win and we will - that's the attitude I prefer.

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3 minutes ago, chiKanery et al. said:

So what you’re saying is that we’re all Donald Trump at our cores?

Eh, he takes it to the extreme by fabricating successes and flat out denying failures.

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2 minutes ago, DMBouazizi said:

Meh while this depiction isn't really wrong, it paints liberals as victims.  That's the other side's schtick.  We can win and we will - that's the attitude I prefer.

That attitude is delusional, just give up already.

Meanwhile, racist actress cries on podcast and now is receiving more favorable coverage as a possibly not racist even though what she said was clearly racist.

Tell me more about liberals can winning. I always enjoy a good fantasy story.

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2 minutes ago, chiKanery et al. said:

So what you’re saying is that we’re all Donald Trump at our cores?

Yeah, I wouldn't say everyone takes credit when things go well and blame others when things don't either. I personally know a far greater number of people who constantly question themselves first and foremost, to the point that they become depressed if they fail at something. I'm almost tempted to say that the "basic human instincts" are actually the very opposite: most people would naturally thank others for their support when they succeed (though the gratefulness is not necessarily expressed in words) and blame themselves when they fail.
The behavior that is described here is not normal: it's that of people who are either a bit self-centered/narcissistic, or just plain dumb.

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5 minutes ago, Jace, The Sugarcube said:

That attitude is delusional, just give up already.

Been a political junkie way too long to "just give up."  That's horseshit anyway.

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1 minute ago, Rippounet said:

Yeah, I wouldn't say everyone takes credit when things go well and blame others when things don't either. I personally know a far greater number of people who constantly question themselves first and foremost, to the point that they become depressed if they fail at something. I'm almost tempted to say that the "basic human instincts" are actually the very opposite: most people would naturally thank others for their support when they succeed (though the gratefulness is not necessarily expressed in words) and blame themselves when they fail.
The behavior that is described here is not normal: it's that of people who are either a bit self-centered/narcissistic, or just plain dumb.

 

You realize the overwhelming majority of people fall into this bucket, correct?

 

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19 minutes ago, sperry said:

Eh, he takes it to the extreme by fabricating successes and flat out denying failures.

Well, whatever I may be and am, which is a lot of elements, not all of them positive or good, at my core I AM NOT THE ORANGE NAZI.  Part of my core is to fight the ORANGE NAZI AND HIS ENABLERS AND MINIONS AND CRONIES.

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44 minutes ago, sperry said:

Eh, he takes it to the extreme by fabricating successes and flat out denying failures.

Well yeah, and I was joking more than anything else, but I think it’s fair to argue that Trump is basically what you’d expect from a human being if you gave them privileges combined with multiple psychological maladies.

 

ETA:

@Rippounet,

I agree with what you wrote. It was just a joke.

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51 minutes ago, DMBouazizi said:

Meh while this depiction isn't really wrong, it paints liberals as victims.  That's the other side's schtick.  We can win and we will - that's the attitude I prefer.

I don't see how it paints anyone as victims. It's just taking a real look at how the public was voting throughout that era. White supremacy carried the GOP to a cultural dominance that is still at work today.

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19 minutes ago, chiKanery et al. said:

 

@Rippounet,

I agree with what you wrote. It was just a joke.

I know, I was concurring with you (in a more serious way).

43 minutes ago, sperry said:

You realize the overwhelming majority of people fall into this bucket, correct?

I probably tend to forget that since professionally I tend to deal with smart people on a daily basis. But I'm loath to see most people as dumb in the first place.

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7 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I know, I was concurring with you (in a more serious way).

I probably tend to forget that since professionally I tend to deal with smart people on a daily basis. But I'm loath to see most people as dumb in the first place.

It's hard to come to grips with the fact that people are stupid sometimes. Like, I'm no genius, but goddamn are people fucking dumb. I spent a long time telling myself that it was a professional lens that was distorting my perspective.

But nah. Folks be basically brain dead. Any time I hang out with colleagues and see them outside of work it drives the point home.

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One needs to factor in that most people are very poorly educated, essentially not educated at all.  The ability to post a photo of their milkshake, that they stood in line for 3 1/2 hours to get, in 29° F temperatures and rain, and post it on Instagram does not constitute being educated.

That's what the Great Resentment really means when they sneer at libbbbuuurls and lily livered inalectuuuuuuuuuuushals -- they ask questions, and so they think they're better 'n us.

 

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1 hour ago, Rippounet said:

I know, I was concurring with you (in a more serious way).

I probably tend to forget that since professionally I tend to deal with smart people on a daily basis. But I'm loath to see most people as dumb in the first place.

Your geography plays a huge role. I was an intern or staffer on campaigns in 2006, 08 and 10, and I was assigned areas that skewed my understanding of everyday people's knowledge about their government and the world around them. I was either campaigning in a highly educated, affluent liberal part of Minneapolis or on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Most of the people I encountered were highly informed and were polite for the most part. It wasn't until after college in 2012 when I got a state wide position that I realized just how dumb most people are. Once you leave the liberal utopia, you get to see "real America" and trust me, it ain't pretty. We had to regularly check in with the staffer who was the field leader for the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota (Michele Bachmann country) to make sure he wasn't losing his mind (he was). 

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2 hours ago, Shryke said:

I don't see how it paints anyone as victims. It's just taking a real look at how the public was voting throughout that era. White supremacy carried the GOP to a cultural dominance that is still at work today.

Except that's not true in certain southern states if you look at the states Clinton and especially Carter won.  So, it's really not that simple.  Your overview was fine as it was, but not for anyone that wants to delve deeper.

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11 hours ago, Rippounet said:

@Altherion

Possibly. I won't dispute the gist of your message. However, on healthcare and education the Dems have proved willing to act at least. And since destroying public education is one of the central tenets (and strengths) of libertarianism, it's crucial for the next generation of Americans to defend education at least.
Also, from a European perspective something like Dodd-Frank is crucial because crises originating in the US will hit us hard due to shitty ECB policies.

And yet the small differences do matter. And while voting left might not improve things much, abstaining or voting for the ethno-nationalists will always make them worse.

@The Anti-Targ

Wow I had no idea I'd hit that close to home with my question, I was just curious about how Douglas is viewed in NZ.
Anyway Macron is said to be following Douglas's policies from the 80s (84-87), when he took a turn to the right. The strategic interest of speed is apparently what Macron learned from Douglas. Something about political opponents finding it hard to hit a moving target... Which is why Macron is "reforming" France at breathtaking speed.

Depends what you mean by "liberal." He's certainly a typical neo-liberal. He's cut taxes for the wealthy (on financial assets especially) and corporations while progressively slashing everything else (less welfare, less civil servants, less funding for public services... ) and privatizing as much as he can (the national railway, airports... etc). He also reformed the labor code (to benefit corporations), wants to reform pensions, and implement high tuition fees. So far, only two major measures of his could be seen as "leftist": allowing homosexual couples access to MAP and getting rid of the "housing tax" (a tax everyone pays to fund their city/village). The last of which isn't necessarily as "left-wing" as it might seem, obviously. Ah, and he also tightened immigration laws with a minister of the interior that is known to hate immigration (we also have "camps" in France btw, though the separation of families is less systematic).
According to Oxfam, in 2017 82% of the wealth produced in France went to the top 1% because of the policies under Sarkozy, Hollande, and Macron (about ten years ago, it was only about half that, and barely a third 15 years ago). One of the latter's most famous quotes is "In train stations you meet two kinds of people: those who have succeeded, and those who are nothing."
Macron is very good at sounding moderate (well, most of the time). The main difference with Trump though is that Macron is a neo-liberal globalist, while Trump is a neo-liberal nationalist. Whether that is better or not I honestly don't know. It looks good seen from the outside, for sure. Not so much from the inside I'll tell you.
 

When I say liberal I don't mean the US political rhetoric definition, I mean the more normal definition. That is to say, more aligned with the Australian Liberal party, which is right / right of centre for the most part, free market capitalist, deregulating, but also does socially liberal to some extent, e.g. many Liberal party MPs were in favour of legalising homosexual marriage.

A key distinction with Roger Douglas during the 84-87 years as opposed to more recently, and something lost on people like Macron, was during his time as finance minister he still strongly believed in a robust social welfare system, public education, public health etc. It's only since the mid-90's that he seems to have gone full on the unregulated free market will solve all our problems.

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14 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

 .

Overall, I think market based economies are useful as I do think prices do send useful information about what should be produced. The difference between me and libertarians of course is while I think prices often send useful information about what should be produced, I don’t think it is nearly as perfect as libertarians would claim. The upshot is that the economy needs a bit of government help from time to time. 

One of the most obvious failures of the price system is it’s inability to coordinate the intemporal plans and actions of economic actors, leading to aggregate demand failures. This is where my monetarism and Keynesianism come in. So for me, aggressive full employment policies, through a combination of aggressive monetary and fiscal policy, to achieve rapid full employment is part of my leftism. And while I’m on this topic let me add: since monetary policy plays a big role in stabilization and full employment, we probably need to look at how that policy is set. It’s my suspicion that its policy making is takes the interest of bankers and the financial community too much into account, without considering the interest of other economic actors like labor. So institutional changes might be needed there.

Another area where the price system fails to achieve optimal outcomes is in healthcare. The notion that the model of pure competition is suspect when it comes to the delivery of medical services has been suspect ever since Arrow wrote his paper on the topic back in the early 1960s. So government intervention in this area is justified. Plus I just think it’s atrocious, that some people don’t have a minimal level of access to healthcare in a nation as wealthy as ours.

And then of course the price system fails to ensure financial stability, leading to financial meltdowns that often have disastrous consequences, particular for working class folks of all races and genders. For those in their 40s and 50s caught in the financial meltdown, many of them will probably never be able to retire, at least at a reasonable age. For this reason, talk of cutting social security in a significant way, allegedly done on the grounds of “fiscal responsibility” is a non-starter for me. Of course non of this denies the permanent harm done to younger people entering the job market around 2008 or so. These folks will have permanently damaged as most of them will likely see lower lifetime incomes than there contemporaries entering the job market currently or those who entered it say around the early 2000s.

The point I’m making here is I think market based economies can do useful stuff. And I think the price system found in market based economies can send useful information to economic actors, but it does in certain and often significant cases fail to achieve optimal outcomes. Now some might suggest that we can keep the market structure, but simply ban individuals from owning capital. That might work. Or it may not. To be honest, I really have no idea what the legal and institutional arrangements would have to look like to make that system work. Accordingly, I tend to prefer to work on localized problems, rather than thinking of terms of how to restructure the entire economic system so it is more fair and equitable.

I’ll also add, that I think it would be helpful if the US got over it’s usual denial of class and class based interest. We do have class in this country even if we like to pretend we don’t. The upshot of this is that business has gotten the upper hand on labor in this country at least for about the last 40 years. We need to boost the power of labor unions, in my opinion. The business owning class has it’s interest represented by the CEO Business Clowntable and the local chamber of commerce, while labor unions have lost cred. If we are going to have a CEO Business Roundtable, which represent the interest of the business owning class, then it seems to me that we should have a Labor Roundtable, which represents the interest of labor in this country.

Of course the fact that the clout of organized labor has taken a beating over the last 40 years or so is related to the way money affects our politics. We need to figure out how to deal with this issue if American political economy is too improve for most people.

 

 

Thanks for always posting stuff like this.  I've snipped it to market based economies / labor stuff, to use as a springboard for a rant.  Just wanted to point out that labor is probably the MOST government controlled aspect of employment.  The price of labor is insanely artificial and not market based - your income has pretty much zero reflection on how much or how hard or how productively you work.  Sure, there are some outliers and shining examples, but to piggyback of your call for labor to get a seat at the table, we need even more fundamental shifts to happen.  

I think the money in politics is a huge component, but with Citizens United being the rule now I'm not sure how we check that.  I think some kind of scaled corporate pay system where C level positions are capped at say 20 times the lowest paid employee (I'm being optimistic) would be a great place to start but it's pretty anithetical to any American Dream viewpoint and I can't see any kind of public support for it.  

I think @Shryke has the right of it, we had the tiger by the tail since the end of WW2, but with Nixon that thing has been on the loose.  We've had 3 Democratic presidents since then, and for the most part even under their tenure the country has slid steadily to the right economically.  (What did Clinton ever do that a ledtist could  be proud of?) This't a battle being fought strictly in the West Wing; it's being fought in state legislatures and the judicial as well.  And those have not-so-quietly been massive Republican coups since the early 70s.  And that shit is going to take forever to undo, especially after this last week.  A bogus SC justice in Gorsuch happens to validate gerrymandering along racial lines. 

I used to think @lokisnow was a little bit oversensitive to these things, but now I'm right there with him.

 

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So Oklahoma is voting on SQ 788 tomorrow, a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in the state. But, surprisingly enough, in many ways this is a really radical take on medical marijuana, especially one being voted on in the reddest of red states.

Beyond legalizing medical MJ, the question essentially decriminalizes pot in the state, making someone caught with up to 1.5 oz of weed, who doesn't have a medical license, subject to only a maximum $400 fine and no jail time.

It also doesn't specify any particular medical conditions one must suffer from in order to receive a license. It's basically up to your doctor. 

Finally, probably the two most radical aspects to the proposal are that it prohibits cities or counties from using zoning laws to zone out medical dispensaries and it prohibits employers from taking punitive action against employees who test positive for MJ as long as they have a license.

Last I saw, support for the measure was at 60%, although there has been a concerted Vote No pushback by the business and religious communities. I'm really hoping it passes, so we can start getting the lawsuits out of the way.

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40 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

So Oklahoma is voting on SQ 788 tomorrow, a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in the state. But, surprisingly enough, in many ways this is a really radical take on medical marijuana, especially one being voted on in the reddest of red states.

Beyond legalizing medical MJ, the question essentially decriminalizes pot in the state, making someone caught with up to 1.5 oz of weed, who doesn't have a medical license, subject to only a maximum $400 fine and no jail time.

It also doesn't specify any particular medical conditions one must suffer from in order to receive a license. It's basically up to your doctor. 

Finally, probably the two most radical aspects to the proposal are that it prohibits cities or counties from using zoning laws to zone out medical dispensaries and it prohibits employers from taking punitive action against employees who test positive for MJ as long as they have a license.

Last I saw, support for the measure was at 60%, although there has been a concerted Vote No pushback by the business and religious communities. I'm really hoping it passes, so we can start getting the lawsuits out of the way.

That is cool that a red state is essentially moving a step beyond medical and going with coastal style decriminalization in one fell swoop.  

Pretty excited that NY State seems to be racing to legalize recreational before everyone is in on the cash cow, the big thing though, and everyone call your reps about this if your state is considering recreational weed legalization, is to permit citizens to grow.  This is the only thing that will actually take the blood money out of weed.  If you have to drive two hours to a state run dispensary instead of buying it from Beavis down the street, you're going to buy the cartel weed.  

But really the biggest thing is retroactive amnesty for possession.  Without that any state going recreational is just confirming the white supremacy of the War on Drugs.

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2 hours ago, DMBouazizi said:

Except that's not true in certain southern states if you look at the states Clinton and especially Carter won.  So, it's really not that simple.  Your overview was fine as it was, but not for anyone that wants to delve deeper.

Which southern states?

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56 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

But really the biggest thing is retroactive amnesty for possession.  Without that any state going recreational is just confirming the white supremacy of the War on Drugs.

Thank you for pointing this out.  This is too easily forgotten in some of the happier news about some of the other progress in this area.  And in some ways one could argue that it sharpens past injustices by admitting that it was indeed injustice but not rectifying it.  

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