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U.S. Politics: Speak, Shriek, or Squeak! Whatever Technique You Seek in Critique of the Isogeneic Freak.


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8 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Negative. I'd go to the bar with you.

Huh?  I would very much like to go to a bar, but I don't get what this is referring to.

That's my point.  Your psychology "training" has no bearing on how political science should or should not be instructed.  You're a student evaluation.  I get, you didn't like your poly sci classes and that's fair enough.  But don't extrapolate your limited experience to the entire discipline, because you do not know what you are talking about.

That's exactly why it's a good thing that TAs, adjuncts, instructors are the one's who actually teach undergrads - we're the ones who actually care!  If you go to an R1 school, you should expect that even if a class has a famous name on it when you register, that's not who you're actually getting.  School is a business just like anything else, and that's not what they're paid for.  I should amend my previous statement though.  They're not only paid to publish, they're also paid to teach and train grad students.  So if you want to actually learn about political science, or psychology, or any other discipline, go to grad school or stop whining about it.

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1 hour ago, Rippounet said:

I'm not sure anyone dreams of revolutions the way you mean it. We're no longer in the 18th century ; heck, we're not even in the 20th anymore.
Everyone is aware (on some level or the other) that the nature of power and politics has changed. Today, "revolutions" may start on social media, and a thousand political movements can appear and die on the internet every single day. The romantic view of the popular uprising taking political power is... well, a romantic view. I'd argue it's seldom a historically accurate view too, and even go as far as to say that "revolutions" generally fail.

I don't think I've ever met a true revolutionary. Maybe that cute girl in uni 20 years ago whose friends were stockpiling guns in some old warehouse... (?) An exception to the rule that one, and batshit crazy, obviously (too bad, she did have that adorable mole... ). Anyway, I mostly meet moderates of one type or the other, with a handful of collapsologists or nihilists now and then. The left is a pretty big family, but when we talk of "revolution" these days it's mostly about raising awareness. Almost no one would pick a gun and storm the capital. I think.

Okay.  I haven’t really followed politics for a few years, but this situation is a bit unnerving; especially on top of the pandemic.  I probably read more news from this thread than everywhere else.  I do zero social media; so maybe it’s just people expressing anger online, and that’s okay.  But the ramifications from these protests will be felt for years to come.  The left (Democrat’s or whatever term you want) can’t beat the police; just like the right (or republicans or whatever) can’t beat the police.  The establishment can’t afford to lose one fight.  The will to fight, and they have it.

I don’t believe Trump can upset the constitution and the republic, just keep the peace and continue to vote.

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The US could never neatly split up like any of the ways being suggested, because the current fault lines aren't geographic in the absolute sense. It's not northeast vs. south, it's city versus rural with the suburbs and exurbs caught between. And even that's not entirely true. In basically every state the floor of support for the left or right is at least 35%. So, unless you divide the country in absolute patchwork of enclaves and exclaves, any split based on state lines would result in the greatest displacement and refugee crisis since the Partition of India.

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2 minutes ago, Fez said:

because the current fault lines aren't geographic in the absolute sense.

Thank you.  I'd like to see this new split with Austin, Texas as opposed to Lubbock, Texas.  Or NYC as opposed to the the Catskills, etc.  It's a rather absurd proposition.

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2 hours ago, Arakan said:

The optimum would be: 

1) an East Coast state including New England, NY/NJ plus Chicago 

2) a West Coast state: CAL/Oregon/Washington

3) the Rest

would such a Split truly be so awful? 

For those of us liberals left in the South, Midwest, and Mountain states it'd be terrible.

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

Huh?  I would very much like to go to a bar, but I don't get what this is referring to.

That's my point.  Your psychology "training" has no bearing on how political science should or should not be instructed.  You're a student evaluation.  I get, you didn't like your poly sci classes and that's fair enough.  But don't extrapolate your limited experience to the entire discipline, because you do not know what you are talking about.

That's exactly why it's a good thing that TAs, adjuncts, instructors are the one's who actually teach undergrads - we're the ones who actually care!  If you go to an R1 school, you should expect that even if a class has a famous name on it when you register, that's not who you're actually getting.  School is a business just like anything else, and that's not what they're paid for.  I should amend my previous statement though.  They're not only paid to publish, they're also paid to teach and train grad students.  So if you want to actually learn about political science, or psychology, or any other discipline, go to grad school or stop whining about it.

Dawg.......

1 hour ago, DMC said:

Yeah you were one of those students I'd be annoyed about because I actually had to stay in the office instead of going across the street to the bar.

And no, I loved my classes. All of them. I just think it's very incomplete. You can get a degree in the field without ever saying a word in class. How does that help your students?

And Minnesota is a R1 school. 

 

But hey, life happens when you're busy making other plans. A giant fucking tree just fell on my neighbors' house. Crazy looking at it. 

 

But you're right, the time for whining is over.

How'd I cut my hand though? Now it's covered in blood like my foot was last night.

JFC indeed. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

And no, I loved my classes.

That...wasn't my point.  Which was kinda a joke but also, admittedly, true.  Just had this one student that came to all my office hours and emailed me at least three times a week with question - when I was only the fucking TA.  I think that's great he was so committed, but after a while you come to expect..less effort from students.  I've gone entire semesters with only a handful of people showing up to office hours total.  And that affords one the excuse to skip out early.

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3 minutes ago, DMC said:

That...wasn't my point.  Which was kinda a joke but also, admittedly, true.  Just had this one student that came to all my office hours and emailed me at least three times a week with question - when I was only the fucking TA.  I think that's great he was so committed, but after a while you come to expect..less effort from students.  I've gone entire semesters with only a handful of people showing up to office hours total.  And that affords one the excuse to skip out early.

But shouldn't you expect more?

Anyways I just realized I haven't showered in days despite working out a lot, and haven't shaved in weeks, and my neighbor is very good looking, so I probably looked odd as shit as I helped her take photos for her insurance claim. She probably felt just as weird though, because she wasn't done up at all and was learning how to teach yoga classes when a tree fell on her house.

I'll be back in a bit. 

I guess the plus side is I didn't do the 70's porn mustache yet, but hey, when you've got no where to go, try funny things. 

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I deeply disagree that academics don't give a shyte about the quality and effectiveness of their teaching.  I know too many, including myself and partner, about whom this is untrue in every facet of teaching.  Otherwise we wouldn't spend so much time updating our syllabi every time we teach a course.  We wouldn't be re-reading our materials, editing them, culling them, putting in new material.  We wouldn't be emailing and phoning students who don't bother to even come to class or turn in even a single sentence of work.  We wouldn't spend hours before every class meeting going over the material we're to cover that day to make sure we know wteff we're doing. etc. etc. etc.  And our students wouldn't come back in the months and years later to thank us for all the work we did.

Not all of us are like this, just like not all the students are terrific students either. Far too many students shouldn't even be in the classroom, like far too many 'teaching' shouldn't be teaching either.  They hate it and are lousy at it and they hate the students too.

But did things ever change with the shutting down of it all and switching the classes to Zoom  By and large all the students, meeting from all over, including in just one course: Puerto Rico, Hawai'i, South Korea (and she was in quarantine for two weeks once she was able to get a flight home) -- some even sick with the virus -- they did an incredible job of participation and paying attention. In ways they couldn't have, and neither could we have, found the classes so relevant to what they were experiencing, in a way that they didn't when in the physical, stuffy, low ceiling classroom.  The consensus was that the classes saved their sanity in that period. They were sorry when they were finished.

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The New York Times account of what happened behind the scenes leading up to the Lafayette park stuff yesterday sounds extremely plausible to me; even though it relies on administration sources. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/02/us/politics/trump-walk-lafayette-square.html

Basically, Barr had ordered the security perimeter to be expanded early in the day. And for whatever reason, this never happened. Which wouldn't necessarily have been an issue, except Ivanka had convinced Trump that he should do a photo op at the church. And apparently he and all his top folks thought that would be an easy stroll over, because they assumed the security perimeter was already widened. Barr discovered shortly before Trump's speech that the security perimeter hadn't been expanded, and ordered it to happen immediately. Which led to the chaos we all saw as law enforcement and the secret service rushed to get something done. There was no time to do it in a safe, orderly way, and no one wanted/was able to delay Trump's speech. It's that mix of incompetence with wanna-be fascism that we've grown so familiar with.

Also of interest, apparently in a Monday morning debate Pence and DoD Sec. Esper were pushing for the Insurrection Act to be invoked; with Barr and Joint Chiefs Chair Milley pushing against it. No decision was made.

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37 minutes ago, DMC said:

Thank you.  I'd like to see this new split with Austin, Texas as opposed to Lubbock, Texas.  Or NYC as opposed to the the Catskills, etc.  It's a rather absurd proposition.

Not only the logistical nightmare, but there’s too much at stake geopolitically.  The US isn’t perfect and we have made terrible mistakes that have had lasting negative consequences.  But, splitting the country into two countries all but takes the US off the board in the big game.  I assume both new countries would retain nukes so MAD still applies and probably nobody would really mess with either country militarily, but the US as an entity willing and able to project power anywhere on the globe - that would be over.  Despite our flaws, we STILL have immense capacity for good under the right leadership.  The potential for us to become even better than we are now exists right alongside the potential for us to continue down the shitter.  We are one election away from righting the ship... a little bit.  Working to make this country better is more preferable by far than throwing our hands up and going our separate ways.

I’m obviously biased but count me among those who believe it actually matters that the current global superpower is a democracy with enshrined rights for citizens.  I think that is an incredibly important thing for the entire world.  Chinese global supremacy (just to single out the most likely inheritor) under their current government is a road towards a dystopian sci-fi nightmare of a future. An authoritarian regime, where citizens have no inherent rights, and the government is not shy about using technology to control its population is not the kind of country that the world need sitting at the top of the pecking order as tech innovations hurtle along ever faster.

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Don't take it to the bank yet, but Trump might have seriously miscalculated with his stunt yesterday.

Pat Robertson came out strong against Trump for this, and he's still a pretty influential voice in evangelical circles. I've spoken with a couple of friends of the family who also happen to be fairly influential pastors in the Oklahoma Southern Baptist Convention and they were both planning on speaking this weekend about using the Bible as a campaign event (I know it's weird why this might be a bridge too far when nothing else has been, but I grew up in Southern Baptist circles, so I understand how they think).

It's too early to say whether this will gain momentum, but a lot of conservative pastors still aren't anything like sellouts like Falwell and whomever else has their nose firmly planted in Trump's ass, and if you dare profane their holy symbols, they will rain down fire on just about anyone who does that. It'll probably all depend on whether Trump backs off (which he should) or doubles down.

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I saw the Pat Robertson thing. Not sure what to make of that. Is he still relevant in evangelical circles though, or a relic of times gone by?

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I firmly believe Romney could have beaten Obama in 2012 if he was just able to be himself. The boxing promo he cut here after the fact shows how much better he could have been at connecting with people:
 

 

HRC's team should have learned from things like this. Being wooden and stiff is not the way to win, and like Mitt, everyone around Hillary swears she's cool as hell in private. But she too was wooden and stiff, and people saw that. 

It's why I was telling people not to root for her vs. Trump. 

It kind of makes you wonder how things would be different now had he won in 2012. I'd never vote for him, but would his winning have stopped the nightmare of today? 

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Just now, Fez said:

I saw the Pat Robertson thing. Not sure what to make of that. Is he still relevant in evangelical circles though, or a relic of times gone by?

He's not as influential as he used to be, but he was never tainted by the same scandals as say, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, so he's retained his influence. Robertson, as kooky as he is, doesn't have a ton in common with say, Franklin Graham or Falwell.

There's not really a figure like Billy Graham left among evangelicals. It's become even more fractious than it was even 20 or so years ago.

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3 hours ago, Arakan said:

 Awesome future. A truly multipolar world where cooperation is the only way forward. If it happens at least something good came out of Trump. 

Might work, so long as Europe and other parts of the world were willing to send troops to North America for about 100 years to keep us from fighting each other.

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In some good news,

It's just the primary, and the guy who beat him is another Trump-loving Republican who will almost certainly win in November in that district. But anyone's better than Steve King.

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5 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I think that might be less easy to have stick; Biden's never got the major pressure of a scandal around the Ukraine the way Clinton had, Biden has never been mired in scandal like that in general, and the one thing that has stuck with him - his harassment and assault accusations - hasn't been something Barr and others have really looked at.

I expect that Ukraine is going to be small potatoes by the election.  Getting a billion plus into your son's hedge fund after a trip to China sounds damning enough.  Typical hedge fund fees that's 20 million a year without even making a profit.  Somehow I doubt Hunter's fund gave them a bulk discount.  There's enough stink there that it won't be hard to get people to assume a turd, even if it's only roughly true about that investment, especially post Covid.  Possibly Hunter Biden has such great investment acumen on his own that would make it a prudent investment.  But doubts are possible.  Is he that good at running a hedge fund and at dealing with the specifics of petroleum extraction in Eastern Europe?  Maybe.

3 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I'm not sure anyone dreams of revolutions the way you mean it. We're no longer in the 18th century ; heck, we're not even in the 20th anymore.
Everyone is aware (on some level or the other) that the nature of power and politics has changed. Today, "revolutions" may start on social media, and a thousand political movements can appear and die on the internet every single day. The romantic view of the popular uprising taking political power is... well, a romantic view. I'd argue it's seldom a historically accurate view too, and even go as far as to say that "revolutions" generally fail.

I don't think I've ever met a true revolutionary. Maybe that cute girl in uni 20 years ago whose friends were stockpiling guns in some old warehouse... (?) An exception to the rule that one, and batshit crazy, obviously (too bad, she did have that adorable mole... ). Anyway, I mostly meet moderates of one type or the other, with a handful of collapsologists or nihilists now and then. The left is a pretty big family, but when we talk of "revolution" these days it's mostly about raising awareness. Almost no one would pick a gun and storm the capital. I think.

This is interesting, I get the impression that there are a lot of people in this thread that think that US is irredeemable, with mostly outdated ideals, and not worth preserving.  I disagree, but it feels like a minority viewpoint in these threads.

3 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I firmly believe Romney could have beaten Obama in 2012 if he was just able to be himself. The boxing promo he cut here after the fact shows how much better he could have been at connecting with people:
 

 

The more I hear about how the NSA surveilles basically everyone, the more I wonder if Shark's or Mako's, or whatever Romney's get out the vote software was in 2012, crash on election day wasn't an accident. So many agencies were politicized already, why not the hackers too?  I used to think Sharyl Attkinson was kind of a bad ass reporter to get the sort of attention that she got from intelligence agencies during the Obama years, but maybe she was just one of the higher nails to get hammered down.  (Sounds like they were watching pretty much everyone in the run up to the Iran deal.  (Unless it never happens if it's not on approved media sources.))

To me, if one thinks the US is a good idea to keep intact, one needs to consider that parties will go in and out of power, and not go totally all in on abusing power when you have it.  Slippery slope gets trashed as a concept, when people are defending their own team, but it definitely applies here.

Granted "a government agency crashed Romney's computers" is still just my personal tinfoil at this point, but it's not exactly outlandish if you combine amoralism and ambition with tech acumen and modern computers.  And that's not to say I think it was decisive, but once you have that level of influence, why not use it, if you've given up on any common ground?

 

1 hour ago, The Great Unwashed said:

For those of us liberals left in the South, Midwest, and Mountain states it'd be terrible.

I was about to say how do you think center-right people in Connecticut would feel, but really how much different would it be here?

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