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 A Corrierino Awareness Thread 
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Except the sources the offer contrary definitions of conception... ...and the peer-reviewed journals that claim that oral contraceptive DO have an abortifacient effect.

You're overstating your hand here. You've given two links, the first to Collitan's 300 page paper written for his pro-life organization (I think you may have mentioned 'confirmation bias' earlier) and the second to a list of different papers which I cannot access. Of your quoted material, Mirkas provides nothing but unproven speculation and Goodnough cites the dual purpose doctrine, while Alcorn never defines the described implantation interference as abortive. That leaves your wiki page which asserts that the matter is not a "scientific issue", rather than an "ideological and religious" one, even citing the Roman Catholic Church as the primary purveyor of the belief that life begins at fertilization.

Interestingly, though, there is a link on your wiki page that further explains the Church's position: "[Birth control] was generally condemned like abortion. This is because sex was treated as having no value except for reproduction; therefore, hindering reproduction encouraged sinful uses of sex", which sounds an awful lot like what I said above about the motives of this particular belief.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
You might also take into account that I was not talking to you. I made a specific comment to a specific poster.

Aye, and to that end, I doubt that other poster was talking to you, which may be why you weren't privy to the personal details you awkwardly stumbled over. But either way, it's an open forum, and by all means don't be apprehensive about responding to Ergill either.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
The rest of your comment is off-the-rails, so I am passing over it. I was making a point about how we need to constitute people to be better than they are, which you took to be a personal indictment.

I missed what I was indicted for, but I will admit to finding it very surreal that you feel the need to lecture the liberals on compassion rather than the abusive elephant in the room. It's funny how these prerogatives are presumed.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:26 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
You're overstating your hand here.


Yes, your recalcitrance has been noted. No debate exists. No debate is possible. Sure. Just keep telling yourself that. Rinse and repeat.

Jinnistan wrote:
Aye, and to that end, I doubt that other poster was talking to you, which may be why you weren't privy to the personal details you awkwardly stumbled over. But either way, it's an open forum, and by all means don't be apprehensive about responding to Ergill either.


This does nothing to address my point, which was that you were not being personally attacked. Sure, it's an open forum, but that does not mean that everything is specifically addressed to you or about you. So, you're whining about what you are personally allowed to say is off-topic.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:45 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
and by all means don't be apprehensive about responding to Ergill either.

I'm prepared [sips a beer] to talk about how many fertilized eggs can dance on the head of a pin, which everyone here agrees, supposedly, isn't morally relevant.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:48 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
No debate exists. No debate is possible. Sure. Just keep telling yourself that. Rinse and repeat.

Would you like to explain, scientifically, how a zygote can be "viable" without being implanted?

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
This does nothing to address my point, which was that you were not being personally attacked. Sure, it's an open forum, but that does not mean that everything is specifically addressed to you or about you. So, you're whining about what you are personally allowed to say is off-topic.

Oh, I thought I was just making fun of how you were invoking 9/11 to explain how liberals are overreacting to Trump.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:06 pm
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Ergill wrote:
I'm prepared [sips a beer] to talk about how many fertilized eggs can dance on the head of a pin, which everyone here agrees, supposedly, isn't morally relevant.

Great, now I want a frittata.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:08 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Would you like to explain, scientifically, how a zygote can be "viable" without being implanted?


Curious thought. Are you claiming that human rights begin with viability?

Jinnistan wrote:
Oh, I thought I was just making fun of how you were invoking 9/11 to explain how liberals are overreacting to Trump.


I am still waiting for a topical response here. It wasn't about you. Is that so hard to accept?


Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:29 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Are you claiming that human rights begin with viability?

Um. I think it requires the ability to be alive, yes. Unlike the 60-70% of failed fertilized eggs, implantation is essential for this ability.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
I am still waiting for a topical response here.

I'm not going to grab your pussy, dude.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:44 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Um. I think it requires the ability to be alive, yes. Unlike the 60-70% of failed fertilized eggs, implantation is essential for this ability.


By this logic then, any fetus which would be viable outside the womb has rights. Congrats, Janson, you've undone Roe.

Jinnistan wrote:
I'm not going to grab your pussy, dude.


And so ended yet another scintillating discussion with Jinnistan...


Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:06 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
By this logic then, any fetus which would be viable outside the womb has rights. Congrats, Janson, you've undone Roe.

Outside? Sure. What is that, about 6, 7 months? I've already mentioned that third-term restrictions are reasonable, unless there's a threat to the mother's life, because her human rights take precedence. I don't believe that this undoes Roe however. Unless you aren't aware of how Casey modified that ruling?

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
And so ended yet another scintillating discussion with Jinnistan...

It's your time to spend.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:44 pm
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I will admit that my thoughts frequently ping-pong between "Trump voters are not a monolith and do not share every aspect of Trump" and "every Trump voter voted in unison to make him president". and I know that like every Trump voter, I didn't vote for Hillary in the primaries either.

I say this spite of how much about Trump/Trumpism I can't abide. and there is a lot.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:25 pm
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Melba,

a) You've been consistent in pointing out your lack of a desire to die on abortifacient hill, so, to hone in on the important issue, I hope that we can at least agree that the important thing is to respect the individual's decision, whether that is to forego those forms of birth control that don't cohere with your personal definition of conception or to utilize FDA-approved medicine at one's own discretion. This is the crux of the issue, and the reason why I mentioned it in relation to Kavanaugh. When he referred to birth control (not just "the pill" but IUDs as well) as "abortion-inducing", I don't believe that he's simply misunderstanding fertility anatomy. I believe that he's signalling to interested parties that he'll protect the Hobby Lobby decision and will rule accordingly on any future cases involving restrictions on these forms of birth control on moral grounds. The problem is in trying to impart this moral argument onto those who have no obligation to subscribe to the underlying morality. And I feel that this effort to associate birth control with abortion is something that we are going to be seeing a lot more of.

b) OK, I've seen a number of examples, just in the days since we've been going back and forth, of social media rhetoric from the left that is clearly unacceptable, killing and burning and so on. Obviously people of all stripes need to chill the fuck out. Violence betrays an exhaustion of ideas.

My hesitance to direct the blame at the left, or liberals specifically, is because of the trollish nature of the alt-right. I don't like to think of Trump and his supporters as being, like, wild bear that we're just supposed to not fuss and don't poke and I hope we don't burn their dinner. If you're baffled by the trigger warnings of the snowflake left, then you should not be willing to be so obligingly delicate to these people. It is a ransom, "be nice or else!", having to respect their nonsense.

Look at Kellyanne Conway recently, attempting to counter Hillary Clinton's "dangerous" recent charge: "It's one thing to call us deplorable, irredeemable, laugh at people who don't have all the privileges that she has had with her Ivy League law degree and through her marriage to a much more popular man who actually was a two-term president that she'll never be. I don't like that kind of talk and I avoid it. My boss has called for civility."

This bitch is trolling. Right before our eyes, she engages in personal potshots at Hillary before claiming that she doesn't without even taking a breath between. Ends it with a provocatively absurd lie. Where art the source of this crippling acrimony? Maybe considering that hostile divisiveness is a designed feature, rather than a side effect, of Trumpianism? I don't know where the country will end up if we can't even agree that trolls shouldn't be in charge of shit.


Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:37 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
a) You've been consistent in pointing out your lack of a desire to die on abortifacient hill,


It's not really about dying on a hill, in this case. I am just describing this hill. It's about pointing out that others may be honest, and even accurate, about a factual point (is it abortifacient?) without pronouncing on the moral ramification (is this permissible?). Does the pill have abortifacient properties? Yes. Does that make it morally objectionable? Not necessarily. Are people lying or ill-informed when they point out the abortifacient properties of oral contraceptives? Not necessarily.

Jinnistan wrote:
b) OK, I've seen a number of examples, just in the days since we've been going back and forth, of social media rhetoric from the left that is clearly unacceptable, killing and burning and so on. Obviously people of all stripes need to chill the fuck out. Violence betrays an exhaustion of ideas.


Outrage culture and outrage politics. Dems have gone from "When they go low, we go high" to "When they go low, we kick them." The Republicans have devolved into an authoritarian caricature of themselves.

Jinnistan wrote:
My hesitance to direct the blame at the left, or liberals specifically, is because of the trollish nature of the alt-right.


Imagine two siblings having a heated spat that is starting to get physical (you started it! you're worse! I'm not apologizing when I'm right). One of them is a little older, with a little more maturity. One of them is basically the problem child. They're big enough that you can't physically subdue them. It's not necessarily fair or right, but to get a handle on the problem before things spill out of control, you are forced to reach out to the child that is more level-headed who might have enough sense to back down before things get really ugly.

Jinnistan wrote:
I don't like to think of Trump and his supporters as being, like, wild bear that we're just supposed to not fuss and don't poke and I hope we don't burn their dinner.


That's not quite what I am saying. Trump is just a narcissist accidentally placed by the contingencies of history into a job that doesn't fit him. The question is how to constitute the people who voted for him and support his "wins" even if they didn't want him for president (e.g., people who want a conservative court to protect 2A even if they don't like Trump). If we constitute the opposition as the enemy (even if they deserve it) or as fascist and racist (even if they deserve it), they will push back even harder. Getting dirty, getting mean, getting tough, doubling-down, flaunting calls for civility, etc., is all stuff out of the Trump play book. An ugly left is just going alienate a lot of people and push some to the right.

Dems are floundering because they've lost some conspicuous battles. They have died on the wrong hills/issues. And they have made use of tactics which draw them into the "strengths" of an authoritarian administration.

Jinnistan wrote:
If you're baffled by the trigger warnings of the snowflake left, then you should not be willing to be so obligingly delicate to these people. It is a ransom, "be nice or else!", having to respect their nonsense.


And how have our children been constituted? If Jonathan Haidt is right, we've constituted them, for decades, to be weak. We raised them with an assumed fragility which has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now we have mental health problems among teens that is apparently at an all time high. ID politics is about victimage, blame, and points. You call a foul, flop on the field, and hope that a ref throws a flag and that an institutional authority or crowd rectifies the situation for you in loco parentis. We're coding, at a cultural level, for incivility by emphasizing essential hierarchical moral differences between groups. It's not bigotry or racism or prejudice because the "oppressed" do not have "power" so we've ideologically blinded ourselves to the old patterns. People howling at the moon on the anniversary of lost elections. Clawing at the doors of the supreme court like the walking dead. The more Dems lean into this cultural coding, the further down the rabbit hole we go.

We've all got to chill, learn how to take the occasional "L", figure out which hils we want to die on, restrain from using tactics that might work locally, but harm and corrupt democratic processes globally.

Yes, I think this means that the Dems may have to take the first step. At the very lest, when I am speaking to people who lean left, this is my message (not that my message counts for all that much). I think this is in the rational self-interest of the party and the country.


Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:52 pm
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the victimhood identity thing is something I wrestle with because I certainly don't want to feel helpless or unable to contribute or be over-reliant on others. however, the context I often hear it (and I'm not saying this is what you are saying) often sounds less like a way to empower individuals/groups and more of a way to shift onus off of the victimizers. one such recent example.

and fighting back means I have to expect to be accused of being aggressive or some other unflattering label. I know that there are many ways of fighting back that doesn't include joining Antifa and breaking windows. but I know I can do a lot less and still be an extremist in the eyes of the Trump constituency. I assume you'd tell me not to let that bother me, assuming I'm fighting back the way you think I should be fighting back.


Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:16 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
the victimhood identity thing is something I wrestle with because I certainly don't want to feel helpless or unable to contribute or be over-reliant on others. however, the context I often hear it (and I'm not saying this is what you are saying) often sounds less like a way to empower individuals/groups and more of a way to shift onus off of the victimizers. one such recent example.

and fighting back means I have to expect to be accused of being aggressive or some other unflattering label. I know that there are many ways of fighting back that doesn't include joining Antifa and breaking windows. but I know I can do a lot less and still be an extremist in the eyes of the Trump constituency. I assume you'd tell me not to let that bother me, assuming I'm fighting back the way you think I should be fighting back.


We can pass rather easily through the horns of this dilemma.

There was nothing weak about MLK or Malcolm X. This, on the other hand, is weak



White people on the street directing traffic because they're generally pissed with no specific policy goal in mind and shouting "whitey" at fellow white people. Newsflash angry taco man directing traffic, you're white too!

When a Yale professor sends an email to other faculty which simply says that students should be allowed to self-regulate Halloween attire rather than top-down requirements from the school and the students freak out and call it an act of violence which strips them of their humanity (with the "literally shaking right now") and run her and her husband off the campus we're off the fucking map.



No, college is not about "creating an intellectual space", it's about "creating a home." So help me, we're in trouble. And righties play this game too! You could a heap of videos of rightwingers crying and playing the victim and calling for a red card. The right isn't going to save us from this shit. Am I supposed to trust Tucker Carlson, for example, to be our new defender of free speech values and free speech rights? Conservative commitment to liberal values is, I suspect, largely contingent.

As for accusations, regardless of how awfully your opponents depict you, just make sure that the shoe doesn't fit in actual practice. Make sure that you are doing it right. This is important for your movement, your integrity/soul, and for the "optics" of your situation. If we're working within the process (i.e., Civil War 2.0 isn't jumping off yet, or you're not simply committing to being domestic terrorists) fighting back has parameters.

Fighting back is non-violent. It is free speech and free association. It is civil disobedience, with emphasis on the civil. Gandhi made it work against an empire. MLK made it work against old-school self-avowed institutional racism in the South.

Fighting back should have a specific policy outcome which is being negotiated. Otherwise you're just whining.

Fighting back does not involve harassing citizens when they're not functioning in an official capacity.

Fighting back does not involve intentional property damage.

Fighting back is a call for lumping not splitting. It is an open hand calling for unity to get traction to achieve policy outcomes. Join us. We shall overcome. It is not a divisive, essentializing hierarchical condemnation of the people you need assistance from. Sorry, the customer is not always right. The squeaky wheel doesn't always get the grease, sometimes it gets removed. Only fool just "listens and believes" - an adult listens empathetically and patiently and then weighs the evidence. And it isn't always about what you happen to believe, but what you can prove (i.e., some changes can only rightly be made in light of objective proof). It is not a demand for silent "allies" who obey, but a collaboration of equals.

Fundamentally, we need to escape wholesale indictments of character so that we can form coalitions with people we regard as dignified human beings. You can't do that when one side is shouting "Commie!" and the other side is shouting "Racist!"


Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:36 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Are people lying or ill-informed when they point out the abortifacient properties of oral contraceptives? Not necessarily.

Again, I hope that we can agree that people should feel free to review the medical literature for themselves.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Trump is just a narcissist accidentally placed by the contingencies of history into a job that doesn't fit him. The question is how to constitute the people who voted for him and support his "wins" even if they didn't want him for president (e.g., people who want a conservative court to protect 2A even if they don't like Trump). If we constitute the opposition as the enemy (even if they deserve it) or as fascist and racist (even if they deserve it), they will push back even harder. Getting dirty, getting mean, getting tough, doubling-down, flaunting calls for civility, etc., is all stuff out of the Trump play book. An ugly left is just going alienate a lot of people and push some to the right.

I wouldn't be so generous about these "contingencies". If we're interested in looking at those social forces, and the political rudders that steered them, which determined Trump's election, then the facade of "accident" ("whooops!") quickly dissolves. This is the "wild bear" conundrum that I reject, the treating of Trump and those who support and enable him as some kind of unavoidable natural phenomenon rather than a deliberate and directed expression of political will. It's precisely because "they deserve it" that it is necessary to point out the many ways in which Trump embodies and exploits the fascist and racist instincts of his base. A lot of the calls (from the moderate right) tend to similarly wish to brush over these instincts, whether out of fear of them striking back when they're angry or out of a need to downplay the implications of their partisan proximity. Either way is unhelpful. Saying that we should ignore, or at least decline to openly discuss, not only these existing fascist and racist instincts but the methods with which these instincts are deliberately nurtured and provoked into organized propaganda is to tacitly condone such manipulation as fair game. Worse, is to say that "they may even deserve it", acknowledging the problem, and arguing that not only do we have this fascistically aroused and racially agitated portion of the population, but also that after decades of riling them up now we can't even trust their corporeal composure. Can we at least say that the right has fucked up by riling them up in the first place? Is that not nice?

But the core of your last line still has the assumption that, even at its most sanctimonious, the PC-left is somehow more "ugly" than the fascist/racist right, or that given the ultimatum between the two, "more people" would feel more comfortable siding with the Nazis.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Dems are floundering because they've lost some conspicuous battles. They have died on the wrong hills/issues. And they have made use of tactics which draw them into the "strengths" of an authoritarian administration.

It's no longer very PC to use phrases like "tits on a hog", but, honestly, is there a better phrase for the current DNC?

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
And how have our children been constituted? If Jonathan Haidt is right, we've constituted them, for decades, to be weak. We raised them with an assumed fragility which has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now we have mental health problems among teens that is apparently at an all time high. ID politics is about victimage, blame, and points. You call a foul, flop on the field, and hope that a ref throws a flag and that an institutional authority or crowd rectifies the situation for you in loco parentis.

I'm not going to lay the blame at millennials here. It's an easy way to avoid all of those Boomers who are currently triggered about questioning their entitlement to a white America. Lotta flopping and flagging there.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
We're coding, at a cultural level, for incivility by emphasizing essential hierarchical moral differences between groups.

This sounds like the "tolerate the intolerance" shtick. Not counting the hyperbole or simplicity of the more foolish members of the campus left, liberals have not traditionally believed in "essential moral differences between groups", rather have championed civil rights for minorities on the very grounds of common morality, of not confusing physical and cultural differences with personal moral attributes. Such "content of character" issues like, say, authoritarianism and racism shouldn't be considered as the exclusive moral property of any particular group. These impulses are latent across all populations. So it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to say that liberals who rail against fascism and racism are "essentially" attacking these "groups". But, yes, on a moral hierarchy, I do believe that fascism and racism are more morally poor than inclusivity and tolerance, and note the irony that only the former is irretrievably founded on perpetuating the division.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
the further down the rabbit hole we go.

These last two points sum up pretty well two of the main issues in which this current strain of Trump support (both the alt-right propaganda and those who consume it) is doing lasting damage that has far more profound consequences to the health of the country and democracy. The "rabbit hole" is a good example, because I would be willing to bet that a fair share of "flat-earthers" are Trump supporters. Stricken with the dual ampules of narcissistic paranoia and functional illiteracy, these folks don't believe nothing except someone who claims to know everything. Trump himself represents a kind of counter-epistimological revolution, the "post-truth" president. Now, the libs have certainly flirted with crazy in the past, but I think it's significant that, say, the Truther movement never went as mainstream in liberal circles as Birtherism did in conservative circles. No liberal anchor on MSNBC has quoted Loose Change, but the majority of FOX personalities, from Glenn Beck and Hannity down to the &Friends morning show, trafficked in Birtherism, for awhile on a daily basis. Beck, in many ways, was a powerful harbinger for the alt-right. He spewed so much bullshit on his prime-time show in 09-10, I think a lot of us have just thankfully put it all out of our minds. But he was setting the template for Trump by stoking a distrust in documented evidence in favor of a strangely satisfying feeling of suspicious persecution. Of all the kids on the left who have fallen under the toxic sway of RT America, there is simply no parallel for having FOX news (#1 cable show in ratings) nightly telling their audience that Obama is a secret Muslim imposter. This particular rabbit hole was deeply dug before Trump got there, but it gave him an extraordinary advantage.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
harm and corrupt democratic processes globally.

And likewise, as Trump telling his supporters, when he's fully expecting to lose, that the election is rigged against them. It seems to be the assumption that had Trump lost, then he would have launched an effort (perhaps from the chair of his Sinclair TV show) to denigrate the entire democratic process that would still be raging to this day. Hillary Clinton, in contrast, has said some very critical things about the electoral college, the fairness of news coverage, the ingrained persistence of the patriarchy, etc etc. But it's crucial to note that Clinton has not questioned the legitimacy of democracy ("It's all rigged, folks") or the legitimacy of the free press ("They're the enemy of the people") or reduced an entire gender down to a distinct essence ("Beautiful piece of ass").

I saw some of the Rosanne appearance on Joe Rogan this week, and she made a similar, and similarly bizarre, partisan equivalence. She talked a lot about her tweet, baselessly accusing Valerie Jarrett of having some kind of simian ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and the current Iranian regime (neither have been substantiated). OK, so we know that this is what got her fired, and although she still claims to not be a racist (because she's Jewish - ahahaha!) this kind of birtherism-adjacent theory of the secret Muslim agenda in the Obama White House is fundamentally racist in nature. More importantly, as I mentioned, it is wholly unsubstantiated, meaning that there must be some kind of a motive for why she insists on believing this specific allegation on gut. All that aside....Rosanne then rails into Taylor Swift for her recent endorsement of the Democratic candidates in Tennessee, and wondered why it was OK for Swift to do "the same thing" as Rosanne without controversy. For Rosanne, tweeting a semi-racist meme about a secret Muslim conspiracy theory is "the same thing" as endorsing a candidate in an election. This is a perfect example of the kind of equivalence schizophrenia we see in the alt-right. Calling someone a racist becomes equal to....having black people arrested for mowing their lawns. Same diff. Just like Mike Cernovich feels that taking sarcastic pedophile jokes out of context is basically the same thing as, I dunno, getting charged for rape in college, for example.

This kind of degradation of truth and liberal democracy is more dangerous than the, admittedly sometimes overreaching, attempts among the PC left to make society a little more sensitive towards those who do not share the same social advantages. But there is something more malicious and insidious in the alt-right, something that very much sacrifices the ethical means for the ends of winning and pwning and sweet snowflake tears (which are clearly not as respectable as incel tears). For the short term win, the damage being done to civil discourse, to rational dialogue, to the desired abdication of personal delusion, will require decades of restorative critical discipline, if we don't happen to collapse into a pool of solipsistic saity.


Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:44 am
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I should mention that I don't think of myself as a communist (I wouldn't want to live in the USSR) but our burgeoning environmental crisis has shaken my faith in our current capitalist system in a significant way. I know many have advocated Big Ideas as a solution and it is hard to advocate Big Ideas without inviting comparisons to straight-up communism. I'm not going to sacrifice my civility but I'll admit to feeling frustrated nonetheless.

would I vote for a communist as president? I guess that depends on what one defines as communism.


Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:08 pm
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Loosely related:

I think people should stop willingly labeling themselves in broad strokes.

You're not "communist," "conservative," "alt-right," or "liberal," or a "Democrat" or "Republican - I still see far too many people place themselves in one of those boxes (among others), then feel obligated to vehemently agree or disagree with every position that threatens to let some of the air out of that broad belief bubble.

The same labeling process creates opportunities for people who disagree with you to do what you willingly do to yourself. Oh, you're a "Democrat"? You must think that a large Federal government is ideal, or that cutting taxes is never a valid solution. Wait, you're "conservative"? Obviously, you believe that Roe v Wade should be overturned, and that trickle-down economics is the best way to stimulate consumer spending.

You're living in an age where you have the ability to almost instantaneously fact check, do your own research, and draw your own conclusions when presented with conflicting information. Why not take advantage of it? You don't even have to sit in a library for hours on end anymore.

_________________


Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:50 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I should mention that I don't think of myself as a communist (I wouldn't want to live in the USSR) but our burgeoning environmental crisis has shaken my faith in our current capitalist system in a significant way. I know many have advocated Big Ideas as a solution and it is hard to advocate Big Ideas without inviting comparisons to straight-up communism. I'm not going to sacrifice my civility but I'll admit to feeling frustrated nonetheless.

would I vote for a communist as president? I guess that depends on what one defines as communism.


Crony capitalism doesn't exhaust the category "capitalism." What we have is corporate welfarism more than capitalism. Also, capitalism does not have to be pure capitalism with everything in society made into a Darwinistic contest.

Keep in mind that capitalism can fit in just fine in a communist state. China is capitalist AF, they poured more concrete in four years than America did in 100, and they're building a whole slew of new coal-fired powerplants. Sure you want to go Communist to save the planet?

Capitalism doesn't bother me. Globalism dominated by quasi-sovereign corporations bothers me.


Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:12 pm
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oh no, I don't think making the US into China would be the best thing for the environment. I just meant it can be difficult to build consensus around certain policy proposals when peoples' definitions of 'capitalism' and 'communism' can run a wide spectrum.


Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:03 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I should mention that I don't think of myself as a communist (I wouldn't want to live in the USSR) but our burgeoning environmental crisis has shaken my faith in our current capitalist system in a significant way. I know many have advocated Big Ideas as a solution and it is hard to advocate Big Ideas without inviting comparisons to straight-up communism. I'm not going to sacrifice my civility but I'll admit to feeling frustrated nonetheless.

would I vote for a communist as president? I guess that depends on what one defines as communism.

At this point, I think that the flaws of communism, and all of its personalized outlets like Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, etc, should be clear enough by historical example that divorcing the term from socialism would be helpful. There are socialist policies in America that are both effective and popular, but "socialism" remains a boogyman among political marketeers, and this is because socialism is still easily associated with those examples of communism (socialism corrupted into totalitarianism). It's a mirror slippery slope argument to the one on the left which posits capitalism's more egregious abuses as an inevitability of its system. History is crucial to learning the process of the corruption of socialism. It's worth noting how Lenin, Mao and Castro all originally promised to hold democratic elections before deciding that the nation's best interests were in continuing their comfort in power. Without these persistent examples, however, there's no inherent ideological reason why socialism and liberal democracy should be incompatible. And pretty much every leading power in our current world have found ways to cooperate socialism with capital markets. The key going forward in the future is to find an optimal blend of these interests where they can check each other's vulnerabilities.

Would I vote for a communist? Not likely, more because it would be supremely stupid. Running as a socialist instead would be enough of a challenge without directly inviting Stalin comparisons. Also, there would be a need to reconcile one's stances with all of the other flaws which played out in the historical examples. I'm familiar that many people feel that real communism is irrelevant to the Soviet and Maoist experiments, but the burden would remain on any communist candidate to assure people that this is not the direction he/she would be pushing. And of course all of this would still require dodging the comparison with the ostensible face of contemporary communism, billionaire (lol) Vlad Putin, and that comes with defending a long list of actions showing his disregard for social welfare.

As for climate change, even the capitalist interests behind the denials seem to be extremely short-sighted. Less a failure of capitalism than of an independent government incapable of representing the majority of its citizens against its wealthiest donors. Adam Smith, the purported father of capitalism, wanted strict controls to keep corporations from influencing government, and would be appalled at the fundraising system that we have today. It isn't baked in the cake that capitalism should place financial values on people's lives. It shouldn't be seen as "anti-business" to oppose how corporations calculate the worth of those killed by their products or emissions. Profits should not be more important than the 470-1400 annual deaths that industry finds acceptable, as just a single example. But the government as it stands has the ability, arguably the obligation, to take some tough sacrificing stands on climate change, and with broad public support. The problem lies in those politicians who serve their donors rather than their constituents, as well as a well-oiled propaganda machine to constantly distract from the subject. As far as capitalism goes, there's no reason to assume that an energy market needs to depend solely or primarily on fossil fuels. In fact there's a rather uncapitalistic reason why fossil fuel companies don't wish to compete fairly with other energy products. It's government's responsibility to enforce against bribery, and to not allow profits to supercede its constitutional imperative to "promote the general welfare". Like a lot of necessary reforms, it's more about disturbing the complacency surrounding the corruption itself.


Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:49 am
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As for climate change, even the capitalist interests behind the denials seem to be extremely short-sighted. Less a failure of capitalism than of an independent government incapable of representing the majority of its citizens against its wealthiest donors. Adam Smith, the purported father of capitalism, wanted strict controls to keep corporations from influencing government, and would be appalled at the fundraising system that we have today. It isn't baked in the cake that capitalism should place financial values on people's lives. It shouldn't be seen as "anti-business" to oppose how corporations calculate the worth of those killed by their products or emissions. Profits should not be more important than the 470-1400 annual deaths that industry finds acceptable, as just a single example. But the government as it stands has the ability, arguably the obligation, to take some tough sacrificing stands on climate change, and with broad public support. The problem lies in those politicians who serve their donors rather than their constituents, as well as a well-oiled propaganda machine to constantly distract from the subject. As far as capitalism goes, there's no reason to assume that an energy market needs to depend solely or primarily on fossil fuels. In fact there's a rather uncapitalistic reason why fossil fuel companies don't wish to compete fairly with other energy products. It's government's responsibility to enforce against bribery, and to not allow profits to supercede its constitutional imperative to "promote the general welfare". Like a lot of necessary reforms, it's more about disturbing the complacency surrounding the corruption itself.


it would be much easier to have this conversation once one gets past "environmentalism is a Trojan horse for communism/socialism" and "communism/socialism is when the government does things and the more things it does, the more communist/socialist it is".

there are some people from my time in the business school that don't necessarily disbelieve climate change (even if they think it is overhyped by 'leftist' scientists) but strongly believe that capitalism/fossil fuels have done so much to improve living standards that going green would just be the first step towards ruin. which also assumes that climate change won't bring an unmanageable amount of ruin by itself.

I mean, we're not short on ideas on fixing this problem dammit.


Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:54 pm
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assuming that the MAGAbomber is not a false flag, these events have reinforced my concerns about the Trump constituency that if this is how angry they are when they are in full power, I'm apprehensive about how they will react once they lose some of that power (e.g. losing one or both houses of Congress).

not that every Trump supporter is a potential terrorist but there is still a lot of anger to go around. I can remember in 2016 being so certain that Hillary was going to win that I was more concerned about how the Trump base would react to a loss given how much Trump had gotten everyone keyed up.

EDIT: was he really worth bombing? he can't be that dangerous to Trump.....


Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:11 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
there are some people from my time in the business school that don't necessarily disbelieve climate change (even if they think it is overhyped by 'leftist' scientists) but strongly believe that capitalism/fossil fuels have done so much to improve living standards that going green would just be the first step towards ruin. which also assumes that climate change won't bring an unmanageable amount of ruin by itself.

What I find interesting about the framing here is that capitalism and fossil fuels are inextricably linked, while renewable fuel is inextricably linked to "socialism". There's absolutely no basis for this presumption. Why can you not have a free market for renewables? Why has the fossil fuel industry taken pains to deliberately avoid competition with renewables (suppression of the electric car, bio-diesel, subsidies to prop up coal, etc.)? Even if we assume that renewable energy will require substantial public investment to bring about its technological viability, why isn't the internet seen as similarly "socialist", being the product of a decade of DARPA investment and research?

The fact is that fossil fuel still has a monopoly on the energy market and this monopoly is uncapitalistically maintained through the policies of the government. If government policy were to shift to supporting renewable energy, this would be no more socialist than the government already having it's thumb on the scale to benefit fossil fuel organizations.

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
assuming that the MAGAbomber is not a false flag...

Thank you, I think I will.

And there's still a taste of ransom in the air after all of this. Trump and Suckabee Sanders are both insinuating that this violence could be curbed if only the MSM would relent in their criticisms and started being nicer and more obedient to the president.


Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:52 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
What I find interesting about the framing here is that capitalism and fossil fuels are inextricably linked, while renewable fuel is inextricably linked to "socialism". There's absolutely no basis for this presumption. Why can you not have a free market for renewables? Why has the fossil fuel industry taken pains to deliberately avoid competition with renewables (suppression of the electric car, bio-diesel, subsidies to prop up coal, etc.)? Even if we assume that renewable energy will require substantial public investment to bring about its technological viability, why isn't the internet seen as similarly "socialist", being the product of a decade of DARPA investment and research?

The fact is that fossil fuel still has a monopoly on the energy market and this monopoly is uncapitalistically maintained through the policies of the government. If government policy were to shift to supporting renewable energy, this would be no more socialist than the government already having it's thumb on the scale to benefit fossil fuel organizations.


obviously I'm not gonna disagree. I just still think that in presenting that to people who don't think fossil fuel-driven climate change is an urgent problem (or even that the majority of climate change is being driven by fossil fuels), anything involving the government will sound like a solution in search of a problem. and that's where I've gotten the whole "Marxist!" thing thrown my way.

I mean, they might agree but then who would they vote for? Gary Johnson once thought we should do something. but then was all "nah."

speaking of which, when I was unemployed I did some work with a group that was pushing a carbon tax/dividend on our legislators. Trudeau seems to be testing the political viability of such an idea. which I guess is good? although even if it works, it's still gonna take way more than that.


Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:26 pm
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Yeah, I'm semi-involved with a climate lobby that pushes hard for the carbon dividend solution. And it will take more than that. But it helps.

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Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:47 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Trudeau seems to be testing the political viability of such an idea


And it will almost definitely blow up in his face. Three or four of the provinces (including fuck face Doug Fords Ontario) are pushing back against environmental safeguards, and its hard not to imagine Alberta will eventually follow when they return to normal and get back to electing a pro-fossil fuel right wing led provincial government.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:31 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
fuck face Doug Fords Ontario

I know this is a really minor thing that pretty much nobody else here will appreciate, but I almost cheered when I learned that aspiring Ford brother Giorgio Mammoliti lost his council seat this election.

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Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:47 pm
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Rock wrote:
I know this is a really minor thing that pretty much nobody else here will appreciate, but I almost cheered when I learned that aspiring Ford brother Giorgio Mammoliti lost his council seat this election.


It's nice to have those moments when enormous piles of shit lose, because it really should happen more often.

It made me happy too.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:57 pm
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possible layer of melancholy to the MAGAbomber story

https://theintercept.com/2018/10/26/cesar-sayoc-foreclosure-steven-mnuchin/


Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:46 pm
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Just donated to a bunch of toss-ups so that I can look at myself in the mirror and not feel ashamed.

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Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:02 am
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there is a friend of mine and I converse a lot through social media with his mom, mostly about Trump and how much of a dork he is. she identifies strongly as a Jewish person and has shared many concerns about the rise of antisemitism in the last few years. occasionally I've said things that I admitted could sound dismissive. not that I didn't think that there is no antisemitism in the US, only that it isn't as systemic as other bigotries e.g. blacks, LGBT, Muslims, etc. or as prevalent as it is in other parts of the world. or that fears of "globalism" may just be fears of large shadowy governments, no matter how much they overlap with antisemitism narratives (and no matter how paranoid and irrational those people are). I always admit that one thing that has probably made it a hard idea to fully grasp is that for years I've considered Jewish people as white, more or less like me. plus our country's favoring Israel over Palestine and "fuck yeah WWII!!!!" ethos.

of course in the back of my mind there was always "but what if someone attacks a synagogue? what would you say then?" because why else would someone attack a synagogue?


Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:11 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
there is a friend of mine and I converse a lot through social media with his mom, mostly about Trump and how much of a dork he is. she identifies strongly as a Jewish person and has shared many concerns about the rise of antisemitism in the last few years. occasionally I've said things that I admitted could sound dismissive. not that I didn't think that there is no antisemitism in the US, only that it isn't as systemic as other bigotries e.g. blacks, LGBT, Muslims, etc. or as prevalent as it is in other parts of the world. or that fears of "globalism" may just be fears of large shadowy governments, no matter how much they overlap with antisemitism narratives (and no matter how paranoid and irrational those people are). I always admit that one thing that has probably made it a hard idea to fully grasp is that for years I've considered Jewish people as white, more or less like me. plus our country's favoring Israel over Palestine and "fuck yeah WWII!!!!" ethos.

I've been especially shocked to see the recent cases of certain progressives, in particular most of the women who organized the Women's March, who have proven incapable of denouncing the very clear anti-Semitism of Louis Farrakhan. Back in 1995, it wasn't very difficult for participants of the Million Man March to say that the mission of the march, to show solidarity among responsible black fathers, outweighs any personal agenda of the organizer Farrakhan (and actually the crowd would thin considerably during Farrakhan's long, rambling speech that day). So it shouldn't take much for participants of the Women's March to say that the cause of the moment surpasses any petty allegience of those organizers. I'm just kinda appalled that in 2018 there still exists anyone willing to apologize for Farrakhan's open, rather proud in fact, statements of hate against the Jews. It's one the lower bars on in progressive ideology to reject such blanket racism. It's troubling that even a handful of young women, ostensibly in leadership positions among leftist organizers, who are still willing to ignore or defend Farrakhan's bile, and to dimly pretend shock when it's pointed out that this isn't so much different from those leaders of the alt-right who similarly defend racist speakers and literature. (Or the unfortunate coincidence that today's synagogue shooter has also called the Jews "children of Satan".) Naturally, many progressive sites have also chosen to sweeep all of this under the rug as fast as possible.


Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:26 pm
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I didn't even know about that. I'll have to keep it in mind.

also this news from Brazil is awfully depressing. just more evidence that we're all still riding this global wave of authoritarianism/nationalism.


Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:17 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I didn't even know about that. I'll have to keep it in mind.

Here's a light primer.

It's not quite as embarrassing an equivalence as, say, Jimmy Dore's "Putin's a bad guy? Who isn't?" (Me, Jimmy Dore. I'm not a bad guy.), but arguably the Women's March, as an organization, has a lot more progressive clout right now than any random aggrieved Putin apologist.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:13 am
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thanks

about Trump and revoking citizenship: I am vaguely aware of the logistics to pulling this off and they probably won't involve an executive order. BUT at the very least, this is another shift in the Overton window. a bad one.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:27 pm
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and now he's outlining conditions for the justified killing of migrants.

and maybe Soros is still funding the caravan. or at least he wouldn't be surprised. lots of people are saying he is. wouldn't be a shock that's for sure.

(again, I don't know the likelihood of there being some sort of 'showdown' at the border but we already have a leader throwing out ideas like this in public, that these things are OK, etc. because we're still going to have migrants after Trump is gone)


Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:23 pm
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All right, let's do this shit. I donated to:

Harley Rouda
Abigail Spanberger
Cindy Axne
JD Scholten
Jacky Rosen

Four of those are arguably toss-ups, and Scholten's *very* unlikely to win.

But fuck Steve King to the fucking moon.

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Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:15 am
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DaMU wrote:
All right, let's do this shit. I donated to:

Harley Rouda
Abigail Spanberger
Cindy Axne
JD Scholten
Jacky Rosen

Four of those are arguably toss-ups, and Scholten's *very* unlikely to win.

But fuck Steve King to the fucking moon.
I too donated to these people.
I mean, they're running against a white supremacist and a possible Russian operative. Why wouldn't you?

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Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:51 am
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not gonna lie, I'm a little bummed out. if I were Trump, I would be feeling less uneasy about 2020.

getting the House ain't nothin' though


Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:03 pm
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I'm in a great mood, because marijuana was legalized in Michigan.

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Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:47 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
not gonna lie, I'm a little bummed out. if I were Trump, I would be feeling less uneasy about 2020.

getting the House ain't nothin' though


I get where you're coming from,

but hell, I'm happy. Dems took the House, won some important gubernatorial races, were competitive in places that have been gerrymandered to hell (or were deep red anyway), and a lot of positive measures passed: more advancement on the legal marijuana front, more Medicaid expansions, voting rights restored to ex-felons in Florida (this is huge and changes the Florida map). Mueller's safer.

Most importantly, Trump's shitty, half-assed agenda is gone now. The wall? Gone (and was only barely started). Immigration shit? Gone. Repealing the ACA? Gone.

Yes, there are a lot of reasons to be vigilant, but we needed to be vigilant anyway.

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Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:09 am
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DaMU wrote:
All right, let's do this shit. I donated to:

Harley Rouda
Abigail Spanberger
Cindy Axne
JD Scholten
Jacky Rosen


Four out of five ain't bad.

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Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:12 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
also this news from Brazil is awfully depressing. just more evidence that we're all still riding this global wave of authoritarianism/nationalism.


Conflict is driven by resource scarcity. We're heading into the perfect storm of scarcity (e.g., clean water, cheap energy, population growth, global warming, pollution). This makes us yearn for simple solutions to complex problems. A person to blame other than ourselves. And a punishment of those responsible. I feel like I watching the pregame show for Mad Max.


Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:22 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

Conflict is driven by resource scarcity. We're heading into the perfect storm of scarcity (e.g., clean water, cheap energy, population growth, global warming, pollution). This makes us yearn for simple solutions to complex problems. A person to blame other than ourselves. And a punishment of those responsible. I feel like I watching the pregame show for Mad Max.
It's hard to stop myself from throwing myself out of a window after reading this post. Really, what's the point of all of this?

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Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:44 am
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strange times


Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:14 pm
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DaMU wrote:
Four out of five ain't bad.

I believe that the Dems themselves were responsible for losing the fifth.

Most people I know have never heard of JD Scholten, and those that have only learned his name about two weeks ago.

Steve King did not just wake up this year spouting racist shit. The Dems should have had a target on him, including pushing mainstream coverage of his opponent, since his thoughts on civilization were made clear two years ago. Even over the summer when King was making veiled threats about Ft. Sumter. How did they not use this to push their candidate for months?

I could say the same for the two Republican congressmen who won despite being under indictment. In the age of Trump, I guess there's a curve for the more brazen forms of corruption, but you have to at least try to win their seats from them.


Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:17 pm
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DaMU wrote:
Mueller's safer.

Heh.

Although one silver lining may be that he'll be forced to release some damning portions of his report before he gets fired/defunded by Whitiker. We'll probably get to see something concrete by the end of the year.

DaMU wrote:
Most importantly, Trump's shitty, half-assed agenda is gone now.

Heh. Did you post this before Pelosi admitted that Trump had some good ideas?

Going by Trump's shit-spewing press conference, I'd say that thi is only going to encourage Trump to get a whole lot meaner.


Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:23 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
I believe that the Dems themselves were responsible for losing the fifth.

Most people I know have never heard of JD Scholten, and those that have only learned his name about two weeks ago.

Steve King did not just wake up this year spouting racist shit. The Dems should have had a target on him, including pushing mainstream coverage of his opponent, since his thoughts on civilization were made clear two years ago. Even over the summer when King was making veiled threats about Ft. Sumter. How did they not use this to push their candidate for months?

I could say the same for the two Republican congressmen who won despite being under indictment. In the age of Trump, I guess there's a curve for the more brazen forms of corruption, but you have to at least try to win their seats from them.


With very few exceptions, the uselessness of Democrats infuriates me almost as much as the vileness of the Republicans.


Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:24 pm
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As for the rest of Tuesday, it's hard not to think that racism did not win, ultimately. DeSantis' platform amounted to "don't vote for the black guy" and won. Barely? OK then. Racism only barely won in Florida.

In Georgia it was a bit more complicated. Still no word on the phantom cyber-attacks that Kemp has accused. The last minute fearmongering over a phony Black Panther threat probably had a marginal impact. Most importantly was the odd (as in 'not entirely believable') clerical error that allotted three voting machines for a heavily populated downtown Atlanta precinct that caused people to wait for 3-5 hours to vote (discouraging, perhaps, hundreds). And this.

The tactics employed by Cruz of sending extremely deceptive mailings meant to scare or misonform voters, incidents such as in Kansas of sending false information regarding how to vote, and other continued efforts to suppress voters of targeted demographics will be normalized and tolerated, reflected by the media's collective shrug regarding these stories.

No. I am not happy about any of this.


Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:37 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:

No. I am not happy about any of this.


As a person who had begun to believe the absolute worst was going to happen on the election day, who worried the especially dark turn in American politics in the last few weeks would only improve Republican chances of resisting a blue wave, I am still willing to be happy that somehow Democrats still took the house. I had begun to think it was at least in some doubt.

Is their victory a remedy for how horrible everything is in American politics right now? Barely. But it has to be thought of as a start, and a glimmer of hope.

I'll take it.


Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:54 pm
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