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> In what direction is America headed?, Are you more optimistic than a year ago or more pessimistic?
Gray Seal
post Dec 29 2015, 11:26 PM
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It is the end of a year and a beginning of a new year. This is a typical time to have a retrospective and vision of the future.

What is your feelings now compared to a year ago? Have they changed?
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AuthorMusician
post Jan 1 2016, 05:41 PM
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I'm looking forward to 2016, as I've seen lots of signs that point toward positive changes:

People seem to be ticked off at how the recovery has passed them by, and they're on both sides of the political spectrum and cross demographic lines. Maybe economic reforms will come of this, ones that actually work. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one - John Lennon. It has happened before and can happen again.

Climate change has become undeniable when you see your house floating down the river and crashing into a bridge. It still might be too late, but maybe this year people will want to take proactive measures on dealing with freak storms that happen when more heat fuels phenomenon like el nino. For example, expanding what's considered flood zones around rivers, beefing up levees, and implementing other control methods. Then again, denial could become even stronger, but moving ahead into bargaining would likely save lives and properties.

Trade agreements are being exposed for what they are, and what they are doesn't mean good news for most citizens. If the US Congress rejects the most recent one, the whole concept will likely be examined, and maybe the secrecy around negotiations will be lifted. Basically, stop using us (and our futures) as bargaining chips.

Trump has attracted the minority of dickish right-wing types, so at least they're out in the open. The FBI and Secret Service probably appreciate this, as it makes their jobs easier. Maybe domestic terrorism won't be so common as these types realize that files are being kept on them and they're being watched. Worked for the dickish left-wing types in the 1960s-80s, so I guess it's the dickish right wing's turn. However, lots of regular people are in that group too. The demand for getting off their trails, along with the regular left-wing folks who got lumped together with murderers, will likely rise. That pressure will encourage better techniques and technologies in security.

The unholy alliance of prosecutors and law enforcement has been exposed when officers get caught doing bad things to citizens, and the events get video recorded. Now that the injustice is known, adjustments to the system will likely be implemented, such as independent prosecution teams that aren't controlled by politicians and have no obligation to police officers. On the other side of this, police departments are reassessing their training programs, and this will likely continue.

Music is about to head into another golden era, starting with revivals of old stuff from other golden eras. Melody will make a comeback, as will rhythms beyond those used in rap. Adele is leading the way.

I'm not sure what's going to happen in literature, but golden ages for music tend to bring golden ages for literature along for the ride.

Internet trolling will become unsatisfactory as people just ignore the attempts to jerk chains. Can't be a shock jockey if nobody gets shocked. Still might work among tweens and young teens, but I bet the kids will consider it to be uncool and self-destructive.

Some of this is the same as for last New Year's Day, but this time it isn't feeling like wishful thinking.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about our lives over the next year. Not sure we'll be able to stay in this house due to troubles moving around, but that could improve too. Guess we'll find out.
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Hobbes
post Jan 4 2016, 07:14 PM
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QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Dec 29 2015, 06:26 PM) *
It is the end of a year and a beginning of a new year. This is a typical time to have a retrospective and vision of the future.

What is your feelings now compared to a year ago? Have they changed?


Becoming more pessimistic. The global outlook seems to be deteriorating, and we could be headed for more economic trouble. China appears to be headed for a downturn in its stocks/economy, and that will have global implications. Trouble in the ME seems to be getting worse, which will also have global implications. Europe and the US seem stuck in an economic malaise, which the global problems will heighten. The good news is the the US will likely continue to be a safe harbor...not good, but better than all the rest.
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Gray Seal
post Jan 7 2016, 11:58 PM
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I have been pessimistic for several years. Things around me, my family, are doing fine. They give me hope.

People who own small businesses seem to get it. People who work for a paycheck are for the most part clueless. It is quite evident they lack understanding of the world around them and how it works. People who are nice in their person to person contacts can also have no problem sticking it to nameless people via the government they elect.

A major fault is with the public education system. It does not teach principles of the Constitution, what money is, what freedom is, nor how to be an educated voter.

The economic mountain of ill is higher. The recognition of the mountain is blocked by politics based upon ignorance. Foreign policy is supported by American's narcissistic violence tendencies.

The mountain will be coming down, unstable under its own weight not because of enlightment. I am concerned that current ignorance will allow to the Mountain to still stand, crumbled though it will be.
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AuthorMusician
post Jan 8 2016, 02:14 AM
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As with every day of my life, some things are looking up, others down, and the rest stays neutral. The beginning of the new year is a fake holiday, in that the actual solar year started around the 23rd of December. Taken in that sense, the celebration of light during the darkest period of the year makes perfect sense. However, it makes little difference regarding my attitudes toward conditions.

All it means is that the days get longer, the nights shorter, and eventually the weather will get warmer. I do look forward to springtime, the migrating birds, the new growth budding out, some more young creatures figuring out how it works for them. The most noticeable among them are the new mule deer fawns bounding about the hills, wasting their energy while their older brothers and sisters look on with sad eyes. They get only one summer of fun before the serious business of survival takes over.

So is that a pessimistic or optimistic view? I'd say neither, simply an honest view. It is what it is, nothing more or less. On the other hand, it will be good news that another season has turned; we haven't entirely messed up the planet yet. But then it may have turned a fateful corner, never to return.

Given the choice, I choose to think of things in positive terms. It's a habit developed along the way, not a Pollyanna view but one that can go either way, so since I'm making that decision, head for the light. Yep, there's got to be a pony around here somewhere.
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Gray Seal
post Jan 9 2016, 03:35 PM
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Our own lives and the frame of mind we have are important. It is good to have an approach which will recognize the possible. How else could your reach for better if you are not looking for it?

A positive approach to life is not the same as observation. You can look out the window (or check the radar on the internet) in the morning and see the tennis match you were planning to play outside at 10am is not going to happen. Doing something else constructive or fun with that time is a positive approach.

What of that rain? Is it a shower or thunderstorms? How much rain? Is there a possibility of severe weather? Are you prepared if a tornado a corner off of your house?

Having a life approach where you can handle anything which is thrown at you is a good approach. The story of our lives is doing the best with what we have, not what we wish we had.

America is headed for severe storms. These storms are self inflicted. There is good chance these storms will go on and on, wave after wave, because America does not know they are self inflicted. Ignorance and national narcissism predominate.

There will be challenges and I think I can handle them. Personally, I will be OK. I would prefer to be handling different problems, expanding the envelope, instead of confined. Problem solving is problem solving. The world is an interesting place.

I am pessimist for America. I am an optimist the problems can personally be managed. I am also an optimist that eventually America will learn and be humble. I hope the eventually is short but signs indicate that will not be anytime soon.
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AuthorMusician
post Jan 11 2016, 06:53 PM
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QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Jan 9 2016, 11:35 AM) *
America is headed for severe storms. These storms are self inflicted. There is good chance these storms will go on and on, wave after wave, because America does not know they are self inflicted. Ignorance and national narcissism predominate.

There will be challenges and I think I can handle them. Personally, I will be OK. I would prefer to be handling different problems, expanding the envelope, instead of confined. Problem solving is problem solving. The world is an interesting place.

I am pessimist for America. I am an optimist the problems can personally be managed. I am also an optimist that eventually America will learn and be humble. I hope the eventually is short but signs indicate that will not be anytime soon.

Seems that most people who respond to polls agree that the country is heading in the wrong direction, but just stating that without followup details is meaningless. Which way is the right way, and is there any consensus on that across the population?

The right way looks very fluid to me, depending on personal desires, beliefs, philosophies, economics, fears, and hopes. These are things that we can change within ourselves, but as the old psych joke goes, we need to want to change. If not, change will likely not happen without some form of external stress.

People can also agree on particulars but disagree on methods. For example, every parent wants quality education for the children, but what does quality education look like? Is it free and open or preordained and closed? Is it home schooling or institutional schooling? Is it for-profit or not, or perhaps some of the other forms of so-called nonprofits? Does it include physical discipline or not? What is the overall goal of education -- conformity, free thinking, creative application of theory, pure theory, love of lifelong learning, obedience to authority, training for specific career paths, flexibility to pursue any possible career path, discovery of new knowledge, rote memorizing? And of course combinations of the above to crank out good citizens, productive members of society, and various other buzz terms (terms without clear definitions).

One thing that is coming to a head across the world is the notion that the world will soon end, often called being apocalyptic. Both Muslims and Christians fall into this category, but the type doesn't represent the majority of either religion. Yet this belief is being questioned as not a very good resume point for leadership, especially leadership with fingers on nuke buttons. Some have been questioning for decades, others not so much until the last decade played out.

Another is the inability for our present economic system to lift all boats. Nope, only the yachts get lifted while our little crafts go underwater. Can't trust bankers, investment brokers, or even some employers who actively steal the wages of low-income employees. The whole dang world looks like a Ponzi scheme in an updated version of Through the Looking Glass.

But what can be done about it? People can vote, but after that can they boot out unsatisfactory winners? That's not very easy unless firearm control is the issue, from what I've seen. Mag cap limits and background checks led to the booting out of a couple Colorado state legislators, but that didn't change the laws put on the books. People in Wisconsin tried to boot out their governor and failed. President B. Clinton was impeached, and yet he served out his full second term.

It can get pretty darn depressing, so the AA prayer about knowing what you can change and what you can't applies. Many people work hard at being politically active, but many more have neither the time nor energy to go active. Then there are those who ignore the whole thing, seeking out instead escapes from realities and pleasures of the flesh. That's being politically apathetic, an easy way to go. Another similar stance is being apolitical, although that can be interpreted as being independent of political parties. The person might still vote, but nobody can tell which way that wind will blow. Drives pundits crazy. See, every black cloud has a silver lining tongue.gif

Well, things have looked a lot worse throughout history. The world has been at war twice, and some see the terrorist threat as a third world war. Or maybe economic threats, or maybe science as the threat. Could be climate change too or a big rock from space. It changes among individuals.

Change what you can, accept what you can't change, and know the difference. Works for AA and myself.
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Trouble
post Jan 12 2016, 05:24 AM
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QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Dec 29 2015, 05:26 PM) *
It is the end of a year and a beginning of a new year. This is a typical time to have a retrospective and vision of the future.

What is your feelings now compared to a year ago? Have they changed?


I'd wager American voters are more open to demagoguery and unabashed nepotism than they were the last election cycle. However there are stress cracks within the media that may be entertaining for some while offering real opportunities for dialog depending on the degree to which media breaks.

The gatekeepers to both parties have done an amazing job at stifling third party bases. Despite everything they have done wrong upper class America has been Johnny on the spot at smothering third party assemblies. I would have never expected them to last out this long. This lack of diverse political opinion has allowed Republican candidates-less Trump of course to keep the range of issues narrow in the extreme.

I suspect the party took Trump on for the same reasons as it did Ron Paul. The need to widen debate is very pertinent to the popular vote but the 2016 election cycle coverage is all about narrowing the discussion while allowing Trump/Sanders for tokenism. However unlike Paul, Trump clearly knows how to manipulate media to his favour to the point of pushing other candidates to make outlandish gaffes to get noticed.

I think the real issues involve Hilliary being forced to take power for the same reason Italy's Berlusconi as a way of covering up past crimes by attaining high office. She seeks power for the sake of power as her actions over the last few years should have come under greater scrutiny in a more functional democracy.

Trump on the other hand presents a dilemma, it is quite clear the other candidates are selected by how ready they accept corporate influence. Considering Trump is well off, his lowered capacity for venal interactions disqualifies him from support which can be called upon later. The media is trying hard to hoist him on his own petard but is failing miserably. For all intents and purposes Trump understands the art of judo.

So it is here I will say whatever happens to the media this year will have high impact on the rest of the year.

If the media is able to make Trump bow out at the last minute we will see some very sophisticated electioneering. Trump makes a wonderful distraction for less palatable types to win by default. If you can't win with sound arguements win with emotional ones. If you can't do well with that, have a stalking horse to shield you from discourse Trojan style.

However if the Trump phenomenon builds steam there is a risk Trump may break off from the greater Republican franchise and pull all his supporters with him thus doing irrevocable damage to what passes for the conservative base.

Hilliary as a candidate cannot really offer anything. She has misused power from any position in her life and resorts to feel your pain sycophantic jingoism which is not believable without a Sanders like person. In fact Sanders is merely a bait a switch. Voting for her involves a large dose amnesia. Her platform involves not talking about a lot of stuff. A platform of avoidance is a hard sell to a wider audience.

But then again, what do I know? I am just a foreigner.
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AuthorMusician
post Jan 12 2016, 08:08 PM
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QUOTE(Trouble @ Jan 12 2016, 01:24 AM) *
Hilliary as a candidate cannot really offer anything. She has misused power from any position in her life and resorts to feel your pain sycophantic jingoism which is not believable without a Sanders like person. In fact Sanders is merely a bait a switch. Voting for her involves a large dose amnesia. Her platform involves not talking about a lot of stuff. A platform of avoidance is a hard sell to a wider audience.

But then again, what do I know? I am just a foreigner.

Just a few niggling points to make:

Hillary does not determine the Democratic platform. This is done at the convention, which is way down the road. She meanwhile delivers stump speeches, which of course change from time to time and place to place, as with every other politician.

People in general have not been impressed with the Congressional investigations into her alleged wrong deeds. That's why she is retaining support, according to the polling numbers, which aren't very reliable. Using the same unreliable sources, Sanders seems to have a chance at the nomination. However, not a single caucus has been held and not a single vote has been cast for anyone.

Trump appeals to an aging base in the Republican Party, the people who are most likely to respond to polling via land-line phones. His numbers are therefore highly suspect of being an illusion, albeit a frightful one. I predict his precious little walnut of an ego will force him to do a third-party run ala Ross Perot, and so Hillary will get in like Bill did -- a plurality, not a majority.

I don't want that to happen. I'd rather he stays in for the duration and forces the Republican convention into a more entertaining circus. That would require him to take losses along with possible wins, so I won't make that prediction. Deep down he is an insecure little tween trying to be popular among others with tween minds and spirits. He might just take his money and trophy wife/family home to brood over his luxurious, most fantastic skating rink.

Sanders is the most remarkable candidate running. He has successfully used the grass roots not only to raise impressive amounts of cash via small donations, but to attract highly competent and motivated volunteers. I saw a report in which even foreign people have come to the states for him. The one who was interviewed came from Greece, which could be interpreted as Sanders having international support. Or she might be shopping for a US citizen husband, thereby getting to stay in the states rather than going back to the hell hole that Greece has become.

Whatever the way this is looked at, most of the reporting is just speculation upon speculation, peppered with a few flareups among talking heads. It's kibitzing before the game has even started. About the only thing that can be determined now is who gets to have a podium on the debate stages. And that determination is made via unreliable polling numbers.

It's a mess, but it's also inevitable that real numbers will be showing up a few weeks from now. That's when the election season will become clearer and clearer up to the conventions and general election. Otherwise, it's like trying to determine the sex of a child before conception. Coin flips would be more accurate.

One last point: It matters very little to throw money at an election. What counts are the volunteers making phone calls (not robocalls) and knocking on doors. Shoe leather, face time, and phone calls from real people win elections.
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Gray Seal
post Jan 17 2016, 05:22 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician)
Hillary does not determine the Democratic platform. This is done at the convention, which is way down the road. She meanwhile delivers stump speeches, which of course change from time to time and place to place, as with every other politician.
It was demonstrated by both major parties at each of their last Presidential conventions who determines the platform. There were floor votes on the platform. The teleprompter determined the results of the floor votes; as in the vote was predetermined by a secret group behind the scenes.

I do not think Presidential candidates have been determining the platform nor has party members.

You have a good point about elections being definitive and polls not. Sanders could win. Trump is supported by Celebrity Apprentice fans more than old white folk.

Sanders has been excellent at reaching people who recognize there is a problem. Sanders sees the problems. If you are impressed by Sander's funding raising skills from small donors you must have been a fan of Ron Paul's too?

I like your observation on the campaign, at least on the news reporting perspective. It has been an unreliable dependence on polls to determine debate exposure. Such determinations are done for the benefit of the political insiders.

I also agree that volunteer workers (especially if they are paid) are the strength of a political campaign. Exposure helps which is highly controlled by insider media.

The people are not educated. They do not know how to be an educated voter. As long as this is true, big money will control the masses.

The people seem to be sliding more to the side of piglets looking for a tit to suck on rather than a fair chance to make their way on their own two feet.
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AuthorMusician
post Jan 17 2016, 07:54 PM
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QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Jan 17 2016, 01:22 PM) *
Sanders has been excellent at reaching people who recognize there is a problem. Sanders sees the problems. If you are impressed by Sander's funding raising skills from small donors you must have been a fan of Ron Paul's too?

Not at all. I have more criteria than fund raising when granting my fandom to candidates.

However, the Internet has enabled many small donors to compete with a few large donors. The Sanders' campaign is demonstrating that this could be the way to go from here on out.

All I remember from Ron Paul's attempts was that he served as a thorn in the side of major Republican candidates. I don't remember that he raised significant funds via many small donations through the Internet. I do remember that he caught the eyes and ears of younger voters for one of his campaigns, but not enough to create much of a splash.

Trump has a major logic problem in his thinking: He will have to deal with Congress and the SCOTUS while trying to implement his ambitious plan to make America great again -- which has its own begging question:

Exactly what time in US history is he thinking about? When was the last time America was great? Does he want to become another FDR, and if so, isn't he in the wrong party? Or is it simply a campaign slogan, pretty much meaningless?


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Gray Seal
post Jan 18 2016, 06:00 PM
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Ron Paul was able to raise significant funds from small donors. Sanders is repeating a fund raising pattern demonstrated by Ron Paul. Kudos to all the people who support them.

The ability to raise funds does not automatically make them a high visibility candidate. Much of the advertising exposure is controlled by big business media. Neither campaigns have the ability to "make a splash" as so many people cater to the whims of big media and big money. Both Sanders and Paul make a splash with me as they are independent thinkers and not beholden to any deep pockets.

Sanders has recognized there is a problem and knowing this is half the battle. The other half is knowing what is causing the problem and how to make corrections. Sanders is halfway there much like a significant portion of the people. There is much to learn and it is not being taught in our schools. The internet is our country's best resource for good information. A minority of the people use the internet as an education tool.

We have a lot of ignorant and gullible people voting. Combine that with people who wish to use government to improve their lot or force values upon others and we have a country in decline.

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post Jan 19 2016, 01:51 PM
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I think I am already pessimistic, but now I try to become more enlightened. I try to break down certain memes and colloquial wording and the way they are delivered. For instance, can "a country" be headed in any direction? The answer is quite simply, no. There are laws passed and treaties made, yes, but that is exactly what they are. That's not a country moving in a direction.

A country.. is a bunch a people.
The government.. is a bunch of people.

Yeah i know, saying this makes people want to roll their eyes and go "duuuuuuhhh!!!" But it needs to be said and reinforced and reiterated, again and again. Why? Because its very easy to forget. Its very easy to to see these things as entities... single actors with personas.

America is what every nation is in terms of "heading in direction". We are a nation at war with itself due to the competing interests of the actual personas of the actual people within our nation, whether that be the people elected to government or the people at the voting booths.

The answer lies in socialism. A bad word i know. But the answer has to be distributing power from its current consolidated state. The answer has to be in reforming the idea that the government is a power that exists outside the people govern. The answer can not be in pretending government does not need to exist, or needs to be smaller, for that is not how power works.

I repeat my belief that the government works for the people. It is a vehicle steered by the powerful in any nation. So if the powerful are few (relatively speaking) then the interest of the government will be to benefit the few.
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Gray Seal
post Jan 19 2016, 06:03 PM
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droop24, I hear a similar point of view from you as previously expressed by AuthorMusician. Individually we can always make the best of things.

I was using the word "direction" as in a course, a progression in time of events.

We as individuals have some control over the events in our lives. A group of people also have some control over events. It is good to have a positive approach to each of our own lives. However, the actions of groups will have an effect upon our individual lives. We must as individuals confront the group created challenges imposed upon our individual lives.

My question was about a group of people, America, and what opinions each of you have about the course of America. Do you have positive or negative impressions of the progression of this group? Certainly we can as individuals make the best of things but I expect we all have preference of conditions as a member of the American group.

We are at war with ourselves, with each other. Authoritative government is growing which increases conflict with each other. I know some of you are resigned to this fate of playing "King of the Hill". Who ever gets on top tells the rest what to do. I reject this mindset as freedom is a better choice. It is a choice. You can choose tyranny or you can choose freedom.

Socialism is full on acceptance of an authoritative state. The state has full permission to use whatever force it wishes to control the lives of all of its people. Bernie Sanders is an example of someone who chooses authoritative government. As long as people get to vote for the leaders of it Sanders is all for it. Such a government will not last. It creates lots of conflict. Further, it gives power to the majority to increase their conditions at the expense of the minority. It is unethical to its core.

If we want conditions where control over our own lives is maximized then liberty is the best choice. We should all want as much control over our own lives a possible. If you want to maximize control over others then authoritative government would be your choice. Socialism would fit the bill though other forms of tyranny will do it, too.

America is on a course for more tyranny. The people are voting for this. I am pessimistic about the direction of America as I know freedom is the best group philosophy. Conflicts and distress will increase and the quality of life will suffer on the course America is taking. As someone who cares about my own life, and of the lives of others, we are failing badly at choosing sensible group actions.
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droop224
post Jan 19 2016, 08:49 PM
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Grey Seal

Who doesn't fight for freedom? Liberty? Everyone from Hitler and the Nazis to the U.S. Marines. If we take our own perception of freedom every war is a war of freedom. And this is possible because we tell ourselves this is what we fight for.

I have listened to you articulate your ideas of liberty and it is not liberty but rather an idea you call liberty. You propose certain controls and limitation on the actions of persons and how they can affect other persons. In other words... laws. Laws are authoritative. I say that to further say... there are no countries without governments, there are no governments without laws and thus ALL governments are authoritative. All stable societies have acceptance of an authoritative state.

You fight for the empowerment of the individual, which whether you recognize it or not, is what you have. You fight for the empowerment of the individual, as if an individual, once empowered, will not try to enslave his fellow man. You are wrong. How many history lessons do we have on that... to include the founders of "current system".

You ask where is our nation headed, well what is the foundation of our nation? What was our nation built on, by deeds, not words?

America is far less tyrannical then it was at its inception, unless you are a white male, scratch that, a land owning White male.

For me it is your vision and insight in what you see that is disturbing. If the people are voting for something... then it most likely is not tyranny... it is the will of the people. Unless what they vote for is cruel. Inequality, racism, slavery, death, torture, if people voted for these things then maybe you could argue that people are voting for tyranny.

But the truth, as i see it, is that the people are voting in a system that has been completely corrupted by the empowered individual(s) who seeks greater power. And the struggle lies in convincing the modern conservative and certain libertarians schools that "liberty" is not empowering the individual or few individuals where they have the potential to control the government, which should be a tool of the people.
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AuthorMusician
post Jan 19 2016, 11:33 PM
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QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Jan 18 2016, 02:00 PM) *
Ron Paul was able to raise significant funds from small donors. Sanders is repeating a fund raising pattern demonstrated by Ron Paul. Kudos to all the people who support them.

Actually, your link is from 2012. Small donations via the Internet was first done earlier, primarily by Democrats:

2008 Obama

Some history going back to 2004

So Ron Paul was following, not leading.

The positive look at this is that average people can actually make this democratic republic work by eviscerating the big donor class. Sanders has a chance at the nomination, which is a very good sign. Rand Paul? Not a prayer. And of course Ron has retired from any runs at any public office.

Right now the pundits are trying to second-guess the electorate via polls, but the fundraising via small-amount Internet donations is more significant because it reflects actual public appeal for the candidates. If this were taken as the primary indicator, Sanders would be seen as walking away with the election. But it's still too early in history for that kind of analysis to take hold. People generally resist change, especially if their paychecks depend on things remaining static.

The history of the world has been unfolding at an accelerating rate since, oh, the end of the 18th century. The speed of change is disturbing a lot of people, but a lot of others embrace rapid change and thrive on it. Sanders has ideas that have already been tried and shown to work, at least from the standpoint of growing the middle class. I don't see this as embracing change but resisting it, heading back to good old days that never existed. Trump is trying to do the same with a lame slogan, so he's heading for Loserville. At least Sanders and Clinton have attempted to define exactly how they'd carry out their policies, right now Hillary more so than Sanders. He's supposed to come up with more details soon, so we will see.

I'm suspecting that on the Democratic side, comparing the Clinton approach to the Sanders approach will become a major thing. However on the Republican side, it looks like more platitudes and vague economics (voodoo) will be the flavors served up. But it's still way too early to make reliable predictions.

We also might be heading into an election season that doesn't respond to TV ads like before. I know that on my favorite streaming site, Hulu, the ads do come through. Still, I could pay another eight bucks a month to not have any ads, or I could head over to Amazon and watch TV without any ads, just part of the package.

So what does that mean to the donor class? Gotta find the right outlets to spend money on, probably. But what if none exist any longer? How do you reach people?

Back to knocking on doors, spending shoe leather, making real-person calls, maybe even *gasp* publishing position papers! How about YouTube bits?
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Gray Seal
post Jan 20 2016, 09:53 PM
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QUOTE(droop224)
Unless what they vote for is cruel. Inequality, racism, slavery, death, torture, if people voted for these things then maybe you could argue that people are voting for tyranny.
Inequality...a few people are making unbelievable money due to government largess and favoritism.
Slavery...we do not own our own property as we must pay taxes to the government to be allowed to have the land. I am forced to give half my production to government.
Death...too many citizens are killed by the police and there are no repercussions.
Torture...used by the United States.
Racism...this is the only item on your cruelty list which is not a government problem.

It is troubling that the people see these cruel acts and do not vote out the incumbents.

QUOTE(droop224)
All stable societies have acceptance of an authoritative state.
It is the opposite to what you have written. Authoritative states eventually fall apart due to the unfairness and antithesis to freedom. Eventually can last hundreds of years. End it will.

Having societal structure where we recognize and defend natural rights is as opposite to authoritative as one can get. The common inability to see the difference between defending your life and property (or holding dishonest people accountable) versus other's control and direction of another's life is discouraging.

QUOTE(droop224)
But the truth, as i see it, is that the people are voting in a system that has been completely corrupted by the empowered individual(s) who seeks greater power.
The truth is that people are voting for a system that is completely corrupted by empowering government to have authoritative power to benefit some at the expense of others.

As we have figured out before, droop224, we differ in what we think is our best attainable human condition. You believe it to be authoritative government which benefits the most people. I believe it is freedom which is attainable by all people. More people think as you do, droop224, which is discouraging for me.

-------

QUOTE(AuthorMusician)
Sanders is the most remarkable candidate running. He has successfully used the grass roots not only to raise impressive amounts of cash via small donations, but to attract highly competent and motivated volunteers.
QUOTE(AuthorMusician)
Small donations via the Internet was first done earlier, primarily by Democrats [.] So Ron Paul was following, not leading.
As he successfully used the grass roots not only to raise impressive cash but attract competent and motivated volunteer, Ron Paul was the most remarkable candidate of the 2012 Presidential campaign?

I do think the number of small donors to Bernie Sanders is important and that these donations are a big majority of the money raised.

QUOTE(AuthorMusician)
At least Sanders and Clinton have attempted to define exactly how they'd carry out their policies.
Do you read what you have written? It is true they have attempted to define how they'd carry out their policies. They have failed to deliver which is why you properly used "attempted". How is this any different than the Republican candidates?

QUOTE(AuthorMusician)
Sanders has ideas that have already been tried and shown to work. He's supposed to come up with more details [as to what he is plans to do] soon.
I am discouraged as there are many who base their support on partisanship as opposed to real policy. Sanders has trouble with math and has not presented a plan but you can be confident that whatever he has planned (it is not defined nor explained) will work as well as other such plans (which are also undefined and unknown).

Is choosing a side then shoving skepticism in the back of a closet the path to a greater good?

"And you run on back home and shine up the Major's boots."

This post has been edited by Gray Seal: Jan 20 2016, 09:54 PM
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droop224
post Jan 21 2016, 03:43 AM
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Gray Seal,


You are Shakespearean!!

QUOTE
Inequality...a few people are making unbelievable money due to government largess and favoritism.


Alright!

1. All great crimes have motives!! What is an elected government's motive in creating laws that favor a relative VERY few rich people in favor over the vast majority of people that vote and get them elected?

2. How would a larger government that takes more taxes from the few rich increase the wealth of the rich?

Please lets not answer the questions with questions.. and i don't need you to back anything up unless you want to. i just want to understand the logic.

QUOTE
Slavery...we do not own our own property as we must pay taxes to the government to be allowed to have the land. I am forced to give half my production to government.
And yet somehow... you eat sleep ... have a car, the internet, play a little ultimate!! thumbsup.gif ... live in a house, maybe condo... go on vacations!!
QUOTE
Death...too many citizens are killed by the police and there are no repercussions.
Can't help you there!! I listen to conservatives and i listen to the liberals and I can tell you it aren't the big government liberals giving the silent nod. Its those red red move and you dead republicans. However... did i tell you Grey Seal that Rand Paul stands above that field, not sure if you are a fan of his, but his conservative\libertarian values are respectable.

QUOTE
It is troubling that the people see these cruel acts and do not vote out the incumbents.
and vote in crueler candidates??? People for the most part are totally comfortable with being cruel. Mothers and fathers would gladly see war, carnage, poverty, on another group of people if it allowed them to live in peaceful neighborhoods and air conditioned houses.

I take that back... they can't be cruel directly... they have to do it for... "liberty"... "freedom"...


QUOTE
It is the opposite to what you have written. Authoritative states eventually fall apart due to the unfairness and antithesis to freedom. Eventually can last hundreds of years. End it will.

Having societal structure where we recognize and defend natural rights is as opposite to authoritative as one can get. The common inability to see the difference between defending your life and property (or holding dishonest people accountable) versus other's control and direction of another's life is discouraging.


First, ALL things end. Tell me you understand this. ALL THINGS END. Second, then be discouraged. You have a set idea and parameter for how to define defending your life and your property. You have man-made idea of how to define "your property". Different humans have... different man-made rules. Lastly, that "societal structure" cannot set what those parameters are or what an infringement is... unless it is AUTHORITATIVE!!

QUOTE
The truth is that people are voting for a system that is completely corrupted by empowering government to have authoritative power to benefit some at the expense of others.

As we have figured out before, droop224, we differ in what we think is our best attainable human condition. You believe it to be authoritative government which benefits the most people. I believe it is freedom which is attainable by all people. More people think as you do, droop224, which is discouraging for me.
No, more people don't think more like me, but that doesn't mean they think like you either. If more people thought like me we wouldn't be afraid of the word socialism, even though we live in massive societies where we are dependent on each other.

Not a hit on your character, but you are almost like a religious zealot in your beliefs and all evidence contrary to that belief are ignored. It isn't natural law that defines property, it is man made laws. I don't say this because "I love the government" I say it because it is a demonstrable empirical fact. You are discouraged because what is real is not matching the reality you have created. Just cause you don't like the words "authoritative" or "government" does not mean that this "societal structure" with authority isn't an "authoritative government". Every government is authoritative! And you are very limited in the size of people you can allow to live peacefully without some form of government...like noah's ark limited... Gilligan's island limited... you get to "Lost" size and its already too many people not to form a ruling authority!!

This post has been edited by droop224: Jan 21 2016, 03:56 AM
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Gray Seal
post Jan 21 2016, 02:44 PM
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droop224, though we disagree on conclusions from our observations of the world around, there is no doubt in my mind that you have taken the time to weight the events you observe to reach the conclusions you have. I appreciate your writing style. It conveys not just ideas but your thought processes. You do think.

Those in government create law which is self serving. That would be law which increases there own wealth and power. They will gladly do so as long as voters allow them this advantage.

Taxes go to someone. More taxes means government has more to direct. The bigger the government the greater the opportunity for people are getting rich via largess and favoritism. Tax productive people and give it to cronies. It is a great system for some.

I like Robert Noziak's Tale of the Slave (or text version here) to give thought to what slavery is.

QUOTE(droop224)
I listen to conservatives and i listen to the liberals and I can tell you it aren't the big government liberals giving the silent nod.
Are you saying this does not happen in cities where liberals are elected? I can tell you it has happened in my county which is decided liberal. My impression is that it is most likely to happen in metropolitan areas which are the bastion of liberals. Not to say this is a liberal problem. It seems to cross party lines as the line between them is a blur.

QUOTE(droop224)
...Rand Paul stands above that field, not sure if you are a fan of his, but his conservative\libertarian values are respectable.
cool smile.gif

QUOTE(droop224)
People for the most part are totally comfortable with being cruel.
There are people who would never be cruel by the own hand but are perfectly fine with electing people to do it for them.

QUOTE(droop224)
No, more people don't think more like me...
And to our society's loss. Your point is well taken. People have decided to vote like you have and with similar motivations.

This post has been edited by Gray Seal: Jan 21 2016, 03:21 PM
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droop224
post Jan 22 2016, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE
droop224, though we disagree on conclusions from our observations of the world around, there is no doubt in my mind that you have taken the time to weight the events you observe to reach the conclusions you have. I appreciate your writing style. It conveys not just ideas but your thought processes. You do think.
Ummm.. thank you, I think. And you think too, but do you challenge yourself and your ideas? Because i don't see the challenge in your response as to what would be governments motive. It seems like a half-hearten attempt to explain.

QUOTE
Those in government create law which is self serving. That would be law which increases there own wealth and power. They will gladly do so as long as voters allow them this advantage.
Can't disagree with you here, but different people would have different self interests. But there is lies the core of government corruption, a person acting in their own self interest to gain greater power and wealth. Does that sound familiar to you?

QUOTE
Taxes go to someone. More taxes means government has more to direct. The bigger the government the greater the opportunity for people are getting rich via largess and favoritism. Tax productive people and give it to cronies. It is a great system for some.
Its convoluted thinking that stems from seeing a the government as an entity, which it is not. Its an institution. Government workers don't make any laws. Elected legislative officials who make law and can form bureaucracies rarely control them. Elected Executives that control agencies, aren't getting paid by the taxes they collect.

Where is the collective government benefit coming from by by collecting taxes and making laws? How exactly does it work?

And lets talk about the elephant in the room, where is most of the money going to? Private organizations, if i had to guess. Its hard to find exact numbers. It doesn't just sit in the pocket of government officials. The infrastructure... computer, desks, office space leasing; the contracts... maintenance, IT, re$earch & development; the entitlements.. private hospitals, big pharm, private hospices;

QUOTE
I like Robert Noziak's Tale of the Slave (or text version here) to give thought to what slavery is.
I didn't but i read it.


QUOTE
"Consider the following sequence of cases... and imagine it is about you.


  1. There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master's whims. He often is cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on.
  2. The master is kindlier and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulfilling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time.
  3. The master has a group of slaves, and he decides how things are to be allocated among them on nice grounds, taking into account their needs, merit, and so on.
  4. The master allows his slaves four days on their own and requires them to work only three days a week on his land. The rest of the time is their own.
  5. The master allows his slaves to go off and work in the city (or anywhere they wish) for wages. He requires only that they send back to him three-sevenths of their wages. He also retains the power to recall them to the plantation if some emergency threatens his land; and to raise or lower the three-sevenths amount required to be turned over to him. He further retains the right to restrict the slaves from participating in certain dangerous activities that threaten his financial return, for example, mountain climbing, cigarette smoking.
  6. The master allows all of his 10,000 slaves, except you, to vote, and the joint decision is made by all of them. There is open discussion, and so forth, among them, and they have the power to determine to what uses to put whatever percentage of your (and their) earnings they decide to take; what activities legitimately may be forbidden to you, and so on.


    * * *
  7. Though still not having the vote, you are at liberty (and are given the right) to enter into the discussions of the 10,000, to try to persuade them to adopt various policies and to treat you and themselves in a certain way. They then go off to vote to decide upon policies covering the vast range of their powers.
  8. In appreciation of your useful contributions to discussion, the 10,000 allow you to vote if they are deadlocked; they commit themselves to this procedure. After the discussion you mark your vote on a slip of paper, and they go off and vote. In the eventuality that they divide evenly on some issue, 5,000 for and 5,000 against, they look at your ballot and count it in. This has never yet happened; they have never yet had occasion to open your ballot. (A single master also might commit himself to letting his slave decide any issue concerning him about which he, the master, was absolutely indifferent.)
  9. They throw your vote in with theirs. If they are exactly tied your vote carries the issue. Otherwise it makes no difference to the electoral outcome.
The question is: which transition from case 1 to case 9 made it no longer the tale of a slave?"


My answer. Either 7 or never works for me.


Why 7: people are no longer explicitly called masters (except 8 that does it in parentheses thumbsup.gif )


Why never?: You are told to believe this is a story of master and slave and never told that it it is no longer a story of master and slave.


And the later, is what you do when you debate and in your thought process, IMO. It is controlling the narrative. I'm told this is a story about a slave and a master, however what makes one a slave? And what makes one a Master? Do you know? Does a man punishing another man make one a master and one a slave? In the society you believe is great would man punish man? Does a man with great capital, leveraging his capital on a man with no capital to get cheap labor to make greater capital constitute slavery? In other words i'm starving and have nothing to eat and no land, you are established and have both. You use this knowledge to persuade me in selling my labor cheaply so you can have even greater food and land in your control... and i can simply afford enough to not starve... is that slavery? Is it? Because it sounds like you offer me a job that allows me to simply eat and gain a modicum of shelter and you (the owner... not the master) gain more land and more food, from MY labor. And if i refuse, i am punished (by governing laws) to death by starvation.

Narrative!

QUOTE
Are you saying this does not happen in cities where liberals are elected? I can tell you it has happened in my county which is decided liberal. My impression is that it is most likely to happen in metropolitan areas which are the bastion of liberals. Not to say this is a liberal problem. It seems to cross party lines as the line between them is a blur.
I am absolutely not saying that. I am saying when you look at a "liberal" politician and a "conservative" politician... regardless of what happens at vote time, think of how he\she panders. I'm not talking politicians here i am talking people. And conservative politicians do not speak of police brutality, because there is no need. That tells me that conservatism does not see a problem of police brutality.

Politicians often use crafty language, for deniability. so they can say "I didn't say that". In terms of Republicans our conservative side it is often..."Criminals get what they deserve and we shouldn't be making a big deal cause some criminal of any age ends up dead in the street" For liberals it "Cops are getting out of control we need to reign them in"

Now the message needs massaging so that the conservative message doesn't come across as racist and the liberal message doesn't come across as an indictment on all law enforcement.

I just want you to understand the irony that it is the "big government" liberals who see the issues of police powers in America, not the "small government" conservatives.

QUOTE
There are people who would never be cruel by the own hand but are perfectly fine with electing people to do it for them.
Agreed, just an extension of the point i am making. Now is it cruel to take away your ability to stand on the back of your fellow man?







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