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net2007
This thread will surround what this election has meant for what many have seen as a predominately left-wing media. I'll also touch some on how a slanted media can lead to misconception or at worst incite violence.

For years left-wing media bias has been viewed, by some, as a conspiracy theory pushed by conservatives who don't like their ideas challenged. Back in the Bush and Obama years this lead me to seek some form of reliable substantiation for this in polling data, such as with this PewResearch Poll from 2013...

http://www.people-press.org/2013/08/08/ami...ole-stands-out/

QUOTE
Overall, about seven-in-ten (72%) see news organizations in ideological terms. A 46%-plurality says news organizations are best described as liberal, another 26% say they are conservative. Just 19% say news organizations are best described as neither liberal nor conservative.

Most Republicans See a Liberal News MediaThe balance of opinion on this question has changed little in recent years, with a plurality consistently describing news organizations as liberal, and about a quarter saying they are conservative.

Not surprisingly, there are wide partisan divides in perceptions of news organizations’ ideology. By a 65%-17% margin, more Republicans say news organizations are liberal than conservative. By contrast, Democrats are divided: about as many say the press is liberal (36%) as conservative (37%). By about two-to-one (47%-23%), more independents say news organizations are better described as liberal than conservative.


If you deduct the often fixed opinions of the far right and left, you can see here that it was often those undecided independents who held this opinion.

With this election I feel liberal media bias has been exposed to the point that it's an argument that's difficult to counter, this due largely to the media siding with Hillary Clinton and other Democratic nominees all while Donald Trump remained persistent in calling them out in a way that hasn't been done before. In retrospect what good did it do liberals to have a media that speaks to the strength of one candidate so much? According to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, it gave a false sense of confidence that lead to some Democrats staying home on election night, comfortable with their belief that Hillary Clinton was far ahead.

In his words.... (edited for length)

QUOTE
“The Clinton campaign believed until 9 o'clock that they had a lock on this, that they were going to win. The fault of that, actually, lies with the media. There is some self-reflection, Jim Rutenberg today writes a fascinating article where the New York Times editor and others basically come to terms with the fact that they stopped being journalists for the past month, and began being cheerleaders, and began being people who had a conclusion that they reached, and then searched for facts that Hillary was a 92, 93, 99.999 percent chance winner of this campaign...............It was there the entire time, they didn’t want to hear it, they didn’t want to see it........You were trying to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump because you thought Donald Trump would be such a malignant cancer on our Constitutional Republic. It was much easier for you to stay in Manhattan and say “they're all voting for Trump because they're racists and bigots." If you really do believe that then you believe that over 50 million people are racists and bigots.......The first thing you did was you put liberals and Democrats and independents who thought like you – you put them in a position where they were complacent, where they really did believe not only in New York but across America and the world – that Hillary Clinton had a 98.99% of being elected president."


If interested watch the full video here....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-8EPmM8Ijk

You also had Michael Moore, who isn't conservative by any stretch, lay out a four-point post-election plan where he's suggesting, more or less, not to trust the media because they weren't acknowledging conservatives and what was really going on. He hasn't turned conservative, my guess is that he's saying this because he thinks the best way to keep the Democratic party strong is for them to acknowledge their opponents and what they really want, he was suggesting that they felt neglected which has been true for the better part of the last 8 years.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-12/l...onest-reporting

For some it may seem redundant to suggest the media is generally left leaning but there are those who don't believe this is accurate so I want to bring it up in the debate questions regardless. The larger purpose of the thread is to talk about what effect this is having. I've mentioned above that I believe it's lead to overconfidence in politicians who are underperforming but I think it goes beyond that. If someone genuinely believes what their news source is telling them, and that news source is telling them that their opponents are racist simpletons, what effect would this have?

For me, it means that someone such as this would be more prone to developing issues of their own. Take the liberal protesting machine, when I look at it, it seems obvious that acts of violence or discrimination are amplified when compared to conservative protest. This will likely be hotly debated because the consensus among Democrats has been the opposite, where for many conservatism is seen as a warning sign for bigotry or problems surrounding racism. To be up front I don't think a political affiliation will define a persons temperament, but when I look at trends, as it stands right now I think Democrats and liberals have a problem they need to address fast.

When I look at this election and the protest that resulted from it I just don't see the same degree of proactive arrogance from the right that I see from the left. I've seen left-wing extremist block up traffic for miles by protesting in the middle of the street, I saw a man sprint at Donald Trump during one of his rallies, he jumped over a barricade and tried to get on stage, bodyguards had to tackle him to stop him. I saw protesters rioting in cities after the election, destroying public property. Then there was this, here you have several people team up on an old man, and this wasn't even at a rally...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9snWgbVt5w

They kick in and punch him in the head while screaming at him for voting for Trump. While I don't think this is a fair representation of all liberals or Democrats, I think this kind of thing is a problem that goes unacknowledged by many. What does all of this have to do with the media? I think discrimination often starts from the top down, you do have these ridiculous things that conservatives say, so there are racist conservatives who don't care. However when you have media pundits who concentrate on this without revealing that this is an issue shared by liberals, and when they fail to reveal the good characteristics of those who think differently then naturally you'll have some who develop a warped view without perspective. I think it starts with our politicians and the media, it then filters down onto parents and college professors who teach a younger generation what others have taught them.

This would be true of conservatives as well, you have media pundits who teach their listeners to distrust or despise their opponents but what I'm looking at here are numbers and percentages. When you have polls coming out that suggest the media is largely left leaning and you have liberal columnist and news organizations acknowledging that it's a problem, the question for me becomes will more people catch on?

So that's my take on it. Regardless of who's at fault more, I see this as an issue that liberals will need to take seriously to move forward. When talking about equality, living by example is the best way to promote that and this election has had a drastic change on how effective it is for prominent Democrats to promote equality if they can't take responsibility for things happening within their own party.

Questions for debate...

1. Does the media favor liberals?
2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Bonus..

4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
Google
Gray Seal
1. Does the media favor liberals?

The Republicans and Democrats have this game they play upon the voters. Democrats are out-in-the-open progressives. Media favors progressives. If the public at all rejects progressive policy they are told the Republicans are the small government party. The Republicans being for small government is a ruse. Actually, Republicans are progressive light. Republicans really do want more progressive centralized controls, just not as aggressively increased as the Democrats. There are a few other tweeks the Republicans have such as appealing to the religious right. Still, the Republican typically claim to the protectors of rights while enhancing the scope and power of government.

As media favors progressives, they favor both the Democrats and Republicans. It is a game. Lots of money involved. Gullible voters included.

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

We have viewers (the public) who are ill informed. The voters have incorrect information, trivia information, and are not told important information. Voters lack knowledge nor have the ability to understand the important issues. (This last point is not the result of media.)

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Two reasons. People were voting against the status quo which Hillary Clinton exemplified. Clinton also matched and surpassed Trump in negative traits.
Dingo
1. Does the media favor liberals?
The media favors ratings and keeping their advertisers happy.

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?
The print media apparently very little. TV and radio and internet faux news, considerably.

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?
Donald Trump offered what the minority he represents wanted, including bigotry.

4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
I'd say if you took the 50 worse things in Trumps rhetoric and behavior they would "outshine" the worst thing you could attribute to Hillary. The public's taste for or indifference to the grotesque gives us a window into the future.

On the unity front Donald is managing an unprecedented unity between his business and political operations.
akaCG
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Because a majority of the voters (a sizable proportion of whom had voted for Obama in '08 and/or '12) in 30 states (e.g. Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania) saw right through the ridiculousness of said claims.


EDITED TO ADD some excerpts from a Nov 21 Boston Globe piece that offers an important clue in regards to the reason why Trump won (bolding mine):
QUOTE
WHEN I WAS growing up outside of Philadelphia in the ’60s, a friend lived in Wilkes Barre, Pa., and so I was excited this past July to be on the phone with George, a 58-year-old Democrat from the same town, who was undecided about which presidential candidate would get his vote on Nov. 8.

George was one of the many “friends” I made over the last four months, while working on special assignment for the Clinton campaign. My task was to help her campaign understand undecided voters in swing states. Finding them and getting insights from them was right up my alley — a skill I honed over my 14 years as CEO of C Space — and when I got a call to help, I couldn’t resist. I left my job as CEO of Startup Institute, and was off and running.
...
Over the summer, I found and interviewed over 300 undecided voters, and 250 of them agreed to stay in touch, to send me weekly diary entries about their emotions, what they were thinking about both Clinton and Trump, and how they were leaning when it came to their vote. I had no responsibility to change their views; instead, I synthesized the data that I was collecting, and reported in to the campaign. I also added the insights that I had and made regular suggestions about how the campaign might better articulate its positions and modify its strategies.
...
Last week, I reread all of my notes. There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice. It wasn’t FBI Director James Comey, Part One or Part Two; it wasn’t Benghazi or the e-mails or Bill Clinton’s visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac. No, the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.”

All hell broke loose.


George told me that his neighborhood was outraged, that many of his hard-working, church-going, family-loving friends resented being called that name. He told me that he looked up the word in the dictionary, and that it meant something so bad that there is no hope, like the aftermath of a tsunami. You know, he said, Clinton ended up being the biggest bully of them all. Whereas Trump bullied her, she bullied Wilkes Barre.
...

Link: https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/11...8ziI/story.html

===========================================================
ps:
QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 8 2016, 10:38 PM) *
...
4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
...
On the unity front Donald is managing an unprecedented unity between his business and political operations.

+

QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 6 2016, 04:46 PM) *
...
I voted for Hillary. ...

=

Priceless. laugh.gif

net2007
QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 8 2016, 10:38 PM) *
1. Does the media favor liberals?
The media favors ratings and keeping their advertisers happy.


This seems a lot like a dodge to me, we all know the media likes good ratings, but is it prone to having a liberal bias?

QUOTE
2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?
The print media apparently very little. TV and radio and internet faux news, considerably.


How about CNN, and MSNBC? You can say faux news, but do you think there's a reason people are saying Clinton News Network? I've never been one to suggest Fox News doesn't have a degree of conservative bias but I think they're outnumbered which explains the polling data and some in the media coming forward about how they've contributed to this problem.

QUOTE
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?
Donald Trump offered what the minority he represents wanted, including bigotry.


When you say minority, you're referring to Trump losing the popular vote by one or two percent, (attributed primarily to California). I think it's important to point out that it's a minority of those 60+ million Trump voters involved in hateful rhetoric. When a whopping 50 reporters show up to meet a small group of under 300 White Nationalist, to me that shows how much they want to make that an issue. While that can be an issue, I think being fair and addressing good traits of Trump supporters, not participating in these activities, is something that should be happening.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/lets-p...m=.b2fdbe60cdc1

I didn't vote for Trump but do feel the amount of bigotry he displays, and particularly that of his followers is overstated. He says divisive things but much like media seems prone to doing, they focus on this first and foremost. Rachel Maddow and The Young Turks being prime examples, they do this intentionally.

QUOTE
4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
I'd say if you took the 50 worse things in Trumps rhetoric and behavior they would "outshine" the worst thing you could attribute to Hillary. The public's taste for or indifference to the grotesque gives us a window into the future.

On the unity front Donald is managing an unprecedented unity between his business and political operations.


I don't see it, I'd say at minimum both have been equivalent in terms of vile rhetoric. I'd also make it a point to say that trends fluctuate, but from my observations what Joe Scarborough said was very accurate...

"You were trying to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump because you thought Donald Trump would be such a malignant cancer on our Constitutional Republic."

This not only accelerated media deception, I think it's true of many liberal protesters and extremist as well. What they're doing is performing preemptive strikes on a man they fear or hate. The problem is that some of them are doing things that are as bad or worse than Trump and in doing so they're sacrificing their core principles. In other words, they're fighting to combat a man they view as divisive and discriminatory while being divisive and discriminating against other groups, that kind of thing has backfired on the left. Some of them won't change, so it's up to reasonable Democrats to rebuild the party. You can launch a criticism and be proactive, yet be fair.

All of this is over a man who's viewed as a monster, but if they want to combat their opponents they'll need to take the time to understand them. I do understand the concern somewhat, the reason I didn't vote for Trump is because I felt he was too divisive, but I think some perspective is necessary as well. I've watched entire rallies and saw interviews where nothing offensive or obnoxious was said at all so there is a side to him that the left is missing or intentionally blocking out. I'd take up a challenge that may help put a human face on him, where for every offensive thing he says I could show two or more examples where he's doing the opposite. I can do this because the ratio of offensive things he says is much less than that. So I feel he can be divisive, but I'm also realistic and think his more extreme comments are often cherry picked. This was true of Bush Jr. as well (who I did support) comments he made which made it easy for his opponents to label him as ignorant were cherry picked, but that approach failed from preventing Bush from being elected just the same.


Gray Seal

QUOTE
1. Does the media favor liberals?

The Republicans and Democrats have this game they play upon the voters. Democrats are out-in-the-open progressives. Media favors progressives. If the public at all rejects progressive policy they are told the Republicans are the small government party. The Republicans being for small government is a ruse. Actually, Republicans are progressive light. Republicans really do want more progressive centralized controls, just not as aggressively increased as the Democrats. There are a few other tweeks the Republicans have such as appealing to the religious right. Still, the Republican typically claim to the protectors of rights while enhancing the scope and power of government.

As media favors progressives, they favor both the Democrats and Republicans. It is a game. Lots of money involved. Gullible voters included.

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

We have viewers (the public) who are ill informed. The voters have incorrect information, trivia information, and are not told important information. Voters lack knowledge nor have the ability to understand the important issues. (This last point is not the result of media.)

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Two reasons. People were voting against the status quo which Hillary Clinton exemplified. Clinton also matched and surpassed Trump in negative traits.


Most of that I agree with, addressing the answer you gave for question 1. It can be viewed as the media favors progressives, but I also think that since Republicans are "progressive light" that they receive a lighter blow from the media than the Democrats who have a strong progressive majority. I've become a bit disconnected from the party personally, although I'm fiscally moderate, for me it's more along the lines of them making bad decisions. It's a waiting game to see how Trump does, his poll numbers have increased by double digits. Hopefully, he does something good with the chance he has.

___________________

To give the heads up, I'll be out for a few days but if there are more replies here, I'll get to as much as I can soon.
Dingo
Rather than respond to the whole post I think this kind of sums it up

QUOTE(net2007 @ Dec 9 2016, 11:29 PM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 8 2016, 10:38 PM) *

4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
I'd say if you took the 50 worse things in Trumps rhetoric and behavior they would "outshine" the worst thing you could attribute to Hillary. The public's taste for or indifference to the grotesque gives us a window into the future.

On the unity front Donald is managing an unprecedented unity between his business and political operations.


I don't see it, I'd say at minimum both have been equivalent in terms of vile rhetoric.

How you can say that with a straight face is beyond me. Kind of hard to just out right endorse Trump isn't it? Apparently this game of pretending balance between shop lifting and murder is what we can look forward to. I notice Trouble tried that same stunt recently on another thread.
Hobbes
QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 10 2016, 01:17 PM) *
Apparently this game of pretending balance between shop lifting and murder is what we can look forward to.


I'm curious who in your scenario is the shop lifter and who is the murderer? Because this mainly boiled down to things Trump *said* vs. things Hillary *did*. Actions trump (pun not intentional) words every time. So, Hillary must be the murderer?
Julian
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Dec 8 2016, 11:05 PM) *
1. Does the media favor liberals?

The Republicans and Democrats have this game they play upon the voters. Democrats are out-in-the-open progressives. Media favors progressives. If the public at all rejects progressive policy they are told the Republicans are the small government party. The Republicans being for small government is a ruse. Actually, Republicans are progressive light. Republicans really do want more progressive centralized controls, just not as aggressively increased as the Democrats. There are a few other tweeks the Republicans have such as appealing to the religious right. Still, the Republican typically claim to the protectors of rights while enhancing the scope and power of government.

As media favors progressives, they favor both the Democrats and Republicans. It is a game. Lots of money involved. Gullible voters included.

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

We have viewers (the public) who are ill informed. The voters have incorrect information, trivia information, and are not told important information. Voters lack knowledge nor have the ability to understand the important issues. (This last point is not the result of media.)

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Two reasons. People were voting against the status quo which Hillary Clinton exemplified. Clinton also matched and surpassed Trump in negative traits.


I agree with a lot of Gray Seal's post (a mutual first, I suspect!), with some nuanced differences


1. Does the media favor liberals?

I think it favours the political establishment. And it's true that the establishment is 'liberal', specifically, 'neoliberal' (internationalist; socially progressive; fiscally somewhat conservative - when it comes to levels of taxation and welfare spending, but not when it comes to diverting public monies towards big corporations that they often give paid speaking engagements to. That kind of thing.)
Recent changes to the corporate media (i.e. all of the "MSM" plus networks like Fox and such) mean that they don't have a heck of a lot of reporters on the ground any more. They are mainly about recycling press releases and social media feeds now, so they tend to miss ground-level changes in mood. This benefits the 'liberals' to a greater degree than it does 'conservatives' but only up to a point. It isn't outright left-leaning - most of the coverage running on the Dem nominations process was supportive of Clinton (the 'establishment candidate') at the expense of Sanders (like Trump, an 'outsider' to a degree, or certainly easier to portray as such).

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

I think it's easy to see reporting bias, and most of the complaints of bias are along those lines. More insidious, to my mind, is editorial bias (i.e. choosing which stories to cover and which ones to ignore), and I think there is (again) a big bias towards 'the establishment' much more than liberals in general in the corporate media. Fox might cover stories from a conservative viewpoint, but they are mostly covering the same stories as the rest of the media.

What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Protest votes plus Republican party loyalty, and a willingness to ignore (or ignorance of) the accusations of racism and bigotry (which are not imaginary, IMO) in favour of the perceived higher prize of 'taking the country back' 'making America great again' etc.
AuthorMusician
QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 12 2016, 09:27 AM) *
What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

While I agree in general that Google algorithms could skew news towards the user's preferences, I don't know of any evidence that they do. Are you maybe thinking of the advert analytics that keep trying to sell me the exact same stuff that I just bought? Or maybe the ones that put up NYT due to me having read the NYT?

However, there have been recent stories on the use of algorithms to combat fake, malicious news meant to skew votes this way and that. There seems to be enough evidence that even conservative congress-critters want further investigations, and of course Trump & Crew thinks this is a big waste of time because he won. Or did he? Could he be afraid of what might be discovered?

Might explain why he's trying to discredit US intel agencies. Well, until that old hefty gal warbles, it's just speculation, except for those with the clearances. Meanwhile, all I know is what Google, Bing and a few other sources feed me. I can see the potential for abuse, but until there's real evidence on it, I'll continue to trust my own bullcrap detector when fake news tries to pass itself off as realty. It's really not that difficult.

Anyway, the Trump win, assuming there wasn't any real fraud going on, shows that if the general media have liberal bias, it doesn't work. Yet outrageous lies did work, so that says something about humanity. When a guy like Trump has that to work with, why bother with algorithms or fraud? Just sell the beans to the right people, and bing bing bing-bing, Mr. Prez!

Still, it's starting to feel like the original Watergate of the RMN period. At first, not much of anything. Then someone spills the guts, and along comes holy hell to pay. Or to be with the season, Holly Hell's Bells santa.gif
Julian
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 12 2016, 08:57 PM) *
QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 12 2016, 09:27 AM) *
What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

While I agree in general that Google algorithms could skew news towards the user's preferences, I don't know of any evidence that they do. Are you maybe thinking of the advert analytics that keep trying to sell me the exact same stuff that I just bought? Or maybe the ones that put up NYT due to me having read the NYT?

However, there have been recent stories on the use of algorithms to combat fake, malicious news meant to skew votes this way and that. There seems to be enough evidence that even conservative congress-critters want further investigations, and of course Trump & Crew thinks this is a big waste of time because he won. Or did he? Could he be afraid of what might be discovered?


That wasn't so much what I was getting at. It's an issue, but not really what I was talking about.

What these websites and apps do, really really well, is show you search results based on your usage history. It's what they are selling to advertisers, after all - finely drawn market segments. So if you like 'liberal' news sources and visit lots of their sites (especially via intermediaries like FB or the Google Chrome browser), thye will put sites that fit those criteria close to the top of your search results. To the point where a simple Google search gives different results for different people (certainly, differently-ordered search results), based on what they've looked at in the past.

So if you're a liberal, or prefer sites with a liberal slant, it's unlikely you'll get shown any sites that don't fit that profile, even when you're not specifically looking for a particular news story
Google
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 12 2016, 04:57 PM) *
QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 12 2016, 09:27 AM) *
What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

While I agree in general that Google algorithms could skew news towards the user's preferences, I don't know of any evidence that they do. Are you maybe thinking of the advert analytics that keep trying to sell me the exact same stuff that I just bought? Or maybe the ones that put up NYT due to me having read the NYT?


Before the elections, I did believe there was some sort of complex algorithm that shaped the news in the direction of my google searches. I've since become more dubious.
It was a rare day I didn't see Hillary with some sort of light-trick that made is look like she had a halo around her head, and a positive spin piece (or really tempered, partial information version of the truth). That wouldn't have happened if the news pieces were tailored just for me. My husband's news was similar. And there was always a really sinister article on Trump...and my husband did vote for Trump, since I'm on the Democratic e mail list as a donor (from Christmases past), I can see why they might get it wrong with me, but they'd be far less likely to get it wrong with him. But then again, we never get our news from FOX...he has taken to only CNN.

I think the "echo chamber effect" has more to do with social media and what people choose to read. And people are kind of programmed to be tribal (this is a key survival mechanism). So they gravitate toward information they agree with, and groups with whom they agree. For most of the history of humanity when we were living on the pointy edge of survival, assumptions and tribal instinct mattered more than anything else. That's because assumptions are usually correct. So if you act on your gut instinct with partial information, you are going to be right a good portion of the time...and when there is no time to deliberate and dissect information this reflexive instinct will increase your chances at survival (and more opportunity to carry on your genetic legacy). So, we're all programmed to make assumptions and to be very uncomfortable when our world views are challenged.
We are programmed to seek out and join our tribe.
Hobbes
There have been several from within the media, who proclaimed themselves Democrats (not surprising, something like 98% of all journalists are), who have spoken out against the crush of negative media against Trump. It isn't what is covered, it is how it is covered. Raising various issue is fine...providing a uniformly negative slant to them is not. That is what has been the case.

QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 13 2016, 08:54 AM) *
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 12 2016, 08:57 PM) *
QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 12 2016, 09:27 AM) *
What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

While I agree in general that Google algorithms could skew news towards the user's preferences, I don't know of any evidence that they do. Are you maybe thinking of the advert analytics that keep trying to sell me the exact same stuff that I just bought? Or maybe the ones that put up NYT due to me having read the NYT?

However, there have been recent stories on the use of algorithms to combat fake, malicious news meant to skew votes this way and that. There seems to be enough evidence that even conservative congress-critters want further investigations, and of course Trump & Crew thinks this is a big waste of time because he won. Or did he? Could he be afraid of what might be discovered?


That wasn't so much what I was getting at. It's an issue, but not really what I was talking about.

What these websites and apps do, really really well, is show you search results based on your usage history. It's what they are selling to advertisers, after all - finely drawn market segments. So if you like 'liberal' news sources and visit lots of their sites (especially via intermediaries like FB or the Google Chrome browser), thye will put sites that fit those criteria close to the top of your search results. To the point where a simple Google search gives different results for different people (certainly, differently-ordered search results), based on what they've looked at in the past.

So if you're a liberal, or prefer sites with a liberal slant, it's unlikely you'll get shown any sites that don't fit that profile, even when you're not specifically looking for a particular news story


Yes, they do that. BUT the 'algorithms' that they use to filter out 'fake' news are almost by definition highly biased, and almost certainly so when you realize they are 'blue' companies, and also if you look at the results of what gets filtered. Having information censored like this is highly problematic to start with...what divine providence does 'Google' have that allows them to determine what is 'fake' and what isn't? None. Heck, even supposedly objective sources, like those that fact check what politicians say, end up being misleading. They will list something as 'false' even though in their analysis they say it is correct, but potentially misleading. Uhhhh...wouldn't that essentially apply to anything that any politician says about anything?
kimpossible
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 12 2016, 02:57 PM) *
QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 12 2016, 09:27 AM) *
What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

While I agree in general that Google algorithms could skew news towards the user's preferences, I don't know of any evidence that they do. Are you maybe thinking of the advert analytics that keep trying to sell me the exact same stuff that I just bought? Or maybe the ones that put up NYT due to me having read the NYT?


There's plenty of evidence that Google (in particular) skews search results, though it's difficult to gauge intent. Here's an interesting article specific to Google search (but also touches on targeted messaging).

QUOTE
And ordering of search results does influence people, says Martin Moore, director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at King’s College, London, who has written at length on the impact of the big tech companies on our civic and political spheres. “There’s large-scale, statistically significant research into the impact of search results on political views. And the way in which you see the results and the types of results you see on the page necessarily has an impact on your perspective.” Fake news, he says, has simply “revealed a much bigger problem. These companies are so powerful and so committed to disruption. They thought they were disrupting politics but in a positive way. They hadn’t thought about the downsides. These tools offer remarkable empowerment, but there’s a dark side to it. It enables people to do very cynical, damaging things.”


Though other platforms' algorithms are also coming under heavy fire. The Wall Street Journal did a great piece during the election to show the difference between what 'conservative' and 'liberal' users saw on Facebook based on a handful of issues. I found the difference striking.

QUOTE(Hobbes)
BUT the 'algorithms' that they use to filter out 'fake' news are almost by definition highly biased, and almost certainly so when you realize they are 'blue' companies, and also if you look at the results of what gets filtered. Having information censored like this is highly problematic to start with...what divine providence does 'Google' have that allows them to determine what is 'fake' and what isn't? None. Heck, even supposedly objective sources, like those that fact check what politicians say, end up being misleading. They will list something as 'false' even though in their analysis they say it is correct, but potentially misleading. Uhhhh...wouldn't that essentially apply to anything that any politician says about anything?


Are there any algorithms that actually detect fake news? While Mark Zuckerberg made some headlines saying that Facebook was going to make some effort to identify fake news, they haven't yet done so, precisely because of the issues revolving around what counts as "fake".
Hobbes
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 11:27 AM) *
Are there any algorithms that actually detect fake news? While Mark Zuckerberg made some headlines saying that Facebook was going to make some effort to identify fake news, they haven't yet done so, precisely because of the issues revolving around what counts as "fake".


Hi, Kim! Good to see you again!

Not really...a good separate topic by itself. There are some that *claim* to do so. They collect hits on stories saying info is fake, etc. Which could be highly biased...and what article isn't immediately called out by those on the opposite side as being 'fake'? The reality is that this is highly problematic. If actually 'fake', news of that will get out, and problem solved. If not actually 'fake', censorship keeps it from ever getting out, causing a problem. Seems better to not have it censored.

AuthorMusician
Here's a pretty good article that gives the pluses and minuses of using algorithms to detect fake news:

http://qz.com/843110/can-artificial-intell...e-news-problem/

Yet the conclusion comes to this:

QUOTE
For now, however, it seems the onus still falls to the truth’s last line of defense: the reader.


Right, some things will never change. We are all still responsible for believing what we believe. In the somewhat less familiar words of Descartes, I can doubt everything, except one thing, and that is the very fact that I doubt. Simply put - I think, therefore I am. That last part is famous, nice and short for a carriage bumper bon mot but not true to the essence of his philosophy: Doubt is a specific kind of thinking. Blind faith is another contrasting kind.

Or you can go out into the world and discover things on your own, which is another one of good old Rene's observations that are obvious now, maybe not so much back in his day. Just be careful because your blues are probably not mine, and vise versa.

Or they might be in harmony even though different, like how playing minor-scale melodies above major-scale chords works. Built-in accidentals, a music concept that makes the batter better a lot of the time, not always. Gotta be careful with them laugh.gif
kimpossible
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 13 2016, 10:45 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 11:27 AM) *
Are there any algorithms that actually detect fake news? While Mark Zuckerberg made some headlines saying that Facebook was going to make some effort to identify fake news, they haven't yet done so, precisely because of the issues revolving around what counts as "fake".


Hi, Kim! Good to see you again!

Not really...a good separate topic by itself. There are some that *claim* to do so. They collect hits on stories saying info is fake, etc. Which could be highly biased...and what article isn't immediately called out by those on the opposite side as being 'fake'? The reality is that this is highly problematic. If actually 'fake', news of that will get out, and problem solved. If not actually 'fake', censorship keeps it from ever getting out, causing a problem. Seems better to not have it censored.


Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.

Of course the spread of fake news is certainly an issue, and finding the correct solution to dealing with it will take some time. Certainly issues of censorship, and the reporting of smaller (but less sensational) stories needs to be taken into consideration. Society has long grappled with issues like this, and there's no easy answer.

But I am alarmed to see that you think 'fake' news will be debunked, and all will be well. Have you seen the stories about Pizzagate? People's lives are at risk because false new spreads so quickly. A tamer example is here, and Buzzfeed has reported on how lucrative it is for Balkan teenagers to spread false news.
net2007
I wanted to update really quick since it's been a few days since I last replied. I've read the new ones and started on a reply today, but I won't be able to get it out until tomorrow or the next day, life is hectic at the moment. I have to say, though, there're some interesting perspectives on this.
akaCG
Here's a question: Whom would you entrust with the task of determining what does or does not constitute "fake news", and then with alerting the public about it?

If your answer is something along the lines of "Long-established news organizations, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, major news networks, etc.", here's some food for thought (bolding mine):
QUOTE
...
In the latest example why the "mainstream media" is facing a historic crisis of confidence among its readership, facing unprecedented blowback following Craig Timberg November 24 Washington Post story "Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say", on Wednesday a lengthy editor's note appeared on top of the original article in which the editor not only distances the WaPo from the "experts" quoted in the original article whose "work" served as the basis for the entire article (and which became the most read WaPo story the day it was published) but also admits the Post could not "vouch for the validity of PropOrNot's finding regarding any individual media outlet", in effect admitting the entire story may have been, drumroll "fake news" ...

It was the closest the Washington Post would come to formally retracting the story, which has now been thoroughly discredited not only by outside commentators, but by its own editor.
...
Criticism culminated this week when the "Naked capitalism" blog threatened to sue the Washington Post, demanding a retraction.

Now, at least, the "national newspaper" has taken some responsibility, however the key question remains: by admitting it never vetted its primary source, whose biased and conflicted "work" smeared hundreds of websites, this one included, just how is the Washington Post any different from the "fake news" it has been deriding on a daily basis ever since its endorsed presidential candidate lost the elections?
...

Link: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-07/w...-it-may-be-fake

ps:
And here's some more food for thought along those lines (bolding mine):
QUOTE
...
[Twelve] years ago, “60 Minutes” ran a fake story about President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service. Turned out the memos were utterly bogus. It took bloggers about an hour to figure that out after the piece aired. For more than a week, CBS (also known as See B.S.) refused to retract the obvious hit piece on the GOP president in the heat of his re-election campaign.
...
... the fake but accurate line was peddled by the New York Times. The Times peddled it in the story “Memos on Bush are fake but accurate, typist says.”
...

Link: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/12/120637.php

EDITED TO ADD:

And who could ever forget the Newsweek 'Koran flushed down the toilet' story back in 2005? The denouement of which was ...

1.
"Newsweek Retracts Koran-Desecration Story"

2. By which time ... (bolding mine):
QUOTE
...
In Jalalabad on Wednesday hundreds rioted over the allegations - reported in the American magazine Newsweek - that prison staff at Guantanamo Bay prison flushed at least one copy of the Koran down a toilet.

They caused widespread damage to property and four people were killed after two days of protests. All but essential UN staff are being withdrawn. ...
...

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4539477.stm

Hobbes
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 01:56 PM) *
Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.


Proof? No. Reports of bias which all seem to be slanted against the right? Yes. Were those reports 'fake' themselves? Don't know.

QUOTE
Of course the spread of fake news is certainly an issue, and finding the correct solution to dealing with it will take some time. Certainly issues of censorship, and the reporting of smaller (but less sensational) stories needs to be taken into consideration. Society has long grappled with issues like this, and there's no easy answer.


Yes, indeed...society has always had this issue. Which then does provide the easy answer. It is part of the human condition, nothing either can, or really should, be done about it. The fixes are likely be worse than the cause.

What would help is actual news reporting, but that seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur itself, which is why this has become such a prevalent issue. There aren't really any reputable sources you can go to where you know you'll get the real truth.

QUOTE
But I am alarmed to see that you think 'fake' news will be debunked, and all will be well.


Again, to your point...this has been around for a long time, and we're still here. Clearly we've managed to get past it.

QUOTE
Have you seen the stories about Pizzagate? People's lives are at risk because false new spreads so quickly.


No, people's lives are at risk because there are idiots out there who don't bother researching before doing stupid stuff. Pizza gate could well have happened because of some backstreet rumour.

QUOTE
Pizzagate — the belief that code words and satanic symbols point to a sordid underground along an ordinary retail strip in the nation’s capital — is possible only because science has produced the most powerful tools ever invented to find and disseminate information.


False. Where is any mention of the onus on the actor to corroborate any information before going off half cocked? This isn't 'only possible' because of the Internet...it's only possible because people lost their mind, and decided that 'hey, clearly the right thing to do when seeing something ridiculous on the Internet is to immediately grab a rifle and go barging in somewhere, unfortunately not half-cocked.

What would this same person have done during Orson Welles. broadcast of the War of the Worlds?

There is a bunch of crap out there. There will always be a bunch of crap out there. Whether we try to curtail 'fake' news or not.

QUOTE
A tamer example is here,


Yes, this is a good example. From the article:

QUOTE
false information can also arise from misinformed social media posts by regular people that are seized on and spread through a hyperpartisan blogosphere


Misinformed social media posts? Ummmm....wouldn't that be almost ANY social media post? Again, if our reaction to this is going to be OMG, we've got to do something about this!...we're dommed before starting. It isn't possible to stop that. The only way to keep 'misinformed social media' off the web, is to keep ALL social media off the web. Has anyone ever seen a social media post that was fully informed? I haven't. Anything that isn't fully informed is misinformed...there are pieces of information missing. Heck, you'd have to shut TV down too. Get rid of most print media as well.

We can't live our lives in a vacuum, with no information....and the price of getting information is dealing with misinformation. I'm not saying all is well with this, but I am saying that it is almost impossible to stop, and that attempts to do so are likely to do more harm than good. There is no answer to the question "Who should determine what is 'fake'?" If there is no answer, the answer is 'no one should'. Or, the better answer is 'we all should'.

Mrs. Pigpen
I'm curious how many folks who are concerned about fake news at present, bought in to Trutherism.
I do remember those 911 debates.
Didn't Fahrenheit 9/11 come out during an election year?
Fake news indicating that the president killed thousands of US citizens in cold blood for money/meanness/ or whatever is surely something that would make people angry enough to kill.

Right now, the media has successfully convinced a great portion of the population that Trump IS Hitler, and will get us into a nuclear war. Isn't stopping Hitler and an impending nuclear war a moral obligation? Heck, by the fake news angle (or real angle for those who believe it) one has a moral obligation to kill Trump.


Edited to add: Think about the "lesser" fake news. Imagine the impact of having your face on the cover of a nation or world wide publication with the assertion you've been accused of a violent crime. Then the evidence goes to trial and it's 180 out from the claims of the written publication. They write a small disclaimer on the back page a few weeks later that no one notices. This happens to people. The truth doesn't matter, just perception so (particularly if their employment depends on positive public perception, such as a position in the public trust) their lives are ruined, forever, from a fake news story. This happens to people.

Edited again to add:
Thinking further, it's interesting to dissect the human psych angle on this. I'll use a different example....let's use salesmanship and marketing.
If anyone has ever had one of those college-aged (or faux high school aged) magazine sales people at your door, that's a great example they seem most adept at this tactic.
1) First, they introduce themselves and try to quickly grasp some sort of human connection (example, "Hey I'm Biff, just home on vacation now...my folks are your neighbors...they live down...that way..."). It's typically a fake connection but (in this example) you don't know all of your neighbors, and he is pointing very far down the street. It feels friendly and you engage.

2) They make their request seem reasonable...and it's unreasonable to reject their request. "Hey I am in a competition and all I need is two more magazine subscriptions and I will win big!" (the implication is that only you are in the way of this "friendly" person receiving a big win, and it's just a little magazine subscription)

3) Once you agree, you find out that each magazine subscription is inordinately expensive. But there's something about the human mind that makes it very difficult to back out once you've "bought" something. Typically people find it very very difficult to back out once they've committed to something. This is true (interestingly enough) EVEN when they know what the salesperson is doing. Odds are, once they make the "close" they keep it.

The above is also the anatomy of a "believable" fake news story. First, it starts with a connection...in the case of fake news it isn't a neighborhood or person, but a belief system that tells your brain "this is a member of my tribe". Conservatives and liberals will notice fake news from the opposing side, but they are predisposed to believe their own. The bar is far higher, and has to be far more outrageous and ridiculous for a person of one "tribe" to reject information coming from their own "tribe". Once they buy it, new information comes out to place the situation into more proper context (extenuating circumstances), or refute it altogether...but it's too late because a good portion of the readership has bought it.
The best example I can think of is the picture of a very young very small boy who was shot by a large angry white guy in an affluent safe suburb because he was holding a bag of skittles.
kimpossible
QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 13 2016, 06:09 PM) *
Here's a question: Whom would you entrust with the task of determining what does or does not constitute "fake news", and then with alerting the public about it?

If your answer is something along the lines of "Long-established news organizations, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, major news networks, etc.", here's some food for thought (bolding mine):
QUOTE
...
In the latest example why the "mainstream media" is facing a historic crisis of confidence among its readership, facing unprecedented blowback following Craig Timberg November 24 Washington Post story "Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say", on Wednesday a lengthy editor's note appeared on top of the original article in which the editor not only distances the WaPo from the "experts" quoted in the original article whose "work" served as the basis for the entire article (and which became the most read WaPo story the day it was published) but also admits the Post could not "vouch for the validity of PropOrNot's finding regarding any individual media outlet", in effect admitting the entire story may have been, drumroll "fake news" ...

It was the closest the Washington Post would come to formally retracting the story, which has now been thoroughly discredited not only by outside commentators, but by its own editor.
...
Criticism culminated this week when the "Naked capitalism" blog threatened to sue the Washington Post, demanding a retraction.

Now, at least, the "national newspaper" has taken some responsibility, however the key question remains: by admitting it never vetted its primary source, whose biased and conflicted "work" smeared hundreds of websites, this one included, just how is the Washington Post any different from the "fake news" it has been deriding on a daily basis ever since its endorsed presidential candidate lost the elections?
...

Link: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-07/w...-it-may-be-fake

ps:
And here's some more food for thought along those lines (bolding mine):


The WashPo article was certainly the subject of heavy criticism by other traditional news sources and newer "alternative" news sources (in particular, Greenwald's The Intercept). And of course, while the WashPo article cites dubious sources, theres beginning to be much more credible evidence of Russian interference in the election....

I'm not arguing that traditional news media is some saint that never gets a story wrong. And I think I've been clear that there's no easy answer into how to define fake news, but I do lean towards news articles that list their authors, have some stake in journalistic credibility, and aren't just aggregates of other news articles (already posted in the MSM...). It's imperfect, but what can one do?

QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 01:56 PM) *
Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.


Proof? No. Reports of bias which all seem to be slanted against the right? Yes. Were those reports 'fake' themselves? Don't know.


But what reports are you referring to specifically?

QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
What would help is actual news reporting, but that seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur itself, which is why this has become such a prevalent issue. There aren't really any reputable sources you can go to where you know you'll get the real truth.


I think there's been a ton of great reporting this year, but its hard to separate from the wheat from the chaff, which I think is the real issue. Additionally, there will always be some tension between getting out a (seemingly) important story quickly and taking the time to fact check. Some facts dont lend themselves to verification through a phone call or email. Also, short attention spans is another issue.

QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
No, people's lives are at risk because there are idiots out there who don't bother researching before doing stupid stuff. Pizza gate could well have happened because of some backstreet rumour.

QUOTE
Pizzagate — the belief that code words and satanic symbols point to a sordid underground along an ordinary retail strip in the nation’s capital — is possible only because science has produced the most powerful tools ever invented to find and disseminate information.


False. Where is any mention of the onus on the actor to corroborate any information before going off half cocked? This isn't 'only possible' because of the Internet...it's only possible because people lost their mind, and decided that 'hey, clearly the right thing to do when seeing something ridiculous on the Internet is to immediately grab a rifle and go barging in somewhere, unfortunately not half-cocked.

What would this same person have done during Orson Welles. broadcast of the War of the Worlds?

There is a bunch of crap out there. There will always be a bunch of crap out there. Whether we try to curtail 'fake' news or not.


Fair point that we have indeed survived until now, and most likely will continue to survive. Maybe the better question is, what can we as a society do to encourage a more critical stance? This theory should have never gained the traction it did, and I like to believe if people didn't feel so isolated and angry, it never would have. I have no doubt that the Pizzagate dude felt he had all the right evidence (and while he learned about Pizzagate through word of mouth, I would argue that it was definitely the internet that allowed him to 'see' the evidence, PLUS the echo chamber that allowed him to dismiss any criticisms of the theory).


QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
Yes, this is a good example. From the article:

QUOTE
false information can also arise from misinformed social media posts by regular people that are seized on and spread through a hyperpartisan blogosphere


Misinformed social media posts? Ummmm....wouldn't that be almost ANY social media post? Again, if our reaction to this is going to be OMG, we've got to do something about this!...we're dommed before starting. It isn't possible to stop that. The only way to keep 'misinformed social media' off the web, is to keep ALL social media off the web. Has anyone ever seen a social media post that was fully informed? I haven't. Anything that isn't fully informed is misinformed...there are pieces of information missing. Heck, you'd have to shut TV down too. Get rid of most print media as well.

We can't live our lives in a vacuum, with no information....and the price of getting information is dealing with misinformation. I'm not saying all is well with this, but I am saying that it is almost impossible to stop, and that attempts to do so are likely to do more harm than good. There is no answer to the question "Who should determine what is 'fake'?" If there is no answer, the answer is 'no one should'. Or, the better answer is 'we all should'.


I think there can be thoughtful social media posts (look at all the thoughtful debate that occurs here on AD! Or do we not count message boards as social media?).

I do think that something needs to be done. Is an algorithm that spots 'fake' news the answer? Not really. Honestly, I think the only real solution is to create a better educated populace that learns critical thought and how to spot logical fallacies. But that requires investing money in education. (And a basic restructuring of society, imo, which I just know will never happen the way I imagine it).

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 06:35 AM) *
I'm curious how many folks who are concerned about fake news at present, bought in to Trutherism.


You got me, Mrs. P. I definitely bought into trutherism 15 years ago. Though I think you will find me a bit more temperate at the age of 35, rather than 22 (though probably no less liberal than before).

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 06:35 AM) *
Right now, the media has successfully convinced a great portion of the population that Trump IS Hitler, and will get us into a nuclear war. Isn't stopping Hitler and an impending nuclear war a moral obligation? Heck, by the fake news angle (or real angle for those who believe it) one has a moral obligation to kill Trump.


I think this is unfair. I haven't yet seen an reputable news source calling for Trump's death, and even philosophers have struggled with whether or not Hitler's death would be 'worth it', morally. I would say that stopping Trump is a moral obligation, because he plans to hurt people. We dont have death camps (yet...? jk!), but he has used language that very much threatens the civil liberties of broad swathes of the population, and that may not be worrisome for everyone, but I don't think it's crazy for people to feel threatened.

Also, for me personally, in the years that I've been away from AD, I spent my time studying authoritarian regimes (I wrote my master's thesis on transparency in these regimes, and the existence of multi-party systems in authoritarian regimes) and living in them (hello, Azerbaijan and [to a lesser degree] Argentina). To me, the parallels are striking. The issue, of course, is that if I am wrong, I look alarmist, and if I am right, I look prescient (but who cares, if we are all in camps at that point?). What is the tipping point from democracy to non-democracy? No one knows.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 06:35 AM) *
The above is also the anatomy of a "believable" fake news story. First, it starts with a connection...in the case of fake news it isn't a neighborhood or person, but a belief system that tells your brain "this is a member of my tribe". Conservatives and liberals will notice fake news from the opposing side, but they are predisposed to believe their own. The bar is far higher, and has to be far more outrageous and ridiculous for a person of one "tribe" to reject information coming from their own "tribe". Once they buy it, new information comes out to place the situation into more proper context (extenuating circumstances), or refute it altogether...but it's too late because a good portion of the readership has bought it.
The best example I can think of is the picture of a very young very small boy who was shot by a large angry white guy in an affluent safe suburb because he was holding a bag of skittles.


I agree. I was just speaking with some work colleagues about this. Often in the face of outrageous behavior/stories/beliefs/etc, once people have committed to believing something, they really double down on that belief, even as they are proven wrong. There's a lot of factors at play here: finding the 'truth' is often not an easy task, and at times, requires processing contradictory opinions and dealing with nuance; no one likes being wrong; challenges to world views don't change those world views. How do can we fight against that?


Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 11:28 AM) *
I think there can be thoughtful social media posts (look at all the thoughtful debate that occurs here on AD! Or do we not count message boards as social media?).
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 06:35 AM) *
Right now, the media has successfully convinced a great portion of the population that Trump IS Hitler, and will get us into a nuclear war. Isn't stopping Hitler and an impending nuclear war a moral obligation? Heck, by the fake news angle (or real angle for those who believe it) one has a moral obligation to kill Trump.


I think this is unfair. I haven't yet seen an reputable news source calling for Trump's death, and even philosophers have struggled with whether or not Hitler's death would be 'worth it', morally.


People don't study the words of philosophers to determine whether or not "stopping" someone evil who will cause the deaths of millions is “inherently wrong”, when they feel threatened and fearful. Philosophy is something that happens when a person is in a position of safety where he or she can deliberate. One is a frontal lobe activity, the other is primal.
Primal wins just about always, particularly in exigent circumstances. People under a great deal of stress and fear do all sorts of things that often don't make sense to people who aren't experiencing it. No one need direct a violent response a la radio Rwanda, they just need to make the threat look dire enough to cause a great deal of fear.
You just provided an example of a similar dynamic with "Pizzagate".

QUOTE
Also, for me personally, in the years that I've been away from AD, I spent my time studying authoritarian regimes (I wrote my master's thesis on transparency in these regimes, and the existence of multi-party systems in authoritarian regimes) and living in them (hello, Azerbaijan and [to a lesser degree] Argentina). To me, the parallels are striking. The issue, of course, is that if I am wrong, I look alarmist, and if I am right, I look prescient (but who cares, if we are all in camps at that point?). What is the tipping point from democracy to non-democracy? No one knows.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 06:35 AM) *
The above is also the anatomy of a "believable" fake news story. First, it starts with a connection...in the case of fake news it isn't a neighborhood or person, but a belief system that tells your brain "this is a member of my tribe". Conservatives and liberals will notice fake news from the opposing side, but they are predisposed to believe their own. The bar is far higher, and has to be far more outrageous and ridiculous for a person of one "tribe" to reject information coming from their own "tribe". Once they buy it, new information comes out to place the situation into more proper context (extenuating circumstances), or refute it altogether...but it's too late because a good portion of the readership has bought it.
The best example I can think of is the picture of a very young very small boy who was shot by a large angry white guy in an affluent safe suburb because he was holding a bag of skittles.


I agree. I was just speaking with some work colleagues about this. Often in the face of outrageous behavior/stories/beliefs/etc, once people have committed to believing something, they really double down on that belief, even as they are proven wrong. There's a lot of factors at play here: finding the 'truth' is often not an easy task, and at times, requires processing contradictory opinions and dealing with nuance; no one likes being wrong; challenges to world views don't change those world views. How do can we fight against that?


Heh…know how many times I bought magazines from the folks in that example? THREE times. Different years, different places and people, but the same basic ploy.
First time, shame on them.
Second time shame on me…third time it becomes something that belongs in a parody about the village idiot.
Even when I knew I was being played, the instinct is so strong it’s hard to override. So it is with our biases (mine included).
Best thing we can do is attempt look at information very critically and understand that often context, and small details, can change everything.

Let’s take your take on Trump.
From your perspective…which seems to be a very educated one
(kudos on your thesis and world travels! That’s awesome…I’m assuming you obtained your spoken life ambition, back in the day, to be multi-lingual smile.gif )
But I digress…from your perspective he is likely to be a dictator and wants to harm people. You're basing this on your observations of authoritarian regimes.
From my perspective (which is probably not as educated as yours) I don’t see the close similarities between Trump and dictators.
Of course, similarities can be drawn between just about anyone or any thing. There are some striking similarities between Satan and Santa.

I am curious about specifics. What exactly are the similarities and could these similarities be drawn with just about anyone else in a high government office?
Maybe that's the stuff of another thread, though.
akaCG
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 01:08 PM) *
...
Of course, similarities can be drawn between just about anyone or any thing. ...
...

Yup.

Example thereof, from the 2012 election season:
QUOTE
...
Goldberg found Ann Romney's glowing praise of motherhood in a column she wrote for USA Today to be "kind of creepy." During an appearance on MSNBC's weekend program "Up with Chris Hayes," Goldberg said the phrase "the crown of motherhood," which Ann Romney used in her column, reminded her of "authoritarian societies" that give out awards for large families.

"In a lot ways, the column was totally anodyne, right? She's, you know, yes, motherhood is beautiful. I found that phrase, 'the crown of motherhood' really kind of creepy. Not just because of it's somewhat -- you know, it's kind of really authoritarian societies that give out like a Cross of Motherhood. They give out awards for big families," Goldberg said on the program's panel.

"You know, Stalin did it, Hitler did it," she said.
...

Link: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/201...ler_stalin.html

And here's one from just a few days ago, involving the very same protagonists, Chris Hayes and Michelle Goldberg (highlights mine):
QUOTE
...
CHRIS HAYES: I have a sort of instinctual aversion to the mode of the Trump rally --particularly after he won. It feels like, it feels not that far from "Rallies For The Leader," which don't have a great history in politics across the world.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SLATE: The whole posture is one of kind of both rallying the people who voted for him, and also kind of menacing and threatening the majority who didn't -- with these kind of menacing asides. "They're on our side, they just don't know it yet." "You're going to like what we have in store."
...
HAYES: ... Are you saying that is menacing because of the words, or because it is coming from the mouth of Donald Trump?

GOLDBERG: Because it is coming from the mouth of Donald Trump. Who is going to turn our country into a racist police state.
...

Link: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/201...te_for_him.html

net2007
QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 10 2016, 01:17 PM) *
Rather than respond to the whole post I think this kind of sums it up

QUOTE(net2007 @ Dec 9 2016, 11:29 PM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 8 2016, 10:38 PM) *

4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
I'd say if you took the 50 worse things in Trumps rhetoric and behavior they would "outshine" the worst thing you could attribute to Hillary. The public's taste for or indifference to the grotesque gives us a window into the future.

On the unity front Donald is managing an unprecedented unity between his business and political operations.


I don't see it, I'd say at minimum both have been equivalent in terms of vile rhetoric.

How you can say that with a straight face is beyond me. Kind of hard to just out right endorse Trump isn't it? Apparently this game of pretending balance between shop lifting and murder is what we can look forward to. I notice Trouble tried that same stunt recently on another thread.


Your response didn't sum up much, the issue of media bias wasn't addressed at all, and you offered no substantiation for shorthand explanations. It's not that you can't either, when you debate AGW (where I generally agree with your points btw) you're pretty thorough.

I not only say what I did with a straight face, I say it with confidence. You might not see it but it's there in plain sight if you research with objectivity. I'll say straight up that violent acts and discrimination on behalf of liberals are typically part of the alt-left, (a group in the minority) but it is a problem, one which is rigorously ignored and downplayed. Conservative discrimination issues are already front and center, we have a media that usually wants it that way. This would be okay if they made liberal discrimination problems an issue they covered as well, but they don't. This leaves some people ignorant of the fact that it's even a problem.

I can say what I did with a straight face because of things like this...

https://www.youtube.com/v/2Lk1kvZ_WNY

(The video was recorded in San Jose, where multiple attacks on Trump supporters, including women and the elderly, were made. Personally, I didn't see anything of this magnitude demonstrated by Trump supporters. You're welcome to try to counter that claim, but you should probably watch it instead of doing guess work. From what I saw in this election, you had Trump saying a number of divisive things and some fights broke out at Trump rallies after Anti-Trump protesters intruded on their space, though there were some exceptions. As for what was happening with Clinton, Sanders, and their supporters, I'll continue below and address Hillary herself at the bottom. These sources are all in order from most disturbing to least disturbing)....

Along with the video above there were also things like this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh78DBIdPtU

(This is in Anaheim California where two Mexican 8 and 11-year-old girls are sprayed with pepper spray along with a couple other adult Trump supporters. They're seen in this news report crying as an eye witness says it wasn't an accident that the girls got hit, they aimed the pepper spray at them.)

And this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9snWgbVt5wit

(This is the one I posted in the opening post where an old man is kicked and punched in the head while they scream "Don't Vote Trump!". It's not at a rally where you'd expect this kind of thing to take place, discrimination has embedded itself into our culture in a big way yet again, things were much better when I was younger in the 80's and 90's. We've seen a surge of hate crimes, on both sides, spike over the course of the last 8 years, without question preceding Donald Trump being in the picture.)

And this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLOEmHmEIwA

(A black 16 year old Trump supporter receives death threats after an encounter with a Black Lives Matter member who goes as far as to say "black lives matter first, then white lives matter", he also calls him disgraceful, all while this young man stays calm while getting spit on (a result of being too close) by someone who doesn't know how to communicate. After insulting a young black man he goes on to say... "A young black man got killed in Chicago 16 times by the police, and he was young" not sure what that means, but okay. I assume shot, but regardless this shows the hypocrisy often displayed by the alt-left.)

And this...

https://jonathanturley.org/2016/11/16/bats-...comment-page-1/

(Here you have two people, a celebrity and a CEO both make death threats on either Republicans/Independents or Trump. The celebrity (Lea DeLaria) saying "she wanted to “take out” Republicans and Independents with a baseball bat.")


And this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0iXTtck6zs&t=148s

(Almost done, this started out as a teacher getting recorded fear mongering and instilling a liberal viewpoint onto her students (as many college professors and teachers do), it then lead to the student who posted the footage receiving threats of legal action. This is well deserved for college professors who do this kind of thing, it needs to be exposed for what it is, and how it's contributing to a racially and politically charged college atmosphere. It's lead to bullying, and often exclusion of those with conservative viewpoints.)

And this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7C-nGVDHgQ

(The last source is one of the less severe cases, but here you have a woman (Sanders Supporter) drawing comparisons between Trump and Hitler. While this hasn't been too uncommon for either side throughout prior elections, it's a comparison that immediately delegitimizes the argument giver in the eyes of the person receiving the argument, particularly if the argument is being made about the receiver or someone they support. In this interview, she's laughed at and dismissed because she's trying to make an argument denouncing labeling while she actively participates in it. Hitler is the ultimate go-to when attempting to take a politician or their supporters down a notch or two because he was responsible for the death of millions, there's NO other reason. I say this because similarities could easily be drawn with others, so the goal is clear, defamation of character. Look at the last video to get an idea, this is usually how it starts out, a misleading argument with a motive behind it snowballing into something worse.)

All of this type of information is easily found and barely scratches the surface so this is without question a two-way street where some liberals are contributing to a problem they'd like to think of as a conservative one.

As far as Hillary goes, I'll go as far as to say she's more scripted than Trump, but the contempt she has for her opponents is there. The truth leaks out now and then "basket of deplorables" or every time she smirks at her opponents to dismiss them, though she often holds her tongue for popular opinion purposes. Yet discrimination and violence on behalf of liberals remains as prevalent or more so than it was before. So it's revealing in the sense that the approach she took didn't help, and it's because it wasn't genuine.

When she spoke of equal treatment it was usually in reference to groups who support her. Add to that the lies and corruption and you have a failed candidate on more than one occasion. While you used the term minority to explain Trump supporters (hinting at the popular vote) I actually look at it as a majority. In raw numbers, Hillary squeaked by but she represented and defended the beliefs of Californians and New Yorkers so much that she got a disproportionate amount of the vote in those states which rendered them useless. In a football game getting the most yards by small fraction doesn't necessarily win you the game. This is a side point, but have you considered it's because she doesn't believe in equality?

________________________________

Julian
QUOTE
2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

I think it's easy to see reporting bias, and most of the complaints of bias are along those lines. More insidious, to my mind, is editorial bias (i.e. choosing which stories to cover and which ones to ignore), and I think there is (again) a big bias towards 'the establishment' much more than liberals in general in the corporate media. Fox might cover stories from a conservative viewpoint, but they are mostly covering the same stories as the rest of the media.

What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)


Exactly. In my mind, in a way, it's lying through omission, and that's more likely to deceive someone. When false information is given I'd think it'd be easier to get caught because someone could always fact check the false claim being made. If they omit information or aren't clear that there's another side to the story some will take it at face value. Like Mrs. Pigpen is saying, people tend to be tribal and gravitate to those with viewpoints that match their own. However, it can explode from there where a person gets to the point of prejudice or contempt for others. It's a hard battle to fight. Sticking with like-minded individuals is easy, looking through someone else's eyes is the hard part. The contempt and discrimination this can lead to is contagious as well, further complicating things.

QUOTE
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Protest votes plus Republican party loyalty, and a willingness to ignore (or ignorance of) the accusations of racism and bigotry (which are not imaginary, IMO) in favor of the perceived higher prize of 'taking the country back' 'making America great again' etc.


Right, I don't believe all of it 's imaginary either actually. There's a problem within the Republican party for sure. I have a mixed opinion of Trump, I'm glad he's calling out the media and think as a business man he has the potential to get some things done, but he needs to be more specific when he talks. I can see why some of the things he's saying are stirring things up. He'd be far more effective if he didn't say things that can't and shouldn't be done, like banning all Muslims. I was a John Kasich voter in the primary, that's who I wanted to see get through but I ended up having to settle for Gary Johnson in the general election.

For me, it also comes down to believing that liberals (usually within the Democratic party where their party is at stake), have been initiating things in many cases. In other words, I don't feel the majority of it has been a reaction to Trump because it was a big problem prior to this election. I do come from a right of center viewpoint on these things, but still believe that those on the left who are causing problems, whether they're Democrats, or liberal independents, are a group in the minority. I recently talked to vsrenard on Facebook, very reasonable and respectful. I think for some it comes down to acknowledgment of what's happening (much like you're saying for the Republicans).
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 14 2016, 06:48 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 01:08 PM) *
...
Of course, similarities can be drawn between just about anyone or any thing. ...
...

Yup.
(examples)



We've had a few thread topics on Bush is Hitler, and I think we had some on Obama is Hitler too.
There was also a thread with the little "who would you vote for?" poll that offered all the nice things about (guess who?) and all the bad things about (guess who and who?) that is supposed to astound folks.
Gee! Hitler sounds better than Churchill or Roosevelt! Well, yeah...that's what partial information will get you.

Scott Adams offers a pretty good breakdown of the Trump is Hitler argument.
kimpossible
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 15 2016, 06:37 AM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 14 2016, 06:48 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 14 2016, 01:08 PM) *
...
Of course, similarities can be drawn between just about anyone or any thing. ...
...

Yup.
(examples)



We've had a few thread topics on Bush is Hitler, and I think we had some on Obama is Hitler too.
There was also a thread with the little "who would you vote for?" poll that offered all the nice things about (guess who?) and all the bad things about (guess who and who?) that is supposed to astound folks.
Gee! Hitler sounds better than Churchill or Roosevelt! Well, yeah...that's what partial information will get you.

Scott Adams offers a pretty good breakdown of the Trump is Hitler argument.


Why bother ever making comparisons at all then? Nothing can ever be similar or dissimilar, since all comparisons can be drawn between all different things. I guess its better to just never analyze anything then.
Ż\_(ツ)_/Ż
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 15 2016, 10:39 AM) *
Why bother ever making comparisons at all then? Nothing can ever be similar or dissimilar, since all comparisons can be drawn between all different things. I guess its better to just never analyze anything then.
Ż\_(ツ)_/Ż



Fair enough. Let's examine the basic premise.
An authoritarian....consolidates power. Are we seeing this in Trump?
I submit that the very fact (as you and others have noted) he is "disorganized" about forming his cabinet rather than placing in a bunch of lobbyist lackeys (as just about any other candidate would) is a pretty good indication he isn't consolidating power, or hiring only his best advocates. Hell, he's been looking at employing people who outright spoke out against him.
Is that what dictators typically do?
Don't they centralize government for themselves? DOn't they confiscate property (often in the form of special "taxes") to use that funding for themselves and their constituents?
I've asked already what exactly you have here.
If the only answer is: "It's OBVIOUS!" with nothing to really support it...
well, you should probably check your biases.

Yes, I admit Trump is nauseating to watch and listen to. That doesn't make him Hitler. Or anything close.
Hell, that doesn't even distinguish him from Hillary.
Julian
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 13 2016, 03:22 PM) *
Yes, they do that. BUT the 'algorithms' that they use to filter out 'fake' news are almost by definition highly biased, and almost certainly so when you realize they are 'blue' companies, and also if you look at the results of what gets filtered. Having information censored like this is highly problematic to start with...what divine providence does 'Google' have that allows them to determine what is 'fake' and what isn't? None. Heck, even supposedly objective sources, like those that fact check what politicians say, end up being misleading. They will list something as 'false' even though in their analysis they say it is correct, but potentially misleading. Uhhhh...wouldn't that essentially apply to anything that any politician says about anything?


Indeed. What's particularly irksome about Google and - particularly - Facebook, is their insistence on seeing themselves as tech companies and specifically not as media companies. So instead of employing some editors or moderators to check fact (or, in a recent example where the famous photo of the Vietnamese girl running naked from a napalm attack got pulled because the algorithm registered it as containing nudity, photos), they rely on trying to further perfect their algorithms)


QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 14 2016, 12:09 AM) *
Julian
Exactly. In my mind, in a way, it's lying through omission, and that's more likely to deceive someone. When false information is given I'd think it'd be easier to get caught because someone could always fact check the false claim being made. If they omit information or aren't clear that there's another side to the story some will take it at face value. Like Mrs. Pigpen is saying, people tend to be tribal and gravitate to those with viewpoints that match their own. However, it can explode from there where a person gets to the point of prejudice or contempt for others. It's a hard battle to fight. Sticking with like-minded individuals is easy, looking through someone else's eyes is the hard part. The contempt and discrimination this can lead to is contagious as well, further complicating things.


Well indeed. As several others have indicated, it's human nature to seek out one's 'tribe'. It's easier to agree or disagree with a case that's presented for you than to go digging into ALL the available evidence and form an opinion of your own. But, while it's true that conservatives have been accused of this weakness for a long time and 'liberals' are now in the firing line for doing it, there's a good deal of schadenfreude going on. Noticing that the political left is guilty of this human foible is not the same as curing the tendency among conservatives, and drawing all the attention on liberal ignorance and bias without mentioning in the same breath that conservatives are just as likely to fall prey to the same weakness is simply an exercise in tu quoque finger pointing.

QUOTE
QUOTE
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Protest votes plus Republican party loyalty, and a willingness to ignore (or ignorance of) the accusations of racism and bigotry (which are not imaginary, IMO) in favor of the perceived higher prize of 'taking the country back' 'making America great again' etc.


Right, I don't believe all of it 's imaginary either actually. There's a problem within the Republican party for sure. I have a mixed opinion of Trump, I'm glad he's calling out the media and think as a business man he has the potential to get some things done, but he needs to be more specific when he talks. I can see why some of the things he's saying are stirring things up. He'd be far more effective if he didn't say things that can't and shouldn't be done, like banning all Muslims. I was a John Kasich voter in the primary, that's who I wanted to see get through but I ended up having to settle for Gary Johnson in the general election.


Indeed.

QUOTE
For me, it also comes down to believing that liberals (usually within the Democratic party where their party is at stake), have been initiating things in many cases. In other words, I don't feel the majority of it has been a reaction to Trump because it was a big problem prior to this election. I do come from a right of center viewpoint on these things, but still believe that those on the left who are causing problems, whether they're Democrats, or liberal independents, are a group in the minority. I recently talked to vsrenard on Facebook, very reasonable and respectful. I think for some it comes down to acknowledgment of what's happening (much like you're saying for the Republicans).


Agreed.
kimpossible
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 15 2016, 08:49 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 15 2016, 10:39 AM) *
Why bother ever making comparisons at all then? Nothing can ever be similar or dissimilar, since all comparisons can be drawn between all different things. I guess its better to just never analyze anything then.
Ż\_(ツ)_/Ż



Fair enough. Let's examine the basic premise.
An authoritarian....consolidates power. Are we seeing this in Trump?
I submit that the very fact (as you and others have noted) he is "disorganized" about forming his cabinet rather than placing in a bunch of lobbyist lackeys (as just about any other candidate would) is a pretty good indication he isn't consolidating power, or hiring only his best advocates. Hell, he's been looking at employing people who outright spoke out against him.
Is that what dictators typically do?
Don't they centralize government for themselves? DOn't they confiscate property (often in the form of special "taxes") to use that funding for themselves and their constituents?
I've asked already what exactly you have here.
If the only answer is: "It's OBVIOUS!" with nothing to really support it...
well, you should probably check your biases.

Yes, I admit Trump is nauseating to watch and listen to. That doesn't make him Hitler. Or anything close.
Hell, that doesn't even distinguish him from Hillary.


I had planned to respond to your previous post, making a case for why I think Trump is dangerous (though just so one twists my words around, let me clear, I don't think Trump is Hitler. But does this mean he isn't similar to Ilham Aliyev? Or Vladimir Putin? Or Xi Jinping?). I just don't have the time to go as indepth as I would like. However, I believe he certainly starting to consolidate power, though its difficult to tell how far that will go (will the military follow his order should he try to round up US citizens? I don't know) But the number of conservatives and liberals who denounced him that are now willing to work with him is certainly troubling to me. How much power can he really consolidate when he's not even president yet? However, he has threatened to jail his political opponents (only to say, maybe he won't? But why believe one of those things over the other?), strip flag-burners of their citizenship, and lambasted the media for their coverage of him (to the point of refusing to meet with certain parties, and not allowing the press pool to follow him in his daily activities). I get it. Maybe he's just a loose-cannon focused on shaking up the system, or maybe he's going to dismantle the institutions he finds troublesome.

He has given high-stakes donors, loyal supporters (Bannon, but interestingly not Christie or Guiliani), former generals (ugh, Flynn) and business insiders (Goldman Sach's, Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn) cabinet positions (or at least, there is rumor about it, obviously, nothing is set in stone yet). Again, I am cognizant that, nominally, this doesn't differ from what other Presidents have done. It a matter of incremental degree, and again, its hard to say exactly how this all plays out in the future.

He is also quite clearly using his new title to garner more business deals for his organization, and has shown little interest in divesting himself from his business holdings.

The reality of living in a dictatorship is messy, and it's not always black and white. When I was in Azerbaijan, an outspoken critic of the president held a teaching position at the most prestigious university in the capital. There's a very vibrant and critical opposition press in Azerbaijan (or there was in 2008. A lot has changed since then); however, the readership of their newspapers is miniscule compared to the state apparatus, and opposition voices rarely get airtime on radio or TV, which is how most of the population gets their news. The internet is fairly unrestricted. There's technically elections. Does any of this make Azerbaijan any less a dictatorship?
Hobbes
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 15 2016, 10:59 AM) *
I just don't have the time to go as indepth as I would like. However, I believe he certainly starting to consolidate power, though its difficult to tell how far that will go


Consolidate his power, or simply picking his cabinet like....every other President elect?

QUOTE
But the number of conservatives and liberals who denounced him that are now willing to work with him is certainly troubling to me.


It shouldn't be troubling. As MrsP pointed out, this is very strong evidence against the things you are worried about.

QUOTE
lambasted the media for their coverage of him (to the point of refusing to meet with certain parties, and not allowing the press pool to follow him in his daily activities).


Not sure what the issue with this is. Even those from the liberal media have stated that the negative coverage of him is way over the top.

QUOTE
I get it. Maybe he's just a loose-cannon focused on shaking up the system


Loose cannon in what way? Mostly what he's done since being elected is pick his cabinet, as he is supposed to be doing.

QUOTE


Are you really extrapolating his complaining about the media (which most every politician does) to move towards some sort of centralized autocracy? If so, that's a reach that would make PlasticMan proud. And also indicative of the problem...when any comment can be extrapolated to such an extreme, you are going to have vastly overblown thoughts and responses.

QUOTE


Exactly. Nothing unusual here...which isn't said about Trump very often.

QUOTE
He is also quite clearly using his new title to garner more business deals for his organization


Such as?

QUOTE
, and has shown little interest in divesting himself from his business holdings.


Actually, he has, even though he doesn't have to. And it is certainly worth noting that all those bringing this up say nothing of the various business holding those on the left have, from positions that don't have the caveats in the Constitution that allow it. If this is indeed an issue, why hasn't this been an issue for all of them over the past few years?

QUOTE
The reality of living in a dictatorship is messy, and it's not always black and white. When I was in Azerbaijan, an outspoken critic of the president held a teaching position at the most prestigious university in the capital. There's a very vibrant and critical opposition press in Azerbaijan (or there was in 2008. A lot has changed since then); however, the readership of their newspapers is miniscule compared to the state apparatus, and opposition voices rarely get airtime on radio or TV, which is how most of the population gets their news. The internet is fairly unrestricted. There's technically elections. Does any of this make Azerbaijan any less a dictatorship?


Yes, living in a dictatorship is messy. Good thing that has nothing at all to do with anything that is happening here.

QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 10:28 AM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 01:56 PM) *
Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.


Proof? No. Reports of bias which all seem to be slanted against the right? Yes. Were those reports 'fake' themselves? Don't know.


But what reports are you referring to specifically?


Plenty of them out there. Not sure if these were the ones I had seen previously or not, but seemed a good representation. There were numerous reports of this occurring, with Google denying but indicating they would review their algorithms.
kimpossible
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 15 2016, 03:11 PM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 10:28 AM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 01:56 PM) *
Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.


Proof? No. Reports of bias which all seem to be slanted against the right? Yes. Were those reports 'fake' themselves? Don't know.


But what reports are you referring to specifically?


Plenty of them out there. Not sure if these were the ones I had seen previously or not, but seemed a good representation. There were numerous reports of this occurring, with Google denying but indicating they would review their algorithms.


Seriously? You're just going to point me to a bing search and expect me to do the research you should have done to prove your point? Very convincing.
AuthorMusician
1. Does the media favor liberals?

Not especially in the professionally written news reports. That's because journalism pros are aware of yellow journalism, which is easy to spot due to the use of modifiers:

Man bites dog

versus

Insane homeless drug fiend bites defenseless family pet right on the junk.

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

Depends on the individual. Some might take it upon themselves to ferret out the child sex slavers lurking in pizza parlors, others might vote against their self-interests, and some might write about what they think. Lots of other possibilities as well.

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Obviously, the Electoral College enabled a Trump win over the popular vote. But then how'd he get enough voters to pull that off? Back to it depending on the individual.

Some liked the racism/bigotry/sexism/general prickishness that is Trump. Others fell for his outright lies. But what one thing do I believe helped him most to win?

Media attention, and not just during the campaign. Trump has gotten far too much media attention for decades, being that he has no discernible talents or skills other than being a rather spectacular douche bag. There's a pretty big market for those types in media. They're usually comedians playing a role. Not Trump. He really is what he seems to be.

But then there's the possibility that most Trump voters got exactly what they expected: an unpredictable, selfish child. Naw, nobody's that dim, are they? Certainly not a majority of the electorate, thank goodness.

Even though I'm expecting Trump's admin to be one of, if not the, worst in our history, I can also see that our country could benefit from the experience. It sure demonstrates how stuff can really hit the fan if we're not careful.

Trump won because our system has glaring holes in it, with media attention being one of the largest. And that in turn falls on the shoulders of the audience, since media has to attract attention, and that means dishing up spectacles for entertainment.

What's the solution? There isn't one, but it'll be a lot harder for the next Trump to pull off another dance in the limelights. And besides, even Trump was surprised he won. That just wasn't supposed to happen.

Oopsie. But hey, it made liberals cry! That's gotta be worth something, right?
Hobbes
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 15 2016, 04:24 PM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 15 2016, 03:11 PM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 10:28 AM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 14 2016, 01:49 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 01:56 PM) *
Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.


Proof? No. Reports of bias which all seem to be slanted against the right? Yes. Were those reports 'fake' themselves? Don't know.


But what reports are you referring to specifically?


Plenty of them out there. Not sure if these were the ones I had seen previously or not, but seemed a good representation. There were numerous reports of this occurring, with Google denying but indicating they would review their algorithms.


Seriously? You're just going to point me to a bing search and expect me to do the research you should have done to prove your point? Very convincing.


I'm not trying to prove a point. If you are interested, read a couple of them. If you are not, fine.

FWIW, recall that all I said was that there were reports of bias out there. Those links show that there are indeed reports of bias out there (and this was just for Google), so the point is actually 'proved'.
Mrs. Pigpen
Kimpossible, per "no time" I completely understand.
I don't have a great deal of time these days to really dissect an article or answer a post as completely and considered as I would like to these days either.
I did finally get some time to start forming a response to the article you cited (tipping point) below.
I think it's a good representation of the general argument. I'll only take the first few paragraphs:

QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 11:28 AM) *
Also, for me personally, in the years that I've been away from AD, I spent my time studying authoritarian regimes (I wrote my master's thesis on transparency in these regimes, and the existence of multi-party systems in authoritarian regimes) and living in them (hello, Azerbaijan and [to a lesser degree] Argentina). To me, the parallels are striking. The issue, of course, is that if I am wrong, I look alarmist, and if I am right, I look prescient (but who cares, if we are all in camps at that point?). What is the tipping point from democracy to non-democracy? No one knows.


The first sentence:
QUOTE
"I grew up knowing that my great-grandfather smuggled guns into the Bialystok ghetto for the resistance.."

The is some irony (in the context) here.
Bialystok ghetto is a very frequently cited reference for the argument in support of second amendment freedom. One finds it a lot harder to go on a genocidal (or dictatorial) campaign when the opposition is armed and can form a defense. But Trump is pro second amendment/anti gun control. Before this election, in the places I'm familiar with (south florida, north florida, Dallas Texas) people were loading up in the gun stores. Ammo was sold out. It was standing room only in a lot of places, a good portion of the time. They were bracing for Hillary to take over and legislate control over the ammo and/or firearms (control the ammo, you control the weapons....also makes it very difficult for a person to become proficient but a criminal does not require so much proficiency, unlike a law abiding person). After the election, gun store folks are breathing a sigh of relief (and yes, most had pro-Trump signs on the windows).

QUOTE
With the election of Donald Trump—a candidate who has lied his way into power,


I remember the day my world view changed very much. It was the day I was hit full-force with just what a lying sham the election process is, and the media coverage surrounding it. I was very young, and the political candidate who won the presidency that year was campaigning at my campus! I was excited to ask questions and raised my hand as the cameras rolled. Silly me, I found out later all of the questions and questioners were prescripted. The media made it look as though he was taking random questions from students in the crowd. Perhaps before news became entertainment things were different, but it has been a long long time since any political candidate DIDN'T "lie his/her way in to power" (also see the leaked DNC details).

QUOTE
openly embraced racist discourse and violence


I've linked to this twice but it's probably worth linking to again.
I have seen no evidence that Trump "openly embraces racist discourse" **nor "violence". There is evidence (Project Veritas) that anti-trumpers are the more violent bunch (which makes sense, due to the level of fear I described earlier).

**I have mentioned this before and I'll mention again that I do believe he is a racist.
I gather this through indirect evidence, it isn't "open" or "blatant". I do not believe that he is any more racist than most any other people in his generation, however.

QUOTE
toyed with the idea of jailing his opponents


Shouldn't that be "opponent" without the plural? Implying that calling for the investigation and prosecution of Hillary for what appears to be criminal-level negligence (anyone and everyone I know who has worked in intelligence is of one mind on this one), is anything near the equivalent of the random jailing of political dissidents isn't just comparing apples to oranges. That's comparing apples to orangutans.

QUOTE
boasted of his assaults on women and his avoidance of taxes, and denigrated the traditional checks and balances of government—this question has confronted us as urgently as ever.


Yes, the tape that was taken secretly, kept for over a decade and then released toward the end of the campaign did reflect poorly on Trump. But he didn't boast, he admitted he was not proud of it. Per LEGAL tax avoidance, he is correct that this is smart. No person hires an accountant does so so that they can pay as much in taxes as possible. I don't believe there is a single successful politician or business person who doesn't try to avoid taxes (legally).
He wants to change the laws so people will pay less and companies will stay here (in theory...we'll have to see how any of that pans out).

That's probably enough.

Well...edited to add a bit (thoughts/predictions)
I predict the following (I've been pretty accurate on my predictions through the years):
-There is no chance that Trump will turn out to be a dictator. Yes, I understand the line isn't white/black but I believe he will move AWAY from the line, pushing more power to the states which means less executive power not more.
-AM might be right in his prediction above. This might be a coming to God moment for our nation, and Trump might be the very worst ever.
-Alternately, he might be among the best.
It isn't as likely to be in the middle.
If the market holds up and people feel their lives are better in the next four years, that is where their vote will be. If they are doing very badly they will look for change (again).

I am very very glad that he appointed a former soldier, Mattis, for Secretary of Defense (something our nation hasn't seen since Marshall). I think this guy is good. And I am also absolutely elated that Petraeus is out (from the look of things). Petraeus is NOT good (shoddy with state secrets, believes himself to be above the law, though he was a military officer he is an example of everything wrong in politics)
net2007
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 15 2016, 04:53 PM) *
1. Does the media favor liberals?

Not especially in the professionally written news reports. That's because journalism pros are aware of yellow journalism, which is easy to spot due to the use of modifiers:

Man bites dog

versus

Insane homeless drug fiend bites defenseless family pet right on the junk.


I believe the pros do bias reports too, perhaps not as obvious as that, though. laugh.gif

QUOTE
2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

Depends on the individual. Some might take it upon themselves to ferret out the child sex slavers lurking in pizza parlors, others might vote against their self-interests, and some might write about what they think. Lots of other possibilities as well.


Right, it does.

QUOTE
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Obviously, the Electoral College enabled a Trump win over the popular vote. But then how'd he get enough voters to pull that off? Back to it depending on the individual.

Some liked the racism/bigotry/sexism/general prickishness that is Trump. Others fell for his outright lies. But what one thing do I believe helped him most to win?

Media attention, and not just during the campaign. Trump has gotten far too much media attention for decades, being that he has no discernible talents or skills other than being a rather spectacular douche bag. There's a pretty big market for those types in media. They're usually comedians playing a role. Not Trump. He really is what he seems to be.

But then there's the possibility that most Trump voters got exactly what they expected: an unpredictable, selfish child. Naw, nobody's that dim, are they? Certainly not a majority of the electorate, thank goodness.

Even though I'm expecting Trump's admin to be one of, if not the, worst in our history, I can also see that our country could benefit from the experience. It sure demonstrates how stuff can really hit the fan if we're not careful.

Trump won because our system has glaring holes in it, with media attention being one of the largest. And that in turn falls on the shoulders of the audience, since media has to attract attention, and that means dishing up spectacles for entertainment.

What's the solution? There isn't one, but it'll be a lot harder for the next Trump to pull off another dance in the limelights. And besides, even Trump was surprised he won. That just wasn't supposed to happen.

Oopsie. But hey, it made liberals cry! That's gotta be worth something, right?


Well, I'd say many people would have thought the same if Hillary won. It would have demonstrated how stuff can hit the fan if we're not careful. In the case of Trump, I believe he's so obvious that people knew what they were doing when they voted for him, though I disagree with your view on why people voted for him because it's incomplete. So Trump was obvious, but with Hillary, she was good at lying for the most part and good at misdirection which makes her particularly dangerous. I think people caught on though. Trump got the votes he needed to win. He wasn't expected to get the votes to even get close to her in electoral votes yet he got enough for an electoral landslide. If you want to know what I think about that, here's how I put it to Dingo...

"While you used the term minority to explain Trump supporters (hinting at the popular vote) I actually look at it as a majority. In raw numbers, Hillary squeaked by but she represented and defended the beliefs of Californians and New Yorkers so much that she got a disproportionate amount of the vote in those states which rendered them useless. In a football game getting the most yards by small fraction doesn't necessarily win you the game."

In my opinion, it's not like we had fabulous choices this year anyway. I was questioning voters from the get go on this one, but with that said I don't think Trump is bad enough for the reactions we're seeing. We're not about to see the end of the world or the unraveling of our culture, if that's what people are basing their actions on when they smash up public property or assault others (as if that would help) then those types are being foolish and if it were in their hands, what they fear would probably come true.

What you said about reasons people voted for Trump, I think that's true of some but you have to consider that other factors were at play. Some people voted because he's viewed as strong and assertive, he's an outsider who challenged the whole system (including Republicans), or he's had success as a business man. When you say "he's had no discernible talents or skills" he actually does.
Personally, I thought his faults outshined all of that, the left will never warm up to Trump because he's too divisive and has little to offer those who are liberal, similar to Obama who had little to offer conservatives. When the opposing party feels neglected, it gets hard to get things done. He also says things that can't be done, so I understand all of that.

However, I generally don't agree with black and white perspectives on things. So for me personally, there was 40% reason to vote for Trump and 60% reason not to, if you want to look at it on a percentage scale. Hillary for me didn't come close to being someone I'd vote for, but I started believing that part of the reason we have problems is that people are casting anti-votes against their opponents for politicians they don't really like which contributes to a fixed two party system which people are frustrated with.
AuthorMusician
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 10:25 AM) *
But Trump is pro second amendment/anti gun control.

With no voting record and his habit of saying stuff and then doing 180-degree turns from what he said, looks to me that there's nothing reliable on which to base this take on Trump.

It is interesting that the demand for birth control went up after Trump's EC win, which ranks toward the bottom of EC wins:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/st...ory-was-not-ma/

And then there are the faithless EC electors who might make his so-called landslide that much more of a falling pebble.

So is Trump against birth control or in favor of it? Beats me, but just as firearm/ammo sales go up with some Democrat winning, this is likely based on a general impression that the Republican Party is against birth control. You know, like all Democrats want to take your firearms away, or ammo, or both so that they can create a kleptocracy like Putin's.

Both takes are over the top and pushed there by media. So how come Trump's the PE and not Clinton if the media are so slanted toward liberals? The obvious answer is that something else is at work, unless it's wrong that the media is slanted. Could also mean that media slant can backfire.

You're pretty right-on that if the 2016 Trump supporters don't get what they want, Trump will be a short-term POTUS. I agree from the gut that this has to do with good-paying jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled labor. If Trump doesn't come through with that, he'll be stuck with a base that only cares about fringe things, such as white supremacy, a lot less government in general, making liberals cry, formal burial of all fetal tissues in cemeteries (what, no cremation?), more war for greater profits and so on. Without socialistic jobs/wages programs, I don't see how he can pull this off.

If no big issue surfaces similar to 9/11, a world war, economic crisis or the such, Trump will be a mediocre, at best, POTUS. He isn't focused enough to be great on his own, and like so many others who rose to greatness, he will need to be tested under extreme stress.

And what if he is tested and fails? His life hasn't had a whole lot of stress in it from what I can tell, so as with firearms, I have nothing to go on but gut feeling. And that tells me he'll run away on a yacht outfitted to survive a world in flames, along with his good buds and their worthless wealth.

Obviously, my gut is a drama queen.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 16 2016, 03:46 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 10:25 AM) *
But Trump is pro second amendment/anti gun control.

With no voting record and his habit of saying stuff and then doing 180-degree turns from what he said, looks to me that there's nothing reliable on which to base this take on Trump.


It's true he might waffle. But from the look of his appointees I don't think he will waffle on gun control. But, yes...it could happen.

and if it happened, it would surprise a lot of people.

QUOTE
It is interesting that the demand for birth control went up after Trump's EC win


The smart aleck in me wants to make a quip about Trump and birth control. Suffice it to say...I'm kind of surprised demand has gone up.

But, more seriously, it makes sense (for the same reason I alluded to with firearms). I don't think anyone believes that birth control will be illegal, but if funding goes down the price could increase for some consumers. The IUD is the smart way to go. Lasts ten years. Trump will be gone by then.
AuthorMusician
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 06:37 PM) *
It's true he might waffle. But from the look of his appointees I don't think he will waffle on gun control. But, yes...it could happen.

How his appointees look doesn't mean a thing if Trump decides to ignore them. They work for him and have no powers like Executive Order or the legislative pen.

Trump is a chicken. Once he realizes that the POTUS often gets shot at, he'll take action to protect himself. It might be unconstitutional action, but he could really mess things up while that gets decided.

Sorry, Second Amendment enthusiasts, but the guy is dangerous for the entire country, not just liberals. Maybe that's really what he means by uniting the country -- in its hatred toward him.
kimpossible
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
Kimpossible, per "no time" I completely understand.
I don't have a great deal of time these days to really dissect an article or answer a post as completely and considered as I would like to these days either.
I did finally get some time to start forming a response to the article you cited (tipping point) below.


Ugh, TIME. Turns out writing these posts is reminiscent of writing for college. biggrin.gif And back then it took me weeks of prep to write a paper. But for some reason I always estimate that itll take me an hour to write a post only to come upon the hour and be like 'Wait, there's more!'

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
I think it's a good representation of the general argument. I'll only take the first few paragraphs:

QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 14 2016, 11:28 AM) *
Also, for me personally, in the years that I've been away from AD, I spent my time studying authoritarian regimes (I wrote my master's thesis on transparency in these regimes, and the existence of multi-party systems in authoritarian regimes) and living in them (hello, Azerbaijan and [to a lesser degree] Argentina). To me, the parallels are striking. The issue, of course, is that if I am wrong, I look alarmist, and if I am right, I look prescient (but who cares, if we are all in camps at that point?). What is the tipping point from democracy to non-democracy? No one knows.


The first sentence:
QUOTE
"I grew up knowing that my great-grandfather smuggled guns into the Bialystok ghetto for the resistance.."

The is some irony (in the context) here.
Bialystok ghetto is a very frequently cited reference for the argument in support of second amendment freedom. One finds it a lot harder to go on a genocidal (or dictatorial) campaign when the opposition is armed and can form a defense. But Trump is pro second amendment/anti gun control. Before this election, in the places I'm familiar with (south florida, north florida, Dallas Texas) people were loading up in the gun stores. Ammo was sold out. It was standing room only in a lot of places, a good portion of the time. They were bracing for Hillary to take over and legislate control over the ammo and/or firearms (control the ammo, you control the weapons....also makes it very difficult for a person to become proficient but a criminal does not require so much proficiency, unlike a law abiding person). After the election, gun store folks are breathing a sigh of relief (and yes, most had pro-Trump signs on the windows).


I think this misses the point of Masha Gessen's article. Maybe we'll be better off with a thoroughly armed populace, and will be able to fend off any attempts at authoritarian government, but I think the bigger point is that it's hard to tell that these things are coming, and often times, people make decisions to 'work with (or within)' systems they don't agree with because there's not much else they can do. She cites her grandfather's experience of compiling lists of Jews to be taken away, even though he initially took the position to help his people:

QUOTE
The arguments in defense of producing the list, in Bialystok and elsewhere, were pragmatic: the killing was going to occur anyway; by cooperating, the Judenrat could try to reduce the number of people the Nazis were planning to kill (in Bialystok, this worked, though in the end the ghetto, like all other ghettos, was “liquidated”); by compiling the lists, the Judenrat could prevent random killing, instead choosing to sacrifice those who were already near death from disease or starvation. These were strong arguments. There is always a strong argument.

...

We know what my great-grandfather did not know: that the people who wanted to keep the people fed ended up compiling lists of their neighbors to be killed.


She also cites her own experiences in Russia, when faced with being the editor of a science magazine.

QUOTE
My family supplies other examples of this slippery slope of collaboration. Take my own. In 2012, I was working as the editor-in-chief of a popular science magazine called Vokrug Sveta when Vladimir Putin, who fancies himself an explorer and a nature conservationist, took a liking to the publication. His administration launched a kind of friendly takeover of the magazine, one that the publisher could not refuse. I found myself in meetings with the Russian Geographic Society, of which Putin was the hands-on chairman. They wanted me to publish stories about their activities, most of which, as far as I could tell, were bogus. In exchange, they promised to help the magazine: at one point every school in Russia was ordered to buy a subscription (like many Kremlin orders, this one ended in naught). I felt a slow rot setting in at a magazine I loved, but I kept telling myself that I could still do a good job—and keep many fine journalists gainfully employed. Then I was asked to send a reporter to accompany Putin on his hang-gliding adventure with a migrating flock of endangered Siberian cranes. I refused—not on principle but because I was afraid that the reporter would see and describe something that would get the magazine in trouble. The publisher fired me, but then Putin called me in for a meeting and offered me my job back—legally, it wasn’t his to offer, but for practical purposes it was.

In comparison to the Putin regime’s major abuses of power and suppression of the opposition, the story of the cranes and my firing does not deserve a mention. All that happened as a result of the hang-gliding trip (from what I know) was that two or three of the cranes were badly injured for the sake of the president’s publicity stunt, and I lost my job. But I also lost a bit of my soul and the sense of moral agency I had earned over decades of acting like my best journalist self. When Putin offered me my job back after the trip, I hesitated to say no: I loved that job, and I thought I could still edit a good magazine and keep some fine journalists employed. I didn’t want to imagine what would happen the next time I was asked to cover a Putin photo op or a fake story produced by his Geographic Society, which siphoned money off like every other part his mafia state. Fortunately for me, my closest friend said, “Have you lost your mind?,” by which she meant my sense of right and wrong.


I used to scoff at the notion that Bush was Hitler (haha, I think? Mrs. P appears to have a better memory of what I wrote on this board than I do, but while I didn't like Bush's policies, I don't remember thinking we were on the brink of democratic downfall) or that the US was coming close to fascism (per my more radical friends), and once told a friend that if he thought we were heading towards a dictatorship, then he should try living in a real one.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
I remember the day my world view changed very much. It was the day I was hit full-force with just what a lying sham the election process is, and the media coverage surrounding it. I was very young, and the political candidate who won the presidency that year was campaigning at my campus! I was excited to ask questions and raised my hand as the cameras rolled. Silly me, I found out later all of the questions and questioners were prescripted. The media made it look as though he was taking random questions from students in the crowd. Perhaps before news became entertainment things were different, but it has been a long long time since any political candidate DIDN'T "lie his/her way in to power" (also see the leaked DNC details).


Can you elaborate a bit more on this? Is having prescreened questions the same as lying? Additionally, is there truly no difference between Trump and, say, Bill Clinton or George W Bush in terms of lying (though, that war in Iraq lie was a doozy!)?

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
I have seen no evidence that Trump "openly embraces racist discourse" **nor "violence". There is evidence (Project Veritas) that anti-trumpers are the more violent bunch (which makes sense, due to the level of fear I described earlier).


Violence not withstanding (there seems to have been violence on both sides, and I am not well-versed enough to provide much of an opinion, except I am annoyed that it's so hard to parse 'the truth', here), I'm surprised that you don't think that Trump has embraced racist discourse. Perhaps we have different definitions of racist.

Do you think his embrace of birtherism is not racist? Or his claiming that Mexican immigrants are criminals/drug dealers/rapists? Or his calls for a Muslim registry?

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
Shouldn't that be "opponent" without the plural? Implying that calling for the investigation and prosecution of Hillary for what appears to be criminal-level negligence (anyone and everyone I know who has worked in intelligence is of one mind on this one), is anything near the equivalent of the random jailing of political dissidents isn't just comparing apples to oranges. That's comparing apples to orangutans.


I don't want to turn this into a Hillary-is-worse debate, because she's no longer in the running, but how many criminal investigations do there need to be about these emails before people will be satisfied? Additionally, my friends with strong interests in national security (many working in DC as analysts for this purpose, and many of them self-proclaimed conservatives) disagree that Hillary deserves the attention she has got for this.

But also, back to the topic, if he thinks its ok to threaten one opponent, why not threaten others? (I detail a bit farther down, that he clearly has no issue threatening and suing opponents for businesses purposes, and has recently threatened members of the press.) But more importantly, why is this even acceptable?

This seems like a fundamentally different view of acceptability. To me, this is very much reminiscent of authoritarian rhetoric. Would it have been OK for Hillary to tell Trump she was going to go after him for bribing the AG of Florida? I'm just trying to gauge where the line gets drawn.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
Yes, the tape that was taken secretly, kept for over a decade and then released toward the end of the campaign did reflect poorly on Trump. But he didn't boast, he admitted he was not proud of it.


I believe the 'boast' terminology was in reference to his actual boasting on the tape, not his 'regret' in 2016.

In particular, there's two characteristics of Trump that I find particularly worrisome.

1) He lies. And maybe his lies are no different from any other politician/political figure, but it doesn't feel that way to me. (I'd be happy to see evidence that the rate of DJT's lying as being on par with other modern politicians). As AM has also pointed out, we just simply cannot believe anything he says. It's rare to deal with someone who so blatantly lies, denies lying, then says some other lie (ie, the "election is rigged" [then not rigged, then rigged again], "I never supported the war in Iraq"). I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone is giving him a pass on his outrageous claims. NPR wrote about the questions they wanted to ask Trump at his now-canceled press conference, and one of them was this:

QUOTE
From Tamara Keith, White House correspondent

6. Your former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said recently the problem with the media is that they took the things you said too literally. Do you want the American people to take what you say and tweet literally? How can the American people judge whether you are being truthful if your own aides say you shouldn't necessarily be taken literally?

Context: Earlier this month, during a panel discussion at the Harvard Institute of Politics, the former Trump campaign manager said, "This is the problem with the media — you guys took everything Donald Trump said so literally. And the problem with that is the American people didn't. They understood that sometimes when you have a conversation with people, you're going to say something, and maybe you don't have all the facts to back that up, but that's how the American people live."

Trump has repeatedly said and tweeted things that are simply not true. He also made promises on the campaign trail that he has backed away from, like saying Hillary Clinton would be locked up if he were president or that he would call for a temporary ban of Muslims coming into the United States. Lewandowski, who has been seen coming and going from Trump Tower during the transition, implied it was a mistake for journalists to focus on these things. The president-elect's view on this could be revealing.


In addition to his many, many lies, I worry about the broader effect that this has on public perceptions of 'the truth'. I remember that one of the tactics employed by "Big Tobacco" was to create confusion about the truth of a claim and 'spark controversy', rather than to refute any science that proved ingesting tobacco causes cancer; ie, creating a debate around a subject meant that there was more than one 'truth', and as long as it wasn't clear what was true, then maybe nothing was true. And people would spend more time debating these details, than paying attention to what tobacco companies were doing to hook more consumers. It feels like this is what Trump is doing with his many lies and absurd claims: distracting us, and allowing the discourse to focus more on the absurdity of his claims, rather than his actual policies or actions.

Trump himself has said that he enjoys courting this type of chaos, because it keeps people on their toes.
QUOTE
One day, when I was in Trump’s office, he took a phone call from an investment banker, an opaque conversation that, after he hung up, I asked him to elucidate.

“Whatever complicates the world more I do,” he said.

Come again?

“It’s always good to do things nice and complicated so that nobody can figure it out.”


In many ways, the absurd claims are similar to what I saw in Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev uses Twitter (though more for the benefit of foreigners, than for his actual constituents, I would guess) to claim that Azerbaijan is a democracy, has a great human rights record, is economically successful and to lambast Azerbaijan's enemy, Armenia.

One of my favorites from President Aliyev:
QUOTE
Azerbaijan is a modern, dynamic country, where all fundamental freedoms are provided, and which has great potential for the future.



2) I am also very concerned that Trump refuses to adhere to democratic norms or ethical standards (maybe these should be two separate points...). He has not released his taxes, he has done little to assuage fears of conflicts of interest.

He has threatened opponents [both Hillary and the press ]. During the campaign, he said he wanted to 'open up libel laws' to make it easier to sue the press, and he did threaten to sue the New York Times.

While Trump himself does not yet have the power to do anything but make absurd threats against the press, it's not hard for me to imagine a chilling effect if he continues to threaten them as president. Russia's press was dismantled not by laws (though the law about no foreign media ownership obviously complicated things), but by pressure to report on certain stories, such as Masha Gessen's example above.

<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/09/donald-trump-unpaid-bills-republican-president-laswuits/85297274/" target="_blank">
His track record as a businessmen already shows that he is quick to litigate for the smallest offenses, and he does not pay contractors </a>(or his campaign staff) for their work.

This article from two political scientists stresses the importance of both formal and informal norms to keep systems functioning smoothly.

QUOTE
Among the unwritten rules that have sustained American democracy are partisan self-restraint and fair play. For much of our history, leaders of both parties resisted the temptation to use their temporary control of institutions to maximum partisan advantage, effectively underutilizing the power conferred by those institutions. There existed a shared understanding, for example, that anti-majoritarian practices like the Senate filibuster would be used sparingly, that the Senate would defer (within reason) to the president in nominating Supreme Court justices, and that votes of extraordinary importance — like impeachment — required a bipartisan consensus. Such practices helped to avoid a descent into the kind of partisan fight to the death that destroyed many European democracies in the 1930s.

Yet norms of partisan restraint have eroded in recent decades. House Republicans’ impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998 abandoned the idea of bipartisan consensus on impeachment. The filibuster, once a rarity, has become a routine tool of legislative obstruction. As the political scientists Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have shown, the decline of partisan restraint has rendered our democratic institutions increasingly dysfunctional. Republicans’ 2011 refusal to raise the debt ceiling, which put America’s credit rating at risk for partisan gain, and the Senate’s refusal this year to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee — in essence, allowing the Republicans to steal a Supreme Court seat — offer an alarming glimpse at political life in the absence of partisan restraint.

...

Unlike his predecessors, Mr. Trump is a serial norm-breaker. There are signs that Mr. Trump seeks to diminish the news media’s traditional role by using Twitter, video messages and public rallies to circumvent the White House press corps and communicate directly with voters — taking a page out of the playbook of populist leaders like Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey.

An even more basic norm under threat today is the idea of legitimate opposition. In a democracy, partisan rivals must fully accept one another’s right to exist, to compete and to govern. Democrats and Republicans may disagree intensely, but they must view one another as loyal Americans and accept that the other side will occasionally win elections and lead the country. Without such mutual acceptance, democracy is imperiled. Governments throughout history have used the claim that their opponents are disloyal or criminal or a threat to the nation’s way of life to justify acts of authoritarianism.



Additionally, this article highlights some newer research on democratic decline, drawing on data across several different countries, including the US. It notes that this edging towards authortarianism isn't just happening in the US, but perhaps is part of a broader world trend.

QUOTE
Mr. Mounk and Mr. Foa developed a three-factor formula to answer that question. Mr. Mounk thinks of it as an early-warning system, and it works something like a medical test: a way to detect that a democracy is ill before it develops full-blown symptoms.

The first factor was public support: How important do citizens think it is for their country to remain democratic? The second was public openness to nondemocratic forms of government, such as military rule. And the third factor was whether “antisystem parties and movements” — political parties and other major players whose core message is that the current system is illegitimate — were gaining support.

...

Across numerous countries, including Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States, the percentage of people who say it is “essential” to live in a democracy has plummeted, and it is especially low among younger generations.

Support for autocratic alternatives is rising, too. Drawing on data from the European and World Values Surveys, the researchers found that the share of Americans who say that army rule would be a “good” or “very good” thing had risen to 1 in 6 in 2014, compared with 1 in 16 in 1995.

That trend is particularly strong among young people. For instance, in a previously published paper, the researchers calculated that 43 percent of older Americans believed it was illegitimate for the military to take over if the government were incompetent or failing to do its job, but only 19 percent of millennials agreed. The same generational divide showed up in Europe, where 53 percent of older people thought a military takeover would be illegitimate, while only 36 percent of millennials agreed.

In the United States, Donald J. Trump won the presidential election by running as an antisystem outsider. And support for antisystem populist parties in Europe, such as the National Front in France, Syriza in Greece and the Five-Star Movement in Italy, is rising.


The erosion of informal political norms may very well lead to a breakdown in more formal norms (eventually leading to a breakdown in democracy itself), and that may not happen under Trump, but it seems closer than before.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
I am very very glad that he appointed a former soldier, Mattis, for Secretary of Defense (something our nation hasn't seen since Marshall). I think this guy is good. And I am also absolutely elated that Petraeus is out (from the look of things). Petraeus is NOT good (shoddy with state secrets, believes himself to be above the law, though he was a military officer he is an example of everything wrong in politics)


Well, at least we can both agree that Petraeus is horrible.

(PS, true to form, this took me forever to write, and I am sure that I left some things out, AND there's still other points that I want to touch upon, but for 'brevity's' sake did not bring up. Also, just want to say that it's been a real pleasure hearing your view Mrs P. I appreciate your genuine engagement with me on the topic.)
AuthorMusician
The Washington Post has created a Chrome plug-in that does immediate fact checking of Trump's tweets, according to PC (as in 'puters and not politics) Magazine:

http://www.pcmag.com/news/350425/this-chro...k-trumps-tweets

The only comment on the article when I checked it was from some kid or childish adult laughing at the Post. Yeah, well they're all over the place now, kids and childish adults.

Two points:

1) Trump is our first PE who's addicted to social media, which tells me a lot about what makes him tick, and:

2) Some Chrome plug-ins are entirely unnecessary. There are not and have never been any facts to check in Trump's social media yammerings. He just creates stuff in his own mind and lets it all excrete into electronic ink. Some of his excrement is more odoriferous than usual, but it all stinks.

I guess this will be his version of fireside chats and weekend updates.

On the plus side, SNL is coming through with lots of enjoyable satire regarding our vainglorious leader. Trump gets upset over it, which is better than the satire because his weak little ego can't help but take control of his thumbs.

net2007
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 19 2016, 12:37 PM) *
The Washington Post has created a Chrome plug-in that does immediate fact checking of Trump's tweets, according to PC (as in 'puters and not politics) Magazine:

http://www.pcmag.com/news/350425/this-chro...k-trumps-tweets

The only comment on the article when I checked it was from some kid or childish adult laughing at the Post. Yeah, well they're all over the place now, kids and childish adults.

Two points:

1) Trump is our first PE who's addicted to social media, which tells me a lot about what makes him tick, and:

2) Some Chrome plug-ins are entirely unnecessary. There are not and have never been any facts to check in Trump's social media yammerings. He just creates stuff in his own mind and lets it all excrete into electronic ink. Some of his excrement is more odoriferous than usual, but it all stinks.

I guess this will be his version of fireside chats and weekend updates.

On the plus side, SNL is coming through with lots of enjoyable satire regarding our vainglorious leader. Trump gets upset over it, which is better than the satire because his weak little ego can't help but take control of his thumbs.


Right, SNL always hits conservatives hard, Holywood is even more liberal than CNN or MSNBC. It's not that liberal politicians don't offer good material to work with or don't have corrupt politicians, celebrities have the motive and the will to give a slanted view of things to influence their audience. Worst part is that many of these individuals have a great deal of talent. For example, I actually enjoy watching Stephen Colbert from time to time but I haven't been a regular watcher of either of his shows because he's too biased. He's likely cut his audience in half with the approach he takes, but hey it makes conservatives cry right?

Have you ever considered that Trump and his followers could be reacting to a liberal base who's treated them unfairly? I think it's funny that Alec Baldwin said he'll stop with the impersonations if Trump releases his tax returns. It's a joke, he's been mocking conservatives, (particularly withing the Republican party), for years and will just move on to the next person if he actually did stick to his deal. I'm not saying everything Trump says is good or acceptable but I think the reason he was elected is because conservatives stood up and revolted. That much I can appreciate though I think the criticisms should be directed only at those causing problems and not entire groups. Regardless, I think this part of the reason for Trump being elected. Thoughts?
Mrs. Pigpen
I do wish Trump would stop twittering (tweeting? chirping?) angry messages at two AM.
I'm hoping they nip that in the bud because it's not very presidential.
But I think he is doing better.
He did well, in my opinion, with the Chinese stolen drone caper.
"We don't want it! They can keep it!"
That's not bad.
Seriously...what were we going to do? Thank them for handing it back after they stole it?
I think this Trump handled it fine.
(and I thought the official claim this is a nature observational drone in the China Sea was pretty funny...yep, just out here to watch whales mating...)
The old campaigning Trump would have twertered a picture of himself spitting on the drone with the caption,
"I nut rubbed it, too! And we have big league drones now…that’s an old one, it’s not big league.”

QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 19 2016, 01:20 AM) *
I think this misses the point of Masha Gessen's article. Maybe we'll be better off with a thoroughly armed populace, and will be able to fend off any attempts at authoritarian government, but I think the bigger point is that it's hard to tell that these things are coming, and often times, people make decisions to 'work with (or within)' systems they don't agree with because there's not much else they can do. She cites her grandfather's experience of compiling lists of Jews to be taken away, even though he initially took the position to help his people.


Was there really any doubt her grandfather understood he was living under an authoritarian government? People were rounded up, their property confiscated en masse, and they were throw into ghettos. The powers that be weren't exactly coy.
I'm not educated on the matter enough to know actual survival rates per ghetto, but we do know the alternative to NOT compromising...because history has made it pretty clear that death was the alternative (and even if people might be willing to sacrifice themselves they typically aren't as cavalier with their families).

QUOTE
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 16 2016, 08:25 AM) *
I remember the day my world view changed very much. It was the day I was hit full-force with just what a lying sham the election process is, and the media coverage surrounding it. I was very young, and the political candidate who won the presidency that year was campaigning at my campus! I was excited to ask questions and raised my hand as the cameras rolled. Silly me, I found out later all of the questions and questioners were prescripted. The media made it look as though he was taking random questions from students in the crowd. Perhaps before news became entertainment things were different, but it has been a long long time since any political candidate DIDN'T "lie his/her way in to power" (also see the leaked DNC details).


Can you elaborate a bit more on this? Is having prescreened questions the same as lying? Additionally, is there truly no difference between Trump and, say, Bill Clinton or George W Bush in terms of lying (though, that war in Iraq lie was a doozy!)?


Is there really any point in elaborating on this? Do we need to go into the numerous lies politicians tell on a daily basis or can we just agree it's obvious.
Politician says, 'I will not raise taxes to pay for my programs" and three months into the job says, "I'm going to have to raise taxes to pay for these programs".
Ad nauseum ect.
Press conference with students:
"Hey, you son over there...no, not you, guy in the blue hat..."
(blue hat asks question)
"Well, that's a good one. I'm going to have to think about that for a minute..."

At what point do you call it a lie? If you don't want to call the above lying that's fine but please use a consistent metric.
Politicians lie. It's what they do. From my perspective saying, "I'll get rid of Obamacare" and changing it to "We won't get rid of Obamacare in its entirety, we will keep the better aspects but change what doesn't work" isn't terribly problematic.
It's actually a relief. I'm hoping he lied about more (perhaps folks in the business would call it hyperbole).
He has already moderated his view on the wall and (to pre-empt a portion of my response below) he changed his mind about prosecuting Hillary. So there are two more changes I think are wise.

QUOTE
Violence not withstanding (there seems to have been violence on both sides, and I am not well-versed enough to provide much of an opinion, except I am annoyed that it's so hard to parse 'the truth', here), I'm surprised that you don't think that Trump has embraced racist discourse. Perhaps we have different definitions of racist.

Do you think his embrace of birtherism is not racist?


Correct. I do not understand why calling Obama's birthplace into question is racist.
It's not unique. Folks called McCain into question for his birthplace.
Trump also said Cruz is a Canadian. Is that racist?

FWIW, no, I don't think Obama was born in Kenya. But that doesn't make the assertion racist.
(pretty sure we had a topic back in the day were I disputed the assertion his birth cert wasn't real, using my own marriage certificate, from Hawaii)
NEXT:

QUOTE


This was addressed in my link earlier. I believe the author is correct in his analysis.
QUOTE
Trump’s quote:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. Their rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

Note how totally non-racist this statement is. I’m serious. It’s anti-illegal-immigrant. But in terms of race, it’s saying Latinos (like every race) include both good and bad people, and the bad people are the ones coming over here. It suggests a picture of Mexicans as including some of the best people – but those generally aren’t the ones who are coming illegally.

Compare to eg Bill Clinton’s 1996 platform (all emphasis mine):
We cannot tolerate illegal immigration and we must stop it. For years before Bill Clinton became President, Washington talked tough but failed to act. In 1992, our borders might as well not have existed. The border was under-patrolled, and what patrols there were, were under-equipped. Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again. President Clinton is making our border a place where the law is respected and drugs and illegal immigrants are turned away.

Or John McCain in 2008:
Border security is essential to national security. In an age of terrorism, drug cartels, and criminal gangs, allowing millions of unidentified persons to enter and remain in this country poses grave risks to the sovereignty of the United States and the security of its people.

Trump’s platform contains similar language – and, like all past platforms, also contains language praising legal immigrants:
Just as immigrant labor helped build our country in the past, today’s legal immigrants are making vital contributions in every aspect of national life. Their industry and commitment to American values strengthens our economy, enriches our culture, and enables us to better understand and more effectively compete with the rest of the world.

We are particularly grateful to the thousands of new legal immigrants, many of them not yet citizens, who are serving in the Armed Forces and among first responders. Their patriotism should encourage all to embrace the newcomers legally among us, assist their journey to full citizenship, and help their communities avoid isolation from the mainstream of society. We are also thankful for the many legal immigrants who continue to contribute to American society.

When Democrats and Republicans alike over the last twenty years say that we are a nation of immigrants but that illegal immigrants threaten our security, or may be criminals or drug pushers, they’re met with yawns. When Trump says exactly the same thing, he’s Literally the KKK.


I lived about thirty minutes from the Mexican border for three years, and I knew quite a few people working as border patrol agents then. I haven’t lived there in about five years, but from what they told me then, they would seem to agree with Trump’s statement.
Most of them are Mexican-American.
NEXT:

QUOTE


Yes, and I disagree with Trump. There should NOT be a registry for Muslims. But Islam isn’t a race.
From the article:
QUOTE
But why do he (and his supporters) want to ban/vet Muslims, and not Hindus or Kenyans, even though most Muslims are white(ish) and most Hindus and Kenyans aren’t? Trump and his supporters are concerned about terrorism, probably since the San Bernardino shooting and Pulse nightclub massacre dominated headlines this election season.
You can argue that he and his supporters are biased for caring more about terrorism than about furniture-related injuries, which kill several times more Americans than terrorists do each year. But do you see how there’s a difference between “cognitive bias that makes you unreasonably afraid” versus “white supremacy”?
I agree that this is getting into murky territory and that a better answer here would be to deconstruct the word “racism” into a lot of very heterogenous parts, one of which means exactly this sort of thing. But as I pointed out in Part 4, a lot of these accusations shy away from the word “racism” precisely because it’s an ambiguous thing with many heterogenous parts, some of which are understandable and resemble the sort of thing normal-but-flawed human beings might think. Now they say “KKK white nationalism” or “overt white supremacy”. These terms are powerful exactly because they do not permit the gradations of meaning which this subject demands.
Let me say this for the millionth time. I’m not saying Trump doesn’t have some racist attitudes and policies. I am saying that talk of “entire campaign built around white supremacy” and “the white power candidate” is deliberate and dangerous exaggeration. Lots of people (and not just whites!) are hasty to generalize from “ISIS is scary” to “I am scared of all Muslims”. This needs to be called out and fought, but it needs to be done in an understanding way, not with cries of “KKK WHITE SUPREMACY!”



QUOTE
I don't want to turn this into a Hillary-is-worse debate, because she's no longer in the running, but how many criminal investigations do there need to be about these emails before people will be satisfied? Additionally, my friends with strong interests in national security (many working in DC as analysts for this purpose, and many of them self-proclaimed conservatives) disagree that Hillary deserves the attention she has got for this.


“Strong interests in national security” is an extremely vague description. Don't ALL of us have strong interests in our own national security?
Do they work in intelligence fields requiring a high level of security clearance? I know many, many of these folks and to a person they do not believe this is overblown outrage.
I know a person who is very liberal and hates Trump, and has never voted Republican. She sat out this election because as a former Intelligence officer she could not vote for Hillary for this very reason. And THAT is what I think killed Hillary's chances. It isn't that people voted for Trump, it's that they couldn't vote for her so they stayed home.


QUOTE
This seems like a fundamentally different view of acceptability. To me, this is very much reminiscent of authoritarian rhetoric. Would it have been OK for Hillary to tell Trump she was going to go after him for bribing the AG of Florida? I'm just trying to gauge where the line gets drawn.


I find it unacceptable for the head of the State department (for perspective, this is the approving arm for military technology transfers to foreign governments, this is an Original Classification Authority) to exercise a level of negligence with state secrets that is so gobsmacking the head of the FBI admitted he didn’t think it possible until the investigation (he stated this clearly in front of Congress and we had a discussion about it on another recent thread).
If there is some high order security risk via either neglect or malice, involving a person who is placed in a position of public trust, that should be taken very very seriously. The other is an article of innuendo.

That said, if there is actual evidence Trump violated the law that should be investigated too, shouldn’t it? huh.gif
I don’t see what is so hard to understand or why that is an "authoritarian" viewpoint. The alternative is placing people in power positions above the law.
And Comey publicly stated that a person doing precisely what Hillary did would likely receive disciplinary action, but that wasn’t what was decided in her case.
This makes it look very much like they are placing her above the law.
Now, let’s look at Petraeus who DID get punished (though in my estimation not nearly enough).
The (ostensible) difference was intent. Hillary was just inept and stupid (hard to claim ignorance when she had given a briefing on security), whereas Petraeus knew what he was doing.
By that measure, the only thing Petraeus did wrong was hiding it. If he'd left the secrets in plain sight for anyone to come across and then pled ignorance it would've all been square. I think it should be pretty obvious that makes no sense but we turn it around and insert Hillary as the offender and everything is square.

Now consider the reason for the classification system and why we want to keep that information safe. Hillary’s actions, by that measure (and by the look of things she let her maid, who had no clearance, walk around the SCIF and collect and copy documents) were far worse than hiding information and showing classified notes to his side piece (who had a clearance). People who work with state secrets know they would lose their job, at the very least, for doing less. Some of them HAVE personally disciplined and/or fired people for less.

Wow, this is taking me a long time to write. I'm running out of time and will try to get back to it later, but I'll sum some up quickly here:
Again, the tape reflected poorly on Trump. But I don't think it told anyone anything they didn't already know.

I think the bit about formal norms/ informal norms is correct (whether referring to politics or any other social convention...our social norms have changed a great, great deal in the past 20 years for this reason).

I'll post this now, and tackle the last bit when I get chance.

QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 19 2016, 01:20 AM) *
(PS, true to form, this took me forever to write, and I am sure that I left some things out, AND there's still other points that I want to touch upon, but for 'brevity's' sake did not bring up. Also, just want to say that it's been a real pleasure hearing your view Mrs P. I appreciate your genuine engagement with me on the topic.)

Likewise. flowers.gif
Hope you’re having a great holiday season.
kimpossible
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 20 2016, 07:52 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 19 2016, 01:20 AM) *
I think this misses the point of Masha Gessen's article. Maybe we'll be better off with a thoroughly armed populace, and will be able to fend off any attempts at authoritarian government, but I think the bigger point is that it's hard to tell that these things are coming, and often times, people make decisions to 'work with (or within)' systems they don't agree with because there's not much else they can do. She cites her grandfather's experience of compiling lists of Jews to be taken away, even though he initially took the position to help his people.


Was there really no doubt her grandfather understood he was living under an authoritarian government? People were rounded up, their property confiscated en masse, and they were throw into ghettos. The powers that be weren't exactly coy. I'm not educated on the matter enough to know actual survival rates per ghetto, but we do know the alternative to NOT compromising...because history has made it pretty clear that death was the alternative (and even if people might be willing to sacrifice themselves they typically aren't as cavalier with their families).


I dunno, were we living under an authoritarian government when we rounded up Japanese-Americans and confiscated their property?

QUOTE
Is there really any point in elaborating on this? Do we need to go into the numerous lies politicians tell on a daily basis or can we just agree it's obvious.
Politician says, 'I will not raise taxes to pay for my programs" and three months into the job says, "I'm going to have to raise taxes to pay for these programs".
Ad nauseum ect.
Press conference with students:
"Hey, you son over there...no, not you, guy in the blue hat..."
(blue hat asks question)
"Well, that's a good one. I'm going to have to think about that for a minute..."

At what point do you call it a lie? If you don't want to call the above lying that's fine but please use a consistent metric.
Politicians lie. It's what they do. From my perspective saying, "I'll get rid of Obamacare" and changing it to "We won't get rid of Obamacare in its entirety, we will keep the better aspects but change what doesn't work" isn't terribly problematic.
It's actually a relief. I'm hoping he lied about more (perhaps folks in the business would call it hyperbole).
He has already moderated his view on the wall and (to pre-empt a portion of my response below) he changed his mind about prosecuting Hillary. So there are two more changes I think are wise.


I agree that people lie, and sure, politicians lie more. I guess some of this comes from my perception that it's not always a 'lie', just because someone changed their mind. Running a country is complex, and saying something on based on one's knowledge of the issue, and then realizing there are more contingencies and changing one's mind, does not seem like a malicious lie. So, to use Trump's Obamacare example (or George HW Bush), I don't necessarily think that's a lie (though I do think it's a sign of his fundamental misunderstanding of a very complicated system).

The lies I'm more concerned with are the ones that are demonstrably false or to me, outright absurd (voter fraud, landslide victory, not supporting Iraq, the NYT losing subscriptions, saying he never mocked a disabled person, possibly lying about his net worth, etc). Even before he ever ran for office, Donald Trump has been called out as a liar.

QUOTE
Alair Townsend, a former deputy mayor in the Koch administration, once quipped, “I wouldn’t believe Donald Trump if his tongue were notarized.”


QUOTE
Correct. I do not understand why calling Obama's birthplace into question is racist.
It's not unique. Folks called McCain into question for his birthplace.
Trump also said Cruz is a Canadian. Is that racist?

FWIW, no, I don't think Obama was born in Kenya. But that doesn't make the assertion racist.
(pretty sure we had a topic back in the day were I disputed the assertion his birth cert wasn't real, using my own marriage certificate, from Hawaii)


I suppose all of this comes to a matter of degree. I had never even heard anything about McCain's birthplace being disputed (and didn't know that he had been born outside the US!), though I had heard about Cruz. So maybe this is an issue of perception, but the fact that the birther assumptions dogged Obama for 8 years, and continues to be an issue even now does seem racist to me (with 41% of Republicans disagreeing that Obama was born in the US, and another 31% expressing doubt that he was a US citizen).

I guess we will never truly know if Obama would be having these issues if he was white, or if McCain (or Cruz) would continue to be plagued with these issues if he had been elected president, but it seems like it would be less of an issue (and the fact that there had been some calls to overturn the citizenship requirement so that Arnold Schwarzenegger could run for president, points to a certain level of hypocrisy).


QUOTE

This was addressed in my link earlier. I believe the author is correct in his analysis.
QUOTE
Trump’s quote:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. Their rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

Note how totally non-racist this statement is. I’m serious. It’s anti-illegal-immigrant. But in terms of race, it’s saying Latinos (like every race) include both good and bad people, and the bad people are the ones coming over here. It suggests a picture of Mexicans as including some of the best people – but those generally aren’t the ones who are coming illegally.

Compare to eg Bill Clinton’s 1996 platform (all emphasis mine):
We cannot tolerate illegal immigration and we must stop it. For years before Bill Clinton became President, Washington talked tough but failed to act. In 1992, our borders might as well not have existed. The border was under-patrolled, and what patrols there were, were under-equipped. Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again. President Clinton is making our border a place where the law is respected and drugs and illegal immigrants are turned away.

Or John McCain in 2008:
Border security is essential to national security. In an age of terrorism, drug cartels, and criminal gangs, allowing millions of unidentified persons to enter and remain in this country poses grave risks to the sovereignty of the United States and the security of its people.

Trump’s platform contains similar language – and, like all past platforms, also contains language praising legal immigrants:
Just as immigrant labor helped build our country in the past, today’s legal immigrants are making vital contributions in every aspect of national life. Their industry and commitment to American values strengthens our economy, enriches our culture, and enables us to better understand and more effectively compete with the rest of the world.

...

When Democrats and Republicans alike over the last twenty years say that we are a nation of immigrants but that illegal immigrants threaten our security, or may be criminals or drug pushers, they’re met with yawns. When Trump says exactly the same thing, he’s Literally the KKK.


To be fair, I think Clinton and McCain's reference are also racist (too bad I'm not making policy, right?? wink.gif ). While I have no doubt that criminals (ie, drug dealers and rapists, not just those crossing illegally) come through the border, I am hard pressed to believe that its even the majority of people crossing the border. I used to work with migrant day laborers in college at a non-profit day laborer center, many of them here illegally, and the vast majority of them were victims of crimes, rather than outright criminals themselves.

I suppose for my liberal sensibilities, I would have preferred language that stressed the need for border security (which is hard to argue against), without characterizing groups of people as criminals.


QUOTE
QUOTE


Yes, and I disagree with Trump. There should NOT be a registry for Muslims. But Islam isn’t a race.
From the article:
QUOTE
But why do he (and his supporters) want to ban/vet Muslims, and not Hindus or Kenyans, even though most Muslims are white(ish) and most Hindus and Kenyans aren’t? Trump and his supporters are concerned about terrorism, probably since the San Bernardino shooting and Pulse nightclub massacre dominated headlines this election season.
You can argue that he and his supporters are biased for caring more about terrorism than about furniture-related injuries, which kill several times more Americans than terrorists do each year. But do you see how there’s a difference between “cognitive bias that makes you unreasonably afraid” versus “white supremacy”?
I agree that this is getting into murky territory and that a better answer here would be to deconstruct the word “racism” into a lot of very heterogenous parts, one of which means exactly this sort of thing. But as I pointed out in Part 4, a lot of these accusations shy away from the word “racism” precisely because it’s an ambiguous thing with many heterogenous parts, some of which are understandable and resemble the sort of thing normal-but-flawed human beings might think. Now they say “KKK white nationalism” or “overt white supremacy”. These terms are powerful exactly because they do not permit the gradations of meaning which this subject demands.
Let me say this for the millionth time. I’m not saying Trump doesn’t have some racist attitudes and policies. I am saying that talk of “entire campaign built around white supremacy” and “the white power candidate” is deliberate and dangerous exaggeration. Lots of people (and not just whites!) are hasty to generalize from “ISIS is scary” to “I am scared of all Muslims”. This needs to be called out and fought, but it needs to be done in an understanding way, not with cries of “KKK WHITE SUPREMACY!”


While there arent calls to ban/vet Hindus or others, I have a feeling that should they be lumped together with a purported Muslim registry, there wouldn't be too many people crying foul. And while Islam isn't a race, a lot of its practitioners are pretty dark-skinned (and yes, I am aware of the white Muslims [a practicing friend of mine from Turkey is blonde with blue eyes]), and mental heuristics often cause us to lump people together based on very broad features, and I suspect that blond Muslims aren't the ones currently getting harassed at airports/on the street (however, my Indian friends are).

Though I don't think that calling Trump a candidate for white supremacy is an exaggeration (when white supremacists are literally celebrating his winning the election), I would agree that dismissing all of his supporters as racist is an exaggeration. It's something I've been thinking of how to address, on a more general level. It seems like the biggest hurdle here is that we (and more broadly, US society) have different definitions of racism, with mine being much broader than yours. For me, racism encompasses both isolated racist actions, but also refers to a larger system that exploits people's tribal tendencies to group 'others' together (see discussion of brown people and Muslim registry).

QUOTE
I don't want to turn this into a Hillary-is-worse debate, because she's no longer in the running, but how many criminal investigations do there need to be about these emails before people will be satisfied? Additionally, my friends with strong interests in national security (many working in DC as analysts for this purpose, and many of them self-proclaimed conservatives) disagree that Hillary deserves the attention she has got for this.


QUOTE
“Strong interests in national security” is an extremely vague description. Don't ALL of us have strong interests in our own national security?
Do they work in intelligence fields requiring a high level of security clearance? I know many, many of these folks and to a person they do not believe this is overblown outrage.
I know a person who is very liberal and hates Trump, and has never voted Republican. She sat out this election because as a former Intelligence officer she could not vote for Hillary for this very reason. And THAT is what I think killed Hillary's chances. It isn't that people voted for Trump, it's that they couldn't vote for her so they stayed home.


Yes, some of them do have security clearances, but no, I don't know precisely at what level. And while I have an 'interest' in national security, I mostly think that we're pretty secure as a nation, and it's not my top priority as a political concern (though it might become one, as I grow ever more fearful of Trump's parade of horrifically underqualified cabinet members).


QUOTE
That said, if there is actual evidence Trump violated the law that should be investigated too, shouldn’t it? huh.gif I don’t see what is so hard to understand or why that is an "authoritarian" viewpoint. The alternative is placing people in power positions above the law.
And Comey publicly stated that a person doing precisely what Hillary did would likely receive disciplinary action, but that wasn’t what was decided in her case.
This makes it look very much like they are placing her above the law.


Absolutely, if Trump appeared to have broken the law he should be investigated; however, the issue is that Hillary was investigated and they decided not to more forward with any punishments, AND that Trump stated that she should be thrown in jail, regardless of these investigations. In addition to that, he had said that he would re-open the investigation with the sole purpose of going after his political opponent. To me, this seems highly authoritarian. It seems that we're hinging on whether or not these investigations are legitimate, with me thinking they were and the issue should be closed, and you thinking they were not.

QUOTE
Wow, this is taking me a long time to write. I'm running out of time and will try to get back to it later


The curse strikes again! biggrin.gif
akaCG
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 20 2016, 10:29 AM) *
... [Trump] had said that he would re-open the investigation with the sole purpose of going after his political opponent. ...
...

That's a mighty serious claim, there. One that requires you to provide incontrovertible (note: 'Well, that's how it came across to me' simply won't do, I'm afraid) substantiation for it. Please provide it, lest you run the risk of being guilty of precisely what you've accusing Trump of: not just exaggerating, but actually ... lying.

kimpossible
QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 20 2016, 11:37 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 20 2016, 10:29 AM) *
... [Trump] had said that he would re-open the investigation with the sole purpose of going after his political opponent. ...
...

That's a mighty serious claim, there. One that requires you to provide incontrovertible (note: 'Well, that's how it came across to me' simply won't do, I'm afraid) substantiation for it. Please provide it, lest you run the risk of being guilty of precisely what you've accusing Trump of: not just exaggerating, but actually ... lying.


Good thing I hold no position of power. rolleyes.gif
akaCG
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 20 2016, 02:33 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 20 2016, 11:37 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 20 2016, 10:29 AM) *
... [Trump] had said that he would re-open the investigation with the sole purpose of going after his political opponent. ...
...

That's a mighty serious claim, there. One that requires you to provide incontrovertible (note: 'Well, that's how it came across to me' simply won't do, I'm afraid) substantiation for it. Please provide it, lest you run the risk of being guilty of precisely what you've accusing Trump of: not just exaggerating, but actually ... lying.


Good thing I hold no position of power. rolleyes.gif

Aah, so he didn't say what you claimed he said.

Pray tell us, "kimpossible":

How far removed from power does one need to be in order for one's utter lack of intellectual integrity to cease being a bad thing?

Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 20 2016, 11:29 AM) *
The lies I'm more concerned with are the ones that are demonstrably false or to me, outright absurd (voter fraud, landslide victory, not supporting Iraq, the NYT losing subscriptions, saying he never mocked a disabled person, possibly lying about his net worth, etc). Even before he ever ran for office, Donald Trump has been called out as a liar.


Is the voter fraud suspicion truly so "demonstrably false" or "absurd"? The recent vote recount in Detroit lends support to the voter fraud suspicion.
Per "Landslide victory"...well, in 1992 they called a win with 43 percent of the overall vote a "mandate".
Don't know about the NYT losing or gaining subscriptions... This seems like really small stuff. Does the article in 1997 tell us anything we don't already know?

Trump stands up and says, "I know more about national security than the generals, believe me!"
Is that a lie? Or blowhard hyperbole? I read it as the latter. Maybe because in politics Congresspeople who know absolutely nothing routinely come across like they believe they know more than the sum total of a roomful of experienced military officers. And they seem to care nothing for national security (or only so far as it directly affects their districts, or more precisely, the opinions of the electorates in their districts).

QUOTE
I suppose all of this comes to a matter of degree. I had never even heard anything about McCain's birthplace being disputed (and didn't know that he had been born outside the US!), though I had heard about Cruz. So maybe this is an issue of perception, but the fact that the birther assumptions dogged Obama for 8 years, and continues to be an issue even now does seem racist to me (with 41% of Republicans disagreeing that Obama was born in the US, and another 31% expressing doubt that he was a US citizen).


Again, I'm not sure why it's racist to question a person's birthplace. If one wants to believe something (as I mentioned before), cog dissonance sets in and the person accepts information that supports his or her desire. Once you "buy it" (as I also mentioned before) it takes a lot to shake that paradigm. It's pretty much an irrelevancy at this point, the poll does not support the claim it "continues to be an issue" it is in fact a non-issue. Not wanting Obama to be president is not ipso facto racist. And not wanting Hillary to be president is not ipso facto sexist. These are overused pejoratives. At one point they were powerful claims but they have been made so often and so frivolously that are now losing the left supporters.

Interestingly enough, I just found out we actually DO have a Muslim registry, of sorts...at least we did until yesterday.

Summing this all up...
People think in comparisons. I'll give an example (from 'Blink' if memory serves, or maybe it was 'Tipping Point'): Bread machines. When they first came out, few people were buying. There was no market for the bread machine. So, the company made a (very few) much more expensive models to put next to the standard one. And they started selling like hot cakes (pun dat). Once people saw the price comparison, they figured the price for the less expensive model (with a list of similar attributes) was a pretty good price. Some of the more successful Real Estate companies do this, too. They keep a couple of more expensive, but less "nice", properties on hand. They'll show those properties to the clients first and by the time they get to the nicer, less expensive house it seems like a good deal (or a better one than it would otherwise).
I can guarantee Trump is aware of these tactics, and he uses them. He is a celebrity and salesman. The political right is aware of these tactics and they use them.
Hillary, who has spent a lifetime in politics, is just as aware of these tactics and she uses them as does the political left. So the tobacco company example, while relevant, is just as relevant when analyzing left sided politics. Case in point, see the end (just yesterday) of the Muslim registry. What do you think the left will say if and when Trump attempts to restart the registry they just had under Obama? This even seems....planned.

A professor's thoughts regarding the Trump university settlement.

QUOTE
Before going further, I want to mention a small issue. Many use this settlement as proof that Trump is a scammer. Perhaps so, but I think the best you can take from this is if Trump does wrong, he’ll actually be taken to court…a scammer he may be, but unlike the last half dozen presidents, he’ll actually have to face consequences for his illegal actions. Trump says he settled just so this case, already in its 6th year, can finally go away; I’ll accept this as face value, because we all know how issues that are resolved with incessant denials despite mountains of evidence never seem to go away (hi Hillary!).

(snip)And so I rejoice: we now have precedent for taking many of our so-called “universities” to court and charging them with the same level of fraud that Trump University settled for—I do note that part of the settlement requires no admission of wrongdoing (of course)…but the precedent is now clear. If all it takes to be part of a lawsuit is for the education not to pay off, the implications here are staggering.

We have around 20,000,000 college students. Half of college graduates (and that’s just the graduates!) are working in jobs where the degree is worthless. So, let’s do the math. 10,000,000 ripped off customers, bigger than the lawsuit. $100,000 per degree, again more than Trump’s lawsuit. So, $1,000,000,000,000, a trillion dollar lawsuit can be filed against higher education. That’s just for this year’s students. This fraud has been going for twenty years at the least, so we’re talking $20 trillion worth of lawsuits.

(snip)
The key meta-issue the last election was the sheer hypocrisy of hyper-criticism of every splinter in Trump’s eye (and there are plenty, I grant) while ignoring a veritable redwood forest of logs elsewhere. If Trump’s piffling 6,000 students and nine million dollars merit a multi-year lawsuit, then, absolutely, ten million students, for a trillion dollars, would as well. I’m not holding my breath, I know it won’t go country wide, but what happens when a typical university, with 25,000 students or more, suddenly finds itself being slapped with mega-lawsuits wanting that tuition money back. It’s a crack pipe dream to suspect the thieving administration will be forced to give back the money, I know, but just to see the immense frauds end will still be good enough.


The same professor's thoughts regarding microaggressions.
QUOTE
I grant that, in times past, professors (and other people) said some outright offensive things, but nowadays, the only offensive racists I’ve seen and heard on campus were multiculturalists and diversity professors.

With all the overt racism removed, we’ve now moved on to the concept of “microaggression,” where students take offense at the most ridiculous thing, cry “racism,” and spineless administration supports the student, even when the aggression is literally so small that it can’t be seen (hence the name). That’s ok, because that’s the point of micro aggression.
(snip)

[The professor, Rust] had changed a student’s capitalization of the word “indigenous” in her dissertation proposal to the lowercase, thus allegedly showing disrespect for the student’s ideological point of view. Tensions arose over Rust’s insistence that students use the more academic Chicago Manual of Style for citation format…

That’s right, folks, we’re now at the point that professors need to fear student protests over issues of capitalization and citation style. I totally respect the students’ right to protest, but this is pretty micro, eh?
net2007
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 24 2016, 11:16 AM) *
QUOTE
I suppose all of this comes to a matter of degree. I had never even heard anything about McCain's birthplace being disputed (and didn't know that he had been born outside the US!), though I had heard about Cruz. So maybe this is an issue of perception, but the fact that the birther assumptions dogged Obama for 8 years, and continues to be an issue even now does seem racist to me (with 41% of Republicans disagreeing that Obama was born in the US, and another 31% expressing doubt that he was a US citizen).


Again, I'm not sure why it's racist to question a person's birthplace. If one wants to believe something (as I mentioned before), cog dissonance sets in and the person accepts information that supports his or her desire. Once you "buy it" (as I also mentioned before) it takes a lot to shake that paradigm. It's pretty much an irrelevancy at this point, the poll does not support the claim it "continues to be an issue" it is in fact a non-issue. Not wanting Obama to be president is not ipso facto racist. And not wanting Hillary to be president is not ipso facto sexist. These are overused pejoratives. At one point they were powerful claims but they have been made so often and so frivolously that are now losing the left supporters.


Right, personally I'm not a birther and generally look at these types of things as conspiracy theories. That kind of distrust could very well be based in racism for some, but to assume that is not smart. There are many reasons people come up with wild ideas on their opponents, and it happens regardless of race. All presidents have to deal with this so playing the race card seems premature or at worst an intentional attempt to delegitimize a political opponent that someone doesn't like. Giving someone the label of racist is more damaging than to say they're wrong and don't have proof for the claim they're making.

So good argument although at times I'm skeptical that this will lose the left support. It should but I also consider that they've thrived on this type of thing for a long time and this was only one election out of many that conservatives have lost in the past so my optimism is mixed in with some pessimism tongue.gif The tide has turned for now but is this only a temporary shift we're seeing? It may be that for long lasting change, there has to be a shift in how educators, the media, and politicians behave. Educators are indoctrinating their students, the media often gives a slanted view, and politicians play the race card to secure the minority vote.

It's all good to point out problems with racism where they exist, it's a nasty thing when it happens but a point I often make is that racism knows no political bounds. That's a truth that some on the left either don't want to hear or dismiss intentionally for the benefit of groups they want to see thrive. Eventually, it'll have to catch up with them. I hope that time is now despite my distaste for Trump. At the very least he's brought these types of things into the spotlight in a big way. Perhaps exposure is part of the reason some are afraid of him?

Dingo and AuthorMusician bailed when I presented substantiation for why the left plays a role when it comes to discriminating against other groups. They have made good arguments in the past and are certainly capable but they couldn't address it.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(net2007 @ Dec 26 2016, 05:04 PM) *
So good argument although at times I'm skeptical that this will lose the left support. It should but I also consider that they've thrived on this type of thing for a long time and this was only one election out of many that conservatives have lost in the past so my optimism is mixed in with some pessimism tongue.gif The tide has turned for now but is this only a temporary shift we're seeing? It may be that for long lasting change, there has to be a shift in how educators, the media, and politicians behave. Educators are indoctrinating their students, the media often gives a slanted view, and politicians play the race card to secure the minority vote.

It's all good to point out problems with racism where they exist, it's a nasty thing when it happens but a point I often make is that racism knows no political bounds. That's a truth that some on the left either don't want to hear or dismiss intentionally for the benefit of groups they want to see thrive. Eventually, it'll have to catch up with them. I hope that time is now despite my distaste for Trump. At the very least he's brought these types of things into the spotlight in a big way. Perhaps exposure is part of the reason some are afraid of him?


This blogger calls the phenomenon the PETA principle. It's a good writeup, I think. He not only explains the phenomenon, he applies it to his own work as an example.

QUOTE
The less useful, and more controversial, a post here is, the more likely it is to get me lots of page views. For people who agree with me, my angry rants on identity politics are a form of ego defense, saying “You’re okay, your in-group was in the right the whole time.” Linking to it both raises their status as an in-group members, and acts as a potential assault on out-group members who are now faced with strong arguments telling them they’re wrong.

As for the people who disagree with me, they’ll sometimes write angry rebuttals on their own blogs, and those rebuttals will link to my own post as often as not. Or they’ll talk about it with their disagreeing friends, and their friends will get mad and want to tell me I’m wrong, and come over here to read the post to get more ammunition for their counterarguments. I have a feature that allows me to see who links to all of my posts, so I can see this all happening in real-time.

I don’t make enough money off the ads on this blog to matter very much. But if I did, and this was my only means of subsistence, which do you think I’d write more of? Posts about charity which only get me 2,000 paying customers? Or posts that turn all of you against one another like a pack of rabid dogs, and get me 16,000? I don’t have a fancy bar graph for them, but I bet this same hierarchy of interestingness applies to the great information currents and media outlets that shape society as a whole. It’s in activists’ interests to destroy their own causes by focusing on the most controversial cases and principles, the ones that muddy the waters and make people oppose them out of spite. And it’s in the media’s interest to help them and egg them on.


*********************

QUOTE
Dingo and AuthorMusician bailed when I presented substantiation for why the left plays a role when it comes to discriminating against other groups. They have made good arguments in the past and are certainly capable but they couldn't address it.


Well, it is the holidays and time is a factor. And Trump's election has been dispiriting in the extreme for many. There's only so much to say....I've written and re-written a response to Kimpossible about four different times but the response was long and so ridden with quotes it was confusing to read, so I settled on the shortest (but not comprehensive) response. I didn't address all of her remarks in my response either, probably only half of them.
net2007
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Dec 27 2016, 08:29 AM) *
QUOTE(net2007 @ Dec 26 2016, 05:04 PM) *
So good argument although at times I'm skeptical that this will lose the left support. It should but I also consider that they've thrived on this type of thing for a long time and this was only one election out of many that conservatives have lost in the past so my optimism is mixed in with some pessimism tongue.gif The tide has turned for now but is this only a temporary shift we're seeing? It may be that for long lasting change, there has to be a shift in how educators, the media, and politicians behave. Educators are indoctrinating their students, the media often gives a slanted view, and politicians play the race card to secure the minority vote.

It's all good to point out problems with racism where they exist, it's a nasty thing when it happens but a point I often make is that racism knows no political bounds. That's a truth that some on the left either don't want to hear or dismiss intentionally for the benefit of groups they want to see thrive. Eventually, it'll have to catch up with them. I hope that time is now despite my distaste for Trump. At the very least he's brought these types of things into the spotlight in a big way. Perhaps exposure is part of the reason some are afraid of him?


This blogger calls the phenomenon the PETA principle. It's a good writeup, I think. He not only explains the phenomenon, he applies it to his own work as an example.

QUOTE
The less useful, and more controversial, a post here is, the more likely it is to get me lots of page views. For people who agree with me, my angry rants on identity politics are a form of ego defense, saying re okay, your in-group was in the right the whole time.ť Linking to it both raises their status as an in-group members, and acts as a potential assault on out-group members who are now faced with strong arguments telling them they’re wrong.

As for the people who disagree with me, theyll sometimes write angry rebuttals on their own blogs, and those rebuttals will link to my own post as often as not. Or theyll talk about it with their disagreeing friends, and their friends will get mad and want to tell me Im wrong, and come over here to read the post to get more ammunition for their counterarguments. I have a feature that allows me to see who links to all of my posts, so I can see this all happening in real-time.

I dont make enough money off the ads on this blog to matter very much. But if I did, and this was my only means of subsistence, which do you think Id write more of? Posts about charity which only get me 2,000 paying customers? Or posts that turn all of you against one another like a pack of rabid dogs, and get me 16,000? I dont have a fancy bar graph for them, but I bet this same hierarchy of interestingness applies to the great information currents and media outlets that shape society as a whole. Its in activists interests to destroy their own causes by focusing on the most controversial cases and principles, the ones that muddy the waters and make people oppose them out of spite. And it’s in the media’s interest to help them and egg them on.


Many good points here, sounds like he has a good understanding of the psychological aspects of debating and what the media is doing. I think he's right, in large part when someone takes an extreme approach with their listeners or another debater it's to attract attention, but is it the right kind of attention? Another aspect of this is in regards to those who genuinely believe that their opponents need to be taken down by all means necessary. When I watch The Young Turks, that's the impression I get. They make conservatives out to be disgusting animals, and they'll say anything to push that viewpoint. Their ratings are falling though as they've gotten worse so I believe many libs are seeing through it. All of this creates serious problems and two parties who have contempt for those who think differently.

Speaking of blogging and the cost associated with it, I had a blog/debate website in the works. Cost got to me because I'm insistent on having my own domain for it. Advertising cost wouldn't cover it and my finances aren't good enough (yet)....

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5mo5z6k0payl572/B...201%29.png?dl=0
(you don't have to sign in to view)

For the time being, I'm focusing on a book which will address the same issue, I think things can be better than what they are. Humans are indeed tribal, and the U.S. is unique in the sense that we have a large mix of cultures here with varied beliefs. The problem of back and forth bickering or discrimination will never be solved completely, but from my recollection things can be better as they were in the 80's and 90's. There's been a spike in hate crimes and division in recent years, from what I can tell resembling the 60's.

QUOTE
QUOTE
Dingo and AuthorMusician bailed when I presented substantiation for why the left plays a role when it comes to discriminating against other groups. They have made good arguments in the past and are certainly capable but they couldn't address it.


Well, it is the holidays and time is a factor. And Trump's election has been dispiriting in the extreme for many. There's only so much to say....I've written and re-written a response to Kimpossible about four different times but the response was long and so ridden with quotes it was confusing to read, so I settled on the shortest (but not comprehensive) response. I didn't address all of her remarks in my response either, probably only half of them.


True, life happens, though my reply to Dingo was on Dec 14. As far as thorough responses go I sometimes do the same with the complicated post, where I'll shorten if things get too elaborate. I try to get to the main points if there's a lot to address and I'm pushed for time. If there's nothing left to say then it's the end of the exchange and hopefully, nobody comes out of it bitter. I read your exchange with kimpossible, you two are opposite on a lot of things, yet it's a civil discussion.

___________________________

By the way, merry belated Christmas AD debaters! I hope everyone had a good one.
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