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Gray Seal
Current events are mass public displays of disgust that guns are used to kill people. They wish the world to know they do not like people being killed with guns. It appears there is much back clapping and rejoicing about their successful out cry.

Meanwhile, we are having primaries. At least here in Illinois we did. Big money backed candidates are winning the primaries. Yep. These will be ones we have as options in the general elections from our blessed two major parties. Big money is behind both choices. Who do you think is gonna win? I predict big money.

Meanwhile, a spending bill is passed and signed. A huge spending bill. There is not money to pay for it. Along with many areas, the bill spends unprecedented amounts on military. Yes, we wish to kill people with guns or even better mass killing devices. Is there any dissent from the public? How about those participating in the marches? Voters like guns. Lots of guns. Whatever force government wishes is theirs.

People are blooming ignorant. They do not know. They don't really care. But hey, they do go on marches. They are looking good. Who needs a idea or a real principle when you can look good?

Is there any hope that voters will base their voting upon real principles or are we stuck with grandstanding and choosing big money candidates who seem to give advantage to the right people (at the expense of the wrong people)?
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Mrs. Pigpen
Is there any hope that voters will base their voting upon real principles or are we stuck with grandstanding and choosing big money candidates who seem to give advantage to the right people (at the expense of the wrong people)?

Let's take a look at the budget and where the money is spent.

This one might be better

That last chart shows how much of the budget is left after "mandatory" (aka entitlements plus interest on the debt) spending is spent.
Soon there won't be ANY money in the budget left at all for any discretionary spending.
Not much...less than 20 percent now and shrinking. That first graph shows military spending is just a little over twice what we spend in interest on our debt.

This is a big problem. No matter how knowledgable a person is, the figures here amount to a load of trouble. And, candidly, I'm not sure who the "right" people are.

I've learned quite a bit in the past couple of years since my spouse has this new gig. It's pretty high profile and political.
And mostly what I've learned is...I can't believe anyone would actually WANT to hold office.
Especially with social media. A person in a high profile leadership position is a very large target.
There is little privacy and fewer privacy protections.
There's really little advantage I can think of to put yourself in that position, it's just too costly, personally, and there's little gain.

One thing I've definitely learned....most problems are better solved at the "local" level. The less local discretion there is, the less efficient everything.
There's a reason large bureaucracies become so inefficient. We see this in the military, and now in the USAF there is a push to give squadron commanders (the "local" commanders) more autonomy and take away the over reaching regulations and mandates from higher command. That saves time and money for everyone.
droop224
The later. We're stuck, like chuck. You lay out the corrupt values decently, but I've never seen you lay out the corrupting force, behind our corrupted values. Why do we think its ok for police to kill citizens, because they aren't following orders or making officers feel they are in mortal danger? Why do we think it is ok for our soldiers to scour the world killing humans from other countries, when our "corrupt" politicians deem them enemy? Why do we think we have a right to make deals with corrupt regimes to the lands resources and then "defend " those "interests" from the people who have resided in that area for tens of thousands years? Why do we think it is OK for our intelligence community to cause strife, turmoil, and act as destabilizing forces to create havoc that ultimately leads to the deaths of thousands?

I've debated you all for years and I can tell you that the further right you go the harder it is to reach you all about the corruption. However, isn't that what corruption is? In essence the heart is corrupt when acts of evil are deemed good.

Look, just so you know the corruption started at our inception, so its hard to get away from. Imagine, just imagine, thinking that a slave owners TRULY believed in freedom, that they fought for freedom, that they died for freedom. Imagine how perverse the idea of freedom must have been from the early start.

Its hard to be patriotic in this nation and understand freedom. I know my words will antagonize so many here. But it's just sad to think how the mass narcissism allows so much to be justified.

About freedom.

First, property has nothing to do with liberty or freedom. I know many will disagree with this opinion. But this is the source of the corruption. From the founding of this nation the founders created a government that stole the freedom of human beings in the name of "property rights". You know what many present day Americans do about this? Make justifications. "Oh it was a different time" As if freedom meant something different in 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th century. Deflect: "Why did Africans sell slaves?"


About power.


When are conservatives and libertarians going to start fighting power, rather than basking in it?

You want to stop "Big money" in politics, but what do you want to do as a libertarian or conservative about... BIG MONEY?!?! If you allow BIG MONEY in your society, but don't understand power and influence that will inevitably come from that BIG MONEY, who is the ignorant one? I'm truly perplexed when I try to understand the rationale and the justifications used in the name of "freedom." But I've been seeing it for over ten years on this board, full of intelligent individuals from all sides.

I've watched as people have had their hypocrisy on display and merely shrug it off as "false equivalency". "Its different from when we send our country men over there to kill tem and when they send their country men to kill us. You can't compare the two Droop. We kill them for freedom, they kill because they are evil." The right gets the history all wrong "We never did anything to them to make them hate us" Well actually we did this, this, this, and that. "Oh, you want to blame America, Droop" As if, America is a person.

We are economically crippling these human beings, we are destabilizing the governments of those human beings, but as long as our government tells us its in the name of freedom, we will rationalize anything. And I don't know what it is about the politics of the Right wing but the further right you go it is demonstrable the more you will see the rationalization of taking human life and justifying it as a "good thing". Libertarians, you're not as bad, but you are close.

Find your humanity, bring that humanity into your politics, and you will slow the corruption you hate.

Mrs. Pigpen
Just thinking further, there is only one job I can think of that would be worse than being a political leader (or high ranking leader in any position that is de facto political).
Law enforcement officer.
It's really astounding to me people are willing to do it. The risk/reward ratio doesn't figure.
I think it must be kind of like the military. People do it because that's what their parents did, and/or they have some sort of moral compulsion.

At any rate, as incentives to serve start falling, there won't be incentives to serve.
This is particularly true of leadership positions.
If you wouldn't want it, why would anyone else?
It's a paradox as we need good leaders but it's increasingly costly for good people to serve.
Guess I should add the caveat that good leadership with the responsibility of actually solving real problems, is the tough one.
If the enterprise exists with leadership solely responsible for complaining and passing the responsibility to others, well....that's an easy and low bar to fill.
droop224
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Apr 4 2018, 07:12 AM) *
Just thinking further, there is only one job I can think of that would be worse than being a political leader (or high ranking leader in any position that is de facto political).
Law enforcement officer.
It's really astounding to me people are willing to do it. The risk/reward ratio doesn't figure.
I think it must be kind of like the military. People do it because that's what their parents did, and/or they have some sort of moral compulsion.

At any rate, as incentives to serve start falling, there won't be incentives to serve.
This is particularly true of leadership positions.
If you wouldn't want it, why would anyone else?
It's a paradox as we need good leaders but it's increasingly costly for good people to serve.
Guess I should add the caveat that good leadership with the responsibility of actually solving real problems, is the tough one.
If the enterprise exists with leadership solely responsible for complaining and passing the responsibility to others, well....that's an easy and low bar to fill.


OR.... maybe military recruiters offering all kinds of financial incentives to middle class and poor teenagers has something to do with it.

I mean, what kind of moral compulsion would make you want to go over to another country and kill other human beings?

What kind of moral compulsion would cause an officer of the law to shoot an unarmed citizen or even an armed citizen before they are being shot at themselves or their lives are indeed in mortal jeopardy? Where is the morality in taking human life over property?

That's not morality of a higher level. It is a corrupted sense of morality if you want to call it morality at all.

I read your caveat, so i will leave my comments about politicians to this. There are no shortage of bad people who seek power and lust for greater authority.

There are no shortage of videos and documentaries showing the disgrace of a justice system we have. There is nothing moral about it. 25 years for non violent crimes, sentencing disparities along racial lines (article just came out from Florida), prosecutorial tactics of PILING on charges to coerce a confession to circumvent the exercising of their 6th Amendment. The "land of the free" is number 1 in the world per capita in putting our citizens in bondage. Old habits die hard i guess.

My point is I'd love to see "good" conservatives and right wing politicians whether Libertarian or Republican fight for this reform. But there are only a handful willing. That's why though i would not vote for him, I respect Rand Paul more and more, as a person of decent political character.

I'm not ignorant to the corrosive effects of power and authority or the allure. So its not hard to understand why people want to be police, politicians, or in leadership positions. But i guess if you were a little more blind to it, maybe because you are surrounded by powerful people, you could see all the drawbacks without seeing all the benefits that are outweigh those deterrents. Its got to be hard to see "how good you got it" if it is just your everyday life. That goes for any of us.


Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(droop224 @ Apr 4 2018, 08:26 AM) *
OR.... maybe military recruiters offering all kinds of financial incentives to middle class and poor teenagers has something to do with it.


True for the first four years or so....
after that not so much.
People in leadership positions aren't doing it for the educational benefits, and salaries on the outside are typically higher and less stressful by far.

QUOTE
I'm not ignorant to the corrosive effects of power and authority or the allure. So its not hard to understand why people want to be police, politicians, or in leadership positions. But i guess if you were a little more blind to it, maybe because you are surrounded by powerful people, you could see all the drawbacks without seeing all the benefits that are outweigh those deterrents. Its got to be hard to see "how good you got it" if it is just your everyday life. That goes for any of us.


And some of us have lived in both worlds, and I can tell you there's little if anything for an honest person to look forward to in a leadership position.
I'm very curious what you believe these "good things" to be (assuming honest leadership)? Tell me about "how good they got it".
If you'd "love to see good people" in these positions...what incentive do those good people have to serve in those positions?
droop224
QUOTE(Mrs. P)
True for the first four years or so....
after that not so much.
People in leadership positions aren't doing it for the educational benefits, and salaries on the outside are typically higher and less stressful by far.
Well past the 4 years, the benefits of serving don't run out after 4 years. I tell you what, treat the military like any other corporate job, and see how many people put up those uniforms in closets.

I know full well the benefits and the dangers of serving.

So, I'll say it again, there are NO shortage of people who like power, authority, and influence. Not everyone wants to be in a leadership, but I've never seen a leadership position that didn't have more applicants than it had positions. You know how many corporals didn't want to be sergeants when i was in the Marines? Well, I don't know either, but i know i never met ONE!! Never met a Captain that didn't want to be Major, with exception to the Captains that wanted to get out altogether.

I'm not going to sit here and list the extreme benefits or deterrents to being in the military or in leadership positions. I know, you KNOW them. I'm just like ....puuuuuuuhleeeaase can we stop with this idea of the these "poor leaders in powerful positions".

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And some of us have lived in both worlds, and I can tell you there's little if anything for an honest person to look forward to in a leadership position.
I'm very curious what you believe these "good things" to be (assuming honest leadership)? Tell me about "how good they got it".
If you'd "love to see good people" in these positions...what incentive do those good people have to serve in those positions?
I'd argue that a "honest" person wouldn't look for the incentive of leadership outside the already built-in incentive of being a person of authority for which people put their TRUST in. Leadership is the burden of caring for other people.

Individual orientated people, or people looking for incentives, will be even easier to corrupt.

Leadership is supposed to be a burden. Good leaders for me love people, not "their people", just people. That's my opinion. It's not gospel, it's not a fact, just my opinion. People-orientated leaders desire is to help people. Their personal priorities and belief system will naturally align with the burden of leadership.




Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(droop224 @ Apr 4 2018, 09:37 AM) *
So, I'll say it again, there are NO shortage of people who like power, authority, and influence.


True dat. I'm not arguing there is a shortage of people who like power, authority and influence.
I am arguing that there is a shortage of GOOD people for positions of power, authority, and influence.

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Not everyone wants to be in a leadership, but I've never seen a leadership position that didn't have more applicants than it had positions.

See above.

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I'm not going to sit here and list the extreme benefits or deterrents to being in the military or in leadership positions. I know, you KNOW them.

I sure do. See above earlier posts.

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I'd argue that a "honest" person wouldn't look for the incentive of leadership outside the already built-in incentive of being a person of authority for which people put their TRUST in. Leadership is the burden of caring for other people.
Individual orientated people, or people looking for incentives, will be even easier to corrupt.
Leadership is supposed to be a burden. Good leaders for me love people, not "their people", just people. That's my opinion. It's not gospel, it's not a fact, just my opinion. People-orientated leaders desire is to help people. Their personal priorities and belief system will naturally align with the burden of leadership.


Wow. EXCELLENT platitudes.
This apply to other types of service?
"An honest nurse wouldn't look for incentive outside of the already built in incentive of helping people..."
"An honest teacher wouldn't look for incentive outside of the already built in incentive of helping people...."
For years they used to tell airmen, "Service before self...hey, you don't like moving every year? Don't like 12 month deployments? Don't like it when your kid has to go to five different schools in four years? Tough crap! An "honest" soldier would't care about anything but service!"
Yeh...they don't say that anymore. They might not act as though they care about soldiers...but they at least give them lip service and pretend they do.
Because they had to. People stopped wanting to serve.
You've already asserted that our leadership are ipso facto corrupt killers in your estimation.
Ah yes, how could anyone turn down the privilege of serving such thankful individuals.

Benefits of leadership: Helping people.
Disadvantages: No privacy, lots of stress, total responsibility, extreme hardship for families.

As a side note, our little base went from worst maintenance in the country to best, in under a year. No increase in manpower or funding. The change was so profound they got a call from the Whitehouse OMB to schedule a meeting to find out how they did it.
Lots of people have been helped during our time here...but I'm glad retirement awaits in just three more months or so.
droop224
QUOTE(Mrs P.)
True dat. I'm not arguing there is a shortage of people who like power, authority and influence.
I am arguing that there is a shortage of GOOD people for positions of power, authority, and influence.


Agreed, but at issue in a big part is the diverging ideas of left and right in this nation on what "Good" looks like. Does "good" look like business interests? Does "good" look like just helping people you identify with. Does "good" look like doing whatever it takes so that you children have the best life money can buy?

QUOTE
Wow. EXCELLENT platitudes.
This apply to other types of service?
"An honest nurse wouldn't look for incentive outside of the already built in incentive of helping people..."
"An honest teacher wouldn't look for incentive outside of the already built in incentive of helping people...."


I thought you might say something like this and calling this way of thinking "platitudes" goes along with many conservative worldviews, IMO. I don't feel I am talking in platitudes and to answer your question, 100%, yes that would apply to those services. Those services more than many others.

You may think that I'm saying nurses, teachers, leaders, etc shouldn't care about their livelihoods and their ability to live decent lives, but that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying I don't want teachers who are incentivized by wealth as much as I want teachers that enjoy teaching. And I think if teachers are well paid, then their focus wouldn't be on "getting paid" as much as teaching.

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For years they used to tell airmen, "Service before self...hey, you don't like moving every year? Don't like 12 month deployments? Don't like it when your kid has to go to five different schools in four years? Tough crap! An "honest" soldier would't care about anything but service!"
Yeh...they don't say that anymore. They might not act as though they care about soldiers...but they at least give them lip service and pretend they do.
Because they had to. People stopped wanting to serve.
Great don't treat other human like objects or property. That's a great step for the Air Force. Why do you think they started treating other human beings like that. Maybe the leaders lacked compassion? Was it the "bleeding heart liberals" running the show, treating Airmen like garbage Mrs P? I doubt it.

QUOTE
You've already asserted that our leadership are ipso facto corrupt killers in your estimation.
Ah yes, how could anyone turn down the privilege of serving such thankful individuals.
Thankful.... mmmmm...

What I asserted was.. We allow law enforcement to kill our citizens, without themselves being in mortal danger, without legal repercussion; we claim that our founders held a great understanding of freedom though they were slave owners; we cause and have caused a great deal of death and human suffering in the world directly and indirectly; we are number 1 per capita in putting our citizens in cages, maybe a few other thing. You could address any of these claims if you want, or just make sarcastic comments.

And you want people to be thankful? Why do you think these things are "good"? Do you think great wealth and power is a "good" thing. I understand it natural to want wealth and power, I'm human, you're human. But that the corrupt nature in me, not the altruistic nature of my being.

It be nice to see leaders "serving" period.

QUOTE
Benefits of leadership: Helping people.
Disadvantages: No privacy, lots of stress, total responsibility, extreme hardship for families.


Wow. You sure do have a peculiar way of seeing things. I guess such is the way of power, distorts things, just a bit.

Abu Ghraib. How high up in the leadership pole did that "total responsibility" go? You got one officer that got a letter of reprimand... and retired. You had another officer acquitted. One officer lost one grade of rank, the person above her was promoted. At the bottom of that totem pole were a bunch of enlisted service members who served time in the Brig and receiving dishonorable and bad conduct discharges for following bad orders.

Total responsibility my ... Oh privacy, who has that anymore with a government that can just plug into your cell phone? Oh that's right, many see Edward Snowden as a traitor for telling us that? Are you getting an idea of how corruption works when the people who go public to the world exposing our WRONGS are the people we consider traitors? You probably don't. But that's just my opinion, feel free to engage it.

QUOTE
As a side note, our little base went from worst maintenance in the country to best, in under a year. No increase in manpower or funding. The change was so profound they got a call from the Whitehouse OMB to schedule a meeting to find out how they did it.
Lots of people have been helped during our time here...but I'm glad retirement awaits in just three more months or so.
Great Job! So how did they do it? And who is they?

IF the answer is "EVERY human that had to work in that command", then "I'm with ya!!!" If the answer is "My man and the other leadership" you can "kick rocks" I'm not saying that leadership isn't important, it is EXTREMELY important. But GOOD change happens when people come together work together in a fair and equitable manner for the greater good of everyone. Welcome to beginners class of "the Left"!
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(droop224 @ Apr 4 2018, 07:01 PM) *
QUOTE
As a side note, our little base went from worst maintenance in the country to best, in under a year. No increase in manpower or funding. The change was so profound they got a call from the Whitehouse OMB to schedule a meeting to find out how they did it.
Lots of people have been helped during our time here...but I'm glad retirement awaits in just three more months or so.
Great Job! So how did they do it? And who is they?

IF the answer is "EVERY human that had to work in that command", then "I'm with ya!!!" If the answer is "My man and the other leadership" you can "kick rocks" I'm not saying that leadership isn't important, it is EXTREMELY leadership. But GOOD change happens when people come together work together in a fair and equitable manner for the greater good of everyone. Welcome to beginners class of "the Left"!


Yes, every human worked very hard. And every human had been working very hard in that command up until my spouse took over.
In fact, they were working longer hours before he showed up. They were working 12 hour shifts, 5 days a week.
Since that wasn't working, the higher ups wanted them to work seven 12 hour days a week.
Things were so bad (being last and all), my spouse walked into a very difficult situation.
He spent the night hours (after long days) asking the night crews what was going on. He found one guy he nicknamed the "angry tech sgt". He asked him what was going on and the guy told him, "I'm the last person you want to talk to. I'm the most jaded person here. I have only a few months left and I'm getting out as soon as I can."
So...Mr P naturally said, "You're definitely the person I want to talk to..."
And he listened. And implemented a lot of changes...and people thought he was crazy until they worked (it didn't take long).
There are so so many things he has done here.
The "angry tech sgt" applied to officer training school now. He wants to stay in.
And now instead of 12 hour days 5 days a week, they work 9 hours four days a week (and often get goal days....days off for getting all the sorties finished).
Yes, it's amazing what people can do.
He cut down meetings too...as I mentioned above there's something to the "locality" aspect, he doesn't need people to explain to him that they are doing their jobs (unless something is going wrong). So, so many man hours saved.
Consider for a one hour briefing to the installation commander, a staff has to come up with the brief, and send it on to their bosses, and their bosses, until it is polished.
They don't want the commander to ask any questions they can't answer so all potential questions are fielded as well. At the end of things, about 20 hours are probably spent getting ready for that one hour briefing. So he cut about 90 percent of them out.
Mr P told them all he doesn't expect ready answers and they're all working meetings so no "stump the dummy" type questions.
That saves time. If they don't know, they'll get back to him.
The temperature in the hangars in summer was about 120 degrees but no one would order cooling suits for the mechanics. This went on for years.
When we arrived he couldn't believe it, and asked them to order suits. They procrastinated and said they couldn't find the right ones.
So, he started doing commander roll call in the hangars with the doors closed. 120 degree heat, the commanders were all sweating.
They got their cooling suits.
There's a lot more...the above happened in the first few months.
At any rate, done talking.

As much of an impact as he made, as proud as I am and as good as the people are (and they are very good, the best thing about the military)...very glad this is it for us.
It's a very difficult life.
Obviously I'm so drunk with power I don't know how great I have it! Oh, it will be so sad when my every move isn't scrutinized, I don't have to worry about constant micro-offense, and I have freedom (to say what I want, go/not go where I want, wear what I want, hang out with whomever I want and not have to ask protocol to give me a list of people I have to include/can't include).
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Julian
QUOTE
Is there any hope that voters will base their voting upon real principles or are we stuck with grandstanding and choosing big money candidates who seem to give advantage to the right people (at the expense of the wrong people)?


In some professions, we have regulators, often backed up with legal force. Bodies like the American Bar Association, or the AMA, can suspend or disbar legal or medical practitioners for bad behaviour, for set periods or (sometimes) for life. Practitioners have to pass basic competence and ethical standards tests to be able to practice in the first place - often higher level tests for particular areas of specialism or high levels of responsibility.

Passing the competence tests isn't a guarantee of employment in your chosen specialism or profession. You can be ABA registered but not get any legal work, because you can't get enough clients to trust you. You can be AMA registered in a surgical specialism but unless you can convince a panel of interviewers in the hospital where you want to work that you'd be a good surgeon for them, you'll never get to legally pick up a scalpel and apply it to anyone's flesh.

And anyone pretending to be qualified when they are not is in a whole world of trouble. They might get away with it for a while, but if they get caught, they'll do time.

Some jurisdictions go further and require similar registers of trades people like plumbers, heating engineers or electricians who - after all - could kill people through competence. Sensibly, this isn't something we leave to just market forces - if the gas supply to your water heater is incorrectly fitted, your sewage outflow pipe links into your drinking water supply, or your mains electricity is wired so that every metal surface in your house has 250V going through it, it's going to be no consolation to your smoking or dehydrated corpse, or to the many small exploded pieces of it, that your selected trades person will lose business when it becomes known that they aren't very good at their job.

I have come to believe that many of the problems we face in mature democracies (not just in the USA but around the world) is that there are two professions which we do not regulate in this way.

Those two professions are journalism, and politics. If we regulate plumbers and lawyers, why not?

Think about it.

All the fake news stuff - if journalists had to pass tests of their professional competence and ethical standards tests, and the country passed a law saying that all news organisations had to employ registered journalists, what would happen? They'd be allowed to hire non-registered journalists, but if the tests meant anything, the registered ones would flag their qualifications on everything they ever wrote. "John Q Journalist, AJA" in their byline in the press, online, and even on Twitter etc. Pretty soon, it'd be pretty easy to tell how much to trust anything we see, hear or read because we'd know 'AJA' meant we weren't being spun, and not seeing it would mean whatever it was could only be opinion. It might be true, but it wouldn't have as much weight.

Would those tests allow them to print or publish complete fiction, that they know to be untrue at the time of writing? Would someone who had taken the time and trouble to qualify as a journalist and then register as one before they could practice as one, and who stood to lose that prestige (and, possibly, the ability to practise their trade). Not just a trade body, and not just a union, a proper professional associated, with the power to prevent anyone found to have broken professional standards from practising again.

Note that I'm not saying anything that infringes on the First Amendment - nobody's right to free speech is in jeopardy, nor is press freedom. They can still tell lies. But their would be (enforceable) professional (rather than legal) consequences for telling lies. The only legal test would be "was the evidence available at the time of writing sufficient to convince a jury that the story was true on balance of probability?". If it was, even if it was later found not to be, publish away. If it wasn't, the writer risks losing their accreditation (and the editor if there was one).

That's just an example - it's off topic here to thrash out the rights and wrongs.

Now apply that same to politics. Why not have a professional association for them, too, so total novices who don't know the basics of the constitution (er, can't think of any prominent examples, so this probably doesn't matter *cough*)? There are already qualifying factors set up in the US Constitution (e.g. Presidential candidates have to be 35 or older and have to be born a US citizen, not naturalised as one, etc), so the precedent is already set that not just anybody can stand. This is just about extending what those qualifications should be. And not just for the presidency - standing for local sheriff, or the council or school board etc. you should understand the applicable electoral law and the standards expected of you. I'm just saying we should require that level of understanding and responsibility before people stand for election, and not just hope that someone will ask about it during the campaign and the responses (good or bad) will be widely-enough publicised to be able to make an impact (good or bad) on the electoral result.

That's all we do now, and it clearly isn't working. As Einstein almost said, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, so we don't just need to keep the electoral rules the same (or the journalistic ones, though that's off-topic) and hope to suddenly get higher quality candidates. We need to change the rules.

Why not disbar politicians found to be crooked or persistent liars from standing for office again? Why not, even, sack them from office if they're deemed unfit to be in it after their election, and either allow them to stand again or bar them from doing so?

Why not, even - and this is where the fun REALLY starts - have the regulatory body staffed by jury-selected members of the public? Not a court - this is a professional matter and no law has been broken (yet). That way, it's still "the People" who have control over who does or doesn't hold office.

Just like the ABA or AMA, you're only qualifying to stand for election. You still have to campaign and you still have to win. But if you do, you have to behave yourself, or else you might get disciplined, suspended or even sacked.

Electorates have short memories, and convincing masses of people to ignore something you did at the start of your term isn't hard when mass media (new or old) is your tool to do it. You may be exposed as unsuitable during the campaign, but if nobody can trust the media (maybe it is on topic after all) your unsuitability stops being fact and becomes opinion, especially if you have enough money to use the media to your best advantage (whether than medium is the Washington Post or some newfangled nexus of Facebook/Cambridge Analytica/Russia). But to convince 12 people, face to face - especially if they get to ask their own questions rather than having it all mediated by lawyers, more like a work disciplinary panel and less like a court jury? That's going to require demonstrable, testable evidence, from both sides of the case.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But if is broke, don't carry on using it and complaining about the poor results you get, get yourself the necessary tools to fix the damned thing, and fix it. And both politics and the media are - at least in my opinion - broken.
droop224
QUOTE
Obviously I'm so drunk with power I don't know how great I have it! Oh, it will be so sad when my every move isn't scrutinized, I don't have to worry about constant micro-offense, and I have freedom (to say what I want, go/not go where I want, wear what I want, hang out with whomever I want and not have to ask protocol to give me a list of people I have to include/can't include).
w00t.gif Sounds like you guys could get with Lifetime producers make a reality TV show of "Military Wives." Trust me i know all about the "protocol" you are talking about. And yes its steeped in ideas of segregation and separation and maintaining the illusion of your spouses power. Some feel it necessary for good order and discipline. Logic being, you hang out with some enlisted person wife because you all are friends, or get along, something happens to her husband like he gets out of an assignment or get a promotion and people scream favoritism. The people may draw a line from the enlisted man -> his wife -> to you, a senior officers wife -> to your husband a senior officer. A game of smoke and mirrors, a game of perception, a modern day game of the Nobles (officers) and the common folk (enlisted). I remember the game, the more i saw it the less i wanted to play it. My choice. You may not liked the game, but saw the benefits or were convinced of the benefits of playing. You and your husband choice.

If you and your husband are tired of that game, i am glad you will be free of it.

To be honest, i'm not too keen on talking about your personal life... because its a landmine. I'm not here to disparage your family or you. That being said, i will make disparaging remarks about certain ideas, behaviors, and belief systems you hold. I welcome debators to do the same to me. I do it to you, you can probably deal. I start doing it in a way you feel i am attacking your family, you are going to take it personal and that's not my intention.

However, looking at your situation you lay out. You have the worker class and the ruling class. The working class was being misused, because decisions of the ruling class. A new ruler over the ruling and the working class came in with the idea to make things better. After identifying the issue, the new ruler in his own way punished the ruling class for the mistreatment of the working class. Dispersed power from the ruling class into the working class so that increase effectiveness, efficiency, and more importantly, built up morale of the working class. side note: A similar method was used in a leadership book called "Turn this ship around" by L. David Marquet.

But Mrs. P ask yourself, why did the new ruler have to do this to the ruling class. Why couldn't they do these very simple things? its not hard to NOT treat people like trash. That doesn't take a lot of effort to treat human being decently. The answer lies in POWER, the corrupting nature of POWER, and the ignorance of it.

Take that philosophy of dispersing power, apply it to your politics, and again, welcome to "the left!!" Societies need "rulers" that will force the "ruling class" to release years of consolidated power from the "ruling class" back to the "working class". This is not the same as making politics local, because localities may very well create a ruling class that consolidates power from the working class.

Now when you look at a capitalist system, what is power? How is influence spread? How can power be consolidated? How would we disperse it to the working class?

Just answering these question will stop the "ignorance" grey seal addresses in his opening post. Formulating and executing a plan to disperse the power from a ruling class to the working class will lessen the corruption.

Mrs. Pigpen
Jules, I like the idea of screening our journalists and politicians for competency.
I'm no really sure about the finer points, but at least with journalists there would be some standard for accountability which would raise the bar. At present, it seems to begin and end with "entertainment value" alone rather than information value.

QUOTE(droop224 @ Apr 5 2018, 08:20 AM) *
w00t.gif Sounds like you guys could get with Lifetime producers make a reality TV show of "Military Wives."

Heh, illegal I'm sure. That would be nightmare anyway as it's anonymity I desire. Badly. It's actually hellishly awkward for everyone to know who you are, wherever you go (especially when you usually don't know/recognize them).

QUOTE
But Mrs. P ask yourself, why did the new ruler have to do this to the ruling class. Why couldn't they do these very simple things? its not hard to NOT treat people like trash. That doesn't take a lot of effort to treat human being decently. The answer lies in POWER, the corrupting nature of POWER, and the ignorance of it.

Take that philosophy of dispersing power, apply it to your politics, and again, welcome to "the left!!" Societies need "rulers" that will force the "ruling class" to release years of consolidated power from the "ruling class" back to the "working class". This is not the same as making politics local, because localities may very well create a ruling class that consolidates power from the working class.

Now when you look at a capitalist system, what is power? How is influence spread? How can power be consolidated? How would we disperse it to the working class?

Just answering these question will stop the "ignorance" grey seal addresses in his opening post. Formulating and executing a plan to disperse the power from a ruling class to the working class will lessen the corruption.


There’s a very long answer to that, but the short answer is: large organizations tend to focus on processes over results.
It happens slowly with time (typically as more and more regulations are added).
That’s why a large contractor might take a year to put in a sink…but they can point to a “process” to offer an explanation of why it’s taking/took so long. There’s always something. Organizations that focus on processes tend to have lots of administrative overhead. Government entities are the worst…but large private entities can become similar (both working together socializing costs and privatizing gains are the worst of all). There's a reason there are 2.5 people handling insurance claims for every doctor.

I worked at a nursing home where there were more administrators than staff. I’d have two CNAs and only myself for a hall of 50 patients. We’d be running around the hall while the administrators were upstairs drinking coffee and discussing processes they could come up with (and I would need to implement of course) on how I could do my job more efficiently.
Yes it would’ve been nice if someone had asked my opinion (even better, the CNAs).
But our opinions weren’t so material, it’s what they could put on paper to prove they considered…and we were always replaceable and problems could be blamed on us.
Gray Seal
Mrs. Pigpen, The budget. Mandatory Spending. This mandatory spending needs to end. It could be replaced, short term before ending it all, as funding for the lowest capable 10% of the society. No more government management of the upper 90%. The upper 90% can hire their own advisors and personal managers if they are so inclined.

Local level government. I call it regional government. Smaller regional units are better (more efficient and responsive). What should be the smallest regional unit? A county?

droop224
QUOTE(droop224)
I mean, what kind of moral compulsion would make you want to go over to another country and kill other human beings?

What kind of moral compulsion would cause an officer of the law to shoot an unarmed citizen or even an armed citizen before they are being shot at themselves or their lives are indeed in mortal jeopardy? Where is the morality in taking human life over property?

That's not morality of a higher level. It is a corrupted sense of morality if you want to call it morality at all.

I read your caveat, so i will leave my comments about politicians to this. There are no shortage of bad people who seek power and lust for greater authority.

There are no shortage of videos and documentaries showing the disgrace of a justice system we have. There is nothing moral about it. 25 years for non violent crimes, sentencing disparities along racial lines (article just came out from Florida), prosecutorial tactics of PILING on charges to coerce a confession to circumvent the exercising of their 6th Amendment. The "land of the free" is number 1 in the world per capita in putting our citizens in bondage. Old habits die hard i guess.


Powerful and correct.

-----

Why do you conflate conservatism (the right) and libertarianism? Liberals and conservatives are closely aligned with agreement in many areas (authoritarian control, social control, big military). Libertarians differ from liberals and conservatives on most things.

Property rights. Do you think we should have privacy rights?

We can not be claiming to pursue freedom in other countries when we do not have it here.

Humanity. It is applying values. Government should not be doing this. Government needs to protect your right to have value rather than forcing values upon its citizens.

-----

Instead of law enforcement we should have public servants. Fewer laws leads to less need for enforcement. We have way too many laws. Law enforcement should be hated. It should end for the most part.

We need fewer leaders who are politicians.

Regional democracy as a principle also applies to business. Big is bad. Smaller is better. Less bureaucracy. The benefits of big business comes from dealing with government. This fascism needs to stop.

-----

Julian, you know who else needs to be regulated? Voters. They are doing a poor job. Why continue to let them vote? A government agency needs to decide who get to vote.

Yes, the previous paragraph was facetious. As to regulating journalists and politicians. How about not reading/watching bad journalists? How about not voting for bad politicians? This blooming reliance upon government to do it for you is pathetic and it does not work. Regulation is the problem not the solution.

If the argument is that the general public is incapable of making decisions on their own for themselves how in the world can you expect them to pick out good politicians who can do it for everyone? Gosh awful logic to think this. Bizzaro.

-----

The country is so conditioned and lost. Ignorance. The brains are wired to be compliant. Critical thinking has been squashed. The solution to big bad government is bigger government ? Keep voting for authoritarian government and hope it becomes nice. Really? Where is self reliance? Where is wishing for opportunity? Where is wanting to have control over your own life? Where is respect for your fellow man? Why do our primaries have no candidates or one candidates per office? Why do we not wonder about ballot access? I have not seen any suggestions to get off this ignorance treadmill we are upon. The voters are frickin pathetically ignorant.

droop224
QUOTE
There's a very long answer to that, but the short answer is: large organizations tend to focus on processes over results.
It happens slowly with time (typically as more and more regulations are added).
That's why a large contractor might take a year to put in a sink…but they can point to a "process" to offer an explanation of why it's taking/took so long. There's always something. Organizations that focus on processes tend to have lots of administrative overhead. Government entities are the worst…but large private entities can become similar (both working together socializing costs and privatizing gains are the worst of all). There's a reason there are 2.5 people handling insurance claims for every doctor.
I'm not saying that can't be an answer, but seeing the fix to one of the problems "make the ruling class suffer under the same conditions", I'm not sure if that is the answer. Processes can become cumbersome and require too much overhead, they can also become corrupted by individuals seeking greater power. But the beautiful thing about process are that they are created by people and can be changed by people (a point that Julian is making). However, if i am a individual of power do I want a process to change that will cause my power to lessen?

The corruption is not in our government. The corruption is not in the corporation or business. The corruption is not in the media. The corruption is not in systems and processes. The corruption is in people. The corruption stems from too much power or the desire for more power.

The military is a better place to see how this work, because it is such a socialist dictatorship within that community. Compared to the civilian sector the disparity of wealth isn't that great. Those who seek power aren't necessarily seeking more money, but they are still seeking power. Maybe you get a benevolent ruler, whose goals is to meet mission goals but to also care for the people they rule over. Others may seek to meet mission goals as an extension of their own ego and furthering their own level of respect to increase their power and see people as a "resource" (actually its better understood as people's labor and ingenuity) to be harnessed to further their own personal goals. I'm not sure that i consider this to be a either\or, as much as i see it as the possible endpoints on a scaled line. Leaders can fall on the scale and slide one direction or another based on age and maturity or circumstances.

My opinion is that the more a person slides to the endpoint of using their power for their own personal gain the more corrupt that human being is. The more influence that person(s) has or they have the greater the spread of corruption. Because of this you have people that may not be corrupt individuals, but be under corrupting influences. To the point of the debate, they're ignorant, they're frickin ignorant. We've been taught to hate the necessary thing to end corruption or at least lessen the sphere of influence. Power displacement leading to power dispersion.

Let me exemplify how I think this works.

A person says i want to be a soldier. I want to fight for greater ideals of freedom. He\she is taught that it is necessary to fight for freedom that he\she must go kill these human being over here or there. Unbeknownst to him\her the reason for this war lies in the business interest of our nation. At the top of that business is some individuals or an individual that is becoming wealthy because of some government contracts tied to the military. These business people will lobby and donate money to politicians aligned with their business. And at the top of that business pyramid is just some people following the "American Dream" of just make as much money as you can.

So the selflessness of the original actor is still corrupt, because it is heavily influenced by people who seek to enrich themselves. It is corruption.

To a large degree this is my issue with conservatism and libertarianism. For whatever reason you all don't see the corrupting nature of power in its truest form. Thus you keep pointing at things like "governments" The government can't be corrupt, its inanimate, its a conceptual way of seeing things. But the people who are in the government can be corrupt. The politicians can. But what is corrupting them. Well power or the desire for more power.

So again in a capitalist society, what is the manifestation of power? Are we limiting it?

QUOTE(Gray Seal)
Why do you conflate conservatism (the right) and libertarianism? Liberals and conservatives are closely aligned with agreement in many areas (authoritarian control, social control, big military). Libertarians differ from liberals and conservatives on most things.

Property rights. Do you think we should have privacy rights?

We can not be claiming to pursue freedom in other countries when we do not have it here.

Humanity. It is applying values. Government should not be doing this. Government needs to protect your right to have value rather than forcing values upon its citizens.


1. I apologize if it seems like i conflate the two, but i don't really think of you the same. Here is what i think. You have Bud, you have bud light. You have Coors, you have Coors light. You have miller you have miller light. You have Conservatism, you have Conservative-light (Libertarianism). You're not the same, pretty much the same. Also, I've debated quite a few people that called themselves libertarians that went far right and some that went "sort of" left on certain issues. I can tell the difference between a Rand Paul and a Mike Pence though.

2. I'm not sure if you miswrote here or are you asking me if we have property rights and privacy rights. I don't believe either is a natural right but i do believe in the right to both to a degree. TO A DEGREE! Me and you've debated this. I think me and you have debated this on the idea that owning land and natural resources being a natural right. To me the idea is absurd that someone could have an INDIVIDUAL natural right to land or the resources found within.

3. We can claim anything, because there is no shortage of people that will believe it.

4. Government is a tool of the people, by the people, for the people. Those aren't just words it is demonstrable. I can take 20 people and put them on an island and within a year they will be dead (many of them) or they will have some sort of governing agency. Governments do have the right to say what is and is not acceptable behavior and punish those that don't abide by it. The more that a government create rules to the benefit of a minority group over the majority will, the more corrupt the government is. But that goes back to understanding power and corruption.

Governments CANT apply morality. But people can apply morality through governing tools and agents. Such is the way of society.

QUOTE
Instead of law enforcement we should have public servants. Fewer laws leads to less need for enforcement. We have way too many laws. Law enforcement should be hated. It should end for the most part.

We need fewer leaders who are politicians.
I'm not sure any of these statements logically flow for me. Fewer laws doesn't mean we have fewer cop enforcing the fewer laws. I think we too many laws in some areas not enough in others. Law enforcement shouldn't be hated, corruption should. We need politicians to be better leaders serving people. Right now, they aren't leaders serving the masses, but followers of people with extreme amounts of money.

It's like everything you say seem backwards, i almost wonder if you do it on purpose. laugh.gif

QUOTE
Regional democracy as a principle also applies to business. Big is bad. Smaller is better. Less bureaucracy. The benefits of big business comes from dealing with government. This fascism needs to stop.
That's definitely not what she says. w00t.gif You can't stop fascism just by shrinking or regionalizing democracy. You are likely just making a bunch of mini fascist states.








Gray Seal
QUOTE(droop224)
But the beautiful thing about process are that they are created by people and can be changed by people (a point that Julian is making). However, if i am a individual of power do I want a process to change that will cause my power to lessen?

This is the stupid self serving choice of voters. Using government as force to make yourself a winner is a poor reason to have government.

QUOTE(droop224)
He\she is taught that it is necessary to fight for freedom that he\she must go kill these human being over here or there.

People should be taught that this is against voluntary interaction. Government should not be used as a force of aggression. Aggression has consequences.
droop224
Gray Seal see my above post that addressed some of your points.

QUOTE
This is the stupid self serving choice of voters. Using government as force to make yourself a winner is a poor reason to have government.


Yes and the further Right i go the more i see voters voting in a self serving manner. It's a reason why liberals are chastised for their "bleeding hearts". The people the left choose to vote in aren't usually running on a self serving platform as are the people on the Right. There is a reason why it is easer to sell a person on the right the idea its ok to kill unarmed citizens, that we need to go over seas and kill other humans, as much as i have to deal with the sarcasm of mrs p or net (back in the days others) "Oh Droop we're so evil, we're so corrupt, blah blah blah" They don't like my comments about the morality or their politics, that much i know. But they don't address WHY its ok to do this to human beings. Why is it ok to economically oppress them, destabilize their governments so that they war with each other, bribe their government, kill them directly so on and so on.

When i look at platforms of the left i don't see a lot of politics that people support because it makes themselves winners. its usually a position that is trying to reduce harm to humans from other human. whether that harm comes in the physical, economical, or even emotional paths. I'm not saying that the left gets it correct all the time, but their intention tend to be toward equality and fairness. Whereas our counter parts on the right seek power and control.

Gray seal where me and you disagree is where you want less power in government so that it can be harnessed by a non governmental entity. You don't want to disperse power as much as you simple want to shift it to something/someone else.

QUOTE
People should be taught that this is against voluntary interaction. Government should not be used as a force of aggression. Aggression has consequences.
Sure. thumbsup.gif









Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(droop224 @ Apr 6 2018, 02:07 PM) *
The corruption is not in our government. The corruption is not in the corporation or business. The corruption is not in the media. The corruption is not in systems and processes. The corruption is in people. The corruption stems from too much power or the desire for more power.


Well...yes and no. There are definitely corrupt people in power, but most of the problems aren't due to some Dr Evil (along with his motley assortment of supporters) at the top...or anything close. People do want to succeed. The "one year to put in a sink" example I gave above was a real one.
We were able to procure a local contractor to completely renovate the club...the only thing they handed to the larger (large government contractor) was the sink. The entire club (new carpet, paint, et al) was finished in 3 months. The one sink took 16 months. An explanation of exactly why would take a book...but the bottom line problem is processes over results. That does't mean processes don't have their place (they are more efficient in some cases...the reason they exist in the first place, and the bigger the entity the more processes.
I have about a hundred similar examples on the civil engineering end in particular.
Remember that line from Men in Black where Will Smith says, "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it"?
It's true and not just for "mass panics". Mass panics are outlier cases that illustrate the real underlying problem that large entities have with getting things handled.
This is why I've brought up DARPA in the past. They're the rare example of a government entity that can get innovation done quickly (and they don't allow their leadership to stay beyond a certain number of years for a reason).

This blog does a pretty good analysis of cost disease from different perspectives.
Some people mention the administrative overhead.

QUOTE
Contrariwise, I think we know where the extra people are. The ratio of teachers to students hasn’t gone down a lot — but the ratio of administrators to students has shot up. Most large public school systems spend more than half their budget on administrators. Similarly, class sizes at most colleges and universities haven’t changed that much — but administrative staff have exploded. There are 2.5 people handling insurance claims for every doctor. Construction sites have always had a lot of people standing around for every one actually working the machine. But now for every person operating the machine there is an army of planners, regulators, lawyers, administrative staff, consultants and so on. (I welcome pointers to good graphs and numbers on this sort of thing.)
(snip)

Well, how does bloat come about? Regulations and law are, as Scott mentions, part of the problem. These are all areas either run by the government or with large government involvement. But the real key is, I think lack of competition. These are above all areas with not much competition. In turn, however, they are not by a long shot “natural monopolies” or failure of some free market. The main effect of our regulatory and legal system is not so much to directly raise costs, as it is to lessen competition (that is often its purpose). The lack of competition leads to the cost disease.


There's something about quality of life (which I also agree with...everything is relative, and we believe we are entitled to so much more now than ever before):
QUOTE
For those who don’t remember their Economics classes, imagine a guy who makes $40,000/year and eats chicken for dinner 3 nights a week. He gets a huge 50% raise, to $60,000/year, and suddenly has extra money to spend — his disposable income probably tripled or quadrupled. Before the hedonic treadmill kicks in, and he decides to waste all the money on higher rent and nicer cars, he changes his diet. But he won’t start eating chicken 10 times a week — he’ll start eating steak. When people get more money, they replace cheap “inferior” goods with expensive “superior” goods. And steak is a superior good.
But how many times a week will people eat steak? Two? Five? Americans as a whole got really rich in the 1940s and 1950s, and needed someplace to start spending their newfound wealth. What do people spend extra money on? Entertainment is now pretty cheap, and there are only so many nights a week you see a movie, and only so many $20/month MMORPGs you’re going to pay for. You aren’t going to pay 5 times as much for a slightly better video game or movie — and although you might pay double for 3D-Imax, there’s not much room for growth in that 5%.


Another one about administrative overhead form a person working in the hedge fund industry:
QUOTE
Relatedly, a pet theory of mine is that “organizational complexity” imposes enormous and not fully appreciated costs, which probably grow quadratically with organization size. I’d predict, without Googling, that the the US military, just as a function of being so large, has >75% of its personal doing effectively administrative/logistical things, and that you could probably find funny examples of organizational-overhead-proliferation like an HR department so big it needed its own (meta-)HR department.


Since I'm limited in quotes here I'll just offer that I think all of the selected posters make very, VERY good points. They run the gamut from government (administrative overhead, restricting supply and subsidizing demand in education real estate and healthcare, et al) to free market Veblen good examples (and the fear of lawsuits...aviation, playground equipment, ect).
But to me this bit sums up the answer to the "corrupt capitalist factor" pretty well:
QUOTE
Any explanation of the form “evil capitalists are scamming the rest of us for profit” has to explain why the cost increases are in the industries least exposed to evil capitalists. K-12 education is entirely nonprofit. Colleges are a mix but generally not owned by a single rich guy who gets all the money. My hospital is owned by an order of nuns; studies show that government hospitals have higher costs than for-profit ones. Meanwhile, the industries with the actual evil capitalists – tech, retail, restaurants, natural resources – seem mostly immune to the cost disease. This is not promising. Also, this wouldn’t explain why so much of the money seems to be going to administrators/bells-and-whistles. If prices increase by $100,000, and the money goes to hiring two extra $50,000/year administrators, how does this help the capitalist profiting off it all?
Gray Seal
QUOTE(droop224)
The people the left choose to vote in aren't usually running on a self serving platform as are the people on the Right.
And I can not think of anything on the left platform (or right) which in not self serving.

I do wish to take power away from government and give it to individuals. Liberty. Freedom. A voluntary society. No authoritarianism.

I do agree with your points on the use of the military. To label it as right wing is nonsense. Unless you are saying both major parties are right wing. That would a good recognition of the true situation of US politics. Both parties are right wing and left wing authoritarianism. Controlled by big money. By the way, big money and government hand in hand is not capitalism, it is fascism.

-----

When are we gonna get some light bulbs on in the voters' brains to start voting against big money? It is not a difficult concept. Why the delusions and ignorance? Bad public education?

A dozen teenagers are killed and we are in storm mode. Kill a few hundred thousand citizens in a foreign land and it is not worth a yawn. Americans look out for themselves and the heck with others. This is scary stuff. We see this politically and militarily. This is a lack of principle. We parade in the streets displaying this prejudice. What nice people not! It is how we teach our kids to think. Look out for yourself, use force, get in the right politically powerful group because government controls who gets ahead. Trample anyone who gets in the way.
Mrs. Pigpen
I don't think it's possible for the public to be smart enough on everything they need to be smart on to really be a "knowledgeable" voter.
Few people have that kind of time, and too few even have accurate enough information available to make an informed judgment.
For example, what does, "vote against big money" really mean?
At first blush, I'd agree and say, "Yah!"
But "vote against big money" is as much a slogan as "vote against violence!"
How can anyone disagree with that?
I'd have to know the specific issue and I'm not smart enough on most of them, having only partial information available.

I'll reiterate there's little reason for good people to go into politics now. Cost to gains just isn't worth it.
I'm amazed that anyone does it.
Gray Seal
Big money, to me, is when a candidate has lots of advertising.

This is when you get a half dozen or more shiny cards in the mail.
This is when you hear political ads on the radio.
This is when you see political ads on the television.

I call it the Shiny Card Rule. When you see any of this you know big money is behind a particular candidate. Voters should never vote for such candidates. Regular people who wish to take a turn as a representative can not afford this nonsense. It is big money fascism. Unfortunately, voters obey this nonsense. It has to stop. Do not vote for big money.

This is specific and not an empty slogan.

As far as being smart enough, if government is proper and good, there is not that much to understand. Government should not be doing a lot. Detailed sophisticated decisions should be left to individuals and their advisors. All a voter should be asking is: Is this person honest? Will they protect my freedom?

It is when government is given the role of deciding all that it gets all too complicated with information overload.
Mrs. Pigpen
I like the shiny card rule, Gray Seal. smile.gif
But the people with money (who want the position of power) would eat that person alive.
They'd never have another day of peace again.
Lawyers and paid propagandists would hound him or her and their families and staff 24/7 looking for dirt and publish rumors.
Unlike a private citizen, once a person becomes a public figure (particularly a public political figure) it's virtually open season on them as libel and slander laws don't apply.

Edited to add:
One way to avoid powerful and corrupt interest in political positions is to curb the cash benefits. No more follow-on paid speaking engagements in foreign countries for hundreds of thousands/millions of dollars. No more creating a private "charity" that funnels money from international sources. No more honorary "University Laureate" positions that pays a few million dollars a year (as government entities in turn throw 55 million into that university). It's all unbelievably corrupt and riddled with conflict of interest. If we want to see someone like Truman in office, who walks out of office and takes the public bus home, the incentives have to change (less disincentive for honest people to run, and less incentive for dishonest people to run).
net2007
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Apr 3 2018, 11:38 AM) *
Current events are mass public displays of disgust that guns are used to kill people. They wish the world to know they do not like people being killed with guns. It appears there is much back clapping and rejoicing about their successful out cry.

Meanwhile, we are having primaries. At least here in Illinois we did. Big money backed candidates are winning the primaries. Yep. These will be ones we have as options in the general elections from our blessed two major parties. Big money is behind both choices. Who do you think is gonna win? I predict big money.

Meanwhile, a spending bill is passed and signed. A huge spending bill. There is not money to pay for it. Along with many areas, the bill spends unprecedented amounts on military. Yes, we wish to kill people with guns or even better mass killing devices. Is there any dissent from the public? How about those participating in the marches? Voters like guns. Lots of guns. Whatever force government wishes is theirs.

People are blooming ignorant. They do not know. They don't really care. But hey, they do go on marches. They are looking good. Who needs a idea or a real principle when you can look good?

Is there any hope that voters will base their voting upon real principles or are we stuck with grandstanding and choosing big money candidates who seem to give advantage to the right people (at the expense of the wrong people)?


In short, yes, some voters are ignorant or misguided. dry.gif

I couldn't help but chuckle at some of what you wrote, not in a way that I'm not taking your thread seriously, quite the opposite, but that sounds a lot like me ranting when I'm watching the news. Just to see how far gone some in the media and government are shouldn't be surprising or shocking to me at this point but somehow it still is. My girlfriend Lizzy sometimes finds my little rants amusing, at least until she gets frustrated with current events herself. She doesn't debate too much and hasn't voted yet because she feels there's not much we can do to change things. To her credit the movements which are suppressing Americans and pitting us against one another are strong and they're doing what they can to radically change America into a nation that doesn't resemble what made it successful and strong in many aspects.

Some are doing this because they don't view America as a successful nation at all, they're laser focused on everything they can find that's wrong and ignore the rest, it's always the flaws, always the negative, that's the America some see so transformation is the goal. It's not just big government that's complicating things, I think that plays a key role but I consider as well that some are trying to silence those who they disagree with and take away their ability to get their message out, (that in order to help transform our nation).

They have a huge bag of ticks, another would be ignoring or denying that there's a problem when there's clearly a problem, or ignoring something positive if it suits them. At a certain point, I have to take a step back and seek out the things that are still encouraging. On an individual level, I think many people are still relatively reasonable and courteous; if they could apply that to the movements they support we'd be better off. It's when they put their political, debate, or voting hats on when things get complicated.

Many voters are lost because they're so sidetracked by their emotions that facts are disregarded and the truth becomes secondary to how they feel. Most people who keep up with current events are going to get frustrated with how unfair or thoughtless others can be, but to base a vote or broad stance entirely on that without learning what the implications or counterarguments may be is a huge factor to why America is struggling.

Politicians, media pundits, and college educators are often using those with shared frustrations to their advantage, some even intentionally exacerbate things or create hysteria and man are they slick while doing it. Those types are trying to make it to where people no longer trust those who have a different point of view because doing that helps prevent the easily influenced among us from exploring other viewpoints, they don't want to lose their base is what it boils down to.

As I've mentioned to you before, I believe there are positives that are developing as well, I just hope there will be enough in the way of positive developments to have us hit a critical turning point. Lasting and meaningful change is likely to happen from the bottom up when more people start looking at what they can do, rather than what others can do for them. We can't expect that type of change across the board, there will always be the misguided and selfish among us, but it may very well just take a shift where just enough people get tired of what's happening to have us hit that turning point.

As for the anti-gun movement you mentioned "Never Again", it's an absolute mess. The movement has been hijacked by people who wish to manipulate those who are frustrated and scared, it's a prime example of what I mentioned earlier about playing on peoples emotions. Our youth are understandably concerned, but some of the members and leaders of this new movement have, in a short amount of time, began to appear as divisive as those who are manipulating them, David Hogg being the best example that I can think of. Some in this movement are confusing vulgarity and smear tactics with assertiveness and strength.

Did you see that CNN town hall with the parkland students and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch? What a circus act that was, the most hated person in the room was one of the most mature ones I heard speak that night and I'm not just comparing her to the students. Members of the audience booed and screamed obscenities, even over the most benign of comments like her telling the parkland students "look at how far you all could go as a result of voicing your beliefs", that actually got the audience upset, it's some of the most bizarre behavior....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AtOU0dDXv8

The part I'm referencing is about 40 seconds into the video but she was insulted from the very start, it didn't take long.

As this is happening, students who don't agree that more gun restrictions are the answer are being largely ignored by the mainstream media and the left. Thousands of students across America are getting around this by calling into lesser-known conservative podcast and radio programs and, from what I've seen they're doing so in a way that's far more civil and constructive, making this about the thousandth thing I've seen in the last few years which points to a cultural and behavioral difference between the left and right. This also suggests that students who are acting out aren't doing so simply because the shooting was horrible, there's a little more to it. As for the adults, if this is all about listening to what our youth have to say, then they'd be more willing to lend an ear and encourage students on both sides of the argument.

One of the areas I part from you on is in regards to the left and right, I don't think they're self-serving or troubled to the same degree, (see my response to Droop below), but whatever the case may be I think things are going to continue to be frustrating for a wide range of Americans for the foreseeable future, we'll get through it but something has got to give. I'll leave it at that because I tend to get carried away and go on for quite a while on these things.

_________________________________________________________________________

Droop

QUOTE
To a large degree this is my issue with conservatism and libertarianism. For whatever reason you all don't see the corrupting nature of power in its truest form. Thus you keep pointing at things like "governments" The government can't be corrupt, its inanimate, its a conceptual way of seeing things. But the people who are in the government can be corrupt. The politicians can. But what is corrupting them. Well power or the desire for more power.


I have just a couple things to address, perhaps you and I can have a different kind of exchange than in the past. On this, have you considered that when someone is saying the government is corrupt that they're refering to the people within it as a collective? When doing so perhaps it should be added that some public servants are worse than others, but regardless I think most people understand that a government without people is just a concept. Perhaps you're being too literal, I say that because you're talking to someone who's often very literal but sometimes reading between the lines is better, that's something that I have to consider at times as well.

I usually phrase things like this....

QUOTE
"Just to see how far gone some in the media and government are shouldn't be surprising or shocking to me at this point but somehow it still is." (stated above)


You and I have talked about phrasing before, but it's been a little while. I try to phrase things like that because I know that what I'm saying doesn't apply to every individual but that doesn't mean there's not a huge problem to deal with. Things like media pundits often being biased tongue.gif You're phrasing things the way you are because you're considering the government alone without people is inanimate and that makes sense as well but it seems we have slightly different motives for the literal phrasing.

QUOTE
Yes and the further Right i go the more i see voters voting in a self serving manner. It's a reason why liberals are chastised for their "bleeding hearts". The people the left choose to vote in aren't usually running on a self serving platform as are the people on the Right.


I don't see that at all, I see the opposite. I don't say that because I'm being biased, I want to know what the truth is. If I'm wrong, I want to know. One of the worst things a person can do is go around and repeat something that isn't true. I say what I do because of current events, it's in regards to the actions of many leftist compared to those on the right. The things each side support can be a mixed bag, you'd argue that Americans who want to protect America first and foremost would be self-serving, and I think that's fair, that's not to say that all people who want what's best for America don't care what happens elsewhere, but you could view that as self-serving.

However I could point at wealth redistribution as self-serving when the rich and middle class are disregarded for the benefit of the poor and disabled. I happen to be a moderate on that issue and think that the poor do need assistance. Believe me, I understand, I'm poor, disabled, and on government assistance, but I think there's a reasonable middle ground that we should be seeking out. For many it's one or the other, what bothers me are those who continuously characterize the middle or upper class as selfish or worse. Not only do they want them to help them out they often don't make an effort to suggest that perhaps many of these individuals do care about the poor. I've even witnessed quite a few people on government assistance who abuse the benefits they have, so I have an inside view into this. What I ask is who's benefiting from wealth redistribution and who's taking the action of getting something from others?

So we can both point to policies that encourage a self-serving attitude on both sides. To look at this another way some self preservation is a good thing as long as there's some awareness and consideration for others. If I wanted to make an issue out of this I could argue that conservatives are often concerned about national security because protecting our country benefits all Americans, while wealth redistribution and affirmative action are helping and nurturing those who are in select groups. Having said that, sure some take it too far and are war hawks or get carried away, just as some who want wealth redistribution take it too far.

Policy is definitely a mixed bag, where I see the biggest difference is when we look at what's happening with social trends and behaviors. Again, many people break the mold and no person within a group is exactly the same but due to so many incidents, some of which I've pointed out at AD, I can't help but see that there's social and behavioral difference between the left and right. It's in regards to the sheer multitude of violent protest, nasty comments, and resistance to the concept of free speech. To me all of that is self serving because it disregards the saftey or beliefs of others. This happens on both sides, but as I've mentioned before, (along with other examples), I can't think of a typically right-wing institution that has to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on security if someone who's not violent simply walks through the door to speak.

That's what we're seeing at colleges like UC Berkely. It's often been the case that when someone who's conservative comes to speak about their beliefs, students and other protesters are so divisive and unaccepting that they can't control themselves, some even assault others and smash things up. What's the conservative equivalent to that?

Specifically, I'm talking about a neccesary and otherwise respectable institution or company that is composed of primary conservatives. To be comparable it'd be an institution or company where political, social, or moral issues are important to the function of that institution and they'd have to behave in a fashion where they have to beef up their security by spending massive amounts of money if someone who doesn't share their beliefs comes to speak. Otherwise, many of the members of that institution, along with other protesters team on the person they oppose and get violent or scream obscenities to prevent that person from being there.

Both sides have protesting movements and rogue individuals who behave this way, we could compare those at another time. I think my point with the question above is to address the fact that extremist on the left have infiltrated necessary institutions and companies in a way we haven't seen in a long time.

To me that's just one of many indicators of a social and behavioral difference between the left and right, there is so much more that points to the same conclusion. That trend could chance because I don't think individuals in any group are inherently troubled or damaging to our country, we all have the power to change our lives. Also, I'm willing to change my beliefs on this if new and relevant information is provided, as I said before it's obviously a bad thing to walk around and repaeat something that's false, the truth is what matters so I don't want to support any political group on issues or statements that are wrong or false.
droop224



QUOTE(Gray Seal)
And I can not think of anything on the left platform (or right) which in not self serving.


What is self serving about a heterosexual fighting for Gay marriage?


QUOTE
I do wish to take power away from government and give it to individuals. Liberty. Freedom. A voluntary society. No authoritarianism.
But in past debates, when you break down what you really want. you want to take the power from you and make your own government with some neighborhood friends. And everyone that comes in your neighborhood would have to follow your laws or face violence. People born is your little society would be subject to the law and at whatever age they are adults would have to follow the law or be exiled. You call it freedom, you call it liberty, but its just your version on how government should act. Societies will always require governance. Just cause you refuse to call it "government" doesn't mean it isn't.

QUOTE
I do agree with your points on the use of the military. To label it as right wing is nonsense. Unless you are saying both major parties are right wing. That would a good recognition of the true situation of US politics. Both parties are right wing and left wing authoritarianism. Controlled by big money. By the way, big money and government hand in hand is not capitalism, it is fascism.
If both major parties are controlled by big money... then yes they are both right wing. Democrats are left of the Republicans, but the party mostly consists of center, center right politics. Many western democracies are like this. The difference in politics left vs right is far more noticeable in domestic affairs. But that's another debate I think. Capitalism will always turn to fascism.

Answer the question. Do you support an individual getting big money?? If so, that big money will be used to create more opportunities for the person with big money. I say again to you Gray Seal you need to truly understand power. You seem to understand that "government" power needs to be limited, but for some reason don't seem to understand that freedom and liberty requires ALL power be limited.

Mrs P

QUOTE
Well...yes and no. There are definitely corrupt people in power, but most of the problems aren't due to some Dr Evil (along with his motley assortment of supporters) at the top...or anything close. People do want to succeed. The "one year to put in a sink" example I gave above was a real one.
We were able to procure a local contractor to completely renovate the club...the only thing they handed to the larger (large government contractor) was the sink. The entire club (new carpet, paint, et al) was finished in 3 months. The one sink took 16 months. An explanation of exactly why would take a book...but the bottom line problem is processes over results. That does't mean processes don't have their place (they are more efficient in some cases...the reason they exist in the first place, and the bigger the entity the more processes.
I have about a hundred similar examples on the civil engineering end in particular.
I would think that most problems exist due to LOTS of people wanting to succeed in spite of the social good. They seek advantage over their fellow human. The more we exhibit this behavior the more corrupt we and our creations are.

QUOTE
Remember that line from Men in Black where Will Smith says, "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it"?
Don't I know it. When judging right wing vs left wing politics Mrs P. Which one is more likely to say... "we have to go over to that other country and kill those humans or else they are going to kill us."?

QUOTE
I have just a couple things to address, perhaps you and I can have a different kind of exchange than in the past. On this, have you considered that when someone is saying the government is corrupt that they're refering to the people within it as a collective? When doing so perhaps it should be added that some public servants are worse than others, but regardless I think most people understand that a government without people is just a concept. Perhaps you're being too literal, I say that because you're talking to someone who's often very literal but sometimes reading between the lines is better, that's something that I have to consider at times as well.
Kind of like when they say make America great again, they mean... I'm not sure what they mean. Kind of like when they call someone a traitor, because he told the world their government was spying to them. He a traitor to America they say, but he wasn't a traitor to the indivuals that wanted to know... so maybe in this case America is an entity to some people.

I do get your point though and I don't mean to make it seem like I don't get that for "expedience sake" we might say "corporations think..." "Hate America..." "government is corrupt" The trouble is that when expedience of that statement becomes so normative that it becomes part of a reasoning process, I'm willing to break it down. No need to think more of it than that.

So again, if we think our politicians in the government are corrupted, what do you think is corrupting them.

QUOTE
I don't see that at all, I see the opposite. I don't say that because I'm being biased, I want to know what the truth is. If I'm wrong, I want to know. One of the worst things a person can do is go around and repeat something that isn't true. I say what I do because of current events, it's in regards to the actions of many leftist compared to those on the right. The things each side support can be a mixed bag, you'd argue that Americans who want to protect America first and foremost would be self-serving, and I think that's fair, that's not to say that all people who want what's best for America don't care what happens elsewhere, but you could view that as self-serving.
For me there is nothing NOTHING wrong with putting America and Americans first, IF it does not come at the expense of other humans. But yes, you are wrong and I am not so sure you want to know. If you think in "America First terms" you are already admitting bias.


QUOTE
Policy is definitely a mixed bag, where I see the biggest difference is when we look at what's happening with social trends and behaviors. Again, many people break the mold and no person within a group is exactly the same but due to so many incidents, some of which I've pointed out at AD, I can't help but see that there's social and behavioral difference between the left and right. It's in regards to the sheer multitude of violent protest, nasty comments, and resistance to the concept of free speech. To me all of that is self serving because it disregards the saftey or beliefs of others. This happens on both sides, but as I've mentioned before, (along with other examples), I can't think of a typically right-wing institution that has to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on security if someone who's not violent simply walks through the door to speak.

That's what we're seeing at colleges like UC Berkely. It's often been the case that when someone who's conservative comes to speak about their beliefs, students and other protesters are so divisive and unaccepting that they can't control themselves, some even assault others and smash things up. What's the conservative equivalent to that?
I don't know. I have no clue what you may or may not call a "false equivalency". Allow me to ask you this, whats the death count so far on this horrible thing liberals do. When liberal "shout down" what they believe is hate speech, but still free, denying conservative viewpoint being heard who is dying? In contrast when many conservatives support killing citizens because an officer feel threatens, that has a death toll in human lives. When many conservatives support foreign wars, what's the cost of human lives. But let's be fair, there is this very human process called justification. And when you are dealing with a group of people that can justify dropping nukes, what in the world could I say in a debate to change their mind. Anything can be justified.

Getting back to the debate of corruption. Business interest understand justification. They understand the type of people that need to merely feel "threat" as provocation for a blank check in terms of action. All they have to do is provide justification.



Trouble
Is there any hope that voters will base their voting upon real principles or are we stuck with grandstanding and choosing big money candidates who seem to give advantage to the right people (at the expense of the wrong people)?

A circus-like atmosphere is part and parcel of intentional wedge politics. And by wedge I mean both parties are fomenting negative optics about as many superfluous issues as possible because that is where the money is. There is no left or right anymore, there is oppressed and oppressor.

Without principles, money becomes the glue that holds things together. Without that you have force. Take a good look around you because the money won't last forever.
Gray Seal
QUOTE(droop224)
What is self serving about a heterosexual fighting for Gay marriage?
It is self serving to want government to make law to your own morals. Government should have nothing to do with marriage. Marriage is a personal commitment made voluntarily. At least it should be. Government control makes it into a an advantage grabbing fiasco with lawyers happy to pick up the crumbs from legal action. Look at the advantage people seek because they are married.

QUOTE(droop224)
But in past debates, when you break down what you really want. you want to take the power from you and make your own government with some neighborhood friends. And everyone that comes in your neighborhood would have to follow your laws or face violence. People born is your little society would be subject to the law and at whatever age they are adults would have to follow the law or be exiled. You call it freedom, you call it liberty, but its just your version on how government should act. Societies will always require governance. Just cause you refuse to call it "government" doesn't mean it isn't.
I do not beat around the bush. The structure of society should be based upon freedom. There should be no law and use of violence to enforce them. Society will always need a means to defend against violence. With freedom you must respect the freedom of others. With freedom you have to be honest. With freedom you can not use violence to gain advantage. In my neighborhood you would not have to follow law or face violence.

droop224.... property rights. Do you think we should have privacy rights?

Fascism is an offshoot of socialism. Fascism has nothing, nothing to do with capitalism. This is an important concept. It is vital to comprehending what big money fascism is. Capitalism is freedom. Fascism is not. Authoritarian socialism is not freedom.

QUOTE(droop224)
Do you support an individual getting big money??
I support people making voluntary exchanges. I recommend against voting for people who have big money backing.

I agree with you that all power (whether private or public), all use of force to impose morals or gain advantage must not be part of society.

-------

Trouble, you state what is obviously going on. It is scary. I share your concern. Force is winning over freedom as the moral compass we should be following.

-------

net2007, another gem post from you. thumbsup.gif

QUOTE(net2007)
One of the areas I part from you on is in regards to the left and right, I don't think they're self-serving or troubled to the same degree...
Hmm. "..to the same degree" At lest we agree they are self serving. The degree, I insist, are not more than a few digits.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(droop224 @ Apr 8 2018, 11:04 PM) *
Mrs P

QUOTE
Well...yes and no. There are definitely corrupt people in power, but most of the problems aren't due to some Dr Evil (along with his motley assortment of supporters) at the top...or anything close. People do want to succeed. The "one year to put in a sink" example I gave above was a real one.
We were able to procure a local contractor to completely renovate the club...the only thing they handed to the larger (large government contractor) was the sink. The entire club (new carpet, paint, et al) was finished in 3 months. The one sink took 16 months. An explanation of exactly why would take a book...but the bottom line problem is processes over results. That does't mean processes don't have their place (they are more efficient in some cases...the reason they exist in the first place, and the bigger the entity the more processes.
I have about a hundred similar examples on the civil engineering end in particular.

I would think that most problems exist due to LOTS of people wanting to succeed in spite of the social good. They seek advantage over their fellow human. The more we exhibit this behavior the more corrupt we and our creations are.


Not in my opinion Droop. IMO "most problems" (at the least the ones I've referenced) have nothing to do with people (lots or even few) wanting to succeed in spite of the social good.
Everyone likes to work for a successful organization. People weren't working 12 hour days and not succeeding because no one wanted to succeed and/or leadership didn't want to be successful. That's not what was happening. It's in everyone's interest to succeed. I'll say again, there are innumerable examples of this in government. Even the club at our base here...it's a benefit to the dorm residents but due to government contracts it's hard for the club to compete. A keg costs 300 dollars from the contractor, 100 from local business. They have to use the contractor. I'm sure somewhere up the budget pipeline there was a reason, and it probably had something to do with large contracts, just like HMOs and so many other colossal enterprises.

Then there's the undermanning. Most of our groups (Operations, Maintenance, Medical, Logistics, Comm, ad nauseum ect) are only 50 percent manned. They are doing their jobs with half the number of people required, and about 100 times the number of regulations an ordinary business would have. These regulations/requirements just about all generate from “good intentions”. You don’t really get a nanny state from bad intentions. Soon everyone is wearing diapers because this or that guy crapped himself. Then they have a monitor to make sure everyone is wearing diapers…and then a program to make sure that monitor is monitoring the diapers, then a diaper inspector because….woudlnt’ want those diapers to leak. Because the Washington Post said diapers were leaking and Congress is angry! And so on.

QUOTE
QUOTE
Remember that line from Men in Black where Will Smith says, "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it"?
Don't I know it. When judging right wing vs left wing politics Mrs P. Which one is more likely to say... "we have to go over to that other country and kill those humans or else they are going to kill us."?


If we truly compare the number of deaths due to leftist policies with conservative policies, conservatives pale in comparison. Mao, Stalin, Khmer Rouge....you've actually (in the past) cited Che as a fine example to emulate so those are all reasonable examples.
But let's just take Obama. Ten times the number of drone attacks as the previous administration. The State department policy of essentially duty to defend everyone was catastrophic.
Under Obama (really Hillary's state department policy...after she left Kerry was better but the damage was already done), we destroyed Libya in order to "save" it, along with a lot of other parts of the ME. Don't get me started with Clinton’s (the would-be-first-gentleman's) frivolous military fiascos.

There aren’t a lot of really informative military blogs anymore. I used to follow several (Neptunus Lex (formal Naval pilot, RIP), Abu Mugawama (became a beltway warrior, RIP), and Intel Dump) There’s a reason they've gone the way of the passenger pigeon, and it’s much the same reason we aren’t going to see a lot of honest political leaders.
The cost to gains equation doesn’t figure anymore.

Intel Dump was unusual (and I used to reference it here, back in the day) as it was written by an Army JAG named Phil Carter, and had a more liberal bent to it than the others. It was informative, and Phil Carter had served a number of years to include a year’s stint working with the Iraqi police as an embedded advisor in Baqubah. Phil campaigned heavily for Obama, and was ecstatic when he was elected. Carter was then appointed the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, and the chief architect of the Obama administration plan to close Guantanamo Bay. He was appointed in March and resigned a mere eight months later “for personal reasons”.
Then he went ghost.
We know what happened to that plan and I always suspected Carter must’ve encountered a very harsh and frustrating lesson as reality smashed his dreams. So did Obama (the reason he didn’t close Gitmo).
People don’t know what they don’t know.
So I tend to give folks a lot of leeway when it comes to military decision making.
We’re all working with incomplete data.

(the rest of the quotes below those two are net's, not mine)

Edited to add:
I mentioned something about protocol earlier, and you responded that you understand what I meant.
You might understand to a degree, but I really doubt anyone here (or most anywhere, outside of those who have to know) understand the full degree of what I'm talking about.
It's just not something anyone understands until they have to.
We were blessed and fortunate enough to have a really great protocol person. I don't think there's a better one anywhere, she has been in this business a long time.
She actually worked for the White House (Obama) before she was here. Without her, we'd be toast. There's actually legal requirements involved in who you hang out with and who you invite to this or that event (including to one's own home...and keep in mind I am required to entertain often, much of it out of pocket, it's not elective. If I invite one person that means I must invite five other, or ten others, of fifty or one hundred...depending. It all has to do with potential conflicts of interest and none of it is particularly interesting, but all of it is very important legally...gifts are another big one. What you are expected to give, what you can and cannot receive and so forth...the list goes on)
Julian
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Apr 6 2018, 06:09 PM) *
Julian, you know who else needs to be regulated? Voters. They are doing a poor job. Why continue to let them vote? A government agency needs to decide who get to vote.

Yes, the previous paragraph was facetious. As to regulating journalists and politicians. How about not reading/watching bad journalists? How about not voting for bad politicians? This blooming reliance upon government to do it for you is pathetic and it does not work. Regulation is the problem not the solution.

If the argument is that the general public is incapable of making decisions on their own for themselves how in the world can you expect them to pick out good politicians who can do it for everyone? Gosh awful logic to think this. Bizzaro.


Stuff and nonsense.

Does the fact that the medical and legal professions are regulated (by the professionals themselves, for the most part) stop you going to your local woo-woo merchant to see a homeopathic reiki chiropractioner for some acupuncture? Nope. All it does is stop them calling themselves a doctor and performing open heart surgery on you.

Does it stop you taking legal advice from your window cleaner? Nope. It doesn't even stop you asking her to represent you in court if you really, really want her to, but you'd most likely get a better result if you asked your lawyer to wash your windows.

It's about introducing some kind minimum standard, below which nobody can fall and still call themselves a journalist, or stand for office (or more particularly, expect to remain in it).

All I'm suggesting is that nobody not so 'vetted' and regulated could claim to be in the business of facts. They can be paid to express their opinion, certainly, but that's not journalism, it's a branch of the entertainment business. And nobody who doesn't understand the basics of the Constitution could stand for the Presidency, much less get elected to it then proposing policies that are not only in Constitutional grey areas but outright forbidden by it.

Few have confidence in national politicians or mass media and in a body of population big enough that you cannot know or research everything for yourself and have to delegate your news gathering to other sources, or the proper administration of tax monies (and even libertarians don't generally want that abolished completely) to politicians of some kind, would it not be helpful to have some kind of third-party validation of "this person conforms to the minimum standards expected of someone in such a position" beyond what the mass media - or other third parties of unknown provenance - themselves say about these people?

And why is it ok to register and regulate a lawyer but NOT a journalist or a politician. Isn't an incompetent lawyer rather less likely to do you harm than either of the other two? Maybe you should just use your window cleaner after all next time you're arrested on a capital charge?

Gray Seal
Perhaps it is different in England but you can not give medical advice if you are not a doctor in the United States. It is not just a prohibition upon heart surgery.

You better have a member of the local bar association hired or you will not get fair treatment in the local courts. Nothing is as highly regulated in the United States as the judicial system.

It is about having your own minimal standards from whom you will do business with. It is having some sort of minimal understanding that freedom is better than authoritarian control. A little bit of fascism is still fascism. It does not make it OK if you say it is just a little thing.

What sort of minimal journalist standard do you have for yourself that is so overwhelming that you need the government to step in for you?

-----

90% of what the federal government does is unconstitutional. The Constitution has been trashed. It is time for a revolution and start over. Now with the experience of 200 years, we can do a much better job establishing a Constitution which protect freedoms. Unfortunately, the people would rather have authoritarian government at this point in time.

People are ignorant. They know little of what the Constitution says. Then there is knowing how Constitution cases have been decided. For example: United Citizens. Most people have not read the court opinion and believe it is some sort of establishment of corporations as people. It is just plain ignorance.
AuthorMusician
Is there any hope that voters will base their voting upon real principles or are we stuck with grandstanding and choosing big money candidates who seem to give advantage to the right people (at the expense of the wrong people)?

Probably not, because real principles can mean something to one voter, nothing to another, and degrees in between.

Examples abound on how this voting block believes in less government, but only if they aren't hurt by the constricting; that voting block is for higher wages, as long as it includes them -- and the list goes onward to infinity, so it seems.

It is wise to choose your battles carefully, so if such-and-so group has ignored this-and-that issue, it's because bringing about positive change in the poop typhoon of existence requires intense focus. But then something can happen in which diverse groups find common ground, if only cosmetic, and big changes can meld together. Whether that's good or bad depends on who's doing the judgment. I think the Religious Right was bad, for example. I think the newer generations are right to do things like protest firearm violence, accept gender fluidity (clumsy, but I don't have anything better right now), question the high costs of education, resist wars on foreign soil, and a lot more.

My hope is that reading comes back as a more popular pastime than Facebook, that more people figure out their own ways than following leaders of dubious persuasions, and that peace and love rule the universe.

flowers.gif
net2007
Gray Seal
QUOTE
QUOTE
One of the areas I part from you on is in regards to the left and right, I don't think they're self-serving or troubled to the same degree.
..Hmm. "..to the same degree" At lest we agree they are self serving. The degree, I insist, are not more than a few digits.


You're probably right, I think I'm of the stance that the two sides are simply a few more digits more off than what you believe. I explain the reasons why some to Droop below in a very long-winded reply, hopefully not too long, I can get carried away for sure.

droop224
QUOTE
QUOTE(droop224 @ Apr 9 2018, 12:04 AM) *

I have just a couple things to address, perhaps you and I can have a different kind of exchange than in the past. On this, have you considered that when someone is saying the government is corrupt that they're refering to the people within it as a collective? When doing so perhaps it should be added that some public servants are worse than others, but regardless I think most people understand that a government without people is just a concept. Perhaps you're being too literal, I say that because you're talking to someone who's often very literal but sometimes reading between the lines is better, that's something that I have to consider at times as well.
Kind of like when they say make America great again, they mean... I'm not sure what they mean. Kind of like when they call someone a traitor, because he told the world their government was spying to them. He a traitor to America they say, but he wasn't a traitor to the indivuals that wanted to know... so maybe in this case America is an entity to some people.

I do get your point though and I don't mean to make it seem like I don't get that for "expedience sake" we might say "corporations think..." "Hate America..." "government is corrupt" The trouble is that when expedience of that statement becomes so normative that it becomes part of a reasoning process, I'm willing to break it down. No need to think more of it than that.

So again, if we think our politicians in the government are corrupted, what do you think is corrupting them.


Sorry for the delay, I still struggle to find time to write and I find this to be an important topic so I've got a very detailed reply for you, (particularly in regards to the second half of the post.) It's a long reply but if this topic is important to you, read this one carefully. Any information you have to show, I'll take a look at.

I'm trying to take you at your word that the focus on phrasing hasn't at times been an attempt to distract from the substance of a debate. In regards to "Make America Great Again", I get where you're coming from. It sounds to me like it means Trump is attempting to make America great for those who agree with him on what would make America great. That's having the effect of frustrating anyone who disagrees's with his policies or morals, in fact, he's agitated the opposition to the point where they'd be quick to say that he has no morals and want's to destroy our country. However, it's all about perspective and this has happened before.

While he was often more elegant in his approach, Obama's "Yes We Can" was basically the same thing. To conservatives, all that meant was "yes we can" say and do things which will appeal to Obama and those who support him, (generally the left), while ignoring conservatives nearly every step of the way. I think both Obama and Trump have done good things for those who think as they do, I usually take them at their word that they're trying to help but neither one of them understand or care that they haven't done much to unite our country.

I'm glad conservatives are at least getting more in the way of representation and policy consideration, the left having another 4 to 8 years of special treatment wouldn't have been very fair but at some point, we need someone who makes a genuine effort to address the divisiveness that we're seeing. It'd take more than short statements that sound good, they'd have to give both sides policy consideration and recognition that goes beyond saying two sentences at a rally. I don't expect any president or elected official not to have some degree of bias or preferred policy stances, but they should at least make some effort to find middle ground and areas we can work together because our country is in a fragile state, most of us can agree on that much.

QUOTE
QUOTE
I don't see that at all, I see the opposite. I don't say that because I'm being biased, I want to know what the truth is. If I'm wrong, I want to know. One of the worst things a person can do is go around and repeat something that isn't true. I say what I do because of current events, it's in regards to the actions of many leftist compared to those on the right. The things each side support can be a mixed bag, you'd argue that Americans who want to protect America first and foremost would be self-serving, and I think that's fair, that's not to say that all people who want what's best for America don't care what happens elsewhere, but you could view that as self-serving.


For me there is nothing NOTHING wrong with putting America and Americans first, IF it does not come at the expense of other humans. But yes, you are wrong and I am not so sure you want to know. If you think in "America First terms" you are already admitting bias.


Okay, so why am I wrong? Also, whether or not I think America should be first should be a separate argument.

Your comment was...

QUOTE
Yes and the further Right i go the more i see voters voting in a self serving manner. It's a reason why liberals are chastised for their "bleeding hearts". The people the left choose to vote in aren't usually running on a self serving platform as are the people on the Right.


and I said I don't see that at all and that I'm not saying that out of a bias. That's a left Vs. right statement rather than an America Vs. Russia, Iran, or North Korea statement. I'm basing my stance on an overwhelming amount of information that, thus far, others haven't been able to debunk or come up with a counter that overwhelms the information I'm providing. I do have a degree of bias, just as others do, but I'm not basing my argument on my personal feelings is what I'm saying. You've heard me say many times that I agree with the right on only slightly more issues than the left, and you've heard me criticise conservatives many times, by the standards of the 1960's I could have easily been a Democrat. That being said, I can understand the skepticism, you don't know me personally.

With that said, let's look at the situation at hand with the question I asked below on colleges, along with a few other things, then we can take it from there if you have more substantiation...

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QUOTE
Policy is definitely a mixed bag, where I see the biggest difference is when we look at what's happening with social trends and behaviors. Again, many people break the mold and no person within a group is exactly the same but due to so many incidents, some of which I've pointed out at AD, I can't help but see that there's social and behavioral difference between the left and right. It's in regards to the sheer multitude of violent protest, nasty comments, and resistance to the concept of free speech. To me all of that is self serving because it disregards the saftey or beliefs of others. This happens on both sides, but as I've mentioned before, (along with other examples), I can't think of a typically right-wing institution that has to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on security if someone who's not violent simply walks through the door to speak.

That's what we're seeing at colleges like UC Berkely. It's often been the case that when someone who's conservative comes to speak about their beliefs, students and other protesters are so divisive and unaccepting that they can't control themselves, some even assault others and smash things up. What's the conservative equivalent to that?
I don't know. I have no clue what you may or may not call a "false equivalency". Allow me to ask you this, whats the death count so far on this horrible thing liberals do. When liberal "shout down" what they believe is hate speech, but still free, denying conservative viewpoint being heard who is dying? In contrast when many conservatives support killing citizens because an officer feel threatens, that has a death toll in human lives. When many conservatives support foreign wars, what's the cost of human lives. But let's be fair, there is this very human process called justification. And when you are dealing with a group of people that can justify dropping nukes, what in the world could I say in a debate to change their mind. Anything can be justified.

Getting back to the debate of corruption. Business interest understand justification. They understand the type of people that need to merely feel "threat" as provocation for a blank check in terms of action. All they have to do is provide justification.


Comparing the left and the right on whether or not they want to take military action is complicated for a couple reasons. The first thing I'd state is that many on the left appear to be much more willing to take military action than you are. I'm not downing you for the beliefs you hold but have you heard the Democrats recently on whether or not we should have taken military action in Syria? Even Chuck Schumer has been quoted saying that punishing Assad is "the right thing to do". Admittingly this is upsetting some progressives within the Democratic party, but the same can be said for conservatives who thought we shouldn't be in Syria or Iraq.

Right here at AD, we see a great deal of skepticism in regards to taking too much military action from members like Conservpat if I remember right, and Gray Seal as you can see. DTOM wasn't a liberal either and he put up some of the strongest skepticism to the Iraq war. So you have neocons who want to fight in most situations, but there are conservatives and libertarians who certainly don't want to go to war unless it's under extreme circumstances. Laura Ingraham, who's very conservative, has been complaining about us taking military action in Syria and a substantial portion of Trump voters favor Trump because he was stating that we need to be involved with our own country rather than nation-building. He's certainly up and down on this issue and sends mixed signals with how involved we should be but that's frustrating many conservatives. At a minimum we're not involved in a ground war and regime change, that's a step away from Bush Jr. but we'll see what happens.

It's not so black and white where conservatives want to take military action while liberals don't, but at minimum I'd agree that conservatives have more commonly supported military action so let's look at what that means in the context of this conversation. I don't think bringing up the right's support of military action is a moot point by you, it's a factor that's fair to mention. I'm sure there are conservatives who put little thought into what they're supporting, don't consider the consequences, or support taking military action due to some internal urge to incite violence. That being said, that's not applicable across the board and there are other things to consider as well, such as cause and effect.

This is important, we're talking about a difference in hostility between the left and right so in that context I'd point out that those who support military action are reacting to things like people being gassed with toxic chemicals. In the most recent gassing, it was primarily women and children who were affected...

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/sy...orces-1.5978733

It's very rare that an American citizen is personally assaulting others when they support military action in a situation like this, and If you want to frame it in a way that they're encouraging violence on other humans, that's fine as long as you're detailed. They're wanting action taken against those who put others in a life or death situation, the most violent among us. The purpose of that gas attack, as with many hostile nations and terrorist organizations is completely different, they're often specifically targeting those who pose little or no threat and they do so on purpose. Now, whether or not that means we should take military action is still very complicated, there's a lot to consider when something like this happens.

However, let's go back to the behaviors of the left in colleges like UC Berkeley to contrast this. The cause of their aggression is often simply not wanting to hear the opinion of someone who doesn't think like them which suggest they're more commonly triggered by things that are far less severe. Let's be honest here, when Ann Coulter or Ben Shapiro show up at a college like UC Berkely they're not bringing canisters of chlorine gas to wipe out college students. I've actually watched some of these events from start to finish when Ben Shapiro goes to speak and I don't see what the fuss is about. He's not encouraging violence, and he's typically not debating whether or not we should use military force either. More than anything he's being critical of the left's stance on free speech and giving rather tame conservative talking points by comparison to those who are reacting to his presence.

The effect of a conservative speaker going to colleges like UC Berkley is often that students and other protesters are personally harassing or getting violent with others as they do things like smash up public property or block up traffic. That's extremely self-serving and it's over something minor by comparison to dictators and terrorist who intentionally target civilians with lethal attacks. So reacting to words being spoken with violence and personal attacks is a bit different than someone advocating for taking military action when they're reacting to violent actions that are taking place on those who pose little or no threat. It's also different in the sense that advocates for taking military action are far less commonly personally assaulting others if they don't get their way.

Again, I don't think your point is moot or has no impact on this topic, I don't doubt that there's a subsection of conservatives who support military action because that's a reflection of their own violent tendencies or something of that nature. As for our active military personnel specifically there's about 1.3 million of them, many of whom are not involved in active combat, I don't know what would be self-serving about a medic risking his life to save a life but when our actions have unintended consequences that's certainly a consideration. I'd just emphasize that there are differences to consider when using the military as an example.

In regards to the violence and vitriol in left-leaning colleges, I asked this question...

"What's the conservative equivalent to that?"

You replied....

"I don't know. I have no clue what you may or may not call a "false equivalency".

I'd consider what I wrote in the last post after I asked that question to avoid a false equivalency. To show a conservative equivalent, your example wouldn't have to perfectly match the example I gave but it should fit some of the primary characteristics. For example....

1. The company or institution should have a conservative majority, obviously.

2. Preferably politics should be important to the function of the company or institution, or the people within it. Left-leaning colleges are often very verbal places when it comes to politics and those beliefs are so important to them that they think it's damaging to hear beliefs that don't match theirs.

3. The institution or company should be sizable and it shouldn't be an isolated incident you show. If you show me one example of three people preventing a liberal from speaking at a local gun shop, that obviously doesn't have the impact that colleges do when we're talking about 100's of people acting ridiculous again and again at different times and at different colleges.

4. To speak of the behavior, it has to be extreme. A place where the behavior has been bad enough that the members will do things like smash up public property, assault others, draw attention from outsiders who also assault others, ignore or reject those within the company or institution who stray from the majority opinion, etc. etc. It doesn't have to be exact but it has to be bad enough that they're required to take drastic action, like spend 100's of thousands of dollars on security when someone who's not being violent simply comes to give an opinion. If you need an example of this happening just let me know, what I stated here isn't a fair representation of all college students but I don't see anything quite like this happening at a typically conservative institution or company.

Also, it's not as if I have to narrow things down to what's happening at colleges to come to the conclusion I have on the left. (bear with me on the rest of this) Would you be willing to look at the way conservatives reacted to Obama being elected and honestly state that the level of violence and vitriol was near as bad as the way the left reacted to Trump being elected? I don't see how anyone can look at Trump election reactions and Obama election reactions and honestly state that there wasn't a huge difference between the two when all is considered. Now , some may look at that and say it's due to the nature of Trump and how some view him as a threat to our society but I think that they'd be forgetting that a fair chunk conservatives felt the same way about Obama, they feared what the implications were of an Obama presidency and hated that he got elected. That says nothing of the fact that a difference in the level of hostile protest between the left and right, predates Trump announcing he was running for president.

It's in so many events where there's this contrast of behavior, the way pro 2nd amendment students are debating solutions to the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School is often quite different than how students who are gun restrictions advocates are debating, and that's after the fact that the pro 2nd amendment students have been largely disregarded by both the media and various schools. I'd be willing to debate that in detail with confidence that the students who are pro second amendment are, on average, behaving more respectfully and civilly towards others, though there are exceptions.

Perhaps I'm overdoing it here, but there's also a lot of statistical data that backs my argument. I haven't seen any polling or surveys addressing this topic specifically and I wouldn't trust one that asks (Who's more violent or self-serving, the left or the right?). not everyone is going to answer that honestly and I wouldn't rule out the potential for a left or right wing company trying to confirm their own bias on this so sometimes it's necessary to get sneaky and look at data created by those who weren't trying to answer a question like that.

There's a lot of indirect evidence that leftist are on average more violent and less respectful towards others, and when it's combined with everything else the results are conclusive enough for me. For starters, looking at crime statistics is revealing in key areas, for example, the contrast in the crime rate between suburban and urban areas is worth a mention....

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"Among these 48 major metropolitan areas, the violent crime rate was 433 (offenses per 100,000 population known to the police), approximately 10% above the national rate of 392 in 2011. The violent crime rate in the historical core municipalities, or urban core (See Suburbanized Core Cities) was 911 offenses per 100,000 population. In the suburbs, which consist of all municipalities not comprising the historical cores, the violent rate was 272 offenses per 100,000 population. Thus, the urban core violent crime rate was 3.3 times the suburban violent crime rate (Figure 1)."


http://www.newgeography.com/content/003799...res-and-suburbs

So the crime rate is often lowest in areas where there are more conservatives, (I'll assume for now that I don't have to prove that there are higher concentrations of conservatives in the suburbs, but ask if you need that.) A number of similar sources I've read state that there are trend changes occurring but none that I've read suggest that there isn't a difference in the crime rate or that the opposite is true. It's reasonable to question how much of a role political beliefs play in these figures, that's a debate I'm happy to have and It's fair to point out that things like a difference in living conditions play a role, but the bottom line is that those who lean left, on average, commit more crime and are more violent. I wouldn't conclude that from those figures alone because I have seen some mixed data when looking at rural vs urban but the numbers I provided here are corroborated when looking into the crime rates by age group.

In every field of crime that I've read on the story is similar, the older you are, the less likely you are to commit a crime and the older a person is, the more likely they are to be conservative as well. I'm not talking simply about senior citizens committing less crime, it tapers off gradually by decade. 40-year-olds are substantially less likely to commit a crime than a 20-year-old, and a person is very capable to commit a crime at the age of 40, they more often simply chose not to do so.

With age comes maturity and a higher awareness of the consequences of committing a crime or hurting another person, and the older age groups happen to be the more conservative age groups on average as well.....

https://ucr.fbi.gov/additional-ucr-publicat...arrest93-01.pdf
https://www.statista.com/statistics/251884/...-the-us-by-age/

How do you counter these figures? I don't see how this isn't ironclad proof that people on the left are on average more likely to commit a crime or hurt another person. To answer your question, a lot of people die at the hands of those who are on the political left, they may not be killing others in the name of their political beliefs in every case but this does beg the question of what positive impact does leftism have on a person when there's this difference that's clearly present with how they're behaving? Regardless the individuals behind the beliefs are more likely to do things that hurt others, all of this is relevant because there's nothing more self-serving than completely disregarding others to the point you're hurting them physically, or taking things from them. We can argue about policies that both sides support which could be viewed as self-serving, but....

1. the way the left goes about debating policy or defending a stance is more often more self-serving than the approach of the right... (address my prior arguments on college and high school students or the difference in how adults behaved on the left and right when Trump and Obama were elected for that) and...

2. statistics show that on a personal level those who are on the left politically are, on average, more violent, more willing to commit a crime, and therefore less considerate of others.

There's a lot that throws a wrench in the narrative that conservatives are more self-serving or less considerate of those who don't think or look like them. Similar arguments to those seem like they're often intertwined in leftist ideology as if it comes standard. This conventional wisdom of the left couldn't be further from the truth though. That's because much of it is based on assumptions and speculation, especially in heated race related debates.

Not to say I'm not confident in my debates, but there are few political topics where I feel as confident as I do on left and right wing behaviors. Media bias is another topic where I feel I have the most experience but I've stated before that matters of politics and race are often more subjective than matters of science and there's often a little grey. Even in this situation I feel there's some grey, it's not a one size fits all argument where if a person is on the political left they're guaranteed to be more violent, dangerous, or self serving than a conservative but I don't see how saying leftist are on average more prone to fit those descriptions, isn't a true statement. I want you to be able to debunk though if I'm wrong, I've been challenging the left on this for a while.

In key areas, we really come from a similar mindset Droop, we don't want people fighting for a cause with a blatant disregard for others, we just have different ideas on who's doing that more. To Gray Seals point, both sides are guilty of this but the left is often responding in a self-serving manner more radically and over things like simple disagreements. I'm not debating whether or not each side has a problem with self-servitude or a disregard for others, I'm debating the intensity and frequency of this behavior on each side. This is something I want to have right because it has at times been the tie-breaking factor that has me siding with the right given my policy beliefs are so split. The left has some ideas that I can get on board with but modern liberals and Democrats have strayed far away from where these movements once were, I don't take joy in that, I think it's unfortunate given both sides can contribute good things.

Julian
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Apr 10 2018, 06:57 PM) *
Perhaps it is different in England but you can not give medical advice if you are not a doctor in the United States. It is not just a prohibition upon heart surgery.


So there are no herbalists, acupuncturists and other practitioners of 'alternative medicine' in the whole USA? Or they are there, but nobody ever uses them?

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You better have a member of the local bar association hired or you will not get fair treatment in the local courts. Nothing is as highly regulated in the United States as the judicial system.


You don't say. I used the law and medicine as examples of where regulation (the idea that you have to be registered with the AMA or the ABA) is a good thing, and you've cited back at me evidence that it's a good thing in a post challenging my assertion that it's a good thing.

How do you know that any given lawyer or doctor is what they say they are? A lawyer or a doctor, I mean? Don't you kind of assume that they are a registered practitoner of their profession to the standards they claim? Or is that so basic you assume that they are what they say they are on their own say-so? What objective standard do you apply to them - before you have met them, seen them work, or heard or read other people's recommendations - to tell you to approach them? Do you check at all?

QUOTE
It is about having your own minimal standards from whom you will do business with. It is having some sort of minimal understanding that freedom is better than authoritarian control. A little bit of fascism is still fascism. It does not make it OK if you say it is just a little thing.


QUOTE
What sort of minimal journalist standard do you have for yourself that is so overwhelming that you need the government to step in for you?


I don't have a huge problem. The people that do have a huge problem are too ill-informed (by their chosen media outlets, operating to low or no journalistic standards) to be able to form a useful opinion.

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90% of what the federal government does is unconstitutional. The Constitution has been trashed. It is time for a revolution and start over. Now with the experience of 200 years, we can do a much better job establishing a Constitution which protect freedoms. Unfortunately, the people would rather have authoritarian government at this point in time.


*sigh*

First off, a revolution is one spin round. You end up facing the same direction. Calling for a change in direction is not going to be usefully served by revolution, not least because those most interested in revolution are often those motivated solely by breaking down the present system. Until you can determine, in detail, what comes afterwards, you cannot have anything except blind faith that the outcome of a revolution will be any better than the status quo ante. So, what changes would you make to the post revolutionary Constitution that would avoid ending up where you started out?

It's in that spirit that I floated the - dare I say, revolutionary? - idea that those wishing to make a living as a professional journalist and/or politician should have some basic vetting in place to ensure they are a fit person to hold that office. After all, we do it automatically with doctors and lawyers. We trust that system. So, why don't we set up a NEW system that works in a similar way, that WE can trust? That's not "fascism" or "authoritarian control", because we already do it for doctors and lawyers and you yourself have pointed out it would be risky in the extreme to put such trust in anyone who is not demonstrably qualified in those fields.

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People are ignorant. They know little of what the Constitution says. Then there is knowing how Constitution cases have been decided. For example: United Citizens. Most people have not read the court opinion and believe it is some sort of establishment of corporations as people. It is just plain ignorance.


What is the cured for ignorance? Is it to ignore those you deem to be ignorant? Should the entire electoral process ignore those who are deemed - by some external authority of some kind - ignorant? (And isn't that what the media/electoral process is doing now, which is causing so many problems?)

Or is education the answer to ignorance? Education being, among other things, the distribution of pertinent information. Such as - oh, I don't know - which political candidates are adequately qualified to stand? After all, people are ignorant. Politicians are people (most of them, anyway). If they are ignorant, constitutionally, wouldn't it be a good idea to prevent them standing (certainly to prevent them winning)? If someone professing to be a journalist doesn't know the difference between a fact and an opinion, wouldn't it be a good idea to stop thinking of them (or employing them) as a journalist? They can be a 'columnist' or a 'commentator' (or a stand-up comedian or street-corner haranguist) but maybe they should not be given the privileged status of 'journalist', with the extra public attention that commands.

Trouble
Is there any hope that voters will base their voting upon real principles or are we stuck with grandstanding and choosing big money candidates who seem to give advantage to the right people (at the expense of the wrong people)?


Perhaps the better question is why are the parties moving their platforms away from real principles? This requires thinking about why the hot seat isn't so comfortable any more.

Along with corruption there is an element that we the public are not grasping. The political class in general is in an increasingly untenable situation. Raising funds for anything is a challenge. The whole of society is culturally, morally and fiscally in a contraction phase. While centered around debt the problem is like grasping the tail of an elephant. You know there is something more to the tail but how much you don't know. An ungovernable state is not just an American problem. It is something that afflicts all the allies.

Big money was an absolute necessity as the Democratic party ran out of money before the full election cycle and the result was the Clinton campaign was able to purchase the electoral outcome of Madam Clinton and Mr. Sanders debates. Money has become a lock out mechanism keeping out the qualified because these people haven't swallowed the rhetoric. This is for the Kool Aid drinkers only. Once you make that realization the rest makes sense. This is the downside of apathy when you think about it because big money wants apathy so they "It" can continue unobstructed. How to counter those who purposefully deal in dismal outcomes will require a creative approach.

The bad news is this has been a long time coming. Sure you can call up Citizens United and you'd be correct, but a democratic republic that is long in the tooth becomes a plutocracy. Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban have almost single handedly captured the process. Why? Because the culture equates money with political expression. To convince people that money may not be the highest expression of citizenship is a cultural challenge Gray Seal.

My worries are around the grandstanding. Considering the year the Navy had last year I'm concerned with ships running aground. I'm concerned the Russians overplayed their technological advancements and fell into a Pentagon trap. I'm concerned that once someone with experience realizes Russian missiles are changing Naval power dynamics the Pentagon will sacrifice one of their older fleet for the sole purpose of locking in a new Cold War. It will be reminiscent of the USS Liberty that will take the Russiagate propaganda campaign to dangerously new levels.



Hobbes
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Apr 7 2018, 08:28 AM) *
Big money, to me, is when a candidate has lots of advertising.

....
I call it the Shiny Card Rule. When you see any of this you know big money is behind a particular candidate.


Yes, indeed. So, you can simplify your rule. You know a candidate has big money behind him if you simply know who he is. If you don't know who it is...maybe he doesn't...yet.

The reality is every candidate gets big money behind them. It's necessary to have big money to win. Candidates aren't running to lose...so they get the money. 95% of politics is about getting the money. and that's probably a low estimate.
Julian
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Apr 25 2018, 10:01 PM) *
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Apr 7 2018, 08:28 AM) *
Big money, to me, is when a candidate has lots of advertising.

....
I call it the Shiny Card Rule. When you see any of this you know big money is behind a particular candidate.


Yes, indeed. So, you can simplify your rule. You know a candidate has big money behind him if you simply know who he is. If you don't know who it is...maybe he doesn't...yet.


I thought that, too. It strikes me that the only way to have politics work the way Gray Seal describes is at the local level.

One of the things the British do is they mandate that certain television broadcasters (the terrestrial networks) HAVE to make space available for 'party political broadcasts' (in proportion to share of the vote at the previous national election). And, political advertising is banned from network television.

Now, the television environment is changing because of new delivery methods (who watches the ads on their TiVo box? Who doesn't resent the way YouTube ads interrupt what you were watching far more than they do for broadcast TV?) and the specifics of the system need to be updated.

But there's a nub of principle - that all candidates should have the right to access prospective voters and present themselves and their ideas - which may be of use to take big money out of the equation, or diminish it's influence. It does, of course, have First Amendment implications - the likes of Fox News may not want to promote the likes of Bernie Sanders and those to his left, especially if they aren't getting paid to do it. Nor are MSNBC likely to want to show what are in effect campaign ads for candidates to the right of Trump. However, "freedom of the press" is not only meant to mean that editors and proprietors can say what they like (that's more freedom of speech); the 18th century idea of "freedom of the press" was more that everyone should have access to the platform provided by the media, rather than that the platform of the media can do or say whatever it wants (to the point of excluding contrary opinions). Radio phone ins, newspaper letters pages and - dare I say - Twitter are more akin to the idea of "freedom of the press" than television news networks being able to have editorial bias. (You can't not have editorial bias - and that's protected by freedom of speech anyway.) My point is that "freedom of the press" and "freedom of speech" are subtly different, if linked, and that a case could be made for mandatory access to political advertising.

And with the number of elected offices in the USA at all levels dwarfing those in the UK, there's going to be a lot more complexity involved.

I didn't promise it would be THE answer. But it could prompt some useful thoughts on getting to one?
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