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Politics, or: You should be seen but not heard

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  #1  
Old 06-09-2014, 06:16 PM
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Default Politics, or: You should be seen but not heard


There's this cute little village about 10 miles away from where I live. The downtown's about 130 years old. There's an old stone building that used to house a grain mill. Now it's home to a some little Mediterranean place with a fantastic red cabbage slaw and a cute red headed waitress.

On my way to dinner, winding down a two lane road that parallels the river, I noticed these old brown benches in front of some weather beaten clapboard building.

The left hand bench read: DEMOCRATS

The right hand bench read: REPUBLICANS

The yellow paint was relatively fresh. It made me sigh.

Why the division? What happened to a government that operated silently and efficiently? Can't we all just get along, man?

But seriously: anybody else think this partisan, divisive, "us-or-them" political debate should fuck off?

Does the middle ground exist anymore?

Discuss, if you will.

Particularly curious how some of my friends on The Continent feel about things political.

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Old 06-09-2014, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by IZA View Post
But seriously: anybody else think this partisan, divisive, "us-or-them" political debate should fuck off?
yes. don't really see the point of it anymore.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:45 AM
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politics is divisive it is not for the faint hearted.
a party in opposition with another and the promise is a long winding fracas of a broken society that does not recover but instead endeavour to fail.
did not the romans say:
divide to rule?
that is what politics is about.

a government that does not come together for the interest of its country is no government it is just a mean to control distribute and take.
a true society will come together under one roof in order to be.
too many parties they are all in contradictions with each other. I mean what the heck? it is only one society.
they can't agree between them and they want to rule a country to come together??
come one it is a joke.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:32 AM
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Absolutely. The extreme views and fear-mongering tactics characteristic of our two current parties are becoming rather tedious. Not to mention, it's absurd to say that three hundred million people can be accurately represented by only two parties in the first place.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:50 AM
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Throw keeping the masses in confusion in that mix, Night, and there you have the good ol' U.S. government.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:32 AM
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Doesn't have much to do with confusion. Both parties do a pretty good job indoctrinating people with rather simplistic messages and narratives that are anything but confusing. You just have to watch FOX or CNBC or listen to the conservative talk shows to see that. I think the democrats do a better job of manipulating the media for the most part -- they've been at it longer.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:14 AM
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I prefer watching a truthful documentary over controlled media outlets. I used to watch a few shows. Have no use for them now.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:42 AM
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Even the makers of "truthful documentaries" have agendas, though. I think the biggest problem we face--in both the media and in individual thought--is an unwillingness to engage the other side on their own turf. There's a lot of setting up straw men and knocking them down, but much less of "Hey, you've made a decent point; I can understand where you're coming from. Here's my perspective. Let's work together." Instead, it always seems to be, "You're completely wrong. I'm completely right. I will fight you to the ends of the earth." The middle-grounders seem to be a dying breed.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:01 AM
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Oh yeah -- you have to be careful with documentaries -- they can be the most biased form of information -- the makers often set out to prove something based on preconceptions -- even if they don't do it consciously.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:09 AM
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Agreed, Night. On all counts.

I just feel I get more of the evidence/essentials to make a judgment watching documentaries on Netflix. You'd be hard-pressed to find some of these Docs on my cable television programming.

And yes, keeping the masses at each other's throats without making an effort to combine thoughts and come up with a pliable solution, is what deflects unity.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
Oh yeah -- you have to be careful with documentaries -- they can be the most biased form of information -- the makers often set out to prove something based on preconceptions -- even if they don't do it consciously.
And to a certain extent, everyone does that. It seems to be a very human thing to make up our minds first, and let our beliefs shape the evidence instead of letting the evidence shape our beliefs. Nothing short of a drastic re-evaluation of our thought processes and behaviors can turn that around. Problem is, that will have to start with a willingness to admit error in our own thinking, and nobody likes to be wrong.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Night Wanderer View Post
And to a certain extent, everyone does that. It seems to be a very human thing to make up our minds first, and let our beliefs shape the evidence instead of letting the evidence shape our beliefs. Nothing short of a drastic re-evaluation of our thought processes and behaviors can turn that around. Problem is, that will have to start with a willingness to admit error in our own thinking, and nobody likes to be wrong.
I agree totally. That's why you have to make some effort to take things with a grain of salt -- go to the trouble of verifying and filtering things through your own common sense. Unfortunately, that's where confusion can be a factor -- there's almost too much information available. I know sometimes I can't be bothered. In some respects, I knew more about current events when I was in high school -- like I knew the names of all the cabinet members and world leaders. I'd be hard pressed to tell you who they are now.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:47 AM
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Agreed. But sometimes it's almost hard to believe that personal political knowledge even matters, since in the face of such overwhelming corruption from the influences of power and money, it's difficult to imagine that one person can make a difference. Hence the widespread national apathy that results in only a fraction of the populace even making it to the polls.

Therein lies the dilemma. Too few grains of salt make you gullible and easily brainwashed. Too many make you cynical.
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  #14  
Old 06-10-2014, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Night Wanderer View Post
But sometimes it's almost hard to believe that personal political knowledge even matters, since in the face of such overwhelming corruption from the influences of power and money, it's difficult to imagine that one person can make a difference
At a federal level, I agree with this.

At a local level, not so much.

I grew so frustrated with my local government that I quit my job two years ago and drastically downsized - I'm talking tiny apartment and a $500/month budget. I spent a year and a half learning about local political structure and finances. I used my last thousand dollars to finance a campaign for local office, and my candidacy brought to light several issues that the "front runners" were ignoring.

I forced them to address questions they tried to bury.

They tried desperately to paint me as a ne'er-do-well looking to make a name and move on, but they underestimated how powerful a single, educated, motivated individual can be.

Shitty attack ads and back-channel money can't stop me from knocking on doors with a smile on my face.

I think people are just too afraid to be out in front of their values and morals anymore.

It's not "cool" to stick to your guns in the face of ignorance.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:18 AM
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Excellent point. I would like to see more power at the state and local levels, and less in the hands of the federal government. In a large country like the US, different regions have different needs, and they shouldn't be ruled under blanket laws. In smaller populations, individual voices can actually be heard.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:35 AM
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I'm quite cynical, but local government is a different matter for me -- at least it is now. A while ago, our unincorporated area broke off from the county and became a city. Before that, dealing with county government was impossible -- a bureaucratic nightmare and elected officials who had no interest in our community.

Now we can deal with city counsel members who are essentially our neighbors, often with the same concerns and goals. You can go to a city counsel meeting and speak, address the mayor and witness the vote -- then they have to look you in eye afterward. There's a high level of accountability and you and your neighbors can actually make a difference. It's pretty gratifying. Too bad all government can't be like that.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by IZA View Post
There's this cute little village about 10 miles away from where I live. The downtown's about 130 years old. There's an old stone building that used to house a grain mill. Now it's home to a some little Mediterranean place with a fantastic red cabbage slaw and a cute red headed waitress.

On my way to dinner, winding down a two lane road that parallels the river, I noticed these old brown benches in front of some weather beaten clapboard building.

The left hand bench read: DEMOCRATS

The right hand bench read: REPUBLICANS

The yellow paint was relatively fresh. It made me sigh.

Why the division? What happened to a government that operated silently and efficiently? Can't we all just get along, man?

But seriously: anybody else think this partisan, divisive, "us-or-them" political debate should fuck off?

Does the middle ground exist anymore?

Discuss, if you will.

Particularly curious how some of my friends on The Continent feel about things political.
After people drink enough, or take enough anti depressants they will sit interchangeably at either bench. At least that's what they do in DC....
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:38 PM
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I can't even go to a news website anymore to read a story about anything without being inundated by hate in the comments section. What is particularly mind-boggling is that it doesn't matter what the news story is about. Let me give an example: "Girl Scouts Launch A New Flavor of Cookies," then "well, if Obama has his way, he's going to outlaw Girl Scout cookies altogether". I can two shits whether anyone loves the man or hates the man. What bothers me is that I can't even read an article about Girl Scout Cookies, without someone getting all political about it. Too, it matters little whether what was stated actually makes any contextual sense. I just think I should be able to have a normal conversation without it turning into a shit-eating contest.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_Hooper View Post
"Girl Scouts Launch A New Flavor of Cookies," then "well, if Obama has his way, he's going to outlaw Girl Scout cookies altogether".
Could that happen? I hope so. I'm really tired of those little extortionists.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_Hooper View Post
What is particularly mind-boggling is that it doesn't matter what the news story is about.
hell, it has even infected sports message boards. no kidding. this ridiculous, mindless frothing is everywhere, and it all just needs to fuck off and go away.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:24 PM
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Those little bitches. They even train them up as Brownies and I remember when I wrecked my bike right in front of the announcer's booth just as a bunch of those damn Brownies were stepping out at the beginning of the Fourth of July parade in Oceanside one time, they all fell out and laughed at me.

They had to restart the parade and everyone said it was because of me but I know it was because those little bitches thought it was funny that I landed on my head all tangled up in my bike.

Fuck them bitches.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
I'm quite cynical, but local government is a different matter for me -- at least it is now. A while ago, our unincorporated area broke off from the county and became a city. Before that, dealing with county government was impossible -- a bureaucratic nightmare and elected officials who had no interest in our community.
So is the best solution here to do away with most domestic federal services, administer block grants to the state's and require minimum spending per citizen on certain items like infrastructure and education?
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:07 PM
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More voices need to be spoken at the right levels. For god's sake all their yearly pay comes from taxes . . . our money, our sweat.

Man, the federal government could rake in some big money with a $150 ticket to a Speak Your Mind for two minutes quarterly banquet at a ritzy hotel near you.

Fear of public rebuttal on issues keeps them from doing so. Fear of people uniting scares them. Hell, Independent runners for election are not allowed voice in the presidential debates. What does this tell you? It tells me scripted bull-jive on the biggest of scales.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:22 PM
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We've mistaken democracy for a two-party dog-and-pony show
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:55 PM
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Okay. Now for some practical ideas on how to reverse the trend. Not pie-in-the-sky generalities; what are some concrete steps each of us individually can take right now to start bringing Big Government back under control?
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:25 PM
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Politics will continue to be corrupt until we can find a way to take money out of politics (easier said than done). The Supreme Court did not help matters when they ruled that "Corporations are people" and therefore have the same right to lobby congress as individuals. Now, we have a system that is of the Corporation, by the Corporation, and for the Corporation.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:40 PM
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.....

Last edited by eripiomundus; 03-02-2015 at 02:04 PM..
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:47 PM
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Not saying that was a pie-in-the-sky generality, eripio but how do you propose that we as individuals go about this?
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JustcallmeEd View Post
Not saying that was a pie-in-the-sky generality, eripio but how do you propose that we as individuals go about this?
Voting would be a good start.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:06 PM
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Just throwing this out there . . . but uniting as one, however weak, would be a start. Somehow get an Independent Party in office next election for a few years to weaken the elephant and divert the donkey. Show them we won't put up with more of the two-headed monster.
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