Politics is Stupid


#1522

But is it as ridiculous as ESPN pulling an announcer for a southern game because his name is Robert Lee?

Are they concerned Antifa will storm the broadcast booth or what? Or that Nazis will show up to defend him?


#1523

Is that a more polite version of taking the piss?


#1524

Nope

Yep

:smile:


#1525

ESPN has gone plaid as well. It’s close but the edge still goes to the ACLU, IMO.


#1526

I know I’m probably going to raise the ire of the Trumpophiles here, but his latest act of corruption is even more appalling than his usual fare.
Pardoning Joe Arpaio is such a blatant act of corruption and abuse of power I cannot see how anyone can support it. And yet some people still do.

Joe Arpaio is a horrendous sub-human who deserves to rot in jail for the rest of his life. For Trump to pardon him because he supported Trump is just so wrong I don’t have words to describe it.


#1527

Dude, I gave up trying to worry about executive pardons like twenty years ago.

Murderers, embezzlers, leakers, various rabble trousers, drug dealers, whatever. Sometimes it’s like they throw a dart at a wall.


#1528

Or, maybe, it’s because the President thought Sheriff Arpaio did the right thing and was improperly prosecuted.

You’re interjecting the corruption… there might be alternative explanations.


#1529

Plenty of people pointed at the $450,000 donation to Clinton’s library on this one.

Seems like Carter might have a couple of the worst of the modern ones. Obama got a lot of crap for not pardoning enough people, but I can’t find much on his end of term ones.


#1530

Then Trump is trying to rule by fiat, not by law. This is also a very bad thing (and corrupt).
If Trump thinks Arpaio was wrongly convicted then he is as dumb as f*&^ and incapable of even the most rudimentary research. The only thing wrong with Arpaio’s conviction is that it wasn’t for far more serious crimes.

Yep, and if I was on these forums at that time I would have called that out as corrupt too. But whether or not previous presidents have done it doesn’t make Trump’s pardon any less corrupt. On top of all Trump’s other corrupt practices (see Keep’s post way up in this thread for examples) makes this even more serious.


#1531

This is an 85 year old man with a wife with cancer who was convicted of being in contempt of court.

Presidential pardons are law by fiat, they really are an odd thing in our constitution.

Mr. Pen and a Phone certainly wasn’t worried about rule of law, nor was Reid on the filibuster democrats care about all of a sudden. Why the heck would Mr I think This Combover Looks Good care?

I’ve been watching my representatives in the government let their opponents punch them below the belt for years. And when the Tea Party formed to fight back, above board, the IRS shut them down. So now you get an even bigger asshole that no one likes just to burn it all down.

At this rate democrats in Congress will be supporting State’s Rights, Freedom of Speech, the 2nd Amendment, restraint of Executive power, and taking their duties back from the bureaucracy the ceded it to. Hell, they’ll be against affirmative action next.


#1532

So if a US President can have alternative facts, does that mean I can buy things with alternative money?


#1533

If anyone takes it.

Look at Bitcoin.


#1534

So, it looks like the main stream media, and Nancy Pelosi, have realized that Antifa is violent. A new poll must have come out, likely turns out that beating people with flag poles isn’t a demographic winning move.

All those comments a couple weeks ago would fit in just fine with what people are saying now. All those comments for a couple years now, and if you include the Black Block crap going back a couple decades, are all of a sudden appropriate. The far left is violent.

And since it’s progressives saying it, no one is calling them racists and Nazi lovers. Even though up until less than a week ago people were still squawking that calling antifa violent meant you were a Nazi. Memory holed, all of it.


#1535

Interesting to see an alternate take on the situation.

If I could, I would. It was not Socialist, and like you say it was closer to a dictatorship; however he was elected and re-elected. It was a leftist democracy of sorts, with a populist socialist front. But when a majority of the capital is still privately owned and where the people have no access even through taxation to that bubble of wealth, then there’s no Socialism.

Although the concept of Socialism and/or Communism being oppressive is very… American, if I may say. Also, I would counter that by agreeing, in theory, yes that tens of millions died. However, youtuber Badmouse has quite an informed video on this very subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnIsdVaCnUE - even if you disagree, there’s plenty of handy information in the video. And yes, he does go on tangents, but most are entirely relevant.

In an over-arching rebuttal, I could claim that we’ve never had a Communist state, which is technically true under the actual definition of Communism (Socialism is harder to disclaim because a great many tribal societies are technically Socialist in the abstract, although not in the whole). Russia and China were never Communist due to the total lack of free elections within the worker’s system, and the State owned the property not the workers unions (Russia’s implementation would be in theory the middle step between Imperialism and Communism, however they never yielded to the workers and therefore never became actual Communist). Simply put; by having a Party that was separate from the Union, the people were never and would never be in actual control.

TL;DR: You’re absolutely right, this has led to tens of millions of deaths because they were, in fact, dictatorships in disguise, just like a majority of South American countries throughout the twentieth century until now.

As an aside, I would also like to point out that having a Socialist party ruling in a Capitalist society does not make that country Socialist. Sure, they will tax the rich more to provide to the poor, but the fact that the rich still exist and the private sector is still where the money is made prevent it from being a Socialist country. This is why left-leaning countries such as Sweden will often be branded Socialist as a general term, however they’re still bound by the Capitalist society which makes them, you guessed it, just a regular capital-driven country that happens to focus more on providing for the people and less on profiteering. I guess you could call it a Social Democracy rather than a Socialist State.


#1536

I had to come back to this after having a think, hence separate comment. Sorry for WOTing.

The violence isn’t necessary. I can actually use Britain as a good example of this, with the establishment of the social welfare system after WWII. Whilst it is currently being dismantled by Conservatives claiming the American system makes more sense (and at the same time, more and more people in America are pro universal healthcare saying that the American system doesn’t work), when it was established it was a true step towards actual Socialism and it was entirely death-free (the political change I mean, obviously not the war). We made healthcare universal, we set up the safety net so that if you became unemployed you would still have a liveable income until you found your next job, and introduced an entire employment infrastructure to assist in the finding of jobs¹. We nationalised the railways, the coal, the gas, the electricity, the water, the telecommunications²; primary, secondary and tertiary education were made free to access.

This led to the British version of the Baby Boomers. Everyone had access to everything at cheap rates regulated heavily by government. Everyone became more affluent³. The Workers Unions worked hard to ensure that people were catered for by their employers by whatever means they needed.

And then the 1970s came, and brought the Conservatives. I’m not going to lie, I don’t know much about Conservatism in the USA, but in the UK Conservative = Capitalist with no exceptions. The Conservatives wanted to expand on the free market idea, and hated the nationalised utilities because “they cost people too much” or “they were a burden on a government that could do more with the money elsewhere”. So they privatised. And we had the General Strikes as a rebuttal. The government lifted restrictions on housing conditions, on working conditions, and in some cases simply removed employment options due to sheer stubbornness.

We’ve not recovered from what the Conservatives did to us in the 70s, 80s and now. Their “Austerity” plan to cut national debt has seen public services close and now our last nationalised institution - the NHS - is about to be privatised. Are people better off in 2017 than they were in 1960? Hell no. There’s a shortage of housing because the Tories cut housing spending to the point we can’t house everyone. The railway network is an international joke to the point that the Germans are more than two thirds of the way to nationalising it for us, but taking all the profits back to Germany (Deutsch Bahn own Arriva, who in turn own more than two thirds of the railway firms in the UK). Water bills increase in price each year at twice the rate of inflation. We barely grow our own crops anymore because it’s too expensive to not use arable land for anything that isn’t going to be exported, such as oilseed and sugar beets. Our electrical network is so underfunded that several places that used to be connected to the national grid are now powered by diesel generators because it’s cheaper to import diesel than for the company to repair the power lines.

Oh, and did I mention that during our current “Austerity” plans, our national debt has more than tripled? Where has all the money gone? Could it be tax cuts? Or maybe it was when we started paying G4S to run our prisons privately at more than 800% than the prisons had previously cost to run (fun fact: our Prime MInister’s husband owns G4S!).

Sorry to go all ranty there. I just wanted to show that Capitalism really does suck sometimes. Especially considering what we had before under the social democracy of the 40s, 50s and 60s. And yes, I know the Tories were occasionally in power during those periods - but they wouldn’t have dared to change any legislation back then, because of the sincere political support from everyone who saw their lives improved, including their own (because hey, paying for school and hospital sucks, right?).

To close: here is how far right, and how much more capital-driven the Conservatives have become since the 1940s: it was a Conservative who introduced most of our welfare state. While Atley (also Tory) invented the NHS, it was the great fat man Churchill himself who introduced the keystones for what became our sadly all too short lived social democracy.

What killed it; was it a coup, was it violence? No. It was Capitalism and the deep intertwining of modern Conservatism.


¹ on a weird note, our local Jobcentre got raided by bailiffs after the government forgot to pay rent for six months.
² except Kingston-Upon-Hull, where Kingston Telecom has a monopoly on telecoms and always has
³ this is generalised I know, but through the introduction of social policies, the number of people below the poverty line was shrank to such a small percentage it may as well be discounted.


#1537

@Nabiki can you move those two to Politics Is Stupid, please :slight_smile: I don’t want to be dragging everyone down with this haha!


#1538

Done! :tada:


#1539

The idea of a social safety net fits in with conservative, and capitalist, ideas just fine. The idea of a social hammock does not. Even Rand believed in Enlightened Self Interest. This is what pays for schools, roads, fire departments, and the police. Most of which actually benefit the rich more than the poor.

The European view of Capitalism seems to think that it would leave starving children on the streets and put as many people out of work as possible. But poor starving people don’t buy Godiva chocolate, or Coffee, or T-shirts with clever sayings on them. They point to the excesses of the initial industrial revolution, thinking that people then are the same as people now, the same people who thought a slightly bigger nose or exposed forehead meant they were born for the lower classes are the same as today.

I would venture to say that that’s not really austerity then. Obviously the cuts weren’t effective, or in the right place. The whole point of austerity is to reduce the debt, not raise it.

Why does the government have to pay for people’s housing? If you don’t hand everything to the government to take care of then they won’t fuck it up. Are you sure there isn’t a shortage of housing because of draconian neighborhood standards and building codes? See San Francisco for examples here.

Private farmers decide to grow profit making crops and this is an issue? Should food be more expensive so it makes sense to grow it at home? (On this point I could really see a nationally funded program to at least make sure farmers know how to grow food crops in case of national emergency, kind of like the US and steel production.)

I think you have the chicken and the egg reversed here. The successes prior to socialism paid those bills, and putting in place the free stuff killed the success.

And I’d state categorically that the average person today (in the US/UK) is better off than the average person in 1960. Poor people in countries like the US and the UK die of rich people diseases according to people in the 60’s. Have luxuries only the wealthy had in the 60’s, and 99% of the stigma related to living on the dole is gone as well, which is good considering being poor has been subsidized by the governments of both countries for decades. And you always get more of what you subsidize.

What’s gotten worse is the destruction of marriage as a social glue, and the importance of a family to children. The statistics showing the wealth gap between married and unmarried couples are insane. I’m sure going forward that will play out in gay marriage in the states as well. I’d also say quite a few people in both of our countries have lost their self respect and their respect for their culture and country. Saying someone is a hard worker is an insult in some places now.

Yet, even though every time someone tries to do it it ends up the same, no matter the starting circumstances. People keep saying that they didn’t try hard enough, or didn’t do it quite right. Even though at the start it’s glorious and everything is going great, it’s not outed as not-socialism until the bodies start being found.

If I show you a cure for cancer, and it’s the best cure ever, and it will fix any type of cancer if it’s done right… and then I proceed to try this cure, and it kills the whole family and some of the friends of the person with cancer would you try to stop me from trying it again? And fight anyone who tries to do it themselves? Even though, if applied perfectly it will cure someone of cancer? Let’s say I’ve tried this and killed 150 million people… would you let someone else try it again?


#1540

You’re right, in a sense. However, these are not welfare, nor are they paid from the tax that funds welfare (local services are funded by Council Tax, welfare is a proportion of Income Tax). Schools here are also being privatised at a dangerous rate to the point we’re soon not going to have free-to-access primary (elementary) or secondary (middle and high) schools. And we won’t see a reduction in our taxes because reasons. Oh, and so is the police. To G4S. A company that our Prime Minister’s husband owns.

And how right you are! Nobody here believes this sh¡t except the Tory Loyalists. They have cut public spending by hundreds of millions of pounds, and the debt keeps on going up. I could go on a rant about the £10bn cheque our government just wrote to the King of Saudi Arabia but if I open that can of worms we’ll be here until I have to call Apple and see if the warranty covers typing on the keyboard until the keys bleed.

My point being that this is all part of their plan. They say they’re trying to stabilise the country. All they’re stabilising is… well I hate to say it, but their comrades in the big corporations that have zero vested interest in humans and all the vested interest in money.

Because there is literally zero private investment in housing because it suits the estate managers just fine for rent and house prices to spiral out of control. Why spend £150m on a housing estate when you can raise the rent on all your tenants at once? They can’t afford to buy because the housing shortage has put up house prices to ridiculous levels. So the Government literally has to step in to pay the estates to build houses, otherwise they simply won’t do it.

Ha. Actually the opposite. The Tories are currently removing so many building codes and simply ignoring others that recently a tower block in London caught fire killing almost 100 residents because the estate that owned it decided the building was ugly and covered it in polythene panels with an aluminium frontage. They spent the money that was supposed to go on fire alarms on it. And well, yeah. This isn’t an isolated incident. There’s another 228 buildings where they spent fire alarm money on flammable decorations.

Private farmers are not technically private. Farming in the UK hasn’t been profitable since the 1970s, so we have Government subsidies designed to pay farmers to grow crops for use in the UK. So Average Joe gets part of his income tax used to pay farmers to make private profit on fuel crops that aren’t used in the UK. Weird how farmers almost universally vote Conservative, considering Labour has repeatedly tried to change this so they only get subsidy for growing products that remain in the UK…

I’ll forgive you for not knowing Victorian and Interwar history for the UK, because it’s something that even we ourselves have stripped from the Curriculum (what remains of it, anyway). You know the stereotype barber pole with the red and white stripes? That’s because if you couldn’t afford hospital, you went to a barber shop because they had sharp tools and generally kept things clean. The red and white stripes are bandages over a wound. Mortality rates in the UK before universal healthcare weren’t high because there were no hospitals, they were because average income at the time was just about enough to afford break and milk. We’re actually returning to that now, thanks to zero-hour¹ contracts.

I could point to a million examples for why that isn’t true, but instead I’ll just use a “me versus my parents” direct comparison using figures I know by hand.
• Cost for my parents to attend school and college: £0
• Cost for me: £34,195 (so far, the interest is higher than my repayments because I’m on basic income).
• Amount of tax my parents paid at my age: VAT (sales tax) 7.5%, income tax 15%
• Amount of tax I (and they) pay right now: VAT 20%, income tax 22.5%
• Average interest on a basic, non-paid bank account for my parents: 5% monthly
• Actual interest on my basic, non-paid account: 0.5% annually
• Percentage of my parents income spent on rent (when they rented) <10%
• Percentage of my income spent on rent (I rented until 2014) >60%.

Yeah, those last figures are skewed by rising house prices. Didn’t I just talk about that?

This is where the USA and the UK differ vastly. Due to continuous propaganda from the Tory Austerity Wagon since 2010, people on the dole are literally considered vermin. If you don’t have a job, then you’re just some layabout who smokes and drinks dole money away instead of trying to find a job (did I mention the economic crash of 2008, made worse in the UK by the simultaneous crash of the mortgage market which made estates even less likely to build more housing – yeah I’ll shut up about that now, my point is made).

This escalated to the point where there have been physical assaults against disabled people by idiots who believe the propaganda. “Oh, get out that wheelchair, you’re just faking”, “MS isn’t a real disease”, “You can still type can’t you? Why not get a typing job?”. People have been beaten to death by scum who simply refuse to believe their disabilities.

Per inflation or per capita or per average earnings, whatever way you look at it, the dole has been reduced in the UK year on year since the Tories took office in 2010 as part of their Austerity bullsh¡t. Getting on the dole is harder too. And if you don’t jump through hoops, you get your payments suspended. This has literally led to people starving to death in the countryside, because you only get food banks in the cities, and if you can’t afford a couple meals worth of food, then you certainly can’t afford bus fare here in the UK. Oh, and since 2014 food bank usage has gone up by over 400%.

Some fun facts:
• Single person jobseekers allowance per week £70 if you’re over 21
• Under 21? Here’s £40
• SupermarketSweep figures from July 2017 for single person average shopping basket per week £63
• USwitch figures from May 2017 for single person one bedroom flat weekly electric and gas £47
• Current petrol price per litre £1.14 (converted to USGal $8.07/gal)
• Current price of a ten mile day-return bus journey based on local Arriva pricing £8.50

I’m not touching this. This is not the time nor the place for the “breakdown of society mirroring the breakdown of family values” argument. Also, being gay myself, I’m having to fight my partner from typing a rebuttal in point 72 extra bold…

I don’t see any importance on country boundaries. I see an importance in people. I couldn’t give two sh¡ts about respecting my country right now. Who cares what flag is on the pole if you’ve got police raiding the pizza shop on suspicion that the dark-skinned fellow might be a terrorist? (Oh yeah, we’re doing that by the way. Just raiding houses and businesses on the off-chance that someone with brown skin and a beard has a USB stick with “secret ISIS plans” written on it in crayon).

A majority of these cases have outside interference either through imperialist, capitalist, or fascist forces. Sure it’s not always capitalism, and it’s more commonly imperialist or nationalist, but still, an overwhelming majority of Socialist communes suffer the same fate as the original Paris Commune; suddenly, soldiers from an external army appear, or there’s a coup backed by ~mysterious foreign forces~ … Sure, Russia collapsed under its own weight and was a complete dictatorship for most of the time we called it Communist, but say do you think the average Russian is better off in Putin’s hands? (What is the maximum number of terms someone can be Russian President? Oh, Putin changed that number to suit himself? Marvellous!)

I’ll respectfully disagree. The only genuine example of Socialism I can think of to hand right now would be Rojava, and well it’s only a matter of time before ISIS get pushed out of the way enough for the local occupying forces (Russia, UK, USA et al) realise that Rojava has some oil people that need “liberating”…

As to your closing paragraph, I get what you mean. I do. And I understand your perspective. But from my perspective, as a worker on minimum wage in a country that’s rapidly slipping off towards insanity, I will always try the alternative, especially if that alternative means workers rights, fair pay, fair taxation, and universal rights for all citizens (not just the favourite, rich, generally white and Conservative-voting ones).


¹ zero hour contract: You are employed, but you’re not guaranteed any hours. At all. You are paid only for the hours you work. When in a zero-hours contract, you cannot also have a second job because you might be called at any moment and given your mandatory 60 minutes notice that you’re required in work. Usually places that employ people on zero-hour contracts are huge corporations in the retail/consumer industry. There’s also no limit on the number of times they can call you in and send you home on the day, and no reimbursement for if you’ve had to spend money to get to work only to be told your shift has been given to somebody else. These contracts are virtually slavery.


#1541

In a Capitalist society spiraling housing costs would bring new vendors to the market with lower prices and better product. Why let someone else control the market when you can get in there and get your piece. You see issues like this where the cost of development is artificially high, usually through regulatory capture. It’s in the interest of every landlord and property owner to push for regulations to control the price of entry into the market, the more building codes and hoops to jump through the better for them.

I think this paragraph right here shows our prime difference. If there is that much demand there has to be something stopping new development. Every monopoly not government backed will eventually be broken by someone. I don’t know much about the UK housing market, but New York City and other places in the US have the same issue, and every time I dig into them it’s the cost of entry and development that keeps prices up. A permit for this, a study for that, another permit, then renew the permit because the approval for the survey took too long, then a traffic study, then another permit, and so on.

Interesting, the story I had heard was it was a community/government/owner council that approved the facade and that it was installed to meet green insulation standards, They were aware of the lack of alarms but had decided that meeting the green standards first was more important.

I know this one, and it was in the US as well. That or the horse doctor. .

I knew your orientation and that’s why I added it. And I’d say as a gay couple the two of you are better off than you’d be on your own. That was my point, marriage doesn’t necessarily lead to better economic outcomes because of children or the desire for them, I think it works because it’s a legal partnership and it’s easier to get through things as part of a team.

Except that isn’t how it happens. Did outside forces create the killing fields in Cambodia? Did outside forces destroy the Nigerian famers? Did outside forces start the cultural revolution in China?

I can agree in principal that pure communism sounds great, hey, we all do what we can and we help those that can’t. But people aren’t equal. Person X is not worth the same as Person Y. And the value of any given person is different based on who you ask. To a short person in the store I’m valuable because of my height, to a basketball team I’m worthless. So as those values shift and change some people are either going to fight their way to the top of that heap or get pushed there and start running it. And those people will be flawed. And then starts hell.

We as human beings are not capable of this yet. Maybe in 50 years it will all fall into place, but I doubt it. Because there will be scarcity, and if something is scarce, then you have to control access and that means someone will take charge. Even if food, clothing and housing is supplied, there will still be limited beach fronts, mountain tops, and penthouse apartments.

That should be illegal. If they are requiring your time they should pay you… or people should refuse to work that way. (I know, easier said than done)

As far as the stigma of benefits. I wasn’t advocating for the beating and abuse of people on the dole. But in some parts of American society not only is it OK to be on benefits, it’s bragged on how much you are puling in and how little you are doing for it.

The image an American see when they see Socialism is the government being able to make all your decisions for you. Where you live, how big your house is, if you can even have a house, or kids, or what medical care you can get, or what town you can live in. Anything the government gets involved in they can then dictate. What kind of cars can be bought or sold, who can build them, etc. Why would I want the government telling me what I’m allowed to do and where I can do it? Remove the incentives from life and what’s the point?