Future of the Democratic Party


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Irontruth wrote:
Just curious, what political decision making process do you envision to enact the will of the people after the worker's revolution?

Wait...someone has to govern? ;-)

Seriously though, while I admire Anklebiter's dedication to the cause, I have serious doubts when it comes to practicality.


Dicey the House Goblin wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Random Paizo Politroll Nostalgia

It's kind of amazing that five years later, it's pretty much the same posters saying the same things to each other. On the other hand, it becomes obvious that these conversations aren't a complete waste of time. For example, I would never have voted at all in 2012. So yay! for you, although, I consider this a rightward drift on my part.

Can't believe I'm letting you liberals rub off on me.

As I said at the time, I'm calling that one a win, Doodles.

I'm amazed at the things you find amazing; you were also amazed at the number of posters in this thread, weren't you? I mean, why would you be amazed that the thread has a small number of participants, or that we have the same opinions that we did then? Those two things sort of exemplify the function of internet message boards IMNSHO.

I was blown away that so few posters were making so much noise. I was, later, amazed that the random page I found (which turned out to be very little about Obama's offers to cut social spending and more about guns, probably should have included the post number in the url)) that almost every one on that page that hasn't disappeared or been permabanned is in this one. I find it amazing that in five years we haven't found anything better to do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Dicey the House Goblin wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Random Paizo Politroll Nostalgia

It's kind of amazing that five years later, it's pretty much the same posters saying the same things to each other. On the other hand, it becomes obvious that these conversations aren't a complete waste of time. For example, I would never have voted at all in 2012. So yay! for you, although, I consider this a rightward drift on my part.

Can't believe I'm letting you liberals rub off on me.

As I said at the time, I'm calling that one a win, Doodles.

I'm amazed at the things you find amazing; you were also amazed at the number of posters in this thread, weren't you? I mean, why would you be amazed that the thread has a small number of participants, or that we have the same opinions that we did then? Those two things sort of exemplify the function of internet message boards IMNSHO.

I was blown away that so few posters were making so much noise. I was, later, amazed that the random page I found (which turned out to be very little about Obama's offers to cut social spending and more about guns, probably should have included the post number in the url)) that almost every one on that page that hasn't disappeared or been permabanned is in this one. I find it amazing that in five years we haven't found anything better to do.

Well people interested in politics but also interested in RPGS enough to post on Paizo is going to be a limited group without a lot of turnover

Speaking of RPGs and politics, I totally had a nerdy discussion earlier talking about the new trump budget plan and recent Trump stuff in DnD terms. Clearly the only way to eliminate disease while cutting 6 billion from NIH is lots of cure light wounds (I would say moderate and more, but clearly the GOP healthcare plan is going to cap the amount of healing you can get to 1 D8).

Sovereign Court

Irontruth wrote:

The parties aren't just Pence, Trump and Obama. You also have thousands of governors, state legislators, etc. Around the country, states considering/passing bathroom bills are Republican controlled states. Trump cabinet members are already beginning the process of rescinding departmental rules changes that treated LGBTQ people equally. There were quite a few non-law rule changes that were made the past 8 years and Republicans are all too happy to rescind those changes.

So, do we agree the parties are significantly different on this issue? I'll let you pick, either switch to a new issue (your choice) or continue debating this one.

There is a reason for people to vote democrat, last election I said that if I'd been in a purple state I'd have voted for Clinton, but this isn't exactly significantly difference, this is just a lack of human decency, to me a significantly different would be one of the Middle Eastern countries where homosexuals need to fear for their lives. As much as I despise the republican position I don't think many of them would be okay with mobs killing people. It's a reason not to vote republican but it's not exactly a night and day difference.


Guy Humual wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

The parties aren't just Pence, Trump and Obama. You also have thousands of governors, state legislators, etc. Around the country, states considering/passing bathroom bills are Republican controlled states. Trump cabinet members are already beginning the process of rescinding departmental rules changes that treated LGBTQ people equally. There were quite a few non-law rule changes that were made the past 8 years and Republicans are all too happy to rescind those changes.

So, do we agree the parties are significantly different on this issue? I'll let you pick, either switch to a new issue (your choice) or continue debating this one.

There is a reason for people to vote democrat, last election I said that if I'd been in a purple state I'd have voted for Clinton, but this isn't exactly significantly difference, this is just a lack of human decency, to me a significantly different would be one of the Middle Eastern countries where homosexuals need to fear for their lives. As much as I despise the republican position I don't think many of them would be okay with mobs killing people. It's a reason not to vote republican but it's not exactly a night and day difference.

But using that standard, there's not really a "significant difference" between modern Democrats and FDR Democrats or the Canadian left either.

We're not at "mobs killing people" at either end.

And you might want to talk to some trans people or look into things like rates of LGBTQ teen homelessness and suicide. There aren't mobs killing people, but the death toll is still high.

Sovereign Court

MMCJawa wrote:

Exactly...I keep having points I want to make but you and TheJeff make them so much better for me.

You have to consider the overall consensus of the party, and what they have supported, and the context of that support. The republicans fought tooth and nail before and somewhat afterward the Supreme Court Decision regarding gay marriage. Losing at the Supreme Court level deflated their ability to do much on this front. As far as the recent fight goes, the democrats overall were instead very supportive of the gay marriage fight.

Some of that is appealing to their base though, getting people riled up is kind of their thing, and wedge issues are how they get poor people to vote against their own interests. George W Bush certainly appealed to folks in the bible belt, not sure how much legislation they got, but certainly he appealed to that group. I don't think things are going to be easy for any minority groups over the next four years, but are they going to try to restrict marriage? Things are bad for the trans community in certain states, would the republicans try to roll some of that legislation out on a national stage? Things aren't going to get better for the LBGTQ community over the next four years, but will things get significantly worse?

Liberty's Edge

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Trump's proposed budget has been announced.

Shock of shockers... it would massively decrease funding for the rural white portions of the country which put him in office. That said, it is SO extreme that it has little chance of getting enough votes to pass... despite GOP control of congress.

Sovereign Court

thejeff wrote:

But using that standard, there's not really a "significant difference" between modern Democrats and FDR Democrats or the Canadian left either.

We're not at "mobs killing people" at either end.

Correct, it's why I have some faith in humanity at the end of the day. In Canada I was upset to have Harper win a minority government, and he was bad in a lot of ways, but even he couldn't roll back our marriage equality,

thejeff wrote:

And you might want to talk to some trans people or look into things like rates of LGBTQ teen homelessness and suicide. There aren't mobs killing people, but the death toll is still high.

Right, and life was only miserable under Bush, the eight years of Clinton before that didn't have any legislation that made people afraid of disclosing their sexuality or else lose their jobs.

I'm glad Obama "evolved" on the issue, I'm glad that he instructed the DoJ to stop defending DOMA, but let's not pretend that the Dems have been saints on this issue. This has been one of the greatest social changes I've witnessed in my lifetime, and again, it restores my faith in humanity, but both sides in the past have been pretty terrible. The democrats, in theory, should be more sympathetic to these things, but there's been a number of prominent republicans, including Dick Chaney of all people, who have also been on the correct side of history on this one issue. Life is going to miserable if you're in a red state, but thankfully we're still evolving as a society, and society may well evolve to the point where even republicans can't use this as a wedge issue.

Liberty's Edge

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Guy Humual wrote:
...but let's not pretend that the Dems have been saints on this issue.

There is an old saw that Democracy is the worst form of government... except for all the others.

That's similar to how I think of the Democrats. They're the worst US political party... except for all the others.

I don't need the Democrats to be saints. It'd be great if they were, but even with all their flaws they have unquestionably accomplished more 'good' (during my lifetime) than all the other US political parties combined.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Guy Humual wrote:


I'm glad Obama "evolved" on the issue, I'm glad that he instructed the DoJ to stop defending DOMA, but let's not pretend that the Dems have been saints on this issue. This has been one of the greatest social changes I've witnessed in my lifetime, and again, it restores my faith in humanity, but both sides in the past have been pretty terrible. The democrats, in theory, should be more sympathetic to these things, but there's been a number of prominent republicans, including Dick Chaney of all people, who have also been on the correct side of history on this one issue. Life is going to miserable if you're in a red state, but thankfully we're still evolving as a society, and society may well evolve to the point where even republicans can't use this as a wedge issue.

Again, you seem to be super willing to give Republicans a pass on things but then blaming democrats? Why is it okay for republicans to do and say whatever they want, but if democrats said something ten years ago that makes them horrible, or if one senator said something bad the whole party sucks.

And you have a very "broad" definition of okay. I feel like your logic as applied is basically "Hey, it's okay if black people are more likely to be shot by police, at least they are not slaves".

On a different track, the EPA is looking at a 30% budget cut, which is going to result in huge rollbacks to environmental protections. A democrat controlled congress would never let that pass, but it's very likely to go through thanks to Republicans. If you want a more progressive US congress, here's a hint: Allowing the country to take 5 steps back every time Republicans are not in control, and democrats constantly fighting just to bring back protections and taxation to the level it was before the cuts, is only going to lead the country to drift further to the right.

Sovereign Court

CBDunkerson wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
...but let's not pretend that the Dems have been saints on this issue.

There is an old saw that Democracy is the worst form of government... except for all the others.

That's similar to how I think of the Democrats. They're the worst US political party... except for all the others.

I don't need the Democrats to be saints. It'd be great if they were, but even with all their flaws they have unquestionably accomplished more 'good' (during my lifetime) than all the other US political parties combined.

I agree with this assessment. Their are other parties that are more progressive on paper but as the US remains a two party system the Dems are the best of the worst.


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The republican party is don't tax the rich, tax the middle class.

That is a bad plan for 99% of the population.

In order to get people to go along with it, you need to make them stupid.

Easiest way to make people stupid is to make them angry. The only thing that's changed about the right wing is how to do that. Immigrants. Poor people with food. Immigrants with the same god as you but it's totally different because..reasons. huh. Well i guesse it hasn't even changed that much.

Sovereign Court

MMCJawa wrote:


Again, you seem to be super willing to give Republicans a pass on things but then blaming democrats? Why is it okay for republicans to do and say whatever they want, but if democrats said something ten years ago that makes them horrible, or if one senator said something bad the whole party sucks.

And you have a very "broad" definition of okay. I feel like your logic as applied is basically "Hey, it's okay if black people are more likely to be shot by police, at least they are not slaves".

I could never bring myself to vote republican precisely for their poor record on civil rights and human decency, never mind their disinterest in inconvenient science, and the environment.

I agree with the Black Lives Matter movement, black men are being shot at a disproportionate rate, and that has a lot to do with institutional racism as well as police training. However, the big difference between today, and say the 1960s, is that we have camera phones now, and so what used to be a justified police shooting is now being shown as straight up murder. Eric Garner was straight up murdered on film, in New York, a supposed liberal bastion, and the only one to face jail time was the man that filmed it. This has been going on for generations, the minority communities have been saying this for years, but it's only coming to light now thanks to new technology. I think the US is going to have to change how they police before we see any changes.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

The republican party is don't tax the rich, tax the middle class.

That is a bad plan for 99% of the population.

In order to get people to go along with it, you need to make them stupid.

Easiest way to make people stupid is to make them angry. The only thing that's changed about the right wing is how to do that. Immigrants. Poor people with food. Immigrants with the same god as you but it's totally different because..reasons. huh. Well i guesse it hasn't even changed that much.

Don't forget the old classic "People that don't look like you are taking what you deserve".


First up is dealing with the April 28th FY 2017 federal budget funding deadline thanks to the previous Senate kicking the can down the road on 9th December 2016 via continuing resolution.

Then they get to tackle the upcoming FY 2018 budget. What is coming out now is the proposed budget. What survives Congress is probably not going to resemble what was submitted.

The current Congress is already showing strong signs of not being all that happy with the proposed FY 2018 budget.

Of note is that the proposed budget addresses only the discretionary spending segment of the federal budget. Most of the budget which handles entitlement spending remains untouched. For now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Guy Humual wrote:
...but let's not pretend that the Dems have been saints on this issue.

They haven't, on this or on many other issues. They've been, generally speaking, less bad.

When the choice is between "less bad" and "really freaking awful," I tend to choose "less bad" over "hold my breath until something ideal turns up." (You can read that as "saintly" if you prefer.)


More military spending? I'm pretty ignorant of military policy but a lot of it seems like a money pit. Maybe you guys can convince me it's all not just expensive chest-thumping.

- Air superiority fighters seem so niche, considering dog fights are a thing of history so shelling out 200 million each on so many of them seems silly. Obviously the F-35 is a multipurpose fighter so it's not as guilty of this as the F-22 was but it's price tag is even more hefty.
- Aircraft Carriers seem to fit in with how modern warfare is conducted but their accompaniment of large ships with long guns seems superfluous. How often are those things even fired? What kind of ship-ship combat would even warrant those -- especially considering the plethora of long range options like missiles and air strikes? Furthermore, what navy are we even really competing with? These things have to cost millions in upkeep every year. Are they really necessary?
- The amount of corruption surrounding military spending is astonishing. As someone who thinks white-collar crime is fascinating, I'm blown away by how they get away with this stuff. Artificially boosting costs by playing bidding games with contractors. "Gold plating" leads to wasteful pursuits like 500$ wrenches, the latest big screen tv models, and 1000$ mattresses. The more I read about this the more I feel this spending needs a lot more oversight and accountability.

Now, don't get me wrong. I know damn well no politician is gonna get elected proposing the cuts to military spending I'm talking about. I also know that production and maintenance of these "obelisks of might" means lots of jobs for lots of people. But doing something "cuz jobs" is not a good enough reason in and of itself to justify billions of taxpayer dollars.


Citizen Humual, in the interests of conversation, whereabouts in Canada do you live and how do you vote?

What's the layout of the Canadian Parliament these days? Where's the NDP at? What's Quebec's array of parties look like these days? How's Sexy Trudeau holding up? (All I read is bad stuff, but that shouldn't surprise anyone.) And do all the liberal ladies up there clog your Facebook feed with Sexy Trudeau memes like they do down here? (There's a lot of French Canadian-Americans here in the Merrimack Valley.)

Sovereign Court

thunderspirit wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
...but let's not pretend that the Dems have been saints on this issue.

They haven't, on this or on many other issues. They've been, generally speaking, less bad.

When the choice is between "less bad" and "really freaking awful," I tend to choose "less bad" over "hold my breath until something ideal turns up." (You can read that as "saintly" if you prefer.)

No, I agree with your assessment, I just find it hypocritical to wag your finger at someone if you can't fix the problem yourself. It's why I try not to suggest Canadians are culturally superior to Americans, we have the same problems up here, on a smaller scale because we have a less populated country, but we have similar problems up here.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

I shall attempt to deal with that at a later date, Mad Comrade, either here or there, but for now, amusing labor article for stuffy grammarians:

A court’s decision in a Maine labor dispute hinged on the absence of an Oxford comma

If both parties are against the Oxford comma, well, then, I am against both parties.


Guy Humual wrote:
we have the same problems up here, on a smaller scale because we have a less populated country, but we have similar problems up here.

You have MUCH worse problems than we do. Your beer is $13 a pint.


CBDunkerson wrote:

Trump's proposed budget has been announced.

Shock of shockers... it would massively decrease funding for the rural white portions of the country which put him in office. That said, it is SO extreme that it has little chance of getting enough votes to pass... despite GOP control of congress.

It targets for elimination a lot of GOP popular targets such as the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, PBS, climate programs in the EPA, environmental regulation, What's not for them to like?


Spastic Puma wrote:

More military spending? I'm pretty ignorant of military policy but a lot of it seems like a money pit. Maybe you guys can convince me it's all not just expensive chest-thumping.

- Air superiority fighters seem so niche, considering dog fights are a thing of history so shelling out 200 million each on so many of them seems silly. Obviously the F-35 is a multipurpose fighter so it's not as guilty of this as the F-22 was but it's price tag is even more hefty.
- Aircraft Carriers seem to fit in with how modern warfare is conducted but their accompaniment of large ships with long guns seems superfluous. How often are those things even fired? What kind of ship-ship combat would even warrant those -- especially considering the plethora of long range options like missiles and air strikes? Furthermore, what navy are we even really competing with? These things have to cost millions in upkeep every year. Are they really necessary?
- The amount of corruption surrounding military spending is astonishing. As someone who thinks white-collar crime is fascinating, I'm blown away by how they get away with this stuff. Artificially boosting costs by playing bidding games with contractors. "Gold plating" leads to wasteful pursuits like 500$ wrenches, the latest big screen tv models, and 1000$ mattresses. The more I read about this the more I feel this spending needs a lot more oversight and accountability.

Now, don't get me wrong. I know damn well no politician is gonna get elected proposing the cuts to military spending I'm talking about. I also know that production and maintenance of these "obelisks of might" means lots of jobs for lots of people. But doing something "cuz jobs" is not a good enough reason in and of itself to justify billions of taxpayer dollars.

If you go by Trump's premise, this isn't luxury spending but remedial aid for a military that's falling apart. Ask someone who serves in infrastructure basis and he'll probably give you rhyme and verse how this only partially makes up for Obama's starving the military over the last 8 years, and has left us vulnerable to China's expanding ambitions.


Guy Humual wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

The parties aren't just Pence, Trump and Obama. You also have thousands of governors, state legislators, etc. Around the country, states considering/passing bathroom bills are Republican controlled states. Trump cabinet members are already beginning the process of rescinding departmental rules changes that treated LGBTQ people equally. There were quite a few non-law rule changes that were made the past 8 years and Republicans are all too happy to rescind those changes.

So, do we agree the parties are significantly different on this issue? I'll let you pick, either switch to a new issue (your choice) or continue debating this one.

There is a reason for people to vote democrat, last election I said that if I'd been in a purple state I'd have voted for Clinton, but this isn't exactly significantly difference, this is just a lack of human decency, to me a significantly different would be one of the Middle Eastern countries where homosexuals need to fear for their lives. As much as I despise the republican position I don't think many of them would be okay with mobs killing people. It's a reason not to vote republican but it's not exactly a night and day difference.

You think that...

Party A: We think LGBTQ people should be treated equally.
Party B: We don't think LGBTQ people should be treated equally.

Party A and B are the same? Republicans are trying to introduce legislation that protects "religious freedoms" so that people can use their religion to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals legally.

We're not discussing the Middle-East. We are discussing Democrats and Republicans. Please stick to these two political parties.

Here is the Republican platform on same-sex marriage from the convention last July (which is the party's view on the issue):

Quote:
Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values. We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which in the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a “judicial Putsch” — full of “silly extravagances” — that reduced “the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Storey to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.”

From the Democratic party platform:

Quote:
Democrats applaud last year’s decision by the Supreme Court that recognized that LGBT people—like other Americans—have the right to marry the person they love. But there is still much work to be done. LGBT kids continue to be bullied at school, restaurants can refuse to serve transgender people, and same-sex couples are at risk of being evicted from their homes. That is unacceptable and must change.

I see significant differences between both actions and language surrounding the issue. During her time at the State department, Clinton made it possible for transgender individuals to get their genders changed on their passport. It wasn't even possible to do it before. Clinton oversaw the drafting and passage of the UNHRC Gay Rights Resolution. Yes, the US was late to the party compared to some European countries in allowing same-sex marriage, but since then we actually took a leadership role in helping promote LGBT rights around the world. Have you seen anything that suggests this will continue into the Trump administration?


Drah,

The AARP, the NAACP, a few dozen other groups that have money and you know members that vote.


Thomas Seitz wrote:

Drah,

The AARP, the NAACP, a few dozen other groups that have money and you know members that vote.

The AARP lost over 400,000 members when it endorsed the Affordable Care Act.

The NRA also has money and their members are more enthuisastic about voting. The NAACP's constitutency is one of the larger non-voting segments of the population.


No fair mentioning things Clinton has done. Everyone knows she evil.

Sovereign Court

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Citizen Humual, in the interests of conversation, whereabouts in Canada do you live and how do you vote?

What's the layout of the Canadian Parliament these days? Where's the NDP at? What's Quebec's array of parties look like these days? How's Sexy Trudeau holding up? (All I read is bad stuff, but that shouldn't surprise anyone.) And do all the liberal ladies up there clog your Facebook feed with Sexy Trudeau memes like they do down here? (There's a lot of French Canadian-Americans here in the Merrimack Valley.)

I'm in Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia to be more precise, and I speculate we're mostly like middle America in a lot of ways. Maybe a bit more educated, but a lot of our economy is based on natural resources like fishing. Our Provence is traditionally conservative, with that party doing well on the provincial and national stage but in the previous election we did have an NDP government! However they only had one term before being voted out of office and returned to a minority party. The problem was they moved towards the center, traditional liberal territory, and given a choice between Liberal or Liberal light (aka the NDP) people voted for Liberal.

On the national elections I didn't vote for Trudeau, although he did seem like the less horrible choice, I actually voted for my MP rather than for the party. Quick refresher, in Canada we don't choose our Prime Minister directly, we vote for our Members of Parliament, and whichever party has the most MPs gets to form the government. If you want Trudeau, for example, you vote for your Liberal Party candidate. I didn't particularly like Mulcair, the NDP party leader, but I did love my local MP a lot, and so I'd voted for my MP rather then for a party to decide the PM. Does that make sense?

Canada got our national healthcare under Lester B Pearson's government, which was a minority Liberal government, and was probably due to Tommy Douglas, leader of the NDP, who were voting with the Liberals to keep them in power. Tommy was formally Premier (similar to a Governor) of Saskatchewan and it was there that what we've come to know as Medicare was first enacted. Tommy went to Parliament and helped to enacted it on a national level. Tommy Douglas recently won a poll naming him the greatest Canadian. The following year Pearson resigned as leader of the Liberals and his Justice Minister, Pierre Eliot Trudeau took over as leader. Most of the changes Pearson and Douglass enacted in that minority government were felt under Trudeau, and so next election Trudeau won a majority government.

With all that understood: people have fond memories of Trudeau (senior), which is why his son, Justin Trudeau will have a relatively smooth ride for a few more years, baring any major fork ups, even if he is behaving like a typical NeoLiberal by sacrificing the environment for economic reasons. He's been talking about very progressive things though, changing our government from a First Past the Post System (which can lead to situations like your presidential election), to a more European Proportional Representation, and finally the legalization of marijuana in Canada, which amazingly still isn't a thing, but enforcement of marijuana laws have been relaxed over the years. I don't actually expect he'll move to a proportional system though, he got less then 40% of the popular vote but managed to get 54% of the seats in parliament. Switching to a proportional system would likely mean only minority governments from here on out. I'd be fine with that, as I've explained earlier we got Medicare under a minority government, but I doubt the party in charge is going to sacrifice control like that. As to legalization, on that front I'm very hopeful, the PM himself was rumored to have lit up after the election win.

Full disclosure: I've only once smoked pot in my life, it was a pleasant experience but I'm not super keen on trying it again, my support for legalization has more to do with economic factors. I don't think police resources should be used to enforce a ban on a relatively harmless and potentially helpful substance.

Okay, that's enough rambling about my geographically large but populationally small country. Back to the democrats.

Sovereign Court

Irontruth wrote:

You think that...

Party A: We think LGBTQ people should be treated equally.
Party B: We don't think LGBTQ people should be treated equally.

Party A and B are the same?

Did I say they're the same? I said not dissimilar, which can mean similar, but even similar does not mean the same.


Spastic Puma wrote:

More military spending? I'm pretty ignorant of military policy but a lot of it seems like a money pit. Maybe you guys can convince me it's all not just expensive chest-thumping.

- Air superiority fighters seem so niche, considering dog fights are a thing of history so shelling out 200 million each on so many of them seems silly. Obviously the F-35 is a multipurpose fighter so it's not as guilty of this as the F-22 was but it's price tag is even more hefty.
- Aircraft Carriers seem to fit in with how modern warfare is conducted but their accompaniment of large ships with long guns seems superfluous. How often are those things even fired? What kind of ship-ship combat would even warrant those -- especially considering the plethora of long range options like missiles and air strikes? Furthermore, what navy are we even really competing with? These things have to cost millions in upkeep every year. Are they really necessary?
- The amount of corruption surrounding military spending is astonishing. As someone who thinks white-collar crime is fascinating, I'm blown away by how they get away with this stuff. Artificially boosting costs by playing bidding games with contractors. "Gold plating" leads to wasteful pursuits like 500$ wrenches, the latest big screen tv models, and 1000$ mattresses. The more I read about this the more I feel this spending needs a lot more oversight and accountability.

Now, don't get me wrong. I know damn well no politician is gonna get elected proposing the cuts to military spending I'm talking about. I also know that production and maintenance of these "obelisks of might" means lots of jobs for lots of people. But doing something "cuz jobs" is not a good enough reason in and of itself to justify billions of taxpayer dollars.

I'm not really a pro-military person, but I understand the issue to a degree, so I'll do what I can.

1. Air superiority fighters - agreed, this area has been a boondoggle. The airplanes have largely not delivered on promised capabilities. Do we need a newer, better airplane? Maybe not right now, but eventually, probably. This crop of new planes has failed, so you're pretty much right.

2. The Navy doesn't really use long guns any more. A few cruisers and destroyers have a couple guns, but largely they rely on missile systems. Battleships are extinct. The Zumwalt-class destroyer has an expensive gun on it, but the destroyer has largely been cancelled and the three remaining ships are having the expensive guns replaced. Based on my own personal naval experience, some form of artillery is useful and it cannot be on an aircraft carrier (it just doesn't work, form wise). The ships are there to protect from other naval threats, to which aircraft carriers are actually quite vulnerable to. The Persian Gulf and particularly the Straits of Hormuz is an especially vulnerable location and smaller ships with closer range weapons (line of sight) are required in situations like that.

3. The costs of specific items is poorly reported and largely urban myth. One has to remember that first off, some items for the military are built to a standard that doesn't need to be met in the civilian world. Like those green-scale monitors for radar screens, those are built so that you could drop them from the side of a mountain, dust it off and plug it back in. They're built to withstand massive EMP blasts as well. That makes them pretty expensive. Also, on some budgets, costs are estimated, but instead of estimating, they just total it and average it out. So if your shopping list is 10 things, with a median cost of $500, then even the cheapest item is listed at $500, but the most expensive is also listed at $500. Sometimes there is fraud as well, but it's not as easily apparent to civilians as you expect, because of the accounting rules. Also, non-material costs, such as management and design, get added to manifests. So if an aircraft has 10,000 parts, and $500,000 in non-material costs, that cost is divided by 10,000 and added to each line item, increasing it's apparent cost by $500. Now, the airframe, which costs $1,000,000, you don't really get surprised by the $1,000,500 costs, but the $25 seat cover which now costs $525 seems ridiculous. Again, you have to know the accounting rules for how costs are itemized on the project.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kung Fu Joe wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
we have the same problems up here, on a smaller scale because we have a less populated country, but we have similar problems up here.
You have MUCH worse problems than we do. Your beer is $13 a pint.

This is the most insightful post regarding Canada, my own included, that I've seen on this site.


Guy Humual wrote:
Kung Fu Joe wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
we have the same problems up here, on a smaller scale because we have a less populated country, but we have similar problems up here.
You have MUCH worse problems than we do. Your beer is $13 a pint.
This is the most insightful post regarding Canada, my own included, that I've seen on this site.

You think that's a travesty, I can't even buy liquor on Sundays! Thanks a lot, baptists...


@ Iron truth: Thanks for your response! My understanding of the #3 issue comes from Simon's "Elite Deviance" book:

"... $7,000 coffee pots, $900 Allen wrenches, $700 toilet seats, and $400 hammers have been well documented."
"... the Boeing Aircraft Corporation delivered eighty-two beds to the Air Force at a cost of $1080 per bed. Standard Air Force beds were usually purchased for around $38 each."

I get what you're saying about costs being misrepresented but how did they fudge the numbers on those mattresses?

You've got the Army Corps of Engineers misplacing 1.3 billion dollars of equipment, the airforce over-reporting the cost of ammunition by 375 fold, and contractors frequently overrunning their costs by up to 800%.
He also discusses pyramiding profits, goldplating, middle-rank officers with no expertise or autonomy overseeing these contracts, etc.


Its like a catch 22. You cant do third party because we are in a two party system. You cant make the party that aligns closer to you, align even closer, because the other party is a bunch of backwards a@#holes.

Sovereign Court

Captain Battletoad wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
Kung Fu Joe wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
we have the same problems up here, on a smaller scale because we have a less populated country, but we have similar problems up here.
You have MUCH worse problems than we do. Your beer is $13 a pint.
This is the most insightful post regarding Canada, my own included, that I've seen on this site.
You think that's a travesty, I can't even buy liquor on Sundays! Thanks a lot, baptists...

That's nothing, in my province it used to be that we couldn't buy anything on Sundays, just a little over a decade ago ALL the stores were closed on Sundays. Admittedly the liqueur store is now open on Sunday, but for only 6 hours or so.


Guy Humual wrote:
Captain Battletoad wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
Kung Fu Joe wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
we have the same problems up here, on a smaller scale because we have a less populated country, but we have similar problems up here.
You have MUCH worse problems than we do. Your beer is $13 a pint.
This is the most insightful post regarding Canada, my own included, that I've seen on this site.
You think that's a travesty, I can't even buy liquor on Sundays! Thanks a lot, baptists...
In my Provence we couldn't buy anything on Sundays, just a little over a decade ago ALL the stores were closed on Sundays.

That was pretty much the case here until the 80s. Now that really only applies to liquor and car sales.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Its like a catch 22. You cant do third party because we are in a two party system. You cant make the party that aligns closer to you, align even closer, because the other party is a bunch of backwards a@#holes.

Well...the second part is not quite right. You can primary out folks in a chosen party for candidates that are closer to your idealogy, assuming you have enough people who agree with you. The tea party did that, and there is a wing of democrats at least threatening to do that.

The important thing is to not take losses personally in the primary to the point you just let the opposing team do what they want.


Spastic Puma wrote:

@ Iron truth: Thanks for your response! My understanding of the #3 issue comes from Simon's "Elite Deviance" book:

"... $7,000 coffee pots, $900 Allen wrenches, $700 toilet seats, and $400 hammers have been well documented."
"... the Boeing Aircraft Corporation delivered eighty-two beds to the Air Force at a cost of $1080 per bed. Standard Air Force beds were usually purchased for around $38 each."

I get what you're saying about costs being misrepresented but how did they fudge the numbers on those mattresses?

You've got the Army Corps of Engineers misplacing 1.3 billion dollars of equipment, the airforce over-reporting the cost of ammunition by 375 fold, and contractors frequently overrunning their costs by up to 800%.
He also discusses pyramiding profits, goldplating, middle-rank officers with no expertise or autonomy overseeing these contracts, etc.

A lot of the stories of extremely high priced normal items are from the 80's. Yes, they're examples of fraud, but they're also over 30 years old.


In my view, thinking the Democrat and Republican parties are very different is falling for an obvious scam. The parties play "good cop" and "bad cop", but they are both cops, working on the same goal. In this case, the goal is serving the interests of the ultra wealthy, at the expense of the middle class and poor, while maintaining the illusion of democracy and voter control.

Issues like LGBT rights, civil rights, gun control, abortion, etc. are tools the parties use to get people to vote against their own interests. Unless there is some serious lobby money, or dedicated group of single issue voters, they don't really care about any of these issues. They care about getting money and power from donors, so they serve the wealthy and powerful.

On the issues that matter most to the vast majority of people, and that the politicians can really enact meaningful change, the parties are almost identical. When it comes to JOBS and the ECONOMY, the parties are fundamentally identical. That is why Neoliberal policies like NAFTA, was Reagan's dream, HW Bush's policy, Clinton's legacy, and has been pushed hard by every president since. They all pick Secretaries of State (Secretaries, State Of?) from the neoliberal, Council of Foreign Relations, and fill economic positions with Goldman Sachs executives. They want a booming, virtually unregulated stockmarket, and a desperate mass of workers. They have the same goals, the same process, and the same results.

Likewise their foreign policies reflect the interests of the ultra wealthy, not the majority of people in the US. They both thrive off of constant war, and use military power like the mafia protecting its economic turf, not for legitimate humanitarian reasons.

All of this is painfully obvious if you just look at where the money in politics comes from, and where it goes. BOTH parties are the champions of inequality, and militarism, with veneers of wedge issues over-layed to distract foolish voters.

If you want inequality and militarism, with a little pretend tug-of-war over some niche issues, vote for either Party, and enjoy your war. If you actually want real change, stop voting for people with no reason to provide it.

EDIT: I should point out that figures like Sanders and Trump fall slightly outside the normal roles that politicians play. That is why they have such friction from within their own party establishments. However, at the end of the day, they seem fairly content to back the establishment of their chosen party.


And if you stop voting, they have even less reason to provide anything. If it's really all "good cop" and "bad cop" scam, then voting or not voting isn't going to change a thing. Nor is voting third party a solution. If it's all that much of a conspiracy, your favorite third party is just playing their role - they're a safety valve, there to diffuse those who think they've seen through the scam and give them a nice safe way to rebel and think they're accomplishing something.

Sczarni

thejeff wrote:

And if you stop voting, they have even less reason to provide anything. If it's really all "good cop" and "bad cop" scam, then voting or not voting isn't going to change a thing. Nor is voting third party a solution. If it's all that much of a conspiracy, your favorite third party is just playing their role - they're a safety valve, there to diffuse those who think they've seen through the scam and give them a nice safe way to rebel and think they're accomplishing something.

^ this.

Probably written with an eye towards satire, but ultimately is the truth of the current situation.

Sovereign Court

thejeff wrote:

And if you stop voting, they have even less reason to provide anything. If it's really all "good cop" and "bad cop" scam, then voting or not voting isn't going to change a thing. Nor is voting third party a solution. If it's all that much of a conspiracy, your favorite third party is just playing their role - they're a safety valve, there to diffuse those who think they've seen through the scam and give them a nice safe way to rebel and think they're accomplishing something.

That's if it's by design and not just the side effect of politicians doing the will of the donor class rather than listening to the will of the people. When there's only two parties it's a lot easier to bribe donate to who you think will do your bidding shares your values. If there's multiple parties it's a lot harder to "use your speech", as described by the Supreme Court, on everyone.


thejeff wrote:

And if you stop voting, they have even less reason to provide anything. If it's really all "good cop" and "bad cop" scam, then voting or not voting isn't going to change a thing. Nor is voting third party a solution. If it's all that much of a conspiracy, your favorite third party is just playing their role - they're a safety valve, there to diffuse those who think they've seen through the scam and give them a nice safe way to rebel and think they're accomplishing something.

Yeah, I think that is why the parties fight so hard against third parties and "insurgent" candidates from Ron Paul to Bernie Sanders. To make sure the Dems and Repubs maintain their duopoly on power. They are also willing to overlook tremendous slights like massive voter disenfranchisement, because the political cartel is more important then an individual victory.

I didn't say not to vote, I just said to stop voting for candidates that are paid vast amounts of money to act against the voters interest. We tried supporting the lesser of two evils election after election. It has failed as a political theory. It resulted in the two most disapproved candidates in history! It results in congressional approval in the teens. It results in a crap system that works poorly for anyone but the top 1 percent (especially top .01 percent!). It has brought the Democratic party to it's lowest point in almost a century, and the Republican party may hold the seats, but it is in poor shape as well. Above all it has put our country at risk of falling prey to the worst aspects of Trumpism, or something far worse.


But this country doesn't have multiple parties. That's not the fault of the two parties fighting so hard against third parties, it's built in to a winner take all first past the post system. If you want multiple parties you need proportional representation, coalition building, parliamentiary systems.
Not that the two parties actually "fight" the third parties so much as ignore and occasionally use them - there have definitely been cases of one party funding third party candidates to drain support from their opponent.

And if one of those third parties somehow go enough support it would replace one of the two and would quickly be co-opted by the "donor class".

Assuming of course that there really is such a good/bad cop scam. Which I think is bull, but if there is then the only path to doing something about it is outside the political system they control.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:

Not that the two parties actually "fight" the third parties so much as ignore and occasionally use them - there have definitely been cases of one party funding third party candidates to drain support from their opponent.

I think if you look at the Democrats lawsuits against Ralph Nader, and other actions, you will find that the parties do indeed fight third parties. The are also a variety of "bi-partisan" organizations such as the debate commission that attempt to squelch third parties in a variety of ways.

For the record, I give thejeff credit for changing my mind about third parties. You have done an excellent job of providing a solid, reasoned argument that caused me to change my previously held beliefs.

Would you say the two parties don't deliberately make things more difficult for third parties, and "outsider" candidates? Do you think that the way candidates are selected is a fair, democratic process?

EDIT: Also, can anyone find me an example of the democrats fighting against crosscheck? Seems like if millions of your potential voters (or millions of voters period) were disenfranchised, that should be a big deal, right?


https://www.amazon.com/Blank-Check-Pentagons-Black-Budget/dp/0446514527


I'm going to fly the aluminum foil hat here for a few minutes. Some words that need to be stated here, Al Beilek, DUMB's, Grays, photoshop, our moon, Bill Cooper, Phil Schnieder (spelling error?), Smithsonian, giants, Truth or Consequences...

and if you do even just a little digging, you come up with this huge vapid spot where the sucking sound comes from. Both parties seem to revel in this place, seems to be just a few families that are staying at the top of this one...

Should I have mentioned anything David Icke? Or does that go too far off topic, because everyone talks about budget and money, military comes into the conversation...there's too much waste here and there...but the people who seem to be orbiting about the top through the generations, they don't let go of their Fairfax homes or palatial estates. They seem stuck around the capitol, sadly. They don't get bumped out if they are voted out.

I posted a link to that book, it was an interesting read back when I first got it. It makes more sense, sadly, today. Why isn't the US GDP an infinite source of cash for the plebes to see? Well, it is, but it's immediately suckled into that gaping hole of inky blackness. It is funneled to something more sinister.

Call me a loon for pointing at the draconic imagery for the last hundred or a thousand years. Call me crazy for smirking when I read about the Pathfinder lost in the caverns of the Serpentfolk...it's either just real good narrative wrapped in insanity, or great watercooler talk for bored cubiclemates. But there's too much of the coincidences and either everyone would want to dance around the issues, or you're just f$%^&*g scared to even think it's close to the truth.


Beercifer wrote:

I'm going to fly the aluminum foil hat here for a few minutes. Some words that need to be stated here, Al Beilek, DUMB's, Grays, photoshop, our moon, Bill Cooper, Phil Schnieder (spelling error?), Smithsonian, giants, Truth or Consequences...

and if you do even just a little digging, you come up with this huge vapid spot where the sucking sound comes from. Both parties seem to revel in this place, seems to be just a few families that are staying at the top of this one...

Should I have mentioned anything David Icke? Or does that go too far off topic, because everyone talks about budget and money, military comes into the conversation...there's too much waste here and there...but the people who seem to be orbiting about the top through the generations, they don't let go of their Fairfax homes or palatial estates. They seem stuck around the capitol, sadly. They don't get bumped out if they are voted out.

I posted a link to that book, it was an interesting read back when I first got it. It makes more sense, sadly, today. Why isn't the US GDP an infinite source of cash for the plebes to see? Well, it is, but it's immediately suckled into that gaping hole of inky blackness. It is funneled to something more sinister.

Call me a loon for pointing at the draconic imagery for the last hundred or a thousand years. Call me crazy for smirking when I read about the Pathfinder lost in the caverns of the Serpentfolk...it's either just real good narrative wrapped in insanity, or great watercooler talk for bored cubiclemates. But there's too much of the coincidences and either everyone would want to dance around the issues, or you're just f$%^&*g scared to even think it's close to the truth.

Oh ho! Confused would we!?!


thejeff wrote:
Assuming of course that there really is such a good/bad cop scam. Which I think is bull, but if there is then the only path to doing something about it is outside the political system they control.

Hear! Hear!

Sovereign Court

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Assuming of course that there really is such a good/bad cop scam. Which I think is bull, but if there is then the only path to doing something about it is outside the political system they control.
Hear! Hear!

You see that thejeff? You're encouraging anarchy.

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