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The Magistrate

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 84,457

Journal Archives

A Short Note On The Democratic Party And The Progressive Left....

I think it is quite fair to say the Democratic Party is not an ideal medium for securing a variety of progressive and left-rooted measures, and I do not, personally, view it as such.

It is, however, and however unfortunately, and however imperfect an instrument for it, the only tool available at present, in our political system as it is actually constituted.

Accepting that there is an imperfect fit between the Democratic Party and the furthest aims of left and progressive people, several things must be acknowledged.

First, it has to be acknowledged that left and progressive people really do not have solid ground to proclaim they and only they are true Democrats, or are the real base of the Democratic Party, and that people who are left of center or center-left or even centerists are not really Democrats.

Second, left and progressive people need to consider whether the tactic of attacking people who are perhaps a bit to the right of them, though generally well to the left of a national average, or of the average in the locale where they reside, as rightists who do not belong in the Democratic Party, is likely to expand and increase their influence in the Democratic Party, and advance the prospects of actually getting laws and regulations they would like to see adopted come to pass.

Accepting these things would shift the focus of debate to pragmatic questions, and entails acknowledging facts of contingency. It highlights that the real debate is not so much over what should be done, as it is over what actually can be done, in present circumstances. Obviously, views will differ concerning what is or is not possible at present, over what a practical and achievable goal might be, and over what the best means of getting the best possible result would be. Put bluntly, it is here, and most particularly in the last of these things, that most of my disagreements with our President and our Party center: I would prefer a more combative attitude, prefer a staking out of initial positions much more in advance of what an acceptable final compromise would likely be, and suspect more could be got than Party leadership seems to suspect, or even seems in some cases to desire.

Argument by hyperbole is fun, and used sparingly, can be quite effective in getting someone to see, and take, a point. But taking argument by hyperbole for one's principal means is like serving a dinner composed of mounds of spice and little else; it will not be palatable and will not fulfill the purpose of a meal. People who habitually argue by hyperbole tend in time to lose consciousness they are employing a rhetorical device, and come to take what began as deliberate exaggerations for effect to be statements of fact, accurate descriptions of people and events. When they do, to put it bluntly, they come to appear as clowns at best and as demons at worst, and in either case, forfeit all credibility with people who do not already agree with them, and lose any ability to sway people to come to agreement with them from a neutral, or even a hostile, view.
Posted by The Magistrate | Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:46 AM (327 replies)

We Live In The Emotional And Economic Wreckage Of This Broken Home....

During the sixties and seventies, the left in this country and the white working class went through a very bitter and messy divorce. The left largely abandoned economic issues in favor of liberations and life-style questions, and took to muttering in its cups about flag-waving, bigoted stick-in-the-muds who couldn't see the beautiful colors painted in the future, while the white working class threw itself at an old actor who promised to settle the hash of those hippies and uppity Negroes and women, and did not care and did not notice he was taking it for every cent it had or ever would have while he struck those enticing patriotic and traditional poses that captivated it so.

We live in the emotional and economic wreckage of this broken home....
Posted by The Magistrate | Wed Sep 18, 2013, 12:00 PM (112 replies)

Insurance Company Profits Are Dead Loss, Sir

Because insurance companies add nothing; they just rake off the top of the betting pool.

Insurance is simply a bet by the purchaser something will happen, and a bet by the seller it will not. The seller, like any bookie, tries to set the odds so that what he has to pay out in total losses is less than what he gets to keep on total wins. When the bookie is selling payments to doctors, he no more adds a value of health care than a bookie selling payments if the Packers win provides points on the board.

A company manufacturing medical equipment, such as pace-makers or artificial joints, say, or a laboratory providing diagnostic tests, provides something of value, something which can actually further health of a patient, so profit to them is not a dead loss to the system. It may be exorbitant in some instances, but that is a different matter: profit to such bodies is a proper enticement towards adding real value.

But insurers simply stand between a mass of patients and potential patients, and persons who actually provide health care, and short-stop as much as they can manage into their own pockets of the total outlay made by the former for the services of the latter. In the course of this, they very frequently engage in sharp practice, and welsh on their obligations to pay, denying services or even cancelling policies when they have lost their bet with a policy-holder.
Posted by The Magistrate | Tue Sep 17, 2013, 04:44 PM (1 replies)

So Any Post That Observes Established Facts Supports Unilateral War, Sir?

Refusing to believe Syrian government forces gassed several neighborhoods of metropolitan Damascus is required of those who do not think U.S. military action in Syria wise, to such a degree that observing the established fact Syrian government forced gassed several neighborhoods of metropolitan Damascus means one is arguing for U.S. military action in Syria?
Posted by The Magistrate | Mon Sep 16, 2013, 03:00 PM (1 replies)
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