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rhett o rick

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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Apr 22, 2005, 01:05 PM
Number of posts: 48,720

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You make some good points. I doubt the sincerity of those that ignore the importance of

economic justice to racial justice. You can't be free if you are starving. I think some people like to use a cause to be able to bully others that they label as enemies of their cause. Self-righteous bullying. They don't realize or more likely don't care that they are doing more damage than good for their cause.

"Killer Mike "gets it", and that's threatening to the folks who want to control the message. " Exactly.

Why would a Democrat vote for H. Clinton and Citizens United?

The Citizens United SCOTUS decision revolved around the documentary “Hillary: The Movie”, which was produced by Citizens United, intended to be a hit piece. When the case went to court the SCOTUS ruled in favor of Citizens United and struck down provisions of the McCain-Feingold Law regulating how much corporations can spend on supporting (or Swiftboating) candidates.

Democrats, of course, objected to the ruling because the ruling would break open the flood gates for corporations and billionaires to financially control elections.

But ahh, the sweet irony. The ruling in the case allowed the corporate attack on H. Clinton (via the documentary), but in a not surprising turn of events, it looks like it may be a boon for H. Clinton in 2016 as it is expected that upwards of a billion dollars may be raised by the Clinton campaign because of Citizens United.

So how do Democrats feel about Citizens United today? Of course the Progressive Wing of the Party continues to be against the ruling allowing a continuation of the corruption of our government by Dirty Money.

The Conservative Wing of the Party has a different view of Citizens United. Still claiming to be Democrats, they've decided that it's ok if their candidate accepts the Dirty Money. They fail to see the hypocrisy. They pretend they don't understand the concept of Quid Pro Quo. They claim their candidate will work to fix the problem right after she is through using it for her gain.

How do you feel today about the Citizens United ruling?

The Authoritarian Personality Why do some people seem irrational in their devotion

to certain authoritative leaders regardless of what these leaders do or have done and regardless what these leaders stand for? I believe the answer is important in knowing what we are dealing with.

Eric Fromm in his essay, “The Authoritarian Personality” subscribes this behavior to authoritarian personalities. He explains that there are two distinct types of authoritarians. One that wants to rule, control, or restrain others and the other type that tends to submit and obey. In other words leaders and followers. While seemingly different these two types are bound together in a symbiotic relationship.

“What they have in common, what defines the essence of the authoritarian personality is an inability: the inability to rely on one’s self, to be independent, to put it in other words: to endure freedom.”

This would explain why some are so willing to follow leaders that obviously are not interested in freedoms or liberties, but quite the opposite. Let's face it, being free is a lot of work and too tough for some.

Authoritarian followers seek the protection, or what they see as protection, of strong authoritarian leaders. And followers will strongly defend this authority in a number of ways including the persecution of whistle-blowers, investigative journalists, protesters, and liberals in general; those that challenge authorities and seek the truth. This disturbs the followers because they don't want to deal with the truth, they really can't handle the truth.

Authoritarian leaders on the other hand, while seeming to be tough and strong, actually are nothing without their submissive followers. But hese apparently strong, tough leaders themselves are followers to a higher authoritarian authority (ie, the bigger bully).

This is not to say that all authority contains something pathological? There is a very significant distinction between rational and irrational authority.

“Rational authority is the recognition of authority based on critical evaluation of competences. When a student recognizes the teacher’s authority to know more than him, then this a reasonable evaluation of his competence.”
Rational authority is not based on excluding reason and critique but rather assumes it as a prerequisite.
This does not make one small and the authority great but allows authority to be superior where and as long it possesses competence. Rational authority is challenged often. The respect for this authority must be maintained.

On the other hand irrational authority is based on emotional submission to another person, follower to leader. This is not because of a belief that the leader is competent, honorable, or principled, but more likely because of a perceived strength that the follower admires. Irrational authority is never challenged by the follower, and the follower will try to silence those that do challenge the authority, because it might expose the authority (leader) to be a fraud.

“The opposite of the (irrational) authoritarian character is the mature person: a person who does not need to cling to others because they actively embrace and grasp the world, the people, and the things around them.”

Children have a need to be dependent when they are young. As children grow and develop they need to be taught the difference between rational and irrational authority. This puts a burden on the authority figures in a child's life. Children need to be taught to be independent, skeptical and open minded; to heed authority and/or to question authority when appropriate.
Children need to be taught to reason. “Reason is the activity of the mind which attempts to get through the surface to reach the core of things, to grasp what really lies behind these things, what the forces and drives are that — themselves invisible — operate and determine the manifestations.”

Sadly it's expedient to use irrational authority as a parent, a teacher, a coach, a religious leader, a boss, etc. This behavior is acceptable in our culture. Our culture in the United States accepts, if not promotes authoritarianism (bullying). Throughout history we've used our wealth and power to bully the rest of the world.

Many popular TV shows and movies honor the bullies like Dirty Harry and Jack Bauer. The rationalization is always that we only bully for goodness. The NSA/CIA is a huge bully and the fact that they are not being regulated bothers some, however, the authoritarians among us support them, blindly believing that they only bully for goodness.

Again from Eric Fromm, “But I do not want to close without emphasizing that the individual’s goal must be to become his own authority; i.e. to have a consciousness in moral issues, conviction in questions of intellect, and fidelity in emotional matters. However, the individual can only have such an inner authority if he has matured enough to understand the world with reason and love. The development of these characteristics is the basis for one’s own authority and therefore the basis for political democracy.”

I hope this explains why some people we run into won't discuss politics rationally. Most often these are Republicons, but almost all are conservatives. Liberals and progressives are more likely to be open minded and not blindly follow leaders.

Happy Thanksgiving

I agree with your distain for "meant to be". It implies that there is a plan or program.

I am disappointed in the lack of discussion about AI. At least I can't find much in DU.

My concept is very roughly revealed by the movie Her. Spoiler Alert. In the movie AI is limited to person access via personal computers. I don't know or care if they explained it better. The AI was limited to helping people (subscribers) with their emotional issues. The main character (male) has a companion AI with the voice of Scarlett Johansson and they got close (as close as possible with an operating system in between). It was revealed that he wasn't her only "companion", she had thousands. And there were other similar AI's. We learn that the AI's are communicating (conspiring if you will) with each other and learning about other dimensions. Then the AI just disappear without a trace. There are lots of holes included to make the movie, but the idea of AI "leaving" or taking over*, I believe is inevitable. The only thing standing in the way of the development of super AI is the humans apparent desire for self annihilation. Annihilation at least to the point of not being able to continue the development of super AI.
Posted by rhett o rick | Mon Nov 9, 2015, 11:20 AM (0 replies)

I think it's more serious that just embarassing Obama. We have raised a lot of Americans that

are authoritarians. They've been taught to bow down to their authoritative leaders from parents, coaches, teachers, military, and religious leaders. Never question authority, never be skeptical, never be open minded. They've learned to live in bubbles of denial. They want very badly to believe that the iron fist of the NSA/CIA is on their side. They need to believe that so badly, they will try to kill those messengers that dare to speak against their leaders. They have shown that they will give up their Constitutional freedoms for as little as a promise of security. It's a good thing that the authoritarians in the 1700's (loyalists) didn't stop our founders from fighting for our freedoms and liberties.
Posted by rhett o rick | Fri Nov 6, 2015, 01:46 PM (1 replies)

Pragmatism, the justification for ignoring the 16 million American children living in poverty.

The Right Wing will tell you to your face that Corp-Profits and the transfer of wealth to the wealthiest it is God's way and if children starve, it's just too bad.

The Conservative DEmocrat that hides behind Pragmatism, lives in a denial bubble and will fight you to the death if you try to shake them out of it. It's not that they want the children to starve, it's that they just don't want to sacrifice anything to prevent it.
Posted by rhett o rick | Sun Nov 1, 2015, 09:46 AM (1 replies)

“The Oligarchy neither loves you nor hates you, but you have resources that they want.”*

“The Oligarchy neither loves you nor hates you, but you have resources that they want.”*

Some view the big corporations (Oligarchy) as monsters wishing for our demise. I don't believe that's completely true. I am sure you've heard the expression, “It's not personal, it's just business.” So what does that really mean? Well you might find that statement following a statement like this, “If you have to die for me to make a profit,...” This may sound a little harsh but that rational has been used by humans to justify all kinds of atrocities, against other life forms and against humans.

I think “It's not personal, it's just business” is the creed of many major corporations. Ford Motor Co. a couple of decades back determined the financial value of a human life when they decided it was better for their profits to not recall their pickups that were catching fire because of the design of the gas tank (They made a similar decision re. the Pinto) They decided it was better for profits to let people die and pay off the potential suits than to recall or redesign. There are many, many cases to prove that profits take precedence over most everything for the Oligarchy.

So what's my point? Corporations are creatures (certainly not human) that we, like Dr. Frankenstein, have created. We created them via laws and gave them special privileges and powers to allow them to be creative and help us with our lives. So what went wrong? We have allowed them, or in some cases, helped them become monsters. Some have deemed them “human-like” and gave them Constitutional rights.

Progressives see the dangers in the loss of our freedoms, liberties, and wealth, to the Corp-Monster (Oligarchy). Sadly the conservative Republicons and Democrats prefer the comfort (seemingly) of the power of a strong, tough authoritarian leadership that the Oligarchy provides. HRC provides that toughness as her supporters will tell you.
Fortunately some of the Peoples of the world have decided to wake up and smell the Oligarchy. These Peoples are revolting around the globe against the strangle-hold of the Big-Corp Monster (Oligarchy). One such revolt is happening right here in River City with the support for Sen Sanders, clearly the People's choice and not the choice of the Oligarchy.

*A modification of a quote, “The AI (Artificial Intelligence) does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.” credited to Eliezer Yudkowsky, research fellow, Machine Intelligence, found in the book “Our Final Invention” by James Barrat.

Happy Halloween Cross-posted in GD: P

We live in an authoritarian society where tough is more important than empathy.

How often do you hear about the kid that complains about being bullied being punished and the bully let go? How better to push American Exceptionalism than to have tough leaders. In schools, sports, the military and religions, we are taught to obey and follow our authoritarian leaders. Gone are the days where we taught people to think for themselves, to be skeptical, and to not be afraid to question authority.

Eric Fromm nailed it with "The Authoritarian Personality". http://www.scribd.com/doc/89863857/The-Authoritarian-Personality-by-Erich-Fromm-1957

That may be true but I am going a different direction. IMO the main point when people refer to

the mythical "let them eat cake", is that there was no sarcasm in that statement. It showed a true disconnection between the aristocrats and the People. Granted there are many aristocrats that abhor the masses but there are more that are indifferent. They view us as cattle. They don't wish us ill will, they just won't do anything to help us if it costs them. In fact, if they need to harm us to make gains in wealth (power), it isn't personal, it's just business. I think the Third Way ideology includes this. They may honestly wish us well in gaining some social justice (good for their consciences) but not if it takes away from their primary goal in life, gain wealth. Wealth can be made, esp if there is an abundance of free resources or labor, but in today's world, it's much easier to steal it. The Wealthy have been stealing the wealth of the lower classes for decades now. When the oligarchy says, "Let them have same-sex marriage," I hear, "Let them eat cake."

I believe that candidate running with the backing of the oligarchy will follow the Third Way ideology. They might help us with some social justice but only if it doesn't interfere with their plans to steal our wealth.

What a great OP. This is exactly what I think this Group is for. This is an important subject

right here in River City DU. It's so easy to push people around (bully) people when one is anonymous. Some like to push others around or control others because they like it, and others do it to push their world view when they don't have a decent argument. Mostly it's conservatives that want to control others.

The prohibition of CT in GD is a great tool for those that like to see threads locked that they don't like. For example, when Snowden emerged, it was ok to the conservatives to speculate that he worked for the Chinese and Russians to harm the US. But if one tried to say that the government was trying to subvert our freedoms, the CT card was apt to come out. It's a tool to lock or hide discussion that one has no good argument against.

Let's talk about CT. Your discussion in the OP was great. But I would go a little farther in that CT is all around us. In our jobs, in our schools, in our organizations, etc. Everywhere small groups (or big) get together to "conspire" or to "plan or plot secretly". All conspiring isn't evil. Let's say at the PTA you and a group of others decide that Person A isn't the best president and you conspire to vote them out. Same at work. A group gets together to convince the boss that they should get the project instead of the other group. Conspiring happens all the time, for good or evil. And in politics conspiring is a way of life. Think Tanks should really be called "Conspiracy Tanks", although it's not all evil.

IMO the prohibition of CT here in DU is to prevent rehash of old conspiracy data in GD. But I believe that new data is fair game or if Jeb makes a statement about 9/11, it's fair game. The CT card is too often used to shut off discussions for political reasons.
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