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Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 10:55 PM
Number of posts: 4,187

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France would not be an improvement over the U.S.

There is lots of Islamophobia, xenophobia, and racism, not to mention a deep, unconscious, and extreme sexism there. Perhaps, if you're white and Christian, you won't be too bothered by the openly expressed French hatred against black people, Arabs, and Muslims. But the xenophobia, not to mention class and nationality-based snobbery, extends to a resentment of Americans. You will never fit into French society; you will always be treated as an outsider. I love France for vacation, but I would much rather live in the U.S. than in France. There is a good chance that this country and its institutions will survive Trump. I'm not so hopeful for France under Le Pen.

After all, France is a country where you're still expected to put a photograph on a job application. It is a place where if you're a woman of childbearing age, you will be asked at every job interview whether you are involved with someone and whether you plan to have children. It's a place where a man forcing himself upon a hotel maid is seen primarily as a question of privacy. And that's just the sexism.

In towns across France, mayors have recently been forcing schools to serve pork for lunch - something observant Muslims and Jews don't eat. In 2004, France passed a law that prohibits girls from wearing the hijab in public schools. There is "extraordinary" discrimination against Muslim job applicants. In France, if you're Muslim or have an Arabic-sounding name, even if you were born in France, many people will not consider you French. This is a level of discrimination that is unthinkable in the U.S. If you were born in the United States, no one gets to tell you that you're "not really an American".

If you can still change your mind, I would urge you to reconsider. The reality is that the rightward move is a worldwide phenomenon. We just happen to be living through it, like millions of people have throughout history. The only solution is to fight it in your tiny corner of the world. No one is truly safe anywhere.

(Edited to add specific examples of anti-Muslim discrimination in France.)

HRC haters are so filled with hate. And yet they can't see that their hate hurts THEM most.

It must be very sad to live life as someone who hates HRC so much that they still can't let go of their hate, despite having gotten exactly what they wanted and ensured that she didn't become president.

Enjoy the fact that HRC is not president. Enjoy how sad you imagine she must feel about it. And, most of all, enjoy the corrollary: Trump's presidency. You got exactly what you wanted. And your hate against HRC is hurting you a lot more than it's hurting her. She, I'm sure, has love, not hate in her heart. And love, unlike hate, makes one feel good. It's called karma.

Don't e-mail. Call. Call them at their State office.

A call is much harder to ignore than an e-mail. Check this out:


and this:

Democrats must filibuster any nominee who is not Merrick Garland.

This has to be the new meme.

Voting to confirm anyone but Merrick Garland means allowing the Republicans to get away with murder. It sets a horrible precedent of the party that controls the Senate subverting the system to take over all three branches of government. The only way to undo the damage done to the Constitution at this point is for the president to nominate Garland and for the Senate to confirm him. A presidential president -- a responsible, adult president who cared more about the health of this country than about himself and the political designs of his party -- would have nominated Garland. In fact, I am certain that Hillary Clinton would have nominated Garland for this reason.

Remember: the Constitution does not say that the president should nominate someone "in the mould of" the retiring or deceased justice. If that were the case, the court would never change. The Constitution was designed to allow the Supreme Court evolve with the will of the people. The will of the people in 2008 and 2012 was to elect President Obama. Merrick Garland was President Obama's choice. The only person who can replace Antonin Scalia is Merrick Garland.

Please call your senators first thing tomorrow morning and demand that they declare that they will vote to confirm Garland, and no one else but Garland. If Trump refuses to nominate Garland, we must wait until 2018 or 2020 if necessary, and put Garland in there.

Please don't give in to this. Call your Senators. Get this idea out there.

I'm the one painting with a broad brush?

It looks like you've completely bought Reagan's arguments about "self-sufficiency." I will not even go into what those arguments, in the end, boil down to, since it's too ugly for words.

I sincerely hope, for your sake, that you don't ever fall into depression. Of course, that will mean that you will never understand how a person suffering from even moderate depression feels -- how they would rather die than live another day but their annoying self-preservation instinct prevents them from going through with one of their many suicide fantasies; how they wake up every day, try for hours to get out of bed, finally manage to make it to the door of of their dwelling, but cannot face the daylight and walk back inside to crawl under the covers in a futile attempt to hide from the world and their obligations. If you met such a person, perhaps at the grocery store, you wouldn't have the slightest clue that they were depressed; the smile on their face while they spoke with you would give you the superficial impression that they were perfectly all right. You would probably look down on them for not earning a living and making something of themselves. After all, most people are simply incapable of feeling (or refuse to feel) empathy, which means they only understand a situation if they themselves live through it. No wonder this country is so messed up. No wonder people elected a hateful fearmonger over someone who was advocating love, kindness, understanding, and empathy.

True love and kindness are to be found in a person who gives freely, understanding that s/he cannot possibly know enough about the situation someone else is in to be able to pass judgment.

In the end, your belief that a human being would choose to live off the government or others' charitable acts, and refuse to work out of sheer laziness, reveals a deeply negative view of the human spirit. I happen to know that productivity comes from health and well-being. If there is no productivity, what is to blame is not laziness but a lack of health and well-being. There is therefore no difference between an organization that feeds the hungry and an organization that trains the unemployed for the workforce. The only difference is the relative health and well-being of the people being helped.

When you give, you shouldn't expect something in return.

That is what I have a problem with. When you give someone a gift, with the expectation that they use what you've given them in order to become self-sufficient, you are trying to control them. What if they don't want to become self-sufficient? Are they less worthy as a human being than someone who does want to become self-sufficient? Are you going to let them starve to death because they are not mentally well enough to want a job?

This is why I have a problem with everyone who complains that they gave a beggar on the street some money, which the beggar then used to buy drugs or alcohol. When you give something freely, you do not tell the recipient what they are supposed to do with your gift.

I stand by my statement that the highest form of giving is taxes. In a healthy society that believes in helping those in need, taxes ensure that people don't need charity to go to college or to get treatment for drug addiction or depression. It is a sign of a very sick society that we are having this discussion at all. In a healthy society, the OP would not have existed because no one would have been hungry on Thanksgiving day.

I think it reeks of control.

How do you even give something to someone that makes them self-sufficient? How arrogant to think that one could be so powerful!

If we're talking here about giving to a fund that helps poor young people afford a college education, then I'm all for that. But giving to a soup kitchen or a charity that helps those who are addicted to drugs is in no way inferior to that.

Indeed, I would say that the highest form of giving is taxes. Taxes are supposed to be the basis of the social contract that ensures that everyone is helped. Taxes are supposed to ensure that everyone has a good education, a roof over their head, enough to eat, a police force that protects them, and safe roads and bridges that enable them to do what they want to do more easily. Instead, Americans love to complain about having to pay taxes, or brag about how they avoid paying them, while choosing to give to their favorite charity a much smaller amount to do something good for only those people they choose to help.

Exactly! And beautifully stated!

The reason most white women voted against Hillary is the same reason most white men voted against Hillary: misogyny. Women are just as misogynistic as men are. Those who think that women can't be misogynists do not understand what misogyny is.

They are happy with their position in life and feel threatened by women who succeed in traditionally male positions. They believe they may have to do the same but they prefer being "taken care of."

This is exactly right. This is why one doesn't see the same sort of solidarity among women as one does among members of other minority groups. Many women are very conflicted about feminism and equality. They accept what patriarchy has taught them about their own inferiority because it gives them a feeling of security.

Many women absolutely hate Hillary but cannot tell you why - or more likely they will not tell you why.

The idea of being lead by a woman makes many women extremely uncomfortable because it challenges their notions of men's and women's roles in society. Rather than admit that they have been held back by society's sexism, they would prefer to think that women are naturally inferior. A woman who is the equal of men in ambition, intelligence, capability, and courage seems completely wrong to them: there must be something unnatural and evil about the woman that she is hiding from them.

We're living in the new Gilded Age.

We've allowed this to happen. We've become a country where wealth is considered the only indicator of worth. When the top hedge fund manager earns more in fifteen minutes than the average physician or teacher or professor does in a year, you can no longer pretend to be a country that values anything other than wealth.



According to this article, the two top hedge fund managers each made $1.7 billion in 2015. If you assume a 40-hour work week and 52 weeks of work a year (i.e., no vacations), that's $817,308 an hour. Yes, you read that correctly: almost a million dollars an hour. I'm sure these people take vacations, though. And no one really works more than 40 hours a week except for brief spurts that are difficult to maintain in the long run. So this is, if anything, a conservative calculation.

Even if we assumed that these people are so brilliant that they can be considered to be working 24 hours each day, including in their sleep, they would still be making $193,931 an hour. That's more than the average teacher, professor, or physician makes in a year.

Calling is much better than e-mailing.

Take a look at this:

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