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Dr. Jack

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Member since: Fri Jan 20, 2017, 01:43 PM
Number of posts: 611

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Slow and steady progress?

Iíve been wondering if there is a political theory or concept that says liberalism is the correct way of governing a developed democracy, like the United States, but that progress should be slow and steady? Instead of trying to make massive changes all at once, to do it in a way that eases society into it. For example, instead of trying to move the entire healthcare system in this country over to single payer all at once, itís better to chip away at the current system and introduce more government control slowly. That way it wouldnít be disruptive or freak people out. And said freaked out people who get freaked out by rapid change tend to run to right wing lunatics.

Is there a philosophy says a society like ours should progress but should do so in a slow and steady manner? Would that be more ďprogressivismĒ instead of liberalism? Any ideas?

The Great Resignation led to 4.3 million Americans quit jobs in August. This trend is here to stay.

Source: USA Today

The musical chairs game thatís roiling the U.S. jobs market isnít a blip, but rather marks a longer-lasting shift in leverage from employers to workers, experts say.

About 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August, the Labor Department said this week, the most on records dating back more than two decades. Many bolted to take advantage of 10.4 million job openings, often at higher pay -- a historically high figure.

A large number of employees are resigning and moving to jobs that allow them to work remotely or at more flexible hours. Others are burned out after toiling away during the COVID-19 pandemic, switching careers after the health crisis led them to rethink their priorities, or opting to stay on the sidelines until the infection surges fueled by the delta variant ease..

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/the-great-resignation-led-to-43-million-americans-quit-jobs-in-august-this-trend-is-here-to-stay/ar-AAPyAoR?ocid=ientp

What if we are actually in a good place right now?

I was watching a documentary which touched on many of the catastrophes of the first half of the 20th century, as you do. Topics such as the rise of political extremism, the Spanish Flu, wealth inequality and the Great Depression, severe political divisions, etc. These are all events that I have seen people draw comparisons to with current events. COVID is like the Spanish Flu, Trump is like the rise of fascism in the 1920s and 30s, the wealth equality today is like the economy before the Great Depression, battles between political extremists in the streets a century ago seem eerily similar to our current violent troublemakers. However, what if we are actually in a good place and we can be confident of that because of our current situation?

It does sound strange since there are a ton of issues serious things happening in our country and in the world right now. The other thing that stuck out to be during the documentary, other than the similarities between the world of today and the world of 100 years ago, is how much worse it was 100 years ago. Every time we look at similarities between the turbulent times of the 1900s and the turbulent times we are currently in, the event was always far worse than then compared to now. The Spanish Flu was far worse than COVID. The Flu in 1918 killed 2.5% of the worldís population in the time COVID killed less than 1%. 1920s fascism gave rise to Hitler and Mussolini. The 21st century right wing extremism gave us people like Donald Trump. Income inequality a century ago caused rampant, severe poverty. Income inequality today is still there but 1/10th as many are in poverty today as in the 1920s. Standards of living are also far higher in 2021 compared to even 40 years ago let alone 100, despite the massive wealth gap. And political violence today, while certainly present, is more online harassment than bombings and shootings and riots all the time.

The world tends to vacillate between periods of relative peace and prosperity, and those that feel like the end times. We do feel like we are in one of those end times periods right now. But overall, not as bad as the last time. The world of 2021 is luxurious compared to the world of 1921. Not to say there are still massive problems and challenges, there definitely are. But look at how far we have come in 100 years. We are in one of those eras of great calamity thatís obvious. However, if these cyclical eras have always occurred throughout history and arenít entirely avoidable, the efforts to blunt the impact have worked like never before.

Maybe things will keep getting worse and worse and we will soon wish we were dealing with Nazi Germany and the Great Depression again compared to our imminent downfall as a world. Or maybe weíve already seen the worst? Maybe there wonít be a rise of fascism again? Maybe when Covid finally burns out, the death toll will not be anything like the Spanish Flu. Maybe our extremism will be confined to some morons thinking they can overthrow the government by running amock for a few hours in the Capitol before just going home. Again, donít think Iím downplaying our current challenges, Iím not. Covid is very deadly, Trump becoming President was horrible, the January 6th riot was an extremely serious crime, I think these things quite obvious to anyone who doesnít worship a game show how stroke victim.

However, the efforts to contain these problems may have worked. Not stopped them but blunted the effects of the bad times. Meaning, in other words, things were always going to fall off a cliff at some point, itís not avoidable. But that doesnít mean things are falling apart as many fear. Instead itís all a passing storm that we are well sheltered from. We are still on the march towards progress and the cause that people like the members here advocate is absolutely winning out.

Just a thought

Are Democrats/ Liberals too obsessed with Donald Trump?

First off, when I ask that, I donít mean in the past when he was President. There was obviously a lot to be concerned about at the time. Instead I mean are they too obsessed with him now? I suppose heís a good boogie man for non-Republicans and his buffoonish behavior is easy to mock. However, it seems the nonstop, wall to wall coverage I still see of Donald Trump is way, way too much. When I make my rounds to various media outlets to see the dayís news, itís all about Donald Trump. The stupid shit he says, the wild accusations he makes, the ever present threat that his supporters are going to blow up the entire country out of no where, claims he is about to be arrested for this or that.

On the one hand, I think itís important for people to remember just how quickly things can go to shit if they donít vote but at the same time, heís just some guy now. Sure a bunch of fanatical meth tweakers still act like heís some kind of god but beyond that, is there any reason we need to know about Donald Trumps every move and everything he says? Canít we just start the process of moving on and no longer giving Donny Diaperload endless attention and media coverage?

Is partisan news becoming more of a problem or has it always been this way?

The older I get the more irritated I am becoming with partisan news sources. In other words, your Fox News, MSNBC, Breitbart, Huffington Post, etc. News outlets with a clear agenda, if you will. Now, I would argue right wing media is far more dishonest and destructive than left wing media. However, as I try to take a step back and see things objectively, the more I see just nonstop finger pointing, hypocrisy, propaganda, and flat out lies from partisan media.

Iím sure we are all well versed in the right wing bullshit machine so I donít feel I need to provide any examples from Fox or The Daily Wire. But I do also see similar problems with left wing news. I see headlines from Salon, The Huffington Post, or The Daily Beast doing a lot of what right wing outlets do. They take peopleís quotes out of context, they attack Republicans and conservatives for things they defend Democrats and liberals for doing, they manipulate polling data to fit their narratives, they ignore stories that are too inconvenient to talk about, and they just generally tell their readers what they want to hear. It seems like half of articles and videos from CNN and MSNBC are just attacks on Fox News and vice versa.

The headlines I am bombarded with everyday, whether from right wing or left wing sources, just seem manipulative and like partisan propaganda. There was a time, in my teens and 20s where I was into it. It felt like watching Kieth Olbermann and supporting him was a counter balance to Fox News. But these days, it all just feels petty and dishonest. I am aware that news has never been 100% objective and a lot of the petty pardon squabbling and theatrics are nothing new. History just tends to forget about unimportant political attacks and day to day grandstanding. The question I have been asking myself is whether itís getting worse, with partisan news becoming more and more like propaganda, or if itís always been this way and now I am just starting to notice?

Trump tax returns can be released to Congress, DOJ says

Source: CNBC

The income tax returns of former President Donald Trump can be released by the IRS to Congress, the Department of Justice said Friday.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/30/trump-tax-returns-can-be-released-to-congress-doj-says.html

So what exactly is the Republican endgame on COVID?

It appears COVID is surging in the United States again but unsurprisingly pretty much just among those who aren't vaccinated. Now of course I'm aware that not 100% of those who aren't vaccinated are Republicans and some people might not be able to get vaccinated even if they would want to. However, it's my understanding that covid deaths are disproportionately in Republican areas of the country.

We all know the reason Republicans are far less likely to get vaccinated and far more likely to be the victims of this disease. Their favorite propaganda networks are telling them to not get vaccinated and that covid is not a big deal. My question is, what exactly is the Republican endgame here? The GOP has been struggling with a diminishing voter base for years now. They have little appeal, generally speaking, among anyone under 40 years old and that has been a real problem for them. They tried allying with the white supremacists but that barely worked in 2016 and led to significant electoral defeats in 2018 and 2020. Now part of their strategy, whether intentional or not, to let their voters die of an easily preventable disease. Where is this all leading? What's their goal?

Sure there's voter suppression attempts but even the harshest voter suppression laws, from what I've read, can only affect things a bit at the margins. And there's no guarantee it won't backfire on the Republicans. There are also attempts to rile up the base with the "stop the steal!" nonsense but we have also seen that backfire on the Republicans, like in the Georgia runoffs, where their voters think "the election will be stolen so what's the point in voting".

As someone who isn't a paranoid right wing lunitic, I can't wrap my head around the Republican strategy right now. They are letting their already dangerously small base die of covid (and that's not the only questionable decision they are making). Even from a cold, highly cynical, practical prospective, their stance on covid seems like it is going to damage their party far more than it could ever conceivably damage Biden and the Democrats.

What is their endgame?

I wonder if the Democrats are planning something big

I keep hearing complaints from people that Biden and the Dems aren't being aggressive enough at just steamrolling the Republicans and doing what they want. However, I am starting to wonder if they aren't building up to nuking the filibuster and just ramming their agenda through. My theory is that after 4 years of Trump, then the refusal to accept the election results, and then after January 6th that the Dems very much realize how fucked things are and how quickly they need to fix things. There are massive chances that are needed aand safeguards in place to prevent a more successful Trump.

I wonder after January 6th if people like McCarthy and McConnell maybe gave assurances to the Dems that they could get their insane party under control. However, when they clearly failed and clearly gave up that caused the Dems are going to plan B. However, they can't just nuke the filibuster. There's too much resistance from people like Manchin who don't quite grasp the seriousness of the situation as other Dems do and if they move too quickly, it could be a PR disaster thanks to the Republicans screaming about liberal power grabs. So now, in order to really force Manchin too open his eyes that his demands for "bipartisanship" will never work in the current environment and the neuter Republican attacks as much as possible, the Dems are trying to get votes on important and popular bills. They are playing the "bipartisanship" angle by having negotiations and trying to pass popular legislation, even very important legislation like the January 6th Commission but are failing. They are failing because the Republicans are too broken to work with and that's the point. They are showing the majority of the country who are still listening( but who over time could lose interest or worse turn to the dark side) and key Senators like Manchin and maybe even some still sane Republicans in the Senate, that the filibuster has to go.

The filibuster has been abused by the Republicans to the point that it's ruining the country and making essential, nation preserving change possible. I think the Dems are gearing up to nuke the filibuster. Then they will ram through legislation that needs to be passed and quickly. These would be things like a new voting rights act to stamp out the desperate Republican voter suppression laws, but also to get popular laws like mass infrastructure and maybe even student loan forgiveness through. That would keep people from losing faith in the country. In other words showing that the traditional way of doing things can still get shit done. It would also keep people like Sanders Millennials and Gen Z voters engaged in the long term.

That's my theory. I believe the Dems has a massive plan in the works and their current laid back, moving slow, not taking things seriously enough demeanor is a bluff .

I heard a great nickname for Marjorie Taylor Greene

I saw this buried in comments on reddit but it's apt that I thought I would share. Someone said she is a perfect example of the rot at the center of the Republican Party and another person responded that she is "Gangreene". Not only is she part of said rot in the GOP but also she is part of the gang that tried to overthrow the government. I had never heard that and a search on Google didn't turn up anything, so I had to run over here and share. Anyway, that's all I got. See you all later

Were old conservatives right?

Like many Americans I have been perplexed by what has happened to the Republican Party and why so many in the "boomer" generation, the GOPs largest pool of voters, seems so....out of touch with reality. And I have one hypothesis that has been slowly developing in my brain that I am trying to make sense of and I figured you fine folks might have some insight or opinions on what's been rattling around in my head for awhile.

I had a bit of an epiphany on this while actually watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater, of all things. It was actually one of their short films that they would sometimes watch before an actual movie. It was an educational movie from 1950 called "Are You Ready for Marriage?". Stick with me here. Sure it was low budget and cheesey but the information was actually pretty spot on from a relationship counseling point of view. A bit antiquated in some ways but shockingly the core information actually holds up 70 years later.

However, what dawned on me is that the characters on MST3K making fun of this educational video were attacking it from the angle of "look at this crusty old nonsense. What does a government funded video know about relationships?! This is just quasi fascist propaganda!". The entire thing was dismissed because this is the nonsense their parents were taught in school. Really, what could "experts" in the 1950s know about relationships love? The film was probably just written as a way to indoctrinate kids to follow whatever the rich and powerful wanted them to follow. Just conformist nonsense!

I mention Mystery Science Theater because the people who were on the show and wrote for the show in the 1990s were part of that boomer generation and a lot of their criticisms of the period before the counterculture of the 1960s does come down to , and this is me paraphrasing, "look at all of these 1950s sheep in lockstep and not thinking for themselves! They were oppressed and didn't even know it". What's interesting about the people who made that show in the 1990s is that they by and large hardcore Republicans today. It seems odd that 25 years ago they were saying "our parents generation were just a bunch of conformists" but today being "conservatives" in a political party that could be argued has some pretty overt fascist beliefs.

Now of course I'm not basing anything I'm about to say on a single show from the 1990s but instead a trend I've been slowly recognizing has been around in this country certainly for my entire life (I'm in my mid 30s). And that trend is, being very skeptical of or even hostile toward authority. What if that is the reason why we have so many problems in this country today? I'll admit I've had the same beliefs in the past. Why should I trust politicans? They are all corrupt and they are all lying criminals. Why should I trust economic "experts"? They don't know how things are in the real world. Why should I trust the BLS when they say the unemployment rate is at whatever percent? They are probably lying. Why should I trust a pharmaceutical company when they say a drug is safe and effective? They are only out for money and profits. A few years back, I would have said the attitudes of liberals in the 1960s were 100% correct and the stuffy old ways of doing things were wrong.

That does make me wonder, what if the older people in the 1960s and 70s who were uneasy about the changes in attitudes amoung young people at the time (the boomer generation) were at least party right? Now of course I'm not saying the civil rights movement was bad or feminism in the 60s and 70s went too far. But what if other aspects of the counter culture were infact dangerous for the United States? Especially as older Americans would have said back then, a disrespect for authority?

Just look at the Republican Party today. It's filled with those people who 40-50 years ago grew up in a counterculture movement that said authority needs to always be questioned, don't trust anyone with power, fuck the system, etc. Now they are paranoid lunitics. They think the entire government is out to get them, that big pharma is putting mind control microchips in vaccines , that elections are being stolen all over the country, and that sinister shadowy forces are controlling the world. They live in a reality where it makes more sense that fake ballots were flown in from China and that a long dead central American dictator meddling in our election is the reason Biden won and not simply that Trump legitimately lost. Or where a global pandemic that has killed millions was all just part of a plan to make Republicans look bad. Could this be the end result of a generation that took a counter culture against the way things were done in the United States too far, as was warned about by older conservative people in the 50's, 60's, and 70's? Maybe they were right to worry about where the country was headed because it seems like we have ended up in a pretty bad place.

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