Or is it already too late?
When I discovered DU a few months ago, I said to myself, hey, cool, heres something I can get involved in. My first few posts were along the line of lets do something, but I quickly realized that DU is basically a chat room and that, except for the occasional long drawn-out pointless argument, were all basically singing to the choir.
But this morning two items popped up that got me thinking. One was the reaction to Michelle Wolfs routine last night at the WHCD. The other was the tweet from the Parkland students about the gun ban at the NRA event. Ive said before that talk is cheap and posting online is free, so heres an idea for something we can do in prep for the upcoming elections.
Im going to call it a Hypocrisy Database. It would be an online listing of documented specific instances where someone has said something and then done the opposite. For instance, I read here a couple of times that the NRA campus is a gun-free zone. If thats correct (and Im not certain it is), then their stance on people buying guns for protection is an example of hypocrisy. I can already see the arguments: Its an office building, No bad guys would go in there anyway, Its their policy and they have the right to any policies they want, yadda yadda. But its still hypocrisy. And if it turns out, and can be proven, that some of their top officers carry in the building, then its a double whammy.
A listing on the database would say, for instance: On 5/6/17, so-and-so said he would ban first-class travel for federal officials in cases other than emergencies. On 12/5/17 he bought a first-class ticket on government money to go on vacation. Links to contemporary media items would follow. Short and sweet and documented.
The tweet from the Parkland students, BTW, in my view, is not appropriate. The gun ban on the event is a Secret Service request because Pence will be there, not an NRA request. Even if the NRA had wanted to allow guns, the Secret Service would have nixed it.
The idea behind the database, of course, is to give people a place to look up specific stuff and tweet or otherwise send it out to others. In a short time, I believe the MSM would get wind of the database and mention it or add to it, increasing its visibility and status. And more people would see it.
The database, as I see it, would not be a chat room we already have one or more of those. People would send specific documented examples to a team of moderators, who would review them for accuracy and then post them. This would also avoid repetition and drawn-out arguments, and keep trolls out.
From the post counts and visibility of some members here, I have to believe theyre retired or semi-retired and have time on their hands, and/or DU is a serious hobby or a passion and theyd probably be willing to put some time into it with help from other members. But the goal would be to get the word out to many people who might not otherwise be aware of how much hypocrisy there is out there.
This morning I was going through the primary election booklet we received from the County, and, later, we had lunch at a local restaurant that had a screen running parts of the NFL draft. And I realized something very interesting (to me, anyway).
Those kids hoping to get drafted have been playing football for years, probably starting early in high school or before. They're out there playing their hearts out, knowing there's no place to hide on that field. Sure they're thinking about the money (heck, I would be too), but they're working like hell to show the scouts they know what they're doing and are qualified for the big time. And the ones who get drafted are only beginning: they have to spend the rest of their careers proving that they can do the job they were hired for. The vast majority of them do.
Meanwhile, anybody, with absolutely no qualifications, can run for office... and some of them win. I read some of the blurbs on the candidates for various positions (including governor, senate, and house), and it was mind-blowing. Heck, I have better qualifications than some of them said they had. All they have to do is convince enough other people to vote for them, which they do by spending donated money. That's it. And when they get in office they can proceed to not do the job they were elected to do and still keep the job.
The other part I find interesting is that, in Congress, these elected lawmakers get to vet people nominated for various jobs: cabinet officials, general officers in the military, and many others. Yet nobody vetted them. And half the time approving someone or not approving them is a political trade-off anyway: "I'll vote for your guy if you vote for mine."
I don't have a clue how this could be changed, or if it should, but I find it fascinating.
Illinois lawmakers are trying to close a loophole that allows guns to be given back to the families of people who lose their licenses. IOW, "Here, we took this from your son and we're giving it back to you."
The question is WHY? If the gun is confiscated, why give it back to a member of the family (or to anyone else, for that matter)?
Did I miss something here?
I'm curious as to whether any university or other group has ever done a study of "typical" Dems or Reps: age, education, income, and so forth. Actually, I'd love to see such a study done by a British or European group, to hopefully get an "unbiased" perspective.
EffieBlacks's post asking people to tell their stories was an eye-opener for me and probably for a lot of other people. But I'm curious about something: is the behavior related in the replies more prevalent in some specific parts of the country than in others? Or is it more prevalent in large metro areas than in small towns? Or is it something else? IOW, is there a pattern?
This afternoon, before dinner, I grabbed my tablet figuring I'd check in on my usual 6-8 news outlets. One of them was Huffpost, and the top story was about the memos being leaked. So I started scrolling down to read the things, and suddenly the tablet hit me with "Your battery is running down, you're shutting off." And it shut off.
WTF????? Somehow some system somewhere figured out I was reading these memos and shut down my tablet?
Who woulda thunk?
Regardless of how I might feel about him (and I don't want to go there), Comey made a very good point last night during the interview.
Colbert asked him about the comments he made in his book about DJT's appearance and how people are getting upset about them. Comey said that it was just a physical description, and that he had done the same with other people in the book. So Colbert turns to the book, finds the place, and points out that it was just a six-line paragraph running from one page to another, at which point he tears out the pages and tosses them aside. Then he points out that, in a book of 300 pages, this is the one item that so many people are using to dismiss the book.
Comey's comment, I thought, was right on the button. He said that some people just need something to grab onto in order to get upset and make noise. They didn't even have to read the book: they just picked up on that one item and used it to dismiss the whole book. And him.
I see this all the time nowadays. There were discussions here about the Dunning-Kruger effect and yeah, I think that's part of it, but why the heck is this so common nowadays? I see posts here where someone picks up on one little item in someone else's post and proceeds to jump on it, totally ignoring the original subject. And don't even get me started on some of the comments (about DU posts) I've seen on Conservative Underground when I've lurked other there.
Is this behavior considered petty? Catty? Childish? Something else?
And yeah, I expect someone here to pick up on my comment about lurking "there" and label me as a troll without ever addressing the rest of the post.
when he said sometime back that he was a "performance artist." That display on the Infowars show was quite the piece.
And it got him loads of free notice in the MSM.
This thread may disintegrate faster than an ice cube in a hot pizza oven, but here it is anyway.
And I don't want to get off on "who is responsible." That's just avoiding the issue and derailing the thread.
America is divided. And we -- the people who live here, "We the people" -- are helping divide it. We are a good chunk of the problem.
We see stuff in the news and get angry about it. Trump this. Hillary that. Comey. Mueller. Putin. Facebook. Many of us seem to have lost the ability to be objective about the news: we take things personally. And sometimes we deliberately go find stuff that makes us angrier. Anger-management shrinks must be making a fortune -- or maybe they should be.
I said I didn't want to get into who's responsible. We all have our opinions. But regardless of who is responsible, the fact remains that we are divided big time, and I believe we are contributing to it.
Many of us have lost our sense of humor. At one time we could laugh little things off. Now we get offended.
Geez, these days somebody could even get pissed off and want to boycott the Acme Company for providing weapons to the Coyote. Or claim there's a link between Warner Brothers, the NRA, and Russia.
Several of my early posts here were an eye-opener for me. I had a low post count, so automatically that made me a troll. Some people didn't even read the entire post; they just picked something out of it, flipped it out of context, and hit me with it. In a couple of cases the thread got totally derailed due to other people either defending my post or attacking me.
Name calling has almost become the norm. When someone says something we don't agree with, the tendency is to call the guy a moron instead of arguing the statement. IOW, attack the individual, not what he/she said. Yeah, that's very adult and civilized. Geez, I remember my Mom telling me not to call another kid names. And I must have been five or six at the time.
I worked with a guy for several years who felt everything we did had to be politically correct. Don't do or say anything that "somebody somewhere even if there's a minute chance" could take the wrong way. It was a pain in the ass. Political correctness, sure. In a country that grants people the right of free speech.
Why does stuff that has nothing to do with politics get politicized? It seems to happen all the time. It's nonsense.
An anecdote on politicizing non-political stuff: Twenty-odd years ago I worked at an architectural firm and was involved in several big county-office projects, often two or more at the same time. We were hired by the counties, which of course were headed by an elected official, which of course made them either Dem or Rep. We were doing architecture and being very open about it, as we would have been with any other project. Yet everything we proposed for a (say) Dem county was taken by the Reps as our being in cahoots with the Dems, and vice versa. I remember many times going home at night, seeing myself in the mirror, and not having a clue as to whether I was "supposed" to be in cahoots with the Dems or the Reps. I've detested politicians since then, but that's another story.
Look at somebody (what they take as) the wrong way? BINGO. You're a racist. Say something they don't like, even if it's out of context? BINGO again. Now you're definitely a racist. And that's where the original conversation goes out of whack and turns into an argument about racism. We can't seem to have it any other way.
Yesterday I did an OP about customer service at AT&T and mentioned that one of the things I had a problem with was that the four reps I spoke with had thick accents and I had a very hard time understanding them. So a couple of people indicated they weren't happy about my mentioning the accents. The thread almost got derailed right there, but thankfully several people brought it back to the original subject, which was customer service. Over the past few years, I've seen so many conversations get totally out of whack when somebody decides to get offended at a word or two that I just want to scream, "Grow the fuck up!!!!!"
Right here on DU, I've caught myself responding to snarky comments that go off the subject. And one day, a few weeks ago, I made up my mind to not do so anymore. I don't have to jump on that bandwagon, so now I just ignore them. It's easier on the blood pressure.
I could go on and on, but you get my point. America is divided and we are helping (so to speak) to divide it. We need to dial back some, take a breath, grow up, and quit letting the anger and bullshit take precedence.
And remember: I didn't go into "who's responsible."
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