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Member since: Fri Oct 30, 2015, 06:27 PM
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Individuality and not just following blindly along.

Song: Henchman
Album: No Control
Year: 1989

Stranded In a life in which your struggle for acceptance
Is a never-ending chore
Upbraided For your actions past and present and rewarded for the ideas
Of the future's bright open door
The henchman Is the human analogue of the suffering multitudes
Who like good dogs sit and lick for their reward

So what good advice have I got for you
To insure against your likely metamorphosis into this reprobate?
Don't be a henchman
Stand on your laurels
Do what no one else does and praise the good of other men
For good man's sake
And when everyone else in the world follows your lead
Although a cold day in hell it will surely be
That's when the entire world shall live in harmony


Song: Individual
Album: Stranger Than Fiction
Year: 1994

Individuals run for cover
For the multitudes of thoughtless clones have reached a critical mass
Individuals hide in fear, under cover
Sheltered by the wafer thin veil of intelligence
Individuals, nowhere to be seen
Urbana is oozing like a bloated carcass
With maggots cooking in the desert heat
Oozing, with progeny writhing and desperate
For input from someone more determined

Congregating in invisible circles
Half apart and half apart
All too aware of the insignificance
Pushing on with soul and heart

Individuals don't pray for forgiveness
When pinned up against the wall under siege of persecution
Individuals command exception
And accept dichotomy
Maybe you can't choose anymore
Procreation without gain or purpose
Languid wills and torpid minds
Catapulted ever faster by the arrow of time


To me, both of these songs talk about the wisdom of not following along with the crowd, albeit from slightly different perspectives. The earlier song (Henchmen) is more of a guide for how not to just fall in line with common opinions and be different, while the latter (Individual) is more about how rare and hard it is to actually be that individual.

I find the perspectives fascinating and accurate to a large degree. It's not easy blazing your own path. If you don't follow societal norms, or rules, you run the risk of being shunned.

Anyway, food for thought. I'll probably break down more Bad Religion in the future as I believe there is value in their music.
Posted by PoliticalMalcontent | Tue Jul 12, 2016, 07:43 PM (0 replies)

Bad Religion - Mixing music with philosophy

I used to listen to a lot of Bad Religion in my youth. I didn't appreciate it nearly as much then as I do now that I'm a bit older but there's a lot of great ideas tucked away in their music.

The following thread will include bits and pieces from some of my favorite Bad Religion songs. Some of these songs touch on the same ideas in various ways.
Posted by PoliticalMalcontent | Tue Jul 12, 2016, 07:30 PM (3 replies)

Want to learn the history of philosophy via podcast? Here's your chance.

Came across this little gem of a website the other day. There's something like 90+ hours of podcasts broken down into 20 minute segments.

Posted by PoliticalMalcontent | Mon Jun 6, 2016, 04:34 PM (1 replies)

An exercise in critical thinking and hopefully some food for thought. There are no wrong answers.

As stated in the title this is an exercise in critical thinking. There are no wrong answers, however you, the reader, are not going to take anything out of this exercise unless you are honest with yourself. That being said, again, there are no wrong answers and perception will undoubtedly play a heavy role in the exercise to come.

1.) In a hypothetical 2016 general election match-up between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders who would you bet money on?

2.) What is the support for your conclusion?

I'll chime in at some point with my own conclusions down thread. Hope I'm not the only one! -crosses his fingers-
Posted by PoliticalMalcontent | Sat Mar 5, 2016, 01:57 AM (19 replies)

Is anybody else concerned about how the Clintons' wield their political influence?

Hillary Clinton has done a tremendous job of using her political sway to influence the democratic party to her benefit. It started in the 90's and her political influence has only gotten stronger. The head of the DNC (the regulating body of the democratic party) even comes directly from the 2008 Clinton campaign. That, my friends, is stacking the deck in your favor.

Those that help Clinton are pushed into positions of power while those who do not support Clinton have had a history of being thrown under the bus. This causes fear. Real fear of political retaliation.

One example is Claire McCaskill (Get well soon, McCaskill!). She endorsed Obama and perhaps said some things about Bill Clinton that she regretted. And then? Then came the fear. She did a good job of mending bridges though, including endorsing Clinton in June of 2015 (a full six months earlier in the election cycle than her last presidential endorsement). My assumption is that the endorsement came so early because she was trying to get back into Clinton's good graces.

Still, it's hard to ignore the grudges that Clinton has kept.

The Hill: Hillary's Hit List
The Hill: Kerry, Kennedy top Clinton's Traitor's List

It's Nixonian.

I worry about those that are supporting Sanders right now. Those potential bright stars who have bucked the party power players in favor of their own personal beliefs. Tulsi Gabbard was the Vice-chair of the of the DNC, but resigned out so she could speak out. That's how important this was to her.

This is a big difference compared to Debbie Wasserman Schultz who runs the DNC, worked for Clinton in '08 and is supposedly impartial. Debbie did a terrific job of scheduling the initial set of debates on days that would stifle viewership (weekends, holidays, against sports playoffs). She hasn't explicitly come out for Clinton, but she can't due to her position. Actions however, speak louder than words. She's banking on Clinton's name recognition.

Frankly, in my opinion the party would be better off not being so vindictive. As it stands, it is my firm belief that things will get worse before they get better if Clinton is nominated. The deck will be stacked further. Help for the lower and middle class will be further away. That is not what I think the democratic party should stand for. That is not how the party will win votes.
Posted by PoliticalMalcontent | Wed Mar 2, 2016, 08:04 PM (1 replies)

Who should pick presidents? Party leadership or the people?

There has been a bit of contention with how Democratic leadership has fallen in line behind Hillary Clinton while shutting out Bernie Sanders on the democratic side.

On the Republican side party brokers are trying their best to make sure that Donald Trump is NOT the face of the party for years to come. Donald Trump has responded by threatening to run as an independent. Interestingly, Ben Carson has also blasted the RNC, threatening to leave the party.

The DNC and RNC are entirely different, yet their struggles are similar. Both Parties have their preferred candidates. Jeb Bush was supposed to be the guy. The people rebuked the party offer and went with Trump and Carson. The Republican party is now scrambling to prop up their next best choice.

Over on the DNC side Clinton has been protected via a lack of debates. Compare 2008 to 2016. In 2008 the Democrats had 26 scheduled debates. In 2016 the DNC scheduled ... Six? SIX lousy debates? You've got to be shitting me. And most of those debates are scheduled on days meant to leep viewership down (Saturdays, around holidays, against both football and baseball playoffs).

So the DNC clearly has their candidate and the RNC is working on finding an emergency candidate.

Shouldn't people be given as many opportunities as possible to learn about their candidates though? This is basically an interview process for possibly the most important job in the world. I find it shameful that so many party leaders were willing to make an endorsement before the 'interview process' of debates ever began. It undermines democracy when the party picks their candidate before the race has even started and frankly it makes me question their motives (backdoor deals, etc).

So... Who should pick presidents? Party leadership or the general voting public?
Posted by PoliticalMalcontent | Fri Dec 11, 2015, 05:12 PM (45 replies)

Demographics data from Public Policy Polling's New Hampshire survey (Dec 3rd)

There was a trove of data beyond "Who would you vote for?" from that PPP survey posted on Dec. 3rd for New Hampshire.

Data can be found here: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2015/PPP_Release_NH_120315.pdf

Methodology per PPP:

"Public Policy Polling surveyed 458 Democratic primary voters and 454 Republican primary
voters from November 30th to December 2nd. The margin of error for both parties is +/-4.6%.
80% of participants responded via the phone, while 20% of respondents who did not have
landlines conducted the survey over the internet."

Final tally among likely New Hampshire democratic primary voters:

Clinton - 44%
Sanders - 42%
O'Malley - 8%
Undecided - 7%

We've already seen this poll though. Let's dig deeper! (My apologies to O'Malley supporters. I'm going to focus my energies on Clinton and Sanders for the rest of this post as there's just too much data to work with.)


Clinton Net Favorability among democratic primary voters by gender

Male: +45 (9% not sure)
Female: +48 (10% not sure)
Combined: +46% (9% not sure)

Sanders Net Favorability among democratic primary voters by gender

Male: +68 (8% not sure)
Female: +63 (11% not sure)
Combined: +66 (10% not sure)


Clinton Net Favorability among democratic primary voters by age

18-45: +31 (9% not sure)
46-65: +49 (11% not sure)
Older than 65: +64 (6% not sure)

Sanders Net Favorability among democratic primary voters by age

18-45: +57 (12% not sure)
46-65: +69 (10% not sure)
Older than 65: 72% (6% not sure)


Clinton Net Favorability by party affiliation

Democrat: +58 (6% not sure)
Republican: -34 (0% not sure)
Independent: +25 (25% not sure)

Sanders Net Favorability by party affiliation

Democrat: +76 (8% not sure)
Republican: -54 (14% not sure)
Independent: +51 (12% not sure)


Again, this is a fairly small sample size and only applies to New Hampshire. Still, it's a bit of food for thought. All of the data from my post plus some other gems can be located in in the last 10 or so pages of the link provided above (or here for those to lazy to scroll up!).

Let's open this up for discussion.
Posted by PoliticalMalcontent | Sat Dec 5, 2015, 01:32 AM (3 replies)

Trump and Xenophobia

I've been doing some writing on Public Policy Polling's recent New Hampshire survey and while that post isn't ready yet I was shocked and fascinated by some of the data on Trump.

Here's an excerpt from Public Policy Polling (Specifically page 2): http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2015/PPP_Release_NH_120315.pdf

58% of Trump voters think thousands of Arabs in New Jersey celebrated the attacks of
9/11 to only 12% who don't think that happened. This is despite only 30% of Republican
voters overall believing that to 39% who don't.

53% of Trump supporters are in favor of a national database of Muslims, to only 22%
opposed to that concept. This is despite only 29% of Republicans overall supporting the
idea to 44% who are against it. In fact supporters of all 13 of the other candidates are
against this concept.

49% of Trump supporters want to shut down the mosques in the United States, to only
18% against that idea. Overall only 25% of Republicans support doing that to 44% who
oppose it. Again on this issue supporters of every single candidate other than Trump are
against it.

Additionally we asked voters about an assault weapons ban and only 20% of Trump
voters support it to 66% who are opposed. We then asked about a ban specifically on
assault weapons for Muslims, and 56% of Trump voters support that to only 22% who are

Republicans may be bad, but Trump might just be the worst by using his rhetoric to whip up fear.
Posted by PoliticalMalcontent | Fri Dec 4, 2015, 11:34 PM (1 replies)

Sanders Youtube link dump - (700+ vids spanning a career in politics)

Hello everyone,

I've come across several amazing Youtube pages with hundreds of Sanders vids spanning 30+ years. I've felt compelled to share, but am a bit nervous about making such a post. I hope at least a few DUers find it enjoyable and/or informative.

These videos do a great job of highlighting his consistency on the issues.

Catholics4Bernie Playlist - 650+ videos spanning 30+ years in politics segmented down by year. Typically shorter clips from C-SPAN)

Peoples War Videos - Various videos from various sources of varying lengths. 50+ videos.)

Any of the videos from above or elsewhere resonate with you? Consider sharing the cream of the crop in the comments.

Thank you.
Posted by PoliticalMalcontent | Sun Nov 8, 2015, 05:10 PM (4 replies)

Hello. My name is PoliticalMalcontent and I'm addicted to Politics.

My first taste of politics came before I could vote back in the year 2000. I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention, but Florida and hanging chads were dominating the news. If Gore has been elected perhaps my story would have ended there.

2004: My first election. I was enthralled by the political process. Having read daily about the horrors of war for the past several years and realizing the epic cost both in dollars and life it seemed like change was inevitable. Watching the 2004 campaigns unfold it became clear to me just how sick politics can be. Swiftboat Veterans for Truth? Karl Rove's ugly politics fooled the people that weren't really paying attention and that sickened me (much like the Benghazi scandal sickens me today). An all-out smear campaign (Swiftboating, flip-flopping) left Kerry in trouble. Incumbency is hard to overtake, no matter how objectively bad the incumbent is apparently.

The 2004 election was heartbreaking. Rehab came in the form of The Daily Show. If I couldn't celebrate politics the least I could do was laugh, right? Jon Stewart was amazing and will be missed.

2008 rolled around, and by this time my political opinions had grown by leaps and bounds. I did some campaigning for Barack Obama, whom I felt was the best person for the job and I was beyond the moon when he eventually won the presidency. While he hasn't been a perfect president (none are) I view him favorably overall.

In general, I consider myself a liberal Democrat and will gladly discuss politics with anybody. Most all of my family and friends are either hardcore conservatives (ugh!) or not interested in politics. I'm for civility and facts. Opinions are nice, but if baseless, leave themselves open for scrutiny. That being said, I'm not here to be an asshole. I'm just here to have a voice.
Posted by PoliticalMalcontent | Sat Oct 31, 2015, 03:48 PM (12 replies)
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