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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Remembering Bernie

A lively discussion about the Democratic Party divide- see the link above from Democracy Now.
I enjoyed Solomon's responses to McIntosh. One of the best was when he said, "We’ve got to oppose all of these Wall Street and militaristic policies that are embodied, frankly, in what Hillary Clinton is saying and doing." Her response was about a reason the campaigns were coming together and doing exciting things and putting families first. The last two ended up being more like fillers or empty buzzwords for me since it's not clear what exactly she's talking about- I mean, being a woman, one would hope she'd understand these two challenges, but for me her very troubling record on Israel, militarism and support for Wall Street and corporations stand out as areas she's been more actively involved and interested in. If she weren't Hillary Clinton, Republicans would probably love her. 

So it was pretty hilarious to hear Trump say:

"We're going to get a lot of the Bernie voters by the way, because they didn't treat him right," he told volunteers in Cleveland Friday. "He ran a very, very good campaign and Hillary's people just swamped him."

Bernie Sanders' response was right on target as usual. As frustrating as this change in direction is from farther left and more progressive to politics as usual- and he should feel it the most- he didn't lose sight of the bigger picture.

"Those who voted for me will not support Trump who has made bigotry and divisiveness the cornerstone of his campaign. ‪#‎RNCwithBernie‬," Sanders tweeted Thursday during the Republican nominee's speech.

First Gentleman, anyone?

The Awkward Etiquette of Bill Clinton as ‘First Lady’

In thinking of Bill as a first lady, I thought it'd be funny if his hair and wardrobe and each outfit choice were scrutinized and he was reduced to choosing dinnerware, flowers and seating charts- not to mention choosing a noncontroversial advocacy issue and being sent to schools and hospitals while the president made deals and ironed out the big issues of the day. . .

From the article:

"It might just finally expose how out-of-date the “feminine” expectations of the office have become. And there’s a real prospect that Bill might genuinely rethink the role—a long-overdue change to what has become a strange purgatory for a wife who’s often extremely accomplished in her own right."

All joking aside, maybe he could change things for that "office". I'm always disappointed when a first lady doesn't dive into the political issues in her speech and make solid cases for the candidate and chooses only to talk about kids as though this is all a woman is supposed to think about and this is the only experience and knowledge she can possibly bring to the table.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Evils of political correctness (?!)

I grew up hearing about the evils of humanism, moral relativism and political correctness in church at least once a week. Hidden in there, but not necessarily stated was a contempt for social justice and all things Democratic Party leaning (for example- you are AGAINST social justice because Democrats are generally FOR it, you don't need to examine the merit of individual issues.)

I'm all for religious freedom and the exercise of it, but when you are contrasting that with being politically correct or being in favor of social justice, that's where we have a problem. Not just a problem with me because I disagree, but there should be some cognitive dissonance there. I've written about this before, when I felt I was the only one talking about it. (I probably wasn't the only one, I was just growing into the realization and hadn't heard the other voices yet.) Plus, I just saw this article the other day that makes some of the same points:

Not to mention, I was always confused by the notion that in order to be a good Christian, you had to not only NOT have an abortion or engage in homosexual acts, but you had to support legislation banning them and oppose legislation supporting an individual's right to make a different choice than you just made- or, stated differently-  force all to make the same choice you just freely made. Tying these personal moral choices to not only a group but politics through religion seems to violate a number of God- given (for believers) and constitutional rights. But back to the PC problem. . . 

from Merriam-Webster
 conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated

Political correctness as I know it, is a basic standard of politeness, empathy and decency. As you learn more about race or sexuality or disabilities or whatever it is, you should definitely adjust your vocabulary and your behavior to respect others.

People like Trump and his followers enjoy this anti-PC movement as a way to spout racist and misogynistic insults and rhetoric because they may feel threatened by movements in favor of equality. They see equality as a finite quantity and if minorities are getting more, they will get less- this is how it looks to me. The anti-PC movement "speaks their mind" and "tells it like it is" without a second thought to the fact that conditions anyone else experiences might be different or more challenging than their own. It is a license to go on and say those racist epithets and outdated terms and express your white male frustrations under the guise of being in favor freedom or the Bible.

The two sides:

The RNC. . . or a circus

A tiny plastic fetus replica was apparently put in the RNC goodie bags, yes, on purpose! To remind them that this is the only issue on the table? To say that yes Trump hates women, but since joining the Republican party, he loves fetuses? To say that it's cool to hate immigrants, illegal or no, slander people left and right, hate women and minorities, believe firmly in white male power, but if you like fetuses you're A-OK!

Hahahaha. Assault rifles are free to be carried, here's why tennis balls are banned. . . :

"MEDEA BENJAMIN: They told us this is not a game. You could open up a tennis ball and put feces inside, and it could get thrown at them, and it would be very dangerous."

Nothing could go wrong with a bunch of armed hatemongering nut jobs who feel threatened by anything from made up threats to the thought of white male hegemony disappearing!

Party Loyalty vs. Common Decency

This election underscores like no other that people will vote their party no matter what. It doesn't matter who you put up in that spot, nut job Ben Carson, egomaniac misogynist The Donald, or an actual politician with some idea of what's going on in the world and Washington, you have to unite behind your party because that matters more than any policy, mental stability or potential for disaster ever could. Get your team the win. All this is is a giant football game. Values? Future? Freedom? Nope!

Or maybe we are witnessing what historians will herald as the end of the 2 party system. The popularity of Bernie Sanders, the rise of Donald Trump and disgruntled people all over the map. I know, wishful thinking, there.

Back to actual recent events. . .

The RNC goers just appointed themselves judge and jury!

Forget about campaigning against Clinton, they've decided her fate like no proceeding in the real world could:
“Is she guilty or not guilty? Lock her up! Lock her up!”
Much like Trump's nomination, decided by screaming and the whim of the guy speaking.

Is this what values voting means? I know what the law says and she's had a hearing, but I think she's guilty, lock her up! Is this what limited government is all about? Deciding things on a whim? I've always wondered. I guess as long as Republicans can tell you what to do with your body and who you can marry and who should be in jail, all is right with the world and “values” are a priority. Values. Another word that is beginning to mean NOTHING. Empty words are a common occurrence with Trump though.

Take law and order, which he repeats half a dozen times.

By the last time, you start to wonder what does he MEAN? Martial law? State of emergency dictatorship style? Is he planning to go in personally- or send some thugs- to kill anyone he thinks is the problem? He has no idea though, so it'll be up to the thugs. Is THIS how he'll fix things as only he can? What's the plan??

The RNC comes at a moment the nation is in crisis? Isn't it always? But this is nothing like 2008 and the collapse of the economy and John McCain used it as an opportunity to try and get out of a debate and rescue the nation. That was also idiotic, but that was a time of actual uncertainty. I would say the Republican party is in crisis- evidence being Trump's nomination due to lack of any viable candidates.

Winning abroad!! :

Fun experiment guys. You CAN get someone elected on money alone and without actually detailing a solid plan for governance. Now, lets get a real candidate somehow.

Trump is not only a Liar (business deals- check out Scotland, reporting of business deals, any speech he's given, under oath in court, you name it!), but also a huge Fraud (see the Trump University scam, among many others)- and even more troubling- a misogynistic egomaniac racist fascist delusional bully who thinks he'll be appointed king, accountable to no one, not a president elected, beholden to voters.

*Trump University

His only real qualification seems to be businessman, but he's pretty terrible at that. . .

Is Donald Trump racist?

Is Trump fascist?

On women:

I'm sure this isn't every one. . .

And another. . . don't vote for this guy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Melania Trump, plagiarism, and counterattacks

Melania Trump 'Plagiarised' Michelle Obama ?

So Hannity and Breitbart want us to think this latest plagiarism case is like Obama "copying" from Deval Patrick. . . 
Hahaha! Doubt they have the same political consultant or friendship or permission and Melania admits nothing, unlike Obama, but yeah totally the same thing.

And then for both sides we could talk about the phenomenon of hearing something and incorporating it into your own work unintentionally as happens in writing. . .

The Melania Trump Plagiarism Case Is Nothing Like Obama and Patrick’s

Some conservative answers:

Women against women?

So I've just been looking for a better way of explaining an aspect of inequality. So there's the explicit type, but there's also implicit bias and the effect on the present of past inequality.

The article touches on an argument that is made that women perpetuate sexism against themselves (Their own fault! Men are absolved! ). While true to some extent in that women do discriminate against other women, blaming women is not correct. This is the culture created by past concrete and widespread inequality.

The same kinds of things could be said of racism, how it's become institutionalized, but I just read this article on the other topic. . .

Everyone's A Little Bit Sexist