It's the Apocalypse about everything all the time. Everything is tied together. You've got "experts" willing to make dramatic statements about anything at all. It's always "those people" causing something.
Nobody sets any context. No real information is presented. It's just paranoia and panic made to hook people into watching more.
I always have this fantasy where I start my own TV news network and it's "just news". If the topic is complex like something about the separation of powers, we do a little intro to that, then the news. I'm not sure it would be popular, but at the same time, i'm not convinced it wouldn't be considering the competition.
I just catch-up on the news once a week to avoid thinking about it too much. Yeah, there's madness, but a lot of it is beyond my reach. So, it's not really helpful for me to hear about what's going on more than once a week.
> I always have this fantasy where I start my own TV news network and it's "just news".
PBS News Hour tends to do this pretty well. The experts they bring on usually do a good job of just discussing facts and describing common stances on all sides.
Part of your complaint has to do with the deregulation of the news industry, historically. In 1987, the FCC fairness doctrine was eliminated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine
It's no mistake that it gave rise to a massive number of pundits under the guise of proper news outlets.
For most people, you can probably stretch that. Catch up once a month, then catch up once every three months, then six, or twelve. Most people I've spoken too feel much better when they just quit "news".
Also reminded me of this, a Lukas Nelson (of the red-headed stranger stock) song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2lild9nfps
I found that "news" (as in non-local stuff) doesn't matter to me. I cannot do anything about the things that are happening, whether or not they happen changes my life very little (i.e. "whatever party is elected, my taxes are going to go up"), but they do weigh on my mental health. Just like with cigarettes, knowing that they're not good for you isn't enough to stop smoking though, and just because I've stopped before doesn't mean that it's easier to quit this time.
If your city was hit with a terrorist attack or mass shooting is your boss going to let you have time off work because you don't feel safe? I doubt it, it's back to work as usual.
Sadly a lot of smaller town local papers across Canada have been bought up by National Post much like Sinclair Media did with small TV stations in the USA. Some independents still persist but the numbers grow fewer...
How do you do that? We used to have a good selection of newsmagazines that summarized the week's news and utilized the ability to more deeply dive into issues to great effect. They've all devolved into gossip rags, AFAICT. The only exception I know of is The Economist; and they've got an unabashed bias they put into things. That's refreshing than the hidden bias everybody else has, but it makes them not a great sole source.
Specifically this interview 
And it's true, they hardly ever point out how unlawful the president is, but occasionally his reps come on to suggest that asking "a favor" of foreign leaders to try and manufacture smear stories about upcoming political opponents come on they get fussy.
I have a similar wish, where political news is mostly just civics class.
I tapped out on political news and conversations because it's become sports for people who don't like sports. Well, it's actually worse than that. At least people obsessed with sports know the ins and outs of the rules and can rattle off statistics. I was having an discussion with a couple news junkies that knew all the talking points and fashionable positions of their preferred team. Somehow it came up in conversation that nether of them knew the three branches of US government. WTF am I even doing with my time?
I like this description. I think it really does capture the mentality of most politics type people.
I do wish it could somehow better communicate the intensity of the politics mentality. Because it's not just, say, Michigan wanting to beat Ohio State. Because in sports fans of both teams realize, deep down, that this has to be done on the field. By contrast, the political types don't have these sorts of limits. If you're perceived to not be on their side, they'll kill you while you're shopping at walmart or playing bingo at church or something.
For the politics type people, it's not just what happens "on the field", so to speak, it's a more all encompassing "sports" fanaticism.
I try to think about those "fashionable positions" within the context of what i know about the structure of my government (the USA), and perhaps what I'd like to see it be instead.
It would be nicer to see more of the principle of charity; but at a certain level of feeling aggrieved I'm not sure it's a reasonable expectation.
No really, NPR softballs most of the ridiculous things we're seeing in the US right now. Rather than focusing on the very real humanitarian crisis of US border detention camps, we instead hear human interest pieces about how difficult it is to be a lawyer there (as the lawyers desperately try and send a message for help that is calmly ignored).
News about the new reality of plastic-contaminated water? Nah, let's instead focus on the legal drama of the lawsuits.
Climate change is real, sure, but for NPR the real challenge is that it's tough being a climate change scientist and how mean people can be to you for just reporting the science.
And I haven't even gotten to the political stories or the foreign policy stories.
NPR is all about re-interpreting everything about the uncertainty of the next 40 years within a lens of urbane detachment and disinterested compassion. "Just the news," without any mention of the existential crisis that you call panic."
(Politics rant) I really got sick of CNN and Colbert in the first year after Trump was inaugurated. Everything was about Trump, Trump, Trump to the exclusion of other important news. It seemed like every other day some CNN reporter did a hatchet job trying to make Trump look like a moron instead of just reporting facts. Where's the real news? The hatchet jobs didn't change anyone's opinion of Trump, they just played to their audiences' biases. (/Politics rant)
It saddens me that a large amount of people are stressed and consumed by a process that they have very very little impact on. Unless you live in a select few states, your state probably gets 2 electoral votes for your senators and a few more based on your district size. If you live in Montana, Alaska, North or South Dakota then you're getting the minimum of 3 electoral votes.
It's really more about outrage culture at this point I think. I actually wonder how much harm is done by the election process in how it makes people think problems are being debated or solved when no legitimate debate is taking place and no real solutions are being implemented.
Also, it doesn't matter which political party you are on.
If you're a "left" leaning person who wants socialized healthcare, we never really got that. We got something that had some of the same words and ideas, but in the end nobody could actually go to a doctor without wealth being a large factor.
If you're a "right" leaning person you probably want a smaller government that spends less and we never get that. For every reduction in law hundreds are added. One step forward, 99 steps backwards.
New Hampshire gets ridiculously outsized attention in election years, as a small state, early primary state, and a swing state. Truly the trifecta and probably the state where an individual's vote matters the most.
As for the last couple paragraphs, as someone who possesses an ideology I am disappointed I don't always get my way, and live in my utopia. But as someone who is aware others possess contrasting ideologies, I am glad I don't live in their dystopias.
We have a system that encourages compromises, including very ugly and unjust compromises, as a way to avoid one side winning entirely and establishing a totalitarian (or anarchist) state.
People seem to appreciate this less than they once did, but haven't done anything really to change it yet.
The president it the head of the day to day operations of the government. They are supposed to faithfully see that the laws passed by Congress are executed properly.
But really, the states have always had the authority to do what people nowadays want the feds to do. Universal healthcare? The states are allowed to provide that. universal basic income? The states can do that too. Lower the drinking age? Yup, states can do that.
No one needs to wait for the federal government to 'approve' or 'allow' your state to do something. The states have ultimate, pretty much absolute authority.
If you want to limit access to abortions at the state level you are a nutty republican.
If you want to limit access to firearms at the state level you are a nutty democrat.
Or replace nutty with heroic depending what single issue you support.
Universal healthcare requires high buy-in and very different systems from what we have now.
Drinking age is tied to necessary federal highway funding, so states aren't going to lower the age.
Federal mandates for funds exist because the 17th amendment took away State governments representation and handed to popular human vote. Few Senators faithfully representing their State would pass mandates telling their own government they must comply or not get money. They'd likely get removed or replaced with someone else by the state government that put them there.
States can regulate all of them. They are under no requirement to follow federal policy. In fact, they can even erect pretty substantial border controls (like California does) and send armies to protect their borders, if they really want to (yes this has actually been done outside the civil war).
For example, California recently 'threatened' to start universal health care. I'm unsure why the news framed it this way given that it has always been california's right to provide free health care to its citizens, and no one can really legally stop it. Perhaps California cannot raise enough money to do so, but that is an issue of feasibility, not legality. It's not like the feds would magically be able to raise money that California couldn't.
> Drinking age is tied to necessary federal highway funding, so states aren't going to lower the age.
Um sure, but states are not required to take federal funding for highways. That's like saying 'Aunt Irma requires me to send her a Thank You note whenever I ask for her knit sweaters', while neglecting to mention that you actually do want the knit sweaters because they keep you warm and cozy.
The federal government passed a law in 1984 stripping states of their highway funding if they didn't put a floor under the drinking age at 21.
That doesn't actually change the fact that states have every right to change the drinking age. Obviously states do not have a right to federal government funds. However, if a state doesn't care for government funds, they are free to make their laws as they please. The feds have not made it illegal for states to do so (and they couldn't even if they tried).
I would really suggest responding to my comment as stated. I said:
> the states have always had the authority to do what people nowadays want the feds to do
Nothing about the contingency of federal highway funding takes away from the fact that states still retain the authority to set drinking ages as they see fit. The feds have the authority to spend their money how they see fit. That's how this whole thing works, believe it or not.
Honestly I'm not sure who forgets this, considering how this point is brought up any time anybody wants to criticize the electoral college (as far as I see, anyways).
Regardless of why it is the way it is, in my opinion the electoral college is an absolute garbage implementation of a federal election.
Some states are vastly better represented than others because of "swing state" game theory. A third party is not viable except as a spoiler.
States are incentivized to implement first past the post voting from a game theory PoV because if you're a swing state you want to stay a swing state as it is financially and politically beneficial, and if you're not a swing state you don't want your solid blue/red state giving up even one delegate to the opposing party.
On top of that, the entire goal of the electoral college was that we would vote for electors we trust and those electors would handle voting in a President. Yet we don't even do that, we vote for a presidential candidate and an elector is chosen to carry that vote out to the national level! Presidential elections are poorly implemented direct democracy masquerading as federalism.
In practice, none of those details are really true anymore.
Actually, under Trump government finally did get smaller. Maybe not cheaper just yet but we absolutely DO have fewer laws today - a LOT fewer. Trump promised to repeal two laws for every new one and he basically did do that.
One way to measure the amount of regulation is by counting the number of pages in the Federal Register. In 2016 that metric hit an all-time high of over 95,000. Under Trump, it dropped to and has remained below 70,000.
"Under Trump, there has also been a substantial reduction in the number of rules and regulations published within all those Federal Register pages.
The Federal Register closed out 2018 with 3,367 final rules in all. The only lower count was 3,281 under Trump a year ago, which was the lowest count since records began being kept in the mid-1970s."
I'm not saying that Americans never disagreed, war'd with each other, etc. That's not the point. The point is that we're losing that belief in an American ideal that helps keep us together while we debate our issues. The more divided we are, the more we'll be ripe for the picking by those who never cared about America in the first place.
It's not just TV and social media, but a belief that America should be a hodge podge of cultures united by nothing but an empty consumerist culture. It's pretty hard for things like forgiveness, giving the benefit of the doubt, and seeing each other as human beings to actually work in such a place when there are political interests that benefit by having those principles eliminated. A hostile, low trust society clicks more ragebait and gobbles more food to combat depression.
I'm not sure that either side cares about an America that includes "them". The right doesn't care about an America that includes people who want to change their genders or marry their same-sex partners. The left doesn't care about an America that includes people who want their religion to influence their politics, or who want to have guns be part of their culture.
Here's a better one: how many people do you know have a relationship that survives one partner wanting and abortion and one saying that abortion is murder?
Perhaps the problem is that the media presents a distorted view of the world, crafted to serve their agenda and their advertisers.
The idea that there aren't hard fault lines in the American political discourse is itself a media distortion as well, primarily driven by pro-State media.
And in fact, your view of the world is outdated. Faith as an intermarriage agreement point is down substantially as people care less about religion . Partisan divides are rising as folks start feeling freer to express more opinions , we see that data suggests partisanship is rising.
Increasingly, women are not required to accept a politically opposite husband (a clear trend in the data prior). Without their forbearance, who is going to form these unions you're used to seeing?
I'd like to point out that the idea that, "Well the media distorts things therefore none of this is real" is an absurd premise that is largely used by privileged people to ignore the suffering and difficulty of others, using the excuse of ignorance without mentioning its self-inflicted.p
I simply do not believe you cannot find it, as it is in this very thread and I know that HN is rendering it to you on the same screen.
Feigned helplessness is pretty obvious here. Please just walk away if you don't want to continue in good faith.
Considering that they, like you, think they're right, you can at least grant other human beings the same dignity you wish to receive. Obviously, everything is subject to the situation but, from a big picture perspective, viewing yourself and others as fallible, as opposed to a Hollywood-esque fight between Good and Evil, is a greater exercise in humility. Like pulling the trigger on a gun, hostility and rejection should be a weapon reserved until there isn't an alternative.
If you think there's no hope for a common understanding with Republicans(I think it's safe to assume that's whom you are referring to), then I guess all I have to say is that's kind of sad because I'm sure that you have family and friends who vote Republican(whether they tell you or not); why associate with them at all if you think a low-trust society is warranted?
Think of it this way. A Republican might say:
"How much comaraderie should one really be expected to show for an opposing party that actively opposes America as an individual nation, wants to impart an economic structure that's been disastrous in other parts of the world, embraces censorship, participated in proxy wars and knowingly murdered civilians with drones, uses minorities as political tools, hates white people, expanded the surveillance apparatus, and wants to take our guns away?"
I know some imbecile is probably going to take that hypothetical quote as being my own position and attempt to argue every one of those points. Save your breath, whomever you are, because that's not at all what I'm claiming to believe.
Whether they are actually right or wrong, they are Americans who, like you, care about the destiny of the country. That's where your camaraderie begins. If it ends there too, then too bad, but not having that common understanding is dangerous and useful to anyone who wants to control the masses.
The healthiest and best immunization one can have in this kind of environment is to avoid internalizing their identity as belonging to one of the two “teams”. It’s nearly impossible to find commentary these days that is objective and not agenda-driven — currently those who are performing the daily mental exercises to avoid the trap of slipping into tribalism must do so internally and without expressing their views: anyone who is not a member of either tribe will be considered the enemy of both.
I find it ironic to see this kind of shit peddled on Hacker News, containing the hive mind that will eat up anyone who disagrees on certain topics (such as anti-vax).
Rawls gives examples of things that should be part of the overlapping consensus for society to function, such as public standards of inquiry and public values. He proposes the following rule:
> Citizens engaged in certain political activities have a duty of civility to be able to justify their decisions on fundamental political issues by reference only to public values and public standards.
All of that is just background. You can read a summary of Rawls on SEP, or his book A Theory of Justice.
Given all that, we can see how things might break down. In order:
1. A citizen may not be reasonable. Jeffery Dahmer would qualify. He does not want to live in a society with rules and justice: he wants to rape and eat people.
2. The citizens of a society may differ so much that their overlapping consensus is empty, or too small to serve as a foundation of anything. If all we agree on is that the sky is blue, but disagree on democracy vs. monarchy or which end of the egg to eat, then we will not be able to form a society.
3. We may agree on much, but not on those key topics like public standards of inquiry. If one person believes that matters of fact should be decided by a unanimous decision by a jury of peers, while the other believes that only confession under torture can be trusted, the two will have a difficult time agreeing on a legal system.
When things do breakdown for one of the above reasons, "civil discourse" is not really possible. Other kinds of discourse are still possible, but these will be more like hostage negotiations or the arguments that precede a divorce than any kind of idealized notion of civil discourse. Which is to say, the tools required for understanding these conflicts are rhetoric, game theory, and psychology, and not political theory or ethics.
Or, similarly, how do A and B discuss going green vs economic prosperity, when A is wearing a T-shirt espousing that black people were better off as slaves and B is a black person?
Making the language of communication a negotiating aspect strikes me as an almost rookie error; both sides surely have something that they care more about than wobbles of air that make up sound. The first person to compromise on language will probably have a slight advantage in any following negotiation, because they started with a respectful concession and can reasonably ask for something in return. Eye on the prize, and all that.
The usual issue with identity politics is that there is a move to compel a specific language without acknowledging that for some people that represents a compromise. Typically the compelling is to be done on behalf of people who look like power-seekers and likely authoritarian. Not the sort of people who it is a good idea to give power to; they aren't negotiating types.
Actually, there's two ways this can go. One is where the offender is being a jerk; the other is where the offended is being a jerk. Civility and good faith go a long way, on both sides.
(How, in your first paragraph, would A be the jerk? I have literally never in my life encountered someone who wishes to use the pronoun ze, and when I do, I'm probably going to have a hard time remembering to use it for a while. That doesn't make me a bad person, toxic, or a jerk. It makes me a person with a lifetime of ingrained habits about how pronouns work, and it may not be easy to change that after being told once. If A regards that as hostility and offense - worse, if A is actively looking for offense - then we may have a hard time having a conversation. If A can recognize good faith in failure, and just smile at people who take a while to get it, then we're fine.)
My question then becomes what happens then civility has already broken down? Say, I think "cunt" is a terrible word to call someone, and my cohort in a discussion is from a region where it's a fairly normal word, like "jerk". As we discuss, my cohort uses that word as normal, and I take severe offense, causing the discussion to break down as my cohort also doesn't wish to "cater to" me. Now what, are we just doomed to never be able to discuss even random other stuff like chocolate vs vanilla ice cream?
If they just keep saying it, it's clear that they don't care. That tells you that they aren't a person interested in meeting you halfway. I don't need to discuss chocolate vs vanilla (or anything else) with someone who's willing to deliberately offend me.
But if they forget once or twice, and say it, not because they don't care that it offends you but just because it's become habit, and habits don't change instantly, then cut them some slack. Your words that you say by habit that offend others aren't easy to stop saying, either.
But if you're so busy "taking severe offense" that you can't respond like a reasonable person, then maybe you're the problem. You almost certainly are if you're enjoying taking severe offense. (I know, nobody ever admits to it. But I suspect that some people do, and if they were honest with themselves, they'd know it.)
[Edit: Missed your first paragraph. Refuses is different from forgets to. Again, though, it may not be that simple. If B forgets once, a hypersensitive A might label that "refuses". Or, B could really refuse, but claim "I keep forgetting" when called on it. Those two scenarios look fairly similar - you probably have to read tone of voice, facial expression, and body language to know.]
Will B regard that as a "victory"? Sure, but there's nothing A can do to change that. Will B claim that A isn't listening? Sure, but there's nothing A can do to change that. The only thing A can change is how much aggravation and abuse A has to put up with. So A should just walk away.
"Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.—In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right to not tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal."
His words have been brutally twisted in contemporary times in part because many of the words connotations have changed over time. In particular Popper defined an open society as one "in which individuals are confronted with personal decisions" as opposed to a "magical or tribal or collectivist society." In an open society individuals debate and discuss among one another remaining critical, yet tolerant, of one another's views. In a closed society one believes what they're supposed to believe or what their collective believes. And running afoul of the collective is met with ostracism or other form of punishment.
And this is exactly what his quote is hitting on. It is speaking of philosophies that are intolerant of other philosophies. And where instead of meeting words with words, words may be met with violence. It is these sort of philosophies for which Popped espoused society has an obligation to remain intolerant for they end up becoming mutually exclusive to any other philosophy and trending towards violence and authoritarianism.
His words were not suggesting intolerance of anything except [insert political view]. Quite the opposite - they were suggesting intolerance of any view which starts to place itself about debate and skepticism; especially to those views which trend towards responding to such skepticism or debate with violence.
Similarly growing up with lots of siblings teaches you to live with someone you really fight with.
So for me I can serve and love someone even if they want to remove regulations protecting the environment. I disagree strongly with them but still say hello in the grocery store and help them change a flat tire and buy popcorn when their kids go door to door.
over time, however, the centrifugal forces holding america's cultures began to weaken. economic growth stagnated, and economic gains became concentrated. at the same time, social issues that may have enjoyed "agree to disagree" status became matters of moral imperative as a result of political stratagems seeking to generate firmer voting blocs. eventually, our cultures had little to distract themselves from the fact that coexistence meant the perpetuation of major injustices by their own standards.
and so, we arrive at the present. our divisions are not reconcilable, nor is coexistence an option moving forward because coexistence requires subjugation of each culture's primary socioeconomic and moral directives. i would prefer a peaceful separation of the two major blocs in the US because that would allow each of the blocs to realize their desires without being held back by the other half. even if there is a major set of reforms which can precipitate revitalization of the american spirit, reconciliation will probably be impossible.
This is just ignorance talking.
> I'm not saying that Americans never disagreed, war'd with each other, etc. That's not the point. The point is that we're losing that belief in an American ideal that helps keep us together while we debate our issues. The more divided we are, the more we'll be ripe for the picking by those who never cared about America in the first place.
Yes, the Whiskey Rebellion, the Civil War, Jim Crow laws, the ongoing South Revivalism, the Ludow Massacre, the failed Hearst Rebellion, the LA riots, and the Charlottestown demonstration kinda put a pin in the shiny red balloon of your idea.
But also, books like White House Burning go into detail on quite how intense historical political conflict has been in this country. It is not a "new" state of affairs. It's just that there was an incredible wave of prosperity from WW2 right up to the 90s that so much of our country grew complacent on, so that the only real arguments were on foreign policy.
I suppose also with the USSR disintegrating, America essentially never really recovered the idea of a true rival which it could convince itself justified political excess. Most of America is just not really able to accept the idea that China is that rival and the hypothetical Islamic Unified Super-Invasion never really happened.
> It's not just TV and social media, but a belief that America should be a hodge podge of cultures united by nothing but an empty consumerist culture.
People say this whole economic-and-trade-based-culture is empty and consumerist. And maybe it is. But the prior culture was essentially unchecked imperialism and a towering belief that freedom was only achievable at global scale via American intervention. Even if that meant short-term tyranny.
So maybe the "we build shared infrastructure for survival, comfort and prosperity" isn't so bad after all.
> It's pretty hard for things like forgiveness, giving the benefit of the doubt, and seeing each other as human beings to actually work in such a place when there are political interests that benefit by having those principles eliminated.
Well if you'd like to see who gets to experience that I'd suggest you read any recent story about a white man raping a young woman. They certainly experience this in spades. Maybe you can work out how the do it.
> A hostile, low trust society clicks more ragebait and gobbles more food to combat depression.
Millennials eat less though on average.
Snark aside, America has always been a land of thinly veiled violence in our rhetoric. You're not wrong that neoconservatism and neoliberalism have failed to establish a national identity, but that may be a sign of impending doom or a cause of real problems for real people. It may be because in an information society the entire concept of a national identity is dowdy and uncalled for.
How long have we been talking about fixing healthcare? 20 years now? Nothing changes. And Obamacare was not a fix, just a way to shut up the population.
How long have we been demanding an end to endless wars?
How long have we been demanding actual action on climate change?
What happened when crimes of the government are exposed by Assange and Snowden? We punish the whistleblowers!
What was the end result of the Panama papers? Nothing.
What about the elite being engaged in pedophilia on a massive scale? What’s that, Epstein committed suicide and the prison staff won’t cooperate in an investigation? Carry on fine citizen, nothing to see here.
None of these things will change because the elite are enjoying the status quo. Now proceed fighting amongst yourselves over <insert social wedge issue here>.
I live in North Carolina, home of the HB2 "Bathroom Bill" and restrictions on cities not being able to pass more comprehensive anti-discrimination laws than those that exist at the state level. And not being able to alter their voting systems (implement IRV or approval voting) even for city elections. And not being able to apply for certain federal housing or transportation grants without the state General Assembly's approval. And not being able to stand up municipal broadband. And...well, you get the idea.
It's really sad to think how much progress we could make if those same people who are so outraged about Trump or whatever on Twitter were just as passionate about their local government.
I don't think you've ever been on a school board.
In a lot of places, there are federal and state standards that effectively dictate what children have to know. So if that state test or whatever has no relativity theory on it, but lots of low end classical mechanics problems, then guess which one the high schools in your district will spend pretty much 100% of the time teaching? Everyone from the school board members, to the school teacher, to the high schools themselves will be evaluated, publicly, when the results of those tests are released. (Some schools may even be taken over by the state or shut down if the numbers are too poor.)
Most places they generally don't take chances on spending class time on topics outside those the tests focus on, it's just too risky the way most states have structured their laws. I wish I knew some kind of a way to push back against test centric thinking in education, but it's too ingrained and there's too much riding on it. At the end of the 12 years the kids have to take the ACT in most places, and heaven help you if little Jane or Johnny doesn't do well enough on it.
I always thought that if you really want to influence what the next generation learns, you should join the company that makes the tests, not the school board.
And like any other positions of real power, you need money, some campaigns for school board are multi-million dollar election campaigns.
If anything, it’s even easier for the powerful elite to control local governments. Look at all the polluted water flowing through lead pipes across the country — what’s happening about that again? Excuse me, time to print some money and give it to the banks in another nightly “repo operation”.
Everyone has their own opinion.
Everyone lives in a world where "everyone I know agrees with me on this!"
Everyone is stressed because maybe some others disagree.
And then we all fall into a pattern of engaging in almost meaningless arguments about these issues with each other. Causing even more stress.
I think what the above exchange demonstrates is that unfortunately, "politics", or whatever you want to call it, really is stressful and contentious to the point of being dangerous to society even at the local level. It's amazing how big this problem is.
I hate the defeatist attitude and rewriting history as if there hasn’t actually been incredible progress on so, so many fronts.
There are interesting and important discussions to be had here, but not from this starting point.
Crime is at an all-time low: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-02-12/pssst-...
There are fewer hungry people today than before: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/06/01/4112650....
In terms of warfare, the world is the most peaceful it's ever been (full-scale, high death count wars used to be fought every decade or so between major powers): https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/06/war-is-killing-fewer-...
While true that, cumulatively speaking, the United States has pumped out the most greenhouse gas of any conutry, it is improving faster than other countries. In the past decade, the United States has cut 11% of it's GHG emissions:
The comment did not ask me to cite statistics claiming that the world is perfect. It merely asked for citations to statistics indicating the world is making progress
I responded by offering solid data naming several metrics indicating that many outcomes that people find desirable (less poverty, less hunger, etc) are indeed closer to being achieved today than before.
By definition, if something is getting better, it was not perfect (which is what you are asking for), so nowhere in my claim did I say or imply anything about the world being 'good'.
On a separate note: We shouldn't use ill-defined terms like 'good'. There's no objective definition of what a 'good' world would look like. For example, many philosophers have argued the world is indeed good, despite the existence of all kinds of pestulences, plagues, and natural disasters. The key in understanding them would be understanding in what sense they use the word 'good'.
It's not "the elites", it's who people are voting for.
That's a bold claim to put in the title but I believe it's generally true unless you're in a position to not have to directly deal with paying taxes (homeless or so rich that someone else deals with it for you).
I would consider myself to be extremely unpolitical. Honestly speaking I don't even know who my state's mayor is, I never voted and I don't listen to the news. I simply don't care about any of that stuff because I know as an individual it's close to impossible to change anything due to how politics work in the first place (it follows money not popularity).
However, when it comes to paying taxes or health insurance penalties you can't avoid thinking about or dealing with it and it's stressful even in those short doses of having to deal with taxes a few times a year (quarterly taxes).
It's actually pretty easy to change things. A few think-tanks actively invest in propagating this idea that it's impossible to change things, because lower voter turnout works better for them. Local elections have even lower turnout, therefore giving a lot of power to those who can participate in the process.
Sure, federal politics are further away. If you feel alienated by that, start by your municipal politics, attend counsel meetings, join a local political party and their meetings (their nomination process might only have 20-50 people actually picking your next candidate).
I'm in Canada, which is a bit different, but I have participated in a lawsuit against our provincial government (regarding software purchases) and presented myself as a candidate in municipal elections. And trust me, I have little background for that, but it helped me get better acquainted in the processes and I'm pretty happy on how it nudged a few things forward.
A society that fails to participate in their representative democracy is destined to lose it.
Voter apathy is one of the greatest existential threats to our society, hands down. Voting is one of the easiest, smallest commitments you can make as a citizen.
Activism certainly isn’t for everyone, and many aspects of the American political system are designed to systematically discourage voting and participation, but that’s not a valid reason not to exercise your basic voting rights. Nothing in our system of government is guaranteed.
This is actually not true at all. A small group of determined people is often able to affect large changes. Here's one thing I managed to do in Italy, a country where I'm not even a citizen:
The most effective way to never change anything is to cynically decide that it's impossible and not even get involved.
Lori Lightfoot became the mayor of Chicago with 1/6 of the funding of the top fundraiser, and 7th most funding overall. You should participate in your local elections, your vote matters.
Bill Daley $8,741,434.81
Toni Preckwinkle $4,608,041.90
Gery Chico $3,024,652.09
Jerry Joyce $2,784,410.00
Susana Mendoza $2,748,365.91
Willie Wilson $1,612,681.16
Lori Lightfoot $1,537,456.53
I think it's very much related because as soon as you talk or think about taxes you immediately correlate it to forcefully giving the government a large amount of your hard earned money.
And now it becomes political because you might not see directs benefits of that, so now you wonder why you pay so many hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxes over your life, but there's potholes in your neighborhood for years that could break a car's axle and thieves are breaking into houses with police who don't care enough to solve the mystery, all while you continue to pay some of the highest state tax in the US (percent wise).
And it snow balls from there. You begin to wonder why so much has to be spent on things you don't necessarily agree with and before you know it, you're ruminating on this stuff to the point where your heart is racing and you want to move to a private ungoverned island.
Thinking about stuff like that is super disappointing / demoralizing to me, so I try my best to avoid it as much as possible. I know avoiding bad things is usually terrible advice but this is one case where I'm more than happy to not play the game or only play the absolute bare minimum to enjoy my life the best I can.
Anyway It is so embedded into the norms that it is uncontentious and a divergence is considered "political". So objectively concretely true but perhaps not connotationally in the same way an uninduced miscarriage is technically an abortion and including all miscarriages in abortion rate statistics would be considered deliberately misleading without explicit characterization that the technical sense was meant such as tracking all pregnancy end conditions by percentage.
>"Learned helplessness occurs when an animal is repeatedly subjected to an aversive stimulus that it cannot escape. Eventually, the animal will stop trying to avoid the stimulus and behave as if it is utterly helpless to change the situation. Even when opportunities to escape are presented, this learned helplessness will prevent any action."
I'd like my kids to grow up in a democracy, and this deterioration is really f'ing stressful.
(If you're one of those "but it's a Republic, not a Democracy!" people - save it)
“whether the US president is above the law or not”
Think of the situation as a poorly defined edge case. The Constitution does not say that laws don’t apply to the president. However, the president has constitutional duties and powers that the other branches have no power to interfere with. So, in some situations the net result may be that the president IS effectively above the law.
But don’t get too upset yet. The real check on power is the ballot box. Presidents only get 4 year terms. And in emergency situations Congress can impeach.
Let the system work itself out, and don’t become overly emotional. It’s not something important like baseball or whether your kid can read, it’s just politics.
The constitutional checks and balances are definitely relevant and vital here, but it's worth noting how distorted they've become. Presidential power has been elevated in practice, but it's also been mythologized. Most people have idealized the role beyond it's traditional standing, and this lends itself to degrading the rules and scope of the role itself.
Congress is supposed to be a body of deliberation, but due to party politics has devolved into a purely political sphere of battle. So Congress is complicit with enabling the president to act beyond the circumscribed boundaries that are constitutionally defined.
Please reconcile your post with WaPo story. Or something. I'd quote something from the article, but it's right there in the slug!
(Biden can just go away for all I care, I just wonder where you are getting your analysis from…)
My point is that the narrative that Biden personally got that particular prosecutor fired is false. Especially if you want to cast the firing as improper.
Here’s one example from today;
> Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin [the fired Ukrainian Prosecutor] testified that when he was fired in March 2016, he was told the reason was that Biden was unhappy about the Burisma investigation. 
> “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin testified... 
 - https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/463307-solomon-these-on...
 - https://www.scribd.com/document/427618359/Shokin-Statement
It doesn't make Hunter Biden look very good to be selling his name to foreign entities like that, for sure.
Mind you, I'm a "both/and" kind of guy here. If it was improper for Biden to use the threat of withholding US aid to get the investigation cancelled, it is also improper for Trump to use the threat of withholding US aid to get the investigation restarted.
What I need to see, though, is something on Trump that's closer to what Biden said. Biden outright said he did it. Trump... if you read the transcript through "Trump is a horrible person" glasses, of course he's implying that he'll withhold US aid if Ukraine doesn't do what he wants. If you don't read it that way, though, if you don't assume that's the subtext, it's less clear that he's actually threatening.
There can certainly be evidence that he argued strongly for the policy, that he delivered the message says very little.
But I don’t think it can be bad to ask someone to investigate if a known extortionate action was undertaken for a corrupt cause when we have direct evidence that there was a large personal financial benefit received.
The OP asked if the President is above the law. Democrats are currently trying to impeach the President for asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. I think we are talking about the exact topic at hand, not some unrelated “what about”.
The prosecutor was investigating Biden's son.
"Settled status" is of little comfort when they look and see a PM willing to act unlawfully.
and also for those that feel that voting has been proven to be pointless, and democracy a sham.
The internet is allowing long format discussions that are great but the "legacy press" is struggling to adapt to this. They want to provide simplified summaries at a premium and on a time without news they have to make them up.
Hard times seem to be a more reliable prediction of extremism really. In the WW1 eras before, during, and after major nations were having literal radical element armed revolution attempts.
Recommendation: Stop framing it as "winning" and "losing".
That'd be enough to give me some anxiety. What if the person that gets into office has enough political power to bring back the Pre-existing condition nonsense? That would certainly decide that my wife and I deserve to "lose" for being born with certain chronic conditions.
For us, it would hurt, for some people they may just completely "lose" their livelihood.
Just a thought.
EDIT: Wanted to make sure I mentioned that I agree with your initial premise.
It's just politics -> It's just jailing children
People are ending friendships over politics -> People are ending friendships over jailing children
"Team Red" and "Team Blue" -> Team jail children, Team do not jail children
You can do it with healthcare too.
Team "spent 4 years attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with nothing" vs Team "Universal Medical Care for Everyone"
Or tax cuts -
Team "Gave trillions away via a big corporate tax cut" vs Team "Proposal to fund higher education via Wealth Tax"
Or environmentalism -
Team "denying there's a problem while the permafrost melts" vs Team "Wants to do something before society literally falls around us"
Or Treason -
Team "Has president in White House that literally asked Ukraine for dirt on his political opponent" vs Team "Holy Fucking Shit!"
It seems super frustrating dealing with articles that say that "politics" is stressing me out when really it's that the right has literally driven the country into the ground. What in god's name are they doing? We have a president that is literally laughing about killing immigrants days before a national shooting in Texas, who commits high crimes via Twitter, and worse! What Republican is speaking out against him? And they own the senate, so we've had 4 years of deadlock.
And that's just the United States! In the UK you have crazy Boris Johnson literally doing everything he possibly can to crash the country out of the European Union because no one was willing to work with Theresa May. God knows why as the effects for the economy (and Ireland for God's sakes - they have a border between Northern Ireland and Ireland that would have to go back up - and it could cause the Troubles again!) would be horrific. Probably because he has money on it somehow. And he attempted to essentially dissolve parliament that then unprecedentedly got thrown out by their Supreme Court and the entire thing is just a shit show.
And then there's Modi, and Bolsonaro is burning down the rain forest. The thing is the entire planet looks like it's having an attack of conscience and we could be looking at a breakdown of the global order. Things have been ok bordering on decent in most parts of the world for the last 50 years, as compared to the last 500 that preceded them. But we paid for the prosperity by consuming more than we should, and, as "stuff" starts to run out perhaps people are just no longer interested in sharing with others or playing nice.
That's a really scary thought.
Pro murder babies vs pro life.
Pro crime vs pro justice.
Pro laziness vs pro work.
Pro racism/sexism vs pro merits.
I hope you learn to disengage before accumulating too much damage.
I'm sure you see the problem now. I'm obviously taking a horribly slanted view on abortion and then framing the discussion under that slant. It's not only partisan but rather radically so. In particular, is the underlying causal issue a desire to "lock children in cages", or is it something else? Is the underlying causal issue a desire to "murder babies", or is it something else?
Beyond the partisanship problem, I'd also add that this is in no way conducive to productive discussion. Imagine I opposed abortion and came at you with that murdering babies nonsense. What is your response going to be? It's likely to be a mixture of knee-jerk emotion alongside a near complete dismissal of me as somebody who's probably quite radicalized. In any case it certainly would not lead to a mutually enlightening and well tempered debate. Yet this sort of speech is now becoming seen as something normal, and I think it's playing a very key role in both a lack of progress as well as an increasingly antagonistically divided nation.
Trying to state there are radicals "on both sides" just isn't true in degree or kind. We don't have radicalized left wing socialists shooting up schools. We just don't.
I think it’s hard to understand someone’s position when they are lumped into caricatures. Maybe there are other reasons. But setting up a world where people who disagree with me are all racists is a world where the people I call racist don’t want to talk with me. Yet we live in a world where they vote the same as I. So if I want them to vote my way, I need to understand them. To understand them, I have to talk with them.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
The reason this is relevant is because it radically reshapes migration. It means that each and every person who came to this country managed to contribute to society and start earning a living, or they left. As a result of this each and every migrant was, at worst, a non-negative on society. They integrated, they contributed, and society was all the better for it.
Today society is much more humane, and that is probably a good thing. But it also means that each and every person who lives, or comes, to within this country can now be a net negative on society. And so this rather radically changes the calculus. It means each and every person who comes to this nation, if incapable of providing for themselves, stretches our society's finite resources that much thinner. Consequently, there is need for judiciousness and restraint if you wish for these programs, and our generosity, to remain sustainable.
"As to the exposure and rearing of children, let there be a law that no deformed child shall live, but that on the ground of an excess in the number of children, if the established customs of the state forbid this (for in our state population has a limit), no child is to be exposed, but when couples have children in excess, let abortion be procured before sense and life have begun; what may or may not be lawfully done in these cases depends on the question of life and sensation."
He quite obviously was not being influenced by a religion that still had a few hundreds years to go before it would be invented.
This is one of the critical problems with critical theory. You can always attribute some social issue to everything because social issues and society are so deeply interweaved. Religion is again the obvious example because, not that long ago, religion was ubiquitous in society. Consequently every single aspect of our history and culture has been deeply touched by religion. Because of this you can attribute nearly any behaviors you like to religion with facile, but not necessarily sound, logic. This is why it's always important to try to refute your arguments, rather than simply indulging them. Otherwise you just end up as a slightly higher brow version of a racist who is quick to attribute every flaw in a society to whatever group they happen to not like.
 - http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.7.seven.html
We could go back thousands of years, or I could just point out the southern baptists standing outside colleges with signs against homosexuality today.
Or we could go back like 5 years when the entire country lost it's mind that two people with penises could live together and be called "married" by the state.
Because orthodox religious people in my country are cruel and like power. And they're very against abortion because they want power over people because in their own lives they are weak. At heart it's the same kind of hatred that's against immigrants - a selfish peevish little feeling that rears its head in order to make one seem better at the expense of others.
It's not that deep or hard to understand. We don't need fucking Aristotle and the Mystery Machine.
Wow, when you change a sentence from something that is happening to something that isn't happening, the meaning changes! What an amazing rhetorical device that is.
Like, I'm worried here. This is bad, right? This isn't a simplistic partisan campaign talking point - I mean it shouldn't right? We should all have some basic values we all subscribe to, like a president should keep his oath of office and not torture kids. I'm scared we as a country no longer share those basic values because there's a lot of people who are just angry. And that freaks me out. I mean that's pretty normal, right?
Both of the last two republican presidents started wars killing and displacing way more than anything Trump did, this isn't so bad compared to that.
The only significant thing this administration did was to ignore climate science, which is huge yes, but it isn't something new it is just normal american corporate lobbying. USA has been a major polluter for a really long time and hasn't really done much about it under any presidency.
The possible was agree Theresa May's deal untouched, drop some UK "red line issues", remain in the EU, or no deal Brexit (crash out). That's it.
Except many didn't think that good enough, or it wasn't in Britain's interests (no kidding) and we've spent 2 years trying to tolerate them all indulging in this political act of national self-harm. Our international status is "laughing stock". Surprisingly, the impossible has not yet become possible!
EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, published a single slide in 2017 that summarises the whole mess well. CGP Grey has a video on this:
And it does nothing except drive emotional responses. It's not like somebody is going to sit there pondering, 'Wow, you know - I never realized that murdering babies was wrong. I agree with you. Thanks so much!' Obviously nobody supports arbitrarily murdering babies, nor does anybody support arbitrarily imprisoning children. The emotional responses you're going to get are not going to be productive. You're going to get love or hate. No discussion, no progress, no nothing except an ever furthering chasm.
By contrast if we frame issues as they actually are we can rationally discuss them with one another and perhaps point of things or ideas one side or the other had not considered. And even if we disagree at the end of the day, perhaps we can at least have some degree of understanding of why those we disagree with think in the way that they do.
I even got a "prepare for Brexit" ad on Spotify this morning.
I’ve never read 1984, but the Wikipedia page rather unfortunately matches my own subjective reactions to some of the stories: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Minutes_Hate
I know that you have been rather dismissive of the idea that it could lead to civil war, but given the rhetorical choices of various celebrities, public figures, and so on, and given the details of various reports of violent conduct recently, I think it’s going to be as bad as a population-adjusted version of the Troubles regardless of which option is ultimately taken.
This is not why I have left the UK, but it does make me glad that I have left the UK. Even though I’m having difficulty disconnecting, it is definitely easier than it would be if I was still on the island.
I'm not seeing it myself; it's not even as bad as the early 2000s days of anti-globalisation riots. There's only going to be violence if the government manage to successfully order it before they get removed, or if they somehow manage to defy the Benn act and achieve No Deal. It turns out there's even a limit to how much Farage can openly incite violence before the police finally agree to take a look: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nigel-farage-...
The key is realising how much Brexit is astroturf. And Farage himself provided a nice demonstration by quitting UKIP and transferring all the attention to the Brexit party, thereby proving that it's his personal movement (with the aid of the newspapers) rather than a broader-based one.
I can do the same with HN. "There must be something new and interesting on there - better check again now." I need to break that, and I think it is worth breaking. (I say as I post this on HN...)
CNN,NyTimes,FOX,Twitter etc. want you addicted to their product, are EXTREMELY powerful, and are willing to damn your health for it. It’s really sad.
And even if you could be truthfully and accurately informed? In a country of tens or hundreds of millions, these decisions are made by an extremely select few with vast wealth or great influence. I have met a few of these people and I know how the sausage is made. The rest of us are grist for their mills.
For most people, paying attention to any of this nothing more than rooting for their favorite sports team.
Clicking on it and leaving a comment is not how you ignore it.
The only difference now is we're willingly engaging in it 24/7. If you can escape it or not is one question but your reaction to it is entirely on you. You can let it consume you or you can choose for it not to.
Don't trap yourself in a bubble, people.
I think it has a lot of potential to help with this problem.
Both sides raise money by stoking emotions - usually fear. This leads to a LOT of exaggeration of conduct, risks, etc.
The largest demographic glued to news channels is easily motivated to donate based on emotion and fear - our aging population. By way of example, most phone scams have fear-driven messaging and are targeted at this cohort.
Want to reduce your stress AND keep informed? Understand and accept that politics is foremost about money and getting you to open your wallet. Discount messaging on both sides as you would advertising for soap, a new phone or medication.
I don't want to minimize the impact of foreign interference here. Many countries seek to manipulate messaging, yes. Nevertheless - its the billions required for elections that drives the ugliness.
I was glad when Trump got elected as I thought in might cause real change. Not because he’s competent but because he’s an outsider and prone to doing things the establishment would never do. He’s delivered a mixed bag on this theory but I think a lot of legacy corruption has been exposed (as well as his new corruption).
It all stinks, but if you don’t follow the mainstream outrage machine you can live a happy life that doesn’t feel like near apocalypse every day.
Unfortunately this isn't the case for your peers. Queer folks, for instance, are suffering violence and a steady attack by their government. Latinos likewise. There are many people whose lives are massively impacted by politics, even if they never turn on a TV.
* How did Obamacare cost you a lot of money? (Not trying to challenge you - just curious. It saved me money, FWIW.)
* Does the fact that millions of people got access to healthcare who didn't otherwise have this access have any impact on your life at all? (I.e. do you not care, does it make you happy, does it make you sad, etc.)
I'm genuinely trying to understand folks, and I think you may be one of them, who see things primarily in terms of the financial impact to them (as opposed to social/societal impact at large). If I'm wrong in that assumption, please do correct/enlighten me.
I don’t feel I should be subsidizing other people to this level.
Unless your livelihood is directly tied to the issue, that's bizarre to me.
Anyone guess who?
That being said, I think certain minorities are unfortunately always politicized
Truth is lots of Hispanics coming from dictatorial regimes identify more with Repubs whereas economic migrants identify with Dems more. They are not a monolithic political bloc.
I live in one of the states hugely impacted by the SALT cap. So my taxes have gone up, as well. It's a lot of little things.
This is exactly the kind of divisive, exaggerated language that is the problem.
Latino's are on the brink of becoming the majority ethnicity in America, enjoy record unemployment, are a key player in family values, and are increasingly represented at the top of the power structure in the US. Conflating the illegal immigration dispute with ethnicity causes the problem.
At no time in history have Trans had more rights and acceptance than now. It's not a simple issue to put it mildly and there's going to be a lot of back and forth on how the Trans community integrates before its a non-issue. Celebrate the success to-date and progress to come.
Most conservatives don't care what you are. You be you and let us be us. We really want to be left alone to do our own thing.
Crimes against LGBT appear to be on the rise according to FBI figures https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/06/28/anti-gay-hate-...
The general figures https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/hate-crime-statistics don't seem to suggest that there's an increasing acceptance of anyone.
How does one get progress if everyone's leaving everyone alone? How do you end up with gay marriage if you're all just minding your own business? You don't. Everybody just staying out of each-others way only serves to maintain the status quo.
Never targeted? What about routinely being accused of evil (racist, privileged, fragile...), and of having too much power and wealth, in most media? What usually happens to groups painted as evil and powerful? Something good? Try replacing 'white' with 'black' or 'Jewish' in the following articles:
You should have - 77.8% of murder victims in the US are male: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homicide_statistics_by_gender
Couldn't agree more.
Let's call it for what it is.
Fake news from ABC being called out by the kings of fake news: CNN.
One of these articles is fake news.
Washington Post also likes their fake news.
Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president
Sanders’s incorrect claim that Clinton called him ‘not qualified’ for the presidency
One of these articles is fake news. It doesn't matter which.
The media is attacking and posting fake news about all sides of politics. This is not a new. The media has been feeding us lies forever, what has changed is technology. We are now catching them in their lies. We are holding them to account for their fake news and this has resulted in the media crumbling.
Fix the fake news, stop giving fake news agencies like CNN or washington post any attention and your stress will greatly reduce.
This article is quite biased. What today's liberals are feeling is what conservatives felt for the entire Obama administration. It's not new.
You simply can't see it because of personal bias.
The method used in the last paper has been around since the 80's and has been used to study polarization since at least the 00's. It's a popular method used in many papers; you can even get the raw data and code as an R package if you'd like to hack on it.