Topic: Beginnings

So, yeah. I initially started this GROUP, just last night, in a fit of pent up rage. I was all fired up about Afghanistan and I wanted a safe place to air my frustrations about clutching to the Left pinion of America's hollow bat wings. I wanted to gauge where my fellow Americans (and especially my fellow writers, whom I consider to be more thoughtful people than the population at large) sat on the international fence of inevitable ignorance. But I bit my tongue at the last second, thank goodness, because what happened today would've made me eat that tongue o' mine raw. Now it's war. All over again. Fuck.

COVID. I got it. Even though I was Pfizer vaccinated. And I caught it while taking my niece and nephew to Disneyland of all places. Had to sit it out for a week, suffering mild symptoms but nothing too devastating, before I could put down the PlayStation controller and go back to work. That very morning a call came in telling our secretary that her father had passed. From the coronavirus. He was a 76 year old Trump-supporting conservative anti-vax QANON cultist living in Georgia and the virus killed him three days after he'd kissed it. It never even let the man get a word in edgewise. Which, frankly, pissed me off a whole lot more than his death could ever sadden me. Mostly because he wasn't able to convince any of his brainwashed brethren (including his daughter) to wake the fuck up.

I dunno. I know I'm ranting and raving. And I guess that's why I wanted to start this forum. As a form of antacid. I need a more intimate place to rant and rave about politics and culture and sex and money than the vast void the internet provides and yet a place that's a little less gut-wrenching. Somewhere between getting shit off your chest and upsetting the precious bonds we share with our personal families and friends and co-workers. Maybe y'all need a place like that too?



Re: Beginnings

Well, I definitely need a place like that. You asked for the opinions of your fellow Americans. In that regard, I can't help you, but maybe someone else will jump on this thread later on.

But as a non-American, I have questions. Jesus Christ do I have questions, and most of them center around, ''What the fuck is going on?''

Afghanistan, for starters. What's the view of the majority of Americans on this situation? I recognize that most consider it a disaster, but what does it mean for Joe Biden's presidency overall? You voted him in as the lesser-evil alternative to Donald Trump but the man's stumbling from crisis to crisis. What do Americans think of their politics going forward? The mid-terms, the 2024 election?

I try to follow both sides of the conversation on social media to escape the dangers of an information bubble. I see that the conservatives are up in arms. They seem to consider this their chance at revenge. But I can't find much about the opinions of liberals. Where's the outrage? Or have I missed it?

And is it true that the airstrike Biden ordered after the attack on Kabul airport, an airstrike he called 'successful', killed American allies, civilians, and three children? Conservatives are all talking about it, but I can't find a single mention anywhere else, so obviously I don't know if this is bullshit or accurate. Would you happen to know more?

In regards to COVID and anti-vaxxers, I really don't know what to tell you. Trust in the American government and American institutions has been eroding since the Pentagon Papers were published in '72, and this is where it's come to. And I don't think how politicians are handling the situation is helping. The more they try to force the issue, the stronger the push-back. And you really can't tell people who look at everything through the prism of their constitutional rights to forget about their constitutional rights for a moment. I can't for the life of me figure out why they seem unable to make a better argument. It's not much different than Biden saying Americans don't need guns because the government's military power is too great to resist. Like that's going to accomplish anything but a spike in gun sales.

Anyway, these are some of my questions and thoughts. Feel free to set me straight.

Best regards,


3 (edited by dagny 2021-09-01 19:41:46)

Re: Beginnings

Afghanistan, for starters. What's the view of the majority of Americans on this situation? I recognize that most consider it a disaster, but what does it mean for Joe Biden's presidency overall? You voted him in as the lesser-evil alternative to Donald Trump but the man's stumbling from crisis to crisis. What do Americans think of their politics going forward? The mid-terms, the 2024 election?

Withdrawal from Afghanistan was always going to be a mess because we didn't have an exit strategy going in. The Afghan 'army' was always a joke. These were men who believed in Shari law and fought for a pay check. They were never going to defend their country no matter who the president of the United States was. After twenty years it was time to bring our soldiers home. Joe Biden is just keeping a campaign promise, one Obama and Trump failed to keep. As for liberal opinions on this you have go to liberal sources: MSNBC is a good place to start.

And you really can't tell people who look at everything through the prism of their constitutional rights to forget about their constitutional rights for a moment.
These people are idiots responsible for the deaths of over 600k Americans. The majority of them are Trump supporters believing in herd immunity, which doesn't take into consideration the mutation of the virus. If you noticed Biden has not locked the country down again nor has he imposed mask and immunization mandates except for employees of the government. Biden is encouraging those things but he has not made them law. The quarrel people have are with their local governments.

It's not much different than Biden saying Americans don't need guns because the government's military power is too great to resist. Like that's going to accomplish anything but a spike in gun sales.
Gun sales always go up when a democrat is president.

I hope this helps you understand what's going on here.

PS this is an article detailing exactly what the Taliban won: … 40124.html

Re: Beginnings

Dagny and I are on the same page. Politically, at least. There will never be a "good" time to get out of this war on terror we've been waging for two decades. In the grand scheme, despite the present uproar, I think the USA is getting away relatively clean. The whole changing hearts and minds thing was destined to fail from the get-go. Because of religion. Because of delusional faith in the afterlife. Therefore, the devil you know and the lesser of two evils should have been considered before the first rocket was launched. Sadaam Hussein and The Taliban are reprehensible regimes (from our western perspective, of course) but they never actually attacked or marginalized OUR way of life. To hear American conservatives rail against the Taliban now, blaming Biden for trying to extricate and end an expensive military occupation, is laughable hypocrisy. Trump wanted the same thing, by the way. Fact is, a lot of Christians (in their hearts and minds, if you will) would like nothing more than to establish a theocratic government that passes biblical judgment upon the citizenry.

Commonwealth sense oughta dictate Covid protocol and gun control and civil rights and a myriad of other issues. But republicans seem to be hell bent on opposing socialism as if the word itself were satanic. Try and tell them that America is already a socialist country --Medicare and Social Security and state-run police, fire, and schooling ARE socialist programs-- and they'll look at you like you're a batshit godless commie!

I'm assuming spear-shake is from the UK. From that assumption, I also assume that his island is basically a not so dissimilar boat. Brexit and yada yada having divided his country as well. Rural vs. Urban distrust. Educated vs. Artless populism. And with a Royal Family to subsidize to boot! I may be naive, but implementing progressive policies seems to me to be the simplest way for a nation to make progress. Inherent racism, however, is the big fidget spinner/shoulder boulder we all loathe to address.

What else can we do but continue to argue? That's the question.


5 (edited by dagny 2021-09-03 13:38:16)

Re: Beginnings

Yesterday a republican said to me: Biden is the worst president ever Our country is in real trouble. (notice they didn't elaborate on why or give any specifics as to what trouble the country was in.)

Because she was a patient's wife and I can't discuss politics with her, I didn't answer. BUT if I could have answered her I would have said:
OH YEAH??? Worst than a president who gave corporations a 16% tax cut while giving the middle class a 2-3%?
Worst than a president who blew up our debt by trillions giving corporations already making BILLIONS MORE money?
Worst than a president who tries to extort another country in order to help him win an election?
Worst than a president who totally ignores a raging virus because it will hurt him politically?
Worst than a president who in ignoring a PANDEMIC causes the deaths of almost a MILLION Americans?
Worst than a president, who even now, after having had COVID refuses to endorse vaccinations and masking because it might hurt him politically?
Worst that a president who, because he was so self centered and focused on his own political ambitions, let COVID mutate into an even more contagious, more dangerous virus? One that can still break through some vaccines?

Biden is trying to right this ship before he leaves in three years.  He is the most dangerous politician the republicans can face: one with a self imposed term limit with nothing to lose.

But really, I probably wouldn't have said anything even if I could have. She's ninety years old and getting mad might have killed her....

venting is good...
PS I forgot inciting a violent inssurection in our nation's Capitol because he lost the election. Btw he's worse than what I described, those were bullet points off the top of my head. ( don't get me started on his love affair with the fat North Korean fuck)

Re: Beginnings

Actually, I'm not British. I'm from Slovenia. Spear-shake is misleading, I know. smile

With regards to getting out of Afghanistan relatively clean... well, I won't speak to that, but it seems to me the shit-show has barely begun. And there might be hell to pay in Europe.

With regards to Republicans and their reactions to anything that can even remotely be characterized as socialism, I couldn't agree more. They seem allergic to it, which is really hurting the country. There are aspects to life in America that I can't wrap my head around.

But you can't deny that there are radical people on the American Left who have lost their way. Slovenia was once part of socialist Yugoslavia. I have ancestors who were murdered by communists. One of them spent the entirety of the Second World War fighting alongside communists to throw out the Nazis and on the last day of the war, his 'comrades' turned around and executed him. So you can understand why I find it mind-boggling to see so many people talk about all-out socialism and communism, as though the 20th century isn't proof enough of how murderously flawed that ideology is. That's why I get nervous to see the rise of identity politics. It's the bourgeoisie vs. the working class all over again, only this time with added dimensions of race/gender/sexual orientation and the rest.

And this is really the root reason why I jumped into this conversation. What the fuck is up with this extremism in America? Socialism doesn't work, okay, everyone knows that (or at least they should). But this cocaine-capitalism of the American right doesn't work either, and I'm sure you two know that far better than I do. The American conservatives keep annoying me, talking about how taxation is theft. It's been proven that what money you don't lose in taxes, you will have to spend paying for private security.

So why is it that no one seems capable of having a rational conversation? Why is it that no one is saying, ''We need to allow the most capable among us enough maneuvering room to create and build so we'll have enough money to provide for the most vulnerable among us.''

You know, middle ground?

Why such levels of antagonism? Because from where I'm standing, you guys really seem to hate each other. And more importantly, how would you say these divides could be bridged?

7 (edited by dagny 2021-09-03 19:57:32)

Re: Beginnings


The only way to know what America is really like is to live here for a while.

What you are hearing from the media is fear mongering (on the right AND the left) by networks, broadcasters and radio talk show hosts, who found out in the eighties there was a lot of money to be made keeping the right and the left ANGRY all the time. When you are angry, your brain is flooded with endorphins and you get addicted to being angry. The Rush Limbaugh's of media realized this early in the Reagan years and targeted the democratic party as the enemy. He distorted everything liberals did by lying. That's right, he just made things up. The right still does it. The left not so much, but they do stretch the tiniest news item concerning President Trump into a gotcha moment, telling everyone he's going to prison this time. I've been waiting six years for this dufus to go to jail and I just don't think it's going to happen.

Also the voices you hear are the extreme right and left. The real republicans and democrats are far more moderate than that. No real republican I know thinks Trump won the election or that America should be a Christian nation only. No real democrat wants socialism, although we all became socialist when we accepted the first stimulus checks. What I'm trying to say is that while crazy has the microphone, it is not running our institutions, just yet. Just think if the insanity played out in the Trump years really meant anything, we'd be under a Trump dictatorship right now.

That's not to say that moderation is not in danger. A democracy is a delicate balance determined by the rule of law. If that law is usurped, say by a takeover of America by the military, it ceases to exist. But we are far from becoming a dictatorship because the military still serves the country not a party.

I know the rest of the world would like to think we are yelling at each other all the time on the brink of a civil war. This notion, again, is media hype. Most of us just side step talking about politics because we are too busy putting our life back together in a pandemic.

I hope this helps clarify things for you. Also, remember, nothing is as good or as bad as it seems.

dags smile

Re: Beginnings

Slovenia, eh? Well, spear-shake, Luka Doncic just happens to be my favorite basketball player. I mean... I don't really care about the NBA (ever since the Sonics left Seattle) but I DO root for the Dallas Mavericks whenever they're on the television. So... There's that. Whatever that means.

Anyway... What I mean is, competition should be confined to love and sports. Winning the girl and winning the game is an intrinsic part of life relative to hard work, perseverance, and luck. But those parameters should not apply to an individual's ability to feed his family and pursue a livelihood. If we insist on a capitalist system in America, then every citizen should be awarded a stake in the S&P 500. Irregardless of that individual's financial capability to individually invest. Because we're all responsible for the fate of this nation. Regardless of our socio-economic status at birth.

I haven't really thought it all through, and can't quite articulate it, but I think y'all know that I would love it if the world could strike a socio-economic balance between the natural human instinct to wanna conquer and control the 99% and.... The overwhelming reality that relegates 99% of us mere mortals to serving the unnaturally talented one percent.

Wishful thinking, right?  Probably. But the bottom line fact of the matter is that Republicans would like to promote a meritocracy whilst stacking the odds against upward mobility (in order to maintain the status quo of a lily white patriarchy) while the Democrats would like to open up a more level playing field. It's really that simple. And yet the Republicans have managed to dupe a huge portion of the population into thinking that progressive policies will black-magically turn their children into homosexual atheists and eventually spell the end of western civilization.

To which I say: "What exactly was so "civil" about the establishment of western civilization in the first place?"

I know us liberals can get a bit silly when it comes to social justice and whatnot, but even so... The undeniable truth remains. The historical winners of this planet have written a narrative that omits the Golden Rule.

Like I said... I haven't really thought this diatribe through to a good conclusion. But I'm working on it. smile


Re: Beginnings

I didn't mean the day-to-day hysteria of the media. That stuff slips right by me. I'm talking about the obvious trajectory towards radicalism that's taken place over the past decade. It's undeniable, regardless of media attempts to characterize every event as an apocalypse.

And that's what I find so disturbing, that so many people shrug it off. As though having a crazed mass media is normal. And so many try to minimize the risks of the situation, pinning the responsibility on the other side. That you would blame the right-wing media for fear-mongering but say the left-wing media doesn't do it as much is crazy to me. Why is admitting that your side is as crooked as the other so hard for people? Could you imagine the Afghanistan coverage if Trump was the President right now? Do you think John Hamler would characterize the evacuation as 'relatively clean'? You can say a lot of things about Trump, and I'll certainly agree with you on most things, but he did expose the dynamics of the establishment. Mass media sacrificed all their credibility to get rid of Trump. They won the battle, but it's going to cost them the war. The way that entire industry is sinking, across the board, is proof of that.

I recognize that most Democrats and Republicans are far more moderate than the media would suggest, but why do they sit quietly as the people on the two extremes go wild? I think something like 80% of Americans admit that they have political views they don't dare express in public. That most Americans side-step politics is more alarming to me than it is comforting. I think you underestimate how far the radical five percent can push a country when the rest of the population chooses expediency over facing the problem.

10 (edited by spear-shake 2021-09-05 14:51:24)

Re: Beginnings

John Hamler--
How else is anyone to provide for their family, other than through hard work and perseverance? Now does that mean people who aren't capable of working hard should starve? Of course not. But should they receive as much as those who are capable of it? No, they shouldn't. Competence should be rewarded and incentives play a large part. There's a reason why western societies saw an uptick in inventions the second Intellectual Property laws were established.

I agree 99% of mere mortals shouldn't be in service to the talented 1%, but the talented 1% should still be allowed and encouraged to work their magic. Are we going to shackle the most competent people because we don't like how much better they are at their jobs?

And it's really strange to me that you'd consider half your country's population to be a pack of idiots, open to be duped by the Republicans. Don't you see how overly simplistic that is? How dismissive? Especially considering how many Democrat policies are practically aimed at creating an oligarchy where four big corporations fight for their share of the market, in every industry, and everyone else is left excluded. They talk a big game during the campaigns, but in the end, they always stonewall Bernie Sanders and elect someone that's been bought and paid for by the corporations. Of course, it's the same thing with Republicans, but again, it's that you won't admit the problems of your own side that bothers me. How many small businesses have been wiped out in the last two years by Democrat policies, those same policies that made Jeff Bezos so much richer. A fact they'll surely point out on the campaign trail when they promise to fix the very problem they created.

In regards to your comment about the establishment of western civilization, I really don't know what you mean. It was bloody, yeah, but which civilization can claim to have a non-violent beginning? And considering the atrocities being perpetrated around the world at this very moment, I'd say we're doing quite well overall.

11 (edited by dagny 2021-09-05 18:53:39)

Re: Beginnings

Spear Shake,
That you would blame the right-wing media for fear-mongering but say the left-wing media doesn't do it as much is crazy to me.

I'm not blaming right wing media, What I meant is right wing media started it and has more outlets than left wing. I know of one left wing news network compared to three right wing networks and countless radio stations. The bottom line is that both left wing and right wing are playing into people's fears and anger.
Biden is getting plenty of negative coverage in the press:
From the leftest site on the net: … p_catchall
From CNN: … index.html
From yahoo: … p_catchall
From USA Today: … p_catchall
The Washington Post and the New York Times have had plenty of negative articles on Biden and Afghanistan but you need a subscription to read them.
Then there is Fox News which is covering this mess wall to wall. The reason it's not as loud as it might have been when Trump was president is because Biden doesn't tweet or threaten the press. Except for a couple of speeches he's been silent.

Biden's approval rating is now 44%.

You say the hysteria of the media passes you by, yet you use the press as an example of media bias. As for the 80% of people letting the crazy people rant, we have free speech in this country. That means you can say whatever you want about the government and you will not be arrested. Going after these people for what they say is counterproductive, they have rationalization upon rationalization, you will never change their minds. So the rest of us go about our lives digging out of Covid. If 5% could push the country, Trump would be still be president.

I'm sorry to repeat myself, but the only way you'll understand any of this is to live in America. Also, don't believe what you hear from extremist sources.


12 (edited by dagny 2021-09-05 19:01:02)

Re: Beginnings

If we insist on a capitalist system in America, then every citizen should be awarded a stake in the S&P 500.
Capitalism: an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
No where in that definition does it say that the country's trade is equally owned by its citizens. You have it confused with Socialism.
Socialism: a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
So what you are saying is that capitalism should be replaced by socialism.


Re: Beginnings

Yes, Dagny. In so many words, I think the USA oughta be a co-op. As opposed to the S-Corp that it is at the moment.
Then again, and like I said, I don't have the answer to make that happen. Human nature dictates that some people are outright winners and others are downright losers and the winners often hafta abuse the losers in order to utilize them in order to make the world at-large go round and round and make progress. As a result, both the winners and losers end up resenting the banal majority; those of us who occupy the middle 98% (the liberal middle class, if you will) because we haven't quite figured out a way to rectify life, love, and happiness with the cold hard fact that:


Behind every fortune is a crime. Period. That's a fact. After that? Well, it's all about the degree of injustice you're willing to tolerate. Whichever side of the crime (winner or loser) you happen to be on.

Democrats in the USA are self-aware and at least acknowledge the historical inequity and present disquietude. Even if we're loathe to actually do something about it. Republicans just don't give a fuck. That's the morally bankrupt difference, spear-shake. Nobody is trying to shackle the one-percenters. To the contrary, we're trying to unshackle the 99.

Again, I'm still working on this. At some point this self-righteous diatribe of mine will become bulletproof. Mark my words! smile


14 (edited by dagny 2021-09-06 15:07:46)

Re: Beginnings

Okay, most of your post was pure off the top of your head bullshit.
The Bill of Rights and the Constitution coupled with free enterprise is what makes America work. It's true you can be anything you want to be in America.
That raging case of class envy you have going on isn't going to solve anything. You say you don't have the answers, well, I do. Step one: give the middle class the same tax breaks as corporations and increase the minimum wage to a living wage. Step two: make corporations pay their taxes.
Yes, it's just that simple.
My real problem with you is this: you think because you're really good at using a lot of big words in a sentence you can dazzle anyone into believing you know what you're talking about, when you're just shooting stuff out of your ass to see what sticks on the wall. (Yes, that was a mixed metaphor.) Do a little research, for God's sake, before you put your little drummer boy fingers on the keyboard.
And please refrain from using broad sweeping generalizations like behind every fortune is a crime. It's lazy and uninformed and you can do better.


Re: Beginnings

Okay, dags. I admire your impassioned vitriol, but... What's wrong with my broad sweeping generalizations, as you call them? Throwing big-shit words at the wall to see what sticks is how we, as individuals without exact shared experience, can try and account for and champion society at-large. What am I supposed to specifically cater to YOUR specifically shitty situation or something? And besides, dagny... YOUR answers, simple as they are, obviously aren't inspiring hearts and minds to change ANYTHING. Let alone the "truth" as you see it.

"Anybody can be anything they wanna be in America?" Please. The plain truth is that regardless of an individual's hard work, passion, and perseverance... Most of us will falter. Which is my point about competition. We can still celebrate and compensate the best of us without destroying the rest of us. The one's who never even try? Well, they are few and far between. And even those people deserve our sympathy. If not our empathy.

Get real. And do a little research yourself before you lash out like a lunatic. I'm admitting that the answers aren't clear while your lame attempt to clarify things only mucks-up this already fucked-up situation even worse.

Socialism is not a bad word, goddamnit. It's been branded a failure and an evil experiment throughout history by the moneyed/religious/patriarchal minority whose sole purpose has been to brand the word SOCIALISM a nefarious failure in order to maintain their socio-economic status quo. Give socialism a fighting chance. I mean, as a species, we've given capitalism a fair enough shake for the vast expanse of time immemorial and yet true happiness and prosperity still eludes the human race. Why not try something different and take it seriously, this time? And without moneyed/militant opposition, for once? If such a proposition is lazy and uninformed of me? Well, color me gasoline.


16 (edited by dagny 2021-09-08 17:00:49)

Re: Beginnings

What's wrong with my broad sweeping generalizations, as you call them? Throwing big-shit words at the wall to see what sticks is how we, as individuals without exact shared experience, can try and account for and champion society at-large.

No, it's what YOU do to prove your point when you're too lazy to do research. You throw out a broad sweeping generalization like EVERY, not some, not half, or 90% but EVERY fortune begins with a crime. Something that smacks of class envy and is unknowable. 

What am I supposed to specifically cater to YOUR specifically shitty situation or something? And besides, dagny... YOUR answers, simple as they are, obviously aren't inspiring hearts and minds to change ANYTHING. Let alone the "truth" as you see it.

If you want to have a discussion with me about anything, I expect you to know what you're talking about and not give me your uneducated opinion. And it's not the 'truth' as I see it, it's proof backed up by FACTS.

Your answers, simple as they are, obviously aren't inspiring hearts and minds to change anything...

The answers weren't meant to inspire. Raising the minimum wage to a living wage is an answer. It's not a good answer to those who want to pay their employees the lowest amount they can get away with so they can keep most of their profit.  And since some of that profit goes to politicians campaign funds, congress with have a hard time raising the minimum wage. Having said that, a living wage is more of a possibility now that people have experienced a living wage through enhanced unemployment payments. If enough workers hold out, employers might raise the minimum wage just to get enough employees to keep their businesses going. As for corporations paying their fair share in taxes, it's another long haul and would take a lot of public outrage. Both those solutions may not be inspiring but they're more realistic than your 'take all the money in the country and divide it up equally,' proposal. Bernie might inspire, but he didn't get any results did he?

Nice paragraph about socialism without getting into the details. It's my educated opinion that socialism will never work here. Americans are not about to allow the government to own major corporations. Our government can't handle withdrawing from Afghanistan, let alone running a natural resource corporation. Look at what happened in Venezuela. They nationalized their natural gas industry and precipitated a steady decline by not investing enough back into the industry, funneling money into social programs instead. Also, I don't know any American willing to pay 20-30% of their salary in taxes for free stuff from the government. Oh, you didn't know that's how socialism works? That everyone, rich or poor, would have to pool their tax dollars in order to receive services from the government?

John, it is exhausting for me to keep knocking back your straw man arguments. I think we've reached an impasse here. I think we should agree to disagree. 


PS...I should have warned you before we began this discussion, I got As in debate when I was in school. I learned to think on my feet, pull up memorized examples and to always research before I made an argument. I can be opinionated but I always bow to the facts. I never took this seriously but as a way to exercise my debate muscles, and the small barbs I took at you were irresistibly funny to me, and I always go for the joke. If I really thought I would hurt you, I would have left them out.


Re: Beginnings

Stop with the "straw-man" comparisons, dagny. You're implying that I WANT you to defeat my argument because somebody else is pulling my strings in order to further his agenda by way of making me the fall guy or "straw man" doofus who presents an idea for the sole purpose of enlightening the other side of said argument.  That's not what I'm doing. I'm trying to win.

Yes, I would like to promote socialism but, like I said a hundred times already... I'm not exactly sure how to sell it in America. The fact that socialist Scandinavian countries, despite their inclement weather, consistently top the list of "happiest" nations on the planet doesn't seem to sway anybody here. I believe it's because Scandinavia is largely homogenous (whilst America has a racial identity problem we can't seem to solve) not to mention because America is so goddamned and inherently overweight we inundate our silly fucking health care system.

But, anyway... I'm tired. Maybe tomorrow, I'll try to argue better.


18 (edited by dagny 2021-09-09 20:45:30)

Re: Beginnings

Again, I think we should agree to disagree.

Mainly because you refuse to research the plus and negatives of your arguments, you are driven by the fact that socialism, (what you understand of it) is the great equalizer and all encompassing solution to YOUR problems. Instead of repeating myself I am going to make a suggestion. Find an organization that supports your viewpoints and do some actual work to promote them.

Other than that, I got nothing.

BTW a straw man argument is is a type of logical fallacy that occurs when someone deliberately distorts or misrepresents their opponent’s position to make it easier to defeat. As such, it is commonplace in a wide variety of situations, such as political debates, journalism, and debates on any controversial topics.
You do this regularly, and it falls apart as soon as I introduce facts, thus the name 'straw man.'


Re: Beginnings

I hear you, dags, but you're still wrong about me. My rhetoric may be polemical, but I'm not trying to manipulate anybody. In other words, I refuse to be your straw man. Why do I need to cite specific organizations that support my socialist agenda, anyway? This is MY personal opinion about how the world oughta work towards peace, love, and happiness. Period.

It's fun to argue, though. Even if we'll never convince each other. And that's why I wanted to start this particular forum in the first place. I'm just afraid that we're scaring people off with our personal vitriol when all I ever wanted was to establish a place we could all be equally vitriolic. If that makes any sense.


Re: Beginnings

So much for free expression. It seems the only one allowed to express themselves is you. I am not angry nor have I spewed any 'vitriol.' I made a few jokes at your expense. And I think you need to look the word vitriol up. Oh, that's right you don't look anything up. Even when I explain what a straw man argument is, you still don't get it. I am not accusing you of manipulating me, just of not being informed before you post diatribe after diatribe of meaningless rhetoric. You didn't refute one point I made about socialism with facts, yet now you have a socialist agenda.

Now you are afraid our discussions are scaring people off.

Well, I can think of one solution for that.


Re: Beginnings

Easy, there; dags. I can take it, personally, but I still want civility. All I said was you're wrong about me --personally-- and that I can't quite understand why you would consider YOURSELF infallible and above reproach.

I did overuse the word VITRIOL, though. I'll admit that much, but...

Only because I'm lazy. Not belligerent.

And, by the way, it's my prerogative to post diatribes. In fact, that's the whole point of this forum. Encouraging you, at the same time, to disagree.

But I'm humbly asking you to do so without resorting to ad hominem. We are not scientists, so... If you wanna debate socialism versus capitalism, be my guest. But don't expect my "feelings" to be any more salient than your "facts." And vice versa. f that makes any sense.



Re: Beginnings

On socialism: Ever noticed how profits are always private, and losses are always, er... shared? There's only socialism for corporate America: Ride the roads with big trucks, We, the People paid for, but pay no taxes. Not paying living wages (the Federal minimum wage is $ 7.25, for cryin' out loud) means that We, the People are on the hook for food stamps, Medicaid, and what have you.  Paid sick days and holidays, affordable healthcare and education, paid family leave are not socialism.

Re: Beginnings

That's my point, Willem. I'm not personally complaining about capitalism because I'm doing just fine (even when the stock market shits itself) while the majority suffers. For instance; Jeff Bezos pays the same for his dad pants that I do. He shits those pants cruising through the cosmos (good for him) while I'm sitting here shitting myself because I gotta budget to choose between Hulu and HBO MAX.

These decisions are not problems in any sense of the word. The low-income people that work for Bezos, however? No matter what they decide, they hafta pay sales tax on HIS products. That's regressive. Hurting his workers while the corporate tax cuts he's negotiated never ever seem to trickle down from his phallic rocketship.

I dunno. I'm all for endeavor and excellence but when greedy stockholders (like myself, I shamefully admit) bean-count our way through life it actually ends up costing us in the long run. In the form of expensive social programs intended to address poverty, higher crime, and a fatter/drunker/less-productive populace inundating the health care/judicial system.

Basically everything you just said, Willem.

They talk about ruining entrepreneurial incentive (and I know I'm being naive, here) but... Shouldn't knowing that the government will take and redistribute your wealth to the "deplorable/less deserving people" actually incentivize the special individuals amongst us to try and achieve even greater progression and profitability?

Yes, I love to rant. And I'll get around to apologizing when I'm proven wrong.