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So I had an interesting conversation with my son the other day.

He's against Biden. He's also against The Former Guy.

I watched a video some time back of Nancy Pelosi man-splaining to a very articulate young man how, no, the Democrats could not move any further to the left because we (Americans) are capitalists. Two things occurred to me: first that, no, "we" are not all capitalists, as plainly evidenced by the young man standing in front of her. D'oh. But the second was more important: the young outlive the old. If we haven't sold our point of view to them on merit, then our point of view dies with us. If we cannot make a compelling argument of merit for capitalism, "we" will not be capitalists in the next generation.

My point is not to argue for or against capitalism, but to recognize that the next generation takes over. Right or wrong. Brilliant or stupid. Sane or crazy. And my son is dead-set against Biden. So I dug a little deeper.

Most of us here had grandparents who were in the middle of the labor movements that preceded FDR. Many of us "younger elders" grew up in the full bloom of FDR's legacy, which I feel hit a symbolic peak when we landed on the moon. I built the models. I watched the TV coverage from the comfort of a new house in the suburbs. We ran around the neighborhood without adult supervision all summer long. We've all clung to that image.

My son is the generation that never saw the bloom. He was born after the moon landing had degenerated into Reagan's cynical "Star Wars" project, and by the time he started to become politically aware, it was the middle of the Shrub years and the rise of the security state and perpetual Condition Orange. He saw Edward Snowden as a whistle-blowing hero who was pursued to the ends of the earth by the US security state, and eventually driven into exile in Russia.

He did not grow up in the brand-new house in a brand-new suburb that I did: he grew up in an aging house from that era, with aging fences and crumbling asphalt and cracked sidewalks and regular plumbing repairs. He was looking at higher education just as it was becoming prohibitively expensive and predatory. He learned about the US torture camps at GITMO and remote CIA facilities in Romania. He watched the Great Hope of Obama take a stand against this, and then not close GITMO. It took Obama to the end of both terms to get us out of Iraq. He watched national health care acts kneecapped and turned into the Affordable Care Act. He knows he'll live to see that 1.5 degree increase in temperature, if it isn't 2.5 degrees. Or 3.5. He sees no confidence that the US Government, as a whole, is capable of running the nation anywhere except into the ground.

In his view, the Democrats and Republicans are just two different dancers in the same dance, both miming each other's moves. Biden, in his view, is just dancing the dance.

So I asked him, what DOES he support? He said, it's a good question: he'd let me know if he found anything.

I can see his point, but more importantly, I see his conviction that the whole system is frozen. Everyone here has been asking it, too, in one form or another. Why isn't the DOJ moving faster? Why are the courts so slow that all of the perpetrators will be dead of old age before the lawyers stop gaming the system? Why can we do nothing about the propaganda system that is shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre? Why do armed vigilantes run free in the streets if they are white, but joggers get gunned down by police if they are black? Why do the rich get so damned much richer, while everyone else just puts up with inflation?

I'm seeing my son as representative of a large block of his generation. They are tired of the excuses.

They will outlive us.

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I will add that I think what Biden is attempting is excellent, and if he is successful, it may bring my son's generation around. Nothing succeeds like success. But Biden is fighting an uphill battle against -- literally -- comic-book villains with real-world power. There is a lot at stake, here.

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Thanks for your son's cold eye and your own sharply lucid presentation.

"Business as Usual" is dead dead DEAD and you and your son are setting the example we shall all have to follow : forming an unbreakable alliance between the old who've stayed young and the rising generations.

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Democracy is at stake and our constitution is exactly what made our country great— but also people who knew enough to deeply respect the constitution and I’m afraid that respect has been eroded by the Machiavellian types who know how to game the system and have succeeded for way too long.

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However, our Constitution was never for ALL The People. It was for the white people. We need to bring it into the 21st Century and dissolve all the things that support those white privileged who control everything. Dissolve propaganda hate-laden media, gerrymandering, voter suppression, the EC, attacks and vigilantes on women's rights, and make our legal systems strong and very swift when evidence is right there before your eyes.

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Thank you for a well worded response, Penelope. I completely agree. The Constitution of 1787, even with the amendments is a poor foundation for our 21st century society. The R’s are taking advantage of the arcane aspects of the Constitution, as well as the STUPID, arcane rules of the Senate like the sabotaging filibuster, to thwart the will of the majority of the American people.

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Dissolve, yes. Now to discover the proper solvent.

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All the while cloaked in phony religion and patriotism. The end justifies the means. Period

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The older block is tired of the excuses too. We are worried about what legacy is being passed to our younger loved ones. We are sick at heart over the looming climate catastrophe our younger generations is inheriting. And we feel as a stranger in a strange land of condoned violence, crude cultural mores and even cruder language. The Country is mired in a morass of political hate and mistrust of our fellow Americans. Congress is mired in a web of political maneuvers designed to stall any good progress and overthrow Democracy. The Courts are mired in decades of overly complex procedures designed to protect the guilty.

The only choice we have is to keep fighting. Part of any fanaticism plan is to wear down the enemy. So. Let's keep on keeping on Mr. Nemeth.

Maybe our legacy to the younger generation is that we fought for Democracy. Not a political party. Democracy.

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I’m 66 and feel exactly the same as your son. I have even made the exact same arguments in years past and been declared an unrealistic idealist. What I would say about capitalism is it relies on constant growth. Unlimited resources…. Unlimited resources aren’t possible on a finite planet. We exceed usage every year, earlier and earlier. We need to build a resource based economy that is fair for everyone.

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"Supply side" economics, as I see it, is disingenuous. "If we build it they will buy it" has resulted in HUGE waste at so many levels throughout the U.S. economy. I once used the metaphor, "How many chickens must Perdue kill and toss in order to sell one chicken?" I realize that is suppositional, but the "first in / first out" requires a LOT of inventory rotation. (Tongue in cheek intended.)

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Oh, wow, the chicken metaphor is wonderful! (Food waste is a significant contributor to global warming, but your metaphor is more powerful without that bit of information.)

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Not to mention the absolute cruelty & "waste" of the animals/birds involved!

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Agree! Along with “planned obsolescence” and it’s cousin “proprietary parts” … both inherantly wasteful.

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I don't know that capitalism requires never ending growth. But the growth fetish will certainly kill civilization if we don't get over it. To that end, we absolutely need at least to stabilize our population, and better, to reduce it--as well as the world's population.

But we have to deal with the present conditions, something that Biden is doing to the best of his ability. But he's having to fight a GOP that's gone batsh!t crazy, and deal with the intransigence of Manchin and Sinema.

Rather than saying Biden's no good, Mr. Nemeth's son needs to figure out how he can become part of the solution rather than throwing up his hands.

PS: I'm older than you are. Conceived in Truman, born in Eisenhower.

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With respect, the GOP has not gone batshit crazy and Manchin and Sinema are not simply intransigent. They are clear-eyed and cynical, and they are in it simply and completely for their own extreme power and wealth.

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That "growth fetish" is at the root of what has generated excesses at nearly every turn. Supply side economics becomes inherently destructive if not properly monitored and controlled. Our excesses are coming back to bite us.

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Thanks for giving voice to thoughts that have been swirling around my head half-formed.

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Can we deport Rupert Murdoch. In know it’s not one man’s mess, but he spread hate and lies faster than truth could be heard. His propaganda machine is still cranking out division like a space laser

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Yes, shut their microphones down and deport all who finance lies and hatred of our country-- this is a crisis of masterminded brainwashing. Get rid of the Murdochs, Kochs, Mercers and all Russian oligarchical interference and infections in our democracy and country. At the same time, get rid of the imbeciles in our government who are daily hatching our demise. Is that so hard.

Judge Tanya Chutken can speak the truth, what is the matter with all the old white men in our government? Speak Out! Damn, we have more women with cajones that would clean out this filth than men right now. Chutken, Porter, Warren, Yates, Klobuchar, Harris, and a lot who are not involved in law but speak truth fearlessly.

Thank you, Judge Tanya Chutken! You have lifted many spirits with your Truth and Justice stance. Very, very much appreciated for this morning's news. Now, where are all the other legal experts and lawyers (in the republican party) who will speak out against republican tyranny and treason in America?

I have a vision about a certain party's entire family jewels and Bobbit served on a platter to Putin, the Murdochs, Kochs, and Mercers. But I have sworn to keep my posts more loving, and spread positivity in our world so I will withdraw that statement, your Honor.

Thank you Heather, and thank Judge Chutken!!

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Exactly Barbara! “Maybe our legacy to the younger generation is that we fought for Democracy. Not a political party. Democracy.” We’re all in it together young and old, maybe if we could all focus on saving democracy together the world might have a fighting chance. The Republican game is working. Divide, turn folks against each other and our own government. Make way for autocrats.

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Barbara, I couldn't agree more.

I was at an event on Saturday and listened to a woman I have known for years spouting about how horrible the Democrats are for pushing CRT in our school districts and every single GOP lie. I expected her to end her diatribe with "Let's go Brandon ". My concern was, last I knew, she was a forever Democrat, or so she used to say. She is a retired College Professor and an influential woman. What has happened to people?

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I worry that our "legacy" may well leave our planet earth in deplorable condition, rather than building and preserving her for future generations. We are "sucking the blood" out of Mother Earth at multiple levels.

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Your comment should be in big, bold letters, Barbara. Thank you.

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Giving money to families for child care is not socialism! -

I know that many of us understand that the characterization of social safety net programs as socialism or communism could not be further from the truth. It is most unfortunate that we continue to hear this nonsense from politicians and media figures who know, or at lest certainly should know, better.

Let’s be clear the government helping to pay for child and elder care, housing, education, nutrition support, unemployment benefits, building and maintaining infrastructure, or other social safety net programs is not socialism. This is simply the way a nation’s citizens decide through their government how to spend government tax revenues.

What is socialism? It is essential first to understand that socialism is a way to organize an economy, not necessarily a system of governance. Socialism arose as an economic theory in the wake of growing wealth gaps in the population following the industrial revolution in the 19th century. It refers to an economic system in which the means of production and distribution (essentially the way of making money and conducting commerce) are owned and controlled by the government. Present critics of democrats often equate socialism with communism. Communism is essentially a more extreme form of socialism in which the state also owns and controls the means of production and distribution. However, as advanced originally by Karl Marx and Friederich Engels in their works, they believed it would require an actual revolution of the working class to overthrow the ruling class of industrialists.

The primary distinction between capitalism and socialism is the ownership of the means of production and distribution. In capitalism, ownership remains private. In socialism, the state or government owns the means of production and distribution.

Let’s also be clear what socialism is not. The government giving people money to afford various social needs such as healthcare, child and elder care, retirement or old age security, housing assistance, unemployment benefits, food stamps or nutrition support, and other social safety net programs is not socialism. The means of production and distribution remain privately owned and within a capitalist economic structure.

Also centralized regulatory supervision or planning systems such as the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, Consumer Protection Agency, the EPA, the Farm Bureau or Agricultural Department, or any of the many other Federal or State agencies who regulate or supervise private businesses are not socialism.

Governments collecting taxes from private individuals and companies and using those funds to support the needs of their citizens is not socialism. The means of production and distribution remain privately owned and run.

The primary socialist structure in the U.S. is the one least held up as an example of socialism, public education. Public schools are owned and run by the government though primarily at state and local levels. Yes, there is private schooling as well that competes to some extent with public schools. However, public school systems are owned and run “communally” for the benefit of all by the government or state.

Now some will hold out the Nordic countries such as Sweden, Norway, or Denmark as examples of socialism. In fact, that is untrue. They do commonly practice what some call “democratic socialism” however, that is a term of art that ignores that the means of production and distribution remain in those countries primarily privately owned and controlled. The fact that those countries and their citizens have decided to spend their tax money on socially beneficial programs for their citizens for housing, education, health care, and other social programs does not make them socialist countries. It simply reflects the decision of their citizens on how they wish their governments to tax and spend.

In fact, in the history of the world, there is not now and has never been a purely socialist state or government. In reality, every country in the history of the world, including the U.S., has to some extent been a mix of private and public ownership of the means of production and distribution. Each nation makes their own decisions on where they draw the line. This despite characterizations of the Soviet Union or Russian Federation, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, China, or Venezuela as “socialist or communist states.” In each of those countries, there has largely remained significant private ownership of at least some sectors or portions of the economy.

So, the next time some ignorant, uninformed media figure, politician, or individual starts screaming about socialism, communism, or some other inaccurate characterization of a policy designed to benefit people, recognize it as simply the rantings of an uneducated and uninformed individual. Please pay as little attention to it as possible. Such foolishness is unworthy of your attention. Anyone who has an elementary education in civics or economics should know better.

We need to pay much more attention to how we tax ourselves, how we spend and invest our taxes, and how well we deliver for ourselves with those expenditures and investments. Stop fretting over foolish and inaccurate labels.

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Every time soicialism comes up, I remember a lady from Sweden being asked what it was like to live in a socialist country... Her answer "we don't call it socialism, we call it being civilized". Thank you for the clearest explanation of what is perceived as "socialism". I've tried to make this same argument for years.

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One of my favorite stories is about a leading business figure from Sweden attending a conference in Singapore. A U.S. journalist covering the conference for his magazine interviewing this businessman asked him what proportion of his income he paid annually in taxes. The businessman ignored the question and continued talking about the priorities of his business and of his customers. The journalist persisted and asked the question over and over, until the businessman finally responded with the percentage which was much higher than a typical tax rate paid by a similarly high earner in the U.S. The journalist than asked if the businessman paying so much higher a rate in Sweden than he would pay in the U.S. was "fair." The businessman replied he did not have a problem with his tax rate. The journalist asked, "Why?" The businessman replied that "he did not wish to be a rich man living in a poor country."

This is a true story and I have often retold it in an attempt to explain why many of the people living in the Nordic countries are among the happiest and most satisfied in the world.

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Fabulous.

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It's equally important to recognize is that capitalism, socialism and communism to not explain the potentially most offensive characteristics of an overreaching government. One party rule, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorships all use the same tools regardless of what they claim their economic should be.

Nazi Germans ruled with one party and maintained private businesses who supported them. Russian or Soviet Communists were a one party government that confiscated private businesses turning them over the Communist Party leaders to run. They were called state owned, but the benefits of ownership went to particular party members. Communist China has been allowing private business but controls the fate of those businesses and owners. Putin's Russia runs Russia much like the communists with oligarchs owning the businesses at Putin's discretion. The US has corporate and private owned businesses. But some corporations hold lots of sway over our political leaders who together can operate much like these authoritarian countries, particularly when our President, congressional members and state governments promote overturning our democracy for one party rule. So whatever we call a government or economic system, what matters is how it functions. Stalin's Russia claimed they were protecting "democracy" as they ruthlessly imposed a one party oppressive, enemies amongst us, cult leader, secret police, economically failing nation.

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Excellent point. And what frightens me is that people don't see how Trump, backed by republican congress people, either don't see the authoritarian maneuvers or think they will get any respect from a government that doesn't need their votes. It's a vicious self purposed crawl to the top for these "leaders" and if they get their way, the only thing they require of their constituency will be a salute.

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Remember the "Patriot Act"!! Regarding Stalin: When he came into power, he had one million (1,000,000) of Russia's top intellectuals and top Military officers executed

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This should go on the front page of all news media and be the top story on all news programs.

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Excellent post sir.

"NOUN

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."

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I note for the record that "community as a whole" and "government" are frequently conflated but are not the same. At best, the government acts in an agency role for the population of a given area.

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Exactly, Dave. Thanks for clarifying. As long as the word socialism has so many shades of meaning, it will continue to be a term of disparagement. My senator, Bernie Sanders, uses "Democratic Socialist" as his moniker, to differentiate. I appreciate that you have g.iven us the real distinction.

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:). So many words have become mangled and meaningless that we have to work at keeping the important ones consistent.

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(Sweden)

Very well worded, and to the point. So, what is the label for the US Military Industrial Complex, and what is the percentage of its share in US economy?

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I don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s way too high. In the guns vs butter choice, we always choose guns. It’s why our infrastructure is crumbling. I wish we would shift that balance.

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It is that amount, published annually. The Republicans worry about $3.5T spread over ten years for the common good and can care less about $7.28T over ten years for Military spending. If you can find photos on Google of the Military equipment graveyard, you will be shocked.

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I am afraid my first reaction to your question is that the term "Military Industrial Complex" is really just jargon for most and does not provide a worthy foundation for thinking about how we allocate our government's expenditures. The Preamble to our Constitution says:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

It seems no where did we mention the "Military Industrial Complex" as a priority for We the People to form and support a government to deliver for us. Yes, we did speak about "the common defense" and we should support a sufficient and competent defense structure to provide for that common defense. We should however, in my own view, give greater consideration to how much we spend on our common defense, as opposed to how much we spend on trying to shove our own views and values down the throats of the rest of the world. I realize that perspective is my own and there are many who might take exception to my characterization of that balance. However, there are many who feel we have not currently gotten what many refer to as the balance of our defense and domestic balance in the correct proportions.

So despite my respect for Dwight Eisenhower as a wonderful WWII general and beneficent but perhaps only moderately effectual President, I would suggest we abandon "Military Industrial Complex" as a commonly used characterization for a portion of the U.S. budget.

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We are so confused, angry, unequal, and a portion of us are demonstrating such ignorance and belligerence, it is time for invest a lot in our nation to help with soothing our battles. A portion of that defense fund would help.

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Thank you for your comment. I was thinking of control of land, food production, industrial complexes, and networks of contracts, that I imagine could well be thought of as "socialist" as other state controlled means of production; got the impression from Michael Pollands, The Omnivore's Dilemma

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50% of the nation's annual budget is set for the MIC. The next fiscal year: $700 BILLION and counting. "Situated between the mountains on the border of Nevada and California, is a 36,000-acre area of land where the American military dispatches its equipment and munitions after wars." (Copied from War History Online.)

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And that 50% is just the costs I suppose. What about all allied industry and activity, not producing gains for the state but still able to cast the shadow of a "socialist" giant. Sounds like good grounds for recycling in Nevada. In the 60-ies, when I did my military service, Sweden also spent 50% of the budget on the military. Now I think it is about 15% but rising. Our old bicycles went to Estonia, to defend itself with infantry on bicycles pulled by tractors.

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I served in US Air Force Intel in the sixties, 1962-1966. The Soviets were the archenemy of the West, which is likely why Sweden allocated so much toward your defense budget. The 2021 fiscal year defense budge is $933 Billion. Each of the fifty states benefits from very small amounts to large amounts in defense.

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Agree with Kim. Thank you for providing clear talking points to explain what socialism is and, most important, what it is not.

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BruceC in ‘da house. Listen up!

Great mini course today!

Thank you. Copy and paste all right to a few others for correct messaging? This is better than Wiki!

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My apologies for mansplaining this point.

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Lol Bruce! Not mansplaining. And it was a fantastic explanation. You gave us all some great talking points. I worry, though, about ignoring these calls of “socialism,” because I think they are effective in riling up a fearful (ignorant) base who are then very motivated to vote.

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I am not arguing we ignore misinformation or the even more malevolent disinformation. What I urge is we recognize it properly for what it is and recognize the ignorance of those spreading it. There will always be malcontents and malevolent individuals in the world. There are also many doing good works and providing benefits to most. Our choice is to decide who to pay attention to and elevate. Let's all try to make good choices and sort people out accordingly. I would observe that many of us spend too much time and attention on the malcontents and malevolent and not enough time and attention elevating the benefactors making our world a better place.

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Very well said. Thank you.

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I totally agree. And wish that a number of these co-opts by the GOP would get coverage and be exposed as the lies they have become.

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It's a coincidence that you are a male who wrote this. No mansplaining at all.

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Thanks Bruce for the lesson. Very clear. I feel it vital to note that the talking point, or frame, of democrats as "socialists" is simply red meat meant for the conservative base. We cannot undue this understanding, because the more we struggle with this definition - the more we advance the notion.

We must appeal with our own frame, which may be a "democratic capitalism" - but this MUST be framed for the 65% of Americans who are not conservatives. This is simple linguistics. The more we remain rudderless with our own vision, the more we argue within their frame, and continually advance this heresy.

I am afraid that already liberals, dems, progressives have LOST any headwinds we may have had on the passing of the build back, Biden plan. We simply do not spend energy focussing on our own vision - because we have no vision of a society where democracy constrains capitalism.

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Frankly I think Democrats spend too much time in their messaging on policy and “multi-point plans” and too little time and attention talking about values. Most people vote and pick candidates to support emotionally not logically or rationally. Therefore it is important to make emotional appeals to voters. Unfortunately, Republicans seem at present to get this and are better at it. Nevermind that their emotional appeals are based on fear and lies. The point is they are emotional appeals and they are working. Their are people who are starving for candidates to offer positive, values-based emotional appeals to voters. Those seeking such positive, values-based appeals have not the attention span or, in most cases the background or facts, to judge a series of multi-point complex programs or plans. Plans and programs are how you govern, not how you win elections. Ask voters how they “feel” and they will tell you about their emotions and about their values, what is important to them. Meet them there, speak to that. Give them value-based messages that align with their values. Save the plans for how you govern after you are elected. Then make sure you govern in a way that delivers to those values and emotions.

We all may hate what Tя☭mp and his administration did and how he governed. However, there is no doubt he campaigned and still does by appealing to the values and emotions of his supporters. He and Tя☭mp Republicans continue to do that. And, with his base it works.

We have to develop our own emotional values based messaging and approach to attract a larger number of voters. Stop focusing on plans and policies and appeal to voters values and emotions and Democrats will be more successful.

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Let me provide an example of what I mean about values based messaging.

Republicans condemn what they claim is the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in our schools shaming and demeaning white students who have had nothing to do with slavery, Jim Crow laws, or discrimination of people of color. Democrats leap to point out that CRT is not taught in schools and trying to defend the existence of systemic racism and its damaging affects.

Republicans are appealing to the "patriotic values" of their base and American exceptionalism. Democrats are trying to talk about policies and curricula is schools.

An emotional, values-based appeal to voters would be about the importance of equality of opportunity for all and mutual respect for and from all for each other regardless of our circumstances. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) provide a moral framework for equality of opportunity and that mutual respect. DEI is about more than simply racial diversity, equity, and inclusion. DEI is about gender and ethnic DEI. It is about accommodation for people of all abilities. It is about religious tolerance and respect for all or no religions. It is about respectfully allowing for and respecting religious preferences and practices. It is about providing for equality of opportunity for all regardless of their zip code, neighborhood, economic circumstances, whether their family owns a home or are renters, or have no home at all. DEI is about equality of opportunity and mutual respect for and from all for each other. We can have those discussions without trying to decide which books to ban, put in libraries, or promote in which schools. There are also many examples in history, including but not limited to our own, to provide opportunities to explore what happens in societies that suppress diversity, equity, and inclusion to the detriment of whatever group they choose to exclude. Learning and examining history provides an opportunity to learn lessons to help us make a better world and society by learning from past failures and successes.

Why and how did slavery arise in the U.S. or in other locations and times in world history? What did it provide and what did it destroy? Why did it prevail for so long and what caused its eventual fall? What was the aftermath of its fall? What can we learn from that? These are all values based discussions. We are not trying to talk about heroes and villains. We are trying to discuss the need for equality of opportunity and mutual respect for and from all for each other. Why it that a good thing? What does it do to make for a healthier, more successful society? What do we lose if we fall short of that as a country or a people? What is the price for that failure and who pays it?

Can we not have that as a values based discussion?

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Do you honestly believe this is what's happening? Have you seen what every Ivy League school has done to the conservative and Christian voice? Do you really believe what you just said?

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Brother, your question is unworthy of a response. I stand by everything I said and suggest you inform yourself before engaging in discussions on this. My sympathy goes to all whose ignorance blinds them to the truth.

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We also so much need to go after Republicans who lack any plans, except for making sure they stay in power. So, Sen. Manchin, and others, what do you want to do about global warming? Details, please! Same for other issues. We know you want to keep girls safe in school bathrooms from boys in skirts, and keep girl student athletes from being bested by “pretend girls.” But what about paid family leave, etc., etc., which, you must admit, affect millions more people, girls included?

Republicans have gotten away with saying they don’t like the Democrat proposals, they won’t bring them up for discussion. Typically whatever it is, it costs too much. Ask them what is the cost of not spending the money. You don’t know? Isn’t it your job as a legislator to know these things? Grrrr!

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Values Clarification works.

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Yes!

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Fear is highly effective as an emotional motivator. Republicans use it so prolifically because it works and they are shameless in their pursuit of control.

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Agree. This is the "what's in it for me," the bread and butter issues at the family dinner table (an anarchronism itself) time. It also feels like "my government doesn't love me era." This makes me feel like the parent of an estrogen-energized teen working at giving a complete rationale for why he or she is better off staying at home and getting a good night's sleep when all he or she wants is to be told is that it's family night and they are in charge.

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“. . . we have no vision of a society where democracy constrains capitalism.” We used to, though. I told my eighth grade students (who were being fed Libertarianism by their private school) that Karl Marx was wrong about most things, but not about what happens when capitalism has no regulation or constraint. When you play a game of Monopoly all the way to the end, what is the result? One player has everything.

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I LOVE your comment about Monopoly! Holy rollers! “When you play Monopoly all the way to the end, you have one player owning everything!

I’ll remember this 😂

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I have my own idea of "Social-Capitalism," which highlights using the dynamism of capitalist enterprise to support healthy social programs. Things like, for instance, Social Security.

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This is the most reliable, clean-cut, easy-to-grasp, brief explanation of these terms and their implications that I've ever come across. Yes, there are books to read, but first the person you're talking to has to be motivated to read at all. It isn't always enough just "pay as little attention as possible." If you spy even a crack in the misconception, you need to have something to slip through it. I think I'm going to try this.

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This is brilliantly written, Bruce. May I share?

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All that I post is always available to share with others without any attribution required.

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Thank you!

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OK, I read Joseph's comment twice and cannot understand this comment as reply to Joseph's? Joseph does not mention socialism at all. That word does not appear in his essay, so, what am I missing?

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It's neosocialism. It's backing into socialism instead of doing what historically was done and that is taking over industry. If you back into socialism you're going to have to eventually take over industry that's called raising taxes.

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word salad nonsense

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It is bleak. But as I read Applebaum's "Iron Curtain" and prepared to read Timothy Snyder's "Blood Lands", compared to much of human history, Americans at all levels are relatively privileged, comfortable, spoiled and irresponsible. We simply have not worked all that hard at the most important values and aspects of life. Too caught up in our material comforts. Too unwilling to suffer some discomfort.

My college years were not climbing walls and food courts. From freshman through graduation, I forgave all use of credit cards, just coming out. Paid cash for only what I absolutely needed. Lived in cooperative run down housing. Cooking and cleaning with 16 other guys. Didn't own a car until I was a senior in college. And this was a plush life compared to my parents and grandparents. No new subdivision house. Always plumbing, electrical and carpentry maintenance that enabled me to build and maintain my own houses, the same as my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles. It took me a long time to see my own white privilege, wasteful practices, failures to put myself out in the political landscape to fight for others. We can all do what many black American leaders have done to get out their vote, speak up, get kicked down and do it again. But we haven't done it nearly enough. Many of us can afford to sit all day, everyday in our elected representatives offices and demand justice. But we don't. If we keep complaining, as many American generations have, we will end up living behind our own "Iron Curtain" of social media or suffering the purges and devastation of "blood lands". Democracy and justice takes work, a lot of work. We must do it or die in every generation.

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I have read Blood Lands and it was very instructive and also Snyder's book on the Holocaust. He has sounded the alarm.

I spent six months studying at Fourah Bay College in Freetown as part of the study abroad at Kalamazoo College (now much more diverse than when I was there in the early 60s) and three years in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. This changed me for life and thankfully made me aware at a fairly young age of the cost of colonialism and white supremacy. It also made me very aware of living in the midst of a materialistic and consuming society. I confess that we are both pretty pessimistic about the future although that has not prevented us from doing what we can.

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Thank you Michele for YOUR service, especially the Peace Corps. I wish that all citizens of the U.S. were so conscientious. My husband and I met while serving in the USAF 'way back in the 1970s--spent two years in Turkey during the Cold War era. Changed my life and for the better (example: I NEVER flip a light switch or flush a toilet that I'm not thankful to live in the United States). We are so isolated and privileged to be living in a country where so much is taken for granted. It would be so incredible if young people were able to see the benefits of one year of service to others.

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Yes I am grateful also. We had no electricity from noon to six and water only for a part of the day. We had a cistern where we collected water for the times we didn't have it. It had to boiled and filtered for anything that went in our mouths. We did have an African man who helped with tasks known unfortunately as the houseboy. He did the cooking and the washing. Everything clothes, towels, sheets had to be ironed....tumber (sp) flies that laid eggs that then hatched into maggots under the skin. It was an interesting time.

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Oh yes, she is definitely condescending.

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Thank you JFK for the Peace Corps, and enlightenment. I worked stateside in the National Healtth Service Corps in Appalachia. The coming out (to rich, arrogant, materialistic Oklahoma oil country) was so much more an adaptation than was going in to the rich poverty of the good mountain culture, where family (not car size) came first.

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The way things are going, we’ll soon know firsthand.

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Yes, we are at the ‘bread and circuses’ phase of the empire.

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Amen David! ❤️❤️

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Joseph, a fine post, and I thank you. I will say the problem is ... we ARE capitalists - which worships money to the detriment of others, our planet and our future.

THE problem is capitalism.

The very root of homelessness, poverty, violence, starvation, wars ,etc., is the American ego is focussed on possessions (capitalism), rather than virtues (liberty, freedom, love, joy). In my travels and countless conversations with Europeans, they marvel at how delusional we Americans can be. We live to work, to try to accumulate more than we need, while never accruing what we desire, and that is freedom and liberty, love and compassion. We are trapped in this capitalist cycle, and there is no way out but to leave the cycle of suffering (endless wants). Yes, I am a product of this economics which worships excesses!

How much is enough? Far less than I want, and exactly equal to what I need. A story I recently heard is this; the homeless man thanked another for his gift of a few dollars, and the donor wished him luck, and the homeless man said to him, Do you know what I have that you do not, to which he then said, I have freedom ..... The homeless man has shelter, food, companionship, through the generosity of people who are trapped in the valuing of money over others, the planet and the future. Until, perhaps, one is free enough to give away what one does not need, and that is to the homeless, the less fortunate, the planet and to the future. The gift is to the giver, as well as the recipient. "We are the richest country in the world ...", we boast. And yet are starving for what we need

imho and fwiw

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“We live to work”. That’s what my European friends say too

Spend even a few weeks working in Europe. The demeanor is just different

America is a rat race that cannot be won until Americans change their focus away from “Live to Work”

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Or work to consume? I feel like that may have shifted some since the pandemic. The National Park I live next to has never been so swamped with hikers and bikers. Though they’re still consuming bikes and kayaks I suppose. I overheard a parenting couple with their own catering business talking about keeping their business smaller post pandemic so that they could continue to enjoy more family time. Does anyone else remember being hopeful when hearing folks muse on national news that the pandemic might be a game changer in our consumption culture?

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Yes. And I think that is happening. Even if it is more, much more, appreciation for family and friends getting and being together. And not taking that privilege for granted. And understanding that the money we spend on that activity is secondary to love.

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Yes. We have a small business that our two 30- something kids now run. They made several pandemic changes that are staying in place, and they, and our employees, seem more content.

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We are of course seeing small businesses, and others larger, offering much better pay and even some benefits because people are choosing other options. People are choosing other options, as you point to Christy

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Yes we are a capitalist society but the essence of capitalism is not evil—so much good has come from the capitalist model.

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Unrestricted Capitalism breeds Jackals in the form of Robber Baron of the Gilded Age. Government needs to insert governors into that engine to protect the rest of us. The Jackals call this “Socialism”

I call it “binding the hands of the ruthless”

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If we can't get support for raising taxes even on billionaires, it's clear that the game is up. There will be no constraints on capitalism. It won't be possible to restore some economic balance.

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I like that explanation.

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It is just problematic when the wealthiest do not pay their fair share and control everything, including politics. And we pay for it all.

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Money is not the root of all evil, love of money is the root of all evil. Capitalism is an economic model. In and of itself it is not evil. But a capitalist economy has to be heavily regulated and taxed. Then there will be enough wealth generated and taxed to support a social safety net. Since Reagan (perhaps even Nixon) our system has become so distorted with ever decreasing regulation and lower taxes on the rich and corporations; the very places with the most wealth from the deregulation! A true socialist economy isn't the answer. Look at Sweden. Capitalism. But their culture cares enough to take care of each other with a generous social safety net. I don't know how to change the selfish tendencies of our culture. Though I believe in the end there are more good people than bad.

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Capitalism requires rules and regulation, just like the NFL. Oh, never mind.

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Thanks for the reminder that money is what we'll make of it.

Our God? Our cult? Our junkie-trip??? Our BE-ALL-AND-END-ALL?

That does appear to have become the American way...

As for businessmen demanding total deregulation -- that's so like spoiled three-year-olds; or teenagers who MUST MUST MUST!!! have the latest sneakers like all the other kids.

Good for the retarded, not for the "real hardened individualists" these people like to present themselves as.

SOSHLIZM FOR SPOILED BRATS...

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Yes I agree.

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I read yesterday a Financial Times article reporting on the troubles and prospective successes of the Biden administration.

It kept referring to what it called "moderate" Democrats in Congress.

I grew angry and threw away the paper. If I were the editor, there'd have been hell to pay. But... then... but then... I did notice that the paper contained more one-page adverts than news or comment...

All these ridiculous adjectives and adverbs, utterly meaningless, hackneyed ad infinitum. And all too often downright nasty.

I could only understand the term "moderate" to mean the servants of lobbyists, the servants of BUSINESS AS USUAL, come what may. As opposed to those whose motivation is to serve the human population of the country.

No one's denying the importance of economic actors or government's duty to attend to their real needs. It's just that America has created a cruel, crazy, deeply neurotic society tyrannized by private "interests" that can't see beyond the end of their noses or the current quarter.

Given the way in which our generation places its own "comfort" above and beyond all else, passing all the unpaid bills for our own malfeasance and that of our ancestors on to posterity -- our children and theirs -- is it not high time that we all woke up to the fact that it is we who should be in the dock, pleading GUILTY?

Instead of daring to lecture our children -- today's and tomorrow's victims -- on the virtues of our beautiful broken-down vehicle. Mend it or write it off and replace it by something that serves the human inhabitants of our common household.

Instead of economics and politics that demote a growing proportion of those inhabitants to the status of vermin. While technology grows ever more autarkic, self-serving, divorced from us humans and our needs.

A society guided and governed by philosophical garbage...

#

At least you have a president whose administration is trying to build bridges to a workable present, a present in which humankind can get down to the heroic but horrifically demanding task of creating a livable future amidst the wreckage we chattering sleepwalkers seem so determined to bequeath to posterity.

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Autarkic/autarky -- a new word for me, and a valuable one. Thank you.

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Love the phrase— servants of lobbiests— I heard there are 3 lobbiests for pharmaceuticals to every person in congress! They’re paying them billions to keep the status quo.

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Absolutely, Peter. And love "autarkic!" Great new word for the day! I do think we need a complete overhaul.

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If only the younger generations followed through and voted as much as we older ones do then they could actually get the system to change. rejecting everything is not going to make the system go away.

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He doesn't believe that: he flat out told me that.

He was very upset that Sanders got pushed out of the 2016 race. By the Democratic Party. It was part of the dance. So his choice was Hillary or the Dunce, and he really disliked Hillary.

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Joseph, I'm sure that your son understands the laws of cause and effect. Does he really understand what his, and many others like him's "black and white" judgement cost and his responsibility in bringing that about? I can understand not being happy about constantly being forced to chose between the lesser of 2 evils but the choice was clear; more of the same with Hilary or a leap into the dark with the other. Strange how anyone could have concluded that the unknown, the uncertain iand the immoral were preferable and how many were ready to jump. I think that Sanders would have been beaten last November. It may be glorious to die fighting but we would be dead now without choosing Biden as the lesser of 2 evils.....and we still might be by next year-end.

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First, I have no idea how he voted, or if he votes. I wasn't seeking a scolding session. He's thirty-five: we're long past that stage. I wanted to have an open conversation about his political views.

Second, I actually made a very passionate "lesser of two evils" argument. His point was along the lines of, "Well yes, but if you keep compromising with the devil, where do you end up?" It's a good question. Neville Chamberlain, anyone?

Third, I think we elders are far too comfortable with climate change, mostly owing to the fact that we won't have to live through it, or the consequent global economic collapse that comes with it. We'll already be dead. His generation is raising children right now. We've got hordes of climate refugees already coming up on our US southern border. He and his neighbors may be lining up at the Canadian border. On foot. As starving refugees.

There's some time pressure here.

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Nazi’s have been at our door for some time, I can accuse the Dems of a lot, but being Neville not one. BTW, republicans embrace the devil, the Tea party made it institutional.

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But "black or white"options seem to appeal to many.. the reality which is grey - is unappealing - and, shock horror, requires real thought.

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Not just unappealing, grey is uncomfortable. It forces you to take a leap of faith and trust the information you’ve gathered to make your choice is complete and true.

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Voting for a professional bankruptor and avowed p_ssygrabber, we all heard on videotape, said a lot about some Americans.

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Wadi the only person who recognized 45’s narcissism and danger (which came to pass in spades)? I think I’m not that uniquely brilliant. Having worked for narcissists, I knew what to expect. Hillary would not have attempted to jettison democracy, no matter how much one disliked her. Life is not black and white and unfortunately we must often make nuanced choices.

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That’s “was,” not wadi fgs.

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My son also, about Bernie!! He feels that the Democrats don't have the guts to be more progressive and while he doesn't dislike Hillary, he feels she didn't take the campaign seriously enough. Arrogance cost her, but even without that, there had been a lot of negative publicity surrounding her that was not grounded in fact.

Even now though l sadly marvel that 45 is still relevant to the Repugs, and that despite his numerous shortcomings, misogyny, racism, and no doubt criminal activities, it seems like half the country still wants him reinstalled to the highest office in our country. I will never understand his appeal.

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Rupert Murdoch, then clones,

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Brainwashing. Celebrityism. Golden toilets.

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Bill Maher condensed it to the "influencer" Kylie Jenner.

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I am not very versed in the Jenner/Kardashian phenomena. But maybe that is the point, it is just a strange, bizarre phenomena.

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Bernie was a spoiler, he pushed himself out. Wish he had a chance but I knew he would be skewered. Why the HRC hate, non-stop vitriol from Rupert, female, republican slander for decades, competence?? Mostly I just heard, “I just don’t like her.” Well, duh. I am old, my gast is flabbered, I fight on, for the young. How can we not.

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People on the left don’t recognize that they were influenced by the anti Clinton propaganda. Bernie voters were especially targeted and I still hear them repeating all those talking points which were all hyperbole or outright lies and intended to do exactly what it did. Figuring out how to help our young protect themselves from propaganda or intentional influence by a manipulative power hungry force would get us a long ways.

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Exactly, I hope I have given granddaughters an example of someone who tries to recognize history repeating itself

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"People on the left don’t recognize that they were influenced by the anti Clinton propaganda." Exactly! I will defend HRC as one of the most qualified, experienced, hard-working presidential candidates ever. The press aided and abetted the t**** campaign by vilifying her, both-siderism and never ending false equivalancies because they needed a horse race to get readers. I lost so much respect for media but in the end Democrats helped too with their lukewarm support for her. And republicans circled their wagons around the worst presidential candidate ever. They won. The country lost.

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Exactly! Actions have consequences, but folks can’t seem to hold themselves accountable. I bet the same folks who are angry at Biden for the fallout from the withdrawal from Afghanistan are many of the same folks who wouldn’t vote for HRC. If we could ALL stop blaming others and instead look to how we ourselves contribute to the mess we’re in, maybe we could do better.

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Yes, Jeri!!

Bernie’s health woes likely factored in as well.*

Hopefully, he’s mentored a good (few) future candidate(s). In the meantime, here’s to our “flabbered gasts💙!”

*not that iDJT is the epitome of any semblance of health.

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I suspect Hillary may have Aspergers Syndrome, and folks expect more empathy and charisma from a woman with this than from a man with it (especially since it is rarely diagnosed in females, except to label them with names like those branded on her).

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Also, my son did vote, for Hillary, as did the rest of our family. The choice was clear, and not voting was never an option.

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Joseph, your son echoes many many many sender's supporters, my son included.

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Did he work for Sanders? Has he done any political activism, any community work? What has he been doing all this time?

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Jeff. Those are important questions to ask of anyone. Among my acquaintances, some became active in the face of defeat, and some opted out. Put their heads further into the sand. Not doing so in the wake of defeat is one reason I admire Sanders (and my Queen of the Universe, Stacey Abrams) and some of my local young activist 🏳️‍🌈 neighbors who were recently elected to office. ❤️🤍💙

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I take it your son doesn't vote, which is a "vote" for getting what he doesn't want. Not voting is voting for Trump and the Republicans, and global warming, and the destruction of the economy. You might point out to him that what we have now does indeed suck, but there are things that will suck far worse, which he is activating by sitting on his assets.

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I actually made that very argument. He considered acceptance of that point as accepting being gamed.

And, again, he has a point.

I've read that during a divorce, a narcissist makes out like a bandit, because the partner will try to be "fair," and the narcissist will not: they will demand EVERYTHING, right down to the rust hinge in the kitchen drawer. AND THEN SOME (shouting). Anyone who tries to "mediate" this mess is going to end up granting the narcissist far more than is fair or just.

It's the same thing here. The Democrats are trying to reach a sensible "bipartisan" mean. The Republicans are quoting Q drops, and screaming hate words. Where does the compromise come down? A long way to the insane side of what we actually NEED in order to preserve the nation.

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Unfortunately, he - like we - suffers from being young. Too soon we get old, too late we get smart.

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Yep, watched it for 8 decades.

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Never too late.

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Derek Delgaudio on Twitter “I used to rig card games for a living. It’s watch people sit down and lose everything, again and again. But they didn’t lose because they “played by the rules,” and we didn’t. They lost because it wasn’t a game. It just looked like one. Democrats think it’s a game.” Dems still want to play kumbaya, Has been a losing strategy since Ronnie/Rupert. Or maybe even John Birch nuts that I remember from the 60’s. Or maybe..?

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Good reminder

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Democracy requires us to be democratic not bullies. Authoritarians are bullies. They fight like bullies. If we fight like them we become like them. Rules and consequences win if we work them collectively.

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We need an alpha dog

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I will offer as an example of what I mean the fact that I and many other young people in the antiwar movement didn't vote in the 1968 election because "The Hump" was as bad as "Tricky Dick" and had been VP to "Hey! Hey! LBJ! How many kids did you kill today!" (interestingly, in my research for two books on the war I fought, it turns out we were yelling at the wrong guy - we should have been yelling at the idiot that got shot in Dallas, the one who put us in that war). With 20/10 hindsight, one can firmly say that whatever else you might want to say about Hubert Humphrey, he would never have been involved in Watergate, and he would never have brought into government the small gargoyles that grew into the big gargoyles we have dealt with since Reagan.

We were fucking morons. The lot of us.

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Hindsight is wonderfully perceptive.....but unfortunately takes a little time to come through. A few grey hairs certainly help.

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As I said above - too soon we get old and too late we get smart.

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HHH was my first presidential vote. I was crushed that he lost. Imagine the trajectory of this country if he won.

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My first presidential vote, and my sole reason for registering to vote, was against Richard Nixon. When I revealed that to my stepfather during a visit, he told me to pack up and leave his house.

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Nixon had his cult, Roger Stone is proof, have y'all seen his tatoo of Dickie on his back. Wonder if he has one of Chump on his belly...

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In my active Anti-Vietnam War neighborhood, TC, many of us were neutral and others unenthusiastic about Humphrey, but we voted for him. I object to being lumped with you and your cohort of morons!

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I loved Hubert, an honorable man. Our loss to this day.

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"we should have been yelling at the idiot that got shot in Dallas, the one who put us in that war). "

This is way over the top. Have some respect.

Your post with lots of name calling and cursing and big dose of disrespect is unnecessary.

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If you read the histories of JFK, his brother, in the light of the Red Scare and our incremental involvement Viet Nam to protect against Dominoes, you see that TC is giving JFK the respect he deserves

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In defense of JFK I submit his competence in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Doesn’t make him a saint, though. We need to see our presidents as mortals, fallible human beings. Reagan became St. Ronnie, and now a Republican congressman speaks, privately, of the Orange Jesus.

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Can I suggest that JFK’s foibles were the result of his father’s pressure to fulfill his father’s desire for Joe Jr, using a reluctant JFK as a surrogate ? And that his calculations in Cuba was blind luck in a game of “don’t blink”?

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Mmmm. Actually, it is necessary. We can agree or disagree. It’s all opinions on here as a response to factual info. Each commenter is allowed that freedom.

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Yeah, I'm sorry, but the sainted JFK took us in to Vietnam and despite all the stories by the Kennedy myth-makers, he had no intention of getting out. His minions who stayed in the Johnson Administration were the ones who fought the war - the wrong way, every choice. You can now download declassified PDFs of what they were reading and doing at the time. The Kennedy people - picked by him - got us in, and fucked it up. He and they have the blood of 59,000 Americans and god knows how many million Southeast Asians on their hands. The only one of them who finally admitted his guilt was McNamara. They all thought they were the smartest guys in the room, and they were ALL fucking MORONS.

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And I say that as someone as sucked into the JFK myth as anyone, maybe even more.

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Did you read the book “The Kennedy Men”? JFK forced into a title intended for Joe Jr, but Joe Jr got killed. Our wrath belongs pointed at Joe Sr, truly the monster that reflects the principles of modern day GQOP operatives

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I think you mean "arse".

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There was an accounting firm, years ago, that had a radio ad that said, "If you have a manager who doesn't know his assets from a hole in the budget, call us!"

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I'm being polite. :-)

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No one needs or wants your vitriol.

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I think that’s a harsh thing to say to a man who actually had to fight in the war JFK started.

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As did my husband.

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I actually look forward to TC’s crisp and profane remarks. But I’m not offended by swearing, being a prolific user of f-bombs myself. My poor, old-fashioned, gentleman of a husband can attest to that.

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I get that. I, too, throw around curse words in private. Calling a deceased President an idiot is a step too far for me. (And a murdered one at that.) The increased crudity and name calling in our society is being written about more and more. I believe it lowers the National discourse.

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Joseph, there’s a lot to unpack here. I, too, have a son who rejects capitalism and identifies himself as a socialist (who did at least suck it up and vote for Biden). But I have to take issue with your use of the term “man-splaining.” It does NOT mean a woman explaining something, anything, to a man. It means a man explaining something, in a condescending, over-confident manner, to a woman - who often knows considerably more about the subject than the explainer does - and is a pejorative term. I am (perhaps over) confident that every woman on the planet has been on the receiving end of mansplaining. Pelosi may well have been explaining something in a condescending way, but it sure wasn’t mansplaining.

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Thank you for this. "Mansplaining" is not something women can do (that would be womansplaining) and is done to them not by them.

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Exactly, Ally. It’s a power play. I actually googled it before I wrote my response, just to make sure my understanding was correct, and the alternative term I saw was femsplaining, but it doesn’t catch on because women tend not to do it. Yet. 😂

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Hi Ally and Kathy.... The word "mansplaining" caught my eye too. I appreciate that Joseph's choice of terms is technically incorrect, but the very fact that he used the term as he did -- I found it to be a humorous misuse, probably deliberate -- is an indication of a heightened sensitivity to this aspect of sexism.

So, you know, why not give the guy a break? I thought the rest of his comment gets right to the heart of the human problem and is beautifully written.

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I get where you're coming from with this "give the guy a break". To see it in the context where Pelosi is schooling someone, I see far, far too many of my Republiqan friends vilifying her for her grit and determination. As someone who has been the recipient of real, live, mansplaining far, far too many times, I still stand by what I wrote.

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And I agree. Pelosi is a very capable woman and very experienced pol who grew up in a political family. If she were a man, I doubt any one would say much about her schooling someone who didn't know what he was talking about.

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Buongiorno, David! I too liked the rest of his comment. But. Sometimes things like misogyny get in the way of the messaging. We would all think a similar, but racist, term was too much. This is too, most especially if it was deliberate and an attempt to be funny. Most women would not find that funny at all. Or, perhaps I shouldn’t generalize - I don’t think it’s funny. The fact that some men do is a problem.

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In my experience, men do not listen to women except for rare exceptions like my LMT.

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That’s such a sad comment. I wish you felt your voice was more effective. I wish all of our voices were more effective. As an interesting aside, most of the “likes” on my comment are unsurprisingly from women… not that I care, but I do find it interesting.

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It is a sad commentary, but the norm for women unfortunately. Even men who understand the problem are often guilty of this. My spouse has a friend who hangs on his every word which is fine. However, when he was here, he listened attentively when my spouse spoke and looked at his cell phone when I did which is clearly saying that he isn't listening. Listening is difficult to do and it is something that I have worked on for a long time as I have a tendency to be forming my answer. My practice of reiki has helped immensely.

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I think maybe it is just 'splaining. But Kathy, your corrective term "condescending" is perfectly serviceable in all of these contexts. Well said.

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I hope I wasn’t condescending! I agree, it was just explaining.

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I am 78 and I still receive mansplaining especially from my neighbor. His tone of voice changes and the facial expression also. Intellectually he realizes the problems women experience, but emotionally, he does appreciate the woman next door knowing more about certain things or not accepting his point of view. Anything my spouse says is fine. We also make sure they do not sit across from each other because if they do, his wife and I basically sit and listen to them pontificate. He doesn't bother to mansplain to her, just is dismissive. I should also say that in many ways he is a wonderful neighbor. He is retired banker and his explanation of how capitalism works on the inside is one of the best I have heard.

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I like your strategy!

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Kathy, I was a female IIT student in the 70s. OMG hell yes! Oh the stories I could tell.(BTW ultimately transferred to another school). Also, in 2016 when tfg had the infamous pussy-gate tape, I asked a group of over 15 women "have any of you NEVER been victim of unwanted sexual advances" (cat-called, groped, kissed....or worse) and not one of them was.

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IIT as in India? Or Illinois? I can’t even imagine. Agreed about the unwanted advances - been there, done that, #metoo, all of us. My husband is a professor of mechanical engineering, and has devoted a great deal of his career into recruiting women engineers and creating a safe lab environment for them. Now, his lab is about half women students, and I’m immeasurably proud of him. Not easy in engineering to achieve that.

Sometimes I think I did my children a great disservice by never talking about this stuff when they were little. We did, of course, when they were older. Especially my sons - I never, ever wanted them to do this to another person.

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Illinois

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At least that! Can you imagine IIT in India in the 70s?! Or today, for that matter.

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I'll stand by my use, though, as David Herrick suggests below, it was was in fact an intended technical misuse, for effect.

Man-splaining is about chronic, widespread, casual abuse of power, not about sex. It's main-splaining because men generally (almost invariably) have the power, and can (and frequently do) abuse it as a substitute for cogent, two-sided discussion. The sexism is not in the use of the term, but in the power differential that allows a male ignoramus to effectively shout down a female expert. And it works as a term because it is so common.

"Woman-splaining" doesn't work as a word, because women do not have (in our society) the automatic power. If we lived in ancient Minoa, "woman-splaining" could be a valid term.

In Pelosi's case, she was abusing her power. She was brow-beating a young man who was reaching out, just a bit, and was far better-spoken, and clearly far more knowledgeable about the subject that Ms. Pelosi. It was "man-splaining." That is was done by a Speaker of the House who happened to be a woman is what makes the term stand out.

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Joseph, I think I found the link to which you refer. I understand why you didn’t like Pelosi’s simplistic response to a thoughtful, complex question. But this isn’t mansplaining. Mansplaining is an unasked for, unnecessary explanation. The young man literally asked for her opinion, she gave it, you didn’t like her response or her tone (which is fair). But it’s not mansplaining. Not even close.

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I appreciate your explanation. If I had seen a video of the incident, I may have been better able to appreciate your point. I will go find a link, and watch with interest in how the young man reacts when the tables are turned.

I think the conversation you have sparked is excellent. Thank you.

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It seems he’s against Biden for not being able to single handedly fix decades of degradation at the hands of Reagan, Nordquist, Gringrich, Tea Party, McConnell , Fox manipulation of voters via propaganda brain washing

That’s unrealistic

To then have little in terms of what he does support, or how to implement solutions outside of executive decree while remaining committed to the Constitution, reflect a superficial understanding of how our government is constructed

This not a slam against your son individually, but rather an observation of the difference bet those that see something wrong and those that try to something about it

Politics is messy

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Yes, my daughters, in their 50s, had their eyes opened by the election of 2016, and looked to me for explanation. My grandchildren, in their 30s, trust and will follow their parents political agenda but this is so scary......what if their parents were cult Republicans?

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And they got used to the Former Guy loud and constant bragging plus cable “news” screeching. Quiet strength moves battle ships. Time will tell.

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Joseph - you sum up how my two adult sons feel as well - we have had similar conversations. While they appreciate the job Biden is trying to do, they feel they will be living with the mess that culminated with trump for the rest of their lives. IMO, there is a sense of numbness and helplessness that has settled over many in the post-Boomer generations.

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I agree, Janet, about the "a sense of numbness and helplessness that has settled over many..." We must try to find a way clear of the current mood of the young.

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They will clear it. Just as we did at their age. Have faith in the incremental change of each gen that propels us forward. Have faith in the Light that illumines their path. As we do now.

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The mess, yes, the helpless feeling no.

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Agree totally, Cathy.

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“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

― Socrates

It would seem that older generations have a similar view of the younger ones throughout time…yet somehow, someway, they grow up to be the older generation with an opinion of the younger one. Times are scary. A peer recently referred to our younger generation (Gen Z and Millennials) as “the Titanic”. Its more than political and it runs deep. Is this just the older generation with an opinion of the younger one or do we consider the severity and take action before the ship sinks?

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love the Socrates quote ...and then there is Greta Thunberg.....

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There is an exception to every rule...

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Also, parents need to be parents and not abdicate their responsibilities...nor love.

It is a conundrum for many people who have to work to live or live to make more than they could ever spend in five lifetimes. I work with the teens of the Haves and the Have Nots. Pain, depression and anxiety at both ends of the spectrums. Add skin color and certain genders on top... We have a lot of work to do to create a better world or All Our People. We have an opportunity to re-create everything that has basic human principals built into the systems. Certain media and tryannical liars are in great need of some simple Konmari love disposal. (Did you know there is a garbage business called Love Disposal in, Lockhaven, PA. The couple met at an apartment dumpster...).

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Interestingly, one of the arguments against the United States getting into World War II was a criticism of the young people at the time (the ones we now call The Greatest Generation) did not possess the "intestinal fortitude" to go to war and prevail. The Nazis weren't the only ones who underestimated the Americans they would meet on the battlefield.

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My teenage years neatly corresponded with the Reagan administration. I grew up in the shadow of the sixties, and found the spirit of that time to my liking (been to many E. Coast Dead shows!). I do not remember the eighties fondly. Reagan unleashed the forces of crass capitalism and exploitation everywhere you looked. It began with the rise of the yuppies and has gained momentum ever since, to the point where unrestrained capitalism is destroying the ecosystems that support our civilization (and is now trying to destroy the democratic system that may put checks in its place!). I traveled and raged in my younger days, but eventually had to get serious to support my family. I have longed for change the entire time. And it is slow, but I think it's coming. The problem is, what we are is a nation of moderates. For as much as there are people like me, who see the problems caused by the untethered greed allowed to run rampant in our capitalist system, there seem to be many more who are benefitting in some way, and have found their niche, so don't want to rock the boat. The inertia of the comfortable class is formidable. Unless and until something comes along that really rocks the lifestyles of our middle class, change will happen incrementally at best (until the cataclysm!). Effective political organizing and activism is the best way I can see to make a difference, which more than anything requires a sharpening of rhetoric and persuasive messaging. We must change minds first! Capitalism without limits is killing us slowly, and making too many of us miserable along the way. Peace!

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During my graduate study at Seminary I concentrated in two areas: Ethics and pastoral ministry. Ethics was and is at my core. One of my papers focused on the difference between "individual capitalism" as the American model vs. "communitarian capitalism" as the European model. Lester Thurow's book "Head to Head" was key to my comparison. Europe, the UK and Japan have a far more equitable balance in their economic systems because of their commitment to community. The American model is intentially individualistically selfish. Therein lies one of our major problems.

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Agree with every word, watched Reagan with horror, finally saw that Rupert was behind him and the whole kit and caboodle. Along with Koch’s and watched as others jumped on the greed is good bandwagon.

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Your son is only slightly older than my nephew (he's nearly 33). He is the most politically astute person in our family, and graduated (on his second foray into University; his first was impacted by his activism and involvement to the degree he was on academic probation) Cum Laude with dual degrees in Economics and Emerging Media and Digital Arts. He had to fight for some of his round two grades, because while the class had the same name and number as one he had taken initially, the classes were vastly different; his advisor went to bat for him and said "Not only did he earn the grade he got in the class, he designed most of the foundational coursework". My nephew is anti-Capitalist, and is most likely the most intelligent person in my family. He and your son would most likely be a fascinating pair to listen to as they discussed this concept. Thankfully, they will outlive us, and I hope to hell they are able to fix our mess.

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The kids are alright.

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