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3 hours ago, Sociotard said:

If we try to use the Supreme Court to apply a more restrictive interpretation, there will be a civil war.

 

26 minutes ago, Old Man said:


Yes, just owning a gun and making loud noises about a civil war is enough to get your opponents to give up without even trying. 

 

After the American Civil War, organized and armed resistance to Reconstruction, aimed at protecting black people and assuring their civil rights, caused those policies to be rolled back. President Grant and Congress passed edicts and laws supposedly in support of those goals, but in the face of potential violence and political backlash they went mostly unenforced. So racial oppression continued with impunity for nearly a century longer, and was finally curtailed only through government action seriously beginning with the Kennedy administration, in the face of more violence and political consequences.

 

Nothing worth winning was ever won without cost

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1 minute ago, Lord Liaden said:

Nothing worth winning was ever won without cost

 

But the thing we're talking about winning is a reduction in gun violence. The cost is a whole lot of gun violence. That sounds counterproductive

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5 minutes ago, Sociotard said:

 

But the thing we're talking about winning is a reduction in gun violence. The cost is a whole lot of gun violence. That sounds counterproductive

 

But the alternatives do nothing. And if the country is so screwed up that the thought of gun regulations threatens civil war....then maybe we ought to reexamine ourselves as a country. I've always said that America is the king of ignoring social problems. We sweep them under a rug and pretend that we've "taken care of them".  America likes band aids that make them feel like they've accomplished something while in reality they've just hidden the problem. America has a knife wound and has had it for a very long time. We don't treat it or stitch it up or use antibiotics. If it starts to seep blood or otherwise be noticeably irritating, America slaps another band aid on it so that...once again...the problem is hidden. We've done that virtually our entire history. We haven't even solved the lingering problems from the Civil War for pity's sake. The point of my rant is that at some point we have to start treating these wounds...however painful and/or rancid they've become or we'll never heal. We've gotten to a point where any real positive social change will require some degree of sacrifice/pain. A consequence of us ignoring EVERYTHING for so long. I tire of our excuse to not fix anything being "it could be worse".  That honestly is "appeasement" thinking and it didn't work back in the day either. Yes...it could be worse, but it could also be better....a LOT better. Let's go for that.

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It's also important to remember that the promises of gun violence are empty threats.  There was a Kenyan Muslim in the White House for eight years and none of these patriots pulled the trigger.  There's a Russian mole in the White House right now and none of these patriots are pulling the trigger.  99.9999% of gun owners would meekly surrender their weapons to a white police officer if it came down to it.  They're just dangerous toys with Constitutional marketing.

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I admit, I am of at least two minds.

 

On the one and, yes, American culture fetishizes guns to an astonishing degree. Insurrection from any nationwide attempt at sudden, serious restriction or regulation is a real threat.

 

Though bluntly, I think the odds are high of insurrection within the next 5 years anyway. A civil war disconnected from real economic or political issues -- only about mythology and identity. I hope I am proved wrong, but there seems to be a significant percentage of the population that is *flipping crazy* at the loss of their caste privileges and cherished myths of identity.

 

OTOH, we do have the example of gay rights. There were predictions of civil war over that, too, and it didn't happen. First laws against homosexuality were rolled back. Society didn't collapse, either in a Gay Sex Orgy or an Evangelical crusade. Then a few states tried civil unions. Again, nothing happened. Then outright marriage. And what do you know, nothing happened. Finally the Supreme Court (narrowly) declared same-sex marriage had to be legal everywhere. And God did not smite the country as He smote Sodom and Gomorrah, neither did the Evangelicals rise up in armed rebellion and the military join them. Too many people realized they had friends and family who were gay, lesbian or bisexual, and they were just people instead of some abstract boogyman of "The Gay." A solid majority of Americans think same-sex marriage is just fine, and what's the big deal?

 

Already, polling shows that a solid majority of Americans think some kind of tighter gun regulation is okay. So it may be possible to follow the same-sex marriage playbook. A few states or major cities institute small restrictions, such as on magazine size. There are lawsuits, some laws fail but some stand. Some politicians support these restrictions, the NRA fails to unseat them in the next election, and starts looking like a paper tiger. More regions institute more restrictions, and yet the people are neither crushed by jackbooted government thugs, nor massacred by brown criminals invading their homes! And the myth starts crumbling.

 

Success is not assured. Like I said, we could still get a Seinfeldian civil war over nothing, or Donald Trump could secure de facto dictatorship. But all hope for improvement is not lost.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

 

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7 minutes ago, DShomshak said:

I admit, I am of at least two minds.

 

On the one and, yes, American culture fetishizes guns to an astonishing degree. Insurrection from any nationwide attempt at sudden, serious restriction or regulation is a real threat.

 

Though bluntly, I think the odds are high of insurrection within the next 5 years anyway. A civil war disconnected from real economic or political issues -- only about mythology and identity. I hope I am proved wrong, but there seems to be a significant percentage of the population that is *flipping crazy* at the loss of their caste privileges and cherished myths of identity.

 

OTOH, we do have the example of gay rights. There were predictions of civil war over that, too, and it didn't happen. First laws against homosexuality were rolled back. Society didn't collapse, either in a Gay Sex Orgy or an Evangelical crusade. Then a few states tried civil unions. Again, nothing happened. Then outright marriage. And what do you know, nothing happened. Finally the Supreme Court (narrowly) declared same-sex marriage had to be legal everywhere. And God did not smite the country as He smote Sodom and Gomorrah, neither did the Evangelicals rise up in armed rebellion and the military join them. Too many people realized they had friends and family who were gay, lesbian or bisexual, and they were just people instead of some abstract boogyman of "The Gay." A solid majority of Americans think same-sex marriage is just fine, and what's the big deal?

 

Already, polling shows that a solid majority of Americans think some kind of tighter gun regulation is okay. So it may be possible to follow the same-sex marriage playbook. A few states or major cities institute small restrictions, such as on magazine size. There are lawsuits, some laws fail but some stand. Some politicians support these restrictions, the NRA fails to unseat them in the next election, and starts looking like a paper tiger. More regions institute more restrictions, and yet the people are neither crushed by jackbooted government thugs, nor massacred by brown criminals invading their homes! And the myth starts crumbling.

 

Success is not assured. Like I said, we could still get a Seinfeldian civil war over nothing, or Donald Trump could secure de facto dictatorship. But all hope for improvement is not lost.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

 

 

In fairness, we're pretty young as a country. How many civil wars occurred in England, France and others over the years?

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All empires eventually fade into history. I believe the era of American dominance of world affairs is coming to its inevitable close. The international structures it built and supported have been seriously fractured, and will never return to their previous state; while other powers are rising. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Britain went through it, but found a different but still important role for itself in the new order.

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42 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

A sentiment I've seen going around the Internet recently: "Fox News has done to our parents what they were scared X-box would do to us."

 

Thankfully, my Mom wasn't a Fox News viewer.

 

She skewed liberal, and would reach out to her congressman whenever she felt that it was an important topic. Her congressman's staff gave her a direct line to their office, and would even sometimes call her to see what her feelings were on legislation that he was going to vote on. Interestingly, she was registered as a Republican, and they frequently made the mistake of assuming that she would somehow accept their shenanigans. Her congressman ran for governor (of Maine), and she received a push-poll from a group for the Republican candidate that asked her what her feelings would be if it was revealed that her congressman was gay. Her response was, "Honey, I want to elect him. I don't want to date him."

 

 

 

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On the Media: Listen | WNYC Studios | Podcasts

 

The latest episode has an excellent segment interviewing historian John Barry about his book, The Great Influenza; specificaqlly about the political and media aspects of the deadly 1918 flu pandemic. Humanity had the bad luck for the pandemic to happen in the middle of World War One. Governments involved in the war thought home front morale would be harmed by news of hundreds of thousands of citizens dropping like flies, so they all locked down the news instead of their populations. Including the United States: The Wilson administration had an office of propaganda and censorship with the avowed mission to manufacture uniform, unwavering, white-hot zeal for the war and let nothing get in the way of that goal. Especially truth. Congress had already made it sedition to say anything critical of participation in the war (and even a member of Congress was jailed for defying it); newspaper publishers were told they would be crushed if they deviated from the administration's line that the pandemic was just ordinary flu, wash your hands and carry on as normal.

 

Of course people knew this was rubbish. Barry describes some of the social unraveling that resulted. Also that Pres. Wilson contracted the flue while he was in Paris negotiating the Treaty of Versailles and was, hm, not at his best mentally (not that I've heard any modern historian speak highly of his intellect at the best of times, despite his having been an Ivt League college president). Which may have had something to do with the more deranged and punitive aspects of the treaty.

 

Nowadays, the US also has a president who regards a deadly pandemic as an annoying distraction from what he thinks matters, who brushes the disease off as "just flu." But at least he hasn't been able to strong-arm most media into repeating that party line and forcing people not to do anything about the epidemic. So bad as things are, I guess they could be worse, because not so very long ago they were.

 

Yay?

 

Dean Shomshak

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I plan to vote. My main gripe is that voting just doesn't seem to matter anymore. We're hand fed candidates that the 1% deem acceptable and then expected to be happy that we've gotten the "honor" to be part of the process. If it isn't plain by now how our current political system isn't working...I don't know what else to tell you.

 

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I respect and sympathize with that view. I've made no bones that I don't believe Biden is the best man for America's challenges today, just because the Democratic party thinks he's most "electable." But there's not even a chance of things getting better if Donald Trump is reelected, and a near certainty that they're going to get worse. Getting him out of office is a necessary first step to any better road. And the election is the last peaceful, constitutional option available. If that fails we're all in for turbulence.

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9 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

I respect and sympathize with that view. I've made no bones that I don't believe Biden is the best man for America's challenges today, just because the Democratic party thinks he's most "electable." 

 

Biden isn't the (presumptive) nominee because a small cabal of party insiders considered him the, "most electable" - it's because he got more votes than any other candidate.

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Let's also not forget that Donald Trump was not the anointed candidate of the Republican Party grandees or their corporate masters. As far as I can see, his was a genuine populist insurgency from the party's base...

 

...Though one could certainly argue -- and I would -- that the Republican Party base's alienation and rage was consciously cultivated for generations by those party leaders and corporate masters. And now they seem quite happy with a president who says openly what was coded in dog-whistle language, and openly attacks the political norms they spent decades undermining.

 

Dean Shomshak

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2 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

Biden isn't the (presumptive) nominee because a small cabal of party insiders considered him the, "most electable" - it's because he got more votes than any other candidate.

 

From the party delegates, yes. That's why I specified, "the Democratic Party." And the line I heard repeatedly from delegates being interviewed was that they were voting for Biden because they thought he had the best chance of being elected. Even among his own party members Biden doesn't inspire enthusiasm. This is a calculated marketing move. But don't think for a moment the party insiders weren't working the delegates to persuade them toward this line.

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1 hour ago, DShomshak said:

Let's also not forget that Donald Trump was not the anointed candidate of the Republican Party grandees or their corporate masters. As far as I can see, his was a genuine populist insurgency from the party's base...

 

...Though one could certainly argue -- and I would -- that the Republican Party base's alienation and rage was consciously cultivated for generations by those party leaders and corporate masters. And now they seem quite happy with a president who says openly what was coded in dog-whistle language, and openly attacks the political norms they spent decades undermining.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

The Republican Party's tactics before 2016 certainly laid the groundwork of public alienation and resentment for Trump's ascension. But once he was in office I noticed an interesting trend. The first time Trump crossed a line for what had been acceptable behavior for a POTUS, the Republican grandees threatened consequences. I'm now convinced that wasn't out of principle, but out of fear that the political sky would fall. But Trump crossed the line, and the sky didn't fall, and the grandees backed down. And then he crossed a farther line, and the threat was made, and the sky stayed up, and the grandees backed down. And this happened again, and again, until the grandees decided they didn't need to fear, and stopped their posturing. And now they've enabled and normalized that behavior, and allowed it to be woven into their base of support, to such an extent that even if a Republican has an objection of principle to what the POTUS is doing they don't dare voice it, because any "disloyalty" to Trump will drive their own voters away. The party sold itself to Donald Trump, and now it's too late for caveat emptor.

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6 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

From the party delegates, yes. That's why I specified, "the Democratic Party." And the line I heard repeatedly from delegates being interviewed was that they were voting for Biden because they thought he had the best chance of being elected. Even among his own party members Biden doesn't inspire enthusiasm. This is a calculated marketing move. But don't think for a moment the party insiders weren't working the delegates to persuade them toward this line.

 

During the primary prior to Sander's dropping out of the race, Biden received 10.81 million popular votes to Sander's 8.20 million votes.  That is to say Biden received 32% more popular votes than Sanders.  That is nothing less than a complete drubbing.  So unless you believe that party delegates can and should ignore the wishes of the voters, I do not see why you keep focusing on the delegates.  It is the voters that have chose Biden over Sanders.

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You make a good point, I should have chosen better words. This was an exercise by the entire Democratic Party. The party leadership and aligned media did maintain a constant anti-Sanders message during the primaries, and I don't think we should underestimate the effect that had on perception among Democrats; but Biden has attained the presumptive nomination by lawful process.

 

However, the party isn't the country. AFAICT Biden's main selling point has been that he'll offend the fewest voters. I've seen many political candidates picked for their perceived "electability." Their record of success doesn't fill me with confidence.

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