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Member since: Wed Nov 5, 2014, 11:56 AM
Number of posts: 2,067

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We have something like 140,000,000 people over the age of 35 in this country, most of which are probably natural born citizens and eligible to be elected President...

...and yet it isn't just possible that it will happen, but we as a party are ACTIVELY pushing for, returning a family to power who is 1 of 2 that have already ran this country for 20 of the last 28 years.

This is what oligarchies do.

Is this seriously as creative as America (and the Democratic Party) can get at this point? This is giving it our best?

Out of 100 MILLION PLUS eligible people, we can't find ONE person qualified to be elected President in 2016 that isn't named Bush or Clinton?


Tone policing concerns: Well taken, but "free thinking" is as important as "free speech"

I posted this in response to a tone policing thread a couple days ago, but thought the topic was interesting so wanted to expand my thoughts. Feel free to ignore, or chime in if you have an opinion on this subject.

When you have something to say, free speech rights give you nearly complete control of the content and delivery of that message. But knowing that the mode of transmission often complements/contradicts the content of your message (e.g. messages regarding God & faith are likely more effectively "preached" with love from a pulpit rather than angrily shouted from a streetcorner ala Westboro Baptist Church), you likely consciously or subconsciously prioritize in your head what's more important: what you want to say, or how you want to say it.

These are your choices and free speech rights give you nearly 100% control over them.

But you DO NOT and SHOULD NOT have control over how your message's content and delivery are received and interpreted. That part is controlled by everyone else as free thinking individuals; that free thinking is as much a right as your free speech right.

If you have something to say, it is YOUR JOB to frame the message so it's received and interpreted how you want it to be; it IS NOT the listener's duty or job to change their worldview/thinking to accommodate your message.

If I'm the Yale professor with a student 12 inches away from my face screeching at me at the top of her lungs, calling me names, making (in my view) outrageous accusations about my behavior, etc., no I'm not going to listen to that message.

It is not "tone policing" to say "you are out of control right now, you are making me uncomfortable (my right to interpret that, NOT YOURS), and for the sake of my safety as well as those around us, I'm not listening to this right now." People don't have to (and frankly shouldn't) stand there and absorb hate, inflammatory accusations, etc. just to avoid accusations of "tone policing."

I've had TERRIBLE things happen to me, and do I want to get in the face of those I find responsible and give them what for? Absolutely. Do I expect for a second that they'd just stand there and take it? Of course not, and neither would I if I was in their shoes.

Yale Lecturer Resigns After Email on Halloween Costumes

Source: NYT

A Yale lecturer who came under attack for challenging students to stand up for their right to decide what Halloween costumes to wear, even to the point of being offensive, has resigned from teaching at the college, the university said Monday.

The lecturer, Erika Christakis, an expert in early childhood education, wrote an email in October suggesting that there could be negative consequences to students ceding “implied control” over Halloween costumes to institutional forces. “I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious,” she wrote, “a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition."

After the email, a group of students confronted Dr. (Nicholas) Christakis. One student was shown in a video posted on YouTube confronting Dr. Christakis as he clasped his hands. “It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not!” the student was heard yelling. “Do you understand that? It is about creating a home here!”

“Erika Christakis is a well-regarded instructor, and the university’s leadership is disappointed that she has chosen not to continue teaching in the spring semester,” the statement said. “Her teaching is highly valued and she is welcome to resume teaching anytime at Yale, where freedom of expression and academic inquiry are the paramount principle and practice.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/08/us/yale-lecturer-resigns-after-email-on-halloween-costumes.html?_r=0

From a separate article on Fusion.com: "In a letter to Inside Higher Ed, Yale professor Douglas Stone said Christakis’ resignation is a loss for students. “Last year Erika Christakis’s classes were shopped by over 300 students and many who wished to take them were turned away,” Stone said of the well-regarded early childhood specialist. Stone continued, “she has received truly exceptional teaching evaluations… Those who mounted the campaign against her have significantly reduced educational choice for all Yale undergrads.”

Interesting that Yale's official statement noted that "freedom of expression and academic inquiry are the paramount principle and practice," yet in an email to the Washington Post Christakis stated "I have great respect and affection for my students, but I worry that the current climate at Yale is not, in my view, conducive to the civil dialogue and open inquiry required to solve our urgent societal problems.”

So professor and school are saying opposite things about what the climate at Yale is truly like. I'd tend to trust a professor over Administration any day of the week.

These kids did an awful good job of chasing the scary monsters off campus; apparently her husband is also taking a sabbatical.

Why, in both primaries and the GE, is the focus almost exclusively on "the middle class"?

Whether Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative, 99% of the rhetoric seems to focus on the middle class, with almost no mention at all of the most vulnerable, the poor.

How do we get more jobs for the middle class?
How do we get tax relief for the middle class?
How is such-and-such-policy going to impact the middle class?

1) https://berniesanders.com/issues/income-and-wealth-inequality/ mentions the poor once, the middle class twice.

http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-economic-inequality/ mentions the middle class 5 times, but mentions the poor only once.

Bernie's Boston Globe Editorial from June (https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/06/12/bernie-sanders-the-war-middle-class/hAJUTAjWgupBLx4zAMh7nN/story.html), titled "War on the Middle Class," fails to mention the poor once; there is no corresponding "The War on the Poor" editorial.

Sanders does have some information on poverty, but it's on his Senate website, not his Presidential Campaign website: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/buzz/war-on-poverty

As we've seen recently, Hillary Clinton seems to have a warped view of "the middle class," including folks whom many of us would consider extremely wealthy.

She too, more often than not, fails to even mention the poor, with her rhetoric almost exclusively focused on the middle class: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/p/briefing/factsheets/2015/11/14/clinton-campaign-on-protecting-middle-class-from-tax-hikes/

And we all know the Republican candidates love to tout their (imaginary) commitment to the middle class, and stats purporting to show a significant negative affect on the middle class by the Obama Presidency.

So questions:

1) Is the "middle class" a real thing, or do we just have rich and poor?

2) If the "middle class" is a real thing, are things really so bad for them that we need to put the focus almost exclusively on them? Or are candidates focusing on the middle class, not because they're bad off, but because by middle class they really mean "the largest group of voters"?

3) Why are the poor ignored, most alarmingly by the Democratic candidates who, by party affiliation alone, should be pretending they care? It it because they're less likely to donate to the campaign? Less likely to vote?

4) Is there anyway (and time left) for us or the DNC to elevate discussion of the plight of the poor in this primary process?

Interesting that everyone wants to talk about Killer Mike, but a post with some of his lyrics...

gets immediately hid...people want the "street cred" of a rapper endorsement but not his actual resume? Hmmm.....

In light of multiple threads about AverageJoe90's demise, a question; why don't people use ignore?

I'm reading the threads where so many people say they were "harassed for years" by this user. Isn't that what ignore is for? I understand if this idiot was following you around with a different username every day, but people seem to be saying that they knowingly and willingly continued, for years, to see and respond to this loser's racist, misogynistic rants.

I don't understand the need to even engage with a poster like that. I'm assuming people didn't have this troll on ignore because they have an irrepressible urge to respond and try to prove it's wrong/call it out? The old, "Cancel all my meetings, someone on the internet is wrong"?

If so, you're wasting your time: 1) It is a troll, and has no intentions except to disrupt, and 2) the vast majority of us already know it's a troll, so its posts really aren't convincing/influencing anyone.

I saw a thread response from a poster talking about how disheartened he/she was to not be able to keep up with trying to respond to/alert on AverageJoe90's threads. Why? What's the point? Calling people out as trolls (subtly or unsubtly) just seems to drive away new members, and using the alert system for "troll control" just doesn't seem like an effective measure when there are likely dozens of daily signups simply to disrupt.

Bottom line, if you feed a troll, it stays around. We would all be better served to remember that there's probably nothing more disheartening to a troll than to return to its "My Posts" tab just to see that no one has taken the bait.

Does following present-day politics make your life worse? Your opinions appreciated:

Having observed my (apparently) foul mood recently, and after listening to me explain my annoyance with "emailgate", the neocons' letter to Irananian leaders, the media's non-stop negativity about the Obama presidency, etc., my wife made an interesting observation that I'd like my fellow DU'ers opinions on.

That is, that I (and I suppose by default anyone) who closely follows political goings-ons today am naturally an angrier, more depressed person because of it. That while it's certainly important (and even civilly responsible) to be an informed and active citizen, that we are all actively choosing to make our lives worse by letting politics play such a central role.

I've been thinking about it over the last 24 hours, and believe there's something to what she said. I don't know that it will change anything I do (I'm a political junkie and a long-time DU lurker, although only recently decided to actually create a login), but her comments have made me more aware of 1) just how much political news/discussion is either purposely negative or just naturally depressing and 2) how my body and mind naturally react to what I read/see.

By no means am I arguing that USA citizens are better off being mindless drones focused on American Idol and sports scores, but I am also questioning (personally) the wisdom of constantly engaging in (or even just reading) such depressing discussion.

Just a cursory glance at the DU Greatest Page at any given time shows me that most highly-rated threads are:

-about how bad a person or group of people are because of their beliefs, choices, or actions
-about how bad a person or group of people are because they haven't done what we expected them to
-mocking a specific person or group of people for their beliefs, choices, or actions

While all of these discussions have merit in terms of education, "venting," etc., they're all, generally, incredibly negative and just make me feel worse.

Thoughts? Anyone else ever feel this way, or question why they keep logging/tuning in?

Here's why the "all religious fundementalism throughout history is the same" argument scares me...

If you believe all religious fundamentalism (and its associated violent destruction) throughout history is the same, then it seems to me you have to believe at least one of the following as well:

1) the world has made absolutely no progress over time in terms of human rights, and thus it's perfectly reasonable to assume people will burn other people alive today, because people were burning people alive a few hundred years ago too. Nevermind the fact that many of the world's worst maladies are at just a fraction of where they were in the past (slavery, torture and cruel & unusual executions, etc.).

The world is no more enlightened today than it was 1,000 years ago, and NOONE can/should be expected to act more civilly than people were acting 1,000 years ago.


2) The world has indeed become more enlightened, but ISIS and the more hardcore elements of Islamic extremism are somehow intellectually inferior to you and thus exempt from the expectation to act like rational humans in the 21st century.

If there are millions or billions of people around the world believing either one of these 2 things, I weep for our future.

What do you consider the most important "diversifiers" for our representatives?

I responded to Mr. Grayson's thread but would be interested in the opinions of DU at large.

For reasons that are unclear to me, when people talk about diversity, especially in terms of political representation, it seems to almost exclusively mean 1) what skin color the person has and 2) what gender they identify with. Yet in my personal opinion, if we truly want diversity of thought, opinion, and experience in Congress and the White House, then where that person grew up, what kind of household they grew up in, their education status, their health status, etc. ought to be way more important. Why is no one ever talking about needing more single parents in Congress, or people with a positive HIV status, or veterans, or people that have been homeless?

I don't get why we're always so obsessed with the skin color or what's between the legs of our representatives, as if more people of color or more gender diversity is magically going to make Congress do what we want. Is a filthy rich African-American from New York that much different than a filthy rich Caucasian from New York?

I realize that your life can be shaped by your race and gender, but are we saying that's the PRIMARY determination of what your life is like? Aren't a person's experiences much more important to how they'll vote than what they look like?
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