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Member since: Wed Nov 5, 2014, 11:56 AM
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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?

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