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DemocracyMouse

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Name: Mouse de la Soul
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New Jersey
Home country: USA
Member since: Sat Dec 9, 2017, 01:41 PM
Number of posts: 1,515

Journal Archives

Professor amazed: today's "conservatives" aren't actually conservative.

Jeffrey P. Kimball, Miami University professor emeritus, has finally articulated what has been needling me for years. So-called "conservatives" should be conserving the New Deal, national parks, polite manners, and other longstanding US traditions. They aren't, in fact, conserving much of anything – especially under the current Russian puppet despoiling the Whitehouse. Referring to dictionary definitions of conservative, Kimball states in Raw Story:

These definitions are unhelpful and misleading. Self-proclaimed political and social conservatives are not necessarily inclined to support or maintain the “traditional” social order – that is, long-standing majority views, conditions, institutions, or legislation. These include government regulation of corporations, banks, and Wall Street, progressive income taxes, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, civil rights, voting rights, environmental regulations, and public-lands conservation. Self-identified conservatives also oppose other traditional institutions, practices, and measures, such as the United Nations, international standards for the treatment of prisoners of war, labor unions, collective bargaining, fair labor standards, and, for some, public fluoridation of water. The measures conservatives oppose were legislated, created, or practiced 50 to 100 or more years ago.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/shouldnt-use-label-conservatives-describe-americas-right-wing/
Posted by DemocracyMouse | Tue Feb 27, 2018, 01:02 AM (6 replies)

Ideals are central, not peripheral

We sometimes treat ideals as silly and impossible to implement. Some, like making all blizzards go away, certainly are ridiculous. But maybe we should separate the silly from the realistic and treat the formation and vivid articulation of achievable ideals as a critical operating system at the center of the hive mind.

Take democracy and the abolition of slavery. These were once considered out of reach, but became a standard for much of the world. Initially they had to be promoted as achievable – repeatedly – but what this framing did was actually quite critical to the functioning of group mind: a positive, well-defined ideal may actually function as a memetic seed or operating system... it provides a vivid, and achievable blueprint for the future. It isn't pie-in-the-sky at all. Ideals are actually necessary for a functioning society.

Here are some examples of how well-defined ideals actually leverage change:

– Women claiming their rights by marching in the streets during the women's suffrage movement. They embodied the concept of women's collective power and the institutionalization of the same came about: voting rights for women.

– A vision of scientifically advanced black culture in the new film Black Panther is breaking box office records and giving African American children new kinds of role models.

– The Parkland massacre survivors stating with intense emotion that enough is enough. It has catalyzed a ripple of sentiment for a ban on assault rifles and the linking of Republicans with funding from the NRA. These kids' vision of change is more likely to bring about change in gun laws than any efforts by the more wonkish set before them. They have fearlessly and passionately framed the ideal and it is working.

– Philosophical discussions about the usefulness of ideals (like this one) being swept up in the Democratic Underground and reminding us all that change comes through a combination of ideal-setting (philosophy and culture), platform articulation (social science and policy wonks), and action (everyone voting).

Posted by DemocracyMouse | Mon Feb 26, 2018, 12:37 PM (3 replies)

Really? We're falling for it?

Just witnessed, and rolled my eyes at, yet another Bernie v Hillary sandbox fight. The trolls did their wee divisive meddling during the campaign, and they are doing it now by getting everyone's panties in a twist.

My recollection of the primaries is that Bernie and Hillary were a gazillion times more considerate towards one another – at least in the debates and advertising – than the Republicans. They focused on issues that mattered. They learned from each other. ...Yes, there were DNC screw ups and games, but nothing remotely like the Republican mud fight —like Trump calling John McCain's service pointless because he happened to be captured. The Democrats did nothing like Trump calling all immigrants (except his German ancestors) rapists. Good grief.

All this divisive blather seems to be spiked by either Russian trolls, Republican trolls (who picked up the modality), or Democrats who just like a good, stupid fight.

WHILE CITIZENS CLASH
THE 1% TAKES THE CASH
Posted by DemocracyMouse | Sat Feb 24, 2018, 01:44 PM (6 replies)

Raw Story: Vocation-only schooling is a trap on many levels

This got my attention. Raw Story cites a podcast which correlates narrow-focus vocational colleges with tighter control over peasantry. Conservatives extol the virtues of such narrow schooling because "it's practical." But the real reason is that it keeps youth from thinking broadly like wisemen/women who would start to question why the USA has become so debased, so 3rd world, since Kennedy and Johnson.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/conservatives-destroying-education-whittling-job-training-theyre-purpose/
Posted by DemocracyMouse | Sat Feb 24, 2018, 03:27 AM (36 replies)

A "well-regulated militia"???

Waiting for someone in the mainstream media to say what is CRAZY obvious:

1) The 2nd Amendment clearly states that a "well-regulated militia" is its goal. People, we don't actually have a "well-regulated militia" in the streets!!!

2) Furthermore, we don't have a "well-regulated militia" among the local police. Cell phones have begun to reveal the constant abuse, and tacit repression, of our BEAUTIFUL and long-suffering African American siblings.

3) The Pentagon is growing without restraint.

NONE of those martial domains are well-regulated. Therefore none are protected by the 2nd Amendment. Period. All three are worthy of a challenge in the Supreme Court. The 2nd Amendment was never intended to turn our streets, churches, schools indeed the world at large, into a war zone.

NOTE: That doesn't mean zero guns – although that SHOULD be a planetary goal. As long as human beings come outfitted with a reptile brain with its "fight or flight" impulses, we need to REGULATE the dangerous things. We've done it for automobiles, we can do it for guns.

Posted by DemocracyMouse | Thu Feb 22, 2018, 03:26 PM (21 replies)

"We failed"

That is what we will say if we don't get our self-righteous butts off the couch and away from the echo chamber of the web. We need to spend that daily news orgy in the neighborhood bar, bowling alley, etc., and talk to our fellow citizens.

Some talking points (please improve):

–Have you registered to vote?
–Are you planning on holding a motivational pre-vote party?
–Like I did for Hillary, I'm going door to door. Join me this Sept, October and November?
–Do join the blue wave that's actually VOTING in November –for Democrats. They are the only sane party left standing (and they are pro gun control, reproductive rights, Kyoto Protocols, regulating banks, etc)

Another action in the PHYSICAL WORLD: I've already got my homemade sign spread across my car's entire bumper:

WHILE CITIZENS CLASH
THE 1% TAKES THE CASH
Vote Democrats 2018

It reaches way beyond my echo chamber and I've received nothing but thumbs up.



Posted by DemocracyMouse | Wed Feb 21, 2018, 10:26 PM (2 replies)

Let's get off the web + talk to neighbors!!!

I have a thought:

Let's get off the web/Facebook/Twitter, even DU, and put the breaks on this insane slide towards fascism, civil war... or whatever it is we seem to be fumbling into. We need to spend that daily news orgy in the neighborhood bar, bowling center, etc., and talk to our fellow citizens.

Here's my talking points (please improve below):

–Have you registered to vote?
–Are you planning on holding a motivational pre-vote party?
–Like I did for Hillary, I'm going door to door. Join me?
–Do join the blue wave that's actually VOTING in November –for Democrats. They are the only sane party left standing (and they are pro gun control, reproductive rights, Kyoto Protocols, regulating banks, etc)

Another action in the PHYSICAL WORLD: I've already got my homemade sign spread across my car's entire bumper:

WHILE CITIZENS CLASH
THE 1% TAKES THE CASH

It reaches way beyond my echo chamber and I've received nothing but thumbs up.
Posted by DemocracyMouse | Wed Feb 21, 2018, 08:50 PM (0 replies)

Al Franken: lynched by bots + unthinking colleagues

Well now... The revelations about bots undermining Franken are both on Newsweek and Raw Story.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/white-nationalists-twitter-bots-fueled-war-al-franken-democrats-fell/

I feel vindicated for helping to sound the alarm last year against what seemed like a Franken lynching. If Gillibrand and the other Democrats want a truly moral Democratic party, they could cite this bot/troll event and hide behind "we didn't know."

Of course they could have also taken Franken's many female colleagues in both congress and Saturday Night Live at their word: the man was a mensch. His acting out a groping on the plane was Vaudevillian bafoonery during a USO tour in which Tweeden slapped the ass and groped a guitar player with her legs – on stage. His crime – and hers –was poor taste. His was also being short and placing his hands on people's waists during many photo ops – instead of shoulders which would have been awkward

Oy vey. Now we know what really drove the Dem leadership into a frenzy: a lack of schooling in 21st century humor, and an army of bots, commanded most likely by the same Russians/Republicans who discouraged black voter turnout and turned uninformed independents against Clinton.
Posted by DemocracyMouse | Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:16 PM (8 replies)

1) Vote the weasels out of Toad Hall. 2) Break up monopolies

Time to keep the pressure on ourSELVES to do the right things after the Democrats retake the government:

Start by dismantling the monopolies which control everything else. See The Nation: https://www.thenation.com/article/six-ways-to-rein-in-todays-toxic-monopolies/
Posted by DemocracyMouse | Sun Feb 18, 2018, 11:19 PM (0 replies)

Gentrification vs Devdumping

As a term for urban growing pains, my vote is for "development dumping" (or "devdumping" as some call it). Development dumping is more decisively the root of neighborhood displacement. The "luxury" high rises that are dumped on a community with little to no gentleness, and a lot of collusion with city governments to leverage tax abatements and changes in zoning laws to make room for the damn things. Developers literally force out renters through a range of terrible strategies, from instant eviction when the rent is late, to arson.

"Devdumping" is perfectly suited for what really happens, economically and politically, to certain neighborhoods. The term "gentrification", in contrast, is an oxymoron at best, but is actually quite insidious. (I really can't stand the term, it drives me bonkers). It has built within it two insidious forms of prejudice. One is that so-called "impoverished" groups aren't gentle or cultured. The problem may be that they are too gentle, too civilized, and are easily pushed aside by the true gentrifiers – large, wholesale developers. But another problem with "gentrification" as a term is that it implies a prejudice towards an entire class of underpaid worker – the artists and musicians whom we fantasize are the friends of princesses and billionaires, but in fact pull in far less than a plumber or retail employee. The creative classes are some of the lowest paid of the trades and professions. However, by shear pluck and DIY struggle, they have the nerve to transform their apartments, their parties and even their streets with next to no funding from banks or rich uncles. We often blame these struggling, but inspired, people for the "gentrification" of neighborhoods when in fact the rise in cost of living is not something 99% of the creative classes actually WANT, nor are they responsible for it. When neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Brooklyn, are analyzed, it becomes clear that after a wave of hands-on activity stirs up the spirits and storefronts (such as what the Brooklyn Immersionists did on the weed-infested waterfront and in the abandoned factories in the 1990s), a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT crowd leverages tax abatements and rezoning to invade an area with stacks of "luxury" apartments. These "devdumpers" are neither creative nor gentle. If anything, they promote the term "gentrification" to buttress their crude luxury branding games. Devdumpers have no discourse, no sensibility, save for a knack to exploit. They are not gentle and some are downright Trumpian (especially the Trumps!). "Gentrification" is the worst possible term for what development dumpers actually do. So my vote is use "devdumper" or "monopoly capitalism" next time you're pissed off at the cost of living.

A number of articles (below) seem to flirt with a speck of understanding, but still miss these salient points. The creative community does not wish for, nor directly induce, a rise in the cost of living. They're renters, after all, not landowners. And the larger community we all-too-easily label a "ghetto" are rich in culture, inspiration and talent. Both groups are quite gentle (with the usual exceptions you find in any group) and neither – as renters or single unit homeowners– are responsible for shutting out the sun with tall buildings and a steep rise in rent.


https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/11/is-gentrification-really-a-problem

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/06/gentrification-bad-word/396908/

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/06/toward-being-a-better-gentrifier/531324/
Posted by DemocracyMouse | Tue Feb 13, 2018, 07:14 PM (2 replies)
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